Friday's Child: The Return Of The Welsh Witch

After 16 hours of travel,

I am so happy to be in the loving arms of this mystical land...

We arrived, weary. 

But an elusive Welsh Sun was bright,

and beckoned.

The old magicks called,

and we rushed to answer.

The River Usk.

The River Usk.

The river sparkling with faerie dust,

that carried songs,

guiding us...

To the ancient oaks, 

wise and twisted,

reached out,

whispering truths...

Spinning, 

to land on the meadow,

and say hello to The Littlest Hedgehog,

who softly told his tale,

Farther down,

we came upon a curious

and breathtaking sight:

Prehistoric birds

protruding from a most astounding tree.

Guardians.

"Come closer," they said.

And so,

we did.

Slowly making our way around the tree, 

a cave thicket of sinewy branches made themselves known.

An invitation.

My initial, welcoming.

My initial, welcoming.

Inside was a world of magick.

I was in the most exquisite womb,

being nourished at the deepest soul level...

For how long, I cannot say.

Until I looked up,

to see a doorway,

through which I crawled.

And awaiting me on the other side,

the full mystery of the Tree revealed itself:

Serpents.

So many, I couldn't count them all.

They emerged as branches,

undulating,

whispering to me

in a foreign tongue I somehow recognized,

Layered hisses,

sharing ancient wisdom...

My eyes were wet with joy,

and I couldn't stop smiling,

I wrapped my arms around the neck of the Elder,

lay my head upon his,

and promised to return.

My Serpent guide. I took many photos of the Snake Tree, but they asked me to keep them hidden.

My Serpent guide. I took many photos of the Snake Tree, but they asked me to keep them hidden.

I brought my grandmother's tiny ruby ring with me, intending to leave it in the wild,

but the moment came and her ring had disappeared.

Strange, as it had popped up in front of me before I left so many times,

asking to be brought along.

Perhaps she wishes to stay with me a while longer.

But her totem was a Butterfly.

And as we left the sacred tree,

she appeared.

Hello, beauty.

Hello, beauty.

We landed here, ostensibly, 

for a festival,

but there was so much more.

And it was beautiful.

And the boys played brilliantly, as always.

(You can see some of the photos here.)

The Green Man was breathtaking,

beguiling in his detail...

People came from all over the world to write down their wishes,

placing them inside him,

to be released on the last night,

as the Green Man burned.

I whispered mine to him.

He has a good ear.

I'll never forget those moments in the forest,

especially those in the dark hours before dawn

wandering down the stone path,

Deeper

with only the light of a waning Moon

and the sound of the water

to guide us,

and the love in our hearts,

alive and listening

to the wisest of spirits...

"Fy nhgariad."

"Fy nhgariad."

It's time for some Welsh Cakes, no?

Fi cariead i chi!

xxx Alise

Fly Me To The Moon

It's that time again...

Let's go-go!

Let's go-go!

Girlcat is packing her bags full of fetching garments, beauty potions, a few oddities, a massive amount of joie de vivre, and taking off... this time to a stunningly mystical land...

Wales, Darlings!

I'm heading over for the awesome Green Man Festival, and I cannot wait. 

This guy.

This guy.

What purrfect timing to share some of my Vixen Travel Tips! Whether you're camping or holed up in a No-Tell, in flight or on a train, in a city or countryside, these Secrets translate in every language:

Adorn Me.

I try to pack light. I really do. No, really.

But it's hard. I love outfits. And shoes. And coats. And accessories.

In my defense, I have, over the years, pared it way down. I used to literally travel with a caravan of steamer trunks. (I was an absurdist, clearly.) Now, the new, lighter moi takes pride in fitting pretty much everything she could possibly need into...a carry-on.

Whaat?! Yep.

I have it down to my version of science (ahem.) It goes like this:

  • One Travel Dress  - Yes, dress. Do not talk to me about jeans, stretchy pants of any sort, or (cringe!) sweatpants. No. Not ever. I always travel in something semi-loose fitting, like a slipdress, that can wrinkle and still look great, in a pretty color, to keep my spirits lifted on a long journey. Trust me, it works. It's just as comfy as the glorified pajamas disguised as athletic wear, but feels (and looks) pulled together and glamourous.
  • One Lightweight Coat - An evening coat, sweater coat, a trench...anything soft and drapey you can either wear alone, or as a layer. This actually comes in handy more often than you would think. And again, you always look and feel chic, which boosts confidence. And confidence is the sexiest thing you can possibly wear.
  • One Big Shawl - It's a scarf, a light wrap, a hood...fantastic. I like to run some sage incense through mine before I leave, not only to cleanse it from previous energy but to give it a yummy scent of home. The I like to douse it with a bit of whatever oil blend I'm digging at the moment. It's heavenly to breathe in, and will save you on a germy plane, or a polluted street.
  • Two Pairs of Purrfect Shoes - Good Goddess, only two!?  Painful, I know. But necessary. I bring one pair of impossibly sexy shoes, and one that can get rugged. For instance, this trip I've packed a sturdy (for me) pair of boots that can deal with grass and possibly mud, and stilettos that can go out to dinner and electrify the hotel room. See? Not so bad.

