Sacred Verses: Entering the Labyrinth of the Gods
“I turn from this earth over which living men wander to find pleasures and senses that can never be filled; green youth that fades, riches and praise that stand for as long as a blade of grass stands; they are all cut down by that indomitable wind that drives the swallows before him; this is what I am, and what you are, and what we are; meeting the sky again after our journey, where there is never again a thing to fear.”
(39: I Slay Death In His Field)
This is a book about death and darkness, about stagnation and decay, about wading through the mud of grasping and desire, about being stripped of one's flesh and illusions, about the process of deconstructing our mortality; it is also a book about life and illumination, discovering in one's deepest desires the path to liberation, finding the Gods as the ultimate reality, a reality in which death and decay are the building blocks for immortality. In short, this is a book about initiation, the psychospiritual process of connecting the adept to personal gnosis. Personal gnosis cannot be arrived at through the cerebral faculties alone; it must arise through an immediate and personal spiritual experience through which one becomes aware of one's relationship to the Sacred. This is a dangerous process, and one our ego will resist with all its might.
- From the Author's Introduction to Sacred Verses
I am thrilled to announce the up-and-coming release of my long-anticipated book Sacred Verses: Entering the Labyrinth of the Gods, which will tentatively be hitting the publisher's website, Amazon, and global distribution around mid-August 2021, so this is an early shout out which could change depending on decisions made by the publisher and how long the process with Amazon takes. The first edition will be printed as a hardcover volume, to be followed by softcover, Kindle, and other formats. At some point an audiobook will need to be seriously considered, since the verses in Sacred Verses are magical utterances and guided meditations intended to be recited out loud.
Sacred Verses was initiated in the Fall of 2016 when I began waking up at 4:00 a.m. every morning, still in the grip of sleep time, dreams, and with the powerful urge to set down the words jabbing my heart from somewhere on the other side of the veil. I would pray, meditate, then write furiously for about two hours, not composing in the manner of a fine wordsmith, but rather in a burst of spiritual ecstasy, allowing the words to propel me. The Sacred Verses wrote me; I did not write them. They seemed to have a consciousness of their own, their own volition, and a set of intentions that became clear to me from very early on in the process. This almost felt like automatic writing, being carefully guided by unseen hands and sources. I did nothing to protest or control the process, and I never let myself guide the material. I let the verses come, and they came in powerful waves that struck me like a tsunami.
Initially I felt that this was private material, not something I would publish or share with a wider audience. These were my most personal experiences reflecting a process of initiation, struggle, and self-examination of my sacred path. My ego, my mistakes, my foolishness, and my relationships with my gods and spirits are all laid bare in dialogues where the Holy Powers manifest in Their myriad forms, voicing the dangers of taking up the path to liberation, and revealing the pitfalls of striving to live a magical and devotional life. Sacred Verses asks questions, and then answers them with divine songs whose music is often more complicated and mysterious as an answer than the questions ever were to begin with. Yes, these are songs set to as yet unheard music; they are utterances intended to be spoken out loud, whispered, shouted, and sung. They cascade from the spheres of the Divine and land somewhere between our heart and our thighs.
There are moments of solemn, dirge-like spectacle, where one is forced to imagine one's funeral pyre and see one's flesh falling from the bone, and then there are heights of sacred ecstasy in which the Gods reveal Their workings before human eyes, and allow the reader to comprehend the language of animals. Birds arrive to deliver cantankerous advice, sparrows chatter with pious musings concerning where the Gods really come from, and the reader is allowed to make inquiries of the sun. moon, and stars. Everything in creation is animated and shown to be alive with gods, spirits, demons, and the dead. The reader is a necromancer bringing back the voices of long-dead ancestors. Nature celebrates the bodies of the ancient Gods for Whom creation is a playground.
My readers will be surprised that this is not, after all, a Kemetic text, though the influences of Kemetic iconography and religion resonate in some of the verses. But this is a work with much wider applications and implications, not to put down in any way the vitality of the Kemetic traditions as the bread and butter of my spiritual life- far from it! Sacred Verses is first and foremost a Magical text, and an alchemical text. This is a treatise about the naked journey of the human soul, stripped of illusions and brought into the very presence of death. Death is a lover that appears throughout the verses to take us into the heart of the human-animal condition; death is the lover we all will couple with, and death is the companion whose certainty flavors our choices as we live the life we think we have in us. We can pretend to forget the seductions of death, the dissolution of our body, the phenomenon that belongs to all living things from the moment of their conception, but in the end we will have to take off our clothes and get into bed with death. Death is the doorway to our new life; without death, there is no immortality.
The Gods, Powers, demons, and spirits that inhabit Sacred Verses are the voices of the ultimate reality singing to us and attempting to bring us back the way we came. There is doubt and rebellion in the verses, tantrums, and mistrust of the unknown, which is certainly what the process of initiation is all about. This is not a treatise on blissing out, but a demonstration of how difficult the path can be, and how rewarding the gnosis gained from such exertions. The holy terror of the Gods blazes from these pages, yet so too does the mercy and beauty and compassion of the Gods, Who have birthed the human soul and desire engagement with us as part of the never-ending work of creation. We have a personal part to play in that work, a part that can resound with wisdom and awakeness, touching other beings with gnosis, should we choose to accept responsibility for our position and our actions. How will we act? What choices will we make that weaves of our mortal life something ultimately divine and liberated? The choice is ours, of course, and the Sacred Verses show us in colorful language what some of those choices can mean in a creation living and breathing with the powers of the ancient Gods.