Lyndsey is a next - level community builder, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Beautifully ensconced in all things magick, she is an urban witch, Tantrika, Reiki healer, MoonChurch co-founder, women's health activist, and a fairy school teacher.
" It's easy to become jaded or disillusioned when you have the desire to help the world and the task seems overwhelming, so try to stay strong! And remember that when you're acting from a place of love for all things, it doesn't matter if you're a plumber or a neurologist or a master guru-- you're creating waves of positive change in the world. "
We met through Body Actualized, which was my absolute favorite place in Brooklyn, and a pleasure to get out of bed on my day off to come volunteer at! What was your involvement with that project?
My favorite place too! The Body Actualized Center played such an indescribably pivotal role in my life. I stumbled upon it in the spring of 2012 when I was at a really low point in my life. I had freshly dropped out of school, had my heart broken, and was in dire need of community and love and purpose. BAC had just opened and someone mentioned it to me in passing. I looked it up and saw they were looking for people to volunteer in their new work-study program, so I signed up to volunteer twice a week without ever having stepped foot inside. I had a gut feeling after even just reading their mission statement that this community would resonate with me. Luckily, my hunch was correct and I fell in love with everyone there immediately. I started to spend pretty much all my time at BAC, and within a few weeks of starting as a volunteer I moved in and was invited to become one of the managers of the space. For the next couple of years, it was our little temple. A place that felt like an oasis in New York City, where people suddenly slowed down, and could feel relaxed and free. I've never felt more free in a space, actually. We were all constantly in awe of what a vortex it was. It felt like it had been created out of another time and another dimension. People would come visit for an afternoon and would end up staying for days at a time, including some of the musicians we invited to play. As a community we did a lot of growing together; we really felt like a family. The people I became close to there are still my best friends, and all the projects I've been working on have been a direct result of my time there.
How did your interest in magic and spirituality get started? How did you come to find yourself on this path?
I've had a strong sense of spirituality for as long as I remember, but growing up in places with incredible natural beauty and being surrounded by really open-minded people was definitely helpful for me. I was born in South Australia and spent the first eight years of my life there. I remember the energy of the land so clearly; it was deeply rooted in shamanism and magic and it's where I found a lot of inspiration. From there I moved to Santa Barbara, California, which is where I was introduced to yoga and meditation. I developed an intentional practice around age thirteen, and at age fifteen I started an apprenticeship with a master herbalist and healer. She took me under her wing and taught me everything she knew about magic and witchcraft. It blasted my world open and paved the way for everything that followed.
" I think qualities such as nurturing, kindness, unconditional love, forgiveness, softness, and flow are qualities that should be encouraged and welcomed in every being from a young age, not just young girls. "
What does feminine energy mean to you and how do you use it in your daily life?
My relationship with the idea of feminine energy is complex. Though I do a lot of spiritual work with cis women and I appreciate the differences between all sexes and their histories, I am also in a place of questioning what it means for anything to be specifically "feminine" or "masculine". I think qualities such as nurturing, kindness, unconditional love, forgiveness, softness, and flow are qualities that should be encouraged and welcomed in every being from a young age, not just young girls. Unfortunately, perhaps for some concern for virility and a "survival of the fittest" type of reason, these qualities aren't seen as powerful or important, so, therefore, women aren't seen as powerful or important. One of my life goals is to work to change that.
What is your interest in community?
On a personal level, my blood family is divided all over the world and I don't get to see them often, so having a strong sense of community among the people around me feels vital. In general, though, my work with communities has been a total surprise in my life. I initially moved to New York to go to art school and dive deep into personal expression and solo work. But it's turned out to be the complete opposite. I've done nothing but community work for the past three years, and it's been wonderful.
Can you talk a bit about Moon Church?
Moon Church was founded by the women of Body Actualized in January of 2013. It started as mostly a friend circle where we'd geek out about magick, but it quickly became something bigger than we could have imagined. We gather around the new and full moons, as well as the pagan holidays. We hold sacred circles and allow ourselves to be heard, to be vulnerable in front of people we might not know. We initially thought it might become a kind of coven, but because of its size and the variety of magical backgrounds of its members, Moon Church has taken the form of a community spiritual support group for women, first and foremost.
What is the idea behind the Fairy School you are running for children now?
With Fairy School, we really wanted to create a place where city children could be encouraged to nurture their relationship to the magic within them, and in the world. We wanted a program that took all of what we thought were the positive aspects of regular school, like friendship, community, laughter, learning, and combine it with a curriculum you'd never find at a public school. We teach our kids about crystals, plants, dreams, meditation, breathwork, and, of course, fairies. They seem to love it, and it's so much fun for us. Plus, I've felt strongly connected to fairies since I was a kid, and having this opportunity to bring more fairy magick into the world feels like such a gift!
What does it mean to be a Tantrika?
When I discovered Tantra a few years ago, it was the first time I was able to truly believe that the power to heal myself lied in my own hands. I discovered, as many people do with Tantra, what felt like a secret passageway between deep healing and sensual awareness. It's a path that can take on a myriad of forms, so it's hard to describe clearly in words, but through my own practice which has included breathwork, meditation, and physical and energetic clearing with myself and others, I've gained a deeper awareness and respect for my body and its place on the planet. In that way, being a Tantrika is less of a role as it is a way of being. I feel like I've signed up for a new life through my Tantric studies. It definitely isn't easy, unlocking deep pains and traumas stored in the body, and coaching others through doing the same. But it feels like really important work.
How do you balance being an energetically sensitive person with living and working in NYC?
It can be challenging being sensitive in New York-- I think a lot of people here develop thicker walls and social anxieties as a result. But I try to see it as a gift. There is a dance to creating boundaries in this city, as there are so many people we interact with on a daily basis. I think it's important to protect yourself and your inner space, but it's just as is important to know when to let your boundaries down and connect. In my experience, talking to veteran New Yorkers who have lived here awhile, they seem to be masters at that. Self-assured, guarded just enough, but also incredibly warm and generous with their time and energy.
I also really value my home time. For the first few years I lived here, I was out and about all the time trying to soak as much in as possible, but then I would burn out quickly and feel overwhelmed. I have a lovely little apartment in Bed-Stuy now that feels sacred to me. I eat really well and do most of my cooking at home. I keep candles lit, take baths, and try to do things slowly and spaciously. It helps keep me sane here.
How do you feel about where the planet’s at now in 2015? Are you optimistic about the future?
Honestly, the ebbs and flows of the planet are still such a mystery to me that I'm not sure how I feel. I am ultimately an optimistic person- I love the earth and humanity and being alive- but I also don't want to pretend like things are drastically better now than they were 2000 years ago. Dogmatic belief systems and the deeply-rooted desires to hoard resources that plague our planet are preventing us from thriving as a collective. It's clear we still have a lot of work to do. But in general we seem to be shifting toward becoming a more open-minded planet, and therefore a more open-hearted planet, and that's where I find my hope.
What advice would you give to others who want to help and heal the world?
It's easy to become jaded or disillusioned when you have the desire to help the world and the task seems overwhelming, so try to stay strong! And remember that when you're acting from a place of love for all things, it doesn't matter if you're a plumber or a neurologist or a master guru-- you're creating waves of positive change in the world.
Lyndsey wrote a lovely piece for our friends at New//Age - read it here .