Tarot Tuesday: Do you believe?

PlayshopBannerMorning COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES and Tarot-ists!

Read: “Tarot-ists” out loud. I kind of love it. It came up serendipitously awhile back referring to the ever lovely, Kaeti Gugiu. I was referring to her wisdom or singing her praises (as often happens) and laughed to myself at the sound of what I had written.

I erased it.

Then I re-wrote it.

This process of experiencing whatever has presented itself to us, feeling shame/doubt/insecurity about it, and then re-learning to trust ( and see) it’s purpose can be a challenge. It can be especially challenging for those of us that are often told our internal experiences are wrong– those of us that hold queerness in our ascribed identities, are attributed queerness by normative privileging, and feel the power and draw towards radical alternative healing.

Tarot and other intuitive forms of wisdom and healing are often distrusted in our worlds and, subsequently, distrusted in ourselves. We’re seen as healthy functional adults if we’re compliant with our prescription for blood pressure medication (even with it’s list of negative side effects) as we rush off to work. On the other hand an eye brow is raised skeptically at us if we pause in times of stress to pull some tarot, check in with the cycle of the moon, or read our astrological report (which might tell us to take a breath, slow down, or focus on some self-care). The clear and simple act of checking in (and listening) to our minds, bodies, and spirits can be interpreted as (and in some ways are) radical and political- direct action efforts to deconstruct the power structures of institutional violence and oppression as they stand.

 

{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}
{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}

Andi Grace takes this challenge of remaining in trust on in her piece “Coming out of the ‘Woo Closet’: facing shame, stigma, and historical trauma.”  Connecting it at the point of multiple intersections:

I see the woo closet as being composed of several parts: historical trauma that has roots in the witch burnings, the stigmatization of neuro-atypical mental states, and also the legacy and present day impacts of colonization – specifically as it relates to spirituality and conceptions of knowledge and knowing.

She spins a vision of a future where we return to this trust:

And then of course I wonder, what if we didn’t wait? What if we unabashedly came out as the magical, powerful creatures we know ourselves to be in our dreams and our hearts? What if we said to ourselves today and every day, “I am a powerful witch” and actually took responsibility for what that knowledge means?

That would be the beginning of some powerful unspelling.

So consider it with me, what can you do to unspell capitalism, racism, patriarchy, cis-sexism, homophobia, ableism and colonization?

Cause I see you. And I believe you are powerful beyond measure..

And I believe that are you more than capable of making beautiful magic.

So amateur tarot-ists, lurking about the playshop! Speak up! Speak out! Organize protests against narratives that don’t honor your heart and spirit. Engage in solitary sit ins when self care calls for hibernation. Trust your cards and your wisdom and your magick! Come out of the “woo closet” with us!

In love + light + “woo woo” sound bites,

Traci

———-

Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

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COM|PASSionate Events

Morning, loves! How goes it?

We’ve been busy traipsing back and forth to the Bay to hang with some of the coolest middle schoolers around. Seriously…

IMG_0134

Finally at a place where most of have to own the title of “adult,” it’s good practice to surrender to how epically un-cool you are in the midst of 11-13 year old gender rebels. I plan to bow my tarnished unicorn horn and step back gracefully. It’s good self-care to let some of the whippersnappers “eat genders for breakfast!”

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399702165046/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399702165046/}

So we’re cuddling up, slowing down, catching some outdoor time, and generally honoring our self-care.

What is your favorite form of self-care? What self-care is always accessible to you? Have any tips for the rest of us?

{Image Credit:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399703427978/}
{Image Credit:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399703427978/}

EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

  • You’ve done plenty of volunteering and advocacy this year! How about you do something for your queer kinky unicorn heart and run away to Amorous Revolt? Amorous Revolt is queer kinky camping, “To celebrate our bold love, our brilliant spirits, our playful (and sometimes serious) sex, our creative relationships, our radical interdependence, our perfect bodies, and our unstoppable power and agency.”
  • Hey younger COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES looking for something fun to do this summer?? How about Brave Trails— a leadership summer camp for LGBTQ Youth & Allies?! Folks that are our age or older– we know what you’re thinking– where was this camp when we were in high school?? Well, you can still go help out by being a camp counselor or leading a workshop! Go check them out!
  • All of these internet shenanigans too much? Need to digitally detox? How about checking out Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults! CA camp is over but you can still take a road trip to hit the North Carolina camp in August!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Oi! A little self-promotion or rather invitation to come heal with us! COM|PASSionate REVOLT will soon have physical office space at Deep Dog Yoga, Yorba Linda! However, in the meantime, you can already book appointments for Physical Therapy Wellness Services through COM|PASSionate REVOLT PT or LGBT, Queer, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, Non-Monogamous, and Kink Affirming and Knowledgeable Mind/Body Services through COM|PASSionate REVOLT Healing.

We’re also dreaming up a COM|PASSionate Men’s Group and other COM|PASSionate Out-tings! This is a collaboration so make sure to let us know if you have any ideas! In the mean time here’s some self-care spots on the interwebs– have more? Let us know!

Radical Self-Care Tumblr

{Image Credit: http://radicalselfcare.tumblr.com/}
{Image Credit: http://radicalselfcare.tumblr.com/}

Boxers + Binders Queer Self-Care List

{Image Credit: http://boxersandbinders.com/2014/11/rest-in-power-leslie-feinberg.html}
{Image Credit: http://boxersandbinders.com/2014/11/rest-in-power-leslie-feinberg.html}

Elixher Article: Black Queer + Trans Women Discuss Self-Care

{Image Credit: http://elixher.com/eleven-black-queer-and-trans-women-discuss-self-care/}
{Image Credit: http://elixher.com/eleven-black-queer-and-trans-women-discuss-self-care/}

Let’s Queer Things Up Article: Self-Care for People With Anxiety

{Image Credit:http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/02/13/a-guide-to-self-care-for-people-with-anxiety/}
{Image Credit:http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/02/13/a-guide-to-self-care-for-people-with-anxiety/}

The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life

{Image Credit: http://queerfatfemme.com/2015/05/20/capacity/}
{Image Credit: http://queerfatfemme.com/2015/05/20/capacity/}

 

Take care of yourselves,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

———-

*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Isn’t It Queer: Deconstruction to Construction

Banner{Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}

{Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}

Today I’m wet. With optimism, you perv, calm down. This time it’s because of a big-gooey-re-constructionist-wet-dream. I have decided to re-write all of the scripts in my life, and by scripts I mean ideas or constructs of what a person’s role in your life should be, or a way in which “one should handle” a life event. I am doing this with the intention of custom building my community. Why shouldn’t I build my own ideals for who I should surround myself with, what I should spend my time doing, and what my life will look like? Who else here is done with the painfully tepid bullshit of radio-love-song-advice? Yeah, I thought so. In communities of deconstructionist activism- where we dismantle definitions in order to live vibrantly in gender and race non-conformity, it’s important to remember that after deconstruction comes construction, lest we live in the sparkly gay ashes of our accomplishment. We have to fill in the gaps left by our own deconstruction. To build our lives in a way that supports us–whether we are people of color, trans/non-binary, LGBTQ, or non-monogamous–defining love, connection, support, acceptance and relationships for ourselves is the key to building healthy communities.

{Image Credit: {Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}
{Image Credit: {Image Credit: http://getfleck.com/s/Hfa1FCgAIgAKnknT}

I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who told me (privilege acknowledged) that the love songs on the radio were bullshit. There is no man at the end of the tunnel who will complete you, and dressing in a schoolgirl skirt and doing a choreographed dance does not make you more loveable (thank you Brittney for teaching us all such valuable lessons in dating). My mother and my abundance of sarcasm aside, her lesson incited a constant search for meaning and substance in relationships. It also provoked me asking inflammatory questions of my monogamous partners on a consistent basis. Why do we insist on exclusively dating each other and what purpose does that serve? What are you are providing me in this relationship and what are you getting from this? Why do some lovers insist friends are more important than partners (yes friends, I’m referring to the sacred laws of “bro’s before ho’s” and other such misogynist gems) and others claim partners always take priority over friends? The more I asked these questions, the more I began to deconstruct the idea that love (intimate) relationships needed to be the only source of love, support, and inspiration in a person’s life. Once demolished, I was stuck in love limbo….so what should love look like?

