Author Archive

Gothtober 2020 Contributors Announced!

by on Sep.06, 2020, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from The Gothtober Blog | Go to Original Post


The Demons Have Voted, The Kraken is Quite Pleased! 

Hark! Hark to the wind! ’T is the night, they say,
When all souls come back from the far away—
The dead, forgotten this many a day!
~Virna Sheard (1862–1943), “Hallowe’en”

On October 1st, when the countdown begins, a new surprise by a different artist launched each day until Halloween. Our EIGHTEENTH autumn assemblage will contain films, crafts, recipes and goodies of all kinds to your portable device or desktop, you needn’t go anywhere or do anything, it comes to YOU! See here our sinister selection of spooky contributors this year: 

1 – Farley & Breon 
2 – Cristin Pescosolido 
3 – Ollie Paige Linden
4 – Thomas Family
5 – Bill Cole 
6 – Auntie Lyla
7 – Horror Movie Survival Guide
8 – Linda Santiman 
9 – Pauly G
10 – Sibyl O’Malley
11 – Yuki Okada

12 – Christine Panushka
13 – Liz Hogan
14 – Julianna Parr 
15 – Lori Meeker
16 – Anne Yatco
17 – Dominique Dibbell
18 – Breezy 
19 – Asher Slasher
20 – Michael Gump
21 – WolfCat Workshop
22 – Mojo & Hojo 

23 – Jenny Walsh 
24 – LeBarron & Half Tongue Tribe
25 – Martin Ontiveros
26 – Del Norte Presents
27 – The Witchy Witches 
28 – Sabine Maxine
29 – Mellocreme Fairchild III
30 – Barry M and Nancy S
31 – Lisa McNeely 

Red Type = New to the Calendar this year!

Than you thank you participants! While we can’t be witch each other due to the virus, we’ll still flaunt and haunt to the best of our abilities. And oh my gourdness, I can hardly wait to see what eerie-sistible spells we’ll cast this year. A scare is born! ~xo JP Head Candy Corn

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Ask Arcanalogue

by on Dec.31, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Ask Arcanalogue: the monthly Tarot advice column from Tom Blunt. Want to submit your query? You may do so by emailing your question directly to arcanalogue@gmail.com.

Dearest Arcanalogue,

I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of going on hormones, and I’m having surprisingly mixed feelings.  On the one hand going on hormones has been incredibly validating from the beginning, and has even allowed me to go off Prozac without major setbacks for my mental health, as well as providing me a strong sense of relief as I wait for top surgery. 

However, and this has become more and more pressing recently, I’m struggling to figure out if it even matters. The people I’m out to will always see me truthfully, and there’s nothing in particular about looking like a cis man that’s terribly appealing to me as a nonbinary person.  The one thing that I know will provide me the most relief, surgery, is still 6-8 months out (though finally happening after 10 years of wanting), and in an increasingly transphobic world I feel damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I don’t know how to be myself in a world where people tend not to see me truthfully and where so many who do want me dead or conforming.

Things just feel overwhelming and unclear and dangerous and I’m angry and scared and unsure and don’t know what to do.

ZVB

Dearest ZVB,

First and foremost, congrats on these milestones. Not enough people appreciate just how significant they can be, or everything it costs to attain them. For reasons you outlined above and many more, this journey can be slow, painstaking, confusing, expensive, open-ended, and can result in all kinds of unwanted attention.

My wish for allies and onlookers: please make sure you’ve mentally assigned someone all the credit they deserve for this undertaking before moving on to that pivotal next phase of support: regarding it as completely normal.

You’ve laid a tremendously weighty question on me, ZVB, which I welcome. You must have done so knowing that no easy answer would be forthcoming, but even in the absence of answers, certain questions still deserve to be asked. I like to think that as an oracle, the tarot deck rewards this kind of question-asking with… perhaps not clear answers, but appropriately weighty ones.

Before we move on to the cards, I’ve gotta say that despite coming at this from a different angle (as an AMAB non-binary/genderqueer person) I relate so strongly to some of what you’ve said. Like this:

“There’s nothing in particular about looking like a cis man that’s terribly appealing to me as a non-binary person.”

That is a real struggle: sometimes winning on our own terms still means ending up in an imperfect place. Intellectually I know this is everyone’s lot, not just mine or yours. But some of us are yearning for forms of expression that may not really exist yet — or if they do exist, they aren’t widely accepted or understood. We can’t exist the way we truly are without prompting questions

I don’t want to stand out everywhere I go, but when I start blending in — when people stop asking questions — it feels dishonest. It feels like a betrayal of my history. It comes with privilege I don’t want. I end up being lumped in with people I feel no kinship with. The people who find that version of me “attractive” don’t seem trustworthy.

