Your Purpose is Beauty Episode 51 (with Transcript): Marissa Bethoney, Precious Skin Elixirs: Skin as a Portal to Another Realm & Beauty as Truth

december 14, 2020 | by: mercedes | filed under: podcast, episodes

Your Purpose is Beauty brings you eco/organic, luxury, and niche beauty product reviews and critique, as well as intellectual discussion about the beauty and alternative health industries. Hosted by independent beauty journalist and PhD sociologist Mercedes Lyson, this podcast will also explore why people have chosen beauty as their profession or passion through interviews with brand founders, beauty professionals, bloggers/influencers, and creatives. Exclusive episodes of this podcast are available at Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique, and Mercedes’ 6 years of eco beauty video content can be found at Youtube.com/lamouretlamusique/videos.

Episode 51: Marissa Bethoney, Precious Skin Elixirs: Skin as a Portal to Another Realm & Beauty as Truth

Today I’m sharing a conversation I had with Marissa Bethoney, the founder and maker of Precious Skin Elixirs, an artisan made botanical skincare line. Marissa and I had plans for her to come on in the very beginning of this podcast much earlier in 2020, but life happened. Yet I can think of absolutely no better interview to close out the year with, so now it all makes sense. I hope this conversation will truly nourish you, and inspire you to consider the powerful perspective that beauty IS truth and truth IS beauty. In an uncertain world, there is real power in this reclamation.

In this episode Marissa and I cover:

*Her life arc around plant stewardship that began in childhood (apologizing to a pumpkin)

*Skincare as a portal to another realm and why we lose something important when we just think of products as a means to an end

*A conceptual introduction to Precious Skin Elixirs and Skin Rhythms

*Marissa’s approach to gem alchemy in her products

*Moving into the role of energy worker as a witness and space holder through soul retrieval

*Re-grounding energy work back into the physical body with bespoke products

I also end this episode with a 15ish minute segment looking at Marissa’ astrological chart, using Hellenistic techniques and Whole Sign houses. It was poignant for me as Marissa and I were born just a couple of months apart so we share Libra stelliums, as well as some other key aspects and chart influences. If you’re interested in an astrology of beauty/style/aesthetics reading, please visit Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique or send an email to lamouretlamusique@gmail.com.

Episode Notes:
Please visit lamouretlamusique.com, or click on “Episode Webpage” below to be taken directly to the blog post that accompanies this episode and find a complete list of references, products discussed, and a full transcript with timestamps.

Thank you to today’s episode partner, Loupiote. You can shop Loupiote’s enchanting collection of hand-poured in California candles here.

Sign up to receive L’Amour Rêveries, a monthly newsletter published on the first quarter moon of each month. An opportunity to stay connected outside of social media. Sharing personal updates, L’Amour content recaps, timely shopping codes and discounts, noteworthy astrology, and themed playlists. Once per month, no spam ever. Unsubscribe anytime.

For listeners of the podcast –
*Use the code LAMOUR at Precious Skin Elixirs checkout through the end of December to receive a free 5ml sample of Blue Opal with your order
*Mention Your Purpose is Beauty to receive a special rate on Marissa’s Soul Retrieval session work

Visit and shop Precious Skin Elixirs
Sign up for the Nourished Newsletter
Take the Skin Rhythm Quiz
Follow Precious Skin Elixirs
Follow Spirit Prism

Products discussed –
Amethyst Harmony Elixir
Blue Opal Solid Serum
Citrine Body Elixir
Sterling Honey Polish

To listen –
Episode 50: Intimate Wedding Day Recounting + Reflections (Patron Exclusive)

To watch –
Crystal Collection + Discussion (April 2017) https://youtu.be/m7A3wj8VMM4

To Visit/Read –
Nightlight Astrology

Find Mercedes:
Join the L’Amour et la Musique Patreon community to gain access to exclusive episodes of Your Purpose is Beauty, along with 2 1/2 years’ worth of exclusively produced beauty video content!

Subscribe to L’Amour et la Musique on Youtube
Follow L’Amour et la Musique on Instagram
Visit L’Amour et la Musique’s website
L’Amour visual inspiration on Pinterest

To listen and subscribe, just search “Your Purpose is Beauty” on your favorite platform. New episodes every Monday (first Monday of each month is a Patron-Exclusive episode, available for $3 per month)
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Your Purpose is Beauty on Stitcher: https://bit.ly/2QqCLAO
Your Purpose is Beauty on Pocket Casts: https://pca.st/ki27eqe5

OVERVIEW

00:08 – Introduction & Announcements (Jump to section)

05:08 – Brand Background (Jump to section)

11:55 – The Beginnings of Precious Skin Elixirs (Jump to section)

17:53 – Skincare as a Portal (Jump to section)

25:15 – The Alchemy of Essences (Jump to section)

29:30 – Ingredient Spotlight (Jump to section)

37:00 – Skin Rhythms (Jump to section)

43:23 – Shamanic Studies & Energy Work (Jump to section)

01:06:06 – A Look at Marissa’s Astrological Chart (Jump to section)

01:19:10 – Closing Thoughts & Goodbye (Jump to section)

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

(music)

00:08

Welcome back to Your Purpose Is Beauty. This is Episode 51 and today, I have an interview with you with Marissa Bethoney from Precious Skin Elixirs. Precious Skin Elixirs is an artisanal, handcrafted beauty brand based on the north shore of Massachusetts and I have had the immense pleasure of knowing Marissa in person. I used to live in Boston before I moved back to Chicago in 2018, and I say “back to Chicago” because I’m not from here but I lived in Chicago in the early and mid-2000s, and then I did a stint on the east coast, and during that time, I connected with Marissa. I forget how we initially were put in touch. I believe it was somehow on social media. We realized that we were both living in the—within an hour of each other or so, and we just started regularly meeting up and getting coffee and had a very natural friendship formed around our love for green beauty and beautiful skincare and crystals and energy work and all of it. So she’s a very kindred spirit to me and I have been meaning to have her on the podcast, um, for so long, so it’s just my pleasure to bring you this conversation today.

Just a couple of quick announcements. One is that I’m really trying to cut back on the amount of announcements that I have to do on the podcast or before my YouTube videos start. I just feel like I’m always endlessly rattling off references to past videos or the most recent work I’ve done. And to that end, I am starting a newsletter. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that here on the podcast, but I have been talking about it a bit on Instagram and on YouTube. So the first issue is going to be coming out, I guess, next week at the time you’re hearing this, or maybe the same week. I’m like totally losing track of time. But the third week of December, right before Christmas, I’ll be putting out the first issue of my newsletter. It’s going to be called Reveries. And that’ll be an opportunity for me to keep in touch with people off of social media, because DMs are just not a great way for me to keep in touch with people and I have so many content streams between YouTube and the podcast, Patreon, and Instagram, that I just am really looking for a consolidated way to recap work that I’ve done, point people to special or timely deals, do playlists… That’s a request I’ve gotten for many years now. So I’m going to be publishing this monthly newsletter. You can go to Lamouretlamusique.com. There’s a newsletter tab in the top menu bar and you just put in your email and you’ll start getting monthly issues and you can unsubscribe any time.

The second announcement is just a quick recap (laughs) of the episode that I did on the podcast last week because it wasn’t here on the public feed. It was the first Monday of December. Episode 50 was an intimate wedding recap, recounting of the day, and reflections of the wedding that we had in San Antonio earlier in November. So it’s an hour-long episode. It’s available to all patrons starting at the $3 a month level, and obviously this was something I was going to talk about on Patreon (chuckles) because it’s very personal. It was a very fraught experience, the whole thing, but ultimately, I’m very glad we did it. I learned a lot of wonderful lessons, I guess, or I just decided to grow in different directions from the experience. So I get into all of that, and if you’re interested, you can go to Patreon.com/Lamouretlamusique.

