So

June 13, 2017

So in my dream the birds were bats.

There is that chill which shocks the spine
as daylight thickens, as the line
which flashes over lane or street
is not a bird, which drops to eat
on tables at your garden’s end,
which may have names, familiar, friend.
It is a bat, with needled teeth,
which lets the last blue tilt beneath
at dizzy speed, not needing light
as badger, hedgehog tunnel night
without their eyes, see sound, hear scents,
but bats are speed. A bat has leant
on windless air, flicked body clean,
before eye slows all it has seen,
poised in the gap from warmth to words.

But when I woke, the bats were birds.

Alison Brackenbury
First published in PN Review, 2014

The humble “Stinging Nettle” (Urtica dioica) is a plant with wonderful benefits. Rich in iron, nettle is great for those who may need to build this up in their system. It also has diuretic properties, too, helping with urinary tract issues and water retention. Of course the nettles should be cooked and consumed to reap theses benefits – added to food or made into nettle tea, a favourite drink of mine.

The “Stinging Nettle” also has uses in BDSM role play, as a scourge, a punishment for the poorly behaved submissive. A good bunch of nettles harvested and packed into the underwear of your Sub, produces immediate and obvious results*. One word of warning, when gathering and using your nettles, do please wear gloves, boys & girls.

*Always best to test first on a small area of skin to make sure there’s no allergic reaction.

25th / 26th May

Is it possible I’ve inhaled you in to me? Isn’t that you hiding behind my eyes? I can feel you in my blood, flowing, an impossible heat…

Beside the river bank, jeweled weeds: stinging nettles with translucent stems like human bones in miniature and cow parsley and foxgloves with warm, moist interiors like glowing uteruses.

Hot, sultry weather. At dawn the light seeped like a sigh into the night. Here, in the middle of nowhere, time ceases – or rather, ceases to have meaning. And my thoughts slip into lost infinities –

I hear your laughter, like co-conspirators, the pair of you: children spontaneously giggling. Last night we three drowned in dreams together, and came to realise the distances between stars is vast and lonely. Night remained framed in the bedroom window, while a solitary flickering candle reflected in the glass blotted out those stars and the monstrosities living between them.

I felt your hands running slowly across my memories –

#

Zentai, so I understand, is a term for skin-tight garments that cover the entire body. A second skin, so to speak. I think of those men and women with a latex fetish, smooth as polished black glass, but with access of some sort at the crotch –

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It is easy to imagine Beauvoir on top of Sartre until she gives that one loud, feminine shriek of pleasure realised. Sartre, of course, is all about suppressed desires, wet dreams, and –

Beauvoir would have hated having him on top of her, stabbing her over and over, until every nerve felt split and bruised. Her pale silver body forced open by him. She would have thought of a new born desperately trying to scramble back inside its mother. She’d have hated that, but would have faked an orgasm anyway. Sartre, of course, wouldn’t have been fooled by her deception –

But he would have remained reasoned, affectionate and polite –

While I would have purchased her a dress of words; she had the most beautiful hands, you know? The slender, flexible fingers of the most lewd fricatrice imaginable. Oh, how I would have loved her to rub me in that special way –

#

Love can be such a fatal disease; kisses infect; kisses kill – like a freakin’ apocalypse of infected lips and words, drowning us all in my disjecta membra.

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Writing is a battle between laziness and lies which, if you’re lucky, exposes truth.

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Beside the river in such dreamy weather it is easy to image that ‘golden afternoon’ in 1862 when Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) with his friend the reverend Robinson Duckworth took the three Liddell sisters rowing on the Thames. Lorina Charlotte was the eldest sister, aged thirteen, Alice Pleasance was ten and Edith at age eight, the youngest. They had tea together on the riverbank near Godstow, and Dodgson told them “the fairy-tale of Alice’s adventures underground”. Dodgson who had many ‘child-friends’ and liked to photograph ‘naked little girls’, had a great fondness for writing ‘nonsense’, playing with mathematics, logic and words, and, welding them together, he created on that sun-filled day an immortal children’s fantasy –

Here, today, the hedgerows are a tangled mass of colour: valerian, red campion, common mallow, field ‘forget-me-nots’, and of course blue bells and daffodils grow all around. Nearby woods offer dappled shade and ‘secret places’ where blue bells run wild – as if on steroids! Often we have picnicked here or made love or just sat and contemplated our wild surroundings –

‘For I think it is Love,
For I feel it is Love,
For I’m sure it is nothing but Love!’

