To Seek the Nature of Things, Irene Hillel-Erlanger, ‘Voyages in Kaleidoscope’

Primordia Quaerere Rerum

During the Dark Ages, countless healers and philosophers found expression in the secret science of alchemy. Known as ‘adepts’, these pilgrims sought through the physical and spiritual rigours of the ‘Great Work’ to attain the ‘Philosopher’s stone’ – a substance capable of transforming the subatomic structure of matter, of enriching or ‘ennobling’ the common elements of the periodic table, and of transmuting lead into gold – producing the elusive ‘Elixir of Life’.

In 1919, Editions Georges Cres in Paris published a curious book by a wealthy socialite, Irene Hillel-Erlanger, entitled ‘Voyages en Kaleidoscope’ (Voyage in Kaleidoscope). Irene was a poet (using the pseudonym of Claude Lorrey) and literary innovator, as well as one of the first cineastes. She was born into the wealthy Parisian banking family, the Camondo’s. When she was twenty-four, she married the well known composer, Camille Erlanger. They had one son, Philippe (who went on to organize the first Cannes Film Festival). After ten years, Camille had an affair with his lead soprano, Marthe Chenal, and the marriage was over. A scandalous divorce ensued. After, Irene became a patron of the Dadaist movement, counting Andre Breton and Louis Aragon (whose surrealist erotic novel Irene’s Con was rumored to have been based upon her) amongst her friends and fellow writers. In 1915, she began making films with the avant-garde, feminist director, Germaine Dulac, for H-D Films. In late 1919, Voyages in Kaleidoscope was published, and by March of 1920, at the age of 41, Irene was dead. Subsequently, all copies of her book were ‘pulped‘ and destroyed.

Voyages en Kaleidoscope, written in an avant-garde manner, tells the story of Joel Joze, the naïve, yet brilliant inventor, who studies the occult sciences. He invents an odd device (a kaleidoscope) that, through a dizzying process of chemical synthesis (including mysterious fluids, salts and precious metals (platinum pellets)), makes the unseen world seen. It allows the viewer to discover the hidden meaning of all things, offering a new vision of the universe – a vision to the true nature of how things are animated. In a doomed love triangle, Joze is torn between his infatuation with the darkly sensual, Countess Vera, star of the Paris ballet, and his love for the discreetly veiled, Grace. Joze chooses Vera, leading to his eventual downfall as she exploits both him and his miraculous device. In the end, Grace appears at Vera’s house to save poor Joze from the clutches of the Countess. He then discovers the two women are sisters: Vera is reality, and Grace is truth – they are two aspects of the same person, or a double emanation of the unseen – signifying both time and eternity. The Countess Vera flies into a rage. Lifting her veil, Grace reveals a white diamond in her forehead that has the power to detonate a thousand bombs. With a current of electricity, she destroys the kaleidoscope, creating a catastrophe that razes the neighborhood. Afterwards, Vera returns to her stage career, and the half paralyzed Joel returns to Grace, abandoning his ambition for power, money and worldly success. The book is narrated by Joze’s secretary, Gilly, the ‘loyal servant‘, whom Irene sagely describes as, ‘the salt of the earth‘, or whom some may recognize as saline, the first solvent in alchemy.

At first glance, Voyages seems like a lightweight romantic farce. But closer examination reveals the subtext, or hidden meaning within the text. Like carvings from the Gothic cathedrals of old, inside the story exists a certain ‘spoken cabala‘ or ‘cant‘ –  “a language peculiar to all individuals who wish to communicate their thoughts without being understood by outsiders.” (Fulcanelli) Irene elucidated further in Par amour (In Litterature, n°10, December 1919 – her last published work before her death) when she stated, “enigmas, signs, you are everywhere, if only we: knew how to read, how to see, but then we are carnal readers and blindly presumptuous.” There were rumors that within the pages of Voyages she exposed the process defining ‘the Great Work‘. Others said, she gave away the identity of the master alchemist who had successfully transmuted ‘the Great Work‘. And while there is no proof Irene was a practicing alchemist, she was well entrenched within the occult community of La Belle Epoch (including such luminaries as Fulcanelli, Jean-Julien Champagne, Pierre Pujols de Valois, Eugene Canseliet and Louise Barbe, to name a few). A community that traveled throughout high society who, for the most part, funded their efforts.

