New Queer Tarot!

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Happy Tarot Tuesday, friends! I’m on the road today, but I want to draw your attention to what promises to be an awesome column over at Little Red Tarot:

Queering the Tarot! by Cassandra Snow

I love how she digs into The Fool’s more traditional meanings, opens space for what else this card might offer queer-identified folks in a reading, and moves playfully into more generally queering it, offering alternatives for interpreting a message from The Fool that speaks to navigating oppressions, community activism, and more. If you’re looking for more in the world of queering tarot (are really, who among us isn’t looking for that?), check her out.

And then, DO YOURSELF A GIANT FAVOR and check out Slow Holler’s kickstarter for their tarot deck collaboratively illustrated and imagined by 29 artists and 3 writers who have Southern ties, identify as queer or both.

It looks astoundingly beautiful, and a lot of folks are whispering about it carrying the legacy of our beloved Collective Tarot. I ordered my copy – I think you’re gonna want one too.

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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. Photos in this post are attributed to Kaeti unless otherwise specified. 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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MHM Ep11: Clear Requests

Morning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Today on the Mental Health Mash-Up we want to talk about clear requests– why they’re so challenging, how we can all be a little bit better at them and why they’re so important to our mental health.

MHMBannerClear requests are difficult for everyone but they can be especially difficult for queer folks. Is this because we’re some different awkward convoluted breed of communicators?

No.

It’s because a lot of us have had experiences of our requests not being appreciated, honored and, often, down right ignored and disrespected. In fact sometimes the opposite gets validated. Sometimes we ask clearly and get punished while at other times we find some alternative way of getting our needs met– and they are. We don’t think we’re making too large of a projection to say this doesn’t feel very good when it happens. It doesn’t give us evidence that all the hard work that goes into being clear with our requests is worth it… but it is!

When we can’t voice clearly what we want/need to the world around us this becomes a loop back to us. Soon we’re not asking ourselves what we want/need. Soon we’re not even sure how to ask ourselves what we want/need.

Is there a behavior or way of interacting that isn’t functioning well in your life? Take a few moments to really sink into it– not just the negative reactions/responses/outcomes but also the positive ones. Take your time. You might need to spend a few breaths on it, take a break and come back to it. Still unsure? Maybe check in where you feel it in your body when you think about it. Maybe think about the folks that it seems to happen with (if it’s a behavior that happens with others.) Take a moment to think about what else you need in life or from those people.

This can be a long process. After all, how old are you right now? That’s that many years that your clear requests could have been getting denied and your alternative ways of asking could have been getting answered. Be compassionate with yourself but know that learning how to listen, dialogue and affirm yourself is a worthy practice.

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

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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.

MHM Ep9: Membership Cards

Happy Monday REVOLUTIONARIES!

Today on the Mental Health Mash-Up we’re thinking about “Membership Cards.” How we get them, who gives them, when “membership expires,” how we’re accountable to the spaces to which we’re allowed entry and, of course, how this affects our mental health.

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We often joke about “Membership Cards.” It’s a way to humorously commiserate about the struggle of the marginalized as if there was some secret exclusive queer country club where we could gather to drink organic fair trade coffee and discuss oppression without the privileged rif raf getting in and mucking up the place. The truth of the matter is though, we need those spaces, not for their exclusionary value but for their safety and healing.

So what’s the problem? Gather unicorns, gather!

Well, there are a few challenges we’ve noticed. For one unicorns are a diverse group- we come in different colors, shapes, bodies, sizes, with varying abilities of flight and magick. The “Queer” community cuts across all other demographics of race, ethnicity, gender, physical/mental ability, age and socioeconomic statuses. Some of us are athletes, intellectuals and self-proclaimed geeks! Some of us crave the nightlife, a blaring dance track and fancy cocktails while others of us want nothing more than to hunker down with some hot tea, a good book or our favorite Netflix series on a Friday night.

So, okay, start a meet-up group to check out the newest clubs, get folks together for a hike, organize a book club, plan a movie night and stop whining.

Okay, okay, we could do that and know that folks do! {As a sidenote, if you’re trying to get out and meet folks we totally recommend doing a quick search on Meetup for folks interested in similar activities. Of course you won’t know if it’s a good fit until you go but it totally takes a ton of the social pressure off that everyone is going with the intention of meeting new people!} Here comes the next challenge. Do our memberships, especially for those of us that fall in the middle of the spectrum or have some fluidity in our identities, depend on how they currently function in our lives? Sure, we can hope that folks can check their biphobia at the door if someone happens to have an other gendered partner at any particular moment but how about if your group’s activity is a monthly “ladies” night where everyone gathers to dance, hang and meet who everyone else is dating? The LGBTQ community often gathers in gender segregated “safe” spaces (and we’re not even at how this affects intersex|genderqueer|agender|bigender folks yet.) While we’re on that subject what happens when we’ve built community in one identity and find that our identity starts to shift? How does it affect all of our interactions? Even if no one is drawing a hard line to keep us out, how comfortable is it to change the safety of a space with your presence or to bring in someone who changes the safety of a space when you yourself are acutely aware of how necessary safe space is?

