Nov 12, 2019 | By Joanne Thomas
Jul 27, 2017
If you’re honest, your habit of checking Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone used to be a little secret, something that gave you a sudden thrill but you couldn’t talk about it, because no one else would understand. Similarly, if you like crystals, and could tell the difference between the Rose Quartz and Black Tourmaline stones, you were labelled as a bit quirky. Crystals, tarot, sage and Reiki were not mainstream dinner table conversations; they happened in secret. But as we’ve been tracking the wellness movement, there’s no denying that things are changing.
Vogue.com just had a witchy week interviewing everyone from The Hoodwitch to hosting a podcast with Astrologer Susan Miller. Now, it’s socially acceptable to say, ‘my computer is acting up because Mercury is in retrograde’, and carry crystals in your jacket pocket. New spirituality is the new norm. In our report Millennials: New Spirituality (subscribers can check it out here) we’ve been tracking the emergence of new spiritual spaces that offer alternative therapy, new fitness and nightlife concepts, such LA’s Kundalini Disco parties. Even corporate industries are getting in on the action, Brooklyn’s new 1Hotel hosted a full moon party earlier this month with tarot and astrology readings.
One woman who was ahead of this trend is Ruby Warrington, editor of the website The Numinous (think self-care meets weekly horoscopes and articles on how to live from your soul purpose). As the former editor of the Sunday Times Style magazine in London, Ruby came up through the worlds of fashion and beauty- while simultaneously being passionate about astrology. With a move from London to New York, Ruby started The Numinous five years ago to try and change the label that astrology and all things mystical had as being very uncool.
“I started The Numinous because I wanted to get rid of the stigma that was attached to these things and in NYC what I discovered was a more open minded attitude. It felt like it was bubbling up and people were less afraid of expressing that they consulted psychics, or went to meditation. I became friends with a new, cooler, younger generation of mystics,” says Ruby.
Having studied astrology, Ruby saw the value of trusting your intuition and having a tarot reader in your little black book, the way you might have a doctor or chiropractor, because all parts of yourself need tending to. “Through my studies I was reintroduced to these fascinating subjects, but the way it was presented was so uncool and crusty. I found it fascinating, yet I struggled to understand why there wasn’t a place presenting this in a cool way. So like an editor, I started working with different contributors to create The Numinous. I also knew a lot of people in the fashion industry in particular who had a psychic, who all read Susan Miller’s horoscopes. So I wanted to rebrand it because I didn’t like being seen as a weirdo for liking these topics, and I knew there was a demand for this way of thinking.”
And now it seems that the consumer is catching up. Thanks to the current climate of political uncertainty and economic anxiety, a spiritually-focused counter-culture is beginning to emerge. Today’s Millennials are asking themselves existential questions about faith and purpose, and are looking for answers in some interesting places. “I think the 2008 financial crash was a massive turning point in terms of us as a society asking more questions about the type of life we want, what is aspirational? What is true wealth? How permanent is financial success? Slowly we started to seek out and question what brings true meaning, and we’re asking that now more than ever. In the last year especially, we’ve been forced to ask uncomfortable questions, look at what it means to create a society for everyone, there’s no more ignoring the broken systems,” says Ruby.
With her Numinous website and her new book, Material Girl, Mystical World, Ruby is working to showcase how these self care tools are fundamental in daily life. “I often describe these practices as the missing piece or the next part of the wellness conversation, because once you start cleaning up your diet and thinking about what you are eating and drinking, you can’t help thinking about what is happening on an emotional level and what energy you are contributing. As the wellness scene propagates, more people will get used to this, and that’s something that is happening globally,” says Ruby.
For brands, while the idea of new spirituality might still seem too forward-thinking, the smart brands are getting involved with this growing ideal. Through her site Ruby has worked with Selfridges department store in London where she curated an Astrolounge. She offers retreats on the site (her last one in upstate New York sold out) and even hosts a regular Club Soda events for the sober curious.
As the wellness movement evolves from Lululemon yoga pants to tarot readings, it’s clear that emotional wellbeing will become just as important as physical health.
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.