Monday, May 27, 2013

Solemn Reverie [EDITED]

It has been drizzling and sprinkling since I got up. But I didn't let that deter me from one of my daily walks. As I wandered about, I found myself focusing on things that don't matter and internally quarreling with myself.

So, I performed my death meditation. As I was crossing a street, a car randomly crossed my notice. Instantly, my mind generated another possible death: burning alive, trapped in a car. My thoughts kept trying to divert to the idea that I could somehow survive. I realized this was a sign of internal discomfort, and simply renewed the progression of the visualized sequences of death ending with being stuck in a burning car. After the fourth progression, stillness ensued and I wandered back home in a very good mood.

I walked out into the garden, and gazed again at the first flowers of the pomegranate plant to bloom. It made me grin somewhat.

Then I turned and looked at the grapevines that sit on northern end of the backyard.

A thought intruded initially, a string of words that I initially ignored:
“First fruits for the Thrice-Born King.”

I tried to watch a movie, and mostly enjoyed it. But every time I stilled my mind again, those words returned again. After the movie, I found myself gazing and watching the soft drizzle of rainwater on the grapevines and the words popped into my head again.

I decided to do as I'd been bid. Some time ago, I'd moved the mask I used to represent Dionysos with to another altar area. It's a Venetian mask, and I was told when I bought it that it would be worn by someone dressing somewhat like a fool. I'd come, years ago, to decide it probably wasn't quite right for Dionysos.

More recently, I saw something which made me reconsider that. In fact, at the time I recall grinning and thinking about the mask: “no reason not to use it the way I always did before.” I will eventually get a mask the size of a full face, but until then... Why hold off on what you love?

I wandered back over to the vines after placing the mask aside, and whispered: “I am taking leaves and fruit for Dionysos, Lord of the Vine.” I plucked off two bunches of unripened fruit, and about seven leaves.

But why stop there? So I added a small bowl of cool water (I appear to be out of milk, but cool water works just as well in my opinion) on the left side, and a small container of honey on the right:

(Note: the above picture was taken before I dedicated the materials to Dionysos. As a matter of discipline and principle, I will never flash pictures of a charged altar or consecrated magical tools. Sigils are another matter.)

Then I lit the incense, read two Orphic hymns and let the solemn reverie sweep over me. I know what I'll be keeping up this summer. Of course, it's missing something. Later tonight I'll dedicate give some liquor before I head to bed. Wine may certainly traditional, but my divinations have never revealed Dionysos having a problem with gifts of whiskey. And I happen to love whiskey, so I give what I love.

Be seeing you,

PS. Brother Valentine has a piece up on Disinfo. You know you want to read it. Congrats, Valentine, and best of luck with future articles and rocking those that don't know you like I do!

[EDIT]: Added some helpful links.


Ryan Valentine said...

Thanks for the pimp! Also that is a cool fucking mask.

There was something about working in the garden that took all the pomp and circumstance out the Hagakure. Death is just so much of the process there.

Jack Faust said...

Brother Valentine: Any time, man, any time! And thanks: I've used it for a number of things over the years. When you first met me, I was wearing it quite often during rituals. (Not that I really had any reason at that point...) I had been sad to put it more-or-less away. It's nice to use it somewhat properly again.

And totally; there is something about gardening and focusing on the forces of both life and death at play in the garden. From rich soil fed by decaying vegetation, to just dealing with the plants that don't do so well and realizing that sometimes you just can't save them. But then there's the other moments, beautiful ones, where you get to see the 'fruit' and whatnot appear. And you realize that it's not about raising all your plants successfully, but of working at it and seeing what comes of all the efforts. It's very relaxing...