I got the pleasure of working on the Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse Soundtrack vinyl art. If you’ve played the game you know Dracula is the final boss and his second form is a giant brain with a bunch of heads attached to it. Only instead of demon heads I’ve placed all four of the main characters in the brains tendrils.
Sypha is the girl with the hood, Alucard with the slicked back hair and fangs, Grant with the bandana and eye patch, and Trevor with the long hair and headband.
Coming some time in March so more updates to come. I also did the back cover and interior so check back for more updates~
Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, something truly nasty escaped Earth. They call it giardia, a microscopic organism that their Planetary Protection Officer called “pretty dumb” and “not too bad, really, a week of digestive upset and then it’s over.”
Yes, Earth has a Planetary Protection Officer. They have a Planetary Protection Office, and have had one since they were sending probes around their own solar system. Doctor Ma-et had found it a bit silly, like a child concerned about the cleanliness of their toys, until she learned that the job of the Planetary Protection Office had always been protecting other worlds from Earth.
Hey, you didn’t have to walk me home. Uh, there’s a killer on the loose. Remember? Besides, isn’t this what … you know? …… what … people like … us who have gone through what we’ve gone through do? … What is it? I mean, besides everything. [She wouldn’t of run away if it wasn’t for me, Jug.]
I’ve written a lot about the seven classical planets and celestial/cosmic witchcraft. I think it’s time to bring things a bit more down to earth, though!
This is a new two-part series! It will focus on the natural elements as understood by the Western Magical Tradition.
In today’s article, I’ll be explaining a bit about the history of these concepts and how I see them. I hope you find this interesting and informative!
Thinking About the Elements
Elements are one of the first concepts I learned when beginning a journey into witchcraft.
But! How do we view the elements as concepts? Lets consider how they relate to us and the whole universe. Here’s my views!
Some believe the elements are simply words for natural phenomena. In other words, Fire is fire - the burning of a campfire or candle, or another flame. Water would always be something like a stream, the ocean or other liquid. I don’t see it this way. They’re far more complex than that!
The four elements stem the observations of ancient philosophers. These thinkers guessed that these substances were the building blocks of physical reality. Of course, they were wrong! In reality, atoms comprise matter. Matter and energy, then, make up the physical universe.
We could associate four classical elements with the four states of matter. These are solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. They’d correspond to earth, water, air, and fire in turn. This is a very simplified view, though!
These concepts were fundamental to the ancients. A wealth of lore has developed around them. They have grown into complex metaphors for aspects of the human condition. The physical manifestations of the elements have become potent symbols.
They represent various mental and emotional phenomena. Symbols are important in witchcraft. The way I see it, all tools of the Craft are symbols used to connect with larger forces that work within the universe.
The elements themselves, and their attributions, are in fact, somewhat arbitrary. This means that each of us will have a different idea of what each element represents!
There’s nothing wrong with this, though. The point is to use them as symbols. What they symbolize to you is your own business!
Qualifying the Elements
In the Western Magical Tradition, there are four core (classical) elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Some traditions do posit a fifth element called the quintessence, also known as Spirit or Aether. This fifth element stands apart from the other four, as it doesn’t behave in the same way.
I’ll be focusing on these four, not on the quintessence. Spirit as an element is a very large topic best suited for its own series of articles.
Alchemical thinkers have placed these four into categories. . They’re quite useful for understanding the system.
Each element is either “hot” or “cold,” as well as either “dry,” or “wet.”
This doesn’t describe the physical qualities of the phenomena in question. Rather, these terms are metaphors. They refer to the roles taken by the concepts each element embodies.
Hot and Cold Elements
Hot elements are active in human existence.
They stand for concepts that penetrate and alter the world around them. An outdated way of putting this would be to describe them as “masculine.” This comes from historical stereotypes about gender. I tend to use the term “active” to describe hot elements. That’s Fire and Air.
Cold elements are passive and receptive.
They represent concepts from which we draw nourishment. They are the structure or substance that forms our mental landscape. The hot elements tend to be the essence or organizing principle.
Cold elements are often stereotyped as “feminine.“ They are Water and Earth, both of which play a nourishing role in human existence.
Wet and Dry Elements
Dryness as a concept within the Western Magical Tradition refers to a fixed state. In other words, the dry elements are things that don’t often change. These elements are full of stability.
The key feature of a dry element is lack of intense motion. We can depend on the stable parts of our existence, represented by these elements.
The dry elements are Fire and Earth. It may seem strange to call fire stable, but it is a reliable source of warmth to us. It represents a constant feature of human life.
When we speak of wet elements, we mean the two elements that aren’t fixed. In other words, elements that flow ,change and transform. It is the concepts associated with these elements that drive the changes. They are reliable, but only insofar as change, itself, is something to rely on!
