interview

Lessons on Magic, Tea, Music, and Intuition with Paige

paige_photo
paige_photo

Hello Paige! Would you mind introducing yourself and what you do?Hi there, sweet chicken! I’m Paige Zaferiou and I’m a tarot reader, magical practitioner, and tea maven. As a reader and practitioner, I specialize in helping people remember where they put their power - specifically, their ability to trust themselves and take action. Sometimes, that looks like slingin’ cards over Skype. Other times it looks like a snail mail care package full of magical tea and goodies for you to play with. Ultimately, all of my work is about helping people remember that they are capable of accomplishing fulfilling lives.

One of the first things that first drew me to you was your daily tarot and energy advice posts on Instagram. Can you tell me about that? How you got the idea, the process for reading the cards, and how it has impacted your daily life (if at all). My daily tarot posts on Instagram came about as a direct result of my tarot studies. The process was a beautiful example of the way trial and error works.

When I first began studying tarot, I pulled cards every day and journaled extensively in my effort to get to know my deck, its ins and outs, its commonalities, its relationships. I filled an entire notebook with observations, and in the process of doing so I experimented with different ways to record which cards I had pulled and what I saw - I used symbols, shorthand, and diagrams. I dissected each card and I wrote stream-of-consciousness about the messages I saw. I kept it up every day and, in the process, discovered what journaling methods worked for me and what didn’t.

Eventually, in my search for magical babes to connect with, I began following other tarot enthusiasts on Instagram. Many of them posted daily card draws, and one format in particular, the two-card “Energy and Advice” spread, caught my eye. I began to pull daily energy and advice cards.

AND THEN one fateful day, instead of writing in my journal, I began to write my interpretation of the cards directly into Instagram. To my surprise, the words began to flow out of me with astonishing ease! It felt so right, so good. I was grooving with it, baby!

And thus was DTEA (daily tarot energy and advice) born.

Doing this daily draw has been wonderful for my magical practice. I get a lot of questions from people with a budding interest in tarot and/or magic, and that is always my first piece of advice: get a deck of cards and play with it every day. It exercises your intuition so deliciously!

Also, it’s important to note that your practice may not look like my practice. I found my groove through experimentation, and I encourage others to do the same. For example, my DTEA is a daily routine that is NOT time specific. I always pull the cards spontaneously, when the time feels right. That’s what works for me, and I dig it, baby! But you might like to pull cards at the same time each morning, or right before bed. That’s groovy, too!

You talk a lot about tea, and even make and sell your own. As a fellow tea lover, I understand the magic of tea, but I was curious about what makes it magical to you? I feel like everyone’s love for tea and the magic it brings into their lives is a very personal experience, you know? Like my dad’s love and how tea serves him in his daily life is different than how tea serves my own and different than how it serves yours.My relationship with tea began as one of herbs and healing. The winter I was eleven, we had visitors from England and all of us got the flu. Being British, they promptly brewed up some chamomile - and I was smitten. Not long after, I discovered the tea plant itself and oh, what a love match made in heaven!

For me, the magic of tea is very literal. It combines all of the elements - the leaves grew from the earth, fire heats the water, and the steam carries its heavenly aroma which activates the powers of air. The compounds within tea make it a powerful ally when it comes to magic. My practice is solitary and animistic, meaning that for me, the spirit of the tea plant and other herbs you brew are very much alive. Tea is a very powerful ally and friend.

Did you know tea is actually psychoactive? It can cross the blood-brain barrier and alter consciousness! That's part of what makes tea so magical to me. Tea is one of the keys to unlocking reality. Each tiny sip opens the door that much wider until, before you know it, you've slipped into another world altogether.

The new world looks a lot like the old one, but we experience it differently. Our bodies hum and thrum in response to the gentle stimulus of caffeine. We relax. Our minds expand and clear. It is a merrier world, the world of tea, innately cheerful and buoyant. You can't help but feel better with your hands curled around a steaming cuppa.

Unfortunately, many people believe that magic is something far away and unattainable. My mission in life is teach people that magic is everywhere, right under your nose all the time, and you don’t need fancy tools or a ceremonial initiation to practice magic in your home.

