Krista and Andrew talk about how who you are has a huge impact your life and your way of being in the world. The conversation centres around her Land Back tarot deck but quickly crosses over into important things for spiritual people to consider. Communication, listening, rage, genuine relationships and what it takes to connect and understand people from other experiences and lived realities.
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Andrew: Hey everybody, before we get to the podcast, I just want to say a quick, thanks to everybody who is already supporting the podcast through buy me a coffee through PayPal or other means listed in the show notes. All of this money is going to support the work of delivering this podcast, everybody, and that means creating transcriptions so that people who want to access it, but can’t listen to the podcast for any number of reasons, can still take part in these conversations and benefit from them. Uh, I really do think that it is our collective obligation to really make sure that we are looking at accessibility in a, as broad a spectrum as possible. Uh, and if you believe that too, I hope that you will jump in and help support that process either way. I certainly really do hope that you are enjoying the podcasts. Uh, please do share it with your friends and people, you know, who will be digging it. Also, I think that the conversations that we are having here are significant and an important part of the spiritual world in which we live, which are not really being had a lot other places. All right on with the show.
Andrew: Welcome to another episode of the Hermit’s Lamp Podcast. Today, I am hanging out with Aunty K or Krista as she’s also known. I came across their work when they released their #LandBackTarot and Oracle of Colonization, which came out earlier this year, had a very successful Kickstarter and so on. And I was intrigued to look at a deck and look at a person’s work that spoke of their indigenous culture and their background and tried to bring that awareness into the tarot world in a way that I think is really important because of the long history of the way in which tarot has been very centered as whites and often sort of appropriate and just amalgamating of other cultures and stuff. I thought it’d be great to have Krista on here and talk about their work and their perspective and whatever else comes up. But for people who aren’t familiar with you, why don’t you tell us who you are?
Aunty K: Thanks. I’m Aunty K or Krista. I’m Lakota & Cajun and I’m a tarot reader. I struggled in my relationship with tarot for the majority of it because I struggled to connect with the cards in a way where I enjoyed looking at the images in tarot’s art. I’m also an activist. I’ve done activism for 31 years until I handed over the reins to my daughter. But all those issues and topics, they’re still really close to my heart. And the two came together when I was like… I had known for six years I wanted to create a tarot deck. I tried for six years and then when I had the time to myself, the two came together. I knew I wanted to see myself and my community in a tarot deck. I knew that’s what the problem was.
I’m trying to get my dog to come inside. Come on. He’s a Chihuahua and he can’t really run around in the woods by herself.
Andrew: Fair enough.
Aunty K: Not in bear and fisher country.
Aunty K: That’s who I am and why I created a tarot deck. We can talk about more of that.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I think that it’s really important to have these decks that are created by people who are from those cultures or from different backgrounds. I think that [crosstalk 00:03:03] there’s a lot of [crosstalk 00:03:05] stuff that’s out there that’s done by other people. So for me, I’m an initiate in Afro-Cuban Orisha practice and I make my Orisha deck. It took a long time because I looked at the decks that were out there and the things it had done, and there was a lot of stuff that just didn’t make any sense within the context of the tradition itself or the culture which it comes from and so on. It’s difficult because when people don’t know better then they don’t know better, but now here’s this [crosstalk 00:03:42] opportunity for people to really know better, right?
Aunty K: Yeah. And there’s decks out there with native folks in them, but I think mine and the Gentle Tarot by Mari in the Sky are the exceptions in that they’re made by indigenous folks. We’re seeing more of that coming out this year also with other world’s indigenous cultures. But when I look at native American decks by folks who aren’t native and by white folks who claim a distant ancestry and are actually removed from that culture, I don’t see myself. I see a white stereotype image of myself in this romanticized 1800s time period. And it’s disturbing because romanticizing how indigenous people were in that time period is romanticizing our reaction in survival to genocide. I wished people would think about this artistically. You would not paint anybody else in the height of their genocide and say, “How amazing, how beautiful. Let’s put that in a Tarot deck.” But White folks don’t look at that time period and say that was the height of our genocide because then they have to say that was genocide.
Andrew: Yeah, for sure.
Aunty K: They like to imagine that’s how we were before colonialism. How we were before colonialism was in the land most abundant with food in all the world.
