Deathing Rituals

There comes a time in our lives where we have to let an aspect of it go.  I started to do this when I wrote my memoir Blood and Pudding, and pushed the journey further when I put together They Be We.  Memoirs and self-portraits go hand and hand.  The more you delve into your persona the more you understand how it works.  We come across patterns.  Some of these patterns have helped us through life and others have hindered us.  Once you dig deep enough, you know which ones have to go. Saying goodbye to that inner nag, the negative self can be extremely hard.  Especially when it is our comfort zone.  Sometimes we let the negative self take over.  This is usually caused by self-esteem issues, not thinking we are worth it.  We think, “That person is so much better at this.” or “This is the best it’s going to get.”  Letting these negative thoughts get the best of us not only hinders our actions, but it blocks our paths.  Every single one of us deserves the best life we can live.  It’s all about clearing away blocks and letting in light.  Of course in order to find the light we must take a journey through the darkness.  Just don’t let it encase you.

A few days ago my friend Jacob and I decided to take these Victorian post-mortem photos.  Morbid? A little.  Liberating? Very much so.  By putting to rest behaviors that hold us back we can advance to the next level in our lives.  Freeing ourselves of these behaviors that bind us to inaction, indecision, and stagnation.  Use this time with your camera to find you, write in journals, and release what holds you back.  Don’t let that baggage weigh you down when the doors start to fly wide open.


The bathroom of the new Cafe Gitane in the Jane Hotel has this intriguing bathroom mirror that clearly begs for a little impromptu self-portrait project. Since I spend so much time writing there every week, I couldn’t resist the distraction. Plus I thought it a perfect Gemini (the descendant in my horoscope) message while the Sun is in the constellation of the Twins.

my favorite lover

i spent the morning sipping coffee, curled up with Billy*, my favorite lover.
to be fair, everyone is my favorite lover in the moment, including myself.
spontaneous and fresh
his words moved through my bones like espresso jazz fused with kundalini
i kept him on my tongue while the light grew from warm to neutral
and the grains of the day slipped through the neck of morning
i was paralyzed to all other tasks
his talent to romanticize so delightfully distracting
not romanticizing in an Ovid-esque way of course
but rather unearthing the majesty of cracked wood
there is beauty in the cracks, he tells me
our lives are unfinished floorboards collecting dust
they are not evenings spent at the Adriatic Sea
and, even if they were, there would of course still be
cracks in the sand.

*billy collins

The Southwark Mysteries

The end of the world is coming and the major players gather in
Southwark to argue for the souls of men. Will God win out or Satan
prevail? What messages will come from the spirit of Borough’s medieval
prostitute, The Goose, and her shaman the mysterious John Crow?

a once-in-a-decade chance to experience

The Southwark Mysteries
by John Constable
Southwark Cathedral
22nd, 23rd, 24th April 2010 at 7.15pm (doors open: 6.45)

Inspired by the medieval mystery plays, which adapted Bible stories to
their own time and place, the play is rooted in the history of
Bankside and fuses traditional elements with local folklore and
contemporary humour…

The Southwark Mysteries has been performed in full once only, to a
capacity audience in Shakespeare’s Globe and Southwark Cathedral on
Easter Sunday, 23 April 2000.

Exactly ten years on, this new production in the Cathedral features
top professional actors, an adult community cast and three school

In the preceding week there will be free performances of scenes from
the play at The Scoop, More London, and key Bankside locations.

Tickets available through the website: http://www.southwarkmysteries.co.uk/

We Have Moved!

This blog has moved to its new permanent home on the Knickerbocker Circus site.

Sherene Schostak and Katelan Foisy have teamed up to bring you an in depth look at self through the means of self-portrait photography and the archetypes of astrology. This is the first of many classes that Sherene and Katelan will be teaching as part of the Beneath the Half Moon Primer Series. below is a preview:

It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves-Carl Jung

Uncovering the complex archetypal layers of Self through the lens of photography.

The process of self-portraiture is about gathering, creating, conjuring and assembling images that can be used as a reflection of the Self back to the Self. Instead of relying exclusively on our one-to-one relationships as mirrors or our actual looking glass mirrors as our primary means of understanding the way we perceive ourselves, the aim of this workshop is to takes us deeper into the unconscious imagery/archetypes that guide and sustain our reality.

