With a feline stretch, July awakens from the dream of last month’s Cancer New Moon still fresh in our minds. Our minds are filled with warm, creative thoughts of home, and how we might best navigate the waters of intuition to improve upon these sacred domains. The New Moon may have you focused on anything from a renovation or décor update, to an actual change of residence. Security in the home, and creating a solid, peaceful foundation is also in the forefront here. Indeed, if you are ready for a move or a major renovation, the timing is right for setting results into motion that will culminate, at the latest, by the end of the year. But I would expect that you will see things developing and moving along much sooner. While the Sun shines his light in Cancer these next few weeks, you have ample time to augment these plans, and strong cosmic support.

Cancer Power Card: The Chariot Use your intuition to see the best course for moving forward. Your armor will protect you, but you must find the balance between the exterior and the emotions. From the Crowley Thoth deck.
Cancer Power Card: The Chariot Use your intuition to see the best course for moving forward. Your armor will protect you, but you must find the balance between the exterior and the emotions. From the Crowley Thoth deck.

With action man Mars entering Taurus on July 5th, a strong determination to achieve these goals, and those that fall under Venus’ influence (namely money and love) will be at the forefront, with plenty of firepower to put plans into action. Be certain that you’ve got it figured out, though: once Taurus gets hold of it, changes you may wish to make will happen at an excruciatingly slow pace, to put it kindly. So use this time at the beginning of the month to make decisions that have some practicality to them – don’t be driven purely by emotions. On the same day, Mercury enters Cancer, which ensures that these emotions are felt more intensely, and things that are said (or not said) are taken very personally. And be careful, as feelings now can be easily bruised, and communication can take on deeper meanings, whether real or imagined. Personally, I’d use this time to add another dimension to my endeavors: I would definitely make time and space for adding beauty rituals, and inviting new potions to elevate the everyday to new levels of glamour and sensuality.

Our Full Hay Moon in Capricorn on July 13 (2:38pm EST) brings all this potent energy of determined ambition that’s been building since the start of the year to a brilliant crescendo…step into the light of all that you’ve achieved thus far in the year. Not feeling it? Look deeper. You may need to actually write it all down, as a free-form journal entry, or a more empirical list, depending on what will speak to you. But do it. You will find that you’ve actually come much farther than you realize. And talk about it with those closest to you, because they see things you cannot. And they love you enough to tell you how much you’ve grown. This is important, mes amours: You’ve come to a point where you simply do not need the approval of anyone or anything to move along your new path with the stealth footing of The Goat, so if any doubts linger, give them to the stars now. You can work more specifically when the Moon wanes to let go of and release what, of anything, still holds you back.

In celebration of all you’ve managed to overcome, all the strides you’ve made (and the year is only half over!) I’ve conjured a lush lunar nibble to share beneath the celestial light with those you hold dear. With Cancerian vibes still pulsing, why not invite a few fabulous felines over for a small fête? Pour a few luxe beauty cocktails, and serve them alongside these petite bites of bombshell bliss.

This month’s star is gorgeous, bright Lemon, a lunar-ruled fruit of love, happiness, and cleansing. Its vitamin C kick helps to boost immunity, with high level of calcium to strengthen teeth and bones. A natural detoxifier, lemon cheers and energizes while clarifying skin and lightening hyperpigmentation.

Gâteaux Légers

Beauty Bites

Conjures 12-16 petite cakes
For the crust:

1 cup almond flour
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon raw coconut nectar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Pinch of Celtic sea salt

For the filling:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked
½ cup hemp seeds
Juice of two large lemons
Zest of one lemon
¼ cup coconut nectar

This is the kind of recipe that takes a little bit of time, and yet is pure pleasure. Allow yourself to be fully present with it (as with all conjurings) and enjoy the slower pace. Notice what it does to your breathing, your sense of inner peace. I’ll bet you will find yourself smiling.

Begin by soaking the cashews in hot spring water ahead of time – they really only need about an hour – then strain and rinse, set aside. Prepare the crust by combining all the ingredients in a food processor, then pulsing until fairly smooth. It will still have a slightly crumbly texture that sticks together when you pinch it. Press the mixture evenly into an 8-inch square brownie pan, and set aside. Wash out the food processor (my apologies) and dry it. Now take the cashews, and combine them with the rest of the ingredients, and purée until smooth and creamy. You may want to stop, scrape the sides with a spatula, and pulse more to ensure a velvety consistency with no graininess. When it looks ready and gorgeous, pour the batter on top of the crust, smooth it with a spatula or icing knife, then score into small pieces. Pop it into the freezer for about an hour. You can leave it in longer, but you may need to let it thaw partially before serving. It should have a cheesecake-esque feel to it, though not nearly as heavy. When you are ready to serve, arrange the cakes onto a platter, and top with lemon slices and zest, sunflower seeds (if you like) or white edible flowers.

