• Michael Martin

There are lots of ways in which one could describe the cultural metamorphoses of the past year. “The Year of Plague,” for example, or “The Rise of the Archons” (much more accurate than “The Great reset”) would be good choices, though I also find delight in calling it “The Revenge of the Nerd in the Pastel Sweater.” But I think the most accurate description would be to call this “The Time of the Vulnerable and the Powerful.”


That might seem pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s not. Since the beginning of lockdowns and various mandates and restrictions, I have been more concerned about the threats to working people and the working poor than I have been about the threat or spread of illness. Not that I’m not unconcerned about illness. My eighty-four-year-old mother, a vulnerable though scrappy auburn-haired Irishwoman who suffers from dementia, lives with me and I was concerned early on that she might get ill. Thankfully, she hasn’t—not even a cold—but living on a farm, eating organic food, drinking clean water, and being around children with sketchy hand-washing habits all the time seems to have bolstered her immune system. When she was in a nursing home before she moved in with us six years ago, she was ill all the time and in the hospital almost quarterly—the caretakers thought she’d die within months under our “unprofessional care.” It’s more than possible that she would have died, of loneliness if not illness, had she still been in the hands of “the professionals” over the past year. But I have also seen friends and family members profoundly impacted, if not permanently damaged (time will tell), from the psychological ramifications of the past year’s events. This is to say nothing of the countless numbers of people who lost businesses (my favorite music store in a nearby town not the least among them) or livelihoods due to the issue of our times.


I know many people, dedicated people of all faiths among them, who know we have a mandate to protect the vulnerable and the powerless. Psalm 82 is explicit about this mandate, employing the imperative tense:

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness:

all the foundations of the earth are out of course. (3-5)

All the foundations of the earth are out of course.


What bothers me, though, is how this desire to protect the vulnerable has resulted in the surrender of the wills and intellects of so many to the dictates of governments, NGOs, and other professional international bodies and authorities. The result is that many who profess a concern for the vulnerable now look as though their real allegiance is with the powerful. And don’t think the powerful haven’t noticed. We all know about the great transfer of wealth (bottom to top) that occurred over the past year. But people seem to be okay with that in order to have the illusion of safety. They might grouse, of course, do a little social media posturing, but nobody seems to care enough to act against, or at least to resist, the ever-increasing power and insatiable appetites of the archons.


So I guess my problem is that I don’t see how giving the powerful more power protects the vulnerable. Shouldn’t the vulnerable be the ones gaining more agency and power? They’re not. And now even those in the middle—not the most vulnerable (though still vulnerable) but lacking in any kind of power—are likewise under threat from the powerful.


For these and other reasons, I prefer a kind of Christian anarchism, similar, but not identical, to that of my Amish neighbors (I write about this in my book Transfiguration) that while it doesn’t completely destroy the concept of power at least dilutes it by distribution—a very communitarian/distributist ethos. We don’t have that. Still, as I have been arguing for a long time, we can inculcate such a sensibility at the micro-level. That is, not by trying to change “The System,” but by changing ourselves and our relationships to the worlds around us.


Power is a tool of Satan (it was what he used to tempt the Master), though people, as they mobilize and think in groups, tend to like the idea of a strong authority. It gives them a feeling of security (how often that word comes up as of late!) The ancient Israelites, looking around the cultures of the Levant, saw that their neighbors had strong kings, and, in their mimetic desire, the Israelites wanted one, too. After their begging and pleading (or, better, whining) Yahweh gave them enough rope to hang themselves, but not without a warning:

These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18)

They hung themselves, and we are pretty much following suit. This is also why I think those Catholic traddies out there styling themselves “monarchists” (particularly those in the New World) are completely full of you-know-what and cling to their bogus idea of “Christendom” out of an impoverished notion of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus didn’t come as a king. His kingdom is not of this world (and by “this world,” please don’t make the mistake of thinking he meant the created world—he was talking about the realm of Satan and those in league with him to gain control over the vulnerable and everything else. I’m sure you can find fitting examples in your social media feed). People have often asked me over this past strange year what we should do. In fact, I hear from people on this topic almost daily. To quote J.C. Crawford’s legendary introduction to the MC5 on their classic album Kick out the Jams (I am from Detroit, after all), “The time has come for each and every one of you to decide, whether you are gonna be the problem, or whether you are gonna be the solution.” You must choose, brothers and sisters, you must choose.


But I don’t think this is a political problem at all (politics, actually is the problem). As my beloved Simone Weil observed, “It is not religion but revolution that is the opium of the people.” Ours is a spiritual problem, and a pressing one at that. This kind can only be cast out by prayer.


