Stars, Fools, and Lovers: An illustrated guide to the art and history of the tarot

by on Nov.14, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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The creators of Morbid Anatomy and Strange Attractor Press are crowd funding their next volume, Stars, Fools, and Lovers: A Visual Compendium of Tarot.

Stars, Fools, and Lovers will be both instructional and interpretive guide to intuitively reading the cards and an in depth exploration of the art, symbolism, and history of the Tarot.

“… The tarot has an uncanny ability to put us in touch with truths of which we are not consciously aware. The tarot, with its intuitive symbology, provides a bridge to our own unconscious. Or, as some believe, it provides access to invisible worlds beyond our understanding. Regardless of your beliefs and approach, Stars, Fools and Lovers will provide you with the tools you need – along with a wealth of visual inspiration – to begin your own exploration of its complex and rich world.” 

The book is being crowd funded via Unbound.com, with hardback edition rewards starting at the $35 pledge tier. It is only now at 26% funded, which I personally attest to Unbound’s policy of unfunded project pledges not being reimbursed to the patrons but used as a credit towards other projects. I feel that this is easily compared to contributing to a Go Fund Me, which we are all comfortable donating to when the cause is worthy.


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Stars, Fools, and Lovers: An illustrated guide to the art and history of the tarot

by on Nov.14, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

The creators of Morbid Anatomy and Strange Attractor Press are crowd funding their next volume, Stars, Fools, and Lovers: A Visual Compendium of Tarot.

Stars, Fools, and Lovers will be both instructional and interpretive guide to intuitively reading the cards and an in depth exploration of the art, symbolism, and history of the Tarot.

“… The tarot has an uncanny ability to put us in touch with truths of which we are not consciously aware. The tarot, with its intuitive symbology, provides a bridge to our own unconscious. Or, as some believe, it provides access to invisible worlds beyond our understanding. Regardless of your beliefs and approach, Stars, Fools and Lovers will provide you with the tools you need – along with a wealth of visual inspiration – to begin your own exploration of its complex and rich world.” 

The book is being crowd funded via Unbound.com, with hardback edition rewards starting at the $35 pledge tier. It is only now at 26% funded, which I personally attest to Unbound’s policy of unfunded project pledges not being reimbursed to the patrons but used as a credit towards other projects. I feel that this is easily compared to contributing to a Go Fund Me, which we are all comfortable donating to when the cause is worthy.


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Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Tarot Scents: The Emperor

by on Nov.13, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Our first set of reviews for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s archetypal adventure and tarot-inspired collection, The Fool’s Journey, featured the master of ceremonies and consummate magus, The Magician. Soon to follow was The Daughter of Heaven and Earth, the Fruitful Mother of Thousands, The Empress. Next we saw The Star Maiden, She Who Shines in the Darkness, High Priestess of Veiled Golden Isis, the Eternal Virgin–The High Priestess. Today we focus on The Emperor (which is only available until 11/26/18 before it disappears from the site!)

Complementing The Empress, The Emperor is the “Masculine Principle, the Animus, and The Patriarch.” Sitting ramrod straight and rigid, though, his stern countenance is quite a departure from the sensual languor of The Empress. The Emperor is the embodiment of Martial discipline and power that stems from self-control, restraint, and abstention. He rules as the mind directs the Ego, and his governing style evinces a brilliant intellect and unimpeachable confidence. He is the Red King to the Empress’ White Queen, releasing the soaring eagle of his intellect in search of the Philosopher’s Stone.

In his hands, he holds the symbols of his office – the orb and the rod – and his throne rests in a rocky landscape bisected by a narrow stream. He is the power conferred by Initiation and the power of the process of Initiation itself. He is authority, potency, protection, influence and supremacy, all exercised with absolute control. His presence augments fame, honor, and glory, and bears tidings for issues of government and country. He is decisive action and the necessity of boundaries, demarcations, and responsibility. He is social structure and civilization itself, he is the strength to defend home, family, community, and country. He is Divine Law and Temporal Law, and he is the steel-sheathed fist that creates, maintains, and defends these laws.

Passion feeds the soul and intuition guides the spirit, but without the laws of man and nature and the structure of society, civilization and government, we would immolate in the fires of chaos.

What will you do to defend that which you love?

The Huntsman (black pine and vetiver, leather and clove) Leading a host of spectral hounds, he scours the earth in search of errant souls.  A still, solemn forest of tarry, resinous pines, greenest firs, and crisp midnight air. Woodsmoke and loam, lichen and fern, and musty mosses creeping over logs and hidden pathways. Spiders sleeping in their dew-jeweled webs, high in the branches. If you love deep, green woodsy scents, then you are going to need this one.

Pater Populi (bay leaf and olive blossom with ambrette seed, white oakmoss, petitgrain, lavender, cedar, and leather) The foundation of a stable and just society, the keeper of tradition, the enforcer of laws. This is lovely and sweet, but not in a cloying, saccharine way that you taste on your tongue, but an emotion, a feeling, a tug on the heart-strings. A sentiment, rather than the scent of sweetness. A gentle iron, the edges buffed with woods and resins. A clean, musky, mallow-y tobacco.

The Horned God (Ash and white cedar, frankincense and acacia, holly and oak, verbena and nettle) Lord of the cycle of death and resurrection, he is the personification of the rhythms of order found deep in the cycles of nature. A citrusy cedar, wreathed in verdant greenery.

Eternal King (juniper and yew berry, black pine, white sage, soil, and pyre smoke) At first, all piney pine-pine-pine. Pine needles rubbed in your eyes and mouth, up your nose, when your face has been smashed into the damp earth. Why are you laying prostrate on the ground,  abased and humbled with your head bowed low in the dirt? It is, of course, the will of the unyielding king at whose undying feet you kneel. Your petitions for mercy, for love, make him laugh–and it’s a joyous, terrifying sound. He sets fire to your hair. You wake up with a start, your bed clothes soaked in bittersweet sweat, your cheeks streaked with grime and tears. A pine needle has worked its way into the fabric of your pajamas, and you leave it where it pokes your tender skin, a reminder to hold your love and loyalty close, defend its sanctity, even and especially from kings.

The Imperator (steel and gold wreathed by a crown of bay and iris)  Cool and powdery, regal and sophisticated, this is indeed the steely eau de cologne of a sovereign commanding his legions to secure the safety of his people and promote the expansion of his lands…but this dedicated ruler also moonlights as a chef! Sometimes, as he crawls under his silken sheets at night after a clandestine visit to the night market to search out the perfect seasoning bouquet for a pot au feu, his companion stirs from slumber to sleepily note the bitter, herbal pungency of her lover’s hands. “Is that…parsley?” she inquires in a drowsy mumble, before nodding off again. Damn, he thinks. Should have washed my hands after chopping the bay and thyme. Probably should have washed the blood of my enemies from them before handling the herbs, too. Eh, what’re you gonna do?