The wet elements are Air and Water. Both are natural features that shift and flow through our lives. The inclusion of Air as a wet element shows that these are metaphorical, not literal terms.
Much more could be said about how people have described the elements throughout time. The above image shows the alchemical view of how the elements can combine to create secondary principles.
As you might guess, “fixed” and “volatile” here stand for what we’ve been calling “passive” and “active.” If you want to know more about these further topics, I recommend Robert Bartlett’s book, True Alchemy.
The entire concept of the elements is a metaphor, though. It’s a metaphor that can work for you. It can help with your Craft, and help you connect with the universe. I’ll be posting the next article tomorrow! In that, I’ll be discussing each element in detail.
Since Trump’s election, at least four attacks have taken place in the U.S. at the hands of white supremacists.
The deaths of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best
On Friday, 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and 53-year-old Ricky John Best were allegedly stabbed to death by Jeremy Joseph Christian after coming to the defense of two teens Christian was harassing. Christian additionally injured 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher in the attack.
The death of William Sims
On Nov. 12, 2016, just days after the presidential election, police in El Sobrante, California, discovered the lifeless body of 28-year-old William Sims. Sims, a black man, was a musician, retail worker and beloved member of his community. According to CBS, police believe he was attacked because of his race.
The death of Timothy Caughman
On May 22, James Harris Jackson, a known white supremacist, allegedly stabbed 66-year-old Timothy Caughman to death in NYC
As Mic reported, Caughman told police the stabbing was “practice” for a larger attack against black men that he planned to carry out in New York’s Times Square. Jackson told police he specifically traveled to New York “for the purpose of killing black men."
The death of Richard Wilbur Collins III
On May 20, 23-year-old Richard Wilbur Collins III was visiting friends at the University of Maryland campus when he was approached by 22-year-old Sean Christopher Urbanski.
Urbanski allegedly told Collins to "step left, step left if you know what’s good for you,” according to University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell. When Collins refused, Urbanski reportedly stabbed Collins in the chest, killing him. Read more (5/31/17)
(Or: More Things That People Think Make Sherlock Canonically Straight But They Really Really Don’t)
Allow me to address one more incredibly beautiful part of Sherlock (and then I’ll stop overusing the word “beautiful”, sorry, I just loved series four): Let’s talk about what is the point of Molly Hooper.
I’ve always sympathised with Molly, but I admit that from a literary point of view, I didn’t quite get her. If she was a love interest for Sherlock, why would the story not revolve more around her? But if she wasn’t a love interest, where was her character going? Why was she there in the first place? It didn’t feel Moffat-y sound. (And yes, I just made that expression up.)
But looking back on all four series, the intention of Molly’s character actually becomes pretty clear. In a nutshell: At any given moment of the show, Molly is an indicator of John Watson’s feelings towards Sherlock. (No really, let me show you.)
The Birth of the Fifth Sun, the Mexica (Aztec) sacred narrative which tells of the birth of our current sun. The paintings are posted in order, and follow the progress of the narrative told below.
14.1 It is said that when the earth was still dark, when there was yet no warmth, nor day, nor light, the Teteo came together at Teotihuacan to take counsel, and there they lit the Spirit Fires, great blazes set atop the twin pyramids of the sacred city. For four years they burned. “Come here, oh Teteo! Who shall carry the sun? Who shall bear it? The warming, the dawning? The burning fire? The celestial Light? Who shall leap into the Spirit Fire?” Than forth stepped Four Flint, Tecuciztecatl, Our Lord of Snails, and he cried out, “Oh Teteo! Indeed, it shall be I!” Yoaltecuhtli and Tlaloc stepped forward, “You are one who must keep the sky and the earth.” 14.2 “And yet, another is needed,” said the Teteo. “Who shall be the other?” Yet the Teteo were frightened, and none among them stepped forth. They took counsel with one another, and summoned Nanahuatzin, The Pimpled Lord, the Crippled One, and summoned him to the counsel. Tonacatecuhtli and Xiuhtecuhtli stepped forward and said to him, “You are the one who must keep the sky and the earth.” Many tears did Nanahuatzin shed, for he felt unequal to the task, he, the worthless invalid. 14.3 The Teteo Nanahuatzin and Tecuciztecatl began their fasts, their sacrifices, in preparation for the Spirit Fire, the God Oven. Tecuciztecatl prepared himself with precious things. His fasting-ropes were of quetzal feathers, and his ritual branches of cotinga plumes. His grass heart was of woven gold, his incense of the finest copal. He did not offer his own blood, his own Yollia, but instead offered maguey thorns and lancets made of coral. Resplendent he looked, shining and beautiful, as he made his sacrifices. 