A Treatise on Finding the Soul, the Witch-Flight,
And the Language of the Spirit-World
Copyright © 2011 By Robin Artisson
I. Non-Euclidean Introduction
II: Forgetting Human: The Wind of the Soul and the Loss of Ancestral Wisdom
III: The Amnesia Ploy and the Game of Power
IV: The Spirit-Language and the Sorcery of Sense
V: Well of Bone and Pool of Blood: The Real Treasure of the Ancestors
This work is kindly dedicated to Laurelei and Glaux,
To anyone who’s ever dreamed of flying,
And to David Abram, in gratitude.
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-Not Another Teacher...
-Not Quite Robin Redbreast
-The Egotist and What Might Matter
Not Another Teacher...
Greetings to the readership of the American Folkloric Witchcraft organization! I am Robin Artisson, hedge-crosser, renegade mystic and troublemaker, and author of note in a few out-of-the-way places, and to a few out-of-the-way people- which is my favorite kind of place and my favorite kind of person.
Today I'm sitting down to write a pretty substantial treatise about extraordinary matters, for whoever wants to invest time in reading it. As with all genuine bits of writing, this writing will be a journey of a type, in which I will (attempt) to lead the minds of my readers to various verbal junctures in the road of mind, and to new "locations of idea" that might help them to deepen their connection or understanding regarding the very old Art of sorcery and the practices of mystical awareness.
I don't know how good of a guide I am at this; I'll say why in a moment, but let me start by saying that I believe my power to really help other people understand anything new is limited by my own understanding.
And that's true for everyone who presumes to "teach" or "guide" another. In our strange world of revivalist mysticism and revivalist "old ways", at first glance, it seems we have precious little from the past to inform us in our sacred task. That puts the onus on people to really activate deeper layers of themselves to make up for the ominous and huge gulfs that appear to exist between us and what we conceive of as the mystically-active but faded past.
And the power any person has to "teach" or "guide" is directly proportional to the extent that they have activated "the deeper layers" of themselves. This is why I was always very unsure about the various people I've met over the years that tried to "teach" others, or even me. I stared at them and tried to look deep, to see and hear more than what they said and did, but how they lived, how they handled life's challenges, and most importantly, what peace they seemed to have with themselves and this world. Who could teach me or you or anyone anything of value, if they weren't first "attained" somehow?
Maybe you're wondering if I doubt my own attainments. I'm a guy who has, through enormous effort, managed to have precious tastes of the soul and the unseen world- that much is true, and will remain true. So, I have some basis to claim some "attainment". But is it enough for you, whoever you may be? Can I meet your needs? Do I have one missing piece of the puzzle that you might not have, such that we can have a successful sharing? Even if I do, chances are, you have some piece I'm missing. And I'd like to have it!
Problem is, we can’t know; aren't directly and consciously together; we are meeting in a distant, hollow echo of written words. I'm a writer who really distrusts written words- and that, friends, is a terrible curse. I know, thanks to my greatest human teacher, how dangerous words are, and how deceptive they are. Using words to gain some spiritual insight is really akin to using chemotherapy to gain some freedom from cancerous growths- there's a good chance it'll work, but it will exact a terrible cost from you.
At least with chemotherapy, you can feel the damage being done; with written words and the ghostly concepts they engender in us, there's a great chance you won't realize that you've actually become more alienated from the things the words are describing, rather than closer. That, we will discuss soon.
So consider this my fair warning about these words I'm typing right this instant. No matter what I say from here on out, please, please, hop on these words lightly, like a dragonfly touching for just a moment on a blade of grass, before lifting off again to fly. I want you to fly, and when it comes to flying, that is something I can teach with certainty, because I can fly.
Not Quite Robin Redbreast
Now, don't rush out to buy plane tickets to see me and demand a levitation show. I didn't say I could levitate; I said I could fly- I can, after quite a few years of the most extraordinary efforts, experience directly the aerial liberation of the soul. I never feel trapped in a heavy body of flesh; like the legendary witch on her flying-besom or flying-pole, I have discovered a sorcerous secret which liberates the awareness from what appears to be a body-centered fetter.
The world is spread out before me and in me; I am free. I belong to all of it, and it to me, and there's nothing in it that I can't have or know. And I never imagined that, 18 years after I began my quest for the "Old Way", that I'd be here now, able to grasp things that would have been inconceivable to me before.
And I didn't achieve this by "escaping" from my body; I did it by letting my body be what it is, and instead discovering what my senses really were, and what my soul really was. In this Art, a person never achieves anything by learning to hate what is there, what is apparent, what they feel every day; they achieve by learning to deepen their experience of what is there, what is apparent, what they feel every day. The way to sorcery isn't away from the world, body, or senses, but through it. Please remember this always.
Now, we hit the first quandary of my writing here today- and please be patient, because we'll likely hit several of these. I didn't plan what I'm writing here today. I never plan out things I write, nor things I say when I talk about these matters. To plan it out would make it sound contrived and fake; I am doing the only thing that my heart says matters- writing directly from the inspiration of the moment, from what is before me now, from what I'm feeling now.
This is an important exercise for me; I do this not just to edify and even entertain you with some good perspectives on sorcery that I might have; I do it to make my connection with my own present mind and feelings stronger. This is one of the sources of the power that I have attained- this attention to my moment, and this world's moment.
I am actually writing here as I am today (I didn't know which day I'd start this stream of written thinking and feeling) because the wind outside told me that today was the day. This morning, I was outside, and I had a conversation with the other-than-human being that we ordinarily experience as the wind. Maybe it was just that wind; I'm never sure, because there is more than one. But I took it seriously.
And the quandary is that I don't really know where to go from here. I feel a lot to say in me, but don't know quite how to deal it out to you, or how to deal it out to me. So, I feel like telling you what's coming in this treatise, as a way of (hopefully) keeping your attention. This stream-of-consciousness type writing is sometimes hard for people to bear, and I know that, and I apologize beforehand.
In my long letter/treatise today, I will write about how much we really do have, when it comes to the Old Ways, and I will try to defeat (I hope) the idea that we really lack a lot from the Ancestral past. I will write about how the wind matters, and always mattered to the Pagans of old, and to the Witches of old, and of late- how the wind is far, far more than we imagine it to be. I will write about the soul, chiefly, and how I discovered mine, and how people can discover theirs in a vivid new way. I'll write about what that soul can do for you, citing examples from my own recent life.
I'm also going to talk briefly about why we have to "rediscover" things at all- either our Ancestral gifts, or the soul. I'll tie all this together with some examples from the Ancestral past, and tie it up in a ribbon of eldritch sorcerous aesthetic that can enflame your imagination enough to help you digest this all!
Truly, it will be a witch's banquet for the discerning, and a mass of empty vomit for the masses that have lost their senses. I can't say that my before-mentioned topics will come in that order, or in a very neat way at all; nothing in nature is neat and orderly, despite what you might have heard or thought you saw. Organic life is always a great haphazard-seeming mixture of countless forces- and the mind, partaking of organicism at the most fundamental level, is the same.
So let yourself be a serpent in the flow of these water-words, and coil and slide through without effort. Don't hurt your mind trying to make this be something other than what it is.
The Egotist and What Might Matter
Now, all of this writing is intended to do two things: deepen me, and maybe kick an idea or two into your heads- one or two seeds- that you might discover, to your delight, grows into something amazing, like these seeds did for me. There is always the off chance that you'll think I'm just boring or nuts, or just hate my writing style enough to say "thank you very much Mr. Artisson *CLICK*." I want you to know beforehand that whatever happens to you, I'm okay with it, and not offended.
I'm not for everyone. No one is for everyone. I'm not special, despite the fact that I do love to act special from time to time, or think of myself in that way- and I have a shadow side, full of goblin mayhem and egoistic nonsense that can suffocate even beings that don't breathe air. I own those things about myself. Actually, I find that I'm smiling at this moment, enjoying talking about myself even now!
I think that half the people that say they really like me are either just responding to a fellow egotist (which is okay!), or trying to make me feel better, because I try so hard to be likeable. Whatever the case, I am honored that they either really like me, or care just enough to act nice. Because in the end, I will be swept away by the same great wind that blew me here, just like you will be, and the earth will eat our bodies- or the devouring power of flame will- and nearly none of the things we've learned to be concerned about, or distract ourselves with, will really matter.
Please note that I said "nearly none" of the things. A few things we gain in our lives will matter, and they'll make all the difference in the world when you are going among the Unseen. And it is my heartfelt belief that some of the things the wind is about to draw from my body and mind here will be some of the things that do matter.
So give me a chance, and give me your attention, and I promise to do my best. You can always turn back or turn away and forget you ever read a thing I said, and all will still be well. That's what Fate really means, dear readers: that come what may, all is well, even if we find ourselves spitting in distaste or sadness.
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