Wednesday, 20 January 2021

your daily demon: zagan

This sixty-first infernal king and president is also known by the name Dagon, possibly inspired by the ancient Mesopotamian deity interpreted as a fish-god or merman, but presents as a bull with griffin wings. When invoked, Zagan’s virtue is in making men witty, the alchemy of any base metal into valuable specie and can turn wine into water, blood into wine, wine into blood and also water into wine. Governing from this cusp day through the twenty-fourth of January, Zagan’s position is in the first degrees of Aquarius. Ruling thirty-three legions, Zagan is opposed by the angel Umahel.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

cornershop

Manx illustrator Jay Cover has created a uniquely triangular series of stamps for the Royal Mail, Isle of Man Post Office, which celebrates the Lunar New Year and upcoming Year of the Ox (see previously). This set of hopefully postage is the distillation of some earnest research and illuminating fact-checking undertaken by the artist into the Chinese zodiac to ensure he was making the most of his embracing and honouring new traditions on a tiny yet representative canvas.

Monday, 11 January 2021

your daily demon: orias

Ruling from the 20° to 24° of Capricorn—corresponding from this day until 15 January, this infernal marquis presents as a lion a gee with the tail of a dread serpent and clutching two snakes in his paws—this presenting this sigil will compel him, like all the other spirits, to appear as a man.

According to the Ars Goetia and other sources, Orias’ strength is in astrological readings and can forecast the trajectory of an individual’s life and career with precise intelligence on the hour and place of their birth. Able to curry favour with both friend and enemy, he can also transform humans into any shape desired. This fifty-ninth entry on the Demonic Calendar is opposed by the Archangel Harael.

Friday, 8 January 2021

7x7

forty winks: this Pokรฉmon Gengar sleeping companion 

flair: the outsized legacy of a 1950 graphic design magazine  

per my previous tweet: Trump silent on continued damage and defacement of federal monuments 

nangajo: ushering in the Year of the Metal Ox with this blended Japanese New Year’s tradition—previously  

๐Ÿ‘: anti-social media removes ‘like’ feature (see also) from public-facing sites—via Slashdot

r/obscuremedia: enjoy this soothing VHS tape from 1984 “Escape to Nature’s Beauty” 

witchfinder general: King James’ other book—Demonology

Friday, 1 January 2021

your daily demon: ose

This Great President of Hell presents as a leopard who gradually assumes human form controls three legions of spirits and governs the third quartile of Capricorn, the first of the year through the fifth of January. At the summoner’s bidding, Ose can engender delusions of grandeur and believe themselves kings among men and alternately transform people into animals without their knowledge that they have been turned. These spells are temporary and expire after one hour. This fifty-seventh demon is paired with the archangel Nemamiah.

Monday, 28 December 2020

house music

Carroll Righter (*1900 – †1988), celebrity astrologer and horoscope columnist from the early 1940s onward and advisor to Ronald and Nancy Reagan, released a series of albums in 1969 with each record dedicated to a different zodiacal sign (see also), promising that the instrumental arrangements were especially attuned to one’s personality and constitution and will help alleviate everyday problems and help one to overcome challenges. More to explore at Weird Universe at the link up top.

Sunday, 27 December 2020

your daily demon: gemory

Though reportedly male as all the fallen angels, this fifty-sixth Goetic demon presents as a beautiful woman wearing a crown, usually astride a camel, and has the office to discharge prophetic pronouncements concerning events past and future. Ruling the second quartile of Capricorn, from 27 December until Saint Silvester’s Day (31 December), some sources ascribe to Gemory the power to procure the love of women but others call Gemory an ally and companion. Paired with the Principality Poiel, this duchess of the night rules twenty-six legions.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

your daily demon: orobas

Presenting as a horse and infernal patron of all things equine (see also), this spirit with the rank of prince rules the first segment of Capricorn, from today until 26 December and according to the Ars Goetia and other sources can be reliably invoked to suppress gossip and libellous speech and foretell the future. With an etymology possibly from a Latin word, orobias, for a sort of cedarwood incense, the demon makes an appearance in pop-culture properties including several video games and is paired with battle angel called Mehaiah under the archangel Haniel.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

your daily demon: murmur

Infernal duke and earl with thirty legions under his command, before the rebellion this fifty-fourth spirit had the name Matthias but now presents as a vulture or crowned warrior astride a griffin, and can be compelled to mediumship with the departed by invoking his seal, which looks very much like a host of astrological symbols. A master of philosophy, Murmur rules from today until the twenty-first of December and is paired with the angel Nilhael.

