srijeda, 19. lipnja 2013.

The Art of Possession + FoolishPeople

@ Foolish People @

Ok, netko ili nešto je ušao/ušlo u vas, opsjelo vas, no što ako je jastvo/osoba kojoj se to događa također cijelo vrijeme nešto što vas opsjeda, i što je oduvijek već bilo u vama jer je odnekud "ušlo"; što ako je sama vaša default-osobnost s kojom se poistovjećujete, također "strano" (parazitsko) biće koje se ugnijezdilo u vašem organizmu a vi prividno mislite da je ono "vaše"? Takve sam ideje razrađivao sam u knjizi Paranoidnije od ljubavi, zabavnije od zla, no evo novih ljudi koji variraju temu najintimnijeg "jastva" kao demona, parazita, stranog bića, uljeza, "virusa".
I zaista, zaista, zar ne bi najveći trik intuitivnog, tzv. svjesnog postojanja bilo to da se identificirate s nečime što uopće niste "vi" (budući da i ne postojite) i da je sama temeljna svijest s kojom uopće pristupate svemu drugome zapravo u najvećoj mjeri drugoBudući da ionako uopće nemamo pojma "što" je naša svijest, nije nimalo ludo pretpostaviti da je sam medij svijesti učinak usađivanja/izranjanja. Sama naša spontana, svakodnevna svijest jest ono što nas opsjeda, progoni, a mi, budući da ne možemo iskoračiti i sagledati što se zapravo događa, umišljamo da je to ("unutrašnje") iskustvo nešto naše. Ne događa se opsjedanje nama, nego mi sami jesmo manifestacija opsjedanja (emergencije), sam naš doživljaj jastva upravo je rezultat toga što smo opsjednuti. Dekartovski zli demon itd... Mislim, dakle govori demon.
FoolishPeople rade od sličnih pretpostavki imerzivna, ritualna kazališno-filmsko-performerska umjetnička djela koja spajaju mitologiju, šamanizam, terapiju dramom, strateško prognoziranje i open source suradnju.

Entering the Theatre of Manifestation – The Art of Possession

(For the first installment in this series covering the FoolishPeople’s ritual performance craft see - Entering the Theatre of Manifestation – Unveiling the FoolishPeople )
“There was a time when I found the concept of possession alien, exotic and dangerous. We Westerners have come to see possession a something akin to what we find in movies like The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Serpent and the Rainbow and many other movies that feed the fear of the unknown taking possession of us. But these movies speak solely about the possession and obsession that might happen by the intrusion of hostile spirits upon ones being.”
- from The Mystery of Possession, Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
Possession is an odd phenomena. Portrayed in the media as rare and uncertain, observed more carefully the basic elements of possession can be used to understand the underlying nature of our conscious experience. We are possessed by our self identity, a phantom, so easily unmoored, an accretion of habitual responses and memory that we cling to with such intensity we often miss the benefits of taking on another type of personal agency. Especially when we begin to realize that possession does not end with the body, or with the self, but exists within a web work of wider relationships and environmental memories.
FoolishPeople make a game of possession, they play with it, and fool’s play is a serious games to engage in.  Whatever the internal driver we want to assign for possession, the state seen symptomatically involves changes in action and self perception radically altering how we interact with and experience the world around us. To invoke these changes willfully, to court the disassociation and potential permanence of alternate personalities and memory sets, is a very potent artistic tool.
When we hear anecdotes of internal experiences they can be easy to dismiss, perhaps the more telling evidence of this power is its ability to affect those who choose to follow the FoolishPeople into their explorations. Breathing the atmosphere of the Theatre of Manifestation is enough to open people to altered states of consciousness. Tereza Kamenicka, who entered the FoolishPeople’s world as a Core Member in 2006, mentions,  ”sometimes it actually happens that audience members start following each other thinking that the other one is a performer or a plant.  Sometimes it opens something, and people get drunk on the feeling of the magic or creativity around them, and it does influence their behavior.”  Possession and ecstasy are closely tied, especially in the context of FoolishPeople’s work.
Lucy Harrigan, another integral player in FP’s world, found herself at the center of this restructuring of identity and action while interacting with an audience member who stepped into the narrative during A Red and Threatening Sky.  She was tied to a bed, possessed within a truly trying performance, when an audience member, emboldened by ecstatic catharsis, was lead to comfort her while she struggled in captivity. These fluid boundaries between fiction, fact, performance and living memory open up interesting therapeautic avenues that react almost as exorcism on the unresolved ghosts of those participating in the Theatre of Manifestation.
Going into the project John Harrigan knew A Red and Threatening Sky was going to be one of their most focused and intense efforts. He  states this very plainly while reflecting on the event on FoolishPeople’s website, he also opens a window into how personal this work can become:
Love. A vicious, bright beast and one of the most interesting forms of idea/deity we’ve worked with. I barely survived love’s rawest essence with sanity intact.
In March I was rewarded, I married Lucy, FoolishPeople’s producer and performer.
It was with the power of this intent that the audience became so engaged that some of them became possessed by the spirit of the performance and entered the narrative on a level that shares in the intensity of the piece. As he describes in the following recording, Harrigan experiences this from the very beginning of any project, communicating with and opening up to the sense of place spirit is central to building the integral soul of any FP production:

