Original reindeer drawing with amanita muscaria pattern

I made a short video of the process of screen printing my 2 color Amanita Muscaria Mushroom Shaman reindeer t shirt design.

The design is based on an ink drawing I had done while studying Siberian Shamanism.  The shamanic cultures of Siberia often herd reindeer and consider them sacred animals.

There are many interesting theories relating to the consumption and use of the Amanita Muscaria in relationship to the Yule celebration.  One in particular, is that the idea of flying reindeer came from the shared experience of the reindeer eating the mushrooms and then people would also partake.  Then when all of the beings were good and tripping, the deer would jump around and the humans would perceive them to be flying.  Of course, that is just a theory but an interesting one no doubt 🙂

In this video, you can see my original artwork and then the two color process of me screen printing the reindeer t shirt with that design.  Enjoy the wonder!

reindeer t shirt amanita muscaria triblend raglan

Amanita Muscaria Reindeer shirt is available in the Closet of Mysteries Shop.

mushroom shaman shirt design from Closet of Mysteries

I recently completed some new artwork for a Mushroom Shaman shirt design.  It was a fun project that I made a nifty little time lapse video of some of the final stages.  In this video, I introduce the use of a voice over.  It is an amazing tool that can deliver a lot of very important information.  One day, I hope to use the VO tool for that purpose.

I had been wanting to make a Mushroom Shaman shirt design for quite a while.  When I sat down to finally put it together, this design sort of popped into my head.  I began by sketching the different components of the design.  From those, I created a pencil drawing of the entire composition.  In order reproduce the image as a screen print, I finished the line art in acrylic ink.

This video includes a time lapse of the entire inking process along with my awesome aforementioned voiceover.

Once the inking process was complete, I scanned the work and cleaned it up for output onto film which will be used to make the screen print stencil.

Thank you for reading.  Please subscribe to the Closet of Mysteries Newsletter to keep up with the latest happenings around the shop.

Shirts are available in the shop.

For Men:Mushroom shaman t shirt original design by Closet of Mysteries

For Women:Women's Mushroom shaman shirt original design by Closet of Mysteries

 

equinox at chaco canyon

Celebrating the Equinox and Ancient Cultures

On the day of equinox, the sun passes over the Equator and the day and night are of equal length.  This is a time when, in the northern hemisphere, the night becomes longer than the day and the seasons are dominated by the moon rather than the sun.  Of course, the opposite is true for the southern hemisphere as their summer begins.
Throughout history, cultures around the world have celebrated this crossing through many traditions and holidays.  It is curious to note that the cultural practices around the world bare striking similarities to one another.  One most notable way should, which should not be overlooked, is the building of colossal stone structures that align to the sun marking this important date.  Main stream historians dismiss the equinox aligned ancient sites as some sort of coincidence which, when considering the evidence, is truly absurd.

Equinox aligned Ancient Sites

Equinox aligned Ancient Sites - Angkor Wat
On the equinoxes, if we could travel all around the world, we would be able to see this incredible feat of astrological engineering working its magic at numerous ancient stone sites.  One of the most famous is, Angkor in Cambodia where the sun rises along side the main pyramid spire and gracefully sits atop the tower.  Teotihuacan, In Mexico is another pyramid site at which the setting sun “touches” the top of the giant stone structure as it sets on the Equinox.  A lesser known structure is in Connecticut in the US called Equinox Calendar Chamber at Gungywamp.  This site is home to what is known as the American Stonehenge and on this day, the setting sun will create a beam of light through a tiny window of the ancient stone chamber and illuminate a calendar wall.  Other equinox alligned sites include: Chichin Itza in Mexico, Loughcrew in Ireland, The Sphinx and Great Pyramid in Egypt, and Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.  There are too many to list here but I encourage you to research these sites on your own.
Equinox aligned Ancient Sites - Angkor Wat
Loughcrew, Ireland
It is clear that ancient people all over the globe found it greatly important to mark the changes of seasons.  We would be a bit naive to think that this practice was due to the need to keep track of planting seasons since many of the structures predate agriculture.  Rather, the ancients believed that there was a spiritual significance to the connection of humans to the celestial.  The transition of the daytime dominated season which brings life and growth into the nighttime dominated one which brings about death and rest, marks the part of the cycle which makes life on this planet possible.  It also represents the spiritual path of the soul.  It is through the cycle of birth, growth, and death, that rebirth can bring our spirits closer to enlightenment.
I live in the low desert of Arizona which means  the vernal equinox marks the start of a small time window to grow things before the blistering sun sterilizes the landscape.  Here, the summer sun brings death to my plants and the heat of the endless summer keeps me hidden indoors.  The autumnal equinox marks yet another growing season as the winters are mild enough for most plants to survive the duration.  

