Saturday, February 28, 2009

Clarification.

I like at least one GD lodge. (The local one; duh.) I like, for the most part, the OTO.

Both, of course, have a checkered and sketchy history; I find this happens with any large body of practitioners of alternate beliefs. That said: initiatory lodges serve their purpose.

I hold in contempt, on the other hand, any group of individuals that aims to suppress the individuality of the practitioner for their own (often malign) agenda. This can occur in either the GD system or the OTO if parasitic leaders arise and is the very reason, that while on their own they may be wonderful systems and even organizations, one should always remain at least somewhat wary and skeptical.

It is for this reason that I often frown on individuals or organizations that stress the suppression of the ego - which can be a valid path to enlightenment - especially if the practitioner never developed an ego beforehand.

Truly, the only 'valid' tradition that I regard with both skepticism and contempt despite the fact that it's valid, and has been shown to occasionally work, is Theosophy. During all my time hanging out with various occultists, witches, and free-style Shaman of a diverse range it has been Theosophists that time and again became blatant moralists and fanatics to the extreme, that I've seen make bizarre demands of their students, and that have been the first as an organizational body to threaten, cajole, and otherwise emotionally castrate nearly every practitioner I've met. I've met more schizoid Theosophists than in any other group (although the crazy Thelemites I've met actually rank second; I think it's because so many insane people go "Sex magick?!?! I can fuck my fellow practitioners?!?!?!" These people are the first I avoid).

As a rule of thumb that I personally hold, anyone that demands undue sex or money (initiatory fees for supplies and keeping a lodge housed not with-standing), is one to be distrusted. Further more, anyone that "pings the meter" (IE: the "bullshit" and "insane" meters perspective) gets uncertain glances. (90% of the Ecclectic Wiccans I've met "ping the BS meter" unfortunately; maybe I'm just hard on them.)

There's shady fuckers in this world, and I think stripping them of power is a pretty necessary prospect even today. It just saddens me to say that.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And that other thing...

Some years ago, when the Sutras of the Poison Buddha were still being written, we were joined in friendship and mirth by a fellow named Baron Samadhi (not to be confused with Baron Samedi). He was the first person to ever laugh hysterically at my absolutely wrong and heinous astrological chart, and also to point out that I could one day aspire to be a sadistic guru.

I currently don't aspire to the above, but you can read his humorous and well made weekly astrology columns here which are conveniently titled "Abyssal Epistles". Do I like the Baron? Yes. Do I think he's worth reading? Yes. Do I think he should make millions doing what he does? You bet. Do I think he should share when he hits the big-time? Oh yeah.

If you want to know "what the Hell is wrong with that Jack Faust guy" it all begins with the astrology chart and gets worse with judgment calls I've made during the course of my life. If you don't believe me, just ask Ryan Valentine. He doesn't post at all, but will back me up. Our brotherhood of the half-insane is the reason the world sucks. (Okay, maybe not the reason, but I can make BS claims of grandeur occasionally, right?)

As for the Boogiemen post, to raise an awareness of something I missed:

EDIT
: Typo'd "out" into the word "our", making it look like I or my pals had written about threatening Muslims. Erm. Yeah. :( I actually dig (non-Fundamentalist) Islam; just like I enjoy (non-Fundamentalist) Christianity for the most part. I do not support of condone threatening people based on their spirituality, now or ever, and consider it utterly vile. Hence why I noted that the American ONA showed signs of being 'dangerous'.

I believe said threat by Blackwood was reported by members of the FCoS ("First Church of Satan") in 2005, but I don't think anyone was ever done by the authorities about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boogiemen of the Occult.

"Burns inside horilbly she lifts me to the spirit burns / the darkest hours my corrupt brain is hurting / once again the door lies quiet left alone I'm thinking of her / setting the burning clock of time..."
- Skinny Puppy, Cult. (Off The Process.)

Today's post is dedicated to the actual shadowy weirdness that has occasionally popped up in 'occult' related circles; not the weird shit that the Fundies believe have happened (like Satanic Ritual Abuse), but to two elements I'm aware of that are actually scary or just plain strange.

