Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Ultimate Wave Gotik Treffen Guide

Me and Christopher at the victorian picnic in 2016
Wave Gotik Treffen (WGT) is one of the biggest goth / wave / alternative festivals in the world with over 20 000 visitors every year. It takes place in Leipzig, Germany around the middle of may or beginning of june (during Pentecost). The whole city participates in it. There are over 200 bands in many venues scattered all over the city, lots of different cultural events, parties and stores even put up a goth display in their windows! In this guide I will write about everything there is to know about the festival, with some help from others. This festival is probably the greatest joy in my life, at least the highlight of the year, since I live in Bergen, Norway where there is barely a goth scene. At WGT you get to meet so many wonderful people, and taylor the experience to your personal tastes!

Victorian picnic 2017
Some people book their hotel rooms for the next year as they leave the festival. This might get you a good deal, but not all hotels let you do that. So 10-8 months before can be a good time to book, as long as they have a good cancellation policy, in case you're 100% not sure that you're going, or you find a better deal somewhere else later on. Some even book multiple places and pick the best one at the last minute, but I personally find that a little rude.
You don't HAVE TO book a place ASAP, but I do recommend booking as soon as you are able to. I've stayed a lot with friends, at a hostel and AirBNB with a group. The times I've sorted that out has varied between September and February.
Remember to use incognito window when you look at prices, so the prices don't go up! Some years are more busy than others, so watch out for when things get booked, and catch the good deals while you can. You can also wait until more last minute, when people cancel their accommodations for various reasons. I like to look at flights (and buses) before I book, in case it's cheaper for me to fly a couple of days before or after the festival.

Keep an eye out on the WGT website (you can sign up for email alerts) and facebook page for announcements of bands, events and ticket sales. Bands can be announced from as early as december, usually in batches of 10, and more frequently as it gets closer. Tickets are usually out in march or so. There are also some social facebook groups you can join! I think the best one is Sadgoth.com (who also has a guide website), which is for English speakers, and he also arranges a meet-up on the thursday!

Personally, I find planning to be almost half the fun (especially when the festival is months away). 
One personal tip I have for planning your schedule (and coordinating an outfit to match) is that when most of the program is out (the finished program is released VERY shortly prior to the festival), go to the artist page on the WGT website, open a word document and write down the dates of the festival. Fill it in with bands you want to see, time and location (if you're new, they also provide how to get there with public transport). See what you can make, and prioritize the bands most important to you. Then fill in with all other events you want to go to (some of the cultural ones last for longer periods or repeat for a couple of days).
Then the fun part: Plan outfits! I usually do this a while before the schedule, but pick the days I'll wear them when I finish my schedule. I like to look my best, and preferably to match the events I go to that day. That might be just me, but that's just a tip!

Ready for WGT 2018!
I'll repeat what I said earlier: Remember to use incognito window when you look at prices, so the prices don't go up! Very important thing people don't know. Companies are sneaky that way.

Now how you get there will of course depend on where you're from. What I do recommend for everyone, is getting to Berlin, and taking the train or bus to Leipzig from there. If you can take a train or bus directly to Leipzig, look into that! I learned about the bus from my friends from Leipzig that brought me to WGT for the first time (thank you Roland and Hanna, you changed my life!). My airline of choice is usually Norwegian. Leipzig does have their own airport, and at least for me it's much more expensive to fly direct, but see how much it costs for you. If it is cheap, do it! It'll be much easier.

A tip I can mention for flying is that always check the low price / economy calendar (you can usually check a box when you search). You never know if it turns out to be cheaper if you stay a little longer! It usually is for me, as certain days of the week can make the ticket price double up many times.

Most people take the train from Berlin to Leipzig. In 2020 I will do this for the first time, having used the bus from 2014-2019. This is probably the most comfortable, hassle-free and fastest way to get you from most places in Berlin straight to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station and mall) in the very center of Leipzig. It takes about 1,5 hour, and the tickets are released 6 months in advance. The cheapest you can get is the super sparpreis for €17.90. Remember to reserve a seat in addition to the ticket itself, so you don't risk having to stand with your luggage the whole way!

Flixbus / Meinfernbus is a super cheap bus company that will take you from Berlin to Leipzig comfortably in about 2 hours. It leaves from several stops; the airports, Südkreuz, Alexanderplatz and the main station. Check what stops and times work for you - there might be a price difference as well.
2020 update: It looks like they don't have a lot of buses anymore, I will update this as I find out more.

Täubchental, 2018
Hotel - If you have budget for it, this is good for a couple of people. Already covered it above.

Hostel - There are several cheap hostels in the city center, as well as a little outside. You can book a bed in a room with several others, or you can rent an entire room if you are a group. This way you can leave the room a mess, and coming in in the middle of the night might not be a problem. Though most likely the other people in the hostel are also there for the festival. A very cheap option!

Apartment / Room / Couchsurfing - Many locals rent out for the festival. Check out Couchsurfing and AirBNB for listings. There are listings on the WGT forums and in some of the fb groups, but be prepared that it might be in German. If you know some locals, even better! I've stayed with friends for most of my visits, and it's been great not to spend money on accommodation, especially since I tend to stay a few extra days before and after the festival.

Camping - WGT has official camping, right between Agra and Heidnisches Dorf (the main festival area and pagan village). You need to buy a special ticket for this, called Obsorgeticket (€25, I believe). You get this special wristband only at Agra, but luckily the queues are pretty short there.
  • Bring a camping chair, a table and a mirror. It makes everything easier; breakfast, chilling and styling.
  • Bring a pavilion and a kiddie pool. The pavilion will provide shade and protection from rain. The tents tend to get really hot, so you want to spend as little time in it as possible. The pool will keep your drinks and feet cool and hey - it's a pool!
  • Put your ticket in a safe place while searching for the best place for your tent. A see-through case around your neck is a good idea.
  • Talk to your neighbors! You'll have great conversations and make friends. They will help you out if anything goes missing or anything like that, and do the same with them.
  • Bring hearing protection. The camp site can get noisy at night and the Bunker (the night club at Agra) isn't far away.
  • Bring good tent pegs and a hammer. The ground at Agra is quite tricky. Don't use the pegs that come with your tent.
There are three camp sites at Agra and one for caravans. The biggest is the loudest, since that's where most of the action takes place. You can walk across this from Agra to Heidnisches Dorf. There will always be parties, though you won't be able to get much sleep.
The site near the caravans is pretty quiet, and it isn't far from the Agra concert hall. Many want to camp there, but it isn't big, so try to get there early to secure your spot.
The last one is the quietest, but it's also the one that's furthest away. You'll get plenty of sleep here.
So choose wisely!

