Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carnival of Venice

References are made to Hans Habe's novel Palazzo, which is a struggle between good and evil in the intentions of Venetians themselves.

The great flood is referred to the fateful year of 1966 in Venice.

Joseph Addison, a parson's son published his reflections in 1705, under the title Remarks on Several Parts of Italy, in the Year 1701, 1702, 1703. He spoke of the carnival of Venice. "The great DIversion of the Place at that time, as well as on all other high occasions, is Masking. The Venetians, who are naturally grave, love to give into the follies and entertainments of such season, when dignified in a flase personage. They are indeed under a necessity of finding out diversions that may agree with the nature of the place, and make some amends for the loss of several pleasures, which may be met with on the conteint. These dignities give occasion to abundance of love adventures; for there is something more intriguing in the amours of Venice, than in those of other countries, … Operas are another great entertainment of this season. The poetry of them is generally as exquisitely ill as the musick is good ..."

Popish vice in Venetian wisdom:
"The preservation of the republick is that to which all other considerations submit. To encourage idleness and luxury in the nobility; to cherish ignorance and licentiousness in the clergy, to keep alive a continual faction in the common people, to connive at the viciousness and debauchery of convents, to breed dissentions among the nobles of the Terra Firma, to treat a brave man with scorn and infamy: in short, to stick at nothing for the publick interest, are represented as the refined parts of the Venetian wisdom." From George Bull, Venice the most Triumphant.

Picture credits: Clowns and tumblers by Tiepolo, in the Ca' Rezzonico, Venice (Moro); Storm and flood by Turner, Ruskin Museum, University of Reading; Ponte Santa Paternina by Moonlight by Yoshijira Urushibara (Trustees of the British Museum); Fete on the Grand Canal, Mary Evan Picture Library; Venice. Lithography by Ackerman (Trustees of the British Museum); Peg Maltby; Charles Bennett and Dover Publications.

If you really wanted to hear the opera, here we go:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Fair Lady

This comic is about a young single woman, a coquette who likes to trifle and flirt with the opposite sex. It is set in Victorian England.

I have used public domain images to set the story.

Where are my pearls?

Unfortunately I made two botches on here, but fear not I have twink and sponges with ink. I make a sponged background which hopefully is more forgiving of my ink renditions that go off course, than just plain white paper.

More can be found by going to and you can also fan the Facebook page

The quotes are:

"But give a sly flirtation by the light of a chandelier with music to play in the pauses, and nobody very near." (Nathanial P. Wilks, 1806 – 1867).

"Madam, you pinch your waist so tight, as to shock all men in their senses; your husband still you could delight; as closely pull in your expenses." (Punch 1873).

But all is not lost, turn your toad into a prince:

Pick up the story when the King’s daughter drops her golden ball in the stream.

“At this she began to cry, and cried louder and louder, and could not be comforted. And as she thus lamented someone said to her, “What ails you, king’s daughter? You weep so that even a stone would show pity.”
She looked round to the side from whence the voice came, and saw a frog stretching forth its big, ugly head from the water. “Ah, old water-splasher, is it you,” she said, “I am weeping for my golden ball, which has fallen into the well.” “Be quiet, and do not weep,” answered the frog, “I can help you, but what will you give me if I bring your play thing up again?” “Whatever you will have, dear frog,” said she, “My clothes, my pearls and jewels, and even the golden crown which I am wearing.” The frog answered, “I do not care for your clothes, your pearls and jewels, nor for your golden crown, but if you will love me and let me be your companion and play-fellow, and sit by you at your little table, and eat off your little golden plate, and drink out of your little cup, and sleep in your little bed – if you will promise me this I will go down below, and bring you your golden ball up again.”

“Oh yes,” said she, “I promise you all you wish, if you will but bring me my ball back again.” But she thought, “How the silly frog does talk. All he does is to sit in the water with the other frogs, and croak. He can be no companion to any human being.”

Break from the story and continuing on.

“What does a frog want with you?”
“Ah, dear father, yesterday as I was in the forest sitting by the well, playing, my golden ball fell into the water. And because I cried so, the frog brought it out again for me, and because he so insisted, I promised him he should be my companion, but I never thought he would be able to come out of his water. And now he is outside there, and wants to come in to me.”
Then said the king, “That which you have promised must you perform. Go and let him in.”

