The Disciples At Sais…

The Gold Rush!

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the Beauty of October wherever you are.

So if you’re not aware of it I have been setting up schedules for
Radio Earth-Rites more or less on a weekly basis (as I can) with both music and spoken word. Give it a listen you might enjoy what I’ve been putting up for your listening pleasure.
I’ve been working with a new project on Substack. What I’m doing is gathering writings that I’ve done previously and that I’m doing concurrently and slowly working towards a book to be published this coming year.  This project is more or less a memoir but probably more of a charting of the times and adventures that I and others live through. At this point I am not putting anything up in a linear fashion but will be balancing back and forth through Time from the mid-60s up to the 2000s… I do hope you’ll read these entries and I would really appreciate any feedback that you would Care to share.
So far, there are 5 entries, beginning with 55 Years Ago which details my early years on the road… Lime Kiln, Big Sur 1968 a story after I left the Haight in January 1968… Red Hair Rick is a ghost story from late 1968-69 set in deep Northern California… Gate Keepers is a tale about high end tryptamine experiments, from experiences in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s.
The latest entry 1976-1977 “Snippets”  is an overview of experiences at a time of great personal and social upheaval.
Stay tuned for more entries!
This Edition of Hare’s Tales…
I first started putting this entry together a year ago and I finally had decided to let it be published. I’ve been updating it for the last couple of weeks with links etc a little more music…
I think that you might enjoy the poetry of Eramus Darwin and Peter Lamborn Wilson’s “The Disciples at Sais” which was originally going to be a part of the Invisible College  Alchemy Edition but decided to move it to here.
As I said about the sub stack entries feedback is appreciated.
Take care,

On The Menu:
The Links
Aphex Twin – Stone In Focus
Poetry: Eramus Darwin
Brian Eno – Dune Prophecy
Peter Lamborn Wilson – The Disciples At Sais
Magic Shoppe – In Parallel
The Links:
Pre Human Civilizations?
We Have To Bring This Up Again!
Living Orbs Of Light
The Math of the Honeybee
Graffiti From The Ancients…
Aphex Twin – Stone In Focus

Poetry: Eramus Darwin

Erasmus Darwin was an English physician. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet. His poems included much natural history, including a statement of evolution and the relatedness of all forms of life. Great Grandfather of Charles Darwin… 

His great poem, The Botanic Garden is not included here, but perhaps in the future in extracts.

To The Stars

Roll on, ye starts! exult in youthful prime,
Mark with bright curves the printless steps of time;
Near and more near your beamy cars approach,
And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach;
Flowers of the sky! ye, too, to age must yield.
Frail as your silken sisters of the field!
Star after star from heaven’s high arch shall rush,
Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush,
Headlong, extinct, to one dark centre fall,
And death, and night, and chaos mingle all!
Till o’er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
Immortal nature lifts her changeful form,
Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
And soars and shines, another and the same!

The Linnet’s Nest

The busy birds, with nice selection, cull
Soft thistle-down, gray moss, and scatter’d wool;
Far from each prying eye the nest prepare,
Form’d of warm moss, and lined with softest hair.
Week after week, regardless of her food,
Th’ incumbent linnet warms her future brood;
Each spotted egg with ivory bill she turns,
Day after day with fond impatience burns;
Hears the young prisoner chirping in his cell,
And breaks in hemispheres the fragile shell.


Now stood Eliza on the wood-crowned height,
O’er Minden’s plain, spectatress of the fight;
Sought, with bold eye, amid the bloody strife,
Her dearer self, the partner of her life;
From hill to hill the rushing host pursued,
And viewed his banner, or believed she viewed.
Pleased with the distant roar, with quicker tread,
Fast by the hand, one lisping boy she led;
And one fair girl, amid the loud alarm,
Slept on her kerchief, cradled on her arm:
While round her brows bright beams of honour dart,
And love’s warm eddies circle round her heart.
Near and more near the intrepid beauty pressed,
Saw, through the driving smoke, his dancing crest,
Heard the exulting shout, ‘they run! – they run!’
‘He’s safe!’ she cried, ‘he’s safe! – the battle’s won!’
A ball now hisses through the airy tides,
(Some Fury wings it, and some Demon guides,)
Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck,
Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck;
The red stream, issuing from her azure veins,
Dyes her white veil, her ivory bosom stains –
‘Ah me!’ she cried, and sinking on the ground,
Kissed her dear babes, regardless of the wound;
‘Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn!
Wait, gushing life – oh, wait my love’s return!’
Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far,
The angel Pity shuns the walks of war ;-
‘Oh spare, ye war-hounds, spare their tender age!
On me, on me,’ she cried, ‘exhaust your rage!’
Then, with weak arms, her weeping babes caressed,
And, sighing, hid them in her blood-stained vest.

From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies,
Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes;
Eliza’s name along the camp he calls,
‘Eliza’ echoes the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread,
O’er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead,
Vault o’er the plain – and in the tangled wood –
Lo – dead Eliza – weltering in her blood!

Soon hears his listening son the welcome sounds;
With open arms and sparkling eyes, he bounds:
‘Speak low,’ he cries, and gives his little hand –
‘Mamma’s asleep upon the dew-cold sand;
Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake –
Why do you weep? – mamma will soon awake.’
‘She’ll wake no more!’ the hopeless mourner cried,
Upturned his eyes, and clasped his hands, and sighed;
Stretched on the ground awhile entranced he lay,
And pressed warm kisses on the lifeless clay;
He then upsprang, with wild convulsive start,
And all the father kindled in his heart;
‘O Heaven!’ he cried, ‘my first rash vow forgive!
These bind to earth – for these I pray to live!’
Round his chill babes he wrapped his crimson vest,
And clasped them sobbing to his aching breast.
Brian Eno – Dune Prophecy

The Disciples At Sais
Lecture by Peter Lamborn Wilson

Nature loves to hide (Becoming is a secret process). – Heraclitus (Guy Davenport Translation)

The sciences must all be made poetic. – Novalis [1]

If God can become man, he can also become element, stone, plant, animal. Perhaps there is a continual Redemption in nature. – Novalis

If the world is a tree, we are the blossoms. – Novalis [2]

Santos-Dumont, the Parisian-Brazilian aviation pioneer and inventor of the airplane, during a sojourn in his native land in 1934, saw federalist planes dropping bombs on rebel troops. He hanged himself later that day. His last words, as reported by an elevator operator: “I never thought that my inven­tion would cause bloodshed between brothers. What have I done?” [3]

For historians to say that A leads inevitably to Z – for example, that German Romanticism leads inevitably to Reaction, or that Marx leads directly to Stalin – is to mistake the bitter wisdom of hindsight for a principle of fatality. Such determinism also insults all revolutionary resistance with the implicit charge of stupid futil­ity: – Since the real Totality is always perfectly inevitable, its ene­mies are always idiots. Global Capital was inevitable and now it’s here to stay-ergo the entire movement of the Social amounts to sheer waste of time and energy. The ruination of nature was fated, hence all resistance is futile, whether by ignorant savages or per­verse eco?terrorists. Nothing’s worth doing except that which is done: there can be no “different world.”

The “Ruination of Nature”

For Christianity nature is fallen, locus of sin and death, while heaven is a city of crystal and metal. For Capital nature is a resource, a pit of raw materials, a form of property. As nature begins to “disappear” in the late eighteenth century, it comes to seem more and more ruined. For some perhaps a Romantic, even a magical ruin (as in the dreams of Renaissance magi and their “love of ruins,” grottos, the broken and “grotesque”) – but by others felt simply as useless waste, a wrecked place where no one lives except monsters, vagabonds, animals: the uncanny haunt of ghouls and owls. “Second Nature” meaning culture, or even “Third Nature” meaning Allah knows what precisely, have usurped and erased all wilderness. [4] What remains but mere representation?–a nostalgia for lost Edens, Arcadias and Golden Ages?–a ludicrous sentimen­tality disguised as what? – as a sacred theory of earth?

The view of Nature as Ruin depends in part (or half?consciously) on the concept of a Cartesian ergo sum alone in a universe where everything else is dead matter and “animals have no soul,” mere meat machines. But if the human body remains part of nature or in nature, then even a consistent materialist would have to admit that nature is not quite yet dead.

Science, taking over the mythic task of religion, strives to “free” consciousness from all mortal taint. Soon we’ll be posthuman enough for cloning, total prosthesis, machinic immortality. But somehow a shred of nature may remain, a plague perhaps, or the great global “accident,” blind Nature’s revenge, meteors from outer space, etc. – “you know the score,” as William Burroughs used to say.

Taking the long view (and allowing for noble exceptions) sci­ence does precisely what State and Capital demand of it:-make war, make money. “Pure” science is allowed only because it might lead to technologies of death and profit-and this was just as true for the old alchemists who mutated into Isaac Newton, as for the new physicists who ripped open the structure of matter itself. Even medicine (seemingly the most altruistic of sciences) advances and progresses primarily in order to increase productivity of workers and generate a world of healthy consumers.

Does Capital make death ultimately more profitable than life? No, not exactly, although it might seem so to a citizen of Bhopal/ Love Canal/Chernobyl. In effect it might be said that profit equals death, in the sense of Randolph Bourne’s quip about war as the health of the state (which incidentally means that “Green Capital­ism” is an abject contradiction in terms).

Another science might have been possible. Indeed if we reject the notion of fatality, another science might yet come to be. A new paradigm is always conceivable, and theories now considered defeated, lost, wrong, and absurd, might even (someday) be recon­figured into a paradigmatic pattern, a science for life rather than death. Signs of emergence of such a science are always present–because science itself wants to deal with truth, and life is true and real. But the emergence is always-in the long run-crushed and suppressed by the “inevitable” demands of technology and Capital. It’s our tragic fate to know and yet be unable to act.

Among those who do act, the scientists and warriors, many believe (for the most part sincerely) that they’re serving progress and democracy. In their secret hearts perhaps some of them know they serve Death, but they do it anyway because they’re nihilists, cynically greedy for big budgets and Nobel prizes. A few fanatics actually hate the body, hate Earth, hate trees-and serve as shills for politicians and corporations. In general most people find all this normal. Only a few awake – but are blocked from action.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a sort of three-way scientific paradigm war was waged in England and Europe. The contenders were, first: Cartesianism – which denied action at a dis­tance and tried to explain gravity by a corpuscular theory that reduced the universe to a clock-like mechanism set in motion by “God”; second, Hermeticism, the ancient science of the micro/mac­rocosm, which believed firmly in action at a distance but failed to explain gravity – and (even worse) failed to achieve the transmuta­tion of lead into gold, which would at least have secured for it the enthusiastic support of State and capital; and, third, the school of Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton, culminating in the Royal Soci­ety – and the Industrial Revolution.

This scheme is vastly oversimplified of course. The actual his­tory of “the triumph of modern science” is far more complex than the usual triumphalist version. We now know for example that some of the very founders of modern science were closet her­meticists. Bacon’s New Atlantis exhibits strong Rosicrucian tenden­cies. Erasmus Darwin, Boyle, Priestly, Benjamin Franklin, and most notoriously, Isaac Newton, all immersed themselves in occult stud­ies. Newton devoted millions of words to alchemy but never pub­lished a single one of them. William Blake, who skewered Newton’s dead, “Urizenic” rationalism, had no idea that Newton was an alchemist. I’ve always suspected that Newton simply stole the idea of gravity as action at a distance (an invisible force) from Hermeti­cism. Amazingly, the math worked. The Royal Society suppressed its own hermetic origins and (especially after 1688) adhered to the new bourgeois monarchy, emergent capitalism, and Enlightenment rationalism. The spooky nature of Newtonian gravity still bothers some scientists, who persist in looking for corpuscular “gravitons.” But the Newtonians won the paradigm war and “Newton’s Sleep” (as Blake called it) still dims the eyes with which we perceive and experience reality, despite the new spookiness of relativity and quantum paradoxes.

Admittedly this historical sketch is very rough, and offered with some trepidation. The whole story of the paradigm war remains quite murky, in part because a great deal of research is still being written from a History of Science p.o.v. deeply infected with tri­umphalism. True, it’s no longer fashionable to sneer at the alche­mists or write as if everyone in the Past were stupid. But alchemy and hermeticism in general are still viewed in the light of modern
science as failed precursors. The central hermetic doctrine of the “ensouled universe” receives no credence or even sympathy in aca­demia-and very little grant money goes to magicians.

Therefore I offer only a tentative hypothesis. It appears that both the Cartesians and the Newtonians happily agreed in their eagerness to discard and deride the central thesis of the hermetic paradigm, the idea of the living Earth. Descartes envisioned only “dead matter,” Newton used the concept of invisible but material forces; and their followers turned their backs on any “sacred the­ory of earth,” banishing not only God from their clockwork oranges but even life itself. As Novalis put it, under the hands of these scientists “friendly nature died, leaving behind only dead, quivering remnants.” These loveless scientists see nature as sick or even dead, and their search for truth leads only to “her sickroom, her charnel?house.” [5]

Goethe, too, attacked the kind of science that bases itself on death-the butterfly pinned under glass or dissected rather than the butterfly living and moving. In his great work on the morphol­ogy of plants he founded a new branch of botany. Or rather, per­haps not quite “new.” Brilliant as it was, it had predecessors. In some sense it was in fact based on hermeticism and especially on Paracelsus, the great sixteenth century alchemist.[6] German adher­ents of Naturphilosophie, and such independent thinkers as Goethe, or indeed Novalis (who was a trained scientist and professional mining engineer), might really be seen as “neo” hermeticists, steeped in Paracelsus, Jakob Boehme, and the Rosicrucian litera­ture. We might call this whole complex or weltanschauung, “Romantic Science.”

Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles), a member of the Royal Society, doctor and inventor, comrade of Watt, Priestly and Wedge­wood, wrote a strange epic poem based on the work of the Swedish botanist Linnaeus, in which the sex-life of the plants was expressed in hermetic terms deriving from Paracelsus, who wrote so beauti­fully of the “Elemental Spirits” of Earth, Air, Fire and Water: the gnomes, sylphs, salamanders and undines.7 Darwin’s marvelous Botanic Garden influenced P. B. Shelley (who also admired Darwin’s political radicalism); thus Dr. Darwin could be considered a precur­sor of English Romanticism but also of Surrealism and the ecology movement. His poem has all the marks of the complex I’ve called neo-hermeticism or Romantic Science. It was published in England almost at the very time Novalis in Germany was writing his frag­mentary “novel” The Disciples at Saïs, a neglected masterpiece of her­metic-Romantic science-theory (much admired by the Surrealists). Like The Botanic Garden, it is long out of print (at least in English).[8]

Early German Romanticism in general can be “read” as neo-her­meticism. Novalis, Tieck, Wackenroder, and Schlegel, as well as J. G. Haman, “the Magus of the North,” have been vilified as “enemies of the Enlightenment,” [9] but one might prefer to see them rather as nineteenth century proponents of a seventeenth century “Rosicru­cian Enlightenment” (as Frances Yates called it), now stripped of its medieval clumsiness: – a rectified hermeticism, refined by practical experience and dialectical precision. Hermeticism did not stop “evolving” with the failure of the Rosicrucian project. Romantic sci­ence was a direct continuation of it; and hermeticism has its scien­tific defenders even today (such as the well-known chaos scientist Ralph Abraham, a devotee of Dr. John Dee).

During the Second World War certain philosophers of both Capitalism and Communism decided to blame fascism on the Ger­man Romantic movement and its “final” theorist F. Nietzsche. Rationalism was defined as good and surrationalism as evil. Ecolo­gists even today are often tarred with the brush of “irrationalism,” especially when they’re activists. A local real estate developer here in the Catskill Mountains of New York State recently called his envi­ronmentalist enemies, a group called “Save the Ridge,” “Nazis” in an interview with The New Paltz Times. Everything that Capital wants is “rational” by definition and even by decree. Capital wins all the wars; ergo, Rationalism is “true,” q.e.d.

But modern radicals such as the Frankfurt School (Benjamin, Bloch, Marcuse), the Surrealists, the Situationists, all decided to try to seize back Romanticism from the dustbin of History and to champion the surrealist and even hermetic program of left-wing anti?Enlightenment, anti-authoritarian and ecological resistance that a recent book has called Revolutionary Romanticism. [10]

I believe that today’s ecological resistance cannot afford to ignore its own sources in a vain attempt to reconcile itself with the Totality and scientific apotheosis of Global Capital. Romantic Science is literally a sine qua non for the resistance to ecological disintegration. I would like to argue the case (tho’ I’d be hard-put to prove it) that the “new” scientific paradigm we’re looking for to replace the dead-matter/material-force scientific world view of Enlightenment/State/Capital, can best be found in the perennial but underground tradition of hermetic-Romantic science. Something very much like a manifesto for this movement can still be gleaned from the Disciples at Saïs by Novalis, a.k.a. Count Friedrich von Hardenberg.

An archetypal Romantic like Keats and Rimbaud, Novalis was born in a haunted house and died young and handsome on March 25, 1801, aged 29. Only the last three years of his life were seri­ously devoted to literature. In 1794 he met a twelve-year-old girl named Sophie von Kühn and fell in love with her; she died in 1797, as did the poet’s beloved younger brother, aged fourteen. Both these ghosts haunted the rest of his life and work. In The Disci­ples they appear as the sophianic heroine Rosenblüte (“Rose-petal,” probably a Rosicrucian reference), and the blue?eyed boy who inspires the disciples. This child has all-blue eyes like star sapphires, with no white or iris-an image that relates him to the famous symbol of the Imagination in Novalis’s only completed novel, Hein­rich von Ofterdingen: the elusive “blue flower” that became the emblem of German Romanticism.

The Disciples remained fragmentary, in part because the Roman­tics believed in fragments; Novalis called the text “fragments… all of them having reference to nature,” although he’d hoped to expand it some day into a “symbolic novel.” He worked on it while composing his best-known poems, Hymns to Night. The story’s set­ting, the Temple of Isis at Saïs in Egypt, was doubtless inspired by Plato, who claimed that Solon of Athens learned the history of Atlantis there from the Egyptian priests. This Greco-Egyp­tian-Atlantaean nexus already suggests a precise hermetic inten­tionality, and Novalis makes it quite clear that the disciples at Saïs are to experience not merely an education but an initiation into nature, symbolized by lifting the veil of Isis – simultaneously an act of epistemology and of eroticism.

On the very first pages Novalis evokes hermetic science quite specifically:

“Various are the roads of man. He who follows and compares them will see strange figures emerge, figures which seem to belong to that great cipher which we discern written everywhere, in wings, eggshells, clouds and snow, in crystals and in stone formations, on ice?covered waters, on the inside and outside of mountains, of plants, beasts and men, in the lights of heaven, on scored disks of pitch or glass or in iron filings round a magnet, and in strange con­junctures of chance. In them we suspect a key to the magic writing, even a grammar, but our surmise takes on no definite forms and seems unwilling to become a higher key. It is as though an alkahest had been poured over the senses of man.” (4-5)

The “scored discs of pitch or glass” probably refer to the Chladni Diagrams, patterns formed in resin or sand by sound, much admired by the Romantics. [11] “Alkahest” means universal solvent; the term was coined by the alchemist Paracelsus. The alkahest dissolves our vision, blurs it, renders it dreamlike. James Hillman once proposed that it doesn’t matter much whether we remember our dreams or do anything about them, because the work that goes on in dreams hap­pens regardless of us. Might this be true of nature as well?

The “great cipher” (in the sense of “code”) and “magic writing” suggest the occult interpretation of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, which had fascinated hermeticists since the Renaissance. The whole paragraph thus invites us to read everything that follows as up?dated Rosicrucian hermeticism.

On the subject of the hieroglyphs, Novalis later says this:

“They (the disciples) had been lured above all by that sacred lan­guage that had been the glittering bond between those kingly men and the inhabitants of the regions above the earth, and some pre­cious words of which, according to countless legends, were known to a few fortunate sages among our ancestors. Their speech was a wondrous song, its irresistible tones penetrated deep into the inwardness of nature and split it apart. Each of their names seemed to be the key to the soul of each thing in nature. With creative power these vibrations called forth all images of the world’s phe­nomena, and the life of the universe can rightly be said to have been an eternal dialogue of a thousand voices; for in the language of those men all forces, all modes of action seemed miraculously united. To seek out the ruins of this language, or at least all reports concerning it, had been one of the main purposes of their journey, and the call of antiquity had drawn them also to Saïs. Here from the learned clerks of the temple archives, they hoped to obtain important reports, and perhaps even to find indications in the great collections of every kind.” (113-115)

Concerning the Veil of Isis Novalis says: “… and if, according to the inscription, no mortal can lift the veil, we must seek to become immortal; he who does not seek to lift it, is no true nov­ice of Saïs” (17). At first this doctrine may sound promethean- the scientist “conquers” nature and ravishes her secrets–but in truth this is not the Enlightenment speaking here. The transgres­sion, the violation of the paradox (you may not lift the veil but you must), can only be achieved by one who has already tran­scended the all-too-human – the Nietzschean hero who is none other than the hermetic sage.

Like all Romantics, Novalis believed in an earlier or more pri­mordial humanity that lived closer to nature and more in harmony with it, as lovers rather than ravishers. In one sense he means tribal peoples, “savages,” peoples-without-government. But this “anti­quity” also includes historical periods as well, such as that of the Late Classical neo-platonic theurgists, or even the seventeenth cen­tury Rosicrucians, as the following passage suggests:

“To those earlier men, everything seemed human, familiar, and com­panionable, there was freshness and originality in all their percep­tions, each one of their utterances was a true product of nature, their ideas could not help but accord with the world around them and express it faithfully. We can therefore regard the ideas of our forefathers concerning the things of this world as a necessary prod­uct, a self?portrait of the state of earthly nature at that time, and from these ideas, considered as the most fitting instruments for observing the universe, we can assuredly take the main relation, the relation between the world and its inhabitants. We find that the noblest questions of all first occupied their attention and that they sought the key to the wondrous edifice, sometimes in a common measure of real things, and sometimes in the fancied object of an unknown sense. This key, it is known, was generally divined in the liquid, the vaporous, the shapeless.” (21-23)

“The main relation … between the world and its inhabitants:” – in other words, ecology, the science of Earth’s household oeconomie, the balance of a nature that includes the human: this is the great subject of the little book, rising directly out of Novalis’s hermetic vision of earth as a living being. This rather radical notion does not really derive from Plato and the Platonists (as many scholars carelessly maintain); the Platonists had an almost Gnostic disdain for the mere shadows of material reality. Tribal and shamanic peo­ples almost always adhere to some view of nature as alive, but the idea only re?enters “civilized” western thought with the Renais­sance magi, especially Giordano Bruno, Marsilio Ficino, and Paracelsus. [12]

For Novalis the true language of science would be poetry:

“That is why poetry has been the favorite instrument of true friends of nature, and the spirit of nature has shone most radiantly in poems. When we read and hear true poems, we feel the movement of nature’s inner reason and like its celestial embodiment, we dwell in it and hover over it at once.” (25)

“To hover over and dwell in” simultaneously: the scientist like the poet cannot objectively separate self from nature in order to study it without also subjectively retaining an existential identity with the “object.” A split here would constitute an ecological disas­ter. In fact self and world must be experienced as reflections of each other, as microcosm and macrocosm. “As Above So Below” as The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus puts it so succinctly.

