Vincent’s Big Easy Art Exhibition Fund!

 

 

I know there are a number of my friends and folks who like my work, but can’t make it to the show because they live in far off places like Westeros, or fucking Narnia….So I’d like to give all of you the opportunity to be a part of the process,If you donate $20.00 or more to my Show, I will make a Custom Piece for you, and send the print any place in the World! Thank you in advance everyone! And Please, Share this Post!!!

Click this Link to get started!

 

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Vincent’s Big Easy Art Exhibition Fund! was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

DO THE GODS EXIST? And how many of them can I cram into my star wars lunchbox?

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The Tao is above existence and non-existence.
Existence is for men who use words But the Tao does not use words.
It is as silent as a flower.
Words come from the Tao—the Tao produces words,
But it does not use them.

In the trial scene in Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit read an obscure verse which was apparently quite irrelevant to the case. The King triumphantly exclaimed “That’s the most important piece of evidence we’ve heard yet”. Alice flatly contradicted him and said, “I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it”. The King then said, “If there’s no meaning in it, that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any”.

 
I might make a similar comment about the Taoists. Since the Taoists make no claim that the Tao exists, or if the Gods are real or not.This saves me a fuck load of trouble in trying to prove that the Tao exists, or if Demons and Gods are real and have a separate reality from our waking lives. This is common sense at its highest! If they are or aren’t real, do you think they give a tired shit if you believe in their reality or not? Just compare the situation with the history of Western religions thought!

 

By Zeus’s Nut-sack, the amount of debates, battles, bloodshed and torture over the question of whether God does or does not exist! It has seemed to be even more than a life and death issue. At all costs, the Christian must convince the heathen, the pagan and the atheist that God exists, in order to save his soul. At all costs, the atheist must convince the Christian that the belief in God is but a childish and primitive superstition, doing enormous harm to the cause of true social progress.

 

And so they battle and storm and bang away at each other as the pagan community squabble about how this goddess could be the real form of that goddess, and only This true name is correct for That Sumerian Deity. Meanwhile, as a Taoist, I can sit quietly by the stream, perhaps with a book of poems and a cigarette, a cup of coffee, and some painting materials, enjoying the Tao to my hearts content, without ever worrying whether or not the Tao exists, because the Tao doesn’t give a fuck, and the main thing it wants me to learn in this life is that I shouldn’t care all that much either..

YES,YES, WE KNOW ALL THAT, BUT DO THE GODS EXIST?

My, my, how very fucking persistent you are! Wipe the flecks of spittle from your mouth, my friend, you seem to have gotten quite excited.  Well now,let me get a cup of coffee and say a little more about this. The Taoist view is not like the Western agnostic who grants that either God exists or he doesn’t, but doesn’t know which. The Western agnostic will say, “By simple Aristotelian logic, we know that either God exists or he doesn’t, but we do not have
confirming evidence one way or the other. Hence our only rational recourse is to suspend judgment on the matter until further evidence becomes available.”

 

Now, as a Taoist, I see the matter quite differently. I do not “suspend judgement” as to whether or not there is a God; the question of the existence or nonexistence of the Gods simply does not occur to me, or if someone presents it to me, I regard it as vague, meaningless, somehow irrelevant and sort of odd. In this respect, I’m strangely like the Western logical positivist, though perhaps for different reasons, and without the super cool German formal logic and the theory of probability. If you asked a logical positivist whether or not the Gods exist, he would declare the question “meaningless”. He would first want the word “Gods” to be clearly defined. Now, if the question really has no meaning, as the positivist says, then I would be quite happy, since I can then reply, “If there’s no meaning in it, that saves a world of trouble, as we needn’t try to find any”.

 
At this point, you may be a bit irritated at me and say, “Stop evading the issue! Do the Gods exist or do they not? Is it something real or is it a mere fantasy—a figment of the imagination?”
Well now, analogous questions on existence have been asked in other areas and are equally futile. There has been, for example, much metaphysical controversy as to the existence of so-called universals—things like redness, triangularly, beauty, goodness, and so on. Does redness exist? If so, where is it, how much does it weigh, what is its shape, what is its colour? [Would you say that the color redness is itself red? Hardly!] Does redness really exist at all? Some may naively say, “Of course redness exists; look at roses, lipstick, certain apples, etc.” But this only means that there exists certain things which are red; it does not prove that there exists a certain entity called “redness”.

