Myrrh

  • Advice of the Dead

    A divination blend specially attuned to the Santa Muerte Tarot. Along with every card description, Lo Scarabeo’s accompanying booklet includes a postscript with additional advice, simple and direct, that each card communicates, drawing from the deep well of ancestral wisdom — “The advice of the dead.” 

    Wisdom dispensed from beyond the grave: black copal, golden chrysanthemums, myrrh, worm-slick soil, and gilded marigolds

     

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  • Aeronwen

    Fig, dark myrrh, amber, redwood, nutmeg, tarragon, black musk, and sweet orange.

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  • An Excerpt from Speculum Heroicum Principis Omnium Temporum Poëtarum Homeri

    Brazilian vetiver, dark myrrh, peru balsam, laurel leaf, white sage, and cedar.

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  • Anubis

    He Who Counts the Hearts, Jackal Ruler of the Bows, He Who Is In the Place of Embalming. Jackal-headed guardian, protector and psychopomp of Egypt’s dead, he guides souls to the underworld and holds steady the scales upon which the deceased’s heart is weighed against Ma’at’s Feather of Truth. He is the creator and master of funereal rites, He Who Opens the Mouth of the Dead, and is the sentinel that watches over the sanctity of tombs and the virtue and privacy of his charges.

    His scent is a blend of holy myrrh, storax, balsam, and embalming herbs.

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  • Aperotos Eros

    Strong as death, and cruel as the grave,
    Clothed with cloud and tempest’s blackening breath,
    Known of death’s dread self, whom none outbrave,
    Strong as death,

    Love, brow-bound with anguish for a wreath,
    Fierce with pain, a tyrant-hearted slave,
    Burns above a world that groans beneath.

    Hath not pity power on thee to save,
    Love? hath power no pity? Nought he saith,
    Answering: blind he walks as wind or wave,
    Strong as death.

    Unloving love: benzoin, Indian musk, massoia bark, myrrh, ambrette seed, galbanum, bergamot, and fir.

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  • Asp Viper

    Snake Oil with King mandarin, myrrh, and almond.

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  • Athens

    A reformulation and modernization of a true Classical Greek perfume, myrrhine: voluptuous myrrh, golden honey, red wine, and sweet flowers.

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  • Bast

    There was a girl. He had met her somewhere, and now they were walking across a bridge. It spanned a small lake, in the middle of a town. The wind was ruffling the surface of the lake, making waves tipped with whitecaps, which seemed to Shadow to be tiny hands reaching for him.

    — Down there, said the woman. She was wearing a leopard-print skirt, which flapped and tossed in the wind, and the flesh between the top of her stockings and her skirt was creamy and soft and in his dream, on the bridge, before God and the world, Shadow went down to his knees in front of her, burying his head in her crotch, drinking in the intoxicating jungle female scent of her. He became aware, in his dream, of his erection in real life, a rigid, pounding, monstrous thing as painful in its hardness as the erections he’d had as a boy, when he was crashing into puberty.

    He pulled away and looked upward, and still he could not see her face. But his mouth was seeking hers and her lips were soft against his, and his hands were cupping her breasts, and then they were running across the satin smoothness of her skin, pushing into and parting the furs that hid her waist, sliding into the wonderful cleft of her, which warmed and wetted and parted for him, opening to his hand like a flower.

    The woman purred against him ecstatically, her hand moving down to the hardness of him and squeezing it. He pushed the bedsheets away and rolled on top of her, his hand parting her thighs, her hand guiding him between her legs, where one thrust, one magical push . . .

    Now he was back in his old prison cell with her, and he was kissing her deeply. She wrapped her arms tightly around him, clamped her legs about his legs to hold him tight, so he could not pull out, not even if he wanted to.

    Never had he kissed lips so soft. He had not known that there were lips so soft in the whole world. Her tongue, though, was sandpaper-rough as it slipped against his.

    —Who are you? he asked.

    She made no answer, just pushed him onto his back and, in one lithe movement, straddled him and began to ride him. No, not to ride him: to insinuate herself against him in series of silken-smooth waves, each more powerful than the one before, strokes and beats and rhythms that crashed against his mind and his body just as the wind-waves on the lake splashed against the shore. Her nails were needle-sharp and they pierced his sides, raking them, but he felt no pain, only pleasure, everything was transmuted by some alchemy into moments of utter pleasure.

    He struggled to find himself, struggled to talk, his head now filled with sand dunes and desert winds.

    —Who are you? he asked again, gasping for the words.

    She stared at him with eyes the color of dark amber, then lowered her mouth to his and kissed him with a passion, kissed him so completely and so deeply that there, on the bridge over the lake, in his prison cell, in the bed in the Cairo funeral home, he almost came. He rode the sensation like a kite riding a hurricane, willing it not to crest, not to explode, wanting it never to end.

    A desert wind alight with myrrh and golden amber, cardamom and honey, bourbon vanilla and cacao.

