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External Influences v.8

by Samantha ~ December 4th, 2013

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Let’s start this edition of External Influences off with this video of Amanda Palmer being exceptionally badass. I really wish that names like hers and Tavi Gevinson could replace things like Miley Cyrus and those awful reality tv women in the lives of young girls, and that twerking could be replaced with standing up for yourself and appreciating your body and your mind.

A girl can dream.

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Because, The Doctor.

by Samantha ~ November 28th, 2013

Sam and the Tardis

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I’m giving thanks that I got to see a life sized Tardis this week at the Day of the Doctor screening.
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Photo Roundup :: 11.13.13

by Samantha ~ November 13th, 2013

Fingers

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 The past few weeks feel like they simultaneously were slowed to a crawl and also flew by. Somehow, it’s already November, and sadly, Halloween was, once again, none too interesting. Although I love the ambiance and the costumes, and the almost overwhelming amount of spook that reigns throughout the month, the night itself is always a let down. Too many drunk dummies, out only to cause a ruckus.

I celebrate in my own way, every day! My brand new knuckle tattoos remind me daily to keep with my studies, and to continue following not the Right Handed or the Left Handed Paths, but my very own.

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Ryan snuck this shot of me while we were visiting the Laura Plantation a few weeks ago. That hat is my new favorite item in my wardrobe (although the Ovate cardigan I just got is currently a close runner-up). It’s the Free People Matador hat, and it makes me feel like a witchy woman whenever I wear it.

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(top to bottom, left to right)

I won an Instagram contest! Sponsored by artist Nicomi Nix Turner, I won this totebag & notecards! I was so excited, I think it’s the first contest I’ve ever won in my entire life. Rabbit was very excited about it, too!
Zoetica surprised me with this gorgeous print of the Russian folklore creature, Alkonost! I believe she still has it available in her shop, along with her porn-tastic Alien Botany series.
All Haute Macabre, all the time. It’s been really wonderful being actively invested and involved in it again.
One afternoon, the doors to Saint Alphonsus Church were wide open, and I wandered inside. In a dark corner, right by ancient looking confessionals, I found life-sized mannequins dressed as nuns and priests. Super. Fucking. Creepy.
New Orleans sunsets are so beautiful and ghostly.
More from inside the decaying Saint Alphonsus – yes, that’s the same church in loads of Anne Rice novels.
Quiet rocking chairs on the porch of the Laura Plantation.
Ryan was in a recent episode of American Horror Story! He was the bartender at the far end of the shot in the last two episodes, filmed in his bar, Cure. Between takes, he drank bourbon with Jessica Lange!
We’re just about to close the pre-orders for the December shipment of our Haute Macabre scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab! Have you ordered yours yet?!
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DeathCard

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We made it through a pretty brutal Mercury Retrograde! Did anyone feel a change in the air? Are you approaching things differently now?

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In January, Ryan & I are moving into a new house! It’s much bigger than the one we’re in now, and that means we’ll have room for all of our books again. Right now, most of them are in a storage unit, but we can move them into the new place in just a few weeks. I’m hoping to have custom shelving built for us to house them all, but there’s a very good chance we’ll be donating plenty to the local library. No one really needs five different copies of Fight Club.

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New Orleans, you are so beautifully decayed.

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My little Chicken and Rabbit friends are still not best buddies, but I’ll happily take the little moments of quiet I can get when Chicken isn’t yelling at him and he’s not bouncing off the walls.

One thing I’d like to add is that I get a lot of messages, especially from younger girls, about how badly they want a Sphynx cat of their very own. Yes, they are awesome. Yes, they are adorable. Yes, they are loving and loyal little cat friends.

Yes, they are High Fucking Maintenance. They sweat and get greasy and they goop our of their eyes and they get poop all over themselves when they go to the bathroom. So, when you’re thinking they are the perfect novelty pet, please keep in mind that the novelty of chasing after them with a baby wipe to clean their butt wears off quickly.

But they’re my little poop monsters, and I adore them.