SaveSave

Esoteric artwork for Days of the Week

Every now and again, I have to give myself a challenge.  Last week, I decided that my assignment would be to post, every day, an esoteric artwork for each of the days of the week.

Each drawing was made in the fashion of a magical talisman (sort of) in that I included many occult symbols, names of deities/angels, and things of that nature.  The project was intended to teach me about the planetary rulers over each day of the week along with its magical correspondences.  It also functioned as a great lesson in Hebrew.

I began with the full moon last Monday by posting “Lunes”.

Esoteric artwork drawing - Lunes

My homage to Mars followed with “Martes”.

Esoteric artwork drawing - Martes

Wednesday drawing is “Miercoles” which is reversed due to the current Mercury retrograde.

Esoteric artwork drawing - Miercoles Retrograde

I posted “Jueves” on Thor’s day.

Esoteric artwork drawing - Jueves

Friday drawing is “Viernes”.

Esoteric artwork drawing - Viernes

Saturday is “Sábado”.

Esoteric artwork drawing - Sabado

Completing the set is Sunday’s drawing “Domingo”.

Esoteric Artwork drawing - Domingo

Feel free to ask if you have any questions.  Thank you for viewing my work.

San Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson, AZ

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and my family decided it would be a good day to take an outing.  Our decided destination was San Xavier del Bac mission in Tucson.  Perhaps the 115 degree temperature squeezing all of the moisture out of my body had me thinking a lot about the sun.  Perhaps it was all of the obvious solar imagery that caused me to realize that Father’s Day is always the Sunday closest to Summer Solstice (duh!).

Tohono O’odham basket with Catholic solar symbol mashup at San Xavier del Bac Mission
Woven Tonto O’odham symbol of man in the maze with the gold Catholic 8 pointed star solar symbol placed at the center.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Catholicism is a solar cult.  While observing the mashup of O’odahm symbolism with that of Catholic, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.  There I was in a Catholic mission, on a Sunday which happened to be Father’s Day and two days before summer solstice.  Interesting that Father’s Day always falls on the closest Sunday to Solstice?  Could it be coincidence?  Not likely considering that the solar cults refer to the sun as “Heavenly Father”.  Sunday is also the day of worship of said deity because it is the day of the sun.  The sun has the most power on the solstice, the longest day of the year.  Therefore, you add Sunday and Solstice and you get Father’s Day.  Pretty neat huh?

Below is a photo exploration of my visit to San Xavier del Bac Mission with occasional commentary.
San Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson, AZ Candles at San Xavier del Bac Mission

There is also no shortage of lunar symbolism at the mission as the Madonna serves this purpose.  Here is Our Lady cloaked in a garment of stars and standing on a black crescent moon.

Madonna standing on a black moon tile artwork at San Xavier del Bac Mission

This gate is a pretty neat use of the  Tonto O’odham symbol of the man in the maze.  Of course, with the bars interrupting all of the paths in the maze, the man would find it impossible to complete it (perhaps that was the idea?).  Right next to the gate is a lion head which is a typical symbol of the sun.Tonto O'odham man in the maze symbol on a get next to solar lion head at San Xavier del bac Mission

Lion head at San Xavier del Bac mission in Tucson

On the cross mound next to San Xavier del Bac Mission, are two Lion statues and a large white cross.  Of course, lion and cross are symbols of the sun.
Bronze lion solar symbol below cross solar symbol next to San Xavier del bac Mission

offerings at shrine with madonna on the cross mound by San Xavier del bac mission Shrine at cross mount next to San Xavier del Bac Mission Madonna and rosary in shrine on cross mound by San Xavier del bac mission Entrance to San Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson, AZ

