Top Ten Posts of 2015

These are the top ten posts of 2015.  I’m posting them a few days early.  Maybe this will be interesting to you, maybe not, but it’s a chance to see what I’ve done this year, and maybe remind yourself of what people thought of as my best writing in the past year.

  • Learning to Lucet — a lucet is a fork used for braiding string into thicker and stronger cord.  It’s a pretty interesting technique, and the braid can be used as rope or as ornamentation on a sewing project. I’ve used it both ways.
  • Design Lab: Finished workbench — I made four tables, and this three-part workbench for my school’s new Design Lab. In the process, I learned a great deal about basic carpentry, and taught my students and school a great deal about how Design Thinking is game-changing for schools.
  • Design Thinking: Paper Engineering — Want to start a maker-space in your school?  You should really think about starting with paper engineering.  You will learn a great deal about the tools and materials you want to work with, you’ll learn about what you should do yourself and what you should teach kids directly, and what you should make them learn for themselves.
  • Geomancy: A Technique for the Shield — Geomancy is a binary-based system of fortune-telling or divination, and this is a post on how to use geomancy in a way that I don’t think is attested to in the historical version of the system, but has nonetheless proved useful. (Like Geomancy? Check out my poem, Quatrains on Geomancy which explores some of the key meanings of the sixteen symbols or characters of geomancy.
  • Hymn to Juno, Queen of the Gods — I’m a student of Jason Miller’s.  In late April, as his students were getting ready to do an around-the-world ritual in honor of Juno, I composed this hymn as part of the effort to provide tools and resources to everybody.  A lot of people read it and used it, apparently. Very few people bothered to tell me. Pretty common, actually. (The other poem that people visited a lot was this one for the Mighty Dead).
  • Magic: the Book of Mars — Developing the right tech for magic is always a complicated process.  One of the things that I’ve done is turn to paper-engineering resources (see the post above) and the paper-craft community to borrow techniques for making books and albums and paper-craft machines.  This book follows a paper-craft album style, but its subject is less about family photos and more about the Lord of Might and Severity. Included in the book is the Neo-Orphic Hymn for Mars.
  • Magic: Neglect Not the Robe — Want to be a more effective magician? Learn to make your own robe.  There are good reasons (physical, intellectual, energetic, and spiritual) for doing so, and here’s both the reasons why and links to resources about how to (learn to) do it.
  • Go forth and Make: Summer Camp — Lots of people read about the Maker Summer Camp project I ran this summer; very few people participated.  No one participated in the Autumn Maker School either, though (and lots of people check out Seventeen Things, but no one has told me they’re following through).  Would you participate in a Spring Maker School? let me know in the comments.
  • Millennials Challenges — In this post from mid-December, I identified four major challenges that affected Millennial students in ways that haven’t really been significantly studied or confirmed.  But colleagues of mine to whom I’ve articulated this theory find it very compelling.  What do you think?  
  • Tidying Up — This is a review/put-into-practice of the book by Marie Kondo called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.  I’ve had difficulty keeping up with this practice, but I found it pretty compelling at the time that I read the book and performed her initial practices.  Quite useful.

I think it’s interesting that none of these are tai chi posts.  It’s interesting because that is, of course, the thing that I write about daily.  But the only post that even came close to being in the top ten was this one, about moving through water, and I think it’s because it contains a photograph. The other post about tai chi that got a lot of visits was this one, the Tai Chi Poem, but it wasn’t composed this year so maybe it doesn’t count.

What about the posts that receive the most visits generally?

  • The Tattwa Cards — Tattwa cards are used for training the mind to understand the five elements.  I can’t really say much more than that, but this appears to be one of the few sets available for download online. Composed March 2014.
  • The Memory Palace — Training the mind to use a memory palace is difficult; here’s some of the tools that I assembled to make that possible.
  • Pagan Days Calendar — I assembled one of the few (Greco-Roman-oriented) calendars on Google Calendar for pagan holy days; apparently there’s quite a few people who use it.
  • The Sun and Moon Sonnets — This is, again, one of the more popular posts: a links page to all the sonnets that I’ve written in celebration of the New and Full Moons over New England; and all the sonnets in celebration of the Sun over Connecticut at the Nones, Ides, and Kalends of each month.

So. There you have it. Some of the most popular posts on this website, and in particular the most popular posts of 2015.  Posts that I thought would get big, didn’t;  posts that I thought would be obscure, enjoyed fresh popularity.  Either way, if you’re a fan of my writing, you’ve got some things to check out and catch up on.  Enjoy your end-of-year reading, everyone.  Happy New Year.

Two Model Mechanisms
Two model mechanisms

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