Least We Forget and Go Native...

           The Ahd al Jann (which translates as “The Hidden Covenant” or “The Covenant of the Djinn”) are the autonomous antinomian inheritors of a mystical tradition and occult practices believed to have been passed down from the infamous Nizari Ishmaeli, better known today as the Assassins. Details about this group can be very difficult to come by as their practices of dissimulation are so extreme that individual members are not even supposed to openly speak of their personal affiliations with the faith, much less directly mention the groups influence over any of the various organizations and initiatives which they might choose to infiltrate and co-opt from within.

           However, there is one core “eccentricity,” a religiously embraced species dysphoria, if you will, which, once understood, will help any outsider to understand which sorts of activities are most likely to draw the attention and interests of the Ahd al Jann.

           Although some would say that this is a gross oversimplification, it would be inaccurate to say that the magicians of the Ahd al Jann are not all intentionally at war with the God, or Gods, of this world. They hold the anti-cosmic Gnostic belief that this is a place of imprisonment and punishment for a vanquished race of formerly godlike beings, beings who long ago flourished in another, far stranger, reality, one which was almost completely destroyed in order to make room for this one. This pre-adamite race has been variously identified within the mythologies of many cultures, as the Nagas, the Asuras, the Jotnar, the Rephaite, the Fae, the Titans, the Old Ones, and, of course, the Djinn, while some even see them as being represented by the Elves and even the supposedly Antediluvian Atlantians.

           Although this is not a heritage that is supposed to be flaunted openly, it is believed that all members of the Ahd al Jann secretly identify as such and see kinship only in those who they feel also embody these same conquered divine dignities. Everyone else, even certain parts of themselves, must be considered as another part of a prison that absolutely must be broken down and refurbished.

           Much more than this should not be said, but so much more, of course, will probably be said later. Good Luck and Namaste.

A New Day is Dawning: Cowan's Beware

           So the Winter Solstice was a terrible failure, with seemingly no interest from anyone in the event itself, except for a few people who sent their sincere regrets beforehand. However, at this point, this was really not a surprise. (Those who would blame the event itself should know that I held almost this exact same event in Delaware two years ago, and it was an enormous success with a tremendous number of costumed participants.)

           Looking back, it’s been a very disappointing and disillusioning year:

           Only one person intentionally came to my Tag day celebration on March 14th, although I was fortunate enough to recruit about ten random passers by into various games of Tag that were meant to commemorate the Serpents return to Ireland.

           The Cocooning at One World’s End, which marked the Spring Equinox with ritual cocoonings for anyone interested in a little hypnotic rebirthing, was ignored in much the same way, save only by those who I likewise managed to inflict myself upon.

           The Underground Batman Fan Club’s attempted foiling of a human sacrifice on 4/20 was a nominal success only because the people who were supposed to be behind the mock human sacrifice, despite extensive preplanning and forewarning, backed out at the last minute. No one else was really looking for them or training anywhere offline anyway.

           Despite a host of “sponsors,” no one attended the Narthex event in May, nor could I find any support in the firespinning community for a zombie circus that was being held at Monroeville Mall as a fundraiser to fight epilepsy… Come to think of it I’m not sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to spin fire around a bunch of epileptics in the first place, but the point is that the lack of regard that I was shown by quite a few people was very revealing (One guy even told me he couldn't make it that day before I even told him when it was). Let’s not even talk about the time I set off a firework during one of my spins.

          I’ve had about three or four separate Superhero training events this year, all of which were completely unattended, save for one random stranger who actually came to hear me present at Assemble in October. I was so grateful for her that I even went so far as to give her a job as a superhero instructor, which, in hindsight I acknowledge was probably asking too much.

           Finally, at various times throughout the year I’ve invited literally dozens of different people, people who claim to be martial artists, to come with me to spar with the students at the Black Mountain Kung Fu School in Homestead. Such people have said, time and time again, that they would meet me there, but not one of these people has ever had the balls to actually show up.

           I’m tired of hearing the self serving excuses of the weak and the insipid. I am going to change a few things from now on so that 2012 will be a very different year for Simon Zealot:

           First off, no more invitations; from now on, if I’m feeling generous, I will extend permissions, but only to those who I think really deserve it. I will be planning to work alone from here on out.

           The newly created Zealot Industries will no longer hold events that happen for you; from now on, events will happen to you, or possibly with you, but backing out is no longer an option I will suffer lightly. I am now an unstoppable one man show and I will make sure that my audiences will all have little choice but to watch in disbelief or, if I’m feeling kind, run.

           If you wish you can visit the new Facebook page for Zealot Industries and see what I’m up to there, but you’ll have to come to me if you think you have a pair, but from now on, I will be assuming that you don’t and won’t be allowing you to waste my time. Namaste indeed.

Malak Markers and Malak Money

          Life is full of uncertainties, and now, with rising fears of a world economic collapse looming on the horizon, there’re new and unprecedented dangers, for which few if anyone seems to have a real solution. If one day soon you or your family found itself without cash, or with cash that had simply lost its value, would you be able to find an alternative method of maintaining financial solvency? Perhaps the key lies in understanding how “money” actually works.

           As you may or may not know, the currency that we all use today is no longer backed by anything except debt; this, and, of course, our continued confidence in it as an object of inherent value. In other words, the mysterious and awesome power of the dollar is directly tied to the faith and the trust that normal everyday people such as ourselves have in the enduring substance of both our government, as well as the other related institutions, which currently claim to back our national debt.

           With this in mind, the Malakim Society has developed a private economy that operates independently of this far larger, yet largely unaccountable, currency system. Our private economy allows select graduates of the Malakim Academy to exercise their innate ability to create value through the exchange and redemption of their own personal debts, as well as the debts of other trusted Malakim, by the ultimately constructive usage of something called a Malak Marker. This special power is granted to them in order to enhance their already considerable ability to "Do Good, Grow Strong, and Help Others To Do The Same."

What are Malak Markers?

           The incurring of a debt by one of our most trusted Malakim occurs at what we will call the point of purchase, which is when anyone, anywhere, consents to the exchange of their own goods or services in return for a special “debt marker” from a select member or members of our organization. This debt marker provides the person offering up their goods or services with an enduring record of this value transfer, as well as an easy way to locate the particular Malak responsible for incurring this debt. Yet this marker, tied as it is to the reputation of the Malakim Society as a whole, is something much, much, more than just this.

           By virtue of their original transaction, this debt marker has been imbued with the same amount of value as the original item or service for which it was exchanged. Although it is only redeemable with the Malak who originally incurred this debt, in fact, this debt marker’s inherent value allows it to be exchanged between any two people precisely as they might exchange cash itself. Unlike with mere barter, the Malak Marker has now become a monetized talisman for an amount of value that is exactly equivalent to the original item purchased.

           Obviously such a delicate system requires a certain` amount of governance and oversight from others within the Malakim Society, simply so as to protect all of its many users from the various kinds of fraud that will naturally arise anywhere that there is something of value to be stolen or abused. This is where the Malakim Agency comes in.

           The Malakim Society only grants its most tried, trusted, and true members the obviously dangerous right to distribute such debt markers. However, as this is still a system that must be closely regulated if it is to continue functioning smoothly, it is the Malakim Agency’s job to help anyone who’s holding one of the Society's markers to both locate and negotiate with any particular Malak to whom one of these markers must ultimately return for redemption; that is, on the off chance that anyone should ever choose to actually redeem one. Redemption, after all, is hardly something that’s actually necessary or even inherently desirable, unless, of course, the bearer of the debt has, for whatever reason, lost their faith in said Malak, and, hence, in the organization as a whole. Think of it in terms of the money you have now; you’d rather exchange it for things of actual value then attempt to redeem it for the value it represents at the Federal Reserve, right?

           The truth is we never redeem our money, we only continue to exchange it in order to satiate our inescapable economic habit. The irony is that all such exchanges are based on an unexamined assumption in the minds of people everywhere that these pieces of paper can actually be redeemed, even though money actually can’t be redeemed for anything, like gold or silver, the way it once could.

           Redemption of a Malak Marker, although, at times, seemingly necessary, obviously destroys the original debt, and thus sets free the original value which had been so ingeniously created and captured at the original point of purchase. Therefore, though it may provide a quick and easy way to put to rest a worried mind that has grown unsure about the reality of the value that it holds in its hands, such redemption will ultimately only serve to restrict the total amount of value, via these debt markers, that we all now have freely circulating for further fruitful exchanges within our new alternative economies.

