SERPENS LUMINIS is a name that not everyone must know, but experts who dig in the shelves with occult and mystical things, they should already encounter this Swiss Hydra. The first recording was "Usque Ad Sideras Et Usque Ad Inferos" split with Nansis and Haruspex. But important was "Bright Euphoria" debut from 2019 released through Goathorned Productions. It takes for less than half an hour, but SERPENS LUMINIS do not try to push the saw unnecessarily. It contains three long tracks, from which it can be deduced they want to embark on the paths of a difficult composition, to work more with the songs, not just to write classically. This interview was also a challenge, because when we contacted them, we received the answer we could send questions, but due to generic questions from other zines, they had not yet committed a single interview. They are more comfortable with deeper questions and they do not want to mess with the music spheres unnecessarily. From this I was on doubts if the interview will come out at all, but in the end everything turned out perfectly and the band gave birth to the first interview in their history! Yet what interview, I can say this is the longest one a band has ever sent us, the volcano erupted. This interview is, in terms of length, at least for three ordinary interviews that appear in our zine, and this is the kind of interview we are actually looking for. They immersed themselves in the answers and squeezed out the text, which may not be unambiguous. The translation was also one of the most challenging Storm has ever experienced. SERPENS LUMINIS are more deeply interested in mysticism and occultism, so open your beer and read carefully. The whole band answered the questions.
What was the main reason of SERPENS LUMINIS formation? What had to be done and what flows were driving through your minds when you finally decided to let your art go out ?
The maturing of the Entity can't be restricted to a certain point in Time and Space. It’s an underlying process happening for long before it physically formed to the Eyes of the World.
The physical apparition of Serpens Luminis, however, goes back to the beginning of the year MMXV, after when J. joined a pre-existing formation. As soon after were highlighted the puerile and simplistic individualities that composed it. Then, through the will of researching purer and more sophisticated Essence to be consumed on the High-Altar, J., O. and F.J.D joined forces as a newly, strengthened three-parts Coven. From rot of this aborted embryo, fed by a common and ardent Fire, appeared the Entity known as Serpens Luminis.
However, we haven’t yet reached the final form we’re hardily desiring. We may never get there because Serpens Luminis is a constantly evolving Monolith, fed by the individuals who compose it.
This chthonic Force doesn’t allow us to use it to achieve a specific goal, an ultimate achievement. Besides, why to wish for one biggest achievement?
Perhaps it would be more worthy to work in order to achieve glorious daily achievements ?
Isn't it ?
This protean entity has the project to not contain itself, nor to hold itself in its meditative and creative trances. Instead of appearing as an unwell shiny star, this formation will be a tormenting stellar burst, a rabid cosmic explosion, a supernova that floodlights your inner temples for decades after decades.
Life is too odd, too vast and too rich to aim one single achievement.
Even the biggest-one.
Could you write more about the band's name ? Why SERPENS LUMINIS, what does this name symbolize to you and what position does it hold within your concept ?
At first sight, before any further cognitions, the term “Serpens Luminis” refers to Lucifer.
However, the whole band concept owns any interest to the common and usual luciferian figures : a kind of rebellious, vengeful, fallen and hateful archangel but more in a metaphorical/philosophical way.
Indeed, as we usually know, he's the bearer of Light. Thereby, Serpens Luminis' music is devoted to the Quest of Knowledge, to the spiritual Illumination through “Phosphorosophia”, to pursue a ghostly Light that it's only accessible by the Descent into the abyssic Darkness of our inner cloisters.
The more we raid through this unalome, the more we aspire to get a look through the darkened and daunting walls of our templons and not to totter, poisoned by awe, when facing this kind of inner and mysterious Iconostasis. The more we reach to some fragments of our souls that containeth lore, the more we realize that these fragments are filled with the scorching dangers of the Unknown. Dangers because Knowledge is a source of Power and soul Salvation, but it could also be the bringer of some horrid torments if it's handled clumsily or if they were not meant for us, too.
