Sex Magic for Mars Retrograde


Written by Lisa Stardust

Mars, the planet of sexual desire, starts its retrograde from airy Aquarius back into earthy Capricorn during the summer, starting on June 26th and lasting until August 27th. As lusty Mars slides backwards, we may have a hard time asserting ourselves in communications and areas of physical expression, alike. Most notably, this transit can affect our libido, the power to initiate, and our sexual stamina.

Instead of spending the next couple of months tongue-tied, fuming, and sexually frustrated, increase your level of desire and allow it to flow by creating some personal magic to get your summer loving on. Combat the harsh Mars retro energy by using the magic of your own pheromones— your most powerful, unspoken means of attraction.

Using common ingredients found in the kitchen, you can manifest and/or unblock brewing passions by creating this delectable attraction oil.

This recipe calls for vanilla to enhance senses, roses for confidence, cinnamon to ignite fiery passions, and peppermint to awaken the libido. Rub a bit of this fragrant oil on yourself to get your loving groove back, with or without a partner. The most important thing to remember is to infuse the oil with your emotions and your best intentions. While there are directions below, you can double or triple them as needed. Use your emotions and senses to guide you through mixing these beautiful ingredients together. Just like cooking, it’s always best to mix and blend according to how you feel, and for this oil, get yourself revved up with passion by listening to music and setting the mood.






*Please note, there are two alternatives to make the oil listed below.


Using Oils: 12 drops vanilla oil 1 drop of cinnamon oil 1 drop peppermint oil 1 drop rose oil


Using Fresh Ingredients: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract A pinch of cinnamon 2 sprigs of peppermint 5 crushed, dried or fresh, rose petals

Directions: Blend the ingredients together in a bowl. Place the oil in a jar and close the lid. Save left-over oil in a dark cool place. Place a drop of oil between your legs and behind your ears. Your libido will rise and your pheromones will be triggered, which can add heat to sultry summer evenings. For extra potency, create oil on Mars's day, which is on Tuesdays. Use the oil on a Tuesday to work with the positive energy of Mars, combating the retrograde vibes with some gentle self-love.

New Moon Guides Through Animisim

Artwork by   Cerenbulbun  

Artwork by Cerenbulbun  

Written by Lisa Stardust

The Gemini New Moon, occurring June 13th, presents us all with an opportunity to seek out knowledge, enabling us to connect to new philosophies and perspectives. As the New Moon falls close to the constellation Taurus, activating fixed stars found on the Bull’s Horn and Orion’s Belt, we are strongly urged to let our animal instincts out to play with our keen intellectualism.

What better way is there to connect one's body, mind, and spirit than to learn about old beliefs that nurture faith in the natural world? Animism is an ages old concept that connects humans to the elemental beings (fire, earth, air, and water), with the understanding that we are all one with the living body of the earth and its spirits. The belief of animism was studied and introduced to modern Western society by the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor, but it dates back to the beginning of humankind as indigenous people in many parts of the world have always believed that, in one way or another, humans are one with their maker and their surroundings. In Animism, the earth is a living god.


With the ever-curious energy of the Gemini New Moon, it can be especially transformative to reflect on a new concept of oneness with nature, particularly for the purpose of to finding peace in this fast-paced, technology driven world. In the Celtic tradition, Brighid, the Goddess of Creativity, birthed the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. To honor her elemental children, the Celts left offerings of food, poetry, prayers, jewelry, and other gifts that uplift the spirits of the land. You, too, can honor the elements described here in during these last days of spring in order to start a new cycle around healing by connecting to the spirit elements of the earth.


By acknowledging the spiritual, philosophical energy of the Gemini New Moon, we can connect greatly to our environment. Enjoying the weather, admiring plants, rocks, and bodies of water, as well as visual art and the work of wordsmiths are all excellent ways to get connected with the elements. As human animals, we can root more deeply into our lives by reflecting on the supernatural force that the ancients and some indigenous peoples today believe is the thread tying us together with the rest of the living, breathing earth.

Trees and Plants (Earth)
Celts honored trees, in particular the mighty oak and ash in nearby neighboring villages. Honoring old trees near your home will serve as the proper way to evoke the spirit. Gather with friends and have a picnic under a tree, taking time to thank the tree for sheltering you from the sun and cleansing the air you breathe.

