Friday, September 23, 2011

The pagan goddess and her full-moon gala

The  goddess and the “Full-moon” ceremony

They say that postmodern ideas of religion have no need for anachronistic or archaic pagan debris left by the wayside of complex religious institutions. These old rituals died long ago and good riddance. Nowadays, organized religion has tried to run over any alternative like a rotten piece of road kill. We’re talking about so-called legitimate organizations of the sacred that are overwrought with pedophile priests, crazed assertions of a one true faith, and greedy evangelicals that live the highlife of hookers, heroin, and hedonism. It’s a rockstar status and nobody seems to mind that these spiritual charlatans are conducting the heavenly orchestra. Have we learned nothing from Swaggart and Baker? Good god! These salesmen don’t even try to be pious. And most now equate the Ten Commandments with the ten venereal diseases that rack their holy-poisoned bodies. “Thou shalt not pick up hepatitis from the Whore of Babylon on Lexington and 2nd street.” “Thou shalt not covet the church leader’s wife until that harlot gets treated for gonorrhea and my rash goes away.” And yet we fork over millions in a feeble attempt to make Jesus happy. And why? Why my brethren do we buy our way into paradise when it can be found in any number of ways?

I recently attended a pagan ‘full-moon ceremony’ held at a local university. Since I’d had no real experience with pagan ideology, there were no preconceived notions on my part. I didn’t fear being cannibalized or chased with pitch forks. Actually a little raw fear may have intensified the experience. After all, I was warned of the pure, unadulterated evil of the pagan persuasion. I came to expect wild, crazed dancing and Bacchic fits. I was fully prepared to be terrified by a torch-lit procession of anthropomorphic lunatics chanting in unison and dragging the carcass of some poor pet-owner's dog in their wake. I even brought my pepper-spray just in case I had to douse somebody and make a run for it. Oh, I was warned. “There gonna be taking over and burning some effigy of Jesus.” One correspondent remarked. Another witness just hid in the bushes adjacent to the ritual and mumbled Christian counter-curses to ward off the pagan idolatry. “They should burn!” He seethed. “They should all burn in hell!” We can expect this kind of reaction as the pagan movement gears up for an all-out assault on the local political scene. Rumor has it that a neo-shaman and traveling warlock plans to usurp power from the conservative Christian hegemony that characterizes North Utah. “We’re afraid to leave our homes at night.” One local remarked, “The goddamn pagans have set up shop in the canyon and [sic] doing who-knows-what in the hills up there. I heard they eat babies and worship a goat.” The police department has been inundated with calls about maniacal howling, a Witches Sabbath, and a secret meeting place deep in the National Forest where pagans perform filthy rites and speak in tongues. The zeal of the local community in castigating this pagan tribe has reached fever pitch with the coming of the full-moon. A demonstration in the middle of town was checkered with signs that read, ‘Save our babies, punish the pagans!’ and ‘The only good pagan is a dead pagan!’ As I approached the small clearing where the pagans had gathered, I must admit to a feeling of trepidation. I could still hear the hissing of that freak in the bushes and the night seemed electric and ready to deliver something awful and unexpected.

As we stood in a horse-shoe pattern and read aloud the introductory prayer, I didn’t notice anything overtly heretical. We weren’t forced to trample a cross, lick anybody’s ass, or worship of bodiless head. Seemed pretty tame. Even by my standards and I was fully prepared for some hideous blasphemy. Or at least some screeching of the faithful sort. What I found was basically coherent and actually quite beautiful. Amid the nervous mumbling of the uninitiated, the comfort of those used to buying this brand of holy-roller, and strange screaming coming from somewhere not far away, the experience felt legitimate. I could tell by the care taken with the altar and the honesty of those participating that the mechanisms used to negotiate belief was apparent in the pagan experience. And although in the back of my mind, I really wanted some terrible goddess to show up, I didn’t know if all the players present could handle such a vicious jolt of the sacred. An appearance of Persephone to somebody not really equipped to handle the shock could lead to a sleepless night of anxiety or such a severe case of righteous bewilderment that being afraid of the dark just wouldn’t seem to cover it. How do you tell your Sunday preacher that a great and powerful goddess likes to straddle your chest at night and whisper beautiful sweet-nothings in your ear? That it arouses you and her scent still lingers long after she rejoins the underworld. What do you say to that? Well, be that as it may, the pagan experience was a kind of soft beauty. There was a calming lucidity that led to gentle smiles and warm caresses. And towards the end, in that stillness and the slight rustle of trees, there was a breeze and within it, the breath of a smiling and satisfied goddess.    

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tarot, panic, and the coming apocalypse

