Real Talk About Nicholas de Vere and the Dragoncourt Dot Org Site.

And now that I’ve been relatively quiet about it for a decade or more, I guess it’s time to finally talk about the Dragon Court again.

A while back, this was the website where I talked about my experiences with various Occult groups and subcultures - until it wasn’t.

I hung onto this domain for a while even though I haven’t really done anything with it for a long time. In 2012 (ten years ago, LOL) I’d planned to do a major site revamp, but other than experimenting with new CSS3 features, and then trying to use it as a blog for a few months in 2018, it stayed static for years. I was that burnt out. I had been burnt out for a long time.

Discovering neocities dot org got me back into website building as a hobby. I’d learned how to make a site that didn’t look like it belonged on Geocities anymore - but frankly, where’s the fun in that? I wasn’t trying to sell anything, be it books, noble titles, or access to articles from a paywalled subscription-only website. I wasn't trying to promote an Online Secret Society. I was just talking about my experiences with the people who were trying to do that, or had tried to do that in the past. If anything, *not* looking like it was trying to be any of those things was one of the (only) things my old website had going for it.

If some of my rhetoric here sounds kind of “salty” (as The Kids are saying now) it’s because I’ll be writing about things that I was “salty” about in the past, and it’s had this long to sit unexpressed in my subconscious. Some of this is stuff I’ll probably always be “salty” about to some extent. I’ve had to learn to be okay with that.

I also acknowledge that a lot of the people I’m still salty about have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and as such are not around anymore to offer a rebuttal of their own; and are survived by friends and family who still love and care for them. Please know that I’m trying to proceed with consideration for them.

This isn’t intended to be a judgemental hatchet job. A lot of what happened was down to the fact that things were a bit more chaotic on the Old Internet circa the early 2000s. We were all still figuring out how (and how not) to interact on what was still a massive uncharted digital space. In many ways, it was a lot like the Wild West. With cat pictures. And animated gifs. My purpose for posting this here is not to cause more strife, but because none of this should ever be forgotten.

Back in 2012, I quoted what felt like a truism at the time: “The Internet Never Forgets.” Except that it does. So much content from that time has been lost. Maybe in some cases that’s a good thing, but there are some things that should be remembered, so that the same mistakes aren’t made in the future.

If you are reading this essay I am going to assume you are here because you have read Nicholas de Vere's essays (From Transylvania To Tunbridge Wells and The Origin Of The Dragon Lord Of The Rings) or his book The Dragon Legacy.

Both the book and the essays it was based on open up with a giant multi-chapter rant about New Age and Wicca, which is kind of a microcosm of the complaints that Traditional Witchcraft Practitioners have made about "Reconstructionist" Witchcraft traditions that began during the early 20th century and hit critical mass during the 1980s and 1990s.

Criticism of "fluffy bunny Wiccans" and "New Age Flakes" was rampant then, but a lot of the beliefs and behavior that Trad Witches were criticizing really had to do with how New Agers and Wiccans were processing or dealing with the "Satanic Panic," which was well underway during that time; as well as the long history of Witch persecutions which preceded it.

Traditional Witches take issue with the claim made by Wiccans, that "we don't believe in Lucifer/The Devil because we don't believe in the Christian Myth" but this itself was a defense against the Satanic Panic. A deflection of the common accusation of "Devil worship," and the acts of persecution and violence which typically follows such accusations. It was also an attempt to jettison the whole Christian paradigm and do something entirely new with Witchcraft, even if many people believed they were getting into a centuries-old tradition with roots going back to the old pagan religions which existed before Christanity. Advances in archeology have given us a clearer window into the ancient past than ever before, so it may be that we'll soon be capable of something more than a re-imagining of ancient belief systems.

And I want to state right away that I don’t think Witch Blood is a prerequisite for being a Magician or a Witch or an Occultist of any kind, if that’s your thing. “Magickal Elitism” sucks. (Elitism of any kind sucks, really.) Everyone should be able to practice Magic(k) if they want. Study and practice are what makes anyone a good practitioner. Witch Blood just makes you predisposed to being one. It's the difference between someone who seems to have an inborn knack for a certain skill vs someone who develops a skill after long a long period of study and practice and trial and error. But even the "Witch Blooded" need to study and practice!

What the "Witch Blood" can do is make the Witch-Blooded yearn for Magick in their lives. And if it doesn’t have an outlet, it’ll make one.

PART 1. About Me. (OR: A Response To Nicholas de Vere's rant "A New Age Critique" or "A New Age Critique" Critique?)

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May Queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
And there's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder...

- Led Zeppelin, Stairway To Heaven

I first heard of the Dragon Court, and the “Dragon” or “Grail” Witch bloodlines by name in the summer of 1999 when I found Laurence Gardner’s Nexus articles online, but I’d been familiar with the concepts it encompassed since my teens. It was kind of a meme that was in the process of disseminating itself, and it had already gotten to me in other various forms before I'd heard of the "Dragon Court."

I believed in Magic(k) as a child, but living in the Bible Belt and growing up during the Satanic Panic, I was indoctrinated to fear what was basically my own heritage. But it kept calling to me, regardless. My family was one of those that "Supernaturally Interesting" stuff happened to on occasion. The women in my Mom's family in particular have "the sight" on occasion. It made me wonder if there was something to the phenomenon of "Witch Blood." My Dad's family are Scots-Irish and Welsh originally, and had settled in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas; my Mom's family are Swiss (both Germanic and French variants) Scots-Irish, and English. They had made it through the dust bowl, and my Mom would occasionally talk about dowsing and things like that.

But we were in Texas, and it was the 1980s. My Mom was raised Episcopalian, but her family also had a long tradition of men being Freemasons and women being in the Order of the Eastern Star. As a young adult she had rebelled against both Protestantism and Masonic practice to become a Hippie and a "New Age" type occult practitioner, afflicted by occasional flashes of very strong (and as she describes it, often very unsettling and inconvenient) precognition. She had returned to the bosom of the Church during the Jesus Movement (The "Jesus People, aka "Jesus Freaks") after a frightening experience which had left her badly shaken. My father and my mother had split by the time I was four.

We had Mike Warnke’s cassette tapes on constant rotation in the family car, because at the time he was kind of the Pope of Jesus Freak Ex Occultists - even if he was lying through his teeth about the latter. (Yes I've heard The Last Podcast On The Left's podcast about him - and if you haven't, go listen; it's so cathartic.)

We were taught to fear and avoid popular Rock & Roll music, trick or treating on Halloween, fantasy fiction, Dungeons and Dragons, our friends who were LGBTIQ+/ourselves if we were LGBTIQ+, and our friends who smoked brickweed and dropped weak bathtub acid behind the bleachers after school. Chick Tracts were foisted upon us after every church service.

We were told to watch out for "stranger danger," i.e. devil worshippers and drug pushers and child molesters, even as we (or people we knew) were being victimized by grownups we knew from church who were trusted family friends. People talked a great deal about God's love for humanity. But the actual message was one of constant terror and abject submission to authority, demanding constant hypervigilance on our part because "Satan" was out to get us - and that God would send us straight to Hell for all eternity for the slightest infraction.

I know there are plenty of good people who are Christians out there who sincerely follow Jesus’s teachings of compassion and mercy, but in my opinion the institution of the Church itself - Catholic or Protestant - is corrupted and toxic. That's just my experience, maybe yours is different.

We spent so much time between different churches when I was growing up (“maybe THIS one won’t have toxic people! Maybe it’ll be okay this time!”) Then, my Mom finally decided this was wack, and let us do our own thing. That was when I met other people trying to recover from religious trauma with varying success. For many people, it’s a lifelong process.

I got into a Teen Witch Otherkin coven in the fall of 1993, but after about nine months the group fell apart; mostly due to religious trauma and undiagnosed mental illness resulting from all sorts of other types of trauma. American society is fucked up in many ways, and none of us were ok.

It’s even worse now than it was, but I feel like kids today at least are aware of this, despite the constant gaslighting campaign going on around them. But that just means things have gotten so bad now that it can no longer be hidden.

And in the midst of all this, the Dragon Court meme was seeping our consciousness, if indeed it wasn’t there already.

Here’s the first thing I disagree with Nicholas de Vere/Weir about: Wicca and “New Age” Magickal practice. If you come from “Witch Blood” or are even just curious about the occult in an oppressive environment where exploration of one’s heritage or interests are not only discouraged but violently suppressed, "New Age" stuff or “fluffy bunny Wicca” as it is commonly called is often the first and only kind of practice you have access to. And this specific type of "fluffy bunnyism" in general developed almost entirely as a reaction to the "Satantic Panic."

Early Wiccan writers like Doreen Valiente and Gerald Gardner himself knew about "Old Hornie." They knew they're not practicing "Witchcraft" like the ancients did, and that Wicca is a modern invention - or, at least they did before and after a brief interregnum of denialism that was mostly already in the process being resolved at the same time Nicholas de Vere was writing his essays lambasting it. But as right-wing reactionary attitudes surged in the 1980s and 90s (particularly in America) it was probably safer to try to divorce the idea of Witchcraft from the Christian paradigm entirely.

Wicca *does* project a friendly, sanitized image - and when you’re a traumatized teen from the Bible Belt, that might be what you want, if you don’t gravitate towards Theatrical Heavy Metal Satanism instead. Which is what seems to have happened with Nicholas de Vere’s associate Tracy Twyman. According to her associate Sean Alger, who says:

"She was raised as a christian and it was the ‘satanic panic’ of the 80s-90s that fired her up to take the path she did. Because she was what we’d now call “Goth/depressive” she felt personally attacked and misunderstood when the satanic panic thing was in full swing."

We were personally attacked and misunderstood though. That was not anyone's imagination. If you were a "goth/depressive" or any other type of outsider, it was kind of a bad time. That's what led so many of us to act out in the kinds of ways that Tracy Twyman appeared to be acting out in. The satanic panic ruined innocent lives. The fact that the it seems to be coming back is really concerning to a lot of us.

Scapegoating of social outcasts as a form of authoritarian social control is the goal of the Satanic Panic any time it re-emerges. It creates in-group/out-group dynamics: "be afraid of those strange outsiders who are not like us, and ignore the toxic elements in your own community" as a way of manipulating people into not resisting those toxic elements. It's a tactic of browbeating people into accepting forms of abuse or control by claiming the alternative or the "other side" is "worse." People in the "out-group" are typically demonized through accusations of sexual predation and the victimization of children.

Such accusations commonly end up being confessions on the accuser/Satanic Panicker's part; the scandal over sexual abuse in the Catholic Church broke out on the heels of the 1980s Satanic Panic, and I don't think that was an accident. It's happening again just as an epidemic of sex pests are being exposed within the rank and file of the Protestant church denominations, and people are falling for the same exact bullshit artistry as before. Authoritarians and reactionaries have been using these tactics for centuries to target "social undesirables" because people are still falling for them and they still work.

(Seriously though: people know that antisemitism started out as an op, right? That it's currently one of the longest running ops in the book? That the Romans, who had crucified Jesus (a Jewish revolutionary and political dissident) and spent the next few hundred years immediately afterwards claiming that the early Christians were sexual deviants who murdered children and drank their blood, found themselves needing to rewrite their societal scapegoat script in a hurry after they suddenly decided to become Christian themselves?)

