So How DO You Work with Shadow?

I’m always on here bitching about when people only focus on the light, but someone recently asked how to work with shadow then. That’s a damn good question.

As with all shit like this, I can only tell you how I do it, and I’m sure there are a million different ways and they’re all equally effective. 

Firstly, you’ll have to go out in the dark. Metaphorically. Leave your flashlight behind in the warmth of the kitchen. If you bring it, your eyes won’t adjust. Grab the shovel from the porch on the way. When you reach the edge of the woods, you’ll realize you’re not there alone.

It might look like a monster. But it might look like a friend, a family member, a teacher. They will make an attempt to stop you from entering the woods. You may have even come this far before, but decided to take the advice of what looked like your mother warning you not to enter. 

This is not your mother. Nor is it a friend. Smash its fucking face in with your shovel. These are woods you have to enter.

After this, leave your shovel there. Any digging you do will be with your bare hands.

In the dark, you’ll trip. You’ll trip a hundred times over a hundred different things. Now is that part that takes time: stop and find out exactly what you tripped over. Examine it in detail. It will be gross and sticky and all manner of terrible, but look at it anyway. Dissect.

Once you’ve discovered how it works, leave it there. It belongs in the dark. These are not the kinds of things you display proudly on your mantlepiece. 

Often, I trip over people I want to punch in the face. 

In middle school, I was strolling along and fell hard. Soil in my mouth, I sat up to see what was in my path. It was a stone statuette of a girl who had been in my history class. I spat out most of the dirt in my mouth and had to swallow some. It had been my fifth day at the new school, and a boy had loudly pointed out the fact that I had a Harry Potter book in my arms along with my world history book. His mocking tone had dared the rest of the class to disagree, and none of them did. But one girl in particular had stood out because I knew for a fact that she had a notebook that said Gryffindor on it. But she went along and laughed at me with everyone else, like it wasn’t right there in her fucking backpack. 

At first, it was easy to try and dismiss as hurt that the class had made fun of me, but the next night, it was there in my woods again. It wasn’t until I had tripped over the goddamn statuette several times that I realized it was more than that. It was deeper than that. There was a girl who obviously liked Harry Potter too, but she had been perfectly willing to denounce it to fit in. Her weakness bothered me. She didn’t do what I would have done.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Once I realized the underlying issue, the statuette lost its power. I buried it among the roots of a tree in the dark. 

Find. Dismantle. Understand. Repeat.

Every person you hate, every idea you revolt against, every irritation: look at it long and hard. It’s uncomfortable as fuck. But you have to do it. You have to.

Ask why over and over until you hit the very foundation. And then move into the next question. This is how you maintain your shadow. 

Fuck the “Spiritual” Matriarchy

(Also, fuck the patriarchy.)

Now for today’s edition of My Unpopular Opinion:

Ladies. Let’s talk.

At my local yoga studio, they have a “special” once a week men’s class.

Yay! Good for them! Right?

No. Fucking no.

I wouldn’t have batted an eye if they also offered a “special” once a week women’s class. But they didn’t. Apparently, men aren’t invited to the eight classes they have every day and the seven others on Thursdays.

Sure, come do some yoga! But do it over there, away from us.

Be spiritual, men! But go do it on your own because we don’t want you here.

If my husband dares to walk into the metaphysical shop with me, the three girls behind the counter stare at me as if I’d just brought Donald Trump into a Mosque.

Saying the words, “It’s all about balance,” doesn’t do shit if you don’t live that way.

With “spirituality” spreading rapidly in the west, we need to be embracing men who are interested in what we’re doing and what we have to say. Conscious men are every bit as important as conscious women. THEY’RE THE OTHER FUCKING HALF OF THIS.

If all of us women have realized that we’re badass goddesses, does that not make men badass gods as well? Remind them.

Be angry. But don’t let it cloud your judgement.

As the mother of two boys and one girl, I’m hyper aware of this shit going both ways. We went to see the new Disney movie, Zootopia, the other day. (It’s actually awesome. Don’t let the cutesy animals fool you.) The main character is a bunny, Judy, who becomes the first bunny cop on the force. She was one strong-ass character. Then I started thinking back on other Disney movies. Frozen comes to mind. There are two more badass heroines. But what do the men in Frozen do? Well, Hans is a lying asshole and Kristoff is kind of dumb and too late to be of any use.

Dumb and useless or a lying asshole. Take your pick, boys, because those are the things you can grow up to be!

As we strive for more bold and wonderful females, don’t leave our boys and men left with nothing to be but dumb assholes.