Animal Omens (Earth)
Used as spirit animals, the animal omens were created as the symbolism for what humans did not possess. The connection of humans to another creature represents their divine inner nature. If you’ve seen an image or animal reappear in your dreams or visions and meditations, it may be trying to teach you about qualities you hold inside, which you can work to bring forth in the world.

The Morrigan


The “Great Phantom Queen” who rules war, fate, and known as the manifestation of an earthly guardian ruler. She is feared as well as revered in Celtic lore. Crows and ravens are both symbols of the Morrigan. These highly intelligent birds are believed to be knowledgeable and powerful messengers from the spirit realm.


The Celtic version of Mars, Cardea rules bears for their protective nature. Fierce and loyal defenders of those who honor them, bears sacrifice themselves for those they hold dear.


God of the forest, Cernunnos rules the mystical deer spirit. Deers represent transformation and growth, rebirth. They are believed to be part fairy and part animal, and therefore possess magical powers.


Brighid, the Goddess of life Celtic version of Venus represents multiple animals...
Snakes: Shedding skin allows the transformative snake to embody eternal life.
Cattle: Essence of life. Cattle are a sacred animal representing fertility and well-being.
Horse: Beauty, grace, and luxury combined with extraordinary strength.

Dogs: Loyal guardians and healers.

Rivers, Lakes, Springs, and Oceans (Water)

Collecting water from rivers, lakes, springs, and oceans for your altar can bring a fluid, nourishing energy to your home and provide relief from everyday stresses. Brighid, in particular is also associated with fresh springs, as water is considered the natural giver of life. Rivers are recognized as the great mother. Dea Matrona is the most popular goddess in Celtic mythology who gives her name to the river Marne. All rivers in the Celtic world are named after goddesses.

Weather and The Sky (Air)

Let your hair down or wear flowing clothes to feel the breeze upon your skin. Watch the way the wind rustles the leaves on trees, causing the light and shadows to shift in your perception. Sing, read aloud, or have a good and honest conversation in which you use your breath in ways that honor your spirit. Cailleach, the dark mother, was believed by the Celts to be the bringer of winter storms, also known as a crone or “storm hag”. In Celtic mythology, she appeared in late fall when snow would begin to fall and the blustery winds howled. She came alive in the cold months. The old crone Cailleach, with her matted hair and one good eye, would come upon a hero or young man and, if he was gracious to her, she would transform into a beautiful young woman and rewards him for his kindness. Kindness dances upon the air, transforming relationships and the world at large.

The Hunt (Fire)
Celts prayed to a deity of their choice to guide them to successfully hunt their sustenance. Animal protein was very important in ancient societies. Animals that were hunted were thanked for their sacrifice and honored in rituals. If you do not eat meat, take time to reflect on the way the earth gives us all that we need. Give back to nature: Watch animals play, share your croissant with a squirrel, walk dogs at your local shelter— anything that gets you in-tune with the animal world.






A Full Moon that occurs between May 22 and June 21 will be in Sagittarius. This moon has many names "Rose moon" "strawberry moon", and of course,  Honey moon. This Moon is helpful in matters of:

  • Understanding
  • Adventures; both mental and physical.
  • Travel that broadens the mind.
  • Expanding conceptual horizons.
  • Long-term planning

The restless and enthusiastic energy of the Sagittarius moon pushes us in the direction of seeking adventure, change, and motion. The Full moon in this sign is a time for philosophy, metaphysics, traveling, studying, and freedom from responsibility. This moon's energy brings the need to feel free of restrictions, and to be spontaneous. The restless and independent nature of this astrological sign is to offer us the gift of exploration. Warm & friendly vibes can make this a good time for seeing new places, encountering different people and relating to a changing environment.

The Full Moon in Sagittarius is the best time  hold a group ritual. The spiritual and psychic forces are very evident now and the desire to connect with us is strong.


The Moon in Sagittarius tends to affect the extended vertebrae (sacrum and coccyx) as well as thighs. At this time massages are particularly beneficial and can loosen up sore or stiff muscles. Stiff thigh muscles and deep-seated contusions can be quickly cured with long soaks in Epsom salt and soothing herbal mixtures that smell great and relax the senses. You can even take this soak a step further by lighting a purple candle (the color associated with Sagittarius) and close your eyes for a healing moon meditation (see below)




Sitting comfortably in silence welcome the fiery, passionate, and expansive energies of Sagittarius in. Practice being mindful of the destructive potential of these energies by allowing thoughts of lower nature to come in, and release them out with each breath. At this time,  it is essential that we choose to fill our mental and emotional natures with temperance, silence, and mindfulness.  Only from this place can we find alignment and sense the vision of what is possible. Allow your body to relax completely and focus on using your energy to renounce all obstacles that might be hindering the union of achieving your highest spiritual goals. 


