cetraria_islandica_-_koehler_s_medizinal-pflanzen-032.jpg dream.jpg

We are led to believe a lie

When we see not thro’ the eye,

Which was born in a night to perish in a night,

When the soul slept in beams of light.

[William Blake. Auguries of Innocence]

Birds correspond to thoughts; the good and beautiful to true thoughts, and birds of night and of prey to false thoughts. [Swedenborg]


She could, at this stage of things, recognize signals like that, as the epileptic is said to—an odor, color, pure piercing grace note announcing his seizure. Afterward it is only this signal, really dross, this secular announcement, and never what is revealed during the attack, that he remembers. Oedipa wondered whether, at the end of this (if it were supposed to end), she too might not be left with only compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, but never the central truth itself, which must somehow each time be too bright for her memory to hold; which must always blaze out, destroying its own message irreversibly, leaving an overexposed blank when the ordinary world came back.

[The Crying of Lot 49. Thomas Pynchon]

Sense and sensing are forms of divination, of prediction. Augury may be defined as the practice of interpreting omens from the observed flight or dance of non-humans, tracked by GPS or satellite; divining both the past and the future, not any present but sheer persistence which is beyond appearance, offering either transcendent meaning or only the earth.

Signals are opened to this earthy consciousness by all the sensitive, the epileptic, and the paranoid species. To foresee means to be inspired by vapours, by fumes and smoke from industrial chimneys and rotting snakes, burning forests, pure piercing notes and colours, by skin sensing heat while moisture evaporates from dew and sweat on the surface of plants or bodies, vibrations of the questing insect climbing slowly as the measured temperature gradient of earthworm execution falls. What is to be divined (by the group) in the unfaithful language of mosses, machines, mushrooms, birds and others are the various past and future depositions, intrusions, compressions, degradations, and gradings of lithic entropy, these deformations of energy.

The approaching future of lookahead executions and exploits, compiled memories of clues, announcements, intimations, this disappearing and quitting past is spectral and is always wanting divination in the field. This group will decode the living and material discards of sense.

Schedule and sites

16th – 23rd September 2018 [23rd is Autumn equinox]

daily schedule: dream diaries and discussion, sensing exercises, collection of data/overview/planning from previous night, day activities, aurora observations and other observation/recording setups, dream incubation evening 7PM+ (dinner 5pm)

  • Monday 17 - AM. Group presentations: 9:30-12h proper introduction by groups 20 + 5 min each (intro + questions) sequence: Kira, Marc, Judith, Martin, Hanna.

PM walk to tree line, walking/sensing exercises on Saana → plane crash site, auguring or divining plans for week collecting and using samples on the walk, geomantic techniques, interpretations. return 5pm

  • Tuesday 18 - Visit to KAIRA and other observation/radio array/middens, logging and measurement set ups (aurora observations)
  • Wednesday 19 - Proto/para photochemical tools for divination - Malla pools trek.
  • Thursday 20 - Introduction to satellite tracking, weather satellite imagings.

19-20:30 Thursday 20th evening hosted by Martin Howse and group

  • Friday 21 - Language/software divination workshop using materials and data collected during this week.
  • Saturday 22 - 9:30-12h documentation with blog post as result.

* lunch

* 13:30 - 15h packing

* 15-17h wrap up by Hannah Rogers + group

* Dinner

* Sauna + Kota sharing

  • Sunday 23 - leaving 7-8AM


Sites of divination/execution:

Lake (bowl), sky (bear), underground (underworld, headless) sites…

KAIRA: https://www.google.com/maps/search/kaira+Kilpisj%C3%A4rvi,+Finland/@69.0706633,20.7607949,295m/data=!3m1!1e3

Smaller observation array: https://www.google.com/maps/search/kaira+Kilpisj%C3%A4rvi,+Finland/@69.0519732,20.7852449,300m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1

Plane crash site: latitude=69.059362338646; longitude=20.798320770264 → Near the KAIRA radio telescope site, there is the wreck of a crashed German bomber from the Second World War. It lies on the north western slopes of the Saana mountain, east of the Customs Border Station, near the old military road which winds its way between Finland and Norway.


Reindeer trap pits on the path to Kitsiputous Falls through the Malla nature reserve which starts from the lake.

The lake as a site for the dead and for divination: The youngest giants can still be seen at the bottom of the lakes, thousands of years later, in the skeletons of the giant pine trees. Also smaller lakes and ponds around Malla reserve.

