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Gothic Witchcraft

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Auctions of interest! Aug. 30th, 2009 @ 11:00 pm
Some steampunk, gothic and BPAL items for your pleasure: shop.ebay.com/scarletminded/m.html

A somewhat steamy gothic CD sale Aug. 26th, 2009 @ 12:26 am
The following are CDs I want to sell, in order to buy more music. They are steampunkish or gothic in nature. Each CD is $7 and that is postpaid. Write me a comment here with the ones you want and I will PM you with my Paypal info in which to pay me. All CDs are brand new unless stated otherwise.

The list is:

Death by Doll --- Gasoline
Death by Doll --- Cabin Fever
Dawn Desiree --- Dancing, Dreaming, Longing
Regan Remy / High Priestess --- Sellisternia
Regan Remy/ High Priestess -- Advanced Bliss / Oaksong
Lavender Diamond - Imagine Our Love/ The Calvary of Light (2 CDs for $7)
Lisa Hammer -- Dakini (it's brand spanking new!)
The World/Inferno Friendship Society -- Live at Northsix
The World/Inferno Friendship Society --- Addicted to Bad Ideas
The World/Inferno Friendship Society --- East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today!
The World/Inferno Friendship Society -- Red Eyed Soul
Sophe Luxe -- Waking the Mystics
Tipton Lea and the Victorian Army --- Spectacle
Lemony Snicket Soundtrack
Rodentia The best of Dark Roots music, 2 CD set $7
The Sad Bastard Book Club -- The collected works of Carrie Anne Crowe (CD)
The Sad Bastard Book Club -- The collected works of Carrie Anne Crowe (Audiobook)

I do have a cheap list of CDs too, each for $3 postpaid!

The Cure -- 3 Imaginary Boys
Daniel Ash -- Foolish Thing Desire
Front 242 -- Front by Front
Best of The Velvet Underground
Swans Related Projects CD, featuring tracks from Drainland and Sacrificial Cake
Bjork -- Homogenic
Nine Inch Nails --- March of the Pigs
The Damned -- Skip School to See The Damned

Thanks for looking!

Could You Help? Nov. 30th, 2008 @ 03:58 pm

I have a plea/request from my husband and one of my close male friends. They want to know where to fine Victorian Clothing era for themselves. Onle line stores would be the best. And hopefully before the Vampire Ball in March So any help would ne wonderful.

X-posted other places

Some sales Aug. 2nd, 2008 @ 06:08 pm
Don`t forget to look at my shop here at Livejournal please ;) I sell victorian & rococo jewellery, I gladly make you an unique piece of your thoughts:)
With love
Isa/Foyer Des Arts

Halloween isn't just a single day and night... really. Oct. 30th, 2007 @ 02:56 am
Yes, I know I've not been around a lot to post and here I am hitting you all with promotional stuff but... this will be worth every penny and minute...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From what I hear, BPAL is sponsoring the event now and has sent a ton of exquisite give aways. From what I understand, the first 100 or so through the door will get grab bags full of very interesting stuff.

The talent looks amazing. I've enjoyed and adored Android Lust before and I saw Johnny Hollow just recently [and loved them!] but I am so looking forward to seeing Abney Park live. And DJ Xian... well, she is what I aspire to be as a DJ. Honestly. Add in the artwork, the spoken word... it'll be an amazing night. Amazing.

And, for a little extra treat...


Do feel free to crosspost and suchlike...

I promise I'll snag some time to catch up reading and responding sometime this week as I'm on vacation...

Intro ... Of A Sort Oct. 18th, 2006 @ 03:55 pm
Well, it looks like this community has been fairly dormant for ... ooo, about a year now.

Jet! You didn't tell me about this place ;) Anyway, for those who still watch, I go by Phae Talon online (you can call me Phae). I have been a Witch for umm, about 7 years? give or take. My practise is solitary and mildly eclectic (though, I don't really like that term). I am just your average Kitchen/Cottage/Hedge-styled Witch.

The Victorian period is one of my favorites and I am definitely intersted in exploring how that culture relates to Witchcraft.

So, that is me. *waves* Hi ;)

Current Mood: curiouscurious

Ghost of Future's Past (a victorian ghost story) Oct. 14th, 2005 @ 11:46 pm
Ghost of Future's Past
Read more...Collapse )

We had a visitation last night (crossposted) Sep. 30th, 2005 @ 09:17 am
 I just thought I would share a personal story about the spirits of loved ones ...Collapse )
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Watching You Without Me, Kate Bush

A reminder Aug. 19th, 2005 @ 09:08 am
The forum may not be very active, but spam for other comms or unrelated topics, unless approved by the mod (that would be me) will be deleted and reported as spam.

oracle arrives Aug. 17th, 2005 @ 05:24 pm
hi there Roselyn is speaking.i found out this community as i was searching.i thought it can be useful.i want to study more about magick or so , so i need some books or teacher to teach me ^^ yiay!

i can fortunetell by tarot cards and i'm one of those lucky people who has an eye to see future.i believe it will be great to be here.

*big hugs*

Current Mood: witchy
Current Music: Loreena McKennitt - the Old Way

Aug. 13th, 2005 @ 11:35 pm
hello everyone im a newbie as of about 2 min ago
and well
ive been practicing Magick for about 3 years now and have found myself drawn to victorian age stiles and the whole ideals of most gothic pagans
so this community seems to be perfect for me
i hope it turns out o be a good one

it does look a little dead in here so mabye my post will help liven things up a bit??
well i hope so

goood night to you all
an dhave fun in the dark

Welcome aboard! Mar. 14th, 2005 @ 01:50 pm
I see we've got a *lot* of new people on the friends list, so heylo and welcome to the group. I've been sidetracked by a couple other things until recently so we've not had much going on here. Hopefully that's going to be changing. In the meantime, please feel free to post about your own outlooks and experiences.

