Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hope and the Apocalypse

One of the side problems of the total history world we are moving into, where all history is prescient is that we develop a certain jadedness to problems which in the past we were able to deal with by summoning a kind of belief necessary to overcome them.

The specific instance of this I'm interested in dealing with today is the perception of apocalyptic literature and prophecy in the modern era. In the past, apocalyptic literature typically arose during times of great societal stress, generally around certain year types, but not always(side point, it's interesting the correlation between time which is for all intents and purposes man created, and the chronal aspects of apocalyptic prophecies--you always need a date, if only because we wrongly assume all aspects are moving in concert according to our own perceptions of time, when they are as incongruous as the planets (time for a plant is diffrent than time for a human, as is time on Venus is different than time on mars (time is diffrent for someone who has lived longer and whose perspective of time is as a much more fleeting thing, than someone experiencing it for the first time and for whom it must feel interminable)). Many people wrongly dismiss Apocalyptic art as being doom, and in that being bereft of hope and not serving any real purpose for them.

However, the function of Apocalyptic art is oftentimes completely about hope. An end point prescribes value for the individual on the now. If you think that you have ten days left to live, then those ten days become very valuable, and the things you do in them take on an increased importance to you--whereas if you have an interminable amount of time left, then those moments may not feel valued at all.

But why do we need this value? We need it as a survival mechanism. Because there are times in human history, that money, food, shelter, and quality of life are all very much on the wane. And during those times the only thing we can value is our time, and the possibility of our pain ending. In those times, doom becomes hope. The notion that everything will be washed away and a new beginning will be attained is very appealing to those in duress. Apocalyptic writing like dystopian writing is as much a reflection of it's time as it is a projection into the future.

The problem arises, that because of postmodernism, the internet, and the overflood of information, the ability of the human mind to respond effectively to apocalyptic art has been severely compromised. It becomes a boy crying wolf situation. And what happens in that story, which is significant, is that eventually a wolf does come, and the boy is crying wolf, but nobody is listening.

You see this more and more as a response to issues that require people to sacrifice for the greter survival of the species. Such as the American response to global warming, which has been a grumble at best and at worst a willful denial of the oncoming crushing reality. Global warming is seen by many as the new Y2K bug. And this is a direct result of the past knowledge that the post information society has instinctively absorbed into it's sub-consciousness.

The worry I'm expressing here, is that our basic instinct to be wowed by the sublimity of apocalyptic vision has been sufficiently beat into the ground, such that we are in fact heading for a coming apocalypse, that is more likely than ever, because we are lacking in our normal ways to adapt and change to the on-rushing eschaton.

Actually, worry probably isn't the right word. Because I do think the event that does happen is going to result in an evolution of the species. So it may be correct to lens this jadedness as yet another aspect of our general evolution to the eschaton event. Like, very plant following the sun over the horizon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sex, Index Cards, and the Proto Internet Occult Conspiracy

A late fix for a fantastic Tuesday.
This by way of Kenneth Hite and Rob Mcdougal:
"The wise and devious robotnik gave me a pointer to this entry in Paul Collins'3 blog, which contained the following snippet of almost unimaginably pregnant occult metaphor:
In the US, for instance, the War Department struggled with mountains of haphazard medical files until the newly touted method of card filing was adopted in 1887. Hundreds of clerk transcribed personnel records dating back to the Revolutionary War. Housed in Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC -- the scene of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination a generation earlier -- the initiative succeeded a little too well. Six years into the project, the combined weight of 30 million index cards led to information overload: three floors of the theatre collapsed, crushing 22 clerks to death.

Can anyone say Ascension of the Bureaucrat in 1894? [EDIT: Per Wikipedia, on June 9, 1893.] Blood sacrifice to begin the Information Age? Creation of the "mass man" from data (which is to say, DNA) and crumpled flesh (of 22 people -- where was the 23rd, necessary to complete the full chromosomal pairing?), intermingled on the blasphemous regicidal altar of America? The possibilities are limitless."

Also I definitely want to link to this.

Debauchette apparently had an interview with Diane Sawyer, and has written two very great blogs on sex work. So yeah. Worth seeing that if you haven't. Good stuff.

An excerpt:

"In some ways, I feel the way I felt when I was sitting across from Sawyer. I feel like I can only sigh, because I doubt I can begin to penetrate the many layers of misunderstandings and preconceptions, let alone that relentless working assumption that a woman’s value as a human being decreases as she gains sexual experience. (Sawyer asked me about preserving the ’sanctity’ of my body, as though sex without the imprimatur of love were inherently degrading.). I’m glad my mother didn’t lash out in anger or patent disgust — what’s come across in her note is some mix of restraint, confusion, and extreme discomfort. That deserves some kudos, even if I still feel miles away from having a real conversation with her about this, which, unsurprisingly, is exactly how I felt when I sat down with Diane Sawyer. We just don’t see eye to eye."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fairy Tales in Your Astral!

