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Welcome to the 2010-2014 Serendipity Entries

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Phantacea Publications in Print

- The 'Launch 1980' story cycle - 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Fantasy Trilogy - The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels - The phantacea Graphic Novels -

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.

Top of Page Search Engine - pHantaPubs in Print - Page Highlights - Upwards - Downwards - Fresh Graphics - Bottom of Page Ordering Lynx

'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

Phantacea Publications logo

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SERENDIPITY 1st 1/2 of 20-Teens

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 Updates of Serendipity for first-half of the 20-TeensBosch's Juggler, from The Garden of Earthly Delights in Madrid

  1. Spring 2010: Those little gods -- er, make that devils + A Harmonious Demogorgon + Sprinkles as Utopian crud
  2. Summer 2010: No wonder Smiler's always smiling + A Doughnut for the Melusine Master + Hoffmann's Tomcat
  3. 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
  4. 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)
  5. Winter 2012/13: Feeling Pterror not just in Sweden + Winter 12/13 on the blog
  6. Spring 2013: Meteoric Messaging + French Ministry of Deviancy + Spring 2013 on the blog
  7. Summer 2013: Sun-Crossed Year's Wheelie + Pareidolia's Fay! + Summer 2013 on the blog
  8. 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 blog
  9. 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
  10. Spring 2014: In pHanta-pHact, those are Gorgon Goggles; Can't be Grampa Witch; Spring 2014 on pHantaBlog
  11. 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
  12. Autumn 2014: Spherus doesn't just blow bubbles; Serendipitously enforced revision re cosmic gavelling; Happy Janna Glands; Autumn 2014 on pHantaBlog
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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 2014

Potential cure for bubbling, not bumbling; Gavel Gab; Janna Yataglands; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Autumn 2014

Hope for pHant's very own 'Bubble Boy', albeit (perhaps) over thirty years too late

Here's something from "Nuclear Dragons", the second entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle. The same sequence is only briefly noted in the trilogy's opening entry, "The War of Apocalyptics", and isn't referred to at all in the closing book, "Helios on the Moon".

As also per here, however, the then prevailing theory that the seemingly reemergent King Crimefighters are actually clones of the originals is repeated in Hel-moon.

('Launch 1980' is Jim McPherson's ambitious project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series of the late Seventies. More on that now concluded, multiple character, action laden, epic fantasy further down the page, here.)

A silver helicopter carrying howsoever many Signallers has landed in Vancouver's Southlands district. They're disgorged at the same, now smouldering ruin where eight members of the Damnation Brigade and the four devic components of the Byronic Nucleus have just had an ferocious battle. Fortunately for the lucky dozen involved, a semblance of sanity prevails such that the only casualty is D-Brig's Fraser Riverside ranch house.

It's late Friday, December 5, 1980. It's not until later on the next day (by then Devauray, Tantalar 6, 5980) that that statistic starts to change drastically. (See here if you're curious as to how time is counted on the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head.)

“Got anything, Spherus?” asked the group leader [Gus Soldakis but, when in the Silver, he answered to Space-Age Spartan].

“Not much, Spartan.” This Signaller’s helmet was a silver globe.

... from "Nuclear Dragons", the second entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

Then, a paragraph or two later, same speakers:

"Mind rigging up one of your bubbles, Spherus?”

“My pleasure. Oh, by the way, Spartan, I wouldn’t be certain it’s the real Crimefighters. Even back in the Fifties, there were doppelgangers, sphinxes, mandroids and the like. More to the point there were such things as Callion Clones. They’d be grown up by now.”

“How would you know?”

“How about I tell you when, and if, we nail one of them?”

“Oh, we’ll nail them all right,” the voice of Sharpshooter came through their helmets.

... from "Nuclear Dragons", the second entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

The significance of these quotes isn't so much what's said as what Spartan asks Spherus to rig up. Oh, all right, it's also significant that Spherus knows enough about Callion Clones born in the early Fifties to tell Spartan they'd be grown up by December 1980.

Might that be because he's one of them? Don't know yet. Do know this, though, from the last entry in the Launch story cycle:

“Look at the way they glow,” said Spherus (Cecil Mayhew, under the globular silver helmet and exoskeleton he wore). According to some the world’s first Bubble Boy, since being recruited for Signal System at an early age the hence severely immunities-deficient genius had made a study of supranormals.

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

They're in the news again. Not Callion Clones or supranormals -- bubble boys. The Reuters article is entitled 'New gene therapy treatment showing promise against 'bubble boy' disease'. The author is Gene Emery. The whole article is (or was) here.

The rare condition is officially called X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome. It gets its "bubble boy" nickname because its victims are only safe in a sterile environment. The genetic defect leaves the boys - whose single X chromosome makes them targets of the disease - unable to fight infection. In the outside world, they usually die within a year.

The therapy involves removing bone marrow cells from patients, selecting specific cells that build the immune system and exposing those cells to the genetically engineered virus. Initially, the cells lack the genetic code for building a healthy immune system. The virus is trained to insert that missing code. The reprogrammed cells are then infused back in the child.

Serendipitously enough, I learned of this on Friday, Oct 17, 2014, the day after I got hold of the cover artwork for "Helios on the Moon". Which is where at least one of Spherus's secrets is revealed for sure.

Spoiler Alert

BTW, there's more on Spherus here; as per here, the theory the reemergent Crimefighters might be clones is mentioned in the short story "Sister Grandmother". which is set sometime after the 'Launch 1980' sequences;

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Judicious Rejigging

This is how it originally read:

Drawing by Reg Klassen of the Visionary of New Weir, from ph-4, 1979Throughout the cosmos, courtrooms were much the same as they were on the Earth. The judge sat on a raised dais behind his or her bench, used a gavel and pronounced sentence.

... no longer from "Helios on the Moon", the third entry in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

Then I saw this in the Mythconceptions section of Fortean Times October 2014 (FT319). The writer is Mat Coward. The article is entitled: 'The Judge's Gavel'.The Visionary of Weir, artwork by Reg Klassen 1979

The myth: 'When the Old Bailey erupts into uproar, the judge bangs frantically on his desk with a wooden hammer called a gavel. "Order, order!" he cries, gavelling away like a good 'un, until the inevitable momemt when the accursed 's step-granny at the back yells "I'll have pint on mild!"'

The "truth": 'No judge of any kind in any court anywhere in England and Wales has ever used a gavel. Not in real life, that is. ... In Britain, if you use a gavel to make a point, you're either an auctioneer or a toastmaster.

Now it reads like this:

Throughout most of the cosmos, courtrooms were much the same as they were on the Earth. The judge sat on a raised dais behind his or her bench, used a gavel (unless he was sitting in England or Wales) and pronounced sentence.

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

Who says Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos novels never have happy endings? They do ... for some.

“APM’s got lots of eyeballs,” said Connie [Lindquist], tapping her forehead nevertheless third-eyelessly. “And she knows how much I like George [Hannibal] here.”
“And I like Yati the Yeti,” added Janna [born St Peche], also third-eyelessly. “Even if he is a little green around not just the gills.”
“I don’t have gills,” said Yataghan [raised Montressor].
“Glands then,” said Janna, grabbing a quick hug.

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

Which brings us to this from the Science section of Fortean Times October 2014 (FT319). The writer is David Hambling. The article is entitled: 'Monkey Gland Cocktail'. (Although the cocktail's ingredients are noted in article, there's a hardly subtle, triple entendre in last word of title. Brits are notorious for their snickering toilet humour and its cousins.)

When Dr Serge Voronoff revealed a new type of animal-to-human transplant operation with remarkable rejuvenating effects in 1920 ... Clients flocked to receive the ... treatment and recover their youthful vigour. He was soon discredited, but a spin-off from what were euphemistically termed 'monkey glands' still has millions of followers.

By this last the writer is referring to testosterone therapy, of which he notes 'it is not recommended for general use'. As is evident from the first blockquote, Janna definitely approves of Yati the Yeti, as Hush Mannering first dubbed Sentalli-Centauri's son by Emeralda Plantagenet, albeit strictly for personal use.

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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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Summer 2014

That's shellfish on the beach, not the moon; That isn't Shelios on the Moon; Cretan Helios; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Summer 2014

Neither Shelios nor Selfish: Shellfish

Vetella or Vetala? In this case it's Vetella.

Which reminds me. In Hualtuco, Mexico, years ago now (2008?), there was a jelly fish infestation in one of the very popular bays there. They looked weird so I asked someone, in typically terrible Spanish, what they were. He answered Medusa.

As per the Free Dictionary, it turns out that's true in English. I'd just never heard the word used in small case before.

me·du·sa  (m-ds, -z, -dy-)

n. pl. me·du·sas or me·du·sae (-s, -z)

The tentacled, usually bell-shaped, free-swimming sexual stage in the life cycle of a coelenterate, such as a jellyfish.

[Latin Medsa, Medusa (from the Medusa's snaky locks); see Medusa.]

And who purports to be Nergal Vetala's triplet sister in Mithras's Twelfth? Why, none other than the Medusa (Mater Matare) from the Phantacea Mythos and, graphic novelty speaking, "Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade".

And this on the very day I put a new top-of-page promo for "Helios on the Moon" on both pH-Webworld's Welcoming Page and pHantacea on pHacebook. Talk about Serendipity.

Promo of potental covers for Helios on the Moon

The 'D-Brig' graphic novel features the Medusa (Mater Matare) in a highly pivotal role whereas 'Kitty-Clysm' has her supposed triplet sister, Nergal Vetala, in a similar boo-hiss role.

- Artwork for D-Brig cover by Ian Bateson, 2012; artwork for Kitty cover by Verne Andru, 2013/4; double-click to enlarge image in a separate window -
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But it is Shelios in Paris

It's not every entry that inspires a howsoever minor revision of a Phantacea Mythos project. Then again it's not every time I'm in the process of editting a forthcoming novel that Serendipity comes calling. Solarized gif of a head carved by Rude of Lady Liberty, taken  in the Musee D'Orsay by Jim McPherson, 2014

So I figured, what the Herr Hel, when the opportunity arises seize it:

"Trouble yourself no further, milady. We have prepared for every eventuality, you and I. If I am Helios on the Moon then you are Shelios on the Same. Through us, humanity wins!”

“Only if we do, too, Kad.”

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

As for what provoked this addition to a story finished in February 2014, sometimes Serenpidity and Phantacea doesn't provide a jar-dropping moment or, much more often, just a curio or coincidental item that pertains, from a howsoever peculiar perspective, to said subject matter.

Sometimes Serendipity is just plain embarassing. A case in point occured this weekend.Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004

I don't do anything Phantacea-related on Sundays. Sooth said I'm not even supposed to turn on my computer. Idea is to have a full day off to go for a long walk or catch up on my reading, preferrably down at the local beach. However, if the weather sucks I often do turn on my computer if only to look at my photos.

Then again there are days when I do both: look at my photos and do something pHanta-fabulous with them. Such a day was Saturday -- Devaura on Sedon's Head, assuming it's still there.

Having recently assigned an alter ego, Blogmeister pHantaJim, to add comments re Character Likeness shot I've taken during my travels, near and far, or copied while on the web doing research, I looked up an artist, sculptor François Rude (4 January 1784 - 3 November 1855), as identified in the latest batch. And what did I discover?

Bust of a Helios type with an All-like creature on his head; photo taken by Jim McPherson in the Musee D'Orsay, Paris 2004Recall these two? They've been representing Herr Hel Helios out here in pH-Webworld since 2004. (You can get to them by clicking images or just go here.) I'm pretty sure they were shot in the Musee d'Orsee across the Seine from the Louvre in May or June of 2004. I looked for them when I went back there a decade later, in June 2014; hence the latest batch. Didn't see them then and, even if I had, the museum doesn't allow photos anymore, not even of statuary.

The Louvre does, however. So, when I spotted this fellow, who's also now on pHanta-pHlickr, I snapped instantly. Except, as I discovered online, it's not a fellow at all. It's a gal. And (s)he isn't either singing La Marseilles or looking horrified by what (s)he's seeing during the Revolution; she's a head created by Rude as a plaster model for a part of the Arc de Triomphe he was commissioned to decorate in the early 1800s.

I went back to my 2004 photos of the Arc and, lo, what do I now notice? Yep, she appears in "Le Départ des Volontaires" (aka La Marseillaise), by J. Rude, Arc de Triomphe Etoile Paris.

And not only had she got wings, she's got a woman's breasts!

NOTE: At the head of this entry is a gif of the bust of Marianne/Lady Liberty as shot in the Louvre. Rude didn't make it transparent and solarized (I did) but he did carve it as part of his studies for La Marseillaise, now on the side of the Arc de Triomphe.

It doesn't have an All-like creature on its head. Neither is it shown wearing a Phrygian or Liberty Cap. As the last link reminds us, Taurus Chrysaor Attis wore one of those throughout "Feeling Theocidal", Book One in the epic and appropriately three-part Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories trilogy.

Double-click image to enlarge with a dark background.

