Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pyschopomp: The Death Pimp


"Many religious belief systems have a particular spirit, angel, or deity whose responsibility is to escort newly-deceased souls to the afterlife. These creatures are called psychopomps, from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός (psychopompos), literally meaning the "guide of souls". Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply provide safe passage. Frequently depicted on funerary art, psychopomps have been associated at different times and in different cultures with horses, whippoorwills, ravens, dogs, crows, owls, sparrows, harts, and dolphins.

In Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms. It is symbolically personified in dreams as a wise man (or woman), or sometimes as a helpful animal. In many cultures, the shaman also fulfills the role of the psychopomp. This may include not only accompanying the soul of the dead, but also vice versa: to help at birth, to introduce the newborn's soul to the world (p. 36 of [1]). This also accounts for the contemporary title of "midwife to the dying," which is another form of psychopomp work."

Notable Pyschopomps include:
Odin, St. Peter, Eshu, Hecate, and Anubis.

While it's justifiable to approach psychopomp deities with some caution for fear of being dragged down with them on a whim, it's a bit irrational, and Psychopomp's can actually be very effective and important deities to have a relationship with. They can get you admission into just about any spiritual situation, and are a wonderful crossover guide between your conscious and subconscious.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rune of the Week: Thurisaz

This week's rune is Thurisaz. It is an especially volatile and dangerous rune to work with. It is at once the rune associated with Thor, and at the same time the rune associated with Giants. It is according to the poems mainly a danger to women. So one might conclude it is somewhat phallic in nature as well. Because it is associated with Thor, it is also associated with Thunder.

Here are the poems:

"Old Norse
Giant causes anguish to women;
misfortune makes few men cheerful.

The thorn is exceedingly sharp,
an evil thing for any knight to touch,
uncommonly severe on all who sit among them.

Icelandic Rune Poem
Torture of women
and cliff-dweller
and husband of a giantess"

Obviously I am a bit concerned with how this rune is going to manifest over the coming week.

Here's an interesting explanation of the rune from the barbelith poster Naked Flame:
"Thresholds. Gates. Points of no return. Synchronicity biting you in the ass. A rune that reminds you of the seriousness of your business."

Bottoms up!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

James Monroe: President Monster Fighter

I found this story while going through the backlog of entries over at Apparently James Madison and James Monroe were passing around Space pistols back in the beginning eras of the United States.

"Given pride of place in an unassuming museum on the East Coast of America is a pair of 200-year-old duelling pistols shrouded in mystery.

The intricately decorated guns were said to have been forged from the iron of a fallen meteorite.

They were a unique gift from the commander of a South American region, which would later become Argentina, to the fourth US president, James Madison.

"Permit me therefore to present to your Excellency... a specimen of the first essays of the manufacture of arms established in the provinces of Buenos Ayres and Tucuman," wrote General Ignacio Alvarez in an accompanying 14-page letter.

Over time, they passed into the hands of Madison's successor - James Monroe - and are now on display at a museum dedicated to him."

Of course the reason this story has come up, is if you continue reading the above article, you find out that the idea that they are crafted from fallen meteorite has supposedly been debunked. Or at least the notion that these particular pistols were. The article also mentions that the design on it isn't even silver, it's aluminum. Very cheap for a gift between Heads of State like this.

It just doesn't add up why the Argentine president would gloss so glowingly on these pistols, and then have them end up as functioning cheap pistols. No. The only logical answer is that these are not the pistols that were given to Madison and later passed on to Monroe. These are replicas that were made while the pistols were put into real actual use. I wouldn't be shocked if the pistols are still in possession of whoever Monroe later enlisted to help acquire Florida. And you will see why later on.

To cast further doubt on this case, the name of the Machine that they used to show the Pistols the museum has in it's possession as fakes, is Isis.

"Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian mythology and is celebrated as the ideal mother and wife, patron of nature and magic; friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, the downtrodden, as well as listening to the prayers of the wealthy, the maiden, the aristocrat and emperor.[1]"

Bold added for emphasis. I highly doubt it's a coincidence that Isis has become associated with these Pistols. Particularly given that she is occasionally in league with Emperor's(Presidents).

Now look at this:
James Monroe (April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States (1817-1825). His administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida (1819)"

Of course that begs the question...what do Egyptian Space Pistols have to do with acquiring Florida?

