Sunday, January 24, 2016

Getting Back on the Horse and Killing Your Dragons

Ouroboros 16 x 20 digital image. copyright 2016 Dee Rapposelli


A few night ago, I was feeling discouraged about my creative endeavors and pondering existential thoughts about being and purpose. Teary-eyed, I fell asleep shortly after the witching hour and had a bad dream that included a continually recurring scene in which a small bird or bug-like creature with talons kept clamping into and piercing my upper lip--the focus of expression and nourishment. I kept struggling with and then dislodging the little monster by carefully withdrawing the talons from the piercings--all the while being careful not to harm the creature--as if it were some kind of vicious little pet. I drifted into another, quieter stage of sleep before fully awakening. When I did wake, I did not feel an emotional charge.  I felt profoundly quiet and stilled in my mind. Completely in the present moment. I slept peacefully for the remainder of the night and into morning. When I awoke, I put aside all the misgivings I had had about spending time doing the things I do. I got back on the horse, and that day was probably the most productive day I had had in years....





Turning opposite the sun’s westward arc, she could see a clearing. A tattered and huge pine tree with tortuous bows loomed from the middle of it. Lumie took a few steps closer but was startled to detect movement within that alcove. People were there. She wasn’t sure whether she should approach. Then Rodney came into view. He smiled brightly and waved his hand for her to near.

“Took you long enough,” he said.

She was about to ask him what he was doing there when she realized where she was. An ancient pine tree was at the hub of this highpoint and the full moon in daylight was directly overhead. She had alighted on Lunarium Hill. Zosi was there, too. He was squatting beside the tree and hammering something into the ground.

“What’s he doing?” Lumie mouthed.

“Killing mini-dragons,” Rodney replied. “Bite-size.”

“Is anyone else here?” she asked.

“No, there too busy being fuck-ups,” Rodney replied.

“The Lord Consul Tau-Bridge is going to give Dade a job,” Zosi uttered in a wondrous voice. It was jagged with breathlessness because of whatever he was hammering away at.

“What?” Lumie replied, not because she hadn’t heard him but because the idea was crazy.
“Tau-Bridge Sortiar is offering Dade a job at this very moment. He should take it; otherwise, he’s going to end up like me,” Zosi said.

“A job doing what?” Lumie exclaimed.

Rodney shrugged. Zosi continued to pound the ground. He made an “I don’t know” gesture with a smirk and lit-up eyes.

Lumie insisted that he and Rodney be serious and tell her what Zosi was doing.

“He’s killing dragons,” Rodney repeated.

As Lumie stepped closer to the professor, she saw that his hands and clothes were caked with brackish, sanguineous gunk and that he was smooshing small dragons into a sigil gouged into the dirt. The dragons were pot-bellied and about the size of golf balls. They were fiery-bright colors and had tiny claws and cute dragon heads with bulging eyes and cock’s combs on their chins and heads. The creatures were mindlessly rutting around the dirt and dragon-blood mud and sniffing and nibbling at the remains of their sacrificed and macerated brothers and sisters until their own time came to be snatched up by Zosi and pummeled.

Lumie was astonished and nauseated by the sight. She felt sorry for those little dragons.

“You want one?” Zosi said and tossed a bright, winged, fiery-colored creature at her. It immediately clamped its jaw onto Lumie’s index finger and deeply pierced the digit with its fangs. The sting and burn made Lumie hiss and wail and flail her hand. She gouged the creature’s eyes and crushed its head with the fingers of her free hand to dislodge it. Then her own hands were full of gunk but there was no pain—or even a wound—in her finger.

Zosi snickered in a way Lumie had not heard before. “You wanna’ do one?” he asked, and held out the gooey rod he was using to beat the creatures into his sigil.

“No,” Lumie said abruptly and was crying.

“It’s not like they’re real,” Rodney disdainfully commented.

“The real ones don’t look like this,” Zosi said, continuing with the slaughter.

“The real ones are ‘metaphorical,’” Rodney crassly added.

“The real ones don’t look like dragons,” Zosi asserted.

“Why are you doing this anyway?” Lumie screeched.

“Someone has to,” Rodney remarked.

“Sure you don’t want to smoosh one?” Zosi asked.

