1. What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Gabriela Herstik, I’m from Southern California and grew up outside Atlanta. 2.What does being a “witch” mean to you?
Being a witch means living in tune with the cycles of the earth, the cosmos and yourself. It means living consciously and intentionally, and working with magick (which I explain as energy + action + intention). It means working with your own power and the unseen realms to create change, both in this life and those to come. 3.What’s your favorite ritual? Is there one that you do every day?
I have a few different favorite rituals- my current daily ritual is my morning practice. I’ll do anywhere from 10-20 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of meditation and then I’ll pull three tarot cards and journal on them, as well as my intentions and what I’m grateful for. My favorite rituals are using sex magick/ masturbation to raise energy for an intention- I usually have a spell going for the full or new moon, so this usually works with that. I also make art and write in honor of Venus, and have started incorporating wax play and different elements of kink (bondage, impact play..etc) in my rituals to her which has been really fun. I love taking salt baths with different herbs and crystals as well, which is something I try to do regularly. Dancing around by myself, screaming when I’m alone in the car, and going to therapy are other favorites. 4. What are your current favorite ritual tools?
I love my athame, but more than anything I use candles in nearly all my rituals. I work a lot with sigils and I love being able to add that to candle magick, which I work for weeks at a time instead of just letting it burn down all at once. I also love using art and writing as a ritual. Creating in honor of the goddess is one of my favorite things to do. 5. What do you think is the biggest witch stereotype?
I think the biggest stereotype for people who aren’t witches is that witches are evil, we all worship Satan and that we have big noses and can do whatever we want with magick. I think within the community, it’s that witches all look one way and are white/ skinny/ able bodied. Media represents these witches, but our community is diverse and includes QIPOC, black and trans women, non binary folks, disabled folks… I think it’s really important to keep them in mind too. They’re the ones who are often leading change, carrying this magick and making real waves. Magick and politics, and magick and social justice, overlap. 6. What are your thoughts on the Ouija board?
Personally, I’ve never used one! I’ve heard some scary stories, but I think if you were to use one in a ritual context and create a protective boundary, you’ll probably be safer than if you just whipped it out and tried it as a game! I would definitely suggest taking It seriously as a divination device if it’s something you want to do, and not just doing it randomly and casually. 7. Favorite witchy movie go!
The Witch, The Love Witch, The Addams Family, Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter
8. Music is a huge inspiration to me, what are you currently listening to?
I’ve been on a heavy Interpol kick since like May, so that! Willow, Cardi B, Kali Uchis, Arctic Monkeys. For magick/ inspiration I listen to Bjork, Ashana, Krishna Das, Chelsea Wolfe, and others!
10. Have you ever done a spell in which you regret?
Not that I can think of!
11. What is your sign?
Aquarius sun, Scorpio Moon, Libra rising
12. Can you remember your first crystal or gemstone? What was it?
I was around two and a half, according to my mom, and she had given me a crystal (probably quartz) pyramid that I would hold in my hand and tell myself to “breathe in, breathe out” with when I was angry at my twin sister! When I got a little older, the first one I remember really vibing with besides clear and rose quartz was Blue Lace Agate.
13. Do you practice with tarot cards? Do you have a favorite deck?
Yes, I work with tarot cards pretty much every day! I love The Wild Unknown, which I have been reading with for years and even did a series of outfits based off of for my then-blog “Breathing Fashion.” I also love the Cosmic Tarot. My favorite that I keep coming back to is the Centennial Rider Waite. I love the classic imagery and the colors, though it is very hetero/ white :/
13. Where is the most magical place you’ve ever been?
Oh my goodness this is such a great question! The first time I remember experiencing magick was in my backyard with a small creek in Buffalo New York when I was 8 or 9. Since then I’ve been able to travel a lot and experience more magick. The Catacombs of Paris, as well as the city itself, the pyramids of Mexico and Santorini Greece are all some of the magical places I’ve been able to go to.