Category — Having Tea with Spirits

 

Went to @metmuseum and spent the day researching for latest commission I am working on. #altar #kemeticspirituality #hathor #hathortemple #ancientegypt #mummy #ushabti #shawabti #ushabtibox #shadowbox

Went to @metmuseum and spent the day researching for latest commission I am working on. #altar #kemeticspirituality #hathor #hathortemple #ancientegypt #mummy #ushabti #shawabti #ushabtibox #shadowbox

February 21, 2020   No Comments

 

Supporting @oldethymewitch at @irongardennj 5 year anniversary. She was sworn in as Marshal. Congrats!#irongarden #njnightlife #njnightkind #vampires #witches #misfits #theoutsiders

Supporting @oldethymewitch at @irongardennj 5 year anniversary. She was sworn in as Marshal. Congrats!#irongarden #njnightlife #njnightkind #vampires #witches #misfits #theoutsiders

February 1, 2020   No Comments

 

@oldethymewitch making the #bathsalts while I threw the bombs. #bathbomb #bathbombsfordays #bathbombaddict #fuckboyswhobreakhearts #ilovemyfriends #girlpower

@oldethymewitch making the #bathsalts while I threw the bombs. #bathbomb #bathbombsfordays #bathbombaddict #fuckboyswhobreakhearts #ilovemyfriends #girlpower

January 23, 2020   No Comments

 

Watching @oldethymewitch work her magick.#evilexpo #oldethymewitch #itsconventionseason #itsconventionseasonbaby #bathsalts #witchythings #witchyvibes #witchcraft

Watching @oldethymewitch work her magick.#evilexpo #oldethymewitch #itsconventionseason #itsconventionseasonbaby #bathsalts #witchythings #witchyvibes #witchcraft

January 23, 2020   No Comments

 

Bitter Ends, Sweet Beginnings

What do I say after all this time? Against the roaring winds of eons past?

Trying to find time to blog has been trying. If you didn’t know by now or are just tuning in, my family earlier this year had been dealt a sudden blow with the death of our mother. Most of my creative outlets just before the news were greatly depleted and in much need of refilling the well. I got hit with Con-crud (then another disease) during the 2018 holiday season, which forced my hand to take a mandatory break. This year, stress from domestic affairs, death, family, legal, creative, etc. opened me and my husband to pneumonia (a week in the ER for him). I am trying to do a laundry list of things since a) no one else is gonna do it, b) it has to get done, c) deadlines and d) being busy and productive keeps the mind from wandering to dark places. Self-love and care are the main focus but still feel like a distant goal. After 11 years, I am seeing a therapist to deal with the grieving process. It has surprisingly helped immensely to understand and digest everything going on with my emotions, even how they affect my physical well being at this time. My confidence over my physical appearance is at an all-time low. Honestly, I feel like I make Medusa look beautiful. Things on and offline (sex & beauty-wise) trigger my insecurities. Bigger breasts, smaller waist, wrinkles, greying hair are thoughts that bother me now. I feel inadequate. Unworthy of sex, love, friends, etc. I find myself buried in work to escape these thoughts.

I’ve been told in the past it’s not in a blogger’s best interest to be “too honest” or open with everything that’s going on in your life since it would put off potential clients or make you look like a hot mess. That to admit setbacks of any sort makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing. That you are not in control (despite the open secret / fact that everyone is in the same boat). That you are somehow not credible. Watching occult business owners go at it with each other online for various reasons grants the example of: “A magician or witch who doesn’t have their shit together is clearly blah, blah, blah…” is a common one I hear. For me, that’s like saying I’m not a good artist, another occupation based on the eye of the beholder (style, technique, genre, demographics, questions of taste coming into play, etc.). Just because I’m not rich, famous or well off on my work by whatever imaginary bar the other person sets, my work has no merit. Across the board, no matter what profession you are in, that kind of thinking is toxic and has to stop. Results may vary. Like a painting. Some are great. Others not so much. Factors are always in play. Over a period of time, you hope a history or rapport develops with your clients based on those best possible results. That the work speaks for itself. You hope. It’s not always the case. To each their own. But I digress.

