This week Andrew is joined by the wonderful Lucia! A fun, and artisticly rich episode with discussions of their Art, and practice and how it can move us all forward to the future.
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ANDREW: Welcome to another episode of the Hermit’s Lamp podcast. I am here today catching up with Mellissae Lucia. Who … We’ve been … I had Mellissae on … five years ago? I didn’t look it up before we started but it has definitely been awhile. And, a lot of things have changed for both of us during that time. But, as we’ve been going through our lives, I’ve been watching the amazing artwork, and the sort of interplay of artwork as magic, artwork as divination, artwork as life, that mirrors a lot of pieces of my own journey as well, and, you know, also, the conversations I had in a previous episode with Syrus Ware as well. So, I wanted to have Mellissae on to talk about this and to talk about a bunch of other stuff.
So, if you haven’t listened to that first episode, there’ll be a link in the show notes. Go find it and give it a listen and freshen up, because we’re definitely going to reference a few things from it.
But, for those who haven’t been following you, Mellissae, who are you?
ANDREW: What are you up to? What’s going on?
LUCIA: Hi Andrew, delighted, delighted to be here!
I am Mellissae Lucia, and I’ve changed a lot in the last couple years, and I’m very pro name changes [laughs].
ANDREW: Uh huh.
LUCIA: It drives some people insane! But I’m going by Lucia these days, partially because of the graffiti. Also, when I thought about, what’s my graffiti name going to be?
ANDREW: Uh huh.
LUCIA: Lucia came up.
LUCIA: And so, I am Lucia, and, the people who have known me for so many decades, if you call me Mellissa or Mellissae, it’s all gonna work.
LUCIA: And I am an artist, and an oracle, an empath, an entrepreneur, and I am a person who follows the signs and follows the synchronicities, and has found this ability to have courage, but also joy, drive everything that I do. And, so there’s a whole variety of things that I do, from having created a visionary deck in the New Mexico desert, down in graffiti tunnels, called the Oracle of Initiation. I teach online courses, I teach in person, and adventure is the greatest joy of my life.
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. Well, so you mentioned one thing in passing here, which I want to sort of talk about first, right? What … Tell me about the graffiti.
[bursts out laughing]
ANDREW: Like, what is it about graffiti for you? And even more so, how did that move you to change your name?
LUCIA: [still laughing] Ohhhhh … Well, I’ve had a lot of different spiritual names, and Mellissae Lucia is my pen name, and when I was writing my oracle book in … 2011, that I was writing the book … to go with this six-year project of making my Oracle of Initiation deck.
LUCIA: And [sighs], my legal name is Melissa Weiss Steele. So, that’s my father’s name, and my deceased husband’s name, and I like that … There’s a very traditional side to me, actually, that likes the solidness of that name. But I wanted a more magical name and I wanted a name that was going to possibly … What I found is that mystics, empaths, whatever words you want to call us … That we struggle with being seen. That there have been so many lifetimes of being killed for who we were that there’s some really pretty serious base chakra issues about: Am I going to be taken out in this lifetime for letting everybody know that I’m psychic?
LUCIA: And you know, creative, whatever, intuitive, words you want to use. And so, Mellissae Lucia–in some ways, it also was Tibetan numerology, so it was designed to be auspicious in abundance and connection. But I wanted it to be this public face, this filter for the woo woo side, of going out into the world. So, I like name changes. And the last couple of years, as I say, I’m gonna be, we’re gonna talk about this, but I’m gonna be 50 this year. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life! It’s like things have landed. I’ve integrated. And all of my gifts are now available to me, a lot of them, in ways that I’ve dreamed of, that I’ve worked towards for decades.
LUCIA: So, the Lucia, for the graffiti … I fell in love … well, I fell in … There’s a song from … I mean, there’s a phrase from the movie Brown Sugar, about when did you fall in love with hip-hop?
LUCIA: I fell in love with hip-hop when I was 12 years old, at the middle school. And I was in Seattle, Washington. And this was Grandmaster Flash. So, this was 1980. This gentleman walked behind me, this young guy in middle school, and started singing the words to the song “It’s Nasty,” which is amazing. And my whole body lit up! And, you know, I was pretty shy as a young one, and I went, “What the hell is that?!”
ANDREW: Uh huh.
LUCIA: And, like, it owned me from then on. And I am an 80s/90s hip-hop fanatic, and talk to me about it any time. And to me that’s our tribal roots. That’s our … That’s the basis … Those are our bards, our griots, those are our contemporary truth tellers. Hip-hop is one of those places, you know, the tribal beat and all of that. That’s why it’s worldwide because it’s archetypal. So, graffiti is part of that. And when … In the mid-80s, my mom took me to Paris, bless my mom, and in Paris, they had this stencil graffiti that was INsane.
LUCIA: The skill level was off the charts of this stencil graffiti that was all over Paris. And I, once again, I’m a very passionate person. I fell head over heels in love with the graffiti. And for some reason, it took me decades to do it myself, but I do wheat paste, and I do my collages, my digital physical collages. And they’re very pop culturey, irreverent, punk rock. [laughs] We’re both punk rock; that’s part of one of our connections, and so …
LUCIA: But you need it. You need a name, you need a tag. I don’t … I’m not aerosol, so I’m not spraying my tag. But you want to … This this is a conversation with “Oh, look at that, mmmhmm. There’s some of my Andy Warhol…” I’ve collaged some of the Andy Warhol Polaroids cause they’re brilliant.
LUCIA: But it … So, the name change, I wanted to name a hashtag, so it’s hashtag Lucia graffiti [laughs]. Go on Instagram; it’s all over Instagram!
LUCIA: But it’s … It’s been this incredible joy, because … You know Adam Ant, we’re gonna bust out the 80s. [singing] “You don’t drink, don’t smoke. What do you do? You don’t drink, don’t smoke …” I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t generally do drugs, but I need some risk. I need some challenge. I need something that’s disobedient, that’s rebellious. But I choose to not be incarcerated. I choose to not have my life fall apart from addiction, so, I need things that are going to give me that risk, like trespassing, without taking my life. So, graffiti is that for me. It’s sharing my art, a conversation with the other street artists, self-sanctifying myself. And I get my risk, my adrenaline risk and I love it.
ANDREW: Is that a … Do you think that’s a punk rock thing? Is that also part of your empath stuff? Like where does that need for risk come from?
LUCIA: I am … I’m a very … It’s funny, if you meet me I actually come across as pretty friendly.
LUCIA: I’m pretty sweet to a certain degree. I mean if you can read energy, you can tell that there’s a lot going on, but generally my public face is pretty friendly.
LUCIA: Which has its complexities to it. People judge that in some ways. But I can also burn paint off the walls. And so, I think there’s always been a broad range of impulses within myself. Like the Martha Stewart side and then this hard-core mystic side. And so, I think that somehow that risk helps me to integrate some of these complexities. Like there’s this part of me that’s really ancient and doesn’t want to become a junkie, but I want some of those feelings of what it might feel like. Or, you know, like have so many sexual partners that you get sexual diseases or whatever. I haven’t done that. And so, but I need … My level of intensity needs that sometimes.
LUCIA: But I think it is … I think that’s why I was drawn to punk rock, why I am drawn to hip-hop, is that they’re very fierce …
LUCIA: Energies. And they’re very rebellious maverick energies.
ANDREW: Yeah. I … Cause I have that adrenaline piece, right? Like I need that kick of adrenaline somewhere, you know? And when I was younger, it used to sort of be … There was this moment. I went skydiving with a bunch of people I was working with …
ANDREW: Everyone’s like, “Let’s go skydiving.” I’m like, “Great, let’s go, let’s do it, I’m ready.” And at the time, I was doing like, downhill mountain biking and full contact martial arts, and like all this stuff. And so, I climbed in the plane with everybody else, and as it took off, I had a little butterfly in my stomach, and then it got to be my turn, and I jumped out, the chute opens, and I sort of float to the ground and so on. And I remember landing and going, “Yeah, that was cool.”
