Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ars Moriendi: The Art of Dying (part 2)

Thank you all for your kind words, support, and prayers! I assure you that I'm quite secure during these times, as my belief system is quite evolved. I'm at peace...completly. I will miss my sister, but I know her sweet Spirit will live on. I'm only sad for my family who suffers a great loss. I unfortunatly cannot offer comfort as they reject my "weird" spiritual ideologies. So I will just pray for them. While my thoughts are on Death, I'd like to take the opportunity to write about a topic of great concern.

Modern burial trends are creating a serious environmental problem. We are currently experiencing Burial Crisises all over the world, cemetaries everywhere are running out of room! And because of over-population the problem will only get worse, particularly in heavily populated areas of the world. The Death Industry is starting to look for alternatives. "Green Burials" are currently illegal almost everywhere, but it's time for radical change! Our culture needs to "go green" all the way to the grave! "Because when you speak about sustainability you don't analize a problem that only regards industry or architecture torwards the environment. The sustainability is about our body, our mind and our spirit too. And goes beyond." From Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel comes the beautiful Capsula Mundi! These designers offer a solution to two serious environmental problems, the burial crisis and the deforestation crisis!

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"Capsula Mundi is a container with an old perfect shape, just like an egg, made with modern material (environmentally friendly plastic film of potato starch) in which the dead body is put in a fetal position. Capsula Mundi is planted like a seed in the soil, and a tree is planted on top of it."

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"The tree is chosen while the person is alive, relatives and friends look after it when death occurs. Future cemeteries will no longer be full of neglected tombstones but will become sacred forests." My imagination is running wild with this! Imagine a sacred grove of spirit trees! My Nana wanted to name me Hazel when I was born and it is my Celtic Birth Tree, so I would choose a Hazel Tree!

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Here are some solutions that the Death Industry is considering (keep in mind, most of these solutions are based on greed, these people don't want to lose money): *Belfast (Northern Ireland) is currently promoting creamation as an alternative. Creamation is not a good long term solution though, it's terrible for the environment! *In Wales, some councils are considering an environmentally friendly “freeze-dry” procedure, under which bodies are dipped in liquid nitrogen and gently vibrated for 60 seconds until they shatter into powder. Yuck! *In Sydney, some cemeteries are offering "renewable tenure", which means grave sites are bought for a limited period of 20 or 25 years. When the time is up, family members can renew tenure or allow the site to be used to accommodate another coffin. "Reusing graves allows cemeteries to make improvements to the cemetery and bury people where they want" This isn't going over very well though, because some people don't want the graves of their loved ones disturbed. "Some believe rest in peace should mean rest in peace." I think so too!

The following alternatives seem like better long term solutions for people and our planet: *Tasmania, is the first in Australia to offer "green" bushland burials, in which bodies are buried in open bush using recyclable burial materials.*Churches across Britain are offering land to set up woodland burial sites. *A young architecture practice based in North London has come up with a promising solution. "A modern cemetery design which the practice hopes could completely transform the way we bury our dead" The project recently won a GreenApple Award for environmental best practice and is currently shortlisted for an ACE/RIBA Award for Religious Architecture and for the Brick Awards 'Best Public Building'.

There are some beautiful Eco-Coffins available on the market. But again, Green burials are illegal almost everywhere, we have to get these laws changed! (I understand there are concerns about ground contamination from diseased maybe those bodies should just be creamated.) The Natural Death Centre is unique in providing the only independent funeral advice service in the UK. They provide information on all types of funeral choices, but are especially known for advice & support on family-organised, environmentally-friendly funerals, and Natural Burial Grounds. They also provide links to Woodland Burial Grounds (Nature preserves providing cemetery functions) throughout Europe, Canada and the United States! Now for some lovely biodegradable coffins!

