Name: Devin Febbroriello
Occupation: Filmmaker, Multi Medium Artist
Current set of identities you may be playing with and how they are serving you? (labels, astrological circumstance, numerology, etc...) I’ve been thinking about my given n ame a lot lately and how much my life path has synchronized with it. One of the meanings of Devin is “Poet” and the more I grow into myself and my work the more I see that everything I am doing is rooted in poetry, symbolism, and storytelling. I consider myself a miner in the heart of the human experience, relationships, an explorer of the mystic realms and consciousness. These are vast, complex realities that cannot be simply explained and yet there are these beautiful ways to abstractly communicate massive truths and emotions. Art, poetry, films, writing. These all give a unique type of space that allows the poetic and symbolic to be transmitted. I adore history and am fascinated by the diverse perspectives of different cultures. I enjoy discovering the universal aspects of the human experience, the undeniable interconnectedness that transcends language and time. I’ve always been the kind of person that longs to deeply know others. I have a knack for sensing the secrets beneath everyone’s behavior, and I always want to know more. I want to connect in those unspoken places, those secret worlds of the mind and heart. The work I do reflects my fascination with these things and the long journeys I’ve taken into the heart of being. I utilize various creative channels to present the poetic diamonds I dig for and carry back from the depths.
I primarily identify as a Filmmaker and an Artist. But spiritually, I’ve been feeling really connected to the idea of being a “Folk Mystic”. Mystic because I’m a “direct experience” type of seeker. If there’s a rabbit hole to go down- I’m going down! If someone tells me something is true, I won’t believe it myself until I have tested it and found it to be true. I’ve discovered so much magic in life because of my curious openness to explore the nature of reality. There’s just so much more than meets the eye and our minds can do a really good job of blocking out expansive awareness. I don’t believe you can have an educated opinion about something you’ve never directly experienced. I enjoy this about the mystic path. It’s open and direct. I’ve always had an aversion to organized religion, because rules and structure go against my interests in exploration, expansion of knowledge, and diversity of belief. I’ve had so many experiences throughout my life that have shifted my perspective in new directions that I’ve come to understand that (at least for me) the fluidity of belief is essential to my evolution. I am always open to someone or something coming into my life and flipping it all on its head. And that’s where the “folk” part of my spiritual beliefs comes in, because I want to learn from everyone, all people, all perspectives, all beliefs. I don’t think you need to go off to a certain location, or certain teacher in order to expand. Sure, it can be amazing, and very helpful to study specific teachings or traditions in that way. But I’ve had transcendent experiences, big heart blasting, mind bending realizations when I’m stuck in traffic, or doing laundry, or after a difficult conflict with a loved one. Everyday life is just as “spiritual” to me as anything because living is a miracle, and everything all at once is the teaching. That is spirituality to me - everything, everything in the universe. And then “folk” also feels like being in touch with the humanness and really embracing that. I think it’s important to be able to communicate about vast spiritual concepts in a down to earth, relatable, honest, vulnerable way. I like to think of myself as someone capable of translating the mystical so that it’s more accessible to more people. Overcoming the psychological and emotional damage that many organized religions have perpetuated, has made many folks super cynical about anything spiritual (and rightfully so). But unfortunately, I think it’s closed people off from the basic truth that the mysteries of the universe are beyond the capacities of the mind. Human beings know many wonderful things- but we are not even close to knowing it all. I always use
electricity as an example. We had no idea it was there until we discovered it. There’s way more secrets like that in the universe.
And then lastly, in a more playful part of myself I’ve been telling people I’m an “Ancient Futurist”. A term I coined in an attempt to explain my contradictory connection to both ancient wisdom and technological advancement. A great deal of my life revolves around working with technology, and learning new software programs to elevate my creative output. I feel so indebted to the brilliant minds that have brought these tools forth! I am not afraid of technology, I think it is part of our evolution. I certainly believe we need to integrate and interact with it mindfully, but I do not think it is fundamentally dangerous. To me it is another tool. Just like a knife, it could be used to harm or used to create something beautiful. On the flipside, I feel like an ancient soul, and I practice all of these ancient traditions..things that have been on the planet long, long before any computer. It creates this interesting lifestyle where I’m waking up at 6 AM and recording my dreams before silent tea meditation, and then preparing an herbal infusion to sip while I edit video for 8 hours. In many ways it’s as if the ancient practices help me healthfully dive more deeply into my relationship with technology. It feels like a crucial balance. Spending time in the wilderness has become an absolute necessity for my health and wellbeing in reaction to my copious amounts of tech time. The earth has always been my greatest spiritual teacher and guide- but it feels deeper now, more complex, somehow connected to the evolution of humans and technology. So yea, Ancient Futurist. I’m into it!
