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New Year of DMK

To: alt.magick
From: Rick 
Subject: Re: New Year of DMK
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 20:39:45 GMT

Aethron wrote:

> Back in 98, a bunch of people went through Modern Magick together, using
> e-groups as their communication method.  I would be interested in organizing
> another group to do this in 2002.  Would anyone else out there be interested?
> If so, e-mail me please at aethron@aol.com.  Also, any advice from someone who
> was in the 98 group on the best way to go about this would be helpful.
 

I was among the 98 group. One of our number acted as secretary for the
project and posted a summary history of the group's year. I suggest
reading his summary, which as I recall is quite accurate though very
light on detail: 

http://www.solemnus.org/yeardmk.htm

I also sat in on a 2000-2001 project, which highlighted some of the
problems that can arise with something like this, so here's my
opinionated advice:

1. The potential value of any course of study is directly related to the
degree of commitment to the course and the degree to which that
commitment is honored. 

I advise composing a standard commitment statement and getting all
prospective participants to agree to it. The minimum commitments I would
require would include: daily ritual practice as prescribed in the
course; agreeing to use standard course material, i.e. all members using
the same tarot deck for the daily tarot contemplation, readings directly
related to coursework, etc. (tarot deck selection can be accomplished by
vote but once the majority has chosen all must use that deck for the
remainder of the course); and in general, all members agreeing up front
to abide by course-related decisions arrived at by majority vote,
including booting members that are considered disruptive by the
majority.

2. The 98 group went with a chapter-a-month approach which turned out to
be fairly unrealistic, everyone progressing at an individual pace after
the 3rd month or so (see the summary for a sense of the timing
problems). 

I suggest a more flexible approach at the outset. We decided that
discussion would continue pretty much on the chapter-a-month schedule no
matter where participants were in the course. I think that letting
discussion get ahead of the practical placement of so many of the
members had a deleterious effect. You might want to simply call a
periodic vote to decide when to proceed to the next chapter and just go
with majority decisions. The fast-paced students can hold off discussion
of advanced topics until the majority of the group is ready to discuss
those topics. I think it's better to let the advanced wait than to force
the slower-paced to listen. Those getting ahead of the group can always
discuss whatever they want to discuss in other forums.  

3. No element of the course should be omitted or glossed over.

Some people will not see the value of Liber Resh, the Supreme Invoking
Ritual or the Pentagram, or the elemental meditations for example, and
might be tempted to pick and choose among course prescriptions. I would
strongly admonish participants to do the work as prescribed and in the
order presented, perhaps by including appropriate language in the
commitment statement to do so and then enforcing such by social sanction
(as much as is possible) from the group throughout the course. You've
all got to be doing the same things pretty much at the same time, and
omitting this or that will divide the group in unpredictable ways. 

4. All members, as much as is possible, should adopt a group attitude
and should display group behavior in terms of the course and in relating
to one another. Magical progress is not at all dependent on being part
of a group, but there are elements of group dynamics that provide
something unique, which can not be had any other way and should not be
undervalued. An email group is decidedly different from a fleshy group,
but you can make the most of it none-the-less. This could be supported
by committing to respectful correspondence and honoring group decisions,
but should also extend to honoring anonymity and other individual
concerns. Thinking of it as a brotherhood/sisterhood has definite
advantages. Each member should commit to supporting each other member to
the fullest extent possible, whether they later decide that they do or
do not like an individual participant. Commit to treat each participant
as a mystical/spiritual brother or sister throughout the course. 

5. There should be no leader or authority at the outset or throughout
the project. Each member should enjoy equal status and all decisions
should be made by initial consent to majority rule and subsequent
voting. 

6. Allow two or three months to gather your party, make regular
recruiting posts in conspicuous places with updates on the number of
participants enrolled thus far, decide on a start date and set a cutoff
date to join (maybe a month prior to the official start date), and stick
to those dates. Don't allow late joiners and don't make any major
decisions about group activity or procedure prior to the cutoff-join
date. That will give the official group a month (or whatever you decide)
to iron out the details and procedures, to choose a group tarot deck,
etc., to gather the requisite materials, and to mentally prepare for the
work.

7. Finally, I would set a firm end date, no matter how far along the
group has progressed by that date. A year seems the appropriate time
commitment to me, and even if the group has only gone through two or
three chapters by that time, I would disband the group. If some
participants want to continue after that they can form a new group with
a new start and end date for that purpose.

I think everyone that finished the 98 DMK-year benefited greatly from
the association in some way or another, and most that started but
dropped out before the year was up gained from it too. I can't overstate
the importance of adopting a group mentality for the project. No group
mind ever emerged from the DMK-2000 project, and I think the members of
that project accomplished less (on the whole) than the 98 group
accomplished (of course some individual participants of the 2000 project
may have accomplished more). You could as well go through the course by
yourself and post your questions and comments to public forums if you
want to. But if you're going to form a group, make it a real group (as
much as is possible through electronic media).              

Good luck,
-- 
Rick

http://home.earthlink.net/~iopan/

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