The Art of Alchemy: Understanding, Decomposition & Reconstruction

fullmetal alchemist

“Alchemy is a science where one understands the structure of matter, breaks it down, then rebuilds it. However, it is not an all-powerful technique, as one cannot create something out of nothing. If one wishes to gain something, one must present something of equal value. This is the concept of equivalent exchange, the fundamental basis of alchemy.”

The art of alchemy first started as a studies of reality’s most basic elements: earth, air, fire and water. By trying to understand what made each element and how it was simultaneously connected and yet separated from each other, alchemists were among the first scientists to attempt a modern approach in explaining how the world works.

It’s all based on a single concept: transmutation. Taking matter and breaking it down in order to create something new is what modern chemistry is all about, and the same principles applies to alchemy. The study of transmutation first became popular during the Middle Ages when everyone tried to turn ordinary metals into gold. The experiments would probably have been condemned by the church at the time, but the prospect of creating gold from mundane materials such as lead had as much traction within the confines of The Vatican as with the common population. From the highest king to the lowliest of servants, alchemy became a favoured pastime, and not uncommonly, an obsessive profession.

the alchemist's codex

While the alchemists did discover many important things and facts in their search to master transmutation, none ever succeeded in turning lead into solid gold. There were many who claimed they did, but these people were later exposed as frauds, resorting to illusions and basic trickery. Still, the quest of creating gold continue until this day. There’s already been at least one successful attempt by using nuclear fusion. However, the process is still far too expensive in comparison to the amount of gold created. You need massive energies to produce one tiny speck of the precious metal and the numbers simply don’t justify it as a viable solution.

In addition to turning various materials into gold, alchemists have also dabbled in the discovery of the Elixir of Everlasting Life, which is supposed to grant its consumer immortality. Many of these attempts involved the use of gold, and with gold prices on the rise, using gold in rituals to extend one’s lifespan has become an increasingly costly hobby for the rich and famous. The quest for the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, which is said to enable alchemists ability to achieve true transmutation is also in full effect. Many modern alchemy societies have invested great time and efforts in creating their own Philosopher’s Stone, and at least the myth seems to have gained immortal life.

Today, alchemy is no longer considered a science. Although many fields, such as biology, chemistry, physics, math and astronomy, owe a great deal of gratitude to the early discoveries of the old alchemists, it’s become more of a spiritual movement. Modern alchemists are now looking beyond the mere physical in a search for purification of the human soul and self-enlightenment.

spiritual alchemy

Halloween – a Great Time for Goths Worldwide!

jack o lantern

Well, it’s that time again…

Every year, millions of people dress up in different costumes and go out for a little bit of trick or treat. The holiday has become a major industry, with mad amounts of money being spent on goulish decorations, pumpkins and fake spider webs. What’s less commercial, but equally important, is the chance to pay respect to loved ones who’ve passed away. There’s something transcendent to visit the graves of friends and relatives, light a few candles and contemplate (maybe even connect with the other side) on life and death and everything in between the two.

The Halloween weekend is a three-day celebration dedicated to remember the dead, martyrs and saints, but the tradition goes far beyond Christian beliefs as it’s something that’s been around for thousands or years, practised by a host of various faiths.

We’ve decided to keep things on a lighter side this year, partly to go against common beliefs of the worldly views of Goths – gloomy and depressing – and focus on all the fun instead. This weekend is a perfect opportunity to get together and party like there’s no tomorrow, costume or no.

The great thing for Goths is that we don’t even need to go out and purchase a costume; just go as yourself and you’ll fit right in with everyone else. Vampires, werewolves, zombies and skeletons… who’s going to notice that you’re not dressed up, honestly? Chances are, you’re going to be mistaken for a vampire anyhow, so why not capitalize on the moment and get yourself some free candy in the process?

After a couple or rounds through the neighbourhood, you can meet up in a designated location to divide your loot, treat yourselves to some good, dark music, play some apocalyptic games and dance the night away in traditional Wiccan fashion. Add a little alcohol to the mix (with moderation, of course) and you have the perfect setup for a pagan orgy. Who said Halloween can’t be fun for the Goth community?

With everything that’s going on around the world these days, it’s important to grab life by the balls and light things up whenever the opportunity presents itself. Don’t let the darkness and cold get to you; bring a few hundred candles each and transform this depressing autumn into a solemn festivity. Gorge yourself on all your favourite treats and remember to balance your hydration with tasty drinks and beverages.

