--Excerpt from Chapter 2 .[The High Priestess] The Legacy of Lunaris Dracon from The Sex Lives of Sorcerers by Soror ZSD23.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Sirens were creatures that were half-bird, half-woman, in origin, perhaps like the Egyptian ba. To the ancient Egyptians, the ba was the surviving part of a person that flew to the Underworld when a person died, but sirens were renegade creatures. According to classical myth, they lived on treacherously rocky isles off the coast of Sicily. They wanted nothing more than to entice passing sailors. Being lured, these sailors, thinking they’d get good head, instead found themselves in listless, dumbfounded stupors from which they languished and died.
It was portended that if a ship passed in which the occupants were resistant to the sirens’ song, the sirens, in frenzied dismay, would kill themselves. Thus, it is told in the Odyssey that these creatures leaped off cliffs when the epic’s hero, Odysseus, and his crew sailed by.
The sirens descended to the Underworld where they continued to sing, this time in mourning for the dead. Their imagery became mixed up with that of mermaids who themselves, in lore, were the mystical remnants of disposed-of women, who taking vengeance on the violence done to them, lured men to their deaths with the promise of sex through the sweetness of their song.
--Excerpt from Chapter 2 .[The High Priestess] The Legacy of Lunaris Dracon from The Sex Lives of Sorcerers by Soror ZSD23.
Monday, September 23, 2013
ebook available on amazon.com (print edition available Oct 1)
Print edition also now available through CreateSpace .
Sunday, September 1, 2013
.Phul/Luna/Diana: There is no contrivance in joy. Joy is a pervading, core principle. A living thing is the ephemeral measurement and relationship through which joy can be experienced. Experience the bliss and potency of the moment.
Phaleg/Mars/Athena: Have a single focus and drive it through. An intention must be decisive and unmixed and then directed like a fiery spear or arrow into the heart of its target.
Ophiel/Mercury: What do you want to know? Observation and careful listening are keys to persuade and confound to accomplish an intention. Single-minded focus, poise, and integration need to be cultivated.
Bethor/Jupiter What do you want to happen? For manifestation to occur, the infinite potential must be funneled into a point of definition and function.
Och/Sol: There is no entity; there is only Self. I am complete openness.
Secrets-World-Adventures-Astral-ebook. Print edition upcoming.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
I started writing the Sorcerers and Magi series in 2003, which was the time that the Harry Potter series was gaining a lot of momentum. I knew very many 30- to 60- year-olds who were very enthusiastic about the series. Honestly, I never read the books, but I really enjoyed watching the movies. They—especially the earlier ones in the series—coddled me in the sweetest nostalgia of childhood and holiday movie extravaganzas—of treats from grandma and Christmas tinsel and that sort of thing.
One day in the late summer of 2003, I found myself watching a DVD of the second movie in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, every night for a week. I was particularly fascinated with the villainous Lucius Malfoy character, played by Jason Isaacs. I kept hoping that, as the series winded down to its denouement, that character would emerge as an antihero. That was not the case, but it inspired the development of my own antihero Leo de Lux. He starts out as a caustic and villainous but complex character and becomes an ambiguous hero and maintains that role throughout the series.
So, after watching the second movie over and over again one week and wanting more stories but not managing to read the books, I started to make up episodes in my head so I could be entertained in between movies. I realized that I had built up a completely unique story. I dithered about whether I should write it down, because I was reluctant to invest the time in a writing project only to then beat my head against a brick wall trying to get someone of influence—an agent or publisher—to give me the time of day. I couldn’t help myself, though, and got it into my head that I should simply pursue the project for my own entertainment and insight.
Listen to me discuss the series and the writing life in podcast #36 The Savior at the End of Time at EatSleepWrite.
