Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

There's A Monster Living Under My House



There's a monster living under my house & from what I can glean from the sparse, unofficial records, it has been there for five years come this December...

This monster, we call it The Agora. Over the years, it has assumed many forms, many permutations, yet always within a set of permanent dimensions. It has hungrily outstripped many patrons, but still, it persists. 

✯✯✯

I am the Agora's chronically ambivalent caretaker. I am also its greatest skeptic. I will be the first to suggest that we abandon the 'experiment' which never dies even though all reason says it should. Yet, when I look in the mirror, I see the backbone, the lifeblood of this monster. Still, I am not its birth parent, not exactly anyway.

Setup: Gnostic Mass
Who the helvella sets out to make a monster like this? Crazy people. People who are so in love with their gods or their community (or sometimes, their egos) that they are willing to open the doors to something insane & to hold it up while it grows. I know we are not alone. We stand among many -- mostly fallen -- soldiers of the P/pagan dream: space-for-community. Our monster still lives. 

The key, the KEY that most communities fail to recognize, or worse still, fail to embrace, is that there must, there MUST be a revenue stream which relies on outside sources. There must be a business model which humbly accepts that there is very little chance that any random assortment of 'spiritually-minded' humans -- particularly of the naturally rebellious pagan sort -- can or will sustain any financial venture over time. 

The other key is sacrifice.* 

And maybe this is why I am such a doubter -- had I been keeping score all this time I might have found myself less skeptical & more bitter. On the other hand, I was wisely advised long ago never to keep score in relationships.

✯✯✯

I'm not sure what made me need to acknowledge this birthday of the monster here in this journal... to mark, log & make official that-which-hasn't-died. Part of me wanted a party, but the other part of me is pretty sure a party is a sure means to dissolution, a veritable jinx. 

Maybe I needed to recognize this thing because I am working more consciously than ever to find my way into proper balance with it. I need boundaries, it needs boundaries. At times, it has dominated me in ways which have made me resentful & angry. So many times, I have wanted to give it the boot. Yet, the returns have been very rich & unique beyond measure. 

Setting the stage:
chaos Magick.
I always joke about going back into the past to tell one of my former selfs about my role in maintaining a place for pagan & esoteric gatherings -- especially my atheist self. Really, any past self would be pretty incredulous. In retrospect, I think I usually had strong opinions in any given moment, but never really knew where I was going, never consciously planted any seeds, never had any clear sense of direction or planning. And I ended up here, with this incredible monster. 

And so it is, whether it be the result of serendipitious bumbling or the answer to a more potent & pointed calling. Let it be a Happy Birthday to the monster which lives & breathes under this house... may it continue to nourish & sustain our people, & their Spirits so long as they need it. 


























*Admittedly, there are several other very necessary "lesser keys," but this is not the place to discuss organizational structure & strategies.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

MOMOS: More Relevant Than Ever.


"Momus," by Juan Martin.  (I cannot locate a website for this artist, although many pinterest pages show his work.  Most of his art is gay/pagan themed & would be of interest to likeminded folks.  If anyone finds his website, please message me so that I can link properly.)
"Momus," by Juan Martin.
(I cannot locate a website for this artist, although many pinterest pages show his work.
Most of his art is gay/pagan themed & would be of interest to likeminded folks.
If anyone finds his website, please message me so that I can link properly.)




Momos (Μῶμος or Momus). Much maligned child of our beloved primordial mother, Nyx.


Let's not complicate this with caveats: tyranny dislikes critics.

Momos has been framed as an "unfair" or "unreasonable" detractor, but let's look at this rationally. In an irrational world where the gods can do, create, be, destroy, employ, modify & otherwise bamboozle anything they please, is anything (particularly commentary) unfair or unreasonable?


Momos is generally overlooked by humans who seek (or even seek to chronicle) gods. But if he is known for anything, it is his admittedly harsh judgement of the gods' handiwork in Aesop's Fables. I concede that in this circumstance, he was quite rude... but we do not know the backstory.


Personally, I am more fond of his skill as the authority-needling graffiti artist: 


Excerpt from "Graffiti in Antiquity," by Peter Keegan.



There is no shock that this behavior got his ass booted from Olympus. 


