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Gorgon Gorgon: Hideous female creatures from Greek mythology. Derived from the Greek gorgós, or ‘terrible’, these vile women possessed claws, fangs and scaled skin, while their hair was made of living, writhing serpents. First appearing in the very earliest written records, including the writings of Homer, their likenesses were often placed upon objects or even houses, the better to provide protection with their deadly gazes that could turn a man into stone. Within mythology and legend, three Gorgon sisters existed as the daughters of the sea god Phorcys and Ceto the sea monster; Stheno and Euryale who were immortal, and Medusa who was not. The hero Perseus was able to sever her head while looking at her reflection in Athena’s mirrored shield, but upon returning to court and holding up Medusa’s head, everyone present turned to stone. The superstitious also believed that drawing blood from the right side of a Gorgon granted the power of resurrection, while the left side was a fatal poison.

Grim Reaper: from medieval European folklore, the generic name given to the personification of death, the arbitrary collector of mortal lives. Also known as 'Death' and the 'Grim Sage', and often confused with 'Old Father Time'.

The 'Reaper' is generally depicted as a priest-robed skeletal being, carrying a scythe, needed for his eternal work of the harvesting of souls. The word grim, meaning severe, cruel, harsh is Old English, derived from ancient Germanic.

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AAG30 Hanged Mans Skull CupHM 1

The most ancient and efficacious remedy for any ailment.

Alchemy's Hanged Man's Skull Cup is made of bone china out of a mould taken from a male, human skull. The stem is typical in style of an English vernacular, 18th century, craftsman made artefact, and hand made here of fine English pewter. It is formed of three entwined, 'healing' snakes which terminate in typical claw feet, and is engraved with a potent variety of spells and seals.


On the underside of the cradle are three seals:

Mars Pentacle of Cures:
Guards against disease and has curative powers.

Jupiter Seal of Immortality:
Look at this seal every day and it will keep one healthy and long living.

14th Talisman (of the Sage of the Pyramids)
Gives the universal medicine and the faculty of healing all sicknesses

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talismansThe cup should be left overnight where the stars can shine on the engraved charm. On the following morning the cup should be charged with the water or wine and drunk to cure any illness and misfortune caused by evil spirits.

In addition to this, engraved around the outside of the triangular brace is a spell; the operative words for the 14th Talisman of the Sage of the Pyramids, which can be recited before drinking for enhanced effect:


RETEREM, SALIBAT, CRATARES, HISATER.

An old British superstition dating from mediaeval times, claimed that anybody drinking water or wine from the skull of a hanged man would be cured of all their ills. Other related beliefs include the scraping of 'white moss' from the skull of a murdered man, which has similar magical and medical properties. It seems that such beliefs originate from the idea that the skull of a man who's life has been suddenly and violently ended, will still retain much of his life force within its walls and can be extracted and consumed by the lucky benefactor.

Skull cup related stories describe one of the secret rituals of the Templars, having possession of the skull and thighbones of John the Baptist they would fill the skull with a peyote based hallucinogenic, and sacramentally drink from it in a sacred ritual that was said to induce prophetic visions. Centuries later, on Christmas in 1811, Lord Byron, the celebrated gothic poet invited his friends to the ruins of Newstead Abbey, where, in mock ritual, they were to dress in monks robes and drink from a silver cup made from a human skull.

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Hex: A magic spell; a curse; a charm; magic sign; an enchantment; something which affects luck; a witch; a wizard; to bewitch; cast a spell on.

ILL 1Illuminati: An Enlightenment-era secret society, founded in 18th century Bavaria by the German philosopher Adam Weishaupt. Tied to the dark underworld of the Freemasons and believed to be populated by free thinkers who revelled in the ideals of the Enlightenment – accusing the government of the most heinous heresy and treachery and pushing towards the ultimate New World Order; a conspiracy theory that promotes the subversion of political powers.

In the late 18th century, theorists and physicists speculated that the Illuminati conspired to overthrow European governments and even claimed to be the catalysts behind the French Revolution, though no real proof of any accusations has ever been found. By 1784, Bavarian ruler Karl Theodor banned all secret societies, and the Illuminati closed their doors; however, reimaginings of their ideals and the appearance of shadow organisations have surfaced in recent decades.

Induction Principle, the: Advanced scientific technique for cognitive transfer, first developed in the mid C.18th, by harnessing astrological powers and natural forces to transfer life and intelligence to the torpor of the deceased. Attributed to Dr von Rosenstein of Vienna, tutor to Frankenstein, who abused his privileged knowledge and in attempting to reanimate a corpse, created an unholy monster, thus bringing von Rosenstein's name into disrepute and permanently rendering all such research an anathema.

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Inquisitor: From the 12th century, officials of the Roman Catholic Church were appointed to seek-out and suppress heresy, witchcraft and perceived vices.

Pope Innocent III’s anti-Cathar, Albigensian Crusade, the bloodthirsty genocide beginning in 1208 in the Languedoc of France, where up to 1,000,000 Cathars were massacred, was an event which consolidated the Churches resolve and helped establish the Medieval Inquisition.

From the 13th centaury, the Inquisition was made the responsibility of the Dominican Order of monks, (or the Black Friars, from their black robes). These feared Inquisitors were dispatched across Europe and had supreme authority, being cruel and ruthless sadists finding any justification to implement torture and executions, particularly by burning.

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Isis: Celebrated Ancient Egyptian goddess, regarded as the Queen of Heaven and worshipped throughout the Greco-Roman world. Ruler of motherhood and fertility, she was perceived as the ideal mother; friend to sinners and artisans, as well as advocate of both the natural and magical realms.

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