Diary 23rd April

As Mel Gibson would probably say: “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.”

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Question: ‘What is a magical diary?’

Answer: ‘Put simply, you keep a magical diary by setting your intentions down on paper, where they begin to take on power, weight, and material force, no longer vacuous desires volleying in the cavern of your mind. It’s as simple or as complex as that.

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To tread the Mystic Way you must learn to annihilate selfhood and to turn your attention from the multiplicity of the phenomenal world, with its classifying and image-making, its logical reasoning and discursive thinking, so as to attain that ‘simple seeing’ of which the mystics speak; for not until your eye has become single can your whole body be filled with light.

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It is only when all outward appearances are gone that there is left that one principle of life which exists independently of all external phenomena. It is the fire which burns in the eternal light, when the fuel is expended and the flame extinguished; for that fire is neither in the flame nor in the fuel, nor yet inside either of the two, but above, beneath, and everywhere…

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Remembering your lip
The ruby red I kiss;
Having not that to sip
My lips instead press this –

Diary 14th April

In ‘Crowds of Power’, Elias Canetti gives us an example of inter-tribal warfare in South America. A Taulipang tribal warrior tells how they wiped out a neighbouring tribe, the Pishauko. According to Canetti, the Taulipang launched a surprise night attack on their enemies village. Apparently the Pishauko witch doctor sensed their approach from the ‘spirit dimension’ and warned everyone of danger, but the villagers ignored him. The Taulipang warriors dully appeared and began clubbing the Pishauko to death. They set fire to the huts and tossed all the Pishauko children into the flames.

How did the Pishauko witch doctor ‘sense’ the impending attack?

We know that Neanderthal man buried his dead with some sort of ritual (seeds of brightly coloured flowers were interred with the corpse – probably, they were woven into somekind of shroud). Chunks of manganese dioxide have been found in their caves worn down on one side as if used as crayons. Ritual art is a strong possibility. Undoubtedly, Neanderthal man and woman had religion (indicated also by the stone spheres representative of the Sun and Moon found in their habitations), and religion is obviously the outcome of thinking about the Universe.

200,000 years ago at Pech de l’Aze in the Dordogne, homo erectus took time out to engrave the rib bone of an ox – the engraving, the earliest we know of, is of three arc-like patterns overlapping. Is this, too, a representation of symbolic (religious?) significance?

175,000 years ago Cro-Magnon man was busy painting the walls of caves – in the deepest, darkest, remotest parts of caves. Vivid paintings of bison, deer, wild boar and wild horses. It was Salomon Reinach in 1903 who suggested the probable magical significance of these paintings; magic ritual to lure the animals to Cro-Magnon traps; lure the food to the table.

Alexander Marshack in his book ‘The Roots of Civilization’ suggests the Cro-Magnons were far less primitive than previously thought: they recorded a basic calendar on animal bones to anticipate the seasonal migration of animals, their food supply. In effect they invented a simple form of writing!

It is speculative, but a strong possibility, that religious art extended far back in time beyond the highly developed art of the Cro-Magnon people. It is probable that homo erectus, over 200,000 years ago, with their much enlarged brain capacity, used ritual magic in an attempt to control nature, to control their food supply.

So, you might ask, what has this to do with that Pishauko witch doctor?

Well, ancient man had no need to ask questions about the forces of nature; he FELT them around him, as a fish feels every change in water pressure through nerves in its sides. The result was most likely a curious sense of unity with the earth and heavens that homo sapiens – us, in other words – generally lost a long time ago. Ancient mans religion, his rituals, weren’t an attempt to ‘explain’ his world – it was a natural response to its forces.

In much the same way, the Pishauko witch-doctor was able to FEEL the approach of his enemies. All shamans, witch-doctors, magicians, witches and sacred priests, throughout human history, have claimed they derive their powers from ‘spirits’, often those of the dead. Sure we can dismiss this as primitive superstition – but we’ll be missing the point if we consider it an attempt to explain ‘life’ after death. Shamans do NOT believe in ‘spirits’; they EXPERIENCE them first hand – or at least, experience something they accept as the ‘spirit world’. Thus, boys and girls, I’d suggest it unlikely Neanderthal man performed burial rites because he ‘believed’ in life after death. He performed them because he took it for granted that he was surrounded by ‘spirits’, and these included the ‘spirits’ of the dead and the spirits of nature – otherwise known to us as ‘elementals’. Our Pishauko witch doctor, engaging in a ‘magic’ ritual to help a sick tribe member, and communicating with his ‘spirit guides’ was promptly alerted to the impending danger of attack.

