There is an area of upstate New York that has an energy that pulsates through the land harder than a restricted jugular. It vibrates in your steps, ricocheting your foot as soon as you place it it to the ground. It tingles in the air, the ozone molecules popping on your skin as if the atmosphere were a light champagne. It beats with a pulse that directs waves of intensity through the water, through the land and into your being.
I became increasingly inquisitive about this land and the lake that divides it. I began striking up conversation with people who were native to the area and I eventually met a local named Jim. He started to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge with his own story.
This area was founded in 1654 by two men named Lewis Miller and John Heyl Vincent, under the guise of being a retreat for Methodist Sunday School teachers. As the reputation of the area grew in the mid to late 1870's as place for enlightenment, supposedly unbeknownst to Miller and Vincent, the land drew a small group of white witches who used a Christian moniker to escape persecution from a village on Prince Edward Island in Canada, where it was found out they they deviated from the Holy Scriptures once that territory was ceded to England in 1871. (This group had arrived to the island in small numbers originally from England, but through Ireland, after the Druids were pushed out of the area through the onslaught of Roman Christianity around 150 AD.) However, after this small group was embedded within the community, they sent out a guileful call for others of their kind to join them, and the region became seen as a haven for those practicing in white magic and a place where these brothers and sisters could come worship the natural deities and practice their form free from the scrutinizing eyes of the Victorian repression, especially within New York City. However, all those witches who came to this specific land were held under oath to keep its true mission secret - an oath that holds to this day. In 1879, there was mistrust of the upper hierarchy of this group as they became to be known as the While Council, with a faction of the witches breaking away to form what is now known as The Mercurial Collective - the largest secret community of occult practitioners in the world.
Yet as the white witches' numbers grew, they began to integrate themselves more and more into the bureaucratic legislation of the Northern New York State region, albeit carefully and secretly. Soon they had great power within the realms of local government and saw their membership flourish through the covert initiation local townspeople. During this period, the Seneca Native Americans, who had originally inhabited the land in the ages before colonization, grew more and more suspicious of the White Council. The Seneca were aware of the White Council's heritage from their integration into nature for centuries on Prince Edward Island, but the Seneca also believed the hearts of the White Council had begun to be corrupted by an ever growing desire to hold power in the social hierarchies and normativities of the established community. Soon, at the White Council's underhanded direction, the Seneca were forcibly divorced from the land and henceforth banished from setting foot on their home grounds. It holds true today that it is very rare to have someone of an ethnicity aside from Caucasian able to withstand that powerful psychic break set forth by the White Council and subsequently able to enter and stay for longer periods of time on the grounds of the Institute. The removal of the Seneca left a lasting magical mark that has not been able to be erased since.
Because of the great turmoil suffered by the Native Americans, the White Council consecrated the land and, with great magical power, they banished from it any and all forms of evil or negative spiritual & psychic energy. While they did not realize this at the time, the local waterways absorbed this energy unto itself and acted as a conduit to filter that energy into the surrounding towns and villages. To this day, this county in upstate New York reaps the consequences of that action in the form of economic decay, as it remains one of the poorest counties in New York state. Where a local lake had been known to the Native Americans as a body of water that resembled a "bag tied in the middle," after the White Council's betrayal, the lake instead became known amongst the Seneca Tribe as the "lake of easy death." Every year, the lake claims numerous lives during both the summer and winter months' activities, from swimming and boating accidents to members of the community falling through the frozen lake surface on snowmobiles. The Seneca tribe further cursed the White Council, foretelling that their movement would be doomed due to their deception of claiming and mistreating the land that their ancestors had once lived in tune with, while in turn further damning the Seneca to live in restricted, impoverished territories . Today, as lasting proof of the White Council's greed, all visitors to the region must drive through the Seneca reservation land to see their destruction first hand - a lasting damnation so all around can witness what the avarice of the White Council sentenced unto the Seneca peoples.
When I first arrived in the region, I became instantly enamored with the lake. Water holds many properties within folklore, and while myths tell of its power of cleansing and rebirth, water also acts as a conduit to transmit energy. I began to document the lake and the way the density of the water both reflected and absorbed light. Each particle of light becomes its own transmission of information, running through the water molecules, blending with energies that are held within its body, along with the psychic bodies left behind by the souls that the water claims each season.
As the sunlight interacted with the water molecules, tiny vortexes started swirling, and like the popping of atoms, small portals began to develop with each beam of light the passed through - dark in the center, but ringed in bright gold, like thousands of eclipses happening right beneath the tension of the surface. Then, as quick as they were to develop, they disappeared. For a fraction of a second, I saw a black invitation into other worlds where the watery velvet blankets promised to keep me warm.
I began to bathe in the lake as if it were the river Styx, allowing my body to form an in-between through from the physical world to a parallel underworld - baptizing myself in the light as it spread throughout the water.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .
02/03/16 New NASA Spacecraft Will Be Propelled By Light (via National Geographic)
Ghost Writing: UpState/NonState (all words are in the order in which they were received - words in bold denote artist made associations)
July 2, 2015 - 10:41pm-11:11pm
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July 4, 2015 - 12:04am-1:09am
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July 5, 2015 10:00pm - ???
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July 7, 2015 12:00am - 12:26am
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July 8, 2015 11:26 - ???
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July 9, 2015 10:14pm - 10:47pm
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July 10, 2015 11:24pm - 11:57pm
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July 12, 2015 11:37 - 12:00am
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July 29, 2015 11:44pm - 12:20 (approx)
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(18) I worked with the wonderful Robert and Sandra Bandov of Bearfort Paranormal to explore and document any paranormal activity in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, in Alexandria, Virginia. The structure was used as a base to produce torpedoes for the US Navy during both World War 1 and World War 2 - to use against both the Germans and the Japanese. (25) Cross Castle is a former structure in West Milford, New Jersey and a significant part of the folklore surrounding my home town. More information on Cross Castle through Roadtrippers and the Clinton Road Wikipedia page. (30) Lake Erie is a massive influence in the area, running along the entire northwest landmass border of New York State. Similarly, Erie, Pennsylvania is also very close - a city made a prime example of a post-industrial community.