COM|PASSionate Events

Hey All! Happy Friday!

Hey, guess what?! You made it! One more week down. Whether it was a week that tried the buoyancy of your spirit or a week that spoiled your heart, be victorious. Sometimes it’s just about heading into the next week. Sometimes it’s just about how you decide to write it into your life story.

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/457326537138456456/|}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/457326537138456456/|}

And, then, once we’ve taken a breath and patted ourselves on the back, we can take the weekend space to solidify our stories in ways that feel right to us. It’s all a hustle, but since we’re going to expend the energy anyways…

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/236016836696218301/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/236016836696218301/}

We can’t always control the ways our stories are set up or the adversity we encounter, but we can utilize the agency we have to walk through them. We can view the hustle as power, the hustle as a privilege.

 EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Practice writing, reading, and re-writing your story. Infuse it with compassion and gratitude and YOU. Celebrate your victories, honor your challenges, and be gentle with your first drafts. Craft your hustle into a heroes journey so that you’re rooting for yourself to win as the final pages turn.

Some tips to get started!
Some tips to get started!

 

Writing ourselves into the hustle,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

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*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

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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: Guiding Light

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Oh, Seattle. People who barely know you always lament about the rain and gloomy weather, but last week you showed me nothing but sunshine.

I’ve just returned from the Emerald City from hanging out with family, attending Gender Odyssey’s Professional Conference (by the way, CR’s Traci was insightfully badass during the discussion portions of the panels we attended), adventuring in familiar and unfamiliar pockets of the city, and being reminded of the importance of slowing down and taking a breath.  

You see, I’m an accidental workaholic. Although I am admittedly lazy by nature (translation: I will have food delivered from this restaurant across the street from my apartment because I don’t want to put on pants and go outside), I have a hard time being still. I barrel through the days with little awareness of how I survived my work week and with nothing substantial to show for my efforts. I sometimes go through the month without knowing the actual date.  

Many of us were taught the value of being busy growing up. We were meant to feel accomplished when we were exhausted at the end of the day, but no one specified how we were meant to spend our time, and now we are busy just for the sake of it. Even during my time in Seattle, I stacked up my schedule so I worked in four hour chunks during random times of each day. As usual, I was glued to my phone, reading and responding to emails, text messages, and checking social media anytime I heard that familiar notification chirp. I was so wrapped up in the functional tasks of my day, I almost couldn’t get myself to slow down long enough to enjoy it.

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I half-expected Seattle to have the same motivational current as Los Angeles, with everyone rushing to their next destination. Its dreamy stride was unsettling at first. I remember walking through Green Lake and being surprised by its wide open space and how familiar it felt despite the fact that I had never been to that park before. The sidewalks weren’t overcrowded with joggers. In fact, I was able to walk as slowly as I wanted. I was able to feel the dirt crunching under my shoes and breathe as deep as my chest could hold (which I rarely do in LA, because you know, dirty LA air).

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I was completely present in that moment, aware of how the afternoon sun hit the back of my neck and how my arms cut through the air with surprising ease with each step. I didn’t feel claustrophobic, as I often do in LA. If I wanted to change the direction of my path, all I had to do was point my foot where I wanted to go. We are often so swept up in the routines of our daily lives that we forget we have the ability to change the momentum of our lives. When we slow down, either purposefully or because cell reception is spotty and makes you want to throw your phone into a lake (not that that happened to me, of course), we have an opportunity for us to assess where we are, but more importantly, to use our desire and agency to either stay on path or change course.

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I sat at the water’s edge in Green Lake with my feet dangling above the dirt and rocks. The view was beautiful, spacious, and I knew exactly how I got there.

So this week, as I try to jump back into the chaos known as Los Angeles, I invite you all to take a breath wherever and however you need it. I had this playlist on repeat while I was exploring Seattle. It’s meant to be heard in a wide open space, a place where sound is able to travel effortlessly through the air.

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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 a 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.

Picnic Lunch: Treat Yo’ Self!

Happy Thursday Everyone!

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Yup! A double dose of Picnic Lunch this week! Why?

Why not?! Welcome to the first installation of Picnic Lunch: Treat Yo’ Self!

