In the Winter Solstice spirit of embracing the darkness and the longest night of the year…
Inspired by dark ritual ambient music, dark fusion dance, and the deepening of autumn and the coming of winter, here are some photos from the Oct. 2013 Endarkenment Redecoration Project at the Hermitage in downtown Portland, OR, USA. This is my newly redecorated studio and mini temple space, where I live, work, and serve as temple keeper. The Black Tent Temple and Psychomanteum (mirror gazing room) is now completed, and over the next few weeks I will be booking the first exploratory psychomanteum sessions for friends of the Hermitage.
This is as close as I have ever come to my dream place to live and work, and all the more satisfying because I accomplished this almost entirely with thrift store finds on a shoestring budget.
I feel so blessed to be able to live here and do this work creating sacred space for dark temple arts in service of the divine.
The Black Stone, namesake of the Hermitage: a 50mm black obsidian sphere, with two smaller black obsidian stones alongside it. The stone is my teacher; every day I bow into deeper service to it.
One side of the meditation and ritual dance space. In the background, behind the dark ambient shrine, is the kitchen.
A framed mirror and Hermit-themed tarot art in the entryway to the Hermitage.
The sanctuary area behind the entryway, featuring shelves with shrines. Beside the shrines is the new psychomanteum (incubation space/mirror gazing room.)
A close-up of the dark ambient music & dark art shrine, looking into the kitchen.
The meditation and ritual dance spot. On the right is a bookshelf with belly dance instructional DVDs and tea books; on top of the bookshelf is my ancestor shrine.
A gothic-style mirror draped with black fringe framing an end table.
Looking into the entryway from the dance area. Great view of the Hermitage library. The black curtains can be drawn shut on all sides to provide a sense of enclosure in the sanctuary area where the shrines and the psychomanteum are located.
The door to the new psychomanteum – a portal or spiritual incubation space, a.k.a. mirror gazing room. I will be scheduling the first exploratory sessions very soon!
Framed art at the Hermitage – H.R. Giger #312, “Biomechanoid Landscape,” and Todd Lockwood, “Hell Friezes 1: Cerberus.”
Framed art at the Hermitage – a beatific bellydancer (artist unknown), and a promotional poster from the very first Raqs Oubliettes event (2011) at the Lovecraft Bar.
The Hermit shrine in the sanctuary area, directly in front of the psychomanteum.
The futon loveseat at the Hermitage. It can be pulled out into a full-size bed.
The tea ritual area at the Hermitage, featuring a new table with adjustable drop-leaf sides. Very nice when I want to free up more room for dance practice!