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From talaria to Talos to Serendipity Now

Yes, there is a Talos in the Phantacea Mythos; no, I didn't remember him until I searched for 'Talos' in the search engine at the top of this page. After searching and finding talaria, I also searched for Talos on the Free Dictionary.

Scored too -- and I don't mean the nephew of Daedalus, whom I'd never heard of before. I mean the mythological giant ( It's where our word 'talus' derives, which would also be where we get talaria from. That'd be this talus:

1. The bone of the ankle that articulates with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint. Also called anklebone, astragalus.

Did said searching while I was preparing for the debut of pHanta-pHlickr. I knew the myth, hence the character's name, but what I didn't know was:

In the Cretan dialect, talôs was the equivalent of the Greek hêlios, the Sun: the lexicon of Hesychius of Alexandria notes simply "Talos is the Sun". In Crete Zeus was worshipped as Zeus Tallaios,[4] "Solar Zeus", absorbing the earlier god as an epithet in the familiar sequence.


Talos is described by Greeks as either a gift from Hephaestus to Minos, forged with the aid of the Cyclopes in the form of a bull or a gift from Zeus to Europa.

I discovered all this while manfully avoiding the necessity doing a final edit of, you guessed it, "Helios on the Moon".

And that Helios is the son of Melicertes' leader Agenor, the brother of Agenor's daughter Europa by Mnemosyne D'Angelo (Human Memory) and, yes indeed, talarial wings do come into play, in the form of Raven's Head, yet again in the novel. (Perhaps more correctly I should have them as fetlock wings but talarial sounds better even if it isn't a proper word as such.)

There's also a Medea and a Jason, as per the myth, in phantacea and of course almost all of the above are called Malanthean Minoans and/or Etocretan Extremists throughout the Heliodyssey web-serials.

All in all, a good excuse for another entry in Serendipity Now.

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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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Spring 2014

Double-Lensed Oculus or Gorgon Goggles; Wilderwitch's Granddad; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Spring 2014

Should have called it Gorgon Goggles

The Diver's Gorgon Goggles, graphic by Jim McPhersonPhantacea didn't copyright Gorgon Goggles, Facebook, but perhaps it should have, because an oculus doesn't have two lenses. If it did, it would be an 'occuli'.

The most famous occulus, besides the eye itself and, nowadays, Facebook's howsoever incorrectly named Oculus Rift, is probably the one atop the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. (There are a few Pantheons -- there's one in Paris for sure -- but the one linked is the only one I've been inside.)

The Roman Pantheon is a circular temple (which makes it a tholos in the Phantacea Mythos) built in 27 BC that still stands even though it's no longer dedicated to all the gods, devils that they were and probably still are, somewhere.

That said, moderately irrelevantly, consider this from the forthcoming "Helios on the Moon" mosaic novel, which is the final volume in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle:

The Diver had been too slow to avoid [the] Stopstone-blessed, or cursed, Indescribables. They didn’t exactly overwhelm him, however. He hit the ground and did a dolphin (or dorado); kept on going. They dug after him, deeper and deeper; some could even soil-swim. Fortunately they were neither as fast nor as manoeuvrable as he was.

They also weren’t equipped with gorgon goggles, as he knew to call the ‘magical’ eye-covering – what allowed him to see through solid rock – that he’d first acquired in Rome, Italy, during the Alliance of Man’s colloquium there in January 1938.

The Untouchable Diver, wearing Gorgon Goggles, goes into action on Hadd's Diminished Dustmound

The Diver, wearing Gorgon Goggles, goes into action in pH-6, artwork by Verne Andru, 1980

- Artwork from pH-6 by Verne Andru, 1980; reprinted in "Cataclysm Catalyst", which is now available online and/or directly from the publisher -

The comic book series' re-channelled, hence pHinnally pHanta-pHactual, 'Soldier's Saga' provided the basis for "Goddess Gambit"; a kind of coda appears in "Helios on the Moon"; the 'Launch 1980' story cycle, Jim McPherson's long-to-conclude project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series, began with "The War of Apocalyptics" in 2009 and continued with "Nuclear Dragons" in 2013

- double click to enlarge in a separate window -

(That they as a unit might be a devic power focus had occurred to him. They didn’t glow, though, so he dismissed the notion. Once again, being unfamiliar with Master Devas until just lately, he had no idea that so-called Tvasitar Talismans didn’t necessarily have to glow. Thalassa’s Aqua Ankh or Water Wand and her twin’s, Aires-Airealist’s omega-shaped Aerod, didn’t, not usually, and Demon Land thought them power foci a week and a day ago on Damnation Island.

(Good thing his gorgon goggles didn’t glow, too. Otherwise he would have inhumed them by now.)

... from "Helios on the Moon", the final volume in the 'Launch 1980' story cycle

Which brings us to this from BBC Tech. It showed up around Beltane Day, at the end of April 2014:

Image of tank driver wearing Oculus Rift headset, image taken from BBC onlineNorwegian army tests virtual-reality headset in tanks

The virtual-reality Oculus Rift headset has been put to a novel use by the Norwegian army - helping soldiers to drive tanks.

... "The concept is sound, but the technology isn't quite there yet. The picture quality is good for 10-15m [30-50ft] - but after that it is difficult to distinguish details, for example whether an opponent is carrying a weapon."

Clearly, as the above sequence shows, the Diver could care less about whether his foes are carrying weapons. He just wants to get away from them. And so would you, even if you were in a Norweigian tank.

BTW, in the Phantacea Mythos, Indescribables are eldritch earthborn. In less syllables, that makes them demons. And, yes, as he didn't learn until Endgame-Gambit, the Diver does inhume the Godstuff best known as either Brainrock or Gypsium.

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Can't be Wilderwitch's Granddad

For starters, in the Phantacea Mythos, Wilderwitch's paternal grandfather is either Agenor Heliopolis or Adam Kadmon, unless it's Mithras or, heaven forfend, the Devil Sedon. As for her maternal grandfather, well, that a little more complicated. Her devic half-granddad is almost certainly Thrygragos Everyman (Little Star Lazareme in ).

This popped up on TheFreeDictionary by Farlex one morning while considering which Phantacea Mythos web-serial to novelize next. Hence it qualifying for Serendipity and phantacea.

(Before you ask, I'm leaning toward "Wilderwitch’s Babies, Part 1: Decimation Damnation", though I might call it "Wilderwitch's Daughters". Ultimate decision awaits making penultimate preparations to publish "Helios on the Moon".)

The following is from an article entitled 'Shamanism'.

There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world, but several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. Common beliefs identified by Eliade (1972)[4] are the following:

  • Nicolaes Witsen's 1692 depiction of a Siberian shaman, taken from the Free Dictionary on Shamanism Spirits exist and they play important roles both in individual lives and in human society.
  • The shaman can communicate with the spirit world.
  • Spirits can be benevolent or malevolent.
  • The shaman can treat sickness caused by malevolent spirits.
  • The shaman can employ trance inducing techniques to incite visionary ecstasy and go on vision quests.
  • The shaman's spirit can leave the body to enter the supernatural world to search for answers.
  • The shaman evokes animal images as spirit guides, omens, and message-bearers.
  • The shaman can tell the future, scry, throw bones/runes, and perform other varied forms of divination

Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits which affect the lives of the living.[44] Although the causes of disease lie in the spiritual realm, inspired by malicious spirits, both spiritual and physical methods are used to heal. Commonly, a shaman "enters the body" of the patient to confront the spiritual infirmity and heals by banishing the infectious spirit.

Many shamans have expert knowledge of medicinal plants native to their area, and an herbal treatment is often prescribed. In many places shamans learn directly from the plants, harnessing their effects and healing properties, after obtaining permission from the indwelling or patron spirits. ... By engaging in their work, a shaman is exposed to significant personal risk, from the spirit world, from enemy shamans, or from the means employed to alter the shaman's state of consciousness. Shamanic plant materials can be toxic or fatal if misused. Failure to return from an out-of-body journey can lead to death.

Plenty more where that came from but I was most intrigued by one of the images that came with it. Might this be Wilderwitch's granddad? After all, somewhere Kronokronos Akbarartha voices the information that Wilderwitch might be Russian and the caption that goes with it does read:

The earliest known depiction of a Siberian shaman, produced by the Dutch explorer Nicolaes Witsen, who authored an account of his travels among Samoyedic- and Tungusic-speaking peoples in 1692. Witsen labelled the illustration as a "Priest of the Devil" and gave this figure clawed feet to highlight what Witsen perceived as demonic qualities

Doubly serendipitously, note the Tungusic reference.

We can suppose from Freespririt Nihila's comment in both Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade" and "The War of Apocalyptics" that Wilderwitch might be her incarnation. We also know that the Witch is a deviant who regards the Dual Entities as her birth parents.

If memory serves, which it doesn't always with me, Machine-Memory was possessed by Krepusyl Evenstar (aka Mariamne Dawnstar) while Heliosophos was occupied by Thrygragos Lazareme (unless it was Bad Rhad) when she was conceived.

Since she was born in 59/1927, that means they conceived her during Helios's Eleventh Lifetime. Which began when Trans-Time Trigon came crashing to Earth above Siberia on June 30, 1908, thus causing the Tunguska event.

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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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Winter 2013/14

The Crimson Corona as a Golden Torc; Rabbit-Eared Helios as a wooden idol; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Winter 2013/14


Digging up Phantacea in Glauberg, Germany

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013, that incorporates artwork from pH-4 by Verne Andrusiek, 1978There is such a thing as pHantacea on pHacebook. Phantacea Publications also has a presence on Google+. On the former, a pHalz entry was made just before Mithramas. It was subsequently corrected.

The mistake made was equating the Glauberg torc with Harmonia's necklace. The latter's what brought disaster to all who possessed it; including, as told in "Janna Fangfingers", herself; hence, come "Goddess Gambit", Freespirit Nihila. The former, also pictured here, was dug up in Glauberg, Germany, sometime in the Nineties.

Since it was golden it was only natural to mistake it for Harmony's power focus. However, that very day I was re-lettering a panel for "Cataclysm Catalyst", the next scheduled graphic novel from Phantacea Publications, and looked a couple of panels to the right, Vetala's left. (All three panels initially came from pH-4, which came out in 1978, something like fifteen years before the Glauberg treasure was dug up.)fat-eared idol dug up in 1990s at Glauberg, Germany

Even if it's in black-and-white, and even if the Glauberg torc isn't crimson, does it not look virtually identical to Verne Andrusiek's drawing of the Crimson Corona, aka the Mind of Sapiendev, one of the thrice-cursed Godly Glories? It does to me; hence why I whipped up the appended collage.

As for the wooden warrior or idol dug up at the same site, it immediately brought to mind Rabbit the Wise, a recent entry on this very page. The article, which also contains a full-frontal shot of the Keltenfürst (Celtic Prince), suggests the ears are on his helmet and that they're meant to represent mistletoe leaves.

Nonsense, they're not on his helmet; they're on his head. Helios must have developed fat rabbit ears while he was on the Moon in 1980, possibly as a consequence of being enchanted by the aforementioned Moon Rabbit. Then, after his 100th death knocked him backwards in time to 5th Century BC, Celtic Germany, he got himself turned into wood and buried alongside the Crimson Corona, become gold.

Of course you'll have to pick up the book, e-book or PDF of "Helios on the Moon" in order to determine for yourself if I'm not just making this up. It should be out sometime in the Spring of 2014.

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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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Autumn 2013

Rabbit the Wise?; Seriously Psycho Stuff; Telepathy Can Kill; Grossness in Hawaii and in England; Stem Cell Slop; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Fall 2013

If the Walrus was Paul, was the Rabbit Helios?

(BTW: In case you didn't realize it the titular reference is to the John Lennon song "I am a Walrus". It came out on "Magical Mystery Tour" in 1967 and remains one of the few Beatles' tunes I still play at home, as opposed to hear on the radio.)

Serendipitously (what else?), the day after I finally get the innards and outers for "Nuclear Dragons" uploaded to my chosen Print on Demand (POD) printer's website, I spot this on the Free Dictionary:

Looks like a rabbit working on the moonRabbit working with mortal and pestel on the moonThe Moon Rabbit in folklore is a rabbit that lives on the moon, based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the moon as a rabbit. The story exists in many cultures, particularly in Aztec mythology and East Asian folklore, where it is seen pounding in a mortar and pestle. In Chinese folklore, it is often portrayed as a companion of the moon goddess Chang 'e, constantly pounding the elixir of life for her; but in Japanese and Korean versions, it is just pounding the ingredients for rice cake.

The link is here. It comes with a couple of graphics that I've glommed for illustrative purposes. The mockup cover for Nuke-Drags is here whereas an ad utilizing the finished Ian Bateson cover is here.

(Double-click any of the images in this entry in order to enlarge in a separate window.)