If ever you feel oppressed by the ‘monstrous mindlessness’ of the cosmos, walk here in the woods beside the river, and that oppression will soon fade away.

Forget Me Not
A curse full of regrets made with no regrets

Materials
• A poppet or representation of target
• A jar or container big enough to contain the poppet
• Rose petals
• Strips of paper
• A pen
• Candles

Preparation
Pre-make poppet (this is a curse poppet so please make accordingly). On each strip of paper (and there should be a large amount) write “Forget me not.”

Performance
• Have all of your supplies on your workspace.
• If you usually cast a circle, do so now.
• Light however many candles you want to. They’re mainly for dramatic effect.
• Kiss the poppet (sweetly, if you can manage).
• Now place it into the container. With each line you say, place a strip of the paper you wrote on into the container with it.

Forget me not
Forget me never.
You will regret this mistake
Now and forever.
Cross me once.
Cross me twice.
Now that you have,
You’ll see I’m not so nice.
I whisper to you nothing sweet.
I whisper to you nothing kind.
But you’ll always remember me.
I shan’t fade with time.
You had me once.
You had my favour.
You threw me away.
Now not even the gods can help this be over.
Forget me not.
Forget me never.
You’ll remember me
And regret forever.

• Once this is done, close and seal the container. I recommend doing something like blowing the buried poppet one last kiss before doing so. It will never be opened again unless you want to break the curse.
• If you cast a circle, close it now.
• Put the container somewhere hidden or throw it away. I do not recommend breaking this curse.

Source here

malign female demons

May 23, 2017

The Descent of Inanna

The suppression and control of female sexuality is not a new phenomena. Some of our the earliest extant writings, texts from Mesopotamia going back to the third millennium BCE, such as Inanna and the Huluppu Tree and The Descent of Inanna, offer evidence that woman’s body was subject to extreme ambivalence, non-procreative sex in particular being regarded with suspicion and fear.

It is at this time we first discover the lilitu, malign female demons who controlled the ‘stormy (disease-bearing) winds’ and who flew like birds. They were defined by negative sexual characteristics: they are unmarried and thus not under the dominion of a male; they are seducers, actively seeking men to satisfy them; and they are child-killers. Not only do they solicit and engage in ‘unnatural’ sex, that is, non-procreative sex, the lilitu steal and kill children, emasculate men, and cause miscarriage and death in mothers. They are, whilst seemingly exiled to the wilderness, to outside, able to transgress and penetrate human habitations and domesticity. We see them leaning out of windows and doorways, the standard iconographic motif of the prostitute, and slipping into houses uninvited. They are the thieves and whores that prey on civilised and law-abiding people, and they are at the very heart of the city.

This same iconography is used for the goddess herself: Inanna-Ishtar. She stands at the window looking for a man in order to seduce him, love him and kill him. Inanna displayed herself provocatively in windows and doors, she initiates sexual contact and was called sahiratu, the one who roams about. In hymns she is described going from house to house and street to street, a phrasing later used to describe demons and repeated in the Song of Songs, which despite being attributed to Solomon is a cut and paste of these earlier hymns to the goddess.

The lilitu are the inspiration for Lilith, dislodged from the Huluppu tree and flown into Jewish consciousness as the archetype of insubordinate and dangerous female sexuality. In Jewish myth, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, who refused to lie beneath him and wanted to take the mother superior rather than the missionary position. This is the genealogy of the witch, whose family tree profoundly roots her in the conflicted dna of our earliest civilisations.

The disconnect from the shamanic consciousness of our ancestors was accomplished by building walled cities, stepped pyramids imitating the emergence of a hierarchical order and patrilineal organisation; the sacred mountain and cave now made of burned brick, the priestess who gives the king his right to rule now a state function rather than a wild woman, a shaman. The stories and myths of Mesopotamia are already ancient when they are pressed into clay tablets, and we can intuit layers of earlier shamanic material in them.

It is worth plunging into the myth of the descent of Inanna-Ishtar. A description of the initiation of goddess and priestess, a mystery play, and a coming of age drama of reaching sexual maturity. It can also be read as a shamanic descent and ordeal, in which Inanna is forced at each of the seven gates of the underworld to surrender one of the seven tokens of her earthly power with which she has prepared herself, as she is brought, bent low and naked, to the throne room of her sister Ereshkigal. Ereshkigal is the goddess of the underworld, the Great Below. She is, in one sense, the chthonic mind, pre-conscious and unillumined darkness, absolute hunger and appetite. A devourer. Inanna, from her domain in the Great Above, has heard her sister Ereshkigal – ostensibly grieving for her husband – though the description is clearly playing on her suffering menstrual pains, or being in the pangs of labour, or in heat. All these explanations I believe are plausible and intended.

