Summer update: Jailbreak the Sacred, the Salem Summer Symposium, and more!

I hope everyone’s been enjoying the Reviewing the Trithemian Conjuration posts that have been going up lately!  There are still a few more to go, but in the meantime, I didn’t want you all to think that I was just relaxing taking a vacation (as much as I might want or need to).  Rather, things have been as busy as ever, between commuting and working and Working and writing and Writing and this and that and the other, and I wanted to take a quick moment to fill you guys in on some of the things that have been happening lately.

First, a few updates about the website structure.  I decided to go through my blog archives and make things a bit easier to navigate for some of the more fun or interesting posts I’ve made, and while there’s too much to outright do a whole highlight reel of posts, I have made a few new pages for ease of navigability and readability, including adding a few goodies to the Rituals pages from old posts that discussed some rituals I apparently forgot about.

  • The About page has been updated with links to all the different categories of posts (which are also accessible on the right side of the blog page, at least while using the desktop view of the website blog).
  • Several new pages have been added to the top navbar:
    • About → Geomancy Posts: an index of all the important posts I’ve done about geomancy, geomantic divination, geomantic magic, geomantic spirituality, and divination generally.
    • About → Post Series: an index of all the different multipart series of posts I’ve written about over the years, with a summary of each series and links to each of the individual posts in each series.
    • Rituals → Candle Blitzkrieg Blessing: a ritual that utterly fills a house or dwelling with divine light for the sake of blessing it.
    • Rituals → Dream Divination Ritual: a ritual to be done while the Moon is in your ninth house for dream divination, lucid dreaming, or other forms of dreamwork.
    • Rituals → Uncrossing of the Mouth: a ritual to uncross, unbind, and free the mouth from any maleficia, cross, or curse that has settled upon it so that you can speak freely and easily once again.
  • The page Rituals → Classical Hermetic Rituals → The Headless Rite has been (finally) updated, with much of the Greek being corrected, a full transcription of the Greek provided, and more information provided on carrying out the ritual itself.

Second, I was on another podcast!  The wonderful, amazing, and handsome astrologer Nate Craddock of Soul Friend Astrology started a podcast earlier this year, Jailbreak the Sacred, where he sits down to talk with leaders, thinkers, practitioners, and activists about the intersection of mainstream religion and alternative spirituality.  After all, as he says, “spirituality in the 21st century is only getting weirder from here on out, and there’s no better time to team up with people who have walked that path before”.  It’s a wonderful and refreshing thing to listen to, and there are some great speakers already in the lineup, and it’s an honor for me to be included among them!  We spent a good hour and more talking about the intersection of my magical and religious practices, what it’s like being an orisha priest in the Afro-Cuban tradition of La Regla de Ocha Lukumí, and how that impacts my philosophy, ethics, and morality in how I approach my life and Work.  Head on over to JTS and take a listen!  And, if you use iTunes, be sure to subscribe to JTS through that platform, too!

Also, for his patrons over on Patreon, there’s an extra bonus episode of Nate and I talking about geomancy, where I give a very rough-and-fast explanation of the origins of geomancy, and I read for Nate on the air and give a full explanation of what a geomancy reading with me is like on the spot.  You’ll also be able to listen in on a special prayer I’ve written for divination, what I call the Praise of the Lord of the Unseen, which has hitherto not been published anywhere (yet).  If you’re interested, help Nate with his podcast, pitch in $10 a month, and get access to this and all sorts of other goodies and bonuses Nate has for his subscribers!

Third, I’m really super excited to announce that I will be in Salem, Massachusetts in early-mid August this year to attend, present, do readings, and generally have fun at the Salem Summer Symposium!  This is the first major event of its kind hosted by the good folk at the Cauldron Black, with the main show of events lasting from August 7 through August 11, but with other activities occurring around the city of Salem as early as August 3.  I’ll be teaming up with the wonderful Dr Al Cummins for a Double Trouble Geomancy Power Hour on Friday, August 9 from 10am to 12pm, and later on that day I’ll be presenting on my own about my recent development in geomancy-centered theurgical practices from 4pm to 6pm.  Tickets are still available, and I heartily encourage those who are able to attend to do so; there’s a massive list of fascinating talks, presentations, workshops, and other delights for the eyes and heart and mind to partake in, and that’s besides just the social fun to be had in a spot of great renown in old New England!

