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‘Witchcraft and Black Magic’: Surreal occult fantasy paintings
11.06.2014
06:37 am

Topics:
Art
Occult

Tags:
Jan Parker


 
In 1971, artist Jan Parker, who’d been a sketch artist on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey, executed a series of macabre illustrations for Witchcraft and Black Magic by the prolific occult author Peter Haining.
 

 
Though he wrote some reference works on Doctor Who, Haining may have become most well known for arguing, in two books, a claim that Sweeney Todd was a real person. That assertion has never been widely embraced, and Haining passed in 2007. Jan Parker, on the other hand, is alive and well, and remains active as an artist. But if all you know of him is work like we’ve reproduced here, you wouldn’t recognize his current output. No longer a dark and surreal arbiter of fantasy and the arcane, he’s now a painter of almost flourescently vivid impressionistic abstractions. Though some of his newer pieces are indeed quite striking, the lurid horrors below are more our speed.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Graveyard Rock: SICK SOUNDS from Intoxica Radio!
10.28.2014
08:28 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Halloween

jfjfidl
 
For all of you fellow rock and roll monsters, here’s my ninth annual Halloween radio show. It can be played or downloaded free or just press play below. I’ve spent my life collecting records and horror film memorabilia among tons of other pop culture items. The combination of horror, monsters and rock n roll is the ultimate for me and many thousands of creeps worldwide. This is the original insane punk music.

There is a big difference between some of this stuff and silly novelty music, which I also like and play on the show, but you won’t hear the “Monster Mash” here, ever. You will hear “Graveyard Rock” by Seattle’s answer to Vampira, the Tarantula Ghoul, and many other crazy 45’s by horror hosts from TV across fifties and sixties America. You’ll also hear teenage garage bands, rockabilly lunatics and wild ads for old live spook shows, horror movies and monstrous toys. I even speak into an echo machine. This is something I do every week, not just on Halloween, hahaha), but THIS is the most special show of the year. Enjoy it!

The show’s basic description is this:

Howie Pyro plays the weird stuff… 50’s and 60’s rock and roll, psycho surf, garage, rockabilly, hillbilly horrors, voodoo R & B, insane instrumentals, religious nuts, teenage hell music, vintage global garbage, peppered with bizarre old movie ads & radio clips & general echo-fied screaming….wild, unhinged primitive 50’s and 60’s rock n roll played every Tuesday at 9PM (California time) from original 45 RPM records at Luxuria Music—Running wild since 2006!

 
dkfhgkd
 
Past guests include Kid Congo Powers (Cramps, Gun Club, Nick Cave), Miriam Linna (Cramps, Norton Records, Kicks Books), , Kim Fowley, ? of the Mysterians, Thee Midniters, Sylvain Sylvain, Cheetah Chrome, Tim Warren (Crypt Records), Reverend Beat Man, Boyd Rice, El Vez, J.G.Thirlwell, Todd-O-Phonic Todd, Sweeney Todd, Lee Joseph, Haunted George, Richard Elfman, Thee Cormans, etc.
 

 
jfhfjsl
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll
10.21.2014
06:52 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Peter Berbergal


 
Author Peter Bebergal’s new book, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll examines a wide swath of subcultural history to explore the marriage between mysticism and music in the rock era. Covered in-depth are David Bowie, Killing Joke, King Crimson, Arthur Brown, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. And of course Aleister Crowley and underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger loom large over the proceedings. I asked the author a few questions over email.

What’s the book’s overarching thesis in a nutshell? How did the occult save rock and roll?