These delightful bites have a bold lemon flavor, a touch of sweetness, and a sensual play between a buttery, grainy crust and a creamy, zesty filling. Please note: I made mine thin, because that’s how I like them, but if you prefer something you can really sink your teeth into, just double the entire recipe for a higher cake.  I also don’t crave much sweetness, so please adjust the filling batter to your level of pleasure.

Almond Magically, almond brings wealth and protection. Ruled by air, it gives potions a lightness of energy surrounding the intellect, reminding you to ease up on the kind of worrying that wreaks havoc on your face. As a flour, it is rich in nutrients, including vitamin E. It can regulate blood sugar, and gives pâtisserie a buttery flavor and texture.

Sunflower Solar-powered and fertile, sunflower grants wisdom, joy, and good health. Rich in linoleic acid, it helps to build and maintain a healthy skin barrier, which thins as we age. It contains vitamin E which prevents damage to skin cells and protects from UV rays, preventing wrinkles while nourishing with vitamins A, C, and D.

Coconut Sweet, buttery coconut oil is known for its beautifying fats, but is also a bacteria- fighting warrior that prevents viruses and other harmful pathogens from attacking. Raw coconut nectar is a non-glycemic sweetener, rich in minerals, with a light, lovely taste and a similar consistency to honey. This lunar ruled gem also heightens spirituality and psychic awareness.

Celtic Sea Salt The richest in all precious trace minerals, Celtic salt is harvested by ancient methods, and left in its natural state, bringing pure sea magic straight to you. Interestingly, salt is ruled by Earth, which also gives it a grounding, protective vibration.

Cashew Ruled by the Sun’s fire, creamy cashews bring forth money magick. High in beauty fats, cashews are also rich in nutrients, protein, minerals, and vitamin E – a highly effective oil which repairs skin, including wrinkles. They are a good natural source of selenium, an antioxidant which helps to protect cells from damage, thereby preventing accelerated ageing in skin.

Hemp Water-ruled hemp brings the magic of healing, love, psychic visions, and aids meditation. It’s tiny seeds are packed with nutritious vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and a good source of plant proteins and Omega oils.

Beauty Witch Secret: While these beautifying nibbles certainly are a fabulous way to indulge in dessert (or my favorite, a lazy week-end breakfast) make no mistake, they are rich – both in nutrients and calories, so savor them in moderation. But! They freeze beautifully, and make lovely last-minute extravagances, either for you or to bring to a soirée. If you do freeze, make sure they lay flat – if they are crowded they will crack.

While still illuminated by the Full Moon’s messages, our dear Venus retreats to the shell as she enters Cancer on July 17th, inviting potential for rollercoaster emotions to surface. Our protective, caring natures are awakened, particularly with regard to whatever we have been nurturing this month, but can easily be transformed into needy, clinging moodiness. While she remains here until August 11th, expect to feel sentimental, too. Water rituals of beauty and wellness will be most needed right now, to tend to ourselves in a way that creates emotional balance and confidence. Helping out is our friend Mercury, who leaves Cancer and enters fiery Leo just two days later, inspiring optimistic and bold self-assurance. Don’t be surprised if grand gestures arrive!

And speaking of le lion, the great cat opens his loyal heart to welcome the Sun home on July 22nd, officially beginning Leo season. Now that we’ve tended the tended the hearth and feathered the nest, it’s time to get back out on the world stage! A playful, creative New Moon in Leo on July 28th (1:55pm EST) sets the tone for new creative projects to come to life…ones you can really have fun with. What, mignonettes, would you just love to do next? What would bring you joy and a sense of excitement? What do you feel like singing about? Those are the projects you need to focus on now. And they will bear rather regal fruit down the line, if you really give it your heart. That which brings a sparkle to your eye, and a charismatic smile to you lips is exactly where your energy goes right now. I’m impassioned! Are you?

To help you with those sparkling eyes, especially if the Summer social whirl leads you to late nights beneath the stars – because, yes, you will get a rush of conviviality with Leo prancing about – I have the purrfect potion: this one is a fave from my new book, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you simply must. It’s delightful in every way, supremely magical, and aptly suited to the season.

