X-Egesis 1: Jokers, Goddesses, And Talking Heads

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So a common shamanic trope is that of dismemberment—of “losing one’s head”. And the pun is intentional; as many things in the metaphysical realm are.

Now, this trope is heavily (and quite graphically) used in the movie Hereditary, bringing a sort of cultic element to the proceedings reminiscent of the accusations of heresy levied at the Knights Templar. The Knights were accused—among other things—of worshipping a severed head (strangely, supposedly called “Baphomet”).

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The original Baphomet, with boobies

The symbolism of the head liberated (again, pun intentional) from the body can, of course, be seen as one’s spirit (theoretically housed in the head/brain) being loosed from the relative bondage of the material body. This does not have to be achieved by such dire acts as literal dismemberment, however…but instead through consciousness alteration via meditation, prayer and or the substance of your choice.

As a related tangent, note how I am writing all this now. I have just woken up (pun intentional), still foggy. I’m not “thinking” as I write this; this writing is not intentional. I have a marketing project to complete, and I am sneaking this little missive in before delving into that “businessy” state of mind.

What I am writing now is about at least 80% FLOW. Which is to say, it is near-automatic. Where are these ideas and sentences coming from, exactly? I’m not consciously mapping out these sentences. I had very little pre-made intentions as to what was going to be written here before I started.

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what “flow” might look like

OK, there was one pre-made intention, of a sort; last night, going through my files, I found this picture and placed it in a draft for today’s post. I tried to write today’s post yesterday and then gave up and so the draft remained unwritten until this morning.

Who is writing this post? I would like to believe it is me; perhaps more of an “unconscious” me, a subconscious me; I could dress it up with some New Age frippery and call it my “Higher Self.”

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what me and my Higher Self might look like

I’m a Pisces, but that might not truly mean much at all; astrology being (at least to some) a type of voodoo. If such a concept as “past lives” (more New Age frippery) exists, then it is conceivable that we have more than one “sign”—indeed, we may encompass all of the signs. At one “time” or another.

Now, there was an intervening period between me waking up and writing this; I was on my phone scanning the current news as it is interpreted through my associates on Twitter. This was a bit of a terrible mistake; not due to any fault of my associates, but due to the wretched news itself.

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And so I’ll tell you how I felt, the jumble of thoughts I had in my even foggier mind earlier this morning. I read about Trump and the Kurds, and thought: wow, this is even worse than I could have anticipated or conceived. We are, (not the royal “We,” but the American We) sort of the “enemy,” now. But that’s misleading, isn’t it? Because these types of shenanigans and geopolitical betrayals have been going on for quite some time before Trump; he’s just “owning” the treachery of it in the most public and arrogant way possible. You’d have to wonder how TPTB before Trump must be reacting to this continual lifting of the veil by the President; it seems very much like ridding the stripper of her fans and scarves, does it not? It ruins the “show.”

Then I saw this woman give a long critical analysis of the Joker movie via Twitter (not my recommended avenue for this sort of exegesis, for many treasons (ha, I meant to write “reasons” but I’ll leave this, it’s funnier), basically saying it was a tool of the white patriarchy legitimizing violence towards females and various people of color. Predictably, a massive amount of white males ganged up on her tweets at the same time to argue that the movie was not legitimizing violence towards females and people of color; they did this by being violent and threatening and racist. Well, y’all convinced me!

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Now, I’ve actually had a quite similar experience to this over ten years ago, when I first began pointing out the links between a number of Joker-inspired crimes and the (quite relatively so, in comparison to the current era) violence of The Dark Knight. To “prove” that the movie was not violent—and certainly not inspiring violence—I received threats of violence. I mean, it’s all pretty funny now. Quite a joke. Pun intentional, as per always.

And that all led me on a tangent (I live mostly in the realm of tangents) in which I reflected on the “identity” of most of the powerful mystical-type beings I’ve ever encountered in the dream-realm. I don’t mean the dragons or the elves or any roleplaying shit like that…I mean **powerful beings** that you feel in your bones like **awe** at how powerful they are.

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The funny thing is: most of those beings have been entities of “color.” They’ve rarely ever been “white.” They are most usually “African.” (Also, “Indian,” “Asian,” and “Indigenous.”) They are often, though not always, female.

Now, I’ve also run into some entities in my dreams who are “Celtic.” (I put quotation marks around all these designations because who the hell really knows the origins of any of this let’s be perfectly fucking honest). I think a few “Nordic?” But most often: females of color.