Life is about having fun – just not too much.

See you next time (if you’re still alive, that is)…

halloween reaper

Welcome to the 21st Century: We’re All the Same When It Comes Down to It

stop racismRacism is such an outdated notion, don’t you think? Time is moving so fast in our modern world that it sometimes can be easy to forget that merely a few decades ago human beings were treated differently based on appearance. The atrocities of Nazi Germany and the segregation in the United States and South Africa are all-too fresh reminders of human stupidity.

These antiquated beliefs are sadly still pervasive in parts of our society even today. Just recently I had the unpleasant misfortune of crossing paths with a bona fide racist. This person, who shall remain nameless, loudly and proudly declared his supremacy over his fellow man due to the colour of his skin. He was convinced that black people were genetically inferior and that their inherent disabilities were due to their evolutionary development. To redeem his ridiculous claims and deny the well-deserved brand of a pure-bred racist, he also stated that Asians were more intelligent than “blacks”, though obviously not as smart as white people.

It is simply astonishing that some still hold on to these convictions, especially when scientific studies continue to prove them wrong at every turn.

The genetic difference between two people, whether they’re born and raised together, or live on two complete different continents, are usually less than 0.1%. The characteristics that racists in general are so quick to point out, i.e. skin pigmentation, account for no more than 0.01% of biological variation. Fact is, there’s only one human species, and the term “race” is nothing but a leftover from a less enlightened time. Most biologists will agree that the term serves no scientific purpose – it never did.

What’s equally fascinating and sad is that the more you talk to a genuine racist, the more hollow the argument becomes. Some are painfully aware of this fact, but refuse to accept that they’ve wasted the majority of their lives on a false and hateful ideology. Others are just too ignorant to see the errors of their ways and, like a grumpy child, resort to yelling and screaming in order to cement their point – mostly to themselves, it seems.

The point is this: Whether you’re white, black or brown, male or female, liberal or conservative, Goth or not, you are no better or worse than anyone else. We’re all in this together and it’s about time we started acting like it.

Unity and dignity… or, in other words:

Welcome to the new world, where there’s only one human species!

humanity unite

The Malazan Book of the Fallen – Enter the Dark Fantasy of Steven Erikson

icarium lifestealer

The Empire is in chaos.

A recent coup by the mistress of the imperial assassin’s guild has resulted in the death of emperor Kellanved and his advisor and right hand, Dancer. The occupied continents are engaged in civil wars, and a prophesized holy uprising is on the horizon, fanning the flames of regional unrest. In these uncertain times, a mysterious massacre on one of the off-shore islands brings a newly appointed officer in the Malazan army on a quest to find an unknown assailant of terrible power and with a hidden agenda.

Canadian archaeologist and roleplaying veteran Steven Erikson’s epic series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen, details a vast world of multiple realms and storylines, taking the reader on a journey of a lifetime. Inspired by his early days playing Dungeons and Dragons, Erikson has created a fascinating universe infused with magic, war, tragedy and strife. The tales stretch out over far distances, covering an entire planet and span across millions of years. The Malazan world is inhabited by many different native tribes and races, with humans being the newcomers on the scene. Alien invaders, gods and ascendants also play an important role in this medieval opera. The four founding species, Jaghut, Imass, K’Chain Che’Malle and the Forkrul Assail, are believed to be long extinct, but evidence of their influence can still be found on various continents, and looks can be deceiving.

The series start with captain Ganoes Paran investigating the annihilation of a whole fishing village on the coast of Itko Kan. Together with the imperial adjunct Lorn, his mission is to find the culprits and discover their motives. The trail leads him across the seas to the continent of Genabackis, where the empire is fighting a losing invasion against mercenary armies hired by the local city states. Leading the resistance are the dreaded Crimson Guard and the mysterious warrior race of the Tiste Andii, who has pinned down the 2nd Army, commonly known as Onearm’s Host, in the northern regions. For the last year, the Malazans have been laying siege to the great city of Pale in the shadow of a floating mountaint said to be occupied by the dark lord of the Tiste Andii, the Son of Darkness. Leading the assault is the elite legion of the Bridgeburners, famous for conquering the southern continent of Seven Cities and traversing the vast desert of Raraku.

