Lunar Herbal Therapist / SONOMAREN
Nighttime in spring; A night that softly touches your skin and enlightens your heart.
The fortune-teller, SONOMAREN, who supervises ARTIDA OUD’s Lunar Phase Horoscope; Moon Phases and the Twelve Horoscopes, listens to the voices of the shining moon and stars.
SONOMAREN states that she began fortune-telling from wanting to know herself better, thus she wishes to serve her customers without deciding or recommending anything. A mystical being who illuminates our path, as though she keeps a piece of the moon within her chests.
We photographed her wearing special jewelry by ARTIDA OUD, celebrating the third anniversary of the brand’s launch this spring. The “elafonisi” series, known as one of the most representative series of the brand, will be producing a new glittering jewelry that brings to mind “dreams of a spring night”.
The standards of living and values have changed throughout the past three years since the brand was launched, but the stars in the sky have remained shining. Along with photographer Ryutaro Izaki, who takes small pieces of the vast world and reconnects them into a whole vision, we asked SONOMAREN about her past, future and her feelings towards fortune-telling.
Wanting to know myself: The beginning of fortune-telling
ーーー You are currently working as a lunar herbal therapist, lunar beautician and a fortune-teller. Why did you decide to start fortune-telling as a career?
I began fortune-telling because I wanted to know myself better. I was working as an office worker but when I thought about my future, I felt unsure about continuing on… I just thought it wasn’t for me. In 2014, I started studying fortune-telling. I studied from one teacher who taught me various things such as tarot cards, and I liked it, but I was wondering what kind of fortune-telling I could do. I had an image in mind that fortune tellers need to be able to say “do this” or “do that”, and I didn’t think I could do that. The more I thought about it, I realized that maybe I could use herbs and the moon with the theme of “healing” in my fortune-telling.
ーーー On your website, it says “Your words not only affect your body but also influence your personality and mentality”. How did you combine the aspects of tea therapy with fortune-telling?
My parents originally ran a restaurant, so that’s where I learned about tea. On the other hand, fortune-telling came from the Chinese philosophy Wuxing, (which is a type of nature philosophy that originated in ancient China, implicating the idea that everything is made out of the five elements, wood, fire, earth, gold and water), as well as from the western four classical elements, (the ancient Greek nature philosophy, that implies everything is made of four elements; fire, earth, wind and water). When I looked at these two philosophies, it became clear that there are connections between various things, and I thought it would be fun to entwine tea and fortune-telling so I decided to start my own therapy that way.
ーーー At ARTIDA OUD, other than conducting readings at THE ANOTHER MUSEUM every month, Lunar Phase Horoscope “Moon Phases and the Twelve Horoscopes” is updated on the 20th and on the day of the new moon. When did your collaboration start?
My friend introduced me to ARTIDA OUD and when I first saw ARTIDA OUD’s jewelry, the way they used the moon and stars on their jewelry caught my eye. I love the moon and nature so it resonated with me. I felt inspired. After that, I was offered to provide monthly for them and it just came together naturally.
ーーー The herbal tea you’ve produced is available here at THE ANOTHER MUSEUM. For example, for “fire”, you’ve blended mint (Yerba Buena), lemon and herb blend, yuzu and mandarin peels to enhance one’s positive feelings for moving forwards and allows for smooth communication. How did you come up with these blends?
There are many different ways but since I had to make a tea for each element (fire, earth, wind, water), I drew out fortune keywords of 2021 and got inspired from them. I always keep in mind to “reach one’s heart, not medicinally”, and I think the best way is to have people enjoy a delicious tea. Astrology and herbs have been closely related for a long time, and there are many books and documents that describe the relation between herbs and planets. I often refer to the books of Nicholas Culpeper, a famous herbalist and astronomer, in order to expand my imagination. For example, lavender is closely related to Mercury. Keeping this in mind, without focusing too much on its literary definition, I balance the blend accordingly so it tastes delicious. The book is in English but the pictures are pretty, so it’s fun just looking at it.
