Musician, poet, author, and occultist Vadge Moore is interviewed by John Wisniewski, special correspondent to Occult of Personality, to discuss the esoteric and philosophical influences on his writing and more. Vadge is the author of Chthonic: Prose & Theory and the upcoming Meonic Monsters: A Perfect Ruin.
John Wisniewski: What inspires you to write? Does the artist have to put himself in a certain mental state to create his work?
Vadge Moore: When I’m writing the prose, yes. The kind of prose that I produce generally comes from a very dark, primal, and murky place. It can takes its toll after awhile, which is why I have to work slowly on the prose portions of my books. It is a psychological descent into, what Freud called, the Id – that region of the subconscious that houses all the animal instincts, pathologies, neurosis and unhealthy impulses. It can be disturbing and also, paradoxically, quite invigorating to tap into this uncivilized portion of the psyche. This part of consciousness is a generally untapped reservoir of primitive, psychotic energy and is great for creative expressions. It’s no wonder that the Marquis de Sade was able to write the many thousands of pages of his complete works while working with this malefic current of psychological energy. How he was able to endure a sustained connection with this dangerously destabilizing energy for as long has he did is the surprising part for me.
JW: For those who may not know what the term means, could you explain what Meontology is and how it relates to art?
VM: Meontology is the study of non-being or nothing. I have likened it to pure nihilism. My interest in Meontology began with my reading Voudon Gnostic Michael Bertiaux’s incredible book called The Voudon Gnostic Workbook. Throughout this work he discusses a realm called The Meon; this realm is supposed to reside on the backside of the Tree of Life, the Hebraic metaphysical symbol system that is used so widely by most magickal practitioners. The Meon represents the opposite of Ontology, or Being– Being representing the frontside of the Tree of Life, the side that most magicians and mystics work with. Not all magically or mystically minded people would agree with me, but I believe that the effect The Meon has on the psyche of the initiate is a destructive tearing down and ripping apart of the everyday rational ego, exposing the initiate to those portions of him or herself that are monstrous, malevolent, the animalistic portion of the psyche. Clearly, this opens the practioner up to his or her own private Id. However, in my experience, I believe that if this destruction is continued long enough then one can reach a more universal Id that Bertiaux has named the Transcendental Id. This is a realm of pure lycanthropy, deep lust and sexuality, and that by tapping into this energy one can tap into the vibrating, electric lust-current that permeates the entire universe. This relates to my art, to my prose, in that, once exposed to my more primitive, deranged psyche I can produce works that, if read with the proper mind set, can lead the reader towards the same experience. I believe that the Marquis de Sade, unintentionally, tapped into the Transcendental Id and I can certainly point toward his books as helping lead me down this transformational path.
JW: Could you tell us who Michael Bertiaux is and how are you inspired by his writings?
VM: Michael Bertiaux is a man, born in Seattle, Washington in the early 1930’s, who having been a student of the occult for many years, and a Deacon in the Anglican Church traveled to Haiti in 1963 and met his Mentor Dr. Jean-Maine, who initiated him into the secrets of the Voudon Gnosis. Voudon Gnosis is a fascinating blend of Western-Gnostic, Pythagorean and Theosophist metaphysics mated to a very deep,esoteric, and some would say dangerous version of Voudoo. Voudon Gnosis works with both sides of the Tree of Life, with Ontology and Meontology, and so some very bright- Solar inspired magic as well as very dark- Meonic, primal, elemental magic. There is a particular emphasis on the sexual component of magick, which is the most powerful and relevant component in this New Aeon, the Aeon of Horus.
Michael’s work effected me very much as Kenneth Grant’s work has affected me very intuitionally and seeming to almost seep into my psyche. After reading Michael’s work, as well as Grant’s I can honestly say that there were some doorways opened in my mind that can never be shut. I’m quite happy about that, but others may find it a little terrifying. I don’t know if one has to already be psychologically prepared for their work beforehand, in order for it to unsettle you so, but their books definitely unsettled me. They both have been a great inspiration to all of my writings and my music for many years now. After meeting Mr. Bertiaux in Chicago, where he has resided for years, in 2010 – I was not disappointed. His very presence seemed to put me into a trance.
JW: Are we looking forward to the coming of what you may call Nietzsche’s “superman” or the coming of a new man and the coming of a new age?
VM: I think so. I have been a firm believer in the Aeon of Horus, the new age that Aleister Crowley ushered in in 1904, for many years now. At approximatly the year 1700 A.D. the reign of the Christian Aeon, the Aeon of Osiris has been gradually fading away. In the philosophical world we began to see signs of the end of this Aeon through the work of Hegel, Kant, Fichte and Schopenhauer. They no longer believed in an absolute God looking over us all, yet they still maintained belief in the morality that the Christian religion was based on. In the late 1800’s Friedrich Nietzsche appeared; he exploded all of the false notions of religion and morality, he believed that the higher man must go beyond good and evil and create values for himself, to follow out his own Will to Power.