The essential spirit behind rock and roll, especially in the early days, is rebellion. It was a social, sexual, political, and even an artistic agitation. The book’s main claim is that at the root of this is a spiritual rebellion. Even rock’s physicality—driven by sex—was condemned as sinful, a temptation by the devil to lure kids into deviant behavior. Fears of rock were also driven by racism as the rhythms and energy of rock were—rightly—seen as coming from African American music, but was believed to be barbaric, tribal, and wickedly pagan. For musicians and fans to push forward was a deliberate, albeit often unconscious, middle-finger to mainstream ideas about what was godly. The Beat Generation, who a decade or so earlier were using art as a form of personal and social revolt, had already paved a path laden with drugs, Eastern mysticism, and occult imagery. It made perfect sense that when artists, and by extension the culture of rock, were seeking a spiritual identity to give weight to their music and meaning to their own lives, they would turn towards alternative spiritual practices.

Furthermore, there is something deeply human that what we call occult practices have given expression to. I would call this a desire for ecstasis, for having an unmediated experience with the divine. Magic and religion were once inseparable, but even when these practices were outlawed, people continued to find ways to have their own personal agency in regards to their spiritual lives. But I think we would prefer to do this in the context of community, as had once been done. This drive will always find a way to manifest, and rock and roll provided a most potent vehicle to reignite the echo of the earliest forms of worship; theater, dance, performance, shouting, drumming, and even intoxication and the shadow of madness, of being possessed by the gods.

All of these elements come together in what I define in the book as the “occult imagination,” which includes not only the way musicians and fans together created a mystique and mystery around the music, but the negative responses often found in the media and the mainstream religious communities. At the crossroads of all these things is where a potent spell has been cast over popular culture. The occult is the spiritual salvation of rock and roll, and I believe if you were to pull out this thread, popular music would sound and look very different.
 

 
How pivotal was the role Kenneth Anger played in all this? When I was a kid reading about his misadventures with the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page, he seemed like such a far-out, fascinating and glamorous character to me. My own lifelong interest in Aleister Crowley probably starts there.

Kenneth Anger’s arrival into the midst of rock and roll culture couldn’t have been better timed. Here were young musicians like Jimmy Page and Mick Jagger, at the top of their game and feeling on top of the world, finding themselves often characterized in the media as dangerous, as bringers of chaos by way of their music and their colorful lives on and off stage. Here comes this controversial filmmaker, this “glamorous character” exactly as you say, talking about magic and how art can be a form of ritual. Anger was also older by almost twenty years, so anything he said about Crowley or the occult must have been heard as dark wisdom. Page loved this stuff, but I don’t think he ever actually practiced magic in any serious way, if at all, but Anger was the real deal. And he wasn’t a hermit. He didn’t require you to give up your fame and fortune to be initiated. In fact, for Anger, the fame and fortune were part of magic’s appeal and had the ability to transform culture through art. Jagger liked the Baudelaireian dandyism of Anger, and imagined himself the same. For Page and Jagger, Anger elevated fanciful ideas of the occult into something that could be perceived as serious and real. And their association with him, despite the various falling outs they each had with the filmmaker, only fueled the public’s speculations about Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones being occult devotees or even Satanists. Even though Anger was in no way a Satanist, it was during this time that the conflating of occultism and devil worship was becoming solidified. It was only deepened when Jagger would swagger like a prideful Lucifer when singing “Sympathy for the Devil.” In the end, Anger is a shadow figure that is responsible for giving both the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, two of the most influential rock bands of all time, an aura of magic and mystery that would shape so much of rock’s identity and the way the media and public responded to them. In this sense, Anger’s magic was successful.
 

 
Which rockers do you find really consider themselves as occultists working in the rock idiom—occultist first, musician second—versus some who it’s all an act for them. Coil, for instance, seemed equally about the spell-casting and the music.

Coil certainly fit this definition, as well as Psychic TV, who for a time created a kind of virtual magical lodge via Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. I think for a time Jinx Dawson saw her band Coven as being a vehicle for her occult practice, and later the band Tool integrated their own beliefs about magic into their music. But for some, while they saw their music has having potential to work magic, they still saw themselves first and foremost as musicians. Arthur Brown, best known for his song “Fire” believed a rock concert could function as a shamanic rite. He used every element of the performance, from his makeup to the staging to the way he moved, as an attempt to channel and then release what he believed was magical energy. Others would later copy his stage antics, but had no occult intentions at all, such as Alice Cooper and KISS (although they would of course be accused of being in league with infernal forces). I also think David Bowie for time believed he was working a kind of magic, but again, it was the music and the performance where it was wholly realized.
 

