Tarot Tuesday: Finding Your Deck

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

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

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

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

Stay with me it’s all connected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Deck Hunting,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

Isn’t it Queer: Early Signs You Would Eventually Become… Yourself

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I am a slut for words.I have a bizarre kinky affection for Audre Lorde and Shakespeare.  Finding a word that describes a feeling you’ve had but could never describe, is liking finding out vegan milkshakes exist.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JY0zkQ}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JY0zkQ}

Today I was inspired by:

énouement

n. the bittersweetness of having arrived here in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world—who your baby sister would become, what your friends would end up doing, where your choices would lead you, exactly when you’d lose the people you took for granted—which is priceless intel that you instinctively want to share with anybody who hadn’t already made the journey, as if there was some part of you who had volunteered to stay behind, who was still stationed at a forgotten outpost somewhere in the past, still eagerly awaiting news from the front. {http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/}

This word moves me because I have often flirted with the sorrow of not being able to let my 16-year-old-self, know that there is so much more to the world than the isolation and humiliation of public high school (see “monochopsis”). If I had known that the glorious, chaotic, noisy world of city life, queer community, kink, polyamory, and art existed, and with such vibrancy, I can’t even imagine what I would have been capable of then. Which brings me to one of my favorite topics: early signs you should have seen, that you would become yourself.

One of my favorite questions to ask the amazing humans that I work with at the dungeon is, “Growing up, did you see any signs that you would become kinky?” Their answers are never less than fantastic. One dominatrix told me the story of her taking turns “kidnapping” her siblings and tying them up to chairs and blindfolding them. Who knew that she would one day get paid to do that to people? One of the submissives described to me a game she played in highschool with friends that involved competitively smacking each other on the face as punishment for losing the game they called, “rock-paper-scissors-slap.” Just little hints that they would perhaps one day become proud purveyors of kink and sadomasochism.

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

This question is also fun to adapt to queer communities and alternative lifestyle communities. I often ask, “Did you ever see early indicators that you would be queer or gay?” or “Did you have polyamorous habits as a kid?”  At a party of non-monogamous individuals, I listened to one individual describe that at their preschool they had managed to acquire two boy-friends and one girl-friend and that the little radical collective would gather in the sandbox and make each other mud-cakes to celebrate their group love. They said laughing, “I should have known at that point that I was going to try non-monogamy, and I am still baffled that it took me so long to figure out that I liked men.”

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1NvHc37}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1NvHc37}

I personally like to laugh at myself, as I answer the question, “Were there early signs that I would identify as genderqueer?” I recall making my college boyfriend dress me in his clothes, brown corduroy trousers, a black band t-shirt and a charcoal grey newspaper boy cap. I looked up at him in the mirror and said, “Oh my god, this is so hot! I make such a sexy boy!” I laughed semi-maniacally and I believe his response was a confused shrug and a chuckle, “sure…um…yeah.” That night I threw on my favorite tight black dress and red lipstick and went to ladies night at Hamburger Mary’s, and thought bitterly, “why do I have to pick.” The beautiful little red flags of gender deviance were flying but I wasn’t ready to wave those bad boys with pride.

Isn’t it queer that there are so many red flag moments, we remain blind to until we are older? Of course now that we identify as who we are, have been through what we have been through, and have a grasp on our identity (or are on the journey to getting that grip),  it’s obvious what those experiences meant. You have to laugh at the fact that  there is no way to go back in time and whisper in your own naive ear, “Bitch you are gay!!!” or some other such revelatory fact. What were your red flags that you would become who are you are today? What moments in your current life do you think might one day be seen as those same beautifully ironic red flags?

With that said, this enouement, that we feel, this sulky regret that we cannot forewarn our past selves of our impending future, can be bittersweet. It can be even sweeter if we remind ourselves that even being able to recognize that we are in progress as a human, or that we have made such substantial leaps forward in developing our identity, shows incredible resilience and emotional fortitude. In the days when we were young (whether your young moment happened when you were four or forty-three), you were absolutely doing the very best you could- to be yourself- with the tools you had available at the time.

Sitting on the precipice of your new life, looking back at a landscape of awkward teenage moments, misunderstandings of self and times you sold yourself short, you can show yourself gratitude for all the learning and growing you had to do to realize those moments were just that. So goddamn it thank yourself!!! And maybe, the next time you find yourself questioning a conventional norm while discovering your preferences, let those flags fly!!! Because you are stars and nothing less, even on your seething days.

Happy Pride my loves!

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

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

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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.

 

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.