 

 

The question of the existence of such an entity has been a lively one in the history of Western philosophy. There are those called “Nominalists” who believe the answer is “No”. They, of course, admit the existence of particular things which are red, but they deny the existence of any entity called “redness”. They accept the word “red” as an adjective (since there are red things), but they deny any legitimacy to the use of the word “redness” as a noun. They would deny that the word “redness” has any actual denotation; they do not believe that “redness” is an actual name of anything. On the other hand there are those called “Realists” (sometimes “Platonists”) who believe that “redness” is indeed a legitimate noun—it is the name of redness. They also believe that the word “red” can be properly used both as an adjective and as a noun. It is used as an adjective, for example, in a statement like “This apple is red”; it is used as a noun in such statements as “Red is one of the primary colors”. And the realist believes that “red” is indeed a name; it is the name of the color red.

 

 
Similarly, the realist—nominalist controversy extends to other so-called “universals”. The realist like Plato believes in the existence of Beauty, Goodness, Truth, whereas the nominalist only believes that certain works of art are beautiful, certain acts might be labeled “good” and certain propositions are appropriately labeled “true”.
It might surprise some nonmathematical readers that such controversies exist even in the realm known as the foundations of mathematics. This field is erroneously believed by the layman to be settled and non-controversial. But this is far from true!

 

The so-called mathematical realist (or classicist or “Platonist”) believes in a world of non-linguistic mathematical entities such as “numbers, sets, functions, groups, topological spaces”, etc, and that it is the purpose of mathematics to discover and prove various statement about these entities which are true. On the other hand there is the so-called mathematical “formalist” who believes all these so-called mathematical entities are but figments of the imagination; the only reality is the symbols used to express them! So the interest of the mathematical formalist appears to be purely linguistic. For him, mathematics is but the study of strings of symbols called “formal expressions”, and of how they are to be manipulated according to the prescribed rules of the system under study; the expressions themselves do not express anything! And the formalist (like the nominalist) denies the existence of things like “numbers” as other than certain linguistic expressions.

 
We might similarly approach the problem of the existence of the Gods. There are perhaps those who would deny the use of the word “God” as a noun; they would refuse to believe in the existence of some “entities” called the Gods , but they would nevertheless accept as quite meaningful the adjective “Theistic”. It certainly should be obvious to all students of Occult thought—even those with absolutely no metaphysical commitments of any kind—that certain works are more Theistic than others. For example, it is generally conceded that old style Goetic Magic is
more Theistic than the art of Chaos Magick. Thus few will object to the use of the word “Theistic” though many might object to the word “God”.

 
Some of you may feel that I am still evading the issue of whether or not the Gods really exist. Actually Vincent, do you know, or are just fucking with us? I might say “Who the fuck cares?”… “But”, you might reply, “don’t you even have some personal opinion on the matter?”  Suppose you actually cornered me in my shop with a flamethrower and said to me point blank:  “Vincent, you Motherfucker! Stop equivocating! Do you or do you not believe the Gods exist?” What would I answer? This would depend on whether I happened to be in a more Western or more Eastern mood at the time I was asked, as I have a foot in both worlds. If I were in a more Western mood (and abided in the duality of existence versus nonexistence), then, since I tend to be a Platonist, I would probably answer, “Yes, the Gods exist, and they don’t believe in you”. But suppose I were in an Eastern mood? If you asked a Zen-Master whether the Gods exist, he would probably give you a good blow with his stick. Now I have a baseball bat, but being of a somewhat kinder disposition, I would probably just smile at you (perhaps in a somewhat condescending fashion) and offer you a cup of Coffee, perhaps a cigarette, and wait till you went away all mad and disgruntled.

Stay Gold Everyone, and Happy Holidays…..

