Portals

Here we muse on Portals, grounding into your body, and co-creating your life with Universe.

Made with love in collaboration with Victoria Petroff of Breath and Ground .

Thank you for watching!

Adventures in (non-linear) Time Travel

I slip into a green gown and visit a field to honor the last green days before the Autumn Equinox and I realize I have done this before. As an ancestor? In another lifetime? And I’m doing this again in this lifetime. Or rather, I am doing it simultaneously. It is happening now.

Everything is happening all at once. Yes, let’s go with this. The reason why time appears to be passing in a linear fashion is merely our perception.

Let’s shift our perception.

I slip into a green gown and visit a field to honor the last green days before the Autumn Equinox and I realize I have done this before. As an ancestor? In another lifetime? And I’m doing this again in this lifetime, as me. Or rather, I am doing it simultaneously. It is happening now.

Later, as I am writing this, it is still happening!

I am the I that finds the goddess in the earth in the old ways of the Slavs. I dance with her in timeless connection in a sacred grove of trees. I know the goddesses and gods I honor grow with me and that we are strengthened together. So I choose whom I honor wisely, according to my heart’s desire. When I honor them, I honor my heart. Wholeheartedly.

I stand in wonder. The wondrous I that I am. I. Am.

The sacred grove stands ready. So am I.

Kind Reader – Thank you for visiting! AGAIN!

(Cause this already happened, or is still happening, or…)

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Becoming Butterflies

We are becoming…

So excited to share this video I collaboratively created with my dear friend Victoria Petroff of Breath and Ground!

As Vickie notes, despite the content we are consistently exposed to, it is a magical and beautiful world. Our darkest moments present the brightest opportunities for our deepest transformation.

We hope you share in our humble love of nature’s gifts.

Please like, subscribe, and share hope and beauty!

Full Corn Moon Rant Rave

More than ever I see that universe wants me to stay in the present. And I’m here. I really am. But it is never quite enough, is it? No matter how I pinch myself and whisper “wake up.” I’m floating along. I’m drifting off to the next…

In the fullness of summer, on this full corn moon, and particularly in this weird time, we are (mostly) all of us deep into treasuring the moment. Loving our loved ones. Savoring fresh berries and days that stretch long into nights filled with cricket song drifting through open windows. Leaning into doing what we love.

But also wondering about the future and trying not to ponder too much.

More than ever I see that universe wants me to stay in the present. And I’m here. I really am. But it is never quite enough, is it? No matter how I pinch myself and whisper “wake up.” I’m floating along. I’m drifting off to the next.

Honestly! It wants to be exasperating. <Rant>

And more than ever I also see that this is exactly how it is supposed to be. This curious experience of being in present, yet not. Everything is just that much more endearing and appealing as ephemeral.

It wants to be exasperating. But it’s not.

Like perfume, music, and theater. It is the nature of its fleeting impermanence that crystallizes. This is why I have always loved these things especially. Precisely because they don’t last. <Rave>

The song ends – go ahead and put it on replay. But, hold up! The re-experience of it is different. It now holds the history of the last listening. It is richer, then it is over. Again. <Rave>

Perfume in the air or skin, your lover’s scent, a flower. Just as soon as you smell it, going… going… gone. Changing and transforming. <Rave>

A visit to a farm stand or my childhood home, a sunset. I treasure them all in the moment until my stomach glows with the pleasure of it.

But as a spirit entity having a human experience, I’ll be sighing and doing the rant-rave. And that is ok.

Beyond The Veil – scent musings and longings

Sometimes a scent (always natural) like forest, or meadow flowers, will remind me of a time when I smelled those scents (scent memory) and dreamed a longing dream to be transported by the scent, which I know in my deepest knowing is an indication of Genius Loci, to a magickal realm. The familiarity of the scent reawakens and intensifies my longing. My heart starts beating faster. I’ve got rainbow toes dipping into that other realm. I can absolutely feel the veil thinning. I’m slipping in. Like a dream within a dream, or a scent within a scent, or a longing within a longing…

Does scent transport you?

