Glass Grimoire DnD 5e Homebrew Supplement NOW AVAILABLE!

Dice-Wielders! Soul-Powered Magic System! Alien races! Reaper and Planefarer classes! And more!

DOWNLOAD IT HERE Glass Grimoire DnD Homebrew Supp -Part 1 – Beta2

Hey, it’s a start.

In my perpetual effort to generate conversation (and have some fun), I hereby invite playtesting and feedback on my first step toward building a way to loop actual D&D into the Glass Grimoire multiverse!

Your input (especially on the alternate magic system) on this first shot is encouraged and I look forward to evolving this initial attempt based on your ideas!

I know it would benefit from some art as well — if you are so inclined to share some, please be my guest.

Part 2 (Races and Classes) is already underway. Part 3 (Planes, Planets and Soul-Trading Houses) will follow.

Thanks in advance!

Dave

Download the Glass Grimoire D&D 5e homebrew supplement – Part 1 (Beta 0.1) below

Glass Grimoire DnD Homebrew Supp -Part 1 – Beta2

And please feel free to share and provide your insights in the comments below.

Glass Grimoire — an exploration of mind in reality as Saturday morning cartoon — needs you!

If you are — or have — been reading Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga, I could really use your support by way of reviews, comments (under the chapter entries), and social media shares. I would also love to see character art if anyone is inclined.

flame-icon

I’d like this story to become a fun, engaging and expansive conversation for what I see as an emerging post-reductionist age of mysticism.

I think of it as an exploration of mind in reality in a Trojan horse shaped like a Saturday morning cartoon!

Check out here and please consider sharing your voice and helping word spread.

https://glassgrimoire.org/

With thanks,

Dave

Can Buddhist Practices Help Us Overcome The Biological Pull Of Dissatisfaction?

Listen to the Robert Wright (Author of Why Buddhism is True) interview on NPR. 

With transcript.

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Selfishness Imprisons. Selflessness Liberates.

And Meditation is the Path to Selflessness.

Is it this simple?

 

consciousness3

Meditation explanation

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When you obliterate the ego-construct, strip off the caked-on paint, what remains is the motive of existence: the compulsion to create. #art

This came to me in meditation today and it stuck.

We are the big bang of the universe, big banging right where we are.

Contrary to the socially engineered notion that we should focus nearly exclusively on construction of costumes and masks that will win the approval of the herd, the fact of the matter is that true fulfilment (enlightenment / contentment / salvation) is found in removing the costumes and masks of self altogether: in perfecting the process of getting out of our own way.

Please consider supporting Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga‘s run in the JukePop Serial / 1888 Center’s Summer Writing Project 2017.

With loads of new material since last time you were there!

Click here:

Glass Grimoire on JukePop

… read, comment and share!

And pssst. Be sure to read and vote for every chapter.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Sharing this post helps too.

Dave

A clear, free How and Why of #Meditation toward #Mindfulness

From the Mind of Ven. Henopola Gunaratana

Any who’ve been following the mystical misadventures of Andy Crowley in the Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga know the importance of meditation to me and how I conceive this ongoing story.

monk

I feel passionately that meditation is the foundation of a truly fulfilling life — and that the absence of it is the agenda of those who would perfect a consumption-driven culture that leaves people wanting — aka shopping/labouring/blindly obeying

This free e-book simply, clearly conveys both the why and how of beginning and sustaining a meditative practice and mindful presence in the reality that exists beyond the ‘gilded cage of modern consumer society.

Mindfulness in Plain English by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana

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Our Socio-Economic Purpose (and Our Prison) is Identity Construction

There is no free in ‘Me’

Our socio-economic purpose — our prison — is identity construction: a focus on SHOWING.

Our cosmic purpose — our liberation — is identity obliteration: a focus on BEING.

Meditation is the lamp that lights the path from the self-construct back to the nature of reality.

Identity

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“It’s okay for monks to use email… they just can’t have attachments”

Learning how to concentrate in a society that engineers us to be distracted

 

  1. Your mind is a vast area containing sections, anger, sadness, excitement, fear…
  2. Your awareness is a ball of light that floats around in the mind and illuminates those areas depending on where you direct it.
  3. Your awareness is the most valuable commodity in corporate consumer culture — and media constantly works to override your direction of it to get it to a place where they can benefit (profit) from it.
  4. You must wrest control of your awareness back from usurpers who endeavour to redirect it elsewhere (distraction) for purposes that do not necessarily represent your best interests.

Concentration is simply placing your awareness where you want it to go — rather than allowing other influences to place it where they want it to go.

Like gravity or light, what if consciousness is an intrinsic aspect of reality? This is the essence of the Glass Grimoire

Is consciousness — existing as an ambient force — the unaccounted actor in the realm of physics?

Underlying this exploits of Andy Crowley in Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga is a notion that has been intrinsic to mystical thought. In the conception of The All, as articulated in the mystery religions, esoteric thought, Hermeticism and so on, we see the universe (multiverse) — all of reality — conceived of as one thought or a process of thinking.

golden-ratio

In the notion of panpsychism, or the idea that consciousness is an ambient aspect of reality, much like gravity or energy, are we seeing the fulfillment of ancient, timeless (and systemically forbidden because it undermines the authority of entrenched power structures) spirituality converging with the forward edge of science?

Loosen up, let go, and wakey, wakey for goodness sakey!

Here is a clear and concise article on the subject.

Is the Universe Conscious?

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Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, World Tree, Nervous System of Reality, Binder of The All

Preview of Chapter 21

 

“Even unto they who would lay them down, the trees offer their shade.”

~ the trees

 

In some places and times it sported boughs the breadth of galaxies. In others, it extended gossamer roots finer than the finest faerie hair. In some places it had the imposing substantiality of the diamond core of a frozen stone world. In others, it was as an ephemeral wisp of a thought barely regarded in the deepest of sleeps. It is said that the tree of life, which is also called the world tree, among many other names, is rooted in the En Sof, which is the unknowable absolute beyond reality. It is also said that its boughs, branches, twigs and leaves stretch into every realm, and into every mind in existence. Some even believe that the souls drifting aimlessly through the planes awaiting the birth of an organism to bond to, are the spores that come into reality from En Sof by way of the tree that is all trees. And perhaps, it is said, for it cannot be known, the life tree is the nervous system of existence, just as the Sea of Tears may be its blood, and the tunnels of the moles of Gaia, rescued from extinction by the children of Limbo, are its bones. As above so below, as below so above, and such.

arbol_de_la_vida_yin_yang_con_el_efecto_de_madera_pegatina_redonda-r73cacf6193ee4c61a0136bc7101874e2_v9wth_8byvr_324

Beneath the astral tree – that was in his reckoning, and by his nomenclature – an aspect of Yggdrasil, for that was the notion of the tree of life that was most familiar to him. Ancaster Crowley repeated a calming mantra in an attempt to restrain the seething fury that boiled within. About the edges of his third eye, which was opened wide and scanning about the golden fields of the quiet realm. Green fire flickered and burned above the pupiless whites of his everyday eyes, which were now locked in the wizard’s gaze.

He was looking for the one whom, the day before, he had arranged to meet here. He was looking for the banshee, Jasco, renegade reaper, run afoul of the realm of Fey.

Tugging at the tie around his neck, he sat down beneath the tree. For only the third time in his life we was wearing a suit. He had just come from the funeral for his friend Nick and even in his astral conception of himself, he felt his friend was due the respect wearing the suit implied. Nick would have laughed he thought. He would have enjoyed that he was the reason Andy had – even for just one day – taken off the uniform: the concert shirt and jeans.

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Requesting One-Sentence / One-Chapter Reviews

In the ongoing effort to grow readership, I am asking readers to offer up a one sentence review of one chapter that I can share via social media.

If you are game, just write your one-sentence review in the comments under the section you are reviewing.

I hope you are enjoying the journey and will consider helping me encourage others to come along.

With thanks,

Dave

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A Sub-Quantum Chronicling…

…of the Secret History of Reality

Of the ascent of the Abraxas, in whose godhood the forces of good and evil would be reconciled and free will ended, there is no written record or material reckoning of any kind.

Of the War of All Gods, in which the Abraxas fell, also, there is no permanent account of a sort typically decipherable by Earther historians within the boundary of Sanctuary Rim.

What you are reading here – these insubstantial and archaic runes – though they connect one’s mind through spacetime and across the planes to the details of this darkest of events – is not real. At least not real in the way most beings understand things to be real.

sacred geometry

This account – the words on these pages – though in this moment seemingly tangible and meaningful to us, is by no means, either sorcerous or scientific, indistinguishable from a dream or a fleeting notion in the mind.

And though it may inform us, the true nature of this device is incomprehensible to most. For it is, in truth, naught but a phantom in the thoughts between our thoughts – where our dreams and greater journeys are realized. By all measures, this apparitional reckoning, conceived by the most potent of magics, exists beyond that thin fringe of matter and conscious awareness that comprises the material realm of most people’s everyday waking lives.

Suffice it to say that, by the designs and powerful craft of a handful of the greatest mages to have ever existed, we fortunate few are privy to this arcane knowledge of perhaps the most significant event in the history of the cosmos – though it should be known that for many reading this (particularly those who still reckon in sidereal time and are limited to unilateral perception in four-dimensional spacetime), the most tragic of the events detailed herein have not yet occurred.

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An Unorthodox Ouroboros

A contrarian ouroboros named Tye
Lacking the disposition to die
Opted instead
Rather than to eat ’round to his own head
To start on the tail of some other guy.

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Does Sisyphus Run a Diner on the Astral Plane?

Though I am not completely convinced that Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga is an absurdist work — for even the designation absurdist defies the mystical intention of this tale — there is a reason Sisyphus (confidante and friend to the banshee, Jasco of Fey) operates an Olympian diner (DON’T call it Greek!) on the astral plane while he pushes the rock.

P.S. He makes the best gyros in the multiverse.

“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”

via Quote/s: The Myth of Sisyphus (Albert Camus) — Chiasmus

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Atlantis: Historical Sources

Plato’s Timaeus (and his cave) are prominent inspirations for “Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga”. A fictional take on Atlantis plays a huge part as well.

Part of the Elementamundi.com universe by author Mark David

Part of elementamundi.com. By author Mark David: Twitter @authorMarkDavid


“This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent.”


john_martin4 The Great Day of His Wrath by John Martin

The story of Atlantis

Comes to us from Timaeus, a Socratic dialogue, written in about 360 B.C. by Plato

View original post 1,749 more words

Houdini’s Ghost Stalks His Prey, Mars Plans for War, Kilroy Makes for Atlantis, & The Lord of Limbo Disembarks for the Edge of Reality

Chapter 20

Martian Dreamship

Art by Robert Matthews

“Beware the fury of a patient man.”

~ John Dryden

Realm of Nav,
upon a luxurious meadow
1984 AD SR

Undetectable, simply because he desired to be, the ghost of Harry Houdini crouched on the bough of an enormous tree by the most magnificent meadow he had ever seen. He wondered about the curious hut with the legs of a great predator bird and the beautiful beings that frolicked about it with abandon. The scenery and the sounds of the place were so idyllic they even offered solace against the torturous hunger for vengeance, which had up until now, driven him headlong and thoughtless after his prey.

Having sapped enough of his murderer’s aether to have reacquired something of his intellect, Houdini was beginning to feel pleasure again, have memories, and think productively. After nearly hundred years of nought but blind, mindless, plodding instinct, he was reasoning and emoting again – nearly, but not quite — to the full, prodigious degree he had known in his life of living flesh.

