April 1, 2022

Songs That Are All About the Same Thing

Just in case you lose the muse and get a hankering for the flavor of some tasty new jam. Most of the artists here have even better songs, this list isn't about that. Love, Light, Luck; Health, Wealth, Elf

Mind Games - John Lennon and the Plastic U.F.Ono Band

Into the Mystic - Van Morrison 

What I'm doing here - Lake Street Dive

The Seeker - The Who

Land of Confusion - Genesis

Only Us - Peter Gabriel

Miracles - Insane Clown Posse

Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

More Than a Feeling - Boston

Don't Stop Believing - Journey

Carry On My Wayward Son - Kansas

Mad World - Tears for Fears

Where is My Mind - The Pixies

Float On - Modest Mouse

Innuendo - Queen

I Saw the Sign - Ace of Base

Dreams - The Cranberries

Knights of Cydonia - Muse

Let It Happen - Tame Impala

Roads - Portishead

Here Comes the Flood - Peter Gabriel

Spectrum of the Sky - Break of Reality

Daybreaker - Electric Light Orchestra

No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age

Show Me How to Live - Audioslave

Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum

Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra

Break On Through (to the Other Side) - The Doors

Even Flow - Pearl Jam

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Dream On - Aerosmith

Have You Ever Seen the Rain? - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Spiraling Shape - They Might Be Giants

Pyramid Song - Radiohead

Rainbow in the Dark - Dio

Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning - Smashing Pumpkins

Lateralus - Tool

Glory and Gore - Lorde

Cosmic Love - Florence and the Machine

Upside Down and Inside Out - OK Go

The Times They Are a Changin' - Bob Dylan

Starman - David Bowie

March 15, 2020


It just occurred to me that the Milky Way galaxy is the Ouroboros. The ancients used the symbol to represent the phenomenon. In Akkadian the Milky Way is ṣerret šamê "the snake of the skies". Norse mythology Jörmungandr is a sea serpent, the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and Loki. Odin tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard (the world). The serpent grew so large that it was able to surround the earth and grasp its own tail. As a result, it received the name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When it releases its tail, Ragnarök will begin. So, I guess that makes the supermassive black hole at the galactic core the mouth eating it's own tail. Neat.

There is a better case to be made, if someone cares to do the research. All the stuff about the sun's path through the stars being a reflection of the soul's journey through life and the underworld until it's rebirth. That's why the sun is named Sol, you know. Then there is also the enlightening/obfuscating narrative about the Great Year as the equinoxes pass through the zodiac every 25,772 years.

"The first known appearance of the ouroboros motif (seen below) is in the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld, an ancient Egyptian funerary text in KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun, in the 14th century BC. The text concerns the actions of the god Ra (the sun god) and his union with Osiris in the underworld. The ouroboros is depicted twice on the figure: holding their tails in their mouths, one encircling the head and upper chest, the other surrounding the feet of a large figure, which may represent the unified Ra-Osiris (Osiris born again as Ra). Both serpents are manifestations of the deity Mehen, who in other funerary texts protects Ra in his underworld journey. The whole divine figure represents the beginning and the end of time." - so says Wikipedia about the Ouroborus

Oh, and that's not even pulling in all the similar references like the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl of South America. The Hindu texts and iconography back this stuff up too. I mean, take a look.

Every planet is a delicate bubble of heaven floating in a vast freezing radioactive hell, at least to any creature adapted to live within. Time is just the apocalypse of the big bang unfolding at a slow enough churn that we can sit back and really enjoy it. 

February 17, 2020

A Morning Chant for Mirrors to Reflect

I stand now upon the shoulders of giants and repeat the things I thought worth hearing. I cry for Heraclitus, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, John Lennon, Terence McKenna, and all the other philosopher kings who haunt my dreams; I speak so others might catch the call.