On hoop skirts:
Put on the hoop skirt AFTER you get out of your tent.
Make your friends hold your hoop skirts, heavy clothing and accessories when you use the toilet.
Bring a rope so you can tie your hoop skirt to the inside of your tent. This way you won't tumble over it and it will stay dry.

Thank you to CoraCorbeau for the camping tips!
Remember to check the weather forecast and be prepared. Happy camping!

Südfriedhof (south cemetery)
So, aside from getting to your place of accommodation and leaving your luggage there, what do you do when you arrive in this beautiful city? If you have some time to spare, here are some ideas.
  • Go grocery shopping for quick snacks / foods, alcohol and other essentials (like hairspray).
  • Sit at a restaurant and play ''spot the goth'' - The day before the festival is when you really notice all the black-clad people. It's really fun! Makes me happy.
  • Sadgoth usually has a meeting the day before the festival starts, aimed for english-speaking people.
  • Warm-up parties! My favorite one is Moritzbastei, but other venues and clubs have them too.
  • And remember, don't be afraid to ask other people in black for help! Everyone is really friendly, and most people speak english. If you REALLY don't want to, just follow the stream of black, hahah.
Chameleons Vox in 2018
Like I mentioned in the last paragraph, try to grocery shop for your entire stay before sunday. I believe it's closed on sunday, and that monday is a holiday. It's the cheapest option.
For me who's norwegian everything in Germany is cheap, but a lot of people consider the food and drink at venues very expensive. So if you want to avoid this, buy food at the grocery store.
They also have this ''pfand'' thing where you pay one or two euro extra for your drink (and often get a chip), and when you return it you get it back. Probably so people won't litter, but it's something to keep in mind. You can also keep the glass if you get one of the WGT glasses.
For food during the night, Moritzbastei serves food, and there are some fast food joints open at the Hauptbahnhof (the train station). I usually go for mcdonalds or subway, and a lot of people hang out inside there while waiting for the first trams in the morning to start running.
The past years a lot of vegetarian and vegan options have popped up.
My biggest recommendation is Absintherie Sixtina, who have over 250 types of absinthe, and breakfast included in the morning! They are open 24/7 during the festival.
The alcohol age limit in Germany is 16 for beer and such, and 18 for liquor. So if you're over these ages but underage where you live, this is a great opportunity!

Absinthe breakfast at Sixtina

There are over 200 bands of different genres playing all over the city during the festival. Earlier in the planning section I told you how I usually make my schedule. You will never be able to see all the bands you want to, just keep that in mind  clashes are inevitable. Even if you plan it out carefully, things will always happen, and something else happens instead. But that has never ruined my experience!
After the concerts are over for the night, you still want more music, right? Time to go clubbing! Every night the clubs have different themed parties, often with several dancefloors of different genres. I personally like dancing to EBM and those kind of genres, but some might like more traditional music, so pick your clubs / dancefloors based on that. Consult the program you get with your wristband to see what genres / dj's are playing what and where.
Clubs during the festival tend to have something called ''open end'', which means that they will stay open as long as there are people there. I've been kicked out of clubs with a few others at noon!

My outfit for the victorian picnic in 2017
Usually, pretty things aren't easily available for us goths - We usually have to order online or make our own stuff. But during this festival, you will see more beautiful things you've never even dreamed of. Remember to carry cash (but not too much, for safety), as they don't always accept cards. Places / booths that sell expensive items probably do, but the smaller ones usually don't, as well as food and drink vendors.
  • Agra, the main festival area, has the biggest black market you will ever see. Try not to get TOO overwhelmed if you are new, but you will probably spend some hours wandering in there. By now I know where all the booths are and what they sell, so I can easily skip them / find what I'm looking for.
  • EMP in Brühl street (behind that huge Höfe Am Bruhl mall). They used to be called XtraX, for those of you that have been around for a few years. They have a 3-floor store filled with goodies! They also usually have an outlet nearby where they sell TONS of things for really cheap, so I always go there when we arrive.
  • Wonderland13 (also on Brühl street) had a pop-up store there a few years back, and is now a permanent store, recently bought by the owner of Dracula Clothing. They sell tons of brands and really cool stuff, so check it out!
  • Darxity in Ranstädter Steinweg (right by Goerdelerring, so you can hit this one at the same time as the others I just mentioned). A great store with a pretty good selection of stuff!
  • Gothic second hand near Connewitz Kreuz (where Gothic Pogo Party is) is also worth checking out!
  • Heidnisches Dorf (the pagan village) also has a lot of shopping, not only for people interested in that type of stuff, but also regular goths too! The food is great too.
  • Queen Of Darkness has an outlet store in the North of Leipzig (note: they don't have a regular store anymore).

A booth in Heidnisches Dorf selling clothes for kids - and tiny me!

Since goth(ic) can be called an entire culture, there is not just music events and shopping going on. There's lots of cultural stuff to partake in as well! I'll try to list all of the options there are.

Victorian picnic - One of the most important events for many, and not just us who love period clothing. It takes place in the huge Clara-Zetkin park, and they also sell food and refreshments there, so you don't ACTUALLY have to picnic. I tend to just walk around, people-watch, talk to people, take photos and relax even though I'm boiling. There is also an alternative event called Victorian Village, where there is a dress code, for people who don't want to be around SO many people and photographers.

Obsession Bizarr - For those who are in the fetish scene as well, join us at this great party! I myself have been a walking act for years now, and now my partner too, and we love it! I recommend wearing warm enough clothes, cause the line is really long. There's a wardrobe and you can change inside! There are some amazing performances and fashion shows, great dance floors (one for smokers), photo shoots and a private area for private activities for those who want to. One of the best things at the festival!

