14 August 2012
Art and Design, Magic & Spirituality, Teaching
Jack Parsons wasn’t just a witch, and wasn’t just an OTO member and an associate of Aleister Crowley, the “wickedest man in the world”… he was also the inventor of solid rocket fuel, and one of the American leaders at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, who literally helped get the American space program off the ground. Here, he holds a US rocket in his hands, and the test-tube in his other hand is thinking about being Potassium Chloride (which together with asphalt was the basis for his rocket fuel formula). Parsons is a strong example of what really capable people can do — break free of old thinking, be free to fail, try new stuff, not worry immediately about results, act on whims as well as keep disciplined records, and all while keeping a side interest going in something crazy.
I suspect that, if Gordon has his way, in a century Jack will be much more famous for his rocketry work than he is now… and much more famous for his occult work than for his rocketry work. Why? Because he represents what magic accomplishes for the mind — the ability to break away from the ordinary to achieve new results.
Although, it should be added, that he blew himself up in a home lab experiment while trying to develop some special effects for a film company, and died of his wounds a few hours later. So keep it in mind, kids: if you want to be a magical star, remember — stars sometimes burn out.
It doesn’t really look like Jack Whiteside Parsons, OTO devotee and inventor of solid rocket fuel. He looked more dashing and more cunning. But I think it gets the point across.
14 August 2012
Art and Design, Media
A few weeks or months ago, Gordon introduced me to “We are the witchcraft” (link broken at publication date – maybe it’ll come back eventually) by Jack Parsons. I’ve illustrated it or illuminated it a couple of times, and finally put it into this memory book I’m working on. Near the beginning (alas, not on this page), there’s a long paragraph explaining witchcraft’s long and disorganized history from ancient hunters to the groves of Greece. I didn’t leave enough room to illustrate all of it, but I put in a rock drawing from Africa, and the sun coming up beside a dolmens, and a Magian King, and a wild and stately dancer from Greece. The following page has an illustration of Johnnes Dee, who was court astrologer to Elizabeth I (Gordon, are you court astrologer to Elizabeth II? :-), and a window for Gawain (or possibly Arthur).
I think my biggest challenge is going to be finding enough stuff to put in this book, rather than worrying about how to illustrate or illuminate what I do put in.
14 August 2012
appliances, energy work, tai chi, temperature
I did five golden coins, eight pieces of silk, and the form this morning. As I said, nothing special. It’s changing me, but so slowly and imperceptibly that it’s not doing much at all. Yesterday I climbed Pony Mountain. Today I did tai chi and then I’ll go vote in the primaries at home, and meet a couple of colleagues.
The last few days I’ve been noticing that the living room air conditioner turns on, more or less every time I do tai chi in the house. It used to turn on during the form. Then it turned on during eight pieces of silk. Then it turned on near the end of five golden coins. These days, I have only to do the first few movements of five golden coins before the air conditioner comes on and starts cooling the room off. It’s kinda funny: yesterday I get the weird feeling crows are talking to me, but today I won’t believe that my chi work is raising the temperature in the living room enough to make the air conditioner turn on.