Went to see this last weekend. This is a last-minute blog - there is only a week and a bit left to see this exhibition, so I won't be writing much. Check out http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/exhibitions/2015gys/index.shtml
There are so many rich things about the work on display. One of Gysin's hallmarks is Arabic-style calligraphy, done in hot desert colours, glimpses into a shadow-realm between words and pictures, a realm of magic.
Another of his techniques is used to create the large pictures, painted with a carved paint-roller, forming cityscapes, dream cities. Friends Popping Out of Windows shows tiny photos of his friends, inset into the enormous structures of the world - again, the feel of magic.
Gysin never fitted in. He got thrown out of the Surrealists for being gay (Andre Breton's exploration of his unconscious mind didn't go as far as addressing homophobia), was in the seminal Lettrist group which influenced Situationism, and then became someone on the outside of the Beat literary scene. He is one of the ultimate Outsider figures in 20th Century art and culture, and his legacy is the power of the one who stands outside, looking at the world through a vision which we are only just catching up with. His work is neither obscure nor comfortable, but supremely elegant and magical, poised and luminous, outside of time. Go and see it while you still can.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
I tell this tale to point up the paradoxical gratitude mixed with mourning that is the state in which we inherit resources, and the underlying pattern in human life - that of receiving and passing on. The amount of money I received was not large, it will not enable me to retire, or to change my lifestyle significantly. But the amount does not matter in this case - even if you don't stand to inherit any money, consider what you have received from the world around you.
You live in a house. It is likely that someone else built it. That person may now be dead - you will never be able to meet and shake the hand of the person who built the home environment you live in. One day you will leave the house, and someone else will live there. Maybe it was someone's death that made room for you to move into that house. You use resources provided by the society you live in - maybe UK's National Health Service, maybe the local buses. These things were made and run by people you will ever meet, who may no longer be alive. You in turn will pass on what you have used, or at least some of it.
So we did a magical working, to tune in to all the things we have received from others, to express gratitude, and to focus on our material resources being part of a chain of temporary possession.
The emotions of inheritance are complex, and inherently somewhat dark. Passing resources on is a responsibility which some people cannot handle. One friend of mine, when his father died and he inherited a house, cashed it in and went on a bender from which he never recovered.
This is a Black aspect of Blue or Wealth Magic, a Saturnian dimension of your wealth working.
That last bit of symbolism will make sense if you are familiar with the Colours of Magic, Peter Carroll's eightfold scheme of simplified Planetary attributions. This scheme uses the colours associated with the seven planets of antiquity plus Ouranos/Octarine to classify any kind of magical working.
When we apply the Colours of Magic model to Blue magic, we get a set of attributions which are all about the different ways you can work for wealth.
Here are a few sample attributions - please note, these words are not exhaustive or final - each person should find their own resonant meanings within each Colour.
Red of Blue - enthusiasm, discipline, initiative, drive, hard work;
Orange of Blue - intelligence, communication, speed, work smarter, language, talking skilfully, planning work in more detail;
Yellow of Blue - self-image, identity, what wealth is for you;
Green of Blue - what you love. Wealth brings harmony. Desire for nice experiences/things motivates;
Blue of Blue - the whole idea of wealth for you;
Black of Blue - inherited property, endings, passing resources on;
Purple - desire. What you crave. Wealth as pleasure, passion;
Octarine - Mysteries of wealth and money, secret language of wealth. Magical attitudes, beliefs that are useful to wealth.
The point of the Wheel is that we need to work for wealth all through our lives. Each time you do a working for one aspect of wealth, say Green, if it succeeds, your life changes. The next time you approach Green magic, you will have gained something and maybe also lost something - and hopefully learned something; your approach to Green of Blue us bound to differ each time you go round the Wheel.
The wheel turns, everything changes, but with the attitude of the Wheel of Wealth you have a way of making the best of every change.
A few years ago, I ran a Wheel of Wealth course at Arcanorium College. It ran over slightly more than 8 weeks, one lesson for each working to complete the Wheel. The Wheel itself is a circular talisman, the material base for a complex and sensitive servitor.
This year, on Saturday October 3rd, I shall be running a one-day intensive workshop to work all aspects of the Blue ray and condense them in to a Wheel talisman that you will take away with you.
We will consider each of the Eight Rays of Magic in relation to your wealth, so that all the aspects of wealth in your life are covered, and we'll plan and perform a ritual for each colour.
At the end, we put them all together.
Your talisman will have eight colours and perfumes attached to it, and a servitor, tailored for your own wealth workings, which you can develop in your own work afterwards.
So what qualifies me to be running such a magical event?
In my youth, I was totally useless with money. When I left home, I calculated how much my student grant would work out to per week, and it seemed perfectly adequate. But I managed to get rid of it all within about one third of the time it was supposed to last, and I never understood what went wrong.
So Wealth was one of the last aspects of magic I got a good grip on. Which is why I wrote The Wealth Magic Workbook (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wealth-Magic-Workbook-Paradigm/dp/1481935011) - because I'd spent quite a lot of time getting to the stage where I had the resources to live as I wanted, and I was writing abut what worked for me.
Let me be perfectly clear here - my wealth magic teachings are based on my view of wealth. The important feature of wealth for me is: The resources that give me the freedom to accomplish my will. Money is ultimately incidental. In other words, I need as many resources (including money and property) as it takes for me to live at my full potential. To put it another way - for me, wealth is a condition where money is not a terribly big issue.
This is not a radically anti-acquisitiveness position, more a case of putting acquisitiveness (of money and property) in its place. Which has to be below all the really important things in life, like learning, enjoying other people and sheer moment-to-moment joy in life. All these things can and are often crippled by obsession with money and property.
If you'd like to ask about the Workshop, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .