This is another one of those posts that is written for no reason, and that is, I think, completely fine. I always find that the urge to write comes on as a slow, warning rumble; it\’s as if the pressure builds and the charge grows until the crackle can almost be tasted on the back of the tongue – the senses sharpen and the world seems more alive.

That living world thrums with vitality; rain-slick pavements and blades of grass strain towards you as patterns are seen in the passage of passers-by, in the spaces between their bodies, the passing of the cars and the wind against your skin. There\’s a kind of weight to existence, a sense of the heaviness of the weave of things.

Complexity reaches the level of emergence – odd thoughts unfurl inside the darkness of memory; bubble up and cross-fertilize to create new hybrid concepts that reveal some grinning skeletons in their genealogy, buried in the wardrobes and armoires of the Deep Mind. Can you imagine what kind of moths such places would spawn, what monstrous Lepidoptera would flock to that dark light?

Right up there with Mothra, I should think – strange beasts, vast in their might, if not size.

For the fact is, consciousness is a strange beast and precisely how it fits with the few pounds of sludge inside our skulls has puzzled mankind for ages, and when the urge to write arrives, the world is suddenly a conscious thing of its own. Wights and spirits dance in almost everything, a kind of animistic furor as the weltfeuer rages on and the pyre of existence becomes a bonfire in that blue and endless hour.

A fire that is wild and untamed, at whose heart sits a figure whose zoomorphic nature has engendered many names, but is best known as simply that which is Pangenitor and Panphage.

\”We know what happened to those who chanced to meet the Great God Pan, and those who are wise know that all symbols are symbols of something, not of nothing.

It was, indeed, an exquisite symbol beneath which men long ago veiled their knowledge of the most awful, most secret forces which lie at the heart of all things; forces before which the souls of men must wither and die and blacken, as their bodies blacken under the electric current.

Such forces cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be imagined except under a veil and a symbol, a symbol to the most of us appearing a quaint, poetic fancy, to some a foolish tale. But you and I, at all events, have known something of the terror that may dwell in the secret place of life, manifested under human flesh; that which is without form taking to itself a form.

Oh, Austin, how can it be? How is it that the very sunlight does not turn to blackness before this thing, the hard earth melt and boil beneath such a burden?\” -Arthur Machen, The Great God Pan

How indeed? I say this to you in all seriousness:


The sun does indeed turn black and the earth melts, flowing and twisting in a seething, roaring mass of chaotic funambulatory  ecstasy – the dance of the noose, the walking of the serpent-spine; the twin snakes about the caduceus of Hermes – god of  thieves, liars, gamblers, merchants, and all round dodgy geezers.

Hermes, leader of the dead; psychopompos and root of Hermeticism, presiding deity of Western Esoterica. Hermes, god of shepherds.


Silet per diem universus, nec sine horrore secretus est; lucet nocturnis ignibus, chorus Aegipanum undique personatur: audiuntur et cantus tibiarum, et tinnitus cymbalorum per oram maritimam.

\”All day long, heavy silence broods, and a certain hidden terror lurks there. But at nightfall gleams the light of fires; the chorus of Aegipans resounds on every side: the shrilling of flutes and the clash of cymbals re-echo by the waste shores of the sea. – Pomponius Mela

There is an ecstasy here, one that infuses and transcends Traditions, turns them into Mysteries. Over at Rune Soup Gordon made an interesting post about the roots of Western Magic, about how the flow of ideas may have moved from a particular city/area way back when, and gave some pretty compelling suggestions.

For all that I believe ancestry is important, I\’m afraid the idea of an origin point for any idea is something of a blind alley, or rather, the idea that any one source is the \’beginning\’ is missing the point. Consider the notion that any idea is an emergent property, a synthesis and re-ordering of constituent parts into something new – can you honestly say that anything is born ex nihilo, or instead, might you say that the whole of the WMT is itself synthetic?

From multiple streams, multiple roots, comes an emergent thing, rearing its head out of the flux – all strangely featured and amorphous. So strangely featured in fact, that when we turn our eyes backward in order to meet this potency, it is unrecognizable – unintelligible and seemingly nonsensical.

Darkly dreamt, with burning eyes brighter than the sun; the pitiless blank-faced sphinx; the extra-terrestrial music of the spheres; the cries in the Outer Dark; the ancient, antediluvian Atlantean sorcery; the death and resurrection of a solar figure; an Indo-European stream moving westwards on the backs of merchants and horsemen who come out of the dawn; the fetish and the wanga and the veve brought out of darkest Africa long before Egypt was a dream; the songlines of the Aborigines, the peoples that moved north from the east and passed through Siberia to the cold circumpolar regions, and the serpent cults of 70,000 years ago…

All these are our roots, all these are emergent things, born of environment, culture and human experience with things that are not human. When the human meets the inhuman, it either dies, flees or becomes something else. This elseness is the fulcrum, the axis mundi, about which all magical endeavour turns.

Whether it simply be knowledge or understanding beyond the norm, or a recognition of the abyss between perception and any potential actuality, the hard fact is that any Magical Tradition – be Western, Eastern, or Transplutonian Yuggothic Union with the Crab-Men of Nous-Nous – is an attempt to understand, to comprehend, to systematize and contour the experience of the deeply strange and alien to your advantage and benefit!