However appalled and terrorized, Lumie thought she ought to. This was a very special and eventful journey, and if Zosi said so, then . . . But she couldn’t get herself to do it.

“I was saving yours for when you showed up in case you wanted to kill it yourself,” he said. “I’ll do it for you; it’s not a problem,” Zosi assured her.

“Didn’t I just kill one?” she asked.

“Dade’s,” Rodney piped in.

“I killed Dade’s dragon?” Lumie exclaimed.

“Well, you did, and now you did,” Zosi cryptically quipped.

“The real one and the metaphorical one,” Rodney chimed in.

Thank you, Rodney. I got that,” Lumie griped.

“Alright, Lumie. I’m going to kill your dragon now. Come over here,” Zosi announced. The tone of his voice had changed. He was not goofy or spaced-out but professor-like. A breathless specialness inflated Lumie’s lungs. Rodney gently and soberly smiled as if Lumie was now in for a great moment. He hung back as Lumie stepped closer to her teacher.

“Magianism is good for girls, but if you’re too mooshy and watery, you need to do something else,” he told her and added in a mood infused with annoyance that Dade should have been killing her dragon. “But he’s too busy.”

Lumie bit back her tears and vowed to become a little darker and more sorceress-y. Fighting repulsion about the violence and gore about the little dragons, she tried to let curiosity take over.

Zosi grasped one that was serpentine, with webbed claws and fin-like structures instead of wings. It was a very sticky-bright turquoise blue. “This is your dragon,” he said and held it by the tail so that it flailed and twisted to spring up to nip Zosi’s fingers.

Lumie merely tried to remember that it wasn’t “real,”but she was feeling queasy and macabre—panicked in fact. Zosi braced the thing in the bloody mud on the sigil and took hold of the rod.

“You know what a Pyr Sacra empowerment is, Lumie?” Zosi asked.


“Yeah,” Lumie replied. She was about to tell him that she seemed to have gotten one from an old mage just before. Then she felt her head open up to a massive nova of adamantine light as the rod crushed the dragon’s tiny skull. There was only light and space of a quality that was deeper than the taste the old turbaned man had given her to get her up the hill. It was not like those EMA trips that Zosi was so generous with. No. There was something very spacious and clear about this experience. She felt very safe and soothed in the effulgence, and she knew that it would be lasting. 

An Excerpt from Chapter 16 Killing Dragons from The Savior at the End of Time by Soror ZSD23 (click on book title in the header of this page to visit it at the Kindle store on amazon.com)




Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sorcerers and Magi series Get the Trilogy almost Free -- under $3

The Sorcerers and Magi series is a cross-genre literary/fantasy fiction/Western Mystery tradition lit triology. Consider it Harry-Potter-for-Grownups. Kindle editions are now being offered at 99 cents each. An illustrated version of the first book in the series La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi is in process.

Book 1: La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi

The Sorcerers and Magi series begins with the life and times of a lady mage named Sofia La Maga. Upon returning to her hometown in her magical world after long years of exile in the Himalayas and thereabouts, she befriends, mentors, and rehabilitates the troubled teenaged son of an imposing and elitist dignitary, the high sorcerer Leo de Lux. Strongly averse, then curious, de Lux both falls for Sofia La Maga and also embraces a portended predestined role as the leader of a utopian movement—the Lions of Light--that seeks to overturn an oppressive social system that not only gratuitously exploits magical persons of lesser status but persons like you and me who inhabit the Outer Plane. Magical fantasy is woven with insights from Eastern mysticism and Western occultism and Mystery Tradition.

Book 2: The Fallen Fairy, the second novel in the Sorcerers and Magi series, is a tale about the discovery of hapless fairy that incarnates as a woman in the world of “Commons.” Sorcerers from the Inner Plane swoop in to vie for her affections in the interests of love, occult power, and opportunism. Transferences of inscrutable powers through intimate acts place the fairy and the pair of sorcerers with whom she ultimately joins in a three-way liaison under the scrutiny of both the Lions of Light and its adversaries. But more than this, through the drama, those magical men she encounters undergo profound transformations and come to know who they truly are and want to be. As savior, a redeemer, and a siren, the story’s oddly alluring heroine circumspectly aids the Lions of Light and sets the stage for radical and illuminating transformations of all who come into contact with her. References to "the language of trhe birds," alchemy, medieval occultism, steganography, and sex magic permeate the text. Each of the 22 chapters is named for and thematically reflects a card of the Tarot’s Upper Arcana.

