My name is Vanessa Irena and I’m a musician, artist, and writer. My work focuses on the exploration of ecstasy and devotion to the body, the land, and the stars. I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA and currently live in upstate NY. I received my BFA with a concentration in painting from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and have been creating and performing music since I was 4 years old. I hosted the dark electronic radio show TOTAL CONTROL on Brooklyn’s Newtown Radio for two years, and have contributed writing to the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. I was once named one of Twitter’s funniest people by The Daily Dot and created the viral Facebook meme page, Share If You Agree.
I produce experimental devotional music and I released my first solo EP, Deipna, in January of 2017 and my first full-length album, dedicated to the goddess Babalon, in November of 2017. Prior to releasing my solo work I provided lead vocals and production to NYC band The Harrow, and performed as a live member of Public Memory. I released my first published work, Saint Raphael The Archangel, a pamphlet I co-authored with Alexander Cummins in July of 2018 through Hadean Press. I also released a collaborative musical piece with Alexander Cummins, a ritual invocation to Mars, in December 2018. In 2019 my interview with Alkistis Dimech from my (now retired) blog New Jack Witch was published in The Brazen Vessel, through Scarlet Imprint. I released the chapbook Ecstasy: A Devotional Guide to the Female Mystics, in July of 2022 through Hadean Press. I also have a substack newsletter called dumbstruck, which is a wordless devotional nature journal.
I have studied and practiced yoga and yogic breathwork as well as buddhist meditation and mindfulness for over a decade and am a trained yoga instructor. I have also trained with Street Yoga, an organization that specializes in trauma-aware yoga instruction. I’m an astrologer with a specialized interest in traditional and medical astrology (the astrology of the body) and have studied with Chris Warnock, Chris Brennan, and Judith Hill. I’m an ISSA certified nutritionist and a proponent of physical fitness as a magical practice. I practice both weightlifting and ecstatic dance. I have a devotional relationship with the saints and in particular the female mystics whose lives and work have allowed me to reclaim my relationship to Catholicism and my own sexuality. I take a holistic approach to wellness and healing which views body mind and spirit as inseparable and of equal importance. I think every action we take to heal and to become well is a devotional act both to ourselves and to our ancestors.
What you’ll find on this website are practices, guides, recipes, tools, and resources that I’ve gathered, created, and implemented on my own personal journey. My hope is that you will find them useful, inspiring, and healing.