TOOL NEWSLETTER
AUGUST 2003 E.V.


RED EYES

To the memory of Marjorie Cameron,
whose home was Mars (somehow).

"I call upon the aethyrs in a robe of darkness
To hide from the scorpion's gilded bliss.
Her perfumes are burnt in the moon-silver sand,
Tigress in opals of the aeon at hand."

- from Parsons Crater
by Blair MacKenzie Blake

EMAIL: MARS

Q: Do you think the close approach of Mars may have something to do with the mention of the blood red moon in the Bible (Revelation)?

As for the biblical book of Revelation, let me first quote the British occultist Kenneth Grant from his book entitled The Magical Revival: "The confusion of esoteric concepts and the decadence of symbols has rarely been exhibited so clearly as in St. John's Revelation, where fragments only of the Ancient Mysteries are presented without full knowledge of their inner meaning." With this mind, might not the "blood red moon" have to do with occult biology, in particular endocrinology and the magical uses of the left hand path sexual current (what I've called "The Honeyed Elixir [(H)elix(H)ir] of the Red Eye of the Moon)?" But as for Mars itself, again in reading Grant we find "The idea of Mars being a god of bloodshed is merely a derivation from the primary one of shedding blood in conception for the first time" thus, "with the Egyptians Mars was the primeval generative principle." (Grant quoting from Blavatsky's 1888 edition of The Secret Doctrine). So again, it seems we are dealing with a magical formula of sexuAL bloodshed (as opposed to that of battle) that is connected with the bloody goddess Kali and with the Scarlet Woman who is an avatar of Babalon. In the second volume of his Typhonian Trilogies (Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God), Grant writes that "the part played by Mars (Horus) is both subtle and secret, for Mars has an inner core of mystic fire known to initiates as Vulcan. It is this fire that tinges the robe of the Mother with vermilion; this, not the red of the moon, is the dye of Babalon, for her sovereignty does not lie in her physical generative potential but in her ability to conceive Ideas of extra-terrestrial realms begotten on her by the Beast." It should be evident then that Grant equates Mars with Horus, Ra-Hoor-Khuit(?), Shaitan and Set and with the highest sexuAL mysteries. And for those of you who are interested in Grant's qabalistic studies, this from page 72 in Nightside of Eden: "393 subtracted from the sacred number 718 (the number of The abomination Desolation and of the Stele of Revealing) yields 325, which is the Mystic Number of Bartzabel, the Spirit of Mars, and of Graphiel, the Intelligence of Mars. This number is the sum total of the series 1-25, thus resuming the formula of the Pentagram which is also that of the Goddess whose basic number is 5." (NOTE: for more information about BRTzBAL [Bartzabel] and GRAPhIAL [Graphiel] see the Square of Mars depicted by Cornelius Agrippa). But there is even more. In Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, Grant writes that "the Heavenly Isis is Nuit, Our Lady of the Stars, her earthly counterpart is Luna, also a lady of the stars but after a different manner, for whereas the rays of the moon are red with the blood of Typhon and Set, the stars of Nuit are red with the martian vibrations which burn with a subtle perfume at the core of Neptune."

(NOTE: when thinking of Neptune, consider the sigil of Neptune, the trident, as well as Neptune as the chalice of the watery feminine principle.)

And finally, from the Holy Bible:

PSALM 66:6

"He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot - come, let us rejoice in him."

Due to its cryptic number (a coincidence?!!),I thought that sex-magicians and Xtians alike might enjoy this allusion to the Biblical PARTING OF THE RED SEA. This requires no further comment.

"Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: let blood flow to my name."

-from Liber AL vel Legis III, 11.

In a footnote, Grant points out that "the number of the verse, eleven, is the number of Daath and of magic," i.e. 'energy tending to change.'

joshua_tree

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN!

Taken from my diary entry for August 16, 17 : Road trip to view the planet Mars...

