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!

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!

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.

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!

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

 

Early Autumn Forest Bath

Go ahead and revel and twirl! ¬†Don’t be perfect! ¬†Be wild and wonderful! ¬†Be present! ¬†Be you in the deep, deep woods of autumn!

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October in the woods in SW Michigan, just minutes from my Three Oaks home…

Moving from the heated expansiveness of summer, a refreshing and introspective autumnal forest calls.  Come walk and linger, enjoy scents and colors, experiencing the restoration and inspiration of the trees, plants, and earth.  The shadows are long and the days shorter, heightening our pleasure of the moment.  Falling leaves reveal the skeleton of a tree.  Scent of decaying leaves is both dank and sweet, a curious embrace.

I imagine most of us woodsy fans are aware of the Forest Bath movement, Shinrin-yuko. ¬†(I rambled about Forest Bathing previously in a wintry blog – Winter Forest Bath). In Japan, formal studies are conducted regarding the health benefits of spending time in nature. ¬†A recent¬†study¬†explores the immune strengthening abilities of essential oils from trees and plant life. ¬†‘Scuse me while I dab on some Hinoki Oil…

Most beguiling is the personal creativity that awakes in a Forest Bath.  If we step into the woods with senses open we begin to feel very deeply.  We let the forest in Р into us, our psyche Рand we experience profound pleasure and the rarified activity, play.

Yeah, it sounds “woo-woo.” ¬†Well, it is “woo-woo.” ¬†Let’s just lighten up go with it.

Here’s some sensory forest bath games to explore.

Scent

Find a scent and breathe it in.  Close your eyes.  How does it make you feel?  Where do you feel it in your body.  Open your eyes and follow the scent until you discover another. Repeat.

Pine, I feel in the head, ¬†throat, and heart. ¬† I walk through the woods tracking pine until I discover a fungal-mushroom scent. ¬†This I feel much lower in my body, it is heavy and rich. ¬†Something about the mushroom seems mischievous to me… ¬†Colors seem brighter after the scent of mushroom.

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Vision

Let yourself gaze at something until your eyes go in and out of focus.  Explore trying not to focus on anything!  Find some lovely objects and make a design with them.

I feel connected to my inner child when I do this.

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Hear

Sit in silence.  Close your eyes.  What do you hear?  Repeat, this time with a smile.

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Touch

Here’s a favorite. ¬†Find a tree. ¬†Go ahead and rest your hand on it. ¬†Feel. ¬†Move your hand away, slowly, and see what you feel now. ¬†Ok, umm. Just wow! ¬†Next, silently introduce yourself to this tree. ¬†“Well, hello there, Tree. ¬†I’m Doreen. ¬†It’s so nice to be in your company.” ¬†See what happens…

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Have Fun!

Go ahead and revel and twirl! ¬†Don’t be perfect! ¬†Be wild and wonderful! ¬†Be present! ¬†Be you in the deep, deep woods of autumn!

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Why Imagination Is Your Superpower

(in defense of  faeries)
In the crisp, quiet snow, through the sleeping woods we quest.  The forest, at once muted and subtle, is laid bare with winter.  The naked skeletons of trees impose themselves through the softness of  white drifts.  The trees relieved of their autumnal frippery are akin to deep soul-urges exposed.

(in defense of  faeries)

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Queen Mab

In the crisp, quiet snow, through the sleeping woods we quest.  The forest, at once muted and subtle, is laid bare with winter.  The naked skeletons of trees impose themselves through the softness of  white drifts.  The trees relieved of their autumnal frippery are akin to deep soul-urges exposed.

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We seek the Winter Faerie Queene, Queen Mab, my Fae companion and I.

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For the Winter Queen is queen of sleep and deep dreaming.  She delivers us to new imaginings.  Daring us to dream our dreams and intoxicate ourselves in crystalline brilliance no matter the chill on our fingers and nose.

So we hasten on.  After all, is this not what forest snow is for?  To lull and snap us to the feet of the magnificent Queen of the Winter Court.  To imagine and create.

Is it not the river of life?

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What?

What of her, this Queen Mab?

Shakespeare provides us this, “she comes in shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman.”

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But is she really so petite? ¬†I’ll wager it’s an expression of endearment, like “Little John,” ¬†the ironic name given Robin Hood’s 7-foot tall warrior. ¬†Because Queen Mab, Queen of Winter, and of sleep and dreams, is massively powerful.

She is our SUPERPOWER.  She is your imagination.

Imagination

How often have we heard the following?

“It’s just your imagination.”

“That’s just fantasy.”

“You’re just daydreaming again!”

“Just.” ¬†A single, insidious word making fantasy and imagination diminutive, rendering it powerless. ¬†Thus (and here is the true belittling of Queen Mab) we set aside living creatively. ¬† We set aside our power to create.

“Step in line! ¬†Beware the siren’s voice inside of you! Shove away those dreams you hold dear.”

But the seeds sleeping in the depths of winter, preparing to bust out a move in the spring, are like your dreams and imaginings.  And the Imaginal Realm is where you nurture those seed dreams.

And EVERYTHING comes from a dream, a feeling, a thought, and then an action.

Why do you think “they” try to steer us from it? ¬†(Yes, I’m a rebel.)

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So as the light returns with the winter solstice and your dreams start to stir and bud, get yourself over to the Imaginal Realm and curtsy long and deep to the Queen.  The intoxicating Queen Mab, your superpower Рimagination.  For she is in YOU.  She is a part of YOU.  SHE IS YOU.

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Deep Knowledge

But why am I telling you this?  You know it all already.  Enjoy!

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Happy Winter Solstice, Dear Reader!

Getting Connected at the Acorn Theater in Harbor Country Michigan

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A little blog I wrote, published on the Harbor Country¬†Chamber of Commerce website about the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI. ¬†My home village…

By Doreen Stelton

To feel enveloped in a welcoming place with friendly folk. You know this feeling? You know it. We all share it. That desire to connect with others, to get social and commune.  Perhaps even sharing a deeper experience together, basking in the beauty and mysteries of life. For a lifetime, a day, …

Follow source/link below to read more..

Source: Getting Connected at the Acorn – Harbor Country

Beauty For 2017!

… In January of 2016 I foreclosed on my underwater condo in Chicago and went Free Range Faerie. I quit my jobs and hit the road with my 9 year old pup, Missy. It was not clearly planned and was a most definitely ill-advised life move. Frankly it was f*g reckless and irresponsible… read more!

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Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve finds me pausing for a moment with my bulletproof coffee loving¬†my 2017 engagement calendar. ¬†All those clean empty pages. ¬†A year of possibility with opportunity for beauty.¬† Sprinkle that¬†faerie dust round. ¬†Happy New Year, one and all!

My Ill-Advised Life

In January of 2016 I foreclosed on my underwater condo in Chicago and went free range faerie. ¬†I quit my jobs and hit¬†the road with my 9 year old pup, Missy. ¬† It was not clearly planned and was a most definitely¬†ill-advised life move. ¬†Frankly it was fucking reckless and irresponsible. ¬†Two years prior another reckless action, leaving an¬†underpaying exhausting¬†job of 17 years which left me even more financially unstable. ¬†But I was compelled to shout “NO” to my prior unsatisfying life.

My intention was to free myself from this life that was not personally satisfying. To peel away layers of internal crap; exhaustion, bitternesses, urban and job induced stresses to indulge in the beauty my soul craved.   To know myself again and/or better.  Seeking a new location in a more beautiful or rural setting.  To remake myself as a faeriepreneur  with a way to support myself as my own boss.

My life unravelled and got unmistakably got messy. ¬†I bravely resisted the negative mantra of “What the fuck am I doing???” ¬†Support from¬†kindly people, without who’s help I could not have done it, surfaced. ¬†I learned to let myself release to this support, my¬†mess, and waited for ME to reform and emerge. ¬†I practiced faerieshamanism and magic, wrote, made perfume, hunted down¬†faerie people and places, and grooved in nature.

This experiment was to last 3-6 months. ¬†Then I’d prolly just get an apartment in Chicago and stuff. ¬†It is coming up on a year this January and I’m still essentially homeless, or as I prefer to say, “nomadic” (it’s all in the attitude ya’ll!). ¬†Ha!

What Next, Free Range Faerie?

During this madly ill-advised adventure I explored a lot of ideas of what to do with myself, always returning to the message and mission of beauty amidst chaos. ¬† And of personal liberation through beauty, truth, and the imaginal realm. ¬†I’m happy to report my soul is¬†refreshed and I’m coming “home” to me. ¬†I feel ready to contribute and collaborate. To set up¬†a home-base again.

My favorite passion project of 2016 was launching my wee perfume line¬†verdant faerie fragrances. ¬†I completed my certification course (though I still have much to learn) and set up temp studios¬†in the various places I stayed. ¬†Perfume supplies were shipped to a variety of locations – Maryland, Hawaii, Canada, Chicago. ¬†I’m excited to take it to the next level in 2017 with improved packaging and perfume blends. ¬†Expanding my knowledge and expertise. ¬†I’m looking forward to establishing a sweet home perfumery¬†of my own in the first quarter of 2017.

I also rediscovered my love of writing and the location freedom it can provide. ¬†As a young girl writing was¬†shoved into my shadow self. ¬†But it keeps seeking the sun!¬†¬†So I hope to do more of that there writing stuff, perhaps combined it with my perfume. ¬†Ideas are germinating…

One thing I truly missed was a consistent yoga and circus practice and community. ¬†(Well community in general, for it’s hard to keep this going on the road. ¬†Yet one does finds new communities.) ¬†But I really missed the sparkle¬†and¬†comradery of those worlds – physical exploration with expression and soul. ¬†So I’m planning¬†to revisit that in 2017.

Oh, and once I get settled again I also hope to establish regular contribution to a social cause…

Terrifying

As¬†I reestablish myself in 2017 I’ll admit to a certain degree of inner terror. ¬†I have some undeniable¬†challenges ahead. ¬†Can I even pull this off? ¬†And I do so love my freedom! ¬†But mostly I think I got this. ¬†I’ll establish a lovely home base to travel from and I have my mission ~BEAUTY & LIBERATION~ and together we will not be denied!

All the best to you and yours in 2017!

Here’s a verdant barn in Three Oaks Michigan from my recent travels… just cause it’s pretty…

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The Faerie Nose | by Doreen Stelton

Feathered Faerie Hats Off to Arielle for her new Lit Mag, Fair Folk Journal. Lookie – they gave my poem a home! xoxoxoxo