fraternal societies

Fraternal organizations. The Elks, the Moose, the Oddfellows, all that. Considered kind of obsolete in modern life, right?

Used to have an economic “function” - sufficiently large risk pools for the procurement of life, health, unemployment, and disability insurance, but were later displaced in that role by governments, employers, and unions.

You don’t see much of them anymore. There’s still the American Legion and VFW, but they draft off the military services’ collective identity formation (initiation rituals, shared experiences, collectively sung songs) rather than doing their own in-house.

But, you know, there’s potential there. Fraternal organizations can pull off some serious shit. You get a bunch of guys drinking and singing songs together, throw in some woo-woo mystic aesthetics, add a hierarchy with absurdly pompous titles and you get… the Nazi Party. (Beer Hall Putsch, and all that.)

Or the Freemasons. (Who no, don’t rule the world, but have been pretty important to several national revolutions.)

Or the Ku Klux Klan.

It’s interesting to see particularly where each particular one lifts their goofy aesthetic from. College fraternities invoke Greece, or at least the platonic Greece of Platonic Greece. I guess that makes sense for the intersection of academics, drunkenness, and homoeroticism, but other than the three letters and the occasional toga party they don’t push that too hard and their everyday mytho-aesthetic is pretty much civic Americanism - leaders are called “president”, “secretary”, “treasurer”, etc.

The Nazis were all into German palingenesis so obviously they went heavy on the historic Germanicness as a theme, something I didn’t pick up on until it was explained to me was that a lot of their everyday terms - gau, gefolgschaft, etc. - would have come across as archaic and medieval even by the standards of a culture that had been a feudal monarchy in living memory. The American equivalent would be like if the government was conquered by renn faire types who started giving things goofy-ass D&D names.

EXCEPT OH FUCKING WAIT, THAT’S THE KU KLUX KLAN. Wizards and Dragons and Realms and Provinces and Giants and Cyclopses and Goblins. The Klan was also really into being 2spooky4u. Like, as I write this, it is Frightful PM on the Wailing Deadly day of the Sorrowful month, as the Kalendar reckons it. But then that was always the schtick: “We’re knights! Or are we… ghosts?! ~oooOoOoOOOOoOoOooo~”

And I mean “really, who could take this seriously?” Well, tumblr, who could take your whole Halloween spoopy Skeleton War shit seriously? The answer is no one, so you don’t, but you keep doing it anyway, and so did they.

The Freemasons were weeaboos! I mean not as we know it now, Masonry predates the opening of Japan and subsequent Japonisme, but it’s the same thing, a goofy appropriation of an idealized version of the exotic Orient, using the then furthest-east culture they were in contact with, the Ottoman empire. There was some Moorish stuff too, so maybe the theme should be “Mediterranean Islam”. Temples and fez-wearing Shriners (ahem, “the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine”) and the Moorish Rite. THE FREEMASONS WERE ISLAMABOOS.

(Actually, you know what more recent organization has combined fraternal socialization, revolutionary potential, and a cod-Islamic theme? The Nation of Islam.)

On the one hand, fraternal organizations have been able to wage campaigns of violent subversion capable of overthrowing or supplanting governments; on the other they have always been total fucking nerds getting drunk and geeking out, the two are in no way exclusive.

Initiatory Cultures 101

Originally posted by brooktiniwrite

So many times in the witchcraft community, I see a lot of gatekeeping.  This comes from a wide range of witches and it cannot really be pinpointed to any certain group or person.  We, as humans, are often very quick to tell someone “no”; we like to refuse explanations just as much.  And that, my friends, is a problem.

We see it on Tumblr all the time: Harriet is interested in *insert initiatory culture* and posts about how she is now part of said culture.  Someone climbs onto her feed and shrieks, “You have to be initiated to participate in those cultural activities!” Harriet backfires with, “Why, though?” and is met without an answer.  This is often followed with Harriet incessantly whining because she didn’t get her way and/or continuing to practice regardless of being told it is not okay.

And this situation doesn’t help anything or anyone.

That’s why your Saltmom is here to tell you the reason the WHY behind initiatory religions, practices, paths, and cultures.  I find that the more educated we allow our community to become, the better off and the more diverse we will be.

So, what is initiation anyway?

Initiation is a rite of passage marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components. In an extended sense, it can also signify a transformation in which the initiate is ‘reborn’ into a new role. Examples of initiation ceremonies might include Hindu diksha, Christian baptism or confirmation, Jewish bar or bat mitzvah, acceptance into a fraternal organization, secret society or religious order, or graduation from school or recruit training. A person taking the initiation ceremony in traditional rites is called an initiate.

Characteristics of Initiation

Mircea Eliade was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day.  He discussed initiation as a principal religious act by classical or traditional societies. He defined initiation as “a basic change in existential condition,” which liberates humans from profane time and history. 

“Initiation recapitulates the sacred history of the world. And through this recapitulation, the whole world is sanctified anew… [the initiand] can perceive the world as a sacred work, a creation of the Gods.”

Okay…what?

Basically, the function of initiation is to reveal the deep meaning of existence to the new generations in a culture.  It helps them assume the responsibility of being members of their culture and actively participating in their traditions.

I get that part.  But what’s the problem?

The problem is that we live in a society that likes to participate in a little activity called:

(And yes, I totally used Comic Sans because I abhor both the font and the very act of appropriation.)

And for those of you who don’t know what that is: cultural appropriation is the unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religion, religious symbols, etc. 

TL;dr: Cultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture or community that’s not their own.

This is extremely damaging when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways.

What do initiation and cultural appropriation have to do with one another?

You remember Harriet from earlier? Well, whether Harriet knows it or not, appropriating the initiatory culture of her choice does a great deal of harm to that culture.  Why?  Because she didn’t take the time to ask to be welcomed into said culture, which, in turn, means that Harriet is not privileged to be under the tutelage of an experienced member of that culture.  Harriet, while not being properly guided, could potentially bastardize and warp the very culture that she found herself being drawn to.

Harriet did not take the time to show respect to that culture by requesting to be a part of it.  The problem arises when somebody takes something from another less dominant culture in a way that members of that culture find undesirable and offensive. The point is that the more marginalized group doesn’t get a say, while their heritage is deployed by someone in a position of greater privilege (looking at you, Harriet)–for fun or fashion, perhaps, and out of a place of ignorance rather than knowledge of that culture. 

Without initiation, Harriet is stealing.  Period.

That’s horrible!  How can I avoid being culturally appropriative?

If you are curious about an initiatory religion, path, practice, or culture, go straight to the source.  Contact those that lead these communities.  Great examples of these efforts include:

  • Getting in touch with a First Nations’ tribe if you are interested in practicing a particular shamanic path that falls under their traditions.
  • Visiting (or calling!) the New Orleans Voodoo Temple if you have recently decided that maybe Louisiana Voodoo is a practice you would like to pursue and asking questions.
  • Taking classes and studying the religion you find yourself being drawn to before even remotely considering practicing it.

Little acts of respect such as these (and more) show us that we not only hold the cultures to high regard, but that we also honor traditions that do not inherently belong to us.  

Final Thoughts

With a little more empathy and effort, we can make our community better by recognizing that we all have work to do.  That means taking the time to explain why something might negatively affect our other witchy brothers and sisters, and doing our part to protect their traditions as much as we would our own.

That’s all for now!
Salt
Witch Haven Community Creator, Server Mom, BAMF
Find her @saltwaterwitchery

IchiRuki Month 2017 - Week 2

Day 10: Spy/Assassin

AU in which Masaki didn’t get killed, but Isshin was assassinated by Soul Society for fraternizing with the Quincy.

As soon as he’s old enough, Ichigo (raised as a Quincy) goes to Soul Society to seek revenge on behalf of his mother. Unbeknownst to him, one of his possible sources of information is actually a spy from Rukongai; when Byakuya offers to adopt her, Rukia (a member of the resistance seeking to overthrow the rule of Soul Society) immediately accepts in order to find out who among the shinigami was responsible for the massacre of her people.