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  • Bastet

    Bast, Ubasti, Ailuros, Ba-en-Aset. Represented as both a domestic cat and a fierce lioness, she truly evidences traits of both. She is the Mother of All Cats, Goddess of Sensuality, Fertility, and a guardian and protector of women. She is also one of the Eyes of Ra, and in that aspect is an Avenging Goddess, seeking retribution and punishing enemies of her people.

    Luxuriant amber, warm Egyptian musk, fierce saffron and soft myrrh, almond, cardamom and golden lotus.

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  • Beauty, The Aggrieved

    A white rose draped by a delicate, pale, sheer veil of vanilla, the depth and darkness of her black lace embodied by tobacco absolute, Indonesian patchouli, Bulgarian oakmoss, frankincense, white sandalwood, and myrrh.

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  • Behind the Veils

    Blood-red light cascades through languorous folds of sheer cloth. Hell-bright embers breathe into the gloom as billowing ribbons of thick, dark incense wrap their tendrils of smoke around your body like the curious hands of a lover.

    Heady red musk, myrrh and honey, drops of cinnamon and crushed cardamom pod, the taste of opium-laced black wine, sweet oudh, and threads of saffron.

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  • Bette Noir

    The Paradigm’s martial artist and weapons master, Bette carries a grim secret—that she alone knows Plutonian’s one true vulnerability.

    Benzoin, wild plum, smoky amber, bergamot, orange blossom, myrrh, and dark berries.

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  • Bilquis

    The Queen of Sheba, half-demon, they said, on her father’s side, witch woman, wise woman, and queen, who ruled Sheba when Sheba was the richest land there ever was, when its spices and its gems and scented woods were taken by boat and camel-back to the corners of the earth, who was worshipped even when she was alive, worshipped as a living goddess by the wisest of kings, stands on the sidewalk of Sunset Boulevard at 2:00 A.M. staring blankly out at traffic like a slutty plastic bride on a black-and-neon wedding cake. She stands as if she owns the sidewalk and the night that surrounds her.

    Honey, myrrh, lily of the valley, rose otto, fig leaf, almond, ambrette, red apple, and warm musk.

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  • Black Lotus

    Born in the shadows of a Temple to Set, this corrupted Egyptian scent evokes images of black pyramids, river demons, and bleak, deadly desert sands. Black lotus flower, amber, myrrh and sandalwood.

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  • Blood

    A vital, bold scent, throbbing with sensuality. Essence of dragon’s blood resin, thickened with myrrh and cherry, with a trickle of clove.

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  • But Men Loved Darkness Rather Than Light

    The world’s light shines, shine as it will,
    The world will love its darkness still.
    I doubt though when the world’s in hell,
    It will not love its darkness half so well.

    The world will love its darkness: cistus labdanum, ginger, East Indian patchouli, pimento berry, oakmoss, saffron, smoky vanilla, sage, myrrh, and bitter clove.

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  • Chimera

    The fiery, volatile scent of cinnamon, thickened by myrrh, honeysuckle, and copal.

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  • Cleric

    Rose amber, frankincense, myrrh, champaca flower, Peru balsam, cistus, palisander, cananga, hyssop, and narcissus absolute.

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  • Czernobog

    Created in honor of the Slavic Black God of the Dead. A nighttime god of grief, evil, chaos and woe, he is paralleled by his twin brother Bylebog, god of light, joy, order, and good fortune.

    A combination of three musks, with splashes of dark myrrh, vetiver and mullein.

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  • Dance of Death

    Carrying bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves,
    Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves
    With all the careless and high-stepping grace,
    And the extravagant courtesan’s thin face.

    Was slimmer waist e’er in a ball-room wooed?
    Her floating robe, in royal amplitude,
    Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod
    With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod.

    The swarms that hum about her collar-bones
    As the lascivious streams caress the stones,
    Conceal from every scornful jest that flies,
    Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes

    Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays
    Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways,
    Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae.
    O charm of nothing decked in folly! they

    Who laugh and name you a Caricature,
    They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure,
    The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone,
    That is most dear to me, tall skeleton!

    Come you to trouble with your potent sneer
    The feast of Life! or are you driven here,
    To Pleasure’s Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir
    And goad your moving corpse on with a spur?

    Or do you hope, when sing the violins,
    And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins,
    To drive some mocking nightmare far apart,
    And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart?

    Fathomless well of fault and foolishness!
    Eternal alembic of antique distress!
    Still o’er the curved, white trellis of your sides
    The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides.

    And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find,
    Among us here, no lover to your mind;
    Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave?
    The charms of horror please none but the brave.

    Your eyes’ black gulf, where awful broodings stir,
    Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller
    Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath,
    The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth.

    For he who has not folded in his arms
    A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms,
    Recks not of furbelow, or paint, or scent,
    When Horror comes the way that Beauty went.

    O irresistible, with fleshless face,
    Say to these dancers in their dazzled race:
    “Proud lovers with the paint above your bones,
    Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons!

