Mr. Crowley’s Rice

Aleister Crowley, prescription known to many as “The Great Beast” and thought perhaps “The Wickedest Man in the World” was an English Occultist, ampoule mystic, ceremonial Magician… and amateur foodie?

See below for Riz Aleister Crowley, a delectable rice dish. Redolent with aromatic herbs and spices, almonds and green pistachios (rendering it a “Poem of Spring”, Crowley raves), it is meant to be eaten with a lovely curry.  This carnal knowledge comes to us courtesy of Professor Jack, who recently conducted some sleuthing in the Crowley Archives at Bird Library, Syracuse University, and generously shared the fruits of his efforts. Should you wish to attempt this recipe in your own kitchen, be forewarned –  volumes and weights are virtually non-existent here; Prof. Jack notes that Crowley appears to have been “… less fond of precise measurements than he was of Sex Magicks and defiling nice carpets.”

Missoni Rising

Guest blogger Olga Drenda writes about war crimes and home-made drugs for a living, but it’s fluffy rodents who are her true love. She hails from the land of pierogi, supermodels and death metal bands, and is an editor at

Veteran of experimental cinematography and the main injector of Thelemic mysticism into the realm of film, Kenneth Anger, goes fashion. The director of Lucifer Rising and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome filmed a delightfully trippy promotional video for the renowned brand Missoni, starring members of the Missoni family who find themselves in the roles of shamans in rapturous visions.

Created in the signature Anger style, this multi-layered and otherworldly ad is a brave move in terms of fashion advertising as the Fall/Winter knitwear collection isn’t especially showcased, with the focus on visuals, instead.

The haunting soundtrack was recorded by French sonic artist Koudlam, who surprisingly fits here even better than classic occult troubadours, Current 93 or even Coil themselves might.

For those who miss a hint of ecstatic psychedelia in modern advertising, this is a must see. As a post scriptum, here’s another example of this re-emerging trend: in Chrissie Abbott’s ceramic design for Jaguar Shoes, you can find enlightened kitties of wisdom. Scroll down for cats! 93/93!

Ishihara Gojin: “The Norman Rockwell of Japan”

Pink Tentacle recently posted a glut of gorgeously creepy children’s book illustrations by Ishihara Gōjin (or Gōjin Ishihara). A prolific illustrator in post-WWII  Tokyo, the man has been repeatedly referred to as “The Norman Rockwell of Japan”. Which, of course, in the context of drawings of shrieking children being terrorized by human-headed snakes and anus-gobbling demonic turtle men, is pretty goshdarn special.

The first several images in Pink Tentacle’s  gallery of Ishihara Gōjin’s work “appeared in the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters (1972), which profiled supernatural creatures from Japanese legend. The other illustrations appeared in various educational and entertainment-oriented publications for children.” But wait, there’s more! Soooo much more.

Kiddie yokai and sci-fi are only the beginning. Delve a little deeper, and you’ll discover that in addition to creating monstrous children’s fare, Ishihara Gōjin adapted the story of famed samurai Yagyū Jūbēi, which this manga reviewer describes as “Norman Rockwell drawing a manga series…about a gay love affair between Abraham Lincoln and a lean-hipped, square-jawed cowboy”.  He’s also the mastermind behind this utterly mind-rending, eye-melting, Joe Coleman-would-be-proud cover of  issue 2 of The Seikimatsu Club manga:

Lessee now…  Charlie Manson’s got Sharon Tate in a chokehold while rubbing elbows with members of the Klu Klux Klan, and there’s benevolent ol’ Jim Jones, and AUM Shinrikyō’s Asahara Shōko on the cross… Alex SandersYa Ho Wha 13Anton LaVey (and barnyard pals), Deguchi OnisaburoRuth Norman (speak of the Atlantian!), and last but not least… Aleister Crowley? Holy fucking shitballs.

Then there are these oddly scintillating depictions of the Mario Brothers:

Quivering brainmeats not yet liquified? Observe more embolism-inducing imagery after the jump. Apologies in advance for the lack of English titles and references–  most of the scans were ganked from an incredible Japanese language shrine to Ishihara Gojin. Also, sure to read the in-depth feature over at Comipress covering his visionary career.

The Tragedy of Belladonna

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Belladonna of Sadness (?????????, Kanashimi no Belladonna) (1973) –an animated Japanese art house film by director Eiichi Yamamoto– is a rare and beautiful, though polarizing piece of avant-garde cinema.

