Archive for April, 2018

Update on Krampus chapbook

Posted in Baron Dixon, Dick Kelly, etching, Krampus, Rand Lyons with tags , , , , on April 22, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

Yesterday morning my buddy Rand Lyons graciously allowed his living room to become a classroom. Our mutual friend, Dick Kelly came over and set up a small work area where he taught me the basics on how to make a print out of and etching. He brought along a wooden box with a UV light where we took a transfer of his original drawing for my proposed Krampus chapbook and burned it onto a copper plate, which we then covered in ink and applied to a paper which we put into a press.

Me rolling ink onto a copper etching plate.

It’s a bit more involved than that, but I don’t know enough about the technical side to get into it. I did make my first print though, which was a little thrilling.

Me, proudly displaying my very own print.

We made several copies of two separate prints, trying out different ink colors and hues, as well as different types of paper.

Close-up of my print.

We settled on a mixture of black and brown to create a sort of sepia tone, which should look very nice on the parchment paper we plan to use for the actual chapbooks. We still need to choose a font for the type and there was talk of possibly even giving some of them leather covers. Obviously, these will be more artful than your usual chapbook, and we may even make copies of individual prints for sale. Our good friend Baron Dixon suggested they might do well at the annual October Monster fest at the Allwun House.We shall see. I will of course keep you all updated as things develop.

Dick was even saying that his daughter’s girlfriend, who is  German may be able to do a translation into Deutsch for us. I would be thrilled if he were able to do so, but I think it might be a bit hard to get past some of the distinctly English aspects of the poem. Perhaps if I explain to him some of the nuance, he can do a prose translation of it. I might do the same for a version in Spanish. Again, I will let you all know as things develop.

The Tarot and Me

Posted in Aleister Crowley, Morgan-Greer Tarot Deck, Ordo Templi Orientis Tarot, Tarot with tags , , , on April 19, 2018 by Manuel Paul Arenas

I have always had a keen interest in divination, and tarot in particular has always fascinated me. Even so, I have only dabbled with it over the years and never delved into it too earnestly, despite what some would call a rather conspicuous invitation to do so.

My first introduction to tarot was when I was a young man, just out of high school. A family friend agreed to read my cards and in his deck I noticed the Death card, number 13 in the Major Arcana. It stood out for me because a few years prior I had done a drawing for a proposed album cover of the group I hoped to form one day. The group was Cerberus, which I never formed, actually. The sound I had imagined was something like what Blood Ceremony ended up doing, a sort of Doom/Proto-Prog hybrid. Anyway, the album was to be called Tarot, I believe, and I drew what I thought the Death card would look like…and that image was staring me in the face from the Morgan Greer deck before me.

XIII – Death card from the Morgan-Greer Tarot.

The image, an iconic grim reaper done with stipple shadowing. There is a rose on the card, and I believe there was one on my drawing as well, but I can’t recall. I hope to someday find the drawing amongst my things in storage and compare.
Either way, it sparked my interest in tarot, specifically in the Morgan-Greer deck, which I purchased. It served me for 30+ years, but I think it is time to retire that deck and get a new one. By chance, I think I have just gotten an invitation from another deck to come and play…

I recently came in early for my work shift and decided to go relax in the break room. Normally, there are one or two others relaxing, eating, reading their tablets, watching videos or beep-booping on their iPhones, but this time it was empty. The tables, of which there are many,  usually have the odd free food sample or the remnants of a refrigerator purging. This time, however, they were are clean and clear…save for one. On a table by the window, lay a lone card. Intrigued, I walked over to investigate. It turned out to be the introductory card from the Ordo Templi Orientis Tarot deck, replete with a commendation by Aleister Crowley.

I asked a couple of friends who regularly do readings and they said it was definitely an invitation of some sort, either to get that deck or to get a reading. I may do both soon. One friend cautioned however that this particular deck is a bit heavy for casual readings. I have also toyed with the idea of getting deeper into divination and esoteric studies in general. Maybe I’ll even take a class. We’ll see…