Sources:  Logical Positivism (http://www.loyno.edu/~folse/logpos.htm), The Tao is Silent by: Raymond M. Smullyan, Nominalism and Realism by:Andrea Borghini

Art Source-The Council of the Gods by:Peter Paul Rubens

DO THE GODS EXIST? And how many of them can I cram into my star wars lunchbox? was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

Negative Magic : Spellwork with Seneca

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What’s the worse that could happen? Isn’t this what we ask ourselves over and over in our darkest hours? Many believe this is a bad thing and the power of positive thinking is king. But one man had a different outlook, and felt that by defining your fears and outlining your goals, you could gain great success. This man was called by the name of Seneca, and he was a Philosopher of Stoicism. Founded in Anthems by Zeno of Citium, Stoicism was one of the most popular and successful schools of philosophy, particularly in ancient Rome. But what does this have to do with Magick, you may ask? Well everything, Our lives revolve around the small things and the essence of magic is to get the small things in our lives to line up in a row so the big things that worry us so much don’t burn up in a house fire.

Seneca writes:

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

There are a number of stoic practices that you can use to improve your spell work. Let’s get Negative, shall we? One practice I’ve found that is extremely helpful is to take a white sheet of paper and on one side of it list the absolute worse shit that could happen in a given situation. Make it a situation that you want to happen, but are unsure of. Now go crazy, use realistic stuff, but also, what if polar bears steal a few school buses, drive to your house and kidnap you so that they can sell your organs on the black Market? It could happen, if you do the thing you want to do….Now next to these things write what you could do to minimize the damage that these horrible things could do to your goal.  You could get bear repellent and put tire strips in front of your house, for example.

So nothing is as bad as it looked from the start if you are prepared for it, and a bit of Pessimism goes a long way to building a better life and Magical Practice..

Seneca Wrote:

“Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the whole world.” Or, if the following seems to you a more suitable phrase, – for we must try to render the meaning and not the mere words: “A man may rule the world and still be unhappy, if he does not feel that he is supremely happy.” In order, however, that you may know that these sentiments are universal, suggested, of course, by Nature, you will find in one of the comic poets this verse;

Unblest is he who thinks himself unblest.

Or what does your condition matter, if it is bad in your own eyes? Back to the Spell, on the back of the page write what you could do to bring about the goal, and at the bottom of the Page write “Is this the Thing I Fear.” Now take the paper, Draw a Large Sigil on it with your eyes closed, thinking all the wile of the situation that you wish to unfold. Lastly, fold the paper and put it in a envelope, address it to yourself, put it in a book on a shelf, something you don’t plan on reading for a time.

This gives us the ability to periodically consider the bad things that can happen to us. Not to prevent them from happening,because they will happen but to make us value the things we worked so hard to get – our partner, our house, our job, etc. By consciously doing spellwork on what we stand to lose, we regain our appreciation on what matters most.

We could take this one step more and do work for something never having had, or something that we have not lost yet. When grieving, for example, if we are consumed by the loss, rather than mourning the loss of the loved one, we could do work for the fact that your mother is still alive and helping you today, and the death of your father is something to be celebrated. This replaces regret with positive emotions like gratitude.

” in your effort to attain sound understanding; it is foolish to pray for this when you can acquire it from yourself. We do not need to uplift our hands towards heaven, or to beg the keeper of a temple to let us approach his idol’s ear, as if in this way our prayers were more likely to be heard.” Seneca- Letter 41

I end this blog post with an Exercise that Seneca gave and I suggest that you do practice it after you have done the spell work above, it will make the work take root in your soul, and if done with a clear mind, give you a deeper perspective into your own Magical Practices.

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ” Is this the condition that I feared?”– Seneca

 

Till next time everyone, Stay Gold.

Art Work- Negative by Vincent Piazza 2015

Sources:Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters by: Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Author), Moses Hadas (Translator, Introduction)

Negative Magic : Spellwork with Seneca was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

Black Friday’s Evil Egregore :Magic, Thanksgiving Genocide and Black Friday Stampedes

Black Friday

 

 

I’m of two minds on the existence of evil, really. I think people are entirely capable of it, certainly. And being Subjective on the idea of Evil, I’m not so sure about the existence of entirely evil spiritual entities, but I would put in some votes for part time ones whose goals aren’t human.But I do believe that we as Humans we can create entirely Evil Egregores. I realize this kind of puts me out there in Crazy Magical theory territory, but hey, I’m a Left Hand Path Taoist. I specialize in Crazy Magical theory .

