Saturday, November 10, 2012

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Yule scents are here!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's annual Yule offerings are here!

Welcome to Innsmouth, the Pearl of New England!

Every December, the Esoteric Order of Dagon hosts the Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire, a holiday marketplace at the former Masonic Temple at New Church Green in Innsmouth. Mayor Obed Marsh, may the Deep Ones bless his eternal governance, lights the community sacrificial pyre on the first of the month, and the festivities begin!

Amidst holiday entertainments, local artisans and craftspeople ply their wares. The Voices of Azathoth, our local children’s choir, and the Servitor Flautists perform on the Grand Stage of Malignity throughout the month! “Dread Hymns Ancient and Modern” and the canonical cult scriptures are always lovingly reprinted and distributed by the kind folks at the Wilbur Whateley Memorial Library so that residents and visitors can sing and chant with the carolers, Esquimaux wizards, Louisiana swamp-priests, and local cultists. At midnight on Midwinter Eve, the liturgical play “the Adoration of the Mi-Go” is performed under the lights of a synathroesmus of iridescent globes by Arkham’s world-famous acting troupe, the Haunters in the Dark, on the Great Stage.

Get ready for holiday parties and ritual feasts with the help of our local farmers, bakers, and candymakers! Every year since 1928, Mother Shub has set up her tempting pastry and confections stand, the Yule Goat, and this year is no exception! Mason & Jenkin’s Pantry will be selling their home made preserves, and the Innsmouth Canning Company will be offering a selection of fresh fish, true to their motto: You Are What You Eat!

Shopping for holiday gifts is a breeze at the Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire! Old Man Ackerman, proprietor of Miskatonic Valley’s renowned toy store and antiquities dealership, Elder Things, brings hand-crafted clockworks and tin machines that spout iridescent, prolately spheroidal bubbles to delight the wee ones. Old Man Ackerman’s educational toys make non-Euclidean calculus fun! Curwen Imports brings a selection of exotic merchandise and antiquities from all over the globe and points beyond, including authentic 12th century illuminated manuscripts crafted by Bartolomeo Corsi. There’s no better time to get a pet magah bird for little Billy or a new set of yellow Carcosan robes for yourself! Bargains galore!

(For the pleasure of the adults, the Black Temple Burlesque Troupe performs nightly through January at the Vault of Zin in Innsmouth’s Red Light District.)

And that’s just a sampling of what the Faire has to offer! Fun for the whole family! May this Yule season bring madness and the void’s wild vengeance to all!

The time-honored ecclesiastical drama that illustrates the piety of the Fungi and First Coming of the Crawling Chaos to the majestic black stone terraces of Yuggoth! Recapture the magic!

Luminous, otherworldly wet and piquant odors mingling with black incense, the pitch-stench of Yuggoth, and fungal lichens.

Straight from the pits of black, lightless N’kai: the voluptuous bat-winged vixens of the Black Temple Burlesque Troupe!

Providing Yule trees for the Miskatonic Valley community since the Year of the Black Goat! Our saplings are imported directly from the Land of Three Suns, and are cultivated organically while strictly observing the blood rites necessary for optimum growth.

We have pyre-ready firewood for sale, plus free candy canes and hot cocoa for the kids!

We also offer ceremonial flocking!

A delightful selection of Ultharian cat toys and offerings, guaranteed to propitiate even the orneriest kitty!

Candied Kadathian orange peel and R’lyehthanese rum give Mother Shub’s a little extra pizazz!

Mother Shub’s lovingly hand-crafted gingerbread temples are sure to summon a little extra joy for the wee ones! Mother Shub’s secret gingerbread recipe contains ritually-consecrated resins and pulped root from her own hydroponically-grown Saturnian ginger cultivar. Each temple is decorated with sweets from local candymaker Abyssal Addictions!

Shop local!

Nothing warms the cockles like a mug of Mother Shub’s egg nog! Goat’s milk egg nog with coffee liqueur and spices imported from the Crimson Desert!

A torpid black nougat with belladonna honey, somnolent lavender, and thyme.

