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

The Majesty

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 the Majesty asked why the stars were put out, the Son of the First Man replied: “How could I know, with their begging and their radiance?”

 

Though he brought to the sun to the heavens,

Though he fished us out of a cold, cold star

Though he bound the worm to the waters

In a secret war.

 

Though he split the land from the water,

Though he put each star in its own true place

Though he spared us all from the slaughter

I fear his face.

 

He is a fiery dark god bursting free in destruction, a demiurge, a hunter of those who steal the fire of heaven. The least of his descendants are among the highest of the high.

 

I bent my knee once

And came down out of the majesty of death

Because I needed to learn to love the animal.

I desired to know myself in the anguish of multiplicity.

 

In my breathing out and my breathing in

In the birth and death of suns and planets

In my incarnation and my crucifixion.

 

In the city of ghosts where God walks, wreathed in fire.

 

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

 

Image by William Blake

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

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

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