A Foolish Punk Rawk Girl’s Journey

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  • The Fool – There once was a girl, with a smirk on her pretty little face. When she was mischievous, the sliver of a smirk turned into an enormous grin, and when she behaved, it was placid. One day, a stupid drunk asshole smacked the beautiful smirk off her face and ran away like a scared little rat. The girl vowed to smack him right back, just as soon as she could find him. Her friends kept telling her that she could do anything she wanted, and the whole world could be hers! But she just wanted revenge.
    • The Magician – Her switchblade was dull, but the junkie on the corner pointed her in the direction of a guy who could fix her up right. The moonlight glinted off the dull blade as she strode up to the front door of a house off the main road. To her surprise, a wrinkled man with kind eyes and thin, long, grey hair answered the door. He seemed unimpressed, but ushered her in. Despite his wrinkles, he seemed young. There was an unusual pep in his step and a twinkle in his eye. The girl tapped her foot impatiently as he whittled away at her small blade on an archaic whetstone. Sparks flew off the blade and she wondered if he was intentionally taking longer because she was in a hurry. Her tapping stopped and her tense shoulders released. Immediately, the wizened wizard finished and sent the punk rawk girl on her merry way, without another word.
    • The High Priestess – With freshly sharpened blade in hand, she set off to track the scent of her nemesis. She spit in disgust at the thought of him. Her delicate skin still stung from the blow. Her ego was even more bruised. As she walked down the dull, empty streets, a bright sign caught her eye. “Psychic” was lit up above a lavender door with silver and gold stars painted on it. It seemed out of place on the gloomy grey day. Palming her blade just in case, the girl slipped inside the dark store to the ironic sound of bells alerting the psychic of her presence. The girl found herself in a room with a solitary mirror and nothing else. Her plain reflection shown back at her. Despite the piercings, tattoos, and bright green spiky hair, her face was plain, with bags under her eyes, and a disgusted look plastered permanently on her face. The girl tried to smile back at herself but it only turned into a frown. “What you seek is seeking you,” a gentle woman’s voice seemed to come from behind the mirror. The psychic revealed herself and asked her to sit, but the girl could only stare at her own reflection as the woman stared at her. After some time, the girl left without a word, and again the woman called after her, “What you seek is seeking you!”
    • The Empress – The girl shook off the uncomfortable feeling from the psychic’s place and pondered how she let herself be drawn in. She strode deeper into the heart of town and the sky grew even darker. It began to rain. She stopped at a hotel and decided to stay for awhile. It was a seedy joint that allowed you to stay by the hour, but the girl just hopped up to the bar and grabbed a drink. The bartender was a beautiful young woman with a huge pregnant belly. Her face was round and friendly. The girl almost wanted to smile as she ordered her whiskey and coke. Miss Prego poured her a generous shot and gave her a wink as she set down the glass. As the storm raged outside, the girl wrapped her worn army jacket tighter around her, hunching her shoulders and sipping her drink. The bartender kept the drinks coming and even brought her a side of fries. After 4 whiskey-cokes and a couple of hours, the punk rawk girl was mellowed out and sufficiently content.
    • The Emperor – The rain stopped soon after, but the girl decided to stay contentedly in her little corner. The alcohol had made her sleepy and she faded in and out of consciousness. As she drifted off to sleep, an older gentleman walked into the hotel, sopping wet. In a booming voice, he demanded to know what she was doing in here. The man wasn’t looking her way, but the girl immediately straightened and pointed to herself, “Who, me?” The old man continued his rant barking at her (or at no one in particular?) to get up and get dressed and help him. Her rebellious nature cursed and resisted as she did what she was told. She softened her hair and changed her outfit.
    • The Hierophant – As she emerged from this transition, the old man was nowhere to be found. “Why do you want revenge?” A different old man! Her initial reaction was to spit back, “Why wouldn’t I want revenge?” but something made her hold her tongue. She opened her mouth but no words came out. The old man talked about the truth of revenge and bitterness, as a reflection of the inner state of mind. Surprisingly, the punk rawk girl didn’t react, but softened her stance and listened.
    • The Lovers – Dazed and a little enamored with the unconventional wisdom of the two old men, the punk rawk girl emerged from the bar looking like an entirely different person. Her hair was now a platinum blonde and fell in soft curls around her face, and her white t-shirt and jeans blended nicely with the minimal make-up. More than just changing her look, her demeanor was kinder. Across the alleyway, she spied a couple leaning in close, noses touching, unaware of anything around them. The air around them seemed to glow green and pink. The girl felt at peace and the revenge within her gave way to a subtle feeling of contentment.
