Iris Eve Devine had a dream, but not in the Martin Luther King Jr. way. Hers was more David Lynch.
Devine envisioned herself meandering around a fragrant campground strewn with Doug firs. She saw herself as a much older, seasoned alchemist, supplying a group of retreatists with a rainbow of hors d'oeuvres: regenerating herbals, teas and elixirs.
And thus, Metamorphix Roots Regeneration was born—Devine's special-order and mobile elixir bar. It's still a pop-up right now, but Devine's plans for a brick and mortar include a place for guests to engage with healing fire pits and immerse themselves in the cleansing waters of Japanese cedar soaking tubs.
A New Jersey native, Devine's interest in elixir alchemy was influenced by her parents' specialty European liquor shop. She moved to Portland in 2009, and she self-identifies as a healer, herbalist, feminist and witch.
"When I'm doing a pop-up, I offer customized, regenerating elixirs with booster tinctures, extracts and powders, such as pine pollen, Krishna tulsi and Kunzite essence," says Devine, who gathers and tinctures her own herbs.
Devine will add saké to some elixirs upon request, providing an earthy buzz. Other concoctions do not explicitly intoxicate. Instead, her elixirs include, "seven intentionally prepared potions that nurture, restore, regenerate and nourish." Some are specifically designed to combat hangovers.
Instead of debating the pretentiousness of Western medicine, Devine gives Eastern medicine a Western twist. And unlike counterfeit herbalists or simple incense enthusiasts, Devine sees herbalism as a blood oath between humanity and nature.
"An herbalist has a deep reverence for the plant world," explains Devine. "She gets her hands into the soil. I loathe the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry and am grateful to be part of the intentional self-empowering revolution that is, in fact, the absolute manifestation and resurgence of roots plant medicine."