 I’m not a superstitious person. Not really. I don’t carry a rabbit’s foot or have any absurd fear of ladders, black cats, or stepping on a crack in the sidewalk. These things seem meaningless to me. Anomalies that make no real difference in a sane, or at least, reasonable world. In fact, even the thought of seven years of bad luck for something as trivial as breaking a mirror seems a punishment so cruelly disproportionate that whoever made up that ridiculous law should be drawn and quartered. Or at least spat on repeatedly.
It’s a strange world. There are those who read the morning newspaper and erupt with a giddy child-like glee when they discover the weekly horoscope. To many, that modern oracle and distant relative of the priestesses of Delphi has the answers. And if the stars don’t know, then nobody knows. “What will my love life hold this week?” “Should I help that poor soul in Zimbabwe claim his million dollar inheritance through the Bank of Africa?” “How come people laugh and point when I enter the room?” These esoteric quandaries and life-changing affirmations are equally fascinating and all seem to be connected in some conspiratorial way to my own personal tarot card reader. A woman of the highest repute, this tigress has single-handedly influenced more of my personal decisions than anything or anyone else. I was once dumb-founded and stricken to a point of senseless awe at a gem of wisdom she dropped into my lap concerning highly complex symbolic correspondences, hieroglyphic language, and the role of the Department of Motor Vehicles in the coming apocalypse. It was medieval, senseless, and honestly demeaning. And I’m not the only one that has been profoundly affected by this tarot reader. It has been said that her fortune abilities directly foretold Obama’s political victory, every hurricane and earthquake this season, and something nefariously called ‘The coming of the Bees’. Although she has refused to elaborate on what ‘The Bees’ actually entail, just the thought of a swarm of bloodthirsty, crazed, and ravenously hungry bees has driven the entire town of Wellsville Utah in a panic induced frenzy. One resident locked himself into an airtight bomb shelter and refused even food or water. Another remarked that it’s “the Mormon Jesus come to whip us for our non-belief!” Whatever the reasoning behind this plague of revolting locusts, remember what is recorded in the Good Book:

 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15 They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt.

Beware my brethren in agony! If it can happen once, what’s to say that a wild cloud of buzzing fury won’t drop out of the sky again? Could it be pre-ordained? A portent of our near future? It’s a strange strange world my brethren! We must rise up! I say rise up and see the face of darkness as it descends! We must prepare ourselves with weapons, food rations, and as much bug spray as can be carried in a small backpack. These are trying times and for this reason, I have hired my tarot reader to cast a three-card spread of what the near future holds. I’m not a superstitious person but I refuse to be the only sucker running blindly and screaming for help when that final earthquake rolls into town and signals the coming of a hive of irritated harpies. I’m gonna need company. When I’ve reached the safe house as instructed by my reader’s concise coordinates, I’ll have more information. Till then, I can only say that safety is found in numbers. Trudge on and be brave. ……..(to be continued)  


The one thing I feel the need to point out before doing your reading is that I, as a tarot reader, do NOT in any way predict death, or the fate of anything to any degree. This is because humans have the ability to change their own destiny based on every day occurrences and their actions/reactions. So when you asked me to do a reading on ‘the fate of Magus Magazine’, I immediately reworded your question to something more tangible, and to what I really thought you were looking forward to knowing.

“How will
Preston’s magazine, Magus, fare during these trying times?”

I say “trying times” because many people and businesses seem to be suffering many issues at this time, whether it be economically, spiritually, religiously or by other means.

After coming up with your question, I than concentrated on your concern while shuffling my deck, and placing your cards before me, from left to right. These are the results I came up with for you…

Card 01 – The Beginning - 7 of Disks (reversed)

The 7 of Disks reversed shows that you have put forth much planning and effort on your part, and that now perhaps things have come to a stall/standstill. You may be feeling as if they are not going at the exact pace you would like, and some insecurities are starting to set in, making you wonder if you have made the right decisions or if you should simply pack it in. This self-imposed worry and anxiety will not serve you, and will cause you to deviate from your path therefor disallowing you to work to your highest potential. Try to breath. Let your frustrations go. Know at this point that you have done all that you can to get the ball rolling, so to speak, and that now is the time to sit back and analyze. Look towards the reason behind your decision to start your project in the first place, reflect on the processes up to this point and what you have accomplished, or where you could have made some better choices, and make plans for your next steps ahead. This will help you to be grateful for all the benefits you have reaped so far, whether they be material or that the work itself has helped you to grow in other areas of self. Be patient. Once the ball gets rolling once more, and it inevitably will, you’ll find that things might pick up and move at the pace that you have been longing for all along.

Card 02 – The Middle – 2 of Disks

The twos in tarot often speak of partnerships of some kind. In the Disks, they often speak of financial partnerships. This is not always the case though, and not necessarily what I am seeing here, considering the card declared before it, and the one after. Rather, what I see is a need for focus on a dualities, or inconsistencies. (ex: money/health, love/work, spirituality/materialism, etc.) This card is all about change, and tells you that change is coming in some form or fashion whether you are ready for it or not, and that with change balance can be tipped. The question now is, can you maintain a balance? When upright, this card states that you need to balance your situation by bringing a little more spirituality, fun or enlightenment into the more material aspects of your endevours. Whereas reversed, it would be the opposite, and would state that you need to be more practical rather than frivolous. In order to bring more balance here, it seems that rather than focusing on the financial aspects, you need to relax, delve into your research, be open to some hands on experience (if that sort of thing works for you)… write out not only your findings that your research has brought forth, but your own personal experiences through the process as well. Mix it up, and you’ll maintain that much needed balance that will bring forth rewards more fulfilling that you could possibly imagine, within and without.

Card 03 – The End – 8 of Disks

This card shows that after putting forth extensive periods of hard work or labor, your diligence is finally starting to reap the rewards that you set after. Things will be going well. Your pride will show, and rightfully so. Just don’t let that pride take over to the point of arrogance. Be mindful of your rewards! Waste no, want not. Put some away for a rainy day, but certainly don’t hoard, or on the contrary, don’t be so generous that you put out more than you can maintain. If you choose to continue on with the project, there will always be the need to remain open, find more information and to keep the spark alive to continue to venture forth into new territories, to keep your constituents coming back for more. Keep an open and inquisitive mind, plant new seeds and the benefits will continue to grow. If, however, you choose to walk away, it will be of your own accord, and on a good note. Not because things went in disarray.

 Onyx Tigress