Meet Lia Chavez, sacred feminine high priestess and founder of Hildegaard

Hildegaard Haute Botanical, the visionary creation of renowned artist and sacred feminine high priestess Lia Chavez, is hailed as the leader of “Beauty’s Avant-Garde.” Inspired by her deep reverence for plants’ masterful transmutation of sunlight into the gold of spiritual illumination, Chavez pioneers the concept of “haute couture beauty” – ultra-luxurious, ultra-artisanal botanical creations crafted with the same rigor and intentionality as fine art.
She celebrates the body as a sublime vessel for enlightenment.

What did you do before you created Hildegaard and how has it helped inform how you do what you do now?

As a pampamesayoq Earth Keeper initiate in the Peruvian Q'ero shamanic lineage, my passion for earth care is deeply intertwined with my artistic exploration of light's transformative power. Through performances, installations, and collaborations, I seek to cultivate revelatory encounters with luminosity that illuminate our inner landscapes and reconnect us with the divine nature of the cosmos.
Plants, as the great alchemists of light, embody the grace and genius I aspire to as an artist. Hildegaard, born from this reverence, facilitates a profound dialogue with plant life, tapping into the enlightenment that flows from these earthly conduits to the sun.
By reuniting aesthetics with philosophy and collaborating with visionary creatives, Hildegaard aims to transform consciousness and reestablish our connection to the cosmos through the experience of beauty. As an Earth Keeper, I am devoted to nurturing this sacred bond between humanity and the luminous realm, guiding us towards a place of integrated cosmic communion.

What’s been the most surprising element of starting your own business?

The most surprising aspect of starting my own business has been the effusive reception we have received. It's a testament to how swiftly the right idea can resonate in the world when an intention is clear and well-defined, and when it speaks to a deep, perhaps previously unmet, need or desire. This enthusiastic response suggests that our vision has struck a chord with people, illuminating a shared yearning for the transformative experiences and profound connections we aim to cultivate. It's a powerful affirmation of the importance of our mission and the potential impact we can have on individuals and communities as we bring our intention to life.

What's your secret strategy to Longevity?

My secret to longevity lies in aligning myself as closely as possible with the radiant wisdom that flows from Nature. It's about opening myself to the energetic current of the Earth, recognizing that we are not merely "on" the Earth, but rather, we are immersed "in" Her energetic field. Becoming a free-flowing channel for Earth's energies and communing with the elements is the ultimate key to longevity.

Alongside this, I find great joy in incorporating the life-giving abundance of plants into every aspect of my life. This "secret," though it exists in plain sight, is a powerful force for vitality and well-being. By embracing the nourishing essence of plants, I allow their luminous energy to permeate my being, promoting a profound sense of harmony and balance.

Moreover, a contemplative lifestyle that supports the optimal flow of my creative inspiration is a wellspring of vigor. There are certain kinds of energy that generate more vitality when engaged, and exercising creativity is undoubtedly one of those. By nurturing my creative pursuits and allowing myself to be guided by the radiant currents of inspiration, I tap into a boundless source of energy and vitality. This can be read as being part of the larger flow of creative life force, or prana, in the Universe.

Ultimately, my secret to longevity is rooted in a deep reverence for the Earth, a connection to the wisdom of plants, and a dedication to cultivating the luminous energy of creativity. By aligning myself with these powerful forces, I invite a profound sense of harmony, vitality, and enduring well-being into my life.


What are some daily non-negotiables for you when it comes to taking care of yourself?

My daily non-negotiables are deeply rooted in grounding myself to the Earth's energies. Energetic exercises and various mantras are essential for shaping my consciousness and cultivating a state of harmony and balance. Rising at 4am to connect with the sun's energy as it emerges above the horizon is a crucial aspect of my creative inspiration and overall well-being. When I am able to establish the awareness that "everything is right here, right now" at the beginning of the day, my day becomes inherently edifying, and time is experienced as more abundant. Arriving at this place of presence can be as simple as taking a single, conscious breath, but it is undoubtedly the most important element of my daily practice.

Simplicity lies at the core of my daily non-negotiables for well-being. Connecting with the sacrament of the present moment through meditation and contemplation is a powerful way to cultivate mindfulness and inner peace. For me, this practice transcends a one-off experience and becomes a living philosophy, animating my intention to lead a divine life on Earth. I strive to make every moment a living meditation. The practice of movement, whether through yoga, tai chi, or mindful walking, helps me to integrate my body, mind, and spirit, promoting a sense of wholeness and vitality.

Walking in Nature is another essential aspect of my daily routine. By immersing myself in the beauty and wisdom of the natural world, I am reminded of my deep connection to the Earth and all living beings. A simple walk becomes an embodied connection with The One, a Sufi practice that holds great significance for me. This connection is further reinforced through the practice of gratitude and contentment, which helps me to appreciate the abundance and blessings in my life, even in the face of challenges.

