Califia Holiday Market!

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Special Announcement!

Please join us at Califia Collective’s Holiday Gathering & Market, tomorrow night!

The good folks at Califia are bringing me on board to teach with them, and tonight will be my first event with them. I will be there speaking about dreams, sharing a little zine version of the Litte Dreamwork Primer, and announcing my Dreamwork for Survivors course that will be debuting in the Spring! I’m so excited and pleased to be able to share this all with you. Our wonderful Compassionate Revolt team is going to be there too, sharing all kinds of lovingly crafted goodies and healing tools. This is a wonderful chance to meet, build community, support local healers, and get your little paws on some one-of-a-kind treasure.

Plus: FREE herbal elixir bar and make-your-own dream pillows!

So excited. See you there!

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The Mentor of Keys

The Mentor of Keys embodies the presence, patience, and confidence born of deep experience. They sit in communion with the cosmic key, not grasping yet not despairing, self-possessed yet open-hearted, grounded yet oriented skyward. What does it feel like for the light of your heart to gently, strongly resonate with the steady light of your guiding constellations?

The Collective Tarot's Mentor of Keys
The Collective Tarot’s Mentor of Keys

This card really speaks to me and soothes me today. I’ve felt so busy for the last week or so! As I sit with this card, now, I am reminded that all of my busy-ness is in connection to this place. In my teaching at Pacifica, in my preparations to give a talk for Califia Collective on dreamwork this Friday and introduce my new dreamwork course (the Compassionate Revolt team will be there too – we’d love to see you there!), in my blogging this morning, in my growing therapy practice, there are more and more moments where I am being asked to speak from my own experience, to be patient with myself as I do so, and to have confidence in the wisdom of that place. More and more, I find myself balancing this lesson of speaking up from my own power, and learning to do so in a way that supports others – students, clients, colleagues, friends – in finding their own wisdom and their own voices, too.

I love this card as a reflection of what that lesson feels like for me this week. Curling up into the quiet, feeling safe there, gazing out into the darkness and seeing patterns constellate among the twinkling lights. Being able to teach a little bit about this process, to share it with folks, and to experience looking out and naming meaningful patterns together. Softly sharing a space of vision and inspiration.

When have you encountered the Mentor of Keys? Where do you find vision and inspiration? How do you share yours?

Bibliotherapy: Healing Trauma

There are wonderful healers and healing practices out there in the world but we know that accessibility to these services can sometimes be daunting. This makes us big fans of healing that can knock some of these accessibility challenges off your to do list.

I just finished this book Healing Trauma by Peter Levine, PhD, founder/creator of Somatic Experiencing. I was pleased to find it clear, concise, inexpensive ($15 on their website and less on Amazon!) and include audio supports for the exercises. I am also working through Waking the Tiger and In An Unspoken Voice two of Levine’s other books on how trauma is stored and healed in and through our bodies but this book can be utilized  completely independently! Take a look at Peter Levine’s work on his website to see if it’s a healing modality that might be helpful to you.

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Traci is a fan of accessible healing tools whether they be therapy, film therapy, bibliotherapy, art therapy, the list goes on. She is also in an ongoing dialogue to get to know the complex and dynamic systems of her mind, body and spirit.

Notes on affordability + consciousness: If you appreciate someone’s work (in any media) and you can afford to we encourage you to buy directly from them. If you come across someone’s work via another big seller like Amazon take a minute to search them out individually. Get to know who and where you’re buying from. You may find other wonderful tools, spaces and voices and you’ll be supporting the folks behind those products/services. Sort of a self-imposed and honored sliding scale. Keep healing!

A Dream Considered Through Personal, Collective, and Gaian Lenses

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Today, I’d like to take an old dream of mine as an example for one of my favorite ways of working with dreams. I don’t have a catchy name for this tool, and maybe it’s more of a philosophy than a tool, but I think it’s incredibly helpful.

Lots of folks talk about dreams as working on multiple levels. Jungians are maybe best known for this, and they break the levels down in various ways. The language that feels simplest, cleanest, and most useful to me is to think of dreams as working on 3 different levels: Personal, Collective, and Gaian.

