I've always thought of myself as a bit of a Sorcerer - crafting magical potions in small batches using nothing but the finest ingredients found in nature.
On this All Hallows' Eve I can't help but think about beauty from a witches point of view.
"Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble..."
William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
Reading through this chant one would think the cauldron was filled with bits and pieces of bumpy reptiles and feathery friends. But in fact, Shakespeare was referencing many herbs in this witch's brew. "Eye of Newt" is a folk name for Mustard Seed, while "Toe of Frog" refers to Buttercup. "Tongue of Dog" is Hounds Tongue, a plant that has some toxic properties that mainly affect cattle and horses. "Adder's Fork" is a fern more commonly known as Adder's Tongue and is useful for aiding the healing of wounds and bruises.
Sometimes when old grimoires and spells asked for blood they weren't suggesting the actual blood of human or animal, but the sap of the Elder tree. The sap of a plant is, in essence, its blood and would have been considered an appropriate ingredient in a charm or spell. Elder is especially sacred as a tree whose powers included that of life, death, and the state of happiness for a household.
The ingredients I use in my formulas aren't called Eye of Newt or Tongue of Dog but they definitely possess powerful magic.
Powerful enough to create healthy, beautiful skin but cannot stave off aging entirely and definitely not forever.
I have always said that I believe the most beautiful person is one who has aged graciously, who has taken good care of them self, including their skin.
But so many people look in the mirror and are unhappy with their reflection. They take extreme measures to look beautiful - some go under the knife, some buy all the latest gadgets and mega products, others hide behind layers of make-up, while some never remove their mask.
This is the true evil of Beauty - the quest that permeates the being, and its pursuit has devastating effects.
With each and every one of my clients I stress the true meaning of beauty - loving yourself! When you love yourself you take excellent care of your whole person, including your skin.
So repeat after me:
"Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who's the fairest one of all?
Remember, the path to beauty and enchantment is full of wisdom. So the next time you run across an odd name in a riddle or chant, take a moment to look it up...you will probably find its a common plant found in your own back yard.
Until next week,