Help Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Fight “Period Poverty”

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It would indeed be a difficult matter to find anything which is productive of more marvellous effects than the menstrual discharge. On the approach of a woman in this state, must will become sour, seeds which are touched by her become sterile, grafts wither away, garden plants are parched up, and the fruit will fall from the tree beneath which she sits. Her very look, even, will dim the brightness of mirrors, blunt the edge of steel, and take away the polish from ivory. A swarm of bees, if looked upon by her, will die immediately; brass and iron will instantly become rusty, and emit an offensive odour; while dogs which may have tasted of the matter so discharged are seized with madness, and their bite is venomous and incurable.
-Pliny the Elder

“The copper tang of blood musk, swept by a cloud of dying bees & red poppies of madness, glammed up for fall with a swirl of cozy gourd-enhancing spices.” 🎃

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If you’re in the Los Angeles area, on Saturday October 20, stop by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab at 12120 Sherman Way in North Hollywood, CA 91605 from 4-7PM and help fight “period poverty”. For every tampon/pad donation of $20 value dropped off at the event, you’ll receive one free 5ml bottle of the the above, exclusive fragrance – a seasonal variation on the bloodiest winner of all pumpkin spice scents, Pumpkin Spice Sanguinem Menstruum.

Not local? You can still help the do-gooders at The Lab and be entered for the opportunity to win the limited edition scent, by mailing in donation of a disposable menstrual product donation of $20 or more into the Lab (c/o Beth, at the address listed above). More details on the Haute Macabre blog!

I myself just donated $60 worth of tampons through Amazon, mailed straight to The Lab—it was super easy!

Amanda Lynn Of Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop: 10 Things I’m Loving For Fall

Dark Autumn by Nelleke Pieters

October’s Ten Things is brought to us by Amanda Lynn of Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop. Amanda Lynn, a licensed Esthetician, blended her passions for skin care and horror in 2016 to create Ghoulish Delights Bath Shop, a venture melding science, nature and the macabre and which focuses on body and facial care with a dark twist. (Read more about Amanda in our Haute Macabre interview earlier this June!)

Today, Amanda shares with us her ten things she is loving for for fall. Read more below!

bonfire tea

  1. Tea

I joke that my life revolves around tea but it really does. There’s something therapeutic about it and I really get into it. Bitters, flavored sugars, elixirs, and whatever else I can find gets thrown into the mix. It’s my little sip of self care sitting patiently waiting for my tea to steep. I’m a huge fan of Adagio teas (they have killer autumn blends like Bonfire and Candy Apple). Adagio offers some of the best fandom teas created by others and their house blends are super tasty.  Why yes, I’d like t a tea inspired by Hobbits, please and thank you.

socks

  1. Wool Socks

Hear me out! They are majestic in their scratchy thickness and I literally wait all year to bust out my precious Russian handmade socks with robins and deer on them. They’re big and floppy and everything you’d hate about normal socks but for some reason they turn magical once those leaves start turning.

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  1. Eyeshadow

I barely wear makeup during the summer, so once it turns cool I feel energized and ready for some serious eyeshadow time. I’m currently loving the Rust Stack and The Gemini Palette by Melt Cosmetics and the Orb of Light Full Moon Palette by Black Moon Cosmetics. These have some of the best formulas around, plus they boast some serious fall color stories (which make my green eyes pop something fierce).

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  1. Scary Stories on YouTube

My mind goes 100 mph when I’m trying to sleep, so listening to scary stories via YouTube helps calm me down. I light candles, rev up the fake fireplace ,and hunker down to listen to collections that I randomly pick. Some are duds, some are nightmare inducing,  but I love the randomness of them. Bonus points if they have a video of thunderstorms playing while they narrate.

bbw candle

  1. Candles, all of them

I sadly admit I’m addicted to Bath and Body Work Candles. I can’t help myself. Give me all that pumpkin sweetness wafting into every crevice of my house (Pumpkin Pecan Waffles everything). I light candles daily but autumn makes me light up an additional 3 and saturate myself in pumpkin and dirt. My current favorites from small businesses are Sanctuary Candle Company’s Samhain, Witch City Wicks Sleepy Hollow, Laughing Crow Candle  Get Out  and Reel Life Candle Company Rick’s Garage.

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  1. Local Farms

While I frequent my local farms all year, I get extra giddy when I see the corn fields being carved into mazes, acres of pumpkins, hot apple cider, and bumpy gourds. Being born and raised in Massachusetts, all of these things remind me of my childhood and make me feel both joyful and reminiscent. I look forward to these feelings every year and I’m always on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin or apple dumpling.

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  1. Perfume

I adore perfume and wear it every day, but some of my favorite blends just smell better when the leaves are orange. I layer Foxcroft Fairgrounds and Cellar by Solstice Scents pretty regularly during October. I’ll douse myself with Vlad Dracul by Sixteen92, Vampire Vanilla Bat by Nocturne Alchemy or The Old Hag With A Golden Spinning Wheel by Blooddrop. [EDIT: Blooddrop has closed, but you can find the perfumer’s new venture at Astrid Perfume!]

steeped offerings

  1. Facial Steams

My first run in with a facial steamer was when I was a teenager and my mom bought me this contraption from Conair that made my nostrils burn when I inhaled. Since then I’ve dialed it down and opt for a big bowl, a kettle, dried flowers and a fluffy towel. Towards the end of September my skin goes sideways and gets dry and lackluster from all summer’s abuses. I grab my bowl of herbs and spend 15 minutes inhaling the fragrant steam in my makeshift towel dome.

