A Visionary Voudon Artist

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An interview with Sean Woodward
A Visionary Voudon Artist 

Many often speak of the “current” but personally, I feel that this term is used  loosely without it being referenced within its true meaning. Justifiably I can describe Sean Woodward as a man walking within a strong Voudun current, which is very apparent throughout the work that he produces and his profound accomplishments exhibited internationally. The more, I prepared for this interview with Sean, the more I realised that he didn’t just produce work, he lives and breathes it from within his core, and as a true devotee, why would it be any different?

Sean Woodward

Sean Woodward

Sean Woodward is a contemporary artist, esotericist, writer, publisher, poet and musician with over three and a half decades of dedicated magickal experience and artistic expression. He stands at the crossroads between the arts and technology and seeks to utilise this unique fusion to create artistic portals and magickal machines of illumination and devotion to the Hoodoo and Les Vudu.

He currently serves as the British representative for Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua & La Couleuvre Noire.

In the early 1980s he was a member of the Typhonian Nephthys Arachna Power Zone (affiliated to the OTOA) and has a lifetime charter as Knight Diplomatis Supreme (Society OTO).

He is represented by ZOSHOUSE Fine-Art and maintains a presence at facebook.com/seanofficial and gothick.co.uk. Limited edition prints, original works and his tarot are available from seanwoodward.com


An Interview prelude with Sean Woodward

It think it’s excellent for us to have connected, thank you so much for this opportunity to share insight on what you do. Sean, you’re a contemporary artist, esotericist, writer, poet and musician with decades of dedicated magickal experience and artistic expression.. much of It originating reaching from  Hermetics, Witchcraft, Chaos Magick (only naming a few) to the gnosis the of Vodoun current …lets focus on the NOW…what defines and influences you today?
Today it is the Voudon Gnostic current as revealed by Michael Bertiaux which is the engine-house of both my creative and magickal work. It’s a path that I have been associated with since the early 1980’s when I was a member of the Typhonian Nephtys Arachna Power Zone. Whilst the Voudon Gnostic tradition has its foundation in esoteric Haitian traditions, its eclectic nature is a good fit with my own experiences of Thelemic, Witchcraft, Hermetic, Vajrayana and Shinto practices. In many ways I have found that all those other paths are cast into shadow by the majesty and power of the Voudon Gnostic path.

You’ve a solid digital foundation which no matter which path you follow is sure to pave with the need of technology these days…what advice do you have to offer the esoteric community on how to make an impactful esoteric digital imprint?
That’s a very interesting question as there is often a clear split between people drawn to technology and those that gravitate towards the arts/arte magick. Personally I’ve always stood at that crossroads. I saw the huge potential of the digital era for both communication and expression at the birth of the web and having experience of the digital marketing landscape means I understand the intricacies of SEO, social media and building and driving traffic to websites. The technologies have now reached a saturation point where they are just part of the infrastructure of many people’s lives, available at the swipe of a finger. Today it’s easy to have your fifty minutes of Twitter fame, but making an impact is still all about the content, about the value of the message and the way it’s portrayed. That was one of the factors that caused me to step back from some digital methodologies and return to hands-on techniques, producing artefacts wrapped in magick.

As I am a seer and Tarot reader I’m really interested how you merged the Voudon current within your 64 card deck what you have coined as the “Carrefour Tarot”
The Carrefour Tarot is actually based upon the 1st Year teachings of the Monastery of the Seven Rays, created at the suggestion of the Secretary of the OTOA-LCN. For this reason it is unlike any traditional tarot but is an unfolding of the elemental energies of Leghba and the 16-fold energies of

Carrefour Tarot

Carrefour Tarot

the Order. It was created during an intensive phase of working with the Lucky Hoodoo energies that in turn opened up Saturn, Cosmic and Gnostic spaces. These are portrayed in the cards, themselves becoming portals. Following discussions with the Sovereign Grand Master I created a second version of the original 32 cards to represent their negative energies. In this way the deck can also be used for rudimentary divination. The first 100 decks also have an additional six signifier cards which represent special forces in the tradition, such as Spider Loa and Gran Bois. Every deck is packed by hand and the packing enhanced with sigils and spells of activation for its individual owner.