It's Robyn Breen's birthday {Tool video co-producer and partner of Camella for SpiralEyes and to celebrate the occasion some of us are staying at the famous Yucca Inn in Kalifornia's Yucca Valley. Camella, Kevin Willis, Jake (friend of Willis from Seattle), and I drive out in Adam's Jeep. Camella's Great Dane, Diablo, also squeezes in, and fares well with the air conditioner on full blast. On the way, we make a stop in Banning to visit Scott Reeder (Kyuss bassist) and Renee at their place. Before driving out to their farm, though, we stop at several liquor stores in town so that Camella can buy Renee a good bottle of champagne for her birthday. Not much luck in the first two places. Just a lot of cheap stuff that most people wouldn't was their socks in. At the third store, the clerk points to his selection of cheap stuff (ranging from $3.99 - $5.99). Itell the guy that we were looking for a bottle of French champagne. He says that they don't have any French champagne, but he does have a bottle of Dom Perignon behind the counter for $150.00 (and, perhaps embarrassed by the price, he would gladly throw in a free bag of ice). Camella and I smile, knowing that a lot of Frenchmen are at this very moment turning in their graves. With the Dom Perignon (wherever it comes from) in a free paper bag, we head to the Reeder 'farm.' Lots of animals here, some of which Camella jokingly calls evil (including a couple evil 'killer' poodles and a duck with a rather nasty disposition). Mostly dogs, horses, and lots of peacocks. (NOTE: I was pleasantly surprised that none of the peacocks were deemed evil, especially after recalling something in the glossary of Kenneth Grant's Nightside of Eden: "Kartikeya: The Hindu version of the earlier Egyptian Har, Khar or Khart, the child begotten of fire and sometimes equated with the planet Mars [Horus]. His vehicle is the peacock which isthe symbol of Shaitan or Set)." As the others check out the animals (evil or not), I sit at the shady bar in the spacious front yard, sipping Modelos and Coronas with shots of gold Patron and Marker's Mark courtesy of our wonderful hosts. While keeping pace with me, Scott informs me that he recently captured a tarantula and has been keeping it in a glass box for the past few days. So I go to have a look at this fine specimen, telling Scott that I (an admitted arachnophobe used to have a tarantula prisoner, and that they didn't bother me as much as smaller spiders, especially one like this which was big enough to have its own social security number).

joshua_tree

Friends Brad and Amy arrive, and we fire up the coals, grilling steak kabobs (which doesn't bother the heathen near-vegan) and drinking what's left in my (newly dented) silver Coleman (Why'd I try to break a bag of ice against my pride and joy)? Before taking off to the Yucca Inn, Scott presents me with the glass box containing the tarantula. No problem, he/she can't escape. At the "charming" Yucca Inn we meet up with Robyn and her French-Canadian boyfriend Matt, and continue the drinking poolside. Downing good mescal brought by Matt, he and I are the last to call it quits. In my motel room, I read some of the toolband emails that I brought along, hoping to have the time out here to answer a few...

EMAIL: ORIGIN OF CROWLEY QUOTE/POSSIBLE RENNES CONNECTION?

Q: "I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning." -Aleister Crowley

"Blair, Would you happen to know what book this is quoted from? I have tried searching for it but I couldnÕt find anything on the net about its origins. Also, is this quote of any relevance to the Rennes mystery?.."

A: It's from The Book of Lies (falsely called), Chapter 45 entitled 'Chinese Music.' According to the commentary by AC that accompanies this particular chapter, "in the last paragraph we see how skepticism keeps the mind fresh, whereas faith dies in the very sleep that it induces." This is similar to Robert Anton Wilson's manta: I DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANYTHING (a remark made by John Gribbin as explained in WilsonÕs Cosmic Trigger), that "BELIEF IS THE DEATH OF INTELLIGENCE" and "as soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence." It should be noted, perhaps, that Robert Anton Wilson has said on numerous occasions that The Book of Lies contains some of his favorite Crowley musings. The only relevance I can see with Rennes is that one shouldn't make their final decision about any possible solution unless one can prove this with absolute certainty.

