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.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
We stand among the stones like broken teeth in the mouths of buried gods. We hear alien melodies carried on the wind. Strange glyphs reflected in each other’s eyes. Geometries and evocations swirling like crossroads-dust all around this gathering. This gathering of Magi from every edge and hidden place. Some come with gilded tools, pages of living flame, others come with bone and fetish. Some of the Magi come with no language. Some of us are not even flesh.
But all of us are Ragged, bound by singular purpose. To heal, protect and defend. The human-kith will continue to write stories about such gatherings; fable and fairytale, to give and gain succour amid their private agonies. When the Carrion Angels, the fallen ones, try again to break the spirits of the human-kith their shamans will again tell tales of the Ragged Magi. And they will be quickened.
Shaping the howling void with flame and knife and whisper, a rebellion. A renaissance. We can make marks of great power. A billion angels on a thousand pins, push the spiral until it spins. And yet many will doubt their own imaginations and ask, “Are these stories real? Am I more than Carrion?”
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
I want to talk about the notion of Evil. It’s easy to see it as something of an abstraction, something nebulous, belonging to a medieval world of religion, superstition and folklore. It’s not something we take very seriously in this age of subservience to the State, this age of atheism and reductive materialism. We have very little patience for the Mysteries, the paranormal and high strangeness, let alone patience enough for serious meditations on the nature of evil. There is a thirteenth century Catholic hymn I’m fond of; Dies Irae. The Day of Wrath. An apocalyptic incantation that describes the Final Judgement. I’ve always found it interesting that the strange hymn, perhaps far older than the thirteenth century, came to be used as a key sequence in the Requiem Mass. Dies Irae, I would argue, is full of a kind of misunderstood necromantic power. For the uninitiated, necromancy in its broadest sense is death-magic – either communication with the spirits of the dead, or the manipulation of the very energies, materials and secrets of death itself. As any true practitioner or operator of magic will be well aware, death itself is not evil, and neither is magick. The truest magicians, the truest seekers and the truest scholars all exist in a realm of nuances, subtleties and occluded interrelationships. They discount nothing outright, and are always willing to be surprised or humbled by new knowledge and new experience. But evil – the capacity and desire for control, defilement, desecration and abuse – this is something that very few men and women are truly willing to comprehend. After all, if such a thing exists, either energetically or experientially, who in their right mind would willingly traffick with monsters?
Since I was a child I have been asking myself the same basic questions, before I even had the intellectual finesse to formulate these questions properly. I knew back then, as I know now, that something is very wrong with the world. I was a weird kid, but apparently very astute. Gifted, many adults called me. But what they didn’t realise was that my acuity came from a far deeper and stranger place than mere natural intellect. Many sensitives, intuitives and psychics will relate to this, I think. Childhood is usually not an easy time for us, especially considering we are not really supposed to exist in the eyes of the scientific mainstream. But I’m still asking myself the same questions, still trying to unravel and gain wisdom from a spectrum of very dark and very strange personal experiences.
I’ve encountered evil in my life, both physical and spiritual. It changes you forever. And yes, I’m fully aware that such labels are inexorably tied up with my own particular psychology and perception, my own private mythos. But at what point and through what mechanism does the chthonic become evil? Or to put it another way, at what point does the chthonic become something that could be resonantly if not ‘accurately’ described as evil? I would argue that when the chthonic interfaces with a particular kind of sentience, a dark intelligence utterly lacking in empathy, horrors can be born. I’m no expert on either the human mind or philosophy, but I studied psychology at university and I was particularly fascinated with psychopathy. Or what I later came to define as predator-psychology. But I’ve also personally encountered individuals and energies for which the term ‘evil’ is the most accurate and intellectually honest description I can think of. Forms of consciousness that don’t seem to be mentally ill in the classic sense of the term. Rather they seem to revel, burnish and exalt their own psychopathy, their appetite for the most deviant forms of abuse. Unless you’ve personally encountered such things, you could be forgiven for writing it all off as nonsense or mental illness. But I believe it’s more than that. Much more.
In a Gnostic sense there are those individuals who seem to imitate what we might define as an archonic consciousness. But there are also those – far fewer in number but exceptionally more dangerous – who seem to rather embody this archonic consciousness. From an energetic viewpoint there is no imitation involved. Most people commit evil because they are in spiritual, emotional or physical pain. Most people feel guilt, and empathy. But there are some among us who don’t, I would argue. They really don’t feel or experience human connection the way we do. For these individuals, especially among the ever-warring multinational predator-elites that rule this planet, deepening their perversity whilst attempting to maintain basic cognitive function is their highest thrill. The razor-edged thrill of the truly powerful. I understand that the notion of evil is really just a shorthand that arose out of religionist-thinking. A shorthand that’s been abused throughout history by the forces of the State to vilify and demonise both potential enemies and domestic minorities. But I also understand, as the oldest fairytales have tried to tell us, that sometimes you can be unfortunate enough to cross paths with a monster.
There’s something that many people don’t realise about monsters. They don’t just desecrate, defile and abuse. They covet. They covet all sorts of things. People, places, stories, energies and knowledge. These predator-elites, who for so long have had a stranglehold on this world – they see themselves as Collectors, as Carrion Angels. They feed, and pocket what remains. They believe they are the only ones powerful enough to hold an ouroboros of divine fire in their hands. They believe their desecration is the highest magick. They are wrong.
There are secrets we know, aren’t there? Things we’re not supposed to reveal, or even discuss with outsiders. The histories of ritual magick and indigenous shamanism are multidimensional, multifaceted. We know that recognition and comprehension of a thing can literally invoke that thing. We know that our reality is darker, brighter, stranger, and infinitely more complex and nuanced than we first believed. We know this now. We know there are entire vistas of lost and suppressed histories, concealed from our understanding by various predator-elites, many of them with agendas and appetites far more sinister than even our fictions will usually contemplate. We recognise that networks of meaning slide back and forth across thresholds of semantic drift. We understand that there are languages, energies and entities that speak laterally. We know there are beings and dreamscapes and strange thriving societies hidden within our various forms of art. Fiction is not just fiction. It’s the architecture of infinity. We know the power and sometimes unfortunate necessity of code. And we will not be vanquished by hate, intolerance, desecration, abuse, torture, slavery, or evil by any other name. Here’s something else most people don’t know about monsters. They are always afraid. They’re afraid of us, of you and me. They’re afraid of what we have within us. They’re afraid of fire.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
I love this city. London is a strange and haunted place. It’s terrifying and glorious. A city of unparalleled power. Once upon a time it was from here that the Earth was ruled. But not just the Earth, also the dreamscapes of those who lived upon the Earth. Perhaps, in ways occulted to us, it still is. For me, London is a city of dreams and nightmares. No matter how deeply its filth and macabre history is prettied by modernity and gentrification, the past still howls beneath it all. Closer to the surface than we think.
To paraphrase the visionary poet William Blake; harlots still curse at forced subsistence, and blood still runs down palace walls. The violence of former atrocities never really washes away, and in certain lights can still be seen. These chartered streets mark sigils, icons and ancient flows of harnessed power. The Highest in the Land, the predator-elites, they think they created this city, and every blackening church of dreams within it. Infurnum est ars. But London is far greater than they are. My city is irreducible; full of secrets, hidden places. And magick. London is magick. It’s an ancient and dangerous city, and I love it with all my heart. My soul is bound with London in various ways.
Like the saltire or X-shaped cross upon which St Andrew was crucified, an icon of which was placed by Christopher Wren above the south transept of St Paul’s Cathedral, London cannot die. Resurgam. I shall rise again.