It is in this register that I believe the invocation of St. Michael the Archangel, called by Valentin Tomberg “the Archistrategist,” is more than appropriate at our moment. The Celtic tradition relied upon the intercession of the archangel, as in these lines from the Welsh “Litany of Creation”:

I beseech you by the tenth order on the compact earth. I beseech praiseworthy Michael to help me against demons.

Together with Michael, I beseech you by land and by sea unceasingly; I beseech you respectfully by every quality of God the Father.

I beseech you, O Lord, by the suffering of your body, white with fasting; I beseech you by the contemplative life, I beseech you by the active life.

I beseech the people of heaven, with Michael, for my soul; I beseech the saints of the world to help me on earth.

I beseech the people of heaven with bright-armed Michael; I beseech you by the triad of wind, sun, and moon.

Note the yoking of the contemplative and active lives.


Another useful prayer is the Byzantine Akathist to Michael the Archangel. We prayed this prior to one Michaelmas festival in our barn a couple years ago. It is intense. Here’s a passage:

Standing before the Throne of God, O Archangel Michael, you are entirely in the heights and yet you are not far from men and women below on the earth. You ever fight against the enemies of mankind’s salvation. It is fitting, for all who wish to reach the long-desired homeland of Heaven, to call on you with one accord:

Hail, leader of the thrice-holy hymn of the angels.

Hail, ever-ready advocate and guardian of those on earth.

Hail, mighty defender of those who speak truth and live by mercy.

Hail, for in a strange manner, you struck down Pharaoh with his faithless Egyptians in their ponderous pride.

Hail, for you gloriously led the Jews in their wandering through the wilderness.

Hail, for you quenched the flame of the fiery furnace of Babylon for the three youths.

Hail, Michael, Supreme Commander with all the hosts of Heaven.”

There are other prayers, of course. Besides Psalm 82, there are also St. Patrick’s Breastplate and, obviously, the secret weapon of the rosary—and many others. If you want to align yourself with power, this is the place to look, not to archons growing fat and rich on your fear.


Fear, to speak plainly, is a luxury of the faithless and if unchecked it only spreads like a cancer. As you can no doubt see, it has metastasized all over the planet. But this is not a luxury the Christian can afford. We cannot avoid that messengers of Satan will torment us, with fear as much as disease; it is part of the human condition this side of the Parousia. Saint Paul found this out through experience, not theory:

...I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

We are all vulnerable, praise God. So take up your armor of light.


Michael’s latest books are an edition of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and Transfiguration: Notes toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Garden.

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  • Michael Martin

Wilhelm Reich and his cloudbuster

Soon after its release in 1985, I bought a cassette copy of Kate Bush’s album Hounds of Love, which, as far as I’m concerned, remains her finest work. Bush had not really gained all that much popularity in the United States in any way comparable to the phenom she had been in England, but I heard the track “Running up that Hill (A Deal with God)” and was so struck by the thundering drums, ethereal Fairlight keyboard sounds, and the drenchingly emotional vocal that I plunked down the cash for the full album. I was not disappointed.


A few years later, I was sharing my love for the album with my coworker at the bookstore where we worked and we started talking about the final track on side one (yes, boys and girls, there used to be things called “sides” before the digital revolution), a song called “Cloudbusting.” I loved the video and the story, but I was a bit dumbfounded when my friend told me it was based on a true story. She led me to the biography section of the store and pointed me to A Book of Dreams: A Memoir of Wilhelm Reich by Peter Reich, the son of the controversial psychoanalyst and scientist. I knew absolutely nothing about the elder Reich, but I bought the book. It relates the fascinating story of Wilhelm Reich’s relationship to his son and their adventures in cloudbusting and alternative scientific research in 1950s America. It’s also a very sad story, as Peter’s father ends his days in prison after falling afoul of government authority.


Wilhelm Reich invented what he called a “cloudbuster” after observing the behavior of water in a bucket when a pipe was held above its surface. He was even hired by blueberry farmers in Maine to end a deadly drought that threatened their harvest and livelihoods. As reported in the Bangor Daily News on 24 July 1953:

Dr. Reich and three assistants set up their ‘rain-making’ device off the shores of Grand Lake, near Bangor hydro-electric dam, at 10:30 on Monday morning 6 July. The device, a set of hollow tubes, suspended over a small cylinder, connected by a cable, conducted a ‘drawing’ operation for about an hour and ten minutes….

According to a reliable source in Ellsworth the following climactic changes took place in that city on the night of 6 July and the early morning of 7 July: ‘Rain began to fall shortly after ten o’clock Monday evening, first as a drizzle and then by midnight as a gentle, steady rain. Rain continued throughout the night, and a rainfall of 0.24 inches was recorded in Ellsworth following morning.

