Tarot Tuesday: Andi Grace

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Good Morning COM|PASSionate Community, you beautiful, rambunctious, playful group of divine beings!

How has your week and your healing been going?

Today, we have such a special treat! A visitor has traipsed through the playshop by way of BC! Andi Grace, Poet, Facilitator, Author, Intuitive, and Social Justice Advocate, of Andi Grace Writes (And, formerly, of Moonlit Moth) offers the very special gift of a Tarot Reading to our COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community!

Thank you so much for the reading and guidance, Andi! ❤

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In preparation for this reading Traci and I worked together to determine what questions would make up the spread. After some back and forth we settled on these questions:

  1. What is our community’s greatest strength?
  2. What shadows do we need to be aware of?
  3. What guidance/awareness should we hold for the present future?

There are many different spreads you can use for a reading. Personally, though I know several standard threads, I prefer creating my own spread with personalized questions. I feel creating my own spread allows me to really get down to the heart of the matter and this gives me greater clarity in deciphering the meaning of the cards. The spread is a roadmap that your intuition gets to walk down, so the clearer the points of reference (the questions) are, the easier it is to find clarity in the process.

Before starting the reading I burn white sage I recently wildcrafted. I open a window and let the smoke blow over the cards and over me. I reflect on the questions, take a few deep breaths, ground.. and then I begin to shuffle the cards. As I shuffle I wait for a sense that the cards are ready to be pulled from, a subtle sense in my body that it’s time to stop shuffling. With this reading the feeling of being done comes quickly. I cut the deck into three piles and pull from the pile I feel most drawn to.

Here are the cards I pulled:

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

The first card I pull is the community’s greatest strength: Six of Swords.

Six of swords is a card about putting down your weapons. It’s a time of reprieve during a fierce battle. It is a sign of hope that rises during an often very draining struggle. Swords are cards about air, mental acuity, understanding with our minds, and internal struggle. These sometimes scary looking cards are often tied to anxiety, shame-based-wounds, internalized oppression and self doubt.

I feel that the cards are saying that Compassionate Revolt’s greatest strength is your ability to find a sense of peace, compassion, hope, reprieve and safety within a world that is constantly trying to destroy that which is sacred. If we understand the world to be an oppressive place and a place that we must navigate in order to exist in this life, then we understand our lives as necessarily being invested in finding skills that bolster resilience in the face of oppression. And through all the busyness, all the pain, all the wounds and wandering and loss and confusion, there is always much to do. Always a sense that we haven’t done enough. The 6 of swords is a reminder that we are whole as we are. That people love us. That there is peace in stillness. It tells us that we don’t need to feel guilty for wanting and needing to access that place of peace sometimes. We can use that place, cultivated in community and within ourselves, as a means of finding much needed spiritual nurturance. It seems that your community offers this kind of reprieve and permission to it’s members. This work is your greatest strength.

The second card I pulled is the shadows you need to be aware of: Five of Swords.

And here we see the pain and anguish that the six of swords offers reprieve from. The five of swords is card about self destruction. It’s about pain and conflict and feeling torn apart. The swords are strewn about after a battle and the worm is cut in pieces. Worms are capable of surviving after having their bodies cut apart, but in this process something is lost that can not be returned.

I feel this card is suggesting that there is a shadow of grief to address. This grief arises from circumstances that feel like insurmountable loss. It does not mean the loss is insurmountable, but it feels like it is. This is a big part of how trauma lives in our bodies – and it would seem, how it lives in your community.

This card is also about the battles we fight. The battles where it may be more self preserving to just walk away. And yet we know that just because walking away would be self preserving, does not mean it is always an option. You can’t always walk away from a cop yielding a gun. From a man harassing you on the street. From a border that you walked to because you have nowhere else to turn.

I believe that this card is asking you to address the deep grief. The grief that lies in the shadows because it feels impossible to talk about. Like no words exist. Like there is only mycelium and no mushroom. The grief that tears us apart and leaves our bodies so acclimatized to conflict and pain, that we invite more pain into our lives just to learn how to process it. Because we are used to it. Because we want to understand. Because sometimes we lose our vision that anything else can exist.

It’s time to talk about the pain that feels unspeakable. Because the truth is:  it’s there, whether you address it directly or not. Give it voice. Let the vulnerability of your admissions of fear and terror and loneliness breathe life into what it means to be alive and wounded in these times.

This is your work to be done in the shadows.

The third card I pulled is the guidance and awareness to hold for the future: 7 of pentacles.

Pentacles are earth. They are the ground: sturdy, home, work ethic, natural discipline and practice. The seven of pentacles is a card where we look at what we have built. Notice what we have accumulated. Evaluate what we have earned. We do this in order to decide: is it worth it? What am I gaining from this process? Have I built as much I expected I would?

Often we get caught in traps of evaluating our worth by the standards of capitalism: how much money am I making? Do I have security? We are taught to understand security to mean things like savings, insurance and home ownership. This is the rubric we are taught to understand success from within colonial capitalism, but these things do not represent deep true security. How clean is our water? How nourished are our spirits? Where does our food come from? Are we able to speak our truth and be grounded in the value of both our voice and our ability to listen? These things are just a small part of what true security looks like.

The 7 of pentacles appears when it is time to evaluate and it encourages us to understand our worth and the worth of our work to be situated within the world of the elements: spirit, water, earth, fire and air. Our souls, our feelings, our home, our passions and our truth. The 7 of pentacles encourages you to focus on deep security and measure the value of your work with these ideas in mind.

These should be the guiding principles you work from moving forward.

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Thank you so much for your tarot guidance, Andi! We’re so grateful for the compassionate revolutionary healing energy you’ve shared with our community!

