one year later, renewal for liberation

dad and menew
my dad, a queer Sri Lankan immigrant who was stateless and crossed a lot of borders before getting to the U.S., and me, age 4, 1979, Nipmuc territory

The only true act of vengeance is to create something more beautiful than what you never had.” — Djes Bellesharpe

Because god is change.

Because renewal is magic and our bodyminds are constantly renewing themselves.

Because I am not the same person I was a year ago.

Because healers, especially crip healers, fuck with the paradigm of always bigger, faster, more = better, with never a stop, limp, detour or break. Because crip healers show that all healers get to stop, change, evolve.

Because darkness and silence and private and not out there is sacred.

Because being at the 2018 AMC’s Healing Justice Practice Space reaffirmed to me that I am a healer and I love healing.

And because the time is now: as my friend Elena Rose said, “This is a paradigm-breaking time that will define the world for generations. We don’t give up. We fight for all our lives.” And many of us need love, guidance and clarity in this time, while we fight and while we wonder what the fuck to do next,  and I’ve got some of that.

I’ve decided to re-open my tarot/ intuitive practice.

Unknown-1I will donate 15% of everything I earn to  Northwest Detention Center Resistance , an undocumented lead group organizing against the ICE jail in Tacoma, the largest immigration prison in the state of Washington. As a chronically ill Taurus who cannot always make it to protests and direct actions, I enjoy supporting the movement by offering healing, and channeling the money from that healing into resistance efforts.

what this means and what I can do:

Crossroads city? Land of What The Fuck? Trying to figure out what is happening, what is true (it may be more than one thing) and what it all might mean? Making a big decision? Trying to find your way through these times? Feeling lost and confused?

I am a tarot reader and intuitive with – damn- 24 years of experience this year. My practice comes and goes, and has stretched from reading cards in the park when I needed rent or bill money as a young person,  to reading for friends and QTBIPOC community members in my bedroom for years, to starting and mainaining a successful intuitive counseling practice for five years from 2012-2017, grounded in healing justice movement. I am curious and interested in what my clients bring to me- the questions, the sitting with the deep and magical  space of the unknown and what is on its way we don’t yet know, with all your life experiences and smarts. I love and enjoy offering deep listening and reflection, a space that is just for you.  Being a seer and looking deep into life questions through an oracular practice.

Because lived experience can be important in terms of finding someone you feel comfortable working with: I am a sex worker positive, disabled as fuck, neurodivergent/Autistic, queer non binary South Asian, Roma and Irish, working class raised with educational privilege and class straddling experience, 43 year old, first generation born in the U.S. on my dad’s side, third on my mom’s, non binary femme. Who has seen some shit.

While I have experience as a sexual assault/ crisis counselor with knowledge about trauma, safety planning, survival and transformative justice, what I offer, although healing, is not the same as ongoing therapy for abuse and trauma. I will, however, not be freaked out by most anything you want to talk about in terms of surviving this world.

QUEEN_OF_SWORDS
The Queen of Swords from the Next World Tarot- the card I keep getting for my self this year.

I use two primary decks: the Next World Tarot, which is a new love and a powerful force for medicine made by queer Cuban femme artist Cristy Road, and the Collective Tarot, an old standby that has my fingerprints woven into it from all the readings I’ve done with it.

Currently, I’m able to offer a time-limited reading practice that allows me room to write, swim and have a life, so I’ll be available a couple days a week. If you are interested in a reading, email me at brownstargirlnew@gmail.com

I can do in person readings in South Seattle, but I prefer phone readings (I’ll send you pictures of the cards after.)  I can do Skype but my internet at the house is finnicky, and for sensory reasons, I prefer phone only.  I promise you I’ll make it present.

I offer sliding scale because my poor and working class clients are my favorites and everyone deserves to access healing. And, if you have access to cash wealth, I love and appreciate folks who help create economic justice by paying more. Here’s an article I like examining some ways sliding scale can work. If you are cash poor and need a payment plan, please email. I am not able to accept barter at this time.

packages:

quickie: 4 cards, $30-60, 30 minutes.

full spread: full Ceylon Cross spread plus maybe more, $60-$200, 60-90 minutes.

deeper dive: want to get yourself a reading a month for three months post a breakup, move, life transition, birth (of a child or a project), commitment?  $150-500. Give yourself the gift of steady healing.

please email me at brownstargirlnew@gmail.com to set up an appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lineage (aka the longer version):

IMG_20160813_201304
cosmos in my garden. my great-grandfather on the Roma side taught my mom to grow cosmos, because they self seeded and were resilient. he reportedly said, “you have to make beauty no matter how poor you are.” I have them tattooed on my arm and thing of them as #femmeofcolorvisibility.