As he intently measured the bird-legged hut he knew housed his prey, confounding notions came upon him. He could have walked right up to it, passed effortlessly through the wall and claimed his prize: the last of Aleister Crowley’s aether and a return to corporeal form. The cosmic law that allowed for the ghost of one murdered for their soul would be fulfilled. Justice would be done.

Why then did he hesitate? It had to be something more than the distracting beauty of this place.

In that moment he mustered and focused his faculty for reason, newfound and still growing, in an attempt to reconcile this hesitation with his heretofore ravenous desire to end his quest. But rather than reason, memory imposed itself upon his reason, and he recalled the night of his murder.

He had agreed to a duel with Crowley beneath the Great Pyramid at Giza.

When his pistol had jammed, rather than shoot him outright, Crowley had punched him so hard in the stomach he had lost consciousness; then he had seen the stars through a porthole; then a ritual of some sort; then the inside of a hospital, which he now possessed the capacity to reason was in Chicago. Then he bore witness to his own funeral. Then nought — for year-upon-year, decade-upon-decade — but the pursuit of his prey and the appeasement of his fury: the hunt for the man become beast become machine.

These dark memories rekindled his rage. And so he descended the tree and walked toward the hut, determined finally to end Aleister Crowley for what he had done.

But as his approached, and as even more of Crowley’s aether came into him, and even more of the faculties of mind he had known in life returned, he stopped suddenly and stood pensively mere yards from his goal.

He recalled then witnessing Crowley’s dealings with Lucifer and his acquisition of an abundance of magic-fuelling souls. He recalled the beast’s powerful sorcery on Cygnus Denagar. At the time, he had lacked the reason to make sense of these events. But now the significance of them, in the light cast by reason rediscovered, gave him pause.

Then, in that moment it struck Harry Houdini that he and Aleister desired, to some degree, the very same thing – to be made flesh again. But there was a difference in the nature of their drives to that goal.

Harry Houdini’s lust for revenge was more powerful even than his desire to be whole again. And so, in that moment he reconciled to deny his prey of that which he desired most. This immaculate revenge — robbing the beast of his life’s passion — in that moment overtook even than the hunger to end Aleister Crowley and return to the realm of living beings.

The ghost had decided he could wait. Sitting down in the tall grass, he looked up into the beautiful spring sky over the meadow full of beautiful people and tried to remember what the sun felt like upon a face of meat and bone.

And then, with ferocious intent, Harry Houdini concentrated his newly recovered powers of thought upon recollecting everything he had seen and heard of this Glass Grimoire so coveted by the one who had stolen his soul.

“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star.”

~ Albert Einstein

Sea of Tears,
Edge of Valuvian Space,
Ramses IX, flagship of the Martian Dreamfleet

The almost black teal of the sky over the inter-dimensional Sea of Tears in no way diminished the starlight that shone through from the expanse of regular spacetime beyond. The eerie voices that comprised a light wind over that strange sea rustled into the hair and clothing of the four men gathered on the foredeck of the Ramses IX: dreamship and flagship of the navy of the First Martian Solar Dynasty.

The Banjoman, Lord of Limbo, seemingly oblivious to the other three men conversing at his back, cast swirling purple eyes, which had assumed an eerie vacancy, out over the undulating crystalline indigo that was the mysterious multiversal network of waterways between realms.

Generally invisible and ephemeral from the perspective of an observer in regular spacetime, the Sea of Tears was a lattice of rivers, lakes and oceans that spanned spacetime and converged both spatially and vibrationally with bodies of waters on various planes of existence. It was said that every drop in that sea represented a corresponding soul on its meandering journey through the planes of the multiverse. It was also said that the sky above the sea was a perfect, though less substantial, reflection of the sea below and that the movement of the air was nought but the voices of the uncountable souls that comprised the water below.

Cormac Kipling Kilroy, who knew the Sea of Tears perhaps better than any other mortal, knew the Banjoman was listening to the murmuring of those voices now, for the ears of the Lord of Limbo could discern much that most ears could not.

“We have nearly 10,000 Ra-craft, and 440 vessels in the armada bound for X-Region Arcturus,” Admiral Cavendish Farlore, a dignified man with the shining shaved head of Martian military and silver mutton chop sideburns, said it in the casual manner of one long past earning an easy, honest relationship with the one he served.

Kip Kilroy, who had taken in almost nothing of the Admiral’s report to his adopted father,  the Martian Pharaoh, Garuk Motankhamun IV, gaped, slack-jawed to the aft of the ship. The sky all about the Ramses IX, was filled with white, ellipse-shaped saucers terminating in sharp points at two ends. With their tinted dorsal and ventral plasteel bubble cockpit pupils (the top one for a pilot and the bottom for a turret gunner) and the coloured squadron-designating ring irises, the Martian armada created the altogether disconcerting impression of a sky filled with staring, unblinking eyes of every imaginable colour.

“I’ve never seen so many of them in one place. And never in here, above this sacred sea.” Kilroy’s head came down and looked at Admiral Farlore. “Very impressive Sir.”

“Thank you Cormac.” The older soldier paused and measured his next words. Then, offering a mock clearing of his throat and looking at the luminous blue deck of his ship, the Admiral addressed his Pharaoh, “It required an equally impressive effort to assemble…” Looking then up and purposefully up and away from the Pharaoh, who stood across from him, he added, “… one I’m not altogether convinced was necessary.”

“OH, You saucy old swamp-stomper!” bellowed Motankhamun. “I am standing right here!” The Pharaoh looked at Kilroy and shook a thumb toward the Admiral, who was smiling mischievously. Rolling his eyes and shaking his head, the Pharaoh said to Kilroy, “Can you believe this salty old dog!”

This was the way it usually went between these two, who both held in equal disdain the rules of propriety, hierarchy and decorum. They has seen to much together. Of course, they did not do this in the company of their juniors, Kilroy being the sole exception.

Their camaraderie comforted Kilroy, for his mind had been preoccupied with how Jasco was faring on her mission to convince Andy to accompany her to Atlantis.

“With all due respect, sire, and understanding completely how busy you must have been of late,” Kilroy smiled at the Admiral before turning to the Pharaoh, “I am guessing it is high time the Admiral be more fully briefed on why he has assembled the armada.”

“Oh, and now sauce from you too! Who is Pharaoh here, by Ra?” Again, there was no real anger in the Pharaoh’s response, for in the company of his closest confidantes, he thoroughly enjoyed the game of making light of his power and status. “He’s as briefed as he needs to be! His job is to defend our efforts at the location – if we discover it, of the object of our quest – if it exists, and to defend the efforts of Ancaster the Earther, if he bothers to help us!”

With a shake of his head to indicate his bewilderment at the Pharaoh’s words, Admiral Farlore said to Kip, “Thank you for your concern Cormac Kilroy, obviously, the extent of the thorough and prolific intelligence gathering we’ve just heard from our eminence warrants completely, the assemblage of the collective military might of Mars.”

The Admiral’s feigned seriousness thrilled Kilroy so that he slapped the Pharaoh on the arm. All three men laughed heartily.

Then, with a hallmark shift in tone that showed without question that the time for playfulness had come to an end, the Pharaoh tilted his forehead toward The Banjoman, who still stared silently out over the ship’s railing. To neither of the men in particular, the Pharaoh said, allowing awe, reverence, and no small amount of concern ring through in his low voice, “that one such as he is among us now, should be assurance enough – despite all absence of details – of the severity of what transpires.”

Farlore straightened his back, and though he spoke with authority – none of his gregarious humanity was diminished by it. He was so like the Pharaoh, Kip thought in that moment. So alive, but in a way that was smooth and gentle where the Pharaoh was coarse and brash. “Aye, gentlemen, I do not question, save in jest, the import of the precautions being taken. And frankly I have no need of information regarding whys. It is my purpose in life solely to deliver hows.” He said it in a way that betrayed no apology for the fear in his voice.

Admiral Cavendish Farlore, who was by no measure, a timid or fearful man, felt genuine distress in the presence of the Lord of Limbo. It was not just the palpable power of the lithe yet sturdy physicality that legend told had single-handedly vanquished entire armies; it was not just the visceral, perpetual hum of the mysterious banjo he clenched in his fist that set the Admiral him ill at ease. For The Banjoman radiated a sense of palpable uncertainty. All about him the forces of chaos and order, peace and war, torment and grace seemed to swirl, coalesce and magnify.

There was a throbbing pulse to him: an oscillating sensation of nothingness and everythingness that approximated the space between the beats of one’s own heart and the space between those beats.

BIG. Small.

CLOSE. Far.

LOUD. Quiet.

ABOVE. Below.

Even the Pharaoh, who had just recently conspired secretly with The Lord of Limbo to arrange the liberation of Cronos, was ill at ease in his simmering presence. At the moment, however, he was embellishing this nervousness, for he did not want the Admiral or Kilroy, his adopted son, to suspect it had been he and The Banjoman who had freed Cronos from the Prison for Gods to conduct a secret mission through time. The Pharaoh shoved the thought away, for he feared it would draw him into a deep lament. He felt in his heart that unto the end of his days, he would feel nought but regret for what he, Cronos and The Banjoman had done.

Kilroy spoke then, “The Lord of Limbo is harmless enough.” He said it pensively before adding after some thought, “He is merely unaccustomed to the presence of others; and awkward in expressing himself in concrete terms, which elude him mostly.”

He is like a munitions barge in a lightning storm, Admiral Farlore thought, though he did not utter it aloud, for he just then he feared he had seen The Banjoman stir, and he was altogether sure that, despite appearances, the Lord of Limbo was taking in every word they said.

The Pharaoh sensed the Admiral’s discomfort and resolved to change the subject. “What of the intelligence you have received, Admiral? If the recent escape of Cronos, and the Minstrel of the Middle Way standing on the deck of the flagship of the Martian navy are not enough to make you think we should be at least drilling our forces, then what of the reports you shared with me yesterday?”

“Aye, Sire.” Farlore, intuitively ascertaining the Pharaoh’s intent to have yesterday’s intelligence briefing conveyed to Cormac Kilroy, turned and spoke to the younger officer directly.

“From corroborated sources, Cormac, we know that Curator Lucifer has met with both Acting Emperor Ares and Baron Arawn of Fey. Kip’s eyes widened with excitement and he smiled widely, which surprised the other men, who expected concern, even dismay at this news.

“Wicked!” Kilroy whispered to himself. The light of child-like wonder shone from his handsome face. The Pharaoh rolled his eyes.

Farlore continued, “And the whereabouts of Emperor Zeus, whom we do know is accompanied only by Torus Phi, are still unknown. He has not been seen since the report from the Temple of Hanuman at Nova Valhalla–Pleiades.

Farlore paused as though to reflect upon the information he had just shared. When he continued, his playful sarcasm returned, “So here we have tales of the new, nice Ares, very possibly doing little more than making daisy chain necklaces and pining for the release of the next Yes album with Lucifer, and signs of Zeus on a pan-dimensional self-help tour. I reiterate my inclination toward concern being merited, but do these goings-ons truly deepen that concern – or are they rather, glad tidings of the sad state of Olympus?”

The Pharaoh smiled at the return to the game! “It appears your assessment that the Admiral needs to be more informed was warranted, Cormac Kilroy. If you please, could you give us your interpretation of this information, in light of you current mission?”

Despite knowing the nature of the game they now engaged in, Kilroy, who had great respect for the Admiral, felt a tinge of embarrassment at being asked by their Pharaoh to share information with his superior officer. But the feeling did not last, for almost instantly, he remembered that Farlore’s gracious, sensible nature would not likely find insult.

“History would suggest that after The Hells’ annexation of Hades, an alliance with Olympus should be impossible. But this does not take into account the converging variables of the evolution of Ares’ character and the opening left by Zeus’s misdirected attentions.” Kip paused to let the Admiral think on this.

