Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Man Who Fell to Earth

I recieved heartbreaking news Saturday night that my friend Noah died. Angel (Angeliska Gazzette) sent me a message to phone her because she had terrible news. I spoke to her while she was at his memorial in Austin TX. Our dear friend has left us to explore the otherside. I never wanted to believe that it could happen! Noah had a genetic heart condition called Marfan Syndrome. He really put up a good fight, but after numerous experimental medical interventions throughout his lifetime, including open heart heart surgeries, his fragile heart simply couldn't take anymore. Noah lost his Father to Marfan syndrome, so he lived life knowing there was a possibility that each day could be his last. If Noah taught me anything at all it was to celebrate Life...

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I remember the first day I met Noah. It was a typical overcast day here in Chicago when he walked into my little Witchcraft boutique. He had bright green hair and was wearing a full length day-glo green coat with these organic spiral shaped things that seemed to grow out the shoulders. He looked like a marvelous character out of a Dr. Seuss book. He quietly explored every nook and cranny of my shop, finally making his way to the front counter with a few items only an advanced practitioner would know what to do with. Finally he spoke and said "Sooo, is this your shop?" It wasn't long before Noah was coming into the shop daily, working along side me. We were a modern day Marie Laveau and Dr. John (famous Voodoo Queen and Voodoo Doctor of New Orleans) He was extremely knowledgeable about Paganism, Folk Magick, Western Occultism, Eastern Mysticism, and Afro-Caribbean religions, as well as herbalism, aromatherapy, and energy healing. His clients loved him dearly, I think he changed many lives for the better. He considered himself a Chaos Magician with emphasis on African based religion and magick. Noah was like me in the way that he applied theory with misc. practices and rituals to form his own brand of Spirituality & Magick.

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Noah could mix up a magick potion like nobodies business! He was known to liven up a boring party or club by sprinkling graveyard dirt on the dancefloor to invite Guédé. "Cause the dead know how to get down!" he'd say, and it worked every time! The primary aim of his practice was to assist people in accessing their dormant spiritual power. He provided tools for healing and transformation. However, he was free from religious dogma and moral restrictions, so he had no problem conjuring up the hounds of hell for revenge spells if a situation called for it, exclaiming "well if a bitch don't ack right!" His lady clients swore by his love mojos...he put "a pinch of dirty" in everything for good measure! His clients would come back looking all fresh and be like "I don't know what you put in that thing but whatever it was it worked!" Later he'd say something mischievous like "yeah, all she really needed was a good shag" Ha! And yet he would call me out for putting red candles on my altar (typically love candles are pink, red for sex) he'd shake his head and say "Just look at ya, your always on the dick Lavona!" Haa...that boy cracked me up!

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Noah put magick in everything he touched! He was always creating something like his own clothing, costumes, amazing art and jewelry. The studio where he lived/worked while in Chicago was a colorful witchy gypsy den...everything was customized in the "House of Zubi." He baked the best cakes in the world...super fancy Magick Voodoo cakes! He told this one story that I'll never forget, I'll give you the short version ~ "So there I was in Seattle, homeless because the Archangels burnt my house down...but I didn't feel sorry for myself. Instead, Kirk and I decided to get dressed up in velvet and powdered wigs...then we bought expensive decedent pastries with what little money we had and ate them while sitting on top of the dumpster behind the bakery." (He was quite certain the Archangels were to blame for his house catching fire because he was dabbling in Gnosticism.) Whenever I was feeling pathetic and down about my life, he'd bring me baked goods and say "well at least you can still eat cake!"

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Noah was the kind of guy who burned his candle at both ends. Sometimes he needed to be reminded to eat or get some sleep. He would say "Sleep is the brother of Death, I'll sleep when I'm Dead!" Friday night he passed away in his sleep...hopefully in peace. Today I remembered the time Noah and I watched the Peter Pan movie at our friend Angela's house. We LOVED it! We couldn't believe how much Noah looked like Captain Hook played by Jason Isaacs! Noah rocked the pirate theme forever after! I got to thinking about what a dazzling, adventurous spirit Noah is. Then I remembered the part of the movie when Peter Pan says "To die would be an awfully big adventure" When I lit a candle for Noah, I made a wish that he has many more beautiful adventures as he travels through the Universe back to Source. I smiled knowing that the people who love him will see him again someday...cause all we'll have to do is follow the trail of gold dust he leaves behind...

