Archive for the ‘qabalah’ Category

Ceremonial Magick Classes (Spring 2014)   Leave a comment

Greetings Students!

If you’re local to the Tampa area, and you missed out on the Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes last spring, you have a second chance this summer!  Classes begin July 6th!

 

Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes

July 6 – August 10

Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to move closer to the Divine.   Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick, this class is for you! Course Topics include the following:

•Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross

•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences

•Class 3: Petnagrams & the four Philosophical Elements

•Class 4: Hexagrams & the seven Planets

•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration

•Class 6: An Angel Evocation

Class starts Sunday July 6th and continues over the next five Sundays, 1-3:30pm.

Cost is $25 per class with a $75 deposit that will pay for the last 3 classes in the series.

Please call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to register. Limited to 12 students.

 

9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592
813-986-3212
www.mystikalscents.com

For more info (map, directions, etc) see the Facebook Events page.

——-

Live Too Far Away To Attend?

We are still working on an online version of these classes.  However, there is even better news for long-distance students!  We have been speaking with other adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn who want to give these same classes in their local area.  The first will be this fall in the Long Island, NY area.  I will be posting more about this as the event approaches – and, who knows, if this catches on you might someday be able to take these classes in person.  :)

Ceremonial Magick Classes (Spring 2014)   Leave a comment

kheph777:

Just one more week to register for the classes! :)

Originally posted on Ananael (The Secrets of Wisdom):

Greetings Students!

If you’re local to the Tampa area, we are giving the Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes again this spring!  In fact, classes begin next month!

Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes

March 2 – April 6

Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to get closer to the Divine Self.   Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick, this class is for you! Course Topics include the following:

•Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross

•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences

•Class 3: Petnagrams & the four Philosophical Elements

•Class 4: Hexagrams & the seven Planets

•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration

•Class 6: An Angel Evocation

 

Class starts Sunday March 2nd and continues over the next five Sundays, 1-3:30pm

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Ceremonial Magick Classes (Spring 2014)   2 comments

Greetings Students!

If you’re local to the Tampa area, we are giving the Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes again this spring!  In fact, classes begin next month!

Ceremonial Magick 101 Classes

March 2 – April 6

Lesser Banishing Pentagram

Ceremonial Magick uses ritual and invocation to get closer to the Divine Self.   Come learn the basics of Ceremonial Magick from initiated ceremonial magicians, Carrie Mikell & Aaron Leitch – adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.  If you want to experience Ceremonial (or “high”) Magick, this class is for you! Course Topics include the following:

•Class 1: Basic Terms of Ceremonial Magick – Diagrams & the Qabalistic Cross

•Class 2: Basic Rituals & Correspondences

•Class 3: Petnagrams & the four Philosophical Elements

•Class 4: Hexagrams & the seven Planets

•Class 5: Talisman Creation & Consecration

•Class 6: An Angel Evocation

 

Class starts Sunday March 2nd and continues over the next five Sundays, 1-3:30pm.

Cost is $25 per class with a $75 deposit that will pay for the last 3 classes in the series.

Please call Mystikal Scents at 813-986-3212 to register. Limited to 12 students.

9545 E. Fowler Ave
Thonotosassa/Brandon, FL. 33592
813-986-3212
www.mystikalscents.com

For more info (map, directions, etc) see the Facebook Events page.

——-

 

P.S. – For those who are still hoping for Skype classes:  I’m afraid that Skype was not sufficient for the purpose of online classes.  We have another option – a bit more expensive but worth it in terms of quality and functionality.  As things move forward, we will post further info on this subject.

 

Massive Update to Aaron’s Writings Page!   Leave a comment

Greetings, Faithful Readers!

AaaronLeitchHomepage_Title

Since I got caught up in the blogosphere, I’m afraid I’ve been sorely neglecting my old Writings webpage.  (How old is it, you ask?   Check the link below and you’ll see the URL is called “indexaol.html” – because it was originally my old AOL homepage!  LOL  Now it’s on Tripod, where it has been for what seems like eons…)  That is where you can read most of my published essays and book reviews, listen to/read my interviews, find links to my books, etc.

