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New Lunacy, The Black Phoenix Trading Post Yule Update and The Snow Queen, A Tale In Seven Parts

2014 December 5
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First up: New lunacy!

Continuing with Tabula Selenographica’s trip through the lunar landscape, we are thrilled to present:

 

LACUS DOLORIS

The Lake of Sorrow: the plaintive wail of a bleak, pale chypre with carrot seed, lugubrious opoponax, and wormwood.

On to the BPTP update!

Ted, Ashley, Krampus, Santa, and the Goblins are thrilled to introduce the Black Phoenix Trading Post 2014 Yule Collection!

Please note: cutoff date for domestic Christmas orders is 12 December 2014. We will, of course, do our best to get your order to you by Christmas, but if your order is a Christmas gift, please let us know by checking the humongous red and green box at checkout and the Goblins and I will do everything in our power to expedite the process.

Krampus is insisting on showing off his series first –

++ BPTP’S KRAMPUSNACHT FRAGRANCES

KRAMPUS’ CHAINS

Black licorice and rusted musk with tobacco absolute and myrrh.

 

KRAMPUS’ SHADOW

Birch tar, patchouli, and blackish-red musk.

 

YULE BUDDIES

Frosted gingerbread, leather, pipe tobacco, and fruitcake crumbs.

What a show off.

Next up, we have a selection of Yule candles, crafted by Sara Robey! –

++ BPTP YULE CANDLES

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO GINGERBREAD

Please do not eat!

JOTUNHEIMR

The Home of the Giants, the World Beyond the Fence. A vast, anarchic, and mighty wilderness of dark, wild forests and sharp, toothy mountain peaks where winter reigns eternally.

MULLED CIDER

Apples and ale stewed with orange and lemon rind, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, maple syrup, and dark rum.

NAUGHTY

Your friendly neighborhood sex shop: gleaming black leather, latex, and musk.

NICE

As sweet as can be: spun sugar strawberries.

ROSE RED

The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

SMUTTY GOBLIN

A goblin’y take on Smut! Smutty Goblin Musk sweetened with sugar and tonka, and woozy with dark booze notes.

SNOW WHITE

A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.

And a line of Yule hair glosses to help keep your locks a-gleamin’, despite sleet, snow, rain, and other weather things that we’re unfamiliar with in Los Angeles.

++ BPTP YULE HAIR GLOSS

HONEYED FRANKINCENSE

Honey absolute, honey myrtle, and white frankincense.

ELDRITCH DARK

Black and red musks with honey, leather, and sugared black rose.

FROSTY SILKYBAT

Sugared patchouli, snowy vanilla, and snowflakes.

ROSE RED

The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

SNOW WHITE

A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.

WINTER LILY AND SUGARCANE

Pale, elegant lily blossoms gilded with snow and lightly brushed with sugarcane.

And some atmosphere sprays to help your holiday cheer stay cheerful! –

++ BPTP YULE ATMOSPHERE SPRAYS

BLUE SPRUCE AND SNOW-CAPPED PINE

With a touch of juniper and cypress.

CHESTNUT AND FIG

With Himalayan cedar, violet leaf, and cade.

FIREWOOD AND TOBACCO

Ashes, glowing embers, and tobacco absolute.

MIDNIGHT AT MIDWINTER

Terebinth pine, fir balsam, frozen sap, blackcurrant, and vetiver.

SUGAR PLUM AND VANILLA BEAN
An almost ridiculously adorable scent.

VIVEMENT

Peppermint candies dropped into a flute of champagne

Black Phoenix Trading Post got a little nutty with the colored snowball subseries this year –

++ BPTP YULE SNOWBALL PERFUMES

COQUELICOT SNOW

Snowballs of poppy-red musk, tangerine, blood orange, and mimosa blossom.

GLAUCOUS SNOW

Snowballs of blue lilac, lotus root, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, and cade.

FULVOUS SNOW

Snowballs of hay absolute, tonka bean, honeyed oak, patchouli, chestnut blossom, and oudh.

The Goblins have been spending a lot of time thumbing through Alchemy Lab’s Marchen notes…

BLACK PHOENIX TRADING POST: THE SNOW QUEEN, A TALE IN SEVEN PARTS

In this installment, we present parts I and II —

Which Describes a Looking-Glass and the Broken Fragments

You must attend to the commencement of this story, for when we get to the end we shall know more than we do now about a very wicked hobgoblin; he was one of the very worst, for he was a real demon. One day, when he was in a merry mood, he made a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever. The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach, and the people became hideous, and looked as if they stood on their heads and had no bodies. Their countenances were so distorted that no one could recognize them, and even one freckle on the face appeared to spread over the whole of the nose and mouth. The demon said this was very amusing. When a good or pious thought passed through the mind of any one it was misrepresented in the glass; and then how the demon laughed at his cunning invention. All who went to the demon’s school—for he kept a school—talked everywhere of the wonders they had seen, and declared that people could now, for the first time, see what the world and mankind were really like. They carried the glass about everywhere, till at last there was not a land nor a people who had not been looked at through this distorted mirror. They wanted even to fly with it up to heaven to see the angels, but the higher they flew the more slippery the glass became, and they could scarcely hold it, till at last it slipped from their hands, fell to the earth, and was broken into millions of pieces. But now the looking-glass caused more unhappiness than ever, for some of the fragments were not so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about the world into every country. When one of these tiny atoms flew into a person’s eye, it stuck there unknown to him, and from that moment he saw everything through a distorted medium, or could see only the worst side of what he looked at, for even the smallest fragment retained the same power which had belonged to the whole mirror. Some few persons even got a fragment of the looking-glass in their hearts, and this was very terrible, for their hearts became cold like a lump of ice. A few of the pieces were so large that they could be used as window-panes; it would have been a sad thing to look at our friends through them. Other pieces were made into spectacles; this was dreadful for those who wore them, for they could see nothing either rightly or justly. At all this the wicked demon laughed till his sides shook—it tickled him so to see the mischief he had done. There were still a number of these little fragments of glass floating about in the air, and now you shall hear what happened with one of them.

 

A VERY WICKED HOBGOBLIN PERFUME

Merry malice and malevolent pleasures: infernal red musk bubbling with sour white grape and bitter cognac.

 

THE DEMON’S SCHOOL ATMOSPHERE SPRAY

Open daily. Lessons in cunning, derision, and scorn: vetiver smoke and acerbic incense.

 

SHARDS OF LOOKING-GLASS HAIR GLOSS

Fragments of a hellish distorted mirror: glassy lily, muguet, and mugwort.

A Little Boy and a Little Girl

In a large town, full of houses and people, there is not room for everybody to have even a little garden, therefore they are obliged to be satisfied with a few flowers in flower-pots. In one of these large towns lived two poor children who had a garden something larger and better than a few flower-pots. They were not brother and sister, but they loved each other almost as much as if they had been. Their parents lived opposite to each other in two garrets, where the roofs of neighboring houses projected out towards each other and the water-pipe ran between them. In each house was a little window, so that any one could step across the gutter from one window to the other. The parents of these children had each a large wooden box in which they cultivated kitchen herbs for their own use, and a little rose-bush in each box, which grew splendidly. Now after a while the parents decided to place these two boxes across the water-pipe, so that they reached from one window to the other and looked like two banks of flowers. Sweet-peas drooped over the boxes, and the rose-bushes shot forth long branches, which were trained round the windows and clustered together almost like a triumphal arch of leaves and flowers. The boxes were very high, and the children knew they must not climb upon them, without permission, but they were often, however, allowed to step out together and sit upon their little stools under the rose-bushes, or play quietly. In winter all this pleasure came to an end, for the windows were sometimes quite frozen over. But then they would warm copper pennies on the stove, and hold the warm pennies against the frozen pane; there would be very soon a little round hole through which they could peep, and the soft bright eyes of the little boy and girl would beam through the hole at each window as they looked at each other. Their names were Kay and Gerda. In summer they could be together with one jump from the window, but in winter they had to go up and down the long staircase, and out through the snow before they could meet.

 

See there are the white bees swarming,” said Kay’s old grandmother one day when it was snowing.

 

Have they a queen bee?” asked the little boy, for he knew that the real bees had a queen.

 

To be sure they have,” said the grandmother. “She is flying there where the swarm is thickest. She is the largest of them all, and never remains on the earth, but flies up to the dark clouds. Often at midnight she flies through the streets of the town, and looks in at the windows, then the ice freezes on the panes into wonderful shapes, that look like flowers and castles.”

 

Yes, I have seen them,” said both the children, and they knew it must be true.

 

Can the Snow Queen come in here?” asked the little girl.

 

Only let her come,” said the boy, “I’ll set her on the stove and then she’ll melt.”

 

Then the grandmother smoothed his hair and told him some more tales. One evening, when little Kay was at home, half undressed, he climbed on a chair by the window and peeped out through the little hole. A few flakes of snow were falling, and one of them, rather larger than the rest, alighted on the edge of one of the flower boxes. This snow-flake grew larger and larger, till at last it became the figure of a woman, dressed in garments of white gauze, which looked like millions of starry snow-flakes linked together. She was fair and beautiful, but made of ice—shining and glittering ice. Still she was alive and her eyes sparkled like bright stars, but there was neither peace nor rest in their glance. She nodded towards the window and waved her hand. The little boy was frightened and sprang from the chair; at the same moment it seemed as if a large bird flew by the window. On the following day there was a clear frost, and very soon came the spring. The sun shone; the young green leaves burst forth; the swallows built their nests; windows were opened, and the children sat once more in the garden on the roof, high above all the other rooms. How beautiful the roses blossomed this summer. The little girl had learnt a hymn in which roses were spoken of, and then she thought of their own roses, and she sang the hymn to the little boy, and he sang too:—

 

Roses bloom and cease to be,
But we shall the Christ-child see.”

 

Then the little ones held each other by the hand, and kissed the roses, and looked at the bright sunshine, and spoke to it as if the Christ-child were there. Those were splendid summer days. How beautiful and fresh it was out among the rose-bushes, which seemed as if they would never leave off blooming. One day Kay and Gerda sat looking at a book full of pictures of animals and birds, and then just as the clock in the church tower struck twelve, Kay said, “Oh, something has struck my heart!” and soon after, “There is something in my eye.”

 

The little girl put her arm round his neck, and looked into his eye, but she could see nothing.

 

I think it is gone,” he said. But it was not gone; it was one of those bits of the looking-glass—that magic mirror, of which we have spoken—the ugly glass which made everything great and good appear small and ugly, while all that was wicked and bad became more visible, and every little fault could be plainly seen. Poor little Kay had also received a small grain in his heart, which very quickly turned to a lump of ice. He felt no more pain, but the glass was there still. “Why do you cry?” said he at last; “it makes you look ugly. There is nothing the matter with me now. Oh, see!” he cried suddenly, “that rose is worm-eaten, and this one is quite crooked. After all they are ugly roses, just like the box in which they stand,” and then he kicked the boxes with his foot, and pulled off the two roses.

