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Welcome to the latest entries for Serendipity and phantacea

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Phantacea Publications in Print

- 'Phantacea Phase Two' 2016-2018 - The 'Launch 1980' story cycle - 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Fantasy Trilogy - The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels - The phantacea Graphic Novels -

Phantacea Phase Two 2016-2018

Decimation Damnation

Decimation Damnation front cover, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Mini-novel published in 2016; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Hidden Headgames

Hidden Headgames front cover, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Collection of three intertwined novellas published in 2017; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Daemonic Desperation

Daemonic Desperation cover mockup, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Tentative cover for Dem-Des; will probably be changed before it's published; scheduled to be released in 2018;

The Phantacea Phase Two revival physically began with 2016's "Decimation Damnation", the first mini-novel extracted from the as yet open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'. It was set between the 9th of Tantalar and the 1st of Yamana, 5980 Year of the Dome. However, its follow-up, "Hidden Headgames" was set between the 30th of Maruta and the 14th of Tantalar in that same year. "Daemonic Desperation" picks up Babes near the end of the second week of Yamana and continues through the Summer Solstice of 5981. As the last known member of the Damnation Brigade, if the Witch was fortunate to survive Dec-Dam, alive and pregnant, she may not be so lucky come the end of Dem-Des. Oddly enough, her unborn babies may yet still be both viable and unborn by then.
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The 'Launch 1980' Story Cycle

The War of the Apocalyptics

Front cover of War Pox, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2009

Published in 2009; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Nuclear Dragons

Nuclear Dragons front cover, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Helios on the Moon

Front cover for Helios on the Moon, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Published in 2014; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

The 'Launch 1980' story cycle comprises three complete, multi-character mosaic novels, "The War of the Apocalyptics", "Nuclear Dragons" and "Helios on the Moon", as well as parts of two others, "Janna Fangfingers" and "Goddess Gambit". Together they represent creator/writer Jim McPherson's long running, but now concluded, project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series.

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'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Epic Fantasy

Feeling Theocidal

Front Cover for Feel Theo, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

Published in 2008; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The 1000 Days of Disbelief

Front cover of The Thousand Days of Disbelief, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published as three mini-novels, 2010/11; main webpage is here; ordering lynx for individual mini-novels are here

Goddess Gambit

Front cover for Goddess Gambit by Verne Andru, 2012

Published in 2012; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Circa the Year of Dome 2000, Anvil the Artificer, a then otherwise unnamed, highborn Lazaremist later called Tvasitar Smithmonger, dedicated the first three devic talismans, or power foci, that he forged out of molten Brainrock to the Trigregos Sisters.

The long lost, possibly even dead, simultaneous mothers of devakind hated their offspring for abandoning them on the far-off planetary Utopia of New Weir. Not surprisingly, their fearsome talismans could be used to kill Master Devas (devils).

For most of twenty-five hundred years, they belonged to the recurring deviant, Chrysaor Attis, time after time proven a devaslayer. On Thrygragon, Mithramas Day 4376 YD, he turned them over to his Great God of a half-father, Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, to use against his two brothers, Unmoving Byron and Little Star Lazareme, in hopes of usurping their adherents and claiming them as his own.

Hundreds of years later, these selfsame thrice-cursed Godly Glories helped turn the devil-worshippers of Sedon's Head against their seemingly immortal, if not necessarily undying gods. Now, five hundred years after the 1000 Days of Disbelief, they've been relocated.

The highest born, surviving devic goddesses want them for themselves; want to thereby become incarnations of the Trigregos Sisters on the Hidden Continent. An Outer Earthling, one who has literally fallen out of the sky after the launching of the Cosmic Express, gets to them first ...

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The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels

The Death's Head Hellion

- Sedonplay -

Front cover for The Death's Head Hellion, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Contagion Collectors

- Sedon Plague -

Front cover for Contagion Collectors, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Janna Fangfingers

- Sedon Purge -

Front cover for Janna Fangfingers, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

Published in 2011; two storylines recounted side-by-side, the titular one narrated by the Legendarian in 5980, the other indirectly leading into the 'Launch 1980' story cycle; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

In the Year of the Dome 4825, Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of the Utopian Weirdom of Cabalarkon, seizes control of Primeval Lilith, the ageless, seemingly unkillable Demon Queen of the Night. The eldritch earthborn is the real half-mother of the invariably mortal Sed-sons but, once she has hold of her, aka Lethal Lily, Master Morgan proceeds to trap the Moloch Sedon Himself.

In the midst of the bitter, century-long expansion of the Lathakran Empire, the Hidden Headworld's three tribes of devil-gods are forced to unite in an effort to release their All-Father. Unfortunately for them, they're initially unaware Master Morg, the Death's Head Hellion herself, has also got hold of the Trigregos Talismans, devic power foci that can actually kill devils, and Sedon's thought-father Cabalarkon, the Undying Utopian she'll happily slay if they dare attack her Weirdom.

Utopians from Weir have never given up seeking to wipe devils off not just the face of the Inner Earth, but off the planet itself. Their techno and biomages, under the direction of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's extremely long-lived High Illuminary, Quoits Tethys, have determined there is only one sure way to do that -- namely, to infect the devils' Inner Earth worshippers with fatal plagues brought in from the Outer Earth.

Come All-Death Day there are more Dead Things Walking than Living Beings Talking. Believe it or not, that's the good news.

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phantacea Graphic Novels

Forever and Forty Days

- The Genesis of Phantacea -

Front cover of Forever and Forty Days; artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Published in 1990; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The Damnation Brigade

- Phantacea Revisited 1 -

Front cover of The Damnation Brigade, artwork by Ian Bateson, retouching by Chris Chuckry 2012

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Cataclysm Catalyst

- Phantacea Revisited 2 -

Front cover for Cataclysm Catalyst, artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

Published in 2014, main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Kadmon Heliopolis had one life. It ended in October 1968. The Male Entity has had many lives. In his fifth, he and his female counterpart, often known as Miracle Memory, engendered more so than created the Moloch Sedon. They believe him to be the Devil Incarnate. They've been attempting to kill him ever since. Too bad it's invariably he, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise), who gets killed instead.

On the then still Whole Earth circa the Year 4000 BCE, one of their descendants, Xuthros Hor, the tenth patriarch of Golden Age Humanity, puts into action a thought-foolproof, albeit mass murderous, plan to succeed where the Dual Entities have always failed. He unleashes the Genesea. The Devil takes a bath.

Fifty-nine hundred and eighty years later, New Century Enterprises launches the Cosmic Express from Centauri Island. It never reaches Outer Space; not all of it anyhow. As a stunning consequence of its apparent destruction, ten extraordinary supranormals are reunited, bodies, souls and minds, after a quarter century in what they've come to consider Limbo. They name themselves the Damnation Brigade. And so it appears they are -- if perhaps not so much damned as doomed.

At least one person survives the launching of the Cosmic Express. He literally falls out of the sky -- on the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. An old lady saves him. Except this old lady lives in a golden pagoda, rides vultures and has a third eye. She also doesn't stay old long. He becomes her willing soldier, acquires the three Sacred Objects and goes on a rampage, against his own people, those that live.

Meanwhile, Centauri Island, the launch site of the Cosmic Express, comes under attack from Hell's Horsemen. Only it's not horses they ride. It's Atomic Firedrakes!

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Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos Online

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SERENDIPITY NOW

A PHANTACEA Mythos Web-Feature

[Blow-Up of aerial shot taken by Egyptian Air Force, circa mid-30s, of the Gizeh Plateau, photograph of Something Like Sedon's Head by Jim McPherson, Year 2000]

© copyright Jim McPherson (PHANTACEA)

- Lady Luck's Legacy -

| The List | The Nineties | 2000 - 2005 | 2005 - 2009 | 2010 - 2014 | 2015 - 2019 |

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A Chronological List of Lynx to Current and Previous Updates of Serendipity

  1. December 1996: Egyptian Heliopolis, Phoenician Heliopolis, Human Heliopolises, were the Zerosses from Etocretan Ziros & how much of PHANTACEA did Jim McPherson actually make up?
  2. February 1997: Of Ravenscroft, Rubens, Spears of Destiny, Korantism, & Mithraism in the Nazi SSBosch's Juggler, from The Garden of Earthly Delights in Madrid
  3. May 1997: Wormwood, Fox's Millennium, & the CHI-RHO (x-p) 'Chrismon' (Monogram of Christ) as a Mithraic Labarum
  4. August 1997: The Spear of Destiny, Youthful Sex, Elvis & a near Sedon-sighting
  5. September 1997: Sed's Head on the Giza Plateau in Egypt for 4500 Years?
  6. October 1997: The Smiling Fiend as Judge Druj
  7. November 1998: Is the US military using Centauri Island for bombing practise?
  8. May 1999: Is that the Moloch Sedon in Star Wars?
  9. February 2000: Xuthros Hor, the Genesea & the Grand Alignment
  10. October 2001: Pyrame & The Atomic Twins (Osiraq)
  11. Summer 2002: Serendipitous Sightings (snaps reminiscent of PHANTACEA characters: Blind Sundown and Raven's Head; Sorciere and Granny Garuda; Wilderwitch and Wildman Dervish Furie)
  12. Summer 2003: Vampires in pre-Columbian Honduras
  13. Autumn 2003: The VAM not in Vampires (Maya, Mithrandruj & More on the Forgettable Devil)
  14. Winter 2003/4: Bad Rhad as Ahriman (Even More on the Ever Eminently Forgettable Devil)
  15. Winter 2004/5: On Blimps and Brains in Boxes
  16. Summer 2005: Chernobyl Summoning Children?
  17. Winter 2005/6: Snails for Cerebrus
  18. Summer 2006: Did Methuselah Survive the Genesea
  19. Winter 2006/7: Sedon with a Pitchfork + We'll call him Varuna
  20. Summer 2007: Planetary Demotion + Silver Dragsilk + Hel's on Mars too
  21. Autumn 2007: Cerebrus Now + Blasting the Cloud of Hadd + Two Apropos "Feeling Theocidal" + Assassination by Asteroid (unless it was a comet)
  22. Spring 2008: The Universal Substance + A Croc - Not a Crock + Noting Theocidal Tendencies
  23. Autumn 2008: Medusas I have met + Spooky, not Serendipitous (whose head is she leaning on anyhow?) + Now She's in Portugal (the All-Seeing Eye of Pyrame as Providence)
  24. Spring 2009: Still searching for the secret to the Signallers' Silver
  25. Summer 2009: Did Edenites or Utopians make the Antikythera Mechanism + Did Saudi's descendants slip through the Dome and take up residence in Thailand + Salamanders not just in 'Feel Theo' + Jordy's attitude to not just militaries
  26. Autumn 2009: Soul in a Stone (The Celestial Superior) + Terrorist Swallows Bomb (Prince Translav's Global Menace) + An Actual Eye-Mouth in the Sky (Dark Star Sedon) alongside echoes of Ubi's Son-Shine
  27. Spring 2010: Those naughty little gods -- er, make that devils + A Harmonious Demogorgon + Sprinkles as Utopian crud
  28. Summer 2010: No wonder Smiler's always smiling + A Doughnut for the Melusine Master + Hoffmann's Tomcat
  29. Autumn 2010: Buy the bye + No wonder he's running, the Legendarian doesn't want to be snake-ring gotten + Rat Catcher's Daze + the Garden of Earthy, not Earthly, Delights
  30. Winter 2011/12: Phantacea, the other Mary Magdalene and the House of Orange + more weirdness re pHant's Magdalene + Utopians in China + the Order of Chaos (Jérôme Bosch as a comic book hero)
  31. Winter 2012/13: Feeling Pterror not just in Sweden + Winter 12/13 on the blog
  32. Spring 2013: Meteoric Messaging + French Ministry of Deviancy + Spring 2013 on the blog
  33. Summer 2013: Sun-Crossed Year's Wheelie + Pareidolia's Fay! + Summer 2013 on the blog
  34. Autumn 2013: Was Buzz's Bunny Girl Mnemosyne?; Brain Blob for Real; Turkish Tele-psychosis, 2006/8; That's Fatberg, not Fatman; More on inevitably heading towards replicating Weir's Mother Machine; Autumn 2013 on the blogOwl in belly of Bosch's Juggler
  35. Winter 2013/14: Was that an idol of Heliosophos, the Male Entity, as the fat-eared Rabbit formerly on the Moon, found in Glauberg, Germany, in the 1990s alongside the Crimson Corona; Winter 2013/14 on the blog
  36. Spring 2014: In pHanta-pHact, those are Gorgon Goggles; Can't be Grampa Witch; Spring 2014 on pHantaBlog
  37. Summer 2014: Should it have been Shellfish on the Moon?; Should it have been Shelios on the Moon?; Tell-talôs talaria; Summer 2014 on pHantaBlog
  38. Autumn 2014: Spherus doesn't just blow bubbles; Serendipitously enforced revision re cosmic gavelling; Happy Janna Glands; Autumn 2014 on pHantaBlog
  39. Winter 2014/15: Elizabethan El Dorado and Manoa; Digital differential; Caul=Strife - not necessarily; Winter 2014/15 on pHantaBlog
  40. Spring 2015: Glory of the Witches; A sloth by any other name; Spring 2015 on pHantaBlog
  41. Summer 2015: SereNipHity in the Sky; Summer 2015 on pHantaBlog
  42. Autumn 2015: Spectres of Sed's Hed going Kablooie; No longer just Creatures of the Cosmos?; Raven's On Head; Autumn 2015 on pHantaBlog
  43. Winter 2015/16: Not a foul-up, a follow-up, times two; Peculiar Perspectives pHant-pHound-wise; Bosco's Lilith, from the Vienna Last Judgement, scanned in from a calendarPerfectly Phantacea; Winter 2015 on pHantaBlog
  44. Spring 2016: Apologies to Ziggy Bowie; Cheyenne Spooks; Cabby's Caddy -- bronzed in Sedona; Flowery Anthea is no war goddess; Mandroid mistakes to come; Spring 2016 on pHantaBlog
  45. Summer 2016: What does Max Cannon really know about Cabalarkon's Stone Gnomes; Witch not an Afghan girl; Lady L forgets her Mandroid Guard-body; Roman Lemurians; Summer 2016 on pHantaBlog
  46. Autumn 2016: The Untouchable Frogman; Electromagnetic drive far less effective than Ringleader's Gypsium rings; X marks the spot in not just Cain's Galaxy; Autumn 2016 on pHantaBlog
  47. Winter 2016/17: Diabolical dabbling; Ray-Bum for Raygun, not Ray-ban; pHanta-Pokémon; Not in this body, Furie; Tall Hair Horrors; Leadface Utopians; Winter 2016/17 on pHantaBlog
  48. Spring 2017: Spring 2017 on pHantaBlog
  49. Summer 2017: Looks who's sitting in highchair of Hell; it's not Djinn Domitian; Summer 2017 on pHantaBlog
  50. Autumn 2017: Of mountweazels and nihilartikels; Autumn 2017 on pHantaBlog

Images in the List panel double-click to enlarge. All the artwork is by Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450; d. 1516) ... "The Juggler" from 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' left panel ('Heavenly Delights'), the Juggler's belly owl, and "Lilith Corrupting Adam and Eve" from the Vienna 'Last Judgement'.

