GT: I’m personally intrigued by the idea of crystals, singing bowls, smudges, stonework, etc. having healing powers (or any powers at all), but know very little about it all. I was interested to interview my colleague, Lauren Suchocki, to learn more about her experience and knowledge as she has an an intentional wearable art business called Radicat Relics.
I’ve also been attuned to reiki and am certified to be a reiki practitioner/healer, but have admittedly been fearful of using it. I had no idea that was in Lauren’s energetic toolkit. Her interview has inspired me to practice self-reiki again and perhaps set up that shrine I've wanted to for a while to inspire me to have a daily practice/ritual.
Lauren has a science background and is an engineer, which is why I think it's even cooler that she's deeply into energy work. Plus, she's just a doll. I'm excited for you to "meet" her!
Tell us about yourself.
Hi :) I’m Lauren Suchocki and I’ve been on earth for 28 years, born and raised in Massachusetts. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in love with art and creating. I have a technical background and graduated from UNH in Environmental Engineering. Not so artsy. At that time in my life, I was afraid to pursue art professionally… so I went into engineering purely to challenge myself. Currently I’m a QA Engineer at a software start-up in Boston, where I get to practice my attention to detail. The other half of my life right now is growing my jewelry and wearable art business: Radicat Relics.
Could you talk about Radicat Relics? What is it? When did you start it?
In 2012, I started to gain a curiosity in healing stones/crystals and became a Reiki practitioner. Before this time, I experienced a lot of pain in the forms of anxiety, depression and self-destruction while watching a loved one succumb to illness where I felt helpless. Reiki opened its doors to me when I truly needed it the most. For those unfamiliar, it’s hands-on energy healing, and can be used in a lot of ways; For me, it was very meditative when I started with self-healing and teaching myself how to wire-wrap stones.
Wrapping stones and practicing energy work really helped me come into center with my life. I wanted to share my new love and interest of stones and healing with friends and family - so I started with gifts. I would practice Reiki on the crystals because I started to understand what vibration and intention meant. Today, Radicat Relics has turned into a small business that me and my partner, Anthony Lucero, work on when the day job isn’t calling. We create commission pieces, occasionally vend at local electronic music events, and work alongside Unalome Designs - a local clothing business who also promotes local artists. The learning process has been so entirely fun and eye-opening. I’ve branched out into working stones with leather as well, always exploring other mediums, and ways to create and share my vision.
PSA: Radicat Relics stems from Radical Cats!
How do you feel about “alternative” healing methods? What are your beliefs about the tools you work with - stones, smudges, herbs, singing bowls, crystals, etc. What powers do they have?
Yes to all of it. Reiki practices began my journey into the world of alternative healing methods. In some aspect, there is a scientific foundation to everything - it just depends on your perspective. Having a heavy background in chemistry and physics from my studies in college, I really wanted to know if there were physical truths to this world I’ve been pulled into. Through research, I found that each mineral/crystal has their own set of properties - like a personality. Scientifically speaking, everything in existence vibrates molecularly at a specific frequency dependant on its density, hardness, chemical makeup, etc. Some minerals have really cool energetic properties - quartz and tourmaline are piezoelectric; when heat or pressure/vibration is applied, it will form an electric charge at opposite ends of the crystal. In the case of singing bowls and sound healing: the sound you hear is vibration. When two vibrating forces come into contact with each other, they react to some degree. This could be in the form of some particular mineral or sound having an effect on a person. Perhaps this is why humans have such an affinity with music, and gemstones have been held in grand respects throughout all of our history on earth.
Similar regards can be said about smudges, herbs, aromatherapy: chemical makeups of whatever organic material it is, causing a chemical reaction in the body/brain in response. Smudges, or burning certain materials to clear negativity of a space or part of ritual, have been used by indigenous cultures for a very long time. Aromatherapy is a beautiful thing… it’s actually one of my extreme guilty pleasures and obsessions. Scent can transport you into memories once forgotten for healing the past, or lift you into a whole new realm you never knew existed. Just scratching the surface with that, but essential oils and tinctures have real physical healing properties when applied topically or ingested as well.
And of course magic and intention to top it all off, the key elements. I love to think about how many thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of years it took the earth to form a certain crystal. All that has happened during that time, in that specific location, all the energy and pressure… compacted into a beautiful, vibrational, Earth token.
I know you love music, could you talk more about that?
Another healing method that I’m extremely passionate about is the power of music, dance and human connection. My whole life I’ve been a very shy individual, and I still can be, but I’ve made huge strides. Having dealt with a lot of insecurity and social anxiety, I was always the kid who was afraid to let loose and dance or be myself. I started exploring the containers of local music events and music & art festivals/gatherings around the time I began my journey into healing. These containers of no judgement and relentless, unapologetic self-expression really helped me feel comfortable with who I am. After realizing I was surrounded by people who were not afraid to be themselves, I quickly knocked the walls down inside. Through music that speaks to me not only at a primal or tribal level, but also a level that brings me into a state of childlike playfulness, I am able to express my soul through movement. Experiencing this in unison with people, close friends or strangers, is healing. The connections and friendships made with people through these experiences can truly be infinite.
This past year, I’ve been exploring the expressive realms of flow arts - props to dance with and manipulate movement. I started to pick up fire fans and am also dipping my toes into the dragon staff world. Manipulating the fire element is humbling and offers confidence at the same time. As we keep learning and moving through the days, it’s so important to keep playing and exploring. We must never forget that :)
Do you have any stories of healing or powerful experiences that you could share - whether personal or someone you know?
Having studied and practiced Reiki on myself, animals, and others to some basic level, I never actually received a healing session myself until recently and I never fully understood the extreme power of energy work until that experience.
It all began with some physical aches and pains that I wanted worked out. I had mutual connections with a massage therapist who incorporates different types of energy work with his practice. I went to the appointment with no expectations, but just hoping my shoulder would feel better in the end. Very early into the session, he started to tell me personal traits about myself. How could this person know what I have suppressed and forgotten? This was all gathered by true intuition. I was shocked, yet also not surprised; I knew I was in the hands of a healer. By verbally triggering a memory, an emotion, and physically extinguishing a knot in my shoulder all at the same time, the release was tears and reflection.There are some things in this world that are just true gifts, and there may not be a perfect explanation for how or why.
How could someone get started in harnessing the power of these items?
Start reading. Start exploring your local gem shops, new age shops, and bookstores. Go with your gut with where to start because there is no right or wrong way to do it. If you meditate, start incorporating other items into your practice. Form a personal ritual. For me, rituals are super important; I will never ship out a finished piece before I give it my best intention and blessings through a cloud of smudging smoke. Realize what your intentions are, and follow suit.
How can readers find you and Radicat Relics?