Serpens Luminis tries to reach through its fascination to the very diverse mythologies, religions, myths,... that mould a common frame between the humans, an inner landscape filled with topoi and locus communis. By our Devotion, we try to reach a complete passing of the psychic, corporal and spiritual barriers. But ever fulfilled with awe and a profound humility toward the superior Powers, the never-sated spiritual Fire that growls under the primordial Link, the numinous bridge between the spiritual Chaos of Masak Mavdil and the luminous Arabesques of the 288 divines sparks melted with blasphemous Fragments of the Sephirot Vessels.
Your music immediately shows you are engaged in art that explicitly comes from the dark side and it encourages the listener's mind to get into other spheres. Atmosphere is a key element. What is the role of the supernatural, occultism and spiritual experiences in your creativity ?
When you talk about the effect of occult or supernatural elements on the creativity generated by the Entity, we have the impression that we are more on a sensitive and cognitive level than a level linked to the power of actions.
When we talk about the help provided by the spiritual Sphere in the composition, it’s based on a body of lore, of sacred texts at first “religious” and philosophical, and then, by absorption, literary. This lore is indescribably vast, and it’s interconnected by allusions and quotations that embrace past authorities and attempt to integrate new explorations.
When we spoke about the lore, we wish to keep in mind some writings like the Elements of Theology of Proclus, the fascinating studies of the Kabbala of Pico della Mirandola, the writings of Giordano Bruno, Shakespeare, Milton, Cervantes, the Three Books of Occult Philosophy of Henry Cornelius Agrippa and the experiments of Ralph Cudworth.
Of course, we take care not to forget in which century we’re living. We don’t want to act anymore as some dreamy writer facing some physical manifestation (like fire, lightening, passing of seasons, etc) and trying to describe the process as we made it in the seventeenth century. We don’t wish to “expunge the marvelous” in everything too. We prefer to be able to stay sensitive and to work with the occult Manifestations. A great hardship in the middle of a century dedicated to science and positivism. However, as said Professor Elinor Shaffer: "the equality of all mythologies does not reduce them to a merely 'human' story; on the contrary, it must give rise to the profound sense for the spiritual truth that the Hellenistic age experienced". In recognizing hidden powers in the world's Myths and hidden meanings discovered through allegorical readings learned from Plotinus or Porphyry of Tyre, occultism worked for us deliberately to interrogate our convictions on Nature, on weird manifestations, parapsychology, etc. and trying to reaffirm the value of Mystery.
But don’t misunderstand our words. This work isn’t a nihilistic process in order to smash down the science and the rational/analytical manner of thinking the world and the different layers on it. It’s more a rewarding (but dangerous and treacherous) process. A Path that we don’t have to follow blindly. It’s a walk that we actively lead to our own secret structures, carrying religiously an ethereal candle and going down into our mind’s own Chasms in order to search for Enlightenment.
When did you begin to feel you was generally interested in the dark and averted aspects of life, philosophy, magic or religion ? Was you initially a believer and later you discovered darkness, or you have always been connected with the left hand path ?
It’s delightful to think that the cuffs, crowns, necklaces and tiaras that we chose to hang from us, to hug the curve of our reliefs before we knew the consecrated formulas to be allowed to wear them.
It is so pleasing and reassuring to think that there are symbols, incarnations of characteristics and states that could have informed us and confirmed the necessity of the path to roam.
It’s soothing to think that our bodies are adorned with consecrated symbols because they would embody the validation of the way you have to choose.
Unfortunately, these kinds of thoughts are painkillers for our tormenting souls, our spirits, devoured by the fear of finding answers that lie beyond the burden of Atlas. Supporting the existence of a premature connection to the forlorn Left-Hand Path can only be a false assertion.
The Entity is made up of vessels whose entanglement between all their fibers were altered and non-harmonious, as living with a cracked bell under the lungs. However, it would have been impossible for us to live without questioning our Hearts when we’re facing the powerlessness or the futile wandering face of several “existential” Quests.
