"Come now my child, if we were planning to harm you, do you think we'd be lurking here beside the path in the very darkest part of the forest..." - Kenneth Patchen, "Even So."

THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT STORIES AND STORYTELLING; some are true, some are false, and some are a matter of perspective. Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy.

Monday, May 1, 2017


FIRST THERE WAS a yawning void, and I was falling upwards into it.  I seemed to fall forever.  Then there was light in the darkness, a growing brightness.  Stars, planets, galaxies rushed past me.  Was I falling, or were they?  Upwards, faster and faster, I sped.  Then, above me, I beheld an immense black orb, burning in an aura of orange light not unlike the corona of the sun.  I was racing towards this, passing unburnt through the orange flames and swallowed whole in the darkness of the sphere.

My feet touched ground.  Slowly, as if lights were being raised in a darkened theater, a world around me emerged.  The brightness grew intense, like noonday.  Before me towered a giant Caduceus, forged of brass.  It seemed to me more Egyptian than Greek.  It was embedded like a flagpole in the ground, in the very center of a circular plaza orf brilliant white stone.  From the base of this Caduceus, that same orange light, like fire, rose and swirled upwards around the shaft.  It did not burn the metal, but caused the pole to hum and vibrate, wobbling rhythmically. 

I looked around me.  Around the edge of the plaza were greco-roman columns, of the same white stone.  Above was a clear blue sky, dazzling.  A few puffy white clouds hung in the air.  The entire plaza was open and airy, a soft breezing blowing through.

I strolled towards the edge of the plaza.  From there, I saw I was atop a high, grassy hill, green lawn stretching down a great distance around me.  All around were green, rolling hills, treeless, but each carved with chalk figures dug into the turf, reminding me of figures like the Uffington White Horse in England.  But these were not animals, or giants.  Each hill bore a variety of symbols, sometimes geometric figures, sometimes the runes or letters of dozens of different alphabets.  I marveled at this, walking around the circumference of the plaza looking out at the endless sea of strange, carven hills. 

Then I sensed movement behind me.

I turned to behold a Sphinx.  It was strolling away from me, towards the opposite side of the plaza.  It had the immense, tawny body of a lion, and great wings feathered white and brown like a hawk.  Its tail, however, a living Caduceus…a lion’s tail ending in a smaller pair of wings and around which two serpents, red and green, coiled.  Cautiously, I approached it.

Excuse me, I am SOMUE.  Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

It turned slowly to face me.  It had a man’s face, with kohl around the eyes, and a pharaonic beard and head dress.  Under this, however, hung the pale, naked breasts of a woman from its chest.  It stared impassively at me.

Is this RII, the 29th Aethyr?

The creature face a nod.  That it is, Thelemite.  The sphinx spoke with the high, sweet voice of a little girl.

May I ask your name?

I am XILOPE, it answered.  I simultaneously heard and saw it.  You have questions, Thelemite.

I hesitated a moment, considering where to start.  What is the nature of this place?

It is the beginning of Bindings, of Yogas, of Religions.  The Sphinx replied.  This is where the Higher Planes are linked to your world.

It’s nature is communicative?  I saw the symbols in the hills.

The creature licked its front paw and nodded.  All words and symbols have their origins here.  This is where the Logos is made Flesh.  From these raw materials are hammered the realms of TEX and the Watchtowers.  But symbols are not the same as truths.  They suggest the truth, but cannot claim it.  To know the Real you must transcend the symbols, and cross the lightless dark of the Abyss.

I shuddered at this, and nodded, looking out at the horizon.  Somewhere out there lay the Abyss.  Is RII Mercurial then?

The creature flicked its tail.  In the sense that it connects the worlds of Gods to Men, yes.

RII is the foundation of thought?  Is that correct?

The Sphinx yawned and nodded again.  Obviously.  But not the foundation of experience.

How can I better understand this?  I asked.

The Sphinx indicated that I should follow, and so I did.  We left the plaza together and strolled down the grassy hillside.  At the bottom of the hill flowed a crystal clear stream.  As I looked more closely I saw it was not exactly water, but a sort of silvery, flowing light.  Around the stream grew tiny flowers of scarlet and yellow. 

There, Thelemite.  The cup.  The Sphinx pointed with its nose.

Beside the stream, on a small rocky ledge, was a silver chalice.  It was engraved with alchemical symbols, and had two handles, like wings, in the shape of laurel leaves.  You must drink, the Sphinx informed me.

Strangely, this made me nervous.  For a moment, I looked at the stream and it now seemed mercury, which I knew was highly toxic.  So I asked the Sphinx to give me a sign that it was a friend and not a foe.  

Clearly bored, it reared up on its hind legs to give the LVX signs.  When it fell back to all fours it watched me through lidded eyes.  Satisfied?

I nodded, and lifting the heavy cup dipped it into the stream.  Raising it to my lips, I drank.

As soon as I drank, a thousand million characters exploded in my mind.  Every letter of every alphabet, every glyph, every number, every possible symbol lost or yet to be discovered flashed through my brain.  It was overwhelming.  Endless streams of silvery data poured through my consciousness, and I understood wholly and completely that all manifest things are formed from pure information.  Anything that existed was a string of code.

Then, I blacked out.

I cannot say how long I was unconscious, but I opened my eyes in a bed of red velvet, the cushions trimmed with gold tassels.  There was a low table beside me, bearing a bowl of fruit.  An ornate Persian carpet, also crimson and gold, covered the floor.  Incense was burning.  All around the bed were scattered books and scrolls.  I looked around and realized I was in a great orange tent, like that of some bedouin king.

The Sphinx lay at the foot of the bed.  It raised its head when it saw me awake.  When you feel strong enough, you should perhaps return to your realm.

I sat up in bed.  That drink?  Was that the nature of Mercury I took into me?

You must gather what you will need for your journey.  What is now in you was in you before, but a seed has begun to grow.  You will now develop your mercurial powers.

I placed my feet on the floor as the Sphinx sauntered over and opened the tent flaps.  Sunlight streamed in.

I stood, and followed the creature out.  We were encamped by the side of the stream, at the base of the hill where the plaza stood.  

You may return any time that you wish, the Sphinx told me, but I can instruct you further only as your initiation deepens.

Thank you, I replied, and started back up the hill.  Now I walked a white stone path, and each stone bore a distinct character.  Then I realized that each of the red and yellow flowers growing on the hillside also bore a character, as did each and every blade of green grass.  Even the motes of pollen drifting through the air had their own unique markings.  Everything around me bore information for those who could read it.  The world was a book, waiting to be interpreted.

I re-entered the plaza, and immediately began falling upwards, back to the Earth.

Here ends the Vision of RII.

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