Monday, 30 March 2020

"St. Tommy Wiseau"...

Well, it's not nearly done, but I thought I'd post what I have so far for my St. Tommy Wiseau piece.  I haven't touched it in over a week... I might get back on it later tonight, or in the next few days.  If you're wondering, the brown thing on his chest is going to be a "sacred football", and the crown of roses will have thorns, and he's going to be bleeding from his head.  I will gold leaf the halo, and add the Latin translation of "You are tearing me apart, LISA!".  The rest will just be touchups and details, I think.  The painting looks better IRL than it does in this photo - hopefully I can capture a better pic once it's completed.  These are just the flats and basic shading.  It's acrylic on canvas.

Still not going crazy because of COVID-19.  Got splashed by a car passing by too close to the curb while on my way to a Dollarama, screamed "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!" - but other than that and some mild night time anxiety and occasional bouts of loneliness, it hasn't been so bad.  I was so stunned from quarantine and getting splashed that it took me 5 minutes to realize, once I was indoors, that I still had an open umbrella above my head.  Add to that my cybergoth mask and pigtails, and I'm sure I looked like a street mime on acid.  This has affected me to some degree, but only in that it makes me a little out of it from how surreal the world is.  I remain hopeful.

Seeing as I have the culinary skills of a field soldier (I am accustomed to dining out, usually) it's been stuff like canned soup, raw vegetables and pasta for me, when I don't get take out.  I made Kraft Dinner for the first time in eons, and was reminded of this skit:

"Fattening up our tapeworms!"

It's not that it's not in me to be a good cook, it's just that I don't enjoy the process enough to give it much attention.  When I cook with others, it's kind of fun, but living alone... I hate it.  So I almost always get take out.

I'll post the finished painting once it's completed.  Art has still been rather incremental for me, even under quarantine.

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

On COVID-19 and the new graphic novel...

New look for Sister Penance?

Well, things are getting tight in the city, including the fact that my printer pals have gone on a work hiatus due to the virus scare.  So the comic is going to be delayed (again) before printing... and I am not sure when the book launch will be happening.  I just wanted to make this update, because I had said that it was at the printers, getting prepped... but then 2020 had to pull a dick move and put us all in this situation.  One day, though, that book will be out there for purchase - sorry I delayed it for so long, and then got it in while this was starting up!

I was laid off temporarily from work due to COVID-19, but promised my job back when this blows over.  I receive benefits so at least my basic needs will be met, and I might even get additional compensation because of the relief funds coming.  I am still not letting myself worry, am just living a more cautious, enclosed life, only heading outdoors when I need it.  I must admit, I like a brief stroll when I can get it, for mental health hygiene, but I do so while respecting social distancing, and so far the government hasn't said that's something I should be avoiding.  I already live like a hermit - I am an ambivert, but leaning more towards introversion.  I hope we don't get to a point where I can't do walks anymore, as it makes things more tolerable for me.  Hopefully Canadians who are not respecting social distancing will behave themselves so that others who are can still have rights like this.  I am sure I could find the strength not to go out for walks, but it would still be hard.  Solitary confinement sucks, I have lived it before, and although it would be in my home, cabin fever could set in anyway.

I thought I could concentrate on things other than contemplation again, but I guess my days of doing so are not yet over.  I will continue to explore the soul as this goes on, doing psychic readings, praying the rosary, reciting psalms to get through the pandemic.  It's been a while since I have visited a church, I miss doing that as well.  I haven't cracked yet... the Spirit reassures that I will be able to handle what unfolds.

-Saraƒin

Saturday, 21 March 2020

COVID-19: An inconvenient blessing?

This song is stuck in my head now.

Ok, so things are really starting to get intense with COVID-19, and I am certainly not being flippant about it.  I take precautions with regular hand washing, using sanitizer, a respirator when I step outside (which is up to twice a day, never more than 3 times, never for long, and never for socializing), and latex gloves.  I am obeying instructions about social distancing, and am mostly at home, in my one bedroom.  Thank God, I say to myself, I have a one bedroom, and not a shitty little space in a rooming house anymore!  That would be horrible, especially if I had ongoing pest control problems, or issues like that.  This place is relatively nice, and even though it's small, I can at least go from the living room to the bedroom when I need a change of environment.  A bachelor or single room would get to me with this in effect, even though I have mastered some degree of stillness, and can handle hours of doing absolutely nothing when I do my job at work.

