Friday, October 31, 2008


Dear Mrs. M.- K.,
As I work on my astral projection, I have found my astral meditative practices only work when I am naked. That wouldn't be a problem, but I live with roommates, one of whom is a man. I am not romantically involved with him, but I sleepwalk. Countless times, my naked physical and astral selves have been rudely reprimanded by him while I entered his bedroom unknowingly. I believe this can cause a shock to my system as my astral and physical selves suddenly conjoin in his presence as he throws a sweatshirt in my direction. Btw, any relation to the Newport Mumfords? -hijinks

Dear Miss Hijinks,

I block my ears against any mention of "the astral plane."

This realm of illusion is -- as you should know -- governed by the Moon, a sphere long known to pull on man's baser instincts. For centuries, that dreadful orb has encouraged numberless rings of ill-dressed people to become even further disrobed.

You are hardly the first mystically-inclined woman to find yourself mired in such entanglements. I myself suffered a similar imbroglio with one of "The Monkees" back in 1974 and had to sleep in a homemade Ames leaf room to hinder further encounters. College is difficult enough as a Classics major without British gentlemen threatening one's astral chastity.

Now, jeune fille, you must do as I did and correct thy wayward path. Dignified living situations are in short supply in this modern world, but a woman of integrity is willing to go the extra mile to find one. Living with an unattached man like a pair of rutting camels absolutely will not do.

You must build up your strength! I myself lived among the Mennonites for a time, attending graduate school by day and mastering my worldly impulses at night. When my mind would inevitably wander to thoughts of unchaperoned sack races under the lewdly winking stars, I found that an enema of fresh lime quickly turned my thoughts back to more godly matters. The bracing country air is also a great aid to intellectual focus; I was able to tear through the complete works of Blavatsky and Gurdjieff in record time.


P.S. ACHTUNG: In the grand tradition of the suffragettes, I believe in unvarnished intellectual honesty -- neatly hemmed by propriety.

Frankly said: abstinence education works as poorly on the astral plane as it does on the physical, so you must know that -- despite scatty Internet rumors to the contrary -- a quartz crystal against the cervix is hopeless protection against astral conception. Children born of such shameful unions are, without exception, squeamish and of limited brain. A few in Romania are even known to sport cloven hooves, along with the characteristic insolent glare. My former husband spent several summers attempting to educate them, but they are beyond the reach of civilized discourse.

P.P.S. The Newport Mumfords and I don't speak. It is best left at that.

"The Modest Occultist" is an occasional column by the esteemed Mrs. Roberta Mumford-Kenning. Questions for Mrs. Mumford-Kenning may be left in the comments.

1 comment:

jj said...

hey missy dumbford, I mean Mumford, fresh lime is only meant to go down the hatch with a Corona, not up the boom with an enema! and hey, it's 2008, time for tantric titillation, not astral abstinence.