Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Importance of Horror

This time of year, with Halloween approaching, there are a lot more horror films watched, more horror elements in television shows, and more horror books read than any other part of the year.  There is a marked focus in this direction, both in those pursuing watching and reading, and in those speaking against the genre.  Many of these elements spill into daily life, in costumes worn to work, parties, bars, and anywhere else people can get away with it by using the season as an excuse.

Supernatural horror the only mainstream place where the elements that are often a part of more occult and esoteric interest appear.  The very fact the genre (both in film and in literature, and also in art of many other forms) exists is interesting in itself.

The reason for the absence elsewhere is that people don't want to consider the monstrous and strange, preferring to pretend everything is safe and normal and predictable.  So it's pushed to the edges.  On the edges, we don't have to look at it.  We can pretend it's not there and go about life feeling safe.

But the presence of the supernatural horror genre in all mediums means that while it's pushed the edges, it's not pushed out completely.  People don't want to confront it in a "normal" context, but they also can't completely ignore or forget it either.  The genre persists because there is always a part of us that knows that the "normal" by itself is not the whole story, that there would be a lacking if the Other is completely gone.

So people seek out the monstrous and strange and dangerous on occasion, as a reminder not to forget, then return to their "normal" world, content that the stuff they push to the edges is still at the edges, so not hidden closer and waiting.

This is the place not just of the genre, but of the edges themselves.  Edges and boundaries define what is part and what is not, what is Self and what is Other, what is society and what is savage, what is cultivated and what is Wasteland or Wilderness.  By dividing, they define.  There is no boundary or edge if there isn't something beyond it.  There is no Self without Other.  There is no civilized without the Monster.  If what we don't like or are afraid of isn't at the edge, or across the boundary, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it means it has no place to be but here, where I am.  If there is no monster out there, the monster is here, or the monster is me.

The separation of worlds, the Edge and the Veil, is a separation of perception, not a gap or abyss between worlds.  Our world, our Dreaming, must be safe to us, so we push what isn't safe to the edge, make it Other, make it the otherworld.  And those that live in the otherworld, at the edges by our perception, push what isn't safe to them to the edge, to their Other, making it the otherworld for them, our world.  All things not safe for us, or that we don't want, is there.  All things not safe for them, or that they don't want, is here.  Two worlds mutually populating each other with their monsters, monsters who populate their world with monsters.

But those who walk between are monsters to both worlds, Other to all Selfs.  Because they can be either, so are monsters that appear as normal, no matter which world they walk.  And appearing normal in both, they also see both as normal, the accept the monstrous and strange as every day, as part of what makes up the whole.  They have no edges, no borders, no law, no limits.

Because edges imply two sides, boundaries and borders are between two things.  Laws define what can happen and cannot, or, what can happen without being pushed to the edges.  Limits define what is possible, but if you approach a limit long enough, you can't perceive where you are from where it is, and in effect reach it.  And once you realize the limit, what stops you from passing it?

~Muninn's Kiss

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Practical Magic

Philosophy period, whether about magic or any other subject, is essentially useless.  It's an entertaining diversion among others that enjoy it.  And it is great to confuse the masses if you are trying to create a new political system, or make people think economics is predictable.  But it's useless in practice.

When I cook, I cook by instinct and feel, "what will do what I want to do", rather than "what does the recipe say".  I understand what each ingredient is used for, and how the proportions interact, which is the theory, but when I have them there, I put what seems right.  Egg thickens, yeast rises with enough time and sugar, baking powder rises was the acid and base in it react when being cooked, baking powder rises in reaction to acid in what it's added to while rising.  Acid, especially citric acid, brings out flavour.  Salt lowers the heat of spicy food.  Honey or sugar makes a smoother taste.  But the theory isn't what matters, it's the instinct and intuition as you combine the ingredients.  Knowing when it is done cooking based on how it looks, smells, feels, rather than a timer.  If you bake exactly to a recipe written for sea level, you'll fail a mile higher in Denver, or even higher at 7220 feet above sea level in Laramie, WY.

Magic based on theory is cookie cutter magic and is lifeless and it's luck if it works.  Magic based on intuition and instinct is living and changing.  The theory helps build instinct, but it's training wheels.  Circumstances change things.  The same spell or working or charm doesn't work the same way when circumstances change.  They must be adapted and changed as the need changes.

