Ruby Warrington’s professional life started in the glitzy life of the fashion world, going straight to work right out of college for fashion magazine. When she found herself at the top, the glamour started to fade, and she realised she wanted to do something more with her life. In Episode 103 of the Biddy Tarot Podcast, I have a chat with Ruby about how she left the fashion accolades to pursue astrology and create The Numinous, a “Now Age” magazine, and how Harper-Collins approached her to write “Material Girl, Mystical World.”
You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 103: The Life of a Modern Mystic with Ruby Warrington.
Welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, where you'll learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.
Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence. Now, here is your host, Brigit Esselmont.
BRIGIT: Hello and welcome back to the Biddy Tarot Podcast. I’ve got an awesome guest today, and she is none other than Ruby Warrington, who is the Founder and Creative Director of The Numinous.
Now, she’s also just published a book called Material Girl, Mystical World. I tell you what—when I was reading this book, I was just so energised and so excited by the message that she had to share because what Ruby does is she shares her personal stories about how she’s connected with things like astrology, Tarot, crystals, even shamanic journeying and so on. It’s such a beautiful book because what it does is it makes these things feel so within reach and so approachable and accessible.
It’s just such a good read, too, because before Ruby started The Numinous, she was actually a fashion editor and freelance writer as well, so you can really see that come out through her book.
Now, in our interview today, Ruby talks a lot about making that transition from being a high-flying fashion writer to now being the creator of The Numinous, and she also talks about “What does it mean to be living a high-vibe life?” and “How can we start to integrate these spiritual tools into our everyday life? How do we live to our fullest potential?”
Let me just hand over to Ruby, and I hope that you really enjoy this interview.
THE LIFE OF A MODERN MYSTIC WITH RUBY WARRINGTON
BRIGIT: Welcome, Ruby! It’s such a pleasure to have you here on the Biddy Tarot Podcast. How are you doing?
RUBY: I’m doing really good. Thanks so much for having me.
BRIGIT: Oh, it’s an absolute pleasure. I have been dying to speak with you, especially after reading your book Material Girl, Mystical World. I swear every page, as I was turning it, I was like, “Oh my God! This is such the perfect message. Yes, yes, yes!”
RUBY: Brilliant! Oh, that makes me so, so happy to hear. Obviously, when you're in the writing process with a book, particularly one that ended up being so personal as in my case, I had no idea, really, how it would be received. Every time I hear a message like that, it’s like, “Oh, thank you because it just means so much!”
BRIGIT: Oh, good. It’s an absolute blessing. Tell me a little bit… You’ve obviously had one of these fabulous career paths that I think, actually, many of us have, where we start in sort of a more corporate place, and we end up in a more mystical place. And for you, that was from that high-flying fashion career to now stepping into being the founder of The Numinous and really a modern mystic. Tell me a little bit about that journey of how you went from that career transition.
RUBY: Yeah. Well, I graduated from journalism school in London back in the late ‘90s, working immediately in fashion magazines. It was really the space that I wanted to be working in. I was very drawn to the fashion industry, but I also loved writing.
I busily set about establishing myself as a fashion journalist, and like I said, I started working for magazines right away and did pretty well in that career. I had worked at numerous different titles and wound up, 15 or so years down the line, in my dream job as Featured Editor on The Sunday Times Style magazine, which is a bit like Sunday Style in Australia, actually, and I have written for them also.
But I was a couple of years into this job, and I began to become aware that I was really, really, actually, deeply unhappy, and that all of these career accolades and ambitions that I had set out to achieve and have achieved on the outside were not actually leading to me feeling very fulfilled on the inside.
And it was a real moment of existential crisis, actually, because I really had reached a point where I was like, “Well, this is everything I ever wanted. This is everything I set out to do, and here I am, and oh, I’m actually really anxious, quite bored a lot of the time. I don’t feel I’m using my gift. I don’t feel what I’m doing really means anything or has any purpose in the world. Oh no! Now what do I do? Is this it?” And also feeling really angry with myself for not being satisfied. On the surface, anyone looking at my life would really think I had all the boxes ticked, you know?