R.I.P The Legendary, Baron Zubi ~ 1976-2009

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

ILLUMINATI

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I'm currently obsessed with the use of Occult symbolism in the media...particularly in the fashion industry. These photographs are from a series titled ILLUMINATI, by Antonella Arismendi. (Check out her website...lots of Occult themes) The Illuminati, meaning "Enlightened Ones," is an amalgamation of powerful occultic bloodlines, elite secret societies and influential Masonic fraternities, with the desire to construct the framework for a "New World Order." The outward goal of the Illuminati is to bring forth universal happiness to the human race. However, their underlying intention is to gradually increase control over the masses, thus becoming masters of the planet. So how do you feel about that? Or do you think these "signs" just herald the highly anticipated Paradigm Shift scheduled for 2012? The image of the All Seeing Eye (The Eye of Providence) is a symbol showing an eye surrounded by rays of light and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the Eye of God keeping watch on humankind, Divine Providence. The symbol dates back to ancient Egypt and was symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Horus. The most notable modern depiction of the eye is the reverse of Great Seal of the United States, which appears on that nation's One Dollar bill. Dolla dolla bill y'all!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age





O.K. I'm totally having heart palpitations!!! (thanks for this Chad!) "In anticipation of their own full-length album due next year, Broadcast are back with a new collaborative mini-album 'Broadcast & The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age' and a month long US tour... it is with great excitement that we announce this new release...available now to download!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shop Update!

Happy Mabon (Fall Equinox) everyone! I was supposed to launch my new line of Supernatural Soap today but I've decided to wait a little longer! I think they need another week on the drying rack...so sad :( It has been rainy and humid here in Chicago...not so good when you are waiting for soap to cure! My labels aren't done yet either...so I'm just going to calm down and let this new project take shape naturally! "You can't push a river, so go with the flow!" Here's another sneak peak! This is my Venus soap: Rose and geranium essential oils, rose petals, passion flower and Moroccan Red Clay...love magick!

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I listed some new jewelry today...some new Specimen Vial Necklaces and a few Black Forest Relics: Deer antler, tiny Deer hoof, a Starling beak and Bear Claws!

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I also listed this Snake JuJu Necklace...3 snake vertebrae strung on a 20" bronze chain! It's simple yet eye catching!

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And last, but not least...the Voodoo Queen Necklace...a thick 18" brass chain, closing with a large lobster claw clasp, holds a little vintage brass address book with the state of Louisiana stamped upon it! A small vintage style brass locket filled with "Low John the Conqueror Root" and a tiny vial of graveyard dirt also hang from the necklace. Low John the Conqueror Root when worn or carried, it is said to protect the bearer and bring good luck. The dirt was collected from the St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans where you can find the Tomb of Marie Laveau, the Legendary Voodoo Queen of New Orleans!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mystical mishaps revealing hidden Truths!

Friday was a New Moon and all was bliss. I had been waiting for the Moon to start "waxing" so I could make a batch of exotic Love Supreme soap! I'm endlessly inspired by the relationship of John and Alice Coltrane...they both wrote songs titled A Love Supreme. A Love Supreme heralded John's Coltrane's quest for spiritual liberation and musical freedom. Coltrane's abilities were undeniable. But his personal demons, including heroin and alcohol bedeviled him. After his life fell apart, he underwent what can only be described as a "religious conversion." (Coltrane described it as such himself in the liner notes to his 1965 classic, A Love Supreme.) After this life-altering experience, Coltrane began to read deeply in the great religious books of many traditions — including those of India and West Africa. He started to explore the music of these cultures as well, including West African drum works of Babtunde Olatunji and recordings of the Indian sitar. This was the foundation for future musical adventures as he pushed into unexplored territory. Alice's exotic blend of transcendental jazz and the music and spirituality of India was deeply influenced by her husband’s legacy. Her version of A Love Supreme appears on the album Journey in Satchidananda and opens with an invocation of love by her guru, Swami Satchidananda. Alice explains "Swamiji is the first example I have seen in recent years of Universal Love or God in action. He expresses an impersonal love, which encompasses thousands of people. Anyone listening to this selection should try to envision himself floating on an ocean of Satchidanandaji's love, which is literally carrying countless devotees across the vicissitudes and stormy blasts of life to the other shore. Satchidananda means knowledge, existence, bliss. I hope that this album will be a form of meditation and a spiritual awakening for those who listen with their inner ear. Om Shanti."