70 years Later this washed up on Florida shores:

The St. Augustine Monster is the name given to a large unidentified carcass, originally postulated to be the remains of a gigantic octopus, that washed ashore on the United States coast near St. Augustine, Florida, in 1896."

Was James Monroe fighting Cthulhu?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Influencing Probablity Game and Evocation Process

I thought this game from Occult Forums was an interesting ritual game to play:

"Influencing probability by odds calculation practice. This is quite simply "the dice-rolling game". For it you need:
* A pair of dice.
* A notebook.
* A writing instrument, i.e., pen or pencil, or crayon for those of you who are not allowed to have sharps.
Open the notebook. Write down the date/time at the top of the page. Pick up the dice. Pick up the pen/pencil. Roll the dice. Write down your result--this can either be a combined result, i.e., "9" or an itemized result: "3, 6". Roll the dice again; write the result down again. Keep doing that for awhile without thinking about anything. Once you start to see a pattern emerge--for example, you may be rolling a lot of 10s (in which case I will never play Yahtzee with you)--start TRYING TO ROLL that result. Make a mark in your notebook where you started trying for a particular result, and write down the result you want like in the margin. Once you start trying to roll a certain number or combination of numbers, keep track of how many times you "win" and how many "losses" you have.

Your notebook will look something like this:
28 February 2008, 1155

4, 2 (6)
4, 6 (10)
3, 1 (4)
6, 5 (11)
(etc. Now I notice I'm rolling a lot of 4s, either in combination with another number or combined, so I start rolling for 4s.)


3, 2 L
1, 3 W
4, 6 W
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't work on this for more than a half an hour or 45 minutes at a time, especially if you live with someone else. It will scare them, and they will start thinking about sending you for mental health services. Trust me on this. Plus an obsession can develop, and you don't want that. So yeah--half an hour, 45 minutes, then stop. Set a timer so you won't have to keep looking at the clock.

When you do this exercise, try not to place a lot of expectations on yourself, or get too discouraged if you can't seem to influence the dice as you would like to. This is something that takes a LOT of practice. You may work on it for weeks before you start seeing some results. I do know people who get the hang of it fairly quickly but then have a hard time applying the trick to things in real life, to whom I say: Once you start getting results with this, start paying more attention to what is going on in your mind when it seems to be working. When my dad was in military service, he used to win tons of money off people playing dice. I have discussed this with him many times and asked him to show me how to do this, but all he can do now is describe it to me, since he was in a really bad car wreck some years ago and messed up his hands to the point that he can't roll dice anymore. Nevertheless, when he described what he was doing to me when he WAS able to win at dice, he said pretty much what I'm telling you here: "It's not just what you do with your hand, you have to think of a certain thing," and I would of course ask him what that thing was, and he would kind of shrug and reply, "It's not really a THING, but the order your thoughts go in when you are thinking. I can't describe it, but you know it when you have it." In other words, what he was telling me about was magic.

So don't get discouraged. Try to apply the dice exercise to other things that involve probability, such as the behavior of animals or people in a group setting, for example: There are two women sitting at the bar; which one will get up to use the bathroom first? and stuff like that. (DON'T start placing bets on this stuff, as it will lead to a gambling habit. See my above caution about obsession.)"

And here's a simple rundown on the evocation process my friend and I have used successfully to summon out Loki and Odin:

1. Went to a location where we felt a good magical vibe. In this case a forest.
2. Poured screwdrivers, lit candles.
3. Asked for the blessing and protection of the spirits of the forest.
4. Poured some of the screwdrivers into the ground.
5. We took turns describing the god we were summoning, using song, and chant, trying to build up a free conscious flow of voice and sound to enter into a trance state.
6. Once we got a sense of the gods vague presence, we started to describe and enhance that.
7. the gods started to appear on our periphery in the forest, and we described how they looked to one another, until both of us could see what the other was seeing.
8. We then entreated the gods to come closer and join with us in a drink.
9. We told them our intent for wanting to work with them. We poured them drinks. And then circled back out of the ritual, thanking the gods for coming, thanking the forest for its protection. And then we left the grounds.

Earliest results.

