After a year and a half of travel this beautiful Tara returned to me.
She was with me in my condo before my beloved nomad year. Another lifetime ago it seems. A treasured gift from one of my parent’s many travels. She was my companion in plenty of my ‘dark nights of the soul’ as well as joyful days of dancing yoga in the sun.
When I went nomad she was tucked away in a friend’s space.
And now she is returned. Upon opening her storage box and seeing her, I gasped, with pleasure. I nearly forgot. But I remember now…
Tara was returned to me to coincide with the flash of beauty in death that comes with autumn’s spectacular blaze of vibrant leaves before the deep sleep of winter.
Both remind me to treasure the beauty of things passing. To enjoy the cycles of life. And to allow myself rest and reprieve when the time is right. To ready myself for rebirth. And beauty.
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, …
Xkeban was lusty as she was beautiful. Lust coursed through her body unchecked. A libido as big as the hot at the peak of a summer’s day in the Yucatecan jungle when you can do nothing but lay in your hammock and sweat, too hot to even fan. That’s how big her lust was.
That’s right, I said, unchecked. And in the little Mayan village where Xkeban lived, the sway of her hips as she lead her many lovers off to her palapa or worse yet, to the jungle, filled the more sanctimonious villagers with condemnation.
And in the hearts of the villagers, the Yucatecan heat blazed in a hell-storm of fiery condemnation for that “floozy,” Xkeban. And fan this fire they would. Especially one villager named Utz-Colel.
Utz-Colel was just as beautiful as Xkeban, but she was pious. She did not let her secret passions drive her to look brazenly into the eyes of the men. Or to openly leer at the curve of their low backs, (you know, that dip just above a man’s buttocks where neatly fits a hand) as she “accidently” brushed her swelling breasts up against him in the market place to reach for the ripest mango. Nope. Utz-Colel did not even think of such things. She did not give into these passions merely because it “felt natural” as Xcaben was prone to. Really. No, never.
Yet… whom was it the villagers called for when they were ill and needed someone to sit by their sick beds dampening their fevered foreheads? And who was it that took in the goats when past milking age? And the old dogs too lazy and useless?
Have you guessed it? Not the pious Utz-Colel, but Xkeban. Because Xkeban’s heart was as big and kindly as her lust. Truly, even bigger. And while Xkeban would use the finery gifted her by her lovers to feed the indigent. Utz-Colel would scorn those below her while she twisted her ribbons and dark thoughts into her black braids. For inside she was bitter and Utz-Colel’s heart was cold as snakeskin.
One day a most delicate and sweet perfume filled the air of the little village. The sublime intoxicating effects of this aroma caused all to seek its source, leading them to the home of that (good-hearted) slut, Xkeban. Her time amongst the living was done and there she lay, and from her wasted body emanated this fine perfume.
Well, Utz-Colel was in disbelief and swore up and down that when she died she would smell one hundred times better than that whore, Xkeban…
A few good-hearted individuals who remembered Xkeban’s kindnesses arranged for her burial. The next morning the fragrance was even more pronounced. Scent intoxicated once again, the villagers followed the perfume to the grave of Xkeban to find darling little flowers, the Xtabentun flowers, had proliferated on her grave!
Time passed and, I suppose you can guess what happened when pious and haughty Utz-Colel died. From her body emanated a foul stench so unbearable the villagers could barely stand to plant her in the earth upon which they hastily flung various flower seeds before scurrying quickly off.
But the next day only a spiny, odorless, cactus flower, called the Tzacam flower bloomed.
Well from the other side of the grave, Utz-Colel became furious about this and arranged somehow (it’s a secret) to return from death and remedy this perfume problem. She decided she would wantonly seduce as many men as possible just as Xkeban had done. Then she too could smell of fine perfume and produce darling little flowers on her grave.
Now here is where my tale turns cautionary. So listen up, those of you who think this seduction plan is sounding… interesting.
Villagers beware! Utz-Colel has now taken to posing sensuously under the Ceiba tree at the edge of the village, languidly combing her long black hair. And if she lures you into the jungle with the sway of her ample hips in the delirious heat of a Yucatecan summer’s afternoon, you will not be seen in the village again. For the bitter, soul-stealing sex of Utz-Colel is like making love to an odorless cactus flower on a foul and cold snakeskin bed, and it is believed her savage wrath against Xkeban will be your demise. Really.
Just thought you’d like to know.
This tale is my retelling of a traditional Mayan tale. It is an absolute true story of how the Xtabentun and Tzacam flowers came to exist. If you don’t believe me then just go ahead into the jungle with Utz-Colel and see for yourself.
~For My Mom~
This month will find me heading to the Yucatan Peninsula as a tour leader for my parents company Mexi-Mayan Travel. We’ve a group of lively and curious travelers including my parents. All avid learners and explorers and some archeologists and anthropologists. We’ll explore Mayan culture and history as well as the local flora and fauna. There’ll likely be some margaritas and excellent sea food…
As special gift to our group I’ll create for them a fragrance based on their group scent memories of our journey. Each person picking one or two outstanding (pleasant) scent memories. Then I’ll blend it up!
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…
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…
The return of light, may yours sparkle and delight!
My sincerest wish that you shine your inner light on your dreams and your unique beauty. Let the rest stay in the darkness… Bring forth your beauty!
Here’s a free range faerie location update. Missy and I have been in a little cottage in Michigan where we are staying for three months! It is the longest we have stayed anywhere since last February. We love it.
We go for long nearly daily walks in nearby Grand Mere State Park. Exploring trails trekking up and down the sandy dunes on Lake Michigan’s waterfront. Several varieties of Oaks and plenty of of deer and some foxes. We’ve watched it changed from peak fall to deep winter. Beauty and quiet. I feel full with it.
I’ve also been quite busy with seasonal markets in nearby Chicago, so haven’t been on here blogging quite as much. It’s been great introducing folks to verdant faerie fragrances and reading the amazing Mermaid Oracle deck for them.
“Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine,
freedom, and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson
~Here and There and Back Again~
In Which We Explore My Being Butterfly & You Being Butterfly, Butterfly Medicine & Faerie Magic, A New Perfume, and Maryland
Are You My Butterfly Buddy?
Do you suffer from “Shiny Object Syndrome?” Do all the glittering things find you landing lightly, following multiple passions, exploring and traveling?
You may be butterfly in nature, like I. With magical super powers to perceive colors mere mortals do not and to smell with smell receptors (noses) all over your body. How can one be expected to limit oneself in the face of all this luxury?
Yes, butterflies are a beautiful thing. But sometimes us butterfly types get a bit of stigma as being, well, flighty.
(Like this particular blog post. It is going to flutter. Reader, beware!)
Of late I have been indulging in my butterfly tendencies, big time. In January 2016, I gave up my condo and jobs and have been living the gypsy life. An imperfect nomad’s life with the heart of a butterfly. Fluttering along with me is my dog, Missy, and my verdant faerie perfumery in search of nature, beauty, magic, and of course, faeries.
Since January I have been to Guatemala, Michigan, Mexico (twice), Canada, Oregon, Montana, New York, and back and forth from Chicago to Maryland a bunch of times. My theme for 2016 is action. Could you have guessed?
It’s been wonderful, and I am at an all time happiness high. I could not have done it without the help of very kind and generous people. So I’m feeling extremely grateful too.
But sometimes I question my seemingly ill-advised life choices. If you are also a butterfly you may nodding your antennae in agreement.
So I went on some faerie meditation journeys to explore all of these yearnings for freedom and lightness and shimmery beauty, and it’s accompanying self shaming.
In these journeys I organically connected to, and then made peace with, my butterflyness. All synchronistically confirmed to me in the mortal realm with butterfly references in movies and podcasts I stumbled upon, faerie card readings, friends observations, and of course actual butterflies visitations.
You know how that happens. You think of or experience something of deep significance, and then it’s everywhere. Synchronistic.
