#OCCULTOBER: As the Worm Turns

I have been sick (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this) and I’m still under the weather a bit. Hell of a time for me to be so. This is my shining moment, when, for a brief time, I am aligned with the masses, when they all spend a month or so wrapped in the cloak I wear year round. That’s alright, no amount of discomfort will dissuade my spirit.

That said, I will not be posting a review of Loki and Sigyn today as I imagined I would. I am only a third of the way through it. I am enjoying it well enough. It’s not exactly a scholarly treatise, but I appreciate an author who’s heart is in the work.

While I did not finish Loki, I did help host a Halloween Party on Saturday. I read fortunes with the Jack O’Lantern Tarot (a big hit) and led a “ghost hunt” through one of my favorite haunted locations. It was a great night spent with friends and family and, while I was admittedly hopped up on pain meds, I felt pretty good, with a bit of a backslide on Sunday.

Connor and I took in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and I’ve got to say, I have mixed emotions. It is more faithful than David Lynch’s adaptation. It’s an attractive film, with stunning visuals and spectacular effects. It has a stellar cast, and thematically, it’s focused… but David Lynch’s version, despite the obvious warts, is a far better film. Villeneuve covers roughly one third of the novel, while Lynch tells the complete story in less time. You would think with the slower pace we would get more time to get to know the characters. No. Lynch, in his weird and spartan retelling delves so much deeper into everyone’s motivations. Villeneuve’s film is soulless and vapid, while Lynch delivered a masterclass in peeling back the layers of the spirit, exploring religion and politics and cult of personality. Villeneuve’s Dune is pretty, but Lynch’s Dune is a true epic.

In this Tale of Two Paul’s, Kyle MacLachlan’s character is one I feel for, one I am invested in. TimothĂ©e Chalamet, on the other hand, delivers a Paul who I do not care for in the slightest. The same is true of every character we meet in Villeneuve’s Dune, save for Oscar Issac’s Duke Leto. His is the only character who is given any depth and the movie suffers for it.

On a scale 1-10 Sand Worms, I give the 2021 Dune (Part One) 6.5 (maybe 7 if I wasn’t under the weather). As for David Lynch’s Dune? Hell, I’d give 10 Sand Worms alone just for Alicia Witt’s demon child scene at the end.

As Samhain approaches, we detect that not so subtle shift as the separation between worlds is but a whisper. Rain is falling on the haunted hinterlands now, of the sort that holds the promise of winter. Soon, frost will abound, and the northern spirits will return to their proper station. I’ve so many plans and so little time….

Tomorrow night, I’ll be joining Shawn Hebert, Michelle Belanger, and Eilfie Music for a talk about magick and the paranormal. I can hardly wait and I look forward to sharing it with you.

That’s all for now. The rain will not lessen. I can hear it calling me the way it used to do…

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