It gets confusing.

And, yet, anyone with multiple identities (read: ALL OF US) will tell you that different parts of our identities need to be attended to, reflected and nurtured at different times. Many of us with multiple marginalized identities will also attest to the fact that finding these spaces can be an uphill battle and compartmentalizing the healing around them can be exhausting! So when our identities shift we’re often stuck in the grief of losing these memberships while also conflicted with wanting to protect space we know was so important to us.

Is there a way to access these spaces while still honoring them in our present form?

How are we accountable to the privilege of the new memberships we hold while still honoring that the memberships we held over the course of our life journey might still need some of our attention?

Here are some thoughts on how to manage changing memberships:

  1. Take a moment to reflect. You know how marginalized communities are always talking about “holding space?” Hold some space for yourself and the process that you’re going through so that you can get a clear picture of what you need and where you might be able to access it without impeding on anyone else’s needs/space. We were really moved with this article on space holding around a different type of transition, but we think that it holds a lot of resonance for the complicated and emotional work of holding space for ourselves in the fluidity of queer identity.
  2. Get accountable! Take some time to notice as your membership changes and be honest and open about what you observe. Then if the same behavior that was once acceptable is problematic take steps to do something about it. Honor your current and past memberships by realizing the new intersections of privilege and oppression you find yourself at. So for example, you’re a newly passing transman? Does that mean you’re only allowed to access communities that hold an assumption of a cis-male experience? No! Your journey is (and will continue to be different) but know that you no longer have an all access pass to female space and that your interactions with women are informed by your male identity. We’ve recently been in conversation with folks about this article on Rethinking Masculinity as a Newly Masculine Presenting Person and really dig the reflections and the tips.
  3. Accept if your membership level changes! Sometimes when our memberships fluctuate (via ourselves or our partners) it’s just about conscious, respectful navigation. So for example, you’re a queer female identified person dating a fabulous feminist man? Great! Take your new love interest out on the town and enjoy that new queer art gallery opening on reflections of femininity and power, but accept that you might have to forego the small group women’s only discussion space afterwards if you want to hang with your honey all night. Sometimes you might also have to accept that membership may change from identified community member to ally. For example, you’ve been a feminist female identified activist fighting for women’s safety on your college campus but over the course of the past year have started to align with your transmasculine identity. You identify as male, use male pronouns and are recognized as male out in the world. Should you stop supporting the issue of safety on your campus? Hell, no! We need strong feminist men and safety is important for all genders! However, maybe take a supportive role to your female co-organizers for the next rally on keeping the gym safe for female students and take a leadership role in the discussion group on how men can create a safer campus. It might be difficult to see your membership changing but allies are important and if you can accept this role respectfully you can still be a part of the communities that are important to you. We really like Everyday Feminism‘s article on 30 Ways to be a Better Ally.

Memberships are a complicated issue- especially in the context of queer community. Unlike gathering around race our memberships can sometimes shift depending on our ascribed, attributed or functional identities. It can be a lot of work to keep all your cards updated but it’s totally worth it- there are so many glittery unicorn filled intersectional discussions, social gatherings and movements that need your participation and support! It might be troublesome but it makes us more conscious, honoring humans, that can engage in safe and authentic interactions with one another. So go forth and mingle in identity appropriate circles, we believe in you.

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.

 

MHM Ep 8: Femme-inist Masculinity

Good Morning REVOLUTIONARIES!

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You may have been wondering where we skipped off to last week. We were enjoying ourselves at UC Riverside’s Trans* Asterisk Conference and, in truth, didn’t quite recover in time to sing it’s praises last Monday morning during the Mash-Up! Nevertheless, we couldn’t let such an amazing weekend go unsung!

Today’s intersection is FEMME-INIST MASCULINITY! You might think that sounds like a contradiction, and while it might be rare, we assure you it exists. We saw it, felt it and engaged in it at the conference last weekend and it was utterly magical. A unicorn glittered demonstration of community building, space making and dialogue.

