If you've gotten your life snatched while reading an insanely true tweet about your zodiac sign, it's likely that it came from astrologer Danielle Ayoka. Known widely by her Twitter handle MysticxLipstick, the 27 year-old clairvoyant floors her followers with dead on descriptions of each zodiac sign and guides them to wellness through detailed moon rituals. She starts a frenzy when she sounds off a tweet like, "Okay, Libra. Let's help you get your shit together in relationships."I remember reading this thread and feeling defensive and confused as to how someone could know my romantic habits and flaws so well without knowing me at all.
In 2015, she started her infamous "Tea Time" threads where she serves "tea" on a chosen zodiac sign and tells no lies about its all-around good and bad qualities. Her followers respond back in a playful outrage about her accuracy. Over a phone conversation, she told me, "It's so funny to me! It honestly it shocks me because I get the same reaction from everyone. Everyone's like, 'You're Mystic Lipstick?! Oh my god, you snatched my edges bald!'"
During that same chat, Ayoka told me about the lineage of magic women in her family, when she first got into astrologer and why the internet has become a new place for healing.
What was your earliest memory of feeling this higher connection to yourself and others?
Honestly it started as early as about two or three years old. I used to say my prayers at night and I would see all of my bad memories or my bad thoughts and fears, literally like a movie reel. Anything scary in my head would go out the window and now I do that every single night to make sure that I didn't have nightmares. So at a very young age, I intuitively knew how to empty my mind for a peaceful rest and I didn't even realize how awesome that was until I looked back on it. As I got older and got a more conscious understanding of energy.
How does your upbringing, background or people in your family influence this?
My mom was always very intuitive as a child and she would tell me things, but what's very interesting is that I come from a line of Native American medicine women from my father's side. With the strong Native American roots in my family, and me coming from a line of Shamanists, that magic is literally in my blood. So, it's almost as if I just have that heightened intuition—it's almost like a birthright thing. I thought it was amazing when I found that out as well because I've always intuitively known that I had some form of superpower or something. I just didn't know what it was. So then, when my father told me I come from a line of medicine women who were the tribe Shamanists, which were the mystics. It just all made sense.
How old were you when it all came together for you?
I'd say it was definitely after I went through a time where I was super religious and I moved from religion to energy. All that stuff started culminating around 20.
Does spirituality, not so much religion, influence the way that you approach this work that you do?
100 percent. The reason why is because, on top of being an astrologer, I am also an alternative healer. I do what you call, energy healing as a reiki master which is someone who can teach other people how to do reiki. I also have other forms of healing that I do as well. I incorporate that in my approach to everything because I am always growing within myself, constantly healing, and digging up things that need to be healed within. So, that's why my approach to astrology is really going into that shadow—going into the stuff that we don't want to look at. The reason why I go into that and pull it out is because when we confront something, that's the first step to healing or creating something better for ourselves. If we do not confront what we are hiding from, it will literally run our lives behind the scenes. If you're aware of something, that thing no longer has an unspoken power over you then you can transform it into whatever it is that you want because you're conscious of whatever behaviors may be sabotaging you.
You're sexual. You're spiritual. You're emotional. You're human. Don't deny any aspects of who you are. A healthy soul is a whole soul.— Danielle Ayoka (@MysticxLipstick) October 8, 2016
How did you get into it specializing in astrology? Did you have any training? Was there a teacher that guided you through this?
I first got into astrology when I was super young, probably around 18 [years old]. I was a psychology major when I came to college and I really cared about how the mind worked, somehow I got into astrology almost randomly. I have a friend named Steph and I used to come to him with all my questions when I started going deep into astrology. I continued to buy books and study. I also got a reading once on my birthday by an astrologer and he just kept asking me to incorporate astrology into my career and it wasn't something I fully considered before.
After he reiterated it like five times throughout my reading, I said, "You know what? I will." I was giving readings to my friends already. I was just telling them about their charts and about the little things I could see and then after, studying for about five to six years, that's when I started reading professionally and one day I just started talking about it on Twitter. I did a series called “Astrology Tea” on the signs and from there it picked up even more. People were really interested in the approach I took and what I have to offer via astrology.
What kind of things were you studying? Books? Teachings?
I was studying a lot of books. There are a lot of books that tie psychology into astronomy and that was really what I was interested in. I really pull a lot from my behavioral psychology class that I took while I was in school and just see how everything correlates together. My approach is not traditional because I'm also taking our social conditioning into account and how we express different energies due to our societal roles and things like that.
Tell me about the “Tea” threads. When did you start them and why did you think they’d be a good way to give people a run down of their zodiac sign?
I think it started last year in 2015. I went on a tantrum about Capricorns and I was talking about how Capricorns just fall for people they can't have. After I tweeted about that, Capricorns came out the woodwork like, "Oh my god! How do you know my life?" So then, I was like Ooohhh, let's do some tea on each sign. I thought it would be interesting to take that approach just because it was fun. I did not expect for it to take off the way it did because it was literally this random idea that I had and it was just received so well. Everyone started asking, "Can you do Taurus? Can you do Scorpio? Can you do Aries?"
After that, I started doing the poll forum. I was like, "You guys choose who I do next." I think that also added a level of anticipation to it because everyone's yelling on the timeline like, "Vote for Taurus!" and everybody is waiting for the results. It just made this extremely fun interaction on Twitter. My page is like a party, it's so much fun. I love it.
How much time do you spend writing them out?
[Laughs] I do it when I get online to do it. I don't think about it before. That's why I have to put it off sometimes because I'm like, "You guys, I'm really busy right now. I don't have time for this," and I just take a second. I center myself, I focus, and I really do allow myself to marinate on the sign. I really focus in on what I know about the sign, and just take it in. That's how I write. So, as you guys are getting it is when I'm writing it. It's live.
There are so many women that are healing through the internet and people are seeking more clarity and understanding. Why do you think that is?
We have so much access to everything through the internet and all this information is just so available to us. It causes us to really want to know who we are and to take a deeper look as to where we fit in with everything that's going on. We are in a time where everything is so accessible and people are offering and extending healing to those who want it because we don't have to live in the same country or the same city. We don't have to be in walking distance of our resources anymore and I think that has really helped everyone to just really want to get in tune with themselves more.
Aside from astrology readings, you also facilitate new moon rituals and shed light on sexuality. How do all of those practices intersect for you?
It's all a part of the human experience. Sometimes we have a tendency to compartmentalize our needs or our personality and aspects of ourselves, and it's like, "Okay, I'm going to deal with this part of myself today or I'm gonna deal with this part of myself right now," and ignore the rest of it. But you are all these things at one time: you're spiritual, you're ratchet, you're sexual, you know? You're bitchy! Being able to own all of that and understand that it's all a part of who you are, it creates a flow like water. One thing that the Tao religion says is you're supposed to flow like water and that's what it is—fluidly being who you are or whoever you are in the moment. Just be that and don't try to close yourself off to anything else.