It is not news that Nyx's children generally receive poor marks in the literature. I will confess that I was more than a little squeamish when She expected Her place in my cosmology because She brings with her a brood -- much maligned & sometimes malignant. 

However, Time has proven my reticence an overreaction (not unlike the booting of Momos) to what has become a relevant & needful education about Life. 


Further, humanity (or the lack thereof) has proven Momos's role as more relevant than ever. (At least for my people.) 


This is why I will be erecting a sanctum to Momos* in this journal space (watch for it to appear on the sidebar of the blog, under Nyx's gallery). It will be a safe space for our graffiti. 

Everything you wish to say about Our-State-of-Affairs will be an offering to Him. 


And I know He will relish every contrary word of it.




*Updated with link 10/12/17

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The State of Affairs & Suchlike, Yours, Mine Ours...


The Mockingbird is staring at me through the window. S/he wants more mixed cocktail nuts or pecan halves to be placed in the offering dish that graces the rail of our deck. Unlike the Bluejays, the Mockingbirds never dare to simply walk into the house to announce their perceived starvation.

My neglected storytelling is a bit like the Mockingbirds, sometimes noisy, sometimes elusive, yet always arriving with a pang of guilt.

...

Now that I have restored the dish to proper fullness with a large dose of pecans, let me begin to begin again.

This journal. 

Over the years it has become a Thing of its own & has also become a Thing to not only myself -- but apparently, many others. 

Maybe the sense of obligation killed me. (Albeit temporarily.)

Maybe the pressure to perform killed me. (Albeit temporarily.)

Maybe the semi-death of my camera, my mate & 'other voice' killed me. (Albeit temporarily.)

Maybe my passion for Another -- the Dance -- killed me. (Albeit temporarily.)

Maybe the degree of discomfort I experience while sitting more than a few moments killed me. (Albeit temporarily.)

Maybe it was the urgent pressings of Others wanting their Shrines made manifest killed me. (Albeit temporarily.)

And maybe, the distraction of my sheer horror & disgust of Our State of Affairs (& Suchlike)... well, I do hope it doesn't kill us all.

...

Maybe, maybe, maybe... But we all die many times everyday & it doesn't stop us indefinitely.
(Just think about all those cells dying & replacing themselves daily, on your epidermis, in your mouth, your liver, your colon...)


And so I begin Again.



(And to those of you who have been waiting: I never stopped loving you.) 




Monday, August 7, 2017

Is It Love, Or Is It Just Another Esbat? Some Poetry.


I have no time to write, although I feel the inclination. I have a class that starts 15 minutes from now.

But this. This gave me pause. I am not quite sure why it moved me so -- so much so that I came here to my sleeping journal & shook it awake just to make sure this is heard:






Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Something for the Esbat. March, 2017 (Maktub)

This.
This Night.
Any Night.

Some songs, they come & go. Not this.
It persists.
Perhaps... it is not a song.






Blessings to you this Esbat, my Friends. I Love you.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Scraps: Wicker Man Reboot



(No image attribution. Please message me if you know who to credit.)
(No image attribution. Please message me if you know who to credit.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Poetry for the Esbat: Heartstring Moon (January 2017)


La Luna, the Heartstring Puppeteer.
La Luna, the Heartstring Puppeteer.


La Luna.

She is a master -- the Heartstring Puppeteer
and when I turn my face to Her face, 
sometimes I see Her beauty, reflecting my beauty, reflecting back to Her, to me.

Sometimes I see You
and you
(and you and you and you and you.)



And I know she has your strings as much as She has mine, because you tell me so:


"Happy full moon, my dear." in a message from J.



Loving text from S.

Photo from my heartstring A.


These are a few of the faces which look back at me through Her face. So many more, there are -- if you see me, you can be sure I see you.
Just a sentiment to keep us warm while this cold season passes by. 





Winter Sun by Molly Fisk

How valuable it is in these short days,
threading through empty maple branches,
the lacy-needled sugar pines.

Its glint off sheets of ice tells the story
of Death’s brightness, her bitter cold.

We can make do with so little, just the hint
of warmth, the slanted light.

The way we stand there, soaking in it,
mittened fingers reaching.

And how carefully we gather what we can
to offer later, in darkness, one body to another.




Blessings to you & you & you & you, this Esbat. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What They Said. (About Flying, Risk & Beginnings.)