I knew plenty of people who rebelled against the Satanic Panic by actually becoming Luciferians or Anton LaVey-style Satanists, but that wasn’t my jam. As a kid recovering from religious trauma and the imgagined Hellfire and Brimstone of the Satanic Panic, I wanted to hear that the Goddess loves everyone and doesn’t send anyone to Hell, and that the Devil doesn't exist because he's a boogeyman invented by the Church. Some people need that paradigm. And when the “Fluffy Bunny” reconstructionist Witchcraft/New Age paradigm is all you’ve got, it’s all you’ve got.

Eventually my goth nature reasserted itself, but I had to work through a lot of stuff.

It wasn’t until later that we found that Paganism and Witchcraft, etc could also be plagued by some of the same ills that befell us in the Evangelical Christian church. Anyone familiar with what happened with Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband Walter Breen knows that.

It's funny though (except not: it's enraging) whenever there is a huge moral panic about these kinds of things, it usually seems to be the same people who scream accusations about "grooming" at large groups of marginalized peoples who end up circling the wagons to defend the sex pests in their own group, doesn't it?

But anyway: before the Teen Otherkin/Witch coven I was a part of imploded, We had been studying Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick, which is kind of like Golden Dawn-style ritual Magick for Absolute Beginners. And it’s great. I recommend it. But before that, I was just...doing things. Things that my intuition told me were correct.

I called it "Chaos Magick." No one told me that this was what I was doing. In 1994 I hadn’t read any of the literature that existed about Chaos Magick yet. I was a fan of Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga, and that’s probably how the phrase kind of just popped into my brain.

I had ADHD, other various undiagnosed-at-the-time neurodivergencies. Then when I was 17, in the midst of our Coven Implosion aka the worst “Best Friend Breakup” of my entire life, I had a nervous breakdown. I stayed broken for a long time. I was diagnosed with Purely Obsessional (“Pure O”) OCD. The form that my intrusive OCD thoughts took was exacerbated by my religious trauma, which psychologists say is unfortunately one of the forms that this disorder tends to take. My strategy for blocking out OCD static during a ritual is to imagine this promotional image of Captain Kirk.

Usually it works.

My ADHD is such that I can usually hold this image in my mind while focusing on whatever else it is that I need to focus on. And usually, I’ll need to. The OCD thoughts are that intrusive and invasive.

When I was younger, it seemed like my Mother’s generation had been on the verge of a magnificent breakthrough, a resurgence of transcendent thought and art and creativity and personal freedom and expression. Then the 80s happened, and Ronald Reagan happened, things got really hairy for a while with the Cold War, and the AIDS epidemic happened. This was the oppressive and often horrific reality that I had grown up in. But I kept hearing stories of the glorious cultural revolution of the 1960s, Height-Ashbury, Woodstock, Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, Timothy Leary, the Merry Pranksters, all of it. And my whole life, I was asking “what happened? Why did the cultural revolution fail?” What had caused the Boomer generation to betray everything that they had claimed to believe in and go right back to being obedient reactionary consumer-serfs?

The films of Panos Cosmatos (Beyond The Black Rainbow and Mandy) depict the failure of the "Boomer Cultural Revolution" as an ongoing theme. Reading Hunter S. Thompson and Philip K. Dick and Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test) answered some of those questions for me. Learning about The War On Drugs answered even more. Hippie burnouts described the disillusionment of being come down on hard by The Man for the crimes of free love and smoking dope, then seeing the symbols of their rebellion misappropriated and marketed back to them by consumer capitalism ("I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.")

I don’t want to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist here - but doesn’t it seem like so much happened to just shove that transcendent renaissance of the 1960s and 70s right back into the box? Doesn’t it seem like there was a backlash of hatred, bigotry, superstition, religious fundamentalism, right wing authoritarianism disguised as “American Freedom,” (two words which are diametrically opposed to one another) that was equal or greater to the brief celebration of *real* freedom which had just come before it?

It had seemed like the thing to do was to try and jumpstart a new cultural revolution to pick up where the other one had left off - but we were a handful of teenage weirdos in Texas in the early 1990s before the internet was really a thing. I entered my twenties with a crushing sense of disillusionment, and a need to prove that what we had experienced was somehow valid, nonetheless.

Part 2: Here Be Dragons?

"I think you screwed up, Case. I showed up and you just fit me right into your reality picture.".

- from Neuromancer, by William Gibson

As I was still dealing with shit five years later, I found Laurence Gardner’s Nexus articles and Mediaquest” website online, including Nicholas de Vere’s original Dragon Court essays. And it was close enough to what we had believed as a part of the "Teen Otherkin Coven" that it immediately clicked and felt like the validation and vindication of everything that my friends and I had been trying to express, or had been on the verge of bringing to the forefront of our consciousness back in the early 1990s.

Basically, our Teenage Otherkin Coven had belived that "Elves" Faeries, Vampires, etc (which were really all just different names for the same type of creature) of ancient myth and legend had started out as interdimensional beings from Somewhere Else incarnated in human bodies. Their human-hybrid descenants were the old Royal Families created and appointed by the "Bornless One" to be the stewards of Earth and mankind. They were natural magicians due to their partially-divine origins.

After centuries of persecution by The Church and most recently the Nazis (who'd misapproproated "Elven" and Grail symbolism even as they were killing the descendants of the Elves who were still in Europe in the death camps along with other "undesirables") they were hidden and lost and scattered; and in many cases had entirely forgotten or barely remembered who they were. Our group consisted of some of the ones who remembered.

Our goals were to 1. study Magick and 2. find others. There was no long-term goal or master plan beyond that; but the implication was that once enough Elves/Faeries/Vampires remembered their true identities and "woke up," the phenomenon would eventually hit critical mass and be enough of a disruption of status-quo society that change would be inevitable.

As teens, the "secret Elves in exile" narrative had appealed to us; there were no formal titles or anything like that, and no idea of "re-assuming control of ancient Royal Demesne" or anything like that because we were just interested in recovering ancestral memories and old wisdom. There was no discussion of ever going public about any of this stuff because it was assumed that there were still "government agencies" watching for us who would shut us down just like they's tried to shut down the countercultural and civil rights movements of the 60s if we attracted attention to ourselves.

After a certain point, My OCD was excacerbated to an intolerable extent to which I was barely functional; this was when my Mom took me to see a psychatrist, and I finally had a name for the disorder that had plagued me for as long as I could remember. Another one of my friends started exibiting paranoid delusions, accusing others in the group of "psychic attacks." At the time I was certain we had been discovered and were being "taken care of" by whatver shadowy government agency had been set up to deal with us; now I wonder if we weren't just all succumbing to a kind of "subliminal social programming" for what was "supposed to happen" to kids like us who "played around with magic" if that makes sense. (This is a real phenomenon - occult writer Paul Huson even attempts deprogram readers of it early on in his book Mastering Witchcraft.)

For years after that I had wondered if we had just experienced some kind of group hallucination. Then I read this:

"Many books talk about the hermetic school of Tuthmosis III of Egypt, who reigned about 1450 BC. But it is not generally known that the school he originally inherited was the Royal Court of the Dragon. This had been founded by the priests of Mendes in about 2200 BC and was subsequently ratified by the 12th dynasty Queen Sobeknefru.

This sovereign and priestly Order passed from Egypt to the Kings of Jerusalem; to the Black Sea Princes of Scythia and into the Balkans - notably to the Royal House of Hungary, whose King Sigismund reconstituted the Court just 600 years ago. Today it exists as the Imperial and Royal Court of the Dragon Sovereignty, and after some 4,000 years it is the oldest sovereign Court in the world.

But what were the earliest aims and ambitions of the Order back in Pharaonic times? They were to perpetuate and advance the alchemical strength of the Royal Bloodline from Lord Enki, the Archetype.

The kings of the early succession (who reigned in Sumer and Egypt before becoming Kings of Israel) were anointed upon coronation with the fat of the Dragon (the sacred crocodile). This noble beast was referred to in Egypt as the Messeh (from which derived the Hebrew verb 'to anoint'), and the kings of this dynastic succession were always referred to as 'Dragons', or 'Messiahs' (meaning 'Anointed Ones').

In times of battle, when the armies of different kingdoms were conjoined, an overall leader was chosen and he was called the 'Great Dragon' (the 'King of Kings') - or, as we better know the name in its old Celtic form, the 'Pendragon'.

One of the interesting items from the archives of the Dragon Court is the origin of the word 'kingship'. It derives from the very earliest of Sumerian culture, wherein 'kingship' was identical with 'kinship' - and 'kin' means 'blood relative'. In its original form, 'kinship' was 'kainship'. And the first King of the Messianic Dragon succession was the biblical Cain (Kain), head of the Sumerian House of Kish.

On recognising this, one can immediately see the first anomaly in the traditional Genesis story, for the historical line to David and Jesus was not from Adam and Eve's son Seth at all. It was from Eve's son Cain, whose recorded successors (although given little space in the Old Testament) were the first great Kings (or Kains) of Mesopotamia and Egypt."

This was supposedly the "real story" behind the Nephilim from the Old Testament, extradimensional beings who mixed with humanity somehow or influenced our development. Maybe the "the veil between worlds" was thinner than it used to be - or as some have suggested, we didn't percieve a difference or any kind of seperation between the physical waking "real" world and the "Spirit World" or "Otherworld" at all. OR: maybe someone ate acid (or its stone age equivalent, probably mushrooms) and talked to God and got some lousy Chaos Magic.

The idea that the "Witch Blood" is somehow descended from the Elves somehow, and that the Elves were a real people who existed, is also not a new or uncommon belief. According to Paul Huson in his book Mastering Witchcraft:

The indigenous Britons, or Prytani as they then were called, were a strange people, who buried their dead in great burial mounds, or barrows, used bronze as their only metal, and relied for weapons chiefly upon slender arrows with delicate elder-leaf-shaped flint tips. Their religion, which was connected in some way with the moon and stars, was conducted amidst stone circles, surrounded by a bank and ditch (the original witch circle, in fact). The Prytani appear to have kept very much to themselves, isolating themselves within raths, or large circular encampments, the only contact between the two races being made by the Celtic shamans, or Druids, a word probably signifying wise ones, or wizards. Much or all of the Druidic lore would appear to have been drawn from contact with the Prytani. Indeed many druids were probably born of Prytanic fathers to Celtic mothers. The legendary Merlin was maybe one such as this, born of "mortal" mother and fathered by a "devil" or "elf." In fact elves were but the Teutonic names bestowed upon the remaining Prytani five centuries later by the Germanic invaders of Britain.

Arthurian legend has it that King Arthur's half-sister Morgan la Fay (like Merlin) was also of elven descent, accounting for her magical prowess, Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, and Vivian, Merlin's enchantress, were of course completely elven in their ancestry. To this day there remain certain Scottish families which claim elven descent, for by the time of the Roman invasion of Britain within the first century A.D., the Prytani had almost all retreated to the northernmost tip of the country, and were occupying the lands north of what is now Perth and Argyll in Scotland. This may also account for the old witch belief of the north as being the holy direction. The northern abodes of the rulers of the Picts, as the Prytani were known by the Romans, were often mysterious vitrified forts, towers whose outer stones had been fused together by great fires, making them practically impregnable to all attack. This is probably the origin of the witch's Glass Castle, which you will encounter later on. We know for a fact that glass castles such as these existed at Craig Phadrick at Inverness, Dun Fionn, Achterawe, and Dundbhairdghal.

By the eleventh century A.D., subsequent to successive invasions of Britain, as it was now called, by Teutonic Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, and lastly Normans, Prytanic lore had been completely overlaid by a conglomeration of Celtic, Roman, Saxon, and finally Christian beliefs, gnostic and otherwise. The Prytani themselves, now referred to by either their Saxon epithet, Elvenfolk, or simply as People of the Heath or heathens, were rapidly dwindling into legend. The elven king and queen in their enchanted hill which opened up on the ancient holy festivals of Halloween and Beltane were fast passing out of public memory, recalled only by the wise, or as they were known in the old English tongue, the Wicce and Wicca, Wizards and Witches. The legend of the Elvenfolk's ancestry still survived, however, in heavily Christianized form. They were the remaining offspring of the fallen angels. Neither devils, like Satan and his cohorts, nor angels, but somewhere between the two. Neither good nor bad, merely indifferent.

Whatever happened, the "Witch Blood" "Dragon Blood" or "Grail Bloodlines" had resulted, and mankind got the spiritual fire that was Magick. According to Nicholas de Vere and Laurence Gardner, The Priest-Kings and Witch-Queens of the ancient civilizations were descended from them. At that time, it was common for the crowned heads of the ancient world to claim some kind of descent from their pantheon of gods. The memory of these “Real Gods and Goddesses” had been preserved in their peoples’ mythology, their symbolism and stories becoming part of the Collective Unconscious. They existed as “Forces” or “Godforms” and could be channeled by their direct descendants via genetic memory. These descendants were the Priest-Kings and Queens of the first civilizations, and their descendents eventually spread out all over the world.

So "Dragons" = "Elves" = Witches. The thing is, one of the main points that Nicholas de Vere made in his essays and the books which resulted from them is that only "Dragon-Blooded" (essentially, Witch-Blooded) people can actually perform magic(k.) Everyone else is just doing a form of cosplay/"Witchcraft aesthetic as a lifestyle" and cultural appropriation. This is sort of a spin on an argument that Traditional/Hereditary Witches have been making for decades, but anyone who has actually spent any amount of time in occult circles knows that the idea that non-"Witch-blooded" people can't even do magic(k) is not true.

Anyway, right now I'm about to tell you The Real Secret Of The Dragon Court, which is where I majorly break with everyone who has used it to support their ideas of "Sovereignty" which are actually Libertarian or Neo-Reactionary in Nature: our "Sovereign" ancestors were "Sovereign" because they had a covenant with the Land, Their People, and Their Gods (the Faeries, the Genii Locorum of the Land, whom they considered to be their ancestors) which was every bit as pre-eminent and binding as the covenant between Jehovah and the Jewish people. This was where "the Magic" of Sovereignty comes from. This is "The True Secret Of The Grail."

It wasn't a license to just do whatever they wanted with no responsibility and no accountability because you belonged to a particular bloodline. It is a sacred obligation that forges a psychic connection with the people and the land itself - and if you aren't up for that kind of responsibility, you have no business claiming to be a "sovereign." But anyway! That's the Big Secret, and if that's why you were reading these essays, you can stop here.

Whatever harm that Marion Zimmer Bradley did to the people in her personal life, there's a reason why The Mists Of Avalon was a major catalyst for the wave of "Boomer Wicca" that Nicholas de Vere scorned so scathingly; because it expressed this concept in a way that modern people could understand. See also: John Boorman's film Excalibur.

But Nicholas de Vere claimed that this concept of Sovereignty itself is the end-all and be-all of all "real Magic," and that you have to be a "sovereign" to Do The Thing. And despite all his ranting on the subject, the main issue with his Dragon Court organization in all of its incarnations seems to be that a lot of people wanted to be told they were Sovereigns so that they could also Do The Thing.

This is not what modern "Reconstructionist" or "Revivalist" Witches are after. In the last few centuries since The Enlightenment, people have been slowly waking up from Churchianity. A lot of them are asking questions about whatever it was that Churchianity usurped or replaced, and if it would be possible to go back to that.

Nicholas de Vere and his associate Lawrence Gardner (no relation to Gerald!) claimed that the ancient "Priest Kings/Queens" or "Witch Kings/Queens" who were the original source of "The Witch Blood" were hybrids created when extradimensional entities mixed with humanity or were born into human bodies, and these were the "Elves" of European folklore.

According to this theory, the story of the conflict between Jehovah and “Satan” originated as the Sumerian story of the conflict over the M.E. (sacred tablets of wisdom that conferred sovereignty on the holder) between Enlil and Enki, the sons of Anu. “Enki” was literally demonized by his brother via a propaganda campaign, and this is where the idea of Satan came from. But Enki was benevolent and loved humanity, and he tried to help them when he could. Enlil was the vengeful, wrathful God of the Old Testament. Jesus was descended from Enki, and the "sin" he had saved us from was really just Enlil's unjust wrath. According to Laurence Gardner and Nicholas de Vere, Enki was remembered by later peoples as the "Devil" or Horned God revered by Satanists and Traditional Witches.

Whatever else I would come to think of Nicholas de Vere, Laurence Gardner and their claims over time, the idea that the Evangelical Christian narrative was patently false - the propaganda of a deranged, misanthropic entity or person, or a corruption of the original true message - came as a massive relief to me, as somone who was still dealing with religious trauma and a neurotic mental disorder that was worsened by it. By this narrative, "Satan" as such was not an evil rival of "God" who was "out to get me," but a disinherited prince of the Anunnaki who was the victim of bad press. I ignored the aspects of this narrative that seemed problematic, or that troubled me at the time, and incorporated the things that I jived with into the overall framework of my own personal paradigm.

Nicholas de Vere also frequently references the medieval Gnostic sect known as the Cathars as being a "Dragon" or "Fairy" tradition. My own exploration into Gnotisicsm led me to the works of Philip K. Dick. He takes the view that we are trapped in a decaying retrograde timeline, and entities outside our current spacetime continnum have noticed the shitty situation we are in and are actively trying to assist us. (I could go into this further, but the Philip K. Dick angle is a whole other rabbit hole which will need its own article.)

All of this was swirling through my mind as I first read Laurence Gardner’s Nexus articles online, then his books, (Bloodline Of The Holy Grail, Genesis of the Grail Kings and Realm Of The Ring Lords) then eventually Nicholas de Vere’s essays (From Transylvania To Tunbridge Wells, and The Origin Of The Dragon Lords Of The Rings) which he claimed had been the manuscripts of books that he and Laurence Gardner were supposed to have been working on as a collaborative effort, before Laurence Gardner absconded with them, filed the serial numbers off, and had them published as his own work. (see above.)

This was Laurence Gardner's own account of his falling-out with Nicholas de Vere, which appeared on his own website as of September 5, 2000, as per this capture from the Wayback Machine:

"NOTICE: From Sir Laurence Gardner, Chevalier de Saint Germain and Attaché to the Grand Protectorate of The Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order - Ordo Dragonis, Sárkány Rend, 1408.

When publishing my book 'Genesis of the Grail Kings' early in 1999, I asked a certain Nicholas de Vere to write the Foreword to that work on the understanding that he was Magister Templi of the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court in Britain by virtue of a warrant issued by the ducal House of Habsburg-Tuscany.

It subsequently came to my attention, however, that this was not the case and I learned that Nicholas de Vere's said warrant was in no way valid since the House of Habsburg-Tuscany was not at liberty, under any legal right or consideration, to issue such a document.

On behalf of the Grand Protectorate of The Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order, I therefore now confirm that, despite his Internet protestations and various messages to all and sundry, Nicholas de Vere is not recognized in any capacity as being attached in any manner, formally or informally, to the Hungarian establishment of Sárkány Rend. Neither is he attached or affiliated to any of its priories in other lands. His name is not recorded in the Court's registration at the High Court of Budapest, nor in any other authentic document of the Court in Britain or any other country.

In November 1999 I was required to publicly sever my association with Nicholas de Vere, while still acknowledging the help he had afforded me with certain matters of research and reimbursing him for these services. In that same month MediaQuest, who had hosted de Vere's Web site on this current page, was similarly obliged to cease all further professional association, terminating the site. At that same time, the Webmaster, Sir Adrian Wagner (Knight of the Swan by grant and ratification of the Royal House of Stewart) duly resigned from all and any de Vere affiliation.

As detailed within the main body of this current site, the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court ceremony held at the Mansion House, York, on 21 March 2000 (with Chev. Dr. Gyorgy von varhegyi Lehr, Count of Oberberg, Chancellor of the Court, in attendance) established the truth of the matter once and for all in Britain. Also present, among various officers of the Court and Order, were Chev. Dr. Andrew von Zsigmond, Baron de Lemhény, of the Hungarian Consulate, Grand Prior of the Order in Britain, and HRH Prince Michael of Albany, the Order's Protector in the English speaking world. The City of York was formally represented by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, while the Sheriff of York attended to represent HM Queen Elizabeth II."

Laurence Gardner, July 2000

At this point, I had no idea about the drama going on behind the scenes. This was when Nicholas de Vere accused Laurence Gardner of having stolen his work, and slammed the the Hungarian Dragon Court organization he was affiliated with as a far right wing nationalist/white supremacist organization. (One wonders what influence they had on Hungary's current political situation.)

As of 2001, Nicholas de Vere’s essays appeared on his own website, Dragoncourt Dot Org. A shorter version had appeared on Laurence Gardner’s own Mediaquest website before he either (according to his own account) discovered that some of Nicholas de Vere’s bona fides didn’t check out (namely that his titles and the right to his own micronation, called Drakenberg, which de Vere claimed had been formally recognized by the UN and the House of Habsburg-Tuscany had not been) or (according to Nicholas de Vere) he stole the manuscript which had been their collaborative effort and had the material published under his own name.

The thing was, Dragoncourt Dot Org was itself the work of one Bill Barckley - who had not only coded the whole thing including a webforum from the ground up in asp.net, but who had also edited and uploaded de Vere’s essays a hundred percent for free. He paid for the whole thing out of his own pocket as a labor of love, and a desire to see Nicholas de Vere’s work reach its intended audience.

(oh wE’LL GET TO THAT. TRUST ME.)

There are people who have accused the self-declared HRH Prince Nicholas de Vere of elitism. Now before I go on I want to clarify that I know the practitioners of Hereditary or Traditional Witchcraft tend to consider Wicca and other forms of Reconstructionist Witchcraft as a kind of cultural appropriation. According to his own biography, Nicholas de Vere’s own father "taught him of the family’s royal Scottish origins and of its involvement with royal witchcraft within the dragon tradition, which had been passed down to Nicholas’ father by his own parents."

Modern academics have cast doubt on the the theory of the existence of a continuous, organized, centralized Witchcraft tradition that has withstood the Romans, the Inqusitions of the Church, and the test of time, which dates all the way back to antiquity. Nevertheless, there are Witchcraft traditions which go back several centuries at least.

However, it does seemed that Nicholas de Vere was touting Witch Blood and connection to “Royal Witch Families” almost to the point of it being some kind of “Magickal Eugenics,” i.e. only people descended from that one bloodline can do Real Magick, and to lead humanity because everyone else is just deluded or bamboozled by The New Age Moneymaking Machine.

