1. Morgana told me she interviewed two other TEFLers for my job. The Corporate Manager wanted a dim girl, Morgana objected “the girl has shit for brains, fuck her”, so the choice was between me or an Irish guy – the Corporate Manager opted for me, on the grounds that i was already in Germany and so had less to lose if they fired me. i was surprised, as the CM doesn’t strike me as a very thoughtful or considerate person, and i_____, my first TEFL employer, had no qualms about luring me from Manchester to Kiel, then firing me after a month (without warning or explanation). Indeed, when the (American) Director of Studies at i_____ went through the contract with me in September, she carefully omitted a section which said i could claim travel expenses back if i applied within 3 months; she said “this one isn’t relevant”, because of course it was. Although Morgana loses her temper about fifty times a day, and is utterly without restraint, psychopathic really when she gets going, at least i feel i would therefore have plenty of warning before she fires me. Volcanic as she is, there will i think be warning rumbles before the really big, Pompeii-scale explosion.

2. A few days ago, walking home through Ultima Thule, i saw a man with what looked like a ferret, weasel, or stoat – on a lead. Man and beast both seemed happy with this arrangement.

3. i increasingly feel drawn into magic, since coming to Ultima Thule (dreams, ravens, crows, runes) – even before coming here – i met Morgana the weekend before, when she & David came up to Kiel; and i felt her own magical ability (or “will” as she calls it) as she tried to reach into my mind. i wasn’t sure if she even knew what she was doing, but it seems she does, and is quite used to exerting this uncanny influence on people, by her will; or, as i would say, magically. i’ve seen her use it on other people – it’s like colour spilling out of her, enfolding and altering her target.

Curious how we oppose and complement each other – i have never tried to influence others magically, except in cursing or blessing – but never just to amuse myself, or because i want to dominate someone. My own magical work is almost wholly centripetal, an attempt to find a wholly private centre in myself, from which i can resist, for example, money worries, being shouted at, being killed, being dominated by others, and so on.

In this instance, thinking of what i do as magic, rather than just “projecting my will” (Morgana’s phrase) encourages caution and discretion. Magic is not something wholly separate from the ordinary – it is rather another way of looking at what people do all the time, or Morgana’s repeated magic would strike people as obviously uncanny and weird, rather than as just the way a strong-willed and wholly unrestrained person can influence others by her presence alone; though i think even the unmagical would admit there is something uncanny and dangerous to her.

4. i lust after poetry. i’ve been re-reading Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus – my German good enough that i can at least (kind of) understand why the German means what it does. But i crave my English library.  i can’t abide reading poetry on screen so must abide till i can afford a return to Blighty – which might take a good year of working 40 + hours a week. Vexing.

5. i am enjoying my free time walking in the nearby park – about 5 minutes away from my Philosophenweg digs, and it is much much bigger than the parks in Kiel. i am increasingly curious about trees and flowers and birds – i would like to know more of their life cycles, their names, their habits. For example, even last year in Manchester, i wondered if a tree i particularly liked on Parkfield Road South (my usual walking route) would have been around a century earlier, when Wittgenstein lived about a minute away, on Palatine Road. It was a big tree but i don’t know enough about trees to do more than say, perhaps.

6. And perhaps more on exactly how i am moving into the magic, later. More and more i feel magic is just one way of looking at the life we all lead – that, seen aright, magic is not weird and arcane, as in Aleister Crowley, but rather familiar and intimate, as a good theory neatly expresses what you always knew, always were – even while it is never more than a theory, a way of seeing. If the ladder is not set down in the heart (foul or otherwise), it leads nowhere human, and so nowhere that is of use for us. Once one grasps the fundamental principles, magic of the Gandalf variety is possible, but that is secondary – the central use of magic is to understand your own self, and your world – so it must lead to the human, not to seventh level pentagrammic angels uttering Egyptian formulae, unless that is human, for you (but that seems unlikely – for before one learns such arcana, one must learn to enjoy, for example, sunshine and ice cream and crows).

7. i sometimes reflect, wonderingly, that had my plans gone right i would be dead by now – instead i am listening to Ibrahim Ferrer and drinking white wine (no more red – never again). The sense of having gone into death, psychologically, is a weird consolation amidst my occasional, Morgana-related difficulties – not that i think “i should have died” but that some part of me has died, and rather than having a deadness in my mind, i feel i have accessed the strength and endurance of that which is not presently alive – and so i dream of the Eihwaz rune, and am guided – by that tree on which we hang, whose roots we cannot know, being as they are, our roots also. The whole work of magic is expressed in the lines of the Hávamál:

on that tree, of which no man knoweth

from what roots it rises

– the end work is to arrive at knowledge of your own being, of your world – which cannot be entirely objectively known – and so ends in lucid unknowing, that is, in Rûna.

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