Andrew and Ariana talk about everyones favourite topic love. Exploring how their relationship to polyamory and spirit guide and shape their world view. The podcast also takes a tour through astrology and spirituality in general. If you are looking to explore polyamory or just for a different world view check it out.
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ANDREW: [00:00:00] Welcome to another episode of The Hermit’s Lamp podcast. I’m here with Ariana Felix and we are going to talk about some really interesting stuff today: romance, love, non-monogamy, and polyamory. [00:00:15] And, I came across Saltwater Stars, which is their Instagram, and started following them, and, you know, have been really enjoying listening to their astrology and listening to a bunch of the other great work [00:00:30] that they’re up to. And when I saw a post about polyamory, I was like, yes, this is this is the conversation or the person– I’ve been waiting to have a conversation on this for quite a while and it seemed like the right fit, so. But for people who don’t know who [00:00:45] you are, why don’t you introduce yourself?
ARIANA: Yeah, so I’m Ariana and I run Saltwater Stars, which is mainly an astrology platform, to use the word, but I’m an astrologer [00:01:00] and my work is doing readings and writing a lot of writing, about what’s going on astrologically, but I also play with tarot and magic and, you know, brujería. I’m [00:01:16] from Brooklyn, New York, by way of Puerto Rico, but I live in southcentral Pennsylvania right now. So yeah, I think that pretty much sums it up. That’s like a 10-second summary.
ANDREW: Perfect. So I’m [00:01:32] sure, like, people have heard the term, but I wonder if there are people who don’t know what brujeríameans.
ARIANA: Oh, yeah. So brujería is basically the Spanish word for magic. It is usually referring to Santería. [00:01:47] And it actually has a huge connotation with, like, as a derogatory term.
ARIANA: So how it’s being used now, in the like quote-unquote mainstream, [00:02:02] is really about reclamation of the term.
ARIANA: Even though, still, in like in my culture, it’s still, a majority look at it as a negative thing, you know, like brujería. It’s witchcraft, basically.
ANDREW: [00:02:17] Yeah, for sure. Well, it’s the thing that everybody looks down on until they have a problem, right? And then they come knock on your door and be like . . .
ANDREW: . . .please help me with the thing! help me with this! [laughing]
ARIANA: [laughing] Right. What, like, what was it, that thing that you mentioned the other day, that I was skeptical about but now I might really need? Like– [laughing]
ANDREW: Exactly. Exactly. For [00:02:35] sure. Yeah.
ANDREW: Yeah. My elder references a Cuban saying, which is something like, something along the lines, in English, of you know, everybody’s Catholic on Sunday, and then they go see the saints, like the Santos, when they, when [00:02:50] they have a problem, right? You know, so.
ANDREW: That’s how it goes.
ANDREW: So, tell me tell me about, like, polyamory for you. You know, [00:03:05] where did that start, if there’s sort of a clear start? How did you, how did you find your way to that? You know, like, what was that journey like for you? Because, you know, that’s not a thing that– I mean, it’s growing [00:03:20] in awareness in the media and I think in general these days, but you know, it’s definitely not, it’s still not everybody’s life. Right? It’s still kind of different in that way. So, yeah.
ARIANA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Oh, geez. I [00:03:36] think I was always, like in my adult life, I was always really curious about it. But still from this like, vantage point of being like, “Oh, that’s interesting, but probably like, not [00:03:51] right,” you know? Like I grew up very, like, strictly religious. And so, when I like exited out of that and was, you know, doing my own thinking, when it came to relationships, I just, I [00:04:06] was like, fascinated by the idea that like, tap, polyamory taps into this concept of like, the expanse of love, you know, so much of like heteronormativity and patriarchy is [00:04:21] about this like, finite amounts, you know, and that’s why you need to have possession over it because there’s like only so much, so you better get yours, you know.
ARIANA: And so that never really resonated with me. And [00:04:36] then I was also, I think, as curious as I was about it, confused, because, you know, well, I wasn’t like really educated about it, and I was confused by the fact that I like also really appreciated deep intimate relationships, [00:04:51] you know, and commitment.
ARIANA: And so I was like, well these things don’t fit together, you know, [laughing] and so it wasn’t until the past two years, really, that it’s been like part [00:05:06] of my life, but it’s been very very gradual because there’s been a lot of deconditioning that I’ve had to do for myself to kind of navigate the shame that came up around [00:05:21] it, which is like, fortunately, I have a lot of experience in, because so many things about my life are like the opposite of how I was raised, you know?
ARIANA: And what I was taught to think. And so, for me, the, I [00:05:37] think, like the entry point into non-monogamy was really about allowing myself to prioritize pleasure, to prioritize love of all kinds, right? And [00:05:52] I just like, I’m really committed to this idea that, why would I say no to more of that in my life, right? Because of, like, heteronormativity and patriarchy and whiteness. Like why would I block access [00:06:07] points off for myself? And so I think that was the thought that kind of catapulted me into being like, Okay. This is something that I do want to live into and that does feel right for me and that does fit into, like, [00:06:22] my own love ethic, you know?
And so, it was interesting, because I was all, I’m already, I was already in a committed relationship that was like, very seemingly heteronormative, you know? And so, it’s like, [00:06:37] I had to, you know, have those conversations with my partner, right? And it was like this learning curve that we shared together, you know? But I had to like, be brave enough to initiate [00:06:52] it, you know? And be like, this is something that I want and that I’m curious about, you know, because it could have very well not have resonated, right? But I had to like make the decision to be open to experimenting.
ANDREW: For sure. Yeah, [00:07:07] I think it’s really, you know. My experiences with it is that it’s definitely– There are people who are more naturally suited towards it than others. You know, I think it’s not necessarily for everybody. So that being aware that like [00:07:22] you can try this out and be like, “Oh, you know what? No, thank you.” You know, that’s great too. Right? But yeah. Yeah, I think, I think this, this process of sort of deconditioning stuff, you know? I think it’s [00:07:37] so helpful, right? You know, I mean, I think that as a person who spends a lot of time talking with other people about their love life, you know, being a card reader, I feel like having [00:07:52] committed, you know, continuing to commit a bunch of energy to deconditioning, you know, all the different things for myself around love and other things is super fruitful. But I also think, in terms of finding our own happiness, [00:08:07] I think that that’s so key as well, right? You know? And for me, polyamory, nonmonogamy, and like all this kind of stuff, it’s kind of been a constant theme for, like, since I was, you [00:08:22] know, in my late teen years, sort of, on and off all the way through my life, you know? And it’s been either, you know, it started out as a relatively–unconscious is the wrong word. But you [00:08:38] know, we would, we, me and someone I was seeing, would have conversations about inviting other people over or who we wanted to bring home from the bar at the end of the night or you know, all that kind of stuff.