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I got all the ingredients prepared, everything was smelling so good, particularly the Rosewood essential oil which soothes my soul...this was going the best soap ever! Meanwhile, I was rocking out to Amon Düül and surfing somewhere between the 4th and 5th dimension, thinking about new beginnings, the love on horizon, happy endings...and that's when things started to run amok! I got distracted and started sorting through my oil stash in a frenzy. I've been wanting to combine some of the fruit scents together to make "Goblin Fruit" soap. (Inspired by the fairytale poem Goblin Market.) I got so caught up that I forgot to turn the burner off on the stove and almost scalded the oil. I continued to whip up my Love Supreme soap...oops I think I put too much honey/beeswax in it. Something didn't seem quite right. I wasn't paying attention because I was pre-occupied with thoughts of Goblin Fruit hmm...so sweet and yummy! *Listening to good music, by the way, is an essential to making magick soap! Amon Düül was a psychedelic rock band that started in 1967 as a radical political art commune of Munich based artists calling themselves, in part, after the Egyptian Sun God Amon. Members later branched out to form Amon Duul II*

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This morning when I woke up, I went to check up on the soap I made and remove them from the molds. Wow...Goblin Fruit turned out so delish! But what the happened to my Love Supreme soap!? It was all shrunken up and had about 2 inches of oil floating on top...it never sopafied! And it smelled burnt! Those nasty Goblins crashed my party and ruined my love soap! The story says that Goblin merchants, sell magical fruits in fantastic abundance, variety. Their fruits allegedly have restorative properties and cause blissful altered states....Goblin merchants will trade anything from magic items, to memories, and even enslavement of the soul! In my case they claimed my lovely love soap! Is this an omen...a warning!? I know you're saying there must be a logical explanation for this...

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If you read the tale of the Goblin Market, forbidden fruit and temptation in this context seems overtly sexual. The kind of forbidden, addictive love that parallels the experience of drug addiction. It's the portrayal of a "fallen woman" who succumbed to the evils of the goblins' fruits. Unable to buy more of the forbidden fruit, pining away for the lack of it, the young maiden falls into a slow physical deterioration and depression. As winter approaches, she no longer grooms herself or does her household work...her life hangs in the balance. "Who should have been a bride; But who for joys brides hope to have fell sick and died" At that end of the story, it is the awesome power of sisterly love that saved her...she escapes death and returns to her old self, both physically and mentally! The sisters live to tell their children about the dangers of the Goblin Market. Let this soap be a reminder to beware of Goblin men (and women) and their enticing fruits...tis a dangerous game to play...do not give your love away! They will rob you of your beautiful glow...and on their way they'll go! Now you can enjoy the restorative properties and blissful altered states induced by Goblin fruit without any trouble! *washing with this soap will not invoke Goblins...I already paid them for the recipe.*

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"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thrones of Earth

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Michel Haillard honors distant civilizations of uncertain times, be they African, Oceanic or Indian. Straight out of an imaginary universe where the phantasmagoric Bosch and the whims of a Sun King form the backdrop of a lost world, works as crude have rarely been seen. His furniture and talismanic objects bristle with skins of reptiles or wild animals, horns of sheep and antelope, as well as applications of decorative gilt bronze. The extravagant appearance of these works contain visual qualities that disorient the viewer. His creations are marked both barbaric and refined. Haillard is not a predator at heart and doesn't promote hunting, he views animals as sacred. He states that around age 12, he began to "stalk" natural elements in the flea markets on long safaris every Sunday. There is something animistic about my work," he says. "Reborn in the object, the animal has a new life. A new story begins and will continue to evolve in the universe of its future owner."

