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29 December 2011

Gothic Photography


Gothic photography is an elusive term that is almost as hard to define as Goth culture itself. Although some Goth photography is dark, somber and macabre, the subjects of gothic photography can be more diverse than cemeteries and desolate landscapes. Goth photography may include portraits that range from being serious and fetishistic to playful and darkly humorous. 
Because of the centrality of the colors black and white to Goth culture, black and white film is a natural choice for Goth photography. By removing colorfrom photographs, black and white Goth photography can concentrate on the interplay of light and shadows. Cemetery photos are popular, whether or not people are present in the picture.
Black and white film lends Goth photography a mysterious, nostalgic feel. Similarly, the timelessness of the black and white tones helps gothic photography set scenes that remind the viewers of life, death and other such constants.

Sepia options are available on many digital cameras. While sepia is a monochrome color scale (like black and white), it uses a brown-scale, rather than grayscale. With an early 1900s feel, sepia tone can produce ghostly, surreal images.
Goth photography subjects include both landscape and portraiture. Cemeteries, unusual headstones and crumbling architecture are all popular gothic photography subjects.



Some common themes for a gothic photographer may revolve around decay, isolation or desolation. Yet, gothic photography also can have a playful, even erotic, side. The PVC and leather outfits popular among Goths easily lend themselves to fetish photography, often with a nod towards 1950′s pin-up and leather goddess Betty Page.


Landscapes are common images in gothic photography. Unlike traditional landscapes, the gothic tone may not stress the beauty or color of a scene but a mood of isolation and somberness. Moors, rocky precipices and barren fields are possible subjects for gothic photography.

When taking pictures of tombstones and architecture, Goth photography often employs low angle shots, making the structure appear to tower over the viewer. Conversely, Goth photography may use macro settings to zoomin on details or imperfections in structures to stress fragility and impermanence.


Posing for Goth photography depends on the nature of the photo shoot. A photographer can capture the mysterious, languid feel of Victorian pre-Raphaelite paintings with the subject reclining on old stairs, kneeling by graves or staring dreamily into the distance.

 Other Goth photographers may wish to suggest suicide or murder or feature vampires and post-mortem themes in their creations. All to strive for an alternative, slightly macabre feel.

As part of the Goth subculture, Gothic photography focuses on the mysterious, the paranormal and the macabre.

all infos taken from www.photography.com 



28 December 2011

Strolling down the antique market

Another place where I always find fellow Gothlings is at antique markets. I personally have a thing for all things old that belong to another era, another century. The class and the elegance of those past year is unbeatable. Those unique objects, so passionately createad and handmade are a true treasure for me. You do not find such beautiful things in today shops. It's very rare, especially now that minimalism is the main trend. The less decor the best it is. I don't know you but I find this theory very sad as it bans creativity a lot.

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But back to the topic, antique markets are a unique occasion to find gothy things! Cameos, old brooches, lace gloves, old tea sets, bird cages, gramophones, old records, vynils, ancient perfume bottles etc. Also some steampunk stuff like stargazers, monocles, one of a kind pocket watches!

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You can basically find anything. Some times even good pieces of clothing!

But beware because many times what you see is not really old. They just make it look so! 

What's with the bird cages?




Have you noticed that beside owls (see my "Owls everywhere!" post), bird cages are often used as decorative element too? So what's with this massive use of bird cages?
 I think they are very poetical. They are the ultimate incarnation of the pessimistic feelings of imprisonment, of feeling trapped, of enclosure but at the same time of positive feelings like the will for freedom, of safeness . Who doesn't feel so?

I'd like to share with you these few lines I once wrote for a school essay, comparing the life of a bird in its cage with a human's:

"A bird can see through the cage, but cannot interact with the outside world. It can only see it, feel it, breathe it.. and hopes that outside world it so much craves for, will interact with it someday. Sometimes the bird sings, like a human scream, but no one really hears and when someone does, they just tell the bird to shut up. Though, the bird is safe in its cage and when someone finally opens the cage, the bird rarely flies out. Almost like a human being who's afraid to face life. Like a child who keeps his mother's hand thight and is afraid to let it go to start facing life alone.."

