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Archive for the ‘spiritual’ Category

Last week was Ganesh Chaturthi. For those who don’t know about Ganesha, he’s one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon. In order to work with the other deities, one must go through Ganesh first. He’s the remover of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom.* The main day for Ganesh Chaturthi this year was September 13th. In 2019, the holiday will fall on September 2nd.

Back in 2002, I had a job in some quasi ‘New Age’ store. It sold tarot cards, incense, bland Flax brand clothing, spiritual/esoteric/occult books, jewelry, statues and other curios from around the world. The store was located on East 6th street, in NYC’s East Village area. Sixth street was a row of inexpensive, brightly lit Indian restaurants, so this shop stood out. It did sell Ganesha related merchandise. As usual I sketched on the job when I was supposed to be doing something else. That was around the time I did my first Ganesha sketch, completed in colored pencil. Both the store and the original sketch are long gone. The shop went out of business in 2003, six months after I quit the job. Despite the joy of never having to deal with that ugly Flax clothing ever again, there’s still fond memories of the place. My former manager was a practicing Hindu; his main deity was Kali. He encouraged me to find my own path, interests, etc., but was also very down to earth. In fact, when it came to the general population, he was just as cynical as me. Retail does eventually bring out misanthropic tendencies. That guy was one of the best supervisors I ever had.

Although my former manager was kind enough to share some of his wisdom, I didn’t come back to Ganesh until years later. It was the advice of a current friend that turned my interest back to the elephant god.

It was time for a new Ganesh illustration anyway. This one was completed within the past 72 hours. It was done in pen, ink and glitter watercolor. I’ve been working a lot with glitter watercolor lately. Even if the shimmer doesn’t come out too good in the scans. On person, it the result is lovely. The glitter watercolors I use has a good balance, so it doesn’t look tacky. Thinking about turning this piece into either prints, greeting cards or both.

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Ganesh illustration. Pencil, pen, ink, glitter watercolor. Done by Michele Witchipoo. September 2018. 

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Ten years ago, in addition to self-publishing Psycho Bunny, I did a sketchbook/pinup zine titled Babalon Babes. It was a mixture of occult, esoteric and symbolism mixed in with erotica. At least I was able to give Lon Milo DuQuette a copy of issue four back in 2011.

Issue One was printed in late 2003. Very Thelemic overtones. In fact, the title itself came from Crowley’s interpretation of Babalon. Not so much into the 93 current these days, but that might change.

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Babalon Babes Issue 1, 2003. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. 

Issue two was released in 2005, which debuted at the Big Apple Comic Con. It continued on the 93 subject, but with more mixture from other spiritual paths. Chaos magick started to creep in. The cover was my first rendition of The Star tarot card.

As much as I liked the cover, not too thrilled about the content inside. Might’ve mentioned the cut-up method in this issue. Don’t think this will be in print again.

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Babalon Babes issue 2, 2005. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Debuted at Big Apple Con, Spring 2005. 

Issue three was released against all odd. The year 2007 was a very rough year due to personal circumstances and adversaries. Despite everything, I managed to make it to MoCCA Art Fest 2007. Even managed to quickly put together The Psycho Bunny Scrapbook.

Issue three had much more content. Definitely more of the Chaos current by this point, which I truly believed might’ve saved my ass during that year. Again, other spiritual paths crept in. Such as my sketch of Freya in her chariot driven by her two cats. Looking back the tone was a bit all over the place. Reflecting on issues two and three now has a sad element. It’s best having these two being out of print.

Issue four had a nice cover though.

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Issue 4, released summer 2007. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Debuted at MoCCA Art Fest 2007. 

Issue 4 was the last of the Babalon Babe series. It was printed in 2009, debuted at some NYC comic con where for a brief time, Big Apple Con and Wizard World merged together, aka Wizard World Big Apple Comic Con. I did an hour at the CAG table with this in hand. The last issue had much better art, and more of a focus. It had an official theme of astrology. The hardcore sex aspect was toned down, but it was still erotic. Each of the zodiac signs had it’s own pin-up. There’s still copies available of this issue.

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Issue 4 of Babalon Babes, fall 2009. The final issue in the series. It’s theme was Astrology. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

After 2009, I stopped doing Babalon Babes completely. In 2010 I went back to college. My focus went towards school, so something had to give. I was working on a webcomic, as well as my own Psycho Bunny character. Psycho Bunny was more accessible, so I continued with that. In 2012 I had a Psycho Bunny story in the monthly comic book anthology IF-X printed by Hamtramck Idea Men. I blogged about other IF-X issues in previous blog posts: IF-X Vol. 2 issue 5, IF-X Vol. 2 issue 9, and a news item back in 2010. (The news article has since disappeared. Should’ve done a screenshot)

The last sketchbook I self-published had nothing to do with Babalon Babes, but a slight offshoot. Pin-Ups was quickly put together in 2015, and debuted at Big Apple Con. The miracle of Adobe InDesign.