The Emperor’s Throne (tobacco leaf, stone-grey ambergris, cistus, benzoin, and Himalayan cedar). I am currently reading a fascinating book about ambergris because I have long heard it mentioned with reference to perfume, though I’ve never been entirely certain if it is actually supposed to smell like something, or if it is in fact a fixative with which to increase the staying-power of the scent. I still don’t know, but maybe I’ll have a better answer after I finish the book! At any rate, I can’t stop thinking about ambergris lately, and seeing it mentioned as a note in The Emperor’s Throne probably has me overthinking things (for example, I certainly don’t smell much in the way of musky, earthy cow dung, which is how traders and scholars describe–fresh–ambergris, but then again, BPAL is a cruelty free business and no doubt uses a synthetic variety, not the actual whale poop filled with squid beaks and whatnot, and which sells for obscene amounts per ounce.) Rather than a fecal marine scent, then, what this is instead is a musty cedar with a sweet, rounded bottom note, and I can’t confirm this for a fact, since I don’t actually know any rich people, but I’m certain it smells like rich people airing out their linen cupboards.

The Emperor’s Rams (dragon’s blood resin, red peppercorn, red poppy, red musk, and red amber) Sweet, spicy, and utterly hypnotic, dragon’s blood resin is one of my very favorite notes, and its inclusion in the rams representing the twin symbols of Aries, signifying courage and aggression, provides a warm base, a blanket of familiarity–with an interesting twist, when you peek from over your cozy, resinous coverlet. Hot metal upon which something fragrant burns, sizzling peppercorns, hissing and popping, like so many mustard seeds in an oiled pan, stirred quickly with curry leaves and cardamom pods.

The Emperor’s Crown (frankincense and styrax with bergamot and lemon peel) Rulership blessed by celestial providence; bright, metallic opulence, righteous and autere. A dry, bright citrusy frankincense, a little piney, a little woody, and vaguely creamy vanillic something in the dry-down.

The Emperor’s Beard (sweet tobacco and raw patchouli with Italian bergamot, pine needle, vintage dime store musk, and red sandalwood)  In writing these reviews and scent stories I do try my best to not make comparisons to other scents, even other BPALs, because I think that’s a  lazy kind of workaround, and besides, it really doesn’t work for people who haven’t smelled what I might be comparing the scent to. However! BPAL’s limited edition lunacy scent Schwarzer Mond has been released a few times over the years, beginning, I believe, in 2006. I own several bottles of it. In fact, you might say I hoard it. It is my all time, no.1, A++ scent from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and it smells of wicked, brooding resins and that dark lurker, patchouli. Now, imagine that scent, but anthropomorphized as a wooly beard (no man attached, just the beard) that also smells vaguely of a maple porter.

The Emperor’s Scepter (golden myrrh, calamus, iris root, and cardamom) Formed into the crux ansata, symbolizing his absolute power over life and death, The Emperor’s Scepter has got the oddest, and most fleeting olfactory opening act of strawberries and cream that quickly  exits not just the stage but this plane of existence entirely, leaving no trace it had even been there. The main event–you know, the whole reason you bought the ticket in the first place (I’m looking at you, hotly anticipated Beats Antique show in 2012; doors were at 8 but you didn’t show up on the stage until midnight when I was practically asleep!)–enters shy and soft but strange and stunning; rich, nutty (?) resins and the subtle warmth of delicate spices.

The Emperor’s Armor (Roman chamomile, frankincense, ylang ylang, vetiver, and Italian bergamot) A talisman against fear in the form of a ylang ylang lozenge; that heavy, heady, slightly medical floral scent boiled to a sugary syrup, cooled in a lovely wax mold, and painted with a lemony chamomile glaze to help it go down easier. Procure from your local miracle worker and use as needed.

The Red Robes (red musk and leather streaked with tomato leaf and tobacco) Absolute power in the temporal world. This is a perfectly pleasant scent but I’m unable, even after several samplings, to really pick out individual notes. An earthy-fruity, well-rounded musk with a hint of tobacco.

The Stream (lavender buds and gentle bells of Lily of the Valley floating on a calm river of lychee, ylang ylang, and white magnolia)  The intuitiveness, compassion, sensuality, and creativity that nourishes and sustains Order. Musky, zingy, effervescent apricots and dewy white florals bundled close and dry in a basket woven from sharply fragrant lavender.

The Orb (bitter almond and gold oudh) The orb is immediately, deliciously almond-y, in a sweet marzipan paste way, but there’s also a scant handful of roasted, salted nuts lurking in the background. Sweet mandarin oranges and tiny clementines sit, piled high, in a vintage pyrex bowl nearby to create a melange of notes that hover closely for a moment together, but mostly spend time apart in separate corners of the room.

The Fiery Mountains (clove, birch tar, red ginger root, and frankincense) The aspirations of man, both in the material and spiritual worlds. Red hot candies are some people’s favorite sweets, but these people are gross and they are wrong. Ok, maybe not all of you, but I am definitely thinking of one lousy person in particular and I hate his rotten guts forever and I might be associating him with a poor candy that never did anything to me and now I am a candy-shaming bully. I guess I’ll own up to that. Nonetheless, I maintain that Red Hots are super gross. But imagine them made with deeply aromatic clove and peppery fresh ginger and nuances of woodsmoke and birch sap and packaged in a fancy box carved with runes and sold at a secret artisanal witch’s market that you can only find out about from a cipher hidden deep in the pages of the previous year’s farmer’s almanac.

Last Call! The Emperor collection is currently live and available until November 26th for purchase in 5ml bottles for $26 each. As this is a limited edition series, sample sizes imps are not available.

Find Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: website // instagram // twitter // facebook // tumblr

 


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Literature and Divination

by on Nov.12, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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We have updated the Haute Macabre Shop with new divination decks and a new Literature category, starting with our own Sonya Vatomsky’s transcendental collection of poetry, Salt is for Curing.

I wish for dreams but they don’t come;
I sink into earth but the salt surrounds me,
draws out my breath so the space between the seconds throbs dully.
That which lasts is spread thin, the gaps filled in with vinegar.

Flowers from the Dead is an oracle deck, exhibiting on each card an animal that represents a feeling, quality or personality trait. Designed with the intention of assisting in finding a person’s animal spirit guide, which qualities are missing from your life, and for divinationary purposes. Featuring 47 cards, both the original 27 card deck and the 20 card expansion pack.