How would you describe your personal style, historically and in the present moment? I oscillate between playfully adorning myself and not thinking much about it. I’ve had to do a lot of work around what is healthy and necessary confidence and what is ego driven mask wearing. In my teen years I was very devoted to counter culture, and serious about adornment to the point of wearing a costume everyday. I had a whole persona to maintain. I really loved it for a while, it made everyday feel like one long costume party. But after some big epiphanies, I began to realize it was actually coming from a low self confidence space and revolving around me wanting to hide any of my vulnerabilities behind a loud proclamation of “not caring what anyone thought”. Once I recognized this, I stripped myself completely of any adornment. I went the total opposite for several years. Blue jeans and plain T- shirts every day. But, I ultimately entered my next phase of discovery of self during a time where I was really connected with the playfulness in my heart. I became smitten with bright colors, patterns, sharp lines, and bold well balanced looks. I started to have fun again, and express myself to the world through the adornment of my body. It felt like a great reawakening to the joys of self expression. I recognized that it inspired my muse, as well as a child-like playfulness, and confidence. I’ve maintained a foundation of personal style based around color and pattern ever since. Nowadays, with work and the business of life - I often zoom out of the house in the quickest thing I can put on my body. But, I do try to play dress up with myself whenever it suits my fancy (and schedule). It always feels really nourishing and wakes me up to new ideas and a bolder sense of self. I recently cut off all my hair and that was so amazing! It definitely reminded me how much I adore change, and being able to really see the different phases of my life reflected in my appearance.
You have always had a deep relationship to music that was entirely your own, experimental, heart guided, and seemingly untainted by industry or trends. Can you share a handful of your favorite albums with us and why they are important to you? Oh yes! I love music so much. To me, music is the ultimate poetry. It can speak most potently to all those secret pockets of the soul... the ones so hard to touch, but that long so deeply to be touched. I’ve found intimate connection and healing through music so many times in my life it gives me goosebumps just to think about it. I believe it is the alchemy of not feeling alone, knowing our most vital connections as human beings and all the commonality of our experiences. I love how many different types of music there are and how each speaks to an emotion within. It just really feels like a magic to me... the way music can awaken and enliven these different parts of ourselves that lay
dormant unless aroused. For instance, MIA has always been a favorite because she amps up this super confident, wild, artistic part of myself that makes me want to wear the brightest colors I own and dance with my best friends. However, as much as I enjoy upbeat, lively music - the kind I love the most comes from artists that are open to expressing their deepest vulnerabilities. I adore this more than any other style of musical expression. I REALLY like to connect to those sweet spaces and cry with the creator who opens that door for us all to walk in and commune in the fragility of life, the loss, the heartbreak. It’s very healing to me. James Blake has been one of my very favorite artists in this way over the past couple of years. And, just another current favorite... I adore FKA Twigs for her bold auteurism and confident expression of the feminine and sexuality. I like people with strong voices, that take chances, say something hard to say. I think this helps us see who we really are, and helps us say “yea, I’m going to do my thing too!”
I am preparing to launch my first solo music project in 2017. This has been a long time coming and I am beyond thrilled to reveal what I’ve been working on...