    Withered Antinoüs, dandies with plump faces,
    Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces,
    Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath,
    Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death.

    From Seine’s cold quays to Ganges’ burning stream,
    The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream;
    They do not see, within the opened sky,
    The Angel’s sinister trumpet raised on high.

    In every clime and under every sun,
    Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run;
    And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye
    And mingles with your madness, irony!

    A gloriously elegant representation of Lady Death. Dry, bone-white orris, black musk, serpentine patchouli and our murkiest myrrh.

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  • Darkness

    The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
    The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
    The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
    And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
    Of aid from them — She was the Universe.

    Bottled gloom; the essence of oblivion. Blackest opium and narcissus deepened by myrrh.

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  • Dawn: Cernunnos

    Terebinth pine, basil, green sandalwood, fig leaf, armoise, lemon balm, cypress, myrrh, black cedar, and juniper.

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  • Dawn: Priestess

    Damascus rose, jasmine, myrrh, opoponax, white sage, and patchouli.

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  • Diamond Star

    Ambergris accord, guiac wood, white benzoin, immortelle, and Somalian myrrh.

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  • Eshe, A Vision of Life-In-Death

    Moving counter-clockwise through the room, you come upon the next stage. The backdrop is shredded, and seems to have been torn in a fury. On the remaining half of the canvas, you can barely make out a faded illustration of the sun setting over a pyramid. On the center of the platform, an elaborate golden sarcophagus has been set upright and propped up towards the edge of the stage. Beside it, upon the ground, sits a hooded lantern. A woman’s image is painted on the front of the sarcophagus, and upon the gold limned body, a tale is being told in hieroglyphics: scenes of murder, carnage, and grotesque, mad passion. Although you do not know the language, the inscription upon the tomb translates within your mind, and the words burn behind your eyes as if they were written in blood and fire: “The Guardian will never part the veil for her soul. Mighty Sutekh, have pity on us all.” A thin, dark-skinned man wearing a linen loincloth climbs onto the stage. His form is frail and withered, he is impossibly old, yet his long, straight hair is as black as the night skies. With solemn, reverential gravity, he slowly moves the casket lid aside. Within the box, you see a skeletal figure wrapped in stained, ragged cloths, draped in a mauve cloth. The dark-skinned man bends low, and lights the lanterna magica. From within the glass, images begin to form, and glowing alchemical symbols cast their eerie light onto the mummy. As the lights touch the creature, the desiccated body swells, and with horrific, agonizing slowness, a woman’s form begins to appear within the wrappings. At her chest, the rotted wrappings burst, exposing sinew and the glinting white bones of her ribs. Her hands reach towards her face, and with a screech of agony and eons-long rage, she tears the gauze from her glittering black eyes.

    The perfume of life-in-death: embalming herbs, black myrrh, white sandalwood, black orchid, paperwhites, olive blossom, tomb dust, and Moroccan jasmine.

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  • Eve

    Eve is eternal: in three-thousand years, she has likely traveled the length and breadth of the world, immersed in innumerable cultures throughout the ages, observing the ebb and flow of humanity and the imperishability of nature itself. Despite her age, she is the character that seems most rooted, always experiencing each moment with open eyes, always fully present.

    Her scent is one that travels through the eons: the Irish moss, yarrow, and hawthorn of the Iron Age Britons, ancient Rome’s omphacium and honey, myrrh and calamus from Egypt, the frankincense and damask roses of the Florentine Renaissance, white sandalwood from the Far East, Moroccan saffron and rose water, and a swirl of incense from the souks.

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  • Exodus 22:21

    Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.

    Myrrh, red currant, opoponax, and blackberry.

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  • Fuck You, Said the Raven

    “Hey,” said Shadow. “Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are.”

    The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.

    “Say ‘Nevermore,'” said Shadow.

    “Fuck you,” said the raven.”

    Glossy black, rough, and gravelly: violet-gilded opoponax, black patchouli, myrrh, and oak leaf.

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  • God’s Own Country

    “Yes, it’s still God’s Own Country,” said the announcer, a news reporter pronouncing the final tag line. “The only question is, which gods?”

    Circuit boards, cathode rays, and exhaust ramming against frankincense, myrrh, soil, and blood.

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  • Hecate

    Magnificent three-faced Goddess of Magic, the Dark Moon and the Crossroads. She is the Mother of Witches, and the midnight baying of hounds is her paean. Her compassion is evidenced in her role as Psychopomp for Persephone, and her wrath manifests as Medea’s revenge.

    Deep, buttery almond layered over myrrh and dark musk.

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  • Hyakki Yagyō

    Demonic black musk, inky myrrh, black coconut, champaca blossom, and smoky clove bud.

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  • Inez

    Golden amber, vanilla musk, myrrh, cedar, carnation, and red sandalwood.

