Tarot Tuesday With a Shot of Testosterone

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Hello dear Tarot-ists!

We’re sorry Tarot Tuesday is a bit late tonight. As would have it, the cards will be read when they’re ready to be read.

Tonight we have a special treat as we’ve injected a little (well 18 months worth) of testosterone into this spread we call the playshop. Please, enjoy this guest post from one of our favorite masculine humanicorns.

Enjoy,

Traci

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18 months of testosterone injections arranged and inspired by the death card in a tarot deck.

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The 13th card of the major arcana is the death card. It is a card of transformation and rebirth. Of clearing space and new beginnings. A card holding both masculine and feminine, death asks us to make good use of what is now past, to carry those stories with us.
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The 12 empty bottles and the one still in use is 18 months of hormone replacement for a trans man. Gathering up the bottles is a sort of meditation. It’s a breath while standing at a precipice, overlooking a future of permanent male passing. What will he do with the experience and understanding from the past?  What will he carry with him from his past life into the next?

I often hear stories of families in transition – Parents, in particular talk about grieving the loss of their son or daughter in order to be able to accept their “newly” gendered child.  Anything that allows a parent to sit with their child in presence and love, including this sentiment, is something one can find gratitude in, but this has always challenged me.  Who we once were will always inform who we are to become.  Every moment of every day will die and pass, and each of these moments are threads woven into the fabric of who we are to be.

The death card is a reminder that energy cannot be created or destroyed, that we take with us what seems to be lost. All is not lost.  We build our future from the structure of the past. Your structure has been built. The death card clears away what is not to serve you in your current venture.  See the space.  Weave your tapestry.

Willfully weaving…

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Focusing In

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Happy Tuesday everyone!

Did everyone celebrate Halloween in the way that felt best to them? Or, by chance, did you bop around like me trying to do, “ALL THE THINGS! ALL THE THINGS!” before finding yourself in a VERY tiny VERY queer asian party of two outside of a club surrounded by a group of large men discussing how their friend pretends to be gay to hit on women.

“It’s a risky game because you know how aggressively flirtatious gay men can be when you’re at a club, are a guy, are pretending to be gay, and are flirting with them. Wow. It’s like, hey, easy fella. So sometimes, you know, you end up having to kiss guys because, you don’t want to blow your cover too soon. You know, to get the ladies.” {I may be paraphrasing… somewhat} 

Aha, moment: What the hell? Oh, I’m an introvert. Also, I’m done with you line of club goers.

That’s not to say I didn’t have a fantastic Halloween. I sat on high school bleachers as a really talented group of folks performed, Carrie the Killer Musical Experience, in the perfectly decorated Los Angeles Theater. Walking around the theater was as much a part of the experience as the show itself. You could take prom pictures, sit in the infamous locker room, and powder your nose in front of mirrors that reminded you of your sinful vanity.

I got to meet street artist, Morley, at his solo show Skywriting where he was kind enough to gift us latecomers with the last of his mason jar pieces he made for the night.

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Aside from the show being amazing and his work being lovely little tea lights of encouragement sprinkled over the often defeating landscape of LA, he was also just a really nice guy. Pretty perfect.

Still, by the end of the weekend a little afternoon trip to the slow down of Ojai was just what I needed. As often happens when I’m out adventuring with, our Musical Temperance contributor Kristel, we found ourselves in a little shop reeking of patchouli and staring up with glazed eyes at a wall of tarot decks. I ended up taking Carol Bridges, Medicine Woman Tarot Deck home with me while Kristel snagged the Sun and Moon Tarot.

I’ve started to work a bit with my deck and found a suggested spread on tuning in that I want to share.

FocusInSpread After a long weekend, of so many things, I’ve been thinking about the importance of doing the find tuning work to focus in. Someone pulled the 8 of Pentacles out of the Wild Unknown for me this morning which seemed like affirmation. The 8 of Pentacles offers us the reminder to, “Hone your skills. You are close to finding mastery at your craft, so strive for it. Pay attention to the details.”

