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Jackal and Little Witch Comic #1″Woes of a W.O.W. Widow”

Jackal and Little Witch 1

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Medusa

Serpents Coil and tumble in a cascade down her shoulders, as silver and gold glint off of pale flesh that has hardly seen the sun. Hidden away in her stone temple prison, a figure both used on shields for protection and feared for her deadly stare. No one is sure if she retained her beauty or became hideous when cursed for something that was possible not her doing.
Though closed off from the world and hunted by fighters bidding for her head to earn bragging rights, she drapes herself in fine cloth and the jewelry taken from the dead. Once she despised her curse, to never gaze upon a mortal without turning them to cold dead stone. Now driven by insanity and hatred for the outside world, she revels in each man who wonders through her gates with shield and sword in hand. A suitor to meet death at her cold pale hands and bright eyes.

Early Medusa

Here is my most recent work after “Playing Until the End”. As you can guess; this is a painting in almost portrait form of Medusa. She has always been a favorite of mine that, I have drawn her several times before. The serpent hair is always the trickiest, since I have to make it mass of coiling snakes that seem individual and still resemble hair in a sense.

In many of the old images I have come across of her, I like the head piece of wings she wears, so I wanted to included those as well. Though I am not sure if they are attached to her, or just decoration.

While working on the painting, I had first started with a serpent like eye, but then decided to turn it into a more human eye since no one can ever look into her eyes without being killed.

Update:

This print is now available in my Etsy shop


Sympathetic Magick

Article By: Eilfie Music

One of the forms of magick that I practice is known as sympathetic magick. This type of magick operates under the basis that like attracts like. Witchcraft, Voodoo, Hoodoo, and Rootwork work within sympathetic magick. Since each combines both items they consider to have magickal properties, such as various herbs and stones with items that resemble what the spell is intended for, such as keys, poppets,string, and colored candles. With sympathetic magick, you use something similar to what you are trying to accomplish in a spell.

A good example is the use of poppets. A poppet is a doll that can be made of various material such as straw, clay, or cloth, that represents the person that you are trying to effect through magick. A poppet is not always used for cursing or causing harm as seen in movies with people sticking pins in dolls. To make a further connection between the poppet and the person is to add something personal of theirs, such as hair, nail clippings, or scraps of their cloths. This forms a connection between the person and item you are using. Once the poppet has a connection with the person, you then add items for the intention of the spell itself. Often herbs are used in working with healing spells, along with crystals and powders. Another example of sympathetic magic which can be found in hoodoo is working a spell through someone’s footprint. This is often done to cause someone harm or to control them. This is done by effecting the footprint they leave behind in the dirt or even putting something in their path both physically and metaphorically.

Other forms of sympathetic magick include the use of color candles. This form is using the idea that certain colors correspond with certain actions or emotions in connection with a spell. The candle is dressed (prepared) with herbs and oils. These candle spells can be very simple, for example, picking a color such as green for money or a new job—while also going out and actually trying to find a job. A more complex method of preparing the same candle spell, is to burn it on a certain day (and even hour) along with placing under the candle a description of how much money you need or the kind of job you want.

Something that people do often without realizing that they are doing a form of sympathetic magic, is putting up images of goals or things that you want in your life. This is often place somewhere where it will be seen everyday and remind the person what they are working towards. It is a focusing tool to remind yourself what all your work is meant for. Sympathetic magick is considered a primitive form of magick that can be seen throughout various cultures in history. It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, since this meant to help make the connection with your consciousness and effecting your environment.

Resources:

http://www.luckymojo.com

City Magick by Christopher Penczak, Llewellyn publishing 2001

Practical Candleburning Ritual: Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose by Raymond Buckland, Llewellyn 1982


Haunted Old Roads

By Eilfie Music

Old dirt roads that seem to go on forever and narrow strips of asphalt that twist around mountains. These paths that man created to get from point A to point B (and everywhere in between) also hold their own treasure trove of ghost stories.

For me, haunted roads with their ghostly hitchhikers and vanishing motor vehicles are some of my favorite tales. They are also some of the most difficult to investigate. Because these are often public roads that anyone at any time can be on, it’s not always the safest place to be. You have to deal with ill lit areas, and even in the deadest of times the occasional traffic. Another problem is police, who might wonder what you are doing out on the side of the road with cameras and recorders in the middle of the night. Just like doing an investigation in a cemetery, it’s always good to inform the local police of what you are doing, just in case someone calls in reporting strange lights on the road.