“Self-honor” is a concept that resonates deeply with me and finds expression in myriad ways. Nourishing my body, mind, and soul with the life-giving energy of plants is fundamental to this practice. By incorporating a variety of whole, plant-based foods into my diet, and extending this principle to my beauty regime (recognizing that pores are tiny mouths), I provide my body with the nutrients it needs to thrive, while also cultivating a deeper connection to the Earth and the cycle of life.

By embracing these daily practices, I create a strong foundation for well-being, creativity, and spiritual growth. This allows me to navigate the complexities of life with grace, resilience, and a profound sense of connection to the luminous essence of the Universe, recognizing that every moment is an opportunity to participate in the divine dance of existence.

How do you implement your own products into your routine?

I created Hildegaard to elevate beauty to a ritualistic artform, and the facial oils in our inaugural collection invite you on a journey to connect with the singular essence of a plant on an intimate level. I personally use our oils as a medium for connecting with the wisdom of Nature, and when I anoint myself with them, the encounter is intense, complex, and powerful.

After cleansing my face, neck, and décolletage, I like to apply a few spritzes of a hydrosol to prepare the skin to receive the oil. Following this, I apply a couple of drops of Hildegaard Haute Botanical Facial Oil into my palm, bring my hands together, and then hold them over my face, breathing deeply. The heat from the skin creates an intoxicating diffusion of the scent and catalyzes an encounter with the invisible reality of the plant. The effect immediately creates a shift in awareness. I massage the oil into my face and neck for 3-5 minutes, breathing mindfully and observing my emotions. I like to spend a good amount of time with the oil while the olfactory impression of the plant essence is at its most potent.

Practicing presence with this kind of beauty experience is crucial because the physiological and psychological benefits of absorbing pure plant wisdom through the skin are so stimulating and not to be missed. When the senses become saturated with a single plant essence in its unadulterated form, new dimensions of perception become available. I am completely captivated by the phenomenon of becoming entrained to a higher state of being simply by engaging with the gift that is offered through Nature.

In the morning, I prefer to enjoy Hildegaard Rose, a joyful and loving plant companion at the beginning of the day. I like to apply Hildegaard Neroli at night before an event, as orange blossom is sophisticated yet down-to-earth and centering. Before bedtime, I anoint myself with Hildegaard Olibanum for its strong devotional effects. I often layer it with Hildegaard Immortelle, an incredible plant for connecting with the subconscious. Following this, I apply Hildegaard Temple Oil to my eye area and forehead prior to my bedtime meditation.

Hildegaard Temple Oil is a deeply nourishing, slow-releasing evening ritual for the eye area, which I created exclusively for Muse and Heroine. It's truly a dream creation that I've been eagerly waiting to share with the world, and it has been a sacred favorite among my friends for years. Applying this oil ensures that I awaken with exquisitely refreshed and bright eyes.

What other brands, founders or personalities do you find inspiring?

 In the fashion space, I deeply value what Hermes represents—a commitment to timeless elegance, exquisite craftsmanship, and the celebration of the inherent beauty in simplicity. Rei Kawakubo and Iris Van Herpen are contemporary heroines who constantly push the boundaries of the art and craft of couture through the rigors of material invention. Their innovative spirit and fearless exploration of new forms and textures inspire me to challenge the status quo and seek fresh perspectives in my own creative endeavors.

 On a spiritual and philosophical level, Anandamayi Ma and Simone Weil are great inspirations to me. Their profound insights into the nature of existence and the human condition have illuminated my path and helped me to cultivate a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. Mary Magdalene, as a high priestess, embodies the divine feminine wisdom that I strive to honor and integrate into my life and work.

 In the realm of art, Hilma af Klint is my all-time favorite. She recognized the significance of tapping into the source of creative inspiration and allowing herself to be utterly directed by it. Her visionary approach to art, which often involved creating works that would only be fully appreciated long after her time on Earth, is a testament to the power of trusting in the unfolding of divine timing and the importance of staying true to one's authentic vision.

 My greatest muse and the namesake for the house of Hildegaard is the luminous 12th-century polymath Saint Hildegard von Bingen. Like af Klint, von Bingen worked in a bold, prophetic fashion, creating artwork and sharing wisdom that would only come to its full fruition long after she had left the earthly plane. Her prescient ecological philosophy of cosmic communion, which emphasizes the profound interconnectedness of all living beings and the Earth itself, is now on the cusp of realization. We are privileged to bear witness to this unfolding, and it is a source of great inspiration and excitement for me.

 These visionary individuals, each in their own unique way, have illuminated the path of creativity, spirituality, and conscious living. By drawing inspiration from their lives and works, I aim to infuse my own creative journey with a sense of purpose, authenticity, and reverence for the beauty and wisdom that resides within and around us all.