Notes from the Pagan Otherworld is the accompanying guide book to the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot deck, which has been restocked. Authored by artists and designers, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham this book walks you through the artist’s interpretation of each of the 84 cards in the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot.

The Supra Oracle deck is loosely based on Jungian psychology and how it mingled with Gnosticism. Melding physics, psyche and ancient knowledge in Jung’s practice that inspired an artistic leap at the dawn of the 20th Century in how Man relates to the world around him. It was a process of soul making in an era of growing preoccupation with the Machine and a return to our mystic roots that nourish and enliven our essential selves – our individual identities – within the immeasurable expanse of the cosmos. Deck and companion guide book, The Hidden Path of an Oracle,  are by uusi studio.

 


A reminder that today is the final day of the pre-sales for the winter season of our beloved Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab collection of perfumes and hair glosses. Sales will close at midnight, CST, tonight. Please visit the “Apothecary” section of the Haute Macabre shop to place your order, to be shipped by early December. This will be the final time until spring of 2019 to ensure purchase of our collection, so please do not hesitate.

Pre-orders will also be closing tonight at midnight on the Dressed New Orleans Mausoleum patches. Made by hand, they are a reminder that here in New Orleans, we bury our dead above ground, mingled in next to the living.

Visit the Haute Macabre Shop by clicking here


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Haute Macabre: As Told By a Traditional Witch

by on Nov.09, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Please welcome guest blogger Kyle, Ghost of Pestilence, to Haute Macabre. Kyle is a practicing traditional witch based out of Minnesota, animist, artist, volunteer at the bird of prey center, and occultist. She writes today about the original Haute Macabre fragrance, created for us by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and the magical associations she has with it.

The complete collection of the Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes and hair glosses are currently available for pre-order in the Apothecary section of the Haute Macabre Shop until Monday, November 12. 


Falling leaves grazed with the smoky scented aura of dying flora is the harbinger of every witch’s favorite time of year; autumn. Delivered through the crisp winds, this sensory splendor comes with several treats associated with our traditionally harvested plants. Scents like pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon linger in tea and coffee brews, and bring in a coziness…but overall there’s a brooding atmosphere evoked by the seasoning of the trees. Most importantly, the veil between the living and the dead is thinning.

As fashion changes with season, so do other aspects of our personal adornment. In order to suit us up for the weather change and also connect us with the time of year, our colors and scents start to warm up. The artisan perfumery Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has created a wondrous scent named after Haute Macabre, thats recipe bring the wearer into the midst of this seasonal environment as well as reflect the vibe the HM shop brings with their fun spooky fashions and topics that are released in their newsletter. This scent is my personal favorite, and when I wear it I am instantly inspired to get out in the woods with my cauldron, wand, and offerings for the spirits who are lingering so closely. The perfumes mixture includes: oak leaf, bourbon vanilla, almond husk, aged patchouli, and black leather.

The oak leaf is a powerful note due to its lore from the Druids and carried over into the history of usage in Traditional Witchcraft. Its Jupitarian correspondence allows for the oak to act as a protector and connotes strength, as it is a hardwood. During this time of year, preparing for winter and the changes that autumn brings, these attributes could be very useful. As a ritualistic element, the scent or use of oak promotes protection during crossing into liminal spaces. It’s my favorite species of tree and I craft most all of my tools from its bark.

For anyone who knows a thing or two about alchemy; both the spiritual practices and chemical processes, most tinctures and elixirs are made with a strong alcoholic base whose job is to literally absorb the “spirit” (or essence, which is where the term “spirits” when referring to liquors comes from) of the plant matter that has been saturated for a number of weeks. The use of bourbon in this perfume, to me, is reminiscent of my early days experimenting with plant alchemy and using bourbon and brandy, as brown liquors evoke a sort of smoky atmosphere with a hint of a sweet candy flavor. The vanilla bourbon used in this mixture evokes a sensuous lunar mood; the New Moon and the dark workings associated with it in witchcraft and magick. Vanilla is associated with Venusian correspondences given it’s soft and sexy aroma,
however, I find myself relating it to the Lunar mysteries; perhaps the darker and erotic
aspects in relationship to love and sex magick.

It’s fitting “graveyard dust” is a folk name associated with the next component of the Haute Macabre scent; patchouli. Patchouli is a very earth-rich scented plant, and its planetary association is Saturn. Anything Saturnian will bring you right down to earth…in this case right under the earth! Traditionally patchouli is a substitute for graveyard dirt, and in its dried form I have often found myself catching a whiff of its scent and being transported to hallowed ground, as it reminds me of a fresh dirt smell, but in a pleasant way. The places I have visited and worked with spirits immediately flash into my mind. The patchouli component in the Haute Macabre mix does exactly this. It’s not quite as “hippie invoking” as the basic essential oil provides, but surrounds the mind with images of spirits rising from hallowed ground after working magick in the night at a cemetery.

A sweet, buttery aroma is provided by the almond husk almost as if it finishes off
the darker scents of the patchouli, oak, and leather. It co-mingles exquisitely with the
bourbon vanilla, contributing to the sexy spice overtones of the dark esoteric moods
that the deeper aromas evoke. Almond is associated with Mercurial energies and the
element of air. This inspires wisdom and opens esoteric gateways, which I attribute
with the feeling of entering liminal spaces that comes over me after use of the Haute
Macabre blend during ritual.

Aged leather is not something you would think to find within perfume ingredients. However, back in the old days this was not an uncommon component, and is still used frequently today. Of course, leather comes from animal resources alongside more common ingredients like musks, but what is important here is this aspect of animism that a scent like this brings to the mixture. As an animist and traditional witch, I am constantly finding, blessing, and using animal parts in my work. For myself personally, carrying anything relative to animal spirits is very powerful. Therefore, I feel that the leather almost gives the perfume its extra “spirit” outside of the usual plant spirits that we find in perfume. It also gives the perfume a rustic scent that channels an older goth aesthetic reminiscent of black leather and old occult bookstores.

When purchasing a perfume or any kind of scented spray or aromatic it isn’t as simple as just finding the scent pleasing. Perhaps nowadays not too many individuals take such consideration into buying a scent and placing magickal associations with it. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that a particular scent reminds them of something or someone…but what they may not realize is that very act of reminiscing can spiritually invoke or evoke particular energies. I highly advise any other practitioners to experiment with working magickal rites and even meditations with intense and very thoroughly crafted perfumes like Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Every scent they carry has strong intention and magick put into their blends to purposefully create that invocational and evocative power I keep emphasizing. I have found the Haute Macabre scent to be my personal favorite to wear and also work with magickally. I always keep a little bit of it on me in some way, or carry it in my bag in case I need a whiff of something to bring me to that threshold where the world of the living and the world of the dead meet.