Being an initiate and representative of the Ordo Templi Antiqua & La Couleuvre Noire, must come with huge responsibilities, have challenges increased over the years?
It’s a great honour to be the OTOA-LCN Emissary for Great Britain and Ireland, to be able to mentor students and help stoke the furnace of the current renaissance of the Order. In this respect I recently reunited the Order with a number of historic audio recordings and publications it’s past. In essence however, the responsibilities and challenges remain the same, but with each passing year I am privileged to see their transmutation and flowering.

The words “Visionary & Insightful” comes to mind when I see your work, but I also see Dedication & Power within your work with the Lwa. Would you please help clarify what I’m picking up on this?
It’s great that you’re sensitive to those sensibilities! My recent work has been very much empowered by working with the currents of the Order, to the point where I continue to be driven to express and earth many of the mysteries that are revealed to me. This began as a very visceral experience that has strengthened my relationship with those energies. Some of the first communications were received in Cuba and there are Palo Moyambe motifs that continue as signature elements in my work. Later these were augmented following exposure to the Vodou: Kunst und Kult aus Haiti exhibition in Bremen. My experience with the Gholem energies at this time in both Germany and Prague are explored in my forthcoming essay ‘A Hieroglyphic Exegesis of the gholem Gnozis’ in Edgar Kerval’s Qliphoth journal.

My abiding hope is that my work might trigger the first vestiges of illumination in those unaware of the tradition, but perhaps experiencing a feeling of familiarity, or unknowingly drawn to it.


Credits and Links:
www.SeanWoodward.com

Publications

Illustrations

  • Lama of Leng, The Thirteenth Path 1 (Aeon Sophia Press, 2014)
  • Icon of the Magic Cube, COILS I.IV (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • Leghba Invinctus, COILS I.IV (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • The Gnostic Cross of Light, COILS I.IV (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • The Carrefour Tarot (ZOSHOUSE, 2013)
  • The Initiate of the Northern Cross, Qliphoth Opus III (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Carrefour Syzygies, Qliphoth Opus III (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • The Twins of the Ritual Design, Qliphoth Opus III (Nephilim Press, 2013) Master of the Words of the Island Under the Sea, Qliphoth Opus III (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Black Snake Ghuede Portal, Sabbatica (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Gros Bon Ange, Sabbatica (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Ti Bon Ange, Sabbatica (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Mister Guede, Qliphoth Opus I (Aeon Sophia Press, 2013)
  • Second Life Ashram flyer (Prosperity Path, 2013)
  • Frost Priest Ov Thee Witch Cult, COILS I.III (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • Time Travelling Vudu Mage at Alexandria, COILS I.III (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • Bizango Gnosis Protector, COILS I.III (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • Vudu Priestess ov thee Witch Cult, Silver Star II.IV (Horus Maat Lodge, 2012)
  • Erzulie, Zhoupheus 1 (2013)
  • The Heresy (Invisible Lodge) Silver Star I.V (Horus Maat Lodge, 2006)
  • Winter Solstice, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Indian Dreams, Digital PhotoFX (EMPAP Apex Publications,1998)
  • The Magicks of Hermes, Exposicao Internacional de Arte Postal
  • Cover Design, New Works 4 (Wirksworth Writers, 2011)
  • Cover design, Moonstone 47
  • Portrait with Greek Bust and Cat (Photomontage), Leicester Haymarket Theatre Programme
  • Nightclub flyer for Bounce Management