The marriage of Astrology and Photography evolved from my interest in Katelan’s “They Be We” self-portrait publishing project. Witnessing the impact the self-portrait work had on the women’s sense of self, self-esteem and impacting their lives in a super positive way overall, I knew it would be an amazing merger! Imagine the limitless possibilities when combining imagery and photography with the ever-fascinating process of delving deeper into the archetypes of one’s horoscope!

Is Self-Portraiture narcissistic?

As professionals, artists, or spiritual aspirants— unless we have reached enlightenment, we are still subject to personal complexes of our unconscious. Being a spiritual person does not mean you have to be invisible, completely disregarding the Self out of fear of feeding the ego. The only way to relinquish the personality and transcend the confines of the ego is to first become whole and “know thyself.” You must connect with both sides to create balance. Without yin there can be no yang.

Yin-yang are balanced, they are rooted together. Yin-yang is a dynamic equilibrium. Because they arise together they are always equal: if one disappears, the other must disappear as well, leaving emptiness. This is rarely immediately apparent, though, because yang elements are clear and obvious while yin elements are hidden and subtle

“’I’ve always felt self-portraits were a type of therapy session. There’s something about being alone with a timer and a flash that captures something no one else can. I found myself staring at the photographs I had taken and looking into the face of someone I obviously recognized physically but knew very little about. As I started to go deeper into my own images, I noticed small details and themes. I began picking up on different aspects of my personality. I began to understand myself better…”-Katelan

Being “broken open” by trauma or profound losses in our life can lead to a feeling of surrender, greater repression, or absolute collapse depending on the strength of the body ego.-Sherene

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.-Jung

Week One: Ascendant and the Planets in the first house

Working with Persona vs. the deeper “I AM’ principle.

What impact do we have on others?

How do we project ourselves out into the world?

What is our personal mission statement in our process of becoming our authentic self?

Week Two: Sun & Moon

Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet. -Andy Warhol

Sun: Personality, Purpose, Your heart, Inner Child; creativity; that which you radiate.

In class we will use Flower Essences and music to access your inner archetypes of the Sun and Moon.

Working with inner images of the anima/animus through guided meditation and memory recall of important male and female figures in your life.

Week Three: Black Moon Lililth

I cannot love anyone if I hate myself. That is the reason why we feel so extremely uncomfortable in the presence of people who are noted for their special virtuousness, for they radiate an atmosphere of the torture they inflict on themselves. That is not a virtue but a vice.-Carl Jung

Every woman is Medea. Every woman is Jocasta. Clytemnestra is every woman when she kills.-Martha Graham

Accessing the darker side of the Moon…

Here we will get into sexuality, taboos, & The Other Woman Complex

Week Four: Venus
Beauty is not caused. It is.–Emily Dickinson

Where do you seek and find beauty?

How do you connect with others/yourself?

What makes you feel beautiful?

What do you cherish most about yourself and in others?

When do you feel the most attractive and why?

Week Five: Mars

A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.-Jung

The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.-Emerson

Getting in touch with your passions & inner primal male energies: Perpetrator, fighter, initiator; warrior; super hero; action taker; thrill seeker; athlete.

What makes you feel like a go-getter, hero, or risk taker?

Week Six: Mercury

Curious people are interesting people. I wonder why that is.-Bill Maher

The reason I talk to myself is that I’m the only one whose answers I accept-George Carlin

Not a week to be taken too seriously as you encounter your inner trickster. We’ll explore the placement of Mercury in your horoscope: How you communicate; your good and evil twin selves; how you play with words.

Week Seven: Saturn
Integrity has no use of rules –Camus

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.-Jung

Your inner Senex; Teacher: Cosmic Taskmaster; Conscience; Authority figure; Ruler Maker; Consistency/Integrity Maker; Wise Elder;

This week we will delve into issues o

Your most conservative/traditional side.

Bound, trapped, insecure

Inner wisdom/Senex/Inner Elder

Week Eight: Becoming Whole

Mediocrity is the only sin-Martha Graham

Taking what you learned for the past 7 weeks and seeing yourself as a whole as well as many parts that make up that whole.

I’m a huge fan of photoshop.  I think it’s a great tool for enhancing any digital photograph.  Here’s a wonderful article on enhancing photos and amazing methods to do so. Click the pic to get to the article.