Grimoire of Geek: A Blog of Arteful Enchantment and Nostalgic Nerdgasms.

Focusing on the Arte Magical as a practice and profession, we study various facets of magic through the lens of both classical and modern perspective. From ancient myth to urban legend to fiction and philosophy, all viewed through the eyes of a very practical magician.

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S. Rune Emerson

S. Rune Emerson

S. Rune Emerson has been practicing witchcraft and sorcery since the early 90's, and has been teaching since 2004. He is the founder of the Risting Tradition of American Witchcraft, which is a large title for a small local tradition based in Northern Nevada. He also heads a coven tradition called the Cabal of Nocturne, and works as a diviner at Pathways Spirit, a metaphysical shop in Reno.

He likes to describe his life as "extraordinarily simple." He is fond of observing that magic as a profession is the somewhat honest alternative to those of the same mindset as criminals- smart, lazy, and prone towards thinking outside the box, often in areas of questionable morality. He believes in a strong standard of accountability in magical practice, and has very strict ethics. He's also very opinionated about nearly everything.

Now, I know a lot of people like to tout Samhain as the pagan new year, but for me, my year always sort of starts on Imbolc.  I think of it as "time to make the doughnuts," in a way.  It marks the end of my hibernation.

This year in particular is going to be a very big one for me- it marks the biggest Witchcraft 101 class I've taught in ten years, and it also marks the last of that series I'll be teaching for a while.  For the last decade, I've dedicated myself to the education of witches in the basics, teaching everything from healing and conjuration to ritual practice and different models of deity work.

I've had a huge love for this work.  It has been the single most rewarding thing about my career- the ability to watch people come to know the wonder inside of them, to help them grow into gifts and strengths they didn't know they had.  It's been a blessing.

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Magic has been a part of my life since I was a kid.  When I was in first grade, my sister and I used to share our dreams, and hers were always eerily prophetic.  I had a couple of "invisible friends" in second grade who used to ferret out secrets from people and tell them to me.  We were the only kids who visited the "neighborhood witch," who was really just a nice lady with a really neat house and a fear of people.

The thing is, we grew up in an environment of sharing where magic was concerned.  It never occurred to us to hide it, because my mother encouraged us to be open and honest about our experiences.  She herself had grown up in a climate of silence about the uncanny, and she hated it, so she raised us differently.  The damage had been done where she was concerned, but she was determined not to have the same thing happen to us.

So... we were the witch children.  When other kids talked in hushed tones about ghosts, we chanted Bloody Mary without any fear, and confidently told others that they had nothing to worry about.  When we were teens, we watched that 90's movie the Craft, and we knew we could do better than Nancy did, that we were all as good as Sarah.  We didn't buy a Parker Bros. Ouija board- we made our own.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Enjoyed this a lot, Rune - especially the repeated maxim that "The problem with gnosis is, it's not truth. It's not meant to expl
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Oh, absolutely! I've got a few Tumblr friends who work with the Tolkien mythos as part of their practice. I'm a big fan of their

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Season's Greetings from the Geekomancer's desk, everyone! 

Now, I know this season is not always holly-jolly for everyone, sometimes thanks to religious issues or philosophical differences, sometimes due to more practical or emotional concerns.  That's why I thought it might be helpful to show you how this pop culture witch celebrates the Winter Solstice, in hopes that it will assist you in finding new and innovative ways to deal with this, the most (expletive) time of the year.

As some of you may know, I am a former Grinch/Scrooge/whatever.  I used to have a very hard time with the holidays, and only by the grace of a very persistent friend with diabolical cookie powers am I able to now enjoy the Holiday Spirit without flinching.  That being said, I'm still a very non-standard pagan, and my witchcraft is unorthodox even to other witches.  So, it took me quite a while to find (really, build from semi-scratch) a way for me to relate to and celebrate the season.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Not too long ago, I worked a booth at a local anime convention, where we sold magically useful things for people who practice geekomancy.  I also read cards and dice from my various geek-centric magical traditions, and actually did really well.  I could wish every gig was that successful (although really I've had pretty great luck with events, to be honest).