The story I was entertaining was not a children’s story. It was a magical fantasy fiction story for adults. My aim, however, was to maintain a tone similar to that found within classic children’s fantasy fiction. My target audience was adults who like classic children’s literature—the work of C. S. Lewis, for example. I did not initially intend to write a series, but as I completed the first draft of the first book La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi, another story popped into my head, which has the provocative title.The Sex Lives of Sorcerers I ended up linking them in the progression of an underlying apocalyptic theme introduced in the first book that culminates in the third book, titled The Savior at the End of Time. I intend to write at least 2 more books in the series. One will be a prequel and one will begin where book 3 ends.
My story takes place in a parallel universe called the inner plane. It has a look and feel like our own. The structure of government is loosely based on the classical Roman paradigm. The same sort of powermongering and dog-eat-dog kind of stuff that goes on in our world also happens in this Inner Plane, with the idea that Inner Plane strongly influences how things roll in the Outer plane (our world, that is). People from our world can enter the inner plane through dreams, trance or altered states of consciousness and through forbidden dabblings in the occult and sometimes they transition from the Outer to Inner Plane in my stories.
The term “Inner Plane” comes from a writer within the Western Mystery Tradition named Gareth Knight, who is an apologist for a type of Hermetic magic originating in the medieval era, called Magical Christianity, which is a type of gnostic—or self-revelatory (as opposed to dogmatic)—Christianity . The Inner Plane is basically the world within the mind. It is a place of archetypal forms, dreams, and ideas in general. This place is more commonly called the astral plane, referring the realm of thought and feeling. In a sense, it is in incubation place where thought becomes paradigm and Reality. Reference to the Inner Plane is also a tip of the hat to a form of philosophical Hinduism called Advaita Vedanta, which I have followed for very many years. A strong influence from this philosophy and Buddhism permeates the series.
I’m using fiction as a creative and playful way to express my long-time interests in spirituality, magic, and mysticism. The work is a product of my research, practice, and hands on experience. My writing is a way to feed information back to myself—reaffirm and integrate it and also to entertain myself.
The main character of the first book, Sofia LaMaga, is something of an alter ego—or maybe someone who I would like to be. At the beginning of La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi, we learn that Sofia has been living in political exile in a parallel plane coinciding with Tibet. Having received amnesty, she returns to her hometown where she becomes a high school teacher and wreaks havoc by forming a friendship with the juvenile delinquent teenaged son of the place’s governor, Leo de Lux. Because Sofia has been living in the environs of India and Tibet, she comes back steeped in the spirituality of those cultures.
When I was writing LaMaga, although I had all long-time background in eastern spirituality, I was also interested in folk magic and had been reminiscing about one of my great grandmothers who was said to be a stregona—that’s Italian for “sorceress.” Another word for that is “maga.” I began to explore Italian folk magic, and so that is why there is a lot referencing to Italian folk culture and evil eye lore in La Maga. My interest in folk magic led to interest in aspects of Western Occultism, including the work of Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley—big names in relation to the so-called Occult revival that took place at the turn of the 20th century.
By the time I got to writing the second book, The Sex Lives of Sorcerers, I had become interested in philosophical alchemy and medieval magic, and so we have underlying themes about alchemy and spiritual transformation as well as reincarnation, fairy lore, and sex magic in that book. When I got around to writing the third book, The Savior at the End of Time, I had become an enthusiast of a current in postmodern occultism called Chaos Magick and a related counterculture scene called Discordianism.
No, Really, listen to me discuss the series and the writing life in podcast #36 The Savior at the End of Time at EatSleepWrite.
That story, which recently became available as a Kindle ebook and will be available for download through smashwords.com—and also as a print edition—in the late fall, is about a character named Aurelio Zosimo who is being set up to be the poster boy of a utopian political movement, introduced in book 1 of the series. What inspired me to launch that story was the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, which is my all-time favorite theater piece. It was around Easter time in 2006 and I was coming out of the winter blues. I was on a roll watching film and live theater versions of Jesus Christ Superstar and got the idea to adapt the template of the gospel story to the third novel of the Sorcerers and Magi series. The premise is similar to that of The Who’s rock opera, Tommy or Jerzy Kasinsky’s novel Being There, in which a person who is a little “off” is haplessly fashioned into a leader or cult hero.