Here's an interesting article about the do's and dont's for the shamanic traveler using germanic magic. It's based upon the rules of fairy tales which the author, Jenny Blain, has so politely broken down to their key elements:

"Ground rules for conduct

Basic principles

  1. Be aware of what is around. Look before leaping. Don't rush into situations.
  2. Speak to those that you meet. Always be polite and courteous. Be truthful when they ask you questions
  3. If a creature asks to come with you, accept their company or help. (Caveat below -- if they put conditions on their help, be wary!)
  4. If some creature or person asks for help, give it. If the help is beyond your means, explain this -- the creature may tell you how to fulfil it. Your ally may assist you, if you ask. The help may be needed within the journey, or in ordinary reality.
  5. If you make a promise, keep it. This is regardless of whether it refers to actions within the journey, or those you should complete in ordinary reality.
  6. If some creature or person asks you to share food, share it.
  7. If a creature you've helped gives you a token, poem, or anything else, keep it. It will later be useful.
  8. If you undertake a task, do it to the best of your ability.
  9. If you cannot do a task, ask your ally or those with you.
  10. If you want to go home (return to a safe place in the journey, or wake to ordinary reality), say so."

I've always loved fairy tales, and feel like their importance is oftentimes in a very cliched way dismissed. Or certain fairy tales are in favor of others. But I just love the sense in which we project nightmares into our children's psyche at such a young age, and the stories or at least pieces of them stay with you for the rest of your life. I can still go to that place in my head where Little Red Riding Hood is walking through the dark forest on the way to grandma's house. I can still see the bread crumbs that Hanzel and Gretel tried to leave. I can see cackling wild hags of the forest. And I haven't probably heard these stories in quite some time.

It's so hard to do modern day fairy tales I think. I'm not sure why. Perhaps the magic is missing? How were these original stories crafted? I know according to the wiki the Grimms were primarily linguists whose by-product was fairy tales. But a lot of those stories are older than them. I'd like to think these stories were crafted around campfires with everyone entranced, from states of shamanic storytelling ecstasy.

I was thinking maybe Texas Chainsaw Massacre might be something of a modern fairytale. In particular the chase scene through the woods, because that taps into a primordial shared nightmare, of never being able to outrun the wolf. That blue darkness, and how she keeps going back and forth through those woods, in almost never-ending loops, with the chainsaw breathing closer and closer. And then we have like American Tall Tales, which tend to lack the proper horror to really have the weight to stay. With the possible exception of John Henry. But those stories seem to occur past a point historically where storytelling was already quickly being engulfed and avoided by things like the radio and the television.

So I dunno.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Infomancy and the Coming Ragnarok

This is a word I discovered today that is one of those things that describes a sensation I've felt for some time now. So it's with a great deal of happiness I present:

Infomancy! Defined here as:
"n. 1.The field of magic related to the conjuring of information from the chaos of the universe. 2.The collection of terms, queries, and actions related to the retrieval of information from arcane sources."

See it in practice here.

Basically it's a description of a phenomena I've seen on message boards for years. You shoot out an inquiry into the internet. Pretty much anything. If you charge the intent enough that it's interesting to the will of the collective information, you will get a drove of experts flocking to your fired questions, tripping over one another to answer your previously innane query.

In the instance above it was about the pinging of information regarding japanese robots. But it can really be anything. It really is the basis of how a search engine even works. You put out the coded information for what you want into the little search box, and it comes out the other end in useful or arcane information that you can apply outside of the internet or turn around and redistributed back into it. There's a frictive force at work here of ideas gyrating off of one another constantly generating new realities and factoids because of it.

It's almost it's own kind of alchemey. In the purest form, a true infomancer is just looking for elements of information to combine into a coherent gnosis which will allow them to break the bonds of the world of information around them.

I've talked often about the eschaton of 2012, and the theories of the mayans, and the norse, that the world will end, but come out in a new way that is changed. But I'm starting to think what we will experience is a loop back around. A lot of the concepts that we are seeing on the internet seem to correspond with earlier ideas and methods for villages and early groups of people. In all seriousness, the most important books you can read on understanding the internet and the coming(existing) world are ones based in concepts that we thought were long dead. Metaphors of shamanism, the village, black plague--the internet has already kicked off the next age of human life, and some of the former patterns are playing out in a predictable and usable way.

Our future is going to be shaped by the collision of magic and technology, and the resulting friction will usher us into a new sublime. But I don't really know if the two are just going to fuse, or repel. Judging some of the current metaphors I'm seeing though, I think some sort of fusion is at place. Or at worst a co-opting.

At any rate, this is a great quote:
" Where’s my flying car, you ask? You’re driving it right now."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Loki's Taunt

This is a fun little page which has a story of Loki taking on all comers with his wits like Steven Martin in Roxeanne.

A great blog on Total History.

Barbelith debating wod.

