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.
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
There is an ancient Gnostic adage that states ‘Knowledge is Power.’ Of course, like everything, such a notion is multi-layered and multidimensional. But for the moment let’s look at power from a social, political and historical perspective. From these perspectives we can argue that true power concedes nothing. 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. Protests, decentralised collectives, new community alliances; multi-layered grassroots activism. Sometimes these warriors of freedom paid for such bravery with their lives. But today, I would suggest, the ruling predator-elites and power-broking oligarchs are attempting to purge such truths from history, or else repackage these truths as toothless confections largely nostalgic in nature.
Icons of Inequality
I have written elsewhere at Amid Night Suns about the predilections and machinations of the Victorian predator-elites in Britain that arose out of the industrial revolution, and how those elites set the blueprint for the rapacious elitism of today. We still have a ruling class, but it’s no longer a simple aristocracy in the Victorian sense of the term. The ruling class of the twenty-first century is a hybrid of Intelligence, military, occult, banking and corporate interests. It appears monolithic and singular only from the outside, but from within it is just like any other collection of interacting, infighting organised crime-networks. To the untrained eye it might seem as though these elites are all working in perfect concert. But the truth is that those who control us, and control the direction and flow of societies, are snared in a hideous mess of brutal, perverse and sociopathic realpolitik.
The world is horrifically complex. And so we simplify. We have no other choice. But we need to be incredibly mindful of how we simplify, mindful of the things we throw away in the process. Researchers in the alternative-media might quiver in the presence of an eye atop a pyramid, in fear or in thrill. But society isn’t actually a top-down, vertical hierarchy. Society is lateral, horizontal. Society is a vast web. Power, control, influence – they don’t flow the way we think they flow. Just ask any occultist or psychic. Like all things, the power behind social control is really just a form of oblique, lateral communication. And communication flows from mind to mind, it passes through individuated nexuses of the collective mind. Control, therefore, is a trick. But an incredibly powerful one. Hierarchy could be said to exist only as an icon or image of itself within the perception of an imagining sentience. Human culture is being conjured moment to moment, from mind to mind, imagination to imagination in a symphony of interconnection. The real question is how this lateral communication is manipulated to ensure the illusion of vertical power differentials, to ensure that some rule while others suffer. And I would argue the answer is the application of extreme violence under this profane icon of illusory hierarchy. If you are psychotic and predatory enough to truly want power and control over people on a massive scale – illusory vertical supremacy – eventually you will have to back up your rhetoric and venerate your icon with violence and the threat of spilled blood. And violence is nothing if not the manifestation of symbolic hierarchy, symbolic inequality. This is true on both a local and social level. “I do not want to co-exist. We are no longer equals. My story will conquer yours, and you will suffer.”
This kind of psychology is basically radical fundamentalism at its core, the kind of thinking behind Daesh and various other militant terrorist groups. It’s also the basic mind-set behind reductive materialism, behind many global power-elites, behind slavery in all its various forms. It’s a predatory, dehumanising psychology that is essentially vampiric in nature, and is made manifest through the use of brute force, violence and sinister propaganda. It’s the physics and politics of despair, of fear. A paradigm that tells you that injustice is like inclement weather, simply unavoidable. When the truth is that societal injustices are the emanations of a blood-soaked icon of hierarchy. Archons, demons, vampires and human predator-elites…all of them kneel and supplicate before this insatiable icon. After all, evil is utterly banal at its core. You can only slice a lust for power, violence and control a few different ways. The language it speaks is crude, dull and unimaginative. Which is exactly why it needs the blood and life of others to sustain itself.
Sigils of Divine Fire
This insight concerning blood-dimmed icons of hierarchy, and the control of lateral or horizontal communication to ensure vertical supremacy under the banner of such icons, is the dark heart of social control, of warfare, of modern slavery at its most naked. But I believe it’s more than that. I believe it’s also part of the occulted meaning behind the symbol of the cross. The cross isn’t just a Christian theological icon, the crucifix upon which Yeshua was placed between two thieves. It’s an extremely ancient magickal symbol, both an acknowledgement and refutation of polarity. I believe the symbol of the cross is the meeting point of two realms; a nexus, the alchemical furnace of creation. The cross is a doorway, a gate, a portal. Furthermore, I believe those who wield it would do well to learn something of its awesome power. This knowledge of the meeting place of the vertical and lateral, this kiss between heaven and earth, can enslave entire worlds when perverted. But when used truthfully, as a force for Gnosis and Innermost Light, it can offer us a way out of that same slavery. Because when you stand up and speak truth – and on a local and literal level when you fight for freedom, workers-rights, healthcare, anti-austerity measures, affordable housing and positive social reform – just as the generations before you did, you honour the dead. You actually become that meeting place between heaven and earth. You become that doorway.
So, if knowledge is indeed power, in a variety of contexts, then what kind of spiritual power and knowledge has been lost to us? I’m not talking about some imagined magickal wisdom tradition, some unproblematic and easily codified elite spellcraft. I’m talking about an experiential knowledge – a participatory relationship with the spiritual and numinous. It isn’t just some ad hoc ritualism, nor is it simply dry, empty scholarship. It’s more akin to a radical and steadfast dedication to your own private art and evolution. A gnosis that sacrifices neither its rigour or joy, and that incorporates intellect, evidence, trial and error – a relationship that also honours the sacrifices of your forebears and the nameless dead. This is the kind of knowledge that’s been lost. Purposeful re-enchantment. Or what Gordon White at the indomitable chaos magick website Rune Soup calls ‘the restoration of context.’ After all, there is a qualitative, contextual difference between raw data and knowledge, isn’t there? The former is information, perhaps lacking in any inherent utility, but the latter is information mediated and processed through the human soul – through praxis, nuance, context and acuity. It’s this acuity and lucidity that an active working relationship with the spiritual can recover – a passionate keenness of perception, an unconquerable creativity. But remember, a true working relationship with the divine can at times be both dangerous and disturbing. There are unseen shadowed realms around us, as well as realms of light. The true practitioner must have some working knowledge of both, and the continuities between them. There will be wondrous revelation, but also terrifying or unsettling encounters. Walking such a liminal path is not for everyone, and that’s ok. These notions can be applied in artistic, creative endeavours, and not just the explicitly magickal or spiritual. But if you sense some kind of deeper truth in these words, if you yearn to recover what has been lost – then you must discover your tools and prepare yourself to step into a world alive with energies, entities, resonant fictions and sublime truths. It is the very thing the monsters are afraid of; the Archons, vampires, demons and their human familiars. They are afraid of you, at your most dynamic and unfettered.