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What’s Your Sign?: Big Star’s Alex Chilton and his obsession with astrology
09.13.2017
09:20 am
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Big Star
 
Alex Chilton had quite a career in the music business. As the singer of his first group, the Box Tops, he had a number one hit with “The Letter”; he was just sixteen at the time. Later, he joined Big Star, writing pop gems that failed to find an audience then, but are now so beloved that the band has one of rock’s biggest cults. He recorded wonderfully chaotic material from the mid-to-late ‘70s, before setting on a steady course of gigging and albums that focused on his interpretations of other people’s songs, as well as periodic reunions with the Box Tops and Big Star. He died in 2010 at the age of 59.

When Chilton was around 20, he began using something he found useful in helping guide his life’s path: the zodiac. Alex initially became intrigued with astrology during his teenage years, but it was only after he moved to New York in 1970 did he fully embrace it. While living in Manhattan during the post-Box Tops/pre-Big Star period, Chilton befriended the Brooklyn musician, Grady Whitebread, who schooled Alex on astrology. Over the years, Chilton used horoscopes to decide who he should hang out with—including potential band members—and generally deal with life’s uncertainties. In a 1992 interview, Alex talked about the subject:

I’ve studied it rather extensively and I’ve gotten really, really sharp at it. I’m a pretty good interpreter of [astrological] charts. It is interesting as far as understanding people and it’s just darn interesting in and of itself. The longer you study something you believe in, the more profound it can get for you. (from the 2014 Chilton biography, A Man Called Destruction)

His fascination with astrology has, in turn, influenced his songwriting. Two tracks from the second Big Star album, Radio City, come to mind: “Morpha Too”,  which contains the line, “Kitty asked me to read her stars”; and “September Gurls,” arguably Chilton’s best tune. Alex was born on December 28, referenced in the song’s refrain, “December boy’s got it bad.”
 
September Gurls
 
Chilton frequently covered other artist’s material, and one choice in particular was surely swayed by the star signs.
 
Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bart Bealmear
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09.13.2017
09:20 am
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‘Doorways to Danger’: Christian occult scare film warns of gateways to Satanism
12.29.2014
09:22 am
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Woman playing ouija board
 
Doorways to Danger is a 1990 British short film warning of the risks in flirting with the occult. Here’s the description from the Amazon listing:

Dabbling in the occult is widespread and often thought of as harmless entertainment. But this video shows why it is dangerous to get involved with spiritism, fortune telling, witchcraft, magic, and Satanism. The program introduces the real life stories of those who have been involved in these activities and shows the way out based upon a Biblical perspective.

A description also opens the video, and what comes next is pure gold: A cheesy montage of occult images with a song poem-esque number underneath warning of the hazards of looking up your horoscope and fooling around with a ouija board. And we’re off!

The anecdotal evidence that follows—offered up by supposed experts and decidedly non-experts alike—often seems scripted and/or total B.S., and the “slippery slope” examples given as gateways to full on devil worship (playing Dungeons and Dragons; watching Ghostbusters II!) are a hoot-and-a-half. One of the highlights is the segment with the band Heartbeat (“one of Britain’s top Christian groups”), who we get to see recording and then have an obviously rehearsed conversation about occult dabbling. The late ‘80s fashions they’re sporting will also surely induce a chuckle or two (and dig those hairdos!).

The video was produced by an organization calling itself the “Christian Response to the Occult.” Forming in 1982 by the Deo Gloria Trust, “to give a Christian answer to the inroads that occultism was making into society at that time,” the group later merged with the existing and ideologically similar, Reachout Trust.

Here’s Tom Poulson, the director of the CRO and the man behind Doorways to Danger:

We have a divine commission both to warn and inform our friends, family and neighbours that there is an enemy of God, actively engaged in both blinding them to and drawing them away from Jesus. We neither want to shout ‘FIRE!’ so loudly that people rush towards it, nor remain silent and see people receive life-endangering burns from their involvement with the occult.

Indeed, no one actually shouts “FIRE!” in Doorways to Danger, but to say that believing in things like “bad luck” could lead you into the arms of Satan comes pretty damn close.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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12.29.2014
09:22 am
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The Mandalas of A. T. Mann
01.12.2010
06:56 pm
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image

Check out the incredible mandalas of A. T. Mann, mandala painter extraordinaire, who has assessed the world’s sacred traditions to create some of the most impressive mandala art I’ve seen. A trained architect, Mann (whose actual name is indeed Alden Taylor Mann) has been designing these works since the seventies, as well as writing on a huge panopoly of subjects, largely on astrology and tarot. You can see his works at the site linked below.

(A. T. Mann’s Sacred Arts)

(A. T. Mann: A New Vision of Astrology)

Posted by Jason Louv
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01.12.2010
06:56 pm
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What’s Your Sign Baby?
08.27.2009
11:50 pm
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image

Awesome 70s horoscope pants… could anybody get away with this now? Could anybody get away with it then?

(Via Copyranter)

Posted by Jason Louv
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08.27.2009
11:50 pm
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