ーーー How do you actually do your fortune-telling?
First, I ask what’s on their mind the most. It depends on every person but I often ask their birthday, then depending on what they want to know and what they are worried about, I look at my tarot cards and tell them their flow of luck and biorhythms. What birthdays indicate doesn’t usually change; Such as one’s qualities and personality, as well as the period of their ups and downs. On the other hand, the cards tell what is happening in reality. For example, wanting to know how the other person feels in a romantic relationship or simply wanting to know about a specific relationship between people. The more specific it is, the easier it will be to draw out the answers, and there are quite a few cases where you can see one’s fortune on a card. The cards tend to reflect the feelings and potential consciousness of the person, so if you’re feeling anxious at the time, a card showing anxiety will appear. In addition, the flow of fortune will change after the fortune-telling, as the person’s behavior and way of thinking will change. Therefore, I tend to pick themes and key phrases and elaborate on that subject.
ーーー Many people are struggling and suffering through the pandemic of COVID-19. Is there anything that you keep in mind when you do your job?
I try to clear away the fog that’s in the customer’s heart. I hope I can make them feel better so that they can go home with a smile.
Also, I make sure I don’t say anything definitive. I will tell them what was good and bad as a result of fortune-telling, but these “good and bad” results are based on different perspectives and there are many ways to work around them. People who want to be told exactly what to do may be unsatisfied with this, but I care more about conversing when doing my reading. It makes me happy if the customers realize something new after their reading. It would be great if people could just drop by when they feel anxious or something just doesn’t seem right.
ーーー You reflect on the idea that the body responds to the waxing and waning of the moon, but is the biorhythm of the moon and human body related?
I believe there is a strong relationship between the two. Sixty to seventy percent of the human body is liquid. Just like how there are times of high and low tide, I think our minds and bodies are influenced by the gravity of the moon and there are various studies being conducted on that topic. For example, after the new moon, the energy of the body gradually increases as we approach the full moon, and this is the time when our minds and bodies are being reconstructed, thus it is the most suitable for starting something new. The moon also acknowledges our unconsciousness. There’s also a story that states the moon connects the heavenly world and the earth. As there are theories suggesting “scent equals energy”, I think the smell of tea is very good for adjusting your energy. Isn’t it wonderful to be healthy and to be in harmony with nature? That’s also another reason why I continue doing herbal and tea therapy.
ーーー Is there anything you want to achieve in the future?
It is always hard to explain what I do using words, but I’d like to continue working around the theme of “healing”. I’ve recently been doing more work related to fortune-telling, but for me, fortune-telling is just one mean. I hope to create a new genre of therapy, such as how I incorporated the aspects of tea and the moon together.
ーーー The brand’s theme is “raw beauty”, implying natural beauty without decoration. What is “raw beauty” for you?
I think it’s amazing to have a standard of values for yourself, and those who have that are very beautiful. Such people know how to live in the simplest way. However, I believe there are people who have their own standards but are unable to express them because of their environment. I have met many people who possess their own principles but who cannot show them because of their profession or because of the way they are seen by others. All of the customers I meet have a solid principle they build their lives on and every time I get to see that, I feel the beauty of that person. So, I hope that I can help them draw out their principles in public so that they get to express themselves better.
ーーー In the above definition of “beautiful”, is there anyone you think who is beautiful? And what aspects of that person do you find beautiful?
There is no one in particular but each and every customer I have met are beautiful in their own way. Since we have entered in an era of wind, I hope we will be able to respect and recognize each other’s individuality.
ーーー We believe “the natural beauty of a woman” comes from one’s inner self. Do you have any words, books, movies, that made you who you are?
