One time in Dubai a taxi driver tried to convert me to Islam…

And he had no idea what he was getting into…
After long drive to a church and what had to be one of most difficult conversations in his life, he agreed he would start reading Gospel.
I was walking on the thin ice you see. Criticism of Islam is forbidden in United Arab Emirates. I had to tread carefully, so my words would not be treated a an open attack on something that I fundamentally disagreed with.
And I managed to make a deal with that driver.
I promised to read Quran in return, for him opening the Gospels. What my discussion partner didn’t know is that I read parts of Quran before. I also watched lectures of people as far from Christianity as Alan Watts, Ekhart Tolle or Richard Dawkins, even read Crowleys essays and browsed through La Vey’s satanic “bible”.
Why would I do that? Why would I expose my mind to things that could shake, corrupt or simply shatter foundations of my worldview?
Same reason on why a warrior risk losing his teeth on the arena.
Because a true warrior faces challenge wide open.
True warrior, finds strength in exercising his mind, he does not back down from intellectual and spiritual confrontation as he sees an opportunity there to sharpen the sword of his faith.
And there is no greater challenge than facing argumentation that questions the very base of our beliefs. And we the war we wage has a spiritual dimension.
And so, as the taxi driver, explains to me the glory of Allah I smile take a deep breath and engage, so I can tell him about a greater Glory thats out there.  I yield my sword, check my armour and I go forth into the storm.
I have been challenged again. And as many times before, I would make sure it will be for the good.
And in the aftermath, as with every battle, as I grow weary,  I remember to reinvigorate myself with the Truth.  So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let my mind regenerate by focusing it fully on Logos. The One Word. Who not only spoke just the Truth, but is the Truth Himself. And as the minutes pass by, a quote of G.K Chesterton, resonate through my heart. It is a quote that should become a mantra of spiritual warrior:

“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

And in the ever changing universe, with all it’s different people and their countless beliefs, there is nothing more solid than the Truth.
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“Mirror, mirror upon the wall, break the spell or become a doll”(Vodou log2)

Let me start with where I have finished last time.

Damballa the great snake.

Most powerful of the entities in Voodoo cosmology.

Father of lwas.

Dangerous dude.

You don’t wanna come across Damballa… but I am afraid you already did. More than once.  He is quite common in our European culture although we know him under different names.

Lucifer. Satan. Devil.

Houngans – Voodoo priests communicate with him through mirrors.

You probably watched the horror The Mirrors, right? You also did hear of  this superstition so common around the world – the one which tells  that if you look at the reflection in the mirror with the edge of an eye, you can catch a glimpse of a ghost…

Well, now imagine that is not a fake story… At least not in Voodoo.

Those specially crafted mirrors, seem like an awkward piece of art, so surrealistic and grotesque in their design. Frames  carved with the images of the odd looking creatures hybrids of man and beasts.

There are also hair attached to it, human hair. As well as pieces of bones, nails, skin…

The gruesome ornamentations have their purpose. They make it easier to estabilish the connection.

Those mirrors, are kind of Voodoo IPhones, you see.

With unlimited contact list to the VIPs in the other world. No problems with the signal. Display better than 20 megpaixels,

And just one price for the user contract.

Your soul.

I have came across those mirrors once in Stockholm, on a special, temporary exhibition in the Museum of Etnography.

I was stuck in a long, shady hallway, watching my reflection in those damned artifacts.

I stood there with the camera in my hand, feeling the tempation hanging in the air. If I would make myself a photo in that mirror, would I catch on it, something I couldn’t see with my bare eyes?

I stood there with my finger frozen above the camera switch, when the words of the crazy, condemned philosopher trembled in my mind like an alarm siren.

“And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you…”

I walked away. No photos his time.

End of log

The beast has arrived!

Ugly, bizarre, and more than just a bit naughty…

The “city2” anthology with the Beast inside is already in the bookshops… and on my desk.

It’s an extraordinary feeling, you know.

To hold in your hands a book with your name on it. And you will not understand this feeling unless you are a writer. It is like snowboarding from the top of Everest, it’s like playing didgeridoo on top of Urulu, like dancing salsa with Megan Fox …uh you can’t really explain that. You need to be a writer to get it.

It’s becouse writers are so much in love with themselves. They have so few joys in their miserable, lonely, artistic lives, that the only thing they actually enjoy is staring at their own surnames printed on the books.