ANDREW: And everyone else was like, “Oh my God, oh my God, that was the best thing ever!” And like a couple days later, I had this moment of like, I think I need to slow down. I think that I just have such a different relationship to adrenaline, to excitement, and to risk that … That I was like, I don’t know where else this goes, and I don’t know that if I allow it to continue …
ANDREW: That it doesn’t end up unchecked in some really dangerous way, or, you know? The cost starts to get higher and higher, right?
ANDREW: So. Yeah.
LUCIA: Well, and you’re also … You’re a father. So, you’re a father and you’re a partner.
LUCIA: And so, I would imagine … I didn’t get kids in this lifetime. But I would imagine that that could be a piece of it. But what do you do now for that need?
ANDREW: I rock climb. Like at a gym. So, you know.
ANDREW: Relatively safe. But definitely sort of out there, pushing myself, and you know, it’s … You know, when I’m like 20, 30 feet up the wall at the gym, and I’m like, trying to make the next move and don’t think I can make it, you know, or not sure I can make it. There’s nothing else, right? There’s no thoughts, there’s no feelings, there’s just this complete presence in the moment and the focus on that.
LUCIA: Yeah! Yes.
ANDREW: And then, either the elation of completion — Oh, I did make the move! — Or the zing of adrenaline as I miss the move. And then the, and then the, like, oh, and the rope caught me, which is cool, and now I’m going to try it again next week, and next week I’ll get it. You know? So.
LUCIA: Well, and this is something, this is really beautiful. This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot. As I alluded to earlier, I’m 50 this year.
LUCIA: And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Like some thing, some critical mass, has happened. And being an empath, I’ve become an empowered empath, is the words that I’m using for it. Now, and I’m still working on articulating this, like I’m catching up with who I am. But there’s some piece … I’ve been … Because I’m a teacher, I’m a systems maker, I design online courses, I teach workshops, I’m fascinated with the steps of how you create things. That’s … As I say, I have a very visionary mind. But I also have a very practical Capricorn systems mind: “What are the seven steps that we need? And what are the 14 steps that come off of each of the seven steps?” I love designing things, and so I’ve been thinking about what happened for me, that was applicable to other people, to have this critical mass of confidence?
LUCIA: Because what I found, with empaths, and with people who are pretty sensitive, and so pretty much anybody who’s listening to this podcast is an empath, you’re gonna be a highly sensitive person.
ANDREW: Most likely.
LUCIA: And what I’ve found … Right? Right? All of us. That’s who we are. And so, I’ve been sitting with this … I call it the confidence gap. And I had this for decades, so that’s why I understand this.
LUCIA: Is because we are such weathervanes for other people’s issues, because we can feel them, depending on what type of an empath you are. We don’t always know our own voice, or our own center, we’re usually battered around by everything that’s around us, and so what I found was, I became … My controlling perfectionist would come up.
LUCIA: And, what I’ve done over the last couple of decades … The couple of things that I’ve come to at this point … Like I say, I’m still working on articulating this … Is courage and joy. But there’s this … For me, there’s this critical mass where you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone over and over and over again. It’s like a training.
LUCIA: It’s energetic cross training. But it has to be driven by joy. There has to be some passion at some points and sometimes it’s hard. I’m not gonna say it’s always a cakewalk. But, those two things … If you don’t have those two things, they work together, like there is this … You gain the confidence, you gain the power, you gain the ability to trust yourself through doing those things that are out of your comfort zone, but it has to be fun as hell at some point too, to really enliven you and so. Just thinking about, you know, all these pieces that we’re talking about, the risk, but also the presence, you know, it’s like being in the zone. And everybody has different things that bring them into the zone, but that’s what feeds one’s ability to be more embodied and confident in yourself. And so, I think that’s really important for revisionaries. We’re the new myth makers and the visionaries. But so many empaths and incredibly creative people that I know are shut down and really not able to be or willing to be seen in the world and share their gifts because of this confidence gap. And so, you know, it’s my soapbox to try to figure out how to help us become more embodied and confident.
LUCIA: So, I love hearing your risk stuff. That was great.
ANDREW: Yeah, and I think that that’s … I mean that’s certainly been a lot of my experience, you know, when I was younger, I was definitely shy, and introverted, and so on, you know?
ANDREW: And I don’t even remember why it started, but at some point, I decided that if I was afraid of something, I should do it …
ANDREW: And if I was really afraid of something, I should do it twice as fast, right? And that led me to the place where I then decided I needed to back off from that, too, but I think, you know, sort of looking at that kind of how do we step into our discomfort and work with that, right? How do we step into that and make magic in that space, right? Because …
ANDREW: You know, it’s one of the options that we can use to generate energy. To convert and change it into something else, right? You know?
LUCIA: That is beautifully—I’m a big notetaker, I’m a scribe. And when —
ANDREW: Uh huh.
LUCIA: Because ideas are elusive. This is one of the things I teach people in my courses, is, you gotta write this stuff down —
LUCIA: Cause it floats through like the wind.
LUCIA: So, I love that idea about how do you create—It’s alchemy. I mean it’s really, it’s alchemy. This —When you step in, when you show up, and you say, “Okay, I’m going to do something that’s out of my comfort zone,” and you know, I believe we have this whole corporation of guides and ancestors and spirits around us who are supporting us. I …
LUCIA: You know some of us have the higher self idea that it’s all our higher self, and we are in this ascension process, I believe, and becoming gods incarnate. And, I do believe that there are distinct beings that are helping to guide us. And so — and a destiny and all of that — and so, at least what I’ve seen, is, you show up, you make those leaps of faith, the universe will meet you. Now maybe not in the timeframe. That’s another tricky thing, is timing. But you — this doesn’t go unnoticed. Like you are building this … this confidence bank account.
LUCIA: And so, I, you know, I love that idea, about the magic, the alchemy, of showing up, and then doors opening.
ANDREW: Well, you know, for me, one of the things that I’ve sort of — I’ve talked about in a few places, like in an episode I did where I was the guest recently with Fabeku, if people want to go back and look at it. But I was talking about these portraits that I do, these magical portraits, you know …
ANDREW: And how these magical portraits … And working with portrait and image and you know, playing around with growing my Dali-esque mustache …
ANDREW: … and all these things. They’re all acts of magic, right? They’re all acts of transformation. They’re all me turning this energy back towards myself, and working on that …
ANDREW: And one way or another, to liberate that. You know, you’re a person who’s done a lot of portrait work and also, you know, other sorts of representative stuff with yourself. You know, what are you doing with that these days? How is that in your orbits?
