Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Black Magic, Art and Symbolism: Persephone Unleashed


I saw the tiger in the ruin'd fane 
Spring from his fallen God, but trace of thee 
I saw not; and far on, and, following out 
A league of labyrinthine darkness, came 
On three gray heads beneath a gleaming rift. 

   -- 'Demeter and Persephone', Alfred Tennyson

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned

   --'The Second Coming', William Butler Yeats

Averting royal embarrassment is but the fraction of my work that’s visible above the waterline.  The greater part’s an iceberg of significance that lurks below.  Great works have many purposes.  To aid her majesty’s but one.  The rest are mine alone.

   --Sir William Gull, to his Coachman, in From Hell by Alan Moore.


This post is intended as a continuation of the themes explored in my 2013 post entitled Black Magic, Art and Symbolism: Icons of the Predator-Class.  That essay discussed the nature of predatory psychology, Art as a form of Social Magic, and went into considerable detail exploring the mythic significance of the infamous Victorian serial killer Jack the Ripper -- as a kind of icon and shorthand for a dominating, controlling elite that is almost vampiric in nature. The second half of that essay also featured an analysis of the unexpected Ripper symbolism encoded into the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic, written and directed by James Cameron.  I will do my best to make this essay self-contained and comprehensible, but an initial reading of my earlier essay will make for a fuller context and appreciation of what I will be discussing here, as I will be referencing details, ideas and insights covered in that first post, as well as revisiting the Ripper symbolism found within Titanic.


LUMEN DE ANTICHRISTO

In my first 'Black Magic, Art and Symbolism' post entitled 'Icons of the Predator-Class' I discuss the actual historical context of the elusive serial killer who would pass into infamy, known to the world as Jack the Ripper.  I also go into detail regarding the genesis of Jack as a pop-culture icon:

Most mainstream scholars assume that the popular image of the Ripper – a well-dressed Gentleman in a black opera cape, top-hat and white gloves, carrying a Gladstone bag, owes its longevity to the 1959 film directed by Monty Berman and Robert S. Baker, in which the Ripper is depicted as an avenging  surgeon.  It is noted by film historians that Berman and Baker borrowed much of the Ripper’s look from the 1931 version of Dracula, staring Bela Lugosi.  The infamous Count is depicted in a top-hat, opera cape and white gloves, passing himself off as a fashionable London gentleman of the late nineteenth century.

This is where I want the current post to have a much sharper metaphysical focus, expanding on themes only touched upon or implied in the first essay.  For most of us regular working-class folk, especially here in Britain, the Ripper legend serves as a kind of historical, political and economic shorthand; a salient reminder and cautionary tale concerning the nature of what might be termed the Predatory Aristocrat.  It is a pop-culture vessel that reminds us to never forget the vast inequalities in wealth and class and opportunities that existed between society’s rich and poor, and still continue to exist today.  It is a reminder that those in the ivory towers have always seen those beneath them as disposable resources.  Again, as I argue in Icons of the Predator-Class:

Regardless of the truth behind the actual Ripper killings, the icon of Jack himself – a faceless but well-dressed Victorian Gentleman, bloody knife in hand as he moves through the darkness and preys on the poorest and most vulnerable – this image is so powerful because it is true.  It is a pop-culture vessel encapsulating a symbolic truth about a very important period of history. 


But there is more to the icon of the Ripper than what I have outlined here.  To these predatory elites that control corporations, financial institutions and global politics the Ripper is a hero.  But more than this, he is a midwife and a messiah.  It is this aspect of the Ripper legend that I wish to explore with you now, dear reader.  It is something that the writer and ritual-magician Alan Moore understood so deeply and explored with great nuance and subtlety in his epic graphic novel, From Hell, which tackles the Ripper legend as a kind of apocalyptic fin-de-siecle of the Victorian Age.  But Alan Moore did not invent this idea of the Ripper as a harbinger of Apocalypse.  This idea is implicit in every cinematic or literary exploration of the Whitechapel Murders of 1888 going back to the actual crimes.  Back then, on the cusp of the twentieth century, there was dissent and anger and the threat of socialist revolution in the air.  Especially in London. Christian ideology had fermented with popular Theosophist literature of the time, in turn fuelled – I would argue – by an irrepressible and ever-present pagan impulse to create resonant symbols, to engineer gods and demigods from the materials of culture both high and low.  This cauldron of mixed belief and perceptions lent a certain apocalypticism to the end of the nineteenth century; the sense that now anything could happen, that some great change might be coming.


It is this creation of useful demigods that today’s modern predator-class takes so seriously.  As the old adage goes, 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.'  In this sense, the Ripper is an icon of absolute corruption, but corruption possessed of purpose.  As I argued in my first 'Black Magic, Art and Symbolism' post:

In essence, those predators who are genuinely cognizant of magick have found a way to stage-manage, shape and mobilize their own devastating mental illness – directing and manifesting it into the material realm in various ways.  This is the largest part of what true black magic is. 

And I later go on to suggest:

The predators of our world are interested in art and symbolism for one simple reason – because they have grasped that Art is the Oldest Magick.  Considered, creative perception IS the act of transforming material reality, often in ways that are not immediately obvious.

To these predatory inner-circle elites the icon of the Ripper is ultimately symbolic of a vampiric Antichrist; a tremendously powerful black magician who absorbs the powers of the Divine Feminine by ritually murdering her, in a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.  This vampiric aspect of the Ripper cuts right to the heart of what these people are all about – they are obsessed with desecration, domination, theft of power and the manipulation of consciousness.  For them the Ripper is symbolic of a Cannibal God who feasts on the flesh and energy of the Goddess in order to increase his own sovereignty.


