Friday, October 9, 2015

Halloween Inspired Drawing

My friend and I went to the monastery ruins at old St.Mary's College. The ruins are also known as Hell House and there are tons of rumors I've heard growing up about the old altar and remains of the swimming pool. Mostly about Satan and cult worship, although the swimming pool was rumored to be filled with blood. I can't remember why, and I'm too lazy to Google it right now, but it probably has something to do with Satan and cult worship. I'm doing a small zine for a swap partner about the strange things in Maryland and wanted to get some photos. Sadly the remains of the altar with the black cross is gone and the pool is filled up, but I did get pictures of some of the neat and cute graffiti that surrounds the area.

I got these anti-stress coloring books (This book in particular is called Art Nouveau: Coloring for Everyone) and this page is by far my favorite. I wanted to see if I could make one like it. Then I decided to add ghosts and shit because October and because I was having a hard time coming up with something abstract. So here's a small art tutorial for the hell of it.

I started by folding the page "hot dog style" and drawing half of my design. I tried to leave just enough spacing between objects and shapes for when I had to ink it in later.

Then I drew a border on the right half and folded it. I rubbed very hard all over with the bottom of the inking marker I was using. I probably should have used some sort of craft popsicle stick or something but fuck that noise all I had was a marker.

Some of the pencil lines showed up on the other side and I could ink in some drawings with just those alone. Other shapes I had to either ink little by little and keep folding the page, or just make sure I did it quickly before the ink dried if it was small enough. Some of it didn't quite match up like I wanted it to, mostly because I drew a little too close to the center and it overlapped. Next time I'll probably leave a bit of space because it seems like it would be better to have to extrapolate lines.

After inking in everything and erasing all the pencil lines (may I just say that Pigma Sensei inking pens are great but the eraser it comes with is almost complete shit), I decided to color in the background with a black colored pencil. I wanted to use some of the larger markers but I didn't want to dry them out as I still need to use them and don't want to have to rebuy them just yet. I was also afraid of the ink bleeding on the paper and screwing up some of the lines that are close to each other. It's the same reason I didn't use any watercolor paint. Even my smallest brush is a little too big.

While I don't think it came out too bad, I think next time I'll either try to ink or paint it regardless of how much of a pain in the ass that seems. Or I'll wait until coloring everything in before blacking out the background. Since the coloring pencil is a ...well, a pencil, the broadness of the tip differs depending on when you last sharpened it. That means that some of the lines and shapes got a bit distorted and crowded regardless. Not too horribly though. Also, coloring with it left dust that grayed and smudged into the white spaces. I had the brilliant idea to try and use the eraser on it and it kind of worked, but if it accidentally went outside of any of the blank spaces it left a halo effect around them. Just minor annoyances all around.

The background did smear into some of the coloring though, which sucked ass. Hopefully you can't see it with the size of the picture and the potato I took the picture with. I tried enlarging some of these but then the resolution is shit. I'm sorry.

So there you  have it. My first art tutorial for a drawing style that I have no clue what it is called. Coloring book style? I don't know, whatever. Maybe you learned something. Specifically to leave space when doing something like this and that colored pencils can be assholes.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Creepy Bucket List

I cannot believe that October is a quarter over. Why do months have to only be four weeks? October should be three months worth of weeks long with at least two Halloween's and Samhain's. According to the uptick in my blogging it would at least be good for this blog anyways. I don't know, October just makes me feel alive like no other month does sometimes.

Since I can't figure out what I want to actually do for Halloween, much less what or where I want to go for my road trip coming up in about three days, my mind has been scrambling for ideas. Throw in creepypasta that I have been reading and media I have been taking in, as well as my own boredom, and you get my creepy bucket list. Things that I want to do that are either creepy, related to October and Halloween, or occult in nature. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do a silly fictional one, much like my fictional world bucket list, or a non fictional one so I split my list of ten into two fives.

Fictonal Creepy Bucket List:

1. Introduce Winifred Sanderson to a dental plan. - Hocus Pocus

2. Do the dirty at Camp Crystal Lake. Get at me Jason... punk. - Friday the 13th

3. Bring Mulciber back from the dead. - Nightbreed comic circa '90-'93 (I think I could literally make a blog post about this in itself, I was so annoyed)

4. Get rid of "all the damn vampires" in Santa Carla with the Frog brothers. - Lost Boys

5. Marry into the Addams family. - The Addams family

Actual Creepy Bucket List:

1. Hold a séance, or some other ritual, in the catacombs of Paris. Ever since I saw that cult singer scene in As Above, So Below I've wanted to do it so badly.

2. Another Hocus Pocus one. I want to do a group costume so badly. Have two other people be Sanderson sisters with me and three other people be the kids, find someplace with Halloween karaoke, and reenact the musical scene from mahvelous introduction, to mahvelous ending.

