When it comes to going out, the goal is to always have a good time. Unfortunately, though, things don’t always work out that way, especially when plans get bungled or everyone has a few too many tequila shots. But what about those times when nothing overtly bad happens and you still come home feeling ill, inexplicably exhausted on both a physical and emotional level? Is that ick just the ketamine, or are you just getting old? As xCakes founder Pauli Cakes says, it could also be your intuition trying to tell you something, which is why they want to provide partygoers with a guide to protecting their precious energy.
As the NYC-based nightlife veteran explains, the spiritual is an important yet oft-ignored aspect of the party experience, with the ability to either elevate your outing or turn it into a living nightmare. But thanks to our societal aversion to conversations about spirituality, Cakes tells PAPER that “people will go years or their whole lifetimes not really understanding what has affected them,” much to their own mental and physical detriment.
“They won’t know what went on that one night when they started feeling ill or having paranoia,” Cakes explains, referring to the times you come home from the club feeling like shit, whether rhia manifests itself as anxiety, anger or just a strange heaviness.
“I think a lot of times when we get lost in the sauce, we don't really take a step back to think like, ‘I was in the club last night, and I came home with a headache and my body aches,’” they continue. “‘Maybe I was exposed to some bad energy, or some evil eye, or an energy vampire or something. Because [all I did] was have a conversation with that person.”
For example, they talk about a past encounter with a crying stranger, who violated their spiritual and physical boundaries by placing their hand on Cakes’ shoulder while accusing them of trying to fight, during which everything started to feel “hazy.”
“My feet were implanted on the floor. And they were talking really quickly and saying all this stuff like, ‘I've seen you. I know you hate me. You hate me so much. You hate me,’” Cakes recalls. “So I ran out of the venue, and went home, and took a shower.”
They add, “I needed to wash whatever that experience was off of me, because it was sticking to me. It felt like heavy metal on my shoulder weighing me down.”
Unfortunately, though, Cakes says this is a pretty common experience for many clubgoers. Because even though many of us are learning to become more protective of our energy, they also note that very few of us stop to think about how these spaces are places where people are actively “letting things go.”
After all, parties are associated with fun and escapism, not to mention relieving stress and blowing off steam. However, what can make these releases even more potent are things like alcohol, smoke, music, dance and moonlight, all of which have been used for millennia to “communicate with the spirits to release negative energy.” So if you’re an empath or someone in an “emotionally vulnerable place,” this can make you “feel like you have to take that on,” especially since Cakes has noticed an uptick in these low frequencies and energy vampires post-COVID.
Because, as Cakes goes on to say, the past few years have resulted in many “carrying their trauma, shadows and heaviness” without being able to “really release it anywhere other than the dance floor,” meaning that those who are busy trying to make ends meet often don’t have time to “prioritize their spiritual or holistic wellness.”
“But they go out to the club because they've been working hard, and they can't carry all this trauma. It just becomes an explosion,” Cakes continues.
With this in mind, they made a handy guide that’s basically a crash course on spiritual protection in nightlife, with tips on how to prepare for a night out, how to recognize a negative entity and what to do when you come home (always shower!). Combined with Cakes’ longtime focus on creating safe spaces, their current mission is to make xCakes events a place where attendees are aware of the “aspects of ourselves that are beyond our [bodies],” so that everyone feels respected — both physically and spiritually.
“Because I've been that person who's been releasing the negative energy, who’s been carrying a lot of trauma and being parasitic,” Cakes says. “I've been that person, and so I am recognizing it when I see it in other people.”
Welcome to “No Last Name Puns,” a column by Sandra Song about all things music. Featuring everything from profiles on rising artists to explainers on emerging scenes to cultural analysis of both new and old musical releases from every genre, “No Last Name Puns” is all about exploring the relationship between music and culture through more than just premieres and "first looks."
Photos by Omari Love
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