And the healing I have found is that it is ok to be a butterfly. It is ok to be me. In fact it’s wonderful.
So, dear Reader, are you also a bit of butterfly, filled with yearnings for sunshine, freedom, and a little flower? And do you have a bit of angst about it as I did? It is not generally encouraged in human society. Have you noticed? We are expected to stay put and focus. Of course there is nothing wrong with focus and productivity, but these expectations have sometimes made me feel bad about myself. Just a touch.
Let’s be proud of our inner butterfly and flaunt it in the shining sun!
Recently while in Kauai, I discovered a beautiful flower meditation to manifest radical self love. Give it a try!
If you are not a butterfly type – why not give butterfly style a go? Allow your senses to expand and experience more – grow some powerful yet delicate wings to flitterfly a little. What new hobbies can you explore? Where would you really love to visit? DO IT!
Some Butterfly Dope
verdant faerie loves beauty, perfume, and travel. Hence, the superpowers of the butterfly are swoon worthy.
The lucky creatures smell more than us. That is, they are more sensitive to scent perception. Butterflies have scent receptors studded along the antennae, legs, feet, and other parts of the body.
Butterflies see colors we don’t. With 5 or 6 color receptors to a humans 3, a butterfly’s eyes see more than twice the colors of humans. Butterflies perceive more color than any other creature (except maybe faeries). Dogs have the least. Sorry, Missy.
Those flutterby creatures have a surprising reserve of strength and stamina. Some butterflies even migrate. The Monarch butterfly can migrate up to 2500 miles and the top butterfly speed is 12 miles per hour.
The exquisite butterfly brings transformation and magic. A universal symbol of joy – their dancing beauty inspires.
When the butterfly visits you, or you are feelin’ your inner butterfly flutter, you are ready for personal growth and emergence. Ready yourself to experience any one of its life phases, caterpillar, pupae, butterfly. You may find yourself ravenously hungry, reading and studying voraciously like a caterpillar, or in need of a lengthy inner journey, pupae style. Or you may soon gloriously emerge to explore the world with your ultra-keen, superpower senses.
Often times the visit of a butterfly coincides with a remembrance of a deceased loved one, a particularly beautiful and light being who graced your life with sweetness.
(Psst- faeries often choose to disguise themselves as butterflies…)
In Faerie Faith, faeries of the air are creatures of the city of the east, Gorias. One of the four cities of the Tuatha de Danaan, from the tribe of the Goddess Danu. The east brings the sunrise and new beginnings and hope. Look to the faeries of the air and butterfly allies to aid you in your intentions especially when embarking on a new project, or if a situation might benefit with a dazzling butterfly touch.
If you would like to experience a more through Faerie tradition for yourself, I can recommend the teachings of Celtic Shaman, Danu Forest. At present, I am enjoying the Faerie Teachings course. It’s a wonderful addition to my spiritual practice and interaction with the world of Faerie. Her website is wondrous to browse.
Aromatherapeutic Perfume – Because Jet-Lag Happens
After returning from my last trip back from Hawaii I had really really bad terrible rotten jet-lag. Day one I lollygagged about on a lounge chair, limp and deflated. But on day two when I still felt my butterfly wings wilting on the chaise, I mixed myself an aromatherapeutic blend. And know what? It worked! I was back to my usual self.
I’ve found it’s also fantastic for staying alert while driving on long road trips.
And I’d like to share it with you!
Butterfly is composed of highest quality all natural essential oils. No harsh synthetic aroma-chemicals whatsoever. Not a one. It is a unisex body scent.
The Scent -
Refreshing Pink Grapefruit, Mint, and Rosemary to uplift
Lavender, Geranium, and Clary Sage to balance and calm
Patchouli for grounding.
Butterfly is in a roll-on applicator bottle, in an oil base of organic fractionated coconut oil. It is light and sheer and easy for transport.
Butterfly is made special order for you. If you want a particular scent tweak on it, let me know!