Let’s hear a quick word from the supporter of today’s podcast episode and then I’ll get back to telling you a little bit more about Marissa.

(music)

04:20
Evoking the joy and tenderness of childhood through storytelling scent, Loupiote candles offer delightful olfactive compositions that are hand-poured in California. Born as an homage to the inherent creativity and playfulness present in the childlike mind. Loupiote, or “tiny lamp” in French, is also used as a term of endearment for young children. Each of the artisanal scent stories are inspired by the founders’ memories of growing up in France. An ideal gift for the holidays, a baby shower, parents-to-be, or anyone looking to connect with their inner child. Discover the enchanting universe of Loupiote by visiting Loupiote.shop.com.

(music)

05:08

A few quick additional words about Precious Skin Elixirs and the special offer that Marissa is offering listeners of Your Purpose Is Beauty through the rest of December. So Precious Skin Elixirs is artisan, handmade beauty potions handcrafted from fresh ingredients as close to their natural states as possible for the ultimate in purity and effectiveness. Each formula is highly bioavailable and works in synergy with skin’s natural rhythm of healing and renewal. Precious Skin Elixirs is also engaged in crystal alchemy. This is something that I have been interested in for many years. It’s quite a trend in eco beauty. But I’ve always said that I feel there are people that do this with a lot of integrity and you can really feel it in the finished product of the formula. So gemstones and crystals are capsules of concentrated energy structured in an atomically exact way. Their vibrational imprint is infused into each Precious Skin Elixirs formula, which in turn helps attune the user’s vibration into organized focus and harmonious alignment, much like the way a tuning fork works. Before she started Precious Skin Elixirs, Marissa was a jewelry designer where she worked with gemstones every day, but it wasn’t until she began her herbal medicine and energy work that she discovered the healing potential of crystals. You’ll hear Marissa share in the interview how she eventually came to start making skincare and it was really through an herbal medicine apprenticeship that she started in 2014, and this had come on the heels of a brain surgery that she had had. She was experiencing a strange wave of headaches at the time, and after the surgery, she needed to relearn some physical functions; also, how to honor her needs for healing, joy, and celebrating the beauty around and within her. She noticed that caring for the skin became an opportunity to be tender with herself and listen to her soul’s call, allowing spirit to open her heart in new and nourishing ways. You’ll hear her describe how she views skincare as a portal to another realm.

So I’m just so excited to bring this conversation to you. I think it’s a great time of year to be hearing from someone who is so attuned to a part of herself that I feel many of us are yearning for, either consciously or unconsciously, and that was always how I felt in her presence – that she’s someone that you can really kind of be quite authentic around. There’s—there’s really no need to put on a societal mask with her was, was really my experience of being around her. She has the warmest energy, the kindest spirit, and I am just thrilled that you get to hear from her today and hopefully experience that, you know, an hour of respite, listening to this conversation and feel uplifted from it. Marissa and I put together a few generous offers for Your Purpose Is Beauty listeners in case you would like to try out Precious Skin Elixirs or if you already know the brand and you’re looking to restock on some things. For the rest of the month of December, if you use the code “Lamour” – L-A-M-O-U-R – you’ll get a five milliliter Blue Opal Balm that’s housed in violet glass. And we talk about this product in the conversation. I actually have yet to try it but it just sounds so, so dreamy. Her website is PreciousSkinElixirs.com. Of course, I’ll have all the information in the show notes. But she has discovery kits for each of the elements that – You can take a quiz that she calls your “skin rhythm,” and there’s air, fire, earth, and water, and each have a crafted skincare ritual with Precious Skin Elixirs products and you can shop discovery kits for each of these skin rhythms, which I think is amazing. And if your skin kit doesn’t come with a Blue Opal Balm that would just be such a great way, I think, to try everything. And then Marissa – I love that she doesn’t advertise her energy healing sessions, which we talk about actually quite a bit in the latter half of the conversation. So she typically does a 90-minute session for $120, and for a limited time, she’s going to be offering a special rate to Your Purpose Is Beauty listeners. So it’s going to be a 90-minute session for $85, which is a wonderful price. If you’re interested in learning more about this, she has a really comprehensive PDF. It’s about three pages long. I’ve taken a look at it and it just has kind of an outline of the kind of—she calls it shamanic soul work and energy healing. So she talks a bit about her approach to this, and then there’s a Q&A portion, as well, and then just kind of some descriptions of energy healing and energy work and what you can expect from this kind of experience. So you can go to @Spirit.Prism on Instagram and send Marissa a DM through that account, or you can email her – Marissa@PSElixirs.com – and she’ll email you the PDF. And to honor the special rate, all you have to do is just mention that you heard this on the podcast and you’d like to take advantage of the special rate.

Lastly, please stay tuned ‘til after the conversation with Marissa has ended because I had the opportunity to take a look at her astrology chart. I haven’t had the opportunity to do this in quite a while. Sometimes things just get too busy with people that I have on the podcast, or I run out of time, or people aren’t necessarily open to it. But given that Marissa is very much in this realm, she was very excited for me to take a look at her chart. And you guys, it was so interesting. We were born just a couple of months apart, which means that we share this pile-up of planets in Libra, namely Saturn and Mars, but she has a really interesting Venus imprint. She has an exalted Venus in Pisces. And then I was able to get a really good feel on where the beauty work is coming from in her chart and then where the energy work is coming from.

And now without further ado, let’s hear from Marissa.

(music)

11:55

Mercedes:
Marissa, welcome to Your Purpose Is Beauty. I’m so happy to have you here. I can’t believe it’s taken this long. And while I wish that we were sharing a coffee in one of our Massachusetts coffee shops that we used to convene at (laughs), I’m just so happy to be connecting with you digitally here today.

Marissa:
Thank you, Mercedes, this is such a treat to have this conversation. I’m excited.

Mercedes:
So I know that you have a strong life arc around plant stewardship and I’m wondering if we could jump in by just having you share a bit about how your relationship with plants developed and how that connection led you to start making your own artisan beauty products.

Marissa:
Well, it all started when I was a child and I think my earliest memory is um, apologizing to a pumpkin at a school event (both laugh), and you know, my classmates kind of looking at me funny, like, why would I ever bother doing something as crazy as that. But that’s sort of one of those moments that sticks out in my mind as a time when I started to become aware of this relationship that I had with plants, with the natural world. I thought it was just kind of something everybody would do. You know, if you brushed by a friend, you apologize, so why not a pumpkin? (laughs) But yeah, it’s really something that has been with me my whole life. I’ve always felt this connection to plants in particular. But I really didn’t take it seriously and start studying herbalism and how plants can affect the body and the spirit more formally until about 2014, and I had the great joy and privilege of working with a master herbalist, doing an apprenticeship with her, and basically, you know, following her around with baskets and clippers and my notepad (laughs) and trying to understand everything she was doing. And it really gave me a deep reverence for not just plants themselves, but the land and how everything is ultimately connected. So that’s, that’s sort of how it began. And then how I started to arrive at a more formal relationship with this work.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. Was the plant apprenticeship in Massachusetts?