  • Carrying inner silence, can I walk through this day as an observer? Mindful of my thoughts, words, deeds, and of the vision I hold within? 
  • What is my highest aspiration? 


June's Rose moon, strawberry moon, and mead moon is a time for casting spells offering protection, making decisions, personal strength, love and fertility.


 Honoring the full moon can be integrated into parties/groups by meditating together with silent witness to the moon being our center. Ritualized touching/laying on of hands for healing. chant together using syllables or sounds of power.



Written by Jessica Lanyadoo

Witch Tips

How you participate in the world at large and the world within is a matter of choice. Life moves fast and it can feel like it’s happening to you, but the truth is that life is more of a democracy than a dictatorship. You have choice within your circumstances. There is of course due process to be observed, but with vision, effort, and patience, much can be achieved. 

There’s a great deal happening in the stars this week, but here’s the upshot for you: it’s time to honor your heart. In the most simplistic terms, life can be distilled down to two things – fear and love. It's easy to say always choose love, but in reality, it isn't always easy to do. There are times when heeding your fears is an act of love. There are times when acting from a place of love means choosing pain, or loss, or personal hardship. Life is not black and white, and the “right thing” is not always a fixed point. The expansive Jupiter trine to empathetic Neptune is exact on the 25th. It may be easy to rest on your laurels and confuse intent for action, but this would be a missed opportunity. Prioritize generosity and empathy in your actions and your choices, and not just philosophically. Humanity is going through a period of great duress. Every choice you make matters, including the choice to do nothing, say nothing, or feel less. On the same day, the Venus opposition to Saturn will be exact, marking this as a time for making material choices. Who you value and the ways you protect them are on the line, lovers. Choose to invest in and protect a relationship that’s outlived it’s purpose, and you’ll find that you still feel anxious or off. This is the time to confront the realities that you find yourself in, not just in your personal life but within the larger communities that you are connected to. 


The Moon is full in inspiring Sagittarius at 6:19amPST on May 29th. What you believe in is on the line now, and this Full Moon is a chance for you to focus on the big picture. The risk here is that you'll weave a story about your life that justifies your feels instead of exploring 

your feels in efforts to understand the true story. It’s important that you listen to what others are telling you about themselves – not just in their words but also with their actions – and accept what you are shown, even if you're compelled to try and change things. Acceptance is a foundational step. In order to properly address something, you must first understand it. This is the time to confront the truth and to mobilize from that place. 


There is no one meant to save or heal you – seek inspiration and guidance instead of fixes, lovers. You are the one, and the time is now. 





March 21-April 19 

Having fun is nice, bit have you tried prioritizing true happiness? This week is all about the difference between pleasure and joy. One is fleeting, while the other lasts. One fills your cup to the top, while the other flows through the pipes of your house. Don’t be so quick to feel nice that you miss out on opportunities to feel fantastic, Aries. The easiest route may not be the best one; invest in what will improve your whole life and not just this moment. 



April 20-May 20 

If you’ve taken on too much or overindulged lately, you’re going to have to take the first half of this week to recuperate. Use your body as the resource that it’s meant to be, and work it out. Exercise, dance, take long walks, or try to get yourself into nature. Take care of your physical self, as it’s your home and meant to be your BFF. You don’t have to be perfectly healthy or even well adjusted; all you need to do is to treat yourself with care and love, Taurus. 



May 21-June 21 

If you have extra to give, it will make you feel better to share, Twin Star. This week is all about the expansion you get through service. The Full Moon in your relationship house is pulling you out of your head and into the world of interconnectedness. Make yourself available to others who need you, and you’ll find that you have more to give. The trick is to only offer what you can give with an open heart; anything more and you do a disservice to yourself and others. 



June 22-July 22 

Prioritize healing small wounds this week. Full Moons are always a little extra for you, and this week your ruling planet invites us all to shed the past. It’s time to take care of yourself, Moonchild. If you’re tired, rest. If you’re hungry, nourish yourself. If you’re lonely, reach out to people who are emotionally available and kind, even if only to share a smile. All you can control are your choices, so make the most empathetic and productive ones you can, my love. 



