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 Caesar Stones

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 eyeless hermit waits in the desert and tends the Caesar Stones. You may appeal to them for guidance.

 

I’ve walked across this desert now for days.

The eyeless hermit waits beside the lake

Without a drop to soothe a pilgrim’s ache.

 

The young girl asks me if I want to speak,

And I approach him, though my tongue feels thick.

He has no words. His teeth just hiss and click.

 

The Caesar Stones reveal themselves. A voice

Calls out across the salt flats: “Find me here.”

The hermit laughs. The maiden starts in fear.

 

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

 

Image by Henry Fuseli

The False Prophet

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.

Clear water from a sacred stream

Has sanctified your vow,

But you remind me of a dream

That none remembers now.

 

You took a year I’d made of loss

And healed it in a day.

But that, I knew, would bear a cost

I wouldn’t care to pay.

 

Now none remembers what you said,

The grief upon your brow.

You told us all to worship dread-

And who remembers now?

 

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

 

Image by Mihaly Zichy

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 Wonder, the Horror, and the Art

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 trio of goddesses named the Playful One, the Flowing One and Bloody-Face. The Playful One plays a bone harp. The Flowing One sings. Bloody-Face moans eerily in the form of a gray standing stone. The Flowing One once slew a dragon by diving into its mouth and cutting her way back out through its belly with her sword. Bloody-Face sometimes takes the form of a giantess dancing wildly, holding a severed head. The Playful One sometimes manifests as a little girl with curly hair, wearing a red dress. She can destroy worlds with the smallest gesture.

 

The three goddesses, when they were girls,

Were always quarreling. Bloody-Face

Would make a mess when the Flowing One

Sought to impress her friends. She would turn

Into a giantess and dance like

A madwoman with a severed head.

Meanwhile the Playful One, who was dressed

In red, didn’t think it was funny

At all. And with a shake of her curls

She would destroy whole worlds. Now, these girls

Are all grown. Bloody-Face, made of stone,

Moans crazily in the winter wind.

The Playful One plays along on a

White harp made of bone. The Flowing One

Sings a song. They never got along.

And now, by the will of the great gods,

These three goddesses can never part.

The wonder, the horror and the art.

 

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

 

Image by John Bauer

 

The Secret of Solomon

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 mighty and terrifying dragon or traveler between worlds who can change shape and appear as male or female, dragon or human, or even as a pile of books. A powerful teacher of dream alchemy.

 

She looked at me- I call it she, although

No hint of human life was in its eyes-

And said, “I know you’re scared, but do not rise.

 

“You’ve used the secret fire, but there is more.

We wish you to evolve.” Her watchful face

Was wax-like, alien. I saw the place

 

She’d traveled from, and it was far- so far.

My chest was aching with a fear so cold

My blood felt sluggish. I had walked the old

 

And near-forgotten pathways. I had seen

My glimpse of burning wheels and turning gears,

And yet this creature woke my deepest fears

 

As easily as if she’d read the book

I keep sequestered in my hidden heart.

And yet, if she could teach the ancient art

 

Of changing roses into flying birds

And dreams to facts, and facts to other dreams-

I nodded slowly, and her cold eyes gleamed.

 

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

 

Image by Valere Bernard

The Red Queen

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 pale, dark-haired fairy queen dressed in red, presiding over the wild celebrations of the Kind.

 

The elven queen’s in red tonight,

The night is hard and wild.

Her eyes reflect a distant light,

It makes him glad to see the sight.

He giggles like a child.

 

“I warned you once, each seven years…”

She says. Her face is grim.

The kiss she gave him long ago

Means little now, but even so,

It matters most to him.

 

“I kissed you once. It seemed that we…

But then, you had such words.”

She cannot shake his foolish grin

Despite her people, closing in,

As close as hungry birds.

 

“I’m sorry that we ever met.”

She says it soft and low.

They say the Lady has no heart.

That’s true enough, but it was art

That snared her, even so.

 

“I always try to stop myself.

It always ends the same.

And you, so fair and full of flesh-

But it was I who wove the mesh.”

She looks away in shame.

 

“Enough of this. The land of dreams

Demands your mortal life.”

She lifts her hand and lets it fall-

And with a sudden, hungry call

She turns and draws the knife.

 

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

 

Image by Giovanni Segantini

The Blood Wisdom

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 queen hanging from an apple tree on a plain of ice.

 

An apple tree upon a plain of ice,

Stands out against the sky. There hangs a queen,

Unclothed, but armed, among the leaves. Unseen,

 

The wheels of heaven turn. I feel their weight,

And in the cold I cannot catch my breath.

She grins at me. “It smells of sweat and death.

 

Blood wisdom’s always like that. If you took

A cup of it you’d see it’s dark as wine

And never sweet, but oh so strong. You’d find

 

Yourself upon an apple tree…” She laughs

And thunder rolls as if a mighty door

Had turned upon its hinge. “We’ve met before,”

 

That’s all that I can say. She starts to keen,

A supersonic whine, as sharp and clear

As broken church bells. “Come and find me here.”

 

This is the blood wisdom, and it smells of sweat and death.

 

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

 

Image by Giovanni Segantini

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

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