Marissa:
It was, yes. Yep. Northern Mass, near where I live now. And it was great. It was really—It was a great way to get in touch also with the land where I live, not just, you know, learning out of a book or having more of a cerebral experience, which is wonderful and important, but to really get my hands in the dirt and build a foundation was really a gift. And that’s—that really set a new kind of, um, direction, I think, for making beauty products.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. So tell me about your relationship, then, with beauty, how that kind of maybe developed in parallel or where that, that interest came from.

Marissa:
So I see that beauty really as kind of like the basis of, of everything, you know, like, um—I think that it’s the, the Tibetan language would be “the ground of being,” kind of like the reality behind what we perceive. And for me, I feel it’s—Beauty is really behind everything, and that’s the purity or the essence or the, you know, the truth of, of a thing or situation. And so my relationship to beauty, it really comes from that perspective of wanting to experience the truth of something. And then where it manifests physically, like, say, in a potion, or um, some kind of skincare experience, ultimately, is an expression of trying to arrive at the truth of something.

Merccedes:
So when did you start dabbling and making your own products?

Marissa:
Well, I actually started making skincare products back in, probably, like around… Let’s see, 2010. It was my second pregnancy and my skin was just going crazy, and um, I didn’t want to put anything, you know, conventionally prescribed for acne and skin troubles because I was pregnant. And I started to become more aware of how the body works holistically, not just like, the skin is this, you know, mechanism separate from, you know, your other organs and all of that. So, I just started researching natural ways to heal acne and natural oils and things that might be helpful to skin and I really uncovered a world of healing, topical healing, and started to really see the connection between how this would translate to a more internal form of healing. So, you know, I—My, my dabbling days, you know, eventually converged with my study of herbs in that apprenticeship, and then around 2015, things really started to take shape and I launched my company.

Mercedes:
Where did you come up with the name “Precious Skin Elixirs”?

Marissa:
It was basically—I, I really wanted to use the word “precious” in something. That word, um, means a lot to me in the sense that it can be—it can mean something that’s fleeting, something that is dear and ephemeral, and it also means something that requires care and tending. And “elixir” is really a nod to the alchemical world that I just have such a fondness and love for. And really, the, the alchemists laid the groundwork for modern day everything: medicine, science, just about everything. I feel like we owe a lot more to the alchemists than they get credit for.

17:53

Mercedes:
You’ve shared with me before that you view skincare as a portal to another realm. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Marissa:
Yeah, yeah. So I feel like the skin is just this incredible organ, that it’s, you know, it’s one that we can see, it’s one that we can, we do interact with it on a daily basis. And it’s also one that we kind of take for granted. But interacting with this part of ourselves, it’s sort of like that boundary line between where does our body begin and end? Where does the rest of the world begin and end? Even though I think, ultimately, there is no beginning and end per se, but in terms of how we experience our form, the skin is that, is that boundary line. And so it’s also a boundary between our inner realm, too. And when we interact, when we’re caring for our skin, when we’re doing something that can seem, you know, as mundane as washing our face, it actually – we could see that time as a shift into this inner space. So I see the skin as an entryway into this inner realm.

Mercedes:
So what—Maybe it would be—I mean, I would be curious to hear how your own relationship with your skin has evolved, I guess, through this perspective. You know, it sounds like you kind of had this pivotal moment during your second pregnancy, you started making your own products, then your relationship with making products kind of became more infused with the plant knowledge through your apprenticeship. So how has your experience with your skin and having a skincare routine using the products that you make, how has that kind of evolved and maybe where it, where does it stand today?

Marissa:
Well, in my experience, it’s all been about acceptance and self-compassion and forgiveness. My journey with this experience, understanding how skincare can be this, this launching point into a deeper connection to oneself, has really been about just getting to a real, deeper level of acceptance with, of myself. You know, I used to hate my skin. I used to feel uncomfortable in my skin. I had always had issues with acne or, you know, various upsets and things. I’d feel like, you know, the whole world was focused on like, the five zits on my face (chuckles), kind of those feelings, and, and it was particularly frustrating as an adult. I had acne all through my 20s and that bout during that second pregnancy was—I was 29, almost 30. And I—and it was just so disheartening. So caring for my skin, not only with healthier ingredients but also with a different touch and a different shift, mental shift, really made such a difference.

Mercedes:
As I’ve been listening to you talk, I have, you know, these thoughts bubbling. And I think a lot of people listening would, you know, maybe see things in this light, as well, which is that on the one hand, culturally, we’re, you know, pretty much I guess I would say assaulted – even though that sounds like kind of strong language – assaulted with beauty standards and how we should look all the time. And then at the same time, I feel like we’re often told, well, beauty’s frivolous. You know, beauty products are frivolous, makeup is frivolous, and whatever. So we’re sent these very mixed messages. So why do you think that we’re not given these tools to understand beauty or having a beauty routine, skincare, makeup, whatever it is, as really a tool to develop into a deeper relationship with the self?

Marissa:
Well, I honestly—I think it’s truly either because no one’s really taking the time, because this is something that isn’t necessarily a, you know, quick profit turn to get into the, the deeper aspect of beauty. Um… And it’s free, you know? I mean, it’s—there isn’t much to it. And unfortunately, I think in a society that, that really focuses on where money can be made, or at least within certain industries, that’s, that’s—It’s a for-profit industry, right? The beauty industry. You know, there isn’t necessarily a lot of money to be made from telling people, “Hey, you have the power. It’s in your own two hands, just put them on your body and, and your face.”

Mercedes:
(laughs) Right.

Marissa:
And, you know, as much as I love working with really complicated, luxurious ingredients that are expensive and do come from sources that take the extra time to make sure that they’re, you know, the crops are being harvested and maintained in a way that’s beneficial for the earth and the people that are working with these materials, um… I love all of those things. And it does translate to a certain price point when you use all those ingredients into products, but ultimately, and I – And you know, this is might sound counterintuitive coming from someone who has a skincare brand, but you don’t even need skincare. (laughs) So I think, um, I think it’s really a matter of a power play. And I don’t want to sound cynical by saying that, but I do feel that, you know, anytime there’s money and profit and marketing involved… Just as consumers, I just think we need to have an extra sharp eye when it comes to, “Well, what’s the—what’s the purpose of this message?”

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. Yeah, and interestingly, there has been in recent years, kind of coupled with the sustainability movement and the whole “blue beauty” movement, a focus on not—not using as many products, right? And even some people being more renegade than that and saying kind of what you just said, that you don’t even really need products. Your skin, when left alone to its own devices with very minimal care, actually comes into balance, right? But I want to transition to talking about your products and your brand, because while I do see that perspective, I think it has a lot of value, I also think that it potentially misses something because I – As a beauty enthusiast for my whole life, I continue to see the real value and merit in artisanal products like the kind that you’re making and the kind of intangibles that that can give to someone throughout their day in sensorial experience. And that is something that I’m really interested in exploring and probing, so maybe now would be a good time for you to just kind of talk to us about your brand. I would really love for you to share how the brand is laid out conceptually. I just was on your site and I took your Skin Rhythm quiz, so maybe we could talk a bit about—I got Earth, which I was a little bit surprised about.

Marissa:
Oooh!

Mercedes:
Yeah. (chuckles) But maybe we could get into all of that, the how you came up with that? And then, yeah, I – This is a very big question and we can take it in parts, but however you want to dive in—

Marissa:
Yes, no, absolutely. And I—And I do absolutely see the place for artisanal beauty products. And that’s one of the great pleasures and joys of this life, is that we have five senses, and we can, we can experience colors and textures and scents and, um, and also the actual effects on the skin. Really, it’s an important way of caring for the largest organ in our body. I just hope people interact with products because they feel drawn to them, um, as part of like, either an intuitive sense or something where they feel intentional about what someone’s using, and not necessarily using something out of fear, or, you know, concern. And you know, that – the whole anti-aging rhetoric, I think, is maybe on its way out, but –

Mercedes:
I hope so.

