This is part 6 of a series. Here are Part 1 & Part 2 &Part 3 & Part 4 & Part 5


hiatus (n.)

1560s, \”break or opening in a material object,\” from Latin hiatus \”opening, aperture, rupture, gap,\” from past participle stem of hiare \”to gape, stand open\” (see yawn (v.)). Sense of \”gap or interruption in events, etc.\” is first recorded 1610s.

Ginunngagap – the yawning primal void. On either side of this lay the primordial realms of Fire and Ice, and when they met and interacted, the giant Ymir was formed. Norse myth tells us that it is from his slain corpse that the worlds were built. A triad of brothers killed him, cut him up, remixed him and arranged things into the worlds we know.

Last week, this series went on hiatus. I was having an empty brain day – couldn’t summon enough words to make them worthwhile your reading, so I went and did something else I worked on other projects and then gave myself the rest of the day as an ‘input’ day, rather than an ‘output’ day. I don’t believe in writers block; you can always do something, even if it’s not what you originally planned.

I didn’t consciously plan the hiatus, but, as it turns out, it gave me exactly what I needed. Rather than scurry back to my original notes and attempt to wring some filler out of them for you, I followed my instinct.

Well, I say instinct, and yet what I really mean is my ‘demon.’ There’s a quote from the esteemed Science Fiction writer, Roger Zelazny, which I posted on Facebook the other day:

Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant -you just don\’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you\’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.

Trust your demon.

And here, dear readers, is where we are beginning to notice a pattern, aren’t we? Recall from Part 4, that a genius is really a tutelary spirit. Recall that “The bones is yours, dad! They come from you!

Creativity takes work – it is rarely a matter of sitting around for ideas to come. Anybody who says that is not a creator, they are merely a passive channel, unreliable at best and unpredictable and corrupt at worst. Such folks as these who partake in occult pursuits are often subject to what Mr. White of Runesoup refers to as “extradimensional trolling.”

From a storytelling standpoint, this makes for boring stories that make no sense at all, leaping from point to point.

Trusting your demon is like trusting a friend or sibling. You only trust them because you’ve built a relationship up – you know each other, and you trust them to be themselves, and that’s something you’re fine with. But knowing them is key above everything else, in engaging in the back and forth which builds connection – in the communication.

Remember the rabbit in the hat? Remember how important it was to keep talking – to not edit? At base level, that exercise was about becoming comfortable with creating on the fly without restriction, and yet there was also another purpose.

When you learn about your body and your voice, when you begin to use that toolbox, you begin to learn and gain knowledge of yourself without the pesky censorship of society.

Slowly, you are beginning to learn that the default modes of communication are often reflexive, and that with deliberate and careful observation and practice, you achieve more nuance and depth. You can communicate and convey different internal states to the world, and change your own. All this is a pre-requisite for communication with your ‘demon’ or genius.

(Note that these terms are fluid and I’m deliberately keeping them vague, because I’m certainly not silly enough to offer definitions.)

Your ceremonial magicians will no doubt be muttering about the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Those with more of a yen for the Greek Magical Papyri will no doubt be muttering about various daimones or supernatural assistants.

Within the context of this series though, I am referring to the quality/faculty/entity with which one may develop a relationship, so that one is capable of turning everything and anything to use.

This demon is precisely why one may confidently allow a hiatus, and be sure that, while seeming to be empty, such a disruption may, in fact, be pregnant with creative potency. To do that though, one must be thoroughly and literally obsessed by one’s demon. Quite literally, one becomes a child of the ‘god’ – those with grounding in the Graeco-Roman schools of magic will no doubt see the parallels with the underlying roots of esoteric Christianity and other tradition, but that’s quite enough comparative theology for now!

It is not a path for everyone – it’s not particularly ‘safe’ either, being as you can’t ever stop doing it, and if you try, things have a tendency to go awry. But it is something that a creative person will recognise, every artist, writer, musician and actor and countless other folk. One might even say that it was ultimately left-hand path in nature, but that’s neither here nor there.

By developing this communication skill, this recognition and method of riding and coexisting always with that inspirational force, everything becomes source material and the division between the two ceases to matter.

Remember that question from the end of the last post – “What will you do right Now?

That is possibly the second most important question I’ll ever ask you. We’ll get to the first, in a moment.


Being aware of what’s going on is highly important in life in general, but specifically in storytelling and sorcery. You need to know your audience, and to be able to watch and tailor your story to them. You need to know where you are and what kind of action is appropriate there.

The difficulty arises when, unfortunately, you can’t possibly have all the information you need. For most, a best-guess or a prediction based on previous similar experiences will do.

But we’re not most people. We understand that the map is not the territory, and that the medium is the message. We understand the world whispers a twilight languages writes books on iron-grey skies and weaves tapestries out of rain. We understand that the light of sun and moon provides pathways to other places, and that nothing is ever still.

Which brings us to that most important of questions: “What’s happening Now?”

Some of you may know some mindfulness techniques – the act of remaining present and observing what is occurring, without judgement. They’re highly useful, and I recommend them. Just observing what’s going on, without drifting off into what it means, or associated memory, helps deal with a great many things.

We can’t escape the Now, not really, although we try through mental chicanery. Recognising that, and engaging with experience as-is, will very often change the quality of the experience completely.

As an example, next time you have a pain, instead of ignoring it or wishing it would go away – focus on it completely and utterly. Within thirty seconds, you will notice that the sensation begins to change. By continuing to focus on that ‘new’ sensation, you will notice that it too will begin to shift in nature. Now, rather than interrogating the change, bring your focus back to the original area and keep it there.

In no time at all, you will notice just how significant a shift mere focused attention may engender.

However, this is actually not the most interesting product of that important question – because in fact, due to the quirk of biology we possess, what we experience as the Now has already actually occurred a split second earlier.

Everything we do, we have already done!

I have already begun the necessary process which produces the words I hear in my head which I am typing now before I am even aware of it. Decisions about which word to use are made without my conscious input:

I’, is at best, an echo or an after-image, a residual impression. Consequently, to use the example of pain – the pain, when it it shifts or ends, does so before we realise it!

Now, what does this nervous system quirk have to do with us? After all, the lag is usually less than a second, surely?

This is true – but given how quickly decisions are reached before we act, that gap might be said to be nigh infinite. Suppose then, that we argue that our conscious awareness arranges experience in such a way as to create a narrative to justify the decisions and actions taken in that void?

Suppose then equally, that that narrative is created on the near edge of that abyss – and that we react according to that narrative.

So then, there is a chain of action stretching on and on, with our awareness merely along for the ride? If that’s the case, why bother with the exercises I have given you in previous posts? Quite simply this:

It’s a feedback loop – yes, there is lag, a nigh infinite yawning space that disrupts our idea of cohesion and flow between events. However, by mindfully bringing these processes into awareness, they become fine-tuned – think of martial arts drills and repetition.

This means that the actions and decisions taken in that dark space become more refined, more useful to our idea of narrative. Subjectively, change happens more rapidly – thats to say more occurs in a shorter time.

Work solidly and completely for five minutes on one thing alone, with one thought, one goal, and you will achieve more than thinking about 3 connected thoughts in 15 minutes. Equally, the more occurs, the more we can tweak – one suddenly finds more resources and potential paths.

So, finally, circling back to storytelling, what to do? Why, nothing short of total utter commitment to every word, every syllable and letter. Make its transmission inevitable, as inevitable as the rest of your existence.

Join me next week when we’ll see just exactly what this means for us as storytellers and seekers of esoteric knowledge.