Interview: Molly Elizabeth Burkett - Intuitive Artist and Priestess

Name: Molly Elizabeth Burkett

Profession: I work full-time as an intuitive artist and priestess.

What does that mean, exactly? As an intuitive I work mainly one-on-one using my ever-evolving “toolkit”: tarot cards, reiki, Goddess-centered ritual, etc., to get to the root causes of suffering and facilitate deep healing and transformation. As a Neo-Pagan priestess/witch, I teach women’s wisdom through my school the MysteryKeepers, and Venus Flow, a yoga/meditation class. As an artist, all my creative and performance work (dance, music, writing, mixed media visuals) is a self-healing, devotional practice.

What are you passionate about? Claiming my autonomy and my creativity has always been my #1 passion. Girls are historically expected to be fulfilled by taking supporting roles instead of leadership. There is nothing that makes me feel more fulfilled than doing what I love and being appreciated for what I bring to the table. My non-profit group, Sister Healing Exchange, is in the very beginning stages of providing a network of support and opportunity for up and coming healers, artists and entrepreneurs as well as community outreach.

I also love to reclaim the Artist archetype as someone who is an earth protectress and spiritual warrior as opposed to a self-destructive nihilist.

I wasted so many years drowning in self-pity and romanticizing my sadness. The marriage of suffering and creativity is a doomed one.

Art is a powerful way to transmute painful emotions – but the demons of the mind are not your muses, they are your undoing.

I am blessed that now in my late 20s I have friends around me who prioritize their self-care and service to their community, and yes, they are still wildly talented and creative! The reality is that a lot of the artist’s pain is due to internalizing the way intuition/creativity is undervalued and disrespected in our culture, but that can only change if we step up and rewrite the stereotypes.

Why ?

To me the most sexy and rebellious thing someone can do is be healthy, sincere and happy. Society may reward greed and self-destruction, but nature sure as hell doesn’t. Everything we do, think, and say affects everything else in an intimate way – even if we can’t see it immediately.

(But if you’re paying attention, you can!) We are not separate from “The Environment”. We ARE the environment. And we are in deep trouble, at the same time as we have infinite potential.

Personal empowerment with a collective awareness is what helps lift people out of oppression and resigning themselves to victim status. My focus is on women because that's the experience I can speak to, but the same ideas can apply to any movement. For us to step up and recognize social injustices, and evolve beyond the mindset that one human deserves more than any other, we must first look inside. Raise your standards starting there.

Do you have a mantra?

For Earth Magic and resolving conflicts: “I am you, you are me, we are she, and she is we.”

Favorite health routine, recipe, habit or go-to: Meditation is my medicine, and one that neuroscientists and mystics are in agreement on. It has been proven to be more effective than anti-depressants. It actually changes the brain so you are more naturally inclined towards joy and compassion. Meditating has given me the presence of mind to shed 25 pounds, quit smoking and drinking, and completely transform my torrid relationship to food. I am now 100% sober and vegetarian, and I have never felt better in my life. I was lucky enough to go to an immersive yoga teacher training that got me into a daily meditation habit, and broke me of my long-time favorite, but less than sustainable therapies: Ben N Jerry's and Parliament Lights.

What one or few thing(s) have most improved your quality of life? I struggled with debilitating depression and anxiety for many years. I had what western doctors refer to as PMDD (pre-menstrual dysmorphic disorder) and eastern philosophy might call a “yin imbalance”, meaning for the last two weeks of my menstrual cycle, I became completely raw with emotions: uncontrollable tears, angry outbursts, constantly anxious, with regular migraines and panic attacks. The dark side of the moon, I’ll say!

The emotions and tensions improved as soon as I started monitoring my cycle religiously. I learned when I was naturally more social and playful and creative, and when I need to be more solitary and intense, and I don’t shame myself for these changing rhythms. I began meditating and yogue-ing daily, eating only real food with an ingredients list I could pronounce, and fully acknowledging my psychic/empathic abilities. (To make sensitivity your strength, you have to practice clearing, grounding and protecting your energy, otherwise you’ll be constantly swinging back and forth based on the people around you.)

Learning how to live in tandem with my natural moon cycles (“moon magic”!) feels like coming home. We are not meant to live linear 9-5 endlessly productive lives. We are meant to ebb and flow. It's easy to think the big changes (new job, new location) are what changes your life, but it's not. It's the small everyday choices that build confidence and change over time. So if you're struggling with where you are in your life, no matter what is going on, you have control over your self-care; then the big shifts will organically unfold as you change from the inside out.

What matters most to you these days?

Spirit. Giving back. Making art instead of just talking about it.

What have you learned recently that you’d like to apply to your life?

For a time I pressured myself to be universally likable with my ethos and take everyone with me for the ride. This only led to creative paralysis.

If you are evolving as a person there will naturally be people who fade from your life, you will have critics, you will be judged, you will be misunderstood. Not all pathways can be synchronized forever, in fact very few are. But when you’re truly confident and centered, you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. You just live it. The right people will get it, and those that don’t, can’t touch you.

What do you know that you wish more people did as well?

We are never alone, we are never separate, and if you sit and listen to a tree, it will tell you everything you need to know.

What do you wish you knew more about?

I am teaching myself how to draw! I’ve always loved tattoo flash and the art of illustration, so I'd love to learn how to draw and paint and even tattoo myself. I also play music and have performed in the past, but I’m a bit of a tech-phobe... I'd love to get over that and learn Ableton and all that good stuff. Also, putting all my mystical work online through livestreams and online classes and MP3s. So if anyone out there is a tech-savvy tattoo healer/singer, holla at me, I want to pick your brain.

Free space for drawing, writing, waxing poetic or leaving blank:

“The Third Eye Woman is the seer. The knower. She comes into things by intuition, by instinct. She is the receiver. She is the bridge. The one most whispered to. She cannot but hear the voices. She cannot but know their names. She is the one whose spirit is old. What she knows comes into her, formless. It is a languageless land. It catches her at the ankles and pulls her under. She cannot help but be a door. She has always been a door and it is always open.” –Dominique Christina