Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Dark is Rising

I re-listened to the Dark is Rising, one of the novels in Susan Cooper's series from the 1970’s. The story feels so familiar with the current timeline we've been living. I also recognize that the dark has reared its head many times through existence on this earthy plane.

Here's a quote from Susan Cooper that I found on her website: thelostland.com

"There were two things about that childhood that helped to turn me into a writer of fantasy. Since we weren’t allowed out after dark (every house in England was blacked out at night, to be invisible to the bombers) and there was no television, I read everything I could find, from fairy stories to Dickens. And since every air-raid was a reminder that an enemy was trying to kill us, I developed a very strong sense of us and them, good and evil, the Light and the Dark."


I've been contemplating the origins of the Twelfth Night with elder legends of the Wild Hunt. There is Odin, the horned God Cernunnos and his more modern archetype Herne the Hunter from Shakespeare.

From the matriarchy we have Holda, a complex archetype, often called the White Lady because of her white hair. She is the wise crone, who can embody the triple Goddess similar to Hecates. Holda, also called Holde, is a sky goddess who rides the wind, and a female leader of the Wild Hunt.


The symbolism of horns often represents that primal, raw power of nature, often referenced as the uncontrollable wild magic of nature.

In Coopers book Greenwitch, the "Wild Magic is equal in strength to both the Dark and the Light, but that it stands apart and is unaffected by either.”

This evening of the Twelfth Night represents the time of the wild hunt, we can use this energetic imprint to go deep within, access our shadow self, lurking at the fringes of our unconscious and releasing those demons out into the dark night.

A few associated perfumes for anointing: Q for the power of the Oak, where Herne is said to reside, Figure 1: Noir,  Figure 5: Bois, La Dame Blanche and Terrestre.

In related news, GreenWitch will be back shortly.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

⚡️GIVEAWAY⚡️Amanita muscaria inspired perfume

After listening to a very magical story about the relationship between the Amanita muscaria mushroom, reindeer and Santa Claus by Paul Stamets I decided to make a Mushroom perfume.

In plant fragrance making we use a mushroom absolute, sometimes referred to as Cepes (Boletus Edulis), that provides a wonderful earthy, base note. This is one of my personal favorite materials to work with, a tiny amount adds depth and a mossy, dirty, vegetative quality to chords and perfumes.

The absolute is obtained by the solvent extraction of the Boletus edulis, a mushroom which is most often found growing under conifers, like the Amanita muscaria.

I have created a 1st edition, limited quantity of the fragrance that you all have the opportunity to win in this giveaway.

TO ENTER (US only -or- you pay shipping), two options:

Via Instagram -> Go here

  • Watch the Paul Stamets video (below) and/or Joe Rogan, then share an aspect of the story of the Amanita muscaria & Santa Claus in the comments
  • Follow @illuminatedperfume
  • Like the image

For extra entries:

  • Tag a friend and/or friends
  • Tag more friends in additional comments for extra entries
  • Share this post in your stories tagging @illuminatedperfume so we can see it, your account must be set as public so we can see it.

Via Non-Instagram ->

  • Watch the Paul Stamets video (link above) and/or the one with Joe Rogan and email me with a comment about the story
  • In the email, recommend a name for the new fragrance

One randomly selected Winner will be chosen on January 12th, the Twelfth Night, by “the randomizer"

When the perfume formerly debuts I will donate a portion of the profits to Fantastic Fungi

Thank you in advance for your participation and sharing the love & magic!!

This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Instagram or Fantastic Fungi

Saturday, October 31, 2020

At the Cross Roads

Around the circle we go, with the shift from light to dark becoming more apparent. The spiral has led us to the footsteps of the fire festival of Samhain, which has many other names such as All Hallows Eve, All Souls Night, Halloween, etc.

Samhain reminds us that the cycle of life includes death and decay, an aspect that western humans have a challenging time accepting, unlike other cultures. The Egyptian Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Book of the Dead come to mind. The later being an ancient Buddhist text based on a large corpus of writings titled The Bardo Thodol. The popularized version here in the west was written by Dr. Walter Y. Evans-Wentz and first published in 1927 by Oxford University Press.

In the alchemical tradition, we observe nature as a mirror of our self. As the landscape colors shift, the flowering cycle ends and leaves fall off trees, these individual elements shift. In their decay they have a vibrant afterlife, nourishing fungi, animals and becoming part of the collective mulch, all part of the gears in the fabric of life. Somehow, more than ever, humans are gripping, with bloody fingers, to a one dimensional timeline of living. Obviously, with the onset of the Anthropocene, we are at a significant crossroads with an end of life scenario looming out on the visible horizon, at least according to one timeline.

The holiday also brings with it a myriad of other traditions like the honoring of ancestors, embracing our shadow elements and a host of archetypes, including my favorite -> the witch.

Generally I get a little triggered by the one dimensional, incomplete manner which she is portrayed this time of year. Luckily we have wise women like Caroline Myss and Clarissa Pinkola Estes who have provided us with a much richer and dynamic perspective on her as the crone in the triple aspect of the Goddess.

We honor her at this crossroads, where she guards the gate between the worlds during this time, when the veils at their thinnest. Be mindful if you encounter her, she is wise and powerful, often challenging us to encourage our own growth and awareness. May we humans bear witness to the shadow realm, honor our ancestors and embrace the cyclical journey of life, including the recognition that death and decay are part of the whole.