Mystical Icon Zeena Brings A Death Knoll To Network Awesome’s New Year’s Party
Zeena Schreck brings a little memento mori to the Network Awesome’s year end blowout.
By Tony Sokol
“Yesterday, today was tomorrow. And tomorrow, today will be yesterday,” George Harrison sang on “Ding Dong,” and Network Awesome is ringing out the old with their usual irreverent holiday programming. Mystic and avant-garde musician Zeena is curating a day of programming for New Year's “reflecting the symbolism, reality, speculation and metaphysics of Death.”
The Buddhist tantric yogini with a sly sense of humor promises "lots of subtle messages peppered with black humor - all good clean fun" to celebrate the transition from this year to the next.
Network Awesome insists that it "is a real TV network located online. It's free, it's not full of junk and it broadcasts new shows each day." In spite of all the evidence to the contrary the network produced "original content focusing on music, fitness, the internet, and culture."
According to Network Awesome, "Broadcast TV has changed for the worse and isn't getting any better - we offer something different. Network Awesome curates YouTube to bring you treasures vast and plentiful, packaged in an easier-to-watch format. Unlike regular TV, this will not melt your brain. Instead, it causes you to re-think what TV can and should offer you."
The network for fun people can be found at http://networkawesome.com.
Zeena recently curated Through The Feminine Lens - Women Behind The Camera, a show “dedicated to the famous and infamous female photographers and filmmakers who have inspired and influenced Zeena's own photography” for Network Awesome
Infamous since infancy, Zeena Schreck had the first public satanic baptism in history; a media spectacle orchestrated by her father Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan. At one point, Zeena headed three of the most notorious magical societies in modern times. In 1990 Zeena renounced her father’s church and has since converted to Tibetan Buddhism. Zeena was a composer, vocalist, musician and graphic designer for the sonic magical music project Radio Werewolf from 1988 to 1993. She is also High Priestess of Seth and leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement.
Zeena made her first appearance on the European music scene for the first time in 24 years on May 23, 2015 when she performed a unique ritual soundscape in Leipzig's Egyptian Museum.
Zeena made her first American appearance since her 1990 expatriation to Europe on Nov. 8, 2013. She transmitted sacred syllables from Vajrayana, Shaktism and Sethian-Typhonian left-way tantric practices for "Zeena Schreck, Live From the Eye of the Storm." The evening was organized by visual artist Frank Haines and presented by Performa-13 at the Community Church of New York in New York City.
Zeena conducts regular Vajrayana-Dharma workshops in Berlin, on such topics as "Living in the Kali Yuga." She teaches a course "on how to establish, in small workable increments, Tantric Buddhist foundation practices suited to everyday life, designed to last a lifetime and beyond." Each workshop ends with a silent Shinay/Shamatha Meditation.
1. National Geographic Examines What Happens When We Die
Life After Life: What happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? Does consciousness survive physical death? These are some of the most baffling questions known to us
2. Doc - The Tibetan Book Of The Dead (2004)
Leonard Cohen Narrates A Doc On An Essential Part Of Buddhism, The Book Of The Dead
“Death is real, it comes without warning and it cannot be escaped,” reads the synopsis. “An ancient source of strength and guidance, The Tibetan Book of the Dead remains an essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas. Narrated by Leonard Cohen, this enlightening two-part series explores the sacred text and boldly visualizes the afterlife according to its profound wisdom.”
Part 1: A Way of Life reveals the history of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and examines its traditional use in northern India, as well as its acceptance in Western hospices. Shot over a four-month period, the film contains footage of the rites and liturgies for a deceased Ladakhi elder and includes an interview with the Dalai Lama, who shares his views on the book's meaning and importance.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part 2 - The Great Liberation), 2004
Part 2: The Great Liberation follows an old lama and his novice monk as they guide a Himalayan villager into the afterlife using readings from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The soul's 49-day journey towards rebirth is envisioned through actual photography of rarely seen Buddhist rituals, interwoven with groundbreaking animation by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Ishu Patel.
3. The Storyteller: The Soldier and Death (Jim Henson, 1987)
Jim Henson's Brilliant 1987 Series Starring John Hurt In The Title Role
The Soldier and Death
Taken from an early Russian folk tale retold in English by Arthur Ransome and is also inspired by Godfather Death.
“A soldier returns home after 20 years of war, with three biscuits in his knapsack,” reads the synopsis. “On his way he meets three beggars to whom he gives the biscuits; in return one gives him a ruby whistle, one the jolliest dance, and the final man, who gets the last biscuit despite the soldier being hungry himself, in return gives him a pack of magic playing cards and a musty sack that has the power to trap anything ordered into it. Using the sack, the soldier manages to trap a flock of geese, and so manages to feed himself.
