Archive for June, 2015

Tabula Asinus

Posted in Alchemy, black humor, De Vermis Mysteriis, Hermes Trimegistus, Lovecraftian Horror, Lucifer, Ludwig Prinn, Tabula Smaragdina, The Cult of the Yellow Sign with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

A couple of years ago the Cult of the Yellow Sign approached me to write an article for inclusion in  one of their celebrated pamphlets. Wanting to take full advantage of this great opportunity, I gave much thought as to what I might write which would capture the essence of the C.Y.S. mixing surrealist humor and Lovecraftian Horror. At the time, I had just read about the Tabula Smaragdina of Hermes Trimegistus, a legendary emerald tablet upon which is inscribed an apocryphal alchemical treatise, and thought it might be fun to play on that. The Cult was enthusiastic upon receiving it, but they never used it, so it has been languishing in my archives since then. Written in the form of a mock book review from an unnamed (unnameable?) Cult member, here it is, in all of its dark droll glory, The Tabula Asinus…

“In his celebrated grimoire, De Vermis Mysteriis (a Cult bestseller second only to Abdul Alhazred’s Al Azif the most recent translation of the Necronomicon from the original Arabic by Egyptian scholar and all around mad man, Ini-herit Apep, whose knowledge of ancient and forbidden tomes is exceptional but his man-crush on the Black Pharoah Nephren-ka is a bit cloying), author Ludwig Prinn said of his studies during his tenure with the mystics of Damscus that when it came to alchemy the Syrian sages continually emphasized their mission to find and reproduce the essence of life and creation. Their continual reference to the Tabula Smaragdina of Hermes Trismegistus, an over-hyped and frankly confusing fragment supposedly written on an emerald which fell from the forehead of Lucifer during his initial fall from Grace which claims to contain the whole truth and nothing but as it circumvents any revelation thereof pissed him off no end, so he performed a ritual of his own devising wherein he obtained an ebon gem from the Light-bearer’s arse upon which he forced 666 angels (Thomas Aquinus’s pin-head angels to be precise) to transcribe his own alchemical treatise entitled the Tabula Asinus which has recently been discovered, translated and published in our Cult Club Derma-Bound editions and will be made available to Cultists of discerning tastes at the next Void-of-Course Moon phase. The aforementioned gem has been retained by Cultist #138 and is currently being stored for safekeeping in his corresponding orifice.”

Cult Member #138

Cult Member #138

Black Hymeneal Photo Shoot

Posted in black humor, goth, gothic, photo shoot, portrait photography, promotion, skulls, voodoo with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2015 by Manuel Paul Arenas

On May 15th, I did a promotional photo shoot for my upcoming poetry collection, Black Hymeneal. I decided that I wanted to put a face to the book, which already has a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BlackHymeneal) and let people know what sort of project it is. I felt a bunch of fun photos with a Gothic twist would project the appropriate image for what I have in mind. I asked my friend Hydroxia to take the photos, since I had seen some work she had done in the Gothic vein and could see that she had an understanding of the aesthetic I was aiming for. Of course, I was correct in putting my faith in her talents because (as you see here) she really caught the essence of what I was trying to get across. She helped me find the right props for my surroundings and she also helped me with my look, which is very similar to what I used to wear in my Dark Young days, although the “guy-liner” was her idea (I must admit it does make my eyes stand out a bit more) and she helped me find the amazing robe I am wearing, which we located through Redhead Sadie Vintage:

Redhead Sadie Vintage business card

Redhead Sadie Vintage business card

We staged the shoot in the living room of my good friends Richard and Michele Bledsoe (authors of the children’s poetry book “The Secret Kingdom”); we drank some wine, took some pics, and had an all around fun evening. Here are some of my favorites:

Not sure exactly what this sphere is, but it makes me think of Pinhead's puzzle box.

Not sure exactly what this sphere is, but it makes me think of Pinhead’s puzzle box.

Effervescent crystal ball:

Effervescent crystal ball: “I see a bottle of sparkling Spanish Cava in your future!”

This one's got a voodoo vibe to it.

This one’s got a voodoo vibe to it.

Whispering swart nothings...

Whispering swart nothings…

Me in my colonial days

Me in my colonial days

Can I help you?

Can I help you?

Sepia tone pic of me in my new robe, wearing Richard Bledsoe's glasses. They look nice, but I couldn't see a damn thing through them--LOL!

Sepia tone pic of me in my new robe, wearing Richard Bledsoe’s glasses. They look nice, but I couldn’t see a damn thing through them–LOL!

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Bava

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Bava

My paranormal romance novel cover pose:

My paranormal romance novel cover pose: “Come hither, my darkling dear…”

Surprise! Note the bottom cuspids, which almost make me look a little lupine here.

Surprise! Note the bottom cuspids, which almost make me look a little lupine here.

Another paranormal romance cover pose: love the flowing locks and the inviting gesture.

Another paranormal romance cover pose: love the flowing locks and the inviting gesture.

Some behind the scenes shots:

Candle detail

Candle detail; I love the sparkly cobweb drapery: magical!

The set: how many skulls do you see in this picture?

The set: how many skulls do you see in this picture?

Table detail

Table detail

One of the many skulls on our set, replete with votive candle for that extra eerie look

One of the many skulls on our set, replete with votive candle for that extra eerie look

Michele feeds me grapes

Michele feeds me grapes