Monday, 23 November 2020

your daily demon: crocel

Presenting generally in the form of an angel and ruling the first five degrees of Sagittarius—from today until the twenty-seventh of November, this infernal duke, summoned by the sigil here, is called upon for divining or dowsing (or more practically for plumbing matters) and is versed in the science of hydrotherapy, and can reveal springs and sources of thermal baths, according to the Ars Goetia. The forty-ninth in the calendar of demonology, Crocel commands forty-eight legions and can sew indecisiveness and confusion for one’s adversaries.

Friday, 13 November 2020

your daily demon: vual

Ruling the twentieth to twenty-fourth degrees of Scorpio—corresponding from today until the seventeenth of November, we make the acquaintance of the infernal grand duke Vual that presents according to the Ars Goetia et al. as a great and terrible dromedary. 

This camel demon controls thirty-seven legions of spirits and is a master negotiator, both politically and in romance. Their sigil looks a bit like a single-humped desert wanderer.

Monday, 2 November 2020

your daily demon: vine

Ruling the tenth to fourteenth degrees of Scorpio—corresponding with today until the sixth of November is the infernal potentate called Vine, according to the Ars Goetia after Johann Weyer’s late sixteenth century hierarchy and expanded, elaborated by Aleister Crowley and illustrated by Jacques Collin de Plancy. Generally depicted as a noble lion on a black steed and holding a viper as a staff, the demon king can be compelled to assume human form and will give counsel on all the secrets of the past, present and future (quite the thorough opposition-researcher) and is invoked to reveal the presence of other spirits or practitioners of the diabolical arts and is attributed with the power of troubling the waters and tearing down walls.

Friday, 30 October 2020

tendencies for everybody

Via Strange Company, we learn that our preoccupation with royal births and impatience for the latest (or perhaps yet to come) gossip has informed the daily horoscope column.

As one shrewd editor found himself short on reporting with the birth of another grandchild of the monarch, the Sunday Express decided to engage celebrated astrologer R.H. Naylor (their second-choice after a mystic called Cheiro, after cheiromancy—that is palmistry—had to turn down the newspaper) to do a forecast for the yet-unborn Princess Margaret (†2002, appearing in print three days after her birth in August 1930—I surmise she was a Leo) and as it were tell her adventurous (the Queen’s younger sister lived up to these predictions vague and universally applicable as they were) life backwards and let her age into her fortune. Using the commission to develop his nascent technique of solar signs—that is a simplified method based on one’s birth and the house of the zodiac that the sun was in, Naylor was able to offer readers both a general personality assessment and a daily prognostication. After having predicted the crash of an airship, Naylor was criticised for failing to forecast World War II. His column nonetheless remained popular and spawned many imitators.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

anthroposophy and apogee

Acknowledging the esoteric dangers that have emerged from the pseudo-scientific disciplines that arose towards the end of the era of Enlightenment just on the cusp of Modernity that try to reconcile the onslaught on evidence that the Cosmos is far older and complex than we can account for with the Bible and founding mythologies, Geoff Manaugh introduces us to the writing of one Sampson Arnold Mackey by leaning heavily into the paradoxical nature of such ethnography and theosophy that it’s in the effort of nailing down a narrative that brings up the problematic nature of speculation and amateur pursuits.
Never going away just repackaged and given a different sheen, we look at impossible epochs and receding events that disappear from the archeological record dredged up from archetypal memories and leading down pathways—some branches potentially problematic, either in fiction, espousing dangerous ideology or adopting thinking that rejects any achievement outsized in the mind of the beholder technically or sensibly has to be the work of the supernatural and one is left to deal with various theories that state the Pyramids of the Ancient Egyptians and Nazca Lines were the work of aliens. Mackey’s The Mythological Astronomy in Three Parts published in 1827 is no different than modern day disaster movies that gainsay the slow creep of environmental degradation with something dramatic like the flipping of the Earth’s magnetic poles and makes a deep and earnest investigation into a pet theory relating to the procession of the zodiac—that we’ve moved on from the Age of Pisces to the Aquarian one, except that Mackey hoped for more cataclysmic and drastic transitions—plunging humankind from an time of general prosperity into an “Age of Horror” plunging the world into deep enduring winters and arid droughts. Life and culture are driven so far as we know by stability and not swings between extremes, however distance that time out of mind may be. The work presents calculations, and like trying to pinpoint the primordial flood that haunts and informs our collective memory is a way to privilege one original story over another and suggest in was the deluge that formed the Mediterranean, for example, or makes some similar loaded and elaborated assumption—which again seems to be the overreach of amateurism that breeds more fables—but still invites one to ponder if these larger, unfathomable cycles might not have some bearing on belief and behaviour and constitution and how disaster imprints and lingers and that instinctual awareness of a pendulum fuels dread and hope.

