Archive for September, 2014


So I\’ve been listening to Gordon on m1k3y\’s Cosmic Anthropology podcast today, and several things have struck me. More accurately, I suppose, they\’ve made me reflect on the things I\’ve been writing during this shadow-period of depression I\’ve been going through the past 3 or so months.

To a certain extent, I\’ve long learnt that this is psychic weather, and while entheogens do indeed help me as they do my antipodean friend, there\’s a certain set of everyday realities which drag you down, disability-wise if you\’re me. But the funny thing is that being Down Here seems to be something more, when we factor in the polyvalence that I talk about in Albion Dreaming. The nested Russian-Doll nature of these complex ontological tectonics we rather naively call \’reality\’ means that metaphors are all we have

\”All words, in every language, are metaphors\”

\”All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical.\”

– Both from Marshall McLuhan

And here, dear reader is when we begin to realise that the words we use to describe our world, every single one of them, is a metaphor. Whether that be \’I\’ or \’You\’; \’And\’ \’Either\’ \’Or\’ \’But\’, they are still metaphors, still sidelong-glances created by mimicry, repetition and replicative distortion.

The only corect way to to view them is out of the corner of our eye – so in a very real sense, we should be \’side-eyeing\’ reality, as it were. It\’s been put together by dodgy geezers in the camel-hair coats, the conmen in sharp suits and the million year old shark-smiles. But let\’s delete the \’should\’ from this equation, the sense of psychic obligation shall we? Let\’s admit that we have no idea what\’s going on, that in fact there\’s no whip-cracker telling us to do things. not here.

Depression is a word, a metaphor for an experience that seems so very ridiculous when you\’re not in it. That sense that you are low, that there\’s a weight pressing on your sense of Being. That sense of hopelessness, of numbness wrapped around a throbbing ache you can\’t quite describe. Somewhere along the line, you might feel like you got disconnected from the world, cast adrift.

On the podcast, it\’s mentioned that liberation technology never lasts long before it\’s either co-opted by the archons or brutally suppressed. Crowdfunding is soon to get new SEC rules laid upon it, certain strengths of cryptography are illegal in the US, the TOR router network has been compromised…I could go on but you get the picture, because it\’s nothing new. Even the Roman Empire would co-opt barbarian tribes to fight for it in the end.

It just doesn\’t last long, Down Here. The liberation technology encoded in the mythology of Christ, and its antecedents, was soon co-opted by the state. The heresies – competing \’fanfiction\’ if you like, were brutally supressed or twisted beyond recognition by detractors. And before anyone gets offended by use of \’fiction\’ in this concept, understand that we are creating fiction all the time – that\’s what metaphors are.

That\’s why, ladies and gentlemen, I lied. I said there was no whip cracker here.

There is. It\’s me.

You\’re reading these words and they are shaping your thoughts. You couldn\’t read them otherwise. That\’s what communication is, extensions of our psyches. But you knew that already, right?

(Promise not to beat you too hard, just enough – or as much as you like. See me after class, etc. etc.)

The thing with fanfiction is that it\’s often truer to the lived experience of the work than the authorised version – if it wasn\’t, then it wouldn\’t exist.

So people might want an Alternate Universe where Jesus and John were totally doing it, or where Judas switched places with Jesus and got crucified, leaving J-Man to settle down and sprog happily with Mary Magdalene, founding the line that culminates in Charlemagne. Or, that young Yeshua travelled with Uncle Joe all the way to Cornwall in  earch of tin, which is why the Grail ends up in the Westcountry.

Maybe Germanic Jesus, with his feast in the meadhall, his warband of 12 trusty warriors, and his sacrifice on the Cross-that-isn\’t-in-any-way-Yggdrasil/Irminsul is there too. Or Arian Jesus – some dude who became a god after being possessed by a divine spirit. Or maybe disturbingly-white Aryan Jesus because you\’re a white supremacist idiot who has a fit of existensial wangst anytime anyone of a slightly different epidermal shade comes near you. Maybe drunk and bitter Jesus, or sleepless and omnipresent Jesus who\’s quite obviously insane because he never sleeps.

The choice, as they say, is yours. The authorized version is the one that either squishes others, or eats them, metabolises them, and spits out some bastard hybrid. And of course, it\’s not only Christianity. Any story, any narrative can be blurred, spliced and fanfic-ed.

Look at the Tea Party in the US, or the Birthers, or the ruling classes of the UK. Each of them are spinning their own fanfic version of reality. And here\’s the thing? Shakespeare wrote fanfic. He took stories, and turned them into pop-culture, with drama, pathos and quite a lot of dick jokes in a Westcountry accent.

Fifty Shades of Grey? Twilight fanfic. Lord of the Rings? Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythfic, in an AU Christianity.

Maybe some part of you is rebelling against the designation of fanfic, as if it\’s somehow a perjorative designation. It isn\’t. The printing press, which gave birth to the Penny Dreadful, to Dickens, is part of the same reflex that gave us pulp horror and sci-fi, that gave us Trek and X-files, and all the weirdness Chris Knowles details on his blog.

\”You fellas think of comics in terms of comic books, but you\’re wrong. I think you fellas should think of comics in terms of drugs, in terms of war, in terms of journalism, in terms of selling, in terms of business. And if you have a viewpoint on drugs, or if you have a viewpoint on war, or if you have a viewpoint on the economy, I think you can tell it more effectively in comics than you can in words. I think nobody is doing it. Comics is journalism.\” – Jack Kirby

The late great Jack Kirby is the centre of much weirdness, just as several of the pulp-sci-fi writers were. Just as Alan Moore is. Just as Grant Morrison is. The key here is that these things were never built to last. They were never meant to be serious. Comics were words and pictures, the combining of the two greatest forms of communication we had, until we had the moving image. Even now, these funnybooks do things with space and time that wouldn\’t be possible without a million dollar special effects package in movies.

Pop-culture, with its rapid consumption and its obsessive tendency to induce fanaticism, is ephemeral; like poetry, its performance, its action is fleeting. The echoes of the voice die away into the silence, but the impressions it makes can last a lifetime, can shape whole generations. Propagandists and advertisers understand this as well, but the sheer rapid diffusion of data means that it can\’t be completely controlled, not totally – the archons are always lagging behind. They\’ll catch up eventually of course, lock things down, but by then, as it\’s mentioned in the podcast, we\’ll be further down the beach, onto the next thing.

Alan Moore once suggested that things were moving so fast, culture was speeding up so that it \’was becoming steam\’. It\’s no longer solid, diffuse. It gets everywhere.

What I\’d like to suggest is that it\’s not just culture, that it\’s yet another manifestation of McLuhan\’s prophecy – we are once again, thanks to technology, returning to a global \’village\’ state. Stories are being spun around the campfire – we can hear what\’s going on in the next country as easily as we can hear our neighbours having sex two huts over.

Think about that. I\’m writing this in Lancaster, and you can hear my thoughts in your head miles away, hundreds, maybe thousands of them away from the brain in which they originated.

But here\’s the thing – you probably know this already. You probably understand it\’s all metaphorical, that language shapes the way we think, that it makes us do things we wouldn\’t think we would do, like some mind-invading virus from outer-space. Hell, you probably understand what I mean when I said that in Chaos Magic \”The best magician is the one who has internalised their status as a magician, and then completely forgotten about it.\”

But how you know it, that\’s the question. Because the Gnostic technology of liberation doesn\’t come from here, according to traditional narrative. It comes from the Pleroma, to give us the keys to unlock the door. The comic prison break, if you will; the message that will self destruct in 5 seconds should you choose to accept it.