I think that's why people relate much to birdcages and that's why they are used so much.

and before I forget, here are for you to see some inspiring beautiful gothic pictures featuring birdcages:

"Madre" by Natalie Shau

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18 December 2011

Yurei Ghosts

Finally, the first post of the mistery section of Gothic Divine Magazine. Sorry for the long waiting but I had some troubles finding enough infos to make a good post. I thought that it would be interesting for you a post about those famous japanese ghosts you surely saw in movies like "The Grudge" or "The Ring".  What are they exactly called and what are they? Read through this post to find it out! :)



Yūrei are figures in Japanese folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts. The name consists of two kanji, 幽(yū), meaning "faint" or "dim" and 霊 (rei), meaning "soul" or "spirit." Alternative names include 亡霊 (Bōrei) meaning ruined or departed spirit, 死霊 (Shiryō) meaning dead spirit, or the more encompassing 妖怪 (Yōkai) or お化け (Obake).
Like their Chinese and Western counterparts, they are thought to be spirits kept from a peaceful afterlife.

According to traditional Japanese beliefs, all humans have a spirit or soul called a 霊魂 (reikon). When a person dies, the reikon leaves the body and enters a form of purgatory, where it waits for the proper funeral and post-funeral rites to be performed, so that it may join its ancestors. If this is done correctly, the reikon is believed to be a protector of the living family and to return yearly in August during the Obon Festival to receive thanks.

However, if the person dies in a sudden or violent manner such as murder or suicide, if the proper rites have not been performed, or if they are influenced by powerful emotions such as a desire for revenge, love, jealousy, hatred or sorrow, the reikon is thought to transform into a yūrei, which can then bridge the gap back to the physical world.
The yūrei then exists on Earth until it can be laid to rest, either by performing the missing rituals, or resolving the emotional conflict that still ties it to the physical plane. If the rituals are not completed or the conflict left unresolved, the yūrei will persist in its haunting.

In the late 17th century, a game called Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai became popular, and kaidan increasingly became a subject for theater, literature and other arts. At this time, they began to gain certain attributes to distinguish themselves from living humans, making it easier to spot yūrei characters.
Ukiyo-e artist Maruyama Ōkyo created the first known example of the now-traditional yūrei, in his painting The Ghost of Oyuki.

Today, the appearance of yūrei is somewhat uniform, instantly signalling the ghostly nature of the figure, and assuring that it is culturally authentic.

White clothing: Yūrei are usually dressed in white, signifying the white burial kimono used in Edo period funeral rituals. In Shinto, white is a color of ritual purity, traditionally reserved for priests and the dead. This kimono can either be a katabira (a plain, white, unlined kimono) or a kyokatabira (a white katabira inscribed with Buddhist sutras). They sometimes have a hitaikakushi (lit., "forehead cover"), which is a small white triangular piece of cloth tied around the head.

Black hair: Hair of a yūrei is often long, black and disheveled, which some believe to be a trademark carried over from kabuki theater, where wigs are used for all actors. This is a misconception: Japanese women traditionally grew their hair long and wore it pinned up, and it was let down for the funeral and burial.

Hands and feet: A yūrei's hands dangle lifelessly from the wrists, which are held outstretched with the elbows near the body. They typically lack legs and feet, floating in the air. These features originated in Edo period ukiyo-e prints, and were quickly copied over to kabuki. In kabuki, this lack of legs and feet is often represented by using a very long kimono or even hoisting the actor into the air by a series of ropes and pulleys.
Hitodama: Yūrei are frequently depicted as being accompanied by a pair of floating flames or will o' the wisps (hitodama in Japanese) in eerie colors such as blue, green, or purple. These ghostly flames are separate parts of the ghost rather than independent spirits.