A puzzled witness to the ‘rain-making’ process said: ‘The queerest looking clouds you ever saw began to form soon after they got the thing rolling.’ And later the same witness and the scientists were able to change the course of the wind by manipulation of the device.” [1]

Needless to say, I found this fascinating. Who wouldn’t? But, try as I might, I could find almost no information about Reich or cloudbusting. This was in the days before the internet, of course. Since then all kinds of things are available online, though I am often skeptical of the claims found there.

In about 1993 or so, I actually met someone who had a couple of cloudbusters. Let’s call him “Norman.” Norman lived in a quaint subdivision not far away from me. A friend of mine, a chiropractor, wanted me to meet him, since he knew both of us were interested in biodynamics and alternative farming (you can read about some of these things in the book Secrets of the Soil by Peter Thompson and Christopher Bird). Norman’s yard looked like something from a sci-fi novel. He let everything grow, planted every inch of it with vegetables, fruits, beneficial plants, and had even devised a creek that surrounded his property—replete with frogs and other wildlife. This in the middle of a neighborhood characterized by ugly landscaping and ChemLawn services! I don’t think he exactly got on with the neighbors. Norman’s garden boasted some amazing results—his tomatoes and carrots were impressive with their rich colors and tastes, and he even devised a gazebo within which he planted figs. I visited him few times to share ideas—though he was far more knowledgeable than I was. I learned a lot from him.


I asked Norman about his cloudbusters, and he told me that he primarily used them to “clean up the atmosphere” of pollution and other antagonistic substances. This was the first time I’d ever heard the term “chemtrail.” I found the idea kind of preposterous—why would evil geniuses, governmental or otherwise, risk poisoning their own families? Norman more or less blew-off my question. Instead, he told me some shady figures from the government stopped by his suburban abode to ask if he had a scalar weapon (I didn’t know what that was, either). He said he laughed and replied, “It’s just me and my little cloudbusters.”


I didn’t doubt all things Norman told me, I just didn’t know what to make of it all.


Years later, almost four years ago to be exact, I started thinking about cloudbusters again. That summer our farm and those around us were inundated with rain. Fields were flooded out, and our ability to make a living was under serious threat. The rain simply would not stop. I had read that not only could cloudbusters make rain, they could also stop it. Desperate for something to change, I figured it was worth a shot.


So, one afternoon, I assembled all the appropriate materials in my barn and put together some sort of cloudbuster. My wife thought I was wasting my time. But what did I have to lose with the exception of a few hours? I set the device out on an old deck near our pond and waited, making sure not to have it pointed anywhere.


Before long, another deluge arrived. I pointed the pipes at the thickest part of the cloud-cover and, sure enough, the rain stopped within a few minutes. As you might be thinking, this could have been a coincidence. That was certainly a possibility as far as I was concerned. So, in the true spirit of science, I experimented.


I am very hesitant to monkey around with the weather, so I am not at all cavalier in the way I use this device. Nevertheless, once during a drought, I was looking to pull some rain near the farm. Luckily, we have a tool in our pockets that would have cost a fortune in Reich’s day—weather radar! So, in my experimentation, I would look to see where the rain was, even just the tiniest of systems, and see if I could pull it over. Worked. I’ve done it more than a few times, so much so that my wife has asked me to turn the cloudbuster on when the garden needs watering. I’m hesitant to do so—“It’s not like the hose!” I tell her. But then I saw this image float across social media the other day (an image from the early 1950s).


So maybe it is like the hose.


Over the past few months, I have experimented with dispelling chemtrails/contrails. I’m not exactly 100% sold on chemtrail theory—but nothing governments do could surprise me—but, chemtrail or contrail, neither one could be good for the environment. It was odd that I saw very few of these—the kind that go from horizon to horizon—over the past half-year or so, but at the end of January/beginning of February they seemed to appear daily. In the spirit of experiment, I decided to see if I could get rid of them. It worked. Then, a few weeks ago, I was driving home from an errand and saw dozens of these trails striping the firmament. I wanted to get home in a hurry to turn the cloudbuster on them. However, not a few minutes later I noticed the trails starting to dissolve. I wondered if my wife had been playing with the cloudbuster (she’d never so much as touched it before, so it would be odd.) Sure enough, when I arrived home, the cloudbuster was pointed in the right direction. I asked my wife if she’d done it. She said she hadn’t—but that she’d told our youngest to do it.


This may all seem like strange talk. But is it really? That guy in the pastel sweaters has been banging on quite a bit about changing the weather though dimming the rays of the sun by use of mists of calcium carbonate spread via aircraft, and the Chinese government is at the moment planning to massively expand its weather-modification program. I have little faith in these actors. But that doesn’t mean what they’re planning isn’t possible. In fact, I’d be willing to say they and others like them have been at this project for a good long while.


When Wilhelm Reich was imprisoned, all of his scientific papers were confiscated and destroyed under the guise that his was the work of a charlatan and that the things he proposed didn’t work.


I’m not so sure about that.