And so that in that sense, it was very conscious, [00:08:55] you know, because we were talking about it, but it also was not really considered in a framework or a structure. There were no bigger conversations about it. It was sort of always, you know, [00:09:10] close to the moment and without a lot of sort of conversation about what it meant or what else might happen or all these kind of things, you know? And so a lot of, a lot of my journey sort of after that period was of sort of trying [00:09:25] to sort through and figure out what those, what those dynamics that make sense for me around that are, right, you know, and right, you know, all that kind of stuff. So, but yeah, I think, I think that for me, where I’ve kind of gotten to with it is this place where [00:09:40] I think that connections with people across the board, you know, friends, lovers, relationships, whatever, they tend to have a natural [00:09:55] level or a natural level of intimacy or connection, physical or otherwise, that if there aren’t limits placed on them, then they’ll arrive at, you know? So it’s been this process of sort of, especially [00:10:10] in the last few years of sort of settling into, you know, understanding how I can see that in different dynamics and how sort of finding that level of intimacy, being like, Oh, yeah. This is, this is wonderful, and [00:10:25] and I don’t necessarily want more, you know, in a conventional sense, but this is great, and this could just continue to be great or you know, these level of orbits are great, or all those kinds of things. So. Yeah.
ARIANA: I [00:10:41] think a huge thing for me, that in retrospect I’m grateful for, was like knowing myself well enough to know that I wasn’t, I’m not particularly a casual [00:10:56] person. With the exceptions of make outs, I’m very casual about that. [laughs] When it comes to like intimacy and all that, I knew about and I know about myself that [00:11:11] I do like to have, like, at least the shape of the container, you know, and agreements, and clarity, and I don’t know, the word commitmentis coming to mind, and I know that has a lot of its own, [00:11:26] you know, baggage, but I like longevity, you know, and so in all my relationships, you know, like with my family and with my friends and etc. It’s really important to me. And so I [00:11:41] was really lucky to come across the term poly-capable because I was like, you know, obviously there’s that overlap between polyamory, nonmonogamy, but I was interested in nonmonogamy [00:11:56] for the sake of more partnerships.
ARIANA: Right, not so much for the sake of cruising itself, which is, you know, also totally cool. And so I think that piece is what has allowed me to be clear [00:12:11] about what kind of connections I’m interested in or have the potential to grow that way, right? Because you know, obviously it can’t be like a decision from the get, [00:12:26] you do have to like build a relationship.
ANDREW: I think I want to pause you there for a second. I think it, I think it, I want to hear what you have to say after too, but I think that one of the things that I think is such [00:12:41] a an important piece to understand, is how to, how do we on-ramp into relationships? You know, and how do we hang out in that space? You [00:12:56] know, like where you’re like, I would like containers. I like a sense of commitment. You know, I personally tend to not use the word commitmentbut sort of tend towards the word agreements, even though maybe it’s a bit semantic, but you know agreements, [00:13:11] for me, implies sort of more of a, we’re always reaching those things, you know, or they’re open to renegotiation and to change in a way that commitments doesn’t feel as much, but I think that so many people, especially people [00:13:26] who are not polyamorous, that space where, you know, they don’t want to be casual, they don’t want to not have a sense of commitment. They don’t want, you know, like [00:13:41] all of those kinds of things. And yet, meeting somebody and starting to date somebody always involves all of those kinds of things. Right? And I think that that, that sort of, how, you [00:13:57] know, I’m really curious how you navigate that. And I think that, you know, anybody who’s out there dating and is sort of like working with this stuff, you know, I think that it’s a really important question to ask and kind of get clear, because I think that there [00:14:12] are so many kind of pitfalls around that, you know, in our own minds and hearts and fears that they really make that kind of wonky for a lot of people, so that’s why I wanted to pause you because I thought that was such an important piece there. You know, how [00:14:27] do you know?
ARIANA: Yeah. Yeah, I feel like it’s that that knowing what I want. All right, like knowing that I’m interested in more partnerships [00:14:42] in my life, especially with people of color, you know, like black indigenous people of color. Like that’s my priority, and so, it’s kind of like more like a guide than anything [00:14:57] else, right? Because there is, like you’re saying, there is, like you’re saying, that part of all of it where you don’t know what’s going to happen, you know?
ARIANA: And everything is even when there’s like, okay, we have this agreement, like you said, is all open for renegotiation. [00:15:13] And I think that’s, like you’re saying, is a super essential piece to, like, any of this working, right? And so, I think that I know I [00:15:28] feel like it’s so highly contextual, right? So you can be, like, with one person, being clear about what you want, and they are also interested in the same thing. And so you’re seeing how you can grow that together if it’s possible, right? And then there might be another person with whom you’re like, this [00:15:43] is what I want, and they’re like, I’m not interested in more partnerships, you know, or not interested in what you want, this is what I want. You know what I mean? And so, I think, that allowing for that, allowing for it to be highly contextual, you know, and super nuanced, and [00:15:58] just like, it’s never going to be concrete. You know?
ANDREW: And when you run into somebody and they’re, sort of, you know, looking for something different, will you just let that go, then? Will you tend [00:16:13] to walk away from that? Or what’s, you know, like, cause that’s the thing, right? You know, when people are looking for love, right? So often we like, you know, cause, oh my, look how cute they are, I mean, maybe I could, I [00:16:28] could be a little different, or like, you know, or like, or I don’t have any other options, or, you know, like there are many reasons why we get pulled into this stuff, right? And so, I’m curious how you handle that. You know?