In fact, several times he just comes out and says that the bulk of humanity is, by genetic defect incapable of evolving or transcending or even effectively governing themselves as a species - which is why they needed the naturally spiritually enlightened Grail Priest-Kings to lead them. Tracy Twyman echoed this sentiment over on the part of Dagobert’s Revenge in a public section of the website that I was able to read without shelling out a subscription fee.

This bothered me a lot; but I figured that those were his own personal opinions, which I didn't necessarily agree with.

But here was someone talking about REAL WITCHES who had been the legendary basis for REAL ELVES and REAL VAMPIRES, and I wanted to know about them! Except he kept going on about things like “Red-haired Aryan Proto-Scythians” (Proto Indo-Europeans. “Aryan” is a language group.) and the ritual consumption of menstrual blood. To read his text was to be pulled into the same kind of weird "James Joyce-ian" headspace that occured later when I started reading Kenneth Grant.

Nicholas de Vere seemed to be saying that the source of all real Magickal power was the ritual consumption of the menstrual blood from "Fairy Maidens" of the "Grail Bloodlines" and that only males of this same "species" (i.e. the "Real Vampires") had the neurochemical makeup to benefit from this practice; and that these people had the ability to channel their ancestors via "genetic memory." He claimed that all other Magical practice by anyone else but people of the "Grail Families" was a useless exercise by people who had been conned by snake-oil salesmen into believing they could do Magick. (He also said that there were no "Grail Youths" just "Grail Maidens" which: *stares in Ganymede.* But whatever.)

["Am I a joke to you?"]

I also wondered where Nick's crack about "political correctness being invented by Fat Lesbians" came from; but at that age I'd already seen enough men who were content to loudly extoll the virtues of the "Divine Feminine" as long as the "Divine Females" in their lives kept their mouths shut and "knew their place." But anyway. One essay I read a few years ago about Nicholas de Vere's Dragon Court phenomenon or movement online is that it "appeals to a portion of the Pagan right-wing" (I would go as far as to call some of them Reactionaries or Neo-Reactionaries), whereas the group I had belonged to was way further left on the political spectrum. Our ringleader was for all intents and purposes a Grail Princess, but other than that there was no heirarchy and no need for one.

So when I was reading Nicholas de Vere's essays nearly a decade later in 2002, there was some stuff that clicked and some stuff that didn't. Much later I realized that what I had really wanted at the time was a feeling of connection to my ancestors. I wanted an ethnographic essay, instead of an Occult Monarchist-Libertarian Manifesto with some ethnographic tidbits thrown in. (Really what I wanted at the time, though I didn't know it, was The Pickingill Papers.)

Aside from this, there was something in the text that resonated with me, just as it had with Laurence Gardner's essays. I needed to know more.

Anyway, I finally logged onto the dragoncourt dot org web forum for the very first time after having read the essays in December 2002, hoping to find out more. Instead, I walked right into what looked like a Situation.

“Nick,” as the other forum users called him, was already long gone, and he was going to publish his own essays in book form with the help of Tracy Twyman, a writer in the whole "Grail Bloodlines genre" who had her own zine and website, Dagobert’s Revenge. This had caused quite the firestorm on the forum. People were split between cautious optimism, and concern that Tracy Twyman and her Ordo Lapsit Exillis (OLE) outfit had orchestrated some sort of coup.

I checked out the Dagobert’s Revenge website (now archived on the wayback machine) and it seemed odd to me that most of the articles and blog posts that I was interested in were paywalled; something that not even major news outlets online were doing yet. Anyway, I was a broke computer tech support call center employee in 2002, and laid off for the first half of 2003, and I wasn’t about to shell out for a subscription to her conspiracy theory zine. Nicholas de Vere was totally incommunicado with his own webmaster. Rumors about what was going on with him were flying.

Then, some months later in September 2003, his articles disappeared from Dragoncourt Dot Org entirely. They eventually replaced by two new documents: an open letter to Queen Elizabeth II from someone named Richard Dufton, and someone else’s account of Dragon descent which was never expanded upon. (Seen here at the wayback machine.)

This led to speculation that Richard Dufton had assumed control in Nick’s absence - an assumption I later echoed to people when they emailed me asking what was going on with the website during the brief time I served as a forum mod in 2005, because he was the only one related to Nick's original group who had not seemingly defected to the enemy or was not dead (see below.) That's another thing that's weird about this whole time: most of the people associated with Nick or around Nick fucking died.

I want to state for the record that for a great deal of these goings-on, we on the dragoncourt dot org forum had no idea what was going on behind the scenes other than what we were told. So much of the time, the general vibe was like:

For many of the longtime members of the forum, the situation was like being startled out of a dream. The rug had been pulled out from under them in a very nasty way, and many of them were questioning if the whole thing hadn't been a scam from the beginning. Attempts were already being made to determine if there was any way Nick's claims from his essays could be corroborated with historical data, an initiative I jumped into. This was complicated by the fact that the original articles were gone from the site and the book hadn't yet been released. No one had thought to copy them or make a big PDF or something because I don't think anyone expected them to vanish so suddenly.

Eventually Nick's essays popped up on the wayback machine in 2004 - but Tracy Twyman's devoted Twymanistas tended to snitch to her when people tried linking to them on their own websites or on Livejournal or MySpace, and her publisher (Book Tree, the Dragon Key Press) would email the offending linker suggesting that litigation might follow if they didn't take down the links. This happened to me.

The unspoken question that seemed to be on everyone's mind was, "if this was a scam - and I'm not saying it was, but just hear me out here - is there anything in it worth salvaging?

Anyway, by September 2003 there was a message from Bill on the site:

“While we await the wheels which grind exceedingly fine . . .
From the cowardice that dare not face new truths, From the laziness that is contented with half truth, From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, Good Lord, deliver me.”

Bill himself posted to explain that Nick had contacted him and demanded the immediate removal of his essays and threatening litigation, after months of silence. Bill expressed the hurt and betrayal he felt after literally years of shelling out his own time and money to make Nick’s essays available to the public.

In 2014, Tracy Twyman would go on to tell her own side of the story in her memoirs, Clock Shavings:

I was even more impressed when, a few days after that last séance, I received a letter out of the blue from Nicholas de Vere, whom I had not talked to in many months. In it he made two amazing requests: (1) That I accept ownership of the copyright for his book From Transylvania to Tunbridge Wells, and seek to have it published right away, and (2) That I accept, at least temporarily, the title of "Grand Master" of the Dragon Court. He would retain ultimate control by elevating himself to a different title: "Sovereign Head." But I would be the official leader of record.

All of this made no sense because, of course, I was barely involved in the Dragon Court or any of Nick's projects at all. Also, why would he want to give away the copyright to his own book, especially after Laurence Gardner had already stolen it from him? Wasn't he afraid that I would screw him over too?

Furthermore, for what reason did he suddenly want me of all people to run his Dragon operation, when I still had yet to prove or even claim any connection to Dragon blood? Why did he not want to run his own order anymore? But Baphomet had predicted it.”

I need to clarify here that throughout her account of this entire time she describes being in contact with several entities who claimed to be Cain, Baphomet, Lucifer and Satan, via ouija board.

Actually, she claimed she had reached out to the spirit of filmmaker Jean Cocteau first, who then put her in touch with Cain. After several sessions, Cain put her in touch with Baphomet. The two spirits were connected somehow, to the extent that they were basically incarnations of the same person. There are some theories that the “Baphomet” that the Knights Templar was worshiping was actually the Biblical Cain (along with a host of other possible candidates) and it’s possible that the connection happened via syncretism. Baphomet seemed super mad about it during one seance.

Anyway, Baphomet had informed her that there was a curse on her, which would not be removed until she got Nick’s book published and sold at least 1000 copies:

I called up De Vere to ask him what he meant by all of this. He said that, for reasons he couldn't explain, he no longer wanted the burden of being the Dragon Court Grand Master. He asked me to take it "just for symbolic purposes," and said that if I chose to do absolutely nothing with the Court, that would be fine. It would remain in an "occulted" position until we decided to resurrect it. I thought there was something fishy about this, like he was trying to make me the "HEAD" of the court, and since it supposedly required no sacrifice on my part, I agreed to take the title.

I felt the same way about the book. Again, was he setting me up to take the fall for something? But he said that his friend was editing it now (something that I had told him would need to be done before his crazy manuscript was ready for public consumption). So all I needed to do was find a publisher. Considering that my crushing financial problems were supposedly caused by a curse from Baphomet, all because I had so far failed to do this one thing, how could I possibly refuse?

Back in the early 2000s, Tracy Twyman had been a part of Boyd Rice’s radio show and had participated with him in paranormal research before they parted on bad terms. His own statement regarding their flameout was posted to the dragoncourt dot org forum by one of his supporters.

The ouija board sessions with Baphomet became the primary moving force behind the Ordo Lapsit Exillis after that. That was how they got all their marching orders. Tracy refers to Baphomet as the true “Outer Head” of the order. (It’s all in her book if you want to read about it.)

But according to Tracy Twyman, that’s what Cain/Baphomet told her over the ouija board, a literal party game that was created by Parker Brothers.

Ok, ok, fuck it. As a Chaote, I know pretty much any object can become an occult implement if you want it to be badly enough. People have done so much weird shit to try and tell the future or talk to spirits. Edward Kelly used a rock to talk to Angels. You’re reading this right now because scientists tricked a rock into thinking. But isn't it weird how Tracy basically became the very image of the ouija board-using "Heavy Metal Satanist" that entered our cultural mindset as a result of the Satanic Panic? I mean: Evangelicals, you realize how this is your fault, right?

I also wonder how much of what eventually happned was also Tracy Twyman succumbing to the same "subliminal social programming" about "good Christian kids who turn to Satan and start playing around with Magic" that got my and my group in 1994.

Except: was that actually Cain/Baphomet and Satan? Was there ever an attempt to "vet" who she was actually talking to? Was it just some mischief-makers in the spirit world who were jerking her chain? ("Bro, you told her what? That's hilarious!")

I think it's possible that the beings she was conversing with were actually in her own subconscious mind, as aspects of her own personality or Ego. Because of course they told her that she was special and powerful and chosen by Satan and the real head of the Dragon Court and a member of the Invisible College. That part of her Ego probably believed she was entitled to all of these things. I'm not just trying to drag Tracy here; this can be a serious pitfall when you get into the occult. Some Magickal systems train practictioners how to recognize when this is happening and resist this impulse ("banish with laughter.")

Anyway: eventually they asked Baphomet how to conduct their Magickal ritual practice, and he (Baphomet seemed to identify as male but is physically hermaphroditic or intersex) told them to "call the Points" (Quarters or Watchtowers) and referred them to the Book of Leviathan, a part of Anton Le Vay's Satantic Bible. All of this is in Clock Shavings.

Tracy had found Nick the same way everyone else did, via Bill’s website. She claims she was commanded by Cain/Baphomet to get his book published and to sell at least 1000 copies, or she was cursed. And that’s why she did what she did. Or at least, that’s what she claims in her book.

