Interview with Anais of Mystical Mandrake Root | 2020 Many Moons Lunar Planner
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
The best part of the Many Moons publications is getting to collaborate with one-of-a-kind magic makers. For the February Full Moon of the 2020 Many Moons Lunar Planner, Anais of Mystical Mandrake Root gifted us all a ritual for our imaginations. Anais is an Astrologer, Herbalist, Teacher and Intuitive Guide. She is the founder and creator of Mystical Mandrake Root. Her offerings include: Astrology for Self Empowerment, Ancestral and Past life Guidance, and Divination with the Tarot.
Learn more about Anais below:
Hi, Anais! I am pretty blown away by the comprehensive range of services you provide. Astrology, Tarot, and also ancestor work, past life guidance, crystal healing are just some of your skills and offerings. I’m wondering if you can share a bit about how you become so well-practiced in so many different modalities, and what the process of becoming a full time practitioner has looked like for you?
Thank you! It's been a journey for sure, one with many hiccups and detours. Often I feel like I've done everything under the sun to get to where I stand today. Even still, there is so much more I look forward to accomplishing. I'm very into self-study, it’s one of my earliest learning techniques and to this day it’s still my first choice. I have been lucky enough to have very great teachers along the way, but the seed stages have always been me dropping into a space and wrapping my head around the subject to understand and learn it. Then seeking teaches and guides to deepen my understanding. I'm lucky I have one of those minds—I pick up things pretty easily. For example, Astrology was both a self-study and influenced by my mom. She would refer to peoples signs all the time, it was like everyone’s middle name! So I'd hear her on the phone say something like, "yeah of course she did. She's such a Sag!”, that was the beginning of it. I wanted to know more, so I dove in and started to read books while studying my own chart, then the charts of my family and friends. I sought my first astrology teacher years later, around 22 years old, and the rest is history. For some things, it’s like they choose me—the Ancestor work for example. They chose me, they were like, "You are a gatekeeper and you see into the past. This is your work." and after years of saying "I don't know..." I finally had to say yes and accept it. Now it's proudly part of my rainbow of offerings.
Becoming full-time has been an experience, and to be honest I have a plan B. I even still have a super part-time job because some months it really pays the bills. I wish I could say I'm one of those mega rolling around in money astrologers, but I'm not, I'm doing the best I can and keeping an overpriced NYC roof over my head. I guess you could say I'm full-time with a plan B and C so I can eat and pay rent each month. Sure, I'd love to just let that go and trust...but I have a very fixed chart and need a safety net, it’s just the way I am. This mix of full-time plus a back-up works well for me. A few years from now though, I would really like to just be going my work only.
I had a lot of fear around going full-time for many years: fear becomes quite crippling for me, so it only led to more years of not doing it. When it finally happened it was subconsciously, I didn't wake up and decide, "I'm doing this. Mystical Mandrake Root is no longer a weekend thing." Life just directed me to it. I noticed one day that I was doing 100% Mystical Mandrake Root all the time, and then it hit me, I realized "wow this is full-time." I kind of love that it happened that way: it felt very organic and aligned. I also love controlling my own schedule and working from home, it is seriously my happy place, so I am happy with where I am right now and the fact that I can even do this. It means a lot to me. I honor my process and try to remind myself to celebrate that I got here. Plan B or not, I did it.
What have been the biggest benefits of following your intuition?
I have too many answers for this one! I'll try to keep it simple...I think the biggest benefit I can think of right now it trusting the direction I was led into. I used to work in the fashion industry and it was the best money I ever made in my life, ever. But I was so unhappy and often said it was soul sucking, I felt like my soul was dying. I know due to growing up without much—my mom did the best she could single with 4 kids—and due to past life reasons, I was really attached to the security that career gave me even though I was so unhappy. Leaving that career felt like one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I had to do it. I knew I felt at home only when I was divining the stars, sitting with cards, and holding space for others as they walked their path. That felt true to my soul. When I finally left the secure career and put all my energy into what was to become Mystical Mandrake Root, I found home; I re-tuned into my truth. So I would pick that moment, because it led to everything that has unfolded and continued to grow today. Of course, I share this story not to knock anyone who works in fashion, I was just meant for something else and I fought my instinct for a long time but finally did listen to my intuition, and it led me here.
