Any discussion of Wicca in America must begin with Raymond Buckland. A disciple and correspondent of English Wicca’s acknowledged father Gerald Gardner, Buckland established America’s first Wiccan coven on Long Island in the early ‘60s. He literally wrote the book on Wicca, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, along with dozens of smaller volumes. In 1968 (some sources say 1966), he established the USA’s first museum of witchcraft. Initially just a showroom in his basement, the collection grew and moved repeatedly, from Long Island to New Hampshire, to Virginia, to New Orleans. Sadly, in NOLA, the collection endured a period of neglect and damage.
Buckland has been an Ohioan since 1992, and two years ago, the collection returned to his Temple of Sacrifice coven, and is now going on display again, in a modest gallery in Cleveland. The Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft and Magick opens on April 29, 2017 in a room off of the Tremont record store A Separate Reality. (An aside—ASR should be a Mecca for punk, jazz, prog, and psych collectors. It’s owner, Gus Payne, has an incredible gift for procuring vinyl Holy Grails, and he’s a really swell guy, to boot.) The space has been a gallery before—a few years ago, under the name “Gallery Wolfy Part II,” it hosted a large exhibition of artwork by Half Japanese singer Jad Fair. That gallery was a white-wall space, but the Buckland incarnation is an intimate and inviting room in blood-red and exposed brick. The gallery’s curators Steven Intermill and Jillian Slane were accommodating enough to give Dangerous Minds some time with the collection. It features artifacts from a number of Wiccan luminaries, and even some possessions of legendary occultist Aleister Crowley’s.
Horned God Helmet - there’s a picture of this in The Complete Book of Witchcraft
One fateful afternoon thirty years ago, NYC-based jewelry designer Alex Streeter was working in the backroom at his eponymous store in Soho. Two gentlemen entered the shop and approached the artist, identifying themselves as the art directors for Alan Parker’s then-in-production supernatural thriller Angel Heart. They then proceeded to tell Streeter that they felt he was, in fact, the strangest jeweler in town, and hired him on the spot to create a distinctive collection in silver to be worn by the film’s stars, Robert De Niro and Charlotte Rampling. Thus, the famous, or perhaps infamous, Angel Heart Ring, a pentagram in an amber orb held aloft by two rams—and soon to become Streeter’s signature work—was born.
One memorable scene in Angel Heart sees De Niro’s sinister character slowly rolling a boiled egg on a plate as Mickey Rourke’s character stares at his amazing ring. Since the film’s release in 1987, Alex Streeter‘s impeccably carved and beautifully-crafted jewelry has been worn by the likes of Jimmy Page, Steven Tyler, Axl Rose, Madonna, Kirk Douglas of The Roots and Marilyn Manson and seen in the pages of fashion bibles the world over. But it’s not just rock stars who covet his fine craftsmanship, it’s people wanting to feel like a rock star—or a sorcerer perhaps—who are attracted to his singular, occult-inspired handiworks.
Alex Streeter‘s work obviously isn’t for everyone, but for those who are attracted to it, it can be an obsession. But did they chose to wear his work, or did his work chose them to wear it?
It’s probably a little of both.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the ring’s creation, Alex Streeter has designed a new stamped, limited collector’s edition of the Angel Heart Ring. It’s a thicker version of the classic setting, complete with limited edition details, including the trademark Alex Streeter logo and “XXX” stamping on the inner ring.This limited edition setting will only be available through March 6th, 2018 before being discontinued.
Today April 26th—to celebrate Alex’s birthday—is the annual sale at AlexStreeter.com and AngelHeartRing.com. For one day only you take 30% off with the code “ALEXBDAY” at checkout.
“Rodrique says the tokoloshe comes to his bed in the middle of the night to torment him.”
This curious tale appeared on the February 4, 2015 cover of the Daily Sun, South Africa’s largest daily newspaper with a readership of 5.7 million, but it just made its way to me. You’d think a story like this would have been, well… bigger news. Get a load of this:
Sometimes it’s a lizard who scratches him, but mostly she’s a short, beautiful woman who sucks his 4-5 . . . but there is no happy ending.
