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Ex Cathedra
The Worms are Revolting
Light and Form
Deep Void Delirium Forge
Outer Darkness
Void Dwellers


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A New Blog is Borne!
(Note the cynical irony of the spelling. . .clever, I know.) 
I'm the proud poppa of The DeepVoid Skitzoid Blog.  You have my permission to browse freely and without adult supervision.  To do so, click here.

You may surmise that it is my opinion that the web is glutted with senseless, vain and utterly stupid blogs.  You would be correct. 
However, this opinion is valid only when applied to blogs that aren't mine. 

New Pictures Added! 
Ex Cathedra, 9, Outer Darkness and Light and Form.

Light and Form gets a new page.

Two New Series are Begun: 
The Worms Are Revolting and
The Deep Void Delirium Forge

Want to know what everything means? 
Check out the Exposition of Terms page.
Updated erratically, so check back every couple of minutes.

Welcome to Lux Astra!

Hi.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy your stay.

What you'll find is a whole bunch of pictures that I've taken over the course of time.  For one reason or another, some of these pictures sparked my imagination. In them I found fantastic worlds full of things strange and mysterious, creatures created piecemeal from parts of things long gone and forgotten, structures leviathan and quantum in realms of strange and wonderful  physics where things we can achieve only in our most unrestrained dreams are the order of the day.

Often, the images my camera caught were like the ghosts of other dimensions; formless, unnameable, only primal, naked light, bent, split, twisted, wrought into form as if it were something physical, a medium like the oils of the painter or the marble of the sculptor.  I think there is great beauty in the formless; something alive almost, something shed of fetters, as if, loosed of body and form and thought, it can be as it is, free to act as itself, to move in a natural state, to be more than a base catalyst, more than a  developer.  In formless color and colorless form, light should be revered for more than the simple work it performs as expositor of beauty in things we ourselves create, it should be acclaimed for the beauty of it's own. 

It's true that, on occasion, we see that innate beauty without seeking it;  in a high, miles-long rainbow shimmering against clearing skies; in the Aurora Borealis, light so beautiful and strange and wonderful that it makes our jaw drop and heart leap.  It is then, during those rare and marvelous moments, that the light becomes a presence, so tangible that we feel if only we could suspend our disbelief, we could touch other worlds where we could push away from gravity's clutching fingers and drift along, suspended warm, weightless and smiling in the glow of golden twilight.

Then, too, there are times, looking into the empyrean, marveling at the stars so far and bright, like sparks adrift in molten pitch, seen at present as they were years, centuries, aeons past, that visions come unbidden of floating through the void, through an endless, trackless gulf filled with infinite sparkling, twinkling points of light, and impossibly far, unimaginably colossal galaxies that pulse like beating hearts in slow, millennial motion through shifting colors unconceived... 

On perfect nights, in perfect sleep, I dream these dreams.

So, light and color and form and formless are the stuff of those dreams.  To be sure, they are not always bright and open to the shining sun - they too can be dark, full of menace and malevolence, home to things lurking, watching, waiting in the void of lightless places. They speak in whispers, with voices like the play of blades across soft skin.  They laugh, low and mirthless, with the promise of horrors to be, with the pleasure of being instruments of fear.  Hidden, glimpsed in the periphery of shadow, they move unseen, betrayed by the click of claws and quickening of foul breath as they make approach to strike. They are black lightning, rarely seen directly, known only by where they were, gone before the eye can fix upon them.  They are all the more horrible for this.  Creatures only guessed at by a disturbance of air or a slithering snap of leaves, made monstrous by the mind as it conjures form and fang from every fear housed within its limitless chambers.  They are the most personal of monsters, aggregates of dread and hate and terror.   
They can be frightening, it's true, but they are always interesting

Sometimes in the colors and geometry of captured light, I can imagine therein features of the familiar world, things, places, people even, only they are somehow unfamiliar in such settings, both real and near to life and in the same frame unreal and distant, a view of the routine world seen through strange eyes. 

Through the pictures on these pages, I hope to give you a glimpse of these things as I see them through the lenses of my eyes and my camera.
I am neither a professional photographist, nor even an expert amateur.  I shoot what I like and what I think will make the type of picture that I'd enjoy seeing. Sometimes I get it right. Much of the time I don't. 
I admire the work and spirit of artists such as Ansel Adams and Man Ray less for their mastery of the medium in which they worked, than for the magic they created in their works.  I do not, however, aspire to be like them.
While they are bright beacons, I wish to burn with my own light, grouped among the heavens or as a solitary star.

When deep insights and profundities are peeled away, the fact is that I have a lot of fun taking photographs. There is something existential, something extra-mundane about planning and setting up a picture and photographing it to finding that it turned out exactly as your imagination thought it should.  Or, to prepare and shoot and discover things within the picture that you had never before seen, things that did not exist in your sight until caught mid-becoming by the camera. In the spectra of color and the geometries of form exist worlds within worlds, dreams within dreams.

Whether these photographs are considered art or waste or something in between is of no mind to me.  Exploring the world of color and form and giving life to it on occasion is something I enjoy. That's enough for me.

I hope you enjoy looking.

Music on selected pages by:
Bohren & der Club of Gore
From the Album - Black Earth



All works on this site are Copyright © 2010 - 2011 by Mercury Marten.
All rights reserved.
No work, or portion thereof, may be reproduced by any means, electronic or otherwise, or stored on any device, without the express written consent of the copyright holder.
Just to be clear, if you decide you'd like to use one of my works, email me with your proposal.  Make sure it's written in either American or British English.  Colloquialisms are fine as long as they are not too locally specific. Slang ain't cool. Profanity, while not encouraged, is acceptable under certain conditions. Any email containing 'words' used by txtrs, or the words 'webinar' or 'boondoggle' will be summarily deleted and a virus sent in response.  As will any correspondence containing the phrase "I could care less," when the writer means, "I couldn't care less," or the use of since in place of because. The splitting of infinitives and the ending of sentences with prepositions is fine and dandy. The rules prohibiting such are stupid rules, in my opinion, and because my opinion is the correct one, it is the one you should adopt as your own.  
However, bad grammar is something up with which I will not put.  So please be writing at me with real good grammar.  Speling counts!  

It should go without saying that all the pictures on this site were taken by me and belong to me.  Therefore, I feel compelled to assert my absolute and incontestable right to ownership. If you want to use a picture for simple, noncommercial purposes - as your desktop image on your computer screen, for example - then by all means you are welcome to do so.  I'm flattered you think enough of the pictures to use them thus.  However, if you want to distribute, disseminate, copy, or otherwise reproduce my pictures for monetary or non-monetary gain, you are forbidden from doing so not only by law, but also by the simple fact that they are not yours. Also, while we're on the subject, don't be an ass by representing these works as your own.  Tracking you down and prosecuting you to the full extent of the law may be tedious and expensive, but you may rest well assured that I'll do it.  It's just the principle of the thing, you know?


You can drop me a line at*
*I prefer donations in small, non-sequential bills or bearer bonds.  Also, be aware that if you send me a grouchy, abusive email, I can give waaaaay better than I get.

see below

Just one more thing;  while the material on this site is not specifically adult-oriented, there are portions - mostly text - that most parents probably would prefer their kids not see. These deal with occult practices, violence, and sexuality, with an occasional four-letter word thrown in. You won't find anything as explicitly horrific as say, the 120 Days of Sodom, but I think it's a good idea just to let everyone know up front that the material on the following pages might not be appropriate for kids or those with sensitive psyches.