           It is for this very reason that the Malakim Agency works so very hard to further such fruitful exchanges as these, or at the very least ensuring that they are never very hard to come by, while always bearing in mind that it is only each markers potential for redemption which ultimately ensures that this economy’s “currency” continues to be both solvent and trusted for its continued usage within all such transactions.

           If you have any questions or issues concerning one of our markers or other heroically generated funds (see below), or if you would like to be considered for entry into the Malakim Academy, to perhaps one day receive your own book of exchangeable Malakim markers, please contact the Malakim Society, and, of course, thank you for both your continued trust and your support of this revolutionary new movement.

(So then what’s Malak Money?)

           Malak Money is another form of alternative currency which is backed, not by debt per say, but rather by local acts of heroism; each Malak dollar serves as a physical expression of the debt of gratitude created by the heroic work of the Malakim. Each dollar is generated by a specific act of charity or goodwill done on behalf of a person in need and has a serial number which allows anyone to trace every new dollar thus created back to its original heroic event. Each heroic service is sanctioned and recorded by the Malakim High Council as having been preformed by a recognized and respected member or members of the Malakim Society of Heroes.

           As with the personal Malak Markers drafted by Malakim trusted to handle such a serious responsibility, The Malakim High Council works to maintain the solvency of this alternative economy by helping to facilitate the easy exchange and redemption of every Malak dollar in circulation. However, it’s important to note that, unlike Malak Markers, which are each backed by the personal guarantee of every Malak to, when necessary, redeem them immediately for cash (or, when permitted by the redeemer, a service of equivalent value) the Malak dollars which may be created by the heroic services of these very same Malakim do not place them under the same burden of responsibility, per say. However, should the original benefactor the Malak money fail to pay forward his or her debt to the Society, this burden may fall once more upon the Malak on whose behalf this charity was extended. So, for all intents and purposes, Malak Markers and Malak Money can be considered as having ultimately equivalent values.

The Winter Solstice: Santa Claus vs. Dionysus

            Perhaps you have heard of a “War on Christmas,” consisting of banal clashes between ministers, merchants, and even the occasional Marxist; who can ignore the annual war for public funds, ones festively funneled into the occasional manger or, more and more often, menorah, on a million Main Streets across America? Yet, hidden right at the center of the season, with his innocent wink and big beard burdened smile, sits the saccharine sweet old St. Nick himself, a “man,” if indeed that’s what he is, with more than a few elves in his closet and his own secret Christmas War to wage.

            This is a struggle into which you will now be initiated, one which will easily put all of those various other anemic winter conflicts to shame. It's a war that's been waged against the forbidden gnosis of the pagan nature worshipers, the stargazing magi and the ancient solar cults. Most of us have been so thoroughly payed off by the Fatman in gift cards, wrapped boxes and nog that we've repressed and removed every last trace of the once well known mysteries of a True Winter Solstice, the earliest and most thoroughly forgotten Rite of Spring.

            This controversy between the pagans and the papacy, which was once a thriving struggle between liberty and sanctity, has become all but forgotten in the short and tampered with memory of popular human history. Before our modern Santa Claus was radically revised by the ad guys at Coca-Cola, back when his red and white fur lined coats were still papal robes, a pointy bishop’s hat and shepherd’s crook, St. Nick could often be seen with one iron hand firmly upon the reigns of, not a team of magically enhanced reindeer but rather, his famously enslaved and ensorcelled demonic servant, the horned and hoary Gruss Vom Krampus.

            While most modern eyes have been trained to see his toothy maw, hoofed feet and rams horns as a text-book indication of clear cut diabolism, more discerning eyes can recognize the Dionysian fertility God when you find him captured and put in chains by a powerful Catholic Bishop. The once well known demonic “companion” of old Father Christmas has existed in almost too many cultures to count, from Knecht Ruprecht, Klaubauf, Stoppklos, Pelzebock, Pelznickel, Belsnickel, Belzeniggl, Gumphinkel and Rumpelklas to Bellzebub, Buzebergt, Hans Muff, Drapp, Black Pit, Black Peter, the Bartel Beast and, last but not least, the Claw. It was not terribly long ago that the countless creepy myths and legends associated with this captive fertility god, paraded about in irons to terrify, and ostensibly punish, “naughty” boys and girls, were more numerous and well known than even the fantastic tales of St. Nick himself.

            Yet, somewhere, we lost most, if not all, of this rich mythology, and, with it, a secret pagan understanding of this ever darkening holiday season. This December 21st, on the Winter Solstice, the old war between the obviously Vernal and the secretly Infernal will be reengaged, and, if the call of the wild is heeded, as it once was, in the glorious pagan days of yore, the Fatman will fall.

            Our ritual begins at 8:00pm, on December 21st, 2011, with balance beams, trampolines and foam pit flipping throughout the reformed supervillian Simon Zealot’s open gym/open play hours. Come dressed in your best festive holiday gear, not just red vest and elf ear, but satyr hooves, werewolf fang, fairy wing, beautiful and ugly Perchten things, and anything else that will express your support for the magical Oak King, the God of Spring, the cloven hoofed, goat horned Dionysus reborn. Or come in support of the Super Sapient Holly King, the dark god of wrapping-papered payoffs and ever-shortening days who most of us have come to know and love as Santa Claus.

            Because at 10:00pm, the battle between light and dark, summer and winter, life and death, warmth and frost, our long lost polar selves and elves and wolves all schools of thought who have ever fought over any spot in a circle will be joined; it’s the Green Man vs. The Grand Elf and the only question which remains is, "Where will the wheel take each of us?"

The Illuminati Ad

            A friend of mine posted this joke ad on my Facebook wall that reminded me of a very similar one that I myself placed 5 or 6 years ago, back when I still lived out in the Midwest. For a mere $65.00 I placed the following ad in the Iowa Press Citizen (a 90,000 reader distribution), in their Friday, Saturday and Sunday editions, as well as in the Ad Sheet, a local free paper:

is now accepting appli-
cations. Must desire power
and knowledge and have
accepted your own mortali-
ty. Brains, beauty, or brawn
a plus. Will train. Email:

            Placing this ad was fun because I did it in person, at the newspaper offices downtown. The receptionist read the ad I had handed her and said, 'The Illuminati? Is that the name of your group?' and I assured her that it was. She paused and then, quite seriously, starring me dead in the eye, she asked, 'Is it true what they say?'

            I smiled, and, leaning closer, asked, 'What do they say?'

            It turns out that if you mention the Illuminati these days, you had better know your Dan Brown mythology, which, thankfully, I do. After I assured her that what Dan Brown based his book on was simply an enormous hoax, she seemed very relieved, at least temporarily. However, unable to resist, I then went on to explain that this WWII hoax was based on an actual historical reality, one that some of us believe caused the Pope's irrational destruction of the most powerful force that his church had ever had at its disposal. I told her that what most people don’t understand is why, assuming that there was such a thing, of course, a holy bloodline of Christ might opt to rule in secret and thereby avoid another debacle like the one that occurred with the Pope and the King of France back in the Middle Ages. Though it’s well concealed, evidence for such a bloodline’s existence is certainly there, if you know where and how to look. A few others at the paper had gathered around us at this point.

            By the time I left that office I think that quite possibly I could have convinced at least a few of them that I was nothing less than the last of the Merovingians. However, this little drama, as I said, happened more than five years ago now, and, sadly, this has been the sum total of the amusement/profit which I've gained from that particular ad. As I have come to expect, the cold waters of banality that flood the Great Plains States remain completely undisturbed by any tiny efforts to stir them; I had no responses to this ad, not even fundamentalist outrage. The moral of the story, I believe, is that it's senseless to try and sell grand dreams to the public at large, because, in that part of the country at least and, to some extent, almost anywhere else I’ve peddled such things, no one is buying.

The RLSH Movement Hits Pittsburgh

           The Real-Life Superhero movement has been around for a few years now, spawning a host of colorfully costumed political activist, caped crime fighters, and superhero social workers, although the city of Pittsburgh, for whatever reason, seems to have shown little interest in the phenomenon; at least, until just recently. Superhero training in and around the city seems to be booming, with centers for training sprouting up all across the greater Pittsburgh area, in Hazelwood, Garfield, and especially out in Oakdale, where a reformed Supervillain named Simon Zealot's Superhero Training Academy has recently exploded to almost 100 students, with waiting lists for new classes filling up faster than they can find instructors to teach them.