Marissa:
(laughing) I know! It’s like, aging is a privilege! I’m looking forward to aging.

Mercedes:
Absolutely.

25:15

Marissa:
But conceptually, you know, the line, everything in the line is named after a gemstone and – or a metal, a precious metal, and I really wanted to underscore that these products also contain the vibrational qualities of various, um, plants and crystals, essentially. So, you know, in the Amethyst Harmony Elixir, that facial oil, there are some pretty incredible plants in there and they carry a particular vibration, and also, the product is charged with amethyst gem essence, which—Essences, of course, are typically ascribed to flowers and how they affect the subtle body through their vibration that they carry in the flower essence, but these are gem essences, as well, and that has a subtle yet profound effect on the energy body.

Mercedes:
So what does that, that look like for you, your working with gem essences? Do you infuse, um, like, a batch of product? Or is it done more individually?

Marissa:
Every batch gets an infusion. Most of the infusions are what’s considered indirect, because it’s, um… You know, direct would be putting a physical gemstone in sand, liquid, or something. But most of the ways that I do it is, is via an indirect method. And it’s basically, you know, having a relationship with the spirit of these gemstones and the spirit of the plants is a very cherished and important part of the work that I do. And you know, sometimes not everyone understands that or even cares about that aspect. And I totally respect that. Some of my customers are truly, you know, they’re here for the scent and the effect it gives their skin. And that’s awesome. And other cases, I have customers who really appreciate the more subtle aspects, and the more vibrational qualities.

Mercedes:
So what does an indirect method look like?

Marissa:
So basically, it’s taking—We’ll use like, Amethyst as the example—taking some amethyst stones, and I have a few that are special, specific to this work, and placing them in a bowl. I usually use—sometimes use a tray—but place them in a bowl and then taking the beaker that I’ve mixed the main batch in, really putting it on top of these gemstones. And there’s prayer work involved and there’s some reverence and intention that goes into it, as well. But it’s a really slow process, you know. I’m not mixing up gallons of product and then sending it through a machine to pour through bottles. It’s um, truly small batch. So you know, you let the liquid take on the vibration of the amethyst and then that gets poured into their individual bottles and um, on and on it goes, and then it’s, you know, it’s like that with just about every, every gem that I work with.

29:30

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. So tell me about some of your favorite ingredients that you like to work with: oils, butters, scents. I want to hear like all the nitty-gritty because I don’t know if we—You know, you and I have had so many conversations over the years but I don’t know how much I’ve ever really gotten to hear you talk about, like, the sourcing that you do and the actual, like, formulas and how you work with formulas and develop new things and tweak and iterate and all of that.

Marissa:
Yeah. So one of my most favorite ingredients that I work with is blue yarrow essential oil. It is just—the scent is incredible. Of course, it’s a little strong on its own, but um, it’s in two of the formulas that I make: the Amethyst that I’ve been talking about and also the Blue Opal Solid Serum.

Mercedes:
I haven’t tried either of those products of yours.

Marissa:
Oh really?

Mercedes:
So now I’m going to need to pick up some samples. Yeah. Why is it that sounds so appealing? But yeah, I totally – I want to experience that. Sounds amazing.

Marissa:
Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s very—it’s super calming. It has a high azulene content so it’s excellent for calming skin, for quieting upsets, rosacea, outbreaks, all that, you know, those kinds of things. But vibrationally, it works on the mind and it works on calming the spirit. It’s truly one of the favorite—I shouldn’t—I don’t want to, like, insult the other plant ingredients. I shouldn’t say that too much. (laughs) But um, but it’s – It’s just, you know, when you when you find an ingredient that you really have just a soft spot for, it just becomes something you want to put in everything.

Mercedes:
Well, I appreciate that it’s not blue tansy. How does it compare to blue tansy?

Marissa:
So… Okay, blue tansy is kind of like the, the—(laughs) like the rough cousin to –

(both laugh)

Mercedes:
That’s funny because it’s taken on such, such overused prominence in green beauty.

Marissa:
You know, it’s – It has its place and I love it. And I do use it in two formulations, actually: the Peridot Cleansing Balm and it makes an appearance also in the Amethyst Harmony Elixir, but it’s just – It’s a member of the mid family and it needs to be used judiciously, truly. I mean, all essential oils and all ingredients, for that matter, have their proper kind of, you know, ratio that’s—that’s important to respect. But yeah, blue tansy. It’s just a little stronger and a little—I don’t know. Whether it’s scent or action on the skin, I feel like it’s, um—I think because of the color, it might have just such a cachet. But yeah, it’s definitely a healer, that’s for sure.

Mercedes:
What do you—Before—I want to hear about like the oils and butters that you like, too, but just a quick diversion. What’s your take on the “essential oils in skincare” debate that rages on in the beauty industry. Some people are just so vehemently against using them.

Marissa:
Indeed, and honestly, I kind of dip my toe into that conversation every now and then and read about different opinions, and I, I think they’re all valid. I think it ultimately comes down to what works for each individual person. I don’t think there’s a, there’s a, um, one-size-fits-all—

Mercedes:
Exac– Right!

Marissa:
There’s no one-size-fits-all, it has to be this way or it has to be the other way. Essential oils are kind of a new thing. They’re not—I mean, they’re, I believe, less than 50 years old, in terms of, in terms of like mass consumption. And from one perspective, they are a high concentration of plant material. Would you ever find that degree of plant constituents in nature? No. But on the other hand, it’s something that somehow us, you know, smart humans figured out how to work with these materials and create this substance out of the plant. And so I think it has its place, but as long as it’s—as long as it works for a person, that’s all that really matters.

Mercedes:
Yeah. I love that balanced, tolerant, diverse approach (laughs), which I feel we need more of in the world today.

Marissa:
Exactly.

Mercedes:
So just taking a look at your brand, it’s very clear that you love oils and balms and are a fan of oil cleansing. So tell me a little bit about that and some of your favorite oils and butters to work with and that you feel are most beneficial for a range of skin types, let’s say.

Marissa:
Oh, definitely. Oils are fantastic for skin. They are just like a—There’s a reason why oils have been used in skincare for centuries. Truly, they are just so compatible. They—there are oils— some oils are cleansing, depending upon the different fatty acids that comprise a particular oil or butter. They can be more cleansing, more drying even, heavier, lighter… Really, I mean, there’s such a range and it’s, it’s incredible what oils can do. And so some of my favorite oils for the skin… Well, I’ll start—I’ll start with butters. My favorite butter is nilotica shea butter, which – It’s an East African shea butter. Typically shea butter is a West African variety, which is fabulous. It has kind of a yellow cast to it. And it’s great. I love it for the body. But on the face, it can be a little strong, and the nilotica variety just a lot more delicate of a shea. So sometimes people who don’t tolerate shea well come to me and they ask, you know, about—I have one particular formula that has shea butter in it, and they tell me, “Oh, but I can’t do shea. I can’t do shea.” And I’ll say, “Just trust me. Try it. See if your skin likes it, see how it goes.” And nine times out of 10, it works. It’s just a different arrangement of fats, fatty acids in the shea that makes it, um, easier on skin. And let’s see, in terms of oils, I don’t even know where to begin. (laughs)

Mercedes:
I know, there’s so many amazing ones.

