The wellness practitioner and self-proclaimed bruja shares how she uses authenticity, love, and wisdom to help others shine brighter.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Just a few moments into our interview with Emilia Ortiz (a.k.a. @ethereal.1), we knew she was a real one. Emilia identifies as “bruja, healer, and mental health advocate” who counts past life regression, inner child work, and Reiki among her best-loved offerings.
Here’s how she wields authenticity (among other powers) to help others shine brighter, too.
How do you identify yourself and what you do?
I do healing work in a few different ways, because not everybody needs the same medicine, you know?
When you call yourself a bruja, what does that mean for you?
For me, that means somebody who practices brujeria: Witchcraft and magic. It’s about shifting and working with different energies and spirits to better align things — not just in my life, but for the collective good and in the lives of others. It’s working with an understanding of someone’s spirit as well as energy, plants, herbs, crystal correlations, and astrology work. It’s working with the elements and living in ritual with them.
You contributed some beautiful footage to our “Everything Is Connected” video. What excites you about the Keys Soulcare community?
I think it’s really dope what you guys are doing: Highlighting different people, stories, and lightworkers from truly different communities. It’s been really nice to see actual diversity play out in so many ways. I’m just very excited to be part of this.
What do we all have to gain from sharing a fuller picture of authority, ownership, and expertise when it comes to wellness?
What’s beneficial about increasing visibility of people in marginalized groups is that they (we) can feel like healing is actually for them, too. That they can see themselves in different practitioners, different stories, and different parts of soulcare. It also emphasizes that it’s “worth” it.
What do you mean by that?
What I mean by “worth it” is that people — especially people of color — may be exposed to or in spaces of wellness, but don’t receive the support or reinforcement that other [non-BIPOC] people would receive. Commercialized settings of wellness reinforce the idea of white yogis [and practitioners] as shamans with specific access to healing. Representation reminds all people in the wellness community that there is no one, specific way to be a healer or be healed. It highlights that we all have something to offer that contributes to the collective good of the wellness community.
That was beautifully said. Speaking of aesthetics, you have a really cool personal style. How do you adorn yourself as you step into each day and the world?
My clothes definitely let you know that I am a Brooklyn girl, through and through. I’m perfectly okay with that because I like to show up as my most authentic self. Whether it’s a sweatsuit, my hoop earrings, or my winged liner on days when I feel like I need a little more protection, I’m not putting on a show or an aesthetic to fit into what a quote-unquote practitioner should be wearing.
What makes you a lightworker?
That’s such an interesting question. We all probably have a bit of a difficult time with this, because that little bit of the humility that so many of us have, hmm? For me, it’s the deep empathy and compassion that I have for others. I don’t have to feel everybody’s feelings for them; I can care deeply and compassionately for what they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing.
And, showing up as my most authentic self, as often as I can. It’s like that saying about one candle lighting millions of others. When we shine, it lets other people recognize the light in themselves.
How can you show up as the real you in more of what you do? We’d love to hear how it’s feeling to shine (even if it’s challenging times) in the comments!