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Less than 20 Queer Tarot cards to shoot
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Hello my friends <<First Name>> Ohhh I haven’t written anything in a whee while. It feels good to be sending this out to you.

Summer? It felt like I was in a rush to fit as much joy, adventure and fun into you as possible.  I only reflect on this now, as the first full day of Autumn rain jolts me into a realization that the seasons are shifting. That there’s rain drops on my roof and this is the sound of autumn.  The gardens are getting watering and the forests are drinking in all the gushing rain. That I’ve had so much time basking in the most delicious rains of sunshine and now it is time for a spell of cooler, wetter and darker weather.  That the earth needs this rest, and so do I.  that just a week or two ago I was saying that I was feeling worn out by the pace of Summer. 


What’s happened since I last emailed you all?

 

I finished editing all the queer tarot card photos I created at last years BC witch camp, I did 11 or 13, I can’t remember now - shoots while I was there, and it’s taken me a year to catch up to editing them.  I think I’d created quite the queue for myself.  This year is pretty similar, I still have a large queue of photos to edit but I only did 3 new photoshoots which was SO much more manageable.  I know have a far more specific brief to fill with my cards.  I want the deck to tell as wide a cross section of stories as I can find, so I must do my duty to that goal - that means saying no to lots of cis white queer skinny able bodied non neuro divergent femmes.  (You all are SO beautiful too, but the deck already has lots of these stories).  It is so uncomfortable to not just say yes to everyone who wants to be a part of my tarot deck. I started off that way, but my confidence in approaching people who I do not know growing, my resolve to follow the queerness of this deck demands it from me. I don’t want token diversity here, I want full whole hearted inclusion.  Which is why I will also not stop creating tarot cards once I have a full 78 cards finally.  

 

This year’s witch camp was completely wonderful and so challenging all at the same time.  I think because I now know lots of the people there, the location and some of the teachers, my rose tinted glasses of wonder and new ness are off.  The camp directly and head-on dealt with lots and lots really big things.  Gender diversity and non conformity, erasure of difference cultures and races, and white fragility.   I attended a leadership path and got so much out of it.

 

Looking at myself in the eyes, what am I afraid of, what is the shadow in myself, and to say it out loud in front of a group.  Then saying in front of everyone how I want to be seen, how I see myself.
We also talked extensively about privilege, as those who want to lead or are seen as leaders weather we like it or not, privilege is so import to be aware of in perspective of how we speak, who gets recognition, air time or care.  I want to use my privilege, and seek out the entitlement in myself and remove it.  To let the privilege I have flow THROUGH me so that it becomes for the greater good. To help me be aware of the space I take up, and the lenses of self knowledge I relate to or interact with.

 

This is deep soul searching work and I am so joyful to have gotten a whole week to do this work with myself and others. The other things that this camp taught me a more deeper experience of the intimate kind of love.  That romance between friends and loves, that doesn’t revolve around sex or being in a partnership. I’ve known about this a long time and felt always like I have been skating on the out skirts of it with the poly relationships I’ve been in.  I don’t think my experience of this intimacy has been limited by anyone other than myself.  Actually letting my self open up and be really vocal about what I do or do not want, or where my boundaries are has been magnificent. 
​Here is a little bit about my recent thoughts on my self identity.

I am a gender queer story teller, following in the footsteps of my Irish ancestors the Seanchaí (pronounced roughly “Shan-a-hee”) with that beautiful rolling Gaelic lilt that I don’t think I will ever possess. I am bringing stories of the magical queers together and sharing them with you all and it brings me SO MUCH JOY!

A big thing for me with storytelling is actually learning how to do it! Western storytellers are taught that good stories are built around conflict.  Conflict often means finding the most harrowing bit about someone’s story and creating the narrative plot line based around how the person deals with this.
This is not how I want to tell stories.  I want to be able to deal with and hold space for the hard and traumatic things sensitively with out creating more harm in the process. I want to focus on the transformation journey, stories that focus on moving to the common good, not around strife, but with consent and communication create a story that the audience can learn with.

 

Finding my voice, my courage to say something in situations that are uncomfortable, to speak up against patriarchy, racism, homophobia and transphobia is something past me would never have done.  When I was a kid I was actively taught women are to be seen and not heard, i.e. in the kitchen.  I ironically was a very loud and boisterous kid, making up for being vocally silenced in so many other mischievous and reckless ways.  But what excites me is that my voice isn’t just for me.  I’m working on creating something bigger than me, about more people, and for more people.  I hope it touches lives so tenderly as it has touched and changed mine!

I HAVE UNDER 20 TAROT CARDS LEFT TO PHOTOGRAPH!

 

Wow, just taking a breath in and seeing that I am this close to the end of another chapter in this project is SO exciting. 
I started learning about herbal medicine more seriously this year too.
Mentha spicata, rubus villosus (blackberry), Lavendula, crateregus (Hawthorne), Achillea millefilum (Yarrow), trifoliate pretence flor (red clover flower), calendula officianalis, taraxacum officinalis raddox (dandelion root), Nepetia Catarina (catnip) Foeniculum officinalis (fennel) rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary)!  Sooo exciting.  I don’t see myself becoming a herbalist or someone providing medicines to others but I want to be able to gather, grow and create things occasionally for myself.. I’ve been binge watching the “Herbal Jedi” on YouTube as his herbal teaching videos contain SO much information.  I wish I knew as much about the plants back home in New Zealand as I am learning here. 
QUEER TAROT - The Ace of Wands
We’re in the middle of Ballina, in Ireland actually the Cloghans which is the countryside. At the age of 11 I was sexually assaulted, now I’m completely open about it. I think Neon, my drag character, has been a big help to get through it. It was something that I’d always hidden away from, but at the age of 16 when I came out, I was more open when people would talk to me about it. I found that being open myself helped others as well. Read more
The Six of Cups

Queering the 6 of Cups
I chose the 6 of cups, or vessels, 6 of Water.  I chose this card because it moves through the joys of community into loneliness and the 6 card is where you have found connection and love in yourself. You’re able to have a healthy sense of self and then join with others and experience connection. Often theres heartache and we haven’t done our own work enough to be able to step into connection but sometimes there’s these beautiful glimmering moments. Read more..

The Knight of Pentacles
QUEER TAROT - The Knight of Pentacles
This is my meditation tree, it’s a good place. We shot the Knight of Pentacles, the Apprentice of Bones in the Collective tarot. That stable foundation in my life of my body, my household, my job and feeding myself. In the Collective Tarot the image is of a deer, and he’s studying the anatomy of the deer, the process of studying of myself in a very embodied way. That earth stuff, I started a new career this year, I moved at the end of last year, so I have a new house with this family, we live together. Read more
The Knight of Cups

Queering The Knight of Cups
We’re at Christchurch cathedral in Ireland Dublin, my name is Ríon my pronouns are “They / them”. It’s okay to feel really strongly, and it isn’t more strong to shut down your emotions and be cold. There’s a lot of strength in being able to just feel things. There’s a lot of strength in gentleness as well. That can be a powerful thing. I joke about it now, but my way of being strong is radical gentleness, to be vulnerable and soft when it would be easier not to be.. Read more..

Click to check out some the previous Queer Tarot Cards
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