Marissa:
Yeah, I would say the oils that I reach for frequently… Gosh, that’s a hard one. But you know, it really depends on how they’re combined, too. You know, an argan oil combined with borage is going to be completely different from an argan when it’s combined with pumpkin seed.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. Like what’s in Citrine? I love Citrine so much for the body.

Marissa:
Citrine. Do you mean in terms of scent? Or the—?

Mercedes:
The oils. What are the oils in it?

Marissa:
The oils are primarily chia seed, pumpkin seed, and perilla seed. And almond. Almond oil is great. It’s great for the bo – Face, I would stay away from almond oil for the face. But for hair and body, it’s fantastic. And you know, pumpkin seed oil has a good amount of zinc, naturally occurring zinc in it, which is great for skin. It’s great for healing and strengthening skin. And in terms of scent, Citrine carries yuzu, citrus, jasmine, bitter orange, and um, there’s a little spearmint in there.

Mercedes:
That’s a beautiful product. One of my favorites that you do.

37:00

Mercedes:
So now let’s talk about the skin rhythm. How did you come up with that – what do I want to call it? Rubric, (Marissa laughs) or that way of helping people maybe navigate your brand and maybe get more in tune with their skin and what they might be looking for in terms of a product experience? How did you come up with the skin rhythms?

Marissa:
Absolutely. I see skin as not so much a static type where you could have sensitive or dry or oily. I see skin as this ever-evolving organism, really, and so “rhythm” just fit more naturally with the concept of how to approach skincare, as opposed to calling it a “skin type” and then looking for like that whole “problem/solution” kind of model. I just felt it was more intuitive and natural to think of skin as having a rhythm. And so maybe someone is in the rhythm of air for a particular season, and then maybe six months later, that person’s skin will respond better to an earth rhythm or something. You know that, where it, it shifts. I don’t see skin or skincare as static. I see it as this flowing experience. And so I have four different skin rhythms now. That may change and evolve into more, but yeah, it just felt like a more intuitive approach to skincare.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. Well, it’s interesting the way you have – So you have it laid out with the four elements, so it’s air, earth, water, and fire, right? And, you know, I looked at that and right away, I think a lot of people might think, “Oh, maybe this is analogous to a dosha typing,” or if you’re familiar with astrology and medical astrology—I, for example, am a pure air type in astrology. So I’m like, “Oh, I wonder if I’ll get air,” and then I got earth. So what – I mean, I guess maybe there’s no direct overlay with these other methods of constitutional typing, we could say, but maybe we could use earth as an example just because I’m curious. That’s what came up for me. So what would, what would an earth skin type – during this time of year, right? We’re kind of in autumn, soon to be transitioning into winter. I get earth right now. What is that kind of telling me about my skin at the moment?

Marissa:
Well, what it says is that would be appropriate for your skin right now. So maybe air would be more your type, um, in other disciplines where you’re thinking like, you know, like your dosha or something like that. But – So sometimes it can seem a little counterintuitive, right? Like you were expecting to get air but you got earth, but oftentimes the – the answer could be in the opposite of what you may be expecting. So, you know, so like,

Mercedes:
Yeah, and that’s interesting because earth is the opposite really of air. It’s the grounded versus the up in the clouds.

Marissa:
Yeah, yeah. And ultimately, it’s, it’s bringing that not only physically – like in the earth skin rhythm, the ritual I’m thinking of now – it’s um, it’s not necessarily just bringing that grounding to your skin, but also to your mind and mood, as well.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. Maybe before we – I just want to keep talking about products, but we’ll get on to other stuff. But I’m wondering if maybe – I don’t know if you know them off the top of your head. I can bring it up online. But let’s just talk about what the earth skin ritual looks like. And maybe what some of those products are like. So first, it says Peridot Cleansing Balm as a cleanser and then using Sea Pearl Exfoliating Clay or the Sterling Honey Polish, which is a product of yours that I have used over the years and is one of my favorites; works really well for me. And then Onyx Purity Mask, Rose Quartz Botanical Mist, and the 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm. So would you say that that’s a little bit richer than what some of the other skin rhythms might call for?

Marissa:
Yes. Yeah, the earth is the most, um…

Mercedes:
Like nourishing.

Marissa:
Yeah, nourishing and it is the – like, “rich” is a good word, because it’s very um, almost indulgent, but not, not in a bad way (laughs), it’s in a very good way. Um, it’s super restorative and nourishing and nurturing, comforting, which is perfect for this time of year.

Mercedes:
For this time of year, yeah, it is. So if anyone wants to go discover their own skin rhythm, you have a little quiz right on your site, and they just get their results emailed to them. It’s really beautiful—beautifully laid out, too. So I really enjoyed – um, yeah, it was really, really fun to do.

41:51
Mercedes:
Okay, so outside of Precious Skin Elixirs, are there any favorite beauty or lifestyle wellness products or practices that you’ve been loving lately? So, you know, just kind of what else are you into at the moment? It can be herbs or food or healing modality or anything.

Marissa:
Well, I’ve rediscovered my love of Tai Chi recently.

Mercedes:
Oh, I love that.

Marissa:
It is so – I mean, it’s – And I don’t do anything really complex or advanced. I mean, it’s really simple. I was taking classes with, you know, a Tai Chi master, and um, he’s incredible, and I just was in awe of how he moved and how everybody in the class moved. And um, you know, with this year being really limited in terms of movement, quite literally (laughs), um… I stopped taking physical classes and I’ve just been practicing more in my own. And so I started back up in early September. I really felt myself missing the practice. And I’m not going to claim to be, you know, a good student or by any means, but just – Going through some flows several times a week has just – It’s one of the best physical practices I found recently.

43:23

Mercedes:
Well, that’s actually a nice segueway to talking about a whole other aspect of your—whole other part of you and what you do and what I know you’ve been working on in recent years, which is energy work, and I wish that there was even a better word to call it than, you know, saying you’re moving into the role of energy worker or shamanism. I mean, I feel like these, these words and these labels can be really quite limiting, but you do work with energy. So I’m wondering if you could share a bit about your calling or what you feel your purpose is in this world? What led you there and where you think it might be, might be taking you?

Marissa:
Yeah, no, I – And I totally agree how limiting language is around this, this topic. So the energy sort of realm, side of things, sort of happened alongside my herbal studies. Again, something that I’ve always felt in my life, especially as a child, but never really paid much attention to or thought it was anything to really – it just, just was part of life. But it’s been interesting over, you know, the last six or so years of my business, you know, evolving and so many different iterations of beauty and skincare and everything, it’s been interesting to see how the energy work constantly shows up in some form. And, you know, working with the vibration of stones, for example, and even um, just honoring the vibration of the plants that go into these products, as well, the physical manifestations but they also have that spirit component, too. And so I see the work as twofold. There’s this physical creation but there’s also this spiritual aspect that’s pretty much undeniable, for me anyway, in terms of what’s actually happening. You know, it’s so much more than putting together, um, a bunch of herbs in a jar. It’s become kind of this, um – I don’t know. I have, I have a twinkle in my eye as I’m answering this question because (laughs) it’s, um, it’s kind of a hard one to answer, to tell you the truth. Like how it’s, um – But it dovetails. It just does.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. So, but you decided to undertake kind of a more, I guess we could say formal type of training in this world, right? So what did that look like?

