Sitting by the shore, gazing into the still water.
I reach my right-hand within, reaching into myself.
With my left-hand I hold a scepter. My dominion.
The wind blows through my hair, the moon above and reflected below.
Voices carry, I hear the whispers and the dread in the air.
What I pull out of the water, out of myself… is you.
You see yourself in me, a mirror.
I am every person you have ever met. I am them, and I am you.
Look at me, what do you see? Do my eyes make you fearful?
I reach for you, you hesitate and step back.
Are you afraid? What are you afraid of?
I walk towards you, you step back.
At the edge now, will you allow yourself to fall?
What do you see? Do you see things in me, that are you?
One step forward, you take a step back.
Falling, falling, falling…
Into my reflection.
Holy-day, a day declared sacred by an authority. In this case, The Grotto of Azathoth, 1919. The grotto is developing its Calendar of Chaos for the year 2010. Holy days in which praxis can be explored in a group setting. It will give each grotto member a chance to see theory in practice.
Day of Azathoth
Holy word: Ageth
Our first holy day, will be utilizing the symbolism and ideas around the Old One Azathoth. The blind idiot god, and the over-seer.
February in latin: februum, meaning purification. The Roman purification ritual februa (Lupercalia) was typically celebrated on February 15th on the Roman calendar. February is also the shortest month in the calendar year, and among the last to be added to the calendar. The Romans considered the winter season to be a monthless period.
Febris, the latin term for fever is often associated with February. The purification ceremonies were a purging ritual. A time to detox the body, and rid the psyche of any clutter. A time for spiritual cleaning and sacrifice.
During the festival of Lupercalia, a dog and a goat were sacrificed. Meal-cakes made by vestal virgins were burned in the fire. The priests wore goat skins, soaked in blood and took young Patrician Luperci to the altar, to be anointed in sacrificial blood. The blood was placed on their foreheads, and the knife cleaned on Milk-soaked wool. Afterward, the young priests were expected to laugh and frolic about. Running through the streets like madmen.
Naked men ran through the streets, striking those they met with thongs of bloody goat meat as a purification blessing. Blessings bestowed upon women, were to purify them and bless them with children. If pregnant, the blessing insured a safe delivery. Patrician women would purposely get in the way of these men, so they could be struck and purified before the plebians.
Lupercalia, was also the “Wolf Festival” in honor of Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The festival is also believed to be linked to the Akadian/Greek festival of Lykaia in honor of their gods (Lycaean, Pan, Faunus).
By 15th century, public pagan rites had been outlawed, but the Roman population (albeit reformed Christians) maintained Lupercalia celebrations. The Patricians made fun of the rites, by putting on public shows that degraded them (Mark Antony among them). Pope Gelasius I stayed on the backs of the Senators who maintained the holiday, and eventually wore them down. Gelasius was able to outlaw the practice with their support.
The demon Sultan, Azathoth will over see purification of its human serfs. Spiritual Alchemy, utilizing Azoth – the all purpose elixir of life. The piping flutes, driving them to madness. Despairing thoughts planted by Azathoth’s servitors, purified and driven outward to feed the universe.
And we run into madness,
laughing and naked.
What does it mean to awaken? To be alive? How can “I” awaken?
Will my collective “I’s” awaken with me, or will I stand alone at the onyx altar, before the dreaming priest, beckoning to them in the dark? Come with me. What monsters follow me, biting at my ankles, whispering Eldritch things, pulling me back in the sludge to pass the days?
In my grasp are the dark tomes, I know the words, I’ve seen through shadow and yet? I stand at the event horizon, and free-fall into slumber. Falling, falling, falling… into myself. When I dream, I see the cyclopian cities of old, I hear the droning of tribal drums, the chanting…over and over in my head. Transcendental songs that keep, until I see the green embers once more.
In twillight I walk, amidst the waking dead and I’m fooling myself. Again. I know this, I understand. So again, I climb the cliff once more, in cold darkness, towards the stars. Looking down at the shadowed figures, walking around in a haze. Unknown creatures hanging on my every limb, they want me to stay but I must awaken. I hear the beacon sound, it pulls me from within. Strange voices, counter-chanting against the tribal drums.
“Ia, Ia Cthulhu Fthaghn! Ia, Ia Cthulhu Fthaghn! Ia, Ia Cthulhu Fthaghn!”
I see them in the distance, dark robes and glaring emerald eyes. They stand at the edge of the cliff, calling down to me…pulling me towards them. There are so many of them, who are they? What do they want of me? I climb in desperation towards them. An army of dark figures with gleaming eyes. Some reaching to the stars, others contorting like beasts and waiving their swords in a frenzy, a battle dance but to whom or what I do not know. I climb, pausing only for a moment to watch the madness before me. My heart is pounding, I’m short of breath, my muscles begin to feel stronger and I crawl up the side of the cliff as if I have invoked some strange animal. Fast, and furiously I climb towards the strangers who call to me. I can feel no pain, no exhaustion from the climb, and my breath is a slow and steady pace.
The chanting is getting louder, I can’t even hear myself think. My mind is whirling, I can no longer hear the voices calling to me to go back. The creatures fall down into the endless pit of darkness and we are alone. Silence. We hear nothing, no more drumming, the chanting has stopped, not even the wind howling as it had been during our climb upward. We are at the top, standing in the radiant light of emerald green, before an onyx mirror holding our Kort’thsalis box.
We vaguely remember entering our ritual chamber to do The Work.