COVERAGE OF THE ESOTERIC CONFERENCE OCCULTURE BERLIN 2022
October the 7th, 2022.
What a hell of a night... 3 hours of drunk-sick sleep, waking up at 6am to catch the cheapest of flights from Marseille and here I am at the Berlin airport. I’m standing in front of a golden BMW, waiting for my friend Lucy with whom I’m going to perform at the Occulture Esoteric Conference. After two years of pandemic postponing, this glorious event is happening again, and thanks to the kind organizers I’m part of it. In the following lines I’ll try my best to share the experience, and as you will see, no one is just witness in this kind of gathering, every soul is part of the magic. And here true magic happens. At Occulture some of the brightest stars in the esoteric firmament are gathered in an enlightening constellation.
Lucy arrives bearing the same hangover stigmata as me and we are heading to Monopol, a charming industrial site that will host the conference. The place is a former distillery and will now serve as a laboratory for personal and spiritual transmutation. This edition of Occulture embraces the concept of Magnum Opus, or the process of working with the prima materia, the primitive, formless base of all matter similar to chaos, which is used to produce the philosopher's stone. The four main rooms of Monopol are named after the four process stages of the Magnum Opus: Nigredo, the blackening, Albedo, the whitening, Citrinitas, the yellowing and Rubedo, the reddening.
Upon entering Citrinitas we stumble upon Magus Faustoos Crowley (Paganland, Darkestrah, Tears of Fire...) who shows us to the reception where we get our red wristbands. He has his own stall in the market area, and I can spot a copy of VITRIOL zine (Hello, Alcide); there are also very nice t-shirts designed by Kerbcrawlerghost and I immediately grab one.
We have a brief chat and exchange contacts, but he is very busy with rituals and unfortunately, I won’t have the opportunity to speak with him in depth about magical and musical matters. Check his work out on the internet.
There is a good vibe in the air, a lot of extravagant people, mostly dressed in black, on the goth/metal side of things, maybe dark techno, plus some “pagan/druid” ones and a few colorful chaos-hippies.
The first talk I attend is given by David Beth and entitled “Pwen as locus of spiritual power and its use in Haitian vodou.”
Dressed in an Nietzsche t-shirt with an Iron Maiden logo font, David is very confident and very comfortable with his speech and explains what Pwen is. If I understand correctly, the term describes something that contains magical power – an object, natural or human made, a ritual or a spirit. A person can have a Pwen (lucky power).
A Pwen is an accumulation of spiritual energy that conveys power which is out of the ordinary.
The best part of this talk is when David explains that Haitian magicians must show that their magic works in order to stay in the business. They have to display their Pwen, even exaggerate it. This is in contrast with western/European magicians who often act in a discreet and humble manner.
David’s talk is interesting, but the gas heaters in the room are very noisy and it’s quite unpleasant. I’m also curious to see what Mariana Pinzon’s talk is about, so I’m heading to the Albedo.
“The 8 circuit brain model, a map for balanced psychonautics and chaosurfing”
What a title… We are dealing here with…um…life-coaching, or more precisely, chaos-coaching. Mariana is willing to help us surf the waves of Chaos with the aid of the 8-circuit brain model inspired by thinkers such as Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson and Antero Alli.
There are a lot of schemas, diagrams and maps which try to explain the order of these chaos-teachings and I find it quite a paradox. For me it feels like too much sophistication of some natural and intuitive things, maybe it will speak more to the adepts of chaos magick or the ones who search some kind of magic. Anyway, I find that the talk is way too long; after one hour we are still on the third Circuit. I’m not sure that all 8 will be discussed, but I feel an urge to take a beer break and visit the exhibitions/installations, which are spread all over the place.
There is one very small smoky room with ambient music and geometrical paintings, which is pretty cool.
Small tables for tarot reading are on the landings between the floors.
Lucy is also taking a beer break and when wandering among the exhibition we meet the man behind the Outsider Art Museum (OAM) of Berlin.
