Queer Tarot for When “Everything is Awful” (Thanks Eponis!)

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Happy Tuesday Tarot-ists!

How are all you magickal queer creatures of dissent and power? Have the struggle of being unicorns in a pony world been particularly challenging as of late (Click here if “Everything is Awful”)?

I hope not and, if it has, I hope that you’re turning to all of the healing resources you have in your fabulous glittered fanny pack survival kits! Including, but not limited to, your tarot decks! Here are are some thoughts on the power and disclaimers of using tarot as queer folks especially when we’re in particularly fragile states.

  • PROS:
    • Tarot is cheap! If you can scrounge up the funds for the perfect queer tarot deck keep it nearby for quick guidance. If you can’t, for the time being, there are lots of free generators to pull with online!
    • We have direct access to the wisdom of tarot! While you can pay for a reading from a fabulous fishnet fucking tarot reading femme, you can also do some reading online from your queer tarot community so you can read the cards for yourself. Still want a reading? Make sure to pick someone who is a good sparkly unicorn reflection of yourself (as well as a bit more experienced in tarot). Maybe it’s a friend or an internet friend waiting to happen! No cash? Maybe they want to resource swap/trade with one of your amazing talents?
    • Tarot draws our attention to the subconscious. Sometimes when we’re stuck in a rut or feel like we’re hitting a wall tarot can draw our attention to something outside of our conscious frame of reference. It literally “queers” our process.
  • CONS
    • A tarot deck’s images are of the collective and (classically) informed by the collective culture of the time and space they were created in. That may or may not include us as we manifest right in this rainbow reflected moment. This doesn’t mean these images aren’t helpful, but we may have to be open to a little bit more interpretation than someone who has more majority affirmed identities.
    • Tarot isn’t validated by our Western medical culture of pathology and recovery. When you go into see your psychiatrist they probably aren’t going to suggest that you take a moment to take three deep breaths (same count on inhalation/exhalation) into your belly, clear some space on your bed, and pull a tarot card before popping a Xanax or offer you a discount on your next session so you can pre-order the much anticipated Slow Holler deck. Probably… if your psychiatrist offers these services please let us know so that we turn our full devotion to becoming their voluntary public relations team.
    • Tarot is fueled by our energy and open to our interpretation. This means that when we’re in a darker space our reads might also reflect this. There are times when all the tarot has to offer is tough love, but generally there is a super cheery pep talk in there somewhere if you look for it. However, this might pose a problem if we have challenges in finding these pieces when we’re in places of depression and anxiety. While I’ve had readings that are pretty straight forward and heavy handed (“you don’t know me, Wild Unknown Tarot and Collective Tarot!”), more often than not there are several ways I could read a spread. I try to always hold that tarot is about opening up my frame of reference not showing me walls. Furthermore, that my pulls will never show me anything that isn’t already (energetically) sitting inside of me which means that I have agency over the process. So, my unicorn friends, if you’re having a particularly rough day, or have just pulled a (seemingly) rough spread, or un-coincidentally, both. Take a moment to re-assess.

Overall, we think that our tarot decks are a pretty great place to turn to when everything feels awful (btw have we mentioned that we LOVE this guide?). They’re also not particularly bad places to turn to when everything is going our way and we need guidance on which way to gently steer the soft pillows from heaven we seem to be floating on. It’s no surprise that tarot seems to resonate with our communities because it’s a queer, un-validated by the institutionalized culture, accessible, artistic, intuitive, and perfect practice… just like all of you!

In Queer Tarot Process,

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…”

Musical Temperance: Like a River Runs

BannerLike a River Runs

When I fall asleep I can see your face
What I lost in you I will not replace
And I could run away, I could let them down
And I know you’re gone but still I will remember your light

I will remember
And if you see me in the darkness
I hope you know I’m not alone
I carry you with every breath I take
 
I won’t let up, I won’t let up
Until the wind is gone

-Bleachers

Growing up, death was a rarely discussed topic in my family. I was five when both of my Grandpas passed away, a few months of each other, and the only lasting memories I have of that point in my life is the unfamiliar image of seeing my parents cry. Back then I was too young to understand death’s unparalleled force or the vast hole it leaves in each person’s life. For the longest time, I thought of it as some unknown entity scary enough to make adults cry like children.