{Image Credit: http://mom-101.blogspot.com/2007/04/barbie-confessions.html }
{Image Credit: http://mom-101.blogspot.com/2007/04/barbie-confessions.html }

 

Too often, our politics of deconstruction leave us in the existential funk of “what now?”. After institutions are questioned and constructs are debunked, it is not always clear what steps to take in order to build healthy community for ourselves. I always encourage the people in my life to set limits about what they don’t want (i.e. flakey lovers or shit talking friends) but more importantly, to ALWAYS state what they are looking for. Essentially, what my particularly preachy revelation has brought me to, is the idea that we need to put into the universe (or our okcupid profile, or conversations with parents, or our search for friends) what it is we are actually looking for.

 

I am so unbelievably lucky I can hardly contain my wetness (emotionally). In re-writing my scripts, I opened myself to a new definition of friendship and I fell in love with my best friends. We are non-sexual but 100% romantic. They are the people who support me by listening (which is huge for me, given my ongoing emotional battle with feeling invisible), I trust them to be true to their word, to follow through.  They are the people who inspire me, hold me accountable, house me when I am in a hard place, and love me for the person I am (in all my beautiful chaos).

 

These attributes and forms of support are generally what people look for in lovers, and by all means, look for that in lovers! But when it really comes down to it, when you are only open to the script of your lover being your sole predominant support system, you shut down the possibility for a gorgeous romantic endeavor with your friends. And Goddamn it! You can be in love with your friends when you let them be your partners in life! That saccharine, buy them flowers, talk to them on the phone like you didn’t see them yesterday, text them loving sweet nothings when you are away on a trip, crystallized love that brings you such immense, overwhelming joy; that can come from a non-sexual partner.

{Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_giles/9206946009/in/photostream/}
{Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_giles/9206946009/in/photostream/}

Redefine friend! Redefine lover! Better yet, build your friendships and romances how you want them to look, give them titles to suit their roles, rather than relying on outdated titles embedded with limitation. Maybe I want my platonic life partner to be the person I live with, love and create life plans with and I want my lovers to be allies from all over. Maybe I want to participate in my lover’s domestic family but I want to travel the world on an annual basis and owning a home isn’t practical. Make your life and community look like your wildest dream, and your most satisfying one. We have the potential as a community to create homes and relationships bereft of outdated constructs of love and friendship, so that it can actually start meeting our needs. It all starts with asking, “what do I want?”, “what do I need?” and “how do I make it happen?”

{Image Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/418482990346057725/}
{Image Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/418482990346057725/}

 

I’m not saying that everyone should abandon monogamy, shave their heads and attend sex parties, although my inner teenage boy thinks it would be dope as hell. I’m instead suggesting that to become more happy, fulfilled individuals we need to start examining more closely the way we love and who we surround ourselves with. Each of us non-monogamous-defining snowflakes is different, our relationships and social networks can and should reflect that. But there I go again, should-ing all over the place. Tell me what you think, what would your custom life look like? In what ways have you reconstructed your life and how is it working for you?

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

 

———–

Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

 

 

Tarot Tuesday: 4 Walls

PlayshopBannerHappy Tuesday everyone! How is everyone? My week is just starting (and also never really ended last week).

I’m feeling a lot of feelings.

I had a lot of… what’s a more positive word for conflicted experiences?

I’m feeling exhausted, invigorated, spent, and fed from a solo trip up to the queer promised land this weekend. I did a little time in the East Bay talking gender, race, and power with 11-13 year olds, and then re-processed those talks with peers over Burmese and Ethiopian food amongst a lot of young bearded and dreadlocked white folk. I engaged in triggering and inspiring conversation with other “professionals” around a community that I’m simultaneously near, in, and serve. I caught some donation based (but very physically focused) yoga. I had a quiet girlfriend night where we laughed, and cried, and hugged over roasted broccoli, whiskey, online dating, and the way not being walked to our cars after a date can make the most liberated of us feel like shit.

P.S. Just in case you need it, ladies. Here’s a (warning: very obscene but perfect) love note from Elle King.

I pulled tarot when I got into town and should have been unsurprised to see the Four of Bones staring back at me.

unnamed

“There is a lot going on in this card. Here is the cyclical structure of the seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Here are the changes each of those seasons bring, and their constant return to the beginning of the cycle wherever we may perceive to be…. at the center.. the human heart. There it lies shielded from the elements, truth at the crossroads; the calm inside the storm.

The Four of Bones is about structure, cycles, boundaries and borders. With this card we have the power to protect ourselves and others. It represents the power of four walls. With these walls we can build a shelter or a fortress, a cozy bedroom or a prison cell. The challenge of this card is to know the power of limits and boundaries, and know how to use that power in positive ways.” 

The Collective Tarot

The mystical, strong and fluid, shifting walls of The Four of Bones stayed with me throughout the weekend, my drive home, and I suspect are still hovering nearby this morning.

I’ve been reflecting on what this trip marked for me- the cycle and the season of the year past. I thought about the space the solo nature of it serendipitously brought (as much as I intended and desired it to be a little escapist love getaway). I’ve been attempting to discern what feels like protective boundary setting and what feels like oppressive rigidity. I deconstructed the work that I saw being done in and around community and tried to find gratitude and “balance between the power of freedom and the power of structure.”

{Image Credit: https://www.tumblr.com/search/dogma%20gif}
{Image Credit: https://www.tumblr.com/search/dogma%20gif}

And, Lord Alanis knows, I’m trying my damn-dest to step up to the challenge of knowing “the power of limits and boundaries, and.. how to use that power in positive ways.” 

I stared back into the center of The Four of Bones and wondered if the heart was really “shielded from the elements?” And, if it didn’t feel that way, if this was a sign I needed to build better boundaries or “knock down some walls; loosen the hinges on {my} heart. Allow {myself} to move into the next phase in the cycle of {my} life?”

The Four of Bones (or more classically The Four of Pentacles) exemplifies the contradictory and process instigating way that tarot offers us reflection and guidance. It doesn’t give us the answer but rather challenges us to look towards places of growth through introspection. It warns us that anything to it’s extreme– to rigidity can be unhelpful– and also carries the truth of constant change. Any season will eventually cycle through to the next and (eventually) back to itself.

I’m meditating on how to keep myself in a cozy bedroom.

A shelter that protects me, comforts me, and offers me rest. I want to intentionally create sacred space and feel safe asking others into it as well as feel content and fed sitting in it alone. I want to be able to kindly and lovingly ask for my solitude as well as lean into the risk of requesting company.

It’s not quite finished but I’ve heard home improvements last for as long as you are fortunate enough to have a home.

Currently laying blue prints for my four walls,

Traci

———-

Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

COM|PASSionate Events

Happy Friday everyone! We’re up in Berkeley right now hanging with the wonderful folks and in the wonderful work that is The Gender Spectrum Conference.

{Image Credit: genderspectrum.org}
{Image Credit: genderspectrum.org}

We hope everyone down in Southern CA are also finding those little magical pockets of community where you get to be exactly who you want to be!

EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

  • Gender Spectrum is coming up in July! “Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.” They run an annual conference in Berkeley, CA for youth, families and professionals! Go check them out! Registration is now open! They are also looking for volunteers!
  • You’ve done plenty of volunteering and advocacy this year! How about you do something for your queer kinky unicorn heart and run away to Amorous Revolt? Amorous Revolt is queer kinky camping, “To celebrate our bold love, our brilliant spirits, our playful (and sometimes serious) sex, our creative relationships, our radical interdependence, our perfect bodies, and our unstoppable power and agency.”
  • Hey younger COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES looking for something fun to do this summer?? How about Brave Trails— a leadership summer camp for LGBTQ Youth & Allies?! Folks that are our age or older– we know what you’re thinking– where was this camp when we were in high school?? Well, you can still go help out by being a camp counselor or leading a workshop! Go check them out!
  • All of these internet shenanigans too much? Need to digitally detox? How about checking out Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults! CA camp is over but you can still take a road trip to hit the North Carolina camp in August!

