Midsummer Night's Scene

Oh! These glorious, balmy eves

illuminated by firefly light

and pearlescent moonglow

sheer exuberance in the air

and lusty, languid stars

bathing you in their sorcery...

Yes, Summer Solstice has passed, but, really,

as far as I can see,

it's Midsummer until it's Autumn.

And there is simply no need to end the sensual revelry. 

Besides, who doesn't love a sparkly bit of brew to deepen the mood,

already so lovely and lush, so deeply divine?

My Midsummer gift to you, dear Beasties, lies within the plants...

Clockwise from left: Strawberry Starlight, Orange Sky, Venus Rising.

Clockwise from left: Strawberry Starlight, Orange Sky, Venus Rising.

You guessed it.

Succulent cocktails derived from fresh herbs, voluptuous fruits, and delicate blossoms, with finely tuned magick in each sip. Beautifying and delicious, they can be enjoyed with or without alchohol, and are delectable either way!

Brew the tea the night before, using fresh herbs. Speak softly to them, gently coaxing their energies into your brew. Blend the strained tea with the fruit, and you can keep a beautiful glass vessel of it in your refrigerator. Add the spirits when you pour - a half-and-half ratio works well, but design it as you please. Garnish thoughtfully. Enjoy. And always remember to say thank you.

*Use organic or wild ingredients, fresh wherever possible, and dried when necessary.*

Strawberry Starlight

  • Basil tea - 5 large organic leaves in 1 C spring water
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 fresh basil leaf (optional, if you want the basil stronger)
  • dry white wine

The purrfect Venus-Mars alignment! Sacred to Freya, love-infused strawberries are ruled by Venus and water. Basil is also a love plant, but ruled by fiery Mars. Together, they make a lusty connection with a bit of protective energy tossed in. And, though we always associate wine with Bacchus/Dionysus, the earliest wine deities were actually female. In ancient Mesopotamia, twelve vases per day of were offered to Ishtar! White wine is also lunar ruled...so sip this delightful drink beneath her white light. 

Orange Sky

  • Mint tea - 6 organic leaves in 1 C spring water
  • 1/2 organic orange
  • juice of 2 lemon wedges
  • shot of gin

Oooh! This one is frisky! The citrus fruits are a well-balanced blend of both solar and lunar energies, making it an ideal afternoon libation also. Wild and fiery orange is ruled by the Sun, and though it possesses purification powers, it is actually known as a love stimulator. Mmmm! Lively lunar lemon brings love and happiness to the wise beholder, and with the sexual prowess of mint joining the party...you get the picture.
Gin can be substituted for vodka here, but it won't have the same effect. Gin is derived form juniper berries, and was traditionally used as herbal medicine . A protective plant, juniper offers stamina, good health and love...*wink*
 

Venus Rising

  • Rose tea - 1 Tbsp rose petals (fresh or dried), 1 tsp rose hips, 1 C spring water
  • 1-2 tbsp rosewater
  • 1 tsp pomegranate concentrate
  • champagne

I couldn't possibly go through a sultry Summer without this one, and neither should you. Rose, ruled by Venus herself, has been regarded as primary medicine, a powerful symbol of strength, and a supreme beautifier for ages. It is a flower of love and happiness, and heightens psychic awareness. Rose should be consumed, used topically, inhaled, gazed upon, and adored.  
Pomegranate is a lucky fruit. It's a Mercury-fire powerhouse which brings forth creativity, money, and...fertility. So, yes, be careful, but I always see fertility from the artistic perspective. Literally, the ability to give new life. Just direct the energies where you want them. Oh, and add as much as you like for sweetening.
The champagne? Well, champagne is like drinking stars! 

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Summer passes by too quickly, my Loves.

Join me for a cocktail?

I'll be beneath the night sky...

xxx Alise

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The Cat's Eye Of The Storm

 

Spinning! Spinning! Spinning!

In between a pair of powerful eclipses

our quicksilver friend seems to twirl backwards

and Autumn rushes in to quicken our pulses...

Tell me, my Loves, are you feeling stressed?

the calm eye of the storm, always.

the calm eye of the storm, always.

Does everything feel like Iggy's "Lust For Life" pounding out of an amplifier in your brain
going 45 instead of 33?

For some it's back to school,
or back to work, after a holiday in the sun,
Or maybe it’s just Fall
and her sense of urgency to “do” something,
kicking up ideas like a child playing in piles of amber leaves...

No matter the why.

Your beautiful self needs a lifeline. And one just happens to appear.