More results: I've since started a rune ritual to learn the runes, which I hadn't been that interested in before this ritual summoning Odin. I was thinking of working more with Scrying at the time. Some people have said I've become a little meaner and more irritable. I'm not sure how true that is. I've had a rush of information and learning sine that time period as it pertains to magic. And while I've encountered resistances, they've generally been ones that have made me stronger and more articulate. I've also started an altar ritual for Odin, I will explain later. And then I've begun experiencing the runes I'm studying in life changing ways. For instance, last week the rune was wealth. And in that time span I had a job interview that went so well that I will soon be going in for a follow up, and that seems promising. And then I also sold my car these two things are almost last minute, but even just the car thing will allow me to hold on financially for one more month. The Old man has also crept into my writing. I've done one short story, and one short comic script that both seemed to have Odin in a prominent role in the background guiding the proceedings. And then he's cropped up in other writings as well.
I've also had a few experiences where I've felt or seen him on the periphery of my day to day life. Including hearing the hoofclomps of Sleipnir during the lighting of the Altar I have made for Odin. And seeing his eye through a window while I was thinking about when to buy cookies for my rune ritual.

So, so far the ritual has been a success. There's still a long way to go. But things are progressing nicely.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rune of the Week: Uruz

It's Rune Wednesdays! This week the Rune is Uruz. Uruz stands for strength. Pure animalistic strength. Here are the three poems:

"Dross comes from bad iron;
the reindeer often races over the frozen snow."

"Rain is lamentation of the clouds
and ruin of the hay-harvest
and abomination of the shepherd."

"The aurochs is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle."

When I searched for Uruz pictures, the picture below came up. It is a picture of Fenrir. Fenrir is the wolf, the son of Loki. He eats Odin during Ragnarok. The man with his hands in Fenrir's jaws is Tyr. He eventually loses that hand to Fenrir. Fenrir is Uruz. He is pure animalistic energy, which is so powerful it can even devour Odin eventually, if left to grow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Internet and ShapeChanging Shamanic Practice

"A woman named Legba, a witch, enjoys cybersex and morphing because "they can be intensely magical. It's a very, very easy way of shapechanging." Legba likens this to the traditional shamans, who she says are "between genders, or doubly gendered." Moreover, "morphing and can have an intensity and unsettling effect on the psyche, one that enables the ecstaic state from which pagan magic is done."

This was from a much larger article on technoshamanism. I parced out this part because shapechanging has been a concept that I've explored a lot on this blog and it's one of the more interesting aspects to me of shamanic magic. This aspect of it, is of course tied into cyberculture, and is one of the ways in which the internet and magic have crossroaded concepts. The notion that you could be someone who you were not, whether that was a change in name, a change in location, gender, or history has been around ever since people started communicating on the internet. It's a pretty fascinating thing that one of our first instincts when presented with a new reality to paint on is to change ourselves.

But I think the magical power of this phenomena is something that a lot of people let go by the wayside. The internet offers up a very easy way to wear another skin and dance around for a bit in it. And in so doing feel that kind of identity displacement that makes for very effective shamanic practice.

And then if one can then bring that identity they have crafted on the net back into reality, they'll have taught themselves a very valuable magical skill.

You may think this doesn't have any real world practicality, but it does. Particularly in the transgender community, which because of the internet, is allowed to start transitioning on the internet before any transition happens offline. This is most interesting because it is becoming pretty common for transgender net users to craft a very thorough projection of their female or male or androgynous self into the net. and then over time their real lives begin to flicker and change in congruence with that online projection. To me this is one of the greatest proofs of the validity of technoshamanism. Of course the next step is to do that sort of reflection much more quickly, and craft several different shapes to morph through.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rune of the Week: Fehu

" Wealth is a source of discord amongst kin;
the wolf lives in the forest."

"Wealth is a source of discord amongst kin
and fire of the sea
and path of the serpent."

" Wealth is a comfort to all;
yet must everyone bestow it freely,
if they wish to gain honour in the sight of the Divinity."

This week's rune is Fehu. It stands for wealth. In norse cultures, wealth was seen as something of an evil that needed to be dispersed freely out to others rather than horded. If you look at a story like Beowolf, the kings made massive beerhalls to eat drink and be marry with their people. Then on the outside you had Grendel and his mom who horded gold and wealth and were profoundly unhappy and angry.

For this week until next wednesday, consider how you use wealth, and the role it plays in your life. Are you pursuing wealth to horde alone in some crazy tower, or are you pursuing it for your clan, so you can throw a bombass party?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Personal Anecdote 3: Science vs. Magic and The Easy Bake Oven

I woke up this morning to be greeted by Grant Morrison's Pop magic article.

So hooray for that.