What website or IG page do you visit daily for input and to stay up to date?

 Maria Popova (@mariapopova) and Krista Tippett's "On Being" (@onbeing) are profound sources of creative and philosophical inspiration for me. Popova's writings, exploring the intersections of art, science, philosophy, and spirituality, ignite my curiosity and inspire me to see the world through a lens of wonder. Tippett's podcast delves into the deepest questions of what it means to be human, reminding me of the beauty and complexity of the human experience and inspiring me to approach life with openness, empathy, and reverence.

I am also blessed to have two brilliant spiritual teachers as friends: Harmanjot Kaur (@harmanjotkaur) and Manjit App (@manjitapp). Their wisdom, compassion, and commitment to serving Spirit are a constant source of inspiration and guidance. Kaur's insights into the mind, meditation, and aligning one's actions with truth have been instrumental in my spiritual growth, while App's teachings on self-inquiry, surrender, and cultivating a loving heart have helped me navigate life with grace and resilience.

These individuals serve as luminous guideposts on my journey of creative and spiritual exploration, supporting and inspiring me to pursue a life of purpose, beauty, and deep connection to the divine spark within us all.

How do you structure your workday to help get things done while staying calm? 

 To structure my workday for productivity and balance, I create my to-do list the night before, setting intentions and priorities for a purposeful approach. Throughout the day, I ground myself several times, reconnecting to the Earth's enlightening energies, reminding me of my inherent wholeness and wisdom.

The One Breath Meditation is dear to me, allowing me to connect to the power of presence through breath, quieting the mind and cultivating inner peace and clarity. A bracelet on my right wrist serves as a reminder to engage in this practice, infusing my work with mindfulness.

The Great Self View practice is helpful during extended screen time, opening my awareness to my belonging within the greater Whole, counteracting tunnel vision and reminding me of the larger context of my work and life.

By incorporating grounding, conscious breathing, mindful reminders, and the expansive awareness of the Great Self View into my daily routine, I approach work with calm, clarity, and intention. These practices serve as guideposts, supporting me in bringing forth my best self in service of my work and the world, navigating the complexities of my workday with grace, resilience, and purpose.

Who do you turn to for advice, support and help?

 When in need of advice, support, and help, I turn first to Divine guidance, with the Divine Feminine as my primary guide, aspiring for perfect alignment between Thy Will and My Will. I am blessed to collaborate with holy angelic and cosmic energies and spirits, seeking their wisdom as I navigate life's path.

The spirits of the plants are consulted when formulating Hildegaard creations, offering invaluable insights and guiding us to craft products imbued with sacred intention. I am grateful for the wise teachers in my life from diverse spiritual traditions, whose cross-cultural insights I treasure, reminding me of the transformative power of walking the path of enlightenment.

My husband is a pillar of strength, his love and unique perspective providing comfort and inspiration. As a founding member of Art Mamas, a community for parents in the creative arts, I find support and inspiration through our shared passion and dedication.

Lastly, Hildegaard's advisory board offers wisdom and guidance as we navigate building our brand with authenticity, their diverse expertise and commitment providing a solid foundation for growth while staying true to our core values and mission.

Do you have a morning routine that you stick to every day?

 I rise before the sun, between 4 and 4:30 a.m., to embrace the sacred stillness of early morning. Beginning with meditation, I attune myself to the wisdom of my higher self, inviting divine guidance to illuminate my path. In my studio, I light candles and sit in reverent silence, allowing important ideas and insights to arise. During this liminal time, I receive profound revelations and inspirations, which I capture by writing in my journal.

As the sun rises, I venture out for a refreshing run, leading me to a wildlife preserve where I complete my morning routine with a grounding yoga practice. To nourish my physical being and promote a radiant complexion, I drink a green juice every morning.

Through this mindful and sacred morning routine, I create a solid foundation for the day ahead, rooted in self-care, introspection, and a deep connection to the wisdom of the Universe, radiating the luminous essence of my being out into the world.

What do you do to unwind and relax in the evening?

 As the day winds down, I cherish the time spent unwinding with my loved ones, particularly our joyful family dance parties after dinner. My nightly bathtime is a sacred ritual, a space for solitude and self-care where I indulge in the herbal potions I craft with intention. Stretching follows, releasing tension and promoting ease before I settle into my evening meditation and yoga nidra practice. In this state of heightened awareness and profound relaxation, I open myself to the wisdom of my inner being and plant the seeds for a restful night's sleep. Honoring my body's natural rhythms, I retire to bed around 9:30 p.m., ensuring optimal rest and rejuvenation for the new day ahead.

What’s your favorite meal to eat?