A gift from Diana, Ancient Lady of The Beasts.
Mistress of Wild Things.

Her timing, as always, is purrfect.

Wild Things Brew

Per serving.

  • 1 tsp organic licorice root
  • 1 tsp organic cat's claw
  • 1 Tbsp organic Pau d'Arco
  • 1 stick organic cinnamon
  • 1 organic lemon wedge
  • Stevia to taste

Darlings, when your brain is overloaded, cortisol skyrockets, and your body begins to accelerate in its aging process. Are we going to allow that?! 
Hell no!

Your adrenals need support like mad right now. 
And this is almost too simple.
*wink*

Simply gather your herbs from the local health food store bulk dried section. (Unless, of course, you just happen to be a master herbalist with a garden that would make any witch envious.)
If you can't forage nearby, wonderfully wildcrafted herbs can be had online, from places like Mountain Rose Herbs. 

Now make your magical decoction: 
First, connect with the herbs. Touch them, sing softly to them, thank them. Listen to their whisperings.  Visualize yourself navigating the deep waters of stress with grace and ease. Feel strength and resilience within you.
Got it? Good. Keep it going while you brew.

Bring 1 cup of pure water just to a boil. Add in your herbs and roots. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer, and let the mixture gently release for 20 minutes. Make sure you cover the pot, so the essential oils don't escape during the evaporation process.
Now you can turn off the heat and allow the decoction to sit for another couple of hours if you like. The longer it steeps, the more medicinal it actually gets. 
Then a squeeze of lemon to allow absorption, a little bit of stevia to sweeten if you like, and you're ready!
It's actually quite delicious.

By the way....the difference, Beasties, between an infusion and a decoction is really just in the amount of time you let it stew. Infusions are best for leaves and petals, while a decoction gets to the insides of roots and bark. 

Are you wondering about these mysterious little plant beings?
Well, this legendary healing trio is unsurpassed for adrenal support, recovery, and immune function. Seriously. 
A must have for your natural medicine bag of tricks.

Get on it.

While your sipping your potion, consider the myriad things you can do to help manage during stressful times: yoga, getting outdoors, and getting your beauty sleep for starters. Concious breathing also helps immensely. (Can't get into that headspace? Try downloading the Buddhify app.) 


And steer clear of junk food. I mean it-NO CRAP!
Yes, for thirty seconds you might enjoy that sugar-laden brownie. Or at least the cellular memory of it.
But you know what? Feeding your negative emotions is bullshit.
Moments later, you crash. You feel lousy. Your skin looks like hell. Your belly bloats.
And you didn't solve a thing.

Why on earth would you bother?

Step it up. 
Eat some gorgeous fresh fruit when you crave sugar. Gnaw on nuts when you're so irritated you simply have to crunch on something. Wolf down a few kale chips when salt seems to be the answer. Exhausted? Drink water.

But feed yourself.

You are worth taking care of.

I wouldn't hang out with you otherwise, 
now would I?

xxx Alise

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The Swinging London

My eyes slowly fluttered closed to the Teutonic rasp of Anita Pallenberg, reminiscing
about that most incredible time, 
when fashion, art, and music made love nightly
and the counter culture ruled the day.

You see, dreary, stodgy old post-war Britain had shape-shifted, seemingly overnight, into a colorful burst of youth and excitement, hell bent on shaking things up...

As Time magazine put it,"Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop."

Can you picture it?

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

Fading into kaleidoscope visions, 
each bat of my eyelash a click on an old Viewmaster scene,
dazzled by her smile
getting lost in Syd Barrett’s stare
lulled by Mick’s soft lion's purr…

I awoke to a misty rain, and a scented chill in the air.
Without even thinking I slithered into one of my favorite dresses - 
a deep blue curve-hugger, adorned with tiny wildflowers, a short, flirting hem, and a keyhole neckline.
I recalled the day I tried it on in a London boutique a few years ago. Sliding back the dressing room curtain, I saw the irresistible grin of my co-star. He said simply, “Oh yeah.”

Every time I have been to this energetic city, it's been a blast. I’ve scored incredible clothes from Carnaby Street to Camden market, danced in chic nightclubs, lounged in groovy bars, and, despite it’s reputation for horrid fare, always managed to secure London’s one culinary treasure: amazing Indian food. 

So, to celebrate this glorious city, an era like no other, and my darling Mick’s (slightly belated) birthday, I give to you a lively, sexy chilled drink that's purrfect for a wet Summer day.

Or, in Mick's words, let's "drink your health in scented jasmine tea."