All language is magic which traps mind. To spell is to spell; telepathy, what once in my mind now in yours. Alphabetic runes bind ideas for a term and I imprison them for this sentence. Every story is a spiel or a spell, and I take that as gospel or God's spell. Honestly, our whole civilization is held together by small mouth noises. The great Tower of Babel lifts the babblers from the land of common-tongued beasts into the airy realms of enlightened divinity. The heights breached determined by how firmly the foundations anchor into the rock solid truths of the Earth. The hardest of the rock solid truths I know is this: ALL FLOWS. All flows, and nothing lasts. Nothing lasts! Permanence is not our purpose. Fame and wealth are not prizes to plunder, but gifts to bestow upon those who uplift our lives... on this short, short ride. Chasing dizzying new heights while ignoring the facts on the ground puts it all at risk. Too many tall tales taught to toddlers through twinkly techne and tinsel tend to teeter the tower til it topples!

Hello, I was born Nicholas Alan Peterson, but I've come to see that Nick Alan Pete, N, A, P, is a NAP from which I struggle to awaken. I've named this reflection Quibish Freemind. I am a wizard and so can you. ***The key to all magic is to stop doubting the intention of the attention.*** Everything we do and say is a magical ritual and chant as we put our soulpower to the karmic wheel, so lets steer toward peace and harmony. Confidence is key. Nature loves courage. The past and future are mythic. Reality is the ever changing Now, and the visionaries present pull this gift towards the imagination. Reality is not time, we are. We are memory, we are experience, we are spirit, we are breath, we are rhythm. If time were space history would be a spider's web. Gossamer filaments stretching back to connect various points, but oh so many gaps left betwixt and unbeknownst. Seek. You must have a plan. If you don't have a plan, then you are a part of somebody else's plan. Now is a constant unfolding, and we each choose the part we play. History = His story, and Mystery = My story. Don't be a passive victim steamrolled by history, explore your mystery. Reality is far stranger than anyone even knows HOW to say. You are not your identity, nor any of the labels hung upon you. Culture is not your friend. It can draft you into war, or jury duty, or a tax audit. Culture = Cult of Ur, Ur: the ancient city built in the mesopotamian cradle of civilization. Culture is a mindset, a branding, a network of walls physical and mental. It is a shared imagining pushing and pulling at flesh through enforcement and compliance. The real you is somewhere underneath all of that. Do you still trust the status quo, or do you seek to verify with your own methods and discernment? Both? Trust, but verify. Once we drop the burden of cultural baggage and expectations it becomes easier to do what we know is right and to say what we truly mean. Someday, without pretense or precondition; we will be free to meet our honest selves. Today, hiding in plain sight, a Freemind is at play, set loose upon the world, and everyone else a brother or sister mirror upon reflection, free to reword my chant to your own perfection. Let's all get out there and awesome the place up.

What is best in life?
The Good
The True
The Beautiful

What is Good?
Tricky... tricky... tricky...

What is True?
Even trickier... even trickier...

What is Beautiful?
Easy to discern

Though, I warn you that if you judge by beauty alone, be wary and ever watchful for cracks in the facade. Can you discern the intention of the attention? Which wonders are being beaten wrought? Don’t let conditioned submission set failure baked in. Every painful feeling is a signal, and each difficulty a highlighting, tune in to the teaching to prevent the repeating. Look into it. Bear a load. Build up strength. Stoicism. Your habits form your future self. We are what we choose to do, so go do the best possible you. Exceed expectations, just for the fun of it. The road to success is paved with failure. Learn, get up, and go again. Our universe is made of magic, every atom of matter is only a symbolic representation of underlying energies poised spinning and charged. You are a ghost driving a skeleton wearing a meatsuit on a rock made of stardust spinning around an inferno screaming through a glittering void. Your willful spirit is the eternal flame, and now's the time to shine.

Love, Light, Luck
Health, Wealth, Elf

*(We clap once, and release the philosopher kings to work our wonders and fulfill the dream)*

August 3, 2019

Jordan Peterson on Egyptian Gods

So, I'm not trying to ruffle feathers and I know that Jordan Peterson is called a heartless intellectual and worse. It might be true. I personally feel that people should be free to alter and express themselves however they wish, which will soon begin a constellation of profound genetic modification and eventually the need to reimagine ourselves as a collection of sentient species who shepherd worlds. Sorry, I'm getting off-topic. Maybe he is heartless, but I have learned from the heartless before. I learned lessons from the attempted mugging when I got punched in the face. Hopefully, this goes down easier for you.

