How The Pen Name Alkor Came to Be
For months now I’ve been thinking about how to write all those stories down that spring not from my imagination. True, non-essay, non-fiction stories are hard for me because they are more than fiction yet less than an analysis. I could tell the same story a hundred different ways depending on how I’d like to present that period of my life.
My story could be as humorous as a Jenő Rejtő novel or as uncomfortable as Patrick Modiano’s La Petite Bijoux. All scenes are different in hindsight, the contexts change. The lens with which the world is seen through is scratchy due to overuse and overthink.
Sparing the Reader texts the length of the Equator (months of introspection), I give you only the conclusion, which is, with my complete disillusionment, utter emptiness.
I couldn’t find a single right way to tell any story that happened to me.
I couldn’t find a unified narrative for every moment.
I couldn’t find the right disposition needed to do such a thing.
Some old diaries lay next to me on my table. I open them for inspiration but they only drift me further from foraging my thoughts into a box that properly stores them for further use.
So, I let everything disembark from my mind’s island, watching the boats’ masts dive under the horizon, their generated waves still caressing my brain’s sand, to be left alone with the clear memories.
I become the predator bird hunting them with razor sharp word-claws.
This first hunt is about Alkor, which replaced my too common surname after a series of events that took place starting from May 2017.
Though the exact date faded into the fog, I still remember that night. I am laying in the grass, watching the stars. I never knew much about them, except for locating where North is. This is what I’m doing now, too, searching for the seven stars, known as the Ursa Major, or Nagy-Göncöl (nɒɟ-gønt͡søl) in my tongue. It’s four stars forming a trapeze with three others added as a tail.
If I draw a line connecting the two right-hand stars of the trapeze upwards, then continue jogging on that line, I see a shining point of light. That’s North.
But, this time I see something else. My eyes wander on the tail, taking in the differing vibrations of flickering fire, until a pale, soft flame meets my gaze.
Near the middle star floats another, almost invisible companion, like a loyal squire to a knight, or a good wife to a great man, almost invisible yet infinitely important.
I say to myself, that’s Alkor.
After I woke up from this dream, I had to do a Google search. Does this star exist? I had known neither of the star nor its name. Turned out it does.
That middle star is called Mizar, and there is a binary star orbiting it which bears the name of Alkor.
I knew I had to dig deeper. My dreams often do tell me things, but I don’t remember a case where the dream source specifically knew the name of something I didn’t meet during my waking life.
Incidentally, (bear with me here) an English translation of a French translation of Jóska Soós’ autobiography appeared to me on the screen. He was a Hungarian shaman, or táltos (taːltoʃ) in my tongue, who also met Alkor through his dreams and his teacher. He was known for his paintings of “light beings” and the use of sound for healing.
At the same time, an old acquaintance, István Sky, sent me a message. This was someone who had been living in a forest for a decade, healing people with sound. He combined Hungarian and Indian music, as they both have Hunnic origins.
We haven’t kept in touch for around five years, so you can imagine my surprise when he invited me to his place to receive táltos initiations.
The date was inconvenient, but the most important things always come at inconvenient times.
So, I packed my stuff and headed to the mount on which his house stood.
Let me share some pictures of my experiences there.
We are sitting in complete darkness in a circle. This darkness is broken only by a candle light, dashing out in our directions, catching our thoughts and sounds along the way. A painting of the Nagyboldogasszony (nɒɟboldogɒssoɲ) watches over us. Our voices echo, like an amplifier that receives too much feedback and gets stuck in a loop, filling me with sound until the dark walls disappear and we travel freely as vibrations.
I’m sitting on the top of the mount, looking not down but into the rising Sun, its firing light burning a newfound purposefulness in my eyes. We’re practicing an Indian scale, singing all the seven sounds one by one, at first very slow, sa, re, ga, ma, pa, da, ni, until at last we’re back at sa, only this time an octave higher. But, this isn’t what our task is about. The meaning of this lies in the metaphysical. All sounds represent a chakra. I have to imagine that, when I sing sa, the word is vibrating in my root chakra. Similarly, if we take da, for example, that should be vibrating in my third eye.
We’re singing faster now, some of us can’t hit the right notes anymore, I can’t hit the right notes anymore, and the Sun turns from red to yellow, its last rosepetals being reflected from the lake Balaton onto my face and into my eyes, until they leave touching my face with such tenderness a perfect calm embraces me. I can’t look into him anymore.
I receive a drum made of a circular piece of wood, the circle divided into four parts by two sticks in a cross. Its membrane is the skin of a deer. I sit outside and start playing. I hit the middle of the membrane with my left thumb the moment my heart beats. This is the deepest sound the drum can sing, but the follow up is not far. My right hand rests on the side of the drum, ready to snap, which makes the highest sound it can sing.
Now, I’m alternating between a third sound, hitting the skin near its edge with the end of my fingers, and the highest sound until I’m at the end of a four-beat bar. After some time, the drum takes over and I’m not playing anymore, the movements become so automatic I don’t even feel my body doing anything, I’m just doing it.
I wake up. The night had already cast her dark blanket on the sky. Crickets are chirping, and I’m not where I originally sat down. I must have sang for hours because my voice went on vacation. There is an image in my head. In this image, I see the drum on a pasture, spinning like a car’s tire, with fire coming out at both sides of it, and it’s not even a drum, it’s a horse. It’s both. I see a tree in detail, completely in awe by the complexity. I stand up and go to sleep.
My head is clear for the first time since I don’t even remember when. I see the past behind me through a prism, its different layers perfectly discerned. The hows and whys of why I am where I am.
I could tell a dozen more. After that week, everything changed, it was a turning point. My eyes were opened to a life of such beauty that the colours became brighter, the smells stronger, the touch more sensitive. You know, being in nature wasn’t about spiritualism, esoterism or the like. It was about seeing the world for what it is. You see its rules, its intricate solutions, and its connection with us, humans. A kind of mindfulness missing from our cities, trains or social media. This is what it means to be táltos. To see the world for what it is, and to help people wake themselves to a life of unlimited potential.
All in all, though, this is still only something miniature in the vastness of my ever-broadening universe. And I want to show you all of it. The niceties, rock bottom, and everything in-between.
That is why I am Alkor. Who I were before that, however, is a different story altogether…