Now: this was most certainly not a result of belief systems I might have been exposed to as a child via family. Later on, I discovered that my Mom, who is from Brazil, has some “roots” in indigenous culture via her ancestors (not genetically, but by learning the esoteric culture around them). But that’s it.

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what my shamanistic female ancestors might have looked like

These powerful dark-skinned women I see often in my dreams are, I believe, something extremely ancient and potent and not to be fucked with. (It isn’t just that I “believe” it, no…I know it to my bones as an intuitive truth.)

And so we can consider a fearsome figure like Kali. And then there is Isis, a deity so incredibly popular and primal that she eventually became the Holy Virgin Mary and is still worshipped to this day; look up the phenomenon of the “Black Madonnas.”

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Along the lines of the Black Madonnas. consider the Thelemic figure of Babalon. She of the red skin; at least, in some interpretations.

You know, it’s very funny; as a very young teenager, I basically “knew” of the figure of Babalon. I mean, intuitively; intuitively, automatically, like I’m writing all of this now. It was a “red” woman of tremendous primal world-ending power. Of course, I connected her to the pop-culture I was devouring at the time…

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In fact, in my little memoir I self-published some time ago, I mentioned her a lot. But even I didn’t quite “put it together.”

The powerful female archetype…like the Isis/Mary situation, somewhat “whitewashed” for contemporary audiences. Often twinned with a bird-like symbol (sort of melding the iconography of Isis with her hawk-headed child Horus). We see that in the comic book character Phoenix, and also in far more “hidden” and subversive ways like the protagonist in the Hitchcock movie The Birds (per which I always assumed, as a child, that it was secretly she who brought the frenzied animals to Bodega Bay).

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We even see this archetype survive to the most current cinematic era with a movie like Under The Silver Lake, featuring a mythic character called the “Owl’s Kiss,” or, more commonly, the Owl Woman:

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The “counterpart” to the Owl Woman in the movie is the equally-mythic “Dog Killer”:

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“Dogs” in the film eventually revealed to be symbolism for women. Thus: we have the deadly archetypes of each gender, fitting a neat Hermetic male/female yin/yang balance.

In the movie Joker, there are two main female characters. SPOILERS past this point…

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So the first main female character is apparently Arthur Fleck’s disabled mom, whom he eventually murders. She can be roughly analogous, in terms of more primal collective archetypal imagery, as the Mother goddess figure. Who, of course, as I’ve said, is murdered. (It is argued that Fleck kills her “for her own good,” because she’s physically sick and of course also crazy and abused and etc. We can play this game all day.)

Then we have Fleck’s “potential love interest,” played by Zazie Beetz (who was also Domino in Deadpool 2, if you care about such things.). Bolstering up her “goddess” energy, other than she resonates Isis with her young son in tow, is the fact that her name is Sophie—like the powerful Gnostic “Mother Goddess” Sophia.

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Arthur hallucinates that he has a relationship with Sophie, eventually going so far as to break into her house. It is rumored that in an earlier form of the a script Arthur kills Sophie outright, but here it’s left “vague” (you know, for “good taste.”)

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But then we can go back to Under The Silver Lake (with its similarly hoodie-clad Dog Killer), and see somewhat more of a “fair fight” —if not a
tête-à-tête—by the end of the film—between these shadow archetypes of the Male and Female energies.

And certainly, for those comic fans offended by Joker’s more misogynist elements, there will soon be (the quite on-the-nose titled, considering all we’ve discussed so far) Birds Of Prey, featuring (Jared Leto) Joker’s abused former girlfriend Harley Quinn.

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And let us remember that recently DC Comics itself canonized beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that Quinn was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of the Joker:

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Bad branding, perhaps, on the part of DC? Or maybe Peter just doesn’t know what Paul is approving in their comic books.

At any rate…outside of my pop-culture-crit fever dreams and dreams of fevers, there’s quite a lot happening in the world at the moment, is there not? I haven’t even begun to express how I feel about all that, or where I think it is all heading. But I think the Spirits are telling me that I’ve just about used up my quarter for now.

