The first scents of newly arisen green stir her senses, carried on the still-cool, rousing breeze, as the vague hint of sweet florals tickles her nose. It is now that the witch arises from her winter sleep, feeling clear and fully rested. The heavy blanket of soft, nurturing quiet is now somehow too weighty, and she desires to shed layers, stretching her limbs to take up space once more. Instinctively she wanders out in the first light of morning to gather dew—the ambrosia of youth and beauty. Her age is irrelevant, because she in her ancient wisdom knows that renewal is the calling card of spring. It is not a time for making up lost moments of lying dormant in her beauty but rather an embrace of this maiden breath of a continuing cycle, wherein one must change her rituals. to suit the season at hand. It is understood that she has carefully tended to her beauty during the icy months, fortifying her powers both inside and on the surface. She is a witch, after all, and knows that her potency lies first and foremost in caring for herself. Now, with a spin of the earth’s wheel, a current spell must be cast.
The changing seasons, in all their awe and excitement, still invite challenges. We are vulnerable to mercurial weather patterns that can bring forth myriad undesirables: erratic skin, a drop in immunity, and all the internal storms that come along that create an outer drop in vibrancy and confidence. Witches know how to align with seasonal treasures—we attune to nature in all her glistening splendor and her wild fury—and as we prepare to rise up and out into the world like new buds, beauty rituals are the prayers, the worship, that provide both spiritual and physical roots for seducing your dreams into coming true.
My offerings to you, mes chères, in this season of renewal, have been carefully conjured to prepare you with beauty potions to align you with both the detoxifying necessities of now and the body’s yearning for fresh nourishment. A generous dose of solar fire is mingled in to give your winter self a playful, friendly shove out into life, should you need it, and an added shot of vitality if you don’t. Either way, your magic is glamorously enhanced!
The bright catwalk stars of the verdant runway are a bountiful blend of charmed favorites and mysterious muses. Primrose opens the show with her Venusian gifts of beauty and love, aided and abetted by none other than Freya, who ups the potency and protection. Primrose banishes dryness, adds immense moisture via essential fatty acids, encourages cellular regeneration and ceramide production, and soothes the scalp for new hair growth. Joining her are the classic lines of rosemary, a solar herb of fire and protection, alongside love, passion, and healing. She grants new hair growth, boosts immunity, wards off infection, and firms and tightens the skin. Buoyant basil adds to the scene with perhaps a surprising dash of beauty benefits: a strong fire vibration entwines with healing, love, protection, and wealth magic hand in hand with antioxidant prowess, immune boosting, detoxifying, and cleansing (especially excellent for acne and inflamed or sensitive conditions). Spring conjures visions of lilacs, but here I’ve given things a twist: Neem, or Indian lilac, is a sacred flower that is fabulous for both hair and skin. It conditions for a healthy scalp, promotes new growth, and adds glorious shine. In addition, its antimicrobial gifts and fatty acids keep skin clear, reduce redness, and hydrate as it delays the visible signs of aging. It is said that drops from the elixir of mortality fell upon the neem tree, thus granting it divinity. It also provides protection by warding off negative energies. Our closing act is none other than lovely peony, filled with fiery solar powers. This elusive beauty heals scalp irritations, seals the hair shaft, banishes dryness, and makes frizz nothing but a bad dream.
Such a stunning retinue, along with a few guest stars, make for quite the glamorous consorts this season and will have you ready and glowing during this most gloriously green spell our beloved earth casts. My offerings to you, mignonettes, are best concocted at a new moon, and can be repeated each month of spring.
You’ll want to prepare by first creating a batch of what I’m going to simply refer to as an herbal brew. Combine three stalks of fresh rosemary, a tablespoon of dried neem flowers, and six large basil leaves in a glass jar. Heat one cup of pure water to almost boiling, then pour the water over the blend. Allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes to get a nice, strong infusion. Strain the brew into another jar or cup, and allow to cool before mixing into your topical potions.