At that stage, I began thinking about, “Well, I obviously need some kind of passion project on the side. This is the time in life when people get a hobby or something!”
The subject immediately I landed on was astrology, which had always been a fascination of mine, a subject I was really, really interested in since childhood that I had very much kept on the back burner in a way because it wasn’t seen as particularly “cool” in the circles that I moved in then. Obviously, everything in fashion is all about what’s “cool.”
But as soon as I hit on it, I started to feel the excited butterflies come back into my tummy, and I was like, “Yes, this is definitely somewhere I need to be putting some energy!”
I introduced myself to the Sunday Times resident astrologer, an amazing woman called Shelley von Strunckel, and asked her if she would take me under her wing and mentor me and teach me the ropes or teach me more about astrology, I suppose, with the view of maybe one day being able to read people’s birth charts, and if not, just my own birth chart.
She did! Shelley is an incredible, mystical maven, really. She is so well-versed and well-travelled in all of the different mystical traditions, all of the different eastern religious philosophies and spiritual texts, and I would go around to her apartment, and she would just fill my head with all of these incredible stories about her journeys and all of the things she had learned along the way.
Every time I met with her, I could just feel my world expanding in this kind of technicolour adventure, I suppose, unfurling in front of me. And I began to realise more and more that yes, these were the subjects that I was truly passionate about. These were the areas I really wanted to research, and this is where I really wanted to us my journalistic skills.
And she was the first person to ever use the world “numinous” in a conversation. As soon as I heard that word, I saw it on the cover of a magazine, and I just thought, “Wow, yeah, why isn’t there a magazine, a cool, chic fashion magazine that speaks to all of these topics that I find so fascinating?” That’s where the idea for The Numinous came from.
But as to whether I actually started working on it there and then? No. Completely different story. I was still so attached to all of the kudos and all of the glittering baubles that came with my fancy job. There was really no way I was ever going to leave and start a blog about astrology; brain did not compute.
It took a couple of years for that to begin to manifest, including a move to New York from London when my husband got a job here. It was almost like the universe was like, “No, look, if you stay in London, you're going to just stay in this job, and it isn’t going to go anywhere. We need you to come here and work on this.” I sort of got booted out of my job.
Across the Atlantic, I found myself with no work, nothing really to do, so I started working on The Numinous whilst busily setting myself up as a freelance journalist to pay the rent while I put some energies into this new passion project.
BRIGIT: I can relate so much with this journey because I’ve come from a corporate background, then feeling that urge to do something more, and then Tarot was calling me. I also had that feeling of “Am I just throwing away everything that I’ve been working so hard for?” It’s interesting to hear you say that, too.
Actually, I heard something really interesting. I can’t remember where I read this, but it was along the lines of this: “We have been put on this Earth to go and work corporate, to build up some skills around how we can project our message out really, really loud, and then we project ourselves into more of a spiritual path, and we can then use everything that we’ve learned in our twenties and early thirties and bring our spiritual message out in a really big way.” Does that resonate with you?
RUBY: Oh, gosh, 100%! I have zero regrets about anything that I did in my career up to the point of launching The Numinous. In fact, if anything, my biggest motivation was to create a platform that would make all of these esoteric or New Age subjects as appealing as the latest collection from Gucci, as appealing as the latest gossip about Cara DeLevingne. Had I not had my fashion magazine background, I wouldn’t have known how to do that, so yeah, everything I learned in my magazine world I am applying now to my Numinous world.
RUBY: And that’s really my big mission, you know? I don’t know if you feel the same, but I really feel that these tools, which are so often sidelined or labelled kind of “kooky” or “weird” or a little bit “out there,” I see these as tools which are actually our birthright, which are here for us to be able to better know ourselves, better understand ourselves, the world around us, our purpose—all of these really huge subjects.
And yet, we’re not really given access to them. They have been kept from us a little. They’ve been kept in this weird, witchy closet! Nothing wrong with weird and witchy, by the way! I embrace all of the weird and all of the witchy. I’m like, “Let’s just bring it out into the mainstream, and let’s revel in this,” you know?
