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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Invincible: Abashed the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is…

Which of those rebel Spirits adjudged to Hell

Comest thou, escaped thy prison? and, transformed,

Why sat’st thou like an enemy in wait,

Here watching at the head of these that sleep?

Know ye not then said Satan, filled with scorn,

Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate

For you, there sitting where ye durst not soar:

Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,

The lowest of your throng; or, if ye know,

Why ask ye, and superfluous begin

Your message, like to end as much in vain?

To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn.

Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same,

Or undiminished brightness to be known,

As when thou stoodest in Heaven upright and pure;

That glory then, when thou no more wast good,

Departed from thee; and thou resemblest now

Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foul.

But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account

To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep

This place inviolable, and these from harm.

So spake the Cherub; and his grave rebuke,

Severe in youthful beauty, added grace

Invincible: Abashed the Devil stood,

And felt how awful goodness is, and saw

Virtue in her shape how lovely; saw, and pined

His loss; but chiefly to find here observed

His lustre visibly impaired; yet seemed

Undaunted. If I must contend, said he,

Best with the best, the sender, not the sent,

Or all at once; more glory will be won,

Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,

Will save us trial what the least can do

Single against thee wicked, and thence weak.

The Fiend replied not, overcome with rage;

But, like a proud steed reined, went haughty on,

Champing his iron curb: To strive or fly

He held it vain; awe from above had quelled

His heart, not else dismayed. Now drew they nigh

The western point, where those half-rounding guards

Just met, and closing stood in squadron joined,

A waiting next command. To whom their Chief,

Gabriel, from the front thus called aloud.

O friends! I hear the tread of nimble feet

Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern

Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade;

And with them comes a third of regal port,

But faded splendour wan; who by his gait

And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell,

Not likely to part hence without contest;

Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.

He scarce had ended, when those two approached,

And brief related whom they brought, where found,

How busied, in what form and posture couched.

To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake.

Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescribed

To thy transgressions, and disturbed the charge

Of others, who approve not to transgress

By thy example, but have power and right

To question thy bold entrance on this place;

Employed, it seems, to violate sleep, and those

Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss!

To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow.

Gabriel? thou hadst in Heaven the esteem of wise,

And such I held thee; but this question asked

Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain!

Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,

Though thither doomed! Thou wouldst thyself, no doubt

And boldly venture to whatever place

Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change

Torment with ease, and soonest recompense

Dole with delight, which in this place I sought;

To thee no reason, who knowest only good,

But evil hast not tried: and wilt object

His will who bounds us! Let him surer bar

His iron gates, if he intends our stay

In that dark durance: Thus much what was asked.

The rest is true, they found me where they say;

But that implies not violence or harm.

Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel moved,

Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied.

O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise

Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,

And now returns him from his prison ‘scaped,

Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise

Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither

Unlicensed from his bounds in Hell prescribed;

So wise he judges it to fly from pain

However, and to ‘scape his punishment!

So judge thou still, presumptuous! till the wrath,

Which thou incurrest by flying, meet thy flight

Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,

Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain

Can equal anger infinite provoked.

But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee

Came not all hell broke loose? is paint to them

Less pain, less to be fled, or thou than they

Less hardy to endure? courageous Chief,

The first in flight from pain! had’st thou alleg’d

To thy deserted host this cause of flight,

Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.

To which the Fiend thus answer’d, frowning stern.

Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,

Insulting Angel! well thou knowest I stood

Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid

The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,

And seconded thy else not dreaded spear.

But still thy words at random, as before,

Argue thy inexperience what behoves

From hard assays and ill successes past

A faithful leader, not to hazard all

Through ways of danger by himself untried:

I, therefore, I alone first undertook

To wing the desolate abyss, and spy

This new created world, whereof in Hell

Fame is not silent, here in hope to find

Better abode, and my afflicted Powers

To settle here on earth, or in mid air;

Though for possession put to try once more

What thou and thy gay legions dare against;

Whose easier business were to serve their Lord

High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his throne,

And practised distances to cringe, not fight,

To whom the warriour Angel soon replied.

To say and straight unsay, pretending first

Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,

Argues no leader but a liear traced,

Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,

O sacred name of faithfulness profaned!

Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?

Army of Fiends, fit body to fit head.

Was this your discipline and faith engaged,

Your military obedience, to dissolve

Allegiance to the acknowledged Power supreme?

And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem

Patron of liberty, who more than thou

Once fawned, and cringed, and servily adored

Heaven’s awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope

To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?

But mark what I arreed thee now, Avant;

Fly neither whence thou fledst! If from this hour

Within these hallowed limits thou appear,

Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained,

And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn

The facile gates of Hell too slightly barred.

So threatened he; but Satan to no threats

Gave heed, but waxing more in rage replied.

Then when I am thy captive talk of chains,

Proud limitary Cherub! but ere then

Far heavier load thyself expect to feel

From my prevailing arm, though Heaven’s King

Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,

Us’d to the yoke, drawest his triumphant wheels

In progress through the road of Heaven star-paved.

While thus he spake, the angelick squadron bright

Turned fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns

Their phalanx, and began to hem him round

With ported spears, as thick as when a field

Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends

Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind

Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands,

Left on the threshing floor his hopeless sheaves

Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarmed,

Collecting all his might, dilated stood,

Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved:

His stature reached the sky, and on his crest

Sat Horrour plumed; nor wanted in his grasp

What seemed both spear and shield: Now dreadful deeds

Might have ensued, nor only Paradise

In this commotion, but the starry cope

Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements

At least had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn

With violence of this conflict, had not soon

The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,

Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen

Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,

Wherein all things created first he weighed,

The pendulous round earth with balanced air

In counterpoise, now ponders all events,

Battles and realms: In these he put two weights,

The sequel each of parting and of fight:

The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam,

Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend.

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowest mine;

Neither our own, but given: What folly then

To boast what arms can do? since thine no more

Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled now

To trample thee as mire: For proof look up,

And read thy lot in yon celestial sign;

Where thou art weighed, and shown how light, how weak,

If thou resist. The Fiend looked up, and knew

His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled

Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

~Paradise Lost Book VI Lines 823-1015, John Milton

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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The Fallen: Wisdom and Death, Arddhu and Anna

What can popular media tell us about spiritual things?

The Fallen
By Seether

She’s wearin’ dresses on the borderline
(lookin good)
Or making senses that were lost in time
(make amends)
This liberation is the one they’ll love for ages (hey man I see them comin’ again)
Just cut those dresses make you look so fine (you’re a ten)
Put on that shirt and you’ll look so divine
(i’m impressed)
This generation won’t forgive those signs of aging (hey man I see them comin’ again)
I got my ticket for the next makeover
I got my ticket for a stolen ride

I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin’

They got injections for those facial lines (make amends)
Break out the scalpel keep the nose defined
(look again)
A crucifixion of the love we’ve known for ages (hey man i see them comin’ again)
You’re much too pretty you don’t need your mind (just pretend)
Just bat them eyelids get your heart’s desires
A resurrection of the shallow and the vapid
(hey man I see them comin’)

I got my ticket for the next makeover
I lost my taste for this I’ll keep my pride
I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin’

Reject

I got my ticket for the next makeover
I lost my taste for this, I’ll keep my pride
I believe, I believe
I believe in the fallen
I believe, I believe
I believe in the callin’
I believe in the callin’

Image from My Jewelry Blog

In my Good Friday post, I talked about how our society doesn’t like death and avoids the subject.  It isn’t just talking and thinking about it that we, as a society, avoid.  We also do everything we can to eliminate those things that remind us of death.  We use plastic surgery, as this song talks about, to avoid looking like we’re aging, because aging reminds us of death, that we will die some day.  But avoiding death makes life shallow, because death is very much a part of life.  Life loses its meaning without death.

Another way we avoid death is to take people as they get older and put them in old folks homes, and then we don’t visit them, because their age reminds us of our own mortality.  We put them away, out off sight, out of mind.  If we can’t see them, they aren’t there.  If they aren’t there, there is no aging, there is no death.  Hiding them is our immortality.  Or so we hope.