Find Kyle on Instagram as Ghost_of_Pestilence 

The complete collection of the Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes and hair glosses are currently available for pre-order in the Apothecary section of the Haute Macabre Shop until Monday, November 12. 


 

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Haute Macabre: As Told By a Traditional Witch

by on Nov.09, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Please welcome guest blogger Kyle, Ghost of Pestilence, to Haute Macabre. Kyle is a practicing traditional witch based out of Minnesota, animist, artist, volunteer at the bird of prey center, and occultist. She writes today about the original Haute Macabre fragrance, created for us by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and the magical associations she has with it.

The complete collection of the Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes and hair glosses are currently available for pre-order in the Apothecary section of the Haute Macabre Shop until Monday, November 12. 


Falling leaves grazed with the smoky scented aura of dying flora is the harbinger of every witch’s favorite time of year; autumn. Delivered through the crisp winds, this sensory splendor comes with several treats associated with our traditionally harvested plants. Scents like pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon linger in tea and coffee brews, and bring in a coziness…but overall there’s a brooding atmosphere evoked by the seasoning of the trees. Most importantly, the veil between the living and the dead is thinning.

As fashion changes with season, so do other aspects of our personal adornment. In order to suit us up for the weather change and also connect us with the time of year, our colors and scents start to warm up. The artisan perfumery Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has created a wondrous scent named after Haute Macabre, thats recipe bring the wearer into the midst of this seasonal environment as well as reflect the vibe the HM shop brings with their fun spooky fashions and topics that are released in their newsletter. This scent is my personal favorite, and when I wear it I am instantly inspired to get out in the woods with my cauldron, wand, and offerings for the spirits who are lingering so closely. The perfumes mixture includes: oak leaf, bourbon vanilla, almond husk, aged patchouli, and black leather.

The oak leaf is a powerful note due to its lore from the Druids and carried over into the history of usage in Traditional Witchcraft. Its Jupitarian correspondence allows for the oak to act as a protector and connotes strength, as it is a hardwood. During this time of year, preparing for winter and the changes that autumn brings, these attributes could be very useful. As a ritualistic element, the scent or use of oak promotes protection during crossing into liminal spaces. It’s my favorite species of tree and I craft most all of my tools from its bark.

For anyone who knows a thing or two about alchemy; both the spiritual practices and chemical processes, most tinctures and elixirs are made with a strong alcoholic base whose job is to literally absorb the “spirit” (or essence, which is where the term “spirits” when referring to liquors comes from) of the plant matter that has been saturated for a number of weeks. The use of bourbon in this perfume, to me, is reminiscent of my early days experimenting with plant alchemy and using bourbon and brandy, as brown liquors evoke a sort of smoky atmosphere with a hint of a sweet candy flavor. The vanilla bourbon used in this mixture evokes a sensuous lunar mood; the New Moon and the dark workings associated with it in witchcraft and magick. Vanilla is associated with Venusian correspondences given it’s soft and sexy aroma,
however, I find myself relating it to the Lunar mysteries; perhaps the darker and erotic
aspects in relationship to love and sex magick.

It’s fitting “graveyard dust” is a folk name associated with the next component of the Haute Macabre scent; patchouli. Patchouli is a very earth-rich scented plant, and its planetary association is Saturn. Anything Saturnian will bring you right down to earth…in this case right under the earth! Traditionally patchouli is a substitute for graveyard dirt, and in its dried form I have often found myself catching a whiff of its scent and being transported to hallowed ground, as it reminds me of a fresh dirt smell, but in a pleasant way. The places I have visited and worked with spirits immediately flash into my mind. The patchouli component in the Haute Macabre mix does exactly this. It’s not quite as “hippie invoking” as the basic essential oil provides, but surrounds the mind with images of spirits rising from hallowed ground after working magick in the night at a cemetery.

A sweet, buttery aroma is provided by the almond husk almost as if it finishes off
the darker scents of the patchouli, oak, and leather. It co-mingles exquisitely with the
bourbon vanilla, contributing to the sexy spice overtones of the dark esoteric moods
that the deeper aromas evoke. Almond is associated with Mercurial energies and the
element of air. This inspires wisdom and opens esoteric gateways, which I attribute
with the feeling of entering liminal spaces that comes over me after use of the Haute
Macabre blend during ritual.

Aged leather is not something you would think to find within perfume ingredients. However, back in the old days this was not an uncommon component, and is still used frequently today. Of course, leather comes from animal resources alongside more common ingredients like musks, but what is important here is this aspect of animism that a scent like this brings to the mixture. As an animist and traditional witch, I am constantly finding, blessing, and using animal parts in my work. For myself personally, carrying anything relative to animal spirits is very powerful. Therefore, I feel that the leather almost gives the perfume its extra “spirit” outside of the usual plant spirits that we find in perfume. It also gives the perfume a rustic scent that channels an older goth aesthetic reminiscent of black leather and old occult bookstores.

When purchasing a perfume or any kind of scented spray or aromatic it isn’t as simple as just finding the scent pleasing. Perhaps nowadays not too many individuals take such consideration into buying a scent and placing magickal associations with it. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say that a particular scent reminds them of something or someone…but what they may not realize is that very act of reminiscing can spiritually invoke or evoke particular energies. I highly advise any other practitioners to experiment with working magickal rites and even meditations with intense and very thoroughly crafted perfumes like Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Every scent they carry has strong intention and magick put into their blends to purposefully create that invocational and evocative power I keep emphasizing. I have found the Haute Macabre scent to be my personal favorite to wear and also work with magickally. I always keep a little bit of it on me in some way, or carry it in my bag in case I need a whiff of something to bring me to that threshold where the world of the living and the world of the dead meet.

Find Kyle on Instagram as Ghost_of_Pestilence 

The complete collection of the Haute Macabre Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes and hair glosses are currently available for pre-order in the Apothecary section of the Haute Macabre Shop until Monday, November 12. 