Admiral Farlore’s jaw slackened, his eyes widened, and he almost whispered the words, “One, for so long regarded a prolific warrior is not so easily regarded a prolific diplomat!”

“Or politician,” added the Pharaoh, thoroughly enjoying the productive, strategic chemistry of his two favourite people.

“Having guided Farlore so effectively into such an eloquent estimation, Kilroy was excited to continue. “With Poseidon and Hades gone, Ares’, eventual attempt on Zeus’s throne was inevitable! What if the warm-and-fuzzy thing is an act? Or what if Ares is completely genuine and wants a kinder, gentler Olympian Empire? Either way, I’d say an alliance between Olympus and Hell is coming.”

The Admiral was taken aback at Kilroy’s reasoned assessment. He understood once again why his Pharaoh had placed so much faith in the mind and skills of the young son of Sanctuary. Whatever his thoughts were, the look on the Admiral’s face was one of concern. Kip’s enthusiasm melted away, and he looked again into the armada of Martian saucers that seemed to stare like uncountable, unblinking eyes into their very souls. He pondered something for a moment and coming to a weighty decision, he stepped forward and looked hard into his father’s eyes.

“And what if this new alliance were to aid Tin Prince Twain in securing his prize.” Both he and and the Pharaoh glanced sidelong at Farlore has he said it.

“Tin Prince Twain?” Farlore all but coughed the words. That the mention of the name had shocked him was obvious – but not as obvious as his disdain.

“Aye, old friend.” The Pharaoh was pleased that Kip had taken his lead and had finally shared this with the Admiral. He put his hand gently onto Kip’s shoulder to let him know he had done the right thing.  “The time has arrived for you to grasp something of the whys, for though I would never question your commitment to delivering victory, knowing the stakes – and in this case, the severity of the ramifications of failure – never hurts.”

“There is another factor in this that concerns me greatly.” Kip looked mostly at the Pharaoh then. “What of the escape of Cronos? His vengeance will be for Zeus, but that does not mean he will not ally himself with Olympus under Ares in this! What could stand against such power? Few even live that remember when Cronos was free! And what of Asgard? Even the Allfather could fall under the sway of one such as Cronos.”

In that moment, the Pharaoh became visibly nervous. Not because Cronos had escaped from the Prison for Gods, which was under his administration as the guardian of Sanctuary, but rather because Kip now ventured disturbingly close to the secret caper he had hatched with The Banjoman. But he would not have to address this concern, for just then, all men startled at the emergence of a fourth voice.

“You have nothing to fear of Cronos.” It was the Lord of Limbo. Without turning to face the others, he had finally spoken. “He desires only to die after a life too long lived. Ask not how I know this.”

The Pharaoh, though rescued from Kip’s distressing line of enquiry, was now nervous for another reason. He could only hope, The Banjoman would keep their secret regarding Cronos. The Admiral, one who had seen entire star systems die, was simply terrified. And Kipling Kilroy rolled his eyes at the familiarly melodramatic tone The Banjoman assumed in the company of those who did not know him.

“He returns!” Kilroy exclaimed. To the astonishment of the others, the young marinar walked right up to The Banjoman and slapped his hands upon the much larger man’s shoulders. “And gracing us with impressive words of powerful substance and import no less.”

The Lord of Limbo scowled as Kilroy guided him over to join the others, talking as he went, “We were just assessing the pieces on the board and speculating on an alliance between Olympus and the Hells under an upstart Ares.”

“It is possible,” said the Banjoman. “But as I said, you need not worry about Cronos.” As he said it he looked hard at the Pharaoh, and the Martian monarch found himself already wishing the Lord of Limbo were back looking over the railing again. His unpredictable nature made him a terrible person to share in a secret conspiracy with. Perhaps changing the subject was the best course of action the Pharaoh decided. So he thought to shift the conversation to what Asgard might do, but before he could speak, The Banjoman did exactly that.

“If I may offer it, Asgard has little taste for war of any sort at the moment.” The Lord of Limbo spoke absently, matter-of-factly as he pulled his purple goggles down from the band of his derby hat. “Despite Lucifer’s annexation of Hades,” he continued, “they are no friends to the Prince of Light for they wonder if Helheim and its trove of souls is next on his list of acquisitions.” Now he threw the banjo that had been clenched in his fist over his shoulder on the strap of orange leather taken from the wing of a demon he had slain in a realm none present had even heard of. Kipling knew then that The Banjoman was leaving them. He glanced over and saw Nexsusa, noble warmole of Limbo, stirring to her feet. Her massive reality-rending claws clacked against the solid blue-light surface of the dreamship’s deck.

“Yes.” The Banjoman’s eyes were changing now. Swirling from the perfect grey back to the deep purple of Limbo, “there is not an Asgardian anywhere that will not thrill at the magnificent turmoils the escape of Cronos and the treachery of Ares bode for petulant Zeus. Shares in mead will rival the value of souls before long as they fall over themselves to drink to the gorilla emperor’s diminishment and doom, either at the hands of a vengeful father or at the ambitions of a disapproving son.”

The Banjoman’s good humour on the subject, but moreso the way he spoke – as though all these things were certainties – comforted all present, and they laughed mightily.

The Pharaoh then, putting on a more authoritative air than he had worn before, lent his support to The Banjoman’s assertion regarding Asgard. He was relieved the conversation had turned away from the topic of Cronos . “Your reckoning rings true, Lord of Limbo. I will know for certain when I speak to Loki, but I suspect you are entirely correct.”

Admiral Farlore seemed more at ease with The Banjoman now and his sense of humour returned. “Is it also safe to assume then, that Asgard will not serve as an ally either? Or is there yet more information I require before I return to forming strategies of my own?”

“After our involvement in the Battle of Hades, it is a safe bet that while Asgard is not out enemy, they are also no friend of Mars.” The Pharaoh slapped Kip on the shoulder as he said it and the son of Sanctuary blushed with pride. “No, our list of allies is thin indeed. Even Heliopolis, I have been told by Ra himself, will not risk the perception of partiality during their millennia as the seat of the celestial Necropolis.”

Kip Kilroy shuddered at the mention of Heliopolis, seat of te Celestial Necropolis that presided over fair and balanced conduct of the soul trade, and enforced the Binary Proclamation and he recalled the recent, secret dealings he and the Banjoman had conducted with magistrate Anubis.  Kip looked hard at The Banjoman then. It was his turn to fear the Lord of Limbo’s unpredictable nature, and he felt a pang of guilt for having appealed to Anubis’s suspicion of Lucifer as Anuket’s murderer.

“And Heaven,” the Pharaoh threw in, “will certainly, as usual, sit another one out upon their bloated mountain of souls — taking no risks, offering no aid, losing no face, and gloating from a safe-distance about their moral superiority.”

“If there be war then,” Farlore now seemed more convinced than he had been before that the preparations the Pharaoh had asked for had been justified. “Then it seems the diplomats of Mars have their work cut out for them. I can do my best Pharaoh, but we cannot stand alone against the combined forces of Olympus and the United Hells.”

The Pharaoh put his hand on the shoulder of his Admiral and his friend. “I have shared all I can old friend, but I assure you, I will find us the friends we need.”

The Banjoman knew of what the Pharaoh spoke. And he knew that Garuk Motankhamun IV would be doing much more than merely talking with Loki, for there would soon be another jailbreak at Olympus Mons. This time though, The Banjoman would not be involved.

No. The Lord of Limbo had another task to undertake. One he assigned to himself.

Good cheer burst from The Banjoman then, “And rest easy, Cavendish Farlore, for you count The Banjoman of Limbo as sympathetic to your cause and history is rife with worlds that have both risen and fallen by way of the banjo at the end of this arm!” Then as quickly as he had brought the Admiral to good cheer with his proclamation of loyalty, he terrified him once again, for the purple of Limbo flared to a living blaze that surged beyond the limits of his eyes and his countenance assumed a truly fearsome aspect. “I will deliver what I can unto the fray when the time comes from where only one such as I may go.”

Admiral Farlore actually stepped backwards in spite of himself.

Everyone there knew not to question The Banjoman on this, and this time even Kip did not dare discount his demeanour as melodrama. For when the lord of the middle way, and a reader of time, has chosen a path to set himself upon, it is reasonable to assume that his choice is in the interest of the balance of all things.

Then, to the shock and great concern of Pharaoh Motankhamun and Admiral Farlore, Kip stepped forward unflinchingly and put his hand on The Banjoman’s shoulder and looked directly into those fearsome, flaming, purple eyes in the way only men who have faced death together can.

“Go then friend. I speak for the others here when I say that our honour and our humour will be lessened by your absence, but I possess wisdom enough to know when to trust yours. All I ask is that you and the grand Lady Nexusa take good care in your travels, for I surmise you now venture to realms where the sanity of most cannot be sustained.

“You have guessed then that I venture edgeward,” The Banjoman said. Instantly his eyes became kind and inviting. The men who had only a moment before been so fearful were suddenly overtaken by a gleeful sense of peacefulness.

“I hesitate even to utter the names of the places I go to now, for I fear the impact of even the mention of them upon your minds.” He looked kindly at the Pharaoh and Admiral. “No offence meant,” he said with a smile. “Fine minds, no question, but fragile on the whole, nonetheless.”

Kilroy laughed. “Yes, old friend! Your thoughtfulness is appreciated, for doubtless, the fate of all minds in reality now rely on the effectiveness and lucidity of those gathered here.”

The Banjoman lowered his head and looked up from under his flaming red brows. “And that of the boy we have taken to calling Andy as well.” There was an ominous edge to his tone. Kilroy, echoed it, in another uncharacteristic display of concern. “Aye, Banjoman, and that of the boy.” There was quiet then and the four seemed content to let it stand.

It was the Pharaoh who broke the silence. “Jasco will convince the boy, I have no doubt. She is persuasive in her way – and trustworthy. If the lad has character, which I think he does.”

The Banjoman turned to the Pharaoh and said, “Andy has character, Pharaoh. This I no know – but I also know that times of pain can challenge a man’s character, especially in youth. Our faith is with the reaper then – and if there’s one thing we all know in the end, isn’t it that chance favours the Fey?”

The Lord of Limbo turned, and looking directly again into Kip Kilroy’s eyes said, “She will get Andy to Atlantis.” He said it as though no others were there. “I have no doubt.” And this comforted the Lord of the Sea of Tears greatly.

Then Kip Kilroy and the Banjoman embraced fully and heartily. The Pharaoh beamed with pride that his ward had won such personal loyalty from one of the most powerful beings in all existence.

Stepping back and looking excitedly at his friend, Kip barked heartily, “And all the gods help Punta Epsilon when this war is won…”

… for we rabble will return to drink it to rubble!” was the Banjoman’s enthusiastic, nigh on deafening, response,

Then, the Lord of Limbo tipped his worn bowler hat and leapt effortlessly onto the back of The Lady Nexusa, greatest of the legendary warmoles of Limbo. With a gentle nudge of his heals and a slap of the reins against her massive rippling shoulders, he urged her over the railing of the Ramses IX where her mighty foreclaws tore open a tunnel in spacetime.

Together, the three remaining men marveled for a moment at the departure of that strange and mighty pair before a sadness set in, for they knew that there was to be yet another parting of ways.

“I make haste then for Atlantis gentlemen,” though my thoughts be with Jasco and her trials now.” Suddenly, the Pharaoh, consumed with guilt again, for he had also hidden arrangements made with Jasco of Fey from his adopted son, grabbed Kip in a crushing hug. He loathed all the necessary duplicity, and had come to hate the burdens of authority, for he loved his adopted son and despised the need to deceive him.