Tea is one of those valuable everyday household magics. It is so apparently ordinary, like water or salt, that we forget how much power is contained within. It is magic in plain sight. I use tea in practically all of my magical workings, from meditation to spellwork to ritual bathing. I've even developed my own system of tea magic based on the Western elemental system of earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Tea is my constant companion, trusted ally, and stalwart friend.

In your post on space you talk about how you make your own worksheets. Is that something you’ve always done or is it a fairly new part of your life?Drawing, writing, and painting have most definitely always been part of my life. I majored in fine art (watercolor painting and book binding), and will always consider myself to be an artist first and foremost.

I’ve also always had a strange love for filling out forms! There’s something about the layout of the questions, the blank spaces, and the satisfaction of filling that space with my own essence - it feels like a ritualistic act of self-consideration, an act of understanding. I just love it!

That said, it’s only in the last year that I really began creating worksheets for myself and sharing them with others. When I began reading tarot, I kept a journal and experimented with how to record the reading in writing. Eventually, my journal pages began to resemble worksheet pages. When I decided to start teaching workshops, it only seemed natural to create worksheets for my students.

Music plays a large part on your blog, I’ve noticed. How has it impacted your life outside of blogging?Music is life. I cannot imagine living without it.

Songs are like spells; they weave a reality in which I can lose myself, joyfully and freely, and when I come out of the song the world is changed.

Music is also an aid to moving meditation - I listen to music when I wash the dishes, do laundry, daydream on the bus, and go for walks. When I’m working at my desk, I take regular music breaks. I get up and dance around to sweet tunes or I’ll sing folk songs with my ukulele. It keeps my brain from getting stuck and my body from getting cramped!

Paige, how did you get into tarot and magic? And when did you know it was the right path to follow those passions into a business?WHAT a good question! Tarot is relatively a very recent outlet for my interest in magic, albeit the one which came most naturally to me.

The winter I was eleven - the selfsame winter in which I drank my first cup of tea -  I simultaneously fell headlong in love with magic and a girl whose mother was a witch.

It so happened that the following January contained a blue moon. I’ll never know what possessed me to do this, but I decided that I should have a blue moon party. I invited the witch-daughter and three other girls over to my house, where we scoffed blue-frosted round scones, baked clay crescent moon earrings, and gathered around my mother’s coffee table to cast a circle. The witch-daughter led us, lighting candles and invoking the four directions. We held hands and went around the circle, taking turns saying nice things about each other. Afterward my mother drove us to an abandoned tower in the woods, which we climbed to stand, howling and laughing, beneath the moon. I will never forget that night: the cold, the snow, the bare branches and the thrill of making magic with my peers beneath the fat yellow moon.

I’ve walked a long and crooked path since then, but I never lost my belief in magic. After I moved to San Francisco, I fell in love with tarot and began reading for myself and all of my friends. After a few months, they started to say things like, “Uh, Paige? You’re really good at this. Like, really. You could do this for a living.”

So, here I am! I’ve always known I would be happiest working for myself, and I’m very fortunate to have found a useful skill that comes naturally to me. Reading tarot is one of those things I love to do so much that I’d do it every day for free if I didn’t have bills to pay. I’d say that’s the best indicator that this is the right path to follow into business!

Do you feel like San Francisco is a conduit in your magic at all? Why or why not?Absolutely. The place that you live, wherever you live, is an integral part of your magic. I’m very lucky; San Francisco happens to be one of the most magical cities on earth! It has a very special quality. There is something about the light here, something delicious and freeing, sharp and clear and illuminating.

I grew up in harsh, granite New England, which is a very weird place but retains a sort of Puritan sternness in its character. Growing up, I got teased a lot for being really weird. San Francisco is a great place to be weird. It’s also a great place to be a magical practitioner, practically speaking! I bought my first Tarot deck at the Scarlet Sage, an herbal apothecary in my neighborhood that sells books, oils, candles, and all manner of magical supplies. There are botanicas everywhere, full of statuary and altars. The walls of the city are literally covered in art. I’ve seen murals of Ganesha and alleyway altars to the Virgin of Guadalupe. There are secret treasure troves filled with wood stoves and swords, beads and runes, meditation rooms and buckets of crystals.

In short: San Francisco is a ding-dang magical place to be.

You inspire many people, but I’m curious — who inspires you? Who makes your soul shake, your spirit tingle, fill you up with positive energy and optimism? Yes! Oh, my sweet chickadees!

