Breakthrough blind crafter

I’m not sure if I should really be calling myself a breakthrough blind crafter because I’m sure that other totally blind people have crafty skills. I have spoken on a that list to a few wood carvers, for example, when I was considering expanding my skills in that direction to create custom designed talisman jewelry from scratch. A few very knowledgeable guys talked the trade to me enough that I decided it probably wasn’t for me. Too many tools and I’d prefer a hands on class before investing to be honest, but they knew their stuff. while I haven’t seen or touched any of their work personally so can’t vouch for it, we’re assuming it’s decent.
I give myself the title, for the sake of this article, of breakthrough blind crafter because I haven’t seen/heard anyone else on youtube who is blind making D.I.Y videos anything like mine. I think with or without sight I make some pretty cool/unusual items. Purses from Steampunk purses and headbands entirely comprised of gemstones to name a few.
I didn’t think my ideas were too complex, but as I’ve not seen anyone else doing them, i am beginning to develop an appreciation for them and change my mind. I suppose when anyone     `has a natural talent it doesn’t seem hard or like that big a deal…which is what gives it the cool factor in part I think. I wire wrap gemstone pendants, make gemstone bead bracelets and sculpt wire into pendants as well, and again didn’t think it was a big deal. I don’t know a lot of blind people doing wire wraps, but hell I don’t know a lot of blind people in general, having always attended public school and having mostly sighted friends anyway. A few years back, though, my perspective on that changed as well.
My husband and I were members of our local gem and mineral society and I came to help them make jewelry for a sale. It’s fun because they have all the supplies, rocks, and fun tools that you can use all you like in any creative way you choose if you’re helping make stuff for free for them to  sell. So enjoying the creative outlet it was a thing I did for a little before I finally gave up on waking up by 9 AM or so to get it done because…lets face it, for some of us 9 AM is an ungodly hour in the middle of the freaking night when NO ONE should be out of bed!!!
So I’m there at the gem and mineral society wire wrapping tumbled stones into pendants. I tend to be a faster person in general, moving quickly and talking quickly, according to others, but it’s just my natural flow so I don’t usually notice. Apparently I made 5 really nice pendants in the time it took all the other ladies with 20 20 vision to make one. They were on about how fast I was, so this became another new thing I began to appreciate about myself that I thought was just normal’ previously. I assumed anyone could wire wrap that quickly, and some people surely can, just not most from what they said.
I personally don’t think that makes me special but loads of people seem to assume that not looking at something makes it nearly impossible to do. I feel that my hands often provide more and faster detail than someone’s eyes, but I’ve only had my hands to see with so I honestly can’t know.
Anyway, the point is if your creative, into making neat and different things, but also lazy and not wanting to put a ton of work into your crafting, check out my youtube D.I.Y play list below, because I’ve got you covered. After all, if a blind chick can do it…

Vampires in Mythology and Folklore

Vampires in folklore appear to have strong connections with snakes, that may not be as clearly stated as those with bats but are outlined well enough to be implied. There is the similarity of the fangs, the idea of immortality associated with snakes in ancient lore as well as the arcane abilities that were said once to be the purview of snakes and their higher developed relatives, dragons.

When we think of mind control or perception altered by vampires in modern fiction and cinema, a similar ability comes to mind when we regard snakes. For instance, Mowgli’s python benefactor has the talent of hypnosis he chooses to exercise on the monkeys, freezing them in their tracks.

At one time I had to wonder if modern lore of this kind originated with the more ancient one of Greek mythology. Both Hermes and Athena exhibit certain ability to freeze people as well, most often by turning them into rocks. Now I tend to believe that the opposite is true. After all, Hermes through his kerkaion/caduceus and Athena with the famous aegis that ties her to Medusa’s serpentine connections, have something to do with snakes.

Similarly, Apollo of Delphi, which appears to be a somewhat different creature in cult worship than the slightly more marine Apollo of Delos, despite being an archer (in symbolic terms reaching the goals) is also known often for his attempts to stop famous heroes like Herakles or Achilles from reaching their goals that could lead to their destruction.

Thus, of the Olympians most frequently mentioned for their affiliation with snakes, those three also happen to the ones most frequently displaying the freezing ability.

But if snakes share that lesser ability with vampires, what about the even better known property of feeding on blood? Well, there doesn’t seem to be as much direct evidence that any connection was made mythologically in that regard between snakes and vampires. But some tenuous hints suggest that a possibility of a connection does exist. After all, there is Lamia who feeds on bloods and is occasionally portrayed with serpentine characteristics. There is also the prophet Tiresias who was associated with snakes to some extent as a legend of his involvement with two serpents indicates, and then is shown in the Odyssey to feed on the blood of a sacrifice offered by Odysseus and co.

More importantly, blood as a generating source of life was listed in several Greek legends, one of the earlier ones perhaps being connected to the birth of Aphrodite. Equally important for this theory might be the idea that Medusa’s blood gave rise to various serpents, reaffirming association between serpents, blood and life in a way corresponding to that of vampires. .

Why is it that vampires would be connected through their mystical properties to vampires? I don’t have a precise answer to that question. Perhaps to some of us, the snake represents the ferocity of the lizard brain associated with the vampiric aggression as well.

Interestingly enough, most mythological entities associated with the dead coming back to life in ancient mythology, similar to vampires of modern lore, were always somehow intense or outright brutal. Orpheus who returned from the Underworld, Dionysus who was reborn, and even more so Sisyphus who sought to cheat Death, are never described to have much gentleness in their lives, whether because of their own actions or because of their tragic ending.

Although the said heroes of Greek myths do not necessarily display any obviously vampiric connotations, they nonetheless provide us with a certain imaginary template of what it could be like for the Dead to come back to life.

