TALKING TALISMANS WITH LAURA LEE JEWELLERY

Purveyor of talismans and mystical amulets for the Now Age, Laura Lee shares her story and the symbolism behind her work with long-time fan Ruby Warrington…

As a rookie journalist working in Central London over a decade ago, I would walk past a little store on my way to work each day. Time permitting (there was always time), I’d stop and drink in the delicate pieces of jewelry that seemed to me to be especially infused with meaning.

The maker’s name was Laura Lee, and when my birthday rolled around that year there was only one thing on my wish list – a simple pearl pendant that was both as captivating and mysterious to me as the Moon. Generous lover that he is, my husband obliged.

This was long before I discovered my Moon was in Cancer, the astrological sign associated with the pearl – but I treasured my new amulet just the same, and it became the first of many talismans I have loved, and sadly lost, over time.

How thrilled was I then, to have the opportunity to collaborate with Laura on this post for The Numinous – in which she shares her journey with the stars and the personal talismans that are the touch points of her creative life.

The Oracle Multi-Coin Necklace £485

Ruby Warrington: Why do you feel like talismans have such an important role to play in modern women’s wardrobes?
Laura Lee: I believe it’s part of the human condition to question our existence on this incredible planet, the answers to which can be so mysterious and overwhelming we often feel the need of some support to make it through. Looking to the stars and other belief systems can help us in this pursuit, and since I reject the concept of most organised religions, astrology and the use of crystals and talismans is something I can relate to instead.

Beyond this, the need to protect ourselves and our loved ones is a primal and fundamental instinct and our “armor” can be worn in the form of amulets and talismans. I feel very exposed without my layers of necklaces, while I feel like I’m also sharing my story by showing them to the world.

Diamond Set Star Drop Earrings £250

RW: What is your story? What makes you, you?
LL: Part of my story is my double Leo personality, but it’s also in my mixed heritage and nomadic early life. My dad is a quarter Australian Aboriginal, quarter Chinese, quarter Japanese and quarter German, and my mum is English-Irish. I was born in London, have also lived in the States and Australia, and have travelled extensively – I am equally at home on many different continents.

RW: And what other personal pieces do you wear?
LL: My grandmother’s emerald and diamond ring and my Aunty Stella’s gold band (which was my other grandmothers wedding ring – my Dad and Stella’s mixed-race aboriginal mother). These pieces bring them closer to me and remind me of their lives and loves and adventures. Another amulet that I don’t wear but have near me always is my mother’s charm-laden bracelet, the piece that was responsible for becoming a jeweler. The charms tell the story of my mother’s journey – beginning in London, it was an adventure that finished up in Sydney, via America, Europe and Asia.

Diamond Luna Ring, $485

RW: What’s been your personal journey with astrology? And what have been the biggest teachings of the practice for you?
LL: I was very interested in astrology, the I-Ching and all things mystical as a teenager, and I had my chart done when I was about 20 and trying to work out what to do with my life. The astrologer I saw told me I would have two boys, which came to pass, and then there was a mysterious Scottish man who I’m still waiting for… 🙂 But she also told me I would always be a maker and work using my hands, which has also been true.

RW: What aspects of your chart do you relate most strongly to?
LL: I’m a double Leo which makes me pretty determined and stubborn – good qualities if you want to stick to something as long as I have with my business. I’m passionate too, which keeps me driven to create.

RW: Do you wear the symbol of your sun, moon, or rising sign? Why?
LL: Leo is ruled by the Sun, and I am very partial to the Egyptian and Mexican tradition of worshipping the sun gods. Visiting ancient Mayan and Egyptian sites made a very deep impression on me creatively.

Soleil Gold Coil Necklace (front shows Sun design), £445

RW: And what’s your relationship to the symbolism of the moon?
LL: I was born in the 1960s and so the quest to put a man on the Moon, and to then actually see men walking on its surface was pretty mind blowing. It’s stuck with me throughout my life – although it was actually the view of Earth from the Moon that probably remains the most wondrous image of my lifetime. So to me, the moon symbolizes adventure, the vastness of our galaxy, and the incredible inspiration of human endeavour.

RW: What does the wheel of fortune symbolize for you? How can we all work with this talisman?
LL: I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of luck, and how whole lives can be determined by the seemingly random nature of when and where you are born, and to whom. And so in my collections, the Wheel of Fortune reflects the capricious nature of fate. Worn as a talisman, it’s a reminder to take advantage of the opportunities we have born into a certain culture, place and time. My mantra is always not to waste time – carpe diem and make the most of your days, because life seems to go so quickly. I always feel blessed that I was born in London and in a time of (relative) safety.