Hi Mar. 13th, 2005 @ 11:02 am
Wow, this site looks great!! I'm really glad I found this group. Looking forward to some interesting discussions:)

Hey Tass *waves*, I've seen you in a lot of the groups I'm in.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Current Music: Korn-Shoots and Ladders

Dark Paganism Booklist Jan. 5th, 2005 @ 12:06 pm
Caveat: I've only read about half of these. The rest are on the to be read list.

Dark Paganism Booklist

Cut for length.Collapse )
Current Mood: coldcold

My introduction Dec. 4th, 2004 @ 05:27 pm

I just joined this community so I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Julian. I'm a 30 year old gay male living in NC. I am a huge fan of anything Victorian, but I especially adore Victorian gothic literature. I also am a student of the occult. I thought then that this is the perfect community for me to be a member of. So I just had to be a part of it. I look forward to learning about Victorian Gothic Witchcraft and getting to know the other members better as well.

Dark blessings,

A Community Worth A Cruise-By Nov. 28th, 2004 @ 02:27 pm
So I know there are some ubergothy types hanging around on this community... the sort that reek of royalty, the landed gentry of the dark wearing set. And it's NOT just about your looks ['cause you ARE all gorgeous, doncha know!]. It's attitude and mindframe and a few other things.
If you are... the click the picture and check out the community. Is LOTSA fun...

Note that it helps to have a healthy sense of humour. If your tongue doesn't fit in your cheek then make a little space for it *wink*

Many many very interesting folk there.

[and yes, I'm crossposting this 'cause]

Nov. 26th, 2004 @ 03:11 am
Okay, so odds are everyone belonging to this community already knows about this. Just in case this isn't the case though, I thought it might be of interest. It isn't dealing with a Victorian theme specifically, but is a theme for those interested in the history concerning reactions to 'witchcraft' or witchcraft.

The Theory: That the witch-crazed trials of Salem could be traced to a form of food poisoning which effects the system as does LSD, causing such reactions as hysteria, paranoia and halucinations. I won't give away all the goods, I'll let everyone see for themselves.

The article: http://web.utk.edu/~kstclair/221/ergotism.html
Secrets of the Dead: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/case_salem/index.html

These resources found courtesy of: http://www.1st-hand-history.com/SalemW/album1.html
Current Mood: Earth Child
Current Music: Waking the Witch, Kate Bush

upcoming event Oct. 28th, 2004 @ 06:51 pm

the event: www.blacktrillium.com

detailsCollapse )

New. Aug. 24th, 2004 @ 01:54 pm
I'm Lunna, and I am 18.
I really am interested in Victorian Gothic Witchcraft, it is very different. And just something I would like to learn more about. But I have heard so many different diffinitions of Victorian Gothic Witchcraft.

So I hope I am welcome to this community, my first question is.
What is Victorian Gothic Witchcraft exactly?
Current Mood: awake

Jul. 26th, 2004 @ 02:38 am

I have to say this group's post are very informative. Thanks for making it.

What was the inspiration for this? What would you say is Victorian Witchcraft?


Meeting the Avatars Jun. 13th, 2004 @ 06:23 pm
Originally, I was going to do this one or two at a time, but they all began clammoring at me and introducing themselves. So. Without any further delay (cause they'll whup me again if I don't...), the avatars of each archetype.

Dominin (Domni)
Archetype: Fallen Angel
Click for Sigil

Title: The Liberator
Gender: Male
Element: Stars/stellar energy
Color(s): Blue/Indigo
Symbol:Ornate sword, resting point down

Essence: Liberty, knowledge, empowerment, conflict, polarity, conflict within the self. Choosing to follow love, knowledge, suffering, or freedom from a path outside of society’s dictates. Accepting that there is a price for following truth as it is revealed to the self rather than following someone else’s ideas blindly.

Appearance: Black colored wings rather than pristine white. Sensual, sexual, aggressive, and earthy rather than separated from man and nature. Black leather pants tucked into boots, bare chest, with two swords slung over the back and the straps crossing over the chest. Black hair past shoulders, blue/indigo colored eyes. Very obviously male, well muscled.

Valentin (Vali )
Archetype: Vampire
Click for sigil

Title: The Eternal
Gender: Male
Element: Darkness
Color(s): Black, silver, and crimson
Symbol: Ornate silver chalice

Essence: Blood, Life, Death, Sex, Ecstasy, the Eternal. Union with the other through ecstasy, loss of the self, the erotic power of ecstasy and death.

Appearance: Pale, androgynous, ambisexual gentleman. Thin, narrow waisted, sharply dressed. Long dark hair pulled back into an ornate silver clasp, dark eyes.

Archetype: The Sidhe (The Glittering Throng)
Click for sigil

Title: The Wildling
Gender: Female
Element: Light
Color(s): Gold and green
Symbol: Blooming hawthorn branch or hawthorn thorn

Essence: Glamour, Hidden Nature, Ecstasy. Sensual imagery, physical abandon to the true, wild nature of the Self. Unleashing the inner person to run free.

Appearance: Mischievous, puckish, wild, and untamed. Somewhat unkempt appearance as if she had been playing out in the woods and tumbled down a hill.

Corentin (Corin)
Archetype: The Sidhe (The Shadow Court)
Click for sigil

Title: Shadow Fighter
Gender: Male
Element: Shadow
Color(s): Indigo and silver
Symbol: Obsidian blade

Essence: Mystery, Creation and Destruction combined, Ecstasy. The unstoppable forces of creation and destruction combined into one moment where both are united.

