Tarot Tuesday: Do you believe?

PlayshopBannerMorning COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES and Tarot-ists!

Read: “Tarot-ists” out loud. I kind of love it. It came up serendipitously awhile back referring to the ever lovely, Kaeti Gugiu. I was referring to her wisdom or singing her praises (as often happens) and laughed to myself at the sound of what I had written.

I erased it.

Then I re-wrote it.

This process of experiencing whatever has presented itself to us, feeling shame/doubt/insecurity about it, and then re-learning to trust ( and see) it’s purpose can be a challenge. It can be especially challenging for those of us that are often told our internal experiences are wrong– those of us that hold queerness in our ascribed identities, are attributed queerness by normative privileging, and feel the power and draw towards radical alternative healing.

Tarot and other intuitive forms of wisdom and healing are often distrusted in our worlds and, subsequently, distrusted in ourselves. We’re seen as healthy functional adults if we’re compliant with our prescription for blood pressure medication (even with it’s list of negative side effects) as we rush off to work. On the other hand an eye brow is raised skeptically at us if we pause in times of stress to pull some tarot, check in with the cycle of the moon, or read our astrological report (which might tell us to take a breath, slow down, or focus on some self-care). The clear and simple act of checking in (and listening) to our minds, bodies, and spirits can be interpreted as (and in some ways are) radical and political- direct action efforts to deconstruct the power structures of institutional violence and oppression as they stand.

 

{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}
{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}

Andi Grace takes this challenge of remaining in trust on in her piece “Coming out of the ‘Woo Closet’: facing shame, stigma, and historical trauma.”  Connecting it at the point of multiple intersections:

I see the woo closet as being composed of several parts: historical trauma that has roots in the witch burnings, the stigmatization of neuro-atypical mental states, and also the legacy and present day impacts of colonization – specifically as it relates to spirituality and conceptions of knowledge and knowing.

She spins a vision of a future where we return to this trust:

And then of course I wonder, what if we didn’t wait? What if we unabashedly came out as the magical, powerful creatures we know ourselves to be in our dreams and our hearts? What if we said to ourselves today and every day, “I am a powerful witch” and actually took responsibility for what that knowledge means?

That would be the beginning of some powerful unspelling.

So consider it with me, what can you do to unspell capitalism, racism, patriarchy, cis-sexism, homophobia, ableism and colonization?

Cause I see you. And I believe you are powerful beyond measure..

And I believe that are you more than capable of making beautiful magic.

So amateur tarot-ists, lurking about the playshop! Speak up! Speak out! Organize protests against narratives that don’t honor your heart and spirit. Engage in solitary sit ins when self care calls for hibernation. Trust your cards and your wisdom and your magick! Come out of the “woo closet” with us!

In love + light + “woo woo” sound bites,

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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Tarot Tuesdays: The Map and Compass to the Human Heart

PlayshopBannerThere are lots of beautiful spreads to assist in exploring through tarot. One of the simple ways I like to pull is to hold a general topic in mind that I need some guidance on while shuffling. I’ll then cut the deck with my non-dominant hand and flip the card. I’ll lay it down in front of me in the direction that it was flipped. If we’re doing a group pull, everyone shuffles and everybody draws. If someone feels like they need a little more insight, direction, or are confused about their card they can have a conversation with the deck as they pull sequential cards. After everyone finishes pulling we flip the remaining stack of the deck over and read this card as “The Heart of the Matter.”

We trust the deck- not just the cards that are plucked intentionally out of the stack, but also the cards that hover beneath and support our present pull. This always adds another layer of insight and depth to the initial guidance of the cards that showed up as the deck was cut.

IMG_0113My partner and I recently did an anniversary pull in a physical space that holds particular charge for the journey of our relationship. After we each pulled we flipped the deck to the find the “Heart of the Matter.” We were unsurprised to see The Hermit’s maniacally knowing grin in a time when we could use a slow down but don’t really have time to stop. “Her way is to simply sink deep while on the move. She reminds us to take, but not waste our time, and challenges us to develop the discernment to tell the difference.” Having done some traveling together (both with The Hermit and each other) it was nice to have her courageous truth seeking reflection in front of us, “she is both map and compass to the human heart… prepar(ing) us for brave entry into a new phase of existence.”