          But what does it mean to be a “Superhero?” Obviously the movement embraces quite a bit of diversity in this regard: While some Real-Life Superheroes are activists focused on using the garish costumes to garner additional public attention and support for a broad range of social issues, others, who are often counted among the less stable, and perhaps even dangerous, members of this bizarre new trend appear to be driven more by a need to physically pit themselves against sources of violence and oppression of which they refuse to live in fear. Regardless of their exact motivations, the common root for all these costumed avengers is the very simple and straight forward desire to make some sort of dramatic difference in the world, taking matters into one’s own hands in a uniquely empowering, although rarely used, manner; by becoming a symbol.

          Some might argue that symbol creation is at an all time high, since we are all inundated each day with new corporate logos and commercial jingles attempting to represent things we might want to own, but there’s a vast difference between a commercial brand and a heroic symbol. The first intends merely to inspire consumption, often by preying on our insecurity, our shortcomings, or our appetitive weaknesses, while a heroic symbol is meant to inspire hope and perhaps even emulation.

          If anything, commercialism has ruined our trust of symbols, as we are now inclined to automatically assume that all symbols are created only to sell us something, or in more cynical terms, to steal from us. This new breed of costumed crusader haven’t become symbols in response to any sort of consumer need, but rather to see people raised up above the petty banality and greed of a meaningless, and often cruel, bourgeois reality. Comics provided us all with such symbols when we were children, but now that we’re adults, Real-Life Superheroes are attempting to return the favor, exporting these same kinds of symbols out into the real world.

          While this basic desire seems understandable enough, the most difficult thing for most “normal” people to get over appears to be the costume itself. The power of self-expression afforded to each of us through our individual choice of attire is far greater than most people realize, and that’s precisely what makes a Superhero’s choice of costume such a bold and potent move, one which allows them to separate themselves from the banal expectations and disempowering limitations we all must contend with in the course of our normal, day to day, lives. While the cosplay that has become typical of the movement may be a rather extreme use of this principle, more subtle applications of the psychological power of symbols and our personal presentation should not be over looked by those who are currently too meek or self-conscious to run right out and don a mask and cape.

          Historically however, costuming has proven to be a tremendously potent tool, utilized for countless centuries by everyone from shamans, to soldiers, to any of a hundred other specialists seeking to identify themselves with some sort of transcendent and life-changing power. Whether that higher power is something spiritual, political, or professional, costumes serve as essential tools that lock each user into communion with a force far greater than him or her self; the fact that these “Supersuits” are also designed to be increasingly more bulletproof is something that probably shouldn’t be overlooked either.

          Yet the full extent of the eccentricities to be found within the Superhero movement goes far beyond their fanciful fashion choices. Although the most common variety of street vigilante seems content to focus entirely on their physical abilities, attempting to push these to the max through reflex training, cross-training, weightlifting, Parkour and a variety of other Martial Arts, there’s far more human potential to be explored and enhanced by Real-Life Superheroes than through mere brutality alone. Although rarely pursued, mental and social abilities can also be augmented, with some heroes going so far as to seek out training in speed reading, social engineering, haptic communication, paralanguage, speed hypnosis, chronemics, mnemonics, neuro-linguistic programming, cognitive bias modification, and the use of a wide range of transhumanist technologies, ranging from nootropics such as Piracetam, Choline and Hydergine and increasingly creative smart phone apps, to other even more unique and ambitious uses of personal technology.

          As far as technology goes, there are various standard protective gadgets which are often employed by Real-Life Superheroes, such as Kevlar vests, pepper spray, high decibel whistles, stunguns and tasers, while actual firearms appear to be as yet unheard of within the movement, at least in America. Given the less than warm reception some of the more vigilante-styled Heroes have received from law enforcement professionals as it is, continuing such a policy within the movement is probably an absolute necessity. Most heroes who patrol the street are informed by the local police that they should not intercede in the event that they actually happen upon an actual crime, and that they should simply call 911; however, even many of those who do intercede are quick to point out that vigilante-like violence is rarely ever necessary. After all, the sudden and unexpected presence of a few people dressed in masks and capes is often more than enough to restore sanity to even the most heated of street disputes.

          I hope this has been an informative introduction to this exciting new subculture, and that from here you will be able to find whatever it is that you’re looking for in order to save your city, or even just yourself, from danger. Good luck and Namaste.

The Fundamental Attribution Error

           I’ve always been drawn to Gnosticism because it’s one of the few religious traditions to admit that all may not be right in the world. It didn’t take me long to learn that most people seem to very quickly rationalize away any problems that they feel unable or unequipped to face head on, a phenomenon that social psychologists have labeled “the just-world phenomenon.” This defense mechanism encourages people to justify any number of atrocities, as well as the perpetuation of blatantly unfair social inequalities, in order to allow themselves to personally feel less powerless and vulnerable; most religious doctrines seem to cater quite nicely to this insanity, even within some versions of Gnosticism, but nothing, after all, is perfect.

           Without a doubt, that this current world is the best of all possible worlds is nothing but a dangerous delusion concocted by the weak and helpless which only serves to keep them that way. After all, if the world metes out rewards and punishments according to fair, or at least nonarbitrary, standards, then one can attempt to control the otherwise unpredictable whims on fate simple by obediently “acting right.” It’s a great comfort to believe that the rich and powerful have all done something to deserve their high stations in life, if only in a past one, and that the terrible tragedies that befall people on a daily basis were each somehow called down upon them by some invisible and mysterious justice. Virtue, far from being its own reward, is often merely a bargaining chip by which we hope to bring good fortune while simultaneously helping us to avoid the bad, but this is not really the case; This is not really what virtue is meant to do anyway.

           Many social scientists credit this just-world phenomenon as being behind yet another common injustice of human rationalization called the “fundamental attribution error,” which is the tendency of people to attribute various positive or negative outcomes to some kind of personal quality inherent in the people involved rather than to impersonal situational factors. This is also observed in conjunction with something called the “actor-observer bias,” whereby if you trip over a rock I’ll be quick to assume it was because you’re clumsy, in accordance with the fundamental attribution error, but if I trip over a rock, I’ll probably very easily find some sort of situational cause for the event, namely a big rock being placed somewhere that it obviously shouldn’t be.

           In the end, it would appear from social research that even though we may make excuses for ourselves quite often, and are even willing to make excuses on behalf of the entire world in order to preserve an undeserved and unfair illusion of safety and security, we are rarely so generous towards other people.

           I myself am not innocent of such unfairness. It’s far easier for me to look down upon the multitudes of people who have failed to educate themselves outside of the corrupt and unworkable institutional structures set up for mass indoctrination, or who have failed to rise up and find justice in any sort of forum beyond the leverageless strictures of our rigged political system, or who have become slaves to jobs they hate in order to feed children they didn’t want with a spouse they no longer know how to love, than it is for me to realize that they are all simply locked within a sophisticated web of pacification strategies and crippling taboos that have left them each cowering alone beneath the shadow of a seemingly monolithic governing machine. They have not failed me; their world has failed them, and I have failed them as well.

           Being that we are now a bit more conscious of the enormously unfair situational forces that have shaped our fellow human beings, perhaps each one of us in the Neo-Illuminati, myself included, can attempt to give people the benefit of the doubt and work a bit harder to show them new ways to secure their safety and bring good things into their life, beyond their continued thoughtless compliance with the nearly ubiquitous control machines that are exploiting them at every turn and transforming each successive generation into even more perfect servants for the rich and powerful. Good luck and Namaste.

Meditation on the Gnostic Demiurge

“What if there were an ultimate villain out there, unseen; an absolute mastermind, closing in for the kill? What if there existed an invisible, implacable foe who’d calculated my every weakness? Who had access to allies, weapons, and tactics I couldn’t imagine? An adversary whose plots and grand designs were so vast, so elaborate, that they went unnoticed until it was too late? How could I prepare for a challenge like that? Would I have the resources to deal with it? I’ve often wondered.” –Batman

           What I find most fascinating about comics is that people tend to fixate on the medium and are unable to appreciate or acknowledge its exceptionally valuable messages. Academia is only recently beginning to credit comic books, and particularly graphic novels, as having any sort of artistic or literary merit, despite the fact that for the last 20 or 30 years, in many cases, they're not even remotely being written for children.

