MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: THE HOODWITCH

Gabriela Herstik talks magick, ritual and the numinous nature of the Cosmos with The Hoodwitch

Bri Luna, a.k.a. The Hoodwitch, is mesmerizing. A double Taurus babe, her energy is infectious – strong, aware and unapologetic. With The Hoodwitch, a platform preaching “everyday magic for the modern mystic,” Bri has founded a channel to help us all tap into our own sacred goddess energy – and shop for some bad-ass crystals. Oh, and we’re obsessed with her latest project – a collection of pins created with one of our favorite artists, Robin Eisenberg.

In celebration of her birthday month, we sat down with Bri for the inside scoop on her magick and her mission. Read on below…

Enamel pins, $9-18

The Numinous: Okay so – can you tell us a bit about how honoring your heritage has played into your personal brand of magick?
The Hoodwitch: I believe my being multiracial is strongly reflected by my approach to ritual and spell working. My approach draws on elements of both of my Mexican and African-American ancestry, and I’ve really enjoyed utilizing aspects of traditional folk healing from both, as well as working with other practices taught by others I’ve met and learned from on my path that I feel resonate with me.

TN: What’s your personal definition of a “witch”?
TH: You know whenever I’m asked this question I laugh a bit, because there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer. Every woman is a Witch. She may not know it, or maybe she does.  But to me, being a Witch means more than spells and candles. To me, it means freedom. The power to boldly and unapologetically embrace nature, heal yourself, and heal your community. To respect the seen and unseen realms. It means the freedom to be your most authentic self. To embrace ALL aspects of whoever that may be, and fiercely. That is the Witch.

TN: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned on your journey with spirituality?
TH: That we never really KNOW anything for certain. That there are galaxies upon galaxies in the Cosmos, and here we are floating on Earth thinking we have all the answers. I’m in a place spiritually where I choose to embrace the unknown by saying it’s okay to not know.

TN: What advice would you give baby bruja Bri?
TH: That not everyone is going to understand you, and that’s okay. Stay true to yourself, because in another 10-20 years everyone else is just going to catch on to what you’ve been doing all along haha. Also, don’t cry over boys because it’ll give you wrinkles!

TN: What’s one thing you do every day to channel your inner goddess?
TH: I like to take very long beautiful baths – my daily ritual to connects me to the Goddess within. I enjoy being surrounded by candles, while listening to soft music. Depending on the purpose of the bath, be it for attracting or self-love, aura cleansing, or just simply relaxation I’ll add in ingredients that are reflective of those purposes. Essential oils, milk, salts, or flower petals. I just enjoy the beauty of it.

Ugh – in love! Read on for more insight into the mystical world of this material girl…

 

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
“Whatever was in your grandmother’s closet. I love vintage clothing.”

Vintage Dress, $258, Nasty Gal

My shoes
“When I wear shoes, I love my metallic Nike Cortez or Vintage Peggy Bundy fluffy heels.”

Nike Cortez Sneakers, $69.99

My fragrance
“Byredo Casablanca Lily Oil.”

Byredo Casablanca Lily Oil, $550

My jewels
“I love adornments. Real gold jewelry and, of course, very large vintage Navajo turquoise rings and squash blossom necklaces.”

 

My pampering
“Every two weeks I receive manicures to sharpen my signature stiletto point nails. I also enjoy massages.”

My home
“My apartment in Seattle overlooks the city and I enjoy opening all of the windows to allow plenty of fresh air. I enjoy adding many earth elements, such as plants, large crystal clusters and, of course, candles.”

The Hoodwitch Large Celestite Cluster Egg, $180

My food
“I live for authentic Italian food! I enjoy comforting meals. I’m a Taurus, so food is a very sensual experience. It’s about indulging in all of the senses! Needless to say, I take my dining experiences very seriously. I also love fresh raw oysters!”

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening
“I light a candle and say a prayer or affirmation of gratitude, setting intentions for the day.”

My sign
“Taurus sun and moon.”