14.4 Nanahuatzin, the Crippled Lord, the Teotl in poverty, formed his fasting-rope of grass and paper. His ritual branches were made of green grass and green reeds, tied in three bundles, bound bundles of nine each. His bloodletting spine was of bone, well reddened with his own blood. His only incense were his scabs, twisted off and cast into the fire. For four days they fasted, for four days they drew blood and meditated their sacred actions, there upon their respective pyramids. When they had completed their days of sacrifice, they burned their ritual branches, their bloodletting instruments, in the sacred fire. They were become slaves. They were become Gods. 14.5 To Tecuciztecatl, the gathered Teteo gave him his egret headdress, his elegant attire of quetzal and jade. 14.6 But Nanahuatzin was attired only in paper, only in cloth of Maguey. They painted the Teteo in white, they chalked them, and adorned them in eagle-down feathers. 15.1 Tecuciztecatl, as the senior Lord, approached the fire first, to leap into its heart. The fire roared, it crackled, it seared his eyes. He grew faint and afraid. He hesitated. He could not bring himself to leap into the fire.Than Nanahuatzin, the Crippled Lord, seeing the terror of the other, walked forward. Bravely he walked, slowly, so as to feel its heat. And when he reached the Spirit Fire, the God Oven, he leapt into its heart and was consumed. Tecuciztecatl grew ashamed, and found his spirit, and he too leapt into the Spirit Fire, but lacking the bravery of Nanahuatzin, he fell only into its embers and ashes, where he, too, was consumed. The Jaguar and the Eagle were among the company of the Teteo, and both leapt over the Spirit Fire. They were singed, they were burned, in its tongues of flame, and thus acquired their spots and dark feathers. For their bravery they were made warriors, ever to serve the sun.
16.1 When, in this way, the two Teteo had thrown themselves into the God Oven, when they had burned to ash, the Teteo sat awaiting to learn from whence they would emerge. Long they waited, meditating in the darkness, when all at once everywhere it became red, everywhere the light of dawn, the reddening of dawn. The Teteo knelt down, facing each of the four directions, to see from whence the sun would emerge at this first dawning of the Fifth Sun. The Teteo fell into confusion; they turned in circles, they faced all directions. The traditional orations, the traditional words, did not bring clarity to the Teteo. Some thought he would emerge from Mictlán, the Place of the Dead, and faced North, to find him there. Some thought The Place of Women, and faced the West, some, The House of Thorns, and faced the South, for the light of the dawning encircled all things, and confusion reigned. Yet some of the Teteo faced the East, the Place of Light, and cried out, “Already, is he there, already, his light illuminates his Eastern Palace! Behold, he is emerging!” Those who waited there, who pointed there, were Quetzalcoátl and his nagual Xolotl. There too was Our Lord Anahuatl, the Red Tezcatlipoca, and the Mimixcoa without number. And there awaited four women; Tiacapan, Teicu, Tlacoyehua, and Xocoyotl. And as the sun rose, his light spread like the red Cochineal dye throughout the East, his dazzling brilliance was such that he could not be faced. He shone, he illuminated, and light came into this world. And afterward, Tecciztecatl, too, arose from the Place of Light, also golden and shining, impossible to behold; a second sun. 16.2 And the Teteo said; “How can this be? Shall there be two suns, who both shall follow the same road, who both shall shine in the same way? The brave Nanahuatzin and the unworthy Tecciztecatl?” And so, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, The Morning Star, snatched a rabbit from the earth and flung it in the face of Tecciztecatl. Thus, was his face wrecked and his light dimmed, and he fell into the ashes. 17.1 The Teteo declared, “No longer shall he be known as Nanahuatzin, the Pimpled Lord, the Crippled God. He is Tonatiuh, Our Lord the Sun!” And Tonacatecuhtli and Tonacacihuatl, the Lord and Lady of Our Flesh, Our Sustenance, rose to his place at the center of the sky. They bathed and anointed him. They sat him in his Quechol chair. They adorned his head with the butterfly crest, the red-leather thong. 17.2 But he would not move from his place. Four days he remained at the Zenith, at the center of the sky. “Why does he not move?” asked the Teteo, and they sent the Falcon of the Obsidian Blade to ask why he was immobile in the sky. “I hunger!” replied Tonatiuh. “I need their blood, their precious color, their Yollotl, to find the strength to move across the sky. I need the blood of those who sent me to the Spirit Fire!” 17.3 When the Falcon returned to the gathered Teteo and gave them his message, they were much saddened and afraid. Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli grew angry and cried out, “I will shoot him! He must not stay immobile in the sky!” But his arrows could not reach the sun. Yet the sun, from his lofty perch, shot down his own arrows, his shafts of flame, and they burned the body of The Morning Star, and with the Nine Layers covered up his face, and transformed him into Itztli, the Teótl of the Obsidian Blade, of cold, frost, snow, and judgement. 18.1 Quetzalcoátl raised his eyes sadly to the sky, and spoke to the gods at Teotihuacan. “May he be revived. May we all die!” And the gods mournfully submitted to his will. And so with the Sacred Flint Blade he slit the throats of the gathered Gods; of Titlacahuan, and Huitzilopochtli, and the Goddesses Xochiquetzal, Yapalliicue, and Nochpalliicue. But Xolotl, the god of twins and monstrosities and who is the sprit double of Quetzalcoátl, did not want to die. He fled Quetzalcoátl and his terrible blade. He wept so that his eyes fell from their sockets. “Send me not to the blade, oh Gods! Let me not die!” 18.2 He fled, and Death quickly followed. He followed him to the fields of young corn, were Xolotl transformed himself into the young maize with two stalks in order to hide from Death. He became the Xolotl of the Field. But he was seen by the eyes of Death there among the corn, from whom nothing may be hidden, and so he ran to the Maguey field, and there he turned himself into the double maguey, the Maguey Xolotl. But there too was he seen by the eyes of Death, and so he escaped to the lake, and there turned himself into the Axolotl, the lake-salamander. But there was no more escape, and Death caught him, and Quetzalcoátl slit his throat, amid his tears and lamentations. 19.1 The blood of the Gods rose to the heavens and Tonatiuh drank the sacred strength of their Yollia, on the day Nahui Ollin, Four Movement, the sacred name and destiny of the Fifth Sun. Yet still he could not move, still he could not follow his path. 20.1 But Quetzalcoátl, who had shed the blood of the Gods, who had released the divine force of their Yollia, grew strong and straight. He ran, and blew lightly in the face of the sun, and so pushed him along his path, and than slit his own throat, that his blood and divine Yollia might make the revolutions of the heavens eternal. Thus it was that as the sun was entering into the earth again, into the open jaws of Our Mother, Tlaltecuhtli, the moon arose from the ashes into which he had fallen, and there at the crossroads met the Tzitzimime, the Star Demons, and the Coleletin, and they detained him a while, and dressed him in rags. He who would have been the sun, who would have been clothed in splendor. And thus it is that on the day Four Movement night and day came into being, and the deaths of the gods established the covenant of sacrifice with men.
if for some reason he arrives somewhere separately from you, he will give everyone in the room a general “hello” before coming to you privately and saying another hello, just for you.
whenever he goes shopping for new trousers or has a fitting, he sends you dramatic videos of him showing off how they look in a mirror and zooming in on his bum. (he’s usually singing “my hips don’t lie” of course)
though he’d never admit it, after a long period away from you, he likes to be the little spoon. squirming in closer to you and hugging his arms over yours
brings you out golfing and even though you’re not particularly good at it, he still cheers you on. (”that’s it darlin’!” “nearly!! you’ve nearly got it!)
he also love the excuse of holding you close when helping you set up your swing
(there’s also usually a cheeky whisper in your ear, “have we ha sex on a golf course yet? would you like to give it a go?”
when he drives, his hand is either laced with yours, resting on the center console or on your thigh, his thumb has also taken to rubbing soothing circles whenever it touches your skin
Tom has trouble leaving just one kiss on your skin, he’ll place four, five, six in a row before pulling away
he also will mumble “i’ve got to go” against your lips, whenever your make out session needs to end, however; he never can seem to pull away
when he’s feeling particularly needy, he will beckon you to lay on top of him and then he wraps his arm around your shoulders so your so close to him, you don’t think you can breathe while he speaks to you in a mushy, gooshy voice “i love you sooooooo much! i never want to leave ya ever again!! love you so much lovely.”
secretly loves when you call him really affectionate pet names
like peaches (which you started calling him when he had his wisdom teeth out and his swollen, pink cheeks reminded you of the sweet fruit)
occasionally pretends to bite you, every where and any where
recently, it’s a cheeky one to your bum, the bridge of your nose or one to your shoulders with a teasing “just like you when we do it!!”
long phone calls to his mum when where he can’t seem to shut up about you “mum, i’m just really, really happy.”
“you spell things wrong!!!” he will laugh before adding a “u” into “color” and pressing a kiss to the crown of your head with a “silly girl”
squishes your cheeks together and, in an american accent, giggles “Mr. Bus Driver!! Please I’m stuck in the doors!”
if he’s off in the bedroom or in a room away from you, you get a text from him that reads “why aren’t we cuddling?”