I met Madeline Mooney about two years ago when she attended one of my workshops at Hauswitch in Salem, Massachusetts. I was immediately taken with her light, gentle energy, which to me, spoke of great power and knowledge. I soon found out that I was not mistaken by that inkling. Madeline, a reiki master and herbalist, heads up a summer Faerie Camp for children and is a team member of Now Age, a space for travel in Salem. In addition to that, she has a beautiful line of reiki charged teas. I asked Madeline about her self care routine, how she arrived at reiki and herbalism and of course, her infamous bouffant.
What is your background with energetic healing and how did you come to be with it?
My beginning with alternative healing modalities began with my study of herbalism. I became interested in herbalism through working with my mentor Adrienne Allison at a preschool in East Montpelier, Vermont. At the time Adrienne owned her own apothecary in downtown Montpelier. My mother taught at the preschool as well, and would often purchase remedies for our family from Adrienne. The first time we visited her at her apothecary, I was mesmerized by the jars of dried herbs and all that she could do with them. I knew I wanted to learn more. During one of the summers between my years of college, Adrienne took me on as a one-on-one apprentice. Through this apprenticeship, I began to learn about herbs in an exploratory manner. I am grateful for the individualized learning experience I had while working with Adrienne.
Through working with Adrienne, I also became interested in learning about other healing modalities. I began acquiring as many books as I could about healing, spirituality, and magic. In this way, my early learning process was mainly fueled by independent study and curiosity.
After college, I moved to Boston, then eventually drifted to Salem to work in the public schools. A lot of synchronicity began to ensue once I moved here. I met by partner in a strange and seemingly meant-to-be manner. He then introduced me to my Reiki teachers Grace Harrington Murdoch and Lisa Nichols. At that time they both worked 12 Oak Growth & Renewal Center, a healing space in Beverly, MA. I began taking workshops with each of them on subjects including astrology, crystals, tarot, and intuitive development.. Working with them re-awakened the magic I felt when learning about herbs. I eventually was inspired to begin my Reiki training. Grace trained me up to the master level, and Lisa trained me to teach Reiki. Each of them, like Adrienne, have been role models to me as healers. I am grateful to have found these connections!
You host something called Fairy Camp, what is that and how did it start?
Faerie Camp is a magical learning experience for children aged 4-12, which takes place three times a year at 12 Oak Growth & Renewal Center in Beverly, MA. Faerie Camp is a culmination of my work with kids, my connection to nature, and my interest in the arts and healing. It is probably the most “me” thing I do!
My background is in public schools working as a Speech and Language Pathologist Assistant. Within this career I helped children find their voice through structured practice. Through Faerie Camp, I support children in exploring their voice through alternative modalities including art, music, crystal healing, herbalism, and intuitive development.. all while wearing wings!
Within Faerie Camp, we emphasize an open, accepting learning atmosphere. We teach about individuality and honoring our differences, as well as positive ways to connect and communicate with others. I have a wonderful staff of artists, teachers, and healers who help incorporate these lessons in to whole-group, small-group, and individualized activities.
Faerie Camp is an evolving expression of how we would like to support young folks. We just started in the summer of 2017, so there is lots of room to expand!
Do you have a daily self care practice that you utilize?
Whenever possible, I take my mornings slowly. Whether I am at a cafe or at home, I like to draw a few Tarot or oracle cards with my breakfast. These readings serve as an energetic mirror and provide guidance throughout the rest of my day.
Meditation provides another source of self-care. I often meditate for a few minutes before falling asleep, as a way to center and check in with my guides. This connection helps me feel supported, and eases mental chatter as I am falling asleep. I also throw in a bit of self Reiki, for extra support!
You create some wonderful reiki charged tea blends. How did you come up with that? Do you have a ritual that you practice when blending these teas?
Ever since my start with herbalism, I have been drawn to tea-making as a quick, simple way to craft remedies. The first remedy I made for myself was a tea blend similar to my current Uplift blend; this blend has been a great support to me over time. I am happy to now be sharing it with others!
