« April 2015 | Main | June 2015 »

May 2015

My Outlander Love Affair ~ To Ransom a Mans Soul ~ or Where true love REALLY conquers all.....


"Sassenach?" "Yes?" "Ye know the fortress I told ye of, the one inside me?"

"I remember."

He smiled without opening his eyes and reached out a hand for me.  

"Well, I've a lean-to built, at least. And a roof to keep out the rain."

Diana Gabaldon ~ Outlander


 We have finally gotten here, to my favorite part of this first book of The Outlander Series. It's been personal to me ever since the first time that I ever read the the healing scenes from the Abbey of St. Anne de Beaupre.

I love the way that Claire comes into her power in this part of the book. Love truly does make you do things that you'd never dream of doing otherwise. I know because I've been there and it isn't always a peaceful journey. One of the questions that I get asked most often as the leader of an Outlander fan page is always..."In the scene in the Abbey, how did Claire heal Jamie?"

I do love pondering the answer to that question and I do think that I have one or at the very least one of the possibilities.

Again, before I start, I want to post a warning as such, albeit a loving one. Episode 16 will be graphic and it will contain material that is likely to trigger anyone who has experienced abuse and torture. I've said this before...If you're one of those people, don't be brave...don't watch it. It's okay. I know that my own experience of seeing this take place onscreen has been completely different than reading the book. I know that seeing these things come to life can drive up memories buried deep in the psyche. It can catch you by surprise. Again...I say this because of things that I have experienced. Recorded human history is a long, brutal and sometimes very tragic affair. Sometimes, we're just not very nice to each other.



 One of the reasons that I love this part of Outlander so very much is because I know in my bones what Claire is doing. For centuries, the church has called what she performed an exorcism, but I don't think that captures the essence of the magic spell she weaves. To me, she is performing a ancient and powerful ritual  known as Soul Retrieval. Mind you..this is just my opinion but it is an opinion based upon many years of experience. 

Simply put, soul retrieval as a healing technique is used when often so much abuse has occurred that at the moment of trauma the very essence of what we call the soul fragments. Soul fragmentation happens quite often during instances of rape and other violence. Often it happens when a child who is very young experiences abuse, both sexual and verbal. A child or adult who's been raged at and ravaged over and over again can become frightened enough to complete disassociate from their body.

That's literally what happens...a fragmented soul leaves the body during the crisis and many pieces of it cannot find their way back. The Shamans job is to raise the spirit energy using music, drumming, scent and dance  so that he or she can travel with the wounded warrior to find the missing soul pieces and then sing them home. It's the Shamans job to travel into the darkness alongside the wounded one and illuminate his or her pathway home.

Exorcism is a truly misunderstood technique that has way less to do with freeing the soul from demons and devils as it does about illuminating the pathways for trapped energies to move into their own free and positive light. Nature abhors a vacuum and what happens more often than not as the soul shatters during moments of intense fear, something will come in to take its place...mostly simple energies that can allow a body to continue to function, but every now and then a denser energy, or what the Church would call "demonic" can take up residence as well and if not dealt with can cause some very real and present danger. 

Bear with me..I'm traversing this pathway for a reason. 

I  first learned the techniques of Soul Retrieval, Past Life regression, Rebirthing and Exorcism decades ago, when a beloved friend began to suffer from a strange depression so debilitating that I began to fear for his very existence. Nothing was making sense. At the time he was in therapy and his therapist told him that nothing more could be traditionally done, but that she knew someone who could help him. I went to meet the "Healer" she suggested full of skepticism, sure that he was going to be dragged into a cult.

The rest is history. Much to my surprise (Don't forget that at that time I was a very successful businesswoman running one of the most  prominent gift stores in the city of Cleveland) I wound up at the Pathwork Center in Phoenicia, New York and at that very moment my life changed forever. Talk about living a dual life. Most of this was done in secret as it's definitely not a "ladies who lunch" conversation.