 

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Needful Things: Autumn 2018

by on Nov.07, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Sarah

TheMacroBarista  First, a huge thanks for Sonya for bringing this instagram account to my attention! I’ve never really had a sweet tooth, so even though I love the idea of fun, fancy, frothy Starbucks drinks, they’re just too tooth decay-inducingly, gaggy sweet for me to even remotely contemplate. As a further to that, I kind of hate the idea of drinking away my calories (give me tacos instead!) so forgive me if I balk at the idea of a 500+ calorie beverage. Now I don’t even know what macros are as they relate to dieting and nutrition–and don’t bother explaining it to me because I really don’t care–but TheMacroBarista on instagram delivers the details on “finding macro friendly ways to order your beans,” via lower calorie and way-less-sweet recipes for versions of popular Starbucks drinks. Finally, a PSL that does not taste like a candied baloney sandwich!  I’m gonna try the iced dirty chai next! And also, I have to add that this has nothing to do with dieting or obsessive weight management. I’m done with that nonsense. I was put on this earth for better and more interesting things. Like tacos.

Ink + Volt planner Speaking of things which I obsess over…planners are also not one of those things. Which is funny, because both of my sisters are avid, nearly rabid, advocates of that planner lyfe. If you are interested in learning more about this, I harassed my youngest sis into writing a guest post about it for my personal blog earlier this year. I like the idea of planners, in general, but I am definitely not into the amount of time that I see people spending relentlessly plotting and planning and organizing their schedules and appointments and every aspect of their day. I also do not like—nay, I actively resent—the obligations created by the words I put to the page, committing myself to this, that, or the other thing. It makes me feel stifled and maybe a little squished under the omnipresent thumb of Time and Responsibility. I mean we all are anyway, but do I really need to have a written record of this quotidian oppression? My Ink + Volt planner, however, is gloriously UNDATED. I can go for weeks or months at a time without using it , and if I haven’t finished it by the end of a certain year, my money hasn’t been wasted–because I can continue using it into the next year! (And probably the next two years beyond that, if I am being honest.) What do I actively use my planner for? Well, lots of lists, for one. Books I want to read, perfumes I want to try, songs to include on a playlist (I’ve got lots of those over on 8tracks, by the way). And more importantly, I use it as a necessary form of self care. When I am feeling low, I make checklists of the most basic daily human functions, that, sometimes being a person prone to the mopes and the melancholies, I might just go days without doing. It’s baseline, foundational stuff: take birth control pill; do five minutes of stretching; eat one apple; walk twenty minutes; put a vegetable in one of my meals. It may sound silly, but if you are feeling poorly about yourself, sometimes the thoughts in your head get so overwhelmingly unkind that they make you feel like you’re not deserving of even the fundamental, essential things that keep human people going. My lists in my planner are a simple thing that really help when I get to feeling some kind of way. FYI I think the sticker that I put on the cover came from here.

Sixteen92 Necromancy detangling hair mist I have a lot of freaking hair. It’s thick, and coarse, and nearly down to my waist. And I don’t like to brush it. I never have, even when I was younger–which is why I had a short, bowl cut until I was about 10 years old; if wasn’t going to brush my hair, my mother reasoned, then I’d better not have enough hair to tangle! I’m not going to try and tell you I have gone the last thirty years without brushing my hair, but suffice it to say I maybe do it on an annual basis. Or at least that was the case until my hair stylist yelled at me last year, and ever since then I have tried to be better about it. I currently use this brush and a few spritzes of detangler and try make a nice après-shower ritual of something that I actually loathe doing. Right now I am using sixteen92’s detangler in one of their “Falloween” scents–Necromancy, which to me, smells like a gorgeous, celestial fog of nag champa. I put a moratorium on new perfume purchases for the year, but when perfumers get creative with their scented bath, beauty, and cosmetics offerings, that makes it easy for me to find a loophole! It looks like sixteen92’s detangling hair mists are sold out right now, but get on their mailing list to be notified of restocks, because this stuff is amazing.

The Vampire’s Wife Visiting Bag Is this beautiful vessel technically a “need”? Well, perhaps in the sense that I felt like I might literally die if I did not own it for myself, yes. Formed of the most opulent velvet, lined with the deepest black, silky satin lining, I chose the “earthly delight” design, featuring a decadent array of luxurious fruits and flowers. And I carry my books and my knitting in it because these are my most important companions and they deserve to travel in style.

Sonya

Walk to Mordor I try to work out at least five times a week to keep my bad brain functioning. That thing they say about exercise and depression isn’t really true — exercise certainly doesn’t “fix” anything, but it does make it more manageable. I usually do vinyasa yoga at home (I subscribe to YogaGlo, which is totally decent and $18/month) but this spring decided to try running. I’m still quite bad at it. I know this because I sneak looks at the treadmills next to mine and they’re always on really high settings while I’m working my way up to a 10k in under 60 minutes. Anyway, in September I came across a fairly barebones app called Walk to Mordor, which lets you input your mileage so you can see how far you’ve gone. I’ve almost made it to Bree (115 miles!).

Fake Dracula Sings The Blues shirt My husband got this for me on my birthday and its awesomeness should be pretty self-explanatory.

Cardamom French Toast tea I grew up a bit of a tea snob. We always had looseleaf black tea at home growing up, prepared the Russian way with a pot of heavily steeped tea you pour into your cup and then dilute with boiled water. If you were sick it was permissible to add sugar or honey and a squeeze of lemon — or switch the whole thing out for chamomile — but that’s how it was done and everything else was an abomination. Tea in a bag? How dare you. Flavored tea? Get out. I still primarily drink plain black tea (NOT Earl Grey, ugh, don’t @ me) or tieguanyin but thanks to Jo have been coming around to flavored teas. My current favorite is the cardamom french toast from David’s Tea. It’s a cardamom-spiced black tea with a pinch of cinnamon and cane sugar and reminds me of Finnish pulla.

Night Garden Shower Curtain So I got married this year and after all that was done I came home and promptly vomited in the bathtub, which I know is not the place for those activities but whatever. I completely obliterated my old Anthropologie shower curtain which I’d been wanting to replace anyway but good shower curtains are hard to find, aren’t they? After a long search, I finally found this one by Riza Peker. I am doing my best to not defile it.

Sam

I’m adding my entries for Needful Things in a bit later than everyone else, and am weirdly excited to see that Sarah Elizabeth also has planners for 2019 on the brain already. This year, I’ve been using a Filofax Domino A5 organizer, which I’m not 100% in love with – it’s really bulky, so I don’t carry it around, but I do like that I can add pages for days that my lists get long, and one of the cats ate through the elastic closure almost immediately. For years, I had used a Moleskin Daily Planner, and I’m debating on switching back. I’m also super curious about the Get To Work Book, but I am already overwhelming myself with options and will probably continue to drown myself in miscellaneous notebooks and lists saved in my phone.