Cora Anderson, Grandmaster of Feri
Image from Harpy Books
Taken by Valerie Walker

There was a time when the elderly were venerated.  They are wisdom.  They are the ones who would teach the young, imparting their wisdom and experience, at least what the young were willing to listen to.  They might have been too old to do the heavy work required for the community, but they still had a purpose.  They were still valuable, and valued by the community.  By putting our elderly out of sight, we don’t just deny them a purpose to live for, we deny ourselves the wisdom they can impart.  With the loss of their experience, our society is getting dumber and more foolish.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Death and Wisdom are very closely connected.  Robert Cochrane described the feminine Mysteries as the pentagram as Life/Birth, Love, Maternity, Wisdom, Death/Resurrection.  Wisdom is the stage that proceeds Death.  It grows out of Maternity and heads toward Death and hence Resurrection.  In avoiding Death, we avoid Wisdom.

When I think of Wisdom and Death, I think of the Anna and the Arddhu, the Feri gods returning to God Herself.  One isn’t Wisdom and the other Death, for both are both Wisdom and Death.  In this situation, they are the Divine Twins.  They are separate, yet they are the same.  They are both near Death, and both long to impart the Wisdom they have to those they care.  They are both dangerous, as Death always is, but their Wisdom is worth it.

Image from
Star of Nuit blog

It is significant that the Anna stands as priestess of the Star Goddess, not young Nimue or nurturing Mari.  It is Wisdom, standing closest to Death, which is also Rebirth, that is closest to God Herself, who can stand as the Bridge between Herself and us.  The marriage of the gods is in Death and Rebirth, an end and a new beginning, like all initiations.  The Anna stands at the Altar of the ineffable, her red veil covering her face, waiting for us to draw near.

The Arddhu stands at the Gates of Death.  But the Gates of Death are also the Gates of Life, another set of Divine Twins.  Everyone comes at the end of their life in from of Arddhu, and all pass him coming into the world.  It’s the same Gates, yet we see them differently depending on which direction we pass.  Storm says Arddhu is Guardian of the Crossroads.  Crossroads are transition points, liminal points, the passages between worlds.  As are the Gates of Life and Death.  What is Witch without the crossing between worlds?  And how do you cross without Arddhu?  All must come to him, but Witch comes early.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

*And, as my About This Journal page states, this entry, like all my entries, express my opinions, my experiences, my ideas.  Though they are influenced by others and I quote others, don’t take what I say as dogma or doctrine for any tradition or religion.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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Overheard on a Salt Marsh by Harold Monro

Overheard on a Salt Marsh
by Harold Monro (1879-1932)

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?

Give them me.

No.

Give them me. Give them me.

No.

Then I will howl all night in the reeds. Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man’s fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads. I desire them.

No.

I will howl in a deep lagoon for your green glass beads, I love them so. Give them me. Give them me.

No.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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Muninn’s Laughter

Image from Daily Spiritual Tools blog

I’ve created a new blog to share my poetry on.  I’m in the process of reposting my old poetry to it.  You can find it at Muninn’s Laughter.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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So What Are Fallen Angels?

Image from SMS World blog

The following is an adaptation of my reply to an email on a list I’m on.  Basically, I rewrote the parts about other conversations to keep people’s privacy in tact.  I was asked what fallen angels are to me.  I didn’t really answer that, because I haven’t completely decided on that question.  But the following are my thoughts.

I haven’t had any personal contact with angels, as far as I know.  Well, a little with the Feri Guardians, which some believe are Watchers.  So I can’t speak from personal experience, so I’ll go from my (conflicting and paradoxic) personal beliefs based on what I’ve read and my own thoughts.

To me, angels are basically the agents of G-d to man, though He’s always spoken directly to me, not through angels.  It’s hard to tell whether they’re an extension of G-d with no independent will of their own or if they are independent beings who serve him.  But then, that’s a hard distinction with anything.  Where does G-d stop and creation begin?  I believe all of creation is made of the stuff of Him (or Her if you will; YVHV of the Jews is God Herself, the Star Goddess of Feri for me) and is actively maintained by Him.  I am a reflection of Her, one with the gods, all of which are Her reflections, but a very real part of Her.  I am Goddess.  But I digress.