All of that is swirling around in my head, meanwhile all a stranger probably sees is a nice man walking through the grocery store. That’s why I go out of my way to make sure they see something else, even if they don’t like it. 

I spend a lot of time explaining myself to others in my head. I concoct airtight defenses in response to questions no one has asked. But I imagine them asking anyway, can hear them asking, either to my face or behind my back. And there’s nothing I can wear, nothing I can do to my body, no series of magic words that will create an accurate, immediate understanding. 

Perhaps it will always be this way. But then… it isn’t how I felt five years ago. So why should I assume I’ll still be wrestling with the same questions five years from now? 

I once heard Margaret Atwood describe technology as a three-edged sword, and it stuck with me. Paraphrased here: 

“The first edge cuts what you want it to; the second edge cuts you. As for the third edge, we don’t know what it does, because we don’t know where it is.” 

I think this applies so handily to gender, which overlaps more and more with technology each passing year — both in terms of how we accomplish gender transition, and how we’re viewed as we participate in the world. Navigating the cuts requires us to seek all kinds of information, some of which might not be knowable… but then, tantalizingly, it might be. And since we often only find what it occurs to us to seek out, we never really know how much of ourselves up being left on the table.

This requires us to accept the possibility of  “damned if you do,” because “damned if you don’t” is all but guaranteed. 

The cards I drew in response to this question seem like they were beamed from a parallel universe of much easier questions. That’s what makes me suspect they are truly applicable to your future, ZVB. 

The central card, the Ten of Cups, is an unmistakable sign of the satisfaction you’ll achieve in your pursuits, and the support you can count on from others. However, this is not meant to signify a destination in itself, but a means to yet another end. It means achieving an evolved form that now has its own work to do, its own journey to embark upon. And that comes at the expense of easy answers and a “settled” existence.

Honestly, most people do NOT want to hear this, whether about their wedding day, their surgery date or any other profound accomplishment. The farther we travel down any path, the more desperate we get for some kind of resolution. (The Ten of Swords, for example, shows how even a dismal resolution will suffice, as long as it means we finally reach a stopping point.) 

However, seen flanked here by two more concrete symbols of attainment — the Ten and Six of Coins — your card truly hints at the kind of fulfillment that can’t be taken away. You’re constructing a platform that all future ZVBs will be able to stand on, and build out from, and help others up to.

But like any responsible architect, your plans have to account for variables, blind-spots, and all manner of  “unknown unknowns” before you can lay a single brick, all the while knowing there are no perfect buildings.

That’s a huge burden to carry, and it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed or like you’re heading into danger. 

The poet and artist William Blake addressed a similar burden in his epic poem The Book of Urizen. A printer by trade, he knew that every single book created by humans would contain errors. As such, he had a deep terror of folks who believed in taking every word of the Bible literally. But in order to share his concerns with a wider audience, he had to overcome his own misgivings about the medium and print books of his own — knowing they, too, would also be imperfect. 

There’s a kind of humor in what he managed to create, mixed with profound existential sadness. But what matters to me (and to you, I hope) is that he still managed to create the goddamned book anyway. He released it in several different printings, tweaking and revised a bit each time. And while it’s definitely stuffed with biblical allusions, its status as a book of prophecy in its own right is not diminished by existing in response to a greater, more universally-accepted (albeit deeply flawed) work. 

Yes, the Bible remains dominant in our culture, even centuries later, but The Book of Urizen has been read and discussed continuously ever since it was written in 1794.

The body and person you’re creating is not like others, ZVB. It’s not reductive. Its validity is not owed to references drawn from more widely-recognized works. It is a living work of prophecy, the emergence of which represents its own fulfillment of said prophecy.

This is the part of the work that’s in YOUR hands, regardless of how anyone else in the world sees you. The Ten of Coins comments on the establishment you gain as a result of taking these steps, literally transforming reality to suit your needs. The Six comments on how the balance you’ve worked so hard to attain will free up your hands to give back to others in ways that you simply can’t afford to focus on right now. 

“I don’t know how to be myself in a world where people tend not to see me truthfully.”

I don’t know if you realize the power in that statement, and how badly others might need to hear it said. They might think they’re supposed to have that part figured out already, in order to take certain life- and gender-affirming next steps. And philosophically, it does inspire me to wonder: how could this kind of awareness ever hope to find itself adequately expressed in a mere human body?

