Ahh, cheris, this Yuletide season has rushed to greet us, no? It seems only yesterday I was writing to you about warm days, and, though Autumn is always far too fleeting, this year it seemed especially so. In an increasingly accelerated world that does in fact spin faster on its axis, this has been a year that has just flitted past us in a blur of emotions. Whirlwinds take us places, but this time around the journey has been on the inside, as structural changes rearranged our deepest interiors, both within our body temples, and in the microcosm that our lives have become. If you’ve been tuned into this intimate frequency, particularly over the past few months, you’ve likely come to a certain place in your consciousness that allows for change, and the clearing that must be done in order to grow. If not, I do suggest you take some time to find that beat – and the hushed tone of this most unusual December is a superb time for it. Usually, there would be a flurried toss of social confetti right now, but I am certain that we are all burrowed in, together yet apart, to learn what is needed right now, wandering softly and quietly through the Winter forest where our spirits dwell.

We enter this month with the high energy of the Sun in Sagittarius, and though the Archer’s electricity and optimism are always a good thing, he is especially welcome right now, as we stand betwixt two potent eclipses. It’s kind of like being stuck in an elevator crowded by very loud humans, though unlike them, these particular voices convey information that actually matters. While the Full Moon eclipse of November 30th shook us into reality where needed change is concerned, another eclipse approaches that assumes we have done the work to make way for a new reality. And what happens, mes amies, when the cosmos have showed us the path, but we haven’t quite taken it? You guessed it. The forceful shove. But we will get to that in a moment, because for now I want you to see the background against which all this is being shot: a vibrant, powerful Sag fire energy, one that carries physical prowess as well as the ability to take action. This means that the stars have your back! If you haven’t resolved the old yet, you can do it within the first half of December with relative ease! (There are a few dear to me that I am specifically talking to here, you know who you are, mes amies.) What you must harness, though, is balance. Letting go is hard, I will never argue with you there, but hanging on will kill your insides. Taking a stand for yourself, with an air of certainty, will help you to release what no longer serves you. And this creates space for things that do – even if you can’t quite see them yet.

Sagittarius Power Card: Temperance Strive for enlightenment. Expand your horizons, both on the physical plane and the spiritual. Aim high, but remain grounded. From the Aquarian Tarot deck by David Palladini

On December 14th (11:17am EST) we have our New Moon Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius. The tricky bit here is that the Moon is void-of-course exactly then, and doesn’t segue into ambitious Capricorn until 10:35pm (EST.) I would work this lunation the night before, on the Dark Moon, to focus the Archer’s arrow on necessary endings. The solar eclipse suggests a male figure leaving, or, alternately as a masculine energy of authority – or perhaps it is you who needs to show him the door? Kindly, of course, with the most neutral energy you can muster. See it as clearing the way, because change is happening, and it is you that needs to take control of it. Now is the time, if you haven’t taken action to let go of that which has outrun its course, then you will get the cosmic jolt for certain. Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius right now also point the way to more meaningful intentions followed by action.

To help ease you through this transitional time, I’ve conjured a potion to strengthen you in the best way I know: by returning to the moment, to be present in your body with sensuality, power, and confidence.

Winter Fire

Body Oil
Yields 3 oz

2.5 oz chia seed oil
Seeds of one vanilla bean pod

Essential oils:
8 drops cardamom
6 drops ginger
6 drops neroli
3 drops black pepper

Pour the chia seed oil into a 3oz. (or larger) potion bottle, using a small kitchen funnel. Next, carefully split the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center, and gently open up the pod with your fingers. With a butter knife, scrape the tiny black seeds into the oil – you may want to use the funnel for this also, depending on the size opening your bottle has. Make sure to get them all in there, for they are precious! Now, as you add the essential oils one at a time, visualize the situation (or person, thing) you need to let go of. It’s a big, scary leap, yes? So start with the first step. What is it? How does it feel? As you concoct, truly and deeply feel that letting go as freedom. You are taking the reins here, and initiating change that can only benefit you. Feel the release as if you are flying! It’s good to be free. Now you can begin to build the life you truly want. And I know you will shine.