RECOMMENDATIONS

OutFest LA 2015

OutFest LA 2015 kicked off last night! You can check out one screening, hit some of the surrounding events, or volunteer and get working on your OutFest Membership!

{Image Credit: outfest.org}
{Image Credit: outfest.org}

 

{Image Credit: outfest.org}
{Image Credit: outfest.org}

Joyable

{Image Credit: https://joyable.com/}
{Image Credit: https://joyable.com/}

Does going out seem like a lot of action this weekend? We understand- staying in and hibernating can sometimes be a nurturing option. However, if you’re concerned that challenges with social anxiety are holding you back we hope you reach out for help! Joyable offers a modern day alternative to psychological or psychiatric treatment. It might not be the right fit for you but you can try it for free for 7 days! Read an article about them here or check them out for yourself here.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

———-

*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Musical Temperance: Fast Car

BannerFast Car

I’ve been driving a black 1996 Honda Civic for the last 11 years. I’m obviously not bragging (because I don’t think anyone brags about owning a 19 year old Honda Civic), but it’s worth noting  that this car has traveled with me across the ocean and three states. Yes, my passenger side window stopped working at some point and the horn button on the steering wheel popped off from the wear and tear of heartbreak, love, and even grief, but it was my car.

The air conditioner stopped working about two weeks ago and I would often arrive at my destination drenched in my own sweat. I had already invested a big chunk of money to do other repairs, so I knew it was probably time to let it go. At first, this was a very exciting prospect. I imagined myself zipping around in a car with working AC and spent the better part of last week daydreaming about driving up the coast while listening to the perfect mix, and cutting the wind with my hand out the window.

IMG_0123

I ended up purchasing a car last Saturday and spent the last 45 minutes this morning cleaning out the Honda. There is now a cardboard box of my belongings stuffed into a corner of my living room, my memories stacked in a lopsided pile. Faded  receipts were mixed together with old love letters and an excessive amount of Chipotle napkins for someone who rarely eats there,  my glove compartment was stuffed with my adventures. Without the context of being in my car, these items look like trash to most people. Only my partner would recognize the tiny bumblebee pin from the first time we went to Comic Con, only my family would recognize the drawing my youngest sister mailed to me when we were penpals, and only my friends would recognize the bright orange dinosaur I mounted to my dashboard with velcro. In the end I tried my best to strip away the parts of myself long forgotten in my car, but I just couldn’t remove where the paint had chipped away on us both.

P1000918While sitting in the plastic wrapped waiting room at CarMax to sell the Honda this afternoon, it occurred to me how strange it was that my memories could be assigned a monetary amount. I asked the worker if he wanted to see my repair records, but he waved his hand at me to specify that was unnecessary. “The appraisers don’t need that stuff for older vehicles.” Although he was polite, he seemed generally unphased by all of this. Thinking it would impress me, he said that CarMax buys up to 200 cars a day and that mine would be auctioned off.

I was a little irritated he found it unnecessary to know my car’s complete history in order to assign its worth. I wanted to tell him about the Hawaii Firefighter sticker on my back window meant to honor my family of firefighters. I wanted to tell him about the countless Sunday mornings back in Hawaii where I’d drive my partner to work and then go to my grandma’s house for breakfast to watch Bonanza with her.  Instead, we waited together in silence as I sipped tap water from a styrofoam cup.

car2

So, how do we assign value to our memories? According to CarMax, mine were worth $300. While signing over the title, another worker asked if my car had a name so we could send it off. I shrugged, “No. Car?”  She asked why it didn’t have a name and I lied and told her I didn’t know.

I know I’m weird about names, but they can be powerful identifiers. They give context, depth, and  history to seemingly ordinary objects. The truth is that I figured the less meaning I assigned, the easier it would be to let it go at some point. I learned unexpectedly in the CarMax waiting room that I was wrong, as I sat there sniffling to myself I would never see my Car again (note: I think people assumed my Car had been repossessed based on the pitiful faces I was making, and also, I’m an ugly crier).

car1

This week’s playlist runs 29 minutes, which is approximately the length of my roundabout drive to CarMax. It’s normally a 15 minute drive, but that day we traveled together much like we did in my 20s. I coasted through the Burbank neighborhoods with one hand on the wheel, taking side streets and drawing imaginary square outlines of the city with no desire to rush.