Because of that, because of the hard, icy realization which dwells at the heart of the weltfeuer, you might protest at this. After all, you might feel as if I am saying you are bound to fail – that even trying to define this welter of ideas and complexity by calling it the Western Magical Tradition is an act of artifice; an act which can only ever hope to provide you with a comfortable category by which you can maintain some illusion of control over through so-called naming and understanding – after all, it can\’t do anything more than than that, can it?

Or perhaps you can accept that behind all this lies something fundamental, that magic itself as a concept is an edifice built on top of a stark fact, like a carpet of moss which is green and vital as it spreads across a stone which is older than mankind by many millions of years. That its febrile vitalism springs from a bedrock which is in itself the essence of singularity – a \’hole in your mind\’ – an indescribable, imperceptible absence which, for the qabbalists amongst you, might be described as a microcosmic Ein/Ein Soph.

Da\’ath. The Abyss. Consider these two concepts – pause here…

And then – turn them over and examine them.

Feel them with thought and see them with the eyes of memory…What textures and sights do they conjure in you, and more importantly, what do they tell you?

What does the daemon-voice whisper, all sibilant and roaring in mauve silence?

Then the Devil of the Aethyr, that mighty devil Choronzon, crieth aloud, Zazaz11, Zazas, Nasatanada Zasas.

I am the Master of Form12, and from me all forms proceed.

I am I. I have shut myself up from the spendthrifts, my gold is safe in my treasure-chamber, and I have made every living thing my concubine, and none shall touch them, save only I. And yet I am scorched, even while I shiver in the wind. He hateth me and tormenteth me. He would have stolen me from myself, but I shut myself up and mock at him, even while he plagueth me. From me come leprosy and pox and plague and cancer and cholera and the falling sickness. Ah! I will reach up to the knees of the Most High, and tear his phallus with my teeth, and I will bray his testicles in a mortar, and make poison thereof, to slay the sons of men – Cry of the 10th Aeythr (ZAX)

Choronzon howls with the desert-wind, with the scritch-scratch of a million pen-nibs, Scripture endlessly churned out, nonsensical and empty glossolalia found in the hooting of monstrous Apes of Thoth as they clatter on a myriad of keys and fill the world with a plague of soul-eating zombie memes.

Oh what a Lurker at the Threshold, what a Thing On the Doorstep. What a blind idiot god, what a Daemon Sultan seated on his throne in the blasphemous depths of nethermost infinity!

See how it loves to craft weird and eldritch horrors? How signs and sigils from elder days groan under the weight of its assault, how easily it leaps from the triangle which attempts to define and hold it in place, how it rapes the Scribe with the fire and the force of the Beast?

Can you comprehend how tightly the noose cuts and frees the neck by restriction, the throat opened by the precision of the Mystic Dagger laid against the veins, that sets the blood to gush, all unceasing, into the black graal of Babble-On? Drinking, and then drunk thus  – becoming aware of the void behind the eyes which glitter like obsidian mirrors, so the black speech is born of a matrix most silent!

Tell me, prey: Have you heard of the Cult of the Bloody Tongue?


It lollops about obscenely with a life of its own; this muscular thing, this scarlet soaked wyrm; all spangled with the purplish-green, the colour of magic(k). This is the thing that builds wizards\’ towers, those things seen clear as crystal to be lightning rods, yet still those within are caught by surprise when the thunder rolls and the lightning flashes down; still shocked beyond belief as the that which lies behind the thunder blasts down, leaving gunmetal stench of ozone as it shatters all conception and sense.

\”Then I saw the body descend to the beasts whence it ascended, and that which was on the heights go down to the depths, even to the abyss of all being. The principle of life, which makes organism, always remained, while the outward form changed.\”

\”The light within the room had turned to blackness, not the darkness of night, in which objects are seen dimly, for I could see clearly and without difficulty. But it was the negation of light; objects were presented to my eyes, if I may say so, without any medium, in such a manner that if there had been a prism in the room I should have seen no colours represented in it.

\”I watched, and at last I saw nothing but a substance as jelly. Then the ladder was ascended again… [here the MS. is illegible] …for one instance I saw a Form, shaped in dimness before me, which I will not farther describe. But the symbol of this form may be seen in ancient sculptures, and in paintings which survived beneath the lava, too foul to be spoken of… as a horrible and unspeakable shape, neither man nor beast, was changed into human form[.\”] – The Great God Pan

I speak of bleak necessity – the words you ingest, devoured by your eyes and gobble with your ears, are flavoured with many and varied intoxicants. This you understand, for you know the insidious nature of advertising, the slickness of spin. You have heard the politicians attempt to manipulate those who hear and those who see. You are easily aware of the potency of language, its effectiveness for so communicating and enfolding, for binding thought and releasing dream.

Have you now begun to feel as a blind person feels, or scent the note of understanding hidden in the cacophony of the weltmusik which transmutes the noisome mundane existence into the symphony of the sphere? I am certain you have, even if you are not consciously aware of it yet.

Turn inward then, and luxuriate in the velvet hardness of the silence of your deep soul, slipping easily into the coolly oblique realm behind the stage-show of the Magician and his pomp and circumstance. The path is obscurely direct, and the crooked staff of the sorcerer shepherds and guides you home.

Welcome, once more.