Tag Archives | Occult

Skulls, Satan and Dave Grohl: Inside Mysterious Occult-Rock Band Ghost

Are any disinfonauts into Ghost, the band? Rolling Stone profiles the occult rockers, telling us that “the band has done more to bring blasphemous, religion-skewering devil rock to the mainstream masses than perhaps any act since Marilyn Manson rose from the swamps of Florida to declare himself the Antichrist Superstar”:

“You know, we thought we were going to be completely outed and everything was going to be over basically one week after the first record came out,” says one of the six anonymous members of Swedish occult-rock troupe Ghost. “We’re as baffled as anyone that it hasn’t happened yet. I have no idea how we’ve done it.”

Ghost performing live in Utrecht. Photo: Enric Martinez (CC)

Ghost performing live in Utrecht. Photo: Enric Martinez (CC)

 

In fact, it has been five years since the shrouded six-piece issued its debut, Opus Eponymous, an unholy amalgam of metal riffing (reference points: Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Pentagram, Mercyful Fate), Satanic musings (first lyrics uttered on the first record: “Lucifer/We are here for your praise”) horror-church atmospherics and, perhaps most subversively, sticky-sweet hooks and melodies.

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Ritualistic Killing of Florida Family May Be Linked To Occult Practices On Blue Moon

A week ago there was a blue moon, a semi-rare occurrence that always generates a lot of media coverage. This time, however, there’s a dark side as police say a ritualistic killing of a Florida family may be linked to occult practices relating to the blue moon. From the Guardian:

The suspected ritual killing in Florida of a mother and her two sons is being looked at for connections to the recent blue moon and to occult practices, police have said.

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Escambia county sheriff David Morgan said authorities had identified a person of interest in the deaths of Voncile Smith, 77, Richard Smith, 49, and John Smith, 47.

All three victims were struck multiple times with a claw hammer and their throats were slit. Richard Smith was also shot in his right ear.

A day earlier, Morgan said the initial investigation pointed toward some kind of “ritualistic killing”.

“The method of the murder — blunt force trauma, positioning of the bodies — and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that,” Morgan said at a news conference on Tuesday.

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Horror Occult Geekery: The Psychedelic Secret of Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA

This article contains spoilers for the 1977 film SUSPIRIA.

Watch it.

Preferably while comfortably dosed up on your favourite psychedelic substance.

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I’ve been an ardent fan of the shadowy occult strangeness found in late 70s-early 80s Italian horror flicks for a good chunk of this incarnation, for reasons I used to find hard to fathom.

I’ve often felt too that there was some concrete textual core shared between a lot of these movies, specifically the films that came in the wake of the briefly popular “Giallo” subgenre. Giallo, a genre where POV killers adorned with black leather gloves go on fetishised killing sprees as clueless detectives scratch their heads in an artistically blood-spattered wake. In which the camera was the killer.

These post-Giallos, mainly of Argento’s own making, but also the more ethereal Zombie films of Lucio Fulci, i.e. Gates of Hell (aka City of The Living Dead) and The Beyond (aka Seven Doors of Death), seem to share some dark strand of DNA between them.… Read the rest

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The Weird Occult Origins of Downtown LA’s Famous Bradbury Building

Hey Angeleno disinfonauts, have you ever noticed the Bradbury Building downtown?

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According to Curbed Los Angeles it has some rather curious occult origins:

The timeless, fantastic Bradbury Building at Broadway and Third Street is a much-beloved Downtown Los Angeles landmark, most widely known for its significant appearances in movies including Blade Runner(500) Days of Summer, and Marlowe, starring the late James Garner. But before it was a popular film set, it was the idea of a gold-mining magnate who really wanted to put his name on a building. His vision led him to turn down a prominent architect and mysteriously commission a totally untrained one instead, and that not-quite-architect, George H. Wyman, turned to ghosts and literature to pull it off. Avery Trufelman, producer of the design and architecture podcast 99 Percent Invisible, talked to Esotouric operators Kim Cooper and Richard Schave about the eerie history of what 99 PI calls “arguably the biggest architectural movie star of Los Angeles.”

As the story goes, Lewis Bradbury, a gold-mining millionaire, decided he wanted to build and put his name on a building, so in 1892 he commissioned prominent architect Sumner P.

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Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare

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Back in 2013, a beautiful hand-painted tarot deck was discovered to have been created by Occultist Austin Osman Spare around 1906. This winter, Strange Attractor Press will be releasing Lost Envoy which will include an entire reprint of the deck.

via Strange Attractor:

coverv17In the Spring of 2013 a 78-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the mystic and artist Austin Osman Spare, was identified within the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London.

