A Canticle for Horus Venose

Horus Venose is a deity that started nudging its way into my consciousness several months ago. I have yet to find any myths about him, but images of his physical appearance occasionally flicker into the view of my mind’s eye. He might not be a god of the Jackalopian cosmos that underpins Geranium Lake Properties, and I am not yet sure where he belongs.

© 2018 lcmt

Inanna at the Door

Spring arrived yesterday morning when the goddess Inanna knocked on my front door. Inanna chose to appear as a short Mexican-American woman, approximately 80 years old, attired in brightly-colored fleecewear. After she invited me to step out onto the sun-warmed bricks of my front walk, the goddess informed me that the temperature would reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and suggested that I might enjoy drinking my morning coffee sitting on my stoop, which is the little patch of brick and cement in front of my house. The chairs did indeed look inviting, clustered with potted plants against the stucco wall beneath my kitchen window, with everything bathed in bright sunlight. Inanna then scolded me for neglecting my plants. (My plants are all tough cactus and succulents–neglect is an essential strategy of my horticultural regimen.) To appease her, I gave her a handsome specimen for her own collection, a plant she had singled out for her particular attention. The plant had been given to me, and I was mostly ignoring it, so using it to curry favor with a divine entity seemed a judicious thing to do.

After Inanna left (she lives next door), I dusted off my chairs, freshened my coffee, and sat in the sun on my stoop/patio/porch-like-thing-in-front-of-my-house. On the street, an occasional car rumbled by. Birds chattered at each other, different birds with different voices, a jay scolded, a mocking bird practiced his scales, an unseen crow called in the distance. I closed my eyes so that I could turn my face to the sun and bask. I was amazed to see that the colors inside my eyelids were the same orange, red and magenta colors I had used for my invocation “Inanna Ascendant”.

When I opened my eyes, I noticed that green, supple weeds had sprung up instantly in the cracks in the cement, while my eyes had been closed.

The temperature reached 72.

Patchy Kettle’s Lantern

Today is Lantern Day, which honors Patchy Kettle, the most merry of the Jackalopian gods, and the favorite god of jackalope children. A lantern is Patchy Kettle’s commonest symbol, an accoutrement he carries both night and day. The description of the lantern differs from story to story, it is sometimes made of copper or bronze or rusted iron, or carved from chalcedony, or constructed of bones and wire, using chicken bones. The light has been provided by sheep tallow candles, or fueled by pumpkin seed oil or urine or salt. People often misunderstand the lamp of Patchy Kettle, confusing it with the lamp of Diogenes, who lit his lamp in the daylight to search for an honest man. Patchy Kettle had this to say about honest men:

The problem with “calls for the severest and most indignant repudiation on the part of all honest men” is that “honest men” was and will always be a mythical entity that was of no use to anyone except liars. Abandon your belief in “honest men”, and continue to resist your desire to revive that belief. Only then can you ask yourself, “What can be accomplished?”

This quote comes from the Esornom Imaginaria, one of the two most popular books for tales about Patchy Kettle. The Esornom Imaginaria is divided into five books, this passage can be found in the Book of Ornasein, which is about the adventures of Patchy Kettle and a young poet-monk named Ornasein, who is the narrator. Ornasein tells us he is the duke of a rich province and he has many good wives and a horde of children. Many citizens admire and respect him, and few vilify him. His book is a fond reminiscence of a time when he was young, poor, mostly drunk and carefree. He remembers drinking so much that he is amazed at how his memories can be so vivid and full of detail. His stories have plenty of adventure, romance, horror, ironic twists, plus good advice from Patchy Kettle to his young companion. Ornasein confesses that he ignored all the advice, and thus became a rich, successful man who is miserable and powerless, crushed out of existence by his obligations to his wealth, family and nation. No longer human, he has become a machine that serves the whims and needs of other people. At the end of his book, he gets drunk one night, packs a knapsack with cheese, buffalo jerky and almond cakes, and runs away from everything. We learn in the other four books of the Esornom Imaginaria that Ornasein died years later in a state of bliss.

© 2017 lcmt

Invoking the Name of the Mystery as Elilim and Kochavim

For Catholics, today is All Soul’s Day, overtaken among Mexicans and hip moderns by the traditions of the Day of the Dead. Elilkocha is the name given to this holiday by jackalopes, who honor the day by drinking coffee and consuming brown butter cake made with bourbon or rum, preferably in their favorite diners. If you want to be really traditional, you will add some coconut liqueur to your coffee, which ruins the coffee and tastes nothing like coconut.

Jackalopes are unabashed thieves of culture, and they stole two Hebrew words for their holiday, Elilim, which means “false gods”, and Kochavim, “stars”. I mentioned to comandantechispas that jackalopes have a saying, “All names are the name of God.” They also have another saying, “All gods are false gods.” Jack Loki, the sometimes protagonist of Geranium Lake Properties, explains it like this, “Jackalopes are, by nature and every inclination, atheists, and they consider the various god concepts as metaphors. Metaphors are essentially lies that make facts more poetic, more epic, more mythic. Metaphors make a better story, a good yarn, or a lesson memorable as a parable or fable. If you want to celebrate Elilkocha, use this day to remind yourself not to scorn the good stories and lessons found in the religions of gods you think are false.”