If you’re a tarot reader, blogger, or enthusiast and would like to share space with us here at COM|PASSionate REVOLT drop us a line! We would love to have you around the playshop!

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Andi’s writing and online tarot card offerings can be found on their website: www.andigracewrites.com.

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


Andi is a gender-fucking-fishnet-femme currently growing food, slipping on ice and falling in love on the un-ceded territory of the Sinixt people (otherwise known as the west Kootenays of BC). They are a visitor on this land where they are making a home in a queer and trans landsteading project called the homostead. They are a settler whose family lineage descends mostly from Northern Scots (on their father’s side) and German Mennonites (on their mother’s side). They are a poet, facilitator, tarot card reader, youth worker, sex educator, community organizer,  photographer, blogger, gardener, herbalist, amateur astrologer, kitchen-witch and a formerly extroverted, former yoga teacher.

 

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Isn’t It Queer: Various Reckonings

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My past few months have been full of reckoning, I treat emotional growth like I’m trying to compete in it in the next Olympics. I have been reckoning with the self, among other things, including pickle jars, dense psychoanalysis texts, and verbalizing my needs and limits, with the intention of forcefully molding my life into something that has a place for me inside of it. In this episode of Isn’t It Queer? I’d like to share the artistic product of the emotional reckonings, which for me are almost always in the form of poetry.

{Image Credit: http://www.freegreatpicture.com/goldfish/jumping-goldfish-1043
{Image Credit: http://www.freegreatpicture.com/goldfish/jumping-goldfish-1043

The reason I adore poetry and prefer it as my artistic medium is because poetry has the power to create spaces to custom define emotions (see Sacred Catharsis) In a culture that struggles to define, identify and share emotions, poems are the jaws of life that pry open language, allowing us to share more accurately how we feel. As such, I feel the only accurate way to truly let others experience what I’m feeling, to really show them my mushy insides, is to hand them the poetry I created in vulnerable moments.

{Image Credit: http://www.undermatic.com/diseno/collages-anatomicos-por-travis-bedel/}
{Image Credit: http://www.undermatic.com/diseno/collages-anatomicos-por-travis-bedel/}

In the past six months I’ve abandoned self-suffocating habits, unhealthy workplaces and relationships where my authentic self was not valued. I began to demand that the people in my life see me for who I am, support me with respect and communication, and inspire my personal growth.I’ve come out of closets, insisted that family meet my needs, handed my heart to a lover and had it handed back broken, and reflected on painful experiences in youth. The poems I share below are the emotional excess, the shed skin of my experience as I come face to face with my fragility and pride.

Reckoning Part 1: Park Bench Humanity

My heartbreak floats, buoyant as a lily in the echo park lake.

Both are man made.

But mine is pure honey, made of basil and sage and absolute redemption.

Because I have learned to love wholeheartedly in a world of people terrified of their humanity.

The bitter pill of your heart’s insurrection got lost somewhere beneath the park bench,

Because I didn’t feel like getting high today.

And I am juggling blades of grass and little grey pebbles, and just a few tears.

Just a few little salty heart clippings,

That I can afford to spare.

Still in my memory you are perfect,

Your selfish and coward are dangling in front of you like strings of fake diamonds,

A failed decoy.

And it hurts to feel this open and forgiving.

My ego misses me dearly.

But being alone without her bleating fury has been the most beautiful genderless bliss.

Reckoning Part II: For Lindsay

I was pre-hatched and featherless

beside you. Your

lanky appendages clung

like gravity to every breathable surface of my

bleeding skin and I wanted

to be your freckle constellation

in a universe etched in sulky charcoal.

Inside your shell

I was somebody’s everything

or maybe

I was just (apologetic for my existence)

somebody.

I was light, traced rainbows,

born of broken glass.

A full spectrum of gorgeous melancholy. A doll.

You were the only eyes present during

my loveless marriage with invisibility.

You were the only hands

that held a face

that rained perpetually for eight years,

that held a body that fell to

brittle bones and shriveled prune skin,

while the world

spun recklessly unaware of my dieing.

You, doting owl, are the sole reason these fingertips

lived to kiss another’s lips,

and you wish to this day that I’d saved those print kisses for yours.

But I didn’t.

You saw a soul, where that soul saw nothing.

My sorry shoulders shrug gratitude and gluey guilt,

that after you fed me air I flew rapidly.

Too fast for your garden,

and I love you,

gravity,

clingy lanky lover

of hatchlings and dolls.

I am forever a bow bending in gratitude, wishing a dismissive arrow with my actions.

The irony of your gift was my realization

that I am not porcelain, nor stars.

You gifted me with flight and I ripped off those wings and ran for it.

Some friend.

Reckoning Part III: It Snows Different in California

The cigarette next to me is beginning to snow,

Little flakes of ash decorate my black jeans

I’m alone.

Sourly indulging in my grief.

I picked my poison carefully.

The sound of white men’s heart break.

An Arian mourning hymnal

It’s like over brewed black tea tastes.

Bitter and delightful to the swollen hearted beasts that congregate here.

The people here want to be seen,

And so do I, but I want it in a painful way, the way people want to be seen when

they’ve frequented invisibility.

No aim to gain by appearing,

just the hesitance of a reckoning with oneself.

The man next to me just bumped himself with a different kind of snow and I wonder how people who do cocaine survive a month of heartbreak.

The bearded man across from me looks like someone who prides himself on his Instagram following,

On his arm is a cheap Khalysee who shops at h&m.

They look happy together as they share judgments and giggles on an oak bar bench.

It’s the first time other people’s love doesn’t infuriate me.

Progress can be measured in the number of your freckles you’ve learned to forgive,

for being burn marks from the sun that gave you life.

 

-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.