LUCIA: Oh, that’s such a yummy yummy yummy yummy question. I like flipping paradigms. I think that that’s the punk rocker in me! [laughs]
LUCIA: I like this and the … You know, the spiritual, mystical teacher/student in me. I like this, you know, it’s Oden hanging upside down in Yggdrasil and getting runes, you know, and sacrificing things. I like this idea of flipping things and finding the power in them. And so, something that … And in my oracle deck, the Oracle of Initiation, that photography series, the painted body, they look—If you haven’t seen the Oracle of Initiation—the images look like petroglyphs coming alive off of a cave wall. They are these beings of light, particularly the graffiti tunnel ones. And there’s no Photoshopping or editing to the images, and those were done between 2007 and 2008. And that was before the word “selfie” had come into the common lexicon …
LUCIA: And, I — they’re sacred selfies. There’s somewhere between 40 and 50,000 images because it was a ritualistic ceremonial process. I—the camera became—I became one with it. It was held in my hand, but I was dancing between the worlds. They let me take pictures between the worlds. And so, that whole process, that was the enormous game changer, and, as I say, I like to try to figure out how to support other people’s transformation. There’s only a tiny percentage of people who want to go get nude and tribally painted in graffiti tunnels and on the land and do this. Now the people who want it, want it. But, there is this piece about becoming other through this witnessing process. And so, now I’m doing—you know, what is it, 12 years later? Am I doing the math right? Yeah, 12 years later. I’ve been … I have an online class called Sacred Selfies. Now, so selfies get this bad rap. It’s like this—it’s everything that’s wrong with social media. It’s these young people, who are self-absorbed, aren’t self-referenced, and are trying to get attention, and the duck lips and the tits and It’s — no! This is self-portraiture, and witnessing of oneself is an ancient process. And it’s a way of recognizing who you are, finding self-authority, self-agency, and it’s fun! Like everything that I want to do is fun! It may be intense, but it also needs to be fun. And so, the sacred selfies …
ANDREW: Well, you could go to an art gallery, that has like—
ANDREW: A big selection of work from the last couple hundred years or the last hundred years anyway, maybe even more …
ANDREW: You’re going to see plenty of portraits of the artists doing portraits of themselves. Right? This impulse to be seen and to understand how we are seen or how we present ourselves in the world is part of the classic human conundrum, right? Like …
LUCIA: It’s so simple!
ANDREW: That’s why we have an ascendant, right? In astrology. Like …
ANDREW: It is an element that is a part of our nature of the world, right?
ANDREW: You know, and I’d be curious, how does our ascendant influence our feeling about selfies? Now there’s a wonderful inquiry to —
LUCIA: Right! Well, that —
ANDREW: Pass on to some of my astrological friends.
LUCIA: [laughing] Ask them! Well, and that’s the sacred selfies piece. And Carolyn Myss, one of the teachers, interesting spiritual teachers. She said a really interesting thing some years ago that really struck me. She said, historically, as spiritual beings and guides and teachers, we’ve done this hollow bone thing. We’ve done this thing where we want to get out of the way, be an agent of spirit, and just like, the ego is gone. Like, we just are this hollow bone. You know, it’s classic, you hear it. She said, particularly since the 80s, we’ve been doing this interesting thing where we’re weaving, or merging, our ego selves, like our earth plane selves, the integrated ego, cause ego’s not bad— Ego, if it’s in a wounded state, it has its issues—
LUCIA: But ego, unto itself, you wouldn’t get out of bed or be able to interface with people on the earth plane if we didn’t have an ego. So, she said what we’re doing is, we’re integrating this hollow bone, surrender sacrifice sort of a classic historic energy of the healer/transformer, and we’re bringing our ego along with it, we’re bringing the personality, in a really integrated beautiful expansive way. And I love that! So, to me sacred selfies — that’s what you’re doing when you’re playing with it in a really intentional way like that.
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. Well, and I think that, you know, this relationship to the ego and the idea that, you know, I mean, for me, the ego needs to be, to borrow a phrase from like kind of ceremonial magic about this stuff, right? It needs to be redeemed, right? By the higher self.
LUCIA: Yes. Yes.
ANDREW: But it doesn’t get to be abandoned. Right?
ANDREW: You know, like if we think that we’re going to ditch our shadow self at some point —
LUCIA: [bursts out laughing] Good luck!
ANDREW: Be free of that business! Right?
ANDREW: But like, there’s this notion that we’ll somehow be complete and free of all of these things, but like, that’s not what Jung meant by integration, right? Like, that integration process is a process of having a living, dynamic communication between all of those pieces, that is balanced, monitored, adjusted as it needs to be, and continuous, right? Like, we don’t reach the end of the work. Right? You know? And I remember talking to my, you know, one of my Lucumí elders, and he was like, one of the biggest mistakes people make is that they think that being a priest means that this person’s going to be perfect or that being a priest makes you perfect. And it’s like, it doesn’t. You know? It’s just another layer of things. And all of your human foibles, and all of your need to do your taxes and all of these other things —
LUCIA: [laughing] Ohhhh….
ANDREW: And all of your desire exists, you know? And you gotta roll with it. And you gotta balance it, and you know, work on it, and keep it where it needs to be. It’s … You know, you don’t get to take your hand off the steering wheel, right?
LUCIA: Right. I love that. I love how you said all of that, that piece is that you — Living, dynamic, communication, and that’s what, you know, clearly, culture as we’ve known it is melting down because it’s needed to. Right? Nobody can miss that. And I … What you are talking about, you know, speaking to your elder about—I call that— This idea— It’s very prevalent in our tribe, of spiritual perfectionism.
LUCIA: And to me, there’s this idea, that somehow, I’m supposed to be relaxed, and forgiving, and let anybody do anything, that’s bullshit. There is discernment with relationships, with what is going on, and so, I feel, what we’re seeing in the outer world and then working through in ourselves, is these last vestiges of these inherited — I called them lineage codes — but inherited shadows, you know, the ugliness of the racism, and the sexism, and all these sorts of things. And that we, you know, there’s, we’re throwing bombs into these things, and if we popped the boil, it’s all out there, you know, it’s all been there, but now, it’s being seen in a way, in certain communities and certain cultures, it’s not hidden anymore, the shit that’s going down. And so, you … Along with the bringing joy into the work that you do, there’s also some points where you gotta get real, and figure out how to release and integrate some of this baggage, this, you know, epic baggage, that we’ve inherited of wounds.
ANDREW: Sure. Yeah, I mean, we all come from cultures that have all sorts of unhealthy things in them. You know, I mean, there’s no culture that I know of, that I would say is free of it, you know? And, you know, and as we become hopefully wiser, maybe more literate about how bias and prejudice and the, you know, all the effects of history and culture play out, you know, it becomes part of our work to cut that away. And to free ourselves from that, you know? And that’s not easy either, right?
ANDREW: Back to the courage piece, you know? It takes courage to look at that and say, “Huh, I was being an asshole there, huh, look at that, that’s a really, you know, inappropriate notion, that I inherited from here, from there, from I don’t even know where,” right?
ANDREW: And to have the wherewithal to sort of look at that and try and chip away at that, but in the same way, as the integration process, that’s also an ongoing piece of work because, you know, we can only understand as much as we understand and we can only work from what we know, and as we as individuals, and to some extent, you know, collectively, as well, have become clear, and have better models, and an understanding of these things, then we have the space to do more work and to become freer or better integrated still, you know. Yeah.
LUCIA: Exactly! That, Andrew! That! [laughing]
ANDREW: Just go and do that, everybody! Just go and do those things! [laughing]
ANDREW: So, one of the things I’m curious about, is, I’ve been seeing a lot of, in your work and in other places, a return of Dada, and a return of sort of surrealism, you know, and …
ANDREW: I’ve been bringing it back around in my Land of the Sacred Self Oracle that I’ve been doing, and you’ve been doing it in your cutout work and in other places. Why do you think Dada is so important? Why is he coming back?
LUCIA: Well, that’s a beautiful question. I grew up in a family of professional artists, and what I didn’t realize when I was growing up, was that that was uncommon, that everybody didn’t get this … Everybody …
ANDREW: Uh huh!
LUCIA: And my family’s amazing. I mean, my family is as amazing as they are wounded, and my family is epically amazing.