Yet, despite this difficult new normal, I still feel, deep down, COVID-19 is what this world needs right now.  Some stories of animals roaming free as humans hunker down have been discredited, but not all have, and nature seems a bit more relaxed with this going on in the human world - I mean, it must be.  Mother Nature is using tough love measures to dismantle everything that was taking advantage of Her.  Though many currently live in fear and anxiety, I find that a lot of the more spiritually minded people I know are seeing a silver lining in all of this - certainly, some Indigenous elders seem to be chill about it.  Any anxiety I do feel tends to be before bed, a time when anxiety can bother me anyway, and it's all in the head - the head being the region of consciousness that often feeds us lies and worries.  Other parts of me almost feel excited about what might eventually come of the world.

I'm sure some would think I am nuts for feeling that way, and, as I said before, I do not wish to belittle the lives of the poor people who have died from this.  But perhaps these were necessary measures to usher in a new era - to bring natural order from the resulting chaos.  We certainly couldn't continue in the direction we were headed in... our planet has suffered immensely.  So, if capitalism wouldn't listen to Greta, maybe COVID-19 was the answer.  Also, on some metaphysical level, this must be karma shifting and correcting things, this is how the Spirit is presenting to us, so this is a time of hope for me, when I consider everything.  The light shining in the darkness is an outpouring of love and humanity.

I see COVID-19 as a massive social inconvenience, but perhaps a good lesson in getting in touch with our true selves, and I will do my best to weather the storm.  I am a soul accustomed to suffering and tragedy... one year locked away in a mental institution taught me about tolerating quarantine, so at least now I can experience this in my own home.  I joked recently that if things lead to strict lockdown, I may begin to identify as a "cloistered nun".  I am making light of the situation by owning it with style and humour.

I got some painting done again today - I finally began working on my "St. Tommy Wiseau" piece, which might be done in the next few days.  When it is, I will post the final painting.  Who knows, maybe quarantine will be the push I needed to really get back into art!

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Thoughts on "The Exorcist", after possession...

I thought that with all this self-quarantining in effect, it meant it was a great time to hunker down with a classic movie, so I pulled my copy of "The Exorcist" from the shelves, and decided I'd give it a watch so I can comment about it in an article.  I hadn't seen this film since before becoming possessed, putting it off due to the concern that it might be upsetting.  But now I am at a point where I felt I could handle it, and having just watched it, it wasn't so bad.  Some thoughts:

First off, I am not sure what possession (an extremely rare but legitimate condition that might be more prevalent in some cultures than others, largely ignored and written off as mental illness in the west) is like for other people, but I never physically got as messed up as Regan here.  I can relate heavily to the component of the film where western medicine fails to understand what is going on, except in my case it was even more infuriating because at least Regan got several specialists on board to try to make sense of her case.  (Also, Regan avoided psychiatric institutionalization, her mother was a rich woman - I have been a poor woman on my own, and I was thrown into an insane asylum.)  In my situation, apart from an EEG that later came in hospital due to violent convulsions, and an MRI when I had a seriously horrible reaction to marijuana that led me to an ER in an ambulance, I never got any kind of PETscan to determine faulty brain chemistry - one particularly infuriating doctor mused that a PETscan could "prove" I was schizophrenic, so when I asked for one to confirm his suspicion, he said it was only for research.  I got the standard, lazy treatment of doctors listening to my case for about ten minutes, and making a clinical decision based solely on their personal opinion.  This medical decision was to change a couple of times, because different doctors meant different ideas about what was going on... because, "science".  All the while, for the longest time, no one cared to hear about my perspective.  So the frustration Regan's mother has with psychiatry is the kind of shit I had to deal with for years - I am not sure how my family felt about it behind my back, but I know it must have been difficult for them as well.