 

Kay, what are you doing?” cried the little girl; and then, when he saw how frightened she was, he tore off another rose, and jumped through his own window away from little Gerda.

 

When she afterwards brought out the picture book, he said, “It was only fit for babies in long clothes,” and when grandmother told any stories, he would interrupt her with “but;” or, when he could manage it, he would get behind her chair, put on a pair of spectacles, and imitate her very cleverly, to make people laugh. By-and-by he began to mimic the speech and gait of persons in the street. All that was peculiar or disagreeable in a person he would imitate directly, and people said, “That boy will be very clever; he has a remarkable genius.” But it was the piece of glass in his eye, and the coldness in his heart, that made him act like this. He would even tease little Gerda, who loved him with all her heart. His games, too, were quite different; they were not so childish. One winter’s day, when it snowed, he brought out a burning-glass, then he held out the tail of his blue coat, and let the snow-flakes fall upon it. “Look in this glass, Gerda,” said he; and she saw how every flake of snow was magnified, and looked like a beautiful flower or a glittering star. “Is it not clever?” said Kay, “and much more interesting than looking at real flowers. There is not a single fault in it, and the snow-flakes are quite perfect till they begin to melt.”

 

Soon after Kay made his appearance in large thick gloves, and with his sledge at his back. He called up stairs to Gerda, “I’ve got to leave to go into the great square, where the other boys play and ride.” And away he went.

 

In the great square, the boldest among the boys would often tie their sledges to the country people’s carts, and go with them a good way. This was capital. But while they were all amusing themselves, and Kay with them, a great sledge came by; it was painted white, and in it sat some one wrapped in a rough white fur, and wearing a white cap. The sledge drove twice round the square, and Kay fastened his own little sledge to it, so that when it went away, he followed with it. It went faster and faster right through the next street, and then the person who drove turned round and nodded pleasantly to Kay, just as if they were acquainted with each other, but whenever Kay wished to loosen his little sledge the driver nodded again, so Kay sat still, and they drove out through the town gate. Then the snow began to fall so heavily that the little boy could not see a hand’s breadth before him, but still they drove on; then he suddenly loosened the cord so that the large sled might go on without him, but it was of no use, his little carriage held fast, and away they went like the wind. Then he called out loudly, but nobody heard him, while the snow beat upon him, and the sledge flew onwards. Every now and then it gave a jump as if it were going over hedges and ditches. The boy was frightened, and tried to say a prayer, but he could remember nothing but the multiplication table.

 

The snow-flakes became larger and larger, till they appeared like great white chickens. All at once they sprang on one side, the great sledge stopped, and the person who had driven it rose up. The fur and the cap, which were made entirely of snow, fell off, and he saw a lady, tall and white, it was the Snow Queen.

 

We have driven well,” said she, “but why do you tremble? here, creep into my warm fur.” Then she seated him beside her in the sledge, and as she wrapped the fur round him he felt as if he were sinking into a snow drift.

 

Are you still cold,” she asked, as she kissed him on the forehead. The kiss was colder than ice; it went quite through to his heart, which was already almost a lump of ice; he felt as if he were going to die, but only for a moment; he soon seemed quite well again, and did not notice the cold around him.

 

My sledge! don’t forget my sledge,” was his first thought, and then he looked and saw that it was bound fast to one of the white chickens, which flew behind him with the sledge at its back. The Snow Queen kissed little Kay again, and by this time he had forgotten little Gerda, his grandmother, and all at home.

 

Now you must have no more kisses,” she said, “or I should kiss you to death.”

 

Kay looked at her, and saw that she was so beautiful, he could not imagine a more lovely and intelligent face; she did not now seem to be made of ice, as when he had seen her through his window, and she had nodded to him. In his eyes she was perfect, and she did not feel at all afraid. He told her he could do mental arithmetic, as far as fractions, and that he knew the number of square miles and the number of inhabitants in the country. And she always smiled so that he thought he did not know enough yet, and she looked round the vast expanse as she flew higher and higher with him upon a black cloud, while the storm blew and howled as if it were singing old songs. They flew over woods and lakes, over sea and land; below them roared the wild wind; the wolves howled and the snow crackled; over them flew the black screaming crows, and above all shone the moon, clear and bright,—and so Kay passed through the long winter’s night, and by day he slept at the feet of the Snow Queen.

 

A TRIUMPHAL ARCH OF LEAVES AND FLOWERS ATMOSPHERE SPRAY

Kitchen herbs and rosebushes streaming with snow peas and fluttering petals.

 

THE WHITE BEES SWARMING HAIR GLOSS

Frost-dusted honey.

 

 

NEITHER PEACE NOR REST PERFUME

This snow-flake grew larger and larger, till at last it became the figure of a woman, dressed in garments of white gauze, which looked like millions of starry snow-flakes linked together. She was fair and beautiful, but made of ice—shining and glittering ice. Still she was alive and her eyes sparkled like bright stars, but there was neither peace nor rest in their glance.

 

A scent that glitters with the coldest white musk; hollow, sharp, and brittle.

 

 

SPLENDID SUMMER DAYS ATMOSPHERE SPRAY

Perfect red roses, warm amber sunlight, and the sweet honeyed carnation of friendship.

 

 

THE SHARD IN THE HEART, THE WORM IN THE ROSE ATMOSPHERE SPRAY

Stony contempt and blossoming darkness: vetiver trickling through sickly roses.

A LADY TALL AND WHITE PERFUME

A fur and cap all made of snow: frosted vanilla sandalwood.
SLEEPING AT THE FEET OF THE SNOW QUEEN HAIR GLOSS

And she always smiled so that he thought he did not know enough yet, and she looked round the vast expanse as she flew higher and higher with him upon a black cloud, while the storm blew and howled as if it were singing old songs. They flew over woods and lakes, over sea and land; below them roared the wild wind; the wolves howled and the snow crackled; over them flew the black screaming crows, and above all shone the moon, clear and bright,—and so Kay passed through the long winter’s night, and by day he slept at the feet of the Snow Queen.

 

The roar of the wild wind, the howl of winter wolves, the screams of night-winged crows, and the moon shining, clear and bright: juniper and white musk with white tea extract, oakmoss absolute, white lemon rind, and tobacco.

 The Yules will be live until 5 February 2015!

We hope your holidays are filled with love, joy, laughter, and song, and that switches and chains will only come into play if you want them to!

West Coast, Dirty South, and New England Will Call Events

2014 December 1
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The last Will Call events for the year! We hope you’ll come out and join us.

We will be holding toy drives at both the West Coast and Dirty South Will Calls. For every toy (no plush, please) valued at $10 or more that you bring, you will receive a limited edition .5ml of Gingerbread Jolly Roger.

 

Join us for our Lunacy events for your opportunity to meet the lab staff (California only), purchase the latest scents, and get a sneak preview of what’s coming soon.

The blends that will be available for purchase include those that went live on the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab website up to and including the Yule updates.

Our Lunacy events are held on the night of the full moon and are always free.

The West Coast Will Call event will be held on Friday, December 5th from 6 to 9pm at Dark Delicacies.

Toys will be given to Spark of Love, the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s toy collection campaign.

Dark Delicacies

3512 W. Magnolia Blvd
(1 block east of Hollywood Way)
Burbank, CA 91505
www.darkdel.com

___

The Dirty South Will Call event will be held Saturday, December 13th from 4 to 7pm at Hammond Park.

Toys will be given to Children’s Healthcare Of Atlanta.

705 Hammond Dr.
(In the Community Room located off of Glenridge Rd. NE)
Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328

 

New England Will Call will be held at Healthy Living Market on Sunday, December 21st from 4 to 7pm, in the Wellness Department.

Healthy Living Market
222 Dorset Street,
South Burlington, VT, 05403

If you have any questions, please email us at willcall@blackphoenixalchemylab.com.

Hope to see you there!

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

The Yule Update Is Live!

2014 November 26
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The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab winter scents are live!

The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab winter scents will be live until 5 February 2015. Black Phoenix Trading Post’s winter update will be live soon!

Also – Visit the BPAL site on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday and place an order to get this Limited Edition imp:

SEVEN HERBS CHARM

Inspired by Southern Conjure, this imp was crafted with herbs and flowers that are traditionally used to stimulate a burst of good fortune and a shower of prosperity. Let’s keep passing tokens of shining luck and good cheer forward! Lift each other up, and brighten our futures together!

webYULE2014-yuletide

++YULE 2014

First, we present the Yule fragrances.

 

BUTTER RUM COOKIE

Rum-soaked brown butter cookies, crusted with sugar, soaked in almond and garnished with orange rind and pummeled pecans.

 

CHANUKKIYAH

Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, Asher kid’shanu b’mitzvosav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.

Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, She’asah nisim la’avoseinu, bayamim ha’hem baz’man hazeh.

Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, She’hecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi’anu laz’man hazeh.

Olive oil, beeswax, glowing amber, sweet sufganiyot, pomegranate, and fig.

Ha’Neiros halalu anachnu madlikin al hanisim ve’al hanifla’os, ve’al hat’shu’os ve’al hamilchamos, sh’asisa la’avoseinu bayamim hahem baz’man hazeh, al yedei kohaneicha hakedoshim. Vechol sh’monas yemei Chanukah, haneiros halalu kodesh hem. Ve’ein lanu reshus le’hishtamesh ba’hem, eh’la lir’osam bilvad, ke’dei le’hodos u’lehalel leshimcha hagadol al nisecha ve’al nifle’osecha ve’al yeshu’oshecha.

Ma’oz tzur yeshu’asi
Lecha na’eh leshabe’ach
Tikone bais tefilasi
Ve’sham todah nezabe’ach
Le’es Tachin Mabe’ach
Mitzar ham’nabe’ach
Az egmor beshir mizmor
Chanukas hamizbe’ach.

 

webYULE2014-chocolatestoutcupcake

CHOCOLATE STOUT CUPCAKE

Bittersweet chocolate cupcakes whisked with stout and topped with inky dark chocolate frosting.

 

CHRISTMAS PUDDING

Black Phoenix’s Christmas Pudding is loosely based on a medieval recipe, and is crafted, as tradition dictates, from thirteen ingredients (representing Christ and his apostles, natch). Thick with treacle, smoky with suet (suet accord, sillies – there’s no mutton fat in this perfume!), and sweet with stirred custard.

 

DUMB CAKE

What all the ingredients of the cake were I know not, but one principal one was salt. I remember being told some years ago, by an old inhabitant in one of the dales, about the composition of this mystic cake. It was somewhat as follows: In the first place four people had to assist in the making of it, each taking an equal share in the work, adding small portions of its component parts, stirring the pot, and so forth. During the whole time of its manufacture and consumption a strict silence has to be observed. Even when it is being taken out of the oven each of the interested parties must assist in the work. When made it is placed on the table in the middle of the room, and the four persons stand at the four corners of the room. When set on the table the cake is divided into equal portions and put upon four plates or vessels.

