Hymn to Demeter
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
Speed relative to Sun (km/s) Pioneer 10: 11.934 Pioneer 11: 11.224 Voyager 2: 15.326 Voyager 1: 16.967 New Horizons: 13.975
Ecliptic latitude Pioneer 10: 3° Pioneer 11: 14° Voyager 2: -37° Voyager 1: 35° New Horizons: 2°
Declination Pioneer 10: 25° 57′ Pioneer 11: -8° 57′ Voyager 2: -57° 58′ Voyager 1: 12° 2′ New Horizons: -20° 28′
Right ascension Pioneer 10: 5h 10m Pioneer 11: 18h 52m Voyager 2: 20h 2m Voyager 1: 17h 15m New Horizons: 19h 12m
Spacecraft still functioning? Pioneer 10: no Pioneer 11: no Voyager 2: yes Voyager 1: yes New Horizons: yes
Launch Date Pioneer 10: 1972-Mar-03 Pioneer 11: 1973-Apr-06 Voyager 2: 1977-Aug-20 Voyager 1: 1977-Sep-05 New Horizons: 2006-Jan-19We discuss the five spacecraft which are leaving the Solar System on escape trajectories – our first emissaries to the stars. On this scale, the nearest star to the Sun would be approximately 100 meters away, and it would take Voyager 1 about 70,000 years to cover that distance.
featuring Model: Caroline Longo
all photographs by Michelle Gemma
The Full Wolf Moon of January,
and Lunar Eclipse in Cancer
10 January 2020
Mystic, CT USA
And I laugh as I drift in the wind
Dancing on a beach of stone
Cherish the faces as they wait for the end
Sudden hush across the water
And we’re here again
And the sand
And the sea grows
I close my eyes
Move slowly through drowning waves
On a strange day
My head falls backs
And the walls crash down
And the sky
And the impossible
Held for one moment I remember a song
An impression of sound
Then everything is gone
A strange day”
“*FULL MOON* in Aquarius alchemizes the cauldron of our humanity. Within this axis, Aquarius (humanitarian) and Leo (Self), we become the change. It’s easy to focus on others, but if we keep our focus on our Self and do what we feel moved to do, we create space for others to be informed and inspired by our actions and be led by their own free will, rather than through any kind of pressure or intimidation. This Aquarius FULL MOON encourages us to witness what is being illuminated and unhinge from the ties of public opinion to continue to unfurl who we truly are. We are in an evolutionary time that is encouraging us to embody our true essence. Everything is shifting right now, and it is a time to access higher mind and take a broad wide view. These are the keys that open the doors to new perception. Our thoughts create our world. That is the frontier.” https://www.mysticmamma.com/astrology-full-moon-in-aquarius-august-15th-2019/
“The Full Moon in August is called Sturgeon Moon because of the great number of this huge freshwater fish that could once be found in lakes and rivers in North America. Other names for this Full Moon include Grain Moon, Green Corn Moon, Fruit Moon, and Barley Moon, all inspired by various crops that can be harvested in August. The lake sturgeon has a greenish-grey color and a pointed snout with two pairs of whisker-like tactile organs dangling near the mouth. It is sometimes called a “living fossil,” as it belongs to a family of fish that has existed for more than 135 million years. Lake sturgeons are extremely long-lived. The males can reach 55 years, while females can live up to 150 years! And they can grow to be enormous. They are the American continent’s largest fish and can grow to over 2 meters long (6 feet) and weigh around 90 kilos (200 pounds). Lake sturgeons do not only live in lakes; they also live in rivers, but not in the ocean. This monster fish used to be a major part of the ecosystems in North America’s Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and in the Mississippi River, and they were once found all the way from Canada to Alabama. Today, the lake sturgeon has become one of the rarest fish in North America because of intense overfishing in the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat and breeding grounds due to agriculture and lumbering.” https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/sturgeon.html
featuring Model: Hadlai Palmerone
15 August 2019 during the Full Sturgeon Moon of August
Barn Island, Stonington, CT USA
Photographed by Michelle Gemma
featuring lyrics from “A Strange Day”, by the Cure, Pornography, (1982).