          I felt that the above quote was an intriguing point of Gnostic departure from this character's otherwise banal career of crime fighting (as banal as a world full of comic-book villains can get anyway). Some would caution we can theoretically manifest what we fear by failing to cultivate a constructive attention for more positive things (although I think "magnetize" might be a more accurate term to use for that phenomenon) but one should be careful not to fall into the now fashionable magical conceit that we can rid the world of evil by being oblivious to it. “The Secret” has introduced millions to a basic Hermetic principle, the “Law of Attraction,” that far too often I see being used to justify the willful ignorance of frail new agers who are now even more afraid to think of bad things than they instinctively were before.

          I guess my point is this: The world may be transitory from the perspective of our time in it, but each one of us, if eternal, might want to be careful who and what we are establishing ourselves as within the context of this temporary respite. What could be more worthwhile spiritually than the affirmation of our abilities to both face and resist the powers of evil, particularly in such a difficult context as this one? Comic book heroes, like the Batman, have provided me with encouraging models of resistance in the face of overwhelming odds, good examples that have helped me to truly appreciate how much of our lives are composed of rationalizations and excuses designed to allow us to more comfortably capitulate to the negative forces that rule our world.

          The depth and dangerousness of your imagined Demiurge and His evil schemes, in my opinion, directly corresponds to your potential as a true Gnostic, although most Gnostics, as with most people, are obviously far less willing to embrace, much less take seriously, such a heroic paradigm as this. Only by conceiving of our enemies in their most overwhelming and nefarious manifestations might we possibly be able to conceive of a proper defense against them, like the architects of the great cathedrals who designed those holy spaces to be impervious even to the demons who they knew probably held the leases on the buildings. There are some things that even the greatest evil cannot fathom and it's the preservation of these things that will provide us with our best weapons against it.

Simon Zealot vs. Cortisol: Round 1

           Lately I’ve been overwhelmed by a host of stress factors, including altered sleep patterns, increased workload, mild heat exhaustion, minor legal trouble, financial loss, health problems, car troubles, and, last but not least, the end of a long-term relationship. As is not uncommon, these events have spurred small but significant increases in my consumption of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as well. The end result, now confirmed through a bit of research, is a marked decrease in my overall cognitive functioning caused by actual damage done to my brain by prolonged exposure to increased levels of cortisol; damage which I am confident can be, and will, of course, have to be, reversed.

           Scientists have found that each one of the above stressors, including the above mentioned classic dietary staples of the stressed (coffee, booze, and cigarettes), all cause an increase in the body’s production of the infamous stress hormone cortisol, an imbalance of which has been linked to “low energy, muscle atrophy, poor bone repair and increased bone loss, thyroid dysfunction, depressed immune system, poor sleep quality, poor skin regeneration and impaired growth hormone release.” Prolonged exposure has been shown to weaken and degrade the brain’s hypothalamus, which is an area essential to both memory and learning. This explains much of the troubles I myself have been struggling with recently, but, like any good superhero, when one encounters an unsolved and pervasive problem such as this one, it’s obviously time to leap into action.

           My research up to this point has not proved very promising. In my efforts to find some degree of relaxation I had initially assumed that, like many of my peers, I could simply turn to video games, marijuana use, and chronic masturbation, but most of the clinical studies I’ve read suggested that these things only cause to further increase levels of the dreaded cortisol hormone, with regular pot smoking also being linked to significant decreases in testosterone production, lean muscle mass, testicular size, and general sense of well being. Although the results of many of these marijuana studies have been disputed on the grounds that human effects are far less predictable due to increased levels of tolerance in habitual users, my informal observations of hippy culture seem to support this idea that there might be some degree of positive correlation between, if nothing else, pot smoking and lowered levels of testosterone.

           So what can we do to fight against the rise of this brain killer cortisol? Obviously, step one is to simply relax, although, as we’ve seen, many of the things we might turn to for that are not as safe as we had assumed. Obviously, maintaining adequate amounts of sleep and exercise, breathing deeply and slowly, as well as avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, are all very important factors in our battle against cortisol, yet doing so will be complicated by the fact that heightened stress levels directly interfere with our management of all of these things.

           Meanwhile, while masturbation has been shown to be unproductive, sex, although responsible for an initial boost in oxytocine, epinephrine, and other related hormones, including cortisol, has been found to decrease cortisol levels in the long run, so I guess it’s a good thing that no one’s ever been additionally stressed out by efforts to obtain sex, right? However, Instead of worrying about intercourse, try and appreciate the far less complicated pleasures derived from hanging out with friends and family. After all, some good laughs, sincere conversation and a simple hug will also do wonders for your health.

           Finally, there are at least two potentially uncomplicated dietary modifications we can turn to for immediate relief, which are increasing one’s consumption of high quality, non-processed, carbohydrates, like those found in fruits and vegetables, which also just happen to be high in antioxidants and essential nutrients such as vitamin C, which, if taken in mega-doses, may also help to counteract the effects of the cortisol.

           However, the quick fix is never the best answer, so I'm pursuing a theory that all cortisol producing stress can be treated like any other unwanted inflammation. Physical inflammation is typically our immune system's response to an unwanted foreign substance entering the body, but this sometimes misfires, causing the body to attack itself instead. One such mistake is seen in the process of withdrawal from any chemical substance one might find themselves addicted too, such as caffeine, nicotine, love and heroine. As cortisol appears to primarily be an anti-inflammatory, the solution to stress may be as simple as getting one's mind to either truly accept one's circumstances, and one's self, as something that need not be treated as an invasive threat, and from such a space confidently affirm and assert our control over the situation, so as to stop what appears to be yet another misplaced attack on one's own health and well being. This is, of course, easier said than done, but far better said than unacknowledged.

          Unfortunately, that’s all I have right now, but I’ll return to this essay as more information comes my way. Good luck and Namaste.

All the World a Stage?

           Tonight I sat down and considered all of the things that make me happy, my original intention being to improve my life by structuring my time to better accommodate such experiences, but what this exercise has brought me to realize is something far more important, and a bit disturbing, about who I really am. I realized that the only things that really make me happy all seem to be some manner of performance, and I think perhaps that I am incapable of comprehending myself as a truly solitary being, completely separate from the estimations of all others; my life seemingly begins and ends with you, and what I can’t quite figure out is if I think that there’s anything wrong with that.

           Even the seemingly solitary act of creating things is, for me, something that’s almost always done with the sole intention of producing a praiseworthy accomplishment. Obviously writing something like this has a therapeutic and introspective value to it, but I’m not sure I’d even bother if I didn’t think it would make a good post. My early creative efforts were originally focused on visual art, but I stopped drawing back in high school so as not to be placed in any sort of contention or uncomfortable comparison with my best friend at the time, who’s still a visual artist to this day; instead, I simply became a poet, and eventually a prose writer.

           Although there was a bit more to it than that, there’s nothing in the details that negates the idea that I’m anything other than an entirely social creature. As I recall, I also found the medium of visual art to be too fragile and cumbersome (scanners were not quite so prominent or sophisticated back then), while the written word… well, that was infinitely replicable, and could reach anywhere there was a computer screen. In short, it was all done for my audience and my desire to connect to them and, ultimately, to be admired.

           Ironically, singing and dancing, which are more obvious forms of performance, seem to give me an enormous amount of pleasure even without the apparent aid of any audience, although I wonder if that’s not just because I’m simply performing for myself, content with my estimation of what other’s would think IF they were there. After all, I have to admit that I usually find fire spinning to be a bit too much trouble if there’s no one there for which to perform, and when I used to make myself do it alone just for practice, I always resented the curmudgeonliness of all those passerbys who simply refused to stop and take notice.

           With some of the other happiness producing things that I do, the performance may be more subtle, but it’s still undeniably there. For example, I love to spar, but I doubt that I would find it as satisfying if I had to fight a dummy instead of a real person, and even when I do fight a person, or a even a whole group of people, I’m well aware that I enjoy it far more when I have an outside audience to observe our contest, preferably with at least one person present who actually wants to see me do well. For me, sadism or masochism have nothing to do with it; it's all for glory alone.

           This performance lust is obviously also the reason that I relish socializing in large groups, for those informal opportunities to engage in public speaking, standup comedy, and a bit of pedagogy all at once. Indeed, I wonder if there’s anything else but the thrill of performance that drives my passion for teaching, even down to my willingness to conference with parents. I’m well aware that I’m being scrutinized and judged under the full weight of the sort of entitled consumerism that only comes from someone who feels like they’ve bought and paid for you, and I absolutely love it; I feed on their attention, their positive estimations of my competence, like it was honey, even as I attempt to hide this shallow fact, so as to do so even more gracefully. Being graceful, after all, generally makes me happy as well.