Another thing I can relate to is how this crept over me and became increasingly worse with time.  My behaviour began to go very weird with people, and I wasn't even aware of how odd it seemed.  In this movie, Regan starts by acting slightly strange, they think it's a nerve disorder, and prescribe Ritalin.  It started, in my case, with me accusing people of things I strongly believed about them, acting weird in emails, going off and doing things in the middle of the night, and inventing peculiar rituals.  It was like being in a trance, and I was losing my footing as an ego.  The possession case I had was more like a haunting or spirit obsession until one day, in a room I was renting, the demon entered me through my sacral region and flooded my mind with a horrible sensation as though I was being ripped to shreds by angry bats.  Before this time, I was being playfully manipulated, but also subjugated, so that I couldn't think for myself as easily, and I was under the command of something other than my own mind.  How do I know it was not of my mind?  I can't say, only that I know.  It's not something that can be quantified by any other means except to experience it oneself.

Unlike Regan, I got the sense God was making this easier, for I had reached out to God before this attack on my soul, so God was cushioning it with slight whimsy, to make the experience less painful.  Something to mention from my youth: when I was 14, I had played with a homemade ouija board with other kids in my high school.  Something calling itself "Napoleon" spoke through it, and got us to keep going back to it, under a flight of stairs at the school.  From what I know, none of those other kids were affected, it just wanted to toy with me.  One night, with a neighbourhood kid, it changed its tone with me, saying it was going to kill me, and that's all it would say from that point on.  Then, it said it was in my "black yin piece" necklace, which promptly broke off its chain.  Not having a religious upbringing, and not knowing how to proceed, I stupidly kept that yin piece for many years in a shoebox.  When I felt spiritual problems creeping into my life, I found the yin and tossed it into Lake Ontario.  Shortly thereafter, my soul was under attack from something calling itself "the devil".  I am still trying to make sense of what holding onto that item meant as far as how it affected my life, but perhaps it was causing me depression, self-injury tendencies, and problems at home.  This is the stuff of teen horror movies, isn't it?

Things that didn't happen to me: I never levitated, though a rosary in my hands did at one point.  I didn't vomit or spin my head around, though I had a tendency to claw at myself, and thrash, beat myself, and for this I required hospitalization to keep from seriously damaging myself, or others.  Also, my body would often move on its own.  There were a few weird things that happened with electronics, but nothing truly dramatic.  Nightmares were horrific when they happened, and often implied horrible sexual depravity and abuse, the tone was gritty, as though through a really raw, horrifying filter, and they would shake me awake in terror.  My voice changed to a different tone like Regan's, but maybe only a few times... it got deeper, as though a male's voice.  I felt like I was growing a phallus at one point, there were strange sensations as though my energy field was being played with.  My mind was flooded with visions, some funny, some horrific, some repulsive, some just plain chaotic.  I talked in tongues and I shouted coprolalia... it's possible I spoke in another language at one point, and I suspect it was Aramaic.  There was a creeping sensation throughout my body of irritation and filth, and my senses were in so much agony that this was another reason I would claw at myself, or beat myself to calm down, the tendency to self-injure having already been a pattern in my life.  Thankfully, aside from one suicide attempt in 2012 due to a failure from the medical establishment in stabilizing me, most self-injury was mild, and I don't have permanent marks from it.  It was just bruising and light scratches from my fingernails.  Though I used to be a cutter, I wasn't at the time of possession, and I have scars but not as many as some people I have met.

I kind of reacted to holy water like Regan, though it wasn't as dramatic - I would simply flinch from it, smudge was a bit more dramatic in how the demon would react to it.  If I touched crucifixes, sometimes I would feel an intense electrical burning sensation, but this was only a couple of times.  It was so strange how powerful these reactions could be, it dramatically transformed how I view reality.  The truth really is stranger than fiction.