You like most of our favorite people wear a lot of hats- film producer, songwriter, reiki master, and a community leader in the field of women’s spirituality...What’s a typical day look like in your world? What do you eat? How do you stay grounded and feeling good in your body? How do you stay connected to spirit in the face of the avalanche of distractions householders face in these times? It’s definitely a dance. Sometimes it all feels super on time and in rhythm and other times it’s pretty off kilter. Mainly though, I have a solid routine that is built to be deviated from. Staying present is such a big part of my daily practice. Here’s the basics. I rise early and do a silent tea meditation every morning. I very rarely miss this practice. At that time I typically write out a “To Do” list, or just think about my dreams and whatever current troubles I’m overcoming. My “To Do” lists are epic and generally include things that I hope to accomplish that morning as well as 10 years from now (because you never know when inspiration strikes for big projects!). I intuitively move things on and off the list depending on the day, week, month. I eat a pretty strict diet due to health issues and have mastered a detailed food prep system that keeps everything flowing. I do however have weeks where I’m at a salad bar almost once a day because I’m too busy to cook. I honor my work deeply. For me, my work is my life. It feels sacred to me. I don’t see any division between who I am and what I do. I’ve worked a really long time and very hard to be able to cultivate a lifestyle that reflects this. I knew at a young age that I couldn’t “work a day job” and then do my creative work on the side. Some folks can do that- but it’s just so soul sucking for me. That being said- I do many things that are not “dream jobs”. But, I’ve learned to recognize how each little job is part of the the bigger vision. I always acknowledge exactly what new skill or lesson I am gaining from whatever I am doing that is feeding the arch of my personal storyline. I find the meaning and purpose in everything I do. I generally do not look back at my to do list until the next morning at which point I scribble out anything that i finished. I just trust my subconscious to naturally do the things that must be done in the right timing. This is where some kind of magic happens. I work hard, but follow my heart, energy, and intuition throughout the day...and somehow all the most important things always get accomplished! Typically by early afternoon I do some form of exercise, jog, bike, yoga and then I take a shower. I go back to work for the afternoon. Eat dinner. Go back to work for the evening hours, and then I take a dead sea salt and lavender bath every night. I read for a while, and do my evening meditation. This generally leads into my dream practice.
I have a couple other steadfast practices. If I need to take a nap, I nap. I always make sure to get into the wilderness at least once a week. My schedule can be very erratic with long shooting days, that are very physical and high stress. So I balance that with deep relaxation. I truly enjoy a day of doing absolutely nothing. Self care is of the utmost importance to me. I also believe in laughter, parties, and going to see a lot of music and movies. I love comedy. There’s few things I find more joyful in life then joking around with friends. A sense of humor is a gold standard for me in all relationships of highest importance in my life. I
adore deep listening and the art of conversation. Having an incredible conversation for hours is my favorite passtime.
Through all the different eras of my life that i have watched cruel around me and risen from the ashes of, you have always been right there. There is a real magic to the way we have both changed so much since that fateful full moon peter and the test tube babies show where you courageously confronted the mounting teenage high school drama between us and we were able to step into our higher selves, see how gossip and misunderstanding and fear had colored our interactions, and that beneath all of that there was a curiosity and appreciation of the other. We chose to set aside the stories and start fresh and on some level choose vulnerability and to trust love. Is choosing love over fear something you think about or use as a way of navigating challenges?
I LOVE that you mention this story of us! That was such a special night for many reasons in my life..Most importantly because it was the start of our friendship, which has continued to deepen and evolve in ways I could have never imagined possible at the time! I’m so grateful for you in my life. The woman you’ve grown to become has been so incredible to witness. Your such a gift on all levels to this world. I love you dearly. That night taught me several important things. Mainly, that you can’t ever assume you know what people think about you. Or furthermore that when there are intense emotions (whether good or bad) that is an arrow pointing so sharply in the direction saying “Hey, look here! There’s something going on here!” There tends to be a deeper meaning that reveals important lessons. I wouldn’t say that I always think to “choose love” but I definitely practice overcoming fear. In fact, I would go so far as to say I seek my own edges so I can jump off them. As soon as I find a new layer of my fears, I dig into it deeply and walk right up to it. My film production company is called “Serpent Power Productions” mainly for my connection to snake medicine, transformational fire, kundalini, and the rise of the feminine from patriarchal dominance (especially appropo in a field where women are still extraordinarily under appreciated). But what I don’t tell most people is that in real life I am quite terrified of snakes. I have a visceral physical reaction of fear when I see a snake. So, in lieu of that, I have done “snake therapy” where I touch and hold snakes while my heart races, and have forced myself to simply stand by when I encounter one on a trail while my entire being screams RUN. Facing fear gives you strength to overcome the challenges of life. When it came to forming my own production company and leading it, it took a huge leap of faith and a lot of courage. So Serpent Power is a lot about facing fear in all ways and overcoming it, just as much as a loving reverence for the Serpent and its many mythologies and meanings. I’ve found whether or not it is love on the other side of facing fear... it is ALWAYS something positive - healing, strength, new directions, reassurance, transformation.