Given their similar goals, Rukia offers to find out who ordered Isshin’s assassination in exchance for Ichigo’s assistance in murdering the ones who ordered the death of all of her friends.

History and Works of the Noble Order Moorish Science Temple Moors

History and Works of the Noble Order Moorish Science Temple Moors:
THE EMARET (EMIRS) and EMANET (EMINS) Epochs 1, 2 and 3

as written by Sultan Rafi Sharif Ali Shah Bey

The Sultan appointed an Emir (lit: Commander) as the head of a new NOMS Temple when it was chartered. In most cases, that honored one remained the Emir, until such circumstances required the Sultan to make a new appointment. At times, Emirs were those who held the position of an Emin (Trusted One) in an established Temple, and then established a new Temples in other locale. Some of the Emirs were college students. When they graduated, they shifted their residences. Rather than designate these new Temples as “Branch Temples,” as is the practice in the MSTA, they became full Temples, but placed in a Province, the headquarters for which was the oldest established Temple of the area.

Under the Emir of each NOMS Temple, were those holding the title and office of EMIN, or Trusted One. For a time the Emin was styled “Prior” or “Prioress.” The Emin (Emanat is plural) usually received the highest degrees awarded at the Temple, had a personal audience with the Sultan, and performed the various official duties assigned by the Emir.
An official list of the Emanat, drawn from the original NOMS Registry, is housed in the official Archives of the NOMS.

FOURTH EPOCH

A new system of ranking Temple heads replaced the title of Emir. Temple heads could hold the ranks from Rais (Arabic for head) upwards and various levels were also open to the helpers in a Temple.

Each local NOMS Temple was given considerable autonomy to develop according to the interests of its members within the Governing Articles of the Order and under the By-Laws of the Moorish Science Temple of America. Nazarene Grand Temple No. 1 remained the National Headquarters, with the Sultan as its Grand Emir and its officers (Emins) as the Grand or National officers. As the Sultan traveled widely, in and out of the form, from the inception of the Order, he remained the head of the Grand Temple, but The Deputy was acting head of the Grand Temple in his absence.

Districts were created from 1961 when the Sultan moved to California. Later, the name District was permanently changed to Province. New 4-page passports and a series of degree cards of different colors for each degree were introduced along with the wide usage of the universal Sufi winged heart symbol. The Sultan was a friend of Sufi Sheik Musharaff Khan, brother of Pir Inayat Khan, who gave him permission to use the symbol when they met in New York in 1960. Later Hakim Bey also obtained permission from Vilayat Inayat Khan, son of Pir Inayat Khan and present head of the Sufi order in the West.

NOMS & MSTA
Noble Order - The Founding True Facts

1. The Sultan has a very special place in the history of the Moorish Divine and National Movement. The young man was praying at a mosque in Baltimore. His name was Yahya Sharif, or Noble John the Baptist. Visitors at the mosque from the Moorish Science Temple were attracted to the youth of seventeen, and invited him to their homes to learn about Noble Drew Ali and his movement. They asked Sharif to work with them for the Uniting of Asia, by acquainting the various Americans of Asiatic descent, especially those that are Moslems, with the works of Noble Drew Ali.

Sharif was fascinated by what he learned and began sharing the knowledge with a select circle of other “Asiatic” students, whom he took with him to the Moorish Temple on Laurens Street above a barber shop. There he met Mother Ann, who came down from Philadelphia. She was the wife of George, s/o Ira Johnson Bey, The Nazarene (Reincarnated). He also sat the feet of Grand Sheik Richardson Dingle-El on Lafayette square, where the wise elders of the community met to discuss their philosophies, and was a frequent visitor of Grand Governor Rufus German Bey at his Moorish Goodwill Store. The Sultan took on a Moorish-American name at the Temple by anglicizing his Arabic name to J. J. Noble Bey.

2. On July 7, 1957, being the 7th day of the 7th month of the European year 1957. Noble Bey and his three closest associates, namely: L Diamond El, C Silver Bey, and R Porter El, founded the Noble Order of Moorish Science. Noble Bey was to have the title of Sultan, and Diamond El, Deputy (Wazir). The new body was officially sanctioned and approved by the Grand Sheik of MSTA No.13, Richardson Dingle El, and the Grand Governor of Maryland, Rufus German Bey. A special gold card was produced for members and the word was spread. Several members were signed up in Temple No. 1 at Baltimore. The charter members, in addition to the above named, included Founders W. Misler Bey, Connie W. El, Barbara V. El, Karen G. El, D. Jacobs El, Diane M. Bey, and Sandra K. Bey. Subsequently the Sultan reported for active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps at Parris Island, South Carolina where he signed up twelve Moorish-American Marines, as a part of Temple 1. (They later became NOMS Vidyapti Temple No. 4).

3. The special mission of the new Order was “The Uniting of Asia” proclaimed by Noble Drew Ali, but yet unrealized. The Order was to attract a variety of “Asiatics” from many houses, residing in America. The rest of Asia had not recognized the “Negro” because he knew not himself, End had not proclaimed his nationality. The Order would direct the lost and fallen Moors to the Moorish Science Temple, while joining with the Moors as united and free nationals and equal American citizens.

4. The Order, basing itself on the “Circle 7” Holy Koran of the MSTA, set out to undergo the travels of The Nazarene to India, Persia, Egypt, etc. and to explore the mystery schools with which he no doubt was affiliated in his pursuit of Light and Knowledge. This was accomplished to a high degree by the Sultan and his various representatives. Further, in the realization that Truth is One, though paths many, the order undertook to go deeply within various major faiths to their respective mystic inner core. An experiential methodology was undertaken, so that order members became in. fact, Yogis, Orthodox priests, Buddhists, and Sufis, bringing their discoveries back to the inner circle of the NOMS. By 1964, the Order was officially restyled the NOBLE ORDER OF MYSTIC SUFIS, MST OF A., and remained so through the Third Epoch.

5. The Sultan had the confidence and support of many famous Moorish leaders – R. Dingle El and R German Bey of Baltimore Temple No. 13 have been mentioned. Also, the Sultan traveled to Chicago with Muhammad Ali El, son of Givens El, the first reincarnation of the Prophet and to Newark where he participated in the Moorish Teachers College while staying with Grand Sheik Hommett Anderson El. He also spent considerable time at New York City Temples under Grand Sheiks Jeffries El and Pearsall Bey. In addition to being recognized as head of the Noble Order, the Sultan was appointed a Teacher in the MSTA, and taught from the Holy Qur’ân of Mecca. He was also made a Sheik in the Adept Chamber, along with his constant companion and private secretary in New York, C. Silver Bey, a NOMS Founder.

A meeting with Jarad Faruk Bey, Head of the Moorish-American Religious League (who embroidered “Moorish-American” in green on their fezzes and wore a large red and gold version of the MA button) resulted in recognition of the Noble Order. L Diamond El engaged in correspondence with the “Calumet St. Sheiks” of the Moorish Divine and National Movement of North America, Chicago, which resulted in their visiting him at his Queensberry street residence. The Sultan also met Nelson Bey, National Grand Sheik succeeding Kirkman Bey.

6. The Sultan sojourned across the States accompanied by Sister Barbara V. (Aisha) El, National Secretary, to reside in California, where there were no established Moorish Science Temples. The Sultan and Sister Barbara were married at a Mosque in Sacramento, and were subsequently blessed with two sons and two daughters. While in California, the Noble Order was expanded there and down into Mexico, and the Sultan was named and acknowledged as the Grand Governor for that State of the MSTA. He promoted the MSTA under the Charter of Temple 13 but did not set up any new MSTA Temples at that time, working with the Noble Order and the Resurrection as well. The Sultan met with many leading Masons, Rosicrucians, Occultists, and others that flourished on the West Coast.

7. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh comes, and unto him the people shall gather. At a Moorish national convention, Timothy Dingle El, younger brother of the aforementioned Richardson, raised a simple question. Does a child go from the 1st grade to the 3rd grade? No. There has to be a Second Grade. He referred to the structure of the MSTA by which the general membership was said to be in the First Heaven, and the Sheiks in the Third Heaven. Timothy Dingle El was to setup Baltimore the Second Heaven under the name and title - Supreme Grand Resurrection. Timothy had become a special friend of the Sultan and was sincerely fascinated with the Noble Order. He was a great innovator. It was Timothy, who became a Grand Sheik of his own Branch Temple No.13, who got the Sultan and Noble Order on the official convention program of the MSTA held in Baltimore. The Sultan was in California, but was duly represented by his wife, Sister Aisha Sharif Bey. It was Timothy who caused the Sultan to be appointed National Grand Inspector of the MSTA. When the Black Fez was placed on the Sultan’s brow, Timothy said that if a house doesn’t look right to a building inspector, he can say it has to come down. “The Forerunner (the Sultan’s special title) can do the same about a man.”

8. When the Resurrection was announced, the Sultan invited Grand Sheik Timothy, and the SGR Founders to a Special Joint Meeting with the NOMS, an historic meeting indeed. This was held at NOMS Matheno Temple No. 17 at 931 of St. Paul Street in Baltimore, hosted by Barry B. Bey, local Emir. The Sultan, the Deputy L. Diamond El, Barbara V. El, National Secretary, and several NOMS Delegates participated. It was a Holy Contest. The Sultan threw; the Supreme Resurrector threw. Calls from NOMS Temples, near and far, came into the Secretary. It was an atmosphere of prayer and excitement. Finally, Timothy spoke of the missing Seal of John, and drew it forth – complete with Resurrection symbols. All were satisfied that he carried the day.

9. Terms of the Accord between the NOMS and the Resurrection.

a. The Sultan received the status of a Founder of the SGR with the rank of 4-Star Hierophant, and the NOMS recognized as a special body of the MSTA. The SGR was recognized as essential to the MSTA and Noble Order Moors would promote and aid in its establishment at all MSTA Temples.

b. The NOMS and SGR would deal with the Houses of the Church and Masonry in accord.

c. As Grand Sheik, Timothy would issue for and through the NOMS, a new MSTA Nationality Card with a blank space to insert the nationality before “ _________ American,” as to serve to bring into the MSTA as full members, all Americans of Asiatic ancestry (as determined by the Noble Order).

d. The Noble Order would utilize the four Resurrection degrees in its Second Heaven work, and sign up Noble Order Moors in the Resurrection. The Sultan would also utilize his resources to develop and actually craft the written form of some of the degrees.

e. NOMS and SGR members could travel freely within each others’ gatherings, and work in unison within the MSTA across the country.

f. The Accord was to remain in effect until such time as both the Supreme Grand Resurrector and the Sultan decide to amend, suspend, or otherwise make additions or corrections, or when one of the same shall pass out of form.

10. Manifestations of the above stated Accord.

a. The Sultan, C. Silver Bey, and G. Foster El met Archbishop Augustus Franz Itkin (El) of the Old Catholic - Evangelical Communion, who with his deputy, Bishop William Peter Crowley (El) sought to be initiated and receive the degrees of the Noble Order, offering in exchange, ordination to the Holy Catholic Priesthood after attending a Brooklyn seminary for several months. The Sultan made the prelates members of NOMS Temple 2 after and soon after the Sultan was consecrated a Bishop and the Archbishop sanctioned the ORDER OF THE RESURRECTION. Fatah El, N.J. Governor became ordained a priest (and consecrated thirty years later), Governor Walid el-Taha and Founder Salim Bey were ordained as Deacons and about 30 Noble Moors were received into the OR. The Liturgy followed that of the Syrian (Antiochian) Orthodox Church headquartered in Brooklyn under Archbishop-Metropolitan Antony Bashir. In this work, NOMS members were often known as “Moorish Orthodox.”

b. With members of the SGR, the Sultan and Barry B. Bey, were initiated into the degrees of Masonry through Eureka Lodge at Good Hope Hall C Subsequently, the Sultan received all of the Masonic degrees, both rites, East and West, Asiatic and European. The Sultan investigated the AANOMS (Shrine) from within and thus became a “Noble” as did Noble Drew Ali. Grand Resurrector Henry Young Bey also presented the Sultan to the Masonic head of the “National Compact” Jurisdiction, and the SGR and NOMS worked in said circles of harmony.

c. The SGR degrees were available to NOMS members, and the new Nationality Cards were produced and offered under Temple 13 through the NOMS.


11. In due course, it must be noted, the Sultan returned “the Church and Christianity” to the Archbishop and invited him to accept Islam, whereupon the former did attempt to dissolve the Order of the Resurrection and excommunicate its Noble clergy from his particular line of authority (Catholic Evangelical Communion). However, when one is ordained a Priest and consecrated a Bishop according to the Church liturgy, the office is bestowed “forever,” so the ranks and degrees of Christianity were not lost to the Noble Order. The Order of the Resurrection continued as an independent Moorish Orthodox religious order.

12. Subsequent to the above events, and while the Sultan was away from the Atlantic Coast, traveling in India, some members of the Noble Order did establish the Moorish Orthodox Church. These members included S. Zill El (T22, T14), M. Maggid (Majid) Bey (Emin T2), G. Foster (Fatah) El (T14) Chancellor of the Order of the Resurrection, S. Scully El (T2), and P. L. Wilson (Hakim) Bey, (T22) who became the Metropolitan of said Church, which operated independently of the Noble Order. Both Sultan Sharif Bey and P. Wilson (Hakim) Bey subsequently procured Bishop’s status and license through the Universal Divine Life Church.

S. (Pasha) Zill El was the first Editor of the Moorish Science Monitor while he was in Baltimore at Temple 14, Johns Hopkins University. Zill El was in fact reared in the Orthodox Church. Additional information on The MOC will be provided in a separate profile. Said body has established ten local “lodges,” operating under its own version of the Adept Chamber “Third Paradise.” A great Accord between the MOC and Noble Order came about in 1996 at which time the Moorish League was formed meeting at Nazarene Temple No. 1 in Baltimore. Hakim Bey was given the title “al-Dabir.” “The Scribe” as he authored “The Sacred Drift” with an informative historic narrative of the MSTA, and other literature.

13. WHO is THE SULTAN? You have heard of a Consultant? Namely, an expert to guide you in where you want to go. The Sultan does the same, but without the “con.” It is noted that Kirkman Bey, a legitimate successor to Noble Drew Ali through the Moorish legal corporation, also used the title “Sultan.” The Sultan was best known among the Moors as, “The Forerunner,” believed to be the reincarnation of John the Baptist which was of great significance to primary Moorish leaders. Further explanation is offered in the Adept Chamber.

14. The HIGH COUNCIL of the NOMS for the 1st Epoch was the highest executive body under the Sultan and consisted of the Founders: L. Diamond El, Silver Bey, and R. Porter El, the Province Governors – Warren T. El, S. Foster El, and S. Rochlin El C and D. Auclair El, an Emir on the West Coast who made the 7th member. The High Council was disbanded after the 2nd Epoch, and is being reinstated in this 4th Epoch.

15. Regarding the ethnicity of the Noble Order Moors, much fascinating material can be provided. Some were of the true and royal House of Israel, being Karaites from the line of the Persian Exilarch Benjamin Nehawendi (830-850 AD). Others trace to the shipwrecked Arabs on Sicily. Some were from the Celts, whom Noble Drew Ali himself, established as an Asiatic nationality for. Others came from Egyptian Copts, Indians, Tatars, or Mongols. Yemani Arabs and Hebrews were joined by a variety of “Asiatics” that have commingled, wandering the globe for centuries, and ending up in America being simply called “white,” “black,” “yellow,” or “mixed.” Youthful adherents to the Noble Order often had parents who did not know themselves any more than most Moorish-American’s families.