Offertories which seem as a knot, the one that was evoked by the Sphinxes carved on the old Egyptians temples. Mystical Dogmas were to be guarded by the knot of riddles, inviolate by the profane crowd. A kind of Gordian knot: Impossible to solve and to stay intimately the same in the end. Impossible to resolve and to stay hidden behind his pageantry and usual habits. A Quest that needs some brutal maneuvers and grieving realizations.
But that then brings a Dilemma :
To accomplish an existential Quest even if you're feeling complete in the end but scorched, burned alive in the depths ? Or to stay in this delicate, soft nescience of yourself, the forehead under the everlasting cold and silent streams of the Lethe that's flowing around the cave of Hypnos and through the Underworld ?
As you can guess, this kind of questioning opens the way for the numerous panels of nuance. This kind of nuances can be found in the process to roam toward the Heart of Darkness in order to access the only Locus where it’s possible to discern the clearest Stars.
On the same process when Plato confided to Cratylus concerning the supreme substances that he had to express himself in riddles, so that if by misfortune his letters fell into other hands, he will not be understood by everyone. The way in which Entity allows us to connect to the averted aspects of life, philosophy, and magic is Meditation. A Meditation whose purpose is to move towards an enlightened understanding regarding the ways to channel the Black Flame and let it run with the ecstatic Fury of the Kundalini rising to Sahasrara. A spiritual and obsessively Quest in order to be finally able to bear the solemn and powerful Devotion dedicated to the glorification of Daath. A reverence towards the 11 headed Dragon, the silhouette with 32 pairs of Wings and innumerable Eyes.
Your music is generally presented in such a way it stimulates inner visions and depth, even at brief listening. But what if your music is played in a suitable environment, in a lonely forest, in a night veil of candlelight, or in the ancient ruins of a monastery. Do you think listening to music in a suitable environment can help to feel the music even more ?
The influence of the environment is hard to define since it’s linked with a really personal dimension and so it changes from a person to another. Furthermore, the concept of “suitable” is obsolete because, for us, the process of Creation (to drown ourselves into a higher/bigger Entity) breaks the usual duality between inner/outer Worlds. In this case, the environment becomes something that disappears, devoured by our inner Void that spreads itself into the spatial Dimension. The walls of Reality are then destroyed. Tearing this thin but opaque Veil leads to create some bridges between micro-/macrocosm and is not affected by materialistic or geographical elements. Following this idea, we prefer to think that our music is the Vector of a very specific Aura, hidden in its deepest entrails, and that it doesn’t depend on what surrounds us, but rather resonates with some inner subconscious parts of the Self.
This being said, we can have a reflection about the use of some artefacts for rehearsals or live Rituals (like candles, bones,...). For us, these are important to reinforce the strength of our Egregor and spread our venom through the hearts of the devotees. But, following the explanations above, they are not here to generate, by themselves, a specific atmosphere in which our music can only be heard.
The only environment in which our praises have to be perceived is in the cavities of one’s heart.
Are your songs created in a way you have found in the past or do you approach each song individually ? Did any of the songs you have created so far come under special circumstances ? Do you notice the streams coming to you at inspiration and try to perceive and analyze them in some way, or does everything naturally go through instincts ?
We never coldly rationalize what we did in the Serpens Luminis’ seraglio in terms of the composition.
The only parameter that really matters is to work between zealots. Because, as you can easily understand, working and playing with some unbelievers is very tiring, vain, exhausting and frustrating.
Regarding our way to compose, we're still following the same pattern responsible for the Birth of our first songs. There aren't any generic plans, any strategies to follow in order to create an industrial amount of Serpens Luminis’ Hymns.
The act of Creation comes from itself when we’re locked separately.
In our cells, we leave our spirits, our ears and our fingers, waiting for a visit and a dazzling of Inspiration and, at this time, we let them freely work in order to give birth to some useful materials.
If there’s any reflection regarding the hypothetical elements that could hasten the coming of the visit, there’s any endeavor to structure the sound, the melodies and the skeletal of a song too.
We wish to keep a touch on our materials characterized by primitive, impulsive, straight and crude features, and an uncommon skeleton of a song, without any usual/obvious introduction, soloist or chorusing parts, for example.
