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wheelchaircrap

This came to my attention earlier, on this scorching hot day in Albion. So as my first faltering steps towards Occult Uncle (Agony)1234 , here’s my slightly sweaty response to a rather important question that’s close to my heart:

So I’m curious, how does a person with physical disabilities perform movement intensive rituals like the LBRP or Pyramidos? I get that these can be performed astrally, but are there methodologies that can make these rites accessible for the physically disabled?

Short answer? Do the bits you can, and then work on sensory control so you can feel/see/hear yourself doing it with 90% ‘reality’ (the number is arbitrary. There’ll come a point when it ‘clicks’ and you’ll know)

Long Answer:

I’ve not done Pyramidos myself, but have used the LRBP and use the following technique myself as a physically disabled wheelchair user for various rites, and it seems to work:

Do this, [the bits you can] repeatedly, even if you don’t get results the first few times. I’m talking about doing it your temple space, not astrally. The point is to connect the body as much as you can. Do it on multiple occasions, even if you don’t get contact

After a ‘bit’ (a handwavy period of time) after those repetitions, you’ll get some kind of spirit contact. That is when, quite bluntly, you ask the spirit(s) what to do to improve contact.  They will usually give you some tweaks. Then you run the rite with the tweak, asking again. Repeat as many times as needed.

After a bit, (lovely time period, innit) when said spirits are satisfied with things you should have a workable rite that’s viable for you and they, even if there are significant changes made to the original.

Now, the reason I say run said rites ‘as much as you can/are able, then fill in with Imaginal fill-ins’? I think it’s Josephine McCarthy who has said (and I’m paraphrasing) that the ritual begins the moment you decide to do it.

Now, I could quote you some studies on psi, or even current neurology which suggests that decisions and actions are begun before we are consciously aware of it. I could do that rather than waffle about ‘the power of intent’, and I probbaly should, but here I will say something perhaps a little heretical to acertain brand of chaos magician:

MAGICAL INTENT IS BULLSHIT. 

Those Statements of Intent? Mean next to nothing. They’re just focusing tools for your consciousness. Intent has no oomph, no impetus at all. It’s just backward rationalization.

Now, apologies to Josephine MCarthy if I’m misunderstood/misquoted her ideas, because I’m sure it seems like I’ve just contradicted myself. After all, if Magical Intent Is Bullshit, then how can I say that the ritual begins the moment you decide to do it?

There’s a certain ambivalence towards the Arrow of Time in magic. On the whole, a magical universe tends to operate on circles, spirals and fractals, rather than linearity.

So when I say decide to do it both the decision and the action are ratified by the action. To quote a certain someone Do, or Do Not – There is no Try.

I could waffle on for ages, pontificating about retroactive enchantment, but, bluntly, it boils down to this The decision to do it, the ritual actions and the results themselves are a whole magical act.

They. Are. Not. Separate. Things.

Anyone who has had a bit of experience will tell you of rituals, the results of which, still reverberate years later. Across space and time, the act continues.

See, magic, in my experience, tends towards Wholeness, to Maximal Expression. This Wholeness is not a Singularity, but is in fact manifold, and varied. There’s plenty of coming-together-and-breaking apart.

So when dealing with physical disability and magic, well bluntly, in terms of population, there aren’t that many of us, which is to say, there’s more than you realize but perhaps less than you might like.

Secondly, and equally bluntly, if you’re physically disabled and doing magic, well, you’re kind of at the sharp end in terms of R&D because of the vast variety of differences in disability. Which is kind of cool, because there’s literallyno one like you in the game, except you.

(Until of course there is – or rather, was – but that’s another story)

Yes, yes every Man and Woman is A Star. We know.

But you, friend, suffer unique challenges, and have got round them in a statistically variant manner to the norm. Celebrate your difference.

Which leads me on to the fourth point – those repetitions and ‘make do’ imaginings? Waste of time. Except, y’know, NOT.

