Keep them coming

You guys have asked some really good questions. The ones on the role of Hermes, Loki and Mani within the Starry Bear pantheon are going to require some further research unless you just want my UPGs and what’s come through in poetry thus far. (I’ve particularly been interested in Loki’s backstory since discovering that he made his way to Northern Italy with the Langobards.) The question on where to start will likely lead to a couple series, the first of which will be dealing with our blended cosmology – the World Tree alone getting its own post. I’ll happily accept more; it may take me a while to get through them all, but it’ll also give my writing some much needed focus. 

Questions about the Starry Bear?


Since I want to write more about the Starry Bear proto-tradition in 2020 e.v. I figured I’d ask you guys, my faithful, clever and lovely readers – what do you want to know about it generally and what sort of questions, if any, do you have?

Hell, if you’ve got questions about the Starry Bull ask those too. 

Between my health and spiritual workload I can’t promise to get to everything but I’ll try, and can certainly use the inspiration. 

Birthing a tradition


One of the reasons I’m feeling an urgent push to trace out the rough boundaries of the Starry Bear proto-tradition is because I’ve noticed a shift over the last five or so years towards a greater prevalence of syncretic and dual-pantheon polytheisms. I don’t know how well this is being accepted within mainstream groups and forums, but the number of folks talking openly about it is nice to see, especially since they don’t seem to be getting the sort of flak I did when I came out as having a Greco-Egyptian practice back in 20- mumble mumble. (Fuck, I’m old.)

With that groundswell and rumors circulating about the Starry Bear I’ve started getting a bunch of folks writing me with questions about how to do Ásatrú and Hellenismós together. And, fuck, man – I don’t know. I haven’t been part of the latter community since I got more than hospitable with the Netjeru and I was never an Ásatrúar. (Or Theod, or Uni, or Northern Trad Shaman, etc.) I’ve had encounters with Heathen deities going back to my high school days, most of my partners have maintained some level of cultus for Óðinn, I’ve participated in various Northern European derived rituals from different denominations, and my wife and I currently run a blended polytheist household. On top of that as I trace Dionysos’ backstory as Óðr I’ve begun deepening my veneration of Loki, Óðinn, Freyja, Freyr, Thor, Sigyn, Máni, Perun and Baba Yaga out of respect to the relationships they appear to have with my God. 

But that isn’t really what these good folks are asking about, nor does it truly reflect the Starry Bear as I’ve envisioned it. I think this is some of the necessary work that has to be done before the current will open itself, but what comes through will likely end up looking vastly different, so I can’t properly speak to that either.

This puts me in a rather uncomfortable position – and yet this kind of thing cannot be rushed. Traditions must grow in their own time and ways and if it takes another five years before I’m ready to bring folks in, so be it.

The last couple posts give you a sense of what I mean by focusing on lower level religiosity than most contemporary Heathen groups. It’s these folk-derived beliefs and practices I want to mine rather than just focusing on the Gods and Ancestors the way they do, if they even do. (I’ve heard tales of atheist goðar and vǫlur, of all things.) I figure we can fill in each other’s gaps, assuming they have any interest in working with us, but mostly I see us as being as distinct from mainstream Heathenry as Starry Bull is from conventional Hellenismós. 

I got sources


Galina posted about the Feast of Three Kings or Epiphany, which she feels should be paganized. In it she mentioned my having relevant sources. Here they are, especially the Pausanias and Pliny.

Julius Firmicus Maternus, De errore profanarum religionum 6.6
There was also another Liber in Thebes, a tyrant famed for his magical powers. Gaining control of the women’s wits by certain potions and charms, thereafter at his own sweet will he bade the frenzied creatures commit atrocious deeds, so that he might have crazed women of noble rank as accomplices of his lusts and crimes. Liber was caught by Lycurgus and hurled into the sea over a nearby cliff which formed an immense precipice with impassable rocks. And this severe punishment was designed to let the mangled corpse, long tossed by the waves of the sea, restore the errant wits of the populace to sanity and sobriety.

Homer, Iliad 6. 135 ff
Lykourgos once drove the fosterers of rapturous Dionysos headlong down the sacred Nyseion hill, and all of them shed and scattered their wands on the ground stricken with an ox-goad by murderous Lykourgos, while Dionysos in terror dived into the salt surf, and Thetis took him to her bosom, frightened, with the strong shivers upon him at the man’s blustering.