An essay on Bosch by Jim McPherson, creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is here. As per #30 above, Bosch became a character in 2011's Delcourt graphic novel "L'Ordre du Chaos" (in French). Along with contemporaries Tomas 'Twisted Tommy' Torquemada and Albrecht 'Dire' Durer, he appears (as Bosco) in "Contagion Collectors", a mini-novel written by Jim McPherson and released by Phantacea Publications in 2010.

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I collect material for Serendipity Now. Email me or stick them in an envelope and send them to me if you've some PHANTACEA-specific ones you'd like to share. In the meantime, here's another batch:


Autumn 2017

The Real ArticleGraphic reads 'Nihila Nereid Borealis Brolly', prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

For starters, have a lengthy quote from "Hidden Headgames", which should be out by end of season ... i.e., around Halloween:

Mithrada, 8 Tantalar 5980
Even in an unheard-for-Hadd deluge of near-biblical proportions, facially Fisherwoman (born Scylla Nereid) looked good in a glowingly golden, chainmail fishnet.
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Plus, there was nothing better against incoming, oversized vultures ridden by Sangazur-animated Dead Things firing modern ordnance, helicopter gunships lower down, Godbadian warplanes higher up and, yes, even a few missiles, no matter what they were tipped with, than teleportive Brainrock-Gypsium chains transmuted into an acreage-covering umbrella composed of said Godstuff, one that shimmered as if akin to multi-coloured Northern Lights.
Of course, being impossibly huge, so much so that her webbed feet straddled either side of Diminished Dustmound, there was no way that could just be Fish (officially Lady Achigan, onetime Queen Scylla of Godbad). For another, she ordinarily didn’t have, let alone display, a third eye.
And while it was true she’d managed to acquire, and keep hold of, no less than three devic power foci in her sixty-odd – very odd – years of deviant life, one of them was not, and never had been, a Borealis Brolly.
Evidently lost was Scylla Nereid; evidently found was Nihila Nereid.

... from 'Acquiring Nihila', the final vignette in "Hidden Headgames", which overlaps the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

Now consider this, from The Free Dictionary almost exactly four years ago today (21 August 2013):Borealis Brolly graphic w/o txt, prepared by Jim McPherson for cover of "Hidden Headgames"

Fictitious entry

Fictitious entries, also known as fake entries, Mountweazels, ghost words[1] and nihil articles, are deliberately incorrect entries or articles in reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and directories. Entries in reference works normally originate from a reliable external source, but no such source exists for a fictitious entry. Copyright trap is a specific case where the motivation for the entry is to detect plagiarism or copyright infringement.

The neologism Mountweazel was coined by the magazine The New Yorker based on a fictitious entry for Lillian Virginia Mountweazel in the 1975 edition of the New Columbia Encyclopedia.[2] Another term, German "Nihilartikel" ("nihil article"), combines the Latin words nihil ("nothing") and "articulus" ("article").

Reason it's serendipitous has nothing to do with POTUS 45. Rather, it's because pHantacea on pHacebook reminded me I'd posted it in 2013, just after Phantacea Publications released "Goddess Gambit". That was where the above referenced event was first recorded. Reminded me on the same day I built tentative cover for "Hidden Headgames", which incorporated this graphic.

At the time I noted: "Mountweazels has to be the best word of the week. I couldn't help but notice its synonym, Nihilartikels, however. After all, Freespirit Nihila, a major character in "Goddess Gambit", is fictitious. She even made it to the book's cover."

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?') and here ('Lammas to the English'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Summer 2017

Meanwhile, on the Highchair of Hell; Boundless Djinn;

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Leontocephalic Masochist Rests in Gory

It's the last day of Summer, according to not just the Phantacea Mythos. The weather's lovely. Has been since, funnily enough, Midsummer's Day, the start of the summer season according to the many who don't seem to understand that the June Solstice can't be called Midsummer if it's also Begin Summer.

Here's an end-chapter annotation taken from "Hidden Headgames", which is due out in October (Autumn) or November (Winter) according to the calendar:[LION-HEADED CREATURE TAKEN FROM THE WEB]

Mainly as Mithras’s Herald [Djinn Domitian], the lion-headed masochist appeared in the early stages of Feeling Theocidal, Book One of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ fantasy trilogy. His look, however, is based on an aspect of Mithra-Kronos famed in certain circles as Boundless Time, as found in Manly P Hall’s “The Secret Teachings of All Ages”.

... from 'The Forettable Fiend', the first vignette in "Hidden Headgames", part of the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

Because the weather's been so glorious -- this after perhaps the wettest, approaching biblically damp, March, April, May and first three weeks of June in Vancouver history -- staying inside in order to finish editing, hardly a favourite pastime of most writers, Games has been more chore, read ordeal, than anywhere near enjoyable.

As it has done for years, break reading includes Fortean Times. As part of its "Buiding a Fortean Library" series, FT 354 (June 2017) includes this, hence serendipitous gem as part of its review of “Magic, Supernaturalism and Religion” by Kurt Seligmann:

'Somewhere in between [the Chaldeans and the 18th Century magicians covered by this book] came Zoroaster, whose dualistic conception of the warring gods was crowned by a supergod. "The single power is Zrvan Akaran, boundless time, which rests in its glory, so incomprehensible to man that we can but honour it in awed silence."

Trumpeter demon from Bosch's Haywain, scanned in from a calendarDon't know of anyone honouring Mithras's non-swan trumpeter, messenger and sun-runner or Heliodromus in Games, especially not Hotstuff (Methandra Thanatos) to Smiler (The Forgettable Fiend) ...

“Who’s that, judge? Looks like something a snow tiger would drag in after a polar bear was finished with it.”

“An apt description, Sorceress.”

Smiler was carrying a three-eyed, lion-headed humanoid whose skin, more like fur, had been flayed off most of its body. The only reason its internal organs weren’t spilling out of its abdomen was that the creature was a devil and devils, being solidified by demons, didn’t have much in the way of internal organs.

“I’m not surprised you don’t remember one of your more insignificant brothers in Mithras. His injuries are self-inflicted.”

“Djinn Domitian?”

... from 'The Forettable Fiend', the first vignette in "Hidden Headgames", part of the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'
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Surprise, surprise, Blob; should never have got off your throne

Almost everyday lately something shows up on pHantaJim's email from Pinterest. Very serendipitously, here's one I got today, just as I was reviewing the PDF for "Hidden Headgames", the upcoming mini-novel from Phantacea Publications. It's a Kabuki half-mask, one of the best I've seen, of an oni or Japanese demon.

I was reading this when I switched over to check out my email. It's told from the perspective of Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck (Baaloch Hellblob, last seen here):

A mass of darkness had congealed on the Highchair of Hell. Darkness had form, a very dark form but clearly – ha, ha – humanoid. Darkness had a pink face and three eyes. With six pink fingers, each of them too long by at least a joint, Darkness had been playing a set of panpipes. Darkness ceased playing them. Darkness smiled.Oni half-mask, spotted on Pinterest

A couple of seconds passed before he realized Darkness had far more right to sit there than he ever did; that in fact the Highchair of Hell belonged to him, always had. Whereupon, in what had been his throne room for nearly three centuries, the Prime Sinistral of Satanwyck went to his knees, laid the Evil Eye on the floor between them and scuttled backwards even more cravenly until it was safely out of his reach.

“My apologies, Judge. I’d forgotten you exist.”

“That is at it should be, Egg. So, shall I pick your brains or simply scramble them up with the rest of your foul body and have supper?”

The Smiling Fiend was myrionymous; had many names. Ahriman was one, Judge Druj another. Druj meant ‘the Lie’. That made him the exception that proved the rule.

... from 'The Forettable Fiend', the first vignette in "Hidden Headgames", part of the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

Just can't seem to get rid of him, eh. Rid of whom? Dunno, can't remember

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?') and here ('Lammas to the English'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Spring 2017

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?') and here ('Lammas to the English'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Winter 2016/17

3-D Debs; the Ronnie Ray-Bum revenant; Poké-Pox; Furiously Fanged; Hairy Home Comb; Alabaster Naturally; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Winter 2016/17;

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Optical Diabolicals

Suggestion made on Phantacea Publications' main website that the follow-up to "Decimation Damnation" might be called 'Destination Damnation' still sort of holds. 'Sort of' because it might not be the immediate follow-up. Couple of others might intervene: 'Daemonic Desperation' and 'Pyrame's Progress'.

Diableries

box top of stereoscopic diableries, image scanned in from FT346

Voyage into the Otherworld

Dest-Dam will be around eventually, though. That's almost for certain. And when it does, we'll be meeting Baaloch Hellblob, aka Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck. Unless, that is, we've already met him in 'Pyrame's Progress'. (He did show up in at least one of the pH-Webworld web-serials, namely "Psychodrama", but that was years ago now.)Diablery entitled

“Welcome to Hell,” he shrugged, howsoever lethargically. (He didn’t practice shrugs in a mirror; didn’t practice much of anything, sooth said. He was the embodiment of Indolence.) “If you’ve come to ask for the soul of your lover back, I don't do requests. Besides, if it is here, I wouldn’t want it back if I were you. Which of course I couldn’t be. I'm not remotely human.”

Also too sluggish to shape-shift, Sinistral Sloth presented his usual Humpty Dumpty self: red-skinned, dwarfish, almost egg-shaped, with spindly arms and legs, no hair on his head, virtually no neck and the three eyes, one in the centre of his forehead like most devils had. Clothed in a regally purple robe, excessively flabby by any standards, Sloth slouched in the overstuffed Highchair of Satanwyck.

... from 'Pyrame's Progress', an unpublished storyline that may become part of the open-ended saga of "Wilderwitch's Babies"

Seems Sloth (represented by the Frazetta cut-out here) is something of a gourmand. He's too lazy to cook, of course, and doesn't double as Sinistral Gluttony (that'd Arisandesam, the Conqueror Worm). However, he isn't below supervising others cooking for him, hence today's opening diablerie: 'Les Cuisines de Satan'. Which as you may have already realized brings us to today's serendipitous sighting, diableries.

Credits for book on DialeriesFrom the November 2016 issue of Fortean Times (FT346) we learn: "A Diablerie is a special kind of stereo card [presenting] works of art in the medium of stereo daguerreotypes [that] around 1851 [were] mounted on cards which fitted into the new 'standard' Brewster-style stereoscope."

The article is attributed Brian May, from Queen, Denis Pellerin and Paula Fleming. Out of a sense of obligation, and since their effort has become a commercial operation, here are FT's credits for the article, the London Stereoscopic Company's website address and, if you're wondering after you click it, the English definition for odalisques.

Of more site-specific interest is what it has to say about "devilments", something the phantacea Mythos has also been addressing since its 1977 inception. Should preface that with a memory.

(BTW, diablerie at right of paragraph is entitled 'Enfer', meaning 'Hell', not 'hell to pay')Enfer or Hell, diablery scanned in from FT346

Got an email, deleted almost immediately, in late 1990s shortly after starting pH-Webworld out here in Cyberia. Was signed Mephistopheles, who warned against making fun of devils. If phantacea didn't cease and desist forthwith, there'd be 'hell to pay' or words to that effect. He got an obligatory 'Lighten up, dude. It's only make-believe." Thought that should end that.

Nonetheless, later on that very day, a fully grown black crow flew in through the open patio door and promptly bashed up against an unopened window. It managed to flap its way back through the patio door and up the nearby maple tree. Remained there, somewhat shaken, for the balance of the daylight. Indeed, was often seen throughout that summer up the same tree balefully glaring down at the same door.

Needless to say, the patio itself got more than a few excremental deposits of disapproval thereafter. Still does, as a matter of non-fantasy fact. Guess that's why, around this house anyhow, crows are often referred to as 'Mephistopheles and his minions'.

From the article we also learn ...

"It must be remembered that in Catholic France [from the Middle Ages on] ... the Devil was a mighty weapon used by the Church ... to maintain its influence and power. Everything possible was done to hold simple souls in holy terror of the Evil One, and of the dreadful consequence of a sinful life.

... "By the late 18th century ... demons started being seen more as fantastic figures capable of changing their appearance and sometimes willing to help humans than as sinister characters bent on the eternal damnation of the human race.

... By the 1830s "People were ... accepting the Devil as a person who could be mocked and ridiculed, rather than feared and dreaded."

Take that Mephistopheles.

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Page 14 from pH-1, artwork by Dave Sim, 1977Page 15 from pH-1, artwork by Dave Sim, 1977That said, let's leave the final word in this entry to pHant's very own arch Catholic, Gloriella D'Angelo Dark, aka Radiant Rider or simply Rainbow.

Note 1: Gloriel's youngest brother, John Paul D'Angelo, last appeared in "Helios on the Moon"

Note 2: Arachne is Spinstress, one of the Death Dodgers from, yes, Phantacea One, way back in September 1977 (artwork by Dave Sim). One of them, the Knave of Knives, appeared in the short story "Sister Grandmother", at the back of 1990's "Forever & 40 Days — The Genesis of phantacea" graphic novel, whereas Nat Challenger and Arachne made their reappearances in the aforementioned Year One - After Limbo 2: Psychodrama. As for what they actually are, that's here

Note 3: As for the Magnificent Psycho, aka Magnifico, he's almost always been around, see for example here and here. In terms of Phantacea Publications, however, he hasn't been seen since "Nuclear Dragons"

“Which it is,” agreed Radiant Rider, not reacting the way Psycho thought she would when he fed Challenger the line about Father John Paul D’Angelo. “However, you’re relatively new to the Head. It’s safe to say I’m not anymore. Since returning from Limbo I’ve come across a number of these devils. Akbar’s father and the one I just left, the Prime Sinistral of Satanwyck, Hell on Earth, no less, aren’t allowed to kill and don’t.

“Except for decathonitized ones like Domdaniel-Pride and the real Apocalyptics, who are probably more insane from being ill-starred for so long than out and out evil, I still think we can live together. If I ever get back to the Outer Earth and have a chance to talk with John Paul I’m sure he’ll come around to my way of thinking.”

“Sacrilege!” proffered Arachne.

... from "Psychodrama", a web-serial published in the early 2000s that continued The Damnation Brigade saga

More diableries here and here

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Devilfish Riding

The fabulous, ever fishifying Fisherwoman (Scylla Nereid, Lady Achigan in the 5980 story sequences) shows up with a new psychopomp in "Decimation Damnation". And, yes, from the sounds of things it began its existence as a devilfish. The image immediately below is of a pHantaJim-shot manta spotted swimming well off the shore of San Pedro, Belize, back in early February 2016.

Devilfish or Eagle Ray shot off coast of San Pedro, Belize, in 2016 by Jim McPhersonHave a couple of quotes re said revenant, both from Dec-Dam. Left in the fishifying at the end of the second one just for fun. More of the first excerpt is here and here.

Her usual scant, navel-baring clothing was more blubbery than cottony or wetsuit rubbery. Had – and this was as recent addition as far as Lakshmi could recall – a dark, spotted cloak that upon closer inspection looked fishy in every respect. It was her latest psychopomp and, yes, it had once been just that, a fish; an eagle ray, to be absolutely accurate. How she'd come by it, got it demon-coated and revenant-raised, was amongst her very latest her-stories.

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Fisherwoman eely-eyed her. So it seemed did her latest psychopomp, whom Fish was once again calling Eagle Ray Revenant after both Tsishah and adoptive sister Amphitrite prevailed on her to stop calling it (him?) Ronnie Ray-Bum after the USA’s president-elect, Ronald Reagan. (Both Fish and Amphitrite had been to Hollywood in the Forties. Neither could believe Americans had elected Ronnie Ray-ban. Not to the presidency anyhow: Jimmy Stewart, maybe; Reagan, never.)

“You’re not trying to dugong-duck out of anything avian, are you, sea-saw?”

... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

Diving God, shot at Mexico City Museum of Anthropology by Jim McPherson in Feb 16Now have a lengthy quote from "Goddess Gambit", the concluding novel in 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' fantasy epic. It sets the stage for Fish reacquainting herself in the Biblical sense with Yehudi Cohen, the Untouchable Diver, the father of one of her many Fish Fry, albeit from forty years earlier.

(Let the quote run on so much because it contains one of my favourite lines of recent re-reading: "No sign of a witch-stone and, you know, most War Witches couldn’t cast a glamour to save their backsides at a stake-barbecue.")

The diablerie is what makes this entry serendipitous. Even if it's a unicycle and that isn't her shown riding it, it was simply too good to resist using it to represent her psycho-bicycle:

A man needs a woman like a fish needs a bicycle. Unless it was the other way around, that was a common enough saying on both sides of the Whole Earth. Witches had been making psychopomps since time immemorial. They were extensions of their soul-selves, their psyches, their mental might. A psychopomp was psychically powered by a witch's soul-self. Morg's Night Mare of a hobbyhorse was a shape-shifting demon she'd debrained herself. Fish used a shape-shifting mandroid devoid of intelligence.

Diablerie of a devil riding a unicycle, scanned in from FT 346A psychopath was, more often than not, a mentally unstable person prone to antisocial and occasionally criminal behaviour. A cycle path, however, was just a dedicated pathway where you could ride your bike unhindered by cars if not pedestrians. Having tried out both during her long, eventful and experimental lifetime, she neither needed a man nor a woman.

But, because all the best witches had psychopomps, she immodestly reckoned that since she was the best of the best she needed one, too. Being something of a twisted sister, Fish decided it would be fun to have a psycho-bike. So she had her mandroid made that way, to her specifications.

Later on she added a psychomotor; gave her psycho-bike a psychopomp-pump as she was fond of fay-saying at cocktail parties. When she was visiting her Summoning Child husband, Achigan Auranja, the King of Godbad, then the Duke of Achigon, Sedon’s Lower Lip-tip in silhouette, she took enormous enjoyment outracing the security men he assigned to look after her, as if she needed them, on her psycho-motorcycle.

It having shape-shifting capabilities, she was riding her psycho-bike as a psycho-jet-ski when she received a worrying communication via witch-stone from one of her Athenan Piscines. They’d snared a crocodilian Dead Thing in one of their nets. It was putting up quite the struggle so they’d butchered it on the spot. There’d been a body inside it. Damndest thing, the body was still intact; hadn’t been chopped like the croc. It was still lying there on a beach on the other side of the island from the monastery and the Godbadians’ airstrip.

Wasn't moving, wasn’t breathing either. They couldn’t touch it when they tried, so they figured it had to be an illusion. Otherwise it'd sink into the ground, wouldn't it? No sign of a witch-stone and, you know, most War Witches couldn’t cast a glamour to save their backsides at a stake-barbecue. Could it be a Selkie changeling? It looked part-seal so maybe it had died in mid-transformation. Only Selkies didn't transform, did they? Just took off their sealskins, like Garudas did their feathers. And Selkies didn’t wear crimson goggles. Any suggestions?

... from "Goddess Gambit", the concluding novel in 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' fantasy epic

Note 1: The double-click of the Devil riding a unicycle is of the full diablerie entitled "Course de Velocipedes Enfer", meaning 'Bicycle race in Hell'. Apparently the first bicycle race ever held in France took place in 1867. Since the diablerie came out in the early 1870s, it's one of the first snapshots of the phenomenon. Also of interest is the spectator holding a bident. Cruel Plathon, the multi-horned Bull of Mithras (pictured here), has a bident for a power focus. He'll be appearing for the first time since "Feeling Theocidal" in the aforementioned 'Pyrame's Progress'.

Note 2: Took the 'God diving toward Xibalba' from phantacea on pHacebook, as posted on 8 Feb 2016. At the time the description read: "The Diver, a Mexican deity from Tulum area on Caribbean as snapped in Mexico City's highly recommended Archaeological Museum. Deity is sometime called the Descending God, though apparently it isn't the heavens he's descending from, it's into Xibalba, the Mayan underworld — at Museo Archeologico Mexico City." Still does, as it happens.

More on Fish and the Diver down the page.

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Not War-Pox, Pocket Pocks

Looks like it's been over a year since I quoted from Fortean Times in this space. Sooth said, recent issues have been what might be termed pHanta-pHallow, as in having nothing that immediately demands quoting for a new Serendipity ... entry. Glad to report that's no longer the case.

Detail from Frazetta's Executioner intended to represent Baaloch HellblobFrom the October 2016 issue (FT345) comes a reminder that condemnations of Pokémon are not confined to Islamic fatwas (Poké Haram; not that the mostly Nigerian mass murderers, gods-abhorrent kidnappers and scumbag rapists, Boko Haram, are worthy of a pun) or fundamentalist Christians, who aren't really worthy of anything except being left behind; preferably, for the rest of us still stuck here, with their clothes on (unless that's Alt-Right Behind).

Apparently it is a crime, punishable by up to a 3-year prison sentence, for playing the game in a Russian Orthodox Church; at least it is in Russia. Which reminds me of this, from Year One - After Limbo 2: Psychodrama, a web-serial published in the early 2000s that I've been going through this last month or so, prior to determining how best to continue "Wilderwitch's Babies".

Hellblob pulled three more imps out of his pockets. One was a toy Santa Claus, another a man whose beard had been torn off his face, without the intercession of a razor, and the third a winged boy whose bare bottom glowed scarlet as if from spanking. Baaloch introduced them as Mammon, Thordin, and "‘Bobby’s been a bad girl but now he’s Roberta Goodfellow’. Aren’t you, my lad?"

“What for you eat my bum?” whimpered the concupiscent Cupid. “I want it back. It’s mine, not yours.”

“All in good time.” Baaloch placed a bowl over the four imps and cracked a grin that almost split his skull in two. “I think I’ll call them my Pocket ’Pocalyptics.”

... from "Psychodrama", a web-serial published in the early 2000s that continued The Damnation Brigade saga

And why might this be worthy of a serendipitous entry? Because, as FT345 reminds us: Pokémon is "... a simple contraction of the phrase 'Pocket Monsters'."

Note 1, the same issue's Necrolog reports the death of Tim LaHaye (1926-2016), half the writing team behind the aforementioned Left Behind series. He's described as a regular anti-man: "anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-gun laws, anti-pacifism, anti-UN, anti-environmentalist, anti-Harry Potter, anti-feminist and virulently anti-gay." Article doesn't say if he ascended, minus his clothes, or just died, like everyone does eventually.

Note 2, just buy-the-bye, in the Fairies, Folklore and Forteana section of the same issue, next to the Necrolog, the writer, Simon Young, tells of 'spectral figures' seen on Souther Fell, 'an impressive Cumbrian peak', in 1735, 1737 and 1744. The common date for these sightings was '23 June, Midsummer Night's Eve, the night when the fairies come out to play.'

So what? Well, as it happens, howsoever serendipitously, in 'Psychodrama', Baaloch Hellblob pulls out the Pocket 'Pocalyptics on ...

The young woman left the church at dawn Midsummer’s Day, the twenty-third of Azky, and, defiant of logic, the first full day of summer in much of the Outer Earth. (Shakespeare had Midsummer’s Eve as prime time for faeries frolicking the night away. So how could midsummer simultaneously be start-summer? A vexatious question, especially for someone like Akbarartha. Even his Homeworld Sceptre couldn’t answer that.)

... from Year One - After Limbo 2: Psychodrama, a web-serial published in the early 2000s

For once I'm smarter than OMP-Akbar's sceptre. I can answer that with a simple link. It's why this entry's in the Winter 2016/17 section, even though it's only November when I'm writing it.

NOTE 3: The Hellblob cut-out gif is Frank Frazetta's Executioner; the double-click is a fuller version of same. Scanned in from "The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta", Bantam Books, US Edition August 1975

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Shiny Beast

Entrance to Hell

Diablerie of the Entrance of Hell, scanned in from Ft346

Before Akbar could protest she gathered them both up in her radiant rainbow and flew back to the city. She let them down in front of a sprawling, one-level house on a quiet street near a river. It was exactly like the ranch house they had moved into in Vancouver before they ended up beneath the Dome. Akbar knew the river wasn’t the Fraser, knew the street wasn’t in Vancouver, knew this couldn’t be their house. The others did, too. Nonetheless, they seemed convinced it was there just for them. Which it may well be.

The former Kronokronos pointed to the placard above the entrance. It was in Italian and read: ‘LASCIATE OGNI SPERANZA VOI CH’ENTRATE’.

“What’s it say, Rider?” asked Furie.

“Abandon all hope you who enter,” she translated. “It’s from Dante.”

Akbar ripped the placard off the wall, tore off all except the middle word then hammered it back onto the wall and opened the door.

They may be in Hell on Earth, but they were going to live in a house named ‘SPERANZA’ – Hope – hereafter.

... from Year One - After Limbo 2: Psychodrama, a web-serial published in the early 2000s

Moving on, we come to one of FT345's major articles: 'Fashion Victims', written by Maria J Perez Cuervo. Evidently from the 3rd Century onwards Japanese aristocrats practised something '... called "esteemed black teeth", for which iron filings were dissolved in vinegar and mixed with vegetable tannins from tea or gallnut powder'. In the same paragraph we get this:

"Lacquered black teeth can still be seen in geisha quarters, but also among some women in remote areas of Vietnam, where white teeth were the mark of savages, wild animals and demons."

Contrast that with Furie preening himself in D-Brig 3's House called Hope in Satanwyck's forever-contorting capital of Pandemonium, the abode of all demons. (House is called Hope because ... well, what else are you going to call a house in hell):

... Dervish Furie kept getting up and going to the bathroom.

The mirror showed him getting blacker by the minute – also furrier; more like wire-hairier. Comfortable complacency not being a Furie trait, discovering the cosmicar had undoubtedly caused the Murray to retreat, at least for the time being. ‘Must be going into some serious action soon!’ he grinned to himself, before giving his fangs another cloth wipe-down.

Wanted them to look their shiny best prior to him tearing off into another slaughterhouse, even if it was more likely going to be an outdoor battlefield. Gave himself another primp and struck a ferocious pose. Hardly for the first time, something horrid grinned back at him. If that was the full Furie, he didn’t want to be on the same planet.

Let alone in the same body.

... from Year One - After Limbo 2: Psychodrama, a web-serial published in the early 2000s
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Hellish Hairiness

Still with FT345's 'Fashion Victims', we arrive at this sub-heading: 'Hair Like A Rat's Nest', where we learn that after having their (very) big hair done up howsoever 'monumentally' (but seemingly painfully), during the time of Marie Antoinette fashionable "... women slept over several pillows, wearing special nightcaps to protect it [their elaborately done 'tall hair' or coiffure] from mice and rats. These caps couldn't have stopped other vermin, hence the widespread use of sliver claws, often laid out with the silverware for guests to idly scratch their heads at dinner parties."Satirical print re big hair ca 1750, copied from FT435

Which brings us to the first chapter of 2016's Dec-Dam. Which, ever so appropriately, has been available since Labour Day. (Tina is Athena Zeross, the youngest offspring of Melina and Aristotle Zeross. The place isn't D-Brig 3's House called Hope; it's Hope Haven. The year is 5981 Year of the Dome ... except it's 'billed' as a dream the Witch is having in Tantalar 5980.)

“My hair look that bad, Tina?”

“What’s your hair got to do with anything?”

“When I forget to comb it out people call it a rat’s nest. And you’ve brought me a rat to nest in it.”

The Witch was right about that last. Her dark hair was so thick and long a lot more than a rat could hang out in it. She’d gone to the sweathouse this morning, and in addition to having herself scrubbed nearly raw, made sure it was thoroughly washed and brushed down as straight as it ever got. As a result she was fairly confident nothing besides herself and her unborn baby were living in or about her body.

“It isn’t a rat,” Tina protested, opening the shoebox. Inside it was a rat-like creature but, Tina was correct, strictly speaking it wasn’t a rat. “It’s a tee-tee.”

... from "Decimation Damnation", the initial mini-novel extracted from the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

More on tee-tees is here. Excerpts from 2004 version of "Decimation Damnation" start here. The caption on the ca 1750 satirical graphic, which I copied from FT345, reads: "Faut apprendre à suffrir pour être Belle". Which means 'One must learn to suffer for one's beauty'.

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Alabaster Leadface or No need for a Utopian Unguent

As of this writing (late November 2016), FT345's major article: 'Fashion Victims', as written by Maria J Perez Cuervo, is not online. It might be by the time you read this, so please feel free to copy a paste the above noted credit into your favourite search engine and google it.

Elizabeth 1, image taken from Fortean Times 345, October 2016I'd recommend it. It's full of, to my mind, fascinating detail including not so bizarre or even uncommon deaths by crinoline (for example getting blown off cliffs), killer corsets ('the daggers of tight-lacing'), green clothes (when the colour was derived by mixing arsenic and copper), 'ballerina holocausts' (fires set off by twirling too close to gas lamps that lit stages and dance floors while wearing muslin tutus) and a coroner's verdict of a 'victim of cosmetics' in 1760.

Furthermore, "in the 19th Century, hair was worth twice its weight in silver, and 1869 saw outbreaks of hair theft in both New York and London." There's even a letter quoted about a young woman who had her hair cut off in broad daylight.

Speaking of which, daylight, as also quoted on the Utopians page ...

"... one of the strangest, pudding-proof-unworldly traits Utopians had was that their males were black-as-midnight in a starless sky whereas their invariably statuesque females were white-as-daylight on a salt flat."

... from "Feeling Theocidal": 'The Crucifixion of Terrible Tethys'

Pureblood Utopian females like Melina Zeross, the High Illuminary of Weir in 5980, who appeared throughout the pH-Webworld online serials (mostly) set in 1938 under her maiden name, Melina 'Mel-Illuminatus' Sarpedon, were born pallid. Evidently that was a desirable trait in ancient Greece (and elsewhere, for thousands of years) because "it was indicative of female aristocracy".

Mel, for one, therefore never needed to use 'deceitful' cosmetics to "fake an alabaster complexion" or, as was the case during the Middle Ages, to hide "a blemish, mole or birthmark [which] could be considered solid evidence of witchcraft (the so-called 'witches mark' supposedly made by the devil himself)".

Doubly serendipitously (Mel plays a major role in "Decimation Damnation"), throughout the ages 'gleaming, deadly white lead ... was identified with Cronus or Saturn', two of the names/identities that, as per "Feeling Theocidal" and here,Thrygragos Varuna Mithras assumed before he became Zeus, ca 2000 to 2500 Years of the Dome beyond it on the Outer Earth. (Hence why acute lead poisoning is known as saturnism.)

Queen Elizabeth I of England (aka Leadface, pictured) caught smallpox when she was 29 in 1562. Because it left her scarred, "after her illness, she resorted to applying thicker layers of makeup. ... Lead and mercury lotions caused [her skin] to react: breakouts and impurities were covered by increasingly thicker layers ... and eventually [her] skin was corroded by the chemicals at work."

Which was when she began using skin patches. No word on where skin for the patches came from, though slavery wasn't abolished in the UK until 1807 and harvesting organs continues to this day, albeit usually from corpses.

Finally (for now), though perhaps not serendipitously, beginning in the 18th Century a major source of teeth for surgical implants were dead people "buried in the hospital field." Although "cheaper than those sold by the living", some of the recipients "could end up suffering the same fate of the teeth's previous owner since illnesses such as syphilis and tuberculosis were unknowingly transmitted in such procedures."

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?') and here ('Lammas to the English'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Autumn 2016

Froggy went a Diving; EM, not Gyps, but ...; Galactic-X predates Cain's by billions of years; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Autumn 2016;

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Diving towards untouchability

It's no wonder the Diver and Fish got along so well they eventually had a child together in the late Thirties. That isn't altogether what this entry is about, however. It isn't really about her foster sister, Lady Lemurian, either. It does have some bearing on why Lemurians are often referred to as Frog Folk during "Goddess Gambit", as well as in a couple of relatively recent Serendipity and ... entries, specifically those here and here.

While going through "The Weirdness of Cabalarkon", a web-serial published in the early 2000s, prior to determining how best to continue "Wilderwitch's Babies", I came across this passage (also quoted here) re Yehudi Cohen, D-Brig's Untouchable Diver:

He’d long been an avid, lungs-bursting, underwater swimmer with a remarkable resistance to chilly conditions – so much so that, as an even younger teenager, had spent time training with Italian frogmen working in his Hamburg home.British frogman in 1945, taken from Wikipedia entry on frogmen(Italy actually started World War II with a squad of commando frogmen.) The wetsuit, though, was mostly his own invention; just made sense, he told Jacques Cousteau when they met, after the war. Seals did it, why shouldn’t humans?

It really was a wet suit; not at all like the rubber ‘immersion suit’ made famous by the (mostly) American showman, Paul Boyton. (Boyton, sometimes Boynton, who’d died in the early Twenties, designed his suit to keep its wearer relatively warm and dry as he propelled himself through the water on his back.)

For some reason he had yet to get around to stitching sleeves onto it, so he smeared the exposed skin of his face and arms with tar. Pushing a raft piled high with explosives, he swam out to a newly-launched destroyer. Taking his lead from what some of his co-religionists were doing in British-mandated Palestine at the time, his intention had been to sabotage the Nazi-built warship.

Spotted and fired upon, he dove deep beneath the water — the weight belt being another of his designs. The raft above him exploded just as he touched a strangely glowing rock he intended to use as an anchor to hold himself under for as long as his lungs held air. Which, as he quickly realized, thanks to the effects of the miraculous rock that, ten years later, he learned to call Gypsium, they no longer needed to do.

... from "The Weirdness of Cabalarkon", a web-serial published in the early 2000s that continued The Damnation Brigade saga

So I looked up frogmen on the Web, possibly not for the first time, though Wikipedia may not have existed in the early 2000s. In addition to stealing the image of a British Navy frogman that adorns this entry, I couldn't help but notice this on the Google search page (https://www.google.ca/search?q=frogmen&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=Vi38V_DzB5fojwPooJiYDQ): 'A frogman is someone who is trained in scuba diving or swimming underwater in a tactical capacity that includes combat. Such personnel are also known by the more formal names of combat diver, combatant diver, or combat swimmer.'

Which, even though UD-Yehudi did not fight on the German side during the Second World War -- probably couldn't have, even if he'd wanted to, being at least half Jewish and looking it -- he became all three, firstly in the Society of Saints, then the King's Own Crimefighters and, finally, the Damnation Brigade.

Which struck me as warranting a Serendipity and ... entry. All the more so since, of course, there was no such thing as scuba diving in 1938, the year Cohen became the Diver, hence no doubt the reference to its co-inventor, Jacques Cousteau (1910-1977), in the above quotation.

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EM no Gyps, then again it might not exist either

Screen of pHantacea share from Vince Marchesano, 2016Here's something of interest for pHanta-pHans from the 'Physics-Astronomy' website dated August 26, 2016 as posted at 04:51:22 PM: "Electromagnetic propulsion drive, also known as EM Drive ... yields enormous amounts of propulsion that could hypothetically blast us [to the moon in just 4 hours and] Mars in only 70 days, without the need for dense and costly rocket fuel. Instead, it's actually propelled forward by microwaves bouncing back and forth inside a sealed off chamber ..."

As Persephone Zeross was telling silver-haired Gloriella D’Angelo Dark while taking her for a tour of Cabalarkon City early on in "Decimation Damnation":

"Utopians don’t not have deities so [the Grand Cathedral of Light is] not dedicated to any God, gods or goddesses. Certainly isn’t dedicated to any devil either, like the terrible Thanatoids of Lathakra who kidnapped me and my mom and my sisters and forced daddy to go to the Moon in order to get back the rest of their kids."

... Capputis (called Masterson), from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

(NOTE: Persephone's daddy is Aristotle 'Harry' Zeross, phantacea's second Ringleader. His rings are composed of teleportive Brainrock, aka Gypsium-Godstuff.)

Two things make this a particular interesting, as well as appropriately site-serendipitous, entry. Neither of them have to do with Green Lantern, my preteen superhero of choice.

The first is it came from a post, now shared on pHantacea on pHacebook, from Vince Marchesano, a still active artist who worked on Phantacea Five and, by inheritance, "The Damnation Brigade" graphic novel.

The second is NASA/JPL's shot of a Hall ion thruster. And if that doesn't strike you as eerily reminiscent of how Rings, using just that, his Gypsium (Gyps) rings, would have gone to the moon back in December 1980 (Tantalar 5980) then it's past time you become a pHanta-pHan.

Hall ion thruster, picture by NASA/JPL, found on web in August 2016

Hall ion thruster suggestive of Gypsium rings Ringleader used in an attempt to rescue decathonitized members of the Family Thanatos from Lunar Trigon.

<<NASA/JPL picture found online in August 2016 here.>>

One of these days I'll pull out the recovered script for Phantacea Seven and hire someone to finish Phantacea Phase One in comic book form. Or is that a Phantast-folly? Probably.

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Cain's Galaxy

Even if it's still August as I write this, Lughnasadh has come and gone. (The English call in Lammas Day, according to an old Inspector Morse seen recently.) That means so has summer. Not so, as per CBC online, the Mark of Cain.

(NOTE: Lughnasadh Day to Halloween are properly referred to as Harvest Season; Fall doesn't really start until the Autumnal Equinox, when, duh, the leaves start to fall.)

Huge 'X' found at centre of Milky Way galaxy

Wise Observatory shot of Milky Way's Circled X, taken from web

An enormous X-shaped structure made of stars lies at the centre of the Milky Way, a new study of infrared light coming from our home galaxy suggests. Many galaxies have an X-shaped structure at their core, but while previous studies have suggested the Milky Way contained such a structure, no one had directly observed it. The research, reported in Astronomical Journal, is the first evidence an X-shaped structure exists in our home galaxy. The discovery started out serendipitously as a call-out on social media.

... from CBC Online, July 21, 2016

<<Double click to enlarge image in a separate window>>

Guess I reckon than any quotation with a pHantaHook using the word 'serendipitously' deserves a mention on Serendipity and ...

Actually it's moderately more than that. Seems I should also correct the quote from "Feeling Theocidal" (2008) used on the Terms page to read: "A Circled-X was probably the oldest sign for a deity in the Entire Universe."

Or, if you want to get all Biblical on me, try this: "A Circled-X was probably the oldest sign made by a deity in the Entire Universe."

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?') and here ('Lammas to the English'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Summer 2016

Red Meat Nippiness; Inappropriate appropriation; The Loveland Lemurian; That's Lemuralia, only incidentally also Lemuria; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Summer 2016;

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Interdimensional Stone Gnomes make the Funny Pages

cut out featuring Easter Isle moai, taken from Web then prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Consider this quote from "Decimation Damnation". (The Moai above were used on DecDam's print cover.) It's been gracing the Mandroids entry on pH-Webworld's Terms Peculiar page for awhile but worth repeating:

Solitary Easter Island style Moai spotted in British Museum, image taken from Web“I’ve just seen some mandroids, stone gnomes. First time ever, I swear. Although, if you were to ask me, they’re hardly very gnome-like. Got squat little legs but their heads are almost as big as their torsos. Put together they’re both bigger than you or I. Got huge yellow eyes that I’d swear were garnet or pumice implants, except they move like real eyes; boxer’s mashed noses, slits for mouths, and protrusions for ears that look like handles except they’re closed, so you couldn’t get a proper grip.

“Most of them have hats that look like bricks. They’re tilted so far forward on their heads it’s a wonderment they don’t fall off, heads with them. They all have these huge thick arms; a couple even have them coming off their heads, not their bodies. And they’re shape-shifters, like some faeries and daemons. Lakshmi tells me she’s wearing one.

“Calls them guard-bodies but more than anything else they remind me of those ancestral statues on your Easter Isle; Moai, the High Illuminary says. She’s surrounded by them.”

... Capputis (called Masterson), from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

Or this much more didactic one from earlier on DecDam-ditto ...

Stone gnomes were the catch-all explanation for how everything extraterrestrial in the Weirdom, such as the firestones atop the omnipresent obelisks erected almost everywhere you went, the food processing systems, waste recycling, clothing replacement machines, matter transducers and indeed everything else that still worked up here, still worked.

Supposedly these stone gnomes operated exclusively by the Master’s Will. Yet, like Trinondev eye-staves and their orbs, it was the brain-power of the populace that, as it were, maintained their charge.

... from "Decimation Damnation", the unpublished, initial entry in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

Which brings me to this Red Meat cartoon scanned in from a recent (July 14-21, 2016) Georgia Straight; scanned in serendipitously, that is, on the very same day I produced the transparent gif at the top of this entry. Note the Moai referring to himself as an "interdimensional being who's lolled in the sub-zero of deep space". Just like the Weirdom's stone gnomes.

Red Meat, week of July 2016, scanned in from the Georgia Straight weekly

Too bad, it being late July 2016 in Vancouver, it's so nippy outside when the sun isn't shining. Which, true horrors, seems like most of the time since the last week in May.

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Serendipitously avoiding reprobation

Well, this is embarrassing ... sort of.

National Geographic Cover for June 1985,  image taken from WebTentative cover for DecDam using Afghan Girl photo montage shot in Vienna by Jim McPherson, in 2010When I went to get a proof done of the then-tentative cover for "Decimation Damnation" (see also here and here) the store's graphics guy recognized the girl on the cover. Her name is Sharbat Gula and the underlying photo used in the montage is from a National Geographic cover from June 1985. Apparently it was taken by Steve McCurry in 1984. Google Images didn't recognize the version I used so I reckoned I was safe. Obviously not.

I thought she looked young for Wilderwitch ... and she was, only 12 at the time. Even though the shot I was using was of a painting or pre-Photoshop altered rendering of some sort, as taken at a public gallery in Vienna back in 2010, I didn't take a snap of the plaque, so my bad.

Anyhow, I've decided to scrap whole thing and resume quest for a different Wildie. There is, by the way, a webpage about the picture.

Any suggestions for new Wilderwitch? Kindly email them to me, with lynx.

While not much of a supranormal compared to some of the others, Wilderwitch did have an affinity for animals; could communicate with them on a empathetic level and indeed, should she be sufficiently persuasive, even get them to do what she wanted them to do. Consequently, she already knew what was in the box.

"My hair look that bad, Tina?"

"What’s your hair got to do with anything?"

"When I forget to comb it out people call it a rat's nest. And you've brought me a rat to nest in it."

The Witch was right about that last. Her dark hair was so thick and long a lot more than a rat could hang out in it. She’d gone to the sweat house this morning, though, and in addition to having herself scrubbed nearly raw, made sure it was thoroughly washed and brushed down as straight as it ever got. As a result she was fairly confident nothing besides herself and her unborn baby were living in or about her body.

... from "Decimation Damnation", the unpublished, initial entry in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'
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Bean mucous mixed with alfalfa and almonds shedding sparks

Lemuria-type, shot in Versailles, France, by Jim McPherson, 2004Renditions of the Loveland Frog or Lizard seen in 1955, taken from webSerendipitously -- what else? -- just after I posted 'Bring Beans' (immediately below), the small (or large, depending on who's doing the telling) matter of the Loveland Frog (or Lizard) came to my attention. Evidently she, he or them has been spotted at least three time over the decades.

"They were described as having wrinkles instead of hair on their heads, lopsided chests, and wide mouths without lips, like frogs. One of them is said to have held up a bar device that shed sparks. A strong odour of alfalfa and almonds was reportedly left behind. A small hint of mucus came out of the frog-like man."

Was Lady Lemurian on tour with some of the lads? Probably not. Lemurian males aren't amphibious. Besides, it's highly unlikely that, even if she could get beyond the Dome in the absence of the Kore Gap, once within Kore's Hell (Mt Maenalus on Apple Isle) or access to the Nag Gap, in Aka Godbad City, that she'd allow herself to be seen on the Outer Earth without her wearing a shape-shifting guard-body.

Many a Lemurian frogwoman, her far less human-looking mother included, did the same thing. Indeed, although it was of necessity much thicker and hence nowhere near as malleable nowadays, Amphitrite wore a very similar guard-body; one that, upon intimate inspection, let her pass for human, at least for awhile. (Said while starting when she was as young as Lakshmi and first living on the Outer Earth, alongside Fisherwoman, as the aquatic supranormal codenamed, appropriately, Lady Lemurian.)

... from "Decimation Damnation", the unpublished, initial entry in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

See also here

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Have a boo ... and bring beans

It's another Friday the Thirteenth, this one in May 2016. So what shows up online, the very day I finally finish the second complete edit of "Decimation Damnation", the first mini-novel in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies' coming soon from Phantacea Publications ...big-eyed lemur, image taken from web

In ancient Rome, the lemures were the ghosts of the family's dead, who were considered to be troublesome and therefore had to be exorcized on a regular basis. The Lemuralia, or Lemuria, was a yearly festival held on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May to get rid of the lemures.

To ward them off, the father or head of the household would get up at midnight, make a special gesture (holding his thumb between his closed fingers), wash his hands in pure water, and walk through the house spitting black BEANS from his mouth. He would repeat this ritual nine times without looking back, assuming that the ghosts of the dead would pick up the beans he left behind. Then he would wash his hands again and repeat the phrase "Ghosts of my fathers, be gone" nine times. After this, it was considered safe for him to look back, and all the ghosts would be gone.

Latona Fountain, shot in Versailles by Jim McPherson, 2004Not so in either nature or, more to the point, not so in the Phantacea Mythos.

Specifically not so in "Decimation Damnation", wherein we welcome back Lakshmi of Lemuria (last seen in "The War of the Apocalyptics", though no doubt mentioned in "Goddess Gambit" and, probably, "Helios on the Moon".)

As far as the Damnation Brigade are concerned, she constitutes unfinished business. In this quote from DecDam, a certain supposedly non-born clone with water on his brain tells Blind Sundown that he's engaged to marry her.

Lakshmi-type, photo by Jim McPherson, 2011 in Australia"Please appreciate, sir, Lakshmi and I have known each other since we were babes at breasts. Which is something else I haven’t been able to share with you, mostly because I didn’t know myself; not for sure. We’re so deeply in love we should have married ourselves, by ourselves, as soon as we reached puberty.”

“Watch it, Capputis.”

After running away from yet another Catholic boarding school for aboriginals, John Sundown and Solace Sunrise did marry themselves. Did so by themselves, with no one else around, on their 13th birthdays, Christmas Day 1933. This non-born clone seemed to know that. Seemed to know all too much about them as far as Sundown was concerned. Loose lips sank ships was an old saying. Was Capputis attempting to provoke him? And, if he was, whose ship was he trying to sink? Was he suicidal?

“I am trying, sir. It’s just that spearhead of yours keeping flaring.” 

... from "Decimation Damnation", the as yet unpublished, initial entry in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

Latona Frogwoman, shot in Versailles by Jim McPherson, 2004Which makes this a doubly serendipitous entry if only because, according the same article: "The period during which the Lemuralia was held—the entire month of May—was considered to be an unlucky time for marriages."

Upward appearances to the contrary, primarily this counts as a serendipitous entry because of phantacea's Lemurians. Hence, from Lakshmi's perspective, this quote re the fabulous, albeit almost always fishifying Fisherwoman (a star in Gambit but last seen in Helmoon) and her mother Aortic Amphitrite (a onetime supra codenamed, yep, Lady Lemurian).

Latona Fountain, shot on very rainy day in Versailles, France, by Jim McPherson in 2004Still, as exotic and undeniably old as she was, most humans found Fish pleasing to behold; so long as she didn’t smile too often, it almost always had to be added. Didn’t her mother. Thought her monstrous.

And she was, looked so much like one of the transforming frog creatures depicted on the Fountain of Latona, which they could see from the windows of the long, purpose-built room they were in, it was a wonderment the Marsy Brothers, who cast the Outer Earth originals, didn’t have any Lemurians for models.

Except they didn’t. Lakshmi did. Her model was her idol, Fisherwoman.

... from "Decimation Damnation", the as yet unpublished, initial entry in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

What with idolizing Fish instead of her mom, should one worry for Lakshmi's future longevity? Not either/or she has to worry about, is it.

Capputis grabbed his hand and shook it as he entered the space, which may or not have been between-space by then.

“Glad you could make it, Mr Sundown. Sorry about Raven’s Head not being allowed in Skyrise, sir. You’re not going to incinerate my fiancée, are you?”
Versailles Hall of Mirrors, shot by Jim McPherson, 2004... from "Decimation Damnation", the as yet unpublished, initial entry in the open-ended saga of 'Wilderwitch's Babies'

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Note 1: Other than the lemur at the start, images in this entry (all of which double-click to enlarge) were shot by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, in the Versailles of 2004. It was an extremely rainy day, hence the splashes in the Latona Fountain. (Until returning there a decade later I always assumed it never stopped raining within the environs of Paris, France.)

Note 2: Fish, Lakshmi and her mother are in the Centurium replicate of Versailles in 5980. The long, purpose-built room referred to in the above quote is the Hall of Mirrors, seen here. As one might expect they therefore have a long distance guest.

Note 3: Shots of the lemurs at the start of this entry came from here and here.

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Spring 2016

Ziggurat Stardust; (Sort of) real life shades; Cabby's Caddy in Sedona, Arizona; That's ish'tar, not ee'ster; Mulling mandroids today; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Spring 2016;

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Ziggurat Stardust

With all due apologies to David 'Ziggy' Bowie, who died relatively recently, today's Word of the Day on the Free Dictionary (April 18, 2016) is Ziggurat.

"The precursors of the ziggurat were raised platforms that date from the Ubaid period during the fourth millennium BC. The earliest ziggurats began near the end of the Early Dynastic Period. The latest Mesopotamian ziggurats date from the 6th century BC. Built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, the ziggurat was a pyramidal structure with a flat top."

Atlanteans atop a ziggurat-like structure near Mexico City, photo by Jim McPherson, 2016This is spookily serendipitous because, as part of the editing process for "Decimation Damnation", the upcoming mini-novel from Phantacea Publications, I just made this quote part of its Frontispiece:

Saladin was growing huge, immensely huge. His shape was filling the entire hall. Then, abruptly, there was a clap of thunder and he was standing on High Table level, his normal, mostly non-glowing self again. A woman appeared beside him. At least it looked to be a woman. Her clothing made it difficult to tell.

... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

Mexican Atlanteans somewhat reminiscent of Cabalarkon stone gnomes, photo by Jim McPherson, 2016And why is that even serendipitous, let alone spookily so?

Well, in the middle of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's only metropolis (also called Cabalarkon) is the Grand Square, one side of which is the immense Masters' Palace. It's a four-sided rectangle with an interior courtyard. There, in its midst, sits the Hate-Sedon Sphere.

Beneath it is a three-tiered ziggurat. At its top is not a dwelling of the gods, because Cabby's Utopians don't have gods, since they're devils. It's where the Master of Weir eats supper. (Actually, High Table level is where he and his guests eat supper on Zmas Night 5980, not where he does on a regular basis.)

Solitary Easter Island style Moai spotted in British Museum, image taken from WebBTW, Cabalarkon City's ziggurat may well be older than the 4th millennium BC. In fact, as per 1990's "Forever & 40 Days -- The Genesis of phantacea", Cabalarkon the Citadel was begun pre-Flood (Year 0 of the Dome = 4000 BC) and Cabalarkon the Undying Utopian is so pre-Earth older he might be the oldest living mortal in the cosmos ... if you can call being submerged in a tub of Cathonic Fluid living.

Cabby the Devil's Daddy does and so, too, after "The War of the Apocalyptics", does Cyborg Cerebrus.Rapa Nui map showing its 3 peaks, image taken from Web

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NOTE 1: The Mesoamerican ziggurat, above, and its Atlanteans (atlantes or telamones) were shot at the Temple of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli ('House of the Morning Star') in Tula, less than a hundred kilometers south of Mexico City, by Jim McPherson in January 2016. As per here, they date from approximately 750 AD. Although initially intended to be supporting columns they're now freestanding.

NOTE 2: As per "Wilderwitch's Babies", the Utopian stone gnomes that so annoy Raven's Head early on might look something like this if they were ever seen beyond between-space. However, in the mini-novel ("Decimation Damnation") they're believed to look more like Easter Island's Moai, the same as the ones pictured to the left of this paragraph, its double-click and also under the entry for Mandroids on the Terms Peculiar page.

NOTE 3: Not so curiously, Easter Isle (Rapa Nui) has three peaks just like Aegean Trigon, Damnation Isle and Centauri Island.

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Shades of Shamanitoulin's (Dead) Ignominies 

No, Blind Sundown doesn't take up wearing shades, as in sunglasses, a la Ray Charles in "Decimation Damnation". (He takes up wearing ommatophorous eye-stalks instead, but that's a different matter.) He does, however, have occasion to reflect on how he became blind in the first place.

(Note: the first speaker is John Sundown; the second is Wilderwitch. They're speaking in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, where the walls might have ears as well as stone gnomes. Raven's Head is present. The Sal at issue is Saladin Devason, the Master of Weir on Earth in 5980.)

“It’s been forty years, or thereabouts, including Limbo, since I’ve been able to see. At least with eyes of my own. You tell Sal, he doesn’t force you to formally marry him, he does what I did and he can have my solar spear.”

She couldn’t believe her ears. Then she remembered what Sundown did all those years ago. Now who was being a bastard? “What you did was pluck out your eyeballs and give them to Manitoulin. Sal would never agree to do that.”

... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

Which bring me back to a sequence from War-Pox referred to below. Here's what immediately preceded it:

(Note: The first speaker is Shaman Manitoulin, the man who raised Sundown and his eventual twice-wife Solace 'Sorciere' Sunrise. The disrespectful Summoning Children tend to call him, howsoever affectionately, Shamanitoulin.)

Sundown thereupon spent a week, in the height of the cold season, hunting, skinning his prey, tanning their hides, cutting poles, stripping away their bark and constructing his eternal dwelling place. Sham pronounced himself satisfied with the result but said, somewhat belatedly to Sundown’s way of thinking, that the decision wasn’t his to make.

“Come forth, shades. Judge. Have I chosen well?” They did so, strode out of the old wigwams and shelters. All had been grand chieftains during their lifetimes but now were of no substance. They truly were shades, ghosts of past glories as well as past ignominies. Only their eyes burned with life.

“These are my predecessors; yours, if you’ll have them.”

“Speak your desire, heaven-bound father.”

... from "The War of the Apocalyptics", the first entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle


Shades taken  from articlle found on blumhouse.comMayan Statue of a Vampire Bat, taken at Copan Honduras by Jim McPherson, 2003Now tell me this graphic, which appeared while I was on a google search for a nifty image of a Wilderwitch type to use on DecDam's cover, isn't reminiscent of Sham's Shades.

The spook on the far right is even reminiscent of a Hekoya Thunder Dreamer. (Unless it's a Heyoka Thunder Dreamer.)

(Image on left came from "The 10 Most Terrifying Native American Legends" a spookily illustrated article by that appeared at the end of March 2016 on blumhouse.com. Double-click for an enlarged version of same brightened up.)

BTW, if "Camazotz: The Death Bat" (pictured in the article as well as in the double-click to the right) looks familiar that might be because he's also here, albeit from well over a decade ago. He hangs out in Copan, Honduras. And yes he is an anthropomorphized vampire bat.

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Mel-Illuminatus: Living Caduceus Captured in Bronze

In addition to having a long ago concluded web-serial named after it, the Weirdom of Cabalarkon has a Daddy Cabby (Cabalarkon, the Undying Utopian) and a Cabby's Cappy (big-headed Capputis, who may not be a non-born clone but does have gills behind his ears and water on the brain). Its Master in Tantalar 5980 (December 1980) is a (double) Devason (Saladin born Nauroz) whereas its High Illuminary is a Zeross, Melina born Sarpedon, aka Cabby's Caddy.

manifesting gargoyles pink versionMythos collage with gargoyles and caduceusIn this conversation from the upcoming mini-novel, "Decimation Damnation", Wilderwitch complains that Mel's modesty isn't impressing her; that the caduceus-like gargoyle she manifests off her eye-stave is nothing of the sort; that it's actually a devic power focus that once belonged to Amal-Althea, Lazareme's female healer.

It takes place in the aforementioned Weirdom, which is populated by Hate-Sedon Utopians, many of whom are congenital idiots. The first speaker is Mel-Illuminatus. Longer quote is here.

“Sorry to disillusion you. I’m just intuitive when it comes to meshing medicines.”

“Oh, please! Do me a favour, Illuminatus. Please stop denying you’re a supranormal. I remember what you could do with that caduceus of yours. The pole fused with your spine, the prison-pod-slash-eyeorb became your head, the entwined snakes your arms, the wings came out of your shoulder blades. You were a flying fucking Female Fury for awhile.”

... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

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James Muir's Caduceus, bronze, image taken from WebClose up of Muir's bronze entitle Caduceus, shot in Sedona Arizona, taken from WebSeems there are others who had the same notion. One of them is American sculptor James Nathan Muir.

As per here, one of his bronzes is actually called 'Caduceus'. Strangely enough – not to mention serendipitously – it appeared when I was googling Ishtar for the next entry down.

Doubly serendipitously, the shot from which I produced the graphic was taken in Sedona — as in Arizona, not Sedon's Head (nor the Byronic Nucleoid that Mel's predecessor Illuminaries named Sedona Spellbinder during the Dome's 3rd Millennium).

Note 1: As per here, it seems Mel has some additional abilities that Wilderwitch wouldn't know about since she was in Limbo in 19/5960.

Note 2: as per here, the crown on her head is suggestive of Divine Coueranna, the highborn Apple Goddess and self-proclaimed Queen of the Heavens from, most notably, "Feeling Theocidal".

Note 3: Combined Muir's Caduceuses with a shot taken somewhere in Oz back in March 2011 of a statue spotted representing, of all things, Commerce; also used on the entry for Mel-Illuminatus as Cabby's Caddy. (Cabby = Cabalarkon; Caddy = Caduceus, Mel's manifested gargoyle.

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016, illustrating Cabby's Caddy

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Easter Lily? Not if the lily's Primeval Lilith, phantacea's Demon Queen of the Night

Ishtar pronouned same as Easter; collage found on webBotticelli's Primavera with a third eye, representing Flowery AntheaTo my mind serendipitously, the double-clickable graphic on left has been popping up a lot on web of late. Not surprisingly, I suppose, since it is Eastertide. Too bad, as detailed fairly comprehensibly here, it's horribly misleading.

For another thing, it fails to mention that in addition to sex and fertility, Babylonian Ishtar, pronounced as it looks (ish'tar, not ee'ster), was also their goddess of war. In this she'd be akin to Olympian Athena, except Athena was a virgin, so forget the sex and fertility bit.

(In the Phantacea Mythos, War Witches are known as Athenans. Consistent with that, their devic goddess was once Mithras's Virgin, Methandra Thanatos, whose name Illuminaries derived from Mediterranean Athena.)

Furthermore, I can find no reference to Ishtar being worshipped as a goddess of spring like Phantacea's highborn Lazaremist, whence the Superior Sisterhood of Flowery ... (She's pictured at right, albeit with a third eye added onto the Flora figure from Botticelli's Primavera. A Mexican Anthea-type, one with three legitimate eyes, is on the Witch Babs Character Companion page.)

And Anthea is resolutely not a goddess of war. Couldn't be the nominal devic namesake of the life-loving sisterhood if she was. (Actually Antheans claims their name comes from Xuthros Hor's wife, not a devil. But wouldn't want that to ruin a perfectly good mini-essay.)

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colourized reconstruction of Queen of the Night scanned in from British Museum booklet published in 205Birish Museum plaque for Queen of the Night display, photo by Jim McPherson, 2012That in itself does not make this worthy of an entry in Serendipity and ... It's the collage's backdrop that does: namely, not to mention arguably, the main antagonist throughout the upcoming, open-ended saga of "Wilderwitch's Babies".

Hence my response to persistent posters as found on pHantacea on pHacebook ...

"According to a little booklet I bought at the British Museum maybe ten years ago, this is the Queen of the Night. Might represent Inanna (Sumerian), Ishtar (Akkadian), Lilith/Lilitu (Adam's first wife, mother of Cain, Slayer of Abel), Ereshkigal (Queen of Underworld, from the Gilgamesh epic). Also called the Burney Relief, it's been displayed at the British Museum off and on since 1936, but evidently wasn't purchased until 2002 (for around $3m CAD). Appears to have been made ca 1800 BC and was once painted.

"Scanned in coloured version from booklet ("The Queen of the Night", Brit Museum, 2005). Claims it's a digital reconstruction. You could probably get it from web but might as well have this one too. You probably can't get the plaque that accompanied the museum's display in 2012 online, however.

"Turns out there's an article on ... what else?"

Much more on Phantacea's Primeval Lilith can be found by typing her name into the Search Engine atop most every page found throughout pH-Webworld, phantacea.com and pHantaBlog. The Lilith in the Garden of Eden by Hieronymous Bosch double-clicks here.

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Immortal Idiocy Redux

Here's something first recorded in the Mandroids entry on the Terms Peculiar pages:

"Mandroids were, and are, machine men and women that could, and did, absorb the consciousness of living Utopians facing Imminent Death. In this way Utopians thought they could beat endless death and thereby achieve endless life. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way. It never does ..."

... from "Helios on the Moon", the third entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

Science fiction? Fantasy? Nowhere near. Witness this, which came with its own, double-clickable (Cyborg Cerebrus-like) graphic, from the BBC online on Pi Day (3:1416 rounded):

The immortalist: Uploading the mind to a computer

Computerized man, w/brain, taken from BBC Online, 14 March 16One Russian Internet millionaire [Dmitry Itskov] is trying to change nothing less than our destiny, by making it possible to upload a human brain to a computer ... because as we get older the cells that make up our bodies lose their ability to repair themselves, making us vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions that kill about two-thirds of us.

"All of the evidence seems to say in theory it's possible - it's extremely difficult, but it's possible"

Randal Koene, 2045 Initiative scientific director

So Itskov is putting a slice of his fortune in to a bold plan he has devised to bypass ageing. He wants to use cutting-edge science to unlock the secrets of the human brain and then upload an individual's mind to a computer, freeing them from the biological constraints of the body.

"The ultimate goal of my plan is to transfer someone's personality into a completely new body," he says.

Don't say I didn't warn you, Dmitry.

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Winter 2015/16

Serendipitous follow-ups; Meanwhile, in the real world of 2015 photos pHound; Icelandic Beehive Mount; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Winter 2015/6;

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Turns out it was the Witch

Made mention last season during the first of the 'Wakinyah' entries that I couldn't recall who says to either Blind Sundown and/or Raven's Head: "And don't give me any of that Creatures of the Cosmos shtick." Reckoned it had to the be Wilderwitch. Turns out it was, though she didn't use the word shtick; used spiel instead.

NOTE: The first speaker in this blockquote is Blind Sundown. Along with Raven's Head, he and Wilderwitch are the last of the Damnation Brigade in Cabalarkon City at the end of Tantalar 5980.

“I didn’t see through anything, Witch. Can’t, not without holding onto someone else. If anything I sensed through it. And don’t flatter yourself by attempting to flatter me. You should know better than trying to fool a blind man, especially one who’s a....”

“Creature of the Cosmos. Yeah, yeah, I know your spiel. So what are you doing here? Not come to give me a lecture on monogamy I trust.”

... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

Both 'Wakinyah' entries refer to Thunder Beings. (NOTE: Blog entries on this subject are here and here.)

Interestingly, in the second part of "Wilderwitch's Babies", the part that was never serialized out here in pH-Webworld, I came across this reference not so much to Thunder Beings as Elysium/Elysian; by 5981 Year of the Dome over a thousand years the radioactive, hence uninhabitable, Ghostlands

(See map of the Hidden Headworld; how they got that way is told during the course of "The Death's Head Hellion"):

For four millennia, maybe more, Pettivisaya had been Grand Elysium, the heavenly capital of Valhalla, the Elysian Fields, the Laughing Lands of the Glorious Dead. While the word came from the Greek ‘enelusios’, meaning a place struck by lightning (fire from heaven), it had been a veritable afterlife paradise not just of mythology for much longer than the Olympian Gods had been worshipped beyond the Dome.

Getty images shot of lightning striking St Peter's dome in Rome, scanned in from FT 300... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

So I went back to Old Faithful and looked up the derivation of Elysium/Elysian. Got this instead:

[1590–1600; < Latin < Greek Elysion (pedíon) the Elysian (plain)]

Which makes no sense. I mean, why call something in effect the 'Plain Fields'? So I wracked what little's left of my own Old Faithful (aka my cerebral cortex) and recalled this from the 300th issue of (what else?) Fortean Times, which came out in March 2013.

Guess that must be where I got the derivation. Then again I may have just added this bit during the editing process. Cerebral cortexes can't be relied on as much as one gets older.

(I scanned in this shot, which double-clicks such that you should be able to read the corner caption, from that issue. It's of St Peter's Basilica in Rome being hit by lightning on the day, 11 February 2013, that Pope Benedict XVI announced his abdication.)

"According to the Ancient Greeks, a place struck by lightning ('enelusios') was a holy place, set apart from the rest of the world. Our "Elysium" derives from it."

So, does that make Blind Sundown and Raven's Head Elysian Warriors (Elysium Elementals)? I haven't finished editing "Wilderwitch's Babies", so I'll have to get back to you on that.

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Phantacea 4 REAL (Sort of ...)

Not too often one gets two, let alone three, make that four, entries with the same click, or near enough. But that's the case today.

In addition to 'Snail Fish, as in whelk', we return to Nemrut Kommagene in Turkey (which seems to have changed its name to Nemrut Dagi National Park since I was there in 2003), wonder if that's Demon Land's fist in Egypt's White Desert and get an increasingly rare reminder of "Forever & 40 Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA" (a graphic novel published in 1990 that is still available for ordering).

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[Cover of 'pH4-Ever & 40']Heliocopter arriving a monastery where Abe Ryne has been keeping the Parents Zeross in 1968, artwork by Ian Fry, 1988Let's start with this click. It will take you to Meteora, Greece, shot #10 on "Otherworldly destinations on planet Earth". We've been to somewhere similar, in pH-4Ever, way back in 1990.

Might be going back there if I ever get around to completing 'Ringleader's Revenge' either out here in Cyberia or decide to submit it to Phantacea Publications for a full-on print release.

BTW, the sequence is set in 1968. It tells of Kadmon Heliopolis, his ill-conceived 'rescue' of Angelo and Megaera Zeross using Harry's miraculous rings and how Aegean Trigon ended up as Trans-Time Trigon. More on this sequence found here.

(BTW, Megaera should not be confused with Meteora. The latter's a place; the former is, or was, a Female Furie, once aka Hellion Grudge.)

NOTE: Artwork, by Ian Fry, and lettering, by Fred Armstrong, was actually completed a couple of years earlier than 1990. It was done for the sadly aborted Phantacea Phase One project. Both shots double-click to enlarge.

Text reads, in block print: "Some say that God and the Devil are flipsides of the same coin. This is absurd, for surely God created the Devil or at least laid the way for Man to the job for him."

Meteora, Greece

Shot taken from Web of Meteora monastery in Greece

You’re not likely to forget the first moment the magnificent Meteora comes into view – soaring pillars of rock that jut heavenward, and a handful of monasteries at the summit (some dating from the 14th century). It’s an ancient landscape, yet one that could be the setting for a futuristic science-fiction tale. The rope ladders that once enabled the monks to reach the top have long been replaced by steps carved into the rock.

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White Desert National Park, Egypt

Image of natural shape shot in Egypt's White Desert taken from WebBig punch up between Devil Wind and Demon Land, artwork by Ian Bateson ca 1985Upon first glimpse of the White Desert (Sahra al-Beida) dreamscape, you’ll feel like a modern Alice fallen through the desert looking glass. Blinding-white spires of rock sprout almost supernaturally from the ground, each frost-coloured lollipop licked into an ever-odder shape by the dry desert winds. As you explore the 300-sq-km White Desert National Park, you’ll notice that the surreal shapes start to take on familiar forms: chickens, ostriches, camels, hawks and other uncanny shapes abound.

To continue in reverse order, we saw a lot of Demon Land (Antaeor Thanatos) in "The Damnation Brigade" graphic novel, with much of his pivotal actions on not just Damnation Isle being retold, in considerably more detail, in "The War of the Apocalyptics", the first entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle.

Said pivotal actions reverberate yet, as Phantacea Publications begins to continue the ultimately tragic story of the Damnation Brigade come 2016. For example, he'll be mentioned once in a while during "Wilderwitch's Babies", as will his devic parents, his siblings and the remarkable azura, Klannit Thanatos, who often showed up in "Goddess Gambit".

Bearing in mind he's a fourth generation devil, he may not be expected to survive many more encounters with everyone's favourite D-Brig. So is this a shot of what's left of him, namely his fist, in Egypt's White Desert?

Wouldn't dare say nay to that.

NOTE: Artwork by Ian Bateson, ca 1985; more of same here and here; both graphics double-click to enlarge in a separate window

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Gigantic head spotted in Turkey, from a postcard bought in 2003Image of a giant head taken from a postcard of the heads at Nemrut Kommagene in Turkey; it's been identified as Apollon-Mithras-Helios  but in the PHANTACEA Mythos it's more reminiscent of Thrygragos  LazaremeLastly, unless its firstly, here are a couple of shots of how a couple of the Nemrut Stone Heads looked in 2003. Which isn't all that different from the photo taken from the Web in 2015.

As also noted on the Features page, the fellow on the left has been identified as Zeus-Oromasdes but, in terms of the PHANTACEA Mythos, it's more reminiscent of Thrygragos Varuna Mithras.

He had hold of the Male Entity (Heliosophos) in the latter's Seventh Lifetime, which was when he fathered the Attis (Taurus Chrysaor Attis) on Fitna Marutia (also Kanin Marut, eventually Kore-Discord), who had hold of the Female Entity (most commonly Miracle Memory).

NOTE 1: Both Mithras and Attis were featured characters in "Feeling Theocidal", Book One of 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' epic trilogy. Although she had memorable moments in flashback sequences throughout that trilogy, Marutia as Strife, doesn't really come into her (boo, hiss) own until "Nuclear Dragons", the second entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle.

As for the one on the right, which supposedly looks like Elvis Presley, it's been identified as Apollon-Mithras-Helios. However, again in terms of the PHANTACEA Mythos, to my mind it's more reminiscent of Thrygragos Lazareme. Perhaps that's understandable because the Male Entity answers to Helios.

NOTE 2: See also here for more on the unmistakable resemblance between Helios and Lazareme, along with the why of it; for now only the Nemrut Dagi graphic double-clicks to enlarge in separate window; click here for full size shot #7 as seen on the "Otherworldly destinations on planet Earth" website

Nemrut Dagi National Park, Turkey

Nemut Nagi, image found on Web in 2015

Nobody knew anything about Nemrut Dagi until 1881, when a German engineer, employed by the Ottomans to assess transport routes, was astounded to come across the statues covering this remote mountaintop. The summit was created when a megalomaniac pre-Roman local king cut two ledges in the rock, filled them with colossal statues of himself and the gods, then ordered an artificial mountain peak of crushed rock 50m high to be piled between them. Earthquakes have toppled the heads from most of the statues, and now many of the colossal bodies sit silently in rows, with the 2m-high heads watching from the ground.

