10th Anniversary of PortFire!

Ten years ago, back in July 2011, we transitioned from a website called Mystic Music Archive to PortFire here. The Mystic Music Archive was a repository we created for some local Mystic and New London, Connecticut music from the 80s, 90s, and new releases.

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To progress beyond just music – to expand to all the diverse artists inspiring us – we moved all of the albums and songs over to a new site – named PortFire after “the fuze or torch that lights rockets and fireworks” (yeah, a bit ambitious!) – and aimed to also begin including photography, writing, visual arts (especially collage), and new music from beyond just southeastern Connecticut.

We organized and worked to expand PortFire as a free zone for artists to post their recent work, following the DIY ethos of Hozomeen Press and other zines like Root of Twinkle from the 80s and 90s; but our campaign to expand eventually fell flat and only a few dedicated artists, especially Michelle Gemma, and Ellery Twining, published prodigiously to our free platform.

As an architect and editor of PortFire, I certainly wasn’t aggressive nor charismatic enough to smartly ‘market’ PortFire: no ads, no fees, not interested in profits, no baiting for page views, no social media strategies, no gimmicks – just not interested in any of that – which is perhaps to our detriment in many ways – arts and artists benefit from publicity. So please let us know if you have any ideas for us publicizing ourselves in a better way.

We exist for fellow artists to publish and speak and react to each other’s work, so we inspire each other and push each other’s art forward.

We will definitely keep running this site for the artists producing new work and publishing here (I still hope to rejoin those ranks!), as well as to host older music and zines for those who are curious, nostalgic, or want to hear the beautiful 17 Relics, Seratonin, or LowBeam (and more!) – over ten fabulous independent bands can be found under the Music tab at the top of our site.

So, it really is hard to believe it has been ten years – while reminiscing and looking through the site this past week, I was surprised to rediscover the amount of inspiring content here – check out the right side of our main page, the Artist Collections, Tags, Search Bar, Archives in the lower right, and just feel free to explore – and thank you all so much for contributing and checking in over all these years –

If you’d like to publish your work here, please let us know at editors@portfire.org

Here is the first post that PortFire ever put up, to test the new site, about ten years ago – enjoy!

Moon enters Taurus 3 July 2021

PARADOX VISION

From The Polarity Experiments for Emporium Photo III October 1995 Mystic, Connecticut, USA

featuring Model: Bethany Webster
Collaboration with Mark Wallace and his “Tree Wounds” series, Paradigm of Tree
Mark tells us, “The tree, through the ages, has been seen as a symbol of balance and fulfilled potential. The viewer, upon first seeing these photographs, may only be affected by the notion of the wound. But upon finding that the wounds are those of the trees, the sensation becomes a deeper, unexplainable psychic phenomenon. By combining the tree and the human form I hope to provoke the realization that modern Western culture is out of balance with nature and itself, and expose the need to regain the connections.”

Happy Birthday Bethany who does great work with her “Mother Wound” psychology and education.

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Venus Enters Cancer on the Last Quarter Moon in Pisces 2 June 2021 Gemini Season

featuring Model: Morgan Vail as Cancer for the series Personal Universe
and also the subject of the forthcoming book, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl
sneak peak here https://michellegemmaphotography.com/a-portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-young-girl-2/
a continuum of photographs of Morgan from age 12 to age 31 and beyond

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Jewel of the Solar System


The brink of the infinite. Tapping directly into realms of existence beyond the physical, you sense all-pervasively the multiple frequencies of all that is really here.

Having a vast grasp of what is possible and of what is asking to be brought in, while extended very far into regions others miss.

Feeling, hearing, tasting the power of spirit in action.

Half mesmerized and half supercharged to get everybody in on it somehow. 

Perhaps retreating to more traditional versions of the infinite path if frightened by a lack of understanding coming back.

Communing with the mysteries, and absolutely at home within those places others find strange.

The inside becomes all, the outside virtually transparent to the light within…

inspired by PISCES 26: “The Aurora Borealis.” by Elias Lonsdale
https://aquaorfire.net/astrology/inside_degrees/inside_degrees.html

Saturn takes about 28-29 years to come full circle.

Saturn transits and cycles can be considered cycles of achievement and maturity. When Saturn forms a hard aspect to a personal point in our chart, we might feel that everything is slowed down–we encounter delays, frustrations, and pressures. But these times also challenge us to face reality, thereby opening ourselves up to increased wisdom and the freedom that comes with living in truth.
cafeastrology.com

featuring Model: Caroline Walz
as Pisces and her Saturn Return
8 March 2021
Westerly, Rhode Island, USA
all photographs by Michelle Gemma
Dec 17, 2020 12:04 AM EST Saturn entered Aquarius…
Caroline was born with Saturn in Aquarius at 24 degrees!
This is Saturn Return.
This is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in our solar system. Adorned with a dazzling system of icy rings, Saturn is unique among the planets. It is not the only planet to have rings, but none are as spectacular or as complex as Saturn’s. Like fellow gas giant Jupiter, Saturn is a massive ball made mostly of hydrogen and helium.
Surrounded by more than 60 known moons, Saturn is home to some of the most fascinating landscapes in our solar system. From the jets of water that spray from Enceladus to the methane lakes on smoggy Titan, the Saturn system is a rich source of scientific discovery and still holds many mysteries.
The farthest planet from Earth discovered by the unaided human eye, Saturn has been known since ancient times. The planet is named for the Roman god of agriculture and wealth, who was also the father of Jupiter.
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/saturn/in-depth/


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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of February 2021

Hymn to Demeter

The Earth Goddess Demeter went to Eleusis in search of her daughter Persephone, who had been abducted by Hades , God of the Underworld.