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Pin-Ups. A very small sketchbook. Released March 2015. Zine/Sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. 

If you want a copy of Babalon Babes issue four or Pin-ups, both titles are available for purchase. It’s four dollars each issue ($3.00 plus $1.00 for S&H). You can send payment through PayPal: Psychobunnycomix@aol.com. Please specify which issue you want. Also available for commissions, email for details, etc.

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Two weeks ago, I landed two free tickets to see Robert Plant in concert. The venue was nearby where I live in Queens, NY., at Forest Hills Stadium. My musical tastes usually runs towards more other genres, such as Post Punk, Punk, New Wave, Goth, Industrial, Experimental, etc. However, my very first exposure to music was when classic rock ruled the airwaves. Way back when, it was WPLJ and WNEW, both on FM radio that had exposed me to Rock music. So it was only natural that I progressed from ’70s Disco to listening to bands like, Queen or Led Zeppelin. The very first ‘Rock’ song I was exposed to was Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me.” So in a sense, these bands were a part of my transition from childhood to adolescence. That wasn’t to last long since the U.S. was just entering the 1980s. It’s very obvious I am a product of the ’80s. Soon I became a fan of groups like The B-52s, Devo, Duran Duran, Culture Club, then later The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc. As the ’80s evolved, radio formats changed as well. Just as well.

So that day I’m walking through the land of Peter Parker. Saw this Ramones mural underneath the Long Island Railroad.

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Street mural of The Ramones in Forest Hills, Queens, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Met up with my friend, entering the venue. Fell in love immediately with Forest Hills stadium. For free tickets, our seats weren’t that bad. We sat through opening act Sheryl Crow. My friend was more into Sheryl Crow than me. Never cared for her music, but she was good live.

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Sheryl Crow opening for Robert Plant at Forest Hills Stadium, June 13th, 2018. Crappy photo by Michele Witchipoo.

As the sun began to transition into night, Robert Plant took the stage.  What threw me for a surprise was he actually did not just one, but four Led Zeppelin songs. I was only expecting maybe one, perhaps something acoustic. This review on Brooklyn Vegan was pretty spot on.

Since that show I’ve been a minor Led Zeppelin kick. Which got me Googling links regarding Led Zeppelin and their association with the occult. It’s known that Jimmy Page brought Boleskine House, a former residence of Aleister CrowleyPage was so immersed with Crowley and Thelema, the first printing of Led Zeppelin ‘Led Zeppelin III’ has ‘do what thou wilt’ stamped on the vinyl. Robert Plant himself always had a fascination with Celtic folklore. The most famous Led Zeppelin song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was slightly by occult researcher Lewis Spence.

Then there’s the urban legend that three out of the four Led Zeppelin members made a pact with the devil. Which started to bring bad luck upon the band. That’s just a rumor.

Yet curiously Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones did a collaboration with Avant-garde opera singer Diamanda Galas. It was released in 1994.

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Which finally leads us to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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Psycho Bunny does Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. June 2018.

Now for the social media quips.

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items. Just in time for Pride.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

 

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miceflyer2016

Continued from MICE 2016 Part I and MICE 2016 Part II.

In all, being at MICE Expo 2016 was good. It was also a relief that not only did I make my money back for the table and bus fare, there was a bit of a profit. So it’s definitely worth break out of one’s comfort zone, and to do comic cons outside of your hometown. Even if you’re barely awake in the a.m.

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Comicbook/Zine artist and writer Michele Witchipoo at MICE Expo 2016. Photo taken early in the morning, Oct. 2016.

Some more photos from MICE Expo 2016:

 

 

Being in Cambridge was pretty nice as well.

 

Being at MICE, I had the rare occasion of being near Salem, MA for Halloween. Managed to squeeze in a few hours, jumping on the train. Wasn’t far of a train ride from Cambridge and Boston.

 

It’s very easy to walk around Salem once you navigate around the tourists. Surprisingly I got a very accurate tarot reading in one of those occult shops. The psychic was a kind gentleman. His advice was spot-on as 2017 later unfolded.

There was some annoyance when some fundamentalist Christians started preaching on a street corner. Shouting about the evils on Halloween. Right across the street from one of the witch stores. Nobody really paid them any mind.

Here’s some photos from Salem, Halloween day, Oct 31st 2016:

 

Soon it was time to head back to NYC. Left Salem right before the rush of the evening crowds started coming in. BTW, Beer Works in Salem is an awesome brewery.