The other half of the Elilkocha honors stars as the creators of all life–of all of everything, actually. Patron saint? Carl Sagan, of course.

PS. Diners are sacred places in America, don’t you think? Also, there is a larger invocation of this work.

© 2017 lcmt

A Malicious Tea Drinker With Vast Fingers and Tall Eyelashes

This is the comic panel that inspired Gralie Bohe to create the Black Scorpion Cafe in her novel, The Boy in the Yellow Leatherette Portmanteau, which is an imaginary novel about Wm. Yost, the imaginary creator of Geranium Lake Properties. The owner of the Black Scorpion Cafe is a minor deity in the universal pantheon, albeit a major one for jackalopes. He is described in this excerpt from The Boy in the YLP:

“The entity that currently called himself Aliquando Jade Irwin, currently manifesting as a tall, skinny, dark-skinned man, stood at the side of the Pacific Coast Highway as a eucalyptus might stand, an alien, an invader, but at home in the landscape. He wore a business suit, which hung loosely on his slightly stooped frame. Despite being cleaned and pressed, the suit had the appearance of casual clothes, its pale color seemed tropical. The color was called Apricot Ice by the manufacturer, but it was more cream than apricot or ice. The ensemble was completed with a white dress shirt under a black bolo tie, and if the shirt did not dazzle, it was only because the overcast had not yet burned off. (The day would later become unrelentingly sunny but not too warm, another day of perfect weather on the northern end of the central California coast.) The entity that called himself Aliquando Jade Irwin (and tried unsuccessfully to get people to call him Aljair for short) was barefoot, his shoes tied together by their laces and slung over one shoulder. Slung over the opposite shoulder by a wide leather strap was an acoustic guitar, its body finished with an iridescent green surface trimmed in abalone and ormulu.

Aliquando Jade Irwin was a literal child of the Sea, yet currently he felt himself most closely identified with savannas, grasslands and deserts. He did not worry too much about his transitive nature–most of the old gods had highly-developed talents for adaptability. Aliquando Jade Irwin’s divine origin had come with an embarrasingly brief job description, leaving a lot to the imagination. He had been one of 11 children, and his power was mastery over violent storms. That was it, that was his entire origin story. He had been thankful he had been given his own name at least (but that had never stopped him from changing it many times since the Beginning). In his early existence, he had met many fearsome entities who were nameless, or had to share their name with a group, or worse yet, with a concept. That circumstance, so unfotunate for others, had turned out to be a blessing of sorts for Aliquando Jade Irwin. He had established a nice little business for a while, creating and selling names to the Nameless Ones. He was convinced that his exhorbitant fees had been a validation of his genius for realizing the need for good nomenclature, and he had provided sound, durable products. However, eventually, one of the many organized forces for the Preservation of the Inviolable Rules had caught up with him, and had discouraged, with totally uncalled-for punitive action, his efforts to improve the lives of some of the lesser avatars. Apparently he had been messing up the Mysteries.”

I was amused to discover that The Boy in the YLP has inspired a few people to write fanfiction about it. I find this appropriately recursive because Gralie Bohe’s novel is essentially a piece of fanfiction about Yost and Geranium Lake Properties. Here’s a quote from a fanfiction piece, “Striped Tea and Owl Sandwiches” (Aliquando Jade Irwin/Joe Baluende), by GreenTigerLily8304, in which the author brings Aliquando Jade Irwin into the Internet Age:

“He was philosophical about it now, but for a few centuries his pain and resentment had been worthy of legend. He had in fact wrote several legends about his suffering, but his book had never found a significant following, so he had stuffed it into his extra-dimensional drawer with his many other failed endeavors. Since then, he had managed to absorb a few helpful tips from the lectures of some of the most popular philosophers of the ancient worlds, and nowadays he browsed YouTube to catch up with the more modern stuff. Lately he had been thinking about taking out his book and re-writing it. Since the invention of the internet, all the old gods were getting new temples. Even before the internet, his mother had received an auspicious Dungeons and Dragons franchise. Now she was huge. (Huge again, really–her tail had once defined the Milky Way–not too many gods get huger than that.) Aliquando Jade Irwin, aka Ekchuajumudabrutu, was thinking more modestly about Nanowrimo opportunities. Or even fanfiction.”

Second version of the logo for the Black Scorpion Cafe:

The Procession of Entropy

Autumn heralds the great holiday for jackalopes, the Procession of Entropy, which begins on October 15 and ends on the last day of the year. Jackalopes believe in a few gods despite being atheists, with a very small percentage who are Greek Orthodox. (This small percentage is dedicated to preserving the traditions of jackalope history in the Byzantine Empire.) Of the Jackalopian Gods, Patchy Kettle might be their oddest, but he is also their most amiable god. Ekchuajumudabrutu is their most classical god, a son of Tiamat. Their most revered god is Entropy, and the major holidays for Entropy conveniently occur during the holiday season that includes Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are also celebrated by jackalopes. (Since jackalopes are largely athiests, they seize every opportunity to celebrate other cultures. Jackalopes firmly believe in holidays.)

Here you can find a few manifestations of Jack Loki in the panels of GLP.