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Haillard's Paris studio is piled high with Louis XV couches and Queen Ann chairs, bulging chests, wooden accessories, brass and bronze, masks, Eastern curiosities, parchments, billiard balls, bronze, brass shells, bone beads, amber, glass cabochons and crystal balls...braids, twine and raffia in bulk. "My goal is to work with objects that have been abandoned, I only work with old things" He boasts drawers full of relics from animals, treasures left behind by the colonial past that had little concern for ecology. Warthog teeth, hippo incisors of wild pig, monkey skin or crocodile, python and zebra, lizard or otter, ostrich feathers or feline fur, horse tails, horns of kudu or eland, genet tails, sunfish, rostrum of the sawfish, leopard skins, giraffe skulls, tusks elephant, monkey claws...the list goes on. These objects have finally come together in sculptures, totems and fetishes...magic borrowings and power from civilizations imaginary or parallel.

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via Chintz of Darkness

Friday, September 11, 2009

MI AND L'AU ~ BINGO



bornerecordings.org

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Theft of Light

Derrick Cruz, the visionary designer behind Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons, sent me his lookbook introducing his new accessories collection titled "Theft of Light." In addition to creating things that are visually stunning and meticulously crafted, Derrick is an Urban Storyteller. To Indigenous people, storytelling was a sacred process. It was the rich imaginations of the storytellers who tried to explain the relationship of humans to their natural and supernatural environments. Native people did not distinguish between the physical and supernatural because everything was viewed as a vast continuum; whether it be animate or supernatural, the world existed in 'real time' and in a conscious state of existence. Every living thing was a member of one large family: the four elements (earth, air, fire and water), plant, animal and human worlds were connected to each other. I think Derrick is intuitively aware that modern people are craving to live in harmony with Nature...we desire more natural, intimate relationships and long to understand our place in the cosmos. His latest collection is perhaps then, a Call of the Wild...check out his website to view the entire collection!

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"Nature is your school, your laboratory, the gateway to liberation, and the panorama of God's manifold majesty. Seek to know the lessons it is ready to teach; all things are as Brahman as you are." ~ Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 10

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"Theft of Light" is conceptually situated at the crossroads of Native American Mythology and an urban outsider instinct, it introduces large and bold looks, re-purposed traditions and creatively up-cycled materials." The line an homage to Derrick's late father, Jose Rafael "Jun" Cruz (1951-2009) and his Puertorican Taino roots. He explains, "the images I've shared with you are snapshots of what that basic tribal tendency looks like in my head – illustrations for a chapter in my personal book of myths."

Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons joined forces earlier this year with Odyn Vovk. Together they kicked off Fashion Week Spring 2010 early (with steel-toe boots I might add) on 9/9/09, in New York's East Village. Odyn Vovk [oh-din va•hk] translates to One Wolf. As stated in the program, the name reflects “cunning, wisdom, searching, dreams, magic, transformation, death, rebirth, and protection.” You can check out the details from the show here ➵ ➵ ➵

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Witchcrafted Soap and other misc. Hocus Pocus!

Hello darlings! I've been a busy little kitchen witch, I've got 9 different kinds of handcrafted soap on the curing rack! I'll be listing it all in my Etsy Shop on Sept. 22nd (Mabon~the Fall Equinox)! My soap is handcrafted using the old world method known as the cold proccess. In the spirit of the ancient alchemists before me, I'm combining Natural Ingredients with my knowledge of Green Hermeticism and Folklore! I'm bringing artisianal soap to another level! Potions, balms, salves, and soy wax candles are soon to follow! Pictured below is one of my favorites called Melusine. Melusine (the alchemical siren or twin-tailed mermaid) is the feminine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers. The soap is made with lavender and peppermint essential oils and herbs, purifying french green clay, and skin-softening oatmeal!