I’ll end the MICE 2016 series with some comics and zines picked up during the weekend. There was tons of talented artists, writers, zine makers and comic creators. Unfortunately a few months after MICE, there was an abrupt apartment move (no thanks to a former corrupt, greedy landlord, but that’s another story.) Most of the merch brought at MICE was thrown into a box, which I still have to locate. Luckily I was able to retrieve these:

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Dead-End Rob issue 2 by Luke Howard. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. deadendrob.com

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Alter Boy By Rogan of LB Lee. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. etsy.com/shop/MadComics or email: loonybrain@healthymultiplicity.com

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Paper Pencil Life issue 2. Diary comics by Summer Pierre. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. http://www.summerpierre.com

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Me & Doctor Dee.: A Jape. Script and art by E.J. Barnes on Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

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Tree Rats! or, The Crepuscular Hobbyhorse. A Farrago by E.J. Barnes. E.J. Available from Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

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A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed by Jonathan Swift. Illustrated by E.J. Barnes. Available on Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

That concludes the belated MICE 2016 blog entries.

Dead-End Rob by Luke Howard: deadendrob.com

Alter Boy By Rogan of LB Lee: etsy.com/shop/MadComics

Paper Pencil Life issue 2. Diary comics by Summer Pierre. www.summerpierre.com

Me & Doctor Dee.: A Jape/Tree Rats! or, The Crepuscular Hobbyhorse. A Farrago/A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed by Jonathan Swift, Illustrated by E.J. Barnes all available on DrownedTownPress: http://www.drownedtownpress.com/

Then there’s me, Michele Witchipoo: WitchesBrewPress.com

Facebook: Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress

MICE Expo 2018 Fundraiser: http://www.micexpo.org/2018/fat-cats-for-mice-fundraiser/

MICE 2018

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This past Saturday was March 17th. Otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day. Just learned about another saint who shares the same day as St. Paddy. She’s Saint Gertrude of Nivelles. She’s the patron saint of cats, travelers and the mentally ill.

Now I’m not Catholic. I’m more informed about Pagan deities than Catholic Saints. However when it comes to spirituality, everything connects. In fact, saints are often used for decoys for various deities in other belief systems. That’s a whole other subject itself.

This saint is not to be confused with another saint of the same name, Saint Gertrude The Great, who was a German Benedictine, mystic, and theologian. This particular Saint Gertrude of Nivelles has a different story. Recently her name has been spread on the Internet as the saint of felines. So next you’re spending quality time with your kitty, give Saint Gertrude a little thanks.

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Saint Gertrude of Nivelles. Illustrated by Michele Witchipoo. Done on March 2018. 

 

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A few days ago was Maha Shivaratri, or Shivaratri. It’s annual holiday honoring the Hindu god Shiva. The “great night of Shiva” is a lunar holiday, falling on the 13th or 14th during the winter season.

After a few days past 2018’s Shivaratri, I came across old artwork from 2003. Totally forgot about this sketch. It was done while passing time at a former job. I worked at some pseudo-spiritual gift, clothing and bookstore, located in the East Village. The shop was on East 6th street. At the time East 6th street was lined with small Indian restaurants. Inside the shop I was surrounded by deity statues from various pantheons. Now that year of 2003 was particularly significant. It was right before entering my Thelemic phase, which lasted a few years.

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Very old sketch from 2003. Hindu god Shiva by Michele Witchipoo. 

Maha Shivatri is very important to Shivaites, or those who practice Shavism. Within Hinduism, there’s a sect devoted to Shiva and his teachings.  The Shavites worship Shiva as a supreme god.

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Had some downtime tonight. So I went through the sketch book I’ve had for almost six months. It’s pretty beat up with most of the pages torn out, which means it’s time for a new one. Came across something I was working on earlier this year, but never completed till now.

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Illustration of the Star Tarot by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2016.

Over ten years I started by doing sketches containing magickal symbols etc. Over time I’ve drifted away, focusing on other subjects. Somehow it always comes back to the tarot. Which lead me to studying assorted esoteric subjects.

From 2005 to 2009 I used to self-published a sketchbook/zine titled Babalon Babes. Looking back ‘babes’ is such a cheesy word, but it worked at the time. There were four issues of Babalon Babes. Basically Babalon Babes was a combination of erotica and esoteric. Whatever I was into eventually found it’s way into the sketchbook. The only one still available is issue 4, which was the astrology issue. The other issues were more eclectic, ranging from ceremonial magick, Thelema  Chaos and dark paganism. Almost brought it back in late 2012 with a Norse theme, but nixed the idea later on.

Very basic interpretations of the Star card: Hope, dreams, spirituality, renewal, inspiration. People will have different interpretations depending on the question, deck itself, and on the rest of the reading. It’s supposed to be a good card for love but also an unpredictable one. The Star card corresponds to the astrology sign of Aquarius. It showed up in a quick reading I did for myself earlier tonight. It wasn’t a serous reading but it was curious to see this card pop up. Perhaps I was worried about what 2017 might bring. Surprisingly reassuring, especially with mercury in retrograde as of this blog post.

At the moment I’m mostly happy with this piece.

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