ARIANA: I [00:16:43] think that, so far, my, the way that I’ve handled it has been to kind of like that, oh, walk away, not be like, “Okay, well, we’re never talking again,” you know, but that’s [00:16:58] like a, that’s a hard, that’s a hard one for me. If our desires aren’t congruent or what’s the word, I [00:17:13] don’t know, like, if our desires aren’t compatible, it’s like really hard for me, to, I don’t know like, alter my desire? [laughing]
ARIANA: So, like, maybe it’s better [00:17:28] if, you know, the nature of the relationship or the connection changes, so that I can manage this on this side. Does that make sense?
ANDREW: It does. Yeah, for sure.
ARIANA: And I know, I know, I know about myself that I have a tendency towards being [00:17:43] kind of like working with absolutes and I’m learning my way around that. So I guess this is the honest answer is like, I do tend to be like pretty absolute and I’m learning how to leave more room for what actually happens, [00:17:58] right? Because like life is not absolute at all.
ANDREW: Yeah. Sure.
ARIANA: So yeah, that’s my answer to that. So I definitely, the whole like leaving space to [00:18:13] adjust my desires and allowing a connection that might not have been what I wanted but it’s still something in its own right is really hard for me.
ANDREW: Yeah, I think that’s fair, right? I think that’s totally fair. You know, I mean, I tend to be [00:18:30] a very considerate person, you know, as Sagittarian and as exuberant as I am about things, I’m also a very considerate person and so I tend to kind of always temper that by like, [00:18:45] looking at what’s going on in, in all the arenas of my life and sort of, kind of, with a half an eye to making sure that I don’t inadvertently, like, blow up the stability that I’ve been building, you know, because it’s like, oh, it’s so exciting. I could just whatever, right?
ANDREW: It’s like, no, [00:19:00] no, dude. You can’t do that. That’s not, that, that actually isn’t going to work out well in the long run. And I think that that’s true around poly for me too, you know? I mean being aware of like, what are my [00:19:15] actual energetic and time limits? You know, what are my? You know, I mean, like, it’s, I do casual very well as well as sort of relationship stuff, but even at that, I only have so much time in my life, you know? [00:19:30]
ANDREW: Between kids and shop and partners and so on, right? It’s like—
ANDREW: All of those things require some attention, you know? And I think that my other kind of almost [00:19:45] like my mantra through like, you know, the last couple years has really been: be brave, make the brave choice right now. What’s the brave choice here? And sometimes that brave choice is [00:20:00] like, fess up and be like, I really really like you, you know, like I really hope this continues or whatever, and sometimes that brave choice is like, you are so darn hot, and yet also this is [00:20:15] not going to fit in my life, and I can go find that hotness in a way that, you know, maybe does work in my life. And so being brave enough to kind of like, step away from both [00:20:30] of those things. But like, you know, it’s not quite a talking myself down to putting down the, you know, put down the phone, don’t send that message. You know? It’s not quite at that level but there’s definitely moments where it’s like you know what, just, what’s the brave choice here? How do you commit to [00:20:45] the brave choice? You know? And I think that that’s kind of been where I’ve been leaning and you know, it tends to work out well, but you know, but yeah, but sometimes it’s not always easy, right?
ARIANA: That is such a Sag mantra. [00:21:00] I’d have to say.
ANDREW: Which part of—
ARIANA: What’s the brave choice? That’s so Sagittarius.
ANDREW: Yeah. What about that, though? I’m curious. Like, which sign are you?
ARIANA: I’m a Scorpio. [00:21:15]
ARIANA: With like a million planets in Scorpio. That’s my issue with absolutes and [laughing] …
ANDREW: Uh-huh. Yeah.
ARIANA: Just like Sagittarius has this, you know, it’s a fire sign and like the other fire signs, [00:21:30] really works with this initiatory energy, you know, and that requires bravery and courage and this, like, transparency of spirit, you know? And so I love that that’s what you’re working with, because it’s actually, [00:21:45] with this, like, when it comes to polyamory, because polyamory itself is about expansion, right? And that’s so Sagittarian a concept, very ruled by Jupiter is about expanding things. And so, using such a like [00:22:00] fiery mantra to create room for that expansion, right? and to, like, navigate yourself through it, I think is really powerful.
ANDREW: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s one of those things, right? I mean, I think that dating at any [00:22:15] level isn’t easy, necessarily, right? Like there are times where it’s really easy, which is great. There are times where it’s work and there are times where, you know, we get kind of stuck in it, right? Or stuck in ourselves or, you know, or life just doesn’t align [00:22:30] with it. Right? And I think that just being so aware of all that stuff is so helpful, you know. Yeah. So, let me ask you a question towards a Scorpio then.
ANDREW: How do you deal with [00:22:45] jealousy?
ARIANA: Oh God.
ARIANA: You couldn’t, you couldn’t find a more original Scorpio question to ask! [laughing]
ANDREW: You know, I’m only a basic astrologer. So [00:23:00] all you’re going to get it is [laughing]
ARIANA: Fair enough, fair enough!
ARIANA: Jealousy… So, what’s really interesting is that I feel like I’ve struggled with [00:23:15] jealousy my entire life. Like I remember as a child, like, someone would play with my friend and I was like, you know, why are they playing with my friend?
ARIANA: And so I’ve had a lot of time to kind of work through it [laughing] and figure out how [00:23:30] to, how to manage it. And so at this point in my life, I find that it’s really parallel to my work with like self-confidence and self-esteem, you know? And then stuff, It’s, really, the [00:23:45] intensity of it has dissipated a lot and I– It doesn’t often come up for me. And I think part of that is also just because of my beliefs, right? Like the same beliefs that allow me to be polyamorous and [00:24:00] have an open relationship with systems. Those are the same beliefs that dissipate my jealousy because it’s like, okay. I don’t want to be in a relationship of like transaction or possession with people, [00:24:15] places, and things, you know? And so reminding myself of that helps me to be like, you know, and it’s also, I don’t know.