For your February Full Moon contribution to the planner, you gave us a ritual that guides us into our own imagination. It is very dreamy, I can’t help but want to bring up your very dreamy name, Mystical Mandrake Root. Can you share with us how the name was created, and what symbolism it has for you? Has picking that name for your business opened up synchronistic opportunities for you?
I've tried everything under the sun, even made jewelry for a few years. Over that time I flirted with many names for myself, nothing ever felt right. After 5 years when I finally just handed it over to the universe the name came to me. I was with a close friend at their house, after some dinner we put on music and they suggested we drop in and do some sigil magic. There we were, in a plant-filled apartment with two cats and my friends music in the speakers, as I picked gold paper to draw on. Then I lost time, I dropped in deep. Once I returned to earth I realized the middle of the image looked like a mandrake root, a plant I was obsessed with since I was a kid. I loved books on fairy tales and folklore since I was young and since the moment I learned about this magical plant, I was obsessed with it. After only a few minutes of sitting with the sigil the name was spoken to me, like the plant or a guide whispered it to me, I seriously heard, "mystical mandrake root" and I knew that it was it. I knew that name was me, and it would be perfect for the kaleidoscope of things I'd offer under it. I even have a mandrake root tattoo on my arm, as a promise to myself and what I've created—a promise I will stay true and love it, and nourish it. So yes, there is deep symbolism to the name for me. On a personal level, I feel the mandrake is my soul plant. At the time the name came to me only half of what I offer now was an option, so it grew a lot since that moment. Finding a name that resonated for me felt like I reclaimed some deep power. It made me feel whole. It has opened up so much for me, it’s also bought many wonderful opportunities my way, this included!
What is your current, favorite Moon phase? Why?
I love the disseminating Moon phase, likely since it’s the one I was born into, so it really feels like home. I can feel it in my bones when it happens: I wake up in a good mood, feeling super magical and connected. I often spend time with my altars, light some candles, and just coast through the day. It gives me that same feeling I have when I hold labradorite in my hands, it feels like a full body realization that I am magical and I am where I need to be. I love to do gratitude work on this Moon too, I just feel really tapped in and grateful under this phase.
What are a couple of things (anything, a record, something you are learning, a new boundary practice) that you are excited about? Why?
What I'm most excited about right now is taking my personal study to a deeper place with the intention of offering something publicly with it, eventually. I've been very into family astrology for years, and I've read many charts for my new mommy friends and their babies. But my deepest interest is in family patterns and ancestral karma. This year I dedicated my time to deepening my study, then when I feel I'm ready I will infuse it into the work I do now. I don't know what that will look like yet, but that’s okay. I trust the process and I'm excited to see what I birth and how it can help others.
Another thing I'm excited about is overcoming a fear I have around music. I love music, I make playlists like it’s my job and I set them by mood. I have one that reminds me of Neptune, for example. It’s that serious. Aside from being an avid listener of music, I always wanted to make it—I even got a guitar a long time ago and named it Persephone, of course. One of my dreams was to be an eccentric yet mysterious guitarist in a rock band, but I barely played my guitar and only had 2 professional lessons ever. Last year something happened, I sat at the computer in some very basic music maker software and made 6 songs. I love these weird, totally unprofessional songs. I say it sounds like Aquarian-Neptunian-trip-hop sprinkled in space dust. It's so weird, but I love it and I feel like it sums me up pretty well. I started with the intention to make something more along rock/metal since those are my main loves. But who knew, I may have a skill for creating dance music for aliens I guess! I know this was last year, but I'm still really excited about it. I feel like I opened something up and I look forward to making more music once I feel the spark of inspiration again.
The last thing I can think of is related to Chiron healing. I have Chiron in the 10th house, so being seen is not the most comfy thing for me. I have a hard time listening to myself talk or watching myself on video. But I've been taking baby steps to overcome that and heal it...I know my soul calling requires me to show up and be seen. In the world we live in, public speaking and video is part of that. I can't move into a castle and send messages via raven (even though I totally would), not in 2019. So I am excited to challenge myself in this way, and at the same time heal my pesky Chiron placement. Thankfully, I have my Gemini north node in the 11th house and a Leo rising helping me along the way.
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