Girls even have great role models. They’ve got J.K. Rowling, Beyonce, the list goes on and on. But who do boys have? Dog-fighting, wife beating NFL players? Um…Kanye West and Justin Bieber? Seriously, I need some male role models.

But what if it could be us? What if the spiritual community, as a whole, not only accepted men into our ranks, but encouraged it? Or even expected it?

I expect it.

 

 

Why I Don’t Read Reversals

That’s right. I don’t read reversals in my tarot readings.

I get tagged and messaged quite often on Instagram with people asking for help or my opinion on a reading they’ve done. Nine times out of ten, they’re flipping shit over a reversed card.

My recommendation? Step number one: turn that shit right side up. Step number two: glean information from the cards.

Why? Let me share with you why I, personally, don’t read reversals.

Tarot cards are worlds. Each of the 78 cards is a door into an entire world that’s based around that one idea. It has the good, the bad, and everything in between that has to do with this theme. That being said, I don’t find reversals necessary.

Reversals give the cards too strict of a meaning. It takes away their power. Learning to read the tarot isn’t just memorizing “meanings.” This isn’t a multiplication table.

For example, some people read court cards as the “positive” attributes of the character portrayed if it’s upright and the “negative” aspects if it’s reversed. But if I draw the Queen of Cups, that’s a door I’ve opened that has everything to do with the Queen of Cups: LIGHT AND SHADOW.

So how the fuck do I know, then, to read it as positive or negative if I don’t do reversals? Well…

Where is it in the spread? If I draw the Queen of Cups for a space that’s “what is no longer serving me,” that’s probably not going to be the Queen of Cups’ positive traits.

Or what are the other cards around it? If I do a three card spread and draw the Queen of Cups, The Devil, and The Tower, that’s definitely going to be refering to her shadow aspects.

No, seriously, though. How do I know? MY INTUITION.

Tarot cards aren’t mathematical equations. Don’t treat them that way.

Hermione Shouldn’t Have Gotten Married, Huh?

It’s International Women’s Day.

Which turns out to be the perfect day to discuss a Harry Potter article that I read a while back whose very title made me bristle.

It was something like 5 Reasons Hermione Shouldn’t Have Gotten Married.

Now hold the fuck up.

Just maybe…she did it…because she fucking wanted to.

The article spoke of how strong of a woman Hermione was and that she “didn’t need no man.”

You’re damn right she doesn’t. But maybe she wants one.

There are people out there expressing disappointment that Hermione Granger got married and had children. Like she was “too strong” and “too intelligent” for that.

These people are the problem. They parade around declaring themselves feminists, but at the same time they are disappointed by women doing things that, well, women do.

Women are made strong and powerful by what they do. They do not have to do traditionally masculine things to be powerful. Women doing traditionally masculine things to become “strong” makes what they’re doing no longer feminism.

Was Mrs. Weasley not a strong female character? Did the fact that she was married to Arthur Weasley make her weak? Was she weak for having had seven children? Was she weak for giving what little she had to those who needed it? Did it take away her strength when she stepped in as a mother to Harry whenever he needed one? When her boggart turned into each of her children lying dead before her, did you lose your faith in her? When she killed Bellatrix Lestrange, was she discredited because it was to avenge her son?

Not a fucking bit. She was strong BECAUSE of those things, not in spite of them.

And Hermione will be too.

And so will you.

My Weird Sacred/Divine Masculine Comparison

I am forever doomed to point out things other people don’t like to talk about.

This post veers dangerously close to my issue with so much modern “spirituality” focusing only on the Sacred Feminine, but I’ll give you a chance to get all up-in-arms over my opinion on that in another post.

There are a million examples, articles, everything pointing out what the Sacred Feminine looks like. How to spot it, how to fix it, how to act like it. Everyone’s a goddess. In an (understandable) attempt to overthrow male dominated societies, masculine traits have become almost demonized. We’re overcorrecting.

There are a few articles out there that will break the Sacred Masculine down into the Sage, Father, Lover, Warrior, etc. But WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?

Enter my odd example.

Naked and Afraid XL. I’m dead serious.

Naked and Afraid is an American reality TV show on the Discovery Channel.

Hear me out now.

This show takes one male and one female “professional survivalist” and dumps them out in the wilderness with no clothes, no food, and no shelter and they have to use their skills to survive for three weeks. This even in itself is fascinating. Then they did a special season with 12 people who had done well previously, and they put them out in four groups of three in the same area to survive for 40 days.

