Setting the Tone… Part 2

Img. Source: Wikipedia

Presented by

Tim & Lady M

In an interview for aeafanzine.blogspot.com, conducted by Dave Wolff, Tony said, “I grew up on gangster movies and vampire movies. When I was a kid, the first poster I got was a lobby card to the movie Bonnie and Clyde that my old man lifted from the theater. I had some music posters, mainly Beatles, a still from Dracula and a huge poster of Vlad the Impaler. My great grandparents had a copy of the book Dracula that was published in 1911 or something. I liked the powers and the titillation of fear. But even as a kid it turned me on. In my house, we weren’t allowed to watch The Brady Bunch because it created false hopes. We watched The Addams Family and Morticia was special to me. Also, Kali was a very early part of my consciousness because of the Beatles movie Help! It resonated with me, the black mother, drinker of blood. The vampire mystique seemed spiritual to me, the same as any religion I wasn’t familiar with, and I wanted to study it like I had Hindu or Zen, whatever. There weren’t any books, of course, so I had my own ideas. Of course, when I started to read about Santa Sangre and Kali it solidified.”

 

During the course of interactions with the modern living Vampire culture Tony has had the occasion to work with some very important people, people such as Goddess Rosemary, members of the underground occult group Sang Real, former members of The Process Church and an offshoot of the OTO in late 1990. He has also collaborated with Zeena Schreck, Marie Bargas and Madame X of House of The Dreaming.

Img. source:
House of The Dreaming

The second of Tony’s pieces we would like to highlight is a wonderful interview he did with Madame X and reported on December 6th, 2015.

 

By Tony Sokol

It’s Halloween season, which means the whole world is on the same page as Daily Offbeat, where every day has at least a little Halloween in it. Vampires are a traditional, perennial seasonal favorite. While most people only know our sanguine friends from the pages of fiction, there is a vast vampire underground in New York.

These vampires don’t lunge out of the shadows and tear out your throat in the dark. That went out in the late nineties when the vampire squatters were forced out of Tompkins Park and into army recruiting stations. These vampires are more seductive, more playful. They dance. The vampire scene started in the clubs long before it spread like a blood-borne virus on the internet. These vampires formed collectives, families that they call Houses. There are vampire houses across the United States, but we’re in New York.

 

Daily Offbeat spent a late evening with the Matriarch of The House of The Dreaming, Madame X, who spoke exclusively about their ways and what that means.

Madame X is a writer who hosted a show dedicated to spotlighting night-timers in the 90s club scene. Like most night dwellers at the time she was a rogue. The Samurai have a word for that. They call it Ronin. Solitary warriors.

 

“I was a Ronin for many years. First because of circumstance, as I moved an ocean away from my mentor, and after his death soon to discover that I was surrounded by vampire covens, and houses, I chose to be Ronin yet make a difference,” explains Madame X.

 

The Ronin lived up to their name in the rigidly forming vampire society. “At that time Ronin abided by no rules and respected no institution. Ronin were what today is best considered a ‘rogue,’ someone who may be nightkind but is outside the society,” said Madame X.

The Vampire Community is broken up into Courts, which “are local organizations that provide facilities for community meanings, projects and even trials, courts are set up generally by three community elders and welcome the participation of all local households.”

“Back in the day, fifteen to twenty years ago, Ronin were not welcome at Court gatherings, nor did they have any interest in participating in any activities with other community members. Ronin were not trusted, because they had no sire, no elder, and no family structure to adhere to.”

“Similarly, Ronin did not trust or respect any organization and refused to bow down to any covenant, doctrine or prince of the city. Ronin had no voting power and were scorned by the community as worthless scoundrels,” Madame X remembers.

 

“Then along came two Ronin, I was one of them, who helped the local elders set up a local court. And along came other Ronin. Court of the Iron Garden was the first court to accept Ronin in their midst and even distinguish them as elders. Court of Gotham soon followed by offering special distinction to select Ronin as Knights. The same 2 Ronin went on to influence a system where Ronin actually had a representative sit on the council of Elders at the newly founded Court of Lazarus. The movement in the NJ/NY scene soon influenced many other courts throughout the states and beyond,” Madame X explans.

Since then, the Vampire Community has “given rise to the Online Vampire Community (OVC) and Ronin are recognized as part of the greater Vampire Community,” Madame X said.