It comes from the Above into the Below. It comes down here to suffer and die and get screwed over simply for the chance to show us the way home. Now, that might seem contradictory to what I\’ve been writing lately; that we\’re going to be OK, that it\’s all right here, around you. That you are a primordial Being who doesn\’t actually have to anything except Be, and in doing so you will find yourself running down that starry beach faster than the Flash. It doesn\’t seem to accord with the living vitalistic Gnosis which I embrace; the notion that all phenomena are portals to the dreaming all at once, the wondrous numinous Night where an ancient sun burns in bright darkness.

But it does. It really truly does. Because it is a metaphor; a door into knowing a thing that may have multiple meanings, multiple shapes and forms. This fluidity, this polyvalence, is precisely why the elves went into the West, why the Grey Havens exist in Tolkien. Why the fairies \’left\’ and the \’little people\’ went \’underground.\’

Because \’down here\’ is fixed, because it\’s been divided between authorised and fanfic.

And what\’s fanfic but the human heart telling stories that are relevant to human existence, using characters and frameworks? Sounds awfully like another kind of thing which has been treated perjoratively by the archontic world:


In a polyvalent, poetic understanding of reality. the archons are metaphors for something else, and because of that they are beings in and of themselves, as real as \’you\’ or \’I\’. There\’s no value judgement here, because metaphors can affect us physically, psychically and literally. If they couldn\’t we\’d never have started using them in the first place. That\’s why DARPA have been running tests on you via selectively contouring your facebook feed and internet, and why media choose to publicise only certain stories, by the way. Because the boffins are starting to clock on to something that wizards have known forever.

Your world is created by responses to stimuli, flickers of electrochemical lightning, gone in a fraction of a second that, nonetheless has seemed persistent throughout your entire lifetime. So, let\’s look at some fanfic etymology for a second:

fanatic (n.) \"Look1520s, \”insane person,\” from Latin fanaticus \”mad, enthusiastic, inspired by a god,\” also \”furious, mad,\” originally, \”pertaining to a temple,\” from fanum \”temple,\” related to festus \”festive\” (see feast). Meaning \”zealous person\” is mid-17c. As an adjective, in English, 1530s, \”furious;\” meaning \”characterized by excessive enthusiasm,\” especially in religion (of Nonconformists), is from 1640s.

feast (n.) \"Lookc.1200, \”religious anniversary characterized by rejoicing\” (rather than fasting), from Old French feste (12c., Modern French fête) \”religious festival; noise, racket,\” from Vulgar Latin *festa (fem. singular; also source of Italian festa, Spanish fiesta), from Latin festa \”holidays, feasts,\” noun use of neuter plural of festus \”festive, joyful, merry,\” related to feriae \”holiday\” and fanum \”temple,\” from PIE *dhes- \”root of words in religious concepts\” [Watkins]. The spelling -ea- was used in Middle English to represent the sound we mis-call \”long e.\” Meaning \”abundant meal\” (whether public or private) is from late 14c

fiction (n.) \"Looklate 14c., \”something invented,\” from Old French ficcion (13c.) \”dissimulation, ruse; invention,\” and directly from Latin fictionem (nominative fictio) \”a fashioning or feigning,\” noun of action from past participle stem of fingere \”to shape, form, devise, feign,\” originally \”to knead, form out of clay,\” from PIE *dheigh- \”to build, form, knead\” (source also of Old English dag \”dough;\” see dough). As a branch of literature, 1590s

dough (n.) \"LookOld English dag \”dough,\” from Proto-Germanic *daigaz \”something kneaded\” (cognates: Old Norse deig, Swedish deg, Middle Dutch deech, Dutch deeg, Old High German teic, German Teig, Gothic daigs \”dough\”), from PIE *dheigh- \”to build, to form, to knead\” (cognates: Sanskrit dehah \”body,\” literally \”that which is formed,\” dih- \”to besmear;\” Greek teikhos \”wall;\” Latin fingere \”to form, fashion,\” figura \”a shape, form, figure;\” Gothic deigan \”to smear;\” Old Irish digen \”firm, solid,\” originally \”kneaded into a compact mass\”). Meaning \”money\” is from 1851.

I mean, seriously? Look at those bloody cognates. Look at them.

Then think back to Lascaux. Think back to the San rock art. Think back to the fire and the shadow and the crackle and the song; think about the idols and the arts; think about the spirit running fast through flesh and the dance and the sweat. Rituals that last a moment, an hour, a day, a month, a year.

Quite an experience, to live in fear, isn\’t it? That\’s what it is, to be a slave…I\’ve seen things you people wouldn\’t believe… -Roy Batty, Bladerunner

Do yourself a favour and watch the whole scene, even if you\’ve seen it before – not just the lines. Then consider who is the daimon, and who is the man, if that\’s your thing. Argue all you like about Batty gripping Deckard\’s broken hand, with a nail through his own.

Because the secret is, that these moments are indeed lost in time. These fleeting, temporary contacts with the Weird can\’t exist Down Here for long, not without a significant change in the structure of your awareness. Conversely, they can happen anywhere and at any time – though to be sure, there are some places which seem to serve as cosmic elevators.

So we have to ask – is it because they appear so temporary that they can actually interface with our perception, contoured and manipulated as it is? Here one moment, and then seemingly gone the next, only to reappear when we\’re further down the beach? Is their very lack of repeatability dependent on our only seeing them through cracks in the walls.

In the end though, metaphor is king – because it\’s only us who are moving down the beach. The beach doesn\’t move – it simply is.

Which is pretty trippy, when you go into, say, Norse myth and realise that humans were supposedly created by gods finding driftwood washed up on a beach, isn\’t it?

Fanfiction again. Stuff made under the influence of gods and spirits, things that are supposedly extradimensional interacting with the human heart and making them spew metaphor and poetry until they\’re shuddering and exhausted. As the old saying goes:

Folks from round \’ere ain\’t from round \’ere!

And this is further borne out by my harbour-wall thesis – because Down Here, as is seen by most, is irretrievably separated from Up There. Except of course, it isn\’t, but the world we have built with one-sided metaphors has trained us thusly. In fact, the momement we start embracing the poetic polyvalence, although it might be a little hairy for our sanity, things start getting Weird. Just like wizards are bloody everywhere, so the Weird reveals itself with a mischievous trickster-grin.

We are in fact High Weird ourselves.

We\’ve been trained out of it of course – and our trainers don\’t even know they are doing it, initiating us into the bound flow of the world as their parents did to them. But really, there was a time before we grasped language – a kind of Pre-Adamaic existence that is powered or run by something which exists outside of language and thought. Because that\’s what\’s creates our thoughts and feelings. Our existence works from the Inner into the Outer, not the Outer into the Inner. Our thoughts and feelings are metaphorical too.

So when I talk about depression what am I talkling about? For me, I\’m talking about the fact that, not only am I Down Here, but I\’m at the bottom of a very, very deep well. I\’m talking about when the one for one metaphor structure no longer serves as a decent map, when the separation widens still further, and the disconnect feels like an uncrossable gulf.

But if I treat depression as a polyvalent metaphor, then what are we presented with, in the mythic fanfiction sense? If I allow a daimonic intensity to develop around and in and through it? If it is at once brain chemistry and environment, yet also a path, a message and a being come to meet me, just as it has come to meet so very many of my kin?

All of these and none – when the ache becomes a beacon into the underworld, when the obscenities and cruelties the voice in my head visits upon me become so cartoonish that they make flee inside my heart, in and down; until at last I meet the secret sun waiting there, at the centre of the crossroads.

Because, the simple fact of the matter is, that sun remains no matter what we do. That hidden heart of the star burns with a subtle and secret lamp in our blood. And by that fire, we might smile at the Black Dog of Fear and Loathing that chased us here, knowing that its daimonic presence is needful.

