Nina Simone Alchemical Orange Magick Mashup

Orange begins the data-download of the light half of the year. The weather swings wildly from brilliant sun, through glowering stratus to sparkling showers of rain, a cut-up climate. Eggs appear, laid by both Easter Bunnies and my hens. Orange magick is transmitted by the sephira of Hod, communicated by Thrice Great Hermes.

vivacious vever

vivacious vever

Our first work is the ‘Voodoo Coffee Morning’ a rite of celebration. We praise caffeine, that loquacious molecular messenger, decode its vever (the molecular diagram of C8H10N4O2) and sip strong black coffee. Fortified by this stimulating medicine, our next rite is presented by TP808 – the full ritual text of which is given here. Chaos magick, as a style of occultism, is sometimes characterised as being too often about silly rituals which lack depth. However the ritual below, although it uses non-standard esoteric iconography, is far from a superficial, unconsidered working. As well as the ritual itself TP808 describes the symbolic and metaphyiscal structures that this rite articulates:

Orange Magick – The Nina Murmuration. 13-04-13

“Music is freedom” – Nina Simone
“We always thought of music as psychic resistance.” Bobby Gillespie.

4 Nina Simone albums in the four quarters.

“This is a good time to introduce you to the heart beat of our organization, the pulse of everything that we do: it centers around the drums and of course if you think about that really seriously you know that your entire life is centered around your heart beat, and that’s rhythm is it not?

Recite Westwind lyrics.

STATEMENT OF INTENT – the aim of this ritual is to time travel using soundwaves. Working with the Deleuzian notion of the “fold”:

“The fold is the general topology of thought… ‘inside’ space is topologically in contact with the ‘outside’ space… and brings the two into confrontation at the limit of the living present.” Deleuze,  – “Foucault. University of Minnesota Press, 2000 p. 118-19

The ritual space is;

“groundless depth from which irrupts something that creates its own space and time It is not the line that is between two points, but the point that is at the intersection of several lines.”

Deleuze, Gilles. Pourparlers Paris: Minuit, 1990 p. 219 – Quotes taken from “GILLES DELEUZE  the architecture of space and the fold” by Matthew Krissel at

The ritual also considers Dogen’s concept of existence-time (Uji):

“The way the self arrays itself is the form of the entire world.  See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time:

“Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another.  The way-seeking mind arises in this moment.  A way-seeking moment arises in this mind.  It is the same with practice and with attaining the way.

Thus the self setting itself out in array sees itself.  This is the understanding that the self is time.”

See Shobogenzo Chapter 11 discussed by Norman Fischer at or Buddhist Pagan blog:

Finally, the ritual also draws upon the concept of quantum foam:

“a qualitative description of subatomic space time turbulence at extremely small distances …At such small scales of time and space, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle allows energy to briefly decay into particles and antiparticles and then annihilate without violating physical conservation laws. As the scale of time and space being discussed shrinks, the energy of the virtual particles increases. According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, energy curves space time. This suggests that—at sufficiently small scales—the energy of these fluctuations would be large enough to cause significant departures from the smooth space time seen at larger scales, giving space time a “foamy” character.” WIKI see also MAGIC Telescopes – (Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes –

PATHWAY – The ritual uses energy fluctuations generated by drumming and archival recordings of Nina Simone to fold in past and future to this moment now. As a group we drum along with the two pieces of music, the first using our bodies as instruments and the second using noise making machines (drums/rattles.) We become a machinic assemblage; the murmuration is the sound of sound being simultaneous and multiple in the same moment.

“The beauty of the assemblage is that, since it lacks organization, it can draw into its body any number of disparate elements. The book itself can be an assemblage, but its status as an assemblage does not prevent it from containing assemblages within itself or entering into new assemblages with readers, libraries, bonfires, bookstores, etc.”

Nina Simone – Nina (From “It Is Finished” 1974)

Body percussion.


(Improv – glosolalia Nina-nina-nina, murmuration, murmur, murmur murmuration, communication in this place and space Nina-nina-nina  Unify us, don’t divide us, etc.)

We also draw upon Starhawk’s description of immanence as a walk on a beach (in Dreaming the Dark Chapter 3 – “Thought-Forms; Magic as Language p-15-16 to “even God…”) accompanied by hammered African thumb piano to induce trance.  Then expand upon this with a visualization of the same beach at night time, the experience of merging with an orange gelatinous sphere and the visual stimulus of a fire giving off orange embers spiraling into the night sky;

“And then kerjillions of stars start to shine
And Icy comets go whizzing by
And everything’s shaking with a strange delight
And this is it: the enormous night” ~ Laurie Anderson – My Eyes- from Strange Angels – 1989)

Beach visualization orange sphere, bonfire, covered in orange membrane. Sea, stars, warmth.

Nina Simone – Westwind (From ‘Black Gold’ 1970 written by Miriam Makeba)

Westwind blow ye gentle
Over the shores of yesterday
My sun is brown and over
Here within my heart they lay they lay

Westwind with your wisdom
Gather all the young for me
Black cloud hanging over
Nest your bosom strong and free

Got each gallon water is plane
Got each gallon water is plane
Cos I am the soil from which they came
I am the soil from which they came

So Westwind with your splendor
Take my people by the hand
Spread your glory sunshine off
And unify my promised land

The pieces of music are based on African traditional drum patterns and are filtered through Nina Simone’s political commitment to civil rights, anti-racism, Black power and the struggle for justice for people of colour and other oppressed groups. An apposite theme on this day when people are processing the death of Margaret Thatcher.  As a group we bring Pagan drum patterns to the mix; we are forced to find a space in the music that accommodates our rhythms and also to listen to each other so that we create a horizontal (with each other) and vertical (with the music) matrix of sound that speaks to a)each other now and b) the past simultaneously in a sound driftwork.

