Let me preface this article by saying I am not interested in the partisan spectacle which, much like a toxic vortex, pulls us into it’s ‘pendulum’ like gravity. It is my preference to be non-attached and approach politics in a ‘meta’ or ‘apolitia’ manner. I do have ideological positions, but what matters most is ‘seeing’ and ‘comprehending’ the higher direction and currents which are taking place. Being pulled into the spectacle can be as destructive as a harmful drug. Transcend it as much as you possibly can, despite being immersed within the swirling ruins.
In the Darkness
If you have not noticed already, or have not much read, we are living in the depths of the Kali Yuga. The darkest of the cyclical stages according to the Puranas, and elucidated on specifically in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Metaphorically speaking, and one way to see it, is that the Earth is furthest from the Sun, as in, the mundane is furthest from the Transcendent. There is a wide divorce between the mundane and the Transcendent. The veil is thickest, order has decayed into disorder, harmony into disharmony, coherency into incoherency. Without the light, crude materialism reigns. The once vertical, which aspires to the Transcendent Ideal, dissolves into the crude horizontal. Just as there are seasons in nature, cyclical stages, we are in the winter.
This does not mean doom and despair, though if ensnared in the incoherency it certainly can be such suffering. It is said though one is immersed in the Kali Yuga physically, it is also a state of Being. At the most ideal, one may be externally living in the Kali Yuga, but their inner state can be that of the Satya Yuga. I cannot say who or if such is fully possible, but it is best to aspire to it in humility and to the best of one’s ability and resources. It can be debated as to which is the ‘best’ or ‘correct’ path. A perennialist may see each as ‘correct’ in their own way, to the individual, while not being a relativist in such, only seeing the flexibility and spectrum. Others may disagree, declaring another method more ‘correct’, or accurately put, more ‘efficient’. This is beyond the scope of this article, but relevant all the same.
Terrence McKenna, his egalitarian and leftist inclinations aside, stated that we are experiencing or soon to experience what he called an ‘archaic revival’. Rampant materialism, base quantification, neurotic dog-eat-dog capitalism, nihilistic consumerism, we have become encased in the dross results of industrialism. It has morphed into the bizarre spectacle that is late capitalism, with its political partisan circus and soft totalitarianism. It has deprived us of vital aspects which ancient civilizations held as cornerstones. Be it ceremonies and rituals reenacting eternal mythos, the vital function of family and tribal community, a better understanding of what the psyche and soul needs rather than big pharm substitution or vain consumerism, and the use of psychoactive plants which in this darkest of dark we are of in dire need. McKenna saw the ‘free love’, tattooing, scarification, piercing, drumming, gender and sexual spectrum, polyamory, communal attempts; as transgressions against the suffocation of the materialism we breathe. These attempts, sometimes foolhardy or misplaced, other times beneficial, are man’s desperate attempt to bring forth the archaic which we once were but now sorely lack.
Interestingly we are seeing this again, despite how materialism attempts to commodify and degrade it at every turn, we are seeing this primitive resurgence. We are seeing this from the left and right, or better put, from those who are inclined to a partnership model and those inclined to the dominator model. These concepts were first theorized by Riane Eisler, and then discussed extensively by McKenna. Briefly put, the partnership model is more egalitarian, an interdependent mesh which allows a spectrum of individual expression, more communal and ‘feminine’ inclined. As opposed to the dominator model, which is hierarchical, applies force and vertical structure, has strict order and is highly ‘masculine’ inclined. McKenna advocated for a change to a more partnership model, particularly away from the toxically overly competitive industrialist structure, and away from Abrahamic restriction. Personally, I do not subscribe to one being ‘morally better’ than the other, for both are expressions of nature in their own way. Although it is also important not to project our ideological inclination onto nature, for nature simply is.
We are currently seeing an archaic resurgence of both expressions. And while they oppose and contrast with one another, there are deeper background current(s) of which they are deriving from, and for a reason.
From the left, or partnership angle, we are seeing an increase in such things as polyamory, primal play, drum circles, psytrance festivals, expressing gender/sexual spectrum, marijuana use, gynocentrism, anarchistic and decentralist aspirations, and a sincere attempt to become more empathetic regarding humanity as a whole. Now I mention these things as they are in the raw, that is, without the toxic commodification of subcultures and its commercialization. Of course those ideologically right are at this point calling it degenerate, hedonistic, and even adharmic. Personally I find it best to resign from such quick harsh judgment and truly discuss these resurgences. Whether one agree with them or find them misplaced, there is a reason we are seeing these transgressive and archaic resurgences.
