It all started with a dry patch, an ink-black dark patch. This voyage of sorts, this peregrination. Such a minute gesture before all the wandering: the laying down of the pen, the thirsty pulp soaking itself in blackness. So much of a desert, of solar clarity and potentialities that need not be erased, but stained and scribbled.
Whenever whimsical storm winds brush the trees, the asphalt wakes up with an assortment of organic trinkets and jewels of various kinds. Today I picked up a beautiful moss covered chip of wood, still humid from the midnight showers, the velvety shades of silver and green flashing in all their glory under the morning sun.
(WAND.10) Chance meetings the day the dead are invited to walk the earth. Apparitions, almost, ghosts I swear I’ve seen before. Or is this but a projection, my soul dressed up in pale green velvet stained with bleach — dewdrop tokens from the everyday? I doubt and say no. A mirage hardly ever presents itself ornamented with such minuscule details.
On my hopeless chase —for I am the hunter and the hunted, or, should I admit my condition of a master shadow chaser?— I lost myself in the woods, the deepest and darkest were no light dares to enter, hence rendering my proficiencies ineffective.
Yet this shadow of mine has a shape. Catching but a glimpse of her, the female stag in all her hierogamic glory I became spellbound, ending up in this delightfully wretched condition.
Dare you to follow this silent road, the underbrush of words closing behind as there is no hope but to be lured ahead by the broken sentences of my aimless wandering.
This spellwork requires pigeon feathers. The city where I live is full of them, they build nest next to nest on the tree right outside my bedroom window. Sometimes they wake me up in the morning, sometimes it´s my alarm what does the waking. And they do complain as well.
When I walk around the neighborhood I always scan the ground for their feathers. They are fairly easy to find. Every now and then I´m lucky and find feathers from other species, my favorite ones being Carancho´s (Caracara plancus) or Chimango´s (Milvago chimango). Sometimes I find dead birds. Sometimes I even stumble upon feathers belonging to birds from a Macumba (an offering or a Trabajo (spellwork) generally made of dead animals, red candles, popcorn, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and tons of red paper) from the local magical tradition called Umbanda. I do not pick those out of respect, although I know that eventually I´ll end up doing some experiments as well. This curious mind of mine that loves to mix and intertwine.
But back to the objects: How to carry a message if not by using a messenger´s feather? I write down whatever I feel like pigeon posting on my notebook/grimoire and then tear it, so I end up with a thin strip of paper. Using a cable tie —my all time favorite binding tool— I strap it to a small branch together with one of the collected feathers. Now it´s all ready to fly and go up the Tree carrying these humble scribblings, a letter to the skies.
Down on earth there are stops, spots, places in the city where the perched messages wait for the right moment. Places I like, I love and carefully choose. I leave the objects there with the sweet sadness born out of the understanding that we just need to let go. I utter a prayer of sorts: “Do fly away, let chance, death and rain and falcons take you. Go since you are homesick, and long to be undone and awakened”.
Then intersubjective reality speeds back up and I keep on living. The day after they may still be there if no storm claimed their integrity overnight. But if they are gone, really gone and nowhere around to be found, I then close my eyes and in silence imagine a shadow self, a similar soul walking my footsteps and picking it up.
Although I did my homework, doodled around, wrote down all the stuff including instructions, commands, destruction procedure —the whole MSDS Safety Data Sheet— and even took the time to hunt insects in order to feed some of my servitors, I felt as if something was missing, or the whole thing could be done in a more personal and meaningful way.
Thing is, I like doing things. It’s the artist in me. I need something to touch, look at, smell, lick, break and rearrange. It dawned on me that weird things could happen if I approached my artistic assemblages from the Servitor perspective (or if you like to put it the other way around, my servitor creation from an artistic point of view).
Objects being the canvases upon which we place our projections, I thought it would be possible to use that psychic energy to strengthen our servitors by establishing a relationship between the object and the thought-form.
Roughly speaking, it would mean making a physical body for the servitors. Think about the material substrate as a kind of springboard for the psychic component: by careful selection and combination of different objects according to their symbolic charge —basically what they mean to us, how they resonate with and in our psyche— a servitor can be given meaning and intention and even ways of interacting with it.
1C4rus was my first servitor with a shell. I won’t bore you with the details and symbolism of the different parts —symbolic stuff being extremely personal and what for me makes perfect sense nobody else would understand— I want to share a couple of things:
Since I gave 1C4rus an USB plug, for activation and/or charge I only need to plug it somewhere, like my computer here.
As for servitor termination or destruction, well, since they now have a material body it makes things a lot easier: Just destroy the shell either by burning, crushing, smashing or —and here comes the interesting part— you can tear it apart, saving the different components for other stuff, new servitors or even merging different servitors for extra oomph.
Finally I would like to quote a section of Plotinus’ Enneads called “The Problems of the Soul”:
“I think that those ancient sages, who sought to secure the presence of divine beings by the erection of shrines and statues, showed insight into the nature of the All. They perceived that, though this soul is everywhere tractable, it’s presence will be secured all the more readily when an appropriate receptacle is elaborated, a place especially capable of receiving some portion or phase of it, something reproducing it, or representing it and serving like a mirror to catch an image of it.”
The symbolic charge is a fine and hard as shit to find spectrum in the energy of things —science declaring that it is dead matter, inert and not radioactive doesn’t mean that’s all there is. For that sake we don’t even dare trying to explain something as obvious —and also that makes ´doing science´ possible— as the feeling of Being Here (wherever that may be).
Yet when we stumble upon it, it slaps us on the face. Gently. Poking us to answer the question: What do you choose to Believe? How would you write it down in the Book of your Life?