Scholiast on this passage: When he was pursued by Lykourgos and took refuge in the sea, Thetis gave Dionysos a kindly welcome, and he gave her the amphora, Hephaistos’ handiwork. She gave it to her son Achilles, so that when he died his bones might be put in it. The story is told by Stesichoros.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6.26.1-2
Between the market-place and the Menios in the city of Elis is an old theater and a shrine of Dionysos. The image is the work of Praxiteles. Of the Gods the Eleans worship Dionysos with the greatest reverence, and they assert that the God attends their festival, the Thyia. The place where they hold the festival they name the Thyia is about eight stades from the city. Three pots are brought into the building by the priests and set down empty in the presence of the citizens and of any strangers who may chance to be in the country. The doors of the building are sealed by the priests themselves and by any others who may be so inclined. On the morrow they are allowed to examine the seals, and on going into the building they find the pots filled with wine. I did not myself arrive at the time of the festival, but the most respected Elean citizens, and with them strangers also, swore that what I have said is the truth.

Photios, Lexicon s.v. Hyês
‘Rain-bringer’. An epithet of Dionysos, as Kleidemos (says). Since [he says] we perform sacrifices to him during the time when the God makes it rain; but Pherekydes (3 F 90) says that Semele is called ‘rain-bringer’ and that the children of Dionysos are the Hyades . Aristophanes (587, 878 Kock) lists Hyês with foreign Gods.

Pliny, Natural History 2.106; 31.16
It is accredited by the Mucianus who was three times consul that the water flowing from a spring in the temple of Liber Pater on the island of Andros always has the flavor of wine on January 5th: the day is called the God’s Gift Day … If the jars are carried out of sight of the temple the taste turns back to that of water.

Plutarch, Quaestiones Graecae 36 
Why is it that the women of the Eleans, when they sing hymns to Dionysos, call upon him to come to them ‘with the foot of a bull’? The hymn runs as follows:

Come, O hero Dionysos,
to thy holy temple in Elis.
Come, with the Graces,
to thy temple by the sea,
with thy bull’s foot rushing.

Then they chant twice the refrain : ‘O worthy bull.’

Is it because some address the God as ‘kine-born’ or as ‘bull’? Or by ‘ox-foot’ do they mean ‘with thy mighty foot’ even as the Poet used ‘ox-eyed’ to signify ‘large-eyed,’ and ‘bully’ for ‘loudmouthed’?

Or is it rather because the foot of the bull is harmless, but the part that bears horns is harmful, and thus they call upon the God to come in a gentle and painless manner?

Wikipedia s.v. Epiphany
In England, the celebration of the Night before Epiphany, Epiphany Eve, is known as Twelfth Night (The first night of Christmas is December 25–26, and Twelfth Night is January 5–6), and was a traditional time for mumming and the wassail. The yule log was left burning until this day, and the charcoal left was kept until the next Christmas to kindle next year’s yule log, as well as to protect the house from fire and lightning. In the past, Epiphany was also a day for playing practical jokes, similar to April Fool’s Day. Today in England, Twelfth Night is still as popular a day for plays as when Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was first performed in 1601, and annual celebrations involving the Holly Man are held in London. A traditional dish for Epiphany was Twelfth Cake, a rich, dense, typically English fruitcake. As in Europe, whoever found the baked-in bean was king for a day, but unique to English tradition other items were sometimes included in the cake. Whoever found the clove was the villain, the twig, the fool, and the rag, the tart. Anything spicy or hot, like ginger snaps and spiced ale, was considered proper Twelfth Night fare, recalling the costly spices brought by the Wise Men. Another English Epiphany dessert was the jam tart, but made into a six-point star for the occasion to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and thus called Epiphany tart. The discerning English cook sometimes tried to use thirteen different colored jams on the tart on this day for luck, creating a dessert with the appearance of stained glass.

In the German-speaking lands, groups of young people called Sternsinger (star singers) travel from door to door. They are dressed as the three Wise Men, plus the leader carrying a star, usually of painted wood attached to a broom handle. Often these groups are four girls, or two boys and two girls for the benefit of singing their songs in four-part harmony, not necessarily three wise men at all. German Lutherans often note in a lighthearted fashion that the Bible never specifies that the Weisen (Magi) were men, or that there were three. The star singers will be offered treats at the homes they visit, but they also solicit donations for worthy causes, such as efforts to end hunger in Africa, organized jointly by the Catholic and Evangelical-Lutheran churches. As a sign of gratitude, the young people then perform the traditional house blessing, by marking the year over the doorway with chalk. In Roman Catholic communities this may be a serious spiritual event with the priest present even today, but among Protestants it is more a tradition, and a part of the German notion of Gemütlichkeit. Usually on the Sunday following Epiphany, these donations are brought into churches. Here all of the children who have gone out as star singers, once again in their costumes, form a procession of sometimes dozens of wise men and stars. The German Chancellor and Parliament also receive a visit from the star singers at Epiphany