Brooke Gregson Taurus Necklace, $2,340

My mantra 
“I am grounded, content, and calm, in the arms of the Earth.”

My healer
“Mother Earth. The ocean’s waves are purifying and cleansing. I enjoy doing meditations in the desert sun with a large Quartz crystal and planting my feet firmly into the soil of a forest.  All of the Earth’s elements are my healers.”

My reading
“Well, I collect and sell rare/vintage occult, and metaphysical books. My favorite authors include Doreen Valiente, Carl Sagan, and C. W. Leadbeater.”

Shop for vintage books on Bri’s Bruja Workshop

My transformation
“Honoring my intuition.”

My mission
“To provide everyday magic for the modern mystics of the world!”

www.thehoodwitch.com

BEHIND THE VEIL: A HALLOWEEN RITUAL BATH

Amplify your psychic protection with this bath time Halloween ritual, says Deborah Hanekamp. Images: Zsuzsanna Dofka via Behance.net

As we enter the season of the winds, the veil between the spiritual worlds becomes thin. A time of strong psychic awareness, we open to valuable teachings from Great Spirit and our personal intuition. Energetically charged people and places, as well as lingering spirits, also become very apparent to the spiritually sensitive. For this reason, now is a time to work with extra psychic protection.

Dear One, understand this; the highest form of protection is awareness. And that love is the vehicle to awareness; become more loving, become more aware. Fear is the opposite of love, fear distracts us. But if in the midst of fear we can use our breath to go back to love and awareness, we are already so protected.

The below Halloween ritual bath and practices are tools to strengthen our connection to love, to awareness, and therefore protect us as we journey into winter.

:: THIN VEIL ESSENTIALS ::

  • Black Tourmaline, a crystal of high psychic protection, is invaluable during this time. Carry a small piece in your pocket or as a piece of jewelry. Sleep with Black Tourmaline under your pillow to protect your dream body.
  • Rosemary carries the protection of the divine feminine. Wear a drop of Rosemary essential oil on the crown of your head, and she will protect with the awareness of a mother wolf.
  • Connect to nature. Offer tobacco or white sage to a tree, stand barefoot on the roots and hold your back body to the tree. As your feet connect to tree’s spirit release any charged psychic energy you are holding through your feet, asking the earth to transform that energy into love.

:: RITUAL BATH FOR PSYCHIC PROTECTION ::

Ingredients
1 cup of Epsom Salt
4 cups of Nettles Tea infusion
1 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
A few drops of Rosemary essential oil
A few drops of Rose Water or Rose Absolute Essential Oil

Crystals
Fluorite, Quartz, Citrine and Black Tourmaline

Add all ingredients to a bath of water as hot as you can stand.

Ritual
Light candles around the bath
Smudge your self by burning white sage and cedar around your body, wafting the smoke towards you with a feather
Step into the bath
Take three deep cleansing breaths
Place a candle directly in front of you and stare into the flame without blinking for five minutes. Let the flame clear your mind and bring you into psychic awareness
Dunk your head under the water
Place the Quartz crystal under you at the back of your heart, place the citrine on your solar plexus, hold the Fluorite in your left hand and the Black Tourmaline in your right
Chant the sound “Aum” (Om) at least three times
Soak in and enjoy the protective energy you’ve created

6 WAYS TO STAY ZEN ON VACAY

Destination relaxation – but getting away from it all can bring its own stresses. Gabriela Herstik has 6 ways to stay zen on vacay…

 

Yay, here comes vacay season! But as much as unplugging from the daily grind to recharge on life minus to-do lists, technology and Tinder is a necessary part of being human (word up, work-a-holic serial daters), getting out of your routine can also trip you out of your trusted spiritual practises.