    • The Chariot – The feeling quickly faded as the couple suddenly broke their intimate gaze to stare straight at the little punk rawk girl. Police sirens began to wail and the couple dove behind a dumpster. Before she could grasp what was happening, the couple reappeared, grabbed the girl by the arm, and pulled her into the back of a black and white sedan. Breathing heavily, the man yelled at the driver to move faster. Then, softer to the girl, “See, you can’t leave your goals to fate, little one,” he said. The old spiky haired girl within her would have already pulled the switch-blade out and demanded an explanation, but for some strange reason, she understood what he was getting at. She nodded as he said, “The wheels of fate turn as they will, but occasionally you can steer.”
    • Strength – The punk rawk girl decided to take charge. “I’ll get out here, thank you.” The couple smiled, as if to say, “Excellent choice, my dear.” The girl found herself on the edge of town, bordering a beautiful forest. How beautiful the trees were, the wildflowers were bountiful, and the sun was rising in the East. She followed a path into the forest and it wasn’t long until she came upon a man on the side of the road. He was bloody, beaten up, and curled into a ball. She wasn’t even sure if he was alive. Surely there was something she could do for him. As she walked closer, she recognized him as her nemesis, the same fucker who had her traipsing around with blood on her brain. For a moment, instinct kicked in, and her hand reached for the blade – to finish him off if he wasn’t already done for. Then a spark of a thought, “Better to leave him to rot in pain.” But the instincts were quickly replaced with compassion at the suffering creature before her, no matter his previous crimes.
    • The Hermit – As a rule, if he came to, she would leave immediately. She just wanted peace from the entire ordeal. It was exhausting, the energy it took to be angry and violent. But she tended to him, gave him water, and dressed his wounds. How had she come to be so filled with compassion? The answer to this question did not seem as surprising as the answer to the inevitable follow-ups – how had she been so vile and violent in the first place? The answers didn’t matter now. The ensuing peace and contentment, the resolution to the conflict was all that mattered.
    • The Wheel of Fortune – Later that day, the stupid, drunk asshole – who was now just a sober, beat-up schmuck – finally woke up. When he shook off unconsciousness and looked at the girl, he freaked out and ran away. As he stumbled off, though, he dropped a pair of dice. A little relieved to be rid of her patient, the girl picked up the dice. They were not numbered, but each side featured a different, strange symbol. Curious, she gave them a roll. On one, a crescent moon appeared, and on the other a bright, shining sun. The opposite rolls made the girl smile. As she grabbed the dice to put them into her pocket, however, she noticed the sky dim and the forest grow darker. Dusk had come much too early, it seemed. But as she looked to the sky, she saw the setting sun in the West, and a slight sliver of the Moon in the East.
    • Justice – The girl continued on the path under the purple sky and vowed to go as far as she could before it got truly dark. Wolves started to howl, and crickets began to hum, as the Earth settled into the night. But the girl kept walking and turned her flashlight on only after it was pitch black and she couldn’t see a thing in front of her face. As soon as her light came on, she squealed at the sight of another bloody being. It was him! This time he was really dead. It looked like a bear or wolf had mauled him good this time. Maybe those were his lucky dice. Maybe now they would help her survive.
    • The Hanged Man – The asshole’s death had been less pleasing than she thought it would have been. It was almost bittersweet. She lacked the will to feign concern for his soul, but lacked also the vengeance she once had to feel pleasure at her previously sought justice. Now what? She felt like an uncomfortable clean slate. Everything was in order, but there was something off about it. As she stepped along the path, her mind wandered, brow furrowed. The punk felt a tug at her ankle that shook her out of the dream state. Before she knew what happened, she was upside down, hanging from a tree trunk by one foot, dangling from a rope. A trap. How typical. Maybe her luck wasn’t changing after all. And as she swayed back and forth, watching her shiny platinum locks flowing the breeze, she believed in her heart of hearts that something beautiful was about to happen.
    • Death – “Oi! Whatcha doin up ayr, lurv?” A friendly voice from down below. “Ay’ll cutcha down, no prob’m!” A slash, a breeze, and the cold hard ground right on the noggin. Black. In the sea of darkness, a light flickered in the distance. The friendly voice echoed over and over in her head as the punk girl lost consciousness. She dreamed of a far away kingdom where she was the queen. Her benevolent nature exuded on the throne and her people loved her. In the hazy image, she felt true and real, but beneath the confident exterior still lie the small, frail green-haired girl who was always on the defensive. She wasn’t dead, she wasn’t even hidden. She was there, united fully with the majestic queen in all her glory. The little punk rawk girl shared in the glory.
