To Shatter and Rebuild

Here is some writing I’ve been working on–just a first draft, tell me what you think. This is only part of what, I think, will be a longer (and much less shittily written) piece that I may submit for publication in that Queer Magic Anthology I mentioned earlier.


“Reach out, touch Faith.”
Depeche Mode, “Personal Jesus”

To Queer—Anarchism—is to shatter and rebuild.
Mysticism—Magic—is to be shattered and to be rebuilt.

Queer is not simply a new label or a revision of the ever-lengthening acronym, LGBT(AII); on the contrary, it is a mode. A religious mode. It is a state of mind or psychosis through which an individual, group, or species perceives the genetic imprint of Oppression and eradicates it. Any structure, hierarchy, or civilization is inheritor to this oppressive genetics, being fathered by men, of course, and usually rich white ones.
Magic, being a structure, must be Queered. Magic must be shorn down, ripped apart. As Christ’s crucifix was planted upon the skull of Adam, so too must we sacrifice Magic—its futile incantations and meaningless tables, its molded tombs and broken scales—on the bones of its creators. Its blood will engender a new, Queer Magic. Every planted field must, eventually, be sacrificed.

Modern Western magic, being built upon the religious and cultural institutions of the past, must necessarily have the shape and form of those institutions. A cursory glance over the traditional and ubiquitous Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) is enough to prove this theory: Its blood is of the Abrahamic religion—For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever, Amen. There is beauty in this foundation, to be sure. Still, this is a magic of Jehovah, of men and temples and empire and oppression. It is a magic of the Demiurge that is Civilization, and it does not work. It does not work, that is, because the powers of a false god—though seemingly great—must be obliterated by the True Divine Vision.
God is Beauty and God is Chaos. Magic, therefore, must be beautiful and of chaos. For our magic to be thus, we must tear down the house of YHVH and plant wildflowers.
But before the demolition begins and before the dancing and the joy of summer fields, we must prepare ourselves. The term queer is used today in a false way, to designate a sliver of society that has been oppressed, and that also has oppressed others. In this usage, “We are queer,” means—it is a magic word, Abracadabra!—“We  are not them. They have hurt us, and so we retreat into ourselves.” But this is Civilization’s magic, cropping up again. “Queer” people today say that they work toward bringing peace and unity; really, with each rally, conference, poster or email, they are digging the gulch much wider. We are QUEER! We are DIFFERENT!
And so this is a call to arms. “Queer” People of the World! Join us. Forget your “queer” magic and your “queer” separatism—Lesbians, YHVH has nothing to do with you; Trannies, the Angels don’t hear you. Lay down your wands. Pick up thyrsoi. We will return to the Garden of Eden together, wrestle away Michael’s burning sword, and burn the place down with it. Then, from its ashes, we can build a new magic, a Queer, Anarchist, Human magic. A magic of the oppressed, of Women and Children and the Old, of the Different and the Forgotten. A magic not of some other world, not of that world of bosses and desk chairs, colony and division, but a magic of this messy, whole, burning world.


p.s.: Sara, you’re rubbing off on me. A LOT.


About John Harness
John Harness is an artist and educator in Chicago. He is a member of Socialist Alternative and the Klingon Language Institute. He writes about political activism and roleplaying games.

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