The guardians of the forest, in their cosmic shedding of layers
drop, one by one, their splendid finery
until they stand unclothed in the late Autumn light,
as proud warriors
vulnerable, yet even more powerful –
their energies contained deep within,
as all life prepares to rest.
Isn’t it fascinating how nature is always guiding us? This month, we only need to look to the trees: here we have these majestic, full, absolutely gorgeous beings, perfectly confident to just simply let go…their bejeweled garments falling around them without a care, shedding the very adornments that enchant audiences to the point of fervor, allowing themselves to be, essentially, naked in the cold. And yet, they stand in full power.
There is so much to learn here, if only we are willing to stop and absorb it all. It’s the great cosmic spiral, after all: going from the outside inward. The journey that begins as the external, becoming deeper and more profound as it reaches the innermost center. And this, my Loves, is the time of year that invites us to do just that.
November begins by rousing us from our blessed post-Samhain slumber to the candlelit marigold beauty of Dia de Los Muertos, the Mexican festival honoring those who have passed on. It’s an extension, really, of Samhain for us, further allowing the space to not only honor ancestors and loved ones, but to allow the release of what has, or needs to be, let go of. All things must pass, it’s true. And, taking a nod from our tree friends, we release the old, entering a state of clearing and rest that allows for new growth. There is another cue we must take from their infinite wisdom: let it go without a second thought. Why? Because it’s natural. And it is time.
The funny thing about this month is that amongst all this, we have the decidedly unnatural whirl of holiday madness happening. So, as we are consciously attempting to align with the Earth’s rhythm, the material world begs us to join in the frenzied tradition of shopping, visiting, spending, and stressing over all of it. Try, my beloved Beasties, to keep it simple. Believe me, I know how hard that can be. But, you will find that if you can say no to a few things, streamline your gift-buying, and go easy on the preparations, you just might navigate this season with a bit more ease. (And less frown lines – you know how I feel about those!) Nevertheless, I do believe we need a few stress-relieving rituals…now.
November 7th, slinks in with a New Moon in sultry Scorpio at 11:02 am EST, bringing with her all the passion of the zodiac’s most intense sign. During this Moon, everything is poised to be taken to the extreme: feelings of love, passion, joy and desire are center stage, as are the potential for jealousy and feelings of betrayal. (Best to lean towards the erotic elán of Scorpion steaminess, and steer clear of obsessive tendencies.)
Take a moment of pause to lie back and let this very sexy beautifier work its magic on your gorgeous face: it will lift away old cells, soften fine lines, and feed your skin with everything it needs to appear stress-free as the world around you intensifies on every level. Use these moments to visualize yourself as your most potently alluring, perhaps the best tool of enchantment you have in your cauldron right now for achieving that which you desire.
Yields 3 treatments
1/4 C besan (chickpea flour)
3 whole star anise
¼ cup spring water
1 tsp. pumpkin seed oil
Begin by removing the star anise seeds from the pods. Place the seeds in a mortar, and grind them open with a pestle just enough to release the oils. Transfer them to a ceramic or glass bowl. Next, warm the water on the stove until it is hot, but not boiling. Pour the water into the crushed seeds, and let them steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain. Spoon the besan in to a separate bowl, and add the cooled star anise tea, a little at a time, until you have a thin paste. Now drizzle in the pumpkin seed oil, and stir gently until well blended.
Apply a thin layer to a freshly cleansed face, neck, and décolleté, massaging in a circular motion, gently exfoliating the skin. Leave the masque on for 10-20 minutes, then remove with a warm cloth. Rinse well with cool splashes of water, and pat dry. Follow with your toning mist and beauty oil as needed. This facial is a fabulously sexy New Moon potion, but feel free to use it again during the Waxing phase as you like. Infused with seasonal pumpkin, and Jupiter-ruled star anise, it is well-suited to bringing all good things to you, especially in Autumn!
Beauty Witch Tip: This recipe makes enough for three facials – the magic three – so share some during a little witchy spa party, or use it three nights in a row during the budding Moon to further beckon positive energies.
Besan is one of my all-time most beloved Beauty Witch ingredients (as many of you know!) that I return to as a masque base constantly. Why? Because it simply outshines all others. Inexpensive and madly effective, this ancient beautifying flour lifts dead surface skin while infusing nutritive oils, leaving you with an incredibly soft, well-polished visage, and a stunning glow. As an exfoliant, it is gentle enough for all skin types, and can be used 3 times per week.