Grandma Kaneshiro
Grandma Kaneshiro

In the last year, parts of my childhood have been falling away. I’ve said goodbye to both of my Grandmas (who were my only remaining grandparents), two of my best friends from high school each lost a parent, Tinkerbell and Kaile (family pets who represented two significant stages of growing up) passed away, and most recently I sold the Honda.

www.iammorley.com
http://www.iammorley.com

I know as an adult, death and loss will become more commonplace, but these are strange reminders of how removed I am from my youth. I sometimes don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. I feel like I’m changing without my own consent, as if parts of me are unintentionally disappearing as I unravel.

A few weeks ago, I heard the Bleachers’ Like a River Runs EP on Spotify. The last track was titled “Dreams Aren’t Random,” which turned out to be an interview with singer Jack Antonoff and his therapist about the inspiration behind the album. He explained that the title track “Like a River Runs” refers to a recurring dream about his sister, who passed away when he was 18. He recounted how they’re not doing anything specific in it, but there’s a vague feeling everything is okay. “There’s this period of time […] where it’s probably, in reality, only five seconds, but it feels like a thousand years. Right as I’m leaving the dream and right as I’m fully becoming conscious that I’m in reality and in that five seconds […], I’m in reality, but she’s not dead. And it’s the most powerful experience ever.”

There are significant moments in our lives that define us. Whenever I do something, whether it’s playing the guitar or even drinking a glass of water, I do so as someone who has lost their Grandmas. This feature, Antonoff also explains, is as permanently defining as something like ethnicity. “And in those split five seconds in my dream, I’m not that,” he adds. “So it’s like I’m literally a completely different person.” His therapist explains that in these dreams, he’s transporting himself back into this moment where she’s still alive and he’s traveling back to who he was before her death defined him. As a kid, I also moved through the world with a lightness in my step. My sadness was often situational and short lasting, like the single colored disappointment of being called inside for dinner while I was mid-bike ride in the neighborhood.

www.iammorley.com
http://www.iammorley.com

In the weeks after Grandma Kaneshiro passed away, I used to see her in my dreams. A few months ago, she started visiting me again. I remember one dream where I was running through a big field in order to meet someone nearby. There was an adjacent building where people began filing out and walking through the field to get back to their cars. They traveled in pairs and groups, swept up in their conversations as if everyone had just come out from seeing the same movie. I zig zagged through the crowd and spotted my Grandma ahead walking with another woman. She must have said something funny because my Grandma was mid-laugh by the time I reached her. In this moment, my Grandma was still alive. I was bouncing around, excited for my plans, and leapt forward to surprise her when she spotted me. The interaction was quick, as if we had plans later. She told me, “Hi, Kristel!” in that same way she always does and I responded with “Hi, Grandma! I’ll see you later!” as I ran through.

I know my grief has changed me and that the people who meet me now will never know the person I was before my Grandmas passed away. Recently, I had a conversation with my mom about the strangeness of our lives now. She told me, “It’s like life appears the same on the outside, but the base fell out.”

The question I find myself asking these days is one I have no answer for yet: how do we re-define ourselves when we’ve experienced loss?

www.iammorley.com
http://www.iammorley.com

Some think grieving is a process that has a distinct beginning and end, as if our lives are suddenly resumed when we decide it’s time to move on. The experience, however, adheres to no neat timeline. Nothing quite prepares you for it and no one can really tell you how to move through it, and yet it’s a universal experience.

The other day I showed a friend of mine a picture of Grandma Yoneda from the 1940s and she said I had her smile. I suddenly remembered how people used to tell me we looked alike when I was growing up. There’s an old picture of us on my fridge and I never realized until now how the curve of my chubby cheeked half-smile reflects hers. Now when I look in the mirror, I see her too. When my Grandmas make appearances in my dreams now, I try to hold onto that distinct feeling of being with them.