Appearance: Dressed in shades of deep blue, ice blue eyes. Long, nearly white hair bordering on silver. Dressed for riding with boots and a sword at the waist. Lean, hawkish appearance.

Alexandru (Alexi)
Archetype: Gypsy/Fortune Teller
Click for sigil

Title: The Wanderer
Gender: Male
Element: Chaos
Color(s): Anything bright and attention drawing, combinations of colors, red, orange, yellow
Symbol: Stone from where two roads meet.

Essence: Hidden knowledge, breaking boundaries. The power of “the other” to both unify and break apart, to see clearly, and to obscure through secrecy. Sexual, sensual expression, exoticism.

Appearance: An exotic foreigner, somehow set apart from those present. Colorful, garish, and not subject to the rules of society. Medium length dark hair. Dark, all-seeing eyes. Flamboyant in his mannerisms, always accompanied by a dark horse.

Brynja </b>
Archetype: The Gargoyle
Click for sigil

Title: Stone Bender
Gender: Female
Element: Rock/mountain
Color(s): Grays with mixed hues of other colors shading through.
Symbol: Necklace of semi-precious stones.

Essence: Protection, Trickster energy, inversion of the normal. Horrifying and fascinating at the same time, attractive and repellant, the world turned on its side.

Appearance: Nearly naked woman of moving stone, short spiky hair. Overly emphasized physical characteristics. All in gray stone color or marbled.

Pronunciation: dOO´shAn
Archetype: Ghosts
Click for sigil

Title: Wraith Lord
Gender: Male
Element: Transitions
Color(s): White
Symbol: Candle or torch

Essence: Cthonic power, psychopomp, lightbearer. The clash between modern, scientific thought and faith or belief in the occult or what can’t be proven by science. Skeptics who encounter that which can’t be proven and must question their own experience/senses.

Appearance: Spectral apparition, who often appears attractive to the viewer but quickly morphs into a terrifying visage. Usually indistinct features that sometimes clarify to either attractive or horrifying.

Pronunciation: Sair-in
Archetype: The Tortured Artist
Click for sigil

Title: Lady of Pain
Gender: Female
Element: Sensation and Glamour
Color(s): Deep purple
Symbol: Book or painter’s palate

Essence: Transgression, transformation, stifled potential, breaking repression, rebellion. Separation and individuation from societal expectations through the deliberate adoption of the taboo and ostracism.

Appearance: Well-educated bluestocking who thumbs her nose at societal rules, also engages in transgressive sexual roles that betray the “good wife and mother” image. Long black dress, white skin, blood red mouth. Long, straight hair, red or black.

Archetype: Werewolf
Click for sigil

Title: Lady of Beasts
Gender: Female
Element: Earth (forests and deserts, in particular)
Color(s): Browns, earth tones
Symbol: Furred robe or animal skull

Essence: Transformation, changes, cycles. the Wild Man/Wild Woman, uncontrolled passion paired with virginal purity

Appearance: Appears as a fierce huntress, usually in skins with forearm blades. Around a human body floats an energetic field that resembles a variety of animals as they shift and blend, blurring her actual appearance. Most common form when shifting is a large, dark grey wolf with silver tipped fur.

Pronounced: EE-van
Archetype: Monstrous Mother
Click for sigil

Title: Devouerer
Gender: Female
Element: Water, deep sea
Color(s): Iron gray, black, dark blue
Symbol: Scythe

Essence: Chaos, Desire, Power. Emblem of lust, uncontrollable femininity, locus of male fear of sexuality and reproduction, female body that evokes the initial fall from grace, womb is equated with tomb.

Appearance: Pregnant woman with numerous children in tow. Sometimes with the head of a dog or dragon. Usually a beautiful woman, bordering on sunken features approaching a death’s head but not quite to that point yet.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted

Gargoyles Jun. 11th, 2004 @ 10:49 am

Image: Strange and/or bizarre looking animal or man, perched on something as if waiting for a person to come by.

Power: Protection, Trickster energy, inversion of the normal

Symbology: Horrifying and fascinating at the same time, attractive and repellant, the world turned on its side.


A gargoyle is: A water spout, especially one projecting from a gutter and intended to throw the water away from the walls and foundations. In medieval architecture, the gargoyles, which had to be very numerous because of the many gutters which were carried on the tops of flying buttresses, and higher and lower walls, were often very decorative, consisting, as they did, of stone images of grotesque animals, and the like, or, in smaller buildings of iron or lead.


So, studiously ignoring those words of wisdom, here are some possible explanations I've come across:

· rainwater plumbing (this is certain but does not explain why so many are carved creatures, nor the various forms)
· warding off evil - a "kiss my ass" keep away deterrent to demons
· warding off evil - a "don't bother, we're here already doing demonic stuff" deterrent to demons
· a reminder to parishioners of the perils of evil - bad guys are marginalised to the outside of the church (but why so high up and hard to see?)
· as pagan symbols to encourage believers in pre-Christian ways to come to church (make them feel welcomed or at home, as it were)
· decoration (but why so ugly? why so hard to see)
· a juxtaposition or balance of ugliness against the beauty inside the building (a very medieval concept which we find hard to understand these days)
· insurance policy against building collapse, related to warding off evil (this one's obscure and I think it says more out modern interpretation of the medieval mind than architectural principles)

For some of the more interesting ones (mooning or nose picking or caricatures), they may possibly be:

· symbolic object lessons on the perils of unconventionality
· carved out of mischief (e.g. there are defecating gargoyles, these are generally difficult to see, being high up or in obscure parts of the building)
· as retribution for not paying the stone carver
· fun (who knows what the medieval sense of humour was?)
· caricatures of people maybe local clergy, which may be mischief or fun or possibly honour.


