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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                          This is mythic prose.  Take it as such...
           Elves (Ah  Kin) live  in Shamballa,  the City  of Eternal Bliss,  also
           called  'Foresthome',  which lies  deep within  the forest  and exists
           simultaneously  on many planes.   Within Shamballa all  needs are met,
           all  dreams  are realized,  and  no wish  is  ungranted.   Things seem
           dreamlike  and intimately real at  once,  Adventurous  elves visit the
           world  outside Shamballa, inhabited by all types of plants and animals
           (called, sadly, 'The Dying Realms').   When they do so they  are often
           on spiritual journeys or  exploratory missions.  Otherwise it  is only
           the 'half-elf' that braves such a challenge.
           All elves are  a family.  All time  for elves is long  (and, arguably,
           short).  They all greet one  another with great big hugs.  If  the two
           have met  before, then  they sing  songs of  their travels  since last
           meeting.   Humans who hear an  elf sing are enchanted  by their voices
           and while within hearing distance cannot move, such is the  ecstasy in
           which they  are wrapt.  Plants harmonize with all being and their song
           is the song of the universe.
           Elves don't sleep.  They meditate in trance for a few moments and then
           enter the world  of dreams fully  awake.  Those  elves who spend  time
           with humans may be able to join in the human  dreams and control them,
           to  a certain  extent, somewhat like  the computer in  'Star Trek: The
           Next Generation' controls the 'holodeck'.
           Humans  who spend time with  elves and encounter  such dream-work will
           gradually transform into elves  over time.  Given shared  dreams, they
           begin showing elven characteristics and attitudes.  From this observa-
           tion, it  has been  suggested by  elven sages  that  humans are  elven
           'eggs', which can be fertilized through dreams by an elf who wishes to
           see this 'hatchling' through to 'becoming', or full realization.
           As  some elves see  it, then, humans  are like children,  some playing
           Mother Nature's game, and some  not.  Regardless, since elves  live so
           long, it seems likely that all humans may eventually become elves.  
           Elves rarely  eat outside Shamballa,  living quite healthily  on water
           and sunshine.  Human food makes them queasy and human liquor is of
           unfortunately poor quality.  Elven mead and wine are very strong and
           Elves love trees because they are directly related to them.  Elves are
           evolved  plants, coming  from the  same 'branch'  of the  geneological
           family.  They understand that  trees are intelligent, nonmobile  sages
           of great wisdom, spending  the entirety of their lives  in meditation.
           Elven sages are said to become trees upon their final rebirth.
           Elves  don't die  like humans do.   They  mature and  then, after many
           journeys  about the Great Star, (this process is not completely under-
           stood),  they wither and are reborn in Shamballa with continued memory
           and a similar, though renewed body.  This is the evolved state  of the
           vegetative cycle of  renewal (rebirth).  It is said  that rebirth req-
           uires a conscious choice, however, so that  elves who venture into the
           Dying  Realms and  begin to doubt  their ability  to be  reborn may be
           reborn as  trees instead.  Often  rites of death and  rebirth are per-
           formed in winter and spring, respectively, at Shamballa.
           The entirety  of the  elven life,  the Way,  is one  of fun,  love and
           laughter.  They delight  in games and their childlike  nature combines
           with their often advanced intellect to create some of the most sophis-
           ticated and challenging games  of skill and chance, involving  magical
           powers,  spells, quests and mysteries.   Some of  those less fortunate
           young elves get lost  in the Dying Realms and begin  to take the games
           for reality, becoming dour and moody.  A brief time in  the company of
           other elves usually cures them of this, however.
           Their 'religion', if  you will, is based on such  games.  Elves aren't
           required to believe  anything, but  are told a  marvelous story  which
           encompasses and enriches their lives.
           This is the story which most elves are told upon their lingual maturi-
           ty.  It  is understood, at the time,  that it can help  the individual
           understand hir  place in the  cosmos and give  hir a basis  for inter-
           action  with the  World, but  that there  are other,  equally valuable
           stories that will do the same.
           'Ah and Kin were the first great trees.  They stood atop the world and
           fruited Sun, Moon, Seas, Stars and the various plants and animals.  In
           this  way all  things  grew and  ripened, falling  off  the branch  of
           statelessness onto the ground  of being.  Once there, they  crawled or
           moved  to different parts of the world,  where they were born from the
           seed, pod,  egg or womb  of their parents.   Enjoying the  movement of
           their  offspring, Ah and  Kin died and  became the first  elves - what
           humans might call 'gods' and the elves call 'The Elders', 'The Ancient
           Onces', 'The Celestial  Masters', 'The Old Ones',  or countless thous-
           ands of  other names of endearment.  Gradually Ah and Kin, now unified
           in the elven race, are waking  to their true essence and will  grow to
           their old strength in a never-ending cycle.'
           To the elves the Old Ones are less wholly other beings and more divine
           patterns  of behavior.  In 'worshipping' them elves engage in activit-
           ies with which  the Old  One is associated.   This  does NOT make  the
           worshipper of greater value  than the non-worshipper.  Worship  is not
           considered a show for  others but an ecstatic  experience.  While  the
           practice is  considered serious business (if anything  is for elves!),
           once  one  becomes  acquainted with  the  stories,  legends  about the
           Elders,  one begins to  realized the value  not only of  acting but of
           watching,  of listening  to the  new stories  which they  tell through
           their new  worshippers.  No  harm is ever  done in elven  worship, and
           those  who do  so  accidentally are  advised  to return  to  Shamballa
           immediately to renew their sacred vows.  Little if anything is
           known about  these vows,  but often  they are said  to be  ideal goals
           rather than adopted commandments.