We were especially amused, not just by her visit, but by the cards that poked out from the stack on the way up to her. Near the bottom, from the uneven stack we saw the 0 of The Fool (a card my partner was drawing often early on in our relationship), lying close to the surface of the charged physical environment. The wise naivete from which we started our journey- as “hopeful” and “trusting” travelers. “The trip was unplanned, leaving lots of room for improvisation and spontaneity… the Fool trusts her heart first in all matters.” A little further up the familiar letters of the Lovers peaked out, again reminding us of the rewards that await if you choose to “follow your heart,” and inviting the “risk of opening your heart to these loved ones, despite any insecurity or anxiety.” Lastly, the Five of Bottles, closest to the surface. On the still, content, and healing anniversary day of our pull it was the Six of Bottles, that actually showed up directly when we cut the deck, moving us from “short-term crisis mode, to a long-term struggle and endeavor for positive change… a time of rebirth, renewal, restructuring and recommitment.” However, the Five of Bottles remained close by, a reminder of the knowledge and wisdom gained from the challenging and more disheartened times we had overcome together.

Intentional spreads offer different ways to organize and understand the cards we pull beyond their individual meanings, but the magic of tarot is that it’s all already there… and what needs to draw our attention will if we’re open to seeing it! While our pull was in the moment, it was about our relationship journey. The discarded stack held many of our powerful milestones even as the cards that were pulled offered guidance in the moment.

Learning new spreads can be great fun but tarot is all about looking at things in a new way! We get stuck when we can’t step back and get a little perspective– find a new viewpoint! So play with spreads that resonate with you! If you encounter a card or a pull that you’d like a little more insight on try flipping your deck and checking out the “Heart of the Matter.” Let The Hermit illuminate truth for you with the light from her lantern… “she encourages us to create within our own selves a container that can literally hold a new vision.”

{Image Credit: From a fellow truth seeking traveler Carrot Quinn http://carrotquinn.com/about/}
{Image Credit: From a fellow truth seeking traveler Carrot Quinn http://carrotquinn.com/about/}

Your fellow travelers,

Traci + The Hermit

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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.

Dreamwork for Survivors

92b72-bannerpicI’m so pleased to announce that my very first dream class, Dreamwork for Survivors, is launching!

I’ve been away from this column for a little longer than I’d planned, but I’ve been hard at work getting this class together and it’s looking SO GOOD, I have to say. Dreaming and healing happen together – they are natural parts of the same deeply human process, primary ways we make sense of our old stories, weave new stories, share our visions and encounter our own power. I have long wanted to host a dream circle, but I am deeply proud and grateful that I get to bring this work particularly to folks who are in this process of their own healing and self-discovery. DfSFlyerWhen I talk about this project lately, I get a lot of curious eyebrow faces and questions like, “Survivors of what? Why?” Dreams have always been a big part of my life, and especially my path through the territory of healing and recovery, and so I forget sometimes that what makes total sense to me isn’t necessarily crystal clear to others. I could talk ALL DAY about intersections between dreamwork and the work of being a survivor (obvs, so much to say that I’m making a whole class and workbook!), but I think some of the crux of it breaks down like this:

For my purposes here, a survivor is anyone coming through a powerful experience of loss, illness, or violation, and who carries awareness of this wound in understanding themself. Survivorship is a relationship with your wounds, an orientation toward healing, mapmaking in the dark. A survivor is a shapeshifter, learning her magic on the fly, dreaming up new ways to be in the world. Survivorship often entails having a troubled relationship with one’s own body, feelings, dreams, and memory.

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The Beginning by Christian Schloe

Dreamwork teaches us to spend time with the modality of memory: to bring careful and loving attention to whatever fragments, images, sensory experiences, and internal knowings rise up into conscious awareness, and then to value them on their own terms, without forcing the pieces together or interpreting them to death. To instead turn the pieces over and over and see what starts to emerge, what the pieces want us to know, what patterns may develop. Dreamwork asks us to sit with the discomfort of what these pieces bring and let our deep feelings guide us toward our truths, rather than imposing truth from the top down, so to speak. This process inherently reconnects our thinking minds with our experiences of body, emotion, intuition and imagination. It leads us to a healthier place where all these parts of ourselves get to participate in deciding what’s true and what’s meaningful for us. At the base of survivorship are experiences of having one’s rightful power and control taken away. We all react in myriad different ways to such experiences, but we share the root experience of feeling out of control, disempowered. Claiming a practice that makes new roots in your power and your imagination – a practice that roots you in your ability to control how you come to your truth and what you do about it, is a revolutionary healing act. We may not be in charge of what happens in dreams, or what happened to us in our pasts, but we are in charge of how we relate to those experiences now.

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Erin Kelso’s gorgeous work

Dreamwork builds a sense of empowerment that feels collective and responsive, open and communicative, and diminishes the kind of power that gets stuck trying to control everything from on high – and that then feels angry or hopeless when that doesn’t (and can’t) work. I believe survivors, just going about the business of our own healing, have unique access to building the kind of open and constructive empowerment I’m talking about. Survivorship is ultimately about co-creating the space to remember, grieve, hold ourselves lovingly, and come into new kinds of relationships. Dreamwork naturally encourages, strengthens and supports all of these skills, and helps us experiences them in ways that show us we are not alone in this work.