You truly are the first person who taught me how fast the heart can turn from pain to joy when you simply walk up to whatever projected monster and say “hey, can we go outside and talk about this?” I so clearly remember looking up at the full moon that night when we were out on the street. And the way it felt to move from heart racing “confrontational” energy to relaxing into the space of knowing we were working it out, moving forward, releasing that built up tension. When you left the toy rat and note on my car the next day, my heart swelled with such love. I can remember just standing there in the sun, smiling, beaming, as I looked around the parking lot to see if I could find you. But you’d left your sweet gift and vanished! That sense of joy that we were now friends after so many months of tension, was one of my first experiences of how magic actually works! Totally makes sense this would have happened with you!
I remember when you first began to really consciously be aware of your psychic gifts. You would tell me these stories of your meditation experiences and i would be so both in awe and covetous. You were not bragging at all, really wanting these out of body experiences to stop, but i WAS LIKE “ most people are honing skills and doing development practices hoping to have an experience like that. i was still pursuing practice for chronic pain relief, and would have loved the confirmations you received. Nothing has made me happier than to feel you really embracing who you are and the natural gifts you came in with. What advice do you have for someone who has undeniable psychic gifts or healing abilities who is confused, overwhelmed, scared, and just wanting to turn it off? I was raised Catholic and it created so much fear of the unseen world for me. By the time I was 6 years old I was regularly running to my parents bed in the night because of my fear of demons and ghosts. It makes me so sad to think about that terrified little girl now. I was really afraid of death because I was terrified of hell. Which in turn made me really afraid of life, because I was always so scared I was going to die and go to hell. It was a terrible loop to live in. I also experienced trauma in childhood and although I believed I had healed most of it throughout early adulthood - there was more to do! When I began to spontaneously experience intense psychic and mystical awakenings there was a LOT of ancient fear & pain that needed to be cleared from my heart. The fears really slowed down my process and caused a lot of unnecessary suffering. So, my very first and most potent advice is don’t be afraid. It is a gift. And it will unfold on it’s own time- you cannot control it. I think it is very important for all mystical seekers to understand that the awakening process and the healing process are intimately connected. It is of my belief that one cannot awaken without healing, and one cannot heal without awakening. Depending on where you are at in your life when you embark on a spiritual quest... A LOT can come up all at once and it can be super overwhelming. I think this is so so important. There is a lot of bliss and joy involved in awakening, and there is a lot of healing, difficulty and confusion. Another bit of advice is try not to be egotistical about your gifts. You can feel confident and centered for sure, but understanding your own ego is key. I went through this crazy sweep of feeling really magical, blissed out, and special that suddenly dropped into incredible fear, panic and a sense of losing control. These challenges emerged right as I attached my ego to the gifts. I think it unfolded this way to teach me that I was not in control of the greater cycles - but of service to them. This was an important thing for me to learn. You can (accidentally) cause a great deal of difficulty in people’s lives if your ego is not in check and you begin to “teach and treat” folks from your ego instead of service to the greater cycles & energies. I have been so humbled by my experiences.
And lastly- and I think this is super important too - you don’t have to change your career, or your personality. When I first woke up and had these experiences I thought I must be a healer, a teacher, an oracle, a channel, a shaman- I didn’t know what! I put a lot of pressure on myself to figure it out, to identify as something specific that could be organized into an offering and brought back to the world. If your heart and soul is guiding you toward a certain path - then by all means please step forward and be a teacher, healer, shaman - I don’t think we can have too much non denominational spiritual/emotional/physical support on planet earth! But it is important to consider that a diverse range of “woke” up people is beneficial. In other words- there’s nothing less magical and healing about a woke up accountant. Truly. You can be a shamanic accountant. In fact, I think we really need that. This brings me back to the “Folk Mystic” concept. You can be you, you can be whoever you are and still be the most magical, mystical person ever. We need woke up politicians, woke up school teachers, woke up heads of massive corporations. We need this, the world needs this. Just because you have psychic gifts & wisdom does not mean you have to quit your career and dedicate your life to a specific spiritual tradition. You can keep doing what you have been doing, but with your fully realized magic infused into it. I think I lost a lot of time on my own journey trying to figure out what I am supposed to do with these gifts instead of just being me.