zI am not ashamed to admit I was experiencing creative burnout last year. Like any other emotion such as fear, anger, jealousy, or melancholy, it lets you know there’s something very wrong and you need to address it. To take a step back and a much-needed break. We don’t though because we’ve bought into the modern societal kool-aid – the cult of busy. If we’re not productive or killing ourselves continuously, somehow we have no intrinsic societal value. Afraid that if we stop, our financial means of survival will end abruptly. Spiritual burnout hit me two years before. I questioned everything. I questioned what I was doing with my life, my work, my artistic compass; things that once gave me pleasure caused me great pain to think about. I questioned my faith and what I fundamentally believed in. Some days imposter syndrome hit me really hard. So what do I do? I make lists. To-Do lists, appointments on calendars, mail, packages to emails posts so I don’t forget or set up. It forces me to get back on the horse. To try, try, try again. It’s annoying but effective. Seeing things crossed off your lists gives you a sense of accomplishment – momentum to move forward. It’s how I was able to save money, start traveling across local east coast conventions when before it seemed impossible, create an original comic from nothing, do a kickstarter, create a business, buy a co-op … you get the idea. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself looking back on a bunch of accomplishments wondering, “Wait a minute, when did I find time to do all this?”

My thanks to all of you who have stuck with me so far. Ultimately it’s the support of my fans and patrons that helps keep me going. I need a break right now to rest and recharge, but I guarantee I will be back up and running before you know it!

June 6, 2019   No Comments

 

Fickle Bitch NecroRomances

I have been thinking… a lot. Mostly the kind that makes you go into a downward spiral of self doubt. Yet somehow I manage to pull my sorry ass out each time. It either involves family or friends to taking adventuresome risks to convince me. Art is always the greatest therapy. For a period of time I couldn’t write. I felt unworthy. Inadequate. Far from scholarly and had no base of credibility to stand on.

Why would anyone listen to me? A friend even told me, “oh you’re not a writer; you’re just an artist.” Listening or reading to everyone in the spiritual and occult community tear each other apart over this, that and the other drained me. I couldn’t take it anymore. So I left. I wanted to write but I felt blocked. I had so much to say but felt constipated with grief. Misha and Jake were supportive. Jake urged me to do it anyway and “not let the stuffed shirts” bother me.

A certain well known occult author came out with his book recently. When I read it, I cried. There was some personal information I had told him, rewritten to seem as if it was about him. How could someone I trusted use my origin story for their own (and more)? Born in thunder and rain? Fuck you! My mother told me that story. I was born during a Diana Ross concert (link here) on July 21, 1983 at 5:49pm EST. This was just another reason to disappear. Sulking like a teenager in her room listening to vinyls and staring at the ceiling isn’t an option when you’re a mom. Vincent’s (my son’s) love has been so delicious. I cannot conceive a world without him now.

So I did what Maddie and Jake told me. I submitted something to Hadean Press. I am excited to announce the painting “Typhon” will be gracing the inside cover of Conjure Codex Issue 3! Looking forward to receiving my copy of the issue. Issues I’m told are being shipped out as of March 23rd. I am currently working on an article for the Gold Codex coming out 2018-19. Already submitted related artwork. Fingers crossed!

I also did something slightly a bit out of my element. I event coordinated a drink & draw at the Lovecraft Bar NYC for the Death-versary of HPL. If it wasn’t for my friends, it would have been a total disaster. The blizzard threw everyone off and we had to reschedule everything. All in all, it was an amazing night. I am still editing the footage for promo and hope to use it to push a new wonderful artistic community here in NYC. Have so many ideas. Wish I could tell you. You’ll just have to wait!

 

 

 

March 24, 2017   No Comments

 

Uninspired and Burnt Out (on my birthday)

Lately I haven’t been feeling quite myself. I have been in a spiritual funk. Between the world going topsy turvy and personal friendships going to hell in a hand basket, I wonder why I even bother to do anything anymore. I wonder if I’m making a difference in the world. Am I being successful? What does that even mean? Am I bringing beauty into the world? What defines us? What legacy will I leave behind? What am I teaching my son?

