Maria Sibylla Merian. Title page from Der Raupen Wunderbare Verwandelung und Sonderbare Blumen-Nahrung. [The Miraculous Transformation and Unusual Flower-Food of Caterpillars], 1679
Roses, which appear perfectly black to the naked eye, exist in nature. They grow only in small quantities and only in the tiny village of Halfeti, Turkey.
Although they appear perfectly black, they’re actually a very deep crimson color. Thanks to the unique soil conditions of the region, and the pH levels of the groundwater (that seeps in from the river Euphrates), the roses take on a devilish hue. They bloom dark red during the spring and fade to black during the summer months. (Source)
Thom Atkinson - 18th-century Medical Artifacts (from the Wellcome Collection, London)
1. Phrenological Heads
2. Case of Glass Eyes
3. Amputation Saws
4. Assorted Syringes
5. Sir Hiram Maxim’s Pipe of Peace
6. Medicine Chest
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virile. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.