RUBY: I think that my magazine career really helped me to understand how to create compelling stories that I can now apply to this whole area of life.
BRIGIT: Yeah. I was just having a look at TheNuminous.com just before our call, and I thought, “Wow!” You’ve done such an exceptional job of… It looks like a fashion blog, and yet it’s all about fun, spiritual stuff but conveyed in a way that makes sense to a younger generation. I think it’s just so clever and so relevant, you know?
RUBY: Thank you!
BRIGIT: I think you also talk about making the New Age the “Now Age,” and I can certainly see that in what you’ve created there.
BRIGIT: Have you had any challenges with creating The Numinous or stepping into this path and almost mainstreaming “the woo?”
RUBY: Well, I suppose as an Aries with Sagittarius rising, I like things to manifest quickly. I suppose one of the biggest challenges is allowing for the divine to take the lead and for things to unfold in their own beautiful timing and to not feel like I’ve missed the boat or that things aren’t working out if they don’t manifest overnight. I think that’s a personal challenge.
Also, gosh, yes! Every day brings huge challenges. I was just speaking to my husband over the weekend—being out of my comfort zone has become my new normal, and that’s not an easy place to be. It’s exciting, and it’s exhilarating, and it’s thrilling, and I feel like I’m forging a new path not just for myself but for many of these subjects, too.
And at the same time, that’s extremely vulnerable. I never know where my next paycheque is coming from. I’m constantly in situations where I’m literally making things up as I go along. It really, every step of the way, has been a challenge in that sense, but none I feel…
I was going to say, “overwhelmed by.” Sometimes it’s overwhelming. The project has had a lot of support since the very beginning, which I’m so, so grateful for, just in terms of people wanting to contribute, help out, and give me advice, and all sorts of things like that.
I’m constantly giving thanks for all of the support that I’ve got and also not forgetting that I can ask for help if I’m floundering and I don’t know where to turn next, or I don’t know how to manifest this next part of the journey. I can always ask for help. That’s been another lesson, actually. As an Aries, like I said, I’m quite independent, and I quite like working things out on my own. I have to remind myself that it’s OK to ask for help.
BRIGIT: Yep. Having your own business is the personal development course of the century!
RUBY: Oh, gosh! It really is.
BRIGIT: It’s amazing.
RUBY: It really is, and I think that so many more of us are feeling that call and stepping into that, and I think the more we can support each other through it and be really honest about all the nuts and bolts and how difficult it is, but how that’s actually normal. We’re not doing anything wrong if it seems like we’re confronted by obstacle after obstacle after obstacle, you know? I think the more we can talk about that and share that, the more the next generation of entrepreneurs, not just in the spiritual space but all across the board, are going to feel really empowered to bring our own passion projects into the world.
BRIGIT: Yeah, absolutely. Now, tell me a bit about Material Girl, Mystical World. What was the inspiration for writing that?
RUBY: Well, I had never planned to write a book. Well, that’s not quite true. I had always wanted to write a book since I was a child. I always loved reading stories. I tried a couple of times working on a fiction novel but never really got very far. It just never really clicked for me, so I had sort of given up on that idea and really put all of my writing energy into journalism and reporting.
It was about a year after I launched The Numinous that I got an email from someone at Harper-Collins saying they had found my website and really loved my voice and felt I was speaking about spirituality in quite a different and did I have a book proposal to show them. I pretended I hadn’t read the email and just put it in a folder for a while whilst I tried to process what had just happened and also think about, “Wow, gosh, I guess I should probably get a proposal together.”
The book to me and is, essentially, a guide to all the different subjects I cover on The Numinous but through the lens of my own personal and transformational experiences. It’s funny, actually, I’ve been thinking about how the book came into being. It’s almost, I feel like, such a perfect example of everything we’ve talked about how to manifest something, which is really just to put “like attracts like” and put all of your energy and all of your passion into just doing passionately something you love, and you will manifest everything that is meant for you, and you will attract everything that you want to you.
I kind of feel like that happened with the book in a way. I was putting all of my love and all of my passion into creating The Numinous, without a book being end goal. But as a result of that, the energy that the project was putting out into the universe sort of manifested this book deal, which I’m so thankful for.