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  • Inside the Golden Amber of Her Eyeballs

    A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
    your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
    within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
    will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

    just as a raving madman, when nothing else
    can ease him, charges into his dark night
    howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
    the rage being taken in and pacified.

    She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
    into her, so that, like an audience,
    she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
    and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

    as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
    and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
    inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
    suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

    – Rainer Maria Rilke

    Sleek black fur and gleaming amber shining in the shadows, a rumble of myrrh, and claws as sharp as ti leaf.

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  • Kroenen

    Shining black leather, gleaming metal, labdanum, and myrrh.

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  • La Papesse

    A visionary heretic, martyred to usher in a new Aeon: rose oudh, blackened myrrh, and cathedral incense.

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  • La Petite Mort

    Seduction, sensuality, the Act, and the aftermath all in one. The scent of warm, damp skin flushed with the glow of passion, touched by the luxuriant potency of ylang ylang and myrrh.

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  • Lamia

    ‘And you said you’d pay me for being your guide. And it’s what I want, as my payment. Warmth. Can I have some?’ Anything she wanted. Anything. The honeysuckle and the lily of the valley wrapped around him, and his eyes saw nothing but her pale skin and her dark plum-bloom lips and her jet black hair.

    Deadly elegance: pale orchid, vanilla amber, black currant, white peach, champaca, coconut, Arabian myrrh, Burmese vetiver, and oude.

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  • Les Bijoux

    My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my whim,
    She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides:
    And showed such pride as, while her luck betides,
    A sultan’s favored slave may show to him.

    When it lets off its lively, crackling sound,
    This blazing blend of metal crossed with stone
    Gives me an ecstasy I’ve only known
    Where league of sound and lustre can be found.

    She let herself be loved: then, drowsy-eyed,
    Smiled down from her high couch in languid ease.
    My love was deep and gentle as the seas
    And rose to her as to a cliff the tide.

    My own approval of each dreamy pose,
    Like a tamed tiger, cunningly she sighted:
    And candour, with lubricity united,
    Gave piquancy to every one she chose.

    Her limbs and hips, burnished with changing lustres
    Before my eyes, clairvoyant and serene,
    Swanned themselves, undulating in their sheen;
    Her breasts and belly, of my vine the clusters,

    Like evil angels rose, my fancy twitting,
    To kill the peace which over me she’d thrown,
    And to disturb her from the crystal throne
    Where, calm and solitary, she was sitting.

    So swerved her pelvis that, in one design,
    Antiope’s white rump it seemed to graft
    To a boy’s torso, merging fore and aft.
    The talc on her brown tan seemed half-divine.

    The lamp resigned its dying flame. Within,
    The hearth alone lit up the darkened air,
    And every time it sighed a crimson flare
    It drowned in blood that amber-coloured skin.

    Skin musk and honey, blood-red rose, orange blossom, white peach, red apple, frankincense and myrrh.

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  • Lust

    Uncontrollable passion and insatiable sexual desire: red musk, patchouli, ylang ylang and myrrh.

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  • Marguerite

    Rose, rose geranium, myrrh, ylang ylang, French gardenia, tuberose, red sandalwood, and palmarosa.

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  • Medea

    Granddaughter of Helios, Hecate’s chosen: Medea was one of the greatest sorceresses of the ancient world. She is the embodiment of ruthless power, indomitable will and furious vengeance. Night-blooming cereus, black orchid, black currant and myrtle leaf enshrouded in the incense of Hecate’s cypress and myrrh, and the dark rage of magickal labdanum and intoxicating poppy.

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  • Nyx

    Named in honor of the primeval Greek Goddess of Night. A scent reflecting inky black skies and eternal desolation. Night-blooming jasmine, warmed by myrrh, lifted by the promise of rose.

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  • Penitence

    Smell sanctified! A blend of pure, pious frankincense and graceful myrrh.

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  • 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.

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  • Priala, The Human Phoenix

    As you come to the final stage, you see a spotlight focused upon a large pile of pitch-black ashes on the center of the floor. A parchment scroll has been tacked to the foot of the stage. It reads:

    Now I will believe
    That there are unicorns; that in Arabia
    There is one tree, the phoenix’ throne; one phoenix
    At this hour reigning there.

    You catch a whiff of burnt cinnamon, and a whirlwind begins to form within the center of the cold pyre. The ashes rise, condense, and coalesce into the dusky form of a woman. She shakes her body gently, tossing her hair, and the ashes fall from her skin. She is perfect, radiant: not a single cinder mars the flawlessness of her countenance. Her body seems to cast a shadow shaped like a triumphant bird, wings outstretched, onto the blank taupe canvas behind her. Her eyes are closed, and her head is bowed; her expressionless face is enigmatic. Her dark eyes begin to glow, and her mouth turns up in a secretive, intimate smile. She throws back her head and extends her arms, and suddenly the scent of smoldering myrrh assails you. Within moments, the woman explodes into flame, and you see that her face is now a vision of passionate ecstasy. The turbulence of the conflagration whips around her violently, and gouts of flame burst from her body, igniting the canvas behind her. She raises her arms in exultation, and through the flames, you see both the outline of her scorched black skeleton and the shadow of the phoenix triumphant.

