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.

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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…”

 

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On Armor, Self-Creation, and Accessing Our Inner Worlds

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Part of the great power and mystery of dreaming is that, in dreams, you find yourself in relationship with the rest of you: who you are when you’re not performing your daytime, waking-world persona; who you wish you could be, or hope you’re not. In dreams we can come into contact with disowned and discarded elements and aspects of ourselves – as well as new, emergent parts of us that we’ve never met yet. Dreams also present us with the forgotten or repressed facts of our living connections to each other – and to the animals and plants we share the living world with, to our shared histories and futures, to dreaming Gaia Herself.

Dreamwork creates reflective time for us to be with these mysteries and unfold ourselves into new awareness about ourselves and our world.

Dreams ask us to take an attitude to them that can be very uncomfortable. Waking, we are always discerning the boundaries of our conscious identity: this is me, that’s not me, that’s has nothing to do with me. Dreams ask us to become more porous and curious in our thinking, and become concerned not with what something is or isn’t but with how we relate to it (and how it relates to us).

Dreamwork asks us to practice a faith in our deeper selves by honoring that whatever comes up to the surface – the dream itself, our reactions to it, our associations to it – has its reason, has something to do with us, even if we don’t know how to recognize it yet.

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Art by Geninne: blogdelanine.blogspot.com

This can be a powerful release and relief, for the conscious mind to accept that it’s not in control of everything that goes on inside us, nor does it have to be.

This can also be a balancing practice for many of us whose minds have had very good reason to become protective and stay in control.

Every day, we are bombarded by images, values, policies, and judgments that don’t represent us and that do us harm. In the dominant racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist and capitalist culture, strength and survival can mean adopting an attitude of crafting and defining and valuing our identities on our own terms. That attitude of revolutionary self-creation serves us well in the waking world – but, when it becomes a habitual armor, it can cut us off from the deeper dreaming wellspring of ourselves, our connections to one another, our healing, and our inner guidance.

Our roots go so much deeper down...
Our roots go so much deeper down…

This is not even to really get into how the same dominant culture in general cuts us off from our inner selves, and teaches us not to ask questions, not to draw connections, not to identify empathically with an other. These thought patterns belong to this culture and its legacies of violence, and it’s impossible not to internalize them to some degree. For those (most!) of us who inhabit marginalized identities and have to work hard to claim our value, this can be a double-whammy of a cut-off.

If you find yourself saying things about your dreams like, “That was meaningless,” “That was a stupid dream,” “I wish I could just forget that dream,” “That has nothing to do with me,” or “Phew! Woke up and escaped, now I never have to think about that again!” – then the armor of your waking mind is protecting you from something in your own inner world that wants your attention.

Here’s a small way to begin practicing a balancing attitude in your dreamwork:

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  1. Make a quiet space for yourself – half an hour on the couch, some quiet tea time curled up on your bed, a blanket in the park, a walk on the beach, whatever you got to work with.
  1. Actively imagine yourself taking off a piece of armor and setting in on the ground beside you. A helmet or a chest-plate would do nicely. Tell yourself something like I am taking off my armor in order to be with myself, or In this quiet space, I am free to relax and get curious, or even just I am safe here or I come in peace. Take a breath and feel your body adjust to this attitude.
  1. Get your dream journal and either write down a fresh dream or turn to one you wrote down fairly recently. Pick one element of it that challenges, confuses, or bewilders you and name it, write it down.
  1. Give yourself permission to free associate – this means that, without having to understand or interpret anything, you get to brainstorm any and all images, feelings, or memories that come up as you contemplate your chosen dream element. Associations can be very personal but they don’t have to be – they can be old stories, characters from tv shows, current events in other parts of the world, etc. Let it all just blurt into your journal – notice if you feel hesitation or embarrassment, but remember that you are safe here, no one will see but you, and your only job is to take note of what comes up.
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Dream journalling gets wild… Art by Christian Schloe.
  1. Reflect on what you’ve journalled – allow yourself to ask questions without needing to answer them right away. The point here is to practice being curious and holding the possibility that you are connected to the images and feelings that came to you.
  1. Pick a few elements of your associations to remember and carry with you during your day – not as a problem to solve, but as something to carry lightly in your mind. As you go about your day, notice when events or feelings arise that remind you of your dream elements. Meaning or insight may or may not come to you in this process, and that’s fine – the point is to practice staying in connection to the inner world, and noticing when something in the waking world resonates with your inner dreaming world.
  1. Thank yourself for making time to connect with your own dream life!

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Want to learn more? Check out my Dreamwork for Survivors course, coming this Spring with Califia Collective!

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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.