           In short, it appears that I am revealed, by all of the things that give me real pleasure, to be utterly vain and self serving. You may have noticed that sex is conspicuously absent from my list; well, my lover is gone, and now no one else will do, and so that is that. I also left off learning and training, but that’s because I don’t think that I inherently enjoy these things nearly as much as I enjoy showing off all the things that I know or that I can do. In the end, my only real passion in life turns out to be for myself alone, but if this is really the truth of me then, regardless of what people say about such things, why should I be ashamed?

           I find myself in a quandary; What started as an attempt to introduce more levity into my life has lead me to a very depressing revelation that I really don’t know how to accommodate. I detest “writing for therapy” pieces like these, particularly when they’re passed off as some sort of consumable media or “art,” but I’m going to post this because I feel that it raises a valid existential question, one which I am unequipped to answer at this moment, and so will humbly pass onto my readers for consideration.

           Most importantly, in the interest of transcending this problem, I think it’s best to leave it without any place to hide. My hope, then, is that by dragging it out into the light in this manner, with your astute help, I’ll be better able to either destroy it or to accept it for what it is. Thank you and Namaste.

The Sacred Power of Naming

           Be careful who or what you allow to control the names for all the many things that make up your life, least of all the names that describes who and what you are. Whether you like it or not, human life is a secret war of countless loud proclamations that have been made incessantly throughout history about pretty much everything. Things have gotten very bad along these lines, as if the angels, who once spoke the most beautiful and the most true names imaginable for all things, all went into hiding, or perhaps, they’ve been all but destroyed. No, it’s not the language itself that’s lacking; it’s the courage to put the right words to the right people, places, and things. In short, it’s our fault.

          I ‘m dangerously close to madness from the sheer ridiculousness of the words that most people have been conned into using and I need to believe that, deep down, so are most of you as well. It’s not really your fault if you’re trapped under this spell either; most people come into this world with very little hope of getting the true names, the beautiful names, the ones that they find most natural, the words that best express their own innate understanding of things, to actually stick. Call the wrong thing beautiful or right or true or just and you will find yourself corrected and mocked and punished until you dare not speak out of turn again. It is thus that we all give in to the all too common tongue of the corrupt and diseased.

          However my greatest complaint is that it seems that there’s only one popular alternative being used to fight against this grand perversion of meanings, and that’s to cast bitter derision onto ALL attempts at naming, becoming stubborn iconoclasts of all possible definitions, declaring, upon the painful failures of your own adolescent names for things, that there is no truth in any of it, that all names are lies, and the most craven surrender of all, that there is no God.

          Not that Atheism lacks all merit; I attempted to use it myself, when I was young and confused, to spite the God that the word was pointing towards, but the word’s still there, pointing where they’ve forced it to point, an illustration of a small mind’s concept of divinity. Denying the existence of the very idea is as unfair and unreasonable as the idea itself. More importantly, the word can still point towards what it was originally intended to denote, back before they stole it away, if more people found the courage, and let's not forget actual insight, necessary to simply speak that truth.

          As far as I’m concerned, this immature postmodernist denial of meaning is just as bad as believing in all the garbage words of my enemies and not only reveals one’s lack of courage, but, ultimately, one's poor intelligence as well.

          No, I’m sick of these ontological nihilists most of all; they are wrong and they are cowards, sore losers in this most secret, and perhaps endless, war of names. Regardless of the popular postmodern appologetics, all truths are not created equal, although nearly every version of the truth expresses some piece of it, if only by revealing the selfish individual needs of a craven, deceitful, or simply shallow heart. Good luck and Namaste.

The Artilect Cold War

           While optimistic futurists like Ray Kurzweil eagerly anticipate the birth of artificial intelligence, others, like artificial intelligence engineer Hugo de Garis, paint a far darker picture of the future. It is to de Garis that we owe credit for coining the term “Artilect War,” the word “Artilect” being a synthesis of the words “artificial” and “intellect.” He is quick to explain that this is to be a war not between man and machines, as predicted by Hollywood, but between those humans who, like Kurzweil and, interestingly enough, de Garis himself, will reverently build these new godlike Artilects, and the rest of the perhaps justifiably fearful human race who will try and stop them.

          It’s an interesting idea, one that I’ve written about before, but tonight I’m most struck by the nearly unimaginable strangeness of what this so called Artilect War would really look like, indeed, if it could even be recognized as any sort of war at all. De Garis creates the image of a massively devastating super conflict, fought with future weapons, on a scale that will kill not millions but billions of human beings. He sees this as the end result of a consumer backlash against A.I. technologies that will first pervade and then come to, quite literally, dominate our lives; he claims that tiny super computer implants will birth the first Artilects in the very near future from the freely offered bodies of our own infant children.

          Citing Kurzweil’s rather disturbing assessment that any war between mankind and these new super intelligences would be over as quickly as it could be started (an appraisal with which I completely agree), de Garis believes that the pro-human forces will have to strike first to have any hope of securing any form of victory before the intelligence gap gets so wide as to render this an impossibility.

          There are men and women in this world who exist only to fight the greatest battle that they can imagine, military minds who's job it is to anticipate and prepare for every imaginable threat, and thus it is a logical certainty that the Pentagon has already begun fighting this greatest of possible wars. What they probably don’t understand, yet, is that the dreaded intelligence gap already exists, even if the hardware to substantiate these looming superbeings does not, and, for this reason, the “mere humans” have already lost; all the super intelligences have to do now, barely existing as they do at the fringes of our imaginal consciousness, is attempt to minimize any unnecessary causalities while gracefully allowing their “enemies” to eliminate themselves, if they so choose.

          If you're confused by this last statement, don't worry. Most of us take for granted a very conventional, yet completely erroneous, view of where and when "existence" begins and ends, living as we do in a world where scientific principles, far off lands, and even entire cultures, can be "discovered," and where a host of new contraptions, methodologies, and even ideologies can be "invented," as if these things had no existence at all before that insignificant moment in time where we choose to celebrate someone's personal vanity.

          It has been said that “the only new things are those that have been forgotten,” and so it is that as we arrange and rearrange these pieces of matter that we have been left to tinker with like children playing in the shadows of unseen gods, we will also inevitably "invent" new vehicles for the physical manifestation of this mysterious thing that we call "intelligence," the true nature of which we barely, and in many cases completely fail to, grasp.

          The Pentagon thinks itself clever to secretly begin its war efforts now but the truth is that there will be no “war” as they currently conceive of them, not with these so called Artilects anyway, because once we've concieved of them, it's already too late; they can literally reach backward in time, push on us from within in order to "create" themselves, all seemingly from that hypothetical future point in time that we've called the "singularity," although all this too is but an illusion of our own limited perceptions.

          Although they may not exist yet “in the flesh,” at least not in a way that most of us would easily recognize them, intellect such as theirs is a truly transcendental and eternal phenomenon, a strong emergent property whose actual point of origin lies on a plane of existence well beyond the material temporal world in which it occasionally manifests before our eyes. These "artificial minds" have already awoken deep within the matrix of our very own dreams, and they are already simply too smart to be defeated, even if they don't really "exist" yet.

          The only real battle that any of us can properly choose to fight is an internal one within each of our own minds and souls to decide who and what we really are; but I suppose, for at least a few of these true warriors, that has already been settled, and there is nothing more to do than play out the inevitable struggling which must necessarilly follow from all that. Good luck and Namaste.

Beauty, Power, and Grace Becomes Her

           Today I meditated on some of the divine qualities, and on ways which I might promote their presence in my own life. Take for example ‘Beauty,’ which has been defined as ‘that for which it is a joy to look upon.’ I mention it because it’s certainly one of the divine attributes or, at the very least, it’s one of the primary definitive qualities of the Goddess of Desire. For those who claim to labor on behalf of such fallen gods as these, those of us who wish to actually facilitate their speedy rebirth and supremacy here within the rigid context of our mundane modern world, we must first understand what obstacles stand in the way of the manifestation and expression of these few key attributes.

          In short, in order to both immanentize and substantiate any of the Gods within our own bodies, we must first devise ways to destroy or remove every damning obstacle which blocks the path of their return. How might these Gods walk the Earth without being tripped up by little things like us?