EMAIL: GNOSTIC BALANCE: MJK IN TOOL AND APC

Q: A strong theme in gnosticism is the idea of balance, often of the masculine and feminine. Abbe Sauniere placed a glass tower to balance the main tower at Rennes-le-Chateau, possibly hinting at beliefs in gnosticism. I wonder if the same is true with Maynard's choice to lead two bands? Particularly as there is such as masculine/feminine split evident between the two bands. Just a thought.

A: You could also call it GEMINUS: Twins or Polarities (the Goddess and God, the Male and Female). Although I don't want to speak for Maynard, certainly the 'circle' in A Perfect Circle could be seen as feminine while the tool in Tool could be seen as masculine.

... The first thing that I notice when I wake up in the morning is that the lid has been opened to the glass box that is home to 'my' tarantula. Actually, the FIRST thing that I noticed was that the tarantula was still in its box. "F***ing Kevin Willis", I mutter, knowing that he is responsible for this little joke. I go outside and find Robyn and Matt sitting by the pool. After discovering that her French-Canadian is a bit hung over, she points her finger at me: "Blair... He must have stayed up all night with Blair" she says, and Ilater found out that this was the consensus of the others as well; guilty without even a simple Yucca Valley trial I am. "Blame Canada", I try to defend myself, "He brought the stuff." Hey, it was either that or something which pertains to Scorpio and Chokmah (the second Sephira of the Tree of Life). After knocking on Camella's door and not getting a response (she'd taken Diablo in the Jeep to check out the camping sites in Joshua Tree), I decide to take a walk to see if there are any second-hand book stores in town. Heading down 29 Palms Avenue, all I see are cloned used car lots. Feverish in the intense sunlight, I debate whether or not to buy one to continue my search. Soon I come across a diner with a Harley-Davidson theme. I go in and order a large glass of iced tea and a Harley burger (which I only bought out of sheer curiosity, planning on taking just a bite or two). I tell the waitress (who looks like she just came from a Hollywood casting agency for the part) that I only want lettuce and mustard on it. She looks at me as if IÕm crazy and says "You don't want the SECRET sauce!" "No", I tell her... but then I remember that it is a Harley burger, and having my doubts that it will be loud or come with a bun with lots of shiny chrome, maybe the SECRET sauce makes it a Harley burger. "What is the SECRET sauce" I ask? "Thousand Island dressing" she replies,without any reticence or "waffle-waitress" shame at all. "Whoa, the cat's out of the bag, huh?" I say as I hand her back the menu. Now the only reason I fear dying is that I just KNOW that the minute I go, in that instant, all the secrets to the life's great mysteries will be revealed, but just knowing that every f***ing diner in America still calls their Thousand Island dressing a SECRET sauce somehow makes me feel better about my own mortality. At that point, another waitress steps outside for a second, walks backinside and proclaims to our utter astonishment that "it's hot outside." It's August in the southwest desert, sweetie. Come back to our swimming pool at the Yucca Inn. The water is...f***ing wet!

Back at the Yucca Inn, I meet up with Camella, Willis, and Jake and we go to a nice little carniceria to shop for the big production southwest grill I've planned for the night's festivities. Camella puts four 12-packs of Corona in her incredibly squeaky shopping cart and asks me if I think that's enough. I tell her that there are ten of us, and not counting Willis' 12-pack of Miller Lite (which weÕre definately NOT counting)... she hoists a couple of more 12-packs of Corona into the cart, and goes to select a bottle of Patron.

