Who: Ruby Warrington
What: Founder of The Numinous, a cosmic lifestyle platform seeking to bridge the gap between the metaphysical and the mainstream and author of new book, Material Girl, Mystical World: The Now Age Guide to a High-Vibe Life
By Day: Writer, freelance magazine journalist, denizen of Brooklyn
By Night: Astrologer, modern mystical guru, all-around fabulously fashionable creature
Livingly: So first things first, can you tell us how you got your start? What inspired you to leave your job as a fashion editor and delve into astrology with 'The Numinous' and a book?
RUBY WARRINGTON: I pursued a very materialistic career in fashion magazines, and I’ve been successful in that. [I wound up] in my dream job as Features Editor on the UK Sunday Times Style magazine after about 14-15 years in the industry. And about 2 years into this job, I found myself just beginning to question whether it was making me happy. I was suffering really severe anxiety at the time. I was feeling really overwhelmed all the time, often on the verge of tears and in stressful situations. It wasn’t good.
But I was like, "Hold on, this job is everything I ever wanted, and now I’m here and I’m not enjoying it. Oh God, I’m terrible; I’m so ungrateful." It was a situation that wasn’t really getting any better.
I didn’t envision leaving this job, because it was my dream job. [But I thought,] well, if I’m not happy, maybe it’s because I need to do something on the side that’s just for me. So I asked myself what would that be? And immediately, astrology was what I landed on. Maybe one day I could be an astrologer. That seems like such a random thing, but my gut was like, "Yes, do this, do this!"
So I started studying astrology, and I introduced myself to our resident astrologer at the Sunday Times and she began mentoring me. She also started telling me all sorts of stories about her incredible travels and mystical studies all over the world. Every time I would hang out with her, I felt myself becoming more and more alive in a way, and my sense of curiosity were really coming back to me. I very quickly realized that there wasn’t any kind of publication [or] platform that bridged the gap, that presented these subjects in an accessible, modern, fresh, and cool sort of a way.
[I wanted to create a] magazine or website that would bridge the gap –– that went on to become The Numinous, which is my platform that I run now. I essentially moved to New York in 2012 with my husband. He got a job over here, so I had to leave my old career behind, [and] I was busy setting myself up trying to be a freelance journalist here; but on the side I began utterly making moves to actually create this thing, The Numinous. It officially launched it in 2013, about three years after I had the initial idea.
What should readers expect from your new book?
RW: The simple way I’ve come to describe it is basically Sex and the City meets Eat, Pray, Love.
When I moved to New York, I had all these fantasies about morphing into Carrie Bradshaw. I literally would have visions in my head of which specific shoes I would be wearing while hailing down a cab to go drink Cosmos uptown. I just thought that’s how my life was gonna be. But then I moved here and [started] The Numinous, and it wasn't Cosmos at the top of the rock, it was like [hanging out in] some sort of commune space in Greenpoint . . . meeting tons of astrologers, and diving into this whole metaphysical world.
I’m still doing my magazine freelance journalism by day, but by night, working on all this mystical stuff. I think that a lot of people think that in order to have a more spiritual life, meaning to embody lifestyle practices and philosophies that help you connect more strongly to your sense of spirit, your spiritual self, there must be some sort of necessary rejection of all things material. You need to go off and meditate in a cave for 12 years, or like, go to an ashram, like [Elizabeth Gilbert] in Eat, Pray, Love.
My experience was actually that I moved to New York City, one of the most glamorous cities in the world, and had that experience here. The whole message of the book is you don’t need to reject everything about your “material girl” lifestyle in order to feel a deeper connection to yourself as a spiritual being.
The book itself is a guide to all of the different subjects that I write about and cover on The Numinous. Everything from astrology and tarot to shamanism, yoga, meditation . . . the divine feminine, through the lens of my personal experiences and the transformation that I’ve had in my life. It became more personal than I intended it to be, but it’s very much a guide, too. And it’s very informative, but told through all the crazy, funny experiences that I’ve had along the way.
How did Material Girl, Mystical World COME about?
RW: So, that year after I launched the website, I got an email from an editor at Harper Collins in San Francisco, saying that she found the Numinous and she really loved it and the way I was talking about all these mystical esoteric subjects. She called it fresh and different and did I have a book proposal? And I did not at the time! [So I got this] very interesting email, [and had to] find a way to respond to this quickly. Just give me 5 minutes! *laughing*
I had conveniently begun working with a manager in the UK, working with influencers and things like that. I mentioned this to her, and she said, "Yes, you must get a book proposal!" We worked on it together and pitched the book initially in the UK. [I had] already been contacted by Harper in the US, and they eventually offered a joint book deal at the beginning of 2015.
What has been one of the proudest moments in your career so far?
RW: Having my book come out. It’s been a bit like, pinch me! Is that real? I have a book out now? Having been a journalist or a writer for so long, I’m used to being published. And so, I find myself reminding myself since it came out, I’ve got this whole book out there now!
Especially in the world of digital publishing now –– you must feel this too –– it’s like, you write something, it’s online, and it’s gone tomorrow, it’s on to the next thing. My career felt very much like that. So having something out there in the Universe that is permanent, and it’s being passed around –– it’s honestly a bit of a cliche I suppose –– but the proudest moments are when people reach out to me on social media or whatever, and they're like Wow, this book really touched me, totally spoke to me. People have told me it really changed their lives, and that’s the most incredible.
I feel very proud having produced this book –– just the work that it took to put into it. There were numerous times throughout the writing when [I thought,] I don’t know if I can actually do this.
Well, as an Aries myself, starting projects is no problem, but finishing them is another story.
Okay, YOU KNOW! Exactly that! It was so hard. I wrote 108,000 words in the end. This huge project, the fact that it got out there in the world. I’m proud of the content and everything that’s in it. . . . And it’s made me want to write more books. At the beginning of our conversation, I was saying how I really was struggling to find a deep sense of meaning in my work . . . So I’m really proud of myself for actually following through on what my heart and soul wanted me to do.
I think that’s all that any of us can really ask for.
I hope that my story inspires other people to do the same, because I really do believe that the world needs as many of us as possible to be out there living our most creative and inspired and inspiring lives, you know?
When you interviewed Bri Luna, aka The Hoodwitch, she said that 'every woman is a Witch.' We know that witches are having a serious cultural moment right now, Can you tell us what that means today?
RW: The word “witch” has such scary connotations, largely because it’s associated with the Witch Trials, in which hundreds of thousands of women in Europe and the States were burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft. "Witchcraft" meaning self-healing . . . intuition practice, astrology, all of these mystical tools that I’m speaking about.
And so I think that the reclaiming of these tools, which essentially are just tools for our self-awareness and self-healing –– which the world needs more of than anything else –– are associated negatively with witchcraft. And witches, having been branded “evil,” or in some way outside of society. And so, yeah, I think that a reclaiming of the word “witch" goes hand-in-hand with that kind of rediscovering all of these tools and bringing them into our lives in a modern way, which I think is really exciting. And Bri said, yes, “Every woman is a Witch," but I think that can be extended to any man who wants to also investigate more [of his] emotional, nurturing, feeling, intuitive side.
I’m happy to see more and more people identifying with the word “Witch.”
I was so excited to read the chapter in your book dedicated to the Divine Feminine. I've written about it too. What are some of your favorite rituals to embrace the Divine Feminine in your daily life?
RW: For me, it comes down to self-care and really kind of paying close attention to the needs of my emotional self. Self-care can be anything from getting a regular massage and making myself nourishing food, but also self-care in terms of the company I keep. Choosing to be around people who make me feel loved and supported and who understand me. That’s really it. Care for my emotional, intuitive, self. Care for my feminine side.
In the society that we live in, so much importance is given to our more masculine qualities –– go-getting, extroverted qualities, whereas our more introverted, inward-facing, feminine qualities are not so valued. So for me, a way that I connect to the Divine Feminine is to really value that part of myself as much as any other.
Moon Club is the ritual mentoring program I launched a year ago. [It's essentially gathering a] global community of members online for rituals and workshops to celebrate the different phases of the moon. It’s become so part of my everyday, feeling connected to the moon and paying attention to the different phases of the moon. Having a moon practice, and for me that definitely includes paying attention to my moon sign, and really understanding the moon sign part of my astrology [is] a huge part of my life.
Well, your moon sign is in Cancer, right? That’s intense, too, since Cancer is the Moon Child.
Yes, you know! So understanding that about myself helped me to forgive and know myself so much better. As an Aries and Sagittarius rising, everything [I write is], fiery, extroverted, go-getting, all this stuff. And yet I’m so shy and introverted and sensitive, that I’m finally understanding. [Getting closer] to my Cancer moon helps make sense of myself.
Striking up that balance between doing and being. I feel the same way, like as an Aries you put so much pressure on yourself. You don’t have to be starting something new every week. It’s fine, just let things come full circle.
Exactly! Just honoring my inner introvert and not beating myself up and not always being the kind of super-confident person that the world would like me to be, you know? Learning more about the moon and what it represents in astrology, connecting to it through different practices and with our online Moon Club community, has really helped me honor the more introverted, inner parts of myself.
At Livingly, we strive to “live life beautifully.” What does living beautifully mean to you?
Ooh, okay. So a book I’ve been recommending to everybody this year is called Outrageous Openness, and it’s by an astrologer called Tosha Silver. The subtitle is Letting the Divine Take the Lead. And for me, I think living beautifully is about relaxing my control on life, and trusting and appreciating that everything [...] in my life is unfolding when I allow it to, and I stop trying to force things one way or another. Living life beautifully to me means allowing life to unfold in its own time.
Letting the Universe have your back.
Yes, exactly! Trusting.
I like that. I think that’s a tough thing to do, but it’s so, so worthwhile.
It’s so tough, because we’re not taught that that’s how things happen, we’re taught that it’s on us, we make things happen by our effort and by our will. Which can certainly be the case, we can complete projects that way. But really, the beauty of life is that it’s happening around us all the time. It’s so much more enjoyable and beautiful when we align with what’s around us.
Editor's Note: Interview has been condensed for clarity.