Walking in Beauty
This piece was originally published .in Enchanted Living magazine,
Tales woven of stars and moonlight speak directly to the heart, sparking our senses with the promise of gentle air awakening the evening symphonies. But they also sprinkle a little cosmic dust upon the vision we hold of ourselves. When we are touched by the unequaled beauty of poetry—in all its forms—it is human nature to place ourselves into the work itself. One only has to read the opening lines of Lord Byron’s most famous verse to immediately feel the rush of desire: “She walks in beauty, like the night / Of cloudless climes and starry skies / And all the best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes.” That desire awakened, chéris, is to be the muse, that enchanted creature who inhabits the magic of the night sky. And it is easier than you think.
The very essence of Romanticism is that of a relationship with the natural world, of feelings, of passions, and of freedom. Sounds a bit like witchcraft, no? If, as Wordsworth said, the poet will find an “atmosphere of sensation in which to move his wings,” certainly the witch will find the same.
Crafting and conjuring your own beauty potions is pure freedom and indeed a ritual unto itself, complete with offerings to a most unique muse—you. It takes time, yes, and timing, but the connection you acquire to plants and flowers in the process and to nature herself makes it entirely worth any effort you have expended. And the power of these potions! Because, you see, your magic is infused in their very essence also, the vibration is raised, and you have the unique pleasure of anointing yourself with the fruits of this joyous union. It has always been my experience that when you conjure your own potions, not only does your confidence get a lift but that sparkle extends to others around you. They can’t help but notice your glow—perhaps you will share a drop of your secrets with them?
Speaking of beauty secrets, one of my most treasured is the inclusion of a simple but ancient beautifier that is entirely uncommon in its use here. The sweet, soulful, somewhat hedonistic grapetakes center stage in this season’s potions (lovingly named for the works of Shelley), whether extracted into a concentrated nectar, a luxe oil, or a magically infused wine. Grapes are lunar-ruled water fruits that hold the magic of both fertility and prosperity, making them fabulous consorts when it comes to creative endeavors. What’s more, they have beauty benefits to spare: Rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, they promote new cellular growth, reduce fine lines, increase elasticity, restore collagen, impart sheen, and provide UV protection. Here, the Triple Goddess of Beauty comes in three forms: grape-seed extract (ruby red and concentrated), grape-seed oil (highly nutritive and easily absorbed), and wine (restorative and preventative). We think of wine as being purely Bacchanalian, but in ancient Mesopotamia twelve vases of wine were offered to the goddess Ishtar every single day. Interestingly, red wine is actually considered the solar counterpart to lunar white wine and carries with it the vitality and life force of the sun. So here, you have that all-important cosmic balance that conspires to bestow upon you bewitching beauty.
This enchanted ritual is best begun at the new moon, allowing a full growing cycle to infuse the wine with flower magic.
THE FAIRY AND THE SPIRIT
Conjures, typically, 750 milliliters or 25 ounces 1 bottle dry red wine
1 cup rose petals
½ cup jasmine flowers
¼ cup chrysanthemum flowers
¼ cup passionflowers
Seeds of one vanilla bean (optional)
This, mes amis, is such an easy concoction and so pretty to behold that you will find yourself simply enjoying its presence. You can use fresh or dried flowers, it is up to you. Dried petals will be easier to find, of course, in the cold months and can often have a bolder, more complex flavor. Fresh petals should ideally be chopped to allow the release of the flavor more easily into the wine, but I know—they are too pretty to chop! Maybe leave a few in there whole, just for the loveliness of it.
Begin by uncorking the wine and allowing it to breathe for 30 minutes. Then, pour it into a clean bottle or large jar, but do keep the original wine bottle and cork. One by one, add the flowers, feeling each essence and becoming one with its magic. Seal the new bottle or jar tightly, and keep it out to be admired—somewhere cool, avoiding direct sunlight. You will want to give it a good swirl daily to ensure that everything mingles well. At the midpoint between the new and full moon, taste it. You can adjust the floral notes if you like and add the vanilla bean should you desire it. I do like the depth (and the magic) it brings, but see what you think. On the night before the full moon, strain the blend through a tea strainer or cheesecloth, then pour the wine back into the bottle or decanter for serving.
The High Priestess of Beauty is surely the rose. This gift of Venus targets fine lines and wrinkles with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and has a unique ability to soften, smooth, and feed skin. Rosehips contain a natural form of retinol, building new tissue and supporting firmness, along with vitamin C, which repairs and stimulates new collagen.
A brilliant oil for reducing fine lines and strengthening skin’s elasticity, jasmine also helps fade scars and hyperpigmentation. Her devilishly sexy scent is also a potent aphrodisiac.
The fiery, solar chrysanthemum is one the witch’s favorite protection flowers. We love it for skin too; it keeps both wrinkles and acne at bay, brightens, calms redness and irritation, and hydrates.
Soft, feminine passionflower is ruled by water and brings the magic of peace. It protects the skin while adding high levels of antioxidants alongside vitamins A and C. It has the ability to hydrate without clogging pores and is a delight for all skin types.
Another Venusian delight, vanilla is heavy on the love and sexual magic. Its heady aroma and flavor intoxicates, and its aphrodisiac powers are legendary. Vanilla is also rich in copper, which helps promote collagen and elastin production. It soothes, protects from environmental stresses, and carries an enchanted scent.
Beauty Witch Secret:
If you do not wish to consume alcohol, a sensual alternative can be found in organic, pure grape juice. Either version makes for a vitamin- and antioxidant-rich beauty potion, to be consumed or applied topically. Even a little swipe on a reusable makeup pad will help clear pores, banish breakouts, and restore a youthful appearance to skin.