When this courageous energy is in the potion, swirl it clockwise to blend, then cap it. You can use it right away, but do let it bathe under cosmic light as the Moon grows, by setting it in a window each night. You can then use it during the day, but return it to its windowsill in the evening to absorb the lunar – into- solar magick overnight. This will add power to your potion. May it give you exactly what you need.

This deliciously spiced, body-loving blend smells both feisty and alluring, with the added kick of warming your chills and energizing your spirit.

Chia Seed Oil Rich in omega-3 oils, chia is a powerhouse moisturizer for even very dry and irritated skin.

It has the ability to heal damaged skin (including wrinkles) while helping to maintain a strong moisture barrier on the epidermis.

Vanilla A delightful vine that wafts in by way of Venus, vanilla is heavy on the love and sexual magick. Its heady aroma intoxicates with legendary aphrodisiac powers. Vanilla is also rich in copper, which helps to promote collagen and elastin production. It soothes, protects from environmental stresses, and carries an enchanted scent.

Cardamom These spicy seeds treat skin allergies and improve complexion with antioxidant super powers. Cardamom is a gift of Venus, infused with the magick of love, lust, beauty, and protection. 

Ginger An ancient power root, ginger is known for its fire magick, protection, and ability to bring good health. As a warming spice, it increases circulation, relieves nausea and lessens pain.

Neroli With its sweet and cheerful orange blossom scent, Neroli is both sublimely sensual and a beauty bombshell. It has the ability to balance the skin; hydrating and fighting the signs of aging while simultaneously calming and clearing irritated skin. As such, it works equally well on mature or oily skin. A fire-powered gift of the Sun, Neroli brings gifts of love, luck, and money along with heightened abilities for divination.

Black Pepper This oft-overlooked spice soothes pain and stiffness, eases anxiety and stress, while the warming quality improves circulation, boosting cell regeneration and collagen production which helps decrease the appearance of fine lines.  It also allows your skin to heal blemishes and bruises more quickly, and has the benefit of protection by way of fire magick.

Beauty Witch Secret: Use this potion for anointing candles, interior spaces, magickal objects, and even your workspace whenever you need an extra dose of its’ sorcery.

The second half of the month gets even more interesting. On December 21st, not only do we welcome the Winter Solstice, but this year marks a very rare and special astrological event: a concurrence between Jupiter and Saturn (two very different planets) that occurs once every 20 years, known as the Great Conjunction. Why is this important? Let’s begin with the planets themselves:  On one hand, we have taskmaster Saturn. I always think of him as a bit of a grand university headmaster – he’s tough, for sure, contemplative, and rather serious. But he’s looking at the big picture. He wants everything to succeed, but he loathes greed, and above all does not tolerate slipshod behavior or laziness. Nor does he entertain frivolity. Then you have lucky, exciting Jupiter, the great bringer of good fortune. Since Jupiter is all about expansion, the shadow side can feed delusions, ego, and materialism. When these two meet in this way, they tend to denote changes in the way the world works. In this case now, we are looking at the Great Conjunction in none other than Aquarius, signaling – you guessed it – the Aquarian Age. You see, the Saturn-Jupiter pattern keeps their conjunctions in the same element for approximately two hundred years (!) and this month marks the shift from earth signs into air signs. So, on the world stage we are going from a focus on material wealth and hoarding resources, into new ways of how society will work, and how we communicate. Personally, we are being shown how to let go of old ideas and patterns, and embrace changes that must occur in order to move forward. Now, of course, dramatic changes everywhere will be challenged by those who do not want change, just as your ego will fight to stubbornly hold onto unrealistic or outworn ideas. so expect some conflict in there, for certain. But these are times of pure potential in amongst the challenges, which is so exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing how this will positively affect government, society, and our blessed Mother Earth, though it will evolve slowly in many ways, and often things have to get worse to affect change (see “2020” for examples!) Brace yourselves, mignonettes, the coming year will be a balancing act, but a necessary one.

