So much life happens that is not captured in the Book. The spooky bits generally all end up here, and the magic bits. Some days it feels like I’ve run out of things to say here, and other days I wish I could put into words all the things I’m doing. No matter what ends up here in writing, know that all my days are filled with excitement and general Wizardry.

Right now I’m working on a new piece of stained glass which I will unveil at a later date. Still exploring new avenues of creativity like Flow Arts, and back in full swing with the ideas of the Magic Resistance. The old coven has fallen away, and a new smaller and more dedicated coven took its place. And if you have surmised that I live in the American South, you will not be surprised to read that I’m starting to go balls-deep into queer activism. Bitch I am fired up for my people!

One of the most exciting developments is happening with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. This order of secular queer nuns has been educating, uplifting and leading the queer community at large since 1979. Their charism, described as “serious parody”, offers a way to reach people through the “promulgation of Universal Joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt.” It’s drag, street ministry, entertainment, activism, religious parody while still a higher calling, all blended together into something that can’t quite be pinned down. After several years of wanting to join them, I am finally at the beginning of that journey as a “postulant” within the Order. With all my skills and interests combined, it’s like becoming a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence is truly inevitable. More to come on that (and new article category “Perpetual Indulgence”, see tags below)

The Haunting of Burg Hohenecken

High atop the Schlossburg over Hohenecken, in Hessia, stands the glorified ruin of the spur castle of Burg Hohenecken. This 13th century fortress, which looms above the valley town below, once belonged to the descendants of Reinhard von Lautern. In the 17th century, a siege resulted in its ruination by French troops, from which it never was restored.

Over the centuries the castle has accrued a number of legends: a wise woman who gave prophecy to the doomed maiden Hildegard, stories of buried treasure, and the plague miracles attributed to St. Roch. And so in my brief time there, my imagination swelled with these stories and images. Each day I would climb up the castle hill to take in the setting of the medieval legends, and be rewarded with the view of the Hohenecken valley below (to someone like me who’s spent most of his life at sea level, a snow covered castle on a tall hill is irresistible).

At the last stretch of my visit, I decided to face the cold of German winter one last time, and went alone in the night to climb the Schlossberg. Though I was now familiar with the way to the top, at night the paths seemed both steeper and more treacherous. Once past the barrier, there is no light to be had. And it was in these conditions that my imagination got the better of me. The wooded hill quickly muffled any sounds from the sleepy town below. Every step of mine became too loud against the quiet. My mind started filling in the blanks caused by the silence and the dark.

Fear of what goes bump in the night slowed me down so much. What animals may be watching me in this strange terrain? What other people could be out on this hill? Why do I feel like I am being watched? The stories of the battles that took place here came to mind, and the dread that some dead soldier might appear to scare me off. One last steep climb and I had made it to the top of the hill, and the foot of the castle whose stones threatened to fall down on me at any moment. And it was then that I heard the foot steps across the outer ward, and they were slowly heading toward me.

Never have I climbed downhill faster in my life! Goodbye to whatever may be up there watching me. Goodbye to the spirits of this old mound. Let me go and I will not come back! The self-styled sorcerer, who would have climbed the summit to perform a magic rite under the stars, was so easily spooked by the things he keeps in his own head. At the time it was exhilarating and frightful, and now safe at home I feel so silly.

The church of St. Roch on that clear night.

The mind, where all magic is to be found, is so easily suggestible.

Last Judgment, Hans Memling, 1467 – 1471

One of the earliest works of the Flemish master, Hans Memling. One side, of little interest, shows the souls of the righteous calmly queuing up to Heaven’s gate. The right panel depicts monstrous demonic figures shoveling the Damned into Hell’s brackish pits.

Clear, deep coloration creates a rich contrast between the two opposed realms of the dead. This piece is an excellent example of the emerging trend especially in Flemish works of exquisite textural details in oil work.

Traveling to the Land of Faustus

This coming January, we are planning a trip to Frankfurt and touring the surrounding area of Hessia. Apart from visiting family there, there is a very exciting prospect waiting for me as it is the birthplace of the mythology of Dr. Faustus. As you can obviously tell, the legend of Faustus has inspired me since I was a boy. It is a name I have taken unto myself. It will be a time for special inquiry in situ and I will hopefully find some time to contemplate the themes of Faustus in his own country. How did this myth shape the history of that place? What is the current fingerprint of the legend on the people who live there? Where do the stories overlap with real history? These will be some of the questions I present myself, with the help of 500 years of scholarship on Faustus to work from. It is an exciting time, more to come!

Faustus summons the spirits. c. 1840. Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein
Herbal Riot

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