While humans are fallible, and things are incoherent in the Kali Yuga, these resurgences can be beneficial in and of themselves if done intelligently and within moderation. It is only when subcultures and commercialization take hold of them, turn them into propaganda or commodity, drag them down into the materialism and into a crass product does the real toxicity occur. Right or left, partnership or dominator, this degradation committed by the materialist spectacle is truly the enemy. What should be discussed more and considered is that each of these resurgences have a purpose, even despite the missteps or poor apprehending. There is something it is attempting to grasp, to bring back, something which we have lost, and something which we desperately need. We must listen, put aside personal prejudice, and consider what this archaic resurgence is attempting to bring back to our decaying, corrosive, and vitality deprived society.
The metaphysical current underlying this partnership resurgence is that of genuine optimism, hope for humanity, communal aspirations, and attempting to assimilate an expressional spectrum into our post-Abrahamic and corrosively commercialist structure. They have the hope, with the help of rising entheogen use, rising concern for the environment, attempts (however sometimes faulty) away from our societal neurotic dog-eat-dog competitiveness and to egalitarian mutualism, an increasing empathy and connection, that perhaps society can collectively evolve into something better, an increasing awareness as a whole. One such example is the California Psychedelic Society, or numerous other similar entheogen focused organizations, and online communities educating many about the beneficial uses, all of which are usually partnership model inclined. All of this is indeed highly optimistic, but such high optimism is not always a fault. There is a place for the communal, a mutualism, and free expression of love and spirit.
In contrast to this, there is an archaic resurgence on the right which is dominator model inclined. Whether they be called “eco-fascist,” deep ecology, or archeofuturist (though this one is slightly different), it is an archaic resurgence all the same. The focus is on hierarchy, force, duty, heritage, and strict order. It is incredibly primal, tribal, sometimes a focus on Norse or Vedic teaching, oftentimes focus on the potent rune for Life (Algiz) which is truly a powerful current in itself. It is highly masculine, Hyperborean, ethnocentric, and a return to strict raw nature. Whether it be pumping iron, eating healthy, revering one’s ancestors, and encouraging a healthy sense of brotherhood; it is dominator culture in the most primitive. Hostility and savagery, in proper use, is embraced as natural. Such examples are the aesthetically empowering projects such as the FB pages Rune Goon, Mythopoetic Forest Commando, and Barbarian Rites. Similar to this, overlapping though not as right or ancestry-inclined, is what has been dubbed the ‘iron pill’ and vitalist self-empowerment philosophies such as Operation Werewolf (Paul Waggner). The focus again is on primal self-empowerment, a return to raw nature, transcending/overcoming the ruins of Kali Yuga by inner strength and physical strength. Another such example is the book Bronze Age Mindset, which while relevant and highly worth reading, its contents are beyond the scope of this article.
Most of the archaic resurgences on the right do not at all expect a collective evolution or transcendence. Quite the contrary. Many prepare themselves for societal collapse, or better put, the inevitable balkanization to come. It is both pessimistic and optimistic. For if, or when, it is to happen, then who knows what primal and atavistic powers may come to the surface full strength. Best to be prepared, as much as one can, physically and spiritually. It is to be expected some of these may not like being contrasted with the leftist partnership resurgence mentioned earlier, and let me make clear it is not the same current, but still both angles (left and right) are archaic resurgences. The left, partnership inclined, would no doubt screech at the more hardcore temperament of some of the rightist resurgences. Again that is a shallow knee jerk prejudice that should be put aside for the sake of discussing the whole. Let me add I have nothing but admiration and appreciation for the content of these pages and philosophies. I mention them with all due respect.
Another such example of an archaic resurgence on the right, as I interviewed recently, is the group Atomic Khanate. They are archeofuturist with a primarily Eastern philosophy focus and the ideal embodiment of Baron Ungern von Sternberg. My interview provides the information needed, but again we see an archaic resurgence.
Other Major Mentions
One particular individual which is another embodiment of archaic resurgence is the rarely mentioned, and certainly undervalued, is Finnish deep ecologist Pentti Linkola. While difficult to categorize, some would call him an eco-fascist or simply reactionary. Whether one agrees with his severity or not, it is relevant to mention him, and I highly recommend reading his work and considering the wisdom in his words.
The most infamous of course, though downright prophetic at times, the brilliant Ted Kaczynski. Again worth reading deeply, and again a figure difficult to categorize as he critiques both left and right harshly. He was truly an anarchaic resurgence of a zealous temperament. A second mention along this line of ferocity, and caused quite a stir in the anarchist community, is the book Atassa: Readings in Eco-Extremism. Whether one agrees with the content or not, it is still literature worth reading.