Today, I finally took the time to do a massive update to the page – bringing the list of published material pretty much up to date.  I think I included everything that has been lacking – but if you know of anything I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Commentaries on the GD Flying Rolls – New Anthology from Kerubim Press   Leave a comment

Greetings Fratres et Sorores!

Ok, so it must be the right time of year for new anthologies containing brand new essays from yours truly.  ;)  Kerubim Press has just announced an upcoming book entitled Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls by the Golden Dawn Community:

Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls - Front Cover

Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls – Front Cover

This new collection contains all of the original Golden Dawn “Flying Rolls” – which are extracurricular lectures and essays on a variety of occult topics that circulated among adepts of the original Order.  These Flying Rolls were written by adepts like Wynn Westcott, Samuel Mathers, Moina Mathers, Edmund Berridge, Florence Farr, Annie Horniman, J.W. Brodie-Inns and Percy Bullock.

But Waite!  There’s more!  ;)  Each and every Flying Roll is followed by a brand new commentary intended to elaborate upon the topic of the Roll itself.  Some of them serve to clarify what is in the Roll, while others add to it with updated modern views.  And the authors included here are no less impressive than the Flying Rolls’ original authors.  You’ll find plenty of recognizable names like Chic and Tabatha Cicero, Peregrin Wildoak, Sam Webster, Joseph Max, Nick and Paola Ferrell, Samuel Scarborough, Eric V. Sisco, VH Fra IOV, Frater Yechidah, Ian Cowburn and Morgan Drake Eckstein.  And many up-and-coming authors such as Deanna Bonds, Lauren Gardner, Jayne Gibson, Christopher Bradford, Liza Llewellyn and Rachael Walker.  Plus, of course, me.  :)

And that merely scratches the surface of the good folks who contributed their time and work to this anthology.  This book is the end result of one of the most massive inter-Order cooperative projects in the history of the Western Mystery Tradition.  Almost every major Golden Dawn Order – and a few smaller groups and private Temples – came together in a spirit of community and fraternity to make this book a reality.

Click here for the full announcement from Kerubim Press.

I have made two contributions to this project.  The first goes along with Flying Roll XX: The Elementary View of Man.  However, what I have written is not a mere commentary upon the Flying Roll, but is in fact an updated re-write of the original Golden Dawn lecture Ritual U: Man – Microcosm (which is necessary to read and understand in order to grasp the concepts of Flying Roll XX).  Man – Microcosm is an often-overlooked lecture that was part of the original adept curriculum, and contains some of the Order’s most important teachings on the human soul, qabalistic psychology and the Great Work itself.  My hope is to revive interest in this particular lecture, and re-establish it as a foundational study for all students of the Golden Dawn.

My second contribution is a commentary upon Flying Roll XXXV: On the General and Particular Exordium of the Z Documents.  The General and Particular Exordium is an introduction of sorts to the Z Documents – the secret wisdom and symbolism of the Golden Dawn’s Magick of Light revealed to Mathers by his spiritual contacts known as the Secret Chiefs.  They are possibly some of the most profound and useful pieces of received knowledge in the entire Western Mystery Tradition.  However, few Golden Dawn students understand what the Exordium is supposed to mean.  It is essentially a Gnostic poem intended to “set the stage” for all the mysteries revealed in the Z Documents.  Therefore, I break down the Exordium and explain what it means in Gnostic terms, and how it reflects on the mysteries of the Golden Dawn.

Fratres et Sorores, you do NOT want to miss out on this one!  :) :) :)

The WMT and Wicca   9 comments

Greetings fellow Pagans!

I was recently invited to give a lecture on “ceremonial magick” to a local group of second degree Wiccans.  After accepting the invitation, I took some time to consider what direction such a lecture should take.  What about ceremonial magick would interest them, and how could I present it in a manner to which they could relate?