The Feline Stare

Eye Gel

Conjures: 2-3 month supply

1⁄2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
1⁄2 teaspoon vitamin E
1 teaspoon cucumber extract
1 teaspoon green tea extract
2 tablespoons pure aloe vera gel
1⁄2 teaspoon ginseng extract
8 drops lemon essential oil

Though it may take a bit of effort to gather your ingredients (they can all be found online or in your local natural foods/supplements shops) it is entirely worth it. This potion is quite rich, so you will only need a small dab each time you use it. Once you have all your consorts gathered, concocting couldn’t be easier: simply mix everything together clockwise in a pretty bowl with a special spoon, then transfer to a jar with an airtight lid. Keep it away from moisture, as mold can grow on these natural potions that do not contain preservatives beyond the minimal amount that certain ingredients provide – here, the lemon essential oil does act as a protection against bacteria, but you still want to be careful. As always, hold your visual desires strongly as you add each ingredient, and really experience how that desire feels coursing through your body. This potion will assist your creative energy, and allow you the clarity of your imagination and artistry to come forward, full force!

This luxe eye treatment will firm, tighten, revitalize, hydrate, soothe, and brighten your beautiful eyes. Use it sparingly as part of your evening ritual before retiring, giving it time to absorb into your skin as you rest, inviting the lunar gifts of intuitive inspiration to penetrate your subconscious.

Sweet Almond Oil This vitamin E-charged oil moisturizes without clogging the skin. It repairs  collagen, prevents moisture loss, and lightens troublesome dark spots and circles. It gives the magick of healing while attracting money and abundance.

Vitamin E A supreme skin loving healer that repairs damaged skin – this includes wrinkles – and bestows beautifying fats. Though it takes a little while to absorb into the skin, but is entirely worth it.

Cucumber Ruled by the Moon and water, cucumber brings peace and healing alongside significant beauty benefits. Rich in antioxidants and silica, it relieves puffiness while firming and helping to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. It also encourages cell regeneration, new growth, elasticity and a strong moisture barrier.

Green Tea Known as “liquid jade,” green tea is protective and healing, infused with the energy of love. It contains high levels of antioxidants which can slow down the signs of aging, and can help shrink blood vessels below the surface, lessening swelling and dark circles under the eyes with long-term effects.

Aloe Vera Known as the “medicine plant,” lunar aloe carries the magick of protection and luck. It contains anti-inflammatory hormones which have a firming, de-puffing effect on the eyes.

Ginseng This ancient Chinese medicinal herb is fantastic for tightening, toning, and brightening the skin. It is a protective, fiery Solar root has magickal properties of beauty, love, lust, and granting wishes: no wonder it boosts collagen formation!

Beauty Witch Secret: This also makes a gorgeous spa treatment, when you have time to allow it to really drink into your skin while enjoying the delightful scent and texture of lemon chiffon. It’s fabulous before an event or a glittering evening out, and even more so if you apply it chilled.

And so, mes amies, we leave July with Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn retrograding, though there is no cause for panic. Jupiter in Aries has given us a push for action, and now simply requires that we take a pause to consider our next moves – carefully. Self-improvement themes will be heightened, so anything you can do in that arena will make the most of this time, as well as reviewing our basic belief systems and visions for the future. What can you do now to prepare for the life you want? With authoritative Saturn retrograding at the same time, goals are front and center, as well as the responsibilities and tasks that help them to manifest. You have an excellent opportunity to restructure your world – both inside and out – to achieve your long-term desires. Neptune retrogrades until the end of this year, heightening your intuition and psychic capabilities to further assist your life plans. Anything illusory that has clouded your vision, and – perhaps unwittingly – hindered your plans for the future, will be made clear now. As you see through the veil of false truths, you have a chance to revise your road map, and by working with all three planets you can set yourself up for success. As you can see, they intwine beautifully!

Have a wise and gorgeous month, mes chérs! I’m off to indulge in a few potent beauty rituals myself right now…

Love and Stardust,

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Alise Marie is the author of The Beauty Witch's Secrets: Recipes and Rituals For The The Modern Goddess, contributor at Enchanted Living, and creative director at The Beauty Witch®. Visit her at thebeautywitch.com for eco-luxe potions, planetary readings, and seasonal offerings, and on Instagram @thebeautywitchofficial.