Previously on 5th PROJEKT: sovereignty, the sacred feminine, dispelling illusion, discerning the truth and trusting intuition were all positive lessons of personal agency that we learned as children from the trilogy of sci-fi/fantasy films that inspired our EP, The Labyrinth. Those esoteric films initiated us into the subject matter and themes that we write about in our music. Back in 2017, when we started working on that EP it seemed like the right time to revisit those roots although we didn’t understand how significant they would become at the time.

Out of the blue (#5b92e5), events unfolded and The Goblin King delayed our 2020 EP release date by 2 full years! Now, it almost seems comical how timely and ironically controversial these childhood lessons have become in 2022 as groupthink runs amok. It seems like it’s been more than 500 years since the words of a teenage girl could bring down an empire and set the world on fire.

“You have no power over me.”

Interestingly enough, much like 500 years ago, that trilogy of films has something else in common with our peculiar, algorithmically aligned zeitgeist: persecution of the sacred feminine.

In Labyrinth, Sarah was persecuted by her ‘evil’ step mother who embodied the Super Ego of what society’s social engineers deemed a responsible woman’s role should be. Being creative was not on that list. While on the other hand, Jareth The Goblin King promised Sarah the world if only she submit to him entirely. As Jareth put it, “Fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.”

The NeverEnding Story began with Bastian being persecuted by both his father and then violently by school bullies because of his connection with his emotional and creative ‘feminine’ side. This was echoed and amplified to the highest degree of expression in The Nothing, devouring the entire imaginal realm of Fantasia. A realm made of human dreams, dying due to despair.

People who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has the control, has the power!

Finally, in The Dark Crystal, Aughra, herself a symbol for the divine feminine aspect of the planet Thra, is persecuted by pathological alien vampires whose survival was dependent on draining the life force of everything around them. The Skeksis, reminiscent of modern day corporate CEOs – the priests of profit pillaging our planet and collective psyche – reveal the blatant disregard they hold for sacred wisdom symbolized in the destruction of Aughra’s sanctuary.

The repeated pattern of Patriarchy (The Sun) imposing its will as dominance over the Matriarchy of matter (The Moon) is everywhere. In these films. In our history. In our blood. In our sky. In our collective shadow.

Persecution of the sacred feminine in The Dark Crystal

With Burn the Witch, we explore this senseless persecution. Those in touch with nature and its sacred perennial font of wisdom have had to endure being targeted for centuries at the hands of intolerant empirical institutions of centralized power. The song also brings to centre stage the pathological delusion that permeates those corrupt and seemingly daemonic institutions. Specifically, the false assumption that stems from a perversely flawed ontological belief that would grant anyone authority over the bodies of women, or children – or anyone for that matter. We are all conscious, sovereign beings, not property or possessions. “My body, my choice.”

This particular detail alone makes the new single that we started working on way back in 2018 all the more relevant and interesting today, doesn’t it? In the last 4 years, our reasons for covering the song haven’t changed in the slightest degree, but the world certainly has.

We followed up The Labyrinth EP with Burn the Witch because of the historical relationship between the two. In an earlier web log entry, we referenced how walking labyrinths were just as effective a tool of meditation at smaller scales when traced by finger as they were when walked by foot. We omitted the context that this technique of experiencing the labyrinth and its benefits in this way was the only refuge for those living during the Middle Ages in Europe. Labyrinths were kept hidden at home. This was because the institution of The Church destroyed the vast majority of walking labyrinths, banning their beneficial use as introspective tools in order to impose its own will and dominance as self-proclaimed spiritual intermediary of personal gnosis.

One of the few surviving medieval labyrinths in Chartres Cathedral, France

This war on consciousness, witches, and women spanned half a millennia, culminating in centuries of witch burnings known as The Great Burn, an orchestrated attack on the wisdom of the sacred feminine and its physical embodiment on earth. The (un)Holy Roman Empire has used this strategy in one form or another on indigenous cultures around the world throughout its sordid history, often in consort with complicit governments – residential schools were not unique to Canada. The goal of this war was, and still is, eradication of ancient wisdom in order to replace it with a new brand of belief. A belief predicated upon dogmatic institutional dependence, as opposed to personal spiritual liberation.

Our society is not only ignorant to these facts, it celebrates these historical genocides thanks to centuries of parroted propaganda. Take St. Patrick’s Day for example, a man celebrated for chasing the snakes out of Ireland. Following the science reveals the shambolic intent behind the lie – there have been no snakes in Ireland since before the last ice age. So what did the snakes represent? The ancient wisdom of the Druids, practised by witches alike. The Serpent has faced over a millennia of maligned rebranding. The modern holiday is nothing more than the black magick of manipulative marketing moguls that celebrates the eradication and genocide of the ancient Irish people and The Way. It’s a dark day for those who know the truth.

This open, full frontal assault lasted for hundreds of years, but the echoes persist to this day in our institutions and our cultural memory. It is also especially strong in our cellular memory for those with sense enough to feel, and it is likely those compassionate souls who have been behind the recent return of the labyrinth to The Church in order to help facilitate a community supporting personal exploration of spiritual gnosis. Each step on the winding path helps to heal our collective past. And no sooner than this healing process has occurred over the last few decades, ironically The Church now finds itself in the crosshairs of a new technocratic ‘priesthood’ of institutional oligarchs aggressively marketing their new religion of dogmatic material Atheism using the same black magick techniques against The Church that it used against the witches.