After Irene died all traces of her work would have been eradicated if not for a tight-knit group of alchemists who had held her in high regard. In 1945, Eugene Canseliet mentioned in his book, Deux logis alchimiques, en marge de la science et de l’histoire, that he had been ordered (by Fulcanelli) to find a copy of Les Voyages en Kaleidoscope in 1919, managing to do so before they were destroyed. He also wrote of a model who posed for a painting done by Jean Julien Champagne at the request of Fulcanelli in 1910, whom often “frequented the house of Mme. Erlanger”. He went on to say his master (Fulcanelli) had been surprised to see the level of like-minded symbolism hidden within the text of Voyages.

In the secretive community of alchemists there is a  rule strictly adhered to – ‘silencium‘. Perhaps it is best described by the motto of alchemist, Jacques Coeur (1395-1456), “JOIE. DIRE. FAIRE. TAIRE”. (About my joy, say it, do it, be silent). The alchemist, Georges Starkey (1628- 1665), whose pseudonym was Eyrenee Philathe, in his 1740-54 treaty,  ‘L’Entrée ouverte au Palais fermé du Roi’ (The entrance is open in the closed palace of the King) wrote, “I know several people who own ‘the art’, and who hold the real keys: all want the most rigorous about her silence. For me, I hope in my God made me think otherwise, and that is why I wrote this book, none of my brothers Followers (with whom I am in daily reports) knows nothing.” Quite clearly he knows he is breaking the rule of silencium, while protecting his adepts so they will not be ostracized – or worse.

In the subtext of Voyages, Irene may have broken the rule of ‘silencium’, but was the infraction worth her life? Since the advent of the internet, stories have circulated that Irene was poisoned by oysters at her book launch (Voyages makes much wordplay on oyster cocktails) for betraying the secrets of ‘the Great Work‘ within the ten ‘voyages‘ described in her novel. Unfortunately, there’s no proof for this conjecture.

Much of the murder speculation centers around a curious diagram for a ‘thermo maitre‘ (thermometer) by painter, Kees Von Dongen, that supposedly divulged the ‘temperature scale‘ of ‘the Great Work’. But perhaps the drawing, along with the characters of Vera and Grace, were meant as an allegory. In The Kybolian (1910), by the ‘three initiates‘, chapter II, The Principles of Polarity, states, “Heat and Cold, although “opposites,” are really the same thing, the differences consisting merely of degrees of the same thing. Look at your thermometer and see if you can discover where “heat” terminates and “cold” begins! There is no such thing as “absolute heat” or “absolute cold”–the two terms “heat” and “cold” simply indicate varying degrees of the same thing, and that “same thing” which manifests as “heat” and “cold” is merely a form, variety, and rate of Vibration.”

Having been born into a wealthy banking family, it is no stretch of the imagination to say Irene’s artistic pursuits were something of an embarrassment. First, the scandalous dissolution of her marriage. Of course, funding the rebellious Dadaists of her day whom she openly invited into her house, making movies and keeping occult company, didn’t exactly thrill them either. Irene’s uncle, Solomon Camondo, had married into the wealthy Pereire family who owned the infamous financial institution, the Banque Transatlantique, whose monetary pursuits covered the globe. It is evident from the wording in the ‘4° voyage‘ (Voyages in Kaleidoscope) titled ‘The Octopus‘ (pages 77-81 version Allia, 1998) Irene didn’t approve of the merchant banking business.

the octopus
However eats, digests, and Devours
everything it has…”