In Greece, Cyprus and the Greek diaspora throughout the world, the feast is called the Theophany, or colloquially called the Phōta (Greek: Φώτα, “Lights”) and customs revolve around the Great Blessing of the Waters. It marks the end of the traditional ban on sailing, as the tumultuous winter seas are cleansed of the mischief-prone kalikántzaroi, the goblins that try to torment God-fearing Christians through the festive season. At this ceremony, a cross is thrown into the water, and the men clamour to retrieve it for good luck. The Phota form the middle of another festive triduum, together with Epiphany Eve, January 6 (and eve of January 5), when children sing the Epiphany carols, and the great feast of St. John the Baptist on January 7 (and eve of January 6), when the numerous Johns and Joans celebrate their name-day.

The Feast of Epiphany includes many events which are perpetuating the ancient Greek customs. In the perception of the Greek people, Epiphany is “Great celebration Theotromi”. For some even regions of Macedonia (West) are the biggest festival of the year and each new garment “protoforoun the lights to illuminate.” But when dogmatic The Baptism of Christ symbolizes the rebirth of man having so great importance, which is why until the fourth century Christians celebrated New Year in Baptism of Christ on January 6.

Epiphany is the “water sanctification” the dive of the Cross in imitation of the Baptism of Christ. But in Greek ethimology, that Sanctification is the notion of expiation, purification of the people and the exemption from the influence of demons. The most recently this concept is certainly not strictly Christian, but has roots in ancient worship. In most parts of Greece sanctification for the first time (in those days) the eve of Epiphany called “small sanctification” or “Protagiasi” or “Enlightenment”. By protagiasi the priest turns all the houses and the Cross and one strand royal “sanctifies” or “brighten” (sprinkling) rooms of houses. The protagiasi is the effective means by which permitted in wild flight goblins except the lighting of a large outdoor fire. The Great Blessing however is the day of the Epiphany in the Churches in a special rig embellished upon which brought large pot full of water. Then, a dive of Cross Sea or nearby river or lake or the need to tank (as in Athens). Diving the Cross, according to popular belief gives the water cleansing and sanitizing capabilities. The inhabitants of many areas after diving run on sea beaches or along rivers or lakes and wash their agricultural tools and even icons. In common folk belief even the icons with the passage of time lose their original strength and value to the gain but again the holy water. It is this process not only exactly true survival of ancient beliefs. The ancient example Athenians had the ceremony (procedure) of known “Wash” as it was called at that carried “in procession” on the Faliro coast of the statue of Athena. There, they washed with salt water to cleanse from Fmoc and renewed the sacred powers of the statue. At Delphi the Theophania was an annual festival celebrating the return of Apollo from his winter quarters in Hyperborea.

Today, women in many parts repeating this ancient custom of washing the images but combined with other instruments of medieval and ancient magic. As the plate of Mytilene while the divers dive to catch the Cross women at the same time “getting a detaining (= pumpkin) water from 40 waves and then with cotton dipped it clean icons without talking to throughout this process (“dumb water”) and then the water is thrown out of the not pressed (in the crucible of the church).

The first Blessing of Epiphany, “the protagiasi or enlightenment” is the eve of the feast in the church. Then the priest takes one by one the houses with the Cross in his hand and sprinkles with one strand basil throughout the home. Old tradition of Crete, was the preparation of Fotokollyvon the eve of Epiphany. From Fotokollyva (boiled wheat with legumes) ate housewives but they gave and their animals for good health and good luck in their home.

The great sanctification is the day of the Epiphany on January 5. A large procession formed and takes the road leading to the sea or a river, maybe a tank. Confronting the cherubim behind the priests in their best vestments, after the authorities of the place and parapiso the crowd. In the cities the procession becomes richer with the music and the military faction. Once sanctification, the priest throws a cross in the water, thereby realizing the Blessing of the Waters.