The spirit of the future husband of one of the four would then appear and taste from the plate of his future bride, being only visible to her whose husband he was destined to be. As a preliminary to this, every door of the house had to be thrown open. The traditional hour for making the feast was midnight.

A method of divination, the Dumb Cake was employed on auspicious evenings – Midwinter, Midsummer Eve, All Hallows, New Year’s, St. Mark’s Eve, St. Agnes’ Eve – so that single women would be able to divine the identity of their future husbands. The cakes were to be baked in silence, and “two must make it, two must bake it, and two must break it, and the third put it under each of their pillows.”

The two must go to the larder and jointly get the various ingredients. First they get a bowl, each holding it and wash and dry it together. Then each gets a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of water and a little salt. When making the cake they must stand on something they have never stood on before. They must mix it together and roll it. Then they draw a line across the middle of the cake and each girl cuts her initials each on opposite sides of the line. Then both put it into the oven and bake it. The two take it out of the oven, and break it across the line and the two pieces are given to the third girl who places a piece under each pillow and they will dream of their future.

Not a word must be spoken and the two girls after giving the pieces to the third girl have to walk backwards to bed and get into bed backwards. One word or exclamation by either of the three girls will break the charm.

The cake was to be left by the fireplace overnight, and the door was to be left open. While the querant slept, her future husband’s double would creep into the house and prick her future husband’s initials into the cake pieces. If the door swung shut by accident, the spirit double would be trapped and the maiden cursed.

This is the scent of an awkward encounter with a Yule-evoked doppelgänger mate: spectral cologne, blurry herbs, fireplace ash, and a dusting of crumbs.

 

EGG NOG

Sweet brandy, dark rum, heavy cream, sugar, and a dash of nutmeg.

(Now with extra nog!)

 

EL DIA DE LOS REYES

The Day of Kings, the Celebration of the Magi. In Mexico, on January 6th, children place their shoes by their windows. If they have been good during the previous year, the Wise Men tuck gifts into their shoes during the night.

Hot cocoa with cinnamon, coffee, and brown sugar.

 

webYULE2014-faunalia 

FAUNALIA

Held on December 5th, this is the festival of the Horned God of the Forest, one of the di indigetes of Rome, god of cattle, fertility, wild, untamed nature, and prophecy through dreams. The scent of a thick, starlit, unspoiled forest, with a burst of wild musk, opobalsamum, black bryony, mandragora, and hemlock.

 

THE FRUIT OF PARADISE

While Persephone visited the realm of Hades, she tasted one single pomegranate seed, an act which compelled her to remain connected to the Land of the Dead for all eternity. Demeter’s grief over her beloved daughter’s absence that brings on the bleakness and barrenness of the winter months.

The Fruit of Paradise, the Nectar of Death: bittersweet pomegranate.

Illustration by Abigail Larson!

 

GACELA OF THE DARK DEATH

I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
I want to get far away from the busyness of the cemeteries.
I want to sleep the sleep of that child
who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

I don’t want them to tell me again how the corpse keeps all its blood,
how the decaying mouth goes on begging for water.
I’d rather not hear about the torture sessions the grass arranges for
nor about how the moon does all its work before dawn
with its snakelike nose.

I want to sleep for half a second,
a second, a minute, a century,
but I want everyone to know that I am still alive,
that I have a golden manger inside my lips,

that I am the little friend of the west wind,
that I am the elephantine shadow of my own tears.

When it’s dawn just throw some sort of cloth over me
because I know dawn will toss fistfuls of ants at me,
and pour a little hard water over my shoes
so that the scorpion claws of the dawn will slip off.

Because I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
and learn a mournful song that will clean all earth away from me,
because I want to live with that shadowy child
who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

Terebinth pine, pitch, and clove.

 

GELT

Sevivon, sov, sov, sov
Chanukah, hu chag tov
Chanukah, hu chag tov
Sevivon, sov, sov, sov!

Chag simcha hu la-am
Nes gadol haya sham
Nes gadol haya sham
Chag simcha hu la-am.

A bounty of chocolate coins! Dry cocoa and golden amber!

 

HALOA

Sacred to both Demeter and Dionysus, this is a celebration of the of the pruning of the vines, the first fermentation of the year’s wine, and of the consecration of the next year’s planting. The service was lead by the heterai and the Eleusinian Arkhontes, and began with the preparation of a banquet that honors Demeter’s bounty and the fertility aspect of Dionysus with pudenda- and phallus-shaped cakes. After the preliminary feast, the magistrates departed, and the heterai held a second rite that consisted of copious wine consumption, ritual symbolic fornication, and formal offerings of incense, grain, and cakes to sacred statues of the deities and to clay images of genitalia. Finally, the magistrates and priests were permitted to rejoin the ritual. A Priest and Priestess bore torches that symbolizes Demeter and her daughter Persephone presided over the final ceremony, which culminated in the ultimate celebration of fertility: an orgy that lasted til dawn.

Wine grapes, pomegranate, myrrh, frankincense and olive leaf, and the warm scent of offertory cakes.

 

HANS TRAPP

Schoi, do kummt d’r Hans Trapp.
Ar het a scheni Zepfelkapp’
Un a Bart wiss wie a Schimmel.
Ar kummt vum schena Starnehimmel
Un bringt da Kinder a Ruada,
Wu net dien singe un bata.
Schoi, Hans Trapp, mir sin so klein
Un brav un folje d’heim.
Müesch net kumme mit dim Stacka,
Denn mir kenne singe un oi bata. 

A legend born of the life of Hans von Trotha and his wars with the Papacy, this restless spirit terrorizes the disobedient children of France and Germany at Christmastime. This cannibalistic demon lives in a hut high up in the mountains of Bavaria disguised as a scarecrow, gnashing his teeth as he plots his Yuletide punishments.

Tattered leather, dry straw, matted hair, sharpened sticks, and a bundle of switches.

 

HARD CIDER CAKE

A thick, spongy white cake spiked with hard apple cider and frosted with whiskey-laden buttercream.

 

HOT BUTTERED RUM

Hot buttered rum with a touch of molasses, lightly spiced and swirled with a touch of cream.

 

KRAMPUS

Anything BUT jolly! Draped with chains and bells, wielding both whip and rod, this rag-clad, horned, red-skinned, soot-covered leering creature is both the companion and the antithesis of rosy-cheeked and ebullient Kris Kringle. He is called by many names, and, in a myriad of cultures, he is seen with different robes and faces, but he is nevertheless always a sinister and fearsome instrument of Santa’s wrath: he wields a switch on all irredeemably naughty children before tossing them into his large black sack and whisking them away.

Be good, or Krampus will toss you in a river! Sinister red musk, black and rust-brown leathers, dusty rags, and wooden switches.

 

webYULE2014-lickitwithconsent

LICK IT WITH CONSENT

Lick It is back, as minty and sweet as ever, and now you can lick it for a good cause: proceeds from every sale of Lick It With Consent will be donated to RAINN.

(For a spot-on dissertation on what consent entails, please visit Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan’s VERY NSFW infographic at http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/consent/ Oh Joy Sex Toy is not a sponsor of Black Phoenix, or the other way around. Er, whichever. This is just a damn good link, and I wanted to pass it on!)

 

MARI LWYD

An echo of the rites of Rhiannon, the Great Queen and Mother of Horses, the Mari Lwyd is a Midwinter tradition in Wales. The beribboned Grey Mare travels door to door with her entourage, seeking permission to wassail and initiate a contest of wit: the pwnco, a battle of improvised verses filled with good-natured ridicule set to song. If the Mari party were victorious, they were invited into the home to partake of ale and cakes and provide entertainment for the family.

Welsh cakes and ale with a smattering of dried lavender.

 

MIDNIGHT MASS

I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord: That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts.

But as for me, I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way: in the churches I will bless thee, O Lord.

In Roman Catholic tradition, the Christmas season begins liturgically on Christmas Eve, though it is forbidden to celebrate the Christmas Mass before midnight. The most devout attend Midnight Mass, celebrating both the Eucharist and the drama of the Nativity.

This perfume is a traditional Roman Catholic sacramental incense, most often used during a Solemn Mass. Traditionally, five tears of this incense, each encased individually in wax that has been fashioned into the shape of a nail, are inserted into the paschal candle. This is, of course, represents the Five Wounds of Our Risen Savior. Symbolically, the burning of the incense signifies spiritual fervor, the fragrance itself inspires virtue, and the rising smoke carries our prayers to God.

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis. 

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

 

webYULE2014-nuclearwinter

NUCLEAR WINTER

Annihilation. The ice, desolation and barrenness of nuclear devastation shot through by a beam of radioactive mints.

 

ROSE RED

The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

 

SNOW WHITE

A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.

 

STRAWBERRY SUFGANIYOT

A sugar-dusted pile of sufganiyot, trickling bright rivulets of strawberry jelly.

 

WINTER-TIME

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,

A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Sweet, soft snow.

 

YULETIDE

Ripe, bursting, blood red holly berries pricked by sharp, waxy holly leaves.

 

Next up, a little holiday terror –

 

++ YULE 2014: THE PHOBIAS

The holiday season is a source of joy for many – frolicking in the snow, decking the halls, stringin’ up lights, belting out carols. It is a time for family and good cheer, jolly men in furry red suits, and tales of merriment and miracles.

For others, it is a source of pure terror.

webphobiaYULE2014-chionophobia

CHIONOPHOBIA

Fear of Snow

A suffocating, oppressive white shroud: a fragrance heavy with ice, strangled by damp oakmoss, artemisia, and muguet.

 

CRYOPHOBIA

Fear of Extreme Cold

Cold – unending, heart-piercing cold – that slices through skin and muscle like a gleaming, razor-edged dagger until it penetrates bone and fills your marrow: white eucalyptus, frosted mint, raw frankincense, davana, iris petal, white grapefruit, and wormwood.

 

CHRISTOUGENNIATIKO DENTROPHOBIA

Fear of Christmas Trees

Ghastly misshapen branches casting long, twisted shadows and clutching at you with prickly needle-like fingers: pine pitch, bone-white dried fir, and spruce tar with opoponax and blackened tobacco.

 

DEIPNOPHOBIA

Fear of Dinner Conversations

Wine spilled across freshly pressed table linens, a wilted holiday bouquet, and a furtive hint of whiskey and baked bread.

 

HAGIOPHOBIA

Fear of Saints and Holy Things

The scent of mad piety, blood and martyrdom, soul-crushing guilt, and frenzied devotion: frankincense and myrrh disoriented by labdanum, unsteady yuzu, shredded ginger, black cypress, and Aleppo Pine wood thickened with dragon’s blood resin.

