Where do you find demons in London? At a gathering of Chaos magicians in a backstreet occult bookshop surely? It looked promising as I arrived. There was a lot of black leather; plenty of facial hardware; tattoos and piercings; white faces and bloodshot eyes. I wandered in and sniffed. Sulphur? Hmm, more like mandarin and floor polish really. I browsed the bookshelves. Necronomicon and Nocturnicon. Technomages and Pacts with the Devil. Low Magick and high risks. Getting closer.
A small woman with gimlet-bright eyes peered up at me and started to dance. ‘Do you dance?’ she said.
‘Of course,’ I replied with a smile, following her in a bit of a cumbia.
‘Excellent,’ she said. ‘One should always dance.’ Quite so. She danced me down the stairs to where two tall men with long black hair were serving wine and proffering hummus and carrot sticks.
The lecture, I have to say, was a huge disappointment. The speaker was a PhD student who had perfected the art of obfuscation, made even more unintelligible by muttering in a transatlantic drawl. I caught the odd word: exoskeleton, sigil, lobotomy, shame, subjugation, DNA, chimera, pack, pact, anomalous. I started drawing sigils in my notebook and sketching faces. I had kinda hoped to talk to people afterwards but they melted into the night…apart from an elderly woman with a face the colour and texture of a prune who thrust a small glass jar into my hand as I left.HEKATE of the cross-roads, keeper of the keys of the universe. Storax, frankincense, myrrh, willow, aconite.
Add 3 drops of blood to portion used in ritual, thus aligning self with intent.
She smiled, shrugged and vanished. In a puff of smoke? Oh, how I wish… But honesty impels me: it was more like a fading away to grey...
To be continued…in the meantime, some music...
And a rather beautiful little film