“House of the Dreaming is a family of Ronin, or solitaires, as such we believe in self-actualization, personal empowerment and the precious value of the Solitaire,” Madame X explained. “Similarly, we believe in the enhanced power of group energy, the nurturing vitality of Family and the dynamic strength of sharing in the Dream. We have chosen to come together here as Family – one Family, one Honor, one Dream; yet we understand each of our hearts has its own special rhythm, each of us has a very specific energy signature, demeanor and drive.”

 

But House of the Dreaming isn’t just a place for vampires.

 

“We embrace Vampyres, Therians, Otherkin and wielders of Magick and Mysticism,” Madame X explained. “We are a Spiritual Family. We are not just vamps but also therians, otherkin and wielders of magic and mysticism. We do not run our Family like a corporate organization where the elders are the CEOs.”

 

The House of The Dreaming was founded “in the year 2000 as a House of Ronin by myself and my Nightkind Brother Vailen Moon with whom I shared European backgrounds in vampiric mysticism and ceremonial magic.”

Most people automatically associate ceremonial magic with left hand path, or black magick, all of which require a specific faith. Madame X says that House Ceremonies at The Dreaming “are specifically crafted to appeal to the devout, the spiritual, the agnostic, as well as the non-religious. Should the celebrant choose to include visualizations of their particular spiritual path they are most welcome to, but such are not necessary requirements.”

“Our Family recognizes respects and values the spiritual diversity of our membership to be a source of strength as we collectively, yet independently, reach out toward enlightened individuality,” she continued.

“We are not for everyone, nor do we have an open door,” said Madame X. “In fact we are very selective and are proud of our exclusive tight-knit membership and low turn-around. Family is forever. Our formula is simple: ‘Come to us not to find yourself, but to better understand yourself.’ Know thyself and the beating of your heart then, come to us to share in our dream.’”

Article reproduced by permission of Tony Sokol

Ed’s Note: It has been a great pleasure for us to be able to present these works and, in Part 3, we will see if we can’t get to spend a little one-on-one time with “The Man” himself. Keep an eye out for that one dear reader.

Refs: https://www.youtube.com/user/tsokol

http://aeafanzine.blogspot.com/2017/02/author-interview-tony-sokol_23.html

http://www.hypnocloud.com/new-page-1/

NB: The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

Setting the Tone… Part 1

Img. Source: Wikipedia

Presented by

Tim & Lady M

Tone… it’s a noun, in one sense, and it means, “Any sound considered with reference to its quality, pitch, strength, source, etc.

In another sense it’s an English idiom, it’s a contraction, a contraction of the given name Tony but I would seriously defy anyone to put restrictions to, or contractions on, this Tony…!

Tony Sokol

Tony Sokol was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is a journalist, writer, playwright and musician writing articles, interviews and movie and film commentaries. He wrote for Altvariety, Smashpipe, Coed.com, Wicked Mystic, Self-Help, 1,001 Home Ideas and numerous other magazines as well as being the on-staff writer at PRNewswire for 20 years.

He has had more than 20 plays produced in NYC, including “La Commedia del Sangue: Vampyr Theatre.” “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby,” “Everybody ODs,” “How To Skip Alimony Through Voluntary Manslaughter,” and the rock opera “AssassiNation: We Killed JFK.” Sokol’s plays “Baby Jane on Training Wheels” and “The Intervention” were given performed readings at the Irish Arts Center.

Tony has also been a regular contributor to Manhattan Public Access Cable’s “Young, Gifted and Broke” and performed and co-produced the radio play “The Excommunication of God.” His short stories and poetry have been published in several anthologies. His play “Let Us Prey” was published by Fuck That Weak Shit Press and his album “A Thief’s Hole” was released on XOX Records.

In addition to his own projects he has appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain’s “The Girlie Show.” His music can be heard in such films as “Zaritsas,” “Hide Me,” “The Gauntlet,” “Woman Man, Gun,” his own short film “Don’t Forget, Hire the Vet” and the upcoming homage to Russ Meyer, “Desperate Fate.” Tony has also contributed dialogue and music for live theater productions and co-wrote, directed and performed stand-up comedy for “Insightful Riot,” an interactive evening of stand-up comics.

 

Without doubt it would seem that we have a “man for all seasons” here and in addition to his many and varied commercial successes he has also written articles about the modern Vampire culture.

