How Melinda Lee Holm Harnesses “Earth Magic”
Self-care and manifesting intentions are two aspects of wellbeing often associated with health-obsessed Los Angeles, but when it comes to personalized Earth Magic, Melinda Lee Holm has carved out a unique niche.
The Los Angeles-based jeweler and energy specialist practices intuitive healing through moon rituals and bespoke jewelry, which she designs based on intimate conversations, tarot card readings, and intentions set by her clients.
“In rituals, my role is more of a facilitator,” says Holm, who publishes new moon and full moon rituals on her website. “I also on occasion will lead people through rituals,” she adds, speaking of what appears to be a culture-wide interest in intuitive healing in the modern era. “We did a really big one right after the election. [Sighs.] People were like, ‘What can we do? How can we raise the vibration and pick ourselves up out of this?’– so we did a big event with a ritual and guided meditation with a live score. It was really beautiful.”
Earth Magic– what Holm refers to as her composite blend of various metaphysical traditions– is structured around the belief that humans co-create with the Earth to make magic happen. Astrology, crystal healing, and metaphysics all fall under this purview.
“I use the term ‘Earth Magic’ because it broadly encompasses pagan traditions, Wiccan traditions (which are relatively new), and all of these traditions that consider earth as a living being and humans as part of it,” Holm says.
Earth Magic– what Holm refers to as her composite blend of various metaphysical traditions– is structured around the belief that humans co-create with the Earth to make magic happen.
“Almost every early society had a tradition of co-creating with and respecting the Earth, so by using the term Earth Magic, it encompasses that idea without limiting me to one tradition, since I tap into multiple,” Holm says of her energy work.
“Broadly-speaking, you can use anything that you connect with for a ritual,” she explains. “The common factor for me are tools that come out of the hermetic tradition– I always have a candle, selected for color based on what energy we want to tap into. I also always have crystals, because I am obsessed, and then of course tarot– I choose a different tarot archetype based on what I think has the best guidance for that moment. These are the kinds of elements that I bring together.” Much of the specificity, Holm says, can be dictated by the user; she tries to select elements that she knows people at home will have access to, in order to make the rituals more accessible. “I try to use things that you would have growing around your house or in your cupboard,” she says of her open-source rituals, which she sees as a way to be of service. “I’ve used poppy seeds, coffee, black tea, rose petals, lavender…just because something is more rare doesn’t make it more powerful; it just makes it harder to get.”
“For rituals, writing is always very important,” she continues. “In any tradition, you want to have some sort of appeal written in the present tense. So for this [last full moon ritual], instead of writing ‘I want to get more clarity around what my highest purpose is’, you change the phrasing to be, ‘I receive, with great awe and gratitude, the wisdom that comes to me from the moon and from my guides and ancestors’. This puts it in the present tense and makes you realize that even if you don’t see it in the moment, that work is being done for you from the Universe and from other beings– however you frame your personal spirituality. It’s important to have it in the present tense so that you acknowledge that its happening now.”
Holm, who also does tarot nails (a collaboration between her and celebrity nail artist Natalie Minerva of Nail Swag in Los Angeles), is quick to point out that “words really do matter”–especially in this climate of Alternate Facts. “People say, ‘Well, you know what I mean, so I don’t have to say it exactly,’ and that’s extra upsetting because words are magic! All words are magic words, so you have to pay close attention.”
Attention to detail takes on a special primacy when Holm designs her signature jewelry– prescription adornments informed by her belief that self-adornment is a sacred act. (On the day of this interview, Holm is sporting her own tarot nails and a beautiful mix of energetically-important rings. Her fingers are tattooed with symbols that are significant to her life.) Each piece of Holm’s jewelry is designed to match her clients’ style and spiritual needs; the goal of each piece is to help its wearers manifest their intentions– a process that began for Holm after she made a piece of protective jewelry for a friend who had experienced a trauma.
“You are the magic,” she smiles. “That is how it works.”
Today, these prescription adornments form the cornerstone of Holm’s work as an energy healer. “People come to me and I do tarot readings and have them interact with different mineral specimens, and then I make custom jewelry to assist them in whatever’s going on,” she says of the career that evolved from her openness and spiritual ingenuity. “We talk over aesthetics– because obviously I want to make something that they’ll wear– and I take notes. Then, they leave, and usually I’ll wait a day. I’ll give [the process] a little bit of space. Then, I’ll sit down in my studio, take out all of my stones, and make choices based on intuition.” Holms explains the process while wearing a prescription necklace that she made for herself– composed of Blue Apatite, emerald, rubies, white and pink sapphire, and other earth stones, it glimmers in the soft afternoon light.
“There’s also a prayer that I go through internally where I asking my guides and my client’s guides to lean in and look at what’s going on and the intention of the piece. It’s different for every person, because everybody’s guides kind of feel different,” she says, “But when I feel a nod of acknowledgement, like ‘OK, I got it!’ I package it up, do a little write-up about what the stones are, and then I send it off.”
Much of the energy and specificity of each piece is directed by intention and Holm’s preternatural thoughtfulness. “I feel like I’ve made a contract with my client because they took the time, energy, and money to come and sit here and talk with me and be open, and to invest in this piece of jewelry. Meanwhile, I’ve made a contract with their guides to help carry that energy forward with them,” Holm says.
“The style of tarot reading that I do is very akin to spiritual coaching,” she continues, emphasizing the importance of her clients’ own free will and power within the process. “It’s all about empowering people, not taking power away– as if I have secret information about them that I’m going to tell them. There’s a huge Feminist movement happening in Tarot right now that involves using these spiritual practices so that clients can walk away with an idea of things they can actively do to improve their situation. You are the magic,” she smiles. “That is how it works.”
Being women conditioned not to trust ourselves is part of why Holm suspects that Intuition, for a long time, has been dismissed by mainstream popular culture. When Holm’s close friend, actress Brie Larson, was nominated for an Oscar, Holm’s husband set up a private dinner for which Holm made prescription jewelry for each of the women in attendance. Her work was then profiled on Vogue.com, who emphasized the novelty of what is ultimately a deeply intuitive healing practice rendered with tenderness and (increasingly rarified) humanity.
“I’ll talk to clients when I’m doing tarot readings or making jewelry, and they’ll sometimes say, ‘I think I know what I’m supposed to do, I know this job isn’t right for me’, or that ‘This relationship isn’t right for me, and I know what I have to do but I just can’t trust myself’. I think this is the exact same impulse that comes from being kind of beaten down into thinking that [one shouldn’t] trust themselves– we are told to trust other people, to trust some authority with a capital A instead of getting in touch within,” she reflects. “A lot of this metaphysical stuff– rituals, meditation, tarot, all of it– is getting us back to that place where we can finally trust ourselves.” And with that, Melinda Lee Holm, energetic jewelry goddess, continues to speak the truth.