Tell us about Accha Bonita? What does the name mean and how did this project come to be? I have been saying Accha Bonita is my multi medium, multi mystical, creative, sand castle, heart offering! Built to be broken and rebuilt throughout my life. I think of it as a whimsical art, treasure, and wisdom factory. I explain this more thoroughly in the “ about ” section of my site. It’s brand new, but truthfully it is very very old. I have been creating intentional and ceremonial artworks since 2005. That was a time before the big boom of social media, Etsy, etc.. At the point I couldn’t find community support for what I was trying to cultivate. I ultimately became quite heartbroken and discontinued doing that work. If you had told me then that the world would change and there would be so many people appreciating this type of work - I would have never believed you! So, in many ways Accha Bonita is the reawakening of the heart dreams I lost faith in.
When I was in elementary school I had a peculiar obsession. I use the word obsession because I don’t think I would have stopped if I hadn’t been forced to. Several days a week, I would do “Treasure Delivery” to my neighbors. And, let me just say - I grew up in a rural place where the homes were far apart, up long dirt driveways, and tucked behind thick forest patches. I was very devoted to my practice! Depending on the season, the treasure would be different. In spring it was flower bundles from the garden, in fall it would be leaf and seed pod collections. I would pick and arrange each treasure offering, tuck them in a basket and head off door to door. I often left it on the front step or in the mailbox. I don’t know why I started doing it. But, it brought me such infinite joy. It wasn’t until a new minister moved into the house on the corner, that I was forced to shut down my treasure delivery. After I gifted him a prickly seed pod covered in glitter (I’d branched out into more advanced designs by then) he phoned my parents to express his concerns about me wandering around town alone. I was devastated to be asked to stop and felt such grief. Accha Bonita is a way for me to reconnect to that part of myself that finds such happiness in making something special with love and kindness. It’s a return to that most innocent, simple pleasure that thoughtful and intentional creation awakens in the heart of both the giver and receiver. I love connecting with people deeply. Channeling my entire being into the creative process is such a joy and I wanted to be able to do that more. Accha Bonita is also a way for me to share mystical wisdom to empower and inspire. I do energy healing work, create intentional artworks for rites of passage, and share contemplative writing.
Lastly, it is a place for cultivating community, workshops and discussion in Portland Oregon. I have been organizing women’s circles for many moons, and am delighted to continue to create opportunities for folks to gather in new ways. Alice Baca from Life As Ceremony Magazine and I have partnered to organize workshops for local and traveling teachers here in Portland. So, it is with such a delight I share Accha Bonita with the world.
What are some of your long term visions for how you would like to be contributing to the planetary ecosystem, andwhat can we look forward to seeing manifest in the immediate future? I n addition to Accha Bonita, I’m on a dedicated path as a filmmaker and run a video production company. I’ve felt driven to create films and media that counteract the mainstream onslaught of messaging since I became involved in activism, feminism, and mindfulness in high school. The media is dangerously powerful and has had a negative impact on everyone. But it is not going away anytime soon - so I’m interested in how we can seed it with more diverse, wise, and heart centered perspectives. I think it is a really exciting time for this. I’ve always felt strongly that my mission is not away in a cave, but right up in the heart of culture. It goes back to what I was saying about “Folk Mystic” I want to be part of the whole world, in it, and of it. Not just in the nice and quiet places. I want to live in awareness of “what is” and help create improvements where I can.
Considering everything that is unfolding in our country, I feel more activated than ever to continue my mission of creating moving image that offers a different perspective, and stories/characters filled with depth and heart. This mission extends into my commercial work which is focused toward supporting conscious brands, small business, non profits, and folks doing great things for the world. Furthermore, as a woman in this field - not giving up on being a strong presence no matter how difficult it can be- is a powerful act of feminism and I feel dedicated to holding my ground. The media industry is insanely sexist- I have stories from my career that would make your blood boil. But, I’m fierce in my intentions. I’ve overcome great adversity to learn the skills I’ve acquired. I see myself as part of a wave of women coming up to balance the gender gap in the media. Whether or not I achieve my personal goals is not as important to me as being part of the movement itself. I feel like a water droplet in a tidal wave and we are pushing forward with a vengeance! I truly believe in educating and supporting other women in learning how to seize technology. I think it is important for women to be truly proud of their intellect. Seizing knowledge and expanding one’s skills is such a powerful act. Being smart is really, really sexy to me- I fall in love with people’s minds above all else. I really do believe we can change the world. If more and more people wake up and believe in their own gifts and capacity to choose love - we can create a new world.
The time REALLY is now.
We need to wake up, heal, and activate.