“You’d think if they could summon Lucifer they could at least form a proper circle”
DAY FIVE: I arrive in a car driven by the wonderful THE BRIDGE, we wander around the campsite twice seeking for seekers until the absence of the sound of The Amplifier makes us realise we are at the wrong campsite. The positive outcome of this is that when we arrive at the actual campsite a hoard of Bricklayer primed Others are waiting to help tent us up. Hugs all around, the first of what seems to be a constant stream of love in these parts. The Amplifier is on top Tequila drenched form, trying to get himself burnt to death whilst doing all shouting. Just when you think he’s stopped he’s off again, and the endless ancient ritual of The Shushing Of The Pilgrims begins in earnest.
I die of exposure in my tent and am woken up into a dream of Joy about 10 minutes later by some fucker announcing that it’s DAY SEVENTEEN and time to die on the outside as well because we’ve got a sexed up giant to arouse. DisClaudia, actual Eris, aka The Authenticator, starts doing All You Need Is Love and we all go “wah wah wah wah wahhhhhhh”, ironically, from inside our frozen bubbles of cold.
Falth teeth mutht be worn for all rishual elementh.
We race to the Cerne Abbas Giant in all his morning glory, and are gifted a raucous and strange stay at home sendoff by actual geniuses in robes – John Higgs, Doing The Cameron (it’s obviously another fucking dance), lights blue touch paper then fucks off, leaving us floating like Higgs Bozos, Fruish in a death mask STILL not invited to the party despite the stone FACT that he has written one of THE all-time great novels, Discordian or otherwise, four and a half hours without a breath leading to LOVE, Doctor Bramwell, who inspired me to want to commune with the Damanhurians at the first Festival 23, his voice slowed down on tape the first inkling that we are already left consensus reality as the The Big Dick Man Of Chalk speaks to us, reminding me of that terrifying moment in Moore’s ‘Jerusalem’ when the angel turns it’s head and talks to Ernest Vernall.
We cheer ourselves and each other, sing the sings, do the dances of the daft, kiss each other at the kissing gate, raise the graffitied cock and balls of our beloved Albion high and are covered in His jazz. Drone misses it, all hail Discordia!
The second of many races, this time to the port, where a wonderful joy-filled employee of the decade is waiting to keep the myriad smiles on our faces as we hit the ferry, and the bar. Upon arrival at the car park everyone groks, with much derision, the slightly unfortunately named Magic Peter’s van, who does kid’s magic shows and ballon penis modelling. Myself and The Psychogeography Teacher (o.n.o.) aka The Donkey Rabbit arrive at the bar and notice a notice informing us that the unfortunately named one is doing his do THIS VERY AFTERNOON, and our impending hoots of derision are fortunately halted in advance by a friendly “HELLO! I AM HE!” from the table next to where we are about to hoot. We tell Magic Peter about our pilgrimage and Magic Peter asks us to come and watch his show, saying that it will probably be a bit lowbrow for Pilgrim’s such as ourselves. Cue hoots of derision, finally. This is the point where it becomes clear that to prove how highbrow we are we ask Uncle Peter to make us an anatomically correct balloon Cerne Abbas Giant. Magic Peter agrees in his agreeable fashion, although perhaps he’ll model that for us AFTER the show. I feel slightly guilty when Magic Peter appears some time later with a balloon homunculus a tenth my height but with a much bigger cock, the bastard. Although we DID go and see his show, I DID made some quite quite dark jokes out of the side of my mouth to the unfortunate Electric Dreamer throughout. To be fair he WAS talking about kid’s bottoms quite a lot, and his magic phrase was “supersonic sausages”. I barely had to whisper anything to the Electric Dreamer for it to be a bit dark. What was brilliant is that the presence of so many (hur hur) “grown ups” at his show forced Magic Peter to improvise, quite possibly for the first time ever. Ken would have been well pleased, so there’s that…..I still hold this holy relic, more flaccid by the day, eventually to become a small pile of used balloons.
