My friend Alex sent me this poem a while back. I don’t know if he translated it from his native French, but it is very intriguing. The images are archetypal and strike a deep, primal chord. It seems Alchemical.
This what he says about it:
This is a poem from 1692, from a very rare book on page 5, but also at the bottom right, there is the number 96 and only the Universe knows the name of the writer, and its tune.
I will give it a title:
A blue candle for the three webbing spiders
A white candle for the apple and the sparrow
The half moon above, not yet shining but smiling, to me?
A half apple already shining, and two seeds, is this her juicy face?
I spill the water and I drink the wine,
two serpents in love entwine.
I see the egg and touch the soul,
I touch the egg and see them crawl,
The spider now still, the wind playing the web
The Moon now shines and my soul follows the ebb.
I see the Goddess pointing her finger to the sky,
And a flow of semen at that moment, in a cascade of rainbows
Pierces my heart, and so trickles the poison,
And trickle, trickle down the bones,
I grow a new skin, and wake up in a rose,
Dew and dew and dew,
the water lamp roaming the Land of Sorrow
Drying the impure heart and a spider passes in front of my eyes,
Driven by a slow breeze, she rides across the skies.
Guest Post About Automatic Writing by Jack Roberge
Here is wonderful guest post by my friend, student of Faery Witchcraft, and surrogate nephew Jack Roberge.
He practices many magicks, and quite excels at poetry. He has written many beautiful poems about the Pagan deities on Facebook. I have written a great deal of poetry myself. The best poems often seem to come from some place else. For instance, I would have a glimmer of thought, an image, an emotion, and begin to write it down. It would flow as if I was taking dictation from a far away voice. I have published and won a few prizes for my poetry, and every poem that won was written in this way: one draft flowed out on a scribbling tide of feelings, I did a little tinkering, and it was done! I was always shocked when at poem written like that won a prize, or was published, because it took no time or effort to write the thing! The ones I struggled with, and re-wrote over and over , never got anywhere. They failed to make the impression or have the effect on readers that the instantaneous poems did.
Perhaps the same could be said for Jack! Perhaps that is why he chose to write about Automatic Writing for the Winterspells blog. For the practice is something he is very familiar with.
This is one of Jack’s poems that I really love about an Irish Goddess very special to me: Brigidh, triple Moon Goddess of Poetry, Healing, and Smithcraft — or what we in the Craft know to be shapeshifting.. This poem is an excellent example of the deep mind at work in the Faery Realm, intuitively picking up the images, scents, sounds and icons of the Goddess.
Yesterday at 10:52pm
I wept at the bier of St. Brigidh,
Magnanimous even in flames.
The weepers thronged in from the village
But Brigidh recalled not their names.
Three years had I watched at her cauldrons;
Three years had she called me her son;
Three years had I borne piny pauldrons
Defending a prickly old nun.
The Cailleach to her persecutors,
To heather, to hill, and to tomb,
With embers and bright seeds of rowan,
And apple, and elder in bloom.
Their roots, devouring malice,
Their seeds, abolishing greed.
Blessed Bride, won’t you grant us your power
On this day, in the hour of our need?
Automatic Writing is a magical technique used by the old Magical Orders such as The Golden Dawn and the Theosophists as a tool to get the ego-mind out of the way so that the writer could receive, and record, messages from the Deities or spirits from any of the realms that Jack discusses in his fine article. New Agers would call this Channeling. Druids would call a poet who works this way, a Bard.
The Scribe puts pen to paper, blanks his or her mind, and lets the pen move over the page on its own. It’s a bit like a Ouija Board without the Ouija. I am not sure it is less dangerous, for both involve contact with spirits.
You can be said to channel your Higher Self, or Inner Self, or what I like call the Deep Self as well. It depends on how ‘scientific’ you are and how involved consciously you are, or are not, with Magical Realms.
So here are Jack’s Instructions. Let us know what happens if you try this, or of what your experiences have been. with Automatic Writing by clicking Comments at the top of the post.
A Brief Introduction to Automatic Writing
by Jack Roberge
Though most people have heard of automatic writing, few are familiar with its myriad applications. Also known as “scribing,” automatic writing is possible for those who are willing to set aside “the self” and receive creative inspiration from one or more outside sources. Success in this practice will depend on the practitioner’s patience and willingness to establish relationships with these sources.
In this article, I will introduce the process of discovering amenable writing partners, which to my mind may be drawn from one of four “realms”: (1) The Realm of the Deceased, (2) Faerie, (3) The Celestial Realm, and (4) The Terrestrial Realm. Please bear in mind that everyone’s experience with scribing is different; my personal opinion is that anyone claiming to comprehend all its dynamics is probably a charlatan.
(1) The Realm of the Deceased
I recommend that those new to automatic writing begin by working with a loved one who has recently passed away. Ideally, this will be someone with whom the writer was on good terms at the time of passing.
Too often our loved ones pass without having the opportunity to express certain sentiments. As an automatic writer, you become a medium through which the spirit of your loved ones is allowed to speak. It is a truly beautiful practice.
I suggest that you begin by building a small memorial altar to the loved one of your choice. Include photographs, cremated remains, jewelry, etc. If you are lucky enough to have a computer, typewriter, or pen which belonged to the deceased, use it!
Set aside an hour’s time during which you are assured of having no distractions. By means of meditation and/or herbal infusion, calm and focus the mind; herbs of Pluto, such as Turnera diffusa, and gemstones associated with channeling, such as amethyst, should assist with this practice.
Most scribes will agree it is essential to establish some form of ritual by which a sense of self is clearly delineated and preserved; even the most benign of spirits is apt to playing mind games with the living. For instance, light a candle and speak aloud the name of the loved one you want to summon; when your scribing session is complete, blow out the candle and gently ask the summoned spirit to leave.
Some spirits are more effusive than others; if the first writing companion you summon seems reticent, try another!
(2) The Fairy Realm
Personally, I can only recommend communication with fairies to those who have been walking a magical path for some years and feel abundantly protected from their potential mischief. Fairies are neither angels nor demons but something in between. They exist among humans who believe in them, injecting beauty, mystery, and wonder into the ordinariness of daily life. Fairy companions repay caution, humility, and faith, and they ask relatively little of their human counterparts.
That said, I cannot recommend scribing with a fairy companion until one is competent in the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or another banishing ritual of equivalent force. Keep a steel knife close at hand, for it is the best defense against baneful fairy magicks. No matter what any fairy tells you, remember that Robin Goodfellow is among their number. Call out for Robin if your companion proves unruly; he will bring all his Merry Men to your defense if need be.
The herb Elecampane (Inula helenium) and the gemstone Staurolite (also known as Fairy Cross or Fairy Stone) should prove helpful to those wishing to commune with The Folk.
(3) The Celestial Realm
Though it is possible to serve as a medium for divine messages, I have relatively little experience in this practice and thus cannot recommend it to the casual scribe. Access to the higher realms in which divine energies exist is seldom permitted to mortals. Only those who commit themselves to many years of prayer, meditation, and devotion are likely to find themselves blessed with the opportunity to channel the divine wisdom of immortal gods and goddesses.
In my experience, the herbs Gota Kola, Holy Basil (Tulsi), and Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) are helpful in elevating consciousness to the higher planes where communion with divine energies is possible. The gemstones Tanzanite, Lapiz Lazuli, and Herkimer Diamond may assist those wishing to explore divine mysteries.
(4) The Terrestrial Realm
Those who have persisted in psychic development may find it possible to perform a fourth form of automatic writing worked purely in the terrestrial realm. As a terrestrial scribe, you telepathically channel the editorial input of a living friend or teacher. Personally, I have only used this technique in order to refine information I have received from the first three realms mentioned in this article. As with all telepathic communication, only attempt terrestrial scribing with those whom you thoroughly trust.
Third-eye herbs, such as Cinnamon and Anise, and gemstones associated with psychic development, such as clusters of quartz crystal, may assist in this practice.
In closing, I should mention that many helpful books have been written on the topic of automatic writing; the most useful one I’ve discovered is “Swan on a Black Sea: Study of Automatic Writing” by Geraldine Cummins. Thanks again to Arlene DeWinter for inviting me to pen this brief article; I trust she will add any pertinent caveats which I have omitted. Good luck!
Pre-Raphaelite artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s first published poem, “The Card-Dealer,” was based on a painting by Theodore von Holst (1810-1844) called “The Wish” or “The Fortune-Teller” (1840). The poem, which epitomized Rossetti’s fascination with the theme of the femme fatale, was inspired by the painting that he described as being of “a beautiful woman, richly dressed, who is sitting at a lamp-lit table, dealing out cards, with a peculiar fixedness of expression.” In his poem, the woman plays with men as she plays with the cards, which, we are told, represent the heart that craves the more it feeds, the diamond that makes even the base seem brave, the club that smites, and the spade that digs a grave.
“The Card-Dealer”(1852; revised 1870)
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Could you not drink her gaze like wine?
Yet though its splendour swoon
Into the silence languidly
As a tune into a tune,
Those eyes unravel the coiled night
And know the stars at noon.
The gold that’s heaped beside her hand,
In truth rich prize it were;
And rich the dreams that wreathe her brows
With magic stillness there;
And he were rich who should unwind
That woven golden hair.
Around her, where she sits, the dance
Now breathes its eager heat;
And not more lightly or more true
Fall there the dancers’ feet
Than fall her cards on the bright board
As ’twere an heart that beat.
Her fingers let them softly through,
Smooth polished silent things;
And each one as it falls reflects
In swift light-shadowings,
Blood-red and purple, green and blue,
The great eyes of her rings.
Whom plays she with? With thee, who lov’st
Those gems upon her hand;
With me, who search her secret brows;
With all men, bless’d or bann’d.
We play together, she and we,
Within a vain strange land:
A land without any order,—
Day even as night, (one saith,)—
Where who lieth down ariseth not
Nor the sleeper awakeneth;
A land of darkness as darkness itself
And of the shadow of death.
What be her cards, you ask? Even these:—
The heart, that doth but crave
More, having fed; the diamond,
Skilled to make base seem brave;
The club, for smiting in the dark;
The spade, to dig a grave.
And do you ask what game she plays?
With me ’tis lost or won;
With thee it is playing still; with him
It is not well begun;
But ’tis a game she plays with all
Beneath the sway o’ the sun.
Thou seest the card that falls,—she knows
The card that followeth:
Her game in thy tongue is called Life,
As ebbs thy daily breath:
When she shall speak, thou’lt learn her tongue
And know she calls it Death.
Writing is a magical rite, a way to ‘alter consciousness at will’. Writing opens the door to the unseen…
I am intrigued by the power of Ogham, the sacred alphabet that is formed by the way the branches cross each other in the bare trees. Imagine reading the branches, and then the sky through the branches…a bird flies across the ‘empty’ space, the wind blows causing the branches to move and re-arrange themselves. The meaning changes, a sentence is created, a poem…
Whatever you communicate with communicates with you. Everything is connected..