And, as it is primarily a therapeutic composition, it is not composed to last a long time on your skin. It’s function is to provide a quick mood and energy shift and then free you up. Like a butterfly landing lightly, touching with magical grace, then fluttering off.
You may order Butterfly from my verdant faerie Etsy shop. Cost is $25 per 8 ML bottle.
In closing I would like to share some photos of beautiful verdant Maryland fairieland where I encountered exquisite faerie creatures and people, was housed like a queen butterfly by kindly friends, house sat, made perfumes, taught aerial yoga, trained a wee bit on silks, learned a wee bit about gardening, visited watery and enchanting places, and went on dreamy shamanic faerie quests.
Missy and I have driven back and forth again from Chicago to Maryland 4 times in 2016! It is a special place in my heart for it’s verdant natural beauty and quirky magical faerie culture. I am forever grateful for the charming healing heart of Maryland.
Here’s some pics from the annual Faerie House Exhibit at the AnneMarie Sculpture Garden (a wonderful place with sculpture and interactive exhibits) where I neglected to take a picture of my kind hostess and new faerie friend, Holly and I together. But here is the house Holly made for the exhibit. The Emerald City made of recycled materials!
If you like aerial yoga or are looking for a place to train on silks – Try Ridgely Retreat for yoga in Annapolis and Urban Evolution for silks in Baltimore. Really nice folks…
Well, after wandering and roaming these past 9 months, I feel a bit ready to dig in deep with my perfume and writing and connect with loved ones and loved activities. I’ll be hanging out in Chicago, and nearby Michigan. That is unless I happen to need to off somewhere. You never know what’ll happen with a butterfly, or a Missy, behind the wheel…
Well, how about love? Self love. Big love. Unconditional love. Love of dark places of the psyche, and light places too. Gracious, forgiving love. Lover of love. Yup, especially self-love. Simply, right here, right now. Loving the self so intensely it emanates from self like the fragrance of blossoms, permeating the air with sweetness and subtly infusing beauty and more love.
As you may or may not know, I’m living a nomadic existence. I find each place I visit holds a theme, a special message for me. My recent stay in Kauai was not an exception. And the message was, and is, love. Right here and right now, love.
Kauai is a treasure trove of botanic beauty. The island is one of the wettest places on earth, receiving more than 400″ of rain per year. The result is a florid, lush environment. For this, Kauai is fondly known as the emerald island.
Ever present aroma of flowers, White Ginger and Plumeria mingled with wet-green and salt-ocean welcomes. Visually stunning too, powerfully craggy and jagged, volcanic, mountainous shapes are smothered with verdant fecundity.
And something is uniquely inspiring about the quality of air and light in Kauai. Perhaps the angle of the sun, or the moisture in the air, or the frequent rainbows.
But for me the breezes perfumed with blossoms were the ultimate vehicle of transformation…
I had the unbelievably fantastic fortune to be the guest of a talented landscaping designer. Flowers were everywhere. It was impossible to escape their intoxicating perfume. Almost a delirium of scent. But a delirium that does not take one away from self, but to self. Spirit of blossoms spoke to me in scent, “Be here now, be love.”
I’d like to share with you a meditation that spontaneously came to me while in Kauai. Inspired by the overwhelming beauty and perfumed air. I am now on the mainland and have since practiced it wearing essential oils. Still good.
This morning I wore Rose Otto for love, Frankincense and Sandalwood for their meditative properties, and Neroli for sparkle. You may use any scent that speaks to you. However I do recommend natural floral fragrances. In my opinion synthetic fragrances do not have equal energetic vibrancies. (This lengthy topic is for another blog!)
Read through the meditation once, and set aside a little time to enjoy it on your own. Just follow your memory and heart.
Before the meditation I recommend applying fragrance to the inner wrists, breast bone (heart chakra), between brows (third eye), and ear lobes (like the sufis). If you don’t like to have it on your body, put some drips of the fragrance on a tissue or cotton ball.
