From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Christian, The Witch, & Me.

How is it that as a Christian you write so much about witchcraft? Well, 1st thing I am not a Christian, I am God fearing. Two very different things … topic for a different day.
But back to the question at hand…
This is a question that I oftentimes struggle to answer, when people expressed how much they love the character of Inanna priestess in The Spectrum Trilogy I was genuinely surprised as she is the most wicked of all.  
A few years ago I found a posted review that read in part: “This is a book that holds high the power of the Mother – not just as a biological imperative, but as a title that must be earned.” Reading the rest of that review was difficult because I was in tears. It struck a chord with me but it really doesn’t answer the question. And if you had asked me just yesterday why it became so emotional I wouldn’t have been able to answer you.
But that was yesterday.
Today while scrolling thru Facebook I saw a meme that read: WeIntendToCreateHavoc What and who exactly is a WITCH? This question was asked by the owner of and as The Darkness and The End is Now continue to make the rounds and I am yet again receiving emails asking about my Christianity coexisting with my very limited knowledge of the occult I was immediately drawn in.   
She says, "Why have young women today taken an interest into witchcraft, paganism, or the occult?" The answer is complex and also quite simple: We are returning back to the ways that are true to us. Invoking the power as the life givers, the oracles, the healers, the wild women, the Goddesses. We are reclaiming what has already been living inside of us. People are attracted to witchcraft (I'm using this term loosely as an umbrella for pagan methods of healing.) often times for the wrong reasons. They've seen silly television shows or movies and think that magick will be just like that. Yet there are also others with reasonable basis for their attraction to witchcraft, the desire to return back to a path that honors nature, acknowledges the potent forces of sexuality in our lives, and the desire to question the failures of organized religions, examining the lies of patriarchy, and most importantly the desire to learn mastery of self. Learning ancient techniques of meditation and healing.”
Witchcraft and the power of the Mother. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Invoking the power as the life givers, the oracles, the healers, the wild women, the Goddesses. The women. And just like that, even though I didn’t know it, there’s the answer, my answer to the question of why I write so much about witchcraft.
I get it, because like she said often times people are attracted to witchcraft for the wrong reasons, and because I am first and foremost a horror writer the things Inanna is doing with her power is terrifying, made worse so because she is Adam’s mother.
Unfortunately my late ex-dad was not the prince she thought he was. It was too late when she realized that she had married the beast. I was very young we when escaped. Thankfully my younger siblings do not remember the things that I saw.
I don’t blame God for when bad things happen to good people. God gave us all free will and there’s no point in blaming Him when people wanna show their ass and not act right. When people wrong us we can either respond in kind or try and the high road on the narrow path of righteousness. Of course me, being so young, unreasonable, and unaware I wanted, wished that mother would respond in kind. As an elder, as a mother, as a healer my mom knew better.
But what I was acutely aware of, even at that young age is that when we finally broke free it was the women who snuck us out, gave us shelter, and paid for the train ticket. When we got to my grandmother’s house it was the women, my mom’s sister and her friends who took us in and built the first wall of protection around us. Things didn’t get easier for a long, long time but thru it all it was always the women who saw my mother and her children thru.   
The life givers, the oracles, the healers, the wild women, the Goddesses. The Mother.
I remember once being downstairs and seeing my mom surrounded by her friends and her big sister, my aunt Lady B who use to talk to the moon, they were all sitting on the floor around the fireplace. They were laughing, drinking, smoking, and talking about the things grown women talk about. I remember thinking that they were stronger than God. I remember that feeling like it was yesterday, and just like then it sends chills down my spine. Being God fearing, even as a kid thinking that, it felt blasphemous. It’s a reoccurring and a troubling thought, one I always comfort myself with Mathew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them. Being within a coven of women feels sacred, safe, and powerful. So over the years I have reasoned with myself with the thought that maybe the reason I thought they were stronger than God is because only when engulfed within the coven of other women is when I truly feel His presence.   
E.Jong, author of "WITCHES" said "We claim that God is raceless and genderless, yet we visualize God as White and male to such a degree that the very notion of a Black, Female God is enough to raise guffaws in response to a hardy, perennial joke.”
It’s a tough place to be, believing in both God and The Goddess, having empathy and sympathy for both Lilith and Eve.
"5,000 years ago our ancestors worshipped the supreme Goddess, the queen of Heaven. It has taken several years of millennia of warfare, genocides, holocaust, idol-smashing, book burnings, and deliberate rewriting of myths and legends for the "Father-God" Jahweh and his son Jesus, to be finally enthroned in our minds and our imaginations."- Erica Jong
The GODDESS has never left, and she still reigns supreme. She cannot be eradicated! And as long as man (and woman, too) is BORN of woman she will never lose influence over our lives. These are the words of the hood witch that hammered it home.
The Goddess and the Oracle. The Priestess and the Healer. The life givers. The Mothers. My mother. After everything she did, after everything she didn’t, after everything she gave to ensure that my siblings and I would be here, the things she did to keep us safe … there is no way that there wasn’t any magic involved, a force which is blessed by a higher authority. No way in Hell.
The power of God is the force of the magic that is bestowed upon the Mother. And that is why as a God fearing woman I write so much about The Witch.
After everything my mother did, how dare I not?
It would almost be blasphemous not to.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Live Action Reviews! by Crystal Connor: Flowers

