raven queen/

©2021 Michael Raven

mor rig ana
great queen ana
tuatha dé danann
tuatha dé ana
tribe of ana
tribe of... earth

soil soul
blood and soil
fáil destiny filled
onyx stone
first kiss a raven
then fuck a crone
all the same all the same
it doesn't matter
in the end...

sovereignty
her gift alone
not my gift

blessing skill
blessing song
blessing words

my raven fyjia
her ears and eyes
and her...

ana macha nemain
my patron
queen of death
queen of life
queen of sex

death... 
now i know your 
haunting face
in the flurry of
your wings
now i know your name

sleep... sleep... sleep...

Visitation in the wood.

©2021 Michael Raven

Woad paint my face, streaks of blue, becoming ocean waves

Kohl paint my eyes, to the shadows for what they are.

Tapping the thin bones rhythm to the heartbeat earth, the mother of the clan; tapping out the rhythm of skies under the waves, we look westward with fire in our eyes. Darted with mud arrows, she stood beside me, a feast of snared rabbit finger entwined. “Eat,” she said and her cheek tasted of mud as I kissed it. The tapping of bones would linger well into the night, as the wood took up the song in the wind and coming storm — branched their own bones finger snapping in the growing breeze. Rattle, they cry, rattle the night growing strong.

I dressed while fire-build she, so sharp my knife; so strip the flesh from fur to be scraped clean. Spit and sear, fat spatter flames, the sky streak-filled with light.

“They are coming?” The words hinted at question, but it was nothing, only ritual. When I didn’t respond she grunted, knowing the answer. “They come,” she added with greasy fingers, by way of affirmation.

The wait was nothing, we still licked fat-burned callouses as they came.

“We are here,” they said.

“You are here,” I said in reply.

They sat amongst the fresh bones and feasted on the pile she and I had made. Then, they sat back, patting their bone-filled stone-speared stomachs, belched and then stood. And then they sang.

The song —

The song —


This is an experimental piece from my efforts over and the private site. It’s a continuation of my pieces that explore unconventional sentence structure (see We, Wendigo), which is related to, but separate from, my exploration with various portmanteau-likes (more word-mashups than true portmanteau) and standard portmanteaus. My reasons are largely centered around trying to create something different than the standard writing out there, mostly because I’d like to see more experimentation with language myself — these kinds of experiments, along with archaic language resurrection, use of symbolic imagery, and reimagining the structure of language away from the subject/object paradigm we are beholden to. I don’t know how successful I have been, or will be… but it is fun, so I continue to play and hope that I hit on something really cool in the future.

Digging

Let me tell you, the past few weeks have been a trip.

I’ve been digging further into esoteric stuff than I ever have before. I mean, this time really reading it instead of “reading it” (e.g., consuming, then brain dumping it to make space for other shiny intellectual objects as soon as one passes me by). It’s actually tiring as I read and reread passages to try and squeeze out the essence and slot it into one box to retain or another. My poor Kindle e-books are essentially long paragraphs of highlighted text and notes like: “this is important, bro”, then going back later in the day and reassembling the “important” stuff into something easier for my poor little walnut of a brain to retain. You know, tables, charts, diagrams instead of paragraphs. And then, like tonight forehead slapping myself when I realize I need to redo some of it because, well, there is wishful thinking and there is scholarship and, I’m sorry, footnoted scholarship is going to win the day with me over someone pattern-finding.

That’s not to say that the pattern-finding folk haven’t provided me with value, but I like my knowledge to be source-supported instead of intuitive-supported. Intuition is great and all, and I am apt to use it myself in the place of empty hands grasping for scholarship that doesn’t exist, but I like to see more than simple patterns; I like to see webs of pattern.

I won’t go on a rant here, but I’ve always found myself with a sour or ashen taste in my mouth when I read something that seems more fanciful than accurate. It’s no great secret that my OCD interests of late have been for ecstatic spiritual practices, especially those from the pre-Christian British Isles and Northern Europe. Some people call it “shamanism”, but that sounds “tinny” in my ear. I’ve used it for lack of a better word, but the Old Irish fáith seems a closer approximation to how I envision my path. Depending on the source, the word is defined as a “poet-seer”, which seems much closer to what I embrace as a path, but it still seems a bit off, so I keep looking. The word “shaman” is loaded with baggage, some of it appropriative, some of it falls back into the realm of stuff that even I won’t touch for the reason that it seems a bit on the flakey side. I dislike baggage and easy categorization (I really despise labels, for whatever reason, maybe because they seem so easily subverted and perverted).