I know possession cases are extremely rare, so rare that I gather most people don't believe in them, but I know this happened to me.  Thank God I have been able to find ways of getting out of this on my own.  My understanding is that convincing a priest to perform an exorcism requires certain religious protocol, and I wasn't expecting Toronto to exactly be a spiritual epicentre that could provide for something like this.  Life is still about being cautious, I am not feeling 100% free as a mind (though I am dramatically freer now than ever before this began, and not even affected in a dark way, I am just slightly different than I probably should feel, and it keeps getting better).  I really had to fight for my life, tooth and nail.  Many things kept me going... the fear of dying and facing this thing on the other side, the fear of disappointing God and my loved ones, and even the concern of people spreading rumours about me killing myself due to "schizophrenia", later to do something well meaning but equally insulting, like starting a foundation in my name, donating money to CAMH for a disease I didn't even have, CAMH being a place that didn't listen to my perspectives, and locked me in freezing cold isolation cells for days on end.  To me, that would be like pissing on my grave, and I needed to tell my story anyway.

"The Exorcist" still holds up as a classic horror movie, and though I can't relate to all phenomena in it, I enjoyed it.  I think what truly makes this piece disturbing, when it is, is seeing Linda Blair as a young girl saying and doing horrible, provocative things with herself, and imagining a child actor being instructed to do this.  That in itself is very creepy.

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Fun with COVID-19: Riding out the pandemic... in style!

I had bought this old cybergoth respirator mask very many years ago from a local goth subculture shop.  I can't recall how much I paid for it, but it was an impulse buy, and the mask was later put away in storage, as I began to shy away from the whole rivethead look with time.  But now, due to COVID-19, I'm rather glad I bought the damn thing, because it means I can go out and about and run my errands while feeling like Tank Girl.  (It needed a repair when I dug it out, but that was nothing a trip to Canadian Tire couldn't fix - I just needed a nut and bolt to reattach one of the straps to the mask.)

People seeing me wear it already want one, and have asked where I bought it, including a girl with a compromised immune system who is very worried about this pandemic.  I am not sure what is happening with the mail system right now, but I wonder if cybergoth is going to make a mild comeback, if people are ordering masks like these, because they are a lot more interesting to look at than wimpy dust or surgical masks.  (BTW, that's a functioning respirator with real cartridges - there's decoration over the filters, which might make breathing slightly more challenging, but the filter is functional, so it's real protection.  People wondered how functional it was - it's real, it just looks like pure novelty.)

As bizarre as this sounds, part of me is very hopeful about this COVID-19 thing.  I feel in my gut that, despite the deaths, this might be exactly what Mother Nature wants... it may even force current systems that are in place to re-examine themselves.  I'm not one who is politically up on everything going on in the world, but in my gut, I am not afraid, I am not the least bit worried.  I am looking out for my needs, being cautious, and staying on top of everything.  Work hours have been cut, but I think things won't get that bad for me.  People in my circles are looking out for one another with supplies, which is a nice demonstration of the heart.  In the mildest of ways, this is like a lame, enforced version of Burning Man, just in that I see people looking out for one another's needs, and this is a bit of a break from the standard day to day reality.

I think one of my next articles will be a re-examination of the classic horror movie, "The Exorcist", which I haven't seen since before demonic possession.  Coming out of the experience, I want to watch this movie again, and write about how I feel about it now.  I have it on DVD, purchased second hand from BMV... I didn't watch it immediately after I bought it, because it is rather hard to watch on a bad day.

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 15 March 2020

A freaky incident with a Jesus prayer candle...

Yikes, sinners - I think God is sending me a very clear sign not to be dabbling in any kind of "spellcraft", and it's powerful!  This made my hair stand on end!

A delightful goth boy who loves all things witchy reached out to people on Facebook and asked that we do what we can spiritually with prayer, magick, and intention to curb the current pandemic.  Seeing as I had a free day, I was in the market and saw inexpensive Jesus prayer candles.  So I bought one and brought it home to do a Christian folk magick spell with it against the worsening of COVID-19, as an experiment.

I set intentions with it through prayer, lit the candle, and as I was reciting a psalm, the flame sizzled out in a spark before I could get that far into the recitation.  I found the wick to be impossible to ignite again, and on the last attempt to do so, a large crack formed in the glass of the prayer candle - a powerful sign that God doesn't want me to engage in this.  I guess any "witchy" experimentation phase I had is now over - the Lord hath spoken.