 

And then a long-awaited liaison with the restless spirits of the 19th century –

 

++ YULE 2014: AN EVENING WITH THE SPIRITS

I felt my hair blown and lifted by currents of air, and cool breezes played about my face and hands. Then began a strange sensation, which I had sometimes felt at seances. Frequently I have heard it described by others as of cobwebs being passed over the face, but to me, who watched it curiously, it seemed that I could feel fine threads being drawn out of the pores of my skin.

I experienced none of the fear of the previous evening. At first I had a strange eerie feeling somewhat akin to it, but that passed off, and I became perfectly calm and indisposed to move, or to answer any of the many questions addressed to me by my friends outside. At the same time I took a great interest in analysing my own sensations and wondered as to what would come of the experiment, for that something was about to happen I was certain.

webspiritualismYULE2014-ameasurementofthesoul

A MEASUREMENT OF THE SOUL

If then, man, in every act, leaves the impression, or daguerreotype of his mental being upon the scenes of his life and the subjects of his action, we are by this law furnished with a new clue to the history of our race; and I think it highly probable, that, by the application of this principle, the chasms of history may be supplied, and a glimpse may be obtained of unrecorded ages and nations, whose early history is lost in darkness. The ancient manuscripts, paintings, and other works of art, which still exist – the crucifixes, garments, armor, and other ancient relics, still preserved – are doubtless still instinct with the spirit that produced them, and capable of revealing to psychometric exploration, the living realities with which they were once connected. At present, these relics are barren of significance. Their hidden meaning lies waiting the future explorer, as the hieroglyphics of Egypt awaited the arrival of Champillion to interpret their significance. And why should not the world be filled with the monuments and unwritten records of its past history? It would seem, to the superficial thinker, that man was entirely limited to tradition and written records for his knowledge of the past; but physical science proves, that the world possesses, embodied in enduring monuments, the story of its progressive existence. The geologist finds, in the different strata of the earth, in its curiously mingled and irregular structure, and in the fossil remains which it conceals in its bosom, the history of its various changes of surface, and of the antediluvian races of animals which have long been extinct. The huge Saurian monsters, which he portrays from their fossil relics, rise before the eye as incredible chimeras. And over this fertile region, now occupied by prosperous States, he revives, by the magic power of science, the antediluvian seas and their strange inhabitants, unknown to man.

The Past is entombed in the Present! The world is its own enduring monument; and that which is true of its physical, is likewise true of its mental career. The discoveries of Psychometry will enable us to explore the history of man, as those of geology enable us to explore the history of the earth. There are mental fossils for psychologists as well as mineral fossils for the geologists; and I believe that hereafter the psychologist and the geologist will go hand in hand — the one portraying the earth, its animals and its vegetation, while the other portrays the human beings who have roamed over its surface in the shadows, and the darkness of primeval barbarism! Aye, the mental telescope is now discovered which may pierce the depths of the past and bring us in full view of the grand and tragic passages of ancient history! I know that, to many of my readers, unaccustomed to these investigations, and unacquainted with the first experimental facts of this great science, these anticipations must seem a visionary hope – too grand, too romantic, too transcendently beautiful to be true. But observe, that all is based upon familiar experiments, and these results are but legitimate deductions from familiar facts. As surely as the expansive power of steam gives premonition of the ocean steamship, does the power of Psychometry give promise of all the glorious performance to which I have alluded.

Buchanan, 1842

A tactile scent, groaning under the weight of aeons: wild fig, cedarwood, venerable ti leaf, and white sage.

 

CLAIRCOGNIZANCE

Dr. E. S. Packard, of Corunna, Me., in the Eastern Star, states that Mr. David Prescott, of South Sangerville, over ninety years of age, “wandered away into the woods, and not returning, a crowd of over a hundred men hunted for him nearly two days; the mill pond near his house was drained. Search was made in every direction but to no success.

 “A gentleman of that place decided to call in the aid of Mrs. Stevens; she told him somebody was lost, and not being able to visit the place she drew a map or chart of the locality, giving directions, by which, on his return he was immediately found alive, but died the next day. The day following I was at South Sangerville, and stopping at this gentleman’s house, examined the map, which was perfect in every respect. The house and shed were correctly drawn, the mill and pond near the house were marked, the field and woods, two fences over which Mr. Prescott must climb, even to the swinging of the road by the house was definitely given.

“The spot where she said he was, was shown by a large black mark, and he was found exactly in that place. When we consider that Mrs. Stevens never saw this place in her normal condition, it is to me a wonderful test of spirit power.”

Absolute and perfect clarity: rockrose, white amber, Corsican immortelle, Siamese benzoin, white sandalwood, and life everlasting.

 

ECTOPLASM

In examining and reporting these cases the witnesses averred that certain people, whom they called “materializing mediums,” had the strange physical gift that they could put forth from their bodies a viscous, gelatinous substance which appeared to differ from every known form of matter in that it could solidify and be used for material purposes, and yet could be reabsorbed, leaving absolutely no trace even upon the clothes which it had traversed in leaving the body.

This substance was actually touched by some enterprising investigators, who reported that it was elastic and appeared to be sensitive, as though it was really an organic extrusion from the medium’s body.

Arthur Conan Doyle, 1930

A luminous, viscid blend of white amber, lemongrass, white oakmoss, and davana.

webspiritualismYULE2014-eusapia

EUSAPIA

“The case I allude to is that of an invalid woman who belongs to the humblest class of society. She is nearly thirty years old and very ignorant; her look is neither fascinating nor endowed with the power which modern criminologists call irresistible; but when she wishes, be it by day or by night, she can divert a curious group for an hour or so with the most surprising phenomena. Either bound to a seat or firmly held by the hands of the curious, she attracts to her the articles of furniture which surround her, lifts them up, holds them suspended in the air like Mahomet’s coffin, and makes them come down again with undulatory movements, as if they were obeying her will. She increases their weight or lessens it according to her pleasure. She raps or taps upon the walls, the ceiling, the floor, with fine rhythm and cadence. In response to the requests of the spectators, something like flashes of electricity shoot forth from her body, and envelop her or enwrap the spectators of these marvellous scenes. She draws upon cards that you hold out, everything that you want – figures, signatures, numbers, sentences – by just stretching out her hand toward the indicated place.

“If you place in the corner of the room a vessel containing a layer of soft clay, you find after some moments the imprint in it of a small or a large hand, the image of a face (front view or profile) from which a plaster cast can be taken. In this way portraits of a face taken at different angles have been preserved, and those who desire so to do can thus make serious and important studies.

“This woman rises in the air, no matter what bands tie her down. She seems to lie upon the empty air, as on a couch, contrary to all the laws of gravity; she plays on musical instruments – organs, bells, tambourines – as if they had been touched by her hands or moved by the breath of invisible gnomes… This woman at times can increase her stature by more than four inches.”

  • Chiaia, in a letter to Lombroso

Pale lilacs, white tea, and candle wax.

 

THE FOX SISTERS

For the sake of continuity the subsequent history of the Fox sisters will now be given after the events at Hydesville. It is a remarkable, and to Spiritualists a painful, story, but it bears its own lesson and should be faithfully recorded. When men have an honest and whole-hearted aspiration for truth there is no development which can ever leave them abashed or find no place in their scheme.

For some years the two younger sisters, Kate and Margaret, gave séances at New York and other places, successfully meeting every test which was applied to them. Horace Greeley, afterwards a candidate for the United States presidency, was, as already shown, deeply interested in them and convinced of their entire honesty. He is said to have furnished the funds by which the younger girl completed her very imperfect education.

During these years of public mediumship, when the girls were all the rage among those who had no conception of the religious significance of this new revelation, and who concerned themselves with it purely in the hope of worldly advantage, the sisters exposed themselves to the enervating influences of promiscuous séances in a way which no earnest Spiritualist could justify. The dangers of such practices were not then so clearly realized as now, nor had it occurred to people that it is unlikely that high spirits would descend to earth in order to advise as to the state of railway stocks or the issue of love affairs. The ignorance was universal, and there was no wise mentor at the elbow of these poor pioneers to point the higher and the safer path. Worst of all, their jaded energies were renewed by the offer of wine at a time when one at least of them was hardly more than a child. It is said that there was some family predisposition towards alcoholism, but even without such a taint their whole procedure and mode of life were rash to the last degree. Against their moral character there has never been a breath of suspicion, but they had taken a road which leads to degeneration of mind and character, though it was many years before the more serious effects were manifest.

Some idea of the pressure upon the Fox girls at this time may be gathered from Mrs. Hardinge Britten’s* description from her own observation. She talks of “pausing on the first floor to hear poor patient Kate Fox, in the midst of a captious, grumbling crowd of investigators, repeating hour after hour the letters of the alphabet, while the no less poor, patient spirits rapped out names, ages and dates to suit all comers.” Can one wonder that the girls, with vitality sapped, the beautiful, watchful influence of the mother removed, and harassed by enemies, succumbed to a gradually increasing temptation in the direction of stimulants?

  • Arthur Conan Doyle

Deception and despair: rose geranium and tea roses with mahogany wood, bourbon vanilla, and apple peel.

 

GOSSIPS OF GHOST LAND

They are imps of the kitchen, or drawing-room at most; and, if any spirit answers to their sphere, it must be those of unclaimed and disaffected ghosts, who, having no substance within themselves, out of which to compound a spiritual body, wander about church-yards, or haunt the localities where they enacted old crimes, or lived frivolous and disjointed lives. … It may be that the spirits called the Rappers… belong to this class. They are in, what Dante would call Limbo, driven to and fro, perturbed and lonely. These eagerly question the finer spirits, who pass through their realm on their way to higher spheres, of all the gossip that used to interest them on earth. But, inasmuch as the companionship of these people was in no way desirable while they lived in this world, they become less so when separated from the body. They are the gossips of ghost land, poor, frivolous, flimsy wretches, who receive the shred of thought here, and the shadows only of through in the spirit world, for all thought has a body and a substance as it were to itself, so that we say a thought may be grasped in anticipation of the fact hereafter; hence, thought finding no lodgment in these thin poor spirits, floats right through them. They have a restless desire for tangibility, and are perpetually trying to command material objects in a way to make themselves known.

  • d’Espérance, 1897

Idle poltergeists and truant phantoms loitering in darkened corners and shadowed hallways: black cedar, patchouli, and tea leaf spiked with a tittering cackle of pink peppercorn, mate, and lime rind.

 

LUMINOUS PHASMATIS

A peculiar manifestation of light produced by physical mediums during ectoplasmic séances: otherworldly snaps of ozone glowing with unearthly light.