    Three deep, dark myrrhs, smoke, cassia, and cinnamon bark.

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  • Rapture

    Sensual ecstasy, the blinding red fire of the apex of sexual pleasure: Moroccan rose, Sumatran rose, mandarin, Egyptian myrrh, night-blooming jasmine, bergamot and neroli thrust into Arabian musk.

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  • Roses, Pearls and Diamonds

    The youngest, who was the very picture of her father for courtesy and sweetness of temper, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother even doted on her eldest daughter and at the same time had a horrible aversion for the youngest–she made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.

    Among other things, this poor child was forced twice a day to draw water above a mile and a-half off the house, and bring home a pitcher full of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink. 

    “Oh! ay, with all my heart, Goody,” said this pretty little girl; and rinsing immediately the pitcher, she took up some water from the clearest place of the fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while, that she might drink the easier. 

    The good woman, having drunk, said to her: 

    You are so very pretty, my dear, so good and so mannerly, that I cannot help giving you a gift.” For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country woman, to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl would go. “I will give you for a gift,” continued the Fairy, “that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel.” 

    When this pretty girl came home her mother scolded her for staying so long at the fountain. 

    “I beg your pardon, mamma,” said the poor girl, “for not making more haste.” 

    And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two diamonds.

    Red roses, dazzling crystalline musks, and pearlescent coconut-tinged orris.

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  • Sapphics

    All the night sleep came not upon my eyelids,
    Shed not dew, nor shook nor unclosed a feather,
    Yet with lips shut close and with eyes of iron
    Stood and beheld me.

    Then to me so lying awake a vision
    Came without sleep over the seas and touched me,
    Softly touched mine eyelids and lips; and I too,
    Full of the vision,

    Saw the white implacable Aphrodite,
    Saw the hair unbound and the feet unsandalled
    Shine as fire of sunset on western waters;
    Saw the reluctant

    Feet, the straining plumes of the doves that drew her,
    Looking always, looking with necks reverted,
    Back to Lesbos, back to the hills whereunder
    Shone Mitylene;

    Heard the flying feet of the Loves behind her
    Make a sudden thunder upon the waters,
    As the thunder flung from the strong unclosing
    Wings of a great wind.

    So the goddess fled from her place, with awful
    Sound of feet and thunder of wings around her;
    While behind a clamour of singing women
    Severed the twilight.

    Ah the singing, ah the delight, the passion!
    All the Loves wept, listening; sick with anguish,
    Stood the crowned nine Muses about Apollo;
    Fear was upon them,

    While the tenth sang wonderful things they knew not.
    Ah the tenth, the Lesbian! the nine were silent,
    None endured the sound of her song for weeping;
    Laurel by laurel,

    Faded all their crowns; but about her forehead,
    Round her woven tresses and ashen temples
    White as dead snow, paler than grass in summer,
    Ravaged with kisses,

    Shone a light of fire as a crown for ever.
    Yea, almost the implacable Aphrodite
    Paused, and almost wept; such a song was that song.
    Yea, by her name too

    Called her, saying, “Turn to me, O my Sappho;”
    Yet she turned her face from the Loves, she saw not
    Tears for laughter darken immortal eyelids,
    Heard not about her

    Fearful fitful wings of the doves departing,
    Saw not how the bosom of Aphrodite
    Shook with weeping, saw not her shaken raiment,
    Saw not her hands wrung;

    Saw the Lesbians kissing across their smitten
    Lutes with lips more sweet than the sound of lute-strings,
    Mouth to mouth and hand upon hand, her chosen,
    Fairer than all men;

    Only saw the beautiful lips and fingers,
    Full of songs and kisses and little whispers,
    Full of music; only beheld among them
    Soar, as a bird soars

    Newly fledged, her visible song, a marvel,
    Made of perfect sound and exceeding passion,
    Sweetly shapen, terrible, full of thunders,
    Clothed with the wind’s wings.

    Then rejoiced she, laughing with love, and scattered
    Roses, awful roses of holy blossom;
    Then the Loves thronged sadly with hidden faces
    Round Aphrodite,

    Then the Muses, stricken at heart, were silent;
    Yea, the gods waxed pale; such a song was that song.
    All reluctant, all with a fresh repulsion,
    Fled from before her.

    All withdrew long since, and the land was barren,
    Full of fruitless women and music only.
    Now perchance, when winds are assuaged at sunset,
    Lulled at the dewfall,

    By the grey sea-side, unassuaged, unheard of,
    Unbeloved, unseen in the ebb of twilight,
    Ghosts of outcast women return lamenting,
    Purged not in Lethe,

    Clothed about with flame and with tears, and singing
    Songs that move the heart of the shaken heaven,
    Songs that break the heart of the earth with pity,
    Hearing, to hear them.
    —Algernon Charles Swinburne

    Tonka, oakmoss, tolu balsam, grey amber, myrrh, and muguet.