While we’re on the topic of planners, I’m also very curious about the Biddy Tarot 2019 Tarot Planner. I really loved the Everyday Tarot book that came out a few months ago, and have been using Biddy as an online resource for tarot studies for years now. Add to the list the Many Moons Lunar Planner (which we’ll have more in stock in the shop by the end of the month!), and I’ll be organized AF and spiritually fulfilled manifesting my best destiny. I’ll take it.

Is anyone else out there obsessing over planners for 2019 already?

For this season’s favorites, I don’t have a lot of new things to contribute. I’ve put myself on a bit of a buying freeze the last few weeks, but I did treat myself a few times and have been using Medicinal Nighshades Belladonna Ointment to help with my headaches. Unfortunately, her recent exposure of sexual abuse within the pagan community has disabled her shop, but updates to her IG promise that it will be back online shortly.

Mystic Medusa’s new Astral DNA service is SO in depth it’s almost frightening. I just received mine yesterday and haven’t had time to fully process it yet – it printed out at 12 pages long, and that’s a lot of me to sift through. Each aspect of your astrological chart is interpreted by Mystic Medusa with just around a 24 hour turnaround, and it’s way more in depth than any of the freebie instant charts you can generate online. I’m a Gemini Sun / Leo Moon / Scorpio Rising, if you’re curious.

Honorable Mentions:

The score to Suspira live by Goblin to a screening of the film (the original, I’m having feelings about that being remade, even with Tilda) // visiting the incredible collection of Mysterious Planchette // my favorite dusty bookstore in the French Quarter, Dauphine Street Books // keeping a garnet palmstone close at hand // foggy mornings on the swamp // holding off on buying an oracle deck that I really wanted only to find it already here in storage – it was like getting a gift from myself! // Letting go of giving a fuck about my statistics on social media: yes, I care deeply about the HM pages, but I was getting so wrapped up in my head about how things on my personal page was doing that I lost sight of the fact that it’s just supposed to be fun. My Scorpio ascendant is usurping my Leo Moon, and we’re all stepping into the shadows together.

Tell us what your favorites have been this season!


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Needful Things: Autumn 2018

by on Nov.07, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Sarah

TheMacroBarista  First, a huge thanks for Sonya for bringing this instagram account to my attention! I’ve never really had a sweet tooth, so even though I love the idea of fun, fancy, frothy Starbucks drinks, they’re just too tooth decay-inducingly, gaggy sweet for me to even remotely contemplate. As a further to that, I kind of hate the idea of drinking away my calories (give me tacos instead!) so forgive me if I balk at the idea of a 500+ calorie beverage. Now I don’t even know what macros are as they relate to dieting and nutrition–and don’t bother explaining it to me because I really don’t care–but TheMacroBarista on instagram delivers the details on “finding macro friendly ways to order your beans,” via lower calorie and way-less-sweet recipes for versions of popular Starbucks drinks. Finally, a PSL that does not taste like a candied baloney sandwich!  I’m gonna try the iced dirty chai next! And also, I have to add that this has nothing to do with dieting or obsessive weight management. I’m done with that nonsense. I was put on this earth for better and more interesting things. Like tacos.

Ink + Volt planner Speaking of things which I obsess over…planners are also not one of those things. Which is funny, because both of my sisters are avid, nearly rabid, advocates of that planner lyfe. If you are interested in learning more about this, I harassed my youngest sis into writing a guest post about it for my personal blog earlier this year. I like the idea of planners, in general, but I am definitely not into the amount of time that I see people spending relentlessly plotting and planning and organizing their schedules and appointments and every aspect of their day. I also do not like—nay, I actively resent—the obligations created by the words I put to the page, committing myself to this, that, or the other thing. It makes me feel stifled and maybe a little squished under the omnipresent thumb of Time and Responsibility. I mean we all are anyway, but do I really need to have a written record of this quotidian oppression? My Ink + Volt planner, however, is gloriously UNDATED. I can go for weeks or months at a time without using it , and if I haven’t finished it by the end of a certain year, my money hasn’t been wasted–because I can continue using it into the next year! (And probably the next two years beyond that, if I am being honest.) What do I actively use my planner for? Well, lots of lists, for one. Books I want to read, perfumes I want to try, songs to include on a playlist (I’ve got lots of those over on 8tracks, by the way). And more importantly, I use it as a necessary form of self care. When I am feeling low, I make checklists of the most basic daily human functions, that, sometimes being a person prone to the mopes and the melancholies, I might just go days without doing. It’s baseline, foundational stuff: take birth control pill; do five minutes of stretching; eat one apple; walk twenty minutes; put a vegetable in one of my meals. It may sound silly, but if you are feeling poorly about yourself, sometimes the thoughts in your head get so overwhelmingly unkind that they make you feel like you’re not deserving of even the fundamental, essential things that keep human people going. My lists in my planner are a simple thing that really help when I get to feeling some kind of way. FYI I think the sticker that I put on the cover came from here.

Sixteen92 Necromancy detangling hair mist I have a lot of freaking hair. It’s thick, and coarse, and nearly down to my waist. And I don’t like to brush it. I never have, even when I was younger–which is why I had a short, bowl cut until I was about 10 years old; if wasn’t going to brush my hair, my mother reasoned, then I’d better not have enough hair to tangle! I’m not going to try and tell you I have gone the last thirty years without brushing my hair, but suffice it to say I maybe do it on an annual basis. Or at least that was the case until my hair stylist yelled at me last year, and ever since then I have tried to be better about it. I currently use this brush and a few spritzes of detangler and try make a nice après-shower ritual of something that I actually loathe doing. Right now I am using sixteen92’s detangler in one of their “Falloween” scents–Necromancy, which to me, smells like a gorgeous, celestial fog of nag champa. I put a moratorium on new perfume purchases for the year, but when perfumers get creative with their scented bath, beauty, and cosmetics offerings, that makes it easy for me to find a loophole! It looks like sixteen92’s detangling hair mists are sold out right now, but get on their mailing list to be notified of restocks, because this stuff is amazing.

The Vampire’s Wife Visiting Bag Is this beautiful vessel technically a “need”? Well, perhaps in the sense that I felt like I might literally die if I did not own it for myself, yes. Formed of the most opulent velvet, lined with the deepest black, silky satin lining, I chose the “earthly delight” design, featuring a decadent array of luxurious fruits and flowers. And I carry my books and my knitting in it because these are my most important companions and they deserve to travel in style.

