First Protocols of Queer Goetia
[1. QUEER: “strange, peculiar, eccentric.” From the German quer meaning “oblique, perverse, odd” which in turn comes from the Old High German word for “oblique.” twerh, which is derived from the root terkw, “to turn, twist, wind” as in “the labyrinth turns, twists, winds.”
2. GOETIA: “the invocation of dæmons or spirits.” From the ancient Greek goeteia. “sorcery”. from goes. “sorcerer, wizard”, ultimately derived from goao, “to wail, to cry” as in mourning or in a funeral rite.]
These dead are hungry. Fuck, Dance, run, kiss, steal, eat decadently, sing, destroy, create. The energy of life, ecstatic life, draws them close, nourishes.
Let your kissing, dancing, fucking, creating, destroying move you to trance.
Give them space and adorn it lavishly. Speak to them there, where they are comfortable and at home.
The dead, and especially the queer dead, are unorganized, chaotic. Don’t expect organization. Instead find nodes, affines, contacts among them. They’ll coordinate among themselves.
Learn their names, all their names, the secret ones too. All the better to call them by.
Research obsessively, research frantically, research ecstatically.
Study their codes, commit yourself to the argot, the signs, open yourself up to veiled messages.
Pay attention to subtle omens - on the radio, in thrift stores, bookstores, passing conversations - they work through synchronicity.
There is no such thing as a coincidence.
Pay especial attention to outcasts, ranters, mad-ones, drunks.
Experiment with divinatory modes: practice bibliomancy, pay attention to birds, scry in wine, quiet your mind.
Alter your state of consciousness with drugs, with fasting, with dance, with chant.
Hold vigils, visit memorials, pour libations, light candles.
Celebrate birthdays, deathdays, celebrate accomplishments, celebrate festivals.
Sketch a map of sacred places, an enchanted geography.
Walk the old haunts: bars and parks and cruising spots. Therein pick up their trace.
Some will travel in packs and as houses, others are solitary. Learn how to engage with them together and alone.
Among them there will be spirits more or less elevated, more or less wise, more or less chained by their traumas.
Seek the advice of the wise ones, and do not be drowned in the pain and fear of the others.
You may feel yourself to be dying, you may find yourself rapt in panic and anxiety. This is a cost of the work. Learn to separate what is yours and what isn’t.
Part of the work will be to assist those who need healing. To show them how to heal themselves.
Healing may be ecstatic too.
Cultivate empathy, learn how to regulate it.
Empathy may register as desire, sickness, terror, joy.
Lean into your anxieties and manias, into your highs and lows. Often you’ll find the spirits on the other end.
Balance is necessary. As you surround yourself with the dead, invite in life in equal parts.
Cleanse yourself. The dead are intrinsically miasmic.
Cleanse with flowers, baths, perfumes.
Cleanse the doors of perception.
Learn to open and close doors, build and burn bridges.
Sing, especially if you never do, sing for them and them alone.
Cultivate certain qualities - ecstatic, cathartic, flamboyant, chthonic - in all things.
Practice automatic writing, possessory trance, and other methods of channeling.
Journey to the underworld and find your way out.
Take breaks, take space, take time, take liberties.
The freaks come out at night.
Experiment working in groups, amplifying energy and clarity. Another might pick up on something you miss.
Build longterm relationships, make oaths, set boundaries.
Write love letters to the dead. Look out for their response.
Monitor your dreams, record them when you wake.
Write everything down, especially if it seems unrelated at first.
Make excessive offerings, wine and mixed drinks, cigarettes, drugs, water, candy, coffee, light. What the dead loved in life they’ll welcome beyond.
Dress up to meet them as you would for a date.
Bring them flowers. Wear them in your hair to remind yourself of your future underground.
Don’t expect the dead to keep their appointments. Some are awkwardly early, others fashionably late.
Show up on time regardless.
Go out, and bring them with.
Stay in and have them over.
Allow yourself to wander, in cities and in the wild. Let the dead drift alongside.
Wear costumes, wear drag, wear masks, Let them fill the void behind all these.
Practice creating masks for different situations.
Beauty, intention, and grace in all things.
Always with music, always with style.
Smear your face in lipstick, ash, wine.
Decompose your identity. Open holes through which the other might enter.
These spirits blur boundaries, between genders, between self and other, between living and dead. Learn to submit to that undoing and still come out the other end.
Practice discernment in all things.
And yet play with indistinctions.
The distinction between life and death may seem arbitrary to the dead. Keep yourself and your friends alive. The spirits will not.
If the dead love you, they may want you among them always. Live vigorously anyways. You’ll join them someday regardly.
Death is an initiation. Death is not the end.
Don’t fixate on borders and categories. Piety and veneration may look differently to these spirits.
These spirits are always the exception.
Stay flexible, adapt. Protocols, like all else, change.
Indulge in feasts of the senses.
Your mind is a fleshy organ of your body. Nourish and care for your sensual capacities.
Spirit is intrinsic to material, refuse false dichotomies.
Jouissance, that little death where pain and pleasure become indistinct, is also a doorway.
Learn to take the armor off.
Let your daily practice congeal into ritual, let them build power.
Oscillate between formality and informality, give each its due, and derive the distinct pleasures of each.
Necromancer realness, fortune teller realness, spirit medium realness.
Call on the psychopomps.
Attend to the complicities of Eros and Thanatos.
Spend time in kitchens, gardens, libraries.
Spend time doing nothing.
Spend time in silence.
Contemplate their lives and deaths, contemplate your own.
Contemplate nothingness, contemplate the void.
Stargaze, moongaze, voidgaze.
Seek out ordeals that might draw your closer.
Practice reciprocity in all things. A gift requires a gift.
Share your food and your wine, share your space, share the sun. The dead lack sensual capacity but delight in ours.
Scream your sorrow, scream your rage, scream your joy. The excessive quality of emotion will resonate with them most clearly.
Sometimes the dead require blood to speak.
What they need, beyond all else, is the gift of memory. Tell their stories, speak their names, affirm their truths.
The dead will cast shade and spill tea, pay attention to truths that are most brutal. Recite their poems, sing their songs, read their texts. Let their words live on in your work and on your tongue.
What is remembered lives.
These are ancestors of sundered lines. Many were cut off in life, few have biological descendents. If you are their true descendents, your wellbeing is in their interest.
Ask for assistance in your projects and endeavors, turn to them for inspiration and insight.
In everything you do, honor them and recognize that assistance.
These spirits, in life, feared dying alone. Assure against their isolation in death.
They died in prisons and camps and psych wards, at the hands of inquisitors and gaybashers and cops.
Vengeance is sweet even to them.
The greatest vengeance is to live joyously on their behalf.
Be ready for old debts to come due.
The dead are rarely constrained by human morality, they make fearsome conspirators and defenders.
War extends to all levels, there are hostile forces as well. Keep your friends close.