“Money is nothing here
if it’s not GOLD
Gold is nothing
if it is not
FORCE
(material)”

Different sources of power (or force material) in the early 19th century were jealously guarded. It is no coincidence that in the history of the Banque Transatlantique “the banque’s largest undertakings began at the turn of the century when the new gas and electricity industries created a demand for distribution.” Most alchemists of the time worked under the guises as scientist and chemists. Some of them, like Eugene Caneseliet, worked for years at the Sarcelles gasworks. Film director and adept, Walter Lang, writes in his introduction to the second edition of Fulcanelli’s,  Mystery of the Cathedrals (1977), “Alchemy is the total science of energy transformation... The decay of radium into lead with the release of radioactivity is alchemy. The explosion of a nuclear bomb is alchemy…

In Voyages, the inventor of the kaleidoscope bears the distinctive name, Joel Joze. People have speculated whether it was a pseudonym for Jean-Julien Champagne, the inventor, painter, alchemist, who was close to Fulcanelli, or the scientist, alchemist, James Joules, who created the ‘Joules effect‘, noted for his work on the first law of thermodynamics and kinetic energy. A straight line can be drawn from the work of James Joules to the work of Ernest Marsden, and Ernest Rutherford (the father of nuclear physics), when Rutherford managed an alchemical hat trick by using radium as an alpha source to probe the atomic structure of gold.

At the end of the ‘work‘ in Voyages, Grace discloses the ‘truth‘ when she lifts her veil to reveal the white diamond on her forward that has immeasurable destructive force. With the advances that were occurring in the science of energy of time was Irene Hillel-Erlanger trying to warn of the deadly potential of this knowledge? There might be another hint in her story. Joel Joze, unhappy within the established constraints of the academy which surrounded the positives science, namely physics and chemistry that he was hypnotized by, one day he found his answer within the masters of the Occult: namely, the Cabbala and the Bible.

Soon he (Joel Joze) became master of the fluidic forces which prevail in the world. And the secret was not entirely buried (hidden) since the Very-Sublime Antiquity. Docile to his commandments, these forces merged with their captive brothers; Rays. Radiant bodies. Fragrances. Electrics. Of which we know nothing. And of which we serve. These Great Princes-Prisoners under their metal armlets and glass masks.

Furthermore, in his introduction to Mystery of the Cathedrals, Walter Lang tells a curious story of how French researcher, Jacques Bergier, assistant to the noted physicist, Andre Helbronner, received a visit from an impressive individual who passed onto him a ‘strange and highly knowledgeable warning which had to do with the fact that orthodox science was on the brink of manipulating nuclear energy’. “The stranger said it was his duty to warn that this same abyss had been crossed by humanity in the past with disastrous consequences. Knowing human nature, he had no hope that such a warning would have any effect but it was his duty to give it.” Bergier became convinced the stranger was none other than the master alchemist, Fulcanelli.

Sadly enough, breaking the rule of ‘silencium’ is not what eliminated most of Irene’s legacy but instead, it was the greed of the octopus. Shortly after her death, her uncle Solomon Camondo, bought all of her work he could find and ordered it to be destroyed. His reasons for doing so remains murky. Whether she was an embarrassment to the prestigious family name, or she had touched upon secrets from Solomon’s ‘power‘ sector that were never meant for the public, we will never know. Her son, Philippe wrote that she, “she was considered and outcast who brought scandal to the family through her outspoken intellectual prowness.

Ahead of her time and in the ‘know‘, it seems death was the only way to silence Irene. But the underground stream always manages to surface and neither time, nor money, could erase her from memory. The ‘work‘ transcends and flows forth.

This time I will contribute a modest stone to the edifice of hermetic poetry by evoking an authentic, almost contemporary alchemist whom, I think, I am entitled to call an Adept, and whose writings are practically impossible to find. I mean Irene Hillel-Erlanger.” – poet heremeticist, Andre Savoret.