It was in Phoenicia, New York, cocooned within the Catskill Mountains that I learned how to work with the brutally shattered soul and it was there that I found my life's work.

 I learned  in that cozy warm barn that most of us carry soul deep wounding not just from this lifetime, but from other lifetimes. To make a long story very very short, a team of very experienced healers and I worked for several months with him using a combination of many different modalities including many sessions of past life regression work , soul retrieval, finally an exorcism where we expelled an energy that had taken up residency within him during a lifetime where he'd been brutally tortured as a young boy during the period known as the dark ages. it wasn't always a gentle healing experience..oftentimes it was a matter of fighting the inner violence with the equivalent force.  We traveled the road from Cleveland to Phoenicia and after that to Lancaster PA. and Strasburg Ohio many times that year. The last work we did together was in the form of a rebirthing...a beautiful and instinctive process that can literally take you back down the birth canal and into your life, but this time with you choosing it, not being forced into it.

It took a long time, but we persisted. Layer upon layer of emotional torture and rape..murder and violence were uncovered during those months and these weren't memories from his present lifetime. He wasn't always a man in these lifetimes and sometimes he was. Several times we found ourselves dealing with the energies of a young child. I heard him recount visions and stories of other times and places with an accuracy that was mesmerizing.....and this is a man who  doesn't  give a fig about history, he's an Aquarian who's always lived with his head in the clouds and the stars.

 I found myself watching astonished as he spoke in tongues and later in Lakota...languages that he would have  no way of ever knowing. The path just kept revealing itself. If I hadn't been so involved in the process..well truthfully the only reason that I didn't think that I was going mad was because I didn't have time. Too much depended upon it. Eventually we came to the end of what was an completely terrifying yet amazingly beautiful journey. I am happy to say that today he is extraordinarily happy and very healthy. His relationships with himself and the world around him are whole and complete.

He is married to a woman he describes as the love of his life, with beautiful children and a very successful career. He will tell you that this was never going to be the case. His favorite question was "Why?" "Why am I here?"

Trust me when I say that he definitely did not want to be.

Jamie endured so much at the hands of Black Jack Randall that by the end, he did not want to be either.....

What I am trying to say actually is that the body remembers everything and when something is missing it becomes like a torturous phantom limb, which is why sometimes as in the case of our beloved James Fraser, the pain was too much to bear. The loss of his ability to love Claire was too much for him to live with. The loss of his innocence was soul shattering and as he  became disassociated from his body, I believe that his mind took over and wreaked total havoc. In my experience, the mind has no way of understanding what has happened to the soul and the body that houses it, so it tries over and over again to make sense of what's missing to the point of obsession. Eventually, the mind exhausts itself and so does the body. At that point we can become not just severely depressed, but physically and quite dangerously ill , left without the ability to fight off sickness and disease. 

Perhaps without even knowing it and driven only by a love so strong that she was willing to go into the darkness with him, Claire knew just what she needed to do. She used cunning, razor sharp instincts and the conjurers arts to prepare herself to go deep into the darkness with him. She journeyed within him and found the missing pieces and then with sheer brutality inspired by that deep love, she brought him back to his warriors spirit..she shared her strength with him and  forced him to find the will to fight back.

Then with exquisite tenderness she re-birthed him.

"We bashed into some piece of furniture and both lay still. Jamies hands were locked onto my breasts, fingers digging bruisingly into the flesh. I felt the plop of dampness on my face, sweat or tears I couldn't tell, but opened my eyes to see. Jamie was looking down at me, face blank in the moony light, eyeswide, unfocused. His hands relaxed. One finger gently traced the outline of my breast from slope to tip, over and over . His hand moved to cup the breast, fingers spread like a starfish, soft as the grip of a nursing child. "M-mother?" he said. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. It was the high pure voice of a young boy. "Mother?"