LUCIA: And so, even as a kid, there was this … What I found is that people who have embraced their curiosity, who have embraced their creativity … This doesn’t always mean your job is going to be being an artist. But this is about being alive, and curious, and full of wonder. This has a very childlike energy in it, in a wonderful way, and so I grew up with people who were always messing around and exploring and breaking outside of boxes and looking at things in different ways. So, we would— One of the classic surrealist Dadaist games is the exquisite corpse.
LUCIA: Which you can do with words and you can also — we would do it with drawings — and it’s basically this process of taking a piece of paper, folding it into different sections, and deciding if you’re going to do a human figure, or just something that’s random, and each section that is folded … A person in a group does some drawing and then continues the lines of that drawing down to the next folded section. Well, then they hide, they fold over their section, so that the next person just sees these leader lines …
LUCIA: And they start their drawing, you know, they were told they got, you know, the torso or the body. They do their torso of the body and their style with their vibe. And then you unfold it, and you have this miraculous montage, this collage, of everybody’s goofy, strange, wonderful ideas of what this figure or open-ended thing was. And it’s so delightful! And so interesting, and so strange. I love things that are odd. And I’ve always loved things that are odd. And odd connections, and so the Dadaists and the surrealists, who were— A couple of movements, if you don’t know —Art, cultural movements in the early 20th century, early last century, into the, you know, probably, 40s, 50s — and they were groups who were very connected to dreams, very connected to randomness, they wanted to— I call it getting— I’m going to swear, is it totally bad if I swear here?
ANDREW: You’ve already been swearing. Go ahead. Carry on.
LUCIA: So, get the fuck out of the way! Like that’s one of my tenets, Because as I said earlier, my empath became very controlling and perfectionistic to try to manage how scary the world was when I was younger, so for me, all of my art Is about getting the fuck out of the way.
LUCIA: And, because I believe that there is this dialogue, this incredible rich dialogue that the universe wants to play with us and co-create with us, and … But you’ve got to get out of the way …
LUCIA: You’ve gotta not be uptight. And, let randomness blow you away. And so, to me, I think that part of … And also, historically … But particularly the Dadaists were during the first world war. So, they were also reacting to this absolute horror that was happening in Europe, particularly across Europe, of all of that of the war. And so, they were trying to find a way to connect, to humanize, to not lose their humanity, and to try to bring some play and joy into a world that was horrific. And I feel like in some ways, we’re there again, in some ways, we’re a lot more — I don’t know if we’re more addicted — but we’re more distracted, with the Internet, you know, they didn’t have the Internet and things, you know, porn that you can access at any moment. And I’m not anti feminist porn, so don’t go there, but I’m just saying this is a distraction for people, and so I think that we are looking, I think people are hardwired for magic, for ritual, for ceremony, for surrender, and I think most people have lost access to that.
So, to me, the surrealism and the Dadaness, and the things that I do where I … You make your own handmade cards, and I called them funky fortunes, but I have also called them Dada divination, wild style divination … Is that this is a way to get you out of the way and remind you that the world is enchanted, the world is magic, and there’s actually clear directives and messages in that. So that, you know, like you… The Dadaists would cut up, take a poem, cut it up into all of the different words, shake it up in a bag, pull the words out one by one, and glue them back down onto a piece of paper to get this new thing. When you do that, really interesting, not random, NOT RANDOM, things occur. And so, to me, I’ve done a bunch of videos on unorthodox oracles …
LUCIA: I like to mess around. I am irreverent. That’s the punk, that’s the hip-hop in me. So, I think that we are trying to remember that the world is enchanted, trust that in ourselves, and we want that interface as a balm to the world blowing up.
ANDREW: Hm. [cross talking at 33:00] I mean, yeah, I think, I definitely think that … Well, I think that this notion of re-enchanting the world right, that comes out, I’ve heard a variety of people talking about it. You know, I think that that’s, that’s an important thing, right? When people … I like a quote from Terrence McKenna, right? When you find yourself lost or when the world doesn’t make sense, or when horrific things happen or so on, right? When we find ourselves in what feels like it might be a dead end, we start looking backwards for some semblance of sanity somewhat, right?
ANDREW: And, I feel like in this sort of, in the modern era in which we live, you know, there’s this weird mix of scientific materialism and fake news and actual war and genocides and horribleness and, you know, all of the race and crimes against women, you know, and all of the things that are going on, as that stuff emerges, it’s part of that sort of deconstructing what’s going on and seeing what’s really happening there, right?
ANDREW: And, not that it hasn’t been there all the time but it’s more visible than it ever has been, for many people.
ANDREW: Not for everybody.
ANDREW: Cause, obviously anybody who is the subject of those problems, and crimes, is fully aware. Many communities have always been aware. But … But like a lot of people start looking backwards for what makes sense, right?
ANDREW: And so, there’s this sort of return to more magical ways, a lot of people are looking to get back to living magical lives, and the saints are returning to people, in a common practice,
ANDREW: And art is regaining its magic, you know? It’s shedding some of this sort of legacy of postmodernism and all that kind of stuff that for me, didn’t go anywhere, you know?
ANDREW: You know, I went to art school and I was fully in all that stuff for a while, which is why I made no art when I left art school. I was like, this is all bullshit, I have no interest in this at all.
ANDREW: And, it’s not that I don’t see things in it that could be interesting, but it just wasn’t me, right? And so, finding my way back to surrealism and to the magic of those dream and trance states and all of those things — to me that’s where a lot of the power is, and that’s where the power to change myself and others is, which is what I’m really interested in, you know?
ANDREW: And so, like when I was working on my oracle deck, it would do these drawings, and I would start just by making a shape, right? On the page, or on the screen cause I was drawing digitally. And I’m like, “All right, what’s inside the shape?” And then I would like, basically turn it inside out in my mind, and go inside the shape and find out what was in there, and I was like, “Oh! Is there something outside the shape now?” It was this sort of, almost perpetual Escher-like shifting between perspectives.
ANDREW: And then at the end I was like oh, and now the dream is finished revealing itself, all right, this one’s done. Next. And, that lack of trying to control it …
ANDREW: I think is so important right? Kind of like your process with your Oracle of Initiation. You know, you didn’t sit down and think, I’m gonna control all these things, you went and did a thing, and in that process, that, as you put it, the between the world’s vision emerged, right?
LUCIA: Oh, I just — Oh, Andrew, I love so many things about what you said. So, you know, part of what I feel really is a natural ability with all humans is ability to be much more intuitive, much more instinctive, and once again, you know, this gets back to the addictions in some ways, and the other people’s voices that need to be clutter cleared. I believe that we really all have this ability to be very tuned in …
LUCIA: But only a certain percentage of people have apprenticed to that skill, and, you do need … I mean, some people come in with a certain … I came in obscenely psychic. I am super psychic. And very very very very empathic. For about 20 years, I had a hard time leaving the house. I was in the cave. I was in the mystic’s cave for 20 years. But, I do believe that we naturally really have … And that artists, that’s part of what artists apprentice to is this, the muses, the getting the fuck out of the way, whatever you want to call it, and that you, what you’re saying about, you do the circle, and then, you like merge into the circle. But like, what’s in the circle? Like the circle is this field, this entity, this creation field, and I believe that everybody actually has access to that. You know, there’ll be different mediums that people will use in different ways that you use it, but that’s what I feel is really something that’s lacking is that people’s ability to access that because it’s SO nourishing on a core level back to this zone.
You know, that’s what I found when I made my oracle deck, was this— I went back to what I truly loved. I went back to what the core aspects of myself were and, as I say, this is why, at 50, when, in this culture, for women, you’re supposed to be freaked out, because your value is going down, because I still believe, for women in this culture, the main ticket that we have, the main value, is attractiveness, and then that’s a massive issue that, we won’t go into all that. But I figured out how to tap into and source this massive curiosity and joy and creative passion— obsession, basically, that I have —And it feeds me like nothing else has ever fed me! And so, you know, what you’re talking about, I feel like that’s just really an enormous piece of everything that we’re talking about about the integration and the finding our power, and the living our lives that we want to lead, is this access to this.