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  • Sarah, The Mother Bear

    Practical scents – warm, nurturing, wise, and strong: tonka bean, soft brown leather, myrrh, white sage, gurjum balsam, Ceylon cinnamon bark, red sandalwood, sweet tobacco, and a touch of gunsmoke.

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  • Sed Non Satiata

    Strange goddess, brown as evening to the sight,
    Whose scent is half of musk, half of havanah,
    Work of some obi, Faust of the Savanah,
    Ebony witch, and daughter of the night.

    By far preferred to troth, or opium, or sleep,
    Love vaunts the red elixir of your mouth.
    My caravan of longings seeks in drouth
    Your eyes, the wells at which my cares drink deep.

    Through those black eyes, by which your soul respires,
    Pitiless demon! pour less scorching fires.
    I am no Styx nine times with flame to wed.

    Nor can I turn myself to Proserpine
    To break your spell, Megera libertine!
    Within the dark inferno of your bed.

    A pounding heartbeat coalesced into scent: demonic passion and brutal sexuality manifested through myrrh, red patchouli, cognac, honey, and tuberose and geranium in a breathy, panting veil over the darkest body musk.

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  • Seth

    Sudanese myrrh, papyrus, champaca flower, black lotus, amber, and honeyed leather.

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  • Silenti

    The Silenti reject human society completely, and are, quite literally, the living dead. Either due to trauma, sociopathic psychological conditions they possessed while human, or through a desire to embrace this peculiar aesthetic, they adopt many of the stereotypes and trappings of the vampire-as-undead. Some act as monstrous killers, akin to the murderous ways of Interfectors, while others are more peaceable, but no less strange. Most of these vampires choose to live in crypts, haunting graveyards like proverbial ghouls. Many vampire death cults have sprung from the philosophies and writings of Silenti, including the House of Azrael, whose members venerate death itself as the supreme deity and oblivion as heaven.

    Grave beauty: Spanish moss, lilac, wisteria, myrrh, and olibanum.

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  • skekTek the Scientist

    SkekTek the Scientist kept some real power of thought, but in truth he had become only a juggler of ideas, of memories from his previous life. He had studied the light of the Crystal and used it for the division. And he studied the wounded Crystal, and by that light he saw his ways to acts of darkness. First, he learned the art to make beams of light from the Dark Crystal, which he burned into the eyes of the Pod People and Gelfling to make them his slaves. After the light had struck them, no light lived in their eyes, but they obeyed. And the second evil was to use dark light to draw the essence of life, to drain it from the living to make a drink for the Skeksis, above all for the Emperor. This essence gave them back their youth and vigor for a while, only for a little while; but many Gelflings were victims forever.

    Metal and stone and beams of dark light: hyssop, black currant, black viola, passionflower, and myrrh.

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  • Stoned Griffin Alchemy Lab

    If we’d known sixteen years ago which direction the legislative wind would end up blowing, things might have gone very differently for BPAL. Stoned Griffin is like a distant cousin of Black Phoenix who never quit his college band, and tells you the same three stories at every Lunacy event (but they’re really good ones).

    Kush, fiery red patchouli, myrrh, and sweet black musk.

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  • Streets of Detroit

    Black musk accord, Ethiopian myrrh, and motor oil.

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  • The Carousel

    Calliope music played: a Strauss waltz, stirring and occasionally discordant. The wall as they entered was hung with antique carousel horses, hundreds of them, some in need of a lick of paint, others in need of a good dusting; above them hung dozens of winged angels constructed rather obviously from female store-window mannequins; some of them bared their sexless breasts; some had lost their wigs and stared baldly and blindly down from the darkness.

    And then there was the carousel.

    A sign proclaimed it was the largest in the world, said how much it weighed, how many thousand lightbulbs were to be found in the chandeliers that hung from it in Gothic profusion, and forbade anyone from climbing on it or from riding on the animals.

    And such animals! Shadow stared, impressed in spite of himself, at the hundreds of full-sized creatures who circled on the platform of the carousel. Real creatures, imaginary creatures, and transformations of the two: each creature was different. He saw mermaid and merman, centaur and unicorn, elephants (one huge, one tiny), bulldog, frog and phoenix, zebra, tiger, manticore and basilisk, swans pulling a carriage, a white ox, a fox, twin walruses, even a sea serpent, all of them brightly colored and more than real: each rode the platform as the waltz came to an end and a new waltz began. The carousel did not even slow down.

    “What’s it for?” asked Shadow. “I mean, okay, world’s biggest, hundreds of animals, thousands of lightbulbs, and it goes around all the time, and no one ever rides it.”

    “It’s not there to be ridden, not by people,” said Wednesday. “It’s there to be admired. It’s there to be.”