As for why a rabbit on the moon is serendipitous with respect to Nuke-Drags (not Nuck-Dregs, that's here), as is my wont I included a bonus chapter at the end of the book for the next proposed novel. As you might have guessed, it's "Helios on the Moon".

warpoxAd, art by Ian Bateson, preparation by Jim McPherson(Not that other Helios on the Moon, which I serialized out her in Cyberia back in the late Nineties, or the even earlier Helios on the Moon, the one that featured on the series-titular pHant-side of pH-3, of which more is here. This would be the upcoming third entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle, the one besides Nuke being "The War of the Apocalyptics".)

In order to present the bonus chapter consistently with other relatively recent releases from Phantacea Publications I had to do a mockup cover. You can see it on this very page, in both b/w and colour. It's a slight reworking of Richard Sandoval's cover for aforementioned pH-3. B/w version of Sandoval's cover of pH-3, 1978; rejigged by Jim McPherson, 2013

I rather like it. Especially with the arguably non-cowering, but definitely busty, woman behind the lute-wielding lunar lunatic, it reminds me of pulp art akin to that found on the covers for Astounding Stories and suchlike.

(That's not to say I'll get anyone to recolour this version of it, though I might. Right now I'm more inclined to hire an artist to do an original. Any applicants?)

Colour version of Sandoval's cover of pH-3, 1978; rejigged by Jim McPherson, 2013As for the article itself, I was struck by what famously 'Buzzed' Aldrin had to say in this exchange between Houston and the Apollo 11 crew just before the first moon landing:

Houston: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, there's one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-o has been living there for 4000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported.

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin: Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.

If Houston had said 6000 years, I'd have been seriously spooked. That's because, at least within the Phantacea Mythos, the Genesea or Great Flood of Genesis occurred roughly 6000 years ago, in 4000 BC to be precise.

And, not all that many centuries before that, the Sedonshem was hiding out on, yes, the very Moon Apollo was buzzing towards in 1969. (In terms of Apollo and Helios being the same god, that's nonsense. Apollo was a veritable mouse, a hateful bringer of plague, compared to the always glorious Helios.)

At any rate, according to the article, the Chinese called the moon goddess Chang'e, not Chango, let alone the Bunny Girl. By contrast, her hammering helper goes by either the "Jade Rabbit" or the "Gold Rabbit". Gold suggests the Sun, which in turn suggests Mithras's old drinking buddy, the just-mentioned Helios.

Two of the most confounding, non-godly, but ever-returning Cornerstone Characters in the Phantacea Mythos do not appear to drink an elixir of immortality. They age and die just like regular folks.

cover for pH-3, art by Richard Sandoval, 1978Rather, he does; she's stuck following him around from lifetime to lifetime. They do keep coming back in their late twenties or mid-thirties, though, at the very ages their templates were when they died, if die they did indeed and weren't just, um, you know, transfigured or, as I like to put, God-stuffed.

I am of course referring to the time-tumbling Dual Entities. They generally go by Helios called Sophos the Wise (Heliosophos for short) and Mnemosyne (Miracle Memory, Machine-Memory, Milady Memory or just plain Memory, as in the Hellenic Titans' Queen of the Muses, the Moon to his Sun).

They're out there, too, in "Nuclear Dragons". There being ... well, I've probably said too much already. Check out its back cover blurb, first sentence, third paragraph down, and figure from there.

Note One: The Louvre's banquet scene between Helios and Mithras is here. Mnemosyne is called Luna or Selene in the description. A Silver Signaller named Selene appears in the latter stages of Nuke-Drags. So does, somewhat earlier on, Mnemosyne herself, albeit as Moon's Angel, though longtime pHant-pHans know she's no more angelic than her staff half.

Note Two: There are scads of references to the Dual Entities, either individually or together, throughout the Phantacea websites. Type in either Helios or Memory in the Search Engine at the top of this page to reach many of them.

Note Three: Should one so desire, hit here for dozens of shots of Mnemosyne the Moon Goddess as collected by our pals at world-conquering Google. There was even one from pH-Webworld's companion site (, though the Moon Goddess it links to is Nergal Vetala, not Miracle-Memory. Hey, despite what many believe, Google isn't perfect.

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Are Brain Bags next?

They're at it again, those dastardly scientists. Attempting to prove that even more non-Godstuff in Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos isn't altogether unusual or even fantastical. First consider this line from page 59 of the graphic novel, "Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade":

Spoiler Alert

As the Byronic Nucleus leaves Damnation Isle, a blob of brainy tissue, hidden in the crags, continues palpitating not quite oblivious to all else.

... from "Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade"

Now consider this, from the BBC Online ( The article is entitled: "Miniature 'human brain' grown in lab". The writer is listed as: James Gallagher, Health and science reporter, BBC News. Great pictures as well.

Prof Paul Matthews, from Imperial College London, told the BBC: "I think it's just mindboggling. The idea that we can take a cell from a skin and turn it into, even though it's only the size of a pea, is starting to look like a brain and starting to show some of the behaviours of a tiny brain, I think is just extraordinary.

"Now it's not thinking, it's not communicating between the areas in the way our brains do, but it gives us a real start and this is going to be the kind of tool that helps us understand many of the major developmental brain disorders."

The team in Vienna do not believe there are any ethical issues at this stage, but Dr Knoblich said he did not want to see much larger brains being developed as that would be "undesirable". Dr Zameel Cader, a consultant neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said he did not see ethical issues arising from the research so far.

He told the BBC: "It's a long way from conscience or awareness or responding to the outside world. There's always the spectre of what the future might hold, but this is primitive territory."

Mindboggling? Extraordinary? Undesirable? Primitive? Saul Ryne, the Magnificent Psycho (though in "Nuclear Dragons", he pronounces a preference for 'Magnifico'), would agree with the first two, not the last two, at least with reference to himself.

As for why this qualifies as a Serendipity Now entry, well, I was resizing pHRev1:DB for about the fourth time when I came across the above quote and couldn't resist adding it to the List.

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Turkish Psycho -- Did Saul Ryne survive Nuclear Dragons, Too?

The heading's 'too' reference is to the next entry down.

Saul Ryne is Cerebrus's twin brother. His supra codename, if you could call it that, is 'the Magnificent Psycho'. Rather, it was, up until Xmas 1955. He's back -- or was back, as of very late November 1980.

He earned his codename. He hates it. He's psychotic. He's also psy (psi) or psionic; a mentat, or whatever le mot du jour is nowadays. He appears, in all his murderous magnificence, in "Nuclear Dragons".

To put it gratefully to many, he's not precognitive. (Not even Shining Ones - devils or little gods - are precogs.)

“Wrong, dear countess,” proclaimed the young man, a few hours earlier. “You may now address me as Magnifico!”

“Don’t be so pompous, Ryne,” challenged Ramona Avar. “Magnifico, my royal Hungarian ass. It’ll be Saul or Psycho. Which do you prefer?”

He simply smiled. Lady Guillotine screamed, fell to her knees in shock and promptly passed out. “That’s for your insufferable egotism, Ray ...

... from "Nuclear Dragons", Part Two: The Strife Virus

And to think they were once lovers.

Be it Saul, Psycho or Magnifico, he gains a much cherished entry in Serendipity Now because of this, from BBC's News from Elsewhere. It's entitled: Turkey: Telepathy 'linked to deaths'.

"Telepathy could have been used to compel four young Turkish engineers to kill themselves, it's been suggested.

"... Included ... was a study by a neuropsychologist, Nevzat Tarhan, who asks prosecutors not to disregard the possibility of telepathy causing severe distress and headaches in the victims."

In terms of Nuke-Drags' Pantin' Panther and Aunt Jemina's owner/shooter on Damnation Isle in December 1980... well, 'nuff said.

Other Serendipity Now entries on the Magnificent Psycho under any name are here and here. He's referred to here and is also quoted serendipitously on pHantaBlog here.

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Did Alfredo Sentalli survive Nuclear Dragons and move to London?

ad for Nuclear Dragons utilizing Ian Bateson's 2013 front cover, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013Centauri Island cover for Phase One Project, Ian BatesonSo, a couple of days after I wrote the Cellular Savouring piece for Serendipity, this appears on BBC's Newsbeat: "Britain's biggest 'fatberg' removed from London sewer". It comes with a video and a message: "Bin it, don't block it". (Which strikes me as applicable worldwide.)

The video notes where the water company disposed of it but I couldn't help wondering if lashings of fatberg (word no doubt inspired by non-lettuce iceberg) couldn't have been better employed to flavour the stem cell burger discussed below.

I also couldn't help but think of His Enormity, aka the Fatman, a grossly overweight obesity from not just (the still upcoming) "Nuclear Dragons".

(Double-click image to the left in order to enlarge an ad prepared by utilizing Ian Bateson's completed, 2013 front cover. An earlier mockup is here. Image on right can also be double-clicked. It looks like it was intended for the ill-fated Phantacea Phase One project. Ian Bateson's original sequence for pH-7 is here.)

Alfredo Sentalli was slightly over six feet tall and weighed much more than four hundred pounds. He was swarthy, pink-faced, and artistically goateed, though that tuft of fur was largely lost in his massive cheeks and multiple chins. Fifty-three and balding, what he’d lost up top, in terms of hair, he had gained down below, in terms of size. His head was almost as bloated as his body. Notwithstanding first impressions, it was filled with intelligence, not fat.

He disdained exercise so much so he unapologetically designed, and had built, an electronic wheelchair – one adapted from a battery-powered golf cart – specifically to his accommodate his crippling girth. Getting around took less effort that way, don’t you know. He professed never to worry about his physical condition, let alone his heart; claimed his ‘internal health’ freed him from such petty concerns.

Beer was by far and away his favourite elixir vitae. He called it the incredible thinking fluid and of necessity, being the boss, he thought a lot.

... from "Nuclear Dragons", Part One: Indescribable Defiance

Since "The War of the Apocalyptics" been out for a number of years by now, I don't mind telling you that, by his 'internal health', the Fatman's referring to Thrygragos Byron, one of Phantacea's cornerstone characters since Day One and whose shell he willing acts as early on in Nuck Drags.

However, I hasten to add that the heading should not be taken to mean he didn't survive Crystallion, Hell's Horsemen (or 'horsemeat', as a blogger preferred) and their atomic firedrakes. As for the latter's poop, well, it'd be irresponsible to spoil a reader's (future) enjoyment wouldn't it.

As for calling him Lord Lard, that didn't so much not occur to me when I was writing it as, at least in terms of the Phantacea Mythos, it was already taken by Baaloch Hellblob, aka Lord Lazy, Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck, who's actually quite a good cook.

Everyone's favourite little trickster (Hush Mannering, not Auguste Moirnoir) comes close, though:

Spoiler Alert

“The latter two, King Cold and his Crimson Queen, are either yours or your namesake’s parents, Goddess. They had always rebelled from Mithras – so, perhaps, you are not as bad as the rest of the Mithradites. That does not mean I can trust you; does not mean that Daddy Lardass can’t trust you either. How did you come to be here?”

Thalassa didn’t like her tone, but there was no denying something rather fundamental wasn’t right about the situation in which she found herself.

... from "Nuclear Dragons", Book Two (or Three) of the Launch 1980 story cycle

BTW, the Thanatoids of Lathakra, so pivotal to so much of the action that takes place in Feel Theo, War-Pox, "The Death's Head Hellion" and "Goddess Gambit", don't appear in Nuck Drags.

An earlier Serendipity Now entry on Centauri Island is here

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Cellular Savouring

It's just past Lunasa or Lughnasadh Day, so that makes it autumn according to this from the Free Dictionary:

Lammas is a Neo-Pagan holiday, often called Lughnasadh, celebrating the first harvest and the reaping of grain. It is a cross-quarter holiday halfway between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon). In the northern hemisphere, Lammas takes place around August 1 with the Sun near the midpoint of Leo in the tropical zodiac, while in the southern hemisphere Lammas is celebrated around February 1 with the Sun near the midpoint of Aquarius. On the Wheel of the Year, it is opposite Imbolc, which is celebrated on February 2 in the northern hemisphere, and late July / early August in the southern hemisphere.

(NOTE: Even though it's off-topic, one wonders if Litha, which I'd never heard of until I copied and pasted the above, comes from Primeval Lilith, a frequent contributor to so much of the nastiness that goes on in the Phantacea Mythos. Will additionally note that Midsummer's Day is the Summer Solstice. In not just my view, it wouldn't be called Midsummer's Day if it was Start-Summer's Day.)

Harvesting food for the future in mind, here's a headline from CBC Online: World's 1st lab-grown burger cooked and eaten. Here's much the same from BBC Online: What does a stem cell burger taste like?. Clearly, in what's still summer to many, this is what passes for big news. Wouldn't want to upset the celebrity-obsessed selfies and emu-emulating navel-gazers who feel threatened by real news -- not that you get real news from the MSM.

Or MSG from the master chefs hired by one of Google's co-founders (Sergey Brin) for this self-proclaimed publicity stunt: "... which for Monday's event was seasoned with salt, egg powder and breadcrumbs. Red beet juice and saffron were added to help the burger look more meat-like; [Mark Post, the Dutch scientist who led the team that grew the meat from cattle stem cells,] said the lab-made patty had a yellowish tinge." (Is this what the Simpsons eat?)

