Wednesday, November 18, 2015


"It was the straying that found the path direct."- Austin Osman Spare

It has been a while, and I'm not sure where or when this post will end. I have had many changes over the last few weeks. That is not really the focus of this post, although it does contribute. I find myself at the Crossroads again, only this time there is a trail into the wilderness that I have been walking for some time now. It is a crooked little path that follows the contours of the landscape, rather than forcing the landscape to follow my contours. This path is not a highway, a two-lane, or even paved, it does not even have a destination, it forks, it doubles back in places, and then it ends abruptly, sometimes concealing even the way back. This is my path, its guardians are Mystery and Silence.


It is always at the borders that the most interesting realities emerge, the overlaps that defy and honor the cultures from which they spring. Whether its a Postmodern Pinoy Pagan, Botswanan Metal Cowboys, or Turkish Industrial Goth, I love it. I have always had problems with so-called Futuristic tales that portray a mono-culture as utopia, or dystopia. Mono-culture is self destructive. Unfortunately, mono-culture is pervasive and seems to be Omnipresent. There are however cracks and the cracks will widen, consider the dandelion as an oracle for the way forward.

What I mean to imply is that there will always be barriers to break through on the path of growth, but this does not mean disregarding all that has gone before. Conversely for true growth, the lessons of the past are crucial, and in the intersection of past and future there is a crack available to be utilized. Inside there is fertile ground.

There is a popular viral image that made its way around the social media not so long ago, it portrayed a Venn diagram with two unconnected circles. One big circle labelled "Your Comfort Zone" and another smaller circle as far removed from the first as possible in the frame, this one labelled "Where the Magic Happens." As accurate and funny as that is, I would suggest that a more accurate Venn diagram would be two overlapping circles, both the same size. The first labelled "Your Knowledge" and the other "The Unknown", the tiny overlap would be, "Where Magic Manifests."

It matters not how much knowledge one accumulates about any subject, one will not truly understand until put into practice. This invites the unknown and challenges the budding adept, that is how experience is gained. Experience teaches adaptability and pattern recognition. Half of finding magic is having a watchful eye. Experience teaches through intersections and overlaps. Sometimes the pattern itself is revealed and everything overlaps just as the door to the unknown swings wide open. That is the moment to cherish, when Saint Serendipitous delivers hers gifts. This only happens at the Crossroads, and only for those souls who have found a light in the darkness.

There are some intersections that lead to sterility and impotence, such is to be expected. "Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2. Others however will yield fruit beyond imagination. Every break with the past is just a pruning that allows more branching and more intersections to occur. Bifurcation, branching, the way of Chaos. Pruning, nurturing, the way of Order. The place where these two meet is the Crossroads.


If there is a singular object or symbol that I would consider representative of my cosmology, the Mandelbrot set is probably the one. Bounded yet near infinite in all directions. Each part a reflection of the whole, yet continuously variable. Ken Wilber in A Brief History of Everything, writes of Holoarchy, where each Holon is both a part and a whole. This seems to work well with Umberto Eco's assertion that a language scheme based on the labyrinth rather than the tree offers freedom and an infinity of possibilities as each part being also whole.

This all works with the idea of the crooked path that snakes through the wilderness of the human soul. Bounded on either side by that which is not path, yet infinite in the directions it can travel. Each part of the path is a whole unto itself and yet part of something larger. One can travel the path at any speed and reach a variety of destinations and yet remain on the path. There is also always the choice to stop and spend some time getting lost in the labyrinthine depths at any point along the path. Not infinite, near infinite, a Mandelbrot set. 

The concept of the Holon is helpful here; one can say an acorn contains an oak, or that an oak contains acorns, both are true because here part and whole are equivalent. Fractals also illustrate this principle. Not infinite, near infinite. A Holoarchy is the relationship between Holons wherein each Holon at a certain level is made up of Holons of a different level. (There is no hierarchy as each part is dependent upon the other. The common model for this follows:
subatomic particles <-> atoms <-> molecules <-> macromolecules <-> organelles <-> cells <-> tissues <-> organs <-> organisms <-> communities <-> societies
In this example each Holon is a level of organization and each part is descriptive of the whole, no matter which direction you go. The top can be a bottom, a bottom can be a top, and, like a fractal, the patterns evident at one level can be similar to those at another.

The path as it reveals itself to many post-modern sorcerers is eclectic at its best and dilettantism at its
worst.For many it becomes an endless buffet of delights, each as bland and greasy as the rest, but the lights flash pretty colors and now the seasonal flavor is available. Seasonality is a two edged sword. Still others will stop and appreciate the landscape along the way, others still will see its serpentine nature, but still steer clear. The hardiest learn to see in the shadows and find She who is Light in the Darkness (En Erebos Phos.) The most foolhardy run happily into the beckoning tentacles.