RVL is honoured, and privileged, to be able to present some of his work that we may highlight this extraordinary professional, and gifted man.

Img. source:
Temple House Sahjaza

 

The first of Tony’s works we would like to present is a piece written for “The Daily Offbeat” and was an exclusive interview that he conducted with Goddess Rosemary of Temple House Sahjaza and reported on December 5, 2015.

 

By Tony Sokol

As we probably say too often, every day is Halloween at Daily Offbeat and this year we found that offbeat minds think alike. At Temple House Sahjaza also treats every day like it’s Halloween and they’ve been living that way since 1976.

Temple House Sahjaza is the longest consecutively running private organization of its type within the modern new age and occult underground. Most of their teachings are private and remain a mystery to those not initiated into the Temple.

 

Daily Offbeat spoke exclusively to Goddess Rosemary, the High Priestess and Matriarch of the Temple House Sahjaza, which she calls “a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ group of like-minded artistic, creative and literary individuals interested in science and the arts.”

Though often mentioned in vampire circles, “the Sahjaza seek a balance of dayside and nightside in all aspects of life,” Goddess Rosemary said. “They are spiritually intuitive beings that exist between the physical and metaphysical worlds, thus providing magickal, divinatory, psychic, healing and empathic abilities as well as a great artistic and energetic support system to the whole gambit of the arts and to those they meet.”

 

The Goddess in Goddess Rosemary is “just my name not a title,” she said. Though she did “practice Full Moon God and Goddess worship rituals.”

The High Priestess said that “despite the use of the word ‘Temple'” the Temple House Sahjaza is “not a religion but a philosophy of spiritually based living that allows for individual expression of belief while maintaining a common moral and ethical code.”

The collective follows “no particular religion and our members are of all faiths we are non-denominational however all our members are and follow some form of spirituality and are spiritually enlightened beings, we are for the most part, made up of pagan based and earth based followers but each is an individual,” she said.

 

“Spirituality is important to us, but not your own unique way to find God and Goddess,” she said. Though we are more known for our outspoken pagan faith based rituals and rites explored during the full moon goddess explorations in the 90s in NYC and beyond. We believe in individual freedoms and freedom of expression and the “harm none” rule, as well as the pay it forward or ‘karma’ concepts, we push the envelope in the area of literature and the arts.”

 

“The initial seeds for the Sahjaza were planted in 1976, 38 years ago.” In 1985, Goddess Rosemary established the power exchange organization Z/n Society NYC, which stood for Zenith and nadir. Z/n evolved into Temple House Sahjaza which has active members worldwide still maintaining a continual presence in New York City, Florida, Brazil, California, NOLA, and beyond,” the matriarch said.

 

Though, the Priestess warned “We don’t reveal our membership specifically beyond.”

 

“We are big supporters of underground theatre and theatrical companies, such as, La Commedia del Sangue: Vampyr Theatre,” Goddess Rosemary said “The Sahjaza have been putting on events since the 70s such as Cirque de Erotique and the most recently the Undead-A-Go-Go. Over the years Temple House Sahjaza has done everything from Ghost Tours to Whale Watching. Cirque de Erotique came long before Cirque de Soleil was on the scene.”

Goddess Rosemary “owned one of NYC’s first notable Computer Graphic Corporations in 1985 and paved the way for groups to follow such as Kinko’s.”

The High Priestess is also an artist, actress, filmmaker and “champion of women’s freedom of expression, personal growth and rights.” She is also an “advocate for lost and homeless shelter pets, spay and neuter programs and education.”

 

As an artist, Goddess Rosemary exhibited art in “Gallery shows in NYC from the Andrus Gallery at Carnage Hall, to the Salmagundi Club and other Galleries and venues.” Goddess Rosemary explores fetish and celebrates the female form.

She has directed award winning films that she calls “in-depth and psychological works like Fritz Lang or perhaps even David Lynch.” She is a fan of “cult classics, film noir and dark movie format” and often works in black and white. She also designs her own sets, having studied art direction for film at the New School and acting at HB Studio in NYC. She also studied dance at the Leslie Dance School also in NYC.

“We have many sorts of individuals that make up the whole Sahjaza. Our makeup of who we are and what we do is shrouded in mystery on purpose,” she said.

“We prefer to stay in the Shadows in this day and age.”

