At EarthCore Festival New Year 2000-2001


Our installation and interactive performancy at the Nu Year Earthcore Festival became a more powerful initiatory vessel than expected. While a lot of the magickal symbolism would have been lost on the average punter, the underlying effects and meanings became evident to us and were felt if not fully understood by those who experienced the ordeals we prepared.

We created a beautiful atmospheric space weaving webs around an old black bark acacia tree.
This tree called us upon arrival to the site, and it was a while before we registered that this genus is the most potent Australian source of tryptamine, the active ingredient of the psychoactive DMT.

These 3-dimensional geometric webs around the tree and enclosing the entire space we set up glowed eerily in UV lights and dim coloured spotlights. Amordios set up his wondrous Gobblyn camp and a lavishly decorated stage under the annex from his old bus.

Strange skulls of all manner of beast hung throughout the camp, some mutated by the GobblynSmyth himself, and various arachnean and harlequinesque dolls, feathers and other adornments. I created a splendorous altar with peacock feathers, elemental tools, animal skins and gnarled pieces of wood we found in the surrounding bush.

Where wires wove through the treewebs, I created a small birdlike being of old computer parts in a nest of coloured wires, fromwhich strands reached out into the web and circuitboards which they patched into.

The webs reached from the Tree across to our central installation -the electric Eggstatic Egg: The metal cage built for the Beltaine performance at Wolfgang's Palace was set up as an electrified Mutation Parlour. Most of the time it was half-covered with hessian and red velvet so that people could only look in the cracks, sometimes this 'shell' would be pulled back to reveal further the strange activities within.

Amordios had made a pentagram of wooden planks which formed the floor of the cage, and I filled the spaces between these planks with pieces of mirror, so that only the planks could be walked on. As intended, the top of the domed cage was reflected in the mirrors giving the effect of an entire egg form with half below the surface of the ground, but an additional vital symbolism also became apparent:

There were six bars of the cage's skeleton, so these formed a hexagram at the apex of the dome. The hexagram, traditionally represent ing the cosmos or macrocosm, was reflected in the pentagram -traditionally representing the earth or microcosm: As above, So below.

The two main positions victims (excuse me -initiates) to the parlour could be tied up in for electrification were to the edge of the cage with arms spread out so that their bodies formed another pentagram reflected in the floor before them, or arms stretched out above them on a metal hook to the top of the cage, legs straddling the centre of the pentagram below. For this second position the metal pegs holding the planks of the pentagram together were used as the earthing for the electrical current through the initiate.
'Earthing the current' has never been more literally expressed!

We opened the space with a circle inside the Egg. 11 of us sat around its inner periphery (just fitting) and chanted the chakra tones with the rising techno from the nearby mainfloor providing a pounding backbeat. Then we all stood and at the end of each arm of the pentagram was placed a corresponding elemental tool as I performed Nema's 6-fold aeonic invocations. The tool for Harpocrat was the Egg itself, the Spirit or Akasha containing the rest, and Bes was invoked in the Pentagram's centre for the direction of below. Thus was the space opened.

We jammed live music or Evan spun strange eggclectic records as punters wandered in sporadically. Some were too spun out by the intensity or strangeness of the space and hurriedly left again, others dallied curiously and after some time we began upon enquiry to find victims for our Electric Egg Mutation Parlour.

Those willing would be ushered in by the Gatekeeper, a bizzarrely costumed and cloaked 'Shugal' who would lift the skull-and feather spike to pull back the chains and allow the victim to enter on hands and knees through the small aperture in the cloth shell. They would emerge into the dimly-lit inscense-thick interior which was plush with fur and velvet. Various wired and unwired tools and devices hung from a wooden bar along one curved side of the parlour.

We would begin with non-electrified whipping to warm up the body and inflict mild pain to adjust the initiate to the severity of the oncoming ordeal. Relief and sensorial contrast were provided with soft strokes of ostrich and peacock feathers. Then the electrified whips (wired to a welder to which the cage was also earthed) were introduced, giving the victim mild shocks as the lashes swept over the back or stomach.

Much more precise was the electric feather. The wire jutted from the spine only at a specific point so that the rest of the feather could be used to stroke the skin with soft caresses. Then shocks (slightly stronger than those applied with the lashes) could be applied to specific locales. Most effective seemed to be the solar plexus (transmitter to/fro Hunab Ku) and base of the spine, which sent a shock straight up the spine much like an artificially induced kundalini rush.

The ladies with the whips looked splendid in leather, lace and latex. I had added a touch of digital paraphernalia to my own scaly emu-foot leather tunic and webbing for that electric edge, latexing chunks of circuitry to my forearm so they seemed to be under my skin. It was a rush job and the latex was bubbly and rough, like some kind of skin-and-computer virus. From one of these circuit boards electrical wires in the shamanic colours of black red and yellow ran up through my septum piercing as if into my brain.
I had already helped the other bondage mistresses dish out some of this treatment to several punters before I experienced it myself, Jfred having been the initial guineapig from our own crew.

When I did experience the electric egg myself I was shocked (yes literally of course) and delighted with the intensity of the experience. The voltage was at a good level (80 watts, though we turned it down to 50 for most people we didn't know) to create an intense jolt still more on the side of pleasure than pain.