Special thanks to Richard Armin for his correspondence and for steering me in the right direction when it comes to the source material.

A different version of this story was written by Scarlett Amaris and Richard Stanley for The Heretic Magazine.

Gloraie to the End of the World (in the blink of an eye) – redux

 

Juan de Valdes Leal (1622-1690) was a Spanish painter of the Baroque era. His style was considered mature, often bordering on the macabre, with it’s flagrant brushstrokes. Most of his paintings dealt with the allegory of the transience of life and death. Two of his most famous works, Finis Gloriae Mundi and In Icti Occuli, translate roughly to ‘the end of the glory of the world in the blink of an eye’. With it’s subtle and apocalyptic overtones was there more to Leal’s work than what meets the eye?

Finis Gloriae Mundi was also the title of the master alchemist Fulcanelli’s unpublished third tome. The task of editing Fulcanelli’s books fell upon his adept, author and alchemist, Eugene Canseliet, who in his own words said, “it is only for Finis Gloriae Mundi that a few notes were actually written and they were not included in the parcel with the other notes. I don’t know why. I have used those texts, since they were outside, in order to get an idea of what the third book might have been like. What would it have been in actuality, I have no idea. But Fulcanelli wanted the parcel back and he took it from me. Perhaps there were very serious matters in there.” Canseliet continued, “the two texts that were published from these notes appeared in the second edition of the Mysteries of the Cathedrals and in Dwellings of the Philosophers. They are chapters dealing respectively with the cyclical cross of Hendaye and the paradox of the unlimited progress of sciences.”

Having personally read through these passages many times, one could easily say they contain dire warnings about the future of nuclear energy and the coming age of iron; the age of death.

The first edition of Mysteries of the Cathedrals was published by Jean Schmidt in 1926. Then, it was republished in 1957 with the added chapter on the cyclical cross of Hendaye. An account of the cross was originally written by Jules Boucher in 1936, but Fulcanelli took it one step further by identifying the base of the mystery cross with the four ages of a man: Creda Yuga, or the age of innocence, when innocence was firmly established on earth; Treda Yuga, corresponding to the age of silver; Trouvabara Yuga, or the age of bronze; and the age of iron, the fourth and last age, and the one that we currently live in, the Kuli Yuga, the age of misery, misfortune and decrepitude. These four ages in Hindu mythology can be attributed to the form of a cow that symbolizes virtue, and goes from standing on four legs, to a final and weakened state, barely able to balance on one leg.

Photo by J. Stabler.

Fulcanelli also left us with a mystery written on the cross, OXCRUXAVES PENUNICA, which could be read, ‘O crux ave spes unica’ (Hail, o cross, the only hope), but the translation should read unicus not unica. In using the ‘secret language of the birds‘ or the ‘green language‘, a phonetic wordplay with it’s origins in ancient Greek, by using a permutation of the vowels, Fulcanelli comes up with this sentence, ‘Il est ecrit que la vie se refugie en un seul espace’ (it is written that life takes refuge within a single space).

 

Juan Valdes Leal had a benefactor, Don Miguel de Manara, who was a knight of the Order of Calatrava, and who’s tempestuous life was rumored to be the inspiration behind one the many Don Juan myths of the time. Old Don Miguel even had an opera named after him, composed by Franco Alfano. The story goes that late one night, while stumbling home from a raucous party (or possible orgy), Don Miguel had a horrifying and life-changing vision. The vision consisted of a large funeral procession. When he looked upon the open casket, he realized the corpse inside was none other than himself — only as a dead man.  After this he cleaned up his act and became a benefactor to the Hospital de la Caridad in Seville (a place dedicated to helping the poor) as penance for his previous life. Atoning for his sins doesn’t seem to have have left its mark on him as his epitaph states, ‘here lies the bones and ashes of the worst person who ever lived on earth‘. His last will and testament contained the most humble of self accusations, not only as a ‘great sinner‘, but also an ‘adulterer, robber, and servant of the devil’.