Thrusting Kip out like a ragdoll, the Pharaoh gripped him by the shoulders at arms length. “As always we are blessed to have the sympathies of the daughters of Venus. No mean feat considering who this lad is to them.”

“All the more reason I must beg your leave so urgently, for I must prepare that realm for his return.” Kipling said it confidently, but they both knew that, though Atlantis was the place Ancaster Crowley must go, there were more than few reasons he would not be welcome there.

“King Gary, Admiral Farlore, Atlantis awaits.” And, with a bow to his liege, and a salute to his commander, the one history would record as the steward of the sole sorcerer of Sanctuary, departed to his dreamship, the legendary Lady Anuket, to set sail upon the Sea of Tears for the Venusian enclave of Atlantis – where a fateful friendship would set in stone a dark destiny.

To be continued in Chapter 21

Read Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga from the beginning

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From Soviet Space Cadet to Slavic Sorcerer: The Dark Apprentice of Nina Yaga

Chapter 19

“The childish go after outward pleasures and fall into the net of death spread wide.”

~ The Vedas

The two souls that shared the robot body of Tin Prince Twain often manifested in this way. By entering into a meditative state they could separate from the amalgam consciousness they became in their waking life and for a time converse as the two distinct consciousnesses they had been in their lives on Earth.

Despite the infinite environments available to the powerful imaginations of two souls who had experienced extensive inter-stellar and inter-planar travel, they typically conducted these meetings in quaint environs. Alistair Crowley was fond of mountain climbing. Mark Twain was an avid surfer.

Today, thanks to the artistic lucidity of the writer from America and the meditative focus of the occult master from England, they reclined in warm sand against long boards jammed into a beach in Hawaii.

“This Pinocchio Complex of yours does not justify the destruction you have wrought.” The one who went by the pen name Twain took a long pull on a bottle of ice-cold American beer. “Besides, your obsession is somewhat counter to your general philosophy. Is it not?”

Aleister Crowley, whose soul had manifested for this conversation in the robot mind the men shared as a raven-haired version of himself in his early twenties, smiled condescendingly at his roommate. He was genuinely grateful for Twain’s splendid imagination and knack for visualization, but his high morality and naïveté were excruciating to entertain for the one whose open-mindedness had resulted in him coming to be known as the beast.

“Means to ends, junior. My ends – in this now immortal form – simply being to recover the sensual pleasures of true flesh… the sensations of true eyes. You miss it too.” He raised his beer and pointed it at Twain. “You know I do us both a service in this endeavour. My will, our will, is merely to experience that which we have lost in the winning of immortality.” He smiled at Twain, who wore a tanned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, boyishly handsome form. As usual, for kicks, Crowley put a sinister edge on his smile. He lived for eliciting a reaction. Twain glared at him and simply finished his beer. He knew he would not win this argument and that they were set firmly on their course, whether he liked it or not.

Generally, the two souls shared a mystical worldview. In their years on Earth, in separate bodies, each of them had shown open and unapologetic disdain for their respective societies’ inclinations to hyper-reductionist delineation of reality. Government, religion, cultural values – even notions like race, gender and nation – had been abhorrent to both of them, and both had made names for themselves as fierce social critics in their professional careers.

This shared perspective: this notion of the world as a single, organic, dynamic, indivisible system that was at odds with the popular, pervasive mechanical, building block misconception of reality was their common ground. It was the means by which they could overcome just enough of their other differences. It was the bond that transcended their otherwise remarkable incompatibility as souls that could functionally co-inhabit the same corporeal body.

Twain’s mysticism had developed as a compulsion to art that found expression and satisfaction in the inner realm of his own imagination, which he communicated in-turn through writing to the inner realms of others.

Crowley’s mysticism became the will to self-actualize through the sort of extreme sensory and physical stimulation in the outer, material realm that became possible when consciousness transcended the false, arbitrary and ultimately limiting delineations and restrictions of culture, society, morality, and law.

Unified by a penchant for mystical awareness, the two souls that shared the robot form notorious across all reality were estranged in the means by which each undertook to manifest that awareness as action.

In their lives on Earth, both men saw all things as connected and so had undertaken to bring no harm to other beings. But, in having succeeded in his lust for immortality, Crowley increasing regarded the material body – at least one in the possession of another – as less important than the soul. Over time, as his access to true sorcery beyond The Rim expanded his power and perspective, he came to regard corporeal life as impertinent in relation to the longer journey of the soul. Who should live and who should die? So long as it wasn’t him, why did this matter? How could he possibly judge the relative value of the lives of other beings? Why should he bother? Indeed, if liberating souls from their bodies would served his needs, was he not providing mutual benefit by facilitating the transmigration of a soul to its next life? After he had come to inhabit the Atlantean robot body constructed for him by Tesla, after he had achieved immortality, he had come to see himself as having emerged from a chrysalis – of having shed the last of the naïve morality imposed by the limitations of mortal thought. The biological imperative to covet and protect life in general no longer applied to Tin Prince Twain.

Situations change, consciousness evolves, and perspectives that inform the will to self-actualization transcend their former limitations.

In his new, immortal mind, which was of course to him the mind of a god, he had come to see the lives of the mere mortals he had left behind as inconsequential.

Mark Twain, suffice it to say, had both deeply resented, and consistently expressed powerful opposition to this sentiment. It was the primary point of contention between the two souls. But subconsciously, unbeknownst even to himself, Twain also longed for the return of the sensations of the flesh that Crowley so strategically sought. Though he was dismayed by Crowley’ means, he was not  (at least below the surface) really all that opposed to the ends they might achieve. This buried compliance with that which he outwardly despised clawed at the dreamer’s mind from its depths.

It could be said that though Crowley’s lusts and passions were many and excessive, they were completely under the discipline of his will, but that while Twain’s lusts and passions were fewer and more demure, like most good men, they were not sufficiently acknowledged and so evaded the adequate regulation of his intentions.

One brought dark discipline, the other whimsy and light. One brought primal hunger, the other principled restraint.

And so, Tin Prince Twain it was whispered –by those few who knew him well – was not so much a menace forged of steel as he was a menace forged of irony.

“Back to work then?” Twain hurled the beer bottle into the air toward the ocean. After over a century in here with one he thought an arrogant, unrepentant anarchist, he knew better than to argue. He would have to remain satisfied with policing the situation, biding his time, and assessing opportunities to keep the beast in check by whatever means he could muster.

“That’s the spirit!” Crowley said, imbuing the words with a sarcastic edge that would let Twain know he would never cease being suspicious of him.

The beach, the young, athletic bodies, and indeed the greater part of the sensation of being two distinct entities receded from both of them then. Once again the two mystics, one a skeptical and compassionate dreamer and the other a hopeful and pragmatic anarchist, became a jumbled amalgam of both souls. Retaining something of the best, and something of the worst, of each, it was as though they melded together to form a third entity: a whole greater than the sum of its parts: the sorcerer known, revered and feared the length, width and depth of the cosmos as Tin Prince Twain.

As the meditative state that had enabled the inner conversation between the two souls receded, the robot’s vision came into the room.

Decorated in the style of the court of Russian emperor, Peter the First, the expansive space would have been impressive to most eyes. To one who knew it was in fact a convoluted pocket of spacetime that twisted and turned again and again in upon itself to reside within a demure wooden hut roughly one hundredth the size of its inner dimensions, it was miraculous. That the hut travelled as directed by the will of its owner upon the enormous legs of an eagle, was just the proverbial icing on the cake.

The hut, which was a legendary artifact of the fearsome Yaga coven of witches, was the property of the young coven matron, Nina Yaga, who now stood in the centre of the room instructing Andrei Rasputin in the finer points of Tai-Chi.

Tin Prince Twain marvelled at the skill the boy had attained in such a short time. Appealing to Andrei’s nationalist inclinations by using Russian occult traditions as the gateway to his training had been the right choice. He was also sure that Nina’s remarkable beauty and grace, so at odds with the fearsome crones the Yaga coven was known for, had also played no small part in assuring Andrei’s passion for his studies.

The two flowed through their Tai-Chi sequence in perfect unison. During her time on Sanctuary, where she had met Aleister Crowley, Nina had been a dancer in the Kirov ballet. Her feminine lines were complemented perfectly by the magical unitard she wore. Crafted from a fabric that had been given to Tin Prince Twain by the Heliopolitan goddess Nuit, it conveyed the wearer’s form as a window into the void. Irrespective of more immediate angles and lighting, the material somehow presented the nebulous starscape of the depth of space directly behind the person wearing it.

Andrei’s inherent athleticism, and the focus and discipline he had learned as a deep space cadet of the United Soviet Socialist Stellar Republic, had made him a quick study of the ancient Chinese art of efficiently perceiving, process and addressing reality. The Tin Prince was fascinated to see that, even in the short few hours he had been meditating, the prodigal apprentice’s aetheric field had blossomed.

“Comrade Twain, welcome back. We are just finishing.” Nina’s smile was genuine for she held the Tin Prince in high esteem. He had shared many secrets of the arts of sorcery with her in her days as a young initiate.

The robot smiled at her use of the word comrade. She had agreed with him that exploiting their apprentice’s powerful loyalties to ethnicity, patriotism and ideology were a good tactic. She also understood the irony – and the dangers to the boy’s sanity – of constructing an otherwise un-delineated mystical perspective upon such rigidly defined foundations. Though both she and the Tin Prince knew this approach, which expedited the effectiveness of his learning, would likely destroy Andrei’s mind in the end, both were apathetic. He was a tool to be used and she knew she would be well rewarded for success.

As they finished their closing sequence, she turned to Andrei and tenderly touched his cheek. He blushed immediately – and deeply.

“Once again you have performed exceptionally,” Her voice was intoxication incarnate and her acumen impressed the Tin Prince such that he felt a mixture sympathy and envy for the boy. “Retire to the meadow, Raspberry. I will join you their shortly, after I report to our master. He will be so proud of your progress.”

Then, Andrei turned and quickly bowed to the robot. “With your leave, Master.” The Prince could see the excitement on his face and knew he would be anxious to return to the fertile beauty of the plains of Lada, which lay outside the eagle-legged hut of Nina Yaga. And he knew that much more than the subtle pleasures of wildflowers awaited him there, for the promiscuous Rati, disguised in the innocent beauty of the Slavic goddess (and likely a number of her assistants as well) would know very well how to sate the appetites of a teenage Earth boy.

In that moment, the envy the Prince felt for what the boy would experience touched the edge of outright hatred until the discipline of his mind transformed this jealousy into determination: the commitment to being a being of flesh once again.

With a flurry of hand gestures and vocalizations, Andrei disappeared with a pop as air rushed into the vacuum he left behind. The Prince was impressed that he had generated enough personal aether to expend it so casually, for he knew he had no souls to power such a spell.

Tin Prince Twain, stood up then and walked toward Nina. In that mysterious way of his he wore an expression of approval on his metal face.

“He is a miracle! I have never seen such aptitude in a male of any species before!” Nina said it with her typical exuberance and she jumped up easily and threw her arms around the enormous robot. “Personal company excluded, of course.” She added with feigned seriousness.

“You do the esteemed legacy of your coven great service Madame Yaga. Your knowledge, your patience, and your charms have achieved more than we could have dreamed possible in a remarkably short span of time.”

He took a moment then to appreciate fully the witch’s grace and beauty. No doubt her student had been a completely enthralled and enthusiastic audience.

“I cannot take all the credit.” She smiled suggestively at the robot with two souls. “Rati’s machinations as Sister Lada have certainly kept him in the blissful state required for me to ply my craft.