To them, Gothic sculpture celebrated mystery and ambiguity, while embodying the passion and high standards of medieval craftsmanship. Nineteenth-century idealists interpreted the fierce creatures perched on the heights of medieval buildings as stone sentinels, and admired their ability to simultaneously horrify and fascinate. Proponents of the Gothic Revival embraced religious mysticism and cultivated a deep appreciation for the value of craftsmanship.


During the Gothic Revival in Britain and France, the grotesque represented a world turned upside down, where, for instance, monsters guarded the church. … What was initially a sentimental curiosity for crumbling ruins led to an archaeological interest in medieval architecture.
British Romantics developed a new literary genre: the Gothic horror novel. Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, two of the most famous examples, emphasized remote medieval settings—particularly castles and preferably in ruins—as ideal settings for their Romantic tales of horror. The medieval structures, they felt, seemed splendid, yet sinister. In their fast-changing, modern world, Gothic architecture suggested irrationality, a contrast of soaring beauty and worldly grotesque.


Humor is a major feature of the Gothic grotesque. Many sculptural series depict characters from the margins of society, not simply as diverting ornamentation, but as characters in a topsy-turvy world on edge. Nineteenth-century Romantics were attracted to the instability and irrationality this carnivalesque atmosphere evoked.

At Wells, England, a series of capitals in the cathedral depicts a series of amusing grotesqueries: a “mouth puller” (possibly a toothache sufferer) contorts his face, mocking worshippers inside the section of church where the lay congregates worshipped. In another series, vineyard robbers wrestle in humorous, yet violent episodes


Though the variety of gargoyles are as numerous as the artists who created them there are a few reoccurring commonalties:

The Green Man - He is depicted as a man’s face peering through a mask of green leaves, usually Oak. Sometimes he may have horns. He is also called "Green Jack", Jack-in-the-Green and "Green George".

Big Wide-Open Mouths - Mouths wide open is symbolic of devouring giants. Pulling the mouth open is a gesture that reminds us that evils larger than us exist.

Disembodied Heads - 5th Century Celts were head-hunters who displayed and worshipped the heads they severed as a repository of divine power.

Horned Creatures - These beasts grew to become images of Satan. The tongue that Satan displays in many of these carved works represents traitors, heretics and blasphemers. He is meant to be funny instead of repulsive as he taunts his victim.

The Seven Deadly Sins - These are characterized by animals:

Pride: Lion
Envy: Serpent
Anger: Boar
Sloth: Donkey
Greed: Wolf
Gluttony: Bear
Lust: Pig
Current Mood: artistic

The Witch/Gypsy/Fortune Teller Jun. 11th, 2004 @ 10:20 am
The Witch/Gypsy/Fortune Teller

Image: An exotic foreigner, somehow set apart from those present. Colorful, garish, and not subject to the rules of society. Alternately, an older woman, cronish in appearance, who represents the power to know the future and who has the power to create or destroy.

Power: Hidden knowledge, breaking boundaries

Symbology: The power of “the other” to both unify and break apart, to see clearly, and to obscure through secrecy. Sexual, sensual expression, exoticism.


Emma by Jane Austen


Her place within and under the Law is marked by paradox: women are at once cast with children and the insane, deemed too "weak" or "feeble" to be taken seriously, or to be included in the early institutions of the church, judiciary, and universities; and yet at the same time, said to be powerful and dangerous enough to "defy the laws of nature," to form covenants with the devil, to devastate crops, to introduce plagues, and to cause the death and impotence of men—as witches were typically accused of doing.

\18.1denike.html The Devil's Insatiable Sex: A Genealogy of Evil Incarnate, Margaret Denike, 2002, Hypatia 18.1 (2003) 10-43

Austen’s use of the alien dark-skinned gypsies in juxtaposition to the native White woman allows the novelist to accentuate the Englishness of the latter by stressing the foreignness of the former. As an illegitimate and orphaned member of the “large and populous village” of Highbury, Harriet initially appears similar to the nomadic outsiders, but as a young, White, and anonymous female resident of this neighborhood, she also represents the future promise of her local and national community

The gypsies occupy (temporarily) only a small section on the outskirts of Highbury, but their presence in the narrative suggests that by the dawn of the nineteenth century, England’s population is no longer publicly imagined as ethnically homogenous. The gypsies may not live within the parameters of the village, but they are also not far removed from this organized civilization, and the proximity of this foreign people will encourage England to isolate a distinct native race. … Harriet’s encounter with the Romani allows Austen to illustrate how this citizen-building process helps solidify an English national identity. The novelist distinguishes the “Black” migratory gypsies from the White residents of Highbury, establishing an English race by separating it from an outside element; this created national race then effectively represents the “Englishness” that presumably defines its members. Harriet’s involvement in this scene, as a young, anonymous, and native member of this local community, highlights her importance as a national resource: she has the power to reproduce English culture and the English race, but she must be safeguarded from the nomadic lifestyle of the gypsies and schooled in the legacy and lore of her nation.

Emma documents the efforts of Knightley and the heroine to uphold Harriet as a source of “natural” Whiteness, while the Romani become vilified as mysterious Black outsiders. Austen ambiguously depicts the Romani outside Highbury as “all clamorous, and impertinent in look, though not absolutely in word” (300). She stresses their shocking effect rather than their visual appearance; they represent a jarring and clear difference that recalls earlier historical treatments of the gypsy race.

The Woman, the Gypsies, and England: Harriet Smith’s National Role
Michael Kramp College Literature 31.1 [Winter 2004]
Current Mood: artistic

Ghosts Jun. 11th, 2004 @ 10:06 am

Image: Spectral apparition, who often appears attractive to the viewer but quickly morphs into a terrifying visage.

Power: Cthonic power, psychopomp, lightbearer.

Symbology: The clash between modern, scientific thought and faith or belief in the occult or what can’t be proven by science. Skeptics who encounter that which can’t be proven and must question their own experience/senses.


The Judge’s House by Bram Stoker
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The Tapestried Chamber by Sir Walter Scott


Unlike the fictional detective, who always knows what to look for and perceives hidden
meanings at a single glance, the fictional ghost-seer is typically caught in a disconcerting double bind between instinctive faith in the evidence of one’s sight and the troubling knowledge that vision is often deceptive and unreliable: a subject precariously positioned at the crossroads of ocularcentric faith and anti-ocularcentric skepticism.12 Reading Sir Walter Scott’s “The Tapestried Chamber” as an early and representative example of the genre, I will argue in what follows that the ghost story’s complex negotiations between faith and doubt in the epistemological value of sight are the result of an emerging crisis in early nineteenth-century discourse on vision, a crisis shaped by two related and concurrent developments: the rapidly declining influence of theology and metaphysical philosophy in forming popular thinking about visual perception, and the dissemination of ideas through physiological science about the fundamentally subjective character of human vision. He eventually admits that the real reason for his departure is that he had been visited by an apparition, a spectral woman with a “diabolical countenance” and “a grin which seemed to intimate the malice and the derision of an incarnate fiend.”15 As the other rooms had been occupied before Browne’s arrival, Woodville was forced to reopen the allegedly haunted chamber, but Browne’s unexpected visit, the nobleman later confesses, also “seemed the most favourable opportunity of removing the unpleasant rumours which attached to the room.” Browne, it turns out, had been the unwitting subject of an experiment, an ideal candidate for exorcising certain “unpleasant rumours,” since his “courage was indisputable, and [his] mind free of any pre-occupation with the
subject” (“T,” 139). Unfortunately, for Woodville, these rumors appear to be true after all; before taking his leave, Browne visits the Woodville gallery of family portraits where, in one painting, he immediately recognizes his spectral visitant: “‘There she is!’ he exclaimed, ‘there she is, in form and features, though inferior in demoniac expression to, the accursed hag who visited me last night.’” Woodville, previously a staunch skeptic on the subject of ghosts, is now satisfied that “there can remain no longer any doubt of the horrible reality of your apparition. That is the picture of a wretched ancestress of mine, of whose crimes a black and fearful catalogue is recorded in a family history in my charter-chest.” The narrative concludes with Browne’s hasty departure, and Woodville’s welladvised decision to reseal the haunted chamber and “restore it to the solitude to which the better judgment of those who preceded me had consigned it” What is “brought . . . into view,” both literally (through visual imagery) and figuratively (through verbal explication), ought to remain just barely visible, glimpsed rather than fully seen. Such a narrative must occupy a liminal space between expressions of faith and doubt, belief and skepticism, and it is precisely to the extent that it manages to maintain this liminality that the fiction succeeds or fails to do justice to Scott’s concept of the “marvellous.”

Current Mood: artistic

Fallen Angels Jun. 11th, 2004 @ 09:29 am
Fallen Angels

Image: “Traditional” angelic male with smokey to black colored wings rather than pristine white. Sensual, sexual, aggressive, and earthy rather than separated from man and nature.

Power: Liberty, knowledge, empowerment, conflict, polarity, conflict within the self.

Symbology: Choosing to follow love, knowledge, suffering, or freedom from a path outside of society’s dictates. Accepting that there is a price for following truth as it is revealed to the self rather than following someone else’s ideas blindly.


Milton’s Paradise Lost


This vision of Satanic masculinity complements Dorothea’s role as fallen femininity—both have abandoned divine order for the false promise of liberty.

Wollstonecraft’s dangerous experiments in love, motherhood, radicalism, and intellectual ambition created about her an aura of forbidden knowledge, which both attracted and repelled contemporaries.

Milton’s Satan fell through pride (or desire for knowledge and liberty, depending on one’s angelic or satanic allegiance). But the Bible does not tell this story, nor does it identify Satan as the serpent in Genesis. Genesis does tell a story regarding the fall of the angels, though in this account, the angels (sons of God) fell through love of mortal women (daughters of men): “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (Genesis 6:2).

In the Genesis account, expanded in the works of the church fathers, medieval theologians, and the pseudepigraphic Book of Enoch, the angels fall through love/lust for mortal women, generations after Adam and Eve have left Eden. Both these accounts of the fall of the angels were available to the women poets I turn to now, but it is important to note how one account offers pride/knowledge as the forbidden object, while the other offers love. These desires are connected, but it is significant to note the prevalence of the fall for love/lust theme in women’s poetry of the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s, while earlier feminists like Wollstonecraft had looked to (and been depicted as) the Miltonic fallen angel as thief of knowledge.27

Romantic Satanism and the Rise of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Poetry
Adriana Craciun* New Literary History, 2004, 34: 699–721
Current Mood: artistic

The Sidhe (The Shadow Court) May. 25th, 2004 @ 12:53 pm
The Sidhe (The Shadow Court)

Image: Riders of the Wild Hunt or the Furious Host, dark, dangerous, hunting down souls to take with them to the Otherworld, the Sluagh.

Power: Mystery, Creation and Destruction combined, Ecstasy

Symbology: The unstoppable forces of creation and destruction combined into one moment where both are united.


Wilde’s Victorian Fairy Tales
The Hosting of the Sidhe by Yeats


After seeing the Goblin Men, Laura "sucked and sucked and sucked the more / Fruits which that unknown orchard bore, / She sucked until her lips were sore; / Then flung the emptied rines away." Gnashing her teeth "in a passionate yearning," "weeping as if her heart would break," Laura is then tortured by cravings for exotic fruits but is never able to hear the goblin men hawking their wares a second time. Her sister Lizzie, who brings back the fruit as medicine for Laura, defies the goblins, refusing to eat in a violent and graphic scene suggesting rape. But with the syrup running down her face, the pulp smashed to her lips, she rushes back to Laura crying,

Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeeezed from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me:
Laura, make much of me:
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin men.

