Search Term Shoot Back, December 2014

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of December 2014.  (Yes, I know that I’m currently on vacation, but I can’t pass up this fun post.)

“instant satan posses my huge cock” — I mean, I’ve seen multiple porn comics with this as the plotline, but it’s generally not the best of things.  Either your cock starts devouring others (cockvore), starts turning others into a bigger cock as you fuck them (cock transformation), or becomes a nuisance when it never goes flaccid (demonic Viagra).  There are other ways you can have a good time, believe me.

“hallucinogens used with burning candles” — No hallucinogen requires candles, strictly speaking; you just intake them in the proper way, although depending on the culture there may be some ritual involved that can call for candles.  That said, once you begin your fantastic fun trip, remember: cars, guns, and fire are all real things and they will actually hurt you.  Respect them and have fun!

“view big black cock dick images on twetter images” — I don’t host those on my Twitter account, and I have no afterdark account with more racy content to speak of.  I regret that I cannot oblige those requests, but I’m sure there are other Twitter accounts that can help.  You might try Reddit, though; /r/MassiveCock might satisfy your needs, if I hear correctly.

“planetary days and hours calculator for gambling?” — Planetary hour calculators are a dime a dozen online and I don’t provide one, so keep searching for those.  That said, times of Venus are especially good for gambling, in my opinion; Venus has her joy in the fifth house of astrology and geomancy, the house that presides over gambling and all speculative interests, and in the ancient Roman game of knucklebones or tali one of the best throws possible was the iactis Veneris, the throw of Venus.  In my opinion, go with the Golden Girl of Gambling, Venus, but also invoke Fortuna, too!

“what is + talisman of wisdom key of solomon pentacle seal pendant hermetic enochian kabbalah” — So, basically, you’re asking about the bulk of commonly known Renaissance Hermetic stuff?  Here, lemme do you a favor: go to Esoteric Archives and just read, since a good chunk of pretty much this entire search query is already there in full for free.

“very cocks congolais” —

wow such penis very throb wow much kongo

“16 geomantic symbols and their deities name” — This is actually a pretty interesting idea that I haven’t gotten around to yet, associating each of the 16 geomantic figures with different deities.  I know something very similar is done with the 16 odu in Ifa, and the Chain of Saint Michael (a southern Italian variant of geomancy) assigns each of the figures to a different Catholic saint, and some forms of Arabic geomancy associate the figures with different patriarchs of Islam.  I’m sure other regional traditions assigns each of the figures to a different deity in their own cultures, but Western geomancy by and large doesn’t do this.  The closest thing I can think of is to take the zodiac sign associated with the figure (depending on which zodiacal attribution system you prefer, since there are several) and use Cornelius Agrippa’s Scale of Twelve (book II, chapter 14) to associate each zodiac sign with one of the 12 Olympians.  Alternatively, you might just go with the planetary divinities associated with the geomantic figure, as might be done in Jyotish (Hindu) astrology, where Caput Draconis is associated with Rahu and Cauda Draconis with Ketu.  Sixteen isn’t that popular a number in most Western systems of mythology or theology, so this would take some thinking, but it’s possible all the same.

“fiery wall of protection makes people be nice to you” — That’s not generally the point of Fiery Wall of Protection oil; it’s to keep the bad stuff at bay with force, not to make people approach you sweetly.  I use cinnamon and red sandalwood in my recipe, both of which can be associated with Venus for sweetening and love magic, but in this context they take on a much more fiery and defensive tone that make them herbs of glorious soldiers than pretty women.

“myst drinking game” — YES.  I’ve been looking for one for years, until I gave up and just made up my own.  I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who’s been looking for the existence of such a thing.

“which greek god rules labradorite” — As far as I know, no Greek god has come forth to own this particular mineral.  It’s only fairly recently discovered to the West in about the 1800s, and even then mostly in the far north of Northern America (though there are some good deposits in Finland and northern Russia, as well).  Given its associations with rainbows, it might be given to Eos (Dawn), Iris (Rainbow), or other celestial divinities of the northern hemisphere, but these are all pretty big stretches for me.

“geomancy to determine career” — Look at the 10th house.  That’s really about it.  The figure can tell you how a particular career will go (if you’re asking about one in particular), or the type of career you’ll have (if not).

“geomancy and bagua compared” — This is one thing that always peeves me off as a Western geomancer.  Despite their superficial similarities, geomancy as developed in northern Africa and spread across the Western, African, and Middle Eastern world is pretty much guaranteed to have no common origins or shared meaning with the Chinese I Ching, which predates geomancy by over a thousand years.  I Ching makes use of eight trigrams (binary figures of three lines) or 64 hexagrams (binary figures of six lines), while geomancy makes use of 16 tetragrams (binary figures of four lines), but the superficial similarities stop there.  The bagua in particular is the set of eight trigrams arranged in a particular pattern to demonstrate an ideal flow of qi or energy.