 

PRACTICAL OCCULTISM

Practical Occultism consists, first, of a perfect mastery of the individual’s own spirit. No advance whatever can be made in acquiring power over other spirits, such as controlling the lower or  supplicating the higher, until the spirit within has acquired such perfect mastery of itself, that it can never be moved to anger or emotion—realizes no pleasure, cares for no pain; experiences no mortification at insult, loss, or disappointment—in a word, subdues every emotion that stirs common men’s minds.

To arrive at this state, severe and painful as well as long continued discipline is necessary. Having acquired this perfect equilibrium, the next step is power. The individual must be able to wake when he pleases and sleep when he pleases; go in spirit during bodily sleep where he will, and visit—as well as remember when awake—distant scenes.

He must be enabled by practice, to telegraph, mentally, with his fellow associates, and present himself, spiritually, in their midst.

He must, by practice, acquire psychological control over the minds of any persons—not his associates—beneath his own calibre of mind. He must be able to still a crying infant, subdue fierce animals or angry men, and by will, transfer his thought without speech or outward sign to any person of a mental calibre below himself; he must be enabled to summon to his presence elementary spirits, and if he desires to do so (knowing the penalties attached), to make them serve him in the special departments of Nature to which they belong.

He must, by virtue of complete subjugation of his earthly nature, be able to invoke Planetary and even Solar Spirits, and commune with them to a certain degree.

To attain these degrees of power the processes are so difficult that a thorough practical occultist can scarcely become one and yet continue his relations with his fellow-men.

He must continue, from the first to the last degree, a long series of exercises, each one of which must be perfected before another is undertaken.

A practical occultist may be of either sex, but must observe as the first law inviolable chastity—and that with a view of conserving all the virile powers of the organism. No aged person, especially one who has not lived the life of strict chastity, can acquire the full sum of the powers above named. It is better to commence practice in early youth, for after the meridian of life, when the processes of waste prevail over repair, few of the powers above described can be attained; the full sum never.

Strict abstinence from animal food and all stimulants is necessary. Frequent ablutions and long periods of silent contemplation are essential. Codes of exercises for the attainment of these powers can be prescribed, but few, if any, of the self-indulgent livers of modern times can perform their routine.

The arts necessary for study to the practical occultist are, in addition to those prescribed in speculative occultism, a knowledge of the qualities of drugs, vapors, minerals, electricity, perfumes, fumigations, and all kinds of anæsthetics.

And now, having given in brief as much as is consistent with my position—as the former associate of a secret society—I have simply  to add, that, whilst there are, as in Masonry, certain preliminary degrees to pass through, there are numerous others to which a thoroughly well organized and faithful association might advance. In each degree there are some valuable elements of practical occultism demanded, whilst the teachings conveyed are essential preliminaries. In a word, speculative occultism must precede practical occultism; the former is love and wisdom, the latter, simply power.

 

A Victorian occultist’s incense, invoking the Four Archangels: precious wildcrafted Indian frankincense with myrrh, cassia, sandarac, palmarosa, white sage, red sandalwood, elemi, and drops of star anise bound with grains of kyphi.

webspiritualismYULE2014-psychodynamicdischarge

PSYCHODYNAMIC DISCHARGE

In certain cases, emotionally charged complexes of representation, which have become autonomous and dissociated, seem to automatically and compulsively press for discharge and realisation through haunting phenomena…. Hence, the so-called haunting occurs in place of a neurosis.

Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

Repressed rage, terror, and subjugated sexuality erupting through fierce bursts of uncontrollable psychic phenomena: black leather and red musk with aged black patchouli, Chinese rose, black pepper, coconut meat, Haitian vetiver, and igneous red ginger.

 

SPIRIT BOARD

CRAZED THROUGH “OUIJA”
Neglected by Her Lover She Seeks Comfort of a Fortune-Telling Device

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Nov. 20.— Mrs. Eugenia Carpenter, a young woman living at 221 Myrtle, av., has been receiving attention from a young man who very recently ceased to call upon her.

Mrs. Carpenter bought a fortune-telling board called “ouija,” and from it received the prediction that her suitor would not return to her.

Last night she was found wandering almost nude in the streets.

Her reason was gone and at intervals she cried out “Ouija said so and I knew it was true.”

November 21st 1891
Boston Daily Globe

Redwood and bois de rose with white lilac, dried pink roses, and black tea.

 

TABLE-TURNING

In the month of December, another fair American medium arrived in England. This lady and her husband, Dr. Roberts, attended a course of lectures I was then delivering in Providence Chapel, upon Mesmerism and Animal Magnetism. They introduced themselves to me, and invited me to visit them. I did so, many times; and to them do I owe much; for, through the information I received from them, I have been enabled to inquire more fully into this soul-stirring, and very important subject, after several Seances at Mrs. Roberts’s in Dyer’s Buildings, Holborn [MD: original], where I witnessed the moving of the table in various directions. This is what is called “Table-turning,” and which has been attributed to Electricity or Animal Magnetism, by many intelligent and scientific persons… I have seen a loo-table suspended in the air, at least six inches from the ground, without anyone in the body touching it.

Hardinge, 1854

A heavy, tactile scent that thrums with voices from beyond: black polished teakwood, gullies of ectoplasm, and ghostly white musk.

 

VITAL FLUID

Modern philosophy has admitted a plenum or universal principle of fluid matter, which occupies all space; and that as all bodies moving in the world, abound with pores, this fluid matter introduces itself through the interstices and returns backwards and forwards, flowing through one body by the currents which issue therefrom to another, as in a magnet, which produces that phenomenon which we call Animal Magnetism. This fluid consists of fire, air and spirit, and like all other fluids tends to an equilibrium, therefore it is easy to conceive how the efforts which the bodies make towards each other produce animal electricity, which in fact is no more than the effect produced between two bodies, one of which has more motion than the other; a phenomenon serving to prove that the body which has most motion communicates it to the other, until the medium of motion becomes an equilibrium between the two bodies, and then this equality of motion produces animal electricity.

  • Wonders and mysteries of animal magnetism displayed; or the history, art, practice, and progress of that useful science, from its first rise in the city of Paris, to the present time. With several Curious Cases and new Anecdotes of the Principal Professors, 1791.

The breath and tears and pulse of all life; the fluid that flows through all creation, permeating space and time and spirit: olibanum, red benzoin absolute, labdanum, betel leaf, galbanum, mastic, and angelica.

 

Last, but not least, we revisit the Gingerbread Cotillion.

 

++ YULE 2014: GINGERBREAD COTILLION II

Now you shall hear a story that somebody’s great-great-grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago:

There was once a little old man and a little old woman, who lived in a little old house in the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing — they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it into the oven.

Presently she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as he could go.

The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the barn full of threshers set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him. And he ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn’t catch him. And he ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn’t catch him. And soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But the pig ran, and couldn’t catch him. And he ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow and a pig,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up.

Presently the gingerbread boy said, “Oh dear! I’m quarter gone!” And then, “Oh, I’m half gone!” And soon, “I’m three-quarters gone!” And at last, “I’m all gone!” and never spoke again.

webgingerYULE2014-cathedral

GINGERBREAD CATHEDRAL

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow and a pig,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Gingerbread with olibanum, Oman myrrh, Damascus rose resin, and cassia.

 

GINGERBREAD DODO

Oh dear! I’m a quarter gone!

Gingerbread with red musk, lemon peel, sugar cane, cassia, white sandalwood, mango, and agarwood.

 

GINGERBREAD GOBLIN

Oh, I’m half gone!

Gingerbread with black coconut, patchouli, and sweet benzoin.

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GINGERBREAD LUST

I’m three-quarters gone!

Gingerbread with red musk, patchouli, ylang ylang and myrrh.

 

GINGERBREAD SIN

I’m all gone!

Gingerbread with amber, sandalwood, black patchouli and cinnamon.

 

++Please take note the Lab’s shipping cutoff dates to receive items by Christmas.

These cut offs are for shipments you need to receive by Christmas only and do not affect scent availability for purchase.

Saturday Nov. 29th 12:01am PST for international orders.

Sunday, Dec 7 12:01am PST for domestic orders.

Gift Certificates are not subject to the same cut offs as they’re sent by email, so you can also get those for BPAL and for the Trading Post.

These dates apply to the Lab only. BPTP cutoffs will be posted separately.

Happy Holidays, all! May you outwit the Mari Lwyd, and may Krampus go easy on you with the switches!

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

Shipping Cutoff Dates For BPAL Holiday Delivery

2014 November 25
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With the holidays fast approaching, please take note the Lab’s shipping cutoff dates to receive items by Christmas.

These cut offs are for shipments you need to receive by Christmas only and do not affect scent availability for purchase.

Saturday Nov. 29th 12:01am PST for international orders.

Sunday, Dec 7 12:01am PST for domestic orders.

Gift Certificates are not subject to the same cut offs as they’re sent by email, so you can also get those for BPAL and for the Trading Post.

These dates apply to the Lab only. BPTP cutoffs will be posted separately.

Thank you!

Happy 12th Anniversary, BPAL!

2014 November 18
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phoenixanniversarymain

HAPPY 12th ANNIVERSARY, BPAL!

The Phoenixes will be live until January 6, 2015.

Happy birthday to my oldest (and orneriest!) child, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab!

(Wait… does this mean BPAL is about to enter puberty?!)

Twelve years. We could not possibly have come this far without the help of our tribe…

The friendships – the /family/ – that I have because of BPAL has enriched my life in ways I never could have imagined. I can’t emphasize how much that means to me. Thank you for enabling me to give life to my vision, and for sharing my love of so many bizarre, horrible, beautiful, macabre, goofy, and terrible subjects.

Thank you for your kindness, your support, and for your friendship.

Thank you for sharing your triumphs, joys, loves, and sorrows with us, and for giving me the gift of a massive extended family.

I don’t have words for how important our community is to me. Thank you.

With all of my love, and in no particular order…

Thank you, Brian, for being the best partner and friend I could possibly have. You are Virgo Prime, and as I have said before – without you, BPAL would be an abstract set of drifting Piscean ideas. Thank you for all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that you grind out to keep our insane Rube Goldberg machine running. I love you, and I am grateful for your friendship and love.

Ted, I love you. Hear my soul speak: the very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly to your service. (It’s true: I even remember what socks you were wearing that fateful day.) You are my heart, my soulmate, my bright morning, and I love you more with every breath I draw.

Thank you, my Lilith, my little heart, my merry muse. Every moment with you inspires me, and I am grateful and honored to be your mother.

Thank you, Chrissy, for being the best of all possible assistants, in this universe or any other. Thank you for your boundless creativity, your patience, and your infallible Gemini plate-spinning skills. You are an amazing person, I am grateful to you for everything you do, and I love you.

Thank you, Jacquelynn, for all of your hard work, dedication to keeping production flowing, and ingenuity in all things. Thank you for everything you do to keep our wheels turning. You are a wonder!