Book 3: Chaos Magic meets Jesus Christ Superstar. The Savior at the End of Time, the third book in the Sorcerers and Magi series, is a veiled take on the Christ-story in which the unassuming and disheveled but oddly charismatic iconoclast, Professor Aurelio Zosimo, introduced in book one, is haplessly rendered into a new messiah for the Lions of Light agenda and the “Immanentization of the Eschaton.” The novel references the post-modern magical counterculture current of Chaos Magic. In this installment of the series, Leo de Lux and Sofia La Maga are at odds about their designs regarding Aurelio Zosimo. Both find themselves in over their heads as plot line of the series progresses toward an apocalyptic showdown and the revelation of portentous secrets. 




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Danny & Leo --A Bit of a Slacker pt 2 Excerpt from Sorcerers and Magi series

A 4+minute audio mix of an excerpt from Chapter VI of the cross-genre literary/occulitist/fantasy fiction novel La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi by Soror ZSD23. The selection is a partner to the previous one title A Bit of a Slacker. Score is an audio mix courtesy of Order Ov Thee Octopi



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Glory of the Goddess and Kali with Excerpt from novel La Maga





“‘The primordial creative vibration is the bow; oneself is the arrow. The Supreme Divinity is the target. Penetrating it unerringly, become one with it, just as the arrow unites with its target.’”
When the audience settled from its enthusiasm, Sofia joined her hands in prayer and chanted:

I meditate on She who embodies existence, the grantor of perfection, who is utterly luminous, whose eyes swell with tears of compassion, and who holds in her hands the net of unity, the scimitar of wisdom, the bow of determination, and the arrow of penetration.
    
She proceeded to sprout 10 weapon-wielding arms.
“The sword of discrimination, club of articulation, bow of determination, arrow of penetration, pike of attention, rod of restraint, axe of right action, net of unity, trident of harmony, and discus of revolving time. With these weapons,” she announced, “the adept slays the mighty host of demons within himself.” She began uttering the names of demons known to Hindu myth:

Mahahanu: The Great Deceiver
Parivarita: The Aimless One
Bidala: The Hypocrite
Kruddha: Anger
Ugrasya:  The Savage
Durdhara: Given in to Temptation
Raktabija: Rampant Desire
Chanda: The Vicious
Munda: The Malicious
Shumbha: Conceit
Nishumbha: Self-deprecation

Armed, menacing, livid creatures, hairy and ogre-like, with snouts and tusks, claws and tails appeared. They amassed exponentially, charging upon the transfigured maga who glided about, dodging attacks and hurling weapons at the beasts. A whirlwind melee double-eighted the field until all the hobgoblins were cut to the quick. The field was rendered into a pit of bloody mud and grizzle. Severed heads, limbs, and entrails of monsters were heaped about. Sofia, winded and drenched in blood, resolutely stood in the midst of it.
She stretched her arms up, wrung them, and shimmied as if shaking off a chill. The grizzle that coated her dissolved. The field resumed its earlier, more pristine condition. The crowd cheered. Sofia produced a golden goblet of wine and sipped it. She smiled. While lingering in this manner, she explained that the phantasmagoria just witnessed was selected from a particularly important Hindu tale called the The Glory of the Goddess, “which relates three episodes of how the Great Goddess, who is the embodiment of the power of all the gods, battles demons to restore the order of the universe.” 
She was nearing the end of her speech when a giant water buffalo with a tremendous rack of horns sprung onto the field. It rutted and bellowed, threw up dust, and charged.
“‘Yes, go ahead and roar! Roar and bellow while I finish drinking this wine,’” she told the creature. “‘When I’m through, you’ll be DEAD and the gods will be roaring in this very place!’” She egged on the audience to cheer, adding that “the worst demon of all that needs to be slain is the Great Ego, which manifests as the animal-familiar of the god of death. That demon is simply called the ‘buffalo-demon,’ Mahishasura.
The great animal charged. Sofia pranced around the beast’s rut, racing and skirting over the field while dueling the creature’s horns with a trident. Finally, she took a ferocious running leap at the creature as it charged. Skirting a head-on thrust, she stuck her weapon into the animal’s side and pole-vaulted onto its back. She pressed her left foot onto the buffalo’s neck and, although her weight on the beast had to have been slight, it sunk as if overwhelmed.