“saint michael elekes color” — The usual disclaimer here applies where I make mention that I’m not crowned in Ocha and have no formal ties to Santeria.  That said, it’s hard for me to get any reliable information about which orisha is most closely associated with Saint Michael (or San Miguel in Spanish).  Some sources associate him with Ogun (black and green, the blacksmith-warrior), Chango (white and red, the lightning-axe king of orisha), or even Eleggua (black and red, the road-opener).  What elekes I can find for Saint Michael are red and green in color, which is unusual since these would be the Golden Dawn colors for the element of Fire with which Michael is associated, even though red and green elekes are often given to the Nigerian tradition of Orunla (the diviner god of Ifa) or sometimes to a specific avatar of Oshun (the river goddess of wealth and sexuality, but here a fierce and sometimes sadistic hunter).  Because of this disparity of information, I’d recommend talking to your local Santero/a and asking them, but be aware that no two Santeros may have the same answer based on their own house’s tradition.

“do u need a ritual to conjure a demon” — It depends on what you consider a ritual.  For some people, a ritual can be a full-blown Solomonic affair with circles, robes, candles, incense, a week or more of preliminary prayers and baths, all culminating in a conjuration.  For others, it could be no more than clearing the mind and calling out to the spirit by their name.  Some people just naturally attract these types of forces to them, some people attract them to themselves because of the work they do (e.g. in graveyards, with those who are dying, in war-torn areas), so it might not take much to bring out such a spirit.  Sometimes a spirit can take residence in a particular place, and all you need to do is walk into their domain and call out to them.  You’ll note that I’m not calling them “demons” here, because what you consider a demon could easily be a personal spirit or something assigned to you based on your tradition and perception.  So, yes, you do need ritual to conjure a demon, but the ritual could be nearly nothing compared to what you might expect.

So this is it, the final post of 2014!  We’ll be back next week with new posts, so I hope you guys have an excellent New Year’s without too bad a hangover on the first day of 2015!

Drinking Games to go with Myst and Riven

Alright, it’s late, I’m getting over a cold, and I’m bored.  This is going to depart from my normal subject matter on this blog. It is, after all, my blog, and some things just aren’t cut out for a long Facebook post. If you like neither puzzle adventure games nor drinking, then you may want to skip this. Otherwise, I love you because you’re an amazing person.

It’s not surprise to people that, if I have one primary fandom, it’s Myst. I am, have always been, and will always be a lifelong Myst fanboy. Alas, I’ve never yet made it to a Mysterium con, but I will one day before they die out. For those who don’t know, the Myst franchise, started by the always-trusty Cyan, Inc.,spans five single-player games, one MMO, and three novels, as well as a poorly-received (so I’ve heard) comic book series that didn’t last past the first issue. It’s a beautiful series, and it’s definitely had a significant effect on my beliefs and practice of the occult. In my opinion, Riven was the best game of the series, followed by Myst in quality; Exile (III) was good but felt too much like a game and not enough like an adventure, Revelation (IV) went far too much against the history and setting set up by Myst and Riven, and End of Ages (V) was just…sad for so many reasons. Then there’s Uru, the MMO, which is beautiful and amazing to play though, only parts of which require other people to help out; alas, it was far too detached from its time, and the caverns of D’ni feel way more desolated than the designers of the game intended it to be. Ah well, the games live on on their own.

Well, the problem is that these games don’t always have the best replay value. I mean, Myst has a shortcut that circumvents nearly the entire game, so long as you remember a specific time and a specific page number, for crying out loud; the other games actually require you to play through the game and unlock individual puzzles without any chance of a shortcut. Still, it’s good to play through the games once in a while, if only to relive those beautiful scenes and music and the familial drama of the house of Atrus. If you haven’t played the games or read the books, and I seriously question your existence as a human if you haven’t yet, I recommend the following sequence:

  1. Myst
  2. Myst: The Book of Atrus (novel #1)
  3. Riven
  4. Myst: The Book of Ti’ana (novel #2)
  5. Myst: The Book of D’ni (novel #3)
  6. (Optional) Myst III: Exile
  7. (Optional) Myst IV: Revelation
  8. Uru, specifically the free-to-play Myst Online: Uru Live (donate to keep the servers up!)
  9. (Optional) Myst V: End of Ages

Anyway, let’s focus on Myst and Riven, because obviously. You can get either for like US$5 off of Steam or GOG, maybe both plus several of the other Myst games for as much if you happen to get in on a sale. Seriously, there’s a reason that Myst and Riven are among the best-selling games of all times, and it’s not just because Myst was the game that popularized CD-ROMs for gaming. I strongly recommend you play through them at some point this winter, especially if you haven’t yet.  If you dislike the original HyperCard format of Myst, I might also recommend playing realMYST, which is the 3D version that Cyan originally wanted to use but didn’t have the technology for in 1993.  A corresponding realRIVEN was supposedly in the works, but is now being handled by fans at the Starry Expanse Project; donate there if you want to see this come to life one day!