And the best way to cook is to use what's on hand, or to buy based on what's available, especially if you can get it locally.  Look at a piece of meet, or a vegetable or a type of bean or rice.  Ask yourself, what would taste good with this?  Add that.  What would taste good with both of these?  Add that.  Build or craft the meal, don't just go by rote.

Likewise with magic.  Use what's on hand.  You don't have to order something from half way across the world that's rare and expensive and hard to get a hold of just because it's used traditionally for something or you have a description from the 1800s or 1900s describing its use.  Local ingredients, tools, and objects tend to work better for where you're working anyway.  The theory is in the questions, why does that object work, the application of that theory is to look at what do I have in my house, my yard, the areas around me, local stores, that would do the same?  Or what if I changed other things in the method so I don't need that thing?  Adapt the working to your needs, your location, what you have on hand, the purpose you are after.  If you often need something that's not native and can't find an alternative, see what it would take to grow or raise it yourself.  Start a garden for herbs and plants you use often.  If you have no place for one, look into renting a plot in a community garden (being aware of what is safe to grow there).  Get your hands dirty.  Do.  Act.  Practice.

I enjoy the intellectualism, but if it becomes the point instead of a pass time, the work doesn't get done.

My dad is a geotechical engineer and can design the best bridges, dams, and retaining walls that will do exactly what they need to do and stand up for long time without modifications. Those designs are useless if they are never built, and those building them don't need to know where the weight will be applied and where it is transferred, all they need is, place a beam here, pour concrete here, etc.

My grandpa used to say that if you're going to be a ditch digger, be the best damn ditch digger you can be.

Put action to your words.  If you commit to something, don't just think about it, put in the effort, sweat, blood, and tears.  Magic no less than anything else.

When I go to do a working, I don't worry about the theory at all, typically I just do it on the fly, with whatever is on hand.  Later, I will sometimes say, ok, why did I do what I did, and why did it work that way? As Victor Anderson said, perceive first, understand after.

~Muninn's Kiss

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Age of Aquarius

The words of a song echo, a song that came out of the New Age movement, a movement looking to a new age as the answer, as a Utopian time of peace and love.  The song is Age of Aquarius but 5th Dimension:

When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age
Of a Aquarius, the age of Aquarius
Aquarius, Aquarius
Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the minds true liberation
Aquarius, Aquarius
When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age
Of a Aquarius, the age of Aquarius
Aquarius, Aquarius

The Age of Aquarius is of course based on the progression of equinoxes, Plato's Great Year, which I've discussed before.  Twelve ages of 2200 years, give or take 100 years.  And one theory, based on Vedic astronomy subdivides each age into sub ages, about 180 years each, with the first subage being of similar nature to the current age, and last sub age in an age having similar nature to the next Age.  This would imply that the last subage in a given age is a taste of what the next will be.

The idea that the Age of Aquarius would be peace and harmony and everyone loving everyone is a misconception, as anyone born in Aquarius, or anyone who has known one can attest.  Aquarius likes to the be a peacemaker, but is more a leveler.  We're not talking peaceful cooperation and everyone getting along.  Aquarius disrupts and brings chaos and complication.  It is the destruction of hierarchy and differences, but doesn't present a solution or restructure.  If you are looking for that, that is Capricorn, the age after.  Aquarius isn't described by the verse "he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." (Revelations 21:4 RSV)  It is described by these verses:

Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
~Isaiah 40:4 RSV

See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.
~Jeremiah 1:10 RSV

It's important to realise that the Age of Pisces isn't just defined by the Fish, but by the Virgin, Virgo, across the sky from Pisces.  The Fish is the Son of the Virgin, Pisces is the Son of Virgo.  When the sun is in Pisces, at midnight Virgo is at height, Pisces occulted and concealed, Virgo plain to see in the night sky.  Pisces has no boundaries, no firm borders, it runs over all it encounters, flowing like a flood over the ground.  Pisces is the Conqueror, conquering all.  "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (Revelations 6:2 RSV)  And while the age we've seen does reflect this, the building of empires through conquest, there is another aspect, the restriction, the restraint, the control.  This comes not from Pisces, who would move on to the next thing.  It comes instead from the Mother of Pisces, from Virgo, the Virgin.  The Water of Pisces brings change, but when the Flood is past, it is the Earth of Virgo that settles, with teh restraint only she can bring.  She marks the midpoint, half way through the Age.