A sexploitative, psychedelic rock opera set in the Middle Ages, the synopsis for Belladonna of Sadness from various internet sites describes it thusly: “The beautiful peasant woman Jeanne is raped by a demonic overlord on her wedding night. Spurned by her husband, she has no outlet for her awakened libido, which develops to give her powers of witchcraft.” and “…in her powerlessness she is gradually driven to ancient superstitions and satanic practices, and then accused, tortured and executed for witchcraft. ”

With striking visuals not unlike a Beardsley illustration or Klimt painting, it is more a fluid tableaux of watercolor elegance than actual moving animation.  Despite the bewitching, breathtaking art, one never loses sight that it is a tragic story of unrelenting cruelty and despair. At certain points, it is an almost excruciating watch.

According to :

Belladonna is an adaptation of La Sorcière, the 1862 novelized history of satanism and witchcraft in the late middle ages. The book was written by feminist, freethinker, and Frenchman Jules Michelet, who, like many other post-revolution French intellectuals, was eager to condemn the barbaric European forces of the prior few centuries. In Michelet’s story, the practice of witchcraft is not simply the leftover trace of ancient pagan traditions, but an active rebellion against an oppressive church and system of government. …According to Michelet, the spirit of rebellion and experimentation found in 14th century witchcraft was a progenitor of the enlightenment values yet to come. Furthermore, this was a movement led by women, those who likely suffered the most at the hands of the church and the feudal system.”

“The film adaptation of La Sorcière is often very faithful to the book…It tells the story of an archetypal witch (unnamed in the book, named Jeanne in the movie) who suffers a series of misfortunes that lead her down the path from being a chaste, obedient peasant’s wife, to giving in to her awakened earthly desires, to finally blossoming into the bride of Satan himself. The process of selling one’s soul to the Devil can be interpreted literally or metaphorically, but keep in mind that at least according to Michelet, those who would enter into such a pact in the middle ages presumably believed they were literally sacrificing eternity for just a glimmer of relief from a cruel and bleak life… Her relationship with the Devil may be nothing but a psychological coping mechanism for the brutality she suffers.”

Is Belladonna of Sadness a misogynistic sleaze-fest, a surreal feminist empowerment message, or a stylistic gem of exquisite curiosity? Perhaps a baffling hybrid of all of these things? Repeated viewings do not make the question any easier to answer.  Those fortunate enough to find a (subtitled) copy may judge for themselves; in the meantime, several film stills can be found below.

Jane Quiet, Occult Detective

Much as her name would suggest, Jane Quiet is a woman of few words.

…none at all, to be exact.

But in all truthfulness, and surely most would agree, words completely fail to do justice to scenes such as the one depicted above!

I stumbled across Jane Quiet, Occult Investigator quite by accident, whilst conducting a bit of research on the internet; to further elaborate, it was a serendipitous miss-spelling of Dennis Wheatley which led me directly into her path. Heralded as a “Denise Wheatley,” Jane Quiet is the co-creation/collaboration which crept from the minds of author K.A. Laity (Unikirja) and artist Elena Steier (Revenge of the Vampire Bed and Breakfast, Goth Scouts). The comic “presents the adventures of occult investigator Dr. Jane Quiet who uses her practical knowledge and esoteric studies to uncover the sources of paranormal disturbances.” If that is not compelling enough, this author whose writing has been praised by Clive Barker as “full of fluent style and poetic dialogue” has added the twist of an entirely silent comic.

From the author’s website :

“I think it was Elena’s idea to riff on John Silence, the psychic investigator created by Algernon Blackwood, master of the weird tale, about a hundred years ago. John Silence was rich doctor, skilled in weird science and keen to explore occult phenomena. It was an idea ripe for reinvigoration.”

If you are curious as to how one goes about writing a story with no dialogue, inquiries and subsequent replies can be found in a snippet below.

Coilhouse And how did you find the find the process of “writing” a silent comic?

K.A. Laity: Thank you — it was hard as HELL to write! You can see the script online: I think it was just an off-hand remark, “hey, we could make it a silent comic, wouldn’t that be appropriate!” then when I started writing it, I cursed myself endlessly for having the idea. There was a lot of back and forth while Elena was drawing – partly because she always has lots of projects going on, but also because she would say “you can’t do all this in one panel” and either draw what she thought would work or ask me to work it out more carefully. It’s great discipline. I’m glad Elena is so patient and flexible. The anxiety of collaborating with friends is fearing that it will affect your relationship if things go badly. I really had to let go of control and find joy in the unexpected frisson that would occur. A lot of it is about leaving a looseness for the other person to do what they do best. The first drafts weren’t quite Moore-like, but they were far too specific. I learned to focus on what had to happen and the tone, and let Elena produce her magic.