Collapsing, a fissure opened between the horns of the animal’s head. From it emerged another livid ogre. The audience squealed. Sofia produced a double-edged sword and, with it, lopped off the ogre’s head. (From chapter Chapter 12 of La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi by Soror ZSD23)


Check out this fantastic (viral) clip, posted on Facebook, about Mahakali, who appears as a form of the goddess Durga in a key Hindu scripture called the Devi Mahatmyam (Glory of the Goddess). It depicts the goddess battling demons, which she does in the Devi Mahatmyam to restore the order of the universe. But the demons are our own vices and faults that those of us who are spiritual aspirants often find that we must confront and overcome the hard way via hard life lessons. Kali is said to mean "She Who Turns All Forms to Ashes." She is the goddess of the life/death cycle and of transcendence. Toward the end of the video, she is depicted in her iconic Tantric form: standing on the chest of inert Shiva (her masculine divine counterpart). This image represents the dynamic ferocity of manifest existence at play on the quiescent divine ground of Absolute Reality from which it ever emerges and subsides like a dream












Posted by KALI Mahavidya on Saturday, October 24, 2015







Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A hostile magical practice—the Conus magus charm--excerpt from fantasy novel La Maga by Soror ZSD23

Leonard could now clearly hear his father griping to someone that the “folk-woman” (“Reverend Lady” Professor La Maga, that is) was in for it and that Leonard should be told to join his father in Dr. Bruno’s office on the other side of the pavilion. Dr. Giordano (Danny) Bruno was the dean of the graduate school and chief administrator of the secondary school.
Then, as if beaming with pride, Professor La Maga announced: “Mister Leonard de Lux, Junior. Can you explain to the class the origin of the term the ‘Conus magus maneuver’?”
As if awestruck, Leonard uttered, “Yes.”  He had spent the summer studying its legend and swimming in fantasies about how he had discovered its lost key.
 “Go ahead, then, Leonard. Please tell us,” the professor coached.
“In common parlance, the term ‘Conus magus maneuver’ means that a sorcerer or mage has pacified a foe, but the meaning, mostly among  sorcerers, is that the sorcerer has paralyzed his opponent—that the opponent is too mystified to act,” Leonard began.
“It’s an insult,” the professor announced to the class, “mostly uttered by ‘sore winners.’
Continue,” Professor La Maga requested.
“It’s a figure of speech,” Leonard said, “about a hostile magical practice—the Conus magus charm—which involves striking and then absorbing energy from an opponent.”
“And when is this hostile practice typically used?” questioned Professor La Maga.
“All the time, but no one ever admits it,” Leonard responded.
 “Indeed, it’s rampant even among Commons in the Outer Plane,” the professor confirmed. “Go on, Mr. Junior de Lux. We’re waiting to hear about the legend.”
“The term ‘Conus magus charm’ refers to the legendary charm of the same name, which is much more intense than the charm used today,” Leonard said. “According to legend, the original charm was discovered by a sorcerer named Mare Maré who lived around 250 BCE. He was a Melanesian sorcerer who was very familiar with venomous cone snails of the South Pacific, particularly the snail that millennia later would be christened ‘Conus magus’ by Outer Plane marine biologists,” Leonard explained.
 “He was a sea-charmer,” Professor La Maga interjected, adding that sea-charming was how Mare Maré “managed to cross great expanses of ocean long before the invention of luxury cruise liners. The name Mare Maré means ‘Nightmare of the Dark Sea.’”
The professor magically materialized the tapered shell of a cone snail. Grasping it between her thumb and forefinger, she held it out so all could see how harmless it looked: white with brown and tawny bands and dapples. Red, needle-like claws jutted out of the shell’s opening.

 “But this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, isn’t it, Mister de Lux, Junior,” she said and lobbed the deadly creature into her audience. Students ducked and screeched, but the snail vanished in midair. 