I think that, [00:24:33] I really, it’s really important to me that the people that I love and care for feel spaciousness in relationship with me. And I think I have this, like, terror that my jealousy would, you know, [00:24:48] like, reduce that or eliminate that, the spaciousness. And so, if and when it does come up for me, I tend to just like, manage it on my own, you know, like walk myself through words, like, you know, “this is not a big deal, and it’s okay.”
And something [00:25:04] that’s also helpful is not assigning meaning to things, you know? Because I think for me, my relationship with jealousy is almost always about, “Oh, okay, I am like, not as important, or not as amazing, and I’m going to be abandoned,” [00:25:19] you know.
ANDREW: For sure.
ARIANA: Basic abandonment trauma issues, [laughing] and so reminding myself that that’s not the case, you know, just because someone’s like, talking to someone, [laughing] has been really helpful. So [00:25:34] I think also.
Yeah, I think I just like really have this deep priority to not– I don’t want that to take up space and I think growing up in a household where, like, my parents’ marriage was so full of that. So, like, just [00:25:49] an abusive level that really turned me off to it, you know, so like when it comes up, I’m like, yeah, no, we’re not going to do that. Like, that’s not, that’s not allowed, but not in the way where I’m like, pretending that I don’t feel it, you know? I’m just managing it for myself. So [00:26:04] far so good. [laughing]
ANDREW: I find that– I mean, I think that there are a few things. And a bunch of them, a bunch of them, good chunk of stuff that I [00:26:19] think comes down to like evoking jealousy for me, also, comes down to like, understanding like, how I actually am interested in poly or [00:26:34] what I’m actually interested in, you know? And so like, you know, being aware that, like, you know, for example, maybe if somebody like, if [00:26:49] there’s, if I want, if I wanted a more serious connection with someone than they were available for and they were like a super casual person who had a high turnover of like, of lovers? That’s probably not a good place for me to be.
ANDREW: Like that’s not a– It’s not a place [00:27:04] where I can get what I desire from that situation.
ANDREW: And so like, kind of rolling that back and sort of taking ownership for it and saying, this is not about them and what they should or shouldn’t do, that’s not helpful, you know?
ARIANA: Right. Mm-hmm.
ANDREW: And like you [00:27:19] said, one of my, I’m definitely on the side of, I don’t want to limit other people’s freedoms. And, you know, and I’m not going to allow people to necessarily limit mine either, you know? I mean, there are agreements, which is something different.
But [00:27:34] even at that, those agreements don’t extend to, you know, the rest of my life in the sense that they cut off a bunch of things, you know, they’re more like, these are these are my commitments to this relationship, and you know, and those tend to [00:27:49] be more about time, energy, attention, and things like that, you know, or safer sex things, or what-have-you, right? But and then, some of the other stuff comes back to like, you know, for me, jealousy, you know, other [00:28:04] than what I just talked about, is either rooted in something that’s deeply unexpected?
ANDREW: Where, where everything seemed like it was going in a certain direction and somebody talked about things in a certain way and [00:28:19] then something happened that made them realize they wanted something completely unexpected, from my point of view, maybe from theirs, maybe not.
ANDREW: And so that that can be difficult and invoke that feeling of jealousy, which then, [00:28:34] you know, seeing that and having the clarity to go to the person, and say: “So hey, I’m having some feelings about this because everything that I heard was going in this direction and then this was a change,” you know, that can be like, you know, can make it [00:28:49] clearer, right? You know? And clarifying that and understanding more about what that change was or how it occurred or whatever, usually gets rid of it, you know?
ARIANA: Right, right.
ANDREW: And then the last one is this, like, you know? You know, there was a time not [00:29:04] so long ago where I had a bunch of feelings and, you know, ultimately it was about the fact that sort of two of my kind of more casual ongoing people ghosted on me. And you know, like, it wasn’t about the [00:29:19] person that I felt it towards at all, it was more about that sense of lack of stuff and the disruption in my life. And then that kind of, like, bleh! [laughing]
ANDREW: You know? I don’t have a better word for it than that, but that like that mess [00:29:34] of complicated feelings—
ANDREW: Before it got kind of parsed out into what it was, actually about, then was essentially looking for a place to attach to something, you know, instead of actually kind of like looking at it being like, oh, you know what, you should, you [00:29:49] know, feel sad about the fact that this happened or you should, you know, get back on, get back on Tinder and find a new connection, or you should whatever, right? Like, you know, and that kind of returning it back to a place of action, even [00:30:04] if an action is kind of a non-action, of like, just sitting with it or whatever, right? You know, that’s always kind of a super helpful thing for me as well. So.
ARIANA: Yeah, I mean, I think, I keep returning to how care for the self, like caring for yourself is [00:30:19] like, just obviously foundational to everything—
ARIANA: But like, when it comes to managing and navigating, you know, nonmonogamy and polyamory, it’s like, I’ve [00:30:34] found for myself, I’m like, oh, it’s like even more important than ever before that I’m caring for myself. And that I’m in relationship with myself. You know, and like, prioritizing that because it’s so easy [00:30:49] to get kind of like get stuck, like you were saying, you know, or just like– It’s so easy to not know how to move forward. Right?
ARIANA: And [00:31:04] I think and that’s true for most things that involve other people, because there’s like, there’s no control there, you know?
ARIANA: Which is like a cause of panic for me on a daily basis [laughing]—
ARIANA: But is actually totally normal and healthy and good, you know. [00:31:19]
ARIANA: Learning how to be like, okay, so I can’t do anything about them. How can I care for myself in this moment?
ANDREW: For sure, right?
ARIANA: How do I want to move forward? Like I think that it’s like, always comes back to the question, like, what do you want? You know? And [00:31:36] I think if that’s not like one of the guiding questions, it gets easy to be like, okay, what does the other person want? You know, what do they need? How can I, how can I, how can I change to be that for them? You know? And [00:31:51] then, like, that’s a whole mess in itself.
ANDREW: And I think that, you know, as you kind of pointed at, that’s so true of everywhere in life. You know, it’s true of our family relationships. It’s probably true in people’s careers and [00:32:06] you know, in a variety of things, you know? And even, you know, I mean I haven’t even had a job for working for anybody else since 1998 now. You know, it’s been a while that I’ve been self-employed and you know, for like the last 16 years, I’ve [00:32:21] been reading cards and running my store and stuff like that. And even like in the last six months I had to remind myself. I’m like, hey Andrew, it’s your store and your work, you are actually freer than almost anybody—
ARIANA: Yes, yes.