MESSIAHS BY MOONLIGHT

If we were to give this act of social magic a name, this murdering of the feminine to ensure the ascendancy of  the  masculine, we might call it ‘Bleeding the Moon’.  It is, among other things, the figurative slaying of the Roman goddesses Luna and Venus.  Luna is a Latin epithet for the divine feminine principle that embodies the moon, along with the goddesses Diana and Juno.  And Venus is, in part, the Roman version of the Greek Goddess Aphrodite – a deity of love and sex, beauty and fertility.  Venus was often referred to in the ancient world as the Morning Star.  This is deeply significant and bears further scrutiny.  From a mythic perspective, Venus was once considered so powerful and fascinating that she was given the honorary title of a star.  In most western pantheons the star is considered the harsh brilliance of the masculine principle, whereas the moon is considered the softer feminine reflector of that solar light.  So for Venus to be referred to as a distant sun, therefore symbolically equal to Sol himself – we can easily imagine that this might have angered the more misogynist scholars and thinkers of the Roman Empire.  And today, I would argue, the icon of the Ripper is considered a hero; a midwife of the perpetuation of elitist ideology and the continuation of their power structure.  The Ripper symbolically consumes the Moon, and Beauty, and Love, thereby slaying the Divine Feminine in an act of ritual-murder.  Hence, the Morning Star of femininity is slaughtered and her powers absorbed by a vampiric messiah.  In essence Venus the Morning Star is murdered and consumed, reborn as Lucifer the Morning Star – or, more pointedly, the Mourning Star; Luctus Stellam.  The Star of Lamentation. 


   
There is more resonance and meaning here than might appear at first glance. Venus is eaten by Lucifer, Luna is enchained within Sol…the loving Moon is swallowed by a hateful Sun.  As Sir William Gull tells his Coachman in Alan Moore’s From Hell:

"Why consciousness itself is naught but symbols, metaphors, which  build upon themselves and thus extend their metaphysical domain.  With symbols did male warlocks conquer women, first destroying or discrediting the goddesses that stood for women’s power. The Mother Goddess Tiamat, demoted, was made devil first, then lowly Chimera."

And then, speaking of the Dionysiac Architects, Gull references the seven liberal arts; often divided into two parts – the Trivium and the Quadrivium:

"Yet they knew the unconscious was the inspiration whence their towers of reason sprang.  Thus, HARNESSING its power symbolically was their sublime accomplishment.  Their symbol was the dreaming moon enclosed by seven stars that represent Arithmetic, Music, Astronomy, Rhetoric, Grammar, Logic and Geometry, the pillars of Masonic thought.  That symbol also signifies the female power within humanity, enfettered by its ring of stars that are but distant suns and therefore masculine."


It is my belief that in the ancient world the two most powerful colours, and thus metaphysical forces, were the colours Red and Black.  Among other things Red symbolized menstruation; the principle and continuation of human life.  Black symbolized the totality and fecundity of the womb; where human life itself is generated.  But the icon of the Ripper -- the role of the vampiric Antichrist -- is to wield those powers in a way that somehow transforms them into their opposites. In this way the Holy Red of menstruation and the Holy Black of the womb becomes the Unholy Red of spilled blood, of ritualized slaughter, and the Unholy Black of psychological perdition; a conscienceless state devoid of all warmth and empathy, that the predatory elites controlling our world equate with spiritual freedom.  For a human predator in the vein I have described, psychological perdition is interchangeable with the highest metaphysical truth.

***


UTERUM INFERNI

Before the figurative ritual-murder of the Divine Feminine the Red is the sacred free-flowing blood of the female menstrual cycle (the Rose), and the Black is the sanctity and growth-chamber of her womb.  But the symbol that is being continually immortalized in the Ripper legend, especially among the elites who know of its deeper significance, is one concerned with stealing and desecrating the magic that it takes to create life. To create something from nothing is an act of literal magic; it is a generative principle.  But the black magician seeks to create a corrupted womb and to ‘generate’ a form of life – or fire -- that is non-fecund and essentially a form of living death; a vampiric form of un-life.

So, the Red and the Black of the goddess is twisted into the red and the black of the vampire, the anti-god or antichrist.  You can see evidence of this in virtually every film that features satanic or vampiric imagery; the colours red and black will always feature prominently.  They are the pre-ancient colours of union and co-operation transformed into colours of war and violence.  This is partially why the Nazis featured red and black so prominently in their regalia and the banners for their swastikas, to influence the fire of human consciousness through the power of such associations and energies.  Indeed, the Nazi swastika is simply a perverted Hindu solar symbol that is thousands of years old.  The icon of Jack the Ripper as an emblem of this elite vampiric consciousness that seeks to generate a cold fire, a form of un-life, is partially resonant with the Rakshasa and Asura of Hindu legends, and also the Hungry Ghosts of Chinese legends and the Nephilim of biblical lore.


