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Archive for October, 2013

     Updated 23/10/2014

     Samhain – pronounced “sow – inn” and known presently as Halloween – is celebrated from sunset to sunset on 31st October to 1st November.  It is the most important Fire Festival or Sabbat on the ancient Wheel of The Year calendar.

     “Samhain” has been variously translated as “first frost” or “Summer’s end”:  opposing suggestions with the same meaning.  It is the name for November in ancient and modern Gaelic.

     Samhain lies between The Autumn Equinox and The Winter Solstice.  It marks the death of the year and the end of the annual agricultural cycle.  Many ancient cultures throughout The Western Hemisphere regarded Samhain as their New Year’s Eve.

     Samhain is the third and final harvest on The Wheel of The Year calendar.  After Lughnasadh (grain and cereals) and Modron (fruit and vegetables) herding communities drove livestock back from Summer pasture to be housed or slaughtered for winter, furthering the festival’s associations with death.  The eighth century scholar, Bede refers to November as the “blood month”.

     According to ancient beliefs the mythic courtship of a god and goddess symbolised the eternal rotation of seasons.  At Samhain the Goddess, in her crone or hag aspect, midwifes the waning or sacrificed God into the Underworld where he will journey until his rebirth at Yule with the promise of Spring. 

     Crone Goddesses, such as Celtic Ceridwen and Greek Hecate, ease transitions and guard borders and crossroads.  They are keepers of arcane wisdom and herbal lore who are associated with broomsticks (for cleansing thresholds) and cauldrons (for brewing natural medicines).  Halloween “witches” are a modern remnant of this frequently misunderstood ancient archetype.

     Sexy Halloween witches owe their style to The Morrígan, the Gaelic Dark Mother or Raven Goddess  who presides over death and battle – akin to the Scandinavian Valkyries.  At Samhain The Morrígan mates with The Dagda (the Gaelic All-Father) to bring creation from chaos.

     Samhain is considered a liminal time; when the veil between the mortal and the preternatural realms – the living and the dead – is at its thinnest.  Ancestors are remembered and honoured with a variety of worldwide customs that continue to this day, such as the Mexican Dia de Los Meurtos or Day of The Dead.

     Costuming for Halloween is an ancient tradition with many possible origins and purposes.  Celebrants may have daubed themselves with ash from ritual bonfires or disguised themselves to confuse, deter or even consort with mischievous otherworldly creatures before parading from house to house to collect donations for the Samhain feast: the likely origin of trick or treating.

     It wouldn’t be Samhain without a pumpkin lantern.  The gourd was the first domesticated plant species and has been used for carving for thousands of years.  Pumpkin lamps were carved with fearsome faces as festival decorations; to light parades and repel unwelcome spirits.  Jack o’ Lantern was another name for will-o’-the-wisp; strange but naturally occurring flares of marsh gas.  Jack o’ Lantern evolved into a folkloric hero who tricks The Devil in a variety of tales.  Barred from the afterlife he roams the world forever, carrying a single ember from the fires of Hell in his pumpkin lamp.

 

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10/12/2013 TOP BLOG POST!

     We hope you find this month’s Lego pick horrifically good!

Pumpkin carving

Count Blockula

dita svelte

Frankenstein Xenomurphy

Ichabod Derfel Cadarn

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Monsterbrick

The Bridge That Spans The Brook Sir Nadroj

Next Post 29/10/13 (18.00 GMT) ~ Lily Wight’s Guide To The Wheel of The Year: Halloween

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     Welcome to the wonderfully audacious and wickedly macabre world of Resurrection; the realm of Requiem, Vampire Knight.

     Nickel Editions Franco-British collaboration features the dark imaginings of Pat Mills (Sláine) and the art of Olivier Ledroit (Black Moon Chronicles) in a wildly addictive graphic novel series best avoided by the faint of heart!

