March 28, 2004

Goodbye, Cruel World

Posted at March 28, 2004 01:19 PM in .

Things have been a bit busy lately. I don't write as much as I would like or as much as I should.

With Monk getting deployed to the "sandy beaches" of the Middle East, it has also been a depressing week. It's tough to see a friend go away and know that he isn't come back here to live for years and that he is going to a not terribly nice place. Once his tour is done there, he'll be redeployed elsewhere as part of his promotion to Lt. Colonel.

A side effect of his leaving is, really, the death or indefinite slumber of the Citadel of the Ouroboros. For the last year and a half or two, it's just been him, myself, and Sarastro doing our thing. While we have continued to do our work and all of us have taken further initiations in the Astrum Sophia during this time frame, it's hard to keep such a small working group going. I have found in my personal experience that the critical mass for an actual working group (as opposed to a student-teacher relationship or a simple magical partnership) is about five or six people. Eight to ten is, I believe, ideal. You get enough diversity and enough energy coming from different people that you are able to "power" things and keep things really moving over the months and years. Beyond a dozen people, I know that things start to get unwieldly. There is an actual reason for the old BS about a coven only having thirteen people before it splits up into two covens. With us down to two, Sarastro and I have decided to put things on hold, possibly forever as far as the current organization goes.

Originally, the Citadel of the Ouroboros was "Ouroboros Lodge" of the Cor Cadmonis. The Cor Cadmonis was envisioned by and myself as the initiatic and training branch of the Church of the Cadmon that we had been working on for quite some time. The CotC stuff never completely gelled into a fully functioning body (though we both still have all of the materials) but we started a study group on Qabalah and Hermetic magic in early 1999. This progressed through the Fall and then became an actual working group at the insistence of its members. This was Ouroboros Lodge. We worked along Golden Dawn lines for most of the first two years via inspiration from redactions that Redegg and I had worked with before. Sarastro and I were interested in the Aurum Solis (later Astrum Sophia) tradition of doing things and after Redegg left the group, the group migrated into that direction. Eventually, we all received initiation into the order. Over time, our initial group of ten went to eight, then seven, then six, then five...with people dropping out for various personal reasons (work, relationships, moving away, questioning the role of spirituality in their lives, etc).

It has been a long strange trip. Previous to Ouroboros, Redegg and I (along with some others probably reading this) were members of another local Golden Dawn derived order. I was involved from just after college in 1994 through its imposion in 1998. That's basically ten years of various kinds of group work with only about a year hiatus in the middle and even that not completely empty. I'm thinking that it might be time to switch gears for a while but I'm open to what that might be. I don't know...I'm definitely not the same person that I was ten years ago. The many of you that have known me, even in the last five or six, can probably vouch for that. I'm in a much different space spiritually and in my personal life. In a lot of ways, I feel like I finally grew up sometime in the last couple of years. I'm still a selfish bastard at times and arrogant but there is more going on. There always was but I think things have shifted for me and I've learned a number of lessons in some very difficult ways. We'll see though.

On other fronts, I'm still doing the Wiccan work at McNeil Island Correctional Center. I went down yesterday for the official volunteer training (now that I've been going for months) which will net me a badge and an official approval for being there. With Monk going away, after next month, I'll be on my own with the guys. Most of the training was concerned with making us aware of prison rules, making us aware of how prisoners will manipulate people and trying to make us cautious and/or afraid around them... With all of the driving and the training, it was about a seven hour day for that. Along with this Wiccan work, I'm still working with the local HPS and she and I will be getting together to work on a non-oathbound Full Moon ritual soon since our group is composed, currently, of non-initiates of British Traditional Wicca. That work seems a little disorganized now but I'm sure it will pick up steam over time.

Last night, R and I went to see The Last Samurai at the cheapo theatre. Surprisingly, the place was packed. There was not an empty seat by the time the movie started. I quite enjoyed it and it was a beautifully filmed piece. The ending was a bit of a cop out but I'd been warned about that.

I spent the rest of my time yesterday reading Volumes two and thee of The Invisibles, which I picked up on my way back from the prison. People had told me to read it before but I hadn't ever gotten around to it. For any of my occultist friends, I heavily recommend it. For the non-occultists, most of the magical practice (when it doesn't get downright lovecraftian) is pretty accurate in the way what you see in a film is often a sensationalized version of what people actually do. Grant Morrison seems to like to stick bits and pieces of actual technique, mostly Chaos Magic, into it.

Today, R is the Deacon at the local Gnostic Mass and I will be going to attend shortly. Later on, Sarastro, Monk and I are meeting to have our official final meeting of Ouroboros. I should bring some whiskey.


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