“Those who would know her spirit truly must therefore seek it in the company of poets, where she is free and pours forth her wondrous heart. But those who do not love her from the bottom of their hearts, who only admire this and that in her and wish to learn this and that about her, must visit her sickroom, her charnel?house”(27). Within us there lies a mysterious force that tends in all directions, spreading from a center hidden in infinite depths. If wondrous nature, the nature of the senses and the nature that is not of the senses, surrounds us, we believe this force to be an attraction of nature, an effect of our sympathy with her.”


“A few stand calmly in this glorious abode, seeking only to embrace it in its plenitude and enchainment; no detail makes them forget the glittering thread that joins the links in rows to form the holy candelabrum, and they find beatitude in the contemplation of this living ornament hovering over the depths of night. The ways of contemplating nature are innumerable; at one extreme the senti­ment of nature becomes a jocose fancy, a banquet, while at the other it develops into the most devout religion, giving to a whole life direction, principle, meaning.” (29-31)

The image of nature as “holy candelabrum,” contemplated by the rapt adept, seems to derive from a Kabbalistic source, especially the so?called “Christian Cabala” of Agrippa and the Rosicrucians such as Knorr von Rosenroth.13 The religion of nature here propounded by Novalis strikes me as the single most radical idea of hermetic Romanticism-the same idea that led Bruno to the stake in Rome in 1600. In nineteenth century America Thoreau was the great prophet of the faith, and the paintings of the Hudson River School its icons. In the twentieth century the American Indians re-emerged among the teachers of this path, giving it the sharp focus of shamanic vision. Hermeticism, like shamanism, cannot be defined exactly as a religion, nor exactly as a science. In a sense both religion and science have betrayed us; – and it is precisely in this sense that hermeticism offers us something else, something dif­ferent. Romantic Science is also a spiritual path. Without this pri­mary realization science is nothing but fatality, and religion nothing but a kind of anti-science.

The scientist poet

“never wearies of contemplating nature and conversing with her, fol­lows all her beckonings, finds no journey too arduous if it is she who calls, even should it take him into the dank bowels of the earth: surely he will find ineffable treasures, in the end his candle will come to rest and then who knows into what heavenly mysteries a charming subterranean sprite may initiate him. Surely no one strays farther from the goal than he who imagines that he already knows the strange realm, that he can explain its structure in few words and everywhere find the right path. No one who tears him­self loose and makes himself an island arrives at understanding without pains.” (37)

The “subterranean sprite” refers directly to Paracelsus and the Elemental Spirits again: this is a gnome or kobold, Novalis’s tute­lary (and seductive) Elemental, inhabitant of the deep mines where the poet earned his living.

“Not one of the senses must slumber, and even if not all are equally awake, all must be stimulated and not repressed or neglected.” (37-39)

Here Novalis sounds like Rimbaud; although he speaks of awak­ening the senses rather than deranging them, he hints at the possi­bility of a psychedelic path – or rather an entheogenic path – since the object and subject alike of the awakened senses is a goddess. “Entheogenic” means “giving birth to the divine within.” It’s a new name for the hallucinatory experience of the phantastica; the term is not liked or used by those who require no “divine hypothesis.”

“Ultimately some who deny the divinity of nature will come uncon­sciously to hate that which denies them meaning. “Very well,” say these scientists, let our race carry on a slow, well?conceived war of annihilation with nature! We must seek to lay her low with insidi­ous poisons. The scientist is a noble hero, who leaps into the open abyss in order to save his fellow citizens.”


“Exploit her strife to bend her to your will, like the fire?spewing bull. She must be made to serve you.” (43?45)

To this the Elementals themselves seem to reply: [14]

“‘O, if only man,’ they said, ‘could understand the inner music of nature, if only he had a sense for outward harmonies. But he scarcely knows that we belong together and that none of us can exist without the others. He cannot leave anything in place, tyran­nically he parts us, and plucks at our dissonances. How happy he could be if he treated us amiably and entered into our great cove­nant, as he did in the good old days, rightly so named. In those days he understood us, as we understood him. His desire to Become God has separated him from us, he seeks what he cannot know or divine, and since then he has ceased to be a harmonizing voice, a companion movement.


“‘Will he ever learn to feel? This divine, this most natural of all senses is little known to him: feeling would bring back the old time, the time we yearn for; the element of feeling is an inward light that breaks into stronger, more beautiful colors. Then the stars would rise within him, he would learn to feel the whole world, and his feeling would be richer and clearer than the limits and surfaces that his eye now discloses. Master of an endless dance, he would forget all his insensate strivings in joy everlasting, nourishing itself and forever growing. Thought is only a dream of feeling, a dead feeling, a pale-gray feeble life.'” (69?73)

Contemporary environmentalists, caught up in the sharpened and swirling debates of what sometimes looks like an End Time, may feel disappointed that Novalis lacks vehemence in his denun­ciation of “evil scientists” (as Hollywood used to call them). But in the 1790s the full implications of Enlightenment science remained largely speculative. Satanic mills were only just beginning to appear, the concept of pollution scarcely existed. Novalis deserves credit for foreseeing so much so clearly–but nobody could have predicted what actually happened. Now speaking in yet another voice, Novalis explains that the epitome of what stirs our feelings is called nature, hence nature stands in an immediate relation to the functions of our body that we call senses.

“Unknown and mysterious relations within our body cause us to surmise unknown and mysterious states in nature; nature is a com­munity of the marvelous, into which we are initiated by our body, and which we learn to know in the measure of our body’s faculties and abilities. The question arises, whether we can learn to under­stand the nature of natures through this specific nature.” (77-79)

This constitutes a perfect summing up of the ancient Romantic doctrine of microcosmic humanity and macrocosmic nature or existence itself.

“‘It seems venturesome,’ said another, ‘to attempt to compose nature from its outward forces and manifestations, to represent it now as a gigantic fire, now as a wonderfully constructed waterfall, now as a duality or a triad, or as some other weird force. More conceivably, it is the product of an inscrutable harmony among infinitely various essences, a miraculous bond with the spirit world, the point at which innumerable worlds touch and are joined.'” (81)

“Everything divine has a history; can it be that nature, the one total­ity by which man can measure himself, should not be bound together in a history, or–and this is the same thing–that it should have no spirit? Nature would not be nature if it had no spirit, it would not be the unique counterpart to mankind, not the indispens­able answer to this mysterious question, or the question to this never?ending answer.” (85)

The Disciples at Saïs is a “novel” in that it uses a variety of voices–but very few developed characters. The voices seem not to argue so much as play out variations in the author’s mind, thus allowing him a typically Romantic freedom of inconsistency and self?contradiction. For example it’s not certain that Novalis himself believed that “everything divine has a history;” but he seems to experience or feel the idea as yet another varia­tion on his great theme, the reconciliation of matter and spirit under the sign of nature.

“So inexhaustible is nature’s fantasy, that no one will seek its com­pany in vain. It has power to beautify, animate, confirm, and even though an unconscious, unmeaning mechanism seems to govern the part, the eye that looks deeper discerns a wonderful sympathy with the human heart in concurrences and in the sequence of iso­lated accidents.” [15] (87)

Novalis criticizes even the poets for not “exaggerating nearly enough.” The I-Thou relation between consciousness and nature should lead to magic powers, so to speak, an ability to move nature from within rather than as an alienated outsider.

“In order to understand nature, we must allow nature to be born inwardly in its full sequence. In this undertaking, we must be led entirely by the divine yearning for beings that are like us, we must seek out the conditions under which it is possible to question them, for truly, all nature is intelligible only as an instrument and medium for the communication of rational beings.” (91-3)

(These “rational beings” of course include the Elementals, the personae of nature.)

“The thinking man returns to the original function of his existence, to creative contemplation, to the point, where knowledge and cre­ation were united in a wondrous mutual tie, to that creative moment of true enjoyment, of inward self?conception. If he immerses himself entirely in the contemplation of this primeval phenomenon, the history of the creation of nature unfolds before him in newly emerging times and spaces like a tale that never ends, and the fixed point that crystallizes in the infinite fluid becomes for him a new revelation of the genius of love, a new bond between the Thou and the I. A meticulous account of this inward universal history is the true theory of nature. The relations within his thought world and its harmony with the universe will give rise to a philosophical system that will be the faithful picture and formula of the universe.” (93)

The “art of pure contemplation” is also a creative metaphysics–that is, an art of the creation of value and meaning–and also “The Art” itself in a spagyric sense, the magical art of transmutation.

“Yes,” says another voice, “nothing is so marvelous as the great simultaneity of nature. Everywhere nature seems wholly present.” This hermetic thought leads on to a contemplation of the con­sciousness of nature as essentially erotic.

“What is the flame that is manifested everywhere? A fervent embrace, whose sweet fruits fall like sensuous dew. Water,
first?born child of airy fusions, cannot deny its voluptuous origin and reveals itself an element of love, and of its mixture with divine omnipotence on earth. Not without truth have ancient sages sought the origin of things in water, and indeed, they spoke of a water more exalted than sea and well water. A water in which only primal fluidity is manifested, as it is manifested in liquid metal; therefore should men revere it always as divine. How few up to now have immersed themselves in the mysteries of fluidity, and there are some in whose drunken soul this surmise of the highest enjoyment and the highest life has never wakened. In thirst this world soul is revealed, this immense longing for liquefaction. The intoxicated feel only too well the celestial delight of the liquid ele­ment, and ultimately all pleasant sensations are multiform flowings and stirrings of those primeval waters in us.” [16] (103?105)

“A man born blind cannot learn to see, though you may speak to him forever of colors and lights and distant shapes. No one will fathom nature, who does not, as though spontaneously, recognize and distinguish nature everywhere, who does not with an inborn creative joy, a rich and fervent kinship with all things, mingle with all of nature’s creatures through the medium of feeling, who does not feel his way into them.” (109)

“Happy I call this son, this darling of nature, whom she permits to behold her in her duality, as a power that engenders and bears, and in her unity, as an endless, everlasting marriage. His life will be a plenitude of all pleasures, a voluptuous chain, and his religion will be the real, the true naturalism.” (111)

* * *

The Disciples at Saïs is not a finished work. It ends with a passage on the figure of the “prophet of nature” that feels unfinished to me and even unrevised. Some commentators believe that it constitutes a character sketch of Professor Werner of Freyberg, his teacher of mineralogy, and apparently a true Romantic scientist. Undoubtedly Novalis meant to go on, to create a firmer narrative structure, per­haps to add more symbolic märchen like the Tale of Hyacinth and Rose?petal, perhaps to develop ideas about specific sciences such as mining. But the various and rather disorganized paragraphs of the book serve as aphorisms, complete little thoughts in themselves. Novalis gave up trying to combine his “fragments” with his narra­tive ideas. The latter went into his one complete novel Heinrich von Ofterdingen. The former went into his wonderful Aphorisms or Frag­ments, so admired by Nietzsche and indeed imitated by him in their blending of eighteenth century epigrammatic wit and nine­teenth century ambiguity and Romantic fervor.

A complete exploration of Novalis as a conscious hermeticist and Romantic scientist would require a much longer work than this, in which for example a chapter would be devoted to the influ­ence of Paracelsus, and also of the great Rosicrucian novel The Chy­mical Wedding of Christian Rosycross. Further chapters would compare ideas in The Disciples with parallel thoughts in Novalis’s other works, his notebooks and letters, etc.–and then with the scientific ideas of his contemporaries such as Von Humbolt, Goethe, and the Naturphilosophie school.

Nevertheless The Disciples at Saïs by itself appears to provide a clear and concise summation–indeed a manifesto–for what we might now call eco?spirituality. If Novalis were writing today, two centuries later, no doubt he would have a great deal more to say about science as alienation, about the horrors of the industrial and “post?industrial” assault on nature, about pollution as the material manifestation of bad consciousness. He might be much more pessimistic now, less certain of the return of the Golden Age-that perennial goal of radical hermeticism and Rosicrucianism.

In 1968 German radicals like their French and American and Mexican counterparts re?discovered revolutionary Romanticism and seized back the blue flower of Novalis from the forces of reac­tion. “All power to the Imagination.” Despite all vicissitudes and set?backs since the 1960s this paradigm is still emerging. It’s exem­plified in the almost?mystical ideas of certain quantum philoso­phers, chaos and complexity scientists and proponents of the Gaia Hypothesis: the idea that matter and consciousness are inter?con­nected–that the Earth is a living being–that science is an erotic relation. It persists in the ideas and actions of those few “defenders of the earth” brave enough to defy the greed/death/media-trance of the Totality and challenge the institutionalization of body-hatred, misery and boredom that constitutes our Imperium and drives our pollution of all time and space.

In the realm of science ideas can really be considered actions–and in this strange identity science retains an ancient and occult link with the magical hermetic tradition. But only a science freed from slavery to money and war (Capital and State) can ever hope to empower the ideas that would act as Novalis hoped his ideas would act: to save the world from the dark forces of Enlightenment, from “the cruel instrumentality of Reason”–not to fall into the opposite sin of irrational reaction-but to transcend all false dualities in a true “wedding,” both alchemical and erotic, between consciousness and nature. That was the goal of the disciples, the lifting of the veil of Isis, the initiation into a lost language. If that still remains our goal today, does this prove that in 200 years we have been defeated?-or that we have not yet experienced the true dream of the sacred theory of earth that points the way to victory?


1. Letter to A. W. Schiegel (IV, 229 in N’s German Complete Works).

2. The other two Novalis quotes are from the “Notebook,” translated by Thomas Frick in Frick and Richard Grossinger, eds., The Sacred Theory of the Earth (Berkeley: North Atlanic Books, 1986). Throughout this essay I will use the translation of The Novices of Saïs by Ralph Manheim (though I prefer the use of “Disciples” rather than “Novices”), in the 1949 edition published by Curt Valentin in New York, with a rather useless preface by Stephen Spender, and sixty exquisite drawings by Paul Klee. I can’t think of a more appropriate illustrator-unless perhaps Joseph Beuys. See also C. V. Becker and R. Manstetter, “Novalis’ Thought on Nature, Humankind and Economy: A New Perspective for Discussing Modern Environmental Problems,” available on line from <>

3. Paul Hoffman, Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos?Dumont and the Invention of Flight (Hyperion, 2003); I saw the anecdote in a review.

4. In the lexicon of the US Parks Services, “wilderness” is defined as the areas most strictly controlled and regulated-a perversion of language possible only to a government bureaucracy.

5. Novalis, The Disciples at Saïs. See below.

6. A.k.a. Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, the most original thinker in alchemy since Jabir ibn Hayyan; died 1541 in Saltzberg.

7. Darwin’s direct source was undoubtedly Pope’s “Rape of the Lock,” also based on Paracelsus via a strange little book called Le Comte de Gabalis, a treatise on the Elementals.

8. My copy of Darwin’s great poem, with illustrations by Fuseli and William Blake, is a facsimile of the 1791 edition, by Scholar Press (London, 1973). Incidentally, Novalis was a reader of Darwin and refers to him as an authority in Flower Pollen (see The Disciples at Saïs and Other Fragments, translated by F.V.M.T. and U.C.B., with an introduction by Una Birch [later Pope?Henessy]; London: Methuen, 1903). Novalis’s beloved dead brother was named Erasmus. [later note: Thanks indirectly to our conference in New Paltz, a new edition of the Manheim translation of The Novices of Saïs, with the Klee illustrations, is now available from Archipelago Books of Brooklyn, NY (2005)]

9. By the Rationalist philosopher Isaiah Berlin, whose useful but polemical interpretation utterly fails to consider hermetic roots.

10. Max Blechman, ed., Revolutionary Romanticism (San Francisco: City Lights, 2000). See also Michael Lowy and Robert Sayre, Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001). Thanks to Joel Kovel for this reference.

11. E. E. F. Chladni (1756?1827) also invented a musical instrument called the euphonium.

12. The earliest version I’ve found is from Bishop Nicholas of Cusa (died 1464), who held that the Earth is a living “star,” worthy of respect and even adulation. Needless to say Cusanus was accused of pantheism, and was greatly admired by the hermeticists.

13. “So-called” but not very accurately. Cornelius Agrippa was scarcely an apologist for any Christian orthodoxy. “Hermetic Cabala” might be a more precise term.

14. This speech is attributed by Novalis to certain of the novices, but strangely they speak of “man” as of an other. Such sentiments are attributed to the Elementals by Paracelsus. Perhaps some of the disciples at Saïs are Elementals!

15. Among other things this passage could serve almost as a definition of Surrealism, especially in its hermetic phases, those that reveal it most clearly as a stage of the Romantic movement.

16. This passage reflects the seventeenth century scientific hypothesis of “Neptunism,” now discredited but very popular with the Romantics.

An earlier version of this article was presented at a conference on “Sacred Theory of Earth” held at the Old French Church in New Paltz, New York, September 21, 2003. My thanks to all participants for their critiques and comments-Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Rachel Pollack, Lady Vervaine, Robert Kelly, Bishop Mark Aelred, and especially David Levi Strauss, who responded to my paper and later gave me more quotes and references. Thanks also to Joel Kovel, Lorraine Perlman, Raymond Foye, Kate Manheim. Julia Man­heim, for permission to use Ralph Manheim’s translation of Saïs, Bruce McPherson, Jack Collom, Christopher Bamford, Jim Fleming, Zoe Matoff, and the Huguenot Historical Society of New Paltz. An earlier version of this paper appeared in the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism.
The Magnificent Magic-Shoppe… Love this band. Gives me hope.


Into The Future

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis

I hope this finds you well and your days full of activity (or not).

The rains have finally returned to Oregon and is absolutely glorious. After the heat of summer and the struggle of keeping plants going and the fear of wildfire the rains are a blessed relief. Hopefully we’ll get much more in the season for balancing out the last several months, even though that may be overly optimistic on my part.

There is another SubStack entry for your reading enjoyment: Red Haired Rick Hauntings In The North Woods. This is a tale from 1969.  An encounter with one of the great mysteries… The SubStack entries will probably move away from that time period for a while… I’m thinking of a new entry from the ’90s and I certainly have several coming from the 70’s & 80’s, especially stories about Europe, New York and other places where I   traveled through back then.

We will have new radio shows on Radio EarthRites this week! Both music and spoken word so stay tuned for that. Your support of the radio station and my other projects are very much appreciated.

We are now very close to publishing the next edition of the Invisible College just a bit of cleanup and one or two images and we are there. This has been the forever project it seems delayed while things covered in the general craziness of the world which I turned my attention to much to my chagrin.

I will keep you all up-to-date on the current projects and thank you to all who email me or phone to talk over the last few weeks.

This entry is a bit of a mashup but I think you’ll appreciate it. Great Poesy from Alcaeus & and a snippet of such from William Ernest Henley.  Great music from Leonard Cohen, and a collection of ghost stories from Lady Gregory from Ireland.

Talk later,

On The Menu:
The Links
You Want It Darker
Poetry: Alcaeus of Mytilene
The Unquiet Dead
By The Rivers Dark

The Links:
No Such Thing As The Mind?
Privacy Matters…
Cannabis Can Trigger Breakthrough Mystical Experiences Similar to Those in Psilocybin Studies

Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

–William Ernest Henley (August 23, 1849 – July 11, 1903) was an influential English poet, critic and editor of the late Victorian era in England. Though he wrote several books of poetry, Henley is remembered most often for his 1875 poem “Invictus”, a piece which recurs in popular awareness.
You Want It Darker

Poetry: Alcaeus of Mytilene

Alcaeus and Sappho, Attic red-figure calathus, c. 470 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen

An Invitation

Why wait we for the torches’ lights?
Now let us drink while day invites.
In mighty flagons hither bring
The deep-red blood of many a vine,
That we may largely quaff, and sing
The praises of the god of wine,
The son of Jove and Semele,
Who gave the jocund grape to be
A sweet oblivion to our woes.
Fill, fill the goblet–one and two:
Let every brimmer, as it flows,
In sportive chase, the last pursue.

A Banquet Song

The rain of Zeus descends, and from high heaven
A storm is driven:
And on the running water-brooks the cold
Lays icy hold;
Then up: beat down the winter; make the fire
Blaze high and higher;
Mix wine as sweet as honey of the bee
Then drink with comfortable wool around
Your temples bound.


The worst of ills, and hardest to endure,
Past hope, past cure,
Is Penury, who, with her sister-mate
Disorder, soon brings down the loftiest state,
And makes it desolate.
This truth the sage of Sparta told,
Aristodemus old,–
‘Wealth makes the man.’ On him that’s poor,
Proud worth looks down, and honor shuts the door.

The Poor Fisherman

The fisher Diotimus had, at sea
And shore, the same abode of poverty–
His trusty boat;–and when his days were spent,
Therein self-rowed to ruthless Dis he went;
For that, which did through life his woes beguile,
Supplied the old man with a funeral pile.

The Palace
From roof to roof the spacious palace halls
Glitter with war’s array;
With burnished metal clad, the lofty walls
Beam like the bright noonday.
There white-plumed helmets hang from many a nail,
Above, in threatening row;
Steel-garnished tunics and broad coats of mail
Spread o’er the space below.
Chalcidian blades enow, and belts are here,
Greaves and emblazoned shields;
Well-tried protectors from the hostile spear,
On other battlefields.
With these good helps our work of war’s begun,
With these our victory must be won.

Alcaeus of Mytilene (/ælˈsiːəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἀλκαῖος ὁ Μυτιληναῖος, Alkaios ho Mutilēnaios; c. 625/620 – c. 580 BC)was a lyric poet from the Greek island of Lesbos who is credited with inventing the Alcaic stanza. He was included in the canonical list of nine lyric poets by the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria. He was a contemporary and an alleged lover of Sappho, with whom he may have exchanged poems. He was born into the aristocratic governing class of Mytilene, the main city of Lesbos, where he was involved in political disputes and feuds.

Sappho and Alcaeus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.