ANDREW: [00:32:36] Like, it doesn’t get freer than your, then your position, and still actually working. So if you’re not digging this thing, stop getting stuck in that and start thinking about, what is it you would rather do instead, right? [00:32:51] Or how would you rather it be instead? You know? And yeah, it’s a, it’s always, it’s always the possibility that sort of like loss of the center of whatever control there is or whatever power there is externally [00:33:07] somewhere, where, you know? And I think that in poly and in everywhere, returning that back to the center is so fruitful, right?
ARIANA: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
ANDREW: You know, so, I’m really curious, if, have [00:33:22] you gone searching for like the poly astrological element? Like is there, is there a thing that you, or kinds of things that you see, where you’re like, oh, yeah, yeah, I bet you this person’s that way.
ARIANA: It’s so funny. [00:33:37] I mean, I’ve kind of thought about it. I’m always like, super hesitant to, I mean like, formulate astrological signatures—
ARIANA: For like, people’s lifestyles and choices, but [00:33:53] I’ll speak, I’ll speak for my own self. I remember like a couple years ago, looking at my chart, and being like, you know, I’m really surprised that I’m not more, you know, like nonmonogamous. Like I remember looking and being like, [00:34:08] and so, you know, obviously in retrospect, it’s really funny to be like, okay. I’m not, you know, like I was right, like I did pick up on that, just like certain things in my chart that like, made me think about my relationship to [00:34:23] relationships, and what kinds of relationships would actually nourish me versus the kinds that I’ve, you know, been conditioned to think or expect from myself, right?
And so I think for myself that just involves having a [00:34:38] lot of air and I also have a lot of water, right? So it’s like, I think that’s a, that really speaks to how I’m like, I’m, that’s why I like the term poly-capable, [00:34:53] you know, or so, like, so I’m open, I’m not, I have like all this airiness, and all this like, yes, possibility, and like, excitement, and experiences, and, what’s the word, like perspective, you know, like perspectives [00:35:08] broken open and unlearning and learning new ways. Then I have all this water where I’m like, I want that to be in service of, like, deep lasting connections, right? And so for myself, that’s how, that’s how I’ve seen it show up but [00:35:23] no, to answer it in general, I don’t have like an astrological signature where I’m like, oh, this person is probably, are not monogamous or poly or like has several relationships, because it’s just, my relationship astrology isn’t [00:35:38] like that.
ANDREW: Mm-hmm. That’s totally fair. I find that, you know, my questions around a lot of this stuff, I feel like they end up sort of going back to me. Like, I’m just going to ask some really unfair questions of, like astrologers—
ANDREW: So, [00:35:53] hey, hey, here’s my, here’s my like, I know it’s not really this way, but I kind of wish it was, and I bet you think I’m just going to ask this question and put you on the spot for a minute.
ARIANA: Underneath that is maybe, and I’m not saying that this is the case, but usually with people [00:36:08] is the question of like, tell me why I am the way that I am! [laughing]
ANDREW: Right. Sure.
ARIANA: [laughing] Is there a reason that this is happening? And maybe somehow inadvertently by asking this general question I’ll have my very personal question answered.
ANDREW: Yeah. Yeah. For sure.
ANDREW: [00:36:23] Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve looked at my own chart in my own limited ways and I don’t really have a sense either. So I think, I think it’s, I think for me it’s just, you know, so much air and fire and so [00:36:38] much, just like, you know, expansiveness and exploratoriness that I think that it just sort of inclines me in that kind of direction.
ARIANA: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I think looking at elements is like, [00:36:53] can be super informative. When we’re looking at like, how we move through life, and what our needs are, and our like general sense. How we need to be able to move, right? Like air and fire needs to be able to be free—
ARIANA: In like different ways [00:37:08] than earth and water.
ANDREW: Yeah. No, for sure. I don’t have any earth, so.
ARIANA: [laughing] You said that in a way that’s like, I’m fucked. [laughing]
ANDREW: No, no, not at all. It’s good. It’s fine. No earth at [00:37:23] all and only one water element. So everything else is just air and fire. All the time.
ARIANA: That’s combustion.
ANDREW: Yeah. I worked on it magically, so it’s all good now, so.
ANDREW: So, [00:37:40] I guess one of the other things that I’m curious about this, for you, is like, you know, does poly fit into an identity or a sense [00:37:55] of, you know, activism, and sort of like, kind of, like we talked about deconditioning and I’m wondering if it goes a bit further to you, in sort of the sense of, is it, is it, is it, is it tied [00:38:10] to sort of a sense of activism or something like that for you?
ARIANA: Like is it radical for me?
ANDREW: Is it radical for you?
ARIANA: Mm-hmm, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s deeply intertwined with like, my political beliefs and values, as [00:38:25] everything in my life is, right?
ARIANA: So yeah, I– A huge, huge reason why polyamory is a part of my life is because of my, like, rejection of whiteness, you know, and like the role [00:38:40] of whiteness in heteronormativity and patriarchy and like all these things that take joy, you know?
ARIANA: And so, I’m always like, I’m a little skeptical with the word resistance,but it is like an [00:38:55] act of resistance for me, you know, and like, no, actually because, like I said before, like the only reason I wouldn’t say yes to more pleasure and love, enjoying my life, is because of these constructs, you know, that are, that are made up, [00:39:10] and are also powerful, right? and like shape us and we are shaped by them.
ARIANA: And so it is absolutely about taking my personal and my political, which is like the same for me, power back, you [00:39:25] know? I mean like, there, so, yeah, like, so little when it comes to like, oppression, that I [00:39:40] like actually have any power control over right? Like I can’t change the world or the snap of my fingers or whatever.
ARIANA: So living my life in ways that are like, anti-oppressive, is really important. And [00:39:55] so it’s really interesting because even like, when I was sitting with the question of like nonmonogamy and polyamory, a large part of my commitment to like, continuing to be curious about it, even when it felt like scary [00:40:10] or strange, or shameful, was a political commitment, you know, it’s like, even if this isn’t going to be right for me, I want to be able to be with the questions, you know? And I want to be able to not have fear [00:40:25] around it. Right? Like, and fear that’s been imbued by my conditioning, religious and political, you know, and so yeah, that’s a huge, huge piece of about it for me.
