|The Light of her Ten Thousand Faces |
by Doug Nox
Not long back I had a long conversation about sympathy and death with a couple of wizards, we talked a lot about how to convey those two intimately entwined concepts to a western audience. Then a few days later, as the Old Crone passed over into Scorpio I got a lesson in those two things. The weather took a strange turn, the North Atlantic rose up to challenge New York and a little old expat from Mexico took ill and died unexpectedly. I don’t think the weather in Canada was ever really doing the old bird any good, it certainly wasn’t the weather in Mexico that ultimately drove her from her mountaintop estate in Huauchinango to the suburbs of Toronto. She was Vanessa’s grandmother.
I realized that it was compassion which is the plumb line. Sympathy is the right word but it’s a difficult one for western consciousness to grasp in all its depth and nuance. Most usually it is real compassion that we lack. Sympathy, empathy, compassion are lessons taught to us by the Old Crone. Maybe that sounds strange coming from the author of the Doom Fairy Prophecies but it is the secret of good sympathetic juju, it is the original state of a mind without attachment. If you truly and deeply love someone, their grief will overwhelm you, you will collapse into it even if you have no personal stake in the loss. The crucible of grief will melt away all of your will to bring joy into the lives of your loved ones, what you want for them is a thing without meaning in that space. All of that stuff just evaporates and you are incapable of doing anything except sharing in their grief. That’s how sympathy works and that’s why it’s Death that reveals its secrets. When the act of sorcery overwhelms you like that you will be capable of fearsome things, you will do juju like death herself.
No matter how fucked up things get, compassion is your plumb line. Regardless of how different we might seem we are possessed of a shared fate and the dark currents churning the surface will illuminate this fact over the next couple of years. This missive is not a Doom Fairy column, my thoughts have yet to coalesce into anything I could confidently call prophetic, they simply won’t stop churning. I discussed the astrological variables terminating in a two-tiered Internet a while back. That process begins on December 3rd of this year in Dubai when the International Telecommunications Union gathers for the World Conference on International Telecommunications . Mark Carney’s move to the Bank of England, the balls-out war starting in the middle east right now, this is the movement of conflict and socio-political lines drawn on maps. Things I can discuss with the calm detachment of the Doom Fairy because as a crusty old sorcerer I know those things have been a blister on the ass of humanity since the beginning of history, I am conditioned to them as it were, I accept them as a part of the human experience.
Yet confronted now with the projected aim of the ITU I am deeply horrified, a ‘sender-pays’ Internet under the governance of the international broadcasting agencies. If you don’t know what that means, it’s how cable and satellite television works right now. You would have to pay to provide content and that content would have to meet national broadcast standards, this is true of every nation you would wish to connect to. Unlike SOPA or PIPA this is not an attempt to pass some new censorship or surveillance law, the legal precedents already set by the ITU in the establishment of traditional media greatly empower their case. This is the loss of perhaps the single greatest technological/social triumph of our generation, the peer-to-peer connectivity of the Internet is the stuff of fantasy novels. War is terrible but television takes no prisoners.
Prophecy, whether it’s mine or someone else’s must be enacted, it cannot simply be put into motion. Its actors must play their part to the end, they must hold the narrative together amidst the whirlwind of chance and circumstance. Chance and circumstance can be fucked with. I felt I should remind you (over the Internet) because I heard you were a wizard. All raw from unexpected grief I find I cannot muster the dispassion required for good prophecy, Death came all unexpected and I find myself full of feeling. This troubled attempt at a global community has sheltered and educated me and I cherish it. So fuck the ITU. Fuck. Them. I will not prophesy narrative, I will turn the whirlwind.