Image from Donald Tyson’s
 Supernatural World

I had to look up Madame Blavatsky, though the name seemed/seems familiar.  What I can find from her on angels I have heard many other places, angels leaving heaven being a sacrifice and they being the saviors of mankind.  This of course is in direct opposition to the predominant Christian view on fallen angels, but fits well with what I’ve been told of the Book of Enoch, and also the Yezidi view on Melek Ta’us. Can I answer, both?  Can it be both rebellion and salvation, evil and good?  If rebellion is evil.  Like my thoughts on the Garden of Eden (which haven’t settled to a belief at this point), eating of the fruit was disobedience and bad, because they chose themselves over G-d, yet at the same time, it was part of G-d’s plan, and they were meant to eat it.  It was Geburah, Judgement, which was introduced to allow free will, for in Chesed, Mercy, there is no free will, because you are always given what’s “best” for you, so can’t choose, and hence can’t learn and can’t grow.  Eating of the Tree of Knowledge (Da’ath) of Good and Evil was necessary for the evolution of man.  Separation from G-d was necessary for the return to G-d.  And the return is greater than the initial state, because it is by choice rather than circumstances.  But I digress again.

…or extensions of the modern psyche?  Once again, can I answer both?  I had this discussion with someone on the same list a while back in a discussion about creation myths and about gods.  Is there a separation between what’s in here *taps head* and what’s out there *points to the sky*?  In Feri, the gods are very real distinct beings, yet they are in us and are us at the same time.  Paradox.  I think the psyche shapes the external, and the external shapes our pysche.  I had a discussion with someone on another list back a bit about the child wind goddess I worshipped in my teens.  He asked, was she not real just because you made her up?  The gods (and angels) are both the product of our collective psyche and our collective psyche is a product with interactions with them.  Our deepest fears are there because there really is something out there to fear (Poe, Lovecraft, and King were/are experts in playing with these fears), and there’s something out there to fear because of our deepest fears.  It’s the same thing as with the Windago and other monsters.  The monster without is really the monster within, and the monster within is really the monster without.  But I digress again.

Fallen angels, I think, are very real, though they, like us, like other spirits, like the gods, have evolved over time as human experience has evolved.

Image from fanpop

On Sitchin, I found only a little, but he seems to be arguing that angels and the Anunnaki, the Sumerian Watchers, were aliens come to teach mankind.  I don’t know.  Once again, yes and no.  The Feri Guardians are associated with the Persian Royal Stars by some and are called the Lords of Outer Space.  There are parallels between them and some accounts of aliens.  And some of the Sumerian carvings do look a lot like modern descriptions of UFOs.  Though I think the UFO my sister and I saw in the night sky as kids (eight lights around a central light moving slowly across the sky) was probably US military, not alien.  But I could be wrong.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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Easter: One story, One History

Picture from Marriage and Beyond

Well, today is Easter.  I hear a lot of Christians railing against pagan elements in Easter wanting them taken out, even wanting the name Easter to be removed.  I hear a lot of pagans trying to “reclaim” Easter from the Christians.  Does it matter, either way?

Growing up, we celebrated Easter with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs.  We had a lot of fun dying eggs and looking for them the next day.  It was a time to get candy, as were Halloween and Christmas.  I ate some and horded the rest, just as I did on the other two.  While on Christmas Eve, my dad always read us the Christmas story from the Book of Luke to the light of a candy, we did nothing that was Christian on Easter.  I didn’t know it was a Christian holiday, honestly, or at least that fact didn’t mean enough for me to remember knowing it.  But neither was it pagan.  We didn’t dye eggs as a tribute to Eoster or Ishtar.  There was no religion in our celebration of Easter, Christian or pagan.  It was merely a fun holiday to do fun things as a family.  Like Halloween was.

The Christian story of Easter begins on Good Friday (well, it begins long before that, but Good Friday is a good place to start in this discussion) with the Crucifixion.  Good Friday is Death, Easter Rebirth.  Easter can’t happen without Good Friday, but Good Friday is a waste without Easter.  Jesus died and was in the Tome for three days, then was reborn.

Picture from BostonZest

The pagan spring fertility holidays have similar messages.  Fall brings the Death of Winter.  Spring brings Rebirth.  Without Fall, Spring cannot come.  Without the Rebrith of Spring, Winter never ends.  The Earth dies in the Fall and is in the Tome of snow for the Winter, being Reborn in the Spring.