When I did a psychic reading on it, I got that Jesus says I am simply not to engage in this kind of thing anymore - I am just to pray when I want to enact change, this is not to be a part of my spirituality.  It's not that God was ticked or anything like that, it's simply something I am not to do.  I take signs like this very seriously, after what I have been through.

I will likely still light prayer candles in churches, but no more folk magick.  So, I guess I am a mystic after all, it seems, not a magician.  Either that, or COVID-19 is something I should just not bother combating with things like this, and God is showing me this with a very powerful sign.

-Saraƒin

Saturday, 14 March 2020

My current feelings on this COVID-19 situation...

Everything feels like this right now.

I was just at a local Indian restaurant for lunch, where I discussed the coronavirus with the owner after paying my bill, and we had some laughs over it.  While we agreed that it's wise that precautions be taken to ensure public health and safety, we found some of the attitudes unfortunate that we have encountered in people affected by bans and closures.  One example is the whole toilet paper hoarding thing - some are selling bags of TP on Kijiji for ridiculous prices, trying to cash in on the necessity for these items.  While I don't want to hop on the ageist, ableist bandwagon of saying "it's no big deal - it's only dangerous for the elderly and the compromised", I wish people would relax a little bit.  I, for one, refuse to live in fear, after what I have been through in other areas of my life.

Although some have been a bit peculiar in their attitudes and with all the hoarding (and also with some racism directed at the Chinese, for example), there seems to be a touch of solidarity involved in this as well, which I hope might be a great lesson from this for society.  When I was demonically possessed, I was completely alone in it - no one understood the sorrow I felt, the fear and dread that I might have to kill myself so as not to be a time bomb waiting to go off, the fact that most people brushed it off as schizophrenia and refused to understand what I was dealing with.  This situation, to me, seems more like an interesting lesson rather than something "apocalyptic"... it might, in the end, be a great teacher.  Again, I don't want to dismiss the lives of those who actually have been harmed by the pandemic, but perhaps there is a message in all of this.  I feel there's a sense of community in what is going on, rather than a loneliness, like the one I felt when I was being subjugated by something only I knew was affecting me.

Having lived through one of the worst case scenarios for a human soul and survived, I try to be as optimistic as I can with things, so I take on a sense of hopefulness that we'll figure out how to put all this behind us.  Worrying is never worth it - concern and caution are useful in keeping safe, but worry will just confuse the mind and lead to rash decisions.  I still live with anxiety from time to time, but have been able to curb a lot of it with my spiritual practice.

Hopefully the world finds a vaccine soon, that a solution is discovered - in the meantime, I'm going to wash my hands, wear gloves at work, and stay confident that there might be riches to be found in all of this.

-Saraƒin

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Tarot lap table...

I began to use an old piece of plywood as a lap table on a pillow when doing readings on my couch.  I wanted to decorate it to look nicer than it was, so I painted it and now it has this golden sun on it.  Just a little art project to try and get back into the swing of making things again.

I decided my business card logo was just too scary with the creepy eye over the heart, so I borrowed this sun and pasted it over the old design.  Witches and occultists might have liked the eye heart, but any suburbanite named Karen may have wanted to flee in terror at the sight of it, so I figured something more conventional and friendly than the first design was better.  It looked like, with the first design, I might have been all about omens of death, once I thought about it a bit more.  People aren't usually as odd as I am about design.  (Also - although I am a decent enough illustrator, I know nothing about graphic design, so everything I come up with is a shot in the dark.)

Went thrifting today to see what kinds of Catholic oddness I could come across.  Not much was found on this hunt - I did find an oval shaped piece of the Holy Family, surrounded by seashells, which was tacky enough, but it was almost too much to know what else to do with it, so I didn't get it.  I feel like if I can't figure out within 10 minutes what to do with something, I might never, and so my hunch was to return the piece to the shelves.

My current suspicion is that my third eye, which is clearly open, perhaps never should have been opened, and so now I am focusing my efforts on closing it.  It is my heart centre (also open), not my third eye, which allows me to experience true psychic perception.  Third eye opening is only meant for some people, it seems.  The demon must have opened mine up, not Divinity, so it created a lunacy in me from it, one I need to recover from.  I am hoping a closing of the third eye will mean a quieter mind, less tension headaches, and less anxiety.  At least I feel heart dominant right now - when I was third eye dominant years ago, it was horrible.