 

I think genocide is an illness,and this illness creates Egregores though, whether it is mental or spiritual energy, or some combination of both remains to be seen. Being the both/and sort of person I am, I’d argue that it has to do with both because I believe that the mental and spiritual realms overlap on many levels. So, when you look at the Egregore of Thanksgiving you can never ignore the genocide that eventually befell Native Americans. The pillaging of land and resources, rape of women and other atrocities for the most part have been erased from our history books and replaced with the story of a festive feast where humanity was recognized and family and community uplifted..

 

What drives evil in the human heart is a question that’s plagued our species from the beginning. Humans in mobs always seem to act differently than humans as individuals, and I think that mob psychology, or maybe that egregore of psychic mob energy has something to do with it, driving us to the lowest common denominator — in this case, genocide. People pick up on each other’s emotions so easily sometimes, and I suspect that riding that kind of murderous power high is a really easy emotion to pass from person to person. I think it’s similar to terror in a crowd, when people stampede and crush others in the rush to escape rather than trying to help each other.

 

About 10-15 years ago we started hearing about bargain basement sales if you were willing go to the mall the day after Thanksgiving.The news stories about happy shoppers and the festiveness we saw at malls were replaced by stories people getting killed or seriously getting injured as folks made mad dashes for the limited items placed on sale.. Each year we saw footage or heard tales of full on fist fights and assaults with patrons fighting over the last cabbage patch dolls or that one last video camera or the only widescreen TV. Others would find themselves getting robbed in the parking lots moments after making bargain basement purchases. Something vital switches off inside us that would ordinarily lead to compassion.

What the fuck is an Egregore?

Egregore (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people.

 

Sounds like the Holidays, doesn’t it? Influencing, the thoughts of a group of people, it happens everyday, and when we come closer to Thanksgiving and X-Mas, these Egregores raise there ugly heads, and lap up the Cash and blood that is spent and  split in their names.If you think about it what we are seeing is the completion of a circle.. That first ‘Thanksgiving meal between Native Americans and invading pilgrims was underlined by their greed and the desire to take over..The Egregore was created by that Greed and Desire. It wasn’t about the feast, it was about sizing folks and getting them ready to be slaughtered. We are now seeing that today, folks getting primed up to be economically and spiritually slaughtered..And the Egregore of Thanksgiving and it’s bigger cash fat Brother, Christmas, just become more and more powerful each year.

 

We will soon have a generation that will look at the holidays not as a time to spend time with family and loved ones, but a time to go shopping and score a good deal for self, and fuck that old lady holding the X-box, she doesn’t need it as much as I do..Black Friday has mutated into an unsightly beast, and we keep feeding it. And this is Magic my friends, pure dark magic, and the Corporations know it. How could they not? It has worked for so long that this entity is now able to feed itself and propagate without us. Black Thursday, Cyber Monday, all smaller Egregore’s feeding off the same energy. Retailers have manipulated customers so much that consumers are begging them to take their money,The invisible hand of the market is too busy doing invisible things to care about children, the elderly, and other people get exploited and if people get exploited its their own fault, as long as the Egregore is empowered. Rape, exploitation, and genocide is the fault of the victim, at least that is what they are trying to sell us. And we are buying it wholesale, for only $99.95.

So this year, if you think about rushing off from your loved ones to get that great deal on a 50′ Plasma TV, try and remember that you are performing magic, but not for your benefit, but to benefit those who want to destroy you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, Stay Gold.

Art- Black Friday- 2015 by: Vincent Piazza

 

 

Black Friday’s Evil Egregore :Magic, Thanksgiving Genocide and Black Friday Stampedes was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

Skinny Puppy and Youth Code, House of Blues Review by : Vincent Piazza

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Hello fiends, it has been twenty years since I’ve seen Skinny Puppy perform live, and let me tell you, it was just as fantastic today as it was back then.For those of you not in the know,Skinny Puppy is an influential post-industrial band, formed in 1982 by core members cEvin Key (Kevin Crompton) and NivekOgre (ohGr) (Kevin Ogilvie) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  The concert was marked by their bizarre and bloody conceptual performance art, which for every concert was planned with the intention of challenging the notions of all who observed. Their music speaks to the ugly young non-conformist in us all, in raw noise and danceable beats, their influence on me as a young man growing up in the nineties, and on industrial music in general, is immense.