Personal: this probably already makes sense to you. There are dreams that easily slide into this microscope, and you can gleam all kinds of information about yourself, your psyche, your history, your evolution…you get the idea.

Looking through the microscopic personal lens...a beautiful hidden world!
Looking through the microscopic personal lens…a beautiful hidden world!

Collective: this probably also makes sense to you somehow. On this level, we might talk about archetypal dreams, ancestral dreams, prophetic dreams, shared dreams, dreams where you receive specific information about something other or bigger than you, dreams that touch experiences that you share with many other people, and dreams where you are part of a larger drama.

The mind boggles.
The mind boggles.

Gaian: this may be where you’re cocking your eyebrow at me, because we don’t have much language about this in the dominant culture. This is the level where we acknowledge that humans are not the only carriers of consciousness, and that we are only a small part of the dreaming world. Dreams can be a field of communication with other phenomena – places, weather, animals, and the ways we all embody the larger organism which is Gaia. Dreams can be a place where we connect to the immense suffering of the world, and engage in the important work of grieving and creating new relationships with the Gaian world. If you’d like to read more about this, I refer you to the striking work of healer Deena Metzger.

Click here to access Deena Metzger's powerful essay Living By Dream, in the inaugural issue of Dark Matter: Women Witnessing
Click here to access Deena Metzger’s powerful essay Living By Dream, in the inaugural issue of Dark Matter: Women Witnessing

It’s important to note that these levels are not “kinds of dreams.” Personal, Collective, and Gaian are stances we can take toward any dream; they are attitudes and approaches. We can hold a dream and turn it carefully over, looking through each lens, one at a time, allowing the dream to express its multidimensional fullness. They help us to practice a multivalent awareness and to grow our understanding that meaning happens on many levels, in many ways, from many perspectives, all woven together. It is never just one or the other.

Here is a dream that came to me in Spring of 2010:

A dark, underground sewer. A woman has been floating down, and now emerges from, the muddy stream. She is brilliant red, glowing, bloody and screaming in agony because she has no skin, she is skinless. She will grow a new skin.

I first considered this dream personally. I thought about all the change and transformation I was undergoing, having been “in the shit” of my own healing for a while at this point. I thought about how painful this process can be, how in the disorientation of deep, healing change it can feel like you’ve lost your skin – feeling everything, feeling too much, having lost the old filters and barriers that helped you deal with all the shit you’ve been swimming in for so long. I thought about the brilliant red and the fact that the figure is emerging from the sludge, ready to grow a new skin, and I felt hopeful about my own emergence and new growth, even if it was still underground.

Imagine my surprise when, a few days later, I was looking through my collage-fodder picture books and stumbled across this image:

From the Splendor Solis
From the Splendor Solis

It was the very picture of my dream! – only above ground, instead of below. This is the kind of thing that happens on the collective level. Like tuning into a frequency or tapping into a current, our sensitive psyches light up with stories and images that have been around for ages and ages of human experience.

This is an alchemical painting, and, to add to the synchronicity, a few days later I went to school where our evening training that session was in Alchemy. I spoke to the professor briefly about this experience, and she encouraged me to deepen my exploration of it as a collective dream. She saw in it a powerful image of the raw Feminine, so sensitive and so mistreated in our dominant American culture, violently expressing Her rage and pain – and calling me to help in the work of re-growing Her skin. I was being reminded that even in doing my personal healing, in re-growing my own embodied sensitivity and containing selfhood, I was helping anchor the same kind of renewal on the collective level. I am just one place where this re-emerging Feminine is happening in my culture.

Whatever we mean by “the Feminine,” it is something that has as much to do with what we call “the natural world” as it does with human women. Both women’s bodies and the earth itself have been subject to the same kinds of objectified exploitation. Understanding this figure as an expression of the Feminine is a way to expand even further, out into the Gaian stance. From this perspective, we can see the skinless woman’s screams as the pain and rage of Gaia, the living earth, engulfed in human sewage. I had this dream during the period of the BP Oil Spill, as I was becoming interested in ecopsychology and other methods of including the more-than-human world in healing work.

