“The reasonable Creatures of the Earth, and Men, let them vex and weed out one another; and the dwelling-places, let them forget their Names. The work of man, and his pomp, let them be defaced. His buildings, let them become Caves for the beasts of the Field! Confound her understanding with darkness! For why? It repenteth me I made Man.”Nineteenth Enochian Key
I feel stupid, a feeling I’ve come to know very well since I started trying to talk to them. It doesn’t matter. I must accept this above all, that my mind is weak, unsuitable, fragile like a trampled flower. By now magnolias are blooming in the gardens and are already falling on the asphalt, ready to be reduced to mush. I always thought spring was terrifying. The sky compact and saturated with blue, the sun too hot and not hot enough, the explosive and parasitic proliferation of life. Pollen, spores, eggs, cocoons, shoots, all nature folded in itself in a horrible contortion. I have always aspired to understand initiation as a proof of weakness, as a manifestation of ineptitude, as the acceptance of one’s own absolute insufficiency. Slowly, it becomes a condition first welcoming, then reassuring, then pleasant in a way that is difficult to describe. Surely this is the best situation to experience the cosmological humiliation necessary to take one’s practice to the next level; the moment when one succumbs, in silence, to the danza macabra of the cosmos. Silence: the left index finger touching my parted lips. An ancient gesture, I am convinced – the oldest of all gestures; I feel it vibrating at the primitive root of my spine. Old ceremonial magic is a martial practice, where every movement is carefully weighed and every syllable trembles in the air like an arrow on the point of shooting. A luminous, exact, Pythagorean discipline that cures like a sedative any discomposed exaltation of the mind.
The creature of light has entered my body, moving my skull gently in a counterclockwise spiral, as if to soften the tendrils of my throat, tired from the incessant singing; then it slowly unlocks my jaw, until it opens wide, as if to welcome a breath of salvation. I have always been vulnerable to these forms of delicate violence; but today, perhaps, even more so. This is an intellectual study, an experiment in applied esotericism, the complementary practice of our theoretical research. We know all this well, and we have repeated it to ourselves many times; angels are the cold manifestation of a cruel symmetry, they are the light of massacre that pierces the universe. But I cannot resist their magnetism, and I surrender to the dazzle, at least for a while. I spend most of my time in the circle trying to figure out what language the angels will end up speaking to me in. Maybe it’ll be the same shattered tongue of John Dee, a growl of unpronounceable consonants. Perhaps it will be the visual and auditory hallucinations of the saints, or maybe only vague suggestions, schizophrenic images assembling in the mirror of my nerves; like the visions of Daniel Paul Schreber, the last true mystic there is memory of. Perhaps I am not up to it. No, I certainly am not. They say that on the other side of the Abyss the apocalyptic Call resounds like a glorious song of joy. I sit listening, waiting for the echo of my voice through the sky pierced with stars. The restless spectre of Betelgeuse trembles over the rooftops of the deserted city; only the distant cry of a siren in the night finally reaches me. At least I know which side I’m on.
The nightmares are starting. I expected it, it was a matter of time; the news about mass cremations and coffins exiled from their legitimate burial – an ancient, unhealed wound in our Italian memory – cut through our tired imagination as if it were butter. But more than the visions of an ascetic withdrawn from the world, my dreams are ridiculous and pulp, horror in the worst sense of the word. I have always dreamt of corpses, but now I dream of them more vividly, their dense, contaminated fluids loaded with the material fear of death; there is no room for those speculative considerations about eternal darkness that haunted my nightmares in quieter times. There are only the lifeless bodies with their infected juices, and my own living body, too similar to theirs to be considered safe. Perhaps we are returning tribal, going back to the painful root of the primitive repugnance for putrefaction that, they say, ultimately made us human. The inventor of the modern crematorium, Paolo Gorini, was from Lodi, the small town from which the Italian COVID-19 epidemic first spread. His life was dedicated to considering how bodies could transform from organic to inorganic in the least barbaric way possible. A thought that evokes remote Zoroastrian fascinations; like the Towers of Silence, where corpses were surrendered to the purifying rays of the sun and to the hungry claws of vultures, far from the rotting humidity of our Christian burials.
I asked the angels to tell me about the infection, but they remained silent, caressing my tired head like that of a feverish child. Beyond the Abyss this is just another fold disclosing gently, the geometry of another seed that germinates in spring.