"I've always been drawn to the things that most would consider magical or mysterious," says Bri Luna, the woman behind The Hoodwitch, a website dedicated to sharing knowledge of spiritual practice and self healing through crystals, meditation and moon rituals. The website, which only launched about a year ago, has already proven itself to be a successful source for both beginners to mysticism and well-seasoned practitioners of the craft. During a time when all things mystic seem to be in vogue, Luna has a genuine grasp of its importance, while at the same time, is generous with her knowledge to others who embrace it. She has a passion for helping others learn how to heal their minds and bodies. In other words, She's the real deal.
In 2009, Bri co-authored a now-defunct blog called The Boobs, where she spoke with an unabashed confidence on topics pertaining to dating and sexuality that weren't as openly discussed online then as they are now. She also examined beauty trends that didn't hit the mainstream until much later — such as nail art. With The Hoodwitch, Luna brings a similar vibe of female empowerment as she did back then, albeit in an entirely different way. Along from offering an array of gorgeous crystals through her online shop, Luna also interviews inspiring women through a "Goddess of the Week" feature on the Hoodwitch blog.
Then there's Abracadabra, the website's community, which began as a way for followers of the Hood Witch Instagram to interact and connect with each other privately. "I wanted to offer a sacred space for people to have more in-depth conversations about topics that they couldn't express openly to other people who might not understand," says Luna. "It's been so fascinating to see the community thrive. We have so many active users now, and it continues to grow."
I want women, especially, to explore the parts of themselves that they have forgotten.
The Hoodwitch is filled with colorful images of Luna's nails, perfectly manicured just as they were in 2009, but now holding beautiful raw pieces of rose quartz. (She even did a collaboration with indie nail polish brand, Floss Gloss.) Luna, who describes The Hoodwitch as her "baby," regularly shares aspects of her daily life, such as reading tarot, working with herbs, and practicing moon rituals, through the site and Instagram. "I want women, especially, to explore the parts of themselves that they have forgotten."
The Hoodwitch came to fruition after Luna decided to create a sacred space for people to learn about mysticism that was more on the playful and fun side, rather than being dogmatic and serious. "I wanted to offer beautiful crystals and supplies that people could work with in their spiritual development or just to add a little magic to their home or offices — just creating some everyday magic for modern mystics."
Luna's interest in mysticism was something passed on to her from within her family. Her grandmother was a healer with her own unique spiritual practices, which a young Luna initially dismissed as old-fashioned and superstitious. "As an adult I realized that her wisdom was a gift from our ancestors," said Luna. "My earliest childhood memories are of holding the different tumbled stones and crystal-filled geodes in those little stores at the mall that played pan flute music." Los Angeles was also a huge influence for the now Seattle-based healer. "Seeing all of the colorful candles and statues of saints, or orishas, in our local botanicas and the smell of burning copal incense fascinated and intrigued me," describes Luna. "I loved the colorful displays of our ancestral altars and shrines." The name "Hoodwitch" is an homage to Luna's grandmother, and, "all the other witch-y wise women in the neighborhood botanicas doing their thing — healing and hexing."
She began exploring witchcraft on her own at the age of 10. "I wanted my own coven," she says, laughing, "So in the 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. I can't say how effective these were, but we just knew we were very magical and powerful. Then, as a teen, I'd read many books on witchcraft, spirituality and meditation for hours at bookstores." Later, Luna studied the tarot and began to read for herself and eventually, her friends. "I've 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," she says.
More and more women are tapping into their gifts. They are reconnecting to the Goddess and learning just how innately powerful we as women are.
When asked if she has any favorite crystals to work with herself, Luna laughs and says, "That's like making a mother choose her favorite child!" She describes our relationships with crystals as similar to the ones we have with human beings: each stone brings a different side or aspect of ourselves out. "I do love Lemurian quartz," she admits. "These stones truly have such ancient wisdom. They are gentle and yet so powerful. Most people think they look phallic, which they do." Penis jokes aside — they are gorgeous. Luna detailed an interesting experience she had with it at a gem show last year on the Hoodwitch blog.
Luna admits she's seen an increase in more people showing an interest in spirituality. "What I have seen honestly, is that more and more women are tapping into their gifts," she says. "They are reconnecting to the Goddess and learning just how innately powerful we as women are." She has also seen an influx in all-women gatherings that pay reverence to the moon and honors the cycles of our bodies. "You don't really have to follow any specific doctrine or spiritual path, but anything that embraces nature and makes you feel empowered is magic," she explains. "The downside to this, is that there are manipulative and exploitive people that unfortunately can ruin a good thing. I encourage my readers to always trust their gut, use discernment and don't join a cult!" Luna says to practice empowerment and to let go of anything that causes harm or fear.
Luna still refuses to call mysticism a trend, as we are "divine spirits by nature." She says spirituality is the essence of who we are. "Have you ever heard that saying, 'We are souls having a human experience?'" she asks. "I believe it's amazing for a person to want to find methods of healing their minds and bodies because that's important, and it can be so liberating knowing you have that power to heal yourself, to break yourself away from limiting beliefs and patterns." When a person buys healing crystals or learns how to meditate because it's trendy, then she sees it as only a good thing. "If a trend helps you to release past failures and pain and to lead a more healthy and balanced life, then that trend is excellent for people."