Monday, 26 September 2016

The Mandala Diaries

Let Shankara protect my heart,
Let my belly be protected by consort of Girija,
Let my navel be protected by he who won over death,
And let my waist be protected by he who dresses in tiger skin.

Let the God who takes mercy on the oppressed,
Who is dear to those who surrender to him protect my joints,
Let my thighs be protected by the great God,
And my knees by the God of the universe.

-       Excerpt from the Shiva Raksha Stotra

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Notes and Aphorisms of a Dreamwalker

I’ve seen enough ruined dreamtimes, seen enough wraiths wandering listless or gathered and fierce in vast craters of shattered black basalt. These places beneath dark skies that burn and bleed like wounds in the firmament. These places of annihilation, places of forgetting and forgotten. Bombed cityscapes seem to shimmer at the crater’s edge, there and then gone, and there again. I am standing in the tear, the subatomic agony of ruptured particles, fallen superpositions. Around me the howling, sobbing wraiths dim and flicker, the cacophony fades and I am now alone in this place. An interloper riding a corrupted signal dying faintly in the void. I am always shocked by how horrifyingly, unpalatably physical it feels. The grit and rough stone beneath my bare feet, the feel of the wind on my face, the sheer radiant darkness that I would have called ugly if there were anything else in this place to compare it with. It is instead rather beautiful in its way, this luminosity of absence, just alien enough to feel familiar. The young stone girl is there in the centre of the breach, sitting cross-legged and frozen in the circle of ash, her left hand upturned, palm open. Her eyes are pieces of uncut onyx, unblinking, unmoving, although they watched my long approach from the crater’s rim. I press the piece of unpolished quartz into the upturned palm.
     Her stone becomes flesh, her eyes become lamps of Innermost fire. She turns her head, peering at me fully now. There is amusement in her eyes, but also challenge. “Come again?” she asks.
    “Always the romantic, dreamwalker. A holy fool of good intentions. It is indeed what I like most about you.”
    “I’m no fool,” I tell her, crossing the boundary of the ashen circle. I sit cross-legged with the girl, her slim shape wrapped in ragged strips of blackened muslin. She continues to peer at me with eyes of flame. Eyes that are the only colour or brightness in this place. Still, this half-smile on her lips.
    “And this time?”
    Very quietly I say, “Tell me of the Mind of Man, their stories, their fictions and fancies, their subconscious energies...all these things that govern soul-making and the potentialities of their spirits.”
    She smiles openly now, eyes still burning. “What can I tell you, dreamwalker, that you yourself do not already know?”
    “Tell me,” I insist. “You know why I ask, why I’m afraid, and why I come seeking your counsel once again. You are not hateful, even here in this breach. It’s the thing I like most about you.”
    She laughs gently, never breaking her flame-lit gaze. It is both thrilling and unsettling to be peered into so deeply, to be recognised so clearly. She senses my thrill and my fear. She takes my hand in hers. It looks like flesh, but it feels still like stone.
    “Dear sweet boy, your earnestness is agony, and rather beautiful. I do not mean to belittle you. It is crucial that you care. Most travellers that press my palm are seeking other things. But not you, and so, sweet boy, I am always happy to indulge you. This is not the true abyss. There are many wounds like these. I am but one sentinel, there are others like me.”
    “I know,” I murmur. “But we have lost touch with our spirits and our dead. Very few of us commune with them. Fewer still honour them.”
    She caresses my face and I am vulnerable, childlike, shy. “I was birthed of holocaust, sweet one, but my knowledge is neither particular nor occulted.”
    “Share with me still,” I ask tentatively.
    “You wish to know of duality? The Dark Twin of God?”
    In the circle of ash beneath the ruptured firmament she fixes me with her fire. She begins.
    “Angel of the Abyss, dark twin of God. Devil, Lucifer, Antichrist, Demiurge? This confusion of names and competing cosmologies?”
    “Yes,” I whisper. “There is dark magick at work in my world now, a psychospiritual inversion. If we are all Love and Infinity made manifest, then this magick seeks to invoke its cosmic reversal.”
    She gazes into my heart through my sight. “Yes,” she tells me. “This imagined Dark Twin of God. Some call him Abaddon, Apollyon, Lucifer, Devil, Demiurge, Iblis. You give him many names in your religions, your spiritualities and fictions. Voldermort, Sauron, Morgoth, the Broken Book. You swap names around and argue over ontologies, demonizing the religions that came before you or contemporaneous with yours. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, all hating, all fighting, when you should have been working together to comprehend the problem of evil. The problem of evil was supposed to be an integral facet of the Great Study of humankind – all faiths and all creeds coming together for a common good. It is this way in the astral realms beyond the breach in which we now sit...centres of learning in which spirits come together to share one another’s stories, dreamscapes, rituals, rhythms and secrets. But it does not matter what you call this imagined Dark Twin of God, what name you ascribe to him. He is your conception of utter depravity and control, he is the nameless one that rapes and kills children, the one who eats the flesh and drinks the blood of his former kin. The one who breaks spirits and minds and hearts, the one who defiles, abuses, annihilates.”