Grief is a cavernous and transformative process, but it also illuminates, in time, the unexpected ways we remain tethered to those we’ve loved and lost. Our dreamspace allows us to process the parts we have difficulty accessing in our waking lives. It opens us up to the possibility of being connected in places we can and cannot see, with the hope we’ll one day recognize these unique and beautifully permanent imprints within ourselves.

Grandma Yoneda
Grandma Yoneda

This week’s playlist is about our journeys and those we carry with us through our lives. Grandma Kaneshiro and Yoneda, please visit again soon.
spotify:user:compassionaterevolt:playlist:4JRsk3KUigqsfLBNXStJL1
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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.

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…”

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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.

 

MHM Ep. 7: Pausing for Self-Care

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Hello COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES and happy Monday!

We’re sorry that the Mental Health Mash-Up is going up a little bit late today. Our schedules have been a little overwhelming recently… oh, what’s today’s podcast about you ask?

It’s about how to pause for self-care when you start to get overwhelmed! Even when you’re overwhelmed by lots of wonderful and healing community building and discussions!

{Image Credit: http://calmingmanatee.com/23}
{Image Credit: http://calmingmanatee.com/23}

You can listen here:

Or on our LibSyn Page.

So take a listen and then don’t forget to come hang out with us this weekend if you’re local! The Trans* Asterisk Conference starts Friday night and workshops happen on Saturday!

Feeling overwhelmed and need a little pep talk before heading out the door and onto the traffic of the 91fwy? Here’s one of our favorite sources of silly internet self-care (Notice VERY Calming Manatee above.)

We hope you enjoy and we’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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.

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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: The Fool’s Journey

Hey there Tarot Tuesday fans!

TarotTuesdayBanner

So lovely to see everyone! Traci here of Picnic Lunch, COM|PASSionate Inspiration and general blog/website upkeep. Kaeti’s still out of town so I’ll be pinch hitting on this one.

I don’t have nearly as much experience or knowledge as Kaeti with tarot, but it has been extremely powerful in my life. So I thought this would be a great time to do a post about how someone interested in tarot might get started exploring doing their own readings. Here’s my first (and only) tip:

The Fool  {The Collective Tarot}
The Fool
{The Collective Tarot}

Start at the beginning. Engage in your journey through tarot as the Major Arcana would lead you through it… from 0… with The Fool as your inspiration and guide. The Collective Tarot describes the fool as a “hopeful and trusting traveler… perhaps ill-prepared and going solo.” The Fool encourages us to leap forth into life as one would into a spontaneous roadtrip- “leaving lots of room for improvisation and spontaneity.” You don’t have to have packed everything you need (or even studied tarot as a long time dedicated student) you just need to “loosen up your expectations and open yourself up to chance. Intuition is a voice which speaks louder the more carefully you listen, and the Fool trusts her heart first in all matters. She is our first curious tendril stretched out to the universe, green and new.”

I was lucky enough to have some wonderful human guides into my relationship with tarot. They encouraged me to find a deck that resonated with me and to shuffle, pull and make spreads that felt like conversations. When I drew a card and looked towards them wide-eyed for answers they asked, “What do you see?” When my Aries nature bowed down her horns, furrowed her brow and complained in exasperation, “BUT I don’t know what the right answer is!” They smiled and said, “Sure you do, you pulled it.”

I started to slow down, to let the art in front of me wash over me and through me. I took a breath and asked myself how the cards felt? I asked myself how they made me feel? I let the images, colors and symbols link back to my own set of memories, experiences and the lens throughout which I saw the world. The cards started to come alive, to talk to me and only when I felt like I had finished conversing with them did I look back through the deck books or start to google on the internet.

Each time I pull I learn a little bit more about myself and tarot. I’ve done a bit of study here and there and still sometimes have the urge to ask those with more knowledge for validation about my understanding of the cards but mostly I’m really grateful to always come to my deck as The Fool.

This wide eyed naivete has served me well. I’ve seen things along my journey that I wouldn’t have if I knew what direction I should be looking.

So if you’re interested (but mystified) in tarot I encourage you to find a deck that you like (whether it be the colors, the pictures or the meanings), borrow one from a friend or use an online card generator. Whether you’re shuffling or clicking take a moment to set intention. As you take in your cards- take them in for what they mean to you. Then if you would like to also consult the internet googling gods- have at it! Pulling tarot doesn’t give us answers anyway- it serves us with more to process.