Some more OA practicing on the deck of the boat. Happily The Resurrected is over the miscommunications that lead her to believe The OA movements are the same as the Time Dance and she has decided to get it together (which she does, with aplomb), and we have 2 extra pilgrims for good measure, made of Enthusiasm (and Psychogeography) (Teacher)
Lisa “Luxury” Lovebucket aka the accidentally monikered Cilla Black has jizzed 21 euro on a cabin and i have a shower (and a crafty shit, against Lisa’s wishes.) (It is almost the last time either thing will happen on this tour, so i have to strike whilst the arse is hot i feel)
The arrival at Damanhur, sobbing. Here’s Horus, there’s our kid Pan…Earth, Air, Fire, Water… holding on to Pigspurt’s Daughter, for dear dear life. I’ve wanted to be here for longer than i’ve known about it, possibly more than this lifetime, possibly much more than that. We gift the Damanhurians a spectacularly out of tune All You Need Is Love and they return the favour by letting the geese loose in the garden, a maze of primary colours and childish statues pull daft faces at us and i realise that they too are serious about not being serious. The ONLY spiritual revolution worth knowing MUST leave us with split sides, seekers, otherwise it’s a sham. Kermit – KERMIT – gnows this as he puts his hands in the red rock and has some sort of a vision on the spot. He’s already considering calling his girls back home and announcing the move, and we’ve only been there for 23 minutes! (an aside: Suddenly His Holy Name sounds well Sephiroth; “To our right, the busies, guarded by The Liver Birds, And in the mystic East – KERMIT”) (The Holy Black Frog Of Joy)
We hit the shops. We empty their shelves of booze and i am a little nervous that they will think we are tourists and not serious pilgrims. Everyone has cheese, presumably there is going to be a really glorious farting competition later on.
I watch some of the top and tailing for tonight’s performance, and am totally enamoured by Daisy as she barks her way through an utterly thrilling and punk rock rehearsal. You want Immediatism, seeker? Well here it is, right where you are sitting now. No, not there, over there. Over THERE.
The show is blinding and raucous, totally incoherent. Kermit is loving wearing his dress. (“IT’S A ROBE HORTON, IT’S A ROBE!” says an obviously sexually confused frog enjoying all air wafting his downstairs) Happily some of the Damanhurian audience at least recognise the OA Moves, even though they will most definitely be sat there utterly perplexed by the rest of the show. (Note to self: ask the Damanhurians if any of the OA moves are also Damanhurian moves.) The Dreamfisher is cute as a squirrel’s nut with a neck pillow for a hat and accidental red wine bus stains on The Fire And The Pot’s duvet, tendrils of proper Other emerging from her dreams disguised as puppets and plant music, La Chanteuse treats us to a version of ‘Is That All There Is?’ with, as is typical of Discordians, the lyrics changed like naughty skool kids do at assembly, and there is a brilliant ending with the inflatable dice being thrown around like a chaos soccerball by happy Damanhur kids.
Delicious Damanhurian spread. We are made to feel so welcome here. Home.
Party starts, just Pilgrims for the first half an hour or so, Brits abroad, and i am little nervous that they will think we are tourists and not serious pilgrims. Fortunately some Damanurians join us and it suddenly feels like a cultural exchange again, our riddim culture for their sacred dance, with Kermit and Josh doing what they always do – setting the place AFIRE. Nervous now. I lost two out of three memory sticks that i brought with me already (see what i did there eh, pilgrim?) but fortunately most of the things i wanted to play are on the one that remains. ‘Who Built The Pyramids?’ goes down well, as does ‘What Time Is Love?’ Roberto De Simone’s 1976 sex dream stomp opera ‘Secondo Coro Delle Lavandaie’, and especially my Prince acid medley, 23 positions in a one night stand. When I play Nancy Nova’s astounding ‘The Force’ The Gay Masters are being thrown around the big screen, which makes me happy like you wouldn’t believe, then some of my OA crew throw some shapes down the front. At this point we are super in sync, and i am also happy feeling like i got my oar in helping us earn the all important DO THE DANCE credits for our mission, as The Bricklayer looked quite terrified when it appeared earlier that I was to be let on to the stage, which let’s face it seekers, is probably for the best, nobody needs to see that brilliance on a Monday without a special hat, and i may have made the show incoherent. (*Incandescent) (it was fine being incoherent without my help, thank you very much, the idea that my presence might have provided any clarity sounds preposterous, and IS preposterous, but preposterous seems to be a theme around here, so i’m going with it)
Going straight to bed early doesn’t happen of course, there are Damanhurians with wisdom to impart, Firestarter starting fires, MoneyBurner and The Eye Of The Storm doing the same in the most intense burn i’ve been involved with to date, Clamjamfrie singing out his soul, a big solid boy, a donkey that thinks it’s a rabbit, and – surprise surprise – Cilla Black and The Discordian Accordionist are so pissed they have to be dragged away for drunkenness and more volume than the rest of the seekers put together. Some time later Cilla reappears from her tent all smug because – let’s face it – the volume has not changed one iota since her departure. I am a little nervous that they will think we are tourists and not serious pilgrims, so much so that despite being part of the problem I start shushing with the best of them, convincing myself that i am only staying awake to keep other, noisier, pilgrims in line. It’s a beautiful dream, seekers, but it’s BOLLOCKS, MAGNIFICENT BOLLOCKS. Cilla informs me that her other half’s fears of her mental instability returning (returning? yes returning, she actually used the word returning) upon her personal return to Damanhur are fortunately ungrounded on account of how the community have made her an honorary member of Sapphic duo Mel and Kim. She’s SHPESHAL, apparently, falsh teeth and all….oh sorry those are her ACTUAL teeth, she apparently won a Nobel Prize for most spectacularly half arsed dental work. God, how I Love that goddess, if she didn’t already exist you’d have to make her up anyway. I can barely breathe for laughing as she becomes beer guzzling foil monster, 2nd from left. I stupidly admit to a prayer for rain during the Imming, at which point our own multi purpose Goddess Jaqui (aka Surrender) expels me from the rainproof salmon foil we are steaming in and makes another request for me to design an extension for her house. She keeps confusing me for an architect instead of a fuckwit, my own fault for shaving off the tramp beard, i guess. I am now more handsome but still gullible it seems, it’s the downside of being a Fool, someone like Surrender will quite rightfully poke fun at your too open mindedness. Still, how I Love that rent-a-goddess, if she didn’t already exist you’d have to make her up anyway.
