October 7th, 2009.
I saw Death.
He sat alone at a table in McDonald's; I was there because my daughters then aged three and four both thought The Happy Meal a truly happy thing.
And Death was there.
I knew it was he because of the black line around him, the intensity of darkness, the excessive gravity.
I ignored him, but was secretly pleased to see the guardian of dissolution. A reminder that the gates may be located in the most unlikely places.
In my dreams Death's servant took me to the Golden Man. In real life I watched the Golden Man step across a cable -a sizzling line of high frequency- and transform into Lucifer.
Alas, just one more fallen angel seeking transcendence: the Lord of Absolute Zero, the beloved of god in exile, promising unimpeded gigavolts...
Heaviness and talk of plutonium, the symbol of the black hole (a modern version of the older black sun). I think the first thing I ever read by Maggie Macary was an untwisting of its heavy braids of darkness, she wrote the black hole into meaning, portraying the horror of the frozen images, and forever located *The Palace of Stasis* on the event horizon.
Maggie never wrote out the other symbol of plutonium, the blue fire. James Hillman mentions it, but never directly.
I quote from James Hillman:
Building the psychic vessel of containment, which is another way of speaking of soul-making, seems to require bleeding and leaking as its precondition. Why else go through that work unless we are driven by the despair of our unstoppered condition?
The shift from anima-mess to anima-vessel shows in various ways: as a shift from weakness and suffering to humility and sensitivity; from bitterness and complaint to a taste for salt and blood; from focus upon the emotional pain of a wound - its causes, perimeters, cures - to its imaginal depths; from displacements of the womb onto women and "femininity" to its locus in one's own bodily rhythm (Blue Fire 161).
I am wary of doctrines that seem to elevate suffering, the metaphor of beating gold to increase its purity and yet it is true; writing is hard work and I know of no other way to see in the dark.
But back to the subject; psychic plutonium has two allotropes, the first ascends from the realm of Pluto, it is found on the earth anywhere; even in McDonald's. It is experienced as a force acting upon the soul. It compels the writer to write, it compels the victim to turn to the doctor and ask for help, it is the sensation of wolves and smells of decay.
It is not Prima Materia.
Psychic plutonium is rich and powerful, lethal and deceiving. Prima Materia is found within oneself, plutonium exists outside of oneself and within this world and when a woman goes to bed with it, she sleeps with Death. She is his partner.
All who walk between worlds must sleep with death.
Of course in the past there was no word for plutonium, no dreaming of the spinning atoms, the fragile neutrons and their demonic transformations, no image of Hiroshima, no knowledge of black rain (I don't mean the film....).
But there was always an apprehension of luminosity within darkness. The periodic table sets out many rich dishes of metaphor...
The second allotrope is a transformation of state -from solid to plasma- the atoms no longer arranged in universes, instead there is a cloud of bright energy.
When people find plutonium some consume it willingly, others in ignorance; I belonged to the latter. I had been contaminated, experienced the heavy-black line that signals its presence, but I had no idea that I'd been so fortunate; for plutonium brings ghosts in its wake. Its gravity warps the borders between the worlds, and the colours I tasted were mauve and pale blue, silver and black; the taste was of smoke and metal, sandalwood and orange. I let ghosts slip between my legs, my subtle channels enriched with the gift from the underworld. Within me plutonium existed as plasma; blue fire.
But something happened and the plutonium switched states; became the heavy-metallic form.
When I lost my Beloved.