Sit in a comfortable position. Make sure your back feels supported, and that you can line your vertebras up comfortably. Lay down, if you won’t just snooze off. Take some deep inhalations of your fragrance.
Now, let your breath just be however it wants to be. Don’t try to control or shape it. Screw the deep breathing or any other techniques you know. Just observe breath entering and leaving the body. Abstain from assessing or judgement. Let it do what it naturally wants. Observe your breath as you might observe something very dear to you. With curiosity, compassion, love. As you’d observe a child at play, your lover, a kitten, a beautiful sunset. If you find yourself pushing or becoming frustrated with yourself, (dammit! I am not loving!) turn up the corners of your mouth into a slight smile, and send love to the part of yourself that is being harsh, judgmental, and generally a shit. Just acknowledge it for what it is and love it anyway.
Allow this gentle observance to continue and add a layer. This is where you get to use imagination.
In your mind’s eye, see a flower in your heart center. Imagine its color(s) and the petals. Now imagine this flower expanding and growing until it fills the entire inside of your body, so you are essentially one large blossom. The center of the flower is your heart center. Stay with this image for a time.
How does it feel? Allow yourself to feel. Explore this sensation. It is real. Can you perhaps feel the petals softening you? What else do you notice?
When you feel ready, add another layer. See the fragrance of the flower emanating. Allow the scent to become a visual for you. What color is this aroma? Can you see it swirling around inside of you? Does it create patterns? Does it move in waves or in a steady rhythm?
Now let the flower and its fragrance begin to soften the boundary of your physical body from the inside, permitting your edges to soften and the essence and aroma of the flower to swirl out of your body to fill your aura. If you are unsure of your aura, imagine your physical body is in a sort of bubble and fill this with scent.
Feel into the energetic essence of this flower. If this seems strange to you. Don’t worry about it, just go with it. Try not to judge and again, just feel. Perhaps folding your hands gently over your heart chakra will help you to feel or deepen the sensation.
There is such sweetness there – in your heart.
Here you may even say to yourself, out loud or internally, “I love you (your name here).” Go ahead, repeat this several times until it is comfortable & natural.
Linger with this sensation as long as you please. When you are satiated, feel the energy, aroma, and the very flower get smaller until it is enshrined in your heart. There you may carry it everywhere and call it forward anytime you need a touch up of self loving.
It’s nice to ground yourself with a little food and drink after a journey like this.
Other than meditating, here are some of my favorite recommendations if you are in Kauai…
It’s a bit of a hike, and not really that secret (just ask a local). Not really a swimmers beach, but it’s so beautiful and a little more secluded. Clothing is optional.
Call ahead and find out when the live Hula dancer and music is happening. Get reservations. Get up and dance – I did! (The drinks were not as wonderful as my hostess’ creations, as pictured above, but the view and music is great.) Hey – and I noticed that most Hawaiian songs seem to be love songs for the people, land, and customs of Hawaii!
A mini Grand Canyon. Here the land goes from arid dessert to pine forest to lush rainforest. The hike at the very end of the road is amazing, but incredibly muddy and rather challenging. Bring hiking boots! There will be mud!
An charming and intimate yoga studio in a picturesque stone building. Open windows. Ocean in view. I took Amy Lin’s advanced flow on Friday. A delicious, sweaty 1 hour and 45 minutes of play and spirit and good challenge. Yum.
This is so worth the visit. The grounds are amazing as are tours. Call ahead to the monastery and find out when the tours run for they are not all that frequent. Nearby there is a Rudraksha Grove for picnicking and collecting brilliant blue Rudraksha seeds, or dried Rudraksha beads for malas.
Also, “drive to the end of the road.”
There are some cool caves, fresh coconut water stands, another hiking trail, and a beautiful beach. Then you can buy a tee-shirt in Hanalei saying “I drove to the end of the road.” That is, if you ever come back…
Thanks for reading! If you try the meditation, I’d love to hear about it. Love to you…
This post dedicated with love to my dear friends/family, Deborah, David, and Lulu. Mahalo forever.