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This gold-leaf Ecopod above is really cool...I would want mystical symbols painted all over mine! It has a feather-bed lining! Ecopod is a revolutionary design in coffins made from naturally hardened, 100% recycled paper. There are many choices available...even leopard print! The Ecopod was designed by Hazel Selina who spent many years working with natural child birth. Now that her family have grown up she feels it is time to turn her attention to the primal event of death. Hazel has had a lifelong interest in Ancient Egypt and the rituals surrounding birth and death. The idea of designing a coffin based on the shape of a seed pod with its natural organic form was a starting point. The concept of a seed being planted in the earth. The process of regeneration, and new life. She is also a friend of the earth and concerned about the pressing issues of Ecology. The Ecopod is 100% environmentally friendly and will not pollute the atmosphere or earth. Ecopod even offers the cutest little Acorn Urn intended to contain cremation ashes. I showed my daughter and she jumped up and down squealing..."Oh, so when you die you can go live with the fairies!" Oh, from the mouths of babes...

The coffin below is quite nice too! Daisy Coffins are made from water hyacinth or banana leaves, both fast growing and freely available! Environmentally sound alternatives to more traditional construction materials they are both innovative and trustworthy. A unique and biodegradable choice. Made from natural products with a 100% unbleached decorative calico lining, 100% cotton rope, even the aliphatic glue is 100% natural! You can also have a custom wood carved name plate added.

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There are Eco Coffins being offered all over the internet! Below are a couple of others I like. The one on top is made of wicker and the white one below it is made of willow, the same company also offers bamboo coffins! The choices are endless! And I think as our species evolves we need to make the right choices...or we will destroy ourselves and Mother Earth.

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We belong to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to us. Believe it or not...Gaia, our Mother Earth Is A Living Entity! A living celestial body in a vast Infinite Universe. Scientists are finding that the earth is alive and is communicating like other living beings. The concept that life has to be associated with biology and organic chemistry is becoming an obsolete idea.

"We have our own consciousness i.e. the thoughts that run through our minds about our lives. We are also part of the consciousness of the other people we know. Additionally we are a part of the consciousness of the rest of humanity living and dead. Going further we are part of the consciousness of "Mother Earth". The Earth bore us and sustains us in life with the help of the Sun and the rest of the Universe and hence the idea that we are somehow separate and distinct from them is only a belief that we have become conditioned with. We have forgotten where we came from, what we are a part of and now believe ourselves to be separate and distinctly independent beings. We also now see the planet as an uncooperative force that needs to be controlled or tamed. In believing this we have, shall we say, desynchronized our minds and bodies from the planetary consciousness, the very consciousness that is the source of life here."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ars Moriendi: The Art of Dying (part 1)

Last week is still a little blurry...bear with me as I try to put things in perspective. It all started on Monday when I did a Tarot reading for myself. The Death card appeared in my reading, in the "final outcome" position, that always gets a giggle out of me...for obvious reasons! The Death card rarely predicts a physical death represents an important ending that will initiate great change. It signals the end of an era; a moment when a door is closing. At such times, there may be sadness and reluctance, but also relief and a sense of completion. Death is a powerful energy...a symbol of Transformation.

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When this card appears in your reading, it may be an invitation to embrace change and transformation, especially as it refers to your consciousness or past lifestyle. As such, it represents the quintessential example of "letting go." It's appearance may encourage you as you are clearing out the old and making way for the new. After my reading, I drew a bath, added sea salt and hyssop oil....and surrendered to the Powers that Be. After hours of contemplation into the wee hours of the night, I composed a mental letting go list. Starting with bad habits, broken dreams, a few people. I signed up for a new life years this moment in time I've reached the crossroads ...absolute faith and bravery required! I trust that some greater good will come to me as I surrender to change.

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By Tuesday a fierce cold had taken over my whole body. I felt it coming on for a while but I was fighting it. I think my "letting go" affirmation triggered a release of some negative experiences (we store memory at a celluar level) and toxins I had stored. I rarely get sick, so it's about time I purged. By Wednesday my 2 year old son had become very sick too. It was horrible...I wanted to sleep it off so badly. My baby boy was sick and feverish (100 degrees) my own temp was at 102 degrees. (I'm a single mom, when things fall apart I don't have any back up...I have to go into survival mode.) I bundled up my two kids (it's freezing in Chicago!!!) and headed out into the to the grocery store to stock up and on food and cold medicine. By the time we returned home I was delirious and my son was screaming bloody hell! I set my 10 year old up with everything she would need to eat and entertain herself, and turned off the phone for the next 24 hours. Me and my baby boy snuggled up and got some sleep thanks to NyQuil Children's Nighttime Cold Medicine! By Thursday afternoon I was feeling a little better so I turned my phone back on. My mom had left several frantic messages to tell me my little sister Laina was dying...the final phone call in a calm but devastated tone she told me my sister had died. She was 22 years old.