     Volume 1 begins as Nazi war criminal, Heinrich Augsburg is reincarnated as a vampire in an ingeniously inverse Hell dimension; landmasses have switched places with seas of flame and cursed residents grow ever younger and forgetful.  Heinrich’s quest to be reunited with his lost love refuses to pander to any conventional ideas of supernatural romance as war, violence, treachery, occult science and good old-fashioned sexual deviancy tussle for page space.

     The Vampire Knight series (also known as Requiem Chevalier Vampire) is magnificently rendered in such exquisite detail that it demands repeated browsing and there are numerous historical and movie references to discover among the lush design and proliferation of ideas.

Mills’ and Ledroit’s work belongs to an adult audience with a taste for extreme Horror-Fantasy.  The humour is cynical and the banter often falls flat so there is little light relief but it seems churlish to complain when graphic novels simply don’t come any better than this.

 

Next Post 26/10/13 (14.00 BST) ~ Lego Pick of The Month for Halloween

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     Who needs a dose of cute and fluffy when there are gifs this good which also explain why current reports of vampire attacks have dwindled to… well, nothing.

     According to ancient folklore counting seeds or grains of rice was sure to keep vampires busy until morning however, since we installed domestic electricity, they are obsessed with light switches instead.  So next time you wake up in the middle of the night and notice you’ve left a light on somewhere just remember… it might not have been you.

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Subscribe now and you’ll never have to miss great shizz like this ever again 😉

Next Post 22/10/13 (18.00 BST) ~ Brand new vampire art for the Gallery.

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     Someone is going to have a dramatic life-changing autumn (… wonder who that could be?!!)  Patrick Valenza’s Deviant Moon Tarot shall reveal all (Position 1. centre left then proceed anti-clockwise)…

Position 1.  The Enquirer/The Present ~ The Ten of Pentacles (inverted)

The Ten of Pentacles is the ultimate expression of practical finance and shows the cycle of wealth in its falling stage implying matters of inheritance.  The inverted card suggests the severing of ties with older generations; as role-models are no longer required or have failed to supply adequate support.  This lack of guidance may have led to disharmony as The Enquirer has lost a legacy but inherited a burden.  This is a period of time spent alone tending to repairs and maintenance at home.

Position 2.  Past Influences ~ The Eight of Pentacles.

The Enquirer has used inner-strength, persistence and  knowledge gained through study to achieve a positive frame of mind.  This industrious learning phase has led to better self-awareness and the chance to take a hobby to a new level.  Business and friendship have been mixing well lately as enthusiasm for a new project has proved infectious.  Financial rewards are likely, The Enquirer just needs to ease-up on their perfectionism!

Position 3.  Subconscious Influences ~ The Page of Cups

This particular Page shows up frequently in this Enquirer’s spreads so is likely to represent a very specific person who is constantly in the back of their mind as a source of emotional strength and comfort.  The Page is often a “boyish girl” or a “girlish boy”, someone young – in age or attitude – expressive, caring and likely to be pale, fair and born under a water-sign.  In a less literal sense the card suggests influential social occasions and the opportunity to make important contacts.

Position 4.  Secret Wishes & Desires ~ The Nine of Swords

The card shows a victim wracked by their own anxieties during another sleepless night.  Here is someone with a fundamental tendency towards depression and a strong wish to be rid of its causes and symptoms.  The Enquirer feels that their hands are tied and that they have been trapped in an untenable situation for too long: they wish to be left alone by those who bring conflict.  This may relate to the severing of ties in Position 1 and could also be tied-up with worries for or about The Page of Cups.  The Enquirer is in a positive and independent phase so is well-appointed to surmount a crisis or obstacle.

Position 5.  Hidden Forces ~ THE TOWER

This Major Arcana card brings major disruption!  The fall of the tower takes away options and forces outcomes which The Enquirer would never normally consider.  The dramatic impact of this card can never be underestimated as comfortable illusions are shattered and value-systems destroyed, leading to bewilderment.  This abrupt and sudden change may come in the form of loss, accident, upheaval, the reveal of information or betrayal yet; the lightning strike which destroys also holds the power to illuminate.  The Enquirer must rely on their foundations and principles to reserve what is of true value and leave what is false in the rubble.