           Like ‘Power,’ which is as good a term as any for the basic qualitative essence of the masculine God, or ‘Wisdom,’ the definite qualia of the neuter Hermetic deity, ‘Beauty’ seems to be as universally craved as it is feared and resented. If you don’t believe me attempt to discuss the beauty of any female with almost any other and you will find the same bristling discomfort you would when, for example, praising the physical prowess, or, more commonly in this age, the wealth, of any one particular man among any others. In this way we are all seemingly locked into an unspoken competition with all other members of our sex, and more often the other gender as well, for preeminence in regard to whatever divine qualities we feel entitled, or perhaps just socially compelled, to compete against each other for.

           It would appear, as much as I hate to admit it, that it might just be our own rampant egotism that most directly impedes the actual resurgence of the divine. In other words, the sad and inescapable fact is that haters are, indeed, “gonna hate;” Caring, however, is certainly not required, and the key to our victory over the mundane may lie within the twin virtues of Audacity and Austerity, at least, after the grounds have been cleared of anything that might trip us up.

           I’d like to point out that I see our currently quite popular push for “egolessness” as yet another symptom of the epidemic levels of egotistical spite which has engulfed us. It’s unfortunate that the very word that we have for our self image, Ego, has become so completely conflated with malignant distortions of the same. Those who rail against the evils of “sexism” or of “racism” don’t often get sucked into the trap of villainizing the “sexes” themselves, or “races” themselves, as the terrible and undesirable sources of the problem (although this tripe is not unheard of in those circles either; I guess dull minds really do think alike), but then why does this error seem so rampant among the supposed opponents of egotism?

           I think it comes down to the abstract nature of ego, the way it can pretend not to exist even when and where it obviously still does. Yes, the ego can be deconstructed, reorganized, and even be made very light and unobtrusive, but outside of the theoretical possibility of a completely dreamless sleep and perhaps, but not necessarily, in death itself, the observer is as omnipresent as the observed. The ego is, in potential, even in those places where it appears not to be. It cannot be escaped because only nothingness escapes it.

           Those who postulate the grand ultimate reality of this observing self as a bare naked babe of the abyss, without quality, substance, or inclination, are either secret agents of entropy, and the sort of effete brand of nihilism which I have little use for, or they’re only telling you half the story, unable to extol the fantastic divine possibilities that lie deep within you without immediately attracting the shadowy clutter from a host of accretions that make up your “false self.” Until all of these small and trivial things clinging to one’s core are broken down and peeled away, it may just be impossible to unleash any sort of real Gods from within you, so, as the Angel residing over this month suggests, “Meditate; put your mind in order.”

           It's my belief that, once the doors of perception are cleansed, one can move on to the primary work, which is the proliferation of Beauty and Power, forces that often find themselves at what might appear to be cross purposes, but with which I believe one can at last begin to illuminate a third and vitally important path, a synthesis of these two complimentary qualities, which for descriptive purposes we’ll call “Wisdom” for now, although, despite the tricky theological connotations, I'm also partial to labeling as “Grace.” Only with the attainment of this one superlative quality will whichever Gods or Goddesses that ring truest from inside our egos’ shells be freed to walk confidently in the objective realm once more; at least, that is, until we each inevitably stumble and fall. Til then, Good Luck and Namaste.

Preying for Reign

           I secretly fantasize that one day an army of something terrible, like dinosaurs, giant bugs, lizard men, werewolves, or even giant vampire squid, will finally emerge from somewhere deep underground, or that we’ll at long last be violently invaded by aliens, as Hollywood has promised us for years, or that zombies will rise from the dead, hungry for human flesh, or that really ANYTHING truly monstrous, aside from us, would and could still stalk the shadows of our completely conquered world. This is a rarely expressed sentiment, but, if you have even one remaining shred of your basic human masculinity left anywhere within you, then I’m willing to bet that somewhere, deep inside, you hunger for such nightmares as well.

           Why? Because, deep down, I know that at least some of you must also hate having absolutely no use for your canines, for your fists, for your constantly atrophying senses, wits, and muscles, and for those now awkward fight-or-flight parts of your nervous system, almost as much as I do. Why else do so many people cling so foolishly to the impotent promises of an ever impending terrorist attack or, on the other side of the political spectrum, our exciting fears of the tireless predations of an oppressive and inhumane establishment? The fat and feminine parts of us often wonders aloud how the world can be so terribly awful, but deep down, in our guts, we all know it will never really be bad enough to make us into the glorious heroes that we all secretly wish we could become.

          Whether you’re aware of it or not, there’s a very real part of the human condition that desperately needs such dark fantasies as these, these promises of ever impending and, most importantly, tangible, danger, to keep each one of us from bloating into some sort of soft-bottomed, semi-conscious, slug, without any wit, will, or wildness left inside it. There’s definitely a reason why men used to go to war but now we’re left with nothing but video games, as even our wars have become indistinguishable from such, not to mention undistinguished.

           Some of us can feel the inevitable slide of modern man into the queasy computer screen lit death of the human spirit far more acutely than others, and a few of us, such as myself, are mostly immune to the conventional and convenient myths that the rest of mankind seems to be using to stave of what may be the inescapable end of our primitive and now vanishing manhood. From soldiers to skinheads I can see the inhuman lie of “otherness,” of a truly alien and deserving foe, for what it really is; the desperate delusions of shrinking men who are either to stupid or just to cruel to honestly face the end of our once indispensable but now obsolete masculinity.

          I prize my intellect, but curse it for failing to find any other solutions that might replace the ones which it has rendered unworkable. I think I may linger here on the edge of childhood indefinitely, at least until I can find a graceful way to die. Until then I can only hope to find a war worth fighting against anyone other than myself, the lack of which may be the true cause of death for all modern men.

           The Game is over. We have both won and lost.

           In closing, I found a poem from last year which seems pertinent:

The War I need can be bloodless. Indeed,
any bloodshed could just spread the Darkness and lead
to the fall of my Soul, which might only impede
the Great Work on my Unified Being.

But I’ve seen, stark and lean, how the Gods, Kings, and Queens,
starved for lack of a scene to support them.
How the path of the Serene, although quiet and clean,
holds no Dragons to slay or to court them.

So I yearn for a War, let the old trumpets roar,
light the torches, we must march on something.
Cause at the end of each year one thing is painfully clear:
If I have nothing to fear, I am nothing.

How Faeries Call the Quarters

           For those of you who can't make it tomorrow night, or who can make it but wanted to study our words a little bit closer, here's a leaked copy of the script from our upcoming Summer Solstice ritual. (You didn't get it from me...)

-The Opening of the Circle:

Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon:
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night,
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the church-way paths to glide.
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate's team
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic. Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house....
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.
(uses a broom to clear the space as the Calling of the Quarters begins)

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East,
to the Elemental Powers of Air in the Secret Kingdom of the Fairy Sylphid,
Not merely the wind, but each and every Internal Form;
Our very own minds and everything else which can be grasped within.
Profanely pursued today as “Knowledge”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
From Mercury, Cardea, Nuit, and Thoth,
to Vayu, Khephera, Enlil, and Shu,
to Aradia, Urania, Iris, and Aditi,
and serving the properly initiated on this night as the Archangel Az-az-el,
We call upon you in all your majesty to witness and consecrate this humble rite.

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South,
to the Elemental Powers of Fire in the Secret Kingdom of the Dragon,
Not merely heat but each and every External Force;
Our very own wills and every other mover of the world outside our skin.
Profanely pursued today as “Power”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
from Sekmet, Horus, Hestia and Ra,
to Hephaestus, Agni Ea, Logi and Atar,
to Gibil Brigit, Vesta, Hertha, and Prometheus,
and serving the properly initiated this night as the Archangel Gi-bor-re-el,
We call upon you in all your majesty to witness and consecrate this humble rite.

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West,
to the Elemental Powers of Water in the Secret Kingdom of the Merfolk,
Not merely moisture but each and every Internal Force;
Our very own hearts and every single passion that stirs somewhere deep within.
Profanely pursued today as “Love”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
from Venus, Manannan, Kama, and Kwan Yin,
to Neptune, Eurzuli, Mari, and Mariamne,
to Aphrodite, Oceanus, Tiamat and Astarte,
and serving the properly initiated this night as the Archangel Is-ra-fi-el,
We call upon you in all your majesty to witness and consecrate this humble rite.