He grants us entrance to the “forbidden” area and asks me to take some pictures of his sculptures. He has a riddle for us, and if we guess the name of the sculpture, we win a silk print. It’s a hard one and we fail even after seeking help from our friends on the internet.
“What is the name of this piece?” Hint: a representation of God. (answer at the end)
After we visit the market we are welcomed by a guy who buys souls for 20€. It’s hilarious, something between a joke and a performance, but everything is very well done, there is a brochure, a method to evaluate the value of one’s soul and a detailed contract. (photo_9)
After this big break we try to attend Diane Narraway’s Lilith ritual, but unfortunately the Nigredo room is too narrow and most of us cannot enter. So the ritual remains a mystery, like all the events in this room today.
Outside it’s getting dark and cold, three braziers are lit and people gather around. One of the coolest things about Occulture is that you can just sit around the fire and meet cool and interesting people who are willing to discuss magical matters. Each individual here is a special being. Normality is banished.
Somebody is announcing the next performance.
Peter Horneland – “Five Monkeys”
It’s the guy buying souls! He gives the audience a text and each one in turn is reading it. It’s The Five Monkeys Experiment.
5 monkeys were placed in a cage as part of an experiment. In the middle of the cage was a ladder with bananas on the top rung. Every time a monkey tried to climb the ladder; the experimenter sprayed all of the monkeys with icy water. Eventually, each time a monkey started to climb the ladder, the other ones pulled him off and beat him up so they could avoid the icy spray. Soon, no monkey dared go up the ladder.
The experimenter then substituted one of the monkeys in the cage with a new monkey. One by one, each of the monkeys in the cage was substituted for a new monkey until none of the original group remained. Every time a new monkey went up the ladder, the rest of the group pulled him off, even those who had never been sprayed with the icy water.
By the end of the experiment, the 5 monkeys in the cage had learned to follow the rule (don’t go for the bananas), without any of them knowing the reason why.
This story captures a pervasive theme in many organizational cultures: We tend to do things the way we’re told they’ve always been done without questioning or revisiting the reason behind it, even long after that reason ceases to exist.
It was kind of funny because he made people pass the text to each other for no reason when the text was over and there was nothing else to read, but I’m not very sure about that.
I spot Carl Abrahamson and introduce myself by giving him a copy of La Voix de Satan N°5. In this issue I wrote a review of “Into the Devil’s Den” an homage to Anton Lavey, directed by Carl. The movie is also projected here. He is really nice, we discuss his work and philosophy in general, but also some future projects with Kazim and Hexen Press. We agree on the importance of gatherings like Occulture, where you can meet everybody in person and where everybody’s work and even existence suddenly has more meaning.
Back by the fire, but not for too long, the next announced performance is “Santa Sangre Bloody Rituals.” I get a good spot and the ritual immediately sucks me in. The minimalistic tribal drumming of Takuate, the haunting sounds of the Aztec death whistle and Conch shell horn lay down a deep shamanic trance-like ambience, but very dark and disturbing. Some of the fainthearted can’t endure it and leave. Bloody body horror, as the name suggests. A shaman with a feathered headdress is leading this body piercing and suspension ritual. A girl (Darkam) is attaching herself to a guy, Beto (Kukulcan Rituals), with a red thread, a scene very visual and symbolic. I assume that Darkam is embodying Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon and the stars. In Aztec mythology, Coatlicue is represented as a woman wearing a skirt of writhing snakes and a necklace made of human hearts, hands, and skulls. Her face is formed by two facing serpents (after her head was cut off and the blood spurt forth from her neck in the form of two gigantic serpents), referring to the myth that she was sacrificed during the beginning of the present creation. Those Aztec knew how to party! After cutting the red thread, the girl is elevated, suspended by hooks, previously attached to her skin. A very impressive, mystical and symbolic performance.