It's a 15 minute video about the Egyptian Gods that I find highly engaging.

... I'll be watching this again later. I don't really know what to say about it. I just like to share the treasures that I find.

I'm pretty well convinced by now that proper storytelling is all about archetypes and engagement. DMing takes an even subtler touch due to the openended exploration aspects.

August 2, 2019

The Sun

Sky Magic Correspondences: The Sun

We begin with the sun for it is representative of the self, the will manifest as light bound in flesh, and the ego radiating it's influence outward to all. The sun is born each dawn, rising up to the height of it's noon power and then dropping into sunset. Crossing over the horizon, The Ring and into the unknown underworld of death and rebirth, only to rise again each dawn. So then, as each new day is the same sun; so too be we the same cosmos witnessing itself from within each skin.
We live and die and live again.

Center, self, source, strength, the solar-plexus chakra, yellow, gold, white (divine light), radiation of personality, projection of image and influence, the collection of objects pulled (and pulling) into your orbit by your personal power and gravitas, force of will, relentless discipline, consistency, honor, ethics, light. The enlightened self seeks to allow the divine to shine through; in word, deed, and especially thought. We are the imagination of ourselves. Death is the illusion, and life is the dream. Do as thou wilt, but prepare to get hurt, and then learn to want better things.

Willing toward itself through gravity, and simultaneously pushing away with an aura of solar wind.

Sense of self, identity, willpower, hero, goals, savior, expression, purpose, work, enthusiasm, the face

Mind that you do not let your light be subsumed by the designs of stiflers and the black-hole-hearted. Do not get yourself so lost within the anxiety of unfolding history (his-story), that your attention falters from following your true mystery (my-story). We must learn to love our fate, which is in fact our life.
We make our own luck.

August 1, 2019

Dark XP vs. Enlightened XP

New concept for my new game. This is the crux of the thing really, if I can find the proper words to capture it. Almost all the experience points earned will start as Dark XP. Once your character has enough Dark XP the gravitational mass of the experiences can collapse into themselves (data compression) and form a new class level AND a new Mental Twist (insanity/madness/quirk).

The Players can enlighten those experiences, by helping to drag the game into reality. We sculpt our lives as we fold our stories into material artifacts, art, books, whatever. So, there are daily exercises that allow you to enlighten 10XP each. No penalty for missing a task (!), but you do get 10xp enlightened for each task you check off the list. That max is then 490xp per week, 70 per flavor. Enlightened XP gets flavored into the Sky Magic Correspondences. All tasks are optional, though I suspect balance is best. Here is the list.

Str = Sun = Exercise (at least 3 things 5 times, like sit-ups/squats/pushups)
Wis = Moon = Meditation (at least 15minutes, 30 is better, for me; but I think hours are best, so...)
Dex = Comets = Good Deed (Try to right a wrong, tries count; you'll improve)
Int = Stars = Journal (Keep track of this list of tasks, and write some thoughts each day)
Con = Rainbows = Community (share, help, volunteer, improve environment, act locally)
Cha = Clouds = Passion (Do something you are passionate about, enjoy it fully, food/music/love)
Conviction = Ring = Discernment (clean, recycle, repurpose, reorganize, settle the homestead) 

AND, we can enlighten experiences by helping to craft our game into reality and thus marketability. This would be like ... monthly? 1000xp each? No. Per session, 500 each.

Str = Sun = Radiance (outreach, media presence, marketing, promotion, enthusifying)
Wis = Moon = Inspiration (think of a new way to improve the game, any idea to add to to-do list)
Dex = Comets = Knight Moves (Errands/tasks/quests done for the sake of the game, to-do list)
Int = Stars = Write/Code/Record (Help put the story in a format that gets us paid, to-do list)
Con = Rainbows = Set & Setting (Improve gaming space/experience, share with group, $*)
Cha = Clouds = Art (maps, sketches, scribbles, music, themed rave, anything emotive)
Conviction = Ring = Discern (Improve upon/streamline an existing part of the game)

*Yes, I'll give out rainbows in exchange for cash and/or gaming books (it's all the same to me).