This artful exorcism extends to broader cultural memories as well. One review of Cirxus, a performance enacted by FoolishPeople in 2009, mentions that:
“…Cirxus is perhaps less interested in the facts of the case than in the allegorical potential of nuclear disaster as an event that, by dangerous radiation, prohibits access to the evidence of its own happening. The ruins of a nuclear site have a special sort of status: the only life that remains is that which is left in objects, or that which objects remind us of.”
The performance summons memories of nuclear holocaust, a fear which shaped the culture of the late 20th century, and which has been largely forgotten in the midst of additional fears such as economic collapse, terrorism and climate change. FoolishPeople allow us to talk once more with these ghosts, to rework them into our own cultural memory, and to see how the shadows of Hiroshima still loom large in the subliminal ebb and flow of society.
Here we find ourselves in an interesting matrix of influences, in an artistic experiment that provides deep insights into how we relate to the world, and in turn how the world relates to us. By opening the act of theater beyond acting, into possession and manifestation, the entire process takes on a vitality that unbinds the creative act from temporal or spacial boundaries. The theater becomes an alchemical alembic where poisonous manifestations intermix with pure until the final act reveals the next stage in the experiment.
These methods bear some semblance to the theoretical archaeological techniques developed by John G. Sabol, Jr. and the C.A.S.P.E.R. group:
“Theatrical ghosting is the common thread and process that opens a link between one “living” ghost and another already physically dead. In this ghosting, the performance of past memories are recalled and shared. The behavior of the investigator (as participant in his/her internal ghost culture) and the ghost (as observer in her/her external ghost culture) resonate with one another, creating a “ghosting” (a mutual understanding) link from past to present that results in communicative behavior.”
- from Bodies of Substance, Fragments of Memories: An Archaeological Sensitivity to Ghostly Presence, John G. Sabol Jr
Sabol’s work uses these techniques to understand how we interact with history, place memory and what ways that becomes active in the present. FoolishPeople’s work activates this further through rituals that deeply embed the personal narratives of the participants into this invocation of past and future memories. Although both Sabol and the FoolishPeople are more careful than to provoke paranormal claims, the interplay that occurs between the performance narrative, place history, personal history and audience immersion provides an open ground for unexpected revelations and breakthroughs.
“We are the ghosts within these remembrances and memories as our experiences are recalled, and a symmetrical connection between past and present begins to percolate. We re-live our past cultural behavior through resonating moments that link us, through our contemporary performances, with those uncompleted (and still sensed) past events. This is a form of “theatrical ghosting” and a performance odyssey that takes us through the ghost culture of our life. There is nothing worse…or better…than this journey. Within these time and space travels we have already met the ghosts we seek out in our investigations, without even acknowledging their existence and continuing presence. An important consideration in these travels through space and time is whether we can tell the difference between internal ghosts, and those that are external and foreign to our own personal feelings and cultural values.”
- from Bodies of Substance, Fragments of Memories: An Archaeological Sensitivity to Ghostly Presence, John G. Sabol Jr.
One of the keys to FoolishPeople’s work is that they weave these interactions into their performances, keeping in touch with the additional layers of meaning and interaction that can be evoked in an immersive setting. As Craig Slee, FP’s Writer and Creative Content Director puts it, they are ”well aware that everything in the world is connected. Thought, word and deed can cross distances, and that everything is in flux. Everything we do has an affect, and we understand that stories and narratives are a form of navigation - a way of carving a path through existence.” Throughout the process one of the ways that the group is able to maintain this awareness of connection is through living 24/7 under the influence of their role in the performance. Allowing the integral spirits of the piece to work through them inside and outside the performance space.