Thank you, Lisa, for your wit and wisdom, for your kindness and patience, and for the pleasure of your friendship. You are a saint, and I love you!

Thank you, Piolet, for being an oasis of calm, no matter how crazy things get here! I am so thankful for you and for all you do for us!

Thank you to Sue and Del at Dark Delicacies for… everything. Just everything. Thank you for providing a second home for Black Phoenix, thank you for your time, patience, and energy during our crazy events, and thank you for being the most wonderful of friends and the greatest grandparents a little demoness could possibly ask for! I love you!

Thank you, Ashley, for being such a tremendous help at Trading Post. You are brilliant – an amazing person – and I am grateful for all that you do!

Thank you, Sara, for all the love, passion, and dedication that you imbue into every BPAL event. I am grateful for all you do, and for your huge heart and elegant artistry. You are a wonderful person, and it is a joy being your friend. Love you!

Kaitlin, you are a phenomenon. There are no words for how grateful I am for all of your help, for your patience, for your kindness, and for your friendship. You are an absolute saint, and a truly beautiful person. I love you, wumman!

My love, thanks, and eternal gratitude to my sisters, the moderators and admins at bpal.org. You are dearest to my heart, the best of friends, and my sisters in every sense of the world except bloodline. Thank you for being my confidants, for holding my hand when my heart is heavy, and for sharing my joy when life is goin’ pretty alright. I love you guys.

Thank you, Shana, for always being there for me! Thank you for your effervescent humor, bright cheer, and limitless enthusiasm. You are a force of nature! I love you!

Thank you, Forest, for being you. Your compassion and nobility of spirit is an inspiration, and I’m truly thankful for our friendship. I love you, fartface.

Thank you, Em, for always being there for me, for always having my back, and for being an absolutely amazing friend. I value your wisdom and counsel so, so much. Thank you. I love you!

Thank you, Ali, for being my living, breathing Chicago (Manhattan) Manual of Style. Thank you for always being there for me, for being a constant source of inspiration and aid, and for ensuring that my words don’t come out like asdkjfhaslkjdhflsakjhdflkajshsnert. You are wonderful, and I love you.

Thank you, Tom, for everything you do to help us while we’re on the road, and thank you for doing all you can to integrate Black Phoenix into your work. I love you so, so much, and I’m grateful for our friendship!

Thank you to Jen, Lisa, Tom, Sara, Lilith, Kat, Chrissy, Michael, Donna, Andra, Ali, Courtney D., Courtney W., Val, and Maggie for making this year’s travelling Snake Oil show possible. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into the events, and for being there for us. We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you, Lisa T., for single-handedly reviving Dirty South Will Call. You are one of the most amazing women I know, and I love you.

Thank you, Jen and Karyn, for resurrecting bpal.org. Without your efforts, the forum would have died a horrible, much-lamented death. You have no idea how grateful I am. I love you.

Thank you, Donna, for babysitting BPAL again! Thank you for always making me laugh, and for giving me much-needed hugs whenever I’m down. I love you more than words can say!

Thank you, Andra, for keeping my fires lit, and for being such a true and amazing friend. I love you so much!

Thank you, Courtney, for being my New England Sister! Thank you for all of your generosity and kindness! Your love makes Black Phoenix stronger, brighter, and more suffused with joy. I love you!

Huge amounts of love and HUGE amounts of gratitude to Laura Hall and all the wonderful people at Laika studios. Your generosity and kindness is beyond measure.

Thank you to Thomas, Melissa, Chandra, Kat (and Thomas Jr!) at Century Guild. You are wonderful people, and I love you!

Thank you to Neil Gaiman, Jim Jarmusch, Peter S. Beagle, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Terry Pratchett, Carolyn Hennesy, Terry Moore, Mike and Christine Mignola, George Perez, Peter David, Molly Crabapple, Mark Waid, Thomas Negovan, Storm Constantine, Matt Wagner, Jim Henson Productions, Brian Pulido, Joseph Michael Linsner, Gris Grimly, George RR Martin, Clive Barker, Mark Miller, David Mack, Gail Potocki, Erin Morgenstern, and Ysanne Spevak for giving Black Phoenix the opportunity to interpret your work.

Thank you to the noble souls at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Hero Initiative. You are an inspiration.

Thank you, Charles, for being an inspiration and a true friend.

Thank you, CP, for being an incredible friend. Your kind soul and radiant spirit illuminates everything and everyone you touch.

Love and thanks to the artists that have lent us their talent: Adam Hughes, Alicia Dabney, Julie Dillon, Emma Rios, Madame Talbot, Quique Alcatena, Jennifer Rodgers, Manda Lander, Keri Newton, Nick Pavik, Tanya Bjork, Andrew Fogel, Brian Kessinger, Abigail Larson, Aidan Casserly, and Sarah Coleman!

Love and thanks to Think Geek, Century Guild, the Mütter Museum, Haute Macabre, Heretic Salon, Whole Foods, Pretty Indulgent, Healthy Living, and Dark Delicacies for giving our products a home in your stores!

Love and thanks to the bloggers, journalists, magazines, and other media outlets that taken the time to write about Black Phoenix. Honestly, I cannot thank you enough.

And last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank my ancestors, all the gods (both celestial and infernal), the House Ghost, and anyone else that might be looking out for me.

I wrote this many years ago, and it’s just as true today as it was then:
‘Thank you for sharing our joy and for standing with us during difficult times. The family that has grown around BPAL is like no other in the world. Every time I wander into the forum, I see people supporting one another in times of need, showing selfless kindness and offering support to one another… to me, you all are models of emotional generosity and true friendship, and it is truly an honor to be a part of your lives. I cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you for celebrating the beauty of living with us, and for holding our hands during times of stress and sorrow. This year has been turbulent for just about everyone we know. It’s been a hard year filled with challenges and hidden lessons, but none of it is insurmountable because we all have this tremendous, genuinely loving family. Thank you.’

THANK YOU!

 

And without further ado, the Anniversary scents!

There is a happy spot, retired in the first East, where the great gate of the eternal pole lies open. It is not, however, situated near to his rising in summer or in winter, but where the sun pours the day from his vernal chariot. There a plain spreads its open tracts; nor does any mound rise, nor hollow valley open itself. But through twice six ells that place rises above the mountains, whose tops are thought to be lofty among us.

 

THE GROVE OF THE SUN

Here is the grove of the sun; a wood stands planted with many a tree, blooming with the honour of perpetual foliage. When the pole had blazed with the fires of Phaethon, that place was uninjured by the flames; and when the deluge had immersed the world in waves, it rose above the waters of Deucalion. No enfeebling diseases, no sickly old age, nor cruel death, nor harsh fear, approaches hither, nor dreadful crime, nor mad desire of riches, nor Mars, nor fury, burning with the love of slaughter. Bitter grief is absent, and want clothed in rags, and sleepless cares, and violent hunger. No tempest rages there, nor dreadful violence of the wind; nor does the hoar-frost cover the earth with cold dew.

Immortally vibrant olive, black pine, and bay laurel shimmering with rivulets of fresh olibanum sap.

 

LIVING

No cloud extends its fleecy covering above the plains, nor does the turbid moisture of water fall from on high; but there is a fountain in the middle, which they call by the name of “living;” it is clear, gentle, and abounding with sweet waters, which, bursting forth once during the space of each month, twelve times irrigates all the grove with waters.

Clear water touched by a hint of honeyed pale rose, Sicilian lemon, and lily of the valley.

Here a species of tree, rising with lofty stem, bears mellow fruits not about to fall on the ground. This grove, these woods, a single bird, the phoenix, inhabits,–single, but it lives reproduced by its own death. It obeys and submits to Phoebus, a remarkable attendant. Its parent nature has given it to possess this office. When at its first rising the saffron morn grows red, when it puts to flight the stars with its rosy light, thrice and four times she plunges her body into the sacred waves, thrice and four times she sips water from the living stream.

 

POURING STRAINS OF SACRED SONG

She is raised aloft, and takes her seat on the highest top of the lofty tree, which alone looks down upon the whole grove; and turning herself to the fresh risings of the nascent Phoebus, she awaits his rays and rising beam. And when the sun has thrown back the threshold of the shining gate, and the light gleam  of the first light has shone forth, she begins to pour strains of sacred song, and to hail the new light with wondrous voice, which neither the notes of the nightingale nor the flute of the Muses can equal with Cyrrhæan strains. But neither is it thought that the dying swan can imitate it, nor the tuneful strings of the lyre of Mercury.

Red benzoin and frankincense with honey myrtle, osmanthus blossom, and coconut milk.

 

VENERABLE PRIESTESS OF THE WOOD

After that Phoebus has brought back his horses to the open heaven, and continually advancing, has displayed  his whole orb; she applauds with thrice-repeated flapping of her wings, and having thrice adored the fire-bearing head, is silent. And she also distinguishes the swift hours by sounds not liable to error by day and night: an overseer of the groves, a venerable priestess of the wood, and alone admitted to thy secrets, O Phoebus.

An incense of myrtle leaf, sweet bay, white myrrh, stacte, and the golden frankincense.

 

THIS WORLD, WHERE DEATH REIGNS

And when she has now accomplished the thousand years of her life, and length of days has rendered her burdensome, in order that she may renew the age which has glided by, the fates pressing her, she flees from the beloved couch of the accustomed grove. And when she has left the sacred places, through a desire of being born again, then she seeks this world, where death reigns. Full of years, she directs her swift flight into Syria, to which Venus herself has given the name of Phoenice; and through trackless deserts she seeks the retired groves in the place, where a remote wood lies concealed through the glens.

Myrrh and black roses.

Then she chooses a lofty palm, with top reaching to the heavens, which has the pleasing name of phoenix from the bird, and where no hurtful living creature can break through, or slimy serpent, or any bird of prey. Then Æolas shuts in the winds in hanging caverns, lest they should injure the bright air with their blasts, or lest a cloud collected by the south wind through the empty sky should remove the rays of the sun, and be a hindrance to the bird. 

 

SHE PERISHES THAT SHE MAY LIVE

Afterwards she builds for herself either a nest or a tomb, for she perishes that she may live; yet she produces herself. Hence she collects juices and odours, which the Assyrian gathers from the rich wood, which the wealthy Arabian gathers; which either the Pygmæan nations, or India crops, or the Sabæan land produces from its soft bosom. Hence she heaps together cinnamon and the odour of the far-scented amomum, and balsams with mixed leaves. Neither the twig of the mild cassia nor of the fragrant acanthus is absent, nor the tears and rich drop of frankincense. To these she adds tender ears of flourishing spikenard, and joins the too pleasing pastures of myrrh. Immediately she places her body about to be changed on the strewed nest, and her quiet limbs on such a couch. Then with her mouth she scatters juices around and upon her limbs, about to die with her own funeral rites. Then amidst various odours she yields up her life, nor fears the faith of so great a deposit. In the meantime her body, destroyed by death, which proves the source of life, is hot, and the heat itself produces a flame; and it conceives fire afar off from the light of heaven: it blazes, and is dissolved into burnt ashes. And these ashes collected in death it fuses, as it were, into a mass, and has an effect resembling seed. From this an animal is said to arise without limbs, but the worm is said to be of a milky colour.