While all Japanese ghosts are called yūrei, within that category there are several specific types of phantom, classified mainly by the manner they died or their reason for returning to Earth.

Onryō: Vengeful ghosts who come back from purgatory for a wrong done to them during their lifetime.

Ubume: A mother ghost who died in childbirth, or died leaving young children behind. This yūrei returns to care for her children, often bringing them sweets.

Goryō: Vengeful ghosts of the aristocratic class, especially those who were martyred.

Funayūrei: The ghosts of those who died at sea. These ghosts are sometimes depicted as scaly fish-like humanoids and some may even have a form similar to that of a mermaid or merman.

Zashiki-warashi: The ghosts of children, often mischievous rather than dangerous.

Samurai Ghosts: Veterans of the Genpei War who fell in battle. Warrior Ghosts almost exclusively appear in Noh Theater. Unlike most other yūrei, these ghosts are usually shown with legs.

Seductress Ghosts: The ghost of a woman or man who initiates a post-death love affair with a living human.
Yūrei do not wander at random, but generally stay near a specific location, such as where they were killed or where their body lies, or follow a specific person, such as their murderer, or a beloved. They usually appear between 2 and 3 a.m, the witching hour for Japan, when the veils between the world of the dead and the world of the living are at their thinnest.
Yūrei will continue to haunt that particular person or place until their purpose is fulfilled, and they can move on to the afterlife. However, some particularly strong yūrei, specifically onryō who are consumed by vengeance, continue to haunt long after their killers have been brought to justice.

Some famous locations that are said to be haunted by yūrei are the well of Himeji Castle, haunted by the ghost of Okiku, and Aokigahara, the forest at the bottom of Mt. Fuji, which is a popular location for suicide. A particularly powerful onryō, Oiwa, is said to be able to bring vengeance on any actress portraying her part in a theater or film adaptation.


The easiest way to exorcise a yūrei is to help it fulfill its purpose. When the reason for the strong emotion binding the spirit to Earth is gone, the yūrei is satisfied and can move on. Traditionally, this is accomplished by family members enacting revenge upon the yūrei's slayer, or when the ghost consummates its passion/love with its intended lover, or when its remains are discovered and given a proper burial with all rites performed.
The emotions of the onryō are particularly strong, and they are the least likely to be pacified by these methods.
Like many monsters of Japanese folklore, malicious yūrei are repelled by ofuda , holy Shinto writings containing the name of a kami. The ofuda must generally be placed on the yūrei's forehead to banish the spirit, although they can be attached to a house's entry ways to prevent the yūrei from entering.


13 December 2011

Gothabilly

Gothabilly is one of several music and cultural subgenres of rockabilly. The earliest known use of the word gothabilly was by The Cramps in the late 1970s, to describe their blend of somber, rockabilly-influenced punk rock. Since then the term has come to describe a fashion and music trend that bridges both the gothic and rockabilly subcultures.
Gothabilly is particularly active in the western portion of the United States, with many of today's bands originating in California.

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Gothabilly is a musical subgenre that developed from mixing the gothic subculture with rockabilly music. Gothabilly retains the country music and blues influences of rockabilly but adds aspects of punk rock and gothic rock to create a distinct combination of styles. The gothabilly sound was defined in the mid 1980s embodied by a slower tempo and melancholy ambience with romantic, literary, occult and religious themes. More recent adopters had brought a faster pace and horror themes often with a humorous or comic attitude with deliberately cheesy themes, such as camp 1960s monster movies and the television shows like The Addams Familyand The Munsters.

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Gothabilly is frequently viewed as a sub-sect of the psychobilly subgenre, as both use the upright double bass and simple rhythms of rockabilly chord progressions and incorporating punk influences. However, gothabilly differs from psychobilly in that gothabilly lacks much of psychobilly's aggression and incorporates aspects of gothic music such as jangly guitars drowned in reverb, rolling jungle drums, organs, and tends to be slower and more atmosphere-oriented. While both incorporate monsters, ghosts and other horror imagery and themes, gothabilly adds aspects of the romantic and paranormal.