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We got to spend some time with old friends, had serendipitous run-ins with folks swirling in nearby communities and gathered more new crushes than we can count! So many amazing hearts and spirits and utterly fabulous accessories! We were absolutely impressed by the warm and efficient organizing and honored and flattered to be among the ranks of the other speakers. Our only regret to participating was that presenting kept us from attending other workshops! However, with all of these other wonderful pieces what will shine the brightest in our  memories was our spontaneous extended workshop turned community summit!

We were so excited to run Taming the Hulk: Temperance for the Transmasculine Journey and will likely post some of the activities at some point. As we got going on planning and prepping we quickly realized that time was short and our activity list grew/shrunk as we discussed and organized. We did the math and figured, maybe 30 folks at the most? We spent some time thinking, okay, if 10 folks show up for this gig can we still do our activities? Would the processing exercises resonate for folks that were unfamiliar with gender deconstruction? Were we offering real tips for temperance or were we just echoing the narrative that finding and remaining consistent with our own versions of masculinity was an uphill unsupported cultural battle?

Needless to say, we were pretty blown away when we returned to our room to find that there were already about 40 participants waiting for us and participants continued to roll in for the next 10 minutes until we were up to probably around 60-70! As these things go, we scuttled about, took a breath, re-routed where we could and then just surrendered to being around and in such amazing community. We tried to sink into the fact that in a lot of ways this gathering in itself was a movement towards transmasculine temperance- that folks were seeking out space to come together to find balance in this journey often wrought with extreme ups and downs.

The participation and experiences that got shared in our workshop were already more than we could have hoped for but as we took final comments we were again pleasantly surprised. Folks voiced that there wasn’t as much deconstruction as hoped and that they wanted to know if there was more space to keep the conversation going. Participants went to speak to the conference organizers, found us an empty room during the final workshop slot and spread the word. As we rolled into Taming the Hulk Part Deux, we were again floored as a good 30-40 magnificent humans came in to discuss and deconstruct the narratives of masculinity that support us and constrain us. With very little facilitation the group made space for each other’s voices, witnessed and validated each other’s stories and generally commiserated and problem solved around the hulking presence of masculinity in all of our lives and gendered journeys.

It brought me an intense feeling of Kim Katrina Crosby’s prezi on Femme Science and Community Based Research in action. I implore you take a look at it, take it in and add Laura Mvula‘s That’s Alright to your conquer the day playlists! As a community we took on the community agreements that Crosby discussed:

Community Agreements

Express care, concern and consideration to yourself & others.
Speak for yourself.
Protect each other & yourself.
Examine your prejudice.
Share your needs and give ample space for others to do the same.
Treat others the way that they want to be treated. Ask.

Another’s experience does not invalidate your own,

but it should and necessarily does complicate your own.

We were so thoroughly grateful for the heart opening and intuition practice that we experienced at the conference, that drew folks to our workshop and that left space for folks to take and create what they needed. A lot of the discussion surrounded the struggle of binary systems, the way that accessing masculinity sometimes felt mutually exclusive from feminine energy/nurturing/space and the loss of one identity/community as another solidified. Folks voiced the desire to be conscious of the unique nature of this journey into privileged space and were desperately seeking ways to honor it as they also took on masculinity in ways that felt holding to them.

It felt like we not only started to “Tame the Hulk” but that we started to build a framework for “Femme-inist Masculinity.”

Even with our extended time together, we know that we’ve just barely scratched the surface. We’re figuring out what would feel like the best ways for us to continue the conversation and we’ll leave more information here as it comes. If you would like to be a part of this continued conversation please shoot us an email to compassionaterevolt@gmail.com.

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.

Tarot Tuesday: The Fool’s Journey

Hey there Tarot Tuesday fans!

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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…

MHM Episode 6: More Than a Single Story

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Good Morning REVOLUTIONARIES!

We hope everyone had a lovely V-Day and you all showered yourselves with lots and lots of love and self-care!

On today’s Mental Health Mash-Up we talk about the complications of one dimensionality, how our stories serve us and how single stories/labels/identities limit us.

I AM MORE THAN A SINGLE STORY

You can listen here or visit us at Libsyn!

Here are links to some things we mention in the podcast:

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.

 

MHM 5: Visibility

Good Morning REVOLUTIONARIES! Happy Monday!

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Today’s Mental Health Mash-Up Ep5 is about Visibility. Skye and Traci will discuss the changing nature of queer/trans visibility in the media, the way we are in control and not in control of our visibility and the choices we make about our visibility that may or may not feel good to our bodies, brains, hearts and spirits.

As always you can listen here:

or visit our Lib Syn Page.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1i7wwdG}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1i7wwdG}

Here are links to events/info we reference in the podcast today:

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

You can reach us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye (He, Him, His|They, Them, Theirs) + Traci (She, Her, Hers|They, Them, Theirs)

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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.