Queer Tarot for When “Everything is Awful” (Thanks Eponis!)

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Happy Tuesday Tarot-ists!

How are all you magickal queer creatures of dissent and power? Have the struggle of being unicorns in a pony world been particularly challenging as of late (Click here if “Everything is Awful”)?

I hope not and, if it has, I hope that you’re turning to all of the healing resources you have in your fabulous glittered fanny pack survival kits! Including, but not limited to, your tarot decks! Here are are some thoughts on the power and disclaimers of using tarot as queer folks especially when we’re in particularly fragile states.

  • PROS:
    • Tarot is cheap! If you can scrounge up the funds for the perfect queer tarot deck keep it nearby for quick guidance. If you can’t, for the time being, there are lots of free generators to pull with online!
    • We have direct access to the wisdom of tarot! While you can pay for a reading from a fabulous fishnet fucking tarot reading femme, you can also do some reading online from your queer tarot community so you can read the cards for yourself. Still want a reading? Make sure to pick someone who is a good sparkly unicorn reflection of yourself (as well as a bit more experienced in tarot). Maybe it’s a friend or an internet friend waiting to happen! No cash? Maybe they want to resource swap/trade with one of your amazing talents?
    • Tarot draws our attention to the subconscious. Sometimes when we’re stuck in a rut or feel like we’re hitting a wall tarot can draw our attention to something outside of our conscious frame of reference. It literally “queers” our process.
  • CONS
    • A tarot deck’s images are of the collective and (classically) informed by the collective culture of the time and space they were created in. That may or may not include us as we manifest right in this rainbow reflected moment. This doesn’t mean these images aren’t helpful, but we may have to be open to a little bit more interpretation than someone who has more majority affirmed identities.
    • Tarot isn’t validated by our Western medical culture of pathology and recovery. When you go into see your psychiatrist they probably aren’t going to suggest that you take a moment to take three deep breaths (same count on inhalation/exhalation) into your belly, clear some space on your bed, and pull a tarot card before popping a Xanax or offer you a discount on your next session so you can pre-order the much anticipated Slow Holler deck. Probably… if your psychiatrist offers these services please let us know so that we turn our full devotion to becoming their voluntary public relations team.
    • Tarot is fueled by our energy and open to our interpretation. This means that when we’re in a darker space our reads might also reflect this. There are times when all the tarot has to offer is tough love, but generally there is a super cheery pep talk in there somewhere if you look for it. However, this might pose a problem if we have challenges in finding these pieces when we’re in places of depression and anxiety. While I’ve had readings that are pretty straight forward and heavy handed (“you don’t know me, Wild Unknown Tarot and Collective Tarot!”), more often than not there are several ways I could read a spread. I try to always hold that tarot is about opening up my frame of reference not showing me walls. Furthermore, that my pulls will never show me anything that isn’t already (energetically) sitting inside of me which means that I have agency over the process. So, my unicorn friends, if you’re having a particularly rough day, or have just pulled a (seemingly) rough spread, or un-coincidentally, both. Take a moment to re-assess.

Overall, we think that our tarot decks are a pretty great place to turn to when everything feels awful (btw have we mentioned that we LOVE this guide?). They’re also not particularly bad places to turn to when everything is going our way and we need guidance on which way to gently steer the soft pillows from heaven we seem to be floating on. It’s no surprise that tarot seems to resonate with our communities because it’s a queer, un-validated by the institutionalized culture, accessible, artistic, intuitive, and perfect practice… just like all of you!

In Queer Tarot Process,

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…”

COM|PASSionate Events

Oh, hello friends!

We’re back from our travels and the summer is starting to cool down. It’s not here quite yet but we can feel the change in the seasons hovering just around the corner. We’re still  sweating around midday but there are these moments in the morning while we’re drinking our coffee (and moments in the evening when we’re drinking our whiskey) where you get this little crisp whisper beckoning in the Fall.

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399701921135/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399701921135/}

Take a lesson from the Fall breeze, friends. Take a moment in the mornings to look out on the horizon, take a moment in the evenings to look up at the stars, take a moment when the world feels like it’s rushing by to take a long deep breath.

Sure, it’s hot, but it’s summer! Don’t rush through it. Change is coming. Don’t be scared of it. Everything is cycle. Seasons change, identities transform, day turns to night. Sink into it with peace and contentment. Breathe it in and let it fill your lungs with stars.