Around the fire we meet a Swedish guy (Magnus) and a French girl (which name I don’t recall) interested in Luciferianism. Unfortunately, the curfew is 10 o’clock and we are kindly asked to leave the area. It’s a bit frustrating, but on the other hand we can enjoy the next day without (too much of) a terrible hangover. The day ends at Provinz Burger, where we get some excellent burgers and can spot Oriel Defenestrate who is also having a meal.
The second days begins with a series of four short talks in a row. 30 minutes each.
While waiting for the conference to start I visit another part of the venue called The Temple or Cylindrus. It is a 4 or 5 meter deep, 8 meter wide cylindrical concrete tank, with narrow metallic stairs descending to the bottom. It is decorated with black sigil flags, sculptures representing The Nameless God and a stone/marble black altar with black candles. At the altar you can write down wishes on a piece of paper and then burn it. The vibe is very raw, cold and industrial, but still strongly spiritual, in a modern dark way.
I’m missing the talk of Diana Narraway and start with Roberto Migliussi – “Austin Osman Spare, The Funambolic Path of a Genius”
Roberto explains how Spare became popular in the underground culture. After becoming briefly involved with Aleister Crowley and his secret order A∴A∴, he developed his own personal occult philosophy, and wrote a series of occult grimoires. Spare lived in poverty, and his art dwelled in relative obscurity.
Spare's spiritualist legacy was largely maintained by his friend, the Thelemite author Kenneth Grant, in the latter part of the 20th century, and his beliefs regarding sigils provided a key influence on the chaos magic movement and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY). Spare's art regained attention in the 1970s, due to a renewed interest in art nouveau in Britain, with several retrospective exhibitions being held in London. Thanks to Kenneth Grant’s books and the Xerox printed zines of the industrial music sub-culture of TOPY, Osman Spare’s work is today well-known in the modern esoteric backgrounds and also in the black metal circles.
Some notes: Kia – The primordial reality, waiting to be manifested. Zos – The body, considered as a whole, exacting a desire, spreading reality. Sigil – touching the subconscious. Moto: Don’t fall into the inferno of normality.
In esotericism, some of Spare's techniques, particularly the use of sigils and the creation of an "alphabet of desire" were adopted, adapted and popularized by Peter J. Carroll and other writers as a part of a magical movement loosely referred to as chaos magic.
Jenny Butler – “Irishness in the work of Aleister Crowley and W.B. Yeats”
Yeats believed literature should shape a country’s cultural identity, specifically in Yeats’ case, Ireland. Yeats’ early poetry recounted Irish folklore, legends, and descriptions of Ireland’s natural imagery. It was with this poetic style and romantic nationalism that he contributed to the birth of the Irish Literary Renaissance. Based on the proliferation of Celtic mythology and imagery, and the absence of theological reference in his early literary output, Yeats hoped this new literary movement would transform the foundation of Irish nationalism and bring it closer to pastoralism and mysticism, the importance of being close to the land.
Yeats, as a conservative nationalist, was scandalized by Crowley’s behavior and supposedly one time even kicked him.
Crowley also wished to participate in the Irish revival which was quite hyped at that time. For that purpose, he changed his name from Edward Alexander to Aleister. It was probably Shelley's 'Alastor, or, The Spirit of Solitude' that inspired Crowley to call himself Aleister, a deliberate repudiation of his given name. The spelling reflects a Gaelic form in keeping with the Celtic revival then popular. He also wrote a declaration of independence of the Irish republic and tore his British passport apart in New York.
Tommy Kuusela – “Love, Sex and Curses Magic in Scandinavia from the Viking age till early 1900’s”
Another catchy title. I’m not fond of the Nordic lore, but Tommy knows his stuff and the subject is interesting. We are talking basically about medieval rape-magic. What curses man have employed to have intercourse with young and unwilling women and/or forcing them to fall in love. Poems, songs, runic inscriptions and also some prose texts from the above-mentioned period are the sources that Tommy Kuusela uses to develop his narrative. Pretty interesting.