    A place of power and possibility, of gods diabolical and celestial: glowing amber and heady cinnamon, the green of growing things and the white of thunderclaps, sweet myrrh and sacred styrax, forest moss and blood-soaked battlefields, papyrus and clay, rose petals, wildflowers, abbatoirs, and honey.

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  • The Emperor’s Scepter

    Formed into the crux ansata, symbolizing his absolute power over life and death: golden myrrh, calamus, iris root, and cardamom.

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  • The Harpy Celaeno

    The unicorn began to walk toward the harpy’s cage. Schmendrick the Magician, tiny and pale, kept opening and closing his mouth at her, and she knew what he was shrieking, though she could not hear him. “She will kill you, she will kill you! Run, you fool, while she’s still a prisoner! She will kill you if you set her free!” But the unicorn walked on, following the light of her horn, until she stood before Celaeno, the Dark One.

    For an instant the icy wings hung silent in the air, like clouds, and the harpy’s old yellow eyes sank into the unicorn’s heart and drew her close. “I will kill you if you set me free,” the eyes said. “Set me free.” 

    The unicorn lowered her head until her horn touched the lock of the harpy’s cage. The door did not swing open, and the iron bars did not thaw into starlight. But the harpy lifted her wings, and the four sides of the cage fell slowly away and down, like the petals of some great flower waking at night. And out of the wreckage the harpy bloomed, terrible and free, screaming, her hair swinging like a sword. The moon withered and fled. 

    The unicorn heard herself cry out, not in terror but in wonder, “Oh, you are like me!” She reared joyously to meet the harpy’s stoop, and her horn leaped up into the wicked wind. The harpy struck once, missed, and swung away, her wings clanging and her breath warm and stinking. She burned overhead, and the unicorn saw herself reflected on the harpy’s bronze breast and felt the monster shining from her own body. So they circled one another like a double star, and under the shrunken sky there was nothing real but the two of them. The harpy laughed with delight, and her eyes turned the color of honey. The unicorn knew that she was going to strike again. 

    Clanging metal, smouldering hatred, and terror: vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, tolu balsam, black clove, bergamot, orange flower, and horseradish.

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  • The Magdalena

    Frankincense, myrrh, leather, ti leaf, saint wood, benzoin, and labdanum absolute.

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  • The Magician’s Hands

    The Magician’s right hand bears the wand of Will aloft, while his left hand points earthward. This is the descent of grace, the act of drawing Divine light and inspiration to the material, mortal realm.

    Sweet myrrh, calamus, ambrette seed, and Ceylon cinnamon.

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  • The Magician’s Tools

    With the Wand createth He.
    With the Cup preserveth He.
    With the Dagger destroyeth He.
    With the Coin redeemeth He.
    – Liber B vel Magi sub Figura I

    Clary sage and patchouli for Earth, lavender and yarrow for Air, tobacco and Dracaena cinnabari for Fire, lotus root and myrrh for Water.

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  • The Midnight Carnival

    There were nine wagons, each draped in black, each drawn by a lean black horse, and each baring barred sides like teeth when the wind blew through the black hangings. The lead wagon was driven by a squat old woman, and it bore signs on its shrouded sides that said in big letters: MOMMY FORTUNA’S MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL. And below, in smaller print: Creatures of night, brought to light.

    Cruelty and confinement, small magics and penny illusions: galbanum, teak, myrrh, narcissus, patchouli, cacao, labdanum, agarwood, lavender, neroli, and black moss.

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  • The Obsidian Widow

    Tinkling tiny feet scuttle across a massive oak desk, navigating through a flurry of papers and a maze of discarded books, wires, and bolts. Glistening green venom beads at its chelicerae, and a ruby hourglass flashes from the creature’s underbelly as it begins to weave.

    Pinot noir, dark myrrh, red sandalwood, black patchouli, night-blooming jasmine, and attar of rose.

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  • The Pearl in the Volcano

    Rice milk, warm myrrh, red currant, red amber cream, and a trickle of vetiver.

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  • The Perfumed Garden

    Under her neck my right hand
    Has served her for a cushion,
    And to draw her to me
    I have sent out my left hand,
    Which bore her up as a bed.

    The Perfumed Garden for the Soul’s Recreation. This scent is based on a venerable Tunisian perfume that was used to excite the senses, inspire sensuality and inflame passion. Myrrh and Moroccan jasmine with apple peel, Indian sandalwood, myrtle, quince, citron, and thyme poured over soft musk.

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  • The Pillars

    The pillars at the entrance to Solomon’s temple. And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.

     

    “These two pillars, therefore, stand for the two great spiritual principles that are the basis of all Life: Jachin typifying the Unity resulting from Being, and Boaz typifying the Unity resulting from Love. In this Dual-Unity we find the key to all conceivable involution or evolution of Spirit; and it is therefore not without reason that the record of these two ancient pillars has been preserved in our Scriptures. And finally we may take this as an index to the character of our Scriptures generally. They contain infinite meanings; and often those passages which appear on the surface to be most meaningless will be found to possess the deepest significance. The Book, which we often read so superficially, hides beneath its sometimes seemingly trivial words the secrets of other things. The twin pillars Jachin and Boaz bear witness to this truth.”