Cemetery - The big cemetery (Südfriedhof) is amazing just by itself, but they also have a couple of events there! In the past they've had bat tours, lectures, and open mourning halls and crematorium.

Book readings - If you are a german speaker, these are probably very fun!

Opera - Maybe I should have put this in the music section, but I guess this is more of a cultural special interest. I've seen classical music / opera performances in the program, but never been.

Theater - You also have the opportunity to see some theater performances at the festival.

Cinema - They show movies relevant to gothic, but it's before noon and with limited seating.

Museum - Several of the Leipzig museums provide free entrance with a WGT wristband, usually throughout the entire duration of the festival. Check the program for specific museums, times and exhibitions. Other places might have exhibitions as well.

Musical - They actually also put up a couple of musicals!

Kids - They have a small kindergarden at the Agra! If you need a little time off from your babybats, you can leave your children over 3 years old for up to 3 hours.

Nail art - Also in Agra, you can get your nails done by professionals! Cool, right?

Pagan village - Heidnisches Dorf is right by Agra (right when you get off the tram), they have concerts, food & drink, shops and activities for those who want to travel back in time to the medieval period! There is also a small medieval market on top of Moritzbastei.

Band meet & greets - At Agra bands will usually have short meet and greets where you can get their autographs! I've never found the time to go myself, hahah.

Pogo party - A separate event from WGT, so you have to buy a ticket for it. You can buy entrace for the entire duration (5 days) or one day for fairly cheap (about 30€ for 5 days, one night might be 5€). I've never been myself, but I hear the parties are good. And cheap drinks! So if you want to take the time to go there, do that! A bunch of people go clubbing there at night, some don't even buy a WGT ticket and go there instead.

31 goes from the city centre to Agra - And the famous GruftiBahn 11!
Public transportation is free with the wristband during the festival (friday 8 AM to tuesday noon)! Isn't that awesome? Keep in mind that if you live away from the city center, look at the schedules to know when the last one leaves for the night, and plan accordingly if you don't want to party all night. Most of us do, so it's no problem, but you know yourself best! There are some night buses too, check the schedules on the stop to see if there are any near where you're staying and how often they run. There's also taxis, for me they're cheap, and they are a life-saver if there are no more trams and your feet are dying. But if you want cheaper taxis, I've heard the apps MyTaxi and CleverShuttle are good - They don't have Uber there.
The WGT website and program provides you with which trams / buses to take and when to get off, which is very useful if you're not familiar with the city or you're going to a venue you haven't been to before. If you prefer technology, I hear the Easy Go app is great. You can also check the official website www.L.de. Don't trust Google, cause for some reason you don't get the city trams on there, just the S-bahn. And again: Follow the black-clad people!
Trams leave all the time by the way, so there's not really a need to run if you see one. Save your feet, there will be another tram within the next few minutes. Keep in mind a lot of them will be packed.

The big map of the trams in Leipzig!

This festival takes place in early summer, so if you're european, you will be hot. Check the weather forecast before you go to pack accordingly. Everyone wants to wear their finest clothing, but prepare to deal with it (especially during the victorian picnic). I've heard some people put ice packs down their corsets and dampen their fishnets, so that might be an idea. A fan also works with any victorian outfit! Footspray is also a good idea, considering most of us will wear boots all day and night.
Bring extra outfits or mix them up to create new ones. You'll want to leave your huge victorian outfit at the hotel if you want to go to crowded and tiny clubs at night. Remember that there are warm-up parties the night before the first day of the festival, so consider that when you pack outfits.
Now I'm really stubborn (and usually have overweight luggage TO Leipzig), so I don't bring flat and light shoes. You should. Cause trust me, by day 2 your feet will be dying, and you'll look for every opportunity to sit down. This doesn't only happen to ''old'' people! So consider bringing extra shoes. Blister plasters and good soles are also a lifesaver. And for the love of goth, DON'T wear new shoes at the festival! Even if you buy new shoes there and are super excited about them, just don't.

Overjoyed at The Mission in 2017
One last thing I have to add! There's an app called WGT-Guide you can download (it used to cost some € cents, but now it's free), which lists the schedule, artists, venues and shopping, complete with directions for public transport, opening times and more! You can also connect it to facebook to see if you and your friends plan to see the same bands.

Thank you so much for reading my guide! Hope you learned something new about the festival. If you see me there, please say hi! I'm not hard to recognize, I'm 147 cm / 4'10'' without boots and hair. It's a goth meetup, so let's meet! I've been going alone for most years, and I'm sure most others do too, so don't be afraid to talk to other people. WGT is great, cause it has so many venues and stuff, so there won't be a big crowd in one place like other festivals. Good for us introverts. Personally I feel so at home that my whole introvert thing goes straight out the window! I'm just so happy.

If you feel there's something missing or you've experienced something else, please add your input in the comments! The festival is different for everyone, so I want to know. If you want to see more photos, I have made separate albums for each year public on my facebook!

Have you been to WGT? Will you be going in the future?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Weekly Wicca 8: Magic

We witches do magic. Though probably not the magic you think of. It might be compared to when other religions pray. Often we just ask for the strength and the web of the universe to help us achieve a goal. Usually we use physical items to symbolize this. We draw energy from within ourselves and direct it out, so hopefully what we want will happen. Wiccans do not do ''evil'' spells. The main rule we have in our belief is to harm none! We believe in the law that says that whatever you do, will return to you in threefold. Basically karma. We don't meddle with people's free will.
With that out of the way, here are some spells you can do! I recommend that you have read most of the posts prior to this, since they contain ways to draw energy from within yourself, how to create a circle and tips for what times are best to do certain spells and what to use for them.

We don't seek to cure serious disease or perform miracles with this, but we can help send out calm energy and strength. Some things can't be changed, but we can at least try to help.

This will work best during a waxing or Full Moon. The best day is Sunday, but the Moon phase is most important.

You will need:
  • A blue candle
  • Matches / lighter
  • A paintbrush
  • A square of paper
  • Red watercolor paint
  • A bowl of water
  1. Light the candle and say ''Welcome, element of Water, patron of healing and cleansing. Witness and empower the changes I weave in your name''.
  2. Paint a red X on the paper and say ''I name thee *name*'s pain / fear / anxiety''.
  3. Hold the paper in both hands and focus on the X. Imagine the person's problem inside it.
  4. Place it in the bowl of water and move it around so the paint dissolves and say ''I wash away this paint's offence. Be ye gone and get ye hence!''
  5. When the paint is basically gone, take it out, crumple the paper and throw it away.
  6. Pour the water into the Earth after you close the circle and say ''So mote it be!''