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That's 'Snaefellsnes', not 'Snail Fish', as in whelk

It's November so that makes it winter according to the oft-linked Celtic Wheel. Here's a perfectly Phantacea, wintry way to start the next set of entries on Serendipity and PHANTACEA:

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Icelandic tholos with northern lights in background, taken from web

With its cache of wild sand-strewn beaches and crackling sulphur lava fields, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is one of Iceland’s best escapes. Jules Verne was definitely onto something when he used the area as his magical doorway to the center of the earth. New Age types have flocked to the region to harness its natural power and energy, and even if you don’t believe in ‘earth chakras,’ you’ll undoubtedly find greater forces at place along the stunning shores.

Serendipitously spotted this shot online. Not only was it taken in Iceland and features the Northern Lights, both reminiscent of a relatively recent entry entitled, among other things, "Icelandic Nihila melds with Borealis Brolly", but the landform in the centre looks a lot like a Tholos Ghost or Guest House for the Gods, devils that they are ... at least are in Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos.

An Aleutian Island, shot taken from WebHave had beehive-shaped tholoi in the pH-Webworld online serials pretty much since day one. For example, the Roman Pantheon that provides such an important setting in 'The Moloch Manoeuvres' is shaped like one.

The 'Golgotha' or mound on the cover of "Contagion Collectors" looks like a tholos beehive as whelk (as in 'as well'). So does Damnation Isle itself -- and it's been around since pH-1 (1977).

As well ('as whelk'), although I must have read the book referenced, I didn't recall until now that Jules Verne (apparently) used this selfsame area as "his magical doorway to the center of the earth". In other words, even if he didn't call it such, the Inner Earth of Sedon's Head.

Wasn't the only one, either.

Annuling Nihila collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; Nihila by Verne Andru; bg by Merida MuralistOne of the peculiar things about Damnation Isle was that virtually every combatant in the Outer Earth’s Second World War, North Pacific battlefield (battle-ocean?), called it just that, albeit in their own language. Had done for hundreds of years. Which of course meant they got the name from the native Aleuts.

They stayed away from it, the Aleuts, believing the misty, ice-rimed little tri-bumped islet was the entrance to what passed for their Afterlife Otherworld. The Japanese, who took it over in May 1942, held onto it tenaciously until mid-1943. What was so important about it? Long before December 1955 Wilderwitch knew the answer to that. It was an entranceway; the Aleuts’ Otherworld was Sedon’s Head.

... from "Wilderwitch's Babies", the 2016 continuation of the Damnation Brigade saga

Finally, as above and all too fishily serendipitously, Fisherwoman (whom Freespirit Nihila was occupying in both "Goddess Gambit" and "Helios on the Moon") is coming back in the 2016 Phantacea Publications release of "Wilderwitch's Babies".

She fishifies, a bilge bucketful bunch; is more likely to spout 'whelk' when ordinary folks, on either side of the Dome, would say 'well'. And what's a whelk? A snail-fish of course.

BTW, Does that mean Nihila's back, too? Oh, probably. As the tentative title indicates, a certain more often than not otherwise nameless Witch obviously is and she is supposed to the incarnation of the incomparable Harmony from 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' epic trilogy.

This link, part of "Otherworldly destinations on planet Earth", might get you there visually if not through to the other side physically. It'll certainly get you to within a few clicks of it (look for shot #8).

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?'), Halloween marks the seasonal boundary between summer and winter.)

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Autumn 2015

Hidden Headworld goes Blooie; Wakinyahs of the Cosmos; Memo to self: That's heyoka, not hekoya; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Autumn 2015;

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Sorry, better make that Blooie, as in BOC

This might fall under the category of 'Whatever happened to Sedon's Head', as per both here and here, among many another place. Reminds me of the odd fact that I have, over the decades, accumulated more than a dozen LPs by the Blue Oyster Cult.

One of them is called "Spectres". It came out in 1977, coincidentally the same year as Phantacea One (pH-1). It contains one of their biggest hits: 'Godzilla'. This isn't a direct quote; nor is it, in context, a typo. However, you are encouraged to sing along, loud and proud, while simultaneously slashing four air-guitars in unison.

"Oh, no, there's goes Tokoyo ... Go, go, Godzilla"

Colonel Sol exploding, from pH-1, artwork by Dave Sim 1977

All right, so it doesn't say Kablooie!, but it is from pH-1, artwork by Dave Sim, 1977. As well, that isn't Sedon's Head going Kokammo!, it's Colonel Avatar Sol, who never did reappear in the comics, graphic novels, full-length books or mini-novels. At least not as of Autumn 2015

- Double-click to open another window containing more of pH-1#9 -

Seems Tokoyo is another name for ...

- in all likelihood the Hidden Headworld is identical to the faraway "miraculous land" known to the Japanese as 'Tokoyo' (not to be confused with Tokyo); according to Fortean Times #331 (September 2015), page 38, Tokoyo was where the 'marebito' ("strangers from a faraway land") came from;
- these marebito include "wandering oni (primordial demons) and kamis (Shinto deities)"; oni would be the equivalent of Phantacea's demons whereas kami would be devazurs; according to the same article, marebito "are responsible for supernatural abduction (kamikakushi)" ... and "can include shamans and witches";

... from the Terms Peculiar to phantacea webpage

Phantacea has a couple of Shamans, aka Wayfarers in the Weird; lynx to one of them can be found in one of this season's earlier entries, below. Plus, there's a whole webpage dedicated to pHant's many Witches; bags more on Sedon's Head can be attained by using the Search Engine at top of page

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Cosmic Creature or Creature of Thunder and Lightning?

Somewhere someone -- I thought it was Superior (Morgianna) Sarpedon but can't recall for sure -- says to either Blind Sundown and/or Raven's Head: "And don't give me any of that Creatures of the Cosmos shtick."

Wooden Raven Man from Kechican Alaska, image taken from Web(Might have been Wilderwitch, since I can't recall any indication that Morg could understand Raven. Then again the Witch probably couldn't speak Yiddish. She'd have been good at colloquial English from the Forties and Fifties, so she would have certainly heard aforesaid word.)

At any rate, I couldn't find the quote, so let's start with this instead:

UD, Yehudi Cohen, was prepared to go it alone in any case. Problem was there was nowhere he could go as yet. Jordan Tethys refused to draw the Amateramirror because he reckoned that would incinerate Furie, OMP-Akbar, Sundown and Raven. As if you could incinerate the last two. Creatures of the Cosmos didn’t incinerate, they incinerated others.

... from Game-Gamibit: 'D-Day For D-Brig', the twenty-seventh chapter of "Goddess Gambit"

Ah, but what if that was a poor translation of what they were in terms of Native American or First Nations mythology. What if the proper word is 'Wakinyah', which according to Fortean Times #330 (August 2015) means 'Thunder Beings'?

And why might that qualify for a Serendipity and phantacea entry? For a few reasons actually ... but mostly because of the graphic accompanying the FT article:

1880 drawing of horned thunder being

Fortean Times says this is a drawing by Lakota Sioux chief Black Hawk representing a thunder being, c.1880. It doesn't much look like Raven or Sundown, not unless he's wearing his 'issiwun' (can also be spelled is'siwun, meaning Sacred Buffalo Hat or Bonnet). Still, it was enough make me start googling 'wakinyah' (found under 'wakinyan') and 'heyoka' (meaning 'thunder dreamer').

Fortean Times says of the latter: 'During an illness, a different Sioux warrior and shaman by the name of Black Elk, age 9, 'experienced a great vision in which he was visited by the thunder beings and taken to see the "grandfathers". [They] taught him important lessons that contributed to his ... becoming a shaman.' No aphantasia for this fellow, obviously.

Contrast that with this, as it appeared in "The War of the Apocalyptics". As also per here, the same sequence first appeared in 1980's Phantacea Five, as drawn by Vince Marchesano et al. It was reprinted in "The Damnation Brigade"graphic novel:
(Double-click to enlarge graphic of original sequence, as taken from pH-5, in a separate window)Devas are devils, artwork by Vince Marchesano, 1980

Old Manitoulin clapped his hands. One of the shades departed only to return seconds later bearing with him, in his right hand, the Solar Spear, both the symbol and the source of the shaman’s might. In his left, he held the reins of a truly amazing beast, a great horse or thoroughly oversized cervid with a blackbird’s feathered head and the talarial wings of a Mercury, to use European iconography.

Raven, for this was who it was, seemed timid, almost shy, if shyness was possible for such a magnificent creature.

“I am no longer worthy to ride this miraculous being nor wield this splendid weapon. Take them, my son. They are the last of their kind. The last gifts of Xuthros Hor to his sons and daughters, Mankind.”

Sundown stood proudly as the shade handed him the spear and reins. Raven’s Head seemed more than willing.

“Know how to use them should the devils ever again seek to make this Earth their domain.”

... from "The War of the Apocalyptics", the first entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle

Pretty similar, eh? Only thirty-five years between pHant's phirst iteration & FT, too. And, no, even though he preceded both by many decades, I'd never heard of Black Elk prior to August's FT.

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Thunder Dreamer as Wayfarer in the Weird

Uncredited Heyota Shaman, taken from WebHave heard of Johnny Depp before, albeit probably not when the original series of phantacea comic books were coming out in the late Seventies. Am fairly certain Gioachino Rossini did not realize he was writing the Lone Ranger's theme when he wrote the William Tell Overture in the late 1820s, though.

Never quite understood why the creators of the Lone Ranger (George W. Trendle and Fran Striker) named his companion Tonto, a word that means "moron" or "fool" in Spanish, either. Until (maybe), that is, I discovered this bit from the same source, FT 330, and the same medicine man, Black Elk, re these 'heyokas': "They have sacred powers, and they share some of this with all the people, but they do it through funny actions."Cervid heyota - uncredited photo of hekoya deer-man taken from Web

Guess now I'm going to have to assume the creators of the Lone Ranger weren't really racist twits when they named him thusly. They meant that Tonto was a highly respected tribal heyoka -- a Thunder Cloud Clown.

(Mind you, the character's name was 'Toro' in Spanish language versions of the media-made legend, so maybe they didn't bother telling the translators that his name was meant as a compliment and not a typical-for-the-time insult to First Nations people.)

All of which reminds of one of PHANTACEA's very own dream-sent men, aka Wayfarers in the Weird, none other than Manitoulin (Shamanitoulin). Sorciere and Barsine's most notable, 1938 encounter with him, in terms of both funny actions and a funny thing, Horny Head, is recounted here. (Mention of his issiwun is there, too.) Manitoulin's transformation into a Raven Fetishim is here whereas the image map of same is here.

And, given his connections with both Raven's Head and said Raven Fetishim, could there be a more perfect representation than this one, which turned up while aforementioned googling 'wakinyah' and 'heyoka'. (Not Depp in makeup, the original Kirby Sattler 2006 painting, upon which Depp reputedly based his look for the Lone Ranger movie that came out, if it did, in 2013. I know I never saw it.)

Depp's version of Tonto, Sattler's painting of a hekoya, images taken from Web

Won't be calling either shot Raven's Head, though. Shall instead call them 'Raven On Head'.

(Double-click all images in this section to open a separate window with enlargements of same, albeit in the last case not Depp's Tonto; rather, instead, Sattler's painting.)

NOTE: Finally taped and got around to watching The Lone Ranger. A mini-review is here.

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?'), Walpurgis Nacht marks the seasonal boundary between winter and summer.)

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Summer 2015

Nihila in the Sky with Northern Lights; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Summer 2015;


Icelandic Nihila melds with Borealis Brolly

Fortean Times subscription running out, states letter in mail slot. Get right on it, says I. And I do. April's issue arrives and ... June's!?!. Where's May issue. Emails exchange. Finally, after far too much, I'd have thought, unnecessary cajoling, May arrives; albeit in June.

And with it, serendipitously ...

Icelandic northern lights, photographed by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from FT 327

It's, yep, them again: the incomparable Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis, not to be confused with Aurora Australis), 4,000-year-forever favourite of the equally incomparable Harmony, the onetime Unity of Balance as well as Panharmonium; this time photographed by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, and scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times (FT 327 - the cover's got some spooks photoshopped over the aurora -- a big Borealis Boo to you too).

Reminding me of ...

Variations on covers prepared for Goddess Gambit

As well as this entry from pHantaBlog's "Auroral lights no Borealis Brolly", a pertinent part of which is repeated immediately below:

Northern lights photo by Tom Mackie, 2014, taken in Iceland and scanned in from FT 327NOTE: Follow the blue lynx for more on Young Death, Fisherwoman, Brainrock-Gypsium, and the Diver Annuling Nihila collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; Nihila by Verne Andru; bg by Merida Muralist

Young Death, as he was best known below the larger Dome, didn’t blame the Diver. He reckoned – probably correctly – that Freespirit Nihila, whom he still regarded as Fisherwoman, must be taking it [teleportive Brainrock-Gypsium] all into herself; her Borealis brolly, put better.
... from "Helios on the Moon", the third entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

Kind of sereNipHity, eh? (That's 'serendipity' + 'Nihila' + 'phantacea' + 'nifty', if you were wondering.) Made for a pHanta-pHabulous background image as well. It's used here and here, among other places.

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?'), Walpurgis Nacht marks the seasonal boundary between winter and summer.)

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Spring 2015

Double-duty devil ; Broken bracken for witches; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Spring 2015;


Walpurgis Glory

Just because it's Walpurgis Night 2015 as I write this, does not make for a Serendipity entry. Oh, all right, maybe it does. Check this out. It's from today's editing project, 'The Last of the Supranormals', which-witch will probably form the opening chapter in the eventual Phantacea Publications release that sometimes gets titled "Pyrame's Progress" and sometimes something else; for example, "Month One -- After Limbo", "Wilderwitch's Babies" or a dozen years ago, 'Decimation Damnation'.

Digitally dicked image suggestive of Gloriel D'Angelo, based on a painting by FuselliThe event about to be described takes place on Aegean Trigon in December 1955. It was first synopsized here. The fire-pot explosion is down to not yet D-Brig's then undeclared, resident faerie, Old Man Power.

There was the flash of a fire-pot explosion and the latest Olympian was suddenly tumbling toward the ground as if he was Lucifer tossed out of heaven for being too cocky. Before he hit ground he struck what appeared to be, and actually sort of was, a soft, oversized, rainbow-hued pillow. It did not so much cushion his landing as caught him before he landed. It emanated from the face of, if not an angel as such, the third D’Angelo on Trigon, Glory of the Angels ...

Normally Gloriel, as she preferred to Gloriella, had long, silver blonde hair. Supranormally, which was what she was now, her hair not only was all the colours of the rainbow, it was a rainbow upon which she did not so much ride as it, streaming out behind her, allowed her to fly. Properly speaking her codename was Radiant Rider. Most folks called her Rainbow, for reasons iridescent, and, though her adopted siblings might argue, she was likely the most powerful supra still active.

... from (maybe) 'Decimation Damnation'

Image of a glory, shot in Chania, Crete, taken from webWalpurgis Nacht is Witch Night in English whereas Lucifer is another name for the devil. In Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos, Wilderwitch is among the most prominent of pHant's many witches whereas Gloriel, the Witch's least favourite colleague in D-Brig, once wrongly mistook her husband of circa 1953 for none other than just that, Lucifer.

On Walpurgis Night people took extra precautions to prevent passing witches from harming their families, homes, and fields. Folk tradition taught that loud noises frightened away witches. Therefore, people rang church bells, slammed doors, hit pots and pans, and cracked whips. They also lit bonfires and torches, raised crosses, and decorated their homes with rosemary and birch boughs, all of which were thought to repel witches.

Little remains of these Walpurgis Night beliefs today. In past times, however, they were so common that they inspired the great German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) to depict a Walpurgis Night witches' sabbath in his famous play, Faust (1808-32). In the play the devil, who goes by the name of Mephistopheles, takes Faust to this sinister event.

In addition, vivid images of a midsummer's night witches' festival on Mount Brocken spurred Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) to write his well-known piece, Night on Bald Mountain (1867), also known as Saint John's Night on Bare Mountain.

... from the Free Dictionary's encyclopedia entry on 'Walpurgis Night'

Mount Brocken ... sound vaguely familiar? Did to me, so I went up to the search engine atop the page and found a pertinent reference. (Thought there might be more but ... seems thinking and being aren't always the same.)

Turns out it hearkens back to a Character Likeness photo essay prepared for pH-Webworld re Glory of the Angels almost exactly ten years ago; more specifically to this link re both the word 'glory', small case, and 'Brocken Spectre'.

Here's another link found just today re dittos. Even more serendipitously, the photo taken from there (attributed to Antreas Meladakis) was shot near Chania, Crete, which (in the real world) was about as close as one can get to Aegean Trigon before it "sank" in 1968.

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Begging to disagree with Wikipedia

I realize it's considered sacrosanct by many but, daring to differ, these two lists, as found on Wikipedia's Classification of Demons page, are actually more likely of Master Devas, devils or little gods than either demons or even daemons: the Lanterne of Light classification from ca 1409-1410 and Binsfeld's classification from around 1589.

3-eyed demon-type taken from webLot of names familiar to pHanta-pHans on the Wiki page -- Lucifer: pride; Mammon: greed; Asmodeus: lust; Leviathan: envy; Beelzebub: gluttony; Satan: wrath; and Belphegor: sloth. Unless you prefer -- Lucifer: pride; Beelzebub: envy (envious); Sathanus: wrath; Abaddon: sloth; Mammon: greed - avarice & covetousness; Belphegor: gluttony; and Asmodeus: lust.

Howsoever you look at it, these are the attributes of the Seven Sinistrals of Satanwyck in the Phantacea Mythos. In pHanta-pHact, even though, as per here, D-Brig's Angel (Gloriella D'Angelo Dark, aka the Radiant Rainbow Rider) believed she'd encountered Lucifer-Pride in 1953, the only one we agree upon is Santa Mammon.

Just because it's bound to come up over and over again as Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, edges closer and closer to deciding what book he's going to recommend to Phantacea Publications for its next release, here's an old-time Gold-Mining for PHANTACEA Factoids box on Satanwyck's Seven Sinistrals, all of whom apparently once ruled Sedon's Temple:

  1. Belialma: Sinistral Lust, a second-born Apple Goddess; mostly encountered during "Feeling Theocidal" and "The Death's Head Hellion"
  2. Domdaniel: Sinistral Pride, a fourth-born Mithradite; for the most part appears in 'Psychodrama'
  3. Grim Thordin: Sinister Wrath, one of the lesser Sinistrals; for the most part appears in 'Psychodrama'
  4. Santa Mammon: Sinistral Avarice, one of the lesser Sinistrals; for the most part appears in 'Psychodrama'
  5. Baaloch Hellblob: Sinistral Sloth, one of the lesser Sinistrals; for the most part appears in 'Psychodrama'
  6. Arisandesam, the Conquering Worm: Sinistral Gluttony
  7. Bobby Badboy, aka Robin Goodfellow or, when he's female, Robin Goodgirl: Sinistral Envy, called Cupidity in "Contagion Collectors"

Pictograph by William Mortensen entitled Belphegor, taken from webPhantacea's Lucifer is as per here. (Island) Leviathan is as per here in 'The Vampire Variations' and here in 'The Volsung Variations'. Fish's pal, where -- in the belly of the beast -- she was abandoned shortly after birth, also appears during 'Pyrame's Progress'.

Satan is, arguably, none other the devils' All-Father, the Moloch Sedon, whereas Unholy Abaddon is often called Abe Chaos throughout 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' fantasy epic. However, it is true that by the time Young Death encounters him during the course of 'Coueranna's Curse' his Uncle Abe is more daemonic than devic. (And, as detailed there as well as, even more severely, in "The Death's Head Hellion" if there was a Prince of Drunkenness, he might qualify.)

Sorry, no known Sathanos, Asmodeus or Beelzebub in the Phantacea Mythos so far -- though a rather noteworthy mention of Asmodeus in the Author's Afterward of "The War of the Apocalyptics" is preserved here.

Plus, somewhere in the dim recesses there's a recollection of Beelzebub being the Lord of Flies. Which suggests Kinsecto, the howsoever speculative Apocalyptic of Pestilence, whom KOC (the King's Own Crimefighters) reputedly faced a couple of times pre-Limbo.

As for why this qualifies for Serendipity and ... that's covered in a very recent update of pHantaBlog. Seems Belphegor, howsoever it's spelt, does double-duty on Wikipedia's Classification of Demons page, as the Prince of Gluttony in the earlier list and as the Prince of Sloth in the later list.

As also per another Wiki article, the first syllable of his name clearly comes from Baal, the same as Phantacea's Sinistral Sloth, so that does follow. However, in 'Pyrame's Progress' he's described as egg-like as well as an excellent cook, so maybe, in the absence of his wormy predecessor Arisandesam, Hellblob does do double-duty as Sinistral Gluttony, at least in the 1980 story sequences.

Whatever the case, he doesn't look like Mortensen's Belphegor. For one thing he doesn't have 3 eyes like this spooky but lovely, demon-type mask taken from the Web. Still, coming across the Huffington Post article on pictographer William Mortensen, is how this whole installment started, so he does deserve to be preserved, no matter how squished he's become, right here.

BTW, like many on this page the images in this entry double-click to enlarge in a separate window.
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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and other webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year. BTW, as also per here ('Why April 30?'), Walpurgis Nacht marks the seasonal border between winter and summer.)

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Winter 2014/15

Raleigh Haddeus on the Head; Pick your own Apocalypse; Cauling all Sed-sons and their daughters; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Winter 2014/15


Soaking a braggart -- unless he'd actually been on the Hidden Headworld

Apparently Clint Eastwood has made another movie along the lines of the fairly impressive 'Unforgiven'. It's called 'American Sniper' and according to writer Adam Weinstein in American Fortress ("From Sparta to Chris Kyle") it's about a 'braggadouche'.

Jim Cooke illustrastrion taken from American Fortress article on braggadouches, 2015Should note that anyone who uses a perfectly good word like 'douche' to mean "A foolish or contemptible person" is probably just that, him or herself. As for someone who wilfully corrupts another perfectly good word, 'braggadocio', he is either too clever for his own good or suffers from syllable envy.

Have to say I like Jim Cooke's image so much I copied it, purely for non-commercial purposes of course.

So what makes 'braggadouche' Serendipity-worthy? Just this, from "Goddess Gambit":

Necropolis meant the City of the Dead. Decidedly ironically, during the Byronic hegemony of what was now Hadd, it was known as the Gleaming City of Manoa, the capital of El Dorado. The devil who had it built, in all its now crumbling and be-blotched splendour, was Damon Goldenrod, Byron’s Apollo.

Since Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is late-winter-currently battling with 'Tsishah's Twilight' with an eye to releasing it at least digitally sometime before next winter, he was struck by the article's comment about Sir Walter Raleigh:

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the pugnacious Raleigh wrote a braggy load of crap about his explorations titled "The discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful Empire of Guiana, with a relation of the great and golden city of Manoa (which the Spaniards call El Dorado)."

In fact, his journey to South America was inauspicious, but Britons back home received him as a triumphant hero with a plan to enrich the Crown with treasures from a nonexistent city of gold. Raleigh's inability to deliver the goods (along with his attacks on Spanish targets) may have contributed to James I's decision to behead the impetuous explorer.

And if you want to take that as suggesting we'll be going back there in Tsi-Twi, feel free. As for a phantacea Raleigh, or near enough, how could anyone forget Reilly Haddeus (the Molech Xibalba) from "Janna Fangfingers"?

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Surely that's a different explosion

The new year comes in as the old year goes out. Nothing new about that. Except, 2015's arrival needs be starts a new half-decade for Serendipity and phantacea; ergo the old half-decade's entries had to find a new home.

Nuclear explosion taken from BBC Future online, January 5, 2015And so they did, here. Its start semi-sort of marks twenty years of pH-Webworld. (One of the very earliest -- not to mention embarrassing to revisit, presentation-wise -- entries in pH-Webworld is preserved here.)

That in turn means it's been somewhat under 38 years since phantacea first appeared in any kind of proper print format (Phantacea One came out in September 1977).

Of course new years are subjective. Today's Epiphany, for example, is Orthodoxy's Christmas Eve. Also, according to the Celtic Wheel of the Year, which now hangs out here, New Year's Eve was actually Halloween. That makes our All Souls Day (November the 1st) their New Year's Day.

As detailed in "Janna Fangfingers", all sorts of nasty stuff happened on or about All Souls Day 1494, albeit on the Inner Earth of Sedon's Head. That'd make it the 1st of Maruta 5494. Renowned in infamy as All Death Day, when more Death Things were walking than Living Things were talking. it wasn't the Apocalypse but it was close.

Which bring us to these trebly serendipitous occurrences.Front cover for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013

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The very day, January 5, 2015, that I received the above email, BBC Future kindly provided its faithful readership with this infographic: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141230-apocalypse-when. Perhaps it was meant to ironically, as well as somewhat belatedly, celebrate the new year. Regardless of the Beeb's intent, the graphic for its click-in for Serendipity Now is here, double-click to enlarge in a separate window.

As to why it's page-appropriate, if it doesn't look almost identical to the explosion Ian Bateson provided for "Nuclear Dragons", which finally came out as an e-book ('Digital Dragons'?) just before Mithramas 2014, then my eyes are playing misbegotten Mariamnic tricks on me.

So, got an email re Hel-Moon, a poxy infographic reminding me of War-Pox and a lookalike nuclear blow-out courtesy of BBC, all on the same day. Not a bad way to simultaneously inaugurate a new page of Serendipity and phantacea and the completion of the epic 'Launch 1980' fantasy trilogy.

Promo of potental covers for Helios on the Moon

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Un-cauled-forth

Make that forgotten — the notion that 'if your baby girl was born with a caul obscuring her face then in all probability her father was really that old satyr, Sedon St Synne, and not you'. Words to this effect were spoken to someone, possibly the Great Man, Loxus Abraham Ryne, during one of pH-Webworld's long ago concluded web-serials set in the year 1938.Collage on Faceless Strife prepared by Jim McPherson, 2007,  integral images taken from Web

Despite mention of that Sed-son and the presence of a few of his Sed-daughters, as well as Faceless Strife (who adheres to daughters as well as lovers of Sedon St Synne), this phantacea-fascinating peculiarity didn't come up in either"Nuclear Dragons", the second entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle, or in its closing entry "Helios on the Moon". Until now, that is.

Indeed, as per here, the connection between cauls and (Boo! Hiss!) Strife has never been confirmed. As per Wikipedia here, cauls are thought to both bring good luck and prevent drowning. Somewhat conversely, there's also this: "In Romanian folklore, babies born with a Caul are said to become vampires upon death."

More to the immediate point, at least according to the article: "In Stephen King's The Shining, the 5-year-old son of the main character, Danny "Doc" Torrance, is born with a caul that made him appear as if he had "no face" at the time of his birth." Very much shades of PHANTACEA's top of the hiss-meter bad girl, eh.

Which, since research reminded me of this matter on the very day I was going to send the text of Hel-Moon to the printer, brings us to what amounts to yet another case of serendipitous timeliness.Promotional flyer for the Launch 1980 fantasy trilogy, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

The speaker's still the Little Trickster (Hush Mannering, Young Life) and the reference to events depicted at the end of "Nuclear Dragons" hasn't changed. However, instead of culling text I've cauled it forth:

"Crystal’s a different kettle of conundrums. I mean sure, she’s a daughter of Sedon St Synne and probably was born with a caul covering her face, just like Strife supposedly has to this day, but that doesn’t make her a spirit.

“Sure as well, superstition says cauls protect folks from drowning, so that might help her against Sea Stuff. Then again, they’re also supposed to bring good luck — and Crystal’s never had an ounce of that in her life. Besides, that’s just it. She is – or was – altogether alive. If she blew, that’d be it for her.

... from "Helios on the Moon", the third entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

Let's just hope I recollect the caul factor next time I write about a Sed-son or one of his daughters. Don't think any of them will be turning into vampires, though. Been there, done that.

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

(As per here, pHantaBlog and webpages associated with Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos now count the seasons in accordance with the Pagan Wheel of the Year.)

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Webpage last updated: Autumn 2016

Chronological List with Lynx to all the Serendipity Entries

There may be no cure for aphantasia (defined as 'having a blind or absent mind's eye') but there certainly is for aphantacea ('a'='without', like the 'an' in 'anheroic')

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