The Unquiet Dead

As Collected By Lady Gregory…

A good many years ago when I was but beginning my study of the folk-lore of belief, I wrote somewhere that if by an impossible miracle every trace and memory of Christianity could be swept out of the world, it would not shake or destroy at all the belief of the people of Ireland in the invisible world, the cloud of witnesses, in immortality and the life to come. For them the veil between things seen and unseen has hardly thickened since those early days of the world when the sons of God mated with the daughters of men; when angels spoke with Abraham in Hebron or with Columcille in the oakwoods of Derry, or when as an old man at my own gate told me they came and visited the Fianna, the old heroes of Ireland, “because they were so nice and so respectable.” Ireland has through the centuries kept continuity of vision, the vision it is likely all nations possessed in the early days of faith. Here in Connacht there is no doubt as to the continuance of life after death. The spirit wanders for a while in that intermediate region to which mystics and theologians have given various names, and should it return and become visible those who loved it will not be afraid, but will, as I have already told, put a light in the window to guide the mother home to her child, or go out into the barley gardens in the hope of meeting a son. And if the message brought seems hardly worth the hearing, we may call to mind what Frederic Myers wrote of more instructed ghosts:

“If it was absurd to listen to Kepler because he bade the planets move in no perfect circles but in undignified ellipses, because he hastened and slackened from hour to hour what ought to be a heavenly body’s ideal and unwavering speed; is it not absurder still to refuse to listen to these voices from afar, because they come stammering and wandering as in a dream confusedly instead of with a trumpet’s call? Because spirits that bending to earth may undergo perhaps an earthly bewilderment and suffer unknown limitations, and half remember and hall forget?”

And should they give the message more clearly who knows if it would be welcome? For the old Scotch story goes that when S. Columcille’s brother Dobhran rose up from his grave and said, “Hell is not so bad as people say,” the Saint cried out, “Clay, clay on Dobhran!” before he could tell any more.

I was told by Mrs. Dennehy:

Those that mind the teaching of the clergy say the dead go to Limbo first and then to Purgatory and then to hell or to heaven. Hell is always burning and if you go there you never get out; but these that mind the old people don’t believe, and I don’t believe, that there is any hell. I don’t believe God Almighty would make Christians to put them into hell afterwards.

It is what the old people say, that after death the shadow goes wandering, and the soul is weak, and the body is taking a rest. The shadow wanders for a while and it pays the debts it had to pay, and when it is free it puts out wings and flies to Heaven.

An Aran Man:

There was an old man died, and after three days he appeared in the cradle as a baby; they knew him by an old look in his face, and his face being long and other things. An old woman that came into the house saw him, and she said, “He won’t be with you long, he had three deaths to die, and this is the second,” and sure enough he died at the end of six years.

Mrs. Martin:

There was a man beyond when I lived at Ballybron, and it was said of him that he was taken away-up before God Almighty. But the blessed Mother asked for grace for him for a year and a day. So he got it. I seen him myself, and many seen him, and at the end of the year and a day he died. And that man ought to be happy now anyway. When my own poor little girl was drowned in the well, I never could sleep but fretting, fretting, fretting. But one day when one of my little boys was taking his turn to serve the Mass he stopped on his knees without getting up. And Father Boyle asked him what did he see and he looking up. And he told him that he could see his little sister in the presence of God, and she shining like the sun. Sure enough that was a vision He had sent to comfort us. So from that day I never cried nor fretted any more.

A Herd:

Do you believe Roland Joyce was seen? Well, he was. A man I know told me he saw him the night of his death, in Esserkelly where he had a farm, and a man along with him going through the stock. And all of a sudden a train came into the field, and brought them both away like a blast of wind.

And as for old Parsons Persse of Castleboy, there’s thousands of people has seen him hunting at night with his horses and his hounds and his bugle blowing. There’s no mistake at all about him being there.

An Aran Woman:

There was a girl in the middle island had died, and when she was being washed, and a priest in the house, there flew by the window the whitest bird that ever was seen. And the priest said to the father: “Do not lament, unless what you like, your child’s happy for ever!”

Mrs. Casey:

Near the strand there were two little girls went out to gather cow-dung. And they sat down beside a bush to rest themselves, and there they heard a groan Corning from under the ground. So they ran home as fast as they could. And they were told when they went again to bring a man with them.

So the next time they went they brought a man with them, and they hadn’t been sitting there long when they heard the saddest groan that ever you heard. So the man bent down and asked what was it. And a voice from below said, “Let some one shave me and get me out of this, for I was never shaved after dying.” So the man went away, and the next day he brought soap and all that was needful and there he found a body lying laid out on the grass. So he shaved it, and with that wings came and carried it up to high heaven.

A Chimney-sweep:

I don’t believe in all I hear, or I’d believe in ghosts and faeries, with all the old people telling you stories about them and the priests believing in them too. Surely the priests believe in ghosts, and tell you that they are souls that died in trouble. But I have been about the country night and day, and I remember when I used to have to put my hand out at the top of every chimney in Coole House; and I seen or felt nothing to frighten me, except one night two rats caught in a trap at Roxborough; and the old butler came down and beat me with a belt for the scream I gave at that. But if I believed in any one coming back, it would be in what you often hear, of a mother coming back to care for her child.

And there’s many would tell you that every time you see a tree shaking there’s a ghost in it

Old Lambert of Dangan was a terror for telling stories; he told me long ago how he was near the Piper’s gap on Ballybrit racecourse, and he saw one riding to meet him, and it was old Michael Lynch of Ballybrista, that was dead long before, and he never would go on the racecourse again. And he had heard the car with headless horses driving through Loughrea. From every part they are said to drive, and the place they are all going to is Benmore, near Loughrea, where there is a ruined dwelling-house and an old forth. And at Mount Mahon a herd told me the other day he often saw old Andrew Mahon riding about at night. But if I was a herd and saw that I’d hold my tongue about it.

Mrs. Casey:

At the graveyard of Drumacoo often spirits do he seen. Old George Fitzgerald is seen by many. And when they go up to the stone he’s sitting on, he’ll be sitting somewhere else.

There was a man walking in the wood near there, and he met a woman, a stranger, and he said “Is there anything I can do for you?” For he thought she was some countrywoman gone astray. “There is,” says she. “Then come home with me,” says he, “and tell me about it.” “I can’t do that,” says she, “but what you can do is this, go tell my friends I’m in great trouble, for twenty times in my life I missed going to church, and they must say twenty Masses for me now to deliver me, but they seem to have forgotten me. And another thing is,” says she, “there’s some small debts I left and they’re not paid, and those are helping to keep me in trouble.” Well. the man went on and he didn’t know what in the world to do, for he couldn’t know who she was, for they are not permitted to tell their name. But going about visiting at country houses he used to tell the story, and at last it came out she was one of the Shannons. For at a house he was telling it at they remembered that an old woman thev had. died a year ago, and that she used to be running un little debts unknown to them. So they made inquiry at Findlater’s and at another shop that’s done away with now, and they found tnat sure enough she had left some small debts, not more than ten shillings in each, and when she died no more had been said about it. So they paid these and said the Masses, and shortly after she appeared to the man again. “God bless you now,” she said, “for what you did for me, for now I’m at peace.”

A Tinker’s Daughter:

I heard of what happened to a family in the town. One night a thing that looked like a goose came in. And when they said nothing to it, it went away up the stairs with a noise like lead. Surely if they had questioned it, they’d have found it to be some soul in trouble.

And there was another soul came back that was in trouble because of a ha’porth of salt it owed.

And there was a priest was in trouble and appeared after death, and they had to say Masses for him, because he had done some sort of a crime on a widow.

Mrs. Farley:

One time myself I was at Killinan, at a house of the Clancys’ where the father and mother had died, but it was well known they often come to look after the children. I was walking with another girl through the fields there one evening and I looked up and saw a tall woman dressed all in black, with a mantle of some sort, a wide one, over her head, and the waves of the wind were blowing it off her, so that I could hear the noise of it. All her clothes were black, and had the appearance of being new. And I asked the other girl did she see her, and she said she did not. For two that are together can never see such things, but only one of them. So when I heard she saw nothing I ran as if for my life, and the woman seemed to be coming after me, till I crossed a running stream and she had no power to cross that. And one time my brother was stopping in the same house, and one night about twelve o’clock there came a smell in the house like as if all the dead people were there. And one of the girls whose father and mother had died got up out of her bed, and began to put her clothes on, and they had to lock the doors to stop her from going away out of the house.

There was a woman I knew of that after her death was kept for seven years in a tree m Kinadyfe, and for seven years after that she was kept under the arch of the little bridge beyond Kilchriest, with the water running under her. And whether there was frost or snow she had no shelter from it) not so much as the size of a leaf.

At the end of the second seven years she came to her husband, and he passing the bridge on the way home from Loughrea, and when he felt her near him he was afraid, and he didn’t stop to question her, but hurried on.

So then she came in the evening to the house of her own little girl. But she was afraid when she saw her, and fell down in a faint. And the woman’s sister’s child was in the house, and when the little girl told her what she saw, she said “You must surely question her when she comes again.” So she came again that night, but the little girl was afraid again when she saw her and said nothing. But the third night when she came the sister’s child, seeing her own little girl was afraid, said “God bless you, God bless you.” And with that the woman spoke and said “God bless you for saying that.” And then she told her all that had happened her and where she had been all the fourteen years. And she took out of her dress a black silk handkerchief and said: “I took that from my husband’s neck the day I met him on the road from Loughrea, and this very night I would have killed him, because he hurried away and would not stop to help me, but now that you have helped me I’ll not harm him. But bring with you to Kilmaeduagh, to the graveyard, three cross sticks with wool on them, and three glasses full of salt, and have three Masses said for me; and I’ll appear to you when I am at rest.” And so she did; and it was for no great thing she had done that trouble had been put upon her.

John Cloran:

That house with no roof was made a hospital of in the famine, and many died there. And one night my father was passing by and he saw some one standing all in white, and two men beside him, and he thought he knew one of the men and spoke to him and said “Is that you, Martin?” But he never spoke nor moved. And as to the thing in white, he could not say was it man or woman, but my father never went by that place again at night.

The last person buried in a graveyard has the care of all the other souls until another is to he buried, and then the soul can go and shift for itself. It may be a week or a month or a year, but watch the place it must till another soul comes.

There was a man used to be giving short measure, not giving the full yard, and one time after his death there was a man passing the river and the horse he had would not go into it. And he heard the voice of the tailor saying from the river he had a message to send to his wife, and to tell her not to be giving short measure, or she would be sent to the same place as him-self. There was a hymn made about that.

There was a woman lived in Rathkane, alone in the house, and she told me that one night something came and lay over the bed and gave three great moans. That was all ever she heard in the house.

The shadows of the dead gather round at Samhain time to see is there any one among their friends saying a few Masses for them.

An Islander:

Down there near the point, on the 6th of March, 1883, there was a curragh upset and five boys were drowned. And a man from County Clare told me that he was on the coast that day, and that he saw them walking towards him on the Atlantic.

There is a house down there near the sea, and one day the woman of it was sitting by the fire, and a little girl came in at the door, and a red cloak about her, and she sat down by the fire. And the woman asked her where did she come from, and she said that she had just come from Connemara. And then she went out, and when she was going out the door she made herself known to her sister that was standing in it, and she called out to the mother. And when the mother knew it was the child she had lost near a year before, she ran out to call her, for she wouldn’t for all the world to have not known her when she was there. But she was gone and she never came agam.

There was this boy’s father took a second wife, and he was walking home one evening, and his wife behind him, and there was a great wind blowing, and he kept his head stooped down because of the seaweed coming blowing into his eyes. And she was about twenty paces behind, and she saw his first wife come and walk close beside him, and he never saw her, having his head down, but she kept with him near all the way. And when they got borne, she told the husband who was with him, and with the fright she got she was bad in her bed for two or three day–do you remember that, Martin? She died after, and he has a third wife taken now.

I believe all that die are brought among them, except maybe an odd old person.

A Kildare Woman:

There was a woman I knew sent into the Rotunda Hospital for an operation. And when she was going she cried when she was saying good-bye to her cousin that was a friend of mine, for she felt in her that she would not come back again. And she put her two arms about her going away and said, “If the dead can do any good thing for the living, I’ll do it for you.” And she never recovered, but died in the hospital. And within a few weeks something came on her cousin, my friend, and they said it was her side that was paralysed, and she died. And many said it was no common illness, but that it was the dead woman that had kept to her word.

A Connemara Man:

There was a boy in New York was killed by rowdies, they killed him standing against a lamp-post and he was frozen to it, and stood there till morning. And it is often since that time he was seen in the room and the passages of the house where he used to be living.

And in the house beyond a woman died, and some other family came to live in it; but every night she came back and stripped the clothes off them, so at last they went away.

When some one goes that owes money, the weight of the soul is more than the weight of the body, and it can’t get away and keeps wandering till some one has courage to question it.

Mrs. Casey:

My grandmother told my mother that in her time at Cloughhallymore, there was a woman used to appear in the churchyard of Rathkeale, and that many boys and girls and children died with the fright they got when they saw her.

So there was a gentleman living near was very sorry for all the children dying, and he went to an old woman to ask her was there any way to do away with the spirit that appeared. So she said if any one would have courage to go and to question it, he could do away with it. So the gentleman went at midnight and waited at the churchyard, and he on his horse, and had a sword with him. So presently the shape appeared and he called to it and said, “Tell me what you are?” And it came over to him, and when he saw the face he got such a fright that he turned the horse’s head and galloped away as hard as he could. But after galloping a long time he looked down and what did he see beside him but the woman running and her hand on the horse. So he took his sword and gave a slash at her, and cut through her arm, so that she gave a groan and vanished, and he went on home.

And when he got to the stable and had the lantern lighted, you may think what a start he got when he saw the hand still holding on to the horse, and no power could lift it off. So he went into the house and said his prayers to Almighty God to take it off. And all night long, he could hear moaning and crying about the house. And in the morning when he went out the hand was gone, but all the stable was splashed with blood. But the woman was never seen in those parts again.

A Seaside Man:

And many see the faeries at Knock and there was a carpenter died, and he could be heard all night in his shed making coffins and carts and all sorts of things, and the people are afraid to go near it. There were four boys from Knock drowned five years ago, and often now they are seen walking on the strand and in the fields and about the village.

There was a man used to go out fowling, and one day his sister said to him, “Whatever you do don’t go out tonight and don’t shoot any wild-duck or any birds you see flying-for tonight they are all poor souls travelling.”

An Old Man in Galway Workhouse:

Burke of Carpark’s son died, but he used often to be seen going about afterwards. And one time a herd of his father’s met with him and he said, “Come tonight and help us against the hurlers from the north, for they have us beat twice, and if they beat us a third time, it will be a bad year for Ireland.”

It was in the daytime they had the hurling match through the streets of Gaiway. No one could see them, and no one could go outside the door while it lasted, for there went such a whirl-wind through the town that you could not look through the window.

And he sent a message to his father that he would find some paper he was looking for a few days before, behind a certain desk, between it and the wall, and the father found it there. He would not have believed it was his son the herd met only for that.

A Munster Woman:

I have only seen them myself like dark shadows, but there’s many can see them as they are. Surely they bring away the dead among them.

There was a woman in County Limerick that died after her baby being born. And all the people were in the house when the funeral was to be, crying for her. And the cars and the horses were out on the road. And there was seen among them a carriage full of ladies, and with them the woman was sitting that they were crying for, and the baby with her, and it dressed.

And there was another woman I knew of died, and left a family, and often after, the people saw her in their dreams, and always in rich clothes, though all the clothes she had were given away after she died, for the good of her soul, except maybe her shawl. And her husband married a serving girl after that, and she was hard to the children, and one night the woman came back to her, and had like to throw her out of the window in her nightdress, till she gave a promise to treat the children well, and she was afraid not to treat them well after that.

There was a farmer died and he had done some man out of a saddle, and he came back after to a friend, and gave him no rest till he gave a new saddle to the man he had cheated.

Airs. Casey:

There was a woman my brother told me about and she had a daughter that was red-haired. And the girl got married when she was under twenty, for the mother had no man to tend the land, so she thought best to let her go. And after her baby being born, she never got strong but stopped in the bed, and a great many doctors saw her but did her no good.

And one day the mother was at Mass at the chapel and she got a start, for she thought she saw her daughter come in to the chapel with the same shawl and clothes on her that she had be-fore she took to the bed, but when they came out from the chapel, she wasn’t there. So she went to the house, and asked was she after going out, and what they told her was as if she got a blow, for they said the girl hadn’t ten minutes to live, and she was dead before ten minutes were out And she appears now sometimes; they see her drawing water from the well at night and bringing it into the house, but they find nothing there in the morning.

A Connemara Man:

There was a man had come back from Boston, and one day he was out in the bay, going towards Aran with £3 worth of cable he was after getting from McDonagh’s store in Gaiway. And he was steering the boat, and there were two turf-boats along with him, and all in a minute they saw he was gone, swept off the boat with a wave and it a dead calm.

And they saw him come up once, straight up as if he was pushed, and then he was brought down again and rose no more.

And it was some time after that a friend of his in Boston, and that was coming home to this place, was in a crowd of people out there. And he saw him coming to him and he said, “I heard that you were drowned,” and the man said, “I am not dead, but I was brought here, and when you go home, bring these three guineas to McDonagh in Galway for it’s owned him for the cable I got from him.” And he put the three guineas in his hand and vanished away.

An Old Army Man:

I have seen hell myself. I had a sight of it one time in a vision. It had a very high wall around it, all of metal, and an archway in the wall, and a straight walk into it, just like what would be leading into a gentleman’s orchard, but the edges were not trimmed with box but with red-hot metal. And inside the wall there were cross walks, and I’m not sure what there was to the right, but to the left there was five great furnaces and they full of souls kept there with great chains. So I turned short and went away; and in turning I looked again at the wall and I could see no end to it.

And another time I saw purgatory. It seemed to be in a level place and no walls around it, but it all one bright blaze, and the souls standing in it And they suffer near as much as in hell only there are no devils with them there and they have the hope of heaven.

And I heard a call to me from there “Help me to come out of this!” And when I looked it was a man I used to know in the army, an Irishman and from this country, and I believe him to be a descendant of King O’Connor of Athenry. So I stretched out my hand first but then I called out “I’d be burned in the flames before I could get within three yards of you.” So then he said, “Well, help me with your prayers,” and so I do.
I truly miss Leonard, but we do have his recordings, and his glorious poems
By The Rivers Dark


It is a good day to see the Wizard!


Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours. – Hermann Hesse

New Show Coming… Dedicated to Chet Helms…


Going to make this a quick one. Celebrated my 70th birthday on the 4th of September. I have only lived 40 years past when I thought I would and I am okay with that!

These have been wonderful years full of rich experiments and experiences. I have been blessed to have Mary at my side for the last 43 and a bit years.
As you may or may not know I’ve started a new project on sub stack which basically is laying out writings that will be published in a book later on this next year so if you want to check it out and possibly subscribe, I would greatly appreciate it. Here is the address: Gwyllm’s SubStack!
I’m in the process of getting the bits and pieces for a new computer, a lovely gift from my wife Mary. As my computer is now 7 years old or so and in dire need of much needed upgrades . The new system is graphics heavy, which is what I need. It was a task finding a decent video card due to the BS around Bitcoin Mining, but a very good friend came through.
San Pedro:
As you can see, they are blooming. What is unique about this, they decided to start blooming the night before my birthday, and the bloomed fully on it.  In the 25-26 years of growing San Pedro in Oregon, they have never flowered under my care. To cut to the quick, Mary took an interest in them this year, and voila! They Bloom, and lovely they are.

Well, enough about my life, there are some nice subjects for this entry…


On The Menu:
Hell’s Café (L’enfer)
The Links
Rachid Taha – Wahdi
Christina Rossetti Poetry
White Feather – A Fairytale from the Dakota People
Rachid Taha – Happy End
Hell’s Café (L’enfer)
Why can’t we have nice things?

So, on my Birthday I received among other gems, 2 bottles of Absinthe, both delicious, and full of historical precedence along with a lovely bottle of limited edition Brandy. Receiving these great gifts, made me think of L’enfer, and the absolute artistry of this café from the Fin de siècle .  Imagine, sitting there in the shadows, listening to the conversation, the pianist, watching the crowd, enjoying the evening, sipping Absinthe with your artist and writer friends.

Here is to a time when we will co-create spaces to hang with each other again. We can do this.

The Links:
Communalism Is Our Natural State
The Coming Struggles?
Are Drugs The Reason?
Conspiracy Land… Where Do These Faux Theories/Memes Originate?
The Illusion Of Separation?
Class Warfare in the Urban Core
Rachid Taha – Wahdi with Fleche Love

Christina Rossetti Poetry

Somewhere or Other

Somewhere or other there must surely be
The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart that not yet—never yet—ah me!
Made answer to my word.

Somewhere or other, may be near or far;
Past land and sea, clean out of sight;
Beyond the wandering moon, beyond the star
That tracks her night by night.

Somewhere or other, may be far or near;
With just a wall, a hedge, between;
With just the last leaves of the dying year
Fallen on a turf grown green.
I wish I could remember that first day

Era gia l’ora che volge il desio. – Dante
Ricorro al tempo ch’io vi vidi prima. – Petrarca

I wish I could remember that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand – Did one but know!
Amor Mundi

“Oh where are you going with your love-locks flowing
On the west wind blowing along this valley track?”
“The downhill path is easy, come with me an it please ye,
We shall escape the uphill by never turning back.”

So they two went together in glowing August weather,
The honey-breathing heather lay to their left and right;
And dear she was to dote on, her swift feet seemed to float on
The air like soft twin pigeons too sportive to alight.

“Oh what is that in heaven where gray cloud-flakes are seven,
Where blackest clouds hang riven just at the rainy skirt?”
“Oh that’s a meteor sent us, a message dumb, portentous,
An undeciphered solemn signal of help or hurt.”

“Oh what is that glides quickly where velvet flowers grow thickly,
Their scent comes rich and sickly?”—“A scaled and hooded worm.”
“Oh what’s that in the hollow, so pale I quake to follow?”
“Oh that’s a thin dead body which waits the eternal term.”

“Turn again, O my sweetest,—turn again, false and fleetest:
This beaten way thou beatest I fear is hell’s own track.”
“Nay, too steep for hill-mounting; nay, too late for cost-counting:
This downhill path is easy, but there’s no turning back.”
Passing away, Saith the World

Passing away, saith the World, passing away:
Chances, beauty and youth, sapp’d day by day:
Thy life never continueth in one stay.
Is the eye waxen dim, is the dark hair changing to grey
That hath won neither laurel nor bay?
I shall clothe myself in Spring and bud in May:
Thou, root-stricken, shalt not rebuild thy decay
On my bosom for aye.
Then I answer’d: Yea.

Passing away, saith my Soul, passing away:
With its burden of fear and hope, of labour and play,
Hearken what the past doth witness and say:
Rust in thy gold, a moth is in thine array,
A canker is in thy bud, thy leaf must decay.
At midnight, at cockcrow, at morning, one certain day
Lo, the Bridegroom shall come and shall not delay:
Watch thou and pray.
Then I answer’d: Yea.

