'in gi rum imus noc te et con sumi snip snip snip.'
- A Buzzing in the Brain
Moth is one of the Principles of the invisible arts, named after the Moth himself. It is the wild aspect of the Wood, tied to chaos, yearning, and passion.
'A power of the Wood enjoys the separation of the lock from the scalp. For attention, burn it. For opportunity, bury it.'
- A Barber's Warning
Scissors, shaving, and haircutting are common symbols and themes of Moth, as representations of sacrificially transforming oneself; the removal of clothes and the shedding of skin serve a similar purpose. The Principle is heavily focused on the metamorphosis of the self through surrender and loss, removing what is unnecessary until only the most basic and primeval remains. The aspect is also heavily tied to the natural world and wild-life, particularly insects such as moths and bees.
As a Principle of insanity and instinct, the lessons and doctrines of Moth often seem confusing or erratic at first glance. Generally these messages are meant to express a primal truth in the world, though they may also be applied to deceive, misdirect, or drive someone to madness.
Though Moth is the Principle of the Wood, it also is one of the the aspects closest to Worms, who dwell in the shadowy realm of Nowhere below.
'The moonlight parts the trees to blacken what the well holds, to limn the tree-roots, to touch Medusa's twining limbs where she waits by the well. She lifts her dripping arms, which hold a pale Key, twisting like a fanged worm. I kneel, a red deer, and offer my neck. A gout of blood spills into the well; and then Medusa begins to carve my new shape.'
- The Door in the Wood
In the Dancer DLC of Cultist Simulator, the player can choose to pursue the dances of the Old Form, the Moth variant of the Change Ascension. This involves venturing out in various animal shapes to learn seven lessons of Change from the Hours, culminating in a final performance and sacrifice with the Forest Key held by Medusa to pass through the Door in the Wood.
It is unclear however what exactly is the end result of this ascension. Rather than become a standard Long, the player transforms into a shape reminiscent of the Carapace Cross and ends up dwelling in the darkness of the Wood. Whether they have truly reverted from Humanity to the Cross, or if this is the form that Moth-Long usually take, is unknown.
'Even the Red Grail falls prey to the buzzing in the brain.'
- HHunger is Folly
In Cultist Simulator, Moth subverts Grail. Both aspects have a connection to yearning and desire in some form, though the urges of Moth are often more primal and fundamental than those of Grail. The cycle of subversion also relates to the dispute regarding who the first god-from-blood is, the Moth or the Red Grail.
Moth itself is subverted by Lantern, the Principle of Reason, knowledge, and the Glory. This reflects the Hour of the Moth’s yearning for the Glory, as well as the light of reason and higher thought overtaking base instinct.
'The real Hours don't meet the gods-from-Nowhere, but the Ring-Yew meets the Mare-in-the-Tree in where the Wood grows lush. Their couplings are forbidden, and forbidden things have power, and this is the story of their couplings....'
'In the vision I see our wings, and I hear the rustling as we unfurl them to the shears. Our abdomens were patterned black and white like bandages, and our beaks scissor-sharp. Fold us in the chrysalis and lock us in the dark. Break our eggs and steal our hair and watch for us within.'
- The Vision of the Shearing'
1. Study the Lore of the Wood 2. Alakapurine Shears 3. Read 'The Shaven Lock Tantra' 4. Attempt to Exalt a Disciple to a Skintwister 5. The Mysteries of the Ecdysis Club 6. Read 'The Fire-Circle Tantra' 7. An Ecdysiast's Parable 8. Exercise the Imagination: Unreason 9. Cult Business: Hoodwink 10. We call upon the Moth, who seeks among the trees of the Wood 11. Send A Devious Minion to Drive an Annoyance Insane 12. Read 'The Tantra of Worms' 13. The Old Form 14. The Door in the Wood 15. THINGS WITH WINGS 16. Subvert the Succulent Lore 17. Read 'The Origin of Hours' 18. The Light Above 19. Read 'On Matthias and Amethyst Imago: Pursuit' 20. Read 'On Matthias and Amethyst Imago: Loss' 21. Read 'On Matthias and Amethyst Imago: Transformation' 22. Knotwingknot Nest 23. Weather Factory dev spreadsheet image from Discord 24. Burgeoning Risen 25. Sulochana Amavasya 26. Work at the Ecdysis Club: New Heights 27. Read 'The Songs of the Carapace Cross' 28. The Vision of the Shearing 29. Stalingrad 30. Sverdlovsk 31. Zulfiya, the Barber 32. On the Origins of the Velvet