Now, back to fun things. We have Yule to celebrate! The days will ever-so-slowly become longer, and while we nestle beneath velvets and faux furs, we can nurture the seeds of Springtime, planning and conjuring a beautiful new cycle of growth to come. What are you simmering? I’d love to hear! I personally am planning a brand-new vegetable garden in tandem with some very Parisian potted Witches’ herbs, and…the final touches on my first book release. Oui! I’d better get busy! I will give you this offering to celebrate Yuletide in a slightly unconventional manner: a pretty confection full of sultry flavors from the Middle East, bursting with beautifiers and a love magick overload. Enjoy every nibble, mes amours.

Enchant Me

Beauty Bite
Serves 4-6

For the crust:
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid (not melted)
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt

For the filling:
¾ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 can coconut milk, chilled
2 tablespoons orange flower water
2 tablespoons cardamom
1 tablespoon ginger
2 tablespoons vanilla 

This will make either 4 tarts or one pie, whichever you prefer – I do like tarts though, they’re sexier. Begin by making the crust: in a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until crumbly. You’ll know it’s ready when you can pinch the “dough” together and it sticks. Spoon even amounts into tart pans (or a pie dish) and press down to create a base layer. Pop them into the fridge, wash and dry the processor, and prepare to make the filling. Combine all ingredients, pulse until completely smooth, and then taste it. You may wish to add more coconut sugar, or a bit more of one flavoring, it’s up to you. When you are satisfied, spoon or pour the filling into the crust, and smooth the surface. Now, for topping, you could absolutely add a layer of whipped coconut crème for a truly decadent confection. I added a layer of raw coconut flakes and a sprinkle of cinnamon. However you like it, pop it into the refrigerator for one hour of you wish to eat it right away, or into the freezer for longer keeping. If you freeze it, allow about 15 minutes to thaw before eating (you can see how you like the texture – it will get to more of a thick pudding consistency as it thaws.) The finished effect is so interesting! A creamy, unusually spiced treat with a rich chocolate crust that is quite filling (I can only eat one half of a tart in a sitting) and will satisfy your desires for a lush dessert while keeping it raw and beautifying from the inside out, free of clogging dairy and collagen-depleting refined sugar. I see it as a little, precious gift from exotic lands brought to me on a magick carpet, readying me for adventure!

 Joining our spiced body blend are voluptuous coconut and cacao in cahoots with exotic orange flower water, gifts of Sun-baked lands to offer both vitality and sensuality. Lunar ruled coconut, well known for its beautifying fats, also heightens spirituality and psychic awareness, and does wonders as a mineral-rich, low glycemic sweetener. Ruled by fire, cacao is a magickal food of love and riches, enhancing mood and stirring sexual desire, and a superior beauty food. Adding a touch of mystery is the delightfully perfumed orange flower water, a staple in Moroccan pantries, and a bringer of fiery, solar love magick. Last but not least, a dash of pure maple syrup pairs well with cacao, adding another sprinkle of nutrient-dense, low glycemic sweetness to the recipe.

Beauty Witch Secret: Maple syrup also holds the magick of the majestic tree it comes from, that of love, abundance, and longevity. Thank your forest friends for this generous gift.

Settling down into a Full Cold Moon in hearth-loving Cancer on December 29th (10:28pm EST) it is indeed a blissful time to be cozied up in the Lair – and even though you may wish to be travelling, this is a fortuitous Moon to be at home. Avoid negative emotions, but instead use the watery vibes to be thankful for what you have. This year has been a hellride for everyone, so let’s be in gratitude for all that is good in life.  This Moon carries the energy of death onto rebirth, personal transformation, and winter nature spirits – think snow faeries and bare, sinuous trees…snowy owls and deer…how enchanted!

All my love to you, now and always.

Love and Stardust,

Xo Alise

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