Photo stories about pagan gods, occult rituals and mysterious powers.
In 2014/15, I made a series of eight elemental masks for the public rituals at Heartland Pagan Festival 2015. Since then, I have done a series of photoshoots exploring the personalities of those masks. They are, however, fascinating subjects, and I think that there is a great deal more to be learned from them, particularly working with models who have their own interests in the mysticism and the occult.
Image of Venus
According to the Arabic grimoire known as the Picatrix, the image associated with the planet Venus is a nude woman with a bird's head holding a comb or a mirror in one hand and an apple in the other. I would like to reproduce this image using a bird mask and an epic volume of craft feathers.
Image of Jupiter
The Picatrix describes Jupiter as a man with ram's head and a scepter, dressed in a robe. I would like to reproduce this image with a mask and/or horns and a brass studded staff.
Capturing the many faces of horned divinities, god/desses of sex, death, and rock & roll.
Possession Story: the Board
The model begins casually dressed, lights candles, and kneels over a Ouija board. The model communes with the board, moving the coaster and growing more tense until they “collapse”. When the model rises, their face is visibly different (painted? Masked? Makeup?), and they begin to disrobe and draw occult symbols all over their body. Story ends with model nude and rune-covered.
Ritual I: Initiation
Two models: one wearing robes and masked, the other nude. Robed figure binds nice model and performs ritual with them such as those described in the Outer Court texts of American neopagan witchcraft. Nude figure is unbound, completes the ritual, and robes themselves. Ritual climaxes with the initiate claiming the senior figure’s mask. Ideally done outdoors.
Ritual II: Invocation (Possession Story II)
After drawing a circle of conjuration on the floor, the model disrobes, performs the invocation of Baphomet, and dons the mask.
Ritual III: Sigil
Model, in varying stages of dress and undress, draws a series of arcane symbols aimed at the viewer. (This will be an experiment in light drawing photography.)