Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Magick, Mysticism and the feminine | An interview with 'The Hoodwitch'

Photo © Allyce Andrew


The Hoodwitch is a majestic lifestyle brand for modern Mystics created by me, (Briana Luna). I started my business in honor of my two beautiful grandmothers. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were very spiritual wise women. In other words,  they were both witches from two completely different cultural backgrounds and traditions (one is Mexican, the other African-American) My grandmothers both lived in pretty rough neighborhoods (East LA & South Central) thus the reason why I named my brand “hoodwitch”  It’s an honest, cheeky, and meaningful play on words. If you’re asking who  Briana Luna is ? I am a magick maker, a mother, business woman,  dreamer, visionary, a child of venus, a lover of the unknown, and of course, a witch. 

   When did you start THE HOODWITCH and what was the reasoning behind it? 

I launched the Hoodwitch in 2013.  I wanted to provide everyday magic for modern mystics, which is why that is my brand’s slogan. Mostly I wanted to create a safe space for people to learn about the tarot, crystals, herbs, cleansing, lunar rituals, symbols, colors, and pretty much whatever I felt like sharing in an unpretentious approach. I enjoy taking complex or otherwise obscure concepts and making them digestible for the average person. We have a web store that offers crystals, herbs, and vintage books on metaphysics, witchcraft, magick, and so on. There is also a private community (Abracadabra) for our readers to chat and share amongst each other. 

One of the things I love most about THE HOODWITCH is the feminine energy and feminine comradery of it. There is a strong sense of solidarity and encouragement and support of women. How important was that to creating the site? 

I am very much in tune with the divine feminine,  and I believe that energy is made very present in everything that I create. 

     Mysticism, magic and the stars all form the key elements that bring THE HOODWITCH together. When did you begin delving into this realm and how does it shape your everyday life now?  

I began exploring witchcraft on my own when I was around age 9 or 10. I wanted my own coven so bad, hahaha so  in fifth grade I rallied up some of my closest girlfriends and we had a “coven” where we cast “spells” on the boys we had crushes on. haha, I can’t say how effective these were, but to us we just knew we were very magical and powerful. I would read  many books for hours on witchcraft  and spirituality, and meditation at bookstores as a teenager and I began to study and read the tarot for myself and eventually my friends. Essentially, I have just always been fascinated with the unseen, and being a very sensitive child, not just  knowing but FEELING that  something else exist beyond our physical senses. I still rely on my heightened sensitivity and intuition just as I did as a child,  of course my spells are far more effective now, I've got some practice in haha. 

Photo © Allyce Andrew

    For those who know little or nothing at all about Magic and mysticism and are first time Hoodwitches what wise words do you have? 

Believing in yourself IS magic. I encourage my readers to always trust their intuition, use discernment, and don’t join a cult!  Do what empowers you! If what you’re practicing is causing you harm or fear, let it go! 

  I’ve already mentioned who important female empowerment is to you and THE HOODWITCH. Who do you consider some of your personal and professional inspirations and icons? 

Planets, Oceans, Nature, Every Goddess of Love & Fertility, Nikola Tesla, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Eartha Kitt, but most importantly, those who came before me. My ancestors, and the wild women that fought & spit in the faces of their  oppressors, every Woman, Man, and child whose lives were sacrificed by burning at the stake, hangings, mutilations and  torture in order for me to speak freely about Earth’s magic and healing.

  There is a strong sense of self and awareness of yourself and those around you when you take a look at THE HOODWTICH. Something I personally think has been lacking for some time in everyday life. The separation from the self and the spirit… Why do you think there has been such a large resurgence in magic and mysticism in the past couple of years and what do you think is the key driving force behind it? 

Have you ever heard that saying, that we are souls having a human experience? I believe it’s amazing for a person to want to find methods of healing their minds + bodies because that’s important. it is liberating knowing you have that power to heal yourself, to break yourself away from limiting beliefs and patterns. If someone purchases crystals as a trend and it somehow helps them learn to meditate, after say, reading one of my blogs on how to meditate with crystals than that’s an excellent trend. If a trend opens the doors for people to lead a more healthy/ balanced life, then that trend is excellent. What I have seen honestly, is that more women are simply  tapping into their natural gifts. They are reconnecting to the Goddess and learning just how innately powerful we are.  

Many young women have been taught to ignore or discredit things like their  intuition, or what some might even call “psychic senses”  In fear of being ridiculed by friends and  family members or called “crazy” or that they are doing something  Evil. Eventually we are taught to forget about our natural gifts and we lose connection to living with the cycles of Nature and the stars and sadly, to ourselves. But as many people are seeing throughout popular culture  there is  this resurgence of metaphysical studies, crystal healing, tarot reading, meditation, exploring the subconscious, ect. All of this  has become very  en vogue. This is how many are  beginning  to tap back  into their  intuition again and are working  to release their self-doubt and  fear.  This “trend” as many are calling it, is an awakening. Women (and men of course) are delving into  the unknown and reclaiming their power. 

      If there is just one thing people should take away from THE HOODWITCH what would you like it to be? 

Empowerment, and maybe a few beautiful crystals from my store haha

      What can we expect from you and THE HOODWITCH in the next twelve months?

This question is funny because it reminds me of that Outkast lyric which says  “You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather”. Life is like that, you know? I set daily goals, weekly goals, and monthly goals. I build off each goal as I work on it, new inspirations pop into my mind and can often take me into a totally different direction than where I initially started. The best ideas come from the trash.