Enjoy your tarot readings!

Your fellow fool,

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…”

When Traci sat down to write this blog, in the intimidating shadow of Kaeti’s illustrious magick and wisdom, they asked the cards for guidance + the heart of the matter. This is what they drew…

The Code/The Emperor Oppression/The Devil {Pulled through Tarotlore and reflected upon through The Collective Tarot}
The Code/The Emperor
Oppression/The Devil
{Pulled through Tarotlore and reflected upon through The Collective Tarot}

Of course I would pull The Code + Oppression. I had finished most of this post when I stopped to draw cards. I felt pretty darn good about it.. but I thought… I should maybe add just one more disclaimer that I don’t know what I’m doing! My writing on the subject of tarot has no relevance! Use at your own risk!

I asked the cards for guidance/support. The Collective Tarot sets the scene for The Code/The Emperor as you navigating a “steam, sweaty bar on queer night. You are feeling good, looking good,” when suddenly you “lock eyes with the pretty boi at the bar.. the one with the confident gaze and all the appropriate accoutrements.” Eeks! Shut-up tarot… you don’t know me! You’re suddenly hit with a “wave of insecurity.” This card invites us to challenge the way we identify, the way we understand ourselves, the way these self claimed labels support and confine us. Am I someone who can write about tarot? What is my responsibility to communicating this healing process to my community?

I laughed a little and blushed turning away from the lascivious and familiar stare of The Code’s boi at the bar and back to my tarot deck. I’m sure they could see my breath quicken and heart rate race from across the room (read my computer screen.) I pulled once more. What was the heart of the matter?

Oppression/The Devil stared back at me. Was I the perpetrator or victim? What are the “discriminatory ideas or preconceived notions.. at play” in this situation. Oppression reminded me of something I’m all too familiar with in my personal life and work– that it is everywhere. It can question and invalidate everything we do- especially when our experiences are marginalized ones. It’s the reason why I’ve noticed that for myself, and a lot of queer folks, starting statements with “I don’t know…” is a common part of our vocabulary. The Collective Tarot with it’s always reflective and affirming hand reminded me gently to “Take comfort in the validation of your experience.”

**Deep sigh**

… and that my friends is the magic of The Fool’s Journey in reading tarot…

The Flow of Creativity: 3 of Stones

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I’ve been drawing today’s card a lot lately (twice this week!) – and it has me kind of loving the Wildwood Tarot’s take on the three of pentacles:

3 of Stones

3 of stones

A traditional take on this card would have us thinking about work – specifically collective work, work that joins you to your community or is a harmonizing effort of all the parts of yourself. But I think that emphasis tends to get redirected in our cultural focus on work as linear, directed, goal-oriented, productive, and commodified – our thinking that work is about what you produce, and its value, and how that defines your value. This particularly trips us up, I think, when we feel the lack of creativity in our lives. I often hear people say “I’m just not creative,” “I miss being creative,” I need to be more creative,” and they tend to be talking about making things. Making artistic things, maybe, but making things nonetheless. Producing.

The 3 of Stones offers a different view: work as process. Work as connection to being. Work as being grounded. Work as being in the flow – the flow of the earth, the flow of intuition, the flow of inspiration. The flow that roots in its own place – and gives energy back to its own place, becomes part of the ecosystem. The flow that communes with what cannot be seen. The 3 of Stones reminds us that all of these process are themselves creative, and part of what it means to be creative.

I love that this card challenges us to just get into our flow, whatever that looks like today – whether giving or receiving, connecting to nature, dancing with intuition and ideas, taking care of our physical needs, meditating, connecting to source, drawing strength or inspiration up from our roots – and say: “I’m being creative.”

Because a dimension of “work” is recognizing or attending to the ways energy flows through us, connecting us in partnership with the living and more-than-human world around us. Our deep connectivity is a font of creativity. How does your work change when you send roots down into this place? What dimensions of creativity open up to you when you see this image?

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.