Position 6.  Events To Come ~ The Four of Wands

The future holds a positive new mindset as consolidation follows the fall of obstacles.  Here is a strong if unconventional domestic partnership creating an  environment for creativity leading to tangible results.  This is the perfect peaceful space where things can grow and The Enquirer can do and be their best.

Position 7.  Surrounding Environment ~ THE HIGH PRIESTESS

There is a mighty clash of Major Arcana forces in the surrounding environment and The High Priestess will ascend when The Tower falls.  The Priestess personifies ancient female wisdom through to modern girl power!  Important mysteries and new information will be revealed to The Enquirer; making them a better judge of character and more willing to trust their inner voice and instincts.  The High Priestess ushers in a fresh start, she encourages objective communication and brings harmony from diversity.  The Enquirer will feel blessed and fortunate with a greater sense of self-worth and an ability to refuse whatever is counter-productive to their goals.  The environment is conducive to study: The Priestess is holding a book.

Position 8.  Influence of Others ~ The Nine of Cups

After the crisis of The Tower the reading has taken a most fortunate turn.  The Nine shows a genie who grants The Enquirer’s wish to be free of the anxiety which kept them awake at night.   The Enquirer can look forward to a moment in the spotlight; a busy and fulfilling time bringing new friends and possibilities.  It seems those who now surround our Enquirer bring happiness, fun and joy.

Position 9.  Spiritual Forces ~ The Queen of Swords

There’s always someone who wants to rain on your parade 😦  The Queen of Swords is usually a maternal and manipulative woman, someone strong-willed and sharp-tongued who likes to force divisions and spread bad news.  They may have been born under an air sign, or share their characteristics.  This card is often associated with bitter single women or widows whose spite is fuelled by isolation.  The Queen’s divisive nature suggests she is connected to the split and sense of isolation indicated by Position 1.

Position 10.  Final Outcome ~ The Page of Swords

It would seem that the Queen is not so alone after all!  The Page represents a young spy or rival; someone sneaky and argumentative who will prove to be a false friend.  The Queen and The Page seem intent on disrupting The Enquirer’s peaceful new environment by spreading negativity or even false rumours.  The Enquirer must keep their wits about them and not be drawn in by negativity.  The High Priestess reigns here and she advises taking no action against enemies and letting them fall by their own mistakes.  That’s good advice 😉

Next Post 19/10/13 (14.00 BST) ~ Best Halloween Gif of The Month.  EVER.

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     We have reached the third book in Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula (or Red Reign) series in which each novel, although uniquely different, is consistently strong.

    This time the action relocates to a super suave Rome on the cusp of 60’s cool; an era of glamourous movie stars, paparazzi, familiar super spies and legions of the un-dead.

    Newman’s light style and knowingly referential wit bring charm but also surprising depth to a serial killer mystery that unites some familiar characters.  The setting is vibrant and there is an insightful sensitivity to the handling of female characters during a period sometimes tinged with misogyny.

    Back in 2012 this reviewer hoped for a further sequel to this series and it seems Mr. Newman makes wishes come true!  Anno Dracula IV: Johnny Alucard is ready and waiting to be read. 

Next Post 17/19/13 (18.00 BST) ~ Lily Wight’s Tarot Reading For Autumn

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Lily Wight

Updated 14/10/13

     Will the Christian Grey casting controversy ever end?

     After keeping fans guessing for over a year Charlie Hunnam has quit his coveted role in Fifty Shades of Grey within weeks of author E. L. James’ official announcement.

     Hunnam has cited his contractual obligation to TV show Sons of Anarchy as the reason for his departure, but did no one think to check the small print first?

     With the role now wide-open that marketing dream rumour-mill is sure to be turning. Perhaps there is still a chance for fan favourite Matt Bomer after all.

     Dakota Johnson (the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) remains onboard as Anastasia Steele, following news that Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct what will undoubtedly be one of the hottest and hotly anticipated movies of 2014.

 …

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