Reproduced by permission of Tony Sokol.

Refs: https://www.youtube.com/user/tsokol

http://aeafanzine.blogspot.com/2017/02/author-interview-tony-sokol_23.html

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/tone?s=t

http://www.hypnocloud.com/new-page-1/

 

NB: The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

A new darkness

Presented by
Tim

In August of 2014 we were privileged to meet, and make, a new friend. An author who had just had his debut novel, “The Devil’s Ark”, published.

Of that novel it has been said;

…it’s a very gripping read.
~ Krystal Sim, SciFi Now UK

The Devil’s Ark is a great fun read. Sometimes you can be happy knowing what sort of thing to expect in a read and here in The Devil’s Ark the reader is not disappointed. Like a good Hammer Horror movie or a Weird Tales magazine story, the fun here is not in the actual events as they happen but in the telling.
~ Mark Yon, SFF World.

Creepy, classy … full of dread and lust and echoing with the sorrows of war. We need more stories like this.
~ Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind

And,
As much about the horrors of war as the primeval horrors that lurk in the depths of the human psyche.
~ F.R. Tallis, author of The Forbidden

Bedford, U.K. Based author, and Head of English at Bedford Modern, Stephen Bywater has just released his new novel, “Night of the Damned

9781472210418

The novel is based in the depths of the Amazon rain forest and, in part, on the extraordinary concept of automobile magnate Henry Ford.

Fordlândia is a now-abandoned, prefabricated industrial town established in the Amazon Rainforest in 1928 by American industrialist Henry Ford to secure a source of cultivated rubber for the automobile manufacturing operations of the Ford Motor Company in the United States. Ford had negotiated a deal with the Brazilian government granting his newly formed Companhia Industrial do Brasil a concession of 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) of land on the banks of the Rio Tapajós near the city of Santarém, Brazil, in exchange for a 9% interest in the profits generated.[1]

Fordlandia Img. source fee.org

Fordlandia
Img. source fee.org

As Stephen tells us, of the work;

Night of the Damned, like The Devil’s Ark, leans towards the supernatural but instead of an archaeological dig in Iraq, the action takes place deep in the Amazon jungle in the 1930s. The setting is loosely based on Henry Ford’s Fordlandia, which was a vast rubber plantation the car magnate founded in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest. It is a tale about immorality and obsession, where very little is as it seems. Labourers begin to disappear and pale, cadaverous figures are glimpsed in the jungle surrounding the settlement. With the story partly inspired by Ford’s own forgotten city it interweaves fact and fiction and leaves the reader with an unsettling vision of a very ‘modern’ hell.”

Abandoned factory at 'Fordlandia' Img. source roughguides.com

Abandoned factory at ‘Fordlandia’
Img. source roughguides.com

It was the setting which first grabbed me, the Amazon jungle and the failing rubber plantation. This was quickly followed by wanting to imagine what it would be like to have an automobile magnate’s ability to shape a hostile landscape: the idea that men from Michigan could succeed in forcing the rainforest to bow to logic of the assembly line, that no concession would be made to the climate, pests or diseases, that an American settlement, complete with street lighting, fire hydrants and ice-cream parlour, could be created in amongst the ghost towns which cling to the muddy banks of the Tapajòs.
The novel took just over a year to write and what I’ve ended up with is something far more sinister than I intended. Think Heart of Darkness meets The Dawn of the Dead , with Nabakov’s ingénue lurking somewhere in the shadows.

We asked Stephen whether the tale had been influenced by local legends or folklore of the Amazon;

I went with Dante’s Inferno and the entrance to hell being deep in the Amazon, the idea being that hell is full and the damned are walking the earth. I also take zombie back to its origins with the idea that it might be an insect bite or voodoo – docile and biddable and perfect for the assembly line /rubber plantation.

Img. source anarkiesmusings.blogspot.com

Img. source anarkiesmusings.blogspot.com

It would seem that our friend, Stephen, has come up with another “very gripping read” and one which is sure to win him further critical acclaim; and an even bigger fan base, for his literary prowess.

9781472210418~ Night of the Damned ~

“A legend uncovered, an evil that cannot be contained”

Author Stephen Bywater

Author Stephen Bywater

Copyright RVL and Stephen Bywater, 2015

1) Dempsey, Mary A. (1994). “Fordlandia”. Michigan History 78 (4): 24–33.

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

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