As in… time travel… lucid dreams… astral journeys…. space travel…

The other night I thought I would lucid dream myself to Prague. (Since overseas travel is on pause.) Whilst there I’d also time travel to a long ago time in that Golden City. Let’s say Medieval period or before. And in this long ago time in the most magical of all cities I’d find a portal to an ancient Pagan Magickal Faerie Land where humans and faeries still mingle. The veil would fall away. There I’d marvel, dance, (not eat anything – NEVER eat anything in Faerieland), feel joy, sprout wings and who knows what else.

So I doused myself in my psychic travel perfume, Liminal, and gave it a go. Liminal is a Perfume in Oil I composed to wear at bedtime for dreaming, piercing the veil, or when I want to connect with Faerie. It is an ethereal yet earthy blend featuring Mugwort known for it’s link to faerie.

Photographer Unknown

For starters, I popped into the little medieval inn I visited more than a decade ago with my son and parents. It’s tucked to the right of the bridge in the picture above. You can just make out the roof tiles. Looking out the attic window we saw the statues looming on the bridge. An extraordinary and magical inn. The memory was so very bittersweet – we were all youngish and vital, my father was passionately researching our Czech heritage, my son just a playful lad, and my mom all laughter and care – that I wound up in tears (but they were sweet tears). And was back in my body lickety split with some wicked insomnia.

I’ll have to experiment with Prague again. Maybe I’ll wind up here where the breezes smell of creamy iris (orris) and pink roses.

Claude Monet

Olfaction is so often linked with memory. Scent memory can evoke recollections of a person, place, or time. Smell jasmine and think of your first lover, etc. An utterly endearing quality of our olfactory sense.

Yet, as a perfumer my inspiration for composing a fragrance is frequently a fantastical place I long to visit. Places not experienced on this side of the veil. Places of the imaginal. Some of these places are captured and now shared in a collective psyche in story form, for example, Tolkein’s Rivendell, and from Neil Gaiman’s, Stardust and the Faerie market outside the Village of Wall. What would these places smell like? Can we go there and experience, please? It’s as though if the scent exists, the place exists, and we can indeed visit.

The Faerie Market from Stardust, by Charles Vess
Rivendell from The Lord Of The Rings, By J. R. R. Tolkein

In The Brimstone Deceit, author Joshua Cutchin, explores the many accounts of supernatural scents and otherworldly odors. Stories of scents lingering in the air after Faerie or Sasquatch encounters, Blessed Virgin Mary and saint visions, and alien abductions. So, scent and “creatures.”

Then how about scent and Genius Loci? Genius Loci, is a deity or spirit of a place. It makes perfect scents (sorry, couldn’t resist) that the spirit of a place would have their “signature scent” just like Sasquatch (surfer, urine, skunk) or the Blessed Virgin Mary (roses, violets), right?

Daybreak by Maxfield Parish

(How would THIS ethereal place smell???)

And here’s where it gets complex and super fascinating for a scent geek and psychic travel enthusiast like me.

Sometimes a scent (always natural) like forest, or meadow flowers, will remind me of a time when I smelled those scents (scent memory) and dreamed a longing dream to be transported by the scent, which I know in my deepest knowing is an indication of Genius Loci, to a magickal realm. The familiarity of the scent reawakens and intensifies my longing. My heart starts beating faster. I’ve got rainbow toes dipping into that other realm. I can absolutely feel the veil thinning. I’m slipping in. Like a dream within a dream, or a scent within a scent, or a longing within a longing…

That’s when I hit the Imaginarium, sit down at the perfumer’s bench, and start blending.

Stay tuned for the ‘any second now’ launch of my Perfume in Oil line with transportive perfume compositions – Stardust, Sweet Rivendell, Liminal, and more. Some of the fragrances are from my shop with fresh new labels and bottles. Others have appeared only at live events in the past. And a few new ones are debuting! The fragrances are all natural and created with love and harbor the mysterious ability to evoke positive feelings and journeys into harmonic states of being.