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

A new idea for an art series...

My muse might be waking up again, sinners!  I just came up with a fun idea of what my next artistic theme might be, and I wanted to share it:

I often see odd looking Catholic kitsch at thrift stores when I go to scout for interesting things, and it hit me today that I should consider buying some of it and upcycling it as surrealistic works of art.  Maybe there's some weird Virgin Mary piece I could give an interesting collage treatment, or a statue of a patron saint I could decorate with paint in some way, giving it irony.  I have sort of touched on this a bit with the decorated goth collar, the Our Lady of Guadalupe jacket, and the Sister Penance shoes, but it could be an ongoing theme.  I am really into pop surrealism, paintings by Mark Ryden, for example, and I would like to take pre-existing kitsch and run it through a strange surrealistic filter to see what I could come up with.

I am sure this kind of thing has been done before, but seeing as very little is truly original in this world, I want to explore what I could personally do with it.  Maybe the theme could relate to what is truly sacred, in the guise of looking slightly "blasphemous".  I like the name "Holy Blasphemy!", and this might be the name of the series, if I decide this should be my next project.

As a campy fag hag, I find that there is often a fine line between good and bad taste, and I want to explore it.  It would be fun to take some of this strange stuff and reinvent it to have meaning beyond mass produced religious objects.  I have mentioned it elsewhere and already several people think it's a great idea.  If done right, it could appeal to both devout Catholics who are a little bit eccentric, as well as atheists who love to collect weird religious things.

(BTW, the Sister Penance shoes need a good soldering on the loops to stay latched in place - one time when I wore them out, they became unlatched and I had to fix them.  They may end up being just an art piece, at least for a while, because of this issue.  They also kind of kill my feet, because I am not used to wearing heels - eek!)

-Saraƒin

Monday, 9 March 2020

My writing style: How it evolved...

Time for an article on my comic writing style and how it evolved, growing to become what it became.  This'll be a breakdown of my creative journey:

The original "Asylum Squad" comics were highly amateur, rather insulting, "animu" type shit that I came out with shortly after high school, when I was just fucking around with a silly idea, and not really giving it my all.  I still have many copies in storage that I don't know what to do with - they might get shredded or go up in flames someday, as I don't want to sell them or even give them away... I find them highly embarrassing.  Still, they were the prototype, and there was something to the general idea of mentally ill superheroes that I was enjoying, so I didn't fully abandon the loose set of ideas, though the series would drastically change in many ways with time.  I quickly came to learn that I was never going to be a real mangaka, embraced it for what it was, and decided on a revamp.

The art improved, but the writing still had a long way to go.  I actually have an unpublished graphic novel that was "v 2.0" that will never see itself to print, because I find it pretentious as hell.  It was basically the same story, only with a slicker look, and I had clearly not understood myself or the mental health system well enough at that point to truly have anything relevant to say... I had not suffered enough yet to wisen.  Fortunately, for my writing at least, suffer I would, and so I later returned to comics with something highly warped, but much more interesting.  This was "Asylum Squad Side Story: The Psychosis Diaries".

That book was a training grounds for getting my mind back into making comics, but because I was so frail at the time, I decided on an "arthouse" experimental underground comics format that was almost more like a zine than a comic, so I didn't need to focus on cinematic flow when I was not sophisticated enough as a mind to execute it.  This book was also a big, cathartic purge for my psyche, to help me to process things I was going through, and to blend it with pure fiction, to experiment with storytelling in a kind of stream of consciousness type of narrative.  As a plot, it structurally sucked, and though many people still loved it, it is also considered a very emotionally heavy, sad book, and all those I know who read it had to do so incrementally, for it was an exhausting read.  That was kind of the point, to make it wordy and overwhelming, to help people to feel the weight of what I was trying to explain.  I see it as a work of art rather than a comic in some ways... I was having a phase where I was really into being an art world indie kid and I was listening to a shit ton of dream pop and shoegaze, so that kind of added to the weird dreamy aesthetic.  Finishing it, after the retraining and catharsis, I wanted to embark on a finer piece of comic work, and returned to cinematic storytelling with the plot based comics.