Passing away, saith my God, passing away:
Winter passeth after the long delay:
New grapes on the vine, new figs on the tender spray,
Turtle calleth turtle in Heaven’s May.
Though I tarry, wait for Me, trust Me, watch and pray.
Arise, come away, night is past and lo it is day,
My love, My sister, My spouse, thou shalt hear Me say.
Then I answer’d: Yea.
De Profundis

Oh why is heaven built so far,
Oh why is earth set so remote?
I cannot reach the nearest star
That hangs afloat.

I would not care to reach the moon,
One round monotonous of change;
Yet even she repeats her tune
Beyond my range.

I never watch the scatter’d fire
Of stars, or sun’s far-trailing train,
But all my heart is one desire,
And all in vain:

For I am bound with fleshly bands,
Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
And catch at hope.
White Feather – A Fairytale from the Dakota People
(American Indian Fairy Tales by Margaret Compton 1907)

In the depths of the forest in the land of the Dakota’s stood a wigwam many leagues distant from any other. The old man who had been known to live in it was supposed to have died; but he kept himself in hiding for the sake of his little grandson, whose mother had brought him there to escape the giants.

The Dakota’s had once been a brave and mighty people. They were swift runners and proud of their fleetness. It had been told among the nations for many generations that a great chief should spring from this tribe, and that he should conquer all his enemies, even the giants who had made themselves strong by eating the flesh of those they took in battle and drinking their blood. This great chief should wear a white feather and should be known by its name.

The giants believed the story and sought to prevent it coming true. So they said to the Dakota’s: “Let us run a race. If you win you shall have our sons and our daughters to do with them as you please, and if we win we will take yours.”

Some of the wise Indians shook their heads and said: “Suppose the giants win; they will kill our children and will serve them as dainty food upon their tables.” But the young men answered: “Kaw: who can outrun the Dakota’s? We shall return from the race with the young giants bound hand and foot, to fetch and carry for us all our days.” So they agreed to the wager and ran with the giants.

Now, it was not to be supposed that the giants would act fairly. They dug pitfalls on the prairie, covering them with leaves and grass, which caused the runners to stumble, and lose the race.

The Dakota’s, therefore, had to bring out their children and give them to the giants. When they were counted one child was missing. The giants roared with anger and made the whole tribe search for him, but he could not be found. Then the giants killed the father instead and ate his flesh, grumbling and
muttering vengeance with every mouthful.

This was the child whose home was in the forest. When he was still a very little fellow his grandfather made him a tiny bow and some smooth, light arrows, and taught him how to use them.

The first time he ventured from the lodge he brought home a rabbit, the second time a squirrel, and he shot a fine, large deer long before he was strong enough to drag it home.

One day when he was about fourteen years old, he heard a voice calling to him as he went through the thick woods:

Come hither, you wearer of the white feather. You do not yet wear it, but you are worthy of it.”

He looked about, but at first saw no one. At last he caught sight of the head of a little old man among the trees. On going up to it he discovered that the body from the heart downwards was wood and fast in the earth. He thought some hunter must have leaped upon a rotten stump and, it giving way, had caught and held him fast; but he soon recognized the roots of an old oak that he well knew. Its top had been blighted by a stroke of lightning, and the lower branches
were so dark that no birds built their nests on them, and few even lighted upon them.

The boy knew nothing of the world except what his grandfather had taught him. He had once found some lodge poles on the edge of the forest and a heap of ashes like those about their own wigwam, by which he guessed that there were other people living. He had never been told why he was living with an old man so far away from others, or of his father, but the time had come for him to know these things.

The head which had called him, said as he came near: “Go home, White Feather, and lie down to sleep. You will dream, and on waking will find a pipe, a pouch of smoking mixture, and a long white feather beside you. Put the feather on your head, and as you smoke you will see the cloud which rises from your pipe pass out of the doorway as a flock of pigeons.” The voice then told him who he was, and also that the giants had never given up looking for him. He was to wait for them no longer, but to go boldly to their lodge and offer to race with them. “Here,” said the voice, “is an enchanted vine which you are to throw over the head of every one who runs with you.”

White Feather, as he was thenceforth called, picked up the vine, went quickly home and did as he had been told. He heard the voice, awoke and found the pouch of tobacco, the pipe, and the white feather. Placing the feather on his head, he filled the pipe and sat down to smoke.

His grandfather, who was at work not far from the wigwam, was astonished to see flocks of pigeons flying over his head, and still more surprised to find that they came from his own doorway. When he went in and saw the boy wearing the white feather, he knew what it all meant and became very sad, for he loved the boy so much that he could not bear the thought of losing him.

The next morning White Feather went in search of the giants. He passed through the forest, out upon the prairie and through other woods across another prairie, until at last he saw a tall lodge pole in the middle of the forest. He went boldly up to it, thinking to surprise the giants, but his coming was not unexpected, for the little spirits which carry the news had heard the voice speaking to him and had hastened to tell those whom it most concerned.

The giants were six brothers who lived in a lodge that was ill-kept and dirty. When they saw the boy coming they made fun of him among themselves; but when he entered the lodge they pretended that they were glad to see him and flattered him, telling him that his fame as a brave had already reached them.

White Feather knew well what they wanted. He proposed the race; and though this was just what they had intended doing, they laughed at his offer. At last they said that if he would have it so, he should try first with the smallest and weakest of their number.

They were to run towards the east until they came to a certain tree which had been stripped of its bark, and then back to the starting point, where a war-club made of iron was driven into the ground. Whoever reached this first was to beat the other’s brains out with it.

White Feather and the youngest giant ran nimbly on, and the giants, who were watching, were rejoiced to see their brother gain slowly but surely, and at last shoot ahead of White Feather. When his enemy was almost at the goal,the boy, who was only a few feet behind, threw the enchanted vine over the giant’s head, which caused him to fall back helpless. No one suspected anything more than an accident, for the vine could not be seen except by him who carried it.

After White Feather had cut off the giant’s head, the brothers thought to get the better of him, and begged him to leave the head with them, for they thought that by magic they might bring it back to life, but he claimed his right to take it home to his grandfather.

The next morning he returned to run with the second giant, whom he defeated in the same manner; the third morning the third, and so on until all but one were killed.

As he went towards the giant’s lodge on the sixth morning he heard the voice of the old man of the oak tree who had first appeared to him. It came to warn him. It told him that the sixth giant was afraid to race with him, and would therefore try to deceive him and work enchantment on him. As he went through the wood he would meet a beautiful woman, the most beautiful in the world. To avoid danger he must wish himself an elk and he would be changed into that
animal. Even then he must keep out of her way, for she meant to do him harm.

White Feather had not gone far from the tree when he met her. He had never seen a woman before, and this one was so beautiful that he wished himself an elk at once for he was sure she would bewitch him. He could not tear himself away from the spot, however, but kept browsing near her, raising his eyes now and then to look at her.

She went to him, laid her hand upon his neck and stroked his sides. Looking from him she sighed, and as he turned his head towards her, she reproached him for changing himself from a tall and handsome man to such an ugly creature. “For,” said she, “I heard of you in a distant land, and, though many sought me, I came hither to be your wife.”

As White Feather looked at her he saw tears shining in her eyes, and almost before he knew it he wished himself a man again. In a moment he was restored to his natural shape, and the woman flung her arms about his neck and kissed him.

By and by she coaxed him to lie down on the ground and put his head on her lap. Now, this beautiful woman was really the giant in disguise; and as White Feather lay with his head on her knee, she stroked his hair and forehead, and by her magic put him to sleep. Then she took an ax and broke his back. This done, she changed herself into the giant, turned White Feather into a dog, and bade him follow to the lodge.

The giant took the white feather and placed it on his own head, for he knew there was magic in it; and he wished to make the tribes honor him as the great warrior they had long expected.

Part II:

In a little village but a woman’s journey from the home of the giants lived a chief named Red Wing. He had two daughters, White Weasel and Crystal Stone, each noted for her beauty and haughtiness, though Crystal Stone was kind to every one but her lovers, who came from far and near, and were a constant source of jealousy to White Weasel, the elder. The eldest of the giants was White Weasel’s suitor, but she was afraid of him, so both the sisters remained unmarried.

When the news of White Feather’s race with the giants came to the village, each of the maidens determined that she would win the young brave for a husband. White Weasel wanted some one who would be a great chief and make all the tribes afraid of him. Crystal Stone loved him beforehand, for she knew he must be good as well as brave, else the white feather would not have been given to him. Each kept the wish to herself and went into the woods to fast, that it might come true.

When they heard that White Feather was on his way through the forest, White Weasel set her lodge in order and dressed herself gaily, hoping thereby to attract his attention. Her sister made no such preparation, for she thought so brave and wise a chief would have too good sense to take notice of a woman’s finery.

When the giant passed through the forest, White Weasel went out and invited him into her lodge. He entered and she did not guess that it was the giant of whom she had been in such fear.

Crystal Stone invited the dog into her lodge—her sister had shut him out—and was kind to it, as she had always been to dumb creatures. Now, although the dog was enchanted and could not change his condition, he still had more than human sense and knew all the thoughts of his mistress. He grew to love her more and more every day and looked about for some way to show it.

One day when the giant was hunting on the prairie, the dog went out to hunt also; but he ran down to the bank of the river. He stepped cautiously into the water and drew out a large stone, which was turned into a beaver as soon as it touched the ground. He took it home to his mistress, who showed it to her sister and offered to share it with her. White Weasel refused it, but told her husband he had better follow the dog and discover where such fine beavers could be had.

The giant went, and hiding behind a tree, saw the dog draw out a stone, which turned into a beaver. After the animal had gone home he went down to the water and drew out a stone, which likewise turned into a beaver. He tied it to his belt and took it home, throwing it down at the door of the lodge.

When he had been at home a little while, he told his wife to go and bring in his belt. She did so, but there was no beaver tied to it, only a large, smooth stone such as he had drawn out of the water.

The dog, knowing that he had been watched, would not go for more beavers; but the next day went through the woods until he came to a charred tree. He broke off a small branch, which turned into a bear as soon as he took hold of it to carry it home. The giant, who had been watching him, also broke off a branch, and he, too, secured a bear; but when he took it home and told his wife to fetch it in, she found only a black stick.

Then White Weasel became very angry and scoffed at her husband, asking him if this was the way he had done the wonderful things that had made his fame. “Ugh!” she said, “you are a coward, though you are so big and great.”

The next day, after the giant had gone out, she went to the village to tell her father, Red Wing, how badly her husband treated her in not bringing home food. She also told him that her sister, who had taken the dog into her wigwam, always had plenty to eat, and that Crystal Stone pitied the wife of the wearer of the white feather, who often had to go hungry.

Red Wing listened to her story and knew at once that there must be magic at work somewhere. He sent a company of young men and women to the lodge of Crystal Stone to see if White Weasel’s story were true, and if so to bring his younger daughter and the dog to his wigwam.

Meanwhile the dog had asked his mistress to give him a bath such as the Indians take. They went down to the river, where he pointed out a spot on which she was to build him a lodge. She made it of grass and sticks, and after heating some large stones laid them on the floor, leaving only just enough room for the dog to crawl in and lie down. Then she poured water on the stones, which caused a thick steam that almost choked him. He lay in it for a long time, after which, raising himself, he rushed out and jumped into a pool of water formed by the river. He came out a tall, handsome man, but without the power of speech.

The messengers from Red Wing were greatly astonished at finding a man instead of the dog that they had expected to see, but had no trouble in persuading him and Crystal Stone to go with them.

Red Wing was as much astonished as his messengers had been, and called all the wise men of the tribe to witness what should take place, and to give counsel concerning his daughters.

The whole tribe and many strangers soon assembled. The giant came also and brought with him the magic pipe that had been given to White Feather in his dream. He smoked it and passed it to the Indians to smoke, but nothing came of it. Then White Feather motioned to them that he wished to take it. He also asked for the white feather, which he placed on his head; when, at the first whiff from the pipe, lo! clouds of blue and white pigeons rushed from the smoke.

The men sprang to their feet, astonished to see such magic. White Feather’s speech returned, and in answer to the questions put to him, he told his story to the chief.

Red Wing and the council listened and smoked for a time in silence. Then the oldest and wisest brave ordered the giant to appear before White Feather, who should transform him into a dog. White Feather accomplished this by knocking upon him the ashes from the magic pipe. It was next decreed that the boys of the tribe should take the war-clubs of their fathers and, driving the animal into the forest, beat him to death.

White Feather wished to reward his friends, so he invited them to a buffalo hunt, to take place in four days’ time, and he bade them prepare many arrows. To make ready for them, he cut a buffalo robe into strips, which he sowed upon the prairie.

On the day appointed the warriors found that these shreds of skin had grown into a large herd of buffaloes. They killed as many as they pleased, for White Feather tipped each arrow with magic, so that none missed their aim.

A grand feast followed in honor of White Feather’s triumph over the giants and of his marriage with Crystal Stone.
Rachid Taha – Happy End


Dear Friends,

So this is the time for a little bit of catch up/ketchup on what is going on with yours truly.

Working on the new Invisible College…  getting within striking distance of publication at this point which has taken a year longer than I ever imagined. I could lay it at the feet of the Covid crisis but really it is on me for losing focus and jumping down a rather dark well around the election and losing friends to Covid and suicide this past year.

I have gotten my mojo back to an extent which is good, doing artwork and finally collating The Invisible College. The launch date hopefully we’ll be in the next couple of weeks, so just cross your fingers.

I’ve been playing with the idea of going on to Substack with my blog so I’ll have two places where you can find it here, and there. I’m pretty sure they’ll be different inputs and some crossed inputs on this.

Just a hint of what’s coming for The Invisible College. We have a theme this time focused on Alchemy for our 11th edition…

PD Newman has contributed and extract from his new book “Angels in Vermilion.”  PD’s writings are sublime.
Whit Griffin has contributed some of his wonderful poetry from his epic poem “Uncanny Resonance“. I am still working my way through the main work and I have to say I am so impressed by this work.
Sasha Chaitow is interviewed by Ronnie Pontiac about her new book at “Atalanta Unveiled”, exploring one of the great classics of alchemical literature. Such a great interview.  Truly.
Holly Van Fleet returns to the Invisible College with her “Alchemical Musings” and other subjects. Lots to like in this offering.

We have some unusual articles from artists. I am quite excited by the line up!
Andrea O’Reilly has an article on her pottery which is a first for the invisible College.., “Art of the Four Elements“. I would posit that pottery is the first of the alchemical arts.
Daniel Mirante discusses alchemy along with some of his fine art and his article “Psychegnosis”. Brilliant imagery, and word craft.
Madeline von Forester‘s  excellent art steeped in alchemical references is explored in “Alchemy Expressed Through Surrealism“. Beautiful art, and quite moving.
Laurence Caruana discusses his alchemical journey from 1990s Montreal to the present time and “Speculum Alchemiae“. A grand adventure, worth your time.

There is a load of poetry from the Renaissance along Alchemical lines and other delights as well. This edition is dedicated to Ann & Sasha Shulgin for the amazing transformative work they did over the years to help change the world for a better place.

Proposed Front Cover, 11lth Edition “Alchemy”

On The Menu:
The Links
Itchycoo Park
Ancient Poesy
The Golden Arm
Red Balloon
After Thoughts
The Links:
Light Into Matter
Grizzly bear DNA maps onto Indigenous language families
The Fall Of Rome, A Good Thing?
Thracian Treasure
Itchycoo Park:

Ancient Poesy: From the Greek. Some of my favourite works from days of yore…. G

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). painting of Anacreon … Gérôme Anacréon Bacchus et l’Amour


Bring me Homer’s lyre, yes, bring it,
But leave that string of blood out
Bring a cup of versing rules
Oh and mix some metres in it
I will sing, then I’ll be dancing
Not a drop of sense left in me
I will dance to horn and zither
Crying out the cries that wine makes
Bring me Homer’s lyre, yes, bring it
Oh but take that string of blood out

In a dream

Anacreon, the singer of Teos,
Looked at me and laughingly addressed me.
And I ran up to him
And embraced him and kissed him.
He was an old man, but beautiful,
Beautiful and fond of wine.
His lips smelled of grapes.

Though he was already old and quaking
Eros led him by the hand.
As he passed by he took the wreath from his head
And gave it to me.
And I stupidly  took it
And bound it around my forehead
And ever since
I have been mad with the sting of love.

The ladies say,
You really shouldn’t
Act that way;
Look in the mirror,
Your head is bald,
Your cheek is pale,
You’re getting old.

Well, ladies, I say,
I don’t know if my hair
Is thick or thin
And I don’t care
But the closer to death
I drift each day
The louder must I
Sing and play.

Here lies Anacreon,
An old man, a wine bibber,
And a lover of boys.  His
Harp still sounds in silent
Acheron as he sings
Of the  boys he left behind,
Megasthenes, who was so
Graceful, and that passionate
Thracian, Smerdies, and
Bathyllos and Euripile.
The vine tendrils mingle with
His carven beard, and the white
Marble smells of wine and myrrh.

Help! He is gone. That wild boy, Love, has escaped!
Just now, as day was breaking, he flew from his bed and was gone.
Description? Sweetly tearful, talks forever, swift, irreverent,
Slyly laughing, wings on his back, and carries a quiver.
His last name? I don’t know, for his father and mother,
Whoever they are, in earth or heaven, won’t admit it.
Everyone hates him, you see. Take care, take care,
Or even now he’ll be weaving new snares for your heart.
But hush—look there, turn slowly. You don’t deceive me, boy,
Drawing your bow so softly where you hide in Zenophile’s eyes.
(AP V.177)

Didn’t I tell you, oh soul, “Look out, you’ll be caught,
You silly thing, if you flutter so near her net?”
Didn’t I warn you?
And now the trap is sprung.
Why struggle in vain?
Love has tied your little wings,
Sprinkled you with cheap perfume, set you fainting in the fire
And given you, in your thirst, hot tears to drink.
(AP XII.132)

That’s the message, Dorkas, and when you’ve told it to her
Then tell it to her again, and then again, now hurry.
But wait a minute; hold on there; slowly, my Dorkas, slowly.
Why are you rushing off before you’ve heard all your instructions?
Say also that I—but no. It’s more manly to be silent.
Don’t tell her a goddamn thing. Say only that I–. Tell it all!
All of it Dorkas, all of it! But, Dorkas, why did I send you,
When, look, I have followed after you, all the way to her door?
(AP V.182)

Do you leave the flowers of spring,
The lilies and the rest,
And plant your little sting
In Heliodora’s breast
To show that in love’s wound,
So deep and terrible,
A sweetness may be found
That makes life bearable?
Oh, please, your news is wasted,
I knew it long ago.
Do you think I have not tasted
Where you, drunkard, linger so?
(AP V.163)

If anything happens to me,
Kleoboulos my friend,
(For I am not safe—
I lie like a curling vine
Flung in the fire of girls)
before you send
My ashes under earth
pour in strong wine,
Then on the drunken urn write,
“Hades, know
Love sends this gift to death”—
And bury me and go.
(AP V.172)

Dawn hateful to lovers, why do you rise so quickly
Beside my bed when I lie with delicious Demo?
Can’t you turn round, run back and be night again,
And stop that sweet smiling that pours out poison light?
Once before you did that, when Zeus was enjoying Alcmena.
Oh, learned at running backward! You can’t say you don’t know how. . .
(AP V.172)

Dawn hateful to lovers, why do you roll so slowly
Around the sad world when under another man’s blanket
Demo lies and sheds her god-like heat?
When it was my turn to hold her slender body in my arms
You couldn’t wait to hurl your disgusting light in my eyes.
(AP V.173)

Oh Night, and you, kind lamp beside his bed,
No one else was near so you
Were witness to our vows,
He that he’d love me,
I, that I’d never leave him,
Oh, you remember.
But now he says that vows flow away on the river,
Stay no longer than stay the breaking waves.
And you, oh lamp,
Now you see  him lying
In someone else’s  embrace.
(AP V.8)

I pray you, Eros, in the name of my muse I pray you,
Oh let me sleep and forget for a while this lust  for Heliodora.
My god, I pray by your bow which doesn’t know how to shoot
At anyone else but day and night sinks shafts of screams in me!
Alright, no more prayers, you sonofabitch, you won’t get away with it.
With my last strength I write this poem for the police—
It was love—
Love killed me.
(AP V.215)

What I cannot see is how,
From the green wave rising,
Out of water, Oh Aphrodite,
You bred a flame.
(AP V.176.5-6)
The Golden Arm
There was once a man who travelled the land all over in search of a wife. He saw young and old, rich and poor, pretty and plain, and could not meet with one to his mind. At last he found a woman, young, fair, and rich, who possessed a right arm of solid gold. He married her at once, and thought no man so fortunate as he was. They lived happily together, but, though he wished people to think otherwise, he was fonder of the golden arm than of all his wife’s gifts besides.

At last she died. The husband put on the blackest black, and pulled the longest face at the funeral; but for all that he got up in the middle of the night, dug up the body, and cut off the golden arm. He hurried home to hide his treasure, and thought no one would know.

The following night he put the golden arm under his pillow, and was just falling asleep, when the ghost of his dead wife glided into the room. Stalking up to the bedside it drew the curtain, and looked at him reproachfully. Pretending not to be afraid, he spoke to the ghost, and said: ‘What hast thou done with thy cheeks so red?’

‘All withered and wasted away,’ replied the ghost in a hollow tone.

‘What hast thou done with thy red rosy lips?’

‘All withered and wasted away.’

‘What hast thou done with thy golden hair?’

‘All withered and wasted away.’

‘What hast thou done with thy Golden Arm?’

Red Balloon: Wherein, the Small Faces perform a Tim Hardin classic…

So to wind this all up I just want to say thank you for your patience over the last year or so and I do hope that things are going to get better for all of us.

Radio EarthRites is still chugging along and I invite you to listen to it as we now have almost 10 GB of music and spoken word up on the site. There’s going to be a bunch of new programming coming up after the publication of the Invisible College and some before. I want to thank all who support it with their kind donations, keeping it afloat in these times I think is essential.

From the heat of the summer which was unprecedented in our lifetimes we are now going into early fall at least temperature wise here in the northwest. I enjoy the dance of the seasons, even during these chaotic times.

Well that’s about it for me at this point. I will let you know when the new Substack entries are going especially if it is a viable way of communicating.
Remember that love is the true path.

Take care.

The “Hanging Stars” Mix

Beats…Radio EarthRites… and more.

A Compendium Of Thoughts…

There are those that believe they control their creative output. Kudo’s to them, but after 50 years of working with art in various iterations, music, etc. I cannot agree with this.
I lay it down to the Muse. Her gifts are numerous, and what she brings is beyond measure. Know though, that she can be a harsh mistress, calling you at all hours, and in all situations Yes, you can ignore the call/impulse. She will take her gifts elsewhere, and some other creative will be gifted with what was offered to you.
After awhile of you not responding, she will no longer call on you. There is some terrible psychic pain in the world, but outside of losing a loved one, I have found this pain to be the most exacting.
Allow her in, demands and all. She will drive you incessantly. Time is short. It always is. Don’t put off what you can create today.

