pale moon is riding alone o'er the trees
The doves are all resting in dark boweries
I call to my love come away
Quench the lamp it reminds me of day
Come away, come away,
There's no reason to stay. Come away.
will plait you a garland of damp forest leaves
We will not be alone in the wild forest trees
The Sabboth of Night comes as last
We will dance in a ring on the grass
We will dance in a ring and we'll merrily sing. Come away.
© Sonia Brock 1965
When I was living on New York Citys Lower East Side in the 1960s.
I started writing a novel called Murder by Magic. Not knowing
a lot about magic, I got books out of the Library, some of them quite
In my own book I used most of the standard clichés from horror
movies and fiction. The anti-hero died as part of the plot and I went
into mourning for him. This process of identification with a character
is, I understand, not uncommon amongst fiction writers.
Going deeper into library research, I found that the occult was not at
all like the movies. Later, in Toronto in the 1970s , I started writing
another book which I never finished. This second book involved an occult
order dressed in black robes with a secret headquarters, secret passages
and a heroine the whole nine yards. The book got sillier and sillier
as time went on. It became a bit obsessive, so I dropped it.
Anxious to know where I had gone wrong I sought out some actual members
of the occult community to research what was really going on. I had learned
a few things already through my own research and I wanted to know more.
I joined a group called the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis). This was Aleister
Crowleys Thelemic group which was sex magick but I wasnt into
that part of it. I was, perhaps, the only celibate member of the group.
I wrote this song in the 60s in New York. I must have channeled
it since my knowledge of magical practice at that time was limited.
Egyptian gods became important Amon Ra and Horus and that whole
crew around Memphis and thereabouts. Crowley's imaginative flights of
fancy, perhaps drug-fueled, became a strange kind of map. He was a trickster
with a bent sense of humour, so you had to watch where you were walking
if you were following his lead.
Through my studies in magick I have had experiences that are not normally
explainable, like rain happening inside the house and other manifestations
for which I have no logical explanation. I was focusing on the Water Elemental
in a very concentrated way during one of those times when the world about
me seemed wrapped in a misty cloud. I did this on the way home and then
in my meditation room in the house, where I continued to focus and concentrate,
and when I looked up it was raining inside the room. Sure, it could have
been a leak in the roof but it only happened once at that particular time
but never again no matter how hard it rained.
A side note here might be that the concept is not so much to control the
forces of nature, for instance, as to embody or manifest them.
I concentrated for some months on the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, a ferocious
feline war goddess, and the effect on my life was dramatic. Everything
broke. My job changed. My husband died. I had to move out of my digs.
Everything broke or changed and, in the end, this was a good thing. The
Lightning Struck Tower in Tarot can mean taking out that which you no
It's very difficult to talk about magick. Going back and trying to describe
it, even though I have been in it, is almost impossible. I was participating
in an alternate reality, a timeline parallel to the 'real' world but not
quite of it.
Even now it is almost impossible for me to reconstruct, to speak, of a
world where Archangels and Elementals were as real as the kitchen tap,
and probably more so. Someone said that if you act as if something is
real then your actions will have real consequences.
Magick works but is very difficult and demanding to practice and has absolutely
nothing whatsoever to do with wiggling your nose and producing special
effects. Mysticism eludes explanation.
I stopped attending OTO meetings after a while. I just didn't have the
strength or will to focus. My health was not good and you need your health
for that kind of extreme concentration. It's not unlike deep meditation
I've also visited the Wiccan community, sat in on their circles, and taken
part in their rituals to a certain degree but they do not appeal to me.
It is the admittedly darker Ceremonial magic users who hold my attention
and to some extent still, my respect.
Note: Thelemic practitioners spell magic as magick
© Sonia Brock 2005