BRIGIT: Yep. It’s beautiful. I think one thing I really love about the book in terms of relating your personal experiences to these different spiritual tools in a way, you talk about it in a way of “I wasn’t so sure about crystals, but now I’ve figured out how to bring them into my life.” I love it because you’re not like, “Oh, wow, crystals are the best thing ever, and they’re so powerful,” and what have you. You share a little bit of that trepidation, I suppose, or a little bit of cautiousness, which is really relatable and important, I think, with these things. Yeah, I really enjoyed that part.
RUBY: Yeah, it wasn’t necessarily planned. As a reporter, I suppose, I’m trained to ask all of the questions and to approach any subject with not a sceptical eye but certainly with a journalistic observer’s eye, and I could only be honest about it. It wouldn’t have been me if I wrote it differently.
BRIGIT: Yep. I think it’s what makes it really approachable, and I think that’s what’s really important in terms of bringing these spiritual tools into a wider audience. I think we have to make it approachable and accessible and meet people where they’re at in their own journeys versus trying to get them into this advanced level of highest consciousness and “Seventh dimension of La La” or whatever. It can be kind of confronting when we deal with it in that way, but I think you’ve done a great job of being very approachable and accessible in that sense.
RUBY: Very cool. Thank you.
BRIGIT: Then also, you talk a lot about creating this high-vibe life. Tell me a little bit about what that means for you.
RUBY: Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean having a high-vibe life, and this is actually something… I’m glad you asked this because I sometimes feel like people can look at that “high-vibe life” and think, “Oh, it means just trying to be happy all the time,” or bypassing the hard times to get to more of the high times. And it’s not really about that at all.
For me, living a high-vibe life means really living with integrity and really feeling all your feelings and really appreciating the joy and the beauty and relevance and the teachings of every single experience we have, really meeting life with every cell of your being, you know?
I really believe that having that integrity between thoughts, words and actions is at the heart of that, and that’s about listening to your intuition. The Tarot is an amazing tool for tapping into your intuition. It helps you begin to have that integrity.
All the times I was showing up for a job I wasn’t 100% in love with, I was out of integrity and, therefore, lowering my vibration. Yeah, exactly. When we talk about high and low vibrations and vibrational healing, the more integrity in the cellular structure of whatever we’re talking about, whatever entity we’re talking about, be it a crystal, be it water, be it physical bodies, the higher the integrity in the actual molecular structure, the higher the vibration, meaning the more energised, the more expansive.
Essentially, that’s what living a high-vibe life is about. It’s about really living your truest life: true to yourself, true to your mission, true to your needs—and unapologetically also.
BRIGIT: Yeah. So, does that mean that you must meditate every single day or go to yoga class, and you should never swear? Can we still be human and high-vibe?
RUBY: I swear like a trooper, as I’ve noticed since doing more and more interviews about my book! Rules do not apply to a high-vibe life. Every individual is different. Every individual is unique. Every life path is unique. There are no rules, as far as I’m concerned.
Yes, there are certainly practices which I have found to be beneficial in better knowing, appreciating, loving, looking after myself—all of which are in service of me making choices which are in integrity with what feels like my truth.
So, yes, I do meditate every day because that really helps me be aware of my thoughts, so I can choose to have thoughts which are going to help me make decisions that are more in integrity for me. Yes, I don’t eat meat because, personally, my body feels physically better when I don’t eat meat, and I also do not… What’s the word? I don’t believe in the way that animals are farmed in mass animal agriculture, so my eating meat would be out of integrity in that situation.
But that, again, is a personal choice. And I think another thing I really tried to do with my book was to not enforce any rules on anyone or say, “You have to live this way, and you must do this.” Everyone will find their own path. I mean, as I write, it took me 15 years to find a regular yoga practice, and one of the reasons I now do yoga most days is because I spent so many hours in front of my computer! Putting my mat down in my living room and doing half an hour of yoga is actually something that just helps me breathe more easily and stops me getting totally stressed out, kinky in my shoulders. So, my yoga practice comes from that, definitely not because I feel like in order to identify as a spiritual person leading a high-vibe life, I must do yoga every day, you know?