All of which brings us to this quote from "Feeling Theocidal", which takes place on a single Mithramas Day in 4376 YD (376 AD):

Because the Sarpedons coexisted with devils, as well as Minoan humans in their third of the Island [of Crete], once their descendants began returning to the Inner Earth, starting around the midpoint of the Head’s 4th Millennium, Cabalarkon’s purebloods disenfranchised them.

Their Warriors Elite had been using the coercive qualities of their eyeorbs to keep the so-called Sarpedon underclass successfully enslaved ever since. Machines salvaged from their grounded generational ships generated the same edible slop they always did but fresh food wouldn’t be possible without them and even idiots of Weir enjoyed the occasional naturally grown raspberry.

... from "Feeling Theocidal"

I'm not saying pre-Earth Utopians used stem cells to feed themselves throughout their roughly two hundred thousand (light) year stellar journey to the Whole Earth, or that their Inner Earth descendents in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon -- rather, their version of old Weir's Mother Machine -- used suchlike technology to manufacture meals on a daily basis, but, hey, it saves making up what they did use.

BTW, it seems technology has been steadily progressing such that pretty soon we'll be able to eat and drink just like a Utopian, which is to say badly. Here are a sample of Serendipity lynx re inevitably heading towards replicating Weir's Mother Machine: On Blimps and Brains in Boxes; Cerebrus Now; Still searching for the secret to the Signallers' Silver; Did Edenites or Utopians make the Antikythera Mechanism and Sprinkles as Utopian crud.

All the more so given that St Augustine's feast day's coming up later on in August, which presumably wasn't named after him, and that he's the patron saint of brewers, there's also a particularly apropos one on pHantaBlog: More Mother Machine comes to Earth.

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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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Summer 2013

Sssh, mustn't mention pagan gods are still around; Oh, come on BBC, get fanciful; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Summer 2013

Demios Sarpedon's Pagan Secret - and it isn't the Wheel of the Year

For Vancouver we had some wonderfully pleasant weather at the beginning of May this year (2013).

  1. More than a few folks remarked that it was just like summer. (They probably hadn't been in town very often during the last couple of summers.)
  2. Others happily mused that it sure beat the rain, which was undeniable; not to mention moot. What doesn't beat near constant rainfall?

As to the second, it didn't last. Sunshine never does in this blighted burg in the midst of probably the biggest rain forest left on the planet; not for more than a week or two at a time, it doesn't. As for the first, that's because, duh, it was summer.

For proof that May Day is the first day of summer, and May or Beltane Eve (Witch Night) marks the end of the spring season, I always refer to Shakespeare vis-à-vis the Summer Solstice. It isn't called Midsummer's Day because it's Start of Summer Day. But there's more to it than that.

Readers of "Goddess Gambit" know the Sarpedon Family (Morgianna, Demios and daughter Andaemyn) did not have the best early mid-winter at the beginning of Tantalar, Year of the Dome 5980. Readers of "The Death's Head Hellion" know that the Sarpedons were a Utopian underclass in 4825 YD.

In fact, as per here, Thrygragos Lazareme made an, um, serendipitous discovery on Midsummer's Eve in that year. Hence all the excuse I needed to make this an entry in Serendipity Now.

Demios Sarpedon makes an interesting observation while flying over Damnation Island in the beginning of December 1980. As per here, it survived the cut and will find its way into "Nuclear Dragons" when it's released:

Regardless of whether it was Morg and her Athenans’ doing, Strife once again went into forced retirement; presumably, though hardly for the first time, irrevocably. Perhaps because of her loss, that September Jesus Mandam called for a colloquy of supras to be held in Vancouver Canada on the upcoming Equinox.

(Demios found it curious how often the quarter and cross-quarter days of the eight-armed Sun Cross – symbolic of the Wheel of the Year pagan calendar – became significant dates in the 17-year, not-to-him Secret War of the Supranormals. A lot of that probably had to do with the pagan gods, though that was something else neither he nor Morg bruited about out here.)

... from "Nuclear Dragons", Book Two (or Three) of the Launch 1980 story cycle

As I write this, I'm in the process of editing (call it reducing, for that's the main aim of the exercise) Nuke-Drags. It'll be the last time before finally moving it over to In Design and hence into a printable as well as e-readable PDF.

(There's a spate of stuff that won't find their way to the PDF on the Nuck-Dregs page here. The entries are still valid but they're soooo wordy. The mockup cover, below, prepared over Ian Bateson's b/w original intended for pH-7 should serve as a hint as to who is in the process of colouring same for Nuke's cover. Thankfully, he'll also be doing the back cover, though the text probably won't change.)

Look out below!

- Nuclear Dragons are on the way -

Mockup cover for "Nuclear Dragons", prepared by Jim McPherson, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980

Double-click to enlarge; back cover text is here; Ian Bateson's original sequence for pH-7 is here; a b/w version of the cover intended for Phantacea Seven is here; another iteration of the same cover is here

It's a few weeks following May Day (aka Beltane, the night before's a bonfire night sometimes called Walpurgis Nacht or, especially in the Phantacea Mythos, Witch Night.) The rain's falling again; worse, the temperatures are back into the mid to lower teens Celsius.

It occurred to me I better make a note about the pagan Wheel of the Year somewhere on pH-Webworld. So I looked it up online and found this. (It double-clicks.)

NOTE 1: Demios wouldn't have used Mabon Day to refer to the Autumnal Equinox because, according to the article, the word wasn't even coined until around 1970.

NOTE 2: He might, however, have reflected on it as Michaelmas Day if only because, as per here, early Christians associated the Archangel Michael with Varuna Mithras.

NOTE 3: Did, as per here, a ditto with St George. Did so because, apparently, Mithras strove against Ahriman or Aryanman just as George did the Dragon and Mike did Satan.

NOTE 4: There's a collection of lynx to what others make of Mithras and Mithraism on the Online Bibliography page here

Pagon wheel of the year, from Wikipedia

Reckon I'm going to date the summertime entries in Serendipity Now accordingly, from Start May to End July, from now on.

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That's Pareidolia, not Paranormal nor even Paraphernalia

Bollocks BBC, it's fay (never to be confused with fey).

Much to my personal amazement (since I'm susceptible to the phenomenon ), I've never heard the word before. Seems it's legit, though.

Pareidolia = a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.

Serendipity Now has a few of them: Sed's Head on the Giza Plateau in Egypt for 4500 Years; Helios on Mars; and, perhaps most remarkably of all, An Actual Eye-Mouth in the Sky. The cliff heads here and here are just as interesting, all the more so since I took the shots.

Years and years ago I put up a bunch of images of House Heads. (Never got around to bringing it back but, just in case I ever do, the lynx will be here and here.)

Still up is the Faeries and phantacea page. I'm particularly fond of the clothes shot and this mouthy rock formation. A couple of the faeries caught in trees are either in my yard or across the street.

The Faeries page illustrates my basic point: The BBC must stand for Baloney, Balderdash and Cobblers, Claptrap or plain old Crap. Why else try to rationalize suchlike delightful niftiness. Sometimes faeries do get stuck in trees or cliffs or clouds or even on Mars, though that was Heliosophos, the Male Entity.

Along with Miracle Memory, his much prettier distaff half (aka the Female Entity, whose given name is Mnemosyne, after the Titanic Moon Goddess and mother of the nine Muses), they are clearly stuck on a BBC page entitled: Pareidolia: Why we see faces in hills, the Moon and toasties.

It's here and, as a public service, its shot of (what may be) the Entities smooching is reproduced right here (where from it double-clicks to enlarge in separate window):

Green Entities, taken from BBC

So what makes this article worthy of a Serendipity Now entry? The Google Connection answers that. Phantacea Publications just made all three mini-novels comprising "The Thousand Days of Disbelief" freely available for reading on Google Books. The lynx are here, here and here.

German design studio Onformative is undertaking perhaps the world's largest and most systematic search for pareidolia. Their Google Faces program will spend the next few months sniffing out face-like shapes in Google Maps.

Google Faces will scan the entire globe several times over from different angles. So far the program has pinpointed an eerie profile in Russia's remote Magadan Oblast region, a fellow with hairy nostrils next to Priory Road in Ashford, Kent, and a mangy creature in the mountains of Alaska, among others.

It's certainly not the first to uncover faces where they don't actually exist.

Bollocks again, BBC. Of course they exist. How could you see them if they didn't?

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

In keeping with advice given myself earlier this Summer here are some lynx to a selection of Serendipity-style entries from May, June and July 2013

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Spring 2013

Assassination by Asteroid -- Not; That's MIVILUDES to you; Catching up with Old Weir's Mother Machine 2; Raven's Head Beer Mug; Clothing Sea Goddess; Modern Day Sun-Runners; pHully pHormed on pHantaBlog Spring 2013

Celestial Slingshot

Occasionally I come across material that is so outlandish, so far out there, yet so near to notions propagated in the Phantacea Mythos, which is supposed to be pure fantasy, that I can't resist noting them in Serendipity Now.

Consider this extract from the 2005 Revision of "The Trigregos Gambit". It's still online; plus, with virtually nothing in the way of substantial changes, it also made it to the final cut of "Goddess Gambit".

The speaker is Smiler, aka all sorts of things, including Bad Rhad. He's telling some of his incredible story to Jordan Tethys, the legendary 30 Year Man. They've come together on Sraddha Isle in early Tantalar 5980. The other 'we' he's talking about is Pyrame Silverstar. Tethys has accused the never-remembered fiend of being Sedon's Stooge.

(Myself, I've always thought of Smiler as Sedon's Surrogate; perhaps even Sedon himself, when he's become so bored with being a mighty Eye-Mouth in Sky that he sends an aspect of himself downstairs to cause trouble.

(Then again, what do I know? I'm only the writer/creator of the Phantacea Mythos.)

On the Headworld our court is in Grand Elysium, what’s now Pettivisaya, the City of Wailing Souls, in the Ghostlands. In time we divided our court on the Outer Earth between the twin cities: my Sodom and her Gomorrah.

Ironically enough we’re both happy, Sedon and I, he in the Night’s Sky and me down here, in a share-and-share-alike manner of speaking. So maybe I do become his surrogate. Or his stooge, if you wish to call me that. As you might expect, I have a different perspective.

Consider our relationship as follows: his is the heavenly kingdom whereas mine is the earthly kingdom. That’s certainly how I thought of it. And she’s as content as we are; maybe even more so. Because she’s the Perpetual Presence whereas we both need and cherish her.

And that remains our situation for damn near two millennia. Then the Unities come time-tumbling back into our ever-linear time-space. Then they seek to assassinate us, they with their tri-peaked asteroid, their Trans-Time Trigon.

... from the 2005 version of "The Trigregos Gambit"

Now consider this. It's from what's become Serendipity's Old Faithful, the Fortean Times (2013 Special - FT300). The title of the article is "Meteoric messages?". The writer is Thomas N Hackney.

By the way, a bolide is meteoric fireball. It's similar but way bigger than a blazing skull, the likes of which both Mars Bellona and Nakba Ramazar fire off during "The War of the Apocalyptics" or as depicted, particularly in the case of Headless Ramazar, in the graphic novel "Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade".

"Is somebody trying to tell us something?

"The Chebarkul meteor [of 15 February 2013] ... was the largest bolide to bellyflop into the planet's atmosphere since 1908 [the Tunguska event].

"... [It] packed about as much explosive energy as several Hiroshima type bombs.

"The very idea that these events were 'messages' [from extraterrestrials] would have seemed utterly ridiculous ... [but] nobody died and ... the 15 February events were captured on film by a large number of automated video recorders. [Which explains the flight path.]

"... [Possible conclusion:] "They were [deliberate] actions ..."

Leaving aside the reference to the Tunguska event of 1908 (which pHant pHans should recall was Trans-Time Trigon returning to the Whole Earth for the start of the Dual Entities' 11th lifetime together), let alone the reference to the Hiroshima A-Bomb explosion of 1945 (which was when OMP-Akbar appeared on the Outer Earth), surely even someone name Shirley can nevertheless appreciate why I count sighting this article as serendipitous.

Evidently, if the FT writer's right, the Dual Entities aren't the only ones who like to send messes in a bolide. (BTW, apologies to whoever wrote The Police song about that message in a bottle.)

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Zero Public Tolerance for Supranormals in France -- Still?

A moderately odd sequence, its cover story in fact, entitled 'Apocalypse Not' in the same issue of Old Faithful (2013 Special - FT300) brings to mind another phantacea staple: namely, how the eventual Damnation Brigade became the Last of the Supranormals and ended up in what they called Limbo for a quarter century.

Recall that supras are called deviants on the Inner Earth of Sedon's Head then recall that, after KOC eliminated the last supras but for themselves in 1955, it became their turn. Note now the translation of a French governmental department that exists to this day: 'Mission interministerielle de vigilance et de lutte contre les derives sectaires' (MIVILUDES).

I did not make that up, though presumably the French did. It's straight out of the article. According to FT 300 it means: 'Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviance'.

So, being a Great Power (at least in their minds), did the French collaborate with the USA and USSR in 1955's failed effort to rid the world of supranormal deviants on Damnation Island?

