I’ve begun to read a book on the cadaver in German sorcery (more on that later). In the introduction it states that the remains of the dead, animal or human, still contain an essence that goes beyond death and which can be utilised in magic.
I was reminded of the day that I found a dead pigeon on the streets of my town. People passed it, ignoring it as the usual urban detritus. I was riveted and unable to pass by. I picked up the pigeon and walked a mile out into the countryside where I laid it to rest under a hazel bush next to an oak tree. More recently I found a dead juvenile rat on the concrete in front of my house. Luckily the house owner’s gardener was in that day, so I went through to him and asked him to dig a hole so that I could bury her. He is used to my madness and didn’t blink twice at my request.
Somehow the concrete of the town was life/death-denying in the way that it forced the cadavers to lie betwixt and between, unable to fester and rot away, to become part of the earth again. At worst, they would have been kicked around, at best swept up to be thrown onto some soul-less landfill. If we cannot rot and be re-consumed into the earth, do we ever really die?
Then my thoughts must turn to the ancient Egyptians who mummified their animals and fellow humans to perpetuate them for the afterlife. The Egyptians believed that as long as the Ren, or name, was spoken, they would live on. I cannot help but think of the future-denying mystes of Klagesian philosophy (of which I am still woozy but making brave efforts to understand) who tap into the eternal past through images … A name is after all but a way of conjuring up an image. Mythology has made much ado about the power of names – of angels and gods, but even Adam and Eve naming the plants and animals before their ejection from Eden. Only those dead re-membered live on, not just “in our hearts” as the Christians would have it, but in reality, beyond the illusory bluster of a world that has us not only deny life but death too.
How do we deny life when we celebrate birth and, now more than ever, we (in the Western World) can indulge our leisure time with so many “life-fulfilling” activities? Bucket list ticks are surely a testament to how much we LIVE LIFE?! But without death there is no life. Our eyes have become dulled by the litany of soul-less images from conflict zones around the world, and ever more so in our own backyards. We remember the dead in statistics. Grief counselling is A Thing, because we no longer know what to do when a person we love dies; how should we continue to relate to the dead? Of course, in the main, we don’t because the dead are just that … dead. What role do they play in life?
One can’t help but look back to past cultures, and the remnants of such, in ancestral cults, where there was no cessation of relationship with the person who died.
I am minded of the ever-growing number of Facebook profiles online of those who have passed on. Family and friends unable to, or unwilling to delete them … In many cases, people still post to the profiles randomly or on some anniversary, as if still in conversation with the dead. A cyber-necromancy. The need in us is there. It will out, in new and weirder ways.
I have no conclusions. These are just my initial mulling thoughts. I may expand on them and/or change them … but that’s just par for the course for my blog 🙂 Right from the initial post, this has been a place for me to explore, share and develop. I appreciate your company in this.
Originating in the 1920s, The Occult Digest is now reborn at the hands of Black Moon Publishing.
…it is our goal to bring this time-tested entity into the present day to give voice to the many writers, artists and poets representing the myriad facets of esoteric thought, practice, and expression.
I am proud to say that this edition also includes my interview with Sean Woodward, Grand Master for Great Britain & Ireland of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua & La Couleuvre Noire. He is a contemporary esotericist, with over three and a half decades of dedicated magickal experience and seeks to create artistic portals and magickal machines of illumination and devotion to the Hoodoo and Les Vudu. You can find more about Sean HERE.
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This week I celebrated my birthday, except it was an exceptionally bittersweet day … The afternoon before my birthday I found out that the man I consider and love as my childhood father and spiritual father was dying. The morning of my birthday, I was told he had died in the night.
Before now, I have loved, lost and grieved my adopted Navajo mother and a man I referred to as my “Spirit-Grandfather”. Each of them taught me so much and allowed me to unfold as I needed to at the time. The relationships were not perfect …; these were multi-faceted, loving, poetic, challenging, supportive, joyous and in all we focused as much on the spiritual as the profane, in differing ways.
Sitting in a castle dungeon in Germany, writing an essay on the Holocaust, the sunlight streaming through the open door, when suddenly all went dark … a tall man stood in the doorway, like a shadow, the backlit sun obscuring his features in darkness. His booming voice filled the dungeon as he began, without any greeting, to recite poetry to me in German. This was the moment I met my Spirit-Grandfather.
Travelling through the New Mexican desert with my adopted mother, visiting Hopi First Mesa. The Hopi women staring suspiciously at the Native American and the white woman, wondering how the hell we fit together. Shimá, my mother, explains to them that I am her adopted daughter. The women smile and laugh and open their arms welcomingly. They feed us blue bread which is so fine that it breaks apart like ashes and floats off in the wind as I laugh.
Visiting my childhood father at the monastery where he was abbot. He hugs me hello and it’s the best and safest hug I have every experienced. I cry. He sits me down with a bowl of tea. I am fascinated that the monks drink tea and coffee from big bowls. My father tells me he refuses to hear any confession from me, that I am a child and have committed no sin. Instead we pray and then he recites poetry to me. This time it’s his turn to cry as he always does when he recites poetry. I hold his hand and we sit quietly before the Muse.
The memories are in my blood. They reside within me. May Ma’at’s feather be on their tongues. May they pass into the Du’at. May their souls be elevated so they join the blessed Aakhu. I grieve the loss of them, yet I know they are not truly lost, merely dis-placed, a shift in time and place, multi-layered eternity. Like Isis re-membering Osiris, so my memories allow them to be both dead and alive.
I think I’ve only ever pimped out one other person on this blog in terms of ritual tools, and that was AIDAN WACHTER for his talismanic jewellery (of which I have two pendants and another on its way).
Today I’d like to introduce you to a lady who makes candles and incense. I am a particular fan of her incense, especially her Jamaican Voodoo. Please go and check out her shop HERE
I’m very stingy with promoting stuff on my blog (I’m asked a lot to advertise and I refuse), but Maria’s candles and incense are worth it. So go buy! 🙂
Another excellent blog post by Aidan/silfrsmith on his great site. Highly recommended:
Treat yourself to having a look as well at Aidan’s talismanic jewellery. I, myself, have one piece already and another in the workings – beautiful, unique work by a talented guy!
See if you can spot me in this beautiful video, entitled Erbeth Transmission I. I am there as a piece of artwork by Lloyd Keane:
Copied from my dear friend at African Alchemy, her post RED INK:
Slavoj Žižek at OccupyWallStreet going viral:
So what are we doing here? Let me tell you a wonderful, old joke from Communist times. A guy was sent from East Germany to work in Siberia. He knew his mail would be read by censors, so he told his friends: “Let’s establish a code. If a letter you get from me is written in blue ink, it is true what I say. If it is written in red ink, it is false.” After a month, his friends get the first letter. Everything is in blue. It says, this letter: “Everything is wonderful here. Stores are full of good food. Movie theatres show good films from the west. Apartments are large and luxurious. The only thing you cannot buy is red ink.” This is how we live. We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink: the language to articulate our non-freedom. The way we are taught to speak about freedom— war on terror and so on—falsifies freedom. And this is what you are doing here. You are giving all of us red ink…
Another great podcast by Occult of Personality:
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