Inside of San Xavier del Bac Mission, is this really cool lion statue which could very well have been designed by Dr. Suess.  Gold Lion solar symbol statue in San Xavier del bac mission San Xavier del Bac Mission Dome at San Xavier del Bac mission in Tucson, AZ Shrine at San Xavier del Bac mission in Tucson AZ bells over shrine at San Xavier del Bac Mission Cholla and relief sculpture at San Xavier del bac mission Cast shadow of ironwork at San Xavier del bac mission

Here, seeming pretty out of place, is the sign of Osiris Slain (haha!) tagged onto a pipe.  Alright, so it is probably really meant to just be a parishioner in exaltation before the mission bells but still a pretty neat stencil.  Painting on a large pipe at San Xavier del bac mission

SaveSave

Resh vel Helios parody Resh vel Huevos

Sometimes, you tell a joke just for yourself…  Resh vel Huevos is just such a thing: A parody of the Resh vel Helios Thelema Ritual.  I cannot help my corny sense of humor.  The corn on the cobs run through me…

Enjoy!  …or don’t.  Here it is either way.

The original text of the Solar Adorations can be found at Sacred-Texts.com

I created a short video in which I talk about what I like about drawing trees, while drawing a tree.  That’s right!  It is just amazing!  But don’t take my word for it…

Here is the artwork with the completed tree drawing.

Original wall art - "The Work (base)" - mixed media collage art - Money tree

pen and ink drawing artwork in progress

As the new year began, I felt the old pull to embark on some new art projects.  I will post updates as I work on this set more.  Here are my latest artwork in progress.  Keep in mind some are just begun and will change drastically before they are finished.  I thought it would be interesting to post them at this early stage to see how far they change…pen and ink drawing in progress

New artwork in progress New work in progress New work in progress New work in progress New work in progress - esoteric art New work in progress - esoteric art

 

Thank you for stopping by to check out my latest artworks in progress.  I will be posting new pictures as the work develops.  Check back in to watch evolution in progress.

Support an artist, buy my t shirts:

Owl Mural in Riverside, CA

Our little crew recently set out on an adventure to visit some family in the Inland Empire, CA.  While we were visiting, we took the opportunity to do some poking around.  Here are some of the wonders we beheld while exploring the Inland Empire – Riverside and Redlands, CA.

Our first outing was to Riverside.  We were met with a drizzle which was a welcome event considering the endless summer we left behind in Arizona (yes, it’s still pretty warm in October and we are over it).  Our first stop was Back to the Grind Coffee shop.  It’s a wonderful shop full of art and great atmosphere.

Mural at Back to the Grind in Riverside Nosferatu climbing the stairs at Back to the Grind Riverside mural at Back to the Grind in Riverside Hydra Loves You at Back to the Grind Riverside

Back out on the streets, public art and old architecture provide many treats for the eyeballs.

Owl Mural in Riverside, CA Riverside Church tower Chinese Pavilion Riverside, California Stone Lion Riverside California Sun Dial with zodiac Riverside California Shepard Fairey banner on Riverside City Hall Riverside City Hall architecture Changing minds in Riverside, CA Eliza Tibbets sculpture in Downtown Riverside CAAfter exploring the streets for a while, we decided to check out the Riverside Metropolitan Museum which was conveniently free!

Spirit Collection at Riverside Metropolitan Museum Goat Skull at Riverside Metropolitan Museum Deer Skull at Riverside Metropolitan Museum Hopi basket at Riverside Metropolitan Museum
Hopi Kachina at Riverside Metropolitan Museum

Our next outing was to the quaint city of Redlands.  The downtown was fun to explore.  One of the highlights for us was the comic store A Shop Called Quest which was loaded with interesting comics, books, toys, and art.

A Shop Called Quest Comic Store Redlands California A Shop Called Quest Comic Store Redlands California A Shop Called Quest Comic Store Redlands California Adventure Time mural on a Shop Called Quest Redlands

Walking outside also provided many visual treats.

Fox Mural in Redlands California img_6717 Downtown Redlands California

The last stop in Redlands was Prospect Park for a burrito picnic and wandering.

View at Prospect Park Redlands CA

Redwood at Prospect Park Redlands CA Mushrooms growing in Prospect Park Redlands CA Prospect Park Redlands CA Prospect Park Redlands CA
Redwood and ferns at Prospect Park Redlands CA

I hope you enjoyed exploring Riverside and Redlands, CA with us.  We love poking around new and old places and sharing them with you.