Friday, July 31, 2015

THE ORACLE TRAVELS LIGHT



THE ORACLE IS HERE. GO GRAB IT ON THIS BLUE MOON OF NORWAY, AND ENJOY!

Available from all Amazon channels and others: US  UK  CA  DE  FR  IT  ES

The Oracle Travels Light: Principles of Magic with Cards

EyeCorner Press - July 2015

This book depicts manifestations of folk magic, black magic, and practical magic as courage and everyday wisdom, and it demonstrates how reading cards can entice us to concrete magical action. It thus goes beyond reading cards for personal and spiritual growth and demonstrates how the cards create connections between people, from the living to the dead. It talks about objects magically landing in your kitchen, family secrets that get untangled in necromantic sessions, power and how we use it.

At the heart of the book is a guide to storytelling and spell-crafting with cards, demonstrating the transformative power of stories that makes us skilful in the arts of knowing, having, giving and receiving.

To an extent, this book can be considered a follow up on my latest book, Marseille Tarot: Towards the Art of Reading, though it obviously does a different job, as per the description above. Also, the reader of Taroflexions will recognize a few ideas. But these have been reworked to serve a much sharper point here. As such, the book presents the reader with new and original material, and it makes fascinating references across different magical discourses.

Fully color illustrated with the unique and rarely seen Marseille cards of Carolus Zoya (ca. 1790), and accompanied also by the author’s original art, the book is a delight to the eye.

CONTENT
  • Magic in the Spine / 9
  • Magical Prompt: ‘I Knew It’ / 23
  • Bringing Down the Bowl / 35
  • Necromancy / 55
  • The Path of Magic / 77
  • Magical Morals / 89
  • Natural Magic: Four Rituals and a Soul / 109
  • Spellcraft: Basic Principles / 133
  • References / 164
. . . . . .

NEW CARTOMANCY COLUMN
Check out my intro post: The Cartomancer: Fixing Blind Spots with Cards at Patheos/Agora.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SUMMER JOYS

My annual 5-week vacation on top of a mountain in Norway has started with some major work of purging, permuting with ideas, and predicting my own future. I predicted some expansion beyond all straightjackets, and coming to terms with the fact that I am always at least two people at the same time. This much was clear by the time I finished revamping entirely my website, the main hub that collects all the other sites I orchestrate or write for, or simply stick my nose into. I have been wordpressing like a maniac, in all the senses of this new word, from giving my website  a whole face lift, to giving life to my words. Have a look:

NEW WEBSITE

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.32.35 PM

NEW NEWSLETTER Due this this revamping, I thought that I also wanted a new form of expressing what I do with words. I'm coming a bit late to the email Newsletter form, but guess what, you will want to read it, and I don't say that in that presumptuous and arrogant way of assuming that what I have to say matters. And yet. Subscribe to find out. Use the menu of the main site, or the subscribe bars at the bottom of the main 6 posts.

 'Fixing Blind Spots with Cards' Newsletter



NEW THIRD BOOK IDEA The idea of the newsletter is to present a reflection on a very tight and specific topic for which I read a sequence of cards. I will interpret proverbs and popular, folklore sayings with the cards. That's my new idea and the topic of my third book in the series of practices of divination and magic. Call this new attempt Cartomantic Aphorisms in Epistolary Form. This contribution to the folk practices of reading and producing spiritual texts is my new mojo, and I look forward already to sharing a word of wisdom and philosophy of action with everyone inclined to hear more. The newsletter will be sent out on a monthly basis. Just cool stuff.


OLD SPELLS If you sign up for my brand new newsletter, which will also contain calls for action and other tidbits that will not appear elsewhere, then I invite you to go straight to my website, and use the sign up form. Scrolling down on the page to see that else I've been up to will also result in a pop up window inviting you to sign up. You will not be able to refuse. For this effort I will reward you with a nice PDF containing the following:

camelia elias, romanian spellcraft



NEW SECOND BOOK HERE But I jumped over mentioning what this writing frenzy is all about, with book number two in between my latest on the Marseille cards and the newly planned cartomantic aphorisms in epistolary form. Book number two, also related to practices of divination and magic will be out in just two weeks. Stay tuned.

camelia elias, magic, tarot, oracle travels light

The Oracles Travels Light: Principles of Magic with Cards
  goes from storytelling to necromancy, folk magic, practical magic, black magic, and a few words of power. A book that goes back to the basics, when words had a prophetic and poetic quality.