They are part of the magical act. But they’re also there to show the spirits involved that you’re serious, and you are trying desperately not to half-arse it. That you’re not some arsehole who thinks they know better.

It is, for want of better words, a show of good faith, with the added bonus that you develop your skills and begin the process of turning your body into your own particular magical machine/temple.

Always remember, humans are not the only ones playing this game, and sincerity goes a long way.

In 16 years, I’ve only ever ONCE had a spirit that wanted to work with me, and I it, insist on impossible so-called ‘traditional’ forms. In the end, I found another who was more willing to help me rig something up for the benefit of us both.

I’m not a ceremonial magician by nature, mind you – precisely because of such difficulties. That and I tend to ascribe to the notion of spirits having a stake in working with us, just as we do them..

Hope this helps.

I’m sat here

In a country that’s dealing with an MP and mother of two being shot and stabbed to death by a man in the street in broad daylight. A man who, according to some witnesses, shouted “Britain First” before firing. A man who had a history of mental illness and had connections to Neo-Nazi and right wing groups, as well as books and materials in his home.

A man who obtained an illegal firearm and, just over a week before the Referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU. A country where the Daily Telegraph (one of the country’s most conservative newspapers) calls the murder “An Act of Far-Right Terrorism”.

I’m sat here, and all I can think of is all the neo-nazi scumbags in Heathenry, who rather than recognising that the elder heathen cultures valued hospitality and kindness to strangers, seek to expel and belittle people on grounds of sexuality, ethnicity, or physical ability.

All I can think is how wrong they are. How this island I call Albion has welcomed wave after wave of immigrants since the ice-age, including the Norse and the Anglo Saxons. How, for all the battles, the mixing of cultures occurred, how the people and land prospered together,

All I can think of is how unbelievable their fear must be, how much they must be certain that they are not enough, that they’re going to be swallowed up, everything they are is to be lost.

I’d call them frightened children, unable to face the possibility of Change’s elder brother, Death. I’d say they have no grasp of the old ways, of the knowledge that our ancestors knew – that there is no safety, and that the world is full of Life with its own agenda.

But that would, I think, be petty. Instead I wish more understanding upon them. Instead I wish revelation upon them, wondrous as it is – the knowing of the fact that we are inextricably bound together, across space and time. That all of us on the island are nourished by the same dirt, and the bones of all those incomers and outgoers. Those roots, our variegated multi-woven twining roots are what keep us alive in an uncertain world.

Our earth, our dirt.

Doesn’t matter where you come from, you eat the dirt, you’re welcome, y’know? Muslim, Black, Gay, Straight, Polish, Syrian….you eat her dirt in the food and the water and she’l take you, mix your bones with all the others yeah?

And the holders of those bones surround us – Roman cavalry from the Black Sea, African legionnaires on Hadrian’s wall, Brigantian tribesmen strengthening the arm of those who farm on holdings established by Norsemen a thousand years ago.

We’re bound together. That’s not hippy talk, but a fact of life and death. The ancients called it wyrd. And wyrd goes as it should.

It’s time to remember humans were made from trees, as in Norse myth. The land is us and we are the land.

Albion sang to William Blake once, gave him great visions and poetry of that vast giant. Its gods and goddesses, songs and stories, still remain, If we are to survive, we must do as our ancestors did, and learn to listen – to join our voices once more to the great song of adding and taking away. To go down Below and across the borders of Here and there. To answer the call to be watchers, singers, makers, dreamers and shapers again.

To drink from the well of Memory, and bring forth vitality from that freezing stream, to answer the Lady of the Lake, not with requests for swords, but with song and poetry and story.

I may be a cripple, I may me weak, but my heart beats under the skin, same as the mighty, and I have my Dead all about me. The lines and maps of men mean little, but the land remembers.

So we must learn to listen. To remember, and recall we were NEVER alone.

Authenticity & Wyrd

Nornsweaving
There’s no such thing as Authenticity, or being Real as opposed to fake. No static boundary to cross, no goal to make. To suggest that there is a quality, distinct and clear, is to misunderstand the fact that Being is continuous. This is not post modernism – on the contrary it is pre-modern in nature.