After the Summer of Love, the world went a bit mad. Hippies proliferated through-out Haight-Ashbury and Venice Beach. With rise of The Doors and the other icons of a newly emerging counter-culture, acid rock exploded into the public mind. It would take Charles Manson and The Family to destroy the love vibe; but even before there were shadows that stretched through the American 60s.

One of them was what was to become called The Process Church of Final Judgment. It was a splinter-group from the newly emerging religion (read: mind control cult) of Scientology; and by many accounts, a classic in the realm of what occurs with a group-gestalt. Founded by Peter DeGrimstone and his later wife, Mary, after being tossed out of Scientology circles, they would take their group to Mexico and eventually settle in Xtul where group sex and madness would reign; the trip would fuel their entire future. Hit by a hurricane, the members of The Process in Xtul became convinced they'd seen 'the coming of the end of the world.'

"The group had made a sudden shift. They began to wear black capes and black turtle necks, and to sport shiny silver crosses. They also wore badges featuring the sinister Goat of Mendes, the devil headed demon of the witches’ sabbath. The Process symbol too was prominent. Divine intervention continued. They set up a lecture hall and bookshop, and an Alpha Room, where they held their Sabbath Assemblies. (Novelist Robert Irwin, whose Satan Wants Me is set against the backdrop of occult 1960s London, recalls some deflowered virgins at Process gatherings, but doubts if there were any virgins in London then.) A movie theatre ran films dominated by destruction and violence. They gave classes in telepathy, self-expression and communication, and got on their soap-box in Hyde Park to preach the apocalypse trip. Processeans hit the streets asking for donations. Mary Ann was a fanatical anti-vivisectionist; cult members were told to say the money was going to ‘animal welfare,’ although most of it landed in the DeGrimstons’ pocket."
- Gary Lachman, The Process.

From there things enter into a phase I'd call 'high weird', and there are a number of paranoid conspiracy theories, attempts to link them (correctly or incorrectly) to serial killers, and even a return of followers after the new religious movement finally floundered. Interestingly enough: Joseph Matheny of Alterati.com recently discussed (see link) how he crafted a prank to see if he could form a new 'occult boogieman' called '4P2' (linking it to a Process splinter called '4P') and calls the interview about it Fear and Loathing on the Internet Part 2.

The other strange element of the story is how a few members of the cult went on to form a dog sanctuary that even Katy Couric has sponsored. While their current history page ends in 401 errors, the original version is archived. And indeed that is some 'high weird' shit.

Overall, there have been attempts to link The Process to a number of stranger elements of the 60s, but most have failed. Whether they remain 100% true or not is a bit immaterial given its origins with toxic group gestalts, mind control scenarios, and the rest.

***

Sitting at the other end of the spectrum is the Order of Nine Angles, and its founder David Myatt. The ONA is one of the few 'frightening' (to some degree) Satanic groups. While one can openly mock groups like The Joy of Satan it's hard to call them dangerous in the same way. JoS is certainly a group that has been linked, inside the Satanic scene, to extreme Right-Wing (see: Neo-Nazi) politics, and no one I've ever known has liked them. But while they remain a group out of try and convert rebelious teens and convince them to wear jackboots and swastikas the ONA sits differently.

To put it as one colleague of mine once did: "The ONA has taught the most efficient way to curse someone. You send them a nailbomb."

While the allegations in the UK involving their extreme politics and stances are terrorism could be seen as ambiguous at best, the American ONA's "leader" Blackwood sent out insane emails to various members of the Satanic scene in 2005 stating: "We will honor Satan by recruiting able soldiers that are ready to take matters to whatever means they need to. The Order of Nine Angles will focus on protecting its Real Satanic soldiers, every man woman and child in our organization and their families and move forward to attack the "foulest religion" known Islam...

Fellow Satanist's let one of the O. N. A .members die in at the hands of Islamic Jihad idealists and soon we will do our own beheading's right here somewhere in the U. S. I can promise you that!"

