"There is a black sun which is not visible to the human eye. It is our beacon and its fire burns within us." -- Akkadian temple inscription



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Black Sun

Steven Kaye's irregularly updated blog

I decided to go with a prettier (if darker) layout, the skin "Only the end of the world" created by Valyn and available over on Blogskins.com. Her site, monsters-under-the-bed.com, is a link on the sidebar. Some of the text of older entries is stretched across the column, so I might go back and do some editing to change that. And I have to figure out whether I'm going to have a remotely-hosted e-mail form or restore my old mailto. Still, things are coming along nicely. Update: Except for the URLs of The Black Seal and my old website being completely fouled up, that is. Sorted.
After checking to make sure the file path was all right (it was), experimenting with the file upload format (Automatic, Text, Raw Data, various binary formats), I finally said to hell with it and found another copy of the image. The (successfully loaded) image is from Phil Williams' site, and it's a JPEG rather than a GIF (so it's smaller). At some point I'll see if I can compress it further so it will load faster and I can fool myself into thinking I've modified the image enough to not feel guilty any more.
To borrow a conversational tic from a character in Steve Aylett's Atom, I am growing tusks trying to figure out what's wrong with this image uploading thing. Is the file uploaded with the right extension? Yep. Is the path given in the URL correct? Yep. Bah. Go look at the image I was talking about on Phil Williams' New Alchemy site. It's credited to the 1622 Philosophia Reformata rather than the Viridiarium Chymicum, and Adam McLean seems to agree. While looking for other interesting examples of black suns, I found a reference to a Gérard de Nerval poem, "El Desdichado" (el desdichado is Spanish for "the disinherited one") cited in T.S. Eliot's "The Waste-Land," an organized crime outfit in the Star Wars universe and a Canadian body-piercing studio. Gérard de Nerval associated with Théophile Gautier and Petrus Borel (le lycanthrope), among other Romantic writers of the 1830s. Petrus Borel will get a blog entry of his own shortly - he's not as well-known as his contemporaries, but he certainly deserves to be.
This is an image from the 1624 alchemical text Viridiarium Chymicum, which could be translated as The Alchemical Garden. It depicts the alchemical stage known as fermentation, when the blackness of putrefactio yields to the inspiration of coniunctio. It's also a chance for me to play with image uploading, or, more accurately, try to figure out why Blogger won't display my uploaded image file (Note from the future: obviously, this is no longer the case).
Image courtesy of Phil Williams' New Alchemy site.
© 2002, Steven Kaye