All stories are one story.  All history one history.  The Earth tells the story of Christ, and Christ tell s the story of the Earth.  The same story is echoed in many cultures and myths.  Is Easter Christian?  Is it pagan?  Does it matter?

Let he who has ears hear.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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In Response to "Approaches to Magick" on StreetMagick

I few days ago, I read the entry entitled “Approaches to Magick” on StreetMagick.  My reply to the entry follows:

I think the lines here aren’t as clear cut as you make it sound. A hoodoo/conjure/rootwork practitioner making an offering at a cross roads to get something to happen is definitely “influence divine beings that will then do something for you”, as is the traditional witch making an offering to the spirits he works with. In hoodoo, the inclusion of reading Psalms or other Bible verses and the prayers, aren’t there just there for fun. They are there to get God or the Saints (for Catholics) to make the working work. And the use of spirits is strong in all forms of magic that I know of. In all magic, it is rituals, it is art. Are the hoodoo or witchcraft rituals actually different in essence than ceremonial magic, or just in form? My craft is definitely not ceremonial magic, but you would be amazed how easily elements of ceremonial magic integrate in and compare. Of course, I have an easier time working with Jewish Kabbalah than the Golden Dawn material.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

His response, which you can read on the entry, seemed quite insulting, but I won’t worry about that.  I’m going to address a few points from it here, as he is not interested in dialog or discussion.

As I had just come upon his blog that day, I haven’t read his earlier posts, so, as he implied, I may be missing the background he has set.  However, his second statement about not getting the metaphor of them being two almost completely overlapping circles seems a little off the cuff in relation to what he said in the post.  In the post, he described the two types of magic he is defining as very distinct in practice, if not in results.  I was discussing the way he divided them as type of practice, not in the results.

The main point I was addressing is that he said hoodoo is the first type because it just uses tricks, that it doesn’t matter what you believe.  And that the second type is when you try to influence divine entities.  In his answer, he says if there’s prayer and these “tricks”, then it is both.  Why use hoodoo as the example then?  Either he doesn’t know much about hoodoo or he’s saying something I’m not understanding.  What’s hoodoo without the prayer?  When does hoodoo not try to influence spirits?  By his definitions, hoodoo always is both.  That sounds like the lines not being clear cut to me.  Unless of course his definitions of what is what is wrong.

He says the difference is whether you actively use it for inner alchemical purpose or not.  I’m not sure how this statement would relate to hoodoo because I know a lot more about the outer workings than the inner workings.  In all the forms of traditional witchcraft I’m familiar with, Feri, 1734, Clan of Tubal Cain, Ced, Cultus Sabbati, and others, the inner alcehmy is the major purpose, but outer changes to the world are done when needed.  Does this mean witchcraft is both?  Most witches I know would be insulted to be called ceremonial magicians, and most ceremonial magicians I’ve met would take offense at witchcraft being called ceremonial magic.

I do agree with him that no type of magic is less than or greater than any other.

What I really don’t understand is that he uses the term Goetia for the type of magic that he says doesn’t influence spirits.  However, everything I’ve ever heard discussed as Goetia involves angels and demons.  Why does he choose that term?  When I get a chance, I’ll read back in his blog and see if I can figure that out.

Now, at the end of his reply he made it clear that he’s not open to discussion or dialog.  He is trying to tell people a specific thing and it is complete and doesn’t need to be discussed.

I, however, believe that we never stop learning, and no idea is ever complete.  There is always something else to learn, always a new facet to an idea.  Even in mathematics and science, where everything is about hard facts, theories and laws are refined as more is learned.  No one knows everything about anything, because there’s always more to learn.  And one way to learn is to dialog and discuss it with others.  Even if they don’t give us anything, even if that person doesn’t add anything, being questioned helps us to think about things in a new way.  The discussion can be a catalyst to refine the idea.  Inner alchemy is a process, not a destination.

Maybe I’d be able to help him see something, maybe I wouldn’t.  But if you aren’t willing to discuss your idea because you think it is complete, the process ends.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in muninnskiss

 

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