I have no idea what the fuck he was ranting about, but if there's one reason to avoid them, I think that email alone qualifies. The ultimate irony of all this, of course, is that David Myatt switched to the Islamic Fundamentalism support after his stint as a Satanic Nazi. (And it's something I think has inspired Blackwood's bizarre and crazy rage.)

EDIT: Typo'd "out" into the word "our", making it look like I or my pals had written about threatening Muslims. Totally never happened on my end. I actually dig (non-Fundamentalist) Islam; just like I enjoy (non-Fundamentalist) Christianity for the most part.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PGM & Extant Sources.

Hermetic.com's PGM section.

It could always be more comprehensive, but it has at least two spectacular papers that I think are worth looking into:

1."Self-Identification with Deity and Voces Magicae in Ancient Egyptian and Greek Magic" by Laurel Holmstrom.

2. "The Demons of Magic" by Morton Smith.

Further reading:
1. Jesus the Magician by Morton Smith.

Out of print, but a classic. It details the relationship between the Christian figure of Christ against the backdrop of the PGM's 'magician' figure, and includes comparisons between PGM rituals and Christ's comments in the New Testament... many of which are similar. It also has a wealth of traceable source-material for the treatment of sorcerers and necromancers in Judaic law, folklore from regional sources, and comparisons of earlier systems of magick. I got my copy years ago from - ironically - an OTO library that decided to sell it. Their library stamp is still on my copy and amuses me to no end. Is it worth a 30$ hit? I think so. I think the source material it references and some of the comparisons alone are well worth the money. However, it contains no rituals, etc. It's simply a book with apt comparisons.

2. The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation: Including the Demotic Spells: Texts by Hans Dieter Betz.

Spells and rituals, with about two essays inside it. The book is dedicated to Morton Smith, which should tell you something. Anyway, yeah. It's worth owning. I love my copy.

3. Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris by Stephen Flowers.

Only worth owning if you can't afford both Betz and Smith, as Flowers has a bit of both. I disagree with some of his ideas but if there's one thing that distinguishes this from Betz's text, it's that it's readable for people uninterested in scholarship. Of course, with that comes the associated flaws. I kept this at my bedside for about four years until I acquired Betz's seminal title and then immediately began disregarding it. Still, for like 14$ plus shipping, I don't think anyone can really complain. It isn't horrible, but it isn't seminal, either. It just is. Also, some of Flower's research was shown to me by Inominandum at the Strategic Sorcery blog to be sloppy; if I'd been fact-checking, I'd have caught it sooner. We all make mistakes, though, right?

More as they come or I think of 'em. Other references that I'm unaware of or have missed are welcome, and can be added to the list. If I haven't read it, then feel free to add your own commentary about a specific book or paper. ;)

- Faust

Sunday, February 22, 2009

All... Dies.

"All I can hear is my blood flow / Why I'm still here, I really don't know
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions / But nothing here can come to my salvation
In the dark, there's an answer / Fade to black, and now remember
If I should fall from grace with God / It wouldn't mean a fuck at all
I traveled down that road before
[It]... All... Dies."
- Skold, All Dies.

I had a dream two days ago that I swear was 'sent' to me. It invovled a very 'Ceremonial' process of embodying the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as the 'four guardians' of the corners, etc. Upon waking up I was chilled to the bone. I've determined not to record it except this mention, because if there's one ritual I've ever had pop into my head certain to drive people insane - something I told whatever was explaining it to me in the dream - it's that one.

I am afraid I have to post-pone or simply call off the article I was writing with Joshua Carfax for the first issue of Bluebird. Which doesn't mean I'm withdrawing my support for their project; I just can't write right now. It's a daily struggle with depression and more importantly for me, a lot of anger that's been eating away at me. My significant other has gotten the worst of it, and unfortunately watched my wild mood swings. Some days are fine and I feel like writing. Other days all I have to say is nasty comments and reactionary anger towards both life and other people (not her, of course, nor anyone close to me beyond a very specific few).