They certainly knew about them since Satan St Synne exposed his daughter Sophia's family to the devaray (aka the devil-ray) in Vichy back in 1943. (Thalassa D'Angelo (maybe also Thanatos) is Sea Goddess; Hush Mannering is the little trickster known as Young Life on the Inner Earth; His Enormity isn't either Alpha Centauri or Alfredo Sentalli, he's an homunculus.)

“And our SOS wasn’t the Society of Saints, Sea Stuff. Not the first one, recall.”

That took Thalassa aback. Then she too broke into a huge grin. Like her adoptive aunts, sisters and nieces to this day, like Mnemosyne, Gloriel, Claudia and Belificent in their days, when a female D’Angelo smiles the heavens alight. “The Sorority of Sausages. I’d forgotten about them.”

Then her visage darkened, as if remembering what had happened to many of them over the succeeding years. Hush braced herself for the storm. “Of course I did, didn’t I?”

His Enormity caught the reference immediately. “You wiped her.”

“And un-wiped her,” Hush protested. “Any number of times.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt that,” snarled Sea. No tsunami ensued, though. Instead, like a calming side eddy off a raging river, she jumped back onto her original train of thought. “Vichy France 1943, five years after the Sausages had their lone outing against Count Molech and his genie, that unmitigated old satyr Sedon St Synne, the legitimate D’Angelos’ grandfather, hit almost everyone in our immediate family with his devaray. It set some of the others off on their supra careers but it only increased our abilities.”

“Enough to survive twenty-five years unaged?” wondered Sentalli-Centauri.

“A lot more than that,” Thalassa put to him.

... from "Nuclear Dragons", Book Two (or Three) of the Launch 1980 story cycle.

Then there was the never-noted fate of Clair du Lune (Camille Dugas) from the Heliodyssey series of novels set just before the outbreak of World War Two. Did the French do in one of their own for perceived deviancy?

"Up here!" shrieked a voice from topside. It was Will Tombstone. When they reached the upper deck it looked like it was too late. A distant figure, had to be Camille Dugas, was floating high into the sky.

"I'll get her," volunteered Aires. Sundown clamped a hand on his shoulder. The Aerod did not appear, his skin did not change to blue, he did not become his element.

"What's that?" shouted his twin sister.

What it was, appeared to be anyhow, was a huge bird, a grey eagle, flying towards Camille. Then a perhaps even more amazing thing happened. With its beak, it took hold of the lofting-away Summoning Child's clothes and flew her back towards the ship.

Whereupon Sundown, letting go of Aires, took her by the ankles, hauled her down and pinned her the deck. The eagle took off ...

... from the synopsis to Odd 10: Supras Awakening

As for the article itself, it tells of the extraordinary measures MIVILUDES took on the urging of the Mayor of Bugarach, a man whose last name was Dulord. (And no, I didn't make that up either.) Apparently 'concerned by the resurgence of paganism and ... growing spiritualism ..., [he] let it be known that if any more freaks blew into town he would called in the Army.' And he did.

It was called, howsoever disgustingly, "Operation Controlled Freedom". As for what it entailed, I'll leave it to you to track down the article but it's very scary. The 'most pointless, policing exercise the Languedoc had ever seen [was] a resounding non-event that cost the French taxpayer hundreds of thousands of Euros'.

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Serendipitous Stuff this Season on pHantaBlog

Winter 2012/13

Theo's (and Saudi Tethys's) Pteradonna Depicted; Mythos Mag 2006/12; the Disappearing Island; Catching up with Old Weir's Mother Machine; Pope still doesn't say Merry Mithramas; on pHantaBlog

Feel that Pteradonna

I'm always on the lookout for character likenesses. Usually they're shots I've taken or drawings made for Phantacea by various pHartists over the decades I've been doing this. I also scan stuff in from books or magazines, or even download from the web, but these I mostly I keep in files for future reference. Once in a while, though,the likeness is so bang-on I can't resist putting them online.

This entry is one such:

Night Raven, by Richard Svensson, from Fortean Times 296“Jotan!” sputtered Ute Tethys, between heaves. Even when they were wholly swan maidens, ravens cawed comprehensibly to Valkyries.

Volsanga née Nibelung heard it too. Responsive to her honk-like blat, her psycho-swan flew out of the Weird. Volsanga was on it and back between-space before anyone had time to react.

Then something else came out of the same interspatial nowhere. It was a psycho-pterosaur, a Terror Donna.

“Sorry, Durga, no nuts,” said Saudi, as her soul-self-animated psychopomp – another reason for the mnemonic, psyche-prompt – gobbled up as well as down Tethys’s body in a couple of gulps.

“Want her to lick the mess off the floor while she’s at it, Hopi? Or should we wait until everybody’s done spewing?”

... from "Feeling Theocidal"

I scanned this fellow in from Fortean Times #296 (January 2013 - p 57). It's attributed to Richard Svensson, who also drew this fellow here. As for whether the fleeing figure might represent Jordan 'Q for Quill' Tethys, I'll leave that up to you.

The Feel Theo quote mentions that 'ravens cawed comprehensibly to Valkyries'. Curiously – hey, this is Serendipity and phantacea, what isn't curious? – according to the article, which is written by Karl Shuker, the grim depicted isn't a pterodactyl. It's a 'nattraven or leharven'.

And what might that mean? Why, 'night raven' of course.

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This Season on pHantaBlog

  • Mythos Mag 2006 (minutely updated for 2012 relevance) — Downloadable PDF posing, among other things, this question: Might that be the Moloch Sedon and his three firstborn in Pharaonic Egypt?
  • The Disappearing Island — Could it be akin to Aegean Trigon?
  • Not just extraterrestrial technology anymore — Could it be akin to the Weirdom of Cabalarkon’s 6000 year old reconstruction of Old Weir’s Mother Machine?
  • Make that Merry Mithramas from now on — Despite what you might have read in Doonesbury, Fox News is massively wrong-headed. (I've never watched it but, then again, from everything I've heard when isn't it?) Hell's Teeth, even the Pope implies Christmas derives from Saturnalia, not the Nativity.
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Winter 2011/12

Auranja-Aurania; pHant's Magdalene; 11,000 year old Utopian; Bosco's Delcourt

The House of Auranja

Consider this for starters:

She (Fisherwoman, Queen Scylla of Godbad in this excerpt) flew in on a contraption (High Priest Thartarre's father) Holgat, who had a talent for technical precision, helped to both design and engineer. It was a prototype whirlybird, the like of which the Godbadian military perfected years later, during the subcontinent’s Civil War. Centauri Enterprises not yet in existence, it was made by one of the aristocracy’s most Outer-Earth-modern companies: Royal Byronic Volant, RBV for short.

Like most members of the imported aristocracy that owned almost everything worth owning in the subcontinent in those days, as CE did now, her husband’s ancestry was Bandradin, meaning his extensive family hailed from the Cattail Peninsula. Nevertheless he, Achigan Auranja, was Godbad’s hereditary king, hence the ‘Royal’. Godbad’s gods, devils that they were, were Byronics, hence that. The Volant part – ‘Volant’ just meant flying – came from PV, Pyçonja Volant [Fish's presumed devic half-mom].

... from Game-Gamibit: 'Freespirit Nihila', the sixteenth chapter of "Goddess Gambit"

Now consider this, as taken from Atlantis Rising #91 (January/February 2012)

After the death of Jesus, his wife Mary Magdalene sailed to France and settled in Tarascon, just south of Gellone (the City of Orange). "Orange was known in antiquity as the Latin Aurania ... But the family of Jesus ... was also called Aurania ... In the original Greek, the name Aurania (or Ourania) referred to the Heavens above ..."

The article then notes that "that same name has been transferred to all things golden — 'aur' in Latin, 'or' in French ... Like King Louis XIV of France, the Ouranian royal family were known as Sun Kings ... The humble orange fruit was the obvious similitude for the sacred Sun itself ... Thus she (Mary Magdalene) invariably wears golden or orange clothes, and she is always depicted with ginger or golden hair.

... Atlantis Rising #91 -- Mary Magdalene and the House of Orange, written by Ralph Ellis

And to think I came up with the name just because it sounded a lot like 'naranja' (Spanish for 'orange') whereas the name Achigan (French for 'bass') just because Fish, who's prawn-prone to spouting 'fishisms', tended to refer to her oft-times estranged husband as 'her big bass-ass'.

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As for pHant's Magdalene

Going back to the Web Serials of bygone years, specifically to the never-completed (online) Vampire Variations, here's a quote from one of its chapter synopses:

A Fino's Mary Magdalene, photographed in Puno, Peru, by Jim McPherson, 1998In life she was Mary Magdalene born Ryne become Mandam (old Joe's wife). As first detailed in Manoeuvres and as repeated, howsoever suggestively and howsoever often, in its continuations (Helioddity and Curse), she died on April 13, 1933. That would be the same day, Good Friday out there, and probably to the second, that Aranyani Nightingale and Gloriella D'Angelo were born in Rome.

That the Magdalene died giving birth to Thea we've already determined. She wouldn't be a lamia if she hadn't. That Thea's was a phantom pregnancy, and the Magdalene had herself a phantom midwife (Granny Garuda) ...

Jesus Mandam may have been her Summoning Child. So too might have been Virginia Mannering. Even though she looked somewhat like her mother, Athena born Kinesis, Barsine Mandam probably wasn't her daughter.

... from the chapter synopsis to "Grave Gravy", the third chapter in "The Vampire Variations" web serial

Barsine, old Joe's Sunshine, during the Heliodyssey story sequences set in 19/5938, appears throughout "Goddess Gambit", which is set in 59/1980. She does so not in her serial-familiar role, however, and, as one might expect from Thartarre's story, which is still online, especially not in the sunshine.

Nevertheless, that she does at all qualifies the following for Serendipity and Phantacea, though it might be more appropriate (given Gambit's arrival on the shelf as of Imbolc aka Candlemas Day) for Synchronicity and Phantacea if there was such a thing.Queen Thea Musa 200 ppi

"But the family of Jesus ... was also called Aurania — for they were the descendents of the Egypto-Persian Queen Thea Muse Ourania ..."

... Atlantis Rising #91 -- Mary Magdalene and the House of Orange, written by Ralph Ellis

Sort of, um, bad-ass-backwards, I'll admit, Magdalene being a descendent of a Thea (meaning 'Goddess'), rather than as the mother of one, but it struck me as worthy of an entry.

All the more so when ones considers the Ryne Family (named after the legendary Rhinegold, supposedly the source of unlimited wealth) considers itself Iraryan (Persian).

As for Egypto-Persian Queen Thea Muse Ourania, she googles, hence the purloined image. Perhaps suspiciously, though, she shows up more usefully as Helena of Adiabene.

(Not to be confused with Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, or Helena Somata, who in phantacea-fact are one and the same. Unless, that is, 4376's Master of Kanin City in Feel Theo was named after Helena Adiabene.)

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Utopians in China

Here's something from 1000-Daze:Cut out of Bosch's Last Supper in Bruges, taken from web

For Bosco it was something else to paint: a three-eyed, dark-skinned, bearded yet shaved-bald god or demigod sitting up there amidst a veritable nimbus of Gypsium glory. He wouldn’t call it ‘The Last Judgement’ but the slimy jerk who sold his best paintings to the Church, for a much bigger cut than he deserved, probably would – after insisting he change Sraddha to Christ of course.

... from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"

I have actually seen Bosch's 'Last Judgement'; rather, there being more than one, I've seen the one attributed to him in Bruges, Belgium. Got right up close to it and snapped some neat details that I'll put online once I acquire more space for my Travels website.

At any rate, hey, Bosco was right. The slimy jerk who acted as his agent did insist he change Sraddha Somata, sitting atop a mushroom cloud on his Brainrock throne, to Christ on high. And it's Sraddha, the Depilated Dand of the Hoodoo Hamlet circa 5476, who inspired this entry.

He's described in the two aspects of 1000-Daze that he appears in ("Contagion Collectors" and "Janna Fangfingers") as being a black-skinned hybrid Utopian, a living god champion of Life itself. He eventually grew a big beard and shaved his head bald. (A style, mostly minus the beard, the Sraddhite Warrior Monks of the phantacea comic book series and 2012's "Goddess Gambit" continue to emulate in the Dome's 60th Century.)

In other words, he's supposed to look like an African or African-descended imam (a Muslim prayer leader). Chinese Red Deer caveman, ca 11k, taken from BBC onlineI've never taken any pictures of such a sort, though there are plenty of them around online.

Which ( is where I saw this in mid-March 2012:

[China's 11,000 year old] Red Deer Cave people have a mix of archaic and modern characteristics. In general, the individuals had rounded brain cases with prominent brow ridges. Their skull bones were quite thick. Their faces were quite short and flat and tucked under the brain, and they had broad noses.

Their jaws jutted forward but they lacked a modern-human-like chin. Computed Tomography (X-ray) scans of their brain cavities indicate they had modern-looking frontal lobes but quite archaic-looking anterior, or parietal, lobes. They also had large molar teeth.