The cold air laved us, whirling the unhealthy smoke away in a drift of snowflakes. I reached up and laid the palm of my hand along his cold cheek. "Jamie, love," I said, whispering through a bruised throat, "Come then, come lay your head man." The mask trembled them and broke, and I held the big body hard against me, the two of us shaking with the force of his sobbing."

Outlander- Diana Gabaldon


 For more of Milady's Outlander Musings on Facebook , Please Click on this Link!


 To Ron Moore, Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies and Sam Heughan. Words cannot express...Thanks are not enough for the gift of a lifetime...having my favorite book of all time brought to life. It can't have been easy...especially the nasty bits and I thank you for them all. You've moved , touched and inspired me with your generosity.  And to the rest of the cast and crew....You made me laugh and cry and experience your brilliance to the moon and back. You are not forgotten...EVER. Thank you! I can't wait to see what you bring us next season!

 None of these beautiful pictures are mine......


My Outlander Love Affair ~ A Very Special and Very Scentual Outlander Inspired Giveaway!


 "I unlaced the front of my robe and rubbed my body quickly with handfuls of the lavender and valerian. It was a pleasant , spicy smell and richly evocative. A smell that, to me, conjured the shade of the man who wore its perfume, and the shade of the man behind him; shades that evoked confusing images of present terror and lost love. A smell that to Jamie, must recall the hours of pain and rage spent wrapped in its waves. I rubbed the last of it vigorously between my palms and dropped the fragrant shreds on the floor. " Diana Gabaldon ~ Outlander



I sniff my way through life. It's no surprise to anyone really that I wound up writing articles for the perfume industry , but it would surprise many what really goes into creating an extraordinarily beautiful fragrance. Many of the accords by themselves are surprisingly indolic and feral, but in the hands of a master nose they're magically turned into something magnificent. I think that this is one of the things that drew me immediately and passionately into Diana Gabaldon's books.

The world that she has created in the Outlander series is a primitive and sensual one; there is no author that I have experienced that can write about blood, sweat and streaming breast milk  in a way that immerses you in it.  Her descriptions of lovemaking, raw sex and even rape are so visceral, so steeped in the verbiage of scent and touch that you are practically living through it.  The first time I read Outlander, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I began breathing heavily...I sobbed through the awful bits, wept with joy through the reunions and poignant moments and the story didn't leave me for months after I finished it. Because of Outlander, I know the smell of fear, the stench of pain and the scent of the truest of loves....

When I began having thoughts about creating La Dame Blanche..the Outlander inspired perfume I knew that there was one perfumer that I could count on to be as captivated by the magic of the Outlander world as I am. That was Roxana Villa,  of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes.

I have known Roxana for many years now, but I've never forgotten the first time we met.  She met me at her front door with a beautiful cobalt goblet or branch water which she'd waved her magic jasmine scented wand over. It was my first experience with hydrosols; The exquisite floral waters that are created as a result of distillation of plant material and water. They are not as potent as the essential oil , but they're not used in the same way. Hydrosols are pure refreshment... soft kisses of fragrance that are not meant to be lasting, but instead experienced immediately.  That moment was the beginning of a wonderful collaboration that I have enjoyed for so long now. She simply bewitched me and I have never been surprised by this. 

When I called her to talk about this crazy idea that I had for a perfume she mentioned to me that she'd never read Outlander. I was astonished, but not for long because the next time we spoke she was already listening to Dragonfly and Amber. "I know what we should name it" she said. "I was thinking about La Dame Blanche" I said..."That's what I was thinking" she said...and then the muses took over. By the time we were done we had a liquid perfume and a solid perfume and her husband Greg had painted a beautiful White Lady for us, a magnificent interpretation as only he could create....




Spending time with  Roxana is a bit like wandering into the lair of the Greenwitch....she is Fey without even trying. She has a laugh like Tinkerbell, but she has a wicked lusty side to her as well. Just take one whiff of my personal favorite of her fragrances "Q" which is short for Quercus agrifolia ; the coastal California Oak. If you've ever wondered what Jamie Fraser smells like, I'm pretty sure that this is it. A wondrous synergy created by the masterful blending of infused oak leaves, amber, wood, resin, citrus, vanilla, smoke, chaparral , this is the essence of Himself, lusty, strong, practical and steadfast as the oak and definitely as self assured.

Roxana's beautiful Chypre fragrance, "Gracing the Dawn" is Claire Beauchamp Randall , redolent of violet, fern, vanilla and leather, sitting by a window, brushing out her beautiful curly hair and waiting to fall passionately into Franks arms , while the ghost of the passionate Highlander who loves/will love her simply waits.....  

On the other hand, "La Dame Blanche" is Claire Fraser fallen through the stones of Craig na Dun ...La Dame Blanche is a voluptuous green floral with a heart of rose, jasmine and tuberose. There is a tincture of sapphires and horse hair, amber and wood. It was blended and released on Samhain 2014 and it is as complex, mysterious and voluptuous as the Sorciere herself. It's a gorgeous perfume and the beauty of it is that it doesn't quite make sense...You will  constantly be trying to decipher it's secrets. Tell me...does that sound like anyone we know?

Roxana crafts her gorgeous botanical perfumes using mostly beautiful accords that she creates herself from flowers, resins, gemstones , spices and woods that she's lovingly gathered. There are no fragrance oils and no animal products used at all save the luscious beeswax and honey from the hives that she tends herself and a bit of horse hair and sapphires that I tinctured for her as we created La Dame Blanche .

She has a background in illustration so she spends hours crafting the storyboards of her fragrances, and immersing herself in their worlds. When Roxana's perfumes are finally released, more care, love and sheer craftsmanship has gone into them then you could ever imagine. Opening a package from her at any time is like opening a precious gift thats been wrapped just for you. Like La Dame Blanche herself, Roxana can look straight into your soul and know just what you need....


And in honor of this weeks episode 16, a tale of inspired love and redemption (and a wee bit of sorcery!) I have for one lucky winner  an incredibly romantic and beautiful gift!

 I have a collection of twenty beautiful samples of  Roxana's solid perfumes and a precious sample vial of the first of the Samhain release of  the "La Dame Blanche" liquid perfume. This is easily a 120.00 plus value and you will love trying all of these wonderful fragrances and writing your love notes on the "Musing the Goddess" postcards, created by Roxana's husband Greg that I've included with them. The drawing will be held from May the 26th at 11:00 pm until May the 31st at 11:00 pm.  The incredibly lucky winner will be chosen by Random.org. 

To enter this drawing all you have to do is go to this page  https://www.facebook.com/events/435618183278177/ and "Join" the party! 




Milady's Tinctures, Tonics and Teas ~ Mead



To drink a glass of Mead on a warm spring or summer evening is one of romantic things that I know and to drink it under the spell of the Mead moon, (the 7th moon) is one of the most magical rituals that you can share with a lover.

I am completely in love with the taste of fresh mead which in its simplest form is a delectable wine made of honey, water or juice, spices, fruits and yeast that have been allowed to mingle with absolutely unbridled passion. A true gift from our friends the honeybees, the creation of mead had to have been a magical accident; no doubt some lucky farmer stumbled upon a clay jar of honey that had perhaps been dosed with rainwater and forgotten. Wild yeasts would have found their way into the mixture and saucily had their way with it. A month or so later the first luscious tastes of Mead would have been enjoyed! 


 Image Courtesy of winemakingfool.wordpress.com 


These days I am thrilled to be able to find  artisan crafted mead to drink at any good brewpub. You can also attempt to make it at home, a project which I've found to be quite alot of fun and often better than anything you can buy!  If you have a home-schooled child like mine was, you'll find the making of any sort of wine or brew to be a wonderful lesson in organic chemistry!