BRIGIT: Yeah. And I think “high-vibe” will take on different meanings for different people.
BRIGIT: As you said, the integrity piece, I think, is a really good way of checking in about whether it’s right for you. “Is this in integrity with my own values and how I see the world and so on?” Just being more conscious of that.
RUBY: When you frame it like that, really, to me, that is the crux of… When people are like, “Oh, I don’t know what my intuition is telling me,” (and I talk about it like this in the book), well, what feels like the truth? In your bones, you always know what feels like the truth. It may not be the socially acceptable path. It may not be the most profitable path. It may mean letting some people down. But we always know. Like I said, I think the Tarot is a great tool for tapping us back into that essential truth.
BRIGIT: Absolutely. I’m curious—how are you using Tarot in your own life personally and maybe even in your business? Do you use Tarot in your business?
RUBY: Well, I run weekly and monthly Tarotscopes on the site, so editing and commissioning those, I’m obviously reading a lot about the Tarot on a weekly and monthly basis.
In terms of personally, again, as I write in the book, astrology has always been my first love, and it’s such an in-depth, huge practice, as is the Tarot, and I’m still deeply in my studies with astrology. Any of my spare time for learning goes towards astrology still.
But I have accumulated a few decks now, and how I use the Tarot is, honestly, those times when I have a decision to make where what my intuition is telling me is unclear, or use the Tarot to ask very specific questions to help me in those decision-making processes.
BRIGIT: Yeah. Do you find that it makes the decision for you? Or does it just help remind you of what your body really feels is the right decision?
RUBY: It can be both, you know?
RUBY: Sometimes it’s a really clear cut, and sometimes it just gives me more questions to answer myself. There was a time recently where I needed to take on an assistant, and there were three different candidates, and I pulled cards several times, and the same person kept coming out top, and I was kind of surprised about this, but I hired her. She couldn’t be more perfect. She just couldn’t be more perfect, so that was an example where I did really follow the wisdom of the Tarot, and it proved absolutely 100% right.
BRIGIT: I’ve had something very similar where the cards came out where my mind thought that Option A was going to be the best one ever, and then it actually said, “No, Option A is terrible! You should be going for Option C,” whereas my mind is going, “No, I don’t really like Option C.”
Literally, I went, “I’m just not looking at these cards.” I put them all back in the deck, and then I waited an hour, and I did it again. This is Tarot confession time. I did it again, and it was the same kind of message.
I’m like, “There’s something wrong here.”
Within a month, it became very, very clear that, actually, Option C was the best one to go with. The Tarot cards were absolutely correct.
RUBY: Very cool.
BRIGIT: Oh, it’s funny how it does that, too.
RUBY: Absolutely, absolutely. But no, I kind of see the Tarot as astrology’s slightly cooler, slightly witchier little sister. Astrology is slightly more scientific, I suppose. There are equations, and there’s maths involved, so you can work things out. Tarot does feel more intuitive, and the imagery I just find so beautiful, especially with so many of the evolved decks that are coming out now. I think the Tarot is kind of cooler than astrology, but don’t tell astrology I said that!
BRIGIT: Wonderful. Where do you think we’re going in terms of this mystical world? What do you think the modern mystic will start to look like over the next 5 or 10 years? Where do you think it’s all heading?
RUBY: Well, I also run a monthly spiritual mentoring program called Moon Club. We now have… I say “we,” my co-founder Alexandra Roxo and I. Alexandra has been a contributor to the site for several years, and we launched this program together a year ago. We now have around 500 members all over the world, including Australia.
What I am consistently thrilled about and really inspired by is the fact that the people who are joining… And it is predominantly women at the moment. We had our first man at a meet-up in New York this weekend, actually. The people who are joining really come from all different walks of life and all different races, all different careers, all different backgrounds, but are all coming together because of a shared interest and passion for investigating these Now Age tools for connecting to the cycles of the Moon, with the view to these tools being empowering and helping them to find their unique voices and helping them to follow their passions and to do good in the world.
