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Regina Bombina, Golden Bee Pendant, The Sacred Bee

14 Oct

“Regina Bombina”, ink, 2017

Totemic artwork, first show-cased at Circle1 gallery in Berlin last year. It is my homage to the great mother and queen, as she has been depicted in the form of crowned bees or half human half bee shaped spirits in ancient civilizations. She is surrounded by her servants, little bee demons.

Golden Bee Pendant, Malia, Crete, 1800-1700 BC

Honey Bee, Malia, Crete, 2018

“The Sacred Bee”, Hilda M. Ransom, Dover Press, 2004

“The Sacred Bee”, Hilda M. Ransom, Dover Press, 2004

After seeing the golden bee pendant from Malia in person, I started a new read: “The sacred Bee” by Hilda M. Ransom. It discusses the mythology and folklore of bees in ancient civilizations across the world and also features a chapter on the roll bees played in ancient Cretan life and worship practice. I am hence delving deeper into the concept behind my “Regina Bombina” and “Flower Devils“.

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Pillars Perichoresis

19 Feb

Pillars Perichoresis, Anathema Publishing

"The Bleeding Tree", photograph in Pillars Perichoresis

"Regina Amandrakina", essay and illustration in Pillars Perichoresis

"Heqet-Hekate", illustration in Pillars Perichoresis

Several of my artworks and one essay are featured in the now sold-out “Pillars – Perichoresis” anthology by Anathema Publishing, 2016. The book is a compilation of the first three “Pillars” journals and contains additional material that was not part of previous releases. I have contributed to all three journals and look forward to continue working with Anathema Publishing in the future.

The Leaper Between

19 Feb

18 February 2015

In the mail today: Andrew D. Chumbley’s “The Leaper Between”. The book was released in 2012 by Three Hands Press. The text was written by Chumbley in 2000, an abridged version was first published in The Cauldron magazine in 2001. I yet have to understand in how far the essay is related to ONE: the Grimoire of the Golden Toad (or isn’t). Apparently the Golden Toad is more of a personal account whereas the Leaper is a historical research. I’ve been recommended to read both, but unfortunately the Golden Toad is now very hard (and costly) to obtain. The hardcover editions of the Leaper had sold out rather quickly as well and it was only thanks to a customer that it came into my hands.

This is number 219 of 231 “deluxe hand-numbered casebound copies in iridescent brick cloth”. It has a gilt toad device on the cover, designed by James Dunk. The same illustration is used on the title page, which is wrongly referred to as showing the toad at the roots of the alchemical tree from Samuel Norton’s Mercurius Redivivus. A correction for this is given with a bookmark, along with the title for the illustration being “Waters of the Moon”, a reference to the ritual account of the Norfolk horseman Albert Love (b. 1886) as well as the initiation rite given in Chumbley’s Golden Toad. The title illustration is a beautiful work of illustrative calligraphy, reminiscent of Arabic calligraphy and said to contain hidden links to Chumbley’s own alphabet.

Besides, paperback copies of the Leaper are available and unlimited in number.

On the above photo I added my own toad talismans. One is a mummified pet toad, which I’ve worked with in various ways. It’s not really connected to the ritual described in the book, apart from that it does serve as a talisman. Perhaps one day I’ll share my own working in this regards.

Some toad related artwork of mine:

PS: Tonight it’s having a “black supermoon“. This means the moon is in close proximity to the earth (occuring larger than usual) just that we cannot see it at this time, because it’s positioned right between the sun and the earth. So watch out, perhaps you can see even more darkness than usual on this night.