What kicked off my interest in Homer

Eleonora Cavallini, Achilles in the age of metal
Joey DeMaio’s lyrics imply a careful and scrupulous reading of the Iliad. The songwriter has focused his attention essentially on the crucial fight between Hector and Achilles, has paraphrased some passages of the poem adapting them to the melodic structure with a certain fluency and partly reinterpreting them, but never altering or upsetting Homer’s storyline. The purpose of the lyrics (and of the music as well) is to evoke some characteristic Homeric sceneries: the raging storm of the battle, the barbaric, ferocious exultance of the winner, the grief and anguish of the warrior who feels death impending over him. The whole action hinges upon Hector and Achilles, who are represented as specular characters, divided by an irreducible hatred and yet destined to share a similar destiny. Both are caught in the moment of the greatest exaltation, as they savagely rejoice for the blood of their killed enemies, but also in the one of the extreme pain, when the daemon of war finally pounces on them. Furthermore, differently than in the irreverent and iconoclastic movie Troy, in “Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts”, the divine is a constant and ineluctable presence, determining human destinies with inscrutable and steely will, and, despite the generic reference to ‘the gods’, the real master of human lives is Zeus, the only God to whom both Hector and Achilles address their prayers.

Top 13 Best Christmas Songs

#13: Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas

#12: Band Aid- Do they Know it’s Christmas

#11: Johnny Cash & Friends – Silent Night

#10: Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas

#9: The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping

#8: Lemmy – Run Run Rudolph

#7: Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas Is You

#6: Metallica – Turn The Page

#5: The Kinks – Father Christmas

#4: Jethro Tull – Christmas song

#3: Chris Brown – This Christmas

#2: Otis Redding – White Christmas

And the #1 best Christmas song is …

Bing Crosby & David Bowie – The Little Drummer Boy

Fight me if you disagree.



For those curious about what I meant here by the constellation of Bear King myths check out my posts Hunting the European Sky Bears, Beware rousing the sleeping bear and Bärensohnmärchen

And while you’re at it you might want to give these articles a quick read through, which discuss the presence of the Labyrinth in the Northern lands too: 

And for good measure, here’s a selection of links pertinent to the Starry Bear proto-tradition:

And if you want to get a better sense of what I mean by the folk level religiosity so often ignored by contemporary Heathen groups visit my other site eklogai | polytheist extractions, particularly this tag.  

My vision for the Starry Bear proto-tradition


I feel justified in referring to the Starry Bull as a tradition. We have multiple Orpheotelestai who have initiated folks in the double digits. We have a respectable body of literature, produced by myself and several others. We have schismed into multiple lineages (which mostly don’t speak to each other anymore.) There are several online groups run for and by members (even if I’m no longer involved so I can’t speak to how active or accurate they are.) Even folks who no longer consider themselves members are continuing the work they began while with us. I’ve started teaching classes again and the Hudson Valley Bakcheion will be holding regular meetings and public rituals in 2020 e.v., beginning with Lenaia for which 6 or 7 people have already RSVPed.

Starry Bear, on the other hand, I consider to have the status of proto-tradition. Although there are a couple folks I regularly discuss it with and have helped me tinker with some experimental ritual and mystical tech, it is still very much my own brain child and in need of a great deal of research and development. In fact I don’t think I’ve even attempted to explain what it is, with most of my writing focusing on the history of Greek and Northern contacts, the identification of Dionysos with Óðr and Freyja with Kírkē, and more briefly arcolatry and star-lore. Although these are fascinating subjects with  each requiring further exploration, I’ve really just scratched the surface as far as the Starry Bear is concerned. My hope is that in a year or three we’ll be in a position to start bringing others into it, so I suppose I should begin articulating my vision for the Starry Bear proto-tradition. 

In the past I’ve jokingly referred to it as Bacchic Orphic Heathenry, but that’s not too far off. One thread of it will concern the presence of Dionysos in Northern Italy, central Europe, Asia Minor, along the coast of the Black Sea, as well as Skythia and Hyperborea up through the Russian, German, Scandinavian, French, and English Romantic movements, and a little after. Orphic cults proliferated in this area – particularly in the present-day Ukraine – as well as groups such as the Kapnobatai, the Galactophagai, Pythagoreans and allied figures like Aristeas, Abaris, Hermotimos, Zalmoxis and Pseudo-Alexander, all of whom betray strong shamanic traits and practices. And a ton of stuff involving Medeia. I’m going to stitch all of this together into a form of bakcheia similar to but distinct from what we do in the Starry Bull. 