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This has been the weirdest week ever. My son was recently baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. He will probably be one of the last in his generation considering how things are going for the Church. Hell! He’s probably the last generation that’ll ever go through Saint Benedict Joseph’s doors. The event made my family more than happy. It made the family feel whole and complete again just like the good old days when we had huge parties like this all the time. I still can’t believe I am a mother now.

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I recently met on twitter this other occultist who seems legit. He is definitely challenging the way I look at things. The conversations we’ve been having seem to fill a void. An answer to the stagnant decay within. It’s been ages since I spoke of philosophy and art history to anyone. It was refreshing but then everything slowly spiraled into obsession. I realize I have been dumbing myself down for years. I didn’t want to hurt those around me or bore people to death. I continue to dishonor myself with polite ideologies and systematic societal programing. It’s slowly killing me having to conform to anything. I need to rebel. The standard of anything is not enough for me. i want more. I require more. I require perfection.

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I had a wonderful momentum in previous months creating and launching content for my site. I’m truly proud of the work I have been doing and accomplishing. July has always been a month of vacation and rest for everyone. I should know this by now. I can’t help but complain. I’m a workaholic after all. I long for the beach though. I miss swimming in the ocean and falling asleep on the sand. It’s been far too long.

This weekend, I will sneak away and jump in the car. I don’t care where the road takes me. I just want to ride, smoke a cig while drinking coffee listening to classic rock on the radio. I want to dance like I used to and strip down to my skin letting the sun caress me like a lover.

Next month I’ll be working like crazy but right now…I get to be busy doing nothing.

July 21, 2016   No Comments

 

Necromancy: Rite of Helios – Shadowmancy Revisited Part 1c

When I got home, baby and hubby greeted me with kisses. I put down my stuff and took another shower to get sweat off me. It felt great. Jason then proceeded to tell me he heard on the news that this particular Summer Solstice is a record breaking hot one. He was surprised I was out there from 12:45pm to 2:23pm directly under the midday sun. Around 6pm Jason left to go get groceries and stuff. I decided once the baby was asleep to start writing my findings.

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Then this brain dump happened as I was typing:

 

light cannot exist without darkness

darkness cannot exist without light

so the lord spoke

praise unto atum ra in the third heaven

light vision voice clarity burning piercing hot dry serenity peace

your shadow will cling to you until end of days

all shall return to the land of shadows where their forefathers dwell

point focus laser zoom in meditate

i am the voice that shot through all existence like a bang separating the waters

he who knows me shall have no fear

ask of me what you will and it will be granted

i am the giver of life

i am the one who makes the barren women wombs quicken with life

i am ray

the beacon

come to me all you children

i know all who i see with the touch of my ray (light)

shine radiate expand

i NN solemnly swear by this oath i make upon this hour to the lord most high to be the priest/tess of light. the giver and keeper of the mysteries.

it is with this solemn oath i bequeath to you the knowledge and power over the spirits of light and dark. when you speak the word, when you speak the names, i shall come and obey. now command thy spirit. command thy shadow with booming voice to obey and serve you.

raise your right hand out. look at it. notice the light on the surface. notice the shadow that clings to you. this is true shadow. the other is false. a projection.

what does it mean to be a priest/tess of the sun?

power and understanding over nature

power and understanding over man’s nature

exorcism of strange spirits from a place

vision of the sun

things that did not grow with you will now grow

egyptian-tree-of-life-1

What the hell was that? I realized too late that at that moment the rite was not a spell or an operation. It was an initiation into the mysteries and shadowmancy was just one of the things that could be performed out of it. This was a rite of passage for someone entering the priesthood.

Oops…

I don’t know why it took another six hours for Helios to get back to me or why such a long delay before receiving the transmission. I don’t know if it was me blocking myself, people being around, or what. I do know that it takes light to travel 8 to 20 minutes from the sun to earth. This is my only explanation (and probably a poor one) that I can think of thus far.