(On a side note: after reading Clock Shavings, I attempted to see if I could finagle a vision of the past out of the Universe to try and get confirmation of any of Tracy's account of the Biblical Cain living in a "giant prism in the center of the Earth." Instead what I saw was a vision of two men whom I understood to be ancient Canaanites, who were about to enter a forbidding desert wasteland. One turned to the other and said, "Pazuzu haunts this desert. We stand a better chance of making it if we split up. He can only go after one of us at a time." then the dream ended.)

After the flameout with Boyd Rice, Tracy and her associates in the OLE were discussing how to handle the situation, when Cain/Baphomet put them in touch with "Satan" himself (again, via ouija board) and that she and the other members of her Ordo Lapsit Exillis group were ordered by Satan to curse Bill Barckley and Richard Dufton.

Or, to put it another way: the Devil made her do it.

The thing is: 18th century Occultist Eliphas Levi, who popularized the image of Baphomet as as the Mendes Goat, saw Baphomet as a symbol for the Alchemical Union Of Opposites. To him, Baphomet was a benign figure, not a Satanic entity.

Aleister Crowley has this to say about Baphomet: (From Magick Book 4)

"The Devil does not exist. It is a false name invented by the Black Brothers to imply a Unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God… ‘The Devil’ is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes… This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade ‘Know Thyself!’ and taught Initiation. He is ‘The Devil’ of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection… He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty.”

Sounds like Enki again, doesn't it? But then he goes on to say elsewhere:

"I had taken the name Baphomet as my motto in the O.T.O. For six years and more I had tried to discover the proper way to spell this name. I knew that it must have eight letters, and also that the numerical and literal correspondences must be such as to express the meaning of the name in such a way as to confirm what scholarship had found out about it, and also to clear up those problems which archaeologists had so far failed to solve ... One theory of the name is that it represents the words βαφὴ μήτεος, the baptism of wisdom; another, that it is a corruption of a title meaning "Father Mithras". Needless to say, the suffix R supported the latter theory. I added up the word as spelt by the Wizard. It totalled 729. This number had never appeared in my Cabbalistic working and therefore meant nothing to me. It however justified itself as being the cube of nine. The word κηφας, the mystic title given by Christ to Peter as the cornerstone of the Church, has this same value. So far, the Wizard had shown great qualities! He had cleared up the etymological problem and shown why the Templars should have given the name Baphomet to their so-called idol. Baphomet was Father Mithras, the cubical stone which was the corner of the Temple."

(You know, it makes sense that the Knights Templar, a martial order, might pick up Mithras worship in the Holy Land. Nicholas de Vere himself referred to Baphomet as "Father Mithras" in The Origin Of The Dragon Lord Of The Rings. One wonders if this is due to some kind of insider info, or if he is just taking a cue from Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant.)

Baphomet is of particular importance to Chaos Magicians; at least to those who follow Peter J. Carroll's teachings. From his books Liber Null and Psychonaut (which are often sold in one volume, and are considered to be two of the foundational works on Chaos Magick:)

"There is a part of Chaos which is of more direct relevance to the magician. This is the spirit of the life energy of our planet. All living beings have some extra quality in them which separates them from inorganic matter. The ancient shamans mainly sought to represent this force by the Horned God. In more modern times this force has reasserted itself in our awareness under the symbol of Baphomet.

Baphomet is the psychic field generated by the totality of living beings on this planet. Since the Shamanic aeon, it has been variously represented as Pan, Pangenitor, Pamphage, AllBegettor, All-Destroyer, as Shiva-Kali — creative phallus and abominable mother and destroyer — as Abraxas — polymorphic god who is both good and evil — as the animal headed Devil of sex and death, as the evil Archon set over this world, as Ishtar or Astaroth — goddess of love and war — as the Anima Mundi or World soul, or simply as "Goddess." Other representations include the Eagle, or Baron Samedi, or Thanateros, or Cernunnos — the horned god of the Celts.

The appellation "Baphomet" is obscure, but probably arises from the Greek Baph-metis, union with wisdom. Gods with Baphometic names and images reoccur throughout Gnostic teachings. No image can fully represent the totality of what this force is, but it is conventionally shown as an hermaphrodite god-goddess in the form of a horned human that includes various mammalian and reptilian characteristics."

And I can't proceed without invoking the image of Baphomet the Baptizer, from Clive Barker's film Nightbreed:

Finally, and perhaps of the most importance in context to this essay, Nicholas de Vere himself says in The Origin Of The Dragon Lord Of The Rings:

"In Draconian Tradition (see Kenneth Grant) Baphomet is translated as Bapho Mitra or Father Mithras. Baphomet is also rendered as Head or source of wisdom. If Baphomet is rendered Father (or Source) Mithras and Mithras is identified as Samael the Dragon, then one has the Source or Head Dragon, the origin of Pendragon.

Baphomet, the "Deity" of the Templars was described as being both the Head of Wisdom, which has Celtic and Galatian origins; and the Sabbatical Goat. As the Sabbatical Goat, the Templar glyph also used by the Cathars, the medieval witches and later generally by satanists and left hand path occultists, was more complex than the simple pentagram."

Anyhow: in November 2003, the two new, unrelated articles which had appeared on dragoncourt dot org back in September (the open letter by Richard Dufton and the essay from another third party) were replaced by a Dragon Court Notice: "WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO LIBERATE THE DRAGON.”

In December 2003, this changed to “THE DRAGON HAS BEEN LIBERATED!”

Then the site was the target of a massive forum raid, inflicted by someone who apparently didn’t take too kindly to the idea of liberation.

PART 3: The Battle For Dragoncourt Dot Org.

I have written and raged so much on this subject in the past, so I’ll just repost the words of the late Gregory Ellison, who took over as webmaster in 2004 after Bill was no longer able to do so (in the flesh. He will always be webmaster in my heart.)

"Since this website began its life primarily as a vehicle for the (free) presentation of the works of Nicholas de Vere, I suppose I should state our "official" position with regard to Mr. de Vere and his works at this time ... especially since the commercial publication of de Vere's book has re-stimulated some controversy about him and this issue.

When Dragoncourt.org was founded, Mr. de Vere had no publisher, nor any resources to make his book and ideas available to the public. Our original webmaster, Bill Barckley, kindly offered to create this site for the purpose of freely sharing these writings with anyone interested, as was Mr. de Vere's stated intention.

Accordingly, Bill, entirely at his own considerable expense in both money and work, created this domain and prepared Mr. de Vere's works for web presentation. This was a labor of love, with no commercial motivation and no compensation asked or expected, both as a personal favor to Nick and because he believed that the history of the dragon court and ideas of dragon consciousness were interesting and valuable ideas that deserved greater awareness.

The only condition Bill imposed on this work was that the works would remain free to the public rather than being sold as a commercial venture. This is not because Bill believed there is anything "wrong" with earning a fair profit on books that an author has worked hard to produce, but simply a recognition of the joint aim and agreement at the outset ... it would hardly have been fair for Bill to donate hundreds of dollars (by now thousands) of his own money, along with many hundreds of hours of his own work in paginating and producing Nick's books to be easily readable and navigable on the site, if Mr. de Vere intended to use that goodwill donation as a springboard for a commercial venture rather than the public sharing that he represented to Bill when Bill volunteered his assistance.

However, all things change, and in time Mr. de Vere found a publisher as well as other individuals (i.e., Tracy Twyman) interested in helping him promote it commercially. But since he had already agreed to make his works permanently available on this site at no charge, he thought he had a problem, believing that the FREE availability of the works here would hurt the commercial sale of his published book. (Actually, I believe that was an error in judgment ... the new book is updated and revised, and the presence of a free earlier version on the web would probably NOT have hurt its sales ... if anything it would likely have stimulated sales of the published book, as his ideas would have reached and interested more folks, many of whom would wish to own the most recent versions. However, that kind of marketing wisdom is rare, and Mr. de Vere did not take that position.)

The breaking point came when Mr. de Vere, rather than cordially speaking with Bill (who had, after all, been a great benefactor to him) about the situation, instead made other arrangements to be represented on other websites and then served Bill with legal notices DEMANDING that his works be removed from this site. Not a very friendly repayment for a great favor!

Now as it happens, under the Digital Millennium Copyright act, once permission for royalty-free web publication of a work has been given, it cannot legally be revoked. So Bill would have been perfectly within his rights to keep Mr. de Vere's books available here according to the original agreement. However, rather than go through an ugly battle about it, when the whole point to begin with had been free goodwill sharing, Bill removed Nick's works ... and that is why they are no longer on this site."

Had that been the end of the story it wouldn't be so unusual ... disagreements happen, and people change their minds, that's just life. But it wasn't the end of the story. Shortly thereafter, it became known that Bill was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and someone in Mr. de Vere's new "camp" -- I don't know for sure if it was Nick's own idea or one of his followers - apparently decided that in his weakened condition Bill would be a helpless target for aggressive action. Through Tracy Twyman, Mr. de Vere instigated legal action to seize this website and take its ownership away from Bill, on the harebrained legal theory that since it was originally intended to highlight Mr. de Vere's works and his version of the Dragon Court, it was therefore legally his property (even though it had been ENTIRELY paid for and developed by Bill). Needless to say, this claim had no legal merit and failed utterly.

Not to be undone by mere legalities, however, Mr. de Vere's supporters (and honestly I do not know whether with or without his blessings) undertook an aggressive attack on this website in an attempt to shut it down. This consisted of a concerted campaign to register under dozens of new fake usernames and post literally HUNDREDS of "garbage" messages to drown out any meaningful discussion. Most of these messages were simply irrelevant text, long copy-and-paste passages from other threads and third-party sources with no relevant purpose or content, and many of them were bitingly critical of this site while strongly supportive of Mr. de Vere and Ms. Twyman; but a large number of them were genuinely vile insults directed toward Bill personally ... calling him "Cancer-bag Barckley," for example, and referring to his "miserable sputum-filled existence."

That's when we were forced to make moderator approval of registration a requirement for posting on the site, thereby making it harder to use and less accessible to the general public ... but it was the only way to prevent it from being totally destroyed by aggressive "pro-de Vere" attackers."

Greg served as webmaster from early 2004-2005, when he too departed the physical realm. During this time the website underwent a site redesign that a lot of people grumbled about at the time, but frankly we were lucky to still have the site. Then Webmaster Maria took over until she ran out of funds and time to maintain the site.

From there the Dragon Court forum refugees scattered; either to Tracy Twyman and Martin Lunn’s Dragon Society site (until Martin Lunn passed) and a site set up at dragoncourt dot net by Crystalsinger aka Taur Alpheus, which is still online but has not been active since the early 2010s. The dragoncourt dot org domain has changed hands several times since then. No one affiliated with the old site and forum has been able to pick it up as of when this is being written.

Also: It seems kind of perilous to be a ringleader in the whole Dragon Court web subculture, doesn’t it? Almost like it’s cursed. Funny thing, that. Except it’s not funny, not at all.

Whether or not the curse played a role in Bill’s death, I have no idea. I'm sure the Twymanistas would mock me for this dumb Hippie sentiment, but if I cursed someone for Satan over a website domain and then they died of cancer, I would be more than a little freaked out.

