When the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns on November 4th, the world is going to meet two new stars: Joyce Giraud de Ohoven and Carlton Gebbia. Fans will be in for another surprise: Carlton isn't just an interior designer, animal lover and mother—she's also a practicing wiccan. In an exclusive interview with Bravo, she opens up about how she got into the faith, what it's like to raise children with her beliefs, practicing magic, and her Halloween rituals.
So how has filming The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills been so far?
It’s finished and it’s good. I enjoyed it.
Are you excited to see the show?
Yeah, I am.
Are you also nervous?
Yes, I’m sure there are moments when I’m like, “Oh God, did I really do that?” But I think as a whole journey, it was my reality. So that’s all I can say.
Have you become close to any of the women?
I have. Definitely Lisa [Vanderpump] and Yolanda [Foster] and also Brandi [Glanville], I have to say. I mean, I never really got the opportunity to bond with Kim [Richards]. And [new housewife] Joyce [Giraud] and I had a few bumps along the way, but we ended off on a good note as well.
Are there any tensions between you and any of the other castmates yet?
Oh, yeah. I honestly went in with no preconceived notions about anyone on the show. I caught a couple of episodes once I knew it was going to materialize. Who I did think I wouldn’t possibly get on with wasn’t the person I didn’t get on with. I definitely--probably from the get-go and right up until the end--would get gut instincts about Kyle and definitely my intuition about her was right on. So I actually didn’t think I would get along with Kim, but I ended up not a fan of Kyle.
You're also a follower of the Wiccan faith. Can you talk a little bit about it?
I’m considered a sole practitioner. I am Celtic as far as my ancestry is concerned. My grandmother was a pagan but she also practiced witchcraft, which is what I do. So, if you’re going to put a word on it, I would be considered a Celtic pagan witch. But I’m a sole practitioner; I don’t belong to a coven, which is a group of people that believe in the same things.
How did you get into it?
What I’ve always practiced my whole life was from an early, early age. I didn’t do all the studying and reading, I just knew what worked for me and it worked very, very well. You know, I was always drawn to nature and animals and I just had an affinity for the moon. It’s something that I would discover along the way, and then my grandmother would teach me her beliefs. It was a tailor-made faith for me that worked for me and has worked for me.
How do you practice?
Under the branch of paganism, there are different religions and Wiccan is one of them. I take traditions from Wicca and from traditional witchcraft. What I practice is based in harmony. It’s all about Mother Nature. With the pentagram, which is our symbol, or certainly it’s my symbol, it deals with the elements. So it’s my spirit, fire, water, earth, air. It’s [all about] having respect for where we are, where we live and what we live on.
I use crystals, candles, some herbs and I recognize holy days. I use the moon a lot. The new moon is probably one of the most powerful times for me. But I recognize all the phases of the moon which is the new, waxing, full, waning and sometimes the dark moon. It's just the acknowledgment of the cycles of nature, that’s what I can say, and then the seasons. So whenever we have our equinoxes or solstices, I acknowledge that in the Wicca that I do.
What are the biggest misconceptions about being a Wiccan?
I don’t practice dark magic and there’s such a misconception and negative stigma attached to witchcraft. Not everybody that practices Wicca or paganism is a witch, but I do practice magic. Which sounds so bloody outlandish, I know. But it’s all based on positive energy. It’s all about love, it’s about harmony, and just acknowledgment that there is something beyond this universe that deals with miracles and that miracles are at work.
Only that under the umbrella of paganism, Wicca or witchcraft or whatever faith you practice, it is not negative. It is truly a harmonious faith. I mean, any religion unfortunately you do have people who practice it negatively. I’ve seen that across the board. Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean to say that it’s bad.
Do your husband and children practice as well?
No, my husband was raised Catholic, though he’s not a practicing Catholic. But he has respect for what I do. He just understands.
As far as my children are concerned, they understand the power of prayer which is a huge thing that we believe in. They have crystals in their room. They understand the power of crystals for different energies. Even if they’re not feeling well, they’ll grab a crystal and put it under their pillow at nighttime. And also prayer candles, we use a lot. I used a lot while I was filming, I’ll have you know. To ward off the evil. (laughs)
Do you encourage your children to practice?
My daughters were asking me about it the other day—do we have to be Wiccan or pagan or what do we have to be? And I said, it is completely up to you. If you find a religion that you gravitate towards and you feel it in your soul, then that’s something that you should pursue. I would never push my children in a direction because it suited me.
Since it's coming up, how does your family celebrate Halloween? Is it different than how other families might celebrate?
Halloween is a pagan new year. Some will celebrate it on the day before. It is just honoring the dead and cleansing and releasing. But yes, I do celebrate. Absolutely.
There are a few things that I do. I don’t do it around my children, I don’t do it around my husband, I do it on my own. The reason is it is such a sacred moment. And anytime, like I said, when it’s the changing of seasons, it’s profound because the faith is based in nature.
On the fun side of that for me, I really do enjoy Halloween as just a fun celebration. We take our children trick-or-treating. They love that. They get dressed up. Last year we had this huge Halloween party which was brilliant. So I celebrate it probably in two different ways.
Do you dress up?
I do. For my children, when they go to school, they have a little Halloween carnival. I usually wear bloody contact lenses, and have blood coming out my mouth. But then when we go trick or treating, I still don’t get too outlandish. But then when we have our parties, that's when I'm wearing next to nothing.
Actually my girlfriend is having a book release party for her first book called Fey, which deals with light and dark fey, and it’s a costume party, which I’m going to in a couple of weeks. And I’m going to be going as a dark fey.
Is that going to involve you wearing next-to-nothing?
Yes, of course!
Watch a first look at RHOBH below and tell us: what do you think about Carlton's beliefs?