love is shadowmagic, a meditation

I’m slowly opening up to the giftcurse that is honesty with self. Yesterday evening and night I sat with some oldnew knowledge about myself and my relationship to abundance.

Gratefully, I didn’t sit alone for very long, and in that way I always feel Yeye, Oshun kissed my cheek and caused me to laugh and cry at the same time. She who had intimately known deepest loss and lack enough to femmifest her own damn abundance. Mama Oshun who blesses her children by showing us the way around- so that we don’t have to know deepest loss and lack to know abundance.

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I don’t always listen, so I’ve gotten to know loss and lack, and every time she holds out rose quartz and citrine and lavender and cinnamon and honey and peacock feathers and sweet water and asks me to be still at the side of a river and remember.

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AsaliTea: Sweet Moon Tea Blend [available]

Sweet Moon

Lovingly crafted for folx who cycle with the moon. Embrace release and move out what no longer serves you. Bring in new sweetness and divine joy to carry you into the next cycle. Drink as a tea or drop infuse a scoop for your bath.

[available]

boil boil, cauldron bubble; the sweetmix

Though nothing as sinister as Shakespeare’s witches. Only goodness and light and protection in my hot little simmer pot.

I let this simmer as I did a serious sage and palo cleansing of my space. As the smoke cleared- first the sage, then the palo, then the sandalwood and rose incense- only the simmer pot’s sweet citrus fresh remained.

My place feels amazing.

What’s in my pot?
– Sage, lemon, seasalt, and rosemary for cleansing and protection
– Oranges, jasmine, and roses to bring in sweet sweet energy

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Bonus tip: pour down your drains in your kitchen and bathroom sinks and tubs

Bonus bonus tip: be sure to replace any energy you clear out (clear out the bad, bring in the good)

Tarot of the QTPOC: The Haitian Tarot

Continuing my Tarot of the QTPOC series. Thank you to Beth from The Little Red Tarot for your lovely shoutout!

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First things first, yes I know it’s not called The Haitian Tarot. Work with me here.

This is a deck that has made the rounds, even going as far as mainstream getting an article in The Guardian. An article, by the way, whose very title exhibits why I took so long to even be able to write about this deck. So I’ll be brief and to the point about it.

The production process of this deck makes me very uncomfortable. I can’t change that just as much as I can’t stand it. I’ve spent a whole lot of time wishing that a person of color was behind this, receiving the bulk of credit (and let’s face it, profit) from the project.

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I also know that had it been a person of color, particularly a Haitian black person, there’s very little chance this deck would have gotten the kind of mainstream buzz it had (just think about the kind of publicity indie decks by POC artists are getting, or rather not getting). It doesn’t make it right, but if not for Alice Smeets and her reputation and connections, this deck might not have made it this far- at the complex of privilege and allyship.

Remembering that it means that this has given liberal white organizations and individuals some kind of carte blanche to write endless think-pieces on the word “Ghetto” and remark on its ‘beauty’ and ‘depth’ and ‘resilience’ as portrayed in this deck. People who are quiet after the news cycle forgot Haiti, as European nations interfered with its prosperity, as Haitians were kicked out of their homes in the Dominican Republic.

To echo all the Black voices who’ve come before me, I wish the world loved Black people as much as they love Black culture.

So I have enjoyed this deck vicariously through photos around the internet, visited the Atis Retizans page to learn more about them and their incredible work to find ways to support them directly. Told myself to ignore the little decklust demon that kept asking me to purchase the deck.

It kept nagging at me, there is a deck out there with mine and my people’s face on it, and I can’t even completely revel in that rarity. How messed up is that?

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the Hermit Card (far right) is stunning, goodness!

Much deliberation and hemming and hawing and the bottom line is, I can’t ignore a deck with beautiful black faces, proud in their artistry. So I’ll focus on the Atis Rezistans, and their incredible creativity, their fierce reclamation of the ghetto, the genius of their composition, and the magic of Black people everywhere. It’s a deck that definitely belongs on the Tarot of the QTPOC list. It captures the beauty of Haitian artistry, culture, and tradition.

Grand Rue is the main avenue that runs a north-south swathe through downtown Port au Prince from Bel Air and La Saline to La Cimetière and Carrefour. At the southern end of Grand Rue, amongst the labyrinthine warren of back streets that line the avenue, is an area that traditionally has produced small handicrafts for the ever-diminishing tourism market. This close-knit community is hemmed in on all sides by the makeshift car repair district, which serves as both graveyard and salvation for the cities increasingly decrepit automobiles.