A mauled and ground skeleton who became a fluid torrent of dust. An evolutive onrush that draws a possibility of a stream of consciousness.
Our song structure is relative to the state of this skeleton.
The fact that our music is raw and savage could be determined by the fact that our relationship to music is aggressive, coercive and angry too.
This rage also incarnates itself as the desire to succeed in snatching from Chaos some pieces that don’t directly belong to the structure of the human world. The sounds become abstractions directly linking and echoing with deep and complex feelings, which make that we have a clear understanding, direct without filter, without need of analysis, of these parts.
Aristotle said that the books of metaphysics, which had indications on the divine and supernatural things, are filled at the same time with sheets, written and empty simultaneously. Our sonic Vibrations are similar to this case. Music is a language that can be written but it’s made up of a-semantic signs too, it’s as if it had no objective existence, as if the Truths could not be written.
We don’t lose our time with a melody, unable to know if it bears the infamous seal of the “too-common” or the “too-vain” features and if it will be useful in one of our songs. By the kind of nature of this material, we know immediately when it’s good/worthy/coherent to rejoin the piece under construction or not.
For the moment, we haven’t any complete Hymns in a secret and aethyric locker, waiting for a next brand-new hypothetical Opus. But some Forces are constantly crawling in the Shadows.
How do you perceive dreams in general ? Do you have strange symbolic dreams or nightmares ? Do you have a dream diary to better navigate in this fragile world ? Interestingly, some dreams come to mind just before going to sleep the next day, and other ones you remember quickly and forever. Is the dream world as important to you as the waking state ?
As you can guess it, it’s a very conflictual subject.
We believe that we spend too much time being interested in a symptom. Because often this symptom is marked by a visceral character (its comprehension or its incomprehension is not really important here). What counts, what’s determining, it’s the emotional impact it provides on the subject. While it would be more important to be interested in the cause (but this cause is less "sexy", less “appealing” for mainstream, superstitious people because it’s about hormonal, genetic, psychological or neuro-anatomical mechanisms, so it is often overlooked).
Every interpretation of a dream is a psychological statement about certain of its contents. This is not without danger, as the dreamer, like most people, usually displays an astonishing sensitiveness to critical remarks, not only if they are wrong, but even more if they are right. Since it’s not possible, except under very special conditions, to work out the meaning of a dream without the collaboration of the dreamer, an extraordinary amount of tact is required not to violate his self-respect unnecessarily.
For instance, what is one to say when somebody narrates a story composed by several indecent dreams and then asks: "Why do I have such disgusting dreams?" To this sort of question, it’s better to give no answer. But the real problem is more connected to the Western taboo of the body, desires and the discomfort faced to the great freedom of imagination than the embarrassment of having strange and " disgusting " dreams.
Even if you hardly wish to search the real meaning of a dream, it's clear that it follows no clearly determined laws or regular modes of behavior, apart from the well-known "typical" dreams, such as nightmares, or the dream filled with some typical dream-motifs, such as of flying, climbing stairs or mountains, going about with insufficient clothing, losing your teeth, crowds of people, hotels, railway stations, trains, planes, cars, frightening animals as spiders, reptiles, etc.
These oniric motifs are very common but of course, by no means sufficient to confirm the existence of any system in the organization of a dream.
As you said, some people have recurrent dreams. This happens particularly in youth, but the recurrence may continue, of course, over several decades. These are often very impressive pictures which convince one that they must surely have a meaning. Regarding this will to find a meaning make us think of the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre spoke about the question of “providential signs”. A person as Dante Alighieri, who’s lost in an obscure forest, will develop the desperate need to put a light on a sign in order to find a way home or a way to avoid and to quit this uncanny and difficult situation.
In addition, human beings develop intense sufferings when they face elements that are unknown to them. Humans abhor Emptiness and need to fill it with decisions that make them believe they possess the high-power over the Dark and the Unknown. But sadly, this process is in reality, a poor mystification of the mind.
