Tarot Tuesday: Finding Your Deck

PlayshopBannerOkay, full disclosure. I may or may not have had lots of plans to go camping, hiking, attend a vegan faire, and connect in with community (BTW- Check out this rad queer artist meetup!) and instead binge watched 2/3 of the first season of Witches of East End with my partner this weekend.

I could make excuses. It’s true. It did start out as an ironic Netflix choice which quickly disintegrated into melting into bed with eyes glazed over staring blankly at my laptop and squealing at each twist and turn in expected plot line. Sure it’s problematic in a myriad of ways. However, the truth of the matter is we’re queer folx of a certain age that grew up on Buffy (easy 25-35 year old queermos… no one’s putting Witches of East End in the same category as Buffy) and Charmed. So to be perfectly honest, we were already hooked by the time Freddie Prinze Jr appeared as a geeky butterfly expert. {Sidenote: Butterfly hunting doesn’t seem super vegan but does apparently require washboard abs.}

http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643
http://bricesander.tumblr.com/post/65320952643

We just couldn’t say good bye either (read: turn off sequential episode play on Netflix).

Stay with me it’s all connected.

I think the draw for queer folx to shows with fantasy plot lines and secret identities is that what makes us different may, in fact, also make us awesome. Life can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. This is especially true when we only have negative reflections of ourselves out in the world and identifying ourselves to others might put us in danger. We might have to fight to search out our histories because they are hidden, downplayed, or corrupted by the majority voice. Still, if we remain dedicated and find them, we can also access courageous and powerful narratives to re-discover our roots. Once we understand our roots, everything else starts to make a little more sense and we can focus on closing the hell mouth…. and… I digress.

Okay, maybe you think I’m stretching the healing capacity of fantasy television dramas, but there are countless studies that show the importance of positive and accurate reflections in solidifying a strong sense of self. It stands to reason that in times when we are seeking healing, guidance, and are potentially at our most vulnerable that we find healing practices that also reflect our uniquely magical stories and histories.

So if you’re thinking of starting to play with tarot, or perhaps you’ve started and it didn’t seem like the images or explanations resonated with you, take some time to find a deck that reflects you and makes sense! Last week we talked about the “woo closet” and all of the ways it is challenging to trust our intuitive healing wisdom. It’s a big task and the least we can do is support our journey by reminding ourselves that what makes us unique makes us awesome, that we’re not the only ones walking this journey, and that our current expression is a product of powerful and courageous histories.

So take some time to look for and sit with a deck (here are some great finds by Little Red Tarot on Autostraddle). If it doesn’t resonate, don’t assume it’s you or that tarot itself isn’t a good fit for you. It may not be, but you may also just need to find a deck that makes more sense to you.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/05/julia-ormond-casts-a-spell-on-witches/
http://nypost.com/2013/10/05/julia-ormond-casts-a-spell-on-witches/

Oh, also, they pull tarot on Witches of East End. Did I mention that? That’s probably a better argument for why this is connected to Tarot Tuesday. 🙂

Happy Deck Hunting,

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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Musical Temperance: Fast Car

BannerFast Car

I’ve been driving a black 1996 Honda Civic for the last 11 years. I’m obviously not bragging (because I don’t think anyone brags about owning a 19 year old Honda Civic), but it’s worth noting  that this car has traveled with me across the ocean and three states. Yes, my passenger side window stopped working at some point and the horn button on the steering wheel popped off from the wear and tear of heartbreak, love, and even grief, but it was my car.

The air conditioner stopped working about two weeks ago and I would often arrive at my destination drenched in my own sweat. I had already invested a big chunk of money to do other repairs, so I knew it was probably time to let it go. At first, this was a very exciting prospect. I imagined myself zipping around in a car with working AC and spent the better part of last week daydreaming about driving up the coast while listening to the perfect mix, and cutting the wind with my hand out the window.

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I ended up purchasing a car last Saturday and spent the last 45 minutes this morning cleaning out the Honda. There is now a cardboard box of my belongings stuffed into a corner of my living room, my memories stacked in a lopsided pile. Faded  receipts were mixed together with old love letters and an excessive amount of Chipotle napkins for someone who rarely eats there,  my glove compartment was stuffed with my adventures. Without the context of being in my car, these items look like trash to most people. Only my partner would recognize the tiny bumblebee pin from the first time we went to Comic Con, only my family would recognize the drawing my youngest sister mailed to me when we were penpals, and only my friends would recognize the bright orange dinosaur I mounted to my dashboard with velcro. In the end I tried my best to strip away the parts of myself long forgotten in my car, but I just couldn’t remove where the paint had chipped away on us both.

P1000918While sitting in the plastic wrapped waiting room at CarMax to sell the Honda this afternoon, it occurred to me how strange it was that my memories could be assigned a monetary amount. I asked the worker if he wanted to see my repair records, but he waved his hand at me to specify that was unnecessary. “The appraisers don’t need that stuff for older vehicles.” Although he was polite, he seemed generally unphased by all of this. Thinking it would impress me, he said that CarMax buys up to 200 cars a day and that mine would be auctioned off.

I was a little irritated he found it unnecessary to know my car’s complete history in order to assign its worth. I wanted to tell him about the Hawaii Firefighter sticker on my back window meant to honor my family of firefighters. I wanted to tell him about the countless Sunday mornings back in Hawaii where I’d drive my partner to work and then go to my grandma’s house for breakfast to watch Bonanza with her.  Instead, we waited together in silence as I sipped tap water from a styrofoam cup.

car2

So, how do we assign value to our memories? According to CarMax, mine were worth $300. While signing over the title, another worker asked if my car had a name so we could send it off. I shrugged, “No. Car?”  She asked why it didn’t have a name and I lied and told her I didn’t know.