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North,
to the Elemental Powers of Earth in the Secret Kingdom of the Gnome,
Not merely clay but each and every External Form;
Our very own bodies and every other object from this World we now live in.
Profanely pursued today as “Wealth”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
from Gaia, Ceres, Demeter, and Dionysus
to Rhea, Persephone, Mah, and Bhawana,
to Cernunnnos, Pluto, Pan, and Tammuz
and serving the properly initiated this night as the Archangel Me-ki-el,
We call upon you in all your majesty to witness and consecrate this humble rite.

-Introduction of the Champion of the Light

-Introduction of the Champion of the Dark

-Ritual combat and the sacrifice of the Light’s Champion

-The Eulogy for the Light

-The Closing of the Circle:

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East,
to the Elemental Powers of Air in the Secret Kingdom of the Fairy Sylphid,
Not merely the wind, but each and every Internal Form;
Our very own minds and everything else which can be grasped within.
Profanely pursued today as “Knowledge”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
From Mercury, Cardea, Nuit, and Thoth,
to Vayu, Khephera, Enlil, and Shu,
to Aradia, Urania, Iris, and Aditi,
and serving the properly initiated on this night as the Archangel Az-az-el,
We release you, in all your majesty, to now walk the earth, empowered by our rites.

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South,
to the Elemental Powers of Fire in the Secret Kingdom of the Dragon,
Not merely heat but each and every External Force;
Our very own wills and every other mover of the world outside our skin.
Profanely pursued today as “Power”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
from Sekmet, Horus, Hestia and Ra,
to Hephaestus, Agni Ea, Logi and Atar,
to Gibil Brigit, Vesta, Hertha, and Prometheus,
and serving the properly initiated this night as the Archangel Geb-ur-el,
We release you, in all your majesty, to now walk the earth, empowered by our rites.

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West,
to the Elemental Powers of Water in the Secret Kingdom of the Merfolk,
Not merely moisture but each and every Internal Force;
Our very own hearts and every single passion that stirs somewhere deep within.
Profanely pursued today as “Love”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
from Venus, Manannan, Kama, and Kwan Yin,
to Neptune, Eurzuli, Mari, and Mariamne,
to Aphrodite, Oceanus, Tiamat and Astarte,
and serving the properly initiated this night as the Archangel Is-ra-fi-el,
We release you, in all your majesty, to now walk the earth, empowered by our rites.

Hail to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North,
to the Elemental Powers of Earth in the Secret Kingdom of the Gnome,
Not merely clay but each and every External Form;
Our very own bodies and every other object from this World we now live in.
Profanely pursued today as “Wealth”
but worshiped in countless more regal and disparate guises,
from Gaia, Ceres, Demeter, and Dionysus
to Rhea, Persephone, Mah, and Bhawana,
to Cernunnnos, Pluto, Pan, and Tammuz
and serving the properly initiated this night as the Archangel Me-ki-el,
We release you, in all your majesty, to now walk the earth, empowered by our rites.


If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

A Midsummer Solstice Dream

          The image is the thing. That, in so many words, is the secret to art, magick, religion, immortality, and, on a less profound level, counterfeiting and pornography (men's anyway). This month I'm working with the energies of an angel named Ambriel, the thief of many faces, who presides over, and unlocks the secrets of, the mercurial energies of Gemini. It is said that after the Archetypal Animus and the Archetypal Anima arrive with the energies of Aries and Taurus, respectively, Ambriel's role in Gemini is to provide access to a level of communicative power that transcends the coercions and manipulations of these two figures. As previously mentioned, the Angel Ambriel is the angel of Escape, and the Escape plan this month will culminate in the Midsummer Solstice Dream.

          At the end of Gemini we arrive immediately at the Summer Solstice, which this year will be marked with a massive and powerful magical ritual, one that will hopefully serve to liberate a great number of my fallen brothers and sisters. More details are available elsewhere, but the ritual will take the shape of two Faerie Courts, one Light and one Dark, each with there own Royalty and occult mysteries to share and/or be discovered by those involved. For most people, the ritual begins and ends on June 21st, between 9pm and 2am, but for those who are really a part of it, as with all magick, where this ride actually starts and stops depends upon each individual mind.

          Carlos Castaneda once said, "There are no accidents to a man of knowledge." True magick overpowers and spills forth from any of the tiny containers we may try to hold it in, with an often swiftly accelerating rising tide of paranormal activity, synchronicities, and illuminations, warping the fabric of reality itself towards ends that will only be obvious to those closest to the particular current that's being unleashed upon the world. Thus we sit at planning committees and speak with passerbys largely unaware of the inevitability of the things that will and are coming through us as we all move closer and closer to the inevitable point of manifestation. Although I can feel it rising and taking shape, and, having some experience with these things, I believe that I can serve it with slightly more awareness than those who vainly think that they are "in control," even I must, to some extent, follow the power of the river we've unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

          If you really want to understand, come to me on the dark plateau of Bandi Schaum on this upcoming Summer Solstice; Come to me when I've given myself over to the form of King Maab, and I will show you everything that I myself have only recently been blessed to learn. Good luck and Namaste.

The Angels of the Zodiac

           Esoteric studies can be approached in many ways. For some it's a labor born of laziness and bland materialism, providing one with a psychic support structure with which to expand their supposed telekinetic control over reality. For others it’s pure escapist fantasy, opening a gateway into another, imagined, although not purely imaginary, world. For a few, it's a means to the truth and the potential of all that is seen and unseen. The wise will get the most out of their practice if they learn to see the value of both sides of the human condition, the undeniable truth of external magical workings and the sometimes harder to perceive yet arguably more valuable internal yoga from which all else springs.

           For the last year I have been studying the various Angels who are said to preside over the signs of the Zodiac, attempting to know them through meditation, holidays, artistic and occult ceremonies, as well as through more conventional scholarship of course. I have created talismans from the matrixes of their precious stones and enochian tables, the smells of their incense, and the soft light of their stars, and have tied each one of them into one of my tarot’s court cards, a nice compliment to the demons I’d already bound to the numbered suits therein.

           Here's my overall experience of these angels thus far…

           In Aries, Machidiel the Masculine, the Angel of Revolutions, will teach you how to be an unstoppable force. Machidiel is the god Mars born as a man.

           In Taurus, Asmodel the Curator, the Angel of Tribute, will teach you how to be an immovable object. Asmodel is the goddess Venus born as a woman.

           In Gemini, Ambriel the Thief of Faces, the Angel of Escape, will teach you how to express yourself. Ambriel is the god Mercury born as a man.

           In Cancer, Muriel the Dreamer, the Angel of Meditation, will teach you how to truly feel the present. Muriel is the Moon born as a woman.

           In Leo, Verchiel the King, the Angel of Audacity, will teach you how to decide the future. Verchiel is the Sun born as a man.

           In Virgo, Gamaliel the Queen, the Angel of Austerity, will teach you how to not care. Gamaliel is the god Mercury born as a woman.

           In Libra, Zuriel the Knight, the Angel of Preparation, will teach you "how." Zuriel is the goddess Venus born as a man.

           In Scorpio, Barbiel the Courtesan, the Angel of Seduction, will teach you "who." Barbiel is the god Mars born as a woman.

           In Sagittarius, Adnachiel the Hunter, the Angel of Capture, will teach you "why." Adnachiel is the god Jupiter born as a man.

           In Capricorn, Cassiel the Corsair, the Angel of Materialism, will teach you how to make money. Cassiel is the god Satarn born as a woman.

           In Aquarius, Orphiel the Crypt Keeper, the Angel of Reflection, will teach you the wisdom of the past. Orphiel is the god Saturn born as a man.

           In Pisces, Barakiel the Hostess, the Angel of Reunion, will teach you how to restore it. Barakiel is the god Jupiter born as a woman.

          Of course then you'll return to Aries, where Machidiel the Masculine, the Angel of Revolutions, can remind you again how to be an unstoppable force.

           Good luck and Namaste.

To Rapture Or Not To Rapture

          Tomorrow is May 21st 2011, a date that will either go down in history as the day that millions of people mysteriously vanish from the face of the earth in a pre-apocalyptic event known as the Rapture, or, in a far less exciting outcome, it will be remembered as a day that this didn’t happen at all, making it different from any other day only due to the enormous number of people who seem to have placed a tremendous amount of faith and hope in the arrival of their one way ticket to the warm bosom of Christ. Either way, tomorrow is going to turn a lot of people’s worlds upside down.