 
What’s the weirdest thing you uncovered when researching the book?

I was quite surprised to learn that the members of Killing Joke, following the lead of their singer Jaz Coleman, went to Iceland to await what Coleman believed was a coming apocalypse. I also learned that after Arthur Brown had disbanded his first band the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, he had a mescaline vision in which he was visited by an angel in armor, holding aloft a sword. Brown interpreted this as any real rock musician should: God was telling him to start another band. But I think the weirdest thing was how so much of rock’s association with the occult started by a simple problem of translation. In the 1840s, a young African named Samuel Ajayi Crowther from a Yoruba who had converted to Christianity wanted to start a mission back in his homeland, so he set out translating the bible into Yoruban. Of course not every word had a corresponding one in the other language, and so when he came to the issue of what to call the devil, he chose the name of his people’s trickster god, the closest the Yorubans had to a god that could not be trusted, that might tempt you. This god’s name was Eshu, and by the time the deity travelled with other converted Yorubans back to the American South, the god of the crossroads became Satan.

Below, Cerith Wyn Evans video for Psychic TV’s “Unclean”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Sex, lies and Satanism: The rise and fall of Christian comedian Mike Warnke
10.08.2014
11:21 am

Topics:
Occult

Tags:
Satanism
Mike Warnke

Mike Warnke A Jester in the Kings Court
 

“I’m just a storyteller.”
—Mike Warnke from the 1979 album A Christian perspective on Halloween

 
In 1973, Evangelical comedian Mike Warnke wrote a book called the The Satan Seller. A book that would propel him to fame as one of the most trusted knowledge bases in the field of Satanism and the occult (“trusted” by idiots like Bob Larson, but I digress). Warnke’s book details his experiences with ritualistic killings, child murder, orgies and rape until he was “saved” by Jesus after a six-month stint in Vietnam.
 

 
Warnke was an instant sensation to legions of Christians, and became a beacon of hope in their never-ending war between good and evil. He released volume upon volume of recordings, comedic and otherwise and has told his story to Oprah, Larry King and 20/20. Many directly credit Warnke’s incredible popularity with the sudden panic about Satanic ritual abuse and cult activity in the late 80s and early 90s.

When I saw the edited clip below, taken from a VHS recording of his 1989 comedy stand-up performance called Do You Hear Me, I was unprepared for the moment when Warnke veers off his righteous path into NSFW territory and launches into a gruesomely detailed account of a satanic ritual to the audience. Dispensing this type of hellfire was a matter of routine for Warnke, but I was completely incredulous.
 

 
And so were others. In the late 80s, Jon Trott and Mike Hertenstein, two Christian journalists working for Cornerstone Magazine decided to investigate Warnke’s wild claims. Their finds would go on to be published in a book called, Selling Satan: The Evangelical Media and the Mike Warnke Scandal

Shockingly, Warnke’s own family and friends laughed at the idea when Trott and Hertenstein asked them if he had lived in witches coven with 1,500 people, was ever a dope fiend or did LSD. However it was Mike Warnke himself who made his exposure as a liar-liar-pants-on-fire recovering Satanist pretty easy. My favorite example of this is a story Warnke was fond of telling about how Charles Manson attended one of his blood-soaked sacrificial rituals in 1966. The problem with this juicy tidbit was that Manson was busy that year doing his second bid in Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution due to a parole violation. (I guess it was the 80s, and Warnke probably thought to himself “No one will call me out on this if they can’t google it!” (Or something.)
 

 
In addition to the fascinating Selling Satan, cult-busting website Holy Smoke has also posted articles and sidebar columns that were originally published in Cornerstone (volume 21, issue 98 in 1992) that contain much of the blow-by-blow on Warnke’s jaw-dropping tall tales. I highly recommend you read both if this has at all piqued your interest.