As for Nicholas de Vere: back when all of this happened, I wouldn’t have followed him as the “true Prince” of anything, even if he had risen Aphrodite-like out of the Mediterranean Sea driving a 1984 Maserati Bora, crowned, immaculately backlit, and brandishing Anduril, Flame Of The West. At that point, I wouldn’t have followed him out of a building if it was on fire. Grail King or no Grail King.

So when Nick and Charles Johnson were going at it over Facebook a decade later and he told me to pick a side, I did what any self respecting Chaote would do. I hit my roommate’s bong, got too stoned to function, suggested that the whole conflict was part of a vicious cycle he had trapped himself in, and asked him if acknowledging him as Prince was a prerequisite to joining his side. He never contacted me again.

Actually, what he'd wanted me to do really was just to Make Charles Stop. But I was so fucking exhausted by it all - and in the back of my mind, I was still angry about what had happened to Bill, and none of the answers I had been given about that situation sounded like anything but excuses or attempts to deflect blame.

To make things worse, some of the turns of phrase that Nick employed in his flamewar with Charles seemed reminicent of text that had been in the "junk posts" during the dragoncourt dot org forum raid in 2004. This could have just been because Twymanistas were copypasting stuff he had written in emails or in private posts on other forums over and over as the "junk posts." But once and for all, I wanted someone to come out and admit that they were responsible for what had happened. I tried to tell myself that my motives were above board - but the truth is at that point I had a vendetta about what had happened to Bill and the old site and I proceeded from that vendetta (well, vendetta and weed, let's not forget the weed) which is why I responded to Nick the way that I did.

So it's ironic that it was Tracy who finally owned up to it and admitted to all of the bullshit that went on.

But once again, this was a war being fought as if it were a life or death situation over an online platform. I can understand ownership and control of a web domain, but all of this over a Facebook group? No one even owns that but Mark Zuckerberg, and he’s the last person we want involved with any of this.

Seriously, this is an open plea for anyone involved with Drakenberg or Dragon Court or the works of Nicholas de Vere in any way, shape or form to get off of Failbook right now. I’m not telling you to delete the profiles you use to keep in touch with your friends and family and your chums from high school. But the bullshit hit critical mass once Facebook became a factor, and anything you post about Nicholas de Vere or Drakenberg or the Dragon Court is legally Zuck’s property. Just something to think about. Get it off of the corporate owned platforms and let’s go back to forums and platforms that are actually owned and controlled by the people involved with it.

On that note, Nick could have just rolled from that situation in 2012 and started over: this time on a site all his own without having to worry about a webmaster or a Twyman or a Johnson or a Dufton. In 2012 he could have gotten a domain and installed Wordpress over Cpanel (or asked someone to do it for him - it would have taken like five minutes, and it was what Tracy Twyman herself had done with her own site when Dagobert’s Revenge fizzled out) and he wouldn't have had to deal with learning to code or anything beyond the basics of logging in and posting.

But that's not what happened. Instead, Nick died suddenly in his home in 2013. He'd been recently hospitalized for heart trouble, but some believe he was murdered; or they wonder if Tracy and the OLE's curse is still flying around like a boomerang that just keeps on hitting people.

Tracy Twyman was found dead in 2019, apparently from suicide. Her longtime fans claim she was murdered to prevent her from single-handedly exposing the Satanic adrenochrome-drinking child-sex-trafficking conspiracy.

Suicide is terrible. And no one deserves to have their deaths politicized by a bunch of cynical, bad-faith opportunists trying to push an agenda, nor should it become part of the collective fever dream that the people who have fallen victim to the Qanon memetic virus are currently trapped in. Tracy’s suicide, if that’s what it was, followed that of her first husband Brian Albert. Statistically, people who have lost a loved one to suicide are at a higher risk of taking their own lives as well. And depression is a hell of a thing to have to live with. I know.

Whatever she did or was party to in life, Tracy Twyman is survived by friends and family who love her and were no doubt devastated by her passing. But Bill Barckley was attacked, mocked, and literally cursed while he was suffering from a terminal cancer, all because he wouldn’t hand over ownership of a domain and website - and then he died from that cancer knowing his attackers were laughing at him as he suffered.

What am I supposed to do with this? How else am I supposed to feel about it? Most of the major players in this drama are dead. But the rage over it still hits me in the gut at odd times when I’m not expecting it, years later.

As for Tracy Twyman: I know I wouldn’t want some rando on the internet to still be holding a grudge against me for something I’d done twenty years ago. But she wrote the book admitting what she did. Maybe she was trying to come clean, I don’t know.

I have talked to other people who knew Nicholas de Vere personally, who say that Tracy Twyman’s assertion in Clock Shavings that he wanted to be a human sacrifice so that Cain/Baphomet could incarnate physically into this world as the Antichrist - to the point of seeking someone else to do it when she backed out ("Fine, I’ll find someone else to sacrifice me to Baphomet!”) sounds crazy. I’ve spoken with people who talked to him in the weeks before his death in 2013, and they said that he was rattled by his recent hospitalization from heart disease, and there was no way he was involved with anything like that.

I was never one of the ones sending her harassing emails, though I ranted a lot about the shenanigans on the dragoncourt dot org forum and on my own personal website. I wasn’t interested in directly contacting her at all. I did get what amounts to a spurious Internet C & D from the Book Tree publishing company after I linked to Nick's old articles on the Wayback Machine on my old website back in 2004. This was the closest that I ever came to having an interaction with Tracy Twyman.

It did kind of hack me off though when she claimed that those of us who were hardcore dragoncourt dot org loyalists had set up a "phony imitation Dragon Court." Like, we were Nick's original deal. He split from us.

Part 4: The Interstice Of Drakenberg?

When Nicholas de Vere's book based on his online essays called The Dragon Legacy was finally released in early 2004, I bought a used copy from someone on Amazon Marketplace who claimed it “wasn’t what they thought it would be.” I offered to take it off their hands, and found that most of what I felt were the really important parts, which were mostly in The Origin Of The Dragon Lords Of The Rings, had been cut out entirely.

Also there's a misprint on the front page. ("Deresthai" instead of "Derkesthai.")


*sighs* I'm fine, really.

Also in 2004, Tracy Twyman published an interview with Nicholas de Vere on the website that she and her husband Brian Albert created to promote The Dragon Legacy, (thedragonsociety dot com) called My Kingdom Is Not Of This World. In this interview, he admits to using channeled information. As in, there are things in his narrative that he hadn’t read anywhere, that nobody in his family told to him: at least, not among the living. He was relying on genetic memory like the Bene Gesserit or the character Leto II Atreidies in the Dune series of books by Frank Herbert.

Author Alexander Rivera expands on this in the book he wrote with Tracy Twyman, Baphomet: the Temple Mystery Unveiled:

"While Twyman thought that De Vere’s work on historical and mythological matters had value, she found his claims about himself and his organization to be grandiose and unverifiable. She is also fairly positive that some of the information in his books came from channeling. The family "archives" that Laurence Gardner said he got his information from were, in fact, like the “Akashic records” of New Age western pop Buddhism: they existed on the astral plane, accessible only through the mind of Nicholas de Vere."

Had we really just endured an online war, threats of litigation, and the cruel harassment of a terminally ill man over information that couldn’t be independently or externally verified by any other external source? This seemed a mite sketchy, especially in light of his claims that membership in the Dragon Court relied on genetic testing for "Dragon genes" to confirm blood relationship to “one of the Dragon families” and that science would bear out his claims, unlike the other various “New Age” sects which he derided as scams selling “cheap crystal and snake oil.”

There have been previous versions of this website where I lamented past attempts to find any external verification for Nick's claims outside of people who had worked with him or people who were referencing him directly, or crazy conspiracy theory sites fearmongering about 'THE BLOODLINE OF THE SERPENT,' etc.

If there is a "DRAGON BLOODLINE ILLUMINATI," it's mostly made up of people who punch clocks at 9-5 day jobs, have dumb arguments on the internet, and are still playing Skyrim over a decade later.

(I'm saying it's me. I'm the Illuminati.)

(But seriously: as someone who has been involved with this thing on and off for the past 20 years, I have seen examples of people who "joined the Dragon Court" thinking that it was basically the Illuminati, only to react in shock to find that most of us have day jobs and are struggling to just get by.)

Alexander Rivera continues:

"After knowing De Vere well and seeing the evidence, she did become convinced, as she still is, that De Vere was the actual author of two of Gardner’s books, and the actual progenitor of the "Dragon Court" that Gardner based his own organization on. She does not believe that it is centuries old. She says it was an informal group of De Vere’s friends who took their inspiration from him and who took on various “royal titles” that he handed out to them, supposedly based on their genealogies.”

It seems weird that Tracy Twyman was willing to proclaim someone who was the head of an “informal group of friends” as the Grail King/Rex Mundi/Antichrist combo platter, and to try and manifest his kingdom on Earth - not just as a UN-recognized micronation but literally the spiritual Kingdom of Drakenberg On Earth.

Fans of the manga and anime Berserk by the late, great, much-missed Kentaro Miura might compare this concept with the Eclipse, leading to the merging of the astral and physical realms into the Interstice Of Fantasia. Basically, the Interstice of Drakenberg.

And yes this was exactly what Tracy Twyman claims would have gone down if she and the OLE had gone forward with the sacrifice as described in Clock Shavings, which is why she panicked, renounced Baphomet and disbanded the OLE, and went on a rehabilitation campaign (and not the possibility that Nick would just be lying there dead. You know, from being sacrificed.)

(TFW you just realized you almost accidentally an entire dude.)

After their falling out, Laurence Gardner maintained that his own version of the Dragon Court was the legitimate Court. The head of this Court was HRH Michael Stewart of Albany, who claimed to be the true hereditary prince of Scotland. Nicholas de Vere lambasted it as being “no more legitimate than a Northern working mens’ drinking club” and mocked them for its ties to Hungarian white supremacists.

Things got worse for Laurence Gardner when Michel Lafosse was definitively exposed as a fraud in 2006. Then Laurence Gardner died in 2010.

The flame wars and online and offline posturing didn’t end there. Alternate “Courts” with people claiming to be the current head/Witch King/Grand Master are still popping up decades later.

The novel Focault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco describes a situation in which three academics invent a fake secret society and conspiracy theory as a joke, only to run into all sorts of trouble when people looking to join the cult and people trying to investigate it start coming out of the woodwork.

Imagine, just as a theoretical exercise: you create a secret society. Maybe because you actually want to get together with like minded people and change the world (or even just hang out.) Or maybe you had the intention of making money by selling access to it, or maybe all of your friends have their own Magickal and Esoteric Orders, and you want one of your very own.

You find a sympathetic webmaster willing to shell out their own time and money, or an edgelord Satanist conspiracy theory author/pseudohistorian with their own occult irons in the fire, who was literally commanded via ouija board to get your material out there before the public.

But then all sorts of wingnuts you never expected emerge, demanding that you restore titles their family used to have, or that you recognize titles they have already assumed, and that they, not you, should be the “Sovereign Head” or “Grand Master,” or claiming to be your Twin Flame, or trying to win over your people to their faction, or calling you a reptilian and accusing of brainwashing them like in The Manchurian Candidate, or incorporating your message into their white supremacist propaganda due to the fact that a lot of the wording you used in your manifesto was kind of unfortunate, no matter how loudly you put down white supremacists.

Then you go on Facebook, and it gets ever so much worse. All of those problems and all of those wingnuts just multiply exponentially.