Might they be Utopians, the males black and the females white? After all it was a mere 11,000 years ago and Utopians, they in their millennial ships, had been chasing devils, they on the Sedonshem, throughout the cosmos for many tens of thousand Earth-years before then.

Who's to say they didn't land on the Whole Earth centuries before devils did circa 4669 BC? Not me, that's for certain. It would definitely explain the remnants of some of old Eden's disgraced technology, as depicted in the graphic novel, "Forever & 40 Days -- the Genesis of PHANTACEA", that Golden Age Patriarchs and Anti-Patriarchs were still using way back when.

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Bosco gets his own comic

[INTERRUPTIVE NOTE: As per here and here, in Spain and in phantacea, Bosco's an alias or nom-de-brush used by forever pHant-favourite, and possibly the greatest painter of pure weirdness ever: Jheronimus van Aken.]

Not only that, it's called ...

Wait. Let's first recall this observation made re what went on at the awards ceremony of the 5 Blades Championship of Weir, which was held in the Weirdom of Kanin City on the 21st of Azky, 5456 YD.

In truth, [Harmony's] two immediate brothers [Chaos & Order] were so surpassingly powerful many feared not even Sedon had the clout required to cathonitize them should their rage reach the point where they went at each other unrestrained.

That happened, the Hidden Headworld itself might be terminally endangered. That apprehended, the mere fact they were seen together in Kanin City, let alone seen smiling amidst the same company, was an occurrence noteworthy for its close-to-unprecedented matchlessness.

It must have struck the crowd gathered as a pure wonderment they could look at each other without drawing weapons and spilling blood. Yet, significantly, not to mention retrospectively suspiciously, as if the day’s startling events had been prearranged, ever so callously, heads didn’t instantly fly off shoulders.

Not only that, Harmony being otherwise occupied, they did it again. Then they smiled at each other.

The collective whoosh of relief must have seemed, if not necessarily sounded, cyclonic.

... from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"

Run your mouse of the immediate link in the above blockquote. It goes to a text anchor that has existed out here in pH-Webworld for years, perhaps even a decade or more. The anchor reads 'Lorder', short for Lord Order. So, where were we?

Cover for L'Ordre du Chaos, taken from Delcourt's websiteOh, yes: What's the album called? (Despite their hard covers, suchlike aren't considered books in Belgium.) Answer's "L'Ordre du Chaos — I. Jérôme Bosch"!

It's in French, duh, but as you might have guessed it means 'The Order of Chaos'. (Not sure if there's an Order of Harmony, let alone an Order of Order, in the, um, album but it wouldn't surprise me.)

Vienna Last Judgement, taken from webNow that's a doubly or trebly serendipitous sighting if ever I've seen one. (And I've seen plenty, hence Serendipity and Phantacea.)

I don't read French very well but I couldn't resist buying it. Won't tell you how it ends as I'm not sure myself but I can tell you that it speculates Bosch, his wife (who's mentioned in Contagion, albeit as his wife-to-be), and his brother (who isn't mentioned in Contagion) are involved with the Adamite sect, something I've already addressed in these very pages.

Can also tell you what painting appears at the end. Yep, it's the central panel of 'The Last Judgement', albeit the Vienna version, not the Bruges (which bears his signature or something like it) or the Munich one, which apparently isn't by Bosch after all. (A shame that, as I once took a bunch of detail shots of it, too.)

The scenario is by Damien Perez & Sophie Ricaume. The dessin et couleur is by Geto and the publisher is Delcourt. Read French, want to order it? Don't read French, either, but still want to buy it?

Here's the link:

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Autumn 2010

| The Lunatic British Press | Quill, but no Ring-Gotten Snot-Snake | Pied Piper Daze | Bosch Bits |

Published lunarly, not monthly

I reckon coming across, rather than buying, the other August 2010 issue of Fortean Times (FT 264) qualifies as a serendipitous experience. Partially that's because of what it contains (of which see here, here and here, though there could have been more). Mostly, though, it's because I didn't know it even existed until I accidentally spotted it in the window display of a store I rarely frequent after having already received the first issue of my new subscription. Which also had the cover date of August 2010.

To backtrack somewhat, sometime shortly after mounting the Bad Rhad, Bad Jokes contribution to this page, my favourite web-feature, a few month ago, I finally got around to subscribing to the (I thought) monthly magazine that offers "the world's weirdest news stories" as well as specializes in "the world of strange phenomena", to quote a couple of its cover blurbs.

The first issue, FT 265, which had a cover date of August 2010, had already arrived, and been devoured in a literary as opposed to literal manner. In fact, I quoted from it, as per here, the last time (until this time) that I updated Serendipity Now.

Considering I'm a Canadian used to North American ways, why would I think it existed? I look at dates, not numbers, and I knew I had the August issue at home. So, instead of even looking at it, let alone purchasing it, I went home and checked mine out again.

Yep, August 2010. So why did it have a different cover, of a huge sea serpent rather than of a huge UFO evidently menacing the White House? Mystery noted then relegated to woeful memory no doubt for extinguishments.

A few days or weeks later, near the end of August and with FT466 recently arrived, I noticed the serpentine August 2010 at a different store, one I often frequent. Then more than just the cover registered. Whoa, what's this about Hamelin's Lost Children and Bosch's near death experience. I was still in the process of extracting a second mini-novel from section two of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief" and, well, more on that momentarily.

Point being, I now realize that Fortean Times is published every 4 weeks, which makes for 13, not 12 issues a year. Which also means that what I took out wasn't a yearly subscription but one for only 12 issues; that, furthermore, this year had two August 2010 issues. So there, you dumb Canuck.

For my part, since it publishes lunarly, not monthly, I reckon that what should be on its cover is "the world's weirdest newsmagazine".

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Ringots, not a snot-snake-wheel, for Jordy

Heady Moments is no longer the title of 1000-Daze's opening chapter. Nor is it the opening chapter of "The Death's Head Hellion". It was, and still is, around long before there even was a Hellion, sooth said. Which is also to say it appeared at the end "The War of the Apocalyptics" as a bonus chapter ostensibly taken from the oft-mentioned, but as yet unpublished, "The 1000 Days of Disbelief". Which it was, and is, just isn't its opening chapter anymore.

Svensson cartoon scanned from FT 264, August 2010 issueAmong the tantalizing prospects laid out, so to speak, in War-Pox's last pages was Jordan 'Q for Quill' Tethys, one of the main protagonists of "Feeling Theocidal" (if one can call a perfidious polygamist a protagonist), in bed awaiting his sweetie of recent moment, one Master Morgan Abyss by both name and title.

Someone else appears and in short order Jordy's off dancing the legless limbo again. That someone else was the Devil Himself and he was looking for his millennial babe, Pyrame Silverstar, another of Feel Theo's main characters. (Who must never be confused with a millennial child, one Jordan 'Q for Quoits' Tethys).

Call her Providence; call her the Pauper Priestess; call her as many inoffensive – indeed, mostly complimentary – names as Smiler does in Feel Theo; myrionymous Pyrame, has been the mother of Sedon's Sed-sons for something like 4800 years by then.

[NOTE: Born in the Year of the Dome 5000 (AD 1500), Quoits is, by contrast, more of a mother, um, menace in 1000-Daze. As instigative and hence important as she is, Quoits is also mostly an off-camera character in both Contagion and Fangs.]

Image prepared by Jim McPherson circa 2003/4 for back cover of GambitNot to tell too many tales out of school but Quill Tethys went to the Weirdom of Cabalarkon to present Pyrame with a kibisis full of ringots. (A kibisis is an apparently solely mythical term of dubious providence for a wallet or purse like the magical hold-all almost as myrionymous Athena gave Perseus in the Medusa myth.) She was supposed to lock this kibisis away before it fell into the wrong hands.

As it turns out, that's exactly what it does the moment he handed it to her. Seems Pyrame (who is also called Providence but whose most common first name actually means 'in the middle of the fire', which of course is only appropriate for someone who sleeps with the Devil every year or so) was possessing Master Morg at the time and she, Morg, was ... Well, that would be telling.

Here's a sequence from later on in 1000-Daze:

As if a family heirloom being rightfully passed on, which in a way it was, the latest Legendarian accepted his predecessor’s peaked tweed cap. “I was afraid you were trying to pull a fast one, Squab,” he said, about to stick Rumour’s power focus into a well-worn hole in the cap beside the real feathers of a variety of plucked birdies ...

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second mini-novel extracted from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"

The image is credited to Richard Svensson. It's from FT264, the above-mentioned other August 2010 issue. And, but for the whiskers, doesn't it remind you of Bosch's Wayfarer, the very image I've been using to represent the Legendarian for a number of years now. Has to be Jordy, the quill in the cap gives it away.

The rolling lindorm, well, it may not be a ringot but it's certainly the right shape. As for the snot-snake allusion above that too is from 1000-Daze:

Many of those there couldn’t have been happier. One wasn’t. That one, a ‘dobury’ by the name of Nanapollo, stuck a finger times two into each of the beer-bearers nostrils.

‘Doburies’, sometimes also, mistakenly, known as ‘snot-snakes’, were a lumpy, very much dough-like faerie genus — an anthropomorphic tub of lard bleached white, to supply their most widespread depiction. Polydactyl, they always had too many fingers on, only usually, two hands. Today was one of those unusual days.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second mini-novel extracted from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"
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Rat Catcher's Daze

1592 painting scanned in from Fortean Times 264 that depicts the Rat Catcher of Hamelin, Jordy didn't make it to the front cover of "Contagion Collectors", the second mini-novel extracted from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief" (which I tend to refer to as 1000-Daze, hence the section heading).

He did, or does, for "Janna Fangfingers", the third and final mini-novel extracted from Daze, but I'm not putting that online as yet. (Fangs' front cover appears in the mini-novel, as does its opening chapter. Plus, I used the same image for Jordy in the Deviancies collage over in

However, a copy of Jordy's artwork did. That's according to him. It's also as per the image to the right of this paragraph. Which, to quote from Fortean Times 264 (discussed above), is of a "1592 painting derived from the lost window of Hamelin's Market Church".

Relevant text from the very first page of the mini-novel explains its significance within the phantacea Mythos.

“In the year of 1284, on the day of Saints John and Paul, the 26th of June, 130 children born in Hamelin were seduced by a piper, dressed in all kinds of colours, and lost at the calvary near the koppen.”

Front cover for Contagion Collectors, prepared by Jim McPherson 2010/11These words, translated into the Universal Tongue spoken throughout the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head, are recorded in a localized, Outer Earth language on the walls of the so-called ‘Rattenfängerhaus’, or 'House of the Piper', in the German town of Hamelin. The Legendarian knew this because he did the translation.

A decade or two after the events thus recorded, bereaved locals paid an itinerant, yet highly talented craftsman to prepare a stained-glass window commemorating the tragedy in the town’s Market Church. (Obviously having learned their lesson, they paid him properly too, without quibbling.) The artist scratched his name into the bottom right hand corner of the window once he finished it. The name he scratched into it? Jordan Q Tethys of course.

Tethys’s window depicted the piper dressed in multicoloured clothes leading a crowd of kids dressed in white towards the dark, vaguely skull-shaped entrance to a cave within a nearby hill. He reckoned that, even though it was shaped more like a Tholos or beehive than a human head, the word Koppen, meaning just that, head, must refer to that hill whereas the word Calvary, place of the skull, probably referred to the cave’s mouth. Hamelin’s townspeople clearly had an even more vivid imagination than he did.

Although it was now twenty years shy of two centuries after the events he depicted in stained glass, chances were the hill, and the cave within it, still existed. While, at a stretch, the word Koppen might refer to the Head, capitalized, by the time he visited Hamelin it definitely didn’t contain a link to the Hidden Headworld. That it had in 1284 (5284 on the Head) was pretty much a given, he reckoned.

He reckoned as much because he was almost as certain the Pied Piper had a name he never gave to the townspeople. That name wasn’t Tethys. It was Tomcat Tattletail.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second mini-novel extracted from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"

By Serendipity standards this blockquote is rather extensive. It being thus does allow me to provide some no doubt ever-so-significant lynx to other destinations in the just-as-wonderfully-extensive webpages dedicated to Jim McPherson's phantacea Mythos. It does not, however, explain why it qualifies as serendipitous.

That it does comes down to the simple fact that, while I already had the Pied Piper painting on file, I didn't have the Rattenfängerhaus or 'House of the Piper'. Do now, though. Sooth said, I scanned it in from FT 264. Then I incorporated it into cover in place of another hoodoo hamlet shot that, as per here, I took in Cappadocia in 2003.

[Sectional Notes: Both images in this section double-click. The front cover image opens up a window containing the full cover of the non-digest version of Contagion, of which more here. Its back cover blurb is reprinted here. The digest's back cover blurb is here. More on the Bosch bits follows immediately.]

