Nobody Expects The Kali Yuga…

Peter and Steve came over, a pleasant evening. Steve recounted his latest adventures, Peter helped me on some file sharing, and we all shared a wee dram of the excellent whiskey that Tomas gifted me. We are all meeting up again to head out to see Gjallarhorn tonight at the Aladdin Theatre… it promises to be a great night of Finnish/Swedish Music!

Fire Trucks/Ambulances in the neighborhood last night. The girlfriend of the neighbor was taken away, screaming into the night. She looked fairly freaked out. I haven’t talked to him yet, it didn’t look good…

Off to do some painting, will talk at ya later,


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Instructions for the Kali Yuga

Poetry: Faeries…


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The Quest for the $1,000 Human Genome


Instructions for the Kali Yuga – from Hakim Bey

THE KALI YUGA STILL has 200,000 or so years to play–good news for advocates & avatars of CHAOS, bad news for Brahmins, Yahwists, bureaucrat-gods & their runningdogs.

I knew Darjeeling hid something for me soon as I heard the name–dorje ling–Thunderbolt City. In 1969 I arrived just before the monsoons. Old British hill station, summer headquarters for Govt. of Bengal–streets in the form of winding wood staircases, the Mall with a View of Sikkim & Mt. Katchenhunga–Tibetan temples & refugees–beautiful yellow-porcelain people called Lepchas (the real abo’s)–Hindus, Moslems, Nepalese & Bhutanese Buddhists, & decaying Brits who lost their way home in ’47, still running musty banks & tea-shoppes.

Met Ganesh Baba, fat white-bearded saddhu with overly-impeccable Oxford accent–never saw anyone smoke so much ganja, chillam after chillam full, then we’d wander the streets while he played ball with shrieking kids or picked fights in the bazaar, chasing after terrified clerks with his umbrella, then roaring with laughter.

He introduced me to Sri Kamanaransan Biswas, a tiny wispy middleage Bengali government clerk in a shabby suit, who offered to teach me Tantra. Mr. Biswas lived in a tiny bungalow perched on a steep pine-tree misty hillside, where I visited him daily with pints of cheap brandy for puja & tippling–he encouraged me to smoke while we talked, since ganja too is sacred to Kali.

Mr. Biswas in his wild youth was a member of the Bengali Terrorist Party, which included both Kali worshippers & heretic Moslem mystics as well as anarchists & extreme leftists. Ganesh Baba seemed to approve of this secret past, as if it were a sign of Mr. Biswas’s hidden tantrika strength, despite his outward seedy mild appearance.

We discussed my readings in Sir John Woodruffe (“Arthur Avalon”) each afternoon, I walked there thru cold summer fogs, Tibetan spirit-traps flapping in the soaked breeze loomed out of the mist & cedars. We practiced the Tara-mantra and Tara-mudra (or Yoni-mudra), and studied the Tara-yantra diagram for magical purposes. Once we visited a temple to the Hindu Mars (like ours, both planet & war-god) where he bought a finger-ring made from an iron horseshoe nail & gave it to me. More brandy & ganja.

Tara: one of the forms of Kali, very similar in attributes: dwarfish, naked, four-armed with weapons, dancing on dead Shiva, necklace of skulls or severed heads, tongue dripping blood, skin a deep blue-grey the precise color of monsoon clouds. Every day more rain–mud-slides blocking roads. My Border Area Permit expires. Mr. Biswas & I descend the slick wet Himalayas by jeep & train down to his ancestral city, Siliguri in the flat Bengali plains where the Ganges fingers into a sodden viridescent delta.

We visit his wife in the hospital. Last year a flood drowned Siliguri killing tens of thousands. Cholera broke out, the city’s a wreck, algae-stained & ruined, the hospital’s halls still caked with slime, blood, vomit, the liquids of death. She sits silent on her bed glaring unblinking at hideous fates. Dark side of the goddess. He gives me a colored lithograph of Tara which miraculously floated above the water & was saved.

That night we attend some ceremony at the local Kali-temple, a modest half-ruined little roadside shrine–torchlight the only illumination–chanting & drums with strange, almost African syncopation, totally unclassical, primordial & yet insanely complex. We drink, we smoke.

Alone in the cemetery, next to a half-burnt corpse, I’m initiated into Tara Tantra. Next day, feverish & spaced-out, I say farewell & set out for Assam, to the great temple of Shakti’s yoni in Gauhati, just in time for the annual festival. Assam is forbidden territory & I have no permit. Midnight in Gauhati I sneak off the train, back down the tracks thru rain & mud up to my knees & total darkness, blunder at last into the city & find a bug-ridden hotel. Sick as a dog by this time. No sleep.

In the morning, bus up to the temple on a nearby mountain. Huge towers, pullulating deities, courtyards, outbuildings–hundreds of thousands of pilgrims–weird saddhus down from their ice-caves squatting on tiger skins & chanting. Sheep & doves are being slaughtered by the thousands, a real hecatomb–(not another white sahib in sight)–gutters running inch-deep in blood–curve-bladed Kali-swords chop chop chop, dead heads plocking onto the slippery cobblestones.