Yeah.

I kept looking for information confirming anything like the Dragon Court existed anyway. I made note of anything that synchronicity seemed to throw my way. I took note of the sources Nicholas de Vere did mention, and studied them. They were mostly references to other texts that most serious occultists would recommend reading anyway: Austin Osman Spare, Kenneth Frazier, the venerable but oft-disparaged Margaret Murray, Kenneth Grant, Jack Parsons, and Aleister Crowley. And as critical of Crowley as de Vere was in his writings, he seems to have been a fan of his practices. He describes corresponding with Kenneth Grant directly in The Origin Of The Dragon Lords Of The Rings.

Then:

PART 5: Pay Dirt?

Some memes are so good at replicating themselves and recurring in the Abyss/collective unconscious that they behave like virii. No matter how many times they’re suppressed or fizzle out, they just keep coming back, manifesting themselves as ideas over and over again.

For 20 years or so, I had been looking for proof that the “Dragon Court” as Nicholas de Vere and Laurence Gardner and others described had been a real thing that existed in one form or another since antiquity. Had de Vere simply coined a term for something which had existed, but not exactly as the “Dragon Court?”

After Nicholas de Vere died, Tracy Twyman eulogized him on the podcast Night Visions, but kind of ended up roasting him instead. One of the things she said was that he was "trying to be both Saint George and The Dragon at the same time."

This refers to his proccupation with Chivalric orders like The Order Of The Garter andThe Order Of The Dragon" the latter having been established by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1408. Nick tried to claim that these (but particularly the Order Of The Dragon) were connected with an “original” Dragon Court established by Pharaohs Amenemhat III and Sobekneferu of the 12th Dynasty in Egypt, whom he claims were descendant of the Anunnaki. As of right now, there is nothing but Nick’s claims connecting the two.

There was some debate over this on the Dragon Court forum: Nick claimed that Sigismund of Luxembourg fully intended it to be a re-establishment of an original Court dating from the Bronze Age, but their actual charter does not bear this out. Books with the original charter of the 1408 Court used to be harder to come by; as Dragoncourt Dot Org forum user MadeInPoland related in a dragoncourt dot org forum post:

"MadeInPoland", 2nd November, 2002
Message #1444

"ardri, you say that nick knew all along that zsig's dragon order's purpose was to destroy the dragon and that he gallantly sought to reverse this historical hiccup... but i had a long and surreal email exchange with nick (which i still have in my files) where he defends his erroneous claims using a "rare" book from the "royal archives" as a reference, not realizing that i not only actually owned a copy of this book myself and could therefore read the references in the original, but that this exercize caused me to realize in turn that nick actually DIDN'T have this book in his possession at all and was merely quoting from doctored notes, as his assertions contained the same altered quotes that were published in the original dragoncourt brochure. anyone who didn't have the research materials to hand, as i did, wouldn't have been able to see through nick's attempts to cover up, but nick was unlucky with me. had he owned up that he knew that he knew full well that he was doctoring history, but that he believed that his motives were admirable, i probably would have had a bit more respect for him, but that's not what he said."

I don’t know exactly what book they’re referring to, but "zsig’s" charter clearly states:

"in company with the prelates, barons, and magnates of our kingdom, whom we invite to participate with us in this party, by reason of the sign and effigy of our pure inclination and intention to crush the pernicious deeds of the same perfidious Enemy, and of the followers of the ancient Dragon, and (as one would expect) of the pagan knights, schismatics, and other nations of the Orthodox faith, and those envious of the Cross of Christ, and of our kingdoms, and of his holy and saving religion of faith, under the banner of the triumphant Cross of Christ…"

But who are the “followers of the “Ancient Dragon?” Who is the “Ancient Dragon? Well, there are several possibilities:

I. Tiamat or Satan (but it's Tiamat.)

Tiamat, the Sumerian Dragon goddess of the sea and the mother of the Anunnaki, and also the Leviathan of Hebrew and Caananite Myth, is a Dragon symbol existing since the beginning of recorded history.

[ Justified And Ancient. ]

This is actually probably the right answer archetypically speaking, even if it's not exactly what was exactly intended at the time by the phrase "Ancient Dragon" in the Ordo Draconis Charter. Whoever wrote the charter probably meant The “Ancient Dragon,” as in "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan," according to John of Patmos, aka John The Revelator.

Occam’s Razor suggests that Sigismund and his Dragon Order probably meant Satan and The followers of Satan. The thing to remember here is, the idea of "Satan" was developed from the "Adversary" figure from Hebrew lore (who is not an evil "anti-God" but an Angel who works directly for God to test the resolve of mankind) and several other "enemy gods" of peoples who were living around the Hebrews, or gods that Hebrews used to worship, like Baal.

Mainstream Christianity (as it has been since The First Council Of Nicaea) runs on the idea of an apocalyptic struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness. It's a death cult based on the old Roman Imperial Cult (because THE EMPIRE NEVER ENDED) and they needed a Baddie for their paradigm to work. Or, if Nicholas de Vere is to be believed, Enlil (who Nick says was a real person at one point) literally demonized his brother Enki in a bid to seize power. Either way, a whole lot of early Mesopotamian and Levantine Godforms and symbols got misappropriated (or "mythapropriated," LOL) and recontextualized or combined - and the figure of "Satan" was the result.

The Lucifer of European Witchcraft is part of a dyad with his sister Ishtar or Diana or Belisama: some of his other names being Shamash or Apollo or Janus/Dianus or Bel. Which makes sense because then you have the Solar God/Lunar Goddess dichotomy. Aradia or Herodia(s) is their daughter.

The "Devil" of Witchcraft is the Horned God: Cernunnos or Herne or Pan. Or Baphomet. So even if the archeological record doesn't account for a centralized, organized "witch cult" like Margaret Murray suggested, there is evidence that there were at least Witches, and an ongoing tradition of Witchcraft which survived repeated attempts to stamp it out. Probably because it was not centralized. I think where Professor Margaret Murray thought she was seeing evidence of a massive, centralized "Witch Cult" all over Europe, it was really a bunch of smaller decentralized cults or "cells" that happened to share a lot of mythological symbolism and a lot of the same ideas.

(But it's totally Tiamat.)

II: Choronzon, aka "The Stooping Dragon," or "The Death Dragon," aka Telocvovim:

(I apologize but this entire section has been re-written as of 9/3/2022, because I realized that the previous material I'd put here didn't make sense in context to the rest of this essay.)

Eventually I got around to reading The Key Of The Abyss by Anthony Testa, a huge book with a lot of really great, important ideas; many of which which fortunately appear mostly in condensed form on here, on this website, and a whole lot of things clicked for me.

This gets into the events of the Angelic scrying sessions of Elizabethan-era Doctor John Dee, court Astrologer and Wizard to Queen Elizabeth I, and medium Edward Kelley, which resulted in the Enochian Keys and the lore surrounding the Watchtowers.

The above linked Wikipedia article states that the Watchtower concept originated with the Enochian scrying sessions, but the concept appears to predate those by several hundred years. Ancient peoples in particular associated them with the Four Royal Stars. Or as you might know them: Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Auriel or Uriel.

According to occult writer Donald Tyson,

These Watchtowers, represented in Enochian magic by alphabetical squares, are equivalent to the four mystical pillars of Egyptian mythology that hold up the sky and keep it from crashing into the earth. They bar the chaotic legions of Coronzon from sweeping across the face of the world. Coronzon, the angels reveal, is the true heavenly name for Satan.(5) He is also known by the Enochian title of Death-Dragon or Him-That-Is-Fallen (Telocvovim).(6)

But if Donald Tyson and Anthony Testa are correct, the Angels that gave John Dee and Edward Kelley the rituals to bypass or bring down the watchtowers had an ulterior motive. They wanted Dee and Kelley to bring the Watchtowers down and open the gates open to Choronzon and his demonic legions because they were trying to jumpstart the Apocalypse, and because they thought humanity deserved to suffer. And they can't open the gates on their side; it has to be done on our end.

It has always been generally assumed that the apocalypse is in the hands of the angels of wrath, to be visited upon the world at the pleasure of God, at a moment preordained from the beginning of creation. In the veiled teachings of the Enochian angels this is not true. The gates of the Watchtowers can only be unlocked from the inside. The angels of wrath cannot initiate the apocalypse even if they wish to do so.

and:

Perhaps Dee believed, as the Angels deceitfully encouraged him to believe, that the gates could be opened a crack for specific human purposes and then slammed shut before anything too horrible slipped through to our dimension of awareness. Dee would have assumed that the harrowing of the goddess Earth and her children by the demons of Coronzon would not occur until the preordained time of the apocalypse, an event initiated by God and presumably beyond Dee’s control.

What he failed to understand is that the date of the initiation of the apocalypse is (in the intention of the angels) the same date as the successful completion of the full ritual working of the 48 Keys. This date is not predetermined, but will be determined by the free will and actions of a single human being who in the Revelation of St. John is called the Antichrist.

Wait. Wasn't that what Tracy Twyman and the OLE were planning on doing with Nick? Sacrificing him to Baphomet and resurrecting him as Cain and also The Antichrist? Didn't Tracy (who must have encountered these concepts during her time with the Occult) "nope out" because she realized at almost the last minute that their ritual was in essence going to bring about the Apocalypse?

Occultist and rocket scientist Jack Parsons nominated himself as the Antichrist when he performed the Babalon Working in 1946. Aleister Crowley himself attempted to channel Choronzon in 1909. In both cases, what has seemingly resulted was not a demonic invasion and the literal Apocalypse, but new subcultural movements and paradigm shifts emerging from within the Occult subculture through the next generation of pracitioners, sometimes decades after the working was performed. From Kaos (edited by Joel Biroco):

It slowly became apparent to me that I had not failed to manifest the kaos-babalon 156 current in 1989 after all, but rather we had indeed initiated this dynamic change but it had taken over a decade for the magical seed to emerge from its dormancy and start to grow (the blink of an eye in cosmic terms).

Would this have resulted from Tracy Twyman and the OLE's intended sacrifice of Nicholas de Vere in the Grail King/Drakenberg Working? No one can say, as it never went down - though most likely it would have resulted in a dead body and the realization that they had straight-up just killed a dude, and the awkwardness of explaining this to the authorities and his loved ones that would have followed. None of the other rituals had required human sacrifice (though sometimes I do wonder about the circumstances of Jack Parson's death - if it wasn't an accident or murder as some have suggested, or if he intended himself to be the sacrifice way back in 1952.)

(I just want to add here, because it doesn't seem to go anywhere else in this essay, that Alan Moore worked the whole "Apocalypse Working" subplot into his comic book series Promethea and that it's awesome and people should read it.)

Then you have the narrative spelled out by Nathan of Gaza in his Drush HaTananim or Treatise On Dragons. Which seems somehow connected and is definitely food for thought. I'm not linking to the actual published English translation, which at this moment is $100 and has a 2-star review on Amazon. This video by Doctor Justin Sledge covers the important points.

As some have pointed out: "the gematria of the word "nahash" -- "serpent" is equal to gematria of the word "mashiah", "Messiah."

