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Showing posts from December, 2016

Grenoside Sword Dance 2016

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I've been going to this for years. It gets better every time, as I let the forms of this old dance sink under my skin. This year the wind is bitter cold, and Death turns up and helps stop the traffic (an important part of the preparation for the dance). I've never seen Death at this event before, so I suspect he's a freelance. Today my camera is not working well, so check out this old blog post with some decent film of the dances:  https://chaotopia-dave.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=grenoside The Sword Dancers’ sequence involves two songs. In the first, the dancers hold each end of the ‘swords’ in a circle, then move round and through the circle in loops, stepping over the paired swords then raising them, until the hexagram form of the unconquered sun is produced and held up. This seems like a cheerful form of the rhythms of work and frith, endless cycles under the calendar of the sun, the tune having a steady solid cheerful pace. With the second dance, the rhythm sp

Chaos Streams - real live chaos magic!

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A book about the magical life done by IOT members . Also contains my History of Chaos Magic as an intro. Go here  and buy one, for the astonishing price of £8. Or an e-version for almost nothing.

North, the Rise and Fall of the Polar Cosmos by Gyrus

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http://polarcosmology.com/ What would it be like if culture was completely different, if we had taken any of a number of different routes in our cultural past? Not many authors dig as deep as Gyrus has done in 'North', dismantling deeply-embedded cultural assumptions. Sure, there are other books, and this is indeed a hopeful trend in culture; instead of tinkering or trying to patch up the mess we have at the moment, let's look at its very roots and see if we can detect the basic flaws in our worldviews. Morris Berman did it with his 1989 book 'Coming To Our Senses', in which he shows how cultural shifts rely on some kind of collective gnosis, some new and ecstatic apprehension of reality, and that this cultural shift is not always a benign one. More recently and coming from a slightly different direction we have Nikki Wyrd's essay in which she suggests we abandon the primacy of 'higher' in her blog piece Dionysus' Doorway ( https://theblogofba

Pranayama by Andre van Lysebeth

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(I was going to plug the business I bought it off, M and J Books, but they have no detectable web presence at all. I encountered them via the Amazon UK portal. So this link won't take you there: https://www.waterstones.com/book/pranayama/andre-van-lysebeth/9780955241239 ) I only found out about the existence of this book recently, even though it was first published in 1979, via a footnote in another book I was reading. My reference treated it as a classic, and I can see why. That's why I'm reviewing it. 'Pranayama' held a number of surprises for me. At first I was put off by some curious attempts to demonstrate scientifically the existence of 'prana'. As I show in my forthcoming book 'Life Force: Sensed Energy in Breathwork, Psychedelia and Chaos Magic' we do not need the blessing of science to work with energy sensations and further, that concepts like 'prana' and 'qi' do not map smoothly onto concepts from physical science.

New edition of The Nine Doors of Midgard, by Edred Thorsson

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From Wordery at http://bit.ly/2aZnoZj I first read this book in 1996, when I joined the Rune-Gild. It is the training manual for that organization, and presents a scheme of self-initiation via a lengthy and thorough programme of work. At that time I bought the Llewellyn edition, one of those books where they use vanishing glue on the spine and so it eventually becomes loose leaf. Then for some time it was only available as a Gild internal document, so the new edition brings this extraordinary work to the wider world in a form which does not fall apart. The scheme is very thorough, and amounts to a daily practice that you build up from a progressive menu of workings, new ones introduced in each of the 9 sections or 'Doors'. The work includes daily rituals, rune contemplation, magical diary (PAD or personal analysis diary), Germanic soul lore, breath and sound exercises that lead up to operative rune-galdor, the carving of runes leading up to the creation of runic talisman