I'm writing, during the bouts of insomnia and then just... endless sleep... more of the "Unsent Letters" and preparing to make an altar to my dead. Maybe, I think, it'll give me 'peace' inside my headspace. Beyond that it's just randomly written scribblings and a lot of meditation so I don't rip out throats or scream at people without a reason.

Let's hope JC forgives me, 'eh?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pantheacon.

As of today, almost all the details have been hammered out. Both my significant other and I shall be there.

Ahha!

I see what I did there!

Okay. As for the last entry, which was a ritual, I totally screwed up in properly revealing my sources. In fact, I wouldn't have noticed because I've had that piece on hand for so long, if it wasn't for Jason asking for my sources. So here it goes.

Last March-May I was working on two things, one became the 'Daemon of Protection' evocation, and the other was titled 'Songs of the Dead Lover'. Both used Latin in the conjuration pieces. One, Daemon, used Psalm 49 for evocative purposes. Specifically sections which correspond to God declaring that he'll bring Heaven to Earth, which worked for the idea of evoking a spirit like Malak Ta'us, and declarations of powers over man and beast.

The other used the Songs of Solomon, and I spent hours upon hours modifying the structure so each would correspond with the astral landscape that Ryan, VI, and myself were playing in. ("The Cities of Iron," found in Sutra IV.) There is only one modification to Daemon from the original latin text of Psalm 49: Audi populus meus et loquar tibi Israhel et testificabor: tibi Deus ex Machina."O Israel, and I will testify to thee: I am God from the Machine." That's my clever little 'haha, information is alive' commentary that I put in there to amuse myself.

The phrase "Ut quid Domine repellis animam meam, avertis faciem tuam a me..." opens it and has absolutely nothing to do with Psalm 49. It has an occult source and if you know where to look, I'm sure you can find it.

So the break down works like this:
Advocabit caelum desursum et terram.
"He shall call heaven from above, and the earth."

Congregate illi sanctos eius qui ordinant testamentum eius super sacrificia.
"Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices."

(Half of us that wrote for the Sutras are 'Discordian Saints'. Yes, I selected that on purpose.)

Audi populus meus et loquar tibi Israhel et testificabor: tibi Deus ex Machina.
Once again: "O Israel, and I will testify to thee: I am the God from the Machine."

Cognovi omnia volatilia caeli et pulchritudo agri mecum est.
"For all the beasts of the woods are mine: the cattle on the hills, and the oxen."

Quoniam meae sunt omnes ferae silvarum iumenta in montibus et boves.
"I know all the fowls of the air: and with me is the beauty of the field."

You can find more of the Psalms in Latin here. And believe me, they really work well with conjurations. In the case of Psalm 109, they work well with cursing, too. Just sayin'. If you want to see the actual piece that had warped memetics and such from the Songs, feel free to leave a comment.

I apologize for the mistake. It was totally my bad. And no, it's not proper VM. But if you don't know the language, Latin works nicely by breaking up linguistic processes and inducing trance. That's all I got.

The Daemon of Protection

Ut quid Domine repellis animam meam, avertis faciem tuam a me...

I invoke thee, Daemon of Protection! I, who sit within the Abyss, call upon you as a Child of No-Thing. I, who am a King wandering as a beggar! I evoke thee by the number one-thousand-two-hundred and two, which is one of thy hidden names!

Advocabit caelum desursum et terram. Congregate illi sanctos eius qui ordinant testamentum eius super sacrificia.

I invoke thee, who’s name is Malak Ta’us—dragon-peacock Lord of the Sand! I who am from the line of Moses, from the Tribe of Kings, from the Land of No-Thing; remove from me those Daemons that restrain me; command for me the legions of the Daemons who swim in the air, those daemons who rise from the sea, who endow the ground; who burn within the sacred fires. I invoke thee, Malak Ta’us who stood with the First and the Last, the alpha-and-omega; who holds the sword of judgment between iron-clawed hands.

Audi populus meus et loquar tibi Israhel et testificabor: tibi Deus ex Machina.

From the Abyss, I call upon thee Daemon of Protection, sunderer of Hell by tears of flame and iridescent beauty.