Ty Templeton, a comics instruction guru and working professional, helped me to learn the art of crafting finer comic writing, and his courses were worth every penny, as he described formulas he uses to draft effective plots for commercial comics.  He also ended his writing course with the instructions to take his rules of writing, and to break them - to know the tropes, and make new of them with interesting variations.  Looking back on the original work, and what was fun about it, I revisited the superhero piece, but this time in a way that would work for the new world I had created, one that was much more serious.

I aspired to create brilliant satire that would be packaged as something fun and pop culturally appealing... I am not sure how this series will go down as something of brilliance, but that was the goal.  I have a knack for knowing elements that make for a fun story, so I had to consider how I would weave an important message into something that was also a joy to read as a comic book.  It was tricky for the longest time, as the message wasn't initially clear, only that I knew it had to do with spirituality and how the mental health system is full of holes.  I consider this a rather punk comic, because of the tone and attitude in it, and the fact that it's very political with Mad Pride adds to its punk appeal.  Sometimes, when I try to break down what the plot is like, I say it's like a raw combo of "Girl, Interrupted", "The Breakfast Club", "Sailor Moon", "Scott Pilgrim", and "Inception" - and sometimes, "Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors".  (I do not like it when it gets compared to "Sucker Punch".)

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but because the "Jung Ones" arc was so over the top, I felt the epilogue had to amp it up to 11 in some way again, so that the story didn't end on a boring, low note.  I worried that people were thinking the comic became a drag after the Anja Project, and with that part of the series being very cinematic and wild, something needed to come into the plot to make the overall story worth reading, perhaps even for a second time.  In fact, I wonder if it reads better once you know what the ending is? 

I am going to have to sit down with all the published books again and see how, in one sitting, everything flows, once that final graphic novel is in my hands.

-Saraƒin

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Comic update: At the printers!

I dropped everything off at my printers yesterday on a flash drive, along with a financial deposit to get the ball rolling.  My printing friends are aiming to get the book in my hands by May 29th - I won't be doing Anime North this year, I am just too tired... but the book launch will happen.  It will be sometime early in June if I can swing it, and the venue will likely be Disgraceland, since I had already talked to the owner and he agreed to help me out.  More details to come as progress is made - I will make a flyer for the launch sometime as well.

Psychic readings continue to improve - I hung out with my teacher the psychic man after the printer delivery yesterday, and read a woman, who said that everything I touched on was relating to things she was struggling with.  Later, at karaoke, I randomly read a man who swore by me.  So that's progress.

I can't recall how much I mentioned before, but I think the field is fading now.  I had to work more with Jesus, who is clearing it out, and also with the Holy Spirit.  I have to admit I was stumped on how to work with Jesus because there were a few pieces of the puzzle I had to figure out with Him - I had to confirm, utter prayers in relation to growing closer with Him, embarking on a Christian path, then things began to move ahead.  Sometimes I would get so frustrated I would reach out to other gods because despite the fact I knew He was a presence in my life, I didn't get why things weren't moving forward very much for the longest time.  This is a major corner I am turning, and one piece of evidence is how strong my readings are getting.  Surely, if I was seriously spiritually unwell, that wouldn't be possible?

I do fear neurological sensitivity, or some odd kind of brain damage from this a bit, still.  There's just something about me in some way that's weaker than I feel it should be.  Slight auditory hallucinations that happen randomly (not voices, but noises, like a twig breaking, or glass shattering, or something like that), a propensity to break down and cry from weariness, a lethargy that comes over me, tension headaches I can't get rid of that happen sometimes daily... I just don't feel right.  I wish they'd give me a PETscan to see what's going on in there, but psychiatry doesn't use those for diagnosis, only research.  I feel sensitive and sometimes quite vulnerable.  Lately, it's been hard to stay out too late without getting tired - surely this isn't just growing older... I'm only 37!