All of these Noble Moors came to appreciate the plight of the Americans of color without a nationality and helped them learn of the Ancient Divine Creed of their forefathers through the MSTA.

16. True to the mission of the Noble Order, members have pursued various religions, knowledge, spiritual and esoteric systems, advancing far on those paths. Rahman El became a world expert of Tibetan Buddhism, Diamond (Almas) El, of pharmacology. Sharif Bey, Fatah El, Muqaddim El, and Basir Bey became Bishops of the church. Several were established in traditional Sufi orders such as the Naqshbandi, Naimatullahi, and Jerrahi. Some practiced Islam for decades. Others devoted their lives to two or more of the eight limbs of Yoga. Some were accomplished in Adept/Magi work, Rosicrucian and hermetic studies, numerology, astrology, and Chinese spiritual medical practice. Some were skilled writers such as Founder Salim Bey, Governor Hakim Bey, and Governor Fatah El, and others were inspired musicians like Governor Walid El Taha. Some are university professors like Almas El, Pasha El, Gardner Bey, and Berg Bey. Many Noble Moors fought for social justice for all, and most performed regularly, some useful forms of service to humanity.

The Champ de Mars Massacre (Marcel Dorigny)

Following the announcement of the king’s flight in the night from 20 to 21 June 1791, a republican movement developed in Paris: on 21 June, the Cordeliers Club launched an open call for « tyrannicide », and on 22 June, a petition written by François Robert demanded the republic ; in the following days  the calls in this sense multiplied. On 1 July, Condorcet and Thomas Paine launched the journal Le Républicain, whose avowed aim was the change of the political system. With this journal, the republican movement overflowed the popular clubs of Paris and was taken into account by the leading elements of the bourgeoisie ; Roland supported Condorcet’s republican campaign, and the Cercle social was its favoured place of expression. On 15 July, all fraternal societies of Paris assembled in the Cercle social in order to elaborate a republican programme.

Facing this republican mobilisation, the Assembly remained resolutely monarchist ; the Jacobin Club also leaned towards strict legality: Brissot, who had encouraged the republic, revised his call and affirmed that a king was compatible with liberty ; Robespierre also refused to join the calls of the Cordeliers ; as to Sieyès, he resolutely spoke out in favour of upholding the monarchy (6 July). In order to cut short the surging of petitions demanding the indictment of the king, the Assembly decreed, on 15 July, that Louis XVI had been the victim of an abduction and was innocent ; this decree had been inspired by Barnave and Charles Lameth. In order to obtain this vote, false petitions, which were overtly hostile towards the Assembly, had been put into circulation on the same morning. Henceforth, demanding the indictment of the king and his replacement at the head of the State was an illegal act.

When this decree was passed, the petition written in the Cercle social demanded the convocation of primary assemblies in order to decide on the king’s fate ; the National Assembly refused to receive the delegates from the fraternal societies. This refusal provoked movements in Paris during the whole night. In the morning of the next day, 16 July, the Jacobin Club, indignant over the vote of the Assembly, in turn wrote a petition on the initiative of Choderlos de Laclos ; the signatories were Lanthenas, Sergent, Ducancel, Danton and Brissot, who was the author of the text. It demanded the abdication of Louis XVI and his replacement by « all constitutional means ». This formula, which has probably been added by Laclos unbeknownst to Brissot, precluded the Republic and seemed to open the doors of power to the Duke of Orléans. Formulated in this way, the text was the object of very lively controversies: signatories added to their name that they would not acknowledge any other king. La Bouche de Fer printed the text of the petition with this mention and suppressed any reference to a constitutional solution. This petition of Jacobin origin was withdrawn on the very evening of 16 July, when the decree became known which re-established Louis XVI in the plenitude of his rights. This withdrawal was the consequence of the division in the Jacobins provoked by the departure of several hundred members, who would come to found the Club des Feuillants.

The democrats refused this Jacobin recoil and gathered on 17 July on the Champ de Mars. A third petition was written immediately ; being of Cordelier origin, its main author was probably François Robert ; it asked the Assembly to revise its decrees of 15 and 16 July. No direct reference to the republic appeared through, but the republican spirit of the petition was clear. Placed on the Autel de la Patrie, it was signed by over 6,000 Parisians, having come in a procession on this Sunday of July. Having been declared contrary to the Constitution and to the law, this petition was the pretext to the brutal repression against all democrats. The municipality of Paris, on order of Bailly, proclaimed martial law and let the National Guard, commanded by La Fayette, march against the crowd. After having hoisted the red flag, La Fayette ordered the troops to open fire ; panic seized the crowd, which partly consisted of women and children ; the cavalry pursued the fleeing civilians into the neighbouring streets. In total, over 50 people were killed and hundreds injured.

The consequences of this tragedy were enormous: it was an irreversible rupture within the Third Estate. The republicans were persecuted and arrested, their newspapers were forbidden: La Bouche de Fer, Le Républicain, Le Journal du Club des Cordeliers. Finally, this bloody day paved the way to the revision of the Constitution. The cens électoral was reinforced considerably: in order to be able to vote, one had to prove the property of a good valued at more than 200 workdays in the city and 150 days on the countryside. The powers of the king were increased ; the constituent bourgeoisie feared democracy more than the republic itself, and it took legislative precautions in order to cut off any new attempt of this kind: every possibility to revise the Constitution was made illegal before 1801. A veritable break in the history of the Revolution occurred on 17 July.

Keep reading

be your teenage dream tonight

reposted from my old blog (peacockgege) // requested by kpopgame-strong:

Could you do a scenario where youre Kris ‘ little sister but Chanyeol likes you and wants to date you??

[ Chanyeol is a freak. Chanyeol likes to eat his fries with mustard and he claims his favorite food is school cafeteria mac and cheese. Chanyeol likes to sneak up on people and bite them. Chanyeol Park once brought last year’s yearbook with him to a tutoring session and counted with you all the pictures that he photobombed. Chanyeol Park in glasses and a cardigan and his guitar makes you want to kiss him. ]

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The Cordeliers Club (J. Guilhaumou)

The Cordeliers Club « is more famous than known » : with these words, the historian Albert Mathiez defined the major difficulty of every overview on the club, within whose history entire sections, for lack of sources or studies, remain obscure.

It is highly probable that the club already existed in April 1790 under the title « club of the rights of man ». It appeared under its full name Society of the friends of the rights of man and of the citizen in June 1790. An address of the Cordeliers of the same year proclaims that the patriots have to devote themselves « to the defence of the victims of suppression and to the relief of the unfortunate », and, in this capacity, adopted the eye, a symbol of surveillance, as the seal of the society. In the beginning, the club held its sessions in a room of the Cordeliers Convent. Being persecuted by the municipality, the Cordeliers ended up settling in the locale of the Musée, Hôtel de Genlis, Rue Dauphine, where they would remain throughout their existence.

Under the auspice of the rights of man and of the citizen, displayed behind the president in the debate room, the club presented a particular physiognomy. It thereby clearly distinguished itself from the Jacobin Club on the various levels of its existence : local (around the section of the Théâtre-Français), regional (in Paris) and national (in 1793). The Jacobins endeavoured to follow the initiatives of the National Assembly as closely as possible and to form a network of affiliated societies which would reverberate and enrich their propositions. The Cordeliers favoured their mission of surveillance and of control towards the constituted authorities. This is why they admitted women to their society, as well as passive citizens. A. Mathiez could say that they formed « a group of action and combat » that was always in a state of alert when it was a matter of reacting to breaches of the rights of man. Thus, the club was a favoured place of encounters, of exchanges between spokespersons, hommes de liaison, commissioners and other political mediators who wanted to apply the avowed droit naturel, the Constitution.