It’s related to stars, but there’s a phrase; “As you go up, so does the bottom”. It is a phrase engraved on a stone plate called the Emerald Tablet, meaning that everything above and below are the same and are connected. I probably like words referring to “connection”. They really attract me and when I’m working, there are times that I feel like I’m connected to something. Such as when I’m depressed, if I think negatively then I’ll be attracted to negative things so I try changing my viewpoint. That way, negative things become a hint or a solution for something. In such cases, I tend to think “as you go up, so does the bottom”.
Wearing the power of stone fashionably
ーーー Today, we photographed you wearing ARTIDA OUD’s jewelry. Any comments on the jewelry?
I like colored stones, but I’ve always thought there are very few accessories that appear elegant on an adult woman. However, ARTIDA OUD’s jewelry is elegant and sophisticated, despite using multiple colors, which makes me feel happy by just looking at them. These colorful earrings are from the third anniversary! Congratulations. Also, I’ve been wearing the donation bracelet from the “I am” series on a regular basis. I admire ARTIDA OUD’s work for achieving the monetary target amount of donations to build a school in India. It’s a wonderful initiative! The moon design is very cute too.
（From the left）[elafonisi] 3rd Anniversary Limited rectangle tourmaline patio drops single pierced earring 17,600yen (with tax) / [elafonisi] 3rd Anniversary Limited rectangle tourmaline patio drops single pierced earring 17,600yen (with tax) / [elafonisi] 3rd Anniversary Limited rectangle tourmaline pave diamond ring 27,500yen (with tax) / [elafonisi] 3rd Anniversary Limited rectangle tourmaline pave diamond ring 27,500yen (with tax)
（From the left）[I am donation] pylite pave triangle bracelet 4,400yen (with tax) / [I am donation] new moon pave diamonds charm bracelet 4,400yen (with tax) / [meander] vertical pave diamond ring 19,800yen (with tax) / [meander] double pave diamonds open bangle 55,000yen (with tax)
ーーー Please tell us if you have anything you consider when wearing jewelry.
I tend to collect things I like, and it’s interesting when I look back, I think “Oh, I must of been in such and such mental state of mind when I bought this”. As I’m doing this kind of work, I sometimes wear power stones in order to protect myself, but since ARTIDA OUD’s jewelry all have such wonderful designs, it makes me feel cheerful. That’s also another reason why I think it’s nice to be able to wear a power stone fashionably.
（Crockwise from the above）[elafonisi] citrine pave diamonds open ring 35,200yen (with tax) / [elafonisi] amethyst iolite emerald single pierced earring 23,100yen (with tax) / [eden] K10 square emerald stud single pierced earring 24,200yen (with tax) / [raw beauty] K10 rutile quartz pave diamonds ring 39,600yen (with tax)
ーーー When we choose jewelry, there are times when we decide intuitively and times when we can’t. Do you have any advice from a fortune-telling point of view?
I often have times when I can’t decide but I tend to remember my fortunate color or fortune words and decide based on that. When we can’t make decisions, we tend to have other things on our mind that have not been resolved, so having a basis to choose from makes it easier to make a decision. Choosing from the color and the stone’s power is also another way. For example, green is for balancing and harmonizing your heart, purple for relaxing and building your imagination, and yellow for attracting intelligence and fortune.
In a section published in the “Twelve Horoscope Fortune-telling” from ARTIDA OUD, I recommend a jewelry according to the constellation. Please have a look as it will enlighten your daily lives.
Lunar Herbal Therapist, Lunar Beautician, Fortune Teller.
Influenced by her parents who worked as cooks, SONOMAREN became interested in the importance of nutrition and food as she grew up. In the hopes of producing tea that will heal the mind and the body, she works as a lunar beautician by incorporating the fundamentals of the waxing and waning of the moon, as well as proposing tea therapies that apply the principles of Chinese and herbal tea aroma.
3rd Anniversary Special Page
EDIT／MARIKO ARAKI, HANAKO FUJITA（RIDE MEDIA&DESIGN）
TEXT／HANAKO FUJITA（RIDE MEDIA&DESIGN）