The king’s daughter began to cry, for she was afraid of the cold frog which she did not like to touch, and which was now to sleep in her pretty, clean little bed. But the king grew angry and said, “He who helped you when you were in trouble ought not afterwards to be despised by you.” So she took hold of the frog with two fingers, carried him upstairs, and put him in a corner, but when she was in bed he crept to her and said, “I am tired, I want to sleep as well as you, lift me up or I will tell your father.” At this she was terribly angry, and took him up and threw him with all her might against the wall. “Now, will you be quiet, odious frog,” said she. But when he fell down he was no frog but a king’s son with kind and beautiful eyes. He by her father’s will was now her dear companion and husband. Then he told her how he had been bewitched by a wicked witch, and how no one could have delivered him from the well but herself, and that tomorrow they would go together into his kingdom.”

Arthur Rackman Illustration of the Frog and His Prince
I guess if you want to look at the moral of the story, when he is figuratively thrown against the wall, it removes all his ugliness and he becomes a prince. So if you can change your man into something better, he will turn out to be a prince (har). The thing is it might be painful removing his old clothes, and old ways for the new man to be revealed.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ophiuchus - the 13th Astrological star sign?




NO, it's not!
Ophiuchus is a neighbouring constellation. Just as there are other neighbouring constellations.

Constellations are divided into three sets: 21 northern, 12 in the zodiac, and 15 southern.

The northern constellations are:

  1. Ursa Minor, the Little Bear.
  2. Ursa Major, the Great Bear.
  3. Draco, the Dragon.
  4. Cepheus, the King.
  5. Bootes, the Herdsman.
  6. Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.
  7. Hercules, the Kneeler.
  8. Lyra, the Lyre or Swooping Eagle.
  9. Cygnus, the Bird.
  10. Casiopeia, the Throned Queen or the Lady in the Chair.
  11. Perseus.
  12. Auriga, the Holder of the Reins.
  13. Ophiuchus, the Serpent-holder.
  14. Serpens, the Serpent.
  15. Sagitta, the Arrow.
  16. Aquila, the Soaring Eage.
  17. Elphinus, the Dolphin.
  18. Equuleus, the Horse's Head.
  19. Pegaus, the Winged Hourse.
  20. Andromeda, the Chained Woman
  21. Traingulum, the Triangle.
As you can see it is the 13th star in the northern constellation group.

Ophiuchus (pronounced off-ee-YOO-cuss) represents a man with a snake coiled around his waist. He holds the head of the snake in his left hand and its tail in his right hand. The snake is represented by the constellation Serpens.


Constellation on the celestial equator (see celestial sphere), represented as a serpent coiled around the body of Ophiuchus. It is the only constellation divided into two halves: Serpens Caput, the head (on one side of Ophiuchus), and Serpens Cauda, the tail (on the other side). Its main feature is the Eagle nebula.

This constellation is unique, for it is divided into two parts – Serpens Caput, the head, and Serpens Cauda, the tail. Nevertheless, astronomers regard it as a single constellation. Serpens represents a huge snake held by the constellation Ophiuchus. In his left hand Ophiuchus grasps the top half of the snake, while his right hand holds the tail. Aratus and Manilius agreed that Serpens was coiled around the body of Ophiuchus, but most star atlases show the snake simply passing between his legs (for an illustration of the full tableau, see Ophiuchus).

In mythology, Ophiuchus was identified as the healer Asclepius, son of Apollo, although why he appears to be wrestling with a serpent in the sky is not fully explained. His connection with snakes is attributed to the story that he once killed a snake that was miraculously restored to life by a herb placed on it by another snake. Asclepius subsequently used the same technique to revive dead people. Snakes are the symbol of rebirth because they shed their skins every year.

The star Alpha Serpentis is called Unukalhai from the Arabic meaning ‘the serpent’s neck’, where it is located. The tip of the serpent’s tail is marked by Theta Serpentis, called Alya, an Arabic word that actually refers to a sheep’s tail. The most celebrated object in Serpens is a star cluster called M16, embedded in a gas cloud called the Eagle Nebula, the subject of a famous photograph by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Ascendant: The degree of the zodiac rising over the eastern horizon of the birthplace at the moment of birth.