So, if by chance you were solid grounded humans this weekend that practiced lots of introspective self-care, huzzah!

If perhaps, you bounced around, did all the things, and are finding yourself a bit worn down from the weekend’s festivities… maybe you want to take some time to tune in?

Fine tuning and focusing,

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…

Tarot Tuesday: Creating Space

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Morning, loves!

Today on the playshop I want to talk about creating intentional space for your tarot adventures! Here are some of our favorite ways to clear your physical and energetic space as well as your deck:

  • Before you pull take a moment to settle in. This might not always be possible. We know there have been times when we need a card immediately and juggle a bit to find space at a tiny crowded coffee shop table! Generally though, we try to find somewhere that is both energetically and physically spacious. Pulling on your bed? Take a second to flatten out the top sheet. Pulling out doors? Dust away debris or put down a towel. Pulling in front of your computer around work (definitely, not something we do way more often than we’d like to admit)? Push aside your keyboard, stack your papers, clear your post-its.
  • If you believe in a little energetic clearing take some time to burn sage or palo santo, light an oil burner, or perhaps sit with your deck wrapped up, close your eyes, and take a couple deep inhales and open mouthed exhales. Open yourself up to what you might need.
  • Pulling with others? Help clear the space together. Sit in a moment of silence while you both contemplate what it is you want to pull around and how you want to pull.
  • Know your spreads before you shuffle. These can be spreads you make on your own. However, placement is important to the meaning of your pull so make sure that you are contemplating each spot as you shuffle.
  • Some folks feel like there is a certain way or amount of times you have to shuffle. I’m sure my high school AP Stats teacher would have a few things to say about this. I say shuffle for as long as you need to contemplate your question|s  and trust your gut intuition. I also like to cut for every person pulling or cut for every card position. It’s up to you but be a conscious participant in trusting the relationship between your subconscious, your energy, and your deck.

These are just a few of our favorite ways to get ourselves ready to pull! You can read more about building intentional space here. How about you? What are your favorite ways to get ready to pull tarot?

Trusting the shuffle,

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…”

Tarot Tuesday: Support

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Morning Revolutionaries!

We had such an amazing weekend at Catalyst Con West having “exceptional conversations about sexuality.” We learned some new things, engaged in conversations about things we’d been contemplating ourselves, explored who we are trying to reach from this little corner of the universe and just what the best way is to reach each other!

We’ve been really lucky to have been able to have done quite a bit of “conferencing” this summer. Sure, our hearts were a little broken that we didn’t make it out to Amorous Revolt last month, but between Gender Spectrum, Gender Odyssey, and Catalyst Con we really can’t complain. Going to such a smattering of conferences, these little intentional bubbles of community conversation, got us thinking about how important format/structure are in our offerings.

We may want to share information but if we don’t know how to get it to those we’re trying to reach it doesn’t get anywhere. We may want to make space for conversation but if we can’t build cultures of safety and openness they aren’t going to happen. We may want to offer support to others around us but if we’re not mindful of how we do so we may not be helpful.

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This spread is to shed some light on how to offer intentional and appropriate support to others. It reminds you that you sit at the base of any support you offer, and, therefore, that energy towards your own self-care is a worthy act. Lastly, it checks in with the “heart of the matter” and any underlying reminders or intention informing our desire to support others that we might not be aware of on the surface.

Shuffle your deck as you contemplate the concept and function of support. When finished, cut your deck for as many people or groups you are drawing a card for including yourself (for example: if you want to draw for two others you will cut three times all together). Think about a person or group during each cut and then re-stack your deck. Set out your cards as shown in the diagram. Your last “heart of the matter” card can be the last card that you draw or you can flip over your deck and take the bottom card.

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I played a bit with this spread and this is what I got. My heart warmed as I flipped The Star card as my heart of the matter. I absentmindedly ran my finger over the tattoo in the crease of my right elbow that holds the words: “The Star Awaits” underneath a nod to “Disaster” or “The Tower.”

In a time when I know I need to put consciousness to support the individual changes I’m experiencing as well as honoring my desperate desire to support those I love around me in ways that make sense to them– the star card reminds me to have “hope and peace of mind.” The Wild Unknown interpretation offers the reassurance:

“Even though you can’t find concrete answers to life’s many questions up there in the sky, you can’t help but feel comforted and renewed. Such is the energy of the star card. It is not about actions or situations, it’s simply about connecting to the parts of you that feel hopeful and serene.” 

When I sit in places of hopeful serenity it suddenly becomes clear where I can support others, whether they need something functional or just for me to be nearby energetically, it clears up what part of support I’m truly offering for them and what parts are about my own need to ease anxiety through my inclination for service.

Support is an animal of delicate constitution in need of very specific care taking. This spread is an offering to this important healing but complicated practice.

In support and service,

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…”

 

Tarot Tuesday: Questions + Answers

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Happy Tuesday, friends!

Today on The Playshop I’m contemplating the place of questions and answers in our healing journeys. These two concepts/tools are especially relevant in the realm of tarot where we are working with a healing practice specifically to shake off the conscious and give space to the underlying truths.

Every healing method is a bit different. If you went to your physical therapist and asked if you could first lay the ace bandage that he was going to use to wrap you up out on an altar on a full moon it would be a little silly (okay, he might think you’re a little silly, I would be like, hey, that’s going to be one powerful piece of material). Still, you get the point, right? Different methods call for different intentions, different strategies, tools, etc. It’s important that when you’re pulling tarot you’re crafting questions that make sense for the specific way that tarot can offer guidance. This article from Learn Tarot gives some instructions to create better questions and common pitfalls to avoid.

The “answers” we get from tarot or rather the way that we “read” the cards falls in a very similar realm. Even early on in my relationship with tarot, I was lucky enough to get really sound guidance on reading tarot from a space of openness. (You can read more about my “Fool’s Journey” into tarot here.) In my opinion there really aren’t “good” or “bad” cards to get on any subject. Sure, sometimes our pulls might offer reflections that make us want to find reasons to invalidate what they’re bringing to our attention, but we have agency over how we use the information we receive. Furthermore, it’s all awareness and guidance in my opinion. There’s nothing ominous in the cards themselves- and if we feel an ominous presence in the hearts that read them we can choose to breathe lightness and positive purpose into those spaces of contemplation. This article from Biddy Tarot goes into common mistakes when reading tarot for yourself.

What it all comes down to is that tarot is a powerful practice of uncovering. This uncovering can be terrifying and requires a courageous spirit of intention…. but when that spirit is held in shuffles, pulls, and reads it shakes the dust away from our worlds in ways that offers space so clean and so clarifying that we can feel when it is clearing space for movement forward, stillness in being, or backwards reflection. All is there if we’re brave enough to ask the right questions and take in whole answers.

I’ve been reading, breathing, meditating, and doing yoga to Anis Mojgani’s Shake the Dust lately, and the closing line has really stuck with me.

Shaking the dust
So when the world knocks at your front door
Clutch the knob tightly, and open on up
Run forward into its wide spread greeting arms
With your hands before you
Your fingertips trembling
Though they may be

With trembling open hands,

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…”

 

Tarot Tuesday: Accountability + Boundaries

playshopbannerHappy Tuesday everyone!

I hope everyone had a lovely start to their August. The past month and a half has been a whirlwind of activity, re-structuring, and schedule changes for me. I finally came into a (partially body induced/mandated) slow down this weekend. It was unfamiliar and really lovely. I got to pull quite a bit of tarot.

Two things continued to come up: Accountability and Boundaries.

