Initiation

 

My understanding of initiation is generally via context, not definition. Although Steiner had specific definitions I can’t remember what they are and I have a book about the Rosicrucian society that probably has a definition in it’s apendix but maybe I’ll fish that out after I give my initial response
First off I first heard the word used to describe entering the world of Druidry and in other contexts to describe entering a shamanic training of some description. Specifically I was initiated into a Bard of the Loyal Arthurian Warband when I knelt beneath Arthur’s sword and was knighted in Stonehenge on Spring Equinox 2006.
But what that actually means is entirely subjective, to my story, to one’s definition of Bard, and to one’s definition of Druidry. There seems to be a theme of facing fears when it comes to initiation. You hear of tales of Native Americans lying alone in a hole in the ground over night or of African boys left in the wilderness. When I was knighted I had to face a broad-sword.
So, based on personal experience and the context of things I have read in books I would say – Initiation is the first step into a new path of shamanism and/or magick, usually within a group, and usually involving facing a fear or some form of surrender.
But that leaves the question, can you have spontaneous initiation?
Without a group, without formalities? I think of Rebekah Shaman. When she went to Peru to study ayahuasca she accidentally dropped her passport in the Amazon. Probably a spontaneous initiation triggered by the universe itself and/or her subconscious.
Anyway, here comes the part I’ve been wanting to get to. The really personal bit. I have a theme in my life of being initiated by older women.
I can think of 4 times my friendship with older women has led to a more magical life, although 3 are all linked to the Steiner way.)
The first was the Druids. I would not have met Arthur or the Druids if I had not become friends with a woman named Susanna. She was in her 50s or 60s and I was about 24 when we met. And 26 when she took me to loads of ceremonies and I finally got knighted a Bard.
I slept in West Kennet long Barrow. On a winter solstice. That was the story that convinced Susanna to introduce me to the Druids
Then there was my friend Ali. She’s in the same age range, maybe a bit younger, 50s. I met her in Bristol, she has a yurt in her back garden. A real character.
She suggested, out of pure intuition, that I volunteer at the Steiner school. “I think the kids would love you” 3 years later I was training to be a teacher and learning all about Steiner’s spiritual path, Anthroposophy. 
Then my course leader Lynne became my friend as we bonded over my depression (her first husband had it, and Leonard Cohen’s son has it, a friend of hers!) Anyway, she was my friend and guide along my whole Steiner journey and a wealth of Anthroposophical info. And most recently our speech therapy tutor on my course and her friend, the head of the UK Anthroposophical Society just funded my ticket, room and board to go to the Anthroposophical Society Summer Conference where I ended up performing, making new friends and becoming a member. That was based on their intuition once again. I learned a long time ago to trust the intuition of older women and it has put me in the right place at the right time each time.

 

Although to be fair I’m missing out an integral part of the story, although I had an inner knowing spontaneously and just knew that rap and poetry was all I wanted to do. Shortly after I moved to Bristol I had an experience that convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the most important thing I could do was spread love, money, fame etc, all of that fades but in a world where nothing lasts forever and we’re just concepts anyway and nothing really matters the only thing I could never regret was spreading as much love as possible. That was an initiation that was not like any cliche, out of any formal druidic or shamanic order but more powerful than most of my spiritual experiences. and I’d almost forgotten just how important it was.

INITIATION by KP Kev the Poet for Roots and Permaculture

 

The Resurgence of Artistry in the Mainstream

Data. Mainstream music, television and movies got really, really bad, carbon copies by talentless hacks for a docile generation. But things have gotten better, in fact recently I dare say we’ve been spoilt. Subjective observations that only my fellow aging nerds may appreciate.

There was a ten year period when mainstream was just sooo bad. I mean it’s always bad, and it always appealed to the lowest common denominator, pop stars who can’t sing, soap opera stars who can’t act etc. But between approximately 2002 and 2012, at least to me it seemed that things had hit an all time low. It was better in the nineties, of that I have little doubt, but it has been getting better again recently.

I mean in the 90s truly rebellious music made it into the mainstream, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, from NWA to Nirvana. Now I kept that opinion mainly to myself during the noughties because I was just showing my age if I said “music was better before, it’s shit now”. However I feel like piping up because the fact that, in my opinion, mainstream music is getting good again means that’s it’s not just hindsight. It’s still just my subjective opinion, but at least I now know I’m not just blinded by “my era”.

My specialties I shall concentrate on are Hip-Hop, movies, television in general and kids cartooons.