Cognovi omnia volatilia caeli et pulchritudo agri mecum est.

I am the Daemon of Protection who stands upon the crested, white-black stone hills. I am the Daemon of Protection who stands before the Basalt Towers of Chorazin; who moves amongst the hidden glades within the Garden of Tears, who’s bright lapis eyes flash before the wind.

Quoniam meae sunt omnes ferae silvarum iumenta in montibus et boves. Cognovi omnia volatilia caeli et pulchritudo agri mecum est.

I am the Daemon by whom the hand is guided across the red seas; I am the daemon by whom protection is gained within the cities of blue steel. I am. I am. I am the one who begetteth and destroyeth; I am the favor of the aeon; my name is a heart encircled by a serpent; come forth and follow.

NOTE: The "official" version of this ritual appears in Sutra of the Poison Buddha IV and can be found here: http://www.lucifel.net/sutras/.

Primary basis comes from the Stele of Jeu ("The Headless Ritual"), numerical Gematria for Malak Ta'us was found using standard Gematria (I also used the Gematria of Nothing, or GON, but disliked the results and their correspodences); the latin VM comes from the "Psalm 49," however it's been modified (at specific points) to contain very specific memetic structures.

The end result found in Sutra IV is admittedly superior to this one. However, both this working version and the 'e-published' version have, I'm told, decent results besides my own.

The Digital Poppet

(Yes, Rose and Jez, I know you've read it before. I'm lazy and pretending to be totally cranking out new pieces.)

The Digital Fetish: Information, Structure, and Encoding.

By Jack Faust, written for the adherents of the Black Sun.


Over a year and a half ago the person I describe as my mentor invited me over to his house to partake in a fetish-making ritual of western European origin. At the time, I had absolutely no idea what the ritual was for; I just knew I was invited and since he was quite better than I with some things, agreed to go along.

I arrived; the other “outsider” to his circle arrived, and we went out to dinner while waiting for the (high) Priestess to finish preparing various items. As it turned out, they were about to show the two of us how to make poppets. The term “poppet” itself is an older European term for puppet, and the construction and release of the poppet relies on the same sympathetic magick techniques that one sees in the construction of so-called “voodoo dolls”.

At least one source of such instruments exist on records, with James the First of England writing:

“To some others at these times he (the devil) teacheth how to make pictures of wax or clay. That by the roasting thereof, the persons that they beare the name of, may be continually melted or die away by continually sickness.”

(From Wikipedia. Since I’m lazy and this is a short essay.)

The basic structure is as follows:

The doll, or sometimes wax, fetish represents the person. It is then linked with the traditional sympathetic link. Upon this construction being performed and ‘energized’, the poppet must be treated as the person at all times until it comes time for disposal. Once this was performed one could follow the standard steps: binding, cursing, or simply keeping an eye on. (In at least a few cases the poppet was also used for love spells, the representation of the person being kept close to sympathetically bring them “closer” to the witch or magician.)

Of course, there are even rumors that the wax figures and dolls were used to return magick to a witch that was cursing one… This being a ‘sympathetic return’ policy. Likewise, there are stories of witches keeping a poppet of themselves to ‘throw off’ their psychic trail and make a diversion for those who wished to harm them for whatever reasons.

Insofar as we’re concerned, this is simply sympathetic magick: the doll is fed energy or consciousness by the magician/witch/sorcerer (or whatever label one wishes to apply), and treated as a likeness of the person until such a time as it comes to use them. (Note: the Wikipedia article includes commentary on ‘maiden’ and ‘goddess figures’ being poppets. This would simply make them idols, and even the Jews had myths about those… Specifically, blood of sacrifice was not to be shred in the presence of statues because it would imbue them magically with life. A fascinating concept and one we might make use of later…)


I was taught to simply bind the poppet:

Red string tied around the hands, mouth, feet, and ears: to not lift a hand towards one, to not speak ill of one’s person, to not hear of one, to not move toward one.