Andrew: Sure. Yeah.
Aunty K: That had to have been incredibly different than us in the 1800s and in every way.
Andrew: Yeah. I remember-
Aunty K: And…
Andrew: Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: I just remember [crosstalk 00:06:03] hearing about Columbus when they came across and they had tied up their boats and all of the rope thing I read, which really hit home for me, I bet one of the differences between the nature then and the nature subsequently was, they said that none of the people who came with them, none of the sailors could sleep because of the constant sound of turtles bouncing their shells off the boats. And I’m like, “Can I even imagine what it’s like to see enough of those things, those animals, that that would be a problem?” And I can’t even imagine it because having been to some places in the Caribbean, I’ve actually never seen a seafaring turtle, whereas then there were just so many of them that this was the problem that they had. I think that that was true in other ways for other animals and so on everywhere, right?
Aunty K: Are there animals for plants? 80% of the world’s food diversity is indigenous to the Americas. And yeah, equally, that’s the percent of food diversity we’ve lost in the Americas from colonialism.
Aunty K: This land was clear-cut. It’s been raised to the ground and I don’t think North Americans understand that because they see forest and wilderness, but like it’s been cleared and what was left is the regrowth is not the same. That’s largely because we cultivated nature. As beings of nature, we cultivated nature. That’s why it was abundant because we took part in our roles and responsibilities within it. We didn’t change it. We didn’t take control of it. We participated.
Aunty K: And that’s why it was abundant.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. The distinction is obvious. Look at Europe, look at all those places. Of course, North America now, it’s just that process of like push it until it breaks and then try and conserve what’s left, which is obviously [crosstalk 00:08:28] deeply problematic now.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Aunty K: Yeah. Coming back to seeing all that in decks, there’s this misconception about who we were and how we lived. And there’s this romanticization of our genocide, which also is like in Orisha. If folks want to put indigenous people in their decks, and folks should be making diverse decks, they, one, need to get to know people.
Aunty K: The Internet lets us get to know people from all over the world. They need to put in representations of the people we’re meeting. They’re not meeting people from the 1800s. We live today. Indigenous erasure is about pretending we don’t exist. And when we’re only shown in art in the past and not in the present, that’s part of that erasure.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I think it’s a good question to ask. Who do we have a relationship with? We were talking a bit about this before we got on the recording part. Who do we actually know? Who’s in our world? Who are we connected to? And one of the things that has been significant for me is this question of, obviously, there’s like lots of activism that can be done in terms of in government and there’s lots of stuff to do, but one of the parts of the activism for me is like, where can I form relationships with connections to this culture, to the people who are here and so on? Not in like showing up and like, “Hey, Krista, we should be friends. You should be my friend now because I want an indigenous friend.” But in terms of how do I actually form a connection?
Then as I form those connections, then the question can arise or can just be seen what could be done to help from my position, as well as the rest of that stuff, and asked and so on. But when you don’t have those connections, then, like you say, you’re looking at a period piece. And you’re looking at a period piece devoid of history and devoid of connection, and what you are actually connected to.
Aunty K: Yeah. I think one of the struggles is making those connections and those relationships to folks from other circles. It’s also, like we were talking about, the expectation that how you socialize is culturalized. It’s based on your culture. It can be based on subcultures like being quire. Sometimes it’s even different than that. We are talking about being neurodivergent, being a different culture of how one socializes. There’s this expectation, the closer one is to cultures of Whiteness, that everybody should socialize as you do. Everyone should socialize as a straight White neuro-typical male or also a straight White neuro-typical female. And when we don’t, we have these strange relationships.
So I think that what it really requires is the closer you are to those cultures of whiteness is being aware that the onus becomes on you to learn to socialize in other ways. As somebody who was scooped, I was socialized to behave straight and White. And I had to become aware of that when I left my scoop home. I had to become aware of that because it was harmful when I wasn’t.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, for sure.
