I must first introduce Tzadkiel, who has been the inveterate companion and accomplice to all my strange doings. Tzadkiel is a familiar who has been given the form of a black cat. As is the way with such creatures, he possesses an intelligence far exceeding that of mortals, and as such an insight which sometimes renders his utterances eerie and gnomic. However, his voice is akin to that of the actor Ernest Borgnine, and his manner generally gregarious and unpretentious. He is a well-known raconteur in several of
Tzadkiel acquired his fondness for the gentleman’s chimney many years ago, when some adventure or another brought us to an isolated village in
Were their existence ever to become common knowledge, the familiar would leave Mr. Darwin’s quaint Shangri-La of evolution in dire need of refurbishment. Little is really known for certain of these anomalous creatures. Some avow that they are ancient, endlessly transmigrated souls, buoyed about the Bardo realms by vast and inscrutable bureaucracies of the cosmic realm, destined to be all things at some time or other, until they finally wind up as sentient spoons, who content themselves in their dotage by playing occasional pranks upon individuals of the Uri Gellar persuasion. Others avow that they are the very handmaidens of Satan, set upon this earth to goad His unwary ministers ever deeper into the quicksand of perdition; others still, that they are but the amiable psychosis of their mortal companions. Perhaps they are all these things, and other, queerer forms yet, which we can scarcely imagine. Perhaps we are all a multiplicity, an infinity, of wildly differing forms, marooned in this squat cell of solitary selfhood only via the jealousy of some demiurgic demon, or the sultry forgetfulness of some Lethean stream. It may that these things will be revealed, in 2012.
I encountered Tzadkiel for the first time in the magical summer of 1974, when I had gotten myself embroiled in something called the Avebury Initiates of Horus. We started out as a rather racy clique at
-Hey buddy. Wanna solve the Riddle of the the Ages?
Tzadkiel cocked his head, and scurried into the darkness. I left the others, and followed him. I follow him still.Tristan Eldritch, Jeffrey Jasper-Johns, and Lady Hazel Pusey: The Avebury Initiates at Oxford, 1970