Sweetie The Unicorn With The Yellow Faerie from The Maryland Faerie Festival, Photo by David Fimbres

From the Performance Piece, Slavas Snow Show
Daughters of the Night, by Lajos Gulacsy
From Le Moulin Jaune in France, Unknown Photographer

Thank you, Dear Reader for visiting!

I welcome your thoughts ūüôā

Violets, Gin, and Pavlovas

When I live in the forest there will be pavlovas, and gin, and Violet Syrup made from an embarrassment of violets! Huzzah! Violets, the modest bloom of spiritual wisdom and faithfulness. A devotion. The color of the Crown Chakra, everlasting love, and remembrance. The shy but mighty violet.

I discovered something. When I live in the forest there will be pavlovas, and gin, and Violet Syrup made from an embarrassment of violets! Huzzah! Violets, the modest bloom of spiritual wisdom and faithfulness. A devotion. The color of the Crown Chakra, everlasting love, and remembrance. The shy but mighty violet.

My absolute favorite flower.

Not all violets have a scent. Here in the midwest corner of the USA the scent of violet is soooo faint. But the classic perfumery material, Violet Leaf Absolute is a personal favorite. Green, fresh, slightly aquatic, with a faint hint of what we consider the scent of violet.

I adore violet scent in perfume, and olde timey violet candies. The scent is delicate, soft, ethereal, and recalls the elegance of my grandmother’s generation. Victorian ladies with names like, Molly, Lily, Rose, and, of course, Violet. Because scent of violet is elusive, oils for perfumery with a violet note are generally not made from the flower itself, but by other magickal and highly secret methods involving dancing winged faeries clad in gossamer fabric that cleverly covers only the sexy bits but leaves them mostly naked (like the violet, violet type faeries are modest) and, of course, violet floral crowns.

Image not my own.

To get ready for my move to a tree house in the forest one day, and inspired by the Green Witch on YouTube, I indulged in my passion for violets and created a couple of sweet batches of Magickal Violet Syrup.

Here’s how to do it.

The first delightful step is walking in the woods and collecting violets. I also found a patch at the border of a farm behind my house. Please say “Thank you” with each you pick. It’s a wonderful chant of gratitude. (Incidentally, here is where you might catch a glimpse of one of those faeries flitting by. You will see them out of the corner of your eye and may think they are a hallucination. Trust me, they are NOT!) The violets will keep in a jar in the refrigerator for several days, so you don’t have to forage them all at once.

After you have your violets, contemplate the nature of the violet with deep reverence. This (and hot, not boiling, water) will coax the color out of the violets.

Here’s where you bring in the sweetness. Add sugar to the violet water, dissolve over heat, and voila you have a simple syrup. I enhanced that elusive violet taste with a single drop of Alpha Ionone (a natural isolate created by Violet Type Faeries mentioned earlier). A few drops of fresh-squeezed lemon will turn the syrup from a brownish purple to a more brilliant violet. Too much lemon and you have a fuscia. See my 2 bottles, and you will know why I made 2 batches. My first has more lemon then desired and is a brilliant fuscia color. They are both lovely, but I wanted to find a true, purple-violet color.

What next? Make a pavlova, of course! Toss the berries in the syrup, drizzle it on the whip cream, and shamelessly eat all of it on your porch. Then bring one to your neighbor!

Yes, Missy got some whip cream ūüėČ

Another joyful way to use violet syrup is in cocktails. Summer Solstice will find me toasting with a Violet Champagne Cocktail. Here’s a Gin Aviation Cocktail we enjoyed on Memorial Day. Any gin fans out there? It is also delicious in sparkling mineral water and ice tea.

So that it’s for now.

I hope you are finding ways to celebrate beauty and find joy in these dark times. These things feed our souls and are what life is about. When you feel joy, it radiates out and touches others. Go on and shine as you do your good life’s work.

Thanks for reading!

For a more exacting recipe of violet syrup, please visit The Green Witch on YouTube.