There’s a rushing sense to it, like trying to catch silver fish in a running river with your bare hands. The moment you grip it, the fish wriggles, changes. The water cascades around you. All the sensations impinge and impress upon you, but they are there one moment, and then gone the next, replaced by something new.

Authenticity always hearkens to the past, to the moment when you finally realise what a thing is – except by the time the realisation forms, what spurred it has gone.

The only solution to this problem, such as it is a problem at all, is to note that the Primordial exists as a kind of Never-Was.

Insofar as Never can be described as a specific species of negation, the Never-Was negates the past as fixity.Instead of fixity, we are presented with Fate that is not oriented futurewards – indeed, there is no futurity. There is only the Primordial, which itself is a mere label since there’s actually no numerical sense involved – no primary, secondary, tertiary etc.

But what manner of Fate are we describing, this thing which is apart from our notions of past, present and future? In this, we consider the premodern word

Urðr,  from which we derive wyrd, and weird.

Wyrd is not past, present or future. Indeed, in old texts like Beowulf, it is said wyrd always goes as it must.

In this sense, wyrd, fate does not conform to past-present future – even when we factor in Verðandi (happening) and Skuld (debt/obligation/consequence) we are not experiencing the same tripartite structure.

Even gods are bound by wyrd – which is to say there is an inexorable process occupying what we might conceivably visualise as as a simultaneous Before-Between-After and yet permeating all events, too.

Therefore, there is no distinct Authenticity, there is only wyrd, and in considering this, we are faced with the possibility that our actions are not our own alone, but also the actions of every entity within the kosmos. Our actions may in fact be the description of negative space – our lives are like the air inside a lung, shaped by ‘outside’ forces and yet influencing those forces though the air seems apparently empty space.

In this, we approach again, the Nietzschean amor fati. If God is Dead (insofar as God is understood as a singular moral arbiter and guarantor of so-called explicit ‘order’, rather than some specific Abrahamic deity) then we are liberated from notions of linear progression. Instead of a single line, we are presented with a vast manifold, a cornucopia of options which, paradoxically to our modern minds, require deliberate intensity – wilful Dionysiac engagement with all events and occurrences, beyond all notions of so-called Good and Evil, Real and Fake.

And this is not easy. Indeed it is the hardest labour of all, to  see all events as but Images, endless protean iterations of wyrd, each one a portal to all others – an entangled web gleaming with burnished illuminating darkness.

This does not mean that all things are equal – indeed it demands we engage with all these Images anew, differently each time, on a case by case basis. The seeming lack of guarantee of value does not, and never has, levelled the landscape of existence into a marketable, democratized form. Instead, we are driven to seek that value, as a people entering an unknown land must explore it in order to find those resources which will allow them to live, and live well.

By embracing this Terra Incognita, we face death, annihilation and loss. Our fears are our daemonic companions by which we might find the dragons we always dreamt of, unlocking ancient serpent wisdom – the knowing-of existence itself.

We would do well to consider the words of Philip K. Dick:  “The symbols of the divine show up in our world initially at the trash stratum.”

The unwanted, excreted, exiled, the thrown-away, the impure and the monstrous – all these are cast out, and in that casting are imbued with a Beyondness, shot through with alien Outsiderness.

As exiles, they become messages and mediums carrying the previously unknown, the forgotten. They are the first place the Wyrd breaks through – as evidenced by the works of Jeffrey Kripal, Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal in particular

We ourselves are patchwork creatures – inheriting genes, speech patterns, beliefs and tastes in many different endlessly inventive iterations. If one were to slice our lives into pieces, it is doubtful each piece would recognise the other as itself,. All we have then, is the wyrd of it, the unutterable strangeness of our own existence, our own experience, which of course is not our own, but an Image composed of all the kosmos coming to be within the localised envelope of appearance we call life.