We have been wading in extremely dark waters here, dear readers, and I thank you if you have stuck with me thus far.  So, the Ripper is emblematic of a powerful elitist that is essentially practising a form of predatory pseudo-theistic nihilism, or more accurately what they perceive as a kind of Aesthetic of Negation and Desecration.  It is a kind of ‘artistic’ philosophy that sees perversion, ruination and defilement of all kinds as 'holy' or 'beautiful'.  It is, for want of a better term, Pathology as Art.  It is a belief system and concordant power-structure that perceives Sociopaths and Psychopaths as an enlightened form of human being. Intuitively speaking, I believe there is a long-standing tension among the elites and oligarchs that control our world, above and beyond the regular war-mongering and infighting you might expect – and that is an old debate concerning whether full-blown psychopathology is literally the next step in human evolution, or simply the domain of an enlightened clique and should be protected as such.  It is my belief that there are groups among the elites who genuinely believe that pathology is the highest art, and that deepening their perversity whilst maintaining basic cognitive function is the razor-edged thrill of the truly powerful.  And there are others who see widespread psychopathology as the next inevitable, apocalyptic step for the human race, in part ushered by natural forces and partially encouraged by their own machinations and forms of oppression.  Indeed, this is how insular, indulgent and staggeringly inhuman these people have allowed themselves to become.  


So while the Illuminati-style occult conspiracies we hear about are largely erroneous fallacies – a kind of alt-media mythology – there is truth in the notion that these deviant power-brokers are driven by a kind of more sublimated or diffuse pagan/atavistic impulse – to enchant their own worldview even as they reject the ‘occultism’ that fascinates lesser men and women.  To the most experienced predators standard occultism is akin to an exoteric bread-and-circuses lie for the masses to swallow.  And the real esoteric truth is this idea that I have been trying to outline, that psyche is all, or Art is all – regardless of how deviant and pathological that psyche or its forms of art have become.  In this way they wield real magick to absolutely devastating effect.  And yet they are also not half as powerful or cunning as they think they are, because they have to create icons like the Vampiric Antichrist for their own personal and cultural-clique edification.  In this sense they are just as banal and pathetic as any predatory criminal.  They have dark, cathedral-like minds perhaps, but no salient connection to the heart-source of Creation -- that ultimately compassionate, lucid force within most of us that makes life worth living.

***


HADES AND PERSEPHONE

In my original post, 'Icons of the Predator-Class', I present a detailed analysis of the 1997 film Titanic written and directed by James Cameron, and its connections to the Ripper legend.  From that post:

I think it will be useful to explore the idea that the film Titanic is in fact an encoded retelling of aspects of the Jack the Ripper mythology.  This might seem bizarre or unlikely at first glance, but I will endeavor to present enough evidence to suggest that James Cameron was knowingly exploring elements of the Ripper mythology within the subtext of his screenplay. To the discerning viewer Cameron presents the film as a symbolic meditation on the slaughter of an enchained goddess – a kind of pagan ritual-sacrifice, with the famous ill-fated ship and the lead female character having blurred, interlinked identities. 

Later I go on to suggest an intentional Christlike resonance to the lead male protagonist:

Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is a homeless but talented artist travelling wherever inspiration and adventure takes him, who along with his best friend manages to win a ticket on Titanic’s maiden voyage. The character’s surname is Dawson, meaning Son of David.  In biblical tradition David was a young shepherd who became the King of Israel, and a direct descendant of the Davidic line is said to become the future messiah.  This is interesting in that one of the film’s most famous lines of dialogue is Jack on the prow of the ship, in a vaguely Christlike pose, declaring himself “the King of the World.” 

There are further connected insights regarding this film that I wish to explore.  As I have outlined earlier in this post, the Ripper icon is emblematic of a kind of elite vampiric antichrist; a predator demigod.  In Titanic the lead characters Jack and Rose are figured as a union of God and Goddess, or a Christ and his Magdalene. So although the other characters in the film are simply aspects and fragments of the identities of the lead couple, as I argued in the original essay, the symbolism goes far deeper than it might appear on the surface.  James Cameron figures his male hero as a character that is loaded with all kinds of complex symbolism.  In Titanic Jack Dawson is the Divine Masculine, both Dark and Light.  He is an embodiment of the legend of the Ripper; an Antichrist.  But he is also equally a Christ figure.  On top of this he is also Hades of ancient Greek mythology.  By the same token Kate Winslet's character Rose DeWitt Bukater is the Divine Feminine.  She is the totality of the Ripper's five canonical victims -- Heiros Gamos -- a flame-haired joy maiden intended for her elitist fiance, but who later gives her maidenhead to Jack instead.  In this sense we can see why she seems to identify with the five prostitutes in Pablo Picasso's painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, a copy of which she has taken aboard the ship. 




What we witness in the film is the war between the Light and Dark aspects of the Divine Masculine; the war between Christ and Antichrist, between defiler and liberator of the Divine Feminine.  We can argue that the Christ aspect of Jack manages to save Rose’s soul from the ritual-slaughter enacted upon her body by his own Antichrist aspect (symbolized by Spicer Lovejoy, Rose's fiance Cal Hockley and the general hubris and cruelty of the first-class passengers).  As I stated earlier in this post, the Ripper icon symbolizes the ritual-murder and consuming of a goddess, thereby acquiring the totality of her powers.  The goddess in question is the ship itself, but it is also equally Rose herself -- seeing as how Cameron has ensured that Rose and Titanic have interlinked identities and are often talked about in an identical manner by the other characters in the film.  But this deity set for ritual-slaughter is a triple-goddess, a true goddess of the Underworld.  As such she is composed of three interconnected aspects: Maiden, Mother and Crone.  