“Following the band’s previous album, 1981’s Faith, the non-album single “Charlotte Sometimes” was released. The single, in particular its nightmarish and hallucinatory B-side “Splintered in Her Head”, would hint at what was to come in Pornography. In the words of Robert Smith, regarding the album’s conception, “I had two choices at the time, which were either completely giving in [committing suicide] or making a record of it and getting it out of me”. He also claims he “really thought that was it for the group. I had every intention of signing off. I wanted to make the ultimate ‘fuck off’ record, and then sign off [the band]”. Smith was mentally exhausted during that period of time: “I was in a really depressed frame of mind between 1981 and 1982”. The band “had been touring for about 200 days a year and it all got a bit too much because there was never any time to do anything else”. The band, Smith in particular, wanted to make the album with a different producer than Mike Hedges, who had produced Seventeen Seconds and Faith. According to Lol Tolhurst, Smith and Tolhurst briefly met with the producer Conny Plank at Fiction’s offices in the hopes of having him produce the album since they were both fans of his work with Kraftwerk, however, the group soon settled on Phil Thornalley. Pornography is the last Cure album to feature Lol Tolhurst as the band’s drummer (he then became the band’s keyboardist), and also marked the first time he played keyboards on a Cure release. The album was recorded at RAK Studios from January to April 1982. On the album’s recording sessions, Smith noted “there was a lot of drugs involved”. The band took LSD and drank a lot of alcohol, and to save money, they slept in the office of their record label. The musicians usually turned up at eight, and left at midday looking “fairly deranged”. Smith related: “We had an arrangement with the off-licence up the road, every night they would bring in supplies. We decided we weren’t going to throw anything out. We built this mountain of empties in the corner, a gigantic pile of debris in the corner. It just grew and grew”. According to Tolhurst, “we wanted to make the ultimate, intense album. I can’t remember exactly why, but we did”. The recording sessions commenced and concluded in three weeks. Smith noted, “At the time, I lost every friend I had, everyone, without exception, because I was incredibly obnoxious, appalling, self-centered”. He also noted that with the album, he “channelled all the self-destructive elements of my personality into doing something”. Polydor Records, the company in charge of Fiction Records, the label on which the album was released, was initially displeased with the album’s title, which it saw as being potentially offensive. Regarding the album’s musical style, NME reviewer Dave Hill wrote, “The drums, guitars, voice and production style are pressed scrupulously together in a murderous unity of surging, textured mood”. Hill further described it as “Phil Spector in Hell”. Trouser Press said about the track “A Short Term Effect”: It “stresses ephemeralness with Smith’s echo-laden voice decelerating at the end of each phrase”. Ira Robbins observed that “the song closest to basic pop” is “A Strange Day”: It “has overdubbed backing vocals plus a delineated verse and chorus wrapped in some strangely consonant guitar figures”. The journalist also commented: the song “Cold” “gets the full gothic treatment”, with “grandiose minor-mode organ swells”. Describing the title track, writer Dave McCullough said that it “tries to copy Cabaret Voltaire, all shuddering tape noise”.
Smith said that “the reference point for the record was not Joy Division at all but the first Psychedelic Furs album which had, like, a density of sound, really powerful”. Smith also cited Siouxsie and the Banshees as “a massive influence on me […] They were the group who led me towards doing Pornography. They drew something out of me”. In 1982, Smith also said that the “records he’d take into the bunker after the big bang”, were Desertshore by Nico, Music for Films by Brian Eno, Axis: Bold as Love / Are You Experienced by Jimi Hendrix, Twenty Golden Greats by Frank Sinatra and The Early Piano Works by Erik Satie.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_(album)
This post is dedicated to Dan Curland, owner of the Mystic Disc and sponsor of the music-film series showing at Mystic Luxury Cinemas. The Cure’s “Anniversary 1978 – 2018: Live in Hyde Park London” played at the Mystic Cinema on 11 July 2019, and Curland’s attendance that night introduced him to the Cure for the very first time. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-cure-40th-anniversary-concert-film-841494/
He was moved immensely seeing the film, and the record store has had “Disintegration” and “The Head on the Door” playing on repeat ever since that night. I asked Curland about his recent fascination with the Cure.
MG: What were your first thoughts seeing, hearing and being immersed in the Cure’s anniversary film?