I know you want to know more. There are a few ways to do that:

1) Join the first-ever Dreamwork for Survivors circle!

2) Pick up the workbook – available super soon – and each copy sold will support someone’s access to the circle at a sliding scale, so you’re directly supporting a local survivor as you learn more about working with your own dreams! Amazing! I’ll announce it here so keep an eye out!

3) Stay tuned to Dreamboat here at Compassionate Revolt – there will be more dreaming adventure, future classes and circles to come. ❤

Sweet dreams,

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. ———- 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.

You Are A Multifaceted Jewel: Dreaming Parts of Ourselves

92b72-bannerpicWe are multitudinous beings bursting with different feelings, thoughts, beliefs, hopes, fears, desires, roles, and identities. We go by more than one name. All the versions of ourselves from different points in our histories (and futures), and all their myriad stories, inhabit our kaleidoscopic inner worlds. They have relationships with each other. We all have different aspects of ourselves that never quite fit perfectly together.

The shining multiplicity of your psyche is a unique and sacred wonder.

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Stellarscape by Oriol Angrill Jordà

Dreams are a place where we get to meet some of these different aspects of ourselves – or where they come to meet us. Just as many of these parts of us don’t match up with our ego or “who I think we am” or “who I want to be seen as,” these other parts of us are not completely under our ego’s control. In the waking world, where our daytime persona has a pretty good grip, we relegate some parts of us to unconsciousness. In effect, we say “that’s not me” or “this feeling doesn’t matter” or “good girls don’t act that way” or any number of dismissive things. Sometimes this dismissing is entirely appropriate or healthy, but it still has the effect of disowning aspects of ourselves. And in the dreaming world, where the ego wanders but does not run the show, these disowned aspects of self very often show up with something to say.

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Dead Leaves by Remedios Varo

Those of us who live with trauma know a lot about this. Whether it’s the legacy of surviving interpersonal violence or the effects of navigating systemic oppression or the splitting and multiplying of self that comes with having different cultural identities or marginalized identities, we know about this. Because it’s the nature of trauma to have the effect of sectioning us off inside. We humans take advantage of our amazing and inherent talent for plurality by using it to manage chaotic, violent, or unbearable experiences: dissociating, compartmentalizing, letting different parts of ourselves share the load and take on the different burdens they’re most adapted to. Sometimes we have consciousness of this, and maintain some kind of relationship between our parts. Sometimes memory cooperates with this splitting, and our daytime selves have trouble remembering what other parts of us know – sometimes not remembering is a blessing as much as a curse. Sometimes parts of us get put in a box and stowed away for a long time, and sometimes events throw the lid off the box in surprising ways.

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The Undoing by Veronica Ebert

People are astoundingly creative in managing the multifaceted jewels of their own personalities.

In these cases, dreams can be a powerful way of coming into contact with the burdens and strengths that other parts of us carry. We see this happen in different ways, some safe and chosen, and some less so. Sometimes there is a forceful or nightmarish return to what our waking selves forget. Sometimes there is an encounter with an image that represents a certain part of you that knows something “you” don’t – a child, an animal, a beggar, an intruder – and it’s your job to be in right relationship to it, maybe taking care of it, maybe standing up for yourself, maybe just watching and letting a certain dynamic be illustrated for you to understand and consider when you awake.

It is the most natural thing for our psyches to dream images of these different or disowned aspects of ourselves. Dreaming is an instinctual way of restoring your relationship to yourself.

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Image Credit: Lieke van der Vorst Thanks for helping COM|PASSionate Community!

Also, these disowned aspects are not always wounded. There is such a thing as a positive shadow. Sometimes we disown our greatest strengths, our emergent talents – even things about ourselves that we secretly treasure but which we don’t know how to embody in waking life without great shame or risk. This can be a helpful lens for holding dreams of powerful or fascinating figures that seem so different from us at first: a wild girl with superpowers, a beautiful dancer, a strangely strong creature, a majestic stag, a supersmart scientist…! Some of the most joyful dreams are those which teach us to uncover aspects of ourselves who hold important skills and great value that we aren’t (yet) tapping into in waking life.

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming workbook for my Dreamwork for Survivors course, coming this Spring! Next week’s Dreamboat will be the following excerpt, a guide in actually doing some of this work. Follow the link below or head to www.kaetigugiu.com/dreamwork-for-survivors for more info and to get on the list to know when class dates are released.

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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.

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.

Tarot Tuesday: Some of my Favorite Resources

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Today I’d like to share with you some of my favorite other tarot resources in the big wide world.