On The Menu:
It’s A Beautiful Afternoon/Radio EarthRites
New Blotter Art
Beauty Spot – Bill Laswell
3 Poets/3 Poems
Send Away – Hol Baumann

It’s another beautiful afternoon in the northwest paradise of Milwaukie Oregon.

I’ve written several blog posts over the last few months and discarded them due to the content and the level of frustration that I was going to share with you. So rather than burden someone else with my dire thoughts on the politics of the day I decided not to.
I’ve discovered the joys of zoom meetings attending the Blue Dragon Zendo on Wednesdays thanks to John Harrison and getting back into sitting again and contemplating the world and the place my mind has in it.
What I would like to talk about though is radio station Radio EarthRites.
We’ve been adding lots and lots of new material spoken word new music and ideas from contributors. I need to take it a bit further but I have to update storage and computer systems at this point. We have a few kind supporters who are helping to pay the backbone of keeping the station online. What I would like to achieve though is that another level altogether so we can open up maybe two distinct channels one for music one for spoken word and live shows interviews etc. It is a pretty ambitious plan and I have come up with an idea that might sweeten it for somebody who’s thinking that they might want to contribute or subscribe to the station.
If you can contribute 5.00 – 10.00 a month, I will send an art piece to you during the year.
If you can contribute $15 a month you’ll receive one of the blotter pieces listed below.
If you contribute $20 a month you’ll receive one of the blotter pieces below and an additional art piece during the year.
If you contribute $25 a month you receive the two blotter pieces and one piece of art later in the year.
If you can contribute $30 a month you’ll receive the two blotter pieces and two pieces of art later in the year.
With this fundraiser I hope to achieve a greater coverage for the station being able to put money into the system that is needed at this point as well as advertising on various social media platforms.

Sustaining Subscription/Donations:

Radio Free EarthRites Subscriptions


Help Support Radio EarthRites. We are here for you 24/7, Please help keep us up online! Donations gratefully accepted!


Gods of Divine Inebriation Blotter

Gods of Divine Inebriation Blotter

Gods of Divine Inebriation Blotter


Golden Gate Park, January 14th 1967 (Human Be-In) Blotter

Golden Gate Park January 14, 1967 (Human Be-In)

Golden Gate Park January, 14 1967(Human Be-In)Blotter

Beauty Spot – Bill Laswell

Hymn to the Goddess San Francisco in Paradise – Gary Snyder

If you want to live high get high   — Nihil C.
Up under the bell skirt
caving over the soil
white legs flashing
— amazed to see under their clothes they are
this makes them sacred
& more than they are in their own shape

the wildest cock-blowing
gang-fucking foul-tongued
head chick
thus the most so —

high town
high in the dark town
dream sex church
YAHWEH peyote spook
Mary the Fish-eyed
vomiting molten gold.

san fran sisco
hung over & swing down
dancers on water
oil slick glide
shaman longshoremen
magical strikes —
howls of the guardians rise from the waterfront.

— state line beauties those switcher engines
leading wagons
warehouz of jewels and fresh fur
car leans
on its downhill springs
parked on mountainsides
white minarets in the night
demon fog chaos.
bison stroll on the grass.
languid and elegant, fucking while standing
young couples in silk
make-up on.

crystal towers gleam for a hundred miles
poison oak hedges, walld child garden
& the ring of mountains holding a cool
basin or pure evening fog
strained through the bridge
gold and orange,
beams of cars wiser than drivers
stream across promenades, causeways,
incensed exhaust.

smiling the city Hall Altar to Heaven
they serve up the cock tail,
there is higher than nature in city
it spins in the sky

quenching the blue flame
tasting the tea brought from China
cracking the fresh duck egg on white plate

passed out the gates of our chambers
over the clear miles, ships
forever such ecstasy
wealth and such beauty
we live in the sign of Good Will…

(the white-robed saint trim my locks for
a paltry sun… life is
like free)
rolling lawns clippt and the smell of gum tree.
boiled crabs from a saltwater vat
rhine wine.
bison and elk of Chrysopylae
eels in the rocks in the wave
olive oil, garlic, soy, hard cheese.

Devas of small merit in Jambudvipa
plucking sour berries to eat:
shall ascend to an eminence
scanning the scene
fog in
from the Farollones
long ship low far below
sliding under the bridge
bright white red-lead
— blue of the sea
on that ship is me

— smilers all on the nod nap on cots
but the slither & breakfree
tosst slipper up on the toe
& the white thighs open
the flesh of the wet flower

crossed eyes gleam come
flowery prints and
yellow kettles in a row
breast weight swelled down

kind chairmen smile around.
generals and presidents swallow
hoping they too can come

turn back dead tourist
drop your crumb your funny passport
— fall back richer spenders
think you make with wild teenager
on hard forever
crust in jewel
you are too old
the san francisco fake front strip tease
phony, sweaty,
last a minute and they stink and die

& love is for ten thousand years
(damnd square climbers give me pains)
them wilty blossoms on her sweaty brow —
the flute and lute and drums

police cars siren down on Fillmore
fog clears back away
the police close in
& shoot the loose
& clouds are slipping by

& hide it in your pockets

— it all becomes plain sky.
Getting Rid of the Ego – Ken Wainio

It’s like getting married in the rain. A coach will pull up
at the edge of the dam when the flood starts and the bride
throws her flowers at the drowned. If you don’t believe this,
go to a monastery for ten years and study the light through a
keyhole. Without moving your eye from the door cut out a
piece of sky and wait for somebody to come with a key.

The flood is well up by this time. The dead are getting
married in rowboats and copulating on pieces of wreckage. If
you still don’t believe it, take out your keyhole and study the
drowned. They are discussing the possibilities of islands and
shaping tombstones into anchors. Their children hold their
breath underwater and pray to the God of Rain. He is
holding himself in a cloud making everybody worship the
flood. He is quite fond of suffering and has never understood
sociology. But the dead come with their pogo sticks and stare
up at the seat of his pants.

If you still don’t get this, go sit down in the nearest bar
and study the runway of faces. If anyone comes up to you and
demands your marriage certificate, take out your keyhole and
blast them with a peak of stars. If they are still sitting there
waiting for you to kill your ego, tell them the world is flat and
has an edge like the table. Drop something transparent over
the side and tell them it was the argument of Columbus on
his way to the new world.
The Shadow of Icarus – Katalin Ladik

Catches a glimpse of his own shadow
as he glides above silver meadows,
his black opened raincoat expands
on the hills that are covered with oil
cold cherries gasp among his wings,
He is suffocating as all turns into night around him
He is happy and He falls into the sky.
— translated from the Hungarian by Emöke Z. B’Racz


Ah, in those earliest days of love how naturally the kisses spring into life! So closely, in their profusion, do they crowd together that lovers would find it as hard to count the kisses exchanged in an hour as to count the flowers in a meadow in May. Marcel Proust

To Possible Futures…

David A. Hardy

An Introduction:

Well, here we are. Oregon saw an interesting year, with some good, some bad. I am going to concentrate on the good. The big one for me, was seeing all manner of drugs decriminalized.(see above!) (microdosing, dosing, is legal!) Heavens, sane drug policies. Changes can happen.
On the personal front, we are well. Missing folks, work etc., yet the days are filled somehow with wonderful times. Mary and I have found a quiet and beautiful place together, I have no regrets in the days and nights that have passed. Lots of love, laughter, good moments. We will be glad when the present situation eases. Oh, there will be parties!
I am going to skip links on this entry, there is enough here to digest without me adding extraneous information flow.

Enjoy Your Visit!
On The Menu:
On Missing Blog Post & Other Phenomena
Radio EarthRites Updates
Gil Scott-Heron “Gun”
The Poetry of Ursula Le Guin
The White Trout
Gil Scott-Heron “Work For Peace”
On Missing Blog Post & Other Phenomena:
The last few months has been a remarkable ride.

Along the way, by concentrating on the media circus, I short circuited the creative part of my being by indulging the paranoid bit(s) in my mind.  More than indulged, it took root, grew, blossomed… and withered away. Finally.  (I hope)

I was going to write about the events in the body politics of the last few months, but truly I am done with it at this point. That blog post just sat there waiting to be done, but it never came to fruition. I have driven friends crazy with my postings from Reddit and other sources. I have been swimming in the tides of various rightwing political sites trying to figure out what was happening. I am no closer than when I started, must give it all a great rest

I’ve decided to return to source.  Source for me is Art, Poetry, and living an Authentic Life as possible.  Sometimes I achieve it, other times, not.  Not for lack of trying, I assure you. I have to say that on occasion I have been attending an online Zendo on Wednesdays, which has helped with centering. Wood working has helped. Getting Radio EarthRites going with 10gb of storage rather than 2gb. Returning to the publishing. Restoring focus, on the real.

I do have great concerns for the US, and the world situation, but my dwelling on it doesn’t solve it.  People have enough on their plate with the Virus, and the chaos that has swirled around us all as of late. I will not add to it.

I am here to speak if I can, for possible futures. We all are I feel, each individuation of being. We have lots to do to secure the world now, and I do have that rare feeling of presque vu, that tingling of something just beyond, waiting that is now coursing through me at the present.  There are visions I must attend to, and try to make them manifest.

I would like to apologize to those who I bombarded with endless links, pictures, etc. Wanting connection, in a disconnected time.

Much Love,
Radio EarthRites Updates:
Well, we have taken the plunge and upgraded the server at the provider going from 2gb of online material to 10gb.  Quite excited about this! It makes it easier to work with, and to grow shows, etc. Still trying to figure out how to do a schedule with WP without tearing my hair out.
The first of the Spoken Word shows is up, Tuesdays & Fridays, “Terence Incognita”. This will be an ongoing service. Terence delivers a brilliant mélange of language, concept and possible futures. Still a heady mix all these years on.
Expect Poetry, Storytelling, Philosophy as well. Stay Tuned!

Terence Incognita

Gil was always a great inspiration. I started listening to his works over a half century ago.  His political observations, stories, chants, dreams informed my life over decades. I was going to write about the current times, and use his works to illustrate some of my parallel thoughts & observations. The gun thing is a uniquely American vision.  The US was actually born out of the attempted seizure of weapons from militias in Massachusetts at Lexington & Concord.  Gil addresses some of this all very brilliantly in the dialogue before the song, and within it as well…
Gil Scott Heron: Gun

The Poetry of Ursula Le Guin

I first came across her works in the late 60s early 70s. Her take on gender roles and on anarchist theory informed my life from then on. The first book of hers that I recall reading was, “The Left Hand of Darkness”. It was an interesting tale of sexuality and fluid gender roles.  I think I was about 19 when I read it.  Profound, and deeply human, it is a great work.  She could of died right after publishing it, and her place would of still been cemented in the Pantheon of American Literature.  Yet, her influence on my life didn’t stop there.

When I reached the age of 25-26, I found her book, “The Dispossessed”. This is a tale of Anarchism, free will, sacrifice & conscience.  I read it in just under two days.  I wept after I read it, as it incapsulated much of what had been going on inside of my mind regarding my pov around what I wanted for the world, and myself.  It was shattering in that I had no idea that others had similar thoughts. I was ignorant of Anarchist theory, it wasn’t like it was taught in school, or readily available in book stores.  This of course was pre-public internet. The concept of no hierarchies, the concept of gifting the world your attention, life, talents was a breath of fresh air.  I had no idea that such freedom could exist, even if just in theory.

I was always going to write her and thank her for the influences that she had on the various aspects of my life. Of course as I usually do I put it off thinking everyone immortal to some degree or another.

On one spring afternoon on Hawthorne boulevard in Portland at the Fred Meyers store Mary &  I were sitting upstairs by the escalators  checking out the yard furniture and dreaming of what we could do with what was available. Suddenly Ursula and her husband came up the escalator heading to the parking lot, and my mouth dropped  as she was rushing him out the door telling her husband to hurry they had other things to do and I sat there in absolute heroine worship mode. I thought to get up, and go thank her for her works, but I didn’t, not wanting to intrude on her day.

I can name a few writers/poets who have influenced me; Robert Graves, J.R.R.R Tolkien, Ursula LeGuin, Ibn Arabi, William Butler Yeats, Ray Bradbury to name but a few.  Their books, writings, poetry have all added to my life over the years.

I am grateful for Ursula’s place in my literary world.  Here are a few poems of hers, an area I haven’t explored enough.

The Poetry…

Six Quatrains


gold of amber
red of ember
brown of umber
all September


Over the bright shallows
now no flights of swallows.
Leaves of the sheltering willow
dangle thin and yellow.


At four in the morning the west wind
moved in the leaves of the beech tree
with a long rush and patter of water,
first wave of the dark tide coming in.


On the longest night of all the year
in the forests up the hill,
the little owl spoke soft and clear
to bid the night be longer still.


are soft and restless
in their leafy garments
that rustle and sway
making every moment movement.


The dogwood cowered under the thunder
and the lilacs burned like light itself
against the storm-black sky until the hail
whitened the grass with petals.
Come to Dust

Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body
that are to come, the motions
of the matter that held you.
Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.
Fall to the earth in the falling rain.
Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.
Mount slowly in the rising sap
to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.
Come down to earth as leaves in autumn
to lie in the patient rot of winter.
Rise again in spring’s green fountains.
Drift in sunlight with the sacred pollen
to fall in blessing.

All earth’s dust
has been life, held soul, is holy.

I’m half unseen,
to me, my skin
a screen
to all within.
My eyes can see a star,
but not my mind.
The I think, the more
I am unfamiliar.
Insight is half blind
and surface-bounded.
Where is my core?
What inwardnesses are
unseen, unsounded?

Mother rain, manifold, measureless,
falling on fallow, on field and forest,
on house-roof, low hovel, high tower,
downwelling waters all-washing, wider
than cities, softer than sisterhood, vaster
than countrysides, calming, recalling:
return to us, teaching our troubled
souls in your ceaseless descent
to fall, to be fellow, to feel to the root,
to sink in, to heal, to sweeten the sea.

High Desert

Out here, there is another way to be.
There is a rising brightness in the rock,
a singing in the silence of the tree.
Something is always moving, running free,
as quick and still as quail move in a flock.
The hills out here know a hard way to be.
I have to listen for it patiently:
a drumming canter slowing to a walk,
a flutter in the silence of a tree.
The owl’s call from the rimrock changes key.
What door will open to the flicker’s knock?
Out here there is another way to be,
described by the high circles of a hawk
above what hides in silence in the tree.
The cottonwoods in their simplicity
talk softly on, as hidden waters talk,
an almost silent singing in the tree
that says, here is another way to be.
How it Seems to Me

In the vast abyss before time, self
is not, and soul commingles
with mist, and rock, and light. In time,
soul brings the misty self to be.
Then slow time hardens self to stone
while ever lightening the soul,
till soul can loose its hold of self
and both are free anc can return
to vastness and dissolve in light,
the long light after time.
An Irish Fairy Tale… in the vernacular. 

The White Trout – P J Lynch

The White Trout; A Legend of Cong
BY S. Lover
There was wanst upon a time, long ago, a beautiful lady that lived in a castle upon the lake beyant, and they say she was promised to a king’s son, and they war to be married, when all of a sudden he was murthered, the crathur (Lord help us), and threwn into the lake above, and so, of course, he couldn’t keep his promise to the fair lady–and more’s the pity.

Well, the story goes that she went out iv her mind, bekase av loosin’ the king’s son–for she was tendher-hearted, God help her, like the rest iv us!–and pined away after him, until at last, no one about seen her, good or bad; and the story wint that the fairies took her away.

Well, sir, in coarse a’ time, the White Throut, God bless it, was seen in the sthrame beyant, and sure the people didn’t know what to think av the crathur, seein’ as how a white throut was never heard av afar, nor since; and years upon years the throut was there, just where you seen it this blessed minit, longer nor I can tell–aye throth, and beyant the memory a’ th’ ouldest in the village.

At last the people began to think it must be a fairy; for what else could it be?–and no hurt nor harm was iver put an the white throut, until some wicked sinners of sojers kem to these parts, and laughed at all the people, and gibed and jeered them for thinkin’ a’ the likes; and one a’ them in partic’lar (bad luck to him; God forgi’ me for saying it!) swore he’d catch the throut and ate it for his dinner–the blackguard!

Well, what would you think o’ the villainy of the sojer? Sure enough he catch the throut, and away wid him home, and puts an the fryin’-pan, and into it he pitches the purty little thing. The throut squeeled all as one as a christian crathur, and, my dear, you’d think the sojer id split his sides laughin’–for he was a harden’d villain; and when he thought one side was done, he turns it over to fly the other; and, what would you think, but the divil a taste of a burn was an it all at all; and sure the sojer thought it was a quare throut that could not be briled. “But,” says he, ‘I’ll give it another turn by-and-by,” little thinkin’ what was in store for him, the haythen.

Well, when he thought that side was done he turns it agin, and lo and behould you, the divil a taste more done that side was nor the other. “Bad luck to me,” says the sojer, “but that bates the world,” says he; “but I’ll thry you agin, my darlint,” says he, “as cunnin’ as you think yourself;” and so with that he turns it over, but not a sign of the fire was on the purty throut. “Well,” says the desperate villain–(for sure, sir, only he was a desperate villain entirely, he might know he was doing a wrong thing, seein’ that all his endeavours was no good)–“Well,” says he, “my jolly little throut, maybe you’re fried enough, though you don’t seem over well dress’d; but you may be better than you look, like a singed cat, and a tit-bit afther all,” says he; and with that he ups with his knife and fork to taste a piece a’ the throut; but, my jew’l, the minit he puts his knife into the fish, there was a murtherin’ screech, that you’d think the life id lave you if you hurd it, and away jumps the throut out av the fryin’-pan into the middle a’ the flure; and an the spot where it fell, up riz a lovely lady–the beautifullest crathur that eyes ever seen, dressed in white, and a band a’ goold in her hair, and a sthrame a’ blood runnin’ down her arm.

“Look where you cut me, you villain,” says she, and she held out her arm to him–and, my dear, he thought the sight id lave his eyes.

“Couldn’t you lave me cool and comfortable in the river where you snared me, and not disturb me in my duty?” says she.

Well, he thrimbled like a dog in a wet sack, and at last he stammered out somethin’, and begged for his life, and ax’d her ladyship’s pardin, and said he didn’t know she was on duty, or he was too good a sojer not to know betther nor to meddle wid her.

“I was on duty, then,” says the lady; “I was watchin’ for my true love that is comin’ by wather to me,” says she, “an’ if he comes while I’m away, an’ that I miss iv him, I’ll turn you into a pinkeen, and I’ll hunt you up and down for evermore, while grass grows or wather runs.”

Well the sojer thought the life id lave him, at the thoughts iv his bein’ turned into a pinkeen, and begged for mercy; and with that says the lady–

“Renounce your evil coorses,” says she, “you villain, or you’ll repint it too late; be a good man for the futhur, and go to your duty 1 reg’lar, and now,” says she, “take me back and put me into the river again, where you found me.”

“Oh, my lady,” says the sojer, “how could I have the heart to drownd a beautiful lady like you?”

But before he could say another word, the lady was vanished, and there he saw the little throut an the ground. Well he put it in a clean plate, and away he runs for the bare life, for fear her lover would come while she was away; and he run, and he run, even till he came to the cave agin, and threw the throut into the river. The minit he did, the wather was as red as blood for a little while, by rayson av the cut, I suppose, until the sthrame washed the stain away; and to this day there’s a little red mark an the throut’s side, where it was cut. 2

Well, sir, from that day out the sojer was an altered man, and reformed his ways, and went to his duty reg’lar, and fasted three times a-week–though it was never fish he tuk an fastin’ days, for afther the fright he got, fish id never rest an his stomach–savin’ your presence.

But anyhow, he was an altered man, as I said before, and in coorse o’ time he left the army, and turned hermit at last; and they say he used to pray evermore for the soul of the White Throut.

[These trout stories are common all over Ireland. Many holy wells are haunted by such blessed trout. There is a trout in a well on the border of Lough Gill, Sligo, that some paganish person put once on the gridiron. It carries the marks to this day. Long ago, the saint who sanctified the well put that trout there. Nowadays it is only visible to the pious, who have done due penance.]
Another of Gil’s works that I find pertinent to our times, timeless his work truly is.
Gil Scott Heron: Work For Peace

No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.
Francis of Assisi

St. Lepus In The Gardens Of Paradise

The Bardo Bop

Everybody Is Doin'”The Bardo Bop”

A musical magickal release to coincide with the full moon…
The Ritual/Show Starts 2:05 PCT. October 1st
Hendrix Remixes, Kush, Grails, Morphine, The Limanas, ReStoned, Om, and much, much more!
9 plus hours of music! #internetradio #chill #psychedelic

The Spilled Cup

The Spilled Cup:
The Universe: His wine cellar;
the atom’s heart: His measuring cup.
Intellect is drunk, earth drunk, sky drunk
heaven perplexed with Him, restlessly seeking,
Love in its heart, hoping at least
for a single whiff of the fragrance
of that wine, that clear wine the angels drank
from that immaterial pot, a sip of the dregs-
the rest poured out upon the dust:
one sip, and the Elements whirl in drunken dance
falling now into water, now in blazing fire.
And from the smell of that spilled cup
man rises from the dust and soars to heaven.
– Mahmud Shabestari

Berber – Gwyllm

A Brief Introduction:

Gwyllm Speaking @ Exploring Psychedelics

Well it has been a heck of a month and especially this last week…. We were under orders for possible evacuation for the last five days due to fires in Oregon which thankfully now have been rescinded as the fires are retreating to the south. One of my favorite towns, Estacada is still under threat 16 miles to the east of us. Much of the central Cascades have been burned including a good part of Brietenbush (a warm springs retreat) in the Beachie Fire. The road from Estacada down to Detroit Lake (past Brietenbush) is one of my favorite drives, it’s been reduced to cinders if reports are correct.

Currently we are sheltering at home inside due to abnormally bad air from the smoke. Portland metro last night and this morning had the worst air worldwide according to news reports.
I have been working on this entry for a few weeks (since August 13th) and it is out now only because I’m making an effort to get work done. With all of the health crisis and political mess as of late, I’ve had a hard time concentrating on the creative side of my nature being easily distracted. I am at the present constructing the 11th edition of The Invisible College though, so I have that going for me. 😉
With all of the social unrest, I’ve been researching the movement of Turkish protesters who’ve been using silent nonviolent demonstrations since 2013. I believe this form of protest is solidly grounded in Ahimsa; and maybe a model for going forward to implement the societal changes that are long overdue. It seems to me that there are a lot of great ideas coming from the younger generations;  and this of course is not unlike what has transpired for time out of mind. The youth is ever forward thinking as they are going to be living in the world that many of us will soon leave behind. Truly, we must find ways to make the future bearable for our young ones, and those who we will never know.