With each experiment they’ve stretched the boundaries of this immersion, breaking into a new level with their upcoming feature film experience, Strange Factories. Premiering at the Cinema Museum in London, the work will engage the historic resonance of the museum itself as part of the integral place dynamics that attend FoolishPeople’s work. Housed in the former Lambeth Workhouse, which Charlie Chaplin spent time in during his childhood, the museum was a first choice for Harringan who felt called to the site even before learning of its full historic presence.
Here the spirits of the cinema will speak from photographs and memorabilia gathered from every era of film making, teased into revealing their secrets through the gate of the active screen and the interaction of FoolishPeople’s live ritual during the screening. From the very foundations the sweat of past residents of the workhouse will warm with the crowds anticipation, perhaps a few drops from Chaplin shivering beneath the feet of an unwary watcher.   When the FoolishPeople “ invite you to enter into the heart of English Dreaming” who can tell what’s to come?
Willing sacrifices to the creative fires, those who invite you in to the Theatre of Manifestation have already loosed the bonds of reality for a time. As the rooms of the Cinema Museum slowly slip under the influence of the spell, all media outlets will become pathways back to Strange Factories. The web of nostalgia woven from the associations primed within the collection stretch out through the culture to every aspect of the visual arts. Every warmly held memory of City Lights, or the Little Tramp, will begin to tremble every so lightly as the projector lamp begins to hum.
When the potent cinematic ritual of Strange Factories takes possession of the Cinema Museum beginning October 26th, 2013, it will be with the weight of the building’s history and the museum’s collection behind it.  The Core Members have been immersed in the ritual since the films conception in 2011. One can expect, based on FoolishPeople’s previous invitations to the Theatre of Manifestation, that this will be an entrancing evocation and potent personal examination of the art of possession and storytelling.
Your memories and self perceptions are already in some sense borrowed, and the forces that will be rearranging them as Strange Factories begin to take possession of familiar cultural cues are thoroughly professional and experienced, having undergone the procedure themselves.  Just remember, they’ve been living this story since before it was written, and the spirits of our collective culture don’t disappear when the film ends and the screen goes dark.
FoolishPeople actively engage audiences through immersive theatre, live cinema, ritual and independent film. Spectators must choose their own journey without guidance, which challenges their habitual way of watching art and entertainment in a passive manner. FoolishPeople have been commissioned by the BBC, ICA and Secret Cinema, and have produced work for conventional theatres, galleries and site-specific venues.
- David Metcalfe is an independent researcher, writer and multimedia artist focusing on the interstices of art, culture, and consciousness. He is a contributing editor for Reality Sandwich, The Revealer, the online journal of NYU’s Center for Religion and Media, and The Daily Grail. He writes regularly for Evolutionary Landscapes, Alarm Magazine, Modern Mythology,, The Teeming Brain and his own blog The Eyeless Owl. His writing has been featured in The Immanence of Myth (Weaponized 2011), Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color & Music (Alarm Press, 2011) and Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness (North Atlantic/Evolver Editions 2012). Metcalfe is an Associate with Phoenix Rising Digital Academy, and is currently co-hosting The Art of Transformations study group with support from the International Alchemy Guild. For more information on Santa Muerte, and the sanctification of death in the popular faith traditions of the Americas, check out, a collaborative project hosted by Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut, David Metcalfe and Liminal Analytics. 