July 23-Aug. 22 

It can be hard to sit alone with yourself, but it’s truly important. This week is likely to test your relationship with yourself, and the best way to face it is with compassion. This means that you run the risk of shutting down or disassociating in the face of stresses. It’s time to step up and do your best in the face of your less than ideal qualities. You don’t need to be perfect, you only have to try. Work to become the best version of yourself you can be today, one good choice at a time. 



Aug. 23-Sept. 22 

It’s time to make a change, Virgo. Regardless of what anyone else is or isn’t doing, this week is all about what you need to do in order to be right with you. The Full Moon brings with it the risk of getting caught up in projections that based on feelings you don’t know what to do with or don’t truly know how to interpret. These feelings aren't 

the same as the truth. Remember that you want to be happy, and make sure that your actions reflect that drive, my love. 



Sept. 23-Oct. 22 

You can react to the upsets in front of you and get caught up in interpersonal dramas but to what end, Libra? It’s time to get emotional. Sit with your feelings so you can understand what’s happening within you and really take care of your heart. You get to have a different version of shared events because your perspective is your own. Seek independence by validating your own experience instead of waiting for anyone else to do it for you. 



Oct. 23-Nov. 21 

There’s no amount of proof you can compile to change your view of yourself without doing emotional work alongside it. This week you may be confronted with some things that you’d rather not see, but it’s time to stop playing games and honor the truth. You’re strong, and you’re capable, Scorpio. You can move mountains if you decide you want to. It’s time to make the decision to start doing what you know deep inside that you need to do. 



Nov. 22-Dec. 21 

The Full Moon in your sign on he the 29th is your time to own up, Sagittarius. You know what you’ve been struggling to accept and just can’t. It’s time to let go. Sometimes the things you want or the people you love are at cross-purposes with what’s whole and true for you. You don’t have to manage the whole world, you just have to do what’s right for you in the best way you know how. 



Dec. 22-Jan. 19 

Fear is a trickster. When it’s not instructive, it’s destructive. How you react to what you fear is an important reflection of your 

relationship to those feelings, not just to the content of your concerns. This week is all about the delicate balance between what was, what is, and what you intend to create. Your power lies in not letting your emotions usurp your plans, Capricorn. If you’re going to make changes, make sure they’re thought-out and intentional. 




Jan. 20-Feb. 18 

You have so much, Aquarius. It would be a shame to focus on what you don’t have, but that’s exactly what you’ve been doing. Yes, there are things you want, but if desiring them inspires you to feel more aligned with scarcity than it does with fertility, then you're missing out. Be where you’re at, and try to honor the goodness of this moment. Finding joy in imperfect circumstances while still moving forward is a skill that has no downside, my love. 




Feb. 19-March 20 

When you get don’t believe that you have a right to something, it’s easy to get defensive. The trouble is that when you act overly sensitive, you do a disservice to what you rightfully deserve. This week will challenge your sense of entitlement. Too much and you believe that your feelings matter more than those of others. Not enough and you think that yours matter less. Seek to strike balance, Pisces.

Beltane Rituals for Every Element


Written by  Lisa Stardust

Beltane is here! It’s May 1st, May Day, halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. It’s time to invite some friends over eat, drink, and be merry, embracing the beauty within and outside of ourselves as we celebrate the awakened, blooming flora and fauna of Earth. Originally celebrated as a Gaelic festival to protect cattle and encourage growth, Beltane is the light and beauty where we celebrate the sun and blossoms which perfume the air. In this May Day ritual, we are celebrating and giving back to the Earth, using all the elements (fire, earth, air, water) to ignite the hearth of Beltane. 


Ideally, a bale fire is traditional merriment for the last night of April going into Beltane, May 1st. However, in this modern world, it may be impossible to have access to space which permits a bonfire. Consider using a small cauldron or candles. The colors of the earth, including red for passion, green for prosperity, purple for spirituality, yellow for happiness, white for harmony (or as a stand-in for any other colors. Red, green, and white are traditional Beltane colors. If you don’t have access to colored candles, you can use tea light candles. It’s ok to use the materials you have, remembering that the most important thing about magic is your intentions. 

Facing North, light the candles, evoking the goddesses you cherish and ancestors you admire as you go. Take a deep breath. As you inhale, close your eyes while the warm glow surrounds you. Amidst the warmth of the flames, envision a protective light surrounding, purifying, and stoking your own inner hearth. Open your eyes to the beauty of the flames burning. Let the heat serve as a shield against negativity, as you welcome in positive vibrations. 

