Here is my cover of “Hoochie Coochie Man”. This tune was written by the preeminent Godfather of the Blues, Muddy Waters.
The lyrics are heavily laced with references to the Hoodoo conjure tradition of the American South. One commonly misunderstood line is:
I got the John the Conqueror Root
I’m gonna mess with you
To mess with someone was to put roots on them, meaning to cast spells on that person.
The root known as John the Conqueror (Ipomoea jalapa) is widely regarded as one of the most powerful roots or Plant Spirits; if not the most powerful.
The root, all by itself, was potent and to possess it was to hold power to exert one’s will. However, to possess a mojo hand (aka, mojo bag), made and empowered by a knowledgeable rootworker, was an awe-inspiring thing.
It was not a simple matter to travel to Louisiana and get a mojo, especially for a Black person, who had less opportunities and greater obstacles. If you wanted the magick, the only way to get it was to find a skilled doctor.
This was a man or woman who knew how to coerce the Spirits to work on their behalf. First, you had to find a rootworker and then you had to convince them to make a hand for you and pay them whatever their fee was, no questions asked.
Any rituals they prescribed you or tasks assigned must be followed scrupulously. But once you had a mojo hand, especially one containing John the Conqueror, it meant that you were a force to be reckoned with.
I’m doing all the guitar, bass and vocal parts on this track. I added Slight Return to the title as a little tip of the hat to another major influence of mine, the immortal Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was well aware of the lore mentioned here and his song “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” references similar themes.
During the last verse, you’ll see a quote, placed over a pic of Muddy Waters. It comes from the movie Crossroads, starring Ralph Machio; not to be confused with the movie Crossroads, starring Britney Spears.
It’s the story of a young, classical guitarist who dreams of nothing but playing the Mississippi Delta Blues. He’s a classical music major at The Juilliard School of Music but is mostly obsessed with Robert Johnson, arguably the greatest blues man ever.
This piece is from an upcoming collection of poems, called conjunct neptune. The details of the book are in the link, which is the first poem that I wrote in the series. If you haven’t been through that one, it might be more helpful to read it, first. There, I explain what the theme of the book is.
This piece is about Luna, our Moon, when She reaches the point in the roughly twenty-nine day, lunar cycle that She sits in the same space with Pluto… you know, that thing that wasn’t a Planet and then it was for a while… and then it wasn’t, again.
Pluto is similar in several ways to Saturn. The similarity resides in that both Saturn and Pluto/Hades represent a miserly, curmudgeonly, old and cranky energy. They’re both decidedly masculine in presentation but definitely not in a loving father kind of way. Saturn is said to have eaten his own younguns.
Pluto is the Roman God of Wealth. While not identical in nature to Hades, He is similar enough, in many respects.
He holds dominion over wealth, particularly anything that is obtained from the Earth. Since our whole economy is (or was or ought to be; you decide) based on the trading of gold, silver and thousands of other minerals, that’s arguably a rather huge amount of influence on money.
All that goes into the making of the things we buy and sell and trade, it all comes out of the Earth. Even services use material resources (offices, paper recording keeping and endless cups of coffee). This means that they, too, are part of Pluto’s territory.
The Greek equivalent of Pluto is Hades, who is famous for presiding over the Underworld, as it was laid out in Greek mythology. While Hades is not synonymous with Christian concepts of Satan or the Devil, He was still considered to have a brooding, intense personality. It’s said that He was the least-liked of all the gods and usually called upon only for curses.
One thing is sure enough, when astrologers look to Pluto, when other planets are aspecting that body, the effect is one of intensification. Whatever it is, the force of Pluto is one that assists in creating wealth; many uber-rich folks have a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in their natal chart. But that same energy acts as a multiplier of other ideas and behaviors, as well. Not all of them are good, by anyone’s yardstick.
Pluto generally gives a dark, rather gruff and grumbly, moody tone, one which is keenly interested in power, information, serious research, the accumulation of large amounts of money and so on. The characters of Scrooge and Dr. Frankenstein both come to mind.
Pluto’s influence is the stuff that spy novels, governmental coups and hostile corporate takeovers are made of. So when the lovely, sweet and nurturing energy of the Moon meets with the Lord of Hell, the mood tends to turn a little dark.
This is compounded by the fact that (among Her sweeter qualities) Luna is also a harbinger of mystery, confusion and sometimes, even madness. These are usually (although by no means, always) in reference to initiations and rites of passage. But sometimes, it’s the plain ol’ garden variety crazies.
When Luna conjoins Pluto, attitudes in general lean toward the more greedy, distrustful and even the downright paranoid.
This is not to say that a person who has Luna conjunct Pluto in their chart would have these terrible (or the more positive) traits. A person has many Planets and aspects between them, each thing acting as a counterweight against the others.
Here’s a neat list of famous peeps who have this aspect. They’re a wide mix of personality types, though it’s safe to say that most of them lean toward the intense side of things, even when it’s a positive flavor of intensity. So this piece isn’t about bashing anyone who has that aspect (nor is any other piece in the collection).
No, this is about the energy of these two stellar bodies, by themselves, if we were somehow able to isolate them from everything else. We cannot, obviously. In this hypothetical case, the nurturing of the Moon is almost always degraded and polluted by the the obsession that Pluto represents. The wealth multiplication of Pluto is deranged by the comfort-seeking of Luna and results in “I need all of it, so I can feel good.”
If you enjoy the poem, consider supporting more such creative madness and lunar/plutonian madness, by yours truly, over at Patreon/Magus72.
Now, bearing all of these arcane ideas in mind, I give you (or rather, I row you across the river Styx, to the dark, forlorn shores of)…
what fresh hell is this?
of what use, is your clever array of pointless words?
when all, soon enough, becomes kindling for the black flames of unforgiving abyss?
sour not, my tired ear, you tiny, petulant slug
muddle not, what little respite is left, of sweet, peaceful silence with all your futile mumblings of hope and dreams and other, such soap opera nonsenses
leave me alone
and keep all your words… all those pathetic, condemned souls, standing foolish on the gallows, as if last words were ever anything more than last
ask me no favors
i expect you to lie
for i see into the murky heart of all your dark, shady schemes all your plotting and planning to stab me in the back once i am not looking
and because of this, i am always looking
i am always watching
i never sleep
i have cameras and listening devices, bugs planted everywhere and a legion of spies
because one must take great care, and use only a measure of the mean, an average of what intelligence they offer using only the most plausible bits of what the bulk of them say
never place all your bets on the words of any one, particular spy because you cannot trust spies nor words, nor people, nor intelligence
nor anything else, for that matter; not that anything matters
the only thing that you can trust is that trust in anything is, in itself… untrustworthy
trust only that things will always break and that they must be repaired trust only that things will die and that the burial of these things is expensive
the undertaker is himself, always on the take and hence, i abstain from the taking on of anything that has a pulse because such things are merely mouths to feed they are things which get sick and doctors, too, are expensive and they are things which disappoint you, break your heart
but i’m more sensible than all that; i paid the doctor to remove my heart
most sensible purchase i ever made, that surgery
hearts and souls and conscience, these are luxuries that are far too expensive too many sick days, lost wages and worries which are not worth the wear and tear
but the point is…
i’m watching you because i know your ways
you and your patiently, waiting for me to die or to slip up or fumble, so that you may usurp my power
i know of all your clandestine, assassin’s designs your machinations for the taking of all that i have all that i have worked for and all that i have stolen all that i have swindled away from the trusting all that i have, only because i possessed the backbone, the fortitude, to slay the meek to take what was theirs and make it my own
in short… i know you
because i see the bitter truth of things, how all are self-concerned, consumed with self and nothing, nor anyone else
therefore, i keep to myself and i keep everything for myself i retain all that is, as my own
since when did anyone ever do anything for me?
you must take by force and by fakery by clever graft and by hard work and by brute force and by the bloody blade and you must never give anything away, not ever, not to anyone and never sell anything that you may need, later and never keep anything that you can sell and never sell anything too cheaply but never hold onto anything that is cheap and will depreciate in value, over time but never spend too much on anything
you must be wily and wise and clever and most of all, ruthless and cunning
for all that there is, in this barren world, is the having of things and the having, not of things
there is the taking and the being took and nothing else
and they’ll all try to take everything that you took from someone else
they’ll try to take it for themselves in a heartbeat, leaving you with nothing but an empty basket of space, where things used to be
except that there will be no basket, because they’ll have taken that, too
and so, mark my words, you dying insect…
not that words were ever anything worth marking down, unless they were the words on the deeds to land and bank accounts…
you mark my words…
you’d better take and take quickly or else be took from
and you’ll be left not a solitary crumb, not a single morsel, to put into the greedy, little mouths of all your expensive, insect offspring
now, off and away with you
i’ve no time for you
i’m terribly busy, watching everything that was or is or ever will be
watching it all burn and crumble into ash and blow away, into oblivion
If you like bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Jane’s Addiction, Jimi Hendrix or The Mars Volta, then you’ll probably dig this.
This is a brand new recording of the song that I wrote many years ago but never had a chance to record it until now. I’ve played it live with my band quite a few times but unfortunately, we never caught it on tape.
I’m playing the bass and guitar parts and singing. Everything that you hear on this track is me, except for the drums. That’s because I don’t have access to a live drummer right now. Besides, feeding and caring for a wild animal like that is expensive.
Here’s the full video on YouTube. Don’t forget to hit the thumbs up 👍 subscribe ✅ and the notifications bell 🔔
The song is called blind in the sun and the lyrics are below. Originally, it was a poem and I set it to music (hence the Roman numerals in the lyrics).
The .mp3 file is attached to my Patreon page, so you can go there, download it (for free) and play it whenever you want.
I forget sometimes that people don’t always follow my rather eccentric, artistic choices, so I will explain something about this track. I purposefully chose not to clean up the sloppier guitar licks on this track, because it’s the feel that I was going for… teetering on the edge of the abyss.
Going back and punching in smoother, cleaner guitar parts is easy enough. I just didn’t want ’em, not for this. I’ll mention two songs that inspired my playing on this. One is “God”, by Tori Amos. Her guitar player is way better than he sounds on that track. It’s dirty, gritty and foul, for a reason. The song is about existential angst and the loss of faith, so it’s gotta be grimy.
The other is “Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. On that song, he does what jazz musicians refer to as “going outside”, meaning that he lets his solos wander just a little bit out of time and out of key, on purpose. Of course, he brings it back in or it wouldn’t be interesting. I chose to step outside on this track but hopefully not too much.
Feel free to share the link to this page or the Patreon page, or the YouTube link on your social media, that’s the best form of advertising there is for underground artists. I thank you in advance. Enjoy!
Just click that big, unwieldy link, below, to listen to the track. Or go to the Patreon page. You can download the song from the Patreon page and have it for your very own. Just don’t forget to water it every few days and never feed it after midnight.
Blind in the Sun⠀ Can you cringe beneath The shadow of a fly? You’d better try Running ‘cross the sand Fire in the hearts of your band In the joy of being alive Stripped of delusion And so forwardly stride
Lost in the garden with canonized illusions There are the keepers Of the tower But I am not a member Of the dark December The light of the sun refracts In my eye
Everything is water Electric fluid matter In a paper cup Called Time
Somewhere in the North There are real vampires I know you go to visit From time to time To roll in the stench The decadence of Thirst for blood To dine with a pack Of wild gods
I have no intent Of adopting your bent; Partying down with the devil On your shoulder
I have no intent Of going where you went Beating on a skull In a hellish midnight circle
But who am I to say? That you are not ok? I will simply stay Behind
This piece is new and is part of a book that I’m working on, called one pass by. The theme is one trip of the Moon through the lunar cycle.
The Moon is the protagonist of each poem, speaking directly to the reader or just thinking out loud. These are musings about the moods and experiences that come up each month, as Luna aspects the other planetary bodies in our solar system.
Our moon travels around the entire ecliptic (faster than any of the other, traditional planets) in roughly 29 days. That means She regularly conjoins (meets) all the other Planets, as well as forming what astrology calls aspects with them, such as sextile, square, trine and opposition.
Each of these angles prompts a different type of energy. Making sense of how these aspects affects us is a big part of what serious astrologers do.
In astrology, the word planet comes from the Greek, meaning “wanderer”. So yes, the Sun (Sol) and the Moon (Luna) are each a proper Planet (capitalized P for respect), even though they are not planets, in the astronomical sense.
In mythology, each of the Planets are ascribed as being the same energy or archetype of a particular God or Goddess. Our versions are named after the Roman Deities and correspond quite closely to their Greek counterparts.
In essence, these poems are the Goddess Luna, on her usual, monthly travels around Earth and Sol, the Sun. She’s talking about Her experiences with each of them, telling us the story of what can usually be expected, when She bumps into the other Gods in some way.
Each piece is written in lowercase, including the proper names, such as Saturn and Jupiter. This is a stylistic choice and nothing else. I probably read too much e.e. cummings and I’m just plain weird like that.
People who understand basic astrology will probably get a deeper meaning of each piece but they written simply enough that people with no astrological background can still get the gist of what’s happening and follow the stories.
The Moon is representative of many things and the easiest of these to grasp right away is emotions. Where the Moon is and how She is interacting with the other bodies out there determines a huge amount of what wee feel, collectively and individually.
This piece is about when Luna occupies the same bit of space as the Planet Saturn, who is the Lord of Time, restriction, boundaries, limitations, duty, architecture, crops (to some degree), geology, slavery and prisons. He also rules over contracts and institutions, especially in their more complex, bureaucratic and byzantine forms.
If you enjoy this and you want to see more of these produced, ha a look over the tier benefits on my Patreon page and become a patron, to support this work.
I’ll be posting them here, one at a time. I’ve had a lot of fun putting this together and I hope you enjoy listening to them.
The main thing I wanted to achieve here is get a variety of people, reading the pieces… in the way that they hear them.
None of the readers were given any prompts about how to read. A few people preferred to have something assigned to them and so I picked for them. But in most cases, they chose their own pieces to read.
This first poem is called “none” and it’s from my book in the current.
Our guest reader is Xander and he did a great job with it.
If perhaps you’re craving some escape, some vitamins of inspiration, to get you through the dull roar of viruses and technological hangups and fearful, dull talk of elections and recessions and limitless to do lists and the hundred things you want to step aside from, for just a few, delicious minutes…
You might enjoy dipping into the eccentric, electric pool of weirdly words that I now release. Images that speak through your eyes and feelings that peer into your ears, reassuring you that, no matter how strange today seems, it’s likely to only get stranger, my dears.
Doesn’t sound like reassurance to you? Then look further, deeper into the expanding woo of kaleidoscope and know, that something bitterly beautiful and magnificent always comes out of every bizarre, however far, at first, it went.
The only thing you can count on for certain is that everything changes and everything… including troubles… settles back into comfortable routine, given enough time for the cooking bubbles.
This is true, whether you struggle against the changes with every ounce of strength or relax, let current carry you, drifting along, entire length.
It all stirs up and then, peacefully settles… back… down… again… even if you do absolutely nothing about it. Try it, breathe it, if you care to doubt it.
So do the things you need to do, To take care of your own and for care of you But turn an ear and an eye for moments, few For a little something to help you through
After all, how can a mind possibly deal with all the chaos, real, of the modern world, if not properly armed, to defend itself? Protect the gray in your skull against the beast, with the malleable mania of poetry priest, and fend off some of the stupid doldrums that are pounding, drooling, at the door.
All good secret agents know, that if facing torture interrogation, they should distract themselves from pain with elation, singing and making up silly stories in their head. This keeps the mind from snapping, a thing that’s certainly worse than dead.
A bit of poetry and music, all that Orpheus ever used and he traversed the depths of hell, emerging unscathed, unbruised. Put some of that magick dust into your pocket and go, it’s only left to trust and know, that everything else is silly, when set beside.
The big bad world is known to cower and lay right down as if dead, when once you threaten it proper, with an unpredictable pipe bomb of poetry, cocked and painted onto its cocky head.
107 pages, all original works. Most of these, probably 70% of them have never been published anywhere before.
They were written over just a handful of days, in a maelstrom of creative inspiration, given by the Goddess Venus, to whom the book is dedicated.
The themes are varied, mostly centering around the way our worlds expand and contract, sometimes pleasantly, other times frighteningly, sometimes with plenty of heads up and often, with our pants down.
Writing it helped me cope with some of my own, more challenging changes. I sincerely hope that reading it helps you adjust to yours.
Use the link here to find it, it is still settling in to Amazon’s search system, not quite coming up there, just yet. But this link takes you straight to the banks of the strange river, where your world might just be stretched out of and back into shape.
I don’t normally use this forum to talk about my esoteric practices.
But I have received the nudge to cast a wider net, because there are some searchers out there, looking for where they belong. So I’m putting up this one post, essentially it looks like an advertisement… and it is.
But look deeper and you’ll see that deep down inside, in between the words, there’s a message. It’s not for everyone. In fact, it’s not even for most. It’s only for a few. They will know who they are because they will feel it gnawing in their bones and churning in their guts.
So read this little ad and if it isn’t calling to you, just ignore it. I’ll post a poem right after this to make it up to you 😉
Through Monday night only… automatically get upgraded on The Nascent Magician magickal correspondence course.