The club owes its first success, in 1791, to the federation which it established with the fraternal societies, which originally have been formed in its wake. Marat, a Cordelier par excellence, received the title « father of the fraternal societies ». Numerous revolutionary personalities frequented the club, although it is not possible to point out a leader : Danton, Hébert, Vincent, Rutledge, Legendre, Marat, Lebois, Chaumette, etc.

Increasingly critical towards the executive power, the club took the helm, during the spring of 1791, of the democratic movement in favour of the establishment of the Republic. After the king’s flight, and in the moment of the composition of the Champ de Mars petition, the Cordeliers defined their principal and permanent objective : it was necessary to « proceed to the replacement and the organisation of a new executive power ». In the aftermath of the Champ de Mars Massacre (17 July 1791), due to repression and internal divisions, the club was weakened. It recovered its strength, in 1792, through the mediation of the network which it had built with the popular societies of the provinces. Thus, it would serve as the voice of the fédérés of 10 August and play a non-negligible role in the proceeding of the insurrection against the king. The position of the Cordeliers was consolidated during the winter of 1792-1793, at the time where the Jacobins collided with the Enragés. The growing importance of figures such as Hébert, the Père Duchesne, and Marat assured them a certain renown. But the club only reached a national dimension at the end of the insurrection of 31 May, 1 and June. Around it, several institutions gathered : the revolutionary committees of the sans-culotte sections, the Ministry of War where Vincent cut his teeth, the Commune of Paris and, of course, the popular societies. During the summer of 1793, the club conquered, with the help of the delegates for the festival of 10 August, a hegemonic position within the Jacobin movement. One can speak, at that time, of the Cordelier or « Hébertist » movement (A. Mathiez). Hébert, in Le Père Duchesne, defined the watchwords of the revolutionary movement. Vincent, for his part, explained his project for the organisation of the executive power at the club. The Cordeliers distanced themselves from the sans-culotte movement through their refusal of direct democracy. The Cordelier programme began to be realised, particularly in Marseille, by the assembly of the popular societies’ central committees. But the Robespierrist Jacobins, partisans of « legislative centrality », were determined to put an end to the Cordelier offensive. In spite of their victory during the revolutionary journées of 4 and 5 September, which brought about the creation of the revolutionary army and the mise à l'ordre du jour of the Terror, the Cordeliers were attacked at the Jacobin Club by Robespierre and Coupé de l'Oise, at the National Convention by Billaud-Varenne during the second fortnight of September. Then began a series of skirmishes which resulted in the arrest of Vincent and Ronsin (17 December 1793). In the provinces, the representatives en mission, denounced by the Cordeliers, forced the central committees to dissolve.

In early 1794, the club turned back into a district club, influential in some sections, and closer to the demands of the Parisian popular movement. Now, what about the famous « Cordelier insurrection » of Ventôse, Year II? It was in fact a matter of political « manipulation » that was arranged by the Montagnards in order to deliver a first blow to the popular movement. The journalists, interpreting Hébert’s moral call to insurrection in a political sense, strongly contributed to such a manipulation. It was their revenge against the Père Duchesne! After the arrest and execution (14 and 24 March 1794) of the Cordelier « leaders », the club, even after having been purified, ceased to gather permanently.

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New Official Sim 4 Survey Reveals Possible Content - Updated

The survey mentions three types of pack; Gameplay content A, Gameplay content B and Expansion Packs. The descriptions of them were: 

Downloadable Content

Gameplay Content A Pack for the Sims 4 is a set of new gameplay content centered around a theme that consists of Interactive Gameplay Objects and a mix of supporting items (clothing and accessories, hair styles, makeup and tattoos, interior decorative and exterior decorative objects, etc.).“ 

  • Amazing Catch - Become a master fisherman and collector with a dozen new aquatic creatures and a deluxe aquarium to keep them in. Master’s Fishing Net lets you catch more than one fish at once. 
  • Professional Gamer - Become a professional video gamer by building the ultimate gaming system, joining a competition team, earning sponsorships, and competing against other Sims to become The Ultimate Gaming Champion.
  • Cosmetics - Give your Sim a makeover with a collection of new lipstick, blush, eye shadow, and a variety of nail color options.
  • Splashdown Water Park - Three unique waterslides and pool games, like water volleyball, create an aquatic wonderland that is fun for all ages. 
  • The Lucky Strike Bowling Alley - Dress your Sim in their best bowling shoes and team shirt, and compete with other Sims to see who can get the most strikes! Do you have what it takes to bring home the league trophy?
  • Luxury Lifestyle - Indulge in the finest things Simoleons can buy. Elegant furniture, clothing, and a luxury hot tub that is sure to put your Sim in a romantic mood. 
  • Green Thumb - Enter the Greenhouse and put your green thumb to the test caring for crops, flowers, or ornamental plants. Combine plants to create fabulous new varietals, and become the top gardener on the block.
  • Pleasant Rest Cemetery - Uncover the secrets of the graveyard! Explore the crypts, befriend a ghost, and help put restless spirits to rest. 
  • Fashion Week - Place the catwalk, pick your models, and decide on a dress. Do you have what it takes to start a fashion empire? 
  • Family Game Night - Board games, cards games, and pinball are fun for the whole family. 
  • Skateboards & Bicycles - Travel your neighborhood with speed and style when you decorate your skateboard and bicycle with custom stickers and accessories. 
  • New Year’s Party - Host a News Year’s Eve party with a toast at midnight, then celebrate in style with festive fireworks, but be careful, Sims who play with fire tend to get burned…
  • Fun in the Sun - Fun in the sun with backyard water activities like a kiddie pool, slip’n’slide, and sprinklers! 
  • Backyard Sports - Play catch with a baseball, toss a football, or have a water balloon fight in your Sim’s backyard. 
  • Tree Houses - Create and customize unique treehouses with pirate, fairy tale, and back to nature themes. 

Game  Pack

Gameplay Content B Pack for The Sims 4 is a set of new content that features some new large Gameplay Features, Interactive Gameplay Objects, and a mix of supporting items (clothing and accessories, hair styles, makeup and tattoos, interior decorative and exterior decorative objects, etc.).

  • Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs - Slides, diving boards, beach balls, and water volleyball help you create an exciting pool experience for your Sims. Custom hot tubs range from a cozy tub for two, to an eight Sim party tub with a pool bar! 
  • Dogs - Use the new Create-A-Puppy to design your Sim’s new best friend! Teach your dog tricks, train him to hunt collectibles, play with toys, and even enter him in a dog show! Raise your puppy and help him grow! Will he age up to become friendly and loyal, or aggressive and independent? Your interactions with your dog shape his future! 
  • High Roller - Experience the thrills and glamour of life as a high roller! Send your Sims to shop the boulevards, or go all in with interactive casino games. 
  • Heroes & Villains - Secret identities, super powers, and spandex combine to create Super Sims! Fight crime, change the world around you with telekinetic powers, or manipulate your friends and enemies with mind control. 
  • Castaway - Your Sim awakes alone on a tropical island…utilize your survival skills to make shelter, find food, and search for a way to be rescued. Can you escape before the volcano erupts and destroys the island? 
  • Wilderness Explorer - Explore the great outdoors by hiking, fishing, camping, and white water rafting. What new adventures await just around the river bend? 
  • Winter Wonderland - Add the winter season to your game to cover your neighborhood in a blanket of fresh snow! Build a snowman, bundle your Sims in cold weather attire, or take the family on a trip to the Alpine Village featuring skiing, ice skating, and snowboarding. 
  • Wizards - Put on your wizard’s robes and grab your wand, there’s magic in the air! Fly with dragons, conjure trolls for battle, and craft wondrous artifacts to help your friends and terrorize your enemies. 
  • Cruise Ship - Set sail for the high seas aboard a luxury cruise ship! Snack at the pool bar, challenge other Sims to a game of basketball, or stay in your stateroom and share a romantic moment on the veranda.
  • Rockband - From the garage to the stage to the stadium take your Sims on an epic musical journey to become immortalized as rock and roll superstars! Let your fame take you to new heights of social stardom. 
  • Resort - Own and operate your own resort, or simply vacation at one! Sparkling pools, deluxe spa treatments, festive buffets, and unique locales combine to create the perfect vacation destination.
  • South Beach - When the sun goes down the fun heats up with beach front dance clubs, karaoke, and bands playing live music! 
  • Amusement Park - Enjoy a fun day at the amusement park and experience all the exciting rides and carnival games! Assemble your dream roller coaster and give your Sims the ultimate thrill ride. 
  • Ocean Cliffs - High cliffs and serene seas surround a vibrant Mediterranean island port. Charter a fishing boat, dive for pearls, or relax at a picturesque nude beach. 
  • Fast & Fearless - Sport cars, motorcycles, and road bikes will get your Sims where they want to go with speed and style! Race against other Sims on unique streets to win upgrade parts, prizes, and unique vehicles or just hang out at the street party. 