Hip-Hop. I actually hated most Hip-Hop from 2002 – 2012, especially the mainstream. Although Biggie, 2Pac, Jay Z and 50 Cent can all rap the precedent they had set made it seem like you couldn’t be taken seriously as a rapper unless you used to sell crack. So from 2002ish, the start of 50s reign, all the rappers were carbon copy ex crack dealers with either young or lil at the start of their names, all they needed was a turn up beat and they could mumble some crap and people would buy it. Cos, when a culture goes mainstream it is no longer populated by connoiseurs who dictate the direction but the lowest common denominators, now teenage girls buy more Hip-Hop than crate digging DJs your facial hair and your abs are more important than your flows and lyrics (see Joe Budden vs Drake.) BUT with the likes of Joey Bada$$, Kendrick, King Los, and J Cole it is hard to deny the most successful rappers since about 2012 have been true lyricists. Yes, some actual poets, speaking real words over production that took time, not just carbon copy, mass produced drivel for the manipulated masses.

Movies, now Hollywood was getting real lame for a really long time, and while the remakes and reboots haven’t stopped I have been pleasantly surprised by recent quirky risks like The Brothers Bloom, Hotel (EDIT remember the name later) and the nerd in me is SO pleased with the recent run of super-hero movies. I know they’re easy to write off as formulaic and I know I’m a biased Marvel-head but they have genuinely good scripts, great actors and obviously amazing action sequences that get me excited about going to the cinema again in a way I haven’t since the terrible sequels to Die Hard and the Terminator shat on our childhoods and as an appetiser to Michael Bay turning Optimus Prime into a CIA puppet who murders unarmed Decepticons via decapitation (true story.) Yes, some good writers and good actors and good directors teamed up to make good material, not just carbon copy, mass produced drivel for the manipulated masses.

I didn’t own a TV for 10 years. Didn’t live in a house with one for 10 years. Didn’t miss it. Apart from one show. The Sopranos. While the hilarious Friends was teaching a whole generation there are no black people in New York and a million series of Big Brother cemented the tradition of reality TV turning talentless puppets into celebrities for no reason for ten years all I missed was The Sopranos. Since that left us the void has been filled with all sorts of stuff I’ve been recommended, some I’ve watched even, spearheaded by Breaking Bad, and more recently the decidely subversive Mr Robot, but others like Boardwalk Empire, etc. Gritty, believeable dramas with good writing and good actors? Yes, some good writers and good actors and good directors teamed up to make good material, not just carbon copy, mass produced drivel for the manipulated masses. Oh, and Netflix. You magnificent bastards. Do not underestimate Daredevil, and Bojack Horseman is easily one of my favourite shows of all time now.

How bad did kids TV get? Remember Teletubbies? It’s become cult because it was sooo trippy but you are not gonna learn anything from it like Sesame Street or be as entertained and engaged by it like Mysterious Cities of Gold. I remember it was almost catchphrase at one point, “kids TV these days is rubbish, it was much better when I was a kid”. Can’t say that anymore. With Adventure Time leading the race, although some episodes are so dark I’m not sure they’re kids TV, from Steven Universe to… a bunch of kids shows I’m not gonna mention cos I’m embarrassed, even kids TV has improved.

Now all the while there is also crap pop music and crap TV. And even during the darkest ages there was always amazing underground music and I suspect, though I would’t know, possibly some amazing underground shows. That net series about the shotter comes to mind. But basically, in my perception the mainstream was at an all time creative low from about 2000 / 2002 to 2010 / 2012.

It got to a point where nobody was even talking about whether artists had talent anymore, it was just TMZ talk. Nobody discussed whether or not Miley Cyrus can sing. Or dance. Or writes her own lyrics. It was all hype about whether or not she should be allowed to twerk cos she’s either too skinny or too white. It was all hype about whether wrecking ball is sexist (which may depend on whether she chose to ride a wrecking ball, or whether her record label told her she had to, and if it was to sell records was it because she was manipulated by the patriarchy to ride the wrecking ball or is she manipulating the patriarchy by using her sexuality. Confused? Don’t worry, I thought about it for longer than that.) Or why are the Kardashians famous? Didn’t you used to have to have a talent to be famous? Yeah, I know, nothing wrong with watching a bit of trash occasionally (til Bill Hicks isn’t there to squeegee your third eye anymore.) I’ve definitely wasted some hours in front of drivel.