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They played classics like Assimilate and Smothered Hope, as well as a few new tunes to a warm crowd that was just mesmerized by the performance. Post-punk politics are a recurring theme utilized by Skinny Puppy. Some say the meaning of their name is that their music and lyrics give a view of the world from the eyes of a starving animal. They have long had an interest in animal rights;this is most obvious in their song Testure, which is about vivisection and other animal testing being scientific fraud.Needless to say, many large syringes were used and abused, and a fine time was had by all.

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The only thing I wanted more of was a few tracks from “Too Dark Park”, but that is just the hallucinogenic album that I owe such a debt to in rabid youth and times spent in a place with good friends, Slidell, La that we dubbed Too Dark Park…. Ah, memories, but I digress.

The opening Act, Youth Code, was also surprisingly stellar, filled with Hate and Rage. Bile and Truth.Sara Taylor and Ryan George, aka Los Angeles’ Youth Code,Brought the fucking house down, uncompromising and consuming You could feel her fierce and brutal take on life and those who live it with a Chainsaw and a Razor Blade.  They are an upcoming band to watch, and I recommend them quite highly.

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All and all, It was a  Brap, a word coined by NivekOgre and defined as a verb meaning “to get together, hook up electronic instruments, get high, and record”.  I couldn’t have said it better myself. I will leave you, dear fiends, with a few more shots of the Show, as I sit at my keyboard and try to process what I saw last night.

 

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All Photos and Writing copyright Vincent Piazza 2015

Stay Gold…

Skinny Puppy and Youth Code, House of Blues Review by : Vincent Piazza was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

Hexagram 38. Kui, Diversity, Disharmony, Estrangement, A wagon carrying devils

It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.

hexagram38-kui

Kui Diversity
— Li Fire
— Dui Lake

Hexagram 38
Fire above
Lake below
Fire, in the upper position, rises upward, and lake in the lower position sinks downward.Therefore, the movement of this hexagram is one of separation. In addition, fire symbolizes the middle daughter, while lake symbolizes the youngest daughter: two sisters who live in the same house disagree.

Kill
Separation. Opposition.To squint.To stare. Unusual,
strange.

The Statement
Estrangement.
In small matters: fortune.

gua38The Gua, Kui, Early Form.

ESTRANGEMENT is the very opposite of family. It can happen to every other kind of relationship as well. A longtime friend suddenly becomes cold. A comrade who usually supports us turns hostile. We seek allies for a
project, but find others against us. Frustrated, we begin to think the worst of others, and we drag out the barricades.
Opposition leads to separation. Separation leads to alienation. If the two sides never build new bridges between them, the separation becomes lasting. Alienation results, and the situation becomes dangerous: No revolution was
ever begun by happy people. Revolts come from the disenfranchised. When Di Xin degenerated into drunkenness and debauchery, ruling by murder rather than reason, others in his government began to oppose him.
King Wen, in a separate fiefdom that still owed allegiance to the Shang dynasty, also opposed the emperor’s moral lapses. Both Di Xin’s more enlightened ministers and King Wen first tried to change the situation diplomatically. But as communication with Di Xin became more difficult, opposition grew. The Shang dynasty might not have been overthrown by the Zhou had Di Xin heard what was being said and had he worked to remedy the difficulties of estrangement.
Opposition. Separation. Alienation. Once these three factors became overwhelming, there was no saving Di Xin .
Opposition can be positive if it is managed correctly. Democratic government incorporates opposition. By having at least two sides ruling, there is a constant struggle within the government to find the superior choice in any situation. Excesses are balanced, and the government is animated by the opposing forces. Just as it takes two people to move a teeter-totter, it takes at least two political parties to make a democracy work.Such embracing of opposition implies that the best results cannot be gained by one person’s judgment. We do not trust any one person or any one political view to lead our country. We want opposing sides in balance against one another. This system is not perfect. It can also degenerate into estrangement, and the inherent inefficiency of human endeavors can sometimes dominate the process. In the long run, however, there will be progress. If we delve deeper into this hexagram, we will find that it has multiple meanings, like the other hexagrams, and that these meanings must be understood simultaneously. Opposition, separation, and estrangement can refer to the separation of things. They also refer to the very yin-yang dichotomy that underlies all assumptions in the Changes. Thus, opposition, separation, and alienation can refer to separation or can refer to the inherent tension that animates all things. Nevertheless, we have to know what to do in the time of estrangement. The Statement tells us that this is a situation where the forces of separation are dominant and we can succeed only in small matters. We have to accept our circumstances and work within those limitations.