Now of course, the damonic does not appear identically to everyone. Depression is not to be welcomed, or feared – like everything else in the kosmos, it is what it is – which to say it may appear in manifold forms and shapes. And as magicians, as wizards, it\’s our job to say Come not in that form, when we need to. It\’s our job to shift our own shapes and learn more things so that we can craft the beautiful ephemera that we were born to do.

We can only liberate ourselves, and share what we know in as open-to-interpretation way as possible, if we wish to loosen fetters and help others. Each of us has an innate clarity which arises – like the way the water clears if we just allow it to settle. The immortal comes to us in moments, but we can go and meet it, once we realise that all moments are this moment. No past, no future, only Now.

And we can let our thoughts scamper ahead into possible futures and recreated pasts all we like, but the Now never goes anywhere. Ten thousand years-ago-was-Now-too. Those dead harvest festivals can live again if you bring them into the Now as living festivities rooted in the Here and Now.

The wildness can be found, the ferocity in the most domestic of situations – the Dark Mountain may be discerned by the shadow it casts on the floodlit fields. There is no separation.

There\’s no such thing as contradicting yourself. You just need to learn to listen. You know how. It\’s written into the skeleton key of your bones.


OK, so this came from Tumblr, but it started me thinking something interesting:

Peter Carroll outlines chaos magick theory in a precise (and pedantic) fashion in Liber Kaos, with several magical formulas. I like these formulas for their simplicity and the obvious absence of any extraneous forces, but then I’m an atheist magician. I’ve included them here so that the reader can get a taste of the underlying theory. A far better explanation of these formula comes from the author himself.

M = G x L(1-A)(1-R)


All factors are between 0 and 1.
M equals the force of your magic. Which is dependent upon your G (Gnosis) and L (magical Link) multiplied by two negative factors. (Things working against you). Your conscious awareness of the desired result (1-A) and your subconscious resistance to doing magic (1-R) -i.e. “Mommy told me magick doesn’t work.”

Chaos Magic Theory, Fra. Ratatosk

The esteemed @cole_tucker a.k.a swissshard on Tumblr chimed in with:

A recent hubbub got me thinking, a discussion about the magical link might be useful. A digression on blurring the lines between microcosmic and macrocosmic forces and concerns thereof may be in the cards as well.

And then that sort of let me off the leash:

\”Can\’t quite remember which book it is, but Ramsey Dukes posits that Western Culture and science currently reign as dominant paradigms because it\’s composed of  seemingly\’better magicians\’ That\’s to say, those have bound ambivalence into repeatability.

So, let\’s entertain Caroll\’s theory for a second – and I really find that his equations are the product of that same superiority-culture complex, but let\’s ignore that for now

The most effective magicians, as the above notes, would be those with the lowest negative factors. Except that this presupposes that Awareness in this equation is in fact a negative. A lot of CMT is based on so-called slight of mind, in slipping past the resistances and censors to trick oneself into doing magick despite the fact that it\’s completely impossible.

Let\’s just consider things historically for a second – the West\’s colonialism ultimately comes from expansionist tendencies. And who were the originators of those tendencies but the monarchs and the pontiffs?

Divine Right of Kings anyone? Pope as viceroy of God on Earth?

Go back far enough and we have the notion of Sovereignty-as-hieros-gamos, right? The Sovereign and the land are one, which even early might have been the land and the-leader-guide of the people are one.

Even earlier and we have The People and the Land are One. The sovereign is the People – this is why the touch of kings was held to be able to heal people. Look at Ancient Egypt all the way through to mediaeval monarchs.

So, on some level, the colonialism was backed by magical beings.

Think about that for a second.  The Crusaders were backed by papal bull, the Roman Catholic church was made the official religion of the Roman Emperor – part of a dynasty that, thanks to the magical technologies of the Imperial  cult rendered them as gods! Tie in a direct link to the God that had evangelised all the other deities and spirits into demons, the god who sent his son to earth, the man who told his disciples that they could do anything through his name

Newton, Hook, Fludd, the inumerable Islamic Scholars who gave us optics and built on the basis of the Greek philosophers, who, oh wait, seem to have indulged in katabasis and dream incubation. Think about them. Think about YHVH and You shall have no other gods before me.

Then think about the Age of Enlightenment – the surety of Western Superiority that ties in with European colonialism through the 15-20th century.

Think about the US mythology of Manifest Destiny, the Land of the Free. The New American Century. The New Thought Movement. The Secret. Spiritualism, the Nine,  Hitler, Himmler, the Anhernebe, Ariosophy, Project Paperclip. Think about the Project for a New American Century.

All of these things are expressions of awareness, but awareness without ambivalence, without doubt, because their throughline is absolute self belief.

In terms of Carroll\’s equation, for the purposes of this thought experiment,  A is not a subtraction, it is constant and R is approximating zero.

In Chaos Magic, the best magician is the magician who has internalised their status as magician, but has forgotten it entirely. The basis of Western magic and reality, as Robert Anton Wilson puts it, is as follows:

The border between the Real and the Unreal is not fixed, but just marks the last place where rival gangs of shamans fought each other to a standstill.

When your entire culture is based on magic, but it\’s been forgotten by most, what happens? Anything that goes against the dominant paradigm gets blocked, which is why CMT has zeroed in on sleight of mind,   because it\’s about working the angles and dusty corners, the edges where ambivalence and polyvalence might exist.

Now, let\’s consider an indigenous society, where there is no need for forgetting, because actually, the essence of magic is in fact Memory.

If we posit that magic is, by definition, something which takes place in a context where past, present, and future are in fact all one; where everything is entangled with everything else, and everything is alive – then we are presented with a bit of a mindfuck.

Because, if everything is alive and entangled, then the world is indeed polyvalent, and gnosis-in-CMT contexts becomes gnosis in a more traditional sense.

The magician-who-has-remembered-they-are-a-magician, remembered they are a child of Earth and Heaven, as the Orphic Tablets have it (amanesis ala Plato, & Know thyself ala Oracle at Delphi) does not in fact have to contend with notion of \’finding a magical link; because to their restored perception, all things are a magical link including themselves as expression of perennial gnosis.

It simply then becomes a matter of selecting the right arrangement of consciousness by which they may achieve their goal, as dictated by the dreaming, polyvalent all-at-once, rather than the seeming phenomenal reality as itself.

“Millionaires don\’t use Astrology, billionaires do.” ― J.P. Morgan

And this the deep and terrible trick pulled by those magicians who have forgotten they are magicians; some of them have remembered-their-forgetting.

That\’s to say, they have forgotten the historical antecedents, inheriting only notions of birthright, but have recalled that the normal rules of reality as they have written it do not apply to them. Because they wrote it that way. Because it has always been that way. They accord to their own inner law, paassed own the centuries, a distorted version of true gnosis, yes, but nevertheless a lineage which stretches back to the beginning.

The rest of us? We scrabble in the dirt. But honestly we need not worry, because the gnosis erupts throughout history. There will always be magicians, because nothing is ever truly forgotten.

Traditional and indigenous societies are separated from their lands and culture, precisely because that is what gives them the strength to resist, to exist beyond the monocultural framework. Without their lands, their stories, their songs, their identity begins to pale – what once was nourished by contact with the world of the Soul at prescribed intervals begins to wither, leaving little choice but for the people to enter into a singular world which subsumes them.

Even notions of folk-identity have been poisoned by the amnesiac magicians. The phrase folk-soul mutates into a vile excuse for abuse, nationalism, genocide and murder of millions.

Because nationalism is never rooted in the land, not really; the people are rooted in the land – and what might be true of the world within a ten mile stretch might not be true two towns over.