On to the Hexed One

Jay-Z’s hypnotic music video for the song On to the Next One was released as “the first music video of the decade” on the morning of 01/01/10. Of course, Vigilant Citizen – who you’ll remember for his incisive analysis of Lady Gaga’s true Masonic origins – was immediately on the case. Jay-Z has been on the Citizen shitlist ever since the rapper wore a “Do What Thou Wilt” shirt last August, so with the release of this video came righteous vindication and the kind of breathless analysis that causes sharp spikes in the purchasing of duct tape and canned beans amongst the site’s core readership. God-fearing truthseekers weren’t the only ones dissecting the macabre clip. In an article on Jay-Z’s ties to the art world, Slate commented on the clip’s symbols of wealth and status:

Jay-Z and the director Sam Brown jumble bluntly evocative status symbols—a bulging stack of hundreds, Armand de Brignac champagne—with more mysterious symbolism—a bell jar containing taxidermy birds, a swirling ink blot, those whipping cords (which, it bears mentioning, are lifted from the 2002 video for Interpol’s “Obstacle 1”). Some of the most memorable shots in the video are of black paint pouring down a diamond-covered skull. The skull is a replica of “For the Love of God,” a Damien Hirst sculpture that the British artist fabricated for about $30 million in 2007 and sold for a purported $100 million (to a group of investors that includes the Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk and, oddly, Hirst himself). Like the Jaguar XJ, Hirst’s skull telegraphs extreme wealth, but that’s not all: Screaming its value while begging to be mulled over, it’s a status symbol and a puzzle in one.’

But Slate’s art-fag analysis is just part of the big cover-up, because this video’s occult powers are clearly beyond anything that even Vigilant Citizen could conceive of, as explained by Derek Jones from the Light of the Lamb Church (Mr. Jones’ breakdown is, perhaps, the true masterpiece here).

Satanic mind control issues aside, the video itself is well-played. Watching this clip is like stumbling across yet another mind-blowingly amazing, anonymous Tumblr blog where nothing is contextualized, nothing is credited, and nothing stays on top for long (hello, NOWITSDARK). Incredible images flash past your eyes as you continue to scroll down… sometimes you’ll recognize a film still or some fashion editorial from 10 months ago, but most times you have no idea, though you feverishly wish you did. You look at the image properties for a clue, and of course it’s only named something like “tumblr_kwqnmlcOoe1qa2t6ho1_500.jpg”. You will probably never know. This video captures the awed anxiety of seeing too many disembodied things in rapid succession.

Issue 04, Materialized!

FINALLY. Issue #04 of Coilhouse has taken corporeal form.

It’s haunted, you know. Or maybe it’s possessed. Or it could be we’ve got a grimoire on our hands.

All we know is, at some point during our editorial process—which normally involves very little cauldron-stirring or eye of newt, despite whatever “coven” rumors you may have heard—#04 took on a life of its own, and has since become a small, seething portal of the uncanny. It’s all a bit magic-with-a-k. We may giggle and wink (“O R’LYEH? IA, R’LYEH!”), but that doesn’t change the fact that these pages are spellbound. You will read of channeling and scrying, of shades and shamans, and phantoms both fabricated and inexplicable. You will meet reluctant oracles, occultists, and ghosts from the past.

Issue 04 is now available in our shop. For a limited time, you can purchase Issues 03 + 04 together for a discount price of $23! Click here to buy. Without further ado, the contents of Issue 04, below:

This issue’s Inform/Inspire/Infect section headers, crafted by Zoetica, are all about communing with animal spirits. Below: the INFORM header, titled Stork Whispers. The section header below also contains almost all the design motifs that creative director Courtney Riot conjured throughout the issue: smoke, burn holes, aged paper and tattered lace.

The Tarnished Beauties of Blackwell, Oklahoma
In mid 2008, we were captivated by the imagery Meredith Yayanos shared in a post describing her visit to an obscure, careworn prairie museum in a small Oklahoma town. More recently, Coilhouse enlisted one of our wonderful readers, Joseph A. Holsten, to return to The White Pavilion, where he archived dozens of high res portraits of long-grown, long-dead children of pioneer America. They are reproduced here in an extended version of the original Blackwell photo essay.

Bernd Preiml’s Exquisite Apparitions
Bernd Preiml’s photographs describe a world filled with magic and mystery, often coupled with a disconcerting sense that sinister forces may be lurking. Through his dark and shining visions, he weaves haunting tales that encompass violence as well as transcendence, beauty as well as wrath. Interview by longtime Coilhouse co-conspirator, Jessica Joslin.

