Ancient Egyptian symbol for life and immortality (or afterlife), and the key of wisdom and secret knowledge. The ankh's form represents the sun over the horizon, with the Nile flowing out below, or alternatively, the combined fertility symbols of the female over the male genitals.
A type of arthropod of the class Arachnida, including spiders, possessing only two main body regions and having eight legs.
Araneum, (Latin); Spider’s web.
Balkan Revenant’s Cross: Also known as Crux Orthodoxa, the Eastern Orthodox Cross, and as a variant of the Greek Orthodox or Patriarchal Cross. It is most often seen in Russia, Ukraine and other Slavic countries. Traditionally, the top beam is inscribed with ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’, as well as its Latin abbreviation (INRI) and Russian abbreviation (INBI). It is believed that the slanted lower bar represents the footrest upon which Jesus’ feet were nailed; reflecting the repentant thief and the unrepentant thief that were crucified alongside him. The penitent criminal to the right ascending into heaven, while the unapologetic man to his left falls into the fires of hell, as well as eternal separation from God. As such, it is also meant to serve as a reminder of the Final Judgement.
Bathory, Countess Elizabeth: (1560-1614). Noblewoman and ‘vampire’ from the powerful Hungarian Bathory family of Castle Csejthe. Known as the ‘Bloody Countess’, from her obsession with blood and its occult powers, and her infamous and horrific multiple murders. Over a period of years, hundreds of young girls were taken into service and forced into orgies, then manacled by her henchmen and sadistically bled to death.
Bathory drank, showered and bathed in their fresh blood, believing it to prolong her own vain life indefinitely. When she was finally arrested, tried and found guilty, she was spared execution due to her noble status. However, she was interred in her own bedroom, where she survived death for four years behind her bricked-up door.
Baudelaire, Charles: French poet and critic of the 19th century, well known for his dark themes of lust, decay and depravity. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du Mal, propelled Baudelaire into notoriety, praised by fellow authors as ‘injecting new life into Romanticism’. Translating the works of Edgar Allan Poe proved to be one of his major influences; Baudelaire claimed him to be a ‘twin soul’.
Belle Époque: (French); ‘The Beautiful Era’. The golden age for the upper classes of Europe, ending around 1914, with the onset of The Great War; a bohemian time of peace between governments and Enlightenment-spurred creativity and ingenuity.