Which brings us to Aquarius.  While Aquarius does want peace and harmony, it doesn't know how to bring it.  It uproots old orders, like the Fall of the Tower, it brings down the haughty and mighty, the mountains and hills, and raises up the humble and downtrodden, the valleys, but it doesn't know what to do next and looks for the next injustice or inequality to fix, not leaving a structure.  The result isn't peace but rebellion and disorder, people turning on each other.  "And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." (Revelations 6:4 RSV)  We are in the subage of Aquarius, and it has had and will have a taste of peace and harmony, this isn't the main trait.  Watch how empires and nations have, are, and will crumble, how Super Powers fail, hierarchies fall, economies splinter.  This subage has not been one of piece, but of breakdown, breakdown that takes away peace.  This is a taste of the Age of Aquarius.

But once again, that isn't the whole story.  Look across the wheel.  Aquarius is the Son of Leo, the Son of Fire.  This is the key to understand the Age of Aquarius.

"Son of Fire"

Let he who has ears to hear hear, let she who has eyes to see see.

~Muninn's Kiss

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Thought on the government shutdown

My thoughts, which I think in this case are touched at least some with the Sight, though I could be looking the wrong direction.

I'm fairly certain a compromise, extension, or some other last minute reprieve will occur, both sides are trying to make a point, but it seems unlikely they will let the US go the way of Greece.

But I think the damage has been done, not in the financial realm or in the ability of the two parties to work together (all the could do on that front is contrast each other anyway, work together for a gridlock that guarantied no successful third party teaching power).  The political damage occurred long before I was born.

And on the financial level, we weren't that far off from this brink during the furloughs in the 70s and 80s or the shutdown in the 90s that didn't include furlough.  The total debt is higher, but when you can't pay it off, doesn't much matter if you double or triple it.  You're already screwed if you default.  When you've spent everything, defaulting on a 3 million dollar house or a 30 thousand dollar house isn't much different in the end.  You're homeless either way.

The damage they did this time around is more subtle and much deeper and wide reaching.  They've washed away the last illusion of the people that the government is worth keeping.

Unless I'm looking the wrong direction with the Sight and misunderstanding what I'm seeing, it has begun, the death pangs of the last super power are in progress.

The people have been sleeping in apathy.  Speaking and grumbling, but never waking, never voting or rising up for change, true change, instead of a pendulum between two sides that only exist because the other opposes them.

There are some who take action, who try for change, of course.  There always is, and there has to be for those in power to remain.  No government can long stand without a healthy opposition.

But those sleeping are stirring, the sleeping giant Washington has succeeded in waking is for greater than the one Japan woke with the attack on Pearl Harbor.  This sleeping giant, this sleeping Serpent, is relentless and unpredictable, and is hard to subdue once she awakes.

For this is a Serpent born of rebellion, that will not rest as long as one block remains upon another in Washington. And in some parts of the country, the state and local governments will fair no better, though I suspect the Mountain States will respond with, well we can survive like we always do, and firm the borders and carry on.  Other states, the people will tear to shreds.

It's like a blog post I posted not long ago, the foundations are being shaken.  We'll see what stands when the quakes and death rattles have ended.

Welcome to the Age of Aquarius, or at least a taste, the fall of hierarchies and structure, and the chaos, uncertainty, and confusion that results.  The Son of the Virgin fades, the Son of Lion's time approaches.

Just my bleak and troubled thoughts at the moment, take them or leave them.

~Muninn's Kiss

Friday, 11 October 2013

Samhain Dumb Supper or Other Get Together

Anyone interested in a dumb supper or other get together around Samhain, in the Northern Frontrange area?

I.E., Denver, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Golden, Ft.Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Castle Rock, and surrounding areas, and those within driving distance that are interested.

Feel free to comment if you're interested, or email me at muninnskiss @ grimr.org.

~Muninn's Kiss

Faerie Nation Mag