Hellebore is a folk horror and occult zine, whose editor Maria J. Pérez Cuervo and art wizard Nathaniel Winter-Hébert compile tantalising morsels for a wide but discerning audience. Contributions include short academic discussions, personal curios and art pieces. The zine is stunning and, with just two issues out so far, establishes a strong visual identity.
This second issue, aptly released on Beltane, May 1st, is devoted to Wild Gods. Maria writes in the editorial: ‘I wanted it to focus on rites of fertility, divine ecstasy, and ritual madness. But The Wild Gods Issue took on a life of its own. You’ll find themes of rebellion, opposition, and self-discovery, for these are the things that The Wild Gods embody.’ And these are, perhaps, the things that we as readers need in these uncertain times. Contributors include: Joe Gough, Occult Part and Richard Wells for art, and Melissa Edmundson, Ruth Heholt, K. A. Laity, Alan Moore, John Reppion, Katy Soar and yours truly for words.
The pieces in the Issue range from the epicurean worship of Pan in the Buckinghamshire countryside to the ride of the Wild Hunt in Norfolk, but what struck me most acutely was the sheer presence of all the pieces, their rootedness in the physical and emotional landscape of folklore and faith. All contributors offer accessible, but rigorously informed accounts of Wild Gods in their various forms, that are, to a one, a pleasure to read. On a personal note, Hellebore ticks a crucial box – consistent footnotes – which shows it is not a casual publication.
Behind the scenes, the process of submission is clear and straightforward. Working with Maria on edits to my piece was a true collaborative effort, with the final product being delightfully augmented by the sensitively-chosen visual material. The piece on the Sorcerer of Trois-Frères, that had me yowling at French archaeological field reports in the writing, was transformed into a coherent and engaging narrative.
You can support Hellebore and its contributors by buying the zine: helleborezine.bigcartel.com
or following it on social media: @heleborezine