Review of Chaos Monk by Steve Dee

Steve Dee (2022), Chaos Monk: Bringing Magical Creativity to the New Monastic Path.
Norwich: The Universe Machine.

An exhilarating journey through chaos monasticism, a mystical practice informed by chaos magic. Accessible, clearly written, and witty, yet informed by a deep knowledge of the history of spiritual movements in both East and West, decades of magical practice, psychotherapy and art, this is a book for anyone with mystical leanings who wants to put them into practice.

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The Duty of the Witch

A great post from The Less Hidden Path about what it means to be a witch and why it means we should help people get access to reproductive health care.

“Witch”. A loaded term that people have died just through having been suggested to have been associated with. A word with immense cultural baggage …

The Duty Of The Witch

And another great post from the same blog about why witches and Pagans should definitely get involved in politics.

The time to dispense with the modern conceit that “politics and magic don’t mix” is many years overdue. It has never been true, but it gets more harmful the longer we leave it.

Politics and witchcraft

And a great post from a polytheist perspective exploring the Ancient Greek view on when the soul enters the body.

What about *my* religious beliefs? — and a passage from Iamblichus

Personally, I do not believe that the soul can enter the body until birth — which, in my belief system, requires the fetus to be viable without the use of the modern contraptions that keep the extreme premature alive until they are physically self-viable. It has life, yes, but not personhood. A woman who wants an abortion should be able to have one.

Kalliste

Lily minds

If we saw the brain
As an elaborately folded flower
Containing thought bees
Nestling among the petals
Searching for nectar
We might think of the soul
As the roots of that flower
Drawing nutrients from the river mud.

Inspired by the phrase “lily-minds” in Elegies by Kathleen Ossip.

Photo by Wim de Graaf. Public Domain

The singing will never be done

Once, you could hear
Sheep munching grass
Half a mile away.

Now the soundscape
Is full of mechanical sounds:
Auditory assault.

We have lost the music of the world:
Birdsong, animal sounds
The wind in the trees.

Birds have to sing louder
To be heard over the sound of cars.
Whale song is interrupted by ships.

The singing will never be done,
But no one can hear it when
we have lost the music of the world.

Yvonne Aburrow
8:19 am, 2 May 2022

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The Sun came up

It was May Morning this morning and all the Morris dancing made the Sun come up.

But wouldn’t it have come up anyway, I hear you ask.

For the answer to that question, Terry Pratchett had an answer, in The Hogfather, where the sun will not rise unless the Hogfather rides safely home.

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“into the twilight woods”

Twilight. Betwixt. Liminal.
The setting sun
Making an archway
Through the trees
A window to infinity.

Things half-seen
In the mazy places.
Not sure where this path goes.
Maybe through, or within.
Some hollow place.

The half-light transforms
Known into unknown.
The woods drift between.
Trees asleep,
Nocturnal animals stirring.

Shadows gather.
Time stretches out,
Ready to pounce.
One star. Night’s eye.
Colours drain away.

Everything waits
For moonrise,
To flood the woods
With silver.

Yvonne Aburrow
8:15 am, 29 April 2022


Inspired by the phrase “into the twilight woods” in Iowa City: Early April by ROBERT HASS

“three large rabbit-breaths of air”

See the world as a rabbit sees it.
Wide angle view,
Not straight ahead
As a predator sees,
But sidelong, as prey animals see.

Long shadows,
Tall grass.
Noting every hiding place.
Ready to bolt
At the first sign
Of predators.
Each breath taken
Short and shallow.
Darting from shelter
To shelter.
Grass here,
Lettuce there.
Sun is warm,
Earth is kind.

Yvonne Aburrow
7:50 am, 28 April 2022

Inspired by the phrase “three large rabbit-breaths of air” in the poem My Weather by Jane Hirshfield

Nonetheless

None of the poems I read today
Spoke into the depths
Nor raised an answering echo.
Petrarch, Chaucer, Donne,
Whispering their plaints into the soft air
Fell to earth, drifting ash.
Nonetheless I wrote this,
To record the ensuing silence.


Yvonne Aburrow
27 April 2022