Showing posts from October, 2016

The ROI on Family

We've been honoring our beloved dead for several decades now, but it's only in the last eight years or so that the work has expanded beyond the confines of this time of year. I wish we'd done it sooner. Because of all the spiritual practices of our household, the one with the best Return on Investment is our work with the ancestors.

I'd describe my entire religious and spiritual life as, well, relational. I'm always focused on the relationships I can build. With Deities who've shown an interest, with spirits of place, and with my actual relations. The most reliable and most supportive are, by far, our beloved dead. After all, they have a vested interest in seeing our family do well and a much better grip on the challenges and issues of the modern world than a lot of ancient spirits.

Plus in my case, the Deities I work most closely with are not gentle. They're tough and they challenge me. They aren't nurturing. My family on the other hand? Well, they wat…

Sustain-ability: Too Much Shit

I've written previously about the death of the middle class. One of my points was that it's hard to find mid-level quality items -- everything is either really expensive or it's shit... and there's no shortage of the latter.

Since we have a teenager who seems to be growing out of clothing before they're even worn, let alone worn out, we make regular runs to Goodwill to donate. This seems fair because, since the kid has a clothing budget, there's a lot of shopping at Goodwill too. So it makes for kind of a nice loop.

Recently I had a car-full of stuff to donate. Some clothes and shoes, a couple of coats that stopped fitting over the summer, and some pet supplies for our cat (RIP). I took a cruise past the Goodwill truck nearest to me and they weren't open. So I drove over to the bigger, permanent facility. I was floored by the huge amount of stuff, both wedged under the unmanned truck and almost completely filling the parking lot. Just, all kinds of STUFF. F…

PMPM - Project Ivy: First Steps

This is part of a series that touches on practical magic project management from the perspective of my own personal 12-month project. Here are the prior posts:

Case Study: Project Ivy
Eating My Own Dog Food

The point of this series isn't to brag (or to whine) about my progress. It's also not going to be an overly personal info. dump (I don't get very personal here as a rule). No, I figure that this series will be useful for a couple of reasons:

First, because I'm a believer in taking advice from people who follow it themselves. A business mentor should have a successful business. A spiritual teacher should lead a spiritual life. Someone offering advice on practical sorcery should have their lives magicked pretty well in line. And if I'm going to provide advice on setting and meeting goals, well, I should be able to do so myself.

Second, because no one is ever perfect and no one is ever done. My life is reasonably successful and settled, and I'd be ashamed to give…

Services -- Mini Readings

Since I've had to up the prices on my larger readings because of the time they take, I've been considering including some smaller offerings that are more accessible to more people. However, it's important to me that any readings I provide be in line with my philosophy of divination: not fortune telling, but fortune creating.

The Black Swan and Multiverse readings are robust tools for helping you react to what's coming in a proactive way and find your best path to your goals. The Life Crafting reading is a powerful combination of the two. These readings go both broad and very, very deep.

But because of their scope, they take a long time to do and result in a huge writeup that can take a major effort to absorb. Along with the expense, that may not be what everyone needs or is ready to handle.

So as of today, I'm rolling out three new readings. These readings are much smaller in scope with less interactivity, but still provide the kind of proactive guidance and value …

Mind War: Part Eight -- Thought Crime

I read 1984 at an extremely young and impressionable age. I think I was about 11 or 12, and very naive and sheltered (though clearly not censored in my reading).

Note, this was long before the spate of young adult dystopian fiction that's recently been so popular (and which probably started with The Giver back in the early 90s).

The book had a huge impact on me. At the time, 1984 struck me as a horror novel and I remember the ending scaring the hell out of me and keeping me up nights (fucking rat dreams). But what struck me more was the very end, when Winston meets Julia again, but has no longing for her. When no one cares if they are together... because they don't want to be together. When no one cares what Winston thinks because Winston can no longer think.

I was a young adult by the time I got around to Brave New World (which I read along with re-reading 1984). By this time I had a more mature and nuanced perspective and found this version of dystopia less terrifying (in th…