Tarot Tuesday With a Shot of Testosterone

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Hello dear Tarot-ists!

We’re sorry Tarot Tuesday is a bit late tonight. As would have it, the cards will be read when they’re ready to be read.

Tonight we have a special treat as we’ve injected a little (well 18 months worth) of testosterone into this spread we call the playshop. Please, enjoy this guest post from one of our favorite masculine humanicorns.

Enjoy,

Traci

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18 months of testosterone injections arranged and inspired by the death card in a tarot deck.

testosterone

The 13th card of the major arcana is the death card. It is a card of transformation and rebirth. Of clearing space and new beginnings. A card holding both masculine and feminine, death asks us to make good use of what is now past, to carry those stories with us.
death
The 12 empty bottles and the one still in use is 18 months of hormone replacement for a trans man. Gathering up the bottles is a sort of meditation. It’s a breath while standing at a precipice, overlooking a future of permanent male passing. What will he do with the experience and understanding from the past?  What will he carry with him from his past life into the next?

I often hear stories of families in transition – Parents, in particular talk about grieving the loss of their son or daughter in order to be able to accept their “newly” gendered child.  Anything that allows a parent to sit with their child in presence and love, including this sentiment, is something one can find gratitude in, but this has always challenged me.  Who we once were will always inform who we are to become.  Every moment of every day will die and pass, and each of these moments are threads woven into the fabric of who we are to be.

The death card is a reminder that energy cannot be created or destroyed, that we take with us what seems to be lost. All is not lost.  We build our future from the structure of the past. Your structure has been built. The death card clears away what is not to serve you in your current venture.  See the space.  Weave your tapestry.

Willfully weaving…

Queer Tarot for When “Everything is Awful” (Thanks Eponis!)

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Happy Tuesday Tarot-ists!

How are all you magickal queer creatures of dissent and power? Have the struggle of being unicorns in a pony world been particularly challenging as of late (Click here if “Everything is Awful”)?

I hope not and, if it has, I hope that you’re turning to all of the healing resources you have in your fabulous glittered fanny pack survival kits! Including, but not limited to, your tarot decks! Here are are some thoughts on the power and disclaimers of using tarot as queer folks especially when we’re in particularly fragile states.

  • PROS:
    • Tarot is cheap! If you can scrounge up the funds for the perfect queer tarot deck keep it nearby for quick guidance. If you can’t, for the time being, there are lots of free generators to pull with online!
    • We have direct access to the wisdom of tarot! While you can pay for a reading from a fabulous fishnet fucking tarot reading femme, you can also do some reading online from your queer tarot community so you can read the cards for yourself. Still want a reading? Make sure to pick someone who is a good sparkly unicorn reflection of yourself (as well as a bit more experienced in tarot). Maybe it’s a friend or an internet friend waiting to happen! No cash? Maybe they want to resource swap/trade with one of your amazing talents?
    • Tarot draws our attention to the subconscious. Sometimes when we’re stuck in a rut or feel like we’re hitting a wall tarot can draw our attention to something outside of our conscious frame of reference. It literally “queers” our process.
  • CONS
    • A tarot deck’s images are of the collective and (classically) informed by the collective culture of the time and space they were created in. That may or may not include us as we manifest right in this rainbow reflected moment. This doesn’t mean these images aren’t helpful, but we may have to be open to a little bit more interpretation than someone who has more majority affirmed identities.
    • Tarot isn’t validated by our Western medical culture of pathology and recovery. When you go into see your psychiatrist they probably aren’t going to suggest that you take a moment to take three deep breaths (same count on inhalation/exhalation) into your belly, clear some space on your bed, and pull a tarot card before popping a Xanax or offer you a discount on your next session so you can pre-order the much anticipated Slow Holler deck. Probably… if your psychiatrist offers these services please let us know so that we turn our full devotion to becoming their voluntary public relations team.
    • Tarot is fueled by our energy and open to our interpretation. This means that when we’re in a darker space our reads might also reflect this. There are times when all the tarot has to offer is tough love, but generally there is a super cheery pep talk in there somewhere if you look for it. However, this might pose a problem if we have challenges in finding these pieces when we’re in places of depression and anxiety. While I’ve had readings that are pretty straight forward and heavy handed (“you don’t know me, Wild Unknown Tarot and Collective Tarot!”), more often than not there are several ways I could read a spread. I try to always hold that tarot is about opening up my frame of reference not showing me walls. Furthermore, that my pulls will never show me anything that isn’t already (energetically) sitting inside of me which means that I have agency over the process. So, my unicorn friends, if you’re having a particularly rough day, or have just pulled a (seemingly) rough spread, or un-coincidentally, both. Take a moment to re-assess.