The answer came quickly enough: I would give them a condensed history lesson about the Western Mystery Tradition – covering the development of Hermeticism, the Hebrew and later Christian Qabalah, Rosicrucianism, Masonry, the Golden Dawn and Thelema.  Finally, all of this would culminate in a discussion about the rise of Wicca and its interrelationship with all of the above.

In the lecture, I pointed out the influence of the Golden Dawn in Wicca’s magickal methods – such as circle castings, pentagrams, Watchtower guardians, the four Elements, etc. I discussed the impact of Regardie’s publication of ‘The Golden Dawn’ on mid-twentieth century occultism (Neo-paganism included).  And I even discussed Gerald Gardner’s association with Thelema – drawing much from my old Thelemic Origins of Wicca essay.

Overall, I’d call the event a resounding success, and it looks like I’m going to have to come up with some ideas for a future lecture for the same group.  ;)

Meanwhile, in the days since the event I have discovered there is something in the air about this subject.  I just received the latest edition of Hermetic Virtues Magazine, and wouldn’t you know it included a wonderful essay by Peregrin Wildoak entitled The Influence of the Golden Dawn in Wicca.  I have been wanting to write that very essay for many years – but it looks like Peregrin beat me to it, and did it better than I would have done.  ;)  I forwarded a copy to the Wiccan priestess who organized my lecture, so she could offer it as “further reading” to her students.  (I also recommend you get a copy of the latest Hermetic Virtues to check it out!)

I sent a message to Peregrin, offering my kudos and asking if he had ever read my Thelemic Origins… essay.  He said he had indeed read it, and even brought it up in a related lecture he had given:  The Influence of Aleister Crowley on the Development of Wicca.  Let me quote his reply here:

Hi Aaron,
thanks for this :)

Yes, I read your very interesting article…and politely disagreed with its central thesis in another recent lecture :)  Would love a counter argument if you wish :)

That certainly piqued my interest.  I doubted he disagreed with my premise of a Thelemic influence upon the development of Wicca.  So I read his essay to find his specific point of dissent.  I discovered a quote from my essay in a section entitled Myth Number 3 – Wicca as an Outer Court to the OTO or a Thelemic Vehicle:

“I’ve come to understand that Gerald Gardner intended from the very beginning for Wicca to be a largely Thelemic system.”

Having read the entire article, I think I understand where Preegrin disagrees with my statement.  The above quote could be taken in one of two ways:  Either I understand Wicca was intended as an organizational Thelemeic  (that is, OTO) vehicle, or that it was a philosophical Thelemic vehicle.

In fact, I meant the latter.  I am not among those who have suspected Wicca was intended as an outer court to the OTO, or even an “OTO for the masses.”  Instead, my view is that Wicca was (to an extent) built upon Thelemic philosophy.

Of course, Peregrin also disagrees with that premise – and to prove it he cites several departures from (or in some cases the absence of) Thelemic philosophy in the Wiccan religion.  And he is correct – such departures and absences do exist, and he does a fine job of pointing them out.

However, to play devil’s advocate, I would also point out that Thelema was intended to be a highly individualized philosophy.  Are not those who dissect the Book of the Law and nit-pick specific points of Thelemic philosophy supposed to be “centers of pestilence”?  Is it not the one cardinal rule of Thelema that one should follow his own True Will no matter what?  Given this nature of the system, I don’t find it so hard to believe that Gerald Gardner felt at liberty to take Wicca in directions that might conflict with any of Crowley’s writings.

Still, I will admit my statement that Wicca was intended as “a Thelemic system” might have been over-stating the case to some extent.  (That essay was one of my earliest pieces, and not an example of my best writing.)  I certainly don’t view Wicca as just Thelema with Neo-pagan overlay.