Goodenough, Elizabeth – “Oscar Wilde, Victorian Fairy Tales, and the Meanings of Atonement.”


THE host is riding from Knocknarea
And over the grave of Clooth-na-Bare;
Caoilte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling i{Away, come away:
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.
The winds awaken, the leaves whirl round,
Our cheeks are pale, our hair is unbound,
Our breasts are heaving, our eyes are agleam,
Our arms are waving, our lips are apart;
And if any gaze on our rushing band,
We come between him and the deed of his hand,
We come between him and the hope of his heart.
The host is rushing 'twixt night and day,
Caoilte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling i{Away, come away.}
Current Mood: artistic

The Sidhe (The Glittering Throng) May. 25th, 2004 @ 12:52 pm
The Sidhe (The Glittering Throng)

Image: Mischievous, puckish, wild, and untamed. Somewhat unkempt appearance as if they had been playing out in the woods and tumbled down a hill.

Power: Glamour, Hidden Nature, Ecstasy

Symbology: Sensual imagery, physical abandon to the true, wild nature of the Self. Unleashing the inner person to run free.


Stolen Child by Yeats

The Stolen Child - Yeats
WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you
can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,.
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To to waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For to world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
For be comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
from a world more full of weeping than you can understand.
Current Mood: artistic

The Tortured Artist May. 11th, 2004 @ 12:52 pm
The Tortured Artist

Image (Male): Well-dressed gentleman, alternates with overly sensual libertine who engages in transgressive sexual practices including homosexuality.

Image (Female): Well-educated bluestocking who thumbs her nose at societal rules, also engages in transgressive sexual roles that betray the “good wife and mother” image.

Power: Transgression, transformation, stifled potential, breaking repression, rebellion

Symbology: Separation and individuation from societal expectations through the deliberate adoption of the taboo and ostracism.


Lord Byron
Mary Wollstonecroft Shelly
Percy Shelley
Bram Stoker
Oscar Wilde


Literary orgasm avoids the dangers of homosexual sex: in Stoker’s words, “public ignominy, police interference, or the reproaches of conscience.” As in the “Eugene Aram” scene, when Stoker “outwardly…was of stone,” Stoker here ‘sit[s] quite still”. In both erotic climaxes, he plays the motionless recipient while another man’s word pours into him. In these two scenes, we see the characteristic structuring of Stoker’s erotic fantasy – that it is precisely the presence of a ‘fantasy.’ A poem, narrative, (or perhaps a horror novel?) that gives him pleasure.

Shelley was a free love advocate. He fell in love with Mary (much to the chagrin of her anarchist father, William Godwin, who reminded her that Shelley was already married). Mary and Percy Shelley lived together, often traveling with the emotionally needy Claire, half-sister of Mary.

Byron and his half-sister Augusta were indeed lovers and it's implied in "Gothic" that Byron's dark sexuality somehow killed her. According to what I've read, it was more Byron's oblivion to money matters that killed his sister. Well--that and worry. She worried that something would come out about the two of them and she'd be left holding the bag in England while he was off traveling the world.

They [the Shelleys and Byron] told ghost stories at night. Mary Shelley went on to write the unmatched "Frankenstein." Dr. Polidori, Byron's doctor/companion who was present at the time, went on to write "The Vampyre," a story directly inspired by Byron's tales. (Dr. Polidori was artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti's great uncle on his mother's side.)

Instructions for Creating Posts May. 4th, 2004 @ 06:00 pm
It's been brought to my attention that creating an entry here is not self-explanatory, and thinking back, it took me a while to figure out how to do it, too. So....here's how:

1. Select "Journal/Update" just like you would your regular journal (from the LJ menu)

2. Enter a Subject and type your entry.

3. At the bottom, just above the "Update Journal" button, you should see a link that says "For more options, click here." Click it.

4. Under optional settings you should see "Journal to post in".

5. Click on the arrow and select the journal name (in this case "victoriangothic").

6. Click on Update Journal.

7. Entry *should* Post. ;)

The Vampire May. 3rd, 2004 @ 01:18 pm
The Vampire

Image: Pale, androgynous, ambisexual gentleman. Thin, narrow waisted, sharply dressed. Dark hair and eyes.

Power: Blood, Life, Death, Sex, Ecstasy, the Eternal

Symbology: Union with the other through ecstasy, loss of the self, the erotic power of ecstasy and death.


Bram Stoker's Dracula
Joseph Sheridan LeFanu's Carmilla
John William Polidori's The Vampyre


Most literary criticism of Dracula focuses on the sexual themes played out in the novel and speculates that the attraction of the novel specifically was the ability to enjoy it surreptitiously while denying that enjoyment due to the symbolic way in which it was presented. Blood has a variety of meanings ranging from repletion and rejuvenation (from both sex and food), feelings (Arthur Godalming's hear and body bleeding for Lucy), sexuality and life's vital principle.

Proper Woman: as maiden/wife/mother, guardian of moral virtue, the home, refuge from outside world, source of romantic love as salvation, savior from man's more basic instincts.

First Threat (gender categories): The New Woman - wanted higher education, positions in the workplace, work outside home for money, some argued entitlement for same freedom of sexual expression as men. For many men, denying their traditional role was denying their womanhood and a challenge to the distinction between women and men that society was currently built on.

