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Ash and Stardust xii: The Leap

Ash and Stardust was a monthly column by energy worker and artist/writer DHIYANAH HASSAN exploring the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. You can read the full series here.

When I started this column in January 2018, I was still calling myself a tarot noob. I confess I didn’t thoroughly believed it but lacked the confidence to openly claim myself as a card reader without having gone through some kind of an initiation period.

Who I am now is so far traveled from the person I was at the beginning of 2018. This was my Saturn Return year and it was so full of magic – this was my first happy year, ever! Connecting to the healing tools that I accepted as available to me really went a long way in teaching me what my happiness could look like. And I took it, ran with it, and trusted in everything I am that is strong and soft and beautiful.

During the span of this year, I received confirmation after confirmation at each level of release and growth I experienced once I committed – not just mentally but also physically, emotionally, and spiritually – to my chosen intentions to heal, to love, to have fun. I know now that writing Ash and Stardust as a monthly column was a sort of initiation I designed for myself to activate within me what I thought I was running low on – the ability to trust myself.

I’m writing this now, already at home in my new wilderness, on the eve of the new year cycle. I’m writing this as the last post of Ash and Stardust on Burning House Press.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust xii: The Leap”

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Ash and Stardust ix: Recalibrate

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by energy worker and artist/writer DHIYANAH HASSAN explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. You can read the rest of the series here.

While our Northern and Southern hemispheres exchange weather, monsoon rains pour its threats and blessings on the equator. Toasty lands find relief with aid from migrating clouds, storm winds push the haze in and out, rising mud ring in flowers along the roadsides like celebration, bursts of heat and humidity break any rhythm we might try to tame with reason – the combination is calming, chaotic, and languid. Our eyes are sleepy from rain then watchful for floods and typhoons while our trees and shorelines swell with volume. Sometimes an irrational anxiety stirs our body, coaxing us to consider our roles with each other in unexpected ways. Other times a cloud inside us wrings itself dry, releasing its burdens and we find ourselves drained from feeling it all.

Rain drumming against awnings, earth, and windows bring old lullabies back to the heart.

As seasons change, so do our daily habits, our bodies adapting and compromising with us. Temperatures shake up circadian rhythms, stunting or catalyzing growth within the myriads of topographies making up our bodily beings, emotional terrains, and mental health. Our pendulum of awareness may swing from one side to the other with frightening intensity. We breathe to find our center, then we keep breathing – devoting ourselves to Earth’s gravitational pull to keep us steady.

We were made to feel our seasons, our weathers, personally.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust ix: Recalibrate”

Ash and Stardust viii: Cosmic Shift Spread

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by energy worker and artist/writer DHIYANAH HASSAN explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. You can read the rest of the series here.

We are now at the dusk of eclipse season and scrambling for stillness. Restless, we tend to be unsure how to be when all that’s being asked of us is, “Rest, now.” We’ve been going at it for so long, haven’t we? Each year a solar return, each decade a collection of milestones, each century a tome, and each millennium a prophecy for the apocalypse. Sometimes we tell each other stories in fragments because that is the only way we remember them as timeless.

Picture each card in a spread as one fragment of a story so expansive, no linear sequence could contain it. Each symbol and suggestion a check-in with the intuitive self, each placement a closer look into the familiar or the unknown. A spread laid out in front of you like an offering of what the bigger picture could look like if it was something you can touch. And why not – why not believe that you can demand the bigger picture reveal itself to you, to shuffle and cut and pull stories out of thin air so that you can set what’s necessary into motion.

There’s power in reclaiming agency with the smallest of gestures. A little goes a long, long way.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust viii: Cosmic Shift Spread”

Ash and Stardust iv: The Care in Chaos

Ash and Stardust, a monthly column by artist and writer DHIYANAH HASSAN, explores the intersections of tarot with healing and creativity. These are personal essays and articles sharing experiences of growth as someone who has recently found a deep connection to tarot. You can read the rest of the pieces here.

“To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one’s own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one’s own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live.” – from Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Last year I designed a spread that was meant, according to my earlier notes, for days when you’re “intellectually and emotionally fucked up.” I named it the Chaos Spread. Here’s how you use it:

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust iv: The Care in Chaos”

On Personal Transformation

by Amee Nassrene Broumand

 

This isn’t an essay. It started life as an essay but then it began to twist & bristle & sprout distinctly unessaylike appendages.

The eyestalks struck me by surprise.

Perhaps it’s an insect or some sort of strange crustacean.

* * * * *

Imagine you find a giant handbag bleating in the corner like a lost lamb. You take it & shake its contents out onto the table.

What do you find?

Take a minute to think about this.

* * * * * Continue reading “On Personal Transformation”

Ash and Stardust i: Here We Are

This is the first instalment of Ash and Stardust, a monthly column exploring how my tarot practice intersects with self-care, healing, and creativity. Note: I don’t claim to be a tarot expert! This is me learning as I go, overcoming creative blocks along the way.

“Everyone deserves an outlet; a reservoir of safety – a comforting warmth in the ribcage – the space surrounding the heart.”
– from the guidebook of The Next World Tarot by Cristy C. Road

I can’t say exactly when I was introduced to tarot. It would appear or get mentioned in passing here and there during my teenage years. I remember once-upon-a-time friends spreading cards on bedroom floors to articulate desires and what-ifs. They’d ask if I wanted a reading done and I had always said no. It didn’t feel right. I don’t mean that I had trouble with the idea of cartomancy – the mystical world fascinated me. I was, however, having trouble seeing myself as someone who could hold these archetypes in my hands, to shuffle and create a narrative out of them that can serve not as divination, but as guidance – or even to satisfy curiosity.

In those earlier years, I was nowhere near okay enough to claim my own story, let alone see it as part of something bigger.

Continue reading “Ash and Stardust i: Here We Are”

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