Questions from Me to You, Dear Reader

Being an active blogger, apparently, and who gets a decent amount of daily traffic (who recently passed the 100K hit count, thank you guys so much!), I like to amuse and confuse myself at what you guys actually like to read here.  I mean, seeing how I blog on everything from orgone technology to angelic conjurations and religious politics, I’ve got a fair bit of knowledge built up and a good number of posts to help share it.  Still, every so often I wonder why people read my blog, and what they might be interested in reading.  After all, feedback is one way to fine-tune writing, and you, dearest readers, are just the ones to give it!  So, here are a few questions for you to consider and answer down in the comments below:

  1. What drew you to my blog in the first place?  How’d you hear about it, and how do you tend to read it (RSS feed, WordPress Reader, links from Twitter or Facebook, etc.)?  Do you ever bother to check out the comments on the posts?  Do you ever bother to comment on the posts?
  2. I’ve made a fair number of designs for Tables of Practices, talismans, lamens, and the like.  Have you found any of them to be useful in your own work?  Have you made anything incorporating or based off of the designs you’ve found here?  Are there any designs in particular you’d like to see me create, improve, or focus on in the future?  Are there any seals, images, sigils, or pictures from magical texts you’d like to see me redraw or remake for a new age?
  3. I really enjoyed doing my series of posts on geomancy, De Geomanteia, since it’s a large topic that I know a lot about and enjoy talking about.  Are there any other series you’d like me to consider doing in the future?  Any other large topics you’d like me to delve into more thoroughly, both for my benefit and yours?  What would you like me to talk about, generally and specifically?  One series I thought about doing would be a modern reinterpretation of images of the Zodiac (e.g. Virgo as the Robot Bitch, Aquarius as the Internet-Addicted Jihadi, etc.); would you all be interested in things like this?
  4. One of the most-viewed pages on my blog is my post on the shorthand I developed for personal use.  I never expected this to be so popular a thing, but I guess a lot more people are interested in stenography than occultism.  Do any of you actually use this shorthand?  If so, have you used it for sigilization, simple writing, calligraphy, or just as an exercise in bored creativity?  Are there any other posts you come here specifically to reference (the page on Planetary Conjurations from the Munich Manual is another popular one)?
  5. I hear tell that a lot of people are impressed with the vast knowledge and intellect I display here on my blog (I disagree with the qualifications and adjectives used), but some readers have expressed interest in simpler, introductory-level posts every so often for the beginner or less bored.  What kinds of introductions, 100-style topics would you like to see me discuss?  Or would you rather me stick to the higher-level, philosophical stuff?  Would you rather me put things in terms of theory and back-end occult mechanics, or actual ritual and real-world experiences, or some mix of the two?
  6. Are there any other blogs you know of similar to this one as far as topics, philosophy, magic, and the like go that you’d suggest (and aren’t already in the blogroll to the right)?  I’m always on the lookout to expand my blogosphere and knowledge by observing the work of others who actually do the Work.
  7. What are some of your interests in the occult?  Are you more into hearth- or kitchen-witchery?  Do you dig Western ceremonial, grimoire, or Solomonic magic?  Are you more of an energy worker, orgone/radionics/reiki channeler, or a psionics practitioner?  Do you read for the philosophy or the practice?  Are you here just for the lulz and passing interests, or are you here to start yourself off on your own path?  Do you have a label for yourself, or do you describe yourself by what you do?  Do you have a specific culture or racial heritage you tie yourself and your work to?
  8. I live, work, and Work in the Washington, DC area of the US, and do readings and offer classes at Sticks and Stones in Fairfax, VA.  Are any of my readers close enough to get a small get-together going for magicians and occultists?  If I were to offer classes at Sticks and Stones with a focus on Hermetic magic and the like, what would you like to see me teach, if you could come by?

If you read my blog regularly, or even if this is your first time browsing around, feel free to leave a bit of feedback in the comments below.  Help me make my blog more awesome, and everyone’ll benefit.  I don’t have much to entice you with to make you comment, but I can give you a hug through the ether if that’s okay.  This isn’t to change the focus or scope of the blog (it is still my blog, after all), but knowing what some of my readers think can help me get more ideas myself.

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About polyphanes
I'm a software developer and Hermetic occultist living near Washington, DC, USA. I claim that I'm youthful, dashing, daring, and other things. I make things and chant stuff, and periodically write about them.

