Sister moon, so bright and high
Casting shadows here and nigh
Swallowed swift in shadow burning
Red with blood and boiling yearning.
Fear of change and angst resurface
Struggling blind to grasp my purpose
Thrashing forth and back by years
Standing still in age old fears.
Mystic quiet whispers sweet
Stillness soon sublime retreat
Darkness not that dark at all
Breath and chest just rise and fall.
Shadow shifts and light emerges
Born again my joy resurges
Hope is found in dark and light
Under blood moons, big and bright.
(c) Kristina Bauer
Full moons, eclipses, and other celestial events can wreak havoc on our psyches and psychic bodies.
The recent blood moon featured a full lunar eclipse that carried our energy through all of the moon’s phases in the course of just a short time. With Mercury retrograde and the guard changing at the seasonal level, it felt for many like an unsympathetic jolt: there was lots of upheaval and uncertainty. It had lots of people seeing RED, everywhere. I know many people who shared they felt the world seemed “careless” in the days around the moon’s event: reckless conversations, thoughtless actions, and lots and lots of fear-driven responses. I had a VERY hard time not panicking, not packing up my life, and not retreating to a cabin in Nowhere, Canada for six weeks in the days surrounding our most recent blood moon. The more I asked myself to disconnect, the more I found myself hopelessly caught up in vacuous distractions, painful dialogues, and terrifying contemplation (especially on my stoopid computer).
This is an epic fail.
These are the times that demand stillness, self-care, self-preservation, and deeeeeeeep breaths. Yes, our instincts like to suggest we need to get VERY busy doing MANY things RIGHT NOW to protect, heal, and encourage ourselves in EVERY way, but what we often really need is to slow down, do less, surrender, and recognize that we are, in fact, right here in the middle of this shit and we are safe. It is okay:
The sky is falling, blood is eating my moon. And we are still okay.
To focus my mind and set my hands to something that served me (instead of feeding the fires I was concerned would consume me….), I gave myself homework: make a body butter that would not only be lovely for the wind-whipping, brisk days, but also soothing to the soul during the dark, tempestuous night. I wanted something with which I could cloak myself as I sat under the blood moon and soaked in her darkness and light. What I made is a rich, magical Blood Moon body butter that is faintly kissed with Rose, whispered with Vanilla, brushed by chocolate, and anchored in nutty, dark, nourishing carriers.
The blending of this butter was a ritual in itself.
It helped so much. I slowed to honor each ingredient, celebrating their precious sources and drawing down their powerful archetypes and lore. Each was added and stirred in accordance with ancient rules: clockwise to create, widdershins to banish. And before the wax was melted and the colors melted together, I knew I was going to be okay. While I had intended to incorporate quite a few essential oils into this butter, I found myself intoxicated by the carriers themselves. Between the vanilla-infused jojoba and the cocoa butter, I already had a kind of comfort food for my skin in the making. The bright orange-red of the palm oil and the shadow-y nature of kombo butter were also perfect. The distinct aromas of the various carriers convinced me that what I really wanted wasn’t a fragrance, but an energy, one so subtle and powerful that only my heart would catch it — and so three drops of Rose for my soul.
Blood Moon Body Butter
- 1 oz beeswax
- 1 oz cocoa butter
- 2 oz vanilla-infused jojoba wax
- 1 oz marula oil
- 1 oz red palm oil
- 1 oz kombo butter
- 3 drops of Rose otto (Rosa damascena)
This gorgeous autumn body butter cooled in the blending studio overnight on the eve before the Blood Moon rose in the sky. Its rich color, deep, exotic, nutty fragrance, amazing texture, and powerfully nourishing ingredients were the perfect thing to bring my body warmth and comfort as I sat under the stars.