Heroes, demi gods and Chtonic deities rising from the Underworld usually acquire greater powers than they previously possessed while, in a kind of a balancing act, losing some of their human morality in the process.

Perhaps the Living Dead of modern lore, serving as the mythological counterpart of such legendary characters also undergo a transformation necessary for their adaptation to new conditions while at the same time exacting too great of a toll to retain completely the previous characteristics of their human existence.

From a biological standpoint, it might be interesting to note at this point that snakes might experience more pain during the process of shedding their skin[ making them more aggressive until the soreness retreats] which largely gives rise to the ancient belief in their immortality in the first place. Thus the snake can be said symbolically to follow the pattern established by the mythological heroes in that they may grow more while losing something else they used to have.

With Underworld serving a similar transformative function for ancient heroes and the act of dying similarly contributing to the evolution of a vampire, it begins to make more sense for the vampire and a serpent to be symbolically linked, not only through their unexpected behavioral changes but even through their supernatural properties.

*****

If you share my interest in vampires, you may also consider the following vampire themed videos to be of interest because they are dedicated to vampires, bats and bat jewelry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQlBB9XGhfg&t=27s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyL9qKvDII8&t=26s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI-yZH5KybA&t=41s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcusHRB6mvw&t=19s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKrilitLb_M&t=69s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpdBdTUfgNE&t=48s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwgY9DsGo_w&t=18s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDrrBu9c6jM&t=72s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7SdTcRwpOc&t=26s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75iRKuJ7cl4&t=93s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3honQIoDeow&t=23s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_DzncAlG3o&t=22s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBTn56NMJxU&t=30s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slNbmqWFCtE&t=402s

Thoughts on the “Old Nick” Reference

There have been many debates and contributions to the familiar reference to the Devil and I would like to add a few ideas of my own. As has been accurately pointed out, there might be an evolution of the description “old” when specifically related to the Devil. The Jewish description of the Devil as the Spirit of Adversity, that could have eventually turned into the familiar idea of Satan is useless here because depictions of age are notoriously absent from the relevant paragraphs in Job, dedicated to the grandeur of God more so than to his minion, “the Adversary.”

We have to refer to the Christian translation that first designated the Devil as the source of all Evil and described him based on the Eden associations as the “old serpent,” as has been stated on the quora site, the word used in Greek to describe the Devil as old, was archaious and my immediate association with  it was of “arche,” the principle of primordial matter, the essential element, used by the pre Socratic philosopher to account for the creation of the universe itself.

With that in mind,  is it not possible that the Devil could have been seen at times as an ancient entity in his own right, familiar with the first principles of Creation and participating himself in the process of Creation.

It is a small stretch of imagination but such figures have been known in mythology. Prometheus of course comes to mind, punished for his sins, ancient, a participant, according to some versions, in the construction of mankind, and a rebel to boot.

As far as the relation to the name Nicholas, a comparison to Santa Klaus comes to mind, especially when his dark assistant Black Peter is considered as the distributor of retribution.

Further, the reindeer have been compared to the goats of the god Thor, who is perceived by many scholars as the god of the people, which could correlate to the meaning of the name Nicholas itself, as “off the people.”

Interestingly enough, Thor, through his domain of lightning, could be partially related to fire, and is even portrayed with the red hair and beards in some myths, going back again to the idea of Prometheus who also had fiery connotations.

It might seem counter intuitive to some readers that the image of the Devil, much like the concept of Satan, can only be conjectured in its entirety, based on several disparate sources. At the same time, the idea of Aleister Crowley comes to mind, that the so called Black Brotherhood lacks cohesion.

I personally think that it makes perfect sense for the idea of the Devil to be composed of various elements. Taking into account that for many the Devil represents conflict and adversity, unity, when established and  successfully conceptualized, must be the purview of the other side.

If any of you reading this are wondering what the video embedded below has to do with the article, well, it features the Living Dead Dolls rendition of the Devil figure, Nickolas, that actually inspired this entire article.

 

Hellraiser (1987): A Movie Review

hellraiser

From a visual perspective, the first of the Hellraiser franchise present the most rudimentary facade to an unsuspecting viewer. But what Clive Barker’s movie may lack in terms of visual effects by our highly demanding standards of today, it makes up in terms of psychological underpinnings that made the entire series a horror classic.

The movie has anything one could wish for, a smart heroine who is stuck into a situation of horror not because of questionable choices or clicheic responses that inundate the lesser works within the horror genre. Instead we have both villains and protagonists forced to exist a certain horrifying yet recognizable and believable isolated reality with their attempts to break through towards comfort miserably failing.

In the 1987 movie  Hellraiser, based on Clive Barker’s earlier novel the Hellbound Heart, we witness the construction of a very original mythology and unique demons that may be scarier due to their psychological insights into human nature than to their supernatural abilities.

With an occasional nod at Aztec mythology and recognizable tokens of modern lore, such as vampires and Frankenstein, Clive Barker cemented his place among masters of horror with his creation of a different kind of villain.

Portrayed by the eloquent actor with the sonorous voice Doug Bradley, the antagonist Pinhead measures fairly well against any modern day villain. Completely terrifying, unforgettable, Pinhead surpasses your every day slashers and escaping him could be as easy, or as difficult as escaping one’s inner demons.

One reason I cannot recommend this movie highly enough, as well as its multiple sequels, is that the more I watch it, the more insight I receive into that darkly taunting hellish dimension from which the antagonist happily hails.

 

This is only a partial review on my part, I included a more thorough, in depth analysis on my youtube channel, and for those of you wishing for more, my video review can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7saq_L8j1Wk