When we return, we see that Wes (Borland) and Heather have arrived So I make margaritas in my hotel room and take the tarantula out to get some sun by the pool. Wes convinces me to let it go once we get out to Joshua Tree (like I really needed convincing) and I agree, for the reasons he's stated: the damn thing will do nothing but sit in the corner of the box until it dies without ever knowing the secrets to the great mysteries of life (except, possibly, what's in the SECRET sauce at every diner in America). While showing Wes how I construct my margaritas, I remind him of the time that Limp Bizkit was playing the PinkPop Festival in Holland a few years ago. Danny and I were on the stage behind Wes when a roadie/tech person yelled in our ears that pyrotechnics were about to go off in a few seconds. Danny and I made it to the side of the stage only a second before the thing exploded in an obvious assassination attempt to get rid of both of us. I pour an extra shot of tequila into Wes's plastic cup. Outside, I give Robyn a birthday card and my copy of a recent publication (Behutet #18) put out by the Thelesis Camp - Ordo Templi Orientis) in which I wrote a short piece for their "special guest advice column." This had to do with a riddle that involved a particular aspect of Crowleyan sex-magic. In the last sentence I wrote that there was an even deeper secret contained in the riddle that I didn't wish to comment on at the time. Well, in the copy that I give to Robyn I scribbled this other secret. She reads it and says that she doesn't get it. I say, "that's a shame, honey."

EMAIL: PIGMY QUESTION (actually more of a Danny Carey question)

Q: "...I recently saw the Pigmy Love Circus/ APC show in New York City, and I thought it was one of the best IÕve ever seen. The merch table had an autographed Danny Carey drum head for sale, which I bought cause I've always been such a big fan of Danny's... The drum head, which is now hanging on my wall, has a seven-pointed star on it with the letters AAIMON written in it, and an eye in the center. I was wondering if you could tell me a little about the symbol's meaning? IÕve looked for a lot of information on the star and have come up with very little, and IÕve come up with nothing as to what AAIMON means."

A: You're not reading it right. What you think is an A is actually a P (no doubt scrawled in imperial purple - which combines the blood of Mars with the royal blue of Jupiter). It's PAIMON, the Ninth Spirit of the Order of the Goetia, said to be "a Great King who appears in the form of a man sitting upon a dromedary with a glorious crown upon his head." Paimon can teach all Art and Sciences and other secret things (including, presumably, what's in every American diner's favorite hamburger garish). For those who are interested, Crowley's vellum copy of his and S.L. MacGregor MatherÕs edition of the Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King is decorated with a red pen-and-ink drawing of Crowley "invoking"? the demon Paimon. This has been reproduced in the rare 'First Impressions' facsimile edition published in 1993.

joshua_tree

EMAIL: ENSURING LITERARY AND SONIC SUCCESS

Q: "Blair, I have read in several places that different occult authors like Crowley and LaVey performed rituals or spells to ensure that their works would ensure literary success. I also read in one of your responses to the anti-Tool site that there are subliminal messages on Lateralus to ensure that the listener will go out and buy another copy should the disc become damaged or lost. Now, I thought it was in jest, but upon thinking further I would like to know if Tool performed some similar rituals concerning the sales of their records?"

A: The subliminal bit for the hilarious Xtian site was completely in jest. If someone loses a CD that they really like (especially one that contains great artwork), what else are they going to do? Besides the initial compact with the devil signed in blood, the only ritual that I'm aware of with regards to Lateralus involved some banishings in the recording studio before the drum tracks were laid down (although formula 409 works equally well), and a few mutterings from some dusty grimoire by the flickering of green candles at the Tool loft.