    • Temperance – When she came to, the first thought was there was a queen inside her now. Oh, but damn her head hurt. The queen was screaming to get out. The two sides at war within her were vying for power. The rebellious punk inside her knew she was losing, but felt the validity and necessity of all her resisting. Her resistance had marked her survival. A dead queen couldn’t accomplish much. So, the inner queen forced her to pick up her emaciated, broken body up off the ground, and begin walking. To where, she didn’t know. She only knew couldn’t remain where she was.
    • The Devil – The path was getting dark again. How long had she been out? She couldn’t remember the last time she ate. The hungrier she got, the more the emptiness inside craved something more. She remembered bits of drunken nights and flirtations with whatever drugs were available. But most of all she craved the touch of another human. The touch from that drunken asshole. Not the violence or the abuse. She wasn’t that fucked up. She craved the tenderness and love, and even the worship he conveyed to her through his hands. It was true. As much as she hated him, she loved him even more. Was it really love or was it something else?
    • The Tower – As dusk fell over the forest, the path opened up to a walkway lined with torches. It led up to a single, tall tower. She could do nothing else but stare ahead and walk straight up to it. Her hair began to frizz. Beads of sweat pooled on her forehead. The tower was on fire. She could not help but keep walking. The path stayed straight ahead and so did she. Everything inside her wanted to turn away but she wasn’t able to even avert her eyes from the flames licking high into the night sky. Up the steps, through the door. Squinting through the smoke, she climbed higher and higher. The brick walls began to tumble around her, but the stairs stood strong. The ground shook. The steps spiraled up and up. The top of tower came crashing down. Still, she walked. She walked until there were no steps left but a few crumbling bricks and there was nothing between her skin and the cool, night air. She exhaled and dove off the edge, head first.
    • The Star – Splash! Lucky, this tower had moat. If the tower had been a dream, the icy water woke her up. She stood, again staring into the distance, but this time at a bright light illuminating the sky. In the pool of water, her reflection stared back at her, beautiful as ever, her porcelain skin glowing in the moonlight. A deep peace and content settled over her. There was nowhere to hide from the bright star and there was no need. Here in all her splendid, exposed glory, she was loved for who she was. Then, she cracked the biggest smile of her life. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt so at home in her own bare bones body. But she didn’t care. What mattered was now. And right now, she was the brightest light in the multi-verse.
    • The Moon – Feeling refreshed and invigorated, the girl stepped onto the lawn strewn with debris and walked away from the tower. The moon had risen high into the sky, a big bright spotlight on the world before her. The forest and the grass glowed a dark green, but little shadows dotted the landscape where the moon’s light did not touch. She felt drawn to one such area behind a rosebush. She was not ready to be seen in all her naked, splendid glory, without the aid of make-up, dyed hair, a permanent scowl, and her switchblade. Even the rags of her clothes had fallen off in the dive from the tower. Who was she without all of the ornaments?
    • The Sun – She pondered and contemplated all night until the purple-orange sunrise began to peak over the edge of the forest. Her worries faded with the darkness, making way for hopes and dreams and aspirations. The warmth of the sun settled the queasiness and uneasiness. She stepped out from the shadows and into the light. Her hair dried quickly in the heat. She was still naked, but cared less. In the morning glow, she saw the beauty of the world around her. The edge of the forest was dotted with hundreds of wildflowers in every color. The green grass reflected the light of the rising sun. The fallen tower was now just a pile of rubble next to the sparkling moat. Finally, as the sun grew brighter, the dark sky faded into light blue and white, puffy clouds.
    • Judgment – From the clouds emerged a figure. The girl had to squint and shield her eyes to see. A bird? An angel? Then, a flash of light and a booming voice, “You cannot continue to be the little girl, when you are now a queen.” By the time her eyes adjusted, the figure had disappeared. After the last couple of days, nothing would surprise her, least of all being called a queen. It was just a matter of fact, now. She had a choice whether or not to accept the role, of course. There is always a choice. But she knew by now that the more she resisted, the more she would be persuaded.