Children by the Millions Wait For Alex Chilton: A Fractured Memoir of the Counterculture
Joshua Ellis returns to Coilhouse with a whip-smart personal essay examining his experience with alternative culture. Beginning with an endearing description of adolescent initiation-by-music and ranting its way into present day’s monoculture, “Children by the Millions” is an incisive evaluation of the death of societal revolution in our “been there, done that” world. Josh draws parallels between counterculture and ancient mysticism, while eloquently articulating a premise that’s been gestating in all of our minds since we first started discussing the living death of alt culture here on Coilhouse.

Calaveras de Azucar
Courtesy of photographer Gayla Partridge comes this toothsome autumnal fashion editorial inspired by el Día de los Muertos, with a corresponding overview by Mer on the festival’s historical and cultural significance.

Hauntings: The Science of Ghosts
Earlier this year, our Manchester-based correspondent Mark Powell traveled to a “Science of Ghosts” conference in Edinburgh hosted by esteemed psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman and other leading experts. Mark shares what he learned about the history, pathology (and quackery) of hauntings and spiritualism. With fetching spirit photos, daguerrotypes, and other vintage ephemera provided by archivists Jack & Beverly Wilgus.

Frog Prince

Kris Kuksi: Sculpting the Infinite
A substantial editorial featuring meticulous, hyper-detailed monuments to destruction sculpted by Missouri-born artist Kris Kuksi. In the coming days we’ll be posting an exclusive interview with Kris where he shares his thoughts on time, fixing humanity, and what might lie ahead. Introduction and interview by Ales Kot.

Still In The Cards: Alejandro Jodorowsky on King Shot, Comic Books and the Tarot De Marseilles
An informative, zany dialogue with one of modern cinema’s most iconoclastic masterminds, Alejandro Jodorowsky. The filmmaker who brought us The Holy Mountain, El Topo, and Santa Sangre speaks candidly about his past, present and future… as well as the roles that tarot, spirituality and comics have led in his more recent life. Article by Mark Powell.

Through the Mirror into the Forest: Kristamas Klousch
Our stunning cover girl’s self-portraiture explores a dark, kaleidoscopic array of facets; Kristamas is at once wild forest creature, fetish vixen, tousled witch, Lolita, courtesan, silent movie vamp and Voodoo priestess. Her ethereal photos race to capture each incarnation, just before the next comes out to play. Introduction by staffer Tanya Virodova.

Grant Morrison: Embracing the Apocalypse
Groundbreaking comic book writer Grant Morrison blows our minds with a massive ten-page interview that will gently squeeze your reality’s underbelly until you’re ready to take the future seriously. Grant sat down with Zoetica Ebb and Ales Kot for a three-hour talk covering everything from superheroes and interdimentional parasites to personal transformation and 2012. Featuring new portraits of Grant and his wife, Kristan, by Allan Amato.

Larkin Grimm: Advanced Shapeshifter
In a time when our culture seems to openly scorn –but secretly craves– magic, the musician Larkin Grimm is an unashamed and forthright power to be reckoned with. Interview by Coilhouse collaborator Angeliska Polacheck, as well as a review of the Musicka Mystica Maxima Festival curated by Grimm in NYC last fall.

Snake Charmer

Brave Old World
A  collaboration between Chad Michael Ward and  Bad Charlotte, this editorial takes the gorgeous model out of time and space, into a gauzy netherworld. With wardrobe by Mother of London.

CB I Hate Perfume: The Story of an Olfactory Architect
Christopher Brosius has been called “The Willy Wonka of Perfume” and is renowned for his eccentricity and passionate standpoint when it comes to both the art and the industry of scent-building. An intimate and inspiring interview about his work and philosophy, conducted by Angeliska.

Print to Fit: Mavens of Meatcake
What self-respecting, spellbound witchy-pooh magazine would be complete without paper dolls by Dame Darcy?! Featuring beloved characters from the darling Dame’s legendary long-running comic book, Meatcake.

Häxan, Bitches! Er… Witches!

It’s been what, a couple weeks since we last mentioned how fantastic is? Just in time for Halloween, here’s another choice bit o’ public domain from their vaults:

Click Teh Debbil (performed by Häxan director Benjamin Christensen himself!) to be taken to the downloading page.