First and foremost, I owe an incredible debt to Gala Darling. Her optimism, positive energy, and practical advice guided me out of a ten-year stay in the darkest waters of chronic depression. I can’t even tell you. Thanks in large part to Gala’s story, her infallible sparkle and message of radical self love, I finally, finally emerged out of the darkness and into the light. It was also through her site that I discovered Theresa Reed, aka The Tarot Lady, who is a shining example of a majorly magical business BOSS. Observing her example of what owning your own business could look like has been incredibly inspirational to me.

Leonie Dawson is a gift to the world. She’s the one who inspired me to go into business for myself in the first place. She showed me that it’s possible to be wildly successful in business and still be 100% your own weird self. And she makes me laugh!

My magical practice owes a great deal to practitioners who blog and openly share stories, information, and resources. Bri Saussy and Sarah Anne Lawless are the two I admire most. Their work inspires and excites me, pushing me to learn and explore and experiment and get my hands dirty with magic.

Alexandra Franzen taught me that to be successful, all I really need to do is be helpful. Her laser-lucid guidance keeps my wild ADHD brain on track, and her sweet soulful nature keeps my heart uplifted.

A magical babe cannot succeed without a goddess gang to lift her up, inspire her, and walk the path beside her. I am incredibly honored to call Dyana Valentine and Sally Hope members of my goddess gang. HEYY PRIESTESS!

You can only read one book, watch one television show and movie, and listen to one album for the next year. What do you choose? OH GOD. Ok. I can do this.

I choose The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien considered them one big book, so I count them as such), The Adventures of Pete and Pete because it tickles me PINK, the movie Mystery Men, and Tom Waits’ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards. It’s a 3-disk album, which might be cheating, or might just indicate how important music is to me.

What would you say to someone who needs the last little push to follow their passion in life? My #1 piece of advice is always: Learn to trust yourself. You are more powerful than you realize. Underneath self-doubt and fear there is a voice inside you that knows which way to go, which way is right and good and will fill you up with love and light. All you have to do is listen for it. It might be small at first, quiet and unassuming among the cacophony of doubts and insecurities, but it’s there. You can never kill it completely. So listen for it, tend it and keep listening to it once you’ve found it. Follow it. Trust it. You’re going to be OK.

You can find Paige online on her blog, instagram, and twitter!

Dismembered Barbies, Pop Culture, and Cats : an Interview with Gabriella

Image from www.pixieandpixier.com
Image from www.pixieandpixier.com

Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview I did with Gabriella of  Pixie and Pixier, who is possibly one of my new favorite people. I found her blog when one of the Headmistresses of The Blogcademy retweeted her 1-month video recap, fell instantly in love, read nearly every page of her blog, and was itching to get to know her better. In the very short time we've known each other, I can tell you that she is a brilliant, creative, inspiring girl and a giant ray of sunshine on my twitter and instagram feeds.

Hey Gabriella! Would you mind introducing yourself and what you do?I’m a vegan cat lady who is obsessed with the internet and making things. I run an online shop, where I sell the clothing, jewellery, zines, and art that I make. I blog and make videos. Mostly, I’m just trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do.

I follow you on Instagram and have been following your travel to Hong Kong. What’s been your favorite experience thus far?Instagram BFFs! Hong Kong was insane. Going to Disneyland on Christmas day was a total game-changer and I now feel like I have to go for every holiday. Travelling is the greatest thing to do and is always full of amazing surreal experiences and also just really nice casual moments where life is just good. My favourites would have to be seeing a wild leopard mere metres away last year in South Africa, meeting one of my heroes, Kanye West, in an airport, and just walking around Venice Beach and feeling completely at home.

Any advice for crafty fashionistas who are traveling?Always keep your eyes open. Take photos. Be an awkward and embarrassing tourist. This applies to travelling the world or just going around your local neighbourhood. There is so much goodness and inspiration to see if we just bother to look. Oh, and always bring safety pins because no matter what you will lose a button or break a zip at some point.

You’ve also recently started a YouTube channel, right? How has that experience been for you, darling?Soooo weird! I wanted to do it for a while and eventually just made myself get over all the strangeness. It’s really fun though and feels special to connect with people on a different level. My channel is still pretty much in it’s foetal stage right now but it’s nice to try something totally new.