So, what happened? Is it just my perception or does anyone else out there agree? The quality control in mainstream entertainment has improved. I don’t think it’s a coordinated conspiracy, I think a combination of things happened. Studio heads from record companies to Hollywood got lazy after the nineties and just tried to mass produce things that worked in the past. But either the audience got tired of it, or we were teased by inventive art like Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly, or Fight Club, or The Sopranos and wanted more. Or maybe the creatives themselves graduated to the point that amazing beings like Rebecca Sugar, previously a writer for Adventure Time and the creator of Steven Universe, ascended the ranks past the lazy money grabbers and got to the top of their industries to make heart blossoming art that makes your fingers tingle.

But yeah, it’s all subjective. Maybe I just started paying attention again

Unity Consciousness subsumes Duality, Optimism subsumes Pessimism

There are an infinite number of ways to approach life. Two common and seemingly opposite ways are optimism and pessimism. The optimist may say “always look on the bright side”, or “look for the silver lining”, or “try to see the positive side.” The seemingly opposite side of this coin is the pessimistic advice such as “don’t get your hopes up and you won’t be disappointed”. However one could presumably go through life not getting their hopes up but being grateful and appreciating what they have. This may still stifle ambition though if one isn’t getting their hopes up for the future.
There is a perception that may clarify both sides of this coin more though. If everything is perception and every seemingly negative act could be seen as positive from a point of view that transcends time (which science says is an illusion anyway), and from another perspective every seemingly positive event could be seen as negative then with the right perspective everything could be seen as positive (with a caveat that it is at the very least extremely uncomfortable for any moral person to even try to imagine a scenario in which any form of pain could be positive it is not philosophically impossible to imagine the lessons in healing others one may learn.)
Another perspective is that everything changes, if it’s negative now it will be positive later. This is an equally optimistic and pessimistic statement, or equally cheerful and depressing depending on ones relationship with change.
However it does not help if when things are negative we wallow in the depression of what is and when things are positive we dwell on the fact that things are destined to change. Perhaps it makes way more sense to celebrate when things are positive and dwell on the fact that all things change when we are sad? It seems obvious but how many of us do that?
Perhaps it is best to stop thinking for a moment altogether, and cultivate gratitude and content regardless of appearances.
Which leads me to a similar conclusion Paradox expresses in his poem Attitude Kings, it is neither success nor failure that determines whether we’re happy, sad or content, it is our attitude to those circumstances or events.
Relax and let go, I’ll meet you where all the rivers flow.

Who Am I? Who are You? What are We?

Ask me good questions… we are all individual incarnations of the universe seeing the all from the perspective of the one. We have been given a linear perception of time so we can make sense of our experience but science says that perception is an illusion. We are mother nature; we are Neo, the agents, the oracle and the matrix itself. We are the creators of the prison and the prisoners but we don’t know if what is outside the bars is better or worse until we slip off the mortal coil (probably better.) We are one with the universe with a limited perspective of it all. AND we are just comparitively tiny growths on a blue rock in space, all the lives we touch and art we make creates universes in other people’s minds yet our entire lives are just a blink in a fraction of a moment. We can change one person’s entire life, but to our galaxy we could be little more than a brief parasite on Earth nobody would notice one of 7 billion at a time. We are all of this. I probably spent a little too much time seeing myself from the perspective of a galaxy that might not notice a human being among the billions of lifeforms over billions of years, life is better when I see myself from the perspective of the lives I’ve changed. But “Who Am I” is a choice among limitless choices, all of them correct.

Apocalypse Never (Sinking Ship part 2)

Maybe the apocalypse is ALWAYS tomorrow,
So tapdance on the sinking ship, don’t wallow in sorrow,
Maybe the ship will always and forever be sinking,
They say time doesn’t exist, it’s not what we’ve been thinking.

Sugar… Is highly addictive
And besides heartbreak toothache’s the worst pain I’ve self inflicted,
I got a sweet tooth, I was highly addicted,
So before I get a silver tooth I got a silver tooth pick kid,
Ayo! … They don’t hear me tho!
Silver is a natural… Anti-bacterial!
Ayo! … They don’t hear me tho!
Silver is a natural… Anti-bacterial!
Are the tabloids the voice of the English?
Are they written for the working class?
Half are owned by an Australian millionaire,
so that thought comes right out their…
asssk questions PLEASE!
It looks like the media won all of our last elections. Sheeze!
Ask questions please,
it looks like the media won all of our last elections. Sheeze!
Tabloids tell the working class what the rich want them to think.
Trying to keep the class war right on the brink.
But there’s no separation, our circles all link.
In a Flower of Life. Consciousness or awareness can’t sink.