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. Yeah. Well, it’s one of the things that, because I have the store, and stuff like that, people are often asking me, like, “Well, how did you become successful? How did you make all this happen?”
ANDREW: And nobody really likes the answer.
ANDREW: Cause the answer is mostly I made a lot of art, and I kept showing up. [Laughs]
ANDREW: And I’m telling them the answer. Right? Because for me, being in that zone and being creative and making things, everything that I need to do to support that shows up when I commit to that process. Right?
ANDREW: And when I don’t commit to that process, then everything that I, everything that I do— It isn’t always more labored, but it can definitely be way more labored —And I’m like, “Oh yeah, I haven’t made art in a couple weeks. Shut up and go make some art, Andrew.” And then, all of a sudden, everything flows from there, right?
LUCIA: Well, and this, I think that this is some, you know, a piece, we could go back to that piece about courage, courage/dedication is … Nobody else … Elizabeth Gilbert’s recent book, Big Magic, I feel like it’s the modern version of The Artist’s Way. You know, it’s the next step in this. And, right now I’m actually listening to Questlove, from the Roots. His book on creativity that I’m really excited about. But, part of what is happening, I think in, in the world, is this need to sanctify ourselves, is, you know, that’s partly what Elizabeth says in Big Magic. She gives a lot of really, actually very practical good information about actually owning yourself as a creative person. And so, you did that. you said on some level — there is —I want to do this, there is value for it, I’m not going to let everybody else have ideas about why I shouldn’t do this and I’m going to do it and I’m going to keep showing up. And that’s a huge issue, I think, for a lot of people, and I think women, in the Western world, have had, not that men don’t have their struggles, and I don’t want to totally do a gender separation thing,
LUCIA: But there are some messages that women have gotten about being very accommodating and taking care of everyone else.
LUCIA: So, what I found, working with women, and being, having the people pleaser in myself, is that there’s this road to believing that your visions are worth pursuing. And then having the courage to keep showing up and showing up and showing up because it’s a bit of magic and alchemy and then it’s a bit of down and dirty doing it, doing it, doing it, doing it. And so, that’s what you did! So that’s so beautiful and so essential. So essential.
ANDREW: Well, and you know, and as somebody who is raising two female-identified kids, right?
ANDREW: I see a lot of these things. I’m always looking at what are the messages they’re getting, what are they being told, what’s being reinforced, where can I give them a bit more punk rock to say fuck that shit, you know? Cause, like —
LUCIA: Go, dad, go!
ANDREW: You know, it’s great! So, you know, my kids — we give them more freedom than many people are comfortable with, right? In our neighborhood and stuff like that. You know, we let them go to the playground by themselves and so on. You know, and I think that it’s important, and I think that, from my perspective, and from a [garbled 42:40] perspective, it’s not that dangerous, you know? It’s not, you know, it’s not a problem now. But it freaks parents out, right?
ANDREW: It freaks adults out a lot to see, you know, kids out by themselves anywhere. You know? And if you’re not, like, 15, they’re like eyeballing you and be like, where’s the parent, right?
ANDREW: And so, last summer, my youngest was over going to the playground with her sister, and some adult was like, “Are you by yourself? Where are your parents?” And she gave the best answer, which is, “That’s none of your business.” And kept going!
LUCIA: [bursts out laughing]
ANDREW: And I’m like, yes, exactly! Right? Because, because we don’t have to, we shouldn’t, capitulate, you know, I mean, I might have been more graceful or polite or something about that, but you know, it’s perfect! And it’s clear and it’s a firm answer and, you know, people want it both ways, right? They want, like, don’t talk to strangers because it’s dangerous, but let us intercede and you know, treat us with respect and talk to us, right? It doesn’t work that way! You know? And that’s not — that’s not real, right? So.
LUCIA: You are raising riot grrls, and I love you!
LUCIA: Thank you! Well, and, you know, part of it also is, I feel that, with this, because, you know, being 50, I was a kid in the 70s, and there was, depending on where you lived, there was a lot more freedom in the 70s, we didn’t have media that was so sensationalized, and every parent didn’t think constantly, “My child is going to be abducted.” The amount of children that are abducted by strangers is like being hit by lightning. If children go somewhere, it’s usually a disgruntled parent or a family member or something. And I’m not saying that that’s okay. But … But what, and in the 70s, we messed around in the ravine, in the gully, that was down the way, without adults around, you know? I studied the early childhood education and I was a nanny for years. And so, this is a —
ANDREW: We — I lived at the edge of town—
ANDREW: Where I grew up? And we would hike, I think it’s five kilometers, five miles, something like that, to the summer camp, when it was closed, that was in the woods, a good hike there, and play on their playground and climb on the buildings and whatever, when I was like in public school. You know, like, I don’t know, maybe 10 years old, probably less, you know?
ANDREW: Nobody knew where we were!
ANDREW: You know we were so far in the woods, right? There was nobody around, and there was nobody there! You know? And nothing ever happened. And again, not to say that stuff didn’t happen elsewhere that I wasn’t a part of, but like, you know.
LUCIA: But you — you know — I mean, really, you know, generally, the … Like, a kid will break their arm or something. I mean, it was like — but that’s not— That’s not —What I learned in studying early childhood education is, what I feel is, we are creating weak people. We are creating people who don’t understand their instincts, who don’t have stamina, and when you leave, children are not supposed to be with adults 24/7. Adults don’t want to be with children 24/7. No disrespect to children.
ANDREW: True fact! [laughs]
LUCIA: Nobody that, you know — that’s — but, so, when kids are alone, there is a tremendous amount of social interaction and power and confidence and jockeying that they learn, that when adults are hovering around, they don’t have, and there’s things about their edges and their boundaries. It’s one big long rite of passage that they need, and I’m actually fairly concerned about what this means that kids are sitting in front of a device shut up in a house, for their health, for their spiritual and energetic stamina.
And so, but what I love about your riot grrls, your beautiful riot grrls, is that they’re— You’re teaching them also to trust their instincts. We don’t trust — particularly girls — to trust their instincts. And so, going to the park alone, your girls are going to be alert. You know, your girls are not going to be — they’ll understand that this is a privilege that they have, and they’re going to learn and hone their stamina to read the vibes. And that’s what you have to do in life. And if, if something doesn’t feel right, well, you run home! Your girls would run home! Right?
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. No, for sure!
LUCIA: Yeah that’s —
ANDREW: I mean, I think it’s interesting. I don’t worry about the digital age and the impact of tablets and things or whatever on people. I’m curious about what they’re going to do with it. Because I think that sooner or later, right?
ANDREW: All these impulses that you and I are talking about, that we’ve explored and brought out and whatever, those are just human impulses, right?
ANDREW: And, growing up in a more digital age or, you know, where stuff’s happening in other ways, sooner or later, those impulses are going to gain enough momentum or have enough urgency that they’re going to emerge from those people too, right?
ANDREW: And then they’re going to show us something we’ve never seen before.
ANDREW: I’m very fascinated about that. I have this— This oracle that I made for myself, and a lot of it’s just sort of little things that I feel like I need to be reminded of. And one of the sayings on one of the cards is, “The youth know the way.”
ANDREW: And I’m like, all right! When it comes up, I always — it makes me think about, what are they know? You know, and like, not in a like, old man shaking their fist, what do they know? Although I have old man moments too, right?
LUCIA: [bursts out laughing]
ANDREW: But like, what do they know? What are they doing? What’s going on? What is the meaning that they’re perceiving in this? What is the value to them, right?