Häxan (a.k.a. The Witches or Witchcraft Through The Ages) is a lavishly strange Swedish/Danish silent film which, upon its release in 1922, received critical acclaim in its homeland and moral outrage just about everyone else, thanks to the many graphic depictions of nudity, torture and sexual depravity. Yum! An inspired mixture of documentary and lurid dramatization, it wouldn’t be too far off the mark to name Häxan as one of cinema’s first “shockumentaries”.

For all its butts and boobies and devils, Häxan is actually quite a rational study of how superstition and medieval ignorance of mental illness led to the the hysteria of the European witch hunts. Director and writer Benjamin Christensen plotted much of the film around his personal study and criticism of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th century German guide for inquisitors. You can see echoes of Christensen’s blunt, cavalier, often darkly humorous first-person narrative style in the documentaries of Werner Herzog. Luis Buñuel applauded its fractured “WTF is going on” cue-less edits.


In addition to being a bit of a mindfuck, much of the film’s imagery is just drop dead stunningly beautiful. From the Criterion release feature notes:

Under any title and with any modifications, Häxan endures because of Christensen’s tremendous skill with lighting, staging, and varying of shot scale. The word “painterly” comes to mind in watching Christensen’s ingeniously constructed shots, but it is inadequate to evoke the fascination the film exerts through its patterns of movement and its narrative disjunctions. Christensen is at once painter, historian, social critic, and a highly self-conscious filmmaker. His world comes alive as few attempts to recreate the past on film have.

Apparently, there was a version released in 1967 that featured a narration by William S. Burroughs and a jazzy score led by percussionist Daniel Humair and featuring violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Any of you guys happen to have a copy of that?

Kittehs are from Teh Debbil*

The three hairs on the tip of a kitteh’s tail are Teh Debbil’s hairs, driving cats to prowl the night when all Lard-fearing beasts should be abed. And while all of The Lard’s blessed wee lambs lie asleep and dreaming of teh baby Jebus, underworldly Seitanic dreck like THIS is holding a Sabutt in the depth of the night, dontcha know. Such unholiness is presided over by The Debbil Himself in the form of a Grand Black Kitteh. Filth! Unclean!

*and apparently, so is After Effects.

Once the host of witches and sorcerers swoop in on salve-anointed broomsticks, the infernal rituals begin. The coven pays homage to their enthroned Debbil Kitteh, making offerings to him of unbaptized children and reading particularly noxious passages from Teh Hairy Pooter seriez. Each minion of Seitan must renew an oath of fidelity and obedience, shuffling past the felonious feline in single file to kiss his dingleberry-ensconced bunghole (some witches claim that he keeps a second face under his tail that looks like THIS). They then celebrate Teh Black Mess, lighting black candles from a flickering torch balanced atop D0OM KITT3h’s head, and turning their backs to the altar. The Sabutt feast commences. The flesh of hanged men, hearts of unbaptized children, Twizzlers, and a variety of unclean animals (like THESE) are then consumed.**

**Text reiterated vaguely from SnikSnak‘s entry on Cat Devilry.

(This post brought to you by muscle relaxants and the finest pipe-weed in all the Shire. Meow meow meow meow…)

Vigilant Citizen: Occult Website for the True Believers

Shots from the most evil airport on earth, as reported by Vigilant Citizen

At first, I hesitated blogging about The Vigilant Citizen, a site that exposes the Masonic/Illuminati symbolism present in everyday things ranging from pop stars to national monuments. The site had to be a joke, I told myself, poking fun at occult nuts the same way that Christwire pokes fun at religious zealots. I’m not so sure, though. It feels like too much research to be fake, and yet it feels too silly to be real (case in point: Lady Gaga, The Illuminati Puppet). Whether or not the site is faux, it’s attracted some true believers! As one commenter writes in response to the the Gaga post:

This is truly amazing im shocked. I believe god told me to check this site. I feel like a total fool I wad becoming a fan of hers. Im totally conviced that this is what she’s trying to convey.

So dive right in, and have an occultastic good time! My favorite article is a toss-up between Top 5 Worst 9/11 Memorials and Vigilant’s analysis of the Denver National Airport (part of his Sinister Sites series, which examines the architectural occultism of buildings from all over the world). In a style that reminds me somewhat of Weird New Jersey, the latter article gives us a spooky tour of the most evil airport in America, introducing us to the apocalyptic horse with glowing red eyes that guards the entrance, the airport’s nightmarish murals, the arcane symbols embedded in the floor, the gargoyle statues, and of course the Nazi swastika-shaped runway. All part of the impending New World Order! Enjoy.

[via Aaron Muszalski]