Expansion Pack

An Expansion Pack for The Sims 4 is a themed collection of large Gameplay Features, Interactive Gameplay Objects, and a mix of supporting items (clothing and accessories, hair styles, makeup and tattoos, interior decorative and exterior decorative objects, etc.)

  • Careers - Pick your dream job and take control of your Sims actions and choices through interactive gameplay on location! Tell the story of the aspiring chef whose catering choices will make or break their career, or take on the role of a Criminal Mastermind and rob a rich residence…will your Sims succeeded or fail? Their fate is in your hands! 
  • Seasons - Experience the joys and challenges of changing weather! Seasonal festivities, outdoor attire, and new activities like skiing, sunbathing, and face painting guarantee that Sims will have plenty to do no matter what the temperature is outside. 
  • The Scene - Hang out at the hottest spots in town, from dive bars to dance clubs to chic lounges. Gain fame and fortune to earn access to exclusive celebrity perks like penthouse living, luxury hot tubs, and sleek cars. What will your Sims do after dark? 
  • Hobbies & Skills - Awaken your Sims’ true passions in life as they discover and excel at all-new activities. Whether they’re tossing a football with the family, practicing ballet, playing in a band with friends, or hand crafting artsy home décor, your Sims now have more ways to build skills, enhance friendships and make their lives more successful. 
  • Crime & Justice - Make a difference in your Sims’ town - clean up the streets with the new District Attorney career and organize neighborhood improvement projects, OR indulge a life of crime and greed growing an underground criminal organization that deals in black market goods and smuggling contraband. Pick your side in this world of Crime and Justice! 
  • Weather & Disasters - Experience the awe-inspiring beauty and power of nature as never before as weather plays a major role in shaping your Sims’ lives and environments. How will you prepare your home for severe conditions? Will you weather the storm and help rebuild your neighborhood after disaster strikes, or tempt fate and take part in a little looting? 
  • Magic University - Join your fellow sorcerers at a school specializing in hexes, potions, and dragonology. Do you have the skills and commitment to gain the rank of Supreme Dragon Handler, or will you drop out and be stripped of your powers forever? 
  • Rise to Fame - Watch your Sims rise to stardom, revel in the limelight or crash and burn as they perform as singers, actors, supermodels, and rock musicians. Do you have what it takes to earn a coveted Simmy Award nomination and earn access to the hottest A-list parties and events? 
  • University - Achieve Academic Excellence! Sororities & fraternities, secret societies, and sport clubs can all grant you powerful career connections, but only if you graduate! Pick a major, go to class, and write your term paper, all while balancing an active social life. 
  • Pets - Create perfect - or imperfect - pets for your Sims with a wide variety of unique dogs, cats, lizards, rodents, and birds. Teach them tricks and enter them in talent shows, or simply hang out and watch them destroy your neighbor’s yard…more pets means more fun!

Additional information from the survey.

  • Recipes - Food and drink items that Sim scan cook and eat to provide gameplay benefits. Examples include: Sphaghetti and Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pancakes, Special Drinks, etc. 
  • Careers - A new career experience that allows your Sims to pursue a new, unique occupation. Examples include: Fire Fighter, Astronaut, Doctor, Ghost Hunter, Criminal Mastermind, etc.
  • Non Player Characters - New computer controlled Sims for your Sims to interact with. Examples include: Bella Goth, Agnus Crumplebottom, Mailman, Pizza Delivery Person, Bigfoot, etc. 
  • Worlds - A rich new set of themed neighborhoods that your Sims can explore, featuring new Interactive Gameplay Objects and a mix of supporting items (clothing and accessories, hair styles, makeup and tattoos, interior decorative and exterior decorative objects, etc.) Examples Include: Tropical Shores, Ocean Cliffs, Mountain Hollow, Diamond Coast, River Valley, etc. 
  • Exterior Decorative Objects - Decorative objects to customize the exterior of your Sims’ homes, with no new gameplay features. Examples include: Different styles and colors of doors, windows, decorative plants, etc. Styles could include vintage, modern, rustic, etc. 
  • Destinations - A group of venues that fall under a certain theme for your Sims to visit, where they can socialize with other Sims and interact with multiple Interactive Gameplay Objects. An Example is the Amusement Park Destination which contains the Arcade, Haunted House, and Food Market Venues. 
  • Venues - A themed pre constructed lot (separate from your Sims’ home) for your Sims to visit, where they can socialize with other Sims and interact with new Interactive Gameplay Objects. 
  • Hair Styles - Different hair styles that you can use to customize you Sims 
  • Interior Decorative Objects - Decorative objects to customize the interior of your Sims’ homes, with no new gameplay features. Examples include: Different styles and colors of tables, chairs, couches, beds, showers, etc. Styles could include vintage, modern, rustic, etc. 
  • Make-Up & Tattoos - Different types and colors of makeup and tattoos that you can use to customize your Sims’ appearance.
  • Gameplay Features - Large gameplay systems that significantly expand the core gameplay experience by adding new game functionality. Examples include: Casino Games, Zombies, Boating, Camping, Roller Coaster Creator, etc. 
  • Clothing & Accessories - Different clothing and accessories for you to customize your Sims’ appearance. Examples include: Shirts, Pants, Dresses, Shoes, Hats, Jewelry, etc. 
  • Interactive Gameplay Objects - New objects with gameplay functionality, that Sims can interact with. Examples include: Chess board, guitar, telescope, etc. 
A Method for Clearing a Tarot Deck

There is much talk of “clearing” and “cleansing” a Tarot deck between readings. The implication in most discussions of this is that the “energies” or forces at play within one reading may taint those of subsequent readings, thus making them difficult to interpret. I didn’t initially believe this when I began reading as a youngster, namely because all the methods I had read about seemed excessive. And, anyways, it was rather impossible for thirteen-year-old me to find crystals to set atop my deck (one method I have seen), or a way to bury it in salt (another method). Furthermore, I was a kid, so I really lacked the patience to care about such things!

My readings throughout this period were accurate enough, and from that, one might extrapolate that there is no need to clear the deck after a reading. Later experiences decidedly turned me off the concept, for the most part. During my time spend attempting to be a good friend to the wannabe-Atlantean psychic I’ve mentioned on here, I definitely got this feeling. He was constantly picking up various decks of mine while visiting, and would make claims about how much “bad energy” had collected about the deck.

 I assume there was nothing to this, because my readings chugged along quite well. In fact, he probably only did it because I’d said I didn’t cleanse, blasphemy to him. At one point, I was outraged as he picked up my absolute favorite deck and declared that he had just experienced a vision of “faces screaming.” He all but demanded I buy some expensive crystal to cleanse it. It isn’t as if he were selling the crystals - I think he just wanted someone to join in his excessive and unhealthy trinket collecting.