Sonya

Walk to Mordor I try to work out at least five times a week to keep my bad brain functioning. That thing they say about exercise and depression isn’t really true — exercise certainly doesn’t “fix” anything, but it does make it more manageable. I usually do vinyasa yoga at home (I subscribe to YogaGlo, which is totally decent and $18/month) but this spring decided to try running. I’m still quite bad at it. I know this because I sneak looks at the treadmills next to mine and they’re always on really high settings while I’m working my way up to a 10k in under 60 minutes. Anyway, in September I came across a fairly barebones app called Walk to Mordor, which lets you input your mileage so you can see how far you’ve gone. I’ve almost made it to Bree (115 miles!).

Fake Dracula Sings The Blues shirt My husband got this for me on my birthday and its awesomeness should be pretty self-explanatory.

Cardamom French Toast tea I grew up a bit of a tea snob. We always had looseleaf black tea at home growing up, prepared the Russian way with a pot of heavily steeped tea you pour into your cup and then dilute with boiled water. If you were sick it was permissible to add sugar or honey and a squeeze of lemon — or switch the whole thing out for chamomile — but that’s how it was done and everything else was an abomination. Tea in a bag? How dare you. Flavored tea? Get out. I still primarily drink plain black tea (NOT Earl Grey, ugh, don’t @ me) or tieguanyin but thanks to Jo have been coming around to flavored teas. My current favorite is the cardamom french toast from David’s Tea. It’s a cardamom-spiced black tea with a pinch of cinnamon and cane sugar and reminds me of Finnish pulla.

Night Garden Shower Curtain So I got married this year and after all that was done I came home and promptly vomited in the bathtub, which I know is not the place for those activities but whatever. I completely obliterated my old Anthropologie shower curtain which I’d been wanting to replace anyway but good shower curtains are hard to find, aren’t they? After a long search, I finally found this one by Riza Peker. I am doing my best to not defile it.

Sam

I’m adding my entries for Needful Things in a bit later than everyone else, and am weirdly excited to see that Sarah Elizabeth also has planners for 2019 on the brain already. This year, I’ve been using a Filofax Domino A5 organizer, which I’m not 100% in love with – it’s really bulky, so I don’t carry it around, but I do like that I can add pages for days that my lists get long, and one of the cats ate through the elastic closure almost immediately. For years, I had used a Moleskin Daily Planner, and I’m debating on switching back. I’m also super curious about the Get To Work Book, but I am already overwhelming myself with options and will probably continue to drown myself in miscellaneous notebooks and lists saved in my phone.

While we’re on the topic of planners, I’m also very curious about the Biddy Tarot 2019 Tarot Planner. I really loved the Everyday Tarot book that came out a few months ago, and have been using Biddy as an online resource for tarot studies for years now. Add to the list the Many Moons Lunar Planner (which we’ll have more in stock in the shop by the end of the month!), and I’ll be organized AF and spiritually fulfilled manifesting my best destiny. I’ll take it.

Is anyone else out there obsessing over planners for 2019 already?

For this season’s favorites, I don’t have a lot of new things to contribute. I’ve put myself on a bit of a buying freeze the last few weeks, but I did treat myself a few times and have been using Medicinal Nighshades Belladonna Ointment to help with my headaches. Unfortunately, her recent exposure of sexual abuse within the pagan community has disabled her shop, but updates to her IG promise that it will be back online shortly.

Mystic Medusa’s new Astral DNA service is SO in depth it’s almost frightening. I just received mine yesterday and haven’t had time to fully process it yet – it printed out at 12 pages long, and that’s a lot of me to sift through. Each aspect of your astrological chart is interpreted by Mystic Medusa with just around a 24 hour turnaround, and it’s way more in depth than any of the freebie instant charts you can generate online. I’m a Gemini Sun / Leo Moon / Scorpio Rising, if you’re curious.

Honorable Mentions:

The score to Suspira live by Goblin to a screening of the film (the original, I’m having feelings about that being remade, even with Tilda) // visiting the incredible collection of Mysterious Planchette // my favorite dusty bookstore in the French Quarter, Dauphine Street Books // keeping a garnet palmstone close at hand // foggy mornings on the swamp // holding off on buying an oracle deck that I really wanted only to find it already here in storage – it was like getting a gift from myself! // Letting go of giving a fuck about my statistics on social media: yes, I care deeply about the HM pages, but I was getting so wrapped up in my head about how things on my personal page was doing that I lost sight of the fact that it’s just supposed to be fun. My Scorpio ascendant is usurping my Leo Moon, and we’re all stepping into the shadows together.

Tell us what your favorites have been this season!


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Aural Fixation: Autumn 2018

by on Nov.06, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Sarah

Since early October I have been listening to Deathfolk Magic by Bye Bye Banshee, a musical exploration of death and grief crafted with magic, myth and folklore, by songwriter Jezebel Jones. Deathfolk Magic is the ghostly melody, hushed and humming softly, ominously, as your rocker creaks a rickety midnight lullaby on the rotted wooden floorboards of a ramshackle cabin. Sleepless at the swamp’s edge, you rock, slowly, steadily on, shrouded in darkness, a shotgun slung across your lap. A loon’s mournful, wavering cry almost obscures a slithering rustle through the tall grass just beyond the crumbling front porch steps, and imagining cold, reptilian eyes, pitiless and patient, watching your vigil this night, you shudder, a moan trapped low in your throat. I’m not sure that’s exactly what Jezebel Jones was singing about, I mean it probably wasn’t… but her haunted, husky warble is so hypnotic and evocative you’ll forgive me for letting my imagination run away with me. To sum up; murky, mediative musical memento mori.

Also worth mentioning: Emma Ruth Rundle’s On Dark Horses is a knife-point listen of intimate shadows and fevered secrets that softly slice beneath the skin. “Mariner’s Apartment Complex” by Lana del Rey, is an introspective single over which I have been obsessing for months, with a somber tone and sly lyrics, which kinda gives me Leonard Cohen vibes. And for extra LDR goodness, have a listen to Cat Power’s excellent new single, “Woman”, a resonant manifesto of sorts, wherein Lana effortlessly and beautifully complements Chan Marshall’s raspy, vulnerable vocals. And lastly, the new Suspiria soundtrack, which I know is a pretty divisive topic–but I LOVE it. I also adored Goblin’s intense cacophony of a prog-rock score for the original, but this new film needed something as unexpected and unorthodox as its take on the story itself–and think Thom Yorke’s brooding, moody, minimal vision, whispering with skeletal strings, weirdly lilting piano, dreamy, dreary electronic drone and vaporous sighs, gets it just right.