8 Responses to Questions from Me to You, Dear Reader

  1. Michael Sebastian Lùx says:

    1.) I was drawn by a half drunk illlustrator… oh, wait, not that kind of drawing.
    2.) Actually, your lamens have inspired me in a lot of ways and I’ve incorporated a bit into my own praxis from them. You rock.
    3.) I think astrological talismans will be a great thing for you to delve into – I’ll add it to my daily reading feed.
    4.) I think we should totes collaborate on the Munich Manual since, well, your translations are great and I personally use much of the text regularly.
    5.) TL;dr
    6.) Not really. Yours is the most apporochable and less bull-shit filled ones out there.
    7.) Based on this morning’s bus ride, apparently Kardashian Spiritualism. You know the truth. ;)
    8.) The last time I was in DC I only learned functional alcoholism. I’m sure if I was there now, I could add esoteric tomfoolery to the curriculum.

    Overall, you’re kind of awesome and this blog is one of a kind. Keep up the good work.

    • polyphanes says:

      4) Tell me more about how you’d like to collaborate on the Manual. I’d be thrilled to work more on it, and perhaps even offer a complete translation-cum-workbook-cum-journal of workings.

  2. Satyr Magos says:

    1) Honestly, I don’t remember how I found your blog. I might have followed you after you started following me,or I might have gotten linked here by a friend. In my defense, it was a couple years ago. I read comments on posts when there’s a conversation going before I get there, and I comment myself when I feel that I have something legitimately productive or clever to contribute to the subject. Sadly, that’s not often.

    2) I use your lamens when I do planetary conjurations and your table of practice helped me in the initial stages of designing my own.

    3) The Geomancy posts were awesome because you’re so passionate about the subject. Follow your Muse. :)

    4) I have definitely used your completed projects for reference: my Fiery Wall of Protection Oil was a total rip off of yours, except that I added my own Circle of Conjuration to the process. I plan to do the same with your Florida Water. While we’re on the subject, though, I”ve been meaning to ask you: how, mechanically, did you go about etching your magic sword? I’ve got one that needs magic squiggles and engraving is not something I’ve ever adequately mastered.

    5) Again: go with your Muse. I enjoy reading at all levels.

    6) The overlap between our blogrolls is pretty silly. I have no one clever to add.

    7) Modern neo-Pagan witchcraft, the Western Esoteric Tradition (folk and grimoire), visionary practices, and the PGM. Especially as these things relate to our actual lived lives, as opposed to just in the pseudo-academic vacuum of Post Modern Occultism.

    8) Sadly, I live a third of the way across the country during the semester, and half way across the country during breaks and will not be able to check out your classes any time soon. Should I ever find myself in the DC area, though, how would you feel about catching a beer (or your cocktail of choice)?

    • polyphanes says:

      4) I used a tool much like this one I got for cheap at a local hardware store. It makes lots of small dots, and is good if you have a steady hand. You might also try acid etching or taking a burin/ice pick to it to scratch it. The burin is good for really fine detailed stuff, and the acid etching probably for broader things unless you’ve got good skill. The engraving tool I used worked fine for my purposes.

      8) By all means, let’s hang out! Knowing what I know about you, you probably have a taste for the fruitier things in life. Like sangria, obviously. *grins* You might also be interested in going to Crucible in Princeton around Columbus Day weekend in October, too.

      • Satyr Magos says:

        Ah, dremmelling. Good times.

        I would very much like to attend Crucible one of these days. I should probably do it this year if I’m going to, as the odds of my doing graduate work further east than I am now are slim.

        As to my drinking tastes, while I will happily drink any fruity thing someone hands to me, my heart actually belongs to dry wine, bitter, hoppy beer, and straight whiskey.

  3. 1) Ironically, I found your shorthand before I started reading you for your magic; although I was looking for magical blogs at the time, and your shorthand was intriguing enough that I experimented with it as a sigil system before going on to full-on illustration and illumination.

    2) I’ve used your lamen designs to help inspire the development of my own lamens — for example, as you do, I add extra pentagrams onto my lamens over and above what Rufus Opus suggests in his Angelic Grimoire. I don’t use your Tables of Practice or other materials, though.