BTW we’re sure Donna meant, “Fine {Faux} Leather Goods.” 🙂 Here’s one of my favorites… eco-friendly Matt & Nat Bags. On my “to treat myself” list… but I digress…

Something that comes up a lot when talking to folks about veganism is the question, “Isn’t it hard to stick to such a strict diet?”  

A) Nope. It’s awesome.

B) It’s not really restrictive. It’s awesome.

C) We’re looking at this all wrong!!!  It’s awesome!

My decision to not consume animal products isn’t a punishment or a sacrifice. It’s something I get to do! It’s a privilege. It’s a privilege that I honor and hold in high regard AND it’s a way that I “treat myself!”

For folks that are thinking about taking the plunge into compassionate waters, for folks just trying to make more space for different nourishment options and even for you folks who feel that a bacon sealed tomb is a sign of a life well lived– I hope you’ll open yourself up to this point of view.

The food that we, choose or have access to, put in our bodies is literally what’s fueling us. Our caloric consumption literally gets sent out and enmeshed with all the fibers of our being. So, if we are lucky enough to have some choice around our food, it seems like we should consume consciously.

We’re giving our bodies the right materials to go forth into this sometimes challenging and chaotic world. And it’s my belief, that this extends beyond the physical. {I’m not going to talk ya’ll yet about energetic components of this, cortisol and biological evidence. I meant what I said when I invited you bacon lovers to the conversation.. I’m going to ease ya’ll in… I’ll be gentle.} This means that when I encourage you to “Treat Yo’ Self!” with a diverse and nutritious plant based diet to fuel your body, I also think you should engage and try to satisfy your sight, smell, heart and spirit!

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Treat Yo’ Self Mindfulness Practice

IMAGINE (meditate or practice) THIS:

Carving out some space in your busy week to treat yourself to a date night at home. Pause. Take a breath and ask your body what it needs. Something warm? Something light and green? Something quick because you want to take a walk after dinner and still get to bed early? Something you ate as a kid?

Plan accordingly and include prep time! Dinner prep reservation at 4pm? Sure! It’s five o’clock somewhere!

Set out all your ingredients like they do in those cooking shows! Stay present with each step. Have you ever seen that shade of golden beet before… seriously… like ever in nature? Have you ever stopped to smell a meyer lemon versus a regular one? Do you notice how the smells of herbs intensify as you chop them?? Have you ever minced something and paid attention to the wonder of your body’s ability to… mince something?

Everything done? Feeling like you’re going to finally represent and bring plant based honor to Top Chef??? Everything look less than perfect but smells delicious? Awesome.

Take a seat. Don’t turn on the television. Maybe turn on some music but not too loud. Get yourself a large glass of water with some citrus or cucumber (oh, you fancy huh?) Take a look at your masterpiece! Bring it up to your noise! Waft like you’re a sommelier at a five star restaurant!

Take your time taking bites. Taste parts of your meal separately. Taste them together! Use your fancy water to toast your fabulous self dominating another day and taking time to honor yourself with a date night and a great meal!

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Feel any differently about the relationship to food, your body and your heart?

I know that our lives aren’t setup to have these luxurious date nights all the time. I’m as guilty as the next person of eating in front of my computer while I get some work done now and then, but I try to keep it at a minimum. This practice can be done in so many different variations and at different levels. Maybe it’s just five breaths before you start eating. Maybe it’s a slow down after to see how you feel from what you consumed. Maybe it’s just a quick internal toast to yourself!

Here’s one of my favorite meals to treat my mind, body and spirit. Fancy finger food night: Bread, Almonds, Vegan Cheeseball, Olive Tapenade, Dried Fruit and Roasted Broccolini!

unnamed-1This meal is quick, easy and has so many different combinations! It also slows me down and cues me into the process as I assemble my plate and then assemble each bite before I eat it. Most importantly, it feels fancy like I’m treating myself!

It’s all a practice in mindfulness and a celebration!

So is it hard to stick to such a “strict diet?” Click on some of the links above and you tell me! The food industry in our country is a complicated one and not without conflict (including vegan food industry) but we can minimize our harm to the world around us. There are so many beautiful and delicious ways we can treat ourselves and, though some would like to have us believe it, our pleasure doesn’t have to be another’s pain. This way you can enjoy, celebrate and consume with no conflict to your mind, body and spirit!