Monday, 3 February 2020

fuku mame

Literally seasonal division and more properly denoted as Risshun, today marks the festival of Setsubun (็ฏ€ๅˆ†) the eveof the beginning of Spring in Japan and a signal to perform ritual cleaning of one’s household to drive out the misfortune of the past year and welcome in good luck for the year to come.
Originally associated with the Lunar New Year, its date has now been fixed and the chief ceremony involves the scattering of the titular luck beans called makemaki (่ฑ†ๆ’’ใ) where a family member born in the corresponding zodiacal year is charged with roasting soybeans and tossing them out of the threshold of the home (a variation includes another family member discharging the duties of a loitering demon and being pelted with the beans)—shouting “Demons out—luck in!” Like the New Year’s custom of eating black-eyed peas, people will also eat a number of soybeans for each year that they have been alive plus one extra for good luck.

Friday, 3 January 2020

ๅญ

In what’s become a nice beginning of the solar, civil new year tradition in anticipation of the coming lunar one Spoon & Tamago (see previously) present a selection of designer greeting cards (nengajo, ๅนด่ณ€็Šถ) to welcome the Year of the Rat, the first zodiacal animal in the cycle of twelve to kick off a new decade. We especially liked this one from design studio Enokoro that features all species of rodents from shrews to hamsters to capybaras—not forgetting our friends the naked mole rats. This year of the White Metal Rat begins on 25 January and runs through 11 February 2021.

Monday, 28 October 2019

argos navis

By way of a rather glum article on an extinct species of bird related to but far lesser known than the dodo, we are introduced to the concept of superannuated constellations (see previously)—the most veteran being the asterism of the Southern Hemisphere named after Jason and the Argonauts’ ship, itself developed from the Egyptian identification as the Boat of Osiris and named by the classical astronomer Ptolemy as one of the chief forty-eight described in his Almagest.  Due to the large patch of sky it occupied, it Argos Navis was broken up in mid-eighteenth century charts to its constituents parts Puppis (the poop deck or stern), Vela (the sails) and Carina (the hull).
Like a syllabary of obscure and unused emoji characters, there’s quite a listing of obsolete groupings from the century prior, many named by botanist, amateur astrologer and quack John Hill (*1714 – †1775) whose name sadly isn’t inscribed among the stars, much like our dead dodo’s cousin Turdus Solitarius (Rodrigues solitaire). Others that are now dissolved, merged or incorporated into presently accredited constellations, speaking to their age, include Globis ร†rostatiscus (the hot air balloon), Dentalium (tooth enamel), Sciurus Volans (flying squirrel), Phล“nicopterus (pink flamingo) and Officina Typographica (the printshop). Sadly too none of these fall within the tropics of the Zodiac.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

7x7

trick-or-treat: communities in race to best each other with increasing draconian ordinances regulating Halloween

huzzah: the utopian ideals behind Renaissance Fairs

dog whistle/bull horn: critiquing Facebook for the low quality propaganda platform it is, via Marginal Revolution

starchitecture: pairing Zodiac houses with their representative designers

your trial period has expired: how free storage drove every thing out if the archives and mandated everything be always available, via Duck Soup

world unique promotional product identity & emotion: the strange world of Vater Abraham, author of the Smurfs’ theme song among a few others

noir: Bruce McCorkindale’s Art House Muppets for Inktober

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Via Kottke, we learn that premium members of an on-line retail giant are pitched a monthly horoscope that pairs one’s sign to recommended products and promotions.
This peculiar merger of astrology with cloying capitalism is moving into its fourth month so there seems to be a serious commitment to the service, penned by an editor who holds a master’s degree in existential phenomenological therapeutic psychology whose by-lines also include a magazine for teenagers and Pokรฉmon, presumably the augmented reality experience. What do you think about that? Is it just in good fun or is it earnest, and is it even possible to be cynical about something that’s not real? Though possibly a late-comer to the booming revival in interest for pseudoscience and guidance no matter what form it comes in, the ploy is symptomatic of a much larger and lucrative trend that Americans are particularly eager to embrace and export.

Friday, 22 February 2019

pon de replay

Currently trending (which is a terribly presumption thing to say and assuredly no longer the case with as quickly as we are on to the next thing) is to find one’s abiding mood and moral compass by conducting an image search with Rihanna plus one’s birthday (day and month) to find the celebrity’s sighting that coincides with that day—and while I quite liked the results that I got of the Barbadian artist spotted on the set of the heist film Ocean’s 8 and think there’s nothing nefarious in this fun—I think it might make for a better daily horoscope if one went with the current date’s paparazzi photo—like this one of her leaving a private bash at Mayfair’s Novikov in 2010.