It is in this highly localised  environment that the kosmos reveals itself, each moment brimming with daemonic creativity, mirthful tricksy divinity. that mocks and pokes fun at our dearly held notions of matter, space, time, morality and perception.

It is that wriggling silver fish, that rushing stream, the chill in your bones, the hunger that drove you to even try. It is the cry your mother made in the moments before your birth, the last rattle of your own breath as you die.

Vast, immeasurable and irrational, seeking to lead you on a wild goose-chase into the woods with the faeries. The fleeing deer who catches and kills its hunter with bloody velvet antlers covered in carven magic spells meant to bewitch so as the laughing god might have true, honoured sacrifice.

It’s the lights in the sky that dazzle the eye and violate the laws of physics with criminal intent, the old stone that writhes all mossy under your fingertips, the whorls and lines catching starlight in a net and letting it loose in bottomless pools wherein lie maidens waiting to drag you down to the underworld.

Strange and terrible charlatan magi in feathered cloaks and broad-brimmed hats howling barbarous words while birdheaded scribes stain stone with hieroglyphs that last for tens of centuries. Thieves, liars, illusionists, pariahs and poets.

And it’s wyrd, this raw strangeness, this sly and terrible hint, this cold-edged spine-burn of tear jerking, gulping joyous immensity. This vertiginous yawning gulf of momentary knowing  which passes understanding and comes to bring sword-peace and pulsing, surging life.

Enough to wake the dead and have them climbing from their tombs and dancing, all foxfire-illumined in the cavernous starry gulfs. Look careful there, and you might just catch your own face amongst them, shorn of care, before you’re whirled and spun and struck by the awe of their ever-presence – sent madly careening through the fields of your own doubts, laughing all the while.

Then, chilled by the dew upon your skin, on the morning after the night before, cold grey comedown will make you wonder, make you reason, make you seek some rhyme and rhythm as it all recedes.

And that’s the way of it – rationality pours concrete over starry meadows. Day after day, you might be faced with that greyness, until one day, it seems that’s all there is. So that’s when you sit. When you seize the concrete, when you rake that plane with the sheer stress of your regard. Seize its pitting and its pattern, its grit and its surface, and then, as its imperfections swell, its brutalism cuts and bruises your heart, let yourself bleed. Let yourself mourn. Let yourself howl for the forgotten things you think you have lost.

Then:

Aye, and then, there’ll be that single, stunted, broken blade of grass, parched and browning. Exhausted, fallen, a crippled corpse severed from its fellows. Stabs deeper than a knife, that blade – delivers a mortal wound, so it does.

In the moment, its all too much. You die, or some part of you does. It falls away, crumbling away. Lies there, curled and brown, circling grass around some outcast dream that can no longer survive the desert of existence.

Except..where did that grass come from?

From whence sprang that tiny thing, in all this field of blankness and sharp edges?

Look again, and its gone. Look thrice though, and you’ll see it’s not alone. On the edges, in the neglected parts, there grows scrub, there grows weed and thorn. Raggedy, out-of-place, having no home here, no right to be present.

How in all hell does it survive, you might wonder?

Even weeds have roots. Beyond what is seen, down and down, they stretch into the earth. They are everywhere, and this is just a metaphor, an analogy. A story, a lie – and yet, well..

Wyrd, innit?

Marvel-ous Star.Ships

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In a way, it’s fitting that my first post after the blog’s return from being hacked is written under the influence of morphine. After all, mankind has enjoyed a close, if somewhat fraught relationship with the poppy, for thousands of years.

Whether that be out in Afghanistan, China, the opium dens of Britain and America, or even the Romantic poets and the Victorians with their laudanum and other preparations, it’s been around for a long, long time. It’s in my particular system for health reasons which I shan’t go into here, but suffice to say the last few months have not  been particularly pleasant.

Why do I bring this up? Possibly, to explain the nature of this post, and to ask for some forgiveness if yr. humble correspondent strays from the paths of relevancy. Yet also to mention that, though it took me weeks to read, my conciousness ebbing and flowing, my attention wavering from print after only a few moments like the proverbial stoned ape, I really enjoyed Gordon’s first book.

