So, here’s the thing: a lot of societal and cultural metaphors around magic and occultism are in the so-called West, frankly, bad and a product of the imprecisions in the English language about “power”, which themselves are inherently modelled on industrial-capitalist frameworks thanks to the Industrial Revolution, and steam power.

Think about what you mean when you use the word “power” or “intent” and ask yourself whether you are once again running on 19th Century colonialist ideas (for example see non-Indigenous misconceptions of mana) that boil down to thinking you’re a steam engine or some sort of closed system – because that’s what the whole popular idea of energy comes from.

Why? Because willpower doesn’t really exist.

Now something seems to be going on, when we do certain things. But are we hoodwinking ourselves – barking up the wrong tree, being led down the garden path -by the porting in pop-metaphor? Sure, it’s easier, but is the apparent ease and clarity obscuring insights? Is it preventing us from taking our place as part of a living world; not clockwork and piston but inter-and-intra-relating, inter-and-intra-being in an ‘animist’ cosmovision?

Consider the metaphors you use, and wonder how they’re using you. Because they are – we are thinking-with-and-being-with the ongoing worlding of a daimonic (agential) kosmos.

And that All is doing the same-with-us.

Remember, changing the metaphors we use can change the way we think, and how we are in the world.

This is why I mutter about kenning, as found in Old Norse poetry, but also as a method of indirectly approaching experience by folding in the world. Kenning is, in one sense creating a poetic metaphor, a circomlocution that describes a thing without direct nominalisation. A wheelchair user can be a throne-walker; the sea is not just the sea, it is the whale-road and also Aegir’s-cauldron, Poseidon’s-stable, etc etc.

“It is no coincidence that a kenning is a poetic term of art, a doubling and metaphoric circumlocution of a singular noun or thing – the sea becoming the “whale-road”, a sword seen as the “icicle of red shields”. A singular referent now exceeds itself, drawing the relationality with the whole world of those present. This indirectness, far from detracting from the referent, deepens the knowing. Each portion of the kenning exceeds itself also, thusly thickening the field of the sword or sea, and, in enhancing its relationality, enlivens each further. Further, this means that the poet acknowledges the excess of the referents, comprehending that kenning may build on kenning, and the full, totalistic mapping of a referent is doomed to fail in terms of completion. This goes even beyond the usual aphorism from astronomer Carl Sagan: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” For each element of the apple pie is capable of being defined by the relationality of all presences, in all forms, positions, and configurations in all possible and impossible universes – and each of these in turn relate to each other as they will. This then, is the joy and horror, the wonder and terror of an animate, fluxing kosmos – there is always more.”

Goêtic Atavisms, Frater Acher & Craig ‘VI’ Slee (See link above: also available on Amazon as well as from the publisher if you need that)

Do we want to live in a world circumscribed by misnomers, grandfathered in with extractive and clunky ways of perceiving the world? Or do we want to embrace the dis/abling wyrd strangenesses of the numinous?

The liberatory power of the dis/nomer – the radical proposition that there is always more than can be named, can be contained? That we might ken more if we embraced blurry, uncertain peripheralisms which spiral endlessly inward and down into pandaemonic, living, breathing labyrinths? If we immersed ourselves in relational eddies, tides and gyres eternally returning-and-coming-forth-again – dis/membered and re-membered anew? To dive into currents and flows – the multiplicitous assemblage of influences which are the very bodyof the oceanic river which Herakleitos warned us that we could never enter in the same place twice?

What might we notice is already happening, already ongoing, that we are amidst, then? Might we spot the plurality of Minotaurs engaging in their diasporic fugitivity, nomads in their myriad labyrinths, far older, wiser, and weirder than we thought we knew? Spaces of monstrously numinous sanctuary, far beyond the ken of the Theseus (their supposed slayer) and his identitarian regime of denial, his heroic ever-intact status quo.

Pity the ship-builders in their labour; they work do so under the threat of sword – or is it gun and bomb, these days? But while Theseus abandons Ariadne, Dionysos does not!

And while Theseus eschews the sea route to perform his labours in order to gain heroic glory and satisfy ambition, his oceanic ancestry has the last laugh – both mortal father Aegeus (thrown into the sea that bears his name) and he (thrown off an island cliff – presumably into the ocean) were reclaimed; seized by the sea and its thundering white horses.

What might it be, to be oceanically possesed as that hero’s mother was? To have one’s soul-sea stirred by the Earthshaker?

We can but dream on the matter – while also slyly noting that Athenians kept the Ship of Theseus preserved, as mark of divine heritage in their feted city ruled by the demos. What matters now, in these days when even politicians talk of the so-called “will of the people“, is matters of ancestry and history dismissed; lineages of language and its many influences ignored – no entanglements here, vine or otherwise, we assure you!

But thankfully, the ship-builders know the way of wood and net and weave. They know how many planks pass through their hands, how many nails struck, how much pitch is brewed. They know there’s more. They’re craftsfolk after all – assemblages are their business, whatever the material – they know what mattering is.

And isn’t it interesting that the Temple of Hephaistos in Athens was once mistakenly called the Thesseion – The Temple of Theseus, before the moderns realised their mistake?

Watch the words we use, and how they use us.

Be Seeing You.