ANDREW: Yeah. A [00:40:41] long time ago, for me, I discovered this guy, Terence McKenna Terence McKenna is like, psychedelic—was, he’s dead now–was a psychedelic explorer like along the lines of Timothy [00:40:56] Leary and those people, and, but, you know, he was mostly into like mushrooms and other things and there was a line in this spoken word thing that he did, where he’s talking about how taking mushrooms frees [00:41:11] you from the system, right? Takes you outside of those things and that it breaks what he calls the “three enemies of the people,” you know? And the enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy, and monotony, [00:41:26] you know, and you know, hegemony being the way in which systems and culture and patriarchy and you know, all of those things seek to not just tell us what to do but to limit [00:41:41] the space in which we can think, you know, it’s a very like 1984 kind of idea, right, in that regard, and I think that there’s so much of what we come around, and you know, what I grew up in, and what most people grow up in, that, [00:41:56] that is, curtails the boundaries of where you’re allowed to think or what you can think or what’s, you know, and even to the point where it’s like, you know, I mean, I think of my earlier explorations, it’s like, I had no language around it. I just had desire. [00:42:11] And I couldn’t even really understand–I understood it, you know, I don’t want to diminish my awareness of it, but I didn’t understand it as a possibility or as a way of life. I just understood it as a desire, right?
ARIANA: Right, right.
ANDREW: You [00:42:26] know, and then of course, like monogamy and the monotony of like a lot of capitalism and the way in which a lot of the world runs, you know, I mean, all of those things work to sort of push us away from making more radical choices [00:42:41] or waking up or you know, doing those kinds of things. So, yeah, I think it’s very, it’s very interesting, you know. Yeah.
ARIANA: Yeah, I mean I [00:42:57] think that this, there’s like this, I think this separation, between like activism and then like our quote unquote regular lives is an illusion in a lot of ways. I do think that there is a distinction between like [00:43:12] activist, you know, like, people who are committing their life to that work in a public way. Right? Like I’m not going to call myself an activist. And I think, you know, the word has all of its own like negative [00:43:27] connotations as well. But that like, that false separation between the political and the personal, you know, is really harmful, because it is so deeply intertwined. Right? And so, like even in [00:43:42] our conversations about love and romance and sex and money, you know, like all of these things are wrapped up into power and wrapped up into politics, right? And so for me, as like a [00:43:57] queer Boricua, it’s one of the ways that I’ve been articulating and it’s like, it’s my duty, my responsibility, to be as liberated, [00:44:13] to use the word, as I can, right? And again, going back to that, like why would I say no to more pleasure and love and joy in my life, right?
And so, it’s like, I don’t just see it as this, like, oh, yeah, of course, I want more of that but I see it as like, oh, it’s my responsibility to my ancestors, [00:44:28] right? And to the life that I’m like, actually living now, to deconstruct these things within myself. You know and to be aware of, curious about, [00:44:43] and devoted to exploring the ways that the political and the personal is intertwined for me. And that’s not only my responsibility to myself, that’s my responsibility to my community, [00:44:58] you know? In like a literal sense, like people actually, community with, and in a metaphysical sense. Yeah. Yeah.
ANDREW: I mean, I think I agree with that, and I’ve kind of felt the same way, you know, and [00:45:13] I think that, you know, not in a, not in a like, I feel like I’ve got it all figured out and I’m going to tell people how it ought to be kind of way. But like, it’s why sharing [00:45:30] more openly around being poly, as you know, as a, as a, you know, as a kind of fitting into that conversation, to say, hey, look there are other ways, like I’m living another way, and I could, I could not be public [00:45:45] about it, it would make no difference on a day-to-day level with my you know, personal and romantic life, you know?
ARIANA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
ANDREW: But I could also share it in a public way, and that, you know, and share that [00:46:00] in this conversation with you that then creates that space for other people to think, engage, be exposed, find their own language, you know, or whatever, you know, or just be curious and then walk away, like it’s all fine. [00:46:15] Right? But like—
ANDREW: You know, but just to sort of provide opportunities to see because I think that, for me, for so long, I kind of just thought that like my life was like everybody’s life and [00:46:30] then at a certain point I was like, oh no, that’s not actually true at all, you know?
ANDREW: And like, the more I have– The more, over the last maybe six years since I started going to tarot conferences and sort of traveling a bit more again, you know, I was like, “oh [00:46:45] no, my life is not like many people’s lives at all,” and not that, not that I need to be role model person, because that’s not the point in the least, but that, you know, I have such different, you know– I mean, poly, [00:47:00] I, you know, like, you know, a couple weeks ago, one of my longer-term partners, their partner and their partner’s child came and hung out with me and my kids. And you know, we all spent the weekend hanging out together, and like, [00:47:15] just totally like, you know, experiences that people are like, I don’t know, I don’t even begin to understand it, and it’s just this, like, the most natural and chill thing ever, right? You know, and being an Olocha, you know, and like all the things, you [00:47:30] know, doing what I do for a living, like, there’s just so many ways in which it’s so different, right? And I think that, kind of like, just floating that out there as a thing to inspire people who want, who are, who [00:47:45] are waiting for inspiration or looking for inspiration, you know, and allowing that to kind of be part of that, I think is really important. So.
ARIANA: Yeah. I mean what I’m hearing, and that is, it just sounds like such [00:48:00] a foundational piece of our work in general as readers, you know, and as like spiritual guides, is this, this, I think like sometimes opening of portals, but more so like, holding of portals, you know, and being like, this is [00:48:15] here, if you, if you want it, and like drawing people’s attention, you know, in their own, in their own search for it, you know? And so, like, it’s, I don’t know, I, [00:48:33] I think that’s like, such what you’re describing is such a huge cornerstone of my life because I know that I’ve always been eternally grateful to the resources that exposed me to the language that I didn’t have for what I was already feeling or [00:48:48] experiencing or wanting, you know?