I don't mean to be demanding at all, just encouraging. The idea being that we all try to push ourselves to improve a bit each week. Obviously, I hope that people explore these practices however deeply they wish, but I'm not going to evaluate performance or duration or anything really. I was imagining a simple checklist that gets tallied up. Now that I'm in the midst of it all, I see it's a bookkeeping nightmare. I MUST FIX.

Ugh. I just... I've been playing these games for years, and I feel that there is a missed opportunity here somewhere to gently incentivize my friends to improve our lives over time. It's stuff that we all know we should be doing, so why not offer in game rewards to help us along?

Oh, the Enlightened XP! Sorry. It can get used to alter things within the game. Serendipitous magical effects. Synchronicities which the DM would arbitrate into the game. For example, your character is trapped in a cage and the DM says that the only thing you can get to is a little rock outside the bars and you hate it, so you want to expedite your escape. You tell the DM "I spend 500 rainbows and reach through the bars to see if the key to the lock might be behind that little rock.", now the DM might not grant the full wish, but you did just burn 500xp so something should happen, like finding a twisted bit of metal to pick the lock with. Also, I was thinking of allowing Enlightened XP to mitigate or remove the Mental Twists that build up over time as the character continues to level. They might also be spent to give bonuses to die rolls, give advantage/disadvantage, or perhaps increase ability scores. Meta-game sort of stuff, where the universe of the game bends to the will of (the Star Magi who fulfills the request of) the player. Maybe you can think of it like this... The players spend the Enlightened XP so that their future self can sneak back in time and put bits in place for their current self to find right now in the present. No? We could also tie it to magical item creation. Allow warriors to pour their xp into their favorite weapon in order to level it up into new abilities? So much to sort out.

P.S. And let's not minimize the psychological benefits of simply going around the table and hearing about everyone's real life achievements. Even if it's boiled down to a number. Habits and self-doubt don't change themselves, but over time positive reinforcement will sink down into the subconscious and encourage new adaptation.

July 31, 2019

On Fearlessness

Fearlessness is the natural human state. We have all forgotten. Brainwashed into our cult of culture, molded by social order, and trapped within ourselves by all the vocabulary that we lack. We have forgotten the old ways.

The universe is made of magic. We dream reality into existence, pulling it into the material by every art and craft at our disposal. The new is conceived before it is born. Imagine your desires with all the detail you can muster. Imagine it happening now. Put yourself there. Add more detail. Write it out. Do a vision board. Talk about it. Imagine the thing vividly, and then wind your words around it so that others might see the shape. Now, move toward the goal at a deliberate plodding pace. DO NOT SPRINT. Sprinting to goals equates to vulgar magic which will deplete reserves. You must move at a plodding pace so that the universe can meet you halfway. It will help you, if you are attentive enough to notice the opportunities as they arise. Be here now. This slower pace equates to subtle magic, the pulling of probability toward your favor, synchronicity, Luck.

Roadblocks, obstacles, and difficult people are.... fascinating, not infuriating. Say it with me... Fascinating! It's fun to say. You can say it super sarcastically or say just like Mr. Spock. You can even say it straight at an infantile with little repercussion. If however, you let the situation pull you into a place of anger, then you are pulling your probability curves toward a future with unrealized dreams.

The key to infinite magic is to stop doubting the intention of the attention.

Envision, Will, Work, Realize

I don't like doing Work. That's something I'm improving on now, but I'm just being honest. Dreams still take some effort. My magic plays with probability, not effortless outcomes. Maybe one day.
The Realize part is the bitter pill sometimes. When you realize your dream, that's great! Mostly though, I tend to realize that "oh, this thing is in the way of my dream"; so now I need to start a new working and Envision a way around this new obstacle.

And that's how it's done.

But now I need to do it FEARLESSLY!

.... and that's... a different kind of life. I'm not sure I'm prepared for living my life without a safety net... but fascinate that, that's just fear, right? Hmmm. It's still in me, the fear is. Perhaps it's best to take my own advice and plod my way to fearlessness, rather than leap off the canyon and pray.