In effect: to shut them out of your life and send them to fuck off. Implied in this is that only harmful actions count; you could still interact with someone that’s been bound, since with their ears “shut” they’d never know the actions taken against them.

Common folklore often describes that if the poppet was discovered then the magick itself would be undone; for this reason the doll was buried or dropped into the nearest deep body of water. (More on this later.)


Digital Construction:

We no longer live in an age when the doll in and of itself is even necessary. Information via the internet being the ‘common trade’ of magicians, is subject to those particular flows. In many ways we could describe the Internet as a ‘concrete manifestation of the astral plane’ – a space without space, where all information gathers and takes on it’s own likeness.

In such, the avenues of performing sympathetic magick yield themselves in interesting ways. The obvious question initially to me (which almost immediately resolved itself) was how this was to be done.

The material link in and of itself both proves a problem and yet doesn’t:

The ‘psychic trace’ used to manipulate the poppet is found in the information encoded in their aura or traces of themselves. Some might suggest that the material link is most potent when physical but I think that ignores the obvious ‘astral’ elements that go into it. But we still need an ‘astral signature’ to bind our poppet to, regardless of whatever else.

Herein we find one of the more useful methods of the Internet:

Almost everyone has a Myspace page or a blog these days. And almost everyone (including the author) has pictures of themselves or pieces of poetry, or at least an ‘introductory’ bio of themselves in these places. This is what is most useful to us.

The next stage is fashioning the doll: we like images. Photoshop or a similar photo-editing tool is useful here. Find a picture of a doll that resonates with your conception of the task at hand or represents the person on an unconscious level.

Save it to your hard disk. Now gather your link: one of their pictures, a piece of prose, or a bio about themselves. In the event that none of these exist I will simply explain what I was taught:

A material link is not necessary. All you need is a name. You then take the doll and ‘baptize’ it in the name of the person and spend an extra amount of time visualizing, talking to, or otherwise representing it as the person to yourself to make the link tangible. (Note: this is obviously harder to do than simply stealing a link, and still requires a tangible doll. I do apologize for this but felt it was worth saying for those who have evil purposes.)

To return to the digital:

We now take our doll picture, and the link. We create an extra ‘layer’ or copy of the image. This creates two layers in Photoshop. Now we edit in the link between them: paste their picture or C&P their prose into the picture. This should notably be done while in trance. We then take layer two, the material link, and ‘bury’ it in the image. We reduce the opacity to ‘zero’. If one wishes to ensure the trace is obvious, then perhaps only to 1%. We place the copied ‘layer’ of the doll picture back over the link. This means that the link is no longer visible.

Now we back it up with something heavy handed: an invocation process, a conjuration string, or something along those lines to which one requests that the ‘digital ephemera’ of the spirits to which we are allied is aware of our desire for the sending. This is step one of bolstering our fetish’s power.

Release:

We upload the picture to a place where it can be linked. We make use of blogs here. We want it to be highly visible (though possibly not to the individual) for a short duration. We’re going to take advantage of the framework by which the Internet works here.

Select a number of blog hits that has a resonance with the task. This is where we ‘stop’ the release process. During this time our fetish is the individual. There can be no doubt. It is the person we wish to work our will upon. We place it in blogs. We wait patiently for our hits and smile.

Upon this number being reached, we delete the assorted mess we’ve used. The link picture or prose is deleted. The initial picture is deleted. The fetish itself is removed from webspace.

We consign that fucker to the ‘digital land of the dead’: temporary Internet files. Our seed has been released into those who saw it; it has been encoded for a short time in their own ‘digital Hades’. And now we ourselves forget what the picture looked like and what went into it…

We have dropped it into a ‘digital body of water’ by which it will never be found again. The object is now subject to the rules of digital ephemera while our Will spreads forth from us: we have completed all we needed.

From henceforth we refused to even acknowledge that image ever even appeared in our blogs. “What picture? Oh that. Just something I found.”

We smile and shrug.

All we ever wished was for the seed to be seen; with that done there is no longer a reason for it. Those wishing to know more were never much more involved than they would have been watching a TV show… They mere aided us in locating a digital Hades with which to place our fetish.