7 years ago, Laina had a drug overdose...a combination of tranquilizers and heroin. It was her freshman year of High School and she fell into the "wrong crowd". It was a case of being insecure and easily led...not an act of rebellion. She was the sweetest, most innocent child I ever met...just like a little lamb. She was always kind, even to people who were cruel to her. Laina just wanted people to like her, she wanted to "fit in". She quickly succumbed to peer pressure... Herion is an epidemic amongst teenagers that no one wants to talk about. Heroin addiction sets in immediatly, she turned into a completly different person. Within 8 months time she went from being a little girl with dolls and teddy bears on her bed to a teenage drug fiend. Things that you can't even imagine happened to that poor child. My mom took out a loan on her house and sent her to a fancy rehab for a couple months. She spent the rest of the summer with my Grandmother in San Antonio, Texas. When she came home...the first thing she wanted to do was get high one last time before school started. She was to attend an all girls Catholic School...I think that might send any teenager over the edge!

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( Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre )

My mother got accustomed to checking on her throughout the night because she was always sneaking out. At about 4 am she went to check on her. My mom found her lying on her stomach, blue in the face, and hardly breathing. While in the ER, the fucking idiots didn't respond to the emergency properly. Because of the lack of oxygen to Laina's brain before the paramedics arrived, her brain was tramatized and started to swell. They should have put a shunt in her head to drain the fluid immediatly...but they did not. So while she was in the ER she suffered major damage to her brain. The people in the ER treated Laina, my mother and step father like shit because it was a drug overdose. She was in a coma for two months before she finally regained consciousness....if that's what you would call it. She never really came back around. She was completly helpless; couldn't talk, was completely paralyzed and blind. She had to be cared for around the clock. For 7 years it has been a living hell for Laina and my family. They've endured an incredible amount of pain and suffering. It has been a nightmare that I've kept quietly to myself...but it's finally over. Laina died smiling, with my mother, stepfather, and youngest sister, Sage, by her side. She was buried on Saturday...I believe Laina was assisted by Angels to help her crossover...and I know she's in a better place!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Carla Bedini

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Carla Bedini via Water May Walk

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Colette Calascione

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I was browsing around Wurzeltod, admiring Suzanne's fancy new layout, and I came across a painting by Colette Calascione. Then I realized how long it had been since I had a look at her portfolio so I followed the link to her website...Oh Desire, will you ever leave me be? This painting really belongs hanging in my boudoir...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless Obama!

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This is my favorite example of Barak inspired Art! By visionary artist Alex Grey .

Pools of tears were shed while watching Obama's oath of office and inaugural address...I just love him! 2009 is the Year of the Visionary! President Barak Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both have 11/2 as their Life Path number? (You calculate your Life Path number by adding together your birth day, month and year until you have either a single digit or the Master Number 11 or 22. For example: for President Obama,
born on August 4, 1961, add 8+4+1+9+6+1 = 29 = 2 + 9 = 11/2!
And 2009 is also an 2+0+0+9=11/ 1+1=2 11/2

Coincidence? I think not! If you didn't read my 2009 Numerology post a while back, here's a little recap, I wrote: In Numerology you can break everything and anything down to a single digit number. The exception being the "Master Numbers" 11 and 22, these numbers have special significance. The Master Number 11/2 is the Illuminator, the Bringer of Light...2009 is the Year of the Visionary! It's the first 11 year to occur since 1910! Expect an elevated state of mass consciousness here on planet Earth! It's about time!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gisele Ganne

Gisele Ganne's "Divorce Jewelry" one of three collections inspired by Victorian Mourning jewelry. She stated "Mourning is not just about dead people, it is also about dead relationships and decaying marriages."

