Tarot Tuesday: Accountability + Boundaries

playshopbannerHappy Tuesday everyone!

I hope everyone had a lovely start to their August. The past month and a half has been a whirlwind of activity, re-structuring, and schedule changes for me. I finally came into a (partially body induced/mandated) slow down this weekend. It was unfamiliar and really lovely. I got to pull quite a bit of tarot.

Two things continued to come up: Accountability and Boundaries.

I got to thinking about the intersection of these two themes as I started to write Tarot Tuesday this morning. I thought about the ways that we are accountable for the time we put (or don’t put) to our healing, the type of healing we utilize, the way that we have to set boundaries for our self care versus the way we are accountable for our interactions with others, and the way that the guidance of tarot resides in between these two places.

Tarot can offer us guidance and direction for our awareness but, ultimately, it is our responsibility to integrate that information however we choose. Tarot might invite us to set some healthy boundaries, but only we will be able to truly discern what those boundaries will need to look like. With this in mind I decided to create a spread to help offer guidance on the common struggle of this intersection.

AccountBoundSpreadThis spread will be helpful if you feel like you need to set some boundaries in your life. Beyond some awareness around helpful boundaries it will support your consciousness around your place and accountability in the manifesting of these healthy structures. Card 1 and Card 2 signify the intersection while Card 3 and Card 4 support the question at hand in the stable structure of a triangle to offer specific guidance.

Here is the spread I pulled for myself:

AccountBoundTest

Card 1: Major Arcana 7, The Chariot or The Conductor (Inverted)

The Collective Tarot describes The Conductor… “The Conductor is victory, steadfastness, control, movement, strength, a plan, a direction, and riding the wave. This warrior is fierce , yet confident and relaxed.” Prior to the last re-paint of my room this reminder graced my wall and during a recent tromp through the House of Intuition in LA I flipped through the pages of The Secret Language of Birthdays and was unsurprised to see The Chariot staring back at me. In best forms, this individual is balanced, powerful, and confident in their abilities. Their power is something that is already familiar in my tarot reads and my life. The way that they showed up inverted in this spread, perhaps less than confident, less than trusting of these gifts, is also something familiar. What do I need to hold myself accountable for in the way that I set boundaries in my relationships is a conflict that is often hovering near the surface of my interactions. At the center of this intersection, perhaps The Conductor is reminding me that content is there if only I can find contentment in it?

Card 2: Major Arcana 9, The Hermit

The Hermit crosses my intersection as the central challenge. Why would The Hermit, “with the demented smile and candor of a master hold the message of challenge for me? She is both “map and compass to the human heart,” she trusts her intuition, and distinguishes loneliness from being comfortable being alone. I think that perhaps her lantern of illumination is drawing my attention to the ways that my people pleasing and friendliness can come off as extroverted gregariousness taking a heavy toll on my introverted spirit.

Card 3: Major Arcana 20, Judgment or Liberation (Inverted)

A card of transformation sits at the cornerstone of my accountability support in this spread. The center point of this transformation is taking off the mask, releasing expectation, and sinking into the truest self. It is a card that reminds us of the metaphorical truth that “the cards have been dealt,” and only we are accountable for how we decide to play them. While daunting, once this is accepted, we can find “A kind of letting go that is so vast and profound and honest that it reduces you down to your most basic raw child-like elemental self… A letting go that begins to dissolve the boundaries of our social and material constructs, so that we are no longer so separate and disconnected, but instead are more integrated and whole. Inverted, I wonder if it signifies the heartbreak that can only come from holding on too tightly to past versions of the self and how it keeps us from being accountable to our present/future integration.

Card 4 Major Arcana 15, The Devil or Oppression (Inverted)

The Devil or Oppression reminds us of difficult times where we feel drained by the way that we are confined and sometimes actively pushed down. It also requests that we stay wary that we are not oppressing others. My awareness of boundaries can often be draining, especially when I see them being impeded upon. With accountability close at hand, perhaps the Inverted Devil offers me a gentle reminder to shift my focus from others impeding on my boundaries to how I hold my own.