NEW COLUMN As of today, I have become a columnist at Patheos/Agora. I got my own column in cartomancy on the largest website hosting a conversation on faith. Every second and fourth Wednesday of every month will be dedicated to The Cartomancer. It's very exciting for me to reach out to thousands of people at once. I hope you will enjoy this post, which is intended to allow folks to get to know me better.

camelia elias, agora, patheos, cartomancy column



NEW CONTRIBUTION I have also stated contributing to the very cool magazine dedicated to magic for smart people, edited by the stellar Carolyn Elliott: Bad Witches. Check my first essay here.

camelia elias, bad witches, carolyn elliott



NEW VISTAS As I'm constantly redesigning my self, my magic, and my mojo, I wish for you do the same. Think it, breathe it, and have faith. It's that simple. If you can't figure it out: WORK · WITH · ME.

Fixing Blind Spots with Cards - Newsletter


Enjoy your summer, the mountain air, if you're at the top, or the cool waters, if you're in the valleys or by the ocean.

Photo: Camelia Elias (doing what there is to be done in the land of Avalon) Photo: Camelia Elias (doing what there is to be done in the land of Avalon)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SANCTITUDE


When I’m not a method theorist, I’m a ritualist, and when I’m not a ritualist, I listen. As my life often revolves around observing how definitions of concepts shift, I notice that I tend to act in accordance. My latest definition of irony is the following: There is no world that is more stupid than the academic world. As an academic myself, I heed attention to the magical way in which my words constitute my world. Consequently, the more I find myself uttering new definitions pertaining to my own role in the world and the amount of time and energy I invest in lost causes, I find myself engaged in all sorts of acts that counter the lack of conviction and faith in the so-called higher learning education as devised by political reforms, one more stupid than the other.

Without entering a tiresome debate, I just want to mention that the reason why I find it increasingly difficult to stay in a world that is completely devoid of any substance is because this world is increasingly informed by fear: The fear of not being adequate enough. Academics in the humanities now have to justify the condition for their existence in ways that are more bizarre than the strangest fiction. As everyone in the political world is suspicious of our worth, we have to make sure that the language of justification is aligned with some corporate discourse that makes sure to quantify even that which by definition resists quantification. Consequently, all we worry about these days is numbers, external funds, who gets what for what trendy shit, and regulations that collect points even for appearances in the media – lord have mercy – where we have the nice opportunity to talk nonsense all the time about this and that issue that is already forgotten even before the uninterested journalist poses to us, ze experts, the so-called relevant question.

As I have no interest whatsoever in participating in the perpetuation of either fear or acts stemming from fear, trying to convince unconvincingly the world of my worth as an academic, I pursue worlds that are known for their busting bullshit. Speaking of irony, I also find it, however, that the more I flirt with the so-called crazy world, the more I realize that this is the world that keeps me sane, or, at least, very content about my lot, and about speaking against superficial learning and superficial learning projects, whose aim is to cater to an image of successfulness that has very little to do with what success really is, namely the ability to function in the world as a decent human being.

For some years now I’ve been sitting in peyote ceremonies with Apache chiefs, and guardians of the ancient traditions of the Lakota Indians. Each time, while sitting some 14 hours in a perfect tipi, I find that the learning that flows out of it never ceases to amaze me. This is due to the fact that I see what devotion really is. I see what it means to be disciplined, and how important precision is. I see that the fire chief understands fire like no one else, and he creates art with his fire of the highest. I see that the peyote moon altar is aligned with the sun that hits it perfectly at sunrise, enabling the Chief to announce how we know that love comes before the image, and that true value has inherent integrity both within and without. There’s suddenly perfect clarity on what we love, how we love it, and why.

As I run to this world, and others like it, I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to keep the faith in that which allows me to formulate definitions that are aligned with my inner strength and convictions, and then say it out loud: I want this world, not the other. I want the world of substance, not the world that makes me say: ‘you disgust me’. I want the world of symmetry and balance. I want naturalness and groundedness. I want truth and beauty. I want the strength of the fragile feathers, and the strong vision of animals saying: ‘man is not the center of everything.’ I want to see the life force in people, and I also want to see their death, as they are alive. I want to listen to my own giving, so that I can receive in return the music of the soul.