Thus, for the greater part of my Tarot career, I did nothing to cleanse my decks. In the past year or so, however, I had been having certain feelings that suggested I should find a way to clear them, albeit in my own odd fashion. This was perhaps due to spending so much time around people who habitually did so, but may also be a result of reading for strangers. I believe that, since strangers are unconnected to each other, it becomes difficult to read for one after the other without some ritualized (or other) action to signify the beginning and end of a reading. This may not constitute a proper cleansing or clearing of the deck, but it’s how I see it.

I had no intention, even given this intuition, of buying a bunch of crystals to perpetually leave atop my decks when not in use. That made little sense to me - what is the crystal supposed to do? Absorb the force of the previous readings? Wouldn’t it become “full” eventually? I don’t comprehend this practice. If you do it and it works for you, that’s wonderful, but, since I fail to understand it, it will no doubt never work for me.

Other methods of cleansing fell short for me, as well. That tried and true suggestion found in many books about putting the deck back in order seemed like a good idea initially. I soon realized that it caused more problems than it solved. It interfered with the already difficult to achieve randomness of the cards, and took precious time. When you’re at a party and doing five or six readings an hour, this can be a major issue! Thus, I resolved to find a way of so-called cleansing that was practical, effective (for me), and fit within the paradigms of my reading practice. 

I eventually saw a thread on a Facebook group (the Tarot ones tend to be quite decent, unlike the magick-focused ones) where someone had asked the members to post their strategies for clearing or cleansing their deck. I was surprised to find out that many other people had notions similar to mine. Like me, they saw cleansing as a metaphorical act. In case you couldn’t guess, I believe that the purpose of cleansing (at least for me) is to symbolically begin and end a reading, thus helping the reader to move into a state of greater focus. I hope that makes sense. Anyways…

I read some interesting things in that thread. Few used crystals or salt or engaged in Byzantine ritual purifications designed to excise “negative energy.” Rather, the thread was flooded with what seemed like quite useful folk traditions originated in various parts of the country (and some from abroad, though the group was largely American). Some folks recited a poem over the deck, or a small prayer if they were religious.

 I was particularly taken with one lady’s method. She described how she would gently tap the deck on her reading space three times before beginning and ending. I was unsure of the symbolism behind this, though there no doubt was some. The idea of tapping the deck on something, though, interested me, and I ultimately made it my own. The next bit of this requires some explanation and delves into my native territory of Thelema and ceremonial magick… here goes!

As I’ve mentioned before on here, I’m a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a Thelemic fraternal Order and secret society designed for the promulgation of the Law of Thelema. Suffice to say, I take my OTO membership very seriously. You must realize that, for the most part, secret societies are not games, and deserve a solemn approach. Now, within the OTO and Thelema, there’s a tradition that is performed before meals. It isn’t a secret of the Order, so I’ve no reason not to write about it.

It’s commonly referred to as “saying Will,” and is often seen as a New Aeon alternative to “saying Grace.” Most Thelemites would probably find “saying grace” to be an Osirian ritual abrogated in the Aeon of Horus, thus Will replaces it. It is performed before most meals shared by OTO members, even if they’re in public. There’s a restaurant here in Dayton that the OTO frequents, and we’ve done it there numerous times. No one seems to notice. Anyways, it involves what is colloquially known as “pounding it out.” One raps on the table, often with the handle of a knife or other dining implement in a pattern.

The pattern goes like this. You tap three times, then pause. Then, you tap five times. And, after another pause, three more times, for a total of eleven taps. There’s a particular call and response that goes along with it, following the tapping, that you can look up if you want. Initially I didn’t understand this and was quite mystified witnessing it at events. Eventually, I worked out the symbolism of it myself.

Within the Western Magickal Tradition, the numbers six and five are particularly important. Six is the holy hexagram (hehehehehe). It represents the macrocosm or heavenly perspective, epitomized by the classical planetary forces. This is the “above” in the oft-repeated statement “As Above, so Below.” It is a slice of the universe decidedly above our own, and many would even argue that the wisdom one receives through Tarot and other forms of divination must necessarily emanate from this realm or even above it. In “saying will,” the three taps that surround the middle five taps total to six, of course, and thus represent this macrocosm. As to why they’re separated by five other taps, well…

Five is the number of the pentagram, another important symbol within my Tradition. Many Wiccan, neopagans, and other less ceremonial practitioners will recognize it as representative of the four elements, and Spirit. There’s a lot of controversy regarding the meanings associated with the pentagram and which way is up, but the components remain the same regardless. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and, well, Spirit. These, contrary to popular belief, did not originally represent terribly lofty spiritual forces, but were rather a symbol of the manifest physical universe as it emerges from Spirit, which acts as a bridge from the macrocosm. 

You may wonder why the tapping goes Three-Five-Three, instead of Six-Five or Five-Six. The reason for this is that, within this small ritual, the five elements are portrayed a resting inside (as well as streaming from) the macrocosmic world of the planetary forces. Hence, the tapping of “saying Will” is a neat ritualistic shorthand for the formula of “As Above, so Below.” Isn’t that perfect for Tarot?

Thus, to begin and end a reading, I often tap it on the table or what-have-you in that particular pattern!

Captive Prince uni AU rambles

Okay I’m plugged in and sleep is still elusive so let’s pray mobile doesn’t screw me over and have a chat about captive Prince uni au.

-Damen is one of those people who just wears what’s comfortable regardless of how it looks. So he’s in a tank and shorts with sandals and those dumb knit hats and really gaudy sunglasses and those loopy hipster scarves and everyone’s like ’?????’

-Laurent is one of those people who dresses exceptionally well out of spite. Who plans his outfits specifically to make everyone else feel badly dressed. You know who I’m talking about. That person in your 8am lecture who looks like they walked off a casual wear runway. They look effortlessly flawless and it’s infuriating.

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The new poll is up!


Choose your favorite expansions packs from the choices listed on the latest official Sims 4 survey.  Multiple choices are allowed so pick as many as you like. 

Please note:  These are not confirmed expansion packs!

University:  Achieve Academic Excellence!  Sororities & fraternities, secret societies, and sport clubs can all grant you powerful career connections, but only if you graduate!  Pick a major, go to class, and write your term paper, all while balancing an active social life.

Magic University:  Join your fellow sorcerers at a school specializing in hexes, potions, and dragonology.  Do you have the skills and commitment to gain the rank of Supreme Dragon Handler, or will you drop out and be stripped of your powers forever?

The Scene:  Hang out at the hottest spots in town, from dive bars to dance clubs to chic lounges. Gain fame and fortune to earn access to exclusive celebrity perks like penthouse living, luxury hot tubs, and sleek cars. What will your Sims do after dark?

Pets:  Create perfect - or imperfect - pets for your Sims with a wide variety of unique dogs, cats, lizards, rodents, and birds. Teach them tricks and enter them in talent shows, or simply hang out and watch them destroy your neighbor’s yard…more pets means more fun!

Careers:  Pick your dream job and take control of your Sims actions and choices through interactive gameplay on location! Tell the story of the aspiring chef whose catering choices will make or break their career, or take on the role of a Criminal Mastermind and rob a rich residence…will your Sims succeeded or fail? Their fate is in your hands!

Weather & Disasters:  Experience the awe-inspiring beauty and power of nature as never before as weather plays a major role in shaping your Sims’ lives and environments. How will you prepare your home for severe conditions? Will you weather the storm and help rebuild your neighborhood after disaster strikes, or tempt fate and take part in a little looting?

Seasons:  Experience the joys and challenges of changing weather! Seasonal festivities, outdoor attire, and new activities like skiing, sunbathing, and face painting guarantee that Sims will have plenty to do no matter what the temperature is outside.

Rise to Fame:  Watch your Sims rise to stardom, revel in the limelight or crash and burn as they perform as singers, actors, supermodels, and rock musicians. Do you have what it takes to earn a coveted Simmy Award nomination and earn access to the hottest A-list parties and events?