Any urbanite can grab a fist full of fresh greenery and place it in a cauldron. Smelling fresh grass and flowers will bring life and abundance to any room. Honor their magical power and embrace the evergreen aroma. If possible, add some dandelions for positivity, hawthorn for fertility, and violets for protection. Try crossing twigs together with a red string to create a talisman that will also serve as a protective force against evil. When done using, recycle back to the universe by placing all remains outside to give back to Mother Earth. 

Make a wish for Beltane and release it to the air. Write down your desires on flying wish paper and let your desires travel on the wind. Through setting the intention and releasing your dream into the universe, you have the opportunity to plant valuable seeds of hope and creative renewal during these festivities. Giving prayers to the earth goddesses, pleases and inspires their support of your deepest desires to be manifested in the months to come. 

Milk and honey is an offering made to Flora, Goddess of Flowers, to ensure vegetation blossoms in abundance during the Spring season. Added to baths, this mixture was notably used by the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra freshen up her soft, vibrant look and add beauty to her appearance. The mixture of milk and honey adds an element of fertility and sensuality to daily life. Rose petals infuse bathwater with feelings of self love and emotional healing. Use this combination for some bath magic to connect to the Earth Goddesses (such as Flora) and meditate. In this bath, be sure to take a moment of pause to connect to Flora’s lustful springtime earthy desires and evoke her spirit, as well as other water spirits like the river Goddess Oshun, who is also giver of love and fertility, and abundance, meditating on what you hope to grow. 


  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Honey 
  • 1 Cup Salt 
  • Rose Petals 


  • Run warm bath water. 
  • Add milk, honey, and salt in a jar. 
  • Seal the jar and shake to mix ingredients together. 
  • Pour the mixture into bath.
  • Add rose petals to bath.
  • Lie back, relax, allowing your skin to absorb the 
  • Gently rub skin and soak in bath. 

Bitter Brew: Why The Hoodwitch Should Hex Starbucks

Written by Katherine de Vos Devine of Cauldron Arts Incubator

Starbucks recently introduced a “Crystal Ball Frappuccino,” presumably hoping for a sequel to its wildly successful Unicorn Frappuccino.

Here is Starbucks’ Crystal Ball Frappuccino Instagram post from March 22, 2018:

This Starbucks ad is clearly based on the distinctive images produced by Bri Luna, aka The Hoodwitch, for her web site, social media, and various collaborations.

Bri Luna is a distinctive witch. Her look, style, writing, and images do not fit popular stereotypes about what witches look like, what they wear, or how they act. Luna troubles the definition of “witch” and expands it to be more broadly inclusive. She’s intersectional and inspirational.

But Luna was not remunerated, consulted, or in any way involved in the production of the Starbucks ad. Understandably, Luna was pissed, as were her Instagram followers and fans.

Granted, most witchy imagery isn’t distinctive enough to merit this level of outrage. The stereotypical witch aesthetic is culturally pervasive – and thus ineligible for copyright protection – at this point in time. But black brujas with witchtips, a predilection for saturated colors, a penchant for glitter, and love of neon haven’t exactly reached critical mass on the internet or in the popular imagination. If Starbucks had gone with a black cloth, silver jewelry, and a milk-white hand, I’d probably be on their side

But they didn’t.

If I say “crystal ball,” you’re likely to think “witch” or “fortune teller.”


If I say “witch,” you may think green skin, hooked nose, pointy hat, enjoys the company of flying monkeys.


If born after 1975, pale skin, black-clad, silver jewelry, dark lipstick, and a scowl may come to mind.


If you’re into millennial witchcraft, you may also think Free People, tarot apps, and palo santo perfume.


You probably don’t think:


or this: 


It’s hard to call anything or anyone “original” in the twenty-first century, but Luna is one of the few people I laud with that accolade. Luna has greatly expanded what it means to be a witch. (So have lots of other witches, in lots of different ways, but that’s a different post.)

Yet, witchcraft remains a fairly small community, its internal aesthetic debates are not known to the broader public, and the singularity of Luna’s imagery is not likely to register with most Starbucks customers.

Thus, prospective Crystal Ball Frappuccino buyers aren’t likely to see the Starbucks ad above and think, “Hey, that looks like Bri!” They’re likely to think, “Oooo, that’s looks magical, fresh, colorful, sweet, and kind of badass.” But “magical, fresh, colorful, sweet, and [totally] badass” is Luna’s brand, her imagery, her vibe. And it’s highly distinct from other magical practitioners.