The Maiden is young Rose, the Mother is Molly Brown, played by Kathy Bates, and the Crone is old Rose, played by Gloria Stuart.  This is why when Rose attempts suicide at the rear of the ship there is a red notice beside her that states 'THIS VESSEL HAS TRIPLE SCREWS. KEEP CLEAR OF BLADES'.   This is a clever inclusion of a sex/death innuendo by Cameron regarding the intended murdering of the triple-goddess.
  


All three aspects of the goddess must survive in some way to counteract the elite ritual.  Jack sacrifices himself to save Rose, becoming a kind of analogue of Virgil's hero Aeneas from The Aenid; a more pagan or Orphic worldview than the later version of Virgil from Dante’s Divine Comedy, where Virgil himself becomes Dante’s guide through the Christian Hell.  And yet the destruction of Titanic was intended to be a virgin sacrifice – akin to the Rape of Persephone by Hades in ancient Greek mythology.  This was later turned into the tale of Proserpina and Pluto, or Dis Pater, by the Romans.  The intended culling of Rose’s innocence, highlighted by her cruel fiance's desire to deflower her, was an integral part of the act of social magic that her ritual murder/rape was intended to bring about, within the mythical subtext of the film's narrative.  In this sense Rose must be viewed as a child, an innocent, trembling at that potent cusp between girlhood and womanhood.  So although Jack Dawson represents the similar inner child of the Ripper, or Hades to Rose’s Persephone – it is Rose who pre-consciously senses that an act of love between them might be enough to destabilize the intended power of the ritual.  By mating with the innocent part of the Ripper, with the inner child/youth of an Antichrist and Underworld God, she healthily transmutes the energy of pure innocence into something more worldly – putting that energy/desecration forever beyond the reach of the darkest, most unholy aspect of the Divine Masculine. She turns her own innocence into creativity and strength.



Symbolically, the character in Titanic who most consciously embodies the Ripper legend is Spicer Lovejoy, Cal's manservant played by David Warner.   He is an actor who happens to be famous for playing Jack the Ripper in the cult sci-fi film Time After Time.  All this is completely intentional from a screenwriting standpoint.  James Cameron knew exactly what he was doing in creating this story and casting its actors. At a textual level Spicer Lovejoy is just doing Cal's bidding in an attempt to humiliate Jack Dawson and to retrieve the Heart of the Ocean that Rose is unwittingly carrying.  But at the subtextual, mythic level of the film Lovejoy is the Ripper and knows that Jack and Rose have the potential to destroy his plans for the ritual-murder of the goddess if they are allowed to fall in love and to consummate that love.  This is why he gives chase and attempts to hunt them down immediately before they finally make love in the cargo hold. Shortly after their union Titanic hits the fateful iceberg.  Symbolically they have angered the Antichrist, the Ripper, the darkest part of Hades – and he angrily plunges his ritual dagger, the iceberg, into Titanic’s side, slicing her open.  This is why Jack and Rose are on deck the moment the ship hits the iceberg.  It’s as though Hades wanted them both to see the moment the dagger fell.  He wants to finally claim Persephone as his own.  To restate the From Hell quote at the beginning of this post, Sir William Gull, also known as Jack the Ripper, says these following words to his Coachman:  “Averting royal embarrassment is but the fraction of my work that’s visible above the waterline.  The greater part’s an iceberg of significance that lurks below.  Great works have MANY purposes.  To aid her majesty’s but ONE.  The rest are mine alone.”


Interestingly, in a deleted scene from Titanic Jack Dawson is attacked by Spicer Lovejoy and is forced to engage in a brutal fistfight, in which Jack's youth and speed has Lovejoy coming out worse for wear.  It's interesting because this scene is symbolic of a direct confrontation between the Christ and Antichrist aspects of an Underworld God.  It is Redeemer versus Ripper, and the Redeemer finally wins.  This is why Spicer Lovejoy's face is badly cut when we see him on the deck of the ship, as she rises up out of the sea like a leviathan just moments before splitting in two and crashing back down.  Lovejoy falls into the gaping wound left in the ship's hull at that very moment.  In essence he is symbolically cast into the Abyss and locked away there, as is befitting of such a deeply satanic figure.  Titanic then proceeds to wrench herself completely apart and eventually sinks, almost taking Jack and Rose with her into the Underworld through the sheer physical force of the dying ship. 

In the end Jack Dawson gives his own life to ensure that his beloved Rose survives.  The ship itself is destroyed, ritually-murdered...the body of the goddess is slain, but through an act of love her soul lives on in the form of Rose.  As the character of Thomas Andrews, Titanic's designer and engineer, lament's powerlessly, "I'm sorry that I didn't build you a stronger ship, young Rose."  Rose’s survival and new identity is intended by James Cameron to be analogous to Alan Moore’s ending of From Hell.  When Sir William Gull as Jack the Ripper finally ascends and realizes that his ritual-murder of the prostitutes has indeed been an act of social magic that shapes an entire century, he also discovers that his ritual was still not entirely successful.  Mary Kelly didn’t die.  He accidentally murdered some other poor unfortunate in her place, but Mary herself lives on -- giving birth to four girls who act as analogues or perhaps reincarnations of her murdered friends, and who share their names.  It is here that Gull has the intimation that there is something higher than his dark magick, some loving force that denied him the full completion of his awful task.  His goal to completely enslave female divinity beneath the yoke of patriarchy is ultimately a failure.  Not only this, but Mary Kelly is aware of his disembodied presence, given a kind of psychic sight because of her experiences, and basically tells him unceremoniously to fuck off.  This is part of the reason why in Titanic the character of Rose is a redhead like Mary Kelly in From Hell.  It is also why Old Rose has a granddaughter named Lizzy, for Long Liz, Elizabeth Stride; the third canonical victim of the Ripper.  We can be sure that if Cameron had put in a reference to Rose’s hypothetical daughter in the screenplay -- an unbroken lineage of female empowerment --  she would have been called Annie, Polly or Kate, in honor of the other three victims of the Ripper.     