Star Anise is a madly pretty powerhouse. Long associated with aiding psychic awareness and bringing luck, it also does wonders for your skin. Potent, fragrant compounds help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles while firming and repairing damaged skin, simultaneously keeping breakouts at bay. Now that’s what I call a witch’s best friend!
Pumpkin Seed Oil is amazing for both keeping the skin healthy and moisturized, via its essential fatty acids and high antioxidant content, including vitamin E, which helps to protect from environmental stressors. It also does wonders for both sensitive and acne-prone skin by maintaining a healthy oil balance. Ruled by the Moon, pumpkin attracts money and assists healing, so keep this with you while you are creating your potion, and applying it with love to your face.
Mid-month brings us an interesting cosmic shift, by way of two influential planets passing in the night. Our exalted Venus will go direct on November 16th just as Mercury turns retrograde. Confusing? Well, now all matters of love and money, not to mention beauty, will hum along a lot more harmoniously, while communications become potentially challenging. What makes this even more important to keep in mind right now, is that Mercury retrograde happens right in the midst of the aforementioned holiday buzz . So, my Loves, you’ll want to get all your online orders in early, make your plans, and book your flight home well in advance of the 5-day shadow. The nice thing, though, is that although communications with loved ones could get jumbly, Venus will ensure they stay sweet.
All this builds to the height of our lunar month, with an exciting Gemini Full Moon on November 23rd. at 12:39 am EST. Gemini moons are curious ones, as lively as they are fickle. They are wonderfully clear lunar windows for seeking intellectual stimuli, though the flighty nature of the sign won’t allow you to stay too long at any one party, so to speak. However, speaking of soirees, this is a fabulous time for quick thinking, lively conversations (Gemini is a very chatty Moon), and short excursions – maybe with that interesting someone you just met?
To fortify you on your Full Moon fluttering, I’ve concocted a bright, delicious potion for you! As Gemini rules the lungs and nervous system, this blend is here to support and strengthen you in those areas, keeping you healthy at a time of the year when colds and respiratory woes can come on all too easily.
Serves two. As in twins.
1 small orange, seeds removed
2 small apples
1 cup spinach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1-inch thick piece of fresh ginger root, skin removed and chopped
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon stevia, or to taste
This is so simple! Just give the citrus a rough chop, and blend all ingredients together on high speed until very smooth. As you concoct, remember to visualize your intentions, really feel them, and always thank your little plant helpers for supporting your health, beauty, and magic! Pour into a fetching drinking vessel, and enjoy.
Beauty Witch Tip: Though this recipe works especially well in the colder months, you can easily add mint to mix things up as the weather warms (like for the Gemini New Moon in June), and it also lends itself well to the powerful protein blend of spirulina and chlorella – just add ½ to 1 teaspoon before blending.
Apples and Oranges are a power couple, both for beauty and good health. Together they provide ample vitamins, including the illness-banishing vitamin C, which also supports your skin. Their ruling planets, Venus and the Sun, infuse this duo with their most powerful energies of love, beauty, health and peace, with a sublime balance of fire and water energy.
Spinach is one of the ultimate green beauty foods, overflowing with vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Magically, you can’t beat it either – ruled by the cosmic luck-bringer Jupiter, it draws money and abundance to you in a big way.
Almonds, and their milk, are loaded with beautifying vitamin E, a high-level antioxidant that delays the signs of age inside and out. They also provide fiber, good fats, protein, and magnesium, keeping you full without any undesirable bloating. They’re also brilliant little healers and money magic makers, so enjoy these sensual gifts of the Mediterranean with joy.
Turmeric is closely related to that other power root, ginger, and contains medicinal compounds. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, magically purifying turmeric cleanses from within to keep skin clear and calm. It is even known to keep negative energies away!
Ginger is another great power root known for its fire magic, protection, and ability to bring good health. A warming spice, it increases circulation, relieves nausea and lessens pain.
Well, my Dear Ones, that brings us through another witchy month of magic! This Full Moon is known as the Snow Moon, bringing with her the energies of transformation (think of Samhain as ushering in the month), and of rooting and preparing. It is the time of the subterranean faeries, and all enchanted dark forest creatures, so be sure to keep them near and dear the month through.
I’ll see you in December right here, and in the Winter Celestial issue of Enchanted Living magazine!
Love and Stardust,