Here's a discussion I've been having about science and magic, which is a bit frustrating because I don't inherently see the two as desperateness, or see the need to prove one over the other, and yet it seems like that arguement is being forced into play.

I think it's to my benefit though, because it is sharpening how I explain magic, and there's an extent to which my understanding is increasing as I explain it more. Which I find notable in the sense that I perceive the arguments as being forced into play, while I'm working with THE god of teaching and wisdom. I wouldn't be shocked if this is the old man at work again. Teaching me a few hard lessons in magical humility before the journey kicks off in full.

Tomorrow I'm starting a 24 week ritual to learn the runes. Each week I'll study a new rune. In order to start, I will back a cookie with an icing on'ed rune for that week, and bake that up, and then ingest it. And then for that week I will try and live that rune. Research it, find ways it exists in my life, and so on and so forth. And then after I've done all of the runes, I will be ready to go out and carve some runes of my own to use. I'm very excited. Magic and baking. What more could you want?
As an aside, I was reading another thread somewhere about popculture magic, and most magicians were poopooing the notion because popculture is so un fleshed out. But then I was thinking about my readings on native american gods, and their looney toons embodiments. I don't see any reason why Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck can't be very powerful gods to work with. Plus you could set up a really fantastic altar.

I want to find the post on barbelith about the magician that is using wrestling heroes from the 80's as his magical pantheon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Personal Anecdote #2: Odin, Berzerkers, Spooky Armonicas

I think this is great, it's a glass armonica, with what looks like Ben Franklin playing it:

Thank you
Berzerkers and Odin as the Patron Saint of Outlaws

"Berserkers (or Berserks) were
Norse warriors who wore coats of wolf or bear skin and who were commonly understood to have fought in an uncontrollable rage or trance of fury; the berserkergang."

Here's an interesting paragraph on the use of berzerkers in modern society:
"Of what benefit is the berserkergang in a larger, societal sense? There are two ways this is possible. One is that such practices serve as "release valves" for those born too different to fit into society, who might otherwise employ their energies in a destructive manner. But the other use is the more important one, for it is the very function in society that Odin serves (his function as Lord of Valhalla is actually incidental and only secondary). This is the role of the seidh-man, the warg, the outlaw, a person who deliberately lives outside of society in order to grow along a different path. You see, that which is static is dead. Life needs change to sustain itself. But it is difficult to sustain real change from within, for in the long run society tends to the conservative, to the static. So there is occasionally a need for a real outsider, something which can bring the new, which is in the Utgards, to the Innangards.

An example of such in modern times is Einstein, a self-educated scientist at a time when science was at a standstill, unable to learn anything further. Much of modern scientific and technological development is because he came at things from a unique point of view. The berserkergang is a great torrent of power and inspiration that can be directed and focused in a number of ways. Any pursuit the berserk engages in can be rendered easier and more effective by it, including highly intellectual ones like art and poetry, science and math. But it has its price, and anyone devoted to benefiting from it must also devote his life to coping with it, a thing that is not always easy. I suppose it would be possible to learn the berserkergang without being born a berserk, but it would not in the long run be desirable. Berserks can easily develop strong emotional blocks and inhibitions involving the gangr, and find themselves with a strong mind-body connection that is working against them. All sorts of psychosomatic illnesses can develop as a result which can turn into serious long-term health problems."

There's a lot of interesting things in there, one of which is Einstein as an outlaw, but the other is Odin as God of the Outlaws. This may explain some of my affinity for the old man.

Here's a Barbelith thread on an experience one person had in their evocation of Odin.

Another personal anecdote:
My friend and I spent an evening out in the woods the other week evoking Loki and Odin. Loki, because that god has kind of chosen my friend, and I am interested in working with Odin, because there are a lot of attributes that he has that resonate with me. At any rate, the ritual was set up that we basically sat across from one another over a candle, and traded evokation poems, songs, and stories while drinking screwdrivers and keeping an eye out in the woods. And sure enough, the two of them started to appear on the edges of the forest, and as we continued to talk to them and enchant them closer they both came to within about fifteen feet of both of us. We invited them to drink with us, but they wanted to kind of stand there and observe.