We believe that it’s important to work in order to apprehend our situation with serenity and pragmatism. Our human condition bears the inability to understand and to master everything that crawls in our heads.
Of course, there's this not scientific method to use as you said, a Dream diary in order to verify the interpretation by subsequent events, assuming of course (and it's important!) That the meaning of dreams lies in their anticipation of the future (anticipation made by the rich, vaguely unknown and neurotic subjective nature of the dreamer).
The depths of consciousness and subconsciousness can be understood as abysses, they can be a gateway to knowledge, but also to experience or visions. Nietzsche once said, that if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee ... what do you personally think of this sentence? What do trips as to a psychonaut mean to you ?
By the historical, ideological and socio-cultural context in which it’s inserted, all of Friedrich Nietzsche's work constitutes cornerstones on which we think, it’ll be still possible to reflect on it in very many decades.
You evoke, we believe, the 146th aphorism present in his book: Beyond Good and Evil.
The complete translation would be as follows: "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he also become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you".
It’s linked to several central elements for Nietzsche's thought: the problem of traditional morality, the limits that exist between the content that is perceived and the nature of those who perceive it (including the questioning on the human mind and the link between the transmitter and the receiver of information) and the Christian religion.
A common and mainstream interpretation of the aphorism often focuses on the first sentence only. It could be understood as a warning that fighting an evil can lead, if we’re not careful, to become and embody the profound Evil that we previously fought (because, for example, of the means we use to fight it).
However, the first part is invariably connected to the second (and it’s important regarding the Serpens Luminis Entity).
By evoking this aphorism, it can be understood that the continuous contemplation of a certain evil can convert you to this evil itself. However, we wish to clarify that it’s wrong to think that the Entity’s from a moralistic perspective. Evil and Good (stemming from traditional morality) as absolutes don’t exist (this Nietzsche book is called: Beyond Good and Evil for a certain reason...).
Besides, the first part of this aphorism is interesting because we note the reference to a monster. Who is this monster? Is he an Abyss’ lurking inhabitant?
This isn’t a monster in the moral sense (which would be absurd regarding Nietzsche's thought) but more in the “pathological” way of the term. In his major work: Thus spoke Zarathustra. It refers to a monster (Tarantula). Tarantulas that bite and, by its bite, transform their target into a new tarantula. For Nietzsche, the tarantulas are the moralists, the religious persons obsessed by the spirit of revenge (limiting the power and the creativity by the threat of a blade called the good intentions or the sane morals of the dominant religions) and opposing the doctrine of Nietzschean life.
However, this is dangerous because by dint of wanting to take revenge on the avengers, we’re going to want to dedicate our life to the absolute will to their annihilation but we must not see this dedication as an end but more as a preliminary step.
A preliminary step before the development of a new value system and the celebration of the power of creation and the knowledges given by the Black Flame.
We like this aphorism’s second part because it evokes the interactivity between the subject and the object. The object of our deemed external, neutral or inert perception will gradually live in us, be colored by our affectivity. It occurs as an echo effect. We are, in our inner depths, like sound boxes. But also the fact that certain truths are too difficult and painful to be supported by all (the fundamental truths’ knowledge must be reserved for a certain elite). To scrutinize the Abyss of human motives, to expose ourselves as human beings, and to run the risk of discovering that we are not as "moral" as we desperately hoped.
Earlier, we discussed the connection between Nietzsche's aphorism and Christian mysticism. There may be an obvious connection between looking into the Abyss and the look of the apostle John to the empty tomb after the Resurrection.
It's very strange because we noted a certain resemblance between the two sentences: "when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you" and "but I live however no longer myself, Christ however liveth in me" (Galatians 2: 20-21).
For Nietzsche and this sentence from the Gospel, everything is playing out at the level of this gaze (for John, looking inside the Christ’s empty tomb: "he sees [the shroud without body, the tomb without death] and he believed ") and this vision carries the belief". In Nietzsche and in the Gospel, the main point is : the vision of an abyss (an empty place/a mystery) and its contamination of the uninitiated subject (which is no longer really this kind of person at the time of the vision).