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399703599386/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399703599386/}

EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

  • Long Beach First Fridays! Art Walk, Shop, and Dine! Spend some time outdoors enjoying the summer nights. Tonight’s the night!
  • Downtown Santa Ana Artwalk! Already have plans for tonight? How about Santa Ana’s September Art Walk tomorrow night 9.5.15 or September Artwalk After Party Sunday night 9.6.15???
  • OCFTM Annual Beach Party coming up on September 19th!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Is all this feeling like too much? Do you feel weighted down, discontent, lacking in access to light? We would love for you to sit in the abundance and potential of the changing seasons with us but want to validate that there are multiple things that bedevil our potential and agency which in turn instigate our scarcity anxiety.

If you’re feeling the weight of other oppressive forces getting in the way of enjoying the night as much as you enjoy the stars or breathing in the fall breeze as deeply as you soak up the summer sun, meditate on how to expunge oppression from your life while you listen to this playlist from The Collective Tarot’s interpretation of The Devil/Oppression.

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Deep breaths,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

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*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

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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: Clarity

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Hello again Tarot Enthusiasts, Healers, and Those in Search of Healing!

I have a little practice offering this morning in the Playshop!

This weekend I drew the Seven of Bottles (or traditionally Cups).

IMG_0436This card holds so much meaning for me both in it’s classical interpretations and in The Collective Tarot’s poignant queer imagery. The Seven of Bottles or Cups reminds us to get “grounded within when making choices.” It is aware of the many choices that are presented to us– some based in reality and some wrapped in illusion. It invites us to take a breath before moving if we need to. However, it also reminds us not to get overwhelmed and subsequently stuck in inactivity.

Clarity Practice

Essential Oils: Sage + Mint

You can either use a diffused spray version or dab a bit of diluted mint and sage onto your wrists, underneath your nose, on your temples, and on your third eye.

Pull the Seven of Bottle/Seven of Cups from your deck. Take a moment to sit with the card. Send awareness and attention towards decisions presenting themselves in your life. This may be a singular point of focus or just general querying around life journey movement.

Take some slow twists. Lying on your back with knees into your chest and then falling over to one side and the other allows you to be grounded to the earth as you twist out new space. However, any twists that your mobility allows for can be utilized here. In this way internal organ body and rest and digest system are engaged in your practice.

Next find a position that allows for the deepest and clearest breath. One of my favorites, supported savasana, is shown: here. This pose allows for open breath and open heart while also supported and grounded from underneath. Giving heart space to this practice is open but receiving heart space is kept safe. Some options for those with lower back sensitivity are to bring the soles of the feet to the earth with knees bent, walk the feet away from each other, and let the knees fall together gently. Alternately, if one doesn’t have lower back issues, the soles of the feet can be brought together while knees fall outward (reclined butterfly or cobbler’s pose). Care should be taken that a heart opener can intensify when paired with a hip opener. Our hips hold our powerful water energy that can help us sink fluidly into change. However, our hips also hold a lot of our emotional memory and can be a great source of vulnerability for many.

{Image Credit: http://playarunners.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Michelle_Yoga_Poses_588.jpg}
{Image Credit: http://playarunners.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Michelle_Yoga_Poses_588.jpg}

Again, any heart opening exercise should be done safely and with compassion for oneself. Choose one that feels good to you!

Once in your chosen position, start to take some deep breaths. Create balance for yourself by finding an even count on inhalation and exhalation. Take in the sage and mint to clear and uplift your consciousness to a bird’s eye view of the decisions at hand. Allow yourself to view your potential movement with neutrality and equanimity. Once you feel like you have a good scope on the situation focus on taking your breath down into your core and making any decisions from this deep centered space.

During the process attempt to keep your breath even and flowing. Notice if your thought process starts to draw up anxiety and your breath becomes shallow. Draw your breath down and even it out. It’s also helpful to be aware that many of us rush through our days without breathing very deeply. The depth of your breath in itself may create unfamiliar sensations in your body.

While this is a relatively safe practice, always follow your own internal guidance and take care of where you’re at. Pause for breaks if you need to. Decisions don’t have to be solidified all in one session.

After you feel your practice is completed, engage some sort of folding/turning in practice. If on your back you can draw your knees into chest and repeat twists. You can also fold forward over your knees or even lay on your side in the fetal position. Take some time to see how your decision feels in this less conscious portion of this practice. Note if you start to feel more settled or if it’s difficult to let your decision sink into the rest of your body.

Hopefully this practice is helpful! Know that you can do it for as little or long as you wish. If you’re someone that has a difficult time staying still or is dealing with a particularly long to do list, set a timer for an amount of time that feels right to you in your schedule so you fully focus on your breath practice and don’t have to keep checking in with a clock throughout the process.

IMG_0428Wishing you clarity,

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: 4 Walls

PlayshopBannerHappy Tuesday everyone! How is everyone? My week is just starting (and also never really ended last week).

I’m feeling a lot of feelings.

I had a lot of… what’s a more positive word for conflicted experiences?

I’m feeling exhausted, invigorated, spent, and fed from a solo trip up to the queer promised land this weekend. I did a little time in the East Bay talking gender, race, and power with 11-13 year olds, and then re-processed those talks with peers over Burmese and Ethiopian food amongst a lot of young bearded and dreadlocked white folk. I engaged in triggering and inspiring conversation with other “professionals” around a community that I’m simultaneously near, in, and serve. I caught some donation based (but very physically focused) yoga. I had a quiet girlfriend night where we laughed, and cried, and hugged over roasted broccoli, whiskey, online dating, and the way not being walked to our cars after a date can make the most liberated of us feel like shit.

P.S. Just in case you need it, ladies. Here’s a (warning: very obscene but perfect) love note from Elle King.

I pulled tarot when I got into town and should have been unsurprised to see the Four of Bones staring back at me.

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“There is a lot going on in this card. Here is the cyclical structure of the seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Here are the changes each of those seasons bring, and their constant return to the beginning of the cycle wherever we may perceive to be…. at the center.. the human heart. There it lies shielded from the elements, truth at the crossroads; the calm inside the storm.

The Four of Bones is about structure, cycles, boundaries and borders. With this card we have the power to protect ourselves and others. It represents the power of four walls. With these walls we can build a shelter or a fortress, a cozy bedroom or a prison cell. The challenge of this card is to know the power of limits and boundaries, and know how to use that power in positive ways.” 

The Collective Tarot

The mystical, strong and fluid, shifting walls of The Four of Bones stayed with me throughout the weekend, my drive home, and I suspect are still hovering nearby this morning.

I’ve been reflecting on what this trip marked for me- the cycle and the season of the year past. I thought about the space the solo nature of it serendipitously brought (as much as I intended and desired it to be a little escapist love getaway). I’ve been attempting to discern what feels like protective boundary setting and what feels like oppressive rigidity. I deconstructed the work that I saw being done in and around community and tried to find gratitude and “balance between the power of freedom and the power of structure.”

{Image Credit: https://www.tumblr.com/search/dogma%20gif}
{Image Credit: https://www.tumblr.com/search/dogma%20gif}

And, Lord Alanis knows, I’m trying my damn-dest to step up to the challenge of knowing “the power of limits and boundaries, and.. how to use that power in positive ways.” 

I stared back into the center of The Four of Bones and wondered if the heart was really “shielded from the elements?” And, if it didn’t feel that way, if this was a sign I needed to build better boundaries or “knock down some walls; loosen the hinges on {my} heart. Allow {myself} to move into the next phase in the cycle of {my} life?”

The Four of Bones (or more classically The Four of Pentacles) exemplifies the contradictory and process instigating way that tarot offers us reflection and guidance. It doesn’t give us the answer but rather challenges us to look towards places of growth through introspection. It warns us that anything to it’s extreme– to rigidity can be unhelpful– and also carries the truth of constant change. Any season will eventually cycle through to the next and (eventually) back to itself.

I’m meditating on how to keep myself in a cozy bedroom.

A shelter that protects me, comforts me, and offers me rest. I want to intentionally create sacred space and feel safe asking others into it as well as feel content and fed sitting in it alone. I want to be able to kindly and lovingly ask for my solitude as well as lean into the risk of requesting company.

It’s not quite finished but I’ve heard home improvements last for as long as you are fortunate enough to have a home.

Currently laying blue prints for my four walls,

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 Tuesdays: Queer Healing Playshop

PlayshopBannerMorning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Welcome to the second installation of Tarot Tuesdays new PLAYSHOP Series! As soon as the idea of a “playshop” came into my awareness the philosophy of it has been treating me well. I’m a big believer that learning, healing, transfer of wisdom, etc isn’t a top down (or for that matter, somber) flow. However, this all feels different when I’m the one offering some insight/information. Subsequently submitting whatever little nugget of information that pops up to this passion project and community starts to feel daunting and insecurity inducing. The questions start. What am I trying to say? Does it stand up to investigation? Why does it matter? How is this all relevant?

In the very first conversation I had with my partner, casually in a bar, amongst safe folks and drinks, they commented on why I started and ended comments with, “I don’t know.” They queried, “Do you say that a lot about things you actually DO know a lot about?”

It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I pride myself on being a relatively confident human- someone who is conscious not to take up an inappropriate amount of space but someone who can also speak up for myself. Why then in this safe and casual setting, discussing a topic that I did indeed spend a lot of personal, professional, and academic energy exploring, did I feel the need to preface every statement with a disclaimer that my thoughts were irrelevant?

After that pleasantly fateful night, I’ve been lucky enough to have my partner’s loving and compassionate reflection call me on this pattern in my speech a number of times. As a talk therapist (and general INFJ listening ear), I’m also lucky to be entrusted with the stories of others often. I was struck with how common it was to hear this disclaimer in the narratives of other queer individuals around me as well. Once I tuned into it, I heard it everywhere, it might as well have been a community motto.

“{Insert an individual’s experience here}, but I don’t know.” 

“I don’t know, but {Insert an individuals opinion here}”

“I don’t know, but {Insert an actual reference to an article/event/etc}.” 

I have all sorts of explanations for why this is the case, but it doesn’t change the current pattern or lessen the toll this passing negative affirmation may be playing on our spirits. It’s also a desirably conscious and mindful quality to tread lightly with self-centric viewpoints. It’s a courtesy we’re not afforded nearly enough by the majority, but what place does this disclaimer have in a conversation about mindful self healing exploration and practice? If healing is personal and individual doesn’t it have to be as queer as we are? For it to work don’t we have to believe in the accuracy of our individual queer lens as we utilize it?

This is why I like the idea of a personal tarot playshop practice so much! First off, it’s a practice, an action, something that can be done and redone, a little knowledge and skill gained every time. It doesn’t have the pressure of a performance or require the dedication of a study– unless we want it to. We can come back to it when we need it. We can’t fail at it. We can’t be wrong. Secondly, if we enter into it with the spirit of play we can enjoy it with youthful wonder. It can develop with us and validate us- unlike some of our childhoods.

10462676_10102446908352874_6831252115277572020_nWhether you’re new to tarot or a studied practitioner I encourage you to try a playshop practice! Trust what you’re pulling, how you’re pulling, and what associations are coming up for you! Is there a way that helps you get into a moment of childlike curiosity? When my partner and I pull together we often plop our butts down on the cement, take some time to play music or talk about our intention for a pull first, and then take turns reading and discussing cards. We leave sidewalk chalk out, let our selves absentmindedly surround our cards with swirling doodles, and literally imbue our pull into our physical space. If we’re curious about a card we pull another. If a card gets stuck together, falls out of a shuffle, or if we have to chase one down that starts to blow away in the wind, we put it aside and ask why it’s trying to get our attention.

Tarot can be serious and insight inducing but it can also be comically humbling. Nearly every time we pull someone gets a card that instigates a sheepish grin and a loving protest of, “Shut up, Tarot, you don’t know me!” Having a spirit of playfulness allows us to not feel so defensive and take in the sometimes somber wisdom that stares back at us. We trust the conscious play time we put aside for our tarot pulls.

So with that, happy Tuesday everyone! We hope you put aside some play time this week with your tarot decks!

Playfully yours,

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: Finding Guidance

Hello there lovelies, healers, healing seekers, unicorns, magick and mischief makers! PlayshopBanner

We hope your Tuesday has been as lovely as ours! We’re bringing back Tarot Tuesday in a bit of a different format. The ever talented and knowledgeable Kaeti is off following the wisdom of tarot down other adventurous trails at the moment so we’re going to make some space for our amateur explorations!

Inspired by, Little Red Tarot’s post on The Fool’s Journey, we were flattered to be included amongst other lovely queer conversations around tarot and healing! We thought, yes, that’s how we see it too!

Tarot is journey, conversation, reflection, interpretation, past stories, and fresh eyes to new versions of old wisdom! We decided that we would jump back into this conversation by exploring on our own and highlighting others who were reflecting back this journey of alternative wisdom seeking and healing!

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

It might have taken us a few moments to really sink into this. It took a few moments to trust that a documentation of this exploration rather than what comes of longer term study would be just as honoring to this practice that we believe so much in!

As we pondered this, The Collective Tarot’s Seeker of Bottles, floated by us, “free of care and worries, the person in this card is completely present and in the moment. From this calm and quiet state, new ideas are allowed to burst forth. The message in the bottle radiates, suggesting that they are in touch with their intuition and feelings.”