Odin was this tall gaunt figure, semi-obscured by the trees, who wore a white cloak over black clothes and his one eye glowed like the moonlight. Loki was more difficult to pin down. He was constantly peeking out from trees and waving. I think part of what kept them at bay was that we had enlisted my friend's dog as a guardian spirit for our ritual, and I think they were a bit weary of him. He was fascinating to watch, because after we evoked a guardian spirit into him, his whole manner changed, such that for much of the ritual he was literally patrolling the perimeter, and when we ended the ritual, he actually vanished deep in the woods in the direction which Odin and Loki had gone, seemingly to make sure they were gone. It was very interesting.

Anyways. Since that ritual, I've had a much more focused approach to my magic, and I've swung into rune study with a lot of aplomb. I've also picked up a lot of scars, and have become more irritable than normal. But my ideas seem to be flowing much faster now and my understanding of magical systems seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. I'm finding a lot of resources now very quickly, and picking out of them the ideas that are most useful very easily. And I think some of that is to do with beginning to work with Odin.

I know the old man has a bit of a reputation, but I think since my friend is working with Loki, that his temper will be pretty good so long as that keeps up, because I think a lot of people have bad experiences with Odin when they deal with him on their own on his own. Odin generally needs Loki around to be in the best of spirits. I also think that you should be prepared for trials when working with any powerful God. You have to earn the respect of that entity. Odin hung on a tree for nine days for his magical knowledge. He's not going to think much of just handing over knowledge without any work. So one has to be prepared for that.

This is the Barbelith thread on Odin.

I really should get an account there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Faster and Faster the Reaper Rises!

I thought this blog was interesting. It's a camera designed to take pictures of roadside altars:

Ostensibly I believe roadside altars are put there to commemorate accidents, but what you get eventually is a kind of monument to travel. Sacrifices to the great god Mercury. Trading in lives for greater and greater speed.

Or of course what better place to anchor a soul than by the roadside. It's a bit of a quirky thing with a long history across many cultures. You see shrines and memorials on the roadsides of Japan, Poland, and the US to name just three. Most cemeteries are built right on a main road so that many of their grave markers are visible clearly for those driving by.

The internet has this.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stitching the Internet to Joe Daily

"For Stacey Kim, a 36-year-old book editor who lives in the Boston suburb of Arlington, Massachusetts, emotional blogging has become a reflex. On April 11, 2007, Kim curled up next to her husband and held him as he succumbed to a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The next morning, she went online to post about the experience.

"It cemented the reality that he was gone," Kim says. "I got hundreds of comments back that were all so loving and supportive. It gave me a really tangible sense of community."

This is from an article on which is about the role blogging has in dealing with trauma. What I find especially interesting here though is the way Kim phrased this, "It cemented the reality that he was gone". So often we like to pretend that the internet and real life are two seperate things, and this causes a lot of stress, because feelings about events that happen on the internet can be as real as those that happen off of it. But that doesn't change for many people the notion that there is a logged on identity and a logged off identity. What we are seeing with this kind of statement is that they are actually tandem, or even *gasp* one in the same thing.

Why this is useful is because many people underrate the experience building power of the internet, and don't really understand that the ways it works are akin to the way say astral traveling would work for a magician. What we are talking about here, with the internet. Is a kind of communal self-conscious experience. The internet you experience is in large part due to various clicks, gestures, and feints that you make on it to produce various kinds of experiences, both intellectually and emotionally. Whether it's reading an interesting article, watching a funny youtube video, or talking to a lover--these experiences are guided by a kind of sub-conscious drive that externalizes in a very obvious way the identities and desires of the various factions of the human unconscious. Now, this happens too in your life away from the internet. The way that you build experiences, is in large part due to your will, not random uncontrollable forces, but subtle and overt pushes and pulls of your will. The internet is just a more graphic and obvious expression of this--and a much quicker one.

And the thing is, if you pay attention to what is happening on the internet, the things that you are doing, the worlds that you are shaping, you are going to be that much closer to learning how to shape them through these experiences. It is possible with the internet to induce experiences in a much quicker and efficient way than you would offline. And in doing so, you can shape and change your identity and surroundings at a much more rapid rate. Both on and offline. It should be very obvious, that the internet is the new astral plane for magicians. All of your tools are here to make will manifest and reach a higher knowledge of self.

The key is to, like Kim, pull those experiences in and out of the offline experience, until the both of them are stitched together in one coherent identity, whether that's a patchwork job or not.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

B. Dolan and the Artist as Shaman

The artist as magician. Anyone that has been reading my blog for awhile, knows that the intersection of art and magic, and their interchangeability is something that I'm intensely interested in. Today I'm going to discuss it using my favorite current artist B. Dolan as my example, since a lot of the language and techniques he uses accurately invoke more than a few popular rituals of the shaman. And plus he has an album that's out today, it's disgustingly ill. It's like horror-core apocalyptic spoken word Ragnarök grinding. Basically right in the wheel house for me and a lot of the people probably reading this blog.