This then, is the power of local wights and genus loci, as theheadlesshashasheen has written many times. This is the power of the local rites and highly specific arrangements of consciousness peculiar to individual areas. This is the power of Turangawaewae –the place where you stand tall, as gordonwhite points out.

But hey, this is just a thought experiment – isn\’t it?\”

So glad I\’m not a Chaos Magician any more.

A Gnostic Confession


I\’m a white severely disabled bisexual cisman with chronic depression. I have trans friends and former lovers. Male friends, female friends, non-binary friends; Muslim friends, Christian friends, Pagan and atheist friends. Black friends. POC friends. Friends in every letter of the LGBTQ acronym. Loved ones who are survivors of rape and sexual assault, family members who are regularly in and out of psychiatric care.

And they all deserve to live rich, fulfilling lives free from fear and hate.

And yet I get tired. Tired of fighting. Tired of racism, feminism, ableism. Tired of hearing about Ferguson. Tired seeing of police brutality and corporate manipulation that would reduce us all to consumptive slaves toiling away for techtreats until we die.

Exhausted by the spells employed by the black-magicians-of-the-media that are piped into our brains, that shout at us from behind artfully arranged slogans and 140 character concentrations of emotion designed to alter our brain chemistry.

Wearied by the bilboards and the ads and the browser tracking and the mail-reading and the roar of the opressed the world over; each individual voice subsumed into the pain of a fallen child; it drills through my brain like the screams of a babe that doesn\’t understand that their parents are only just out of sight for a short span

I get fatigued by the blog and reblog, the endless cargo-cult of mimesis found in body and mind, form and shape and word. It makes my bones ache, my guts knot and roil in disgust. Wading through a torrent of shite, peppered with pieces of gold that gleam in the dark, only they are hardly ever seen because everyone walks with their nose in the air so that they only occasionally catch a whiff.

Sickened, poisoned by it. This engineered future that arises from the cogs of a great and terrible machine that built itself ad-hoc like a monster stitched together and welded with scorched fumes of lost hope. No vast conspiracy, just a blind, wormlike questing for sensation – an abandoned infant groping for its mother\’s teat in the dark.

And in that moment: I hate it here. I hate it now. I hate myself for existing.

My throat burns with bile, and I would do anything not to be locked within this synthetic laboratory, this crazed funhouse of mirrors, this prison of Black Iron presided over by bloated gaoler-archons that grow fat as ticks, filled with the blood of my very soul.

It aches and burns, this hollow chronic fatigue of overstretched, hyper-stimulated nerves; shellshock-echoes from the carpet-bombing of my senses.

Somewhere there\’s someone screaming, and I\’m never sure if it is or isn\’t me. I\’m being crushed, drowning in salt tears I  can never shed.

So very weary. It is as if I can no longer fight, as if I stand on a battlefield surrounded by the corpses of everyone I ever loved. Some, I mark, still seem to breathe and turn their heads, but they are no longer there; the spark has gone and they are mere mechanism alone!

And it would be so very easy to join them, to ease my aching bones, to rest at the bottom of this curved bone bowl. and fight no more. So very easy, to simply forget and slip into Lethean stupor.

I stagger, I fall. No longer can I support myself against the smoke and ash and stench of sweat and struggle. I am borne down by chains, into the nadir of it all.

And then, in the depths of that fogwrapped greyness, that aching nullity, I see – no, not see, but perceive, but know – a sudden, deep rich darkness.

Black as raven\’s feather, shining with the many and one colours of crow\’s wing in the rain, so the understanding comes. It comes upon me and I teeter as if on a precipice. Breath catches in my throat, and the knowing scratches its charm onto my bones; scrimshaw runes, bird-carved Mysteries.

This is not the End. This is only the door. Pass beyond the threshold and be refreshed.

And the weight on my back intensifies. Crushes me to dust. Makes me to scream in soundless horror. I am only meat for worms. They shall riddle my hide forever. I shiver in terror, subdued, unable to lift my head.

The world grinds me excedingly fine – what point is there in fighting? Was I not doomed to fail from the moment I was born; fated to eat, fuck, shit and die as billions of my kind have always done? Enslaved to heredity, to recapitulation of endless crimes against the Soul; a million petty slights against the infinite variety of existence; ten thousand dismissive ignorances of the kosmos.

A horse-head appears in the darkness, ribboned with flayed flesh, the regular thudding of the whip into flank as its drum beat. The knowing whispers without words, strokes my heart with razor fingers of mourning.


(And in this moment, this dark-shadow-time where flame fickers on the walls of a cave beneath the earth, I know Nietzsche as he throws his arms around the bloodied beast in Turin, weeping. And an antlered head, all heavy, lifts my chin with beast-fingers, eye to empty eye.

I see the shapes writhe from life, the stone walls suddenly revealed as crystal clear ocean. Undersea cities and forests peopled by Atlantean strangenesses that greet me with a knowing smile.)

And the be-ribboned hobby horse, the skeletal puckish thing all dressed in red and black, turns and leads the way.

This is not the End. This is only the door. Pass beyond the threshold and be refreshed.

And so I fall – the weight that crushes me now suddenly slaved to gravity; it is suddenly bound to something larger and vaster than the designs of the grinding machine that would have me shivering on a slaughterhouse floor, all amazed and blind.

We fall, the world and I, burning like a comet. We ignite and burn in flaming Luciferian light, until the asterism of our combined self impacts into the earth. Eden is consumed by wildfire, the endless green wrapped in flame so as to scatter its seeds and renew the soil. The buried iron of us melts and flows, refined, and meets the secret veins of metal within the dark and welcoming earth, hidden beneath the world-that-was.

We are quenched by deep, abyssal cisterns, filled as they are with subterranean Leviathan-light and armoured by its hide, feasting with the long dead on the food of the fair-folk. Then, after the third day, so we arise, gleaming like the sun, our bodies and blood suffused with solar light and lunar coolness.

You have to die before you die, so that you don\’t die when you die.

Understand my confession friends. Breathe its words, let them settle in your belly as fuel to the furnace of your own desire.

This is not the End. This is only the door. Pass beyond the threshold and be refreshed.

There is a part of you that survives, that burns and freezes, a kernel of light-in-darkness; a star in your heart, a lamp in your blood.

It will light your way forever, if you let it. It will guide you through the mire and muck, revealing the golden gleam all about you. When you are at the end of your tether, when the noose tightens, that is when you remember it.

You are not alone. You never have been.

Albion Dreaming


And so it was that in 2014, the people of the land of Scotland elected to remain united with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But the island of Albion has known many kingdoms and nations. From the  Celts, Picts,  Romans and all the other tribes, the small island has had mankind drawing  boundary lines all over it since humans first settled here. From the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy to the Danelaw and beyond, the maps and desires of mankind have been as shifting sands. Human hands have shaped the island too – the once great wildwoods are either no more, or sadly diminished. Roads criss-cross moor and fell, carrying busy minds hither and yon – and yet, through it all, Albion dreams.

Or, perhaps more accurately, Albion is dreaming.

And though this piece will be filled with the art of William Blake, his complex mythological cartography is not entirely what we mean. Having said that, Blake was a visionary artist and poet who made Art – he went forth and visited the numinous realms and brought back imagery, visions and understandings. Even the most soothing of his pieces exudes a vitality which does violence to the simple act of representation. So when we speak of Albion, we are not simply speaking of that giant who emanated Jerusalem – a feminine spirit as well as a place – but of the primordial Beingness of the island, the living avatar that mankind calls a giant.

(Remember my contention that people can be portals? Not all people are human.)

So, we recall that while we dream, things seem perfectly real, no matter how non-sensical they are, how inchoate and strange they may become, yes? Only rarely do we find ourselves in possession of a flash of lucidity which reveals the true nature of the experience. Unless that is, we have either natural ability or have trained ourselves in the art of Lucid Dreaming – in working with the very substance of experience to achieve our wishes and fulfil our needs.

Now, we know of course, that the structure of dreams has its own logic, its own Deep Structure. We know that the Imagination creates these worlds for us in the bone arenas of our skull; vast enthralling shadow-plays unfolding behind flickering eyelids. And yet, we forget that that same Imagination does the same whether we are asleep or awake. It takes the raw stuff of experience, and, like a smith, it builds the world around us. All that we see, feel or do is of a direct consequence of Imagination\’s Art – our entire lives are predicated on our responses to these constantly updating, vibrant exhibitions.

Is it any wonder then, that the redemptive figure for Blake is the fallen avatar of inspiration and creativity? That Los, as he is called, is in fact a blacksmith, and one who falls repeatedly by becoming too enmeshed in the world?


Half Friendship is the bitterest Enmity said Los
As he enterd the Door of Death for Albions sake Inspired
The long sufferings of God are not for ever there is a Judgment

To retrieve what has been lost,  he enters the very heart of Albion, descending down to the centre – this anagramatic Sol, this inverted sun surrounded by earth. But, as ever it is best to allow Blake\’s work to speak for itself. His vision, his seeing through the crack in the walls that are no longer fit for purpose, is his own. One can, and I suggest you do, descend deeply into Blake\’s work – travelling far in the vehicles he has created. Vehicles, which despite the Christian overtones, have less to do with ordinary religion and more to do with gnosis and the terrible, awe-inspiring ecstasy of the mystics.

And that, dear reader, is where we meet – for Blake was more than an engraver, he was a poet – he understood the nature of existence was revealed in allusion, rather than illusion; that Truth might be revealed by Beauty, but that they were not the same. The language of dreams is one of symbol and metaphor;  poetry\’s knowing is heartfelt and intimate, a kenning  that illuminates the way, revealing as much by the shadows cast by its flickering flame as by the light it casts. Positively brimming with the laughter of a child, completely innocent in awareness of good or evil, cruelty or kindness, the damonic reality of Albion\’s dreaming affects us all on this island, whether we know it or not.

After all, this is an island of many gods, spirits and wights; as many peoples as have settled here bring their own dreaming to weave together that endless tapestry. The many lands and places of this island have their own boundaries, their own senses of Self which may or may not accord with those held in the minds of humankind.

Here then again, we meet – for it has been my experience that all things are influenced by the Dreaming – that humans are influenced on deep and subtle levels (as well as the explicit, obvious ones in some cases) by these stirings of the Soul of the World. That these perturbations, these eddies and flows and ebbs and tides, influence everything we do and shape our responses.  This is why I am careful to say that Beingness can be reavealed as dreaming rather than a singular dream. For it is an endless process – the dreamer has always been dreaming, which is why they may inhabit endless forms and shapes in all times and places. Not sequentially or linearly, but All At Once – bleeding into each other like a morphing optical illusion or the variety of flavours which make up a gourmet meal or fine wine.

And just as the avatar falls when they grasp too closely at the world, this wonderful temple-which-is-also-a-theatre, so we fall when we begin to identify too tightly with particular things. Rather than regarding things as being direct representations, we might consider them as ambivalent – or even polyvalent.

Is becomes may-be and seems-to-my perception.

This is the apparent Gnostic position – that the world as-it-appears is a prison. That the faculty of Imagination and Creation, the divine craftsman has become blinded and deluded. It is innfected or contaminated by a counterfeit Spirit of thought, a codified facsimile of the living logos which insists on A=A alone, instead of  Alpha and Omega – which is a certain Gnostic key familiar to many Christians.

Each stoiechion – letter, element – is an explicit expression of the implicit whole.

We can never isolate an individual element from the whole, because the whole is what gives rise to it. All we can do is refine that element so that it becomes more and more itself, until at last its stands as a uniquely particular revealer of continuous wholism! By allowing ourselves to dream, to be ambivalent about our circumstance, we can discover the multiple meanings of each element of our experience.


We experience synchronicity as meaningful co-incidence – that is, elements of experience arrive in our consciousness simultaneously, not because we are making a connection but because one already exists on the level of poetic, daimonic reality. We abruptly experience a localised awareness of simultaneity – the All-At-Once reveals itself in explicit, particular form, only to seemingly vanish the next moment.

Why? Because as Gordon explained a while back, everything is entangled!

Now, I\’m a Heathen, so I have a deep suspicion that this is what our ancestors were trying to describe when they spoke of wyrd. The mysteries and runes and weaving associated with the three Norns, and even the similar reflexes across Europe pretty much seal this for me. An endless upwelling, or an endless weave – both of these imply that everything touches everything else in some way.

I can no more refuse to acknowledge the Christian grounding and symbolism which permeated my upbringing and my family, past and present, than I can refuse to acknowledge that I am quite probably a carrier of a lethal genetic disease – Cystic Fibrosis. I could deny it, were I feeling foolish, but it would still be present, would still be lodged in my dreaming.

Likewise, it would foolish not to acknowledge that Scotland is a human fiction, yet also a sovereign nation, as well as being part of the larger UK. And is also none of these things.

It has its own culture, its own dreams and Beingness. None of these, contrary to appearances, is exclusive – they are in fact, inclusive. Like facets on a gem, they are particular and distinct entities, in and of themselves, while also being products of human perception.

So, rather than suggesting that All-is-One, what if we suggest that All-is-Many? What if we loosen our grip on what things mean, and instead accept they are Meaning itself? In the painting of Blake\’s above, we see Albion opening Himself to Christ in what is a quite a traditional posture – a kind of I\’m here, I\’m not hiding, come Be-With, with me  – exposing His heart.

From a Gnostic perspective, this heart-connection between Albion-as-Primordial-Man and the  Gnostic Christ is fundamental. If one considers the painting a while, one can quite easily Imagine a direct link and invisible bond betwixt the two figures.

In Blake\’s mythology, Albion is the personification of humanity as a whole, as well as a place. From Albion emanate all the forms and varieties of Being, separate yet also-with. For us though, we might see Albion the giant as this island and all its dreams throughout the aeons, now, before or since.

We might see the connexion of the Gnostic Christ descending and being crucified in order to form that link with Albion, as a deliberate polyvalent stoicheion. We might see it as a mythic Mystery, a deliberate dreaming symbol; far from descending, the Gnostic Christ-as-revealer is an element which is already within the very heart of Albion. It is only by coming upon the Mystery of the crucifixion – that is, the uniting of body and blood with the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil, via death, that the scales fall from the eyes.

Blake\’s Albion is eventually redeemed by Los, who we also note enters the heart of Albion through the door of Death. So we might say, from a Gnostic perspective that the Christ (literally \’the annointed\’) is an Anamnesis, or memorial sacrifice, both philosophically as Plato would have it and liturgically. As a sacrifice, the Christ gives rise to the re-cognition of humankind\’s dreaming nature.


And what happens when we realise we are dreaming? Why, sometimes we spontaneously become lucid.  We are no longer enmeshed in the dream but can play as we wish, and live an existence of onrushing gnosis instead of static idea.

One does not need to be a follower of the Christian religion to obtain gnosis. Indeed many would argue that religion is inherently  structured so faith and adherence to the teachings – as well as acting on and expresing those teachings in daily life – is enough. But that is not enough for some; the perennial Gnosis of the kosmos as vital, living Beingness with infinite variety of difference and form reveals itself again and again the world over.

This island, this Albion holds many gods, wights and spirits –  portals, persons, and people who participate in the Dreaming, some lucidly, others not. As a Heathen it is my nature to engage with that plethora of ways, that cornucopia of Being that wells up from all sides – we are all dreaming after all, whether we be humans dreaming we are butterflies, or butterflies dreaming we are human.