ARIANA: And that those things changed my life. And so I’ve been, I’ve been deeper in the practice of embodying that myself, like with Saltwater Stars, like, [00:49:03] showing up more as myself, you know, and being more transparent about my queerness and about my, just like the way that my life is, and it’s interesting because I– That’s [00:49:18] like a more recent thing because I’ve never, I guess I didn’t really have like much of a platform, right? Like when you don’t have much of a platform, you’re not like, oh, I should tell everyone, you know, you’re like, no one cares.
So now more [00:49:33] recently I’m like, oh, this is actually like, having these conversations and being transparent about myself, I’m at a position in my life where that can be helpful to others in ways that, you know, it might not have been before, but also helpful [00:49:48] to me, you know? Also like, the whole, like, taking up space thing, as someone who is at the intersection of identities that I’m at, you know, is [00:50:03] something that I’ve like, underestimated the power and importance of, and I’m now like, coming into more of a, like I said, a deeper practice and understanding of how important that is, you know, and doing that whole thing that I’m sure you’re familiar [00:50:18] with, where you’re like, “Oh, if I had, like, known me when I was younger, you know, how much would be different?” blah blah blah.
ANDREW: Sure. Yeah.
ARIANA: Yeah, so I’ve been thinking about that a lot, and I think it’s this interesting like, [00:50:34] juxtaposition for me, where I’m like a private person more naturally, but then I’m also like so deeply committed to community and to communal revolution, you know, and so the ways that I’ll like stretch myself, that I [00:50:49] like, hadn’t considered before, because of the ways that my politics grow and change. You know?
ANDREW: Yeah, I think, and I think that learning how to take up space is such a, and not even take up space, how to take [00:51:04], take your space. You know, I think it’s such a helpful thing, and I think that, you know, it’s also not off topic for polyamory, right? Like, you know, I mean, like, I think that it’s one of those things that crosses all those situations, you [00:51:19] know? How do we show up in our career that we take up space and can be seen, right? How do we show up in our relationships so that we can, you know, take up this or take our space and be seen, you know, and how does that change [00:51:34] the nature of the relationships that we have? Right? Because when you start being visible and showing up as being visible, then all of a sudden, the people, the people who can see you, see [00:51:49] something that’s more real, and therefore that can be, you know, a kind of higher caliber of connection, you know, because there’s a better alignment going there, right? You know, yeah.
ARIANA: Yeah. I love that you bring that up. Because it’s like, it’s that relationship between vulnerability [00:52:04] and intimacy, you know, and so that’s been like a huge thing for me recently. It’s like, the more I allow myself to be vulnerable and to be seen, right, and to be visible, the more intimacy that [00:52:19] I actually have potential to access. Right? So like, sitting over here telling no one anything about my life and wondering why I’ll lack like a depth of intimacy in my relationships, you know, like, being invisible in my relationships and like, feeling resentful that [00:52:34] I’m like, never, so I like, I had to go through that learning curve. I’m like, oh, actually that’s my responsibility, to be like, you know, here I am, you know, and then if you can see me and if this, if my vulnerability does create intimacy with you, [00:52:49] great, and if it doesn’t, now I know, instead of sitting here in the corner wondering feeling sorry for myself, you know.
ANDREW: For sure. Yeah. Yeah. And I definitely, you know, I mean, for me, taking up space and sort of like pushing myself into [00:53:04] space was definitely a thing that was very uncomfortable around releasing the Orisha Tarot, you know, because, you know, I mean, because of, because I’m a white person from Toronto who practices this religion, [00:53:19] because of like a bunch of different things, you know, there’s this very, like I was very, you know, aware, and you know, at times, sort of kind of immobilized by my awareness around those dynamics and my desire [00:53:34] not to, not to be messy about them, you know, and to try and find a good way through that stuff.
And I think that, you know, it’s complicated, because when you, when you don’t feel like you can take [00:53:50] the space, you know, it’s also like there’s almost never anybody who can convince you, you know?
ARIANA: Oh, yes.
ANDREW: Like I talked to my elders and they’re like, “Do it, it’s going to be great.” And you know, I asked the Orishas, they’re like, “Yeah, [00:54:05] you should do this,” and I’m like, and I talked to like, you know, artist friends and people of color. And like I had all these conversations and still, it was just like, but I just, you know, I’m just trying to figure out what that, like what that inner lock was, [00:54:20] right, you know? And it’s now and then and then it came back to my mantra as well as like, well, just be brave dude. Just do the thing.
ANDREW: It’ll work out well or whatever. It’ll be what it is, you know.
ARIANA: Mm-hmm, mmm-hmm.
ANDREW: Yeah, I think [00:54:35] that, that’s it’s, there’s a lot of ways in which showing up is complicated right?
ARIANA: Oh, yeah.
ANDREW: Not just around romance so, but.
ARIANA: Yeah. Oh, yeah, and I’m glad you said it that way, because I think that it is often oversimplified. Especially like for people [00:54:50] who do, who do live outside of the dominant culture.
ARIANA: You know, it’s like, no, it’s not as like this for many, it is actually dangerous, you know, like there is so much risk involved, and [00:55:06] not just like, on an interpersonal level, but on a communal level, right?
ARIANA: And so, I think that the oversimplification of it, that like often comes from whiteness, right? Because like, whiteness [00:55:21] is more comfortable. So, you know, it’s like, oh, yeah, of course, like, you know, this is, not only is this my space, but that’s also my space, and that’s my space, and the, you know, and so I think that oversimplification of it dishonors [00:55:36] the amount of bravery it takes and also like diminishes the complexity of it.
ARIANA: You know and especially at these, like, intersections of spirituality and unconventional relationships and all [00:55:51] of those things. It’s like, the complete, just, you decide to show up, just because you decide to be visible and be seen, doesn’t make it any less complicated.
ANDREW: For sure.
ARIANA: You know?