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The Garden of Earthy, not Earthly, Delights and other Bosch bits

Made mention of Bosch's Wayfarer earlier with respect to Jordy's tweed cap. As per here, it's hardly the first time I've, um, cribbed artwork attributed to Hieronymus Bosch or, as per the front cover of the first mini-novel extracted from 1000-Daze, namely "The Death's Head Hellion", by his imitators.

[NOTE: See entries re Magnus Minus here and here for confirmation of that.]

Poster copy of Bosch's Ascent, as shot in Venice by Jim McPherson, 2008Another one, as per here, I cribbed was from The Haywain. In that case, even though I didn't blow it up, I was mostly interested in the daemonic trumpeter, whom I equated with Djinn Domitian (The Masochist). Which, I suppose, would make him more of a devilish trumpeter.

Click over to it or click over to The Last Judgement, one of a number of them, and note please the guy in the clouds. Then note this:

“Up umbrellas,” cried Pusan Wanderlust presciently (unless it was Krepusyl doing the yelling through her, land-sensitively). “It’s going to blow.” All eyes – including APM’s one eye – went to her.

The remarkably recurring fauna was back to having only two of her own but her shepherd’s crook wasn’t that anymore. Neither was it Evenstar’s holy water sprinkler. She’d turned it into an oversized beach umbrella, which she promptly used to shade both her and the Great God [Lazareme].

“So that’s where all the Brainrock went,” muttered Yajur, as he followed suit.

It glowed before it blew but blow it did, it being the hoodoo hamlet’s main mound. Then it was the resultant mushroom cloud that glowed. It didn’t smile fiendishly, though it could have of course — had the god-devil who caused it been more creative or, as far as that went, aware enough to be intentionally indicative as to the true identity of the cupid’s boss and APM’s not entirely demonic bogey man.

As for that god-devil, he was surmounting it; sat in a somehow airborne throne surrounded by a luminescent corona.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second mini-novel extracted from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"

Said quote (admittedly abbreviated and ameliorated, with plenty of distracting lynx, for the sake of suspense) isn't the serendipitous entry, however. It's what happens afterwards, which I'm not going to altogether quote here and now either.

What I am going to quote from, yet again, is FT 264; this time with respect to the background for Contagion's front and back cover in both versions of it.

[NOTE: The article's writer is given as Sophie Stoll, which in itself is sort of serendipitous since Metowl seemingly appears a couple of times in Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights. A couple of times that I've so far noticed, that is — double-click here and on Bosch's Juggler for verification.

[As I may have mentioned either elsewhere or already, Metowl is what Metisophia, a second-born Lazaremist, the Legendarian's devic half-mom, eventually becomes just prior to the beginning of Hellion's narrative.]

Angelic beings bearing aloft the souls of the recently departed; a tunnel linking this world with another; ending in a blaze of light; an all-pervading sense of peace and calm; and the hint of another reality, just out of sight.

Two images sugesstive of ringots, one by Marmion, the other by Bosch, both done pre-1500 ADAll of these features are familiar to us as 'core' features of a Near-Death Experience (NDE). Yet all of them can be found in a painting over 500 years old: Hieronymus Bosch's shockingly prescient Ascent into the Empyrean.

How did they get into Bosch's picture given that the concept of ... NDE is less than 40 years old?

Answer to that's obvious to me, Sophie — all the more so when considered from a phantacea Mythos pHact perspective. Too bad for your hypothesis ... because, sorry, it has nothing to do with NDE's. (Which may or may not be a load of, um, bosh anyhow.)

"A tunnel linking this world with another" is pretty perspicacious of you, however.

As for this bit ...

There is evidence to suggest that Bosch was a member of the Adamite cult from around 1486 ... The Adamites, or the 'Brotherhood of the Free Spirit', believed that they were the incarnation of the Holy Ghost and that through its power they could reach a state of high spirituality.

For verification of this statement, she cites L. Dixon: Bosch [Phaidon 2003]. However, W. Bosing: "The Complete Painting of Hieronymus Bosch" [Taschen 2006] states that "the last certain reference to this group ... appears at Brussels in 1411."

Then again, the authors of Bosch [D.R. Books London, 1976] state that "Erasmus ... went to ‘s-Hertogenbosch [Bosch's hometown, in 1484] and spent some not very happy years as a member of the Brothers of the Free Spirit".

An extract from Bosch's Garden of Eartly Delights featuring owl-conjoined human dancers wielding fruitSo, who can say one way or the other? Other than the know-it-all, but accounted-humourless, Librarian (Biblio Drek, one of 4-Ever's narrators), that is.

In 5475 YD (1475 AD), Drek participated in a conversation with Kanin City's higher ups about some intercepted and, um, highly entertaining artwork. It was sent by Squiggly Tethys and intended for his beloved, Janna Somata, the deviant half-daughter of Thrygragos Lazareme and his firstborn Unity, the ever-exquisite Harmony.

Decades ago now, 30-Beers came back from one of his, at the minimum, once a lifetime jaunts to the Outer Earth. Upon his return, Legendarian told Librarian about an oddball sect of hedonistic monotheists. To understate it somewhat, their interpretations of the outside world’s so-called Bible, the Book of Byblos, were highly unusual for the priest-plagued, religiosity-repressed times in what many of those beyond the Dome called Europe.

“Which brings me back to these Adamites. Who I now recall Jordy telling me called themselves the Brethren of the Free Spirit. Who in turn, funnily enough, is often called the Holy Ghost, as if he was actually once alive. Like I said, they’re dead ignorant of anything that isn’t explicitly stated in what’s left of their Bilge of Byblos, a word that refers to paper or papyrus as well the Levantine city not all that far from Sedon’s Sidon.

“It seems that, in this ignorance of theirs, they fabricated some nonsensical notion of a perfect world that existed in the non-Edenite Garden of Eden before the fall of the first and, to them, not-at-all-hypothetical Adam and Eve. They fancy it an Age of Innocence and, in seeking to imitate it, they indulge in all sorts of sexually promiscuous activities.

“I’m more than surprised to see them still at it, though. I can say that because, again according to Jordy, they reckoned they could rut merrily away, without the risk of disease or pregnancy. They additionally reckoned, almost as an article of faith, that they could do so endlessly, till-death-do-us-stop sort of thing.”

“Kind of like you constantly having it on with my Janna, Abe,” smirked the fifth one there, Datong Harmonia, the Unity of both Balance and Panharmonium. [She's speaking directly to another devil there, Unholy Abaddon, her immediate brother, the Unity of Chaos.]

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second mini-novel extracted from "The Thousand Days of Disbelief"

That should do it for both FT 264 and the Autumn 2010 instalment of for Serendipity Now ... Except, that is, to say that I'd never come across Simon Marmion's Le Livre des Sept Ages du Monde until this over-and-over-again-highlighted issue of Fortean Times.

(Double-click on Bosch's Ascent of the Empyrean for an enlargement of the Marmion. The rollover is a cut-out from a picture of another cloud guy that I took in Melbourne, Australia. Unfortunately, I neglected to write down the artist's name. Please advise if you know it.)

So, the question begs to be asked: Did the folks behind FT really put it out this issue with phantacea in mind?

If they did, well, that wouldn't be serendipitous. That would be truly extraordinary. (And where's my cut?)

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Summer 2010

| The Smiling Jester | Morgan Abyss as a Vouivre | Tricky Tom as a Hoffman Tail |

Did Bad Rhad Invent Bad Jokes

More to the worrisome (if it isn't serendipitous) point, did I know it when I invented him?

Fanciful gif of Bad Rhad with pipe-like snake and the head of a Costa Rican crater, prepared on PHOTOSHOP by Jim McPherson, 2005Here's how Pre-Theo ends:

Between-space one devil, unless it was the Devil, never imperfectly remembered – due to the fact he was never remembered period, not unless he fully manifested himself, and was perfectly forgotten the moment he vanished – pocketed his Tvasitar talisman, a panpipe. He didn’t smile in satisfaction of a movement well played.

The fiend never stopped smiling!

... from "Feeling Theocidal"

In the next chapter, Helena (Augusta) Somata expresses her distaste for a poor, but nevertheless thought-human, influence on her last living offspring (her first two children Constance, mother of an Attis, and Constantine, a Roman emperor, were long dead by then):

He [George Masterson] swore he’d heeded her desires and ditched Bad Rhad, as she referred to him. She was happy about that. Rhad struck Helena as a godless sybarite and, even if the Hidden Headworld’s gods were mostly fallen angel devils from one of three tribes, she had no use for godless sybarites.

Georgie had taken up with the ever-smiling panpipe-player ostensibly from Apple Isle, Sedon’s Human Eye-Isle, after Mithrant legionnaires ...

... from "Feeling Theocidal"

Unpublished Wraparound Cover prepared for PHANTACEA Phase One by Verne Andru circa 1987.When he appeared in the comic books, I as commonly called him Rhadamanthys as I did either Smiler or the Smiling Fiend. Like so many of my characters, he had a mythological antecedent. In that regard here's an excerpt from a mini-novel released this summer:

Crete was by far the biggest, if not quite the closest landform to Strongyne when Midsummer blew the latter island’s heart into the sky. Approaching paradoxically, for a few hundred years before that happened devils and Utopians living on Crete, as well as Minoan humans on their third of the island, had actually managed to get along comparatively peacefully there.

Along with her much lower-born cousin Pyrame Silverstar, as the radiant Queen Tanith to Dark Sedon’s uncharacteristically smile-happy King Rhadamanthys, the Unity of Balance – having for a significant period strayed from her more customary hangouts in the Far East – claimed a large measure of credit for that. Since Master Devas tended to be tribal exclusivists, their joint success on Crete helped account for their unusually enduring friendship.)

... from "The Death's Head Hellion", the first section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

Which is an extremely long-winded lead in to a very short quote, from Classical Corner #125, as found in the July 2010 edition of Fortean Times (FT 263, if you count them by issue): "Palamedes and Rhadamanthus (sic) were said to have invented jesting." Which in turn led me to ask if I knew it when I invented him.

Sooth said, I can't answer that. As I've remarked many times: 'I'm not losing my memory, it's full.' Put perhaps more accurately, neurologically speaking, I don't intentionally suppress my memories, they just naturally compress -- all too sadly often unto extinguishments.

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Abysmal Heroine

(Double-click images in this section for enlargements of same.)

I did not conceive of "Feeling Theocidal" as Book One of 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' because it seemed like everyone who wrote in the fantasy field was doing trilogies so I better do one too. The fact of the matter is I didn't put it out until I figured I'd already written all three parts of Thrice-Cursed.

A Melusine mer-creature shot a the Met Museum in New York by Jim McPherson, 2009Nor did I publish "The War of the Apocalyptics" because I hadn't as yet finished revising Feel Theo's sequel. Publishing War-Pox first had always been part of the plan forward.

After all, because its, um, apocalyptic ending impacts Book Three (previewed starting here) so crucially, I couldn't very well end the trilogy without it coming out first. However, it then turned out that I couldn't end it without the Death's Head Hellion.

What happened was, when I was re-reading Book Two, a flashback character, one along the lines of the demon-human hybrid named Hecate in Feel Theo, simply wouldn't go away.

Trains keep rolling but my brain, being what it is, keeps roiling. Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of Weir, thusly became the afore-titled Abysmal Heroine in an until-then unscheduled first section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief".

In the late Spring of 2010 a friend wondered if I should take print publications of the phantacea Mythos to a local comicon at the end of August. I hemmed and hawed, as is my wont. I still hadn't hired a cover artist for 1000-Daze and thus wouldn't have anything new to sell. Then I had this notion of accelerated (as in chopped-down) novellas, hence:

“What’ve you done to Silverstar, piscine?”

“First, I’m a Melusine Piscine, and then only maternally. Second, it isn’t Pyrame you care about and we both know it. We also know that I’ve been, um, sharing her company of late. So I shouldn't have to tell you that the tiresome old darling remains something of the intractable, as well as inexplicable, romantic when it comes to you.

“I’m anything but of course; couldn’t be anything but or my butt wouldn’t be in this throne.”

... from "The Death's Head Hellion", the first mini-novel extracted from "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

Web shot of La Vouivre as it appears in the Fortean Times, July 2010Since this is for Serendipity Now, I'll leave it to you to google up Melusine. As per the afore-mentioned July 2010 edition of Fortean Times (FT 263): "Melusine [is] the heroine ... revealed as half-woman, half-snake." Or fish, as in mermaid.

The serendipitous article at hand comes from the same issue. Under the sub-heading of Gallic Monsters, it's entitled 'La Vouivre'. Apparently that translates as wyvern, though the article claims a vouivre is a form of Melusine.

The serpent woman ... is a guardian of treasures, underground telluric currents, and streams ... She lives under ... the Rock of La Vouivre ... on Mont Beuvray [in France's Morvan region] ... On Christmas Eve the rock moves [whereupon] she leaves, and a great treasure is revealed.

On 17 August 1955 a huge doughnut-shaped object was seen hanging over Mont Beuvray ... During the evening ... a beam of light [shone] from the sky "like a lighthouse" ... Aliens, or La Vouivre keeping an eye on her treasure?

