In my spare time (of which there is currently little) I’m currently doing a survey of spells from a collection of ancient Greek magical papyri. Meanwhile, I stumbled upon these two neat videos from Irving Finkel of the British Museum about Mesopotamian magic. Enjoy!
All about that time when I got super stoned and went ghost hunting
Picture it! Last weekend, St. Augustine, Florida. About 3 drinks, 2 bowls, and a very potent THC edible settling nicely in my tummy. This was the night of the trip I’d been waiting for, our paranormal investigation and ghost tour through the historic city. While for most of the group, it was an entertaining story time, for me there was a moment of pure fear.
St. Augustine has been a continually occupied settlement since Spanish explorers set up camp there in 1565. It’s 450 year history means it’s a great place for antiquities, archaeology, and local legends.
About 30 minutes into the tour, my brain was total mush, so all the facts I learned about St Augustine ghosts I had to read about later. However one stop I remember in vivid detail was at Antiques and Uniques on Aviles St. This part of the town has been developed ever since the first Spanish period. The building we entered was once the City Jail, and prior to that had been part of a military hospital complex. Archaeological evidence found in the 21st century revealed human remains under the building. According to legend there were also ghosts of children who haunt the place, so instead of calling out to the rapists and murderers, we decided to try to communicate with the kids.
We powered up our KII EMF meter and took our dowsing rods. As we all crammed into a narrow closet, which was at one time the alley behind the jail and a site of more than one grisly murder, the silence overtook the place. With a single flashlight we filed in and tried to call the child ghosts by name. Now, being in the middle of an edible session, my mind went all kinds of weird places. Time stood still. I became claustrophobic and paranoid. All of that I could easily attribute to the THC. But then shit started getting too real.
The flashlight begins flickering (of course), sending a thousand memories of scary movies flooding through my head. A creak in the distance and footsteps clamoring above us strike momentary fear into my heart. It feels like I am being watched. My boyfriend decides to go in deeper to the closet (I was too afraid, and relieved that he was standing next to the murder hole and not me). After a while, we ask the kids to manipulate the dowsing rod. Slowly, the rods begin to separate out at 180 degrees from each other. Our KII meters are spiking left and right near the rods, the flashlight is fucking with my peripheral vision and now I’m seeing things that are hopefully not there. I take my KII meter and move it around the other meters that are spiking off. The activity stops about four feet above the ground–right about at the height of a 10 year old child. I am having a legit paranormal experience, and I am almost paralyzed with fear. Well, fuck me. Even though I study and do magic and all that entails, this experience is just a little too real for my stoner brain. I was definitely relieved when the 3 hour investigation (which was actually only 20 minutes) was over.
Other fun highlights from the tour, after the jump.
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Hell is BADASS
Taking a quick look at some of the ghoulish and misshapen figures, you might think this is something by Hieronymus Bosch. It’s actually a commissioned religious piece by Master van Eyck. Take a moment to appreciate the horrors of the pits of Hell that this man painstakingly rendered in the smallest detail:
Death looms over the Abyss with bat-like wings. Note with delight the amount of clergymen you can spot by their headdresses or tonsured hair. Very gratifying.
Meanwhile, this motherfucker is wearing some sort of flesh-crown and smiling with painful glee, while his ghoulish, fanged belly devours the ass of some sinner, all the while triggering your deepest trypophobia.
Here a Lovecraftian child of Dagon is fighting with a bear monster over who is going to get wing or the thigh of the next sinner entree.
Yes, people of the ancient world had imaginations just as fucked up as we do today, as you can tell by these demonic creatures that would look right at home in a Hellraiser movie.
Artist Spotlight: Awhorea Borealis
I declare, there is nothing more Satanic (i.e. liberated) than a fierce drag queen. Drag queens have been known in modern times as leaders, innovators and icons. But most importantly, they are creators and illusionists. They tear down preconceived notions about the masculine and feminine, and around the world they are helping to build a society where people are free to express their inner selves.
One such queen local to me is the alluring and exotic Awhorea Borealis, a fantasy-serving witchy goddess (who towers above us at 6’8″ in heels). She’s a dear friend of mine and is VERY talented in makeup art. Send her some love.
Shamanic San Pedro Cactus Ritual
The very genius, sort-of-sexy-but-not-at-all resident pharmacologist for VICE undergoes a San Pedro Cactus ritual with Cipriano Zurita Neira.
DRAGULA SEASON 2
The season is now over, but in case you were unaware of the drag monstrosity of filth, horror and glamor that is DRAGULA, here you go. The whole season is available for free on YouTube.
12th Century Medical & Herbal Collection
This beautifully appointed manuscript describes over 200 plants and animals with medicinal (and magical) properties, in multiple colors and gold and silver.
Included in the collection is cannabis. Based on the style of the illumination (compared to its actual morphology), it’s likely the illustrator was basing their image off of a description alone, from hearsay or from another written source. Herodotus mentioned the use of hemp by the Scythians in 400BCE. Cannabis was just starting to become known to Europe in this century, by way of contact with Arab sources.
Name of this herb: Cannabis. This herb grows in harsh places, and next to roads, and bound to fences. It’s main use is for consecration (fanandum)…
Brazilian man disappeared, leaving behind 14 books full of encrypted hand-written text, and a life size statue of Giordano Bruno
After keeping his room locked for a month, Bruno Borges disappears and leaves it full of encrypted language and symbols all over the walls, along with 14 handwritten books (encrypted as well) and a statue of Giordano Bruno, Italian Dominican philosopher worth approximately $2500 (R$7.000). The books were impeccable in symmetry and aligning. His family didn’t know about the statue, he was alone when it was delivered. He was constantly asking people to invest in a project he had without telling them what it was all about. He just told his mother he was writing 14 books that would change humanity in a good way. After getting $6500 (R$20.000) from his cousin, he was able to finish his project.
SPOILER ALERT: He was found later and it was all an elaborate hoax about something (I forget what) he was trying to promote in Brazil.