The cards I’ve drawn here suggest a departure into new unknowns awaits you, and that your steps will be balanced, deliberate, and the product of much patience and hard work. It’s slow growth, the kind that seems impossible at any given stage of the journey, until suddenly there it is.

Water, like our feelings, can be troublingly insubstantial, but it has undeniable weight. That weight will gradually settle where it belongs: firmly beneath you. The surface tension will bear you up.

I felt awkward including a note to allies at the beginning of this response, because I wanted it to be all about you, ZVB. However, I think letters like yours serve as an important reminder to cisgender folks, which is: by transitioning, we are not necessarily trying to rejoin your world in a new form. We don’t necessarily want to look like you. We don’t necessarily want to date you. We aren’t obligated to perform certain expressions of masculinity or femininity, and the absence of these does not make our transition “incomplete.”

A lot of the time, the world doesn’t seem to want us. The wicked are quick to remind us of that, without ever stopping to wonder if perhaps the feeling might be mutual. They don’t see the dominant reality as one that you can just… opt out of. But we do! “No thanks!” we say, waving cutely out the car window on our way somewhere else. 

Where, exactly? Unclear at this early stage, and perhaps unimportant. Because, in all likelihood, we built it within ourselves and brought it with us, wherever we ended up. Right?

Fondest wishes for 2020,

ARCANALOGUE


Dear Arcanalogue,

Without going into unnecessary detail, the person who I am inside doesn’t match who I am outside. As in, at all. And as I get older it’s starting to sink in that it never will. 

I feel like I’m living without hope. How do people survive like this?

Signed,

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous, 

It seems telling that the card I drew for you was also from the suit of Coins, the world of action. A lot can “happen” in our minds, but the most significant markers of our life experience are measured not just in will, but in deed.

There’s a level of elemental mastery everyone dreams of, in which reality itself can be bent to fulfill our desires. This is the stuff of fantasy: wishes, magical superpowers and the like. The truth is far more humbling: we work with what we have. And too much of the time, what we have isn’t worth jack shit.

But humility and “being realistic” can also keep us from even trying. It provides the perfect excuse, masquerading as practical wisdom: You can’t win, so why waste any effort?

One of the things I like about occult and magickal traditions is they give people something to do about their dreams and wishes, besides just letting them fester. These practices require honesty with oneself, articulation of one’s intent, research, experimentation, and ultimately, action. No outcome is certain, but a practice that continually inspires an individual to take action can’t help but have a transformative effect on their life over time. They may not become what they fantasize about, but those fantasies find a way to live and walk around in the world, instead of just noxiously fermenting and smelling up the place.

I feel that way about making art, or reading tarot cards. It gives me something to do, something to think about, redirecting my focus away from the most painful, inescapable facts of my existence, toward something… comfortingly unknowable. Something that feels a little like hope.

I’m not recommending you take up occult studies or start shuffling cards. But there are productive ways to honor and explore your fantasy, instead of just getting mired in the pain of watching it go unfulfilled; there are ways of orienting yourself toward transformation in the long term. In either case, the key is in your hands, and that key is action

The Eight of Coins is one of the most encouraging cards in the deck. It acknowledges the raw deal you’ve gotten (the disappointment on the farmer’s face in the Seven of Coins says it all) but steers you toward a course of action that gradually leads to success, even if it’s a different target than you originally set out to hit. 

Certain facts can’t be argued with, they can only be accepted. It shouldn’t have to be this way… but it is. You shouldn’t have to find your own way out of it… but you do. 

But acceptance isn’t a dead-end: it’s the first step toward finding realistic options. Your insides and your outsides might never match, Anonymous, but they need to learn to cooperate. They are not, after all, competing realities. They are aspects of the same reality, the same being, your “true nature.” 

Working together on something, they just might stumble into a mutually-beneficial relationship. Stranger things have happened! 

You don’t have to figure out how to do this alone. If you’re not seeing a therapist, know that a good one will accept everything you have to say about “the person you are inside,” and will be happy to help facilitate this process. 

In the meantime, look for hope in what you can do. Don’t accept nothing as an answer, not just yet. The progress will be slow, and the result will be defined entirely by what you put into it. I, for one, would be very interested to see what you end up making, what you end up doing, even when it seems hopeless. 

I know people who are decades further along a similar path, Anonymous, and they live in a perpetual state of wonder. 

Thanks for reaching out. Keep reaching!