     I have tears in my eyes as the girl of flesh-like stone peers at me with her eyes of fire, holding my hand gently.
    My voice is trembling now. “Why does such a vision even exist in the innermost minds of Man? It terrifies us, castrates us, makes us weak and passive.”
    “Sweet, sweet child, he is terrifying because he is not in pain. He is joyful, an endless conscious perversion. Your scholar and your shaman can fight about who or what this Dark Twin of God really is – endless arguments regarding his ontology – but you cannot if you are honest deny his presence in your world. You cannot deny that these unholy energies have colonised much of your thinking and many of your territories. Even a fiction can be sharpened to a razor’s edge and drawn across the throats of your churches, your temples and altars and sacred spaces. He is the quantum superposition of every fallen state, the thing there and not there, and no religion or spirituality can claim safe haven from his reach. But, like your vampires of old, you have to invite him in.
    “Yes,” I tell her. “Yes, I can see now with even greater clarity how storytelling transfigures like a fractal in each human mind – always the interplay of dark and light, this duality that seems inbuilt into our perception of material reality.”
    “Indeed. The nameless abomination is a phantom, a rumour, a fancy used to explain every form of human or cosmic violence. But we are entangled with everything at the subatomic level, interconnected to every possible reality and every dimension by virtue of the fact that sentience itself is the flame of God, multiplied and fractalised throughout the myriad. All is dream, all is spirit, nothing is physical until an observing consciousness awakens within that frequency. This is what worlds are, traveller; dreams viewed from the inside.”
    “Yes,” I say once more. “Yes, I’ve always known such things. But the pain...the horror. It takes my breath away.”
    She peers, she sees, she comprehends. “Sweet boy, I too know of this. The horror you speak of, it raped me a thousand times and almost stole the light from my breast. Some worlds are denser and thus more difficult than others, and we must assume more valuable. These dark forces you imagine who wish to rouse the living inversion of the creative principle, the Nameless One that is the true adversary of consciousness...they do not govern the arc of your spirit or the spirits of your kith and kin. But all worlds know of him. Alien tongues speak of him. And like what you call God, his names are also Infinite. He exists as a caution, a warning, a Gnosis of what the absence of Love can truly become. He isn’t really or merely Abaddon, Apollyon, Antichrist, or the other gods of other faiths. For some he is a wild pagan thing. For others he is order and law. These are but placeholders, evolutionary fictions for young minds. He is something that we all know, something that we can all become if we ignore our own spiritual intelligence. Why do you suppose I placed myself here, within this ghost of holocaust? To acknowledge what was done, and what I truly am. What I can be again as this light grows steadily in my breast once more. Truly he is an alien god, and we the sentient should never know him. Because truly we are all gatekeepers, and we know exactly how to call him forth, we know exactly what it takes to invoke him. Theist and Atheist alike. He is the most ancient of cautions and the ugliest, cruelest nightmares of every possible world. But as every religion and spirituality tries to teach you, twisting and turning at the fractal level even when corrupted or rewritten, you must read between the lines.”
    “My friends and loved ones are afraid right now,” I tell her. “They haven’t the strength left to peer into the gaps of their own cognition.”
    “Then you must carry that Light for them, sweet warrior. Holy fool. Child of Infinity.”
    “I’m trying...but...”
    She grips my palm a little tighter and I know that she could crush it if she chose. I can feel the power in the stone of her hand.
    “Listen to me, traveller. It is not the absence that is truly in control. It has always been the presence. No matter how much they draw the absence in, either through psychospiritual technologies or acts of the sickest, most degenerate violence, it is always Presence that lives forever. Evil is a ghost, a phantom, a non-local vampire. But Love is forever, as well you know; the force that ultimately governs the fates of all entities in this myriad. These are not merely our spiritual cosmologies, they are the sentient geometries from which these cosmologies are developed by consciousness in-situ, in real time. There is only one story, sweet boy, and it is the greatest story ever told. We must all of us reconnect with our souls, with our faith, and recognise who is ultimately in control. These dark energies seem all-powerful to you right now, but they are not. The creative principle is all-powerful. Evil is weak and petty when you finally see it for what it is, but Love is strong and true and eternal. Remember this, storyteller, and go forward now.” 