Don't say I never do anything for you. Sorry for the short blog today. Going to write more later, but this is for the middle of the day folks, with nothing to do.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bob Haskins (Roger Rabbit): Unwitting Magician

As a refresher here is an exerpt from the Wiki on Tulpas: Evans-Wentz (1954: p.29) discusses tulku (or nirmanakaya) and tulpa:
Inasmuch as the mind creates the world of appearances, it can create any particular object desired. The process consists of giving palpable being to a visualization, in very much the same manner as an architect gives concrete expression in three dimensions to his abstract concepts after first having given them expression in the two-dimensions of his blue-print. The Tibetans call the One Mind's concretized visualization the Khorva (Hkhorva), equivalent to the Sanskrit Sangsara; that of an incarnate deity, like the Dalai or Tashi Lama, they call a Tul-ku (Sprul-sku), and that of a magician a Tul-pa (Sprul-pa), meaning a magically produced illusion or creation. A master of yoga can dissolve a Tul-pa as readily as he can create it; and his own illusory human body, or Tul-ku, he can likewise dissolve, and thus outwit Death. Sometimes, by means of this magic, one human form can be amalgamated with another, as in the instance of the wife of Marpa, guru of Milarepa, who ended her life by incorporating herself in the body of Marpa."

Bob Haskins inadvertently creates a Roger Rabbit Tulpa:

"And then I watched my daughter, Rosa, she was three at the time, and she has all these invisible friends whom she talks to - Geoffrey and Elliott. And I realized that, as we get older, our imagination goes further and further to the back of our head. When we're a kid, we can actually take it out and look at it. I mean, we can see it. As we get older [still], senility comes in, and the imagination comes to the forefront again, and takes over.

"So, I just concentrated on an immature imagination - forcing it back to the front so I could actually take it out and look at it. And I managed to actually see them, which was all right, but you do it for 16 hours a day for five months... ! I started to lose control and hallucinate in all kinds of embarrassing places. Some of it's quite rude, but there's not much you can talk about. At one point, it was quite frightening, weasels and all sorts of things turning up."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Get Familiar! Human-Animal Spirit Relations (eww!)

The relationship between animals and humans is always an interesting one. This topic comes by way of two straight days of visiting New England Zoos and a crackpot I-just-woke-up-mind. But um, yeah--humans and animals, huh? Whether it's herding sheep, providing transportation--we've always had animals helping us in various ways.

This extends into the spiritual realm with the concept of familiars. A familiar is a spirit usually in animal form, that helps the magician in various tasks. It's kind of a servitor in that way. But mostly it's probably best to not confuse the issue.

Anyways. Wikipedia has one of my favorite familiar anecdotes:

"During the English Civil War, the Royalist general Prince Rupert was in the habit of taking his large poodle dog, named "Boye", into battle with him. Throughout the war the dog was greatly feared among the soldiers of Parliament and credited with supernatural powers, evidently considered a kind of familiar (see Prince Rupert). At the end of the war the dog was shot, allegedly with a silver bullet."


There's also a pocket fox that is a familiar of sorts in Japanese magics. The Kuda-Gitsune. Or Pocket fox. Which is a little fox that lives inside of a bamboo pipe that you ask questions to.

I can't even begin to guess how the familiar situation will change as these animals actually die out. Will they grow in mythology as they become extinct, or will we just lose the idea of these animals as effective metaphors for communicating with the hyper-conscious?

It seems a shame, no?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Magical Tipping Point-Personal Anecdote

I think there's a point in every young magicians life when something happens that just thorougly pushes them over the edge into true believerhood. And while I've seen a lot of great things in the past several months of my practicing--I've seen friends possessed by spirits completely and utterly, I've seen sigl after sigil work--the last two days though have been just jaw dropping.

It started yesterday when I decided to work on constructing an astral temple. Once I had the bare bones set, I was able to kind of go there on the fly while out and about and do various magical acts. The best one of course was when my friend lost her credit card in her car, and was totally losing her mind over it. I entered into my astral temple, scribbled out a sigil for her to find her card in the soon, and as I fired the sigil a flash of light went wizzing past me. I opened my eyes, and my friend began looking in the side of her car, and I just knew that she was going to find the card there. And lo and behold, not 20 seconds after I had fired the sigil, she found the card and the day was saved.

But that wasn't even the best one. Some months ago when I was just starting out I was working with various ridiculous sigils that I wanted to try. One of them was that I wanted to see two Saluki's walking down broadway on the way home. I thought this was bizarre enough that when it happened it would be a huge proof to me that the magic worked. But the problem here was it became a sigil that I obsessed about overly, to the degree that it seemed like it would never happen. In fact earlier in the week I was talking to my friend about this ridiculous saluki sigil, and how it was probably evidence that I had failed on that one because I had obssessed about. But talking about sort of eased my mind about it and I forgot entirely about the salukis.

Until I was driving home today, and my attention was drawn by these two tall black dogs that were walking down the street. I thought they were Dobermans at first. But as I pulled past them, I saw their whole body and face--and sure enough--two black salukis just chilling it down broadway.

As stupid as it sounds, even with all of the magical happenings I had already created, it was always this sigil that was going to be the thing that tipped me over into fully buying in.

