A photographer goes to a village in Bulgaria to photograph the Kukeri ritual, a “druidic-oriented ritual,” which “many consider being one of the only remaining practiced pagan rituals in Europe today.”
When I graduated from college, I owned three Tarot decks: the Rider-Waite/Pamela Coleman Smith deck (of course), the Marseilles deck (for history), and David Palladini’s Aquarian Tarot (well, it fit my personal aesthetic at the time).
This is fun, I thought, I should collect more Tarot decks.
One of the premiums from the Mushroom Tarot was a bandana — or Tarot cloth — with the slogan, “In the Name of the Hyphae, the Spore, and the Holy Host.” That may go instead nto my mushrooom-hunting gear. Watch for it on the other blog next August.
So people are making their own decks, and that is wonderful, but how do you decide the production numbers and how to do you price them?
Ultimately we decided to jump in blind and figure it out because… mushrooms! Writing a book was never something either of us longed to put on our resumes, yet in the long run I’m glad we did.
So there was research and cooking and writing and photography. You may have taken hundreds of photos for your blog, but food photography is a speciality — she has advice on that too. Pricing and press runs will be someone else’s decision though.
• One more “high” priestess joke, and you’re out of here. From the Colorado Springs Independent, the weekly that gets all the cannabis advertising because the chain-owned daily paper won’t touch it: “Meet Colorado’s High Priestess of Cannabis.” Yes, it’s that favorite form of American creativity: Let’s start a church!
• And on public [sic] radio, “When you hear the word ‘witch,’ what does your mind conjure?” Damn, that’s clever writing. This time it’s the 1A show: “Hex in Effect: Why Witches are Back.” (Were we gone? Did I miss that memo?) A teaser for the radio show, which you can listen to if you have unlimited earbuds time.
• Ah, those millennials. Now they are “ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology.” I could be snarky and say, “Hey, the Seventies called and they want their headlines back.” Or I could say that this is something that is always going on. Decades. Centuries.
• Photographer Rik Garrett (formerly of the Occult Chicago blog, now relocating back to the Pacific Northwest), is interviewed at beautiful.bizarre.
Rik harnesses old, analog photography techniques and a deep sensibility that is both educated and magical. I dare to believe he is opening doors to the past, recreating a cross-section of witchcraft and the earliest technologies in photography, and to the spirit realm—illuminating phenomenon and sparking the imagination beyond the typical scope of artistry.
Why was the Eastman Kodak Company founded in Rochester, New York, not far from the town of Hydesville (now part of Arcadia Township), where the Fox sisters birthed the American Spiritualist movement? Is there a connection between photography and spirits?
He briefly mentions the Burned-Over District, which is a religion-scholar’s term for the part of northern New York (and in adjacent Vermont), where numerous new religious movements and personages started or flourished in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Andrew Jackson Davis, the “Poughkeepsie Seer,” was just one — Shakers, Mormons, and other movements either started or began to grow there. “Burned over” refers to the “fires” of revival movements that swept the area in the Second Great Awakening, which “reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the super-natural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment.”
Some of the links that I saved that never turned into blog posts . . .
• The Internet loves quizes, so “What Kind of Witch Would You Be?” (answer: hearth witch). I always suspect that the answer is based on just one question, while the others are there just for fluff and decoration.
This is, indeed, one of the roots of many problems in modern polytheism – people being unwilling to wait and let things naturally evolve. My biggest concern here isn’t the specific examples of mis-assignment (though they do exist, and are indicative of a serious lack of understanding in some cases). It is the fact that these folks are sitting around trying to artificially assign gods to places and things as if it’s just a game, or at best an intellectual exercise.
If a phrase like “famous early twentieth century California photographer” makes you think of Edward Weston or Ansel Adams, then you probably have not heard of William Mortensen, known “as ‘the Antichrist’ by Ansel Adams, a tag that stuck after Anton LaVey dedicated The Satanic Bible to him. Primarily known as a Hollywood portrait artist, he developed a myriad of pre-Photoshop special effects to craft grotesque, erotic, and mystical images.”
His life remained a mystery. I had absorbed A. D. Coleman’s essay about Mortensen’s relegation to the backwater of photo history by the Newhalls, Adams and the rest, and, thus understood why there was little mention of him in photo history books. I’d even tracked down the booklet printed by Deborah Irmas and The Los Angeles Center for Creative Photography, who had put together the show that I’d seen. However, when I found any biographical information, the sources repeated the same story line, which came from the brief autobiographical section in Mortensen’s book The Command To Look. Beyond those slim facts there seemed to be nothing more. William Mortensen appeared to be more myth than man.