Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Welcome back to Amid Night Suns, friends. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the connections between love, sex and creativity. Anyone who is familiar with my work will know full well that I view these subjects as deeply interrelated. Over the years I’ve made hundreds of videos for this blog. It’s a process that takes a lot of planning, dedication and finesse. Much like magick itself. And make no mistake, I consider the art-based conjurations I perform at Amid Night Suns to be genuine acts of magick and spellcasting. Creating a piece of art – even the kind of video-collages I create here – can be a deeply erotic and revelatory experience. I learn things about myself through communing with my muses. For me art is an encoded rhythm of contraction and expansion, like breathing, like life itself. It unfolds within our sentience like a gifted flower of meaning and resonance.
I hope I am able to imbue my art with these rhythms, with hidden meanings and secret spaces that might be revealed on closer inspection. It’s a bit like falling in love. You begin to see the true beauty and majesty through the acts of your devotion. Some people call my art ugly, profane, dark. And with a secret smile I would hope it is all those things. But I also hope that you, dear reader, might see compassion, beauty, sincerity and power amid that darkness. The shadow is useless unless it enriches us, unless we begin a process of integration with it – a workable path to a deeper lucidity. Flesh is useless unless we feel it, unless we honour it. The predator-elites who control our world want us to believe that we are ugly, imperfect and shameful, that we must look to them for permission to live passionately and with depth. We are all casualties in the War of Imagination. But there are soldiers in this war. Truth-tellers, artists and sorcerers.
So hear this, my friends. Find ways to remember your kiss, your divine fire, your meeting of Heaven and Earth. It doesn’t matter what religion or spirituality or spellcraft you cleave to. There is something much, much deeper beneath it all. I am one of the Ragged Magi. I live in radiant darkness beneath an ageless star, a hidden sun. We Magi will not abandon the voiceless, the weak or wounded. We serve the House of Love, eternally.
Monday, 13 June 2016
Welcome back to Amid Night Suns, my friends. With all the chaos, war and promises of war in this world at the moment, I’m inclined to think that nothing less than a complete overhaul of our consciousness and spirit is going to lure the human race away from the lip of the abyss that we seem to be trembling upon. The old sociopolitical ways are broken, dehumanizing and abusive. We as thinking, creative beings must make those old ways obsolete. For me, nothing less than communion with our Innermost Light will save us from this alienating, gluttonous system. And so I wonder, what kind of spiritual force would it take to reduce you to nothing, to incinerate you from your very core to the very edges of your being, and remake you anew? How do we kindle this regenerative immolation from within?
Chris Knowles over at The Secret Sun is currently doing seminal work concerning our modern technologies and our mythological and religious notions regarding Lucifer, Satan and the Devil. He expertly elucidates how these three names are not interchangeable despite the shallow mainstream notion regarding these forces. He highlights the fascinating connections between Lucifer, the ancient Greek Prometheus and the Titans, and traces these ideas back into prehistory. Stealing fire is one thing, knowing how to use it correctly is another. Sometimes I think the human race has too much power, or, more accurately, the self-appointed predator-elites and their apologists have too much power. We have amassed so much technology, and what have we done with it? For example, we are able to peer into the very heart of the atom and we used this ability to detonate the very fabric of life. It might be an easy analogy, but an apt one. Nuclear weapons can seem akin to some form of satanic light, a kind of hellfire, versus the kind of liminal Innermost Light that I regard as consciousness. Do we as the human race really want knowledge – to hold the shimmering star of cataclysm and creation in our palm? Can we handle it? Are we disciplined, sober and wise enough for true Gnosis? At the state we’re in currently, access to knowledge beyond the veils might be akin to giving the launch codes for a nuclear weapon to an insolent, impetuous child with no awareness of thermonuclear physics. Why do I say this? Because Darkness and Light are always twinned within sentience, knowledge of one precipitates knowledge of the other. So who or what decides the quality of the Light?