Although the allegations of out-and-out fabrication were quite specific and damaging to his credibility (to say the least), Warnke never addressed the charges of his critics in his book Friendly Fire (as excerpted on the Thanks Mucho blog):

I was in the middle of the worst period of my life.  For nearly 22 years I had reigned as the number-one Christian comedian in the world, performing to sellout crowds around the globe ... My books and tapes were steady best-sellers ... I even had my own private plane.

Then suddenly, it all fell apart. In the summer of 1992, a Christian magazine published an article that called into question virtually every aspect of my life, my Christian testimony, and my ministry.  I was accused of lying about my testimony—in particular my past involvement with the occult and as a satanist—and of operating a false ministry.

The fallout was immediate. My concert schedule dried up and disappeared. My record company pulled all my tapes from the stores and cancelled my contract. Many people I thought were my friends were no longer talking to me. For months I was subjected to a very brutal and very public whipping by the media, both Christian and secular…

Was I a fake, a charlatan, a deceiver, and a liar? No. I never lied about my testimony and I never ran a fake ministry…

Others beg to differ...
 

 
Since I’m sure you’re at least a little curious about how things ended up for Mike Warnke, you can catch up with him over at his official website.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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The corpsepainted comedian: Black metal stand-up comedy
10.08.2014
07:57 am

Topics:
Amusing
Occult

Tags:
Black metal

Black Metal Corpsepaint comedy isn't funny
 
The “comedian” in corpsepaint featured in this video goes by the name Necrosexual. He’s well-known in the netherworld of heavy metal for the offbeat interviews he’s conducted with members from bands like Grim Reaper, Exodus and most recently his awesomely awkward interview with Canadian headbangers, Anvil.

During the video below, Mr. Necrosexual tries his hand at stand-up comedy by putting a black metal spin on his jokes. The result is cringeworthy. At best. Now that’s brutal.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Corpsepaint’ make-up throughout rock and roll history

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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Ghost of ‘Grey Lady’ captured on camera at England’s most haunted castle
10.07.2014
07:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
Occult

Tags:
ghosts
Grey Lady

aaghstcstlgryldy.jpg
 
A legendary ghost at one of the world’s most haunted castles has been reputedly captured on camera.

Built in 1071, Dudley Castle in Birmingham is described as “the most haunted castle in England” with a long documented history of paranormal activity, including frequent sightings of the ghosts of a little drummer boy and a woman called the “Grey Lady.”

On a visit to the castle in August this year, Dean and Amy Harper snapped a photograph of what appears to be the famous Grey Lady. Their photo has what seems to be the image of a woman and a young child (far older than a baby) in the door of Sharington Range—a set of buildings contained within the castle.

The Grey Lady is believed to be the spirit of Dorothy Beaumont, who lived for a short time within the castle. According to legend, Dorothy lost a daughter during childbirth, and became ill soon after and died. Her last wish was to be buried with her daughter and for her husband to attend her burial. However, it is claimed that neither request fulfilled and her ghost has been seen wandering the castle ever since.

In a report in the Birmingham Mail, Dean Harper told the paper:

“We went up to the castle ruins and while we were up there we thought we’d get some pictures of the grounds.

“On looking through the images that night, Amy saw a glow, as though a light was on, on the top window level. On zooming in we noticed on the bottom, inside an arch, there was a lady and what appears to be a little girl, too.

“Neither of us are ghost hunters but we do wonder if this could be the Grey Lady ghost – the picture is quite clear.”

The photograph was taken on 30th August this year and has apparently considerable excitement with the media and communications at Dudley Zoo, sited within the castle, whose head Jill Hitchman said:

“There have been many stories about ghostly figures and happenings associated with the castle, mostly centred within the courtyard.

“This image is incredible because it was taken from the top of the castle on a mobile phone camera and still manages to pick out the outline of what seems to be a female figure in the doorway.”