This is a spell for someone who are ready for love to come to them. Preferably you have to do this yourself, but you can do this for others as long as they understand how this type of magic works and that they supply the crystals.

This will work best on a waxing Moon, preferably on a Friday (ruled by lovely Venus).

You will need:
  • A red candle
  • Matches / lighter
  • Rose quartz
  • Clear quartz
  • A chalice
  • Water
  • A square of red cloth
  • A length of cord
  1. Light the candle and say ''Passion burn bright like the Moon above me that I will meet with one who will love me''.
  2. Hold one quartz in each hand and visualize yourself walking on a sea-shore. A new love walks out of the waves towards you. As you walk towards each other, bring your hands together and transfer the clear stone to the other hand.
  3. Place the stones in the chalice, add water and say ''May the light of the Moon bring the gift I desire. Washed in by the tide and blessed by the fire''.
  4. This fire is the candle which should be allowed to burn down completely.
  5. Leave the stones in the chalice for three days, then place them in the red cloth and tie it into a pouch to be worn around your neck for one moon cycle.

Wealth does not only mean money. It can also mean having enough to survive, Just make sure that you aren't greedy when you cast this spell. Try to focus only on what you are asking for, and not how it will come about.

This will work best during a waxing Moon (for gain) and on a Thursday (ruled by generous Jupiter).

You will need:
  • A green candle
  • Matches / lighter
  • A breadcrumb
  • A few drops of milk
  • 1 ts sugar
  • A discarded spiderweb
  • A saucer
  1. Light the candle and say ''Goddess of the Earth, Goddess of the Hearth, I plant this spell to bring forth Wealth''.
  2. Soak up the milk with the bread, roll it in sugar and place it in the web.
  3. Holding it in your hands, visualize the desired outcome while saying ''Silver of Moon, Gold of Sun, cast the spell and be it done''.
  4. When you feel you've said it enough and brought your desire into the bread, place it in the saucer.
  5. Let the candle burn down completely (and safely), then bury it into the Earth.

This can also work for applying for schools and volunteer work. This is also assuming you are qualified.

This will work best on a waxing Moon, on a Wednesday.

You will need:
  • A yellow candle
  • Matches / lighter
  • A charcoal disc
  • A fireproof dish
  • 1/2 ts benzoin gum
  • 1/2 ts lavender seeds
  • 3 sycamore keys
  1. Light the candle and say ''Mercury, fleet and swift, witness and empower my wish''.
  2. Light the charcoal disc in the fireproof dish, and when it's red-hot, place the benzoin gum on it, and say ''Bring success an it harm none''.
  3. Sprinkle the lavender onto the dish and say ''Carry my wish an it harm none''.
  4. Press the sycamore keys between your palms and visualize your desired outcome. Take a deep breath, summon your will into it and exhale completely onto the keys.
  5. Place the keys on the disc and let them burn completely.
  6. Before dawn, bury the ashes under a tree or a potted plant.

For ages wise women have been asked to carry out fertility spells. Why not do it today? This will of course not help if there's a physical reason the couple aren't conceiving. You can also do this to bless crops / garden or a project.

This will work best on the waxing or Full Moon, and on a Monday. The Moon rules pregnancy and childbirth. You'll want to do this outside right after dawn.

You will need:
  • A tea-light (white or green)
  • A needle
  • Matches / lighter
  • A clean jar
  • 9 ears of ripe corn
  • 3 drops patchouli essential oil
  • A square of green cloth
  • A length of black cord
  1. Use the needle to carve a downward-pointing triangle with a horizontal line in the middle of it into the tea-light and say ''Goddess of Earth, hold seeds of a birth''.
  2. Carve a waxing crescent moon and say ''Goddess of the Moon, swell the grain soon''. Light the candle and place it in the jar.
  3. Face the Sun, hold the corn and say ''Goddess of Fire, warm this desire''.
  4. Place the corn in the cloth and put the patchouli oil on it. Tie it into a pouch with the cord, place it in the center of your circle and dance around it nine times deosil.
  5. Give the pouch to the women who wants to get pregnant. She has to wear it every night for the next three moons.

Since we witches open up our chakras so much, we might feel very sensitive to negative energy. This spell is to protect ourselves from that kind of energy.

This will work best on a Dark Moon on a Saturday.

You will need:
  • A charcoal disc
  • A fireproof dish
  • 1 ts carrier oil
  • 3 drops cypress essential oil
  • A black candle
  • Matches / lighter
  • 8 dried juniper berries
  • Salt in a single-holed dispenser
  1. Before you cast the circle, make sure that the charcoal is lit in the fireproof dish, and blend the carrier and cypress oils.
    Rub the candle with the oils (bottom to top, top to bottom, bottom to halfway up).
  2. Light the candle and say ''Lilith of the Dark Moon, Hecate at the crossroads, Kali at the threshold''.
  3. Place the berries on the charcoal. Pour a ring of salt on the floor around yourself and say ''I stand within protection of the Triple Goddess''.
  4. Place your dominant hand on your heart and say ''The protection of the Triple Goddess resides within me''.
  5. Sit down, concentrate on the flame and visualize a shield of protection in and around you until you feel safe. Then blow away the salt circle and let the candle burn down completely.

This is not about making bad people go away, but rather bad behavior. Keep in mind that the bad will be replaced, it won't just disappear, so be aware of what the outcome might be.

This will work best on a waning Moon on a Saturday.