All morning talks are taking place at the Rubedo and I’m missing the workshops happening simultaneously at the Albedo, namely Atalya T – “Song of Herbs, Exploring Medicinal Plants for Self-Expression,” which is not exactly my cup of (herbal) tea. The other one that I miss is Alessandra Spagnoli – “Arcana & Archetypes. A Modern Expanded view on Tarot de Marseille.” I’m curious about this one, big prints of the cards are on display in the Albedo, some of those are hilarious. Lucy said it was quite boring, so she left.
There are a lot things happening simultaneously in the three main rooms, so I will talk only about those I attended, which is barely half of the program this weekend. There are also many beautiful exhibitions, interesting vendors, some sound installations, etc. Three days are not enough to enjoy everything.
Grabbed a Pad Thaï for lunch and ate it by the fire. It’s much colder and windy today.
I was enthusiastic to check out the “Transformational Bodywork Ritual. Accessing the Numinosum”, by Coral Carte, but… as soon as I entered the room we were asked to take our shoes off. Not in the mood for hippie stuff right now, will try to connect with the divine later.
Ferdinando Buscema – “Keeper of Secrets”
Now this title is not catchy at all, but don’t be fooled, Fernando is a master magus.
Magician and stage magician, he is an excellent show man and knows how to capture the attention of the audience. His bio describes him as a Magic Experience Designer — a professional trickster and an international specialist who designs “magical experiences.”
He amazes us with some card tricks, but also draws a connection between Shamans and Stage magicians. A connection which lies in knowing things that others don’t. Both are keepers of secrets.
Jose Gabriel Alegria Sabogal – “On the Artistic Reconstruction of Gnostic Remains”
Artist and historian Jose Alegria is well known in the metal circles for his work for black metal bands such as Mephorash, Sinmara, Inferno and Theotoxin among others. He works also with some of the well-established esoteric publishing houses Anathema Publishings, Scarlet Imprint and Hadean Press.
His talk at Occulture explains the artistic process behind his drawings which reconstruct Gnostic imagery. Basically, the artist searches for gnostic artefacts, such as gemstones, amulets, graffiti, writings, etc. and then not simply reproduces them, but interprets them in a process that he calls imaginative reconstructionism. An example of this work is the reconstruction of Abraxas or literally Serpentfoot.
His distinctive graphic style is based on 16th century techniques such as etching and engraving, as he says “not for reproduction, but for unique pieces.”
Jose Alegria is the author of this year’s Occulture glyph - “The Nameless God”.
Quote: “If the divine cannot be defined, it must not be limited.”
Cinemagician – Conversations with Kenneth Anger, a movie by Carl Abrahamsson.
I’m comfortably installed in the Nigredo, the movie consists of two interviews with the cult and occult director. Anger’s slow and rusty voice is so soothing, I almost immediately fall asleep. Not that the movie is not interesting, but it’s a necessary nap after four hours of lectures… I’m not alone in this case, some of the others are snoring as the final credits roll.
I decide to visit the Rubedo mezzanine exhibition, then catch the last sun rays of the day by the fire and finally return to the talks.
Carl Abrahamsson – “Forcing the Hand of Chance – A Look at the DIY Occulture of Thee Temple Of Psychick Youth (TOPY)”
Carl Abrahamsson is the author of the book Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward, Park Street Press (6 mars 2018) and is a kind of guest of honor this year; he has three of his movies on display in the Nigredo. One of which is, as stated before, “Anton Lavey – Into the Devil’s Den.”
As the title suggest, the talk will focus on the pioneers of the Industrial music scene of the 1980s and their DIY (“Do It Yourself!”) activities which greatly facilitated independence via peer-to-peer interactions. Many of these artists extended their work into the domain of occultism, building an “occulture” of their own.
“The Process is The Product” says Genesis P-Orridge, the “pope” of this movement, seeking inspiration in the works of The Process Church, Crowley, Burroughs, Sexual Magic and Psychonautics.
The prime movers of the movement TOPY and Psychic TV (PTV) would send propaganda via booklets and mail-order, which hint references to occult materials, to many who would further continue to deepen their research and interest in the occult.