And, so, we decided to lean back and trust, to be “an open channel to intuition,” to have a, “fresh attitude towards matters of the heart.”

Welcome, Tarot Tuesdays: Playshop Series, to COM|PASSionate REVOLT!

The Seeker of Bottles reassures us, “that it is okay to let your feelings show, be intimate and risk loving. Weak knees, heart squeeze. Are you ready?”

With pure crush love,

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…”

 

New Queer Tarot!

TarotTuesdayBanner

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

Queering the Tarot! by Cassandra Snow

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

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

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

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Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

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

Keep Reaching: Star Poetry

TarotTuesdayBanner

Today, The Star wanted to come out and play…

as a poem.

It feels like a good way to connect with this card, which always holds so much power and mystery for me.

DoubleStar

When you don’t know what else to do,

pour it all out.

Bound, trapped,

no way out but

overflowing.

The release of bondage

The contraction that births

The Star is

a safe word.

All of your containers cannot hold

your vision growing

the shining sky.

Do not try to hold it:

be held.

You are a body of water

learning the mysteries of river and sea.

I know you are tired of crying.

The Star is an asana.

The Star is a heart that keeps pumping.

The Star is kinky as fuck.

Breathe in:

inspire.

Blow palo santo smoke on your open palms

and keep reaching.

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TThe Particle Tarot's Star card by Dave McKean
The Particle Tarot’s Star card by Dave McKean

Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

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

Springtime Fire: Ace of Keys

TarotTuesdayBannerRemember back at Winter Solstice, when we were dreaming with the spark of light in the dark and cozying into little seeded  visions of the year to come?

Well, Spring has arrived and the days are warming and the spirit is stirring and those sunflower seeds are sprouting – the first to burst out in my garden this year!

sunflowersproutsWhat card might you draw – in actual practice, or in your imagination right now, as you read this – to tell you a little bit about what’s sprouting up for you this Spring? Maybe it’s not what you expected, but there it is, poking its head up through the soil and stretching for the light of your attention.

Wands have been visiting me a lot lately, and I was struck this morning by how that’s probably the suit I most fumble with interpreting, especially in words, out loud, to others, in the moment. Which is funny, cuz wands are totally out loud, in the moment. Thinking about which card symbolizes Spring the most for me this time around, I immediately pictured The Ace of Wands – in The Collective Tarot, which is especially my favorite deck for how they present the wands – keys, for this deck – and how they make powerful sense to me.

ace-of-keys-collective-tarotThis feels especially like Spring to me – unlocking the chest – out of which come flying flowers and fire and visions of creative projects and busy buzzing bumblebees! (It can’t just be me with an overwhelming amount of projects taking shape, can it?) Maybe this is literally unlocking the chest, a new phase in the heart-opening yoga that has been such a friend to me through the winter, and the fiery heartfelt feelings that surge up to the surface in that practice. I certainly feel a good kind of fire in all the opening windows and spring cleaning that comes with this time of year, and the fire of purging old stuff out and away to craft  physical spaces that support my evolving needs. Like Springtime, Ace of Keys reminds me that change can come all in a rush, even when you see it coming, even when you choose it by turning the key, and that that fire can be released in a way that fuels dreams and visions into practice and reality.

And I like the idea of keys being concrete things we do to unlock our passion, sexuality, creativity, and flowering heart spirit.

What works like a key for you to unlock your fiery chest?

What do you think you might find in there?

Sometimes “wands stuff” isn’t all sexy good times and art projects and flower hearts. Old (or fresh) wounds in these realms can make this territory particularly fraught, shut down, angry, explosive, melancholy, or even paralyzing. Over the last week, I’ve found myself coming back to an old album and realizing it always grabs me each Spring – something about it perfectly captures the mixed up kind of melancholy winter hangover and hot promise of summer that catches me up and makes this time of year feel strange and volatile, but gentle like plinky singbird ukelele and laying around in the breezy grass at the same time.