Entering the Theatre of Manifestation – Unveiling the FoolishPeople

Strange Factories 3It’s a fool’s quest to go seeking strange angels and emergent archetypes in the muddled minds of the contemporary world. What more to seek to manifest them, confront them, engage with them in the hopes of giving some sense of trans-spiritual renewal to the blighted urbanism and abandoned traditions of today. So it is that the FoolishPeople step forward to take a task that few would be willing to see through, they have sought entry into the Theatre of Manifestation, and the gifts that they return with are pregnant with the possibilities of art and magic.
It is my pleasure to announce an ongoing project documenting these FoolishPeople and their living legacy, to share their tale of travel from avant-garde theatre, if one must fall into transient terminology, to manifesting Strange Factories, a cinematic spell that takes their tradition of magic and ritual into the digital age. With Theatre of Manifestation Unveiled we are invited to join them on a jocund journey, a rare opportunity for exploring a contemporary artistic tradition that remains well tried in the mysteries.
The artists life, the life of the writer, and creative, is already filled with financial woes and the eventual alienation that attends any who begin to fracture the thin wall between reality and imagination. Adding magic to the mix, and worse a social conscience, you have a recipe for liminal disaster. Yet, it is in this chaotic matrix where those who seek illumination must go, and what seeker is more earnest than one who has no other choice but to go on.  Called to the precipice of the abyss, some learn to dance on the edge.
The FoolishPeople are not a group brought together by common interests, although they share a few, nor are they gathered on some artificial insinuation of talent, although each of them is more than capable in what they do, they are brought together by a force which none of us can speak of, it is nameless, and yet we see it’s effect manifesting within our lives. Each member of the core group within Foolish People speaks of finding a place in the circle where they have discovered access to mysteries and truths that have haunted them while awake and dreaming. Each member speaks of discovering in the freedom of this ritual theatre a doorway and vehicle to a wider sense of conscious  life. What is more, in speaking with them, and in speaking to those who have taken up the offer to enter their world, I’ve found that these discoveries are not without fruit, and efficacy is ever the test of practical magic.
Shall we begin with an anecdote? A rumor caught in conversation? Foolish People’s immersive theatre is more than just a night out, it is ritual, and like all rituals, when the set and setting are properly prepared, something Other comes through.  What comes of this we’ll discover at a later date in our unveiling, but don’t worry if you are skeptical. This is theatre after all, you needn’t do more than enjoy the show, what sneaks in after the curtain closes is yours to take for whatever reality you’d like.
I can speak personally on FoolishPeople’s emergence as an active agent, in some ways the same forces which foster their creative fire have been at play in my own experiments in art and culture.  John Harrigan, founder of FoolishPeople, and I became acquainted through the strange networked interstices of those whose interests lie in a more esoteric application of contemporary cultural technology.
I have spent many years investigating the curious crossroads of culture and myth.  My pilgrim’s path leading to a set of unique credentials in folk magic and ritual, psychical research, esoteric philosophy, cognitive science, and cultural studies.  It’s an odd arrangement of expertise, yet as a sagacious shepherd reflects in the Second Shepherd’s play of the Wakefield cycle:
We that walk in the nights, our cattle to keep,
We see sudden sights, when other men sleep.
John’s work with FoolishPeople, and the work of all those who participate in the experience, speaks for itself, and my own experiments have lead me to a place where I am able to bring you with on a guided tour of the twilight world where light and shadow play out the lives of gods in the experience of human flesh.
So please, accept this invitation, come with us in our exploration of this theatre of manifestation, you will find we weave through the web, a digital immersion that carries on the immersive ritual theatre which has become the hallmark of FoolishPeople’s production. This is a story we are creating, and like all stories it exists wherever there is word and will to carry it.
Although I must warn you, not everyone can survive the violence of creation.
Note: Many thanks to John for inviting me to participate in this project, and to Lucy Harrigan, Tereza Kamenicka, and Craig Slee for wonderful conversations in preparation for this journey.
FoolishPeople create Weaponised Art, Ritual Theatre and Film.
Over a number of years, FoolishPeople has developed a unique practice, Theatre of Manifestation. This is a form of ritual theatre that combines mythology, shamanism, drama therapy, strategic forecasting and open source collaboration. We create stories by merging film, performance, sound, art, light and the location to create a unique, dreamlike world that living characters inhabit.
Our audience must choose their own journey without guidance, a technique which challenges their habitual way of watching art and entertainment in a conventional manner. Static consumption is not possible, active engagement and participation is vital and absolutely necessary. - David Metcalfe