Marissa:
So I studied with a modern – I don’t even know if “modern” is the word. The world of shamanism is so different from, you know, the way it is in the West in non-indigenous cultures than it is in other cultures where the, the link of having a shaman in a community has not been broken, you know. In our American, specifically, culture, you know, we don’t really have that role anymore. And so, I was fortunate to find somebody who had studied with a teacher in Borneo, actually, and um, she brought his teachings back here. And so I learned shamanism, which I mean – Shamanism, you know, it’s yet another form of energy work, right? I mean, there’s so many disciplines out there. But it’s kind of interesting, because it’s – Sometimes I – It’s hard for me to even call it shamanism because it’s so different from the traditional forms that have been passed down for hundreds of years. And now, everything is kind of changing really rapidly. But, um – But yeah. So I studied with this teacher for three years and learned some technical forms, but also really developed a deeper understanding of really what, what’s going on in terms of our energy fields and how there’s so much more than meets the eye.

Mercedes:
Definitely, definitely. So that has guided you to offer services, healing services to clients, right?

Marissa:
Yeah, yeah, I’ve been working, um, for a bit – maybe like a year and a half or so. I’m just kind of word of mouth and doing different healings for people. The main form that I practice is called soul retrieval, which is the traditional shamanic term for basically returning one’s power, or sovereignty that may have gotten sidelined through trauma or different experiences. And that’s been an incredible experience to, to work with people. It’s, it’s become really my, my favorite work to do these days.

Mercedes:
I’m really interested in what you had described to me the last time we talked. It’s what I saw as really this crossover work between spirituality and beauty still, where through the soul healing and retrievals that you do, that you will often make bespoke products or a product for a client that you’ve worked with, which works to assist the person in regrounding into the physical body after the sessions. So I’m wondering if – and I hope I described that right, but –

Marissa:
Perfectly.

Mercedes:
Maybe you could give a couple of examples of what that might look like, what someone might be needing in the physical sense after a session with you.

Marissa:
Sure, yeah. I mean, that – that’s one of the great and wonderful things of having physical bodies is we can experience the joys and beauty of this world. And a lot of that comes through in the form of plants (chuckles), the ways we can interact with plants on our, with our body. So oftentimes, someone who comes to me for a healing session, there will be a communication of helping spirits, helping, you know, otherworldly allies that may be conceived of as, you know, animals or plants or all kinds of different symbols, basically. And oftentimes, I will get a recipe or a formula to make something specific for my client. So that usually looks like an essence, which could be a combination of plants, flowers, gems, and this essence could take the form of a mist or it could be something to be taken internally. Other times, I will get something more like an oil or even like a bath soak, like a tea or something, but, but basically a way for a person to really feel a physical connection to the work that’s been done.

Mercedes:
You know, I know that, that the world of energy healing is so vast and really varied. And I think a lot of people listening are drawn to this world, but I think it can seem also – It’s all about fit, right? And, and trying to see where someone’s at in their own process and what might be beneficial in someone’s healing journey. And I feel like in my own process, you know, there’s periods where we’re more solitary in our healing, but I see a lot of value in what you’re doing, because – Maybe we talked about this already, but there’s just – Sometimes there’s no substitute for someone to actually hold space for you or help you, guide you, and translate and witness, really, parts of your process. So, you know, what – Who might be attracted to doing this kind of work with you?

Marissa:
Well, I – You really said something profound there, that, you know, so much of energy work is, is really being the space holder and the witness. And so I feel like who, who would be drawn? You know, it’s – It always amazes me who is drawn. And, you know, I feel like if, if someone has an inkling to participate or partake in healing work, then go for it, and the right practitioner will just come about. I feel like that’s really how this work goes. I don’t look for clients per se, because I feel like enough people find me, which – which really surprises me how people find me because I don’t have a website. I don’t really – I don’t have any press, other than my, you know, the people who know me, and, you know, I have a little dorky PDF that I’ll send out if somebody wants (laughs), you know, friend of a friend or something like that. But I do – I do think that so much of energy healing and energy work has, has gotten really – I don’t know, just glamorized. I don’t know what else.

Mercedes:
Commodified, to kind of to draw it back to our earlier point.

Marissa:
Yeah.

Mercedes:
Commodified and glamorized.

Marissa:
Yeah. And, and I think, ultimately, there’s so much we can do on our own for ourselves. In addition to that, nothing replaces having that witness or that practitioner to guide you through, because oftentimes, some of the healing is so intense and heavy. And the point isn’t to like dredge up, you know, all the emotions or the circumstances around, say, a trauma. The point is to shift a storyline. And, you know, kind of – I mean, I see life as this like self-reorganizing poem. Ultimately, that’s, that’s how it feels to me, like this work of art. And, you know, sometimes we need a little help or our system needs a little help in being guided to kind of reorganize and move through a pattern that may just not be serving anymore.

Mercedes:
So can you get kind of – I don’t know how to phrase this – make a lot of progress or do substantial work in one session, or is it something that you kind of need some time working with someone to – ? I mean, I’m sure it depends and it’s very individual based on what people are dealing with. But…

Marissa:
Yeah. That’s a “both and” answer to that question. Definitely. You know, I’ve seen, I’ve seen the work, I’ve seen such a shift in a session. And, you know, I’ve relayed the necessary information to the person I’ve worked with and they have their tools. They have a guide – you know, kind of like some meditation guides or you know, for lack of a better word, but just some things that the person can do at home to support the work and integrate. And also like, the physical potions that, that come through. And if someone is willing to do this follow-up work, then the results are incredible. It’s kind of like an 80/20 rule, you know. Only 20% of the work will stick if a person isn’t willing to integrate and engage on their own. And, you know, 20%, maybe that’s okay, maybe that’s helpful still for somebody. But, um, really more of the work sticks, so to speak, if a person’s willing to, to integrate, and it’s not like horrible work. I mean, it’s beautiful work. It’s just, um – It can be a challenge because people are fighting against entrenched patterns.

Mercedes:
Right. It’s – I mean, everything you said rings so true for me. And it’s – I think of it like, we’re, we’re kind of growing and evolving as consciousness beings, whether we’re aware of it or not, it’s just kind of the inexorable process that we’re, that we’re undergoing. At least that’s my belief. But consciously participating in that process can expedite things and at some point probably becomes indispensable for people that, you know, really want to, do want to achieve personal growth, I guess, at least in this lifetime. I know that’s getting kind of deep, but just, just to kind of give a nod to what you were saying about the power of being a conscious participant in your, in your own growth.

Marissa:
Oh, absolutely. And that’s really what I try to pull through with Precious Skin Elixirs, is being a conscious participant, like being present, being engaged, and being part of what you’re doing, you know, part – I mean, you know, how many times have we just slapped on some moisturizer at night? We’re exhausted, you go to bed. And that’s, that’s understandable. But there are moments where maybe just that extra second of like, “Hey.” Like, “Hi, you in the mirror.” Like, “Oh, thanks, body, for carrying through this day.” Like, “Wow, I’m so grateful for your health. I’m so grateful for your beauty.” And beauty doesn’t – I don’t mean that in a, in an aesthetic way. I mean that in a, in just the foundation–

Mercedes:
The beauty of being alive, yeah.

Marissa:
Exactly, the beauty of being alive. And just all that – all we can experience. But yeah, and to your point earlier, I do think that these shifts in consciousness and having more of a participation – that’s, that’s how we’re evolving. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Mercedes:
Yeah. I always know I can go there with you. (laughs) You’ll understand.

Marissa:
Definitely.

Mercedes:
Well, I want to end with a final question, which is in an extremely oversaturated beauty world, and I guess we could also say increasingly an overly saturated energy healing world or, or consciousness world, what are some of the guiding principles for you in the work that you do? And what keeps you committed to that vision?