ARCANALOGUE

Find Arcanalogue on Instagram // Tumblr // Patreon


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Ask Arcanalogue

by on Dec.31, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Ask Arcanalogue: the monthly Tarot advice column from Tom Blunt. Want to submit your query? You may do so by emailing your question directly to arcanalogue@gmail.com.

Dearest Arcanalogue,

I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of going on hormones, and I’m having surprisingly mixed feelings.  On the one hand going on hormones has been incredibly validating from the beginning, and has even allowed me to go off Prozac without major setbacks for my mental health, as well as providing me a strong sense of relief as I wait for top surgery. 

However, and this has become more and more pressing recently, I’m struggling to figure out if it even matters. The people I’m out to will always see me truthfully, and there’s nothing in particular about looking like a cis man that’s terribly appealing to me as a nonbinary person.  The one thing that I know will provide me the most relief, surgery, is still 6-8 months out (though finally happening after 10 years of wanting), and in an increasingly transphobic world I feel damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I don’t know how to be myself in a world where people tend not to see me truthfully and where so many who do want me dead or conforming.

Things just feel overwhelming and unclear and dangerous and I’m angry and scared and unsure and don’t know what to do.

ZVB

Dearest ZVB,

First and foremost, congrats on these milestones. Not enough people appreciate just how significant they can be, or everything it costs to attain them. For reasons you outlined above and many more, this journey can be slow, painstaking, confusing, expensive, open-ended, and can result in all kinds of unwanted attention.

My wish for allies and onlookers: please make sure you’ve mentally assigned someone all the credit they deserve for this undertaking before moving on to that pivotal next phase of support: regarding it as completely normal.

You’ve laid a tremendously weighty question on me, ZVB, which I welcome. You must have done so knowing that no easy answer would be forthcoming, but even in the absence of answers, certain questions still deserve to be asked. I like to think that as an oracle, the tarot deck rewards this kind of question-asking with… perhaps not clear answers, but appropriately weighty ones.

Before we move on to the cards, I’ve gotta say that despite coming at this from a different angle (as an AMAB non-binary/genderqueer person) I relate so strongly to some of what you’ve said. Like this:

“There’s nothing in particular about looking like a cis man that’s terribly appealing to me as a non-binary person.”

That is a real struggle: sometimes winning on our own terms still means ending up in an imperfect place. Intellectually I know this is everyone’s lot, not just mine or yours. But some of us are yearning for forms of expression that may not really exist yet — or if they do exist, they aren’t widely accepted or understood. We can’t exist the way we truly are without prompting questions

I don’t want to stand out everywhere I go, but when I start blending in — when people stop asking questions — it feels dishonest. It feels like a betrayal of my history. It comes with privilege I don’t want. I end up being lumped in with people I feel no kinship with. The people who find that version of me “attractive” don’t seem trustworthy.

All of that is swirling around in my head, meanwhile all a stranger probably sees is a nice man walking through the grocery store. That’s why I go out of my way to make sure they see something else, even if they don’t like it. 

I spend a lot of time explaining myself to others in my head. I concoct airtight defenses in response to questions no one has asked. But I imagine them asking anyway, can hear them asking, either to my face or behind my back. And there’s nothing I can wear, nothing I can do to my body, no series of magic words that will create an accurate, immediate understanding. 

Perhaps it will always be this way. But then… it isn’t how I felt five years ago. So why should I assume I’ll still be wrestling with the same questions five years from now? 

I once heard Margaret Atwood describe technology as a three-edged sword, and it stuck with me. Paraphrased here: 

“The first edge cuts what you want it to; the second edge cuts you. As for the third edge, we don’t know what it does, because we don’t know where it is.” 

I think this applies so handily to gender, which overlaps more and more with technology each passing year — both in terms of how we accomplish gender transition, and how we’re viewed as we participate in the world. Navigating the cuts requires us to seek all kinds of information, some of which might not be knowable… but then, tantalizingly, it might be. And since we often only find what it occurs to us to seek out, we never really know how much of ourselves up being left on the table.

This requires us to accept the possibility of  “damned if you do,” because “damned if you don’t” is all but guaranteed. 

The cards I drew in response to this question seem like they were beamed from a parallel universe of much easier questions. That’s what makes me suspect they are truly applicable to your future, ZVB. 

The central card, the Ten of Cups, is an unmistakable sign of the satisfaction you’ll achieve in your pursuits, and the support you can count on from others. However, this is not meant to signify a destination in itself, but a means to yet another end. It means achieving an evolved form that now has its own work to do, its own journey to embark upon. And that comes at the expense of easy answers and a “settled” existence.