Strange Factories offers up 'subscription of experiences' to fan-funders by ALICE VINCENT 

A theatre troupe has blended the mystery of performance with crowdsourcing and gaming principles to create a new form of storytelling. Strange Factories, the brainchild of creative types Foolish People, allows the audience to get involved every step of the way -- from funding the film to altering its narrative.
Strange Factories was inspired by the theatrical acts which paved the way for the first horror films, such asphantasmagoria. Foolish People's artistic director, John Harrigan, explained to "Art, entertainment and cinema need to be willing to rethink how stories are told to compete with waning attention spans. We hope to create a form of storytelling that revitalises cinema and makes our audience feel truly special and alive."
The project is currently living at IndieGoGo, where prospective audience members can contribute to the project and glean the first clues to the film's story. Harrigan says: "We've been inspired and influenced by the ideas of people like Seth Godin and we decided early on that we wanted to use the immersive nature of our work during the fundraising phase.
"I think this way of working with your audience puts the ownership of the experience of the story back in the rightful hands of the people who love and support your work. Working this way means we can remain 100 percent committed to the unique nature of the project."
Those who contribute will be rewarded with a "subscription of experiences" -- packs of clues, DVDs and tickets which will be sent out to contributors prior to the Strange Factories tour next year. Games are also a major influence on Strange Factories -- Harrigan says fans are "able to get special experiences, in the same way that someone who orders a copy of a game such as Arkham City early would be rewarded access to special characters, skins and maps." Similarly, the immersive storytellingStrange Factories recreates has been created with a modern gaming audience in mind, allowing them the same autonomy over the plot as found in games LA Noire and Portal.
Harrigan's keeping understandably tight-lipped about the full plot of the film, but Strange Factories sees a group of theatrical players lost in a remote village and succumbing to the bizarre rites practiced there. You can catch a glimpse of the plot in the photostory in our gallery.
Foolish People are offering participants the chance to stay in the remote Czech location where the film was set, as part of a competition which asks for anecdotal dreams or stories to be shared with the project. You can enter here.

Strange Factories

Have you ever had a dream so strange you were sure it wasn't your own

'Strange Factories';  an immersive feature film that tells the story of a world haunted by a phantasmagoric fiction. A unique and powerful project that fuses cinema and theatre within a dreamlike environment to create an experience like no other."

Who We Are:
We are a group of creatives called FoolishPeople, who specialise in creating immersive theatre. Over a number of years, we have developed a practice Theatre of Manifestation that enables us to transform entire buildings into dreamlike worlds that our audiences explore as the action unfolds around them. Our work has been commissioned by organisations such as the BBC, Secret Cinema and the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

We have been working towards making a film for some time as we believe our creative practice has the ability to capture visceral emotion and beautiful moments that can be fleeting for our audience and transform them into a very special motion picture.

Our audiences enter into the worlds we create and choose their own journey, a technique that challenges their habitual way of watching art and entertainment in a conventional manner.  Active engagement and participation is vital and absolutely necessary. This structure allows for an intimate interaction with our stories that can be a powerful, compelling and a liberating experience within the individual.

FoolishPeople pride ourselves on undertaking ambitious productions and 'Strange Factories' is our most unique and important to date.

The Story :
A storyteller possessed and haunted by an idea for a new fable searches for four lost friends, refugee performers of a theatre destroyed in a mysterious fire: Sam, who is obsessed with dangerous stage effects, Jessica, a glamorous femme fatale, Rose, who has sacrificed her life to art and Hettie, a clown who hides a secret.
Victor is convinced their unique skills will help him complete work on a story he fears is becoming a paradox.
He finds his friends in a remote, pagan village founded by Stronheim; owner of a Strange Factory hidden deep in the local countryside, infamous for the frequencies of sound it emits.

Victor inadvertently enters into a dangerous covenant, when Stronheim vows to re-build the theatre if Victor learns the truth hidden at the heart of his story in time for it to be performed at the village festival.

The key to the groups success lies in unravelling how Victor's story relates to the customs of the villagers: bizarre rites practiced under influence of a hallucinogenic effluence siphoned out of the Strange Factory and served at the local pub.
Kidnapped actors, hideous monsters, invisible escape artists and ghosts of audiences past, present and future manifest in a landscape haunted by phantasmagoria.


The Phantasmagoria of Strange Factories:

The film will be toured and presented within an immersive theatre event created by FoolishPeople that explores the early history of cinema and film via the touring traditions of Phantasmagoria and theatric arcana.

The performance that accompanies the screening of the film will feature the actual actors from the 'Strange Factories' feature film and extends the story to further explore the secrets of the mysterious Stronheim and the relationships of Victor, Rose, Sam, Jessica and Hettie the clown.

You will be able to watch the film in an atmospheric setting that immerses you in the weird world of 'Strange Factories', whilst you witness the manifestation of the creatures and characters as they come to life around you. We have left a space for you to interact with the film, and venture into a wonderland to become part of the story.
'Strange Factories' will subsequently have a general cinematic release before becoming available on DVD and download in a collector's edition with extra unreleased material filmed during the 'Strange Factories' tour.
'Strange Factories' is in part inspired by unforgettable cult films such as 'The Wicker Man'. 
The genre of our film is 'Film Fantastique', the most wonderful French term for a genre of cinema and literature that overlaps with science fiction, fantasy and horror. We can explain it no better than Robert Hardy, director of the Wicker Man:

 "A Film Fantastique can have almost anything in it, it's based on fact but it can take flights of fantasy which are still rooted to the truth and reality of the story, so that the imagination can roam." - Robert Hardy

The fiction of 'Strange Factories' has already bled through into our reality, the mysterious hum from Stronheim's 'Strange Factories' has been heard worldwide.

What We Need & What You Get:
Stories and myths are given life by those who engage with them and this is why we hope IndieGoGo's powerful community will support the ambition of this project.

We want and need you to become part of our story. You're a crucial part of how this project is produced, created and experienced.

Were aiming to raise $12,000 via IndieGoGo to support the production's costs that we need to bring our film to life.
 Your pledges and donations are vital in enabling us to create new forms of storytelling for audiences who are hungry for new, truthful experiences that go beyond simple, passive entertainment.

Were offering magical and exclusive experiences as perks for our funding drive on IndieGoGo revolving around the film's release that will give you the opportunity to explore the mystery of the narrative and learn how you may even already be part of this story. We can say with absolute confidence and conviction that these perks are unavailable with any other original film, and are matched fairly to the amount you wish to donate. 

We have an extremely talented core team of creatives who are passionately invested in the project. Your pledges and donations will be used directly for equipment, location costs, production design and costume needed during our shoot.  The whole team is committed to making 'Strange Factories this Summer with as many resources as we can afford, with the entire cast and crew living and working on location. Any remaining funds from this drive will go straight into post-production costs.

To show our gratitude for your support and confidence in our idea and work, anyone who pledges via IndieGoGo will be the very first afforded the opportunity to see the film, and explore the heart of the mystery surrounding Stronheims Strange Factory.YK2011_034N_FILM13_02

Other Ways You Can Help:
If you believe in our film, then please do let as many people as you can know about it! You can use the buttons above to post our IndieGoGo page to your Facebook or Twitter. Or, if you prefer please email friends, family or anyone else you think might be interested.

The Mystery of Possession

It was a time when I found the concept of possession alien, exotic and dangerous. We Westerners have come to see possession a something akin to what we find in movies like The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Serpent and the Rainbow and many other movies that feed the fear of the unknown taking possession of us. But these movies speak solely about the possession and obsession that might happen by the intrusion of hostile spirits upon ones being. 

