Edward P Butler wrote the following over at his livejournal. What originally was going to be a small comment morphed into this – a rather long strange piece, even by my standards.

The Orphic slogan, “A kid, I fell into milk”: I believe this to be equivalent in a certain respect to part of Crowley’s Oath of the Abyss; namely, the part about “interpreting every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul.”

To say “A kid, I fell into milk” is to say that I was thrown into a world not of my making, but found it was made of meaning.

This nonindifference of the world also underlies the depictions of the “mystic nursing” of animals.

There, however, the bacchant provides milk for a soul depicted as a young wild animal.

This suggests both that having been enlightened, one becomes a light to others, and also that one brings into the light the undeveloped parts of oneself.

Thus also, the descriptions of the initiate as “limpid” are not mere enthusiasm: the initiate is like a new Phanês.

It is not just a question, then, of interpreting one’s own life, but that one becomes a “phenomenon” to be interpreted by others.

This is what a hero is, I think, a mortal having become such a site of meaning.

I’ve bolded the last section of this because it’s quite correct. The hero as daimonic child of deity as exemplfied in Herakles or Parmeneides and Orpheus as son of Apollo is precisely that.

The milk proceeds from the ‘breasts of the goddess’. It is also the notion of the Milky Way, and of the notion of the young goat being cooked, undergoing the requisite changes in conciousness  for initiation. Falling into milk is literally falling into the realms of the heavens and the underworld. One does not ascend without ascending. The hero achieves a multiplicity of meaning; the post-mortem-initiatory shift requires that the hero-walks-as-god.

Since daimonic reality is polyvalent and rhizomatic the hero becomes a singular cipher – the one name which gives access to the cornucopia of creative possibility, the creative impulse of the daimonic.

As site of meaning they are thus an omphalos or axis mundi – see also Crowley in Liber Al:

5. Behold! the rituals of the old time are black. Let the evil ones be cast away; let the good ones be purged by the prophet! Then shall this Knowledge go aright.

6. I am the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star. I am Life, and the giver of Life, yet therefore is theknowledge of me the knowledge of death.

7. I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

8. Who worshipped Heru-pa-kraath have worshipped me; ill, for I am the worshipper.

9. Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains

The twin poles of Heraclitan flux and the Eleatic Mystery of immobility are clearly visible here. Combine this notion with Kingsley’s thesis that it was incubation which produced the laws of societies, and even the remarks about the rituals of the old times being purged by the prophet make a hell of a lot more sense. See also the conversion of Iceland, where Thorgeir Thorkelsson, lawspeaker of the Iceandic Althing and goði spent time under a fur cloak during the Christian conversion of Iceland.

Daimonic reality, being polyvalent, is a poetic reality – a kenning or a line may have multiple meanings to each listener, while at the same time containing cultural gnosis and framing. It is the Orphic initiate/hero, as descendant of the lineage’s founder who embodies the non-local non-linear timelessness of the gods in the localised space-time.

8.50 At this point I stop for you my reliable account and thought
8.51 concerning Truth; from here on, learn mortal opinions,
8.52 listening to the deceitful ordering of my words.
8.53 For they made up their minds to name two forms,
8.54 of which it is not right to name one – in this they have gone astray –
8.55 and they distinguished things opposite in body, and established signs
8.56 apart from one another – for one, the aetherial fire of flame,
8.57 mild, very light, the same as itself in every direction,
8.58 but not the same as the other; but that other one, in itself
8.59 is opposite – dark night, a dense and heavy body.
8.60 I declare to you all the ordering as it appears,
8.61 so that no mortal opinion may ever overtake you.

9.1 But since all things have been named light and night
9.2 and the things which accord with their powers have been assigned to these things and those,
9.3 all is full of light and obscure night together,
9.4 of both equally, since neither has no share

10.1 You shall know the nature of the aether and all the signs in the aether
10.2 and the destructive deeds of the shining sun’s
10.3 pure torch and whence they came to be,
10.4 and you shall learn the wandering deeds of the round-faced moon
10.5 and its nature, and you shall know also the surrounding heaven,
10.6 from what it grew and now Necessity led and shackled it
10.7 to hold the limits of the stars..

11.1 … how earth and sun and moon
11.2 and the aether which is common to all and the Milky Way and
11.3 furthest Olympus and the hot force of the stars surged forth
11.4 to come to be.