Myself an The Rework make plans to build an electronic battery operated shush box – basically a white noise generator with a random LFO controlling it’s volume – because a) Noisy Seekers, and b) much Noisier Shushers, the intensity behind Our Kermit’s beautiful little boy eyes betraying the fact that the irony is completely lost on him as he tries for the umpteenth time to get other seekers to calm, and quieten, down, with another barrage of highly enthused industrial volume machine gun shushing. God how I Love that God, if he didn’t already exist you’d have to make him up anyway.
I go to bed, and giggle myself to sleep to the joyous fuffles of Laurel and Hardy next door arguing over who broke the tent zip, where’s my pillow Josh?, and who has the mogodonzzzzzzzzzz.
DAY TWENTY THREE: up early to wonderful Damanhurian coffee, or coffee as it’s also called. Oh, go on then let’s call it PILGRIM COFFEE, Black and funny, like I like my frogs. Well, everything else is slowly becoming Pilgrim something or other – Pilgrim tee shirts, Pilgrim Tarot, Pilgrim Guidebook, Pilgrim showers, Pilgrim poetry, Pilgrim Pilgrimage, Pilgrim toilet breaks….I Am wondering why there isn’t an audible gasp of amazement every time one of us walks past. I add a shot of Ginseng to the coffee, and make a note that Pilgrim Ginseng Coffee is now BEST DRINK EVAH, although the ones served by fellow pilgrims at various points on the bus come a very close second. Crap coffee, but the service…..(kisses fingertips) I have a shower, and am feeling fresh as a Daisy, until i see Daisy. God how i Love That Goddess etc etc. The Bricklayer has a quite quite wild glint in the old balls doesn’t she? We are her madness, Seekers, and look at the state of us. I am reasonably convinced that when future scholars unearth the clues we now leave in this new Age Of Grummit that they will ponder over why the star chamber in the famous Leaning People’s Pyramid of Toxteth points not to Sirius but straight to Orion’s Massive Cock and Balls…..And of course having modern equipment and a new story they will finally discover that we weren’t seeded by beings from Sirius after all, but by the second star to the right.
DAMANHUR DAMANHUR DAMANHUR DAMANHUR DAMANHUR
Our prayer from the previous night has been heard by the Damanhurians (which, let’s face it was always going to happen as they probably don’t all go to bed wearing eight pairs of earplugs), thankfully they have received us in their generous hearts as pilgrims and not tourists, and we assemble in the hall to learn to DO THE DANCE. The closest translation to the phrase “show us so we can understand” is “ YOU / SHOW / ME / THE WAY / AND THE POWER / TO KNOW”. I whisper to The Bricklayer that surely it should be “us” instead of “me” and when she asks our host Espiride she responds, to much “DOH!” spiritual hilarity; “same thing”. “They” (the Damanhurians) have brought in a plant for us to practice to, and once the electrodes are attached the sweet new age sounds flow into the room. Our Dreamfisher asks for us to actually dance to the sounds but unfortunately we are locked into a learning groove so this doesn’t quite happen, but at one point the musical plant electrodes are attached to the Magnolia from The Pool Of Life that the Liverpool Arts Lab have brought as a gift for the community, and for a few seconds it makes a much dafter Discordian melody, like that wacky bit near the end of Rinder & Lewis ‘Lust’. I don’t know if anyone else could barely hold it in, but I was definitely dancing laughing, giving the lesson just that extra edge of wonder and it almost feels as if we may be immanantising the eschaton a day early. I wish we had made a point of practicing more in tune with the plants once we had committed the moves to physical memory. As “new age” music goes that was right up, and out, THERE. Reminded me of the music of Pauline Anna Strom in some ways, really cleansing and very holy. No surprise that Pauline Anna Strom believed herself to be “consort of Tiiiiime” (2nd small regret, that Pilgrims were pronouncing tiiiiime wrong)
Gifts are presented to the community, the aforementioned Magnolia for their temple garden, some shiny rocks from Australia, and we appear to have convinced the Damanhurians to paint Our Lady ERIS inside their latest temple space!! So our first intention, to END STORY, seems to been achieved by accident, without too much fuss. Eris has finally been invited to the party – THE WAR NEVER STARTED. We already won. Instead of alphabetical order we go in Pilgrim Tarot divined synchronic disorder into smaller groups into The Temples Of WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!