You will need:
  • A black candle
  • Matches / lighter
  • Hair or signature of the person
  • A square of paper
  • 1 ts pure alcohol
  • 1 ts epsom salts
  • A fireproof dish
  • A heatproof mat
  • A flower bulb, compost and pot
  1. Light the candle and say ''Old One, Wise One, Slow but sure One, Guide my spell and be it done''.
  2. Hold up the hair and say ''I name thee *name's* power.'' Wrap it in the paper and fold it three times.
  3. Place the epsom salts and alcohol in the fireproof dish (on the heatproof mat) and light it. Hold the paper and say ''As this Moon shrinks to bone, this spell shall burn your power down''. Throw the paper into the flame.
  4. Hold the flower bulb in front of the flame and say ''Out of the ashes I name thee *a quality you want them to learn to replace their behavior*.'' Plant the bulb in the compost, and when the ashes have cooled, add it in there.
  5. Tend to the plant.
Hope you enjoyed the examples! It's as easy as that. Find times and items that symbolize what you want, and concentrate your energy on it. Send it into the world, and it will come back to you threefold! Hope that helps you out and you can come up with your own spells.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Natural Eczema Remedies

Hi! I know I said my next post would be a clothing haul, but the post fucked up AGAIN, so it'll probably arrive on monday. I also ordered even more clothes for both me and my boyfriend!
Yesterday my parents came for a brief visit, and Ørjan came over for the evening. One weird thing... We live in a place where there are a lot of junkies around, and we found this in our mailbox:

Selvmord - Suicide in norwegian.

Anyway, since I've had some pretty boring outfits the past few days, I decided to wear some more nicer stuff the next week or so! Today I went for kind of an ''evil queen'' look. Funny, I got the shirt from a guy who ordered it in size L from an asian site - it's even too tight on MY shoulders!

Bolero - Thrifted
Anatomical heart with scissors necklace - VampireFreaks
Black and red shirt - Gifted
Red overbust satin corset - Dracula Clothing
Petticoat skirt - XtraX (now EMP)
Boots - Demonia

Now, on to the most exciting thing here! A friend recommended me this homemade facial scrub recipe. She's used it for two days and she's already noticed a difference! My skin has been AWFUL for many months (hence why I never show my face in outfit photos), and the strongest available prescription stuff for atopic eczema is just not working as well. So me and my boyfriend set off to the mall to gather the ingredients!

 I got some coconut oil as well, since I hear it's AMAZING.

Now, here's how I made it, based off of what she told me:
Start with 100 grams of sugar

Saturate with olive oil (I might have added too much)

Add a tablespoon of honey

Add a teaspoon of lemon juice

Add a little bit of finely chopped parsley.
Also mix in some of your favorite body soap in, but not too much.
I added a dash of unperfumed body soap (Dr. Greve).

And there you have it! I scooped the mixture into this cute little jar that we had. I guess I'll be using this up to three times a week. I honestly have been pretty scared of face scrubs, since my face is SO sensitive, that I'm scared I'll just rub my face raw (or all of my skin off lol). But my friend said it wasn't harsh at all! I immediately agreed once I added the olive oil, then it kind of got this ''slushie'' consistency.
I put a glob of it on my face and massaged it all over my face for probably a few minutes. It didn't feel harsh. When I washed it off my hands, my hands felt like silk. I screamed MY HANDS ARE SO SOFT to my boyfriend. Then I washed it off of my face. OH MY FUCKING GOD. I screamed a little more, and after I dried my face, I ran to my boyfriend and made him touch my skin. I don't think I've EVER had this soft skin! Just a few minutes prior my skin felt like leather in some areas. If I got THIS result after just ONE use.. Oh my gosh. You need to try this NOW!
I'm sure this works well for all skin types, and all of the ingredients have multiple benefits for skin.

Ahh, the beloved coconut oil. I've been hearing for a good while online that this is the shit. I've just never thought about it when I was at the grocery store, and this time I finally found it. Compared to what a moisturizer costs for me at the pharmacy, this was nothing - And you can probably get it for super cheap on Amazon or Ebay. Already it's been giving my skin a soft feel, and it doesn't absorb immediately like everything else does. I'll be sure to rub my entire body in at least once a day!
Coconut oil has ENDLESS possibilities of uses, so I'm probably gonna look up more and more in the future. A few minutes ago I googled if it works for beards, and immediately handed the tub to my boyfriend, who is growing his beard really long right now, but not taking care of it.

If you haven't tried coconut oil yet, DO IT. Be sure to make the scrub too, cause most people have these ingredients just lying around in the kitchen (we didn't, but it was worth the trip, and didn't cost much). If you try it, let me know how it went in the comments!

We might go out tonight (I'm not sure, the weather is rainy and snowy, and I've been going to bed early lately). Tomorrow there will most likely be another Gothic Graveyard show, probably live and around the usual time (18:00 Norway time and noon Massachusetts time), so check that out! And as usual, my Weekly Wicca post here on the blog. Have a nice weekend, guys!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Life Lately In Pictures!

Hi! This has been a quieter week than usual on my blog, since I got sick last weekend. So I took it easy and slept most of it off. Created this masterpiece on Instagram:

On tuesday I finally felt well enough again, and I was so happy to wear clothes again! Though this outfit is super boring, I actually got several compliments on it on Amino! The top used to be a HUGE t-shirt, and I finally modded it to fit me. I threw away the stockings since there were too many holes in them (yes, that's possible) and since I had previously cut the feet off (most likely because of holes), they are too short.

Modded t-shirt - Emilie Autumn's Asylum Emporium
Blue plaid skirt - Forever 21
Stockings - Lindex, I think

This chocolate is so beautiful, I just had to take a picture! It's gonna take me ages to finish them, since they really taste like a chocolate lava cake.
Last night my friend Hanna told me the piercing jewelry we had ordered together came in the mail, so after she put her babies to sleep we met up at Garage for a couple of beers. I had a nice time! After she left I met some other people as well. It's so funny when you're in a metal pub, cause you think you know every single guy in there, but nope, it's just another guy with long hair, a beard, leather jacket and boots. I find it hilarious that subcultures are supposed to be a break-away from the mainstream, but they usually end up having a ''uniform'' too, hahah.

A photo of my make-up before I took it off

Jewelry from Crazy Factory! Didn't get much this time.