Finis Gloraie Mundi

Finis Gloriae Mundi, the glory of the end of the world. The painting based off of Don Miguel de Manara’s vision of his funeral procession. Quite possibly, that is him lying with his eyes wide open, with no signs of decay, as though freshly dead — or undead. The herald of the Order of Calatrava readily visible on his arm and to his left lies the corpse of a bishop in a state of extreme decay, with bugs crawling all over it. In the background a female hand bearing the mark of the crucifixion, emerges from the clouds holding a set of scales: the words nimas (neither more) and nimenos (nor less) can be read together as ‘neither too many, nor too few‘. On the left set of scales there appears a snarling lamb of god (to me, it looks more like a puppy), and the skull of a goat, which could symbolize the ‘golden fleece’. This is interesting because Fulcanelli states the ‘art gotique’ or ‘argot’ was the secret language of the Argonauts, those who manned the Argo on its voyage to ‘the felicitous shores of Colchis‘. Hence, by the symbolic language, it becomes the vessel, the ‘argot‘, whereby the truth, symbolized by the fleece, is transmitted across the ages. Coincidentally, there was also an ‘Order of the Golden Fleece‘ that was closely connected to the ‘Order of Calatrava‘.

Also depicted in the painting is a toad (a familiar), a fan of peacock feathers (vanity), and a heart. Again a heart on the right set of scales, but with the initials IHS (Jesus Hominum Salvator), a closed book (subtext), a loaf of bread, and other religious adornments. Don Miguel appears to be staring glassy-eyed at the left set of scales. There is an ominous looking owl perched on the third of the seven steps that lead to the light, staring towards the bishop. The French word for owl comes from ‘chouette‘ from the old Occitan word ‘chòta’. In Greek ‘chous’ signifies the tumulus, or the mound above a tomb. In old Khem, ‘Shu’ or ‘Chou‘ is the light of the east that divides heaven and earth. The owl represents thought and consciousness. The nocturnal bird of prey also symbolizes Lucifer. In the painting its body is cast in the shadow of the stairway, while its head is in the light. Night is the symbol of death, and the head bears the light: the two aspects of Lucifer, at once the ‘guardian of hell‘, but also the ‘light bearer or light bringer‘.

In Ictu Occuli

In Icti Occuli, or ‘in the blink of an eye‘. The allegory of death presents the triumph of the grim reaper as he sweeps into the picture. He is an imposing figure, with one skeletal foot standing on the globe, while the other stands on armaments; the trappings of office and the insignia of power. Under one arm he carries a coffin and, in his hand, a scythe. His bony right fingers snuff out the life-light represented by the candle as he stares at the viewer from the depths of his empty eye sockets. The candlestick, and the bishop’s cross, form a radius over the bishop’s hat from where death puts out the flame. On the coffin rests pontifical robes, a bishop’s crosier, a papal cross and tiara. Close to the tiara two royal crowns rest on some purple fabric. From one hangs the chain of the ‘Order of the Golden Fleece‘, the pendant representing Saint Michael slaying the dragon. Notice the open book with the architectural drawing which looks to be the drawing of a cathedral? The same image is depicted in another of his paintings, along with images of open and closed texts: knowledge open and knowledge hidden. Printed on the spines of the three books are the words ‘history’, ‘science’ and ‘religion’ the vanities of the material world.

In Mystery of the Cathedrals, Fulcanelli writes about the coming rotation of the earth’s poles and warns that every 12,000 thousand years, under the sign of Leo or under that of Aquarius, Saturn brandishes his scythe and, with his foot, tips the earth on its axis. He is, in alchemical terminology, the secret fire which purifies matter. In Dwellings of the Philosophers, Fulcanelli sagely writes, “… human evolution expands and develops between the two scourges. Water and fire, agents of all material mutations, work together during the same time and each in an opposing terrestrial region. And since the solar movement – that is to say the ascension of the star to the zenith of the pole – remains the great driving force of the elemental conflagration, the result is that the northern hemisphere is, alternately, submerged at the end of one cycle and charred at the completion of the following… One must await with sangfroid the supreme hour, that of punishment for many, and martyrdom for others.”