Almost every state has its handful of local legends about the back roads and old hangout areas. The lonely hitchhiker is a popular one that usually involves a cemetery or stretch of road that a spirit of a man or woman will be seen walking up and down trying to hail a ride. Once some good Samaritan has pulled over to give them a lift, the driver is either instructed to take them to a nearby cemetery or a house address. In some stories the ghost will talk like any normal person trying to kill time, in others they will stay silent the entire ride. Once at the destination, the hitchhiker will either climb out and thank the person for the ride, or the driver will turn around to tell there passenger they have arrived and find an empty seat. The driver will later find out from locals or family members that the person they picked up died years ago.

This is the most popular framework for the haunted highway stories, but another interesting one is the phantom vehicle seen racing down the road and zooming off into the darkness. One that I recently read about was a road dubbed “Hot Rod Haven” for all the nightly car races done on this twisting hairpin turn road. It had also seen its share of deaths from vehicles taking turns too wide and careening off the edge. People would report seeing a pale, luminous 1950’s car zipping along and at times playing chicken with people. Witnesses had also seen this same car seemingly taking the same turn each time and losing control as it tumbled over the edge. The driver of the vehicle is never seen.

A popular story my dad would tell me took place on a stretch of road near Lemont, PA. Supposedly this back road had its own headless rider, but instead of it being a horse like the Hessian in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow it was a motorbike with a headless rider. The story went that a local kid would take his bike out and drive around the back roads in the Centre County area. One night while traveling through one of the twisting roads, he either swerved to avoid another vehicle or lost control going at a speed much higher then the limit and went flying off his bike. His body hit a tree, and his head continued on. They found his head later, nestled safely in the helmet. So after this, every so often people will see a motorbike traveling along with a rider either with a helmet on who vanishes or a headless biker who goes off into the night where he died. Now I don’t know what truth this story had, but it definitely made a fun ghost story when he told it me years ago.

Many of these tales can be counted as just urban legends with kernels of truth. With some roads having high amounts of accidents, it is no wonder we think they are haunted or even worse, cursed. The best part these stories at times is to find the truth behind the tale, so even if you can’t investigate the place physically you can still find out if there is any merit to the tales.

Asfar, Dan Haunted Highways, 2003, Ghost House Books


How is an EVP session different from a Séance?

Article by: Eilfie Music

I’ve noticed a big debate that comes up often in the paranormal world is spirit communication. Not only the general practice of trying to communicate with the afterlife, but the methods used to try and accomplish this. This also opens up a whole other can of worms of what we are even actually communicating with – which I won’t go into for this article. So for the sake of argument, lets stick to the idea that we are communicating with “human” spirits.

In our electronic age of gadgets and gizmos galore, for the average paranormal investigator, there is a wide variety of items now at our disposal to supposedly tap into the other side. We have the classic digital audio recorder that took the place of the analog recorder (though some groups occasionally use the analog as well for comparisons) used to record EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) either during a session with a series of questions being asked, or by leaving the recorder in an empty room rumored to be haunted. The outcome is potentially spirit voices that the human ear cannot pick up at the time, but the recorder possibly can. We then have the K2 meter, a simple EMF detector that is used by asking a question and waiting for the red light to flash in response. Then there is the Frank’s box and the Shack Hack. Both are radios that have been cobbled together or manipulated to allow the radio to do a constant sweep of the airwaves. From this, bits of sound are picked up to form words of, potentially, spirits communicating. Other versions of these two have been coming out lately as well. The Ovilus, which works on EMF, temperature, and pressure change, will throw out a word from its vocabulary bank based on sensor readings. All of these devices are not foolproof, and can be manipulated or break down. They are the updated and electronically rigged versions of the old-school methods of spirit communication.

Before audio recorders and Frank’s box, we had the Ouija board or a pendulum with a circle of letters. Before huddling around a recorder and speaking out into thin air asking for a sign or saying ‘don’t be afraid, just talk into this device with a glowing light,’ we had people sitting around a table in a darkened room asking for knocks and bangs to show signs of a presence. In some ways, people were much closer to the dead. They wanted the spirit to guide their fingers on the planchet or brush a translucent hand along their shoulder. To feel the dead moving these items (such as tipping a table) gave the assurance that they weren’t just talking to thin air. Before EVP sessions, people participating in communication had to rely on the idea that the spirit would vocalize its answers in the air or even channel through someone. People wanted to truly feel the dead and have that connection with them once more. When paranormal investigators started incorporating more electronic devices, it made the capturing of evidence much more possible, but in some ways distanced people from the human connection.