Marissa:
Well, I – I do go back to my why. And I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but I really ask myself, like, why am I doing this? Like, what, what’s the original intention here? And ultimately, it’s um, it’s sort of – it’s hard to articulate, but it’s about celebration. And it’s about honoring who we are, where we are, honoring our old skin, our new skin, our old patterns, new patterns, you know, however you want to think of it, but it’s just, it’s just that life is ultimately a playground and we’re here to celebrate. And if I can contribute in a small way to that, then my work is, is doing something.

Mercedes:
I love that. That’s such a positive, beautiful note to end on. So please tell people listening where they can find you, both your products and if they want to book a healing session with you also. The one thing I want to say is that I love that you don’t – at least not right now, and it’s totally fine if you do – but I love that you don’t overtly advertise for those services, because one of the best pieces of advice I ever got very early on in my own forays into this world, which was probably 15, maybe even more years ago at this point, was never go to a psychic who advertises. (Marissa laughs) You only want to go to someone you hear a personal referral from because the best ones don’t need to advertise, you know. Like they’ll get a full client roster just because, you know, people find them through word of mouth. But times – times are a little different now, but I just wanted to say that I think that it’s – I love that you’re not like, “Energy healing here!” with a big neon sign. (both laugh) But if people listening do want to investigate that work with you, what would they do? And yeah, just anything you want to mention about your website, newsletter, Instagram, where people can find your products and you.

Marissa:
Yeah, no, thank you. I mean, the best way to get in touch with me is probably just to send me a message through the contact form at PreciousSkinElixirs.com, and my Instagram handle is also @PreciousSkinElixirs. And any way someone would feel comfortable to message, whether it’s through my website or a private message on Instagram, I check both frequently. And, you know, I handle everything, I read every email that comes through, I manage my own Instagram account. So I will see messages and I’m happy to respond. And definitely, if it’s a skincare question, if it’s an energy question, you know, we’ve got skin and soul covered, so. (laughs)

Mercedes:
And you have a wonderful newsletter that I hope everyone goes to sign up for. It’s very, very uplifting, in my experience.

Marissa:
Thank you. Yeah, you know, I – I’ve been putting out the Nourished newsletter for maybe under a year, and um, it’s just really felt good. I didn’t really do a newsletter for my products, because I just – I don’t know, I didn’t really – I just didn’t – It just felt like advertising and marketing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it just wasn’t, just wasn’t working for me to constantly be emailing and I, you know, I don’t do sales. And I don’t really have much to say in that regard. So I started a newsletter where it just goes a little deeper. And that may turn into a project next year. I don’t know. But, um, but yeah, it’s – it’s fun, really exploring both sides of beauty and how beauty can shift our consciousness.

Mercedes:
Mm-hmm. And you’re not direct-to-consumer. You can get your products on your website, but you do also stock other places, right?

Marissa:
Yeah, yeah. My website is definitely one place to find everything. And then I work with Aurora Beauty. And she is – Farrah is the owner. She’s absolutely lovely. And I just started working with a new spa in Seattle called Cake Skincare. And a local aesthetician here, Sanara Integrated Beauty, has my line, as well, and uses the products – some of the products in her facials. Raena, who’s fabulous. And yeah, you know, I am – I know, I sound like the worst business person (laughs), but I just don’t – I’d rather people find me and just kind of let things evolve organically than try to get into a ton of places. And you know, yeah, I just – That’s just my, my style. I’m more of an artist than an entrepreneur. Can you tell? (laughs)

Mercedes:
No, I know that I’ve always, I’ve always just really vibed with you in that way. We’re like, non-hustlers and we just kind of want to do our thing and have people come to us when they’re ready or if they’re interested. So I totally I totally vibe with that approach.

Marissa:
Yeah.

Mercedes:
Well, Marissa, thank you so much for taking the time on a Sunday to sit down and talk with me for this hour. It was truly such a pleasure. And you know, even though we don’t get to have our coffees, you are seriously always in my heart, and I’m just so, I’m so happy that you came to share your perspective here with Your Purpose Is Beauty listeners.

Marissa:
Oh, thank you, Mercedes. You are always in my heart, too. And I so appreciate the work you do in the world. And just, what a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

Mercedes:
Thank you, Marissa.

(music)

1:06:06

All right, I’m back to close out today’s episode with a little bit of astrology chat. So I have Marissa’s chart pulled up in front of me and I’m just going to share a couple of things about it that when I looked at it, I thought were really interesting and shed an additional layer of insight into why Marissa does the work that she does. And that was really why I named the podcast “Your Purpose Is Beauty.” I was interested in exploring these different reasons that people have for making beauty a central tenet of their lives, either through – in a very literal way through having a beauty brand, or being a beauty enthusiast, working in the beauty industry in some capacity, being an artist. I mean, there’s so many manifestations that can take, but in a case like this, very literally making skincare and owning and running a beauty brand.

So for anyone that doesn’t know or hasn’t heard me talk about astrology before, I practice what would be considered ancient or Hellenistic astrology. It’s quite different from modern astrology. It’s very different than popular Sun sign astrology. And it’s mainly different in the techniques that are used to read the chart and the way that the chart is cast. So most modern astrologers will use a house system called Placidus, which casts the chart off from the degree of the Ascendant, whereas whole sign houses takes the Ascendant degree and what sign that’s in and makes that whole sign your first house, so it doesn’t cast off from the Ascendant degree. So basically, what this does is if you were to compare your chart between these two house systems, you would probably have planets winding up in different houses, especially if you have a very late degree Ascendant. But in – ergo, when planets go into different houses, they’re going to have different interpretation. However, I’m already derailing myself. (laughs) But I always feel I have to give a little bit of, you know, context for how I look at charts and you’ll hear me, when I talk about Marissa’s chart, talk about something called a rulership or the language of essential dignity. This refers to planets ruling different signs. So for example, Venus the planet rules two signs: Libra and Taurus. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. So this language of rulership helps us understand how planets in a particular sign in a particular house might– There– It can almost be seen as a houseguest of the planet that rules them. So we look to what the ruler is doing in the chart to get a bit of additional insight as to kind of what’s going on. Is the ruler of the chart in a good condition? We would say, is it well-dignified or is it challenged? And that is going to give you clues as to potentialities that might come to fruition in the native’s life. We call the person that we’re reading the chart for the native.

I studied astrology in an apprenticeship format for about two years with Acyuta-bhava Dasa of Nightlight Astrology from the summer of 2017 through 2019. I also had a baby in the middle of all of that (chuckles), so I got a bit derailed, but I consider myself a lifelong student of studying this. And I do read charts on Patreon. I have it as the highest tier at $79. And it’s just a – It’s not a recurring benefit, obviously. So if you wanted to have me look at your chart, that’s currently the offering that I have. I record a 30-minute reading using Loom, which is my screencasting software, and I pull up your chart and I just do an astrology of beauty/style/aesthetics reading, kind of orient people to their charts if they don’t really have much astrological knowledge or not much Hellenistic astrological knowledge. And I have been doing more lately, which is really amazing, and it’s something I enjoy so, so much. So if you’re interested in this, having me take a look at your chart, I can also talk about the eclipses that are happening, which I think, you know, having someone point out what houses and ergo what themes the eclipses have been happening and will continue to be happening in someone’s life is helpful. So you can just email me if you want – Lamouretlamusique@gmai.com – or you can just go over to Patreon and sign up for that tier and then I email you with all the details.