 

  • The World – At last, as she walked, her kingdom came into view. She surveyed the tiny kingdom in the valley, pondering its fate now the king was dead. And maybe that stupid, drunk asshole had driven her to madness, but he had also driven her to radical change and growth. Or did it really have nothing to do with him, and everything to do with her, and only her?

    THE END.

    If you’d like to learn more about how to read tarot, check out my online tarot course!

 

Santa’s not real, but Magic is

I have never really been very into Christmas, and although I’ve never perpetuated my children’s beliefs in Santa, I didn’t hinder them either.

A few years ago, when Gianna was 8, I remember asking her if she believed in Santa and she shrugged and said, “Not really,” but I could tell there was a glimmer of hope in her eye.

I replied, “Well, you know he’s not real.” 

I’ve pretty much always told my children this. Not in a malicious way of course, but more matter-of-fact. I may be judged for this and that’s fine. I feel comfortable with my parenting.

Gianna was thoughtful for a moment and then posed a question that came from a very contemplative place, “How do you know he’s not real, Mom? Can you know for sure?”

She was challenging me and of course I had to say, “No, Gigi, I don’t know for sure that he’s not real.”

Now that she’s 11, Gianna still challenges me when I tell her Santa is not real.

However, even though I don’t talk about the mythical Santa Claus to her, I encourage her to entertain the fantastical through stories of other magical creatures in books and from my own imagination.

I don’t tell her that magic is real, but encourage her to take the same approach with these possibilities as she does with Santa. How do we know magic doesn’t exist? We don’t. I like to live my life imagining magic and miracles are real and encourage my children to do the same. I won’t ever tell them what to believe, but instead invite them to discern what they believe from their own experiences.
I’m proud for raising a child who is both realistic and inquisitive, who can entertain the magical and challenge the norm.

Curious C*nt Podcast – Ep3: Spirituality, Relationships, & Sacred Masculinity

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Episode 3 of the Curious C*nt is now available to stream on my Patreon page!

In this episode, Justin Blackburn and I chat about a lot of different, unconventional thoughts on spirituality. We also discuss intimacy, porn, conscious relationships, emotions from a male perspective, and sacred masculinity.

This was such a fun conversation with an aware, awake, but super down-to-earth guy. I love connecting with fellow writers and seekers. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for my podcast, shoot me a message!

Here’s a clip of the episode where Justin reads an excerpt from his novel “The Bisexual Christian Suburban Failure Enlightening Bipolar Blues”:

Click here to stream the rest of this episode. On the right, click “Become a Patron.”

You can connect with Justin here:
Website: justinblackburnwrites.com
Facebook: facebook.com/justinblackburnjoy
IG: instagram.com/yogapoetcomedianveganlifecoach/

This video explains a little better what my podcast is about and what Patreon is:

Curious C*nt Podcast – Ep1: Tantra, Healing, & Sacred Sex

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Episode 1 of the Curious C*nt is now available to stream on my Patreon page!

In this episode, Erika Susana Briones shares about her life, healing from sexual trauma, and how she helps others do the same. She shares her wisdom, sexual expression, and the importance of having a safe sex talk with your kids. We talk about sex education, awareness surrounding sexual health, and simple tools to enhance the human connection.

