This world is waning. A madness has set in that doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Empire and Disenchantment have marked us for death in ways we have yet to fully understand. Irreversible effects upon the environment, mass extinction events, wealth inequality and so much more. We are a world that is lost to itself, unable to hear the land and the more than human people that inhabit it. There is no more time left for this world. It is done for. Dying.
Unlike what is popularly conceived of in dystopian novels and those generally accepted apocalyptic narratives of civilization, the ending of empire will be a crumbling and depressing affair. Even in revolutionary prone regions, empire has held on firmly. The revolution will not be televised because there will be no revolution. Unless of course it is empire shifting power to another form of itself, then there may very well be a beautifully done piece of theater that moves people into dying for bankers and politicians. There will be no mass insurrection or revolutionary vanguard otherwise, the madness has taken hold all too well. The only community we know now is Empire.
What we are to face, coming into this barren future, is something far more terrifying and hopeless. We are facing the slow degeneration of our faith in Empire and its subsequent fractured mosaic of fascistic configurations that will fill its voids. As the madness that is the anthropocene and capitalocene drains us of our communal life force, we will slowly be fed upon by creatures of power, hatred, and ignorance. Empire will hold onto itself for as long as it can, eating itself up to survive. It is a cannibalistic madness that we face, and we are the hostages being fed pieces of ourselves in order to survive, up until the point we have nothing left to give. As hostages of this parasitic system, we have developed a Stockholm syndrome where in we gleefully chop eachother up to the Beast that devours us. We have fallen into its worship of power and control, and so our very habitual interaction with this world is a dichotomous parasitic infection of hierarchical tyranny.
The citizens of Empire have no community and collective power left in which to weave a different narrative. They have lost the kinship necessary to bring about a better world. Where are we to turn in times such as these? What kind of people will rise up from the decomposing mess that is Empire?
From the wastes will rise a new kind of people, orphans of Empire and of the land, people that have otherworldly powers that have been hidden from the modern world for so long. These cunning folk always rise in times of decomposition and transition. They are the compost-humanists, speakers for the land and its dead. They are the weavers of the Wyrd. They are the sorcerers that summon society’s demons and unleash them back onto the parasites that claim to be our masters. They are the bards who create new stories in which to live. They are the wizards that study the mythic ecology of place and being. They are the witches that heal and hex.
The crumbling of empire is a slow churning of massive forces collapsing in upon themselves, like a cannibalistic monster eating itself to survive. So it is only reasonable that as empire crumbles, rubble will be composted and composed, repurposed towards a new type of living that is barbaric and wild. This barbarism I speak of is that of a new scavenger culture that will arise from the compost of empire. It will be a semi nomadic raiding type of culture. As Empire crumbles, we will form the mycelium networks necessary to decompose and compost its essence. As it had once devoured us, we will devour it and transform it into new cultures that worship Queer multi gendered Fungal gods. We will be the wyrd and wyld queer orphans of empire, slowly dismantling its normalities and social constructions. We will be the penetrating fungus, oozing slime molds and earthy lichen that dilapidate civilization. We will embrace the wilds and the hedges of empire, and we will become the haunting cannibalistic spectre of its demise.
The cunning folk will become the figures of power for these cultures. They will be the medicine people and the psychopomps of a dying Empire. The crumbling of civilization will be like spells etched onto their body. They will herald in new worlds from the ancient future and weave the Wyrd so that their tribes will exist in bubbles of mythic ecology. Strange and wild refuges will emerge with dynamic and totemic ways of living, entangled in a holobiontic mythos with the land. Medicines of plants long forgotten will take hold and become the spirit guides of a new people. As space opens back up, devoid of laws and rule, new and ancient intelligences will emerge to take hold of the mythic ecologies of the land. They will commune with the speakers of the land and provide new songs for us to sing. We will learn how to heal the land and help destroy its enemy.
Enchantment will weave itself into the liminal cracks of Empire, and just like a weed coming up from a paved parking lot, magic will burst forth and aid in the decomposition process. The witch will rise, and the spirits of their ancestors will whisper the deep incantations that only thousands of years in the underworld could bring into fruition. Death shall walk with us and be our guest. The Myco-gods will bring with them the wisdom of compost-humanism. They will teach us how to build from our destruction, how to love upon death, how to revel in the terrible hopelessness of it all. Rebel tribes will rise up, guided by the intelligence of the more than human world. The Buzzard people will glide. The Coyote people will howl. The Raccoon people will pillage. The Hyena people will laugh at the chaos. Feral nature will consume us as we hold to kinship with the more than human world and help destroy this empire of lies. For it is in the Tower Times, that the witch learns to fly.
Artwork done by Larry Phillips
From the DeSavyok Elfhame Tarot, Copyrighted by Black Malkin Press. Companion book written by Robin Artisson. It can be found here