This is a special way I get to do my work.
I am so damn excited about this!!!!!
I have been thinking and feeling out deeper ways I can show up to the unspelling of trauma, to the liberation of the life force, to folks whom trust me with their emotional and financial resources in good faith that doing so will be informative, empowering and help nourish momentum towards wholeness. I am not a licensed mental health practitioner, nor do I want to be one. What I want to do is show up, with what I know-study-learn-experience about how trauma moves, behaves, lies and gets stuck in a creative way. In a more embodied and playful way.
I'd been seeing the limitations of various approaches to trauma work in my own life (which could/should be a whole long winded post of its own!) and began ruminating on how access to trauma work can be made relational and personal, especially for folks just starting, fearful or who have been hurt by other practitioners, folks who don't want to talk about details, folks whom need to be seen in the context of their spiritual practices/beliefs, folks who want to focus on a specific pattern/struggle, etc. As someone showing up to do this work with others, I was seeing some of the problematic elements of the models already existing both in herbalism and mental health (another thing I could talk about in its own post at length!). We do such intense work in sessions, sitting with the full context of what we are experiencing as survivors - the body stuff and the life stuff - in like one 90 minute consultation...sometimes, I think I managed it quite well, and other times it was unclear how to make good recommendations based on the enormity of the scope that trauma has: it infiltrates our being down to our very cells. It creates patterns that get fused with identity. It molds the body and creates allergies to restoration and play.
I started deeply pondering other ways I could show up as a support in one-to-one models that may be less laborious on the person seeking support, as often the first whole half of the session can be heavy questions and all the intimate vulnerability of trying to explain big, painful or scary things with the hopes I catch on to what matters and am able to narrow these down to solutions and clarity. I've been doing my best, but I began wanting to be more accountable in my offerings and to make it feel less like mental health work and more like a gift, an opening, an individualized discovering about trauma with more play, and in ways that stimulate connection with your own ley lines to places of power.
As I began genuinely questioning the models of service, the cards began coming to me. First just as vivid symbols that I kept thinking, "I should write about that....." but then they began to feel more like living beings to me, portals. And that is when I knew I had to do this thing.
As passionate as I am about patterns, I have never been able to fully work with Tarot...I just love what other folks do with it, but it had never spoken to me the way plants do. But my housemate is creating a set of cards doing profound work with grief (@theundergroundriver) and in our connection together, I began to understand the symbols to be calling me into that work as well.
Thus, the complex drama deck is coming into the world! :)
About the deck and readings:
Right now I am in the process of creation and writing, I'll have my first proto-type deck finished so that it can go with me on my travels overseas and be informed by whatever happens to a person when they touch down on ancestral homelands for the first time. I want to leave space for that to come through. But before I leave, I am offering some readings! Help me break them in?
The deck is largely composed of symbols that have informed my journey or represent something we know about trauma, the undoing of it and tools that can be powerful along the way. It is 39 cards, 3 rows of 13, moving from disembodiment into embodiment. Each card is a portal into a trauma pattern that shows up, maybe on the body, relationships, self or intimacy with the world around us. The takes us into the portal of the pattern and helps us also identify the way out, the unspelling of it, especially in combination with other cards present.
'Readings' are about surrendering a bit to the process. It isn't about future telling or systems of divination that are designed to predict, rather this is opening up to seeing what cards present to inform and engage, what portals become access points to explore as you wrestle with either the whole of your story, a specific thing happening, or a place you feel stuck. You can either tell me, or not tell me. Either way will work. I'll pull some cards and tell you what I see about the cards in pattern with one another, which can allow for you to ask questions and explore what comes up in response to the cards. In this way, we get to do some profound work without you having to even tell me the details. I mean, you can do that too, especially if you feel like you aren't clear on what you want from the cards, which is fair too. But here, we get to both surrender into the process a bit and I earn my keep not only through having a very deep intimacy with the portals but also making sure your experince with them takes you closer to your own myth and symbols.
I'll record the session (phone or audio recording during a video session) and you'll have access to that, images of the cards that were pulled and as soon as they are ready, .pdfs I have written about the cards with writing prompts or other exercises to continue the work and reference. I'm really excited about this. :)
Here is the timeline for this deck to come into being:
- I'll be offering 10 donation-based spots to folks on my newsletter to officially break in the deck! That will go out probably May 1st for appts. in the first couple weeks of May. More pics and writing as they are ready!
- Late May I will send out an opportunity for folks who may want to have a copy of the deck & book as pre-order, I'll be self-publishing and anticipate the deck and book will be ready for shipping mid-September...I am not really trying to make this deck a huge thing that I am trying to 'sell' but more something that can be a portal for folks who resonate with it. The book's purpose will be to both explain the cards and working with them solo, but really to also talk about using symbols along your own journey out of trauma as tools, and make your own deck should you want to!
- late June, when I return from teaching overseas I will be doing readings! And, also, some writing and sharing about the cards