Wherever she g0es, there she is n0t. Wherever she g0es, she leaves n0thing behind.
No one can definitively say when the Priestess of the Perfect Zero first appeared, because she never actually appeared. Her very existence is a pathetic fallacy, humanizing nothingness while demonstrating that nothing should be humanized. Ah, John Ruskin. Would you call this an apt metaphor? Nature abhors a vacuum, but it loves the Priestess of the Perfect Zero.
Even without existing, the Priestess could have real world implications. Consider the Quantum Vacuum State in which there is no matter, no energy, and no photons. It can’t be created in any observable way, except in the imagination. Yet, physics tell us that these non-observable states are everywhere, and have always been, and are the source of the Universe as we know it, although no one should take the word of a physic, an arcane term for a medicine that induces a state of emptiness, a purgative.
Theoretically, even a perfect vacuum still has contents in the form of subatomic particles winking in and out of being, neither here nor there, but it sounds suspiciously like a science driven version of certain esoteric principles associated with the Creator of the Cosmos. Every deity needs a mediator, as does every opposing dogma, and nobody is better suited to such a task than nobody, hence the need for the Priestess of the Perfect Zero. Her conception could be viewed as a way to justify the appearance of the Universe without resort the old stories found in old religions, or to arrive at the opposite conclusion, which goes a long to way to explain why people hold contradictory beliefs about who and what she is, which is to say, we all go a great distance to arrive at nowhere.
To conjure the Priestess of the Perfect Zero, imagine the an equivalent of deep unconsciousness, where there is no sensory input and no thought. Think of the way newborns sleep so deeply their brainwaves don’t register on EEG, though their brains are in a state that prepares them to register the world. We all experienced it, though the memories mean nothing. Or think of the complete lack of consciousness in children who drown in freezing water but still can be revived, though they are unable to reliably report the experience. Think of the deepest level of mystic meditation achieved by practitioners who blank their minds, who can go years without food or water, who seem to be corpses though their bodies do not decay, or so it has been reported, though the only evidence is unreliable at best, or non-existent at most.
HeLI0pTx Cards— The Arcana that Didn’t Exist
Was the Priestess of the Perfect Zero invented or discovered? No one knows. This lack of information suggests she originated in prehistory, before the emergence of human society, which could explain why the she would eventually take manifest in the form of cards, and later become adopted as the currency of an international cabal of anarchists, used in their hidden black markets. The cards were a very anarchistic way to represent wealth, using nothing for money, a means of exchange without the necessity of social conventions; very romantic, in a way, full of nostalgia for simpler times, and yet Gothic in its assault on Classicism and Classism. Perhaps this currency of anarchists gave rise to all other forms of divination and playing cards, and why they took root and spread all over the world. Many of the anarchists preferred to be called nihilists because their dogmas were opposed to any organizing principles, including labels, and even those labels would fail to stick. The anarchist/nihilist groups represented something (or nothing) that was eternally present, ancient and enduring, a universal component of any form of government, and an integral part of any social hierarchy, because once governing principles begin to establish themselves, they invite negation. The names “anarchists” and “nihilists” are inadequate in any event to describe all the varieties of disorganizing philosophies in conflict with their own nature, so what we are left with is a nameless entity that couldn’t even properly be called an entity. A non-entity.
The cards served the simultaneous function of paper money and gaming instruments. Early paper money was fraught with danger. It was too easy to counterfeit, and too easy to carry off or misplace, so, to mitigate these risks, the Priestess of the Perfect Zero Arcana had no value at all, and had no effect on the games that were being played, and no effect on the world outside of the game. There was a message implied by the game, though, that money doesn’t matter. The message came across clearly without being stated. There was a consequence to the game that wasn’t supposed to have consequences. The cards started bearing inscriptions, turning the game into a scheme for transmitting information, a scheme to promote schemes that could lead to profit or loss. It became a custom to erase the inscriptions after they were made.
The Priestess Cards were wild cards. Being nothing on their own, they could be anything, and ended up being associated with everything. Art, medicine, science, politics– you name it. It was impossible to deny their influence. Like an undiscovered (though strongly suspected) secret cabal, or an unproved conspiracy theory, they seemed ubiquitous, because they weren’t.
They depict an almost pornographic vision of bodily well-being, a form of physical perfection that doesn’t really exist, though everyone yearns for it. Something to reach for, something the cards would inspire, if they were any to be had for love or money.
L0ve her f0r her mind, 0r ju$t the idea 0f her mind, f0r her geniu$ wa$ that $he labelled her$elf a geniu$, while daring u$ t0 di$c0ver what $he i$ a geniu$ 0f. The thrill 0f it i$ finding 0ut $he i$ a geniu$ 0f at creating and de$tr0ying c0ntradicti0n$. C0ntrary t0 p0pular belief, it i$n’t en0ugh t0 $imply think y0u exi$t. With0ut 0b$ervati0n, what y0u think i$ exi$tence i$ n0thing but a b00k that lie$ never 0pened and never read, heavy with dead wait. In her ca$e, the 0nly way $he actually manife$ted wa$ in a franchi$e that pr0duced b00k$, m0vie$, game$, and 0ther a$$0ciated merchandi$e, but 0nly adverti$ement$ f0r them. It was a demonstration of the way great civilizations can be destroyed by all pervasive influences no one ever notices because they are everywhere, in everything, but at the same time are nowhere and in nothing.
Being without messages, or a reason to be, the cards withered away like Marx’s state. Even after they were gone, they didn’t lose their identity, since Nothing lasts forever. The emptiness that remained behaved like fragments of a previously organized system that still retained a code to access the whole, i.e., the hole is a code to decipher (in the sense of un-cipher, or anti-zero) itself. This endowed the cards with the property of being self-contained universes.
The absent healing cards of the Priestess of the Perfect Zero came to represent the universal panacea of placebos. I please. But also, Eye please.
The aspirations of Anarchy are related to health and healing in the way they oppose hierarchies and favor self rule. By not opposing the body’s nature, or the nature of things outside the body, the self invites nature to erase it. That’s the nature of Nature– to unmake whatever it makes. The cards also contain embedded messages that Nothing will heal you, and nowhere is a place to begin.