Thus now begins the downfall.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brain Hacking, Lewis Carroll, and the Occult

Came across this article while reading, from
"Like the rise in cosmetic surgery, use of cognitive enhancers is likely to increase as bioethical and psychological concerns are overcome," opined Nature in a commentary.

In the survey, 80 percent of all the scientists -- even those who did not use these drugs -- defended the right of "healthy humans" to take them as work boosters, and
more than half said their use should not be restricted, even for university entrance exams."

I wonder if they will start calling scientists in front of congressional committees to answer probing questions about their performance enhancing brain juice? Will the map of the human genome have an asterisk if it's found that it was done under the enhancement of drugs?

The future is now. In the 1940's Steve Rogers takes the super soldier serum and becomes the superhero Captain America. Sixty years later baseball players and scientists are enhancing their abilities with drugs to superhuman levels.

The drug culture of the 1960s can draw a line directly out of Alice in Wonderland a hundred years earlier.

Beyond proving the infinite possibilities available to our futures by way of our presence--this type of thing shows how ideas and words can subconsciously direct a people's will. Magic! It was no mistake that Lewis Caroll(if that is your real name, sir?!) was a member of the Society of Psychical Research whose charter goal was "
to understand "events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal by promoting and supporting important research in this area" and to "examine allegedly paranormal phenomena in a scientific and unbiased way."

Here's crazy old Alan Moore saying these things(sans the bit about Lewis Caroll(at least explicitly), which must mean it's true:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Personal Anecdote about Loki

Here's an interesting article about possession from Phil Hine:

"Possession remains a powerful form of magical work. It can be used to derive oracular information (as used by the Greeks and Tibetans), to charge magical weapons, to share in the power of the God (as in ritual Masses) or 'live' a particular mythic transformation. In constructing possession-workings, it can be useful to examine magical and religious paradigms where possession is a recognised and culturally-defined technique. The experience itself can be related to wider phenomenon such as religious conversion, hypnosis, and abreactive therapy. As with all types of magical technique, it's use requires careful analysis and evaluation if it is not to devolve into a habituated limitation. In general, magical possession is both useful and enjoyable, if a little hair-raising at times."

And here's an anecdote about a friend of mine who was working with the Norse god Loki:
It was either friday or saturday, I was with my friend who invoked Loki, but stopped right at the point where she had gotten Loki basically over her shoulder. Then the overarching ritual was literaly rained out and so we had to pack up and leave. I told her she should thank Loki for coming and then dispell him. But she didn't. She was strangely very excited about his presence, and mentioned a sensation around one of her shoulder blades, as well as just the sensation of something behind her.

This actually lined up with later web research we did on Loki interaction people had had over at Barberlith which you can read here. At any rate, before I left her house she went on and on about her excitement and enthusiasm for Loki and intended to build an altar and work with him one on one. Later I talked to her when I got home, and she talked about how she felt that she had always had this identification with Loki but never had a name for it or a feeling for it. Basically she was very up on Loki at the time.

So then the next thing that happens is two days later, I talk to her about Loki, and she brings up a dream, which on the surface doesn't have to do with Loki, but I'll relate it anyways. The gist of the dream was she was at a lake and she saw a turtle pop out of the water. This is significant because we were also working with Eshu the Yoruban god of the crossroads, and one of the things he likes is turtles. At any rate, she was frightened by this and ran into her house and locked herself inside. While this was going on, another spirit we dealt with the Coyote, which is a native american trickster god, who actually is much like Loki, took the turtle in it's jaws and bit it in two. So symbolically just using the metaphors of the gods in play, you have the trickster god running in on the god of the crossroads, fortune, misfortune, death and life, who my friend was afraid of, and snapping it in two, which brought her relief.

So we have that dream. But then the other thing that's going on, is she has this event in her life take a sudden very bad turn on Monday. And I mention to her, that it may somehow be connected with Loki, in that it may be an overarching trick. Because typically Loki's blessings come through a roundabout route where they initially seem quite hellish and wrong. He seems to have wronged you, and then he gives you a magical horse. That sort of thing. But she took this as a reason to hate Loki. And basically said to hell with Loki, and immediately dispelled him from her. Then was quite miserable for the rest of the evening.

Then later that evening she gets a call, and the thing that had gone bad, suddenly turned into something extremely beneficial and exciting--ala the magical horse.

There would seem to be two interpretations that you could have here in terms of these spiritual metaphors: 1. That Loki was a malevolent spirit in her life, and as soon as she got rid of him, things in her life righted. OR 2. That the nature of Loki is that he plays tricks to get a reaction and rise out of the people he's with (usually Odin or Thor) and then once he has achieved the reaction he wants, then he gives a blessing. And that he tricked my friend and got the reaction he wanted from her which was that she was justifiably pissed. And then after that he gave his blessing.

If it's the first thing, then she should have nothing further to do with Loki, I would think. If it's the second thing, then I think she owes him some kind of sacrificial thanks.

