Archive for the ‘Celluloid Vamps’ Category

The Lord of Sceptres is forceful in pursuit of his desires and goals. He is assertive, bold and self assured. He characterises the positive energy of fire, which is direct, dynamic and active. He combines vitality and self-determination with an innovative nature making him a lightning rod of inspiration.
p. 182 Phantasmagoria

When I learned that the Lord of Sceptres was riding through the night to reach Shadwell any thoughts of seducing the Prince of Grails were put on hold. Besides, word had come via Cora (my Raven) that he was lingering at an Inn known to provide services to gentlemen of his ilk. “No class!” I thought to myself. “Still wearing the crease of the nappy!” I muttered a little uncharitably.

Now the Lord of Sceptres is another prospect altogether. His energy is projected forth like a flaming arrow and he is known to be powerful, honourable, optimistic, clever and enthusiastic. He thrusts his Will out into the world, sometimes with spectacular energy.

The more I thought of him thrusting his will the more determined I became. He might be powerful, clever and enthusiastic but so am I – with some help from my guides.

So I popped down into the woods and called upon the Fey Faeries to offer some advice. I clapped my hands together with glee when Pook agreed to a selfie by one of the mushrooms to be found there. This was quite something because the Pook is a shape changer who appears in whatever guise he thinks will be most confusing or useful depending on the circumstances.

Pook really is a naughty little shape changing villain. He whispered in my ear that perhaps, like him, I could do a spot of shape changing and attract the interest of the Lord by presenting myself as the Empress, who the Lord is known to have pursued so often.

“Are you saying I am not attractive Pook”? I demanded.

“Of course not my lady” Pook said quite unconvincingly. ” You are much cleverer than the Lord and you do know that he is besotted with the Empress! What about I weave a little spell and rectify all that grey hair and give you a fresh ‘look’?” he tactfully suggested.

The Lord of Sceptres can also represent divine inspiration and good news or advice. He is the creator who utilises his personal potential by identifying with his own inner image as the creator god. p.183 Phantasmagoria

With that he burned a few pine needles, muttered some mysterious words and blew smoke from the needles all over me. Then he held up a mirror! “What do you think?”

Whence came the term vamp? Short for “vampire,” the word meant a female seductress with an almost supernatural ability to drain male victims not of their blood, but of their…life force. Or something like that. Ask someone from the 1910s to name a vampire, and they were just as likely to say “Theda Bara” as “Count Dracula.”

When Cora, my faithful Raven, sang a sweet love song by my window something stirred within. “Ecstasy! It was once considered a favour of the gods, a divine gift that could life mortals out of ordinary reality and into a higher world. The transformative fire of ecstasy would burn away the barriers between ourselves and our souls, bestowing on us a greater understanding of our relation to ourselves and to the universe” (Johnson 1987,

The great tragedy of contemporary Western society is that we have virtually lost the ability to experience the transformative power of ecstasy and joy. This loss affects every aspect of our lives. The truth is that our spirits need nourishment more than ever. Excluding the inner experience of divine ecstasy from our lives can impact on our physical well being.

At a time when we have headaches instead of thunderbolts from Zeus and angina pains instead of the arrows of Eros, the impending arrival of the seductive Prince of Grails at Shadwell was like both a thunderbolt and a blazing arrow, transforming me, drawing forth the inner vamp. I needed to prepare myself! I needed to be as innovative as he was known to be, and think carefully about how to present myself, how to seduce him.


Her large black eyes, accentuated by heavy kohl makeup, set off her rounded, dead-white face. Elaborate props such as a tiger-skin rug and a long gold cigarette holder embellished her exoticism, as did her penchant for veils, crowns, large hoop earrings, and bronze bangles. With her long, dark hair and voluptuous figure draped in low-cut gauzy gowns, the vamp perpetuated a familiar stereotype of European passion and exoticism. At the same time, the character created a popular image of women as sensual yet powerful. The vamp dominated and triumphed over men, and contrasted sharply with the clean-cut WASPish characters portrayed by Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish.

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After recovering my equilibrium I told Silas all about the Dungeon and the Chariot that had stormed out of it, momentarily winding me. He was intrigued and we set out together determined to investigate further. Edwin (the butler), who clearly misses nothing in this establishment, overheard us talking and offered, not only to open the old apartment down there, but to show us slides from the carefully curated collection of early Vamp movies that he had stored down there – along with his vintage slide projector.

As we watched Edwin’s slide show Silas and I were drinking lots of Edwin’s vintage pure red gold and selecting chocolates from a vast box of the best quality assortments. Using his most affected Vincent Price voice, Edwin adopted the role of a narrator, revealing how, long before Mae West, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Jean Harlowe, and Madonna vamped their way across the silver screen, there was Theda Bara—the original celluloid “vamp.”

Born Theodosia Goodman on July 29, 1885, Theda Bara had a brief but notable career as the star of dozens of silent films. Raised in Cincinnati, Bara moved to New York City at age eighteen to pursue acting. Only marginally successful on the stage, she became an overnight sensation when director Frank Powell cast her as the star of A Fool There Was in 1915. In the film, which was based on a stage melodrama that was in turn based on a Rudyard Kipling poem, Bara played a temptress who squeezed money, dignity, and finally life out of men. As the sensuous, cruel seductress, Bara created the original “vamp.”

Apparently Bara was so convincing in her role as a vampire on and off screen that in 1918 she was subpoenaed by a California court to give expert testimony on the psychology of female vampires in a murder trial! And, although the vamp character was just a role she played in many films, Bara was touted to be a real “vampire” by her movie studio’s press team. Magazines of the time referred to her as “The Queen of Vampires”, “Purgatory’s Ivory Angel” and “The Devil’s Handmaiden”.

We were enthralled and so you can imagine our delight when up on to the screen flashed a scene in which significant members of our ‘Vampire family’ played. As for me, I confess I went into a quiet reverie and dreamed of having been a celluloid vamp in another lifetime.

“This card is a sign that the time has come for us to engage with our own glorification. Now is the time to gather the rewards and acclaim for our achievements and fulfil our wishes. By relaxing and giving ourselves up to the blazing lifeblood of the Sun, we can accomplish anything. The brilliance is both external and internal, and its energy can be passed on to others without loss.
p. 140 Phantasmagoria

In this scene the two figures represent the divine expression of the passive and active dynamics within the fifth element of spirit. Wearing the crown of Kether the female vampire is related to the element of air while the male has transformed into the inactive energy of earth, representing Malkuth and the material world. They feed from each other in pure harmony, becoming one by sharing the lifeblood. The image also symbolises the reconciliation of our light and dark aspects and reunification with our shadow. p. 141 Phantasmagoria.