This cover for this issue was designed and illustrated by Valerie Herron. When I think of the top heaviness of antlers, I actually think of the looming ominous canopy of fall trees in the dark with their skeleton arms and fingers sloughing off leafy skin. I also think of the way that the tree of life looms large above the single point at Malkuth, such a long, tall and precarious spectral ladder to the stars … a place, perhaps, where the dark romance of both old school esotericism and new American Gothic meet.
“For the cover art of this anthology, I wanted to create something that was in the spirit of the Hermetic Library project, as well as something that honored this time of year. Autumn is the season of rot, and the process of death and decomposition is apparent in every direction. Leaves wither off the trees, the days grow darker, and the chill of encroaching winter begins to creep into our lungs. The veil between the worlds is receding, and the gaze of otherworldly things is palpable. I wanted to interpret this seasonal ambiance into a dark composition accompanied by the simplicity of line.
A grim icon that truly seems to resonate with people right now is the deer skull. I have seen it in numerous places lately, appearing to have surfaced from the collective unconscious with great purpose. I felt it was an appropriate memento mori for this image. The bind rune is a glyph that is representative of the mythical Wild Hunt: a phantasmal cavalcade, tracking and claiming the lives of mortals. Lastly, the leather book texture is a nod to the Hermetic Library itself.” [via]
Valerie Herron is an illustrator, conceptual designer, and fine artist. She works with the visual language of symbolism, gleaning from the vocabulary of mythology and the human condition, modern esoterica, and the wordless understanding within the subconscious. Valerie’s work is intensely colorful and macabre, an exercise in storytelling through poignant imagery.
Valerie works in a wide range of media, including water color, ink, acrylics, and digital. She continues to venture into third-dimensional work throughout he occasional transition of painting to artifact.
Valerie is pursuing a degree in Illustration at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she is currently working on senior thesis work. She is also an intern for Faerieworlds LLC, and works as a freelance illustrator and fine artist. Valerie also spends her time writing fiction, filming & editing video art, and designing costumes.