Sorry for the lateness of this post, it would have been posted last week on Wednesday only, a giant kingfisher pecked me into my duvet cover and then a frog stole my shoes. I’ve only just managed to wriggle out the bottom of my bed, tearing my last clean pair of jodhpurs on a magic hedgehog. Luckily the frog left me my slippers and a life in which shoes and jodhpurs optional.
To make up for my fecklessness I present to you part one of a long as post about astrological magic and magical magpie-ism. So circle up you miniaturized mercurial manta rays, you pulchritudinous potato poems for another journey through time and space...
A little less than a year ago in late March just as we in the USA were realizing that the shut down of the entire world also included us, I was called, quite loudly, to begin researching and preparing to make some astrological talismans in the style of The Picatrix. Astrological talismans and talismanic materia have been on my radar for a few years now thanks to Handsome Man-strologer Austin Coppock and his brilliant astro-sorceress wife Caitlin who run Sphere and Sundry. Making said talismans and materia had crossed my mind but, given my complete lack of astrology training and limited understanding of the ensorcelling required for the ritual, I figured it would have to be a project that some future-Tyler would sort out after present-Tyler did a whole shit-ton more research and learning. Not the case. As usual, going with my gut and studying the things I was nudged/called to study totally worked out because, as you will see below, I “randomly” stumbled on to an amazing magical election. Using the prayer and praxis from the Picatrix and some prayers and TEK from Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, and borrowing some of the beautiful wording from Jyotish planetary prayers I called forth, invoked, and petitioned the spirits of Mars and Venus as well as the angels and intelligences of their spheres and had them empower some talismans.
David Bowie, Marc Bolan, The Glitter Twins: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Sir William Blake, Greg Traw, Sarah Eisenlohr, The Avalanches, Daft Punk, Justice, and Beck. These are all excellent examples of humans who borrow shiny bits and pieces from the world at large and recombine them into something completely new, something greater than the sum of its parts. A beautiful chimera, unique and futuristic, cobbled together from the glittering refuse of the past. These masterful, majestic magpies unmake and take apart the world we take for granted, they strip it down to its component parts and then they take the bits that speak to them and create the Frankenstein monster of the motherfucking future from the bombastic bones of the past.
Greg Traw's psychedelic magic masterpiece the Dracxiodos Tarot
All this is to say that while I appreciate the skills stances of grimoire purism and reconstructionism just as I appreciate the skills and stances of classical musicians; there is certainly value in traditionalism and reconstructing the rituals, and or concerts, of the past. It’s just not the way I roll. My whole life has been spent experimenting with what the different combinations of skittles in the packet taste like, adding brown gravy to my kalbi ribs and mac salad, and bravely combining drugs to test for synergy in the test tube that serves as my brain.
David Bowie has been a roll model/crush/idle/idol of mine for way longer than is appropriate. So it stands to reason that I would end up a musical, masticatory, and magical magpie as well. Magic is a living tradition and one of my favorite parts of being alive is innovation and finding what works for us as individuals, taking what we need and leaving the rest. Developing our own unique ways of being true to ourselves in whatever we do: magic, music, filing TPS reports, writing, delivering mail, dancing, eating, cooking, or masturbating seems like as noble a reason for living as any other.
Alright, in typical Myrrhkwood fashion, we started down a path headed for a clear and easily reachable destination and have become waylaid by the shiny fairy lights. That is, however, the very nature of the forest and Myrrhkwood is about as foresty as a forest can be: it may in fact be the forestyest forest that ever did forest… Damn it’s dark. Where did that trail go?
To be continued…
This week, you glorious sparks of the divine, pulsating, cosmic trash-fire, I shall be rambling about eclipses. Specifically what a series of eclipses can do to a broken and neglected life.
Open on a college town in the Pacific Northwest circa 2009.
The writer’s life has gone completely tits up: no job, no life, few friends, only source of income is the buying and selling of illegal narcotics, existential beliefs are getting more nihilistic by the day, massive drug habit, suicidally depressed, and sleep deprived. Heroin withdrawal and cocaine psychosis have become integrated parts of his personality; tall and emaciated, but somehow oddly charming to those few humans he still interacts with. Things are going about as well as can be expected, our intrepid hero manages to get his fix most days as he burns bridge after bridge and isolates himself from any hope or lifeline. Even at this point, he knows that all this is building to something terribly final. Our anti-hero is going to go out like so many of his favorite musicians: smacked up and cracked up and alone. His genius cut down in its prime.
At least that was the romantic horseshit our star and lovable, junky-idiot used to paint his life with. The main problems with that depiction being: our hero is not now and certainly was not at that point any sort of genius, even as a bullshit-artist (which was his sole talent) he was only ranked among the best in his small town and would never have survived among real top-tier bullshitters, and he had not produced any evidence whatsoever of this supposed genius.
Enter the Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle.
Eclipses, in this writer’s humble and under-informed opinion, are about transformation. Explicitly, the sort of blow-up-your-fucking-car-while-you’re-inside-it-because-you-neglected-to-get-the-oil-changed transformation usually associated with the Tower card in tarot. The clearing away of old structures, relationships, habits, coping mechanisms, people, cars, money, belief systems, limbs, trust funds, etc.. If, like the writer in 2009, your life is a fucking shambles built out of lies, drugs, and broken coping mechanisms then the clearing away of those structurally unsound and massively dangerous slums can be uncomfortable and dramatic.
The areas of life being swept clean by an eclipse depend largely on which houses the eclipses of a given cycle are occurring in within one’s own birth chart. Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of the houses and their meanings for those of you who don’t know and an easy site to get a free birthchart with interpretation for those of you who would like one. How vigorously the sweeping is done and whether or not the broom is actually a nuclear bomb depends largely on prevailing astrological influences, how the life in question is being lived and the level of adaptability currently at the disposal of the person living said life.
Smash cut back to 2009.
Our beloved, fucked up, junky loser totals his car at 8 in the morning after staying up all night doing drugs and arguing with an ex at her parents house. Lucky to be alive (he put out the driver’s side window with his head and the airbag didn’t deploy), he gets lucky again when the owner of the tree into which he wrecks his car comes out of his house radiantly high on meth and wants nothing whatsoever to do with the exchanging of insurance info or the calling of cops.
Star wipe to one and a half year depressing, junky montage of disappointed parents, no transportation, no money, and lots of intravenous drug use. Set to whichever the saddest Jeff Buckley song is, maybe “Lover You Should’ve Come Over”.
Fade to black.
Fade up on a cold and snowy Christmas season 2010. Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusher Man” plays as our writer, driving a new car, high as fuck, pockets filled with drugs and cash enjoys the last fun time he will ever have on the hard stuff.
Hectic party montage, lots of glitch hop, hotel rooms full of well dressed junkies, film speeds up as two weeks go by in a blur of bad decisions.
Smash cut to black.
Fade in on our hero, alone in the grossest apartment imaginable: used needles, empty baggies, rotting food, cat shit, and bills are piled up everywhere. The only “clean” areas are the couch upon which we find our writer and the path from the couch to the bathroom. Looking very frail and feverish, we see his arm is swollen to four times the size of its opposite and his fingers are beginning to turn purple. Delirious with fever and pain, he picks up the phone and calls his mom for a ride to the hospital.
Fast forward through a heartbreaking hospital scene, rehab, move in with girlfriend from rehab, relapse.
July 17 2017.
After purchasing a large amount of drugs and going to his parents’ house, his parents being out of town for the week, our hero proceeds to inject all of them in hopes of relieving the vast amount of inner turmoil, anxiety, depression, fear and shame that accompanies not being on drugs all the time. Nothing happens. No relief. Panic builds and a serious bout of cocaine psychosis and paranoia strikes leaving him locked in the top floor office with a loaded gun talking to himself. Suicide looks like a very good option.
And then something spectacular happens.
With the gun cocked and in his mouth he hears a voice. Not the whispering voices trying to scare him into pulling the trigger. A pleasant voice, a clear and sonorous voice with a warm and slightly effeminate British accent, spoken as if through a modest smile. An image flashes into focus of the scene he will leave his loved ones to find if he pulls the trigger. It is an utterly brutal scene that will remain with him forever and does not need to be described here. The soothing and utterly charming voice says, at the same moment the image is presented, “We can’t very well do that now can we, darling?”.
Flabbergasted and assuming he is in the presence of capital-G-O-D, he asks the only question his drug-addled brain can put together: “wait… you’re gay?”
At which the spirit laughs and, in the same fantastically charming hybrid of David Bowie and Freddy Mercury, responds, “I’m everything, darling”.
Our mind-blown and mystified mess of hero puts the gun down and calls his saintly girlfriend. She mercifully decides to keep him out of the psych ward and then drives him around town for three hours as he physically pulls the hair out of his head while raving about seeing demons on every street corner.
Fade to black.
Our hero wakes up the next day feeling fucking superb and not wanting to shove narcotics into his body for the first time in a decade. That feeling persists to this day.
“Cool story and all but what in the fuck did that have to do with eclipses?” Well, I’m glad you asked that, tired-literary-device; let’s shove some dates into the story above and see. December 21 2010, when I was partying my way through the holidays, there was a lunar eclipse in Cancer in my second house. January 4 2011, when that party was screeching to a halt due to scarcity of funds, there was a solar eclipse in Capricorn in my eighth house. I have no doubt that that one-two punch is what sent me, dying of a blood infection, to the hospital. Luck and my fancy, British guardian angel kept me here with all my arms and fingers intact. Then we had a solar eclipse in Gemini on June 1 2011 in my first house and a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius on June 15 2011 in my seventh house of partnerships (bless her heart she had almost as rough a time as I did). And then to cap it all off, on July 1 2011 there was a solar eclipse in Cancer.
As far as I can tell there wasn’t much else going on astrologically for me during those times so I, for the sake of this post and convenience, shall be blaming the total destruction of my terrible, junky life on the eclipses of 2009-2011. And I shall be crediting the glamorous and charming British spirit with the snatching of my life back from the abyss.
The good news is this; if your life is not a giant ball of neglected, junky cat shit then eclipses don’t have to be life-changing, horrific bummers of psychosis and bad decisions. We just passed out of the Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle and I had no issues at all. Or at least no issues like I did in 2010-11. I mostly stayed inside during the eclipses and chanted mantras or slept but I know folks who magically harnessed the power of those eclipses and used that dragon energy to power some pretty cool shit. Not my jam at the moment, but it seems to work for them.
I was going to go into remediation measures and the nodes and all that but honestly I would mostly be quoting the Coppocks so I shall link to Austin Coppock's stellar page (bad pun, boooooo) as well as his wonderful partner and super badass Kaitlin at Sphere and Sundry's post about south node remediation.
That’s all for this week you glamorous, galumphing, galaxy-brained glory-bees. Stay as joyful as you can in these crazy days and I’ll see you next week.