12.1 For the narrower were filled with unmixed fire.
12.2 The ones to them with night, but a due amount of fire is inserted among it,
12.3 and in the middle of these is the goddess who governs all things.
12.4 For she rules over hateful birth and union of all things,
12.5 sending the female to unite with male and in opposite fashion,
12.6 male to female. – On Nature Richard D. McKirahan trans. 

The duality of signs that mortals believe is the lie which the poet-intiate-magician-prophet must learn, in order to suffuse it with and reveal immortal truth found hidden in ordinary phenomena.

More than simple apophenia, the recognition of communication with the kosmos as a literal coming-together and breaking-apart serves as a recognition. Crowley’s Oath of the Abyss is a wilful engagement with and participation with the kosmos – the polar reality of the Klagseian Cosmogonic Eros; engendered by Aphrodite-as-Strife shows that goddess as truly found to be Justice, whom the initiate must ‘pass’ to discover the goddess who dwells in the Halls of Night.

Here, one might argue that the subterranean goddess demands ‘castration’ as seen in the rite of Cybele – the severing of the mortal generative functions not out of aescetism but by annhilation of that same reality to embrace once again the Mystery. Of course, the living-dead initiate returns, meaning that their generative functions are now daimonic – the violation of gender signifiers directly attacking the categorisation of mortality.

The head of prophecy has been severed – that is to say the genitals have been repurposed. The polar eroticism is now not limited to lust leading to satiation but the dionsyaic bacchic frenzy. The symbolism of the severed head is not merely a sign – rather the severed head is, to borrow a term, a magic(k)al machine full of rhizomatic, poetic polyvalenceit itself is a site of meaning, an initiator  which opens the initiate allowing them first to perceive the unending flow of the unhealed wound, which is only resolved through application of what we could conceivably call the grail; bringing to mind the symbolism of the spear of destiny, the stone, cup and dish

See also the rite of the Headless One:

I am the Headless Daimon with sight in my feet; I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll; I am the one whose sweat falls upon the earth as rain so that it can inseminate it; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys; I am the Favor of the Aion; my name is a Heart Encircled by a Serpent; Come Forth and Follow.” – Aune trans

Crowley used a translation of this for the Rite of the Bornless One, altering things to fit his frames – placing it as the Preliminary Invocation to the Goetia. Jake-Stratton Kent has convincingly argued that goetia forms a   major if not complete root of the Western Magical Tradition – its spirit interaction having roots in Ancient Greek Necromancy and spirit-practice, which needs no explanation here. Sufffice to say that the dismembering of Orpheus by maenads conceals a symbolic reality akin to the dismemberment of Assr/Osiris by Sut, which speaks a great deal to the notion of relics and nomes as power-zones for maintaining the Egyptian civilisation.

In daimonic reality, identity does not exist per se – Is-ness dissolves and is repleaced by seems-to-be. Only by recognition of the seeming-of-phenomena can we fall into participation with the daimonic. Variety and difference are the mark of that reality – synchronicity is remembering.

As a child of earth and starry heaven the initiate is elevated in death – all heroes are dead after all, coming back to intercede and connect; familiar faces as-masks in which we may see our own resemblance and recognise our own nature as mortal daimonic immortals.

The severed head-skull as bringer of death-awareness to consciousness, and attendant impressions on the psycho-sexual structures of the initiate thusly removes and yet also enhances polarity:

22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, “These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father’s) kingdom.”

They said to him, “Then shall we enter the (Father’s) kingdom as babies?”

Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].” – Gospel of Thomas

Here, we see the child again – the youthful kid/initiate falling into milk a la the kouros. Compare this to the requirements for some of the PGM rituals to have a youth serve as oracle or essential part of the operation, and we may begin to literally conceive of a very ancient idea – the life-principle undivided by mortal notions of dualist sexuality; the child simply takes nourishment and experience from the parent. It does not attempt to define, being lately come from the Place of Life.

In this regard, the innocence is not sweet, but an expression;  an engagement with and apprehension of unfiltered reality before the wetanschauung begins to apply strictures of linearity and belief.

Conversely, the parent has no existence in and of itself – parent is always in relation to child. It is child that requires parent in order to exist, not the other way around. Outside of mortality and societal ideas of child existing as needful for parental fulfilment, ancestry always relates to offspring-as-embodiment of ancestor.