Hobbies & Skills:  Awaken your Sims’ true passions in life as they discover and excel at all-new activities. Whether they’re tossing a football with the family, practicing ballet, playing in a band with friends, or hand crafting artsy home décor, your Sims now have more ways to build skills, enhance friendships and make their lives more successful.

Crime & Justice:  Make a difference in your Sims’ town - clean up the streets with the new District Attorney career and organize neighborhood improvement projects, OR indulge a life of crime and greed growing an underground criminal organization that deals in black market goods and smuggling contraband. Pick your side in this world of Crime and Justice!

Feel free to share your favorites below and/or answer the poll question located in the SIDEBAR

If you participated in last months poll the results are available HERE.

So, which expansion packs do you like?

Honeywell’s Sims 4 News

The phrase “Blue Lives Matter” is as ridiculous as it is offensive.

There are no such thing as “Blue Lives”.  Regardless of all the quasi-secret society/fraternity bullshit they promote, police officers are not a people apart from the the public at large.  A career is not an identity in the way that gender or race or even socioeconomic class are.  It doesn’t matter if your dad and your granddad and your great grandma were police officers.  Your life is not blue.  The only thing blue is your choice to become an instrument of legitimated force.

Furthermore, there exists no systematic structure for the persecution of police; there is only the long-simmering public outrage over the various institutional protections they receive from responsibility for their mistakes and their crimes.  Police officers have never been threatened, as a group, in the same way that black people, as a group, routinely are. 

If that outrage makes them feel threatened, then the police and the society which employs them need to fundamentally reevaluate what kind of people they hire to be officers, what their situation is regarding legal liability, and ultimately what the purpose of a police force actually is.

I notify my readers, friends of liberty, that they may distinguish my paper from the false Amis du Peuple, published under my name, by the fact that their authors are humbugs (endormeurs), who always preach peace, tolerance of factious priests, patience under the outrages of public functionaries, submission to laws however bad, blind obedience of soldiers to their officers; humbugs, who have to be silent on the prevarications and conspiracies of those who mislead the people, of the National Assembly, of the Municipality, of the Departments, of the Etat major of the General (Lafayette), which I am ceaselessly denouncing whilst sounding the tocsin; humbugs, who do nothing but declaim against the Jacobins, the fraternal Societies, the Club of the Cordeliers, against whom I never say anything except it be to condemn their inaction and cowardice.
— 

Jean-Paul Marat, L’Ami du Peuple vol 24. September 1790. 

People had been imitating Marat’s journal to shove words in his mouth and Marat’s literally just, “You know it’s not me if they’re preaching peace and toleration because I never do such things.”

Thinksquad’s Guide To Friendly Societies
Today, you can’t watch TV without hearing someone opening their pie-hole about health care, we are constantly being told, the United States faces a health care crisis. Medical costs are too high, and health insurance is out of reach of the poor. We here at Thinksquad agree, the cost are getting higher each year.


The cause of this crisis is never made very clear, but the cure is obvious to nearly everybody: government must step in to solve the problem. Or should it?


Let’s travel back in time eighty years ago, Americans were also told that their nation was facing a health care crisis. Then, however, the complaint was that medical costs were too low, and that health insurance was too accessible. But in that era, too, government stepped forward to solve the problem.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the primary sources of health care and health insurance for the working poor in Britain, Australia, and the United States was the fraternal society. Fraternal societies or “friendly societies,” were voluntary mutual-aid associations. Yes the first time we read about them it brought back images of the Flintstones, and the Grand Poobah.

Their watered-down descendants survive among us today in the form of the Shriners, Elks, Masons, and similar organizations, but these no longer play the central role in American life they formerly did. Most of the poor and middle class made up these Friendly Societies. Friendly societies were particularly popular among blacks and immigrants. (Indeed, Teddy Roosevelt’s famous attack on “Hyphenated Americans” was motivated in part by hostility to the immigrants’ friendly societies; he sought to “Americanize” immigrants by making them dependent for support on the democratic state, rather than on their own independent ethnic communities.)


The principle behind the friendly societies was simple. A group of working-class people would form an association (or join a local branch, or “lodge,” of an existing association) and pay monthly fees into the association’s treasury; individual members would then be able to draw on the pooled resources in time of need. The friendly societies thus operated as a form of self-help insurance company.


Turn-of-the-century America offered a dizzying array of friendly societies to choose from. Some catered to a particular ethnic, or religious group; others did not. Many offered entertainment and social life to their members, or engaged in community service. Some “societies” were run entirely by and for women. The kinds of services from which members could choose often varied as well, though the most commonly offered were life insurance, disability insurance, retirement insurance, and “lodge practice.”


“Lodge practice” refers to an arrangement, reminiscent of today’s HMOs, whereby a particular society or lodge would contract with a doctor to provide medical care to its members. The doctor received a regular salary on a retainer basis, rather than charging per item; members would pay a yearly fee and then call on the doctor’s services as needed. If medical services were found unsatisfactory, the doctor would be penalized, and the contract might not be renewed. Lodge members reportedly enjoyed the degree of customer control this system afforded them. And the tendency to overuse the physician’s services was kept in check by the friendly society’s own “self-policing”; lodge members who wanted to avoid future increases in premiums were motivated to make sure that their fellow members were not abusing the system.


Most remarkable was the low cost at which these medical services were provided. At the turn of the century, the average cost of “lodge practice” to an individual member was between one and two dollars a year. A day’s wage would pay for a year’s worth of medical care. By contrast, the average cost of medical service on the regular market was around one dollar per visit. Yet licensed physicians, particularly those who did not come from “big name” medical schools, competed vigorously for lodge contracts, because of the security they offered; and this competition continued to keep costs low.


The response of the medical establishment, both in America and in Britain, was one of outrage; the institution of lodge practice was denounced in harsh language and apocalyptic tones. Such low fees, many doctors charged, were bankrupting the medical profession. Moreover, many saw it as a blow to the dignity of the profession that trained physicians should be eagerly bidding for the chance to serve as the hirelings of lower-class tradesmen. It was particularly detestable that such uneducated and socially inferior people should be permitted to set fees for the physicians’ services, or to sit in judgment on professionals to determine whether their services had been satisfactory. The government, they demanded, must do something.


And so it did. In Britain, the state put an end to the “evil” of lodge practice by bringing health care under political control. Physicians’ fees would now be determined by panels of trained professionals (i.e., the physicians themselves) rather than by ignorant patients. State-financed medical care edged out lodge practice; those who were being forced to pay taxes for “free” health care whether they wanted it or not had little incentive to pay extra for health care through the fraternal societies, rather than using the government care they had already paid for.


In America, it took longer for the nation’s health care system to be under government control, so the medical establishment had to achieve its ends more indirectly; but the essential result was the same. Medical societies like the AMA imposed sanctions on doctors who dared to sign lodge practice contracts. This might have been less effective if such medical societies had not had access to government power; but in fact, thanks to governmental grants of privilege, they controlled the medical license procedure, thus ensuring that those in their disfavor would be denied the right to practice medicine.


Such license laws also offered the medical establishment a less overt way of combating lodge practice. It was during this period that the AMA made the requirements for medical license far more strict than they had previously been. Their reason, they claimed, was to raise the quality of medical care. But the result was that the number of physicians fell, competition dwindled, and medical fees rose; the vast pool of physicians bidding for lodge practice contracts had been abolished. As with any market good, artificial restrictions on supply created higher prices — a particular hardship for the working-class members of friendly societies.
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Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, the working class utilized fraternal organizations within their communities to create a network of social safety net functions, and less expensive healthcare alternatives. Today, worker access to healthcare, schools, and social safety nets are limited to acquisition through employers or the state. Sheldon Richman’s discussion exposes the corporate motives and state mechanisms that effectively eviscerated the utility of fraternal organizations within working class communities, and also made workers more dependent on employers. These forgotten social structures offer a paradigm to workers seeking alternatives to corporate healthcare and state social service monopolies.