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
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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

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

Under the Bright Dark

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.

Czech postcard from the 1920's

Do not hold on to that which cannot be used to destroy the world.

-The Livik

 

I was under the dark when the wind came down,

And the stars were drunk, and the ocean cried.

I walked alone. Though I had known

In time, I hadn’t tried.

 

The world, disordered, spun as fast

As if it meant to break.

I liked it there, and didn’t care

To suffer for its sake.

 

I’ve lived for years just mesmerized

By lights, like falling stars.

Out here beyond the world, I’ve watched

The angels and their wars.

 

I said the words that seemed the best

And watched my temples fall.

Those other lives I could have lived

Just don’t exist at all.

 

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

The Country of the King

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.

Dora Wheeler, Fairy in Irises, 1888

When your faith descends from heaven

When you find you cannot fly

When you lose the strength to bargain

With the powers of the sky,

 

When the things they keep demanding

Seem impossible and grand

You can come into the country

Of the powers of the land.

 

They have drunk from deeper waters

And their holiness is dark.

And to them the light is precious,

So they value every spark.

 

They are not inclined to question

What you’ve done or where you’ve been-

Though you’ve wandered far from wisdom

You can always come again.

 

There is gold beneath the mountain

There is treasure in the sea,

There’s a chalice and a fountain

Granting things that cannot be.

 

There are palaces and temples

In the cities on the plain

Made of bone as smooth as marble

Where the windows run like rain.

 

There’s a grove of golden peaches,

There are apples, green and red,

There’s a hierophant who teaches

From the gospels of the dead.

 

There are kings and queens, created

To be gods before the Fall-

Though you wandered there for ages

You could never see it all.

 

And your anguished hope of heaven,

Once a parched and withered thing,

Will be branches red with berries

In the country of the king.

 

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

 

Image by Dora Wheeler

Darkness and Silence

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.

John Bauer (1882–1918)2

If you want knowledge, seek out darkness and silence.

 

I glance behind me, but there’s no way home.

The waves are foaming like a rabid dog,

Like monsters, always watching. On my bones,

On every branch and rock and fallen log,

The ice lies thick. The silent heavens sleep-

Unreadable, malicious. Earth is still.

She won’t disclose the secrets that she keeps.

Night creeps a little closer. From the hill

I hear the howl of wolves. I feel the eyes

Of basilisks upon me. Lions roar.

Don’t question heaven. Do not leave your door.

 

Dream necromancy is dangerous, especially if the spirit discovers your secret name.

 

Animal masking allows you to contact the cthonic powers.

 

To honor the gods, fumigate small images of them by hand in a cloud of incense.

 

The gods crave meat; the meat craves fire.

 

There are two types of death in dream. The dead force is like a black hole – without consciousness, dead and soulless although capable of movement. The live force is the exact opposite.

 

The universe is like the desert: a vast empty space made up of tiny particles lit by a blazing light.

 

There is no final invitation to Onei. You must find your way each time.

 

The pattern will always assert its essential points. Only a certain level of play exists in reality, and that which is destined cannot be prevented.

 

Some genii loci will abandon their home if it is clear-cut or otherwise abused. It becomes a soulless place.

 

There are time travelers who visit different eras by possessing dreamers as they sleep. If they come upon you in a night wandering dream they will try to stop your throat so you cannot get the words out, but if you force the words out you should be able to say your protective charm.

 

The whole world is filled up with gnosis. It is people who must become free in order to fill up gnosis.

 

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

 

Image by John Bauer

Lore of Onei

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.

Wilfred Gabriel de Glehn (1870-1951) , Night

The door to Sana Delayo is always open.

 

The Blue Pearl- a blue pearl of spiraling energy, capable of dissolving or transmuting any demonic power. Roll it in your hands to dissolve a nightmare.

 

The City- a magical city ruled by the Red Queen. The scene of many otherworld wars.

 

The Compass- an oracle owned by a king of Onei who was an ally of the Red Queen during the War of the Book. It is an old compass on a shipwreck mounted on a magnetic stone. It always predicts evil, and it makes sure that its own prophecies come to pass.

 

The Dark Tower- a gnostic prison where the Red Queen was once held prisoner. If you ever find it, you will discover that you have always been there. The bottom floor of the Dark Tower contains everything in mundane life, but merely spending time there causes you to forget where you really are. To escape the prison, do not run from wind or water. Allow the storm to destroy your dream.

 

Gnosis- true and sacred knowledge acquired from Onei.

 

The House- a vast, rambling house with countless rooms. Often attacked by malevolent forces. The attic is haunted.

 

The Kind- the fairies or elves. The folk of Onei.

 

The Naught- the other side of dream and death, a limitless soaring bliss or light. The Void. The divine darkness.

 

The Mysterium- magical power, a current of electricity or intoxication. It spins or spirals, either clockwise or counterclockwise. It can be dark or light. It can dissolve loops and knots and destroy nightmares. It can possess you, either in Onei or the waking world. It can destroy the world and break through to the other side. It can appear as rising floodwaters, tsunamis, tornadoes, waterspouts or in other symbolic and terrifying forms. The mysterium can destroy all structure, all order. When the true power of the mysterium is unleashed, it can annihilate anything and everything, revealing the Naught.

 

Night Wandering- oneiromancy, the art of mythic dreaming.

 

Onei- the dream realm. It sends its messages by chance, yet it can be courted in trance. If you want knowledge, seek out darkness and silence.

 

A Power- a significant entity in Onei, such as a god, saint, angel or demon.

 

The Prime- warriors of the Kind. A regiment in the Red Queen’s armies. The Prime has an initiation test consisting of strange riddles. If you answer perfectly, you pass. If your answers are almost correct, you fail. If your answers are completely incorrect, you have a second chance to pass by going on a quest.

 

Sana Delayo- another word for Onei.

 

The Secret Library- a library on the rim of the Valley of Shadow, containing books on any and every topic from multiple different realities. The keepers of the library were cruel men, torturers and slavers, but the slaves rebelled and killed them, then disposed of their bodies in a lake. Not all of the masters were killed in the battle, and the survivors later counterattacked. The fate of the Secret Library remains uncertain. Later glimpses suggest that at least some grim powers may still be present there.

 

The Valley of Shadow- an infinitely deep valley of total darkness into which the dead must walk, led by a faceless guide with the mannerisms of a carnival barker. Many are too terrified to step down into the darkness, so they wander along the rim of the valley, angry and confused. If you go down into the darkness you can break through to the other side. The Valley of Shadow is the womb of the Naught.

 

Dream Quest– A journey or quest that occurs within a dream or series of dreams, for the purpose of achieving some mythic task or acquiring gnosis.

 

Answer all riddles; complete all quests.

 

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

 

Image by Wilfred Gabriel de Glehn