I know I’m weird about names, but they can be powerful identifiers. They give context, depth, and  history to seemingly ordinary objects. The truth is that I figured the less meaning I assigned, the easier it would be to let it go at some point. I learned unexpectedly in the CarMax waiting room that I was wrong, as I sat there sniffling to myself I would never see my Car again (note: I think people assumed my Car had been repossessed based on the pitiful faces I was making, and also, I’m an ugly crier).

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This week’s playlist runs 29 minutes, which is approximately the length of my roundabout drive to CarMax. It’s normally a 15 minute drive, but that day we traveled together much like we did in my 20s. I coasted through the Burbank neighborhoods with one hand on the wheel, taking side streets and drawing imaginary square outlines of the city with no desire to rush.

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Kristel is a sometimes angsty writer from Hawaii who now lives in Los Angeles, CA. She claims she’s a Marketing Director at web design agency, but she spends most of her day in front of the computer while wearing pajamas.

Musical Temperance is her small attempt at creating the perfect soundtrack to help her survive an extended quarter-life crisis. Additional musings and playlists can be found at kristelyoneda.com.

Isn’t it Queer?: The Alchemy of the Spirit

Trigger warning: In today’s Isn’t it Queer? I will be discussing transphobia and gender discrimination. In some of the content, I pull from examples of parents or loved ones who make judgments of gender which may be triggering for some individuals.

There is a painful beauty in the necessity of social deviance and in breaking gender norms in order to become our authentic selves. Many individuals experience years of excruciating gender conditioning, especially when we brave the gender “deviance” necessary to become who we feel we are on the inside; i.e. “You look prettier in a dress,” “I don’t know, you just look too…girly…can’t you wear the baggier jeans honey?” “I don’t know what you are trying to prove by not wearing make-up, it just makes you look like an angry bitch.” The early conditioning, littered with misogyny and gender discrimination, plants seeds of shame and fear in our ideas of self. Members of the trans community also face degrading judgment in the form of outright transphobic statements; “You are my daughter, you can’t be a man,” or “ewww! that is disgusting, what happens to their genitals?”, creating a foundation riddled with fear of isolation from family members, and the very real possibility of not being able to find work and stability because we want our inner gender identity to match our visible exterior.

“When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” – Barbara Bloom

So here is my light bulb moment! We can and are finding ways to take care of ourselves and our communities using art, self care, therapy, yoga, and human connection. We are finding our fissures and breaks and casting them in the gold of our authenticity. All corn aside, we need to celebrate our painful transitions into our real selves as being gorgeous acts of androgynous alchemy. Taking our traumas, processing them, and using the hurt to fuel or drive our passions and pursuits can turn the tables on systematic oppression for our own self empowerment. In further tangential pondering, this artistic thinking can help us reframe concepts such as ‘transitioning,’ to be so much more substantial, and less black and white, than “getting a sex change.” How powerful would it be if we viewed transitioning as being lucky. What other humans get to watch their coming of age, and transition into becoming their authentic selves, physically as well as emotionally? Explicitly said, the function of this reframing is not to invalidate the immense pain of being repudiated by a culture or to play down systematic oppression, but instead the reframe is meant to be a function of empowerment for the individual’s emotional growth. To help us feel healthy and whole, we need healthy and whole perspectives on what it means to be who we are, whether that is trans, bi, gender queer, etc.

These are some artists, performance artists, and photographers that are busy demonstrating the earthy, real beauty of gender fluidity, trans identity, and gender non-conformity. I hope these pieces move you to tears, like they did for me:

Heather Cassils 1
{Collaboration piece from Heather Cassils, preformance artist and photographer by Alejandro Santiago}
Heather Cassils 2
{Collaboration piece from Heather Cassils, preformance artist and photographer by Alejandro Santiago}
Half and Half
{Mo B Dick’s Half and Half. Also check out this incredible queer art tumblr, it’s impressive: https://queercultureproject.wordpress.com/}
{http://www.janamarcus.com/docus/TransPresentation/sld001.htm}
{http://www.janamarcus.com/docus/TransPresentation/sld001.htm}

Jana Marcus’s Transfigurations, is a photography-interview project that aims to illuminate the Trans perspective, using insightful information from the personal anecdotes of trans individuals. These personal accounts are movingly penetrative and offer a more complex depiction of fluidity in the identities and experiences of trans individuals. To view the project visit Jana Marcus’s website: Transfigurations.

{http://www.glaad.org/blog/photographer-jen-rosensteins-transformational-project-features-transgender-subjects}
{http://www.glaad.org/blog/photographer-jen-rosensteins-transformational-project-features-transgender-subjects}
{Patty Chang, Melons (At a Loss) }
{Patty Chang, Melons (At a Loss) }
{http://dusticunningham.com/}
{http://dusticunningham.com/}
{http://dusticunningham.com/}
{http://dusticunningham.com/}
{Genderbent http://dusticunningham.com/}
{Genderbent http://dusticunningham.com/}

So to leave on an alliterative note, the world of trans, gender non-conforming art and activism is alive with variety. New bold spirits brave enough to turn their pain into inspiring testimonials and social commentary, emerge every day.

So my lovely gender warriors, one last question: In what way can your pain power your passion?

-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 they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

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