Go ahead revolutionaries- the hustle is real- take a night to “Treat Yo’ Self!”

In COM|PASSionate and RAVENOUS Appetite,

Traci

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Traci is a COM|PASSionate vegan foodie and diligent student of interconnections.  COM|PASSion (Intention towards passionate compassion) drives their own healing journey as well as informs their healing practices. They offer themselves here to this space to feed, nourish and create dialogue over shared conversational meals and celebrations.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

 

 

 

Quick Healing Tips w/Ashley: Winter Blues

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s time for Quick Healing Tips with Ashley!

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This week on Quick Healing Tips Ashley discusses some tips for healing the Winter Blues.

Watch here or visit us on our YouTube Channel

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Ashley is a healing seeker, adventurer, provider and sharer. She offers healing services through her practice http://www.holistichealinghelpers.com and is working towards creating a mind body healing site in Honolulu, Hawaii.

 

Love Song to the 9 of Pentacles: The Secret Garden

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The 9 of Pentacles is one of my favorite cards. Every time it comes up, the sweetest blend of ease and delight and groundedness nestles into my heart. Just look at her here:

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Rider Waite Smith’s 9 of Pentacles

Sweetly golden light. A secret garden of plenty. The walls themselves alive with growth, not entrapping but enriching – I imagine, providing safety and respite, a little queendom with everything I need. Solitude without isolation – the little bird of the soul flies freely within and without, bringing and sending news. The little snail slides over the earth, at its own pace, doing its thing, welcome too in its way. Sunset or sunrise, a time of taking stock and resting in one’s own intention, settling into one’s place, remembering connection with self and with world.

But a little bird says: how do we square this with the fact that 9s represent thresholds? A dear friend of mine likes to refer to the “crisis of the 9” – 9 as a gate, a challenge, a test…indeed, a crisis. There is no gate, no challenge here – is there?

Some answer to that question lies in the fact that this is card I drew on the day of my first big MFT exam last week – and immediately I felt the power of knowing I had everything I need to pass, but also the whispering challenge of this card and the secret of its test.

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The Wild Unknown’s 9 of Disks. Really, this is the card I drew on exam day – the wealth I have accrued and earned in my labors, nestled safely in soft feathers and here for me as I need it.

Another answer to that question lies in the song I played on repeat on my way to the exam, and which now seems to hold a special resonance with this card and its strange confluence of safety and crisis: My Brightest Diamond’s Dreaming Awake. Take a moment to take in this wonder:

What is the slowing-down place that keeps its voice against challenge?

What is the slowing-down place that keeps its heart amidst panic?

What is the slowing-down place that dreams while awake?

Now that I  sit with it, I feel like these questions have been in my life and my practice all week.

How do we keep to our principles and integrity and still participate in the awful world?

How do we hold on to ourselves in the face of unrelenting panic attacks and terror?

How do I stay in my power and the sacredness of my healing work while taking a grueling 4 hour exam that dissects and belittles me, my community, my work?

I keep thinking of the image of the cops invading the sacred space of that secret garden in the video. Suddenly, this card appears to me as a meditation, visual mantra, or energetic ally for those times when an intrusive and punishing force invades and threatens to sever connection to ourselves or our world. This could be the oppressive dynamics that hit us hard when we step out of the safety of our queer households and into the dominant overculture. This could be you, being in a dreamy and open and soft space and suddenly having to interact with someone angry and punishing, or overwhelmed with sensory input in a loud and busy place. This could be taking a walk on the beach to connect with nature and seeing all the trash, the oil wells, the giant ships packed with slave-labor goods, the polluted waters. This could be you minding your own business and suddenly having a flashback or panic attack, your mind spinning out of control.

Any of these scenarios offer the opportunity to learn to find your core…to breathe…to practice the delicate art of staying present in the face of pain…to slow down and draw strength from your secret garden, to remember the way back to yourself, to remember that you have a grounded and connected self to come back to at all.

All this is the crisis of the 9 of Pentacles, which teaches about the place where sacred and profane overlap.