Essays 

  • Of the Word and Conjuration of Gholems, COILS I.IV (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • The Living Atua of the Carrefour Tarot, Qliphoth Opus III  (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • The Death and Resurrection Show, Sabbatica (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Erzulie, The Hoo Queen of Sirius, Zhoupheus 1 (2013)
  • Of the Word and Conjuration of Gholems, COILS I.IV (OTOA-LCN, 2013)
  • The Living Atua of the Carrefour Tarot, Qliphoth Opus III  (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • The Death and Resurrection Show, Sabbatica (Nephilim Press, 2013)
  • Erzulie, The Hoo Queen of Sirius, Zhoupheus 1 (2013)

Fiction

  • Blackmouth Beach, Qliphoth Opus II
  • The Shadow Queen of Sirius, Qliphoth Opus I (Aeon Sophia Press, 2013)
  • House of the Witch, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2008)
  • Christmas Angels, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2007)
  • A Christmas in Brompton, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2001)
  • The Lord of Misrule, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2010)
  • Death Codex Part I, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Death Codex Part II, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Death Codex Part III, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Death Codex Part IV, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Death Codex Part V, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Death Codex Part VI, Estronomicon (Screaming Dreams, 2006)
  • Phoenix in the Attic, Lawrence and the Real England (Staple, School of Humanities 1985)

Poetry Collections

  • Dervish Days (Dragonheart Press, 2006, 2012)
  • Verbal Narcotics (Dragonheart Press, 1989)
  • Songs of the Skin (Salford Pocket Books, 1988)
  • Winds of Karma: Spoken Word (ZOSHOUSE, 2008)
  • Deja-Vu (Selected Poems 1982-1987) (Dragonheart Press, 1987)

Poetry – Anthology Appearances

  • The Cult of Ku, The Thirteenth Path 1 (Aeon Sophia Press, 2014)
  • Vudu Priestess ov thee Witch Cult, Silver Star II.IV (Horus Maat Lodge, 2012)
  • Stanton Moor, New Works 4 (Wirksworth Writers, 2011)
  • This Solstice Anniversary, New Works 4 (Wirksworth Writers, 2011)
  • Magick Carpet Ride, Silver Star I.V (Horus Maat Lodge, 2006)
  • Scarlet Queen, Silver Star I.V (Horus Maat Lodge, 2006)
  • Keepers of the Way, Silver Star I.V (Horus Maat Lodge, 2006)
  • Billion Dollar Skin, Silver Star I.V (Horus Maat Lodge, 2006)
  • Feeding the Pony, Leicester Haymarket Theatre Programme
  • The Painted Shell, Leicester Haymarket Theatre Programme
  • Burma Burns, Moonstone 50
  • Bali Fire, Moonstone 48
  • Denied, Moonstone 47
  • Through the Window, Moonstone 45
  • Sleep Walk, Moonstone 41
  • The Dark Trees, Moonstone 40
  • My Wraith and I, Moonstone 40
  • Untitled Chaos, Moonstone 39
  • Solstice Morn, Moonstone 36
  • Chanoyu, Moonstone 35
  • Orion’s Rising, Moonstone 25
  • Senseless?, Moonstone 24
  • Dark of the Moon, Moonstone 19
  • The Perilous Chapel, Moonstone 18
  • Eleusian Chants, Moonstone 18
  • Footsteps of a Flea, Moonstone 11
  • The Abyss Prayer, Moonstone
  • Tonight, Moonstone
  • Pilgrimage, Moonstone
  • Miscellany, Moonstone
  • Stroking the Darkness, Moonstone
  • Thunder God, Moonstone
  • Vanitas Still Life, Moonstone
  • Beneath the Waterfall, Moonstone
  • Beneath the Waterfall, First Time
  • Stormy Weather, New Hope International
  • Heavy Rain, Mailout (East Midlands Arts)
  • AOS, Memes 2
  • Blowing Suicidal, Staple
  • Clockwork, Staple
  • Sixes and Sevens, Staple 8
  • Stanton Moor, Staple
  • Arbor Low, Staple
  • Poetry Nottingham
  • Folio
  • Across Sophia’s Face, Poetic Licence (spoken word, Derby Community Arts)

Music

Music – Albums as Gothick

  • Abbey Ov Lost Souls (ZOSHOUSE 2012)
  • Voudon City (ZOSHOUSE 2012)
  • Retrospecktive (ZOSHOUSE 2011)
  • Zodios (Quartier23 2011)
  • NU-HAD-RA: Visions Ov Liber Legis (ZOSHOUSE 2009)
  • Convokation Ov Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Bleak 2008)
  • Evokation Ov Hadit (Delta Wave Underground 2008)
  • Invokation Ov Nuit (Amduscias Records 2008)
  • Royal Alchemy (ZOSHOUSE 2007)
  • Earthworx (Splushnay Records 2006)
  • Abyss Walker (Splushnay Records 2005)
  • Metal (Splushnay Records 2002)
  • Carnal (Splushnay Records 2000)
  • Best Of 1995-2000 (Splushnay Records 2000)
  • Gothic Knowledge (Splushnay records 1999)

Music – Appearances as Gothick

  • Les Mysteres, Qliphoth Opus I CD , Aeon Sophia Press  2013
  • Black Rock City, Apocalyptic Summer, Empire of Bliss 2012
  • Invisible Country, Qliphoth Opus II, Aeon Sophia Press 2012
  • Timeships Of The Spider Lwa, Audio Assault 1, CMP 2012
  • Feats Ov Thee Loa, The Seven Deadly Sins – Gula, SDS 2011
  • 23 Transyuggothian Transmissions, Twenty Three Seconds Ov Time Volume 3, AIN 2011
  • Visions Ov Pan, Dark Ambient Vol 1, Sombre Soniks 2011
  • All Ov These Cities (Standing Together), Dark Artists for Japan Earthquake Relief, Catapult 2011
  • Eyes Ov Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Thee Other Album, One TrueTOPI Tribe 2011
  • Aiwass Is In The House, And Now For Something Completely Different, Amex Nori 2011
  • Furnance of Prayers, Septem – The Seven Luminaries, Quartier23 2011
  • Whole Ov Thee Law, Do What Thou Will, Sombre Soniks 2010
  • Sex Magick, Sex Magick, Quartier23 2009
  • Goat Ov Mendes, The Devil, Tarot Series 2009
  • Kiss The Whip, That’s Romance (A Loving Tribute to John Zewizz), FS Records 2009
  • Litanies Ov Satan, A Tribute to Ruth White, TheeBradMiller Series 2009
  • Aliens Amongst Us, Sonic Terror I, De Rebellenclub 2009
  • Man Ov Earth, New Aeon Symbols V, Quartier23 2009
  • Ov Thee, Spirits Nest, Lomeanor 2009
  • Solstice Darkstar, Darkmass 2008, Okkulth Records, 2008
  • Of Orient Are We (Three Kings), A Candle’s Golden Glow, Dark Winter 2007

Music – Albums as Sons ov Sirius

  • Lapids Lazvli  (ZOSHOUSE, 2012)

Videos – Appearances as Gothick

  • Road To Acre, Zodios Album Promo  (ZOSHOUSE, 2011)
  • Premiered at A NIGHT FULL OF NOISE 5, Rebellenclub 2011)

Poetry 

Editor

  • New Moon Rises (Dragonheart Press , 1992)
  • Derbyshire Poets (Dragonheart Press, 1990)

Adjudicator

  • Faith and Spirituality Poems (The Forum for Faiths at Derby University)

Delegate, Appointments and Appearances

  • Writing Industries Conference, Loughborough University, 2008
  • Art Director, British Association of Myasthenics Well Dressings
  • Writers’ Workshop Leader, Derby Community Arts
  • Wirksworth Festival, 2011
  • Chesterfield Festival
  • Derby Festival of Words
  • Derby City Festival Live

Art – Exhibitions

  • Tomorrow’s Past, Derby Community Arts

Prizes

  • DH Lawrence Festival Poetry Competition, 1985
  • Special Recommendation, Derby Evening Telegraph Poet of the Year, 1999
  • World Wildlife Fund National Poetry Day Poem for the Environment, 1995

 

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