Magdalena Sartori was born in Uruguay, but spent most of her childhood between Paris and Geneva. Raised by an accomplished mother who was both nurturing and driven, she grew up aware of the infinite potential life has to offer. She holds degrees from the esteemed École Polytechnique in Switzerland as well as a Master’s Degree from Columbia University in New York City. As an architect she has worked on large infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, Paris and Dubai.
A conscious effort to reconnect to her physical-self led her to the encounter with the sacred feminine within, resulting in a crucial shift in her life on both personal and professional levels. This global-minded free-spirit is one of the founders and now Chief Creative Officer at The Assemblage, a company offering co-working, co-living and social spaces whose mission is to "create containers for self-transformation and remind every individual of the spark of light that they have inside."
INSIDE/OUT: Tell us about your genesis story.
Magdalena Sartori: I was born in Uruguay and moved to Paris at an early age along with my older brother and my mother, who was completing her PHD studies in Political Science at La Sorbonne. I grew up in between Paris and Geneva, while my mom worked for the United Nations and other international organizations.
Being raised by such an independent, accomplished, nurturing woman and single mother, made my path easier than most girls; I was aware of the responsibility that comes with being a woman and saw this as an opportunity to lead by example and open the path for other women to become independent and successful for their own merits. My mother also offered us an environment that was rich in freedom of choice showing us the infinite potential of being a human but also inviting us to live a life beyond self-imposed and social structures.
However, as my mother was inscribed in the lineage of the early feminists who had to embody masculine qualities at the workspace in order to be heard and respected, I had very little awareness of what it actually meant to be in a woman’s body. I went on with my life completing successful studies at the highest ranked universities and had a very successful career nonetheless, but I was totally disconnected from my own body. Reconnecting to my physical self has played a central role in my awakening process and, as I gradually became aware of the magic that lies in the feminine embodied experience, I am now captivated by the mystery of women’s deep connection with the moon and its cycles. Encountering the sacred feminine shifted my perspective and opened many portals both in my personal life and professional life.
I/O: Tell us more about your career, then and now.
MS: As far as I can remember I always had an obsession with creating spaces: intersecting matter and spirit, science and nature, form and beauty. I became an architect as an attempt to encapsulate this passion and worked in Hong Kong, Paris and Dubai, where I built large airports, train stations and museums. After several years, I moved to NYC to study Real Estate Development at Columbia University. This allowed me to master the cycle of creating spaces from the initial vision, to the structuring of the deal, to its construction and materialization. When I started my path with The Assemblage a few years ago it became very clear that all those acquired skills where going to be of service to this project.
I was Managing Director of The Assemblage for two years, creating the initial foundation of our first property last year. I’m now Chief Creative Officer and my responsibility is to maintain the integrity of the vision and the brand ethos, both at the physical and ethereal levels. Our mission at The Assemblage is to remind every individual of the spark of light that they have inside. We offer them a variety of live/work spaces where they can nurture and cultivate this light, which is another way of saying to align with who they truly are and discover their own purpose on this planet. It is only through each individual’s alignment, like cells in an organism, that we will be able to move to the next step in the evolution of our species.
I/O: Tell us about The Assemblage.
MS: In the 3D world, The Assemblage offers co-working, co-living and social spaces at the intersection of consciousness, capital and technology. In the 5D world, The Assemblage is a place that acts on the collective consciousness by fostering self-transformation and collaboration and by assembling a community of people that share the same vision of a collective conscious evolution. We are the only conscious species on this planet and we can define the path of our own evolution. This thought is fascinating to me, as we literally are the ones to choose whether we extinguish our species or change the course of our own evolution.
The Assemblage by Mikiko Kikuyama
I/O: Today's work and tomorrow's dream?
MS: Today I’m fully focused on the opening of our second property, a $180m building in NYC’s Financial District which includes hotel rooms and co-living units, as well as social and co-working spaces. This is very inspiring for us as it will be our first building that will be open 24/7. I was in charge of the creative direction, conceptualization and design of the space.
I believe that objects have a specific energy which is often linked to where they come from and who they were made by, so every detail is infused with that intention.
I look at every object in the building through this lens therefore our building is filled with artifacts made by indigenous tribes (typically women), crystals coming from sustainable mines, art made only by living artists, living systems like plants and fungi, gongs and Himalayan instruments... Our members often feel that energy on a subconscious scale when in the building but are often not able to explain why they feel the way they do. It's exciting to see how we are collectively becoming more sensitive to these things that cannot be seen with bare eyes and I’m excited for that shift to happen as we need to move away from this materialistic mentality that we are stuck in.
I/O: What comprises The Assemblage community?
MS: Our community is very eclectic; we don’t have a specific target or sector. It’s all about inclusiveness and cross-pollination. Everyone has a piece of the puzzle and we are all cells of a larger organism called humanity. I see myself as one of the cells. I don’t believe in leadership, because that implies that there are followers and every single cell is here to fulfill its own mission that only she/he can access. My role in the community is to lead by example and open the path to others.
I/O: How much of your community is comprised of individuals who identify as female?
MS: We are proud to have a community composed of 55% women. These are all women that are at some level changing the world and the status quo. We need more women accessing their power so that we can create a more balanced world.
I/O: What experts do you admire?
MS: I admire every single individual that is tapping into full human potential and is fully aligned with their purpose on the planet. I can immediately feel it when you meet those people and I have a deep admiration for that as it often requires to walk on a path that has not been walked before.
