An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 19, 2019
- Ascend, Ascend by Janaka Stucky, illustrated K Lenore Siner, foreword by Pam Grossman, from Fulgur, due in May
“Written over the course of twenty days, coming in and out of trance states brought on by intermittent fasting and somatic rituals while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church – the Star and Snake Arts Centre – Ascend Ascend is Janaka Stucky’s most powerful book to date.
Rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition of Hekhalot literature, which chronicles an ascent up the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to witness the Merkabah, or “chariot of God,” this book-length poem drafts a surreal, mythological landscape in which maximalist language shreds the natural world. Light becomes rainbowed sex. Intestines tangle into an aria. The sky is gallowed. At the center of this apocalyptic devastation stands the speaker of these poems, asserting: I explode. I shall love. I ascend. Stucky’s verse reminds us that even as we sink deeper and deeper into unknown darkness, we become our own flashlight beaming outward.
Equal parts Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” Ascend Ascend makes us both passenger and witness as we participate in the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.”
- “Spirit against the machines: on Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Team Human’. A spirited review of Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Team Human'” — AMG, Cadena Aurea; about Douglas Rushkoff’s Team Human [HT Douglas Rushkoff]
“A disenchanted worldview has allowed us to upload without any real resistance a new story, a story that collapses all previous stories, trumping all myth with the emancipatory power of science. It is the story that we have become free from all superstition, and are marching free into the future, unhinged from the wheel of cosmic interdependence and karmic responsibility, free from magical thinking into clean objectivity, finally able to decide -as in a vacuum- what we want to be. But this might just be the greatest hubris yet. The Luciferian or Promethean whim to think of oneself as master, to refuse to accept something superior than ourselves, deeming that we exist without other-determinates. For as physicist Werner Heisenberg stated “We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” Perhaps in the same sense that algorithms leave out of the equation the humanness that gets in the way of their goals, our way of questioning -based on a materialistic worldview- is leaving out consciousness or spirit.”
- “Witches Are Back, Casting a Spell Over Pop Culture When We Need Them Most” — Jennifer Vineyard, Syfy Wire [HT David Salisbury]
“That’s the kind of question a certain teenage witch and her horror-fan pals on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina like to bat around on their show. Are all monsters actually metaphors? Are the zombies in Night of the Living Dead really telling a tale about the Cold War, civil rights, and the collapse of the nuclear family? Is The Fly really about body dysmorphia? Do vampires stand in for sexual desire (or sexually-transmitted disease)? Do werewolves represent loss of control of one sort or another? And why do certain of these creatures dominate the public imagination at certain times, but not at others?
Independent women, in other words — women who were a threat to the Puritanical social order and the patriarchal inheritance system. Some were connected to organized peasant rebellions, and some were just considered nasty women — sarcastic, argumentative, unpopular. (The ultimate crime: being unlikable.)
The same kind of women are still targeted in modern-day witch hunts, where people are still accused of practicing witchcraft. And some would argue, those witch hunts have transformed into other ways to oppress women, and the symbol of woman-as-witch is a potent political tool. (Remember the Republican merchandise sporting the photo of Hillary Clinton riding a broom?)”
- “Rachel Carson’s Critics Called Her a Witch. When Silent Spring was published, the response was overtly gendered. Rachel Carson’s critics depicted her as hysterical, mystical, and witchy.” — Livia Gershon, JSTOR Daily [HT Judika Illes]
“Some scientists embraced Carson’s notion that the public must be included in evaluations of ecological dangers, which had previously been limited to industrial and agricultural representatives and government officials.
But other scientists, along with industry representatives, government personnel, and segments of the media, pushed back with a vengeance. A review in Time accused Carson of being ‘hysterically overemphatic’ with a ‘mystical attachment to the balance of nature.’ A cover illustration for the industry magazine Farm Chemicals depicted a witch on a broomstick, clearly referring to Carson. Dr. Robert Metcalf, vice-chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, asked whether ‘we are going to progress logically and scientifically upward, or whether we are going to drift back to the dark ages where witchcraft and witches reign.'”
- The Witches’ Insurrection Tarot. A tarot deck re-imagined from an anifascist, anticivilization, pro-sex-worker, anarchist perspective. A crowdfunding effort by Kit Snicket; from the 8-Days-To-Go dept.
