Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Romany Ragged

I asked a gypsy pal
To imitate an old image
And speak old wisdom.
She drew in her chin,
Made her neck and head
The top piece of a Nile obelisk
     and said:
Snatch off the gag from thy mouth, child,
And be free to keep silence.
Tell no man anything for no man listens,
Yet hold thy lips ready to speak.

    -- Gypsy, by Carl Sandburg

As a person of mixed-race parentage, and as a truth-seeker who considers his own personal philosophy to be a hybrid fusion of many different schools of thought, I have always had a fascination and felt an affinity for the Roma people.  More commonly referred to as Gypsies, often in a derogatory sense, their origins and culture is shrouded in myth and mystery.  They are a people often characterized by extreme poverty, but a huge richness of spirit.  Although they are recognized as a fusion of various cultures and populations, historians generally agree that their origins can be traced back to Rajasthan in India -- migrating out from there over 1500 years ago.  This always fascinated me, since I myself am half Indian and my own family also originated from Rajasthan.  Also, realizing that various Roma dialects still contain Hindi and Gujarati words further cemented my fascination with them.

As an artist, I am also not that interested in demystifying their immensely rich and secretive culture.  Rather, I am interested in how mystique and fiction can support and strengthen such a marginalized people.  The Indian side of my own family migrated from India to Africa many years ago, but then fled their new home to escape the Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin's brutal regime.  So, it has always been clear to me that my family had something of the Roma spirit in their nature, if only in my own romantic imaginings.

At Amid Night Suns I have written a lot about a group I call the Ragged Magi -- a hidden tribe of hooded sorcerers, warriors, poets and artists -- who walk in the Unseen Realms and stalk the monsters, demons and Old Ones who hunt in Psyche's Shadow.  The Ragged Magi are more than just a fiction.  They are a powerful vanguard that maintains the balance of human consciousness.  They have former dark entities amid their ranks; monsters and creatures who's hearts were pierced with the Knife of Love, and who now fight on the side of Compassion, Beauty, Insight and Truth.  They are here to live a life in opposition to earthly and spiritual tyrants.  They are here to break the spell.

The Magi are a ragged tribe of artists and spiritual warriors, much like the Roma people themselves.  In fact, the Ragged Magi ARE the gypsies of the Unseen Realms.  Dear Reader, if you think this is merely a tall tale I am telling you, then you must learn to read between the lines -- and understand that all sentient beings are composed of stories.  This is a Holy Secret I am sharing with you now; a secret that you already understand in the deepest strata of your imaginations.

The Ragged Magi -- the Romany Ragged -- will never, ever rest.  They are my contaminated friends.  We live a life of passion, mystery and insight.  We protect the weak and wounded, and we fight on your behalf.  Welcome to the world of Outlaw Magick.


  1. Hey hay hay hay hari hari ho hari hari hay- party!This is my favorite yet. Shake it and play it and save the world oh sacred and contaminated gods and magi. I'm with you.

  2. I'm still thinking about stories...and my friend...this is a great one! You've shared another part of your story...and we have all gained strength from the telling. The ranks of the Magi are swelling...protecting the weak and wounded and fighting a war of resistance on all fronts and in all dimensions, defending creativity, passion, and insight with all the ferocity of our humanity. All of humanity has been marginalized and we are indeed here to break the spell. It is true that we will never ever rest. We are tired of what isn't right. Even death itself is no deterrent, as I believe that it will merely allow the struggle to be fought on a new battlefield. The story will continue until balance is restored.

    "Sometimes heroes must go hooded."

    1. Thank you for your beautiful words, Dave! Your support of my work is so appreciated!