Aunty K: Even as an indigenous person, I was still harmful because I’d been trained to live in that world and to behave a certain way and to behave as a light skin indigenous person. And to behave as any light-skinned brown person, society tries to train you at peace to them and be the good example for other brown folks, which is incredibly hurtful. We likewise have to be aware of that and consciously change in order to socialize safely within our own communities. So the closer someone is to cultures of whiteness, they have to be aware of that to socialize safely within their own communities. It’s like gentrification. It’s a large part of how it happens. Focust of Infinity said this on their Instagram account, is going in to a neighborhood and changing the culture of it, not just the demographics.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I’m sitting in my studio which is right at the edge of that line in this neighborhood. I’m basically like at Sherbourne and Gerard and…
Aunty K: Okay.
Andrew: And I remember I dated a woman who lived on Gerard right by the park back in 1990 or something like that. You just didn’t go into the park and you definitely didn’t walk in the grass because who knows what you’re going to step? Because it was dangerous. And especially at night, it was dangerous.
Aunty K: I actually can relate to this really well because as a little kid, between the age of five and 10, I lived off Gerard with some relatives because I was put into acting. And I don’t know how to ride a bike because no one was going to let a kid ride a bike down Gerard.
Andrew: No, not at all. Yeah.
Aunty K: Right.
Andrew: And now, we fast forward a bunch of years. Not that many years, just a few years, a bunch of years. And right at the corner, they’re going to put in a condo and right where the beer store is, two streets over, they’re going to put in a condo, and all of this stuff is changing. Now, before it’s changed, it reminds me of the old Toronto that I remember. There’s lots of people around, there’s lots of stuff going on and people in all sorts of different ways of being and with different kinds of problems and other things, and yet it’s comfortable and it’s engaged and it’s not gentrified, but it’s just cresting towards it.
I can imagine in five years or 10 years, you just won’t see any of it anymore. It’ll all be gone. The police will have rounded people up. They will have taken the tents out of the park. They will patrol the lane ways to make sure nobody is drinking or doing drugs there and all of these kinds of things. It’ll just be gone, but it won’t be fixed. It’ll just be gone, right?
Aunty K: Yeah. It will be. The neighborhood I raised my kids in when I lived in a small city, it got gentrified. And so we got pushed into the ungentrified corner. And the police would patrol through there heavily. There was a Facebook group for the gentrified section around the park. They would on there post things like there’s a drunk native, there’s a drunk black person walking down the street, what should I do? Oh, you should call the police. And it’s like, “We have to walk down that street to get to our neighborhood and-“
Andrew: I’m just going home here.
Aunty K: Yeah. Just going home. Then the last two years before I left the city, I found this teeny tiny bachelor on the very edge of the gentrified section. It was by the edge of where the students were in all the pubs where everyone goes drinking and the cops would sit in this corner and, beautifully, they couldn’t see our porch but we could see them. And I would watch them walk students home drunk while picking up folks heading into that north end.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. So one of the things as I was looking back through some of your deck and stuff like that, to me, this kind of brings me back to some of the changes that you’ve made in the deck, in the way that you’re highlighting this other perspective or this other lived thing perspective, lived experience. The one that comes to mind right now is the righteous anger. Is that the correct title for it?
Aunty K: Yeah. The Righteous Rage.
Andrew: Righteous Rage. Yeah. Right?
Aunty K: Righteous Rage.
Andrew: And I think that fits into what we’re talking about here. It comes out of what we’re talking about here. This duality, this not listening, this not relating, and this sort of policing of people’s expression and behavior in a way that continues to separate and so on. So yeah.
Aunty K: Yeah. Righteous Rage is in the Oracle of Colonization section. It shadows the lovers in the Major Arcana. The reason it does is because righteous rage is an expression of self-love. The righteous rage is when you allow yourself to express it and feel it and give it validity, that is a huge amount of self love because you’re recognizing where you’re harmed and where you’re experiencing things you should not be experiencing. And you’re saying like, enough, enough. It’s that sort of enough where you might’ve said it before but like now you’ve tried the other options and it’s time to shut it down, whatever that cost is.
Aunty K: And it’s something we’re told we’re really not allowed to have. Especially marginalized folks, you’re not allowed to be enraged by whatever your oppressions are. Yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it’s so easy. I mean, I love what you’ve done with that card and I love that that conversation is coming forward. I think, especially in Canada right now, I mean, the truth of things is emerging and yet people are still dodging it and so on, and Justin Trudeau went on holiday on Truth and Reconciliation Day. I mean, there’s lots of reasons to do that.
Aunty K: Well, I mean, he did just give all federal employees a pay day off.