I remember asking Helios why he responded, even after I got so many things wrong, like the names and so on. I got the feeling from him that what was important was that I had TRIED. I had put in the effort. I thought, “Surely I can’t have been the only one to try this in the last few hundred years!” The reply was as immediate as it was oddly specific: “Only five, and three were translators.” I was the sixth. I have no way of confirming this of course. Could there really have been so few people to make the attempt?

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Looking through my books on myths, history, occult, etc. I was searching for an answer. Any idea really to what happened. I think I found a partial answer. There’s an ancient Egyptian myth about Atum-Ra having a sister-wife consort named Iusaaset. She was the grandmother of the gods. She is described as a goddess of darkness, his shadow and right hand. She was described by the New Kingdom as the eye of Ra. Is that perhaps who I was able to reach? Did I accidentally become a priestess of Iusaaset? We may never know for sure, but it will be interesting to try and find out.

 

July 6, 2016   No Comments

 

Necromancy: Rite of Helios – Shadowmancy Revisited Part 1b

Way back in the first post we touched a bit on the subject of shadowmancy as one of the many aspect of necromancy as a whole. We spoke about the Helios Rite in PGM and the steps required to gain access to one’s shadow and make a servitor. This past Summer Solstice, I decided to perform the rite as best I could to test this operation. I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe a shadow person will show up like PGM mentions after the rite is properly performed? I know I did a lot of mistakes but that’s how we learn. That’s how I have learned why certain practices are performed and why others of not or even if they are relevant anymore. There’s a method to my madness.

I read and reread the relevant PGM chapters and verses. It was pretty straight forward. Go to a place that’s deserted so no one will bother you. Face towards the rising sun. Bring with you an offering and carry everything in a new fiberweave basket. It makes no mention of what to wear or dress as. I am assuming anything white and made of cotton or linen is best. With a red cord, tie two feathers to either side of your head. A falcon on one side and an ibis feather on the other. I used a red scarf and hawk feather I found when I was in AZ and painted a turkey feather to best imitate an ibis feather.

I looked like an idiot. The offering I made was oatmeal with black berries and black sesame seeds. Some ingredients were missing.  I don’t know what thrion is, snd I had no time or money to go get beets. I did this totally on a whim. A spur of the moment. Why? I don’t know why but I felt compelled to. It was like, “if you want to do this, you have to do this now or wait until next year.” It says nothing in the PGM about what season or part of the year to do this particular operation just so you know.

I took with me a beach blanket, statue of Horus, my keys, my phone, the printed out PGM rite, the offering in a gourd, sage, a lighter, wood box, and sea shell to the park across the street from my apartment. Secluded but hardly deserted. I live in the city. The city. NYC. I would have to go upstate to reach the deserted level. Everyone knows that’s crazy with a newborn next to you. My husband agreed to watch Vincent for an hour or so while I was out doing this experiment.

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So I left for the park, first giving a kiss to my baby then my husband. Once at the park, I set up shop. According to PGM it was to be done at the sixth hour of the day. I realized the night before it didn’t mean 6am like I had thought it meant. I was thinking like a modern person. First light or sunrise would be the first hour of the day. So noon or 1pm would be more accurate. On a petrified tree stump I placed my Horus statue. I rolled out the beach blanket making sure I was under the sun.

I gave sage to the area. I sat to mediate and clear my head. Then I followed the instructions on PGM. I read the Helios preliminary prayer. Half way through I realized, “oh shit! Half the prayer is missing! Not translated? Lost to history? How am I going to finish this?” I winged it by using names for Helios from Picatrix trying to remember as best I could. Still didn’t help when it came to herbs, animals, trees, stones, etc. for each hour of the sun. The iphone was of no use. It had overheated and turned off. Did I mention this was supposed to be one of the hottest summers on record?