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Today 50% of American marriages end in divorce...that's not a surprise at all! Even though the average salary has decreased over the past few years, the average cost of a wedding has continued to rise! We are currently looking at an AVERAGE of $30,000!!! That's insane!!! We can blame Disney for "Princess Conditioning" for starters...I won't even go into all that. But people should really start thinking about it. Vera Wang dress....Jimmy Choo shoes...Tiffany "Princess Cut Diamond" Platinum Engagement Ring with matching wedding band (10 Reasons Not to Buy Diamonds Under Any Circumstances) The Jewel is in the Lotus, it's not for sale at Tiffany's! The girl makes "a good catch" and the guy gets his "trophy wife" or vice versa, after the honeymoon is over do these people really even like each other?

I've recently watched almost all my married friends go through divorces. Needless to say, I hang out with a very liberal bunch of folks...but sadly, even most of them subscribed to this American Dream bullshit. Many rushed to the altar because of the feeling of impending doom that turning 30 will bring. Most divorced within a few years...and the others stay in sexless/loveless marriages to maintain the status quo. I can't say my friends who chose not to marry are any better off...oh, the bitterness of those who don't believe in the power of LOVE. (Nightclubs and Bars are a whole different part of Hell) Then there are those whose marriages are based on love, they stay married, work through the bad times together and have truly made a commitment to evolve together. I really do admire them!

I've never been married in a traditional sense of the word. I would say I've been involved in some very passionate Alchemical experiments. I suppose I've followed the path least traveled, and true love, as it seems, will turn up in the most unlikely places. I've climbed as high as LOVE would allow me to wander, only to get thrown back down into perilous pits to work out my issues.

"If a person does not perceive the Eternal that dwells in love, he easily turns it into a personal tragedy. A spark from the eternal fire is then again extinguised in a puddle." Marie-Louise von Franz

My friend Nora is the youngest of 7 children. Her parents stayed madly in love until her father passed away. I asked her to ask her Mom what the secret to a successful marriage was. She said simply: "You have to be a cook in the kitchen, a lady in the living room, and a whore in the bedroom." (Haaa, so funny coming from a very stoic Irish woman in her 70's!) I know all you feminists are shaking your fists at me...I'm just saying...that sounds good to me!

I went through that Woman Warrior period from my teen years until about two years ago when I cut off my dreadlocks that were past my booty. I have a half sleeve of the Warrior Goddess Kali tattooed on my right arm. I know what I'm capable of when things get rough...that will always be a part of me. Feminism helped me through hard times...times when I felt really unsafe and alone in the world. I've come to a place where I'm really comfortable being a Woman though. I don't associate womanhood with being weak, helpless, or passive anymore. So being in a domestic situation doesn't seem threatning or disempowering. I can be a Woman Warrior, a Sex Kitten, and a Domestic Goddess...I'm a multi-tasker! I think people should take the time to get to know themselves. You have to know yourself before you can love yourself, and of course you have to love yourself before anyone else will love you...and love will always come through...but you already know all this...just don't forget!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Derrick R. Cruz

Derrick Cruz is the designer behind Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons. He creates beautiful handcrafted jewelry, accessories, and functional Art Objects, each piece rich with symbolism. I was instantly taken with Derrick's jewelry the from the moment I saw it! Below, is the "Only Daughter" necklace (that I soooo covet) from his Bendición Collection created for BBlessing. One of five visual chapters in a story inspired by a vintage portrait of a little Hungarian girl in a black dress with her bees.

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"After weighing the words "Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons" for some time, their blatant reference to outsiders and men seeking redemption caused a greater alien to rear its head—an only daughter among favored sons. Quiet and stern, she seeks no grandeur. With her are the bees, heralds of our awful stewardship of the world. These are the friends she keeps. Deprived of guidance, our daughter enters a hero's journey..." Oh my poor bleeding heart, I swear this brought tears to my eyes! The story goes unfinished though, there will be two more visual chapters to the collection! I pray there's a happy ending for the lonesome bee girl...