Andrew: That’s right. Yeah, it’s true.
Aunty K: While we continue to go to work.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, a bunch of indigenous communities don’t have safe drinking water, right?
Aunty K: Well, we don’t have safe drinking water.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: But it’s fine. Yeah. I think that facing that and in Canada facing that with it’s indigenous genocide and history is really important. I love that there’s also a lot of layers to that, because I remember having a conversation with a youth recently about something that had happened to them. They’re like “No, it’s fine.” And I’m like, “No, it’s not fine.” Actually, in 10 years, if you’re talking about this with your therapist, they’re going to be, “That was completely unacceptable and borderlined on abuse.” And the youth was like, “What?” And I’m like, “Yeah, because the situation does not allow you to express anything around it, so what you’re left with is suppression, which is just always [crosstalk 00:22:39] damage.” Then that becomes internalized and it takes maybe these moments of explosion, either in big settings or in small settings, to really let that out and be like, “Oh my God. Actually, yeah, that is unacceptable and so on.” Right?
Aunty K: Yeah. I think we saw some expressions of righteous rage this year since the graves were uncovered. We saw more statues topple and we saw churches being burned. That reminded me a lot of my Righteous Rage card. If I ever did a second edition, that’s probably what I would do. There’s people in our communities that felt healed by it. And there was people who said you can’t do that. It’s wrong to do it. It’s like, no, this is an expression of righteous rage and it’s a really healthy one. Frankly, burning down the route of genocide, which is the church, is righteous. I think people want to separate churches from that also. And the reality is, at least in North America, if not everywhere else that’s been colonized, churches and Christianity can be a trigger warning when we think of like what it’s caused. Yeah.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: When I made my Orisha deck, I put the church on the devil card because it’s like, “Yeah. [crosstalk 00:24:49] We’re so good, we’re so good.” Right? And it’s like, “No, no, no. [crosstalk 00:24:52] You’re the system that’s lying, that’s deceitful, that’s causing all these problems.” For folks who don’t know, go and Google and read some articles about what the church did around the financial reparation that they were ordered to pay to indigenous people in Canada. And you’re just like, “Sorry, of the whatever, how many millions of dollars in legal fees did they pay? For what? Oh, [crosstalk 00:25:20] how much did they deliver?”
Aunty K: Yeah. Or the billions and billions they spent on new churches in that time period.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. As part of the reparation, we’re going to install pastoral services in this community. It’s like-
Aunty K: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:25:38] We’re going to Christianize them some more.
Andrew: Yeah. Right? So…
Aunty K: Yeah.
Aunty K: Yeah. It’s really harsh and it’s really harmful. I’m proud of the youth who were like, “This is over. My righteous rage is going to end this and burn it down.” I’m proud of them. I think it was healing for them. That’s really important. It was healing. When we take action to heal something that big, we heal forwards and backwards. We heal our grandparents. We heal our great grandparents. We heal our parents. Even if they’re the ones saying you shouldn’t have done that to the church, it’s like, “No, I’m doing this for you because you still think we shouldn’t do this back to the church. I’m doing this for you.”
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. One I’ve seen rise up a lot in Tarot communities and magical communities is this idea of ancestral healing. I think that there’s a lot of space where that also needs to not be necessarily gentle or whatever. Like you said, this is a profound act of ancestral healing backwards through time, which allows them to healing forwards in time in both directions. I think that a lot of what people kind of drift towards are things that are comfortable, convenient, don’t cause a big disruption in their life and so on. And yet I think that we really need to be open to that. I think that it’s one of the great things about your deck. It’s an invitation to be uncomfortable and to really look at stuff and to actually question things and look at what’s going on in a way that isn’t glossed over by a fancy head dress or mainstream media or whatever, right?
Aunty K: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And my actual intention was like, when I read cards for myself, for my friends and family, for my community, I have to translate these Eurocentric understandings into understanding that is not harmful to us and doesn’t discount our lived realities. That was how I created the deck. When I did it, I was like, I’ve not just created the ability for us to read a Tarot deck without translating it, but the ability for others to look at our point of view in a worldview, and to start thinking about how common conceptions are harmful to other people in our society.