Umberto Eco in his epic tome, From the Tree to the Labyrinth: Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation, adequately argues that the way Western (Dominant) Culture organizes language is based on the Neo-Platonist ideal of "the Tree of Knowledge". I would argue that the tree myth still dominates much of Western Occult Knowledge also. He proposes a structure more similar to a labyrinth. To illustrate this point he starts chapter one with a comparison of dictionaries and encyclopedias;
In defining a term (and its corresponding concept) the dictionary model is expected to take into account only those properties necessary and sufficient to distinguish that particular concept from others; in other words it ought to contain those properties defined by Kant as analytical (analytical being that a priori judgment in which the concept functioning as a predicate can be deduced from the definition of the subject).
To be distinguished from encyclopedias in the following manner;
This definition does not assign to the dog the properties of barking or being domesticated (because there may be dogs incapable of barking and/or hostile to to humans) and are not part of our knowledge of a language but of our knowledge of the world. They are therefore matter for the encyclopedia.
He goes on to explain the implications this has for our considerations of the metaphysical, but for now this will suffice.

The tree is helpful for differentiating between the various types of encounters one has along the path, but the labyrinth with its serpentine nature helps to more fully express the fullness of those experiences. Each part is whole and contains a pattern similar the whole. Not infinite, near infinite. There is danger here, like Theseus one must prepare a strategy for exiting the labyrinth. One must also be prepared for the wolves along the way.

So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood, and then he said: 'See, Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here - why do you not look round? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry.'
Thus the path always returns to crossroads even if the path must be forged.


Not only must the path be forged but so to the seeker must be worked in the forge. It is said that Tubal-Cain is the progenitor of all craftspeople. Smiths, artists, writers, and magicians, we are all of the line of Tubal-Cain and therefore of Cain. Cain is rumored to have been sired by Samael, Lover/Son of Lillith. When we ignite the sacred fire in our soul this is it's source, but it goes much deeper than that.

Early on the path many a seeker identifies with the fire, the flame. The flame however is external, it
is the heat within that allows the seeker to become malleable. The soul of the seeker becomes as iron heated in Tubal's forge awaiting shaping upon the anvil. It is the hammer of the divine that shapes the seeker, but the seeker must choose to claim their right to enter the forge. As the iron is worked it is folded again and again to strengthen it. Each fold collapsing previous experience upon itself until the whole contains all parts and all parts contain some of the whole.

Through out life the seeker will be tempered each time become closer to Unobtainium or Mithril. This process of refinement, hardening the iron is the path. The path always leads through the forge. In the forge the impurities are either burned off or subsumed into the iron. All experience is either incorporated or falls away as slag.

Again and again the seeker returns, to remain malleable, to remove dross, and to keep the inner fire ignited. It is the iron in the blood, forged in a supernova millennia ago that links the seeker to both the inner fire and the stars. As above, so below.


As above, so below. This also goes the other way. As below, so above. The part contains the information of the whole that contains the part which in of itself is whole. Not infinite, near infinite. What does this mean for the seeker? The underworld and the empyrean are but reflections of each other. Whither is heaven or hell? All depends on where one's soul does dwell.

According to some of the inner teachings of Freemasonry (which claims lineage from Tubal-Cain), and in particular the book Freemasonry and Catholicism by Max Heindel, Cain and Seth (Adam and Eve's third son) represent the two branches of humanity. Cain having actually been fathered by Lucifer's General, Samael, and Seth being the second born of two human parents (Abel being the first.) The sons and daughters of Cain, and subsequently Tubal-Cain, have souls of fire, and the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve's third son Seth, derived souls of water from Jehovah. Samael's progeny are of the Earth and Fire, Jehovah's of Air and Water. Every part a mirror of the other. If one's soul is born of Fire and Earth, Water and Air would be anathema. So too if one were born of Water and Air, and subjected to Fire and Earth.

As the seeker approaches the Crossroads, benefit will most gained by seeking the path that corresponds to the nature of the seekers soul. This can also be symbolized by the goat and the lamb. Goats are wily, wild, and quite libidinous. Sheep are docile, dependent, and helpless without the flock. Samael is the Goat headed One and represents earthly knowledge, i.e. craft, science. Jehovah represents the sheep that has had its fire dampened by the Water of Heaven. Separate the goats from the sheep, indeed. Each path is valid, as above so below, and vice versa.

At the crossroads, I am presented with three choices, The Highway to Big Box Moral Bankruptcy, The Four-Lane to the Pasture of the Flock, or the thin Goat Path that leads to the Northern Mountains. This the same choice, with cultural variances for each seeker of the path. Each part contains knowledge of the whole and the whole contains each part which is whole in itself. Not infinite, near infinite.

I must go the Sabbatic Goat beckons...


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