However, the influence of Thelema and its philosophies upon Gardner cannot be denied.  (Nor, to be fair, does Peregrin attempt to deny them in his essay.)  I see more of Thelema in Wicca than the mere “fleshing out of sparse material” that Gardner claimed it to be.  I believe Gardner’s occultism was heavily Crowley-influenced – first through Crowley’s published writings, then during Gardner’s time with the OTO – and that this formed the foundation upon which Wicca was ultimately constructed. (Much in the manner that Thelema is founded upon Golden Dawn principles, while it is not “Golden Dawn” in and of itself.)

Though, it is true that Gardner was taking Wicca in directions that often left the greater Thelemic system behind, and that Doreen Valiente took it even further afield.  I suspect the apparent disagreement between me and Peregrim Wildoak on this issue is largely one of semantics.

LVX
Aaron

Ceremonial Magick Reading List   8 comments

Greetings to my students!

After I gave my Ceremonial Magick classes in North Carolina (six classes of material packed into two sessions!), one of my students asked me to take her to the store’s bookshelves and show her my best recommendations for further reading.  Now, back home in Florida, we are reaching the last few classes of the course – where we finally begin to take all the basic rituals, correspondences and theory and put them together in rituals of practical magick.  Once we are done, I suspct my current students are also going to want resources for further reading and study.

Even outside of my classes, I know many of you reading this blog are solitary practitioners.  And I’m sure you would also like to know which books I recommend to futher your understanding of the Western Mystery Tradition and the practice of Hermetic Ceremonial Magick.

So, I’ve made this blog entry for both groups of students and practitioners.  Much like the post I made concerning books about Babylonian and Semitic myth and magick, I will here gather the titles that I have found most useful in my own Ceremonial Magick studies – both when I was a solitary seeker and even still today.

We are very fortunate today, in that we have dozens of great resources that seekers in previous generations have had to do without.  I hope you will find this list useful in your studies.  :)

The Essential Golden Dawn : An Introduction to High Magic – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

A great general introduction to the Western Mystery Tradition as a whole.  It traces the historical development of the WMT and introduces the student to many of the basic theories and philosophies behind our magick.  Some of the basic rituals are also included.

Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts – Donald Michael Kraig

This is where it all started for me!  When I was handed my first copy of this book, I was already practicing my own intuitive forms of magick (much akin to Hoodoo, really).  But after just one look inside this book, I knew I had found something vastly important and powerful.  I made up my mind then and there to put myself through the (at the time) Eleven Lessons – and the rest is history.  This is not specifically a “Golden Dawn” text, but it does focus on Golden Dawn rituals and techniques, and I highly recommend it as an introduction to the practical side of the Hermetic Arts.

Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition: A Complete Curriculum of Study for Both the Solitary Magician and the Working Magical Group – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

The Ciceros created this resource with the solitary practitioner in mind.  They gathered a very large amount of the Grade curriculum of the Outer Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, then expanded it with extra-curricular study material.  Then they created a ritual process of Self Initiation by which the solitary seeker can progress through the Grade material.  The Self Initiation rituals will certainly not make you a member of an Order, but they will introduce you to the forces invoked in each Grade of the Outer Order.  There are even quizzes at the end of each Grade, so you’ll know when you’ve incorperated enough knowledge to move on to the lessons of the next Grade.  This textbook is so useful, it is even used as a study guide by students of the H.O.G.D. itself.

Secrets of a Golden Dawn Temple – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

There have been several different editions of this text under different names.  You can also find the material split between Creating Magical Tools and Ritual Use of Magical Tools.  The above-linked version is the one I found and used many many years ago – in fact I think it was the first Cicero book I ever owned.  It outlines in exhaustive detail how to build all the tools, furniture, robes, talismans and other ritual paraphernalia associated with Golden Dawn magick.  Though you certainly won’t have to build everything you find in this book to practice at home, it contains enough to set up a fully functioning Traditional G.D. Temple.  Plus, it gives you the magickal theory behind each tool along with the rituals to conscrate and use them.

The Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot – Tabatha Cicero and Chic Cicero

This is a Tarot Deck, but it does come with a book.  If you’re going to get into Golden Dawn magick, you’re going to be using the Tarot.  And this deck is specially made for use in Golden Dawn ceremonies.   (I still prefer the Smith-Waite deck for divinations, but this deck can’t be beat for G.D. work!)

The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites & Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order – edited by Israel Regardie

This is where it all started – at least for those of us practicing the Golden Dawn today.  After 1900, the original Order of the Golden Dawn split into several different groups.  One of them became the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which still exists today.  Another became the Alpha et Omega, which closed its doors sometime in the 1940s.  And another became the Stella Matutina – which was the branch joined by Israel Regardie.  The Stella Matutina closed most of its doors in the middle of the 2oth century.  (Only one Temple remained, but it had changed its name to the Order of Smaragdum Thallasses – better known as the Whare Ra Temple – and operated secretly in New Zealand until 1978.)  Before the bulk of the Stella Matutina Temples died away, Israel Regardie decided to save the Tradition by publishing the Order’s papers.  This decision was controversial, but most today agree that it saved the Golden Dawn.  This book is that publication – so you can see for yourself where it all began.  This was the book used by Chic Cicero to found his own Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – which is by far the world’s largest and most successful Golden Dawn Order today.  This book also serves as the “advanced manual” that takes you to the next step beyond the Ciceros’ Self Initiation… book.

The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic – edited by Israel Regardie

A good companion volume to The Golden Dawn above.  This book contains a lot of early Golden Dawn material that didn’t make it into the first book.

A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life – Israel Regardie, Chic and Tabatha Cicero

This is one of the books by Israel Regardie that the Ciceros greatly expanded and then republished for the modern student.  It is an excellent exploration of the Tree of Life and the magickal and Hermetic concepts that it embodies.  In my intro classes, I give you the basics of the Tree of Life – but this text will take you to the next level and beyond.  It includes guided meditations to introduce you to the energies, correspondences, angels and other magickal beings associated with every Sephirah and Path of the Tree.

The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic – Israel Regardie, Chic and Tabatha Cicero

The is another Israel Regardie original, expanded and republished by the Ciceros.  Without a doubt, this is one of my favorites.  It outlines the psychological aspects of Qabalistic and Hermetic practice – that is how the material interfaces with and changes your psyche.  While I am no fan of the “psychological theory of magick” that does not mean there is no psychology at all involved in its theory and practice.  I describe it this way:  Magick is not “a form of psychology” any more than an engine is “a car.”  Yet, without an engine a car is just a dead thing and doesn’t get you anywhere.  How magick affects your mind, and how your mind affects your magick, it extremely important to understand.

Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia – David Godwin

This is a wonderfully useful resource for anyone studying the Western Hermetic Qabalah.  Godwin has gathered every Hebrew name and term he could find, given them in English and Hebrew characters, their Gematira values and explained what they mean.  As an appendix, he has also included a copy of “Sepher Sephiroth” – which gathers even more Hebrew words and phrases according to their Gematria values.  (Kind of a 777 for the Golden Dawn crowd.)

Prometheus Rising – Robert Anton Wilson, Introduced by Israel Regardie.

And speaking of understanding psychology, this book is an absolute must-read.  It is an easy-to-understand operator’s manual for your brain – complete with exercises.  And the concepts it teaches are, as I said above, extremely important to your own spirutal development and your successful use of that thing called Magick.  ( I drew upon the material in this book in my own Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.)

Ishtar Rising: Or, Why the Goddess Went to Hell and What to Expect Now That She’s Returning – Robert Anton Wilson

See above.  I consider this to be the second half of Prometheus Rising.  And, as the title suggests, this book focuses upon the sacred feminine within all of us – and even explains why magick and witchcraft have returned to our culture  in a big way.  Highly recommended!