Shall we?

The Swinging London

Serves two

  • 1 tsp organic Earl Grey tea
  • 1 Tbsp organic jasmine pearl flowers
  • 2 C pure water
  • A splash of unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste

Loves, we can easily make this into a caffeine-free libation by losing the Earl Grey...but, if you want a little extra charge for a labor-intensive day (of shopping?), leave it as is.

After all, black tea has its benefits. It's full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. Way better for you, my sweet Beasties, than coffee. 

Fire up your pure water until its just warm, but not boiling, then submerge your loose teas down deep for about 3 minutes. (If you leave the jasmine in too long it will be bitter.) Allow it to cool. 

When it's ready, add the vanilla, lemon essential oil, and stevia. Pour it into an appealing glass. In goes the ice, and a splash of almond milk to your liking.  Fabulous!

Jasmine not only possesses an incredible scent and taste, but holds the magical prowess of attracting spiritual love. If you burn it in the bedroom, it ignites prophetic dreams. And lemon, of course, invites warm friendships and sensual love, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin C. This is why it's so important not to overheat the water - you get the full wild benefits of leaves and flowers when they remain in a technically "raw" state, nutritionally and otherwise.

But enough talk. Just get loose. Enjoy the seductive aroma, the sensual flavors, and the way it makes you feel.

Beautiful, yes?

Dig it!

xxx Alise

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The Cosmo Girl

It’s no secret that I love all things glamorous and sensual.

The pure joy of making every small detail special, sexy. 

The art of everyday glamour, if you will. 
It’s the little things. 

The tiny embroidered pouch that holds a jewel-hued vial of magic oil, nestled inside a velvet bag, to arise with langor from your purse, a pleasure to the touch.
The silken robe you wear just to check your emails in. The sparkly treasure boxes displayed regally upon your dressing table, whose only secrets are the mundane necessities they house. The gilded etched plate from which you nibble your gluten-free toast. 

I’ve always admired Dita von Teese for that.
The rituals of a glamorous life.
Once you get a taste, you’ll fall madly in love with it.
And the fact that you don’t need Dita’s bank account or social circle to create such beauty.

Of course, you do need to put some effort in. But it’s worth it.

When I was little, my young mother and her girlfriends all read Cosmopolitan magazine. It was, of course, a very different glossy back then. The cover girls were insanely gorgeous and sparkling, a mix of amplified glam and natural beauty. They weren’t famous, with the rare exception of a high-level bombshell film or tv star. And there were certainly no "famous-for-being-tacky" reality stars or manufactured pop silliness on those covers.
Inside the pages were secrets and stories, cheeky how-to’s, feline fashion spreads, ads to swoon over, and, of course, a very saucy monthly astrology guide, all aimed at a most bedazzling creature: The Cosmo Girl.

Vintage Glamorpusses.

Vintage Glamorpusses.

The Cosmo Girl had it all: a chic apartment, a great career, fab friends, and a sizzling love life. Oh, and the wardrobe for every possible situation. Everywhere she went, she brought style, smarts and sex appeal. I was madly in love with this idea. I didn’t even know what half of it referred to at that tender age, but I knew I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. 

In honor of this iconic gal, I’ll share with you one of my personal favorite Everyday Glamour Rituals:

A beauty potion in an impossibly sexy glass. With garnish. Mmm-hmm.

I’m a heavy drinker, you see: I knock back at least two each day.
And I’m talking the hard stuff.

Vitamins. Antioxidants. Minerals.

Oh, I love a real drink as much as anyone, of course. But skin needs hydration and craves nourishment…so this sexy little indulgence has major benefits.

So for you, my fluttering Butterflies,

I’m bringing back the Cocktail Hour.

Let me intoxicate you.

The Cosmo Girl

  • 8 C pure water
  • 3 Tbsp organic hibiscus flowers
  • 2 Tbsp organic rose hips (both found in natural food stores and online)
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • two slices of fresh organic orange
  • a good splash of unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 packets of stevia

Warm up the water in your little cauldron just to the point of heat, Loves, it doesn't need to boil. (Boiling actually can negate some of the beneficial properties naturally present in herbs and flowers.) With love in your heart, and a strong vision of the life you wish to create, sprinkle in the hibiscus and rose hips, and let them float on magic waters for...well, for as long as you like. Maybe overnight under the Full Moon tonight? 