A funereal nest of cinnamon and amomum, cassia and acanthus, spikenard and myrrh, three balsams and sweet frankincense.

 

THE PHOENIX, HAVING BURST HER SHELL

And it suddenly increases vastly with an imperfectly formed body, and collects itself into the appearance of a well-rounded egg. After this it is formed again, such as its figure was before, and the phoenix, having burst her shell, shoots forth, even as caterpillars in the fields, when they are fastened by a thread to a stone, are wont to be changed into a butterfly.

A perfume of freedom, regeneration, and renewal: bitter orange and tangerine with warm patchouli, tobacco absolute, glittering amber, and white musk.

 

THE DELICATE AMBROSIAL DEWS OF HEAVENLY NECTAR

No food is appointed for her in our world, nor does any one make it his business to feed her while unfledged. She sips the delicate ambrosial dews of heavenly nectar which have fallen from the star-bearing pole. She gathers these; with these the bird is nourished in the midst of odours, until she bears a natural form. But when she begins to flourish with early youth, she flies forth now about to return to her native abode.

A celestial nectar redolent of honeysuckle-gilded amber with honeyed fig leaf, golden myrrh, helichrysum, and white cognac.

 

RELICS OF HERSELF

Previously, however, she encloses in an ointment of balsam, and in myrrh and dissolved  frankincense, all the remains of her own body, and the bones or ashes, and relics of herself, and with pious mouth brings it into a round form, and carrying this with her feet, she goes to the rising of the sun, and tarrying at the altar, she draws it forth in the sacred temple.

Peru balsam, myrrh, frankincense, and ashes.

 

SEEDS OF THE POMEGRANATE, LEAVES OF THE POPPY

She shows and presents herself an object of admiration to the beholder; such great beauty is there, such great honour abounds. In the first place, her colour is like the brilliancy of that which the seeds of the pomegranate when ripe take under the smooth rind; such colour as is contained in the leaves which the poppy produces in the fields, when Flora spreads her garments beneath the blushing sky. Her shoulders and beautiful breasts shine with this covering; with this her head, with this her neck, and the upper parts of her back shine.

Gleaming pomegranate seed and scarlet poppies.

 

YELLOW METAL WITH MINGLED PURPLE BLUSHES

And her tail is extended, varied with yellow metal, in the spots of which mingled purple blushes. Between her wings there is a bright mark above, as Tris on high is wont to paint a cloud from above.

An armor of gleaming, burnished amber, gold-flecked, brushed with a whisper of wild plum and blackcurrant.

 

A SHINING BEAK OF PURE HORN

She gleams resplendent with a mingling of the green emerald, and a shining beak of pure horn opens itself.

Wild green lotus, orris root, bourbon vanilla, white sandalwood, and Egyptian musk.

 

A BRIGHT FLAME BETWEEN TWO JACINTHS

Her eyes are large; you might believe that they were two jacinths; from the middle of which a bright flame shines. An irradiated crown is fitted to the whole of her head, resembling on high the glory of the head of Phoebus.

A glittering golden amber chypre whose facets reflect bright flickers of cardamom, galbanum, guaiac, neroli, and sharp cedar.

 

A ROSY COLOUR PAINTS HER CLAWS WITH HONOR

Scales cover her thighs spangled with yellow metal, but a rosy colour paints her claws with honour.

Scales of gold, rose-tinted with red musk, bourbon geranium, and vanilla absolute.

 

LIGHT AND SWIFT

Her form is seen to blend the figure of the peacock with that of the painted bird of Phasis. The winged creature which is produced in the lands of the Arabians, whether it be beast or bird, can scarcely equal her magnitude. She is not, however, slow, as birds which through the greatness of their body have sluggish motions, and a very heavy weight. But she is light and swift, full of royal beauty. Such she always shows herself in the sight of men.

Swift joy and bright passion: white lavender, lemon verbena, and elemi.

Egypt comes hither to such a wondrous sight, and the exulting crowd salutes the rare bird. Immediately they carve her image on the consecrated marble, and mark both the occurrence and the day with a new title. Birds of every kind assemble together; none is mindful of prey, none of fear. Attended by a chorus of birds, she flies through the heaven, and a crowd accompanies her, exulting in the pious duty. But when she has arrived at the regions of pure ether, she presently returns; afterwards she is concealed in her own regions. But oh, bird of happy lot and fate, to whom the god himself granted to be born from herself! Whether it be female, or male, or neither, or both, happy she, who enters into no compacts of Venus.

 

DEATH IS VENUS TO HER

Death is Venus to her; her only pleasure is in death: that she may be born, she desires previously to die. She is an offspring to herself, her own father and heir, her own nurse, and always a foster-child to herself. She is herself indeed, but not the same, since she is herself, and not herself, having gained eternal life by the blessing of death.

Cabreuva  and blood red rose with myrrh, cypress, black jasmine, clove, and 7-year aged patchouli.

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

The Ligeia Update Is Live

2014 November 8
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This year, we are ringing in the return of autumn by celebrating the life and undeath of one of our most cherished friends, Ligeia. Artwork by Ivonne Carley and Harry Clarke.

Ligeia will be live December 8th.

ligeia

And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness. Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.

 

THE RADIANCE OF AN OPIUM-DREAM

There is one dear topic, however, on which my memory fails me not. It is the person of Ligeia. In stature she was tall, somewhat slender, and, in her latter days, even emaciated. I would in vain attempt to portray the majesty, the quiet ease, of her demeanor, or the incomprehensible lightness and elasticity of her footfall. She came and departed as a shadow. I was never made aware of her entrance into my closed study save by the dear music of her low sweet voice, as she placed her marble hand upon my shoulder. In beauty of face no maiden ever equalled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream –an airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the phantasies which hovered vision about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos.

A haze of tuberose, pale jasmine, vanilla orchid, and lily, with a faint jagged edge of opium tar.

 

SOME STRANGENESS IN THE PROPORTION

Yet her features were not of that regular mould which we have been falsely taught to worship in the classical labors of the heathen. “There is no exquisite beauty,” says Bacon, Lord Verulam, speaking truly of all the forms and genera of beauty, without some strangeness in the proportion.” Yet, although I saw that the features of Ligeia were not of a classic regularity –although I perceived that her loveliness was indeed “exquisite,” and felt that there was much of “strangeness” pervading it, yet I have tried in vain to detect the irregularity and to trace home my own perception of “the strange.”

Rich vanilla sandalwood elegantly distorted by oudh, labdanum, scarlet saffron, and pink pepper.

 

THE TUMULTUOUS VULTURES OF STERN PASSION

Of all the women whom I have ever known, she, the outwardly calm, the ever-placid Ligeia, was the most violently a prey to the tumultuous vultures of stern passion. And of such passion I could form no estimate, save by the miraculous expansion of those eyes which at once so delighted and appalled me –by the almost magical melody, modulation, distinctness and placidity of her very low voice –and by the fierce energy (rendered doubly effective by contrast with her manner of utterance) of the wild words which she habitually uttered.

Of such passion, I could form no estimate: sanguine red musk, red benzoin, wild plum, vetiver tar, and Indonesian patchouli beneath a still pool of sheer white musk and vanilla-gilded lily.

 

VERDANT DECAY

Ligeia had brought me far more, very far more than ordinarily falls to the lot of mortals. After a few months, therefore, of weary and aimless wandering, I purchased, and put in some repair, an abbey, which I shall not name, in one of the wildest and least frequented portions of fair England. The gloomy and dreary grandeur of the building, the almost savage aspect of the domain, the many melancholy and time-honored memories connected with both, had much in unison with the feelings of utter abandonment which had driven me into that remote and unsocial region of the country. Yet although the external abbey, with its verdant decay hanging about it, suffered but little alteration, I gave way, with a child-like perversity, and perchance with a faint hope of alleviating my sorrows, to a display of more than regal magnificence within

A claustrophobic thicket of yew, cypress, and drooping oak grown wild with dense mounds of bittersweet nightshade, gleaming white foxglove, creeping black ivy, clusters of marshy false morel and fly agaric, and a smear of crushed, overripe baneberries.

 

INCIPIENT MADNESS

Alas, I feel how much even of incipient madness might have been discovered in the gorgeous and fantastic draperies, in the solemn carvings of Egypt, in the wild cornices and furniture, in the Bedlam patterns of the carpets of tufted gold! I had become a bounden slave in the trammels of opium, and my labors and my orders had taken a coloring from my dreams.

A thunderous passion, conceived in obsession and nurtured in the bowels of delirium, that grasps in desperation through the darkest shadows of the ether. An unwholesome smoky musk, dark and sweet, laced with Virginia tobacco, honeyed black currant, red patchouli.

 

FETTERED IN THE SHACKLES OF THE DRUG

In the excitement of my opium dreams (for I was habitually fettered in the shackles of the drug) I would call aloud upon her name, during the silence of the night, or among the sheltered recesses of the glens by day, as if, through the wild eagerness, the solemn passion, the consuming ardor of my longing for the departed, I could restore her to the pathway she had abandoned –ah, could it be forever? –upon the earth.

Sweet opium smoke, neroli, yellow bergamot, and piquant, strange star anise.

 

A BRILLIANT AND RUBY COLORED FLUID

It was then that I became distinctly aware of a gentle footfall upon the carpet, and near the couch; and in a second thereafter, as Rowena was in the act of raising the wine to her lips, I saw, or may have dreamed that I saw, fall within the goblet, as if from some invisible spring in the atmosphere of the room, three or four large drops of a brilliant and ruby colored fluid. If this I saw –not so Rowena. She swallowed the wine unhesitatingly, and I forbore to speak to her of a circumstance which must, after all, I considered, have been but the suggestion of a vivid imagination, rendered morbidly active by the terror of the lady, by the opium, and by the hour.

A spectre’s poison: unknowable strange toxins dribbled into warmed red wine.

 

A TREMOR UPON THE LIPS

I listened — in extremity of horror. The sound came again — it was a sigh. Rushing to the corpse, I saw  — distinctly saw — a tremor upon the lips.

The stirring of another’s heartbeat within your chest, the vacuum of a stranger’s breath within your lungs: Laotian oudh, carrot seed, white orris, and bitter raw frankincense chilled by elemi and eucalyptus blossom.