One of those who became interested was Carl himself. He became a member of TOPY and founded a Scandinavian branch – TOPY SCAN, first in Sweden, then in Finland and Norway.
“Pagan activities have never died” – a liner note by Carl on a cassette of PTV live recordings in Sweden.
The main activity of TOPY would be to release music, but they also organized rituals, sent mail-art, organized local groups. The aim was to make something valuable available via DIY distribution.
A little bit like what we are doing with La Voix de Satan. This talk definitely inspires me to continue.
I wasn’t aware of the activities and nature of TOPY, till this talk, and still got just a small glimpse, but the topic is quite interesting and inspiring. I don’t really dig the musical side of it, but definitely dig in the rest.
This DIY mail-order activity reminds me of the Church of Satan and how everything happened via mail before the internet era. To my question if TOPY and the CoS knew about each other and was there any relation between, Carl replies that they were friendly, not necessarily displaying it, but were supportive and LaVey let Carl use 2 of his essays for spoken word recordings with Gen P-Orridge.
Acid O’Clock ! Time for a beer, no acid this year, but chill with some cool people by the fire. Fucking cold today. Went to the hostel to grab more clothes and a bottle of schnaps.
Back for Animagika – “The Dark Feminine Embodied.” Three girls dressed in minimalistic oriental garments (image) dance to the beats of some sort of tribal/trap/dubstep music. There is fire juggling and they even go among the audience. Not sure how dark it was, but it definitely embodies the feminine. Too short… could watch it for hours. But poor ladies, barely dressed and it’s so cold…
Soror Aurora and Fürst Claas Vom Mars from the Berlin branch of OTO (Astarte Oasis) perform Aleister Crowley’s Invocation of Horus. This is a ritual that Crowley and his wife Rose performed on the 20th of March in Cairo a few days begore the reception of the Book of The Law.
You can find the full text of the ritual in “The Equinoxe of The Gods,” published in 1936. It starts like this: To be performed before a window open to the E. or N. without incense. The room to be filled with jewels, but only diamonds to be worn. A sword, unconsecrated, 44 pearl beads to be told. Stand. Bright daylight at 12:30 noon. Lock doors. White robes. Bare feet. Be very loud. Saturday. Use the sign of Apophis and Typhon.
Here we are in the Albedo in front of Soror Aurora and Fürst Claas Vom Mars who lead the ritual. Upon entrance we are given a brochure and red triangle sticker, to be placed upside-down on our chests during the ritual.
On the brochure there are two images representing the postures of Horus as the Silent Child – Hoor-Paar-Kraat. (The Aeon from Thot’s Tarot) and Horus as the warrior Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Following are a presentation and instructions. Those not willing to participate can leave now. Cell phones and photos are banned from now on and the ritual can begin.
We start with a purification intoning of IAO, then the priests lead us through the ritual. When Soror Aurora makes the sign of Apophis and Typhon,
the adepts chant “Thee I invoke.” Everybody is doing great and the ritual is really powerful. I won’t reveal more details, but my wish to Horus is “strength to finish this English issue of La Voix de Satan.”
The ritual is closed by chanting IAO three more times.
I walk out of the room pretty shaken. Occulture needs more rituals like this one.
To be honest what comes after is quite intense too, in another DARKER way.
Louis Fleischauer’s Aesthetic Meat Front – “Primordial Kaos Invocation”
The Rubedo is packed. Dark shamans with inhuman masks are pounding drums and percussion. Two completely naked girls are attached back-to-back with some sort of extensible spring, hooked into their flesh. The spring is connected to effect pedals and amplification strapped to their arms and a third girl is hitting it with a drum stick. The resulting distorted percussion along with the shamanic drumming creates an intense trance-inducing music. It’s so intense that after several minutes, one of the girls demands to be detached from the hooks.
In front of them, two naked guys are attached in the same way but this time six or seven people from the audience are hitting their spring. I can see the pleasure on the face of one girl who is really enjoying hitting that spring and the ecstasy of the attached ones. To inflict and to receive pain, the frenzy is on its peak, a true flesh shower.