Cupcake Cult shirt - XtraX (now EMP)
Lace longsleeve - Fransa
Black pants - Urban Star

I'm also wearing my studded belt, but my pants are still too big, hahah. Started the day with coke and pizza in bed, felt so nice. Today we've done a spring cleaning of our apartment! Felt nice, and it was really due. Now I'm gonna go sort the recent laundry and stuff it back into the closet, then figure out what we're gonna have for dinner. Btw, I'm expecting a H&M haul tomorrow, so come back and check it out then!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Queen Of The Damned Book + Movie Review

Lately I've been reading Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles for the first time (I know, right? TAKE AWAY MY GOTH POINTS). I've liked the books better and better!
Interview With The Vampire was good, and added more to the movie in which the imagery has stuck with me since childhood.
The Vampire Lestat was great, it added so much more to the character, cause the first book just made him seem like an asshole. Every story has two sides, people! So in that one you follow him from early life to fledgling, and get some stories from other vampires as well. I liked the ties to mythology in it, and the mystery that will be revealed in the next book. This next part is mostly copied from my Goodreads review.

I loved The Queen Of The Damned! It kept me excited and emotional basically throughout the entire book. There's a fun twist to this one: This book tells you that the past books are real, that the books were actually published. Now Lestat has his own band, and tells everyone that he's a vampire.
In the beginning of the book we meet several characters that plan to go to Lestat's concert, and there is a lot of suspense and action. All the different point of views might slow it down a little bit, but it didn't really bother me. But I can see it might bother some!
I think the best part of the entire thing was learning the history of the mysterious ancients. I really thought Akasha and Enkil were positive ''things''! I was wrong. Akasha angers me a lot towards the end, I'm happy she's dead. Lestat's point of view later in the book isn't very exciting though.

I'm going to give the movie a shot, just because I'm curious about how they made it. I KNOW I'm going to complain, but oh well.

The following is being written while we're watching the film.
Within the first few minutes, it was already cringe-y as fuck. Just the voice of Lestat annoyed me. They are portraying Jesse and her research about vampires completely wrong, WTF! She was TOLD to investigate it. Even worse, why is Magnus teaching Lestat?! Oh wait, this is Marius! Why do they say HE turned Lestat? Ok I get that Magnus did basically nothing for him, but I thought that was kind of the whole point. The whole Akasha thing is just.. why. And with 20 minutes left of the movie, Maharet is introduced for the first time. I was thinking they weren't going to include her and Mekare at all, that Jesse was just some random character. And Mekare wasn't even it it. Stupid death scene.

This whole movie is fucking ridiculous! I thought I was going to be biased because of what I've heard and the fact that Anne Rice hates it, but my god it's bad. If I hadn't read the book, I wouldn't understand shit! Things and characters are barely even connected, most characters aren't even named! I don't even know what to say. Even my boyfriend is pretty pissed about this movie, and he hasn't even read the books (I did explain the major things from the book while we saw it). He also couldn't get over how little emotion the actress that plays Jesse has. And why was there a love story between her and Lestat? I know Hollywood likes that shit, but they already did it between Lestat and Akasha, and just completely ignored the fact that he was against her plans (which aren't in the movie of course). Just nopenopenope. Do yourself a favor, and never watch this movie.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekly Wicca 7: The Circle

The circle is an important thing to us witches. When we work, we make ourselves a circle where we can work in peace, cut off from distractions. This has been a practice for ages, as you can see by all the stone circles and carvings all over Europe. The spiral is also a commonly used symbol.

We always cast the circle deosil / sunwise / clockwise, and usually move in that direction. Widdershins / anti-sunwise / anti-clockwise is often used for banishing rituals.

Another important part of circle work / sacred spaces is the altar. It can be temporary or permanent, outside or inside. The word altar might sound a little scary to some, and no, it does not involve sacrifice - our deities don't want that. It's purpose is to be a focal point of the magic work, often set up in the north or center of the circle. We put our magical tools on it, use them there and put them there to make them sacred. If you make / use an altar outside, remember to use biodegradable materials to not damage the Earth.

To make a circle, one usually cleanses it first, by drawing energy from your chakras and put it into salt water that you sprinkle deosil from the east, and then over the participants. This does not apply outside (don't give plants salt water!).
Then you set up items representing the elements in each quarter and in the center.
There are some items that are very common in circle work:
- The athame is a special knife used only for circle work. Some use this to cleanse the circle. You usually bless it by exposing it to the four elements. It is either associated with Fire or Air.
- The chalice is associated with Water and love, and is used to drink wine or juice in rituals.
- The pentagram, associated with Earth, is often used as a plate for a piece of bread eaten in rituals.
- The wand, usually associated with Air (sometimes Fire), is used in the same way as an athame, to direct energy. It can be made of many different materials, and can be simple or fancy.
- The cord is used in some traditions, and is placed in the center. It is as long as the head circumference + around the heart + the height of the witch. It links us to Spirit.
It is important to note that you do not leave the circle before it is closed (unless there's an emergency).

When you're prepared, you can cast the circle itself. Open your chakras, and direct energy from your solar plexus to your athame / wand / finger and draw a circle in the air. Usually you nod to the north and start casting in the east, moving deosil. Afterwards you should say a few words. Then you welcome the elements, again beginning in the east and moving deosil. You should name some of its qualities before lighting the candle. If in a group, everyone else says ''hail and welcome''.
When you finish, thank the elements and blow out the candles (the Spirit one is extinguished after the last person leaves and says ''hail and abide''). The one who made the circle disperses it into the Universe or drawing it back into the tool, their body and then into the Earth.

In case you are confused; all spells are rituals, but not all rituals are spells. A ritual can be something as simple as lighting a birthday candle, throwing rice at weddings, or wearing lucky items. A small and simple thing we all do. A spell is focused on something specific, and requires a lot of energy. You should never do more than three in one circle.
One important thing to consider is the time you do the spells and rituals. Like the day of the week, phase of the moon and other occurrences in nature are significant to us and can help us. So if you can wait until the right time, it will most likely be more powerful - if you can't, that's okay too.
I do have to mention though, we do NOT do spells to harm anyone / do evil. We don't have sacred texts, but the closest thing is the Wiccan Rede, which basically says ''As long as you don't harm anyone, do what you want''.

Here are some pointers to help you out with spells and rituals!