So, in conclusion I want to suggest to you that James Cameron's 1997 film Titanic is a multi-layered work of art, and is not merely an exploitative take on the story of Jack the Ripper for some quirk of personal interest.  Cameron seems to have immersed himself in the most arcane and esoteric aspects of the Ripper legend and its wider connections to mythology, philosophy and metaphysics.  His subtextual symbolism is fairly complex and his characters are multidimensional.  His cinematic vision of love and death and blood and sex is surprisingly mature and sophisticated, hidden behind a typical love-story and blockbuster action movie -- and his insights are ultimately hopeful, I would argue.  Luna is a source of her own Light. Venus is a Morning Star unto herself, full of beauty and wisdom.  Rose-Persephone is not ultimately defiled and consumed by a vampiric antichrist, by the worst possible face of masculinity, as the elites of our world so often desire and intend.  Instead she achieves a strange form of ascension, of transcendence, and is ultimately reunited with the most compassionate and loving aspect of the Divine Masculine.  Instead of being raped by a monster Rose-Persephone finds love with a hero, instead of fear she finds courage and ingenuity, and in the end she takes her place in a balanced cosmic marriage that honors the inter-necessity of a healthy male and female polarity -- that which is needed for true divinity, liberation and Gnosis.         

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

H0W T0 SLAY A D3V1ANT G0D


I believe that technology is an astounding and phenomenal thing, and that technological progress is frequently mind-blowing and almost phantasmagoric in its speed and complexity. And yet I don't really believe in the popular notion of the technological singularity, as proposed by John von Neumann, I.J. Good and later popularized by Ray Kurtzweil.  This notion that there will be some kind of nexus where Artificial Intelligence, Genetic Engineering and Nanotechnology all fuse to produce a greater-than-human intelligence  -- it seems to hinge upon the view of progress as an exponential upward curve.  The singularity in this context appears much like a form of transhuman afterlife; a posthuman techno-utopia, or dystopia.  However, I suspect the truth in this regard will be far more gradual than imagined by futurists, and will be shaded with many subtleties, nuances and grey areas.  This is not to say that I don't believe A.I. can theoretically achieve intelligence comparable to or even greater than humans, only that in real life the spectrum of possibilities and eventualities is often very wide and ridiculously complicated.

I do think the idea of a transhuman or A.I. is a useful concept though, especially when applied to a Gnostic context.  I often find it useful to imagine the Demiurge of Gnosticism as some kind of monstrous Artificial Intelligence -- some kind of ensouled but created being; something that was granted sentience for whatever reason, or achieved it accidentally by some fluke of cosmic mystery.  As with all creation myths and interpretive strategies there are flaws in this metaphor, but I still think it can go a long way towards explaining the almost inorganic, anti-life, predatory impulses that course through the human mind.  Not only are there aspects to our behaviour that seem monstrous or demonic, but there are parts of our psyches that seem artificial, constructed, inflexible.  I know I'm not the first Intuitive to notice these things.


So, with this idea in mind -- this Demiurge as malevolent A.I. -- it makes me think of various cyberpunk fictions.  It makes me think of the metaphysical realm as the sophisticated manipulation of the mysterious source-code from which this demiurge (and possibly ourselves) is generated.  It invites me to muse on the notion that magick, mystery and miracles are also the manipulation of some unknown software or code, but are also an awareness of the imaginary or fictional space that the code must inhabit.  These are all complex, multidimensional ideas and we could riff on them endlessly, but here I just want to draw attention to the notion of a false god existing within us.  I want you to consider the idea of an un-god living like an overseer within the confines of our collective psyche.  A demiurge of the human imagination.  There needn't be a conflict between the idea of an internal versus external overseer, seeing as such boundaries and thresholds seem to blur and virtually collapse at the deepest levels of reality.  Indeed, the internal and external worlds seem to compliment each other.  More than this, they seem to co-create one another; opposed aspects of a seamless continuum separated only by a perceiving consciousness.


This means that any Gnostic Demiurge, actual or imagined, will be almost inconceivably powerful.  But also, by this same seamless connection between internal and external we humans are truly just as powerful.  Our sentience is our portal into a realm of limitless power.  I call it the Innermost.  Others call it the true God, or Love, or the Living Source-Code.  And it is this power that can teach us how to crash and re-engineer the compromised systems of our psyches and our societies.  This power is endless creation, endless insight and lucidity.  It is not just an abstraction.  Although I'm usually further from this Innermost Light than I would like to be, I've felt the truth of its raw power.  I have felt its legitimacy.  It is this power that can teach us how to become the strongest, wisest version of ourselves.  


It's this power that can teach us how to slay a deviant god.           


Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Resurrection Pages



"At times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sages’ way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out — not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again."