Peyote Chief Hector

Fire Chief Hesi 

My very special song catcher made for me






Friday, May 8, 2015

ACROSS THE HEDGE



Today I’m feeling generous, but also quite humble. As I keep getting positive feedback on my essay in the collection put together by professor Todd Landman under the titleThe Magiculum (available on all amazon channels), I’ve decided to make my contribution available online, as as pdf for free.

Some of the comments I’ve received pertain to what others have identified as a need among the practitioners of the magical arts to move effortlessly between the various magical realms. It has been a humbling experience for me to have my essay so highly appreciated precisely for that, as I didn’t think that I was doing anything special when I addressed Landman’s 5 questions about my ways of criss-crossing the hedge.

So here is a link to my essay: The Arts of the Night: Circumventing the Sign that talks about magic, cartomancy, necromancy, shamanism, ethics, and power.

Enjoy! And read more of the book, if you think this appeals to you.





§

Get THE MAGICULUM at AMAZON US UK AND OTHERS.

Monday, April 20, 2015

INTO THE MYSTIC



'You take stuff from different places, and sometimes you stick a line in because it rhymes, not because it makes sense.' – Van the Man.

Happy Birthday, Bent the Bear.

Let us enjoy a splash of music, into the mystic, in the company of Van the Man, sitting by a small round table, and right under his nose, some mystical place in the fairy land. That should do it.


© Camelia Elias, ink on archival paper

§


Monday, March 23, 2015

SILENT ACT


While looking at sublime Frigg today, I gain new understanding of why I see myself primarily as a storyteller whose preferred medium of expression is the oracular, as mediated by natural omens, cards, the stars, bones, and books.



I say this against the background of my re-assessing my role in the academic world, a world that I have come to despise and loathe. The way I view higher learning has become eclipsed by the reality of financial university politics, the hidden agendas of the bureaucracy, and the false aspirations for who is to be master.

I cannot make myself speak 'corporate language', and hence lie about the 'usefulness', 'relevance' and 'global impact' of my research. I participate in the creation of knowledge, not in the ventriloquizing of empty speech and rhetoric of the university as a business. This participation I see as a silent act, an act of flying silently like the wise owls of the earth, who focus our awareness unto things that matter, not unto things that speak of loud and dishonest assertions.

Today is the day when the Sun and the Moon are in their exalted signs. I think I'll go and consolidate a house that's as solid and strong as a rock, as a polished diamond. May the mountain come to me, if I cannot go to it myself. I will invite it inside this house, and perhaps over a cup of aromatic coffee, we may reach an agreement as to what I can use my academic so-called skills, and which will allow me to speak from a place of wisdom and honor. 

Hail our luminaries, and the beautiful universe we're all part of.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

IN JOY

Snow. The temperature takes a dive well below zero – the joy of my heart – the forest, the joy of my soul, and Bach's birthday, the joy of my mind. This is the truth. This, and an Indian arrowhead pointing my way by a river bank in Sweden.










Saturday, March 7, 2015

NOCTURNE



Nocturnal dog walks, my specialty. At 2 AM another nocturnal soul with 2 dogs approaches from the opposite direction:


'Don't you think the weather tonight is perfect?'

'It's perfect'.

'Just us, and the 3 dogs, isn't that awesome?'

'Very.'

'The earth smells of spring, too, wouldn't you say?'

'I would do more than say it.'

'Oh, yeah, like what?'

'Here, hold my leash while I gather some from the field.'

'Ok, and?'

'Stretch out your palm.'

'Oh, I get it. You're not from around here, are you?'

'No, I'm not.'

'Where are you from, then?'

'I'm from Jupiter.'

'Cool.'

'This night is amazing, isn't it?'

'Absolutely.'

'Have a good one.'

'You too.'


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

ARCANA


And then there's this interview by Marjorie Jensen for the upcoming volume: 

Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology

in which I talk about my life with cards and magic, and being an academic somewhere in between.

Enjoy!