All the artists grew up in this atmosphere of junkyard make-do, survivalist recycling and artistic endeavour… Their work references their shared African & Haitian cultural heritage, a dystopian sci-fi view of the future and the positive transformative act of assemblage…Their work is transformative on many different allegorical levels, the transformation of wreckage to art, of disunity to harmony and of three young men, with no formal arts training, to the new heirs of a radical and challenging arts practice that has reached down through both modernist and post-modern arts practice.

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from their page: the Atis Rezistance 2006 Mardi Gras float made from over a hundred metal oil drums lit from within, beautiful masks and Vodou veves

[all tarot images from The Ghetto Tarot, which I will always refer to as The Haitian Tarot]

 

 

signal boost: Radical Tarot Scopes: January 21st – February 18th

Happy Aquarius season!

I was happy to guest write for Siobhan’s Mirror Tarotscopes again! This time for Taurus, which was such a treat to work a spread for: TAURUS – APRIL 21 – MAY 21

CHECK OUT THE WHOLE AQUARIUS ‘SCOPE!

What is a Tarotscope?

A tarotscope is a tarot forecast for an astrological sign. Previously, I wrote a single tarotscope per sign as a birthday offering. I refer to both tarotscopes and horoscopes as ‘Scopes. I also use the term for a kind of forecast I’ve created that is the first of its kind: a collaborative tarotscope, written by multiple contributors, with forecasts for all 12 signs. Whenever possible, contributors write for their respective sun, rising, or moon sign – no one knows the experience of a zodiac sign like a member of that sign. People say the ‘Scopes are freakishly accurate, as if they were written just for them. The number of guest contributions will vary month to month, but can go as high as 11 collaborators!

xxIMAGE CREDIT

Tarot of the QTPOC: Trung Nguyen

I promise I don’t just focus on forthcoming decks but just one more Tarot of the QTPOC forthcoming deck and I promise the next one will be a current deck you can get immediately.

But first…

(F0r) many people of color – we internalize the idea that we are not considered people worthy of space in our own minds. The people in my life deserve to find themselves considered in the fanciful parts of my imagination – in a perfect world, my loved ones are there, and that means there should be gender variance, there should be a lot of people of color, and depictions of love and attraction should, by its nature, encompass queer affection. (xxx)

Artist Trung Nguyen gets it! I mean gets it! There’s this misconception that QTPOCs don’t belong or aren’t found in the word of tarot, paganism, earth-based faiths, new age practices, old age practices, all of that.

The reality is that we just aren’t VISIBLE.

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all art credit to Trung Nguyen

It is not a little thing to find a deck that has people in it that look like me. We deserve to have as much representation as everyone else gets- decks that give us the option of dark, artsy, historical, deep, fun, light, pretty, magical, modern, exciting, and all the other adjectives everyone else gets to choose from!

One way to ensure that, support the decks that do this work when they do get published, and the artists! Follow Trung Nguyen’s work on Patreon and Tumblr.

On a less social justice note, SAILOR MOON REFERENCE, I’m sold!

signal boost: Voodou Priests And Doctors Are On The Frontline Of Haiti’s Mental Health Care

When it comes to mental health, I always say use as many resources as you have. Unfortunately for most people- especially people of color, especially black people- resources are far and few between. This article discusses an initiative to possibly collaborate with Haitian Voodoo leaders in order to reach the communities they serve. An intriguing approach!

“Voodoo heals the mind, soul and body. The soul is what we are, which controls everything, all our actions and mind,” Max Beauvoir, the “Ati” or supreme leader of Haitian voodoo, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Around 70 percent of Haitians are believed to practice voodoo, a religion with roots in Africa. There are more than 60,000 voodoo priests across Haiti, often living in rural communities, Beauvoir said.

At his voodoo temple inside his coral stone-walled home, a 40-minute drive from the capital Port-au-Prince, Beauvoir has treated people with mental health disorders, as well as cancer and other physical illnesses for the past four decades.

Inside the small temple – surrounded by lush bamboo and palm tree courtyards – is an altar with the benevolent spirits’ favorite drinks in bottles and where cows, goats and chickens are sacrificed to God and the different spirits.

“Voodoo is the soul of the Haitian people and nothing can be done without that cultural basis. It is a way of life. Voodoo has always been on the frontline. It can provide treatment to people who are both physically and mentally ill,” Beauvoir said.

Read more at the source: