Announcing The Book of Onei: An Antinomian Dream Grimoire

Onei Cover

The complete Book of Onei is now available through LuLu in paperback and e-book format – including all the poems, spells, myths, and rituals excerpted here on this blog as well as many others. This book is the most personal work I have ever published and represents more than a decade of composition and revision and nearly two decades of active work in oneiromancy.

It reflects my love of visionary poets like William Blake and Li Ho, the influence of my father’s strange philosophy, and years of patient assistance and counsel from friends old and new. Without the extensive editorial assistance of Bob Giordano this book would not exist in its present form. Zoe Dantzinger also deserves special mention for reading over the final version of the book before its release. Finally, I’d like to thank Lorna Smithers, whose amazing review of The Book of Onei can be found here.

For readers of my Noctiviganti novels, this is a further and deeper exploration of night wandering and dream magic in a context that is not entirely fictional.

For readers familiar with Form is the Illusion: A Magical Philosophy, this is the application of the same concepts in magical practice.

Readers of my Gods and Radicals articles will recognize similar themes and images, as well as a few of the poems. This book, on the surface, is less political than my work for Gods and Radicals – but only on the surface.

More than anything else, this book is a record of my most personal work – the work I’ve been doing for many years now and expect to keep doing for the rest of my life. The poems, stories, and rituals in the Book of Onei are only a glimpse – Onei itself is limitless.

 

Paperback $6.99:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/christopher-scott-thompson/the-book-of-onei/paperback/product-23852094.html

 

PDF $1.99:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/christopher-scott-thompson/the-book-of-onei/ebook/product-23907818.html

Powers Glimpsed in 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.

 

The powers of Onei are infinite in number. To receive guidance from one of these powers, visualize the entity every night until you receive an answer – but be careful who you ask.

 

 The Red Boar- a mother boar fiercely defending her baby while a man kneels on the ground nearby and dips her Blood Spear into a well filled with all the blood shed on Earth. Take it directly from the fountain of dreams, and not from the dragon gate inscriptions.

 

The Acolyte- an angel weeping in a crypt, imprisoned for bearing corrupted scriptures or forbidden knowledge to earth. Is this the only reason to fall? Or to slay or be slain? I corrupted my message with lies, causing the sons of mirth to sing false songs to the listening lords.

 

The Bloodstone- a megalithic altar of blood sacrifice beside the ocean. The world was made from the blood of sacrifice.

 

The Exiles- exiled aristocrats begging for food and drink. There was an unpleasant side to the faces of the gods. They melted like butter.

 

The Haunting- an invisible but horrifying presence. The silent emptiness of the lonely places, the awful quietness of a locked room.

 

The Keeper of Dust- an aged librarian whose books are fading and crumbling into dust. All works must fade. Not even in the most subtle sense will they survive.

 

The Leviathan- a great whale with a staring eye. A massive, marked-out whale, a rebel against the Law.

 

The Lion’s Mouth- a fierce king who threatens death and horror unless you do evil on his behalf. To fear the evil and to love the good, and so do evil thereby, or to fear no evil and love no good and so remain unstained.

 

The Livik- an old mystic who found a number code in an old book, the solution of which is a blank page. Do not hold on to that which cannot be used to destroy the world.

 

Lord One-Eye- the ruler of Castle One-Eye and keeper of the Oliac Axis, a key that allows access to any level of Faery. Lord One-Eye is a bedridden but dangerous old vampire. He commands an army of automata. The Dreamer came and took the Oliac Axis from him while looking for the Red Queen. You must learn that you know nothing, to discover some strange, unpleasant thing.

 

The Shy Girl- a small girl who lives in a place haunted by a powerful ghost leader. You need to stop trying to understand. Sometimes a thing has five meanings, but grown-ups always want it to have one.

 

Wine into Water- a teacher who turns dark wine into holy water. Every speck in the city is a universe. There is no salvation, because there is nothing in you to save or be damned. There is only the infinite.

 

The Legion- The Archons who control the world through the control of dreams. The Lords of the Earth are cloaked in power; power keeps them warm.

 

The Beast- a monstrous demonic man, a cannibalistic killer and sorcerer. He serves the Shapeshifter.

 

The Falling Sun- an apocalyptic demonic god, a comet or fireball falling on a city. It seeks entrance to our world. The War of the Book was fought to keep it from gaining the power of the Book.

 

The Fell Sisters- triumphantly evil nuns with white eyes, marbleized faces, and long disheveled black hair. Members of the Legion.

 

The Ghost Leader- a member of the Legion. He haunts the mountains and offers initiation into his corrupt tradition.

 

Mr. Triumph- a seldom-seen but very dangerous sorcerer who lives in a remote house in the country with the evil toys he calls his “worms.” A branch covered with red berries keeps him trapped, because he can’t remove it himself.

 

The Seventh Man- an albino demon in purple robes, a servant of the Shapeshifter. He makes threats and offers bargains.

 

The Shapeshifter- a ferocious child-haunting goddess or queen of demons who can change into many terrifying shapes and forms. She mesmerizes victims with the power of her will, and she is great among the Legion.

 

When you meet a demon, dissolve yourself.

 

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

 

Image by Edouard Cibot

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