The concept of possession means ownership over something or some faculty. We can say someone possesses a good or bad character as much as our friend can come into possession of a great heritage. When used as a verb, to possess means to reside in something or dominating something or someone, to be potent in one’s dominion, to assume master ship over something or someone. 
Possession is a good thing; it is gods touching the god within you as they move towards one another in beauty and from this knowledge and pleasure erupts in sweetness or in violence between the pillars of being. In this we make knot upon knot on the ladder that ties the worlds together and bring ourselves closer to everything. It is a good thing... In 16th Century witchcraft trials the juridical term ‘possession’ was used to describe the work of devils that had taken control over their votaries. Similar ideas were also found in Scandinavia from the 17th Century where good violin players that moved people into dance and frenzy were seen as being possessed by the Devil and this possession had a contaminating spread on the people singing, dancing and drinking. Nevertheless, diabolism and demonism has coloured
our understanding of what possession is and it is only natural that the very uttering of the word evokes nightmares, fear and terror in an understanding that our being has been vacated in favour of a hostile occupant. 
With the advance of African derived faiths, cults and religions the phenomena of possession has experienced a more nuanced understanding of what it is. The softening of the demonic colouring have perhaps been aided by the growth of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity that do practice possession of the Holy Spirit and in some countries, like Brazil, possession by angels and Biblical prophets. 
In my experience I would define possession as: “a condition where we are taken over by spirit resulting in an altered state of consciousness, and where we are allowing the higher and the Other to take us over” (Exu & the Quimbanda of Night and Fire). This description harmonizes with Cornelius Agrippa’s thoughts upon ‘divine frenzy’, which he sees as superior souls falling on our own souls. 
This means that possession do involve an element of being taken over, of vacating ones ordinary consciousness for something higher or other. But I believe that possession is never an intrusion of a spirit. Possession always begins within and moves outward in a resonance with something higher or other – and in this a merging occurs – on a wide scale of variation and intensity. This scale moves from dream and inspiration to vacating ones consciousness completely in favour of the other or higher consciousness. 
True possession is a form of prophecy. Prophecy in its original meaning of being a bridge between the gods and the world of men rooted in soul meeting soul. A connection with source is necessary for this to occur, we must touch the divine and allow it to cause ripples on the mirror of the soul for prophecy to occur. If we are out of touch with source, Self and nature the onset of possession can be a deceptive endeavour and be more like a hallucination, an aimless walk in the fields of the mind, than something benevolent that strengthens our connection with source, Self and nature. Possessions is about giving oneself over to one Self and allow a particular vinculum to unfold where we generate a myriad of connections within and without and returns to ordinary consciousness more whole and more wise. These prophetic connections, this divine vinculum, can show itself not only in prophetic messages, but in dance, in joy and in challenge as one soul dances upon the waters of another soul.
The onset of possession can be violent, like a volcano erupting or it can be kind as a summer breeze. In this possession mimics nature, the quality of spirits and the qualities of Self. It is a good thing and its first whispers are always heard in the tongues of spirits inspiring us to go outside what we believe we are capable of, to dig down in depths we didn’t knew we had. It is a good thing. It makes us more aware, it centres us and it widens our perception as we stretch out like a golden spider in the beauty of creation. 
To be filled with love is to be possessed by source through its messenger Cupid as being consumed by hate is to have made a malefic vinculum with an afflicted Mars. We know that the muses where nymphs of inspiration, they would inspire poets, musicians, heroes and scholars with their insistence on pleasure and knowledge, using dance and music as their medium for inspiration. And inspiration was for the Greeks and Roman a token of the breath of gods touching a person, like a feeling, and idea and an insight can ‘possess’ a person and set the soul aflame. Inspiration was seen as the subtle caress of one soul upon another – a merging – similar to what happens in a possession, but gentler. 
To be touched by gods and muses we need to have some sort of connection to reap their providence. Possession is all about connection with source and nature – while in its absence it will be an enigmatic walk in the unknown guided by illusions and confusion. 
Possession is a good thing; it is gods touching the god within you as they move towards one another in beauty and from this knowledge and pleasure erupts in sweetness or in violence between the pillars of being. In this we make knot upon knot on the ladder that ties the worlds together and bring ourselves closer to everything. It is a good thing... -


Cirxus and Dead Language were the first books to be published from FP's back catalogue of scripts, it's a misconception that the work of FP is devised. All FoolishPeople projects are developed from a script.

Weaponized Episode 4: Music of the Earth

Inner-X Musick & FoolishPeople Beltane Special

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