For some people, doing an EVP session feels much safer than using a Ouija board or even being in a séance. A possible reason for this is the mass concludes that it is alright to do an EVP session with a little audio recorder rather than to pull out a Ouija board. People see many paranormal shows where it is a normal part of an investigation. Meet clients, do history, set up tech, do an EVP session – light on or off optional. So when people see this being done by their favorite investigators, it gives that stamp of approval to use an audio recorder and ask the spirits questions. Plus it is such a part of the norm in the paranormal world, not many look at anyone sideways if they see someone whip out an audio recorder in the middle of an investigation and start asking questions.

My question is this though: how is this different from a Ouija board or a séance? Is it that closeness again – the idea that a disembodied spirit is guiding your hands on the board, or potentially talking through someone? Does the audio recorder and shack hack give people that safe distance from experiencing the paranormal without having to put both feet in the water?

In PRS, this is where the difference of opinion comes in. I don’t believe a device to communicate with spirits can be dangerous in and of itself; I think how it is used or misused will determine the outcome. An audio recorder for an EVP session is not any safer than a Ouija board. You may not be using a planchet, but you are still speaking to something you hope is a human spirit. If you become aggressive with it during a session or the spirit becomes angry, the same things can happen. People can be touched, hurt, or have something follow a person home because they opened the channel of communication without properly closing it. The reason there are so many horror stories of people using a spirit board and something bad happening, is because they went in not believing and goofed around, probably didn’t close it right and just let something in. Or they went in afraid, expecting the worst and setting themselves up mentally for something bad to happen.

People should not be afraid to communicate with spirits. That’s the reason they got interested in the paranormal in the first place, I hope. To make that connection. When doing any kind of communication, approach the session with respect. State that you are starting this session and any rules such as (‘no touching’). When communicating, thank the spirit if you do get a response – and there is a difference between getting stern and getting vulgar. Once done, state that the session is over, thank the spirits for communicating, and tell them that they must remain where they are and cannot follow.

It’s one thing to handle the paranormal with fear and put Plexiglass between us and whatever is beyond our front yard. It’s another to approach it with respect and understand this is all theory and we are still just groping around in the dark.


A Shiny Bauble to Catch the Eye

Article By: Eilfie Music

Jewelry decorates and adds brilliance to our form. Throughout history, mankind has created jewelry to beautify, enhance, protect, and distinguish ourselves. Today, jewelry can be very simple and made of cheap material such as plastic, or can consist of precious metals and rare encrusted jewels that need to be insured. Necklaces, rings, charms, and pins can turn a drab outfit into something a little shiner. These items do not just hold meaning to a person, but in a way carry a bit of that person as well.  Some haunted objects are ones that are kept close to the owner the most. This is also why the same items can be charged to carry energy for a purpose.

One of my favorite things to do is go antique hunting. I love items from the Victorian age right up to the 1950’s. Some of my favorite things to look for are old jewelry pieces, and not even the pricey stuff but the unique pieces that is often costume jewelry. Energy workers that I have spoken to will talk about how some antique baubles will have the imprints of people still attached to them. They are not necessarily haunted, but carry an impression of the last owner until it’s written over by a new person. Even if someone is not sensitive or looking for a charged object, they will often get impressions off of these trinkets, such as that feeling you get when a ring just calls for you to wear it, or a necklace that looks perfectly nice, but does not feel quite right to have. One of the methods I use to cleanse a piece of jewelry of any unwanted energy is to place it in the sun for the day. You can also place it in a bowl of salt for a few hours, or put it in water with salt in the light; just make sure the item can handle the water.

Not all haunted objects have negative connections. Some of them can be positive or they just don’t do much of anything. Rarely does a conscious spirit haunt an item, but instead you are getting the moments of that person. This usually as strong as the memory was, but will eventually fade over time through the handling of other people. Some haunted jewelry has been known to be more sinister or even cursed. A famous piece is the Hope Diamond. The large cut of blue diamond that has supposedly cause great misfortune to those who possess it through out history, from royalty to socialites. It is currently housed at the Smithsonian. I had the chance once to actually try and look at this amazing stone years ago. For something cursed, many people had no problem wanting to gaze at it, which prevented me from getting a good look at it.

