Astral Pole

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A contortion done as an initiation rite of the Astral Leauge. Chapter 4 of Dave Langford's The Transatlantic Hearing Aid offers the following description:

Take a five-foot broompole. Take several drinks. Stand. Hold the pole horizontally before you, in both hands -- hands a couple of feet apart, palms up, fingers curled round pole. The hands may optionally slide along the pole, but the grip must not alter throughout the ceremony. Lower the still-horizontal pole and step first with one foot and then with the other over the section of pole between your hands. The pole is now behind you: maintaining the grip, bring it back over your head until you are again holding it horizontally before you (though with uncomfortably twisted wrists, as you will find). This was the easy part. Now raise your right leg -- 'left' and 'right' may be exchanged throughout the following if desired -- and manoeuvre the right foot around the right-hand side of your right arm and back over the pole towards you. You should now feel less than comfortable. It only remains to duck your head under the pole and -- still without releasing your deathlike grip on it -- continue the motion so that your torso follows your head, and your whole right leg follows your right foot, through the 'hoop' defined by arms and pole. In the penultimate position you find yourself standing shakily with the still-gripped pole passing between your legs. A backwards step with the left leg over the pole returns you to square one in a glow of triumph, fulfilment and Astral Mastery. Have another drink and spend four days in traction.

Demonstration by Alex Holden (IA)

See also Knurdling.

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Also involved: - Astral-pole - Knights of St. Fantony

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