All Hallow Seven

 

 

666 Skull deep orange  halloween-skull-om1
cross skull DEEPER orange  halloween-skull-alph-omega1

October 31st is a night to celebrate – to celebrate Absolute Truth.
It is a night to grasp the sinister magnitude of the predicament fallen humanity is in.
It is also a night to recall one’s childhood with truly sepulchral melancholy and nostalgia.

I have noted, in my years of this earthly pilgrimage, the degeneration of Halloween from what it was in childhood. I recall less commercial pressure to consume. There was more child-friendly fantasy when I was growing up. The culture had not yet begun to harden into a crassly consumerist rigor mortis yet – or maybe I didn’t notice that part of it so much. Am I  just idealizing a vanished past? Possibly, yes… but the push to turn Halloween into a cannibalistic slasher-film is a real phenomenon and also a discernible symptom.

I am disgusted with the spectacle of Halloween in the USA. But I hold a grudging respect for what looks like a passing victory for death and the grave every year on the last gasp of October. Which brings me to Reformation Day:

In honor of St. Martin Luther, St. John Calvin and  St. John Knox, I proclaim the ongoing triumph of the Reformation. October 31, Reformation Day, is a national day of celebration in Germany, Slovenia, Chile, and Scandinavia – and it should be here as well.

The wages of sin is death (the bitter) but the gift of God is eternal life (the sweet).


The night is still, and the frost it bites my face
I wear my silence like a mask and murmur like a ghost

Trick or Treat – Trick or Treat: the bitter and the sweet

The carefree days are distant now / I wear my memories like a shroud
I try to speak but words collapse, echoing, echoing….

Trick or Treat – Trick or Treat: the bitter and the sweet

I wander though your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes: Halloween, Halloween…

A sweet reminder in the ice-blue nursery
Of a childish murder / of hidden luster – and she cries:

Trick or Treat – Trick or Treat: the bitter and the sweet

I wander through your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes: Halloween, Halloween…

Hallows Eve Pumpkin

 

Be Acquainted with ɯɨʂɗɵɱ…

How do we make her acquaintance?
Sometimes we need someone to introduce us to her.
We all want wisdom. We all need wisdom.
The unwise do not know the extent to which they lack wisdom…

I am in love with wisdom. But she is capricious and has spurned my advances, often when I needed her the most. I think we are finally working it out (Wisdom & I), thus far into eternity; I acknowledge that she is out of my league, and in acknowledgement of this she turns my way every once in a while and allows me to glimpse her transcendent beauty.

I wish I could have more of her, but I would probably ruin the whole thing.
Come to think of it, too much wisdom almost ruined King Solomon himself…

Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

Proverbs 8:10,11 [NKJV]

 I wisdom dwell with prudence,
and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

Proverbs 8:12 [KJV]

This by way way of introduction to some upcoming posts about someone dear to my heart – a beautiful being named ɯɨʂɗɵɱ.

Notes on the original Beatles song:

The Beatles’ 1968 stay in Rishikesh was originally scheduled to last for three months. Predictably, Ringo and his wife Maureen were the first to leave, after ten days, citing the “holiday camp” atmosphere, the spiciness of the food, the excessive insects and the stifling midday temperatures. Well, it was India, after all—what exactly did they
expect, if not deathly spicy cuisin
e, mosquitos, bedbugs and inter-
minable heat? If they wanted blan
d food and cool weather, they
should have stayed in Liverpool,
awash in bangers and mash to
“fill the gap.”
Paul McCartney and Jane Asher bailed out a month later,
pleading homesickness.
John and Cynthia and George an
d Patti, however, persevered,
with John and George writing many songs which would later ap-
pear on the
White Album.
Indeed, most of the thirty-plus songs on
that disc were composed in the Maharishi’s ashram. “Dear Pru-
dence,” for one, was written for
Mia Farrow’s sister, who was so intent on spiritual advancement that it was delegated to John and George to get her to “come out to play” after her three weeks of meditative seclusion in her chalet.

from: http://www.strippingthegurus.com/ebook/books/Geoffrey%20D.%20Falk%20-%20Stripping%20the%20Gurus.pdf

All Hallow Seven

Today some reflections on All Hallows Even AKA Halloween AKA Reformation Day along with poetry by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

I also present to you my brand-new global graphics® line of festive Mark-of-the-Beast  skulls for the season. (They may be purchased as a set or separately for 30 shekels each).