Whether it is a ghost or not, I’m sure this latest sighting of the Grey Lady will boost tourism to the castle.
 
aaaghstgryldy222.jpg
 

 
Via the Birmingham Mail

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Ghost of black-eyed girl seen for first time in 30 years
09.30.2014
06:45 am

Topics:
Amusing
Occult

Tags:
Ghosts
paranormal

ablkeyeghst.jpg
Black-eyed girl selfie

The reappearance last year of a ghoulish apparition at Cannock Chase in England has led to considerable media frenzy in the UK and an allegedly “in-depth investigation” by paranormal investigator Lee Brickley.

Last summer, Lee wrote of his receiving an email regarding a sighting of the ghost of a black-eyed child. According to Lee, this ghoulish spectre was first seen in Staffordshire in the 1980s. The sighting created worldwide interest in “the black-eyed girl,” which eventually led to the ghost becoming an Internet sensation.

In 2013, the ghost has been seen by a mother and daughter while walking through woods at Cannock Chase. The account given to Lee Brickley was very similar to previous reports of the “Black Eyed Child—who has coal-black pits for eye sockets.”

The woman (given the pseudonym Mrs. Kelly) was out walking in the woods with her daughter, when they heard horrific screams which seemed to come from a terrified child somewhere in the woods.

“We instantly started running towards the noise,” she said. “We couldn’t find the child anywhere and so stopped to catch our breath. That’s when I turned round and saw a girl stood behind me, no more than 10 years old, with her hands over her eyes.It was as if she was waiting for a birthday cake. I asked if she was OK and if she had been the one screaming. She put her arms down by her side and opened her eyes. That’s when I saw they were completely black, no iris, no white, nothing. I jumped back and grabbed my daughter. When I looked again, the child was gone. It was so strange.”

On his website, paranormal investigator Lee said the woman’s experience mirrors the earlier sighting:

“In the summer of 1982, my aunt was 18 years old, and she and her friends would often meet on Cannock Chase in the evening time, probably in much the same way many teenagers still do today. One evening, just before dark, she heard a little girl frantically shouting for help. Rushing to locate the sound, she stumbled upon a dirt track and caught sight of the girl, about six years old running in the opposite direction. When my aunt caught up, the girl turned around and looked her in the eyes, and then ran off into the dark woodland. Her eyes had been completely black with no trace of white. There was a police search but to no avail. At the time, no-one had any reason to believe anything paranormal was going on. The girl certainly appeared to be of flesh and blood.”

Brickley goes on to speculate about these “black eyed kids” writing:

... if you look around on the Internet and read a few books you’ll find many different theories as to their origins. Some people believe them to be extraterrestrials, vampires, ghosts and even inter-dimensional entities, but there is one immense difference between the sightings of black-eyed children around the world and the stories coming out of Cannock Chase: only on Cannock Chase do the sightings consistently happen during the daytime.

In the U.S many reports suggest that black-eyed children often appear in groups, regularly knocking at the door’s of unknowing victims and asking quietly if they may “come inside.” Some other stories tell the tale of these devilish children appearing in the back-seats of cars when a driver is travelling alone at midnight, or walking around on empty early morning streets asking anyone around for help, but I wonder what would happen if you offered them your assistance? What would happen if you let them inside your house? Not many people know, but there are a few reports knocking around, like this one, originally posted in pararational:

“......so I let them in, the one who needed the toilet just walked in and straight up the stairs so I shouted up its on the right, I don’t know why I didn’t find this strange but most toilets are upstairs and as he was young I didn’t think anything of it. I told the other one that the phone was down the hall, “thanks” he said and he started to walk down the hall, I followed him and then I suddenly came over with a really awful feeling like something bad was going to happen, I became very nervous and a bit shaky I still cant explain how that happened, the boy stopped at the phone and paused, “everything OK?” I asked, he turned to me and looked up and that’s when I saw his eyes, and trust me I will never get that picture out of my head, I was so scared that I couldn’t even scream as I turned to run down the hall the other kid was standing at the end.”

