Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trials by Fire and the Dark Side of the Moon

(edited from SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2009)

You might be wondering what all the fire and smoke is about around here. I have been dancing on coals for a very long time now...and it's almost over. I've survived "The Burning Times" the tests and the trials one faces during the alchemical stage, Nigredo. I've explored the depths of the Underworld. I've conquered demons...reconciled with my Shadow. I've reached the final family karma. More about that later...

There's a point in life when you have to face the inner horror of yourself. For me, it began in Jr. High School (I went to a Catholic s elementary school grades 1-5) Even though I was one of the popular kids, (Class President even) I found myself becoming increasingly uphappy. The kind of unhappiness where I couldn't fake it anymore. Of course there was a lifetime of events leading to this crisis...but it was then I decided it was time for a revolution. School sucked and my dysfunctional home sucked even more. It was a pivotal, life changing moment. After learning about the Witch Inquisitions of Europe in my World History class, I took up an interest in Modern Witchcraft. I discovered New Wave Punk on the local college radio station. The guy who hosted the show played bands like The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Depeche Mode, P.I.L., New Order, OMD, The Smiths and the Cocteau Twins. I started tagging along with the local skater boys. They introduced me to Hardcore Punk bands like Minor Threat, the The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag. I abandoned the latest fashion trends for a black wardrobe...left behind my white Keds and pretty flats for a pair of black Vision Street Wear skate shoes and a pair of chunky Mary Janes with big silver buckles. I walked away from all the beautiful plastic people and found a new BFF (Emily Schumacher) and kissed my popularity status goodbye! By my first year of High School Emily and I set off into the Unknown to look for signs of LIFE. We were the "Squid Sisters"... it was originally an insult about our newly adopted, inky black wardrobe and make-up that one of our peers called us...but we embraced it! It wasn't long before we found our new family of freaks: new wavers, punks and death rockers (the term "goth" didn't really exsist yet). Emily and I grew apart very quickly. She got a boyfriend and I got a new BFF. I headed down a much darker path, that's when the story really begins. Here's a picture of me just days after my 14th Birthday, just the beginning of my descent into Darkness...

"I called out to God to liberate my soul, but the Lord replied "If you want the key to Heaven child, first you must walk below...down below" So with lips painted like poison and in black I was clothed, so began the long journey home. I looked in dark places for the other half my soul. Loomed in dark spaces and my hands were always cold..." Lavona King 1991

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Oh, how I crushed on Robert Smith...

until he broke my teenage heart and married Mary.

then I fell in love with Rozz Williams...

I started haunting "The Occult Bookstore" where I got my first deck of Tarot Cards "the Mythic Tarot". I bought my first Occult books there like: A Witches' Bible by Jane and and Stewart Farrar, The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey, and novels like The Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft, and Moonchild by Aleister Crowley. I discovered Wax Trax Records and my taste in music got darker and harder. Some of my favorites were: My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, Fields of the Nephilim, Ministry, RevCo, Christian Death, The Cramps, The Misfits, Danzig, 45 Grave, Alien Sex Fiend, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Nitzer Ebb, Nick Cave, Miranda Sex Garden, Rosetta Stone, The Swans, Death in June, and Current 93. I idolized women like Siouxsie Sioux, Diamanda Galas, Exene Cervenka and Lydia Lunch! (That's Lydia below)

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My weekends were spent going to see bands and hanging out at Chicago's legendary all ages night club, Medusa's. By the age of 16 I had a fake I.D. and started hanging out at 21 & over Goth & Industrial nightclubs like Neo, Hounds Tooth, Crobar, and Aftermath. I would take a shower and say goodnight to my parents at about 10pm...wait till I heard them go to bed...get dressed and sneak out my bedroom window! My home life was an intolerable madhouse so I left home the day before my 18th Birthday. That's when things got totally out of control. Looking back it all seems like a bizarre dream...

I've started a project to archive my own alchemical "Nigredo" stage. A journey through my personal Underworld...Death Rock Culture and Dark Spirituality (Black Magic, Necromancy, Demonology). I got this old Victorian style secretary on craigslist for $50 that will contain the art and objects used to illustrate what I've endured through "The Burning Times". It's already painted with a thick coat of black paint, but I'm going to burn it with a torch and then put a coat of epoxy on it. (see the Maarten Baas 'Smoke Collection' a few posts ago) I'm also considering using this crackle paint I saw at the art supply store that gives it that kind of burnt we'll see...I don't want to set my back porch on fire! You might call it a Cabinet of Morbid Curiosity...a cabinet (instead of a closet) for my skeletons! The cabinet will contain a diary of core issues that caused my descent into Darkness. Shadow Totems that I met along the way: Spiders, Bats, Black Cats, Snakes. Dark Lords of the Underworld will be represented, like Satan, Lucifer, Baphomet, Hades, the Baron Samedi. I also want to feature the links between my own behavior and the psychological aspects of the Dark Feminine Goddess (Dark Side of the Moon) Medusa, Hecate, Lilith, Babalon and Kali.

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Every culture and religion has a myth or a fable about the Descent of Spirit into Darkness...the heroic act of leaving everything you love behind to journey into the Underworld. Those who return from the land of the Dead emerge triumphantly from the depths wearing a hard earned Crown of Wisdom. My favorite is the story of the Persephone, the Goddess of Spring...below she is pictured just before her descent...she has left behind her friends and family, her worldly possessions including her velvet robes and jeweled crown. My story is like a modern re-telling of the Perpsephone Myth...

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. is it terrible if i still love half the bands you named ?

    i wish the dark times had ended there
    thank you for writing.