Rodrique Classen (31) said the last two years have been hell. The tokoloshe leaves him so horny that he has to leave his bed in the middle of the night and go in search of magoshas [prostitutes].
“It is only after the third big magosha that I find enough peace to go home to rest,” he said.
That’s the worst! How many times has a short beautiful demon sucked YOUR 4-5 without the expected happy ending, sending you out into the night to have sex with as many as three streetwalkers before you can finally chill out and get some sleep? We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
Rodrique, who lives with his parents—no surprise there—has no money, no job and whattaya know no girlfriend, either!
“I really want a girlfriend but the tokoloshe won’t allow it. The tokoloshe does something that makes the women think I am evil and they leave me,” he said.
Gee-whiz, I wonder what that “something” might be, don’t you? I’m pretty sure his lack of success with the ladies would have nothing whatsoever to do with a cover story like this one about his demonic sex addiction appearing on the front page of the country’s largest daily. Seems just a wee bit self-inflicted to me, Rodrique… just sayin’.
A traditional Zulu sangoma healer by the name of Dumezweni Mahabuke told the paper that the tokoloshe problem originates with Rodrique’s parents’ house.
“The tokoloshe was created in the yard to destroy him and make sure he never gets into a stable relationship with a woman,” said Dumezweni. “He needs to be cleansed by being washed and the house must be cleansed through special ceremonies. That’s the only way the tokoloshe will leave him alone,” said the sangoma.
In January 2013 Svenonius visited Candela Books + Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, and held a seance to illustrate the points outlined in the book. Before he can get going, however, he is interrupted by a “protest” organized by the UFLRSA, that is, the United Federation of Living Rock Stars of America, whose attorneys reads a statement focusing on the unfair treatment toward the working rock and roll stars of today who happen to suffer the unfortunate fate of being alive.
In what proved to be a highly scripted turn of events, Svenonius proposes a seance to bridge the differences between the living and the dead. But he has no candles, which everyone knows are required for a seance. Candles are duly produced.
In short order four volunteers are seated around a table asking questions of, in order, Paul McCartney (the hoax was true!), Little Richard (alive then, alive now), Brian Jones, and Jim Morrison, who offer useful advice to would-be rock superstars such as “it helps to be British” and “manufacture nostalgia.”
A movie poster for the 1922 silent film, ‘Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.’
Like many of you, I share an affinity for topics of interest that involve the guy who should have built your hotrod, Satan. Given the choice between Heaven or Hell, I just want to be where my friends are. And my post today is about as satanic as they come as it involves possessed nuns; witchcraft; grave robbery; cannibalism as well as the occasional human sacrifice. If that’s not dangerous enough for your mind, then consider the fact that the unmistakeable voice of William S. Burroughs narrates the subject of this post—the mind-fucky 1922 silent film Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages, a flick full of all the sacrilegious subjects I mentioned above and much much more!
Initially, Häxan is presented as a kind of historical document providing legitimate information about the origins of witchcraft and paganism. It is also widely considered to be one of the very first films to do so in such vivid detail. Director Benjamin Christensen—a former medical student—even cast himself as the devil as well as making a brief appearance as Jesus in the film. However, before Häxan could be officially released in Sweden, Swedish censors requested that Christensen omit several scenes including a rather shocking one involving a newborn baby covered in goo being held over a boiling cauldron. Many of the depictions of witchcraft in Häxan were apparently loosely based on the results of research conducted by prominent British anthropologist, Egyptologist and folklore historian, Margaret Alice Murray in her controversial 1921 book by The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology. Subsequently, after its censored release and being summarily banned in several countries, the film was heralded by members of the surrealist movement—as noted in the 2011 book 100 Cult Films—who called the film a “masterpiece of subversion.”
Christensen’s care in making Häxan look and feel realistic truly knew no bounds. To reinforce its authentic darkness and to help convey the appropriate mood that is required for demonic possession he sent one of his cameramen to take photographs of the bleak, cloud-filled skies of Norway that he used throughout the film as a backdrop. His actors are genuinely terrifying looking and appear to be deeply tormented. In other words, Häxan looks like an actual snapshot taken in Hell.