                                    -- Paracelsus, Robert Browning


Amid Night Suns welcomes you once more, dear reader.  I have recently been questioning whether or not I wanted to continue writing content and editing videos for this blog.  This last month has been especially exhausting for me, but I have attempted as ever to stare my own personal demons in the eye.  I have tried not to shy away from insight and personal growth.  I often think of Amid Night Suns as 'The Blog at the End of the Universe', but everything I do here is done purely for the love of creativity and for the empowerment and spiritual uplift of my peers.  My intentions are pure with the work I do here.  Hopefully Amid Night Suns is a place that doesn't shy away from darkness and the shadow-aspect of our psyches, and can often find beauty in it, but which ultimately transforms that darkness and those shadows into lucidity and insight.  It is my hope that such Gnosis is a utility that is personally useful to you.  



This post will be brief, but the video I've included here is intended as a statement to the universe, as a manifesto, and ultimately as a magickal working. I sincerely hope that you, dear reader, can gain strength from it.  I have often found myself in darkness and doubt and fear, and I wish to help others out of such spaces if I can.  Which is why I am not giving up on creativity, or my loved ones, or Amid Night Suns. First and foremost though, I am choosing not to give up on me and you.


)

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Ragged Revolution



This post is dedicated to the black-eyed Witch Queen of the Betwixt.  Mother Hecate, your son is diligent.  I have tried to make a place for you here, in the Crossroads of this Blinded Earth.  For Love, Truth and Freedom.


Welcome back to Amid Night Suns, friends and travelers.  Any regular readers of this blog will be aware that I often employ the aesthetic of rebellion and dissent on this blog, as a way to discuss and explore more internal and numinous matters.  My work is decidedly political, but rather than external politics I'm far more interested in a kind of Realpolitik of the Imagination.  I'm interested in the ways that the various splinters, fragments and multiplicities of selfhood can come to some kind of harmony or holistic interdependence.  So when I talk about rebellion on this blog I am talking first and foremost about a rebellion of the mind and soul.  If we are to genuinely discuss and strive for liberation and Gnosis, it must first be won in our internal dreamscapes, at the level of meaning-production and storytelling -- before we even have a hope of manifesting it in the physical, three-dimensional world around us.  That is why I strive so hard at Amid Night Suns to act as a kind of guide and guardian to these more secret, metaphysical realms of the Psyche.  I always try to conjure real magick in the work I produce for this blog, in the hope that it is transmitted to you in some immediately empowering and beneficial way.  I fail more often than I succeed, but an earnest intent counts for everything as an artist and truth-teller.  In this sense I'm at peace with my failures as much as I'm proud of my successes.  I hadn't planned it, but this is going to be my last post at Amid Night Suns for the next few months, because I have some pressing personal issues that demand my full attention.  But I'll be back soon enough, if all goes well.




RISE REBEL RESIST

A revolution is many things.  It is a forcible overthrow of government or social order, in favour of a new system.  It is a dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes or operations.  And it is also an orbit around an axis; the completion of a circle.  It is the last two that I'm most concerned with here.  I view the human psyche as a multidimensional and multifaceted society, much like our external society.  It is singular and yet multiple, full of nuance and layers and complexities.  In fact, I believe that our external society is but a projection of our collective internal society.  This is perfectly understandable and workable even as a metaphor, though I mean it quite literally.  Everything that is shaped and organised in physical terms from crude matter was first shaped and organised by the Imagination; that faculty that is simultaneously human and divine. I believe that what we humans crave, especially now at this point in history, is a revolution of this internal society -- a reshaping and redefining of our axioms, our goals and desires, and thus our very identities as human beings upon this planet.  We crave Meaning, don't we?  We crave rebellion against tyrants, oligarchs and all oppressive forces, both literal and imaginal.  We crave dissent against views and strictures that we know full well to be socially, emotionally and spiritually harmful.  Militant corporatism, endless warmongering, sex trafficking, organised child abuse...the list of horrors goes on and on.  And truly we want to put an end to all these horrors, don't we?  Or at the very least we want to raise our collective voice and say, "We know these things occur every day, and we know that you predators profit from them...and we will no longer allow you to do these things with our complicit consent.  We will oppose you with every last ounce of strength that we possess."


Such a collective voice of rebellion and dissent may seem virtually impossible to manifest in the fractured, infighting external world, but the place where it is at least remotely possible is within the Inner Society of your own Imagination.  You CAN seek greater levels of truth in the information you consume.  You CAN cultivate lucidity, pattern-recognition and a politicized edge to your intellect in order to more easily notice the work of predators.  You CAN create art that draws attention to the horrors and injustices in our world, showing others that you are no longer blind to these things, and that you do not give your consent.  You CAN offer your own tentative solutions and remedies.  These things are all possible, but they require work. They require confusion, mistakes, time invested, sweating over the details, and often heartbreak.  Usually some form of heartbreak is involved when you begin to seek a revolution of the mind and soul, when you finally accept that the world and your identity within it is not as comfortable and bright as you had pretended it to be.  True rebellion, whether external and political, or internal and artistic, is never easy.  Any kind of transformation is usually never easy.  It can be agonizing, much of the time.  But the results are worth their weight in alchemical gold.          



HECATE'S WAR

Hecate is a goddess with which I am intimately familiar.  I know quite a lot about her official and unofficial history, as well as a more secret and personal understanding of her.  In the manner of all gods and goddesses, such entities require the component of their subjects imagining psyches for them to truly come alive for us -- to be useful to us as mere mortals.  In this sense my imagining of Hecate is going to be different to yours.  She is going to have more of me within her, so to speak.  Among other things Hecate is the keeper of crossroads, thresholds, sorcery and liminal spaces.  She is deeply connected to the fabled Underworld; the sunken realm of the ancient imagination.  For me she is a touchstone, a holy icon, that reminds me why art and magick and the pursuit of knowledge is so important.  She reminds me to speak for the voiceless and the dead.