Anyway, I was chatting with a friend of mine about it, and he brought up a question that I think he'd been meaning to ask me for a while.  We've been friends for a long time, studied quite a bit in the same vein, and he never really "got it."

The geekomancy, that is.

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    I'm a big time geek (heck my company makes video games) and I have thought about the idea of getting more geek in my magic. Now .
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    All the reasons you mentioned are true for me as well.
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Awesome!

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I told you all in my previous article on wands that they were my favorite tool, and I wasn't kidding.  I've always loved the idea of waving a wand and casting a spell.  I used to carry around wands, staves, and rods as a kid- some made of driftwood, some more ornate deals of crystal and metal.  It helps having a mother who was a sci-fi fan and also essentially pagan, when one is secretly training to become a first-class sorcerer and witch.  That was my ambition as a child, and honestly I'm rather happy with how things turned out.

But I digress- the point is, I've had wands of all shapes and sizes since I was very young.  And one thing always used to drive me crazy about them.

There wasn't ever an instruction manual on how to use them!

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Magicians don't curse people often enough anymore.

Now now, I know that's a controversial and possibly alarming opinion, but bear with me.

It is early in the morning on the day Samhain begins.  According to my tradition, the Hallows don't actually start until sunset today; from sunset on the 31st of October to morning on November 3rd, the Sabbat possesses the world.

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  • ursula
    ursula says #
    Very well said and well written. I love the perspective as a whole and especially the analogy of Ereshkigal's hook.... this whole

This week has been very busy here in Geek Central, NV.  Pokemon X and Y just came out, and three of us have been exploring the wild world of strange talking animals for quite a while.  This isn't actually terribly unique, considering that six months out of the year, there's a heavy amount of obsession over My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

In this house, a geeky obsession is more than a sudden-and-inevitable commitment of time and finances.  It's a chance at initiation into some of the magicks of the world.

While sitting here and watching two of my boys froth over their Pokemon battles, I myself was exploring the online wikis for these games, learning about their legends.  There were, of course, the expected stats: growth and evolution progressions, abilities and special skills, elemental types...

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Idea originally taken and adapted from asksecularwitch on Tumblr.


1. As a Geekomancer or Practitioner of Geekomancy, where do your moral and ethics come from?

 

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  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    When I wrote Pop Culture Magick, I got a lot of flak for it. It's truly nice to see pop culture magic (or Geekomancy as you call
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Cool, feel free! I happened to like Pop Culture Magick, btw!
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    I'm glad you like it! I'm actually working on Pop Culture Magic 2.0. So much has changed in the last ten years, it's time to updat

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Wow, it's been over a month since I last blogged.  *chuckles*  Whoops!

Truthfully, most of my activity has been over at my Tumblr, but even so... lots of life interruptus.  But hey, a busy life means plenty to write about when you have time.

For example, today's focus is on Samhain and Sabbats in general, but also on the concept of Darkness and what it means to people in the magical world.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

So I'm curious- how many of you are tabletop gamers?  You know, pen-and-paper RPGs, dice, maybe some figurines or what-have-you?

Because I'm a HUGE gamer.  As in four times a week, in some cases.  If you haven't realized that from my blog, then I'm telling you now.

Around here at Grimoire of Geek, we talk a lot about various kinds of fandoms and how they can become part of your magical practice.  We also like to talk about other geeky subjects, controversial subjects to do with our gods and how we relate to them, and where your magic comes from.  We're geeks- we dissect and analyze things, and then we geek out over the details.  It's a thing.

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  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    A Book you might find interesting is What video Games have to teach us about Learning and Literacy by Paul Gee. I know you aren't
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Ooh, I haven't! I liked Real Magic, but I didn't get into Authentic Thaumaturgy- where can I find it? And I completely agree abo
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Thaumaturgy-Isaac-Bonewits/dp/1556343604/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377804273&sr=8-1&keywords=authent

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

As promised, I'm writing on the subject of wands.  Sort of.