To get me back in the mood for marketing writing, and to sort of put a “bow” on the themes that I’ve expressed in this piece, I present the 2014 music video “Dangerous,” from Big Data:

Related Posts:
The Holy Trinity: Osiris, Isis, And Horus In Popular-Culture
Robins, Jokers And Horus-Set: The Mythology Continues

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5 comments

  1. Your experience with spiritual manifestation/embodiment may be unique to you; or relatively so. And, even if the Brazilian influence was “only” a learned one, not a matter of genetic inheritance, it’s still not beyond the realm of possibility that this also impacted your perception of primal entities.
    Personally, I have encountered numinous beings of a wide variety of forms; when I worked in the Voudon current they usually manifested as dark skinned, though not always. Equally my work in Northern European traditions produced visions commensurate with the culture; (i.e. Odin did not manifest in PC/progressive form.)
    Bear in mind as well how many cultures around the world have had returning god figures that were white-skinned; this has been the case even in cultures that were not dominated by a Caucasian bias. (As has been documented, one the reasons why the Aztecs were temporarily unable to organize resistance to the incursions of the Spaniards was because their legends foretold the return of their gods in this form.)
    Sorry, but I think you are over-generalizing in this article; on many levels. And, to be frank that over-generalization is being guided by your obvious sociopolitical affiliation.
    As to your estimation that these figures of what practicing occultists call the Daemonic (not demonic) Feminine are “not to be fucked with”, well that is manifestly true. But, that’s true of most beings that are genuinely numinous. Taking your comment as a point of departure, however, I would like to state the following.
    In your articles you reference the Babalon concept frequently. And, your tone of admiration, (if not outright adoration) is obvious. Sorry to have to tell you this, but a tyrant is a tyrant.
    One of the greatest misapprehensions of the modern world is the tendency to simplistic formulations. So, we have all of these people eagerly greeting the return of certain ancient god/goddess figures. What they are not seeing is that at their core gods are not really anything like what we imagine them to be.They don’t even really have gender. While they may be broadly or specifically aligned with biological and social realities that we associate with gender, at their core they are neither man nor woman.
    If you think that Babalon is come to improve or redeem the world, you are very much mistaken. I am sorry to have to put it this way, because I admire your intelligence and insight. But, before you jump to the conclusion that the incursion of B. into the world is a good thing, you need to become far more familiar with the reality of the being. And, I do not mean reading all the laudatory paeans of her followers, or the official publications of the orders that serve Her/It. I mean you should start by researching the details that most of the followers and disciples don’t want you to read.
    I would note, finally, that what I have said about Babalon is also true of many other entities making their presence felt in this world; not merely the goddess figures. A perfect example are all the Norse neo-pagans who babble on about Odin, without actually doing any research on how that entity manifested in the Old World. Far from the wise patriarch shown in Marvel comics and movies, he is in fact an exceedingly dark and twisted being.

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    • “And, to be frank that over-generalization is being guided by your obvious sociopolitical affiliation.”—>SJWs, they’re going to ruin the world, amirite?

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  2. To prevent a misinterpretation of what I posted, I would like to state that I do not exempt the god of the monotheists from my description of deities. I, for one have never really bought into the idea that their God and their religion is oh, so distinct from that of the pagans. If we read Job, we see how little regard that being has for human suffering.
    My point is that throughout world religions and myths one point is underscored; humans exist to serve the will of the gods. The idea that we were created for any other reason (i.e. all the Christian blather about God’s special purpose for man, or the modern New Age and neo-pagan effusions along similar lines), are all later additions. And, I doubt very much that they reflect any real truth.
    Lovecraft and his circle have been credited with creating a whole new pantheon of gods; beings that were essentially either amoral in the extreme, or deliberately malevolent. But, the truth is, he and his friends didn’t really create this idea. Rather, they drew on the darkest, most primordial conceptualizations of deity. And, then re-packaged the concept in forms more amenable to accentuating this.
    We have developed the idea that because the abuses of the Abrahamic religions have been so persistent and so obvious, that humanity was better off with the gods that came before them. But, this is simply not true.
    There is a reason why the Buddha observed that on at least one essential level all gods are the enemy of humanity. The reason, I think, that he made this observation was because the nature of gods is to co-opt everything within their reach to their design and purpose. In their eyes, human beings exist to serve and entertain. This is the theme that is reiterated, again and again, in the oldest legends.
    The greatest conceit of our current crop of true believers is that we can in some way ameliorate this. That the gods, upon their return, will at least meet us halfway, and recognize our values; (I mean humanitarian values of respect for others, their lives, well being, etc.) I very much believe this assumption to be an example of what a certain philosopher called “pernicious optimism”. An example of being blinded by our own hopes and aspirations.

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