———-

Kristel is a sometimes angsty writer from Hawaii who now lives in Los Angeles, CA. She claims she’s a Marketing Director at web design agency, but she spends most of her day in front of the computer while wearing pajamas.

Musical Temperance is her small attempt at creating the perfect soundtrack to help her survive an extended quarter-life crisis. Additional musings and playlists can be found at kristelyoneda.com.

Tarot Tuesdays: The Map and Compass to the Human Heart

PlayshopBannerThere are lots of beautiful spreads to assist in exploring through tarot. One of the simple ways I like to pull is to hold a general topic in mind that I need some guidance on while shuffling. I’ll then cut the deck with my non-dominant hand and flip the card. I’ll lay it down in front of me in the direction that it was flipped. If we’re doing a group pull, everyone shuffles and everybody draws. If someone feels like they need a little more insight, direction, or are confused about their card they can have a conversation with the deck as they pull sequential cards. After everyone finishes pulling we flip the remaining stack of the deck over and read this card as “The Heart of the Matter.”

We trust the deck- not just the cards that are plucked intentionally out of the stack, but also the cards that hover beneath and support our present pull. This always adds another layer of insight and depth to the initial guidance of the cards that showed up as the deck was cut.

IMG_0113My partner and I recently did an anniversary pull in a physical space that holds particular charge for the journey of our relationship. After we each pulled we flipped the deck to the find the “Heart of the Matter.” We were unsurprised to see The Hermit’s maniacally knowing grin in a time when we could use a slow down but don’t really have time to stop. “Her way is to simply sink deep while on the move. She reminds us to take, but not waste our time, and challenges us to develop the discernment to tell the difference.” Having done some traveling together (both with The Hermit and each other) it was nice to have her courageous truth seeking reflection in front of us, “she is both map and compass to the human heart… prepar(ing) us for brave entry into a new phase of existence.”

We were especially amused, not just by her visit, but by the cards that poked out from the stack on the way up to her. Near the bottom, from the uneven stack we saw the 0 of The Fool (a card my partner was drawing often early on in our relationship), lying close to the surface of the charged physical environment. The wise naivete from which we started our journey- as “hopeful” and “trusting” travelers. “The trip was unplanned, leaving lots of room for improvisation and spontaneity… the Fool trusts her heart first in all matters.” A little further up the familiar letters of the Lovers peaked out, again reminding us of the rewards that await if you choose to “follow your heart,” and inviting the “risk of opening your heart to these loved ones, despite any insecurity or anxiety.” Lastly, the Five of Bottles, closest to the surface. On the still, content, and healing anniversary day of our pull it was the Six of Bottles, that actually showed up directly when we cut the deck, moving us from “short-term crisis mode, to a long-term struggle and endeavor for positive change… a time of rebirth, renewal, restructuring and recommitment.” However, the Five of Bottles remained close by, a reminder of the knowledge and wisdom gained from the challenging and more disheartened times we had overcome together.

Intentional spreads offer different ways to organize and understand the cards we pull beyond their individual meanings, but the magic of tarot is that it’s all already there… and what needs to draw our attention will if we’re open to seeing it! While our pull was in the moment, it was about our relationship journey. The discarded stack held many of our powerful milestones even as the cards that were pulled offered guidance in the moment.

Learning new spreads can be great fun but tarot is all about looking at things in a new way! We get stuck when we can’t step back and get a little perspective– find a new viewpoint! So play with spreads that resonate with you! If you encounter a card or a pull that you’d like a little more insight on try flipping your deck and checking out the “Heart of the Matter.” Let The Hermit illuminate truth for you with the light from her lantern… “she encourages us to create within our own selves a container that can literally hold a new vision.”

{Image Credit: From a fellow truth seeking traveler Carrot Quinn http://carrotquinn.com/about/}
{Image Credit: From a fellow truth seeking traveler Carrot Quinn http://carrotquinn.com/about/}

Your fellow travelers,

Traci + The Hermit

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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