Conjures one or more treatments, depending on hair length and texture
½ very ripe banana, mashed
3 tablespoons herbal brew
1 teaspoon peony oil
1 teaspoon primrose oil
First, mash your bananas as finely and smoothly as possible—the riper the banana, the better. You’ll want it to have a creamy consistency for ease of both application and rinsing. I find using a mortar and pestle followed by a brisk whisk does a fairly decent job of blending it. Pour it into a very pretty bowl, then add the peony and primrose oils. Whisk them together, then add the herbal brew to thin it. Give it another good whisk just before using the masque, as the oil can separate a bit. Apply the masque to dry hair, roots to ends, massaging in gently as you go. Pile hair on top of your head, and secure it with a pelican clip. (If you want to add heat via a cap, even better.) Let it rest on your head for 10 to 15 minutes, or more if you like, then wash it out thoroughly with a gentle shampoo. If your hair is fine or oily, or if you just crave extra volume, a second wash would be best. Run a tiny amount of your regular conditioner on the very ends, rinse, and style as usual. Your tresses are left glossy, detangled, and beautifully conditioned. Regular use will promote strong, new hair!
Banana added here provides a creamy, nutritive base. As a sacred food of ancient India, our humble friend has surprising beauty benefits. Loaded with vitamins, it restores, moisturizes, and protects from UV damage. Bananas also bring love, abundance, and heightened spirituality.
THE MORNING BRIGHT
Facial Exfoliant and Masque
Conjures approximately three treatments
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal (finely ground flaxseed)
½ teaspoon primrose oil
½ teaspoon peony oil
1 to 2 tablespoons herbal brew
In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and the oils. Add the herbal brew and mix well. Though you will choose very fine flax meal (it is easily found
pre-ground, or you can even grind seeds in a spice grinder yourself), it will still be a somewhat chunky potion, similar to a gommage. It’s just the nature of masques that contain certain types of flours or dry ingredients. But I love their power! If you find you want the masque a bit thinner, add more brew and mix it again. Apply to a clean face in my favorite two-step ritual that guarantees both gorgeous skin and a highly relaxing, stress-relieving experience: First, massage a layer of masque into your skin using circular motions. Really get into it. It feels sublime! Don’t neglect your neck, décolleté, and the back of your hands either—they are starving, trust me.
After you’ve revved your complexion with this gentle but most effective exfoliation, then apply a second, thicker layer on top. You will want to press the masque into your skin this time, rather than rubbing it in. Fill in any spots that look sparse, then go and relax. Leave it on for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse well with warm water. Follow it with a cool splash, then apply sunscreen or crème as needed. Your skin will be soft, smooth, velvety, and entirely incandescent. Since this recipe creates several treatments, store it covered in the fridge and use it within a week to build that glow.
Flaxseed is rich in nutrients and good fats, in particular the oft-elusive omega-3s, feeding the skin with vitamins and leaving it soft, dewy, revitalized, and entirely glowing.
Beauty Witch Secret: Yield to the sensuality of spring by indulging in a favorite ritual of mine: Apply both masques while soaking in a bath bedecked with flowers!
Conjures one large or two small beverages
1 cup honeydew melon, diced
½ cup hempseed milk
1 spring of fresh rosemary, leaves only
6 leaves of fresh mint
3 leaves of fresh basil
Juice of one lemon
Stevia or monk fruit to taste
In a high-speed blender, combine the honeydew, hemp milk, lemon, and fresh herbs. Blend the mixture until completely smooth. Please note that vortex, or bullet-style, blenders are the only way to go really when using any kind of plant power, especially fresh greens and herbs. Other models simply will not purée nearly as smoothly, and you may find yourself with an unappetizing texture. Taste it. It will be fresh, sweet, slightly creamy, and bursting with bright energy. I never add additional sweeteners here, but feel free if you desire. This is delightful at room temperature, but glorious chilled on a warm day. And yes, you can always add a splash of spirits for a high-vibration beauty cocktail.
Refreshing, succulent honeydew is rich in beautifying vitamin C. It hydrates and keeps your belly happy while strengthening bones. Ruled by the moon, honeydew brings healing and purification. Powerful, water-ruled hempseed bestows the magic of healing, love, psychic visions, and potent meditation. Its tiny seeds are packed with nutritious vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and they are a good source of plant proteins and omega oils. Cheeky mint is Mercury-ruled and gifts us with abundance, healing, protection (and a little lust!) alongside calcium, vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory powers. Luscious lemon adds the finishing note with a lunar vibration, bursting with high vibrations of vitamin C, antioxidants, and cleansing prowess entwined with love and happiness magic.
Beauty Witch Secret: Add a quarter cup of cooked quinoa before blending for a blast of plant-powered, easily absorbed protein. This powerhouse seed is naturally gluten free, voluptuous in its nutrition, fiber-rich, and stabilizes blood sugar, all without that annoying bloat.