Hello Members and welcome to the oscillating multi-dimensions of 2023, a timespan that is sure to help you shape-shift through our current ‘cult-as-zeitgeist’ era with its demand we be enslaved to slogan. The word ‘cult’ bubbled up around the 17th century and derives from the latin cathexis ‘cultus’ – used to convey ‘adoration’ or ‘worship.’ But note: the word ‘occult’ appeared earlier, circa the 15th century, and finds its cosmogony is the latin ‘occultare’ used to say ‘that which is concealed or secret.’ So unlike ‘cult,’ which radiates outward in bondage to some celeb doing their be(a)st to become the next Father Yod, ‘occult’ is all about interiority, hidden things, occlusions, and mysterious transmutations therein. And though the paranoid acrobatics of unconsidered personality worship like to sloganify, “they know!” really, none of us know. Because sound bites be damned, not everything is a knowledge lesson FFS.
As such 2023 is the year to take the moth, Albert Camus’ The Stranger, and the alchemist’s odd obsessions as your philosopher’s stones.
First: Unlike the butterfly, with it’s enantiodromia camouflage, mimicking the most visible, glitzy and symmetrical of the plantworld, moths (from which butterflies evolved) keep night as their preferred territory, sport earthy enigmatic patterns, and developed ears 91 million years ago, well before bats. To wit: if you find yourself in the night, you got the ears, so listen up for those two fairies singing to you, Mothra!
Second: Beyond the nuts and bolts of the narrative that Camus plots for his anti-hero Mersault (maman mortre, the-sun-in-my-eyes-made-me-do-it, the detachment police, death row), The Stranger is a study of how, no matter how hyperloyal one is to the immutability of meaning, it will not hold you safe from the absurdities of absurd universes. But that doesn’t mean you you get to be a grade-A nihilist. To wit: If Mersault, who is a jerk, can cobble together significantia in his absurd universe, so can you.
Third: the alchemists are not a faultless bunch, so let’s not deify them, but they did have this thing for transmutation. And they had poetic images for that kind of shape-shifting endeavor, like that of a green lion with seven starry seals of potentiality which can only evolve by eating the sun. They also had a whole stan thing for figuring out how to square a circle. To wit: Eat some suns and see how many extra dimensions you can transmute.
So remember: all it takes to blotto the motto is mutation on the magnitude of moth ears, an eye for significantia absurdus, and some sun-eating shape-shifting. In 2023, forget the alamo, remember the alchemists and oc(cult)ivate the oscillia(s)tory.