At the seven concentric gates of the underworld, Inanna is compelled to give up all her worldly attributes of power and femininity. She is stripped for the final confrontation with her sister. Witchcraft and shamanic initiations are always an ordeal. The text reads:

Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room.
Ereshkigal rose from her throne.
Inanna started toward the throne.
The Annuna, the judges of the underworld, surrounded her.
They passed judgement against her.

Then Ereshkigal fastened on Inanna the eye of death.
Then spoke against her the word of wrath.
She uttered against her the cry of guilt.

She struck her.

Inanna was turned into a corpse,
A piece of rotting meat,
And was hung from a hook on the wall.

Inanna is hung up to season like meat in a butchers. The image of Inanna hung from a hook brings to mind suspension rituals, but in close analysis we become aware that this act of initiation is an inversion. When meat is hung it is from the hind legs, the feet, so that the blood can be drained from the throat. So here we have a chthonic sacrifice, and simultaneously an image of menstruation. One could also conjecture a connection to the head down position of a baby in the birth canal). A possible earlier version of the myth would have Inanna consumed (as sacrifice) by her sister and then birthed by her. This cannot be dismissed as primitive physiological (mis)understanding, similar acts of the ‘Mothers’ and female Seizers are detailed in the Tantras. See The Kiss of the Yogini by David Gordon White – a controversial work but one we highly recommend studying – for many interesting parallels and insights in this regard.

Inanna is rescued from the underworld by the intercession of another shaman, Enki, who sends two golems (a galatur and akurgarra) fashioned from spit and fingernail dirt. These comfort Ereshkigal in her pain, by repeating her cries, in the manner of professional mourners. We could even see them as dildos, as arousal and sex can be harnessed by women to alleviate menstrual cramps. It is worth reading The Wise Wound by Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove for more insights. That work, and Redgrove’s Black Goddess and the Sixth Sense, should be on any witchcraft reading list.

To return to our narrative: soothed, Ereshkigal grants the galatur and kurgarra a wish and they ask for the corpse of Inanna which they bring back to life with the food and water of life. She returns to the earth with a retinue of demons who drag off her husband Tammuz in her stead. What, besides a life for a life and life for death, has been exchanged? In being stripped of all that identified her as a woman, a priestess and a queen, in this absolute self-effacement before her sister, Inanna gains self-knowledge. She has confronted the dark, unknown recesses of the world that lies outside her domain (life, light, love) and in this process of acknowledging the other, this sacrifice of herself, has won carnal knowledge from the darkness of Ereshkigal. Sexuality becomes not a blind force that controls you, but a power that can be exercised knowingly. In psychological terms we would call this integration: the goddess who descends is not the goddess who returns. Ereshkigal has gifted Inanna the raw power of her sexuality. As the story ends: All praise to Ereshkigal!

The self-conscious use of sexuality is traditionally the domain of the prostitute, and Inanna was the goddess of sex and of prostitutes, whose repertory of techniques included how to void or avoid pregnancy, the arts of evoking and invoking pleasure, and the arts of disguise, transformation and illusion. These are gained through uninhibited knowledge of the self. Though we do not wish to glamorise the life of the ancient or modern prostitute, she remains a symbol of independent female sexuality in a human history of carnal repression. Confidence, strength, awareness: these are rarely gifts we are born with, but are wrested from the dark mirror to the underworld.

Witchcraft, like the ordeal of Inanna, is a matter of carnal knowledge, it is a question of gnosis in and through the body. We use the mythic structure of the descent in our own work, returning to the Great Below every year in our rites at Samhain. Without the descent to the underworld, there can be no flight to the sabbat. Incubation, the dark, the cave, the deep dreaming mind, are where we discover and bring back power to transform both our world and our selves. Sexuality and creativity are inexorably linked, but to access these most potent and primordial depths we need to strip our civilised selves naked and emptied of words.

