Verbena

  • Aelopile

    Smoldering coals heat the device from below, and steam hisses through two curved pipes, rotating the shining brass sphere.

    Glowing amber and citrus, labdanum, verbena, cedar, and oud.

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  • Antonino, the Carny Talker

    As you approach an enormous patchwork tent, a curious sound catches your attention: the rattle of bones and the tinkling of tiny bells heralds the arrival of a gaunt and ghastly creature. An animated skeleton dressed in a jester’s motley saunters towards the front of the tent, waving an orange and black striped cane at the crowd in an effort to clear a path. The jester makes his way past the fog-shrouded, faded, colossal posters that adorn the tent to a platform in front of the massive tent’s entrance. His ivory smile frozen in a gleeful rictus grin, he steps up onto the platform, taps the cane three times, and the jester costume vanishes. Suddenly dark eyes appear in the empty sockets, bones are wrapped in muscle, sinew grows over the bones, blood fills rapidly appearing veins. Before your eyes, the skeletal jester has become a dapper, handsome man, dressed in black and orange, with a skull-ornamented straw hat tilted jauntily upon his shining black hair.

    His smile is slick and conspiratorial. With a flourish and arcing wave of his cane, he booms:

    “Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! This is Carnaval Diabolique’s notorious 13-In-1: the finest freak show in all the Hells! What marvels await you, you ask? Simply the strangest and most fantastic creatures, human and inhuman, gathered for your entertainment, enlightenment and erudition!”

    With the cane, he gestures at the gigantic posters that adorn the tent. The images, once hazy, suddenly come into focus.

    “From the depths of the Black Forest: Arachnina, the Spider Girl! From the rain-swept streets of London: Hope and Faith, the Siamese Twins! From ruins of old Aquae Sextia: Wulric, the Wolf Man!

    “Thalassa, the Galapagos Mermaid! A vision of life-in-death, Eshe!

    “All in all, THIRTEEN anatomical curiosities, miracles of genetics, magick and science, masters of marvels, ALIVE ON THE INSIDE!”

    White musk, wild plum, vetiver, black coconut, verbena, fig, and lavender.

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  • Arcana

    The essence of magickal enigmas and long-forgotten esoteric mysteries. Frankincense, rosemary, lavender, neroli, and verbena.

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  • Shanghai

    The crisp, clean scent of green tea touched with lemon verbena and honeysuckle.

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  • The Fool’s Rose

    Purity of ideal, unsullied innocence, liberation from base desires and worldly trappings.

    White rose, frankincense, verbena, and angelica root.

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  • The Horned God

    Lord of the cycle of death and resurrection, he is the personification of the rhythms of order found deep in the cycles of nature. He is the embodiment of virility and male fecundity and shepherd of souls to the afterlife.

    Ash and white cedar, frankincense and acacia, holly and oak, verbena and nettle.

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  • The Phantom Calliope

    Ghostly, glowing, sweet and dark: black cherry, patchouli, cassis, cardamom and verbena.

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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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