DC: Even though it was a movie I could feel that opening, the love of the crowd for Robert was so real and immense and the same for Robert to the audience. He just seemed so damn real, humble and then, I did not even know he played guitar, he plays so uniquely, throw into it Simon who is also so charismatic, the power of the drummer, I could not take my eyes off of them obviously Robert is the focal. On stage, one mic, no harmonies, no need for that, he is a troubadour, totally unique. The amazing thing was I knew none of their songs, no lyrics ( Although the way he sings and his emotion I felt like i knew what he was saying) usually I know a song or two, I knew nothing, amazing that he could grab me like that.
MG: After being convinced for yourself, of the mastery of the sonic and lyrical content of the Cure, what keeps you coming back?
DC: The incredible songs, lyrics that just blow me away, again even on a record he exudes this beautiful authenticity. I keep going back because once Robert has you that’s it.
MG: I find it really fascinating that you are so into the Cure and I think that your insights are so fresh and refreshing. I think it reminds all of us to give something a chance that you might not initially think is for you. And when you said that your rock band is learning some country songs, that’s pretty interesting. I guess it’s the essence of being human and I’m glad that you’re here to teach us all a little something!!
DC: We all learn from each other.
“The Full Moon on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at 24 degrees Capricorn is a partial lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse July 2019 astrology is powerful and confrontational because of close conjunction to Pluto. Intense emotional reactions, compulsive behavior, and power struggles are likely to result in a crisis. Lunar eclipse July 2019 is also square the dwarf planet Eris which will reenergize the #MeToo Movement. It will strengthen the feminist attack on the patriarchal authority. Other planetary aspects and fixed stars point to scandal, intrigue, public disgrace, and destroyed reputations. But they also give hope that empathy and understanding will lead to lasting changes.”
featuring Models: Piper Meyers, my Capricorn and Lehla Owens, my Aries from the Personal Universe series, 2018
16 July 2019 during the Full Buck July Moon, a Partial Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn and a Cardinal Grand Cross: Cardinal Fire represented by Lehla as Aries, Cardinal Water represented by the Sun in Cancer, Cardinal Air represented by the Photographer as Libra, and Cardinal Earth represented by Piper as Capricorn
The July Full Moon is known as the Buck Moon, because, “the Algonquin tribes in what is now the Eastern USA called this full Moon the Buck Moon. Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms.” https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/995/july-2019-the-next-full-moon-is-the-buck-moon/
Here we used braids to represent the antlers for the Full Moon.
Photographed by Michelle Gemma
Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, CT USA
Just when the thought occurs
In those crimson nights
In those turquoise days
excerpt from “Turquoise Days”, Echo and the Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here, 1981.
“In 1981, music magazine the NME described the album as darker and more passionate than 1980’s Crocodiles. The Record Mirror also said that the band sang the blues and devoted themselves to existential sadness. They went on to note that the album offered ‘an anatomy of melancholy, resplendent with the glamour of doom’ ”
featuring Model: Lena Curland
The Full Flower Moon of May
18 May 2019
Stonington Borough, CT USA
For Ezra Pound:
Dull roots with spring rain.
excerpt from: The Waste Land by T. S. ELIOT
featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle
The Full Pink Moon of April:
19 April 2019
Noank, CT USA
In 2019, the full Moon of March rises on the same day as the vernal equinox—marking the start of spring!
The March full Moon is particularly special because it reaches its peak on the same day as the spring equinox, on March 20, 2019. The last time the full Moon and the spring equinox coincided this closely (4 hours apart) was in March 2000, but the last time they occurred on the same date was on March 20, 1981!
Traditionally, the Moon we see in March is called the Full Worm Moon. At this time of the year, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting robins and birds to feed—a true sign of spring. Roots start to push their way up through the soil, and the Earth experiences a re-birth as it awakens from its winter slumber.
This full Moon is also a supermoon, meaning the Moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for the month of March. It’s the year’s third (and final) of three straight full supermoons. This means that the Moon may “appear” brighter and bigger than normal, provided the night sky is clear and dark.
featuring Model: Alycia de los Santos
The Full Worm Moon of March:
20 March 2019
Seaside, Waterford, CT USA