A disturbed nun surrounded by an equally disturbing array of torture devices from ‘Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages’
Adding another layer of satanic panic related to Häxan is a story attributed directly to Christensen himself regarding actress Maren Pedersen who played “Maria the weaver,” a witch in the film. According to Christensen, when he discovered Pedersen she purported to be a Red Cross nurse from Denmark—though when they met she was a street vendor selling flowers. While they were in the middle of filming Pederson allegedly confessed to Christensen that she believed that the devil was “real” and that she had “seen him sitting by her bedside.” So enthralled was he by Pederson’s diabolical revelation that the director decided to include it in the film’s storyline. Presumably, because the power of Satan compelled him to, of course.
Dmitry Morozov has created an installation in Ljubljana, Slovenia, that uses the bio-electrical properties of his own blood to generate electronic music. The installation is rather chillingly titled “Until I Die.” It was presented at the Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in December.
Morozov was inspired by Luigi Galvani, the discoverer of electrical properties in animals, and Alessandro Volta, who developed the Voltaic pile, the conceptual starting point for all modern electric batteries, as well as Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian pioneer in hematology.
Over the course of eighteen months Morozov “donated” blood for the musical project, until he had amassed 4.5 liters, a quantity that was later diluted into 7 liters; he also took extra care in ensuring that the blood retained its original electro-chemical properties. Fascinatingly, he also donated the final 200 milliliters on-site, during the installation itself—it was drawn from Morozov’s arm “during the performance presentation, shortly before the launch of the installation.”
Using techniques I do not fully understand, Morozov was able to create a series of batteries using his own blood, which when hooked up to speakers generated curious electronic noises or, if you prefer, music: “A sound unit is connected to the main battery. It consists of voltage converters, buffer capacitors, an Axoloti sound module, a small booster with speakers and a display that shows the voltage after the conversion. This voltage (6.5–7 V) is the main operating voltage of the sound system.”
This device would be something that is in all but name me, that uses my vitality to create electronic sounds. Moreover, I become the observer, looking at my own performance by a device that exists as a result of my efforts and is located outside my body. Thus, although for only a short period of time, I can achieve my own creative existence. The brevity of the installation’s lifespan is a core ingredient. In its ephemerality it resembles a Buddhist colored-sand mandala, which is drawn as a part of a specific sacrament and requires extreme focus. It is then ritualistically dismantled, symbolizing the frailty of life. Exhibiting the installation after its launch means observing the swift decay of life.
It’s either the most mind-blowing musical anomaly ever unearthed or it’s bullshit. Me, I prefer to believe. You will too. Light some black candles, take a slow sip from your crusty bottle of absinthe, and dig this spooky backstory….
In 1966, fledgling mystic Antonio Bartoccetti moved to Milan where he met a wizard named Franz Parthenzy. The two (apparently) communed with dark spirits who gifted Antonio with a musical vision so sinister and so subversive that it took him three years just to find collaborators brave enough to help him bring it to hideous life. He was eventually joined by an older British pipe organist with a classical background named Charles Tiring (R.I.P., presumably, unless he’s 118 years old) and a mysterious vocalist/violinist/keyboard masher, Fiamma Dello Spirito (or Doris Norton, as mere mortals call her).
Jacula was named after a popular erotic comic book at the time. They lifted their very metal logo from the comic as well. The songs were already channeled by Antonio, so all that was left was to record them. Legend has it that the first album, 1969’s In Cauda Semper Stat Venenum (roughly translated: “It always ends in poison”) was recorded in a crumbling British castle during a seance. Let’s go with that. The self-financed album was “released” in 1969—several months before Black Sabbath, incidentally—in a strictly limited edition of 333 copies. However, it was never sold in stores. Rather, it was handed out freely to like-minded occult dabblers, presumably for further spells and incantations. Cue a jarring crack of thunder and maniacal, mad-scientist laughter.
The world’s first black metal album?
So what does this album sound like? It sounds like Swiss extreme metal pioneers Hellhammer wandering onto the set of 1960s Mario Bava horror movie. It is Maximum Dungeon Synth, with a depressive church organist bonging away while mad monks chant and guitars drone. A shrieking violin cuts through the murk and wordless murmurs confront and confuse. The most jarring aspect, given the year it was created, is the thoroughly inhuman, wildly distorted guitar that permeates the recording, an oppressive boot-heel of ugly noise running roughshod over the perpetually gloomy atmosphere, especially on the album’s heaviest track, the epic “Triumphatus Sad.” It is this sound that has caused so much contention with heavy metal archeologists, who swear that such wicked riffery could simply not have existed in 1969.