Overall, we think that our tarot decks are a pretty great place to turn to when everything feels awful (btw have we mentioned that we LOVE this guide?). They’re also not particularly bad places to turn to when everything is going our way and we need guidance on which way to gently steer the soft pillows from heaven we seem to be floating on. It’s no surprise that tarot seems to resonate with our communities because it’s a queer, un-validated by the institutionalized culture, accessible, artistic, intuitive, and perfect practice… just like all of you!

In Queer Tarot Process,

Traci

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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…”

Focusing In

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Happy Tuesday everyone!

Did everyone celebrate Halloween in the way that felt best to them? Or, by chance, did you bop around like me trying to do, “ALL THE THINGS! ALL THE THINGS!” before finding yourself in a VERY tiny VERY queer asian party of two outside of a club surrounded by a group of large men discussing how their friend pretends to be gay to hit on women.

“It’s a risky game because you know how aggressively flirtatious gay men can be when you’re at a club, are a guy, are pretending to be gay, and are flirting with them. Wow. It’s like, hey, easy fella. So sometimes, you know, you end up having to kiss guys because, you don’t want to blow your cover too soon. You know, to get the ladies.” {I may be paraphrasing… somewhat} 

Aha, moment: What the hell? Oh, I’m an introvert. Also, I’m done with you line of club goers.

That’s not to say I didn’t have a fantastic Halloween. I sat on high school bleachers as a really talented group of folks performed, Carrie the Killer Musical Experience, in the perfectly decorated Los Angeles Theater. Walking around the theater was as much a part of the experience as the show itself. You could take prom pictures, sit in the infamous locker room, and powder your nose in front of mirrors that reminded you of your sinful vanity.

I got to meet street artist, Morley, at his solo show Skywriting where he was kind enough to gift us latecomers with the last of his mason jar pieces he made for the night.

OurLight

Aside from the show being amazing and his work being lovely little tea lights of encouragement sprinkled over the often defeating landscape of LA, he was also just a really nice guy. Pretty perfect.

Still, by the end of the weekend a little afternoon trip to the slow down of Ojai was just what I needed. As often happens when I’m out adventuring with, our Musical Temperance contributor Kristel, we found ourselves in a little shop reeking of patchouli and staring up with glazed eyes at a wall of tarot decks. I ended up taking Carol Bridges, Medicine Woman Tarot Deck home with me while Kristel snagged the Sun and Moon Tarot.

I’ve started to work a bit with my deck and found a suggested spread on tuning in that I want to share.

FocusInSpread After a long weekend, of so many things, I’ve been thinking about the importance of doing the find tuning work to focus in. Someone pulled the 8 of Pentacles out of the Wild Unknown for me this morning which seemed like affirmation. The 8 of Pentacles offers us the reminder to, “Hone your skills. You are close to finding mastery at your craft, so strive for it. Pay attention to the details.”

So, if by chance you were solid grounded humans this weekend that practiced lots of introspective self-care, huzzah!

If perhaps, you bounced around, did all the things, and are finding yourself a bit worn down from the weekend’s festivities… maybe you want to take some time to tune in?

Fine tuning and focusing,

Traci

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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…

Tarot Tuesday: The Hanged Man

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Well, hello there!

Some of you folks that follow our twitter may have already caught when this guy last came through town (and our pulls). However, on this cool morning with the sun peaking through the clouds, hanging out somewhere between the Summer and Fall seasons (of the year and my life) I couldn’t think of any better wisdom to leave here in the playshop.