I’ve been reading tarot for myself and other people for 22 years. I began reading cards and practicing numerology in 1994, when I was a  19 year old queer mixed brown survivor femme struggling with the crazy and the trauma (mine and others’) in a fifth floor walk-up in the pre-gentrified Lower East Side of New York.  Reading cards and studying numerology gave me tools that helped me get clear on the struggles I was facing and tap into my own power and choices.  Maybe all the very stressful things happening to me wasn’t just a bunch of chaotic hell (ok, maybe that too)  but were things I could make sense of, see the story in, get clarity about.

Tarot also gave me a container to connect to the intuitiveness that I had always had, that I inherited from my mom’s bloodline. I was a weird, traumatized kid who felt most comfortable with books and trees,  who spent a lot of time reading library books, writing, dreaming and talking to spirits in the woods.  I didn’t have an easy time understanding humans or getting along with other kids my age, but I could talk to the moon like nobody’s business. (All of which was often medicalized as ‘crazy’ and none of which gave me much social capital.)

My mom, a brilliant, complicated, working class and disabled Irish/ Roma survivor and perpetrator of multiple traumas, always knew who was calling before the phone rang (this was before caller ID) and often had precognitive insight into what was about to happen. She had dreams, knew things and could look at someone and tell what was happening, even if they weren’t talking about it.  One of the biggest gifts my mother gave me was teaching me that  witchiness and intuition were just another thing that people, especially femme, cash-poor, crazybrilliant oppressed  and surviving people,  could do – that they were normal, ordinary magic we used to keep ourselves alive.

Over the ensuring two decades, I read people’s cards in the park when I needed phone bill money. I read cards in the corner of 90s queer women of color dance parties and yard sales. I had a brief, weird stint working at a psychic hotline when my contract job at the rape crisis line ran out (true story.)  I kept reading for my friends and reading for myself. I studied tarot, learned to use different decks, maintained a very active working relationship with my altar, and still spent a lot of time in the woods and my garden talking to the plants and the sky.  I had other queer people of color friends who had spiritual practices and were interested in healing, but we barely talked about it. It was the 90s- what did being a witch have to do with ending the prison industrial complex?

Well, as it turned out, plenty. When I moved to the Bay Area in 2007 to attend graduate school and return to the U.S. after a decade in Toronto, I was fortunate to land at a time where conversations about disability and healing justice and what some friends call the “QTPOC witch revolution” were busting out.  The healing justice movement– created by Black, Indigenous and People of Color politicized healers, especially femme ones-  gave me space to claim divination as a form of healing that was important to many communities. I kept showing up to healing spaces, to the collective meetings of the Badass Visionary Healers, a collective I would be part of from 2011-2014, even when part of me was like, “but I’m not really a healer, right?” The healing justice folks I met and befriended believed that there are many ways to be a healer, that healing is not just the province of the wealthy and the officially certified, that many of our most valuable forms of healing have been criminalized and pushed underground- but have survived anyway.  All of this  thinking and organizing changed the world, and all of this is what allowed me to launch a tarot practice in 2012.

Since then, I have been honored to offer divination at many healing justices practice spaces at the Allied Media Conference, CUAV’s Safetyfest in 2010-2011, the 2015 INCITE! Color of Violence conference, the People’s Movement Center and the Healing Clinic Collective.  I’ve been equally honored to heal with folks in my home offices in Oakland, Toronto/ T’koronto (Three Fires Confederacy, Missisuaga of New Credit and Huron-Wiyot territories), Bed Stuy, Brooklyn and Rainier Valley,  South Seattle, and in coffeeshops, on the phone and Skype with folks from all over the world. I have participated in movement building work by helping organize the 2013 Healing Justice Network Gathering at the Allied Media Conference,  with Cyree Jarelle Johnson co-teaching a workshop called Divination for Liberation at the 2015 AMC,  and, with Adaku Utah and Susan Raffo, helping to create the 2014 Healing Justice for Black Lives Matter fundraiser, where healing justice practitioners from across North America and beyond donated money from their clients on December 17,2014 to the Ferguson Black Lives Matter protestors’ bail fund.

Identities: My mom is Irish and Roma and my father is Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan.  I identify as all of it, and as a mixed, light skinned femme of color. Learning that my mother is Roma is newer information for me.  For a long time, what I was told was that she was Irish and Ukrainian. Two years ago, I received information from a family member that that side of the family was actually Roma, but had passed as Ukrainan to escape anti Roma violence. I had always honored that tarot emerges from a Roma spiritual tradition; I am especially honored that this form of divination is one emerging from of my cultures.

I am a non-binary queer femme, 41 years old, disabled and chronically ill, working class with educational privilege, neurodivergent, and a survivor of abuse.  I am  a writer and educator: you can find out more about my books, my writing workshops and performances here.

 

 

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