ANDREW: Yeah, and I think there’s a, [00:56:06] I run across, you know, especially like sometimes in relationship to my, to my kids, with people who are, you know, running programs for them and stuff like that, you know? This notion of, like, you know, you [00:56:21] just, I mean even though my mantra is be brave, right? That’s like a complex multi-level thing. That’s not, that’s not necessarily so much as like, you know, just do the thing and you’ll be fine. It’s [00:56:36] like, okay, be brave. What’s the brave thing? Why am I resisting it? You know? Like on and on and on, there’s like a whole deconstruction that, that goes beyond that and then, and then the mantra comes out once I’ve already processed all those things, and then I’m like, right now, there’s nothing to do but [00:56:51] like press the button, make the phone call, say the thing, but there’s this sort of notion that I run across a lot where it’s like, you know, if you just persevere, if you just push, if you know, it’s all, it’s all kind of like a bunch of machismo and [00:57:06] it’s– In a certain way, I think, you know, where it’s just like, yeah, but like I did this hard thing, so you can do this hard thing, and whatever, and it’s like, maybe not, maybe it’s the wrong hard thing. It’s the wrong way. Maybe [00:57:21] this hard thing isn’t even relevant. Like, you know, I think that there’s so many, so many layers to that, that become very complicated and I think that there’s a desire by many people that I see to [00:57:36] try and come to a point where it’s just something simple like, you know, we’ll just push through it and it’ll be fine. It’s like, maybe not.
ARIANA: Like yeah, like have you heard of the scenarios where things don’t end up [00:57:51] fine because that happens.
ANDREW: Yeah. Exactly.
ARIANA: I think that one of the things about like nonmonogamy and polyamory that I appreciate is that it like, at least for me, I feel like it expands my capacity for complexity.
ANDREW: Sure. [00:58:06]
ARIANA: Right? And like my ability be to be with the discomfort.
ARIANA: Right? So like you were saying, like that that period where, it’s like, okay, so I know that I want like partnerships and intimacy, but there’s that whole period where we’re like, we’re figuring [00:58:21] out if that’s actually possible.
ARIANA: So like, being able to sit in those spaces and to continue choosing to be brave.
ARIANA: You know, it’s like this may not work out, like I could very well get hurt, and like I most [00:58:36] likely will at some point, you know, if I continue in a relationship with this person.
ARIANA: Whoever it is, that’s going to happen and so, like coming to a point of acceptance with that, and like, being willing to be uncomfortable and being willing to, I think, [00:58:51] it just like really comes back to this vulnerability, you know, like, that’s what– It spans our capacity for like all the complexity and all the unknown, you know? And I think that it definitely, we definitely, like kind of semi [00:59:06] get trained to override that and override those times, you know, and like you’re saying push through and be like, oh it’ll be fine, you know, what, whatever, and so I think that the thing about polyamory is that you can’t really do that because there are other people involved.
ARIANA: You know? [00:59:21]
ANDREW: Yeah. I think too, like a lot of, a lot of my experience of polyamory is that there are a lot of feelings that in a, if [00:59:36] I was a monogamous person looking for a long-term relationship, would drive stuff in a given direction, you know, like, you know, I can, I can hang out with, you know, one of my partners and [00:59:51] then feel sad that they’re leaving and miss them for days, you know, if I’m not going to see them, and that would drive, you know, the sort of relationship escalator stuff. You [01:00:06] know, if I was, if I was a monogamous type person.
ARIANA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
ANDREW: We’ll see each other more, we’ll do this, we’ll, you know, this constantly looking to sort of almost resolve or placate those emotions.
ARIANA: Right. Right.
ANDREW: Versus come looking at those feelings and [01:00:21] going, it’s a hundred percent great, like acceptable, fine, to miss somebody, to, you know, have these different kinds of feelings.
ANDREW: And I don’t need to interpret them in other ways, [01:00:36] you know, like, you know, they can, they can just be what they are and I can notice them and acknowledge them and that could be the whole conversation about it too, which is something that’s very different, right?
ARIANA: Yeah, yeah.
ANDREW: And I think there are lots of feelings around, you [01:00:51] know, anything from how people handle their feeling of desire to, you know, all these kinds of things, like I could feel the most intense desire for somebody and also just like, be friends with them and not have that be a thing either, [01:01:06] you know, like, there are ways in which we can handle sort of all these different kinds of feelings in a very different manner and I think that that’s also a really interesting sort of situation around this.
ARIANA: Yeah, like it [01:01:21] kind of sounds like talking about the relationship between our, like, polyamory changes our relationship to gratification. Right? And I think in the ways that like, monogamy is so much about that, possession, right, and that gratification, like having [01:01:36] access to that.
ARIANA: Like polyamory, like, breaks all of that. And so, then you have to have these like new and different ways of navigating those responses and those kind of like, it changes the, like the nature [01:01:51] or like the relationships of attachment, you know? Like how, like how we make meaning out of it and how we assign meaning to it and how we, how we, I think even like, don’t, you know, [01:02:06] like, don’t assign meaning to it, and don’t do all of those things to allow there to still be space. Right?
ARIANA: I also, I need to go to the restroom very quick.
ANDREW: No problem. Yes.
ANDREW: [00:00:00] Well, I want to say thank you so much for being on the show and having this conversation. It has been even more delightful and insightful than I anticipated. So that [00:00:15] is wonderful. For people who want to go follow your work and be in your orbit and I hope that everybody does, where do they find you online? How do they, how do they follow what you’re up to?
ARIANA: Yeah, well, [00:00:30] so first of all, thank you so much. It’s been like such a joy. I really enjoyed our conversation. Online www.saltwaterstars.com. On Instagram, it’s Saltwater dot [00:00:45] Stars, and I’m now public on Twitter, SaltwaterStars underscore, and then I’m also on Facebook as Saltwater Stars. So there’s like plenty of options.
ARIANA: Yeah, but it’s all Saltwater Stars.
ANDREW: That’s great. Well, thank you so much [00:01:00] for being on. I think that yeah, I’m looking forward to hearing what people have to say about these conversations and stuff, because I think it’s, I think it’s such an interesting world view, and I think that, you know, I see more and more people [00:01:15] kind of drifting in this direction or exploring in this direction. So hopefully this will find its way to some of those people and be helpful in some way.
ARIANA: Yeah. I hope so, too. Thank you so much Andrew.
ANDREW: Thank you.