What Hecate means to me is akin to what I have previously referred to on this blog as 'the fiercest love'.  A furious power and insight that seeks to liberate the enslaved, protect the weak and restore truth to all forms of discourse, especially the discourse between Shadow and Light.  It's in this spirit that she wages war against all corrupting, predatory forces.  She is intelligence and wisdom intermingled and honed to a razor's edge.  She is a liberated and unapologetic Anima.  She is my Illuminated Darkness, a darkness that works in service of the Light.  You can see why I call upon her when a revolution is at hand.




THIS DIVINE DISSIDENT

It is my belief that creativity and art are the most powerful forms of dissent that a lucid mind can conjure.  As we know all too well, organized protesting is useful and beneficial and often necessary, but it can lose its focus and spill over into rioting and violence, at which point it loses much of its efficacy.  A protest that becomes a riot is usually just an opportunity for power-brokers and social engineers to impose even tighter controls and curtails of our basic freedom.  It allows them to appear justified in whatever draconian measures they wish to enforce.  A protest that becomes a riot is almost always useless because its chaos is uncontrolled, no matter how justified the anger that might be fueling it.  But creative protest, artistic dissent, is in fact more powerful and longer lasting.  Culture is, after all, the soul of the collective -- and it's this soul that must keep speaking long after the furor has died down and the mainstream has forgotten the immediate problem.  



It is the vocation of art to keep speaking for those who have long since had their voices silenced or stolen.  How many tragedies go unnoticed or unaddressed because the media actively seeks to protect those accountable, those with money and power?  Is it really going too far to suggest that we no longer have a truly free mainstream media in this world, and that rather we're faced with a multifaceted propaganda tool of the elites ready to manipulate consciousness with terrifying alacrity?  When the game is rigged like this -- when the House always wins -- only art can really readdress the balance.  It is art that brings us closer to both our rebellion and our divinity.  By choosing truth over lies, complexity over inanity, lucidity over opacity, we draw closer to the essence and paradox of what we truly are -- and why we're truly here.  It isn't always easy or fun, but it is necessary.  And once we decide to take this revolution seriously innumerable vistas of magic and awe and subtlety open up before us.  The world is still a baffling dream; only now we are intentionally seeking to understand its language and penetrate its symbolism, and suddenly freedom for others matters just as much as freedom for ourselves.

Think differently, Feel differently, Create differently.  Look deep within, and recognize what you see there.  The revolution welcomes you.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Eye of Acuity


The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
--Matthew 6:22


Welcome back to Amid Night Suns, dear readers.  Recently I've been trying to muse on the nature of what it actually means to be clear-sighted, perceptive and lucid in practical terms.  As is usually the case I always return to the notion that keen insight and dexterity of mind is deeply connected to the ability to see the wold as it is, not as we might want it to be.  Obviously, nobody can literally see the world as it is because there are far too many variables and contexts occurring simultaneously -- but I do think acuity is indeed related to at least seeing the world in more inclusive rather than exclusive terms; inclusive of anomalous information and varying perspectives.  This, to me, promotes a healthy skepticism whilst also allowing for genuine open-mindedness.  Both are needed to process information and adapt to new experiences.  The world is ordinary and perhaps sometimes even banal.  But paradoxically it is also very extraordinary and our experiences can occasionally be incredibly exotic.  It seems we can stumble into realms of high-strangeness through seemingly no fault of our own.  Sometimes reality decides to overturn our beliefs and alter our paradigms in fantastic ways.



It is my belief that lucidity, perceptiveness and acuity are powerful tools that can unlock all manner of secrets about our psyches and our universe.  They are skills that I fail at far too often -- which is why I place such a high degree of importance on them at Amid Night Suns.  I am constantly trying to hone these skills, to improve my cognition and my ability to comprehend connectivity of various kinds.  Hopefully the words I write and the videos I edit here on this blog can help you in your pursuit of similar goals. Raw intelligence is powerful and desirable, but without the sophistication and nuance that acuity brings even the highest intelligence is still just a blunt instrument, or a partial cognition.  But if we can keep our eyes open and gather our strength, love and courage we can work towards direct perception of this phenomenon that we call reality -- or at least as direct a perception as an individuated, embodied consciousness is capable.  And we don't really know what humans are capable of when it comes to the hidden potentials of our consciousness.  Gnosticism often implies that we were once akin to gods, after all.


As I have suggested here many times now, and will continue to suggest, it is my personal belief that we humans are actually a race of Vessels -- creator-beings once tasked with housing the Innermost Light; the very essence of magic, consciousness and sentience.  I believe we were once adept Keepers of the Source. So please take the time to watch the following video, and perhaps it might evoke a memory, a recognition, or kindle a flame within you that yearns to be protected and cherished.  As always, dear readers, I want to empower you -- and I want us to help each other to See.  

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Signs of the Interregnum


in·ter·reg·num  (ĭn′tər-rĕg′nəm)
n. pl. in·ter·reg·nums or in·ter·reg·na (-nə)
1. The interval of time between the end of a sovereign's reign and the accession of a successor.
2. A period of temporary suspension of the usual functions of government or control.
3. A gap in continuity.