I always used to think of this card as a garden, but now I see it more as an economy – a sacred or gift economy, oeconomy in the old sense of “the management of a household.” Indeed, some of the traditional meanings for this card include good luck, good management, inheritance, attention to detail, loving criticism, integrity and skill producing wealth, the flow of gain – all of which you might also glean from its astrological correspondence of Venus in Virgo.

Sacred or Gift Economy to me holds a connotation of flow, of giving with the understanding that the gift is always moving, that giving and receiving are parts of the same act and hold reciprocal value. This card is wealth without hoarding, sharing without shame. There is an understanding that while we may sometimes need to retreat and build fortresses to make it through the short-term, there is ultimately no extra safety in cutting off or hoarding or silencing: we must find our flow, and participate in the flow of which we are only a part – the tidal flow of community, of life force, of love and loss, in and out.

Last night, in the novel I’m reading, a girl assassin whispers these magic words in the language of her lost homeland and, in doing so, slays an immortal tyrant whose domination has oppressed everyone it touched for centuries:

The life that is shared goes on forever. The life that is hoarded never lives at all.

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The Collective Tarot’s 9 of Bones

I see this in the Collective Tarot’s 9 of Bones too: the strong spine that connects heaven and earth. The fruits which fall between the worlds and which a clever forager collects in baskets and ride off to share with their community. How rootedness and connectedness and circulation are all part of the same phenomenon.

One of the first times these kinds of lessons started to occur to me was in 9th grade biology class, when I first heard the term semi-permeable membrane. I know, I’ve always been a nerd at heart. But the image and the idea collided in me with tremendous power, because deep inside I knew that this was a teaching image for me: there exists a thing whose function is to both protect its innards and allow flow between inner and outer. A boundary which protects but is also porous – which intrinsically knows what to let in and what to keep out, keeping fluid all the while. Like in a cell, or in an egg. I can breathe in and out, but you can’t invade and poison me.

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Ladies and germs: I give you, Science!

I see the walls in the 9 of Pentacles like this. For me, it’s a powerful metaphor for how to stay safe and connected to my heart without retreating, charging, melting down or dissociating. Sometimes those things have to happen, too – and when they do, the image of the safe and secret garden gives gentle guidance back to my abundant self, helps me reground and get ready for the next round.

One last image of this card that I love:

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Motherpeace Tarot’s 9 of Disks

Here, I see an image of this lesson after many revolutions and evolutions of practice. A vision of gardens within gardens, wisdom and strength to find one’s place – in any place – and be in dialogue with the many worlds, the endless overlaps of body and mind, spirit and soul, wishes and fears, inner and outer, different parts of ourselves, different languages, different  communities. Out of this wisdom, a system of communication and reflection. A time-tested reliance on boundaries –  knowing that while boundaries are built and are relative, they nonetheless provide the safety and containment to open up and experience and learn and commune.

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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. 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.

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.

Kingfisher Lessons

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Last week, we took a first look at the 4 Directions spread, one of my favorite and most used spreads. Next week, we’ll take a second look and deepen that conversation. I meant to do so this week, but so many other things have been coming up that it feels appropriate to take a pause and draw a card instead. There’s a lot of rough news out there today. The holidaze is upon us. Let’s just do a little draw to support us keeping our heads and taking good care of ourselves and each other.

King of Arrows from The Wildwood Tarot deck
King of Arrows from The Wildwood Tarot deck

The King of Arrows watches from his perch, and moves with rainbow clarity of mind and purpose ​into the water, under the water, catching his prey and returning to his perch.

​Kingfisher asks us to consider: How do I move between airy and watery realms? What can I learn from this figure about purposefully bringing the sharp discernment of my intellect into play with my emotions?

This could look like maintaining one’s calm and reason when someone is blasting you with their emotion. ​

​ This could look like a mindfulness practice, creating little rituals or moments of witnessing from your perch, from within your busy day, and honing your focus.

This could look like remembering to take a break from all the feelings, pausing to take deep breaths, consider what you need in this very moment, having a snack, and using whatever support systems you have in place, before diving back into the depths.

​This could look like initiating a dreamwork practice, beginning to write down patches of remembered adventures as you break the surface of sleep, bringing something back with you as you come into your waking mind for the day.

How does your mentality support your emotionality? What tools or tricks do you lean on when you need a little more Air in your Water World?

Whatever they are, use them well this week –

Kaeti

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.