(NOTE:  I will soon be adding a list of traditional Qabalistic texts to this list, such as the Zohar and Sepher Yetzirah.  Stay tuned.)

The following books were not part of my own early studies into Ceremonial magick, but I believe they are potentially useful to today’s students:

Experiencing the Kabbalah: A Simple Guide to Spiritual Wholeness – Chic and Tabatha Cicero

“Kabbalah, a spiritual system grounded in symmetry and logic, is rarely addressed in a format that is suitable for beginners. Experiencing the Kabbalah goes against the trend, however, by presenting both historical and practical information on the Kabbalah that focuses on experiencing this ancient spiritual system rather than just reading about it. Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero accomplish this through a sort of ritual drama that they call “Walking the Tree of Life.” It characterizes each Sephiroth (different aspects of the divine) of the Kabbalah as a person, from the stable Malkuth to the enigmatic Kether, granting readers a fuller understanding of the Sephiroth and the paths between them. Experiencing the Kabbalah is an innovative guide for beginners as well as informative reading for adept practitioners.”

Making Talismans: Living Entities of Power – Nick Farrell

“Discover the secret keys and practical techniques to turn mundane objects into “living entities of power,” bringing real change in your life. By pooling magical practices from shamanism, paganism, the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, and Dion Fortune, Making Talismans offers training and techniques for performing advanced magical talismanic operations.”

King Over the Water: Samuel Mathers and the Golden Dawn – Nick Farrell

If you are interested in the history of the Golden Dawn, this is a great place to start.  This book explores the life and times one of the founders of the G.D. without the usual lens of myth and legend surrounding him.  Spoiler alert!  Mathers was a fallible human being like the rest of us.  ;)

Mathers’ Last Secret REVISED – The Rituals and Teachings of the Alpha et Omega – Nick Farrell

The Alpha et Omega is the branch of the Order founded by Mathers after the original group split apart.  This book is a good companion to King Over the Water, as well as Regardie’s The Golden Dawn.  It contains the rituals used by Mathers’ A.O. before it closed its doors in the 1940s.  Here, you can see how things were done in the A.O. as opposed to what the Stella Matutina was up to on their side of the fence.

By Names and Images: Bringing the Golden Dawn to Life – Peregrin Wildoak

“The Golden Dawn (GD) system of magic is the main source of the esoteric and magical wisdom and techniques practiced in the West today. While the rituals and bare teachings of the tradition have been published for sixty years, the inner workings and esoteric keys that empower those rituals have largely remained unpublished or unexplored in contemporary works. By Names and Images remedies this lack by providing detailed and clear instructions for the visualisations, spiritual connections and energetic practices required for every major GD practice and ritual, as well as several unpublished techniques. Focusing on the meanings and use of sacred names and practical techniques of visualisation, the book thoroughly explores meditation and divination, purification ritual, invocation and evocation, grades of initiation, and direct experience of the inner realms. Also covered is an explanation of the Qabalah and its use as a magical framework. While the book is sufficiently practical and clearly explained to be of huge benefit to a newcomer to magic, its primary aim is to allow people already practicing the Golden Dawn system to do so more effectively, and to be touched by the amazing spiritual blessings the rituals offer.”

This list is certainly not exhaustive – I could have included many further books by authors like Pat Zalewski, John Michael Greer and others.  And I could have included even more by authors like the Ciceros and Donald Michael Kraig.  However, I think this list is certainly more than enough to give you a sound start and a well-rounded understanding of the Golden Dawn and its magickal tradition.  It will also help you to avoid wasting your time and money on books that are of lesser quality, or just re-hashes of what has already been written by the fine authors listed above.

There is also a lot of good material still in the works, too – so I’ll likely be expanding this list in the future.  Meanwhile, if this list isn’t enough to keep you occupied, check out this post listing the best Golden Dawn, Hermetic and Rosicrucian blogs out there – so you can keep your eyes on the ever-developing Western Mystery Tradition.  :)

In LVX

Aaron

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

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