We are told that Aurelio Zosimo has a plaque on his office door that says “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” This is a famous slogan among Chaos magicians that was picked up from the cult classic novel The Illuminatus! Triology, which is a wild-ride parody about conspiracy theories, secret societies, and the immanentization of the eschaton—that is, the hastening the end of the world—the apocalypse. There is an apocalyptic thread running through my series that culminates in this third book, and we find characters discussing the immanentization of the eschaton and Zosimo’s potential role in it in the third book.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
by Zoe-Sophia-Dione (= 821, “Babylon the Great” :-P)
23 (=Zos/life [ChiH]; Kia/joy [ChDVH])
Numerous paeans from more ancient times exist that extol the Goddess. Apuleuis in The Golden Ass (11.25) says of Isis:
You rotate the globe. You give light to the Sun. You govern the world in time and space. You tread down the powers of Hades. By You the seasons return, the Planets rejoice, the Elements serve. At Your command the winds do blow, the clouds do gather, the seeds prosper, and the fruits prevail. The birds of the air, the beasts of the hill, the serpents of the den, and the fish of the sea, do tremble at Your majesty.
The Devi Mahatmyam is chock full of statements such as:
You are the sovereign Goddess of all that is moving and unmoving. You are the sole substratum of the world, existing in the form of Earth. Existing in the form of water, the Universe is nourished. You are pure, limitless courage, the power of the All-Pervading Lord. You are the Manifesting and Limiting Principle, the primordial seed of the Universe. Goddess you have created this living dream that we mistake for Reality. Through your grace we are redeemed from it. (11:3-5)
We also find this passage within the very last piece of scrying work that Edward Kelley (1555 –1597) did with John Dee (1527–1608):
I am the daughter of Fortitude, and ravished every hour, from my youth. For behold, I am Understanding, and Science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They covet and desire me with infinite appetite; few or none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stone, and covered with the morning Clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in my self. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beasts of the field understand me. I am deflowered, and yet a virgin; I sanctify, and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many Cymbals, and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not: For Lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment. . . .
—From A true & faithful relation of what passed for many years between Dr. John Dee and some spirits
Dee, a mathematician and prodigious Renaissance man who was an advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, having become immersed in angelology and evocation magic, produced, with scryer-side-kick Edward Kelley, the foundation for Enochian magic. By gazing into a shewstone/black mirror (akin to crystal-ball gazing), Kelley pulled out of the aethers a unique, “angelic” language and Dee and Kelley were given elaborate instructions by presumed angelic entities about ritual set up for practices; coded, politically charged messages; and a method to “ascend” through angelic planes. But for all the glorious effort, neither Dee nor Kelley had very good luck in the aftermath of their workings. Did they barge head-first through a door behind which was the Goddess practicing katas with her swinging saber?
Immediately following this oft-quoted material (above) scryed by Kelley and Dee on May 23, 1587 (their very last scrying session by the way, occurring about a month after the archangel Uriel allegedly told the men to wife-swap), the Divine-Feminine entity evoked explains that “Wisdom is a piercing beam, which is the center of the spiritual being of the Holy Spirit, touching from all parts from whence the Divinity sendeth it out . . .” It continues, saying that Wisdom is inherent in what is immortal, including the human soul, and not in things that have an end. This is standard Hermetic/Gnostic/Cabalist jargon in which Wisdom—the Sophia or Sapientia —transforms soul (psyche) to spirit (pneuma) via the path of the Secret Fire. Further, the patent medieval Hermetic content in the longer citation about the Daughter of Fortitude is rather conspicuous.
|Cybele (Roman Magna Mater), who Revelations is really referring to (her and Rome) when it talks about The Lady Riding the Beast, the Beast being Emperor Nero) .|
The text then goes into doomsday jargon that either could be taken as a prediction about political upheaval or else a veiled way for an affected Kelley to express how really fed up he was with the whole Kelley/Dee trip, as has been speculated by researchers and autodidacts on the subject such as the person who maintains this blog: http://myfavoritemonsters.blogspot.com/2009/07/john-dee-edward-kelley-spirit-world-pt_28.html .
