Search Term Shootback: March 2015

Sam does this really neat thing that I’ve long admired over at Digital Ambler where he reviews the most popular search terms from the previous month that brought people to his blog. Some of the search terms are gonzo and oddball, some of them make perfect sense given the kind of blog he runs, and some of them are weird.  My search terms aren’t nearly so oddball as his, unfortunately, but you never know.  Anyway, I figured I’d try writing this sort of post, and see what happens.

  • tattwa symbols — So the Tattwas are symbols from the Golden Dawn system of magic, which probably appropriated borrowed them from Indian magical and yogic traditions. Adepts were supposed to make Tattwa cards, which had shapes for the various elements cut out of cardstock glued to them, so that there was a Void card, an Earth Card, a Water Card, and so on.  But there were also supposed to be cards that represented Air of Earth, and Earth of Earth, and so on.  All in all there were about thirty such cards. See the next search term.
  • tattvas cards — A few months ago, I made up a PDF that you can print out on cardstock to make your own tattva (also spelled tattwa) cards.  You can find and download them here.  The tattwa cards post remains one of the most popular posts on this blog, with a little more than 250 views in the year it’s been available (which gives you a sense of how small the magical community). 
  • how to draw the tree of life —  The tree of life post, about the geometry of the tree of life and how to learn how to draw it, is only slightly less popular than the Tattwa Card post.  The Tree of Life has its own particular geometry, it isn’t just some sort of generic design, and the underlying geometry is supposed to teach you about the doctrines of the Four Worlds, and some of the mythology of the Fall and the Return within a Hermetic and Cabalistic context.
  • magic to win the lottery — I ran an experimental project with the help of Mercury to try to win the lottery, which, in some ways, was quite successful, and in other ways was a bust.  The results were quite interesting, either way.  In general, though, when you’re trying to do magic to win the lottery, you’re doing emergency magic — which usually doesn’t work out the way you want it to. Magic rarely affects physical matter the way it’s shown to do in books and movies, and it works better if you give it long lead times in which to have its effect.  This post has been read about 175 times.
  • sonnet worksheet —I have a couple of posts on writing or to teach sonnets.  I find sonnets to be a fairly useful form for poetry. They take about a minute to two minutes to recite, and with some practice, you can write a sonnet in fifteen minutes.  It will be bad. But the basic rule for your first half-dozen should be: focus on the rhyme scheme and the meter, don’t worry about the meaning. Learn the rules of the form by writing backwards from the rhyme scheme and the 10-syllables-per-line rule, and once you’ve written six to ten sonnets, the sonnets will start flowing from the meaning first out to the rhyme scheme. I’ve written thousands of sonnets: but this is how I began. Trust me.
  • how to draw a celtic tree of life — I don’t know if this person wants a Celtic tree of life, which is actually a design based on the growth of the Yew Tree, an important species in the British Isles in myth, legend, history and biological history; or if they mean the Tree of Life of the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn, of which I’m a member.  
  • nude classroom — I had this idea, a while back, about the idea of the Nude Classroom. Not in the sense of a room where students and teachers were naked (ew, that’s so very much not a good idea.  But in the sense that when you walk into a classroom in August to prepare it for the first day of school, it’s often Naked. It’s set up with the bare minimum, and it’s not a place where kids can be successful. It’s better to have a mise en place classroom, where everything in the room is deliberately placed and chosen, to help both adults and kids be successful.
  • tai chi jacket pattern — I’ve never sewn my own tai chi jacket, although I made two tunics from the Jedi costume sewing kit that I use in rotation to wrap my body for tai chi in the morning.  Neither is tradition.   The pattern I used to make those tunics is this one. Good luck with your sewing!
  • calendar pagan holidays google — I made a Google calendar for paganism, and made it public and opened it up to people using it for their personal calendar.  I have no idea how many people are subscribed to it, but when it gets damaged or off track, I usually get three or four emails about it to “please fix this, it’s so useful to me!” So I do.  It’s funny, but I think I’ve actually helped people ‘learn to be pagan’ by using this, and maybe helped fix their annual festival cycle a bit by having it out there.  Many of the festivals, including the solar and lunar feast days, are also the subjects of some of my poetry.  Most of the individual poems have been read less than 10 times apiece, which is sad, but several hundred people have read the post on the Google calendar itself, without ever visiting the poems connected to the feasts in the calendar… ironic, that.
  • how to do geomancy — I don’t know that I’m the best person to learn Geomancy from… Sam himself, from whom I got the idea for this post, teaches it much better than I do on his blog.  If you learn it from me, you’re more likely to learn it at events like EarthSpirit’s Feast of Lightswhere I’ve taught workshops on it for the last two years.  However, I’ve made some resources for people who are already geomancers, like the quatrains on geomancy and the mandala, and more recently a post on using the telesma character, which is the character that turns the Judge into Fortuna Major.  None of these posts have been read more than 20 times.

So… those are the major search terms for the month of March just concluded, and


  1. For what’s worth, I’m one of those who found you because of the pagan calendar holidays. I did look (a bit) at the poems, but at the time I was only looking for a calendar, I look at the info/poems on the specific days.

    That said, I started following you because of your talk about teaching etc. I am also a teacher and it was sort of mind blowing for me to see someone who was pagan and teaching and open and identifiable about both. I do not have that same freedom or confidence. 😀

    • Well, welcome to the blog commentariat, JSkeins. You’re now officially a member.

      I don’t know where you are in the world or the country, but 1) I’m in New England, which has a more laissez-faire attitude about this stuff, and 2) I’m in a fairly diverse school religiously-speaking, so people are ok with a broad array of experiences in their teachers, and 3) I don’t really push it.

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