Cauldrons, potions, autumn leaves in the wind, and pumpkins with a sweet scent of spice, this is what a magical Halloween looks like. What if the incantations, the flying leaves, and the crows teleported us through the world of Halloween to tell us the traditions? This week leading up to Halloween, we interviewed several notable creatives to get in the spirit.
The spooky path takes us first to Rome, Italy, where Daphne aka La Sorgente Pagana, a model and owner of the esoteric boutique Sorgente welcomes us to her esoteric lair. A journey as timeless as it is mysterious.
“Difficult to describe what this time of year is for me and what the holiday of Halloween represents, even if the dark and spooky atmosphere is always with me throughout the year, when the autumn season approaches, and with it Samhain, it is as if I were transported by the souls of the ancestors and the places around me take on a different light. Everything becomes even more wonderfully magical when the veil is lifted and light and shadows become one.” – La Sorgente Pagana
Dear Daphne, what’s the weather like in Rome today? Does the mist accompany lost souls?
Daphne : Hi dear Lauren, today in Rome you can finally breathe autumn air, the days have shortened and with them the dark and ancient alleys of the city accompany us silently towards Samhain. During this period the city goes off a little, becomes more quiet and as a good creature of the night I find it the right time to go for a walk among the places of my city, walking among the artisan shops, the alleys full of art, bookshops and history, perhaps stopping to read a good book with a hot coffee in hand. I love this melancholy atmosphere that surrounds it during this time of the year.
Is Rome a city to celebrate Halloween?
D : Even though I love spending halloween outside the city in some abandoned castle in the middle of the woods, I can’t deny that Rome also takes on a magical atmosphere during this holiday. My favorite places are the large public villas that we have in the heart of the city with their majestic gardens, parks, secret passages, full of nature and art at the same time.
You know, this year I kept stumbling across series or cinematographic works directly related to Italy. There is something special, dark, inherently Gothic about Italy and Rome.
D : I absolutely agree! In Italy we are full of places of esoteric and occult value, albeit in most cases little known. In the vicinity of Rome and included in the city we can find many places that have been important points of reference for many world-famous esotericists, alchemists, and spiritualists. But even before that, these lands were the home of many ancient pagan cultures that have managed over time to persist and keep the traces of their magic alive until today, for this reason we can still perceive their vibrations today.
You are someone who travels, who loves to discover. What were the most memorable places in your logbook?
D : I love to travel and discover new magical places, I think it’s almost impossible to choose one or more that I prefer, because each of them has its own magical and unique story to tell. But I can tell you that the destinations I love the most and I think are the most memorable are ancient places where temples and ancient civilizations, enchanted woods, castles, and haunted towers once stood. Walking within those walls or along those paths is like retracing their history and savoring all their ancient magic.
If you could instantly teleport somewhere, where would you choose to go today?
D : There are so many places that I would like to visit right now and so many where I would like to return again, but if I had to choose just one maybe I would say Salem in Massachusetts, it is a place with a strong history that I have not yet had the opportunity to visit but I hope to do it very soon.
Your photos are a bit like your travel journal. We let ourselves be transported by the beauty of the landscapes, by the magic of your gaze on the timeless environment. We see that you have a perception of photography which is similar to that of painting. How would you define photography in your own words?
D : In the meantime, thank you, because this is really a wonderful question and it has fully captured the meaning I want to give to my photos. For me it is important to be able to tell a story through the photo, to describe the moment, the past story, the magic of a place without needing too many words. Telling a story or giving the viewer the space to imagine their own, a bit as if the person looking at it can be transported to that place with me. Photography is one of the most beautiful tools we have, taking a picture is a bit like doing magic, freezing time and capturing that moment forever.
Speaking of painting, what other art forms are you particularly fond of? And who are your favorite visual artists?
D : I come from a school of figurative arts, so I feel particularly attached to them especially as regards the artists of the Renaissance period. I am often inspired by painting, literature and historical periods. I love art in all its forms, from the medieval period to the Victorian. Among the artists I particularly admire I could mention from Francisco José de Goya to Luis Ricardo Falero, Salvator Rosa, William Waterhouse, and other artists who have let themselves be carried away by the fascination of occult art.
Sorgente is also the name of your esoteric shop. How did you get the urge to get into this business? Has it been difficult for you to get into an industry like this?
D : For many years I have been a studios of esoteric and occult arts at the same time I am an illustrator and artisan, two great passions that I have decided to combine thus giving life to the Sorgente. In reality it was not particularly difficult to enter this sector because the shop was born as an extension of an information blog on esoteric and pagan themes that I opened in 2011 and its birth was so very natural.
Is your store even more successful during the Halloween festivities?
D : Yes, during the Halloween festivities the turnout for the magical arts increases, the time of year when the veil is lifted there are more people who feel the need to get closer to the occult world.
How are you going to celebrate Halloween this year?
D : Like every year I like to find magical places to spend the night of Halloween complete with a celebration of Samhain, dancing and singing around the fire. The last halloween I had the pleasure of celebrating was inside an ancient castle on top of a rock surrounded by deep woods and uninhabited towns, it was a wonderful night and I hope this year too to be able to replicate a so magical evening.
A real pleasure to speak with you Daphne.
D : Thank you so much Lauren, it was a great pleasure for me too.