Austin Spare’s life-long interest in cartomancy is well documented, yet very few of his own fortune-telling cards were thought to have survived. This compelling new example of the artist’s early work demonstrates his precocious involvement with the currents that shaped the British Occult Revival at the beginning of 20th century, and his interactions with some of the period’s lesser-known protagonists.

Magic Circle Museum curator and artist Jonathan Allen immediately recognised that Spare’s cards were not only art-historically significant, but also entirely unknown outside of The Magic Circle’s collections, and set about tracing the deck’s provenance, its place in the artist’s oeuvre and within the wider histories of cartomancy.

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If Psychedelic Drugs Were Legalized, Capitalism Would Destroy Religion

supercomputer3Going full on into a shamanic or Occult practice is beyond weird, because the vast majority of people think you’re completely nuts for gasp, actually paying attention to your inner world (let alone blasting it all over Facebook, friend me). “Do you mean that stuff is real?” they’ll ask. Well, yeah, but ultimately insisting on dividing thoughts and visions into convenient categories of “real” or “not real” is a pretty ridiculous way of conceptualizing consciousness. Aaaand you’ve already lost them. Which is why maybe the best thing you can do as a mystic is point out over and over how utterly batshit and illogical western spiritual thought is in the first place. We should never ever forget that this is the refractive lens through which we view everything having to do with the soul. In a culture that prides itself on a bizarro academic sense of rationality, there is zero rationality in the popular way we view spirituality period.… Read the rest

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Magic, Myth and Secrecy: W.B. Yeats and the Occult

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William Butler Yeats by John Butler Yeats, 1900.


Did you know that Yeats was fascinated by the occult? He was a member of Madam Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society (eventually expelled) and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Indpendent.ie sheds some light on Yeats’s fascination with the dark arts:

The young William Butler Yeats was introduced to the study and practice of the occult while in art college in Dublin – his instant fascination with the occult, metaphysics and paranormal activities was to remain with him throughout his life. His passion for mysticism and the occult sciences was displayed through his poetry and writings.

The path to conventional Christianity had been cut off for Yeats by his father’s religious scepticism, but his need to believe in something and a hunger for the spiritual life led him to seek and devise an alternative system of beliefs, according to official Yeats biographer Roy Foster.

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Occult Video Roundup: Swahili “Bardo”

An early frontrunner in my microverse for album of the year, Swahili’s sophomore effort AMOVREX finds the band abandoning the shamanic trance stylings of their debut for a slick cosmic disco sheen. No really, if you played the albums back to back you probably wouldn’t even be aware you were listening to the same band. Normally going all dance party would have me calling bullshit on the originality front, but in this case it works on all levels, primarily due to the gargantuan leap in song-writing. Not to mention the fact that it’s trippy as all get out. I can’t say I’ve ever found myself high and grooving out to what seems like an updated version of The Love Boat theme, but the album’s closing track puts out that exact vibe. The biggest mystery in all this lies in how vocalist Van Pham somehow went from background distorted mumble-core to full on psychedelic diva poet in the course of one album.… Read the rest

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The Temple of Oculus Anubis – Arch Weirdness in Oregon

At 1700 SE Forest Hill Drive sits a very strange piece of Oregonian weirdness: The Temple of Oculus Anubis.

The front gates of the Temple of Oculus Anubis

The front gates of the Temple of Oculus Anubis

At first glance the property seems like nothing more than a wealthy man’s folly — arcane statues, decorations alluding to the Egypt of antiquity and a mysterious shroud of apocryphal rumors and sinister conjecture. But a little digging leads the viewer to some strange places, indeed, namely the Heaven’s Gate suicide cult.

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William Mortensen – The Antichrist of American Photography in the House of the Devil

By Adam Parfrey

A few decades ago we spent a good deal of time at Anton LaVey’s “black house” in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

On the walls and on the shelves were a lot of items to look at and consider. One photograph, seen in the kitchen, was a framed and signed photograph of a hunching woman overlapped by a depraved cloaked ghost. The photo was called “Fear,” and it was the work of  William Mortensen (1897 – 1965).

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William Mortensen “Fear” c. 1930’s (also titled “Obsession”) Manipulted Photograph

Anton spoke of Mortensen’s influence in guiding him to understand the mechanics of “Lesser Magic,” or what affects people’s reaction to what they see and absorb.

Mortensen’s photographs like “Fear” are fascinating, but for years I resisted Mortensen’s reductive ideas regarding human behavior. It all seemed too reptilian to me. But there came the time when researcher Larry Lytle approached me about publishing a monograph on William Mortensen.… Read the rest

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