Recently, Derrick was featured on the Selby website. Intrigued once again, I proceeded to his website to see what see what he was up to. He has a line of fancy limited edition, handcrafted straight razors for ale swillin' razor cheeked rouges! The 'Mammoth Razor' is comprised of a mammoth ivory and sterling sheath, a masterfully restored vintage blade and a quartz Stanhope lens. Each razor can be personalized with a custom image in the Stanhope lens and or the addition of a Scrimshaw engraving on the handle.

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More importantly though, is his project inspired by the disappearing Honey Bee. While researching bee mythology a few years ago for his his Bendición Collection, he found out about the honey bee crisis refered to as "Colony Collapse Disorder". Whole colonies of honeybees are abandoning their hives en masse and are not returning! Approximately 80% of all insect pollination is accomplished by honey bees, so this could effect the entire global food supply...scary! No bees=no food! Derrick curated this amazing installation called "A New Hive" at Earnest Sewn in New York, in an attempt to bring this matter to awareness. For this installation, Cruz collaborated with designers and artists Monica Byrne, Cory Gomberg, Caroline Priebe, and Ryder E. Robison to showcase beekeeper-inspired suits, limited-edition eighteen-karat-gold honeycomb accessories, drawings, and sculptures to benefit the nonprofit group Bees Without Borders. Look at this room...isn't it gorgeous!? In the center of the room, 3,000 bees are in an observation hive made from found objects.

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He created eighteen-karat gold pendants cast directly from a piece of abandoned honeycomb wax.

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Then he had PapaBubble Caramels Artisans insert the necklaces in a 25-inch hivelike pyramid made of sugar. The pieces of gold were in crevices filled with honey. From what I understand, anyone who wanted to purchase a pendant would have to crack through the hive, stick the piece in their mouth, and suck the honey off to get to the gold....hmm...delish!

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“The rich folklore and natural history of honeybees inspires an ethereal childlike curiosity in individuals…Curiosity leads to contemplation, internalization, and then to genuine concern. I hope A NEW HIVE will help us regain respect for these amazing creatures; after all, almost everything we eat is made possible by bees." Derrick Cruz

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Donate to "A NEW HIVE"! Proceeds from donations to "A NEW HIVE" will support research and education focusing on the development of sustainable beekeeping practices as well as the up-keep and foundation of new hives in local gardens.

* A side note*
I used to make beeswax candles, soap, lip balm, skin salve and sugar scrub using beeswax and honey. I noticed a sharp increase in wholesale costs so I starting using other natural products. Soy wax for my candles, ect... But the healing properties of honey are unparalled so I started searching for a local source. I thought maybe I could find a local bee farm just outside of Chicago. (I found out about the honey bee crisis during this time.) While trying to find a local source, I discovered that people in cities everywhere are keeping bees right in their backyards, rooftops, and community gardens! Chicago has beehives on top of City Hall! I met a woman who had live bees shipped right to her house! My current living situation permits me from keeping bees unfortunatly, but I found a non-profit organization near by called the Chicago Honey Co-op. I'm hoping to volunteer in the Spring!

"Urban beekeepers, an unofficial secret society of asphalt naturalists, romantics drawn to the beauty of a beehive's intelligent design, epicureans seeking the delectable taste of locally procured honey, and off-the-grid types keeping nature alive in the city."

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The healing properties of honey are not just recognized by holistic health practitioners. For example, Derma Sciences Inc., a New Jersey company that makes medicated and other advanced wound care products, began selling "Medihoney" the first honey-based wound dressing in 2007 after it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The product is effective in healing wounds which are resistant to strong antibiotics.

Beeswax candles have an instantly recognizable scent – a subtle and deliciously sweet honey-like perfume that induces an instant feeling of calm and wellbeing. When burned, beeswax candles release negative ions that improve the quality of the air. As opposed to Paraffin candles that are a by-product of petroleum–a fossil fuel and pollutant. Also, the light produced by beeswax candles is natural like frequencies. The light produced by paraffin candles is like a fluorescent lightbulb...chaos frequencies!