Overall, I really enjoyed building this spread with a theme in mind and feel like this is one I may come back to for insight into this intersection as well as the holding triangular structure supporting a central issue and challenge. While you can pull tarot in any way that feels right to you, you may also want to play with the extra information that comes with spreads or even create your own.

Happy Tuesday!

In accountability,

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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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

 

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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

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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: 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…”

———-

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.

 

MHM 15: Greetings from Austin!

Hey all! Guess where we are?? We’re enjoying our last morning in Austin, TX!

MHMBannerWe’re writing this a bit ahead of time to get you the Mash-Up on Monday, but we’re pretty sure the conference went awesome and we met some wonderful people! We’ll tell you a bit more about that next week.

For the time being we wanted to share some COM|PASSionate Consent Worksheets we made for our little Queering Consent Playshop at the Contemporary Relationships Conference this past weekend!

First up! COM|PASSionate Preference Exploration Flow Chart

While “No, means, NO,” is an important place to start in any consent conversation we realize that their are a multitude of layers underlying our ability to say, NO, clearly when we need to. There are also a multitude of layers that inhibit us from saying, YES, when we want to. This cycle multiplies and complicates with each level of intersection- especially for queer folks who spend a lot of time being told they’re… well, queer (and not in the good way.) This COM|PASSionate Preference Chart can be used to neutralize and explore your interests, preferences, inclinations and, all out, turn ons. It’s a starting point to “getting down with your desires and under the covers with your body boundaries,” so you can start a dialogue with your body that informs how you articulate personal consent.

Exploration

Exploration2Here’s an example of the chart filled in:

ExplorationExampleNext Up! COM|PASSionate Boundaries Worksheet

Now that you’ve flow-charted your way through any preferences that need a little more exploration you might want to start thinking about what your body/language/preference boundaries are over all. This chart can help you get organized about boundaries you might want to hold for yourself as well as things you might want to express to current or future partner|s.

CompassionateBoundariesHere’s an example of the COM|PASSionate Boundaries Worksheet filled in:

BoundariesExampleLast, but not least! A quick COM|PASSionate Wishlist, Adventurous Ideas + Places to Avoid Chart

This is a quick way to document your preferences and boundaries for yourself or to share with a partner. This list is moveable, changeable and expires at the writer’s will!

ListChartHere’s an example of the list filled in:

ListExample

So, until next time, we hope that you all have a wonderful week of consensual and fulfilling play and exploration with yourself and others!

Lastly, if you’re still confused about consent but understand the etiquette of tea (or if you’re anyone on this planet that interacts with anyone else on the planet) watch this video:

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, survive and flourish in the Southern California area. The Mental Health Mash-Up is their offering of thoughts, process and tips towards mental health and wellness as queer folks navigating the intersections of stigma, oppression and identities.

MHM 14: Queering Consent

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Good Morning Revolutionaries!

We hope you all had a lovely weekend!

We’re so excited to be ramping up for the Contemporary Relationships Conference this weekend in Austin, TX! We’re going to be giving a workshop on Queering Consent: Navigating Relationships Outside of the Hetero AND Homo Normative.

In this episode of the podcast we talk about the essential components of consent and why it’s so important for happy, healthy and fulfilled individuals, relationships and sexual interactions!

Stay tuned! In upcoming weeks we’ll post helpful worksheets from the workshop and give a recap of how our time in Austin went!

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Take a listen!

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

———-

Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.
Read more at http://compassionaterevolt.libsyn.com/#ALOPKXTgZdITBBRC.99

MHM 13: Gratitude + Presence

“Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”

{Kahlil Gibran}

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Hello COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES!

Happy Monday! Skye and I are so happy to be back in podcast land! We don’t get to do the whole podcast together today and we had to record remotely but we’re sitting in present gratitude to be able to share with you all today.. in any format. ❤

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Take a listen! Or visit our LibSyn Page here.

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.