Friday, February 6, 2015

ARROWHEAD

For Jeff Rundquist

‘You’re deserving of gifts’, someone said on infamous Facebook upon seeing me fiddle with an image of a Queen carved in bone and picked up on the Lofoten Islands a few years ago. ‘I’ll send you a real Native American arrowhead, if you like.’ I do like this idea. As my dog fell asleep on the couch, under my bejewelled hand, I thought of how I like things of power. The kind filled with appreciation, the appreciation that appreciates in turn. A-PRETIARE, to set a price, is the etymological root of appreciation. Things have a way of coming together when we learn their value.

Before all this, I had a walk with the she-dog Goddess, Frigg, and marvelled at the gift to my iPhone from the Moon, conjunct Jupiter and with Regulus aligned in sight. I came home, sat down, and appreciated the way the light fell between where I was standing and where the Queen of Bones was waiting. I was pleased with my new cover photo on Facebook of a spearing moon, in wait of an arrowhead. And what do you know? It came ever so fast already. Someone was riding the right waves.

Often the greatest wisdom is in knowing how to wait. If you wait consciously, you show devotion to a form of surrender that's hard to comprehend the logical way. I think the universe likes that.

It’s almost 3 AM, and I’m buried into reading astrological charts from a flat angle. Rigor, precision, method, rules, and the renaissance masters are my friends. What the unexpected arrowhead points to is the manifestation of holding together: The magic, the magi, the marvel.





About a month after I wrote this, the arrowhead made its arrival.
I ended up writing a post about it here

Monday, January 5, 2015

MARSEILLE MAGIC

December is for the heart, they say, here in Denmark, and they are right. This past December I did something for the heart. I wrote a new book. A book about images, how to read them, how to think about them as they answer our questions, how they can help us philosophise on the meaning of life and other, how we can spy on others with them, how we can entertain ourselves so hard that tears come down our cheeks, and how we can discover what we can do as an alternative to whatever we are doing already through storytelling.

I've ended my 2014 year in a magical way. May the new year bring you much delight, joy, love, and the ability to relish all that surrounds us and is beautiful.

Happy New Year.


The book is available at Amazon US, UK, and others. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ANOMALY

Twice this week already different people wanted to praise me for my thoughts about math and magic. I don't think I deserve any praise as I don't think that having math thoughts or magical thoughts is so special. Culturally speaking, sure, the two clearly belong to two distinct fields. One is science the other woo. But that is only if we're speaking culture and hierarchies and good name versus bad name.

I never think of math, or when I literally dream about solving Riemann's hypothesis or that Cantor comes to see me, as something weird. Just as I never think that divining for a math solution with cards is weird. It wouldn't be the first time the cards have helped real mathematicians formalize their proofs.

I have math thoughts simply because I find math beautiful. And I have magic thoughts simply because I find magic useful. The fact that people have informed opinions about each is not something that interests me, especially when these informed opinions are the result of ignorance. Not everyone has heard of real numbers and complex analysis and not everyone has any clue about divination with cards. Which is fine. I also happen to be ignorant of many things.

But I wonder what the world would look like, if we simply stopped thinking that disciplines are separate, and that if I'm interested in one thing, I cannot possibly also be interested in the other thing. What if my reputation will be busted if people knew I flirted with the woo? Now there's a real concern. I wonder what Cantor would make of that. He was ever so afraid of that imbecile algebraist, Kronecker, who kept putting sticks into his wheels.

As a general rule, I believe in nothing. I keep saying this but people don't believe me. And I think of separateness as being a question of perception, not a question about the thing itself.

I live. And as I live I put my aliveness in the service of my curiosity. And that's all.



Image: 'Bestiary' by Hugo of Fouilloy, 1270 
Public Domain, Digital images part of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Monday, December 1, 2014

GREENS

My sister has celebrated today the Romanian National Day. I don’t do anniversaries. But while she was sporting the same Romanian national costume blouse as she had on some 40 years ago, commenting on Facebook that she hadn’t grown much since then, I was having a Romanian moment myself. Albeit, a twisted Romanian moment, as I rightly consider myself between the worlds, neither here, nor there.