Honey is the Nectar of the Goddess: check out The Bee Goddess

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Melancholy Darlings

French photographer Andy Julia really knows how to capture the darker essence of his models. If you browse through his online gallery, you'll notice he infuses goth and fetish elements while transending the confines of the genres. He seems to have mastered the ability to balance the sacred and profane, beauty and vulgarity. His work is timeless, and reflects the true spirit of Dark Romanticism.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shop Update!

Black Forest Relic Collection No. 5 now available in my Etsy shop!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Angela Singer

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Angela Singer...Artist, Animal Activist, Goddess! She uses her taxidermy art as a platform to voice her concerns regarding the relationship between Humans and Nature. Particularly the unnecessary violence humans subject animals too, as well as the notion that people are inherently separate from and superior to other species. Some of her work is rather macabre and reflects the helpless and docile nature of the hunted, exaggerates the blatant violence and cruelty of the killing. For example, a rabbit she altered was used in an antivivisection campaign she worked on with an animal rights group "Animal Liberation Victoria" Australia. And the mounted deer trophy where she embellished the bullet wounds in the animal’s skin, which previously had been carefully diminished by the original taxidermist. Her subjects are then properly lamented with decorations of gemstones, jewelry, and funeral flowers.

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"New Zealand artist Angela Singer explores the atavistic notion of the hunt, and its trophies. Like some women’s taste for fur, the hunt represents a regressive desire to reconnect with the instinctual animal self, particularly as a means to release repressed notions of conventional gender roles, in this case, man as primordial hunter. Singer uses taxidermy to present the pathetic (and actually quite bathetic) results of these primitive urges which, apart from what they imply for the animal, are so out of pace with contemporary notions of decorum, representing instead a striving for instinctual authenticity that approaches kitsch. Singer’s animal trophies evince an almost unbearable sense of realism..Contemporary mythologies of the animal are somehow fused with this sense of imminent mourning, along with a renewed curiosity in animal alterity.”

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nymphenburg Desires

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"Nymphenburg has been handcrafting finest porcelain since 1747. Services, figures and objects of the greatest purity – with each piece being unique – are produced using traditional methods at a single location in the world – at the Nördliches Schlossrondell in Nymphenburg."

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pagan Poetry

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Elene Usdin, photographer from collective Hartland Villa.

Like I've said before, the antler craze is more than just a passing art and design trend. What it it about the innocent Fawn and majestic Stag that inspires us so? This is a very powerful animal totem that is speaks to us all. Deer teaches us the power of gentleness, keen observation, intuition and grace. They are sacred carriers of peace and show those with this totem how to open their hearts and love unconditionally. Stag is Lord of the forest, masculine power of regeneration, giver of bounty, beauty and mystical signs. The appearance of this totem represents our longing to return to the wilderness, to commune with Nature.

*more about the Deer Totem here

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dan Hillier

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This is one my favorite pieces by Dan Hillier! It's an original pen and ink drawing. Most of you might be more familiar with his Dark Victorian hybrids, which only hint at you must go explore the rest of his online gallery to see his marvelous dark imaginings for yourself! Three of his designs (Mother, Father and Child) now adorn the covers of Modofly's amazing Moleskine pads and are available here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kitchen Witchery!

I'm currently cleaning the hell out of my house...literally! Spooks and goblins love a messy unorganized house! But getting rid of negativity is easy to do. Add Lemomgrass or Lavender essential oil to your mop water, it's sure to lift your spirits! Burn White Sage for purification and Sweetgrass for harmony! Sprinkle sea salt outside of your front and back doors to ward off evil on a Full Moon. Sprinkle Cinamon and Sugar to invite joy and sweetness on a New Moon!