Maika

DeVotchKa – This Night Falls Forever – Oh, DeVotchKa, you’ve never put out an album I didn’t love, yet somehow I love this one more than most. For those who’ve never listened to them, I’m afraid I don’t know how to classify this Denver-based ensemble. They’re a four-piece band that sounds like an orchestra. Some call them Gypsy Punk. Some call them Dark Cabaret. I call them…one of my favorite bands and one of my all-time favorite live performers, never to be missed. (Fortunately for me and my fellow Portland area fans, DeVotchKa performed here not long after this marvelous new album came out.) There’s something about Nick Urata’s bewitching voice, his beautiful lyrics – as intoxicating as they are heart-wrenching – and this magnificent ensemble’s seemingly endless array of instruments, all played masterfully, that defies description and makes my heart feel like it’s endlessly expanding and shattering at the same time. Also I’m a sucker for a well-played theremin.

Devotchka’s music simultaneously makes me want to dance and weep. In fact, that’s precisely what I do at their shows. I can’t stand still. I also can’t stop the tears. For me, every show has been an ecstatic experience. Their music is invigorating and cathartic. Sweet, gentle, and dreamy one moment, boisterous, roisterous, and defiant the next. Even at their saddest, DeVotchKa celebrates the beauty of being here at all, for as long as we get. Forever embracing the heartache that comes with love, that comes with life. The ephemeral nature of all things, loving them all even more because, for all of the loved ones gone, forever’s not so long and you already know how this will end.

Sam:

I’ve been almost exclusively listening to Last Podcast on the Left the past few weeks. It completely feeds into my fascination with things that go bump in the night, and the hosts make enough (maybe too many at times) loud and obnoxious dick jokes to keep me from zoning out on the road during my daily commute. Covering the full spooky spectrum of fringe topics: aliens and our reptilian overlords FTW, alongside hauntings, serial killers, and general weirdness in each episode. It feels much more sincere and authentic than Lore – I sort of can’t stand the Lore host, he sounds like he’s wearing khaki shorts and is way too smug for me – in that these guys are the types of dudes that you’d actually hang out with and talk about all this weird shit with at the bar in the middle of the night.

Full disclosure : it took me a little bit to not get super annoyed by the way off topic silliness, but the research is super thorough and backed with their legitimate interest and passion that I can get past the fart jokes.


Leave a Comment more...

Aural Fixation: Autumn 2018

by on Nov.06, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Sarah

Since early October I have been listening to Deathfolk Magic by Bye Bye Banshee, a musical exploration of death and grief crafted with magic, myth and folklore, by songwriter Jezebel Jones. Deathfolk Magic is the ghostly melody, hushed and humming softly, ominously, as your rocker creaks a rickety midnight lullaby on the rotted wooden floorboards of a ramshackle cabin. Sleepless at the swamp’s edge, you rock, slowly, steadily on, shrouded in darkness, a shotgun slung across your lap. A loon’s mournful, wavering cry almost obscures a slithering rustle through the tall grass just beyond the crumbling front porch steps, and imagining cold, reptilian eyes, pitiless and patient, watching your vigil this night, you shudder, a moan trapped low in your throat. I’m not sure that’s exactly what Jezebel Jones was singing about, I mean it probably wasn’t… but her haunted, husky warble is so hypnotic and evocative you’ll forgive me for letting my imagination run away with me. To sum up; murky, mediative musical memento mori.

Also worth mentioning: Emma Ruth Rundle’s On Dark Horses is a knife-point listen of intimate shadows and fevered secrets that softly slice beneath the skin. “Mariner’s Apartment Complex” by Lana del Rey, is an introspective single over which I have been obsessing for months, with a somber tone and sly lyrics, which kinda gives me Leonard Cohen vibes. And for extra LDR goodness, have a listen to Cat Power’s excellent new single, “Woman”, a resonant manifesto of sorts, wherein Lana effortlessly and beautifully complements Chan Marshall’s raspy, vulnerable vocals. And lastly, the new Suspiria soundtrack, which I know is a pretty divisive topic–but I LOVE it. I also adored Goblin’s intense cacophony of a prog-rock score for the original, but this new film needed something as unexpected and unorthodox as its take on the story itself–and think Thom Yorke’s brooding, moody, minimal vision, whispering with skeletal strings, weirdly lilting piano, dreamy, dreary electronic drone and vaporous sighs, gets it just right.

Maika

DeVotchKa – This Night Falls Forever – Oh, DeVotchKa, you’ve never put out an album I didn’t love, yet somehow I love this one more than most. For those who’ve never listened to them, I’m afraid I don’t know how to classify this Denver-based ensemble. They’re a four-piece band that sounds like an orchestra. Some call them Gypsy Punk. Some call them Dark Cabaret. I call them…one of my favorite bands and one of my all-time favorite live performers, never to be missed. (Fortunately for me and my fellow Portland area fans, DeVotchKa performed here not long after this marvelous new album came out.) There’s something about Nick Urata’s bewitching voice, his beautiful lyrics – as intoxicating as they are heart-wrenching – and this magnificent ensemble’s seemingly endless array of instruments, all played masterfully, that defies description and makes my heart feel like it’s endlessly expanding and shattering at the same time. Also I’m a sucker for a well-played theremin.

Devotchka’s music simultaneously makes me want to dance and weep. In fact, that’s precisely what I do at their shows. I can’t stand still. I also can’t stop the tears. For me, every show has been an ecstatic experience. Their music is invigorating and cathartic. Sweet, gentle, and dreamy one moment, boisterous, roisterous, and defiant the next. Even at their saddest, DeVotchKa celebrates the beauty of being here at all, for as long as we get. Forever embracing the heartache that comes with love, that comes with life. The ephemeral nature of all things, loving them all even more because, for all of the loved ones gone, forever’s not so long and you already know how this will end.

Sam:

I’ve been almost exclusively listening to Last Podcast on the Left the past few weeks. It completely feeds into my fascination with things that go bump in the night, and the hosts make enough (maybe too many at times) loud and obnoxious dick jokes to keep me from zoning out on the road during my daily commute. Covering the full spooky spectrum of fringe topics: aliens and our reptilian overlords FTW, alongside hauntings, serial killers, and general weirdness in each episode. It feels much more sincere and authentic than Lore – I sort of can’t stand the Lore host, he sounds like he’s wearing khaki shorts and is way too smug for me – in that these guys are the types of dudes that you’d actually hang out with and talk about all this weird shit with at the bar in the middle of the night.

Full disclosure : it took me a little bit to not get super annoyed by the way off topic silliness, but the research is super thorough and backed with their legitimate interest and passion that I can get past the fart jokes.


Leave a Comment more...

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