Welcome to The Divination Nation blog!
We are Pleasant Gehman and Crystal Ravenwolf, a duo of divination divas, “spiritual sisters from another mister”. We’re life-long Tarotistas, obsessed with all things esoteric and paranormal. Look for our forthcoming book, “Walking The Tarot Path” coming soon.
We’ve created this blog to share our knowledge and to connect with the vibrant worldwide metaphysical and paranormal community. We hope it’s as fun for you to read as it is for us to write…Enjoy.
|Gabriela Herstik, author of Inner Witch: A Modern Guide To The Ancient Craft|
Gabriela Herstik is an ancient soul trapped in a super model’s body. Wise beyond her years, she’s a lifelong witch and a formidable writer. Her talent, her metaphysical knowledge and looks are an auspicious combo no matter what, but right now, witchcraft having A Moment in pop culture-in fact, it’s only getting more popular- and Gabriela’s new book, Inner Witch: A Modern Guide To The Ancient Craft just dropped. A fabulous overview of the craft, it’s written in a conversational tone, as though she was sharing her magickal secrets at a Ladies Lunch.
The Ultimate Millenial It Girl, Gabriela is super active on social media- just google her name. Her writing on witchcraft, fashion and sensuality/sexuality is all over the net too; you might be familiar with her “Ask A Witch” column for Nylon, and she’s also a contributed to Chakrubs , Vice and Hello Giggles…not to mention her own blog, www.fashionisdying.com
Here’s the lowdown on Gabriela, in her own words:
Divination Nation: When- and how- did you first realize you were a witch? Are you self taught or did you have mentors?
Gabriela Herstik: I’ve always been really spiritual. I grew up around a mom who was into yoga, meditation, crystals and other new age practices, as well as a father who’s a reform rabbi. I’ve been interested in the unknown for as long as I remember. In third grade visited Salem, MA on Halloween for my aunt’s birthday (which is on Halloween!) with my sister, my aunt and grandma. We went to the witchcraft museum and I learned about witchcraft. I saw a Samhain ritual and ate a pomegranate and later went to Laurie Cabot’s store. It was around this time I first felt magick as well. I was living in Buffalo New York and we had a beautiful house with half an acre of land. I was entranced by the creek that ran through our yard, and the deer who would come and visit us. Buffalo wasn’t the best place to live but this is when I first felt magick and I’m so thankful for it. A few years later whrn I was 11, I was gifted Faery oracle cards and became obsessed. I found Edain McCoy’s “A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk” and remembered what I learned in Salem. I knew I was a witch. It felt like coming home. This was right before I was sent to a month long Jewish sleepaway camp where I cried everyday for a week because I didn’t want to be there. I wrote letters to Bastet and read about goddesses under the covers. It was definitely challenging as a 12-year-old!
I’ve had many different mentors, but not just one. Most of my education has been self-taught, since I grew up in the Deep South and have only been back in LA for two years. Ruby Warrington and Alexandra Roxo of Moon Club have been my mentors. I just took a class at House of Intuition ( in LA) with Naha and I’m really excited to learn a new branch of magick from her. Pleasant, you’ve been one of my mentors! My angels, and ancestors have been my mentors, as has Venus. My yoga studio in South Carolina was also a really huge place of learning for me too.
Divination Nation: Let’s talk about your spiritual practice: what paths do you follow? How often do you do workings? How do you keep yourself grounded and centered?
Gabriela Herstik: I consider myself neo-pagan and eclectic, and I don’t follow one single path. Although for a long time I identified as Wiccan, I no longer do. I work with the goddess Venus, the divine feminine, the moon and her cycles, glamour, chaos magick, sex magick, tantra, energy… my practice is always evolving. Currently, I’m really excited to learn about Qabala and connect with my Jewish background in a new way. I do workings regularly, at least twice a month with the full moon and new moon. I will sometimes do smaller spells between this, but I make an effort to always celebrate the new and full moons. But I also have a daily, or as near to daily as I can get, practice. I do 20 minutes of yoga followed by 10-15 minutes of meditation. Then I pull 3 tarot cards, journal on these, any reflections I have and anything I need to get out of my head. Then I’ll also journal my intentions for the day/ week and a list of things I’m grateful for. This helps me live from a place of presence while allowing me to be centered. I’m super air and water sign heavy, so having this practice really helps me feel grounded. I also clean and cleanse my space once a week, use sacred smoke to cleanse myself regularly and work with sex magick as a way to bring pleasure and intention to my life. Screaming in the car when I drive, dancing around like a loon when I’m alone, making art, writing poetry to Venus, writing love letters- these are all other ways I help myself find center.
Divination Nation: Let’s talk about your book…how did it come about, what was the process like? How did you decide what to include in the book?
Gabriela Herstik: I’d been writing for a handful of publications like Nylon and Broadly on witchcraft for a couple of years. I have a column for Nylon called “Ask A Witch” which is what it sounds like. I always get questions about books on witchcraft for beginners and one day as I was on the way to work I got such a question. This time I thought “damn, I could write a book about this!” I got to work and checked Twitter and had a message from an editor asking to follow me. She slid into my DM’s, said she loved my work on NYLON and Broadly about witchcraft and asked if I’d want to write a book about it! I was floored. It was the last day of February, right after the eclipse and my birthday, and a couple weeks after I did a honey jar spell.