Now, even if you haven’t played these games, let’s make them a little more infuriating.  (Sure, they say that Myst and Riven don’t encourage violent gaming? I’d like to see you play through them and not want to chuck things at the wall.)  So, how do we go about making them more infuriating and fun?  By adding alcohol, of course! I’m pro-drinking game, as many of my friends know, and it’s always fun to open up a bottle (or twelve) of beer or wine, maybe make a stiff cocktail (or seven) and drink with a purpose. To that end, get your friends together with the lure of free booze and play the Myst and Riven Drinking Game.  Now, the easy way to go about this drinking game would be “drink every time you get stuck”, but I don’t want to have to go ahead and schedule your funeral a week from now, so let’s make things a little easier on your liver and a little more fun.  Honestly, I don’t know why such a drinking game hasn’t been written before now (if there was, I wasn’t able to find it), but hopefully this will close a crucial gap in the Myst fandom.

MYST DRINKING GAME

Drink every time:

  • You have to unflip a switch, lever, or button because you flipped it earlier and had no idea what it was doing then but you do now.
  • You have to redo any puzzle to get out of an age.
  • You miss aligning the Tower Rotation on the right place.
  • You have to reset the Gears puzzle in the Clocktower.
  • You utter an expletive while trying to figure out the Gears puzzle in the clocktower.
  • You mess up the Constellation Pillar puzzle to raise the Ship.
  • You trip the breakers in powering up the Spaceship.
  • You have to go back to the Spaceship panel to listen to the proper notes because you’re tone-deaf.  (I would die from alcohol poisoning from this, personally.)
  • You miss the elevator of the Great Tree.
  • You have to reset the water flow in Channelwood Age to keep going.
  • You run out of light in the tunnels of Stoneship Age.
  • You press the wrong directional button on the Compass Rose.
  • You mess up the satellite dishes in the Selenitic Age.
  • You make a wrong turn in the Selenitic Age’s Cave Maze.
  • You enter in the wrong combination to the fireplace panel.
  • You see evidence of Sirrus’ megalomania or substance use.
  • You see evidence of Achenar’s megalomania or sadism.
  • You add in a new page to a book.

Finish your drink and start a new one:

  • Every time you have to resort to a walkthrough for advice on progressing through the game.
  • When you exit any of the four ages (not Myst or D’ni) for the first time.
  • If you figure out how to get the white page.  Immediately drink again if you go “Really?!”.
  • If you get the good ending.
  • If you get any bad ending.

RIVEN: THE SEQUEL TO MYST DRINKING GAME

Drink every time:

  • You see an explicit reference to the number 5. (Yes, this will keep you drunk most of the time.)
  • You have to unflip a switch, lever, or button because you flipped it earlier and had no idea what it was doing then but you do now.
  • You have to redo the fire marble puzzle input.
  • You miss the proper eye symbol on a fire dome.  (Good luck with Plateau Island!)
  • You read/hear Gehn make a D’ni-centered racial supremacist comment.
  • You open a door that was previously locked or barred.
  • You see at least one Moiety dagger.
  • You see an actual person in the age of Riven.
  • You mess up the animal pillar puzzle to get to the age of Tay.
  • You have to consult one of the journals in your inventory for a puzzle clue.
  • You summon Gehn with the button.
  • You feel persuaded at any point of what Gehn tells you.
  • You see Catherine ruefully walk in front of you.
  • The Rivenese village alarms go off.
  • A whark eats someone in the Rivenese school number game.

Finish your drink and start a new one:

  • Every time you have to resort to a walkthrough for advice on progressing through the game.
  • If the sunners swim away because you’re an asshole.
  • If the whark tries to kill you because you’re an asshole.
  • If you get poisoned and knocked out.
  • If you shit your pants when you get back to the Temple.
  • If you giggle at the mechanics of Gehn’s sink.
  • If you hear the giant steam-boom on top of the Great Dome.
  • If you free Catherine.
  • If you imprison Gehn.
  • If you get the good ending.
  • If you get any bad ending.

Everyone with you, including you, has to finish their drink:

Any other rules you’d like to suggest?  Share them in the comments!

MYSTeriously Magical

I’m a total geek.  If this comes as a surprise to you and you’re not a first-time reader of this blog, I question your powers of observation.  Anyway, I’m a geek, but I used to be a bigger one; I used to be more into video games and computer games than I am now, but I’m still into literature and fantasy, not to mention the original occult sources that gave us D&D and genres of fantasy fiction and gaming that we have today. 

