Black Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)

Growing spines…

The way the pods and supporting foliage are lining up reminds of the vertebrae of a human backbone or the spine of a serpent or dragon… it’s utterly evocative of primal forces such as Leviathan or Jörmundgandr or the Hydra. And remember the story about Python slain by Apollo? Its body fell into a crevice in the ground and from the decomposing corpse intoxicating vapors rose up. Above that mythical place the oracle of Delphi was built and the priestess (Pythia), inhaling the fumes, became possessed by Apollo to foretell the future. It all leads again to that oracle…

Photo by Wiebke Rost for teufelskunst.com

black henbane hyoscyamus niger herba apollinaris

White Henbane (Hyoscyamus albus)

A lovely relative of the Black Henbane: White Henbane can be distinguished from the type species by some distinctive features. The flower petals are a brighter sulphur yellow and less veined. The stamina are coming more out of the bell-shaped flower chalices and are a pale yellow instead of black. I love how they jut out of the flower’s dark purple center… it’s somewhat quaint! The foliage is hairy as on Black Henbane, but differently shaped. The first sets of leaves are more round though still crenate, whilst the distal or upper leaves are rather lanceolate and not serrated. Besides this I find the flowers to stand a bit more loosely on the stem than on black Henbane but this may actually change, the taller the plant grows. Now I had success for the first time growing this herb from seed. It may in fact be owed to that super-summer I mentioned earlier. The White Henbane is native to the Mediterraneans and likes hot and dry climates. I actually think to have seen it grow wild by the sea when visiting Malta! Hence I guess last year was simply to rainy and cold for the plantlets. This year I could sow earlier and the temperatures have been relatively warm and stable.

white henbane hyoscyamus albus garden

When you least expect it! Now here is another jewel from this German band – in my mail today.
Unpacking is a pleasure. No note from the band just an envelope and the CD inside. Cover and backside are stamped with a traditional print, front showing the beautifully done band logo by Akherra Phasmathanas/Ars Leprosa. The seal on the back was created by the hands of Kitti Solymosi of Anatiummi Arts. (Will have to check her out!) The CD sporting the classic look of vinyl is another nice treat. Gray in gray, a simple and well-designed booklet with credits and another mysterious illustration of a devil’s hand, reminiscent in style of tantric artworks. The packaging alone would deserve a price.
But on to the music. So there’s two new songs. Putting them on you immediately recognise the band. They continue merging Western sounds with Eastern motifs. There’s always a bit of playful Roky Erickson, blending in broader stoner rock elements and making something listenable out of it. We don’t like genres. So for the sake of convenience I will just call this pop. (Pop can be good music also.)
The first song Veil of Gold is driving, pushing forward. They put quite a bit of force in the drumming and there’s a nice dirty solo, thrashing in the end, but still melodic and rounding this song off nicely. The second song Dawn of Saturn starts with a melancholic melodic guitar part, followed by a dark driving beat. There are certainly homages to the last the Devil’s Blood. Dark yes, heavy, but also somewhat self-effacing. They build up tension and you basically wait for the great culmination, but instead they tone it down again. It’s like a struggling for something, then radio-friendly, then again mystical. Waiting, tic toc, now, solo, beat, heavy, chorus – “The skies are burning. The dawn of Saturn comes. And on demon wings. On and on I fly…” swaying, “Till love will fall”, repeat, “till all will fall”, end. 5 minutes, 34 seconds. Neat.
Judging by the previous album Black Lotus, which I have had spinning many times and the music of which accompanied quite a few hours filled with working on art, I expect this little two-side single to be on rotation for a bit. Alas, I am thirsty for more already…
If you have also licked blood check out the Path of Samsara website. Besides they currently put down the prices on everything in their webshop so do not miss out on this chance to get some of the first shirts and records they printed as long as they are still available: http://pathofsamsara.bigcartel.com

When you least expect it! Now here is another jewel from this German band – in my mail today.

Unpacking is a pleasure. No note from the band just an envelope and the CD inside. Cover and backside are stamped with a traditional print, front showing the beautifully done band logo by Akherra Phasmathanas/Ars Leprosa. The seal on the back was created by the hands of Kitti Solymosi of Anatiummi Arts. (Will have to check her out!) The CD sporting the classic look of vinyl is another nice treat. Gray in gray, a simple and well-designed booklet with credits and another mysterious illustration of a devil’s hand, reminiscent in style of tantric artworks. The packaging alone would deserve a price.

But on to the music. So there’s two new songs. Putting them on you immediately recognise the band. They continue merging Western sounds with Eastern motifs. There’s always a bit of playful Roky Erickson, blending in broader stoner rock elements and making something listenable out of it. We don’t like genres. So for the sake of convenience I will just call this pop. (Pop can be good music also.)

The first song Veil of Gold is driving, pushing forward. They put quite a bit of force in the drumming and there’s a nice dirty solo, thrashing in the end, but still melodic and rounding this song off nicely. The second song Dawn of Saturn starts with a melancholic melodic guitar part, followed by a dark driving beat. There are certainly homages to the last the Devil’s Blood. Dark yes, heavy, but also somewhat self-effacing. They build up tension and you basically wait for the great culmination, but instead they tone it down again. It’s like a struggling for something, then radio-friendly, then again mystical. Waiting, tic toc, now, solo, beat, heavy, chorus – “The skies are burning. The dawn of Saturn comes. And on demon wings. On and on I fly…” swaying, “Till love will fall”, repeat, “till all will fall”, end. 5 minutes, 34 seconds. Neat.

Judging by the previous album Black Lotus, which I have had spinning many times and the music of which accompanied quite a few hours filled with working on art, I expect this little two-side single to be on rotation for a bit. Alas, I am thirsty for more already…

If you have also licked blood check out the Path of Samsara website. Besides they currently put down the prices on everything in their webshop so do not miss out on this chance to get some of the first shirts and records they printed as long as they are still available: http://pathofsamsara.bigcartel.com

Path Of Samsara Veil of Gold Dawn of Saturn single

Fish Dream

I am in a small town with average middle class, one family houses. (The place reminds me of Pforzheim.) I am inside one of these houses, first downstairs, in the living room and then upstairs, in the attic. The attic is a single long room flooded with light. It is a warm and friendly atmosphere, sunlight illuminates the walls and floor. It is almost as if the roof was missing but then I see it is made of glass and held by a slender steel construction. I look at the wall to my left and see an old shower head, which looks as if it had been out of use for a long time. Around the shower the wall looks run down and the plaster has come off. Beneath the barren stone is covered in green moss or algae. The scene looks like a photo. Sunlight is shining on the spot, water drips from the shower in slow motion and the green is a nice contrast to the warm rust-colored wall. I am thinking how beautiful it is up here and that it would be worth to do some construction work and renew the room. But then I see at other the end of the roof that it is somehow merged with the town’s modern library building. The latter has ten stories but oddly it feels I am at the same level. Either way, for some reason it would make any construction work in here complicated. I turn around. And there I see at the back of the long room – which seems to have gotten even longer – right there, where I had stood before, a couple of

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dreams sequences fish surreal