Spells Communication, swiftness, exams, legal, knowledge, learning, conveyancing, travel
Herbs and plants Lavender, eucalyptus, comfrey, wormwood, lilac
Trees Birch, ash
Incense and oils Benzoin, sandalwood, lavender
Astrological sign Aquarius, Gemini, Libra
Day of the week Wednesday
Planet(s) Mercury
Color Yellow
Metal Mercury (quicksilver)
Symbol Upward pointing triangle traversed, feather, incense
Magical tool Wand
Animal totems All birds
Body parts Lungs, head
Direction East

Spells Defense, willpower, courage, inspiration
Herbs and plants Rosemary, rue, dandelion, saffron, nettles, St. John's wort (Hypericum)
Trees Oak, rowan
Incense and oils Cinnamon, frankincense, vanilla, juniper
Astrological sign Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Day of the week Tuesday, Thursday
Planet(s) Sun, Mars
Color Red
Metal Tin
Symbol Upward pointing triangle, flame, blade, salamanders
Magical tool Athame
Animal totems Salamander, big cats
Body parts Heart
Direction South

Spells Love, healing, dream-work, women's cycles, childbirth, emotional issues
Herbs and plants Poppy, rose, myrtle, violet, valerian, lovage, chamomile, geranium, hyacinth
Trees Willow, apple
Incense and oils Myrrh, rose absolute, orris root
Astrological sign Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
Day of the week Monday, Friday
Planet(s) Moon, Venus, Neptune
Color Blue
Metal Silver, copper
Symbol Downward pointing triangle, cauldron, glass, mirror
Magical tool Chalice
Animal totems Fish, water-based mammals
Body parts Womb, kidneys, bladder, liver
Direction West

Spells Manifestation, material wealth, shelter, fertility, growth
Herbs and plants Patchouli, sage, mandrake, woodbine, horehound, pennyroyal
Trees Cypress, pine
Incenses and oils Patchouli, pine resin, white sage, mandrake root
Astrological sign Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Day of the week Saturday
Planet(s) Gaia, Saturn, Pluto
Color Green
Metal Iron, lead
Symbol Downward pointing triangle traversed, pentacle, wood, metal, stone, crystals, dragon
Magical tool Pentacle
Animal totems Hare, wolf, bear, serpent
Body parts Bowels, spine
Direction North

Spells Initiation, transition, transformation, spiritual growth and knowledge
Herbs and plants Gentian, lotus, belladonna, henbane (latter two are poisonous)
Trees Elder, yew
Incenses and oils Nag champa, copal, dittany of Crete
Astrological sign -
Day of the week Sunday
Planet(s) Uranus
Color Purple, white
Metal Gold
Symbol Upward pointing pentagram, terminated clear quartz, web, thread
Magical tool Cords
Animal totems Spider
Body parts -
Direction Center

Planetary hours are calculated by finding out how many minutes there are between sunrise and sunset, and dividing that by 12. So if you want to do something that works best with a certain planet, do it at in the time period of the planet.
  1. Sun
  2. Moon
  3. Mercury
  4. Jupiter
    1. Mars
    2. Venus
    3. Neptune
    4. Pluto
    5. Mercury
    6. Jupiter
    7. Uranus
    8. Earth
    In which Moon signs it's best to do certain types of spells:
    Aries - Banishing / binding, protection, fertility
    Taurus - Wealth / increase, protection, fertility
    Gemini - Love / relationships, healing / emotions, employment / commerce
    Cancer - Love / relationships, healing / emotions, banishing / binding
    Leo - Wealth / increase, emplyment / commerce, protection
    Virgo - Wealth / increase, banishing / binding, fertility
    Libra - Love / relationships, healing / emotions
    Scorpio - Healing / emotions, banishing / binding, fertility
    Sagittarius - Wealth / increase, emplyment / commerce, protection
    Capricorn - Wealth / increase, emplyment / commerce, fertility
    Aquarius - Love / relationships, healing / emotions, employment / commerce
    Pisces - Love / relationships, healing / emotions, fertility

    The days of the week

    Planet Moon
    Colors Silver, pewter, white, grey
    Deity Selene, Nephtys, Artemis, Isis
    Associations Fertility, increase, dream-work
    Metal Silver
    Symbolic object Cauldron

    Planet Mars
    Colors Red
    Deity Mars / Ares, Tyr / Tiw, Oya, Kali
    Associations Defence, protection, inspiration, defeating obstacles, courage, sex, dance
    Metal Iron
    Symbolic object Arrow

    Planet Mercury
    Colors Yellow
    Deity Mercury / Hermes, Athene, Saraswati, Odin / Woden
    Associations Communication, learning, study, exams / tests, legal issues, travel, ideas, memory, science
    Metal Mercury
    Symbolic object Staff

    Planet Jupiter
    Colors Purple, dark blue
    Deity Thor, Jove / Jupiter, Rhiannon, Juno, Laxmi
    Associations Generosity, natural justice, expansion, property, wills, family matters
    Metal Tin
    Symbolic object Drum

    Planet Venus
    Colors Green
    Deity Frøya, Venus / Aphrodite, Angus, Parvarti
    Associations Love, affection, friendships, partnership, allurement, sexuality, beauty, art
    Metal Copper
    Symbolic object Rose, star symbol

    Planet Saturn
    Colors Black or brown
    Deity Hecate, Nemesis, Saturn
    Associations Boundaries, binding, exorcism, discipline, reduction, protection, deflection
    Metal Lead
    Symbolic object Chain, cords

    Planet Sun
    Colors Gold
    Deity Brighid, Apollo, Lugh, Belissama
    Associations Health, happiness, contentment, music, poetry
    Metal Gold
    Symbolic object Disc

    In my last post I talked about finding your magical name through visualization. If you did that and found some clues, you can combine that with these other methods:

    1  2  3  4 5  6 7  8  9
    A B C D E F G H  I
    J  K L M N O P Q R
    S T U V W X Y Z

    My example: Caroline Asgard, born August 8 1994
    3 + 1 + 9 + 6 + 3 + 9 + 5 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 7 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 8 + 8 + 1 + 9 + 9 + 4 = 103
    1 + 0 + 3 = 4

    Your circle name should match up in the same way. You can take clues from your visualization, a deity you feel connected to or something else. Don't be afraid to take out or add some letters.

    Another way you can experiment with a magical name is taking a piece of paper and draw four symbols / objects that represents how you see yourself, how you deal with close people, how your friends see you and your inner spiritual / emotional self. Make different combinations of two symbols, and see if it has a nice ring to it! Meditating on it can help too.