We are at a strange time in human history, I feel. The sun is in the underworld. Inanna searches for Dumuzid. As Chris Knowles explores in his Future History of Light posts at The Secret Sun, the past is not static. Something profound is occurring. I don’t want to put words in Chris’s mouth. I can only speak for myself, and personally speaking I feel like these ancient energies – Inanna, Ishtar, Babalon, Lucifer – are currently unfolding in strange and oblique ways both collectively and individually. I really don’t think this strange, oblique realm is one in which limits are merely what they appear to be. Entire cults of worship and exploration have gravitated and clustered at the edges of these mysteries. Life, Light, Love, Knowledge. We are not unique in this way.
What does freedom truly mean? What does it mean to become emancipated? I don’t know, but what if finally becoming what you were always meant to be means becoming something different? A transformation within the crucible of our own darkness? What happens when you breach the limits of the observable universe, when you step beyond the edge of Creation? I suspect that we pass through the pupil of our own eye, like Major Tom falling through the centre of a black hole – a place where continuities and discontinuities become one. This is the real death, not death of the body. The annihilation of consciousness, individuality and self. And simultaneously the Ex Nihilo ignition of consciousness, resurrected. This transliteration is, I think, at the heart of all ontological subject-object debate, as well as much of human spirituality. In this light, pardon the pun, the notion of healing becomes radicalized. Not simply restoration but transformation. Perhaps the two have never been truly separate. In mythology when you are touched by an angel you are not simply restored, you are changed. The manifestation of something from nothing – well, that’s the very definition of magick.
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Welcome back to Amid Night Suns, my friends. I want to thank you if you’ve stuck with this blog thus far. I hope I’ve been able to offer you some modest insight, engagement or empowerment. Failing that, I hope you’ve been at least entertained by the work I do here. I want to share a secret with you. I’ve stated here before that I originally started this blog because I was inspired by the incredible work of Chris Knowles over at The Secret Sun. But there is also another reason I started this blog. I was told to do so, by something that I have come to think of as the Goddess. Sometimes she is Hecate, the black-eyed Witch Queen of the Crossroads. Sometimes she is Babylon, Ishtar, Inanna. I’m fully aware that these various forms are specific, not completely interchangeable, and yet they are intimately interconnected. I can only tell you what she told me, or, more accurately – what she allows me to tell you. Some things are not to be shared. In craft, timing is everything. Anyone who assumes my devotion to her is suspect, or lacking in diligence, doesn’t really know me. I have spent a long time coming to terms with the darkest, most dangerous aspects of myself, and she has guided me in this. I am eternally grateful.
I’ve also stated here and on the podcast I did with Gordon White over at Rune Soup that I don’t really see myself as a magician. But that’s not strictly true. While I indeed prefer to call myself a psychic, I am very much interested in magick. Furthermore, I know how to do it. For me, magick isn’t simply about ritual or practical enchantments or optimization, although these are all integral aspects of the craft. For me magick is about storytelling. It’s about working with both the Earth and the Psyche. It’s about liminality, transgression and freedom – a reciprocal, experiential knowledge with the power to reshape the very fabric of reality itself. Magick is about taking back our stolen birthright from the predator-elites who claim to rule us. The Goddess – and by extension she who works with the Goddess – is ruled by nothing and no one. Why do I believe this? Because I see the Goddess enmeshed with all creation. I see her at work all around me. For me, she is the singular multiplicity. As I stated in my previous post, Life in Red:
She is here in this with me, whispering as in a faery-tale, blended and threaded through this archonic world of broken covenants. I sense the menses-scented intelligence of greater workings and older pacts, even amidst the detritus of our modern gilded hellscapes. And as in fairytales my Snow White can steal thrones from desolate gods. She sits inverted in the deepest of caves, and stands at the peak of the highest mountain. From the cleft of her sex flows the blood of every age, both remedy and poison, down her thighs, across the snow. The entire mountain begins to run red with her dynamism. In the bowels of the Earth that blood crawls upward like an army of crimson spiders, through cave ceilings, through volcanic bedrock, up through the chthonic architecture of cities, through mud and grass to stain the soles of my feet. These are not your caves. This is not your mountain.