The Image closes with the timeless observation that a leader can never truly be like the masses. A leader is different—strange—but that is the way it is. Although we must work with others, we must remain individuals and continue to cultivate our personal excellence. Frankly, people can turn on you at any time. The risks for a leader are considerable. If you must lead, fulfill your responsibilities but realize that you must maintain your own resources
should you and the multitude one day part. Fire above the lake means that there are times when the leader must separate from the gather throng below. Fire above the lake also means that when the opposing forces of a society are
joined (as the lake pools all streams), wisdom rises like the sun. Only then is there a chance of some small success in the time of estrangement.Devils in a Cart

As I consulted the I-ching today, My changing Line was:

■ Top yang : Disharmony results in isolation ; see a pig covered with mire, a wagon carrying devils . First you
draw the bow, later you put the bow down . It is not an enemy but a partner . Going on, it is fortunate if you
encounter rain.
EXPLANATION
At the extreme of disharmony, the mind of Tao has been long buried away, and people don’t pay attention to it; this is disharmony resulting in isolation. With the mind of Tao buried away and the human mentality taking charge of affairs, the influence of habit becomes one’s nature, and doubts and ruminations come forth by the hundreds; this is being like a pig covered with mire, a wagon full of devils.
If you want to restore the mind of Tao, it is necessary to first understand the human mind. But to understand it, it is important to see it :Seeing it as a pig, as devilish, is truly seeing the human mentality and how injurious it is. Once you can see and understand it clearly, your former use of the human mind without understanding is like first drawing a bow, while your later ability to understand and restore the mind of Tao is like afterward putting the bow down. Without the human mind, you don’t see the mind of Tao; without the mind of Tao, you cannot know the human mind. Using the human mind temporarily to restore the mind of Tao, even though the human mind is
the chief of villains, it is also the chief in merit ; it is not an enemy, but really a partner. Once the human mind is seen and the mind of Tao is restored, at this point if you empty the human mind and activate the mind of
Tao, and go on to solve disharmony, then yin and yang combine harmoniously. It is like encountering rain, which washes away the filth of all the pollution of the past, so one is restored to original wholeness and soundness . What can compare to that fortune? This is taking advantage of the time to solve disharmony, inasmuch as disharmony must ultimately be reconciled. So, using the Mind to kill the mind….I may have left you with more Questions then Answers with this post, but that will help you more then me laying it all out for you. Stay Gold….

Art work; A wagon carrying devils , Copyright 2015

Sources: The complete I ching : the definitive translation from the Taoist Master Alfred Huang., The Living
I Ching By: Deng Ming-Dao, The Taoist I Ching Translated by Thomas Cleary.

Hexagram 38. Kui, Diversity, Disharmony, Estrangement, A wagon carrying devils was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

The Legend of Mona Lisa Drive.