“I became very dizzy and struggled to stand up, he walked closer to me and said that they had been sent to collect me, I still couldn’t bear to look into his face, I pushed away from him and ran into my front room and slammed the door shut, I was in so much shock about what was happening I couldn’t think straight, this is something that you don’t even expect to happen even in movies. After standing against the door for around and hour or so I finally got the courage to make a run for the back door, so I ran to it and unlocked it, I ran to the back of my garden and jumped over the fence not once looking back…..”

Very frightening indeed…..

Of all the paranormal phenomena experienced on Cannock Chase, black-eyed children have to be the most eerie by far. The only advice I could offer anyone who comes across these unhallowed, unrelenting and unsympathetic strays is: start running while you still can!

Last year’s sighting of the Black-Eyed Child has now made the front covers of several UK newspapers (must be a quiet week…) as well as local papers—none of which mention that the sighting actually/supposedly took place in 2013.
 
Via the Daily Mirror

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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The Surrealists’ tarot deck
09.29.2014
08:22 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Games
Occult

Tags:
Andre Breton
surrealism
tarot


 
In 1940 and 1941 André Breton, widely considered the founder of Surrealism, and a group of like-minded individuals (René Char, Oscar Dominguez, Victor Brauner, Max Ernst, Jacques Hérold, Wilfredo Lam, André Masson, Benjamin Péret) decided to design their own deck of tarot cards. The deck they finally came up with was executed in a remarkably pleasing, almost ligne claire style. In accordance with the mindfuckery inherent to Surrealism, the group rejected the courtly/medieval theme of the traditional deck and nominated their own heroes to represent the face cards, including Hegel, Freud, the Marquis de Sade, Baudelaire, and so on.

(A quick clarification: It seems evident that this is a deck of playing cards or possibly a hybrid of tarot and playing cards. Sources seem unequivocal in describing the deck as a tarot deck, and so that’s what we’re going with too.)

The Surrealist deck of cards suggests a kind of post-Enlightenment, left-wing, revolutionary, intellect-based cosmology. So the royal hierarchy of King, Queen, and Jack was replaced with “Genius,” “Siren,” and “Magus,” this last word accentuating the occult roots of the project. Rejecting the traditional clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds as well as the traditional tarot suits (wands, cups, swords, and discs), the group invented its own symbolism, with flames and wheels constituting the red suits and locks and stars being the black ones. Flames represented love and desire; wheels represented revolution; stars represented dreams; and locks represented knowledge.

Brilliantly, for the joker, the group selected Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi (bottom).

Genius of flames: Baudelaire
Siren of flames: Marianna Alcofardo (author of Letters of a Portuguese Nun)
Magus of flames: Novalis

Genius of locks: Hegel
Siren of locks: Hélène Smith (nineteenth-century psychic)
Magus of locks: Paracelsus (Renaissance physician and occultist)

Genius of wheels: De Sade
Siren of wheels: Lamiel (from Stendhal)
Magus of wheels: Pancho Villa

Genius of stars: Lautréamont
Siren of stars: Alice (from Lewis Carroll)
Magus of stars: Freud
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via Tombolare
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Lucifer, Wozards & Music for Plants: The Electronic World of Mort Garson
09.19.2014
09:44 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Moog
Mort Garson

Cover for Mort Garson's
 
When people talk about pioneers of electronic music, several key names are invoked. Musique concrète founder Pierre Schaeffer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and Moog-goddess Wendy Carlos, just to mention a few. But one name that does not get invoked nearly enough is Mort Garson. This Canadian-born composer was not only a mere innovator but went on to make some of the most deliriously strange and wondrous electronic compositions (and cover versions) of the 20th century. Just the fact that the phrase, “occult-pop” has been used as a descriptor of his work should give you just a tiny hint of this man’s wholly unique genius.
 