About the Ingredients
Rose otto (Rosa damascena)
While I had intended to sit down and do some energetic “seeking” to determine what essential oils to use in this blend, my tiny vial of rose otto oil just hopped out of tray and into my hands. And that pretty much took care of that. Yes, rose smells lovely, but she is more than a pretty fragrance: rose appears here because she is a Queen, she is delicate and thorny, and she is a beast at beating back depression and anxiety. She cools rage and dispels despair. And I needed that…
It is also said that rose heals the heart, particularly where we are “damaged” by deep, traumatic memories.
Who am I to argue with the oil that jumps into my hand? Conveniently, rose is magical for the skin, too. It moisturizes, cools, and soothes sensitivities. (Ahem.) It is barely perceptible aromatically in this blend as I’ve used very little and the carriers themselves bring delicious, earthy fragrance.
Vanilla-Infused Jojoba (Simmondsia sinensis or chinensis)
Jojoba is actually not an oil, but a wax that is liquid at room temperature. Jojoba wax is easily yielded via cold pressing of the seeds of the shrub under only a modicum of pressure. It also has an extensive shelf-life. Extremely moisturizing, jojoba is the “oil” that most closely resembles human sebum (our “natural coating”); it contains essential fatty acids, proteins, and minerals that help to keep our skin supple. With its ability to moisturize and soothe chapped or sunburned skin, jojoba is a wonderful addition to a butter designed for wind-whipping times. I recommend purchasing organic, unrefined golden jojoba. Organic, unrefined jojoba wax has only a very faint aroma. While that’s often desirable in massage oils and base butters in my practice, personal butters become all the more magical with jojoba wax that has been infused with yummy vanilla. Given the fragile, sweet, and rare energetic nature of the vanilla bean’s source, it’s a perfect addition in this blend. There are several ways to infuse vanilla into jojoba wax, but my favorite is pure vanilla oleoresin added directly to the bottle of jojoba: I add one bottle of oleoresin to an eight ounce bottle of jojoba and allow it to set. Since the oleoresin does not dissolve in the jojoba, it won’t change the texture or color of the carrier. The infused jojoba can be poured off as needed (and more jojoba can be added to be infused!) leaving the sublimely fragranced oil ever at the ready.
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao)
Delicious cocoa butter is best when expressed from the fermented, washed, dried and roasted seed of its source tree. This hard butter, which is solid at room temperature, melts at the touch. Its creamy, chocolate aroma grow stronger as it warms. Cocoa butter is highly protective of the skin. It contains a significant amount of vitamin E and acts as a water repellent on the skin. It coats the skin with a thick, rich buttery layer.
Kombo Butter (Pycnanthus angolensis)
Kombo butter comes from the fat in the kernels of the source shrub. It surprised me the first time I encountered it: the incredibly dark brown color with almost blue hues, the small granules that melt when warmed, and the rich, nutty aroma were unlike anything I’d ever worked with before. Kombo has an wonderful way of lending both color and therapeutic properties: it is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, and antiallergenic. I specifically wanted the color and rich, earthy fragrance of Kombo to bring in an element of the darkness and deep, deep emotion that the blood moon stirred in me.
Marula Oil (Sclerocarya birrea)
Beautiful marula oil is extracted from the nut kernel within the fruit through a complicated, exhausting process that yields little oil, making it extra precious in my hands. This light oil is more silky than greasy and is wonderful for chapped, irritated, or dry skin. Marula oil is revered, celebrated, and worshipped by the communities in Africa where it thrives; its shady respite often serves as the community’s primary meeting place and as the centerpiece for tribal rituals. Marula is rich in antioxidants and oleic acid and adds oxidative stability to blends.
Red Palm Oil (Elaeis guineensis)
Red palm oil is cold pressed from the flesh of the fruit — best unrefined and sustainably sourced from a responsible provider. It has a stunning orange color and thick, creamy, and buttery consistency. It has a spicy, bright aroma and soothing, conditioning, and moisturizing properties. It has a delicious soft texture The oil gets its characteristic color from the rich carotenes it contains. It is also high in antioxidants.