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Raven King

28 Nov

Years ago I began creating abstract line drawings, or ‘sigils’, inspired by nature. In these works I summarize nature science, folklore and personal experiences connected to the plants and animals that surround me. Some of these works are already 10 years old. The best known is perhaps the official Teufelskunst logo, which is inspired by the wormwood herb. Another is my sigil for the ‘black mandrake’ and the metamorphous art titled “Regina Amandrakina”, which were both published in Pillars Periodical, The Ebon Kteis (Anathema Publishing, Canada, 2014).

A first print edition of these works was introduced at the London “magical Art/E” event, which took place in 2014 at the old Hackney tower. Later (still self-produced) print editions sold out quickly. In follow, I created smaller ink drawings and miniature editions with these sigils. An important aspect of these drawings is the treatment of the paper, which is infused with tinctures and corresponding extracts of natural materials. In November 2017, these ink drawings premiered as part of the “Bad Intentions” group exhibition at Gallery CIRCLE1, Berlin.

“Raven King” Sigil

This is my second work in this line representing an ‘animal’ spirit. It combines mythology and spiritual lore connected to the Corvidae family.

Ravens and crows both feature extensively in the mythology and folklore of basically all continents and nations. I cannot remember when exactly my own journey with these animals started. But they continue to present me with the most auspicious magic and moments, whenever I open up and notice their ever-presence. Hence, when a friend inquired for a crow skull tattoo, I already felt a deep connection to the animal’s collective spirit. But then began a reading and study journey, for which I received some wonderful recommendations. The sigil art presented here is the quintessence of my autumnal journey with the crows, ravens, magpies, jackdaws and grosbeaks around me and their universal lore.

In November 2019 I created the first ink drawings on infused paper. The sigils are signed and numbered on the back. They come in a black cardboard box, which is also signed and numbered. Along with the artwork you also receive a 30 ml bag of evocation incense, created specifically for the King of all Corvid Folk, as well as one piece of cherry resin and one auspiciously branched “Pin of Slumber” from the blackthorn.

Artwork size: ca. 12,5 x 12,5 cm

Edition specifics: limited to 2 x 7

Available here

 

R E D

23 May

Contemplating life, death, the dead, ego, status and family dynasties

Dog Days 2018

9 Aug

This week we had again another “hottest day of the year”. Since June, most of Europe experiences a near ceaseless heat and drought period. These hot days of summer are also referred to as “Dog Days” (Hundstage) and this year they live up to their name.

The Greek called them kynádes hēmérai, Romans adopted it, calling them dies caniculares. Historically the period began with the heliacal rising of the dog star Sirius (actually a star system) in the Northern Hemisphere, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck, while to the Polynesians in the Southern Hemisphere the star marked winter and was an important reference for their navigation around the Pacific Ocean.

For my “Dog Days” incense I took inspiration from the paralyzing and deadly weather phenomenon.

The formula has been updated, with field eryngo (Eryngium campestre) being added to the baneful blend. In German language this type of thistle is also referred to as “Unruh” and “Elend” and the occurrence of clusters of broken off stems, similar to spiky tumbleweed carried forth by the wind, are named “Steppenhexen”. This stingy plant is almost impossible to touch or harvest without hurting yourself. Yet, and despite the heat and drought, it is frequented by dozens of bumblebees and other pollinators.

Beside obvious herbal references to the the dog/wolf totem, such as wolfsbane and mandrake, the incense contains also black and white henbane, which have been used in prophecy, baneful spells but also for rain magic. I burnt a good amount of it on this day, both to cleanse and bless a dog skull I found at the flea market, as well as to call for rain and cooling. It may have been simply good timing, but rain came the following morning.

I am often asked about side effects and dangers of burning venific incense blends – I can only speak for myself, I did not notice anything, apart from feeling more focused and empowered. I also sensed a relaxing effect on myself. A slight dizziness I attest to the burning sun and heat, not to the herbs.

Luckily, the worst heat seems to be over now and I look forward to enjoying the end of summer and working on art.

Plants and Planets

13 Jul

In the past botanists such as Nicholas Culpeper associated plants with the planets, fixed stars and zodiac signs. The attributions were based on an intense study of a plant’s features, which included treats such as a thorny or prickly appearance, the scent emitted by the flowers or the entire plant, the plant’s life cycle, colors, metals contained in a plant, medicinal and other uses and of course plenty of folklore. Today plants are classified scientifically based on their genome, but their planetary lore is preserved and continues to evolve in the books of authors such as Stephen Skinner, Paul Huson, Scott Cunningham, Harold Roth and so on.

I find it fun and inspiring to continue this tradition and to explore its own inner logic. And since I spent the past 3 weeks gardening, I took to it and photographed the recent herb harvest according to the planets. The following series follows the Chaldean sequence. Photos by myself. Please share and credit.

Please visit my garden blog for further info on plants and their planetary correspondences: https://pflanzenkunst.wordpress.com/planetary-correspondences/

Wounds

14 Feb

A collection of photographs of wounds, scars and malformations on trees

Isa

2 Jan

With the new year came the first lasting snow and in my mail arrived five little cat’s eye cabochons… I have been asked to do a runic incense for Isa and began gathering corresponding ingredients:

The rune Isa is written with a single straight vertical line. Its meaning is “ice”. Its associated tree and herb is the black alder and henbane, color black and stone is the cats eye (cymophane). Cats eye cabochons break the light in such manner that a single bright line appears across the stone. One could say the rune Isa is literally marked on it. (The effect is stronger under a light bulb or other single light source.) In Asia it is considered a magical stone that shows the direction to hidden and forgotten treasures. The stone comes in colors ranging from honey yellow to green to a dirty blue or gray. A special form is the Alexandrite, which changes color from blueish green to a deep blood red. I like the blueish gray versions best in this context, as these are also the colors of ice and winter.

Isa seemingly represents stillstand. It marks a time when to formulate dreams and vision and choose a direction. It calls for patience and contemplation, but not laziness. Now have to be done preparations and laid down the foundation for a future harvest.

Sacred Space

10 Jul

A space, empty. A place for contemplation. A prayer room, a modern “church” if you will. The human is confronted with the present, the past, the future – ultimately the inevitable end of it all – and what will be left. There is a black figure of death, a red candle and behind the figure is a large painted canvas. The painting has a vertical format. The colors are merely shades of dim grays on a muted white. Forms dissolve in white mist. A thorn tree is barely visible in the distance. To the right of the statue is a small potted tree. The statue carries a rosary made of seeds and is mounted on a small reliquary box made of dark wood. There is a censer for burning copal, frankincense and aloeswood. The walls to the left, right and in the back are empty. The individual enters to face himself and the inevitable.