I am absolutely gutted. My heart goes out to her entire family.
First, I need to get this out of the way – she would have got a kick out of this.
Saturday morning (28th Dec 2019) I awoke from a dream thinking ‘wow, I can’t wait to tell the team about this’. But I was avoiding the internet over xmas. so I didn’t. I also didn’t write it down in a dream journal (that I don’t have). I can feel her reaching for the 🤦♀️emoji from here.
On Friday I was still back home on the chalk for Christmas. Staying in my childhood bedroom. Before going to sleep I had gone though some special thoughts and prayers for my grandparents. Thinking about Christmases past and times I’d spent with them. Memories of them being in the house etc. Some business with the dead.
Early Saturday morning Eriol was in my dreams. I dreamt about crossing a bustling outdoor forum. A souk or Medina maybe. I walked up to a trestle table in the middle of the hubbub. It was difficult to hear her words over the noise. I stood at the table watching her mix complex alchemical substances from one bowl made from rare material to the next. Showing not telling. Watch and learn.
Gordon wrote over on Runesoup.com yesterday, breaking the news to the RSPM community. In it he mentioned the following point:
That ferocious eclipse we just passed was right on her Ascendant and I know she is tapping that sign right now in the Otherworld. Look. Look. There is something to all of this.ALL OUR SMALL BOATS: SOME VERY SAD NEWS – Runesoup
Now listen here.
There IS something to all this. The reason Eriol and I bonded chatting online in the first place was the fact we’d both been to the same place.
“A cave underground, a roof of stars, with a reflecting pool and a statue of ‘the beauty'”. If you have been there too you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Experiments on the Peshteran Discord have been remarkable: We have waved our arms around in the same way and ended up seeing the same shit. (which tbqh is a good description as any for ceremonial magic)
To quote one of her favoured backchannel phrases “All Verified UPG is Canon”
I really don’t know where to go from here to be honest. I’ve never done anything like this before. There’s already been two links I’ve seen and wanted to send her. I’ll miss her dearly.
Dr Clever had been writing the good shit for more than half a decade. She became a central node for many people in the occult / magical renaissance that has been happening online. She often wrote with a sharp clear clarity.
She was also one of the most important recurring characters in the wider ‘Runesoup Extended Universe‘.
I know others are grieving right now. I have spoken with some in the dark forest that we share. I’ve also seen some wonderful comments online too.
Gordon wrote yesterday:
When I lose someone I worry that expressing or communicating this loss somehow makes it about me, which it isn’t.ALL OUR SMALL BOATS: SOME VERY SAD NEWS – Runesoup
I’m worried that i’m going to ‘make it about me’. But I also know she would just encourage me to write something. “Write it. Create even more when the feelings get rough”.
Eriol was a ‘web friend’.
We never met in person. We have only ever corresponded avatar to avatar. In chat programs, DM’s and lengthy email correspondence. Hours and hours of conversation and interaction. In my minds eye she IS Whittaker in those steampunk goggles. But this doesn’t matter at all, nor does it change how I feel today. The impact that Eriol had on my life during our friendship was … significant.
Gordons post says a lot of the things that I would also like to say.
But I want to add a few personal things – at this point in the timeline.
- Eriol always encouraged me to be more confident with my writing and with my podcast. To explore ideas and to never stop being curious about tangential threads. To keep pulling them until I was satisfied I knew where they lead.
- She read ‘with pleasure’ over 150k words of my writing/bullshit that is currently unpublished. She is the only person that has read all three of the personal ‘texts’ that I have been working on: Mediation, Christianity, and Magick. The good Dr Clever also 100% called that the Meditation/Christianity texts should be combined months before anyone else. As both texts apparently feel at home when they ‘slip into memoir’.
- I am grateful for every word doc comment saying ‘I can see what you are doing here ;)’. Every time she detected that I was sneaking animism on to the big table.
- I am grateful for the 10k+ words of feedback I received from a 60k word first draft. If anything, this should illustrate her extraordinary generosity. I know many others have similar experiences.
- Eriol was always the first in with the ‘Like’ on Twitter after I posted my podcast on a Friday. As it coincided with her mid morning break between classes. Honestly, over the last two years I had come to expect it. The signal that she’d listened to it and some feedback on that week would be incoming. I will miss this dearly.
- In the dark forest we have a “Confessions” channel. Back in November Eriol wrote the following:
“my god, you have honored me with your trust, your kindness, your respect, your work, and with your support. I…have to admit I don’t always feel like I’m as cool as you think I am (except when I do). I treasure that you value my opinion, and I am so glad you’re here with us crazy Americans (but we’re all crazy here…).”Eriol was cool as fuck actually.
I thanked her in DM’s in the backchannel. Her words meant a lot to me at the time. Now she is away … they mean even more.
7. I will miss her bullying me into reading a whole god damn Shakespeare play in a week just because her students were reading it. Then poking me to know what I thought.
Despite my mutterings at the time. On the bright side I have now read quite a lot of Shakespeare.
8. I am deeply saddened that our scheming/research into Medieval English puppetry traditions, folk tales & passion plays will never come to its creative outcome. However, perhaps one day I will do something with all the material you pulled together for me. It’s amazing that Antitheatricalists (who were Puritans/Evangelicals) knew that theater was weird and dangerous, and were correct that it subverted their shit world view.
BTW. Despite our disagreements about the cultural understanding of shadows and plato in in the early 21C. I still think shadow puppetry is the way to go. But I’m still open to you to convincing me otherwise.
9. I’ll also definitely miss our backchannel gossip and side eyes at some of the spiciest takes from the astro/occult/magic community. Twitter really is a stupid place.
10. Her favourite poem was The Hosting of the Sidhe by Yeats.
Earlier this year Eriol wrote a post on reincarnation and the soul. (it also opens with the important point that one should “take advantage of opportunities to write as they come”).
I find myself looking back to my thoughts about the Egyptian model. My “fetch” or ka will eventually go back to country and become part of the ancestral lining we’re all doing. I am hopeful that my ba will have adventures in realms invisible and visible until perhaps I decide to incarnate again.
One of the recurring threads I’ve encountered in my personal work is that the spirit world allows us sundry kinds of experiences and more, but eventually, our spirits can grow old, strange, hungry, and fey. I suspect this dilemma contributes to some of the accounts of fae being like that. I suspect a roaming spirit can continue to change and grow, but, like the living, they have to avoid falling into languid stupors and calcifying habits. If you can keep changing in the spirit world, you can probably carry on there indefinitely.RECYCLED SUNLIGHT – Crowess
I just know that Eriol’s spirit will continue to change and grow. To have adventures and most likely report back if we are listening.
Lastly. She always had an uncanny ability to be at least one step ahead.
I mean, she left us with the Fisherman’s Prayer as her final tweet for gods saaakkkkee.
For those wondering or interested. The Peshteran are in contact with Eriol’s sister. When the time is right we will ask about her literary estate. Some of you may already be aware of the Book of Crows. But there are journals, and endless Gdocs. Plus her blog and many many pictures of her cat. Y’know, the usual. With her families permission we would like to pull her work together to ensure that –