Death and the Lovers

This was the theme of the Occult Conference 2018, held in Glastonbury by The Visible College. As soon as it was announced we suggested to the organiser, Sef Salem, that an event themed around Thanatos and Eros should have some input from a magical organisation with ‘Thanateros’ in the name. Surprisingly, he concurred.

It was quite a successful gathering all round. The IOT British Isles Section was active as myself and Section Head Soror Brigantia presented a workshop on the polarities of Black Saturnine and Silver/Purple Lunar magic, the Thanateros current in the raw. Here we find the tensions and paradoxical coincidence of opposites of beginning and ending, burgeoning life and decline into death, the Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away, from coagula to solve, each implying the other as two sides of a coin. We began by resuming the Star of Chaos and its paradoxes. We ended with a version of Pete Carroll’s insufficiently famous Thanateros Rite from Liber Kaos.

Shortly after our workshop there was that earthquake that measured 4.7 and originated from a few miles north of where we live. That means nothing, okay? It wasn’t our fault. Fault, geddit? Oh, never mind.

The following day we reflected on the ritual and workshop we had done the day before, recounting the Greek mythic lore of Chaos, Eros and Thanatos underpinning our work and discussed Austin Spare’s Death Posture in the light of that.

Next, past Section Head Dave Lee developed the Death Posture further, drawing on an article by our beloved brother Alan Chapman and on his own knowledge and experience of Connected Breathwork. He followed this with a practical workshop so that we could all have a go. This was an extraordinary experience.

More extraordinary though was the closing ritual of the Conference, which Soror Brigantia, Dave and I had devised, involving invocations of Eros and Thanatos and La Danse Macabre de la Vie, l’Univers et le Reste, manifesting as a giant double conga doing its DNA thing and splicing the entire Conference experience together.

And so it was done.

 

Check out Dave Lee’s Chaotopia website and maybe sign up for his newsletter.

Also see Alan Chapman’s website Wiser by Design and maybe buy his book on magic(k).

And then there’s the Kite’s Cradle.

Over the Threshold of the Year

January. Month of Janus, the doorkeeper, the portal-master, faintly resembling Dr. John Dee above, simultaneously looking over your shoulder at the past and staring out with you into the future. IOTBIS closes the door on an exciting 2017 and crosses the threshold of 2018 looking forward to an even better year.

Following on quickly from the publication of our book Chaos Streams 01, 2017 was the year we created our Facebook group and began this blog in order to share what we could of what was going on for the British Isles Section, to present some ideas, to keep our friends and allies in the loop, to encourage others to approach. And this has been a great success. We held Transformations, our first big open event for some years, and made a lot of new friends. And we hosted the year’s IOT AGM.

2018 looks set to continue where 2017 left off. This week we inaugurate a new open Working Group, and next month some of us will be making presentations at the Occult Conference in Glastonbury.

Later this year we’ll have a follow-up to the Transformations event, working titled Manifestations. Watch this space for more. And we’re currently collecting submissions for Chaos Streams 02. We have some other plans too, but hey, you gotta keep some surprises, right? Anyway, have an excellent and magical 2018 yourself and CHOYOFAQUE!

Transformations Event Special!

I’m still knackered from the shindig. The Illuminates of Thanateros had an open Moot with added friends and allies. There was magic, learning, comradeship, inspiration, all you could hope for from an intimate yet broad gathering of magicians of many stripes. Chaos Magic, Thelema, Satanism, Discordianism, necromancy- what a mix, all playing together nicely in exemplary style.

The Transformations event, organized by the IOT, happened one day at the beginning of the first decan of Leo, the Cardinal phase of Fixed Fire. This is a decan of fierce vision, knowing what you want and how to get it, and unhesitatingly going out and doing it. The weather on the day proved every bit as hot and fiery, a further good augury for the event itself.

However the proceedings began the night before, courtesy not of the IOT but of the Ordo Templi Orientis and The Satanic Temple (London & UK), who arranged a sort of ecumenical welcome ritual — in the grounds of the Temple Church off Fleet Street, a monument to the Templars overseeing our joined-up magics. We celebrated with a small libation of Jägermeister, whereupon a gentleman arrived to tell us politely that they didn’t mind us holding a Satanic ritual but alcohol was not allowed. So after a tour guide description of the venue, we departed for the next ritual phase: bowling.

Alas, I had to miss the bowling, having a busy tomorrow to prepare for, but I’m told it was … erm, entertaining. At least I got to chat to some new friends first.

The Transformations event itself was well-attended, including some from the night before. The British Isles Section Head of the IOT, Soror Brigantia, opened proceedings with a discussion of Inward and Outward Transformations (I-O-T, geddit?) and a short puja to Ma Kali, for obvious reasons.

Another goddess present was Eris, who manifested herself in the timetable, necessitating a number of late alterations. But it all worked out in the end. Hail Eris!

For what followed, some names I cannot name, but Dave Lee, the Kite, Nikki Wyrd, Julian Vayne and guest speaker Jake Stratton-Kent were among those who wowed everyone present with a wide range of powerful presentations. Soror Wry managed not only to single-handedly manage the bonding ritual of the catering, but also a totally kick-ass ritual with no fewer than eight — count ’em — eight goddesses. As to what happened; well, you had to be there.

Bonding happened. There was overall a warm, friendly and appreciative atmosphere usually the mark of more internal gatherings. Members of orders and such will know what I’m talking about here. I made so many friends this day, including Zeke Apollyon of TST, who scouted us out a bar which we could take over to celebrate the awesomeness of the day. There was much networking, for it looks like the magical network is the new magical order.

I reckon there’s been a Long Dark Night of much of British life (the austerity economy dragging us down) but our occultisms seem to be picking up interest and vibrancy again. The consensus on our event is that there should be more like this, and I look forward to seeing how these various magical colleagues manifest future gatherings.

The conspiring has already begun. For example, as we heard on the day, Rob Rider Hill is running a “Salon du Voile” under the name Crucible Hermetic. Sef Salem of the OTO runs the Occult Conference from the Visible College. Cat Vincent and friends are organizing another Festival23. And Julian Vayne & Nikki Wyrd have just sat down after Breaking Convention. Search for these online and join in with this resurgence of interest in all things magical.

And of course, the British Isles Section of the Illuminates of Thanateros will be hosting more events too.

May you be transformed, and through you, the world.