Oh. There's a third way to look at this. That there was no magical influence. Life just happened. Stop thinking about it. Blah blah blah. And that's definitely TRUE. But the reason that you would accept the magical metaphor in a world view is because it is a kind of a trip. We all have to live life regardless, but why live a boring one dictated by your material situation? When you can live a trippy fantastic one? There are things you can learn about yourself as well through magic. Things that you can strengthen about yourself through magical metaphor. In the end, even if you don't believe in it, and I certainly do and don't--it's a powerful psychological metaphor for dealing with the conscious and sub-conscious.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Hey sportsfans! It's folklore mondays! For your enjoyment only, I'm going to be running through eight spiritual entities and doing a brief synopsis on what they are about. You can do this too with a little bit of wiki/google/ work. Or you can just read my blog and hope for more entries like this .Tamamo No Mae
First up is the popular figure from Japanese Noh dramas, Tamamo No Mae. She is a kitsune (japanese shapeshifting fox spirit). Her whole bag is that she seduced an emperor in an attempt to bring down his empire. She was found out, turned back into a fox, and ran off. Only to be murdered and imprisoned in a death stone which has it's own story. Personally I think she was a revolutionary and as with most tricksters was misunderstood.

The next god I have, doesn't really have a picture. And the only reference to her I can find is from Neil Gaiman. But supposedly she is a slavic goddess.

Zorya Polunochnaya

She's the third of the Zorya sisters. The one in charge of midnight. As with most lunar goddesses she is associated with magic, death, rebirth--yada yada. She's kind of a tragic figure in that every night she has to watch the sun die in her arms. But then comical because every morning she sees it resurrected. So maybe she is used to it by now? Other neat tidbits is that she doesn't lie, is a bit wise, pretty generous, and generously pretty. Which makes it so strange that there's no picture of her on the internet that I could find, beyond weird role playing pictures. There's actually some debate that she's not even real. I say she is, even if Gaiman made her up. I should email him and see if he'll drop some knowledge on me. I promise I will have my own drawing of her if nothing else happens by sometime in the future. Just you wait.

Next up is Eshu. Pictured above. Eshu is a pretty cool dude. He's basically a god of the crossroads. He is from the Yoruban mythology. Which makes him an effective vodoun diety to evoke. He's in charge of a lot of things ranging from fortune, misfortune, life, death--and all points in between. He's also a really good messenger between the human and spiritual realms. So forget your priest and learn to pal around with Eshu, and you should be in good shape. He is a trickster god though, and he delights in bringing people trials that eventually strengthen their character. So in that way he's kind of like your dad.
Baba Yaga
This scary lady is Baba Yaga. Who if you aren't hip is the wrong lady to mess with. She's the wild witch in the woods all the fairy tales scared you about. She's magical, maniacal, and a child cannibal. She'll definitely be interested in swallowing your soul if she has the chance. That's one way of looking at it. The other though is that she's had a lot of annoying guests and heroes bugging her over the years when all she wants is a little piece and politeness, and that's what has made her mad. Who really knows? I actually kind of dig her. Nobody is all bad, and if you treat her well, you'll probably be the first to do so.
Bamapana. This is an aboriginal trickster god, who loves foul language and lewd offensive acts. Think of him like a dirty construction worker with too much time on his hands and a hefty porno collection. Bamapana is hard to get ahold of these days because ever since Grand Theft Auto came out he's had no reason to leave his home.
The original trickster. Loki. Some people think Loki is the Norse Satan. But if you look at all of the tricks he has played, in the end almost all of them resulted in benefits for the gods. I think on the whole he's actually done more for the Norse Pantheon than any other god there. Which is probably why he was tolerated for so long. My favorite Loki story is when he shape-changed into a female horse to tempt a giants horse away from pulling boulders and was then impregenated by said horse, and gave birth to Odin's mystical horse Sleipnir. So in a way Loki predated Thomas Beatie as the first man to be pregnant. And as with Thomas Beatie it didn't make him less of a man, no matter what Bill O'Reilly says.
No, not Wile E. Coyote. Just Coyote. The native american trickster god, whose annoying antics led to the diversification of mankind, the milkway, and lord knows what else. My favorite story involving him is that he loves to impress girls by juggling his eyeballs, and one time he tossed one of his eyes up so high that it got stuck in the sky and became the star Arcturus.
Amazing how many Looney Tune representations of native american dieties there are. Anyways, this is for Manabozho, who I may write a lot more about on Bunniesz. He's the great giant rabbit trickster god of pretty much every rabbit mythology ever done. He's the originator. He's actually the basis for the Brer Rabbit stories. There's not much to really say that you don't already secretly know about him. Basically take all of the Bugs Bunny cartoons you grew up on, and put them into elaborate creation stories, and you're most of the ways there.

If you would like to make your own blog about folk dieties, here's a fantastic link to start with (best site ever? MAYBE!):

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sex Magic on the Internet and What it's To Do with Gandhi

From Slashdong

Yeah so, what this is, is a flashlight they've converted into a sex mouse, that a male sex game player would put their member in and be able to interact more "naturally" with the game environment.

Now they just need to combine an exoskeleton with second life, and you'll be in like flynn on the internetz. If you can move around it, touch it, feel it, have sex with it--is it really there? At the very least it's a blow-up doll world.