Caput Draconis: From the Latin, literally dragon's head; an older term for the Moon's North Node.

Cauda Draconis: From the Latin, literally dragon's tail; synonymous with the Moon's south node.

Descendant: Point opposite the Ascendant.

ecliptic: The apparent path of the Sun as it "travels" around Earth during the course of a year; actually, Earth's orbit around the Sun.

nodal chart: An equal house chart, which places the Moon's South Node at the Ascendant, used primarily by medical astrologers to diagnose health problems. In this context, the South Node and Ascendant represent the head, the North Node and Decendant the feet, the lower hemisphere the right side of the body and the upper hemisphere the left.

node: The point of intersection of a planet's orbit and the ecliptic.


The Zodiac

The 12 “star signs” the astrologers use are the constellations that fall on the ecliptic, otherwise referred to as the zodiac. The ecliptic is merely the path the sun seems to follow as the earth revolves around it. So, if on a certain date you looked at the sun, the current “star sign” would be the constellation directly behind the Sun.

Star Sign (Constellation) ............. Date
Sagittarius........................Nov 22 Dec 21
Capricornus.......................Dec 22 Jan 19
Aquarius...........................Jan 20 Feb 18
Pisces.............................Feb 19 Mar 20
Aries...............................Mar 21 Apr 19
Taurus.............................Apr 20 May 20
Gemini.............................May 21 Jun 21
Cancer..............................Jun 22 Jul 22
Leo..................................Jul 23 Aug 22
Virgo................................Aug 23 Sep 22
Libra................................Sep 23 Oct 22
Scorpius............................Oct 23 Nov 21



Now, while it is true that the ORIGIN of the word is indeed obscured and clouded in secrecy, it is primarily because Obeah, as implied above, is in itself clouded in secrecy --- being the remnant of a once very powerful and celebrated SECRET religious Order lost in the mist of time. Even so, slowly over the years clues have surfaced that indicate THAT particular secret religious Order emanated from a certain general geographical area. Those clues, few in number that they may be, strongly point to the fact that the Order originated in or around an area where the Egyptian language was either born, dominant, or used by the priests or religious class --- much as Latin is used by certain religious orders today --- with the power and knowledge of Obeah maintained and rising from the underground ashes of that dispersed Order over the centuries. Considering such a background, it is very probable the etymology of the word sprang from the Egyptian word Ob or Aub, meaning "serpent." Oph is a winged serpent or dragon; and Ab means wisdom/understanding, and together means "Serpent of Wisdom" or "Serpent of Knowledge." To this day Obion is still the Egyptian name for a serpent. .....

Moses, who escaped with his people out of Egypt with the full might of the Pharaoh's army hot on their heels all the way to the Red Sea --- where the army reportedly then drowned --- forbade in the name of God, the Israelites even to enquire about the demon Ob, which is translated in the first testament as a necromancer, wizard, or Diviner. In today's world the various translations are wide enough to encompass the type shaman-sorcerer that the infamous Yaqui Indian Don Juan Matus apprenticed under, a Diablero, a new-world tribal spiritual elder known to embody a sense of evilness and the ability to shapeshift. Moses himself carries a great deal of importance in all those translations, including right up to this day with Obeah. Even though Moses forbade enquiry into Ob amongst his people, he is seen as the ultimate snake-charmer and among the greatest of magicians. When Moses doubted he was really hearing the voice of God, he was asked what he was holding in his hand. When he replied that he was holding a rod, he is commanded to throw it to the ground. When he does, the rod becomes a serpent. When he picks it up it becomes a rod again. Later, under the direction of Moses, when Aaron throws his rod down before Pharaoh, it becomes a snake as well.(Exodus 7:1-16)

Throughout the ancient world, the Middle East and Egypt, because of the brilliantly clear desert night skys, the stars and the constellations carried deep significance, both for the wandering tribes such as those following Moses and the great civilizations and city-states such as Babylonia, Sumeria, and Egypt. Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer is one of those desert-sky constellations.