Andrew: Well, I can see that in the way in which you treated the Hierophants and the way in which you treated the Hermit. Because when I first looked at that, I was like, it’s interesting because you’ve kind of, from my of point of view, transpose what I would associate with those cards a little bit. I think that what I see based on talking about it a little bit more with you around the shifts that you’ve made around those cards is excising and adjusting where those things belong because of the Hierophants association with the Catholic church and the older decks being the Pope and all of these things that through line can’t make cultural sense in the same way, I think. Maybe I’m putting words into stuff that isn’t what you were thinking about, but…
Aunty K: I think with the Hierophant, for me, a lot of the major…. I had to sit and think this card has been given positive and negative connotations.
Aunty K: Which of those meanings are real in my worldview? And the positive and negative meanings in the empress and the emperor could be real with the name change. The positive meanings of the Hierophant, just aren’t real. I think believing some of those positive meanings isn’t helpful. So I wanted to focus on the negative meanings.
The name change was a lot about helping people separate what they’re told about the Hierophant, about the Pope, about the church, about the positive meanings. Any of those three things contained together separately, and saying, “Well, let’s look at this [inaudible 00:31:27].” They’re not what they purport to be.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: And I thought about choosing a political figure or a spiritual figure, and so I went with Pipeline Perry.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: Because one thing, even the Tarot Jack talks about, is that relationship between the emperors and the Hierophant. And that is extremely real in so many aspects of our society. How much our secular nations are actually tied to the church, how much space churches have, and how much power in relationship they have to heads of state, even so-called secular heads of state. And likewise, Pipeline Perry has a token role that is very similar. The Canada, when they decided to… do you know the story of the AFM?
Andrew: No. I mean, maybe, but why don’t you tell it for people and to make sure I’ve got it right, too?
Aunty K: Sure. I think it was the ’50s, late ’50s into the ’60s, a group of a group of fairly radical chiefs in indigenous communities, and this is before indigenous people are citizens in Canada, decide we’re going to form an indigenous brotherhood that will lobby the Canadian government And it happened in the ’50s because it wasn’t until then we could legally take legal action, right?
Andrew: Yeah. Which in and of itself is kind of an astounding statement, but, yeah, carry on.
Aunty K: Yeah. So eventually, the government’s like, “Great idea, guys. A lobby group, we should definitely fund this for you.” And so it becomes the Assembly of First Nations. And those early chiefs in Assembly of First Nations were sort of in a swing, but the Assembly of First Nations is a lobby group. It’s just paid for by the government. It’s lobbying. And the chief isn’t actually a chief. They’re not elected by indigenous people to run this all. They’re elected by the Assembly of First Nations.
And Canada uses them as this pseudo-political spiritual leader. There is a spiritual aspect. Canadians like to think this grand chief, who the government calls the leader of the Assembly of First Nations lobby group, the grand chief, if Canada says this is what indigenous people want. And he performs these things like smudging for the state and putting blankets on folks. He really is this micro token role of the Hierophant, except as a token, he doesn’t have the same power balance that the Catholic and Christian churches hold.
I think what people don’t understand is that they actually hold far more power in states than we really want to admit, because some of that power that they hold is that morality they have implemented within Christian White society and Euro-Western society.
Aunty K: And that morality gives them a lot of power. The tokenism and lack of power or less power that Charlatan holds to an actual Hierophant is real. But their impacts in our communities are really insane, except it’s not our morality that is the Charlatan’s power. It’s actually European Canada’s morality that the Charlatan holds. They feel good listening to him.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it’s a really important question that I come back to and I think it’s obvious… it’s not obvious, but I see it a lot in the media. When we’re talking about different kinds of things, it’s like, well, but the chiefs agreed or this person agreed or that person signed it or whatever. And it’s all this sort of obfuscating of who actually has the authority to sign these things, who’s even [crosstalk 00:36:53] being considered-
Aunty K: Legally, the chief of the [inaudible 00:37:00] does not legally, even in Canada’s system, have authority to sign anything, but because Canadians don’t understand that, it doesn’t matter.
Aunty K: It doesn’t matter that we as indigenous folks understand that because Canadians believe he has his authority to sign it. Even though the government knows he doesn’t, this isn’t some secret. But the other side of it is most indigenous communities have elected chiefs and traditional chiefs in order to get your money from the government on a reserve, and that money comes out the First Nations’ trust, not Canadian tax dollars, go google folks, you have to have an elected band council. And right now, the Canadian government is pushing for new modern treaties that end indigenous title. And so slowly, one by one, reserves are signing as they’re being forced to.