Our language is direct and NSFW. Use discretion around your kids (or at least, be willing to have a conversation with them afterwards!).

Here’s a clip to give you a little intro into Erika’s work:

Click here to stream the rest of this episode. On the right, click “Become a Patron.”

This video explains a little better what my podcast is about and what Patreon is:

You can connect with Erika here:

Website: www.sexysoulmatrix.org
SnapChat: SexySoulMatrix (where she gives a daily sex tip!)
Instagram: SexySoulMatrix

SexySoul Ladies (FB group for girls only): https://m.facebook.com/groups/1732540000356234?ref=bookmarks

SexySoulMatrix (FB group for all genders):
https://m.facebook.com/groups/1260990843926694?ref=bookmark

 

My Life in the Tarot: The Hierophant

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The Hierophant is usually depicted as an old religious elder speaking to children. He’s represented by the number five in the Major Arcana. I believe fives are associated with hidden magic (among other things). In my life, I feel he has surfaced and resurfaced in order to inspire the hidden magic within myself.

When I was about 10-12 years old, I wanted to be a nun. I even had a nun pen pal, and wrote back and forth with her for many years. My family and I visited her convent and I got to meet her. I think when I was a teenager, I may have spoken out loud that I wanted to be a nun, but I didn’t really believe it then.

I spent my youth being indoctrinated with Catholic dogma, and I say this in the most loving way possible. I still have a soft spot for everything Catholic – the cathedrals, the rituals, the comfort of the consistent structure that the Mass provides. I was not raised to be a lukewarm Easter/Christmas Catholic. I was bred as a devout, daily Mass-going, rosary-saying, jumper-wearing, homeschooled, and chaste picture of what a good Catholic girl should be (not like the Catholic school girls, no!).

I read as many biographies of the Saints that I could. I knew aspects of the liturgy that some priests might be hard-pressed to define. I could recite all of the main prayers in Latin. My parents, mainly my mother, were proud of this. My mom is currently employed by the Church and my dad is ordained as a deacon.

In our homeschool curriculum, we used many old texts from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s which were being re-printed in the 90’s for this new wave of homeschoolers. One such text was the Baltimore Catechism. There were questions and answers that had to be memorized to ensure a complete and lasting indoctrin-oh, I mean-education! I was shaped and molded from a very young age, and yet here I am, an astrology-loving, tattooed, tarot reader and yoga teacher in all my hippy dippy new age glory.

My mom would probably scoff at the fact, but because of her, I am who I am today. Although she was dogmatic and religious like the Hierophant seems to be on the surface, her love was rooted in knowledge, learning, and critical thinking. In certain situations, the Hierophant can be less of a rigid, religious figure and more of a philosophical Socrates type. Or at the very least, he represents the intersection of the mysteries of God and the practical application of knowledge and wisdom.

 

Image: Elfenzauber
You can request a reading here, or learn more about my online tarot course here.
Get your full 2017 reading and report here!

Boys, please wake up. We need you.

Since I’ve been single, I have been consistently disgusted at the audacity of men who want to get laid and/or get attention from me.

Please, for the love of God, I am a HUMAN BEING. Just because I may like casual sex occasionally, does NOT mean that I won’t be discerning in who I pick to have sex with. Being sexually healthy means being able to say “yes” when I want to and “no” when it’s appropriate. When I say “no”, this is not an invitation to ask again in a different way. This is an opportunity to treat me like a human being and respect my autonomy.

And for those guys who want to just message and say “what’s up?”, that’s totally cool, but don’t be surprised if I don’t reply. It’s not that anything is wrong with you. It’s just that I don’t want to waste my time in endless, meaningless dialogue. If you want to know a little secret, try asking me a question about something I wrote or a picture I posted. Ask me about my favorite book, or what kind of video games I like to play. Treating me like an actual person who you want to have a conversation with seriously increases your chance for a response.