Both. Neither. Polyvalence.

Wizards are quite lucid about and within the Dreaming. They read its signs, its many faces, its multifarious spoor. They too are beings of living Imagination. They craft it like smiths, stir it like cauldrons. Sorcerers bang Imagination against other bits of Imagination to create weapons to do battle and make tools to manipulate the dreaming even further.


Did you ever wonder why Albion produces so many wizards? Why they stalk our dreamscapes like wild-men and wanderers, feral urbane gentlefolk in sharp suits and funny hats; spymasters and angelspeakers, confidants of kings and dirt-poor cunning folk all at once? Trench-coated bullshit artests and art-school geniuses turned to sketching in pubs, or breaking into Egyptian pyramids?

We\’re bloody everywhere. I mean that quite sincere, and as polyvalently as possible. Dig anywhere in the world, look up  and away for a moment and you\’ll find a wizard\’s counterfeit bones suddenly there, where none were before. Except of course they were, you just didn\’t see them, did you?

Turn the right way and you\’ll be tripping over oracles. Whole ossuries of severed-head-prophets waiting to spin you a yarn with a serpents tongue and breath like fire. We\’re drowning in lucidity – labouring in the liquid light of Leviathan.

I grew up in Cornwall, like I said in my last post – and it\’s what I call gnarly land in a Pratchettian sense. It\’s absolutely huge but it\’s folded up into a very small space. Folds within fold within folds, like a fractal; it depends which way you look at it, and for how long, and what you think you\’re thinking at the time – and also what you really are thinking, but don\’t know it yet.

All of Albion\’s like that really. Goes down deep into the labyrinth, into the heart of it. That\’s the Dreaming as a whole of which Albion is but a part because Albion is also a dream which is dreaming and is being dreamt by something larger, as well as simultaneously being dreamt by the things it is dreaming.

Remember, everything is connected to everything else – it\’s the entangled folds, you see. Fold a sheet of paper, punch a hole – you know the drill.

The Gnostic Christ hanging on the tree is connected to Wodan hanging wounded on Yggdrasil;  Wotan-Krist, the Master of Fury steals the sacred mead and flies away into the sun as an eagle, while Taliesin shifts shapes after taking his three drops from the cauldron as Gwion Bach; Bran the Blessed\’s head is struck from his shoulders, but not before he\’s been a little too close to the cauldron that raises the dead. They bury his prophetic head beneath the tower and clip the raven\’s wings to keep London unfallen as Arthur sleeps beneath a mountain and Myrddin Wyllt loses his mind in battle at Arthuret.

On and on, aeon after aeon. Makes you wonder what kind of wizards of Westminster the Queen has on staff – because you see the Sovcereign and the Land are One, if things are dreamt one way. Another and we have  City wizards playing with the fire of the marketplace, and doors that revolve between corporate-politics and billionaires.

Because they\’ve crafted Nightmares before, haven\’t they? Stained a few dreams with fear and loathing, watched it spread. Watched the world thrash in its fearsweat, getting tangled in the sheets, and smiled as we demanded they turn more blood into lamp-oil to keep away the imending Night.

And so it was that in 2014, the people of the land of Scotland elected to remain united with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Albion is dreaming.

Same as it ever was. And not.

So it goes.

Now, if you\’ll excuse me, I have  to bang some bits of Imagination together so I can shoe the horse of the bony rider outside, y\’know?

I grew up up in Cornwall.

Sea, salt, moor and mine.

When I was young, I sat eating a pasty in Padstow, watching the tide pull at the fishing boats in the harbour. Brine in the air and sun in the sky – busy lives happening down narrow streets. Pots and nets stacked and piled all about, for this was a working harbour and the gulls knew it.

City-dwellers might call pigeons rats-with-wings, but those of us who\’ve lived on the coast, we eye the herring gulls with wariness. A double edged sword, they\’re the thing that mark the land when you come in from the sea; they wheel and dive and scream. They\’ll get into your rubbish and divebomb you if you get too close to their nests, which means anywhere there\’s coastline, you run the risk of precisely delivered streams of bird-shit and shrieking rage.

A friend of mine had a whole season of this when some gulls nested on a lampost outside his house. Every entrance and exit was a feathered gauntlet. Sometimes, now I am way up North, I still hear them crying and see them dive – I\’m only a couple of miles away from the Irish Sea now, rather than the Atlantic.

Sometimes I catch the pressure of a coming storm, smell the brine on the wind with fat salty raindrops. It\’s not entirely the same – the sea up here is generally calmer than the roaring surf of my boyhood and teenage years – but it\’s enough. Just like the Town Hall clock rings out over Hanging Town in an echo of the church in the Vale of Lanherne where my Dad was Rector. Monday night was bell-ringing practice there, and also here – the Catholic Cathedral is just up the hill, after all.

In twelve days it\’ll be 14 years since I came up North. 14 years since Dad and I parked the car next to the square with its statue of Queen Victoria, all copper-greened and opposite the Town Hall, both erected by the Baron\’s family.

12 days until I\’m 33.

Aye, and yet, the pasty is still ripped from my hand.

The shock reverberated through me, echoes of it rippling out even now. The thieving bastard bird rips sustenance from my grip, for it does not care for my supposed human superiority. I am struck by disbelief, hard and  fast with the rapid beating of wings.

And here\’s the thing – harbours are to give you safety from the storm, a place to cleave to when the vicissitudes of the open sea become too much to bear. But sometimes, the storm rages and the waves crash and the wind howls and the sea roars over the harbour wall.

That\’s just the way it is – sometimes the sea reminds you that it\’s pounded these shores for a million years. Sometimes, you are reminded that the very fact of a harbour means that the sea can come right in. That it\’s already here and there would be no harbour without it.

Safety only exists if you recognise that life is fundamentally unsafe.

I didn\’t grow up in Padstow. I grew up in and around Newquay, famous for pubs, clubs and surfing. Jumping off the harbour wall was a Thing for many of my friends, as was surfing itself. Take a dive off the brick, into the waters, falling like a bomb.

(The shock of impact as you break the surface tension, the awareness that you are now in a different medium.)

We begin our lives in salted waters. Our veins are full of it, that and iron, you see.


So in magic, we\’re taught that we must go out to meet the weird. We must alter our consciousness, we must go to a sacred place. We must walk along the harbour wall in preparation for our deep dive; moving to the edge, the boundary and the fold where space and time are not what we would call usual.

We speak of timeless wisdom, as if the wisdom of Time were a separate thing; our mundane lives are not where the magic(k) happens, or so we think. How many times have we been urged to bear a magical name, to create a magickal identity – a suit we put on to do the work?

The best way to swim is to swim naked – deep divers have known this for years. Yet it\’s insane to begin the journey naked right? Surely the best place to strip is in the car-park or right before you dive?

There is, we think, a place we must go to meet the spirts and wights, the daimons and gods – even if it\’s just a place in our heads. RO has a lovely piece up on self-delusion and the importance of paying attention.  Because the thing with payment is that it has very little to do with money and everything to do with reciprocity.

Before money, there was barter. Before duty and covenant and pact, there was respons(e)-ibility.

This is the key fact folks. Your life is a series of responses to stimuli, filtered through a framework of learnt patterns. On a larger scale, these patterns form a culture, but on a subtler level, they are incredibly mysterious – because all cultures are founded on responses to Mysteries.

When a culture loses connexion to the Mysteries that founded it, things start to – and I mean this quite precisely – fall apart. 

The responses are formed by contact with the Mysteries, and this is what keeps  a culture from becoming moribund or mundane. Patterns and responses are reconfigured by Mysterious contact.