Demeter goes in search of Persephone and, during her journey, reveals her secret rites to the people of Eleusis, who had hospitably received her. Her distress at her daughter’s disappearance was said to have diverted her attention from the harvest and caused a famine.

The Mysteries at Eleusis originated in the two-fold story of Demeter’s life—her separation from and reunion with her daughter and her failure to make the queen’s son immortal.

The Mysteries began with the march of the mystai (initiates) in solemn procession from Athens to Eleusis. The rites that they then performed in the Telesterion, or Hall of Initiation, were and remain a secret.

Another important aspect of Demeter was that of a divinity of the underworld; she was worshiped as such at Sparta, and especially at the festival of Chthonia at Hermione in Argolis, where a cow was sacrificed by four old women. The epithets Erinys (“Avenger”) and Melaina (“the Black One”) as applied to Demeter were localized in Arcadia and stress the darker side of her character.

featuring Model: Jane Anderson
all photographs by Michelle Gemma
The Full Snow Moon of February
in Virgo, Honoring the Myths of Seasonal Renewal,
for the Full Moon Photoshoots series
27 February 2021
Norwich, CT  USA

source text: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Demeter

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SIXTH of JANUARY

they arrived, with pitchforks at the ready, to change the vote.

the corporals and captains had an attack planned out.

the floorplan of congress was in our public domain, security forces

had become one and the same-  a single moment defined the state of the nation.

an evident display of tribalism amongst a misappropriation of flags,

draped over the Capitol steps-  A Confederacy in Process.

their rally preceding insurrection would expose this selfish process,

as if there were no other method to counteract an actual vote.

the assembled crowd who volunteered to be in The District could flag

their inherent abhorrence toward an hidden agenda that they would spell out.

as if this call to arms would create a new nation

of their own making, utilizing their most vicious forces.

citizens of our Televised Nation  experienced  society in absolute time, the forces

of the tribe gathered had stormed the steps, their process

exhorted over bullhorns to a crowd expecting direction toward  a re-born nation.

multitudes of volunteers worked to secure the vote,

people who poured over information, and disinformation to out

an heist of objective political reality, each represented by brandished  flag.

it was an aggrieved display, and  desecration of the flag

would be rendered as treasonous sedition. the boat parade that forces

the vessels upon our river evacuated;  instructed to stay out.

a distinct attempt at security while the process

of their gathering threatened to call in to question the vote.

each citizen would need to declare their confirmation of the nation.

confrontation within the myth of the American nation

has always existed, in some form. when people flag

grievances, the irregularity of equality;  we are told to vote

despite the evidence of corruption, which  forces

a re-examination of the entire process,

wherein the point of completion leaves no one out.

as it’s initial momentum, stunted by Capitol Police faded out,

an assassination plot never materialized in the Nations

Capitol. The Peoples House; a building that affords the process

of the improbable to be occasionally attainable, where intruders would flag

The Capitol with propaganda, and untruth, in an attempt to force

A Cancellation of America. as if all citizens might forget the power of the vote.

surrounded by symbols of the nation- the staffed flag

and the wooden gavel, congressional members would return that night, to force

a delineation-  one person, one vote.

Root of Twinkle: Volume 5 Issue 1 from Summer 1995

Michelle Gemma has just scanned in the next Root of Twinkle! This edition contains “soundtracks, essays, stories, lullabies, and an ‘interview’ pour vous.” There is a LOT in this 1995 issue, including a lengthy interview with Rich Freitas and Rich Martin together at Bee Bee Dairy, including a Dawn Estabrooks cameo.

You can check out the other Root of Twinkles from the early 90s, including the new 2020 copy, in the Root of Twinkle section (a link is up top right as well)

NOTE: We are looking furiously for Volume 2 Issue 1 and ANY Volume 1 issues – if you have a copy PLEASE get in touch with us — editors@portfire.org — THANKS!

Root of Twinkle Volume 5 Is…

Exploring Our National Parks Volume 1

Exploring the National Parks across the United States is an opportunity that should not be taken for granted. To understand the profound notions of preservation and conservation, we must get as close to the land as possible. This album is a seed that is attempting to plant itself in you to see them for your self.

Captured in photographs are views of nine parks around the country with essays that catalogue my experiences and thoughts while traveling through them.

Available in paperback & ebook on Amazon

Root of Twinkle: Volume 4 Issue 2 from Summer 1994

Michelle Gemma has scanned in the next Root of Twinkle, the second issue from 1994!

Peruse this edition for some serious Mystic, CT nostalgia, including notes on the opening of the Emporium Gallery, an interview with the band Magpie, a small list of super elite Mystic Peugeot drivers, top ten lists about Mystic from Matt Hannan, and some fantastic record reviews and recollections —

View the other scanned Root of Twinkles from the early 90s, including the new 2020 copy, in the Root of Twinkle section (a link is up top right as well)

NOTE: We are looking furiously for Volume 2 Issue 1 and ANY Volume 1 issues – if you have a copy PLEASE get in touch with us — editors@portfire.org — THANKS!

Root of Twinkle Volume 4 Is…