In case you didn’t know, that’s Star.Ships: A Prehistory Of The Spirits and it’s really good. Like, 2001-monolith good. Somehow, Gordon’s managed to distil down a slab of something which, if you approach it with an open mind, might very well give you some new ground to recontextualise myth amd magic. Let it into your brain and see where you end up.

But this isn’t a review. No, this is – actually I don’t know what this is,  but I was occasionally nicknamed Coleridge at university, so you’ll have to forgive my fugue and put up with a sort of juxtapositional quotefest:

WE ARE THE WITCHCRAFT. We are the oldest organization in the world. When man was born, we were. We sang the first cradle song. We healed the first wound, we comforted the first terror. We were the Guardians against the Darkness, the Helpers on the Left Hand Side. Rock drawings in the Pyrenees remember us, and little clay images, made for an old purpose when the world was new. Our hand was on the old stone circles, the monolith, the dolmen, and the druid oak. We sang the first hunting songs, we made the first crops to grow; when man stood naked before the Powers that made him, we sang the first chant of terror and wonder. We wooed among the Pyramids, watched Egypt rise and fall, ruled for a space in Chaldea and Babylon, the Magian Kings. We sat among the secret assemblies of Israel, and danced the wild and stately dances in the sacred groves of Greece.
(John Whiteside Parsons, We Are The Witchcraft)

And:

Before we knew how to farm, before we lived in villages, before we even knew how to make pots, we built a star temple on a hill. The simplicity of this statement belies its astounding implications. […] We did not build Göbekli Tepe in Southeastern Turkey because a surplus of stored food allowed a priestly class to emerge and tell us make-believe stories. We did not monitor the movements of the stars because it told us when to plant crops, because we weren’t planting crops.We built Göbekli Tepe because it expressed something about ourselves and our place in the universe. The temple complex restores the quest for meaning to its preeminent place atop the goals of human life. Philosophy is rescued from being a mere nighttime hobby of farmers to being the defining human trait, that which we value most. This is what the site’s discoverer, Dr Klaus Schmidt, means when he says that the cathedral predates the city. It may well have been the coming together for spiritual reasons that birthed settled cultures, rather than the other way around.”
Star.Ships: A Prehistory Of The Spirits, Gordon White

 

Jack_Parsons_2

All very well you might say. But who is this John Whiteside Parsons? Originally born as Marvel Whiteside Parsons, named after his father who left, and then latterly becoming known as John?

Around here, we call him Jack Motherfucking Parsons. Look him up. You’ll find he has a crater on the dark side of the moon named after him, helped found what became NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, worked Ritual Magic with L Ron Hubbard – yes, that L Ron Hubbard, and blew himself up in a lab explosion. This is the guy who looks so terrifyingly like the father of Tony Stark (Marvel Comics IRON MAN) that I swear it’s one of those Things.

Why do I bring this up? Because as well as introducing Grady McMurtry to Thelema, he is instrumental in our attempts to get. To. The. Stars. A scientist, Thelemite, magician, libertine, who gave us jet fuel and Solid Rocket Boosters. Like Dee he had a dodgy partner – L Ron was his Kelley in some senses. There are even the wife swapping parallels.

Now, no disrespect to my Thelemic chums, but if the OTO had as much pull and celebrity influence as the Church of Scientology does/did, perhaps it might be further along with the whole Thelemic worldwide project, eh?  But, no matter.

Therefore our name is Lucifer. We are on the side of freedom, of love, of joy and laughter and divine drunkenness. Therefore our name is Babalon.

Sometimes we move openly, sometimes in silence and in secret. Night and day are one to us, calm and storm, seasons and the cycles of man, all these things are one, for we are at the roots. Supplicant we stand before the Powers of Life and Death, and are heard of these Powers, and avail. Our way is the secret way, the unknown direction. Our way is the way of the serpent in the underbrush, our knowledge is in the eyes of goats and of women. (Parsons, Ibid)

And:

“While Laurasia may be the ‘containing narrative’ for Western magic, many of its spirits are at least Gondwanan and potentially Pan-Gaean. You can even make the case – and I do – that ‘true’ Western magic, devoid of its much, much later onboarding of Neoplatonism, is a practical application of a Pan-Gaean world-view: God may exist but its existence is materially irrelevant; the Trickster/Devil is the gatekeeper and lord of culture; and it is recourse to local spirits and the dead by way of sacrifice that is the most commonly performed action. The witch is a very old woman and she has been on a long, long walk.” (White, Ibid)

It’s been interesting, hasn’t it, the discussion of the Devil in various blogs, within Wicca and Witchcraft? Even Llewellyn has authors getting in on the act too. Somewhere I can hear a chuckle as a Wanderer throws up the horns, walking along the corpse-paths of starry night. And then there’s the film, The Witch: Black Philip and the dark woods:, all warm-mouthed and living deliciously, hot buttered young crumpet and old hag dancing in Sabbattic Nightflight.

Ochre-red handprints, human and otherwise, pressed on the stone roof, the curvature of the Earth propelling us Down and Into Abyssal Starry Gulfs amongst the immortal, feral dead – all unbound, justified and ancient. Uttering barbarous words that are no words in any mortal tongue because they’re the language of the shining angels, the black and hungry birds. Lucifer – Light-bringer. Morning Star The name for Venus. High in the heavens and within her Sibylic Mound within the Earth.

The combination of the bird – most often the vulture – and the head is repeated several times throughout the entire site. During the 2012 season, a larger-than-lifesize, realistic human head in the talons of a large bird was discovered in a deep sounding trench in the main excavation area. This is an image that is well-known from Nevali Çori and is thus highly suggestive of the continuation of ‘headlessness’ and the special significance of the head from the deep Palaeolithic into the post-agricultural era. Other carved heads have been discovered in the fill of various enclosures, and are curiously evocative of some comparatively nearby cultic practices in Jericho, ‘Ain Ghazal and Tell Aswad, where human skulls were removed from corpses and given new faces made from gypsum plaster before being installed in ancestral shrines. As far back as 26,000 years ago (doubling the distance between Göbekli Tepe and us), graves where the skulls have been painted with red ochre are found. From the same era, the Gravettian graves – found across Europe – often contain headless skeletons or sometimes just skulls. (White, Ibid)

This is the monolith. The single stone. Except it’s not single. Not at all.
gobekli
No more than Crowley and Coleridge had their problems with opiates alone – the former, heroin, the latter laudanum. No more than I have a precisely calibrated slow release of morphine sulphate movng through my bloodstream even now, prescribed by healers whose ancestors once dreamt in caves and earned the wisdom of the pharmakon from the spirits. No more than years ago, when the hunters and the gatherers came together and met and talked and told grandmother stories, and grandfather stories. No more when serpents and eagles and scorpions wheeled above them and writhed against stone pillars, when the memories of all the Floods that ever were, sluiced through minds primed for the remembrance of times lost.

We are the Witchcraft, and although one may not know another, yet we are united by an indissoluble bond. And when the high wild cry of the eagle sounds in your mind, know that you are not alone in your desire for freedom. And when the howl of the wolf echoes in the forests of your night, know that there are those who also prowl. And when the ways of your fellows about you seem the ways of idiocy and madness, know that there are also others who have seen and judged – and acted. (Parsons)

To place things in context – nobody is talking about a single Ur-text, no singular method of hierarchical transmission. The words and phrases, Gondwana, Laurasia, antediluvian – these are mere placeholders. No early twentieth century Perennialism here. No nineteenth century Murrayist Old Religion which requires slavish reconstructionism. The palm tree becomes oak, becomes ash. The mundus imaginalis, in all its intermediary intercessory wonder, reaches out. There have been a hundred Atlantises, a thousand – the wisdom teachers who carry the memories of a drowned land are legion, because of the nature of stories  and Being. Because there have been events and times which must be kept as doorways, preserved as the very vessels which carry us to the realm of the stars.