    3) As I’ve said elsewhere, your Geomancy posts were awesome, and actually were more than good enough to dissuade me from doing my own similar series. Although I will be doing a series of articles or posts at some point on the work of illustration as a secret magical skill implied or hinted at in the grimoires, but not actually used as much by modern magicians as it could be/should be… and I’ll likely do that in connection with Geomancy.

    4) I don’t really use your shorthand, although I did experiment with it for a while in my own sigil work. Good stuff. I didn’t notice the Munich Manual until today. A brief look through it says that it’s interesting — but not the way my own work is bending right now, which is becoming more alchemical and meditative, and delving deeper into Druidry and Hermetica through poetry and artwork.

    5) I’d love to see you do another series, but I think that you know best what you’d like to write about, and whether you’d prefer to write about thaumaturgic theory, theurgic practice, theurgic theory, thaumaturgic practice, remedial level-100 pagan/magical classes, or more advanced work. That said, I’d suggest writing more about sigilization, developing a theory of altars, learning divination as a professional, and how to go about delving into the both the tradition (historical resources) and the revelation (personal gnosis) of one’s chosen magical or mystical tradition.

    6) You’re welcome to add my blog to the list — I know that I mostly write about my daily tai chi practice, but I’m also a co-student in Rufus Opus’s Red Work course, and Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery class, and I’m definitely involved in the work: http://andrewbwatt.wordpress.com. As far as other writers, I have to say that most of the people you have in your list are the same as the people I have in mine. Although, I do think that we all need to read a little more widely in the world than just magic, and I recommend poet Tony Brown as a reminder that the Work can take many forms.

    7) I’m always reluctant to label myself, really. I practice ‘sorcery’ as Jason Miller describes it, and Hermetic work a la Rufus Opus, and druidry within AODA and DOGD. I do a bit of alchemical work, mostly vegetable spagyrics. I’m a geomancer, as you area, and a ‘visual magician’. And I use all of them to be a more effective designer, and teacher of young people and adults, to help them get in touch with their mechanical, visual, and inventive-creative capacities. I enjoy your take on things, and it helps me to renew my own ideas from time to time.

    8) I’m not in DC on a regular basis, so I’m not going to comment on the desirability of Hermetic classes in Virginia. However, I’m going to be in DC during the week of April 30-May 3. Due to my chaperonic duties, I won’t be able to leave the hotel, and I’ll only be available for a short while late in the evening… but if there’s a chance to meet up, it might be fun.

  4. DM says:

    1) I forget how I stumbled across your blog. I think I was looking up planetary magic, but I don’t quite remember. I read and became a fan. ;)

    2) Haven’t used your lamens; haven’t tried. This isn’t a comment on you, but more that I haven’t had the time and/or wherewithal to try these things. Candle magic, while basic, works for me more than any other thing. *shrug* That having been said, your work is gorgeous from what I’ve seen. One of these days I’ll need to see it up close and personal.

    3) The Geomancy series was very thorough and informative. Reinterpreting astrology in modern terms sounds like fun, actually. That’s a great idea! It’s your blog, though, so do as you will.

    4) Not really…

    5) Do what thou wilt. A series of lessons on reading as a professional might be helpful, though frankly, everything you’ve listed sounds like it’d be interesting to read.

    6) Not really. I’ve found a treasure trove through the right-hand side links, though.

    7) I don’t really have a set path as such. I do a little bit of everything as the situation calls for it. For me, magic is a fairly practical tool to have in the kit.

    8) I live nearly 2000 miles away. Unfortunately, visiting Sticks and Stones isn’t really practical. If I’m ever in the DC area, though, I’ll shoot you a message and see if you’re running a class or something. It would be fun, I think. ;)

  5. Alshia says:

    I) I first came across your blog through Google. I was looking for Planetary Hours and more information on them. I needed them for Horary Astrology ala Lilly.

    II) These days I come here to read up on your posts about Geomancy. It’s a little known art and it’s hard to find more information anywhere else. Yours is one of the most comprehensive and less mythical there is.

    III) If you are willing and have the time, you can post sample Geomantic readings, just to show others how you do it in real life. A Horary Astrology parallel would be renaissanceastrology.com by Chris Warnock. If you look at his site, he provides samples on how he reads the information.

    IV) I don’t mind reading some ceremonial magic information either. Could be good. :)

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