• Nicole Bishop

Interview with Elfie Kalfakis of White Owl Mystic

A practicing artist, maker, witch, teacher & mentor, I got to meet Elfie for the first time about a year or so ago at a market we were both a part of. Her booth was adorned with her digital collage prints, her "Wake the Witches" screen-printed tees {which she also crafts under a Full Moon for extra magickal properties} along with her other beautiful pieces. She was doing readings in a style that I got to experience for the first time a few months ago when quarantine had just really begun. Instead of using cards {which she is also greatly proficient in}, Elfie channels her messages through creation - painting, cutting & pasting, drawing all while telling you what is coming through. I received the final result via mail once it was complete.

For anyone who has met Elfie or is lucky to call her a friend, you can attest that her magick is undeniable. Her creative talents and abilities cross all mediums in a very cohesive and authentic way that seem so effortless and true to her soul. From clothing to collage, street art to creating her own oracle deck, Elfie is a true creative spirit with her third eye open.

I had the great pleasure of "sitting down" with Elfie to ask her about her creative & spirtitual practices, her interests, hopes and her advice for those just beginning their journey in the mystical realm.


Full Name: Elfie Kalfakis

Pronouns: She/Her

The witchy creatrix herself, Elfie Kalfakis

Birthday: December 25 Sun/Moon/Rising: Capricorn, Virgo, Taurus Born: Kitchener, Ontario Currently Residing in: Kitchener Favourite Music: Bohemian Like You - Dandy Warhols, Album: Norman Fucking Rockwell - Lana Del Rey, Brain Damage/Eclipse - Pink Floyd Favourite Films: Back to the Future, High Fidelity, Amelie Favourite Places Travelled: Lourdes - France, Bilbao - Spain Favourite Decks: Muse Tarot, The Art Oracles, currently learning Lenormand Tarot  Favourite Tarot Cards:  Fool, Star, Devil, Wheel & Ace of Cups

How did you come up with the name White Owl Mystic?

White Owl is one of my spirit guides and what my grandmother used to call me.

Where did your fascination or passion for cartomancy & the mystical arts begin?

I came to the ‘mystical’ arts after a childhood of Greek Orthodox influence. It took me a while to overcome the fear of the occult. I was always interested in it, but would only, albeit obsessively, research astrology. During my undergrad one of my good friends and roommate bought me my first set of Tarot cards and a pandora’s box opened. It led me down this never ending rabbit hole of wonder. After a few different teachers, I found a Congolese shaman named Antonio. He opened my spiritual bandwidth up and led me to understand that my tool for spirit communication is my art. I still work with him to this day. 

What inspired you to create your first oracle deck, The White Owl Mystic Arcana?

The White Owl Mystic Arcana, like most of my creative projects, was not intended to be a product. Although I love the dichotomy of popularizing art, the images were created from my own investigations. I spent two years creating art pieces that helped me to understand the correspondences of the tarot, astrology, moons of the year, flora and fauna, etc. These manifested into images which then became an oracle deck. So in that, I also view them as study tools. The deck was my first real application of my intuitive artistic practice. 

What do you wish to see more of in the “tarot-verse"? What would you like to see less of?

I don’t know that I wish to see more or less of anything. What I do find interesting is the theoretical and academic applications of mystical arts. I even think about continuing my education, learning and teaching of these concepts at an academic level. I feel, less so now than years ago, these concepts can be misunderstood by a general population that isn’t as exposed to them as practitioners like you or me. I like works by Bruce Lipton or Joe Dispenza that quantify the invisible energies I work with. I think that’d be something that I would like to further contribute to, along with see more of, in the "tarot-verse". 

What is it like being a mystic in the KW (Kitchener/Waterloo) area?

I think there is generally a growing community of mystics sprouting both here, and I believe in many places. I grew up in KW and left because it was a little more conservative than I was comfortable with. After many years, I moved back to see a resurgence of arts, culture and mystical communities. I think there’s a lot of growth opportunities, as these interests are ‘newer’ for the region. Most people here have the collective mindset. It’s interesting to see the city shifting its cultural influences. I think if there was this much of an indie-arts-mystical community growing up I may have broken out of my shell earlier on. There are definitely a lot of spiritual practitioners in the area and each have their own presence. It’s a really nice cornucopia. 

Baby Witches digital print by Elfie Kalfakis
Baby Witches digital print by Elfie Kalfakis

What other kinds of spiritual practices do you follow?