ANDREW: And, you know, when we can run into those things with curiosity, you know, I think it’s fascinating, and for me, then I get to sort of experience something new. And I get to think about things in a different way, and to me that’s wonderful, it’s not easy to always sustain that kind of approach and it’s not always easy to access what’s going on with those people. Because, you know, 16-year-olds don’t, really don’t want to talk to me necessarily? You know, certainly not random ones on the street, right?
ANDREW: But I’m curious, you know? And it’s one of the great things — like I’m a scout leader for my kids’ cub troop, right? And to spend time with those youth, and, you know, they’re 8 to 11-year-olds. And then at bigger things, you know, there are teenagers and other ages there as well. For me I get to see what they’re about and what they’re doing and what they’re interested in. And when I’m at my best, I get to be like, “Wow, what are you getting from that? What’s inspiring about that?” You know?
ANDREW: “What need is that fulfilling in you? And how come I don’t understand it at all?” You know? And it certainly, it can be fascinating. So.
LUCIA: Well and I feel like, with some of the younger people, and some of the millennials that I’ve connected with, they came in with a different operating system than we did. That their whole structure of how they’re wired is very different than what we got and what we inherited, what the cultural expectations, the boxes, the prejudices, that they — what I’ve seen— You know, they get bashed for being self-absorbed and all of that. But what I’ve also seen is that they have this visionary— These visionary aspects to them that are epic, that blow me away! The visionary in me goes, “Wow! I’m a model T car and you’re a rocket ship!” And so I do, I wonder what, like you say, I don’t even know, I feel like I came in to help anchor some of those folks and then the folks more of my age who are those in between, we’re pretty visionary, particularly for our time frame, but we got nothing on what those younger people have, and you’re right, they’re going to do things, make the science fiction moods that we found of having a TV in our hands, they’re gonna make that look like that’s kindergarten.
LUCIA: And so, I’m pretty thrilled about it too.
ANDREW: Well and I think that that’s a great mantra or you know, something to sort of both embody and keep the ego in check, right? I’m visionary for my generation, I’m visionary for my time, I’m visionary for my upbringing, you know? Because like, we look back and especially because like I’ve read a lot of stuff by, you know, cause I was into ceremonial magic and into sort of Crowley stream of stuff, you know, the guy was visionary for his time, in certain ways, in certain aspects.
ANDREW: You know? And he was totally horrendous in many ways.
ANDREW: Because of his time, and because of his upbringing. And because of his personality, you know?
ANDREW: And, you know, I hope that I never have as many downfalls is that dude had. But, to think that we don’t have them, right, is just folly, right? You know?
LUCIA: It is folly; it’s all folly! I mean that— That— I mean that’s really— It is— We, as humans, I think we get all caught up, and we get … We get into all these spins. The reality is we’re a bunch of goofballs. I mean, that’s the reality of it, and were just stumbling around like toddlers, all of us, and anytime you think you really know, you’re totally sure, good luck with that! How’s that working for you? I mean, you know, that’s— You gotta — You know, that’s the thing, of being a recovering perfectionist, I can laugh at myself now. Before I judged myself. Judged myself terribly. Now I go, “Oh yeah, you’re insecure there, oh you’re, you know, being kind of neurotic or whatever it is. And then I like kind of laugh, and pat myself, like, “Oh, baby, you’re so clay footed! Isn’t that fun?”
ANDREW: Uh huh.
LUCIA: It’s a miracle. So, I think— That’s what I would hope for all of my brethren listening to this: Can you come to this place where you love and accept yourself enough, even laugh at yourself!
So, this kind of brings it to one of the other things that I wanted to chat about with you though, right? It’s been a real journey for you, right?
ANDREW: Like, you were saying 12 years ago was when you made the Oracle of Initiation, right? Or something like that?
ANDREW: And now here you are living that in an embodied way, much more, you know, and with other people in a much more embodied way, right?
ANDREW: How did that journey happen? How did that go for you?
LUCIA: [sighs] It’s … Never in a million years, could I have told you that I would have this life that I have now. And I think that’s true for everybody—
LUCIA: But I went down some really alternative paths. You know, I took some paths that were not taken, some serious, right turns, left turns, off of where I was coming from. And it helped me have the life that I always dreamed of that I didn’t even realize was possible, like, to tell — I’ve gone from a model T car, from a Big Wheels, you know, a Big Wheels toy, to a rocket ship, in the growth game that I’ve had.
And, part of it was not by choice. My own issues of safety and security and control—I wouldn’t have left the life that I had at that point in Seattle. I grew up in Seattle in a family professional artists. And was always very creative and independent in my own way, but I also really wanted kids. I wanted kids more than anything. I loved kids. And I actually still love kids. I just don’t want to give them the time that they deserve. I have another dialogue that I want. My creativity is my dialogue. And so, kids are not going to get that dialogue from me, you know. Other people think you can take some for the team and raise the kids. But … My … You know the journey of wanting to be married and have this Martha Stewart sort of a lifestyle— I come from a family of designers, and architects, and artists. And I love homemaking. I have a homemaker in me. I love food, I love beautiful design.
But that— I didn’t realize how mystical I was. I didn’t. I had forgotten. I had blocked a lot of it off. Of how intuitive I was, how psychic I was. And so, the universe and myself conspired to send me in this totally different trajectory than where I had been. And my husband died of cancer when he was 37. I was 33. And he was wonderful. And I’m not just putting him on a pedestal because he’s dead. He was a gift from the angels. He was so much healthier than me. He was a very healthy, loving, integrated man. To be honest, I’ve only — I’ve met a small amount of men who have had the access to heart and love that he had. He was extraordinary. And, he died.
And I didn’t have kids, and I had some resources, I didn’t have to go get a 9-to-5 job, and I spent basically seven years on a quest to revitalize who I was, defined who I was, and I always knew that art was central to who I was. Like I, I breath, I, every cell in my body is art, I am living art. Adventure. I love exploring! That’s the happiest … I’m the happiest in my whole life when I’m exploring. And then, spirituality in the land. You know there was my spirituality, my mystical spirituality was evolving. But so, in that seven years on that quest, I did about 15 lifetimes worth of study, and engagement, and incredible teachers, and learning, and then I made the oracle deck. You know, I made this deck. And so, we’re going to— After this, let’s talk about the dreams. You know, the last interview that you and I did. I had had some dreams about you and your Orisha deck.
LUCIA: But my oracle deck predominantly came out of dreams. I was having dreams, other people were having dreams, these amazing dreams of animals and humans shapeshifting. Of people getting up off of one divination card and moving to another, like being alive, and I followed the stepping stones. I followed the path, I courageously— And you know, here’s another thing about courage and following your path— I will bet you, I would bet you money, I would bet you something, that if you paid a survey of people enough money to live two years, three years, five years, and follow their passion and go for theirs, there would still only be a small percentage. There’s something that you have to click in to go for it. And people … a lot of people say it’s the money. And I have the mortgage and … and kids do make it different. I’m humbly … I don’t have kids, I’m humbly saying that you make different choices when you’re responsible for children, I’m very humble about that. And still, you still can make other choices and I, something in me had the ability to tap into this courage and this fierceness and this not knowing and follow these impulses and that’s how I ended up in New Mexico with the structure— It took me six years to do the deck —But the structure of the deck was all in place. But the artwork of these dreams of the animals and humans shapeshifting and the light beings moving around. It wasn’t happening in 2D art processes. I got a new camera. This was before my iPhone adventures. Now I’m obsessed with what iPhones can do.
ANDREW: It’s amazing.
