The Wondersmith
Rewarding curiosity and gifting magic all over the Pacific Northwest
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This blog is an exploration of daily magic, featuring wild plants, creative recipes, meaningful ceremonies, and writings about our shared humanity. 

Welcome to the Wondersmith's Writings! Here you can find magical recipes featuring foraged ingredients, musings on food and ceremony, and meaningful rituals to explore your own everyday magic. Don't forgot to subscribe if you'd like to get a notification anytime I post a bit more magic! And if you'd like to support my goal to spread magic far and wide, consider contributing to my patreon program!

Layered Floral Facial Steam and Confidence Ritual

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Today is the New Moon in May, a perfect time for some reflective ritual designed to calm your body and increase your confidence. 

Confidence has been a strong theme for me this month as I see my loved ones struggle to feel ready for the scrutinies of summer (just the term “beach body” can carry a lot of weight.) One of my biggest goals this month is to help others to celebrate themselves, just as they are. I’ve already written about my one diet rule, so you can probably guess my tip for getting a “beach body”: put your body on the beach. No matter the size, shape, color, or gender: you are deserving of that beautiful sunlight and those splashing waves. 

That same idea transfers to the beauty industry as well. The concept of beauty is mercurial indeed, with styles and fashions changing faster than one can blink a carefully-mascara’d eye. Through centuries of changing ideals and unusual makeup trends, one thing has remained constant: we are often willing to go to great lengths to appear beautiful in our cultures. From the Victorian women who painted their faces with lead to appear more pale to the Egyptians that smeared their eyelids with green copper ore, people have done many dangerous and even painful things to make themselves appear more attractive. Some of today’s beauty treatments would surely have confused or frightened those same people, as well: applying a sugar paste to the skin so that you can rip all of your hair out, injecting a toxin into your face to puff it out and reduce the look of wrinkles, or applying a thick shellac to your nails to appear more seductive, to name a few examples. While each person’s beauty routine is extremely personal and depends on your own lifestyle and tastes, I think we all could use a reminder: not all body care routines need to be done in the name of beauty. 

It’s okay to give yourself an opportunity for sensory enjoyment, purely for your own pleasure. You can get a pedicure because you enjoy the footrub instead of needing your feet to look cute in sandals. You can get a facial because it gives you time to reflect and relax before your big event, not because you want your face to be blemish free. You can get a massage because massages feel like absolute heaven, not because it will somehow make you appear younger. Your own inherent value as a human being entitles you to the simple pleasures in life. You do not need to justify them with improving your appearance. 

With that intention in mind, I’ve written a body care recipe that is all about pleasure: a super floral wildflower facial steam. Submersing your face in the warm floral mists scented by relaxing flowers and sweet woodruff is a pleasurable experience indeed. Doing so purely for your own pleasure makes it even more enjoyable. This is a much more sustainable version of beauty: a beauty that is about making life more beautiful, not something so superficial as our own exterior. Isn’t that really what life is about, after all? Below is the recipe for your own beautifully layered floral facial steam, which would also make a great gift to a friend who is stressed out, insecure, or in need of a little extra love. Below that you can find a New Moon ritual centering on confidence to use your handmade treat in! 

Layered Floral Facial Steam: 

You’ll Need: 

small glass jars

a variety of colorful flower petals, dried

Instructions: 

  1. This really is as simple as layering plant materials in a glass jar in a pattern that looks pleasing. Be sure to pat each layer down to keep the one above solid. You can use any flowers or herbs of your choosing; below are the ones I used and a little bit about them. 

Sweet Woodruff: A dried hay-like herb that was long used as a strewing herb in homes and churches and is the secret ingredient in traditional May Wine. It can also be used to stuff mattresses and pillows, infuse perfume, and flavor various sweet treats from ice cream to cake. It has a beautiful warm caramel-vanilla like flavor reminiscent of tonka beans. 

Pink and yellow rose petals: these look particularly lovely floating on hot water and give off a powerful floral smell. Roses have long been associated with love, and self love is no exception. They feel luxurious and special. 

lavender:  is known for its deeply relaxing properties, particularly helpful in soothing headaches or anxiety. The little purple blossoms look pretty nestled in amongst the yellow flowers

honeysuckle: a sweet, summery smell that is particularly nostalgic to many. 

calendula: is known for its skin healing properties and is often used externally for cuts, acne, rashes, etc. If you are having a breakout on your face, this beautiful and gentle yellow blossom may help it clear up

blue cornflower petals: add a punchy color of bright blue, plus a lively and beautiful scent. 

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Wildflower Confidence New Moon Ritual

You’ll Need: 

a heat-poof boil

kettle

clean towel

floral facial steam (above)

candles and lighter

paper and pencil

bath bomb (or other bath treat - my patrons this month received the perfect bath bomb for this ritual!)

something lovely-smelling to rub on later

  1. Begin by grounding: close your eyes and take a few deep breaths all the way into your belly. I like to breathe in for four, breathe out for four, then repeat that about 5 times. 
  2. Place a kettle on the stove to boil. Get out your paper and pencil. Quickly make a list about everything nice that others have said about you. Don’t pause to consider whether or not they or true or if you are deserving, just write. Once you’ve filled up a page, turn to the next. On that page, write a list of reasons you love yourself. This can be your proudest accomplishments, what you like about your body, what you take pride in as a person, or anything else that you’d like to add. 
  3. Set your writings aside and set up your area for a facial steam. Lay down a towel on your table and place the bowl on top. Add the facial steam to the bowl. Fill the bowl with boiling water, then place your face over the steam with a towel over your head to create a little tent. Close your eyes and breathe in the floral steam. As you do, picture a glowing golden globe at the bottom of your rib cage, where your solar plexus is. With every flowery inhale, imagine that globe growing and becoming brighter. Picture the feelings of self love and confidence filling your body and spreading down to your toes. When you’ve exhausted the steam, set it aside. 
  4. Bring your candles, bath bomb, papers, and something that smells nice to the bathroom. Begin filling up the bathtub. As it fills, say: 

I will allow the growing energy of the new moon to fill me with confidence and deep appreciation for myself. I will embrace and celebrate the strengths that are inherent to my being. 

       5. After you state aloud your intention, light some candles. 

       6. As the bath fills up, read aloud the writings you did earlier. Believe everything you say, do not let doubt creep in and second guess them. 

       7. Once the bath is full, jump in and add your bath bomb. As it dissolves and fizzes, imagine that it represents your insecurities also fizzing and dissolving away. Feel the weight of your own pressures lift as you sink into the water and relax. Spend some time in the bath thinking further about what you love about yourself. Let that deep appreciation permeate your body and fill you with warmth. When you are ready to be finished, say aloud: 

Thank you, Mother Moon [or other entity of choice] for being here with me during this ritual and celebration of my own strength and beauty. Please continue to remind me of my worth in times of fear or negativity. Help me to recognize destructive thoughts and shift directions quickly should they come. Let the deep truth of my beauty and value be with me always. Thank you. 

       8. Blow out the candles and drain the tub. Anoint yourself with a perfume or lotion that you enjoy and set out to enjoy the rest of your spring day! (or night.)

As always, if you've enjoyed my writings, please consider supporting me on patreon! I would love to hear what you think of this project and ritual in the comments below. :)