Jewelry can also be created or altered to hold a charge for particular purposes in magick and ritual. Often you will hear about rings crafted with a mix of metals and semi-precious stones to become a magician’s ring of power. The ring is often worn on the dominant hand that is used in magick and is a focal point for the energy. If you cannot afford to have a jeweler to create an item for you, and do not have the skills to do so yourself, pre-made jewelry can be just as effective. Items with symbols that connect with you or have a connection to what you are energetically working with can be charged and used. You can also alter the piece by scratching words of power into the item. The jewelry becomes almost a psychological trigger to remind you of shielding or acquiring something in our life. Before you use a pre-made item, it would be good to cleanse it as you would an antique item so you have a clean slate to work with. This is so you don’t have any lingering energy from previous owners or even people picking it up randomly and admiring it in the store.


What Happens When You Poke the Paranormal with The Metaphorical Stick?

Article by: Eilfie Music

“When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

The paranormal today has become, in a sense, a new form of sports hunting. Instead of stalking out into the wilderness before dawn, decked out in camouflage, huddled up in a tree with your favorite rifle, waiting for that elusive deer to hang up on the wall and make jerky out of, people are now stalking about in the dead of night with cameras and recorders hoping to catch a wisp of a “ghost” or a disembodied voice to post on a website. The difference between the two is tools, time, and what you’re hunting, but it is still hunting. Although it is spoken about and even warned against, people still think that no dangers can come out of investigating the afterlife. That you can go to some haunted location, ask for a presence take some photos, and then leave without a care in the world. People are fine with this, since it is not their place that is haunted or causing them harm.  They are just waltzing in to get what they want and leaving the rest to whomever lives or works there. Now what if this is going on in your own home? Then it becomes an entirely different matter. You can still do the EVP sessions and the photography all you want, but you can’t just leave it for someone else to deal with it. This is when people become more leery of ‘hunting’ the ghosts.

When investigating the paranormal, you can never really keep it at arms length. If the theory is correct, that spirits are everywhere and the unknown is a hair’s breadth away from our world, then how could we possibly keep it out of our day-to-day life? It should make sense that when you start trying to actively communicate with spirits, that you are showing interest, and that something might take notice of this too. This does not mean that suddenly the forces of Hell will be upon you, but you should not be surprised if your once quiet home might get a few visitors—though this is also a rare occasion.

The problem is that many keep thinking this is a “Petting Zoo” and that there is a barrier between the paranormal and us. You should never be scared of what you’re searching for, but you should be aware and have respect for it. People forget that these were possibly living people once, and even if that is not the case then they are aware enough that respect should be given. The haunted areas are now looked at more as theme parks and scare houses to tramp around in during the weekend, but when the activity comes into your own backyard it’s a whole different ball game.

It is not always the paranormal that you have to worry about, but the physical as well. We’ve had cases where people have become so driven by capturing evidence that their everyday life falls to the wayside. That the dead becomes their life. This can be the same for people who drag their work home after working from 9-5pm on it. Another problem that can arise is taking ‘souvenirs’ home. This can be both a problem if something attached to that object comes home or if it causes destruction of a place. It is one thing to collect neat things from various places, but sometimes photos are the best things to take away.

Simple precautions should be taken before starting any investigation, even for people who look at this from a totally scientific basis. You can put up barriers and limits by simple stating, out loud, your rules for both the investigation and at home. If you do have a spiritual path, you can ask for protection before entering an area. This should not be done just for a potentially dangerous case, but for any case. When you leave, state out loud a word of thanks for being allowed to explore, but that nothing can following you home. You’re already talking to thin air when doing an EVP session; what harm would it do to add some rules to the mix?

It is one thing to show great passion for what you are doing (the thrill of actually capturing evidence and walking through darkened hallways), but it is another thing when that passion causes both destruction of yourself and what you enjoy doing. On the flip side, I have also seen people give respect for what they are investigating. People politely asking for a sign, not doing damage to the surroundings, and trying to leave the area better than when they came. That is what we all should aspire to do.