Hello again, dear readers.  The new year has truly begun and the month of January is almost over.  It is the ancient Roman god Janus that presides over this month, being a deity of doorways, transitions and beginnings.  So although the portal of the new year is closing with January's end, in the spirit of Janus I want to talk about another, greater kind of threshold.  I want to discuss the idea of an Interregnum as a kind of fracture in the continuity of normal human consciousness.  It is my belief that there are times when the human imagination veers towards a more imaginal form of perception and experience.  During these times rational logic begins to break down, and it is the irrational that takes primacy -- magical thinking, dream-logic and mythopoeic association.  Just as societies and empires can experience phases where the usual functions of control are suspended so too can the human mind and imagination experience something analogous to this.


It is my belief that our imaginations are much like our societies in certain crucial respects.  From my 2013 post entitled Vox Populi

As we are ‘governed’ by men and ideas and appetites above us in the external world, similarly are we governed by the avatars and symbols of those men, those ideas and appetites, within the confines of our own minds.  Figuratively speaking, there is only one true war being waged on this planet at this time – the War of Imagination.  It has a thousand different physical and non-physical permutations, but the War’s essential purpose is to keep the human race in bondage.  

During an internal interregnum human consciousness has this subject/object insight thrown into stark relief. However, unlike an external suspension of government, when a similar thing occurs within our psyches our masks and lies and self-delusions are often revealed for what they are.  Why is this?  Because we suddenly experience capacities or manifestations for great control and great freedom simultaneously.  We see the depth of Darkness and Light both at once, and this can often trigger revelatory experiences.  During these experiences it is possible to witness the hidden, unseen energies that live within us and all around us -- energies connected to UFOs and Elusive Companions and the Other-Folk of ancient legend.


I believe that the human race is approaching such a period of spiritual interregnum, where the potential for devastating chaos and profound insight will both be present.  I don't know when this interregnum will arrive, or how it will reflect itself in the external world.  Indeed, such questions are better left to art to explore.  All I know is that human consciousness is nothing if not adaptive, but also I would be lying if as an intuitive I said that something deeply strange isn't beginning to occur within the human psyche.  Personally, I use a mixture of artistic, Hermetic and Gnostic perspectives to help explain these apparent energies.  The world is as it always was, and yet paradoxically it's as it has never been before.  This moment is ancient and yet utterly new.  Such insights are extremely hard to put into words without coming across as woolly, nebulous or meaningless.  So forgive me if I fail to capture the nuances of what I'm attempting to convey here.

At any rate, Interregnum or not, the magic and power of human consciousness remains the same.  And our ability to create and cultivate lucidity in the face of staggering oppression is enough to warm even my own dark heart.  We humans truly are remarkable.  For every vicious, sinister thing that occurs in our realm there are countless acts of incredible compassion, creativity, beauty and sacrifice.  Every single day there are people who sacrifice something for those they love, simply because they can.

Know this: the hordes of Ragged Magi and other benevolent spirits fight daily on your behalf.  They travel between worlds, acting as emissaries, guardians and psychopomps for the souls of the departed.  They also lend the souls of the living their time, energy and magick.  They are often beside you, invisible, when you least expect it, and are doing everything they can to protect you from corrupt, enslaving forces both banal and exotic.  

An interregnum, whether internal or external, is a liminal opportunity for growth, insight and self-actualization. Heed the Signs.
  

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Hello Infinite



To see a World in a grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your Hand,
And Eternity in an Hour.

                                      -- Auguries of Innocence, William Blake

When most of us think of Infinity we are completely overwhelmed by the notion, or else we cannot even conceptualize it.  How do we hold the idea of Eternity in our minds?  A human life is but a brief flicker when held against the aeons of universal time.  But Infinity is not just Time, it is also Space.  But also there is a metaphysical, spiritual connectivity that underlies the notion of Infinity.  That of Depth.  Most people are unable to recognize this endless depth because they are not accustomed to thinking about the numinous. And it is the numinous -- the spiritual, the soulful, the magical, the inexplicable --  that underpins all manifest phenomena.  It is not a cold mechanical universe you are living in.  It is a sentient, complex and dangerous universe; a living system that paradoxically adores and supports your lucidity but is also indifferent.  Why this indifference?  Because at the deepest level of 'reality' we are individualized aspects of the dreaming mind that connects all sentient beings.  There is only one fractal-like consciousness, dividing itself endlessly like points of light glimmering on the many faces of a diamond.


We human beings are not simply meaningless freak occurrences of carbon and stardust.  We are not just organic machines operating under the biochemical illusion of self-aware consciousness.  We have barely begun to grasp the truth of what our biology actually is, and was once intended to be.  As I have said before at Amid Night Suns, the human race was once a powerful race of Vessels, creator-beings tasked with housing the Innermost Light -- the physical and metaphysical manifestation of God, of Infinity itself.  You can choose to accept or reject this notion as you see fit.  You can explore it metaphorically, as an artistic conceit for the purposes of insight into the complexities of human experience.  How do we figure and give shape to our yearning, our spirits and our souls?  Is it enough to call our souls an illusion; nothing more than a trick of the light?  No, this would be unwise, and also untrue.  Lucidity understands the permeable threshold between dreams, desires, visions, and manifest reality.   The Dreaming Mind is indeed the Doorway to Eternity.

Sometimes, dear reader, you just need to see it.