The peoples of ancient times (most typically the Pythagoreans, but others as well) had a legend that a kind of Light, described as a "living fire," flowed through all living things. Guarding this Flame was the serpent Ophioneus, very similar in respects to his nearly same namesake Ophiuchus. He was said to lay coiled in the Waters of Life. If anyone obstructed or hindered the Light of the Flame, Ophioneus would rise out of the water like a monster and consume them. The Greek philosopher Pherecydes (circa 600-550 BC) wrote a great deal about Ophioneus, having obtained the doctrines from the Phoenicians, also known as Ophites (Greece was first colonized by Ophites, serpent worshippers from both Egypt and Phoenicia). The Ophites venerated a serpent by the deity-title Ab, sometimes rendered Ob and Ob Aur, meaning Father --- as in the procreator of All. They also had the watery serpent Leviathan or Thiavat, which is same as Ophioneus. All of this ties into Abaddon that appears in Revelations as the Angel of the Abyss. It is unclear if the forces of the Abyss are fully good or evil in any way. The Obic forces that guard the Light and keep it flowing apparently take it by whatever means necessary and return it back to where it belongs when a person fails to let it flow or obstructs it.

Reblogged from

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Temple of Knowledge

So the owl wants to know if you are that easily manipulated.
Continuing on with last week's theme of circus soiree.

Wheel of Fortune in Circus Soiree

OK it's not quite a wheel of fortune, it's the wheel of wisdom and consists of Biblical, Arabian and Chinese proverbs, also extracts from The Etiquette of Love and Courtship (Copper Beech Publishing).

That owl looks somewhat inebriated.


It's always nice to see restoration of things.

Take your pick - you can write a letter, use a typewriter or even the computer (yay for email).

(Images public domain, top hat spider by Peg Maltby).

Spider Legs had nothing on Yin Yang

First comic in my Phantasmagoria comic.
Open to various interpretations, soulfully discerned.

Yin Yang definition:
(Chinese philosophy) the two fundamental principles, one negative, dark, passive, cold, wet, and feminine (yin) and the other (yang) positive, bright, active, dry, hot and masculine. The interactions and balance of these forces in people and nature influence their behavior and fate. [RHUD]

In East Asian thought, the two complementary forces or principles that make up all aspects and phenomena of life. Yin is earth, female, dark, passive, and absorbing; it is present in even numbers and in valleys and streams and is represented by the tiger, the colour orange, and a broken line. Yang is heaven, male, light, active, and penetrating; it is present in odd numbers and mountains and is represented by the dragon, the colour azure, and an unbroken line. Together they express the interdependence of opposites.
For more information on yin-yang, visit

Extract below from


In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin and yang applies to many more issues of life than merely the relationship between the sexes. In Taoism, a branch of Buddhism, heaven is masculine and earth is feminine suggesting the dependence of the entire creation upon the Creator. A whole series of possible interactions between the yin and yang in life is contained in the Chinese Book of Changes, the I Ching. This book contains wise sayings resembling the Proverbs of Solomon. In using the I Ching (pronounced "ee jing") the proper set of wise sayings selected from the text (when one is confronted by a particular situation and wants advice) is determined by tossing a coin or throwing yarrow sticks. The underlying principle is chance, or a belief in oracles. Carl Jung elaborated on why the I Ching "works" and why it seems to give helpful answers, by supposing that apparently unrelated events are governed by a principle he called synchronicity which he thought was one of the properties of the collective unconscious. However, these concepts are easily extended to a form of Eastern pantheism which in actuality denies the God of the Bible as the One who is in charge. (Many scholars now believe that Jung was a modern Gnostic influenced by Christianity, but not necessarily a true Christian himself).
God does not prohibit our quest for knowledge except into the occult arts where we come too easily into bondage to what the Bible calls "the elemental principles (or spirits) of the world." As Christians we are prohibited from consulting fortunetellers, Tarot cards, Ouija boards, astrologers, or familiar ("channeling") spirits. The I Ching is fascinating even though we are not to use it as our guide book in making wise choices. It hints at harmony as well as disorder in life and shows the complexity of choices and the paradoxes we all face in making choices. James the brother of Jesus says there are two types of wisdom in the world one truth and the other false. However, mere knowledge is never enough to guide us along life's way, we need God's direct help and daily guidance as well as knowledge:

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty and insincerity. And the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (James 3:13- 18)