Not to relate them to the two above, as he is far softer and distances himself greatly from any extremist inclinations, is John Zerzan. He is an obvious worthy mention and a staple reading among anarcho-primitivists, perhaps leaning moreso to the left and partnership model, though I’ll leave that judgment to others. Also a last brief mention, as I have encumbered you with enough, are the ‘Feral Faun Essays’. Not as controversial as some of the above, though not necessarily to the left or partnership either, it embodies the spirit of it all well and discusses this vitalism.
The Soul Beneath
The primitive resurgences rising from these similar, though contrasting and at times opposing, archaic currents are occurring for a reason. Look past the differences, and contemplate the why and the occurrence itself; whether it be a return to hyperborean fascistic nature or those expressing sexual/gender spectrum and desiring partnership communal living. The currents are in stark contrast, yet both are the archaic attempting to come back into the fold of this corrosive decayed structure. Humanity needs these lost elements, it craves them as one craves nutrients that the body is not getting. Time will tell whether they come into the fold by optimistic structural paradigm shifts, or by complete inevitable breakdown and balkanization.
There is a demand within our soul for the primitive and archaic. The veins are pumping hard beneath the spectacle, and be it by natural growth or a violent eruption, the soul of humanity will get what it needs and desires.
Light in the Darkness
There are two elements which both the left and right share. They are demonstrated differently at times. That is the return and recognition of ‘vitalism’. Now this is not necessarily the ‘vitalism’ one may read if brought up on Wikipedia, rather it is closer to animism or mystification. In our increasingly soft totalitarian society, obsessed with rationalism and materialism, there has occurred a severe demystification of reality. Indeed, the reality around us, and our own selves, has been perceptually stripped of vitality. We are but a meat sack, brain chemicals, in a world of dead matter, and the natural world but a material resource to be plundered. This alongside cogwheel corporation existence, religious-like consumerism, and psychotropic drugs. It is no wonder many are depressed out of their skull.
We cease to see the vitality of the world around us, the raw power that it is. We cease to see the raw power in our own physical body, and in our own potential. Perhaps animism is the right word, or perhaps calling it the expression of Shakti, or if I venture into the Eastern Orthodox and perhaps say it is acknowledging the ‘grace and energies of God’. It is difficult to describe, for any description I give will likely be waved away as theistic fluff by the haughty hardnosed materialist who revels in seeing it all as dead matter. Then again, increasingly science realizes it is all vibrant energy. The point is they agree upon bringing back vitalism, realizing the world around us and ourselves is wildly intensely alive. Soft totalitarianism wants to deny us this. Wants to suck it away from our being, our perception. Whether you be left or right, do not let them.
The last point I would like to make, transcending these opposing left and right archaic manifestations, is the dire importance of psychoactive plants. Highly connected to the last one, and the second element that both agree upon, is the absolutely dire importance of ‘soma’. While left and right contexts or perspective of practice may differ (and in my opinion religious context is best), it is still medicine in essence. Whether it be mushrooms, peyote, ayahuasca, datura, toad venom, fly amanita, and other natural psychoactive plants or chemical entheogens. They both agree upon the dire importance of partaking. For that is one element of ancient civilizations that must be brought back, and I mean this as seriously as one needs air to breath. It is that vital. And in the age of Kali Yuga, inside the darkest blackest caves, it can be the slit of light above which allows us to go forth and outward. It can be that which shows us that although the veil is thickest, immersed in shadows, the light reveals we are actually fully immersed in the immanent every moment. We have simply forgotten due to being in the dark for so long.
Currently, there is a rise in legalization, from Denver to Oakland to progressive medical research and organizations like MAPS. Even within the occult community, there are those who walk the ‘the poison path’. Also, there are legal shamanic religious means. Availability is on the rise. This is the ultimate archaic resurgence and one that must be supported in every possible way. There is the threat of commercialization, commodification, big pharm, but that aside, availability and proper use is what matters. Optimistically this could make all the difference in the world. This cannot be emphasized enough. I cannot overstate this enough. This is the key element above all others.
Do Not Hesitate
Let me conclude by saying, there is a higher reason for why we are seeing both left and right archaic resurgences. There is a reason why we are seeing an increase in entheogen use. It is not mere reactionism or luddite resentment. It is deeper, it is a whispering in the blood, a vein is pumping beneath us all, a demand and primal cry which will have its way in the end.
Embrace the archaic, in the way in which it beckons you, be primal, be savage, seek nature, and know thyself.
Natasha Maria is the Community Manager of Trigger Warning. She is an egoist, occultist, and esoteric philosopher with interests ranging from archeofuturism to transhumanism to horror fiction. She enjoys long romantic walks through the abyss.