Nina was referring to her efforts to dilate Andrei’s perception of the passage of time using the hallmark of the Yaga coven’s sorcery: an aptitude for contorting the relationship between consciousness and spactime.

Provided Andrei was in a state of contentment, Nina Yaga’s spellcraft could create a circumstance in which passage of time would seem to move more rapidly in his direct vicinity – but appeared to flow at the normal, seemingly slower, rate around him.

The result of this trick of temporal perception had been that Andrei had learned years worth of sorcerous material in mere months.

Their plan for his apprenticeship had been mapped out meticulously. Nina would expedite Andrei’s training with here unique magic, and the lustful Rati, goddess of sensuality, disguised as the Slavic, Lada, Lady of Flowers, would keep the him in the state of bliss that made the Yaga time dilation possible.

The golden-haired, elfin Yada was the perfect vehicle to appeal to the young Soviet idealist’s character. Like Isthtar, Eostre, and countless others celestial avatars of the essence of springtime, Lada, the Slavic embodiement of fertility and rebirth, would not only appeal to Andrei’s nationalistic sensibilities, she also represented a freshness and innocence that would appeal to aspirations he undoubtedly now entertained of a destiny as the benevolent emperor of a cosmic communist utopia.

“He is deliciously innocent!” Nina said it in a way that made the Tin Prince pity the boy – but not for long. A mischievous grin came upon his face.

Cupping her face gently, remarkably so for a machine of such size and power, and looking into her eyes. “I cannot even be sure what the word innocence means coming from one such as you.”

Playfully, she shoved him away and they both laughed.

“You pig!” Nina feigned anger. “You know the plan! I am the forbidden fruit! The true love! No, no, no – I am the carrot always out of reach.”

“Of course,” said the Tin Prince. It is plain to see that he adores you. You are the grand interest, while Rati provides for other, baser, inclinations.”

“Indeed! Nina said. It is a joy to observe. He shows incredible discipline and restraint. Any other Earther of his age and experience confronted with Rati’s sensuality cloaked in Lada’s beauty and tenderness would have gone mad with lust by now.”

“I do imagine he preserves himself in that regard for one who holds his deeper affectations” The Tin Prince looked at Nina not at all expecting her to blush and was rewarded with the eye roll he expected.

“But of course!” she said, clasping her hands over her heart in a mocking gesture and looking up at him from under fluttering eyelashes.

“May we observe him?” The robot asked.

“Naughty as always, Old Crow! eh?” Of course. “But be prepared to be disappointed. He will be studying at the moment.”

With the graceful wave of her elegant dancer’s hand Nina opened a slice in the air before her. It was as though her fingernail had opened spacetime itself. Tin Prince Twain stepped up beside her and as the slit widened he saw a beautiful meadow on the other side. The sky consisted of an almost perfect balance of perfect white cumulus summer clouds and the radiant blue of mid-day sky.

Andrei leaned against a brightly coloured purple and silver toadstool about the size of a post box. An incredibly beautiful woman, roughly his age, lay with her head in his lap looking up at him adoringly. Indeed, there were beautiful women everywhere – young men too. All of them were about the same age, save one.

With daisies, periwinkles and buttercups all through her glistening pale golden hair, an older woman lay on her side, completely naked with her head propped on one arm. She too looked up with admiration at young Andrei. The Secret Doctrine by Helena Blavatsky floated above and in front of her and was opened so that Andrei could read it. The boy, surprisingly in the presence of so much glorious beauty, was completely enthralled by what he was reading.

The Tin Prince knew the naked woman on the ground was Rati and not Lada, for in her eyes he saw much more than the innocence the boy would have seen.

The robot smiled widely, and Nina, knowing she had pleased one she respected greatly, allowed herself to blush with satisfaction at what she had achieved for him.

In the adolescent ecstasy brought on in the company of Lada and her handmaidens, not to mention the constant attentions of the bewitching Nina Yaga, the teenage boy had hovered near the point of pure sensual bliss just shy of release for the past few weeks. In this state, the Yaga time dilation had facilitated his learning at a remarkable rate and his aether had grown to the point where he could cast simple spells without needing to employ soul energy.

All this time, his socialist ideology, his egalitarian sense of justice, and his notion of national pride and moral certainty were nurtured as well. For Aleister Crowley knew that none are more driven and dangerous than those who believe their agenda is virtuous.

Under the ceaseless press and caress of divine flesh, the distinction between physical self and other would was falling away; in the melody of words both of pleasing tone and profound meaning, categories and labels were evaporating while wisdom deepened; and as the beauty of nature personified in the temptations of lustful Rati and wrapped deceitfully in the innocence of Lada eroded, the constructed distinction between self and nature eroded with it.

An so, amid the roses and dandelions, in a divine, all-embracing spring perfect for the adolescence of both body and mind, Andrei had grown in sorcerous power.

The robot smiled at the synchronicity of it all. Lada – Spring and rebirth – the perfect matron to preside over the rebirth of Andrei Rasputin as sorcerer-emperor of all reality and the unwitting tool by which Tin Prince Twain would acquire the Glass Grimoire: the sole means by which he reclaim his form of flesh.

Looking upon him now, attired to appear as the Ancaster Crowley of this world in an Asia concert shirt and torn, worn blue jeans, the part of the Tin Prince that was Aleister Crowley wondered if Andrei Rasputin had already surpassed the skills of his doppleganger from this universe and he beamed with pride at what he had wrought in so little time.

The part of the robot that was Samuel Clemens was having different thoughts altogether.

Recalling something he had written in the years before he had come to share this body with Aleister Crowley, he looked upon the weapon Crowley was forging to deliver them from their artificial form and he was forced to admit that, though he despised it completely, he agreed with Crowley’s plan.

For he suspected that the power of the Glass Grimoire in the hands of young Andrei Rasputin, which could remake them as a being of flesh and bone again, might also be power enough to separate them into two distinct beings.

And though he knew he would do almost anything to part ways with the soul of Aleister Crowley, he also knew too well the dark havoc they must soon unleash to accomplish this.

The thought of it filled him with remorse – and were he any more now than just an imprisoned aspect of the mind of a robot, the man once called Mark Twain would have blushed with the shame of it.

Read. Rock. Roll. Repeat.

Glass Grimoire: The Andy Crowley Saga

A journey beyond space and mind awaits!

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Built by Tesla for the Souls of Crowley & Twain: Forged of Steel & Irony

Preview of Chapter 19

Generally, the two souls shared a mystical worldview. In their years on Earth, in separate bodies, each of them had shown open and unapologetic disdain for their respective societies’ inclinations to hyper-reductionist delineation of reality. Government, religion, cultural values – even notions like race, gender and nation – had been abhorrent to both of them, and both had made names for themselves as fierce social critics in their professional careers.

This shared perspective: this notion of the world as a single, organic, dynamic, indivisible system that was at odds with the popular, pervasive mechanical, building block misconception of reality was their common ground. It was the means by which they could overcome just enough of their other differences. It was the bond that transcended their otherwise remarkable incompatibility as souls that could functionally co-inhabit the same corporeal body.

But if their mystical perspective was the foundation upon which their kinship was built, disagreement about how such a perspective should be interpreted, and so should inform personal action, was in perpetuity, a source of animus that threatened to tear that kinship asunder.

Twain’s mysticism had developed as a compulsion to art that found expression and satisfaction in the inner realm of his own imagination, which he communicated in-turn through writing to the inner realms of others.

Crowley’s mysticism became the will to self-actualize through the sort of extreme sensory and physical stimulation in the outer, material realm that became possible when consciousness transcended the false, arbitrary and ultimately limiting delineations and restrictions of culture, society, morality, and law.

Unified by a penchant for mystical awareness, the two souls that shared the robot form notorious across all reality were estranged in the means by which each undertook to manifest that awareness as action.

In their lives on Earth, both men saw all things as connected and so had undertaken to bring no harm to other beings. But, in having succeeded in his lust for immortality, Crowley increasing regarded the material body – at least one in the possession of another – as less important than the soul. Over time, as his access to true sorcery beyond The Rim expanded his power and perspective, he came to regard corporeal life as impertinent in relation to the longer journey of the soul. Who should live and who should die? So long as it wasn’t him, why did this matter? How could he possibly judge the relative value of the lives of other beings? Why should he bother? Indeed, if liberating souls from their bodies would served his needs, was he not providing mutual benefit by facilitating the transmigration of a soul to its next life? After he had come to inhabit the Atlantean robot body constructed for him by Tesla, after he had achieved immortality, he had come to see himself as having emerged from a chrysalis – of having shed the last of thr naïve morality imposed by the limitations of mortal thought. The biological imperative to covet and protect life in general no longer applied to Tin Prince Twain.

Situations change, consciousness evolves, and perspectives that inform the will to self-actualization transcend their former limitations.

In his new, immortal mind, which was of course to him the mind of a god, he had come to see the lives of the mere mortals he had left behind as inconsequential.

Mark Twain, suffice it to say, had both deeply resented, and consistently expressed powerful opposition to this sentiment. It was the primary point of contention between the two souls. But subconsciously, unbeknownst even to himself, Twain also longed for the return of the sensations of the flesh that Crowley so strategically sought. Though he was dismayed be Crowley’ means, he was not  (at least below the surface) really all that opposed to the ends they might achieve. This buried compliance with that which he outwardly despised clawed at the dreamer’s mind from its depths.

It could be said that though Crowley’s lusts and passions were many and excessive, they were completely under the discipline of his will, but that while Twain’s lusts and passions were fewer and more demure, like most good men, they were not sufficiently acknowledged and so evaded the adequate regulation of his intentions.

One brought dark discipline, the other whimsy and light. One brought primal hunger, the other principled restraint.

And so, Tin Prince Twain it was whispered –by those few who knew him well – was not so much a menace forged of steel as he was a menace forged of irony.

Read. Rock. Roll. Repeat.

Glass Grimoire: The Andy Crowley Saga

A journey beyond space and mind awaits!

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An Ontological Space Opera

Literally Beyond Belief

 

Born to Rock. Driven to Roll. Doomed to Rule.

In 1984, Andy Crowley was as much about D&D and rock and roll as he was about sorcery. Peculiar passions for one, who – in thirty years – would rule all reality.

From Corbyville to the United Hells, through the secret Venusian enclave of Atlantis to the capital of the First Martian Solar Dynasty, join Andy Crowley, sole sorcerer of Sanctuary; Kipling Kilroy, swashbuckling freebooter of Stygian Olympus; the banshee Jasco, renegade reaper of the soul-trading house of Fey; and The Banjoman, Lord of Limbo, as they race for the most feared relic in all reality – The Glass Grimoire.

But of course, it’s all easier said than done.

In the robot body built for him by Nikola Tesla using stolen Atlantean schematics, Aleister Crowley (no relation), now called the Tin Prince, wants The Grimoire as well; and though feared and admired throughout the multiverse for his superiority with both sword and spell, he has problems of his own. For how much simpler would immortality be if he didn’t have to share his perfect new body with the nagging soul of Mark Twain, be hunted mercilessly by the ghost of Harry Houdini, or rely on the almost limitless supply of spell-fueling souls available to that dandified do-gooder – Lucifer?

Beyond Earth, across the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim, and into the wider, wilder cosmos, where probability is but a plaything of sorcerers, there is a saying…

“…Somewhere in the multiverse, everything is a true story.”

Continue to Prologue

Insights, inspiration, and discussion are encouraged and appreciated in the comments below each chapter.

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We are that which is breathing;

not that which is breathed into being.

I often think about this as a way to conceive of meditation in the mystical sense.

