Geocaching for Weirdness – 2

Bunny in a swing.

Part 1 is here.

Using the Randonautica app near home is impossible for me, due to the lack of reliable ceullar data service, but I kept reading posts on the Facebook page and on r/randonauts at Reddit.

Then two days ago I had some free time in Pueblo while M. was at an appointment, so I set an intention — a synchronicity related to one of my projects — and requested an “attractor” point.

It sent me to a street address a couple of miles from my location — in a neighborhood near where my mother and stepfather once lived, so I had a sense of it.

There hanging from a tree out front was this cast image of a rabbit, sitting in a little swing. Since one current project is using my scout cameras to try to get more small rodent photos, I called that a “hit.” ((If I get some good ones, they will be at the other blog. Right now I have just a series of rock squirrel videos.))

So what Randonautica really can be is a divination tool, like Tarot cards or the license plate of the car stopped in front of yours. Developers, users, and YouTubers toss the word “quantum” around in a way that would make a physicist cringe.((I am not a physicist either.)) They might as well say “spooky.” With Tarot, you hold an intention or a question in your mind while shuffling or cutting the cards; with Randonautica, you do it will waiting for the random-number generator to produce your destination.

One other thing: I thought people might stop saying that X has “gone viral” in these days of COVID-19, but I have seen it said about Randonautica. So many people have downloaded it and tried to use it that its server has just been overwhelmed with requests at times, leading to the apperance of failure and complaints of “I just get a white screen! It’s not working!”

But by analogy with other activities — geocaching included — most of those new users will probably satisfy their curiosity and move before too long.

Propagation, not Divination

With a snowstorm predicted, I snip the seed heads of yarrow plants.

Some are tossed in a little gully that stays moist in drought, others onto the tall grass over the dogs’ graves.

The stems I leave to rot.((A reference to how the I Ching was originally cast, through a sort of trance-inducing procedure of sorting yarrow stalks to determine the value of each line of the hexagram.))

You’re Using Too Many Cards and Other Tarot Stuff

You are using too many cards — and too many candles.

The title of this post was inspired by a recent post by Thorn Mooney on Oathbound: “The Celtic Cross is Kind of Terrible.”

Near as anyone can tell, the Celtic Cross comes out of the assorted Golden Dawn materials and was propagated (if not totally invented) by A.E. Waite in the early 20thcentury. Waite was super into the Holy Grail/Celtic religion thing and was, like many of his colleagues, invested in demonstrating how there was a great deal of commonality in the various schools of occult thought, intersecting with ancient religions, etc., etc. Nobody at the time was really above making weak claims as to the antiquity of assorted pieces of occult wisdom, and the Celtic Cross just sort of gently leached into the magical water supply as the tarot’s popularity grew.

Like Thorn, I started with the “little white book (LWB) that listed vague keywords for each card, the usual bullshit history about the totally ancient art of divination with tarot, and instructions on performing a reading with the ubiquitous Celtic Cross spread.

If you want to hear people doing cold readings with three-card spreads, listen to the consultation segments of the Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour podcasts. You might pick up a few tips on divination — and the card readers almost always all three-card spreads.

Unrelated rant. I was watching the miniseries version of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell recently and, once again, the candles! Were there enough beehives in England to make wax for all those candles? Remember, back then the lighting choices were candles handmade from beeswax, high-end oil lamps burning oil rendered from whale blubber, or simple wick-type lamps burning some kind of animal fat or olive oil. That was all! Petroleum-based lighting did not start in a big way until the 1860s.

But if you watch(ed)  it, give credit to the costumers and set designers. Those were some of the most authentic-looking c.1800 men’s britches I have ever seen. Note how the men’s styles break on generational lines. You are seeing the 17th-18th century fashion of wigs suddenly ending (except in court) in the space of a few years, and also a total change in women’s styles with the Neoclassical revival.

The interior spaces were done well in terms of furniture, colors, and the general level of crime. But too many candles.

Childermass’s Tarot cards were a treat though. Such a level of greasiness!

D&D in Ptolemaic Egypt

What were they doing with 20-sided dice? Here is one speculation:

The symbols for eta, theta, and epsilon can be clearly seen. Maybe it was used to determine which frat the ancients were going to pledge, but I’d like to think it was used to roll for hit points for warrior and sphinx classes. Now all we need is for someone to 3D-model this so we can print it out and make up our own ancient Egyptian version of D&D.

I suspect some kind of divination tool myself.