The Host

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

 

The dreadful, eerie dead. Those who would not or could not walk down into the Valley of Shadow.

 

Dead children gather at the quarters

And just stare at my house in silence,

As if the violence of their passing

Had wiped out all speech. Each of them has

Already attained the alien

Soulless quality of the angry dead.

I jump out of my bed and drive them

Off of my lawn. But there is no peace.

I didn’t release them from what they

Suffered, and so they cannot move on.

In the quiet hours before dawn

The dead gather again with mindless

Grins. Vampire spirits, sharply-dressed,

Their eyes express a strange weightlessness.

But the pearl of alchemy is in

My hands. And though they perceive my plans,

They don’t attempt to run. I transform

The dead dreams, and all the dead are gone.

 

– from the Book of Onei, Part III: The Powers of Onei

 

Image by Franz Stuck
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The Death Barker

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

A faceless guide who leads the dead into the Valley of Shadow. He doesn’t speak, but only gestures grandly like a carnival barker for you to step down into the darkness. Nothing about him suggests that you should trust him.

 

No fear-

the slopes of death lead down

to utter darkness, and the clown

is faceless like the grave.

No fear-

the fear is everywhere

it’s in the rocks, it’s in the air.

He only grins and waves.

No fear-

the dead all weep and moan.

All love is lost, all life, all home.

The valley is so grim.

No fear-

and yet they’re all afraid.

They cannot die, and so, dismayed

they wander on the rim.

 

– from the Book of Onei, Part III: The Powers of Onei

 

Image by Henry Fuseli

Boneyard Goddess

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

Burn a black candle and visualize the long-haired goddess of the graveyard, she who crouches on a tomb with her face in shadow. Recite this charm to dream of the dead.

 

Goddess of the boneyard, hear me

Through these ghosts that hover near me.

Clear the way through clay and water,

Death’s companion, wisdom’s daughter,

Clear the way that I may travel

Through this sand and rock and gravel,

Through this soil as black as midnight

To the place that knows no sunlight,

Only starshine always gleaming,

To the dead where they lie dreaming,

Bound by death’s white silken tether.

They and I have work together.

 

Thou and I have work together!

 

– from the Book of Onei, Part III: The Powers of Onei

 

Image by Carlos Schwabe

The Veiled One

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

You’re going down into Death, down into the power that made Time!

I myself am afraid of it.

 

The Veiled One is an ancient and terrifying old woman, “veiled” in the sense that her facial features cannot be clearly seen. In this, she is like one of the Legion, the Archons who control the world through the control of dreams.

 

She is the keeper of the Book, and she bestows it upon whomever she chooses. She can also teach many secret skills, but all of her wisdom is dangerous in one way or another. She stirs a whirlpool or cauldron made of swirling stars and galaxies. There is a black hole at the center of it.

 

– from the Book of Onei, Part III: The Powers of Onei

 

Image by Alfred Kubin

The Man Who Learned to Love the Law

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

 

I closed my eyes on all I saw.

And when I opened them, I’d learned to love the Law.

I found the garden where the shadows grew,

And look, I brought some home for you.

 

I closed my mouth on all I’d said.

I traveled west and south, and glorified the dead,

To taste their waters and to know if they were mine,

Or something else I’d lose in time.

 

I took my hand from all I’d held,

And offered recompense to dreams that I had felled.

They said I bore no guilt at all,

But still they’ll watch me when I fall.

 

I closed my ears on all I’d heard.

The things I’d loved the most all died with just a word.

I kept them close to me for years,

Till they could be reborn as fears.

 

I took my mind from every scent

And none could ever find the places that I went.

The place in Avalon where Mordred grew.

And there was something there for you.

 

I’ve brought a chalice made of things I’d set aside.

I’ll share this cup with you, and you can be my bride.

We’ll drink the thunder and we’ll ride the rising night,

And you can help me learn to love the light.

 

– from the Book of Onei, Part III: The Powers of Onei

 

Image by Konstantin Makovsky

A Journey to Onei (4)

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

When my father told me about the Lords of the Earth, I was riding a bus along a lonely highway. No headlights passed us, and no stars shone. The sun had long set and was far from rising.

 

I couldn’t sleep, but something shimmered in the window in front of me like a reflected dream.  It was the ghost of my father – fainter this time, deader this time. I picked up our conversation where we’d left off, eager despite my own troubles to learn more of Onei.

 

“Are the Powers gods?” I asked him. He nodded silently, as if he respected my refusal to speak of anything personal.

 

“A god is a certain type of Power, but not all Powers are gods. Some are heroes and some are saints, some are ghosts and some are devils. The Powers of Onei are infinite in number. To hear the words of such a Power, you need only hold the entity in your mind each night until you receive an answer in your dreams – but be careful who you ask for such a favor. The most terrible by far are the Lords of the Earth.”

 

“And who are the Lords of the Earth?”

 

“The tyrants of dream. Rulers of what we can imagine, they rule the world. You won’t find them any safer to defy than these earthly powers you have so offended. Remember, son – most of what you will read in the Book of Onei does not exist at all. The secret is clothed in shadows; it wears lies like a veil.”

 

And yet I had crossed the Starry River and read the future in its constellations. I had crossed the Plain of Night on foot and heard the whispers, the dread conspiracies. I had gazed on the ruins of the City of Wisdom and laughed along with the birds who nest there. No one had ever thought to rebuild that place after the Sons of the Crow came down on Onei. No one ever will.

 

Now I stood here before the City of the Gods in the Plain of Day, one of the nations my father had assured me had never existed – not even in dream.

 

But had it existed before I came there?

 

No map of Onei is ever complete, nor even particularly useful.

 

Except the one you draw yourself.

 

– notes found in the handwritten original of the Book of Onei

 
Image by William Blake

The Ship of Stars

The Book of Onei is an antinomian dream grimoire, providing deceptive yet true information about the art of Oneiromancy or dream magic in the form of poetry, fantasy, and intentionally ambiguous instructions.

 

A flying ship gliding over an icy landscape.

You can use it to travel through Onei.

 

I walked across a plain of arctic ice

Beneath a sky of sharp and broken stars.

The world was flat and white, but shadowed scars

 

Lurked here and there across the frozen sea.

My heart was quiet, though the rising wind

Was howling like the devil’s pipes. My skin

 

Was burning, faintly. Out there, in the night,

I saw the Ship of Stars against the snow.

Her boards were creaking, and an eerie glow

 

Clung, soft as mist, to ropes and flapping sails.

I climbed aboard and stood before the wheel

And with a sound of steel on sharpened steel

 

Her prow jumped out across the plain of ice.

The fog came in, and with it came a thought-

“Tonight’s a night for flying.” What I sought

 

Could lie in wait across this winter waste.

The Ship of Stars rose up into the night

And floated through the fog. Our only light

 

Came dimly through the wall of mist- a glow

From somewhere far away. My restless will

Grew vast, expansive, but as calm and still

 

As all the leagues of sky through which we flew.

I felt as insubstantial as a ghost.

“It won’t be long,” I thought. “I’m getting close.”

 

– from the Book of Onei, Part II: The Lore of Onei

 

Image by Sidney Sime