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Gothabilly style is a tongue-in-cheek play on 1950s-inspired kitsch aesthetics of the rockabilly subculture, but with a dark gothic influence, blending retro rock and roll fashions with the somber features of goth.


Typical Gothabilly Outfit

The gothabilly wardrobe incorporates some style elements from the retro culture revival, including: stylized flames, 50's tattoo imagery, animal prints, creeper shoes, cherry accessories and ubiquitous polka dot clothes, pencil skirts, fishnet stockings and high heels, all popular in both the rockabilly and psychobilly scenes.The goth influence can be seen in the softer textures of black silks, satins, lace and velvet, corsets, top hats, antique jewelry, PVC, and leather.


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The term gothabilly is used not only to describe a musical genre but a fashion and a lifestyle as well. Gothabilly and psychobilly both enjoy the sound of the double bass and share interests in B-rated horror movies, kitsch, hot rods (especially hearses, see www.hearseclub.com for example!), vintage fashion, the macabre and all things noir.


Goth influenced rockabilly band - The Horropops 


Model Anna Fur Laxis in rockabilly outfit.

12 December 2011

Kitsune (Fox Spirits)

Hello there! It's been a while since I've posted, so I'm glad to finally be doing this article.
Today's post is about Kitsune: Japanese Fox Spirits.
The legends of Kitsune originally hail from China, but as with most folktales that transferred across to Japan, the tales were elaborated upon until Kitsune were some of the most powerful spirits in Japan's mystical menagerie.
Well-natured kitsune, or Zenko, were said to be the servants and messengers of the beloved Shinto/Buddhist deity, Inari-sama, and used their wiles to bring unfair businessmen and overconfident samurai down a few notches. The more malicious Yako (Also known as Nogitsune) often terrorized farmers or peasants just trying to make ends meet.
Along with Zenko and Yako, another classification of kitsune were the Ninko: those foxes that were believed to possess people (almost always young women) and were only visible to their victims. Ninko supposedly entered their victims via the breasts or under the fingernails. A state of Fox Possession was called Kitsune-tsuki.
The best known symptoms of Kitsune-tsuki are:
-- Contortion of the face in a fox-like or otherwise feral manner
-- Aversion to water
-- Avoidance of eye-contact
-- Restlessness
-- Cravings for azuki (sweet red beans) or other sweet foods
-- Foaming at the mouth

You might have noticed that some of those symptoms sound a bit like a case of rabies with a sweet tooth. Since fox-possession only ever ensued when one came into contact with the animal in question, most cases of kitsune-tsuki were more than likely the result of an unpleasant brush with a rabid fox. Other symptoms point to various types of mental illness.

Like with the Nekomata (see Vampire-Cat of Nabeshima article), when a kitsune reached a certain size or, more commonly age (50 - 100 years old) it would grow extra tails. But kitsune didn't stop at just two: they could have anywhere up to nine tails. The foxes also acquired otherworldly wisdom, omniscience, and a stunning coat of gold and black fur. These ancient, wise foxes bore the title of "Kyuubi no Kitsune".
Kyuubi no Kitsune literally translates as "Fox of Nine Flames". Flames refers to the spirits' many writhing tails.
Many of my fellow anime fans will probably recognize the Nine-tailed Fox due to its central role in the popular boys' anime/manga, NARUTO. However in this franchise, the "Demon" Nine-tailed Fox, as it is called, poses the more malignant characteristics more often seen in Chinese and Korean lore rather than that of Japan.

(The Kyuubi as it is portrayed in Naruto)

On the more whimsical side, one particular fairy-tale, called "The Kitsunes' Wedding" tells of rain falling from a clear sky at the wedding of a pair of foxes. It is said that couples who are wed in similar conditions will be blessed with happiness and many children.
Also, the game we know as "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is supposedly derived from the ancient Japanese game "Kitsune-ken" ("Fox-fist"). The hand signs in "Kitsune-ken" represent a hunter, a village leader, and a fox. The hunter beats the fox, whom he shoots; the village leader beats the hunter, whom he outranks; but the fox beats the village leader, whom he either outwits or bewitches. These days Japan has adopted the western rock, paper, and scissors hand-signs, and the game is called "Jyan-ken".