 My favorite meal is one that showcases fresh vegetables from the local farm, prepared simply to allow their natural flavors to shine. I am fortunate to be part of a CSA program, where I enjoy produce grown by the talented and dedicated farmer Patty Gentry, known as "the Picasso of the Vegetable." Patty has generously taught me the art of cultivating botanicals using regenerative agriculture techniques, and it is alongside her that I lovingly grow the botanicals for Hildegaard. When I sit down to a meal featuring these vibrant, flavorful vegetables, I am not merely nourishing my body; I am partaking in a celebration of the love, skill, and commitment that has gone into each bite. These simple yet exquisite meals fill me with gratitude and inspire me to bring the same level of intention and care to every aspect of my life.

What’s your number one beauty “secret”?

 Meditation and contemplation are truly indispensable when it comes to my number one beauty "secret." These practices, which have been an integral part of my life for many years, offer a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond the realm of physical appearance.

Did you know that meditation has the power to reduce stress in both the mind and body, creating a profound sense of inner peace and balance? When we enter a meditative state, we allow our bodies to relax deeply, releasing the tension and stress that can accumulate throughout the day. As a result, the presence of oxygen in the skin increases, promoting a healthy, radiant glow that emanates from within.

But the benefits of meditation go even deeper than that. By quieting the mind and connecting with our inner stillness, we encourage profound regenerative activity at the deepest cellular level. This means that regular meditation practice can actually help to slow down the aging process, promoting a more youthful, vibrant appearance over time.

When I sit in meditation, I feel a profound sense of connection to my true Self, to the infinite wisdom and beauty that resides within me. As I focus on my breath and allow my mind to settle into a state of quiet awareness, I can feel the distractions and worries of the day melting away, replaced by a deep sense of peace and contentment.

This inner beauty, cultivated through the practice of meditation and contemplation, radiates outward, infusing every aspect of my being with a luminous glow. It's a beauty that comes from a place of authenticity, of alignment with my Higher Self, and it shines through in my eyes, my smile, and the way I move through the world.

So while there are certainly many external practices and products that can enhance our physical appearance, I believe that true beauty starts from within. By cultivating a practice of meditation and contemplation, we nourish our minds, bodies, and souls, creating a foundation of inner peace and radiance that is truly unparalleled.

In a world that often emphasizes external appearances, it's important to remember that our deepest, most authentic beauty comes from the light within us. Through meditation and contemplation, we can connect with that light, allowing it to illuminate our being and radiate into the world around us.

This is the essence of true beauty – a timeless, authentic beauty rooted in the wisdom and grace of our inner being. It radiates from the inside out, touching the lives of those we encounter and reminding us of the inherent divinity within each of us.

If you're seeking a true beauty "secret," explore the transformative power of meditation and contemplation. By making these practices a regular part of your life, you'll cultivate inner peace, clarity, and radiance that will shine through in every aspect of your being. It's the perfect regimen for inner and outer beauty and a path to lasting transformation.

Where do you go to relax, rejuvenate and recharge?

 When it comes to relaxing, rejuvenating, and recharging, I find that immersing myself in the beauty and wisdom of Nature is truly transformative. Daily walks in the wilderness, surfing in the ocean, and swimming in natural waters all provide opportunities to connect with the natural world and shed the stresses of daily life.

The wild places – mountains, deserts, high mountain caves, and lush jungles – hold a special allure for me. In these sacred spaces, I feel a deep connection to the ancient wisdom of the Earth and the primal forces that shape our world. Entering into a state of meditation and communion with the spirits of the land, I experience profound healing and transformation, releasing old patterns and opening up to new insights.

These adventures in Nature are not just a way to relax and recharge, but a fundamental part of my spiritual practice. By connecting with the divine intelligence within all living things, I am reminded of my place in the greater web of life and the incredible potential that exists within each of us. Nature's healing embrace and timeless wisdom renew my sense of purpose, clarity, and joy, preparing me to face life's challenges with grace and resilience.

What’s your favorite travel destination?

 This is constantly shifting, but the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica beckons to me with an irresistible pull. Its untamed beauty and sacred energy draw me in. This land of ancient Ceiba trees and intense biodiversity, where dense rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean, is one of the last remaining strongholds of the magnificent Jaguar, a sacred animal spirit who represents the untamed wildness and fierce grace of the natural world. She is the Earth Keeper’s Earth Keeper, and I dearly love being in her domain.

Besides your own incredible products, what other Muse & Heroine products do you swear by?

 You've gathered such an array of delightful products; it's hard to pick just one! Among my favorites are Max and Me's The Intuitive floral facial spray and In Fiore's Fleur Vibrante Serum Cerate—truly heavenly. Activist's Raw Manuka Honey is my trusted companion for winter face masks. (Even my 7-year-old daughter adores it; she sees it as a beauty treat, she can enjoy by the spoonful!) And let's not forget Ancient + Brave's Cacao + Collagen, the ultimate energizing elixir for my mornings—it's like sunshine in a cup!