Yule 2014

  • Butter Rum Cookie

    Butter Rum Cookie

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

    Out of Stock
  • Chanukkiyah

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Chocolate Stout Cupcake

    Chocolate Stout Cupcake

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

    Out of Stock
  • Christmas Pudding

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Dumb Cake

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Eggnog

    Egg Nog

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

    (Now with extra nog!)

    Out of Stock
  • El dia de los Reyes

    El Dia de los Reyes

    4 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • 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.

    Out of Stock
  • Gacela of the Dark Death

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Gelt

    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!

    Out of Stock
  • Holoa

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Hans Trapp

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Hard Cider Cake

    Hard Cider Cake

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

    Out of Stock
  • Hot Buttered Rum

    Hot Buttered Rum

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

    Out of Stock
  • Krampus

    Krampus

    5 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Lick It with Consent

    Lick It with Consent

    5 out of 5

    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. 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!)

    Out of Stock
  • Maryl Wyd

    Mari Lwyd

    4 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Midnight Mass

    Midnight Mass

    4 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Nuclear Winter

    Nuclear Winter

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

    Out of Stock
  • Rose Red

    Rose Red

    5 out of 5

    The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

    Out of Stock
  • Snow White

    Snow White

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

    Out of Stock
  • Strawberry Sufganiyot

    Strawberry Sufganiyot

    5 out of 5

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

    Out of Stock
  • Fruit of Paradise

    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!

    Out of Stock
  • Winter-Time

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Yuletide

    Yuletide

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

    Out of Stock

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.

  • A Measurement of the Soul

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Claircognizance

    Claircognizance

    4 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Ectoplasm

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Eusapia

    Eusapia

    4 out of 5

    “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.

    Out of Stock
  • Gossips of Ghost Land

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Luminous Phasmatis

    Luminous Phasmatis

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

    Out of Stock
  • Practical Occultism

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Psychodynamic Discharge

    Psychodynamic Discharge

    5 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Spirit Board

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Table-Turning

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • The Fox Sisters

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Vital Fluid

    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.

    Out of Stock

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.

  • Chionophobia

    Chionophobia

    Fear of Snow

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

    Out of Stock
  • Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Cryophobia

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Deipnophobia

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Deipnophobia

    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.

    Out of Stock

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.

  • Gingerbread 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.

    Out of Stock
  • Gingerbread Dodo

    Gingerbread Dodo

    Oh dear! I’m a quarter gone!

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

    Out of Stock
  • Gingerbread Goblin

    Gingerbread Goblin

    Oh, I’m half gone!

    Gingerbread with black coconut, patchouli, and sweet benzoin.

    Out of Stock
  • Gingerbread Lust

    Gingerbread Lust

    I’m three-quarters gone!

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

    Out of Stock
  • Gingerbread Sin

    Gingerbread Sin

    I’m all gone!

    Gingerbread with amber, sandalwood, black patchouli and cinnamon.

    Out of Stock