The story goes that Kelley, acquiring fame and fortune as a celebrity alchemist, abandoned Dee and fell in and then out of favor with King Rudolph II (1552 –1612), who imprisoned him for not appropriately proving his prowess as an alchemist. Kelley ultimately died of injuries sustained during a prison breakout—a rather pathetic end to someone who “channeled” such profundity as what is quoted above. But one could suppose that this illustrates the “‘get it’ or get a kick in the head” and “don’t fuck with me” kind of tough love that The Goddess seems to be into.
From here, my mind segues to veritable, no-joke rocket scientist Jack Parsons (1914 –1952) :
The catastrophic trend [the Age of Horus] is due to our lack of understanding of our own natures. The hidden lusts, fears, and hatreds resulting from the warping of the love urge, which underly the natures of all Western peoples, have taken a homicidal and suicidal direction.
This impasse is broken by the incarnation of another sort of force, called BABALON. The nature of this force relates to love, understanding, and dionysian freedom, and is the necessary counterbalance or correspondence to the manifestation of Horus.
—from the Introduction of Liber 49, The Book of Babalon, by Jack Parsons
Yes, but if I remember it correctly, Jack, even though you were incredibly eloquent, dedicated, waaay ahead of your time, and now are bestowed god-like reverence, almost everyone you knew, loved, revered, and trusted totally dissed and screwed you over. Then you got blown up moments before you were going to run away and live happily ever after with your conjured Babalon-Incarnate Scarlet woman witchy-chick, artist/occultist Marjorie Cameron (1922 –1995).
Yet shalt thou not be therein, for thou shalt be forgotten, dust lost in dust. Nor shall the æon itself avail thee in this; for from the dust shall a white ash be prepared by Hermes the Invisible.
And this is the wrath of God, that these things should be thus. And this is the grace of God, that these things should be thus.
—Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni, 15-18
But then one could point the finger at dozens of high-profile occultists, “crazy wisdom” teachers, saints, philosophers, and godmen/women through the ages who came to less than beatific endings.
This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.
—From The Hollow Men, T.S. Eliot
One would say that their legacies and legendary statures compensate, but I say not. How can such things serve the dead? Such things are more bread and circuses for the rest of us and often the tool of one or another aggrandizing opportunist. At best, they can be catalysts of insight and transformation for us. Or else, they can be blinds, glamours, and pretentions that complicate our ride through the gastric tube of the Ouroboros. Both options are the purview of The Goddess.
And in the end, the Mysterium Tremendum, for those who are interested, is not about pleasure or pain, suffering in penance or atonement, redemption, the satiation of desire, or the assertion of will. It is about crossing over the Abyss and parting the veil between the Real and the Unreal.
This Mahamaya [“Grand Illusion”; “Great Measurement”] is the Yoganidra [power of stupor] of Vishnu, the Lord of the World. It is by her the world is deluded. Verily she, the Sovereign Lady, forcibly draws the minds even of the wise into delusion. She creates this entire universe of both moving and unmoving things. When favorable, she proffers boons to human beings for their final liberation. She is supreme knowledge, the cause of final liberation, and eternal; she is the cause of the bondage of transmigration and the sovereign over all lords.
—Devi Mahatmyam, I:54-58
But for my final word on all this Babalon and Goddess-mystique stuff, I quote Austin Osman Spare from the Anathema of Zos:
Is there nothing beyond entity? No purchase beyond sense and desire of God than this blasting and devouring swarm ye are?
Oh, ye favoured of your own excuses, guffaw between bites! Heaven is indifferent to your salvation or catastrophe. Your curveless crookedness maketh ye fallow for a queer fatality! What! I to aid your self-deception, meliorate your decaying bodies, preserve your lamentable apotheosis of self? The sword-thrust not salve I bring!