3. Do a shadowcasting of either Rocky Horror or Repo! The Genetic Opera. But let's be honest, top pick is Rocky.

4. Visit the Mutter Museum.

5. Buy some weird ass thing from Obscura Antiques and Oddities. I've always wanted a curio cabinet.

As some of these are more easily done and feasible than others, I hope to at least get the last five done one day.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Interviewing Your Tarot Cards

I was bored while doing a super slow overnight at work and was desperately trying to read the tarot for someone while using the Gothic Tarot of Vampires. This was the first time I had tried to use the deck in a serious manner and I was finding out that sometimes it can be tricky to read. There are symbols on the top of the cards that denote if it is a pentacle, cup, sword, or wand. The pentacle symbol doesn't actually look like a pentacle or coin symbol. It looks like a small vampire face (actually I think it looks like Boone's face from Nightbreed) inside a circle. There are also die type numbers (as in dice, not as in you will die) at the top that tell you if a card is a King or whatever. Maybe I'm just tarot illiterate if it's not Rider Waite inspired but this deck does take some getting used to, and playing around with, so you're not abysmally clumsy with it. I've found that it's also a stubborn deck. When it doesn't want to be used no amount of reshuffling will help that. It is a very beautiful deck though. I love the drawings on it. It was illustrated by Emiliano Mammucari who also draws comics, so it does have a graphic novel sort of feel to the drawings, which as a comic book reader is part of what drew me to that particular deck in the first place.

In my effort to understand my deck better and figure out if I was looking at a coin or an angry face, I went to the internet and came upon this Youtube video by Lea Evangelista.

When it comes to reading the tarot I've never thought of doing anything remotely like this. Usually I cleanse the cards, then I have to go through the deck and look at every one and appreciate the art, then I usually just jump right in with reading them. I figure I'll get used to them quicker. However, certain decks are more suited for certain questions and queries and this could help you discern what to do with which deck.

I set aside the very stubborn Vampire tarot and picked up my oracle cards by Lucy Cavendish, Oracle of Shadows & Light. I've been using these for a while and I love them. The art is by Jasmine Becket-Griffith who is amazing, I would really love to own a painting or piece of her art one day. This particular deck was gifted to me on my birthday by a friend who went and had Jasmine sign the guidebook, so it's very special to me. Using Lea's video, here's what my layout came out to be and the meaning behind them (Note: the picture I took of the layout at work was oddly angled so I recreated it at home).

Bottom Middle: Tell me about yourself, what is your most important characteristic?

Nautilus Princess: Powerful Personal Growth

This card is all about growing as a person, taking yourself seriously, and generally stepping up to the challenges that life throws at you. I find this to be very true because I do generally use these oracle cards as more of a personal tool. An almost meditational tool on myself and my current state in life. Very rarely do I use them on other people.

Bottom Right: what are your strengths as a deck?

Strangely Lonely: Holding On Way Too Tight

The guidebook for strangely lonely says this about the card: "This sweet and defined being holds fast to her Celtic Cross, clutching her belief system, because without it she is not sure who she truly is. Perhaps it was given to her by a beloved, perhaps it represents her family, a loved one, or aspects of her soul. But the reason she holds on so tight that she is so lonely and has yet to connect with her soul family on a day today basis. There are times in your life when you, too, may be surrounded by people, even those who you call friends, but you still feel extremely lonely amid it all, as she does. You may feel like you need a barrier between yourself and the world-as she does. There is a sense that you feel too strongly your individuality, and that you are lonely – as she is, too."

I take this to mean that the deck is very good at showing you what your barriers are that you put up. What are your fears and what is keeping you from growing as a person, which relates back to the most important characteristic of the cards itself as one of personal growth.

Bottom Left: what are your limits as a deck?

Ghosts Of The Past: The Past Returns For A Time...

This is all about confronting the past, basically. This card also represents that you can't go back after all of your life experiences. They have made you who you are and you must move on from all of that. In regards to the interview question I took this to mean that this deck is not always the best for trying to foretell anything from the future, but is better used by looking backwards and in present happenings to help you better prepare for the future. Not saying that you can never tell any future events, it's just harder. It is in my experience that this deck really will bring up shit from years ago that you have never thought about, much like a nagging girlfriend.

Top middle: What are you here to teach me?

Voodoo In Blue: Back Off!

The message behind this card is knowing when it is best to back away from the situation, also when it is best to be very, very blunt with people and tell them the same. It is about extreme honesty and dropping the façade of niceness from the way you interact with people. The deck wants you to grow a backbone. I know that a couple of times when I asked a question of the deck and it came up with an answer that I did not like I didn't want to be honest with myself and just accept  that answer, so I kept trying to ask the same question and reshuffle and reread them. Every single time the deck came up with either the same card or cards that are extremely similar in meaning. So yes, it can be very blunt.

Top left: how can I best learn from and collaborate with you?