October 31st is a night to celebrate —to celebrate Absolute Truth. It is a night to clearly grasp the sinister magnitude of the predicament fallen humanity is in. We are a species terrorized by  death every day – not only on the last night of October. Yet, since we are conditioned to fear and repress the reality of mortality in our sick culture, it gathers subliminal intensity only to surface in a collective psychosis and hypoglycemic spending orgy every Halloween. Consumer marketing strategies enhance and augment, in a  soulless way, this national delirium. Our vulgar seasonal spectacle is now made in China.

I have noted, in my few years of this earthly pilgrimage, a distressing degeneration of Halloween from what it was in my childhood. I recall less commercial pressure to consume – whether nutritionally worthless [pre-diabetic even] sugary treats  or morbid costumes and plastic props with murderous connotations. Halloween was less of an unrepentant death-trip then, it was less graphically gruesome.  I remember my mother helping me turn my childish costume fantasies into reality:  I was a robot, I was a bat, I was the Mummy ( I wear my memories like a shroud…) trailing Egyptian linen many autumn moons past. There was more child-friendly fantasy when I was growing up. The culture had not yet begun to harden into a crassly consumerist rigor mortis yet – or maybe I didn’t notice that part of it so much. Am I  just idealizing a vanished past? Possibly, yes… but the push to turn Halloween into a cannibalistic slasher-film is a real phenomenon and also a discernible symptom.

Strange that it is most pronounced in the decadent industrialized Western Democracies where the majority live quite comfortably.  Poorer nations that live in closer proximity to death seem to glamorize it far less,  it seems to me.

I for one am disgusted with the spectacle of Halloween in the USA. But I hold a grudging respect for what looks like a passing victory for death and the grave every year on the last gasp of October. How do I personally war against the dumbing- down/bloodying-up of Halloween here in the Land of the supposedly Free? Like all other grouchy sensible old men, I rail to my family about how it used to be. I give out treats that won’t worsen the pre-diabetic tendencies of the nation’s children. I compliment all the Princesses, Animals, Witches, Robots, Fairies, Superheros and Star Wars defenders on their costumes. I ignore the obnoxious older kids who look like Freddy Kruger or worse.  I sometimes slip a gospel tract into the child’s bag. (Yeah, that was me – go ahead, get mad…)

Which brings me to Reformation Day:

In honor of my three patron saints, St. Martin Luther, St. John Calvin and  St. John Knox (all recently canonized by His Holiness Pope Ratzinger), I want to proclaim the ongoing triumph of the Reformation. October 31, “Reformation Day“, is a national day of celebration in Germany, Slovenia, Chile, and Scandinavia – and it should be here in the US of A as well.  It is a day to thank God for the liberation of His Word from hieratic pomp and empty ritual.  It is a night to clothe yourself in liberty and consider the fall of nations along with the fall of the leaves.  It is a night to see the light of unstoppable Truth glowing in the eyes of every Jack-O-Lantern you behold. It is a night to comprehend the shining of Christ’s victory in the face of the marshaled powers of the grave. The wages of sin is death (the bitter) but the gift of God is eternal life (the sweet).

Halloween by Siouxsie and the Banshees:

The night is still, and the frost it bites my face
I wear my silence like a mask and murmur like a ghost

“Trick or Treat – Trick or Treat”
The bitter and the sweet

The carefree days are distant now
I wear my memories like a shroud
I try to speak but words collapse, echoing, echoing….