Alex and I spent one entire autumn making beer and wine and I'll never forget my husband coming home to our farm to find huge buckets sitting on the kitchen counters filled with the yeasty beginnings of hard cider and mead. I think that he thought we'd gone mad, at least I know that he did until he  began to smell the lovely fruit and yeasty scents of our labors.

Every day Alex and I would check the fermentation locks and then the time came to siphon it into bottles. We made fancy Windesphere Witch labels and gave it all away as Yule gifts as sadly he was way to young to drink more than a wee dram of any of it. It was very good, delightfully potent and came with the added satisfaction of knowing that we had created it ourselves using simple and good organic ingredients combined with a lot of love, laughter and patience. 

 windesphere witch label

You can go through the process of making you own mead like we did, or you can cheat and create a simple mead type beverage  which is what I've do every now and then when I'm short on time or space!   Just take a room temperature bottle of May Wine a delightful Riesling, or even a  sparkling Cava and decant it into a carafe. Add at least 1 and a half cups of raw honey and stir until it's infused. Add any spices, herbs  that you enjoy and let the whole thing steep for a day or two and then strain it. I love to add fresh berries, rose geraniums, nasturtiums and basil flowers in the spring and summer months and sweet windfall apples, cardamom and cinnamon sticks in the fall. Drunk with a ripened Tomme or Bleu cheese drizzled with more honey, a loaf of bread, sweet fruits and savory sausages it will turn the ordinary into the most romantic of feasts.


Come autumn with a hearty soup made from cheese and ale, a glass of mead is a wonderful accompaniment alongside a crackling fire. In a pinch I think that you'll find my cheat recipe to be a suitable substitute and perhaps even better than any mead that you can buy with the exception of what's served at your local Renaissance Faire! However, now that I own a house again with a wonderful old basement that my husband has promised to turn into a stillroom the buckets, huge glass bottles and locks will be coming back out and my friends and family will be getting gifts of delicious mead and ale this Christmas. I can't wait to start brewing!

If you'd like to try to make it yourself (and you should cause its so satisfying and easy!), here's a great PBS video that really explains the process well! 



For more of My Outlander Love affair & Milady's Pantry and Stillroom

please visit us on Facebook! 


My Outlander Love Affair - Preparing for Wentworth Prison.





If you are following the spectacular Starz series "Outlander" based upon the brilliant novel written by Diana Gabaldon, you are definitely aware that this weekend we are about to see something that's really never been shown on television...the brutal, sadistic and systematic rape, torture and subsequent emotional redemption  of a beloved and incredibly wonderful  and complex male character, one James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, Laird of Broch Tourach in the Scottish Highlands at the hands of Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall..a deeply disturbed and sociopathic Captain of the British army.

If you only know me from this blog, you might not be aware that I run the Outlander Love Affair Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/Outlanderloveaffair . I'm writing this article because of a comment that I received this morning on my page that upset me deeply. 

A little light housekeeping- I rarely remove a comment from my page, but I have done so today because I felt that it did little to contribute and forward the conversation about the upcoming Wentworth episode and instead felt more like an angry hit and run.

Written abuse is no less abuse.

In my opinion, simplistic accusations of homophobia and simply reducing the conversation of an entire group to the fear of watching a handsome heterosexual young man be tortured and sexually abused are completely missing the point.  Violence is not nor has it ever been gender specific. 

I really am pretty convinced that neither of those things are the splinters being driven under our fingernails about this next episode of Outlander.

There's a lot to be said and speculated about what we will be seeing in the upcoming Wentworth Prison episode, but one thing is for sure...it will be shocking and it will be graphic and lest anyone forget, it will be a very accurate retelling of history. Rape and violence are the oldest known spoils of war. The English systematically and relentlessly  destroyed the Scottish way of life for their own terrifying reasons. 

We carry the knowledge of this in our DNA from his/herstory past and present. I want to also say that if you are one who has experienced this sort of violence and trauma in this present lifetime and is unresolved , I hope that you'll be good to yourself ....don't watch it. Be safe..take care of yourself. There will undoubtedly be emotional triggers. Know and respect your limits.