Fired and forgotten, we return to our lives and forget that the target ever troubled us at all…

After all, no one will be locating that fetish after they clear their Internet browser’s cache, now will they?

Note: I know of some other magicians that make use of this tactic as well. But they never bother to delete these files. That means they’ve left the fetish up and those targeted can make use of it…

Secondary note: the ‘sending’ can still be captured in astral space. But the binding of eyes/ears should keep the target from noticing they’ve been enchanted at all. However, those around them might well notice. Still; once we’ve forgotten, we’ve forgotten and cut our psychic ties to the object so that results can flourish of their own accord. My personal ‘knowledge’ that the ‘spell’ has gone off is that the ‘weight’ of my irritation and anger vanishes upon the time transmission is achieved. It as though the incidents that led to the working never themselves occurred… I’ve yet to have someone close to the target notice the sending… But then, most are too egomaniacal to notice such things. A secondary point: sympathetic links ignore ‘wardings’ since they’re in turn with the target themselves. Only the object/desire in astral space appears to work against one.

Also, as noted before, a similar fetish of oneself or competition works to ‘reverse’ the bindings. So it’s all up in the air between competent magicians and witches. Still… it doesn’t hurt to know such tactics exist.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hymns to the Dead

You lot are dead. You know that, right?

Just grave dirt and food for the worms. Dead. Not coming back. Haven't you haunted me long enough, spiraling together in my memories? Yeah, yeah, I know. I don't write enough. But you want a story? Fine, then. Fair enough.

It was gray, that November. I remember it clearly. Every morning looked like god was about to piss upon the world; it was just ugly. Sometimes, when I take my late night walks, the clouds clutch at the stars and the sky and it still looks like that. Gray and hollow.

We were all young then, you know? We thought we'd entered the best time of our short little lives. Christ, it's a decade and I still remember my mother telling me that. “Your teens will be the best time of your life. You'll look back fondly on them.”

What a load of horse-shit. She died first. And yes, I'm talking about you. It was less than a month later. Tied a shoe-string around her neck in the bathroom and sat down. Passed out in the steam that lifted up, up, up. Like her vacating soul. We buried her in a pristine white coffin, the soil and grass damp and wet, and the sky still that ugly gray. Still looking like God might start pissing on us again at any moment. There was no blue sky above; nothing at all to mark the occasion except for that exceptionally white coffin meant to convey her purity to her Catholic parents. They found the suicide letters she'd been writing about her drunkard father and 'perfect' sister a week later. She'd been writing them for years; there were stacks of them. One of her drawers practically filled to the brim.

Can't imagine what that does to you; losing a sister, and then discovering she loathed you because she could never live in your shadow. I guess being a fuck-up has perks; you never have to go through that. Anyway, after that it becomes a blur. I remember the first ritual, and the nightmares. I remember the hate and the rage. But I remember the first real fight of my life, the way the world became a crimson-haze and the feeling of my fists pounding into soft flesh. I don't remember much else except that I wanted the world to end.

But I remember the Reaper dogging my steps, one step behind me, every day for the next four years. It was like because I'd decided I didn't feel like dying just yet, after all there were people who had to be tormented for contributing to my loss, then someone else had to go. One soul a year for the next four years.

It ended with Casey. Maybe he was the best of us. Maybe. He should've been a Rock Star, the way all teenage boys want to be. I remember sitting in my boxers and surfing the 'net when I found out. My parents had ditched me for three months for a sojourn to my stepfather's native land of Peru. I was utterly alone, except for Tyler standing in my doorway. He had this silly grin on his face, which made it all seem more real, as he told me to 'tuck it in, because...' Because I didn't want to be dangling out of my pants when he told me? Yeah. It was abysmally hot. Fresno summers always are. Anyway, I wasn't dangling out of my pants. I'd been listening to music and trying to forget that I was alone in that huge house for another month.