But really what we are talking about is that sensation of immersion via a kind of projection. It's very interesting the intersection between hi-technology concepts and old world shamanism. Though to be sure, a lot of the technology is perverting many of those techniques, but it's using them all the same. Immersion is just astral projection. The internet is a kind of astral plane. Corporate logos are sigils. Magic is all around us. But more often than not we're interacting with it in an unconscious and passive way.

To that end, here's a lovely story from cnn's second life division about a guy re-enacting Gandhi's "Salt March to Dandi".

"Joseph DeLappe’s 22 days and 240 miles of walking on a treadmill to control his Gandhi avatar walking across Second Life to re-enact the Mahatma’s “Salt March to Dandi”, the seminal 1930’s protest against the British Salt Act of 1882. On this, the final day of walking both on the treadmill at Eyebeam, New York City, and in Second Life, the public is invited to either visit Eyebeam to witness the final steps of the march or join MGandhi Chakrabarti in Second Life to virtually walk the final miles."

I need to get on this second life thing, YESTERDAY!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You Can Squeeze Water from a Mayan Relic: Or get an Internet Connection Off It

Here's one for the water folks out there:
"Thirsty Southern California cities are turning to water-rich farmers on the eastern edge of Riverside County for additional supplies to make up for the ongoing drought and other restrictions on the life-sustaining resource.

Starting this summer, farmers in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River will forgo planting crops on nearly 26,000 acres, the most land yet under a little-known fallowing agreement with Metropolitan Water District. The pact will double the amount now being sent to MWD and its 18 million urban customers. In exchange, MWD will pay the farmers $16.8 million each year for 115,000 acre-feet of water -- almost 37.5 billion gallons."

You don't think we'll be killing each other over water in a few years? Think again. People want to talk about the oil crisis. The water crisis is what's going to do people in. Yeah it sucks not being able to drive to work, but imagine not being able to get a clean glass of water for a few days?

Stinky butt town for sure!

Here's an interesting bit of news courtesy of
"One in five respondents to a new survey in the journal Nature say they've used drugs to boost their brain power."

I'm not good at math, but I do wonder how this number corresponds to the percentages given across various religions when it comes to how many people are going up to level 9? Because you figure this percentage of people are also probably going to most likely to upload their consciousness as that possibility continues to open. And then hosanna be the king, fullfilled prophecy!

Apparently in Russia they have Mayan gods just milling around....can you subconsciously be immaneatizing the eschaton? I mean let's just give those 2012 bastards access to all of that black market uranium, hey? See what happens...

This courtesy of the very fun English Russia blog:

The story of them appearing there starts in 19th century when Academy of St. Petersburg sent a group of explorers to Middle America. They visited through all of Yucatan, collected different things for St. Petersburg’s museums. By the way they noticed and bought a set of Mayan idols from Chichen Itza ruins. Upon the return of expedition smaller objects were placed into museums but nobody has found a good place for those Mayan statues and they were left all by themselves in the back yard, dug into ground.

A few years passed and Soviet Revolution happened, all the museums were messed up, all the buildings were nationalized by Soviets and were used for a totally different purpose then before. In many churches warehouses were founded as the result of total atheism of new Russian authorities, and many museum were turned into something else as a result of ignorance.

So hundred years passed and those 1500 year old Mayan deities stand, abandoned and not worshiped by anyone except accidental Russian teens searching for a place to have a beer outside in some public backyard."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kitsunetsuki and Cannibalism in the Coming Eschaton

Wikipedia is the greatest thing ever. I used to read encyclopedias all of the time 1st through 3rd grade because I got done with assignments way early, and the teacher would make me just go read encyclopedias, and I always found them captivating, because I just love information that wraps around my wills and desires for that day.

Wikipedia is that sensation, but on crack.

At any rate. Yesterday was look up mythological beast days. And one of the ones I'm very interested in is the japanese fox spirits. Kitsune. Primarily because of their shapeshifting trickster ways. They're almost Loki-esque, but with a cute werewolf bend.

So I came across this:

"Kitsunetsuki (狐憑き or 狐付き; also written kitsune-tsuki) literally means the state of being possessed by a fox. The victim is typically a young woman, whom the fox enters beneath her fingernails or through her breasts.[26] In some cases, the victims' facial expressions are said to change in such a way that they resemble those of a fox. Japanese tradition holds that fox possession can cause illiterate victims to temporarily gain the ability to read.[27]

Folklorist Lafcadio Hearn describes the condition in the first volume of his Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan:

"Strange is the madness of those into whom demon foxes enter. Sometimes they run naked shouting through the streets. Sometimes they lie down and froth at the mouth, and yelp as a fox yelps. And on some part of the body of the possessed a moving lump appears under the skin, which seems to have a life of its own. Prick it with a needle, and it glides instantly to another place. By no grasp can it be so tightly compressed by a strong hand that it will not slip from under the fingers. Possessed folk are also said to speak and write languages of which they were totally ignorant prior to possession. They eat only what foxes are believed to like — tofu, aburagé, azukimeshi, etc. — and they eat a great deal, alleging that not they, but the possessing foxes, are hungry.[28

He goes on to note that, once freed from the possession, the victim will never again be able to eat tofu, azukimeshi, or other foods favored by foxes.