As above, so below is not merely some comment on the tendency of humans to plot the movements of the heavenly bodies. Nor is it solely a statement on the holographic, holistic nature of so-called reality. It is an aid to memory, a signpost to communion. For it says that the stars are not, have never been, apart from us. That stellar chthonic realm, that endless arching curve of the velvet heavens, is us.

The way up is the way down. That constellation of Tricksters with ten thousand faces, those daemonic culture heroes – strange-grifters all. That legion of daemons led by some hoary-headed thing of laughter, wonder and terror. That feral band of night-dancers, terrible in its singular gravity, curving space and time, twisting it into lemiscate knots to hover above the heads of charlatans.

There’s an awful marvel here, friends.

marvel (n.)Look up marvel at Dictionary.comc. 1300, “miracle,” also “wonderful story or legend,” from Old French merveille “a wonder, surprise, miracle,” from Vulgar Latin *miribilia (also source of Spanish maravilla, Portuguese maravilha, Italian maraviglia), altered from Latin mirabilia “wonderful things,” from neuter plural of mirabilis“wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary; strange, singular,” from mirari “to wonder at,” from mirus “wonderful” (see smile). A neuter plural treated in Vulgar Latin as a feminine singular.

miracle (n.)Look up miracle at Dictionary.commid-12c., “a wondrous work of God,” from Old French miracle (11c.) “miracle, story of a miracle, miracle play,” from Latin miraculum “object of wonder” (in Church Latin, “marvelous event caused by God”), from mirari “to wonder at, marvel, be astonished,” figuratively “to regard, esteem,” from mirus“wonderful, astonishing, amazing,” earlier *smeiros, from PIE *smei- “to smile, laugh” (cognates: Sanskrit smerah “smiling,” Greek meidan “to smile,” Old Church Slavonic smejo “to laugh;” see smile (v.)).

From mid-13c. as “extraordinary or remarkable feat,” without regard to deity. Replaced Old English wundortacen, wundorweorc. The Greek words rendered as miracle in the English bibles were semeion “sign,” teras “wonder,” and dynamis “power,” in Vulgate translated respectively as signum,prodigium, and virtus. The Latin word is the source of Spanish milagro, Italian miracolo.

smile (v.)Look up smile at Dictionary.comc. 1300, perhaps from Middle Low German *smilen or a Scandinavian source (such as Danish smile “smile,” Swedish smila “smile, smirk, simper, fawn”), from Proto-Germanic *smil-, extended form of PIE root *smei- “to laugh, smile” (cognates: Old English smerian “to laugh at, scorn,” Old High Germansmieron “to smile,” Latin mirus “wonderful,” mirari “to wonder”). Related: Smiled; smiling.
wundortacen, wundorweorc.  Signs and wonders. Powers and portents.

Because it was never about us. Never. The human was never the centre of the universe. Instead, that central point, that crossing place, that axis mundi which has wizards and wonderworkers trapped in trees or hanged from them? That place of dismemberment and reconstitution that makes worlds, the place where angels descend and shining folk take us apart and put us back together so that we may see anew with ancient eyes?

That is where we stand. Only in that meeting, in that moment. That’s the doorway to eternity.

I shall let you into a secret, dear friends. This has taken me days to write. Days to put the letters next to each other. (Morphine, you understand.)

Yet, you’ll read it as a whole thing, a complete object. You’ll never see the false starts, the moments lost, staring blankly at the screen, while raw emotion and wordless thought crashed together like waves of an ocean. You’ll never see it unless I let you, unless I show you. The logic of it, of Gordon’s book, meets William Blake in my mind.

Jerusalem, the emanation of the giant Albion. The shining city of Imagination upon a hill. They made a hymn about it, but so many thought they were speaking of a desert place, a distant place.

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?  – From Milton: A Poem by  William Blake.