If I may wax metaphysical for a moment, I believe we’ve possibly incarnated in this period for a reason. Perhaps to be agents of change for the preservation of our families, our friends, our communities and the greater world. If we are to get through the next few years and have the species and planet survive, we are going to have to up our game and involvement with all that is transpiring.
Last week I turned 69 years old which to me is a miracle as I hadn’t expected to live much past 30. I have lived a blessed life in so many ways with great friends, lovers, family and my beloved wife Mary most of all. We had a great weekend, with a social distancing birthday with Rowan, his beloved Suzanne, and her parents, Rick & Dana.

I want to thank you all for sticking with me on this journey over the last couple of decades online, and for those who have known me previous to my online incarnation. I plan to stay for the duration, or at least until I have done all that I have come for, which still looks like a huge list.

May the Bodhisattva be made evident in all of us.
On The Menu:
The Links
Tom Beckett: In Memory
The Perfect Face Of The Beloved
The Links:
Neanderthal Flute!
America Dying?
Don’t Call Donald Names!
The Secret Under Arthur’s Seat…
Lately, as perhaps some of you as well, I have had an up swelling of dream activity. My nights are filled with activity that I can only hope to mirror in my day time. Some of the dreams stick with me, instead of disappearing with the morning light. This dream, in particular:

First Dream: Printing
A couple of months back, I dreamed I was in my studio, working on a book. I was printing on parchment, or vellum using the serigraph/silkscreen method. The ink was made of platinum, or silver. You had to hold the printed page up to catch it in the right light. In the dream, it was the penultimate art piece of my life… in the dream. This of course is all open to interpretation.  Perhaps it reveals the fact that I miss working with serigraphic work, or that there is a piece of art yet to come, or there is a process in motion with my inner life?

The jury is still out on that.  It has resurfaced again and again though in my thoughts, so I am saying process at this point.

Second Dream: Salvia
Another dream I had came after I gave my talk on salvia for the Portland Psychedelic Society.

It has been a while since I accessed the salvia space and this dream took me by surprise. She had been on my mind, but it didn’t register just how deeply those thoughts were, and what the thoughts were stirring up.

In preparing for the talk I had recently taken the salvia plants out of their pots and put them into soil.  They’ve had a hard time the last couple of years (cold winters, spider mites, and I had a bit of the guilts going on regarding my neglect of an ally that I love. They responded immediately perking up immensely and  growing like mad. Talking to them and fussing over them as well seems to grow the bond that I had let slip.

A bit of background: During the last couple of years I had stepped back from coddling and maintaining my teacher plants as family health issues to deal with along with business, art and publishing projects were demanding more of my time. I’d lost touch with getting my hands into the dirt as well as paying deep attention. to my green charges.

Azure – Gwyllm

Onto the dream:  The dream that I had regarding salvia started around 12:30. I know this as I had woken up just at the beginning and realized what I was dreaming about or with I might say (salvia). In the dream salvia was growing through me around me in my mind and spirit. The dialog went back and forth. It was highly ecstatic with a great sense of reconnection and joy. The dream came in waves all night and when I woke up at 6:30 the next morning I was still in that space. As I awoke I could feel Salvia’s tendrils still around me, in my head, my body, my mind.

It was like spending a long night with a friend talking about all kinds of subjects and sharing the news with each other. This is a pretty inadequate vision of what transpired, as the whole experience was transformative on multiple layers.

Tom Beckett – In Memory
“No self is of itself alone.” – Erwin Schrödinger

Tom, with his sons Dylan & Stryder At DaVinci Middle School.

This is a memorial for my friend Tom who took his life in May.  He was in his early 50’s, a Gulf War Veteran, an amazing man, teacher (who taught my son in Middle School), someone I counseled over the years. His passing has left a huge hole in our community. I have been mulling this over for a couple of months, and it is not an easy one…

I first met Tom at DaVinci Middle School (which was an art’s magnet School) where Rowan was attending.  Tom became the theater teacher for DaVinci middle School in Rowan’s 2nd year there.

Tom was perhaps one of the most enthusiastic educators’ I ever had the chance to communicate with. All of the students seemed enthralled with him. His teaching methods were incredibly engaging and effective. I would often come to the rehearsals as I volunteered for construction on scrims and various aspects of the sets.

Tom touched the hearts and minds of his students making each one of them understand that they were an important part of theatre production no matter what their role was. He didn’t play favorites like one would see in the usual theatre department.

He would draw out the innate talent of the cast and crew and each of the productions I witnessed over the years. There was never a dull moment in plays or rehearsals. He actively sought out youngsters opinions, and listened carefully and respectively never dismissing anyone’s input. He had a rare and wonderful talent being present with his students.

(He was also an avid dungeons & dragons player a great dungeon master as well which was right up the alley of Rowan and his friends.)

Tom transferred to Rowan’s High School after Rowan graduated. Rowan helped Tom on projects there, as he had at DaVinci after he moved on to High School. Their collaboration went on for several years.

Tom’s popularity did not extend to the administration of Cleveland HS, or to the district. He pushed for greater funding for his department as well as safety and other upgrades to the theater facilities.

About 8 years ago, he came to me and talked about wanting change… at that point he said he wanted out from the public school system. We had many talks along this line, and I urged him to make a leap, but he held back. This was one of many conversations that we had, and not the only one on the subject of him leaving traditional teaching.

On occasion people do come to talk with me on a variety of subjects and ideas. Tom felt comfortable with me, and talking with him was never a burden. Quite the opposite, we would laugh often and frequently. He was so engaging.

As I mentioned previously, Tom was a veteran of the Gulf War. From what I could tell, he was dealing with PTSD; from a rough  upbringing to a rough little war, to losing a job he loved and more.  Even with his troubles his thoughts were about others, and the community of Portland that we both shared a love of…. Frequently we talked about the fascist marching in our streets, and discussed how we as older guys could help protect our town from what we both knew was/is coming.

All the different elements that compose our life stories add up to make us who we are and how we react to the world for good or ill. Tom was no different.

In my memories, we still run into each other at demonstrations, he with his veteran group, me with the raggle-taggle family of friends and anarchist. He came to our Solstice Gatherings, bringing a huge bundle of happiness and energy. His former students would all flock to him, and they would talk for hours. It was a joy to see.

The last time I saw Tom was 3 days before he walked into the ocean and didn’t come back. He and I sat outside talking for 4 hours about his future plans… he gave me a hint of what he was thinking of doing in his conversation with me but I didn’t pick up on it. It was a what if statement…  We made plans for the coming month to prep him for his new plans of moving up to Alaska to teach. I missed his hint. Jesus. He left behind a widow and 2 sons.

As I mentioned, he left a wide community gutted and grieving for the loss of him. We all still feel it.

These are hard times, and I have come to believe we need hard times to hone, and sharpen our minds. I sure wish he had stayed. I have been trying to free my friend in my mind.  It is harder for my son and his friends.  This is the first suicide for them all.

Tom, we miss you.


Mahmud Shabestari’s Tomb

Mahmud Shabestari -The Perfect Face Of The Beloved 

The Eye and The Lip
What is the nature of the eye and the lip?
Let us consider.

Coquettish and intoxicating glances shine from His eye.
The essence of existence issues from His ruby lip.
Hearts burn with desire because of His eye,
And are healed again by the smile of His lip.

Because of His eye hearts are aching and drunken.
His ruby lip gives soul-garments to men.
His eye does not perceive this visible world,
Yet often His lip quivers with compassion.

Sometimes He charms us with a touch of humanity,
And gives help to the despairing.
It is His smile that gives life to man’s water and clay;
It is His breath that opens heaven’s gate for us.
A corn-baited snare is each glance of that eye,
And a wine-shop lurks in each corner.

When He frowns the wide world is laid waste,
But is restored every moment by His kiss.
Our blood is at fever point because of His eye,
Our souls demented because of His lip.

How He has despoiled our hearts by a frown!
How He has uplifted our souls by a smile!
If you ask of Him an embrace,
His eye will say “Yea,” His lip “Nay.”
He finished the creation of the world by a frown,
Now and then the soul is revived by a kiss.
We would give up our lives with despair at His frown,
But would rise from the dead at his kiss.

. . . When the world meditates on His eye and His lip,
It yields itself to the intoxication of wine.

The Mole
The single point of the mole in His cheek
Is a centre from which circles
A circumference.
The two worlds circle round that centre.
The heart and soul of Adam evolved from there.

. . . Hearts bleed because they are a reflection
Of the point of that black mole,
And both are stagnant; for there is no escape
Of the reflection from the reflect.

Unity will not embrace Plurality,
For the point of Unity has one root only.

. . . I wonder if His mole is the reflection of my heart,
Or my heart the reflection of His mole.
Was my heart created from His mole’s reflection?
Or may it be seen shining in His mole?
I wonder if my heart is in His face,
Or if His mole abides in my heart.
But this is a deep secret hidden, alas! from me.

. . . If my heart is a reflection,
Why is it ever so changing?

Sometimes tired like His brilliant eye,
Sometimes waving to and fro as His curl waves,
Sometimes a shining moonbeam like His face,
Sometimes a dark shadow like His mole,
Sometimes it is a mosque, sometimes a synagogue,
Sometimes a hell, sometimes a heaven,
Sometimes soaring above the seventh heaven,
Sometimes buried far below this earth.

. . . After a spell the devotee and ascetic
Turns again to wine, lamp, and beauty.

The Curl
IF you ask of me the long story
Of the Beloved’s curl,
I cannot answer, for it contains a mystery
Which only true lovers understand,
And they, maddened by its beauty,
Are held captive as by a golden chain.
I spoke too openly of that graceful form,
But the end of the curl told me to hide its glory,
So that the path to it should be twisted
And crooked and difficult.

That curl enchains lovers’ hearts,
And bears their souls to and fro
In the sea of desire. A hundred thousand hearts
Are tightly bound, not one escapes, alas!

No single infidel would remain in the world
If he could see the shaking aside
Of those black curls,
And on the earth there would not remain a faithful soul
If they were always in their place.
Suppose they were shorn. . . . No matter,
Day would increase and the night disappear.

As a spider spreads its nets to ensnare,
So does the Beloved in wantonness
Shake His locks from off His face.

Behold His hands plundering Reason’s caravan
And with knots binding it tight.

Never at rest is that curl,
Ever moving to and fro
Making now night, making now morning,
Playing with the seasons in wonder.

Adam was created when the perfume of that
amber-scented curl
Was blown by the wind on his clay.

And I too possess an ensample;
I cannot wait for a moment,
But breathlessly start working anew
To tear my heart out of my breast.
. . . Sore troubled am I by that curl
Which veils my longing soul from His face.

The Cheek and the Down
The theatre of Divine beauty is the cheek,
And the down is the entrance to His holy presence.
Beauty is erased by His cheek, who says,
“Without my presence you are non-existent.”
In the unseen world the down is as green meadows
Leading to the mansion of Eternal Life.
The blackness of His curl turns day into night,
The down of His cheek holds the secret of life.
If only you can glimpse His face and its down,
You will understand the meaning of plurality and unity.
His curl will teach you the knowledge of this world,
His down will reveal hidden paths.

Imagine seven verses in which each letter
Contains oceans of mysteries;
Such is His cheek.
And imagine, hidden beneath each hair of His cheek,
Thousands of oceans of mysteries;
Such is His down.

As the heart is God’s throne in the water,
So is the down the ornament of the soul.

The Chamber of Your Heart

Go sweep out the chamber of your heart.
Make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved.
When you depart out,
He will enter it.
In you,
void of yourself,
will He display His beauties.

The tavern-haunter wanders alone in a desolate place,
seeing the whole world as a mirage.

The tavern-haunter is a seeker of Unity,
a soul freed from the shackles of himself.

Through the chamber of the heart is small,
it’s large enough for the Lord of both worlds
to gladly make His home there.
-Mahmud Shabestari

Vision Tree – Gwyllm

The Way Of The Plant

‘I’ and ‘you’ are but the lattices,
in the niches of a lamp,
through which the One Light shines.
‘I’ and ‘you’ are the veil
between heaven and earth;
lift this veil and you will see
no longer the bonds of sects and creeds.
When ‘I’ and ‘you’ do not exist,
what is mosque, what is synagogue?
What is the Temple of Fire?
– Mahmud Shabistari

Welcome to this edition of “The Hare’s Tales”.

I’ve assembled this entry around Salvia Divinorum and Salvinorin A having given a talk this past Wednesday night for the Portland Psychedelic Society on the subject of Salvia Divinorum. That Video is included on this entry BTW…

This entries purpose is to flesh out and give information to those who attended and to those who have seen the video online, as well as to all who are interested in the Plant Allies/Poison Path and Salvia Divinorum in particular.

During the later part of the talk I read part of an article which I wrote on my high-end Salvinorin A Bioassays back in the late 1990s. You can find the article below…

There’s also some good poetry (Mahmud Shabistari!!), as well as pertinent music to the Salvinorin A article….

I have long been an advocate for the understanding on our part of the vast realm of the plant allies.
Everything begins and ends in this sacred cycle of the plant and life’s interaction.

I hope you enjoy this entry and please share this out to your friends if you still desire and we will be back soon with more to engage you.

If you have questions about Salvia, or other Plant Allies, I will try my best to answer. Just put it in the comment section!

Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:
Salvia Links
Dale Pendell’s Pharmako Poeia
The Magnificent Void – Steve Roach
Salvinorin A Journeys – Gwyllm
Salvia Divinorum Presentation by Gwyllm Llwydd
Poesy – Mahmud Shabistari
Dante’s Prayer – Loreena McKennitt
Salvia Links:
From 1994
Leander Valdes:The Early History of Salvia divinorum
Sagewisdom… Daniel Seibert’s Site
Salvia Plants For Sale:
Salvia Plants…
More Salvia…

Dale Pendell’s Pharmako Poeia:
The Poet of Plants. This is a must have book for the budding ethnobotanist/entheogenic researcher/advocate. Wonderful work!
Buy Pharmako Poeia Here!

Excerpt: On Salvia from Pharmako Poeia:

The Ally:

Sometimes the sage whispers, sometimes it shouts.
Sometimes it tells you to sing, sometimes
it takes your voice, walks off, leaving you
rooted, eyeless, and with the kind of voice
a plant has.

The Plant:
Enthusiasm. Entheos.
The plant of the gods, brought within.

La planta de los dioses.
La planta amada de los dioses.

The wise plant, the sage plant,
the plant of the Savioress.
La planta sabia.
La salvia de las adivinas.
La salvia sabia.

We welcome the plant.
La planta que salva.
La Salvadora de los sabios
We are not different from the plant.
It is we who must save the gods.
It is we who must be diviners.
Somos nosotros que debemos que ser adivinos.
Dale Pendell Quote:
“One does not have to ingest plant substances to communicate with them.

One can use plant substances as purifiers, offerings, in other capacities, and also commune with them in natural settings. This is why it is common to shift state of mind and state of being when spending time in nature. What is unfolding energetically is not always registered by the physical senses. Accessing altered states of consciousness allows one to encounter and interact with the Spirit World and channel these transcendental energies into ordinary reality. Plants can facilitate this process in a conscious individual yet tuning into yourself is also possible. To be truly aware is to commune with everything consciously now.”

Dale’s adroit assessments of the Plant World & our interaction with it helped me to be able to frame my thoughts around this amazingly beautiful subject. He will always be “The Poet of Plants” in my heart and mind.

When You Get A Chance: Los Angeles Times Article On Dale

Dale, I miss the conversations. See you on the other side, in a garden I pray.

The Magnificent Void – Steve Roach


Salvia Eyes – Gwyllm

This is an article of mine on high end Salvinorin A experiences/experiments from the late 1990’s published graciously in the Entheogen Review. Much thanks to those that provided the Salvinorin A, and to Jon Hanna & Associates who published my works on bio-assays.

~1.00–1.25 mg Salvinorin A.
Ingested with tin foil/straw/ lighter method.
Immediate and strong effects. Mouth quickly
dries, I have never had this experience with salvinorin A before.
The taste is very apparent, and seems to permeate my
whole system. I know I am in for it for sure—I turn off the
light and lie down in bed.

Listening to STEVE ROACH’S “The Magnificent Void.” The
music has strong tidal effect on the direction that the experience
flows towards, and can be seen as an overriding factor
in the early part of the experiment.

There is a subtle interplay within sound structures and I observe
that one of the most telling of conditions for salvinorin
A is sonic. Sounds absolutely shape the experience for good
or for distraction. If the sound structure impedes the flow,
go without it. Nevertheless, a skilled guide could lead one
deeply into trance with the correct vocalizations.

Sinking into revelry, my thoughts take on hues of purple and
blues that border into green. Thoughts appear as a latticework,
discreetly patterned as if they were the finest handworked
lace. Moving forward through the patterns, the loss
of ego deepens but body sensation heightens, so there is no
loss of somatic awareness. Calm, warm detachment—
thoughts flow with incredible beauty and beingness.
Walking through cool undergrowth, pushing through various
plant forms—purple, blue, and green, with myriads of
eyes within leaves. All aware of presence—plant “beings” flow
and merge through shared thought fields and dissolve.

Everything is tidal now—that which is aware, that which perceives
and is perceived—all partaking of the essence of the
eternal now. Joy and subtle pleasure is taken in each thought
that is shared across the vastness of this hall of beings. Faces,
faces everywhere, oscillating into a kaleidoscope of personages
that flow and morph in and out of thought shapes into
mandalic friezes; they dissolve into themselves again, regenerating
over and over until passed through into the singing

Then the universe arches over, redolent with the smell of
plant and animal life, vibrant with beauty and being. Experiences
flow in infinite directions—twisting, turning, with
the patina of consciousness etched into everything with infinite
detail and depth. Everything, every being, held in consummate
beauty; the essence of deity flowing through all simultaneously.
Every thought is transparent and filled with
Slowly, across eons of time and bliss, the self reasserts itself
surfacing after an hour and a half, a trailing wisp of the various
thought forms it had been submerged in. Great peace
and warmth pervades the system of being. Sleep slowly rises
up and recaptures the self, again to submerge it into the
salvinorin A flow that moves steadily through the depths of
the soul and subconscious. The night is filled with various
dream shapes. Morning comes as a pleasant surprise.
In hindsight one finds that you can get up out of bed, attend
to any business with high clarity and return into the revelry
of the salvinorin A space by laying down again and turning
inward with the ally. While I have heard about this phenomena
when using the leaves, this contradicts much that I have
read regarding salvinorin A. Maybe at a higher dose immobility

Also, as mentioned before, sounds have a big influence on
this experience. There is an interesting side to this: during
the duration of the various experiences there has begun to
be inexplicable knocking going on in our house. I actually
got up to investigate, and walked through the house trying
to find the locus of the noise. It is as if someone or something
is vying for attention. There are other sounds also occurring
that are yet indescribable but reoccur again and
again. This is a phenomenon that no one has reported in my
knowledge, it is as if one was opening up to presences that
surround us which we normally don’t recognize. I am beginning
to feel that they anticipate and are eager for these forays,
for some acknowledgment and communication.

As the familiarity with the territory grows, so does the ways
I can express it. The psychic phenomena is interesting. I realized
that I had been hearing these noises pretty much all
along with the Salvinorin A and occasionally with Salvia Divinorum leaves.
What can this portend? I will be moving up to 1.5 mg next.

I am beginning to get the sensation of mapping out this
realm. For a while I didn’t seem to get much past certain areas,
and now these walls are crumbling. The “psychedelic
nature” of this substance is phenomenally different than any
of the other hosts that I have tried. It is noisy like the
lysergamides, but in a bantering, gabby way instead of issuing
large, almost solemn, profundities. The beginning is almost
always hilarious, shapes, noises, bells, whistles—a veritable
‘toontown of characters jumping out of the woodwork.

Very irreverent! Then it moves on of course, but not before
the entity amuses itself at your expense.

1.25–1.50 mg of Salvinorin A.
Very apparent taste immediately.
Unlike previous salvinorin A experiments, this one
seizes me before I can get the light off and my eyes covered
with blindfold (new addition). My being is quickly hived
into infinite parts, flailing all over the place in what appears
to be a very bizarre 1950s scenario filled with textures, smells,
visuals of that time predominated by a female presence. The
presence bears the most striking resemblance to DONNA REED
or the archetypal “American Mother” and a myriad of other
female expressions of that era. In fact there is infinite variations
on this theme occurring in a fractualizing frenzy. This
manifestation is very loquacious, wagging her finger into my
infinite faces and making cryptically rude remarks! This
strikes me as very hilarious, my whole being lights up with
laughter. This quickly dissipates into another cascade of cartoon-
like thoughts and emerging patterns. There seems to
be very little of the usual cavern/tunnel effect, more of a restless
roving over fields of thought and consciousness.

Feelings shift and change. This experience is incredibly
strong. A mild panic rears its pointed little head in greeting,
and then disappears when I relax more into it and allow the
salvinorin A to take me where it wants. Then the salvinorin
A state takes off at a gallop, it seems to be the most intense
cartoonish psychedelic experience… feelings magnify into
absolute grotesque parodies and psychic pratfalls. Constant,
rapid shifting is going on, too quick to grasp.
The flailing finally dissipates about 15 minutes into the experience
and my thoughts become more focused. It seems
very playful at this time, taunting and teasing me deeper into
its web, yet for some odd reason the loss of self is not so pronounced.
There is a strong twisting sensation to the right,
accompanied by a prickly sensation through my system. I take off
the blindfold as it seems to be sinking deeply into
my skull, my skin is literally swimming in warmth except for
my feet, which are taking on an arctic feeling. I become aware
of my flesh as being an entity unto itself, conscious unto its
own being, holding its own wisdoms and somatic dreams.
Visions of beauty and sensation roll over it. Every cell seems
to have an eye, peering out and at itself replicated into infinity.
Undulating currents of desire wash over it and through
it, a deep hunger for sensation and interplay.

Slowly, the cavern appears, but instead of going into it, it
plays to my being as if it is an audience. Warm ambers,
browns and traces of green predominate Faces appear and
reappear, twisting into wondrous shapes that have sparkling
eyes of red and gold that flick away in an instance.

Over great lengths of time, the self reasserts itself. Feelings
are very relaxed, tensions are gone. No great insights, it was
too rapid for that, but a truly unique experience. As quickly
as it came on, it is slower to leave. After an hour, I move about,
with haloes of color encrusting every object and space
throughout the house. The experience rides on me, I feel it
still coursing through out my being as I head off for sleep. I
am amazed at the gifts this plant’s substance offers up. Of all
the plant entheogens, it is the most playful—almost, should
I say, dryadic in nature? Something profound moves under
her surface humor. A lustrous joy and knowledge is revealing
itself as I venture further in her company.