Leyendo la regla de la Caridad

The curious portrait above, Leyendo la regla de la Caridad (Reading the rule of Charity), also hangs in the chapel of the Hospital de la Caridad. It’s quite possible the three together were meant to viewed as a triptych. Don Miguel ordered to have the painting done after his death in 1679. He’s featured once again sporting the emblem of the Order of Calatrava on his left arm. More open and closed books are shown – symbols of hidden or half-hidden knowledge (occult or esoteric). Then there’s the odd-looking child seated in the habit who seems to be saying, “shhhh – don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret, but I’ve been reading that somehow a 17th century Don Miguel knows exactly what a mushroom cloud looks like. In fact he’s pointing straight to it!”

And who would this potential new-born son of Horus, Harpocrates, whose feet are positioned on the black squares of a checkerboard floor, be to tell one to be silent? He who is the symbol of hope against the suffering of humanity. Perhaps the third painting was meant as the fulfillment of the  promise of first two, or a warning of how one could truly bring the glory of end the world in the blink of an eye. “Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.” I Corinthians 15: 51-52

Gloraie to the End of the World (in the blink of an eye)redux, published in The Heretic Magazine Issue 10.

Patreon Alert…!

So I’ve finally done it — I’ve taken the plunge and joined the Patreon platform. Let’s see how well I do because I’ve never been that savvy at social media and yet, I keep on trying. Of course, me being me, I pushed the publish button about a month ago before I was anywhere near ready — kinda the story of my life. So I’ve been busy working on the next book. The outline is finished, but modern-day Paris doesn’t want to geographically correlate the way I want it to — dammit — why can’t the topography just obey my whims and reshape itself accordingly? After writing two books last year it feels kind of like ripping the flesh off my tongue with a Popsicle stick starting another one. I probably shouldn’t say things like that but it’s true. None of the characters have their own voice or style yet, and they certainly aren’t talking to me, nor to each other — they’re only vague, shadowy outlines, grumbling quietly in the outer recesses of my imagination. I always dread beginnings. It’s ridiculous because every story must have one. I’m much happier polishing existing material, or creating bombastic dark fantasy sequences. Now that I’ve furtively collected the necessary technology and learned to apply it (hence why I’ve been absent on the social sites lately — I’ve been busy learning new things so I can further my preternatural agenda) I’m going to share some of the esoteric research permeating the new book in a web series called Lux in Tenebris on my Patreon page starting the middle of August. It’ll consist of some of the more curious esoteric gossip abounding in fin-de-siecle Paris and other inherent mysteries. The first episode, entitled ‘Cursed Again!’, will feature warring necromancers and authors using black magic and such — and maybe a little mind-crunching alchemy. Okay, they’ll be a lot of mind-crunching alchemy, but not to start with — even I’m not ready to head down that rabbit hole yet. But I hope you will join me there. Like always, I’m approachable and open to suggestions, but keep it to the La Belle Epoque if you can — think Fulcanelli and company and we’ll be in business.

Here’s the link!

 THANK YOU!
       

And the new Lux in Tenebris merchandise is in! You can find more about it HERE!

I’ll still be posting some on this site, but I will be spending more and more time over on Patreon with the new series. Come join me for this new adventure — I would love to see you there!!!

And in other news… I’ve got a new article out in always fascinating The Heretic Magazine called ‘Gloraie to the End of the World (in the blink of an eye)’ deconstructing the apocalyptic imagery in the enigmatic paintings of Juan Valdes Leal. There’s a little Fulcanelli thrown in there, along with the mystery cross of Hendaye, warnings about the end of the world, Harpocrates, and the Kali Yuga. You can find out more HERE.