A lot of my work is very much based in my art. Whatever my art tells me to do, I sort of follow it! I work with nature fundamentally. My life revolves around the lunar and natural cycles of the earth. I plan my life around it. That would be the foundational principles of my practice. I like to learn about natural sciences and translate those ideas into magickal principles. Aside from that, I do incorporate a lot of Greek Orthodox mysticism into my practice, as I understand it very well and do feel it’s imagery and ideas have universal/magickal qualities. I also work a lot with mythology, Greek specifically. I have adopted a lot of shamanic practices, as a result of my training and mentoring from Antonio. I read and take cues from Wiccan and traditional Pagan practices. And I’m always interested in diversifying my tool kit. I also have found myself more inclined, especially given the current political climate, to learn about practices outside of traditional Western concepts. I think there is correspondence and universality to be found in spiritual practices all around the world and in ancient civilizations. So, I find myself constantly wanting to learn a lot about these things and the more I learn, the more I want to learn. 

Do you find that your spiritual beliefs influence your creative work/work ethic?

My art and spiritual practice are undeniably the same thing. They are direct extensions of each other. Every little piece I draw or create often gets extrapolated or dissected into some synchronistic relevance, and vice versa. Nothing happens by chance, so I can’t really separate the two. 

How do you find social media affects you & your profession?

I have actually found that the Instagram ‘witchy’ community has helped me to fill my boots a bit. It would have been harder to ‘come out of the broom closet’ had I not seen such a large presence of people like me. I also find social media to be the most potent magickal tool. I see my work as my

magickal science experiments, so engagement with anything I post helps to grow the energy of the piece. I do feel there is a necessity when working with these ideas to be vulnerable and being vulnerable in such a public platform can have it’s challenges. I struggle with the impact of that, but I always come back to the idea that my art is vulnerable, and there is strength in that, and truth in that. It’s not an easy road, but I don’t think I could exist in any other way. 

What’s been the most rewarding part of your creative journey?

Finding freedom

What piece of advice would you give to readers, creators & artists just starting out?

Let fear be your compass. If anything makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s where you need to investigate. Nothing comes from doing things like everyone else, so find your voice. Challenging your beliefs and systemic beliefs is the role of the artist and spiritual practitioner. Getting comfortable with finding a flow that allows you to create your will and ideas while taking cues from the universe is the ultimate dance, and the ultimate fuel for an inspired life. 

Do you have any other projects on-the-go? Any courses coming up?

Yep I’m launching my studio online for this September. I’ve been offering free courses over the quarantine to help alleviate isolation challenges and begin to build my curriculum. I’ll be set to offer both adult and kids courses in the fall, which are open to enrolment. My courses are a hybrid of mystical arts and astrological theory combined with artistic practice. 

I have lots of projects on the go right now. I’m working on a docu-series for a community installation of some of my pieces called Collectively Empowered. I am also working on an illustrated book, lots of street art projects as always, a book of poems, finalizing a new oracle deck and about a hundred other things!

When do you feel the most creative?

I can’t say that there is a time or place which I am most creative, but I know when it comes in I can’t stop it and I have to listen and create until it’s done with me. I really feel like an antenna most of the time. 

Which artists or creatives inspire you?

I love anything from the turn of the 20th century, specifically the bohemian revolution in Paris. I love Dali, Duchamp, Brunnel - the dadaists and surrealists are some all-time faves. I love Andy Warhol as well. I did my architectural thesis on street art so I’m generally very interested in anything that disrupts public space and initiates a change in consciousness and dialogue. I also work a lot with nostalgia and children’s books, craft materials, toys etc. I tend to gravitate towards these items because I think play is where the magick really happens. I look at my son, and he is so connected all the time and unadulterated. So by looking and working with these concepts, there’s a way ‘in’ if that makes any sense. 

What’s something about you or your brand you want people to know?

Mostly that it’s not a brand. I see White Owl Mystic as a moniker. It’s a space for me to indulge in publicly presenting and exploring ideas that fascinate me. It’s an umbrella for my fascinations. It’s almost like a personified version of my creative consciousness. So, I don’t really see it as a mystical brand, but more of an artist moniker that works in the magickal. 

Where can people purchase your deck & other works of art?

You can purchase from me directly on my Etsy shop page. Or you can find my deck at some places around the States & Canada.

The Hive + Grove, Kitchener, ON

The Woo Shop, Puslinch, ON

Inner Sage TherapiesLittle Prarie, BC

Juju Metaphysical ShopPittsburgh, PA

Phoenix + LotusSalem, MA

Thank you, Elfie!

To discover more about Elfie, view her work or sign up for one of her courses, follow her on social media or visit her website.

• Instagram: White Owl Mystic

• Facebook: White Owl Mystic

• Website: www.whiteowlmystic.com

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