Excerpt from Chapter 1 The Conus Magus Maneuver from La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi. Available at amazon.com


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Enlightenment and the Nature of the Self

Although I’ve spent the past several years delving into folk magic, Neopaganism, and the Western Mystery Tradition, my primary spiritual orientation is Advaita Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta is a form of Hinduism that I was introduced to nearly 40 years ago. It is a system that dates back to about the 7th century and is primarily founded in the Upanishads. The Upanishads are the philosophical portion of a set texts called the Vedas, the earliest written record of Hindu thought and praxis.

When I first began writing La Maga A Story aboutSorcerers and Magi in 2004, I was absorbed in Vedanta and related Eastern philosophies. And so concepts distilled from my then spiritual practice are represented in the work and intermingle with fanciful as well as some authentic motifs about magic.

The spiritual journey in Advaita Vedanta is, in part, about intimately realizing the connection between one’s own true nature and the Divine and also realizing that “the world is in the mind, like space in a jar”—as stated in a text called the Yoga-Vasishtha—which I worked into the very last chapter of La Maga. Advaita Vedantist philosophy is concerned with the idea of projection—the problem of not experiencing reality as it is but as dreamlike mental projections—colored by bias, fears, ignorance and automated habits and conditioning. For this reason, my characters sometimes contemplate the nature of reality and illusion. They also ask the question: What is it to wake up from the idea of yourself? To paraphrase thoughts I attributed to the antihero of the series, the sorcerer Leo de Lux:


Becoming truly real, conscious, and capable of free will begins by realizing the whimsical and fabricated nature of one’s own being—the idea of self—and then detaching from the automaton (the robot) of its personality, habits, and conditioning. Then the person who is the life beneath the mask of selfhood opens his eyes and watches himself reveling through the motions of daily life like a dreamer reveling in lucidity and exercising free will in it.

In the last published book in the series, The Savior at the End of Time (available in Kindle format), I have the main character of that story--a whacky Christlike figure who is a chaos-magic-practicing sorcerer named Aurelio Zosimo--deliver a sermon that basically crystalizes what I’ve come away with from my exposure to Eastern spirituality and spirituality in general, including magical spirituality:



Excerpt from Chapter 20 of The Savior at the End of Time 

About 42 days after his confrontation with Lord Consul Tau-Bridge, Zosi began to be spotted in flamboyantly full ceremonial regalia within the Mercury Gardens. He would wear a tunic of thick raw silk and tightly fitted, black leggings that were made of tanned leather and full of straps and whips of lacings. Over this, he would wear high boots that matched a mottled, purple-black tanned leather cope embossed with images of ourobori, moondragons, and griffins. His hair was meticulously plaited and decorated with pins and ribbons. His head was topped with a black double-cone hat that was rakishly crimped and folded over so that the tips of the horn-like cones, embellished with opalescent jingle bells, menacingly flounced and jangled in front of his face. He wielded a rather large and tall staff, the core of which was made of slender poles of cedar and fennel stalks. It was wrapped in embossed leather that matched his ensemble. Like a sinister maypole, the staff’s leather sheath was itself wrapped in a filigreed design of cords and leather straps on which gadgets and flotsam were affixed and that dangled, flail- and cat-o-nine-tails-like, from the staff’s finial, which was a gold spearhead in the shape of a fish with an acorn protruding from its mouth.

Like that, he would stroll about the Gardens and then stop here or there to deliver a sermon that attracted larger and larger crowds as word of the spectacle grew. He would begin the rant in a gentle voice with the words, “See the illumination at the center of being,” and materialize some small sparkly object that would fascinate and mesmerize onlookers.


“The body and all phenomena arise causally and provisionally within absolute being,” he would continue, yet still in a very meek and quiet voice. It would be trembling and barely audible despite his ferocious appearance. “There is no time and no dimension to space, both being mere adaptive projections of mind. The personality is an interdependently arising construction of circumstances and experiences, driven by reactivity bred by conditioning devoid of awareness or true will. What is it to wake up from the idea of yourself? Heaven, hell, God, the Adversary, pleasure, pain, and all the pairs of opposites are projections of your own consciousness. You project ideas out of yourself. Treating them as independent entities, you go into them, fear them, and allow them to have power over you although they are your own creations. No one is there to deliver you; you must deliver yourself. Glimpse self-effacement and the root of your existence. Reality is silent, blissful, self-composed Being. This is the Redemptive Principle, the Christos, the Ground, and the Life beneath the mechanism.”