A guide to spiritual living in the modern world

A guide to spiritual living in the modern world

Embracing 21st century anting-antings.

Photos by Renzo Navarro


There’s no science to prove that the minutes go by faster, but they’ve certainly gotten more tiring. We all relate to this — that constant feeling of being on edge as our jobs get harder, and the political climate gets bleaker. 

We’ve entered an age of hyper-productivity enabled by the birth of the digital realm; just as we expect the instant gratification of Googling the proper use of the word “dissent”, so do our bosses in our back pockets asking if we could rush that marketing deck for Monday morning. With our value-as-people and value-under-capitalism becoming more closely tied, it’s understandable to want to be a little kinder to oneself. To want to feel grounded, confident, worthy, and whole. To take deep breaths to inhale positivity, and exhale to release anything that no longer serves us well. And maybe even to purchase a Himalyan salt lamp to ward off the negative vibes.

The Cleansing Kit (P850) from Woo~Woo Ritual Goods is inclusive of a palo santo, sage, selenite, incense, and matches. Designed as an entry point into spiritual housekeeping, it has everything you need to keep the mumus of your life at bay.

While times have become increasingly difficult and absurd, New-Age beliefs, usually coming hand-in-hand with wellness practices, have been making a comeback. First coined by black feminist writer Audre Lorde, the term “self-care” later became a rallying cry against burnout and the woes of late-stage capitalism. Now, it has taken its natural course morphing into a new influencer subgenre. You know the type — think your witchy tita paired up with your friend from work who’s always raving about their newest enterprise. Bowls of whole foods, scented candles, and daily meditation practices to tune into the frequency of the world have all found their space in our timelines. Of course, most of these practices have been co-opted from different Eastern cultures. The gentrification of zen has been both lampooned and celebrated by artists. Fried chicken concept TETSUO, digital content agency itsggforyou, and photographer Cru Camara released a collaborative collection of tees, prints, and a zine all about the cherry-picking of these concepts and icons. 

Left:  The Path to a Well Balanced Diet Zine (P1000) from TETSUO is your guide to #wellness. In an ambitious meeting of minds, the zine is 36 pages of meditations, mantras, loosely-defined recipes from TETSUO, and images by Cru Camara. 
Right: The Path to a Well Balanced Diet Shirt (P750) from TETSUO displays the intricate balance of health and pleasure. Featuring close-ups of TETSUO’s best-known dishes as captured by Cru Camara up front, on the back of the tee is the reminder that, “To keep the body in good health is a duty.”

You could say these prescriptive acts of one-uppery might come across the linen-pants-clad version of the rigorous, unforgiving “self-optimization” movement of yore, that swore by early-morning alarms, whiteboard to-do lists, and copies of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. And sure, it does seem ironic that things considered as alternative beliefs could be packaged so commercially and followed so dogmatically. Still, there’s merit to be found in this strange new progression. 

Piña Seda handkerchief (price available upon request) from Gabriel Bustos Santos. Officially launching on Nov. 21, 2019, Gabriel Bustos Santos’ Spring Summer 2020 collection embodies “…a gothic contemporary form; challenges luxury from the every day, allowing its dynamic character to protrude.” A perfect way to display our inner multitudes.

At the end of the day, dabbling in these 21st century anting-antings should be a source of joy, not stress. If you scratch underneath the surface of every lengthy post about mindfulness or snapshot of a tarot reading, there lies an earnest attempt to understand the self and this universe we occupy. And when there can’t seem to be enough hours in a day, taking a couple of minutes to simply breathe in, hold, and breathe out, can sure feel like a silent act of revolt. There’s a certain charm to this new wave of digital spiritualism. Might as well sit back, and relax into your being. 

Selenite (price upon request) from W17 Homes. This massive stone is characterized by its metaphysical properties that make it best for meditation. Instilling a sense of inner peace and clearing out judgement, it will be one of your best allies on the path to lucidity. Namayst!

Many influencers outside of the realm of “skinny white rich people” are finding new ways to make healthy, sustainable, and mindful living more accessible. It’s now much easier to dip one’s toes into wellness and spiritualism without accidentally signing into a cult or pyramid scheme. For example, small Instagram stores such as Woo~Woo Ritual Goods provide simple kits that include sage bundles and wood for burning, a reminder that the cleanliness of the home should not just be on the physical plane.

Photos by Renzo Navarro
Creative direction by Nash Cruz
Product styling by Rachel Mañalac
Modeled by Jared Joven

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