I’m Going To The Forest To Live Off Wildflowers Now

I will learn to make dandelion wine from it’s golden petals purified by bog water and sunshine. I will tincture the subtle power of violets and offer it to the moon with songs of the strange.

This seems the only sensible thing to do at this point.

I will learn to make dandelion wine from it’s golden petals purified by bog water and sunshine. I will tincture the subtle power of violets and offer it to the moon with songs of the strange. Perhaps I will finally learn from the faeries how to survive by hovering delicately above the blossoms whilst absorbing their scent as food. Thereby never having to harm a single blossom…

My first forays have included civilized greens with violets and forsythia accompanied by butterfly pea blossom and lavender tea.

Here in the bouquet below are more edibles. Chickweed for pesto and mustard to bring wild yellow joy. More violets.

I have no idea if these flowers below are edible. If I eat them, will they make me a shaman? Or possibly put me to sleep until a frog kisses me awake and turns us into forest nobility? (I am just kidding about this of course. One should never eat wild things without knowing if they are poison or good without consulting a local green witch herbologist). I will learn.

But aren’t they beautiful companions?

More Violets please… Don’t rinse them. Have a little faith.

Will Missy like them? Faeries will put a spell, and yes she will.

Please let me know if you’ll be joining me for dinner! Bring your friends!

Deeper Self Care

Feeling pleasure, experiencing beauty, and playing in freedom in our imagination is our natural state. We are creatures of bliss and peace.

I have loved and appreciated so many articles and newsletters with solid suggestions of how to stay healthy and sane during this quarantine – keep hydrated, move your body, breathe, nutrition, wash yer paws, smell exquisite things, keep busy with those long overdue projects or be gentle with yourself when hours and days slip by with nary a single productive task crossed off the to do list, and limit the intake of negative media.

Yes, to all of these.

Let’s include pleasure, beauty, gratitude, and imagination. Are you with me?

‚ÄúIf you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.‚ÄĚ

-Lao Tzu

We are right now creating this very moment by how we interact with the moment. We can choose to be ok and even feel good. We really truly really can.

Creating positive thoughts and feelings are key to staying healthy. We know this, we call it a positive attitude. Let’s take it one step further.

Feeling pleasure, experiencing beauty, and playing in freedom in our imagination is our natural state. We are creatures of bliss and peace. Please release self-judgements and guilt for wanting and experiencing positive things. And let go of fear.

It does not mean we cannot take action. Nor does it mean we don’t care. We are not being disrespectful when we allow ourselves to feel good. We are strong & beautiful creatures with room to encompass it all.

So how to get there? The key is to move towards the yummy things. Make the intention to live in beauty. Use your imagination and step into worlds of wonder. Fill your hours with uplifting music and images whilst feeling gratitude for simple things, the beauty of bird song or a cup of warm tea. The negativity will slip away.

If you are stuck in negativity (anxiety or depression) and struggle with allowing yourself to feel good try this quick fix.

5 Minutes. Sit or lie down. Draw your awareness gently inside. Take 3 deep inhale/exhales. Now make a picture in your minds eye. See someone you love dearly, it can even be your cat or dog, see them in a beautiful place. A place that will make you and your beloved happy. Fascinate on the details of the place, colors, scents, temperature, sounds. Now see your beloved’s face in total bliss. Your beloved is sooo very happy, their fondest wish is come true and you see it in their smile and the sparkle in their eyes. Relish in their happiness. Their happiness is your happiness. Take a moment to experience how this feels in your body. Let this good feeling grow and saturate your entire being. Your physical, emotional, and energy body… your consciousness. Savor this feeling. Make an intention to bring this feeling with you. Slowly let your eyes open and take a deep breathe in and out.

This is an especially good one if you feel guilty about feeling good because (hopefully) you will get a contact high from your beloved feelin’ good. But check it out, it is all your imagination! YOU created it! Yet you still feel good!

Here’s Missy – She is my contact high. Who do you love to see blissed out?

Thank you for visiting, Gentle Reader!

Where Have We Been?

After all, sunshine, bright crisp air, steaming hot peppermint tea laced thick with honey, and exploring mysterious bogs are still advised, are they not?