A drummer is circling in the room, followed by a ghoul like creature who puts black paint on our faces. Meanwhile, on stage, Louis Fleischauer is implanting big needles in his forehead, then writhes bleeding on the floor. The drumming is getting more and more intense and chaotic. It’s the climax, everybody is ecstatic. I would like to see all the people in the room naked and taking part in this sonic-industrial-bondage-orgy. It’s like that scene from Hellraiser III - the Boiler Room party. The primordial chaos is definitely invoked. Well done, Berlin.
What an ending of the day. All the great talks, The Horus Ritual and this Kaos Invocation… pure examples of how diverse the occult culture can be. What matters in a ritual is the intention and the intensity, and Occulture Berlin is intense.
I’m going back in the Albedo to catch the end of an unannounced concert of The Time and Space Society, the psychedelic (kind of) rock band of Fürst Claas, the priest of the OTO.
To my surprise not a lot of people attend, but it is normal, since it is not on the schedule. As I take some photos, I’m approached by Soror Aurora, whom I don’t recognize at first. I think she hates me a little bit (a lot?) because I criticized their Abraxas Ritual in 2019. When I look back at this, I was pretty harsh… but that’s how it is, when you do things in public you are exposed to the opinion of others, no matter how objective they are. Back in Crowley’s days the press was pretty harsh with his Rites of Eleusis. Also, a terrible trait of my Scorpio nature is to hurt people without reason.
Finally, I don’t think she really hates me. Visually there were some great moments in this performance. I offer her a copy of La Voix de Satan and buy a copy of the The Time and Space Society CD. I would’ve loved to take a selfie with them, but Claas vanishes and so do I.
Tonight, the after party goes longer than Friday’s. At the bar I meet my Brazilian friend João from Occulture 2019. Among other topics, we speak about magic in France and South America/Brazil, how people in rural areas are connected to the earth and primal energies and how we must attend gatherings like Occulture to preserve the spirit of magic.
I spot Dorian from La Societa Dello Zolfo (The Sulphur Society), an Italian research group in the field of esotericism and occultism, but also singer of the bands Caronte and Whiskey Ritual. (If you are into occult metal, you should immediately check Caronte’s “Wolves of Thelema,” if you are into black’n’roll, check out Whiskey Ritual). Very cool guy, there is some “bro vibe” even if we don’t know each other, we seem to agree on many occult matters. We talk briefly about the “Samaelites” and this kind of “business occultism” and how stupid it is. He kindly offers me a shot of vodka and a bump of white magic in the girl’s toilet. Definitely a cool guy, God bless him.
João meets another Brazilian guy, Dorian vanishes after a few drinks, Lucy re-appears and it’s time to visit the Provinz Burger before it closes. Fed with spiritual flesh, I totally forgot to eat something tonight. The party continues at Occulture, but we try to stay reasonably in shape for tomorrow’s performance.
Breakfast at the hostel and rehearsal with Lucy for our “Sacred Music of Chaos” show. The only practice we will do together and without the music. It will be some sort of sacred chaos for sure!
Boleskin House Foundation – “Boleskin House’s Past, Present and Future.”
Probably you all know that the famous Boleskin House in Scotland has been bought by Thelemites and now is undergoing restoration/reconstruction. The house once belonged to Aleister Crowley and he bought it for the specific purpose of performing the 6-month long Ritual of Abramelin the Mage. In 1970 Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin bought and restored the house, then sold it in 1992. Since then, it suffered at least two fires and was destroyed by more than 60%. In 2019 the property was purchased by Keith Readdy and with the help of a handful of volunteers, The Boleskine House Foundation was registered as a Scottish charity with the sole aim to restore the building and establish it as a heritage landmark.
Let’s hope that it will hold some cool occult events in the near future.
