The second in a series giving Anton’s account of the KIA retreat.
An important aspect of the retreat was in the sharing of various items we all brought to show and share with each other, such as books, cards, music, film and instruments to play with. We were doing this even before the official opening of the Baphomet rite.
Members brought with them an assortment of books. I can’t remember the names of all the books brought, so maybe my fellow attendees can fill the missing ones in the comments.
Proof copy Chemical Serpents. This was especially important for myself and Janice Duke since we have been working together on producing this book for the last couple of years, and I had just obtained the first proof copies so we could see how the text and artwork worked together for the first time. Janice also brought her sketch book to show me the original pencil drawings many of the images were based on.
Katya Bach also brought her sketchbook, and spent some of her time drawing in it to produce a rather interesting hedgehog-like troll critter. Another artist I wouldn’t mind collaborating on a book with at some future point.
Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Ben Clifford by Lon Milo DuQuette. I remember having a flick through this book, although I didn’t get a chance to read it fully, or even finish the introduction. It seemed from a quick glance to promise an amusing but informative account of the qabalah for a beginner to the subject. Whether it would compare to the Promethea comics of Alan Moore in that respect, I can’t say.
Awakening Osiris. A translation of the book of going forth by day, commonly known in English as the Egyptian book of the dead. Janice made a beautiful reading from this.
Brown Magic: a manual for Brown Owls. This surprising book proved such a useful source of magic for the weekend that it will deserve its very own write up later…
Typically we ended up with 3 sets of Thoth tarot. Could have been 4 if Lolita brought her German language edition. I also brought with me my Key to the Kingdom deck. These are not tarot, but playing cards, a so called ‘transformation’ deck, where each card is transformed into a picture, in this case imaginative illustrations by Tony Meeuwissen, each depicting a rhyme, often famous children’s nursery rhymes. I felt these appropriate for our Crowleymas retreat because in book 4 Crowley interpreted many children’s nursery rhymes in light of the esoteric mysteries they symbolised. Also I’ve found through practise that these cards add a layer of meaning to my divinations that contrast the heavily symbol laden cards of the Thoth deck to add a layer of context the reading would otherwise miss.
Another surprising deck was called, I think, the Bohemian Goth deck.
CDs and DVDs
Music and films. We had far more of these than we got the chance to watch or listen to. On Friday evening I played a compilation that started with Crowleymass (mix mix mix) by HÖH/Current 93 and continued with Gilacopter by Revolting Cocks and featuring Timothy Leary. Other CDs played included For Beginner Piano by Plone and the soundtrack to Twin Peaks.
On Saturday evening Lolita and I shared the first of many alchemical.tv films we have been working on, Subterranean Dreams. In this Nick Coughlan discusses his theories on the connections between dreams, parts of the body as ways to tune into different forms of consciousness, time, the fiction of H.P.Lovecraft and Arthur Machen, time travel, precognition and other weirdness.
On Sunday morning Lolita and I shared our meditation short film, Golden Dawn, which comprises a beautiful golden sunrise over the city of Inverness. Sunday evening we shared a variety of our short films and Lolita’s animations.
Lolita and I brought with us a selection of drums, rattles and a flute, most of which we purchased in Avebury, although one drum came from the belly dancing supplies shop in Edinburgh. These proved useful not just in ritual, but also in moments of playfulness throughout the weekend.