We believe that everyone who creates is a Psychonaut. He enters into the steaming bath of his thoughts, the symbolism linked to his culture, tastes and sensibility, his meditations and let floats in it, being permeated by the ambient humidity. Of course, it’s awkward to think that the creation is only an act of invention and manipulation of original artistic material.
This internal Meditation also works with the reproduction of codes, of reproduction of topoi, of sources coming from The Outside. Sources which will also have passed through the Abyss’ Mirrors. From the Void of the Abyss, from its infinite Depths will emerge the scaffolding allowing the construction of a work.
The Absence will reveal the Presence.
Do you see SERPENS LUMINIS as a part of some general or specific Black Metal scene ? What does individualism mean to you ? Do you think there is more power in unity, or just in individualism ? Do you think individualism is naturally connected to Black Metal ?
We still don’t know and care if we’re part of a specific Black Metal scene or not.
However, if there is a scene whose the values are connected to the Great fiery Fire of Knowledge and its ambivalent characteristic, the eldritch fragility of Memory, the questions of Devotion towards the Black Skies, the grandiloquence and the power of Art, the decay and the regeneration of Nature, the striking Enlightenment given by the Wisdom of the Qliphoth and the Goetic Magic, the Meditations about the subtle balance of Life/Death, and a sincere burning Glorification against the Loss of Faith of this dying World : we think Serpens Luminis could belong to it.
Forcing us to classify ourselves within a specific scene whose characteristics have already been written before we can choose this path towards the underground temple is not very interesting for us and not worthy of what we’re trying to build through Serpens Luminis.
Only the dedicated, invested, fanatic, dangerous persons and sensitive to occult practices are interesting for us. We worship Passion and Devotion.
Individualism is not directly connected to Black Metal.
It looks to be an unfortunate shortcut to believing this opposite.
Individualism in the cultural and social sense appeared in Europe around the 16th and 17th centuries, notably through Thomas Reid, Descartes and John Locke. However, the rulers develop the habit to talk about individualism as a mask of selfishness, maybe in order to avoid the mistrust of certain rebellious minds that could fragilize the unity of collectivity and their reigns (habit that works as a tool to scare mainstream people to think too much about some “individual” decisions).
Black Metal musicians are connected to a cultural and ideological environment, which has been prepared in the mold of individualism. Mold shaping society for many centuries.
Black Metal (like the zealots who build its temples) is subject to these old normative data which are too difficult to question.
So, it’s neither the music nor our artistic sensibility that pushes us towards individualism.
We are more sensitive to autonomy and to a selective and enlightened Misanthropy.
When did you begin to perceive death as a separate phenomenon in your life ? Did you start by yourself or after someone close to you died ? How do you perceive death both physiologically and mystically ? Do you believe death is another state of being ? Which religion or philosophy is closest to you in this aspect ? Is death the main goal to which we are going throughout our lives ?
We believe in the futility of knowing how/when we were learnt about the presence of Death, or who brought us the initiation of its presence. Our Decay begins as soon as our Life starts, and so Death casts her Shadows upon us even if we are not aware of her Presence.
Nevertheless, it seems vital to realize and endure thy light. Thy light that quivered and whirled around the primordial vibrations of Ain Soph.
While enduring, we’ll be able to look in the Mirror, the eldritch collar of the reprieve enthralling our neck.
Unfortunately, many people refuse to turn their Eyes to this Light. They try to dispel it out of their minds for their entire existence. The more they age, the more skillful and customary they are of their tricks and their leaks, yet it embodies a real “vanitas” to believe to be able not to think about It, this fearing force which is one of the causes of the greatest cultural and artistic realizations.
Like the Shakespearean Lord McBeth, faced with this enemy that is advancing towards the castle of Dunsinane shielded with boughs cut from Birnam Wood, though we realize that we’re doomed, he’s important to never cease to battle, waiting for our defeat.