~ 1.5 mg–1.75 mg Salvinorin A.
Slight feeling of trepidation.
This is a hallmark feeling for me, carrying meanings and
thought that are complex, redundant of fear and discovery.
Fear, as the dose level is working upward, discovery as something
is about to be revealed. Music playing, LOREENA
MCKENNITT’S “Dantes’ Prayer,” just so appropriate at this
nexus… Ingested the salvinorin A with slight modification,
used a straw that was longer this time, about 3.5 inches instead
of 2 inches. Sitting on the edge of the bed, watching
the crystals melt and the salvinorin A slithers up the straw—
even before I can taste it, everything slowwwsss down. This
is strange, stronger than before, it has grabbed me before I
am ready. Why am I so surprised? I reach over to turn the
light off and my hand stretches like rubber. Warmth envelops
me in a crescendo of light-blue and cream streams of luminous
ribbon of light. After what seems a decade, my head
feels the pillow reaching up and taking it gently.

As my head settles down, the top part divides and hives, again
and again, it is hydra-like, whipping back and forth in a gale
force wind of consciousness, until it is medusa-like, every part
of the head now snake-like, writhing with faster and faster
force. Everything is cream and light-blue, cartoonish and gibberish
as each head sends back images and sensations into
the central part of the being. It is a form of collective consciousness;
I’m aware of myself and the room with my love
lying beside me. At the same time it’s a maelstrom—a hydra,
a thousand upon thousand headed serpent-being under a
huge dome of sky, writhing in an ever quickening and slowing
dance on a plane that stretches into infinity.

The music calls out, a familiarity to hold to. I wanted to let
entirely go but it calls with such infinite sadness. My love’s
breathing echoes and resounds, voluminous and full of
beauty. Pinioned between these two sonic anchors, the serpent
heads slowly morph into each other until singularity
occurs. Then, for a moment—utter peace. All of a sudden,
an entity rockets into consciousness from behind, pulling all
along with it and into it from the right side as it streaks past.
All thoughts and self runs into it like mercury pooling, silvery
and voluptuous with movement. Beingness flowed out
as the observer self watched with detachment… This being
that has appeared takes on the appearance of a man in
middle-age, bent on going somewhere quick. Had the beingness
that moments before been hydra-like now attached to
an astral traveler passing through a shared zone, a place
where all of this plays out? Then, as quickly as it had come,
the being looks back into me with deep detachment and departs,
streaking away leaving trails of our shared momentary
consciousness bubbling, to coalesce into moving pools
of light.

The mind moves from thought to thought, like a sailing craft
on a sea, tacking back and forth, into whirlpools and out
again. All flows with such ease and warmth, in and out of
different beings and states of consciousness. The universe is
liquid and malleable, all life flows with a harmonious ringing—
how would it be best expressed? A sloshing sound? Liquid
sounds take form everywhere and whip and pull consciousness
into pools and depths, blending away personality
and recreating beingness into myriad creatures and situations
all going on simultaneously. All moves and reshapes
into new and unique beings, momentary expressions of life
form for beauty’s sake and then submerge back into the
oceans of consciousness. Evolution is played out over and
over—not as predator and prey, but as co-players in a dance
of delight and shared mutual joy and recognition.

Awareness flickers off and on, beingness strobes on and off.
Day into night, into infinite play and dance. Consciousness
winks out, then refocuses back over and over. Within the
strobing, the salvinorin A exposing itself as it opens up and I
see within it a flow, a river of Salvia-consciousness, and how
it has established a strata within my being that is now ever present.
It is a flowing universe, river and sky-like, both liquid
and cloud. As if I’ve opened up a trap door, just below
everyday thoughts. Ever-present, exalting consciousness:
teaching, playing and guiding. It is a love that flows into my
being whether I allow it to or not. Her face is revealed, glowing,
entrancing, singular.

I cannot recall how it all ended. I drifted into sleep during
the night, but as I write this now today I feel the flow still. I
think it has always been a part of me. Now I know that entheogenic
flow we all become aware of—it has been with me
most of my life. But this has distinct elements of something
new. A different creature all together. It is present in the trees,
in the land, in the sky, but also as part of shared awareness.
It envelops and comes whispering up through consciousness
like smoke. An is-ness, ever-present, an Acadian stream, behind
thought seen in faces, shared since the beginning. It is
the river within the soul—intertwined with all thought, conscious,
loving and completely enveloping. A capricious being,
who is only too happy to come along with you—as the
guide, as a light, as the teacher to creatures of thought and
desire. — GWYLLM

Salvia Universe – Gwyllm

Salvia Divinorum Presentation by Gwyllm Llwydd

Poesy – Mahmud Shabistari

Go sweep out the chamber of your heart.
Make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved.
When you depart out,
He will enter it.
In you,
void of yourself,
will He display His beauties.

The tavern-haunter wanders alone in a desolate place,
seeing the whole world as a mirage.

The tavern-haunter is a seeker of Unity,
a soul freed from the shackles of himself.

Through the chamber of the heart is small,
it’s large enough for the Lord of both worlds
to gladly make His home there.

What is pure wine?
It is self-purification.
What sweetness! what intoxication! what blissful ecstasy!
Oh! happy moment when ourselves we quit,
When fallen in the dust, drunken and amazed,
In utter poverty we shall be rich and free.
Of what use then will be paradise and houris?
For no alien can find entrance to that mystic room.

I know not what will happen after
I have seen this vision and imbibed this cup,
But after all intoxication comes headache,
Anguish drowns my soul remembering this!

THE tavern is the abode of lovers,
The place where the bird of the soul nests,
The rest-house that has no existence
In a world that has no form.
The tavern-haunter is desolate in a lonely desert,
Where he sees the world as a mirage.
The desert is limitless and endless,
For no man has seen its beginning or ending.
Though you feverishly wander for a hundred years
You will be always alone.
For the dwellers there are headless and footless,
Neither the faithful nor infidels,
They have renounced both good and evil,
And have cast away name and fame,
From drinking the cup of selflessness;

Without lips or mouth,
And are beyond traditions, visions, and states,
Beyond dreaming of secret rooms, of lights and miracles.

They are lying drunken through the smell of the wine-dregs,
And have given as ransom
Pilgrim’s staff and cruse,
Dentifrice and rosary.

Sometimes rising to the world of bliss,
With necks exalted as racers,
Or with blackened faces turned to the wall,
Sometimes with reddened faces tied to the stake.

Now in the mystic dance of joy in the Beloved,
Losing head and foot like the revolving heavens.
In every strain which they hear from the minstrel
Comes to them rapture from the unseen world.

For within the mere words and sounds
Of the mystic song
Lies a precious mystery.

From drinking one cup of the pure wine,
From sweeping the dust of dung-hills from their souls,
From grasping the skirts of drunkards,
They have become Sūfīs.

Dante’s Prayer – Loreena McKennitt


Salvia Vision… Gwyllm

The Great Practice

Angel of Ragnarok (Wings)

So this edition contains an important announcement on the site, update of the Mask Fundraiser, some great music, as well as poesy from Whit Griffin, and last but not least an interview done a couple of years ago from Reality Sandwich  (in case you missed it) and although it is worthy in itself it is a place holder of sorts… as I work on new projects, etc.

Lots of good feedback on the direction of the radio station as of late, that is much appreciated.

I have found that I am moving through clouds or fog a bit with all of the current events. Trying to stay grounded isn’t that hard when your movements are less, but trying to get stuff done seems like moving mountains at times.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this entry!

On The Menu:
Podcast Coming!
The Links
Mask Fund Raiser UpDate
Solar Fields – The Missing
Poesy: Whit Griffin
Reality Sandwich Interviews Gwyllm
Simon Posford – Flux & Contemplation

So, after lots of consideration over the last few months I have decided to put out podcast… As if I needed more on my  plate at this time… Yet, it is a project that I have been thinking about for a long time.

Some of the podcast will deal with the Poison Path, Plants, Stories of my various adventures, meeting with remarkable beings, incarnate, or otherwise, two legged, four legged and more.

I hope that when I announce and put the Podcast that you will give them a listen.  Feedback and comments are deeply appreciated! So, stay tuned the Podcast are coming soon!
The Links:
Struggle For Socialism
Ibram Kendi (Thanks to Rowan for this!)
Desert Solitaire
So You Are In Love With An Angel…
Mask Fund Raiser UpDate

Gwyllm here… So, good news on the Mask Fund Raiser.  Dropped off a check this past Thursday for $350.00 dollars (we get 20% of the sales from Redbubble) for the initial month of the fund raiser To Esther’s Pantry, a local Food Bank here in Milwaukie Oregon.  Esther’s has been serving the local LGBTQ community since 1985, and while it serves that community, it also serves the local low income community as well.  The choice of Esther’s was based on the fact that they have low overhead, so more of the money goes to feeding those in need.

I applaud and thank all of you who have purchased your mask; you are serving the community in two ways, keeping yourself and others healthy by the use of your mask, and with your purchase providing a much needed service in feeding people.

Please tell your friends, about the mask if you will, and share this link:
Gwyllm’s Mask
If you are interested in supporting Esther’s Pantry directly, the link is:
Esther’s Pantry

Esther’s Pantry

Thank you for your support. We can do wonderful things by working together.
Bright Blessings,






Solar Fields – The Missing

Poesy: Whit Griffin
I have had the pleasure to correspond with Whit Griffin for awhile. His poetry is exquisite, hallucinogenic, packed with imagery… Goddess/God Invoking.  Here are some extracts from his works.

Extract: The Great Practice

The ferocious alligator pisses the tobacco
plant. The crying baboons who piss each
hour during the equinoxes. Urinating on cereal
grains to test for pregnancy.

The birth of the divine child, whether
he bears the name Horus, Osiris, Helios,
Dionysus, or Aeon, was celebrated in the
Koreion in Alexandria, in the temple dedicated
to Kore, on the day of the winter solstice, when
the new divine light is born.

The Great Central Sun of Sacred Power.

I am perception and Knowledge,
uttering a Voice by means of Thought.
I am the real Voice.

The voice of the sun. The ring of deliverance.
The silver apples of wisdom. A wisdom of loving

The tortoise stands in opposition
to the sun. In the mythology of the oldest
known Semitic-Babylonian calendar, the moon
signifies life; the sun signifies death.

Some say poets invented the gods,
the Trojan War was directed by hallucinations.
Was the Israelite exodus from Egypt
contemporaneous with the Trojan War?
The lotus blossom of psychic
flowering. Energy with the quality of mind.
The blond moon. The soul is hundreds
of thousands of times finer and
more powerful than intelligence.

A stream of wind is blowing
through the tube of the sun. As the Gorgon
is the night sun. As the moon
is the night snake that walks in the water.
The nude goddess and the crescent
moon. Chandra is the moon’s predominating

Some day we will be gods and goddesses,
connected to planets, working
toward the higher evolution of those
still on Gaia, or perhaps on other planets in the universe.

Infinite planets, in infinite universes.

The crab-Gorgon goddess of the night
gives birth to the sun. The boar’s tusk
of the Gorgon, a negative form of the moon.

The great world lotus,
out of which rose the sun
for the first time. The first
woman to have borne twins. Mehurt,
goddess of the beginning. The tree
goddess gives birth to the sun. The
tap of the tree is the place of
the sun’s birth. Goddess of the Tree
of Life. The corn tree with the hummingbird.
Birds in the canopy, spirits
in the trunk. The light fruit of
the night tree. What the seer of the oaks
sees. As it is said the oak
is struck by lightning more often than
any other tree. As the cedar embraces
Osiris. To die like Osiris
and be awakened by Isis. Nut embraces
the dead man. Nut, goddess of rebirth.
Extract:  “We Who Saw Everything”

All these worlds are transformed
by thy hand bearing fire. Worshippers of the solar fire.
Savitri revealed herself in the sacrificial fire. A tiger
was created in the sacrificial fire. The business of
the torch. Nine days she wandered over the earth,
with flaming torches in her hands. The glittering glassy
plains. The waste-places flowed with honey. Tapio,
Lord of the Forest. In the forest of Taragam dwelt
multitudes of heretical rishis. Those who blow on knots.
The master, the provost and the scholar. The
assembly of the wonderful head. And his severed
head they strung on the skull-rack. Ye shall leave
with him all your heads. As it is said Thor had a
piece of whetstone in his forehead.

[Balder Waits
For The Old
Order To Be

From the left eye of Izanagi is born the sun goddess, and
from his right eye the moon god. Yellow like the amber body of
the goddess with the sapphire eyes. When the child
had ceased speaking, the king’s right eye was no
longer blind. The child is protected against the malice
of his brother. The bush is hidden. He lived the life
of a saint until his evil brother led him into sin.
Then he fled his city, Tula. He followed the word
of the scorpion-man. A scorpion will not go near
a filbert. I shall be so valuable that there will be
whole towns without one of me. Coral tree, tree of
the red puma. As Adonis to the myrrh tree. Born
from a hollow mulberry tree. The rim of the
shaman’s drum is cut from a living larch. On
March 22 a pine tree was brought into the
sanctuary of Cybele. Graybeard with the pineleaf hat.
He bled the calf of his right leg to
stain thorns with blood. He who has come to
us, his body is the flesh of gods! Born rather
than flourished. Let me take birth in the
Dhanakosha Lake. The code of Handsome Lake.
Hymns on the divine origin of water. Osiris
of the mysteries, who sprang from the returning
waters. Waiting beyond the breakers. Why
are the stone images of the ship destroyed?
Reuben is said to be as unstable as water. A
tea of ephedra and fennel. An ephedra beverage
in the home of Zoroaster. Olaf the Quiet
introduced cups to replace animal horns. Grim
the Good, a drinking horn that could foretell
the future. Grim, one of Odin’s many names.
No mention of drinking horns in Beowulf. As
it was once thought Solomon wrote the Iliad.
Philites composed a glossary of obscure archaic
words. Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote on the Trojan
origin of Britain. Paper was introduced to the west
by Chinese POWs from the Battle of Talas.
Pancrates convinced Hadrian to name a lotus
after Antinous. Pan hid his pipe from the Satyrs,
but they stole it nevertheless. The pipe is the
universe. We are microscopic instances of a
macrocosmic event. Ghost constellations. Leo
was the domicile of Osiris. Long after Taurus
had ceased to be the first of the signs. A
calendar is a pile of stones. Zeus’ semen fell
upon the Agdos rock. A new way down the
mountain. The Mountain Mother protects the
hunt. The protection of Horus is the great dwarf
who goes about the Netherworld at twilight.


The Art of Divine Inebriation: An Interview with Gwyllm Llwydd

The Interviewer:
Ronnie Pontiac:
In the 1980s, Ronnie Pontiac was mentored by Manly Palmer Hall, becoming his assistant and designated substitute lecturer. In the 1990s, Ronnie was a member of the underground alternative rock band Lucid Nation, which was popular on college radio, and made the list Alternative Press 100 Bands You Need to Know. In the 2000s he became Poet in Residence at Newtopia Magazine. In the 2010s his blogs on American Metaphysical Religion for the relaunch of Newtopia Magazine were a BookForum pick. He then wrote for the original Reality Sandwich. Ronnie has also produced documentary films including the award winning Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War and Exile Nation: The Plastic People, which was executive produced and narrated by Edward James Olmos. He is currently completing The Unobstructed Way, a book about the lives and works of Stewart Edward White and his wife Betty, which documents perhaps the most impressive experiment ever achieved in communication from the afterlife.


When Gwyllm Llwydd was a boy a first offense marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of two to ten years with a fine of up to 20,000 dollars – around 500,000 dollars today. Few could have imagined that in 2018 an adult would be able to stroll into a shop on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and browse a generous variety of concentrates in forms quite different from the bricks of hash that had remained unchanged for generations. Yet few of the many customers in the many legal pot shops in America and the world have any idea of the rich cultural history of their favorite recreational or medicinal plant. New books by Chris Bennett and Thomas Hatsis lay bare the profound and pervading cultural influence of entheogens in general and cannabis in particular. The reissue of the classic book The Hasheesh Eaters illustrated and published by Gwyllm would be an ideal edition to any short shelf on the history, and the spiritual and artistic implications. of the herb superb and its derivatives.

But there’s much more to Gwyllm Lwydd than that. Gwyllm’s experience is the American Experience. From metal wheeled skateboards to living next door to the Grateful Dead, from an 80s new wave band with iconic guitarist Nels Cline to the psychedelic music and spoken word stream Radio EarthRites, from famed acid blotter art to publishing an arts journal so beautiful it can be called an artifact, Gwyllm exemplifies a certain kind of renaissance man receiving too little attention in the media and perhaps in history as well. Historians and consumers prefer singular brands that achieve fame. But the true story of cultural change is in the hands of many. Some have no interest in fame. Some practice many crafts and trades. Their experiences help us appreciate the richness of life while inspiring us to make the most of our own lives. Welcome to the world of Gwyllm Lwydd, a man who heard Charlie Manson play, had his life changed by an unexpected talk with Ginsberg and Leary, and who was inspired to take his art seriously by Allyson and Alex Grey.

The Interview:

Ronnie Pontiac: You were a skateboarder before it became a professional sport. What was skateboarding like then?

Gwyllm: I started skateboarding back in 1962-63. Metal Wheels. Some commercial boards, but lots handmade. I still have road rash scars on my left hand and side from eating a piece of gravel traveling down a long hill in Colorado. We were virtually alone where ever we boarded. The culture really didn’t take off until compound wheels. I think the real time of innovative boarding came about in the mid 70’s on. I left off after a few years, and then picked up skates in the 1970’s. I was even a skating waiter, working at the Sidewalk Cafe in Venice. Fun fact, I first met Robby Krieger outside of my girlfriend’s (at the time) Frozen Yogurt Store in Century City. They were old friends from the Whiskey days. He came sliding up, and Pam was all smiles to see him. He got all over West L.A. on that board.

All those guys in the Dog Town Documentary worked as busboys or hung around outside. Busboys on boards, waiters on skates and foot. The Sidewalk Cafe was lovely chaos, it was a great time to be alive in Venice. I skated Europe later. Any idea how difficult that can be on cobblestones? Ha! Along the way I did the skateboard parks in London with my skates. The locals couldn’t get their heads around it. Skated through Amsterdam, Germany, France. I love skateboards and skates, just haven’t been there in a long time.
I got my son a board when he was 8. Never used it as none of his friends were into it. Hopefully I will be around for his kids, so I can get them boards. It may just jump a generation. I watch board videos occasionally on YouTube. Amazed at the skill level. Good times!

RP: You had some narrow escapes and other adventures as a young man that are worth telling? Care to share a couple here?

G: So many stories… I could start with the one where at 14 I hitchhiked from Denver up to Wyoming and caught a freight train to Salt Lake, and then another to Marysville California on the way to San Francisco to see The Jefferson Airplane. We ransacked a public bomb shelter (yeah, in case of nuclear war) for dried crackers and rock candy for our supplies. We hopped on the train outside of Cheyenne and rode inside the Refrigerator section of a freight car. No ice, so it was okay.

Got into Salt Lake, dodged and ran from rail dicks and hopped onto a flat bed with a truck trailer. Nearly lost my friend when he opened the door of the trailer, and got blown over the rails holding on for dear life. Hauled him back and we got inside the trailer to find it was full of something noxious, back out to below the trailer by the wheels. Did I mention we had no water? Oh yeah no water. Going across the desert at 70 miles an hour, being buffeted by the hot wind all of the way. Such thirst!

Finally went through Sparks Nevada, and then into the Sierra Nevada…which included a lengthy tunnel and a few short ones. We hit the lengthy tunnel and the smoke from the engine ahead of us made us cover our heads with our shirts so we could breath. It seemed like forever, acrid smoke billowing over us. I thought we would suffocate. (A week later a body would be found in that tunnel with the throat cut, thrown from a train. Was it on our train? I have thought of that for years. The ride down to Marysville took us past Grass Valley, and other parts of California that I would come to love years later.

When we arrived in Marysville, a rail worker gave us a watermelon, a true act of kindness. We were exceedingly filthy from the 2+ days of traveling that no amount of water seemed to clean us, but oh, I drank so much I thought I might flounder. Later we caught a truck ride down to Berkeley, to a commune of friends that we both knew. A week or two in to our stay there I dosed on LSD for the first time, ending up for awhile sitting underneath Country Joe and the Fish’s Farfisa organ as I came on at The Jabberwocky Cafe on Telegraph Avenue. I have a long tale of that night, but that is for another time. I ended working in the central valley picking crops during the day in August, and busking on the streets to make ends meet before I headed back to Denver. Didn’t get to see the Jefferson Airplane then, that would come later.

When I came back to Denver, I got busted by Detective John Grey. I can remember the police coming through the door and The Who’s “My Generation” on the record player. This began a year + of probation, 6 months in detention for being…myself and being busted multiple times.

After I moved to California (but didn’t stay there as a condition to get off of probation) I ended up as a mule for awhile for a consortium out of Austin carrying suitcases of Mescaline (extracted from Peyote) to exchange for Owsley Acid to bring back to Denver for distribution in Texas. If we had only known that Mr. Owsley was living in Denver about 2 miles away from the commune I was living in… At that point Mescaline was legal as was LSD, except in California. I never got paid in money, wasn’t my goal, but I gave away lots of Mescaline up and down the coast of California and in Colorado.

I recall one flight that I made. I dropped acid twice before getting on the airplane, smoking DMT for the first time, dropping again on the plane; ever see lightening erupt upwards and downwards from a cloud at night flying over the desert 36 thousand feet up? Dropped again at the airport, and in Berkeley. I kinda lost it about 24 hours in with that one. Found myself in a Volkswagen the morning after heading back to Colorado, sick as a dog, still peaking. I hitchhiked from outside of Salt Lake back to Denver. The guy who picked me up was packing a .45 and had a bottle of vodka between his legs which when he swigged he would hit the accelerator. He had me open the glove compartment, where he had a ounce
or so of weed. I rolled joints the whole way, terrified for my life. He was okay, but the gun was a real bummer.

I was bouncing back and forth between the Haight, L.A. and Denver all through that Summer into the early parts of 1968. I lived for a while 3 doors up and across the street from the Grateful Dead’s house. We would step out in the morning or when ever, check the streets for cops and light one up. Often times Pigpen, and Phil etc would be on the porch. They would wave, we would wave back.

Stayed for awhile at Superspade’s place after he got topped. We were cutting up kilos when the FBI pounded on the door late at night. You never saw so many people try to get out of a back door in so short of a time. “We are not interested in what you are doing, just want information” Poor Superspade had been found hanging off of a cliff in Point Reyes. He had gone to Sausalito with 35K to score, and never made it back. After the FBI came to the place, I was spooked, and left soon after.