By fire we are born anew…

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S -xx

p.s. I decided to stay in LA for the summer. Obviously, I am not regretting that choice one little bit…

Through a Kaleidoscope Darkly and more…


Finally! Issue 6 of the highly regarded THE HERETIC MAGAZINE is out. For those of you interested in alternative history, lost civilizations and technologies, mysteries and conundrums, religion, the occult etc… this magazine is not to be missed! Plus — there’s an article co-written by yours truly on the fascinating life and mysterious death of the Belle Epoch alchemist, Irene Hillel Erlanger, author of VOYAGES EN KALEIDOSCOPE, who, rumor has it, gave away thermal secrets of the Great Work. 


To find out more and get your hands on a copy visit their website at: The Heretic Magazine

And now for something completely different ’cause that’s how we roll around here… Episode 4 of BETWEEN THE SHEETS WITH MELISSA AND SCARLETT is now live!

Between the Sheets with Melissa and Scarlett is a podcast about weird news, entertainment, pop culture, writing, sex, and more.

Our fourth episode is all over the place: After debunking a story from the previous episode we dive right into the gutter with insane sex toys, porn secrets, and pot!

*************

Obviously, it’s been a wild week around here. Summer is in full swing and there’s been many late nights as the creativity and synchronicites continues to flow ever onwards.

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S- xx

Sisters of the Wasteland

I’ve been keeping my head down and focusing on the work in the hopes the wrongs in my life will somehow right themselves. It’s never that easy, though. Just finished an intensive re-write on ‘The Colour Out of Space‘, and it looks as if the script is possibly going out to cast, although I don’t know if I should say anything or not. No one told me not to. Fingers crossed for this beast as I’m rather proud of the modernized adaptation we managed to fasten together.

Before I get started on the next script I’ve put a little elbow grease in the graphic novel I’ve been dreaming up in my head. This project is set to slow burn and yet I just can’t put it down. It’s the story I know the least about and still I keep tinkering with it despite that fact. It’s like an object which you aren’t quite certain what it’s used for, you only know you like the way it looks, and you want it just cause. So I’m going to post some of it here and play around with the text a bit. It’s nothing like it’s going to look, but maybe it will help clarify my vision. It’s still very rough and I won’t post the beginning having done so twice already.

photo by Marnie Shelton Klein

Believers of the Unpure

Once upon a time the dark Mother was endless. She was the vast Immaculate Darkness. Mistress on the sea of Infinity. Benevolent. Malevolent. These terms mean nothing and are concepts of cattle. In the center of her swirling chaos a cunning affliction unknowingly came to be. Imperfection in perfection. Creation was conjured without consent. How could perfection recognize Imperfection? And so She fell. Matter took shape and became finite. It became trapped. Days became numbers. Binding concepts. The error in the system. The Demiurge; mad, blind, and insane. But being born of a deficit it never knew it was so. And so it never knew any different. Like us it fights craftily not to cease to exist. But our light reflects its light. Our light reflects our maker.