The breath is the thing — the prime mover. The meat that forms around it and generates the electrical impulses that form sensation, thoughts, and the construct of self, are mere by-products of the breath, which is a function of a kind of will exterior to consciousness.

I have found that this thought experiment (or it it, perhaps, a fundamental truth of existence?) helps facilitate achievement of the meditative state.

Read Glass Grimoire: The Andy Crowley Saga

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Nation, Race, & Reality: Liberation is an Eraser, & Imprisonment — a Pen

Meditation, Mindfulness, & Mysticism

Let’s be brief because this isn’t hard at all.

Wisdom, enlightenment, salvation, or whatever you choose to call it, is the opposite of labeling, line-drawing, or wall-building. In other words, the constructs we think in (mostly because they are fed to us) are the impediments that prevent us from seeing what is really there.

Every line you draw, every label you impose, every wall you build, and every construct you accept or conceive of to explain the world is IMAGINARY and without intrinsic meaning in-and-of-itself: a concocted convenience that is also a blemish on a reality that does not require it.

The more lines you draw, the more tangled up in the mess of artificial reality your likewise constructed notion of self becomes.

arbol_de_la_vida_yin_yang_con_el_efecto_de_madera_pegatina_redonda-r73cacf6193ee4c61a0136bc7101874e2_v9wth_8byvr_324
Meditation — the process of transcending our inclination to revere the concepts we conceive of to describe reality over the reality they describe — is the means by which we find our way to grace.

Likewise, reductionism, by way of nonsensical notions like nation, and fabrications like race are bricks in a road that put distance between consciousness and truth.

Upward and onward is an eraser. Downward and backward is a pen.

Please Read and share Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga

Of Time, Ares, & Warmoles of Limbo

Chapter 15

The Banjoman stroked the panting warmole’s snout.

“You have endured much here. Rest now before you make your way back.” His voice was gentle and his gratitude genuine. Nexusa, who was roughly twice the size of an Earth elephant was utterly spent.

The Banjoman had chosen her for her strength, for female warmoles were larger and mightier than males, but she was accustomed to tunneling through subspace, not matter, and the strange flux-prob weakforce at play here had taken a toll on the ancient creature.

The Lord of Limbo felt sadness that she now suffered so, but he knew she would recover. He had not chosen her solely for her powerful physicality. She was the oldest of her kind, and her wisdom and familiarity with unusual regions of spacetime had helped her cope with the strange nature of reality here – on the razor’s edge between the sorcerous multiverse and the magicless serenity of Sanctuary.

The warmole mustered a smile for The Banjoman.

“There will be no need to pluck me a lullaby, my Lord,” she said. “I already smell the lilac of the realm of sleep – though I fret some about what awaits me there in the strangeness of this place. It is to you now to complete the task.”

Her gentle, slow voice was quieter in The Banjoman’s head than it had been and it took him great effort to hear it now, this far from the coreshaft, this close to the surface.

“Of course, my lady. We will be home soon. I know this place is uncomfortable for you. Rest now and when you can, make your way back to the barge at the coreshaft. We will meet you there.” The Banjoman thought about how she would begin the slow, labourious squirm backward when she awoke, for there was no room in the freshly dug tunnel for her to turn around. Lovingly, he touched the plastic faceplate of his teal and gold, nemes-shaped martian space helm against her snout.

She was already asleep.

The Banjoman smiled for he understood that the dreams she would enjoy here, within the Rim, would be more vivid than she was used to, and he resolved to remember the satisfied smile on her sleeping face in that moment.

Then he turned around to face the wall of rock before him and un-shouldered his banjo. Still, even here, residual fluxprob weakforce from the coreshaft radiated to him from the long dead realization engines in the Martian core. He knew not for how much longer this would be the case, but for now, the strange energy – which had been called alchemy by the Martian imagineers of old — flowed through him into the legendary banjo crafted for him by the dwarven smiths of Huran-Tor.

And with an intense gratitude for the ceaseless tunneling Nexusa had undertaken for the last three days welling up in his chest, The Lord of Limbo swung his banjo mightily into the blood-red Martian bedrock.

Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

~ Sun Tzu

Lucifer’s Yacht, Prince of Light
Port of Plutonia
Hades Prime
1984 AD SR

The muscular, shirtless djinn accepted a cigarette from the surfer-dude-looking demon who shifted about nervously and seemed embarrassed about having his arm in a sling. Smiling wide and hoping he hadn’t made too much of a show of his muscled, tattooed physique as he took the cigarette, he flipped the long braided top-knot that sprouted from his otherwise shaved head over his shoulder and leaned casually against the door to the yacht’s main lounge.

Named Zepar, he was of the tribe Marid, the most powerful of the djinn clans. Beyond his remarkable physical and magical prowess, he possessed prodigal understanding of the mechanics of sound: a useful specialty for the top security agent in the Olympian empire: the one responsible for the safety of the Imperial family.

Right now, while he was chit-chatting with this demon – who had somehow recently broken his arm – he was listening through the door as though it were not even there.

“There is no way Leraje can know for sure it was Cormac Kilroy’s sun pistol,” said Ares as he appeared to be paying the minimum possible amount of attention to the meeting. It was obvious he was hearing music some sort in his head, which bobbed loose on his neck while his fingers tapped the tabletop he imagined to be a keyboard.

“Of course you are right. There is no way to be certain.” As a seasoned diplomat, the Prince of Light had no problem masking his annoyance at the Olympian’s nonchalance. “But we do have substantiated intelligence that Arawn’s rogue reaper had been associating with Cormac Kilroy. So it is possible.”

“Kilroy is a free agent.” Unlike Lucifer, Ares did not hide his annoyance at someone ‘jammin’ his groove’ as he put it. But with Ares, who was typically so even-tempered and easygoing, even when he was annoyed, he conveyed a pleasant, soothing vibe.

In addition to his long-held fascination with piano (and more recently with pop synthesizer composition) the one who had been worshipped as a god of war had recently taken up The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. The painter’s gentle, laid back worldview jived perfectly with Ares’ reformed take on life. In Bob Ross, also a former military man, Ares had found a kindred spirit – even something of a mentor. The Olympian had even assumed the painter’s teased-out perm.

“I will inquire with Admiral Charon as to Kilroy’s whereabouts of late. He doesn’t like him, so I know he will have kept tabs on him.” Ares clasped his powerful hands together now. He glanced at the banana daiquiri, which sat in front of him untouched, before looking under his eyebrows at Lucifer. As he leaned in, his incredible Olympian arms appeared as though they might explode from the seams of his legendary trucker jacket, which would have been a tragedy, for it was crafted from highly coveted, genuine Sanctuarian denim and exquisitely weathered.

“Why the interest in this banshee? So what if she is friends with Kilroy? Everyone is friends with Kilroy!” The softness of his voice and his gentle demeanor were in direct contrast to his imposing physicality.

“What is going on Lou? If you are looking for Olympus to be involved in something, you had better be right up-front about things.” A light of excitement shot into his red eyes then and he leaned back and resumed his keyboard composition on the tabletop again. This did not break his train of thought and he continued talking while he plaid.

“You know I don’t care about your annexation of Hades. It has been nothing but good for me. You know I don’t care about your annexation of Fey. Its subjects are certainly better off under you than they were under twelve-point buck here.” He shot a rare look of disdain at Arawn, whom, as usual was intoxicated in some way or another and only half-heartedly acknowledged the insult.

“Everyone knows that since the Gorilla thing, my father prefers to keep a low profile, which makes me the de Facto emperor of Olympus. I just want peace, man. But I will not lose any more ground for the empire. Hades was as far as you I could let you go. I would hate to think you are getting greedy.” He paused for effect and allowed some heat to come into his unnerving Olympian eyes.

“Prince of Light as liberator, I can take. Prince of Light as despot… He shook his head side to side as a smile came to his face.

“… I will break.”

If Lucifer was intimidated, he showed no sign of it.

“Of all people, I think you know me Ares. It is about the arts for me. It is about beauty and expression – and freedom. I have helped Arawn see this. Hades wouldn’t see it so I had no choice but to do what I did.”

Ares’ face darkened. It was no secret that he had hated his uncle, whom he saw for the tyrant he was. But while he secretly enjoyed the regime change, he also disapproved of the death and destruction that had been wrought there. He had also not expected that the murder of his uncle at the hand of his old personal rival Tyr would be part of Lucifer’s plan.

“And let’s be honest,” Lucifer continued, “you and I are on the same page as to your other father’s priorities.” He was referring of course to Zeus’s fervent commitment to the manifest destiny of Olympus. In recent millennia, cultural and economic belligerence had replaced military aggression in the exercise of Olympian hegemony, but either way, Ares, ever the pacifist, ever the champion of free will, found his father’s arrogance, nationalism, cruelty, bigotry, and lust for power distasteful.

Zeus’s self-imposed isolation as a result of what they called Hera’s gorilla gambit, had not only put Ares functionally in charge of the Olympian empire, it had given him an opportunity to soften the edges of Olympian foreign policy.

In the elite circles of this corner of the multiverse, some had even speculated that Hera’s play on Zeus’s legendary ego, by demanding that he remain in Gorilla form and thereby in a state of perpetual humiliation, was in no small part a result of her feelings for the newer, softer Ares – and her sympathies with his politics.

“Our mutual distaste for my brother’s shortcomings as a leader are not a license for you to assume his traits Lucifer! I don’t know how to say this nicely, man, so I’ll just say it. Remember your place. Don’t try my patience. I don’t like some of the company you keep.” He jerked his head sideways in the direction of Arawn.

Ares didn’t say it but he was suspicious of Lucifer’s motives. Why so much interest in one of Arawn’s reapers-gone-renegade? Why the interest in Cormac Kip Kilroy, servant of the Stygian Navy and friend of Olympus – but also a ward of Mars? And if Mars was involved, chances are Heliopolis was involved.

There was also the matter of rumours circulating regarding Lucifer’s recent humiliation at the hands of the Lord of Limbo. Normally this would just have been considered a matter of business gossip – except for the fact that, in his briefing for this meeting in Hades Prime, Ares had been told by Director of Olympian Intelligence, Torus Phi, that The Banjoman, who never meets with anyone, had recently gone on a drunken rampage through Punta Epsilon with none other than Cormac Kipling Kilroy.

Lucifer was up to something – and apparently Mars, and possibly Heliopolis were up to something too. That typically neutral and impartial Limbo was also involved was altogether perplexing and Ares made a guarded assumption that if Mars and Limbo were involved, then all of this had something to do with Sanctuary. And finally, if Sanctuary was involved, that in-turn suggested worst-case scenario: the Pentarchy was involved.

Most of the time the former god of war, was a reasonable enough guy. But at this precise moment, he wasn’t down with being kept in the dark on something as big as what this was shaping up to be.

“Don’t make me remind you how much you don’t like some of the circles I travel in.” It was a reference to the fact that Ares was one of only a very few beings in all reality who had once been to the palace of Yod, the inner court of Heaven as an emissary on Zeus’s behalf. He had accompanied Prometheus at the ratifying of the Eden Proclamation. Rumour had it he had made a positive impression on the invisible man and woman in the invisible castle atop the invisible stairs. But there is no possible way of knowing if this was indeed true.

Uncharacteristically, Lucifer bristled at this. The Banjoman, and even merely the mention of Heaven were possibly the only two things that got to him.

He struggled to reconcile the fellowship he and Ares found in their commitment to free will with the favourable light in which the Olympian was apparently held by those he thought to be the worst tyrants in the multiverse.

“You know too well what I want.” Ares said. “I want peace.” He paused. “I didn’t necessarily get that in Hades did I, Lou?”

Even when he was being stern, Ares made you want to give him a hug, thought the Prince of Light. It was infuriating.