And this is not merely a one-way thing – because everything responds. When a people believe themselves separate from the Mysteries, they start to divide the world.

But anyone with a basic understanding of physics will realise that one affects the environment simply by being in it – sitting alone in an empty room still affects the distribution of the air, just as a body displaces water when we dive, and sends ripples throughout the sea.

It is impossible not to respond, and where your attention goes affects the environment precisely because where that attention goes affects your responses.

That place we are told we should go, inside our heads or our temples or sacred places? They are all the same place – and this is because our entire world is inside us. Wherever we go, we carry it with us.

Except we don\’t go, do we?

1. Nu! the hiding of Hadit.

2. Come! all ye, and learn the secret that hath not yet been revealed. I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride. I am not extended, and Khabs is the name of my House.

3. In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.

4. Yet she shall be known & I never.

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 the knowledge 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. – Chapter II, Liber Al


This then, is why the kosmos is alive and vital. There is no part of it which does not touch another; the rocks, the trees, the skies and the caverns below will respond to your attention. They may not respond in the way you wish, but they will respond – it is impossible for them not to, and in doing so, influence your perceptions and responses.

To mangle a koan by way of Robert Anton Wilson: Who is the Master who makes the grass green?

We go through such a rigmarole in order to say Hello to the Mysteries, only because our culture does not recognise that we are already beyond the pale! We are always on the harbour wall, always Out There – on the promontory, the finger  that strains to touch the numinous. Except of course, there is no strain at all!

We are already swimming in the Abyss; doing the backstroke while Supernal wonder pours endlessly down to refresh us, and the glories of the world well up below us.

You are always here, so say the  spirits, smiling one moment and wrathful the next. Welcome home, Stranger. Welcome amongst your kin, oh Prodigal Child, with your games of journeying and living and dying.

This is what synchronicity is – a flash of memory of the interconnected whole, the constant contact of mankind with Mystery. For our entire existence, we have been Mysterious – the core of our identity, beneath the chains of long-disconnected patterns, is always fierce and daimonic.

That\’s all that the ego is, by the  way – a set of patterns and responses. You can talk about killing the ego all you like, but in reality you are restructuring the patterns and responses in such a way so as to align with your Primordial Nature. You are re-cognising your relation to the kosmos. In essence, we are mating ourselves to the  polar reality of existence – the fact that what we see as opposites and apartness is in fact part of a continuous whole.

We not only abandon magical identity, but the notion of identity-as-separateness as a whole.  Thus we can sing the songs of our ancestors, and speak the words of gods-as-our-words. I becomes We as we fall backward into the arms of those Beings who are responsible for us, and for whom we are responsible.

The kosmic isolation is thus an act of supreme trust, for we are singular in purpose – a veritable familiar horde. We are re-configured to recognise the roaring silence of our existence in all its inevitable unfolding.

We do not own the land, the land owns us. The Sovereign and the land are one.

Where we stand is the omphalos, for we are the axis-mundi, the axle about which the wheel of time and space seems to turn, endlessly spiralling out in aeons and kalas and cycles of black and gold.

A breath, a moment, a word; allowing ourselves to return to the wisdom of innocence we find all phenomena to be at once empty yet hued with a nimbus of Being which reveals the sage fury of the immortals.

Seek and you shall find.  Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.

Allow yourself to recognise the utter primal strangeness of the so-called ordinary, with its absolute belief in the fixedness of thought and feeling. Witness the bizarre insistence of humanity regarding real and not-real.

For example, as I say: Your thoughts and feelings are not realthey are in fact passing fancies which seemed like a good idea to play with at the time.

The chances are, some part of you would disagree.

Of course they are real! So the script runs. They\’re important. How dare you say that such a vital part of me is not real! Stop invalidating me! Stop oppressing me and reducing me and my sense of self! Fuck off!

Oh dear. We\’re a bit tangled up aren\’t we?

Because if I were to say that your thoughts and feelings were real, many would agree. Of course they would – it\’s self-evident. Cogito Ergo Sum.

Just sit that with a bit.




What a beautiful piece of chicanery!

Real is good. Real is True. Real is Valid.

Conversely not-real is bad. Not-Real is False. Not-Real is Invalid. Except in polar reality, the equivalency doesn\’t hold up.

Both real and not-real are surrounded with a cloud of seeming-to-be. Take away the value judgements laid upon the poles and we are simply left with the fact that we are indeed the Master who makes the grass green.


(Psst! It\’s all green. The Stone of Lucifer? Green. The Emerald Tablet of Hermes and the Jade Books of Heaven? Also green.)

What\’s wrong with the fact that our thoughts and feelings are not-real? What does it matter that they shift and change beneath us, rippling like a veil? What\’s wrong with the notion that it\’s all a game, that our sufferings are exquisite craftings wrought by the patterns we have learnt unconsciously parsing stimuli and responding to them?

If real and not-real are like those optical illusions – duck or rabbit, young woman or hag, then what? If the actuality is both and neither, what then?

If I settle back and breathe, remaining open-hearted like a child, regarding all things with innocent interest, aware that I know nothing really – what then?

Because I\’m not a young boy any more. Nor am I the teenager going to University. Nor am I the man 12 days away from his 33rd birthday – I\’m much more than that.

And if I\’m not those things, then what? Conversely, what if I am all of them, right here and now? Twenty odd years of knowledge suddenly descends on a young boy as the bird takes the pasty and leaves only an empty hand behind.

Quid Pro Quo.

What gnosis might he find in that empty hand? Imagine twenty years of considering that empty hand! Twenty years of study with a child\’s mind. What happens as I type with that empty hand, now?

Well, I\’ll tell you something – I\’m smiling.


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.


And yes – the title is quite deliberate in its woolliness; its fuzzy/hairy rhizomatic maybeness.

Fuzzy like my beard, like the hair upon my head. See?



And yes – wreathed in dead keratin, people have given me nicknames. My dear old Mum calls me the Wild Man of Borneo. Rasputin is another I have borne with a smile – which you cannot always see beneath my beard. I am told by intimates that the smile reaches my eyes; independently verified as wicked, they have a habit of changing colour depending where you stand.

And yes, roots have hairs, don\’t they?

Fuzzy little bastards. stretching through the cracks, pulsing their way through the concrete. Uprooting mankine\’s designs and sometimes crushing them too. Because in the words of Jeff Goldblum & Sam Neill in Jurassic Park:

Life finds a way.

If anything, that is one of the definitive characteristics of Life; except, of course it seems like life cannot be defined. It seems as if we\’re constantly being surprised by it, revising our definitions. And maybe they hold for a century or so, but that\’s just peanuts to life. There\’s plankton on the International Space Station for goodness sake. Or if you prefer, there\’s new forms of bacterial life being found in Antarctica.


And yes – there\’s a rhythm to this.

Mankine was not a typo, by the by. I know I make them often, but that\’s because my fingers never match the speed and intensity of the flow, so sometimes they just skip words, leaping across the semantic gap. Pole vaulters arcing and over, but there is no bar to raise. Life just gets on with business, a vital impulse that spins up out of raw physics.

Life is weird. It\’s the hairy eyeball that the kosmos gives you when you dare to think you\’ve got it all mapped out. So when you start taking about natural and unnatural, possible and impossible, Life laughs in your face like a hyena.

Hooting and hollering, it points the finger and gives you the rudest of understandings. And that\’s OK, because we all have something secret that we\’ve forgotten. Something that\’s been concreted by structure and form and map and canal.


And Life in all its hairy madness gives no fucks at all. 


And yes – that includes the weird, because the vital impulse of daimonic reality gives no fucks. It\’s fuzzy and monstrous and portentous and rolls on in an endless golden unfurling. So when I steal from myself, when I ask you my readers to listen, think not of repetition but spiralling helixes. Because I already wrote this, and it\’s all weaving together like a vine:

Let me tell you something, confidential like.