A question there then, from Blake. Did Jesus, the living divinity long held distant in time, walk these shores? Did Milton, with his tale of the fallen Lucifer, the descending rebel angel, serve as Virgil to Blake’s Dante? And if Lucifer the Lightbringer is applied not only to Jesus, but to Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter – what then?

If there is a Meeting Place, then there are Meeting Places. Multiple, Plural. Altars, shrines, holy places. Tapu places. Places you don’t want to go at certain times lest you be taken Under The Hill into those timeless fairy realms. Places that exist that way, not because of superstition but because of memory, but because of the wyrd interconnected nature of things.

This has taken days to write, as I have said.

While this place was down, I’ve been on and off tumblr, and I became aware that apparently, some folks think analysis is antithetical to chaos magic. I mention this, because of Jack Parsons. Because of the calculations and the mathematics of John Dee. Because of the curvature of the earth and the raising of the stones and the movements of the stars. Because of the teaching of herblore and surgery and healing and harming. I mention this because Gordon runs a chaos magic blog and talks about experimentation and results, and floods and geopolymers used to build the pyramids in his book.

>I mention this because when we come together at that meeting place to share stories and ideas, when we cast our minds back to ancient lands where ancestral grains lie, the grandfather of the strains which give you bread today, we find that the division is not there. We find the cathedral instead, the star temple. We find magic, not as an exclusive thing of bits and pieces, but as whole fabric. We find it born when high wyrd meets the human mind, and in reaction, like a body breaking out in hives, we find culture, that attempt to grasp to shape, to understand, to acquaint, to have knowledge of.

Humans it seems, by our nature, are a Gnostic species. While we cannot speak for our cousins the hobbits, or the Neanderthals or the Denisovians, we can nonetheless find them in our DNA. We knew them, biblically, Gnostically. We found these Others, and we met them, and now we carry them with us through time.

This has taken days to write, periods of time. Of comings and goings. Yet you are seeing, reading, only one thing. Which is the truth of the matter? Knowing my opiatic status, my poppy process, what changes? I live in the 21st century. I was born towards the end of the twentieth. Yet, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve uttered the words from the Greek Magical Papyri, barbarous names from 350CE and centuries before. Lost count of the times I have called upon the Headless One, with mouth aflame.

Brueghel-tower-of-babel

Gordon again:

In a compelling example of the sort of non-human logic described at the opening of this chapter, we have the Headless Rite. Straddling the modern and supremely ancient world, it is an invocation of an asterism that led tribes across the globe for tens of millennia, that had ‘headless’ star temples raised in honour of it and its consort where hunters would feast, take drugs and learn the skills of grain cultivation, that became associated with stellar immortality (and still grain) to such an extent that great stone maps of it were built upon the earth. In a transparently shamanic survival, alignment with this asterism conferred kingship over the realm of the spirits. So potent was the initiatory power of headlessness – to have one’s head in another realm – that it has survived into two of the three great religions of the Near East in the form of John the Baptist, who ‘initiates’ Christ and thus brings that same promise of victory over death back down to earth.How or why could you possibly improve on that? There is no need to toddle off to Devon for a ‘shamanic initiation’ weekend. The blood spilled at Göbekli Tepe still stains the Headless Rite’s words of power. Speak them.

 In those moments then, there is and always was, a communion. A connexion which is transpersonal, transtemporal. In those moments then, I do not touch the Old Religion. For there is no Old Religion, just a tribe of apes having their bodyminds blown to smithereens. The Religion & Science comes after in a desperate attempt understand, and all one can leave behind are reports of the signs and wonders, the bones and ribs of fallen starships wrecked on the shores of time. The myths are memory, the prophets learning the tales well enough to integrate them into their body and blood so very intimately that uttering them opens a pathway, raises the wreck of those vessels.

The severed head becomes the doorway, the ancestral stream, and we find that City, that Star Temple on a Hill, waiting for us in whatever clothes we need. This is not about some unbroken lineage. Rather it’s that the things which found lineages and make connexions never went away. 

The Gnostic impulse is always with us.