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What will happen on Beltane?

We’ll take part in the Great Rite, of course – experience the type of sex where we are so deeply entwined, so far in to each other’s darknesses and each other’s souls that we will be as one. Passionate, lustful, almost savage fucking. That’s what will happen.

For Beltane is a time for love. A time for merging with the goddess; for seeing the world through each other’s eyes. It is a time for bonfires and dancing. It is a time to be joined by spirits, in celebration of the Earth’s great fecundity. See their ghost shapes, milky white, dancing beside you in the trailing smoke from the bonfire. Eat, drink, love…

The girl who died

April 9, 2017

You are twenty. You are not dead, although you were dead. The girl who died. And was resurrected. Children. Witches. Magic. Symbols. Remember the illogic of the fantasy.

Sylvia Plath
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

The space beyond truth

April 9, 2017

Diary 9th April

Me, age ten. My older cousin Debs, fair and freckled, hitched up her skirt in the bathroom to show me where a boy must put “his thing” to make a baby.

“Obviously,” she reassured me, “it’s got to be stiff when you do that…”

And funnily enough, looking at what she had down there, I was very stiff. But a baby…? How could a baby come from such a small opening?

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My mother spoke frequently of my sister’s second husband’s sexual problems. These she attributed to an excess of wanking as a child. He had, she insisted, a terrible crush on another boy while in sixth form college. My sister, lacking a penis, was no doubt second best when it came to his choice of life-partner. Although how my mother acquired such intimate knowledge of him I haven’t the slightest idea.

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The beautiful weather continues. I will spend the day in the garden, pottering about in the bright sunshine and drinking G&Ts from tall iced glasses. Probably, we’ll all be legless by teatime.

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Aromatherapy has been practiced for many, many years. There is, of course, a spiritual side to this form of massage. There are Wiccans who in their practice of witchcraft can create potions and elixirs which by the ritual reciting of spells energise these herbs and ingredients to a whole new level of potency. They are able to produce aromatherapy oils that work on the brain, creating states of euphoria and bliss the like of which you will never have experienced before.

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And, of course, we’re thinking about Beltane. Food, drink and love starting on the evening of 30th April and continuing throughout the 1st of May in celebration of the Gods and Goddess’ of fertility and love. It is a time of fire and raw sex. Bonfires and rituals. A time to practice “The Great Rite”, reenacting the creation of the universe through acts of ritual sex – celebrating our bodies and creating magical power while engaging in acts of love outdoors. Perfect.

Witches Rage

February 18, 2017

wont-you-come-in

I craft my witches protections, filled with Witches Rage and Bitterness at the witching hour. I turn my eyes into hollow shells and holed stones, and my words into adders and arrows…

Horned God’s law of Misrule

November 27, 2016

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The true Sabbat is simultaneously a state of Dreaming-consciousness and an extradimensional locus where the convocation of the living and the dead occurs and the Great Return which leads to a new becoming is achieved. The celebrants of the Sabbat gather in the twilit forests and the mist-shrouded meadows of Elphame and through the averse formulae of the infinite return, deliberately ‘go backwards’ to that which lies behind all phenomena and consciousness, the ineffable source of all creation glyphed in the Witch-Mysteries by the Cauldron and the Cavern.

This mystical self-reversion or initiatic regression to the root of All is synonymous with the Horned God’s law of Misrule. It provides the inner metaphysic of ritual reversal, symbolised by the Backwards Prayer, the Widdershins Dance, and the black tapers ceremonial inversions characteristic of the Sabbat-Rite. All these infer the way of initiatic return and self-reversal to the ground and matrix of primeval unity which is the true state of Sabbatic ecstasy.

…The Dream-Sabbat is the supreme rite of the Witches, a total actualisation of the Great Mystery – all restrictions and bonds are overcome there. The separations between god, human and beast dissolve in a polymorphous inferno of extasis, the secret rapture of inner Witchdom. Thus the Sabbat is a dream, a dream of such potency that the profane world seems pallid and unreal by comparison. To enter into this sacred world of paradaisal night-revels requires consummate agility of the Dream-Body and the employment of techniques to sidestep and diminish the hold of profane perceptual conditioning, enabling the leap or flight to the ‘Other Side’ to be effected.