Maybe the apocalypse is always tomorrow
Maybe Nibiru is always coming.
Maybe the apocalypse is always tomorrow
Maybe the harbingers of doom are always drumming.

So tap dance on the sinking ship but steer it in a direction, Maybe no more fossil fuel power station erection.
Dance as she goes down but be an inspiration for the next generation plug the holes in the ship and give Earth a transformation.

Maybe the ship will always and forever be sinking.
They say time doesn’t exist, it’s not what we’ve been thinking.
But there’s no separation. Our circles all link
In a Flower of life. Consciousness or awareness can’t sink.

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Ravin all the way to the grave…

[Work in progress]

Back in the day , I might have still been a teen
I was writing interviews for Undercover magazine

I saw him on Channel U, did an interview with Akala
Back when mans were raving at Bagglys n Scala.

Back then to me? UK Hip-Hop lived at Camden Underworld
a night called Kung Fu, open mic cyphers and fun with girls,

Deal Real Records, Mr Bongos. What you know about?
Take it back, Mudfam in Mudlumz at Powerhouse.

Another interview I found out MO Ngo used to smash poetry nights,
Itchy London town, the glamour hides needles and pipes.

Back then I was smoking green crops, never brown, never rocks,
I myself switched to poetry after watching Chris Paradox.

In Project 142, 491 Gallery, London’s progressive squats
In nights called ‘Gods and Goddesses’ teaching us to be Gods.

He was teaching the basics of the illusion and Matrix
and details of Mayan calendars, easily my favourite.

That was before he lost a leg… and wow…
Would you believe he’s even more inspiring now.

Back in the days… before I bounced to Bristol.
Back in the days… before I ate a crystal.

Back in the days before I left crowds astounded…
(But desperately needed to get grounded.)

Bristol raves skanking shaking dreds,
before Happy Daze, raving at Bambi Legs,

Before Bambi Legs, Dissident, DMT, Jungletek
Before people died it looked like they had fun with ket.

Bristol raves. I was a judgemental hippy.
High on superfoods, but ravers didn’t need my pity.

And self righteousness didn’t make me immune to stressin.
But if I stayed on the cacao I might have dodged depression.

These days I might go to less raves but that’s not the lesson.
We’ll all end up in the grave, and that’s no curse, it’s a blessin.

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To be fair I’m not suggesting that you eat unhealthy. In fact regardless of the inevitabilty of death I wouldn’t rush to it, and I’d appreciate what you have when you have it. But there’s no point denying denying the truth or being riddled with guilt or self loathing if you fail to stick to your diet / gym routine / sleep routine. I guess you can take this any way you want but when I read this I think “don’t take it all so seriously”, I don’t think “stop trying.”

Tap dancing on a sinking ship #unitedwestand

My attitude changed alot in the past couple of weeks… From borderline depression to optimistic “tap dancing on the deck of a sinking ship.”
 
Well the two things upsetting me were a combination of essay stress and the state of the world with increased racism on both sides of the Atlantic. And feeling like I was too stretched thin to do anything about either and wanting to do more than I could.
 
Then I got an extension on my essay and I spent a weekend with a friend going through way more heavy, emotional stuff than me. And we healed each other, made each other laugh, supported each other’s views and emotions and reflected on each other’s experiences.
 
But also I looked back on journals and stuff I’d been writing for the past year or two and realised there’s always a boogie-man and there’s always a new demon about to take office and on one level absolutely nothing has changed while on the surface it looks like everything has changed. I’ll always be on the same mission whether it’s Theresa May or David Cameron. I’ll probably be on the same mission when Corbyn’s in power, I’ll just be upset with another dictator somewhere else.
 
A friend’s recent status about the embodied practice of being still in uncertainty encapsulates it well actually.
 
Things SEEM more uncertain after Brexit. But uncertainty is always the case. Any one of us could get hit by a meteor any moment. We just spread the love til our moment comes.
 
Also I can’t compete with the reach of lying newspapers and politicians YET (allow the blame game), but I can co-create culture, spread love, and shed light on the next generation.
 
We’re all gonna die. So laugh while you can.
 
“It’s all just jokes man” said Craig Reynolds. Damn right.
Also “everything’s already accomplished” Candace via Craig. It’s true, everything’s already accomplished cos time is an illusion, that’s science that is.
___
 
Respect due to Dar Pardon, Heather Renee and Madeleine Aguirre for the inspiration.
(it probably only looks like the ship is sinking cos the sea levels are rising)