We think we’re far gone. We think we’re exiled. Some of us think we’re making a Black Pilgrimage to the Lady in the Mountain, trying to find the hidden door.

Some of us raise our heads and yearn to join the shades that stream across the starry sky, with all their smoke and pipe and drum and battle fury.

But here’s the quiet secret, oh best beloved.

We are already in the Mountain. Did you think that Lady of the Lake stuck us in the Tree as punishment? No, that bewitchment is endlessly simple, for time circles like a noose about the neck of a wild and frenzied one, full of fury.

And the King sleeps ‘neath the Mountain, or so they say. Under hill, lain beneath the mound. But those with eyes to see and ears to hear know that in sleep, buried and close to the land, so the King may rise, so the Dux may  haul abroad his warband. For is it not said that the wizards may fall- down-as-dead, and rise to walk the winds faster than an arrow?

For down amongst the dead men, we see the fires light the starry-cave, and hear the songs raised by sweet voices and fairer folk. Drink deep of the Mysteries; the orgia of intoxicating honey singing in your veins.

For behold; it is the craftsmen of the Deep Below which may present us with tablets of gold and weapons of gods; Totenpass and totenkopf mark the way, oh best beloved. The severed heads of prophets breathe with a great hissing of snakes and rushing winds borne of a black eagle’s wing.

All about us ring the signs, stars encircling; bull’s bloody haunch flung heavenward to bless us all with blot.

And all the while, Hermes herds us with whispered words: As above, so Below. 

See Hephaistos drink from the vine-god’s cup, he who was hurled down from Olympos. Watch the crippled god smile ruefully at the bitter truth of unmoving nature; see him teach vengeance to she who doomed him, now held immobile upon her throne.

Yet, cock your head, lose one eye and you shall see the headless truth; Her blessing pours forth from milk-white breast, and so we fall inward, like a kid, seeing doom and vengeance transformed into living vibrant lesson.

Sly Hermes, liar and thief of Apollo’s cattle! But what a trade wrought upon those poor benighted beasts by way of music; raised by lute and syrinx, all in piping rhythm. Such a song, with its endless scales, as summons lost Orpheus, reborn once more in Pythagorean gold.

Pashu rising and descending; Herakleitos marks the path, and weeping and swollen, so he smears the dung upon himself, the shite of those that do not see. Obscuring himself forever, yet trusting to Sun’s bright fire, his wisdom is revealed!

Witness as, all unrecognized, he is torn apart by blackened hounds – the commonest of all deaths.

And at the crossroads, so the hero strokes the hide of Kerberos, a head on every road. Hermes passes by, whispers the sign with rod aloft, to be met with countersign.

Hodos ano kato.

Rejoice, oh best beloved. For this? This is the middle-world. Here, truly you may, by root and branch, ride the terrible fury of Being and horse the terror of existence!

Troubled by a wound that shall never heal, so we plunge ourselves deep into the roaring well of wyrd, noosed by the norns which bind our fate. Only then, to comprehend with tears of salt, the sweetest secret.

A splash of imagery here, a dash of salted depression there. I wonder what would happen, were you to meditate on the foregoing in the chambers of your heart? Would such a cavalcade of myth lead you anywhere, or is it merely composed of names and forms? It\’s entirely up to you, really.

Yet, what if, for a moment, even those names and forms were seen and known as brightly painted masks? What if they gave ingress to characters – unknown things becoming  embodied? Perhaps, like wine poured into jars – into toted amphorae – they are capable of intoxicating us. Though we need not know the grain of every cup, the curl of every horn, they nevertheless become necessary things of texture and aesthesis – inseparable from our sudden pulsing onrush of experience.


And yes: I ask the question, quite clearly – have you ever been drunk? Felt the way the world begins to sway, the smooth flow and ripple of fluid impacts upon your senses. For the world becomes fluid then; the blood of the grape or the body of the hops and the barley, smoke of the peat or bite of fruit. The coming-coming together of loosened tongues suddenly smooth in their slurring stumble.

Life is a thing of fluid then, a fire that engulfs and flows; fire upon deep and flame upon the waters. To understand this is to comprehend that existence is a daimonic flux, a drunken frenzy full of maenadic, bacchic fury.

I ask the question, quite clearly – have you ever been drunk? Every been tasted, supped and swallowed down whole by greedy throats? Ever set salted blood afire?

Igne Natura Renovatur IntegraNature renewed by fire made whole, I wrote that four years ago.

Because there is, as I said, a precise rhythm to this – a precision of golden Pythagorean understanding. And lest you think I speak only of Dionysian revels allow me to correct you – for it is the lyre so cunningly wrought by Hermes, best of all liars and thieves, and given to Apollo to which we return again, and to the skill of Orpheus and his severed head:

[S]ay: \’I am the child of Earth and starry Heaven, but of Heaven is my birth: this you know yourselves. I am parched with thirst and perishing: give me quickly chill water flowing from the pool of Memory.\’ Assuredly the kings of the underworld take pity on you, and will themselves give you water from the spring divine; then you, when you have drunk, traverse the holy path which other initiates and bacchants tread in glory. After that you will rule amongst the other heroes. – Golden Tablet of Orpheus


And yes:

The inevitability of death rears its ugly head to shake its gory locks – the immortal heroes precisely mortal; their transition to the golden ichor first requiring audience with the goddess who dwells below, she who despatches the Daughters of the Sun to retrieve us from the mortal realm with the hissing and piping of the syrinx.

And who do they retrieve but their equal, their brother? For  though the mask remains, the  tale told may be infinite in its variety; we do not cast aside Dionysos, he our onrushing patron! Nor though, do we  eschew the sole honour of the Sun; the burning arrows of plague and healing set to fly by bright Apollo pierce our hearts and make us bleed.

We follow the wolf-lord who is the bright one of music and song. We leap and sing and wail our laments as we are presented with she who reveals the unmoving axis, the sole eye of perception by which we make, weave and twist the desires of mortals together to form a yoke.

The smooth mask of bright Apollo cracks then to reveal the ever youthful initiate, the curls of his hair thickening into Dionysian vines; smoothness furs then, rhizomatic tendrils waving in the cold northern breeze. Hyperborea calls and then the face shifts anew; contorts into shamanistic disciplines of fettered fury!

The single eye burns bright in its socket; a burning sun at midnight deep within the earth.

Across the steppe come the riders, come the bowmen and the horselords and the witches with tears of burning amber. Ten thousand faces slide away, as chained words rise up to stand, strengthened by smoke.

Consider then – if you are not who you think you are, what of gods?

When is Apollo not Apollo? When is Artemis not Artemis? When is Dionysos not Dionysos?

Interpretatio graecae. Interpetatio romana. They burn like paper in the face of an awful actuality.

  For the daimonic there is not distinction between same and not-same. The onrush of Being never moves – it has no origin, and comes from all directions. It can and is experienced everywhere – the peculiar requirement of death for immortality necessitates the destruction and reconstitution of our awareness.

How can this fuzzy in-betweeness of Vitalistic Death, this resurrection into New Creation, be seen? Quite simply, in a couple of months. On November 11th – Rememberance or Veterans Day, which this year will no doubt bring attention to the First World War which began a century ago – something is going to happen.

Something potentially amazing may occur on this day of Remembering the millions upon millions of dead – because that is when the Rosetta spacecraft will land on a comet and possibly change human history regarding the origin of life. The comet is as old as the solar system, and should help us answer the question of whether Life came from the stars.

As its namesake helped us unlock the Mysteries of Egypt, perhaps the Rosetta will unlock much more.

A child of Earth and starry Heaven.

Weird, no?