Tarot of the Sweet Twilight
Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, Cristina Benintende

The Tarot of the Sweet Twilight comes with short poignant explanations of the cards. It’s size has encouraged me to travel with it and pull from it in the places in between my destinations. As I return to the deck’s introduction I see now that this occurrence is about so much more than convenience.

“Tarot decks, are in part, about balance. They are tools that help you find a connection between you and the Universe. They are doors that you can walk through into different worlds. The Sweet Twilight is certainly this… and more. Twilight is the place between places and time outside of time. The images speak to the sad knowledge that while twilight is between day and night, it is moving toward night. They also are filled with sweet naivety- whether you think that comes from the day before or the hope for the day to come is up to you!” 

The Hanged Man card in The Tarot of the Sweet Twilight is particularly beautiful. I can’t help but feel that while the Hanged Man holds an important lesson in any deck, the magic of twilight makes him significantly powerful in Cristina Benintende’s interpretation. As I sat at an airport gate traveling between two places and as I sit here at my desk trying to move back into a regular schedule his reminder is just what I need.

“The Hanged Man tries to possess beauty and truth. Only after he is himself transformed does he know that you cannot possess truth and beauty; you must become them.” 

Just in case you’re hanging out reading blogs today and you needed a little reminder I thought I would share.

In search of becoming,

Traci

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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…”

 

Tarot Tuesday: Andi Grace

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Good Morning COM|PASSionate Community, you beautiful, rambunctious, playful group of divine beings!

How has your week and your healing been going?

Today, we have such a special treat! A visitor has traipsed through the playshop by way of BC! Andi Grace, Poet, Facilitator, Author, Intuitive, and Social Justice Advocate, of Andi Grace Writes (And, formerly, of Moonlit Moth) offers the very special gift of a Tarot Reading to our COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community!

Thank you so much for the reading and guidance, Andi! ❤

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In preparation for this reading Traci and I worked together to determine what questions would make up the spread. After some back and forth we settled on these questions:

  1. What is our community’s greatest strength?
  2. What shadows do we need to be aware of?
  3. What guidance/awareness should we hold for the present future?

There are many different spreads you can use for a reading. Personally, though I know several standard threads, I prefer creating my own spread with personalized questions. I feel creating my own spread allows me to really get down to the heart of the matter and this gives me greater clarity in deciphering the meaning of the cards. The spread is a roadmap that your intuition gets to walk down, so the clearer the points of reference (the questions) are, the easier it is to find clarity in the process.

Before starting the reading I burn white sage I recently wildcrafted. I open a window and let the smoke blow over the cards and over me. I reflect on the questions, take a few deep breaths, ground.. and then I begin to shuffle the cards. As I shuffle I wait for a sense that the cards are ready to be pulled from, a subtle sense in my body that it’s time to stop shuffling. With this reading the feeling of being done comes quickly. I cut the deck into three piles and pull from the pile I feel most drawn to.

Here are the cards I pulled:

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

The first card I pull is the community’s greatest strength: Six of Swords.

Six of swords is a card about putting down your weapons. It’s a time of reprieve during a fierce battle. It is a sign of hope that rises during an often very draining struggle. Swords are cards about air, mental acuity, understanding with our minds, and internal struggle. These sometimes scary looking cards are often tied to anxiety, shame-based-wounds, internalized oppression and self doubt.

I feel that the cards are saying that Compassionate Revolt’s greatest strength is your ability to find a sense of peace, compassion, hope, reprieve and safety within a world that is constantly trying to destroy that which is sacred. If we understand the world to be an oppressive place and a place that we must navigate in order to exist in this life, then we understand our lives as necessarily being invested in finding skills that bolster resilience in the face of oppression. And through all the busyness, all the pain, all the wounds and wandering and loss and confusion, there is always much to do. Always a sense that we haven’t done enough. The 6 of swords is a reminder that we are whole as we are. That people love us. That there is peace in stillness. It tells us that we don’t need to feel guilty for wanting and needing to access that place of peace sometimes. We can use that place, cultivated in community and within ourselves, as a means of finding much needed spiritual nurturance. It seems that your community offers this kind of reprieve and permission to it’s members. This work is your greatest strength.

