For the Sleepwalkers

November 22, 2016

a-walk-on-some-distant-shore

Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible

arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.

I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,

palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.

And always they wake up as themselves again.
That’s why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.

Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music

of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests.

We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-
walkers who rise out of their calm beds

and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.

Edward Hirsch

the artist’s responsibility

November 22, 2016

reflections

The artist seeks contact with his intuitive sense of the gods, but in order to create his work, he cannot stay in this seductive and incorporeal realm. He must return to the material world in order to do his work. It’s the artist’s responsibility to balance mystical communication and the labour of creation.

Patti Smith
Just Kids

luis-roca

Magical power is sexual power. Crowley understood this. Parsons understood this. Bataille understood this. Or to be more accurate, Laylah knew this, Candy knew this, Laure knew this. Witchcraft sometimes seems to have forgotten it, along with the body, a trend that technology continues to exacerbate. For the return to the erotic we need a physical culture that our dancing bodies weave and chorus into life.

Witchcraft is inherently erotic, by which I mean it is a construct of shadow and light. Of historical elements and of our current experience, of truth and lie; as it always has been. Witchcraft is an art of glamours which demands that we explore and harness our full erotic potential and that of others. Witchcraft is neither a glossy magazine, nor a gender studies module, nor a particular aesthetic; though they may be paths towards it they are not to be mistaken for the thing in itself. Modern expressions of witchcraft that appear to value style over substance are better seen as part of a continuum of erotic expression, of the necessary poses demanded in a culture of surfaces. Witchcraft is a practice with attitude, not a practiced attitude. The erotic is witchcraft if it not only attracts power, or the gaze, but if it is able to harness that power for its own ends. We are not here to please, or to be measured in likes.

Though it is often, and somewhat smugly, pointed out that the brain is the most important sexual organ to stimulate, that misses the fact that the brain is a direct evolutionary result of our need to process movement. We are not a series of selfies but bodies in motion. We are not a brain in a control tower whose interaction with the world is only done with our thumbs. The body awaits our rediscovery of it, for ours is a naked art, garbed only in the shadows we artfully cast and the masks that demand to be danced.

Touch marks and transforms us. It is the most eroded of the senses and the most necessary to our psychological health. Touch is a condition of all sentient life, the loss of tactility is death, and as Aristotle observed, thought itself depends upon tactility.

Though we deal with the intangible, touch is something we should be developing in the creation of a series of exercises to extend the range of our senses. It is not surprising that the blindfold is one of the key technologies of both initiation and sexual play. Leading and being led, hunter and hunted are the ways in which we extend our sensitivity across the country of skin.

Peter Grey
Forging the body of the Witch
(Lecture given at the Occult Conference in London, England, 18th June 2016)

two-fairies-embracing-in-a-landscape-with-a-swan-hans-zatzka

By many names you may call us, in many books you may read of us, from many mouths hear tell of us…in the myths of days past, in tales of were- and faerie-folk, in half-caught glimpses at the crossing of Dawn and Dusk. Here a hand is stretched to you from the Circle-dance of the Deathless…hear this voice that speaks to you from mystery!

Andrew Chumbley
Cult of the Divine Artist

imagine what you desire

November 22, 2016

nona-limmen-model-yana-markova

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.

George Bernard Shaw
The Serpent, in Back to Methuselah (1921)