“Upon arriving at an abandoned castle overrun with small devils, he plays them in a game of cards, winning 40 barrels of gold, and when they try to kill him, he captures them in the sack only letting them go when they promise to never return. He makes one of them swear to serve him and keeps its foot as leverage. Quickly becoming rich and famous because he removed the devils from a palace that is owned by the Tzar, his luck runs short when his son becomes deathly ill. Calling upon the devil, the soldier is given a glass goblet that allows the owner to see Death.
“If Death is at the foot of the person's bed (as was the case with his son), he or she will recover if sprinkled with water from the goblet. If Death is at the head of the bed, nothing can be done. Then the Tzar becomes ill and the soldier, seeing Death at the head of his bed, makes a bargain with Death: his life in exchange for the Tzar's. Death takes his offer and gives the illness to the soldier, curing the Tzar. Lying in his death bed, he summons Death into his sack, and stops death from happening everywhere. But as time goes on, he sees people everywhere who are waiting for death that will not come. So he frees Death, who fears the soldier and his sack so much that he refuses to take the soldier's life. The soldier, old and weary of life, seeks out a way to die. He travels down to the underworld, forcing the devils at the gates (the same ones from before) to give him two hundred souls and a map to heaven.
“Terrified of the sack, the devils agree to his demands. Upon reaching the gates of heaven, he asks to be let in with the souls while begging for forgiveness from God, but he is denied by thegatekeeper. He gives the sack to one of the souls, asking the soul to summon him into the sack when he has passed through the gates. But since there is no memory in heaven, the soul forgets and the soldier is condemned to live forever upon the Earth. In closing, the storyteller remarks (with a smile) that the soldier is still probably about his business. As the Storyteller tosses the bag aside, a devil emerges from the bag unnoticed by the Storyteller, but noticed by the dog who dismisses it as his imagination.”
4. Doc - The Egyptian Book Of The Dead
A Look At The Sacred Text Of The Egyptian Book Of The Dead
“The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian funerary text, used from the beginning of the New Kingdom (around 1550 BCE) to around 50 BCE,” reads the synopsis. “The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated rw nw prt m hrw is translated as "Book of Coming Forth by Day". Another translation would be "Book of emerging forth into the Light". "Book" is the closest term to describe the loose collection of texts consisting of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person's journey through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife and written by many priests over a period of about 1000 years.”
5. Doc - A Certain Kind Of Death (2003)
What happens when people with no next of kin die?
Unblinking and unsettling, this documentary lays bare a mysterious process that goes on all around us - what happens to people who die with no next of kin.
Dead bodies in various stages of decomposition are seen, but not played for shock factor. Instead, you learn a little about each person, both what they were before death and what will happen to them afterward. They are followed from the discovery of the body to the final disposition of the remains, and each step in between.
6. Movie - A Matter Of Life And Death (Powell & Pressburger, 1947)
A jaw-dropping fantasy of a downed pilot who must justify his existence to a heavenly panel because he fell in love with an american girl when he really should have been dead.
Also known as Stairway to Heaven, A Matter of Life and Death “is the remarkable British fantasy film that became the surprise hit of 1946,” according to the synopsis. “David Niven stars as Peter Carter, a World War II RAF pilot who is forced to bail out of his crippled plane without a parachute. He wakes up to find he has landed on Earth utterly unharmed...which wasn't supposed to happen according to the rules of Heaven. A celestial court argues over whether or not to claim Carter's life or to let him survive to wed his American sweetheart (Kim Hunter). During an operation, in which Carter hovers between life and death, he dreams that his spirit is on trial, with God (Abraham Sofaer) as judge and Carter's recently deceased best friend (Roger Livesey) as defense counsel. The film tries to have it both ways by suggesting that the heavenly scenes are all a product of Carter's imagination, but the audience knows better. Among the curious but effective artistic choices in A Matter of Life and Death was the decision to film the earthbound scenes in Technicolor and the Heaven sequences in black-and-white. The film was a product of the adventuresome team known as "The Archers": Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
Published December 31st, 2015
Tony Sokol is a writer, playwright and musician. He writes for Den of Geek, The Chiseler, KpopStarz.com and wrote for Altvariety, Coed.com, Daily Offbeat. Dark Media Press, Wicked Mystic and other magazines. He has had over 20 plays produced in NYC, including Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera "AssassiNation: We Killed JFK." He appeared on the Joan Rivers (TV) Show, Strange Universe and Britain's "The Girlie Show."