Edit: I’ve just been told one could read the Golden Toad grimoire at the Museum of Witchcraft. It’s certainly on my list of places to visit…

Pillars 1.III – The Ebon Kteis

27 Jan

Pillars 1.III Pillars 1.III

Today arrived my contributor copy of Pillars Journal 1.III, The Ebon Kteis, which contains my very first published essay and where I delve into the concepts and personal motivations behind one of my artworks. The topic is inspired by the many question I keep receiving about the Mandrake and is titled Regina Amandrakina – Exploration of the Image and Strange Idol. So now all those, who asked me questions, receive here 11 pages food for thought (and of course everybody else is welcome to read this as well, because it’s a heart piece and will help you understand how and why I do what I do!) (;

I immediately started reading and, as with the previous Pillars issues, this one has become again a masterpiece of editing and type setting! It’s obvious there was put again a lot of thought into the editing and arrangement of the different contributions. Photos, art and texts by different authors come together and compliment each other seamlessly. Also the line breaks and paragraphs of written contributions are arranged thoughtfully. Besides this the bronze print on the cover compliments the vibe and aura of this tome just perfectly.

“‘The Ebon Kteis’ is a journey back into Darkness; somber in tone than its older siblings and aiming to be more of a visual feast to inspire Minds & spark the Sacred Flame Within.”

But it is not only the visual side that is utterly appealing about this publication. Anathema has specialised in bringing together artists, occultists and lonesome wolves, which, as different and individual each of them may be, share a mutual vision and idea of truth and searching. And there is another interesting aspect that emerges once you skim through the pages. The topic was given, but each contributor works independently and usually there would not be much interaction, yet each piece of art and writing seems to harmonize with the other, as if led and guided by the same spirits. This is the subtle magic of Pillars, which strikes me with each new release.

This issue is the last in the series (though a new volume, with different outfit is planned). There are once again 230 copies available, half of which have already been sold. So better hurry, least you’ll have to spend ten times as much, once the sold out publication ends up on eBay!

Pillars 1.III – The Ebon Kteis | out January 2015 | www.anathemapublishing.com/

 

Antiquarian: Aus dem Reiche der Drogen, 1926

7 May

Stumbled upon this book a few weeks ago at an antiquarian bookshop in Dresden and swore to myself if I returned and sold some stuff in the meantime I’d buy it. Turns out I did!

The book is from 1926 and published by Schwarzeck-Verlag Dresden. I was surprised to find such a publication here. It contains valuable information and references to the earliest herbals from the 15th century, which thanks to the invention of the letterpress printing were for the first time available to a larger audience, especially as they were not in Latin but in German language so that the common man could understand and use them. These books were richly illustrated with delicate woodcuts depicting each plant. Both pharmacology and botany would develop quickly during this time and soon would follow similar herbal books in other countries such as Belgium, Italy and England.

The first chapter gives an introduction to these early herbals of the “Middle Ages” and their authors, such as Conrad von Megenberg, Otto Brunfels, Leonhart Fuchs, Hieronymus Bock, Petrus Andreas Mathiolus, Konrad Gesner, Tabernaemontanus etc., as well as illustrators, who designed extraordinary woodcuts for these books and publishers. Guess what, it wasn’t easy to publish a book at a time when there were no laws yet on coyprights so that reprints occured still within the same year and neither the original publisher nor author could do anything about it. To this add competition and price dumping amongst publishers once a larger number of similar books was available… Wait, that all sounds familiar doesn’t it? Even today… The authors describe all of this quite vividly and so this short discurse on the first herbals ever printed is a pleasant read, spiced with examples and quotes from these very first books on plants and their alleged medicinal properties. Simultaneously we learn how the first volumes on botany and pharmacognosy came into being.

As I cannot go into detail on each chapter I will instead just list the titles for reference:

  1. The Herbals of the Middle Ages
  2. The Doctrine of Signatures
  3. The art of distillation
  4. The spice wars
  5. The cultivation of drugs in Germany
  6. The China-Bark
  7. The Liquorice
  8. The tropein-containing Nightshades
  9. The Strophanthus
  10. The noxious and innoxious types of Strychnos
  11. The Elder
  12. The Indian Hemp (Cannabis indica)
  13. The Yohimbe bark
  14. The Guajacum tree
  15. The Sarsaparilla root
  16. The Shepherd’s Purse
  17. The Rhubarb
  18. The Aconite
  19. The Opium
  20. The Cantharides

I have not read through all of the 272 pages but whenever I skim over the text I find something new and interesting, which I have not read elsewhere. This book contains plenty of interdisciplinary references and I am glad to have bought it.