Flight. © Moma Fauna.
Flight. It's time.



"There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." 
~ Douglas Adams

"But it is a thousand times better to make every kind of mistake than to slide into the habit of hesitation, of uncertainty, of indecision." 
~ Aleister Crowley

Stop the words now.
Open the window
in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly
in and out!
 
Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī 

The cumulative effect of 10 minutes of even mediocre effort each day is greater than all the epic imaginations of perfection & awesomeness which never leave the machinations of the creative mind. Forty five years into the deal I am seeing how that actually works. 

When I look at it from a mystical standpoint -- that is, if things are more deeply interlaced than they might superficially seem (a mindset to which I subscribe) -- I must recognize the disservice I am committing to the Muses, the Magick, the Work (let alone mySelf). Thoughtforms, beasts of creativity forever imprisoned... by me.

Art imprisoned... by me. What?!?

"Hallas!" she would say to me, or to anyone who spends their time bursting at the seams with ideas, dreams, visions & held back by an obsessive desire not to make any errors

Hallas!
Open the window.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Poetry for the Esbat: Mad, Mad, Mad Moon. (November, 2016)

"Infernal Apparition" by Paul Lormier, 1848
"Infernal Apparition" by Paul Lormier, 1848

Lilith. (and the lilītu?)
Dark Moon, She is (they are). But I shall explain...

"The energy of the evening was lacking & what little there had been died away in an unceremonious manner. At an unusually early hour, the other women -- now more than vaguely disaffected -- meandered home, leaving just the two of us & the Night. She stood, I sat. I looked up at her & realized how much & in how many ways I will miss her. She has always struck me as unusually carefree & a touch New-Agegy, but not tonight. This was supposed to be our parting, but she was mad, mad, mad. There was room now to speak of taboos -- that which has left us all reeling inside but was left unsaid. Instead of exchanging pleasantries, we shared our chagrin. Raising her rich, full, singer's voice in disgust, she shrieked, 'Why the fuck do we train for this shit if we do not use it for anything?!? The time is over! No more messing around -- if you know how to do Magick, do it people!'" 

Who said this? Was it the dark, luscious woman before me, or was it... Her?

As far as I can tell, the Earth has split open & one large, festering pustule of human loathing has been loosed from its containment. (Not that it is the only one.)

So be it. 
(as long as those of us with any wit do not remain idly grazing in the pastures)


***

The Works. So many, so little time.

I began an ambitious project a year or so ago (one of many, believe me) -- a shrine to Lilith. 
It is not for me, it is for Her.
It has waited patiently for me to complete it, but the time for patience is over. Her rage & despair are mine. They are ours.

May Her fire be unleashed & may Her steely, self-assured grit carry us through the unwanted Darkness (there is a difference). I will do my part to facilitate this. 

Rupi Kaur, artist, poet, woman.


Segovia Amil, artist, poet, woman.



Use your Magicks*, Women. 
And remember this: The moon lives in the lining of your skin.


***


Like the feline, She sleeps ever so lightly. The Moon/La Luna, from Patrick Valenza's  Trionfi Della Luna & Trionfi Della Luna Paradoxical limited ed. sets.
Like the feline, She sleeps ever so lightly.
The Moon/La Luna, from Patrick Valenza's 
Trionfi Della LunaTrionfi Della Luna Paradoxical limited ed. sets.


The Esbat... not something I would normally associate with Lilith, a Dark Moon sort of creature. I am not one for Dark Moons (or Lilith really) until now & that stems purely from an elephantine indignation shared with so many of my kind. 
Women: 
We are magnificent. 
Thus, it is in a kind of tangled web of Moon forces, womanhood & sheer exasperation that I present the poetry for this Esbat. 