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I just bought a great book called, Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by Catherine Yronwode. I spent a little more money and bought the hardcover copy...so worth it! Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic is a practical manual for those working in traditions such as hoodoo, rootwork, witchcraft, spell-craft, conjure, white magick, black magick, pow-wow magic, hexenkraft, and herb magic. With solid sales and enthusiastic reviews, we believe that Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic is well on its way to becoming a standard in the fields of folk magic and kitchen-witchery."

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Remember my Kitchen Witchery re-decorating project? The transformation is nearly complete and the room I once hated is fast becoming my favorite room of the house! I got this amazing taxidermy mountain goat head from Gothic Rose Antiques! Can you believe it!? It's Baphomet, the Sabbatical Goat! (He doesn't look quite as menacing against my white walls...this is the picture from the Gothic Rose website) He's hanging way up high and overlooks my whole kitchen. I want to order some plants from The Basement Shaman so I can try growing some fancy plants like Belladonna in large apothecary jars! If anyone out there has successfully grown a mandrake, please let me know your little secret!

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Organized Collections ~ Home Sweet Home #7

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I know most of you have already seen the"The New Antiquarians" article in the New York Times, which spawned a whole mess of related blogs and press. They're calling this style "The New Vintage". I wouldn't call it "New" though, creative types have been hunting for treasure from antique shops, thrift stores, garage/estate sales and even dumpsters FOREVER! Anyway, I'm a big fan of the Hovey Sisters, I found them after Porter left a lovely comment in my comment section. I followed the link to her blog, which led me to Hollister's blog, and I've been hooked ever since! I love exploring people's collecting habits! Her collection exudes an English Aristocrat/Equestrian Prep aesthetic. Maybe she was a close friend of Ernest Hemingway in her past life. Or perhaps she was an English gentleman in colonial Africa! The Hovey girls are modern colonialists who now claim the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Soho, Lower East Side, and West Side Manhattan as their stomping ground. Neighborhoods that were once burgeoning Bohemian enclaves that are now "occupied" hipster territory littered with pre-gentrification artist types who struggle to stand their ground. I love looking at all the great stuff she buys, the girl has impecable taste! She blogs about it all with such a naive sense of pomp and privilege...I just can't get enough!

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"The New Antiquarians" also features Ryan Matthew Cohn. He collects Victorian oddities, taxidermy and bones. He also seems to fancy cast iron elements and rustic and industrial antiques...I love his style! He has an awesome line of leather goods and jewelry. He's opening a men's shop with some friends, called Against Nature in New York. In addition to his own wares, the shop will will carry tailored suits by Amber Doyle and Jake Meuser "Doyle Mueser" and custom denim by Simon Jacob. The opening reception is 7-10pm, Sept. 10th. (159 Christie St., near Rivington St. 212-228-4552)

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I'm trying not to buy anything these days! Right now I need to focus on organizing and displaying the things I've already aquired. For example, I'm looking for the the right size glass domes for my taxidermy owl and raven. I have a piles of antique botanical prints and misc. art to be framed. And I need to find a way to display my collection of antique prosthetic glass eyes. A while back, Steampunk Home linked to this home tour from Country Living. I love this look...it's so organized!

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I've really paired down over the years, I needed to de-clutter my life! (Or sometimes I just need the money so I sell random things on ebay!) 10 years ago my apartment looked like Morticia Addams's bachelorette pad. Dark colors on the walls, heavy velvet drapes that shut out all the light...total opium den! (I was a rockstar bartender and got off work at 3-4am, I never used to welcome the morning sunshine) My style has kind of shapeshifted over the years, I'm favoring a more modern look these days. My place looks more like a modern gypsy caravan now. My walls are painted white and I love all the light that pours in! I love Stylist, Sibella Court's bohemian-chic loft...it's light and fresh!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Liselotte Eriksson

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Witch ~ a series by Liselotte Eriksson! (The lovely model is artist, Johanna Öst.) Check out more of Liselotte's flickr sets...Mermaids, Gothlings, and Faeries, oh my!

via The Witch of Forest Grove