 

BEWILDERED IN A DREAM

The greater part of the fearful night had worn away, and she who had been dead, once again stirred –and now more vigorously than hitherto, although arousing from a dissolution more appalling in its utter hopelessness than any. I had long ceased to struggle or to move, and remained sitting rigidly upon the ottoman, a helpless prey to a whirl of violent emotions, of which extreme awe was perhaps the least terrible, the least consuming. The corpse, I repeat, stirred, and now more vigorously than before. The hues of life flushed up with unwonted energy into the countenance –the limbs relaxed –and, save that the eyelids were yet pressed heavily together, and that the bandages and draperies of the grave still imparted their charnel character to the figure, I might have dreamed that Rowena had indeed shaken off, utterly, the fetters of Death. But if this idea was not, even then, altogether adopted, I could at least doubt no longer, when, arising from the bed, tottering, with feeble steps, with closed eyes, and with the manner of one bewildered in a dream, the thing that was enshrouded advanced boldly and palpably into the middle of the apartment.

A disorienting eddy of French lavender, black tea, orange blossom, sharp green tea leaf, pink flowering thorn, and a blot of inky resins.

 

BLACKER THAN THE RAVEN WINGS OF THE MIDNIGHT

Shrinking from my touch, she let fall from her head, unloosened, the ghastly cerements which had confined it, and there streamed forth, into the rushing atmosphere of the chamber, huge masses of long and dishevelled hair; it was blacker than the raven wings of the midnight! And now slowly opened the eyes of the figure which stood before me. “Here then, at least,” I shrieked aloud, “can I never –can I never be mistaken –these are the full, and the black, and the wild eyes –of my lost love –of the lady –of the LADY LIGEIA.”

The scent of Ligeia reborn: black tea leaf fougere with black sandalwood, opalescent vanilla, osmanthus,  18-year aged Indonesian patchouli, and the suggestion of ancient incense smoke.

West Coast and Dirty South Will Call Events

2014 October 28
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This month, we will be hosting our annual food drive at our Los Angeles and Dirty South full moon events!

For every $10 in food that you donate, you will receive a 5ml bottle of:

SWEET POTATO MUSK

Weirdly wearable! Brown sugar-glazed sweet potato musk with honeyed ambrette, pulverized pumpkin seed, white oats, toasted cardamom, and sugared clove.

We are offering these oils while supplies last, and cannot guarantee that any Will Call location will be able to fulfill all donation exchanges. We’ll do our best!

The blends that will be available for purchase include those that went live on the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab website up to and including the Halloween updates.

Our Lunacy events are held on the night of the full moon and are always free.

 

The West Coast Will Call event will be held on Thursday, November 6th from 6 to 9pm at Dark Delicacies.

Food donations will support the Burbank Temporary Aid Center.

Dark Delicacies
3512 W. Magnolia Blvd
(1 block east of Hollywood Way)
Burbank, CA 91505

www.darkdel.com

___

The Dirty South Will Call event will be held Sunday, November 9th from 4 to 7pm at Hammond Park.

Food donations will support the Georgia Mountain Food Bank

705 Hammond Dr.
(In the Community Room located off of Glenridge Rd. NE)
Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328

If you have any questions, please email us at willcall@blackphoenixalchemylab.com.

Remaining Dates for 2014

West Coast Will Call:

Friday, December 5th

Dirty South Will Call

TBA

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

New Dark Delicacies Scents: Pumpkin Lace and Papa Monster

2014 October 21
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Two new Dark Delicacies scents have gone live and you can get them now at the Dark Delicacies site for $23 a 5ml.

 

pumpkin lace

PUMPKIN LACE

A smoky, dark pumpkin scent, inspired by Victorian Halloween postcard illustrations: a cascade of cobwebby white sandalwood threaded through vanilla bourbon, sharp green cognac, Virginia tobacco, and caramelized sugar, all draped across a freshly carved jack o’lantern.

 papa monster

PAPA MONSTER

A growling good time: the scent of grape and red cherry swirl ring pops,
licorice whips, and a touch of vanilla cupcake frosting.

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

New Lunacy: Insula Ventorum

2014 October 5
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This cycle, we’re changing up the Lunacies a bit. From Aries to Aries, we’ll be sailing through the dreamstuff of the lunar mare on a voyage that transverses the surface of Luna by way of your subconscious.

Continuing with Tabula Selenographica’s trip through the lunar landscape, we are thrilled to present:

Peninsula Delioiorum

INSULA VENTORUM

The Island of Winds: chilled white tea leaf, astringent white musk, and eucalyptus petals biting through ragged osmanthus blossoms, crystallized white amber, and ice-limned cedarwood.

 

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

Halloween Has Come To The Black Phoenix Trading Post

2014 October 4
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Autumn has touched down at Black Phoenix Trading Post and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, though the weather in Los Angeles still hasn’t pulled itself out of Endless Summer Mode. Though it is still in the 100’s here, we’ll be creating our own faux-autumn through our scents!

 

Illuminate those gloomy evenings with Trading Post’s autumn candle selection —

++ BPTP HALLOWEEN: CANDLES

$23

BLACK PINE AND PALE INCENSE

Pine needles, black pitch, and golden-red pine sap with Oman frankincense, champaca absolute, and styrax.

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN

Belgian chocolate filled with pumpkin butter.

DEAD LEAVES AND DARK INCENSE

Fallen leaves against a backdrop of myrrh, smoky opoponax, and labdanum.

PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING

Literally everything.

PUMPKIN TOBACCO

Dried pumpkin rind and tobacco absolute.

SAMHAIN

Truly the scent of autumn itself — damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sweet red apple and mullein.

 

And if you’d like to really up the ante, atmosphere-wise –

++ BPTP HALLOWEEN ATMOSPHERE SPRAYS

$24

BONFIRE SMOKE

Woodmoke, glowing embers, drifting ash, and the memory of bones.

CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA

A brew for the dead: dried chrysanthemum petals, black tea leaf, and black poisonwood bark sweetened with honey.

MIDNIGHT IN A SILENT GROVE

Black pine and crooked oaks draped with Spanish Moss, dimly lit by flickers of juniper.

ON HALLOWEEN

Some folk in courts for pleasure sue,
An’ some ransack the theatre:
The airy nymph is won by few;
   She’s of so coy a nature.
She shuns the great bedaub’d with lace,
   Intent on rural jokin
An’ spite o’ breeding, deigns to grace
   A merry Airshire rockin,
Sometimes at night.

At Halloween, when fairy sprites
   Perform their mystic gambols,
When ilka witch her neebour greets,
   On their nocturnal rambles;
When elves at midnight-hour are seen,
   Near hollow caverns sportin,
Then lads an’ lasses aft convene,
   In hopes to ken their fortune,
By freets that night.

At Jennet Reid’s not long ago,
   Was held an annual meeting,
Of lasses fair an’ fine also,
   With charms the most inviting:
Though it was wat, an’ wondrous mirk,
   It stopp’d nae kind intention;
Some sprightly youths, frae Loudon-kirk,
   Did haste to the convention,
Wi’ glee that night.

The nuts upon a clean hearthstane,
   Were plac’d by ane anither,
An’ some gat lads, an’ some gat nane,
   Just as they bleez’d the gither.
Some sullen cooffs refuse to burn;
   Bad luck can ne’er be mended;
But or they a’ had got a turn,
   The pokeful nits was ended
Owre soon that night.

A candle on a stick was hung,
   An’ ti’d up to the kipple:
Ilk lad an’ lass, baith auld an’ young,
   Did try to catch the apple;
Which aft, in spite o’ a’ their care,
    Their furious jaws escaped;
They touch’d it ay, but did nae mair,
    Though greedily they gaped,
Fu’ wide that night.

The dishes then, by joint advice,
    Were plac’d upon the floor;
Some stammer’d on the toom ane thrice,
    In that unlucky hour.
Poor Mall maun to the garret go,
    Nae rays o’ comfort meeting;
Because sae aft she’s answered no,
    She’ll spend her days in greeting,
An’ ilka night.

Poor James sat trembling for his fate;
    He lang had dree’d the worst o’t;
Though they had tugg’d and rugg’d till yet,
    To touch the dish he durst not.
The empty bowl, before his eyes,
    Replete with ills appeared;
No man nor maid could make him rise,
    The consequence he feared
Sae much that night.

– Janet Little

The scent of chatty witches gossiping with neighbors at midnight: ripe red apples, honey mead, poppy seed cakes, a trickle of sweet 7-year aged patchouli, and bundles of dry herbs.

PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING

Literally everything.

RED ROSES AND OLD BONES

A smattering of red rose petals scattered atop a pile of yellowing, ancient bones.

TREE ROOTS, FALLEN LEAVES, AND TOMB MOSS

The solemn twilight of the year.

When we say we’re going to Pumpkin Spice Everything, we aren’t joking. For your consideration, we present pumpkin’d up eschatology –

 

++ BPTP HALLOWEEN ATMOSPHERE SPRAYS: THE FOUR PUMPKINS OF THE APOCALYPSE

Pumpkin-Spicing the Apocalypse: the Pumpkin Patch at the End of All Things.

$24

THE GREAT PUMPKIN OF WAR

A furious scent, powerful and scorching, running red with fire and blood: pumpkin with red musk, pimento, red pepper absolute, red  vetiver, rose geranium,  and crushed red poppies.

THE PUMPKIN OF CONQUEST

Grey pumpkin husk and bruised violets blanketed by creeping white mycelium, black mosses, and toxic subterranean mushrooms.

DEATH ON A PALE PUMPKIN

And I looked, and behold a pale gourd: green patchouli and white pumpkin with yew berry, black cypress, white sandalwood, spectral niaouli, eycaluptus petal, and dry white mint.

THE GOURD OF DEPRIVATION

The scent of fallow fields, faraway conflagrations consuming dry, parched grasses, and crops failing under the relentless heat of a dying sun.

 

Submerge yourself in the scents of the season –

++ BPTP HALLOWEEN BATH OIL

$25

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN FLUFF

Pumpkin whipped with milk chocolate syrup and dark chocolate shavings.

CACAO-DUSTED SUGAR SKULLS

White sugar and meringue sprinkled with cacao.

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Graham crackery and cream cheesy! Cinnamon brown sugary! This year’s is a bit more carroty! (But not too carroty!)

PUMPKIN SMORES

Pumpkin marshmallows smushed into brown sugar-dusted graham crackers with melted chocolate and a hint of campfire smoke.

Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblrjoin our mailing list, visit our Forums, or follow our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.

And add a touch of the macabre to your mane (fur / scales / horns) –

++ BPTP HALLOWEEN HAIR GLOSS

$30

AUTUMN LEAVES AND HAITIAN PATCHOULI

Smoke-touched and dusky.

BOO

Eerie billows of spun sugar, fluttering white cotton, and sheets of cream.

BLACK CLOVE, TOBACCO FLOWER, AND GRAVE SOIL

Siste viator.

PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING

Literally everything.

TRICKSY

Patchouli, aquilaria aguillocha, and Manuka honey.