Charlottesville: Stand with Communities of Color

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Martin Niemöller (German Lutheran Pastor)

I stand with our marginalized communities who are standing up and speaking against Wooly Thoughts updatedWhite Supremacist groups that have now been given space and voice by our president.  Whatever they call themselves, Alt-Right, Nazis, under any name they represent the worst elements in our country.  I’ve been struggling, as I always do, around what I can do to help.  I’m trying to find the right voices to listen to and to amplify.  Here’s what I’ve got right now.

Attend vigils if you’ve got one near you and you’re able to attend.  Here’s a site to find one near you.

Donate some money to one of the organizations working there right now.  Here’s a list.

And this: Talk about it.  Having these conversations can be really hard, but the responsibility of anyone who wants to act as an ally to marginalized communities.  Another friendly reminder:  Ally is not a noun, Ally is a VERB.  It’s a thing you do, not an identity you get to claim.  If you want to say you’re an ally, now is the time to prove it.  Call out racism when you see it.  This is especially true if you’re a white person like me.  It is my responsibility to use my priviledge to help support those people who don’t have access to the spaces that I have.  And it’s HARD, I’m an introvert and I hate confrontation, but if I don’t use the power that I have, it benefits those people who want to hurt our most vulnerable communities.

An in the vein of trying to be a better ally: The Hard Truth that Good White People Need to Hear.

I have just one thought about all the media I’m seeing right now.  I really don’t like the phrase “Silence = Consent”, because that’s SUCH a dangerous thing to imply.  I understand why people are saying it and (I think) what they’re trying to say.  If we don’t speak up when we see shit like this happening in OUR country, we’re giving tacit support.  We NEED to speak up, we need to act up.  And we also need to own up to the fact that this is our problem.   BUT, the word consent here is problematic.  I don’t want an issue of semantics to derail the real discussion going on here, the focus needs to stay on the issue.  But I needed to voice this.  Tone policing is shitty and that’s not what I want to be doing here.  People are justifiably outraged, and they should be.

However, consent.  When a person is raped and they didn’t or couldn’t say no, their silence is not consent.  However, if you witness a crime and you don’t tell someone about it, take the actions that you’re able to take, you are complicit.  You’re letting shit happen and dismissing it by saying ‘it doesn’t affect me, I didn’t participate’.  And that’s not okay.  There’s always exceptions, sometimes you have to keep quiet because it isn’t safe.  And I don’t advocate putting yourself into direct harm if speaking up puts you into an unsafe situation.

Honestly though, most of us “good white folks” aren’t risking our safety when we speak up about racial issues.  Yes, it’s uncomfortable, yes it’s difficult, yes it might be scary, but for the most part, we’re not risking our physical safety in bringing up the issue.  It’s something we really need to do if we want to put our money where our mouths are.  No more empty lip service.  DO SOMETHING.  Don’t foist it off saying ‘it wasn’t me’, or ‘it doesn’t represent my hometown’.  It’s our problem and it’s long past time for us to face it and start fixing it.

I’m going to end with a quote from the Hard Truth article:

The country doesn’t actually need “good white people.” What it needs are actual allies; allies who listen to people of color, allies who don’t speak over people of color, allies who do not need to be told that they are good, allies that do not center their activism around whiteness, allies who are not colorblind. If this is too much to ask, if you grow defensive when challenged, if your first instinct is to lash out, maybe you were never actually truly a good white person to begin with.

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

Asali shares a review of the Welcome to Knight Vale tarot deck.

Beth from Little Red Tarot shares Simple Tips for Not So Simple Lives and the Ring of Fire tarot spread.

Northern Lights Witch shares A Tarot Spread for Values-Based Resistance.

Lavender Cream Scones, I desperately want to make some of these. Maybe with lemon in the icing.

Releasing into Norse practice: The beginning of a heathen’s journey.  This is the first in what’s going to be a series on Little Red Tarot.  It’s a fascinating invitation to join Abbie Plouff, in her own words,  on her journey and her “personal relationship to Norse practice, as well as what this means for my identity and my search for purpose.”

 

Violence is not just a Distraction

I want to open this post by first saying this: to all of you beautiful trans folks in our beloved queer communities, I love you, you are valid, you are perfect and you are wonderful.  I want to know you, I see you.  You are not a burden, you are not a distraction.  The world is a shit show right now and I’m sorry that things are exploding in your faces right now.