First, if you’re local to Southern California I heartily recommend you check out Califia Collective’s Introduction to Tarot course: Reading the Cards – this Friday in Long Beach! It’s being taught by the incomporable Alexis of Worts & Cunning and is affordable and promises to be full of learning and playfulness and goodies galore.

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The internet is full of people sharing fabulous explorations of tarot. No list could ever be truly complete, but here are a few folks whose work I particularly love and/or whose work has supported my own tarot journey over the years.

Aeclectic Tarot is a huge – I mean HUGE – store of of resources. A lively community of scholars, professionals, aficionados, newbs, and all-around tarot-lovers has co-created a wealth of reviews, readings, experiences, stories, scholarship, advice, games, discussions, and random loveliness. This place really supported by tarot study, especially in the middle years of deepening and exploring and beginning to read professionally. Worth a trip down the bunny hole.

Beth at Little Red Tarot is doing fantastic work, is catalyzing a queer tarot community, just started a tarot learning course that I’m hoping to do together with my niece, is manifesting a queer tarot deck, writes lovely articles for Autostraddle, and is all around awesome. She is also recruiting writers – particularly folks of color and magical queerdos. Send her some love!

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a shining star, and you can find her at brownstargirltarot.wordpress.com – her work bridging tarot with radical healing and social justice is super inspiring. Check out this lovely interview with her too!

Trung Nguyen is an artist working on a gorgeous and inclusive tarot deck – you can read a wonderful interview with him here, or check out some his work on his tumblr here.

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Trung Nguyen’s beautiful Empress card. Swoon!

That should keep you busy for a while. Happy exploring! ❤ Let us know who your favorite tarot peeps are!

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.

Healing Journals

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Ahoy dreamers!

Today I found myself going through old dream journals, making another dent in my ongoing project of typing up years’ worth of dreams into my own intricate (and searchable) catalogue. I found myself full of gratitude and wonder at what this practice has yielded now — not just the fruits of the day-to-day practice, nor even the season-to-season, but the long arc of adventure and transformation available for me to lovingly leaf through, from here, offering new lessons and perspectives still.

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From here, I envision this blog as an experiment in and companion to my deep love and respect for dreams, the development of local dream circles, the growth of COM|PASSionate REVOLT, this ongoing personal catalogue project, and the interweaving of my therapeutic and community projects. So, getting ready for this first blog, I thought: what better place to begin than with the container itself, the dream journal!

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Act, practice, ritual, scrawling ground — psychic dump and minefield, laboratory and garden, switchboard and library, a dream journal is many things. A dedicated place to record one’s dreams, it need not be even be a journal. A dream journal can be a notebook, a ream of loose papers, a file of voice recordings, a series of canvasses, a shelf of figures and sculptures, a collection of music, a choreography of movement — anything physical and creative that houses both your dedication to engaging consciously with your dreams and your regular practice of that art. It can be as fancy and decorative or as simple and easy as you wish. Likewise, it need not engage only night dreams — daydreams, fantasies, waking visions, synchronicities, meditations, musings, all are welcome. The dream realms are vast and various. Your journal is your personal dreamboat, the craft you ride along in as you explore whatever psychic territory you find yourself in today.

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And as all kinds of sailors know, it can certainly help to keep track of the rhythms at play in each territory — there are ways to navigate and orient, to chart one’s course. Practicing mindfulness of these rhythms is complementary to the dream journal, and can be a powerful addition to the journal itself. Rhythms to note might include cycles of the moon, menstruation, work, sleep, mood, eating, drinking, medicines, drugs, relationships, travels, anniversaries, times of transitional life changes, themes of the day, synchronicities, omens, or divinations, to name a few. Tracking any of these rhythms along with our dreams evokes a powerful awareness of how our psychic rhythms intersect with those of our bodies, of our neighborhoods, of the earth and the cosmos, the present and the past and even the future.

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Using your journal can be as quick and disciplined as switching on the light in the middle of the night to scribble something down while it’s fresh — or as languid and elaborate as a comforting ritual with a special place, a special brew, a special pen. Or any other million ways to do it. Reading and rereading your entries, you may begin to recognize a particular voice, a particular way of reporting your dream adventures. You may notice a kaleidoscopic strangeness, with gleaming flashes of voices and images you know you wrote and yet don’t quite recognize. We’ll have time to explore a lot of these scenarios, but first it’s time to start journaling

Do you have a dream journal already? We’d love to hear about it — how do you use yours? Do you like color? Pen? Pencil? Do you record by voice? Do you use words, pictures, or both? What is your favorite part of dream journaling? If you’ve never recorded your dreams before, what’s drawing you to start now?

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Til next time,

Kaeti

Kaeti Gugiu is a Revolutionary Friend, Dreamworker, Magick Woman and Healer. Visit Kaeti’s practice website: here and find journal creations: here.

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