Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but for me & Jenny 2017 was a pretty great year. Here’s to another one just as good… if not better!

For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

The secular new year still starts off with a very auspicious placement of the full super-moon (or wolf moon) upon her “rightful throne” in Cancer while Mars is busy ruling Scorpio for the rest of the month, and Saturn who rules Capricorn will be at home there until 2020. More than a few signs are in their “rightful places” right now it seems… We’ll even get a blue moon (two full moons in the same month) on the last day of the month as well… I was actually curious about the moon’s placement during last night’s NYE festivities, and noticed it would actually be void of course until after 3 AM my time (so would last past even the West Coast’s 12:00 click over).

It made me wonder if this year’s ball-dropping ritual was unstable somehow (not that we actually bother to watch the ceremony any more), but while I was checking this astrological data on my phone (personally, I use the Ingresses astrology app as well as Moonreader by horos.co to plot when the moon is Void of Course) I’d happened to notice the time click over to 1:11 on 1/1/”11″ (2+0+1+8 = 11) and relaxed, taking that as a sign things remain in rhythm with a higher vibration and that all is right with the world.

And to celebrate the moon, I decided to chose the hour of the moon to perform my monthly Abundance Ritual today (I will additionally use the Hours app to quickly chart a day’s planetary hours). This even allowed me to start the ritual at 1:11 PM and finish before the moon’s hour was up. We already live in a state of Abundance that continues to somehow still incrementally improve… but as my imminent steps towards the next “uptick” involve the culmination of a lot of dreams and inspiration.. a lunar focus seemed appropriate for this particular round. In many ways I’ve already enjoyed a great deal of success in that regard, but I continue to have high hopes for the future.

It was also way cool to hear that Kevin Storm‘s band Heidevolk will be releasing their next album Vurr van Verzet later this month. Fingers crossed this may mean another US tour could be in the stars and that they’ll even end up playing a show in the general east coast vicinity of Baltimore so Kevin and I will get another chance to hang out for a while after the gig again. Their new stuff is really great, amazingly fun, and in general I totally love this sort of pagan metal. I’d be a fan of Heidevolk even if I wasn’t already friends with Kevin, and it’s awesome to see him and buddy Kuhn rocking out in this new music video.

If you pay attention, you can even see the I-Ching coin around Kevin’s neck. Anyone familiar with the Serial Artist book the two of us co-created will certainly recognize a correlation there… supposedly he’s got one of my Sigils of Infinite Fraternal Success on somewhere as well…

Kevin Storm of Heidevolk

Also… interest in my own YouTube Channel continues some slow but steady growth, with my initial Magick 101 – Introduction to the Fundamentals (Part 1) video cresting its 1,111th view this month. While on average it seems like less than one in six viewers actually make it through the four initial Introduction videos (with significant drop off after that), at least some people are finding that hour and a half of their time worthwhile… which makes it all worth it for me… and reminds me I have to start focusing on creating more of these video lectures at some point…

On a similar note, I’ve started to receive images and reference from The Friend that I’ll use as a guide for creating the cover image to her new book. Gotta keep a tight lid on it for now, but Jenny and I are hoping to have her over for dinner sometime in the near future, both to catch up as well as really tackle the info I’ll need to feel confident starting the painting. The goal is to have the piece completed before the Vernal Equinox.

I was also extremely pleased this week when on the most recent episode of the LaughFinder podcast the new surprise miniatures I’d made for a few of the guys that didn’t have new ones for this season were revealed. They also said some very kind things about me and my work, graciously plugged Blackspire Studios pretty damn hard, and Jim Meyer even dropped a hint about our upcoming Blackspire RPG Campaign podcast… so all in all I was really quite touched and encouraged.

Give it a listen, it all happens in the first ten minutes of the show…

Season 3 Episode 15 There’s No T.S.A. On New Mudvale

Hopefully these figures will serve the guys well in many tabletop battles to come. I also have a little surprise one for Jim’s character on LaughFinder as well, but as I’ll see him this weekend for the next Blackspire recording session, I’ll just give it to him then…

Nax the metallic shape-changer (the weekly guest’s character), Sobek Funmurder the vesk warrior, and Proteus BVR-PLZR the retired pleasure droid of Absalom Station (which is the emblem on the back of his jacket). All are PC characters in a Starfinder setting.

 

Proteus BVR-PLZR – I was going for Jude Law in AI meets Han Solo, meets James Dean. Naturally his laser pistol needed a “hot-rod” treatment… and a t-shirt professing the Power of Love… heh heh…

Sobek Funmurder… I’m such a nerd I recognized the reference to the Egyptian crocodile god before Bryan Preston explained it on the show… I’ll admit, I had fun painting this guy… as how could anything about someone named FUNMURDER be “over the top”? Originally a Reaper Miniatures fantasy figure from the Bones series, with *some* modifications… namely a Warhammer 40K style chain-sword.

And so naturally, I’ve been making my tweaks to my plans for the upcoming gaming session of the Blackspire RPG Campaign. As usual, I was afraid what I have planned sounds too simple in my head, but in practice will come off as too complicated for certain nuances to land with my players. But, I had a really great chat with Aaron this week, and after it took almost an hour to explain my set up, I was satisfied I had enough moving parts, and he helped me realize which of the five or six of those moving parts were most crucial to control the revelations of… so now I feel like I’ve got a pretty good grasp on my next scenario… but time alone will tell how much that will wind up mattering in the end.

It’s not really like me, but before Saturday’s game I’m thinking I need to take all my “hey, before we get started notes…” and distill all that info into some sort of pre-written intro paragraph that I’ll use to set the opening scene of next game. Normally I’m loathe to prepare any kind of “flavor text” for a game, but one, I’m recording this stuff for public consumption now, so where I have natural opportunities to up the content level of the show I should probably do it… and two, I’ve got a lot to cover that doesn’t relate directly to what’s going on (but could) and I don’t want to forget anything important I’ve been meaning to introduce. I want to continue to expand the world’s context for the potential listener without resorting to full on exposition… but something like this is typically accepting RPG etiquette.

But speaking of exposition… and of write ups… I finally tackled my introduction material that I’ll use to open the Season Zero podcast episodes which will comprise the full summaries of the Pre-Series History recaps. I really knew I didn’t have it in me to just press record, start rambling, and hope to have anything that would sound even remotely professional. One thing I’ve felt lacking was any kind of concise format that synthesized the whole point behind this blog, namely Art & Magick, Cimics & Gaming… and how they tie together. I figured the podcast’s introduction would be the perfect place to just go all in, put my cards and the table, and come clean (in part anyway…) about what it is I’m basically up to.

But I had way too many bases to cover, and too much information that I felt was important to cover that I didn’t want to risk omitting. Plus, giving myself time to agonize over the specific wording of a script gives me a much better chance of coming off like I know what I’m talking about… It took some doing, but I managed to get it down to about six and a half pages worth of preamble before I actually get into any campaign-specific material. I’m actually fairly satisfied with it overall… enough that I’m OK to use it to start recording soon (and certain parts can even be reused for outros of future episodes and the like). I’ll also use it as the text for the main landing page for Blackspire on this site, which should serve nicely (at least as a placeholder) for now.

And finally… it’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since Jenny and I were in Iceland. And since we didn’t take a vacation this year, we decided to dip into that fund a bit and treat ourselves to a five star meal where we order anything off the menu we wanted. Jenny insisted we chose the Prime Rib, which of course I’d heard of, but had never been to… and as an amateur (yet passionate) connoisseur of all things steak I was anxious to experience it. We cleaned up all nice and classy for our sexy married date night and set forth on what we were confident would be a night of exquisite fine dining.

What I didn’t expect was to have something closer to a religious experience.

While everything about the restaurant and its staff was top notch… as I said, no item on the menu was off limits… and I could not resist the opportunity to try The Prime Rib Steak (a 28 oz. Bone-In Ribeye)… medium-rare of course. I’m really not the sort to take a photo of a meal I didn’t prepare myself… and particularly in a restaurant (especially one so fancy) it felt tacky, but I’ll admit I fought hard to resist the urge to document such a meal.

I found myself facing down the realization that this may well have been the best steak, and thus the best meal, I’d ever had in my life. It was a thing of beauty, as only a true steak lover can know… and I found myself wondering if I would ever see its like again.

It is ZAGAT’s #1 rated steak house after all… I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, I love Morton’s, and Ruth’s Chris is always fun… but Prime Rib has now branded a permanent heart-shaped sigil on my soul.

 

 

Monday 1/1/18-

Sun: Capricorn–

Moon: Cancer (Full)

If you’d like to start from the “beginning” of all this… you can read from my first blog post.

For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.

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