Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Announcement!

I finally did it - I'm opening an Etsy store. See my shop here. I am offering tarot and oracle card readings by video. I've been reading for 20 years and I decided to finally put myself out there online. To celebrate, I'm giving away a free three card reading. To enter you must subscribe to my YouTube channel and like my facebook pageEnchanted Parlour.
The contest closes on Oct.12 and the reading will be done on my YouTube channel Oct.19. Thanks to everyone who liked my page and encouraged me. :)




Sophistique Noir's Monthly theme - Black and White



This month the lovely Miss Kitty has given plus the theme of black and white. While I do like accenting my black wardrobe with some white - I do love my black and white striped tights, I thought I would do something different. When I heard "black and white" I immediately thought of photography. When I was taking photography in art school, I loved learning to make black and white photos. I love how they look old. I love the simplicity and tonal qualities. I actually did a whole series of graveyard photos that year - how gothy of me. ;)

Below are some photos I took when I was in Shrewsbury and London a few years ago in black and white.


















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Monday, 29 September 2014

The Curious Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment - Poetry




This month our lovely professor had given us the assignment of writing about poetry that inspires us. I know many will write about Edgar Allan Poe, the quintessential goth poet, so I will skip him over. Below is one of my my other favourite poets. Of course as you will notice I have a love of 19th century literature, so had to pick an interesting and outstanding woman of that century.




Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett was me of the most prolific and prominent pets of the 19th century. Born in 1806, she started writing poetry at age 6. Her mother encouraged her and kept all of them. In the 1830s a cousin introduced her to other writers including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Alfred Lloyd Tennyson. Her first book of poetry was published in 1838 and she went on to publish many more.
She began corresponding with another poet Robert Browning, and the two fell in love. They kept it secret though as they feared her family's disapproval. They married in 1846 and she was disinherited. The couple moved to Italy where she lived until her death in 1861.
She had suffered from frail health from age 15 onwards, having mysterious undiagnosed pains, and then later TB. She became addicted to laudanum due to this, which led to her becoming sickly and passing away at only 55.
Her many poems touch on subjects like love, devotion and spirituality. Below is her most famous -Sonnet 43.
Besides writing poems, she campaigned to abolish slavery and change child labour laws.

How Do I Love Thee? sonnet 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.




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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Types of Goth - Deathrock

today the video is about a sub set of goth called Deathrock. There is debate about wether it is part of punk, goth, or it's own thing. What do you think?


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Victorian Freak Shows

With fall and the harvest well under way, many areas are holding local fairs. While the history of fairs goes back into Roman times, Victorian times were when England and North America saw a growth in the larger agricultural based fairs we know today. One aspect of these fairs we no longer have is the sideshow or "freak" show as it has been called.



Prior to the Victorian era small travelling fairs showing oddities came to towns every now and then. With the industrial revolution, people began to move into larger towns. Train travel meant that goods and people could be moved around more quickly and from farther away. This lead to larger more centralized fairs with a wider variety of "freaks" for their sideshows.



In 1942 PT Barnum in the US exhibited his first hoax a Fiji Mermaid, which was actually the head of a monkey sewn on a fish. It was not uncommon to exhibit these kinds of hoaxes. In addition to these cryptozoological frauds, sideshows exhibited, giants, dwarves, the deformed and conjoined twins, along with people from exotic locals, labelling them as "freaks" to be feared and gawked at.



General Tom Thumb was a little person who was presented to the public by PT Barnum in the 1840s as an 11 year old when he was actually 4 to make him seem even smaller. He even had him drinking wine at age 5 and smoking cigars to make him seem more adult like. When the show came to England, he was twice presented to Queen Victoria, who was indeed amused, as she was a fan of sideshows.



Tom Norman was a famous sideshow businessman in England who picked up where PT Barnum left off. His shows started off by renting shops from poor tradesman and using them as a stage. He would have different shows each night featuring different types of oddities. Some were considered family friendly like "dwarves" while others were considered to be too gruesome for women and children.
His shows were so popular, he became very wealthy and acquired the two most famous "freaks" at the time Mary Ann Bevan, "the worlds ugliest woman" and John Merrick "the elephant man".
By the 1890s sideshows were a fixture in the West End. They became popular in England and the U.S. as an escape for the working class from drudgery. In the US during the 1860s they jumped in popularity as well, as a distraction from the war.



Despite the public's General disdain for the people in the shows, evidence seems to show that most of the showman did not mistreat their acts. The performers received a cut from the ticket sales and sales of trading cards, and unlike the showman, did not have to pay for overhead. The showmen did discourage doctors visiting though as they did not want them diagnosed with a disorder, as they wanted to maintain their mystique.



