EROFT Week 1: Electronic Altar

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This weeks’ Card Reading:

I’ve decided to go with an Astrological Spread since it doesn’t need a question before doing it, and I think I am going to keep doing this spread as we go on.

Inferences  and meanings come from BiddyTarot (my usual online go-to), Psychic Revelation, and Truly Teach Me Tarot. Reading through each three and just trying to find some common ground on themes, and seeing how it relates to my life. (My books are at home and I wasn’t going to be leaving until the 16th/17th and didn’t want to put this off.

  • Self: 8 of Wands Reversed.  Frustration, delays, being held back. Being overstretched with pressure. Patience and a moment’s rest advised.   As I have done this the day of the snowstorm, I could say this is fairly apt to my current self.
  • Aries (Current Mood): Page of Pentacles. A drive to work through even the tedious of objectives. New  beginnings, either creatively, career wise, or finance. Progress through hard work. Likewise, I have hit a block in research and work on my homework and trying.
  • Taurus (Finances):  9 of Wands. Courage, persistence, resilience, but also anxiety. Perhaps worrying too much? Too little? I am not sure.
  • Gemini (Travel and communication): 2 of Swords. Indecision, denial, choices, truce, stalemate, blocked emotions. Or seeking balance.  Perhaps indecision with regards to the project I having issues wil alluded by the other cards?
  • Cancer (Home, family):  King of Cups Reversed. Emotional manipulation, moodiness, volatility, stress, unsupportive.  One site suggests I look into my goals and think about how to reach them. Not sure how this portents with home.
  • Leo (Pleasure): Strength Reversed. Weakness, self-doubt, lack of discipline. May not have you heart in things. I suppose there is some truth in that but I cannot relate in the realm of pleasure or enjoyment.
  • Virgo (Health):  Temperance. Balance, moderation, patience, purpose (spiritual or otherwise). Looking into deeper issues and find a balance. Well this certain ties into the overworking and such.
  • Libra (Partnerships): 7 of Cups. Illusion, wishful thinking, fantasy, disorganization and lack of locus, self-examination, looking inward. Perhaps it means I should look inward towards my relationships, step back and try to settle things?
  • Scorpio (Death and Inheritance):  Vision, entrepreneur, honor, ongoing drive to move forward against all obstacles, abundance of positive energy or support from male figures. As someone with nothing to inherit, I guess it’s a reminder I’m not getting diddly squat  I gotta continue chugging along to make my way?
  • Sagittarius (Spirituality, Education, and Dreams):  Judgement. : Rebirth, renewal, inner calling, absolution.  Marking a new spiritual awakening but also trying not to jump to conclusions. Maybe this class is bringing back old thoughts and ideas?
  • Capricorn (Career): Empress. Fertility, femininity, beauty, nature, abundance, the arts. Advising to nature things, the possibility of people attracted to you. I can only take this is a possibility of new opportunities to get my foot in the door towards a career I want? A new job? All I can think is this is a positive omen.
  • Aquarius (friendship): 10 of Swords. Endings, betrayal, rock bottom, moving on, finality, letting go. I would interpret it as a friendship ending, which given some  things I know that is going on in my personal life and the 7 of Cups, perhaps it is very likely to happen.
  • Pisces (Burdens, opposition, fears): Magician Reversed. Reversed: Manipulation, poor planning, latent talents. Self-doubt out overlooking synchronicities—or the adjacent possible in regards to us ITPers. Inability to articulate ideas. Procrastination, frustration, distraction.  Perhaps part of the cause of my current situation with one of my projects?

I am not sure how accurate I would describe this, it feels very hit or miss, or perhaps I’m just the newbie and still need to get the hand of things.

Project:

So out of the readings that inspired me the most, the one that stuck out most was the article over the occult battle of those trying to bind Trump and 4Chan’s new order of Kek. As such I was thinking about images, memes as a sort of sigil used in chaos magic, or some sort of poppet or stand in with sympathetic magic.  Or even some sort of physical manifestation of an eregore. As with everything it can be used with good and bad intentions.

I was thinking how one could go further, and manipulate metadata with a spell, or some sort of note of intent and protection and warning against those who might use it against it unoriginal intention. Also having a chat with Audie ( a friend of mine who is also practicing Pagan and a programmer/technologist– which you will likely hear a lot about over the next few weeks.) we were also talking about coding as spellwork as well, although not sure how to go about with it. And as well as to make my first idea an ‘electronic’ ritual.

Another one was following along the lines perhaps of taking ‘electronic’ literally.  Digitally designed sigils either as part of working circuits or simply as wearable amulets or additions for the modern altar. After all, magic and technology have an interesting relationship, and I’m a sucker for cyberpunk/technomancy things. This one seemed more easier to achieve.

So my electronic ‘ritual’ originally  was a ‘cleansing’ for a new age, a board one can connect via usb for their virtual rituals. I could not get the usb port working on the prototype, so I went with just a battery powered ‘portable’ altar, or ‘spell board’.

So very basic materials for the rite—a candle (in this case a flickering LED to mimic fire), salt, and a clear quartz crystal (lit up with another white LED.)

All the parts!

                                                                                                                               

Original Eagle file and schematic.

Breadboard Prototype.

So my intention was to make the circuit the sigil, but being that Eagle isn’t so great and there are limitations, I’ve decided to add them to the board on Illustrator to be acid etched into the board with the circuit.

For this part I researched into pre-ordained protection symbols, consulting other people about their practice, and contemplating if it was better off to draw my own as compared to using others?

So consulting my friend and sigil smith, Audie, we discussed what could work well with this. We decided we would chat over skype to maintain a ‘digital’ presence while we worked on this sigil together. A collaboration of ideas and intentions. Since they are also very much into inserting modern technology, programming and electronics into ritual. This a great help since I was very caught up with making this respectfully, and what symbols to use and keeping my intention clear as it is created.

We came to the conclusion to start with an asterisk as the central piece of the design as it is a common symbol for password, a sort of digital protection.  And in Audie’s sigil correspondences it unifies sigils for control, cleansing, and protection—an all-in-one. It is also a symbol of multiplication—amplifying the intention of the user, the protection of the sigil, and is also in the sense of programming a wildcard, allowing many possibilities for use.

The asterisk could also be the spokes of a wheel/gear with the teeth positioned over the spokes, of which unrolled, could be a square wave, which is used to represent organized, methodical energy.

So the ‘ritualistic’ part was the actual crafting. It was more of the willing or charging sort, focusing on the intention of the sigil (protection, positivity), while throughout my craft.

So I followed my thus far successful process for getting the toner on the board: laminate it five times horizontally and vertically (for a total of ten passes through the machine), ironed it for two whole minutes (one minute going clockwise, the other counter clockwise), then laminated it another two times each (for a total of four more passes), before removing the vinyl from the copper.

Took it to the shop to acid etch, and used the time like always do to reflect and meditate, keeping the focus on the intention still. Imagining the acid taking away the negativity from it all. Finally, I drilled the holes in with both drill presses, removed the toner and soldered in the parts.

And here is the finished piece!

Some things to note, despite some errors (will get to that in a bit), this is my first circuit ever to work without issue from breadboard to fabricating the physical prototype!

So the errors! First my power and ground lines are set so that the batter is mounted on the bottom, I thought that was an error on my part but then realized it may not have meant to be top mounted with the copper on top. (also my screw holes were off, hence the tape.)

The original from Eagle (left), and my new placement(right).

The other thing was, silly me,  should have made them go to separate grounds to be be in parallel rather than in series. So the crystal;s LED flickers with the candle LED.

 

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