Just before my 16th birthday I let the Mescaline connection go. Things were a bit weird and all enough. I made it back to Denver just before The Denver Be-In. I was down at 17th and Pearl when I bumped into Tim Leary and Allen Ginsberg in front of The Green Spider Coffee house, midway down the block from the where The Folklore Center was (now moved and still going). I had worked at the Green Spider the year before, anyway, I walked up to Tim and Allen and started talking to them. They spent an hour with me. It was the first time I think that adults had given me full attention. They both were kindness incarnate. One of those meetings that change your life forever. I have never forgotten that afternoon, or ever will. Saw them again the next day at the Be In. The Dead were playing, Allen was dancing, and there is a photo of me somewhere in a musty copy of the Denver Post dancing with a giant God’s Eye completely baked on Acid on a late summer’s afternoon.

The Awakening 

Later in the fall with my friend Georgia, running into a couple of old Beats (well around the age of 35) driving an MG around the country turning people on to Opium. Spending a long weekend smoking and listening to their tales of San Francisco, India, Morocco. Taking hits on the pipe and racing to the back bedroom to fall into the bed in slow motion with Georgia as motes of dust glinted slowly dancing in the shafts of light cascading across the room. Dreaming.
So many tales. Getting shot at by a cop as I was trying to escape out a back door during a bust in Boulder in January 1968, escaping from detention and heading back to The Haight in a desperate run with friends, 9 of us in a 1950 Chevrolet with a platform to the front seat where the back and trunk used to be. Stopping on the continental divide, flat tire. Stars below us on the horizon lines, the nearest car perhaps 25 miles away. Breathtaking. A speed freak in the back talking nonstop for 16 hours, regardless of how many times he is asked to stop.

Getting busted for Jaywalking in the Haight. Getting busted for hitchhiking in Malibu. Running into the Manson women in front of the Drogg Store, where Charlies was playing inside. Such a creepy moment. The hackles stood up on my neck, and all I saw was darkness around them. That was pretty much the last straw so I finally giving up on the Haight, and moving to Lyme Kiln Creek in South Big Sur, but that is another tale altogether. After Big Sur, I dropped out of the scene for several years living deep in Northern California, pursuing Occult and Sufism studies before moving to Los Angeles in 1972. Lots more stories, lots of adventures.

RP: How did you first encounter Ludlow’s The Hasheesh Eater? What was it about the book that captured your imagination?

G: Ah, skating again, in Venice. High probably, rolled into a bookstore, and there it sat on a shelf, beckoning to me. This is the Sätty /Michael Horowitz version. Sätty being a German artist who did collage work, living in San Francisco. His “Ship of Fools” print/poster was the first piece I ever bought…in 1966. Michael Horowitz, founding member of The Fitz Hugh Memorial Library/Tim Leary’s archivist/friend. (My friend as well and who I consider a mentor regarding all things publishing). Gorgeous cover, Silver and Black, a Sätty dream illustration, with David Singer’s font work. Did I say gorgeous? I opened it and discovered a world I had no idea about, the Victorian world of Hasheesh Eaters/Visionaries. I still have my copy. A prized volume.

The art work, the tales were so enthralling. I was using lots of Lebanese and Afghani Hash at that point, exploring it by eating, smoking, etc. The tales paralleled my experiences that I was having with Hash at that time. I was exploring inner landscapes that often, actually almost always were either North African or West Asian. It was uncanny.

The more I read, the more I started to eat Hash. It was quite the affair. Mind you, I had never been to North Africa, or West Asia. Still it felt authentic. I recall sitting on a sand dune, with the tingling of bells from a caravan of camels passed behind me. There was a blazing sun (which seemed to be a central theme in all of these experiences time and again) overhead. Years later I heard those same bells, but in a field recording from North Africa.

Dust Storm

RP: What inspired you to illustrate and publish a new edition of The Hasheesh Eater? in the first place, and now this even more lavish edition?

G: I realized that no one had stepped up to the challenge that Sätty/Michael Horowitz had lain down. There is a brilliant version from I think 1905 with the art of Aubrey Beardsley used to illustrate it . That is a collectors dream, out of my league.

I like projects. Weirdly, the more complicated and detailed the better. Fucking Virgo Sun and Libra Moon playing havoc in my life time and again. It also involves what I value highly: aesthetics. I cannot fathom how one would not approach this work without the visual component tied into it, and not designing the work to make a statement visually, and dare I say spiritually in that Ludlow’s work is highly charged with that.

So, I put together the original version, which is very comprehensive, and visually rich. Then, I realized I had to take it further. There are about 10 more illustrations in the Limited Editions along with almost 30 more pages of text. I could of gone on, but had to draw the line somewhere along the way.

This project has taken over two years of work, but more of dreaming of. I wanted to honour Fitz Hugh Ludlow’s influence and artistry, but I wanted to also pay homage to the workings of Sätty/Michael Horowitz for the dream that they produced together. One must tip the hat to ones influences and artistic progenitors.

RP: What inspired you to begin your gorgeous art, poetry and essay journal and to name The Invisible College?

G: This is a nice story. I met Robert Venosa and Martina Hoffmann at Mind States, a conference I was coordinating/managing floor and stage. They were there with Allyson and Alex Grey as well as Pablo Amaringo, Mark Henson. Quite a stellar line up. This event was kind of a watershed moment for me. I became friends with Robert and Martina, hanging with them and the Greys. We discussed art quite a bit and a germ of an idea was formed in my head at that point.

It jelled further when they came to visit our home in Portland. They ended up being the first two artists to be featured in the first two editions of The Invisible College. They encouraged me to put together the whole thing when I told them I had a dream of a publication that would cover multiple disciplines in the arts and literature. I am still friends with Martina, I love her dearly. I miss Robert, he was an amazing person. Studied under Mati Klarwein, Ernst Fuchs, Salvador Dali, actually living at Dali’s compound in Cadaques, Spain for 6 years. He was the real deal. When I think of Renaissance Man, Roberto always comes to mind. Perhaps the key artist in the whole visionary school, having practically
invented it.

Anyway, the first two editions were in PDF form. I hope one day to recreate them on paper. It is a labour of love. Never made a profit off of it. Don’t care, but it would be a bonus. If you love what you do, keep doing it. We have had the most amazing artist, writers, poets partake in its creation. All of the early ones were put together in Photoshop and Word. It was like lithography/printmaking in a way. Slow, slow process. Thank the Muse for InDesign. Life is easier.

I spend hundreds of hours on the minutia of the project. You will never find a plain white sheet of paper in any of the editions. The concept of design is actually quite old, based on my love of the illuminated manuscript, and such notable journals from the past as the San Francisco Oracle, that beautiful work of art edited by Allen Cohen and Michael Bowen. Oz was another, with founders Richard Neville, the fabulous Martin Sharp and Jim Anderson. I am moved by such journals as The Yellow Book; as well, predominant publications from the Fin de siècle in Europe I want it to be a feast, a revelry, a sensual delight. I might get carried away at times, aesthetics overrides lots of considerations: time involved, making anything off the project etc. It is a work of love.

The name… well, I am a student of history, and certain parts of Occult and Metaphysical History. The name comes from a society based on the earlier studies of the great British magician John Dee, who served at the court of Elizabeth the First. So many stories could be told about him. He made a pact with the Witches of The New Forest in Southern England to raise a storm against the Spanish Armada or so it is told. I tend to believe it. Along with his friend Edward Kelley, had Alchemical adventures in Central Europe after Dee fell out of favour with Elizabeth.

Later on (1648) a society was established along the lines of the studies of John Dee. It was called The Invisible College, which was quite a remarkable institution with crossovers of several disciplines within it. Some of the seminal members were Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, William Petty and others. Being quite eclectic, with such disciplines investigated as Astronomy, Astrology, Mathematics, Alchemical meanderings, emerging scientific, botanical and other studies. The society suffered persecution from Oliver Cromwell’s troops, who viewed it and the members with suspicion. It later was renamed The Royal Society, and exists to this day.

In that it was multi-disciplined and played along the lines of both science and magic, The Invisible College was indeed the model I wanted to follow for the publication. I could have picked a better name, but this one was apt in my view.

RP: How do you achieve such a high quality of printing in your publications? The colors you achieve are astounding.

G: It has been a real learning experience. First, I cannot afford (at this time) to privately print anything. I rely on POD (print on demand vendors)… Createspace, IngramSpark, Lulu… It was all down to trial and error. I would submit work, and if it didn’t come up to snuff, I would tweak it until it was right. The old method of trial and error, with the added terrors of printing in the digital age. There are always variants that go with digital printing. Colour can be so tricky, especially with screens and the fact that what one screen shows another won’t. A cosmic crap shoot. It is not like it was when I started out putting books out; we compiled and printed them, or were there when they were printed. Now, everything is remote.

RP: How did you become an artist and how has art changed for you in the digital age?

I actually remember the first piece I did at around the age of 5, a finger painting of a storm with a streak of lightening. My first real urges for art was actually music. I wanted to be a drummer, but I drew all of the time. I was put into art classes at college at the age of 11-12 years old. Kinda the talented and gifted model… I got into mandalas through the influence of Bardo Matrix’s publications in Boulder in 1966. I started drawing mandalas from there… which led to pointillism, where I would do large pieces, mandalas mind you with dots… I would work for days on them. After my discovery of Wilfred Sätty, I became enamored with collages, which in reality weren’t that great but satisfying to construct. I played around for many years as I got side tracked into poetry, dance, and music. It was difficult to find the focus. I started working with water colours along the way in the 1970’s as well.

Part of my challenge was settling into projects. I made 16mm films, photographed, designed books. Always a project of some sort. Eventually in the late 80′ visual arts became the main focus. I started with Serigraph work (silk screen), and then mixed media using ink, watercolour, airbrush. This occupied me for a very long time, and then I got involved deeper with computers beyond synthesizers etc.

I was thrashing around this whole time. So as a tangent to all of this, Allyson Grey plays a part in my development as an artist, and what I am doing today. Robert, Martina, Alex and Allyson and I were having breakfast one morning at the conference (Mind States) Allyson asks me, “Are you an artist?” I said something along the line, “Well sometimes, mumble, mumble” embarrassed really at the question. She pressed me on it asking “Why are you holding back?” That was close to the end of that conversation, but it struck with me. Why was I holding back? It was a lost cause to fight it. I had been working with Photoshop a bit, and I decided that beyond tweaking photos, it had a lot of promise.

Gods of Divine Inebriation

RP: How did you first become involved in making blotter art?

G: Oh, I got an offer from the late Adam Stanhope. He financed the first 3 pieces: Mantis Head, Indra’s Web and Moiré Eyes. He was among the first to show an interest in my art outside of what I had done as a T-Shirt Illustrator/Collagist. Mantis Head is a classic collage, with layer upon layer of Mantis Heads, layered out as a Mandala. Complex, but simple in its way. A nod to my DMT experiences over the years. Indra’s Web is a homage to Tim Leary, who as I mentioned I met a few times over the years. It has proved to be the most popular of these early ones. Moiré Eyes… one of my favourite pieces. It has an interesting history. It was hijacked by someone who I will not mention directly, who was involved in the production of it… and sold in Europe to dealers who soaked the prints in a magical concoction. I heard about this 3rd hand from a collector. You would of thought that someone would of gifted me with at least one sheet, wouldn’t you? As an artist I was both flattered and pissed off that my work was used, but via being hijacked without my say so. This is a problem for many of us. Over the years I have found people reproducing my various designs from T-Shirts (Salvia Goddess) to other pieces claiming my art as theirs. It boggles the mind, and is dismaying. I have had to be unpleasant a couple of times about this. What a wacky world!

RP: I understand you’ve been studying the intoxication techniques of Victorian occultists? Care to share an interesting discovery?

G: How much they had. How much they did, and how much it affected literature and especially poetry. Everything from ether, to laudanum, nitrous oxide, opium of course and hasheesh as a starting point. The big ones we often think of were Opium & its derivatives, Hasheesh, along with Coca. Opium has a special place in the scheme of things. It plays a huge role in literature throughout the century from Georgian times until the demise of the Victorian Era. From Anne and Charlotte Brontë, up to the writings of Oscar Wilde (and earlier of course, Coleridge, etc. Dickens, Makepeace, across the spectrum of literature Opium, Laudanum plays a crucial roll. This is of course most noted in the UK and the US at those times. Casting our nets further one mustn’t forget Absinthe. Don’t let this one slip by. It was a great mover and shaker in the arts and literature of the times. So, stepping more into the European world of the 19th century the main axis was Opium, Absinthe and Hasheesh. Coca and its derivatives of course play a part as well, more so in the latter part of the century.

Later came mescaline after the synthesis performed by Arthur Heffter in Germany. I have found reports of its use from the 1880’s on, but I would posit that it was being used in its natural form (peyote) by settlers etc. early on. Supposedly its use was prevalent in the Mormon community. High weirdness to even consider, right? I would suggest to the initiate to read Mordecai Cooke’s The Seven Sisters of Sleep, and of course Ludlow’s The Hasheesh Eater.

Our Victorian forbears were acutely aware of consciousness alteration. They also did not on the main see any need to regulate, or punish those that used various substances. Problems with addiction in the US exploded after the Civil War and the injecting of morphine due to wounds, pain etc. The temperance movement gained quite the headwind with that. There had been concern about Opiate use prior to the war, but nothing like what came later.

Poppy use, and other plants go back to the Paleolithic at least. We are no different than other creatures in that we have a drive to explore consciousness and to find surcease to suffering and healing on many levels. The difference now of course is the corporate medical state with its government enforcers. People should have greater control over their consciousness. We are no less mature or less able in this than peoples from the past. Thousands of years of her/history shows this. The last 100 years or so of prohibition has been incredibly harmful to the health of the species.

RP: You admit to magical and occult leanings. What books have most influenced you in those areas?

G: Funnily enough, I had training early on that influenced me greatly. The books showed up along the way as companions to that training. Books are great, yet sharing/learning techniques are perhaps the stronger method. With that said, read by all means, read everything that takes you forward. I think the most influential one would have to be The White Goddess by Robert Graves. We were in a book store in Santa Monica and it fell off the shelf into my hands! I took that as a sign. Absolutely changed my life in the way I viewed it. Graves take on the ancient Goddess and the round of the year,
zodiac mysteries, sacrifice etc. is very heady. Some of it is very spot on, and some of it is iffy. A side note in the”discovery” of magic mushrooms, Robert Graves gave Gordon L. Wasson a tip onto Oaxaca’ secrets if I recall. Many of Graves essays are worth their weight in gold, in The White Goddess and elsewhere in his numerous volumes. His poetry is top notch as well.

There are lots to choose from… My very first book along these lines was a book on Zen koans actually, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. I was quite taken with that one when I was 13-14 years old. The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness by Alan Watts was a huge influence on my view of combining psychedelics with spiritual practices. The Morning of the Magicians by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier was highly influential in my late teens in that it talked of secret histories. The New View over Atlantis by John Michell was an eye opener, introducing me to the ideas of sacred
landscapes, and our place within that context.

The Gurdjieff books of course, as I was in a 4th way school early in my life. Doreen Valiente’s works helped me along the concepts that Wicca had to offer, the works of Gimbutas are essential. Dion Fortune’s books are a must read, and they come as novels. The Winged Bull, The Goat Footed God; among others. Wonderful stuff. Israelie Regardie’s The Golden Dawn should be on your shelf if it isn’t already.

John and Caitlin Matthews The Western Way: A Practical Guide to the Western Mystery Tradition Volumes 1 and 2 along with John Matthews Taliesin. Know the traditions we come out of. Crowley’s works were cool to run into along the way. Robert Anton Wilson’s books. Really, these are great.

Two volumes also come to mind that are not viewed as Occult/Metaphysical but should be are: Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, a fundamental book on understanding Anarchism and its spiritual roots. You can be a fundamentalist Christian or a die in the wool Atheist and still get value from this book. The Magus by John Fowles. Find the early editions before he revised it. Better in the original form in my viewpoints.

Dale Pendell’s works. His Pharmako Poeia trilogy stands as a giant in the literature. I have a large library, but not enough books, not enough time to read them all. I recommend The Temple of Perseus at Panopolis by Peter Lamborn Wilson if you want an overview of the transition/syncrestic of old Egypt into the Hermetic schools. Top notch.

Do you have hours? So many good books. I have poets as well along these lines.

RP: What was the story behind DIY Press?

G: DIY press was a project my friend Michael, his girlfriend at the time Vera, my wife Mary and I launched in 1978-79. Mary and I had just moved to L.A from London. Michael and I had been roommates previously who shared a love of poetry. Before I met Mary in London, Michael and I became enamored with the 19th century French poets, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Rimbaud. We would read the works aloud to each other when we were out of our trees… Michael and I both wrote poetry, recited to each other, shared similar taste in many things. My first go at writing had been in college, and I quite enjoyed it.

We get a hare-brained idea to start a small press. He was a printer at that point, and had access to a press. We published small poets (i.e. unknown) our own stuff, etc. I did most of the layouts and dark room stuff along with Mary. Vera was there with tea and sympathy. It was a rollicking good time. We sold the books on the boardwalk in Venice at a dollar a pop. It was around for a couple of years, and it laid the seed for other projects down the way.

RP: What was your involvement with Grey Pavilion, an early 80s electronica band? Did you play with Nels Cline?

G: Yes, Grey Pavilion grew out of two earlier formations: Ubahn, which included our friend Ley Thompson from the UK who came to the US to work with us, and The Voice. Grey Pavilion came about with Mary (wife and creative partner) and I sitting one night trying to think past such a clunker of a name as The Voice.


Mary & Gwyllm 1980


Nels was our guitarist over the years that we were in existence. He was a collaborator in the finest sense. Although not a member, he was very influential on our sound, especially in the studio. Here is a way collaborators work: full trust. I would give him a cassette of the rough mix, and he would go away and work on it. I don’t believe I ever had to nix anything he offered. Nels is incredibly intuitive with music and especially nuance within the context of a piece. Watching him grow as a musician (we first met when he was 21 playing nothing but acoustic jazz) until his latest tour that I saw here in Portland is an amazing sonic journey.
We were lucky to have him along, and lucky to have an 8 track studio in our flat. Lots of hours spent there just hashing sound and textures out. I think we have 2 albums in the can, yet to be released with his work with us.

A bit of history perhaps: Out of DIY press Mary and I decided to launch a band. She had been a sound engineer in the UK, who not only worked in studios, but toured as a sound person/engineer with various acts. She had been in RADA, first as an actress,and then stage management etc. until she settled on sound engineering.

I had been playing music off and on for years. I played several instruments none of them stellar as I was always thrashing about. I busked originally, then settled in to playing the blues, then jug band/skiffle stuff. I sang, played the dobro, bass guitar, mandolin, harmonica… I had a background in keyboards as my mother had been a jazz pianist/organist.

I had been deeply impressed with the rise of the synthesizer through the late 60’s and 70’s. At that point, such bands as Kraftwerk, Can, Roxy Music, Eno’ solo works, and other acts were just getting wilder and wilder with the sounds that I loved. Of course, then comes the Punk explosion in 1975-76. Out of New York Suicide shows up, there was Ultravox in the UK. It seemed a perfect moment, and a natural direction for us.

We went through some wonderful iterations over our 10+ year run. Starting out with a Roland CR-78 and a Korg PS3200 with a Tascam 4 track, we started recording. The band never had a drummer except in the studio, and that was Alex Cline, Nels’s twin brother. We worked our way through the TR808 for many years and then a Drumulator. The TR808 was amazing. The band grew and shrank over the years, but the core was my friend Mike on synths, Mary on vocals, and myself on synths and
rhythm programming. I believe the studio was our natural environment.

Night Flight to Moscow by Grey Pavilion
We moved back and forth from the US to the UK during that time, picking up new instruments, an eastern European hammer dulcimer with 4 strings per note, 3+ octaves, psalteries, regular dulcimers etc. In the end the synths had taken a backseat to the various dulcimers, etc.

We crash and burned in L.A. walking away from the whole scene, and finally leaving the city of Angels. Nels is still a very close friend. Love him very much, and the work he has done. A consummate musician/artist.

RP: You devoted the 9th edition of The Invisible College to “Arcadia” and you contributed a moving essay on the subject. What is Arcadia and why did it inspire you to dedicate an issue to it?

G: Arcadia as a physical location is in the heart of the Peloponnese peninsula (in Greece). As I stated in that article: “Arcadia, with her roots in the times before deliberate cultivation, before the plow ripped our mother’s flesh, rises up in visions, art, poesy again and again hearkening to the age when it was golden, verdant, a tumbling world of plant, animal, spirits, and gods… before the times of subservience, neolithic priest-craft, kings and corporations”.

As a reference point in Greek Myth, Renaissance Poetry, it contains the concept of the Golden Age, Pre-Hellenic, Pre-Pelagasian… stretching back to time out of mind when the Goddess was the central figure of the pantheon. Gods and Demi-Gods walked amongst the wild tribes, the Centaurs, the herders of goats and aurochs, the huntresses and hunters who shared the landscapes with all matter of creatures, and beings.

There is another undercurrent to “Arcadia”… the concept of an underground stream of knowledge, and teachings that flow from the most ancient of times, down through the ages, surfacing now and again, then re-submerging during times of repression and danger. Sometimes there is a flowering of knowledge, arts and expression, a freeing of consciousness. It has long been posited that the members of various secret societies operating beneath the gaze of the authorities nudges and pushes consciousness during these times to bring needed change about. This stream has been somewhat publicly acknowledged over the centuries…

Every age is defined by beings that rise above the morass and points the way with either a reveal of secret teachings or through art, literature, music. This is the Arcadian Stream to me. Call them what you will, Hermeticist out of Egypt and Greece, the Cathars, the Bogomils, Troubadours who brought the concept of Romantic Love to the French Courts from the Sufis in Andalusia, the Diggers preaching equality of the sexes in Cromwell’s England, the Hellfire Club in England in pursuit of excess, the Blakean crowd, Brook Farm, the Oneidians, the Club des Hashischins, the Transcendentalists, the Golden Dawn, the OTO, the Bohemians, the 4thWay Schools, the Beats… and on, and on. They will always surface, if but for a time. There is no choice in this, but function, pure function.

We live in a time where we have largely turned our backs and minds to the vastness of the Creation. The stars are blotted out by lights of our cities, we insulate our selves from the wide and tumbling world. We on the main interact with what? Screens? Stores? Freeways? There is a raging Universe that we are a part of and are seemingly blind to. No wonder there is such fragmentation and chaos. Yet, there is great hope, and great opportunity. We can and will change the world for those who come after with the work and art that we do.
Arcadia is the birthright of every child born. It takes a lot to shake it out of us, but it is there. Arcadia is our past, and I posit, our future.

The Hasheesh Eater illustrated by Gwyllm Llywdd
The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings Link…

The Invisible College
Invisible College Publishing Link…

Gwyllm Art Found Here:
Gwyllm Art!
Simon Posford – Flux & Contemplation:

“Instead of resisting to changes, surrender. Let life be with you, not against you. If you think ‘My life will be upside down’ don’t worry. How do you know down is not better than upside?” – Shams of Tabrizi

Falak – Gwyllm