My Snow White told me that Amid Night Suns would be a good place to meet myself, a crossroads where deals could be struck and knowledge gained. But knowledge is nothing without the wisdom to wield it effectively. This is something the witches know, something they have always known. There is no safe way to deny who and what you truly are. You are magick incarnate. Deny this at your peril. Ignore this and you invite perdition. The first storytellers were the first witches, diligently honing their contextual agility…speaking fire to fire. We who know the occluded secrets of humankind do not abandon the voiceless, the weak or wounded. Our knowledge is wild and ever-deepening, a hunter’s knowledge. We will not simply burn this profane system of abuse to the ground. We will not simply call the predators and desecrators out by name. We will build an altar beneath them.
Saturday, 14 May 2016
I have blood on my hands. I would have it no other way. I am both daughter and son to a huntress, a divided diver, a marian whore. I hear talk in the alternative-community of dead orthodoxies, toothless neopaganisms, postmodern neologisms – halls of mirrors where every pane is cracked, fallow temples where nothing grows, a Craft of surfaces, decentred and bodiless. But I see something different. I look upon this world and see the counter-rotating spin of a still-occulted physics. I see the shadows that locate light within our time and our space. Whether it’s in the heresies of the indie-filmmaking communities, or the gaggle of emergent YouTubers trying to share digital fires with the decidedly un-elect, or the current wave of writers and operators attempting to better recontextualise their conception of malefica, I do not see negation. I see opportunity.
We are not the symbols and stories of our enemy, overwritten and colonised, unless we make ourselves complicit in such things. The witch has no time for such anxieties, those illicit thrills of the spent slave. No, she has been raped before, and she is far too concerned with place, with bone, blood, flesh and fire. She is dancing; reciprocal, dynamic and dangerous. She is at work. She is waging war, against pseudo-royalist black-market slavers, against militant corporatism turning ugliness into tradecraft, against all predator-elites that would see the human vessel cut to ribbons within the shattered kaleidoscope of sanctioned meaning. That is why they rape, dismember and disarticulate her. Because she is concerned with power, and she will not accept their avatars.
But the devil is in the details, as they say, and he watches this assault of his consort with a baleful eye. I don’t see broken evocations or nullified spaces where the magician must grow herbs from lifeless rock. No, I see a constant interchange, a conscious exchange, cure becomes poison becomes cure. Where the predator elites install asset-stripped futures, I see instead ordeal and crucible…always useful tools for those that work with secrets, with interplays of shadow and light, with fractals of flesh, as the witch has always done. Their machinations and blood-dimmed hierarchies are not the death throes of our sovereignty, rather they are simply places to begin a working.
Through all this morass of twenty-first century jihadist corporatism, negation and dehumanisation, I can still hear the call of my consort, my queen. She is my most beloved heresy. I am godless, and black, and I traffic with whores and monsters. I attempt to heal the sick, and speak for the voiceless. She is here in this with me, whispering as in a faery-tale, blended and threaded through this archonic world of broken covenants. I sense the menses-scented intelligence of greater workings and older pacts, even amidst the detritus of our modern gilded hellscapes. And as in fairytales my Snow White can steal thrones from desolate gods. She sits inverted in the deepest of caves, and stands at the peak of the highest mountain. From the cleft of her sex flows the blood of every age, both remedy and poison, down her thighs, across the snow. The entire mountain begins to run red with her dynamism. In the bowels of the Earth that blood crawls upward like an army of crimson spiders, through cave ceilings, through volcanic bedrock, up through the chthonic architecture of cities, through mud and grass to stain the soles of my feet. These are not your caves. This is not your mountain.
I have her blood on my hands. But not just on my hands. It stains my lips, my tongue, my cock, my mind, and it is painted in a simple but resonant kiss on my chest; a bloodied X above my heart. She is my life, and life is always dancing; reciprocal, dynamic and dangerous. She is always at work.
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
It feels like all the gods are dead. She looks to the sky, but she cannot find Father’s face. She knows there is so much darkness in the world. So much hate, so much slaughter. The chic negations. The gleeful desecration. The imperious dismissal of those most wounded, those most in need. It can break a girl. Especially a girl who can see things. It can shatter her heart into a million shards of light. Fragments of a broken sun that she now carries on sheer faith. Splinters of brilliance, now rapidly cooling in her palms. The sky darkens. She is alone. She knows that she is witnessing the death of a star. In blackness, in void, she cries out. To gods, to spirits, to Father. She thinks all the heroes are dead, that nothing in this abyss will hear her. But truth is a strange thing, and stars even stranger. Suddenly she recalls that she has walked among witches and kings. She has stood gazing as empires fell, as cities crumbled. She has seen things be reborn. In darkness, the angel reminds her. "There is fire in your veins, child. You are of royal blood. Love is not Lost…"
Thursday, 31 March 2016
So, I might be a little late to the party but I recently read an interdisciplinary masterwork by Gordon White, he of Rune Soup legend; a seminal new book called Star.Ships: A Prehistory of the Spirits. It’s an exquisite, scholarly and profound book, and gets my highest possible recommendation. Among other things Gordon applies his considerable intellectual and magical prowess to an exploration of star lore, genetics, geology, linguistics, Laurasian, Gondwanan and Pan-Gaean mythologies, and more specifically how they interrelate and why. He draws upon the work of Harvard Indologist E.J. Michael Witzel through that author’s book The Origins of the World’s Mythologies. Deepening Witzel’s research and contesting it where necessary Gordon presents a deeply compelling and nuanced case that the lineages and practices that shaped the Western Magical tradition are located at a time depth far, far earlier than has previously been understood.
Gordon covers a stunning array of sites and myths from all across the world, going back much further than one might imagine. He delves into the antediluvian antecedents of much of what we think we know about human culture and spirituality – and in doing so he presents us with far more nuanced understandings of both shamanism generally and also its practical application through culture-specific magical technologies. In my humble opinion Gordon has a very keen hold on how things bleed, blur and intermingle. Not only does he attempt to historicise all these threads more elegantly and effectively, he also succeeds in revitalising a far more interdisciplinary and sophisticated approach to research itself. It seems our current human pastimes and dominant stories – the Murdering of Monsters and the Mirroring of Heaven on Earth – goes back far earlier than we’ve been led to believe. Through Gordon’s work and the work of others like him we might be able to better contextualise our apparent belief in separation or a ‘Fall’, and thus our apparent concordant desire for unification. Such insights are useful not only magically, but culturally. This book has a staggeringly wide scope, and as such I suspect it will have a staggeringly wide array of subtle effects on those who read it. The following video is directly inspired by it. Any riffs, poetic licences or misinterpretations are my own. I’m not an Indologist, an archaeologist, an Egyptologist, or even a magician in the obvious sense of that term – but I do have my own Cathedral of Stars, my own ways of navigating and creating meaning. I speak with spirits too. Notes and aphorisms from my own Thief’s Journal are etched into the stone of this place. My own Cathedral predates my City, and it has been undeniably enriched and recontextualised through exposure to Gordon White’s seminal text. Which you can find here at Scarlet Imprint. Seriously, go read it. It is more than worth your time and money.
Not only is Star.Ships a powerful and lucid discussion about the magical, spiritual and cultural histories of the human race, to my eyes it’s also a keenly observed study on the nature and purposes of storytelling – how its vectors and contexts can affect and shape human consciousness, in ways that are both Seen and Unseen. The stars, and thus the spirits, are powerful. They communicate. Grandmother would be proud.