There are also three strains of Dionysiac myth I need to tease out. The first of these concerns a series of archaic myths and later folktales concerning a Bear King which I believe refer to him (especially when death and rebirth are involved or he’s attempting to woo a maiden, who in some versions turns out to be his sister.) Next there is his lost history as Óðr, some of which I’ve pieced together from allusions, puns and riddles in the Eddas and Sagas, folktales, fairy stories, superstitions and ballads as well as things I’ve gleaned from dreams, visions, divination, ritual encounters, inspired writing and UPG. And the third is continuations of the lore found in Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, and more contemporary literature concerning both Dionysos and Óðr. (Not to mention other Greco-Roman and Heathen divinities.)

Next I want to flesh out my understanding of Dionysos’ relationships with the Germanic, Slavic, Baltic, and Celtic divinities. His friends and allies will then constitute the loose Starry Bear pantheon. As above this process will consist of research, dreams, visions, divination, ritual encounters, inspired writing and UPG. 

The next stage will involve a synthesis of core devotional practices largely drawn from the level of superstitions, fairytales, folklore and folkways, and even syncretic, quasi-Christian customs from these countries. The various branches of Heathenry have the higher stratum covered, so we’ll draw on lower level religiosity. Likewise I want to develop our own ecstatic and sorcerous techniques since there are serious problems with how a lot of folks do seiðr, runework and the like. 

Plus all the Black Sun stuff.

There’s a whole lot more to it, but that should suffice to give you a rough sense of what I mean when I refer to the Starry Bear proto-tradition – and how much effort it’ll take to bring this thing to the surface. 

even your emotions have an echo


Plato, Phaedrus 244de
Next, madness can provide relief from the greatest plagues of trouble that beset certain families because of their guilt for ancient crimes: it turns up among those who need a way out; it gives prophecies and takes refuge in prayers to the gods and in worship, discovering mystic rites and purifications that bring the man it touches through to safety for this and all time to come. So it is that the right sort of madness finds relief from present hardships for a man it has possessed.

each also contains the possibility of transmutation

From The Invocation of the Black Sun: Alchemy and Sexuality in the Work of Coil by Hayes Hampton:

Crowley envisioned the highest level of initiation as the point where man, having dissolved his individual humanity, resolves into god, or what Crowley called “Unity…above all division.” Thus, Crowley’s magical system aims at psychic alchemy, using the aspirant’s habits, proclivities, and even resistance to change as transformative material. In his most complete statement, Magick: Liber ABA, in a chapter entitled “Of the Eucharist; and of the Art of Alchemy,” he describes the later, more painful stage of the process: “just as the Aspirant, on the Threshold of Initiation, finds himself assailed by the ‘complexes’ which have corrupted him … so does the ‘First Matter’ blacken and putrefy as the Alchemist breaks up its coagulations of impurity.”

Here Crowley writes of the nigredo phase of alchemy, which he often symbolized with a black dragon, though traditional alchemical literature more typically symbolizes it with the symbol of the black sun. Coil adopted the black sun as their logo and as a frequent lyrical image, using a drawing from Crowley’s Liber Arcanorum which can be viewed as a visual pun: both sun and anus. As a glyph joining the nigredo with elimination of bodily waste, the black sun combines two of Coil’s major tropes: the fragile, contingent nature of the individual self and the exploration (and alchemical use) of forbidden or rejected materials and sexualities. Stanton Marlan, in The Black Sun: The Alchemy and Art of Darkness, looks in depth at the black sun’s relationship to the alchemical nigredo and its metaphoric eclipse of consciousness. The black sun, in Marlan’s summary, brings together “blackness, putrefactio, mortificatio, the nigredo, poisoning, torture, killing, decomposition, rotting, and death … a web of interrelationships that describe a terrifying, if most often provisional, eclipse of consciousness” –that is, the dissolution of the mundane self both desired and feared by the magician, and the confrontation with the “dark forces” he or she must master in order to evolve spiritually. These “forces” were understood by twentieth-century magicians like Crowley not so much as external, demonic forces but as psychological negativity: shame, guilt, fear, and disgust.

For Balance and Christopherson, the “dark forces” included psychological negativity in the form of gay self-hatred and puritanical body-phobia and also what is culturally constructed as physiological negativity: blood, urine, shit, and (gay) semen — the ultimate forbidden substance of the 1980s, worse than crack cocaine. All of these substances, Coil’s work insists, travel along the subterranean rivers of our cities and our psyches, poisoning us unless we transmute their subtle energies. Coil’s debut album, Scatology (1984), which John Balance called “alchemy in sound,” explores the psychic and bodily terrain of waste matter. “Literally,” Balance told an interviewer, “some of the sounds — shitting and toilets –were … raw noises. Wewere making good things from what is perceived as being basically, bad things; dealing with subjects other people wouldn’t touch such as rotting and death.”