Anyway, the point that forum user MadeInPoland was trying to make in that post was that Nick's insistance that Sigismund of Luxemborg's order was some kind of continuation of an ancient Occult Dragon Court was incorrect. They weren't Occultists trying to hide in plain sight of the Church. They were out to destroy the Dragon.

Who were "the Followers of the Ancient Dragon" according to them? Mostly the Ottoman Turks and the Bogomils (another Gnostic sect related to the Cathars) according to the Holy Roman Empire Association, who claim descent from Sigismund of Luxrmbourg's Dragon Court, and claim "exclusive ownership and protection" of the same. Or as they put it:

"Motto and Mission of the Order of the Dragon
Orders Motto: + "O Quam Misericors est Deus, Pius et Justus" (O how merciful is God, faithful and just) +
Mission of the Order: + Defend the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ, Fight the Enemies of Christianity and Protect Christendom from the Anatolian Hordes and their Ungodly Faith +"

Anway, I meandered along like this for years, comparing mythologies and correspondence tables in occult books, stringing symbol sets together. Then then one day I picked up a book called Spiral Dance, by Starhawk. Friends had recommended it, but to me it sounded like the same kind of fluffy bunny new age stuff that I’d been warned to steer clear of - which was a huge mistake as it turns out. Because lo and behold:

WHAT.

WHAAAAAAT.


I owe Starhawk a huge thank you, and a huge apology.

(Also: LOL. "So much for the divine right of kings!")

Immediately I searched for more info about whatever this “megalithic dragon cult” was. There are references to articles written by an Andrew Rothovius in the publication East - West Magazine in May and August of 1977. The titles of the articles are - get ready for it - "The Adams Family and the Grail Tradition", and "The Dragon Tradition on the New World."

Unfortunately though, I haven’t been able to find either of these articles online. I'm thinking I'm going to need to hit up my local libraries and used bookstores for this. But! There are a few references that I have been able to find elsewhere:

From The Children of Cain, by Michael Howard:

"In 1630 Adams was living in the Glastonbury area of Somerset in England and he fled religious persecution to live in America. Although his family claimed they were High Anglicans, it has been alleged that they were members of a secret cult called the Dragon Society. This esoteric group was dedicated to reviving the ancient wisdom of the megalithic culture and worked with telluric or earth energies at ancient monuments in the West Counrty. Other notables allegedly associated with the Dragon Order were the royal astrologer and magician Doctor John Dee and the buccanner Sr. Walter Raleigh, who also ran his own secret society called the School Of Night that was suspected of practicing witchcraft. (Rothovius, May and August 1977.)"

And from The Black Knights, by Stephen J. Ash, we have:

(LOOOOOOOOOL, look who is still being dragged for his ties to white supremacists.)

From Secret Societies: Their Influence and Power from Antiquity to the Present Day, also by Michael Howard:

On that last example: with all due respect, I would argue that Henry Adams and the 17th century Dragon Court weren't as upset about King James being a "weak homosexual" as they were about the fact that he kicked off a new rash of witch persecutions that led to the torture and murder of innocent people. I.E. the "Dragon Persecution" they were fleeing.

This is the hardest, most concrete evidence that anything like an Occult "Dragon Order" ever existed.

(From: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=31253)

Ironically, Nick’s scathing anti “New Age Witchcraft” rhetoric and his attempts at misdirection had discouraged me from looking in the places I’d be most likely to find any evidence that the Dragon Court as he described it had ever existed, outside of accounts from ancient Egypt or the Holy Roman Empire (which has never ended.)

One more time: what, or who is “The Ancient Dragon?”

Also: in From Transylvania To Tunbridge Wells, Nicholas de Vere references something called "The Marshmallow papers." An associate from the old dragoncourt dot org site told me that this oblique reference was kind of a hidden reference to The Pickingill Papers, a series of letters written by W.E. Liddell under the pen name “Lugh” to the Cauldron Magazine and other occult publications in the 1970s. These letters covered the topic of the origins of Witchcraft in Europe, and Traditional Witchcraft's influence on Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner and their respective esoteric movements. E.W. Liddell has his share of detractors, but his writings are another clue pointing to the importance of megaliths and Telluric energy to the "Dragons." The megaliths were built at places where several channels of Telluric energy, or "dragon lines" crossed.

The Pickingill Papers book is out of print now and very hard to find, but a lot of the concepts within can be found in this essay here. W.E. Liddell proposes that Witchcraft originally came from an “Old Race” (whose closest modern relatives are the Basques of Spain and possibly also the Imazighen of North Africa.) Evidence seems to point to the Neolitic-era Farmers who migrated from Anatolia across the European continent some 6000-8000 years ago. This "Old Race" built the great megaliths, and later mixed with the Proto-Indo European or pre-Celtic invaders (Nicholas de Vere’s "Proto-Scythians") in order to ensure their culture and practices survived. Recent studies have shown that the Welsh and Irish peoples are close genetic relations of the Basques, so make of that what you will.

There's a lot of folklore about the Witchcraft traditions of the Basque people. Including the fact that they revered the goddess Mari, her Dragon-god husband Sugaar, and Akerbeltz, the black goat-lord of the forests.

[El Aquelarre, by Francisco Goya.]


["Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?"]

Further digging revealed that there are similar occult and folkloric symbol sets wherever the concentration of "Anatolian Neolitic Farmer" heritage is high. I don't think they're "The Fae" but there does seem to be a connection there nonetheless. "Fae-Touched," maybe. "Old Europe" may have vanished into the mists of time, but its legacy and memetic imprint can still be felt resonating throughout our myths and culture, even unto the present day. I have no idea if the Dragon Order that Henry Adams belonged to had any connection with the Witch practices of Old Europe and its descendants, but some recurring motifs are 1. Megaliths 2. Dragons. 3. use of the Telluric Current.

It’s weird: the zone is flooded with bullshit (which I sometimes suspect was the actual goal of the whole early 2000s "Da Vinci Code Craze") with only a few concrete references which are now out of print. I have one copy of the Pickingill Papers, and I haven’t been able to locate either of Andrew Rothovius’s East - West Magazine articles at all, in digital or hardcopy form.

The clue about megaliths and geomancy has sent me down the dowsing/Telluric "Dragon Current" rabbit hole. John Michael Greer has some good info about the Telluric Current in his Druidry Handbook and the Druid Magic Handbook - both of which I already own copies of, from my exploration into AODA-style Druidry.

In my opinion, it seems like a lot of people who are attracted to Nicholas de Vere's message are getting hung up on the aspect of "Sovereignty" without realizing what it actually means or entails or what is really involved. They want to be "sovereigns" by the standards of modern Western Civilization, i.e. completely unfettered and above any external rule of law - and completely outside of the context and obligations that such a role typically demanded in ancient times. In many cases people just wanted an excuse to try and opt out of late-stage capitalism, which is understandable. But even back in the early 2000s the message boards were swamped with prospective "Dragons" with pages and pages of geneaologies real and imagined to back up their claims, with egos to match.

This seemed to be an issue with Nicholas de Vere particularly. It seemed like the actual purpose and message of the Dragon and the Grail was getting lost in his obsession with proving his genealogical decent from literally all of the important kings and folkloric figures from antiquity (eventually filling an entire book he titled The Dragon Cede) and that accepting any part of his narrative hinged upon acknowledging his divine right to rule based on this geneology, even if he never excercised it beyond the borders of wherever Drakenberg ended up being established. And I wasn't ready to do that, especially after what happened with Bill and dragoncourt dot org.

I realize that claiming descent from royal bloodlines was probably an attempt to win support for his plan to establish Drakenberg as an actual micronation-state on Earth. But if that was all it was, why go so far as to try and claim descent from figures that most people today consider to be mythical - or who lived so far back in time that they might as well be? In light of the conflict over the website, it just came off as another demand to blindly submit to yet another egotistical authority figure, and to shut up and stop asking questions.

I don't think "the Dragons" are here to be kings, but to be The Kingdom, or the Grail Interstice if that makes sense. Each person being a vector to the Otherworld. Guys, we can already do the thing; and nobody needs to be sacrificed.

On a personal note: genetic testing and genealogical study have confirmed my connection to what Nicholas de Vere, Laurence Gardner, and others have referred to as the “Grail Bloodlines.” It doesn’t give me more of a license to practice Witchcraft than anyone else. It doesn’t make the Witches descended from “The Old Race” any more valid than any other Witches or Magickal practice anywhere else.

As per Occultist and writer Michael W. Ford, The real "Witch Blood" is the shared memory of humanity's Shamanic past. The "Forces" or "Godforms" exist as a part of the collective unconscious, and can be summoned or channeled by anyone with the will and the knowledge to do so.

Honestly, I think Nicholas de Vere's take on this whole paradigm isn't the end-all be-all, even if he wanted it to be and demanded everyone acknowledge it as such. I think he was tapping into the same wavelength as the Teen Otherkin Coven I was a part of, and put his own spin on it which was filtered through his own opinions and personal desires.

Writer and Magician Alan Moore once claimed that his own creation, John Constantine, approached him on two occasions. According to his account of their second meeting:

Years later, in another place, he steps out of the dark and speaks to me. He whispers: "I'll tell you the ultimate secret of magic. Any cunt could do it."

Witches have always existed, and they exist wherever someone still remembers and reveres the Goddess, the Dragon, and the Horned God.

I think the key to the identity of Nicholas de Vere's "Dragons" is in the ancient Greek term he used for them: "Derkesthai." Those with clear sight" or "to see clearly," or "the one with the (deadly) glance." It was apparently a common epithet to describe people with Occult powers or supernatural abilities and wisom in ancient times:

According to ancient local tradition, the word “dragon” did not only refer to the mythical beast but to any person with superhuman power.

And finally: it seems that Tracy Twyman really believed for a while that putting the “Dragon/Witch/Priest-Kings” back in their proper place would cause everything else to magically fall back into the proper balance as well - and though Nick claimed he did not want to be King of the World, his statements in his essays reveal that he’d at least thought about it. But the real question is, what would Drakenberg look like if it existed?

To paraphrase George R.R. Martin, what would the tax code look like? But seriously - how would it function? Who would be included, and who would be excluded? Would it be a place where civil rights and personal freedoms are valued, or a place where people are commanded to bend the knee to the people above them in the hierarchy? Would the people above them in the hierarchy not care about this as long as they got what they needed out of it?

Bill Barckley answered this question on the old dragoncourt dot org site:

"The Dragon Court stands in direct opposition to all hierarchical structures of power, including world government. For all of recorded history society has been structured as a hierarchical system with a few elites at the top possessing all power. The effect of this pyramidal system of power has been that the bulk of humanity have been forced into ignorance, superstiton and slavery. The ignorance and superstition worked in the elites favor and propped up the system. Life was brutish, cruel, and short for most of history. This system of power remains in force and for most life remains brutish, cruel, and short.

The idea of an Earthly Paradise in which men should live together in a state of brotherhood, without laws and without brute labor, has haunted the human imagination for thousands of years. WIth the advent of the machine and technology the hopeless idea of an Earthly Paradise had finally become a possibility. To the elites at the top of the pyramid of power, human equality, justice, individual freedom - the fabled Earthly Paradise - was no longer an ideal to be striven after but a danger to be avoided at all costs. Why? The answer is simple, the elites would lose their power over others."

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NEXT: Vero Nihil Verius? OR: "Nothing is true; everything is permitted?"..

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