From Erich:

Some cavity locations:

the end of a canyon: https://bit.ly/2CjFHKn approx here: https://goo.gl/maps/gAfaCjBbKoR2

many bunkers: https://goo.gl/maps/touoyjdt6o12

water fall with cavities: https://goo.gl/maps/Tep6B1YgVzC2

trip to skibotn one day?

From Vanessa:

Rocks, historical junk and other divinatory object collection –> Meaning making and language / ideas translation techniques (birds in a basket)

Mud gathering - mud as protective make up / painting to enable magico - spiritual connections to earth spirits (or create new ones, neo-sacred-rocks) I found mud here last year : (maybe linked to Sam's idea/mixed with chemicals/reagents?) https://www.google.com/maps/place/69%C2%B003'32.7%22N+20%C2%B051'05.1%22E/@69.0590719,20.8492403,261m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m14!1m7!3m6!1s0x45daa9a66a078f4f:0x260146d7261ef091!2s99490+Kilpisj%C3%A4rvi,+Finlandia!3b1!8m2!3d69.0442888!4d20.8032994!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d69.05907!4d20.8514293

Lichen gathering for lichenomancy (referring to Martin's link) and posterior cooking ritual for trance perfomance. Followed Martin's image / reference and found a recipe https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cetraria+islandica

Mask and costume preparation for initiatory Auguri techniques.

Trance-dance: Noise making & Field sound recording from nearby antennas, electromagnetic activities and other cybernetic creatures. (Maybe linked to Jukka's practice?)

Worshiping monolith, dolmen or random magical construction. Seida? http://www.nationalparks.fi/thesamiworldviewandmythology I remember many special “rocks” onsite: Skibotn, Giant rock, monument of the WWII, Malla, burial rocks in Sanaa, etc


  • Daily exercises: dream diary, dream incubations
  • Sensing exercises/walks/meditations - sensing changes in temperature, air flow, wind, breath, magnetic sensing
  • Develop a sensitivity to certain aspects of the environment (eg. walking dictated by following certain colours)
  • Visit to KAIRA and exercises there: http://kaira.sgo.fi/ - divination by way of sun spots, remote sensing of aurora (access to data - what form this takes?)
  • Proto & para photochemical tools for divination

http://www.aurora-service.eu/aurora-forecast/ - forecasting and divining the aurora through another sense http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/education/aurora_cam.html

  • Star observations. Bear Asterism: Ursa Major and the pole star.
  • Noise/camera observations and measurements. Riometer: Relative Ionospheric Opacity Meter for Extra-Terrestrial Emissions of Radio noise - that we are literally looking through the noise.
  • Language and geomancy. Language of the birds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_the_birds (links to necromancy - the shrill bird-like vocal expressions of ghosts).
  • The lake and hydromancy, lecanomancy.
  • The headless rite.

Methods of augury and divination:

Classic augury: “taking the auspices”. 'Auspices' is from the Latin auspicium and auspex, literally “one who looks at birds.”

Haruspicy: divination of entrails. Roadkill.

Necromancy: What are contemporary oracles of the dead? War remains in Kilpis (close to second array/other fieldstation house are war time remains/middens which could be studied) Also oracles of the dead such as those of Acheron and Avernus were located close to volcanoes/crater formed lakes (lakes around Kilpis).


Cledonism: planetary futures divined from messages intercepted within high frequency trading links, social networks. A question is whispered, all potential reception is shuttered until the device experiences full network traffic and chance words can be received and interpreted.

Geomancy/geophysiomancy: a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground, geophysical measurements or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand.

Oneiromancy: interpretation of dreams.

Lychnomancy: divination from images or shapes in the flame of the lamp. In one recipe, the lamp is set on the (disembodied?) head of a wolf - see lichen.

Catoptromancy: divination from images in the glittering or distorted reflections of mirrors.

Dream incubation (connection to the god Asclepius) at specific locations, fasting.

Alomancy: (also called Adromancy, ydromancie, idromancie, and halomancy) divination by salt. Salt crystals cast into the air and patterns are interpreted as it falls to the ground or travels through the air. Also can interpret patterns formed from the residue of a salt solution as it evaporates in the bowl.

Lecanomancy: bowl divination/vessel enquiry using oil and water.

Inquiry of bowl divination and necromancy: Whenever you want to inquire about matters, take a bronze vessel, either a bowl or a saucer, whatever kind you wish. Pour water [into it]… holding the vessel on your knees, pour out green olive oil [into the water], bend over the vessel and speak the prescribed spell. And address whatever god you want and ask about whatever you wish …

PGM (Greek Magical Papyri) IV/ 221-232.