    – The Hidden Power by Thomas Troward, 1921

     

    White cedar, cypress wood, sweet myrrh, honey myrtle, white sandalwood, spikenard, and frankincense.

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  • The Scroll

    Her scroll is sealed, her book is closed, and she is silent: the wisdom that she grants is that which cannot be put into words, that which cannot be recorded but must be experienced.

     

    Honeyed myrrh with a drop of Ceylon cinnamon.

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  • The Sounding of Midnight Upon the Clock

    And the revel went whirlingly on, until at length there commenced the sounding of midnight upon the clock. And then the music ceased, as I have told; and the evolutions of the waltzers were quieted; and there was an uneasy cessation of all things as before. But now there were twelve strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock; and thus it happened, perhaps, that more of thought crept, with more of time, into the meditations of the thoughtful among those who revelled. And thus, too, it happened, perhaps, that before the last echoes of the last chime had utterly sunk into silence, there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before. And the rumor of this new presence having spread itself whisperingly around, there arose at length from the whole company a buzz, or murmur, expressive of disapprobation and surprise –then, finally, of terror, of horror, and of disgust.

    Terror, horror, and disgust: a bowel-churning sweet clench of myrhh and green musk in a pool of suffocating black moss and a shock of white cognac.

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  • These Shabby Days

    “…Our kind of people, we are…” He waved the cigarillo about, as if using it to hunt for a word, then stabbing forward with it. “…exclusive. We’re not social. Not even me. Not even Bacchus. Not for long. We walk by ourselves or we stay in our own little groups. We do not play well with others. We like to be adored and respected and worshiped—me, I like them to be tellin’ tales about me, tales showing my cleverness. It’s a fault, I know, but it’s the way I am. We like to be big. Now, in these shabby days, we are small. The new gods rise and fall and rise again. But this is not a country that tolerates gods for long. Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves, Shiva destroys, and the ground is clear for Brahma to create once more.”

    Memories of myrrh and gold, and the dying smoke of a snuffed cigarillo.

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  • Vasilissa

    “Take it, then,” the Tsar said, “and bid her do it for me.” The old woman brought the linen home and told Vasilissa the Tsar’s command: “Well I knew that the work would needs be done by my own hands,” said Vasilissa, and, locking herself in her own room, began to make the shirts. So fast and well did she work that soon a dozen were ready. Then the old woman carried them to the Tsar, while Vasilissa washed her face, dressed her hair, put on her best gown and sat down at the window to see what would happen. And presently a servant in the livery of the Palace came to the house and entering, said: “The Tsar, our lord, desires himself to see the clever needlewoman who has made his shirts and to reward her with his own hands.”

    Vasilissa rose and went at once to the Palace, and as soon as the Tsar saw her, he fell in love with her with all his soul. He took her by her white hand and made her sit beside him. “Beautiful maiden,” he said, “never will I part from thee and thou shalt be my wife.”

    So the Tsar and Vasilissa the Beautiful were married, and her father returned from the far-distant Tsardom, and he and the old woman lived always with her in the splendid Palace, in all joy and contentment. And as for the little wooden doll, she carried it about with her in her pocket all her life long.

    She herself had cheeks like blood and milk and grew every day more and more beautiful.

    Creamy skin musk and blushing pink musk with soft sandalwood, white amber, dutiful myrrh, and star jasmine.

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  • Velvet

    Envelop yourself in the soft, sensual embrace of gentle sandalwood warmed by cocoa vanilla and a veil of deep myrrh.

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  • We Believe that Death is Not the End of Man

    Black terebinth, tamil nadu sandalwood, frankincense, black chestnut, and myrrh.

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  • Wicked

    A paean to all the Wicked Queens, Evil Stepmothers, and other misunderstood villainesses throughout history and lore. Lends an aura of majesty, refinement, strength, and a deep, brooding malice. A sophisticated, womanly scent: rich myrrh and jasmine draped in the subtlest rose.

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  • Yule

    The Holly King and Oak King each hold sway for half of the year, and engage in an epic, eternal battle at Litha and Yule. In truth, they are each a half of the whole — known by many names: Pashupati, Caerwiden, Herne, Pan, Puck, Cernunnos, the Green Man, the Horned God — and as the Holly and Oak Kings represent the light and dark halves of the year, thus do they also represent the light and dark halves of the deity, and thereby, of ourselves.

    During the darkness of the year, though it seems cold, barren, and bleak, the earth holds the warmth of life deep within itself, and in the depth of its shadows is the eternal promise of renewal and rebirth.

    It is Yule, and the Holly King has slain the Oak: blood red holly berry, mistletoe, wild thyme, verbena, cinquefoil, hemp, winter rose, evergreen, frankincense, juniper, and myrrh.

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