Ariana Grande, the Nickelodeon star turned pop star du jour, is known for her high ponytails, reported diva-like ways, and unbearably catchy music. But to let the 21-year-old superstar tell it, she’s got something else working for her: Kabbalah.
Grande recently told The Telegraph that while she was raised Catholic, she bristled against the Church’s stance on homosexuality. (Her older brother, Frankie Grande—a former Big Brother contestant about to star in Rock of Ages on Broadway—is gay.)
Instead, the pair took up Kabbalah. “When my brother was told that God didn’t love him I was like, ‘OK, that’s not cool.’ They were building a Kabbalah centre in Florida so we both checked it out and really had a connection with it,” she told The Telegraph.
Grande explained that the Jewish mystical practice stuck with her, even crediting it with her current success: “And since then my life has unfolded in a really beautiful way, and I think that it has a lot to do with the tools I’ve learnt through Kabbalah, I really do.’
Asked to explain those tools she is hesitant, not to say bashful. But eventually she says that ‘you have to watch your intentions, make sure you’re not giving in to your ego. You have to numb your reactive state. You have the power to change your reality,’ she says, clapping her hands together. ‘You have to take a second and breathe and reassess how you want to approach or react to a situation or approach an obstacle, or deal with a negative person in your space. That takes a lot of self-control and practice and, I guess, willpower,’ she concludes with an embarrassed laugh.
But does she have a Hebrew tattoo yet?
Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.