Occult L.A.: Season of the Witch
On Saturday at the Silent Movie Theatre, the Cinefamily is going to present an evening dedicated to the witch archetype and the role of the witch through the ages, in popular consciousness and as conveyed through the cinematic eye. I’ll probably attend, but the reason for this being mentioned is mainly due to me being reminded of the 1972 George Romero film, Season of the Witch.
Although it has been months since watching, I still remember the opening sequence quite well. The very first scene is a dream sequence, and in it (among other things) a man is shown eating a boiled egg. Weird scenes associated with mirrors also occurred throughout the movie. The mirror (especially the magickal mirror) has featured in my past dream workings, including in the dreams themselves. In recent times, there has become a whole new phenomenon in film and in urban legend associated with “mirror horror”. The 2008 film Mirrors, with Kiefer Sutherland, is an interesting watch as well, despite it being rather predictable. Trinie Dalton goes onto describe “mirror horror” in an essay anthology.
From an article on the anthology
In any 1970s horror movie worth its splatter budget, there’s a crucial moment when a comely young woman examines herself in a mirror and is promptly killed. For Trinie Dalton, such hopelessly cliched moments are packed with clues to our darkest fears.
Dalton is the editor of “Mythtym,” a new anthology of essays, fiction and artwork — both serious and campy — about werewolves, unicorns and what she calls “mirror horror.” As she explains: “If you watch enough of those movies, they’re all exactly the same. These splatter-core movies have their own tropes — like how the best way to show blood is to cut someone up in the shower so you see it on the tiles. But then you realize that these cliches are based on archetypes. The mirror as a symbol seems most powerful in a time of fear, when people step back and look at themselves.”
I am also reminded of my recent delving into Maya Deren’s work (which I will elaborate on later) exploring Haitian Voodoo, specifically the Voodoo practice of doing things in reverse in ceremonies because the spirit world is a mirror of ours, and our actions therefore reflect backwards in that realm.
This recalls the Mirroir Fantastique, “that reflex of the Dayside of the Tree of Life, showing the shadow-graphs and inverse images of Universe ‘A,’” Kenneth Grant, Outside the Circles of Time. This quotation comes from the same book in which Grant describes the “egg” as a vehicle which allows for safe travel among star systems and dimensions.