Nietzsche was clearly a precursor to the Aeon of Horus, and the system that this New Aeon is based on, Thelema (Greek for Will), is thoroughly Nietzschean to its core. This is why Aleister Crowley declared Nietzsche one of the Thelemic Gnostic Saints. Nietzsche’s philosophy is Solar based as is Thelema; Ra Hoor Khuit is our God and this God is the Sun. I believe that the coming hundred or more years will see the rise of the Ubermensch, Superman, or as it’s more properly translated – Overman, the Thelemic Overman and woman. This is not a master race based on only one particular race; I believe that the true Overman will be a blending of many races. We already see statistics now that say that mixed racial couples have risen more than forty percent in the last decade alone. This Overman is being bred, we just have to be patient.
More important than the blood and flesh DNA breeding of the coming Overman and woman is the experience of the Ordeals. The Book of the Law touches on this, but The Book of Codes (part of Liber 440 – The Book of Perfection) elaborates this more deeply. The Overman must experience four distinct Ordeals that correspond to certain paths on the Tree of Life. The work of Nemo Pandragon at Aiwass.com explores this beautifully and I highly recommend his site. It is not what one would consider traditional Thelema, but I believe, intuitively, that Pandragon is doing the most important Thelemic research since Crowley himself. Of course Michael Bertiaux’s work too taps into the most important aspects of our collective spirit. The God that informs this New Aeon, Aiwass, also permeates much of Bertiaux’s work. Bertiaux too is an agent of change.
JW: Vadge, could you tell us who some of your influences are in music and art?
VM: Musically I love all of the usual suspects: Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Black Flag, NiN, Rolling Stones, Misfits, Danzig, The Who. I think Marilyn Manson has been doing great work his entire career, regardless of what the critics say. I actually came to appreciate Amy Winehouse only after her death; great soul music. N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton blew me away and still does, so anything Dre or Snoop does is usually good to me. As for art, and I assume you mean painters: Dali, Miro, van Gogh, Pollack, Munch, Warhol, Gauguin. I have to include Charles Baudelaire in that list because he was such a champion for modern art, and I have felt a strange resonance to Baudelaire my entire life. Any work of art that pushes the boundaries and can send one into some kind of delirium is great art to me.
JW: Could you provide us with some background on your years with the band The Dwarves? Why did you start the band and did you wish to provoke the audience through performance?
VM: I didn’t start The Dwarves; Blag, Hewho and Salt Peter created The Dwarves. I came in a few years after the fact, in 1988. The Dwarves were, and still are, a tremendous burst of energy, that cared nothing for acceptance, or success. We just hated everyone and wanted to piss everyone off; you can’t get more punk than that. We pissed off men, women, children, parents and more importantly, record companies. We could not be tamed. My dozen years in The Dwarves were a constant blur of sex, drugs and violence, and I loved every minute of it. Provocation? We provoked all sorts of things.
JW: Do you see your work as a collective – your prose, poetry, and music?
VM: Yes, it’s all one piece. There has been a spirit permeating everything I do for as long as I can remember. This is what Crowley refers to as True Will. Occasionally I go off the rails, but even that ends up becoming an inspiration for music or writing. Everything I do is tied to this one thing: the old is dying and the new is just getting on it’s feet, and I am an agent for this New Man and Woman.
JW: How does magick aid you in creation of your art?
VM: Magick is everything; it’s magick that we all just wake up in the morning and go about our day. Magick, particularly this New Aeon Magick, is about Maya, or illusion, which the Eastern religions tell us is our everyday lives and that we should despise and hate our everyday lives and try to transcend existence. Magick says that you must embrace this world, this illusion. Accept that it is an illusion and than “existence is pure joy,” so says The Book of the Law. We are born and we die innumerable times, we have many incarnations; we don’t suffer in Hell or prosper in Heaven. We keep coming back. Enjoy it and live to the fullest of your ability. Nietzsche had an intuition of this and called it the Eternal Return, but we don’t keep living the same life over and over; we keep living different lives; so have no fear. There is no good or evil, only your True Will. Find your True Will and all will be perfect. This does not mean that you will be free of suffering, suffering is a part of life. But look at your life like it’s a great play, a Greek Tragedy, if you will, and enjoy the show. So, yes, Magick is everything I do and it is also my art, my writing, my music … everything.
JW: What projects are you looking forward to in the next few years?
VM: Since I completed Meonic Monsters I’ve been working on what will be a series of books of a particular theme. I won’t say more than that, but you will see once the first one is complete. In terms of music, I’ve been drumming again, so, who knows … maybe another band that actually records and tours, but we’ll see. I’m still exploring that option. My main occupation is to write this series of books and to promote Meonic Monsters: A Perfect Ruin and to find somebody that wants to re-publish my first book Chthonic: Prose & Theory. You can see by my history that I don’t stop; I’m always pressing forward and always will.
Excerpts from Vadge’s upcoming book Meonic Monsters: A Perfect Ruin can be found beginning on page 169 of Paraphilia #14, The Hypokeimenon Issue.
ATUA: Voices from La Societe Voudon Gnostique (featuring Vadge Moore)
The Voudon Gnostic Workbook by Michael Bertiaux