It’s soooo cool.

A true writer, who holds his own book would not let it go…  he would just hold it… hug it.

Kiss it. Stroke it.

Uh, Nevermind…

Just read the fucking story!

Sea spits me out on the shore, as an undigested chunk of meat.

I hit the sand, inert as a puppet rag.

Pain still shakes me. I cough, in a desperate attempt to catch a breath, tremble, as cold gale slides on my skin. I blink, as the vision sharpens .

And there I am, casted away on the unnamed shore. Waves push to my feet plastic coca-cola bottle.

I kick it…and it moves. Smile appears on my face. For a moment I feel almost… happy.

I rise. And in that moment this awkward feeling comes.

I am being watched. I turn in an instant, spotting small, fluffy dog. It’s matted fur flutters.

Pet looks at me frozen. I kneel and reach my out my hand.

Come here doggy.. come over here…

Growl comes as an answer in a menacing crescendo. Dog bristles in a primal fear.

You furry fuck.

And there it goes, darting across the shore, as an arrow launched from a bow.

To hell with the little shit.

I go for a walk.

 End of log

I, the beast

„I, the beast.”

I can’t remember Hell. I know I’ve been there.

And I know I’ll come back there.

But I can’t remember Hell.

 I guess, that in the moment, when I have crossed the threshold of death and life, all my memories  faded away like a remnants of last night’s nightmare, driven off by the light of the new dawn. It does not mean that I am liberated. For I am not.

I will not stay here for long. I will not handle that, if I will not find my prey. But finding what I am looking for is just the beginning of a struggle.

What I find I still need to devour.

And I prey on what every beast does.

I prey on you.

 

Here it comes – “City 2”. 

A book filled with urban terror – a horror anthology of short stories by various Polish authors.

Rumour says that even the Blue Moon Station crew has it’s representation there.

The story is called  “I, the beast”  and the narration is led by a roaming demon that hungers for sin, growing stronger when feeding on weaknesses of people in it’s wake.

But the story will tell the reader more about the prey than about the hunter. For it is us, our choices and decisions that make the demons well fed or… starving.

The excerpt of “I, the beast” you have just read at the beginning of log.

There will be more coming, maybe.

If any beast does not devour station’s crew…

For now someone might be interested in seeing what was one of the main inspirations to create the Beast:

Godsmack – Voodoo.

 

 

End of log

Vodou log1

Few are religions that would made such a deep impact on what we call pop-culture.

Voodoo or rather as spelled originally – Vodou with it’s black magic conotations, Voodoo dolls, and above all – zombies, conquered not only  Hollywood but also imagination of many artists, writers and game designers.

Becouse of this most of people know what the stereotype of Voodoo is.

But as I am not a person who likes to make his judgement on what people say, or what the stereotypes are, I was always wondering…

Is Voodoo really so frightening as it is used to be shown?

Once in Stockholm, in Etnographic museum visiting a special Voodoo exhibition from Hatiti, I had a chance to confront my previous assumptions with the reality.

And the conclusion were far more disturbing than I would expect.

If you want to feel the atmosphere before getting more into my story about Voodoo, see this:

Trailer for Voodoo exhibition from Etnografiska museet

One of the first things that the exhibition made me realise is that Voodoo is not a game of some dumb, adrenaline seeking teenagers who decided to do some black magic on Saturday night.

Voodoo is a real thing, and it makes an actual practice and influences the daily life of tens of thousands of people. Mainly in Haiti. But not only.

The roots of Voodoo come to 16th century, when European colonisators started bringing slaves from Africa to the New World.

Africans brought their beliefs to Haiti, and those were mixed with native mithology and catholicism.

That’s how Voodoo emerged.

Practicing Voodoo means to interact with lwas – spiritual entities or energies, which although dwell in a separate realm, can influence people in many ways. Lwas have many names and many powers, they are legions of them.

It is common for Voodoo practioners to become possesed by lwas, especially during the dancing ceremonies.

Below you can see  figures representing one of the lwas. The exhibition presented a few of them.

It was bit disturbing to get to  know that the artist that carved it, followed the images that haunted them in their dreams.

It got even more peculiar, when I got to know which of lwas is considered to be the most powerfull in Voodoo.

He is called Damballa – the great snake.

Europeans know him with a different name – Lucifer.

But this story will be continued in the next log.


End of Vodou log 1