Ilion---metopa

In my mind at that point this operation was a failure. People were around. Not a lot but still enough. The prayer is incomplete. The barbarous names I was saying out loud probably sounded terrible and mispronounced. If I was a deity, I’d wouldn’t answer me. I pushed through. I finished the prayer and then completed the second half making the offering.

Then I waited and meditated.

I waited some more.

It was hot.

Really hot.

I was sweating.

I think I’m going to pass out.

I forgot to bring water.

Oh crap! I didn’t have breakfast.

I waited some more.

I prayed again and called out.

My stomach growled.

[EGYPT 29417] ’Tree goddess in Sennedjem's tomb at Luxor.' A mural in the tomb of Sennedjem at Luxor portrays the tree goddess Nut appearing from a sycamore fig tree. Kneeling before her are the deceased Sennedjem and his wife Ineferti. With her left hand the goddess is presenting several offerings on a tray: an elongated bread, two round breads and flowers. Her right hand is pouring water from a pitcher. The Egyptians believed that the goddess would emerge from a sycamore when their ba-souls (usually in bird form) rested in the tree's shade and would give them nourishment and water. Sennedjem was a carpenter and possibly an architect, who lived during the 19th dynasty in the tombmaker's village of Deir el Medina on the Westbank at Luxor. His tomb (TT 1) can be found in the hillside cemetery near the foundations of the village. Photo Paul Smit and Mick Palarczyk.

People were becoming nosy. One person with a cell phone came up to see what I was doing pretending to be speaking to someone. That’s when I closed up shop. There was a brief moment where the area surrounding me was covered like a blanket of butterflies of all colors and birds coming out of nowhere. But I didn’t know if it was a sign from Helios that he heard me or it was just nature doing its thing. So I left feeling stupid and ready to chalk it up as a failure and devise a new strategy to tackle this problem.

 

 

June 29, 2016   No Comments

 

“True” Necromancy: Raising the Dead-Part 5

The Ancient Practices

“When you have reached this spot, as I now tell you, dig a trench a cubit or so in length, breadth, and depth, and pour into it as a drinking-offering to all the dead, first, honey mixed with milk, then wine, and in the third place water – sprinkling white barley meal over the whole. Moreover you must offer many prayers to the poor feeble ghosts, and promise them that when you get back to Ithaca you will sacrifice a barren heifer to them, the best you have, and will load the pyre with good things. More particularly you must promise that Teiresias shall have a black sheep all to himself, the finest in all your flocks.

When you shall have thus besought the ghosts with your prayers, offer them a ram and a black ewe, bending their heads towards Erebus; but yourself turn away from them as though you would make towards the river. On this, many dead men’s ghosts will come to you, and you must tell your men to skin the two sheep that you have just killed, and offer them as a burnt sacrifice with prayers to Hades and to Proserpine. Then draw your sword and sit there, so as to prevent any other poor ghost from coming near the split blood before Teiresias shall have answered your questions. The seer will presently come to you, and will tell you about your voyage–what stages you are to make, and how you are to sail the sea so as to reach your home.”

-Odyssey, Homer, B8th BCE, trans. S. Butler

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The word necromancy means, “divining by the dead”. Reanimation or summoning the actual ghost (versus the shade) with the use of a burial site or particular deceased person’s body was a form of “true” necromancy. Moving in the shadow realm surrounding the physical plane, the dead can also see the location of buried treasure and know the nature of others spirits (such as demons) and how best to communicate with them. Some cultures considered the knowledge of the dead to be unlimited whereas in the West (such as the ancient Greeks and Romans) believed that individual shades knew only certain things. Hence why Odysseus needed to speak directly to the ghost of a seer or oracle in order to get home. The obvious value of the deceased’s counsel may have been based on things they knew in life or knowledge they acquired after death. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, he makes mention of a giant bazaar in the underworld where the dead could convene to exchange the latest news and gossip.

 

In the ancient Greek world, the standard procedure for necromancy was the same as the offerings made to the dead for funerals:

• create a trench 

• create a fire pyre

• offer libations of honey, milk, oil, water, and wine

• offer grain (including barley cakes) and flowers

• sacrifice (black) animal and burn on fire

• offer blood

• prayers to chthonic gods

 

prothesis

The only difference between an act of necromancy and a funeral to bury the dead was the intent. The hair of the participants in both cases were loosely bound or unbound during services. Offerings to the gods were made to the fire and the offerings to the dead went into the pit. In Horace’s Satires 1.8, the statue of the god Priapus is witnessing two silly looking witches grave robbing a cemetery for slaves and performing necromantic rites.

He drives them off and concludes they never had power of any sort if he was able to so easily chase them off being a lowly deity. Horace introduces the concept of using wax dolls as vessels for the summoned spirits by his witches. This is the first literary reference to the use of such figurines (save Picatrix), which have be subsequently been used in various traditions (ATR’s,european witchcraft,etc.).

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Reanimation is considered one of the most gruesome and treacherous of magical operations. It’s considered especially dangerous since the nastiness of its procedures stirs up evil currents or attracts evil forces which may latch onto the magician.

“For nine days before the ceremony the necromancer and his assistants prepare for it by surrounding themselves with the aura of death. They dress in musty grave clothes, filched from corpses, and these must not be taken off until the operation is finished. When they first put these on they recite the funeral service over themselves. They abstain from the mere sight of a woman. They eat dog’s flesh with black bread, baked without salt or leaven, and they drink unfermented grape juice.

The dog is the creature of Hecate, the goddess of ghosts and death and sterility, the terrible and inexorable one, the dweller in the void, who is invoked with averted head because no man can see her and remain sane. The absence of salt is a symbol of putrefaction after death, because salt is a preservative. The bread has no leaven and the grape-juice is unfermented to stand for the matter without spirit, the physical clay without the spark of life. The bread and the grape-juice are also the necromantic equivalents of the bread and wine of a communion, unleavened and unfermented as a sacrament of emptiness and despair.

Through these preparations the magician puts himself in touch with death into a corpse like state in which he is in rapport with the real corpse he intends to disturb. When everything is ready to go the magician goes to the grave either between midnight and one in the morning and draws the magick circle around the grave. Assistants carry torches and burn a mixture of henbane, hemlock, aloes wood, saffron, opium and mandrake.

They open the grave and the coffin, exposing the corpse. The magician touches it three times with the wand, commanding it to arise. one formula is:

By the virue of the Holy Resurrection and the agonies of the damned, I conjure and Command thee, spirit of N. Deceased to answer my demands and obey these sacred ceremonies, on pain of everlasting torment. Berald, Beroald, Balbin, Gab, Gabor, Agaba, Arise, Arise, I charge and command thee!”

– pg.268, Cavendish,Richard. The Black Arts. Perigree Books, 1967

After the corpse has reanimated, you can then make your request. It will, depending on the state and age of the corpse, answer in a faint, hollow voice. Once the task is completed, it’s advised that the remains should be burned or buried in quicklime as a payment so no other could trouble or molest the spirits rest with sorcery. In Roman literature, the character Erichtho is a legendary Thessalian witch who appears several literary works.

“She would demand for a recent carcass with sound lungs which would speak audibly and clearly. Older corpses ‘only squeak incoherently’. According to occult theory, some of a body’s energy remains in it after death, but this energy is gradually dissipated.”

– pg.269, Cavendish, Richard. The Black Arts. Perigree Books, 1967

Ivan corpse

As you can see, these ancient practices were considered barbaric and bloody peculiar when you get right down to it. Personally, I can’t see how someone could perform these kinds of rituals legally today, given the laws we have in place to prevent the desecration of corpses and grave sites that would be required. (Maybe the stray medical student wanting that high score on an exam.) As it is, many celebrity burial sites (Marie Laveau, Oscar Wilde, and Lovecraft to name a few examples) have been repeatedly vandalized and graffitied over the years by people who may literally want a piece of them! They’ve had to dramatically increase security as a result. It’s probably just as well, as the end result of such a ritual would be pretty dire.

June 14, 2016   No Comments