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.

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“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

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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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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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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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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: Growth in The Tower

PlayshopBannerWhen I found tarot, in a functional sense, I met it with wide eyed optimism. I’ve heard some folks new to tarot express some fearfulness around accessing this source of wisdom and healing, and I never really experienced much of that. Looking back I wonder why I didn’t. {Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Iq974y}{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Iq974y}

I was going through a period of immense change- to many around me I imagine it might have looked a bit like disaster rather than Disaster.

For someone who didn’t have much experience with the positive aspects of faith I realize the blindness and readiness with which I moved into a tarot practice was actually quite uncharacteristic of me. Perhaps it was the time, a particularly good fit, or just the relief of having accurate queer reflection from The Collective Tarot (my first deck and the one I still use almost exclusively) staring back at me.

Whatever the reason both my universe and my tarot pulls requested (kindly and lovingly) that I lean into Disaster or, more traditionally, The Tower. {Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JoQkVK}

The Tower is the 16th card in the Major Arcana. It is a card about inevitable change and the way we experience it. This might be actual change around us or a shattering of our perceptions– ways we’ve come to know, understand, and explain our world. The literal representation of a tower that shows up in decks is described by Jan Woudhuysen in Tarot Therapy: A New Approach to Self-Exploration:

All of us feel the need for protection from the cold inhospitality of the world. We build defences of some sort or another. We build a tower, strong enough to withstand rain and storms from the enemy with his arrows and gunpowder. We gain security, but only for a price. That price is our ability to move, to grow, to develop. p.81

Later, in the same passage about The Tower, Woudhuysen questions whether, after forced by “disaster” to rebuild our towers if we’ll use the same broken stones? It immediately made me think of the Audre Lorde quote: “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” I often think of The Tower as a space for new growth but also a call to check in on the soundness of the structures I’m building and/or confined within. Sometimes utter demolition is needed and sometimes it’s a wake-up call to realize I live in earthquake country– roller bearings, got it. 

There are so many levels of what we might be called (or demanded) to deconstruct and reconstruct, and it’s going to take all of our attention to do so well. If we’re busy struggling, trying to keep our tower from falling, are we going to be able dream and manifest a more accurate version of our safest spaces? It’s going to take radical vision and innovation to live in and design institutions that hold and heal the queerest most divine versions of our authentic selves.

So, I offer you The Collective Tarot’s challenge to lean into Disaster:

“You are free. A flash of enlightenment. A release of energy. Lightning of revelation, inner truth… If the mind becomes closed, so that we cannot see the world outside, then it becomes a prison of pride and illusion…. When you turn the compost, it is uncomfortable, but growth and newness awaits.”

In honor of Disaster,

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…”

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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 Tuesdays: Queer Healing Playshop

PlayshopBannerMorning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Welcome to the second installation of Tarot Tuesdays new PLAYSHOP Series! As soon as the idea of a “playshop” came into my awareness the philosophy of it has been treating me well. I’m a big believer that learning, healing, transfer of wisdom, etc isn’t a top down (or for that matter, somber) flow. However, this all feels different when I’m the one offering some insight/information. Subsequently submitting whatever little nugget of information that pops up to this passion project and community starts to feel daunting and insecurity inducing. The questions start. What am I trying to say? Does it stand up to investigation? Why does it matter? How is this all relevant?

In the very first conversation I had with my partner, casually in a bar, amongst safe folks and drinks, they commented on why I started and ended comments with, “I don’t know.” They queried, “Do you say that a lot about things you actually DO know a lot about?”

It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I pride myself on being a relatively confident human- someone who is conscious not to take up an inappropriate amount of space but someone who can also speak up for myself. Why then in this safe and casual setting, discussing a topic that I did indeed spend a lot of personal, professional, and academic energy exploring, did I feel the need to preface every statement with a disclaimer that my thoughts were irrelevant?

After that pleasantly fateful night, I’ve been lucky enough to have my partner’s loving and compassionate reflection call me on this pattern in my speech a number of times. As a talk therapist (and general INFJ listening ear), I’m also lucky to be entrusted with the stories of others often. I was struck with how common it was to hear this disclaimer in the narratives of other queer individuals around me as well. Once I tuned into it, I heard it everywhere, it might as well have been a community motto.

“{Insert an individual’s experience here}, but I don’t know.” 

“I don’t know, but {Insert an individuals opinion here}”

“I don’t know, but {Insert an actual reference to an article/event/etc}.” 

I have all sorts of explanations for why this is the case, but it doesn’t change the current pattern or lessen the toll this passing negative affirmation may be playing on our spirits. It’s also a desirably conscious and mindful quality to tread lightly with self-centric viewpoints. It’s a courtesy we’re not afforded nearly enough by the majority, but what place does this disclaimer have in a conversation about mindful self healing exploration and practice? If healing is personal and individual doesn’t it have to be as queer as we are? For it to work don’t we have to believe in the accuracy of our individual queer lens as we utilize it?