“Admittedly, I underestimated the propensity for barbarity of our Asgardian friends in that situation.” Lucifer appeared to mean it. But Ares smiled as though he knew otherwise.

“Tread lightly, Lucifer. You believe that to be true now. But, even with Tyr in your pocket on the inside, you knew exactly what Loki and Hela would do. This is your power and your curse my friend. I have never known you to lie to anyone other than yourself – it is how you so easily make everything you say come off as the truth.”

You need to be more grateful that I – and therefore the collective power of the Olympian empire – holds you in higher esteem than most.”

The Olympian took off his exquisite jean jacket then and hung it over the back of his chair. He was wearing a Black T-Shirt emblazoned with the album cover of The Guess Who’s American Woman. The Olympian’s powerful aetheric presence filled the room. Suddenly there was the palpable fear, agony and grief of billions of fallen souls over millions of years.

“This is why antlers here is going to leave right now…” There was no menace in Ares’ voice whatsoever, which only intensified the feeling of raw terror in the room.

Before Ares had even finished his sentence, the door to the room had opened and the djinn Zepar was standing inside it in all his blue-grey shirtless menace. Gracefully, trying not to make too much of a show of his rippling physique, he gestured in a way that indicated the way out of the room using the hand that wasn’t leaning on an enormous, gleaming scimitar.

Arawn, even when he was drunk, knew the limits of his skills. Some survive because they are combatants; others because they are cowards. Even he knew he was the latter.

Then Ares, who had picked up the banana daiquiri he had not touched until just then, walked over to Lucifer’s bar, just he had done so many time before. After rummaging about, he removed the little sword from the maraschino and banana slices in his drink and replaced it with a cocktail umbrella.

“Detachment is forgiveness. Salvation is enlightenment. All is seen as one when no harm is done. When no harm is done all is seen as one.” He repeated this in his head three times and the inclination to simply kill everyone in the room receded completely.

When he looked up he saw that Arawn, who had not said a word the entire time, was bowing and backing out the door.

Then, after a pause of a length that was altogether disconcerting to Lucifer, the only person left in the room, Ares finally finished his sentence in his softest, kindest tone.

“… and you – if you want me to ask favours of Admiral Charon – are going to tell me exactly what is going on.”

Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga

Within a Grimoire of Glass,

a Saga, a Spell, an Age of Mysticism

Part 40s sci-fi radio serial, part 70s pulp fantasy novella, and part every cosmic prog-rock album cover ever, what is written here is intended first and foremost as far-flung fantasy fun.

Brought forth to the best of my ability with the time I have available to me in the oppressive world order I abhor, it is basically a first draft — but I am a writer by trade, so I think it is not a bad first draft. Please indulge me further on this point.

Beyond the notion that the Internet begs for an Info-Age reimagining of the serial novel medium of Dickens and Twain, I feel the web also empowers a reader with unprecedented opportunity to provide feedback that enriches the tale being told for the writer and other readers alike.

To this end, the comment section under each chapter is wide open and I encourage readers to share their interpretations, insights and inspiration. I do this not only so I can incorporate readers’ perspectives and wisdom into revisions and into the story as it unfolds, but also so that readers can augment the story for other readers with complementary information available elsewhere on the web.

Ultimately, though fun is the priority, I also envisioned this undertaking as an esoteric, occult, spiritual treatise for the age that follows the collapse of Western hyper-reductionist ego-construct-driven consumerism. Think of it as Mysticism 101 trojan-horsed in as a Saturday morning cartoon.

And so, I need readers not only to participate, but also to spread the word! As this happens, the tale can only get better and better; and by better and better, I don’t mean merely more entertaining — but also more enlightening.

As this experiment becomes a growing, living document, I believe that just maybe a new sort of sorcery will have emerged upon the plane of our every day waking lives.

Perhaps a kind of long, meandering, collaborative spell is being woven right here…

… within this glass grimoire!

Weave your way into Glass Grimoire: the Andy Crowley Saga

2016: A Painful End to Outside-In Identity

A New Age of Mysticism Ushered in by a Jester-King

Again, with the ticks of the hands of the nonsense of clocks, we mark the delusion that time is something other than a functionally idealized contrivance of consciousness.

As we do this, another contrivance of our hyper-delineated consumption-driven-growth reality — the  Internet meme of the moment — bids good riddance to 2016, AKA the worst year ever.

I beg to differ.

Though on the surface, I agree that 2016 delivered a lot of unwelcome news, I prefer to think of it as the final pangs of childbirth. For change is afoot. Massive change. And as they say, eggs must be broken for omelettes to be had.

Is it possible that, in the surreal probability flux of this present historical moment, under the looming prospect of a jester-king, everything has come into question at a crossroads in the evolution of human consciousness?

What if, in some collective critical mass quantum mechanical eye of the storm, all bets are off now? What if the clay is softer and more pliable than it’s ever been?

What if enough of us have decided we’ve grown weary of defining ourselves through the acquisition of trinkets and accolades just as we have also suddenly come into possession of unprecedented access to knowledge and understanding of the mystical nature of reality and the truth of the shared unity and divinity inherent in all that exists? 

As we shift from a perspective that views consciousness not as a means by which we procure the accoutrements of identity from an arbitrarily delineated reality outside of ourselves, but rather as a means by which we come to understand that the self-construct is a delusion that isolates us from the grace of the one, indivisible reality transcending within and without, and each and other, there is bound to be distress in the system.

What if the turmoil of this moment is a culture-quake of a magnitude never before seen in human history? What if this moment is a collective shift in consciousness that now simply sees us taking out the trash? What if now is the pus of a healing wound or the reflexive wailing of a newborn afraid of a light it does not yet comprehend as the beauty of a new world?

What if the nerve-ending you read this on — that interfaces your nervous system with all the other nervous systems via the global nervous system that is the Internet — is awakening the possibility of our return to an Eden, which although forgotten has not been lost?

It is my hope that as we turn a corner; that as the wheat separates from the chaff; that as the new that has gotten old falls away and a new that is older than all there has ever been is again revealed, each of us can come to know now with growing certainty that we are not alone in seeing this happening.

Maybe in 2017 the transition that now rocks the core of all we thought we knew and believed will take hold in earnest; and as ancient, whispered-about answers that have always been available within become validated to us by the world without, we will find our way back, beyond race, religion, country, politics, money, branding, fashion, and all the nonsensical masks, costumes and contrivances we have confused with who we are.

In 2016, I endeavoured in earnest to say goodbye to the hyper-reductionist consumption driven growth control matrix and hello to a new age of mysticism.

And it is my belief that sufficient wisdom has already taken root for us to now know that it is precisely because it looks like rain, that we should all finally come out and play!

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Meditating Away the Confusion between Surviving and ‘Arriving’

 Hunter Reprogrammed: Rabbit to Rolex

In previous posts this year I have spoken a lot about the notion that our society’s tendency toward hyper-reductionist reality, which takes us away from the truth and grace of the mystical unity of things, is a construct that serves an agenda. Namely, an agenda to fuel consumption-driven economic growth (and a heaping side-order of compliant obedience and indentured servitude).

The result of this agenda and the reductionist reality it employs has been the psycho-social evolution of the notion of the distinct self and the enterprise of, what I like to call identity-construction becoming the raison d’être of modern life and good citizenry

Revisiting this diagram yet again reminds us that our obsession with who we will be, and who we have been is a function of our fervent almost single-minded obsession with cultivation and augmentation of the self-construct: or as I have called it before — the coats of paint upon coats of paint (country, religion, race, alma mater, job, political party affiliation, preferred sports team franchises, brand of car you drive, brand of phone you use, types of books you read, types of music you listen to, bla, blas, and bla — and also, bla).

consciousness3

Humans now spend almost every waking minute of their day and every modicum of conscious thought in the process of procuring identity.

As I — in accordance with my social contractual obligations at this time of year — found myself Christmas shopping recently, I explored a notion.

For hundreds of thousands of years, we were hunters. Always on the lookout, not just for game — but for more game than we needed, for we were also intelligent enough to know that bad things happen and one could never know when food might end up in short supply. We were always trying to be ahead of the curve: a few bashed rabbits ahead of potential starvation.

It is likely that this inclination to be a one step ahead of god only knows what’s gonna go down today persists in our psychology, and as I circled the mall on a quest for the most just right useless thing, I began to wonder if this wasn’t exactly the instinct that is exploited in the modern age.

Have you ever had the feeling that shopping, not grocery shopping, but shit-you-don’t-really-need shopping, feels a lot like what hunting might feel like?

And so this lead to another thought.

Rather than hunting for food to survive, we now hunt for items we think will enhance how favourably others will perceive us. We are hunting for accessories and accoutrements that will raise out standing. We want to be ‘in’,’hip’, ‘phat’, ‘cool’. And even if we are in debt to our eyeballs — putting our ability to eat and therefore survive in question — we hunger for others to view us as successful.

Our instinct to hunt to survive has been reprogrammed into a hunt to ‘arrive’.

But this is problematic, for survival is a thing that is possible. Arrival (as in the getting there — wherever or whatever ‘there’ is) is not. It is an entirely arbitrary concept. A perpetually receding phantasm forever beyond our reach.

Further, where the instinct to hunt for food was necessary — the instinct to hunt for just the right hair product or the phone that is one version more recent than your workplace nemesis’s phone, is not.

But in the hunt for the next cool fashion accessory, degree, car, watch, or haircut that will demonstrate our having ‘arrived’, we put even our very survival in jeopardy. And even if we aren’t starving to death because of our financial commitment to cool, it is still a safe bet that — as study after study has shown —  our happiness is suffering. This is because, unlike the full belly that comes from chomping on the bashed-in rabbit, there is no identifiable endgame in the hunt for the thing, title, or idea that will finally, unequivocally make your specific self-construct cooler, richer, or more awesome than everyone else’s specific self-construct. Indeed, the only rewards for our effort are momentary respite in a never-ending sense of inadequacy that perpetually requires just one ‘last’ acquisition or accomplishment to put us over the top.

To my point.

Because the delusional obsession with identity-construction is derived from the same instinct that for millennia drove our inclination to acquire the means for survival, it is a deeply rooted function that is difficult to overcome.

But it should be overcome. Indeed, in a world where we can now fairly easily acquire the items we need to survive, it seems logical that undermining the hijacked hunt instinct that drives the trinket-and-bauble quest of futility just may be the key to finding lasting happiness.

But how would one sever a deep-rooted instinct that has somehow been re-directed from an unrelated and futile purpose?

You know the answer to that as well as I do.

It is not a coincidence that meditation, which reveals the ultimate falsehood of the self-construct, has been proposed and practiced for generations by exactly the same groups of people who suggest that the hunt for satisfaction by way of riches and status and approval is ultimately an exercise in futility.

The way to disconnect the instinct to hunt for survival from the delusion of the hunt for ‘arrival’ is through meditation.

To cease to exist to oneself, is to become a window into grace.

And with that…

… Have a Happy New Year, unless you’ve made other plans.

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Seasons Greetings SNEAK PEAK: Chapter 13 — Part 2 BEGINS!

CHAPTER 13

 

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

~ John Milton

 Of Gygax Emanation and Extra-Planar Manifestation of RPG Entities

Conceived by Earth sorcerer, Andy Crowley following his defeat of the demiurge, Bolth the Beholder, the phenomenon known as Gygax Emanation (named for Earther, Gary Gygax, creator of the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons) theorizes that creatures and entities detailed in Earther role playing games manifest on other planes of existence as a direct result of being conceived of in the minds of players of these games. The phenomenon, if true, is noteworthy because it contradicts the common knowledge that access by consciousness to probability fields within the peculiar region of spacetime known as Sanctuary is impossible.