Coming back to the Ace of Keys can help focus and maybe reclaim some of the energy that surges up around Spring. Get this card out, or find/make another image that symbolizes hope, desire, or new life for you. Put that image somewhere you’ll see it. Breathe in and out and let yourself expand into your body, into the space you naturally and rightfully take up. Be gentle with yourself if this stuff makes you angry, sad, scared, or exhausted. Take a walk and soak up all that bright new green and know that everything in the entire living northern hemisphere right now is feeling these growing pains along with you.

springLet this Ace of Keys energy and spirit and slow-bursting newness infuse your busy bee life. Let yourself feel a little fire in your chest. Take up the space you need to let your most hopeful visions start to become reality. ❤

Anything

Kaeti Gugiu is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

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

The Empress & Multidimensional Femme Power

TarotTuesdayBannerOne of my favorite things about tarot is how, over the years of study and practice, each card accrues layers of meanings and association and strangeness and familiarity. Each image keeps teaching me newly, as I grow and change. Sometimes this is helpful in a reading, where a card kind of unfolds into myriad possibilities and you pluck out the most relevant one. But today I want to talk about how just one card, considered in this way, can create a kind of self-reflective practice that can teach you a lot about yourself and that growth and change we’re always doing.

Today, for me, that card is The Empress. Chalk it up to it being #womenshistorywomensmagic month, or International Womens’ Day this week and seeing a lot about that float through my social media, or my intensifying investigation into femme identity lately, or just the fact that The Empress showed up in my morning meditations and said,

sassyempressHanging out with Her in my head for a minute, I was amazed at the multidimensional map of my own changing relationship to The Empress and her psychic realm that just unfolded in that instant, like, *snap*

Now, I don’t have years of tarot journals like I do with my dreams but I do have a major-arcana-only deck I made long ago and far away as a project for an undergraduate class on history, fiction, and memory at Portland State. I know, those where the days. The Empress card that came outta that project was one of my favorites.

KaetisEmpressIt’s a simple collage: text from a passage of One Hundred Years of Solitude atop a photo of a Passionflower I’d taken a few years before in Costa Mesa. But it takes me back to the way I related to this card during those days. The traditional entry into this card of “motherhood” or “fertility” or “passivity” weren’t really accessible to me at all during those times. But what I did feel all around me was the vibrant, pulsing life of the earth and the rhythm of human community outside in the flesh and sparkling in books I devoured hungrily, this current ebbing and flowing around me, and a sense of femininity and sexuality as mysterious powers that existed both at the root and somehow outside of this bloodbeat flow. The world felt magical and dangerous and alive and sensual – and I had a hard time being “in my body,” as they say, but I touched embodiment by touching in with that flow, and THAT, for me, was The Empress.

Later, in more recent years, my whole relationship with the card has shifted into the realm more traditionally associated with it: motherhood. The process of conceiving, growing, nurturing, birthing, and caring – for a project, for a person, for oneself. Unraveling the very fraught relationship with motherhood bequeathed to us by culture and family. The ability to relax into a flow and let yourself be carried and nurtured by it, in turn. The sacred mystery of the matroyshka dolls of history, ancestry, and future generations. All these things have been my go-to understandings of The Empress most recently, and I adore The Collective Tarot‘s take on this card – called Reception – and how it holds all this for me.

2ReceptionThese days, The Empress is morphing again – She is teaching me new lessons, pointing me down paths in her forests that I’ve never traveled before. There are 2 images at work:

ChildEmpressI picked up this postcard on my recent travels, and it reminds me this morning that The Empress is also the natural law of the body, which can sometimes be so oppressive but also a source of childlike joy, confidence, power, and flight. She is the voice that cries out in wordless feeling, her smile sassy and knowing, her body in motion, the wind in her face, her bike beneath her, the blossoms of spring reaching down with promise.

Mostly though – and what really prompted this post, the first kernal – was how The Empress started talking to me about Femme-ness. About how we claim power by claiming fierce and vulnerable femininity on purpose. About having a refuge of comfort and validation in this when the dominant-culture world tells us that femme is weak, stupid, and less-than and never-enough – which is pretty much every day. About how femme-ness isn’t defined by body parts or literal fertility or sexuality or anything alone – but by our own complex relationship with The Empress and wherever we find her temple, be it in our own bodies or the vibrant world or the ocean or your best friend or your lover or your sister or on the radio or on the dance floor or on your yoga mat or where EVER you are today. I am having another big round of just learning about this, and today The Empress reminded me to dig into my collage archives, throw up some images and let that be a new permutation of her card to guide me in my exploration.

EmpressFemmeCollageNever underestimate the power of making your own images and doing your own naming.

And you can see how building your own images, or having different decks available, fosters this process of growing your own layers of meaning and associations with a card. This shows really brilliantly how archetypal imagery works – tapping into an experience or psychic realm that we all have access to, as human beings, and which we may use only one word for, but which we all must necessarily experience in unique and personally meaningful ways that are endless in their manifestations and permutations. I would love to hear about y’all’s experiences with The Empress and her imagery and her femme power, and what she means to you these days…

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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.