What's going wrong....?
Apart from what I can see, there is and always has been, a devoted hardcore few LAShTALians that have engaged and been here. Giving their own, extremely valuable viewpoints on everything, Thelemic based or Aleister Crowley related.
This place has started to get very very quiet... On a shed load of fronts. So much so that the pieces of historic value, are the only reason I come back.
Something shifted, something changed, when the previous revision of the forums happened.
People didn't come back, apart from the hardcore... The rest still slink, un pronounced, in the darkness.
All those people, who remain silent, dis engaged, separate, your thoughts, your words, your responses are what we need.
Please involve yourselves, before I stop.
Don't be sad. This forum is still very fascinating and I don't think that we are losing members. I think we are in a short period of silence wherein a lot of members are busy with their own spiritual and mundane pursuits.
I for one am extremely busy with my personal A.:.A.:. work and don't feel the need to post about it, or any questions about AC , or thoughts about AC, on the forum currently ,because it would all be inappropriate to other members in regards to 'generally interesting' information such as one would post on a forum, or it would be information received under oath , and I also don't post much for or a myriad of reasons such as being newly wed.
That said, I really enjoy reading your posts about AC snippets online, and I am following the threads with interest, I just don't have much to add. I hope you continue to contribute and others do as well.
I have the feeling that in a half year or so I will be able to add a lot to this site.
As we all know, interest in Crowley draws out vein upon vein, layer upon layer, of more interesting gnosis, interest, and information as we all grow together.
Nothing is wrong. The vision for our Society, as I understand it, is one of a rigorous understanding of AC. I implore you to stand fast, because otherwise I won't either. I've seen many little waves come through here, but we've always had the big ones. Don't freak out. We'll be ok.
There's nothing wrong so far as I can see. The forums have always gone through periods of activity alternating with periods of slowness. I have noticed over the years that when the membership of a fairly active poster (in this case Jamie Barter) is terminated, then there is a period of relative silence for a while.
So no need to urge more activity in the forums, in my opinion; this will occur naturally.
There are some very exciting rumours circulating at the moment about imminent AC publications, not to mention a very significant piece of news relating to Ankhefenkhons I due next month, so things are likely to develop here very soon.
If the many emails I received from members frustrated by the ex-member's trolling activity are anything to go by, some of the more prominent members were keeping a low profile to avoid snide remarks and ridicule. That has been sorted through more robust moderation and we may well see more activity as a result.
In terms of visitor numbers, the site has never been more popular and if you actually look at interactions through the Forums and on related LAShTAL.COM social media you'll find that there's plenty going on.
My advice is to stick with it - @ptoner's forum posts are always welcome - but there are other sites well worth checking out if this one no longer serves individual members' needs.
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",., not to mention a very significant piece of news relating to Ankhefenkhons I due next month, so things are likely to develop here very soon."
That is exciting. Do you have any idea what they've uncovered? I know that you, Paul, have spent alot of time there. Perhaps you could give us a hint?
For fear of being accused once again of failing to divulge everything the minute I hear it (!) I can say that I am reliably informed that there will be an announcement in May regarding the Temple of Mentu, access to which has recently been re-enabled for tourists. As you know, Ankefenkhons I was a priest of Mentu around 725 BCE. The information relates to Ankhefenkhons himself and also his parents, Bes-en-Mut I and Ta-neshet. My source is working at Karnak and I am sufficiently intrigued to have made plans to return for the umpteenth time to Luxor in late May this year.
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As you know, Ankefenkhons I was a priest of Mentu around 725 BCE.
Actually, that's incorrect; Ankh-f-n-khonsu I lived around 1000 BCE. The coffin of Ankh-f-n-khonsu at the Cairo Museum belongs to one of the first Ankh-f-n-khonsu, while the Stele of Revealing belongs to one of his ancestors. I researched the matter a few months ago, but assumed it was common knowledge. If you like, I'll pull my notes together and make the data available in a separate post.
That would be interesting, thank you. Do you have any qualifications in Egyptology? (Just curious - and I should mention that I have none, though I have researched the life of Ankhefenkhons I for several decades and have tried to keep up to date with the latest thinking.)
I didn't mention the coffin so am not sure of its relevance here.
Anyway, I look forward to reading your notes and am always happy to acknowledge any corrections. May I suggest a new thread for your research?
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I have no formal qualifications, my interest in Egyptology is limited solely to my research into Thelema, but I can provide some academic sources you may find interesting.