Live Action Reviews! By Crystal Connor
At 7:30 pm on April 3rd 2016, Crystal Connor, brought home a pizza flopped on the couch, wrapped herself and the dog in a blanket and picked up her remote.

This is the unedited journal chronicles the harrowing experience that her neighbors endured for hours as she screamed, cried, and shouted expletive obscenities at her television as she watched Phil Stevens indie horror film Flowers…
Reader discretion is Advised

Entry 1: At least she’s smart enough not to scream and stay where she is.

Entry 2: So basically she was for dead

Entry 3: Guess Buffalo Bill wasn't the only one into thick chicks…

Entry 4: How are you gonna get thru there, and are you sure you even want to?

Entry 5: Just calm down, you’re not safe yet!

Entry 6: Why is there no pain?

Entry 7: Ok, now wait a second here.

Entry 8: What the fuck dude, go if you’re going! Goooooo!

Entry 9: No, don’t just stay right there, he’ll see you.

Entry 10: Fucking A! No one fucking listens

Entry 11: Ok, seriously what the fuck, is this purgatory

Entry 12: She’s not going to be able to eat all of that…

Entry 13: Well, I’ll be damned

Who would like it: This is pretty extreme but if you got through A Serbian Film you should be ok. But it’s not really fair to compare Flowers to Serbian because unlike the latter Flowers isn't just shocking for the sake of being shocking.   

Overall / High Points: I think watching horror movies should be an ‘interactive’ activity (which is why I watch them alone) and the more I yell at the people on the screen the more fun I’m having. I’m a tough customer and I can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to the myopic way in which I prefer to be entertained, so before you get the wrong idea by the small number of entries, let me just say right off the bat that I really liked this movie. The trick now becomes trying to figure out how to tell you why…

Watching Flowers was like watching The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, or maybe more like Alraune, but again Flowers really isn't a silent film. I mean it is but it’s a little bit more than that because there is absolutely no dialogue. Which is one of the things I really like, and is the main reason I am having trouble trying to explain this movie.

The narrator in this film is your imagination which means it will be different for every single person who sees it. Because no one is talking the heroines in this movie bring it, they have to, the lighting and the way Flowers is filmed is very Hitchockian which only serves to add to the distress, so your stuck right there with them, trying to figure out what the hell is going on right along with them.  

My favorite scene is with the last girl in the vanity/dressing room, it was as if you could actually hear her international dialogue. At 1st I thought she realized her situation but then tried to change it and save herself. It left me thinking that she had become both the doctor and the monster, but then when the scene fades from present to a flash back I was pissed off at her because I thought it was all her fault. Throughout Flowers, the women are clinging to a photograph, all of those pictures are in her room. And during the flashback all of the women are together in the same room, she’s the last to enter. The other women disappear one by one after being shown what circumstances lead them to this chance encounter, but as the end credits began to roll I wasn't so sure of my assessment.   

Gore Factor: I am going to say 3, it’s not so much gore than it is muck.

Scariness Factor: Zero. Flowers isn’t scary, it’s fascinating.

Complaints: N/A

Stars: 5