Exorcism, often performed at an Inari shrine, may induce a fox to leave its host.[29]kitsunetsuki were beaten or badly burned in hopes of forcing the fox to leave. Entire families were ostracized by their communities after a member of the family was thought to be possessed.[28] In the past, when such gentle measures failed or a priest was not available, victims of

In Japan, kitsunetsuki was noted as a disease as early as the Heian period and remained a common diagnosis for mental illness until the early 20th century.[30][31]ayed by the afflicted individuals. In the late 19th century, Dr. Shunichi Shimamura noted that physical diseases that caused fever were often considered kitsunetsuki.[32] The belief has lost favor, but stories of fox possession still appear in the tabloid press and popular media. One notable occasion involved allegations that members of the Possession was the explanation for the abnormal behavior displAum Shinrikyo cult had been possessed.[33]

In medicine, kitsunetsuki is an ethnic psychosis unique to Japanese culture. Those who suffer from the condition believe they are possessed by a fox.[34] Symptoms include cravings for rice or sweet red beans, listlessness, restlessness, and aversion to eye contact. Kitsunetsuki is similar to but distinct from clinical lycanthropy.[35]"


In other news, Ted Turner thinks we will be cannibals in forty years because of Global warming:
"We'll have eight degrees -- we'll be eight degrees hotter in 10 -- not 10, but in 30 or 40 years. And basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died, and the rest of us will be cannibals."

Buddy, in four years cannibalism will be the least of our problems. Know your eschaton!

At any rate. If the higher ups like Ted Turner are worried, just imagine what you should be. You don't own a solar powered whirligig zombie destroyer. And even if you did, THEY would probably take it away from you.

No. Your best bet in the event the whole world goes cannibal is the dogs. You need to be friendly with a pack of very intimidating and dangerous guard dogs. How else are you going to protect your stolen dragon treasure?!

Which of course brings us back full circle to....Kitsunetsuki.

You can read it all in my forthcoming book: Werewolves vs. Zombies--Survival Tips for The Eschatologically Possessed.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Anti-Life Equation

"Most recently in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle (2005), by Grant Morrison, Darkseid (or Dark Side, as he now calls himself) has gained full control of the Anti-Life Equation. By speaking, he can insert the full formula into people's minds, giving them the mathematical certainty that life, hope and freedom are all pointless. Shilo Norman (the current Mister Miracle) is able to break free from this with the help of Metron. However, it was implied that these events did not happen in the 'real world', but in a tangent universe inside a black hole. The Anti-Life Equation here is revealed to be:

loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side"

I was thinking about this concept a few weeks back because of the death of a kid I used to know in high school. It's kind of an out-there concept in some ways, the Anti-life equation. But in others, especially as Morrison imagined it, it's quite real. The context in which I imagined it was as an individualized code within everyone's brain, that when realized would be the thing that pushed you over the edge into death. Like if your life met these pre-conditions based upon your genetic make-up, you would cease to be able to live in it.

Of course this week I realized that this idea was already perfectly captured in the idea of the anti-life equation.

Not insignificantly, but in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, the Anti-life equation is defeated by hope, which is heavy handed but true. At the end of the day as humans we are very easily duped creatures. In the sense that even the smallest hope can keep us clinging onto the rock of life over one jagged cliff after the next. We're very fuel efficient in that way. But when we hit empty, we hit empty.

I guess I'm writing this, because there's a lot of scorn and pain left behind by suicides. More often than not the people closest to it come to hate the person who committed the act. But I've always thought that was a lack of empathy. Or maybe worse, a core denial of an unassailable truth--that when confronted with the anti-life equation, we are all going to be working at a deficit. Recognize situations different from your own, and respect that. Derision of the dead doesn't leave anyone in peace.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Second life, Comics, Automatic Drawing, and Vodou

Here's a breakdown of vodou culture, and some basic practices for the do-it yourself-er at home.

The Vodou Page

Here you have many of the writings from the grandfather of chaos magic, Austin Osman Spare:

Austin Osman Spare

Here's a free webcomic by Warren Ellis about the post-end of the world:

Freak Angels

Here's an explanation as to why I'm not on second life:

I'm lazy, the customization takes too long for me right now, and I'm otherwise occupied. But I love the notion, don't get me wrong. We should all be able to do second life instead of myspace and facebook and have that be the real social networking. Which I mean, it is for some people.

There's stupid amounts of potential in second life, much of it already being realized.

Second life is the new internet.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hateful Murderous Squids and Carlos Castaneda

Capitalism, give us back our metaphors!!!

"If you're going to spend time guarding a female, you want to go for the biggest female you can find because she's going to produce more eggs," said
UC Berkeley biologist Roy Caldwell, who co-wrote the study. "It's basically an investment strategy."