Adam Burke

  1. Art

My art purchases always spike during autumn when artists are creating beautiful and dark pieces that have all my favorite colors; burnt oranges, mossy greens, flecks of yellow, blood red smears, and dark, earthy browns. One of my favorite recent purchases was from Adam Burke called “Emergence,” which is perfect autumn in my eyes.

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  1. Horror Movie Parties

These evenings are some of my favorites as we gorge ourselves on horror-themed snacks while throwing our hands up as the protagonist trips yet again. It’s always fun to see what scares people and it’s such a great bonding experience. I love introducing people to new films and this is the perfect time to share the love of horror and tasty snacks. These evenings usually end with us playing horror VR games, screaming bloody murder, and high fiving each other for not tripping over the dog.  My watch lists usually include: The Possession, Scream, Young Frankenstein, The Exorcist, Wishing Stairs, Sinister, and Ju-on

Find Amanda Lynn and Ghoulish Delights: website // facebook // instagram

for a thousand years I have known

for a thousand years I have known from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Track list: Fever Dreams by Emma Ruth Rundle | Cross by Louise Lemon | Woman by Cat Power | Sky Full Of Song by Florence + The Machine | Blue Vapor by Marissa Nadler |  Mariners Apartment Complex by Lana Del Rey  | Lovely by Billie Eilish With Khalid | Black Lagoon by Still Corners | Alpha by Anna Calvi | Dancing And Blood by Low | Stundum by Hekla

image: Katie Eleanor

Links Of The Dead {September 2018}

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image: Felipe Ribon / Musée des Arts Décoratifs

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {September 2017} | {September 2016}

💀 I will be plastinated when I die
💀 Do Animals Experience Grief?
💀 A Baroness, Her Skulls and a Macabre Exhibition
💀 Talking Out Loud To A Dead Loved One Is Actually Good For You
💀 A dying woman calls emergency services, is callously told ‘everyone’ dies
💀 Care And Feeding Of Your Grieving Person
💀 How to Talk to a Grieving Customer
💀 Sarah Chavez On Death Positivity, Grief, & Intersectional Feminism
💀 Morbid Anatomy will explore mortality with Green-Wood Cemetery exhibition
💀 “My father is dying, and suddenly a show I never cared about has become vital”: This Is Us Is My Grief Counselor

this, that, and the other thing {xlv}

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Image credit: Håkan Strand

Black and White Analog Photographs Explore the Serenity of Long Meandering Roads

World’s Greatest Gallery of Mushrooms That Look Like Butts

How to Keep a Zibaldone, the 14th Century’s Answer to Tumblr

In Dutch Still Lifes, Dark Secrets Hide behind Exotic Delicacies

Live Your Best Sloth Life With THis Giant Realistic Sloth Suit

Every Trap Door Is In Good Repair: An Addams Family House Of One’s Own

It’s Better Light, Not Worse Behavior, That Explains Crimes On A Full Moon

Writing Prompts Inspired By Fairy Tales

A Master Class in Women’s Rage:Reading List & Syllabus

The Season’s Fabrics, Animated by Dancers

Bezoars: From the Belly of a Goat to the Mouth of a King

The Curious Creatures Of Goblinfruit Studio

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This week at Haute Macabre, I catch up with artist and sculptor Carisa Swenson of Goblinfruit Studio (about whom I have written extensively before.) If you’ve ever been in my home or peeked at the snippets I share of it online, you’ve no doubt glimpsed her marvelous work and fallen deeply, fabulously in love. Here’s your chance to learn more about the creator and caretaker of these curious creatures!

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Psssst…!These mandrake cuties are currently for sale in the Goblinfruit shop! 

The Masque of the Red Death at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s new collection, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque Of The Red Death, is live on their site (along with the 2018 weenies, wooooooo!) In a brilliant stroke of genius, to accompany these new scents, they have created a wonderful audiobook recording of this bloody tale, narrated beautifully by Tom Blunt and illustrated with an assembly of reveling phantasms brought to life with label art by the marvelously clever Tenebrous Kate.

If you’ve never read the story –and would you believe I have not?–now is the time to slip on a pair of headphones, darken your chambers, and dream of delirious fancies, and, “much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”

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It’s always so thrilling to me to see the artists and artisans I adore collaborate on projects together, so when I saw that Kate was going to be working with BPAL on this collection, my heart exploded with glee (no gore, it’s a metaphorical explosion, of course.)

I asked Kate if she had any thoughts about the collaboration, and she enthused on the following points:

Like many spooky folks, I’m a longtime fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, to the point where I own special storage boxes to organize my collection. I’d had the opportunity to create art for BPAL’s inaugural Drag Con scents, and when I was asked to return to illustrate a Halloween collection, I agreed before I even heard the full details of the project. When I learned it was a multi-part Edgar Allan Poe collection, I realized that I’d be adding to the imagery already created by two of my biggest influences, Harry Clarke and Aubrey Beardsley–a daunting but fabulously rewarding prospect! Oozing gore, overblown decadence, and the sinister threat of death–what more can one ask for in a scent collection?

What more can one ask for, indeed! This collection is gonna be fantastic.

Favorite Tarot Decks

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At Haute Macabre today, Sam and I share some of our most useful and beautiful tarot decks. We’ve also got the scoop from a handful of sibyls and seers–luminaries and visionaries whose guidance we trust implicitly– Pam Grossman, Elizabeth Barrial of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, and Mystic Medusa! Do you have a favorite tarot deck?

HM staff favorites the-hierophant-card by Katie Skelly
HM staff favorites forthcoming The Darkwood Tarot

…and because rules are silly, I also included two decks which I do not yet own, or which technically may not yet exist, but which I plan to get my hands on as soon as I can, and which I know I am going to love! Katie Skelly’s Bad Girl Tarot and The Dark Wood tarot, illustrated by Abigail Larson 🖤

Guest Post: A Little Bit of Childhood Magick

Getting the party started!Sometime last month I was scrolling through the instagrams, and I paused, thoroughly enchanted by some photos that my friend Megan had just shared. To give a little backstory, Megan and I met at Orlando’s inaugural Death Cafe, which I was hosting at the time, and, having several interests in common of the morbid and macabre variety, we became fast friends. As a matter of fact, she learned of that Death Cafe event entirely due to the fact that I had posted about it beforehand on instagram…. which, at the time, I thought was maybe a frivolous way to advertise for an event, but, hey, it worked! Megan is a lovely friend and I always looking forward to spending time with her and talking perfumes and jewelry, and Hannibal, and spooky stuff whenever the opportunity presents itself.

At any rate, several weeks back, Megan and her family had begun their annual Halloween decorating party, and, as I believe this was probably in back in August’s sweltering dog days, that makes these seasonal preparations even more delightful (as I’m sure all my rabid weenie weirdo friends would agree!) I suppose I just really adored that idea that she has made a yearly tradition of bringing out all the Halloween-themed goodies and turning the festooning of their home into into a celebration with her children to herald in their favorite season and its high holiday. It reminded me a bit of how I felt when September rolled around when I was a little girl in Ohio. Though I don’t have many memories of my early life there, I definitely recall the eerie cardboard skeleton being hauled out of storage, and once it was affixed to the basement door with lots of scotch tape, I knew magic was soon to be afoot!.

I asked Megan if she would mind sharing a few words with us here at Unquiet Things about the spoopy childhood magics conjured forth via her pre-Halloween festivities, and she happily obliged. Read on for more, and thank you, Megan!

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Every year at the end of August, (after weeks of anticipation -i.e. pestering- from my little monsters) we pull down the orange & black storage containers from the dusty attic and commence what I have not-so-creatively titled “The Annual Halloween Decorating Party.” It really isn’t anything too elaborate: I bake cookies, light a Fall-scented candle (go ahead, call me a basic witch!), queue up the Beetlejuice soundtrack, and we all dance around decorating our home with ghosts (both literally & figuratively) of Halloween’s past. The kid’s faces fill with wonder and excitement as they unearth the next decoration from the box, as if discovering treasure for the first time (even though it’s just the same ol’ stuff), or greeting an old friend they haven’t seen in a year. Elaborate or not, a wonderful time is had by all.

Our favorite find this year!
This has always been a sort of tradition for me at various stages of my life, drawing from my early childhood experiences centering around the holiday. In those days (you know, the days of yore – AKA the 80’s) I’d watch my mom pull out the terracotta jack-o-lantern

from some seemingly secret cupboard containing all-the-cool-things, and carefully place it in the center of the dining room table. Then we’d hang up the old & worn (now vintage!) paper witch & skeleton & pumpkin and that’s when I knew: HALLOWEEN IS COMING! The very sight of these things would send spooktacular shivers down my spine. Oh, the magick of the season!

Making sure the gravestones are just right.

Someone insisted on changing into costume!
Now, decades later, I create these moments with my children in hopes of passing the same magickal feelings on to them. They are intangible but so very real, much like memories themselves. I hope that they will look back on these times with great fondness. Maybe they will continue the tradition someday, excitedly unpacking decoration after decoration from an orange or black box and invoking the magick of their past. Or maybe they will share it with their own little monsters, should they choose to have them.

Haunting the Halls

There are many opportunities throughout the Fall to practice a bit of childhood magick. I love to pick pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, get lost in a corn maze, and of course we are in full-on celebration mode come Halloween night. But for me, it all begins with the decorations. Just like it did all those years ago with one silly little terracotta jack-o-lantern and some worn out paper.

What about you? What sort of special Halloween magick lives on from your childhood? I’d love to hear about it!

Wishing you many blessings this most magickal of seasons!
Megan
IG @beneaththethorn
beneaththethorn.com

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