1. Your new book is Llewellyn's Little Book of Unicorns. What inspired you to write the book?
At its heart, what inspired me to write the book was the experience of trying to find the magic in life, even amid really challenging circumstances. I came to a point where I really needed to ask myself: Where do I find awe, inspiration, healing, beauty, joy, and the things that really make life worth living? That was the book in me that was waiting to be written, but I didn't know it until unicorns entered the picture. They interweave that message so perfectly, bringing a fresh look and new way of thinking about the ups and downs of this roller-coaster ride. Once the two came together, the writing couldn't be stopped.
As an acquiring editor for Llewellyn, I'm always brainstorming book ideas and finding authors to write those books. A few years ago, I helped develop the Little Book series, and had worked with several authors who wrote on everything from chakras and psychic development to spirit animals and meditation.
Parallel to this, I recognized the rise of unicorns in popular culture, which reignited my own personal interest. A love of unicorns is something I swept under the rug in adolescence and adulthood, because it's just silliness, right? But this mainstream resurgence sort of gave me permission to open myself back up to that interest in a more mindful way.
I was looking for someone to write a book on unicorn spirituality, partly because it was something I myself wanted to read and wasn't finding on the bookshelves. After a couple of years of searching for the right person, Tess Whitehurst took on Unicorn Magic. I couldn't wait to read it.
While she was in the works on writing her book, I had the idea that unicorns would be a perfect topic as a Little Book, and the publisher seemed interested as well. This was a Friday, and the book followed me home. Normally, the next step for me is to find the right person to write that book and allow them to brainstorm and flesh things out. In this case, all that weekend I was writing down notes about what should be included in the book, how it should be structured, what kinds of exercises could be included, and on it went. By the end of the weekend I said to myself, "I think I need to write this book!" The unexpected outpouring of creative energy is really what inspired me to move ahead with writing the book.
2. Unicorns are hugely popular at the moment. Why do you think that is?
Unicorns are strong archetypal figures for a lot of things that we're focused right now in time. I break down our belief of unicorns into four different categories, and this helps to define why I believe they're so popular right now. These include:
- The reality of an extinct or hidden creature. From Sasquatch and UFOs to unicorns, those who entertain the idea that the seemingly impossible may be true are holding on to potential and possibility. We're simply fascinated by the mysterious and like the idea that even the impossible may be real. In a world that can be dark and predictable, unicorn believers are creating space to be amazed by the beauty of life.
- The use of your imagination to entertain a fantastical beast. Unicorns offer a break from burnout culture and an escape from the difficulties of an all-too-real world into realms of fantasy, fun, creativity, and play. Part of this attraction has to do with nostalgia, feeling young-at-heart, and wanting to reclaim pieces of childhood. In addition, society often tells us only the proven physical truth matters, but more and more we're looking at what the subtler realities of mind, emotion, and spirit have to offer us. We're learning to appreciate and believe in the things we experience on other levels, because they are real and have value, too. For example, through meditation and visualization, people are increasingly incorporating imagination into their practice for wellbeing. While this wasn't always valued in the mainstream, with current understanding of neuroplasticity we now know that we're able to rewire our brains through the use of our imagination, which ends up being a pretty amazing kind of magic.
- Your experience of a spiritual reality, of unicorns as a high-vibration spiritual guide. Non-religious spirituality is much more mainstream nowadays, and many people are on a search for alternate spiritual connection. We're looking for alternate divine inspiration and unicorns are like angels that have been tethered to earth. With their magical associations they have a spiritual feel about them, yet we can relate to their connection to nature, something that we also desire more of in modern times.
- A metaphor of your own search for magic in life and a belief in the very real and vibrant power you hold within your authentic self. More and more, we're being encouraged to align with our authentic selves. We're living in a time of embraced personal empowerment, and unicorns are a symbol of breaking from conformity and moving toward authentic expression. From minorities addressing issues of racism and the LGBTQ+ community pushing for acceptance, to women breaking down barriers of sexism, we're poised for casting off long-buried shadows and allowing one another to live free as what and who we are. Unicorns express their fantastic selves without apology, and we're learning to do the same.
3. How exactly would you define "unicorn energy?"
Unicorn energy is the energy you feel in the presence of everyday magic. These are moments that stop you in your tracks and make you go, "Oooooooh!," or that make you feel like you're shining from the inside out. In these moments, you might lose all track of time, become totally absorbed in whatever you're doing, and feel as though you could burst with happiness. It leaves you feeling effervescently joyful, moves you to be creative, and leaves you in slack-jawed amazement. It's fed to you through things like creative inspiration, dreams, moments of awe and beauty, synchronicity, your passions and personal quirks, and more.
4. Why do we need to employ unicorn energy and embrace our "sparkle" in our lives?
It can be difficult to move beyond the hum-drum routines and, especially, the darker challenges of life. By making use of the various ways that unicorn energy reaches out to us, we're better prepared to ride through and rise above, allowing ourselves to experience the best version of our lives.
This practice becomes important, because so often we've buried the things that really make us shine. Because of this, we need to follow the breadcrumbs of unicorn energy in order to find the source of our sparkle and strengthen our connection to our positive and magical experiences.
5. What do you hope readers take away from Llewellyn's Little Book of Unicorns?
I want readers to take away whatever is most important for them personally. If you come to the book to entertain your playful imagination, you'll certainly be in the right place. If you're more interested in finding out about your own magical nature, you'll find that as well. If spiritual practice is what you really seek, this book is for you. No matter which point is your particular interest, each builds off the other, supporting our confidence to live truly inspired lives. I hope the things I share in this book will support you on your way discovering wonder, beauty, and awe-inspiring moments to make life magical.
By the time you end your walk with the unicorns, I want you to believe in yourself and know you are magic. My hope is that this little guide will help you connect to your authentic self so you can shine!