More damned lies:

"The best way of learning, I think, is to place oneself in the situation when you discover that you are nothing. The other ways have roots in one’s pride. If we do not follow this, we spend our lives finding out who loves us and who does not. (But we must understand), that it does not matter.

Don Juan depicted pride as a monster with 3000 heads. It does not matter how many heads you cut off; thousands of them remain. The main task is not to react. If you react, you have lost. You cannot feel offended when a tiger attacks you; you simply step aside to let the tiger pass.

Without enemies we are nothing. To have enemies, to live with awareness of calamity, misfortune is one of the forms of our existence. We have to free ourselves from this form, but it may take time. First, one has to become a fighter. This is our first level.

My freedom depends on my impeccable living; only by this can I change my fate and leave this world completely."

The actual existence of don Juan is a matter of
some dispute between Castaneda's supporters and critics. ([1] Author Robert Marshall claims that Castaneda got the idea for Matus’ name from the popular brand of Portuguese rosé wine, “Mateus.”) If don Juan were a real person, his real name was apparently changed to maintain his anonymity. Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau – associates of Castaneda – also wrote about the same don Juan Matus, although he went by different pseudonyms in their books such as Mariano Aureliano. In all of these books, don Juan Matus was a nagual who was leader of a group of practitioners of tradition of perceptual enhancement."

Doktor Sleepless

What galls us about lies is the betrayal and loss. Where previously we had the notion of one reality, it's quite stinging to learn we were misled. So oftentimes we will go on believing a lie as a matter of pride more often than not. Just because it's less painful to see it as a lie. But even that's a lie. You don't have to see the world in terms of things that trick you and things that don't. At least not, really.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Transgender Erotica and Why The Ball Bounces That Way

So yeah in my younger days(read: also now) I was a bit of a fan (a lot of a fan) of transgender erotica(porn). In particular, or specifically, short stories. I've always found words a lot more stimulating than videos and pictures.

At any rate. The site I often went to for a sure-fire score was: Fictionmania. And I'm coming to why this is important. But yeah anyways, that's where I went. It's this huge database of all kinds of stories of transformation. Magical, hormonal, young, old, age progression, age regression, aliens, pop culture references--it's user generated content, and the users have been working very hard on that site for a loonnnnng time.

So I was thinking about the types of stories that are on there. Sure the details are varied quite radically. But when you get right down to it. 80 percent of the stories that are there, i.e. the vast majority of them--are camped in shame, guilt, repression, and humiliation. And sure it's certainly true many of our wildest fantasies come from the darkest places of our minds. But surely not ALL of them. In these stories many of the times, the narrator(it's usually a first person narrative) is forced into some kind of change by the world or people around them, or through some sort of mistake on their own. There's so much guilt, humiliation, and submission in these stories that when you really step back and feel the magnititude of how many of these narratives are coming out of and into the transgender community on a daily basis--it's staggering.

And so often our cultures are based upon the stories we tell ourselves and about ourselves. I think 60 years of being relegated to Jerry Springer has taken it's toll on the collective unconscious of the transgender community. The paranoia and pain of many of these people is tremendous.

And the best we can do is commit them to murder, and marginalization,

"And what's this sympathy, constant sympathy for sexually confused people? Why should we have constant sympathy for people who are freaks in every society?" adding, "But you know what? You're never gonna make me respect the freak. I don't want to respect the freak." Savage concluded: "The freak ought to be glad that they're allowed to walk around without begging for something. You know, I'm sick and tired of the whole country begging, bending over backwards for the junkie, the freak, the pervert, the illegal immigrant. All of them are better than everybody else. Sick. Everything is upside down."

In other news today, I was trying to research some of the rubber atrocities committed in and around Peru around the turn of the century as I had been reminded about them from Terence Mckenna's wonderful True Hallucinations audio recording. Which I came across thanks to Warren Ellis's WhiteChapel message board.

Anyways, wikipedia gave me a blank. That section of Peruvian History, and British Empire History is basically blank in both sections. Not sure why. But it is. So I had to go through some old New York Times articles and get what I wanted that way. The internet bends to my will! Yaaar!

So to give you some context. This was around 1911-17. It was in and around the Putumayo areas of Columbia and Peru. The British Banks were in there harvesting rubber for the coming world war. And as you might imagine, didn't exactly rate the Indigenous peoples there much higher than Michael Savage rates transgender people. I thought this would be a stark reminder of how something as stupid as rubber is bathed literally in human flesh(of course without even getting into King Leopald).

"In the last twelve years 4,000 tons of rubber have come to England from Putumayo. He calculates that the price fo the total is 30,000 Indans killed by starvation, beheading, bullet, and burning, accompanied by every variey of atrocious tortures. Taking ten stone as the average weight of an Indian, close upon a thousand tons of Indians were slaughtered to ame four thousand tons of rubber. I leave it to the holders of rubber shares to work out how much per pound this comes to for human flesh at the current price of rubber."

Challenges Our Humanity

Rubber Atrocities Spared No Victim