Morvan certainly sounds like Morgan, who does admit to none other than the fearsome granddaddy of all devils, the Moloch Sedon himself, that she is half-Melusine, hence the booming Sed-Speak above.

In terms of telluric currents, well, the Hell-Well of the World, in its aspect of Absudyl-Minius, does underlay the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, where she rules as its consensus Master. That by the way, is significant. Plus, Cabalarkon holds no greater treasure than the Undying Utopian, Sed's thought-father, Cabalarkon himself, hence its name. Which, as D-Head plays out, is also significant.

As for Christmas Eve, as per Feel Theo, it's called Mithramas Eve on the Hidden Headworld. As for what Sed's doing in Cabalarkon on Mithramas Day 4824, as also per Feel Theo, he's come there to visit his Daddy Cabby. And impregnate Pyrame with little Sed-sons, it should go without saying.

And guess who's been possessing Master Morg for quite a number of years by then? No need to guess, is there. Ah but, while that may be contextually obvious, who does Pyrame need to hold onto in order to remain solid and not in need of a Tvasitar talisman, although like anyone else she can use them?

In other words, who makes up her daemonic body and has done ever since the early decades of the Dome? Note: I deliberately did not, in pHantacea-pHact, say 'debrained demonic body'.

All of that said anyhow, it was the last paragraph that truly caught my eye -- and qualified the whole piece as a serendipitous sighting.

The Upper Head’s northern lights produced seemingly thousands of eyes staring down at the ground below. Over the course of the six weeks between Midsummer and Lunasa Day, Morgan Abyss, the Master of Weir, scrupulously unnoticed, must have spent hours gazing through a few mobile and truly unreal ones.

One day, a number of starry eyeholes expanded, quoit-like, overtop more than a few designated bull’s-eyes and something else – a whole gaggle of some things else – came through them.

... from "The Death's Head Hellion", the first section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

And that should do it for this session of Serendipity.

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A Murr not a Mora, but a Tomcat nevertheless

Made mention of Tomcat Tattletail a couple of times in the Spring 2010 update of Serendipity Now. Back then I was leaning towards classifying him as a 'mora' rather than an 'iele'.

Having completed my pre-publication review-cum-final-proof of the first and second sections of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief" (which I can now reveal, if you haven't noticed already, are titled "The Death's Head Hellion" and "Contagion Collectors"), I can now state with increasing confidence that he is in fact a ‘lutin mora’, as follows:

The likes of the Librarian might have pointed knowingly then claimed ... Tattletail was  a ‘mora’ or, arguably less accurately, an ‘iele’. Pusan and Evenstar, collectively as one, or individually as two (which they weren't right now), would have been absolutely precise.

They’d have [said] he was a ‘lutin mora’, a faerie type renowned as lovers of wine, women and song who, in their most unguarded moments, had catheads of the non-ship variety.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

Small detail from Hell by Bosch in Venice, taken from WebOnce I finally solved that mini-mystery, I decided to act as my own librarian and start scouring my library of shots taken during various Travels for images I could use out here for Tatty Tom. Came up with quite a few actually -- this Bosch, from the Doge's Palace in Venice, is a definite keeper. (Unfortunately I had to take this shot from the Web, here, since the polyptych was absent due to restoration when I was there in 2008. A Peculiar Perspectives Web feature containing mostly my shots is here.)

While doing so, however, I was perusing the August 2010 issue of old reliable, aka the Fortean Times (FT265, if you're counting), whereupon -- and, yes, altogether serendipitously -- I came across an article on ETA Hoffmann (Fortean Traveller 71: 'The House of Hoffmann'). Hoffman is probably best known for writing the stories that became the basis for Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet and Offenbach's opera Tales of Hoffmann.

Cover of the penquin edition of a novel by ETA Hoffman featuring Tomcat MurrHowever, he also wrote 'The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr'. I'd never heard of this particular Tomcat before so my attention was duly sparked.

In the article he's described as a feline writer who is 'a prime example of bourgeois vanity and pretentiousness'. Which might be interesting if 1000-Daze was set in the 19th Century our time instead of, at its start, a thousand years earlier in terms of the Inner Earth of Sedon's Head (4824/5 YD).

The cover for the Penguin Classics edition is reproduced here. I've taken the liberty of scanning in much the same graphic as found in the FT article. It opens with a double-click.

The double-click is a little more interesting in that there are a couple of goats and a female sphinx down towards its bottom. Aforementioned Pusan Wanderlust is often called 'Goat' when she shows up in phantacea Mythos mosaic novels whereas All of Incain also makes an appearance, briefly, in 1000-Daze (albeit with Pyrame Silverstar's silver-haired head, not Human Memory's dark-tressed neck-nut).

You'll note the quill in both. Now note this:

According to some demonologists ieles (as opposed to the Danq’s dancing leles) are forever scrawny, cat-like horrors nevertheless cursed with an insatiable thirst for blood. As a fairy changeling, Tomcat Tattletail probably wasn’t an iele. He might have been a ‘mora’, however. They had somewhat similar traits and he did sometimes claimed that his devic half-mother was Wintry Moira, Dame Chance.

What definitely was true that was moras were living nightmares. Nonetheless, regardless of whatever sort of faerie-fart he might be, his name probably should have been Tommy Trouble.

Just as unluckily, what it likely was originally was Rumour of Lazareme.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

And that makes this a thoroughly worthy entry for Serendipity Now.

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Spring 2010

| Those darn little gods -- er, make that devils | A different take on Demogorgon | Perhaps the modest beginning of a Utopian-style elixir of longevity |

Devil does mean god after all

I've made mention of this issue many times previously out here in Cyberia. In no particular order, a sample of them can be found here, here, and here.

So I'm trolling through my personal library looking for the name of Cat Creatures such as Tomcat Tattletail, Harmony's capricious heartthrob throughout the first two sections of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief" and there it is ...

But first, how about some tittle-tattle re Tattletail:

Harmony ... was fairly-fairy-fond of fay-saying; had even fallen under the spell of a few faerie farts over the millennia: the to-her-eyes Lazareme-lookalike, Tomcat Tattletail, being the most seductively as well as smilingly repetitive of them.

Had that really been the catty as well as cunning trickster sidling up to them perchance to steal a kiss come midnight? And a lot more than that afterwards, not that it’d be theft by then. Talk about pheromones, he must be part satyr. Come to think of it, he did play panpipes almost as well as he played her.

In a way she could hardly wait. Then she could barely move.

... from "The Death's Head Hellion", the first section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

And if any of that reminds you of a certain ever smiling fiend who featured so prominently throughout 1000-Daze's prequel, "Feeling Theocidal", score one for yourself. (Well, I'll grant you a temptingly tentative one anyhow.)

The book I pulled out is "The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Fairies" (Paper Tiger, 2002). It's written by Anna Franklin and illustrated by Paul Mason and Helen Field. The definition I chanced upon was for 'devil'. Here's part of a spiel contained within it:

The term 'devil' actually means 'little god'. It is often the practise of a new religion to demonize the gods of the old, rival religion. Early Christians denounced the gods and spirits of the old Pagan religions as baneful and identified the old Pagan gods as devils.

I say 'duh' to that, though it as often comes out as: "Hear, hear!"

BTW, the kind of cat creature I was looking for was an 'iele'. However, the more I discover about ieles, the less convinced I am that Tomcat's one. Nowadays I'm leaning towards 'mora' partly, if perchance not primarily, because he claims his devic half-mother is Wintry Moira, Lazareme's Dame Chance. Of course, as one of his presumed deviant brothers says during the course of 1000-Daze re Tom: “And you’d believe a guy whose last name is tattletale even if he spells it, in Sedon Speak, Tattletail?”

Myself, besides the legends that they often appear as cats, another reason I like mora is because it and related words in German and Slavic tongues mean nightmare.

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Harmony as a Demogorgon Type

Here's some solid, albeit abridged, um, stuff from Feel Theo:

To state the startling, it turned out tee-tees weren't alone when it came to recollecting Demogorgon’s name. Adepts in secret societies or enlightened faiths on both sides of the Dome did as well. Yet, due to a superstitious dread that saying it aloud would bring death or disaster to the speaker, his or her family, friends or cronies, they too referred to it as the Unnameable.

Rather, they had.

Earlier this century, the Dome’s 44th, Pyrame discovered that tantalizing tidbit. When she told it to the Tethys deviant’s then-incarnation, he took All’s tongue-tug through the Dome and not only verified it; he scanned a copy of the manuscript into his quill and brought it back.

The treatise’s writer and publisher was a certain Lactantius. A nearly exact contemporary of Constantine the Great, who became his patron, this Lactantius claimed to be Christian. ... At any rate, there it was: Demogorgon’s name spelled out for anyone to read.

... from "Feeling Theocidal"
And here's some serious foreboding from the (as I write this) upcoming 1000-Daze

With or without the Moloch Sedon’s tacit approval, if Harmony much more so than their father hadn’t been around to balance off her brood brothers, her Age (aka Panharmonium) – and by extension Lazareme’s with it – never would have flourished as fruitfully as it had to date (the 21st of Azky, 5456 YD). In truth, her two immediate brothers were so surpassingly powerful many feared not even Sedon had the clout required to cathonitize them should their rage reach the point they went at each other unrestrained.

That happened, the Hidden Headworld itself might be terminally endangered. That apprehended, the mere fact they were seen together in Kanin City, let alone seen smiling amidst the same company, was an occurrence noteworthy for its close-to-unprecedented matchlessness. It must have struck the ceremony’s onlookers as a pure wonderment they could glance at each other without drawing weapons and spilling blood.

Yet, significantly as well as – especially in retrospect – suspiciously, heads didn’t instantly fly. Not only that, Harmony being otherwise occupied, they did it again. Then they smiled at each other. The collective whoosh of relief (from the crowd assembled that day in Kanin City) must have seemed, if not necessarily sounded, cyclonic.

... from "The Death's Head Hellion", the first section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

Transparent version of the panel background, prepared by JIm McPherson, 2010And who were Harmony's brother Unities? Right. Further to that, check out this definition of Demogorgon as found in the same book referred to above.

A mysterious being that lives in the Himalayas ... his origins are obscure. ... Conrad de Mare's Repetorium of 1273 called him the earliest deity of mythology. He is said to have resolved chaos into order.

Harmony probably wouldn't want one brother to resolve into the other. Although she'd never admit it, especially not to either of them, she probably wouldn't have minded if one or the other, preferably both, resolved, dissolved or devolved unto nothingness, however.

Then again, as Lightning Lord Yajur, Sparky to his friends (of whom he has virtually none) and who appears on the front cover of pH-3 (and reused here, poking out from behind Abe's trident), observes to no one in particular later on in 1000-Daze:

Today though, Sparky knew because she’d far-spoken as much to him earlier, she [Harmony] was a thousand miles to the northwest, visiting the Weirdom of Kanin City. Which, her being there, was most of the reason he’d deigned to come here [to the Dinq, Doing, Danq Cavern Tavern, which gets a fair amount of ink in 1000-Daze]. He would much rather run her through than run into her at the Danq – or anywhere else, for that matter.

Harmony was all that kept Order from crushing Chaos.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"
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Sprinkles hint at Tethys-despised Utopian Swill

As in "Feeling Theocidal", the Legendarian appears throughout "The 1000 Days of Disbelief". In his case, that means a number of Legendarians appears. It means the same in her case. (Be a ghost and have a boo here if that statement confuses you.)

Here's one thing the Legendarian, in any era and of either sex, has always said one way or another:

That time, as was the case most times, what drove him or her south was the inability of the Weirdom’s remnant of First Weir World’s Mother Machine to program into itself simple, earthly instructions. Even though Utopians boasted beer, ale and suchlike suds resulted from their originally otherworldly recipes, it spewed out piss-poor pilsners, emphasis on spew.

... from "Contagion Collectors", the second section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

He isn't alone of his assessment of the swill that came out of the nowadays long earthbound Utopians' replication units, which were leftovers from the many multiple millennia pre-Earth when Utopians, in their millennial or generational ships, chased the Sedonshem throughout the cosmos. Neither, as the case may be, is she.

She [Master Morgan Abyss] also hated the crap Utopian replication units produced in terms of clothing as much she did the crud they did for eating – what kept the wing-nuts of Weir thriving long into their second, third and sometimes even fourth or fifth centuries of life.

... from "The Death's Head Hellion", the first section of "The 1000 Days of Disbelief"

Which brings me to this little tidbit extracted from the Vancouver Sun newspaper on the 15th of March 2010. It seems the University of Toronto developed the Sprinkles brand of micronutrients at an unspecified time presumably not so very long ago.

It further seems that they aren't so much an elixir of longevity as a method of allowing infants and young children to survive long enough that they might benefit from one once it's perfected (or cribbed from the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, as the case may be).

Sprinkles and other micronutrient powders [are] distributed by the UN [in Africa and other parts of the developing world]. Shake them over cooked maize or corn meal, and they won't change the colour or taste of the food, but they will add a potent boost of iron and essential vitamins to prevent anaemia, the most common nutrient deficiency.

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