In fact I almost blurted at her caption for her picture, something about how being a Romanian is either a blessed curse or a cursed blessing. Honestly I can't care less about what being a Romanian means - and technically speaking I'm a Dane now. I believe that what matters is how the others see us. I wanted to say to my sister that she had better reflect on perception, than on entertaining the illusion of belonging. If you ask the Danes, among whom we now both live, about Romanians, they’d tell you that all Romanians are a bunch of criminals and thieves. If you ask the Romanians themselves, ah, well, there’s nothing like a Romanian, they’d tell you, without necessarily specifying anything by it, but happily suggesting that it’s a good thing. I said nothing, however, simply because I was busy with my own perceptions: Of the culinary kind. Now that is something I am much more fond of than either politics or cognitive philosophy. And I don't like to waste my time investing great effort in proving people wrong when they decided that they are right - about what kind of lot you're made of.


I was cooking some green stuff the way my mother used to cook it, though my soup in the end had absolutely nothing to do with either what I used to eat in Romania or what my mother used to concoct. Quite befitting, as I’m not in Romania anymore. 

I kept throwing more green stuff into the pot, one and two and three and twenty different kinds, while thinking of the day I mourned for three days the day the best chef on the planet, Keith Floyd, died. Now Keith had the same style of cooking as me: throw into the pot neither too much nor too little, but just exactly as much as it's necessary. But then he'd keep pouring some more vodka into it plus more garlic and more ginger. No measuring. None. The only proof of perfection being that after you eat the stuff in the end, you simply just die and go to heaven. - Don't call me.

To Keith: 'Hello lover, how do you like this soup I’ve just made, while thinking of you and your art of eating?'

Keith to me: 'Shut up and enjoy death. I'm dying again, as we speak. Thank you, thank you.'




Friday, October 31, 2014

TALISMANIC CIRCLE


Dana, a woman I dearly appreciate, first and foremost as a precious friend, but then also as a colleague in critical studies, and as the wife of supreme master silversmith Aidan Watcher, entices me often to articulate how I view the magical life insofar as it is bound up with the people who feel a genuine impact from our encounters. Not that I make an effort, which is just the point.

Aidan Watcher's talisman for Taroflexions after my own design

So, last night I gave her an example, of, say, my ‘powers’ of summoning. I told her about how my Tarot de Marseille teacher, master horary astrologer, and eminent professor of psychology in a far away land, had just written to me about his impending visit to Copenhagen in two months. He said that he had just gotten an email from Lufthansa threatening to close his ‘silver points’ if he didn’t book a flight to Europe immediately. So, he went to the booking site, and the first city that was recommended was Copenhagen. ‘No way’, he thought, rightly having the feeling that this might have something to do with me.



I saw him last some four years ago, and we have talked since on and off. We came close to having a rendez-vous in Paris not long ago, when he was there, and when he tried to lure me to zip over, saying, ‘I’ll take you to the famed fortuneteller, madame Colette Silvestre, [whom we both adore], for a tarot reading.’ I missed that boat, as I was engaged with other things. Recently, however, as I’ve expressed frustration with the calculating astro gadget programs on the market for Mac computers, we have gotten into some interesting discussions that orbit nicely around all sorts of old stuff. Me: ‘The Chaldeans thought of annual profections this way’. Him: ‘William Lilly is more mundane’. I have a soft spot for Lilly because I know someone whose father lived in Lilly’s house – another master in old stuff, also a professor friend, family, and alchemist, who doesn’t mind being named, Anthony W. Johnson (incidentally I write about Anthony all the time). By a swerve, whenever I talk astrology these days with the other professor we always end up making plans for getting together at Anthony’s childhood home, the home of master Lilly, where we can do some serious horary stuff. It’s incredible what professors are interested in these days, which makes me think that they possess the quality of what Aidan has described as talismanic. But before I get to Aidan’s idea, let me say something about what I told Dana.

I said: ‘You know, because obviously I must be suffering from some blind spot, I need the master astrologer right here to set me straight in my ways.’ But how can one order other people around? This is where ‘the powers that be’ come into the picture. Magically speaking, and by the same kind of swerve as above, I told Dana that for a moment, in the subconscious summoning act – the best kind – ‘I’ was Lufthansa. ‘I’ was also the algorithm that gave the man Copenhagen as the first choice. There was no other way for him than to simply say: ‘Yes. I’m listening. I’m answering the call. I’m coming’. So he’s coming. He is coming because he gets it. Because his own magical powers are made of the right stuff. On my part now, all I have to do is make sure to channel William Lilly by the time the professor gets here, as he likes him the best, or else, if I should stumble, I’ll just need to pull another summoning stunt, or simply get plugged into Anthony’s cauldron. There’s no way Lilly won’t answer. So help me by Anthony’s dead father’s grave. Is this magic or not? It certainly is.