Sideshows began to decline at the start of the 20th century. It began to be seen as a form of lower entertainment, and the performers started to be seen with more sympathy and as human beings. Medical diagnosis also made people more aware of the conditions these people suffered from. Also with world travel, those from other parts of the globe were seen less and less as exotic "others". Another factor was after the fist world war there was more emphasis on glorifying heroes and less on novelty acts.

Personally I'm glad we don't treat others this way anymore. Though it could be argued that shows on channels like TLC are just a new form of this. What are your thoughts?


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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wicca 101 - Covens or Solitary

My latest video in my Wicca 101 series. To remain solitary, or join a coven? It's your decision.
Let me know what you think. :)
Have a magical day!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Shadowscapes Tarot Review

I know i published this on my old site last week, but I thought I would re-post as it fits with the new blog. :)

A couple of weeks ago I went shopping with a coven mate of mine, at one of our favourite local new age stores. It was there that a lovely tarot deck caught my eye. The Shadowscapes tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.


Artwork
I was drawn in by the beautiful illustrations by Stephanie. They have a light airy feel to them with lots of pastel hues. The watercolour and ink artwork is lovely and the images are fairy like with lots of fantastical characters and animals. I personally usually prefer handmade art over most of the computer type animation, so this definitely suited my tastes.
Each suit is dominated by a certain colour and features a certain animal. Swords uses purple hues and swans, Wands has red and yellow and uses foxes, Cups is blue and features fish and mermaids, and Pentacles is green with lots of plants rather than an animal. The major arcana does not feature a single colour or animal, but each image is it's own, reflecting the archetype it represents.
If you are not a fan of borders, this deck does have them, but as they are lightly coloured, it should not get in the way too much. I know there are readers who hate borders but it doesn't affect me personally.
The backing artwork is beautiful and reversible, although the companion book does not include revers meanings. But if you want to read reversals the backing art is fine for this.


Companion Book
The companion book that came with the deck is substantial and the design is lovely with full page reference illustrations. I found that the information is quite good, but I prefer it when the author breaks up the description of the symbols from the divinitory meanings. This is just a personal preference though as it makes using the book as a reference quicker.


Packaging
The artwork on the box is very beautiful, just like with the cards and book. The box is not very sturdy though so I haven't been storing the deck in it. It came with the book in it and the deck plus a smaller cardboard box. I am not a fan of this style of packaging, as I find the both the large and small boxes have a tendency to fall apart.

The Backing Art




Size and Weight
The cards are not too large or small as they are bigger than playing cards, but not too big for my tiny hands to manage.
The quality of the card stock isn't terrible, but it's not super high quality either. I had my cards in a protective bag in my purse and it rained, and the dampness made them warp slightly which was disappointing.


Readability
(Is that even a word?) I would place this deck at an intermediate level as the images are not Rider Wait style and the number of objects (cups, wands etc) are not always immediately apparent when first looking at the art work. The artist does do a great job of conveying meaning in the artwork and the beauty of the images does draw both the reader and querent in.





Overall
I would give this deck an 8 out of 10. While I have some issues with the quality of the stock and packaging, the stunning art is what makes this deck, and the companion book is a good reference guide and lovely to look at on it's own.

What are your thought on this deck?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Welcome To My New Blog






I want to thank all of you who followed me over to this new blog. Your support over the past years has meant a lot to me. The blogging community really is wonderful, and I feel that many of you are friends, even though we may have never met each other in person. So thank you again for putting up with these changes.

I am trying to simplify my life a little and not have a bunch of different blogs. I tried having one for my dreams which didn't work, and one for spiritual and tarot posts, but I was just finding keeping two blogs to be too much and confusing. Plus I don't want to parcel myself out into separate parts. So I will still be blogging about gothic fashion, and strange Victorian history, but I will also be talking about tarot, Wicca and spiritual subjects. If certain posts aren't your taste, that's okay, just skip them over. We don't all like the same things.

This also reflects a change I am making in my life, which is to take my skills as a tarot reader and an artist more seriously. They are two things I really love doing and want to use them to help others and make them a bigger part of my life.

If you follow me on Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram you may have noticed the name change to Enchanted Parlour. I am trying to be more consistent, across the social networks. I will be starting a Facebook page too, in the near future.

I think the new name brings together my gothic and witchy side. It suggests magic, and wonder but also reminds me of Victorian parlours where people would meet for tea leaf readings and seances.
I hope you enjoy the new blog, and look forward to our new adventures together.

Let me know what you think and what you would like to hear about!

Have a magical day!

Ms.Lou