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
There are some people who see war as a useless spiritual metaphor. I’m not one of those people. I’m always trying to add nuance, context and sophistication to my understanding of this world. I’m always trying to peer with ever-deeper insight into the intricacies of human psychology, our soul and our spirit. But I make no apologies for my own subjectivity, my own interiority. After all, I can attempt to broaden and deepen it, but how could I ever escape such a thing? In my world the human race is at war both physically and spiritually. In my world dark forces covet our energies and dreams. They attempt to cloak themselves behind our fears, and walk amid the blind-spots of our cognition. I’ve been told that viewing human spirituality, divinity and creativity in terms of war is counter-productive, pessimistic even. Everyone perceives things through their own particular metaphoric lens, I’m aware of that. I’m aware that this world is coloured and inflected by the soul behind the eyes that is viewing it. Having such awareness, it would be dishonest of me to not recognise the potency I feel when viewing art, imagination and spirituality as war of a kind. Why is this metaphor so potent to me? Because it inspires me to action. It disinclines any latent passivity. If there is such a thing as a Good Fight, it encourages me to take up arms. I have said before here at Amid Night Suns that Art is the Oldest Magick. Well, the imagination – from where art is birthed – is the site of the Oldest War. For me, imagination is sorcery;a holy sepulchre filled with the dead, the unborn, and other things we dare to give names to.
The War of Imagination is the only war I’m interested in, the only war worth fighting. Why is this important? Because I believe that the human race has been colonised by sinister forces both banal and exotic. And I believe that the human imagination or soul was the site of this original colonisation. Archons, demons, dark angels, vampires, psychopathy, mental illness…all facets of the same gestalt. We tell each-other tales concerning those things that move through our shadowed inner temples. We create stories about how those temples fell, how we were manipulated, and the psychic scars we carry with us still. It doesn’t have to be ontologically real, but it is undeniably powerful. Like Love, or Hope. When I’m asked if dark entities actually exist, I don’t usually give the short answer. The short answer is yes. On the psychic, imaginal plane discrete boundaries become fluid and are harder to discern. But a wound is a scar that hasn’t healed, regardless of the ontological status of the thing that hurt you. Inspired by occult forces or not, the sheer depth of human depravity in our times staggers the imagination. The inner temples tremble, the stones fracture under the strain. The western world is a slave-economy. We only have these trinkets and charms because of hideous exploitation and abuse. Third-world economies that are forcibly maintained by first-world psychopaths, predator-elites who view this Earth as a slave market, a flesh-fair.
From my post entitled The Lost Knowledge:
Every single freedom, human right and protective legislation we have in society today was fought for by individuals and collectives who were brave enough to stand up against terrifying and overwhelming odds. Every positive social reform – be it for the rights of women, children, or sexual, social and racial minorities – was fought for by brave men and women putting consistent organised pressure on the existing power-structure.
Every freedom we have today is because of individuals throughout history bravely deciding to become soldiers of truth, of Innermost Light, and taking part in the Oldest War. People who found the vast schism between the powerful and the powerless utterly abhorrent. People who couldn’t shut their eyes to the indignities visited upon their fellow brothers and sisters. People who couldn’t pretend not to hear the liminal howling shriek of the voiceless, the defiled and desecrated. War, any war, is frightening stuff. It’s disturbing, unsettling. Most people want to close their eyes to it if they can. I understand that. I’m not insensitive to human anxieties. But I will not close my eyes to war, literal or otherwise. I will not turn away from the genocides, the death-camps, the sexual-slavery networks, the media entrainment, the chic negations, the corrosion of human will. But mostly, I won’t turn away from war as a useful personal metaphor for spirituality and creativity because I’m agonisingly aware that I’m at war with myself. I’m trying to transform, and that’s no easy task. I’m trying to engage in my own particular kind of shadow-work. I value the Shadow and what it might potentially teach us about the depths of our own consciousness. I am filled with monsters and gods. I am dark and light. I am ferocious; loving and tender and dangerous. I’m not perfect, in fact I’m deeply flawed. But I’m willing to fight for my freedom and the freedom of others. I can only do that with the humble tools I possess, and I’m always honing my tools. If I am War, then knowledge and art are my weapons.