I want to make each room of my house a Sacred Space! My kitchen is undergoing a transformation of sorts...I want it to be cozy and magical! After I closed my storefront, I stopped doing Tarot readings for people (with the exception of close friends) because I don't have enough space for a reading room in my house. I'm just going to have to get over it and give readings in my kitchen! I've collected some great witchy antiques! It all started with this cast iron tea trivet! (It's so nice to offer tea when reading someone's Tarot.) Just recently I found the cutest cast iron witch bell and bird feet candle holders! I also got this sweet cast iron mortar and's huge compared to my old one and weighs like 10 pounds! Time to get my mojo workin!

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Bells are used to ward off evil spirits! If you ever get the heebie jeebies rattle a bell throughout your house to chase away the unwanted visitor. Bells can be used for summoning spirits too!

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This year I need to invite my pals over more often for Tea and Tarot! I've been such a hermit...

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mama of Dada

Beatrice Wood has always intrigued me. She lived everyday of her life to it's fullest until she was 105! Even during her last days she appeared remarkably youthful. As a liberated woman, she played by her own rules. She was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of wealthy socialites. Despite her parents' strong opposition, Wood insisted on pursuing a career in the arts. Eventually her parents agreed to let her study painting and because she was fluent in French, they sent her to the prestigious Académie Julian in Paris. She returned to the United States during the onset of World War I. It was during this time she took to the stage an actress with a French Repertory Company in New York City. Wood was introduced to Marcel Duchamp, who introduced her to her first great love interest, Henri-Pierre Roché. Roché was to become her first lover, introducing her to the vibrant world of modern art and encouraging her own creative pursuits. He was also the first man to break her heart. Though she was involved with Roché, the two would often spend time with Duchamp, creating a love triangle. Beatrice had found herself surrounded by bohemian men who thought little of bourgeois morality. “Marcel shocked me because he said that sex and love are two different things,” Beatrice later recalled. Yet, she fell into a relationship with him because she felt they should become, “as close physically as they were emotionally” and they remained life-long friends. Together Wood, Duchamp and Roché created The Blind Man, a magazine that was one of the earliest manifestations of the Dada art movement in New York City. This inspired Roché's novel (and the consequent film), Jules et Jim, a story about two men and the woman who loved them both. (The other inspiration, the love triangle between Roché, Franz Hessel, and Helen Hessel.)

Next, Wood was introduced to art patrons, Walter and Louise Arensberg (who would become her lifelong friends). The hosted legendary soirees, in which artists, writers, and poets were invited for intellectual discussion. Besides herself, Duchamp, and Roché, the group included Francis Picabia, Mina Loy, Man Ray, Charles Demuth, Joseph Stella, Charles Sheeler and the composer Edgard Varèse. Beatrice Wood's relationship with them and others associated with the avant-garde movement of the early 20th century, earned her the designation "Mama of Dada." However, Beatrice a free spirit, did not stay at the academy because it was too academic for her.

After a succession of artistic careers (most notably as an actress) and an failed marriage, Beatrice fell in love with the British actor and director Reginald Pole. Although she fell for others over the next several decades, she claimed that she’d never stopped loving him. It was Pole who introduced her to Dr. Annie Besant of the Theosophical Society and the Indian sage Jiddu Krishnamurti. When Pole fell in love with a young girl and broke her heart, Beatrice moved to Los Angeles to be near the Arensbergs and Krishnamurti, who held regular events there. At this time she took up pottery in as a hobby, a passion that would last over the next sixty years. In 1948, Wood decided to settle down and build a home in Ojai, California, to be near Krishnamurti. The spirit of Dadaism, impact of Modernism, embrace of Eastern philosophy, influence of folk art and even the ornament of ethnic jewelry were all combined in her ceramics. She has left an incredible legacy.