Prevailing wisdom with record collector nerds is that Bartoccetti overdubbed the guitars sometime in the 90s, concocting this hopelessly obscure hoax just to land the “first heavy metal album” mantle. Well, maybe. Black Widow Records reissued the album in 2001 and although the label did not get into details, the album was definitely “cleaned up” and restored from the crumbling 1969 reels, so it’s entirely possible that the Tom G. Warrior teenage Satanist guitars were dropped in later. But so what? Even without the distortion, the album envelops you in such a thick cloak of doom that you can practically feel the ancient slime on the castle walls and inhale the acrid smoke of burning witches.
The so-called Wiccan “Rule of Three” (also called the “Three-fold Law” or “Law of Return”) is a moral code held by many witches. Karma is another word that (more or less) covers the same general territory. The energy that you “put out there”—whether good or ill—will return to you three times stronger. It’s not something that’s really a dogma among Pagans, but more of an admonition, or warning to neophytes, that there is a reward—or punishment—in harmony with the magic you work and the intent behind it.
An unflattering picture of the babbling orange idiot who knows the nuclear codes and a candle are all it takes to participate. The event’s Facebook page is here. If you can’t be at Trump Tower at the appointed time, face east and let ‘er rip… Some helpful instructions can be found here. Facebook event page here.
‘Werewolf’ specimens or Homo Lupus/Lycanthrope by artist Alex CF.
The fascinating photos you see here of the all-too-realistic looking remains of vampires, werewolves, and everyone’s favorite mythological creature Cthulhu, are actually the creations of London-based artist, illustrator, and sculptor Alex CF. Alex’s bizarre cabinets of curiosity are chock full of authentic-looking artifacts that would even make the most skeptical among us question their legitimacy.
At the website for the fictional Merrylin Cryptid Museum Alex tells the story of Thomas Merrilyn—who the artist cleverly refers to as a “Crypto-naturalist, Fringe Zoologist and Xeno -Archeologist.” According to Alex, he has been entrusted with the care and curation of the oddities that were found in the basement of a home in London in 2006. Here’s more on that:
In 2006, a trust was set up to analyze and collate a huge number of wooden crates found sealed in the basement of a London townhouse that was due for demolition. Seemingly untouched since the 1940′s, the crates contained over 5000 specimens of flora and fauna, collected, dissected, and preserved by many forgotten scientists, professors, and explorers of obscure cultures and species. The collection also housed many artifacts of curious origin, fragments of civilizations that once ruled the earth, of ideas and belief systems perhaps better left in the past.
The various mythological “specimens” that were found were attributed to Merrilyn who had traveled the “four corners of the earth” in search of evidence that would help support the existence of dragons, and other types of oddities such as goblins and a preserved baby werewolf. The backstory on each discovery is so detailed it seems a shame to debunk it. The same goes for the “specimens” and “artifacts” that Alex has created which are so impeccable that they almost seem to demand you believe in them. There are over 50 categories of specimens on virtual display over at the Cryptid Museum that will leave you scratching your head and perhaps reconsidering the idea that werewolves aren’t real. I’ve included a stellar array of Alex CF’s incredibly imaginative work for you to check out below. Though they are pieces of art, much of what follows is NSFW.
Cthulhu specimens and artifacts.
The remains and artifacts attributed to Rasputin, the mystical advisor to Czar Nicholas II of Russia.
The mummified remains of Maria Rosenthal who conceived a child via immaculate conception in 1942 by Sister Josephine Rosenthal.
More mythical monsters and creatures after the jump…
The 90s weren’t known for their frivolity. The whole idea was to be beyond fun. Fun was fucking square in the 90s, man. So naturally, when the Partridge Family Temple—a kooky hip-kid religion based on the irritating 70s sitcom—made their national TV debut on MTV’s The Jon Stewart Showin 1993 clad in impeccable Salvation Army chic and spouting frothy declarations about Shirley Partridge being the “Virgin Earth goddess mother from whose womb all Partridges came,” you instinctively knew something sinister was bubbling just below the glossy, fuzzy, c’mon-get-happy surface. And so it was.