Herself:

Michael’s latest books are an edition of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and Transfiguration: Notes toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Garden.

1. In Myron Sharaf, Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich (St. Martin’s Press, 1983), 379-80.


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  • Michael Martin

March 25th, as many people are no doubt aware, is the Feast of the Annunciation, known in much of the Anglosphere as Lady Day. It’s an important feast in the Christian year, marking, as it does, one of the quarters along with St. John’s Day, Michaelmas, and Christmas. The feast is so important that from early on in Christian history (6th century or thereabouts) the calendar year changed at Lady Day (and not on New Year’s Day) since the Annunciation recalibrated both history and time itself. It was sort of a Cosmic Reset Button, when salvation had at last come to the household of mankind. In the Eastern churches, if the Annunciation falls during the Holy Week its observation is not transferred (as it is in most Western churches), even if it falls on Good Friday or Easter. John Donne, a great lover of paradox, wrote of this great paradox in one of his finest poems, “Upon the Annunciation and Passion Falling upon One Day”:

All this, and all between, this day hath shown, Th' abridgement of Christ's story, which makes one— As in plain maps, the furthest west is east— Of th’ angels Ave, and Consummatum est. How well the Church, God’s Court of Faculties, Deals, in sometimes, and seldom joining these. As by the self-fix’d Pole we never do Direct our course, but the next star thereto, Which shows where th’other is, and which we say —Because it strays not far—doth never stray, So God by His Church, nearest to him, we know, And stand firm, if we by her motion go.

As anyone familiar with this blog or my published work knows, the essence of Sophiology is, for me, centered on the recognition of the inherent unity of the natural and supernatural orders; and the metaxological center of that reality is the Virgin Mary, the incarnation of Sophia: she who makes the invisible Godhead manifest to the senses. The Annunciation is the feast celebrating this reality in harmony with the Feast of the Nativity—and it’s no accident that March 25th falls exactly nine months before Christmas. It’s a witness of nature’s marriage to the supernatural. This is spirituality. This is biology.

In the writings of Jacob Boehme, the role of the Virgin in the Incarnation is an office engaged in the regeneration of all things—nature as well as the human soul—an absolute participation in redemption. As he writes in Signatura Rerum:

God became man and made man to God, the Seed of the Woman, that is, of the Heavenly Virginity, which disappeared in Adam, and also corrupted man’s Seed in the Anger, that is, Mary’s Seed, were formed into one Person, which was Christ; and the Seed of the Woman, that is, of the Virgin of God, understand the Heavenly Essentiality, should bruise the head of the Serpent, understand, the wrath of God in the Corrupted man; the head is the might of God’s Anger; the Divine man, understand the Divine property, should change the earthly into itself & turn the earth to heaven.” [1]

And he explicitly identifies the Mother of Jesus with the Sophia of Proverbs:

Therefore we set it down here (according to our knowledge) that the pure chaste virgin (in which God was born [or generated]) is the chaste virgin [that is] in the presence of God: and it is an Eternal virgin; before ever Heaven and Earth was created, it was a virgin, and without blemish; and that pure chaste virgin of God put itself into Mary, in her Incarnation, and her new Man, was in the holy Element of God; and therefore she was blessed among all Women, and the Lord was with her, as the Angel said.” [2]

This sensibility is found throughout the sophiological literature—poetry as well as prose, science as well as mysticism—and sweetly phrased in these lines from William Everson’s (aka Brother Antoninus) “Canticle to the Great Mother of God”:

Clearly you are to us as God, who bring God to us.

Not otherwise than of those arms does grace emerge, blessing our birth-blank brow.

Wombed of earth’s wildness, flank darked and void, we have been healed in light,

Traced to the sweet mutation of those hands, a touch closing the anguish-actual stripe,

Whip-flashed the sin, lip-festered on our soul.

So much of our culture and times distances us from the Real that shimmers beneath above and between All Things, as infinity is found at both ends of a number line and between every number, every fraction. Our task, most especially now under the threat of an absolute technocracy, is to participate in the regenerative actuality of Christ and Sophia. This is our Annunciation, our affirmation, our entrance into the Mysterion of the Real.

Michael’s latest books are an edition of The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and Transfiguration: Notes toward a Radical Catholic Reimagination of Everything. He can be reached at director@thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com See also The Center for Sophiological Studies' available courses. Also check out the latest volume of Jesus the Imagination: The Garden.

1. Jacob Behmen (Jacob Boehme), Signatura Rerum: Or the Signature of all Things…translated by J. Ellistone (London, 1651), 11.11.

2. Jacob Behmen [Jacob Boehme], The Third Booke of the Author, being The High and Deepe Searching out of The Threefold Life of Man through [or according to] the Three Principles, translated by John Sparrow (London, 1650), 22.31.


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