This is why I like the idea of a personal tarot playshop practice so much! First off, it’s a practice, an action, something that can be done and redone, a little knowledge and skill gained every time. It doesn’t have the pressure of a performance or require the dedication of a study– unless we want it to. We can come back to it when we need it. We can’t fail at it. We can’t be wrong. Secondly, if we enter into it with the spirit of play we can enjoy it with youthful wonder. It can develop with us and validate us- unlike some of our childhoods.

10462676_10102446908352874_6831252115277572020_nWhether you’re new to tarot or a studied practitioner I encourage you to try a playshop practice! Trust what you’re pulling, how you’re pulling, and what associations are coming up for you! Is there a way that helps you get into a moment of childlike curiosity? When my partner and I pull together we often plop our butts down on the cement, take some time to play music or talk about our intention for a pull first, and then take turns reading and discussing cards. We leave sidewalk chalk out, let our selves absentmindedly surround our cards with swirling doodles, and literally imbue our pull into our physical space. If we’re curious about a card we pull another. If a card gets stuck together, falls out of a shuffle, or if we have to chase one down that starts to blow away in the wind, we put it aside and ask why it’s trying to get our attention.

Tarot can be serious and insight inducing but it can also be comically humbling. Nearly every time we pull someone gets a card that instigates a sheepish grin and a loving protest of, “Shut up, Tarot, you don’t know me!” Having a spirit of playfulness allows us to not feel so defensive and take in the sometimes somber wisdom that stares back at us. We trust the conscious play time we put aside for our tarot pulls.

So with that, happy Tuesday everyone! We hope you put aside some play time this week with your tarot decks!

Playfully yours,

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: Finding Guidance

Hello there lovelies, healers, healing seekers, unicorns, magick and mischief makers! PlayshopBanner

We hope your Tuesday has been as lovely as ours! We’re bringing back Tarot Tuesday in a bit of a different format. The ever talented and knowledgeable Kaeti is off following the wisdom of tarot down other adventurous trails at the moment so we’re going to make some space for our amateur explorations!

Inspired by, Little Red Tarot’s post on The Fool’s Journey, we were flattered to be included amongst other lovely queer conversations around tarot and healing! We thought, yes, that’s how we see it too!

Tarot is journey, conversation, reflection, interpretation, past stories, and fresh eyes to new versions of old wisdom! We decided that we would jump back into this conversation by exploring on our own and highlighting others who were reflecting back this journey of alternative wisdom seeking and healing!

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Bheqlu}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Bheqlu}

It might have taken us a few moments to really sink into this. It took a few moments to trust that a documentation of this exploration rather than what comes of longer term study would be just as honoring to this practice that we believe so much in!

As we pondered this, The Collective Tarot’s Seeker of Bottles, floated by us, “free of care and worries, the person in this card is completely present and in the moment. From this calm and quiet state, new ideas are allowed to burst forth. The message in the bottle radiates, suggesting that they are in touch with their intuition and feelings.”

And, so, we decided to lean back and trust, to be “an open channel to intuition,” to have a, “fresh attitude towards matters of the heart.”

Welcome, Tarot Tuesdays: Playshop Series, to COM|PASSionate REVOLT!

The Seeker of Bottles reassures us, “that it is okay to let your feelings show, be intimate and risk loving. Weak knees, heart squeeze. Are you ready?”

With pure crush love,

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…”

 

New Queer Tarot!

TarotTuesdayBanner

Happy Tarot Tuesday, friends! I’m on the road today, but I want to draw your attention to what promises to be an awesome column over at Little Red Tarot:

Queering the Tarot! by Cassandra Snow

I love how she digs into The Fool’s more traditional meanings, opens space for what else this card might offer queer-identified folks in a reading, and moves playfully into more generally queering it, offering alternatives for interpreting a message from The Fool that speaks to navigating oppressions, community activism, and more. If you’re looking for more in the world of queering tarot (are really, who among us isn’t looking for that?), check her out.

And then, DO YOURSELF A GIANT FAVOR and check out Slow Holler’s kickstarter for their tarot deck collaboratively illustrated and imagined by 29 artists and 3 writers who have Southern ties, identify as queer or both.

It looks astoundingly beautiful, and a lot of folks are whispering about it carrying the legacy of our beloved Collective Tarot. I ordered my copy – I think you’re gonna want one too.

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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.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. Photos in this post are attributed to Kaeti unless otherwise specified. 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.

Keep Reaching: Star Poetry

TarotTuesdayBanner

Today, The Star wanted to come out and play…

as a poem.

It feels like a good way to connect with this card, which always holds so much power and mystery for me.

DoubleStar

When you don’t know what else to do,

pour it all out.

Bound, trapped,

no way out but

overflowing.

The release of bondage

The contraction that births

The Star is

a safe word.

All of your containers cannot hold

your vision growing

the shining sky.

Do not try to hold it:

be held.

You are a body of water

learning the mysteries of river and sea.

I know you are tired of crying.

The Star is an asana.

The Star is a heart that keeps pumping.

The Star is kinky as fuck.

Breathe in:

inspire.

Blow palo santo smoke on your open palms

and keep reaching.

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TThe Particle Tarot's Star card by Dave McKean
The Particle Tarot’s Star card by Dave McKean

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.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. Photos in this post are attributed to Kaeti unless otherwise specified. 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.