For me, I'm unnerved to watch this upcoming episode because I am a survivor of violence and I'm sure that I'm not the only one here. We are about to watch one of the most sadistic and brutal scenes in literary history come to life at the hands of two absolutely brilliant actors. My fear has nothing to do with homophobia... It has everything to do with the fact that we will be watching a scene come to life that I know has been repeated over and over again throughout recorded history. Again. Violence is not nor has it ever been gender specific.

It is here that I should disclose that I have been trained and continue to dance in the realm of Past Life regression for well over 30 years. I do this work with any who need it sans hypnosis and without any artificial conditions or thoughts. All that is truly required to go into the regressive state is an open mind, a safe space to be present in and several extraordinarily deep breaths. Mind you..what follows are my own beliefs. I realize this may be pushing it for some of you and I won't be offended if you stop reading now. 

What's fascinating about my work is that no one ever has ever come back as Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth. Regression work is not about discovering "Who" you were in that sense...its about discovering who you were being back then and who you continue to be in this present moment.  My clients go to places deep inside of themselves with me simply holding their hand and they safely re-experience anything that they need to,  so that they can be whole and complete in this present lifetime. We bring things with us from one lifetime to another, over and over again until we learn the lessons that we need to from them. That's the beauty of this kind of brave and soulful illumination. 

Over and over again I have seen men on my Reiki table re-experience long held cellular memories of being women and vice- versa. I wish I had a dime for every man or woman who in my presence re-experienced rape, torture and/or execution from another time and place. I wish that I had a dime for every man or woman who came out of their session realizing that they'd been the torturer, the cruel one in one lifetime or another. I wouldn't be writing this right now...then again maybe I would. It's fascinating...and its terrifying to realize that the things that we see as fiction actually were experienced over and over again , used as weapons against each other, justified by ideology and greed.

What I have learned over the years is that we are far vaster creatures than we realize. We remember ever so much more than we think. We carry the knowledge of all of this brutal past on a cellular level. I know grown men who cannot watch this series for this very reason. It's too much to process all at once...it feels too real. Thats because once upon a time in a not made for TV story it was very real.....in many parts of the world, America included , it still is.  

Much like Claire discovers as she falls through time,  the Jacobite rebellion is very real and so is the English destruction of the Highland way of life. Decent men were destroyed for money and property. Land was stolen. Superstitious crowds of people were whipped into murderous frenzy and innocent women were burned at the stake for possessing too much knowledge and too much moxie. Magic was stolen from us and our lands were plundered by the greed of men whose weapons were religion and money.  Does any of this sound familiar? It's still happening today.

That is simply because His/Herstory unexamined is always doomed to repeat itself.  Cellular memory is ancient and strong. 

We have not forgotten any of it...we have too long suppressed it out of fear of remembering   that pain. Brilliant stories and TV series like Outlander give us the opportunity to touch a long forgotten bit of ourselves and learn something about our own humanity. We'd love to believe that we have always been good, light hearted beings. The truth is that we probably haven't been. Get to know and accept your shadow side. It makes life much much easier...much more honest. It is impossible to live with yourself when pieces of your psyche are missing. 

 I would ask that as we watch "Wentworth" and comment this weekend that we please be sensitive to the fact that there are probably other survivors  of torture and sexual violence  reading all of our comments and that for many this is absolutely real and not just a story that they're afraid to witness. Even if you're not a survivor of violence,  you may be about to understand that experience a bit more because of the brilliance of these actors , writers and producers. They are being very generous with us. They have bared everything for us, body and soul. This is tough material. It's groundbreaking. It's terrifying and once upon a time  past and present it was and is very very real. 


Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies...you are so very brave. You have brought your lives, and your blood , sweat and tears  to a beloved story in a way that is wild and so incredibly visceral.

Thank you for all of it........not just the pretty bits.