           The Old  Ones are innumerable in  their variation.  They  have as many
           faces and names as there  are days in life (and for an elf,  this is a
           LOT!).  The Old Ones this adventurer knows of thusfar are these:
           Varda, Star Mother (aka 'Queen of the Stars')
           Creatrix, Genetrix, Womb  of life.   She is  associated with  planting
           and/or defending trees.
           Leollyn, Dancing Father
           Magick energy of  being, the dancing  Song of All.   He is  associated
           with magick, singing and dancing.
           Yow, the Teacher (aka 'Uncle Yow')
           The Trickster, the Fool.  He is associated with deception and the
           revealing of wisdom, trickery and education.
           Cleowyn, Wizardress
           Wise  One, compassionate  Lover.   She is  associated with  magick and
           Tufyl, Leader of the Festive Spirits
           Partier,   mirthmaker,  intoxicator.    Associated  with  merrymaking,
           drinking, smoking.   The Festive Spirits include  all those substances
           which trigger altered states of consciousness and levity.
           Snassis, Snake Beauty
           Regenerator, renewer, rebirther.  Associated with awe, 'death' and
           knowledge  (books), it is  said that Snassis  will be the  final guide
           beyond  the veil(?).  Her  sisters, Almuldhea and  Cleowyin (q.v.) are
           alternatively said to accompany her in this function.
           Vitraya, Healer
           Healer,  vitalizer and  restorer  of life.    She is  associated  with
           healing, aiding and service generally.
           Farrelon, The Game Hunter
           Dedicated challenger and  adventurer.  He  is associated with  hunting
           and game playing.
           Kellon, the Silent (aka 'Eternal Questor')
           The keen eye,  the sensitive ear.   SHe is associated  with searching,
           tracking and quests.   SHe, paired with Almuldhea (below)  are said to
           be neither  male nor female,  but both and  neither.  Both  are rather
           seldom  spoken of, actually,  for it  is thought that  to do  so is to
           bring them shame.
           Mysterious Mystery, Darkness in its extreme, SHe is Death in the sense
           of eternal extinction.   This is not a concept  which elves understand
           well,  and many find  Hir difficult if not  impossible to speak about.
           SHe is associated with sex, secrecy and hiding.
           These  are brief  descriptions only.   Each  has countless  tales told
           about them around  deadwood fires  and in mead-slick  taverns late  at
                                  The Pact, by Pete Carrol 
           Most occult traditions have complex and highly ordered otherworld
           cosmologies and metaphysical theories. Yet their accompanying
           techniques are frequently a shambles. In contradiction to all this,
           one of the fundamental insights of Chaos Magic is that if magical
           technique is sharply delineated it will work because the universe
           itself is more of a shambles than it appears. Or perhaps I should
           more respectfully say that it has the magical property of confirming
           most of the interpretations placed upon it. Thus a wide variety of
           metaphysical paradigms can be made to fit, even if mutually
           So when selecting from the Supermarket of Belief, the critical
           question for the Chaoist is: how effective are the accompanying
           magical techniques? Hence Chaoist magic is characterised by its
           cavalier attitude to metaphysics and its puritanical devotion to
           empirical techniques.
           For some time Chaoist orthodoxy has had it that cavalier metaphysics
           and mythology are incompatible with the formal structure of a
           magical teaching order. However, this need not be so if it is only
           technique that is being taught and practised. Experience has shown
           that people can come together and engage in highly productive
           exchanges of practical expertise, and that a formal structure and a
           division of labour encourage this.
           The Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros, or the Pact for
           short, is an organisational structure for those wishing to perform
           Chaos type magic in company with others of like mind. The Pact
           exploits the device of a graded hierarchy, with certain checks and
           balances, and is delighted to admit candidates with the drive and
           initiative to rise rapidly through its structure.
           Every occult revival begets a magical child or two and Chaoist Magic
           is the major synthesis to emerge from the occult renaissance of the
           last twenty years. The Pact is amongst the prime vehicles designed
           to develop and carry forward that synthesis well into the next
           millenium. It is likely that the Pact will be to the end of this
           century and to the beginning of the next, rather more than what the
           G.D. was in its time, a century ago.
           In practice a number of the formal devices of the Pact are treated
           somewhat more lightly than the written conventions might leed one to
           suppose, with members styling themselves with such oddities as
           Frater Vacuity or Soror Impropriety and so on, in deliberate parody
           of tradition. The prime functions of the grade structure are to
           provide a mechasnism for the exclusion of certain psychotic
           misanthropes and neurotic creeps who are sometimes attracted to such
           enterprises and to ensure that that which needs organisation is duly
           attended to.
           Persons who, having read and carefully considered the accompanying
           information and conventions of the Pact, are interested in
           contributing to its activities may submit an extensive letter of
           application to:
           OBLIVION, P.O.Box 18514, Encino, CA 91416-8514, USA

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