Thus we can say that the parents of mythic heroes  do not require them –  the existence of heroes is not required, but is a inevitable byproduct of the damonic interaction with the seemingly mortal. Zeus gets his end away in greek myth because he is Zeus, not because he needs children; the children are a supremely logical consequence of Zeus’ being Zeus.

So, since the daimonic parent is required from the existence of the child, the mythic sexual mystery comes into play within the realm of mortality. Yet, such a thing is precisely a consequence of mortal reality, as the goddess of Parmeneidies would have it.

In the immortal realm, all being immobile, such congress cannot happen since all as-is, a completed immobile whole. Therefore, in some sense, the congress both never happened and is always happening. That is to say, heroes are always conceived and also were conceived, and yet also have always existed.

The daimonic generator does not engender the offspring. The offspring has always existed without parent, because the offspring is the parent and only seems-not-to-be. 

Let me repeat, the parent does not produce the offspring – the two come into Being equitably. Nor can it be said that the mortal creates the immortal per se – the linearity of cause and effect must be abandoned in here in favour of a rhizomatic structure of kinship and pact. Indeed, this notion of contagion and sympathy is as best an implication of the daimonic as one will ever get – the notion of creation suggests a coming-into or an arising out of; becoming-as is a better approximation, except that the ‘as’ is problematic.

Becoming is fraught with the implications of linearity only if we posit a goal or an end-point. We may conceive ourselves as becoming, but it is a mistake to think we have or will become. In becoming, we already are, where are is a precise permissiveness; a promiscuity of coming-what-may.

The daimonic is mighty precisely because of this may-be-ness, which in in actuality is the totality of implicate and explicate Beingness – engagement with the daimonic provides access to refreshment of existence. This then, is the Orphic upwelling from the lake of Mnemosyne, the gnosis of poeisis; the multivalent nuance of poetic kenning  which provides and reveals meaning.

The poet-prophet becomes the portal, the mask through which the daimonic interfaces with society. The thing that seems to come from Outside, but wells up inside all of us, albeit unrecognised by the uninitiated – for what is always forbidden is on occasion mandatory.

This principle of kosmic allowance is in fact the strictest discipline, one must cleave to the daimonic and abandon one’s former perceptual home –  just as Christ took his disciples to be fishers of men, so the seafood of Set-Typhon is ‘impure’ in the rituals of the PGM, just as the fish ate the phallus of Assr/Osiris.

Purity and impurity do not become isolated concepts, rather we must consider them on a level with kinship and the daimonic pact, a deliberate form of engagement with and shaping of consciousness unique to the individual.

This is why lineages were originally formed – the distinction between master and student is not one which was hierarchical, but again a sympathetic pact. The spiritual technology of guruhood comes to mind here; the Mysteries were recapitulated in the relation between ‘master’ and ‘student’ leading to a new expression relevant for life. This is why the intimate relation occurs where what is needful the student is not decided by rote ritual, but by an individual bringing-forth of experience via which the initiate is more perfectly aligned with those particular Mysteries.

Once the proper recognitions and symbols have re-initiated the awareness of becoming, poeisis or prophecy-as-functional-engine-of-meaning requires no effort to perform, for prophecy-as-carrier-of-and-meaning-in-itself proceeds independently; everything the initiate experiences becomes alive and participatory.

The initiate becomes indefinite; simply Orpheus like all initiates before them. There is no separation.

This sounds alien to modern ears and rightly so, for modern culture has become disconnected from the ever-presence of the numinous. To say that one is an initiate, the son of a god and hence that the god themselves, sounds insane – and at best may lead to accusation of ‘ego inflation’.

Perhaps then, it may be easier to once again consider the daimonic pact or covenant traditionally mythically sealed by the shedding of blood. This wilfull and bloody engagement may be found in multiple cultures the world over – the mixing of blood and/or other bodily fluids  implying a coming-together which cannot be separated.

Of one blood, in separate bodies, we thus reveal the principle of being-with and being-as. Thus the distinction between definite and indefinite is not applicable – one is not a Opheus, nor is one the Orpheus any more than the Apollo of Delphi is definitively separate from the Apollo Oulis of Parmeneides, nor are they identical.

Meaning alters, without altering. Nomads move without moving, and the path up is the path down.