NFLUX: A Culturally Spiritual & Astrology Based Magazine That Celebrates Black/Brown, Women, Queer, Fat AND Disabled Communities
We get really excited when we hear about WOC entrepreneurs who are founders of magazines. Needless to say, we were elated to chat with Shakirah Tabourn, founder of the culturally cosmic magazine NFLUX. We were so excited to experience her first issue and can’t wait for ISSUE #2 coming out late February 2019!
Check out this interview:
When and why did you start NFLUX Mag? What does the name signify?
The idea of NFLUX was originally an event series revolving around the Equinoxes and Solstices - a quarterly event centered around honoring these major turning points on the wheel of the year. I started ambitiously planning last spring for a Summer Solstice event, but it quickly lost steam, as it didn’t feel possible to do in the short period of time we had. I was still really into the idea and loved the name and concept. May came, Uranus moved into my 3rd house, which rules writing and communication, and I soon began to realize NFLUX wanted to be born as a publication. I had been toying with the idea of an astrology zine for months before but had no idea what it would look like, who it would be for, and how to make it a recurring project. By August, I had figured out a concept and assembled a small team of awesome women who believed in me and in the project, and we got started!
The name NFLUX has a few different meanings behind it. Firstly, I had the word “Flux” written on a note on my laptop for at least the past three or four years. I just remember the word struck me and it never left my mind-space. I was waiting for a time to use it. The sound of the word, the quickness, the fluidity resonated deeply, and in the “spiritual” world, there are so many words that are overused and altered, I wanted something different. Flux is about movement and flow, and as someone who can be afraid of & resist change, owning this word helps remind me that life is in a constant state of change, and that’s real and also beautiful. NFLUX by design is constantly changing, and the astrology of its launch reflects that as well. It’s all about moving with the wheel of the year, embodying the energies of the zodiac and the season to get closer to feeling that cosmic alignment that I think we’re all searching for.
The tagline for your magazine focuses on "astrology and culture" - how do these two ideas/ideologies connect
Astrology is the lens by which I view almost everything in life, because as above, so below. NFLUX aims to show the intersection of astro & culture because they aren’t separate. We are able to analyze cultural events and experiences through the lens of astrology, which in turn allows us to understand these universal energies in a different context than just our personal astrology. For instance, the Me Too Movement happened in conjunction with Jupiter in Scorpio. The other side of culture is showcasing people who are doing work to better the culture & communities they are a part of. Astrology, magic, and spirituality are multi-dimensional, and my goal is for NFLUX to represent that.
From your perspective, does astrology and wellness have anything in common? If so how?
For sure! For starters, my wellness journey did not begin until I had a deeper understanding of astrology and my birth chart. I think one of the best things about astrology, and what brings most people to it at first, is the ability for self-understanding, empowerment, and introspection. I’ll never forget the moment I saw my birth chart for the first time. It was a deeply magical experience that felt like the universe, as a whole, was recognizing me and my existence. Here was a chart, just for me, a blueprint to assist me throughout the rest of my life. And it was then I realized, Spirit is real and we are all here for a reason. With that, I took a deep dive into understanding my chart, learning about myself and realizing that I am the way I am for a reason, and I’m not supposed to be anything other than what I came here to be. The self-acceptance gained learning about your personal astrology is deeply healing. Thus started my journey into being the best self I could be, using my chart as a guide and inspiration. Also, there are so many different branches of astrology to help you understand different parts of your life, like medical astrology, can help you understand ailments and illnesses, and evolutionary astrology can help you tap into past life and current life patterning and traumas. There are so many ways to use astrology to facilitate wellness. Moving with the natural rhythms dictated by your chart is a beautiful way to start to feel more aligned.
What is one ritual that you stand by?
Informed intention setting! Around the threshold of the new year (within two months before or after) I take time to really tap into what the universe has in store for me for the next twelve months or so, and I journal. I call it informed intention setting because I use astrology, tarot, and intuition to inform what it is that I should be calling in. For example, If I’m entering a period of time that my chart and the cards tell me is best suited for rest, introspection, and retreat, I won’t be asking for opportunities to facilitate large events. I use the information I gather from studying my chart and pulling tarot cards to inform what I ask the universe to bring forth. It’s important to me that I write it down, so it’s grounded in the physical, and to speak it out loud, so my guides and any other beings who help me can hear it. It shows intent and presence, and let me tell you, it really works!
Why do you believe this magazine is necessary for Black people / POC? How does this tie into our ancestry?
NFLUX seeks to uplift and celebrate the marginalized, which includes black and brown people, women, queer folx, fat folx, disabled folx, etc. One, because we can, and two, because it’s needed. The commodified world of spirituality is a strange place right now because of the fact that most of the faces you see talking about spiritual concepts & healing modalities are white people, so much so that to many, it may seem like something brown folx aren’t privy to. It’s important that people realize and respect the fact that this is our space too, and it was our ancestors who utilized most of the healing traditions being mass marketed today. A reclamation is in order, and it’s happening. It’s important that our readers know, especially our black & brown readers, that there is room for us, and we must continue to take up space and demonstrate that to the world around us. Healing and spirituality aren’t just for people with curated Instagram feeds, long blonde hair and thousands of followers. It’s for ALL of us, and it should never feel like something unattainable, especially by the most marginalized.
How does being a Black Woman space your existence and inspire the work you're doing with this zine?
As most black and brown folx who grew up around a lot of white kids (let alone rich white kids) know, you have to be 10x stronger, smarter, likable and better than your peers in order to stand out and be perceived as half as good as they are. Everyone, whether consciously or not, assumes you will fail, so you have the extra burden of proving e v e r y o n e wrong, from the jump! Since pre-school! My parents engrained this into me from a young age, so I’ve always been a fighter (I’m also a Scorpio with an Aries Moon). I’ve always looked to stand out from everyone else, while at the same time wanting validation and approval from my peers (doesn’t everyone?). I can’t count the number of times I’ve been dismissed, shut down, and degraded for my passions and beliefs, and I know that I am one of millions of brown women who’ve experienced that. I hope NFLUX shows people that we’re chasing our dreams anyway. We’re ferociously following our hearts’ paths regardless, and we are TAKING UP SPACE despite the patriarchy, despite the racism, despite the sexism, the transphobia, the fatphobia, the disregard of mental health and disabled bodies. NFLUX hopes to continue to spread that message and to continue to shine lights on those doing that work. It’s important for the world to know that we cannot be silenced, erased, belittled, or “put in our place”. We’ll continue to be wild, soulful, and authentic to who we are, for ourselves and our family lines, backward and forward, ancestors and kin.
What can we look forward to in the near future?
We’re working on ways to better show an embodiment of the astrological energies, so look forward to that! I’m also working on incorporating tarotscopes into the horoscopes. Stay tuned for more beautiful editorials and interviews, more fun astro learnings, and an expanded website with more offerings. The magazine is a child of Jupiter, so expect it to grow, both in size and scope!