One of my all-time biggest fandoms is the MYST fandom.  Remember Myst, the game where you walked around the beautifully-rendered (for 1993) worlds, traveling from Age to Age using specially-written books?  Remember the sequel, Riven, which led more into the lost culture and society that made these Linking Books that?  Remember its other sequels which, though pretty, didn’t add particularly much to the gameplay but were still helpful in fleshing out the worlds of Atrus, Catherine, their (sometimes wayward and/or deadly) children and friends?  Surely you do.  Well, I recently got rid of all my MYST loot (the games, the novels, the soundtracks, everything but my coffeetable book “The Making of Riven”, which is damned hard to find anymore).  In my quest to get rid of everything I don’t use, want, or need, I gave it all to a friend who went “EEEEE” over the collection.  Of course, it was only after I gave him all this stuff that I started thinking more about the Myst universe and how profoundly relevant it is to my current life and workings.

For those of you who have forgotten and who never had the chance or pleasure to play the games, let me explain.  There’s a race of humans called the D’ni (deh-knee), with their own sets of technology and language and script.  One special technology they have is called the Art, which allows them to travel to various and sundry worlds (properly called Ages).  The Art involves writing using special ink on special paper using a special form of their language with difficult-to-translate words to write a particular kind of book, called a Descriptive Book.  This Descriptive Book essentially describes the whole cosmos, physics, and development of an Age, and upon completion generates a special picture in the book called a Linking Panel, which shows an animated picture of a particular spot in the world.  Someone who touches this image is physically transported from their current Age into the Age of the Descriptive Book, to the spot that the Linking Panel shows; this act is called linking. 

Any known Age can only be referenced by a single Descriptive Book, but a Linking Book can be written in that particular age with passages that refer to the Descriptive Book of the Age.   These Descriptive Books are huge, since they have to describe in full the entire mechanics of a given universe, while Linking Books, which are basically abridged Descriptive Books, are no bigger than a supermarket novel, and are thus easy to transport and make multiple copies of.

It makes sense in the game and story.

Now, the D’ni weren’t a superstitious people; they’re constantly presented as scientific, curious, and ingenious in nearly every possible way.  For one, they had to develop extreme engineering skills as a way of life: they lived in a huge cavern deep, deep underground, and had to learn how to excavate, ventilate, and power the cavern properly in order to survive.  They used the Art to obtain goods and resources, sure, and some D’ni lived in other Ages for most of their lives, but by and large the D’ni race lived in this one central subterranean city.  They used different Ages to explore different aspects of physics, meteorology, or zoology, experimenting with different theories by literally writing up an Age to test out all the “what ifs” they thought of. 

They didn’t consider the Art magic, but as simply an art gifted to them.  However, above all, they didn’t consider themselves to write the Ages into existence; they had a religion which involved a supreme deity called the Maker, who created all possible worlds on a vast cosmic (or even multiverse) tree.  The Art simply described an Age on a different part of the Tree from their own Age.  Consider different Ages like leaves on a tree: similar Ages are leaves close to each other on the same branch, while on nearby branches Ages become slightly more different, and on an entirely different limb and branch of the tree two Ages can be radically different.  Not all Ages were stable: some Ages were written with contradictory, impossible, or otherwise implausible physics that didn’t permit the Age to last long, if it lasted at all; linking to such an Age would be disastrous, if not outright fatal.  For this reason, the Art was restricted and required skill and talent to write for, and working Ages had to be regularly maintained and kept “functional” so that they wouldn’t go apocalyptic.

Catch all that?  Good.  Now I’ll start making sense of it in context of my Work.

You have these people who, with a bit of knowledge and innovation, travel to worlds wholly new and unexplored, but still sharing the same cosmos as we do.  They make contact these worlds, exploring them, and learning from them, maybe even contacting and learning from their inhabitants.  They have to constantly use every possible means available in order to survive and survive well.  They use specialized tools and magical language written in an arcane way to obtain access to these other worlds  They keep up their relationships and contacts with these worlds so that both they and these worlds never collapse, since they become dependent on these worlds the more they explore them, and these worlds become dependent on them.  They incorporate these worlds, their gifts, and their lessons into their own lives and world, becoming ever more understanding and powerful with each new world they know.  These worlds were described as being different parts of the same Tree made by the same Creator, all with ultimately the same root.

The words and language they use represent concepts and ideas that simply cannot be expressed in normal language, but only through the act of creation itself, things like particular patterns of air flow or how information is represented through physical or material media, or the lack thereof.  These writers have to learn these special words that can bring unmanifest and ineffable possibility into concrete reality, linking ideas into manifestation, using ritual implements and actions to do so.  The art they use is a tightly-guarded and close-kept secret, with only a few who are able naturally and with training to understand these mysteries. 

The mysteries of…well, you tell me.