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After all, sunshine, bright crisp air, steaming hot peppermint tea laced thick with honey, and exploring mysterious bogs are still advised, are they not?

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We went to the bog to dream.

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We knew glorious creatures hid under the spring half ice and green.  Lurking in the water weeds just under the mosses.

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Fae and feral things who cast visions sometimes shadow or light.  But always true.  We knew because we could feel them buzzing.  And hear the pleasing sounds of water lapping on the wooden planks as they stirred and called out to us over the softening of winter’s retreat.

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It was a wonder.

Will you stay in wonderment with us?

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Rose Is The Navy Blue Of India

It was before I became a perfumer.  I was returning a rental car to a destination car rental joint in a forgotten, questionable neighborhood somewhere in southern California.  A creepy, greasy, smelly, filthy, shit-show of a place.

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Image not my own.

It was before I became a perfumer.

I was returning a rental car to a destination car rental joint in a forgotten, questionable neighborhood somewhere in southern California.  A creepy, greasy, smelly, filthy, shit-show of a place.

But the rental agent employed by this dubious establishment – now he was an altogether different deal.

Crisp shirt, impeccable hair, gracious smile, and smelling of roses.  He circled the car with clipboard poised, suavely investigating for dents and dings.  An elegant gentleman from India who classed up the entire experience.  I was transfixed.

“Pink is the navy blue of India” I heard in my mind’s ear… ¬†A guide stone adopted in the ’80’s as inspiration by my performance art co-collaborators and I while brainstorming shows.

We grabbed it from fashionista and Vogue Magazine editor Diana Vreeland, who famously observed, “I adore that pink, it’s the navy blue of India.”

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Diana Vreeland

As artists, we got it.  We took its message of subjectivity all personal-like and it drove us and liberated us.  We questioned rules and limitations.  We expanded and created. We invented ourselves and reinvented ourselves.  We became ourselves.  We expressed ourselves as any seriously silly color of the rainbow we wanted to be.  And we invited our audience to do same.

Back to the greasy car joint.  Here was a man, elegant, masculine, and smelling of roses.

His rose infused elegance reminded me of the Vreeland quote.

I buried the experience in the recesses of my mind.

Years later, as I launched my little perfumery, I struggled to categorize the scents as I thought was required. ¬†Affixing labels on ineffable ethers. ¬†Earnestly weighing them I’d ponder, “Would a man wear this?” ¬†I thought I should conform and slap that label on each fragrance. ¬† Men smell like this. ¬†Woman smell like that. ¬†This one feminine, that one masculine, etc.

Naturally, at my first public fragrance “showing” (scenting?) this fussing was proven utterly unnecessary. ¬† A man strode up, grabbed a perfume I had dutifully classified as feminine – InVisioning Roses – and before I could steer him to the more ‘masculine scent’, he generously doused his wrist and voila! ¬†Mind altered. ¬†Like a second skin, it was a scent made for his very body chemistry. ¬†The rose prevalent but still masculine with spices simmering and electrifying citrus.

It took me back to the elegant rose scented man at the car rental joint, and I got it!  Rose is the navy blue of India!  Rose is for everyone.  Roses all round!

He has been a return customer, my InVisioning Roses fan.  Smelling lushly of Bulgarian rose and bergamot, frankincense and cardamom.

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Image not my own.

I’m grateful to live in a time and place where we can overcome these limitations. ¬†Roses are not just for women! ¬†Woodsy scents are not restricted to men. ¬†Grown up ladies can smell like vanilla and toasted marshmallows and boys can smell like Ylang Ylang. ¬†I mean who the hell cares? ¬†Do you?

 

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Me and my performance art buddies – the group Somebody’s Daughters from Dirt, Food, and the Cleansing Influence. ¬†Left to right – Anna Brown, Kiki Ciesielski, and me.

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Vlasta Gerhardová in her crown of roses!   A model for Magaela Accessories  picture borrowed from the ever inspiring Enchanted Living Magazine