Archive for sympathetic magic

Voodoo Valley

Posted in Conceptual Art, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by javedbabar

Dynamic reflection was a term Sami first heard while making architectural models. It showed the way that little design changes caused related changes elsewhere. For example, a building’s cladding changing from wood to steel would affect its levels of heat and moisture, but also its visual reflectivity and life cycle sustainability. Every change had additional effects beyond the building, affecting the landscape in subtle ways.

“The first time I went to the old quarry, I had a vision,” said Sophie, visiting Sami at the Transfer Station’s 3D Unit. “It was filled with every kind of art. A host of creations poured from the place where Mother Earth was butchered. There was a need for healing.”

“Was that the inspiration for QARY?” asked Sami. Her QARY project, converting the old quarry to a multimedia venue, had been a huge success. Most seasons were sell-outs. He had invited Sophie to visit the lab to find out how she did it. Maybe some of her wisdom could be applied to Guru Baba’s charitable projects, for which he still volunteered.

Sophie said, “Do you know the Gaia Hypothesis? You don’t? It says that the earth is a self-regulating organism whose complex systems work together to maintain the conditions for life. They ensure the biosphere’s wellbeing, encouraging evolution of life forms, but acting against them when they threaten the earth’s habitability.”

“Gaia sounds like a tough mistress,” said Sami.

“So am I,” said Sophie, and then realized what she’d said. She appeared uncomfortable. “I hope that was helpful for you. I’ve got to get back to QARY to boss the crew around. We have a new show starting tomorrow.”

Sami was intrigued by Sophie’s words, particularly the notion of self-regulating systems. They were like human bodies, writ large. If that were the case they must feel both joy and pain, joy being harmonious growth and pain being destructive chaos.

Sami had an idea. He fed a map of Lucerne into the 3D printer. He fabricated a quick model which turned out pretty well. Why not model the whole valley in sections? As well as its physical aspects, he could symbolically include its spiritual aspects.

He categorized Mt Alba, the white peak above the village, and Mt Negra, the dark peak at the far end of the valley, as dynamic poles. He fed in cultural information. He didn’t know how to factor in a supreme god, but was able to include subservient spirits, responsible for various aspects of life. He scoured folk tales for forest elves, river sprites, cloud goblins, raindwarves, lightning giants, hillpixies, field witches, and cave ghosts. Their changing personalities would reflect many possibilities.

Was he tired, or was the model changing? It seemed to be shifting subtly. Trees walked, rivers changed course, clouds danced and darkened, rain stopped and started, lightning gathered and cracked, hills rolled around like bugs beneath skin, fields grew crops that were mystically reaped, and caves moaned and howled.

Were these effects extending beyond the model? Sami became scared. He deactivated the electromagnetic charges of Mt Alba and Mt Negra. Without these dual energies, providing light and shadow play, the spirits settled down.

There was now homeostasis, a stable state. Inertia. More fiddling with the earth would create imbalance and re-energize the spirits. There would then be the need for elaborate ceremonies and cure-all spells. The spirits would need soothing, and their price may be high.



Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2012 by javedbabar

Sophie loved wandering in the Botanical Garden; it was a great way to wind down after work. She knew the main path well, but there were always new side-trails appearing. She often crossed paths with this haven’s creator, The Gardener, and young crews who, he said, were studying Extreme Gardening.

She’d been upset by her argument with Danny. Last night had started well. He’d bought a cheap but surprisingly good wine; they’d cooked together, watched a movie and gone to bed. After making love, he’d brought up the subject of marriage. God knows why. Wasn’t that the girl’s job? He’d said, “Sophie, do you want to be with me forever?”

She’d said, “Let’s take it slowly, love. We’re only just getting to know each other.”

After a brief silence, he’d said, “But don’t you think that when you know, you know?”

“Well, maybe, but I don’t know yet.” That had been the end of the conversation and the start of the fight.

Sophie saw an arch in the distance, covered with red flowers. It appealed to her anger, and she walked towards it. What kind of flowers were these? Their petals seemed as if made of glass. She was afraid to touch them in case they shattered. Their red was hot, evoking power and anger, also passion and danger, and blood.

Sophie sat in the garden for a while. The sun appeared from behind dark clouds and the flowers on the arch seemed to change colour. They were now yellow, making Sophie think of summer, gold and joy, and the wheatfields of her uncle’s farm in the prairies, where she’d spent so many childhood summers. Wasn’t it amazing how colours changed your moods?

The sun continued its daily journey, now slipping beneath the tree canopy. There was a new coolness and freshness. The flowers on the arch appeared to be green. What neat shadowplay there was in this part of the garden. These strange verdant flowers cast a spell of fertility upon her filled with health and youth, and if it was too late for that, at least renewal.

The sun dipped below the horizon. Sophie realized that she’d been here from six to ten pm – four hours! She better get home; she rose to exit the garden.

The flowers on the arch now seemed blue; the colour of sea, sky and mountains, also of deep space. It was a colour that brought peace to her soul. Calm. Stability. Harmony. A colour of acceptance of the larger things in life; awareness that she was a tiny character in a vast cosmic story.

As she passed through the archway, she saw movement ahead. Danny was rushing towards her.