The system consists of a phased array receivers grouped in two separate arrays – one composed of 48 LOFAR Low-Band Antennas (LBA) covering the 10–90 MHz band and another composed of 48 LOFAR High-Band Antenna (HBA) covering the 110–270 MHz range. The HBA array is oriented in the direction of the EISCAT Tromsø radar, which transmits at approximately 224 MHz.


Data and HOWTOS:

Other Aurora-related data/cameras:

Proto/para photochemical tools for divination


Experiment with photochemical alchemy: using camera-less techniques to produce photo-material entanglements that conjure divination data.

Using x-ray film, out of date aerographic surveillance film and orthochromatic paper film record a process of bio-chemical reaction between the organic material, emulsion and substrate. The images/ signs/ codes are not produced or communicated through light energy, but by chemical ('alchemic') energy. This proto/para photographic process draws on the inherent photo-chemical capacities plants as developing agents.

Harvest material from around Lake Kilpisjärvi, such as moss, lichen, fungi, mud, phytoplankton, algae, water etc., to use in this form of experimental augury. The lake as a reflective bowl for divination: a screen receiving messages to be interpreted; reading 'signs from nature in order to determine the will of the gods'.

The resulting images/ forms can’t be predicted in advance, but we can consider what can be sensed from these images that are generated by the environment itself.

Random somewhat related links/ readings:

Last Sigh/t: A Selection of Optograms: https://burninghousepress.com/2018/08/28/last-sigh-t-by-yanina-spizzirri/ Retinal images—retrieved by a complex optochemical process that fixes the photosensitive pigment (rhodopsin) found in the rods of the retina—capture the last image seen before death.

On proto-photography and the shroud of Turin: https://bit.ly/2ooy5MT (3mb)

On the Action of the Rays of the Solar Spectrum on Vegetable Colours, and on Some New Photographic Processes, John Herschel: https://archive.org/details/philtrans01986954

Wolf lichen/lichenomancy

Letharia vulpina, commonly known as the wolf lichen (although the species name vulpina, from vulpine relates to the fox), is a fruticose lichenized species of fungus in the family Parmeliaceae. It is bright yellow-green, shrubby and highly branched, and grows on the bark of living and dead conifers in parts of western and continental Europe, the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains of Western North America. This species is somewhat toxic to mammals due to the yellow pigment vulpinic acid, and has been used historically as a poison for wolves and foxes. It has also been used traditionally by many native North American ethnic groups as a pigment source for dyes and paints.

It could work nicely as a potential substance for para-photography. Also lichenometry: In archaeology, palaeontology, and geomorphology, lichenometry is a geomorphic method of geochronologic dating that uses lichen growth to determine the age of exposed rock, based on a presumed specific rate of increase in radial size over time.





Notes and further readings:

Historical divination, augury, archaeoastronomy, astrology, geomancy

Computational and technological augury

Satellites, birds and things


Space Debris & Orbital Ruins

The matter of media in outer space: Technologies of cosmobiopolitics (Katarina Damjanov): https://www.dropbox.com/s/er1wg0szb5vw76h/Damjanov%20Space%20Media.pdf?dl=0

Of Defunct Satellites and Other Space Debris: Media Waste in the Orbital Commons http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0162243916671005

Orbital ruins: https://necsus-ejms.org/orbital-ruins/



Visual Culture / Critical Theory

Roger Caillois: 'The Writing of Stones': https://monoskop.org/images/a/ad/Caillois_Roger_The_Writing_of_Stones.pdf

Roger Caillois: 'The Natural Fantastic'https://bit.ly/2C8FQjw

Visions and Stones: Spirit Matters and the Charm of Small Things in South Korean Shamanic Rock Divination: https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/anhu.12065

Extracts from François J Bonnet, The Infra-world: https://bit.ly/2POLNFb (1mb)

Federico Campagna, Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/technic-and-magic-9781350044036/

Fieldwork equipment and materials

  • olive oil (get there), candles
  • raspberry PI, PI cam NOIR, network cable, sensors, battery packs and power connectors, 2x arduino and power…
  • wire, basic handtools, solder, radio, transmitter, parts for myc radio, few myc radio modules, “nature” radio
  • book/s
  • heating wire, incense, controllers and parts from Messene
  • GPS and interfaces
  • satellite reception - software defined radio, cable, plugs, antenna rods
  • developing trays, measuring jug, sheet film, fix, lightbox, magnifying glass
  • salt, vitamin C powder, sodium carbonate
  • audio recorder, hydrophone, contact mic

A Reader:

augury/planning.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/17 22:03 by m
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