So throughout the series of Harry Potter, they drop little hints of what they later call "wandlore" for our consideration; wanding woods and wand cores, length and how bendy or firm it is (to be honest, none of them looked terribly bendy in the movies), eventually even getting into things like Priori Incantatum and wand loyalties.

The interesting thing for me is the dichotomy they demonstrate- the wands have their own power, but so does a wizard, regardless of their wand.  Wandless spells, nonverbal spells, and strange magical abilities such as those possessed by Seers, Metamorphmagi, and Animagi.

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  • G. B. Harte
    G. B. Harte says #
    Energy. Perhaps I am just having another very-quiet 'fuzz-out' day but is it even possible to have 'energy/energies' (of whatever
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Precisely- "energy" is either an adjective or a noun, a descriptor or a subject! As to your other questions- The "Atlantean Powe
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your post. I tend to experience relationship with most things we call objects and try to be mindful of our collabora

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Yes, the title of this article is a Harry Potter reference.  It should come as no surprise to anyone who's read this blog much at all that a number of my friends and I are diehard Harry Potter fans.  Of all the wands I own (and there are a LOT, I'm sort of obsessed with the things), my favorite is an Alivans Ebony wand.  And yes, I do use it for real magic- I find it hard not to.

Amongst the local pagan community, we often joke about "waiting for that Hogwarts letter," and we regularly ask each other what House we belong to, occasionally resorting to testing each other with quizzes if we're uncertain.  I even have a pointy black hat that I use when we're playing around- not only is it terribly fashionable (and I wear it everywhere), but it's useful as a focus object during these games, which are about 50% silly and 50% serious consideration.

I bring this up tonight because it seemed pertinent to me.  I've observed a lot of contention and strife in the online and local community lately, and I thought I might offer something of an understanding I've come to in recent years.

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  • Áine
    Áine says #
    Wonderful post - particularly as I too am a Slytherin. As a fellow Potter nut I've always found the four houses to be a fascinati
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Thank you, Áine! I pretty much felt the same- particularly when I started recognizing references Jo Rowling used in her books. I
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Reviews/HarryPotter/Docs/Quiz-House.html says that I'm Hufflepuff, too. Fun stuff! (Of course some

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I apologize if this article is triggery to any of you, as it represents a departure from some of the more light-hearted blog posts I've been writing.  It's not the norm for this blog, but I felt it needed to be said.

So, posted a marvelous blog article on whether one's paganism is really very transgender/genderqueer friendly.  I'm sharing it here.

http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/is-your-paganism-really-that-accepting-of-the-ts-tg-community.html

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  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    I agree the soul has no gender. But patriarchy spiritulaity is based on gender. That is why many women latched on to women's spir
  • Per
    Per says #
    I have also had a similar experience. I dont understand gender in spiritual work, my spirit dont have a gendar. I dont understand
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    I went to First PantheaCon and didn't go back until I had a booth, but, I was there the first year of the blowup. I'm probably old

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

So, I wanted to take this moment to remind you guys that I have a Tumblr acct where I'm posting various kinds of geeky magical articles.  Primarily, I'm going to use the Tumblr for my weird divination spreads and odd little slices of my own magical practice, and I plan on using this blog to bring up subjects I find valuable and discuss them.  It's far easier to have discussions on here than on Tumblr, I find.  I'm not sure why- I'm thinking I haven't mastered all the Tumblr magicks yet.  *chuckles*

Anyway, here's that link:

http://runewynd.tumblr.com/

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So, about a year ago I was having a conversation with my friend Christopher and a host of others, and we were talking about something very interesting he had heard about.

It's called "the wizard's game."  It's a sort of trick old Pagans and occultists play on each other.  I may have mentioned it in my previous blog posts, but here's a simple recap: a new person enters into a conversation on a subject she or he are very new to and enthusiastic about.  However, this person, we'll refer to the person as "he" for the rest of this analogy, is a bit of a showoff or a know-it-all, or is perhaps espousing some sort of shallow theory as fact.

In any case, they enter the conversation all full of verve and self-righteous "knowledge," which is nearly always designed to irritate people of all kinds, be they "in the know" or not.

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  • BethZamiEl Closas
    BethZamiEl Closas says #
    Indeed we find our way in our own time, you guys are very lucky since you have all the literature and teachers you can find. At le
  • Sophie Gale
    Sophie Gale says #
    You would like "Re-Thinking the Watchtowers or 13 Reasons Air Should Be In The North" by Mike Nichols. http://www.witchessabbats.
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    *nods* I've read it, actually. I do like it, although I don't personally practice elemental magic in this manner. It's a well

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I ran across this article today, and thought I'd share it. 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanandpaganrituals/a/TeachingOthers.htm

It makes for an interesting and important thought that I try to keep at the forefront of my mind when I do my work.

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  • Naya Aerodiode
    Naya Aerodiode says #
    I studied and apprenticed under my own HP and HPS for over a decade before earning my third degree and forming my own coven. Thou
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Sorry it took so long to comment- I've had a crazy week. However, I really like your use of the eagle as a symbol. And I love yo

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

So, my friend Christopher Penczak wrote something on the whole "are the gods real or not" fiasco, which in my experience has been a tired argument since we started having it.

You can find the link here:

http://templeofwitchcraft.org/the-clash-of-the-polytheists/

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  • Stephanie Noble
    Stephanie Noble says #
    Thank you so much for this. I agree completely and I don't feel it could have been put any better. What drew me and many others to
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    I couldn't agree more, Stephanie. Pretty much the only time I feel the need to step in and 'correct' someone is if they're tryi

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

It's probably no surprise that I'm a huge fan of parodies and satire, or the various "-ifications" on the net (yes, I know that's not a word, I'm using it anyway).

I really enjoy it when people get creative about their interpretations of things- the creative world is too broad and vast for us to get terribly proprietary over our ideas.  Copyright infringement and patent laws and such really bug me.  Of course, I like the reversal of such things, like Repo: the Genetic Opera, which is not even terribly tongue in cheek in its commentary on commercialism in health care.

The reason I enjoy these things, far beyond the satirical and political commentary holding people accountable through mockery, is the actual creative genius of world-building.  Taking a simple trope or theme, like maybe a memorable scene from a movie or book, and recreating it as a sitcom episode with the cast of Friends, for example.

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  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    It's only suggested by the title of your post, but have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54VJWHL2K3I (I'm a gamer
  • S. Rune Emerson
    S. Rune Emerson says #
    Actually, I put that link in the post, although apparently the video is having a problem. *chuckles* But yes, I felt it was ter
  • Laine
    Laine says #
    It's nice to see that others have witnessed the interplay between story and world and spirit wherein it concerns roleplaying games

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

 

Warning: strong language is comedically used here, so this may be NSFW for some of you.

So some of you have been asking about the Sabbat story I was talking about in my previous blog post, Arguing with the Gods. There's been interest in what actually happened with that ritual. I have to admit it's a pretty funny story, so I decided to share it here.

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"Thou shalt not bend thy knee to man or beast, spirit or god- only the Eldest deserve such reverence, and they neither desire nor require it." -Anonymous

 

The person who first stated the quote above was never identified by my teacher, so if any of you know where it came from, please tell me in the comments. At this point, I've heard it so many times in the Craft circles I've traveled in, it may as well be attached to Cher or Whitney Houston for all I know. It's just always been a part of my practice- a cat can look at a king, and a witch doesn't bow her head or bend his knee. We offer the same respect we receive, and we consider all beings worthy of respect, including ourselves.

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  • Erica Shadowsong
    Erica Shadowsong says #
    My use of the word "slavish" is not really what I'd like, but it was the only word I could think of to come close to what I meant.
  • Candi
    Candi says #
    I too, disbelieve in slavish devotion to the Gods. According to the ancient Romans (whose religious practices I study), such a th
  • Erica Shadowsong
    Erica Shadowsong says #
    I GREATLY appreciate this. You said it better than I feel I could, even though I've been contemplating this very thing. I am not

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