Red and sticky! From a genuine Old Salem recipe!

Deck your halls with Nabby Gardner’s Holiday Globules — the colors are out of this world! Luminous and possibly sentient, they make a fine addition to your holiday décor!

Common sense warning: the globules are mutagenic. Keep away from livestock, crops, and household pets. Nearby objects may be infused with unnatural light for an indefinite period of time. If opened, the globules will occasionally drain the life out of all organic matter in the vicinity.

Educational toys for tots! Learn non-Euclidean calculus, catoptric theory, quantum physics, and the mysteries of Elder magic the fun way! An ancient baetylus floating within an array of bizarre trapezoidal figures, glimmering tubes, rusting spheres, and whirling gogs formed from peculiar metals, glowing tektites, strangely suspended lead mirrors, and eerie driftings of meteoric dust.

As seen on tv!

A musical extravaganza of madness, terror, and woe! Twenty-three insane interstellar holiday hits from everyone’s favorite amorphous toad pipers, including “Doom to the World” and “Here We Go to Sacrifice”!

A discordant scent, silvery and strange like a lunatic’s tinsel garland: freesia, eucalyptus, and yuzu, with sicilian lemon, massoia, opoponax, night-blooming jasmine, white bergamot, and copaiba oleoresin.

Every kid wants a pet magah bird! A prism of scent, an explosion of multi-colored feathers: blood orange, black plum, sugar cane, guava, frangipani, coconut, pimento berry, violet, caramel, and pear.

Lavinia Whateley is famous throughout the Miskatonic Valley for her inimitably delightful and suspiciously spicy dread bread puddings!

Clots of rice pudding (harvested from the fair trade rice farms of Bokrug Lake!) and organic whipped goat cream topped with a sebaceous glob of black cherry sauce.

Regional trivia: In keeping with Miskatonic Valley tradition, at midnight on Yule eve, children devour heaping bowls of cold risalamande, and whoever finds a tiny carved whippoorwill in their glop wins a brand new rough-hewn stone idol of their houseshold’s patron (or matron!) entity! Fun for the whole family! The whippoorwills are usually cut from glass, stone, Venusian plasticine, or meterorite, and are often passed down as whimsical family heirlooms from generation to generation. The Whateleys stopped including these icons precooked in their batches of risalamande after several Dunwich children were accidentally possessed by Minions of Yog-Sothoth in the winter of ’28.

Miskatonic Valley art by Julie Dillon (

No, no-there are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I don’t know what I don’t see-what I don’t fear!

“The story’s written. It’s in a locked drawer-it has not been out for years. I could write to my man and enclose the key; he could send down the packet as he finds it.” It was to me in particular that he appeared to propound this-appeared almost to appeal for aid not to hesitate. He had broken a thickness of ice, the formation of many a winter; had had his reasons for a long silence. The others resented postponement, but it was just his scruples that charmed me. I adjured him to write by the first post and to agree with us for an early hearing; then I asked him if the experience in question had been his own. To this his answer was prompt. “Oh, thank God, no!”

“And is the record yours? You took the thing down?”

“Nothing but the impression. I took that HERE”-he tapped his heart. “I’ve never lost it.”

“Then your manuscript-?”

“Is in old, faded ink, and in the most beautiful hand.” He hung fire again. “A woman’s. She has been dead these twenty years. She sent me the pages in question before she died.” They were all listening now, and of course there was somebody to be arch, or at any rate to draw the inference. But if he put the inference by without a smile it was also without irritation. “She was a most charming person, but she was ten years older than I. She was my sister’s governess,” he quietly said. “She was the most agreeable woman I’ve ever known in her position; she would have been worthy of any whatever. It was long ago, and this episode was long before. I was at Trinity, and I found her at home on my coming down the second summer. I was much there that year-it was a beautiful one; and we had, in her off-hours, some strolls and talks in the garden-talks in which she struck me as awfully clever and nice. Oh yes; don’t grin: I liked her extremely and am glad to this day to think she liked me, too. If she hadn’t she wouldn’t have told me. She had never told anyone. It wasn’t simply that she said so, but that I knew she hadn’t. I was sure; I could see. You’ll easily judge why when you hear.”