Last but not least, I mentioned a bit ago that the Russian occult website Teurgia.Org is working on translating some of my writings and works into the Russian language.  They’ve done it again, this time translating my old post on Ancient Words of Power for the Directions (April 2013) into Russian on their website.  If you’re a speaker of Russian, go check it out!

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say for now.  I hope the weather is treating you all well, and that the upcoming summer solstice (or winter solstice for those in the Southern Hemisphere) is blessed and prosperous for us all!  And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Shoutouts to excellent colleagues and consultants: Nate Craddock, Asterion, and others!

It’s sometimes said that “no man is an island”, and I agree.  All of us live together on this planet, and unless you’re truly a dedicated hermit that does not live in or rely on society, the rest of us absolutely do, and we all interact with other people from time to time in some way or another.  However, it’s also important to rely on people from time to time, too; we all have our own specialties, areas of expertise, and skill that we can provide others, the things that we’re good at.  But, not only are we good at some things, but there are some things that we’re just not good at, and so we turn to others who are better than us to learn and do more.  And then there’s the fact that, even if we’re not asking for help from others, we can still enjoy their company, works, and friendship all the same to make our own lives a little brighter in this dark world of ours.

To that end, on this blessed Feast of St. Isidore of Seville and of Hermes Trismegistus, on this Day of Jupiter in the Hour of the Sun (at least for where I am), I’d like to talk about two such people whose skills far exceed my own, Nate Craddock of Soul Friend Astrology and Asterion of Asterion’s Occult Art and Practical Solomonic Magic, and give them my thanks and to publicly praise them for the wonderful things they do in general and for the wonderful things they did for me specifically.  Plus I’d also like to draw attention to Alexander Eth of the Glitch Bottle podcast and Raquelle Puchol of Saturn and the Sun Astrology, because they’re wonderful people whose works you should already be following if you’re not yet.

First, let’s talk about Nate Craddock.  It’s my custom to get my own beginning-of-year reading, usually from the oracles of Ifá from my babalawo or Lukumí from my godfather, but due to the chaos and craziness at the beginning of the year (including a snowstorm the day that I was supposed to head to my babalawo’s house), I simply wasn’t able to get one in the timeframe I wanted, so I ended up just doing without.  After a while, and after much banter and back-and-forth on Twitter with Nate (@RyanCaradog), I ended up getting one of his Annual Update consultations to catch up on my lost time and see what would be ahead for me.  But, because it’s been a long time since I’ve had my natal horoscope properly analyzed (I had it done once by Chris Warnock of Renaissance Astrology back in 2011, which was great, too!), I also got a natal consultation with Nate to be done first, partially because I figured I could do with the review of my own chart and also to help get more out of the annual update later on.  The natal consultation was…honestly, to say that I’m impressed with Nate’s skill would be such an understatement that I would feel bad about lying and would need to atone for the grave insult that would be towards Nate.  His skill is on-point, sharp, refined, and incredibly detailed, so much so that I scheduled a second natal consultation to get more into the in-depth nitty-gritty that he normally doesn’t get to for most clients due to the niche nature of them all.  (We discussed my own knowledge of astrology, and I admit that I’m more astrology-adjacent rather than a proper astrologer, but what little knowledge and understanding I had going into this made it super easy for Nate to skip over the basic descriptions and get into the real meat-and-marrow of the chart.)  Plus, Nate has professional training in actual counseling and guidance, which really comes to bear in his client-centric consultation style in a way that’s compassionate, understanding, and (most importantly) useful to the consultee.