Nigel Jackson
Masks of Misrule

This path is not for all

November 25, 2016

sabbat

…we first have to enter the darkness of Midnight’s Sabbat, and therein face the procession of distorted masks that whirl past in the macabre dance of the grotesque witchen revelries, for by facing and rectifying them we realize the beatific beauty shining beneath. This path is not for all and not for the ill-prepared, its lonely crooked mile being lined with the bones of those who have been rendered mad by those things haunting the darkest recesses.

Martin Duffy
The Cauldron of Pure Descent in Hands of Apostasy

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A necromancer or a sorcerer who works with these weird rituals and carries out barbaric invocations and incantations is incapable of systematically carrying out an orderly incantation, i.e. of speaking with the spiritual being. Nor does he have the ability to represent an authority, because a sorcerer or necromancer lacks the magical maturity and development. At best, a necromancer might achieve an ecstatic state during such an operation, but it cannot be considered any more than simply a mere shout into that particular zone, even when his citations are most terrifying and appear very promising to him.

In most cases, the sorcerer is subjected to the most corrupt hallucinations due to the ecstatic state in which he finds himself. Under the most favourable circumstance, an elemental or elementary could be created involuntarily as a result of the ecstatic tension of the sorcerer’s nerve energies during his inadequate invocation. However, this depends on how much nerve energy the sorcerer projects from his magic circle into the magic triangle. Unbeknownst to the sorcerer, this elementary will assume the form of the desired being, because the sorcerer cannot distinguish this being from the one he is trying to evoke and thus considers this being to be the one he summoned.

Franz Bardon
The Practice of Magical Evocation

Hey, Moth, Come Eat the Flame

November 19, 2016

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Diary 19th November

Fact is unstable by its very nature.

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Visit to T yesterday. We spent Samhain at her enchanting home with its menagerie of dogs, cats and chickens. Trees surrounding the house were finally turning to the russet colours of autumn – and so near the end of November, too. It’s very peaceful here. And T is probably the maddest, but most contained woman I have ever met. She works such incredible magic. She is totally at one with her world and the people in it.

She points to a white feather on the ground beneath a chestnut tree. ‘That,’ she says, her voice gentle but totally sincere, ‘is an angel’s feather. It means good luck to us here today.’

And I feel she really believes this feather is fallen from an angel, not from the back of a near albino chicken clucking about in the undergrowth.

How I envy her the simplicity of her chosen lifestyle…

Two years ago her aunt was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. T concentrated single-mindedly on her aunt’s recovery day-in, day-out, for a period of four months. She said at the time, ‘I don’t know if it’ll do any good. These thing are either meant to be or not. We can only try to intervene. It’s all we can do…’

Her aunt’s doctors at Derriford hospital were astonished when a scan showed the cancer in remission. Within two months the cancer had gone and the aunt had made a full recovery. I cannot explain it, but T is convinced her “magic” worked – as it has done many other times in the past.

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I have kept notebooks since my twelfth year. During periods of creative sterility, I look back across the years for ‘fresh’ inspiration. Like Dylan Thomas whose mature poems were plagiarised from his much younger self.

What, I wonder, would have been in Shakespeare’s notebook in the years leading up to Macbeth? It take no Oedipus to guess. Cats and toads as familiars to witches, rats without tails that gnaw holes in the bottoms of ships, mariners spell-bound for nine times nine weeks, the vaporous drop on the tip of the moon, plants the roots of which deprive us of reason, air-drawn daggers with gouts of blood, maddened horses that devour each other, charms of all sorts, from the sweltering venom of the toad to grease from a murderer’s gibbet, the strange phenomena of somnambulism, ghost-lore, the behavior of owls. And that is as nothin to the farrago of the notebook which might have preceded Lear!

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Gillian Rogers was my first love. I remember still her kisses in the recreation ground after school, fiery things they were, that tasted incredibly of aniseed balls and chocolate, the taste of innocent sin…

Addressing Pagan deities

November 17, 2016

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Poetry is the main medium in which the British between 1400 and 1850 addressed Pagan deities. I am very familiar with other British literature and art of the same period, and the relative unimportance of the nature-goddess and Pan in works from before 1800 is sustained, whereas the importance of both gets into every type of source – fiction and non-fiction – after it burgeons in poetry. My critic tells me that my book has discouraged a literal belief in deities, but, on the contrary, the sudden eruption of particular deity forms in the human consciousness is what has long been termed revelation.

Ronald Hutton
Writing The History Of Witchcraft