Very few indigenous folks will elect a chief because that’s not our chief, that’s not our systems, that’s not how we actually had chiefs in council. And those people aren’t serving us largely anymore than your politicians are serving you, [crosstalk 00:38:17] but they’re very directly serving our oppressors. And there are chiefs out there who understand that and do their best to stand in between and there’s a lot who do serve government. But chiefs only have rule over the reserve, which isn’t the treaty lands.
Aunty K: When a treaty is signed, it covers the treaty lands. And then separately outside of treaty, indigenous people have been put on a reserve within that treaty lands, like a small, tiny portion within those lands. And then all those other lands, they’re still the treaty lands. And some of those lands, Canada legally has access to and some they don’t. But [inaudible 00:39:09] and part of why they want new treaties with the elected chiefs is those are signed with traditional chiefs. There is a decision in BC that [inaudible 00:39:29] keeps bringing back up and is using because they were part of it that, yeah, actually the traditional chief has say over the treaty lands as a whole and the elected chief only has to say over the reserve itself.
And with [inaudible 00:39:46], and you see this in the traditional chiefs, are standing behind that and people wonder, well, how many people actually support those traditional chiefs? Approximately, 70% of indigenous people do not vote, including for elected chiefs. So approximately 70% of indigenous people believe in traditional leadership. In international law, treating law, all of that actually protects that. But what Canadians don’t know protects Canada and what Canadians believe protects Canada.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Aunty K: Canada can’t go and sign an agreement with a lobby group in the US on behalf of the United States. If they did, Canadians would be like, “But your agreement’s not legal. It wasn’t with the president. It was with, I don’t know, the head of the NRA. [crosstalk 00:40:52] That’s not real.”
Aunty K: And nobody would let that happen. But if for so stupid reason Canadians believe the head of the NRA could sign an international treaty for the president of the United States, then Canada would have all the power to do it because then people would support them and believe it.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, that’s why I think people hopefully will continue to read and learn and get more educated about it too, but yeah, hopefully.
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: And I mean, I think it’s-
Aunty K: I hope to inspire people to listen to other voices, which means we have to change how we relate to each other.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s back to that question of like, do you have a relationship with any indigenous people or any indigeneity in your area, in your life and whatever? And if not, maybe it’s time to look at how some of that can happen.
Aunty K: And I’m going to be even a little bit more harsh and real here.
Andrew: Please, go.
Aunty K: Considering how colonial works, who are your friends of color? Do they represent power and leadership or are they regular people? Because a lot of time you’re going to be more comfortable with those who represent power and leadership. In other words, they’re going to be more comfortable for you to listen to.
Andrew: Right. Yeah.
Aunty K: Pipeline Perry’s words, like I’m sure they make the general Canadian population for feel really good.
Andrew: Sure. Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. No, I think that’s a really good point. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Andrew: And I think in some ways it’s related to the other card, which I want to talk about a little bit, was the healing card, which is your Trump 21, right?
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: And I really like the idea that… because, I mean, the world card, is so often this sort of you arrive at it, it’s the culmination, it’s the end or it’s being in the perfect place forever as opposed to what you’re talking about here, which is, please say more about it, but like the idea that healing is not a destination really. It’s a process that just continues.
Aunty K: It is. And that’s also why the extra zero card spirit went in there. I wanted to like make that journey from 21 to zero longer, without it being 22. I wanted it to be more circular. And healing is this journey and it’s ancestral and it’s ongoing. You had to prepare to kind of never arrive.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s [crosstalk 00:44:38] a very Eurocentric idea, a very Christian idea. We’re going to arrive. We’re going to be enlightened. We’re going to be saved. We’re going to be whatever. And when you step out of that, like when I talk to my [inaudible 00:44:54] elders and stuff, there’s no notion of a destination. It’s just like, “Well, we’re just living our life and we’re doing things as we go, and we’re not going anywhere other than we’re going to die at some point.” It becomes a very different conversation, which I think is really important.