And that’s why Starbucks’ behavior sucks.

Ripping off an artist’s images to sell corporate coffee is poor form.

Riffing on witchcraft to sell corporate coffee is worthy of an eye roll, but this is not the first time that mysticism has unwittingly served capitalism.

Jacking an African-American-Mexican bruja’s photographs, concepts, and style, which have greatly changed how the witchcraft community sees its members, but are mostly unknown to the broader public…that’s a multi-pronged abuse I can’t dismiss.

Legally, it’s tough. Hypothetically, were Luna to sue Starbucks, a court would look at specific similarities between the Starbucks image and Luna’s images. There are plenty. Thus, most courts would consider “substantial similarity” and “total concept and feel” –  a doctrine developed for situations such as this one.

When considering total concept and feel, a judge is invited to consider both “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” elements.

“Extrinsic” elements are defined as “the type of artwork involved, the materials used, the subject matter, and the setting for the subject.” [Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions, Inc. v. McDonald’s Corp., 970 F.2d 106 (9th Cir., 1977)] But…“Obviously, no principle can be stated as to when an imitator has gone beyond copying the ‘idea,’ and has borrowed its ‘expression.’ Decisions must therefore inevitably be ad hoc.” [Sid & Marty Krofft Television Productions, Inc. v. McDonald’s Corp., 970 F.2d 106 (9th Cir., 1977), citing Peter Pan Fabrics, Inc. v. Martin Weiner Corp., 274 F.2d 487, 489 (2 Cir. 1960)] Translating this legalese: things can get fuzzy.

“Intrinsic” elements concern the judgment of “an ordinary person” when the expression of the works are compared. The comments on Starbucks’ Instagram post are divided, and suggest that witches see too much similarity, while non-witches don’t see a problem. Thus, we’re left with a question: who is the ordinary person? Someone familiar with Luna’s imagery or someone who is not? (Get nerdy about the identity of the “ordinary person” with me in the comments – it’s definitely an open question.)

I’m sure another lawyer could argue that the elements in each image are so simple that “total concept and feel” doesn’t apply. Or that the ordinary person is a non-witchy type who wouldn’t see Luna’s imagery as distinctive. But I think the Starbucks image clearly bites Luna’s style, in a way that might rise to the level of infringement. (And, before you ask, fair use absolutely does not apply here, as the Starbucks image has no purpose consistent with fair use.)

As you can see, the legal answer is a bit messy. But, ethically, it’s pretty straightforward.

Starbucks, a multinational corporation, decided to mimic imagery from an independent artist who belongs to numerous minority groups – African-American, Latina, witch – and seemed to think she wouldn’t fight back, that her fans wouldn’t notice, and that consumers wouldn’t care. (Given my interactions on Instagram, 1 out of 3 of my assumptions seem to be correct: Becky just wants her Frappuccino.) This is an abuse of power and this is wrong.

Starbucks most likely paid someone to source and create imagery for the ad. If they liked Luna’s work so much, they should have asked her to direct the project, take the photographs, or style the ad. At minimum, Starbucks should have credited Luna as the inspiration for the Instagram spot. And it’s all much worse because Luna actually lives in Seattle and has a robust online presence. She isn’t hard to find.

Finally, Starbucks posted the ad to Instagram, one of Luna’s primary modes of interaction, with no credit. Even a nod – “Inspired by @thehoodwitch” – would have gone a long way towards mollifying Luna’s fans (if not Luna herself). However, they would never do this, because it could weaken Starbucks’ position should Luna sue them for infringement. Which, frankly, should make you more suspicious than anything I’ve said so far.

As I’ve discussed before, there is aware appropriation and there is sterile appropriation. (The terms are Jaron Lanier’s and if you haven’t read his book, go do that right now.) Aware appropriation uses pre-existing material in ways that enliven the images or information, creating a new lens for the viewer or reader. It takes thought, feeling, and effort to be an aware appropriator. Sterile appropriation, on the other hand, repurposes pre-existing material in ways that are flat, serve only the appropriator, and have no intelligent effect on the audience’s engagement with the pre-existing material. Corporations almost always engage in sterile appropriation, but with a modicum of effort, entities like Starbucks can use their colossal influence in more positive ways.

It starts, as you might imagine, with crediting – and paying – artists like Bri Luna.