That said, I’ve got another thing that I need to say as well, because I’ve heard it twice in my everyday life from ‘well-meaning’ white ladies.  And that’s them saying that Donald Trump’s tweets are just a distraction from what’s going on around us.

And that is BULLSHIT.  Yes, I’m sure our current president is trying to distract people from all the crap he’s pulling, but when he uses violence against queer folks, that’s not just a distraction.  That is VIOLENCE.  And don’t be mistaken or misled, the things he’s saying and doing are causing violence against some of the most marginalized folks in our communities.  This is unacceptable and when you tell me that it’s not a big deal, it’s just a distraction, you’re telling me that my life, and the lives of queer people like me, is a distraction.

Also if you’re saying it’s a distraction you’re implying that queer people, because let’s face it, queers are some of the only people paying attention to this shit right now, can’t focus on more than one issue at once, then fuck you because it’s our entire lives.  Our entire lives are trying to juggle the hundreds of different problems that queers face, and somehow we still manage to do amazing things, despite having the deck stacked against us at every turn.

If you’re looking for a way to be better ally: read this article while you angrily retweet things

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

 Liz Worth shares the decks that she works with.  I always love hearing what decks other readers are using and why they love them.  It’s such an enriching experience and gives me great perspective on why I love the decks that I do.

Oh MAN, I REALLY want to see the Wrinkle in Time movie!!!  It features a brown girl as the protagonist in a sci fi movie, YES PLEASE.  A second article: The Reason Publishers Rejected A Wrinkle in Time Is the Same Reason That Ava DuVernay Is Making the Movie.

Ivan Ambrose shared a post about Racism in Tarot, and I agree with Beth from LRT who said that everyone should read it.  Also a note: if your reaction is something along the lines of “I can’t believe that happens, that’s awful.”  I encourage you to follow that thought up with “What can I do to help stop it from continuing?”  Racism in our communities isn’t a problem for people of color to deal with, we’re all responsible to take steps to support the marginalized folks in our communities.  ❤

 

What Tarot is and What it Isn’t

tarot-talkI’m doing some work on the blog and the site today and I realized that I’ve never written a post about what Tarot is and isn’t.  My view on Tarot has been shaped and informed by so many other fantastic Tarot readers to whom I am indebted for helping me as I made my way on my path to Tarot.  But here’s what I have come to believe about Tarot in my own experiences and practices.

What is Tarot? At its most basic Tarot is the use and interpretations of a deck of Tarot cards either on their own or laid out in predetermined patterns often called spreads.  A Tarot deck is a set of (usually) 78 cards consisting of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana divided up in 4 suits.  These suits are traditionally Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles.  Although some decks call them slightly different things, like Staves, Staffs, or Rods for Wands, Coins or Discs for Pentacles, Chalices or Vessels for Cups, and Arrows, Feathers, or Knives for the Swords.

What Tarot Isn’t.  Tarot isn’t about devil worship.  It’s not about placing curses or removing them.  It’s not about spying on your next door neighbor or ex-lover.  When I read the cards for you I’m not going to be making dire predictions about how and when you’re going to die or the precise date and time you’ll meet the person who is your heart’s desire.  In fact, if someone says that if you buy a reading from them you’re guaranteed to meet your perfect mate within two weeks, you should run away.  That’s a scam.

How Does Tarot Work?  All readers will have a different answer to this question based on their own practices, educations, and reading styles.  So I’m just going to answer this for you based on what it does when I’m working with it.  When you get a reading from me I’m going to create some sacred space for you and pull cards to see what message is out there that’s meant for you.  I sometimes work with aspects of the goddess in my readings, sometimes I’ll ask for any spiritual energies that are working towards your highest good to feel free to reach out and influence the reading.  Important note: I am not, nor do I claim to be a medium of any kind.  I can’t channel the spirit of your grandmother and get her famous cobbler recipe for you (even if it was the most delicious you ever tasted).  I believe that by opening myself up safely and in that sacred protected space, it’s possible for benevolent guides to guide my intuition as I read for you.  If there is a message out there for you from a loved one who has passed on, can that come through in a reading?  Sure it can.  And it’s amazing when it happens, but I can’t (and won’t) promise what I can’t reliably give you.  I look at the imagery on the cards and let my intuition take over.  I’ll get impressions that inform how I read that particular card in that particular space and time and that’s what I share with you.