I came to the conclusion a few months ago the coffin of Ankhefenkhonsu at the Cairo Museum is the artifact that has led to the belief that the Ankhefenkhonsu depicted on the Stele of Revealing is Ankhefenkhonsu I, hence the reason I mentioned it. In Maspero's Guide To The Cairo Museum, the owner of the coffin is named Ankhefenkhonsu I, but the coffin dates to an earlier period than the Stele of Revealing.
I'll start a new thread on the subject.
As recommended, @herupakraath has kindly started a new thread to continue the conversation regarding Ankhefenkhons: http://www.lashtal.com/forums/topic/the-genealogy-of-ankhefenkhonsu-i/
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my experience has also been that the activity here ebbs and flows. i also suspect that boorishness made the less strident less motivated to participate in conversations. perhaps that may turn around now that a window has been thrown open...
At least some of the notable quietness around here may be due to fewer members posting nonsense that might motivate refutation- we have not seen the once-prolific david since the "new version" last fall, and there has also been the notable Loss of another prolific poster (bar a couple drive-by posts) since then.
I will miss Jamie B- while it is true that he often seemed to suffer from the buzzing of the several bees in his bonnet, he also often made a valuable contribution. The recent RT Cole debate brought out the bee-bonnet side of him, i think perhaps because he saw Cole's "evidence" as somehow embarrassing the (c)OTO. I think erasing his past posts will tend to render many older threads hard to read since he played such an integral part of so many of them.
As others have said, there has always been an ebb and flow of posts here over the years, but lashtal continues to be the preeminent site for discussion of AC and his work. New lunatics will come along to annoy us, new research will reveal interesting things that will require discussion, Thelemic K-Pop may come to dominate the music charts- who knows what the future will bring?
Thanks for that intelligent post, @ignant666.
You will note that I have left the ex-member's posts visible on the Forums for precisely the reason you suggest. I, too, found him engaging but he'd taken to turning every post into an opportunity to attack the OTO or, in his passive-aggressive way, to take a pop at my integrity. Ultimately there are only so many times that I could ask him to rein things in at least a bit. (By the way, it's perhaps relevant to point out that I am not a member of the OTO and never have been.)
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Wise words from so many. Standfast is the right mental attitude to take. The ebb and flow of the forums, posters and posts is mixed. Also many a bright star has graced us and then burnt themselves out and left or have been removed. A period of silence seems about right. It was that silence that I was unsure of, hence my post. Rest assured, I was never leaving just questioning the interactions generally throughout the Forums. Doubt I could ever leave Paul, I love the place too much! 🙂
Anyways, more random AC posts incoming!
As i have mentioned and messaged to Paul.
The Tapatalk app doesnt have an unread option so new posts dont show up.
Dredging through everything is a hassle.
On my computer the forum doesnt have the unread option any more so to dig through is tiring.
Plus i guess the usual customers that made the forums a turn off for many keep other users away.
Plus many find their solace in many Facebook groups, where often interesting factual and historical i formation comes up.
Thanks for the feedback, @newneubergOuch2.
I'm afraid the Tapatalk app not working is something we'll just have to resign ourselves to. There are many apps out there intended to provide interfaces to websites and we can't possibly support them all. In addition, this site is now 'fully responsive' and is designed to be used on any device, from top-of-the-range iMacs down to the cheapest smartphones.
The main page has a 'Recent Replies' widget and I'm not sure what extra functionality you're looking for in an 'Unread option.'
You're right, of course, about Facebook groups - we get lots of interesting information incoming and outgoing from the LAShTAL Paul account. It boils down to personal preference given the ephemeral nature of social media, though I do plan on investigating some closer 'linkage' between the site and the Facebook account.
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Ah sorry . It was a 'new posts' that the old forum had.
I cant see anything like that , admittedly i haven't checked recently.
>Something shifted, something changed, when the previous revision of the forums happened.
On the older site the forums were at pretty much the heart of the website. They were prominently displayed on the home page, with details of thread and posting message clearly displayed. If memory serves me right, the first few lines of a posted message would also be displayed, which would be quite encouraging and rather enticing to make you want to read and respond.
The move to the new version denigrated the forums almost to the bottom of the page, limited the display of related content forum content and were surrounded by articles, which seem to hang around longer than any degree of interest they may hold.
For me the forums were always more interesting than almost anything else; the news - which is now very prominent - is usually stuff I have previously seen elsewhere.
Thanks for your post, @michaelclarke18 - the detail is very useful.
In the right-hand sidebar, there are now two 'widgets' or 'info boxed' - one shows a list of the 5 most recently created new threads and includes the person who created the thread and when. Immediately below that is another box showing the 10 most recent posts; again, it includes who made the post and when. I'm not sure what more information is required...
I have moved those widgets to near the top of the page in the hope that they are more prominent. However, your comment about forums being 'denigrated almost to the bottom of the page' suggests that you may be viewing the site on a mobile device? If so, then I'm afraid that the layout is optimised for desktop/laptop use, with news appearing at the top and sidebar information further down, although it should appear perfectly rendered on mobile devices.
I'm sorry that the News items are 'usually stuff you have previously seen elsewhere.' I have taken on board your comment about the number of News items, though. With so many users choosing mobile devices as their main route into the site I have today reduced the number of items from 10 to 5.
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On this subject, I have noticed that on the desktop the site banner and the section banner consume the initial screen real estate and that one must scroll down to get to any content. Is there any way to adjust the height of these so that content could be seen without the necessity of scrolling?
odd - trying to insert images (screenshots of the home page), but it doesn't show up after I press submit....
@WilliamThirteen - Does the removal of the banners - as I've just done - help with site navigation?
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Yes, that is definitelz better!
OK time has passed and the forums have never been so quiet IMO.
I think that Jamie Barter did gets some peoples heckles up but for me, he provided the ying and yang and brought balance to posts and threads. I know most will not agree with me but that's how I feel. Clearly interactions are down. Not solely because of Jamie but also the redesign and lack/inadequate Tapatalk support is what keeps me from logging in.
To be honest I still do not like the forum interface. I don't know what would be wrong with using phpbb or Vbulletin, when it is the standard for most forums. I miss the stats, I miss everything being so clear, as to what you missed and feel that the old forums was way more advanced than it is now.
I am just sharing my opinion and will just visit and post of course. Do not take this personally Paul may I add please, I am in no way having a go.
"I miss the stats, I miss everything being so clear, as to what you missed and feel that the old forums was way more advanced than it is now."
Agreed. It's sorta like a time-warp back to the days of Win98.
I'm in Luxor at the moment with very shaky internet access so please forgive the brevity of this response. My sincere thanks to @Shiva and @ptoner for the posts. It's important that you understand - that's you and all the other members here - that the loss of the old style of Forums is something that I sincerely regret. Unfortunately, we had to leave the old software platform and move to WordPress and the latter has some extraordinarily irritating limitations. On the one hand, it supports all the modern HTML functionality, including the now-essential Responsive templates that ensure that everything is readable on any type of device. On the other hand, the Forum software is, frankly, hopeless. This presents me with a challenge - do I resort to phpBB or something similar - functionally rich and similar to what we used to enjoy - but at the cost of losing the thousands of posts here and starting from scratch? Or perhaps we can lock the existing forums, making them searchable but not capable of being updated?
I'm beginning to think that's the path we should travel but I'd be interested in the opinions of others here and some sort of reassurance from our technical administrator @eol that this is practical.
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@lashtal I reassure you that I will be able to do whatever you decide to do in the end. 😀 Seriously, we can move back to our old forum software or use phpBB. And we don't have to lose anything. I will most probably be able to migrate new posts(since migration to bbPress) to SMF or phpBB. If that fails we would have to start over where we were before the migration -which is still a lot. However, one thing that we probably won't have is tight integration of Wordpress and forums. For some strange reason Wordpress community focuses on bbPress instead of creating a decent WP --> forum bridge. Sadly, bbPress is a piece of crap. And I don't see it getting better any time soon. I will look into forum bridges that currently exist and see if we have some options. If not I will come up with something as many times before. I would like to stay with WP as it's a great platform for what we want to achieve.
Well, it seems that phpBB community has been working on their own bridge for WP. I will install phpBB/WP next week and test the bridge. If it works even remotely good we can think about migrating to phpBB.
@ptoner Yes Jamie Barter was entertaining & often illuminating but he was disrespectful of Paul on a few crucial occasions & was also dismissed & welcomed back. As I understand the vision for this site, it's that the forums are not of primary importance & when they do take center stage they should be positive & constructive. I'm amazed at Paul's capacity to moderate where a weaker man would have lost patience long ago! The next step would be for the ACS to moderate itself on here, which presents a challenge. This space for everyone to take a breath is healthy imo, because we can all see what the goal is & (hopefully) begin to map out how to get there.
P.S. The main thread that many of you were looking for is here:
...Yes, I know that it's off topic but I'll slide it in. hee hee
Well spotted, @Horemakhet
I must admit that this is one of the things that did it for me here: Jamie and others were posting Private Messages and Forum updates that suggested that I was lying and that there was no clear account of what the RPSTOVAL meant - I knew the precise location of the information in the Forums and was sure that someone would eventually realise that the best search term to locate it was 'Cairo'.
All the information is there in that thread: the meaning of the cypher and evidence that Liber AL is more than just another 'holy book'. (And just for the record, I feel I have to mention - yet again - that none of this was my work, but the work of members here. If further proof is necessary, look at the fate of Boleskine, look at the extraordinary sequence of events that kept the Stele safe even during the chaotic events at the Museum, look at... Oh, you get the point.
I'm sat here in Luxor, overlooking the Nile, wondering once again why AC never came here, the source of so much to do with Thelema. Unless, of course, he did come here. Hopefully more new on that when I return to the UK.
And now? Back to the topic of the thread...
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@ptoner, I don't think it's anything to worry about that the forums are going through a lull at present, Recently one of the trolls active on this site until the relaunch last year has washed up on the boards of the Primal Grimoire. You're welcome to take him back and savour his unique brand of witlessness, should the peace and quiet be too much.
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This is a little off topic, but here goes...
It's possible to get a public ferry over the Nile from Luxor and get a taxi on the other side that will take you to the Valley of the Kings. On the way, you go past the re-assembled Colossus of Memnon on the right. As you get to the entrance of the Valley you can see up on the hill the house that Carter lived in whilst excavating Tutenkhamun's tomb.
There has recently been discussion in the mainstream media that Nefertiti's tomb may be in a chamber behind Tut's tomb....and then it went very quiet. I believe a radar scan was reported to have found such a chamber behind the wall that faces you when you look down on Tut's sarcophagus - as you are in an ideal location, have you heard any more about it?
Tut's tomb is i think the fith or maybe the 6th on the left up the tourist path if you were thinking of having a look. The ferry is cheap!
@frater_anubis: I've visited Tut's Tomb many times over the years and won't be bothering again this year. Nick Reeves - well respected egyptologist and author - is the main proponent of the Nefertiti Chamber theory although I understand that the result of recent investigations is at best ambiguous.
Still, Zahi Hawass is apparently staying at my hotel for part of next week - I might just ask him!
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I'm glad the "mystery thread" has been identified; I vaguely recall reading this when it was new. Perhaps i am unusually thick but to say the solution is clearly presented there overstates the situation a tad.
Maybe it is because i am unable to find a map for anywhere close to 1904, but all these hints about Bolaq (which appears to be not an island), Zamelek and the Balmoral Hotel, to which we should RSVP, and cemeteries where the foie gras is to die for, leave me just as much in the dark as ever.
This cipher solution is the only one I've ever encountered that does not reek of lunacy, and even seems like it might be what Aiwass/AC had in mind, but clear it is not.
By the way: @Horemakhet wrote...
Yes Jamie Barter was entertaining & often illuminating but he was disrespectful of Paul on a few crucial occasions & was also dismissed & welcomed back. As I understand the vision for this site, it’s that the forums are not of primary importance & when they do take center stage they should be positive & constructive. I’m amazed at Paul’s capacity to moderate where a weaker man would have lost patience long ago! The next step would be for the ACS to moderate itself on here, which presents a challenge. This space for everyone to take a breath is healthy imo, because we can all see what the goal is & (hopefully) begin to map out how to get there.
You've got things exactly right in this paragraph. The member referred to in it was warned many times and ultimately it became simply too time-consuming to manage his posts. I have received criticism for 'censoring' posts here or, to use a more Thelemic term, 'restricting' them but that misses the point entirely. LAShTAL is a space that encourages the circulation and discussion of information relating to the life, works and legacy of Aleister Crowley. I have stated repeatedly that this is not a 'Thelemic site' - there are others out there that profess to such a description and I wish them well. But to post here or even just to read the content does not require any commitment to Thelema and that's important.
And just a reminder that the member referred to had write-access to the Forums blocked as a result of his repeated disruption - his account was not closed as evidenced by the fact that his latest contribution to the site was a comment on a News Item approved yesterday. It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the history to note that he chose to break his silence with a hinted correlation between 'cult' and 'cunt' - in a comment on news of a book published by a female site member this is as silly as it is predictable.
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