Honestly, most people do NOT want to hear this, whether about their wedding day, their surgery date or any other profound accomplishment. The farther we travel down any path, the more desperate we get for some kind of resolution. (The Ten of Swords, for example, shows how even a dismal resolution will suffice, as long as it means we finally reach a stopping point.) 

However, seen flanked here by two more concrete symbols of attainment — the Ten and Six of Coins — your card truly hints at the kind of fulfillment that can’t be taken away. You’re constructing a platform that all future ZVBs will be able to stand on, and build out from, and help others up to.

But like any responsible architect, your plans have to account for variables, blind-spots, and all manner of  “unknown unknowns” before you can lay a single brick, all the while knowing there are no perfect buildings.

That’s a huge burden to carry, and it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed or like you’re heading into danger. 

The poet and artist William Blake addressed a similar burden in his epic poem The Book of Urizen. A printer by trade, he knew that every single book created by humans would contain errors. As such, he had a deep terror of folks who believed in taking every word of the Bible literally. But in order to share his concerns with a wider audience, he had to overcome his own misgivings about the medium and print books of his own — knowing they, too, would also be imperfect. 

There’s a kind of humor in what he managed to create, mixed with profound existential sadness. But what matters to me (and to you, I hope) is that he still managed to create the goddamned book anyway. He released it in several different printings, tweaking and revised a bit each time. And while it’s definitely stuffed with biblical allusions, its status as a book of prophecy in its own right is not diminished by existing in response to a greater, more universally-accepted (albeit deeply flawed) work. 

Yes, the Bible remains dominant in our culture, even centuries later, but The Book of Urizen has been read and discussed continuously ever since it was written in 1794.

The body and person you’re creating is not like others, ZVB. It’s not reductive. Its validity is not owed to references drawn from more widely-recognized works. It is a living work of prophecy, the emergence of which represents its own fulfillment of said prophecy.

This is the part of the work that’s in YOUR hands, regardless of how anyone else in the world sees you. The Ten of Coins comments on the establishment you gain as a result of taking these steps, literally transforming reality to suit your needs. The Six comments on how the balance you’ve worked so hard to attain will free up your hands to give back to others in ways that you simply can’t afford to focus on right now. 

“I don’t know how to be myself in a world where people tend not to see me truthfully.”

I don’t know if you realize the power in that statement, and how badly others might need to hear it said. They might think they’re supposed to have that part figured out already, in order to take certain life- and gender-affirming next steps. And philosophically, it does inspire me to wonder: how could this kind of awareness ever hope to find itself adequately expressed in a mere human body?

The cards I’ve drawn here suggest a departure into new unknowns awaits you, and that your steps will be balanced, deliberate, and the product of much patience and hard work. It’s slow growth, the kind that seems impossible at any given stage of the journey, until suddenly there it is.

Water, like our feelings, can be troublingly insubstantial, but it has undeniable weight. That weight will gradually settle where it belongs: firmly beneath you. The surface tension will bear you up.

I felt awkward including a note to allies at the beginning of this response, because I wanted it to be all about you, ZVB. However, I think letters like yours serve as an important reminder to cisgender folks, which is: by transitioning, we are not necessarily trying to rejoin your world in a new form. We don’t necessarily want to look like you. We don’t necessarily want to date you. We aren’t obligated to perform certain expressions of masculinity or femininity, and the absence of these does not make our transition “incomplete.”

A lot of the time, the world doesn’t seem to want us. The wicked are quick to remind us of that, without ever stopping to wonder if perhaps the feeling might be mutual. They don’t see the dominant reality as one that you can just… opt out of. But we do! “No thanks!” we say, waving cutely out the car window on our way somewhere else. 

Where, exactly? Unclear at this early stage, and perhaps unimportant. Because, in all likelihood, we built it within ourselves and brought it with us, wherever we ended up. Right?

Fondest wishes for 2020,

ARCANALOGUE


Dear Arcanalogue,

Without going into unnecessary detail, the person who I am inside doesn’t match who I am outside. As in, at all. And as I get older it’s starting to sink in that it never will. 

I feel like I’m living without hope. How do people survive like this?

Signed,

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous, 

It seems telling that the card I drew for you was also from the suit of Coins, the world of action. A lot can “happen” in our minds, but the most significant markers of our life experience are measured not just in will, but in deed.

There’s a level of elemental mastery everyone dreams of, in which reality itself can be bent to fulfill our desires. This is the stuff of fantasy: wishes, magical superpowers and the like. The truth is far more humbling: we work with what we have. And too much of the time, what we have isn’t worth jack shit.

