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Ulalume Viva Jones
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This book confuses me. At first, it seems to want to explain how some goths are pagan. Fine and good, but then, like other reviewers have said, the first 80 pages read like a field guide for those wanting to be goth. First, pick a type of goth you want to be and maybe you will even get one with the required music, so you don't have to think for yourself. Next, pick a religion or magic system. You picked GlamGoth Asatru. Congrats! Then again I am one of those older goths, oh-no. I'd be smack inbetween many catagories of goth: Faerie goth (because I like neofolk and I guess that's fairy), Romantigoth, Victorian Goth, Trad Goth, Casual goth and Sophistigoth, but wait I like industrial music too. That's the problem with these young whippersnapper gothlings...they all want to put you in a box. Why can't goth just be goth? I mean when I was in high school in the late 80's, we had punks and new wavers or ha ha, New Romantics. They were doing it to be anti-fashion, now it's a fashion, ta-duh. So now, you have to classify yourself under 100s of goth groups or subgroups, along with the music therein.
So what does paganism have to do with this? Yeah color me confused and I run my own Dark Paganism blog. I tend to use words like dark or goth to draw people in from the millions of hits on the internet they could get from just typing in pagan or goth. It gets you there faster and covers two bases. I am not sure if the people illustrated in this book are pagan. It seems so, but I am not really told.
I mean, the author being a bit young himself, has the huge task of merging a whole subculture into another one and trying to come out with an unified philosophy of sorts. A philosophy he constantly has to put "some but not all" into, which is nice because then I can't dislike him. Even his name is sort of funny, but he justifies it proudly. Moxie. He gets one of the stars explaining how to take angry emotions and make them positive. Some goths have had bad childhoods, some but not all. It is nice to have someone explain this in a way that is transformative. So there's a star for that. Do you want a silver or black star?
Not to Nickpick, but I do think it is so funny when the author puts down people who think Siouxsie and the Banshees are "Sushi and The Banshees" (a totally made up and not that funny joke) only to spell Siouxsie's name wrong a few pages later. Now that's funny! And then, the author says NotGoths listen to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, yet point out goths listen to them too. I know the goth clubs in Southern California play both. This probably mattered more to me when I was in my 20's or was less into neofolk, maybe neofolk's balancing me out.
Anyway, on to Gothic Makeup styles. No, no, don't come up with your own style, this book will tell you how to do it so you don't have to! I do disagree with other's comments on here that the piercing chart is silly because I have read gemstone books which tell you that piercing your ears and wearing certain stones will help you with this or that. I won't be on him for that.
I'll give him the other star for the elemental part where he lists music along with the other traits of the element. Amusing. I am not sure how much I believe it, but it's an original idea. The sex, drugs and rock and roll chapter is funny to me. I guess if you are goth, you gotta be into SM too. Ok, I know a lot of people like this and have been to their parties, so count me in as well, I guess. The author is probably smart enough to know if people are open minded enough to be gothic or pagan, or both, then sexual openness isn't that far behind.
Oh yeah, what's up with this naming Gothic, Gothick? It's a bit much. As far as I can see, only about 50 pages or so of this volume can be used as Gothic Magick, which is a hell of a lot more than other Gothic Wicca books I have read. There are some pages on death work and blood work, the author seems to know what is going on in history for the most part. It really isn't anything you couldn't get if you read something by Leilah Wendell as far as the death work goes. But then the tool section is just the same Wiccan tools with no gothick-ness added. Raven does pick out a lot of magick from different sources, like the lemon magic part of the Aradia. I'd rather see him do his own thing though, since his original ideas, like the element music stuff, is rather good. Not great, but good.
I guess if you were 21 and just getting into a club scene and wanted to have a style guide to goth coupled with a spiritual guide to your religion if you happened to be pagan or a magician, this would be the only book you would need. It covers everything, almost too much. It is too cut and dried, this is Ubergoth, this is Babydoll, etc. But to me, it's a hard subject to write about without getting criticized for it. I don't think people who are in the goth scene or over 25, especially if they are well read, will get much out of it. At that age, you have experience in clubs and with others of like mind and that experience explains it to you.
If you are over 30, you are probably an Ubergoth and don't get what the kids like. So don't even try. It's pretty though, give it that and it's funny that all the goths made sure to get their photo credits, because that is what is important these days. Kidding. It's surely more sophisticated than anything I've read from Konstantinos or Brenda Knight, in regards to the goth pagan scene in general, which is saying a lot since Raven is a lot younger than either of them. It's refreshing in one sense, but annoying in the other.
I am bumping this up to 3 stars because I forgot he had part of a chapter devoted to "giving thanks", which I felt is very overlooked in modern pagan books, be it gothic or not. It always seems like books call down god and goddesses, spirits or what have you, ask for something, but then, once it is given, the ritual caster never gives anything back. I mean, you should give offerings BEFORE you ask for something, but at least this book steps in the right direction there.
I look forward to reading this man's work 10 years down the road.