When Shiva chopped Shakti into 53 pieces & scattered them over the whole Ganges basin, her cunt fell here. Some friendly priests speak English & help me find the cave where Yoni’s on display. By this time I know I’m seriously sick, but determined to finish the ritual. A herd of pilgrims (all at least one head shorter than me) literally engulfs me like an undertow-wave at the beach, & hurls me suspended down suffocating winding troglodyte stairs into claustrophobic womb-cave where I swirl nauseated & hallucinating toward a shapeless cone meteorite smeared in centuries of ghee & ochre. The herd parts for me, allows me to throw a garland of jasmine over the yoni.

A week later in Kathmandu I enter the German Missionary Hospital (for a month) with hepatitis. A small price to pay for all that knowledge–the liver of some retired colonel from a Kipling story!–but I know her, I know Kali. Yes absolutely the archetype of all that horror, yet for those who know, she becomes the generous mother. Later in a cave in the jungle above Rishikish I meditated on Tara for several days (with mantra, yantra, mudra, incense, & flowers) & returned to the serenity of Darjeeling, its beneficent visions.

Her age must contain horrors, for most of us cannot understand her or reach beyond the necklace of skulls to the garland of jasmine, knowing in what sense they are the same. To go thru CHAOS, to ride it like a tiger, to embrace it (even sexually) & absorb some of its shakti, its life-juice–this is the Path of Kali Yuga. Creative nihilism. For those who follow it she promises enlightenment & even wealth, a share of her temporal power.

The sexuality & violence serve as metaphors in a poem which acts directly on consciousness through the Image-ination – or else in the correct circumstances they can be openly deployed & enjoyed, embued with a sense of the holiness of every thing from ecstasy & wine to garbage & corpses.


Poetry: Faeries…

FAERY SONG – Oran Sidhe

Trans by Shaw

“Faery lovers of both sexes who come to mortal kind are common in Celtic story. The faery kind are not seen as diminutive sprights in Celtic tradition, but as the immortal and ancestral spirits who often have communion and conference with human kind. This ‘Oran Sidhe” or faery song describes the beauty of a faery woman” Caitlin Matthews

I left in the doorway of the bower

My jewel, the dusky, brown, white-skinned,

Her eye like a star, her lip like a berry,

Her voice like a stringed instrument.

I left yesterday in the meadow of the kind

The brown-haired maid of sweetest kiss,

Her eye like a star, her cheek like a rose,

Her kiss has the taste of pears.


According to Patrick Logan (The Old Gods – the facts about Irish Fairies), this poem can be found in the Book of Leinster written in the twelfth century. “It describes a party of warriors who went to Magh Mel (Plain of Honey), and of the many names of fairyland, to help the king recover his wife who had been abducted from him. When they had recovered the stolen wife they all decided to remain in fairyland where their leader shares the ruling power with the king.

White shields they carry in their hands,

With emblems of pale silver;

With glittering blue swords,

With mighty stout horns.

In well-devised battle array,

Ahead of their fair chieftain

They march amid blue spears,

Pal-visaged, curly-headed bands.

They scatter the battalions of the foe,

They ravage every land they attack,

Splendidly they march to combat,

A swift distinguished, avenging host!

No wonder though their strength be great:

Songs of queens and kings are one and all;

On their heads are

Golden-yellow manes.

With smooth comely bodies,

With bright blue-starred eyes,

With pure crystal teeth,

With thin red lips.

Good they are at man-slaying,

Melodious in the ale-house,

Masterly at making songs,

Skilled at playing fidchell.

Translation: Kuno Meyer


A bit more contemporary…

The Fairy Ring

By George Mason and John Earsden

Let us in a lover’s round

Circle all this hallowed ground;

Softly, softly trip and go,

the light-foot Fairies jet it so.

Forward then and back again,

Here and there and everywhere,

Winding to and fro,

Skipping high and louting low;

And, like lovers, hand in hand,

March around and make a stand.

I’d Love to be a Fairy’s Child

By Robert Graves (1895–1985)

CHILDREN born of fairy stock

Never need for shirt or frock,

Never want for food or fire,

Always get their heart’s desire:

Jingle pockets full of gold, 5

Marry when they’re seven years old.

Every fairy child may keep

Two strong ponies and ten sheep;

All have houses, each his own,

Built of brick or granite stone; 10

They live on cherries, they run wild—

I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.

The Fairies

By William Allingham

Up the airy mountain

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n’t go a-hunting,

For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl’s feather.

Down along the rocky shore

Some make their home,

They live on crispy pancakes

Of yellow tide-foam;

Some in the reeds

Of the black mountain-lake,

With frogs for their watch-dogs,

All night awake.

High on the hill-top

The old King sits;

He is now so old and gray

He’s nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist

Columbkill he crosses,

On his stately journeys

From Slieveleague to Rosses;

Or going up with music,

On cold starry nights,

To sup with the Queen,

Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget

For seven years long;

When she came down again

Her friends were all gone.

They took her lightly back

Between the night and morrow;

They thought she was fast asleep,

But she was dead with sorrow.

They have kept her ever since

Deep within the lake,

On a bed of flag leaves,

Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,

Through the mosses bare,

They have planted thorn trees

For pleasure here and there.

Is any man so daring

As dig them up in spite?

He shall find the thornies set

In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain

Down the rushy glen,

We dare n’t go a-hunting,

For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl’s feather.

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