The Partridge Family, lest we forget, was a relatively short-lived (1970-1974) TV series about the titular musical family, who toured around the country playing their gooey flared bell-bottom sunshine pop and getting into lightweight misadventures. The star of the show was real-life teen heartthrob David Cassidy who played Keith, the frontman for the family band. In the Temple, he’s the Satyr, the sex god, and his legendarily generous phallus is “the tree of knowledge and the tree of life combined.” They were wrangled by mom Shirley (Shirley Jones). A father was never even mentioned on the show, hence her placement in the cult as a sort of Virgin Shirley. Danny Partridge (perpetual walking disaster Danny Bonaduce) is the bass player/irritant, the perverse imp, the Partridge’s very own false prophet. Sister/keyboard player Laurie (Susan Dey) is…well, in the Temple she’s always involved in orgies, so maybe she’s the whore of Babylon? We don’t want to dig too deeply into this hole, really. I’m sure you get the drift.
The new messiahs?
So where are we, and how did we get here? In 1988, Shaun Fairlee AKA Shaun Partridge, the high priest of the Temple, was living in Denver. One weird weekend he met a rogue reverend, Adam Sleek, who tortured him with Partridge Family albums on crackly vinyl for many unsettling hours. At first, he hated them. That’s the sane reaction, incidentally. But eventually, he broke, allowing the insipid kiddie-pop of “I Think I Love You,” “I Woke Up in Love This Morning,” and “Come On Get Happy” to burrow deep into the soft meat of his brain. He saw it all, the whole virgin/whore dichotomy, his misfiring synapses creating a crazy-quilt origin story where All is Partridge and Partridge is All.. All that was left was to pick a few gold medallions and polyester shirts at the Goodwill and POOF! a new dumb religion was born.
He saw the light. Shaun Partridge gets happy
A vaguely sinister provocateur wrapped in a garish mid-70s clown costume, Fairlee began following (some might call it stalking) the various actors from the Partridge Family series. The Temple’s first major public disturbance was at a David Cassidy/Danny Bonaduce concert in 1991, where he was arrested for loudly preaching the gospel of the Temple to weirded-out nostalgia buffs. His stunt caught the attention of the media, and soon the Temple was making the rounds on shows like Stewart’s and on sensational tabloid programs like A Current Affair. Fairlee picked up a small contingent of co-conspirators along the way, most notably Giddle Partridge, a glamorous LA Satanist known mostly for Giddle and Boyd, her apocalyptic retro pop band with noise-rock anti-hero Boyd Rice.
Uneasy listening: Giddle and Boyd
In the mid-1990’s, they moved their act to freak-friendly Portland, where they were known mostly as creeps, fascists and women-beaters. Fairlee was in frequent barfights, and interviews would devolve quickly into the various atrocities his Temple may (or may not) have been a part of, from raw violence (sure), incest (Fairlee has threatened to marry his sister on occasion), devil worship (definitely; the Temple is rife with Satanists), and even urine-guzzling (Fairlee is very pro pee-play). They’re still around, but odds are they’ll be run out of town with pitchforks and torches any day now.
It’s hard to laugh off public beatings. I mean, people have seen it with their own eyes. But aside from the drunken rages, almost everything this group has ever done has been wrapped in so many layers of irony and sarcasm that it’s impossible to know exactly what any of this is about. I mean it’s not like they have an actual church to go to or any sacraments or even a sermon to listen to, although they do have a pretty dope house band. But it’s really just a bunch of quasi-evil 90s vintage hipsters fucking with you. Clearly, it’s satire, but what’s the joke? That religion and TV are the same thing? It’s a lot easier to just say that. You don’t need to invest 20 years into a fake cult for that. So maybe the truth has been right in front of us the whole time. Maybe, like Fairlee before us, we just haven’t watched the show enough or paid enough attention to the albums. Maybe illumination awaits, deep in the grooves of The Partridge Family’s Greatest Hits.