31 May 2010

Hitting Level 30, with Cake

Been a while since my last post, again. Mostly because there's nothing much to report, unsurprisingly. Still playing that FFXIII, going on 70 hours according to the game's clock. Still liking and disliking aspects of it at the same time.

So, I just hit the big Three-Oh in that great game they call IRL. Blimey, what happened to the last decade? Spent it doing sod all, that's what. Anyway, I haven't really had a birthday 'party' in years, not counting a few family members over for cake. I thought reaching lvl 30 would be a suitable occasion for something a little more special. And what's my idea of something special? Inviting a big bunch of my geek friends over to play Dungeons & Dragons, of course!

While playing it was my suggestion, a friend offered to game master, conveniently having a ready concept in mind. It was the first time I've played D&D 3.5, although the scenario was pretty simple and light-hearted, of course. It was more like a board game, really, than the usual character/plot-driven RPG's we play. I still think I prefer classic 80's incarnations of the rules. Of course the skills, feats and whatnot give the rules some depth, but I'm not sure that's really called for in D&D. But the game was fun, especially since not being the DM I didn't need to bother much about the rules. :-D

Just for the record, I'm not planning to have ten people seated in our living room again any time soon. Although it might be a fun idea making this birthday game an annual event.

(And then there was cake, but that's another story.)

4 May 2010

A Short May the 4th Post

May the Fourth be with you!

In addition to it being Star Wars Day, it's also Day Against DRM. I'm not going to bore people with another rant about these things. Everyone already hates DRM, anyway, don't they? Just a reminder: you don't have to use products that utilise DRM!

'Just say no!' Boycott, and raise hell! Let them know we won't stand for it! The rights that count should be the rights of the common man. Most of all, reminder the silly buggers that there's no reason that sharing media should even be a threat. Quite the contrary, it's the best, if not only way to introduce stuff to new audiences and potential future buyers. Make a good product and they will come! Um, I guess I got a little ranty there anyway. I'll shut up now.

3 May 2010

Dreams & Gematria

Last night I dreamed about tagging mp3 files with the help of Wikipedia. As dreams go, this one was almost worryingly realistic. (As many people probably know, I do listen to plenty of music, and these days almost exclusively on my computer, so this is a common enough occurrence in my life. And I think I've complained before about the lousy job people do submitting file tags, and how I always need to correct them when ripping my CD's.)

The previous night, though, I dreamed about interplanetary travel. I only have very vague memories about this (they were rather vague already upon awakening), and I don't recall, for example, the method of travel, except that it appeared to be more or less instantaneous. One interesting detail I remembered, though, was that our own sun (or solar system) was given the number 28 in some kind of galactic index system.

Given my interest in the occult, a number associated with such an important cosmic feature as the sun naturally caught my interest, and called for a little looking into. Does the number 28 have any special significance, particularly in relation to the sun? (The importance of the sun itself, of course, both occult and otherwise, is obvious.)

One of the first things I noted was that 28 is a 'perfect number' (i.e. 'a positive integer that is the sum of its proper positive divisors'). It is only the second perfect number in order, the first being 6. And 6 of course has a connection with the sun, as the Sephirah associated with the sun is Tipharet, the sixth Sephirah.

In numerology, the digits of a number are commonly summed up to get a single digit number. Summing up the digits of 28 we get 10, which in turn leads to 1. Considering the Sephiroth, these are of course interesting numbers, the first Sephirah, Kether, being the source of existence, the pure light that illuminates the sun (which in turn illuminates the moon, thus forming the middle pillar of the Tree of Life.)

Still keeping with the Sethiroth, 28 is the mystic number of Netzach, the seventh Sephirah, which is associated with the planet Venus, and thus with nature, love, creativity etc. The connection to the sun isn't the most obvious, perhaps, but the sun is, of course, our source of energy, the prerequisite for life on planet Earth. The dream did of course occur close to May Day/Beltane, a celebration of the coming summer. (Interestingly, looking at my astrological charts, transiting Venus is also currently in conjunction with my natal Sun.)

Also, on the Tree of Life the 28th path is associated with Aquarius. Which of course raises the question of the so-called Age of Aquarius. This isn't a concept I've ever really spent much time exploring. It is obvious, of course, that a great change in society has occurred over the last century or so, and symbolic concepts like this (or Crowley's new Aeon of Horus, another name for a similar concept) are of course interesting. (The sun, of course, has already passed through Aquarius some time ago, even in sidereal charts, so there is no obvious current astrological symbolism here.)

Lastly, consulting Crowley et al.'s Sepher Sephiroth, we learn 28 is the gematric (qabalistic numerology) value of Hebrew words for 'clay', 'unity' and 'power'. The latter two, at least, seem to fit well with the sun.

Now, whether any of this actually means anything significant at all is a good question, of course. But thought exercises like these are always interesting.