When they're ready, add your lemon oil, oranges, and the pomegranate juice. Mix in the stevia to sweeten, chill, and you're ready to serve. I like to make a large batch, and keep it stored in a glass jar in the fridge. it keeps well for a few days, and over time the oils from the orange rind are released, deepening the flavor. 

In addition to powerful doses of vitamin C from the citrus, the pom provides super antioxidants, more vitamin C, A, E,  and a gorgeous color. It's actually one of the few fruits whose juice is as as beneficial as the actual fruit itself! It's also a rich source of myriad beauty minerals. 

Rose hips are the sacred fruit of this most treasured flower. Isn't that gorgeous? When all the petals have fallen, the rose hip remains, full with more vitamin C than an orange, and swelling with vitamin A, which keeps skin's elasticity, prevents wrinkles, and keeps those already formed from getting deeper. How's that for hot?

Speaking of heat, hibiscus tea ("karkady") was consumed by our wise ancient Egyptian ancestors to cool down on an arid desert day, as it carries the ability to lower body temperature, and is naturally moisturizing.  

So when you come in after a long day, grab a foxy glass and pour yourself a refreshing Beauty Cocktail. Don't have a selection of pretty drinking vessels? You need to get on that. Great ones can be had for pennies at dollar stores, flea markets, and discount housewares shops. See? Easy.

To your health, My Darlings!

Happy Full Blue Moon!

xxx Alise

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Something's Brewing

Baby, it's cold outside!

If you dwell in a climate of seasons,

you've most likely had a blast of dark, damp, chill shake you right out of a strangely warm Autumn,

propelling you headlong though frigid winds,

and dropping you down into full-on Winter.

Hard.

"What is this? We didn't have this in Babylon."

"What is this? We didn't have this in Babylon."

Snow?

It's beautiful.

But after the first delirious rush of fairytale scenes, it draws our attention inward, to an awareness that we are now susceptible to the lowered resistance that comes with a change in season. It's time to suit up into our armor, mount our steeds, and defend the castle walls which house our souls.

To fortify your gorgeous cells, and strengthen you from the inside out, 

I've concocted an immune-revving potion that will have your cauldron bubbling over with warmth, witchy wellness, and all good things...

The secret ingredient? Mushrooms! The two most powerful medicinal healing mushrooms on Earth, reishi and chaga, join forces here to defeat those horrid, Orc-y germs trying to destroy your good health. Lovely, ancient spices are then added with a touch of creamy sweetness, for a comforting, cold weather delight.

Winter's Brew

For 1-2 servings:

  • 2 C unsweetened organic coconut milk
  • 3 pieces reishi
  • 2 pieces chaga
  • 6 star anise
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 9 cloves
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp coconut nectar
  • pinch of cayenne

***Note: you can purchase the chaga and reishi dried in the herb section (usually) of your local health food store. They can order it if it isn't on the shelves. Or, you can buy it online through Amazon, just check your source. If you can't find them dried, powders or tincture will work well also. Try health rockstar David Wolfe's site, or shop with the undisputed King of Mycellium, Paul Stamets.  

Here we go, Beloved Ones...

Take three deep breaths, light your kitchen altar candle, and whisper your prayers of strength, fortitude, resilience. Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan. With intention, lay the reishi in first, then nestle the chaga in between. Thank them for their superior qualities, and for finding their way to you at exactly the right time. 

Start a very low fire beneath the pan. Begin to expand your wishes with the help of the spices. Remember to visualize and feel each intention, and always thank your plant friends.

Arrange the ginger in amongst the mushrooms, for a little help in communicating with spirit.

Now gently, and with purpose, sprinkle the cinnamon in. That's for love. The kind you give yourself when you take good care of the body, and the kind you radiate outward into the world as a result.

The star anise are next. Set them in the brew like the gorgeous little creatures they are. More love.

Toss in those yummy little cloves next. They're here right now to protect you. 

The brew should be getting warm now.

Remove the mushrooms, as they can be quite bitter if steeped too long, and keep warming the rest gently. How to you feel? Is your spell cast? Wonderful. Remove the pan from the heat. Add a pinch of cayenne for even more protective energy, then swirl in the coconut nectar. The coconut, by the way, is effective for inner purification if visualized well. And it's sweet. 

"Ahh, now,  potions  I understand..."

"Ahh, now, potions I understand..."

Now, my Loves, sip this deeply. Besides the magick within, there's serious plant medicine here. You can certainly prepare a lighter version, sans milk and sweetener, but it won't be as enjoyable. This is meant to fill you, body and spirit, so enjoy it.

I'll leave you know, Beasties, 

with love and light,

xxx Alise