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.

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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…

Ancestral Dreaming

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Coming through Halloween or Samhain time, ancestral dreaming has been in my thoughts quite a bit. Now, I know that’s a big phrase: ancestral dreaming. It could mean a million billion things – and does mean many things to me. For here and now, I want to hold it lightly and curiously, with a heart full of possibility.

I created my first ancestor altar this Halloween. It was (and continues to be) a powerful experience. I have had many experiences of what might be called ancestral dreaming, but one of my goals with this new practice was to reach a little bit further back…back into dreaming as a way to connect with older generations whose physical presence I may know little or nothing about, but whose spirits feel sometimes present and about whom I am very curious.

 

Ancestor Altar Corner
Ancestor Altar Corner

Dreaming becomes twofold: waking, I dream of making contact with heritage, with inherent parts of me that don’t belong only to me. I remember wisps of dreams from recent years: the ancestral male council, the indigenous grandmothers; grandparents who physically knew and cared for me. I feel a need to relate to them. Sleeping, I receive visitors who bring clear and simple messages.

One is my great-grandmother, who I knew and loved until she died in 2001. She showed up in dreams last week. She felt solid and present. Not like in other dreams, where various feelings and characters have worn her form, but as if really her, as if I could get a good look at her for the first time in many years. Look her in the eyes. She let me know about one of her favorite herbs for upset stomachs, which a quick google search validated, and which happens to grow abundantly in my garden. Thanks Grammie!

Cheers!
Cheers!

Sometimes dreaming is like this: getting in touch with guidance that is both you and not-you, beyond-you. You put yourself out there, you ask. You are visited and you receive. Sometimes these gift-bearing visitors are folks you know and love. Sometimes they are like energy-forms, a message wearing a mask. Sometimes they are, plainly put, just themselves. I don’t pretend to know where they are when they’re not visiting, but they do visit. From a place of doing so many other kinds of dreamwork, and having prepared to do a lot of writing about those other kinds of dreams here, it feels good to begin by remembering this fact, and honoring that dreams are sometimes bridges to the beloved dead. They are very real.

Mystery Ancesstress
Mystery Ancesstress

No matter what kind of guidance or connection you are seeking, play with this dance of asking and receiving. Think of asking and receiving as stances, postures to be practiced and held. The practice of putting your intent out there – what can you do in waking life to physically symbolize that intent? The practice of listening to whatever comes as a response – even if it “makes no sense” or is not borne by the expected messenger. Explore writing about any and all of this in your trusty dream journal. Share your stories and thoughts with us here!

Til Next Time,

Kaeti

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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.