I/O: Who are your teachers?
MS: I have deep connection with the sacred feminine and she has been my teacher. I find her incarnation form in many women throughout history, from Mary Magdalen to the artist Frida Kahlo, to Lama Tsultrim, whom I had the honor to recently meet at The Assemblage and was struck by her journey and commitment to the feminine; but also in every single woman that silently embodies her.
I/O: Who or what helped you get where you are today?
MS: My mother and brother have been my biggest support systems throughout my whole life and I could not be where I am if it wasn’t for their unconditional love and support. We have a very special bond, although somehow dysfunctional relationships due to our different life choices and atypical family structure.
I/O: Overall, who takes care of you? Who or what makes you stronger?
MS: I have a very independent nature and a tendency to only rely on myself. As part of my evolution I’m now opening up and making space for support from others and I’m grateful to have an extraordinary life partner and amazing group of friends that I can count on. What makes me stronger is to be able to look back and look at my accomplishments, it reminds me that everything is possible.
I/O: What challenges have you faced and what obstacles might you be experiencing?
MS: Every important moment of my life is defined by a challenge or an obstacle that was turned into an opportunity for growth. I recently faced a difficult challenge in my career, as I stepped down from my Managing Director position at The Assemblage to become Chief Creative Officer. Although I needed this to grow and realign with my creative flow, letting go of the management of a company that I built and managed for the last two years was a challenge. In the process, I also had to let go of my own conditioning and self-image of success which we often attach to titles and number of people that we manage.
I/O: What particular challenges do you find women are facing on a local or global level? How can this be improved?
MS: Women are facing the challenge of having to create a space in society where they can fully embody both their feminine and masculine qualities to serve their mission and purpose on this planet. We have been dismissed, contained and abused for so long that there is collective trauma to be healed. The masculine needs to hold space for this to happen and the feminine needs to see and reconnect with its power to blossom.
I/O: What are your thoughts on feminism and women empowerment?
MS: I believe that the evolution of our species is intrinsically linked to the ability of rebalancing feminine and masculine forces in the planet. It's a very delicate balance and I’m sometimes worried about female empowerment that comes from a place of anger and frustration because we will only evolve through forgiveness and compassion, and when women and men can march together hand in hand. It's also very important to achieve balance at an individual level. I’m inspired to see more men connecting with their feminine side and more woman learning to use their masculine qualities in order to build and envision successful ventures. That said, women empowerment is extremely important in certain levels where women have been so abused that they lost the ability to access their own power.
I/O: A mantra, tagline or motto?
MS: If you don’t believe in magic you will never see it.
I/O: Three words.
MS: Sacred Feminine. Evolution of Humanity. Buddha.
I/O: Tell us about your rituals.
MS: I’m very attached to rituals as they allow me to stay in higher frequencies, be more open to receive and more connected with my body. I have daily, weekly and annual rituals.
Every morning as I wake up, I do twenty minutes of 5Rhythms (a type of movement meditation) and dedicate this to the sacred feminine. This allows me to stay connected with my body, it clears my mind and opens up the channels to connect with my intuition. Also every week on Tuesday evenings, I do three hours of 5Rhythms at a studio in NYC. This is like a weekly recalibration where I cleanse all negative emotions from my body and create a new field of energy of love and light for the week.
I also take a long meditative bath with essential oils every night to prepare my body to rest and my spirit for the astral plane.
Every year around my birthday in April I do something to recalibrate, realign and integrate all insights from that year. This type of work usually involves plant medicine or shamanic journeys.
I/O: Do you ever 'fall off the wellness wagon?'
MS: I create space for flexibility in all aspects of my life so I’m not attached to a specific structure. However, I believe that disciple is the way to our own freedom and I made a commitment a long time ago to honor and nourish my body which is my only self-imposed structure.
I/O: What tools and resources would you recommend to our community?
MS: Some books that have played an important role in my journey are:
- Collective Conscious Evolution by Barbara Marx. The most fascinating book on the evolution of our species.
- Gene Keys: Unlocking the Higher Purpose Hidden in your DNA by Richard Rudd. An extraordinary system and guide for self transformation.
- The Magdalen Manuscript: The Alchemy of Horus & The Sex Magic of Isis by Tom Kenyon and Judi Sion. A different story of the most controversial woman in the history of humanity.
- Womb Awakening from Azra Bertrand & Seren Bertrand. A comprehensive history of the sacred feminine.
- Sacred Sexual Union by Anaiya Sophia. A guide to balance the masculine and feminine in sacred relationships.
I/O: What makes you happy?
MS: Waking up in the morning and seeing the sun shine.
I/O: What do you do when something makes you unhappy?
MS: I absorb the feeling, observe it and let it pass. I try not to act or make decision from that place.
I/O: What inspires you more than anything else?
MS: I’m inspired by the beauty and mathematical perfection of nature and the universe.
I/O: A desire or wish?
MS: I wish for all of humanity to ascend and become one.
I/O: Where can our community find you?
MS: You can find me at The Assemblage Nomad, usually at The Alchemy Bar, our botanical elixir bar on the 12th floor or the Gong Room. And soon at our new location downtown, The Assemblage 17 John Street.
I’m in the process of disconnecting from social media to be more present in the here and now, however I’m still active on Instagram and share things that inspire me.