RGMS End of Year Retrospective: 2020

Last Light in the Forest by Michael Handt

 The wilderness is gathering up all its children again, beckoning psyche become still as an iced over pond - a reflection before dawn. 

With hardened soil and leafless trees, sounds of the winterscape reverberate in these freshly bare lands. Ears to the ground, we might catch a glimpse of the stirring Spring, mycelium matrices underneath, or even thoughts in a new light. 

Before long the mild sun sets beyond frozen hills, making way for ethereal hosts. Looking out into the midwinter night one senses something - something metaphysical, subtly placed, layered beneath time...

...Here we are again, at the edge of the year, where death feeds into birth. A stillness permeates the landscape, seizing us - and if we are attentive, it invites us to turn inward.


RGMS not only commemorates its inaugural year, but also the vast and varied spirit of the season. From the yulefest toast with holy ale, to the unadorned aluminum Festivus pole - new threads of religious syncretism stir. To say the least, we recollect the beginnings of Rhineland Christmas firs, the spectral procession of Odin’s Wild Hunt, and the boreal spruce trees sprouting troops of Amanita Muscaria at their roots. 

Cyclic workings would tend to escape us, yet present themselves in plain sight. Cyclic workings, which overlap and coil concurrently. Such cycles as the lunar phases and this month’s December Cold Moon, but even so on greater time scales, with the recent sightings of the ‘Christmas Star’ on the winter solstice, marking an 800-year cycle in the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn...and yet, a human lifetime is allotted, experienced in default view, alas, grasping just a bit further. 

Among such a mindset, a practice, and a settling down for the passing of a momentous year, RGMS reflects on our work published and the work to come. We present a playlist featuring our selected works this year aimed to construct a new, cohesive experience. We invite you to listen with us, to start new conversations, and become a part of future endeavors. 

RGMS End of Year Retrospective: 2020 (spotify playlist)

Polaris, a guiding light, sits upon the sacred tree. Axis mundi, the world ash - center of the cosmos and the structure of the universe - turns again between the celestial poles. During this season such imagery surrounds us. We find it’s reference wherever we look. A reminder, in a way, that is seemingly mystifying and mundane altogether: we are of the same substratum that encompasses throughout, as far as light can reach. Our action in alignment with these ideals is a gesture of universal workings, and we can only hope that from these most sacred of months that we hold fast to these customs as a new year is borne, bathed in cyclic time. It is a cycle longing for a retrospective in the face of the immanent wheel. A cycle, which is nothing without reprise, yet desires to corkscrew towards some seeming linearity, first convolves in upon itself before springing forward into uncharted territories. As the RGMS coils, we hold our collective breath at such potential energy; here we are my friends, anticipating the daredevilish leap over the abyss, pilgrims on the vessel 2020 reaped, ready to sew new forms to prepare for any and everything. To 2021, and many years to come! 

RGMS Releases in 2020: 

RGMS Publications in 2020: 


Scylla / Charybdis [RGMS-007]

Released December 29, 2020

Musings: Here we are, venturing into uncharted waters, betwixt the whirlwind of Dionysus and Apollo, searching for an unknown shore, a new route homewards. Steering as Odysseus, out of reach from Scylla, the fallen nymph, lusus naturae of the sea. She is the looming threat of Dionysus, poised to swallow us whole into undifferentiated collectivization, while Charybdis, progeny of Poseidon and Gaea, the personified whirlpool, awaits just across the way. She, like Apollo, impends upon our psyche, coaxing us down the proverbial rabbit hole of the solipsism. Yet – despite such hazards, like Odysseus, we maneuver clear, holding fast to such temperance both in our hearts and actions. A liminality, which pervades all domains. Between this performance of the automaton and the human being, between cacophony and harmony, between the ring chaos and ring cosmos, between solemnity and ecstasy, between Scylla and Charybdis, we continue unwaveringly, towards some ineffable home.

Composed and Performed by Davis Connors and Sean Kiley
Produced by Davis Connors 

Performed by Sean KileyTimo Pehkonen. and Colin Malloy
Composed by Sean Kiley and Davis Connors
Produced by Sean Kiley


Morning Bells [RGMS-006]

Released December 21, 2020

Musings: This circular quest, from such mystic labyrinthine annals to deep within the canals of Mars. Awakening to some sort of journey, a Grail vaguely articulated passes briefly through the imagination. A vertical memory of those bells, which bind some ineffable tradition. That which breaks the silence of the dawn, marking transition from reflection into memory, wherefrom word and writing will soon be born. An Apollonian form, which seems to wander in the fields of Eleusis, beckons concentration without effort. The reward is kairosis; solemnity transfigured into ecstasy. Dionysus has been revealed by the infinite unfolding. From first light (Luce Prima), to a prolonged awakening from dreams (A Somno Somnia), which swirl before thine eyes foreboding the dark night of the soul (Nocte Animam), so that one may transform exaltedly (Transfiguratione), for no tree can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.

“No sleep yet cools my eyes; 
day is already beginning 
outside my chamber window. 
My troubled senses rummage still 
here and there among my doubts, 
creating nightly visions - 
Alarm and rack yourself 
no longer, my soul. 
Be blithe. Already, here and there, 
morning bells are awakening.”

Morning Bells Composed and Produced by Sean Kiley
Mastered by Davis Connors