But humility and “being realistic” can also keep us from even trying. It provides the perfect excuse, masquerading as practical wisdom: You can’t win, so why waste any effort?

One of the things I like about occult and magickal traditions is they give people something to do about their dreams and wishes, besides just letting them fester. These practices require honesty with oneself, articulation of one’s intent, research, experimentation, and ultimately, action. No outcome is certain, but a practice that continually inspires an individual to take action can’t help but have a transformative effect on their life over time. They may not become what they fantasize about, but those fantasies find a way to live and walk around in the world, instead of just noxiously fermenting and smelling up the place.

I feel that way about making art, or reading tarot cards. It gives me something to do, something to think about, redirecting my focus away from the most painful, inescapable facts of my existence, toward something… comfortingly unknowable. Something that feels a little like hope.

I’m not recommending you take up occult studies or start shuffling cards. But there are productive ways to honor and explore your fantasy, instead of just getting mired in the pain of watching it go unfulfilled; there are ways of orienting yourself toward transformation in the long term. In either case, the key is in your hands, and that key is action

The Eight of Coins is one of the most encouraging cards in the deck. It acknowledges the raw deal you’ve gotten (the disappointment on the farmer’s face in the Seven of Coins says it all) but steers you toward a course of action that gradually leads to success, even if it’s a different target than you originally set out to hit. 

Certain facts can’t be argued with, they can only be accepted. It shouldn’t have to be this way… but it is. You shouldn’t have to find your own way out of it… but you do. 

But acceptance isn’t a dead-end: it’s the first step toward finding realistic options. Your insides and your outsides might never match, Anonymous, but they need to learn to cooperate. They are not, after all, competing realities. They are aspects of the same reality, the same being, your “true nature.” 

Working together on something, they just might stumble into a mutually-beneficial relationship. Stranger things have happened! 

You don’t have to figure out how to do this alone. If you’re not seeing a therapist, know that a good one will accept everything you have to say about “the person you are inside,” and will be happy to help facilitate this process. 

In the meantime, look for hope in what you can do. Don’t accept nothing as an answer, not just yet. The progress will be slow, and the result will be defined entirely by what you put into it. I, for one, would be very interested to see what you end up making, what you end up doing, even when it seems hopeless. 

I know people who are decades further along a similar path, Anonymous, and they live in a perpetual state of wonder. 

Thanks for reaching out. Keep reaching!

ARCANALOGUE

Find Arcanalogue on Instagram // Tumblr // Patreon


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Weekly Eyeball Fodder

by on Dec.29, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

OK. So I thought last week’s gallery was to be the last of the eyeball fodder for 2019, but then something slightly sad and somewhat unexpected happened, and I re-evaluated.

To make a long story short, 8tracks, a website I’ve been using for over a decade to create “mixtapes,” or playlists, or whatever you want to call them, is shutting down as of December 31st. This is vaguely distressing in that way you feel when something you used to love but don’t use very much anymore goes away…and so I am beset with all manner of nostalgic melancholy, but at the same time, I am not all that surprised (and had actually started importing all of my playlists to Spotify last year.) Also…I suspect I am not the only user who had been using 8tracks less and less as the years passed. Which is unfortunate, but inevitable, I suppose. And probably has a great deal to do with why they are shutting down.

So, what does that have to do with Eyeball Fodder, you ask? Or that the little voice playing you in my head is asking? Part of the process of creating a playlist for 8tracks had involved, for me at least, the act of pairing it with the perfect imagery to evoke the mood of the music you included in the mix. Over the course of the last ten years, searching out this companion art, illustrations, and photography for my playlists was an adventure that brought me a great deal of enjoyment and led me to a great many new-to-me wonderfully talented artists.

I thought it might be fitting to end the year (or the decade, I guess!) by sharing a handful of favorites in this vein, with either the specific art that I used for a playlist, or something else from that particular artist that caught my eye, and maybe I never shared at all. As a bonus, I’m linking you to the playlists that the image corresponds with, and which are now housed over at Spotify…which isn’t a perfect solution, but until I find a better alternative, that’s where they will reside.

It was a strange and wonderful bit of time travel, rediscovering this music and these artists, and I’ve found myself reliving so many vivid moments of the last decade–both the highs and the lows, which were usually memorialized by a mix and why I made them in the first place, because I was experiencing something!–and there have been sighs of both profound sadness and the deepest, wildest pleasure as I’ve organized the following gallery for your eyeballs. And I guess that’s what art is for, isn’t it?

Friends who now follow my writing at Haute Macabre because you initially found me through 8tracks–thank you so much for sticking around!

Ann George, “obedience and the gift”

Playlist: I Will Stitch Your Eyelids Shut; I Will Sew Your Shroud

Billy Kidd, Decaying Flowers series

Playlist: Nostalgia For What Never Was

Fran Liscio, Botanica Reliquaire series

Playlist: To Live In This World

Shelbie Dimond

Playlist: spun glass & straw

Michaela Knizova

Playlist: It Is Something I Have Long Known
Inspired by Robert Aickman’s strange tale, ‘Into The Wood‘.

Jason Blake

Playlist: burdock, blue aconite, and thistle and thorn

Alison Scarpulla

Playlist: The tides of all men’s souls belong to me

Kebba Sanneh, “Masque”

Playlist: …and yet – something remains…

Matthias Lueger

Playlist: Secret Spaces

Brittany Schall, “Tempural Touch”

Playlist: A Shifting Impermanence

Jaime Johnson Aelavanthara

Playlist: Spring Does Not Arrive Overnight

Anders Røkkum

Playlist: Do I Contradict Myself?

Lizz Lopez, “Widow Hands”

Playlist: curses + kisses

Katie Eleanor

Playlist: For A Thousand Years I Have Known

hiddenvelvet

Playlist: You Do Not Have To Be Good

James Jean

Playlist: A moth, a swan, a cold, clear moon

Featured image: Kate Zambrano, “Alchemy”
Playlist: slivered glass and milk


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Weekly Eyeball Fodder

by on Dec.29, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

OK. So I thought last week’s gallery was to be the last of the eyeball fodder for 2019, but then something slightly sad and somewhat unexpected happened, and I re-evaluated.

To make a long story short, 8tracks, a website I’ve been using for over a decade to create “mixtapes,” or playlists, or whatever you want to call them, is shutting down as of December 31st. This is vaguely distressing in that way you feel when something you used to love but don’t use very much anymore goes away…and so I am beset with all manner of nostalgic melancholy, but at the same time, I am not all that surprised (and had actually started importing all of my playlists to Spotify last year.) Also…I suspect I am not the only user who had been using 8tracks less and less as the years passed. Which is unfortunate, but inevitable, I suppose. And probably has a great deal to do with why they are shutting down.

So, what does that have to do with Eyeball Fodder, you ask? Or that the little voice playing you in my head is asking? Part of the process of creating a playlist for 8tracks had involved, for me at least, the act of pairing it with the perfect imagery to evoke the mood of the music you included in the mix. Over the course of the last ten years, searching out this companion art, illustrations, and photography for my playlists was an adventure that brought me a great deal of enjoyment and led me to a great many new-to-me wonderfully talented artists.

I thought it might be fitting to end the year (or the decade, I guess!) by sharing a handful of favorites in this vein, with either the specific art that I used for a playlist, or something else from that particular artist that caught my eye, and maybe I never shared at all. As a bonus, I’m linking you to the playlists that the image corresponds with, and which are now housed over at Spotify…which isn’t a perfect solution, but until I find a better alternative, that’s where they will reside.

It was a strange and wonderful bit of time travel, rediscovering this music and these artists, and I’ve found myself reliving so many vivid moments of the last decade–both the highs and the lows, which were usually memorialized by a mix and why I made them in the first place, because I was experiencing something!–and there have been sighs of both profound sadness and the deepest, wildest pleasure as I’ve organized the following gallery for your eyeballs. And I guess that’s what art is for, isn’t it?

Friends who now follow my writing at Haute Macabre because you initially found me through 8tracks–thank you so much for sticking around!

Ann George, “obedience and the gift”

Playlist: I Will Stitch Your Eyelids Shut; I Will Sew Your Shroud

Billy Kidd, Decaying Flowers series

Playlist: Nostalgia For What Never Was

Fran Liscio, Botanica Reliquaire series

Playlist: To Live In This World

Shelbie Dimond

Playlist: spun glass & straw

Michaela Knizova

Playlist: It Is Something I Have Long Known
Inspired by Robert Aickman’s strange tale, ‘Into The Wood‘.

Jason Blake

Playlist: burdock, blue aconite, and thistle and thorn

Alison Scarpulla

Playlist: The tides of all men’s souls belong to me

Kebba Sanneh, “Masque”

Playlist: …and yet – something remains…

Matthias Lueger

Playlist: Secret Spaces

Brittany Schall, “Tempural Touch”

Playlist: A Shifting Impermanence

Jaime Johnson Aelavanthara

Playlist: Spring Does Not Arrive Overnight

Anders Røkkum

Playlist: Do I Contradict Myself?

Lizz Lopez, “Widow Hands”

Playlist: curses + kisses

Katie Eleanor

Playlist: For A Thousand Years I Have Known

hiddenvelvet

Playlist: You Do Not Have To Be Good

James Jean

Playlist: A moth, a swan, a cold, clear moon

Featured image: Kate Zambrano, “Alchemy”
Playlist: slivered glass and milk


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An Ethereal Menagerie: The Sculptures of Ellen Jewett

by on Dec.27, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Intricate and grotesque, Ellen Jewett sculptures are constructed of an ever evolving process. Metamorphosing raw, non toxic material into theriomorphic forms, each piece is an expression of the delicate balance of nature.

Find Ellen Jewett on Instagram // Portfolio // Etsy (and a previous post here on HM from 2014!)

Each sculpture is handmade and painted with no more tools than fingers and a paint brush. By virtue of this primal process, each creation is completely unique and produced in a fluid and intuitive manner. The process begins with a handmade metal armature over which light weight clay is sculpted. The painting is executed with acrylic, mineral and oil pigments and the embedded eyes are glass. When complete the whole piece is glazed to intensify colour and strength. With inspiration derived from animal physiology and a love of the fantastic, grotesque and absurd, each sculpture is unique and personable. The detailed craftsmanship is rich and thoughtful and never cast molded or replicated.

via EllenJewettSculpture.com


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An Ethereal Menagerie: The Sculptures of Ellen Jewett

by on Dec.27, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Intricate and grotesque, Ellen Jewett sculptures are constructed of an ever evolving process. Metamorphosing raw, non toxic material into theriomorphic forms, each piece is an expression of the delicate balance of nature.

Find Ellen Jewett on Instagram // Portfolio // Etsy (and a previous post here on HM from 2014!)

Each sculpture is handmade and painted with no more tools than fingers and a paint brush. By virtue of this primal process, each creation is completely unique and produced in a fluid and intuitive manner. The process begins with a handmade metal armature over which light weight clay is sculpted. The painting is executed with acrylic, mineral and oil pigments and the embedded eyes are glass. When complete the whole piece is glazed to intensify colour and strength. With inspiration derived from animal physiology and a love of the fantastic, grotesque and absurd, each sculpture is unique and personable. The detailed craftsmanship is rich and thoughtful and never cast molded or replicated.

via EllenJewettSculpture.com


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The Christmas Service of the Dead

by on Dec.24, 2019, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

S. Elizabeth: I initially wrote the following on Christmas eve, over a decade ago, but have since made an annual tradition of trotting out the creepy old chestnut to share with friends and kindred spirits. I cannot envision a more like-minded bunch with which to share a ghostly Christmas tale than my Haute Macabre family, so please read on, and I hope you enjoy its eerie delights as much as I do. (As originally posted at Unquiet Things.)

People say that long ago the dead held a service on the night before Christmas.  Once a woman arrived too early for Christmas service.  When she entered the church she found it lit up and full of dead people, singing:

Here we sing, our bones all bleached,
Here we sing with beautiful voice,
When shall the day of judgment come,
What yet have you to say?

The story continues on as the woman recognizes her dead sister among the congregation. Warned by her sister that she must flee, for the dead will take her life, the woman escapes, dropping her shawl behind her to confuse her cadaverous pursuers.  When the churchwarden arrives on Christmas morning and puts the lights on, he spies the shawl in the empty chapel, torn almost beyond recognition.

This tale is widely spread in Europe and is extremely old, having been set in Autun, Burgandy, by Gregory of Tours in his De Gloria Confessorum.  See below for an illustrated version of the best-known Scandinavian variant of this migratory legend, “The Midnight Mass of the Dead” from Asbørnsen’s “En gammelgags juleaften” (“An Old Fashioned Christmas Eve”). 

These wonderfully evocative images, full of dim shades, grim shadows, and midwinter’s eerie light, were created by brilliant artist Chris Van Allsburg  (JumangiThe Polar Express) and can be found in the Ghosts” volume from the Time Life Enchanted World series.  The scans below are from my personal collection; higher-resolution, more detailed versions can be found here.

Sources: Swedish Legends and Folktales by John Lindow

From myself and the staff at Haute Macabre–we wish you peace and light in this dark, dying time of the year, and may you not be without your shawl or other talisman this winter holiday when the dead are afoot and hungry for your company.

-S. Elizabeth


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