So, the idea is that you wear the lightweight coat with the travel dress, one pair of shoes, and the scarf (or hold them if it's too hot), so you don't have to pack these things, which gives you plenty of extra room for...more dresses!  And lingerie!!! YESSS!!!!!!!

My father was a sailor. He taught me early on how to roll clothes tightly, rather than fold, so I can always cram a few extra little confections into my bag, which makes me really, really happy. My guy appreciates it, too, as you can imagine...

Feed Me.

Trying to maneuver through anywhere as a vegan can be a challenge. Even with a cosmopolitan metropolis as your destination, there are still moments and situations that can frustrate to the point of despair when it comes to eating clean. I literally never leave home without some kind of nibble on me, particularly when traveling. Stash ziploc bags of these in your purse, and some in your luggage:

  • Trail Mix - My own homemade. Usually a blend of walnuts, almonds, goji berries, raisins, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and cacao beans.
  • Dried fruits - I love unsweetened apples, mango, and pineapple.
  • Power Balls - Make these up ahead of time, and play with the ingredients to suit your mood. They'll keep for a week if they are stored someplace cool.
  • Gluten Free Crackers - Excellent in a jam when you're craving bread, but don't fancy the bloating that goes with it. 
  • Avocados - I take a few ripe ones with me for a filling meal, in case you're somewhere that can only conjure up a salad. Slice them and bring them along in a plastic container if you're traveling overseas, as technically I don't think you can transport them whole. Don't make a guacamole, though. It's considered a "semi-liquid", and can be confiscated before you board. Absurd, I know, but I had my hummus - commercially packaged even - taken just before a super-long flight, making for one cranky gal.
  • Sweetener - I always have a bottle of liquid stevia on me. It saves my ass. For travel, I swap it for a hefty amount of stevia packets. Stock up. You'll never be tempted, or forced, to use sugar.

Anoint Me.

Oh, dear Goddess...the other painful reality: The Paring Down of The Products.

Sighs.

Well, if I can do it, anyone can.

With the help of 3oz. travel bottles and jars, the beauty fairies, and a few multi-purpose rockstar potions, it can happen.

Moisturizing Oils - If I'm gone a while, I stash a full, unopened jar of organic coconut oil in my check-through luggage to handle a multitude of beauty needs. Read this, and you'll know why I love it so. 

If I am on a short trip, I load up a couple of travel sized bottles with argan, jojoba, or avocado oil. It goes a long way, and takes care of removing makeup, moisturizing my whole body, nourishing my face (particularly at night), infusing the dry ends of my hair with conditioning, and acts as an excellent carrier for my essential oils.

Travel Cloths - Though I love a nice, complicated face ritual, I have to simplify it when I'm on the road. The easiest, and best way? Acure Organics Argan Oil Face Towelettes. These are not your average, or even somewhat elevated face wipes. They actually clean incredibly well, with a light finish...no soapiness or residue and they leave a beautiful, soft, glowing complexion. It's the argan oil. It's magic. And they work on every skin type. Bonus: They're so gentle, you can use them on all your beautiful parts, should you happen to somehow find yourself, say, on a tour bus. Or at a body painting soireé.

Essential Oils - My Mojo Bag, located in my purse at all times, is equipped especially for travel with these most precious nectars, all available here.

Peppermint - My fave on-hand cure for so many ills.  A few drops in your water as an instant mouthwash, or right on your tongue as a breath freshener/digestive aid, mixed in your carrier oil for a fabulous foot massage before and after walking all day and night (particularly in heels!), and to breathe in when you're feeling fatigued from your non-stop adventuring. Get on it.

Clove - I love the spiced earth aroma, and it does wonders for teeth and gums.

Cardamom - I always keep whole cardamom pods in a tiny bejeweled Indian box in my Mojo Bag, for their amazing digestive properties.  Customs agents do not love this. I've learned to simply carry the oil, which has the added benefits of being an antimicrobial (germ killer), and boasts an exotic scent.

Lemon and Wild Orange  - Delightful any time of day in spring water, tea, or juice to cleanse your system and boost your vitamin C. I love to drink TONS of water on a plane, as they are notoriously dehydrating, and add these oils to counteract the germy-ness of the flight cabin.

Past Tense Blend- This slim little roll-on oil hits all the points of tension when you're cramped up for way too long. I roll it on my temples and across my forehead, and onto my heart chakra for a cooling, loosening sensation, and a healing scent that lingers.

I also always bring along a small vial or two of my own potions, to make magic everywhere I go. Lots of blends will be available soon...so stay with me!

Green Man Festival grounds, Glanusk, Wales.

Green Man Festival grounds, Glanusk, Wales.

Well, Precious Ones, 

I'm off!

I'll write you from the road...I love you!

xxx Alise