New Moon Muse - Astrology for Artists
NEW MOON MUSE: MADELEINE BOTET DE LACAZE
Upon her return from a residency in the birth place of Aphrodite we spoke to Madeleine, artist and founder Astrology for Artists, about her morning rituals, nurturing a creative community and finding nature within a city.
Madeleine lives and works in London, an established performance artist whose work has been included in programmes at the Royal Academy of Arts and Somerset House. Wanting to blend her work with her deep knowledge of astrology she created Astrology for Artists, a community celebrating the meeting of the arts and our ancient stars. Astrology for Artists is an invitation to dive deeper into yourself through the cosmic map of astrology, with chart readings, immersive workshops and retreats in sacred spaces.
Do you have any daily rituals? What does your care routine look like?
I have very simple daily rituals that help me pause, connect with myself, and start the day feeling aligned with my body and my mind. There is no day same as another, but I have a few things that I try to do every day to find balance. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my care routine is not a destination, but a practice. A practice that needs consistency, devotion, discipline but, most importantly, showing up. I know the health of my body is not separate to what is happening to my mind and emotions.
Here are a few things I do: when I wake up I always clean my tongue using an ayurvedic tongue scraper before brushing my teeth. This became an important cleansing ritual as it not only affects the hygiene of my mouth but also improves my sense of taste. Whenever I have the time I try to do oil pulling as well which is another ayurvedic tradition. Then I drink warm water with lemon on an empty stomach before stretching the body, neck and particularly my back as I work a lot on my computer. I’m someone that likes to work with a candle lit next to me, particularly when I’m preparing astrological charts. I light the candle when I start working and blow it out when I finish. This might sound silly but it adds concentration and a sacred space when delving into someone’s chart. I’m from South America and I was brought up with my mum burning palo santo at home a few times a year. She opened the windows and spread the white smoke around the house to cleanse the space. I use this holy wood at home a lot, particularly when I’m stuck and I also burn it around my body after a reading, to cleanse the energy and come back to myself.
Do you prefer the winter or summer months? List three things you like to do in your favourite season.
This is a hard question as I love both for different reasons, but I would say that since I moved to the UK nearly 9 years ago I learned to appreciate and love summer months. In Argentina I used to take it for granted, as it’s sunny all the time, and I enjoyed more winter months while living there. But since I’m now in the northern hemisphere, the sun’s light, warmth and openness is what I long for and when it appears I want it all.
I absolutely love working on our garden, it’s a gift to spend time taking care of plants and I find it very meditative. With my partner we’ve got an allotment and we are growing produce for our home which fills me with enthusiasm. As someone with a lot of Capricorn it’s easy to be a bit of a hermit, so spending time with friends and family is something I always try to prioritise during summer season. And, of course, swimming.
List one natural skin/hair/body care you use daily and one that you use cherish?
I stopped using shampoo a year and a half ago. As I had a shaved head, I thought this was a good opportunity to stop using shampoo and have less plastic at home. For a year I washed my hair with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar once a week but as my hair began growing I decided to swap to a vegan juniper shampoo bar which is great. And I cherish lavender oil which I use every day before going to sleep.
Are there any herbs and plants you use to support and nourish yourself?
Yes, I drink hibiscus tea near my moon cycle, and when I have a lot of pain I add hawthorn as it’s a good anti-inflammatory as a Mars-ruled plant. Yarrow and rose, both ruled by Venus, bring balance to the body as they soothe the kidneys and adrenals, so I try to forage this as it’s easy to find on the Marshes in East London. They are also good for lower back pain and for winter flu and colds. Now I’m starting to drink a blend of mugwort, chamomile, basil and sage as an infusion to detox daily. Mugwort is super beneficial for the immune system so I try to have it by itself once in a while. And I recently learned that horsetail is very good for the hair, nails and bones as a Saturn-ruled plant, so I’m looking forward to trying it.
When was the last time you were in nature? If you could share one place with us where would it be?
I visited Greece for the first time ever this summer. I was very lucky to have been invited to an art residency in the island of Cythera, where the Goddess Aphrodite was born. I can’t express enough how beautiful, special and unique this island is.
Do you have any creative practices? What are your biggest artistic inspirations?
My art practice has shifted throughout the years, particularly since I created Astrology for Artists. Combining art and astrology helped me discover that life is our most important creative act and I always try to choose life experiences that will allow me to grow creatively. My background is in cinematography which I studied back in Argentina, I also did many years of acting in Buenos Aires and New York while I studied astrology. Astrology has always been my guide, a tool that allowed me to trust myself and not give up despite struggles or complexity. But when I moved to London nine years ago, to do an MA in Performance Art, my life changed completely as I found the medium where I could express myself. Then I studied astrology in London and created Astrology for Artists, to share how astrology can connect us with our creativity by looking within. My biggest inspirations are film, astrology, nature, life experiences, understanding myself, love, delving into the unknown, women, connection.
Share with us the last book you read / film you watched / song you listen to:
Book: Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss
Film: Fantasia (1940) by Walt Disney which I never saw before.
Song: No Man Is Bigger Enough For My Arms, by Ibeyi
As Warriors of the earth, do you have any guidance for us on living with deeper awareness and care.
We live in a time of acute transformation, where difference is the new normal and where we need to nourish our capacity for change. It’s key to pause and reflect about our own personal responsibility in our evolution. We are on the threshold of a tremendous transformation, a huge reality check. Astrologically, 2020 will also give birth to a new Pluto-Saturn cycle meaning that Pluto and Saturn will have a powerful eruptive encounter in the sign of Capricorn, one that will hopefully better serve humanity.
This transit strongly impacts the collective, but also us personally. It’s not only authorities that must listen to Pluto’s message, now we must all face this situation. We have to become responsible of how we have greedily destroyed the Earth’s resources, and how we cultivate this in our everyday consumption. Pause to consider your own role in all this. Are you prepared to change yourself first? Taking responsibility means we disempower those who would otherwise abuse it. There’s a lot we can do as individuals but are we willing to? With Saturn in the mix, time is ticking.
We’re sharing this on the New Moon, what are your intentions for the coming lunar cycle?
The Moon cycle is about change and renewal and on a new Moon we can commit to a new vision of ourselves. We can open our hearts to receive guidance and consciously choose to connect with our authentic self and purpose. New Moons are a blank page from which to say our dreams out loud. It is a great time to set intentions for things you'd like to create, develop, manifest.
Relationships, love, values, beauty and balance are Libra traits, and the coming New Moon in Libra is one that will bring healing, acceptance and understanding to our connection with others. There are many ways to initiate this connection with the universe, from lighting a candle, to more elaborate rituals or by being with your loved ones. What matters is that you're committing yourself to your vision, and open to receiving guidance, healing and support from this coming Moon.
For this Libra New Moon we invite you to try our dry shampoos, Maya and Dervla, including some of Madeleine’s favourites scents and herbs - sustainably sourced palo santo and heart nurturing rose.