After saying HELL YES I put together a proposal, sent it to her and it was accepted by Ebury. I wrote the book between June and December while working a full time job. It was challenging but I LOVED writing it. I made a schedule for myself, and would send in three chapters at a time to my editor so I wasn’t having to write, edit, write, edit, write. I knew that I wanted to include the basics of witchcraft, rituals, spell work and I knew I wanted to write about fashion magick/ glamour and the moon. Everything else just made sense to include. Thanks to my column, I have an idea of what people like and want to read about which made it easier!
Divination Nation: Along with your book, you write for several publications, including your own fashion blog. For you, does writing come easily, or is it a process?
GH: I love writing but it’s definitely a process. I still feel like I have such a long way to go in terms of cultivating a professional voice, but honestly if I couldn’t write, I’d explode. I love writing professionally and I love writing for myself, and the fact I’ve been able to not only write about witchcraft and magick, but also work with words as a PART of my magick, has been really rewarding. Sitting down to start a piece is difficult, but once I get into the flow it’s easy. But I also don’t tend to take freelance assignments unless it’s something that really vibes with me, which definitely makes it easier. Having my own space to write, formerly my blog “Breathing Fashion,” and now my platform “FASHION IS DYING” has been really wonderful too. I love being in charge of oy own ish, and being able to bring in an element of witchiness too.
DN: Witchcraft is really trendy right now… what’s your opinion on that…and why do you think this is happening? Do you think this is an important shift in the world, or just a fad?
GH: When I first started writing about witchcraft, four or five years ago, it was at the height of the “witchy aesthetic”. Everyone wanted to look like a witch but no one wanted to be one. Then that started to shift. Although witchcraft is trendy right now, I think it’s also deeper than that. It’s like tasting the Kool Aid- once you start working with magick and other ancient and powerful practices, you get it. It’s hard to go back. Although there are some out there who are talking the talk and not walking the walk, we need as many witches out doing the work as we can get. I think that a new era and paradigm is coming and that we are all being called to stand in our power together so we can make it happen. I think this is a huge shift in the world, being led by QIPOC, black women, trans women, witches who aren’t just skinny, women and white. We are all rising up together and although it may be a trend, and that may be how some people find it… I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the witch.
DN: Describe a typical day in your life:
GH: Oh this is a good one! I’m going to describe a typical Saturday because that’s more fun! On Saturday I’ll either sleep in, wake up when I want to and then smoke a little bit of a joint before getting ready. OR I’ll wake up and get brunch with some friends. Then I’ll probably go somewhere, like a pop up shop or store or take a class. There’s usually coffee involved, a trip to at least one bookstore (Stories, Skylght or the Barnes and Nobles down the street) and a trip to the magazine stand. Food, hangs with friends I love, maybe spending some time outside in a park, or at Hollywood Forever if it’s not summer and a million degrees. Then I’ll usually do something like go to a show, or go out dancing or to a bar. I definitely go through phases between wanting to go out and stay in, and for the past few months I’ve been extremely social. Most of my days are filled with emails, coffee, something witchy like tarot, sex magick or taking/ teaching classes, hanging out with friends, writing and using cannabis to chill the fuck out!
DN: What do you like to do when you aren’t witchin’?
GH: I feel like being a witch is the lens in which I see and live my life, so I feel like everything I do is witchy! But as far as non-magick related things I like to do; you can catch me writing poetry and reading at coffee shops, updating my site FASHIONISDYING.com, painting a gimp mask or collaging, taking photos with friends, modeling, hitting the town, hanging out in Hollywood, smoking joints on my porch, reading a book, making art,journaling, dancing like a loon, hugging a tree, spending time outside, getting my hair shaved, taking selfies and eating ice cream!
DN: Please share a couple of your own witchcraft tips with our readers
GH: Take time to pause. Be present. BREATHE. Feel into your body. Ask yourself what you need RIGHT NOW and give it to yourself. Meditate. Move your body; dance, do yoga, stretch. Breathe more. Spend time in nature. Talk to the earth. Say thank you to the trees. Pay attention to the moon- learn about what it means when she waxes (or gains light) and wanes (or loses light.)
Create an altar of items that connect you to your heart and whatever you believe in. Pray here often. Write letters to your guides, angels, ancestors. Create rituals you can do often to connect you to something bigger. Burn the smoke of sacred herbs like sage, sweetgrass and Palo Santo. Remember your words are sacred and they are vibrations that create. Speak into existence what you want, let go of what no longer works for you. Learn to be GRATEFUL and then everything else will shift.
Order Gabriela’s book Inner Witch: A Modern Guide To The Ancient Craft
Gabriela’s upcoming events:
September 15th at Skylight Books- in Los Angeles for a reading and signing
September 22 at Mothership Festival- speaking in Los Angeles
October 26th- Goddess Class at Catland Books, NYC
|Crystal and Pleasant, photo: Maharet Hughes|
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To find out more about Pleasant or request a reading or healing session, click here: http://pleasantgehman.com/tarot.html
For more on Crystal’s background, or request a reading or healing session, click here: http://crystalravenwolf.com