As we have seen, the demonic feminine of Lilith migrates into Judaism, as too does a guilty and demonised Eve. Inanna-Ishtar becomes Astarte who, with her consort Baal, is denounced in the Old Testament before St John gives a final twist to the tale, and with the trappings of the Roman Empire, names her after the old enemy, Babylon. Revelation, like that other hymn to the love goddess, the Song of Songs, carried the old religion into a new post pagan age. It has been misread and misinterpreted ever since, but remains one of the core myths upon which our modern world revolves.

Alkistis Dimech and Peter Grey
2010 Presentation: Raw Power: Witchcraft, Babalon and Female Sexuality

23rd May

Hot day yesterday full of sun. Shopping and chores. Rain forecast for today, but clear weather and lots of sunshine for the rest of the week.

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“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law…”

Aleister Crowley’s famous (infamous) mantra. Risqué, even shocking in its time, today it is the prevalent belief system of the “ME” generation. Look at the way large corporations behave. They frequently display the moral and ethical codes of goose-stepping storm troopers. Banks and the financial crisis, you’ll recall, is a case in point: it was the tax payer rather than the banking industry that absorbed all the pain. Quite remarkable. Then we have scandals, such as Libor rigging, VW illegally cheating emissions tests, Enron, WorldCom, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, and Bernie Madoff. I could go on and on, but won’t. I’m sure you get where I’m coming from here. Market forces rule. Do what thou wilt

Drug addled Crowley claimed his law of Thelema was dictated to him by an entity named Aiwass. If true, Aiwass was very well read and borrowed indiscriminately from all the works he’d read. For example: “Fait ce que vouldras,” François Rabelais describing the rule of his Abbey of Thélème in Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Aiwass the spirit-plagiarist…

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Thinking of you. Seeing you undressing slowly in the half-light, and exposing what normally lies hidden beneath skirt and panties. Seeing you finally naked in front of me – this starts the all too familiar ache inside my own flesh, the need to seek release with you…

Her fingertip scratches a diagram into the dirt on the floor, upon which is set a piece of quartz, a feather, the slender bone of a cat or hare, and a squat figure of black stone. With the quartz in position at one end of the diagram and the statue at the other, she transfers the other items between them in such a manner that they must bypass a number of small obstacles. This section of her play completed, she posts the feather through the entrance to the chamber beyond: little more than a slit in the rock, rimmed with bitter water.

My operator’s attention is no longer directed toward her. I am hurried across the threshold in pursuit of the feather, only to be summoned back to the terrace with an urgency that makes my shape buckle and flatten in the air, for my operator has reached ahead of me and found that other who twisted a leash for him out of boredom and a melancholy recognition: the child left to prophesy in darkness.

Paul Holman
Tara Morgana

21st May

Reality is multi-faceted. We inhabit this world and often describe it with words – but if you know the correct combination of words…well, then you can make this world whatever you want it to be. That’s magic, you see. And magic and words is all you’ll ever need.

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I can’t help but enjoy her helpless pleading. It’s a silly game we play, I know, but when she cries:

‘No, not there, please….pleeeasssseee.’

And I force it to fit, and see the expression on her face in the mirror on the far wall. That moment feels so erotically charged.

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Last summer seven of us around Dave and Mary’s swimming pool. Sophia and Vic arguing, then wrestling between a pair of sunbeds, like truculent children. Vic yowling when Sophia twists his cock. She has it out of his trunks, semi-erect, gripping it in her small fist. He is red-faced, sweating…We watch Vic forced gradually to his knees, breathing noisily, unable to free himself or counter Sophia’s vice-like hold.

‘Stop struggling.’ She orders. ‘Stop now or I’ll tear it out by the root.’

‘Alright, alright.’

His sister Babs calls out vaguely obscene acts Sophia might force him to comply with, and Vic yells out:

‘Whose side are you on, Sis?’

Sophia’s eyes are bright with this unexpected victory and the sense of power she has over him. She is on one knee beside him. The knuckles griping his twisted cock are white with the effort, while her other hand has now captured his exposed balls. His shorts are down round his thighs. One of his hands is pressed to the ground supporting his weight, the other is wrapped loosely round Sophia’s right wrist. He can’t tug at her because she twists harder, both balls and cock.

‘Come on,’ he says ‘Enough is enough. Let go now – ’

‘Make him suck Kenny’s cock,’ Babs’ suggests. She is quite intoxicated by sun and vodka. ‘Let’s see him do that…We could all use a laugh.’

Ken B rolls on his side on the bright orange sunbed. Using his thumbs he works his trunks over his hips. Fat, meaty cock standing to attention.

‘Bring it on,’ he cries. Removing his sunglasses, he gives Vic a nasty wink.

