Wednesday, September 28, 2011


When the springs were longer and the earth was not covered in salt as it is now, you once asked me how to construct a talisman. At the time I told you to gather yellow crystals along the ridge of our mountain and construct a bag of fabric and twigs. At the time, I thought you were not ready for more complicated instructions. It was not just the degree of difficulty you might have had in procuring the substances and objects, but I also thought you were not ready for the power of a more sophisticated talisman.
As I said, the springs have gotten shorter, and there are many we could count and remember in the years we have spent together, so as I survey the white streaks in your hair, as I watch what was once a more impatient, angry man and see the slow, deliberate person before me at the fire, as I observe in simple detail the careful watch of a man that has grown into what will be a fine king, I see that you are ready. 
It has taken years, harder work than I am sure you initially thought, but as I have tried to show you through example, change is possible. As I have told you many times, kings are not made by riches, but by metaphor, and you, now, have developed the awareness necessary to hold your many facets in equal balance, at least much of the time. No gold or jewels could make a finer king.
I see now that more detailed instructions will be useful to you, perhaps not now or in the upcoming cool weather, but perhaps soon. I will impart what I have. 
As I have said many times, both to you and to others, there is no truth, just versions of it.  Each one will look different depending on the man who perceives it, and although it may be redundant, I much emphasize, there are many ways to make a talisman.  This is simply my way and the way of my teacher before me, it is not the only truth.  You are free, after careful thought and consideration, to alter the instructions if need be.  This mountain will change and the instructions may need to change with them. 
As I am sure you have understood, though I will emphasize it again now, it is not only the materials which are important (for indeed they are), but it is the way they are gathered, the calmness in you body as you design and construct, the even flow of breath as you move over the mountain.  So if you must change something, do so always maintaining your awareness.
When I am gone, as one of these days my body will return to the soil and a new journey will begin, you may look though the leather journals of my office and find other instructions, not just for various talismans but other things you may find useful. I must once again state that the world of magick is vast and deep, so do not hold onto the instructions like the habits and identity you once carried like a torch before your heart. These are instructions, not rules.  Look at them creatively, like you are creating something from the other worlds and bringing it to life (and indeed you are.) Life takes many forms and at some points, you may find it necessary to alter.  Use your careful and creative judgement.

Now for the instructions:

Take a piece of virgin parchment, made from the skin of a stillborn lamb.
It will probably be cold to the touch, warm it beside a low fire of hot coals.
Use your finger to draw blood, either yours or that of your female companion.
She will give to you, as she always does. 
Take what you need, she is willing. 
After the skin of the animal is cured and soft, (this I know you are capable of doing as I have seen you do it many times) take the parchment and lay it flat against a wooden surface.  Let the moonlight cleanse it of human touch, of animal remains, of anything that ever was before. 
Now it is something new. 
Draw a star in the center.
At the center of the star, trace the image of the sun in red ink and paint its center in gold.
Let the parchment rest in the moonlight for several hours.
Roll the parchment into a scroll, as tight as you can make it. Fold it in half.
Set it into a jar of water and let it sit until completely tender and pliable.
Form it into an oval and cover with the red sand at the mountain’s base.
Dry it in the sun. 
The entire process may take half a moon cycle. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Dead Weight Of The Past

What is it that he said so many years ago? Those words that went into her, dug into the muscles of her being like they were made for her cavernous places. Fitted just right, sculpted to stay there for decades, to resist change in all its forms and call to her like a siren’s deadly song. When the moon was ripe and the waters within her rattled with the call of wolves, the little steel sinkers would brush up against a few spiral shells and other lines and hooks left by other people, and though they swayed slightly in the current, they remained firmly planted.
“You’re dead weight,” he said, putting her down.
Exasperated, he continued, “there’s no way I can carry you.”
She looked to the ground, saddened by how her piggy-back ride had turned sour; all the joy she had initially felt gutted by one knife-shaped sentence.
“You don’t know how to use your body,” he said, “you just hang there like dead weight.”
She kept her eyes low, ashamed, but not sure what she had done wrong or how she could change. No matter what he said, he somehow, within the unspoken space between his words and the way his tone hinted at a past she was still unclear of, he always seemed to make a comparison between her and the other girls he had been with, girls who had not been dead weight. Others he had been able to carry and hold against a wall and fuck, but not her. His words, like a stone wrapped in white cloth, sunk to the bottom and settled in. He would send others soon.

Later, when his tattooed arms were gone and the smell of his cigarettes had been washed from her hair, she knew someone, just for one night, that did hold her against the wall of the white tiled shower with his grip. But the stone was still there.
Those things that he said so many years ago. Did he throw those words to hurt her, for pleasure, to get the many things he desired? His gallons of milk required with every meal. Orange soda, the only other liquid he would drink. The unfiltered cigarettes, the potatoes and pork chops and marijuana so he could pretend to desire her. All the things he wanted, that he said he needed, they all required a sacrifice and with each demand, she left a part of herself in the supermarket aisle, left it there to be swept up by the nighttime staff. When they went back home, all she wanted was an orgasm, but he blamed her for his inability to stay hard. She was too wet. Too wide. Too desperate, too loud. He told her each reason, sending more stones to the bottom.

In all the years they were together, she never saw him completely naked. He walked out of rooms backwards, unwilling to let her see every part of him. Did he believe himself to be dead weight? Not his body or his size or the way he held his body, but the pain with which he came. The heroin he took, the cigarettes he smoked, the marijuana he inhaled, were they the worldly manifestations of the hooks that had been thrown into him so long ago?

The other night, laying in a warm lap with the black curtains drawn and candles flickering across the white, naked wall, in a room that he had not known and would never know, she said, “make sure to tell me if I’m like dead weight.” It took her many days to remember were the words had come from, for they did not originate in her. They came up, out of her mouth, unearthed in the calm, clear waters of that long night. Those words, left by someone else, now they were her own fears, her own worry, her own weighted anchors.