Here are six ways you can stay zen, keep your chakras in check and your aura vibrating high vibes while you’re out of office…

1. Apps at the ready
Okay, so YES committing to some dedicated phone-free time is a vacay essential. But there are so many great apps to help you step back and realign, once you’ve decompressed a little how about using your downtime to recommit to a daily meditation practise? “Headspace” or “Breathe” are a great place to start, and just 5 or 10 minutes a day on the beach to check in and find some zen could be all it takes to get you back on track. But NO sneak peak at your email account, gottit?! (Check out Vogue’s list of meditation apps HERE too)

2. Stash Your Crystals
Fast access to international travel is undoubtedly one of the great privileges of the modern world…but it’s also the easiest way to get exposed to all kinds of gnarly energy. So bring your crystals along for the ride! Whether it’s a trusty chunk of clear quartz or some obsidian, grab a couple of your favorite stones (cleanse them before you head out) to help clear and protect your energy field while you’re on the road. The easiest way to make sure your stones stay with you? Wear them. If you’re heading somewhere sunny, you’ll even keep them charged on the go. (Find a list of stones for each chakra HERE)

3. Sage Yo’self
Clear out the bullshit, inhale the good shit, you know the drill – and when you think about the number of souls passing through hotel rooms and holiday rentals, regularly smudging your vacay space is a no-brainer. Same goes for campgrounds and hire cars; just please, don’t light up your bundle of sage in the aisle seat of Delta flight 111 to Nirvana. In fact, where smoke and sparks are inappropriate, there’s Florida Water for that. (Click HERE for a full guide to smudging your space)

 

4. Make A Vacay Mantra
So maybe you’re travelling with about ten of your dearest friends and / or family, who you really love…up until day three. We get it. Sometimes decamping to an alien environment with a bunch of people you usually spend two hours with MAX can be a little, shall we say overwhelming. So make a mantra to set a positive intention for your group before you go. Perhaps it’s as simple as “I am always calm, cool and collected”, or as specific as “There is a divine lesson in every crazy twisted thing my sister says”. If you’re travelling alone, it might be more along the lines of “I have all the information I need, and I got this.”

5. Yoga Every Damn Day
Yoga? Away from your regular studio? Okay, so we know it’s not the most original idea, but hear us out. Rather than working your asana off to continue your regular practise on the road or find a local studio, or indulging in a self-imposed guilt trip about NOT doing either of the above, remember you can still get the benefits when you practise a conscious shavasana on your sun bed, or take five to find a tree while you’re waiting in line for your lobster roll. If circumstances allow it, commit to get your flow on however and wherever you feel moved. Your body and your soul will thank you, we promise.

6. Breathe
Okay, so we know you’re breathing. But how many times in an average day do you slow down and listen to your breath? In yogic terms, breathing is called “pranayama” and there are lots of different ways to breathe, with lots of different purposes. A good one when you just need some quick grounding is called Ujjayi – when you breathe in and out of your nose, tensing the muscles at the back of your throat so it feels like you’re fogging up a mirror.

It should sound like an ocean, and it should feel smooth and soothing. After any time on the road, your senses will be overwhelmed (whether it feels like it or not after that first tequila cocktail). A few moments of conscious breath will bring you back into the present, all the better to enjoy your brand new view. (For more on different Pranayama techniques, click HERE)

20 THINGS I LEARNED AT CRYSTAL SCHOOL

Crystal consciousness is on the rise! Isn’t it about time you expanded your knowledge of these mystical rocks at crystal school? By Ruby Warrington. Images: Karina Eibatova (available as prints at Karina’s online store)

You know crystal consciousness is MAJORLY on the rise when even mainstream media like the London Evening Standard is covering the phenomenon. And it makes sense that more and more people are being drawn to working with crystals – not only are they said to possess mystical healing powers, they give us a much-needed connection back to nature. And seeing as they also look totally beautiful, it’s kind of like why wouldn’t you want more crystals in your life?

I’ve connected with crystals on and off over the years, whether I’ve been been gifted them by friends or actively sought out specific stones I felt would help at times I could use a little extra cosmic support. As a result, I’ve ended up with crystals stashed in different bags and nooks and crannies of my apartment – from the Lemurian quartz pendant from Vega Jewelry that travels in my yoga bag for general high-vibery, to the selenite tower I picked up at Spellbound Sky that watches over my dreams from my bedside.