Oh and by the way, I hate that I have to clarify this, but in the event that I DO respond to you, this DOES NOT mean we’re going to hang out, and it certainly doesn’t mean we’re going to have sex. It means I have responded, and you can commence with the conversation. If what you need is merely to get off, then may I suggest masturbation and some good porn?

If it is sex you desire, can you explore that a bit first? Is it really just sex? Or is it real, genuine human connection? Is it conversation? Maybe someone to listen? Maybe you just need to be touched. Maybe you need a friend. Sex is a quick fix, but it’s not a permanent remedy for what really ails you. Sex can heal those broken layers, but you have to be willing to admit it first.

Guys, men, boys, please hear me. We love you. We need you. We need you to wake up. We need you to be present. We sure do spend a lot of time talking about how women matter and how as women, we are coming into our own. This doesn’t mean we forget about you. No, on the contrary, all of humanity is waiting for you to stand up and take your roles. I know it’s scary because we’ve kind of taken our feminine power back in the last few decades. I know you may feel a little diminished. But realize that your masculinity is exalted in this distinction with our awesome feminine glory. We complement one another. We need each other. Please, boys, I’m begging you. Wake the fuck up.

mattcomic
Comic by Matt Northup

Synchronicity, a Waitress, and a Retiree

Hi, my name is Erin and I’m a waitress. [insert big fat sigh]

Yeah, it’s what I do to make a living. I’m making a enough to support myself and my kids since I’m a single mom again. I don’t have a significant other to help pay the bills anymore and I don’t have roommate. Sometimes I hate that I have to take time away from my real passions – writing, tarot, yoga, and Reiki – to wait tables so I can pay my rent and buy shampoo.

Other times, like today, I’m grateful to be able to witness a little synchronicity at my job, (yes, it’s where I work, but not who I am!).

Today, I was waiting on a regular customer, an older gentleman who usually sits at the same table and orders the same thing every day. He is always pleasant and polite, patient and understanding. I’ve had the pleasure of a few conversations with this wonderful man, but until today didn’t know much about him. I discovered that he retired from the Air Force in 1992, after 35 years of service as a fighter pilot. His last assignment was at Homestead as the Wing Commander of the entire base..

When he told me this, I said, “Will, how come you never told me you were such a big deal?” He smiled humbly, and replied, “You never asked me.”

He retired as a Colonel. After that, he was the city manager for Homestead during the five years after Hurricane Andrew devastated that part of Florida. He had to quit his job when his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She has since passed and I can still see the love in his eyes when he speaks about her.

As a service member, Will was accustomed to working 14 hour days. When he became a civil servant, his hours were even longer. Sometimes he wouldn’t come home until after midnight. During his time as a city manager, his wife was working and going to school, so they rarely saw one another, but he remembers fondly their nightly dinners. She would wait for him to come home and they would eat dinner together, sometimes at 1 in the morning. “Then we would wake up 4 hours later and do it all again,” he said.

Will also served three tours in Vietnam. I asked him if he had any stories he might like to share with the world. He said he did. His unit from Vietnam has reunions every year, but he never went until the 48th year. He wants to get the stories of all his friends from that time. He said he’s already begun writing some of his own stories.

When Will speaks about his life – he’s 75 years old now – he has clarity and a reflective honesty that is so important in a storyteller, someone who recounts their human experience subjectively, but is also curious and full of wonder. When I ask him questions, he pauses and reflects instead of answering right away. He’s had plenty of time to contemplate his life. However, he doesn’t have any idea how to start a blog or to send his stories to the people who need to read them. Lucky for him, I do! We exchanged contact information and I hope to help him start a blog or find some outlet for all the stories inside of him.

So on a leisurely Sunday, in the middle of a mostly empty Greek restaurant, even though I wasn’t directly working on one of my passions, I felt moved by not only Will’s genuine character, but also by the timing of our conversation. I am here to tell my story, but I hope to help other people tell theirs too.

I’m here (on Earth, at this job, in this city, wherever I seem to find myself) to help, to heal, and lift others up. I don’t need to be at the head of a yoga class to do that. I carry this desire and ability to help others with me everywhere, even to my measly little waitress job.

 

 

 

Photo: Flickr