“Because the thing had been such a scare?”

He continued to fix me. “You’ll easily judge,” he repeated: “YOU will.”

I fixed him, too. “I see. She was in love.”

Brittle white musk, bruised violets, vanilla orchid, and green tea.

… this prospective patron proved a gentleman, a bachelor in the prime of life, such a figure as had never risen, save in a dream or an old novel, before a fluttered, anxious girl out of a Hampshire vicarage. One could easily fix his type; it never, happily, dies out. He was handsome and bold and pleasant, offhand and gay and kind. He struck her, inevitably, as gallant and splendid, but what took her most of all and gave her the courage she afterward showed was that he put the whole thing to her as a kind of favor, an obligation he should gratefully incur. She conceived him as rich, but as fearfully extravagant-saw him all in a glow of high fashion, of good looks, of expensive habits, of charming ways with women.

A dapper cologne, distant and refined: white musk, lime rind, and rosemary water with tobacco leaf and lilac.

Driving at that hour, on a lovely day, through a country to which the summer sweetness seemed to offer me a friendly welcome, my fortitude mounted afresh and, as we turned into the avenue, encountered a reprieve that was probably but a proof of the point to which it had sunk. I suppose I had expected, or had dreaded, something so melancholy that what greeted me was a good surprise. I remember as a most pleasant impression the broad, clear front, its open windows and fresh curtains and the pair of maids looking out; I remember the lawn and the bright flowers and the crunch of my wheels on the gravel and the clustered treetops over which the rooks circled and cawed in the golden sky. The scene had a greatness that made it a different affair from my own scant home, and there immediately appeared at the door, with a little girl in her hand, a civil person who dropped me as decent a curtsy as if I had been the mistress or a distinguished visitor. I had received in Harley Street a narrower notion of the place, and that, as I recalled it, made me think the proprietor still more of a gentleman, suggested that what I was to enjoy might be something beyond his promise.

Rain-lashed stone and fading summer flowers.

He had put them in possession of Bly, which was healthy and secure, and had placed at the head of their little establishment-but below stairs only-an excellent woman, Mrs. Grose, whom he was sure his visitor would like and who had formerly been maid to his mother. She was now housekeeper and was also acting for the time as superintendent to the little girl, of whom, without children of her own, she was, by good luck, extremely fond.

Mixed spice, rosewater, and black tea.

But the next day, as the hour for my drive approached, I cropped up in another place. “What was the lady who was here before?”

“The last governess? She was also young and pretty-almost as young and almost as pretty, miss, even as you.”

“Ah, then, I hope her youth and her beauty helped her!” I recollect throwing off. “He seems to like us young and pretty!”

“Oh, he DID,” Mrs. Grose assented: “it was the way he liked everyone!” She had no sooner spoken indeed than she caught herself up. “I mean that’s HIS way-the master’s.”

I was struck. “But of whom did you speak first?”

She looked blank, but she colored. “Why, of HIM.”

“Of the master?”

“Of who else?”

There was so obviously no one else that the next moment I had lost my impression of her having accidentally said more than she meant; and I merely asked what I wanted to know. “Did SHE see anything in the boy-?”

“That wasn’t right? She never told me.”

I had a scruple, but I overcame it. “Was she careful-particular?”

Mrs. Grose appeared to try to be conscientious. “About some things-yes.”

“But not about all?”

Again she considered. “Well, miss-she’s gone. I won’t tell tales.”

Black roses with myrrh, benzoin, and guiac wood.

“Has anything happened?”

“Yes. You must know now. Did I look very queer?”

“Through this window? Dreadful!”

“Well,” I said, “I’ve been frightened.” Mrs. Grose’s eyes expressed plainly that SHE had no wish to be, yet also that she knew too well her place not to be ready to share with me any marked inconvenience. Oh, it was quite settled that she MUST share! “Just what you saw from the dining room a minute ago was the effect of that. What I saw-just before-was much worse.”

Her hand tightened. “What was it?”

“An extraordinary man. Looking in.”

“What extraordinary man?”

“I haven’t the least idea.”

Mrs. Grose gazed round us in vain. “Then where is he gone?”

“I know still less.”

“Have you seen him before?”

“Yes-once. On the old tower.”

She could only look at me harder. “Do you mean he’s a stranger?”

“Oh, very much!”

“Yet you didn’t tell me?”

“No-for reasons. But now that you’ve guessed-”

Mrs. Grose’s round eyes encountered this charge. “Ah, I haven’t guessed!” she said very simply. “How can I if YOU don’t imagine?”

“I don’t in the very least.”

“You’ve seen him nowhere but on the tower?”

“And on this spot just now.”

Mrs. Grose looked round again. “What was he doing on the tower?”

“Only standing there and looking down at me.”

She thought a minute. “Was he a gentleman?”

I found I had no need to think. “No.” She gazed in deeper wonder. “No.”

“Then nobody about the place? Nobody from the village?”

“Nobody-nobody. I didn’t tell you, but I made sure.”

She breathed a vague relief: this was, oddly, so much to the good. It only went indeed a little way. “But if he isn’t a gentleman-”

“What IS he? He’s a horror.”

“A horror?”

“He’s-God help me if I know WHAT he is!”

Leather, balsam, ambergris, and bay laurel.

- – - – -

They gave me so little trouble-they were of a gentleness so extraordinary. I used to speculate-but even this with a dim disconnectedness-as to how the rough future (for all futures are rough!) would handle them and might bruise them. They had the bloom of health and happiness; and yet, as if I had been in charge of a pair of little grandees, of princes of the blood, for whom everything, to be right, would have to be enclosed and protected, the only form that, in my fancy, the afteryears could take for them was that of a romantic, a really royal extension of the garden and the park. It may be, of course, above all, that what suddenly broke into this gives the previous time a charm of stillness-that hush in which something gathers or crouches. The change was actually like the spring of a beast.

Flora, a short way off, stood before us on the grass and smiled as if her performance was now complete. The next thing she did, however, was to stoop straight down and pluck-quite as if it were all she was there for-a big, ugly spray of withered fern. I instantly became sure she had just come out of the copse. She waited for us, not herself taking a step, and I was conscious of the rare solemnity with which we presently approached her. She smiled and smiled, and we met; but it was all done in a silence by this time flagrantly ominous. Mrs. Grose was the first to break the spell: she threw herself on her knees and, drawing the child to her breast, clasped in a long embrace the little tender, yielding body. While this dumb convulsion lasted I could only watch it-which I did the more intently when I saw Flora’s face peep at me over our companion’s shoulder. It was serious now-the flicker had left it; but it strengthened the pang with which I at that moment envied Mrs. Grose the simplicity of HER relation. Still, all this while, nothing more passed between us save that Flora had let her foolish fern again drop to the ground. What she and I had virtually said to each other was that pretexts were useless now. When Mrs. Grose finally got up she kept the child’s hand, so that the two were still before me; and the singular reticence of our communion was even more marked in the frank look she launched me. “I’ll be hanged,” it said, “if I’ll speak!”

It was Flora who, gazing all over me in candid wonder, was the first. She was struck with our bareheaded aspect. “Why, where are your things?”

“Where yours are, my dear!” I promptly returned.

She had already got back her gaiety, and appeared to take this as an answer quite sufficient. “And where’s Miles?” she went on.

There was something in the small valor of it that quite finished me: these three words from her were, in a flash like the glitter of a drawn blade, the jostle of the cup that my hand, for weeks and weeks, had held high and full to the brim that now, even before speaking, I felt overflow in a deluge. “I’ll tell you if you’ll tell ME-” I heard myself say, then heard the tremor in which it broke.

“Well, what?”

Mrs. Grose’s suspense blazed at me, but it was too late now, and I brought the thing out handsomely.

“Where, my pet, is Miss Jessel?”

Peonies and cream.

“What does it mean? The child’s dismissed his school.”

She gave me a look that I remarked at the moment; then, visibly, with a quick blankness, seemed to try to take it back. “But aren’t they all-?”

“Sent home-yes. But only for the holidays. Miles may never go back at all.”

Consciously, under my attention, she reddened. “They won’t take him?”

“They absolutely decline.”

At this she raised her eyes, which she had turned from me; I saw them fill with good tears. “What has he done?”

I hesitated; then I judged best simply to hand her my letter-which, however, had the effect of making her, without taking it, simply put her hands behind her. She shook her head sadly. “Such things are not for me, miss.”

My counselor couldn’t read! I winced at my mistake, which I attenuated as I could, and opened my letter again to repeat it to her; then, faltering in the act and folding it up once more, I put it back in my pocket.

“Is he really BAD?”

The tears were still in her eyes. “Do the gentlemen say so?”

“They go into no particulars. They simply express their regret that it should be impossible to keep him. That can have only one meaning.” Mrs. Grose listened with dumb emotion; she forbore to ask me what this meaning might be; so that, presently, to put the thing with some coherence and with the mere aid of her presence to my own mind, I went on: “That he’s an injury to the others.”

At this, with one of the quick turns of simple folk, she suddenly flamed up. “Master Miles! HIM an injury?”

There was such a flood of good faith in it that, though I had not yet seen the child, my very fears made me jump to the absurdity of the idea. I found myself, to meet my friend the better, offering it, on the spot, sarcastically. “To his poor little innocent mates!”

“It’s too dreadful,” cried Mrs. Grose, “to say such cruel things! Why, he’s scarce ten years old.”

“Yes, yes; it would be incredible.”

She was evidently grateful for such a profession. “See him, miss, first. THEN believe it!”

A charming, mischievous, and inexplicably sinister blend of balsam of Peru, honey, skin musk, and black pepper.

Turn of the Screw art by Tanya Bjork (

Frau Holle, or Holda, is the personification of the changes wrought when winter seizes the land: she rides the chill winds in her chariot, shaking out her featherbeds in order to precipitate snowfall. The rolling fog is the smoke from her hearth fire, and thunder claps when she reels her flax. Holda is a goddess of matrons, who governs spinning, domestic chores, witchcraft and witches, and the Wild Hunt. She presides over the transition of souls, both to and from this world. Though she is childless, she watches over children, and the spirits of newborns spring forth from her sacred pool. Her festival falls during midwinter, when the dead roam free. She holds court in Hörselberg, from which the Wild Hunt is issued, and all the beasts in the land heed her call.

Snow-covered pines, witches herbs, bestial musk, flax, and ethereal flowers that represent both birth and death.

I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
I want to get far away from the busyness of the cemeteries.
I want to sleep the sleep of that child
who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.
I don’t want them to tell me again how the corpse keeps all its blood,
how the decaying mouth goes on begging for water.
I’d rather not hear about the torture sessions the grass arranges for
nor about how the moon does all its work before dawn
with its snakelike nose.
I want to sleep for half a second,
a second, a minute, a century,
but I want everyone to know that I am still alive,
that I have a golden manger inside my lips,
that I am the little friend of the west wind,
that I am the elephantine shadow of my own tears.
When it’s dawn just throw some sort of cloth over me
because I know dawn will toss fistfuls of ants at me,
and pour a little hard water over my shoes
so that the scorpion claws of the dawn will slip off.
Because I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
and learn a mournful song that will clean all earth away from me,
because I want to live with that shadowy child
who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

Terebinth pine, pitch, and clove.

GELT 2012
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!

I came here from the forest
I tell you, it is a very holy night!
All over the tips of the firs
I saw bright flashes of golden light;
And from above, the gates of heaven
I saw with open eyes the Christ-child
and as I wander through the dark forest
I hear a light voice calling me.
“Knecht Ruprecht” it called, “Old man
Lift your legs and hurry! Fast!
The candles alight
the gates of heaven open wide
old and young
shall rest from the hunt of life
and tomorrow I shall fly to earth
as it shall be Christmas again!”
I said: “O dear master, Christ
My trip is almost at an end;
It is only this one town / where the children are good”.
“Do you have your sack with you?”
I said: “The sack, it is here;
apples, nuts and almonds
solemn children do enjoy”.
“Do you also have your cane?”
I said: “The cane, it is here.
But only for the bad children,
to hit their right rear”.
The Christ-child spoke: “That is good;
So go with god my faithful servant!”
I came here from the forest
I tell you, it is a very holy night!
Speak now how I find it here
Are the children good or bad?