Anywho. You can get his music here. You can also listen to the whole "Failure" album in it's entirety, and listen to exactly what I'm talking about here.

The thing I'd like to open up with first is his poem Skycycle Blues. Skycycle blues is a spoken word performance about Evel Knievel the daredevil. What's interesting about this piece is that when it was performed, for the longest time, Dolan would dress up in a Evel jumpsuit and helmet and start priming the crowd. Bringing the crowd into a frenzy, before making a jump on a bike over some small school buses. This would be coupled with the actual piece, which is an invokatory piece. What's fascinating is the act of costuming, and masking here, takes on a transformative effect on Dolan. His facial expressions change. His body language is different, and on certain nights he is Evel Knievel. And there's this electricity, that supercedes the reality of the moment. He's jumping over small school buses, but the energy that act generates is tremendous, and it feeds into the rest of the piece.

What's fascinating even moreso than that, is how in the middle of the piece, Dolan uses Knievel as a tool to invoke and deal with Death. In a way, Knievel is used in the same way that one might use a Vodoun crossroads god to speak with someone from beyond that reality.

" So this is what you call a fucking one shot deal:
This helmet,

is to protect me from my own momentum
This costume
is to protect YOU from the realness of what is happening here!
I am calling on DEATH

and she comes growling and snapping into the arena
and opens her jaws up wide on both sides of my landing ramp!
My heart is a spark plug!
My heart is pumping 100% Fuck You!

Thumbs up!
Open her up!
Let the arrow fly and

Tear into the fabric of an instant! "

To some extent Dolan allows himself to be taken over(mounted) by the Daredevil god Knievel. Because who better to invoke when trying to evoke death and pass along a request? Who is more brave in the face of death, than a daredevil?

The piece concludes:
he deserves mercy, death.

Which when you take into the context that Do
lan is in the guise of Knievel, asking for mercy for Knievel(who died recently) is also in some ways asking for a favor from death towards his own ends.

The last thing I'll say on Skycycle blues is this. On the EP record that you can buy, the Live Evel EP, on the back of it it recounts how Dolan became inspired to write the Knievel poem. It describes an experience he had in his car where his radio went out, and just like Phillip K. Dick's pink laser, a laser enters Dolan, and on the heals of that laser is the voice of Knievel coming in over the speaker. The story skips ahead some time and says "when I came to, I had spent a year onstage as Evel Knievel. At the end of that time, I wrote "The Skycycle Blues"."

There are other even stronger magical metaphors sprinkled throughout the album for the discerning listener. This is just the one that was the keyhole for me. But I mean, what's the significance of this? You'll actually find these kind of metaphors in performance art a LOT. And I guess that's really what I'm trying to play with here. Actors, spoke
n word poets, musicians, rappers--they are all magicians/shamans. And the best of them can and will put you under their spell.

This gets into some of what Alan Moore was talking about. In terms of the role of the artist. As with marketers, we are talking about people of high magical skill. People that can take others minds to places that they wouldn't go on their own. They can be the gateway to higher enlightenments and realizations of self.

Or they dumb you down. They can put you to sleep. They can dull the senses. And they can hasten our devolution. With all of the new things that we have, the old metaphors are the most primal. They are the ones most connected with the roots of our evolution. They are the ones closest to our inner most consciousness. And art, because it IS magic, is a way to communicate with these consciousnesses.

I don't know what I'm totally rambling on to. But it's something akin to, the role of the shaman in the community was to offer a way for the community to bridge gaps between the spiritual and the corporeal, and in doing so allow the community to know about itself and it's history in a much more real and fulfilling way. By connecting into that powerful communal back consciousness, the decisions for the future of the community can be enlightened and enjoyed. So I'm saying, listen to the music. Listen in between the music. And uh....I dunno. Buy B. Dolan's album. There's some great references to Divine Horsemen in there for you to find. As well as some great breakdowns for how magic intrinsically works. If you wanted to, you could take this album and teach yourself a magical system that will work, and will take your brain to new crazier places.