Paran arrives in the midst of a sorcerous enfilade, pitting the imperial mages against the powers of the Son of Darkness himself. Somewhere in the army is the person responsible for the Itko Kan massacre, but can he find him before the Malazan forces are obliterated by the resistance?

This is only the beginning, as Erikson expands the story across his world and introduces the reader to a host of characters and events, all connected by a common theme. Lives will be lost, heroes are born and unmade, gods wage proxy wars on the ground and above, and there’s a lingering feeling of impending doom while delving into fractured realms and fallen cultures.

It’s an extraordinary experience, that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who enjoys dark tales that showcases the very best (and the absolute worst) of human nature.

Highly recommended.

How to Invest in Pure Gold Bars for Both Wealth and Health: Occult Ritual to Gain Everlasting Life

gold ritual mask

Everybody knows magical rituals and Goth culture often go hand in hand. There are plenty of Goths out there who are also well-versed in the realms of sorcery and ancient belief ceremonies. Rituals are typically performed for a number of reasons; most often to give its subject supernatural abilities or to roll the dice of fate in their favour. For some people, it’s just a fun hobby or a means to express oneself – like making art or poetry. There’s no denying that old pagan rituals hold a great amount of fascination with the human mind. People have been dabbling with the other side of the veil for as long as religion’s been around, in the hope of bringing good fortune on themselves and sometimes smite their enemies in all manners of unpleasantries.

One of the most desired ritual goals is the prospect of eternal life, and it usually involves gold in one way or another. The Egyptian pharaohs raised enormous golden monuments to ensure their transition into everlasting existence. The ancient civilizations in South America used gold bars and coins for more than just trade, it was also a means to connect with the gods, spilling countless amounts of blood in the process of becoming one with the heavens. Medieval kings consulted alchemists and dark art magicians to devise a way for them to extend their reign for all time, as well as making physical gold from nothing. There’s even a rumour that the Russian tsar family commissioned the mad priest Rasputin to come up with a ritual involving the use of gold bars that would invest the family members with immortal properties. If such a thing ever took place, it clearly didn’t work out in the end, but that hasn’t stopped others from trying to harness the supposedly supernatural qualities of gold and precious metals. The experiments of achieving the abilities of highlander McLeod are still in full effect, with new versions of the old rituals taking place every year – one more strange and bizarre than the next, it seems.

And they mostly include gold as a mystical currency, either in the form of gold bars or coins. People are already buying gold as a means to protect themselves from economic recession and monetary inflation. Buying gold bars will allow you to keep your money fairly safe if the stock market begins to deteriorate. From a financial standpoint, investing in gold bars will keep your personal wealth intact over the course of several years. While buying company stock options could see you losing your savings if your chosen companies go belly up, gold is a broader and more secure investment alternative. On top of that, gold has always been surrounded by a shroud of mystery. It’s said that the metal was bestowed upon us by the gods, who sent big chunks of melted gold raining down on the Earth where it eventually cooled and took solid form.

When you buy gold bars or any other gold product, you’re tapping into otherworldly powers. With ownership comes privilege, and the more gold you own, the greater the source of your power.

One notable attempt of combining the ancient concept of immortality with the mindset of the modern man comes from USA. Multi-millionaire Clarence Sanders claims to have discovered the ultimate secret to everlasting life. Sanders, who has made a vast fortune investing in the stock market, is a self-proclaimed expert on the occult and a practicing mystic. While building up his economic empire, he stumbled upon a series of old texts written by an American alchemist society in the late 1700’s. The pages were found in one of the old estates where the secret brotherhood would meet and conduct their rituals, and describe a complex magical system based around rare metals, such as gold, silver and platinum. Sanders, being a heavy investor in gold bars and precious metals himself, tells the story of how he performed a number of these rituals on himself, using gold bars from his private vault. The results were astonishing. Not only did he experience what he describes as a “remarkable increase in mental and physical health”, but a higher level of knowledge and awareness as well. All thanks to his foresight of buying gold bars and investing in rare metals. These effects started immediately after a few minor rituals involving the repetition of the society’s incantations and writing down old phrases in a set pattern with purchased gold bars as the focal point. Amazed by his discovery, Sanders continued to acquire as many gold bars for sale he could get his hands on, while delving deeper into the old gold rituals, convinced that the answer to immortality had to be in there somewhere.

