This couple lost everything and then manifested their dream

Visit the House of Intuition website, which features “Money Magic” candles, healing crystal sets, and more, and you’ll be greeted with a simple yet thought-provoking message: “Your intuition led you this far.”

Courtesy of the House of Intuition

Alex Naranjo and Marlene Vargas are life partners and co-founders of the metaphysical brand, which aims to help people heal, transform and grow with their offerings and classes. With nine stores in California and one in Miami, Florida, it’s safe to say there’s a demand for the brand of spirituality that Naranjo and Vargas are selling — one they’re eager to meet.

But just 12 years ago, Naranjo and Vargas were in a very different place.

Like many Americans, Naranjo and Vargas lost everything when the housing market hit in 2007. But the crisis that shook their lives would eventually unite them and change their worldview, while shaping them into the entrepreneurs they are today.

“It was the breaking point of the material world as we saw it”, says Vargas Entrepreneur“And that really pushed us into the spirit world, which is where we live today. So it was almost like the necessary death of one thing and the rebirth of another.”

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“I thought it was black magic.”

Naranjo and Vargas’ journey to entrepreneurship began with yard sales. The couple sold clothes and furniture to stay afloat during the recession, and when supplies ran out, they either received donations or found items on Craigslist, cleaning and rummaging through everything they could.

At the same time, Naranjo and Vargas began to pray at home. Both had left their church years earlier because, as people who identify with LGBTQ+, they didn’t feel the sense of belonging and connection they craved. But while Vargas continued to uphold the traditional tenets of his faith, Naranjo was busy exploring a new direction.

“Alex burned candles and prayed to the moon, made potions and did vision boarding,” says Vargas. “I was like, ‘Wow’ “I thought it was black magic. I initially thought, What are you doing? This is not something within my religious faith. I thought we were opening all these different portals, opening doors to a hell I was taught. So I was really scared at that time.”

But Vargas was reassured by the fact that Naranjo was a “good person” who “only prayed to help [them] pay the mortgage.” So once she started to see some positive results, she decided to try it out for herself.

Vargas was not disappointed. “It not only gave me a sense of calm, but it also redirected my energy from fear – to creativity and hope,” she says. “All that anxiety and all those things that you’re so afraid of in challenging times were being replaced by an inner strength and magic that I didn’t know existed inside of me. It was nurturing a different side of me. I was excited. It was like, Oh, we can do this.

Image credit: Courtesy of House of Intuition

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“We wanted to show people that magic, readings and Tarot weren’t bad.”

Buoyed by their determination and feeling “like superheroes,” Naranjo and Vargas delved deeper into their new practice. Buying lottery tickets for scratch cards has become a fun activity. Not only was it “cheaper than a drink at the bar”, but it was also an opportunity to stretch the limits of the demonstration – although they didn’t call it that at the time. They dreamed of paying off their parents’ mortgages, among other things, but a great shared purpose began to emerge as well.

“We wanted a place where people felt safe to explore a spiritual practice without feeling like they had to let go of their religious beliefs,” Vargas explains, “a place where the church couldn’t fulfill and where magic, readings and tarot weren’t seen as evil or deviant. So we were like, Yes – we could have a spiritual detox center.

At this point, neither Naranjo nor Vargas had encountered the term “manifestation” yet. But they were already doing that, drawing inspiration for their dream from the spiritual stores they visited and analyzed, discussing what they would do differently with theirs.

So they were at a crossroads again: money was getting low.

But a Tarot reading in late 2009 renewed his hopes. The reader told them that she did see a business in your future. The confirmation of this reading—and the intuitive feeling that accompanied it—was so strong that Naranjo and Vargas immediately started looking for their first store.

They found it at Echo Park via a Craigslist ad, and while the couple admit it “doesn’t sound all that magical”, they really felt it was, as it “provided an instant sense of confidence that this was The place — as if the Angels themselves had placed that advertisement.”

Image credit: Courtesy of House of Intuition

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“As humans, we don’t know how powerful we are – once you tap into that power, it can change your life.”

The House of Intuition opened in 2010, but once again, the couple faced some challenges.

“We were trying to create a space that was inviting, not intimidating – that could bring people the sense of calm and fulfillment that we were manifesting in our own lives,” says Naranjo. “We weren’t actually traditional readers or healers per se. However, looking back, I realized that we were, and that we all are in some way. It was just us trying to share with others the same feeling we were receiving.”

The couple faced “judgment in the craft”. Naranjo and Vargas were considered New Age people because they did not come from a line of mediums or mediums, although Vargas claims that we all have psychic abilities within us.

“If I don’t have these traditional magic potions that are years and years old, and I’m pulling more instinctively from a feeling and an intuition that I have, then [they think] cannot exist”, says Vargas.

That was difficult in the early days, admits Vargas, but since then she has developed the confidence to stand up to those who question her spiritual prowess.

“Anyone who challenges me and says my magic isn’t really true because I don’t have certain traditional knowledge or wasn’t taught by an elder, I say to them: Can you explain to me how I created and built 10 stores and five warehouses in a period of 12 years?” says Vargas.

“I do magic daily through rituals, magic spells, intention setting and focus,” she continues. “It materializes from these practices, and I am able to carry out those intentions. Our success is proof. We are all magical beings. However, as humans, we don’t realize how powerful we are – once you tap into that power, can change your life.”

But the secrecy surrounding some of these traditions also complicates matters.

“Unfortunately, that’s how many traditions are,” says Naranjo. “And I’m not judging, because there’s something for everyone in every tradition. But I think sometimes it’s really hard for people to understand, so it becomes this negative thing because they don’t understand. Create a sense of fear because it’s human nature. initially fear the unknown.”

Image credit: Courtesy of House of Intuition

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“If we can provide at least some kind of comfort with what we teach them, that means the world to us.”

Now, as inflation hits millions and fears of recession mount, Naranjo and Vargas are reminded of the origins of the Casa da Intuição – and this time, they feel prepared for whatever comes their way.

“It looks very familiar to us, like 2007,” explains Vargas. “And we also know that we have better tools now to navigate that energy. We know it’s temporary. We know that our faith, trust, and belief are what sustains us. [We’re not] focusing on what we’re not getting, but focusing more on where the lessons are and what we can accomplish in this downtime. Because that downtime won’t last forever.”

During this period, they have opened two more stores and two more warehouses, and are expanding the team as they evaluate new registration and inventory systems.

But Naranjo and Vargas point out that it’s not just about products and it never was. In fact, the merchandise wasn’t even part of the plan until his community suggested it. With House of Intuition, the couple strives to give people the skills that can help them change their lives for the better, just as they changed theirs.

For example, the House of Intuition’s free live sessions on Sundays teach participants about the power of manifestation.

“It’s all the knowledge we want to provide so that people can learn and empower themselves with creation tools for themselves,” says Naranjo. “And if we can provide at least some sense of comfort, ritual and community for people with what we teach, that means the world to us.”

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