The Ritual Performances of Amodali
My journey as a performer began during the 1980s. I began to experiment with extending my magical practice by exploring the magic of Babalon in ritual performances. The performances integrated movement, extended vocal techniques and trance states. Physical movement is an integral element within magical traditions and used as means to induce trance and altered states of consciousness. I found within my magical practice that possession states induced by the 156 Current produced a complex array of kinetic, erotic expression and that within the dimensions of feminine, magical corporeality there is much unexplored territory. The trance states I have developed are at the core of techniques I use to harness the sexually aroused body as a vehicle for non-verbal, magical knowledge systems.
The female body and its sexuality is continually policed, constantly scrutinised for its acceptability and conformity to degrading, reductive, cultural ideals of beauty and coercive forms of commercially fabricated imagery. Ironically, the very contrived aesthetic and glamorization of Babalon in popular occulture limits the vast uncharted territory of expression that remains unexplored in terms of female magical sexuality and creativity. The use of trance practices is a means to break the spell created by such objectification. One moves in ways that disturb and disorientate, challenging notions of boundaries and control that describe the phenomenology of female magical consciousness by using embodied languages and performance that is subversive, disruptive and anarchic, creating possibilities of transformation for both the ritualist and participants.
During ritual performances the body becomes an agent of magical disruption. It intoxicates, deranges and breaks down barriers. That the body, Women’s bodies, may be the site of such direct forms of communication is transgressive in itself and a little explored site of magical potential, concerned with developing forms of ecriture feminine within a ritual space. Acts which have the potential to unravel dominant cultural narratives and dissolve boundaries. When immersed in a possession state, the boundaries of the body, the erotic self /not self are tightened and loosened as a creative skill in which one has control and authorship. One may choreograph explosive, sexually charged spaces by which the 156 current (as shorthand for a complex melange of initiatic sexual currents) can be transmitted and communicated.
“I have at the centre of my practice a very specific type of trance state which I have developed over time through invoking Babalon into my body and building up an energetic, kinetic dialogue with Her. Through this dialogue I have learned very specific techniques and mechanisms for integrating and directing her current, often by direct possession. I‘ve learned how to direct the trance state within the specific magical territory that relates to the ‘Body of Babalon’ and the subtleties of the esoteric mechanisms within this that the trance reveals. Creating a magical signifying language and practice that is wholly erotic in substance. The Babalon trance is the core mechanism, the ecstatic engine which drives her magic.
The ‘Mother Destruction’ ritual performance project was a ten year long experiment, undertaken between 1990-2000. It focused on developing the broader remit of the current, bringing together important parts of the practice I’d developed into a magical environment which would hopefully communicate the orgasmic gnosis at the heart of the magic of Babalon. Handling the practice within one’s own sphere is challenging enough but I wanted to experiment with entering into trance live on stage and engage with the audience through this medium of highly visceral extasis and bring key principles of embodiment into practice.
Being in the presence of a person completely immersed in a state of abandonment and trance is a very disorientating yet transformative experience. More so with the Babalon trance which is highly sexually charged. The priestess has to be prepared to fall into a completely abandoned, ecstatic state, which makes her simultaneously vulnerable and empowered. The performances were extended rituals in which I attempted to stay in trance and actively orgasmic. Each of the songs expressed a different aspect of Babalon’s’ magic and was an hour long devotional rite unto her. Public rites such as these are just one aspect of her pleroma as channelled through the body of the priestess.” The comments above are from an extensive interview form 2014 which can be viewed at https://threehandspress.com/for-the-wine-of-the-cup-is-the-blood-of-the-saints-amodali/
Consequently, notions of what constitutes magical sexuality, magical ‘ritual’ are deconstructed and challenged. A key aspect of creative enquiry is therefore concerned with exploring the mysterious horizons of the female sex-magical body, its architecture, its emanations both physical and etheric , its patterns of expression and how this may be developed within a process of magical development. The exploration of these non-verbal, embodied, erotic states may yet manifest as a subversive weapon at the core of the 156 Current and part of a Venusian revolution, with potential to destabilise consensus notions of sexuality.
” I hope my work will challenge the pervasive, reductive exploitation of the female sexualized body. Babalon is of course, the most defiantly visceral, complex and profoundly passionate counterpoint imaginable to this assault on the feminine spirit! She is avatar of the deep supra-sensibility of flesh and connectivity with nature, and so immersing within her magic puts one very ironically at odds with this current era of the shallow gaze and the disembodied, consuming erotic eye. The transgressive aspect of Babalon has been vitally important in breaking down taboo and liberating sexuality, but I would argue that the next level of development within the current should challenge simplistic and often misogynistic interpretations which belie the complex higher magic of the current.” From the THP interview (Link above).
Live Performances 2019
A new live set is now in preparation for performances on 2019. More details TBA later this year.