He now believes he has found it, and invites others to join him in his venture. Finding gold bars for sale and using them in a magical ritual to improve one’s health is far from a scientific proven method. But there are plenty of evidence that gold bars and nuggets have been used in healing ceremonies for thousands of years. This is not a new trend. Using pure gold bars in rituals is nothing new, and historical records clearly support the claim that gold indeed has extraordinary properties. Maybe the ancient gold investors knew something about the precious metal that we don’t?

For a minimum gold purchase of 50,000 dollars, you can claim a personal seat in one of Sanders’ golden rituals. It might seem like a hefty price, but the multi-millionaire states unequivocally that the ritual is guaranteed to extend a person’s lifespan many times over, perhaps even forever. “Think of it as a golden investment opportunity, only here the return is everlasting life instead of a monetary percentage.”, he tells his prospects who are all lining up to buy gold bars to be used for their personal benefit. If the return on the gold investment truly is immortal existence on this planet then who are we to argue what people choose to spend their money on? Sanders also justifies the price with the fact that the ritual involves a lot of gold bars. Each participant has to be represented by a physical amount of gold bars big enough to disperse the mystical forces of the precious metal effectively.

If you’re interested in participating in one of these gold ventures, or if you’re simply looking for gold bars for sale as a financial investment, you can head over to Bright Golden Future. Here you’ll find a top-rated gold provider that not only has gold bars for sale, but coins and bullions, too. You can either have your gold bars stored in a vault specially allocated for precious metals storage, or you can have your gold purchase shipped straight to you, to do with it as you please.

We’re still hesitant whether handing over your entire gold bar supply is really the best way to invest your money, but Sanders already has lots of interested participants signed up, all hoping for a chance to invest in one of the seats available, and all are bringing their bought gold bars to the table. The culture of Wall Street and its financial investors is already infamous for being closely tied to old pagan rituals and traditions, so maybe there’s not such a big surprise that this new idea is becoming a popular investment alternative for the wealthy elite and private gold bar investors.

aztec ritual gold

After all, people spend their money on all kinds of things. Personal preference is as varied as there are people on this planet, and Goths know this better than most. If you have 50,000 dollars lying around and believe you’re worthy of immortal life, why not look up Clarence Sanders and see if you and your gold bars are a good fit for one of his rituals? Naturally, we advise you to take every precautionary step to protect yourself both legally and financially, and we don’t actively support or recommend you to give away your purchased gold bars for a shot at immortality. But, like we said, to each his or her own.

Live forever or just for a day – the important thing is that you lived…

The Most Common Misconceptions Surrounding Goth Culture

“Being Goth is the miserable last attempt to stay oblivious before the waves of reality come crashing down on you…”

“Goths can neither see nor appreciate beauty but only see the destructive sides of what is already a sorely lacking approach to life…”

“Nothing but anarchists who are into doomsday scenarios and the prophecies of Nostradamus…”

“God hates Goths…”

Goth culture has been blamed for a lot of things – from adolescent vandalism of graveyards in the name of Satan to white supremacy and school mass shootings. When media decides to give Goths a few seconds of attention, it’s usually linked to tragic incidents involving severely depressed individuals, or the occasional eccentric who has tattooed himself with the lyrics of his favorite band. If you would believe everything you see and hear about Goths on TV and in radio, you’d think all Goths are nothing but social outcasts who revel in anarchic fantasies in black trench coats and weird makeup. High school movies depict Goth culture as a subculture gone tragic, inspired by the medieval dark world of roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons, with a morbid fascination of the color black.

Here are some of the most frequent misconceptions about Goth in today’s society:

  • All Goths are into morose music, art and books
  • Everyone uses extremely black clothing with white makeup, have bizarre haircuts and piercings and enjoy kinky bondage games
  • We all love medieval tales, or Edwardian and Victorian lore
  • All Goths were bullied as kids, turning us into alienated outsiders looking to shock and provoke by using extreme methods to display our fractured selves
  • Goths can’t see the bright side of life – ever
  • We are obsessed with the concept of death and often become verbally abusive or physically violent
  • All Goths are depressed, sullen and don’t mix well with other people
  • Everyone partakes in pagan rituals like Wiccan ceremonies or Egyptian sacrifices

Here’s what the zealots of the conformed don’t get: Perhaps the reason why a lot of Goths are into similar styles of art and music is simply because it kicks ass?! The clothes and makeup is a way to express individuality while still making a statement of belonging to the many – that it’s ok to be different, and that includes the beliefs one chooses to express. The Goth culture is not a violent culture, quite the opposite. Most Goths are tolerant of others, pacifistic and not violent at all (unless endlessly provoked, of course), and we sure as shit can appreciate beauty in life when we see it, as well as hope for a brighter tomorrow. So we get a few nerd stamps for playing RPGs – but couldn’t the reason be that roleplaying is a creative process of intellectual activity, and that’s why many of us enjoy it?

