The scent of incense, daylight from the overhead windows and women of various ages filled Velveteen Rabbit on January 13. A colorful sparkling banner with the event name High Priestess Tea hung from the ceiling. And various teas and snacks were neatly arranged at the Victorian-themed bar as happy chatter came from all sides of the room.
The occasion: The debut of Manifesta Collective and its monthly tea gathering catered to women. Conjured up by Velveteen co-owner Pamela Dylag, the Collective is a platform that offers a safe space for women to connect, inspire and empower one another.
As guests settled in, Dylag took the middle of the room to welcome everyone. She explained how High Priestess Tea came to light while having the flu. “I was inspired by the tea I was drinking and thought about how powerful and feminine it is. ... We all are dynamic beings, and I think we need to come together to share each other’s energy and ideas.”
After a five-minute guided meditation, Dylag introduced speaker Victoria Hogan, founder of the internationally known pop-up wedding company, Flora Pop. Hogan shared her journey, from her struggles as a starving artist to gardening for David Bowie and the moments that led to Flora Pop’s fruition. Questions followed the talk, mostly about Hogan’s surprise success. “I honestly did not set out to own a wedding company,” Hogan said. “It was all about being able to adjust from the plans I had first intended to follow.”
To further the theme of the gathering, Dylag initiated an exercise in which she passed out blank cards and asked the participants to write down their goals for 2018. “This is something that I do to help manifest the intentions and visions that I have in my mind,” she said, adding that her bar had been a previous manifestation of hers. She ended the event with personal tarot readings while the other women continued to mingle and enliven the room’s mood.
After the event, Dylag was already looking forward to the Collective’s February gathering. “I was ecstatic for the overwhelming support and enthusiasm for High Priestess Tea,” she said. “All of the women were so receptive and welcoming to be involved with this female community. Most of the women I was meeting for the first time, so it was encouraging to know that our community is open to engaging in new experiences.”
The next High Priestess Tea takes place February 10 at 11 a.m., with guest speaker and Chinese medicine specialist Dr. Alyssa Wampole.