“This is not a safe deck, it is a deck for the end of the world, a deck that shows both the brutality of destruction and the beauty of transformation. It’s a deck for outcasts, anarchists, whores, witches, and queers. “
- “Noita! Finland’s Sexually Charged Witchcraft Films of the 1950s” — David Flint, Reprobate Press; Noita palaa elämään (1952) [also] and Noita palaa elämään (1952) [also] [HT Richard Kaczynski]
“Finland is not a country known for its horror movie output – you could, arguably (and no doubt someone will argue) count the number of Finnish horror films on your fingers. But in the early 1950s, two significant films emerged that both played with ideas of the supernatural, witchcraft and what we now are apparently obliged to call ‘folk horror’. One of these films, The White Reindeer (Valkoinen peura), achieved some international acclaim … The other film, The Witch Returns to Life (Noita palaa elämään), had less international impact, and has languished in relative obscurity”
- “The Magickal Women Conference ~ Join Us On 1 June 2019. A day for magic(k)al women’s voices to be heard in debate and celebration.” Saturday 1 June 2019, London, UK; sold out, but there’s a waitlist
“The Magickal Women Conference pays homage to the women of the past who challenged the status quo by embracing mysticism, esotericism, and occult teachings, and to the women who continue those rich traditions through lived practice, performance, and adeptship.
We have put together an astounding international roster of speakers, masterclasses, and workshops, including our headline speaker Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, our keynote speaker Christina Oakley-Harrington, our Artist-in-Residence Victoria Musson, and our Storyteller-in-Residence Baya Salmon-Hawk.
We honour all women, whether female by birth or not, and welcome everyone to join us on this historic day.
This is going to be the magic(k)al event of London, 2019 — we hope to see you there!”
- “The Cataclysmic Break That (Maybe) Occurred in 1950. Sixty-nine years ago, a new geological era may have begun on Earth.” — Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic [HT William Gibson]
“Here is the hypothesis: Not so long ago, the very nature of planet Earth suffered a devastating rupture. The break was sudden, global, and irreversible. It happened on a Sunday within living memory.
That idea might soon carry the weight of scientific fact. Later this month, a committee of researchers from around the world will decide whether the Earth sprang into the Anthropocene, a new chapter of its history, in the year 1950.”
- “Unique Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick to celebrate re-opening in Cleveland” — Laura DeMarco, Cleveland.com; about The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick [HT Rev. Stacey L]
“The magic collection, known as the Raymond Buckland Collection, is one of the most significant in America. It was started by Buckland, founder of one of America’s first covens, in 1966 after a visit to English Wiccan leader Gerald Gardner on the Isle of Man. Buckland worked for British Airways and began to acquire artifacts as he traveled the world.
It will celebrate its re-opening with a party from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, with tarot readers and more.”
- The Psychology of the Paranormal by David Groome, Michael Eysenck, Robin Law; from Routledge, due this month
“Can mediums communicate with the dead? Do people really believe they’ve been abducted by aliens? Why do some people make life decisions based on their horoscope?
The Psychology of the Paranormal explores some commonly held beliefs regarding experiences so strange they can defy an obvious scientific explanation. The book explains how psychologists have conducted experiments to provide insight into phenomena such as clairvoyance, astrology, and alien abduction, as well as teaching us fundamental truths about human belief systems.
From debunking myths about Extra Sensory Perception, to considering whether our lives can truly be fated by the stars, The Psychology of the Paranormal shows us that however unlikely, belief in the paranormal will continue to be widespread.”
- “Real Priests Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | Not Your Average Review | Netflix” about Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
“I had priests watch Sabrina, and holy hell did they deliver.”
“… but, I’d have preferred a little bit less cannibalism.”
- “Baphomet The Oracle Scene” from Doom Patrol, s01e05
- Dionysus by BTS, a KPOP band
“Just get drunk, Dionysus.
A liquor in one hand, a Tyr sauce in another
Transparent crystal glistening art
Art is also a drink.
You dunno you dunno
You dunno what to do with
I’ll show you.
Ivy and rough wooden mic
In absolute breath
There is no sound coming out.
I am at the door of the world.
Cheering when you get on stage
Can not you see my stacked
Now I am born again”