Image from www.pixieandpixier.com
Image from www.pixieandpixier.com

I’ve perused your Etsy shop (and tbh I want E V E R Y T H I N G) but my favorite item is your Barbie hand necklace. Which got me thinking, after lusting over it, how did you get into making jewelry? Especially cutting up Barbies and adorning their limbs as jewels.Thank you! I wear my Barbie necklace almost everyday and I can’t even tell you how many horrified looks I get or how petrified it makes small children! Which is what everyone wants in jewellery, right? I’ve been making stuff for about as long as I can remember. Since being about 10 I’ve been into the punk scene and obsessed with DIY, expressionism, and how people present themselves. I just really like the idea of wearing something that somebody has sat down and created with their hands. I couldn’t get what I wanted from the shops so I just made it myself. As for the Barbies, I had so many as a child and then I grew up and didn’t want to get rid of them so I just re-purposed them. What’s crazy is that I never cut one of my Barbie’s hair as a kid and now I have a box of their dismembered bodies under my bed!

A lot of what you sell in your store is pop culture based. How has pop culture affected your life, other than providing you an income?I live and breathe pop culture! Andy Warhol is my favourite artist and I’m obsessed with movies. I watch at least one movie everyday and it’s usually one of about 50 that are on repeat. A lot of what people are is the things that they like. When people tell you what movies or musicians they like you get an idea about who they are. When you look back at the phases of your life, a lot of it can be defined by what you were into at that point. Pop culture is powerful and fun, totally personal but also connecting. I think wearing a piece of jewellery with your favourite movie on let’s people know a little bit about who you are. And if someone sees you wearing Pretty in Pink earrings and they love the movie too, you can become instant BFFs!

How has life been since you left your day job? Also, kudos to supporting yourself doing what you love!!Well it’s only been a few weeks and most of it has been a holiday blur but I’m loving waking up and deciding how I want to spend my day. I’ve know for so long that I don’t want to work for someone else so I’m determined to make it work. Next year, next month, even next week, I might have another job but I know that the end goal is to work for myself.

Gabriella, I am smitten with all of your outfits! How did you discover your style? It’s so unique and colorful and, most importantly, fun.Why, thank you! I’m not sure I’ve discovered my style just yet. Sometimes I feel like I’m just fluttering around with no idea what I want to dress like but I think that’s the fun of it. It’s totally ok to dress like a different person every day of the week. For me, it’s important for something to feel special. I like to wear things that make me feel happy, powerful, and comfortable (both physically and psychologically) and that might put a smile on someone else’s face, too! It’s an overused cliché but just wear what you want. We’re all gonna die one day so I’ll wear this bright pink fur jacket to the grocery store if I want!

Image from www.pixieandpixier.com
Image from www.pixieandpixier.com

Who are some of your largest inspirations in life? Role models, dream makers, people who make your soul sing.Oh, so many people! Michael Jackson, Frida Kahlo, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, Gala Darling, Mindy Kaling, Tavi Gevinson, David Bowie, the designers at Romance Was Born and Di$count, Jim Carey, Seth Rogen, Chris Farley, Steve Martin. So many people that I could probably never list them all!

You can only read one book, watch one movie, one television show, and listen to one album for the next year. What would they be?Ok. Book? I’d have to pick Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity because I could never choose just one non-fiction and it about where my head is at right now. For the movie, Dumb & Dumber because it’s my favourite movie ever (and part of my shop namesake!) but the sequel is coming out this year so I don’t know if that would make it better or worse! The album would be Kanye’s College Dropout it is perfect and always relevant. Kanye has a bad rep and people always get confused when they realise how much I love him but this album is a masterpiece and it was his first one!

Herein I invite you to give any last words, advice, etc you’d like! If you need a question, here’s one instead: What would you say to someone who needs the last little push to follow their passion in life?For this I will say my 2014 resolution and ultimate goal/motto/drive in life – just do what you want. We can get so swept up in what others expect of us and what we expect of ourselves but you’re never going to get another chance to follow your dreams. Give yourself a chance, follow your passion, and do what you want. That’s all you ever need to know.

You can connect with Gabriella on her blog / etsy / instagram / bloglovin / pinterest / facebook / twitter / youtube