honk the herald moose did sing

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What else would you expect from me, really?

My parents’ house is full of Greek pastries and wine. I’ve had the Celtic Woman Christmas album on obnoxious loop for the past several days. Tonight I’m going to church with my mother, which I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. I try to maintain a certain religiosity about the holidays, even though I don’t follow any particular denomination. The men are less enthused. They can stay home and compete for my honor over a game of Jeopardy!.

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My inner crackhead society dame emerges today. That’s the style I keep coming back to. It permeates most everything I wear and design. Queered elegance.

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I find myself becoming more and more religious. I’m increasingly able to feel comfortable in any service, regardless of whether the specific dogma appeals to me. Because it’s not about rules. It’s not about voting Republican and holding onto your virginity. It’s the search for transcendence, which can come in any damn form you choose to find it.

I’ve been reading Pastrix, by Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber. I want to marry this woman – and guess what, I can, because her church, House for All Sinners and Saints, not only performs queer marriages, it welcomes drag queens and refers to the pagan Goddess as “God’s aunt”. Her message is clear: you can choose to find God (or his aunt) just as you are, without conforming to any ideals. Because his acceptance is that radical. Because you can truly find transcendence in anything.

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In more prosaic news, I really need a haircut.

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Dress: Savers Turban, Necklace, & Bracelet: Old Gold Belt: Downtown Threads Pin: Battery Street Jeans Tights & Shoes: Gifted Cat: Pixel

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Don’t worry. This is what our relationship is like.

the elf in the self

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I went to Sunday Mass this morning. I wore my Buddhist prayer beads, because I’m syncretic that way. This evening, I holed up with curry and pagan friends for a Yule ritual. Bringing back the sun. I don’t know why I find such peace in religion, but if I did, Kate of Eat the Damn Cake would say it better than I could.

There’s this feeling I get, when I come out of services at the end of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. This sense of emerging from some other place, possibly underground, or underwater, but hidden, in any case, and darker and more secret. It’s so bright outside, and the world expands abruptly, and it’s filled with normal people who are just going about their day. But I have been in this secret other place, where the day was turned sacred and ancient rites were observed, and I am still vibrating where I’ve been rung and wrung out.

It’s not about God or anything. It’s about the act of setting things aside for recognition.

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There’s holiness in everything, even this monster of an ice storm that will probably strand us indoors (god forbid) tomorrow. Even the tackiness of my glorified elf costume.

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Coat: for sale hereDress: Tibetan craft fair Belt: Battery Street Jeans Tights, Hat, & Shoes: Gifted

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winterwitch

Seeking photographic inspiration to nudge me through the doldrums. Touching up my gothic armor and becoming my favorite self – a caricature of a pagan – usually works. Today, courtesy of Trendhunter, I’m bringing you some mind-blowing art I’d like to emulate over the next several months. Click on each image for its source.

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windy witch

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A storm was stirring around me as I took these photos. I decided to work with, not against, the wind. Being outside in gales and gusts always makes me feel even more a witch, like maybe my energy will turn indistinguishable from the maelstrom beyond. And maybe I’ll be really lucky and not get a house dropped on me. When the wind lifts my hair and hands, I like to pretend I’m summoning it myself.

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This outfit makes me feel like a vagabond. Like a delightful louche. Like a creaky soul who can’t wait to be old. Like the girl who sings along with her accordion on Church Street. Like someone with magic hidden in all her corners.

My kind of witchcraft is about communion. The alchemy of connection. Interaction with other people, with oneself, with philosophy, with the natural world. It’s the “je ne sais quoi” produced when beings collide. And that means it can be everywhere. I don’t need a church or a coven (as much as I love them). Just to listen. To find magic everywhere.

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Dress: The Classy Closet Coat: Handed down from Mom Vest & Boots: Battery Street Jeans Hat & Necklace: Old Gold Tights: Gifted

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baroness samedi’s in town

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Ever since I started reading Courtney Brooke‘s lightwitch, ideas for stark, spooky fall shoots have been rocketing around my sordid little brain. I finally got to act on one today.

These train tracks run directly behind Josh’s house. Armed with a bag of props we mined from Halloween stores on November first, I set up shop there and hammed for the camera until rain forced me inside.

This is my best attempt at an actual photo story. No words today. I’ll let these speak for themselves. I hope they have something worthwhile to say.

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i am samhain. hear me shriek.

“Angela Isadora Duncan (May 27, 1877 – September 14, 1927), was an American dancer. Duncan’s fondness for flowing scarves was the cause of her death in an automobile accident in Nice, France, when she was [a] passenger in an Amilcar. Her silk scarf, draped around her neck, became entangled around the open-spoked wheels and rear axle, breaking her neck.”

This year’s main costume is “partially decapitated Isadora Duncan.” I doubt I need say more.
For reference, the real Isadora Duncan looked like this:

The following is my approximation. I’ve kept this costume a secret for weeks now. It’s one of the best costume ideas I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t risk thievery.

She was a dancer, after all.

in my element

I recently made a contact on ModelMayhem interested in doing some “goddess-themed” work with me. He told me to select a location with palpable energy, somewhere I was very comfortable and could really collude with my surroundings. With my parents’  permission, we drove up to my parents’ house and shot in a little copse I used to call “fairy rock”. What resulted was some of the best work I’ve ever done.

All rights reserved by Robert Eddy of First Light Studios.

I’ve always felt the most myself when dressed as a witch. Such garb doesn’t create a pagan identity, of course, but it’s cultural shorthand for connection to my ancient forebears. It’s an easy way to be publicly “out of the broom closet“: partaking in a tradition that does not begin or end with me. That’s fascinating. (In the real world, I’m a religious studies major, and that occasionally bleeds into my fashion work.)

This morning it was sufficiently chilly, so I thought I’d secularize this outfit a bit and wear it out.

I made it more prosaic with the addition of my glasses and a jacket. That spiderweb jacket goes with everything. And it tones down the pagan sensibility from “woodland goddess” to “Halloween kitsch” – more appropriate for daily wear.

An excellent dress for curves. It fits me perfectly.

This is my favorite kind of goth. Understated, elegant, and powerful. I was never much for Hot Topic babybat baubles. “Delicious evil” trumps “screaming emo” any day of the week.

Dress: Handed down from Mom Necklace: Beachside shop in Maine Jacket: Battery Street Jeans