I’m crying already. WHAT IN HELL ARE WE DOING TO OUR HOME? It’s time to take our place amongst the stars and yet we’re arguing over fucking BREXIT? The first temple is a bit like one of the paintings in the Jehovah’s Witness fanzine The Watchtower, but without the horrible white facist cynicism or having killed Prince, a peaen to lost loves and the lives of those beings we share our home with and are danger of losing, for good. Fucking idiots. Not them, US. and not in a good way. Collateral damage in our quest for enlightenment? We can’t immanantise the eschaton soon enough right now. I read somewhere that Orang-utans have got about 25 years tops. And now GIRAFFES have been added to that list. If that doesn’t break you into bits and urge you to reform on to a quest for a future worth having, then nothing will.
Second chamber appears to have ourselves painted on the walls, with FALTH TEETH (whith mutht be worn for all rithual elementh) and one of us disappearing into a vortex, the constant ringing of bells and singing bowls lure us into another chamber, and another, and another, beauty upon wonder upon magic. One temple seems to have OA dance instructions painted on the ceiling and Our Cilla painted on one of the panels. We finally arrive in the Hall Of Mirrors, every bit as mystical as the Kraftwerk song, and the room multiplies our 17 strong posse into a crowded room of seekers travelling in many dimensions simultaneously. The Bricklayer takes the lead and begins to DO THE DANCE and we spontaneously form a circle and join her, whereupon we are ushered out very quickly, and i can’t work out if it’s because we are being sacrilegious or because of logistical difficulties with the next group being too close behind! Shame as the simplicity and otherness of this place was busy rearranging my DNA.
We exit one of the most beautiful places that any of us have ever been, outside it is raining dandelion angels, and I am greeted by a Damanhurian with big funny teeth and the CERN grin, leaving me bursting with suppressed laughter, AGAIN. Pure Joy follows this Pilgrimage around like a happy puppy.
In the evening there is delicious Pilgrim pizza, encoldened by the Discordian Steering Committee trying to work out a simple and effective ritual for CERN, a gently rained on OA movements rehearsal in a spotlit carpark, a cutup dress, and more campfire action. And so to tent, for tomorrow we immanantise the eschaton, etc
Early waking, some Money Burner arse kicking, plenty of PILGRIM COFFEE, and we are off to be the Wizards. First port of call is the CERN visitor centre, where we totally fail to pass ourselves off as tourists and most of us are told off, for sitting two to a chair, rolling Jimmy Cauty’s gift to Shiva around the floor like a tiny ART BOMB, or placing an obscene homunculus balls deep in a projection of the centre of CERN. During the (very psychedelic) light show i try and very subtly DO THE DANCE, although upon finishing i turn and there is Larry, spreading his wings like the angel that he is, DOING THE DANCE not quite so subtly. Those scousers, eh? De do doh don’t de doh?
We head to the centre of gnothing to Imm The Esk (etc), and as we are about to (literally) walk the bridge to the cosmic age (all mobile phones to be turned off etc) around the corner trot one…two….three….FOUR HORSEWOMEN OF THE ESCHATON, one is even on a pale rider. At time of press they are nameless, but for now let’s call them Love, Peace, Art, and Joy. The giggling subsides again and we walk the bridge to complete our mission.