The second card I pulled is the shadows you need to be aware of: Five of Swords.

And here we see the pain and anguish that the six of swords offers reprieve from. The five of swords is card about self destruction. It’s about pain and conflict and feeling torn apart. The swords are strewn about after a battle and the worm is cut in pieces. Worms are capable of surviving after having their bodies cut apart, but in this process something is lost that can not be returned.

I feel this card is suggesting that there is a shadow of grief to address. This grief arises from circumstances that feel like insurmountable loss. It does not mean the loss is insurmountable, but it feels like it is. This is a big part of how trauma lives in our bodies – and it would seem, how it lives in your community.

This card is also about the battles we fight. The battles where it may be more self preserving to just walk away. And yet we know that just because walking away would be self preserving, does not mean it is always an option. You can’t always walk away from a cop yielding a gun. From a man harassing you on the street. From a border that you walked to because you have nowhere else to turn.

I believe that this card is asking you to address the deep grief. The grief that lies in the shadows because it feels impossible to talk about. Like no words exist. Like there is only mycelium and no mushroom. The grief that tears us apart and leaves our bodies so acclimatized to conflict and pain, that we invite more pain into our lives just to learn how to process it. Because we are used to it. Because we want to understand. Because sometimes we lose our vision that anything else can exist.

It’s time to talk about the pain that feels unspeakable. Because the truth is:  it’s there, whether you address it directly or not. Give it voice. Let the vulnerability of your admissions of fear and terror and loneliness breathe life into what it means to be alive and wounded in these times.

This is your work to be done in the shadows.

The third card I pulled is the guidance and awareness to hold for the future: 7 of pentacles.

Pentacles are earth. They are the ground: sturdy, home, work ethic, natural discipline and practice. The seven of pentacles is a card where we look at what we have built. Notice what we have accumulated. Evaluate what we have earned. We do this in order to decide: is it worth it? What am I gaining from this process? Have I built as much I expected I would?

Often we get caught in traps of evaluating our worth by the standards of capitalism: how much money am I making? Do I have security? We are taught to understand security to mean things like savings, insurance and home ownership. This is the rubric we are taught to understand success from within colonial capitalism, but these things do not represent deep true security. How clean is our water? How nourished are our spirits? Where does our food come from? Are we able to speak our truth and be grounded in the value of both our voice and our ability to listen? These things are just a small part of what true security looks like.

The 7 of pentacles appears when it is time to evaluate and it encourages us to understand our worth and the worth of our work to be situated within the world of the elements: spirit, water, earth, fire and air. Our souls, our feelings, our home, our passions and our truth. The 7 of pentacles encourages you to focus on deep security and measure the value of your work with these ideas in mind.

These should be the guiding principles you work from moving forward.

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Thank you so much for your tarot guidance, Andi! We’re so grateful for the compassionate revolutionary healing energy you’ve shared with our community!

If you’re a tarot reader, blogger, or enthusiast and would like to share space with us here at COM|PASSionate REVOLT drop us a line! We would love to have you around the playshop!

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Andi’s writing and online tarot card offerings can be found on their website: www.andigracewrites.com.

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


Andi is a gender-fucking-fishnet-femme currently growing food, slipping on ice and falling in love on the un-ceded territory of the Sinixt people (otherwise known as the west Kootenays of BC). They are a visitor on this land where they are making a home in a queer and trans landsteading project called the homostead. They are a settler whose family lineage descends mostly from Northern Scots (on their father’s side) and German Mennonites (on their mother’s side). They are a poet, facilitator, tarot card reader, youth worker, sex educator, community organizer,  photographer, blogger, gardener, herbalist, amateur astrologer, kitchen-witch and a formerly extroverted, former yoga teacher.

 

Tarot Tuesday: Creating Space

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Morning, loves!