Some of us are depressed, yes, but that goes for EVERYONE. It’s the most common mental illness on the planet and you’re going to find depressed people in all genres of life, whether you’re a Goth, a public defender, a surfer dude, or a software developer. The difference is Goths can openly display their depression, whereas the stigma prevents “regular folks” from coming out and admitting it. The black clothing and deep music becomes an outlet that both mirrors and shows the world our mindset – the pain and anger that exist in everyone’s life. Many people suffer from troubled childhoods and domestic problems. We’re just not being hypocrites about it and cover it up behind a sunny disposition that will fall apart at the closest touch.

Awareness does not equal dysfunction, and it’s high time the rest of society woke up and smelled what’s cooking.

 

A Closer Look at the History of Zeitgeist Zero

teresa deadIf we’re talking alternative or underground music, there are not many bands that can go toe-to-toe with Zeitgeist Zero. Their sound has been described as one of the most thrilling combinations of electronic synthesizers and good, old-fashioned instruments like piano and guitar strings with alluring and passionate vocal lyrics. Their contradictory style and artistry can best be compared to Garbage in their glory days.

A performance from Zeitgeist Zero is a literal assault on the senses through far-out, progressive music with a kickass charisma and scenic approach. Seamlessly blending catchy tunes and memorable melodies with the emotional depth drawn upon from past life experiences, the band has managed to successfully create a working fusion of gothic pop-rock with clear influences of the golden days of the last century. Confident in their art, the members pride themselves in their extravagant and original style and glamour, none more so than when performing live in front of an ecstatic audience. One of their trademarks is you never quite know what you’re going to get this time around, making each act a unique presentation of dirt and grittiness combined with deeply touching vocals and rocking sounds.

Zeitgeist Zero was formed by the two leads, guitarist and synth maestro Corin Zero and vocalist Teresa Dead back in 2003. Not long after, the duo picked up keyboard wonder child and mayhem on drums Kerry von Null, who contributed much to what would become the band’s insignia of energy and excitement. The following years saw the band performing all throughout the UK, with plenty of standout shows that gained them the favour of both local and national underground scene regulars and authorities. In 2005, they released their first, self-titled and self-produced album to much critical appraisal. This is when the success of the band really started to kick in, with its members being featured in several international magazines and interviewed by renowned music aficionados. They also made several noteworthy performances, appearing at the annual Beyond the Veil festival in their backwater grounds of Leeds.

2006 saw Zeitgeist Zero upping their game with more appearances in magazines and radio, along with an increased festival presence throughout the nation and abroad. The band’s growing reputation of delivering passionate messages through their music gave them the opportunity to perform at the Gotham Festival at London’s famous Islington Academy, and also rock the Scottish socks off their fans at the Dark City Fest in Edinburgh. This was the first year the members added visual arts to enhance the mood of their shows, creating a mesmerizing combination of audio and video that invited their audience to explore the nether realms side by side with their idols.

Their second album, Dead to the World, was recorded in 2008, now under professional supervision and editing skills, giving Zeitgeist Zero a much needed boost in technical quality and artistic design. The band also picked up bass guitarist Bex Noire this year, who’s been a loyal companion to Teresa in delivering the emotional lyrics the band is known for. 2009 saw the departure of Kerry von Null and the introduction of James Grave, who didn’t hesitate to step up and fill the dark void left behind on the synths. Dead to the World was finally released the same year and received even better reviews than their first launch.

The band continues to tour and perform internationally, favouring gothic-themed events such as the Gothic Weekend, and has been voted best Gothic Performing Act by several electronic and underground virtuosos.

Take a quick, brooding peek at their hit “When the Lights Go Down”, and you’ll see why the Gothic world loves Zeitgeist Zero.