See, ol' Casey had been something else. He was dating this young jailbait teenage girl; sweet girl, don't get me wrong. And she gets in this fight with her old man. Casey, being the brilliant and romantic fuck that he was, decides he'll cheer her up. He drives her down to the Golden Gate bridge and they take pictures together. On the drive back he falls asleep at the wheel because the silly fuck probably hasn't slept in three days. The truck flips. She dies instantly. He clings on for the next day, the 4th of fucking July, and passes on.

We don't bury him in a coffin; ol' Casey gets incinerated. Which is how I'd prefer to go. They give him the most atrocious fucking service ever to make his mother feel better. Doubting Thomas. If I bite the dust with my ambivalence towards the creator remaining, someone had best make sure that never fucking happens.

And being that I've been to too many funerals; people say the funniest shit at them. Like: it wasn't his or her time. Like we fucking understand time, mundane or Angelic. Like we fucking understand anything except that one day we, too, will fucking die. It wasn't their time? How the fuck would you know. You're a fucking monkey with special thumbs just like I am. Shut your fucking mouth. It wasn't their time. What a load of shit.

With Casey, I lose sight of the Reaper for a bit. I still hear that laughter in my dreams sometimes, though. The same laughter that tells you that you're not in the clear yet. And there's this Tower coming on in the same dreams. Looming above. Man-in-black standing there with his book and asking, “son, you ready to die?”

Yes, sir. 'Bout as ready as I've ever been. Always been ready, I have. Been in love with a dead girl for so long that I don't quite remember which part of her was real. What I made up, what I fantasized, what actually happened. It's all a myth now and I'm quite aware of it.

But yeah, we all thought it was gonna be golden. That it'd be the time of our lives. And instead there was grave dirt and worm food and hate and disgust. Unending disgust. You wake up, years later, and realize you've been having the same dream for nigh five years and these fuckers; yeah, you fuckers, are haunting your memory.

Well, you lot can stay dead, I say. I was clever and walked out, see. No time for the Dead, when you are one of them and just can't shake it. It's not something you just walk off, being the dead among the living.

And high above there's those stars, with that same pissing gray shade of clouds clinging close and blocking out the light. Come to the light, they tell me. Seek the light, they tell me. The fuck did they know, anyway? Like they ever saw that blinding light and those burning wheels... Like they ever knew, ever felt it.

And the little jagged pieces leave such strange scars... I tell ya, you dead folks, it's real weird to be amongst you again. Thought I'd left this all behind. Maybe it was the half-mad Brit... Maybe it was some conjuration gone wrong. But that severing, that break apart, long after the Tower came down... It still haunts me. Ol' Babel's always coming down, I guess.

Well, at least it's with folks I know. Could always be worse. Could be alone again and haunted by some red-haired girl and not raven-haired angels. Been a decade of this so far, anyway... And I still miss you all every day. So how about telling me how this place of forgetting has been for you, 'eh?”

- Unsent Letter. January 12th, 2008. Signed: Jack.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ah, that paranoid smell.

Smells a bit like bad beer. And trust me. I know when I smell paranoia.

One of the first things that blossoms in the mind during the first 'abyssal' stage of the magician is deep seated, 100% batshit, paranoia.

The world is alive with spirits; that includes things that want to eat your face. The world is full of knowing and unknowing magicians. But the second you draw the sword, the second you go to war, you've already lost. It isn't about taking the fight to 'them'. It isn't about 'firing back'. It's about standing your ground.

Counter to this is what occurs when something like that, the act of drawing the sword, backfires. You'll know it after you've encountered it once. If you're like I once was, and have been before, then all the wards set up deflect most of what you're doing as it bounces back on you. This creates intense strain on a household. Nightmares, fights, emotional explosions. People bug out shortly after venturing inside. The feedback loop is indefinite.

Its all part of the process, folks. You don't get to save the world, you get to save yourself. And by that act you provide an example for the rest of the world to see.

But when you start launching those curses and being sneaky? Trust me, because I've done more than most, you'll find that you were delusional and paranoid and thereby providing one delusion of grandeur that will consume you.

Don't use daddy's tools in mommy's playground. It'll just piss mommy off.