I also really enjoy the creative element of tea-making. Hypothesizing new blends has always been exciting for me. Over the years, I have filled notebooks with ideas for new combinations.
When I realized it was possible to imbue anything with Reiki (e.g., your crystals, your wallet, your food) , I figured why not give the herbs I was using an extra boost? At this point, I had also met Erica, the owner of HausWitch Home + Healing, and become immersed in the HausWitch community. After speaking to Erica about my idea for a Reiki-charged herbal tea line, she supported me in bringing this idea into a reality. I am grateful for her support with this process!
When I make the teas, I begin by energetically clearing the room I am working in. I often send Reiki to each of the four walls, to create sacred space. I energetically clear the wooden bowl I use to craft the teas, and thank the tree spirit it was crafted from. After mixing the herbs in the appropriate combination, I take a moment to center, then send Reiki to the herbs. While sending Reiki, I meditate on images and colors that relate to the intention of that blend. I then mix the herbs once more, to further set in the positive intentions.
As a former bouffant wearer and admirer of your own do, is there a reason for your hairstyle? It’s rare to meet people who create a certain stylized look for themselves these days so I’m so curious about yours! Plus, mine was always slightly ratty, à la Amy Winehouse. There is a lot of power to be found within a hairstyle, in my opinion..
I am drawn to mod 1960s fashion, and the way it uses line and shape. My bouffant and cat’s eyes are definitely inspired by that era in style. When questioned about them, I also often refer to my bouffant a “power poof” and cat’s eyes as “power wings.” These aspects of my style connect me to my unique expression, and help me feel my power throughout the day. Although my poof tends to be fairly neat, I do love the Amy Winehouse look as well. I like hair that has an “imperfect” (but I think perfect) feel.
What do you love about the Salem community? Did you grow up there or did something draw you to it?
I was actually drawn to Salem by circumstance! When I arrived here though, I realized it was meant-to-be. I began to make connections more easily than I had anywhere else. Through Salem, I have met a lot of lovely, creative, and magical people.
HausWitch opened about a year after I moved to Salem. Since then it has become a big part of my Salem experience. The HausWitch coven provides support and inspiration for each other to keep growing personally and as bizz witches.
What is inspiring you these days?
Some musicians I have been listening to a lot lately include Valerie June, First Aid Kit, and Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.
In terms of Instagram, I often find myself looking at @chimera_code ‘s account for astrology updates and images which I find inspiring. I also love @thevoluptuouswitch ‘s astrological updates. In terms of artwork on Instagram, I love @corbettjulia ‘s cosmic pieces.
Some writing I have been connecting to lately includes the poetry of Rupi Kaur and Nikita Gill. I am also running a book club with my friend Melissa Genest (aka “The Nude Witch”) called Books & Magic. Right now we are exploring The Alchemist, and using herbs, crystals, and meditation to enhance our experience with the book.
A sweet, pink potion for love celebrations...
Take a few drops by tongue, in tea, or champagne to celebrate love of yourself or others!
Two 16 oz Mason jars
Three 1 oz glass dropper bottles
Dried red rose petals, dried rose hips, & dried hibiscus - Have about 1 oz of each on hand; you can then intuit your desired mixture while crafting!
~10 oz vegetable glycerin
~5 oz distilled water
1. Fill one mason jar ½ way with the rose petals, rose hips, and hibiscus. Intuit how much of each herb feels right to you for your individualized mixture.
2. Fill another mason jar with 3 parts vegetable glycerine, and 1 part distilled water. Shake the mixture until well combined.
3. Pour the liquid mixture over the herbs, so they are completely covered and the jar is full.
4. Close and label your jar with the date and ingredients used.
5. Shake the mixture daily for 4 weeks.
6. Strain the mixture from one mason jar into another using cheese cloth. Gather the remaining plant matter in cheesecloth and give it a squeeze to extract as much of the liquid as you can!
7. Pour the glycerite into your 1 oz glass dropper bottles using a small funnel.
8. Label with dropper bottles with the date and ingredients. Share with love!
Madeline Mooney ~ Reiki Master Teacher, Faerie Camp Director, Herbalist
All photos in this post belong to Madeline Mooney