But, because there is a lot of bad scholarship out there, not-great scholarship with some value, and “Scholarship? We don’t need no stinkin’ scholarship!” on top of the mix, I’ve gone on some wild goose chases over the past few months, some of them warranting tears and ripping out of chest hair. Luckily, I’m starting to find a rhythm on decent sources (or, at least some, ‘not-great’ sources with value) so that I can hang some flesh on my own cosmological skeleton.

Briefly —

I’m hoping my recent move to writing privately elsewhere and only posting what I feel is quality has helped clean up some of your feeds of garbage. To put it into perspective — you have been spared some ten posts of dubious quality or interest in the past two days (and I’ve been hitting the writing lightly due to my studying). And some of that which you’ve been spared is of epic length, to boot. I still haven’t decided I’ve found a rhythm in how I approach it, so I am going to continue keeping it to my unwholesome self. For instance, I found myself ranting about something that no one but myself needs to read, and it was nice to note have to rush to unpost it, as I would have had to do if I’d posted here. It had some truly mean things to say about people no one here would know and I think I only wrote it because I knew no-one else could see it. I was tired and frustrated by some stupid chapters in a book — it was going good until that book went all woo-woo in a way that the author lost a shittonne of respect from me, and I’ve read many of his earlier books over the years. I now question everything I read in the past that seemed like solid stuff at the time.

Anyway, I’ll head out and get back to my archeological digging. Hope all of you are doing well.

chant/

©2021 Michael Raven

hawthorn, hag stone
piercing mists bone
woad & wood
bark tongue, black skin
burrow painted song
eye jaundice i
pricking brier heart burr
aching dark blood heart
rent fetid muscle
burst screaming sinew

in the heavy rain
all cats are grey

For the masochists

I’ve ended up deciding, as part of the bit I alluded to yesterday that I’d go ahead, start up a private/walled off blog to write about more esoteric matters and allow myself the freedom to “…make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for… being here. Make good art.” [Neil Gaiman’s Keynote Address for University of the Arts, 2012]

Aside: I strongly encourage you to listen to his speech if you’ve not heard it before. Or, at least, read it by clicking the reference above. It’s motivating stuff of legend. Listening is better, though.

While I’ve not been one to be shy about making a fool of myself here on more than one occasion, I suspect there is some unconscious filtering going on, knowing that what I write is subject to review and criticism — even if it is choosing not to “like” a post I put out. Plus, I want to explore writing about subject matters that either are intriguing as hell, tediously boring, or frighteningly irreverent for people with strong ideas of what is the right way of going about life (in general).

Or, some people may find my volumes of experimentation bothersome. As I alluded to yesterday, it wasn’t unusual for me to post up to ten pieces a day around the holidays and the only reason I didn’t have higher counts is that I put a hard limit on my posts of that maximum. My volume comes from too many years of self-medication, followed by too many years of sanctioned medication, before I threw off the shackles of both prisons and started making up for lost time. I’ve slowed down since then, but mostly because I am digging into stuff and the writing has become and expression of my mental excavations.

As part of my hiatus of about six days, I got to thinking about both my writing and those archeological dig sites in my brain. So my plan evolved into such that I will still consider this my main blog, but I’ll take the rougher material needing a good buff and shine over to the private end and share the stuff more ready for primetime over here. Plus, none of you who come here for the creative writing will have to deal with my esoteric forays into Celtic- and Nordic- based ecstatic brainstorms.

That said, after I get into my rhythm of unfettered writing and esoterica, I’ll probably let some people “come over to the dark side” on the off-chance you were/are actually interested (or, gods forbid, find value) in those parts of my writing or thinking processes. For now, I’m keeping it private, but you can register your interest if you want below or by visiting sceaducraft.wordpress.com and requesting access. Be warned: you might be a masochist if you decide to brave such horrors as those locked behind a permission gate.

What if you have no interest in such sordid things? Well, I’m not going anywhere, but you should notice an improvement in quality as part of this process, as well as fewer “iffy” pieces cluttering up your feed (from me at least). I will probably pick the best one to three pieces of the day to post here. Aside from the volume of tripe, it shouldn’t be much different around here.

Keeping the faith, and y’all in the loop…