“Trick or Treat – Trick or Treat”
The bitter and the sweet

I wander though your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes
Halloween……Halloween

A sweet reminder in the ice-blue nursery
Of a childish murder – of hidden luster, and she cries:

“Trick or Treat – Trick or Treat”
The bitter and the sweet

I wander through your sadness
Gazing at you with scorpion eyes
Halloween, Halloween

Next Christmas in Jerusalem

Susan J. Dallion, AKA Siouxsie Sioux is one of my favorite musical artists.  I have great respect for her music, her band, and her art.  Their songs make me wonder whether rock music can be considered as poetry in its own right. Do lyrics hold their own when read without the music? I am the type of person who considers the words FIRST—the message, whether subliminal or explicit, is paramount.

The song Israel analyzed as text has several diverging strands of sub-text:

  • Anti-semitic Goth-Rock sensationalism (shock value)
  • The singer’s personal disenchantment with Judeo-Christian religion
  • a critique of the commercialization of Christmas
  • The founding of Israel in 1948
  • Yearning for the glory of a vanished Davidic past
  • Israel’s rejection of Christ’s new covenant

Each of these conjectures would be worth exploring but I want to simply show you the lyrics and post some meanings I have discerned in the words. The song has always conjured up for me an image from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck: the Five of Pentacles.

rider-Waite_5_Pentacles_large
Little orphans in the snow / With nowhere to call a home
Start their singing, singing
Waiting through the summertime / To thaw your hearts in wintertime
That’s why they’re singing, singing…
Waiting for a sign to turn blood into wine
The sweet taste in your mouth / Turned bitter in its glass
Israel…in Israel
Shattered fragments of the past / Meet in veins on the stained glass
Like the lifeline in your palm
Red and green reflects the scene / Of a long-forgotten dream
There were princes and there were kings
Now hidden in disguise / Cheap wrappings of lies

Keep your heart alive with a song from inside
Even though we’re all alone, we are never on our own when we’re singing
There’s a man who’s looking in, and he smiles a toothless grin
Because he’s singing, singing…
See some people shine with glee, but their song is jealousy
Their hate is clanging, maddening…
In Israel…will they sing Happy Noel?
Israel…in Israel..in Israel will they sing Happy Noel ?

The song is cryptically open-ended.  It can  be spun in any direction because it is so vague. But I love the divinatory / liturgical  imagery of these verses:

Shattered fragments of the past / Meet in veins on the stained glass
Like the lifeline in your palm

Red and green reflects the scene / Of a long forgotten dream
There were princes and there were kings…
Now hidden in disguise / cheap wrappings of lies

Keep your heart alive with a song from inside . . .

It all comes together in some kaleidoscopic way; the light shining through the stained glass, the divinatory desperation, the Christmas colors in the cheap wrappings of holiday gifts now given a deeper and richer Hebraic dimension of meaning.  There is even a possible Merovingian sub-text because she uses the Frankish word Noël for Christmas.
Yet it ends with a self-negating riddle: 

“In Israel will they sing Happy Noel ?”

The more I think I am pinning it down the more elusive it is!

I recently found some words by J.I. Packer in his book Knowing God which, for me, immediately summoned lines from this cryptic song. I have no way of knowing what Siouxsie’s original  intent was. I feel the lyrics stand on their own right as poetry. There are certainly dark possibilities in the song but I prefer to dwell on the transcendent metaphysics of the imagery. What I found in Packer’s writing [* on the subject of Divine Adoption]:

” There are no distinctions of affection in the divine family. We are all loved just as fully as Jesus is loved. It is like a fairy story – the reigning monarch adopts waifs and strays to make princes of them. But, praise God , it is not a fairy story; it is hard and solid fact, founded on the bedrock of free and sovereign grace. This, and nothing less than this, is what adoption means.”

Siouxsie and the Banshees will have to forgive me. I have read my own message into their music, but that is what great art makes us do:  search for meaning in Life.

* Packer, J.I. Knowing God. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1973, p. 216