Second Threat (gender categories): Homosexual men - revelation of a homosexual brothel in 1889 (Cleveland Street Scandal) that catered to upper class, the Oscar Wilde Trial in 1895. Brought homosexuality as an available lifestyle choice out into the open.

These two combined, women who wanted to be "men" and men who refused to act like men, created a disturbance of the social order and a great deal of anxiety that challenged the distinction between male and female and natural and unnatural.

"…"the vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence resembling the passion of love" and that vampiric pleasure is heightened "by the gradual approaches of an artful courtship," he identified clearly the analogy between monstrosity and sexual desire that would prove, under a subsequent Freudian stimulus, paradigmatic for future readings of vampirism. Modern critical accounts of Dracula, for instance, almost universally agree that vampirism both expresses and distorts an originally sexual energy. That distortion, the representation of desire under the defensive mask of monstrosity, betrays the fundamental psychological ambivalence identified by Franco Moretti when he writes that "vampirism is an excellent example of the identity of desire and fear." This interfusion of sexual desire and the fear that the moment of erotic fulfillment may occasion the erasure of the conventional and integral self informs both the central action in Dracula and the surcharged emotion of the characters about to be kissed by "those red lips." So powerful an ambivalence, generating both errant erotic impulses and compensatory anxieties, demands a strict, indeed an almost schematic formal management of narrative material."

"Immobilized by the competing imperatives of "wicked desire" and "deadly fear," Harker awaits an erotic fulfillment that entails both the dissolution of the boundaries of the self and the thorough subversion of conventional Victorian gender codes, which constrained the mobility of sexual desire and varieties of genital behavior by according to the more active male the right and responsibility of vigorous appetite, while requiring the more passive female to "suffer and be still." John Ruskin, concisely formulating Victorian conventions of sexual difference, provides us with a useful synopsis: "The man's power is active, progressive, defensive. He is eminently the doer, the creator, the discoverer, the defender. His intellect is for speculation and invention; his energy for adventure, for war, and for conquest…." Woman, predictably enough, bears a different burden: "She must be enduringly, incorruptibly, good; instinctively, infallibly wise - wise, not for self-development, but for self-renunciation…wise not with the narrowness of insolent and lovely pride, but with the passionate gentleness of an infinitely variable, because infinitely applicable, modesty of service - the true changefulness of woman." Stoker, whose vampiric women exercise a far more dangerous "changefulness" than Ruskin imagines, anxiously inverts this conventional pattern, as virile Jonathan Harker enjoys a "feminine" passivity and awaits a delicious penetration from a woman who's demonism is figured as the power to penetrate. A swooning desire for an overwhelming penetration and an intense aversion to the demonic potency empowered to gratify that desire compose the fundamental motivating action and emotion in Dracula. "

"This should remind us that the novel's opening anxiety, its first articulation of the vampiric threat, derives from Dracula's hovering interest in Johnathan Harker; the sexual threat that this novel first evokes, manipulates, sustains, but never finally represents is that Dracula will seduce, penetrate, drain another male. The suspense and power of Dracula's opening section, of that phase of the narrative which we have called the invitation to monstrosity, proceeds precisely from this unfulfilled sexual ambition. Dracula's desire to fuse with a male, most explicitly evoked when Harker cuts himself shaving, subtly and dangerously suffuses this text. Always postponed and never directly enacted, this desire finds evasive fulfillment in an important series of heterosexual displacements."

Craft, Christopher

1984. "Kiss Me With Those Red Lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker's Dracula." Representations, Vol. 8, Autumn. 107-133
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

Other Articles of Interest May. 3rd, 2004 @ 11:20 am
Anna Letitia Aikin (later Barbauld) and John Aikin
Table of Contents
1. "On Romances"
2. "On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, with Sir Bertrand, a Fragment"

Click me! You know you want too!

SUPERNATURAL HORROR IN LITERATURE (1927, 1933 - 1935) by H.P. Lovecraft

Click me too! I don't want to be left out!
Current Mood: creative

Literary Gothicism: Overview May. 3rd, 2004 @ 11:18 am
Second piece that gives us a bit of background as well.

Literary Gothicism: Overview

In the context of British Romanticism, "Literary Gothicism" is a type of imitation medievalism. When it was launched in the later eighteenth century, Gothicism featured accounts of terrifying experiences in ancient castles - experiences connected with subterranean dungeons, secret passageways, flickering lamps, screams, moans, bloody hands, ghosts, graveyards, and the rest. By extension, it came to designate the macabre, mysterious, fantastic, supernatural, and, again, the terrifying, especially the pleasurably terrifying, in literature more generally. Closer to the present, one sees Gothicism pervading Victorian literature (for example, in the novels of Dickens and the Brontës), American fiction (from Poe and Hawthorne through Faulkner), and of course the films, television, and videos of our own (in this respect, not-so-modern) culture.


Click Here for article
Current Mood: awake

What is the Gothic? May. 3rd, 2004 @ 11:14 am
The following appears to be a course outline/notes regarding what gothic literature entails. I think it makes a nice outline of information for what we're looking at here in this community.


--"the darker side" of life; a world of pain and destruction/ fear and anxiety which shadows the daylight world of love and ethereality

--gothic fiction consists of a set of analyzable displacements about what it means to be a human being and gendered;

--it strains at the limits of mortality/immortality; morality/immorality; reason/emotion; order/disorder; mind/body; masculine/feminine

--gothic fictions are structured as case histories of types of insanity

--we as readers are asked to adjudicate various diagnostic accounts

--pleasure/pain dichtomy: why do we enjoy reading these fictions?

