"Thence is the place holy, and nor fourfooted thing that hath need of Eileithyia nor any woman approacheth thereto, but the Apidanians call it the primeval childbed of Rheia. There when thy mother had laid thee down from her mighty lap, straightway she sought a stream of water, wherewith she might purge her of the soilure of birth and wash thy body therein. But mighty Ladon flowed not yet, nor Erymanthos, clearest of rivers; waterless was all Arkadia ... And holden in distress the lady Rheia said, ‘Dear Gaia, give birth thou also! Thy birthpangs are light.’ So spake the goddess, and lifting her great arm she smote the mountain with her staff; and it was greatly rent in twin for her and poured forth a mighty flood. Therein, O Lord, she cleansed thy body."
Though we’d thought to have surely reached the lowest of places in years gone by. As the wheel turned slowly and more fully, it revealed another realm below the one where we’d existed. Peering over the edge, in poor humour(s) one part of Rector’s body purposefully tripped another, imbalanced, we fell, tumbling down for what seemed beyond time. It was clear from this side, that our diseased body had not been invaded, but was skidding inevitably on the slippery continuum.
So, oh dear! Oh dear! We shall be late!
Cooped up for far too long in the city’s artificiality we felt a deep drawer to our familial home from Par-wich we came, a craving for nature and to collectively extol its bucolic temperament. Setting off early on foot, here we were stuck. Well we knows: if the geese swim at Martinmas then they’ll surely slide at Chris-mas. This year our boots slowly submerged in mud, ankle deep and sinking, we were stuck in the mire. We must get to he Sycamor before the boys arrive. Driving our broken bodies into the wind. Surrounded by inosculated trees, touching, rubbing, intertwined, and entangled. Reminded that the Blackthorn is a frequent conjoiner, so growing together is a must. Just in time to sink a few before Clod and the Goose arrived.
Agreed? The means of restoring the proper relationship of the bodies is through food and drink and various forms of purging (e.g. blood-letting and the administering of suppositories). Back at the Rockery we set to it: various trugs of the new season’s wine were brought out, and behold goose both culinary and ceremonious. Taking our prospective positions around the bigger of the two fowl (alwight boys!) we struggled with the bird, pulling in opposite directions (but always ensuring to form a solid base, a pyramid-shaped composition). The line between too-rough play and deadly strangling of the chenalopex was unclear, and so the bird reacted to its predicament by biting our left ears. In turn our boys rode the overly large animal mercilessly.
This tableau brings to mind an-other divinity who is linked to the theme of rebirth. Perhaps these chubby boys are not simply infants, but, but, but the personification of Dionysos; and the goose not merely a common barnyard animal but an evil spirit over which the Divine Child triumphs. This unfriendly relation is therefore our votive offering to the healing deities, a mending, a cleansing of sorts, a rebirth for the year to come, as our new collective body rises from the primordial fluid.
Exuberant though the festivities may have seemed, Reactor's Martinmas celebrations always contain an aspect of great and solemn seriousness.
In the 4th century AD, the Bishop St. Martin was walking to Rome on a pilgrimage. He encountered Satan and was mocked by him. As punishment St. Martin turned the devil into a donkey and rode the lazy beast for the remainder of his journey. The donkey cursed him and spoke in palindromes.
Because of this significant encounter, Reactor chose this date as the most appropriate for the interviewing of applicants and for their initiation into the most honoured role of Secret Member – a role that is theirs for exactly one year, until the wheel turns once more to Martinmas.
We can now reveal that all new applicants who presented themselves for initiation on November 11th 2022, were roundly and loudly rejected as ill-suited to the opening that had appeared, and so the chair of the Secret Member has remained empty throughout 2022/23. Now, this year’s prospective initiates have stepped forward and decisions have been taken.
The application portal for next year’s Interviews is now open. We sincerely encourage those who feel ready to join the group and take on the role of Secret Member, to step forward urgently and present themselves for the Martinmas Interviews. Over the coming years Reactor intends to be reborn, again, in a new body. An opening at the heart of the group awaits the correct initiate, with this need for replacement limbs we are ready to guide you through the preparations. For a copy of the Reactor Membership Handbook, and to apply click here.