LUCIA: It’s amazing. But, I had this epiphany, my work comes through epiphanies and I was driving along, and I had done this — I had been trained in this body of work called the Earth and Body series. They were sacred selfies. This was from 2005 to 7 that I took around the world. And I learned how to get out of the way and be drawn to locations. I would disrobe so that I would be vulnerable and connected to the earth, like becoming primal, back to the earth. I’d hold the camera in my hand, you know, it became an extension of my body, and I would take these mystical opening between the veils pictures. And so, when I got to New Mexico, found some new graffiti and tunnels, that was vibrating in a different way … You know, like my mystical capacity had opened more, my conduit was more open, and then this epiphany came, of taking those nude Earth and Body photos, and there were 20 to 25,000 of those, and taking it to the next level and tribally painting myself and adorning myself. Which I had done, I had done sacred selfies since I was a kid with Polaroids, with photo booths. It’s just one of my jams. It’s one of my things. And so, I started doing … in June 2006, I went down into this graffiti tunnel that I found, had gotten paint at the theater store, had all of these horns and scarves and amber necklaces and things. And I took these pictures with a new camera that you … that would … it was more sophisticated, and you could get pictures in lower light. As part of how my images happened is about ISO and about sparkly things and some ambient light in tunnels. And the graffiti. And, I took these photos and they blew me away. And so, this was this whole journey, this whole trust walk, and when I started it, I didn’t know I could do such an epic project, and …
ANDREW: I think it’s such an important thing to note, too, right?
ANDREW: I think that if people knew what it would be at the end …
ANDREW: They would probably never start. Right?
LUCIA: They wouldn’t, cause it’s too hard.
ANDREW: It’s too hard. It’s too far from where they are. The innovations and inspiration that the journey or the road provides aren’t there in the beginning …
ANDREW: So, it’s one of those things, right? You … Starting the process and allowing and trusting that the process will come forward to something is the big … is one of the biggest things, right? You know? And it’s tough when you don’t have history with it to trust it, right? It gets easier with time, but …
LUCIA: Completely true. And that’s it, I mean it’s tough to trust it when you — I’m writing this down — when you don’t have history, and that was the thing that gave me history. That was the thing that has changed my life, where I saw, because I’m, as I say, I was very insecure for many years, and I am a good synthesizer, I have a brain that is able to synthesize things well. I’m … You know, we also have this culture where people are not supposed to be proud of what they have, particularly women, like you’re supposed to be humble, people will think you’re arrogant. No, fucking own what you’re good at. So, I’m smart. I can synthesize and make connections. You know, that’s the visionary plus the structure person. And I didn’t realize how skilled I was at that because I was insecure. So, in, you know, in my oracle book, it’s 300 pages and I’m so proud of it. It’s my woo woo Ph.D. I got my Ph.D. You know, we don’t get — I should have a Ph.D. in the woo world behind my name from that deck.
ANDREW: I felt the same way when I made … I did this ten week, two-and-a-half-hour class, course on the Thoth tarot, right?
ANDREW: I was like, when I finished that, I was like, that’s my Ph.D. That’s it right there.
LUCIA: There it is! Right? The decades and decades that we’ve been studying with this. And so, that … doing that project … and as I say, it took me six years to physically make it and then publish the book, and then, we’re 12 years in now, and there’s always a learning curve with print on demand and self-publishing and all of that. But it … it was the game changer. And as I say, not everybody’s going to do that. But you’ve got to find something that is like that, that is your game changer if you really want to anchor in your visionary self. You’re going to have to over and over again show up and do things that are out of your comfort zone, and you’re going to need to love it on some level, or you won’t keep doing it.
LUCIA: And so now, I’m at this point finally, I’d say probably 20, 25 years’ worth of what I’ve visioned, what I’ve prayed for, you know, it’s a combination of working for it, and then there’s some grace. Like you don’t earn it. Like somehow it just anchors in. It’s both/and. And now it’s just anchored in and now I finally … like I feel myself in my body … Cause empaths also have a hard time being in their body cause this world is really loud. But I’m finally in my body in a way, and I’ve come out of the cave, you know, I’m not in the mystic’s cave anymore, that 20 years is over, and when I’d show up and teach at conferences and workshops and public speak, I kind of stand there in myself and go [gasps]: “Wow! This is so cool! Like, I’m in my skin. I’m happy with myself.” And if I, you know, make a mistake, or I do something, or I say something, you know, I’ll stick my foot in my mouth sometimes, I don’t shame myself for months any more. I’m like, well that was kind of awkward. And we move on!
LUCIA: It’s so … So, literally, I got the keys to the kingdom through following this path and now also I’m starting … I didn’t make a lot of money for a long time. You know, I had other money that I was living on. You know, this is also something that people don’t talk about. If you don’t have the confidence to feel that you’re going to be able to magnetize other people, don’t quit your day job. You will not have a thriving career as a woo woo person if you haven’t sanctified yourself. And I work with people around this.
ANDREW: And it is, it is not easy. Right?
LUCIA: It is not fucking easy!
ANDREW: When I started … you know, cause for a long time, I wasn’t in the bigger tarot community or in the bigger spiritual community. I was just, you know, working at a shop in Toronto and just doing my thing, and when I started going around and meeting people, I was amazed at how few people were making their living …
ANDREW: Doing stuff …
ANDREW: And I was making my living doing it, and how many people were being supported by their partner …
ANDREW: Or had a day job or all these things, and no shame on that …
LUCIA: Yeah! No!
ANDREW: You do what you gotta do …
ANDREW: But the perspective that I had seen and that many people kind of cultivated was that they were … that they were making it, but they weren’t making a living, they were, you know, they weren’t making enough money to support themselves.
LUCIA: Solely on that work.
ANDREW: Solely on that work. And I think that that is a thing that very few people talk about, and a lot of people sell the dream and a lot of like, woo woo, blah blah marketing types and coaches or whatever sell people on that, and it’s not that it’s not possible, but it is not easy.
ANDREW: And it is not as straightforward and probably not as fast as most people would talk about it happening.
ANDREW: If you’re going to jump into doing this kind of stuff full time, do it! It’s amazing! And it’s going to … it might take a while, and if anybody tells you that they’ve got some clear-cut system where you’re going to get there, don’t believe them because I’ve never seen it, so.
LUCIA: No. And that’s — part of that’s the confidence gap that I talked about too. With people that are really intuitive and visionary, because we usually do have such a sensitivities, it’s our greatest gift, but there’s also a way of embodying the ability to navigate the earth plane, and it’s like the yin and the yang, it’s like the receptive intuitive part is very very skilled, very … and that was true for me for years. I’m bringing in now more of that put it out into the world energy, that was not as accessible to me, and so, I get really irritated by those people who are offering that “I’m a coach, and I’m, you know, working four hours a week from a beach in Bali, and I’m making six, seven figures.” There are such a tiny percentage of people who do that, that it’s insane, and I think it sets up this unrealistic expectation. As I say, I probably, I made, when I had other money coming in, for probably the last seven years or something, you know, but from a … I’m making more now, and I’m self-supporting. But there, when there was other money coming in, I probably made about … on average about $1,000 a month, was what I made. Well, most people in the Western world, unless you live in like Mexico or something, you don’t, you can’t live on $1000 a month.
LUCIA: And I … you know, I’ve been building my brand, pretty strongly for at least a decade. And that’s part of it. It doesn’t totally happen overnight, but there is this piece about confidence and sanctifying yourself, and as I say, I work individually, I coach people on this, because I have now anchored that in, and I’m making the resources, but I didn’t for many years, and it’s very, it’s complicated, and you don’t just say, bam, and I’m gonna start, you know, coaching clients and make $1000 per month, you know, on one client or whatever. That doesn’t happen overnight. And so, there’s this process.