I got to thinking about the intersection of these two themes as I started to write Tarot Tuesday this morning. I thought about the ways that we are accountable for the time we put (or don’t put) to our healing, the type of healing we utilize, the way that we have to set boundaries for our self care versus the way we are accountable for our interactions with others, and the way that the guidance of tarot resides in between these two places.

Tarot can offer us guidance and direction for our awareness but, ultimately, it is our responsibility to integrate that information however we choose. Tarot might invite us to set some healthy boundaries, but only we will be able to truly discern what those boundaries will need to look like. With this in mind I decided to create a spread to help offer guidance on the common struggle of this intersection.

AccountBoundSpreadThis spread will be helpful if you feel like you need to set some boundaries in your life. Beyond some awareness around helpful boundaries it will support your consciousness around your place and accountability in the manifesting of these healthy structures. Card 1 and Card 2 signify the intersection while Card 3 and Card 4 support the question at hand in the stable structure of a triangle to offer specific guidance.

Here is the spread I pulled for myself:

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Card 1: Major Arcana 7, The Chariot or The Conductor (Inverted)

The Collective Tarot describes The Conductor… “The Conductor is victory, steadfastness, control, movement, strength, a plan, a direction, and riding the wave. This warrior is fierce , yet confident and relaxed.” Prior to the last re-paint of my room this reminder graced my wall and during a recent tromp through the House of Intuition in LA I flipped through the pages of The Secret Language of Birthdays and was unsurprised to see The Chariot staring back at me. In best forms, this individual is balanced, powerful, and confident in their abilities. Their power is something that is already familiar in my tarot reads and my life. The way that they showed up inverted in this spread, perhaps less than confident, less than trusting of these gifts, is also something familiar. What do I need to hold myself accountable for in the way that I set boundaries in my relationships is a conflict that is often hovering near the surface of my interactions. At the center of this intersection, perhaps The Conductor is reminding me that content is there if only I can find contentment in it?

Card 2: Major Arcana 9, The Hermit

The Hermit crosses my intersection as the central challenge. Why would The Hermit, “with the demented smile and candor of a master hold the message of challenge for me? She is both “map and compass to the human heart,” she trusts her intuition, and distinguishes loneliness from being comfortable being alone. I think that perhaps her lantern of illumination is drawing my attention to the ways that my people pleasing and friendliness can come off as extroverted gregariousness taking a heavy toll on my introverted spirit.

Card 3: Major Arcana 20, Judgment or Liberation (Inverted)

A card of transformation sits at the cornerstone of my accountability support in this spread. The center point of this transformation is taking off the mask, releasing expectation, and sinking into the truest self. It is a card that reminds us of the metaphorical truth that “the cards have been dealt,” and only we are accountable for how we decide to play them. While daunting, once this is accepted, we can find “A kind of letting go that is so vast and profound and honest that it reduces you down to your most basic raw child-like elemental self… A letting go that begins to dissolve the boundaries of our social and material constructs, so that we are no longer so separate and disconnected, but instead are more integrated and whole. Inverted, I wonder if it signifies the heartbreak that can only come from holding on too tightly to past versions of the self and how it keeps us from being accountable to our present/future integration.

Card 4 Major Arcana 15, The Devil or Oppression (Inverted)

The Devil or Oppression reminds us of difficult times where we feel drained by the way that we are confined and sometimes actively pushed down. It also requests that we stay wary that we are not oppressing others. My awareness of boundaries can often be draining, especially when I see them being impeded upon. With accountability close at hand, perhaps the Inverted Devil offers me a gentle reminder to shift my focus from others impeding on my boundaries to how I hold my own.

Overall, I really enjoyed building this spread with a theme in mind and feel like this is one I may come back to for insight into this intersection as well as the holding triangular structure supporting a central issue and challenge. While you can pull tarot in any way that feels right to you, you may also want to play with the extra information that comes with spreads or even create your own.

Happy Tuesday!

In accountability,

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.

 

 

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.}

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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.

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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.