I know who my astrologer’s gonna be in the future. If you’re looking for someone to help you out to keep an eye on the stars in a friendly, understanding, guiding way that gives you actual, immediate insight into your life, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself to not hire the services of Nate Craddock at Soul Friend Astrology.  Seriously, you won’t be disappointed.  In the meantime, follow him on Twitter.  He’s been doing a great set of 20 one-line tweet interpretations of people’s natal charts for them to get the high-level motif and focus for them to tackle, and is taking on new projects, too, including his upcoming podcast at Jailbreak the Sacred (not quite live yet, but going live later this month) and vlog-style horoscopes over at his YouTube, and while you’re at it, give him a like on his Facebook page.  Definitely keep an eye on him for his future works and productions (one of which I’ll be on, too!).

(I also fully admit that the Libra quality of “tell me more about me” was coming out hard and it’s hard to not indulge myself when listening to his amazing voice.  So, yanno.  That’s a bonus, too.  His podcast is gonna be excellent.)

Now, let me go on about the inestimable Asterion.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone needs an introduction to him at this point; his excellent artcraft is renowned across the occult blogosphere, and his work has been highly acclaimed by authors and publishers such as Fr. Ashen Chassan, Nineveh Shadrach, Michael Cecchetelli, James Banner, and others.  Heck, I even used his Arbatel seals in my own Arbatel lamens, with his permission, years ago.  His work in redoing the sometimes-unclear seals and sigils of classical and medieval grimoires is famous, and his more modern and innovative artwork is stunning.  Heck, I can’t tell you the number of people who’ve used his Seal of the Planetary Hierarchy, both with and without his permission.  I’ve seen it across all of Etsy and Wish by people who would never have known that Asterion is the one who made it back in 2011, but there it is, all the same.  As far as occult art goes, Asterion is a legendary force of nature.  It’s only a shame that his old two blogs have been largely discontinued due to his other projects and studies at the moment, but that’s not to say he isn’t still active.

More recently, I turned to him asking if he could take a few seals I had received from spirits and draw them up professionally for me.  It’s the ones I’ve been using for the four elemental archangels for years ever since my first contact with them, and though I’ve been doing fine with my own hand-drawn versions, I wanted something nicer and more professionally well-done.  I could think of nobody else but Asterion to do it for me, and it was a project he took on with enthusiasm, speed, and—surprising positively nobody—the greatest quality and care.  Plus, he even had the patience to deal with my nitpicking over even the most inscrutable of details, for which he has my admiration; I know well how rough it can be to go back-and-forth with a picky client, but he did so with grace and charm and patience for me.  (And no small amount of ribbing and poking fun at each other along the way.)  To be honest, I’m appalled at myself that I didn’t contact him years ago to do this very thing for me, but I’m glad I have all the same.  I know he can be sometimes picky about what clients he takes on, given how much other work takes up his precious and well-used time, but I’m honored he agreed to work with me, and—hopefully—in the future as well for yet other projects.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Nate and Asterion!  And you, dear reader, should give them both a look-over.  If you need an astrologer, whether for natal or horary or electional or predictive needs, check out Soul Friend Astrology.  And if you need a good artist whose works are stunningly potent, check out Asterion.  You will not be disappointed.

And while I’m at it, there are two other colleagues I’d like to draw attention to.  First, Alexander Eth of the Glitch Bottle podcast.  You can probably guess why; keep an eye out later this month!  Subscribe to his YouTube channel, like his Facebook Page, and follow him on Twitter (@glitchbottle)!

And finally, the incredible Raquelle Puchol of Saturn and the Sun Astrology.  She’s a wonderful astrologer trained in traditional, Hellenic, and Vedic astrology and chiromancy, and she’s a professional artist and calligrapher who does hands down some of the most beautiful astrological diagrams, charts, and illustrations that I have ever seen (and I count a number of artists among my friends), both for custom commissions and prints.  She shares much of her work and analyses on her Twitter (@saturnsunastro), which you should absolutely be following.

So, yanno.  In your spare time, do check out these wonderful people I am blessed to know, work with, and who do excellent work of their own.