 
Originally finding work as a session musician and lyricist, working with artists like Julie London, Rod McKuen, Doris Day and The Lettermen, it was when he started to work with the still new instrument known as the Moog Synthesizer, that things become very, very interesting. Albums like Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds and The Wozard of Iz, a psychedelic retelling of The Wizard of Oz, managed to create something that was on one hand very much of its time and yet, transcended the calculatedness of an industry cashing in on “The Love Generation” and become something on its own. The Wozard of Iz in particular, with such strong tracks like “Big Sur” and “Killing of the Witch,” is symptomatic of the high quality of Garson’s work. Some parts are kitschy-in-a-groovy-way, while others are as lush as they are alien.
 

“Big Sur”
 
In 1971, Garson made Black Mass under the appropriate moniker, “Lucifer.” While it’s not as ooky-spooky as it may sound, Black Mass is the kind of album you can listen to in a pitch black room and be transported to some charismatically unsettling landscape with nary a drug in your system. You don’t need drugs for this kind of beautiful high-weirdness. Mort Garson is the drug.

Mort would dip into the occult realm yet again with 1975’s The Unexplained: Electronic Musical Impressions of the Occult under the nom de plume Ataraxia, which is the Greek definition of “lucid state of robust tranquility.” Change “robust” to “robot” and that definition is apt for The Unexplained.
 

 
More Mort after the jump…

Posted by Heather Drain | Discussion
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‘Kenneth Anger: Film as Magical Ritual’: Jaw-dropping German TV doc from 1970
09.16.2014
03:06 pm

Topics:
Movies
Occult
Television

Tags:
Kenneth Anger


 

“Magick is action. Mysticism is a withdrawal from action”

If you’re a Kenneth Anger fan, be prepared to be seriously blown away by this astonishing German television documentary from 1970 that shows the master at work on Lucifer Rising. It’s fun to ponder, as you watch, what the average German must have thought about this film, which doesn’t flinch from presenting some of the most outrageous ideas and imagery ever to be broadcast to an entire (unsuspecting) nation. It’s magnificently freaky stuff.

Not only would this have been the first look the world would get of Anger’s magnum opus (which he is seen shooting Méliès-style in a tiny space) there are substantial excerpts from Fireworks, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Rabbit’s Moon, Puce Moment, and Invocation of My Demon Brother, which showed hash smoking (and cocks!) on TV. It’s impossible to imagine something like this ever getting on television in America 44 years ago, but I don’t think the BBC would have touched something this insane at the time, either.

As filmmaker Reinhold E. Thiel admits in his voiceover, it was Anger directing himself that they got on film. As he states, Anger really wasn’t that into allowing them to film him in the first place, but when he did relent it was on his terms. Anger’s interview segments were shot as he sat behind a makeshift altar, lit in magenta and inside of the magical “war gods” circle seen at the end of the film.
 

 
Of special note is we see Anger flipping through his “Puce Women” sketchbook (he’s an excellent illustrator) of his unmade tribute to the female archetypes of Hollywood’s golden era and the architecture of movie star homes (This notebook was on display at the Anger exhibit at MOCA in Los Angeles). Anger is also seen here shooting scenes with his Lucifer, Leslie Huggins (both interior shots in Anger’s makeshift studio and among the stones at Avebury) and with the adept in the war gods circle. Oddly, we can hear what the adept is saying (“Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”) whereas in the final film he just seems to be muttering something mysterious when Lucifer appears.

Anger discusses his Aleister Crowley-inspired theories of art: How he views his camera like a wand and how he casts his films, preferring to consider his actors, not human beings but as elemental spirits. In fact, he reveals that he goes so far as to use astrology when making these choices.

This is as direct an explanation of Anger’s cinemagical modus operandi as I have ever heard him articulate anywhere. It’s a must see for anyone interested in his work and showcases the Magus of cinema at the very height of his artistic powers. Fascinating.
 

 
Thank you Spencer Kansa, author of Wormwood Star: The Magickal Life of Marjorie Cameron

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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