Okay, that was like a very long preamble. Now we’ll start talking about Marissa’s chart. So Marissa is an eighth house Sun in Aries. It’s conjunct with Mercury over there. And then like I mentioned before, she has this pile-up of planets in Libra in the second house. We would call anything more than three planets in a house a stellium. Now, I felt such a special affinity with Marissa when I saw her chart, because since we were only born about – let me see – two months apart, like two months and a couple of days apart – we have very similar placements. Now they’re in different houses, but we both have Mars and Saturn in Libra and the Moon in Libra, which is really interesting because obviously the Moon changes really quickly. But we actually are– It’s like almost even the same degrees, all of our planets. So her Moon is sandwiched between Mars and Saturn, just like me. This is a very difficult moon placement because it’s basically being sandwiched by the two malefics, and Mars is really quite unhappy in Libra. And knowing Marissa, I kind of know a bit how that— it’s actually played out somewhat similarly in our lives. But she also has Jupiter in Scorpio in the third. I have Jupiter in Scorpio in the tenth and all of my Libra stellium is in the ninth. And I also have a Mercury Sun conjunction but mine is in Gemini in the fifth. However, my Mercury – Mercury is retrograde in my chart and combust the sun. So I – Hers is actually not quite combust, it’s – the orb is a little bit, um, further out. And then she has a what’s called an exalted Venus in Pisces. So this basically just means that her Venus is very, very, very, very, very happy to be in Pisces.

So as far as how, how this translates into her life. So Libra is her second house. And so like I said, Venus rules Libra. So she has a Venusian second house. Now the second house is the house of money, personal finances, personal resources. So it’s kind of a very literal way of saying that she makes her money from something Venusian. I’ve seen in some of the other charts that I’ve done for people on the podcast, I have seen people have a Venus rule tenth house, which is the career house and it’s kind of what you’re known for, what you’re visible for. But it makes more sense to me that Marissa would have a Venus ruled second house of personal finances because she’s – This will make more sense, I think, maybe when I talk about her Sun in the eighth house, which is really where I kind of was seeing her energy work moving. So Venus ruled second house, and Venus – because it’s in such a good condition; it’s exalted in Pisces – it’s kind of helping out the other challenges that we might see from all of these placements. Now, because I have this exact placement in the ninth house, in addition to Pluto, which I didn’t mention, but because these planets like Saturn and Pluto are so slow-moving, they’re really, like, generational in a sense. I mean, Saturn, not as much, but Pluto for sure is a generational type of planet. So I have this whole stellium of planets in the ninth house. And from personal experience, what I can say is that when you have the malefics and Pluto in a house all together, you’re gonna get – It could be in a realm of life that you’re kind of really working on, drawn to, maybe karmically. So for me, the ninth house is the house of higher education – I come from a family of academics – esoterica, the law… I mean, can be a lot of things. Foreign travel… But for me, I have seen how having this set of planets there basically makes you question a lot of what’s going on there. And then it kind of has a tendency to, at least in my chart, to kind of blow things up. And that’s like the Pluto influence there. It’s like the planet of unearthing and excavation and creative destruction. So it could be that her – the way that she makes her money is going to undergo a lot of transformation. And she has, it kind of already has, you know, she had career as a jewelry designer, now she has Precious Skin Elixirs, now she’s doing energy work, and certainly not leaving the beauty brand behind, but also coming into a different expression.

So the other interesting part I wanted to mention is her Sun in the eighth house conjunct with Mercury in Aries. So it’s really being in the eighth house that I thought was really interesting. The eighth house is not one of the easier houses. So some of the houses are, would deal with what we would consider to be positive or happy themes of life, like the fifth house is known as the house of good fortune or the eleventh house is known as the house of good spirit. The eighth house is one – it’s – I guess I would say it’s the house most quintessentially associated with death and loss. It’s also the house of spousal resources and money. So you know, people hear the word “death” and they freak out. You know, you’re having a transit to the eighth house, or you know, a planet is moving in there or making an aspect or whatever. People freak out because they think, you know, something’s gonna happen. And while of course, it can be literal, there are many other placements and aspects that can also signify physical death. So it’s not just eighth house activity. But it can also be like metaphorical death, death and rebirth, transmutation, being a midwife to the spirit. I’m sure you’ve probably heard that phrase before.

So the other thing that I wanted to jump in and say before I talk about having a Sun in the eighth house is that she was born under a full moon. So this is something I really like to look at in someone’s chart, what moon phase they were born under. I was born under a first quarter moon. And I actually have used that as a lunation timing for when I release my monthly newsletter each month, just like funny aside, because I actually think that the moon phase that you were born under is an interesting piece of information about temperament, about how you experience your life progression, if that makes sense. You know, some people feel like an old soul from the time that they’re children. Some people are like, have Peter Pan syndrome until way, way, way into adulthood. Some people are quite naive and wide-eyed and kind of have childlike innocence throughout life. And so I feel like looking at a moon phase is a really interesting way to – It’s just an interesting piece of information when you’re looking at someone’s astrological chart. So being born under a full moon and a full moon in Libra, given that she has so much a Libra in her chart, to me, this would indicate that we would expect her life to work towards a full, realized, and perhaps mature expression of her purpose. Now, for someone’s quintessential purpose, we typically would look to the Sun in a natal chart. To some extent, if you’re born – if you have a night chart, we would look at the Moon. But regardless of whether you were born at night or during the day, the Sun is always kind of someone’s core purpose in life, or that’s going to be the theme that they’re going to be working on, both where it’s placed in terms of houses and also the sign. That’s why Sun sign astrology, I think, is so popular. People do share, you know, commonalities with people of the same Sun sign, but it also just gets to be very, very individual and there’s a whole wide range of expressions. But being born under a full moon, and what that indicates, and then we look to see what her Sun is doing. Sun in the eighth house is where I see her spiritual work coming into play. Anyone that works with energy would understand that death is not really what we’ve been taught culturally. It’s really about transmuting, rebirth, release, things like that. So an eighth house Sun could be thought of as a midwife of the spirit in these senses, assisting people through, you know, these metaphorical stages of death, rebirth, transmutation, which seems to be, at least to some extent, what soul retrieval work can be about, depending on the practitioner or the energy worker. So with Mercury there, too, that’s just going to give a communicative aspect to the work that she does. I also have Mercury Sun conjunct, which basically means that my solar purpose in life also probably is going to involve some kind of communication or technology or whatever. And you see what I do. (chuckles) I, you know, I do talk a lot and I have a very strong communicative need, and Marissa does, as well, according to her chart. So it seems like this is what she’s doing in her energy work sessions. I can see it very clearly in the Sun Mercury conjunction in the eighth house, and then the Precious Skin Elixirs, the past work as a jewelry designer… A lot of that is coming from the exalted Venus in Pisces and its rulership and influence over the second house.

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01:19:10

So I could keep going, but those are just a couple of key things that I wanted to talk about. Oh, wow, I can’t believe I’ve been recording this outro for this long. If you made it to the end of this, thank you so very much. It’s very late here. It’s time for me to go to bed. But I loved spending this time with you and a huge thank you to Marissa for her time. And please do check the show notes below for all of the details and references and links and everything you need to know. That’ll be down below and pretty imminently, I hope there will also be a full transcript with hyperlinks to accompany this podcast episode, and you can find that and all past episodes of Your Purpose Is Beauty on Lamouretlamusique.com. The transcription project is underway and I’m hoping to have it completed by late spring.

Thank you so much to everyone that supports this podcast and the rest of the work that I do under L’Amour. I will look forward to speaking with you again here very soon. Bye.

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