Camella tells everyone that we will be leaving for Joshua Tree in about a half hour. I go into my hotel room and swallow 6 1/2 dried grams of Psilocybe cubensis, about 1/2 gram shy of Terrence McKenna's "heroic dose." But that's all I have, and as I haven't done magic mushrooms in a while, it should do the trick. Camella's time-table is a bit off, and I begin to trip pretty good while riding in the jeep, holding the box containing the tarantula on my lap with Diablo's enormous head right behind me.

joshua_tree

I tell Camella that I dosed, but that I thought I'd be out at the park to experience the peak, not in the Jeep. She thinks this is funny. When we arrive at the spot she has picked out, Wes immediately begins climbing the large rock formations, disappearing from view for what seemed like seconds, only to reappear on top of the huge boulders. Perhaps, it was the mushrooms talking, but the 'psychic impression' that I received was that he was going to need a brain surgeon. After unloading our supplies and pulling useful utensils out of my picnic basket, I go for a short hike with Camella, Wes, and Heather. Along the way, Wes practically runs up the shimmering jewels that ordinarily would look like giant rocks in the middle of the desert. (NOTE: about the picnic basket: I took a lot of shit for bringing it, but when it came time to eat, everyone was sure glad that I was well prepared. The same with the silver Coleman which keeps ice for three days. In fact, before leaving Los Angeles, Adam tried to convince me to leave it behind, and buy a cheap disposable cooler once out in Yucca Valley. Let me repeat: the stainless steel Coleman keeps ice for three days!)

When Scott and Renee arrive, I let the tarantula out of its box. While doing so, the damn thing starts to crawl up my leg. In retrospect, I probably should have set my full margarita down while letting it go free, because the drink does nothing for my pants. With an empty plastic cup, I watch as the spider slowly crawls into some brush. I then hand Scott his empty glass box. With Willis, Jake and I doing most of the grilling, more people arrive, including my new friends Brad and Amy. The first thing that Brad does is to ask me about the tiny dent in my silver Coleman. Good one! Mars comes out in spectacular fashion. Mushrooms or not, it's so much brighter and intensely red while viewed from the desert, and it amazes us Angelinos. Hours later when we run out of beer, we head back to the Yucca Inn, re-supply the silver Coleman and continue the party around the inviting pool. Camella and I are the last to call it a night, having found the last beer (a NewCastle Brown) in the cooler.* Back in my motel room, I take out my diary and begin to write. IÕm not sure why, but I began to think about something I had read in the appendix (IV) of Kenneth Grant's Remembering Aleister Crowley. This was a "glyph" that Crowley had drawn ON AN ENVELOPE which he left on the young Grant's table with "instructions to investigate the nature of the entity depicted , and its potential as an astral guide." According to Grant, the creature represents "the intelligence of the planet Mars (GRAPhIAL)." But, in the photocopy of the letter there is a note at the top written by Crowley that says Òyou forgot to bring me envelopes." At the time I had a funny thought about this - something to do with Crowley's sense of humor, and why he wanted Grant to investigate the "nature of the entity and its potential as an astral guide", but I didn't write it down and in the morning couldnÕt remember why I thought it was so funny. In an hour or so we all gather at a coffee house for breakfast.

joshua_tree

Wes orders something called a 'brain surgeon' that contains three shots of espresso among other things. Before returning to Los Angeles, Camella, Willis, Jake, Diablo and myself take another ride through Joshua Tree. It's really quite beautiful. We stop in a cactus forest. There, a small girl is screaming bloody murder, evidently having been pricked or stung by one of the hazards of the desert . Willis says he wishes he had a recorder - that he could sell that scream. Let's find a Taco Bell...

* When I told Kevin Willis this, he said that there was still one can of Miller Lite left in cooler in the morning. Camella and I looked at each otherÉ and started laughing. As I said earlier, we were never counting that as beer*, Willie.

* Although compared to the Michelob Ultra we tried at Scott and Renee's, it IS beer.

* note from Camella: Blair must have ingested a "heroic dose" because he rode out to Joshua Tree in Wes and Heather's jeep. Diablo rode out in my jeep. Heather didn't make a birthday cake because if she did, of course we would have photographed it.

HAPPY TRAILS

BLAIR
Photos by Camella and Kevin Willis
JUSTIN
DANNY
MAYNARD
ADAM

 
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