This week’s Spotlight Interview is writer and thought leader Ruby Warrington. Ruby is a British-born and Brooklyn-based founder of The Numinous, a cosmic lifestyle platform that bridges the gap between the mystical and the mainstream. Her other projects include “sober curious” event series Club SÖDA NYC and digital spiritual mentoring program Moon Club. After reading her book, Material Girl, Mystical World, I knew I had to share her approach to modern spirituality with this community.
Many female entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed had successful careers prior to striking out on their own. You too had a previous career before creating The Numinous. what changed and how did you navigate this shift?
I’ve been a lifestyle writer since I graduated from The London College of Fashion, where I studied magazine journalism. In London, I had a successful career in magazines, winding up as Features Editor at The Sunday Times Style magazine – what had always been my dream job! But a few years in, I began to feel frustrated and lost. I wasn’t happy and writing about fashion and celebrities felt very unfulfilling. It was doing some deep inner investigation into what I really felt passionate about that led to the idea for The Numinous. I had always loved astrology, but at the time (7 years ago), there were no outlets that made it seem accessible and cool. Everything was so outdated! It was moving from London to New York in 2012 and being forced to quit my job that gave me the shove to begin work on the project. Since then, astrology has become the coolest thing ever—and I like to think that The Numinous was instrumental in creating this shift!
last year you published your first book, Material Girl, Mystical World. Was this a natural next step or did it feel like you were going out on a limb writing it?
A year or so after I launched The Numinous an editor at Harper Collins reached out to ask if I’d be interested in writing a book about the subjects I covered (which had extended to include all things mystical and “now age”). I was stunned – I had always thought getting a book deal was virtually impossible, but actually, thanks to social media and the internet, it’s become really common for editors to approach people with a unique take on subject in this way. It happened so seamlessly, it did feel like a natural next step. What was unexpected, was that in the writing the book became much more personal than I originally intended. I found I couldn’t write a guide to astrology, tarot, energy work, etc., without sharing how my life had been transformed by these practices. Which meant getting pretty deep into my personal journey. Having it out in the world has felt super vulnerable.
in astrology, the planets have a major impact on our lives. Can you explain how this works and what role, if any, intuition plays in reading our charts?
Each of us has an individual birth chart, which shows the position of each of the planets in the solar system (as well as the Sun and Moon) at the exact time of our birth. Astrologers use this to interpret our unique personality, gifts, weaknesses, and the lessons we are here to work through in this life – a mystical “science” that has been around for over 5000 years. The current transits (movements) of the planets will activate different parts of our charts which is why, for example, you might read about X Full Moon having Y impact on us (as individuals and as a collective).
As for how this works … well this is the mystical part! But for anybody well-versed I astrology, there is no denying the link between the movements of the planets and life here on Earth.
There are many, many rules and guidelines when it comes to astrology – for example, having an Aries Sun Sign (Aries being the sign the sun was in when you were born) is said to mean that you are confident, energetic and a little pushy. But what’s written in the stars is not written in stone. Tuning in to our intuition, meaning our own feelings, about any astrological placement is a valuable part of interpreting its deeper meaning for us personally.
In western civilization women have historically been punished for what you would call their “psychic senses.” Even today we are taught to hold back so as to not appear too emotional, unpredictable, or neurotic. Do you think this has contributed to our lack of understanding around intuition and our fear of following it?
Yes 100 %! And not just biological women – the opinions and needs of anybody seen as being “too emotional” have been discounted under the patriarchal system, which requires structure, discipline and control in order to operate. I go into this in-depth in my book, but I believe that a more nurturing, collaborative, and inclusive society will only be possible when we give as much value to our emotional and needy inner lives, as we do our logical and doing outer selves.
In Material Girl, you point out the disconnection people have from their feminine selves (“divine feminine”) – their sense of intuition, sensuality, sisterhood, and collaboration. how does this impact our relationship with other women and what can we do to reclaim it?
The patriarchal system we live within is based on competition, often fueled by fear of not having or being “enough.” I believe the fact that women have traditionally been suppressed, meaning not given equal opportunities within this system, can create divisions where otherwise there would be more collaboration and sisterhood. Not always, but in certain overly masculine industries and social structures, for example. For me, reclaiming the Divine Feminine is about relaxing into less doing and more being. Less controlling and more allowing. Less thinking and more feeling.
What does self-love mean to you and how is it connected to the numinous?
In my book I define self-love as “Self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-forgiveness.” What I mean by this, is that are often parts of our true selves that we feel ashamed of and which we therefore keep hidden or feel we have to change or “fix” in order to fit in and be loved. Based on the conditioning of our childhoods and the society we grew up in, this can relate to the way we look, parts of our self-expression, and even what we value and what we want to do with our lives. For me, self-love means valuing all aspects of ourselves equally and unapologetically. This is a “numinous” practice, as the real purpose of all the spiritual tools I write and teach about is ultimately to aid us in this journey of coming home to our true selves.
What does longevity mean to you?
It’s all about how you feel. Having engaged in all these numinous practices, not to mention gotten “sober curious” as a result (the surprise subplot to my journey and the subject of book #2!) I feel younger at 42 than I did in my 30s. My gut functions flawlessly, I get 8 hours uninterrupted sleep each night, I am energized, and I’m happier with my body image now than I have ever been. In terms of really LIVING life to the fullest, I think that creating work that has a positive impact on the world also plays into this. I don’t have kids, and I hope that my books and my work mentoring young women in Moon Club will have “longevity” and leave a legacy in the world.
What are you working on next?
Sober Curious will be out Jan 1 2019 – my book about cutting out alcohol and changing your attitude to booze being possibly the most positive choice you could make from a health and vitality perspective. My spiritual awakening has also shone a beam of truth on how alcohol was compromising my ability to fully connect to my Self and be present in my life, as well as being a second-rate stand in for the joy, transcendence, inspiration, and connection I am cosmically designed to generate for myself when I’m living my most aligned life. I truly believe this is the next frontier of the wellness revolution.
Thank you, Ruby!
You may also like these interviews: Own Your Glow: Soulful Living with Latham Thomas, Upgrade Your Soul Journey with Psychic Natalie Miles, Danielle LaPorte Keeps it Real in The White Hot Truth, and Do What You Love: A Reality Check.