Describe your first public Sit.
My very first public Sit was only 4 months ago. I have been sitting with Tea for years, but only recently have I felt called to start sharing publicly. It was beyond what I could have manifested and dreamt of. I had 10 of my most nearest and dearest friends and family attend. It was held on my home land on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, at an Art Gallery called HAKE. The gallery itself lends a beautiful and serene energy to the environment, but combining that with the visuals of Art and woven around sound and Ceremony was really something else, and was all-encompassing for the senses. It was beautiful and an event I will treasure forever. I felt very honoured and blessed to be held by such a beautiful space and to be able to serve such special ones in my life.
Can you share a favourite memory of ceremony, either serving or being served?
There is so many, but I feel it’s fitting to share the biggest manifestation yet, which was serving Tea at P.E Nation. A few years ago when I was living abroad I was thinking about how I wanted to bring Tea to the world, and also bring it in a way that is true to me. Having worked in the fashion industry for almost 2 decades now and knowing how fast-paced and deadline-driven it is, I thought how fitting it would be to bring this practice into the Fashion Industry. At the time I was working for a company abroad and had no intentions of living back in Australia, however I started to write a list of all the companies I would like to serve Tea to in the industry and P.E Nation was the very first one on that list.
Fast forward 3 years later, not only did I get to serve P.E Nation Tea, I actually work for them and each and every individual that was sitting in that room I knew on a personal level. It was really such a phenomenal experience and it just goes to show that no matter how out of reach or wild our dreams may be, dream big because they just might come true.
Everyone at Team P.E loves you Cassie. We know you plan everything with thought and love, right down to the playlist for a service. What goes into preparing for each sit?
Yes a lot goes into the actual Sit before and also after. Cleaning is a big part of offering Tea, and that goes into every aspect of it, cleaning the space, cleaning the Teaware and also cleansing and cleaning ourselves. It's an honour to serve Tea to others, and therefore in honouring you we are honouring all that surrounds you as well.
Along with the cleaning aspect, there is also the layout of the Ceremony and aesthetically how that will look. Each Chaxi (Tea Stage) holds a different theme which is never shared, but for the viewer to create their own interpretation. So a lot of thought and energy goes into the creation of this part of the ceremony. Then there is the type of Tea that will be served, which in turn will direct which kind of brewing method will be used, which then leads into which Teaware to use. The seasons also play a big part in which kind of Tea and Ceremony will be brought to life. I also like to weave in sound and sometimes scent, with each Sit being unique unto itself. So therefore each playlist created is crafted for that Sit alone. But the way I go about creating all of the above is very intuition-led and something I “feel” into more than really think about.
What are some of your favourite teas to serve?
I loveeeeee Shou Puerh. It’s my favourite. So this is definitely my most served Tea. However now having moved into the warmer months I do really also enjoy Oolong and Green Teas as well. Actually I really enjoy them all, but I tend to lean more into the Shou Puerh world.
What does 2023 have ahead for The Ritualistic Life?
Alot. Many more ceremonies and hopefully a trip to a few other states around Australia to start weaving and sharing Tea in other communities, along with some other little side projects and workshops. So a lot of exciting things ahead which just makes my heart so happy and I feel so honoured and grateful for this practice.
The most important thing, though, is just bringing people together and sharing in the beauty that is Tea.