--the fiction as essentially a regressive fantasy: we peer back over our own personal history because all psychotic states are simply perpetuations of landscapes that we have all inhabited at some stage in our early infancy (we all outgrow our "madness")


Click for the rest of the article
Current Mood: chipperchipper

The Werewolf Apr. 28th, 2004 @ 11:32 am
The Werewolf

Image: In a more human form, the classic Jekyll/Hyde appearance, or a bipedal blend of human and wolf forms with teeth bared.

Power: Transformation, changes, cycles

Symbology: the Wild Man/Wild Woman, uncontrolled passion paired with virginal purity


The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat
The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (While not strictly a werewolf story as the main character doesn't shift over into a more wolflike form, he does find himself overcome by the inner bestial nature that is identical to the werewolf.)


Werewolves, in gothic literature, represents the divided nature of man striving to contain the wild beast and civilize him. They are often depicted as ferocious, hairy, unkempt, dripping with blood, or devouring men and represent the periodic eruption of man's more instinctual nature from its confines. There are several ways in which lycanthropy can initially be triggered: punishment from the Gods, through the use of skins or furs (human or wolf) made into belts or wrapped around the person, or through means of witchcraft. In Victorian terms, the werewolf is fighting its divided nature and the conflict between denial of the self on the path of virtue and engaging in pleasure and vice with little thought to the consequences.
Current Mood: awake

The Monstrous Mother Apr. 23rd, 2004 @ 01:52 pm
The Monstrous Mother

Image: Pregnant woman with numerous children in tow. Head of a dog or dragon.

Power: Chaos, Desire, Power

Symbology: Emblem of lust, uncontrollable femininity, locus of male fear of sexuality and reproduction, female body that evokes the initial fall from grace, womb is equated with tomb.


Errour in Spencer's The Faerie Queen
Sin in Paradise Lost
Criticism in Swift's Battle of the Books
Dullness in Pope's Dunciad

The Monstrous Mother illustrates how women obtain authority and power from reproduction and fertility and the male's fear of that feminine power that they can't tap into. These mothers are "bad mothers" because they both reproduce often and steal men's vitality and because they are physically/psychologically damaging to their children. Not only this, but the sex manuals of the time warn men that they should maintain moderate sexual activity while being wary of the power and insatiability of the woman's sexual drive. The Monstrous Mother is an empowered woman who refuses to be sexually or socially passive and violates the codes of appropriate feminine behavior.

"The female body is a convenient site for Chaos, as it is located between the created and the uncreated. The chaos of the female body in these works is signified by the womb and its products, which embody darkness and void; the womb also generates anxieties attendant upon the inability to fill or illuminate such a space. The darkness of the maternal womb echoes the primordial darkness that is a precondition of divine creation, which invokes light. As light is established as a masculine positive associated with order and reason, darkness is construed as its devilish opposite: a feminine force associated with chaos and the imagination. Accordingly, the maternal body is situated in darkness throughout these works: Errour lives in a darkened cave (itself a metaphorical womb) and shuns the light as do her children. Sin, as a denizen of hell, exists in darkness visible; Criticism, though less clearly identified with physical darkness than with perpetuation of intellectual dimness, lives in a den. Dulness, the daughter of Chaos and Night, not only lives in darkness, but is a purveyor of darkness, as she parodies divine creation by reversing it. In her reign, "universal darkness buries all" as she induces the world to sleep, and into the realm of the unconscious and the imagination where reason loses its hold on artistic and intellectual accountability. Like the Platonic caves that they invoke, the shadowy wombs and dens of the monstrous mother function as images of entrapment and intellectual deception."

Francus, Marilyn
1994. "The Monstrous Mother: Reproductive Anxiety in Swift and Pope." ELH. Vol. 61, No. 4, Winter. 829-851.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

Opening Gambit Apr. 23rd, 2004 @ 01:19 pm
In the course of thinking about what to open with and how to get started, a variety of literary characters have popped into my mind as powers that should be examined and covered. These are certainly not the *only* archetypal characters that we see, and I would be interested to hear about those that you hear from as we go on. I will admit that I've focused on a small subset of gothic literature over the years, because that's where my particular interests have been.

So. For the time being, the categories are:

The Vampire

Roughed out thoughts so far: Undead, undying, eternal, life and death, blood, erotic, androgynous, bisexual/ambisexual.

The Werewolf

Roughed out thoughts so far: Shifter, Transformer, Changes, Cycles, wild man/woman

The Sidhe/Fae

Roughed out thoughts so far: Otherworld, Mystery, Hidden Nature, Masks, Glamour, Magick, Quicksilver, Wild Hunt/Furious Hunt


Roughed out thoughts so far: sacred/defiled, Empowerment, Conflict, polarity, good/evil, conflict within the self

The Gargoyles

Roughed out thoughts so far: Protectors, Foundations, Life

The Tortured Artist - Byron, Shelley, Wilde, Stoker

Roughed out thoughts so far: Chaos, potential, sensual, homoeroticism, secrecy, repression

These next two I'm lumping together til I have an idea whether they're separate or not.

Ghosts - Underworld, Cthonic power, Psychopomps, Guides, Lightbearers.
The Banshee - Warning, The Reaper, Death

The Witch/Gypsy/Fortune Teller

Roughed out thought so far: the occult, hidden knowledge,

The Monstrous Mother

I've got more detailed stuff on the Monstrous Mother that will be posted following this, so I'm leaving her be in this post.

These are *very* rough ideas that spring to mind when I think about the category itself. the Monstrous Mother's changed somewhat as I begin to get more detailed, so please don't be afraid to add to/find fault with/comment on what you think of each group.

There will be more detailed info on all of these as I get it written up. :) Then comes trying to find the actual avatar for it.
Current Mood: artistic

Neat Apr. 22nd, 2004 @ 02:43 pm
yay i like this, maybe I can understand more about things like this without having to reveal my stupidity :-)
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