Tonight, as I was communing with my own dead folks, as tradition has it, Dana asked me if I had seen Aidan’s piece of writing on the Talisman as object and being. I went straight to reading it, and I have to say that it moved me exactly in the right way, which is the way that bypasses my head. Which is the way that makes me lump together the circularity of magical swerves. I welcome such, other than mental, pulsations, as they don’t come very often. I left a comment on Aidan’s website, which Dana picked up. By way of quoting me ad literam, she then issued the following request:

If you have it in you some day, I would deeply appreciate it if you would post about the … “With a talisman you inflict a change in the course of events the way culture or science dictates. The great teacher teaches that kind of violence that makes us snap out of cultural constraints and begs us to look at ourselves. The first thing that happens in such an act is that you lose your tongue, and start responding to the world with your being as is, as the thing itself.” I’d love someone to speak up for us who’ve become somewhat “incoherent” or rather, “forbidden” to speak of some things and instead encouraged to simply “be it.” I think it’s important particularly now with all the nonsense flying around about being LOUD and VISIBLE and OUT THERE. There are other ways… so for me, some day, I would love to see this piece. Please.

Well then, here it is. The talismanic people don’t know what lies are. They don’t speak in clichés, and that’s how you know them. The talismanic people are not popular because they are not interested in stolen magic. They are more interested in how you get to sing a song of the stars by looking at the stars themselves, and then by riding on their flickering light. How do you get your visions right? That’s the question they ask, and they don’t go to the popular thought for answers. They fly with Lufthansa when the time is right. The talismanic people act from behind the scenes, where another set-up than the status-quo orients their actions. Aidan defined the talismanic people this way in his fine piece:

They are like pole stars, and can be used in the same way one might use a more classically defined ‘talismanic object’. They intrinsically hold power, and they can transmit it. It’s often accessible to other people, it’s not something they only ‘hold’ for themselves. These are not always the people setting up shop/temple/church/spiritual office. These are peoples’ sisters and grandmothers, grandfathers and uncles, midwives, watchmakers, fishermen.

Excellent insight on Aidan’s part.

Sarah Lawless reliquarium

And so it is as it has always been with the good teachers. The good teachers transgress boundaries in a subtle way. Yet they are more than supersonic when they break silently and violently through the cultural trumpeting of what else is new, or what else is popular. When the good teacher speaks, the earth breathes, and we all know that in such breathing the ‘incoherent’ and the ‘forbidden’ are the only states free of fake solutions. Solve et coagula. Abracadabra. Barhuyex, Emirex, Hamerix, Sehix, Deryx, Meyer, Deherix, Baix, Faurix.
§

Note on the cards: Tarot de Marseille, Jean Noblet (1650), as reconstructed by Jean-Claude Flornoy (the hand-stenciled set).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ECLECTIC

While contributing a solicited essay to a forthcoming book, This Ancient Heart: Landscape, Ancestor, Self (2015), and which gathers leading anthropologists and historians of religion who also happen to be druids, practicing shamans, or astrologers, I couldn’t help thinking that this particular area of study, that is, spiritualities in the world, has always stood me in good place. When I embarked on my years-long academic career in Denmark, culminating with the highest consecration in the form of what the Danes call the Dr.Phil. degree and tenure, I never thought that I was going to end up as an ‘eclectic’.

I blame it on my very first-semester group project at Aalborg University in 1993, when, although in the English program, I ended up writing about new religions with a focus on theosophy and scientology, Madame Blavatsky and Ron Hubbard. And I have to say that this was not even my idea. I mean, I wanted to write a project in religious studies (heh!), but I hadn’t at the time thought about any particular topic. Now, however, I am quite grateful to the one student in the group of 5 who came up with this focus, for I keep returning to both, Blavatsky, for her astonishing ideas of astral planes and thought-form, and Hubbard, for being so amusing, running off with the occultist and rocket-scientist Jack Parsons’s first wife and money, resulting in Parsons’ conjuring up a nice typhoon in a place where never in the history of meteorology have there been recorded any typhoons, and stopping the culprits from crossing the Mexican border and thus the possibility to avoid a lawsuit. Nothing can beat such stories.