To find out more about Laura’s current collection visit Lauraleejewellery.com 

MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: NATALIA BENSON

Jewelry designer, DJ and tarot maven, Natalia Benson is on a mission to create, express and inspire beauty. Discover her mystical world… Portraits: Justin Jordan

You woke up now age spirituality when you moved to LA: what triggered this in you?
This journey actually started around age 19,while I was still living in San Diego. I felt really disillusioned, confused and alone in my discrepancy with mass culture and the economic system. Frankly, my soul was exhausted and I had lost hope in life and I suppose that was when the Universe decided to intervene! Various books opened my consciousness and my heart, and I finally felt like I was getting in touch with what Truth actually felt like, and I had been yearning for that in a deep way. When I moved to LA around 21, I remember my first date with this tattooed Pisces dream boat was at a meditation in an old art gallery with a Japanese Sensei. I thought…“Wow, welcome to LA!!”

And why does the tarot resonate so strongly with you?
I became fascinated with the Tarot not long after moving to Los Angeles. Something about the imagery, colors and symbolism just fits with my psyche and my worldview. I remember when I was really little, I loved to draw and paint with every color I could get my little hands on. The Tarot is an extension of my fascination with beautiful visual aesthetics married with my other love, the esoteric.

What have been the most profound teachings of the tarot for you?
The Tarot has taught me that there is a deeper, more beautiful, more loving and way bigger Truth that lies beyond my fears, programming and ideas around how I think things “should” be. The Tarot has ignited a path for me around trusting my intuition and believing in the perfect imperfection of the life journey! To trust my internal guide and not take myself so seriously, that life is a game.

How did you wind up as The Nine of Crystals in The Starchild Tarot Deck, and what’s your reading of this card?
Danielle (of the Starchild Tarot) had been following each other on Instagram for a while and were always sending one another little love bombs via the comment sections. When she asked if I’d like to photograph for her next version of the deck, I was floored! One of my favorite photographers and dear friend, Tiffanie Byron, photographed me in the majestic Angeles Mountains just 20 minutes outside of the city. My reading of the Nine of Crystals is that in order to change the external, we must change the internal first. The way I appear on the card definitely denotes a trust in the magic of understanding and loving the power of the Self.

You also practice astrology. What do you think will be the astro theme of 2016?
For me the theme of 2016 is self-awareness, self-love, and taking action when we hear the call. Not delaying. If it calls to your heart, go for it! No more denying the soul’s voice. I think the Cosmos is ever asking us to become aware of who we are in a deep way, in a soul way, to take responsibility for our own self-work and internal transformation, and not to place blame on anyone outside of us.

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
Anything from Principessa in Venice Beach

My shoes
Jeffrey Campbell and a good pair of Vans high tops

Cromwell Boots, $175, Jeffrey Campbell

My fragrance
Santal 33 from Le Labo and doTerra Frankincense oil

Santal 33, $160, Le Labo

My jewels
My Grandpa and Grandma’s Native American heirlooms

My pampering
A gel manicure and a foot massage, please!

My home
Candles, candles, candles, I love beautiful smells! And white Christmas lights, plants, and crystals.

Rose Quartz Pyramid, $22, The Hoodwitch

My food
Erewhon is my home away from home kitchen and I love anything from Gjelina and Laurel Hardware (farm to table cooking is everywhere in LA!)

Cherry tomato, quash blossom + burrata pizza at Gjelina

:: MYSTICAL WORLD :: 

My awakening
Morning visualizations on goals and visions, and Kundalini Meditations

My sign
Aries Sun, Capricorn Rising, Sagittarius Moon

Aries pendant, £255, Laura Lee

My mantra
“I am love, I am beauty, I am power” AND “I am so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities, through multiple sources on a continuous basis”

My healer
Listening to Bashar and Yogi Bhajan on YouTube. Tarot readings with Clarissa Dolphin.

My reading
Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller – Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill & Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton

My transformation
Learning to love/accept myself and “others.” Respecting that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Trusting the Universe that my path will always be illuminated.

My mission

To remind us that deep beauty and connection does exist in the world.

:: :: ::

Check out our upcoming LA event with Natalia Benson: The Numinous Presents: An Introduction to the Tarot. To register email: [email protected]