Of course, as with all tricksters and mischievous beings, Kitsune are occasionally portrayed as vampires and incubi/succubi; seducing or drinking the blood of whatever poor unfortunate should happen to cross their wily path.

Arigatou Gouzaimasu! (Thanks for reading),
Kurotsuta Murasaki.

"Polka" goths - a touch of vintage


No it's not sub-style of gothic culture. I just played with the words "polka dots" and "goths" :P
What do you think of polka dots? I think it's an amazing pattern. It's a vintage evergreen! Can be both casual and elegant. I believe there's a polka dot dress in every girl's closet, goth girls included! :)






"During the 1940's and '50s, the polka dot graced the gowns of female celebrities from Marilyn Monroe to Elizabeth Taylor, during the same time period Christian Dior began to release his notable hourglass dresses in spotted prints. The polka dot dress became a staple for Lucille Ball's wardrobe in I Love Lucy. Gaining global recognition, the polka dot has not looked back towards it's troubled past. Time has only brought continuous success to the polka dot!" (info taken from flaunt.com)


Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, 1951-1960

Louise Dahl-Wolfe photographed Marry Jane Russell, wearing Christian Dior.




05 December 2011

We are going to have a Gothic Christmas!

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Christmas is coming and all is getting fullfilled with christmas decorations! There's lights, trees, bows, etc. everywhere and it's time for us too to start thinking how to celebrate Christmas, possibly in a gothy way. So how to goth-up your Christmas?


If you are one of those goths (like me) who doesn't like those feisty happy glitterish glamorous decorations then you could try to gothify your decorations with lace appliques or by using darker colors. For example, last year I put black and purple christmas balls on my tree. Came out beautiful! This year I want to try to buy a black tree and put red bows all over it. I think red and black is perfect for christmas time! I usually do not use bright colored lights but prefer using those which resemble candle light and create a warmer sober and darker atmosphere. Also last year I matched wrapped the gifts with light violet wrapping paper and black bows! :D Looked amazing and also matched the tree decor :P





Another thing that I do on Christmas to give it a more gothic atmosphere is putting the Nightmare Before Xmas soundtrack on on loop! xD (Especially that "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" track revisited by KoRn... ♥)
Other rockin' Christmas songs are all the classics christmas songs revisited by the Twisted Sisters. \m/ And the Within Temptation's "Gothic Christmas" song of course!

Amazing Goth make up idea for Christmas!

How do you usually goth-up your christmas? :)


Perfumes with a gothic touch! PART 3

On Saturday I went shopping and couldn't avoid entering into cosmetic shops, especially those selling perfumes. As I already said in part 1 or 2 I'm a collector of perfume bottles. Especially of those with a gothy look and of course I like sharing with you which ones I found particularly interesting on this round.

First, Christina Aguilera's Royal Desire perfume bottle. Of which exists also night version called "Royal Desire by night". The bottle have laces designs with little black laced flowers and black bow. Too bad i didn't like the perfume enough..smelled like feet odour after a while.. :P




Then I was immediately attracted by Alyssa Ashley's Esoteric perfume bottle and packing. Purple and mystical. LOVE IT. There also a compact solid version of the fragrance which looks awesome :) 




Also I loved the black hot pink with hint of red of this bottle, Paco Rabanne's Black XS.

 The new version of Harajuku Lovers's Fragrances "Wicked Style" is now out!! Waaaa *-*


A must-have for my collection :)

And at last but not least the new Dita Von Teese's fragrance called "Femme Totale". Bottle is simple but effective like a little black dress. And I also like the fact that it has the pumpette like older perfume bottles! Classy and elegant :)


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