Aunty K: Yeah. Daniel from Grounded in Magic, he and I had a conversation about enlightenment on my YouTube channel. And we can direct folks there later, but we were talking about that enlightenment is a fairly Christian, you’re a Western idea. And it’s also tied to like being above and that rising up that is very hierarchical really. I’m better when I’m above. When I’m enlightened, I will rise above and this fear of going down into the earth. Yeah, because it’s also a fear of rebirth because you don’t have rebirth if you finish, right?
Andrew: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). No, I dig it. So maybe that’s a good point to leave it on. Oh no, there’s one more thing I wanted to talk about. I made a note.
Aunty K: Okay.
Andrew: So let’s not stop it there. Let’s continue for another moment. The other thing we talked about before we started, which was taking people at face value and especially in the conversation we were talking about neuro-divergent people, people from indigenous culture, maybe other cultures. And we talked about youth as well and sort of this question of taking people at face value. I just said something a minute ago about meeting indigenous people or other people and so on, and you’re like, “No, no.” I want you to also really think about, are they the people who are like you serving the government, whatever, or are they actually from a different background and with a different way of expressing themselves?
And I think it’s easy to like gloss over stuff like that to not take that at face value. We talked before the podcast started a little bit about how people don’t take you at face value and how challenging that is. So I’m curious if you want to say something about that.
Aunty K: Yeah, I would. And there was a moment of something in there that I also wanted to comment on, and will come out if it does. Oh, I remember what it was. I also did a talk once talking about that like, look at your friends’ groups. If you have one friend of color, there’s somebody who has learned to appease a full circle of white people. And they’re not going to tell you the truth because it’s not safe to do so. And so when they don’t say to you, “Oh, that is racist,” that’s because they live in a circle where they can’t say that. Where it’s like, a person of color whose circle looks like them, it’s going to be easier to tell their White friend, “No, no way.”
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: And those sorts of relationships are actually really harder to make because, like we talked about before, you’re coming at it from these different cultural things.
Aunty K: Neuro-divergent people will say what they mean and you’re neuro-western society does not, and so we don’t take people at face value. So any of us who are speaking at face value. This is really common thing amongst neuro-divergent people, which is why neuro-typical people find them really uncomfortable to socialize with, there is a lot of world indigenous cultures who also are going to speak at face value from a cultural perspective that has that part of Euro-Western society hasn’t infiltrated the culture to that point. And so it can be really common in different places to speak at face value.
And it can be really frustrating when you’re saying exactly what you mean and nobody’s taking it that way, and equally frustrating that everybody who’s not saying what they are meaning is like, “Oh, good. Thank you for not saying what you mean. I can take this in much more comfortably.”
Aunty K: Yeah. And when marginalized people talk about their oppressions, it really needs to be taken at face value and not necessarily from a Euro-Western understanding. Yeah.
Aunty K: Because the understandings are different. People say we shouldn’t categorize oppression and stuff like that, but having a traumatic experience is different than having a traumatic life.
Andrew: Yep. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: And that’s the thing about residential school survivors and less school survivors and just people living under oppression where the system makes sure that you’re going to face these state traumas over and over again. It has an entirely different impact. It’s not something that you can arrive at healing. It will be a constant feeling.
Aunty K: Because it’s also not going to end.
Andrew: Sure. Yeah, it just continues, right? It just continues and continues. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: And to come back full circle, it comes back to that righteous rage, right?
Andrew: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: A very non-Christian concept to like cleanse it in the fire.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: But it is cleansing in so many beliefs, right?
Andrew: Yeah. No, for sure. Well, I want to thank you for making time and hanging out with me today and sharing all of this stuff. I really hope that folks are going to follow you and support your work and so on. Where should they come and hang at? You mentioned you have a YouTube channel?
Aunty K: I do have a YouTube channel.
Aunty K: It’s Aunty K’s Tarot Insights. And I have political conversations on there as well as spiritual conversations and Tarot conversations. I am on Instagram. I’ve been setting up and learning this week Patreon and Discord. There’s tiers you can support on that, but you can also just be on the general Discord and just follow along too, if that’s where you’re at. And I’m working on making that shift away from and seeing how it can integrate into shifting into Discord and for a platform in a way from a lot of how the algorithms on Facebook and Instagram support a polarization.