What I really hope is that we’re at the tip of an iceberg of people waking up to all things mystical as a way to really show up in the world in the way that we all want to and in a way that’s going to help future generations and our generation really kind of begin to co-create a world that we can all thrive in as equals, you know?
That’s a big mission statement, but really, I feel like we’re witnessing such rapid change in the world in the structures that have governed us for so long. I think there’s a huge need among people wanting to make a change to find tools that help them, like I said, better understand themselves, better understand what they’re really here to do, and to empower them to actually go out into the world and do it. I think that there’s huge opportunity here for people to do wonderful things in the world.
BRIGIT: Yeah, absolutely. I love it. Excellent. Now, you’ve got a retreat coming up very soon. Tell me a bit about that.
RUBY: Yes! Oh, I’m so excited! I did a couple of talks about my book at the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Vermont earlier this year. In the audience, there was someone from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, which is one of the biggest yoga centres in the States. It’s in Massachusetts, and it’s where all the big teachers, when they’re passing through the States, will come and do special programs. She approached me afterwards and asked if I wanted to do a Numinous takeover and offered me the first week of January.
We’re doing a week of transformational intention-setting with myself, Lindsay Mack, who is my resident Tarot reader here in New York, Alexandra, who is my Moon Club partner, Betsy LeFae, who is the intuitive coach and psychic medium I talk about in the book, and then our amazing friend Sah D’Simone, who is a fantastic meditation and breath work teacher. We’ll be, between the five of us, doing five days of transformational intention-setting—workshops on Tarot and astrology, meditation, intuition, body work, some story medicine, which is another workshop I love to lead, and it all kicks off on January 1st, which is also the Cancer Full Moon, so we’re going to have a special Full Moon opening ceremony. I think it’s going to be really, really special.
BRIGIT: Oh, sounds so good! I wish I could be in America for that.
RUBY: Yes! I wish you could, too!
BRIGIT: Where can people find out more about it or even get the tickets for that?
RUBY: It’s on the Kripalu website, which is Kripalu.org, and if you look in the calendar under January 1st, the program will pop up there. But I will be talking about it all over my Instagram, which is @the_numinous and also sending out reminders on our newsletter. You can sign up for my newsletter at the-numinous.com.
BRIGIT: Fabulous. Awesome. And we’ll also put some links on our show notes, which will be at biddytarot.com/btp103 in case you want to go there directly. Fabulous. I think we’ve already talked about where we can find you on The Numinous, on your Instagram feed. Are there any other places where you like to hang out or connect with your audience?
RUBY: Well, Moon Club is one, and I would love to say we’re coming up to our first-year anniversary. We’re going to be unveiling all sorts of new, exciting things, and it’s just so wonderful. We have a closed Facebook group, where the community comes together to talk and support each other, and we meet every week, actually, online for different Full and New Moon virtual rituals.
Like I said, depending on what time of day it is, we’ve had people joining from Australia at 6 AM, just turning it on while they’re waking up on a Sunday morning, just listening to this beautiful guided meditation. That’s a really amazing place where the community comes together, and we just started an ambassador program, so our members are hosting real-life meet-ups now as well.
BRIGIT: Oh, fabulous! Oh, that sounds so good. Awesome.
BRIGIT: Well, thank you so much, Ruby. It’s been such a joy to talk with you today, and I love what you're doing. I just want you to keep doing more of it, and I think the more people that can get this kind of message out there in really big ways is just a really good thing.
RUBY: Aw, thank you so much. Likewise, I love what you do, and I’m so happy to have met you finally.
BRIGIT: Aw, thank you. All right, well, have a good rest of your evening.
RUBY: Thank you. And enjoy your day!
BRIGIT: There you have it. I hope you loved that interview with Ruby. She’s such a lovely person, and I just really vibe and connect with the message that she has to share.
Now, that’s it for today’s podcast episode. I can’t wait to connect with you again very, very soon. And of course, if you are really enjoying the Biddy Tarot Podcast, please leave a review and star rating on iTunes, and make sure you subscribe as well so that you’ll get every podcast episode to your phone or to your iTunes.
All right, that’s it for now. Have a great week, and we’ll connect very, very soon. Bye for now!