Sometimes I want to say to myself, ‘that was a sign for what I ended up being interested in’, but then I go further back in my personal history and I find that I can’t really think of a time when I wasn’t interested in such things.

For the sake of convenience I tell people that I do English Studies with a twist, but these days I see myself conflating more and more ideas about practice and beliefs with knowledge systems, discourses on magic with the practice of magic that bypasses any beliefs, and Neo-Platonism with mnemonics and astronomy as inroads to the supreme knowledge of how to read between the lines. I’m grateful to the Anglo-American field for having produced enough material out there that allows me to dive straight into such weirdness and without feeling guilty for potentially doing something that may not exactly be aligned with the noble requirements for academic research.

Apart from having to care about gatekeeping and the other academics’ perception of my pursuits, I like it when people ‘in the know’ sometimes tell me that I can read cards and charts like a devil. But I like to think of it this way: Nothing is hidden. Nothing at all. And we can all train ourselves to register the magic around us. This kind of magic is not something that you read about in books, for it relies precisely on the ability to read between the lines. ‘What is there,’ some would ask, ‘apart from assumption?’ And I would answer: ‘Between the lines is not only the finest knowledge there is, the most subtle and therefore most powerful, but also love. Love that is anchored in what we know at the deepest level. The level of the highest creativity and imagination. The level of the highest fantasy that sends us with our noses straight into the ground, now filled with autumn leaves, and smelling of rain and tears. Our tears. The level of the mystical experience where the tapping into another’s consciousness is not merely a matter of belief or disbelief, but a matter of the highest practice, of the ‘being there’ all the time, watching. The level of the piercing gaze that sends you exploring the longest infinities that exist. The level of the mind when it is connected, plugged into things that make rationality look like a poor orphan.’

There is no knowledge like the knowledge that informs me right now that, in astrological parlance, the answer is ‘yes’, because the ruler of the Ascendant in my horary chart is in a trine aspect to a planet in a house I’m interested in. The answer is ‘yes’ because the poetic Sabian symbol going with the cusp of the astrological house I want to know things about creates an analogy that fleshes out very clear scopes. There is no knowledge like the knowledge that comes from reading three cards, and seeing what happens when the Priestess is followed by the Empress who is then followed by Death. There is no knowledge like the knowledge of the geometrical pattern that bones thrown on the table form.

Indeed, some knowledge belongs to the ancient heart. It is not dogmatic, nor consecrated. It is the knowledge of the interstice, the place of the soul and of surrendering.


§

As the comments left to this post here reference my work on Taroflexions, I have upgraded them to a post in itself on Taroflexions, especially since the concern of Anonymous is shared by many into the magical arts. Pay a visit and read the comments left there. They are quite insightful.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

CAMELIAS



My nephew, Paul, is 20 today. My sister’s present to him was an invitation to the ballet, La Dame aux Camélias. This invitation was also extended to me, since my name is Camelia, and also since, as my sister believes, and perhaps rightly so, I am the hopeless romantic. I don’t know about the hopeless, but the romantic part is true. Paul said: ‘It’s all about sex and then about getting respectable.’ ‘Yes, yes,’ I said, ‘and then what? What about the forbidden, the forever love? The undying love? It’s all there, surely, for if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now’.

I like the ballet. It’s ever so simple. Defying a few laws of physics and then flying. Flying all the time. In and out of the impossible, the forever love, the love in gut, the love in the passion, the love in the bones, the love in the eyes, the love in the kiss, the love in the breath, the love in the toes, the love in the hand, the love in the flower.

Paul, happy birthday. May you find the forever love. May it find you.








Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MISSED TRAINS

I always rejoice when I miss my train in Roskilde. I get to go over to the cemetery across the station. There I wait for the next train. Pondering. Some like balance, but balance doesn’t suit them when what they want is either the hot or the cold. Either the one or the other, yet both at the same time. Only a master can make sense of walking in the beauty of such contradiction. But then again, who is a master? For most, balance is nothing but a higher order of ambivalence. Or lower. I look around. A good time for mushrooms. The intelligence of pigs comes to mind. Pigs are both fertile and destructive at the same time. They reproduce joyfully and can eat their offspring. Life and death. Pigs are not concerned with what fire you feed. What ice you drink, and whether you can do both at the same time. They are little machines, sometimes commanding their heartbeats to find a truffle. The one special mushroom to uncover, to behold, and to adore. But they are not always in the position to eat it. Sometimes they let it go to the highest bidder at the auction. Some exchange. A passion for a coin. I think of the life of the truffle. A few more minutes to my train. I look at the entrance to this place. I forgot to salute the first dead buried here, now guarding the gate. I’m convinced she was a Queen of Hearts who died in Autumn from thinking too much. A Queen of Hearts who could reason her emotions. How perplexing. At least she got style. At least she never said to herself: 'I only did certain things so that I can regret them.'

I leave the cemetery with the Polish poet, Wislawa Szymborska’s ‘A few Words on the Soul’ in mind. It’s obvious that you cannot step twice into the same death.


We have a soul at times.
No one’s got it non-stop,
for keeps.

Day after day,
year after year
may pass without it.

Sometimes
it will settle for awhile
only in childhood’s fears and raptures.
Sometimes only in astonishment
that we are old.

It rarely lends a hand
in uphill tasks,
like moving furniture,
or lifting luggage,
or going miles in shoes that pinch.

It usually steps out
whenever meat needs chopping
or forms have to be filled.

For every thousand conversations
it participates in one,
if even that,
since it prefers silence.

Just when our body goes from ache to pain,
it slips off-duty.

It’s picky:
it doesn’t like seeing us in crowds,
our hustling for a dubious advantage
and creaky machinations make it sick.

Joy and sorrow
aren’t two different feelings for it.
It attends us
only when the two are joined.

We can count on it
when we’re sure of nothing
and curious about everything.

Among the material objects
it favors clocks with pendulums
and mirrors, which keep on working
even when no one is looking.

It won’t say where it comes from
or when it’s taking off again,
though it’s clearly expecting such questions.

We need it
but apparently
it needs us
for some reason too.

(Translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)



Friday, September 12, 2014

PERCEPTION

‘The King of the Fairies approaching his domain’ is a higher conceit of the other symbol ‘The university professor lecturing to his students.’ When Mars enters Scorpio one degree off the Descendent, all calculations get suspended. Raw action penetrates Pluto’s fiery and bottomless pit, and what we think is the perception of the Other in Seven is force. The kind that lulls you into spying on yourself in the black mirror. The moon delaying her purpose in the house of the evil Daimon is a transcended moon. Horary games. The professor greets the King of Fairies by allowing Pluto to bomb all traditions in Capricorn. ‘All for love’, says Venus ruling Taurus in the Ascendant, and taking the risk of coming very close to the frightening Algol. ‘Stop it’, Mercury clamors, squaring off against the idea of having a horoscope sound like a live commentary at a football match. But who is Mercury addressing? All for one? We are back with Mars ruling the house where Uranus resides right now. But Mars is busy stomping in the secret fire. Fumes come out of it and the oracle acquires a smell. The smell of ‘no limits’ and of the insatiable You.





§

Note on the method:

For this poetic reading, I've used both horary and electional astrology. As this is a poem, however, I have not disclosed the question - the question being crucial in this branch of astrology. The quoted sentences in the first line are a reference to both the Sabian and the Kozminsky symbols. The 'interpretation' is all my own.

Monday, September 1, 2014

SIGIL

‘There’s magic in the world and I get to live it.’ This is what I wrote earlier today in connection with a gift I have received this morning. This one was truly very special, and given the circumstance, quite beyond perfect. It was prompted by an occasion connected with a magical task I have assigned last month to one of my cartomantic students, the brilliant and tenacious Ryan Edwards. ‘A hard task’, he said, but by Jove, how he managed. Today I’m very pleased to see what materialized beyond the ritual that I have determined that he had to perform on the night of the dark moon in July. 

When magic works, creativity is an understatement.

I wrote a longer account of this working on Taroflexions – to the extent that I can distinguish between what is my story to tell and what is not – but suffice to say here that today's event made me feel vibrant and alive, and in love with young people who are dying to know what you know. Keep them coming, Lord, keep them coming.