He said, “Where were you, babe? I’ve been looking for hours. I was worried.”

“I’ve been here,” she said.

“You missed dinner. I couldn’t get hold of you. I feared the worst.”

She looked at him with kindness. He really cared for her.

He calmed quickly and said, “For some reason I thought you might be here.”

The archway’s colours had transferred from the outer world to her inner realms. She said, “You were right. Now I know.”

Leaving Party

Posted in Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, World Myths with tags , , , , on February 25, 2012 by javedbabar

“Hey, I’m glad you could make it!” said Anna. “You’re just in time!”

“It was nice to be invited,” said Max, stepping into the third-floor apartment. “I’m sorry to hear you’re leaving. We’ve only just met really.”

“Never mind, I’m sure there will be other occasions. Just come in and make yourself at home. What can I get you?” Max saw a well-stocked bar behind her – there was beer and wine; whisky, vodka, rum, and gin; ports and sherries; some mysterious bright bottles of Mexican liquor. He also noticed many different smiling photos, likely friends.

“Just a beer to warm up, thank you,” he said. “I’ll pace myself.”

“Hey man, don’t be shy. Me casa es su casa! Here’s a cinnamon whisky – cheers!”

Max became conscious that he was the only guest present. “Am I too early?” he said. “You did say around nine didn’t you?”

“No, you’re right on time,” said Anna. “I’m not sure who else is coming tonight. I have a leaving party every week, so people don’t come every time.”

“You have a leaving party every week?” said Max. “Where do you go?”

“Well I don’t go anywhere really. But I could go. That’s the point.”

“Huh?” said Max. He wondered now if coming here was such a good idea.

Anna looked at him closely and said, “I have a medical condition. My kidney – I only have one – has reverse functionality. Instead of cleaning my body, it makes toxins which seep into all of my organs. So every week I am full of poison, and on Mondays I go to the health centre; they hook me up to their computers for checks.”

“Whoa, babe!” said Max. “That’s pretty heavy stuff.” She smiled at him broadly. “Well, I guess you’re right to celebrate… I think.” He scanned the bar again. “But what’s with all the booze? Wouldn’t it be better to cut back on that a bit?”

“I’m just like most people,” said Anna. “I do my drinking at weekends. But the difference is that I have a check up every Monday morning. Pretty responsible of me really, wouldn’t you say?” Max could only nod. “Hey, wanna help me with a jigsaw? I need to get it done by tomorrow.” He nodded again, and thought, what a strange girl I’ve met. She seemed so normal when we chatted in the library, and now its reverse-kidneys, full-bars, and urgent jigsaws.

Anna handed him a banana-rum, and led him to the dining table. Upon it was a giant goddess jigsaw, mainly completed, whose capacity was difficult to gauge. The image was of a starry woman floating in the heavens; so it had cosmic scale. However its physical size was the same as the dining table – so about human-size. The starry borders had been completed first, and pieces worked inwards from there. The outline of the goddess was finished, as were her limbs. The space within her however required completion.

“So what do you think?” said Anna. “Pretty neat puzzle, huh?” Max raised his eyebrows. “Well, shall we start?”

“Looks like you’ve done most of the hard work already,” he said. She looked at him strangely – nervously, he felt – and handed him pieces from the remaining pile. He spread them out; they all seemed approximately the same shape, and somewhat pinky-blue. Was there any real difference between them, he wondered? Were they interchangeable? He noticed the pieces’ strange texture – they were slippery to the touch, maybe waxed.

He hadn’t completed a jigsaw in years. It was a good test of patience, and exercised your peripheral vision, he knew. But it seemed pretty pointless. Instead of re-making something that existed already, why not make something new and better?

Max knew that the shapes were formed of rigid cardboard, but they also seemed malleable. He squashed them between his fingers. Anna was perspiring and looking dazed. “Are you ok?” he said.

“Actually, I’m feeling a little dizzy,” she said, “and a little silly. Maybe you were right about the booze. Do you mind if I go and lie down for a while?”

“Er, sure. Do you want me to go home?”

“No, please don’t,” she said. “Can you help me to finish the jigsaw?”

“I think I’m getting a feel for it now. I’ll do my best.”

Anna poured him a cherry gin, then went into her bedroom and closed the door. Max continued toying with the waxy, squashy pieces. There seemed to be too many to fit into the space remaining, and their shapes were strangely ill-defined. They sort of fitted together, but they also didn’t. The more he tried to squeeze them together, the more rebellious they became. Some popped out again after he’d fitted them; some slid into new arrangements; some were just plain impossible to fit. After an hour – maybe – he’d managed – amazingly – to squeeze them all in, though he was not sure how. Well he’d done as requested, and had better go home. He finished the lemon-flavoured firewater he’d poured himself, and put on his coat and shoes.

As he was about to go, the bedroom door opened, and out came beaming Anna. “Boy, I feel good again!” she said. “Thank you!”

“Me?” said Max. “What did I do?”

She said, “Please don’t be scared; it’s called sympathetic magic, used for thousands of years. What you did to the goddess, she did to me. You helped me to rebuild myself, piece by piece. Those clinic people can never believe that I’m still alive. I have my friends to thank for that. For me every leaving party is a living party; the day that no-one comes to my party is the day that I die.”