Tuesday, 28 February 2017
This Emerald Crown
I think for many of us the world right now seems a bewildering desert of the real. We cannot quite believe that what is happening is happening. I’m not just talking about the barely-veiled war between factions of the Deep State. I’m not just talking about the shifting political landscape. I’m talking about veils themselves. I’m talking about the unseen, and those things that separate storytelling from whatever a culture considers to be not storytelling. I’m talking about the way we extract meaning from an increasingly untethered world. I really do believe that veils are lifting, thinning. I believe that what was hidden is being revealed at a gathering pace. But such notions are cold comfort for those who face unemployment, homelessness, oppression, illness or death. What to do in the face of such cold, hard realities? Is it enough to reach for storytelling and legends of might-be from beyond the veils? Is it foolish to turn to art for succour during such heady, tumultuous times?
Each soul or spirit has its context and the marks it makes as it seeks to comprehend the complexities of cognition and experience. If I’ve learned anything about life or magick or art, it’s that ambiguity is endless. All sentience is gifted and cursed with it. For me, sentience and consciousness doesn’t just imply a measure of ambiguity or paradox – it necessitates it. As dynamic living systems I think we are ultimately incomprehensible. I take comfort rather than despair from this notion. It means there is something boundless and infinite at our core. It means that we are animate, radiant and unimaginably powerful. Even in my darkest moments this hard-earned knowledge has never left me. It has never failed me. But such a divine fire has its price and its responsibilities. The Magi know this all too well. Such a crown is magnificent if it connects you more deeply to yourself and others, but it can weigh heavy upon the brow for a number of reasons. This gift never bestows superiority, only lucidity, acuity and passion. To see, and to know, is powerful, but it is not always comfortable. Far from it. Humility and destiny needn’t be at odds. I recall this insight when it feels like my brow is breaking, because it inspires me to kindness, to communication and good humour – and ferocious purpose. We the human race made our first marks in the dirt with the jagged edge of a fallen star. It still whispers to us, Learn to Love and Live more powerfully… I can always hear this whisper, as most of us can in our own unique way, and I for one like a challenge.