What can Tarot do for me?   I believe that Tarot cards can help us shift our understandings of situations and energies to help us better understand what’s happening our our lives.  I believe they can also help us process difficult things.  It’s like having an objective third party getting us to look at things with a fresh perspective.  This is why I like to help clients ask the best possible questions.  I completely understand what when you’re in a terrible situation you just want to know if it’s going to end, so the temptation is to just ask “Will I get out of this thing?”  But it’s going to be so much more helpful to ask “What can I do to better my situation?”  One of them is just a yes or no answer and the other gives you the tools to find your way out.

How do I get a reading?  If all of this sounds like it’s something fantastic and you’re reading to find out what messages are waiting for you, then you can book a reading with me.  

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

How to read the card on the bottom of the deck.

Useful organization for your life: How to Make and Use Packing Cubes

 I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but sewing on my English paper pieced quilt lately.  I learned how last week and when I get into something like that I tend to go a little bit gang busters on it for a while.  It’s SO FUN!

hexie two

In case anyone wants to play along at home, this tutorial is FANTASTIC!  I use Wonder Clips instead of paper clips for mine though.  Those clips are amazing.

Help Fight Trump and Get a Wooly Reading

Wooly Thoughts updated I felt a call to refresh this offer again today.  So, if you can make a donation to an organization helping to support marginalized communities under the current state of politics.  I’ll give you a free reading!

If you donate $10 or more to an organization that is trying to prevent Trump from harming people, I will do a small reading for you.  Suggestions for organizations that are close to my heart:  Planned Parenthood, ACLU, The Trevor Project, or Black Lives Matter.

I’ll keep this up as long as I can.  Forward your donation receipt (or a screen cap with payment methods blacked out) to me (woolywitchy (at) gmail (dot) com) and your question (or if you’d a more general “message from the universe/deity” reading that’s okay too).  And I will lay out some cards for you and e-mail you a reading.  I’m not sure what time turn around I’ll have, it’ll depend on how many requests I get.  And I’ll do as many as I can.

So get donating and check out my Code of Ethics to make sure my reading guidelines will work for you.

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

 From Northern Lights Witch: a Spell to Help Lift Depression

From Radiolab (one of my favorite podcasts) the Story of Alex Hai, a transgender gondolier in Venice.
We travel to Venice, Italy with reporters Kristen Clark and David Conrad, where they meet gondolier Alex Hai. On the winding canals in the most hidden parts of Venice, we learn about the nearly millenia old tradition of the Venetian Gondolier, and how Alex was forced into a 20 year battle against this job that he loved, and, in some ways, himself. 

In more Girl-Scouts-Fucking-Rock News: Girl Scouts Will Start Offering Cybersecurity Badges to Promote Interest in Science And Math Fields.

From Queen of Wands Tarot: a great essay on reading the Death card  – Death is Death.

From Asali – a lovely thoughtful review of the Personal Space Tarot.

Cosmic Tarot shares some Tarot Affirmations.

A Tarot spread to Detox your Life

Representation Matters in the Spiritual Community.

What I’m Reading: Date Knight by Bridget Essex (just finished it, OMG GOOD.  Sexy lesbian Lady Knights, if you haven’t read this series give it a go!!  Start with a Knight to Remember)
What I’m knitting: my Shawl-Blanket Find Your Fade is ALMOST DONE!  This week I bet!
What I’m listening to: Born to Make History by Dean Fujioka, it’s the opening to my new favorite show: Yuri on Ice!
What I’m watching: see above.  Yuri on Ice!!!  SO MUCH QUEER FIGURE SKATING ANIME.

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

Woman walking strong: I stopped giving way on the sidewalk and found my power.  I have had this experience too.  This article talks about the subtle ways that women avoid taking up space when walking and the way that men just expect to have right of way.  I’ve sometimes done this and it does make me feel good.  I deserve to take up space.  Walking like I had a right to be there, which I do, stopped me feeling angry at other people who didn’t pay the least bit of attention, it just made me feel strong.  Fellow sisters, TAKE UP SPACE, you deserve it. ❤

From Northwest Witch – Six Signs a Plant Wants to Work With You

From Dark Days Tarot – How to read a Square Tarot Card, perfectly appropriate given her square deck 🙂

A Spread to help you change your mindset around an issue.  I can see this being very useful when I read!  MindSet Mover Spread

On Little Red Tarot: a fantastic review of the Urban Tarot, I’m compelled, it sounds like an amazing deck!

Jess Carlson shares: How to Read Tarot Cards Like a Badass. Loved this!  Totally agree.