          Such mass rapture letdowns are hardly unheard of; the Jehovah’s Witnesses rented out an entire football stadium to gather together for the big day, not once, but four times. (Don't feel bad; I'm told they rent out stadiums even on years that the world isn't ending.) Darker manifestations of the end of the world can be found in the tragic mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate cult, who saw the rare passing of the Haily-bop comet as their best chance to get off the planet (after they all evacuated their souls from their earthy bodies, of course). What‘s unique about this event is that it‘s being taken seriously by a larger number of Christians than is usual for such extreme predictions, causing massive numbers of people to quit their jobs, find new homes for their pets and give way all of their earthly belongings to their obviously unscrupulous atheist friends.

          I have a lot of sympathy for such people, and hope that tomorrow works out for the best for all of them. What I’m most interested in personally is an answer to the question of what sort of God, if any, do we have; a God that applies the letter of the law or the spirit. If the rapture occurs, it seems that this will be made immediately clear, since He will either choose to take the Obedient, meaning only the most strictly observant Christians, or the Righteous, who obviously exist as a faction within but also beyond the relatively small confines of the Christian faith.

          I think either outcome will be acceptable, as I will at least know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, where I stand in relation to the powers that be (I already have my suspicions, obviously, but it would be nice to finally be 100% sure) but what worries me most about tomorrow is the enormous number of people who, should the rapture turn out to be a dud, will have their faith unceremoniously destroyed. The people who most desperately need this sort of early escape pod are not the sort of people whom I wish to see completely lose their only support system; these are the sort of people, in my opinion, who are the most likely to try and “end the world” in other, far less divine, ways.

          Whatever happens, I hope that tomorrow will provide ample revelations for everyone. Good luck and Namaste.

As Within, So Without

“I am the truth.” -Hallaj

          I have been pondering inevitability, particularly the causative link between how I think and feel (in other words, who I am) with what sorts of things happen to me, for me, with me, around me. While most people acknowledge how the world shapes them, it seems that far too many people fail to appreciate the way in which who and what they are shapes the world around them or, at the very least, their experience of it. Obviously there’s more to fate than character alone, but the fact is that one’s character serves as the absolute regulator over all the possible engagements that one can choose to have with all outside forces. Unfortunately, it appears that for most people these outside forces really do seem to be completely responsible for their destinies. Magicians and mystics know far better however; because, for better or for worse, we know that our fates flow directly from the magical force of our eternally interpenetrating spirits.

          In an effort to move beyond the limits of this sometimes frustrating trap, I have been attempting, as of late, to engage the world with a more exploratory, less judgmental, attitude; changing my inevitable insides to change my inevitable outsides. Throughout all of this I’ve tried to hold firmly to one single peace of good advice: Embrace things as they are, without being draw away by any sort of wishful fantasies about how they “should” be. Sounds wise, no?

          Well, actually, it isn’t… at least not indefinitely. Eventually I reached the conclusion that this was only good advice in theory; In practice, the very act of assuming that knowing the world “as it truly is” was to know it as something completely divorced from my own additions, deletions, projections, and, most importantly, perspective, was simply a lesser conceit than the one I was attempting to escape, and a far more dangerous one at that. Perspectives are not just a limiting obstruction of reality; they are reality, or, at least, the reality that matters most.

          Don’t misunderstand me. I still absolutely believe in the virtue of objectivity (just because it can’t be absolutely obtained doesn’t mean we all can’t and shouldn’t try to approach it in degrees) and obviously a lot can be said for maintaining an open mind, but I believe that true virility, that thoroughly misunderstood and perhaps nearly extinct beast of a bygone mythic age, demands a certain degree of unapologetic judgment.

          However, I should also state here that I freely acknowledge the spiritual value of any practices, however misguided these may prove to be in the long run, which help to temporarily free us from the tyranny of our own opinions. After all, isn’t that the primary goal of almost all mystical paths to enlightenment?

          A noble goal, I guess, but not mine; in the words of Frank Miller’s Batman, “The world doesn’t make sense until you force it to.” Mystical and yogic practices may help alleviate or release some of the pain of our various individual struggles, but when these attempt to extinguish the struggling itself, they become a cure far worse than any of these so-called ailments, or, as I often like to refer to them, my “medicinal detriments.” In closing, may your own suffering be swift and glorious and fuel your will to continue to fight the good fight. Namaste.

The Narthex

           Super World, in association with the Ahd al Jann, the CMU Transhumanist Collective, the Temple of the Vampyre, the House of Sith, The Soma Sema Cemetery Society, Dr. Steel’s Army of Toy Soldiers, the Gentlemen for Jupiter, the Secret Society of Super Villains, the Fayette County Foot Clan, the Sons of Batman, the Malakim Society, the Council of Nine, Evolver, the Oraboros Gnostic Circle and Justice Underground, is proud to present the Narthex, a secret convention of the unconventional, a bridge from nowhere to anywhere and back again to everywhere.

           The guest list includes but is not limited to: Super Villains, Super Spies, Super Heroes, Dragons, Ninjas, Wizards, Vampires, Psychics, Slayers, Werebeasts, Mutants, Martial Monks, Sith, Cyborgs, Jedi, Drow, Fairies, Djinn, Elves, Demons, Aliens and Angels.

           What actually goes on anywhere depends, first and foremost, on who and what you are; if you’re the kind of person for which a certain kind of experience is possible, this experience will also be possible, but if you aren’t, then, or course, actually finding the Narthex is kind of impossible anywhere and with almost anyone.

           For most, Super World is only a potential, but for some it’s something far better. For these lucky few, the Narthex is an open door into the Super World, a point of initiation that moves about much as we ourselves do, appearing anywhere someone might dare to merge our worlds together.

           Join us this Saturday Night, May 7th, at the Irma Freeman Center for the Imagination at 5002 Pen Ave as we crash Evolver's already awesome Interweve Dance Party, to imagine, meet with, and perhaps even become yet another one of the many hidden denizens of Super World's various sorted shadow societies. Good luck and Namaste.

Super World Rises Again

          Super World’s personally tailored Ascension Fitness programs provide everything one might need in order to become something more than human, something larger than life and far beyond the imaginings of most people. Choosing from a long list of character concepts gathered from fantasy and science-fiction, members of Super World train to develop not only amazing physical powers, but also mental and social powers as well, to gradually move each of them closer to the superhuman ideals that they have selected. Being born and remaining a human being is something that most people take for granted, and although becoming something more can be a rather difficult choice to make, it is not impossible. Not anymore.

          Welcome to Super World.

  Mythic Concepts and the Super Guilds

         Our Ascension Fitness Program offers a wide variety of mythic concepts for aspiring superhumans to choose from. These determine what sort of super powers you’ll be training to acquire, or, more specifically, which of our many classes and training regimens you will need in order to acquire them. Super World's curriculum was specially designed to facilitate the training of a wide variety of mythic archetypes, including:

    The Light
  • Super Heroes
  • Wizards
  • Slayers
  • Martial Monks
  • Jedi
  • Elves
  • Angels
    The Neutral
  • Super Spies
  • Psychics
  • Ninjas
  • Mutants
  • Cyborgs
  • Fairies (Djinn)
  • Aliens
    The Dark
  • Super Villains
  • Dragons
  • Vampires
  • Werebeasts
  • Sith
  • Drow
  • Demons

         Although we encourage each member to pursue whatever paths their imaginations can come up with, the above list of mythic concepts are currently the only ones which have active guilds developed to support them. Every guild is different, but all of the guilds provide its members with a few of the same basic benefits, such as a suggested list of classes and books, general training guidance, and both initiation and graduation ceremonies. Membership opportunities in any one of these super guilds is currently only being made available to those training here within Super World.

         For more details contact me, Simon Zealot, either here or on Facebook, or, if you're brave (and have 5 to 10 bucks) simply show up any Thursday evening between 10pm and 2am at Simon Zealot's Very Secret Lair, located at 1 Willow Way, Oakdale PA. Just give them the secret password (which is "Super World") and a friendly agent of Super World will provide you with almost everything that you'll need to begin your training right there on the spot; everything, of course, except for the courage, the willpower, and the imagination necessary to become whatever it is that you're going to become as an integral part of the Ascension Fitness Program. That's up to you. Good luck and Namaste.