ANDREW: For sure.
Yeah. A big deal. And like I say, I agree, I don’t appreciate this sham that’s going in the spiritual world where people are pretending that they’re making it, and if you do have a day job or a partner is supporting you, that’s beautiful, you’re being taken care of, but this idea that you’re just going to like, print a business card and make a website and somehow clients are going to flock to you, that is unrealistic.
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. Yeah. For sure. So, the last thing, before we wrap up, cause we’re already running a bit long here …
LUCIA: [bursts out laughing]
ANDREW: Would … It’s just such a lovely conversation and I don’t want it to end.
LUCIA: Me too!
ANDREW: So, you had a dream before the last time we recorded.
ANDREW: Right? And the thing that was fascinating about this dream was that I had told almost nobody that I was considering making an Orisha tarot deck, and you came on, and you were like, “Oh, I had this dream,” right? And I don’t know if you remember any of it.
ANDREW: But it was something like, I was showing you these cards that I was making, and explaining them to you, and they were like floating in the air or something and revealing themselves. You know, and … yeah, it’s fascinating because here we are, however many years later, and this September, my Orisha tarot deck will be coming out through Llewellyn and will be available everywhere, right?
ANDREW: And it’s been such a long journey, because … Because I took it so seriously. Because for me, I wanted to make sure that I was respecting my tradition, you know? Because this is my religious practice of the last almost, you know, 18, 19 years, you know, and I’ve been a priest for the last nine and a half years now, and I wanted to respect the culture that it comes from, and I wanted to … I had so many things that I wanted to accomplish with making this process that I, that even though I kept feeling like, “Oh, I should just get it done, like, I should just finish it!”, it took such a long time to get completed really, you know, and it was like it was sort of percolating and growing and changing me along the way, and allowing me to become who I needed to be in order to give birth to it, you know?
LUCIA: All of that. All of that. It’s … You know, it’s so interesting, the mechanics of visions. I find the mechanics of being a conduit, being a translator, so fascinating, these pieces, and how we support each other, and how we’re part of this web that helps bring things true, and this idea that I, that other people got dreams for me, for my deck, that I got this dream for you, when you weren’t even speaking it, you know, I got on the psychic phone line, the psychic lay lines, and I got the phone call, I picked up the phone call, and then I told you I got the call, I gave you the message!
LUCIA: And it’s fascinating to me when we open these channels and we tend to these things, what comes through, and I also … I really want to give you some love and respect for all of the work that you do around inclusion and diversity and respect and honoring in a lot of different communities, because … I’m putting in a plug for something, I feel like part of our job as creators and visionaries and new mythmakers, is social media was created to help market and make each other successful. So, you … I feel it is your responsibility, as a leader, my responsibility as a leader, to share the products and things that we really respect, share the people. Like your and Carrie’s things that you’re doing …
LUCIA: Together. Those things are amazing. I always share those. But Courtney Alexander, you know, you interviewed Courtney Alexander, and the Dust Onyx, I … That is one of the ten most excellent decks I have ever experienced. And I teach people how to make your own decks …
LUCIA: And Courtney blows me away.
LUCIA: And so … part of my soap box is, and it has been for my whole life, it’s a whole longer story, but this merging of different cultures and spirits from different cultures and social justice. And so, one of my soapboxes is, the divination world is very northern European. It’s very white. It’s … Most of the decks that have been created are from a northern European perspective. And those are fine if we have more diversity. We need more authentic diversity. And whatever it is about access to resources, whatever that is, there’s a lot of issues around that, but so Courtney is … she calls herself a black queer woman and she’s bringing information from her ancestors and the African lineage and the deck is excellent and so she’s almost up to her $50,000 to print her next round, so you all need to go find Dust Onyx. But, for you, Andrew, I’m so thrilled that you’re bringing through a deck from these diverse traditions, and you are a person who has apprenticed to it, who has, you know, put in the time, it’s of your heart, it’s of your soul, because we so much, print on demand is such a miracle, and it’s a miracle that we can … I mean, you’re working with Llewellyn, which is a bigger publisher, which is a very prestigious thing, I mean that’s awesome, and we can print our own decks now. And, so, I just, I thank you so much for showing up and bringing through this … this … You know, we’re going to flip the dominant paradigm partly by getting paid, and so also Courtney, let’s pay Courtney, let’s have Courtney set up her publishing house for marginalized groups. Let’s see more decks from people of different cultures. Nonbinary gender ones. I want to see decks from 16-year-olds. We need more diverse, so I just … I really honor you and all the work that you do, and I cannot wait to see what you bring through about your deck.
ANDREW: I’m going to be very curious if it feels familiar to you. You know?
LUCIA: Yes! From the dream! Oh my god!
ANDREW: Cause I asked you last year and you were like … “I couldn’t, I can’t remember seeing any of them, I just knew what it was,” so I’ll be curious when it arrives, if it likes unlocks something that you perceived. So, I’m going to wrap up by saying, so, speaking of youth and making stuff …
ANDREW: I was just at Reader’s Studio, in New York, and my kids made an oracle deck to sell …
LUCIA: I love those!!!!
ANDREW: And this is the second iteration of it, and they … my youngest had made one to raise money for a charity called Rainbow Railroad, which people should go check out, and what they did was they made these cards and they were selling them individually and then somebody bought a set of them or whatever. But by the time this goes live at the end of May, my kids will be making more and selling them through the Hermit’s Lamp website, so go check it out.
ANDREW: You can see what…
ANDREW: Young visionaries of finding and embodying divination are up to.
LUCIA: Our little sassy riot grrls!!! Riot grrl deck!!!
ANDREW: Exactly. And yeah, if you’re, other people out there who have stuff that need support or whatever, like, bring it up, send me an email, let me know what’s going on, because, you know, we’ve all got to help everything move in the right direction.
LUCIA: Me too. Me too. Like I say, I feel like that’s a part of our responsibility is to share on social media and expand each other’s tribes so we get paid. Getting paid so that we can take care of ourselves. You know, there’s so much issues about money, but …
ANDREW: And take care of each other, right?
LUCIA: Take care of each other. I love it!
ANDREW: All right. Where do people find you, Lucia?
LUCIA: Oh! Well I have the Oracle of Initiation website, so that’s OracleofInitiation.com, I have a Mellissae Lucia website that shows all of my, some of my bodies of work. I’m very happy on Instagram. You can find everything happening on Instagram. Under Mellissae …
ANDREW: The pinnacle … It’s the pinnacle of social media. It’s the best thing …
LUCIA: I love, I love it.
ANDREW: Let’s hope Facebook doesn’t ruin it.
LUCIA: And I’m on Facebook also and then my events, my online classes, my experimental photography classes … it’s once a year now that I teach the how to bring the vision of your deck through to production. It starts in January, that class, which is, it’s epic. That’s another Ph.D. of mine. And I’m going to be teaching a lot of different places and public speaking more, and then, for women and nonbinary gender ones, I do this amazing four-month process in the New Mexico desert where I created my deck, where Georgia O’Keefe lived, where we have a week immersion in New Mexico, and it’s a very small group, intimate, basically priestess, intuitive, empowerment embodiment training called Temples Illuminated. And so that happens once a year from September till January. And that, you have to, it’s not marketed anywhere publicly, that’s really, you have to interbe with me, because that’s pretty deep and powerful but delicious work. And so …. And then I do intensive week-long things in New Mexico at this point too, which I’m starting one with a woman today, we’re going to go up to Georgia O’Keefe land and do art and mystical stuff. Woot woot!
ANDREW: Love it. Thanks for being on.
LUCIA: It’s great to catch up with you again.
ANDREW: Wonderful, always, to catch up. Always good. Have a good day!