Life’s calling as the ‘Queen of Swords’

CNN Photos

She’s willing to invite up to 14 swords, some 29 inches long, past her esophagus, but she is rarely willing to invite people past her front door.

The self-proclaimed “Queen of Swords,” Natasha Veruschka, a multiple Guinness World Record holder for swallowing swords, is quite reserved for a woman who makes a living performing in front of hundreds of people around the globe.

“My age is like my phone number: unlisted,” she told LIFE photographer Zoran Milich, who over the past two months established a rapport with the professional sword swallower.

“The first time I did it, it felt like home. It made me complete,” she says of ingesting swords.

Her 5’4” stature, 92-pound frame and bubbly persona make it hard to believe she’s in the profession of ingesting blades of steel, but her glowing neon sword, which illuminates from the inside out reveals this is not a magic…

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Maine Expands Medical Marijuana Laws To Inlcude Psychics Suffering From Second Sight Glaucoma

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Crystal BallIn a move that is sure to get him the Psychic vote in the upcoming Gubernatorial Election, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a law today allowing the use of medical marijuana by Psychics suffering from second sight glaucoma.

“I knew this day would come.  I had foreseen it,” declared Madame Clara, the Bangor Psychic who had led the campaign for second sight glaucoma sufferers.  “The vision was hazy at first because of my condition, but I can see everything so much clearer now, if you know that I mean.”

Maine is a pretty laid back state, so the new law didn’t come as a surprise to this Modern Philosopher, who actually got a nice chuckle out of the fact that LePage waited until April 20 to approve it.  Perhaps a little showmanship on the embattled Governor’s part?

potCy Brown, the famed Bangor attorney, was proud to tell me this it…

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Hekate Ritual Bundles

The Witch of Forest Grove

Cleansing the herb and snake specimens with palo santoSome believe that fetishes and medicine bundles belong to Shamanism or Vodou and Hoodoo alone, but Witchcraft and fetishism have long been mixed bedfellows. We need only to look at all the artefacts and charms in the Boscastle Witchcraft Museum to see this is so.  A fetish can be anything from a simple bird foot or skull to a more elaborately crafted doll, pouch, or bottle. It is any object believed to have its own spirit we can communicate with and work with in our magic and rites. As an animist I believe everything has a spirit – even the tools I use to contact other spirits. Because of this, fetishes need to be cared for, fed energy and offerings, and kept in a safe and sacred place when not in use.

This week I pulled out my leather, my sewing kit, and my specimens of poisons and bone…

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Tudor stuff: Tudor history from the heart of England

Harvington Hall is well known for it’s wall paintings (see link) which were completed in the 1600’s. Until 1936 these paintings had lain forgotten beneath a layer of whitewash although they have since been uncovered and can be seen by visitors to the Hall. The largest of these paintings(above) is of a mermaid and this image is today’s subject.

The Mermaid passage.

The Harvington mermaid lies above a doorway on the first floor and can best be seen as one leaves the great chamber. The picture shows a two tailed mermaid sitting on a scallop shell. Around the mermaid are two smaller mermaids as well as an intricate scrolling design including what appear to be fountains of water as well as vases and fruit.

The image of fruit on the mermaids head suggests (to me) a cornucopia – an image associated with female fertility. The picture is in…

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Romance Was Born at Australia Fashion Week

Maison Mouse

Ethereal ensembles in a kaleidoscope of candy colours hit the catwalk on Monday at Australia Fashion Week. The label? Romance Was Born. The theme? Mushroom Magic. The sponsor? None other than Disney.

1-Romance Was Born Disney Cinderella Alice Australia Fashion Week 1

Inspired by Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, the designing duo behind Romance Was Born (Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales) created a psychedelic collection that took a bite out of both sides of the mushroom. It was equal parts whimsical and wacky, magical and mad, presenting Cheshire Cat jumpsuits, princess-themed dresses and mushroom-embellished sweaters on a set so sweet it could have given you a toothache. Literally, in fact, given that it was made out of sugar by sugar-craft artist Tanya Schultz of Pip and Pop.

1-Romance Was Born Disney Cinderella Alice Australia Fashion Week 6

One outfit (above), comprised of tights, shorts and a sweater in midnight blue, was entirely covered in twinkles from Cinderella while graphics from the film (shoes, birds and squirrels) were appliquéd onto…

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Scientists Discover Dark Lightning

Very Cool.


For years now scientists have been observing strange gamma ray bursts coming from the heart of thunderstorm cells. Until now, there was no firm evidence as to what could be generating this form of radiation, it was thought that it may be coming from normal lighting. Now it appears they may have solved the puzzle. It’s called dark lightning and it’s invisible, since the human eye can’t detect that part of the spectrum (gamma rays). But dark lightning is just as dangerous as visible lightning, but the chances of being struck by it are much more complicated. First of all, you can’t get struck by dark lightning if you’re standing on the ground, you would have to be flying through the heart of the thunderstorm. Even then your chances of being hit by dark lightning are 1 in 1000 strikes. But what would happen if you did get hit by…

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