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Journal of No. 118

Sip of Seduction @ 01:38 pm

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aaronjv & hagdirt were nice enough to get us the book Absinthe: Sip of Seduction.

It provides a fairly complete view of many different aspects of the green fairy, ranging from bios of the rich & famous who tippled it, to its manufacture, the advertising art, the accompanying paraphernalia (like uranium glass), and a listing of commercially available absinthes. I wish, however, that I could find a particular piece of art online, because it's pretty neat. It depicts Revelation 8:10-11 - "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."
So there is a big happy star falling to earth. Beside it are some Artemisia absinthium bushes, illustrated with enough care that they clearly resemble what we got in the back yard. And people are lying about drinking cups of poisoned water and dying. Lovely stuff. It's said to be from a British illuminated manuscript from ca. 1270.
Argh, further sleuthing suggests to me that it is probably from the Douce Apocalypse (MS Douce 180 at the Bod in Oxford). But I don't see that particular image online anywhere. Ah, well.
incidentally, in 1922 the Oxford University Press published a book on the manuscript, penned by one Montague Rhodes James.
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Date:February 7th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)

is this it?


Let me know if you want a high-res version. I was going to include a listing for absinthe in my psychedelic drug article (you know, the one I, with help from people like you, spent a ton of time and energy on but which might not be published in yet another instance of something I work hard on not coming to fruition), but I only make brief mention of it at the end along with about ten other drugs that I considered including yet didn't. It was already over 17,500 words.

The story of the third angel and wormwood is a bit similar to the Hindu story of Soma:

One day Indra, the chief of the gods, felt a great thirst. The gods of his court asked the goddess Gayatri to go to the celestial mountain Mujavana where the Soma creeper grew and bring it back so that Indra would then have an uninterrupted supply of Soma forever after.

Gayatri disguised herself as an eagle. She flew to the mountain and found it guarded by the sentries of the Moon. She swooped down and, in a trice, seized the creeper in her beak. Before the startled sentries could do anything she flew away, screeching triumphantly.

One of the sentries, Krishanu, let fly an arrow at the bird. The arrow missed Gayatri but struck the vine. One of the leaves fell off and it fell to Earth and grew into the Palasa tree.

--An Early Indo-Aryan Tale from Brahma’s Hair

(maybe I'll just post my article in tiny pieces on your blog)
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Date:February 7th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)

Re: is this it?

Wow, gold star! That's it.