“Quit hiding your magic. The world is ready for you,” reads an Instagram post on La Brujas Club’s page. The post, which encourages brujas to let go and let flow when it comes to their power, garnered nearly 500 likes among a community of 3,000-plus followers digitally. Founded by New Jersey-based ecuatoriana Nathalie Farfan, La Brujas Club, a spiritual wellness community focuses on giving you the tools necessary to feel welcomed, liberated and balanced, and has become an empowering safe haven for women of color.
“I’m trying to give you the tools and the community, and the education, needed so you can go out on your own as a bruja and find yourself,” says Farfan on the essence of the community. “But also be able to detect what’s real and what’s fake. That all goes back to following your intuition. If something doesn’t feels right inside of you, don’t do it.”
It’s a constant evolution, but Farfan’s own journey into brujeria at a young age has helped her hone in on her power and become the spiritual entrepreneur she is today. Her mother, Ana, practiced Santería and although she was reluctant—even scared—to delve into the religion, she embarked upon her own spiritual path after her passing in 1998 and furthermore after college. Without parents or any siblings, it was connecting to her ancestors that made Farfan feel less alone. And it’s her mother she credits with pushing her towards finding community.
Farfan was at her most depressed state living in Los Feliz, a region of Los Angeles, California. In both a bad relationship and rough early-stage pregnancy, she sought guidance from her mother. “One night I prayed to my mom. I was like, ‘please, I don’t want this baby and I’m not going to get an abortion. If it’s not meant to be, please don’t let it be. I trust you, I trust the universe,’” shares Farfan, who uttered these words through tears to her mother . “I cannot make this shit up, the next day I was rushed to the hospital, was literally hemorrhaging, and I lost the baby. I miscarried.”
It was the end of one chapter, and the catalyst to a fresh start. La Brujas Club was born in 2011 when Farfan created the community she lacked in LA, moving back to New Jersey, putting pen to paper and listening to divine spirit. “Every time I feel at my lowest is the time that I trust the universe the most.”
The club just wrapped its 22nd gathering this October at feminist and radical space Bluestockings Bookstore, where the large number of brujas in attendance led to the bookstore closing, which Farfan describes as a good problem to have. While she’s glad to see the on and offline community she’s built grow over the last seven years, she’s invested in keeping it local—wherever their gatherings take place. It’s what makes La Brujas Club unique.
“Our muse are the local brujas that are doing the hyper-local community work. That’s who my muse is,” she says. “My muse is the local bruja and the local botanica where I get my herbs from. One is where I shop and one is who I create community with. That’s really where my heart is.”
La Brujas Club’s website will be launching in November, and includes a marketplace filled with sustainable, locally-sourced goods from brujas. BOTANIKA, which was formerly Farfan’s womenswear line, is relaunching within the site to offer the local spiritual shop experience online.
Farfan’s heart is also in an extension of her spiritual community: Morado Lens, a podcast she co-hosts with her childhood friend, Cindy Rodriguez (also a HipLatina contributing writer). The duo discuss sex, culture and spirituality. Two years in, they’ve launched 91 episodes, featuring bad ass brujas such as Afro-Puerto Rican intuitive tarot therapist Tatianna Morales, creative entrepreneur Ada Rojas, legendary reggaetonera Ivy Queen, Jessyka Winston of Haus of Hoodoo, Rosario Dawson, and most recently Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In speaking about the impact both La Brujas Club and Morado Lens has made, Farfan acknowledges the transparency and vulnerability in the DMs, emails and messages they receive from followers and listeners. It keeps her going.
“You don’t have to hang me or burn me physically for me to see you don’t want me to thrive in this lifetime,” she says.
It’s the brujas, women who are fighting for equity and intersectionality, that are doing the work to bring about change, with the help of spirit of course. It’s why Farfan is so invested in nourishing the sisterhood she’s built throughout the years. There’s a clear yearning and return that’s taking place. For those who have yet to tap into their inner bruja, her advice is simple: “Understand your soul and try to make your soul happy.”
“If a 30-minute interview can change a woman of color’s life, then it’s our duty to keep providing that one way or another,” says the spiritual healer.
Today’s political climate is another huge motivator for the multi-talented creative to empower brujas to survive and thrive. She describes it as a modern-day witch hunt with white males actively working to break up families, separating mothers from their children at the border, to ultimately disconnect and disempower the matriarchs.
She’s currently rereading Woman Who Glows in the Dark: A Curandera Reveals Traditional Aztec Secrets of Physical and Spiritual Health and lists it as a must-read for women looking to deepen their spiritual practice.
“Our abuelas’ stories can’t die in modern day America with this patriarchal system,” says Farfan. And her work is ensuring their stories live forever.