Monday, 12 September 2016

From the Black

The world of the predator-elites is a cesspool, a black hole of desecration and dehumanisation.  Surely we can see this more clearly than ever now, can’t we?  Buffoons and killers auditioning in American political elections, and elsewhere massive global unrest.  Of course we must pay attention to all this lunacy, to stay lucid and current, but I think a large part of our focus must turn inward.  I think the most diligent amongst us are already attempting this.  This has been a very strange year for me.  But then again, 2016 has been a strange fucking year for everybody.

As anyone who regularly follows Amid Night Suns will know, I’m deeply fascinated by transitions, thresholds and liminal states of being.  Edgelands, thin places, window-areas.  As an intuitive I spend much of my time trying to understand the constellation of these places and states.  The act of crossing, changing or transforming is fascinating indeed.  These notions beguile scientists, artists and ritual magicians alike.

I’ve always tried to enrich my comprehension of these themes and notions.  This is a big part of why I continue to produce video-content for this blog.  Apart from the desire to engage and entertain my modest audience, I’m obsessed with juxtaposition, collage, blending and blurring.  The notion that you can have two words, or two images, or two aspects, and by placing them together, or side by side, or in conjunction – an unseen third quality is brought forth as a result.  Ex Nihilo.  Something from nothing.  Magick itself.  That’s why I keep exploring these combinations of sound and image.  What energies live behind the words?  What subtler frequencies are picked up?  What is the gestalt of an assemblage, and why?  I suspect it’s these numinous realms that keep drawing us back to the art.  We hunt the madness in the method, we flirt with the divine.  We call in our shadows and we explore them, because we honour our depths.  Because beneath our social programing, beneath our servitude, we half-remember that we were made for the Edge, made for ethical transgressions into a host of hidden realms.  An unseen magick is cast in the lives of theists and atheists alike, because Anima is everywhere, because consciousness demands association.  I want to comprehend this power that stiches reality together, this force that threads subject to object and nucleus to star.  And this force, if it moves at all, it moves at the speed of thought.  For someone like me these notions are sacred, worthy of deep study.  It’s as close as I can get to flight.       

From the Black from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Liber X

Surely freedom is the goal of any sentient intelligence? But we have made gods of our oppressors, phantoms of the fallen.  We are the outcasts, the demimondes, the soothsayers.  Some of our cages are gilded, some barbed.  We have been cast under a spell of a thousand years.  And now emancipation is little more than a wraith, a lost angel, a faery whose wings now burn in the darkest flame.  But there are many kinds of fire.  We who remember the Innermost carry our own light, kindled from within by that most archaic of powers.

We wage war against a world of demons, monsters and unholy depravity.  This is the arena of the Ragged Magi.  Light is lost at these abyssal depths, so we must carry our own.  To protect the children, to safeguard the future, we speak the unutterable and achieve the impossible.  Those profane, desolate altars must be cleansed.  The wicked must be called to answer for their crimes.  They seek to corrupt and twist the very fabric of nature.  But we magi stand against them.  There is a world darker, brighter and far more ancient than any desecration. There is a healing darkness locked in communion with a quickening light, an eternal embrace within the very core of your star.  It is here that our magick is forged. Make a space, cast a circle.  

Radiant darkness, ageless star
Carry me near, carry me far
I bear the mark of my beloved’s kiss
I will not falter, it has come to this
Heal the wounded, reanimate the slain
In mother’s earth I bury this chain
I am that which transforms hate
I am the crossroads
I am the gate

You are standing in my temple.

Liber X from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Edge of Everything

I’ve always been fascinated by limits, perhaps in much the same way that a child might be fascinated by fairytales.  Simply put, I find the notion of limits, edges and borders spellbinding – but I don’t completely believe in them.  In my world there are thresholds, portals and gates, hidden amidst our everyday tangible realities.  In my world there are ways to breach time and space, to call down powerful spiritual forces, ways to stitch the Earth and Sky together.  I am not merely an epiphenomenon of crude matter.  I am not merely this flesh and this sin. I am lightning in a bottle.  I am irradiated sentient clay – and this clay that makes my form is as sacred as the Innermost Light which animates it.  As an artist my life is an altar upon which I organize and explore my dreams with ever-increasing subtlety. It is upon this altar that I learn what power and magick truly is. It is here in radiant darkness beneath an ageless star that I attempt to peer beyond the horizons imagined by both myself and my brethren.  My friends, if in doing this I am able to kindle even a fragment, an ember, of that holy midnight sun within you, then I consider this altar truly blessed.  You and I, we once stood side by side. We once walked among stars. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The House of Love

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

Ex Nihilo

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.