Terra Mysterium Casts Its Spell

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Forget about Terra Mysterium’s post-modern blurring of theatre, technology and consensus reality. Their latest play The Lion & The Serpent is a magickal spell.

Without giving too much away, blogger Ranty Wilberforce (played or incarnated by Sean Wilson) seeks an audience with author and mage Professor Marius Mandragore (played or incarnated by author Keith Green). While waiting, Ranty recounts The Lion & The Serpent, Mandragore’s occult murder mystery that may not be fiction. Ranty’s blog, http://rantywilberforce.com, exists in our real time consensus reality. He references it throughout the play, including instructions on the Eyebright solution for improved scrying ability. The play literally tells you how to perform a spell. Mandragore ends the play with words of advice and caution to a prospective mage. The audience, of course, winds up being instructed (or initiated) as well.


The spell behind The Lion & The Serpent promotes a non-linear, extra-ordinary magickal perspective. Grounded in the reality of Ranty’s blog and several Chicago- (and London-) specific geographical references, the veracity of a battle on the astral plane can be convincing. Don’t believe it? Terra Mysterium offers the possibility that you can try it (with some effort and study).

William S. Burroughs proffered that a contemporary magician should use contemporary tools. In the essay “Magick Squares and Future Beats: The Magical Process and Methods of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin,” Burroughs used a tape recorder as a magickal weapon. He recorded riot sounds at the 1968 Chicago Democratic convention and played back the sounds at an offending café (not loud) in order to drive them out of business.  Author Genesis Breyer P-Orridge explains, “Everything is recorded. If it is recorded, then it can be edited. If it can be edited then the order, sense, meaning and direction are as arbitrary and personal as the agenda and/or person editing. This is magick. For we have the ability and/or choice of how things unfold—regardless of the original order and/or intention that they are recorded in—then we have control of the eventual unfolding.” (Bryer P-Orrige, Genesis. Book of Lies, New York: Disinformation, 2003. 108. Print.)

Green intercuts the blog, play and audience to pursue his magickal agenda. Don’t worry. He’s a good guy. He has your best intentions at heart.

Grant Morrison pursed a similar path with his comic series The Invisibles. It collected the adventures of secret cells of super sexy occult martial arts assassins. Morrison used it to create what he called a hypersigil. A sigil is a magical symbol used to focus and manifest a desire. The hypersigil manifested Morrison’s desire though the comic and across its readership. Basically, he wanted to create secret cells of super sexy occult martial arts assassins.

I explored the topic in my presentation “Pop Culture Steampunk Chaos Magick” at the Owen Society for Hermetic & Spiritual Enlightenment.  No surprise, it is a monthly occult steampunk group organized by Green/Mandragore. My participation in this multimedia spell deepens.

The Lion & The Serpent initially ran September 5-8, 2013. I suspect that Ranty will keep us up to date online.

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