> Of course I wasn't satisfied with this and demanded my torturers, Laylah and Karen, have no mercy. After giving me a good whipping they played noughts and crosses (binary code?) on my bum with mirror shards from the pentagram (hopefully it won't scar). I requested the butt of one of the whips up my arse and was shocked to receive not the bottom of it but the live end which met the tails. This would have made me hit the roof of the cage if I hadn't have been strapped to the bars.

When eventually released I was sent off through the tactile texture tunnel sculpted by Jfred. He had spent days arranging various mundane objects (sponges, balloons, feather dusters, cellophane, hairbrushes...) in boxes to induce a sensorama for the fingers and toes and faces of those crawling through the stretchy fabric tunnel we had retained from our Labyrinth installations. In the dark, even though I knew what most of the textures were from watching the construction, it was a mysteriously profound journey, especially the tight sphincters which had to be squeezed through. After the electrification, this tactile journey was somehow reminiscent of DMT experiences I have had -interestind considering the entire installation reached out from a tryptamine-rich acacia tree as our axis mundi.
Eventually I emerged from the tunnel into the Pit of Because, a trench we had dug and filled full of soft and fluffy things. Kestral and I had dubbed this the Pit of Because in a state of stoned absurdity while setting up the space, and the name had stuck. Taken from Crowley's Book of the Law, the title is a reference to the Abyss as the sephiroth of Knowledge. What was profoundly hilarious was dominatrix Belle turning up days later with the idea of having Jfred (with a silent J) on a leash. Thus he became one of the, 'Dogs of Reason' associated with this Pit of Because in Liber Al. Thus the full implications of the space as a reification of Daath began to dawn on us: the Pit of Because, The Tunnel (of Set?) and the Egg of Harpocrat, the Babe of the Abyss; The 6 of the cage structure and the 5 of the pentagram adding to 11, the number of Daath. Ironically, no specific Knowledge or information was offered to initiates, merely intense sensorial experiences so they were left to ponder their own reasons (or Not) that they were as declared being sent off 'to the Pit of Because' after being electrified.

Jfred was the only one game to test out the idea of electrified piercing as well. We turned it down to 50 watts and once the wire-clipped piercing rod was through his navel, he touched the metal of the cage and lurched, experiencing 5 minutes or so of intense visual hallucinations!

After being set up for a few days we began to notice that the local spiders of various shape and size had begun to interweave their own fine webs with ours. At some points where we had used gossamer strands it was even difficult to distinguish which threads were synthetic.

On the second night of being open the beetles came. Hundreds of whirring irridescent green, purple and golden bugs, like some Australian equivalent of Scarabs, filled the air. They were attracted to the black lights, forming whirring clusters in the trenches of the wood encasing the fluorescent UV tubes. To me this was indicative of Khepera, the Beetle who pushes the Midnight Sun across the sky, they being so attracted to the *black light* of nigri solis.
Some tripper who wandered in and freaked out on all the bugs asked why we put them in the lights!

I was suddenly inspired on the last night to transfer handfuls of these beautiful scarabs into the egg, and placed some on our next blindfold victim's shoulders. Upon enquiry afterwards, he said he hadn't known they were beetles, had thought they were some kind of new bristly pincher devices.

By this stage I was beginning to refine my initiation techniques. While the first night's sessions had been pretty much wham pow sensationalism and absurdity, I began to enter a more shamanic state with it all on the last night. Kestral Evan and Amordios were playing some wonderful music as I demonstrated various devices to a couple of friends who had entered the chamber with the expressed desire to be tortured by each other as well as myself. At first frustrated that I could not join the jam, I then realized I could chant along with tbe music and that this would be heard and felt by the initiates in the cage. I soon became inspired to also shake maracas around their blindfold heads.

One of my mirror pyramid portals had also been introduced for the last few victims, being the first thing they looked into when unveiled.
The hexagonal one was used, presenting a kaleidoscope of fractal mandalas of the initiates eye within triangles. This strange world was then seemingly entered as the initiate was ushered into the dark tactile tunnel. The other mirrorbox was set into the shell of the egg when it was covered, only its eyehole visible from outside with a sign above enticing 'PeepShow'. The prospective Voyeur if peering in through this portal would have his own eye refracted back at him in infinite triangulated fractals!

Amidst our crew the parlour provided a wondrous outlet for various emotions and frustrations. It felt like a purgative device, an arena for venting intensity on willing victims, and thus release without the cause of harm. I certainly felt dramatically transformed by my experiences in the egg, both as receiver and giver.

There was of course a distinct lack of subtlety about the whole endeavour, and this was keeping with the general gist of festivals such as Earthcore. People go there to get off their heads on drugs and dance to pounding bass which you can feel as much as hear. We parodied this extremity by intensifying it further -if people want to get off on electric power, we figured we may as well be as direct about it as possible!
Nevertheless, the space we created did also provide an alternative in terms of its more atmospheric aesthetics, magickal architecture and esoteric undercurrents. It provided an interactive venture for people to face their fears and a subsequent release therefrom. The full power and potential of the magickal space we created only really struck me afterwards, and I can see now how such effects could be used even more effectively for more specific magickal initiations in the future.

A culminative performance was enacted at dawn on the last day (2nd Jan 2001), inwhich the egg was sundered and the Peacock Angel released. Click on the Image below to read account and see more photos from this spectacular Birth.

Words and Images (c)2001 Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule