I am Bella Basura.
I am long in the tooth and been about a bit, I have a personal interest in magic and altered states of consciousness. I am compiling a collection of books about drugs, my drug library.
I am a self-guided nature-centred wiccan-style pagan, I call myself a hedgewitch. I once spent two years following a monthly pathworking study of the major arcana, the tarot ‘trumps’. In my time I have dabbled or deeper in herbalism, writing, pathworking, theatre, divination, hash truffles, writing, earth mysteries, moon worship, ancient burial mounds, conspiracy theories, bookbinding and writing. I have a more than nodding acquaintance with Hekate.
I have been concerned with writing under a variety of psuedonyms since 1991, when I took part in a year-long DSS Enterprise Allowance scheme as a self-employed author and poet. My proposal was to write a novella about a man who woke up one morning and found he’d turned into a beetle. I actually spent a large part of that year grubbing around Holland and Spain, gathering research for the character Doc Gordon Tripp, the terrible psychedelic agony aunt of Camberwell, who is strictly self-published A5 stapled pamphlet stylee.
During the 90’s I devoured magazines and journals by the small publishers which seemed so active and plentiful back then. I particularly sought out any Tom Vague, HEAD magazine, Rapid Eye Movement and the Unlimited Dream Company stuff. My favourite bookshops were Compendium in Camden and The Inner Bookshop in Oxford. I was in awe of London’s Atlantis. I devoted a lot of time and energy to producing pamphlets of my own, which I saw as a possible source of beer money. I tried to persuade others to print my writings too. Eventually I studied bookbinding to enable myself to print, bind and distribute, a novel I’d written which nobody else wanted published.
Writing as Bella Basura I have had pieces printed in CamFIN, Headpress journal, DreamFlesh 1, Silver Wheel Journals and Cambridge Creates anthology. I have written, printed bound and distributed two self-published novels. Elsewhere I have described Bella as “an entity, a process, a state of consciousness, that has allowed the manifestation, in ink on paper, of an alternative and fictional reality since 1995”. I dream that one day I will find out about the deadline for the next Strange Attractor Journal before it’s passed.
Under other pseudonyms (or do I mean psychonyms) I have contributed to: Silver Wheel Journal, Earth Pathways Diary, 3rd Stone, Northern Earth Magazine and Pentacle. Numerous local pagan community magazines, such as Eastern Spirit, Dragonswood, Pan’s People, Free Pagan Press and Cambridge Pagan Circle have printed my reviews and pieces in the name of Jean Dark.
From 2004 onwards I ran Libra Aries Bookshop in Cambridge.
Our aims were to provide an outlet for small press publications in East Anglia, to act as a local alternative information point and as a venue for talks, workshops and events. Our numerous projects met with some levels of success, but not in cash-terms. At the end of a financially-troubled six year lease we closed Libra Aries Bookshop in June 2010.
In March 2012 Libra Aries Books ceased permanently to trade, due to personal disagreements.
The highlight of my bookbinding endeavours came last year when I was paid to hand-sew a couple of dozen copies of a never-before published sex-magic ritual, very left hand path, and that one of these copies was later sold to Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin for anyone old enough to care).
I haven’t had a telly for 15 years.
I have fear of technology. I was born in the 1960s, and sometimes even the toaster looks new-fangled.
(Spanish for wait, I hope)