by Angeliska on October 30, 2013
In honor of the season, I’m making an effort to revive my honeyed treasure trove of findings and wonders from all corners of the web. I’ve been collecting little bits of spookiness and spectral delight for a little while now, and am happy to finally have a moment to share them here – beginning with the wonderful portrait Darla Teagarden took of me one sultry summer, lordy – a couple years ago, now. She’s a genius, and so amazing to work with. I felt extremely honored to have the opportunity to be transformed by her eye.
Image by Emiliano Boga
☾It’s odd, but I’ve grown snapdragons for years, and never noticed the little skulls formed by the dried pods until I saw this: The Dragon’s Skull: The Macabre Appearance of Snapdragon Seed Pods
“A couple hundred years ago, a mole was a mouldywarp or ‘dirt tosser’. These chthonic beings are suspect, or so says Leviticus. They are counted among the unclean ‘creeping things that creep on the earth.’ Apollodorus of Athens tells us that the ancients believed eating the heart of a mole would give one the gift of divination– the ability to metaphorically see into darkness, and Pliny the Elder claims moles can hear you talking about them. Moles are of the dark company, the sort that make pacts with witches. Isaiah tells us enlightened men will toss their idols of gold and silver to the moles and bats.”
But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, but can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty in it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties.
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
“But now I began doing little experiments on my property. I’d been working on a book about beetles and I thought this might make a chapter. So I put out roadkill — mice, raccoon, a shrew — and then watched for who came and how nature’s undertakers — burying beetles, maggots, gorgeous green bottle flies — broke the carcass down.
The entire scene was about transformation. A mouse would die and get eaten and it became beetles. Or its molecules could become part of a hawk or an owl. I looked at a moose and a deer carcass and I was fascinated by how quickly even big things disappeared in nature.”
Death and the Patron – Preamble to the commentary on the esoteric meaning of Hieronymus Bosch’s painting Death and the Miser
“My sister and I always heard our names called. My father always said it was the wind, but the wind don’t say your name. I didn’t like going up on the third floor, that’s where I saw a man sittin’ in an easy chair. Sometimes it sounded like people were walking around the house and running down the halls. When we first moved there the floor in the back room was all cluttered with love letters. Maybe that guy died there or somethin’. That place made me feel so weird. My mother died in the house the day we were moving out; I feel like a part of her is still there. It was always cold in the house so my mother was happy we were moving to a warm place. The moving vans had just left, she was finally gettin’ out of the house and she never got out. As bad as I wanted to leave cause it’s creepy, I miss it. I’m not sure if it’s true but I heard that the man who bought it won’t stay there ’cause it’s haunted. The place has been empty for a long time.”
— Cheryl, who lived with her family in the house from the 1950s until the 1970s
☾ I want this book very, very much: Dark Spirits: The Magical Art of Rosaleen Norton and Austin Osman Spare, Dr. Nevill Drury
“Although they never met, the Australian witch Rosaleen Norton (1917-1979) and British visionary artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) shared many points in common. As occult practitioners operating within the Western esoteric tradition, both artists were well versed in the literature of Western magic, Theosophy, kabbalah, Eastern mysticism, and modern psychoanalysis. Fascinated by mediæval magical grimoires, they also explored the ‘seals’ associated with elemental spirit-beings and developed unique forms of sigil magic. Perhaps even more significantly, Norton and Spare utilised their own personal techniques of self-hypnosis and trance in order to produce their distinctive visionary artworks. As this book demonstrates, there is a clear parallel between the trance states associated with the Zos / Kia cosmology of Spare and the trance magic of Norton. Profiling both artists in detail, and with in excess of 120 colour and black and white images, Dark Spirits explores the unique contributions of both Spare and Norton as visionary outsiders and is necessary reading for anyone interested in the nether regions of the magical psyche.”
Dr. Nevill Drury passed on October 15, 2013 – a last interview with him is posted at Occult of Personality.
☾ Also, I must go here one day: The History of Icelandic Sorcery
☾ Another book I’m very much looking forward to reading: The New Uncanny
‘Vampires in the Lemon Grove,’ by Karen Russell
“Bats in a cave are ‘a chandelier of furry bodies, heartbeats wrapped in wings the color of rose petals or corn silk.’”
Hope your Hallowe’en is marvelous! Here are some olden posts from spookytimes of yore: