I was so excited when Gabriela Herstik agreed to talk with me! As a fashionista and witch I couldn't help but be drawn to her light and magick. Her Instagram is such a source of fashion inspiration and wealth of knowledge for the practicing witch or the new witch. Below we talk to her about what its like being a witch growing up Jewish, tarot inspired outfits, and her new book "Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft" due out in the US this September!
Photo Alexandra Herstik
When did you first find your calling to be a witch?
It officially happened when I was about to turn 12, and received a deck of faery oracle cards. I bought “A Witches Guide to Faery Folk” shortly after and just knew that this was who I was. It felt like coming home. I had gone to Salem, MA on Halloween a few years before with my aunt (who was born on Halloween), grandma and sister and we had gone to the witch museum and I had learned about witchcraft. When I found it on my own a few years later I knew that things were coming full circle; even at such a young age I knew that this was part of who I was. I have always been deeply spiritual and interested in religion. My mom’s favorite memory of me when I was little is when I was two, holding a crystal pyramid she had given me and telling myself to breathe in and out because I was angry at my sister. I have always been fascinated by the unseen, by what lies beyond, by magick; finding witchcraft was a way to put all of these things together.
Being Jewish how do you find that balance of being a witch and the religion of which you were raised?
Honestly, I didn’t find that balance for a long, long time. Up until six months ago really. I don’t identify as Jewish religiously (I identify as Pagan) but culturally and ethnically I’ll always be Jewish. I knew I wasn’t Jewish before I had to go through my Bat Mitzvah, but I still had to go through the nine months of studying. It was really hard. Plus, my dad’s a rabbi and I had been surrounded by Judaism for my entire life. I had to have a lot of space from it. Now I’m finally starting to learn about Kabbalah and incorporate that into my practice. For me, it’s not as much about finding a balance between the religions, but finding ways to honor where I come from through my own practices. I had many, many members of my family in the holocaust including my paternal grandparents who survived over three years each in concentration camps. The fact that I am able to speak openly about my religious beliefs and practice with witchcraft without fear of persecution is huge. I honor my family and heritage and Judaism in that way as well.
Who are some of your favorite brands and designers?
I love love love Vivienne Westwood and her hubby Andreas Kronthaler. Alessandro
Michele for Gucci is one of my favorite eras of fashion design ever. Ann
Demeulemeester is my girl. Rick Owens is another favorite, as is Heidi Slimane. I love Phoebe English, Craig Green, Raf Simons, Dior, Prada, Valentino, Saint Laurent… too many to name.
We love your tarot inspired outfit posts, when did you have the idea to start dressing to different tarot cards?
Thank you so much! It was when I was a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. I was 19 and had my fashion blog “Breathing Fashion” going and decided to work with a local photographer to capture nine tarot card inspired outfits. It was so much fun and that form of glamour magick is one of my favorite practices to this day. It’s such a cool and easy way to get to know the cards and I think it helps bring a sense of magick into my daily life.
We are so excited for you new book to come out in the states! What are some of the topics your new book will cover?
Thank you so much! Me too- it is my baby! Inner Witch has a little bit of everything- the history of the witch, the basics of magick, ritual and spellwork, the holidays of the witch, a chapter on energy and the subtle body, tarot, working with herbs and the earth, fashion magick, working with the moon and moon magick, astrology and crystals, and more. It’s literally the witch bible I’ve always wanted!
5. What is some advice you’d give to a new witch just starting his/her journey?
Ask your family about their spiritual practices and superstitions. Go to the bookstore (even better if it’s used) and spend time in the metaphysical/ occult section and see what calls to you. Read, listen to podcasts, explore and use the internet. Find what resonates and leave the rest behind. Your magick doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s to be valid- the most important thing is remembering that it has to feel good to YOU.
Photo Alexandra Herstik