This is a story of love gone wrong. One version of the saga is that a wealthy family once lived in the building that now houses Christian Brothers School in City Park. The gentleman of the house had a daughter named Mona and she, as she reached adulthood, had a yearning.
Mona developed a romance with a young man, most often believed to be a sailor. They might have spent their days walking hand-in-hand along the lagoons that now comprise the park, but the father didn’t approve of his daughter’s suitor. He forbade her from seeing him. The daughter was heartbroken beyond her father’s expectations. If she couldn’t live with her sailor than she couldn’t live at all. One evening she ran outside the mansion, leaped into the lagoon and ended her life.
A variation of the story justifies the father’s apprehension – the sailor, it turns out, was just looking for a fling and had no long-term interest in the girl. Standing alongside the lagoon he told the girl that he was leaving for another port. The two got into a tussle and the girl was fatally pushed into the water.
The old man would eventually donate his vast property to the city but under the condition that a Venus statue honoring his daughter would stand in a cul-de-sac at the end at the end of a nearby road. The monument was erected – but there was misfortune. The site attracted large crowds, quite often pairs of lovers moved by the story behind the statue. One night the Venus was knocked down. Eventually the fallen monument was destroyed through neglect and both the road and the cul-de-sac were overcome with vegetation. The exact location would be lost, though we’re told that it was somewhere near the Popp’s Fountain toward the back of the park.
Not lost, however, was Mona. There would forever be stories of an apparition appearing at night quite often delivering a mournful sound, especially at the sight of parked cars and embracing couples. Because of her first name, the area she haunts would be known in popular legend as Mona Lisa Drive.
Not far from the drive, near where the tennis courts stand, I personally experienced supernatural sounds in the night, especially in the evenings during the weeks when the first chills usually set in. Over the sounds of tennis balls being whacked there would suddenly be screams, cackles, sirens and yells. Even the nearby raccoons would scurry as the sounds grew progressively louder, than disappeared only or return again. In the distance there would be blinking lights silhouetting the trees.
Mona might have experienced the sounds, too, although non-believers dismiss her as just another lover’s lane urban legend. Former University of New Orleans anthropologist Ethelyn Orso studied such tales and notes that as the population shifted, so did the location of the stories. One version placed Mona Lisa Drive near Williams Boulevard in Kenner. Orso also observes that many of the teenagers who told the tale confused the apparition with the sound she supposedly made. They listed her name as being “Moaner” Lisa.
Not legends at all were the wails and screams heard from the tennis courts. Those sounds lasted through several October’s but were eventually exorcised by Katrina. After the storm the nearby old swimming pool, which housed the Sheriff’s annual Haunted House, was torn down. No more would the hay wagons wind their way through the park. The automated scary sounds would be muted. The blinking lights of the ever-protective police would go elsewhere.
Now the autumn evenings in City Park are darker as they once were. Lovers Lanes have moved to other places. As the evening progresses Mona has the night to herself. The quietness is broken only by the sound of acorns making their plunge.
Wherever legend takes Mona Lisa Drive, City Park, with its moss-draped oaks and moonlit ponds, is where it should be forever. Not far from where hot-headed Creole men once dueled beneath the trees, poor Mona deserves to roam freely finding at least the embrace of nature if not her wayward sailor.

But if you are able to find it, not far from Popp’s Fountain, and are persistent and courageous, you may be able to sift your way through the undergrowth to the spot where the deteriorating pedestal is all that remains of the bronze statue of Mona.

What remains of her ghost is anyone’s guess.

If you wish to find Mona yourself, here are a few clues…

Go to the first link I’ve posted below, scroll down slightly to find Harrison Circle. (Make sure you are on “hybrid view”.) Popp’s Fountain is the large circular fountain near where Zachary Taylor Drive dead-ends 😉 into Marconi Drive.

Look at the “Haunted” link I posted below. On the right side of the page, above their lousy picture of the fountain, is a fairly good shot of Mona Lisa. It isn’t so much of a road as a broad paved path. I’ve included a link to a good picture of Popp’s Fountain.

A couple things to note:
– The satellite image is post-Katrina. (See the blue tarps?) Debris may obscure the statue.
– The haunted website says the drive is a mile long. I don’t believe it. The whole park is only about a half mile wide x 2.5 miles long. If Mona Lisa was a mile long, it would stretch nearly half of the length of the WHOLE PARK.

Good luck…and don’t stay out too late! 😉

Source(s):Satellite Map of City Park: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&ge…
View of Popp’s Fountain: http://goneworleans.about.com/od/parks/i…
View of the drive (right side of page): http://www.hauntedneworleanstours.com/ha…

Art: “Mona Lisa Drives” Vincent Piazza

Sources: http://www.hauntedneworleanstours.com/hauntedroads/monalisadr/,http://blog.autopartswarehouse.com/2014/10/you-wouldnt-want-to-drive-on-these-spooky-haunted-roads-on-halloween/

Mona Lisa Drive

The Legend of Mona Lisa Drive. was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand