Marcus McCoy of House of Orpheus
Since the beginning of time humans have looked up in awe at the stars, they formed relationships with the souls of stars, communed with stars, and built cities based on their dance in the heavens above. Fixed stars in the heavenly constellations were given to have magical influence and talismans were made tying their power to stones, rings, medallions, even potions made alchemically were made during astrological elections giving the object the powerful influence of the star. The star Algol being one of the most terrifying stars, was the visage of medusa herself, was fashioned during the appropriate timing, into a talisman with corresponding plants, sigils, and stones. The owner of this talisman could would be protected from their enemies, and their enemies would be crushed before them. Alternately there were fixed star talismans made for fame and fortune, health and protection and a great many of methods utilized.
Magical practices revolving around this sort of astrological magic were preserved in many tomes over the centuries. A particularly important one being the Arabic text known as the Picatrix. Planets and astrological bodies were all thought to have an influence over the mysteries and mundanities of life and the book was an excellent grimoire to what some have called astrological magic. One of the fixed stars worked with in astrological magic is the Arkab the Crown of the scorpion, also commonly known as Sagittarius B1 and Sagittarius B2. Sagittarius B2 is the ankle of the centaur and in Arabic is translated to mean Al 'Urkub, translated as the "Tendon uniting the calf of the leg to the heel", also working with the added symbolism of it being the ankle of the centaur.
The symbol is taken literally, in the classical mind an Icon was literally that thing itself, and thus had its qualities. Thus a fixed star talisman made of the ankle of the centaur could aid one in fleet footedness in martial arts, athletics, and in fleetness of thought, for wealth power and honor. It could have been made to protect from pestilence, malice, theft, crime and disease. It would have been the perfect talisman for the professional trainer, athlete, career soldier, for leaders in their field, and as always the applications are only limited by one’s imagination.
Myself I am not an astrologer, I am a perfumer, but over the last few years I have worked with author, translator, santero, and traditional astrologer Eric Purdue to create perfumes working within the structure of creating perfumes that were astrological talismans, working with planetary elections provided by him utilizing ancient forms of astrology much different from today’s modern methods, providing customers with perfumes that doubled as astrological talismans utilizing alchemically produced metallic oils that corresponded to planets. Iron with mars, gold with the Sun, tin with Jupiter, Saturn with lead and so on, each having the virtue of the planet housed within the perfume.
Sagittarius B 2 Nebula
Something new occurred that had never been done however in both perfuming and in the production of astrological talismans. Our ancestors may have known the magic of planets and stars, but they did not know what the stars were made of, and until very recently neither did we… However, a recent discovery by astrophysicists has led us to understand the nature of the gas cloud or nebula known as Sagittarius B2… or Arkab as it is also called.
They discovered that this gas cloud is composed of two major substances Ethanol (the classic carrier for all perfumes) and the scent and flavor chemical responsible for the flavor and scent of raspberries called ethyl formate. When I learned that the nebula was technically a perfume star, I knew I had to make the perfume… when I realized it was a fixed star, I knew I had to contact Eric Purdue and see if it had a history of being made as a talisman, and behold, it did. It struck me for the first time in history one could literally make a perfume that was also a star, and that it would be made out of what that star is made of. From an astrological stand point any talisman is literally composed out of what the astronomical body is composed of, but this would be the first time in history a human being would make a fixed star talismanic perfume with the ingredients the star itself is made of. Quickly an election was made by Eric Purdue and the perfume was created at the appropriate time with the appropriate ingredients.
An atomizer was filled and with a spritz of the perfume bottle a gas cloud had formed in the center of the perfumery, a nebula, the crown of the scorpion, the jewel, the ankle of centaur, Sagittarius B2 was in the middle of my apothecary… so I walked through the cloud of molecules floating in space and adorned my body with it. Merging its fixed star influence with myself by the simple act or wearing a perfume. The perfume was made in a very small batch and sold to a small group of customers who appreciated it for what it was, a star captured in a bottle, a bit of old world magic done in a new way.
Thanks to Marcus we have a draw in The USA and Canada for 4.4 ml of RAVEN. To be eligible you must be a registered reader, (register here) and leave a comment with what you thought was fascinating about bottling a star, or any aspect of this process of creating a perfume from molecules found in the nebula. Draw ends 3/6/2017