Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Cerne2CERN the Pilgrim's Tarot

I may have dropped the occasional clew here about how I found the God/Esss and what I did when I found them. If haven't, doubtless I will before long. In the interests of openness (as a byproduct of which I might try to sell you some tat - see below), I will tell you the tale of the day we finally immanentised the Eschaton.

There's no way easy way into this tale so I shall start, by explaining that this is/was either a complex joke masquerading as a religious ceremony, or a complex religious ceremony masquerading as a joke. A third possibility: Daisy Eris Campbell, central to this production, once yelled orgasmically "FUCK PUNCHDRUNK! This is how you do immersive theatre" (no offence intended, I went twice to The Drowned Man - wow! Took my daughter once to let her roam alone, one of the greatest things a dad can do).

Now it's certainly true that, if you take 69 fee-paying members of the public, call them all "pilgrims", cram them in a double decker bus for 5 days to see some far-out sites around Europe, implicating them all as audience, actors, directors and writers of a collaborative unfolding, there is a fucktonne of theatre involved. Exactly who's playing whom though... hmmm?

When you offload Daisy's charabanc trip at a spot in a field in the centre of Europe where also lies the geographical centre of the largest, least-dense, unmass of empty space in the entirety of our known universe (a 27-kilometer torus buried deep under the Alps, known as the "Large Hadron Collider"), which also happens to be on the exact site of a former Appolonian temple, and whose nearest neighbours (according to Google Maps) are the "Chaos Killers Motorcycle Club", then you're not just talking a pile of scatology, you're talking eschatology. When you start this trip, to visit the Large Hadron at that temple to moderity CERN, with a trip to touch the large hard-on at a temple to ancient times called Cerne then this whole caper has gone a bit beyond a joke.

(Is this all starting to get a little tweetle-Beatley for you yet? Far out! If you only came here for simple Role-Playing Games... well, hang around as the ride may get more Real than yer usual story game)

When you reach the centre of the universe and you finally do this (below) - and you decide that you've been doing it all along, since the universe began - then at least you know that you've boldly fucked about where no being has ever fucked about before:

When you look for clues, clews, threads, yarns, coincidences or synchronicities, you find them all at rates that bombard a human mind faster than quarks looking for holes in a wall. When all of that happens, and you find yourself in Gawain's Chapel Perilous, you may avail yourself of rest in the garden around the tower which the maestro of the synchronous, Carl Jung, built with his own hands. There you may take a breather, and listen to the wise words of Merlin, "root and branch will change places and the newness of the thing shall seem a miracle", while a sudden twister whips the mirror-smooth surface of Lake Zürich opaque, then ends just as rapidly as it began.

When you try to explain any of this in plain English, as my friend The Door heroically did, shortly after our return from Out There, you will find the task impossible. But since when has anything that's not impossible been really worth doing, anyway?

In the words of our patron Bill Drummond, "if we knew why, we wouldn't be doing it".


In words I once used myself, and use again, with nods to TS Eliot and Einstein: All this happened. This all a-happen-will. Oh Ma-ma-ma it's all a happening now!
A little over three years ago, 69 "pilgrims" travelled from The Manhole Cover in Liverpool (a site which Carl Jung - who never visited Liverpool-  dreamed about in the dream which he claimed was his most important) to Bollingen, where Carl Jung lived in a tower.

Inside that pilgrimage was another pilgrimage, from Cerne Abbas in Dorset to CERN on the French/Swiss border.

Inside that pilgrimage was a holiday at Damanhur and the Temples of Humankind, the eighth wonder of the world, where the 69ers learnt to speak in a silent language made of dance. Nobody knows what the fuck was going on.

Before the trip, in the midst of a maelstrom of over 5,000 emails, these 69 each chose a Pilgrim Name. Each then designed a Pilgrim Tarot Card. We should probably have made metal cocks and vulva badges (we did at least have one Norwegian witch hard gentle genital-sounding ancestor-child the Völva) but, to be honest, 5,000 emails and we just didn't think of it. We're not that kind of historical reënactment society. 

Perhaps surprisingly, nobody chose names from any "standard" tarot deck; I came closest, deciding at first the be The Fool (I had serious previous with foolery: I'd been appointed, by random ballot, the Official Fool of Festival 23). But I then thought "everyone is going to want to be the fool and so, haha, for a witty postmodern joke I'll the The Twat". But I then thought "gosh, should I really be appropriating female genitalia? when we also have this most wonderful term, The Pillock".

(Male/female/non-binary issues were a bit of a theme of our games, as we journey from Cerne-man's shaft to CERN-woman's hole and we all accidentally had... a story for another day).
The cards submitted were a rainbow of ideas, pictures, styles, collages and personal sigils. Dotted among the pilgrim cards were significant locations and concepts, from Cerne to CERN, from the Chaos Killers Motorcycle Club to the Toilet on the Bus. They were wonder-full! 

I was privileged to be the one collating these designs into an actual deck of "tarot" cards. My mate Chris Barker, laugh-or-you'll-cry chronicler of Brexshit Britain and Sergeant Pepper-sprayer of dead celebrities, designed the Happy Shopper box for the cards. My other mate (we're all allowed two) Zali Krishna, publisher of quality books of indeterminate genre and perhaps the first ever person to have used the word "novelettino", pointed me at a decent printer's. 100 packs were... I believe the term is, "manifested".

69 packs went to the pilgrims. 20-odd went to "stay-at-home pilgrims". With one or two more slipping through gaps in the matrix... the Law of Fives has determined that

I get to end up with five spare decks. 

Our "caper" literally vibrated the universe, even if no-one noticed at the time. Its shockwaves still spread through the counterculture, they're beginning to tickle the mainstream. I'm not saying that we didn't have COVID and a terrifying new world order before the approximate middle of 2019, but we didn't have COVID and a terrifying  new world before the approximate middle of 2019.

But the Eschaton's not just there for the nasty things in life. Hey, even Merlin's shaggy beard grew from a deadly worldwide pandemic. Plus I moved to a nice new house in the country last year so, you know, swings and roundabouts. The five remaining tarot decks have requested to be sent out into the universe and into muggles' homes. 

What all of the above amounts to, basically, is that  there are five packs of seriously playful playing cards in my online shop, and if you're very quick you might get one. "Friends" in the know assure me that you'll be selling one on eBay in 2323 (If man has, still, a tree) for a quandrazillion Imperial Currencyunits.

Footnote: if you've clicked on every link on this page, read background, watched videos, perhaps even stopped to think, then welcome, pilgrim. You are one of us now.

3 comments:

  1. This is wild but i'm feeling the vibe

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  2. That is a GREAT fucking story!

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    Replies
    1. Wicked, thank you for saying so. I actually, err, didn't have the headspace to check & edit it as I usually do so... welcome to the canyons of my mind!

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