You can put yourself out into a dark forest, invoke old gods till your drunk and delirious, and watching them hover at the edge of your own perception, ask them favors, ask them for wisdom, ask them for something, because right now, people are asking in your stead constantly, the party is jumping off.

The Failure is the club banger jump off for 2008.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Lovely Day for Norse Stuffs

"Mead of Poetry (Old Norse skáldskapar mjaðar), also known as Mead of SuttungrSuttungmjaðar), in (Norse mythology is a mythical beverage that whoever "drinks becomes a skald or scholar" to recite any information and solve any question. This myth was reported by Snorri Sturluson (Skáldskaparmál 5) (1). The drink is a vivid metaphor for poetic inspiration, often associated with Óðinn the god of 'possession' via berserkr rage or poetic inspiration."


Here's a site with directions on how to make your own mead.

Bootleggers unite! I haven't tried this process for myself yet, but it sounds fun.

Here are some nicknames of Odin:
Bági ulfs ........."Enemy of the Wolf "
Draugadróttin........."Lord of Ghosts"
Ein sköpuðr galdra........."Sole Creator of Magical Songs"
Gapthrosnir........."One in a Gaping Frenzy"
Grímnir, Grímr........."The Masked One" or "The Hooded One"
Hangaguð........."Hanged God"
Hárr........."One Eyed"
Hrafnáss........."Raven God"
Siðhottr........."Slouch Hat" or "Broad Brim" or "Deep Hood"

The sense that Odin is the Raven god is interesting to me.

Here's a popular Raven creation myth:
"Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the Sun, Moon and Stars, of fresh water, and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire and without fresh water.

Gray Eagle had a beautiful daughter, and Raven fell in love with her. He was a snow-white bird, and as a such, he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's longhouse.

When Raven saw the Sun, Moon and stars, and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the longhouse through the smoke hole. As soon as Raven got outside he hung the Sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the Sun set, he fastened the Moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. By this new light he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he had stolen.

He flew back over the land. When he had reached the right place, he dropped all the water he had stolen. It fell to the ground and there became the source of all the fresh-water streams and lakes in the world. Then Raven flew on, holding the brand of fire in his bill. The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black. When his bill began to burn, he had to drop the firebrand. It struck rocks and hid itself within them. That is why, if you strike two stones together, sparks of fire will drop out.

Raven's feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from the firebrand. That is why Raven is now a black bird."

Compare that to:

"Odin and his brothers hated the brutal frost giant Ymir, and they slew him. So much blood flowed from the slaughtered giant that it drowned all the frost giants save Bergelmir and his wife, who escaped in a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk.

From Ymir's flesh, Odin and his brothers made the earth, and from his shattered bones and teeth, they made the rocks and stones. From Ymir's blood, they made the rivers and lakes, and they circled the earth with an ocean of blood.

Ymir's skull they made into the sky, secured at four points by four dwarfs named East, West, North and South. They flung sparks of fire from Muspell high into the sky to make the sun, the moon, and the stars. From Ymir's brains, they shaped the clouds.

The earth was made in the form of a circle and around the edge of it lay the great sea. Odin and his brothers gave one area, Jotunheim, to the giants. They also established the kingdom of Midgard, protecting it from the giants with fortifications made from Ymir's eyebrows.

One day, as they walked along the shore of the great sea, Odin and his brothers came across two logs. Odin gave them breath and life; Vili gave them brains and feelings; and Ve gave them hearing and sight. These were the first man, Ask, and the first woman, Embla, and Midgard was their home. From them, all the families of mankind are descended."

Both are creator gods. And would seem to be aspects of a similar cultural meme about ravens, gods, and creation.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Gandalf's Mac and the Technopagan Agenda has a fantastic blog about the usage of Magic to describe and interact with new techonological metaphors. It's what I would call a "must read". It's something that I have been very passionate about, and actually something that I am currently making a comic book about. So...yeah. Read that shit.

"Which brings me back ’round to magick. These “archaic” systems of thought have very detailed methodologies for incorporating and manipulating systems of information that extend beyond the traditional notions of the body or physical existence. Many of these systems understand the importance of the Idea and how these phantom things can heal or hurt.

Technology has brought us back to magickal thinking because magickal thinking has working maps of the empherial and invisible human experience that are just now being made visible to all via leaps in information technology."

Something I jotted into my notes the other week:
"Future is Magic.
Magic is Past
Future is Past"

It's very simple, but I think in that lies the basis for how we will evolve out of the coming eschaton event.