After we re-set Planet World Daisy Campbell is in a heap on the floor; a spent, burst condom in the elaborate mating dance of the eternal Protuberential and the eternal Orificular. The Drummer drums to lead us back out of these woods and Daisy shouts “CAN WHOEVER IT IS STOP THE FUCKING DRUMMING PLEASE?!” instantly breaking the wonder. It appears spontaneous, and probably was, but afterwards i realise this was a totally necessary event, because of course we totally failed to build any kind of banishing into the ritual. So that was a fucking lucky escape 🙂 I think i can speak for all of us pilgrims in saying that this ritual has leaked into our “ordinary” (read: “ASTONISHING”) lives somewhat, and can hardly conceive how much more dangerous this would have been without any sort of banishing. When we get home one of our number has a full-on breakdown, and i’d like to thank them profusely for taking our burden on their shoulders, otherwise we’d ALL be in Deep Shit. Get well soon, man, we’re all thinking of you xx xxx Meanwhile as we baptise ourselves in the local stream we notice our Sage, the delightful Sage With Onion suffering mild heatstroke on the bank of the healing waters, turns out he nearly carked it during the ritual and needs a serious dousing to revive him. Another H E R O.
On the bus on the way home we hear the news – turns out this very day in a secret underground laboratory inside a mountain in Italy there has been made the very first observation of radioactive decay of an element whose half life is THIRTEEN TRILLION TIMES THE AGE OF UNIVERSE. This preposterously rare event apparently proves the existence of DARK MATTER, which according to the presentation at CERN makes up – you guessed it – 23 percent of the known universe. 2 days later the UK government becomes the first in the world to declare a state of Climate Emergency. We’re taking the claim for that as well, and in fact any and all batshit post eschaton news items. Have we gone mad? Or is Planet World now becoming sane?
The final leg now and we have two tasks: not keep the kids up all night at the campsite, and enter Jung’s dream of Utopia. We all go to a wonderful rowdy meal at a local eatery run by very forgiving but mainly very pissed off looking staff. The beer flows. I am so hungry i could eat a horse. So i DO. Pretty good. Fortunately for the kids there is a small beach near to the campsite, where The Moment Maker and The Rework do heroic doses of acid. No surprise as these fuckers are also HEROES.
Next morning and it’s all hands on tent as we head out nice and early for Lake Zurich, and Jung’s granite tower at Bollingen. It’s such a beautiful day, and a fitting end to our journey. The Liverpool pilgrims are in charge today, so of course we are all made honorary Scousers and sing Scouse hymns such as ‘Ferry Across The Mersey’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, and ‘The Power Of Love’ as we get treated to another of The Enthusiast’s famous psychogeographical tours of Liverpool whilst walking around the Swiss lake. There are absolutely hilarious terrible jokes from The Glassy Dude, every time a bemused cyclist whizzes past the kazoo players are out in force making a whizzing past noise, and at one point we actually find THE SACRED MANHOLE COVER. What the fuck is it doing in Switzerland??! I pause for a while with my special bell soaking up the special. We are here, pilgrims, we are here, a dream of Liverpool inside a dream of Karl Jung’s vision of Utopia, a dream within a dream. We make it to the tower and in a field of dandelions we remove our shoes and press on down to the lake, where a small stone marked “Le Cri de Merlin” becomes the place we consecrate with our gifts as I ring the bell and Eric, The Omphalos reduces us all to poetic tears of sorrow and hope for the great mother and our heroic endeavours to save her, and ourselves, with our magical journey, as deep as the eternal cosmic ocean of LOVE to which all beings belong. The third and final of the sacred Magnolias is planted (the second having been planted at the centre of the ritual site) and The Tour Manager “ushers” us “politely” back to the bus once more, and home, now a concept extended beyond mere geography and into the sublime love of our fellows on our continued pilgrimage into the post eschaton future of Planet World.
A few weeks later and all of this seems like a dream. A dream within a dream within a dream, a Russian doll of improbability and magic. Did it really happen? Are we lucky few really part of this living myth extending across the borders of the real via a manhole cover in Liverpool, a dream of Utopia, a scientist that fell off his bicycle and accidentally set the stage for the next phase of human evolution, God’s cock, an insanely ambitious theatrical production from 1976 whose repercussions and the book on which it was based still inform modern civilisation to it’s hidden core, and the Director’s hugely inspired daughter, a temple of arcane knowledge hidden deep inside an Italian mountain and built by hand by a community whose founder was from the future, singing plants, sacred dances, the moment immediately after the Big Bang, dandelion seeds spreading far and wide, signs and symbols everywhere we turn, and a wheel of silent wonder that forever spins in a field in Switzerland at 2.23 April the 23rd 2019?
So what next? It’s now officially year dot on our pale blue dot.
ART WAR? We Already Won.
Love, light, and Peace – horton (aka The Phonomancer) xx xxx