The demon did take its toll on my body, I am more lined than I used to be, I have greys coming in, I feel I have aged from this in some ways, though people still tell me I look good.  I am happy to finally be at the finish line of my torment, and to have Divinity guiding me by the hand.

-Saraƒin

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Playing around with a business card design...

I thought I would screw around with a business card design for when I make the leap to doing the psychic lady thing.  I came up with the idea of having a flaming heart with an eye over it, because when I read, my heart centre is the dominant chakra, so this logo is an indicator of that.  The starry background suggests a psychic vibe, too.  I am not sure if the heart will scare people, but I wanted something mystical and unusual looking.  I drew the heart with water soluble wax pastels and played with it in Photoshop until it looked right.  My stage name and email are not displayed here, as I am not in business right now.  I have friends in printing (the same who print the comics) - they are going to print these cards for me.  I left the font choice up to them, because they have better fonts than I do, and a better eye for font selection.  My mentor thinks I am doing well as a reader, and I have been back again in his shop to do readings.  Response has been favourable - people I read for have confirmed that I have read known details accurately.

I might table at WITCHfest 2020 this year - I am sure I will have more confidence by then as a reader.  Maybe I'll even sell some art... I should move some stuff, if I can.  I'm incrementally getting more into art again, doing little things here and there.

Oh - and I drop the comic files off at the printers tomorrow, with a down payment.  The book launch will likely happen mid spring, if all goes well.  <3

-Saraƒin

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Channeled insights on Heaven and Hell...

Some more stuff that came through channel - worth it as food for thought, this time about Heaven and Hell.  Thought I'd compose another article to explore these ideas:

Christendom tends to view Heaven and Hell as places one goes to after dying - if you are good, you go to Heaven, if you are bad, you are punished in Hell.  I find these basic understandings make no sense, especially considering the kinds of Hell saints have experienced, people who were destined for Heaven.  Even Jesus was said to have descended into Hell.  While channeling, I received a message that Heaven is not a place, but is rather a state of bliss that presents to the soul as if it were a place, and is a bliss based on the very things that said person found to be enjoyable.  So, I guess rather like life itself, it's like a kind of a dream, a very good dream, and it can be attained from adhering to the right path meant for one's soul, and some Christian techniques (depending on what they are) often help a person achieve this bliss state, if the Christian path is right for their soul's journey.  Since Heaven is exactly what you desire, the Marquis De Sade, provided he made it into Heaven, might have seen whips and chains, fire and brimstone - so Heaven might look more like a death metal video if the person was naughty in some way.

Hell, on the other hand, is a state of horror, and can happen if things go wrong with the soul, particularly if one is involved with the corruption in Spirit.  Hell is not a punishment, Hell is a flaw that should not exist.  It also presents as a place, and is exactly what you don't like - so a person who has a hatred of Hello Kitty might end up being tortured in a weird way by her as a result.  I am getting that eventually Hell will cease to be, when God can correct the corruption, because it is not what God wants, it's a byproduct.

So what punishes the wicked, correcting them?  Karma's job is to be the great teacher and corrector, I am channeling - karma will punish true sinners through events and lifetimes, and reward those who advance their souls correctly.  I think Buddhist philosophy holds some fine examples as to how to work with karma better, no matter the path of the seeker.  I am Christ oriented, and I still find gems in Buddhism in this regard.

Another thing about sin that I channeled - it is a highly confused concept in Christendom as well.  Sin is a byproduct of creation, and the corruption is a result of a flaw being generated during the creation of time.  Sin affects everything, leading to negative acts and deeds, but I think Christians get this wrong because I see it as something affecting everything that can lead to "sinful" acts, one should try to avoid committing these acts, but so much is labeled sin, of course, that shouldn't be.  Original sin is just the corruption that exists in nature, and through practice one can purge themselves of this corruption, moving on to better states.  Prayer and knowing what to pray for from using contemplation techniques can help one to be rid of sin, and to relate better to the world.  Karma and sin are not the same, but sin can influence karma and karma can go weird due to sin.

Interesting food for thought.  I wonder what a priest would think of these ideas!

-Saraƒin