Despite an increasingly busy schedule and demand for her ceramics, she had become a writer. Beatrice Wood was in her late eighties when her first book, The Angel Who Wore Black Tights, was published. A few years later, Beatrice Wood’s friend Anais Nin provided the model and encouragement for writing her autobiography, I Shock Myself. This was followed by Pinching Spaniards and 33rd Wife of a Maharajah: A Love Affair in India. There were also books written under the pseudonym of Countess Lola Screwvinsky.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Let me give you an example that will blow your mind. This year US President Elect Barak Obama and Vice President Elect Joe Biden who both have 11/2 as their Life Path number and take the Oath of Office on January 20, 2009 (You calculate your Life Path number by adding together your birth day, month and year until you have either a single digit or the Master Number 11 or 22. For example, for President Elect Obama, born on August 4, 1961, add 8+4+1+9+6+1 = 29 = 2 + 9 = 11/2! Coincidence? I think not! Visionary artist Alex Grey paid homage to Barak Obama after hearing him speak in Berlin. This is my favorite example of Barak inspired Art! I suppose this can be taken two ways...Global Peace and Unity or perhaps Global Domination...the hive mind! Some people think he's the second coming of Christ...others the Anti-Christ! I think he's both in one package...he will reflect different aspects to different people depending on what they project upon him. You know what I mean?
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Friday, January 2, 2009

2009: Year of the Visionary

Happy New Year Everyone! 2009 is going to be GREAT! I wanted to get a bit more insight about what to expect from this I started playing with numbers. 2+0+0+9=11/1+1=2 Yes, folks...2009 is an 11/2! What does that mean you ask? (In Numerology you can break everything and anything down to a single digit number. The exception being the "Master Numbers" 11 and 22, these numbers have special significance.) The Master Number 11/2 is the Illuminator, the Bringer of Light...2009 is the Year of the Visionary! It's the first 11 year to occur since 1910! I think this is a really exciting time for mankind! I look forward to an elevated state of mass consciousness here on planet Earth! The number 2 will apply to our everyday experiences in 2009.The energy of Number 2 is specifically geared toward and interested in relationships (in business and/or love). Number 2 and its characteristics are associated astrologically with Libra, and with The High Priestess in the Tarot deck. I'm currently putting together a symbolic shadow box assemblage of found objects to represent the journey...

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The key represents the "Master Key" from the Book of Moses...the key to good health, fortune and success. I also associate the key with the Hierophant of the Tarot, the Egyptian Ankh...the key to eternal life. The little book pendant represents the Book of Secrets that the High Priestess of the Tarot holds in her lap, inside it reads "Solve et Coagula" that translates Separate and Bind (or dissolve and coagulate) Solve et Coagula expresses transmutation from base state to a finer state, the perpetual goal of spiritual growth and human evolution...the transmutation of a base metal to gold! The formula of the Alchemist...

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Check out the symbol on the cover! It's the The caduceus/magic wand (symbol of Mercury or the Magician in the Tarot) it's comprised of two serpents coupling on an erected phallus. The rod is a symbol of transforming alchemical power. The two serpents represent Union of Opposites (Sun/Moon) The snakes together with the sprouted wings depict the caduceus having an alchemical meaning of balance of duality, the alchemical process leading to unity with the DIVINE.

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Next, we have the little twin souls...joined at last! I just bought a perfect little pair of silver wings for them on etsy! The figure when complete with wings, will represent the Androgyne, the result of the final stages of spiritual transformation, the Alchemical Marriage, the accomplishment of the Magnum Opus. The Androgyne becomes a channel for energy from the heavens transmitted through the body and into the flower of earth.

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Notice the pillars/columns in the picture below? They are also symbolic of the Sun/Moon. You'll find them in the High Priestess Card of the Tarot...representing the realm of the Conscious and Unconscious mind. Have you ever seen Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain"? One scene shows the Alchemist sitting between the two pillars...a camel is also present as it is in the High Priestess card of the Crowley's Tarot. The Camel represents patience, humility, and wisdom.

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I also stumbled upon these two little antique pillars/columns...I'm going to paint them and mark them with the appropriate symbols! Magic Magic Magic! Basically every aspect of my life is viewed through the lens of the Alchemist. I filter everything that comes my way, searching for spiritual relevance. I also try to infuse everything I offer to others with spiritual significance. Some people get it, some don't...For those of you actually interested in my Esoteric rantings, folk magic, witchery, misc. mysticism and other hocus pocus, I will starting a NEW BLOG devoted to such things next week. Happy New Year to all...and remember We Create Our Own Reality, so make it beautiful!