Today on the playshop I want to talk about creating intentional space for your tarot adventures! Here are some of our favorite ways to clear your physical and energetic space as well as your deck:

  • Before you pull take a moment to settle in. This might not always be possible. We know there have been times when we need a card immediately and juggle a bit to find space at a tiny crowded coffee shop table! Generally though, we try to find somewhere that is both energetically and physically spacious. Pulling on your bed? Take a second to flatten out the top sheet. Pulling out doors? Dust away debris or put down a towel. Pulling in front of your computer around work (definitely, not something we do way more often than we’d like to admit)? Push aside your keyboard, stack your papers, clear your post-its.
  • If you believe in a little energetic clearing take some time to burn sage or palo santo, light an oil burner, or perhaps sit with your deck wrapped up, close your eyes, and take a couple deep inhales and open mouthed exhales. Open yourself up to what you might need.
  • Pulling with others? Help clear the space together. Sit in a moment of silence while you both contemplate what it is you want to pull around and how you want to pull.
  • Know your spreads before you shuffle. These can be spreads you make on your own. However, placement is important to the meaning of your pull so make sure that you are contemplating each spot as you shuffle.
  • Some folks feel like there is a certain way or amount of times you have to shuffle. I’m sure my high school AP Stats teacher would have a few things to say about this. I say shuffle for as long as you need to contemplate your question|s  and trust your gut intuition. I also like to cut for every person pulling or cut for every card position. It’s up to you but be a conscious participant in trusting the relationship between your subconscious, your energy, and your deck.

These are just a few of our favorite ways to get ourselves ready to pull! You can read more about building intentional space here. How about you? What are your favorite ways to get ready to pull tarot?

Trusting the shuffle,

Traci

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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…”

Tarot Tuesday: Support

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Morning Revolutionaries!

We had such an amazing weekend at Catalyst Con West having “exceptional conversations about sexuality.” We learned some new things, engaged in conversations about things we’d been contemplating ourselves, explored who we are trying to reach from this little corner of the universe and just what the best way is to reach each other!

We’ve been really lucky to have been able to have done quite a bit of “conferencing” this summer. Sure, our hearts were a little broken that we didn’t make it out to Amorous Revolt last month, but between Gender Spectrum, Gender Odyssey, and Catalyst Con we really can’t complain. Going to such a smattering of conferences, these little intentional bubbles of community conversation, got us thinking about how important format/structure are in our offerings.

We may want to share information but if we don’t know how to get it to those we’re trying to reach it doesn’t get anywhere. We may want to make space for conversation but if we can’t build cultures of safety and openness they aren’t going to happen. We may want to offer support to others around us but if we’re not mindful of how we do so we may not be helpful.

Support

This spread is to shed some light on how to offer intentional and appropriate support to others. It reminds you that you sit at the base of any support you offer, and, therefore, that energy towards your own self-care is a worthy act. Lastly, it checks in with the “heart of the matter” and any underlying reminders or intention informing our desire to support others that we might not be aware of on the surface.

Shuffle your deck as you contemplate the concept and function of support. When finished, cut your deck for as many people or groups you are drawing a card for including yourself (for example: if you want to draw for two others you will cut three times all together). Think about a person or group during each cut and then re-stack your deck. Set out your cards as shown in the diagram. Your last “heart of the matter” card can be the last card that you draw or you can flip over your deck and take the bottom card.

FullSizeRender

I played a bit with this spread and this is what I got. My heart warmed as I flipped The Star card as my heart of the matter. I absentmindedly ran my finger over the tattoo in the crease of my right elbow that holds the words: “The Star Awaits” underneath a nod to “Disaster” or “The Tower.”

In a time when I know I need to put consciousness to support the individual changes I’m experiencing as well as honoring my desperate desire to support those I love around me in ways that make sense to them– the star card reminds me to have “hope and peace of mind.” The Wild Unknown interpretation offers the reassurance:

“Even though you can’t find concrete answers to life’s many questions up there in the sky, you can’t help but feel comforted and renewed. Such is the energy of the star card. It is not about actions or situations, it’s simply about connecting to the parts of you that feel hopeful and serene.” 

When I sit in places of hopeful serenity it suddenly becomes clear where I can support others, whether they need something functional or just for me to be nearby energetically, it clears up what part of support I’m truly offering for them and what parts are about my own need to ease anxiety through my inclination for service.

Support is an animal of delicate constitution in need of very specific care taking. This spread is an offering to this important healing but complicated practice.

In support and service,

Traci

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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…”