    I hope you found this post helpful. Sorry it was kind of all over the place, but I'm sick, so my head is a little loopy. Hope you had a nice weekend!

    Saturday, February 18, 2017

    Candy Is The Cure

    Hello! Just thought I'd catch up with you, since it's been a few days. Not much has happened, but yesterday we were invited over to dinner with another couple, and had norwegian yule food, pretty much (ribbe). Mmmm meat. We also played through Cards Against Humanity - It's probably been 6 months since the last time I played it. I lost though, hahah. We all had bad cards constantly for the most part. But it was fun! Today I somehow managed to get sick, so I went back to bed. Probably gonna write up tomorrow's post later.

    Iron Maiden tee - Some bootleg booth at local market
    Leggings - XtraX (now EMP)
    Mickey Mouse socks - H&M

    Another band tee DIY I just did! I cut the neck rectangular and tightened both the sleeves and sides with my usual technique. It turned out really well! I BARELY managed to not ruin the print. Not a big deal anyway, since it's not official merch. Cool that my leggings kind of match! They have these asian style ties on the sides - Pretty much all frayed or / and loose now, since I've had it for a few years. And of course the socks since I'm that fucking cool.

    Fun fact: I'm making a mess right now by eating a chocolate croissant in bed. Speaking of chocolate! Remember how I talked in my last post about surprising your love with chocolates and shit on OTHER days than valentine's day? WELL. The day after my boyfriend surprised me with Lindt chocolate - and he hadn't even read the part in the post where I mention that I think that's one of the best chocolate brands. Today he got me some candies I really like, though it's usually just jelly beans in a small box - He found a small bag with jelly beans, jelly + foam candies and little chocolate beans. I devoured the whole thing immediately. I am really spoiled, I know. I just really love unhealthy things.

    Do you like my lovely Instagram art? Follow me @CarnivorousMakeup! I've mostly been kidnapped by Pinterest the past couple of days, so if you're on there, follow me! I need to explore more.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

    Gothic Valentine's Day

    Top - Jsfn
    Corset - XtraX (now EMP)
    Skirt - Gaisano Metro department store
    Stockings with lace top - Probably a lingerie store

    Jewelry - Alchemy Gothic

    I accidentally dressed for the occasion! The jewelry was given to me for my birthday from my boyfriend. I rarely take the ring off, so you can probably see it in every outfit post - So here's finally a close-up!

    Now, we don't celebrate Valentine's day. We show each other love and tell each other that we love one another every single day, so what's the point? I honestly think it's stupid that a mostly commercial holiday has to remind you to show your partner love - and I'm not even talking about gifts. Like a meme my boyfriend found today said; ''Every day is Valentine's day if you're in the right relationship''. For us it is! Now, we have lived together officially for over 6 months now, so I understand that domestic life can make your romantic love a little boring. If you find that happening, try to do small things for your partner to light up their life! Do household chores for them, cook for them, leave them little notes. Text them while they're at work - If you have lunch at the same time why not make it a date? Just little things mean a lot. To us it does! My boyfriend makes me so happy when he surprises me with chocolates or snacks, or buys me nicotine if he notices I'm running out.

    We goths are pretty romantic people. If you want to give your gothically inclined loved one some gifts, I actually have a couple of suggestions! Fuck it if Valentine's is over. It's way better to surprise them any other day! It shows them that you think of them.

    Chocolate / Foods
    Everyone loves food! My boyfriend actually doesn't like chocolate or wine. But I sure LOVE chocolate (wine not so much, I prefer sour liquors). The chocolates above my parents got me while on vacation, probably around halloween. I believe the brand was Hotel Chocolat, but I have to admit the taste wasn't that amazing. But they were super cute though! The best chocolate is probably Guylian, Lindt and brands like that. I've seen this heart-shaped box of spooky-shaped vegan chocolate on social media, so if your love is vegan, google that.
    The chips are from a cheap store here in Norway, and they sell them all year round. I've always loved these! So cute and delicious.
    If you're a baker you could make some spooky shaped cookies! I got some halloween cookie cutters, but I haven't used them yet. I also have a halloween cupcake stand. Extra points if you bake for your love!

    Like shown above, Alchemy Gothic has tons of gorgeous jewelry! My boyfriend got me this necklace from The Pumpkin Coven and it's the nicest necklace I have - I immediately bought the matching bracelet.

    Smell is a very strong sense we have - especially mine. I usually don't like the high-end perfumes you find in stores, I think they just all ''smell like a duty free''. But don't fret, there are tons of gothy brands that sell gothy perfumes! Lush actually has a couple. The one pictured above is called Death & Decay, and is the one I use now. I immediately fell for the name when it was released, and when I smelled it I had to have it - It smells like white lilies. Karma is also a gothy smell they have, it smells like the classic patchouli and sitrus. I have that one too, and I used to have it in soap form.
    Other companies are Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Parfume Noire and.. I'm not sure of what brand, but it's just called Patchouli Perfume. I've only seen it in person at Darxity in Leipzig, Germany.
    BPAL makes TONS of incredible sounding scents, often centered around gothic and geeky themes. I've drooled over their site for years, but have never ordered anything.
    Parfume Noire has a HUGE selection of perfumes, and even though I've visited WGT four times I've never been able to decide on which one I want. I swear I'll buy one this year.
    The Patchouli Perfume is pretty cheap, and a must for goths. If you didn't know, patchouli is THE smell of goths. I don't know why. But often during WGT a flock of goths can walk past and a waft of patchouli will hit you. I love the smell! So I'm gonna have to get a bottle of that on my next visit.

    Those were my suggestions! I personally don't want flowers, I'd rather want a potted plant, as I want them to live. I LOVE the idea of planting a tree, so that's an environmental / witchy idea!
    Other than that, take your loved one out. Picnics or walks in a cemetery are a classic. Even a candle-lit dinner at home would be lovely! There's tons of things you can do with your loved one. Think of what your mutual interests are, or even do something you know they'll like, even if you personally don't care for it. That would mean the world to them, and shows them that you love them.

    What are your opinions of Valentine's day, and do you celebrate it?
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