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In the Cards

by Samantha ~ November 10th, 2013

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This past year, I’ve been making a diligent effort to learn the Tarot. It’s a huge task, as each of the 78 cards is complex and intricate, and together, they cover the gauntlet of human emotion. I feel that it will take years before I am even slightly fluent in their language, but every reading I do, I feel that I learn a tiny bit more.

One exercise that has always helped me to commit something to memory and become comfortable is to write about it, whether it be taking notes in a Moleskin or simply jotting down impressions. My daily planner is filled with little notes about the cards I pull daily, but I think that I would like to start recording a more in depth account of them on this platform.

This was a simple three card reading, with the cards representing The Past, Present, and Future, using the Thoth deck.

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The Past :: Ace of Cups

Aces all represent new beginnings, seeds that have been planted and are about to grow. The Cups suit represents emotions, and this can be the new swelling of emotions, in love or relationships. In its position here, representing the Past, it can mean that the querent has a mastery of their emotions, keeping them in check, and not allowing them to get the best of them.

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The Present :: Prince of Swords (The Knight)

The Prince, or Knight, of Swords is a card of swift action. Something is developing suddenly and quickly, and confrontation, good or bad, is inevitable.

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The Future :: Two of Swords

Twos all represent a decision to be made, options to choose from. The Two of Swords, in the well known Rider-Waite deck, is illustrated with a blindfolded woman holding two swords in her crossed hands. Her blindfold tells us that she is unable to see the options ahead of her, but it is her own denial of the truth ahead of her, or refusal to make her decision. It’s impassive and stubborn. However, in the position of the Future, the Two of Swords indicates that that choices I have are in my hands, and that I will have the power to rise above any manipulation.

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Together, these cards are painting a pretty honest, maybe brutally so, reading! They’re telling me that something has reached a crux and that it’s time to face the facts. Thankfully, I have the tools and strength of will to handle the situation, even if that Knight of Swords is about to throw some unwanted news in my face!

Using this as a meditation, this reading is teaching me to approach a possibly tense situation rationally and without getting over-emotional about it. If some unexpected and unwanted news is thrown in my face, these cards are telling me to just deal with it, and not lose my shit or get upset. The Two of Swords in the Future position is a peace maker, a sign of calm and cool, even in the face of negativity.

Let’s all repeat together ::  I am a hollow reed, Trouble blows through me like the wind*

Overall, I am fairly sure I know what this reading is referring to. It’s a confrontation that’s been on the horizon, impassive and stubborn, but is finally about to come to a head. There’s always that one thing in your life that just gets under your skin, for whatever reason, that you just can’t shake. It could be an amalgam of them, whether it’s a group of people or just one in particular, or the neighbor’s constantly barking dog, or some big drama at work. If I listen to this reading, and my own advice about dealing with the Retrograde (and we’re almost there! Just a few more days!), it’ll all be a-ok, and I’ll rise up on top.

*bonus points if anyone else remembers the terrible early 90s sitcom that’s from.

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Impossible

by Samantha ~ November 4th, 2013

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I’ve had some Impossible Project film for some time now, but had never really gotten around to using it. Last year, on our trip to Los Angeles, I experimented with a roll of the special edition Ace Hotel Black & White film, and it was a bit of a disaster. After doing a little research, I found that you had to immediately shelter the image from any light for about 30 minutes or so, or else it will completely over expose. I started ejecting the film directly back into the box, which helped quite a bit.

The Ace Hotel film continued to over and under expose, my only thoughts on that are either that the film itself was faulty, or that it had been inside the camera, unused, for far too long. Thankfully, I had much better luck with the PX 680 color shots! I love how gloomy and aged the tones develop, as if they’ve been waiting in a dusty attic for years.

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I posted all of the photos, both good and bad, into a set on Flickr. I feel like maybe I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with the film. At nearly $30 a roll, it’s a bit steep for just 8 exposures. However, it fully delivers the uncertainty and totally organic effects that I really do love about shooting film. I guess I’ll just save it for special occasions!

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