Aunty K: My Tarot posts and my spiritual posts on my Tarot channel on Instagram do not get the same put towards them as my political stuff. And great, political things are being boosted, but they’re boosting it for the polarization. They are boosting it in hopes of negative commentary. And then all of a sudden, the visibility on it disappears because I just delete negative commentary. I keep my space safe.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aunty K: And so go check out my Discord and Patreon because I am really interested in looking at having a space that is able to be intentionally safe and what it’s meant for and learning how we can interact in these same communities we’ve found on Instagram on these other platforms where we have a lot more control of our own content.
Andrew: Yeah, for sure, Super smart and I think that these platforms aren’t owned by us; Instagram and whatever. And if you’re not being up front, then you’re there at their pleasure and it’s problematic. You see it with sex workers, you see it with people of color, you see it with all sorts of different marginalized people, and it’s just like, yeah. So I’m glad you’re making your own space so that they won’t have the power to come and flick a button and turn you off and be like, “Oh, you violated some random thing somewhere.” Yeah.
Aunty K: Trying to figure it out and see where it’s at. I don’t know about Discord, but I do know Patreon isn’t a safe space for sex workers either. And I think that’s worth noting and considering, but I’m sort of using Patreon just as like, “Here’s a way to support with money, but come to the Discord.” And I’m going to be learning some questions and things about these very topics from Shop the 8th House this week.
Aunty K: What sort of freedoms do we have on Discord? Who is safe on Discord? So I’m really interested and I’m really excited, so go there in YouTube. That was so long-winded.
Andrew: It’s great though. I think it’s good though. I mean, that’s part of the conversation. I think it’s really important to have those conversations and think about these kinds of things, because I think a lot of people at various points have felt safe or felt like they own their whatevers on these platforms and then stuff comes up and they feel unsafe and then you fall back into it. And they lull you back into a sense of peace for a while, then it kicks back up again, and it’s always got its problems and it’s always the more radical or challenging your stuff is… not you, but everybody, right?
Aunty K: Yeah.
Andrew: The more you run into those things there and it’s just, “Yeah, it’s not great.” So…
Aunty K: For me, I was on Facebook with a political page and I had so much reach on there, which was awesome, because if there was someone who needed mutual aid, I could raise it on my page, like thousands in a couple of hours. So I was like, “No, I totally have control over this. I’ve got all this reach I need. I’m reaching the right people. I am blocking people who are problematic, so therefore I have control.” When I was no longer active there, I felt, especially anytime I went and checked it, what level of emotional control the impact of operating in that negative focused algorithm was having on me?
Aunty K: Oh my God. And so while everything feels good on Instagram right now, I’m like aware that it could become very similar.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I think it’s good to get while it’s not a pressing. So it’s not suddenly like, “Oh, I showed up and I’m locked out or I showed up and whatever.” Hopefully, better-
Aunty K: Locked out. The political page I had on Facebook, I was active an average of three to seven days a month without being… and then I’d be banned again for a month.
Aunty K: So they were banning me, but it still had so much access that it helped their algorithm so well that even if I was locked out, it was doing well.
Andrew: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Aunty K: It’s all really scary.
Andrew: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, I’m going to include the links to your stuff in the show notes.
Aunty K: All right.
Andrew: Yeah. I want to thank you again for making the time and having this come conversation with me. Every bit is interesting and insightful as I was hoping it’d be, so thank you.
Aunty K: You’re welcome. It was great to have this conversation. I really enjoyed it and so I hope to talk to you more, and I will send you those links.
Andrew: I really hope that you have enjoyed this episode. I think there is a lot of really important content here and that we should all be paying a lot of attention to what’s going on, especially here in north America, with the indigenous communities, there’s a lots to check out and a lot that’s happening and now seems to be a really powerful time of change. Um, I also want to thank everybody who is supporting the podcast, of course. Uh, and if you are looking for ways to engage or support more you can certainly get in touch. Uh, I also always appreciate everybody who supports the store. Uh, you know, we deliver everywhere. So if there’s stuff you’re looking for, maybe we’ve got it and we can arrange to have it sent to you. Or if you’re in Toronto, you’re welcome to drop by and shop in person. All right. Talk to you all soon. We’ll be back next week with Christie C. Road, the creator of theNext World Tarot.