It's Valentines, and most recently we honored Cleopatra in our Dance Alchemy class. Cleopatra was the great seductress, not only with men, but with power in her position as Pharaoh. When she had been 'kicked out of the palace' by her brother, the current ruler, she asked her servants to roll her up into a carpet and smuggle her into Caesar's rooms. The plan: Convince Caesar to return her, instead of her brother, to the throne as ruler. It worked, Caesar restored her to the throne. They became a couple and had a son.
After the death of Caesar, the new leader, Marc Antony, asked to meet with Cleopatra. She arrived on a barge, covered in roses, reclining like Venus, with nymphs fanning her. She sailed in under purple sails, with silver oars, and perfume being wafting into the air, allowing the scent to announce her arrival.
She reclined beneath a gold-spangled canopy, dressed as Venus in a painting, while beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood at her sides and fanned her. Her fairest maids were likewise dressed as sea nymphs and graces, some steering at the rudder, some working at the ropes. Wondrous odors from countless incense-offerings diffused themselves along the river-banks.
Cleopatra loved to bath in milk and honey.. Here is a Milk Bath Recipe to soften your skin, and pamper you like a Goddess.
Milk & Honey Bath (enough for one bath)
- 1 cup Milk - (Cleo preferred Donkey Milk, but the fresh milk in your fridge will do just fine) Milk contains AHA which penetrates the top layers of the skin to remove dead skin cells. This exfoliation stimulates the skin and helps to regenerate healthy cells.
- 1/4 cup Honey - honey is great for your skin due to it being naturally antibacterial, which helps to prevent any unwanted breakouts or skin irritation. It also contains high levels of antioxidants, always good.
- 1-2 drops of rose oil if you can spare it. Or if you are going for seduction, Jasmine. Ylang-Ylang, or Tuberose blend beautifully.
I like to warm the milk first in a water bath of it's own. Place the milk in a heatproof jar or measuring cup and place it in a pan filled with water on low heat. Once the milk is warm, add the honey. Don't boil it, milk and honey do not like high temperatures and high heat destroys beneficial qualities. Stir to mix, remove from heat and add essential oil.
Pour this mixture into your waiting bath water. If you have rose petals add them too. Cleopatra would. Swirl around and recline like Cleopatra on a barge.
Marc Antony lost his head, his heart and his mind when he saw Cleopatra arrive on that barge. They had three children together and their deaths inspired the writings of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Having heard that Cleopatra was dead, Marc Antony stabbed himself.......
Marc Antony is dying of a self-inflicted stab wound. As he slowly slips away Cleopatra wails, beating her chest, smearing herself in his blood. Usually, a master of self-possession, she is losing her mind. Antony dies as Cleopatra holds him. She will soon follow him to the grave.
When Cleopatra died, the empire ended with her. She was the last pharaoh to rule Ancient Egypt