“May the curse, cunning, and blessing be.”
“Wake up!”
This world has blinded the minds of the Unbelievers.
Nyx, Nul and Nil: Sisters of the Wasteland
Nyx is the earth, the core on which the water’s lie.
Nul is the power of the ever-changing tides.
Nil is the breath of wind which guides and navigates.
Together they make up the vessel which traverses the sacred waters.
Positioned equidistantly around the table they ask a question, “who is speaking to us now?”
“I am the one who cast my fire upon this world and will watch it blaze down to the very last ember.”
“And what do we seek?”
“When you can make three into one, and when you can make the inner like the outer, then you will find the keys to the kingdom of high and low… Fire, sword, war… Do you know where you really are?”
“Show us the way, Father.”
The festering breath envelopes them. “Open your eyes Sisters of the Wasteland. Here you find the reality of your garden of delight.”
The scorched earth ripples in a heat haze in front of them, A world of ash and fire, scrub and rock. A world burned clean where nothing can grow. The mountains rise with jagged peaks around them, casting unnatural shadows as they huddle together for protection and warmth. Ravens turn in the skies, the only other inhabitants of this place. Winged messengers of the coming storm.
Nil: “This cannot be.”
Nul: “This world is a carcass, picked clean by the blind.”
Nyx: “Prepare sisters, prepare. For the trouble we expect will come.”
We are dreaming again. And from this dream we cannot awaken.
The three at the table: “Who holds the keys of knowledge?”
Outside of time: “They were lost by those who would not pass themselves, and they have made it so no one else can pass.”
The three at the table: “Does Pamphile know where?”
Outside of time: “Sleep. For you should have found a better answer…”
Seeking shelter the sisters have gone to the cave to weather the storm, hiding frozen in one finite point amongst the chaos.
Clotho – spinner
Lachesis – alloter
Atropos – unturnable
As sly as snakes and as quiet as doves, sisters, see yourselves, and spin us a new tale.
A voice whispers in the Darkness. The remnants of broken threads envelop them. Then, the spark of first light. Luminescence. A refraction of quartz which has never used its reflective skin before. One solitary chamber in the belly of the beast. Airless. Deathless Grace. So cool to the touch. How long have they been there now? Like roots they have grown into the earth, percolating in their shroud.
Three days. Three Ages. Three aeons.
Time to wake up!
And at that base was a stone from the sky, one which wept blood. From this aerolite, mixed with tears, fear, and fire, they forged new blades. The daggers from heaven, born of exile. Blow by blow they hardened them until they were strong enough to rip the fabric of creation itself.
Born of fire we are forged stronger now. A warm breeze catches the spark. The dross of matter burns brightly, bringing with it the breath of intention. We will turn the wine back to water. Hand in hand and heart to heart we conjure you.
Sisters of the Wasteland together in the cave: “We call on you Mother, Mistress, First and Always.”
She comes robed in silver and night and walks in dreams and darkness amongst the lovely, baleful stars.
She: “Can you answer this? When does One become Two. Two become Three, and out of the Third comes One as the Fourth?”
Nil: “First the circle.”
Nul: “Than the square.”
Nyx: “Than the triangle.”
Body, Soul, and Spirit. Realized together they exceed the limits of Nature. The spirit is free of its fetters. The light that shines in the darkness is the fourth.
Nil: “I wish to see the sunrise.”
Nul: “I wish to feel the warmth on my skin.”
Nyx: “I wish to taste the wind.”
Let us leave this place by the secret sign told to us at our reckoning. We know the answer now. Conjunction.
Rock scraping across rock. Stone turns to liquid as if the lower vibrations of nature are working in reverse. The cave mouth opens as they slowly stumble outside. An all encompassing bombardment. New eyes, new senses, new colors. The sun burns low in the sky as the first star gleams in the twilight. The desert is awash in in oranges and reds under the cover of deepening blue. The warm wind brings a fine sand which stings like a sunburn. The wasteland remains, yet they have become a part of it now, hardened like stone sentinels. The trial is not over, the veil persists. They will not see the dawn.
A manic laugh spreads around them, rippling like a heat haze. “Do you not see with new eyes? Your wish has been granted. Nihil Extraneum.”

In that word is a heartbeat. Wake again. In that word is expansion. Psychic stretching. Incubating. Collating. It is a Solution. There is Nothing from outside.
The voice is silenced.

Reading back through it now it strikes me it might be time to stop playing Godspeed You! Black Emperor in such heavy rotation. Maybe not as it’s so evocative and such a joy to write to. It’s coming on midnight and I’m going to out to stare at the stars for a while and contemplate just where this is all going. As hard as I try there is no linear process to my creativity. It’s all cobbled together from different pieces I pick up, discard, and then pick up again later. It’s a madhouse.

Much love from where the worlds touch,

S-xx