The goal of this fight isn’t to defeat Death because it’s nothing except a new step, the only certain thing in Life and the Dawn of a new Aeon for us, but to not fear the cold Embrace.
There’re a lot of aims in human existence. They are all different because they are specific to the subjectivity of each. However, if Death is not the goal of Life, it’s an Apotheosis that’s reached even if some people try to convince themselves that it will never happen. The concept of “eu-thanatos” could embody this famous goal that you evoked.
What can change the destiny of a Man in order to prepare him/her, to be able to die in peace and serenity?
How to have an eu-thanatos, “good death” (not: “good” in regard to some social/religious value or normative way, but more in an inner/self-acceptance/resilient way) ?
During the long inner endeavour, whose last over the human’s entire life, it will also be easier to become aware of its place, its function, its role and thus to be sensitive to the agnosticism, following the words of the French Art historian and writer Paul Ardenne :”Art don't save from the final disaster but it tries to convert the disaster in hopefulness”.
As we already explained during this interview, the idea of Descent into our own Depths is a really important part of our personal/musical process. Death is so another form of “katábasis” through which we will walk without knowing where/when we will return.
The position of death and its perception has changed since man appeared. Already the Sumerians perceived death when Gilgamesh sought immortality, the cult of death in ancient Egypt and so on. What role does death play in your music and legacy ?
Indeed, you are absolutely right at the level of the evolution that Western society has had on the figure of Death and how much these evolutions have profoundly changed the social, political, philosophical, religious, artistic, geographic and urbanistic norms. As previously mentioned, our Quest leads us into different religion/mythology. All figures related to Death (like Set-Typhon, as you mentioned ancient Egypt, per example) are of course important. But we don’t want to limitate ourselves to these only figures, but rather try to connect ourselves with several Emanations of the unfathomable Chaos (the concept of Isfet, if we keep the example of egyptian beliefs).
However, Serpens Luminis was never directly/exclusively connected to the figure of Death. We respect it, worship it by our owns and through other sonic Entities in which we officiate, view it with a lot of obedience through subtle mixture of awe, humility and keen interest.
With this project, we’re interested in everything that's hiding before the passage of Death and everything that could exist after Its passage (the content of a text like The Dawn Fragrance, for example, is linked with these thematics).
Death, to us, is more a Psychopomp concept. It’s the Door and the Key. An obligatory steps if we want to perceive, using a Leo Holmes’ expression, “toward Saturn and the Stars”. During our Lives, we are immersed in a Reality, a Space and a Time, through which we have to find some Fragments of our Self. But the subtile instant of Death, the step of Liberation, is a breaking point beyond which we sink into the Great Unknown.
Consequently, as a distinct Deity, her impact on the work of our Entity need to be relativized. Because, when we channel and generate the energy and aggressiveness necessary to express what we want to do artistically/spiritually, we try to approach the limit of what humans can contain in terms of rage, power, fire and ecstasy. It’s true that in the heat of the expression, we will try to get closer to the Door’s threshold. We have to do it to honor the name and the rank of the Powers that we summon with the most Passion, rage and dementia in the eyes (even if that must strike us down on the moment). On another Hand, the Liberating power of Death can be perceived through the use Blood during our Rituals. Its indeed an liquid that bears the putrid but fascinating smells of Death. But this vital fluid is important in order to allow our Minds to embrace the Trance.
With all these informations, we can conclude than, even if the person of Death is not a direct lyrical subject for us, her Wraith enters in resonance with our Bodies during the whole process.
“Be never totally sated, always ask and search for more”, seems to us a decent and humble Dionysian motto!
Finally, a somewhat relieving question, but in my opinion also very natural and rare. Since you come from Switzerland, I have to ask about Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. Did these bands have a major impact on you ? Do you also follow the new creation of Triptykon ?
We don’t have anything specific to express about these bands. There's no question about how Celtic Frost and Hellhammer had an impact at a certain time, but it would be false to consider them as an influence for the Monolith we nourish. Concerning Triptykon, we do not bear any interest in them either.
Serpens Luminis 30.4.2020 Mortuary
A Wreathed Skull