Ode to Naked Beauty, by Pablo Neruda

With a chaste heart 
With pure eyes I celebrate your beauty
Holding the leash of blood
So that it might leap out and trace your outline 
Where you lie down in my Ode 
As in a land of forests or in surf
In aromatic loam, or in sea music

Beautiful nude
Equally beautiful your feet
Arched by primeval tap of wind or sound
Your ears, small shells
Of the splendid American sea
Your breasts of level plentitude
Fulfilled by living light
Your flying eyelids of wheat
Revealing or enclosing
The two deep countries of your eyes

The line your shoulders have divided into pale regions
Loses itself and blends into the compact halves of an apple 
Continues separating your beauty down into two columns of
Burnished gold
Fine alabaster
To sink into the two grapes of your feet
Where your twin symmetrical tree burns again and rises
Flowering fire
Open chandelier
A swelling fruit 
Over the pact of sea and earth 

From what materials
Agate?
Quartz?
Wheat?
Did your body come together?
Swelling like baking bread to signal silvered hills 
The cleavage of one petal 
Sweet fruits of a deep velvet 
Until alone remained
Astonished 
The fine and firm feminine form 

It is not only light that falls over the world spreading inside your body
Yet suffocate itself
So much is clarity 
Taking its leave of you
As if you were on fire within 

The moon lives in the lining of your skin.



Extra Blessings to you this Esbat, my friends. You may need them. 


*We all have them. What is yours? 
(If you have no answer to this question, find it.)


Monday, October 31, 2016

Reclaiming Samhain as My Own.

I've been preoccupied. Obviously.

Rather than try to address months of secular amusements & obligations which have kept me from dutifully journaling, I shall cut to the chase. After all, here my fingers return to the keys on "the big day." No coincidences. 



Samhain has been a messy item for me for years. Along the way, I have come to the conclusion that I don't like what other people do with it. Whether too kitschy, cute, Love & Light, or creepy pants I'm-so-Gothy-cool-worship-me, or unstoppably careening into nauseating psycho-drama hyperbole, I just cannot fucking do it. 

No. Just no. 
Leave me & my Spirits out, whether I bother to honour them on this day or not.

Oddly, something salvaged my Samhain sensibilities this season: Doreen Valiente. In my ongoing excavations to uncover myself (& everything else that matters), I have come 'round to this woman countless times. I come 'round & 'round, again & again (I might suggest that she would say that is apropos for her). I cannot shake her. 

Even when I really, really don't want to identify with all the Wicca & Witches & sometimes the entire pagan/Pagan/Neo-pagan/Neo-neo-pagan/occult/esoteric... etc., etc. communities, I cannot turn from her. Kind of like the Moon, I reckon.

In the more recent portion of my absence, I have been reading Heselton's Doreen Valiente: Witch. I didn't realize just how much I missed her until I took up the book. I also didn't quite realize how much I relate to her personally until now. It seems she had the same habit of becoming hopelessly & enthusiastically attracted to an esoteric group or system, studying & engaging with it vigorously & then finding herself quickly seeing the shortcomings -- particularly the factual ones. Heselton does not state it outright, but I sense that she found herself regularly disappointed by the reality of the people behind the metaphysical practices. Not surprising with her talent & intellect.

Of course, the text inevitably arrives at Robert Cochrane who, as characterized by my dear Chas Clifton, was the "bad boy" of Witchcraft. There's no question why Doreen joined his short-lived parade, I would have followed him too, right up onto the tors & down into the caves. And though Cochrane was not immune to folly -- also being completely full of shit -- he was insightful enough that he indeed had his finger on the real deal. Ecstasis. 

But you see, people don't want to go there. 




The text includes Doreen's elegy for Robert. I had read it plenty before, but it moved me deeply this time 'round.


Elegy For A Dead Witch
(Written by Doreen originally for Robert Cochrane)

To think that you are gone, over the crest of the hills,
As the Moon passed from her fullness, riding the sky,
And the White Mare took you with her.
To think that we will wait another life
To drink the wine from the horns and leap the fire.
Farewell from this world, but not from the Circle.
That place that is between the worlds
Shall hold return in due time. Nothing is lost.
The half of a fruit from the tree of Avalon
Shall be our reminder, among the fallen leaves
This life treads underfoot. Let the rain weep.
Waken in sunlight from the Realms of Sleep.

© Copyright The Doreen Valiente Foundation


This leads me to this one day & one conclusion: from now on I say, screw the fearful & self conscious (yes, I suffer from both). I'll go it alone.

Samhain. I see it now.

And I'll dedicate it all to you both -- perhaps the two persons I never met, yet strangely miss the most. 

(Edit: images are from my own Samhain ceremony, dedicated to D.V. & R.C.)




















































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