Dorian buys me a beer and we go to the Stephen Skinner talk about Crowley. After reading Richard Kaczynski’s Perdurabo, I feel like I know pretty much everything about Crowley, but sometimes it’s good to look at different perspectives and I still have to read Aleister’s diaries. Skinner knows his stuff.
Alan Chapman – “Magia”
I’m pretty sure Chapman has prepared nothing for this workshop, his talk is very chaotic and starts with the statement that he is a great Magus and Chaos Magician.
I won’t find out because an extreme urge to defecate makes me run to the toilet, almost shitting myself on the way…
I need a beer after that. And why not attend another talk.
Graham St John – “Raver of the Apocalypse: Terrance McKenna as Medium”
Our host gives us a lot of examples of the use of samples of Terrance McKenna’s voice in electronic psytrance music. McKenna’s speeches are basically apocalyptic criticisms of modern society, those records make him sounds a lot like the Jim Jones of Pop. Sampled by artists like The Shamen, Space Time Continuum/Rose X and Zuvuya his voice became a medium for transcendent states. They featured performances of McKenna emulating “elf chatter,” a weird language that poured out of him in trance states on Psilocybe mushrooms and DMT. A pleasant surprise.
Danny Nemu – “Mycelial Magic: Networked Intelligence and the Mouldy Way to Grow your NGO”
Ok, if there are ‘shrooms, I’m in! Didn’t expect this to be a Mycelial Magic ritual though. We do some breathing; relaxing and dervish turning. Then Mr Nemu draws some parallels between mycorrhizal networks and human social networks. Between slime mould and shamanism… It’s going very fast, I’m not sure this information is very useful for me.
At the end we are given oats, envelopes and a piece of cardboard. We write our addresses on thec envelopes and Danny Nemu is supposed to send us back the mycelium inoculated oats.
Time to get ready for the Antelogos & Alchemystic show that we are going to perform at 7:00pm. The gear and ritual paraphernalia are installed and ready for soundcheck. There is even a dish full of speed backstage, what a nice welcoming!
Meanwhile Luna Duran and Lucas Foletto are putting up a suspension/danse performance.
“Dama da Noite – Subtle Bodies”
A subtle body indeed. The gold painted skin of Luna and her long witchy hair are beyond magnificent. Dressed only in elegant chains attached by piercings to her skin, she dances in a trance. A piercing witch-scream announces her ascension, lifted by the hooks which pierce her back. Amazing performance, very sensual and extreme at the same time.
It is our turn to soundcheck and get dressed. I am a bit nervous after this morning’s practice, as Lucy was panicking about her first performance in front of an audience. Actually, apart from some group ceremonies, we have never practiced together what is going to happen tonight.
When we start, we are both absorbed by the ritual and everything goes as smoothly as possible. People don’t leave the room and we get a rewarding applause at the end along with some positive feedback afterwards. Thank you, people.
Spirits of the Land, Closing Ceremony.
A priest in a white hooded robe and a wooden staff leads the ceremony. He is assisted by two women and a drummer. Magus and Charuk are also in the inner circle, frame-drumming and chanting.
The structure of the ritual is very classical, and reminds of our own ritual: Invocation of the spirits of the cardinal directions, then chanting, singing and “charging the stones of the land.” Very AliExpress-like gemstones. At the end everybody gets a gemstone or two for a souvenir. The whole thing is very “peace and love, hippie stuff.” No risks here, it suits everybody’s beliefs.
This is it, Occulture MMXXII is over.
There is an after party at a “secret” location. It happens in a techno club nearby. I personally don’t dig the vibe. It’s very disconnected from the dreamy ambience around the fire and the discussions with cool people. Outside it’s very cold and very loud inside.
We leave around 2am so I can get 3 hours of sweaty sleep before flying back to Marseille.
To summarize, Occulture MMXXII was a total blast thanks to its top organization and quality content. The place to be for all those seeking the hidden light of conscious fun in this decaying materialistic world. We are the Nameless Gods.
Thanks to Giorgia and all the crew for making this happen.
((( Answer to the riddle: Self-portrait )))