Burn the Witch album artwork illustration by Sködt

In the spirit of healing and transcendence, we’re releasing this song on the 113th anniversary of the beatification of Joan of Arc, a teenage woman who was burned alive at the stake for heresy and witchcraft over 500 years ago. This verdict of death by fire was rendered due to her ability to communicate with the multidimensional aspects of nature, for claiming to speak to god, and for going against ‘divine law’ by dressing like a man. We shit thee not. Dressing like a man.

Around 20 years or so after Joan of Arc was tortured to death by self-righteous sadists, the verdict was overturned. Unfortunately, it was just a couple of decades too late to make any significant impact in the outcome of her life. However, it acknowledged the institutional and social evils The Church was ironically responsible for conjuring and unleashing. Healing also came in the recognition of her multidimensional experience. Beatification was the first step of three to her becoming a patron saint, which finally happened in 1920. 😇

The sentiment and transmutation behind beatification and the pursuant steps in declaring Joan of Arc a patron saint, or even naming buildings in her memory is nice and all, but it’s an excellent example of ‘too little, too late’. None of this should have happened. Period. There’s something fundamentally wrong with the mindset of an institution – especially one apparently founded on benevolence – that offers gaslighting, intolerance, hatred, discrimination, segregation, and ultimately murder, as a solution to anything.

Victory at last! Women who wear pants are no longer burned at the stake.

This horrific genocidal war on women and the sacred feminine was waged in the shadow of The Black Death, leveraging erratic fear to manipulate the masses into open discrimination and hatred using the time tested institutional technique of divide & conquer in order to control the minds and will of the populace.

The amount of women targeted and killed during The Great Burn runs on the conservative institutional apologist side of tens of thousands throughout the centuries, to close to ten million by modern feminists. The actual number will never be known, history being his story after all, but it likely rests somewhere in between the extremes. Regardless of the number of targeted victims who were senselessly murdered by blind ideology, this horror – like all horrors – was carried out by regular people. Looking for an outlet to blame their anxieties on, this mob mentality was seized upon and exploited by the The Church to stoke the flames of hatred.

The self-appointed authorities of the era exploited the collective trauma by incepting a groupthink mindset that devalued a targeted set of human beings – specifically and predominantly independent women – allowing them to be scapegoated for the deaths caused by the bubonic plague. This was a complete fiction, of course. A black magick spell fabricated to sway public opinion in order to achieve a desired result – increased centralized power of The Church and the simultaneous destruction of localized sources of sacred wisdom (aka the competition). Why? To allow for easier domination of the will of the people as their institution’s influence spread like a virus, just like The Nothing, or Google or Facebook. Remember the simple truth Gmork spoke?

People who have no hopes are easy to control. And whoever has the control, has the power!

That’s another interesting synchronicity between 500 years ago and now… The Great Burn greatly increased the power of the authoritarian profiteers behind The Church for a period of time, for witches were healers and helped people stay healthy. Healthy people have a strong and direct relationship with Mother Nature and have no need for the institutional trappings of a self-declared ‘Holy’ Roman Empire mediating their spiritual experience.

Without witches as healers, and facing a decline in doctors of the day, the populace had to turn to The Church for centralized health and salvation who expected tithing in return. Pretty good business model, eh? Especially when you factor in that they were paid for each witch they burned at the stake – in addition to acquiring their clientele, too. What a business plan! The world’s first aggressive takeover by the world’s first international corporation. This black magick business plan designed to fleece the flock can be traced back to the Egyptian Cult of Amun – The Hidden One – whose priests pioneered selling spiritual salvation for political power and profit.

But the problem The Church faced in promising a cure to the bubonic plague was that it couldn’t deliver – much like modern pharmakeia – resulting in the onset of an eroding belief in the ubiquitous propaganda that the institution was in communion with a Higher Power. As the plague took priest and peasant alike, it became apparent over time that The Church was lying about its ability to commune with anything but its own greed for political power and wealth.

The lesson from this story, and many others like it throughout time, is that the mob mentality of groupthink, intolerance, and outsourcing our capacity for critical thought to centralized authoritarian figures may seem like a good idea in the heat of the 2 Minutes Hate, but it is historically the wrong choice to make as a human being. Every. Single. Time. Just open a history book.

Joan of Arc is but one of countless innocent human beings murdered by the self-proclaimed authorities of the day. As we know, the authorities were 100% wrong and intentionally deceived the populace in order to increase their wealth and power. Hindsight is 20/20, but doesn’t all of this intentionally manipulative institutional behaviour sound disturbingly familiar to anyone else?

All of this to say…

The Great Burn was one of the darkest moments in our past – an era to learn from, not repeat. There’s a reason our first album, CiRCADiAN, was all about cycles. If we aren’t aware of them, we’ll be doomed to repeat them. Now that we’re aware of our history, it would appear that our society is caught up in the same repeating energy cycle that we were in 500+ years ago. Our collective shadow is naked and on display for all who have eyes to see. It’s up to each one of us to individually transmute this energy and break the chain of authoritarian abuse, or end up falling into the same mindless mass formation of 500+ years ago. The choice is ours.

As a practising witch, Tara’s vocals on our cover of Radiohead’s Burn the Witch channel the haunting anguish of innocent women burned alive by an institution for the ‘crime’ of simply understanding nature without any need or use for an imposing intermediary. Imposing intermediaries always have alternative agendas. We invite you to experience life in all of its multiple dimensions free from any and all imposing ideological intermediaries. May open minds prevail.

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