And considering all these stones have just somehow shown up in my life (which crystals have a habit of doing), I figured it was time to learn a little more about how to work with their numinous properties. Enter lovely Luke Simon and his in-depth crystal workshops at Maha Rose Center for Healing in Greenpoint, BK.

“I started working with crystals when I first moved to NYC and realized I needed some serious juju to wear ON my body,” he explained, kicking off the session I attended last month. As for the first step on the path to expanding your crystal consciousness? “Crystals first job is to give us permission to work with our intuition,” explained Luke, “I like to call it their ‘Tinkerbell effect’.” In other words, you just have to believe…

Here are 20 more things I learned that day at crystal school:

1. Never have more crystals than you have time to love

2. Crystals form very slowly as liquid cools and evaporates and atoms of whatever pure substance remains move closer and closer together, imbuing them with a concentrated energy that’s much more highly evolved than glass

3. The particles in crystals form repeating tight-knit structures – as in music, and in our thoughts and physical structure. In humans, these patterns becoming disturbed is what leads to dis-ease, and crystal healing occurs when our own cellular structures seek to mimic the crystal structures we hold in close proximity to us

4. If you’re repeatedly drawn to certain crystals, it’s likely you will have worked with them in past lives

5. Lots of small crystals formed to make a “bed” is called a “cluster”

6. You can directly imbibe crystal energy by putting them in your tea kettle. Also keep in mind however, that some crystals dissolve in water (like Selenite and Halite) and some can be toxic to ingest, like Malachite. So consult a book or an expert first!

7. Placing crystals in a “grid” is like following a recipe that allows them to merge their properties and heal on a more potent level

8. Use four crystals in a grid to create stability; three or five to work with themes of transformation; and eight to symbolize infinity, and in multiples of these numbers. When placing crystals in a grid, consider the properties of the different stones you’re using and be very clear with your intention

9. Your energy will also stir your crystals up, and this is what makes them programmable. Clear quartz crystals are the most receptive to this process, making them like a blank canvas for channelling your consciousness

10. When working with a specific stone over a period of time, you can keep a crystal journal to chart your progress

11. When selecting a new crystal to work with, see which stone you feel naturally drawn to. Your cells will be attracted to the vibrations of the crystal that can offer the most healing to you in that moment

12. Hold the crystal in your non-dominant hand, as you’ll be more sensitive to the subtle vibe it creates for you. Ask yourself, does the stone make you feel more energized, or more grounded? Practise this with different stones to develop your sensitivity

13. If you’re repelled by a certain stone, consider whether it relates to something you’re avoiding in your life

14. Since crystals absorb the energy around them, they need to be reset with regular cleansing

15. Ways to cleanse your crystals include: using the smoke from burning sage or other cleansing herbs (i.e. Palo Santo, Cedar leaves, sweetgrass, lavender) – and imagining the smoke as water; submerging them in natural spring water; burying them in salt (if intense cleansing is needed); burying them in earth in your garden or a plant pot (remembering to put a marker in the ground if you do this outdoors!)

16. Some crystals don’t need cleansing – Citrine for example doesn’t hold negativity, while Selenite is self-cleansing

17. To charge your crystals, place them in direct sun or moon light for anything from a couple of hours to overnight. Do this when your stones begin to look or feel “dull” to you

18. You can also charge crystals with the energy of a place or icon that holds special meaning for you by placing them on an altar next to symbolic imagery

19. When placing crystals on the body for more intimate and specific healing, it’s more comfortable to work with polished stones

20. Never forget your crystals in a crisis!

Have you been working with crystals? Connect with us and share your experiences on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Luke Simon’s next crystal workshop at Maha Rose takes place June 6 and is titled: Crystal Breathwork: Labradorite. Click here to sign up and get more details