The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Newtown Grafiti

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Ms. Heather over at NYshitty recently ran a piece on some interesting runic grafiti found in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Examination by her extensive network revealed a sinister meaning to the appearance of these runes. Connections to the late 19th century German mystics and conjurers who inspired Hitler’s Wagnerian mythos emerged.

As I’ve ambled across the Newtown Pentacle in the last few years, I too have noticed odd grafiti that hints of esoteric knowledge. My interests and studies have crossed the left hand path more than once, and I have the eye of one acquainted with an iconography of the occult. The Pentacle is steeped in magick all the way back to the Dutch.

This makes sense, as the pastoral shamanism of the Koreans and the ghost worshipping of the Catholics stands cheek by jowl with Nestorian Christianity and the Yesidi clan of Kurdish devil worshippers (here’s one of their holy books- I shit you not). Mohammedan or Hasid, Presbyterian or Hindoo, all the mainstream faiths in the area have thrown great spires at the sky and filled the socratic skyline with their particular “gnosis”. The one thing all these people have in common, other than problems with subway service, is that every one of these churches has its apostates. The Catholics have Opus Dei, and the Muslims have the Sufists.

Groups of true believers who think that the “big church” has lost its way, these philosophies offer hidden truths and revelation. Cults, or as we might say it in modern newspeak- “self organizing grass roots gatherings of religious enthusiasts”. Often, these cults form within gangs. The South American and Mexican gangs, in particular, are known to employ magicians called “Padrinos” to amplify their advantages in hostile encounters. If you believe in magick, it works. They do.

In February of 2009, during a religious ritual in Flushing, a 6 year old was burned with “accelerants”. Invocations of a Loa often involve spitting flaming rum at the intended participant of the ceremony. Santeria (and its black magick equivalent- Palo) also employs similar magickal techniques and symbology.

Also… how does Aleister Crowley always end up getting into the mix? The goetia, which that nasty man said was “the Lesser Key of Solomon” contains ritual sigil designs that are very similar to designs found appearing all over Astoria since mid 2007. A better thing to read, would be this. Seriously, this is the craziest thing you’ll see today. Ok, maybe this is.

If you’re interested in this sort of thing, I would suggest reading up on the Rosicrucians, The Order of the Golden Dawn, Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophists, and the 19th century Spirititualist movement. Compare with the “model tenement” movement, John Harvey Kelogg, and eugenics. The occult inheritances of these debauched philosophies have filtered out into popular culture as Veganism, New Age Movement, Alcoholics Anonymous and the Recovery Movement, and a series of badly spellchecked grimoires which all refer to themselves as “the Necronomicon”.

At the end of the 19th century, occult topics played well in the absinthe fueled cocktail party culture of the middle class- the “sustainable living” and “green technologies” conversations of their day.

First, there is a difference between grafiti and occult markings. These are grafiti.

Ravenswood Evil tag by you.

Ravenswood- This is a “tag”, a kind of grafiti which is painted or etched with differing levels of artistic merit. Often, taggers will “bomb” a neighborhood, leaving behind dozens if not hundreds of iterations of their particular icon. Often the tag will refer to gang or ethnic affiliations -photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunnyside Hip-Hoppery by you.

Sunnyside Yards Honeywell Bridge Tag. The top right looks sigili-ish, but the 187 (police code for an undercover cop in trouble) indicates this is New York Street culture oriented  -photo by Mitch Waxman

astoria_IMG_1318.JPG by you.

Street work painted by DOT. An amazing coincidental drawing of a theoretical tesseract or hypercube -photo by Mitch Waxman

The next two are Latin Kings tags. No affiliation or hate.

latin kings tag by you.

 Astoria Latin Kings tag -photo by Mitch Waxman

I hesitate to post anything about… umm… self organizing fraternal societies of urban youth- but these are Latin King tags. The number of points in the crown has some significance which I am ignorant of, the presence of circles amongst the points which indicates political standing or factional allegiances of the tagger to the citywide organization is also something I am completely ignorant about. Go ask a King.

latin kings tag by you.

Woodside Latin Kings tag -photo by Mitch Waxman

Dutch Kills abandoned building by you.

Dutch Kills abandoned factory: Part of a series of enigmatic scrawls found in a muddy place where no footprints could be seen -photo by Mitch Waxman

Now, either by design or accident of design- the occult::

lic railroad runes by you.

This is in one of the isolated spots in Long Island City. Similar to Ms. Heather’s runes, these are under the LIE and over the LIRR in Long Island City, behind the midtown tunnel -photo by Mitch Waxman

mt. zion altar by you.

Mt. Zion altar. Found this on 59th street while walking the Mt. Zion cemetery fenceline. It was a little wooden mortar and pestle with coarse gray ash inside of it. There was candle wax as well -photo by Mitch Waxman

astoria sigil by you.

This is a fairly modern, post-industrial era sigil representing the demon Asmodeus. Lamp pole in Astoria -photo by Mitch Waxman

astoria chaos dragon by you.

Astoria, chaos dragon/snake mother sigil. Compare with the ancient Naga of the Mahabharata -photo by Mitch Waxman

and another one, miles away in Ravenswood-

ravenswood chaos dragon by you.

Ravenswood Sigil -photo by Mitch Waxman

Obviously the work of a small group or possibly even one person, this next grouping started turning up all over astoria since middle 2007. The one with my shadow in it is in Maspeth, by an abattoir.

Occult grafiti by giant korean church by you.

Occultish grafiti found along the fenceline of a gigantic Korean Church -photo by Mitch Waxman

astoria sigil by you.

Occultish grafiti found in Astoria -photo by Mitch Waxman

astoria sigil by you.

Occultish grafiti found in Astoria -photo by Mitch Waxman

maspeth sigil by you.

Occultish grafiti found in Maspeth -photo by Mitch Waxman

northernblvd sigil by you.

Occultish grafiti found in Astoria -photo by Mitch Waxman

northernblvd UR by you.

Occultish grafiti found in Astoria -photo by Mitch Waxman

woodside grafiti by you.

Graphomania like this is all over the place, and gets denser as you travel toward Corona and Roosevelt. Most likely a mexican or ecuadorian fraternal group. Read the text from multiple angles and directions. Correct orientation will be apparent to members. Standard fenceline style of code -photo by Mitch Waxman

greenpoint doorway by you.

Occultish grafiti found in Greenpoint -photo by Mitch Waxman

Of course, Queens being Queens… some things require little or no explanation

dutch kills dumpster by you.

Dutch Kills -photo by Mitch Waxman

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 22, 2009 at 11:46 pm

6 Responses

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  1. […] note- this bridge has a lamppost which was one of the ones tagged with “occult” grafiti, as discussed in an earlier post. […]

  2. […] Nazi grafiti has appeared here just recently. This sort of ugly street iconography has been appearing all over LIC and Greenpoint lately. […]

  3. […] the supranormal night which only fools, guileless children, and the very old believe in. There is nothing on the roof but graffiti, I must remind […]

  4. I enjoyed seeing this graffiti very much. I find it fascinating and beautiful. Thanks for some of the interpretations.


    October 22, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  5. […] note: Mount Zion has come up once before, in the shot above from a Newtown Pentacle post of June 22- called Newtown Grafiti […]

  6. […] note- this bridge has a lamppost which was one of the ones tagged with “occult” grafiti, as discussed in an earlier post. […]

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