Crowley’s theory postulates that the intense, lucid mental activity that occurs in the minds of role-playing game players enters the probability vortices and, because probability manipulation by consciousness is not possible within the event horizon of Sanctuary Rim, results in delta quanta being shunted outward across the moebius bridge onto other planes of existence as manifested entities.

The theory further proposes that mental conception related to these games results in extra-planar manifestation while other human conceptions (such as religious, literary and pop culture figures) do not due to the presence of the unique electromagnetic, gravitational, and aetheric field properties generated by the specific geometry of the dice used in these types of games.

Credence is lent to this argument by the fact that the geometric properties of these dice – three-dimensional, regular, convex polyhedrons with congruent regular polygonal faces and the same number of faces meeting at each vertex – are identical to those presented by the Earth philosopher, Pythagoras, and popularized by the philosopher, Plato, as the Platonic solids: the fundamental geometric structures of three-dimensional spacetime.

There is also speculation that the resultant field mechanics from the interaction of the specific electromagnetic and aetheric fields generated by the intensity of a player’s fixation on the future outcome of the dice roll and the flux-prob field vacuum resulting from the roll itself is a contributing factor.

Should the Gygax Emanation theory hold true it would support the hypothesis that, although the ability of consciousness to manipulate delta quanta within the probability vortices inside Sanctuary Rim remains impossible, sufficiently vivid visualizations that occur within minds of entities in the presence of material components modeling the geometry of the Platonic solids may actually manifest substantially on other planes of reality.

Sanctuary
Corbyvillle
1984

Andy pressed his tongue hard against his teeth in the right side of his mouth and was relieved to feel nothing loose there. The taste of blood wasn’t going to mean dental work. Good. No ridiculous mother lecture.

The mischievous grin the others had come to fear split his filthy face as he pushed himself up from the cleat-tortured grass and mud, tossed the ball to the referee and jogged back to the pack.

It had been about a thirty-meter run before they took him down – and he had let them do it. He knew he could score every time he touched the ball but he didn’t want to hurt anyone, and he thought it a reasonable exercise of humility to restrict the outside limits of his newfound athletic celebrity.

Despite not having cast a spell or trained in the high-grav, slow-time extra-dimensional, pocket octagon for over three months, he had retained a relative degree of speed, agility, strength and stamina that still dwarfed his schoolmates.

Momentarily, his thoughts turned again to his promise to never again cast a spell or leave his native plane of existence. His home.

Looking up to the grass embankment that sloped down to the pitch, he saw Lori and Shani clapping while Deb, more restrained and showing the appropriate amount of concern due a girlfriend who had just seen her boyfriend dragged to the turf by three Trenton gorillas, simply waved.

His thoughts turned to his plans for Saturday night.

Not even a week after he had forsaken the sorcerer’s path, he had asked Deb on a date. How could he not? Protecting her from his secret life had been the only reason he had not already done what everyone knew was supposed to happen. They had always been together. They would always be together. And on Saturday he was going to watch Flash Gordon with her again, listen to some Doors and Rush, and finally, after all these long years – he was going to make their relationship official, though he was still working out what that actually entailed.

As he smiled and nodded to the girls while he jogged back to the pack, Andy felt an incredible happiness: a sense of wholeness that was, while not mystical, still divine in some way that was new to him – and maybe always would be.

Habitually he snuck a quick look down at his hand where he held a purple translucent, icosahedron, the twenty-sided platonic solid from sacred geometry that was associated with the element of water.

The side with an engraved 20 filled with the wax of a gold crayon faced him.

Perfection.

“As above, so below,” he thought and smiled again. Then he bent low and locked into the scrum in the flanker position.

And though he relished this moment in the new life he had chosen for himself, he crushed the purple 20-sided die into his fist with a ferocity that had become his way of forgetting what had happened; his way of forgetting Jasco; of forgetting that he was a coward; of forgetting that demon, that day on the astral plane, and all the reasons he had quit sorcery forever.

Parallel Multiverse
USSSR KE-Bridge Station Gagarin
Proxima Centauri system
Orbit of Stalin Prime
1984 AD SR

“Rasputin!” The teacher roared, slapping his pointer against his desk.

The boy’s head, which had been on a slumbering trajectory that would have terminated upon his desktop, snapped up so hard he worried for a moment he may have hurt his neck.

“Commander,” he blurted. The laughter of the other cadets filled the room.

“My apologies Andrei,” The Commander said. “I have tried and tried and tried to make re-entry mechanics more enticing.” He smiled and parted his thick Comrade-Stalin moustache. He was a kind man. Andrei was not afraid of him.

“Perhaps you should sleepwalk over to sickbay lad. You have not been yourself. I’d like the doctor to see what’s up with you.”

“Aye sir.” Andrei stood up, collected his books and made for the door. The room had now fallen silent to watch him leave.

At the door he turned quickly and said. “Sorry sir”.

“It’s okay, Andrei. Get the doc to sort you out.”

In the corridor, a plasteel tube that connected the outer ring of USSSR station Gagarin, to the main hub, Andrei Rasputin eyes darted anxiously here-and-there out into space looking for him: the fascinating clockwork entity that looked like a pirate: the metal man in space with the soothing, velvet voice and spectacular stories.

Angel? Demon? Alien? God? The young man’s sharp, curious, scientific mind had run the variables and had settled upon delusion.

Soviet Imperial Stellar Navy Cadet, Andrei Rasputin was 14-years-old, and though something of a star pupil, he had been reduced to something of a nervous wreck in the last 48-hours. Indeed, he was genuinely concerned he was going insane. Though some part of him believed.

In his dreams of the last few nights, Twain, as the machine had called itself, had conveyed a stunning understanding of the Empire’s mission of hope, justice and equality. It seemed to want to genuinely help further the glorious stellar destiny of the hammer, sickle and stars.

“Those destined for greatness always suspect they are unbalanced at your age, Andrei.”

The voice was speaking to him now – for the first time in his waking mind. Somehow it was more lucid. More comforting. More real. His fear that he had gone mad was immediately gone and was replaced with something else altogether.

“You question your sanity because you have been conditioned to believe that all notions are generated by stimulus originating from outside the mind, from beyond the self – but this is not true. All great men are explorers of the realms within as well as those without. And you Andrei Rasputin are to be a great man.”

Andrei’s darting eyes fixed now outside the plasteel of the corridor upon the one called Twain. Sheathed in a lime-green glow, the machine-man floated in space. It wore a billowing white blouse, doeskin breaches and high leather boots that looked almost like Red Army officer formal dress issue. A massive sword hung at his side. On his head there was a floppy wide-rimmed hat with massive blood-red plume issuing from a wide black band.

The glowing amber slits of eyes, which through mysterious means were somehow capable of expressing kindness, beckoned to him. There was a smile in them – and a promise.

Why hadn’t the proximity alerts gone off? How was this possible? The metal man had come to him for three nights now, talking at length about empire, and destiny – and how he was to be the greatest leader the United Soviet Socialist Stellar Republic would ever know. But now – he was sure – the metal man was not in his dream. He was really here speaking to him in his mind, telepathically Andrei presumed. He had read enough science fiction and he was imaginative and open-minded enough.

“In the same way the founders of the republic brought all of humanity together and took them to stars, you will unite the peoples of yet undiscovered worlds and unite all in the prosperity of the motherland.”

Then, Andrei felt a rush of ambition for he sensed truth in the robot’s words. His panic ceased and the clockwork gears placed in his mind through the dreams of the last few nights clicked into place, meshed together, and began to turn.

Suddenly, he knew his place in history. Like Genghis Khan, Alexander, Stalin, he would conquer and in conquering bring prosperity. How had it taken him so long to see his place in the world.

He felt the hair on his skin stand on end and a snap of momentary cold. Then, inexplicably he was floating in space, face-to-face with the man of metal. And he was not afraid. Somehow he was warm. Somehow he could breathe.

“I have come to facilitate the future of the empire,” said Tin Prince Twain. His voice was comforting and paternal. It appealed to the boy who had never known his parents.”

“How am I breathing?” he managed to say through his excitement. His elation.

“You have only just begun to understand the things you can do.” The Tin Prince put his hands on the young soviet space cadet’s shoulders. “It is my destiny to show you your potential.”

The plasteel corridor, where Andrei had stood just moments before, was now filled with cosmonauts brandishing Kalashnikov atom-scramblers. They pointed and yelled at the two figures floating in space. Andrei’s clever mind quickly surmised that the implosion of air rushing in to fill the vacuum created when his mass was transferred out of the space station must have set off an alarm. The thought of the claxons blaring all because of him only accentuated his excitement.

Andrei Rasputin in this moment felt more important than he had ever felt in his life.

The Tin Prince smiled at him, but the smile was not for the boy.

He smiled because he knew his plan had worked; and because it had been so simple.

The boy’s young, untrained and accessible mind had given him everything he needed to use against him. The Earth history in this universe was the history of communist triumph.

The Red Army’s seizure of the German war machine in the first days of World War II; the subsequent communist uprisings and annexation of Europe; the invention of the Kurchatov-Einstein Bridge generator and resultant 1948 stable moon wormhole; the Yellowstone eruption and fall of America: and the 1977 mission to Alpha Centauri and colonization of Stalin Prime, the first human interstellar settlement: all of it lead to this moment and this boy. The coincidence of the surname of the Andy Crowley of this universe was not lost on Tin Prince.

“Rasputin,”  he chuckled at the familiar name. A perfect moniker for the sorcerer he would use to acquire the Glass Grimoire, and would rise to rule his native universe, the Prince’s universe, and indeed, in time, all of reality by way of the truest, purest, deepest form of communism imaginable.

How fortunate, he thought, that the discovery of wormhole generation and sub-space travel had driven the space exploration of this Earth. They had little to no interest in what they thought to be the lifeless worlds of their own solar system and had gone directly to travelling to the stars. It amused him to think of the Pentarchy and that used-car salesman Pharaoh of Mars trying to remain hidden from these Earthers!

It would only be a matter of time before these discovered that magic was possible out here beyond the Rim.

He stopped the conjecture and reminded himself he did not know if there was a Pentarchy here; or a Martian merchant empire; or even a Sanctuary; or that it had the same border in this multiverse. Was there a Binary Proclamation? What if it’s rules extended outward with these human colonies? A discomfort began to set in as he realized he was contending with too many unknowns. Suddenly he just wanted to be home.

The brash, adventurous Aleister Crowley part of him had worked a sorcerous miracle in getting here and getting exactly what he needed. Maybe all rather too easily he felt at this moment. Now, the Sam Clemens part of him was exerting its propensity for reason, caution and restraint. It was time to go.

Before returning to business, the robot from the universe next door indulged in one last moment of self-congratulations.

As a master of persuasion, he had known that the ultimate carrot for consciousness was happiness, and that happiness was won, not as most people assume, with wealth, or pleasures of the body, or even status and respect. True, lasting happiness is the product of one thing: meaning.

And over the last three days he had presented this lonely, curious, orphan space cadet with the prospect of a grander, nobler life of meaning than any Earth human in history (the history of this multiverse at least) had ever conceived of.

Then with a gesture and an utterance in Latin into the soundless vacuum of space, there was the twinkling of a bottled soul traversing spacetime followed by a flash and swirl of eldritch green.

And as the terrified cosmonauts of the Soviet Socialist Stellar Republic KE-Bridge Station Gagarin looked on in horror, the Victorian clockwork sorcerer and their young comrade – now a would-be ruler of a communist empire in the stars – simply ceased to be where they had been.

To be continued in Chapter 14
Friday January, 13, 2017
7:00 PM EST

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