LINK TO SYMBOLIC CARRIER –  eating the orange segment to create a virtual and psychick circuit –  prior to the start of drumming, the circle is established by the  group taking a segment each and placing it into someone else’s mouth. We bite into the fruit at the same time synchronising time, place, space and taste buds. The introduction to the ritual echoes the intro speech given by Nina Simone in Windward – echoic time shift. This is only revealed to other participants once they hear the music. Noise making machines also symbolically link all elements of the ritual.

The tantric outer/inner/secret structure of the ritual –

Outer – time travel as explained above

Inner – Strange Angel themes of Robert Mapplethorpe/AIDS/bereavement/Right Wing Censorship of Art/Walter Benjamin’s critique of modernity- “History is an angel, being blown backwards into the future. History is a pile of debris and the angel wants to go back and fix things, to repair the things that have been broken but there is a storm blowing from Paradise and the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future, and this storm is called progress…”)

Secret – another (unstated) purpose of this ritual is for me to connect with my drum and find out what its relationship to my magick is…

INTENSE GNOSIS – trance brought about through drumming, listening and visualisation.

FIRE – out into the kerjillions of stars spiralling to infinity, devisualisation moving out of liminal space back to the here-now. Back to the beach – the return of the orange membrane to the ground – to be called upon again when needed.  Eating a Jaffa cake, drinking orange Tango


The Alan Partridge Banishing


An orange meditation on non-attachment and love comes next. For this each participant takes an orange and mindfully appreciates this fruit (an unscripted similarity with the previous ceremony creating a recursive feedback loop in the ritual arc). The fruit reminds us of the saffron coloured robes of Buddhist monks or the orange garb of the Shivite sadhu, peeling we consider non-attachment. We see that we are all flow and that any ‘being’ is temporary, illusionary. But in understanding non-attachment we do not fall into a solipsistic or disconnected state. Instead with our attachments gone we can peel back apparent reality and enjoy the fruit of experience. More than this we can know love, the bliss of the world and the joy of communion. This comes as we each take a segment and place it on our mouths, biting down together we share the common experience of orange magic, of the bounty and love of the world, of sweetness and nourishment.

Brother Pelagius provides another ritual:

Three Mages Alchemy Rite.

This working was connected to Orange magick via my own relationship with Mercury as the patron of both communication and alchemy. The purpose of the working was to visualise a situation that we wished to transform in our lives and to use the potency of our anxiety/fears about the situation to fuel willed change.

The schema used was inspired by the work of Michael Kelly found in his books “Apophis” and “Dragonscales” in which we find the figures of the Black, White and Red mages. For me these correspond to the alchemical stages of nigredo, blanco and reubedo, and our rite sought to use these three states to integrate our unconscious, super-conscious and conscious minds.

After imbibing the dark sacrament of Guinness, we imagined our current situation at night, coated with the fluid tar of our fears. These nightside emissions were not to be rejected, but used to fuel our desires.

Next we opened our eyes to the bright flame of the superconscious. The White Mage greets us and shows us our idealised goal and the changes in ourselves that are necessary in bringing forth such transformations. We cannot dwell here long, for if our work is to become more than a pipedream, it must be born of blood.

So we return to the realm of Midgard and the Red Mage. The flame is now transformed through potent alchemical filters so that the world is seen through a blood soaked hue (okay so we’re now looking at the candle through bits of red cellophane). The idealised state needs to be earthed in reality as we channel the dark energy of our fears so they can be put to more skilful ends.

Transmutation from A to Z

Transmutation from A to Z

Many rituals are for sharing. The non-attachment and love ritual with the oranges I was able to share at another two meetings. The first of these was at the far end of Cornwall with friends from a South American shamanic path. The third time was at the request of a Priestess (who had been present at the second performance) to share the technique in a circle cast on the north Cornish coast. In that third circle stood a Native American Woman who, later that night, shared song and skill (and delightfully strident opinion) with the company. We traded chants, some from the British Isles, some from the States. I offered a song which the Grandmother medicine had taught me, sung to the insistent rhythm of the Grandfather medicine’s water drum.

That simple rite, as easy as you like, peeling an orange (and I know it’s been done before, there is, as they say, nothing is new under the sun) has popped up in three circles and crossed the paths of native British, South American and North American cultures. Techniques are shared, the world is enchanted, communication magick unites us.

So (as the caffeine kicks in) what next? Well that orange magick vibe reminds me of cut-ups and the excellent experiments of Thee Temple of Psychick Youth and their descendants. Reading THIS I’m inspired to revisit some of those methods. Now where did I put my old dream machine..?

JV, TP808, SD and members of The Western Watchtower

2 thoughts on “Nina Simone Alchemical Orange Magick Mashup

  1. Al says:

    My friend Jon has a devotional poem for coffee…

  2. […] Respectfully requesting Nina Simone‘s spirit presence via the drum in a run-through of an Orange Magick communication ritual. Thelonius Monk and friends sound-tracking my work journeys in my role as a neutered beatnik. […]

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