‘Come on, I’m not doing that,’ says Vic. ‘Not for anyone – ’

And he moans in pain as Sophia twists harder, her conquering smile at his shoulder.

‘You’ll do exactly as I say.’ She says this with such passion. ‘Now up you get, slave boy, and over to Kenny. You’re going to do a bit of sucking – ’

‘He can do me, when he’s finished with Ken,’ Mary calls. She props herself up on her sunbed, both tits exposed and glowing. ‘Like to lap at my cup Vic? I’ve been in the pool so it’s all washed for you.’

General laughter and applause round the pool as Vic is forced to his knees beside Kenny’s sunbed. Head forward, face brushing Ken’s cock before Vic finally takes it reluctantly into his mouth.

‘There’s a good boy,’ says Sophia. ‘You take to that like a duck to water. A baby with its pacifier.’

The sight of his bobbing head produces laughter all around. Kenny gives this slightly obscene wriggle when he cums in Vic’s mouth. The hateful expression on Vic’s face as he straightens up causes yet more laughter.

‘Me next,’ cries Mary. Dave tells her to behave herself, but she’s unknotted her bikini bottom, and raised one leg into the air. To open herself wider, she draws the folds of skin apart with her fingers. ‘Here you are. All ready for you.’

And within seconds Vic is on his knees and feverishly pressing his lips to this small pink conch shell. More enthusiasm in his movements now. Her thighs press to his ears. He licks at the growing wetness, face flushed, breathing loudly. Again applause around the pool at the climax of this vulgar ritual. Her long body shuddering in the throes of joy…

Sophia finally releases him.

Vic pulls up his trunks.

And everyone applauds the fine performance.

17th May

Thoughts of Martha Hatfield the Puritan child-prophet who felt the “Second Coming” coming, so to speak. She saw Raw Head and Bloody Bones, Nelly Long Arms and Awd Goggie, Black Parr and the low black sow who carries off kiddies. She was afraid of fires especially those bonfires on the wastelands of the city blazing with a dim constancy and smoke curling into night fogs across everywhere…

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How then do we explain our taste for supernatural necessity, d’you think?

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Rolling shadows pressed against the window like half-glimpsed faces. Then the shriek of an owl, foreshadowing the death of another, smaller creature, bloodily rendered by beak and talons. The struggle between life and death continues throughout the night.

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Suffering these random night-thoughts – thoughts that lay bare the throbbing red heart of past, present and future. All meaning leaks pus-like from the abyss of death: voiceless, corpses with heads full of untold tales – untold not because of a lack of words, but because of a lack of tongue! Out of the dark confines of this house and across the wide moor everything is making love or death to everything else in an orgy of being, and transcendence, and blood.

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The centuries have passed and times have changed and yet all around there is a strange feeling that we are not alone, that the shades of persons passed on and over into the world of spirit are very close.

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Many rites of Witchcraft call on attractive youths, and emphasise nudity. It wasn’t until the rise of the Abrahamic religions that this was frowned upon, and slowly demonised. The rites of Pan and Bacchus became rites of Satan, these gods, predominantly phallic, sexual gods such as Pan were transformed into the Devil, and all things lecherous and sexual were his domain.

Ghosts in my soul

May 14, 2017

14th May

Long days, followed by candle lit evenings and laughter. Rain slanting at the windows last night, followed by a misty moist morning full of ghosts. Sometimes just to sit and watch the rain brings a strange sense of calm to me. Thunder and lightning, on the other hand, sets a fire in my soul…

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Last summer, walking the coastal path south from Portreath. Took the narrow path down to the sea, all elbow turns and screaming gulls. Deadman’s Cove below. Cold here, despite the intense heat of the day. The beach is all pebbles and black rocks. At low tide the wreck of a ship sunk back in 1978 becomes partially visible.

Here the sea is still and black, brooding under rocky shadows; no surfing or swimming – too cold and dark and dangerous. The Cove is a haunted place. A ghost regularly appears before visitors, only to fade away when directly addressed. Or so they say.

One of the most perilous stretches of coast imaginable. Many ships sunk over the years, the bodies inevitably washing up in Deadman’s Cove. Uneasy atmosphere to the place, giving an intense and inexplicable sense of foreboding to many of the coves visitors…

Ghostly screams of drowning men frequently heard here in the night…

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Strange things do happen. In August 1894 some parts of Bath were covered by thousands of small Jelly fish that fell from the sky!