One group of three men was dubbed “The Alpha Males.” They displayed exaggerated negative traits of masculinity-or what people generally think of to be masculine traits. They were aggressive, hasty, and competitive. Once all of the groups met (which was supposed to happen) everyone but the “alpha males” formed a little tribe. They decided to camp a ways away so they didn’t have to share their resources. They tried to hide food they caught so that they wouldn’t have to share it.

But examples of negative masculine traits are easy to find.

Now this is the part I’ve given a lot of thought to: within the little tribe (everyone but the “alpha males”) there was a great example of Sacred Masculine qualities. No one elected him leader, and he didn’t call himself the leader, he just naturally was. When there was indecision, the others automatically turned to him for advice. When he caught food (no matter how small) there was no question that he was going to split it with everyone. He was a mediator, not in a “here, let ME fix it!” way, but to keep order within the group. He didn’t start drama, but he said what needed to be said, even if some people were upset about it. It was obvious that his mindset wasn’t “me” it was “us.”

My favorite example was at the end of the special season. They all had to meet a boat that was going to rescue them once they’d finished their 40 days. The “alpha males” woke up super early and left quietly so that they could travel without being “slowed down” by the others.

Once the larger group realized the “alpha males” had left without them, they headed out too. They were tired. They hadn’t eaten in days. Then they came to cross a wide river they had to cross. You’ll never guess who was the last to shore on the other side: the leader. When one of the group’s members was struggling because he wasn’t a good swimmer, the leader swam back to help him across, and only when he knew everyone was safely across did he climb ashore too.

Because that, my friends, is what positive masculine traits look like.

 

Time and the Ego

The other day I stumbled across a social media rant that was so soul-crushingly fucking stupid I just had this blank moment of disbelief that humans can be so egotistical.

The gist of the situation was that one person was angry that humans mine crystals from the earth. They accused humanity of “tearing out our mother’s organs left and right,” and that “she is crying out in pain.”

I have news. Ready?

We’re not destroying the earth. We’re destroying its environment that sustains us, we’re destroying ourselves, but let me assure you: the earth will carry on.

This commentor shrieked that people’s egos are in the way of seeing what they’re doing.┬áBut apparently assuming that the planet can’t carry on without little human vermin crawling all over its surface isn’t.

Planets, gallaxies, the universe doesn’t measure time the way that we do. Billions of years are the blink of an eye. So for an instant, some pieces of one rock floating around out there were brought up to the surface by some bizarre molecular formations. Guess what? They’ll return again anyway, just as we humans will. Just as the earth will eventually return to wherever it originated. Matter can’t be destroyed, it’s just rearranged.

Perspective. Zoom the fuck out, bitch.

I bought a new green fluorite chunk today, and I’m going to enjoy that shit.

 

The Cultural Appropriation Frenzy and the Tarot

This is dangerous territory, guys. I feel like I’m swimming in alligator-infested waters.

Cultural Appropriation.

Some people wear feathered head dresses to Halloween parties and don’t give two shits about it. Some people make me feel guilty for even existing because human life first started in Africa and how dare white people steal breathing air and walking upright from them.

While we can all agree that shit like blackface needs to fucking go, the “spiritual community” is a very strange place for cultural appropriation accusations to fly. We’ve got white girls with cornrows and dreamcatcher tattoos standing in yoga studios bitching about some Chinese-themed Katy Perry shit. We’ve got black girls on social media telling white girls that they hope their dreads fall out of their heads while turning and smudging their room with a feather and sage.

So every time I light an incense stick, is that cultural appropriation?

Is using jade for its metaphysical purposes cultural appropriation of I’m not Asian? Is it cultural appropriation if I’m not African and I do energy work with spirit quartz? If I’m not Brazilian, can I use amazonite?

What about tarot cards?

Technically, tarot cards were a European card game, so how about cartomancy? Divination with cards started in Europe in the 14th century. Details seem to be disagreed upon, but the earliest documented tarot decks were from Northern Italy.

Are you Italian? Is it cultural appropriation?

Can I have a Celtic themed deck if I’m not Celtic? Are Egyptian themed decks okay? Am I allowed to have a faerie deck even if I’m not a faerie? What if I love the Ghetto Tarot?

Screenshot_2016-01-19-13-51-30~2

Is it cultural appropriation for anyone who isn’t Haitian to own this deck? (I plan on purchasing the Ghetto Tarot and anyone who doesn’t like it can kiss my ass.)

Anyway, I guess my point is this: either practice what you preach or shut the hell up.