Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review - Oracle of The Shapeshifters

A few weeks ago I picked up a new oracle deck. I love to collect tarot and oracle decks, especially ones that are a little different than a standard tarot deck (though I have plenty of those too).

The artwork is by Jasmine Becket-Griffith and the guidebook is written by Lucy Cavendish. They have collaborated on other oracle projects before. I have their Oracle of Shadows and Light, which I really liked, so thought I might enjoy this one too.

I am a big fan of her artwork. I love the style with it's colourful yet gothic bent, and the doll like figures with large eyes often dressed in gothic fashion. Below is one of the cards from the deck called "Little Red Riding Hood."

Besides the great artwork, I find the guidance to be straightforward and relevant. The book is well written. You can either read the full longer interpretation for each card, or the quicker divination interpretation, and both are useful.

The cards themselves are large, which might be a challenge for those who are not used to such large ones for shuffling. The stock is high quality and glossy, and the overall packaging is well designed and sturdy.

I would recommend this card deck to those looking for an oracle with a more gothic or lolita bent to it, or for those who love animals. I would also recommend it to those just looking for something different then a standard tarot deck.
I give this deck 4 parasols out of five!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Victorian Diseases - Hysteria

Probably the most famous of 19th century pseudo diseases, hysteria was a catch all diagnosis for women. It could cover anything from real mental health issues like schizophrenia and anxiety or depression, to symptoms like fainting, loss of appetite, loss of sexual desire, having sexual desire, fluid retention, and irritability, or just being a "troublesome woman". So if you were a female, basically anything really, could get you labelled hysterical.

Hysteria dates back to ancient times, and was documented in Ancient Greece as being caused by a "wandering womb". They believed the womb wandered throughout the body causing disease. Another belief was that it was caused by a build up of female "semen" that needed release. It was sometimes referred to as "widows womb". Of course we now know all of this is false and 19th century doctors knew as well that wombs didn't wander, but the idea that female sexuality was a dangerous thing that caused illness was still prevalent.

Interest in Hysteria by the medical community was popular throughout the 19th century and diagnosis reached their peak in the 1890s. It fell sharply in the early part of the 20th century as modern psychology developed actual understanding of various psychiatric illnesses.

Treatment of hysteria could include hypnosis, spraying water at a woman's groin(see above) or even get you institutionalized. This is also where the word hysterectomy comes from, as another common treatment for severe cases was removal of the uterus and ovaries. The most famous treatment was "pelvic massage" which was administered by doctors. In reality these pelvic massages were just masturbating the patient to orgasm. This made for many repeat customers for doctors and was very lucrative. Some doctors though complained of sore hands and thus machines were invented to make the job easier.

It's a little less compact and discrete than modern day vibrators, and a little dangerous looking too, I must say. Can you imagine trying to hide this in your nightstand drawer?
These days we know hysteria doesn't exist but the idea that women are somehow naturally unstable and that our sexuality is dangerous, still has hold in some.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Leibster Award Question Tag

I'd like to thank Sary Walrus from The Walrus Room for nominating me for the Leibster Award Question tag. I always enjoy answering these and love reading other people's responses, as you can find out things you didn't know about your fellow bloggers.

Here are the questions I received.
1. Who is your biggest character crush from any television show, film or book and why?

Despite the picture above, this is actually a difficult question for me. It depends, there's so many good ones. For Game of Thrones - Jon Snow, for LOTR - Legolas is pretty awesome, but then again so is Eomer, and for Harry Potter - Snape in my favourite character, though I wouldn't actually say I have a crush on him physically.

2. Talk us through your everyday hair routine. Are you a curler, straightener or hairstyle kind of person.
I am definetly a straightener. I like my bangs and hair straight as a pin. Wether it's down, or up in a ponytail - straight it must be.

3. If you were any subset of Goth style, what would you be and why?
This is tricky. I love Victorian goth, and own a few items, but don't dress in it everyday. I would say my everyday wear is more perky/casual/rocker goth (is that even a thing?).

4. Continue the above question, within that style, what would be your holy grail outfit?
My holy grail would be a long black skirt with a bustle, beautiful embroidered custom black corset, long black gloves, an ornate lace choker and parasol. At least I have the parasol and gloves - it's a start.
Something like this.

5. Who is your top three favourite YouTubers?
Another tricky question as there's lots of people doing great blogs out there. I would have to say Katzlovesbats, for her positive energy and enthusiasm, Adora BatBrat, because I love her style and she's not afraid to be herself, and Psychara0x for her great Cybergoth style. I can't just leave it there though - two new people I've discovered that I'm enjoying are It's Black Friday and Snowy Lowther, they are both adorable! You should also check out Sary Walrus' channel. She put together a very innovative OOTD post!

6. If you were to try and sell your all-time favourite beauty product, in three sentences what would you say?

It's the deepest black. I stays on all day. And it's affordable.

7. Can you name something that you enjoy eating, a meal or anything, that is actually vegan? (When I became a vegan I realised I was pretty much already eating that way.)
Yes, the falafel wrap at a local restaurant called Bodegoes. It's falafel and garlicky veggie goodness wrapped in a pita - yum.

8. Your job is to write the most Gothiest (I can't believe I just wrote that as a word) novel possible, what would you title it and what would the blurb say?
"Vampire Music Academy - the Cemetery Club" in a world of rival bloodsuckers, teenage vampire students must face off in the ultimate music and fashion competition, or die trying.

9.Name one thing that you wanted all through your childhood that your parent(s)/guardian(s) would never have let you get, even if you don't want it now?

This. The MLP dream castle. The original one.

If you had to get one body modification of your choice (piercings, scarification, tongue splitting, implants, tattoos, etc) what would you get?
None actually. I have earrings and a nose ring, and I'm pretty happy with that.

My Nominees
The Curious Proffesor Z
Lily Peppermint
Anyone else reading this!

My Questions
1. Describe what subset of goth you are?
2. What one makeup item could you not live without?
3. If you could have only one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
4. You are trapped on an island with three books - what are they?
5. You have to write the ultimate goth novel - what is it called and what is it about?
6. You start a goth band - what is it called? Describe it.
7. What is your favourite time of year/weather and why?
8. What TV show is your guilty pleasure.
9. You are invited to a goth meet up and picnic, what food are you bringing?
10. You must name a black cat an über gothy name - what is it?

Can't wait to read your answers!
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