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The time has come, We Revelers.

The time has come to say “Thank you” and “Goodnight.”

As of today we will no longer be posting new material on the site. It has been a truly wonderful experience, and it is definitely sad to see it end. But thems is the breaks and new and exciting projects are a callin’.

Thank you to all our writers whose unique visions and inquisitive natures have made the pages of These New Old Traditions a sparkly delight.

Thank you to all our readers, for it is because of you that These New Old Traditions carried on as long as She did.

I wish you all the best bartering may yield.

Onward and Upward.

____________________

You may find the continued writings of our founder over at Not New York.

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"The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun," by William Blake

“We are more closely connected to the invisible than to the visible.”
—Novalis

Beginning in 1990, the [Eulessynian] Hot Tub Mystery Religion (HTMR) celebrated Greater and Lesser Mysteries in two sanctuaries, both on Silent Oak Drive in Euless, Texas, bounded by miles of dark woods surrounding the Trinity River. Fueled by Dionysian excess and theme park aesthetics, Epopts sought to create installation-variations on the ideal of the pleasure dome, inspired by the imaginations of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Moorish Luminary Doctor Jabir ‘abd al-Khaliq. Prince Krazie, Son of Yippie, a reformed COINTELPRO fink, artist and charter Epopt, described a typical rite as,

“A small speck of light and beauty in an unreal, sick world…receiving the most holy sacraments from the most high of the highest…black light…strange sounds, music…naked nymphs splashing in the rippling water.”

It was in this heady vat of high-minded fun that Forbidden Books, a local cafe and bookstore, rose to the surface, caked in luridly colored sargassum like some rubber-clad, hyper-saturated B-movie creature. ‘Zines, Re/Search, the Amok catalog, titles from AK Press and Autonomedia all found their way into our hearts and minds through that tavern of blameworthiness. It also served as a community center for the extraordinarily weird. HTMR pamphlets and samizdat erupted like wildflowers proclaiming “Big FUN!” and urging the reader to contemplate the koan: “How much fun can you have before someone tries to stop you?” Oh, how we’ve tested this axiom and its boundary repeatedly and under conditions both mad and sensible.

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Finding places where people gather to worship Kali–the aspect of God that, among other things, severs your head–is not necessarily an easy task. While there’s nothing particularly secretive about Kali worship, diaspora communities who take Kali as their primary deity–the people you want to meet–aren’t necessarily interested in proselytizing to people outside the diaspora, and thus do not send up smoke signals calling spiritual exiles to the faith. Rather, for Americans wishing to find people venerating Muktakeshi [She with Disheveled Hair] they must often be in the presence of either Ammachi the “hugging guru,” or California sadhu and kirtan wala, Bhagavan Das, both of whom give much respect to the great Mother of the World, Jagadamba. Yet, while both are inspiring enough people, neither represent what I am looking for.

Read the rest over at Not New York

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In the previous Epicycle we discussed what a planetary hour is and how they can be calculated. We also briefly touched on how they can be used. Much of the remaining orbits of this series will explore these other techniques. However, before addressing these additional observances I think a valuable question we should be asking ourselves at this point of the discussion is: “What good does all of this do me? Why does timing matter when working with magick?”

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We stare into the burning fire
And see in their resplendent light
The granting of our heart’s desire
Or else the terrors of the night.

From tarot card reading to the study of bird flight, there are many different forms of divination, but in my opinion the most reliable ones are all related to fire.

Now, I should probably admit that I’m a bit of a firebug. From candlelight to bonfires, flames never fail to capture my interest. Maybe there’s some subconscious longing in me for the warmth and security which came from ancient hearth fires.

There are a number of ways in which fire can be used for divination, some of them more practical than others. The practice of fire gazing for example, whilst it is for me an amazing experience which I would recommend to anyone, wouldn’t be ideal for apartment-dwellers or people with shared gardens. Instead, I would love to share with you a few ways in which fire can be used in divination on a more everyday basis.

Note: When using fire for divination, make sure that you are not wearing any loose clothing and that your hair is tied back. You should always have some way of putting out fires to hand and be careful that you handle fire with respect.

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Sunrise over Rosh Ha-Ayin, Israel

At its most basic, a planetary hour can be described as a classical means by which a person is able to put his/herself in accordance with the heavens by dividing the day from sunrise to sunrise (instead of using midnight as the border of one day to the other), ultimately dividing the day into periods ruled by the classically recognized planets. Measured by the amount of light and darkness that is contained from from one dawn to the next, these periods will vary in chronological length depending on the time of the year.

In the past, these variable periods were said to share in the powers and sympathies of the planets associated with them and were consulted when performing certain rites and operations designed to maximize the influence of a particular planet. For instance, if you wanted to be successful in battle (and who doesn’t?) a ritual could be timed to maximize Martial energy – it could be performed on a Tuesday, the day associated with Mars, during one of the four Martial hours that occur during that day. To cinch the deal one could burn dragon’s blood, brandish an iron spear, wear scarlet, etc. etc. If you’re particularly lucky perhaps the planet itself would be in a sign in which it rules or is exalted (i.e. in Scorpio or Capricorn). This would align the “signatures” of the planet in question thus allowing the Magician usage of a clear link between the divinely connected planetary force and us poor, amnesiac schleps stuck here on earth.

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"The Golden Calf," by Damien Hirst (sold for $18.6 million)

“The roots of today’s globalizing spiritual crisis lie in a movement away from immediacy; this is the hallmark of the symbolic.”
—John Zerzan

“Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.”
—Guy Debord

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
—Shakespeare

Symbolism is an act of re-presentation, always impoverishing and isolating that which is symbolized by collapsing it into a fragmentary concept, separated from its environment and its dependency on the rest of existence.  As the universe flows on in its relentless dance, a symbol remains the same, and the breath and spirit of what it identifies is forgotten in favor of its name.  “For the Murngin people of northern Australia, name giving and all other such linguistic externalizations are treated as a kind of death, the loss of an original wholeness,” notes John Zerzan in Too Marvelous for Words: Language Briefly Revisited.  How deeply in this pile of deaths might we be buried today, as symbolic culture has grown exceedingly complex and expansive since its inception?

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