Monday, 3 July 2017

Ave Atque Vale



The Yule influence continues apace, with dreams of people and situations dead for years disturbing my sleep almost nightly.

That's not taking into account the horrible bout of bronchitis I've been working through since I contracted it about 2 weeks ago. Now it pops its head up as a night session of uncontrollable chills and body aches well over the stay-in-bed-and-fix-it line. So perhaps some of this midWinter dream horror is due to my system trying to fight back against life forms alien to its normal state of being, I'm not sure.

 One thing I am sure about, however, is that my distaste for large swathes of humanity is being vindicated whenever I turn on the news channels or scroll through Twitter.

 This by way of the affirmation that there really are people who voted for and supported Donald Trump. I mean, I couldn't really understand it at first, as the man is so obviously an example of the very worst in humankind - a self-absorbed non-contibuting piece of meat with the manners and morals of a 5-year-old entitled brat. I thought that anybody could see this, especially since he'd not been particularly hidden in shadows before his presidential run. But no, apperently people are just really shit at seeing human garbage when it's flailing its vengeful narcissism in their faces, or they see it and think it good.

Either way, I think we've been making a great case for a human extinction event in the very near future. Therefore, homo sapiens, it is with no sense of loss to the life on this planet that I wish you ave atque vale with all my heart. We may have tried, but not very hard. I think it's time to quit the human experiment, now.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Yeah, We're Getting There. Pre-Yule.

As I come out of the bus station, winter-morning Sandton is chilly and still dark.

Sunrise is still more than an hour away, but the streets are well-lit and a few early birds or late-shift-workers are passing along the pavement with their backpacks snugged around them like thermal blankets.


Venus greets me as she has for the last couple of months, high in the gap between office-block constructions. As I turn left along West Street, she is on my right hand and the Moon is on my left..


 "Paradise on my right. Hell on my left, and the Angel of Death behind"


..a youngish office worker trots past me,steaming from her mouth in the cold air.


My stride lengthens a little and takes on a steadier rythmn than usual, as if the Moon and Venus have opened a ritual promenade before me, all the way to work.


Yule is for me the time of greatest thinning of the veil. The time when even I can almost apprehend another world all around me, for all I lack the visual,auditory,olfactory and tactile senses to do so at other times of the year.


It's this point, you see, Point III:







The nadir of the annual trip around the Sun, when the Ecliptic is furthest from the Equator and the term MidWinter really holds true.


At this time, too, I am far more prone to erratic psychic experiences.


A couple of weeks ago I dreamt that I was walking through my suburb along the roads in sorrow, passing a great oblong hole in the garden of one of the houses - it resembled nothing so much as an open grave, but I knew at the same time that it was actually someone's swimming pool. The next morning I learned that a 7-year-old boy had drowned in a pool that evening.


Since it is getting colder - for Joburg, not to be compared to the howling ice of Northen Europe in any way - we bought a minky blanket for Warren to use on the couch when he's up in the middle of the night. This blanket was draped across the back of the couch as I passed it yesterday evening. It's a pale-grey-and-cream blanket with vaguely leaf-like patterns worked into it. All of a sudden, as I was calling Scylla for supper, I saw another blanket in its place: a pale blue blanket figured with white clouds and edged in white bric a brac. Shevek's blanket from when he was a baby. And I saw it quite, quite clearly.


Oh, but I do love Yule; the sense of things becoming as deep as they ever will, with a simultaneous sleep-shrouded and nerve-opened feel to the soul. I can quite understand why fires were left constantly burning for this time of year, and why sistra were rattled in abundance, to chase away the disturbing spirits and warm our helpful ones.....

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Still Not Halloween



Well, no, and it's still not Halloween in a few days.

It's still Beltane, here in the Southern Hemisphere, but I've just about given up pointing that out to most people.

I've had to conclude that either South Africans of the middle-and-upward classes don't know what season it is, or they're unaware of the significance of the ages-old celebration of the start of Winter.
(Or they just don't care and are just doing shit because the Americans do, and I must say I find this parenthetical reason the most compelling of the three).

So, OK, a quick run-down of what Samhain, also known as Halloween, has meant to humans for thousands of years:

It's the start of the Winter season. The Celts only recognised 2 seasons, Summer and Winter. Summer started on the first week in May and we celebrate that as Beltane in the Northern Hemisphere. The start of Winter was the first week in November, midway between the Solstice and the Equinox.

It marks the beginning of the period of cold and dark, the time by which all harvests were to be safely gathered in and shelters made proof against the gathering loss of sunlight.

At this time, the ancestors and the little folk - those of other realms and dimensions - would take advantage of the liminality of the environment and draw nearer to humans. It thus became necessary for us to devise strategies to keep them from our doors, our stored crops and our livestock.

You can very easily see how the spooky motif and the tradition of Trick-Or-Treating became established out of these mass subconscious workings.

 The problem comes when you try to apply these venerable rituals to the start of Summer. It won't work, and you end up playing the absolute fool across all worlds, dimensions and realms.

Good luck with that, as ever, South Africa.

Pic: May Queen from the Beltane Fire Festival, 2012

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Escape From a Schwarzschild Radius of Insanity


I have finally become a refugee.

From Twitter and Facebook, that is.

Last night I deleted both accounts before I went to bed and woke up this morning with such a sense of relief that I knew I'd done exactly the right thing.

I started out years ago on Twitter with 40 followers and ended up with over 1.5K of the buggers. This is not a good thing, as anyone conversant with the horrific phenomenon of Twitter can attest.

Twitter. It's a great tool for keeping up-to-date on whatever news you're interested in; you get the latest breaking stuff first, plus much of the as-yet-unverified speculation. But with that comes a clamouring clinging of hanger-on demons which will eventually deeply wound your sanity if you're even halfway in your right mind to start with.

Some issues, let's face it, are bound to be emotive. Transgender Rights, the Patriarchal control of the globe, Donald Trump...So you make a resolution to rise above the gutter-wiping of the basest Tweeps. I'll just observe, you tell yourself, and take in arguments from both sides - to which end, you include a broad spectrum of class, race and political affiliation in your Follow list. Sounds about right.

But gradually, over months and possibly years, you find yourself taking sides. taking umbrage at the others. Taking seriously the emotionally immature rantings of a faceless archon who uses 140 characters to inflict as much pain as possible. And you find yourself doing this, too; becoming habituated to being as pithily nasty in as short a text as humanly possible to someone you don't even know.

This is the template for all 9 rings of Dante's Hell to coalesce and eventually collapse into a screaming, barking mad black hole of insanity.

And Facebook? With even the best of intentions of keeping it confined to family, you find yourself scrolling through endless reams of photographic saccharine memes, brain-deficient repetitions of somebody else's endless idle time...nope. Just Nope.

And so I left those places. Threw them to the West, iconic icons and all, turned on my heel and walked away.
Because I can't be having with this any longer.

Pic: Paul Kidby's rendering of Esmerelda Weatherwax