Sewer Mermaid: Your Sensuality Is Beautiful

I love the Sewer Mermaid. I think it is a very cute card. Both in the art and in the name. Despite being in the sewer this card is about self love. Loving who you are as a person, loving your body, things like that. I take this to mean that it is not just about physical self love but also mental and emotional. Accepting who you are enough to not doubt yourself when it comes to interpreting the cards. I do tend to have a bunch of self-doubt. Because of that when I read for other people sometimes I get very, extremely anxious about it and it messes with my readings. So the best way to collaborate with these cards will be to trust the cards and, most of all, trust myself.

Top right: what is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Autumn Is My Last Chance: Please Don't Lose Hope!

This card is about self reliance as well as self-love. It is about knowing that when all hope seems lost that you yourself have what you need to get you through life, and you do not need to rely on other people for acceptance or help. So I think that is pretty much self-explanatory. It seems to tie in with all of the messages that we've been getting throughout this entire reading.

There you have it, a neat way to get to know your cards.  Hopefully it worked for you as well as it work for me and for the YouTuber. I would suggest subscribing to Lea's channel as I myself have done. She has more videos on there than just about Tarot cards and oracle cards. She also has videos about make up among other things. I have not gotten around to watching any of her other videos that are not about the cards, but they seem interesting. I also just like her fashion sense and the way she talks. It is no surprise to me that she does have some ASMR videos up because she has a very nice and calming way of speaking. I honestly think that I could listen to her talk all day long. Screw Morgan Freeman I want her to narrate my life.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Protection Ritual For Ghost Hunters

October is upon us and it's almost Halloween time. Hush, hush, it's always almost Halloween time.

esqueletos gif photo ani_155.gif
Not mine, sadly. Taken from Photobucket.

After boredom had set itself into our bones, my friends and I decided to go on a midnight trip to Todd's Inheritance, also known as Todd's Farm.

It is a farm near Fort Howard and reported to be haunted. Rumor says that the figure of the woman holding a candle in the top window of the farm can be seen. They say that she is waiting for her soldier to return from the war. There also are supposed to be the apparitions of slaves hanging from the trees around the farm. I was also told by friends I used to hang out with that the house used to have some eagle mount or statue above the door. If you were driving towards Fort Howard park it would be right side up but when you drove back the other way it would mysteriously flip and be upside down. There were also stories of it changing color from black to white or vice verse depending on what way it was facing. I've tried looking online for any story like that but to no avail. That rumor may have been truly local and particular to that circle of friends.

As you can see we found nothing that night. My pictures may or may not have been taken with a smartpotatophone, so there's also that. The only thing strange that we encountered were malfunctions to our GPS. It has been my experience that Todd's Inheritance always seems to mess with my GPS. Never anywhere else on that road but there. Usually when driving by it the road disappears off the map and everything goes either green or blue as if you were driving over water or land. This time our car icon kept jumping ahead on the map to past Todd's farm then going back to it's original location on the GPS. Some of our phones also rapidly lost about 30% charge power. Take from that what you will.

We didn't actually go on the property but respectfully stayed beyond the gates. Although it does seem that it is open as a museum to the public. At least according to their Facebook page that is. Regardless of whether you believe in the stories of ghosts or not, the house does have a lot of interesting history behind it that is definitely worth a Google search at the very least.

That being said, being the cautious pagan that I am, before we went I decided to do a blessing over our car and the car's inhabitants which I will now share with you. 

First consecrate some water to make it holy. There are many ways to do this. Here is a link with ways to consecrate water.

The way I did it was to have some water  in a bowl and have some sea salt from a grinder, or table salt, in a different bowl. Hold each bowl above your head and ask the Gods to cleanse the element of water or earth, depending on which bowl you're holding up at the time, while visualizing a white light coming down from the sky and running into, over, and surrounding the bowl you're holding. 

Then add the salt to the water. After that I took a knife and hold it above my head and visualized the same thing. Just pure white light running down into the knife, from the knife to my hands, and into my body, filling it with a cleansing glow. Then I said,

 "As above, so below." 

After that I plunged the knife into the bowl, visualizing all that power and energy flowing from the knife into the water.

It's not really necessary to do the last part I just thought it gave it a bit of an extra oomph. And obviously you can change some of the words and the deity to suit your own if you want. This is just how I personally do this.

After that I took the bowl outside. I began to circle the car. As I did this I dipped my fingers in the water and sprinkled and flung it on the car while I chanted,

"Earth, air, fire, and water,
Protect us and stay with us.
Earth bind the spirits,
Air blow them away,
Fire burn them away,
Water wash them away.
Earth, air, fire, and water,
Stay with us."

You can also say earth bind the evil and so on, and so on, which I also did.

After that I just walked up while continuing the chant to each of the people that were going with us, sprinkling it about their feet and on them. I also sprinkled some on myself as well.

So there you have it. Just a simple protection ritual to protect your car and people in it from having anything stick to them after ghost hunting. I don't know about you but I don't like stragglers. You could probably use this in a banishment ritual as well.

So who is excited for Halloween/Samhain, and how do some of you ghost hunters protect yourself? If you do at all, of course. Perhaps you are more secular and less pussy than I.