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This dream was a major message for me that as I grow into a new relationship with my self, and with whatever the Feminine is in our culture, that necessarily includes my relationship with the more-than-human world of interconnected life that I now refer to as Gaian.

Of course, this is only scratching the surface of this dream and its story. But my hope is that this shows you how powerful just a single dream image can be, and how richly it unfolds when considered using different lenses. I love how each not only enlivens the dream’s message, but each layer creates new texture for the others, creating multiple points of access and meaning that deeply inform one another. I hope this becomes a useful tool for you in exploring the beautiful multiplicity of your own dream life.

Sweet dreams,

Kaeti

Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

Show Off That Wild Heart Of Yours

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Happy Tuesday y’all – this is a full week for me, rich with travel and rainstorms and teaching  and a sparkly full moon and rolling birthday celebrations, so today I bring you a wild and juicy little tarot meditation:

Apprentice of Bottles from The Collective Tarot
Apprentice of Bottles from The Collective Tarot

What if you wake up tomorrow and decide it’s time to dress up and show off your courageous heart?

Where would you most like to bring some charming extravagance to your world?​

And how big a splash can you make ​bringing it?

Your imagination defies gravity.​

Use it well!

xo

Kaeti

Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

Healing + The Holidays

Gratitude

The holidays can evoke so many things for so many of us. They can be dreaded, nurturing, devastating or just plain old complicated. For some of us these couple of months can seem like a time to reconnect, rest and get back in touch with our families and friends while many of us are doing our best to stay grounded until the storm passes.

I felt immensely grateful to spend this recent Thanksgiving in a way that felt truly honoring of where I’m at and what I believe in my heart to be consistent with the spirit of the season.

I had the good fortune of connecting with a wonderful yoga community (Deep Dog Yoga, Yorba Linda) this past year and was asked to lead a gratitude practice at the studio on Thanksgiving morning. Skye was all set to accompany with acoustic guitar, voice and ukulele and at the last moment we re-connected with Jamie Jones of Mahoroba USA who brought their healing drum knowledge to our practice! The room was filled with old students, new students, friends and families. Yogis of all different experience levels– including those, I’m sure, that didn’t identify as yogis at all. We took deep breaths together and contemplated “Gratitude” or Kritajna in Sanskrit which translates to “Cultivated Consciousness.” Poses were modified, options were taken as desired and, maybe most importantly, physical practice was de-prioritized beneath need and self-care.

We gave lots of hugs and headed off to our different spaces. I chose to cook and gather with chosen family around compassionate vegan fare. We ate and rested.

It was the first time the holiday space had been completely consistent with where my heart (which in all honesty was feeling a little bit worn down) wanted to be. I offered what I could. I prepped and rested. I didn’t put myself in spaces where I needed to educate others or defend myself. I kept my space free of anyone and anything that might inhibit safety or cue my already hyper consciousness into the reality of trauma and violence in the world. This included not compromising (or apologizing for) my personal practice of ahimsa (non-harm) in order to gather which is often a conflicted place for me. Any other expectations that popped up unrequited I breathed thankfulness for the present moment into and washed them away so I could see clearly all that I had in front of me. I cultivated consciousness around the power of honoring and acknowledging my own agency in creating a healing journey that was holding for myself.

Anyone who experiences “otherness” on any level knows that we’re often told that our experiences aren’t “real.” We are expected to engage in interactions and traditions that have different meanings for us than the world around us. I invite you to tap into the healing nature of connectedness this holiday season. Have gratitude for this.

Cultivate consciousness that brings you closer to your individual path of healing.

In Cultivated Consciousness,

Traci

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Traci is a queer vegan femme-inist yoga teacher and therapist striving to circle the metaphorical wagons of diverse queer community into digital and physical healing gatherings. She’s utilizing a lot of mashed potato and doggy snuggle medicine this holiday season.