The snow-covered foliage of the Black Forest and the fruit and woods of apple and almond trees.

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 leather, dusty rags, and wooden switches.

This year’s minty double ententre! A sticky, sweet peppermint candy cane with a copious dusting of vanilla.

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.

But not long after the king sent a certain old man of Antioch, to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers and of God:

And to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that in Gazarim of Jupiter Hospitalis, according as they were that inhabited the place.

And very bad was this invasion of evils and grievous to all.

For the temple was full of the riot and reveling of the Gentiles: and of men lying with lewd women. And women thrust themselves of their accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not lawful.

The altar also was filled with unlawful things, which were forbidden by the laws.

And neither were the sabbaths kept, nor the solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly profess himself to be a Jew.

But they were led by bitter constraint on the king’s birthday to the sacrifices: and when the feast of Bacchus was kept, they wore compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honour of Bacchus.

And there went out a decree into the neighboring cities of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also should act in like manner against the Jews, to oblige them to sacrifice:

And whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways of the Gentiles, should be put to death: then was misery to be seen.

For two women were accused to have circumcised their children: whom, when they had openly led about through the city with the infants hanging at their breasts, they threw down headlong from the walls.

And others that had met together in caves that were near, and were keeping the sabbath day privately, being discovered by Philip, were burnt with fire, because they made a conscience to help themselves with their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.

- The Second Book of the Maccabees, 6:1-11

In order to consolidate his power in Jerusalem and Hellenize the area, the Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes outlawed Judaism and ordered the population to worship Zeus and the Hellenic pantheon. As this was anathema to the Jews, they refused, and Antiochus moved to enforce his religious decree by extreme force.

Some origin tales say that the dreidel was used at this time as a method by which the Jewish people were able to continue to study the Talmud in secret under the guise of gambling. Now, in addition to being a light gambling game, the dreidel is also a reminder of the strength, devotion, and perseverance of the Jewish people and the mercy of God.

One scent in four parts:

Nun, the Snake: nuun, nothing. Nah.Å¡, in modern Arabic, means bad luck. Represented by scents of loss and remembrance: opoponax and lemon verbena.

Gimel, the Camel: the Ship of the Desert. Represented by scents of abundance, fortitude, and determination: patchouli, heliotrope, pomegranate, and almond.

He, the Window: sometimes used to represent the Unutterable Name of God, this is the window in our souls through which God’s light touches us. Represented by scents of clarity and piety: frankincense, myrtle, and hyssop.

Shin, the Tooth: also stands for Shaddai, one of the names of God. The hand formed into shin acts as a priestly blessing. Represented by scents of strength, generosity, kindness, and benediction: carnation, myrrh, red poppy, and hibiscus.

The essences of Nun, Gimel, He, and Shin are blended to become Nes Gadol Haya Sham.

In dramatic contrast to the soft innocence of Snow White and the dew-kissed freshness of her sister, Rose Red, this is a blood red, voluptuous rose, velvet-petaled, at the height of bloom. Haughty and imperious, vain, yet incomparably lovely to the eye, but thick with thorns of jealousy, pride and hatred.

A lighthearted winter scent: chilly vanilla rose snowballs! Dainty, soft, and certainly unfit for flinging!

The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

Cold, cold forever more. A winter storm roaring through empty stone halls, bearing echoes of despair, desolation, and death on its winds. The scent of frozen, dormant vineyards, bitter sleet, and piercing ozone, hurled through labdanum, benzoin, and olibanum.

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

Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Devil’s Bake Sale’.

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

Skeletal limbs of birch and fir coated in a thick, impenetrable blanket of snow. This is the death of the year personified.

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