The black sun logo, prominent on the album’s cover, serves as a visual reference to other lacunae, holes, and forbidden spaces mentioned in the songs or in the album’s extensive liner notes: “The Devil’s Hole” that Charles Manson told his followers awaited them in the California desert, Salvador Dali’s “Humanism of the Arsehole,” the psychic and corporeal depletions of vampirism, gluteal injections of antibiotics to cure STDs, and, most memorably,the shit- and piss-spattered setting of “The Sewage Worker’s Birthday Party.”

Inauspicious as each of these may be, each also contains the possibility of transmutation; as Scatology’s liner notes summarize, “It is about performing surgery on yourself – psychic surgery— in order to restore the whole being, complete with the aspects that sanitised society attempts to wrench from your existence.”

the experience of death and the ecstatic evacuation of the soul


From Dead Kings and Saviour Gods – Euhemerizing Shamanism in Thracian Religion by Dan Attrell:

As the undisputed masters of healing herbs (according to the Greeks), the Thracians were no strangers to the shamanic techniques of ecstasy well known among other cultures of the steppe. Working from the texts of Posidonius, Strabo reported that the Mysians, a Thracian group from north-western Anatolia, possessed members of their society called both θεοσεβεις (“those who fear god”) and καπνοβαται (“those who walk in smoke”) who practiced strict vegetarianism and consumed nothing but honey and dairy products. This reference to the “walkers in smoke” may allude to the ecstasy achieved by mass cannabis consumption as reported by Herodotus among the Scythians. […] One Orphic bone inscription from Olbia dated to the 5th century BC reads “for Dion(ysos) and Psyche,” revealing the importance of a transcendent soul in connection with the Greek god of intoxication in Thracian territory. Another of these bone inscriptions containing the words “Βιος Θανατος Βιος” and marked with little “Z” pictograms (which might represent little orphic serpents) reveals the widespread and consistent nature of Dionysian symbolism reaching as far north as modern Ukraine. In the shamanic mystery initiations as practiced by the Orphic cults, near-death experiences and the use of dangerous doses of hallucinogenic plants went hand in hand. Whereas the Divine Bridegroom Sabazios (Dionysus) was primarily the god who presided over ecstasy and entheogenic intoxication, the Thracians held him in equally high regard as a dying-and-rising saviour god and a master over the souls of the deceased. Long before the introduction of alcohol, shaman exploited the ecstatic and oracular properties of hallucinogenic mushrooms (Amanita muscaria and various types of coprophilic Psilocybin-containing mushrooms); opium (Papaver somniferum); “jimsonweed,” “horsemad,” or “thornapple” (Datura stramonium); mandrake root (Mandragora officinarum); cannabis; deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna); and henbane (Hyoscyamus niger). The experience of death and the ecstatic evacuation of the soul from the body appears commonly in the Thracian funeral iconography on which is depicted the Tree of Life. To be in a state of ekstasis – that is, to stand outside the body – was to experience death itself.

In which I find myself being he, that is, a monster


From The Sacred Conspiracy by Georges Bataille

Beyond what I am, I meet a being who makes me laugh because he is headless, who fills me with anguish because he is made of innocence and crime. He holds a weapon of steel in his left hand, flames like a sacred heart in his right hand. He unites in one eruption birth and death. He is not a man. But he isn’t a god, either. He is not I, but he is more I than I: his belly is the labyrinth in which he himself goes astray, led me astray, and in which I find myself being he, that is, a monster.

in the whole world


Who are you? No, who are you really? Not what you do for a living, or how much you make, or what you own, or don’t own. Not what religion, or political group you belong to, not what hobby you have to take up your time. Not what your parents always wanted you to be, or who your friends think you are, or who you think you have to be when you’re around other people. But who you really are, deep in your core, in those dark, hidden parts of your being, those parts made of dream and fantasy and passion. Do you remember who you once were, before it all went wrong, before you made those compromises, before you started pretending to be someone else in order to fit in? Do you remember the way that it could have been, if only? Remember and be who you are. Don’t cheat the world of your uniqueness. As rough and imperfect as you are, there’s only one you in the whole world.