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in wake of marching: listen, connect, organize

i gotta say folks (and i’m speaking to mostly white women here – i’m trying to collect my people), watching and feeling the tension before, during and in the wake of the women’s marches has been deeply painful. there are people getting defensive about critiques. there are people who are exhausted, trying to make critiques in a meaningful, respectful way. there are people who are using shame and lateral violence because they feel unheard.
 
i think that most of us want desperately for this march to mean something. for it to represent a meaningful shift towards a better world. some of us felt this. some of us did not. some felt included. some felt pensive. some felt excluded. many of us did or now do feel confused. some of us felt like we did an amazing thing and then felt hurt that others did not see it in the same way. some felt like it was bullshit from the beginning, which is usually related to a deep feeling of non belief that things can get better through mainstream or liberal change. or not believing things can get better period.
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what i see over and over and over is people feeling a lack of connection. people struggling to listen to each other. people struggling to see critique, not as personal attack, but rather as an invitation to deep profound work. work on self and work in community. i see those invitations being offered from a place of pain, rather that from a place of trust. and i think it totally makes sense why this is the case.

the ways we connect with each other are fucking broken.

we need to listen more and see the humanity in each other. and we especially need to learn to do this towards the most marginalized and traumatized in our society and communities. i’m not saying we shouldn’t have boundaries. or that we should accept the impacts of lateral violence. these things do not help tend meaningful connection. what i am saying is, before you type a comment -breathe- allow yourself to feel. allow yourself to connect to the profound humanity of the moment – the humanity in you and the humanity of the other person/people you are interacting with.

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allow yourself to feel powerful, because you are. we are. we are powerful beyond measure. and it is precisely that power that is being turned back on us.

we are struggling and trying not to drown, and in the process we are drowning each other, especially those who are the most oppressed. we are stepping on each others faces, forcing each other underwater as we try to reach sunlight and it doesn’t need to be like this.

the wound is open, once again. let. it. breathe.

Repeal Hyde Art Project
Repeal Hyde Art Project

 

multiple truths can exist simultaneously. its possible that these marches were profoundly meaningful AND exclusionary. what i know to be true is that a march is a momentary show of force and without long term organizing and relationship building the force of this mo(ve)ment will dwindle to nothing. so go out. listen. build relationships. read. share your story. and most importantly. learn to believe each other. this system feeds on systematic violence and deeply internalized feelings of isolation and difference. we can’t over come this difference by acting like it does not exist. we need to see it as our greatest strength.
 

because it is. and we should tend to it like we believe that to be true.


please share this post wherever you think it will be helpful. if you appreciate my work you can support me, book a tarot reading or an herbal consultation. you can also donate to #blacklivesmatter, or standing rock, or to somewhere, anywhere that lifts up the voices of oppressed and marginalized people. <3 <3

http://www.queerdos.tumblr.com/

Homostead Seeks Summer WOOFer and Landmate

Are you looking for a sweet escape this summer? Where you can eat wild berries and swim every afternoon in a turquoise river?

Hoping to learn some rural living skills like gardening, wildcrafting, barn building or animal care – in a queer and trans friendly environment?

Maybe you just want to make friends with some goats and pigs and dance the night away?

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Then we might have the opportunity for you!

The Homostead is queer and trans land project located on un-ceded Sinixt territory. We are seeking one renter and one WOOFer. We’d also potentially be open to two renters.

We just had our summer rental fall through due to a family emergency so we are looking for a renter and WOOFer as early as May 1st. These arrangements could last until the end of September. It is possible that the rental arrangement could continue into fall and winter and even beyond, if it feels good for everyone.

Click here to read the detailed guidelines we’ve set out for renters and WOOFers.

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The long and short of it is:

Renters pay $300 rent + $75 for bills. They are also expected to contribute 10 hours a month of labour. Ideally renters would be available during the first week of August during Shambhala to help with animal care while we are away working harm reduction.

WOOFers commit to 25 hours per week in exchange for room and board. Tasks include helping Andi prep herbal medicine, attending weekly markets, taking care of animals, building infrastructure, child care and working in the garden. WOOFer’s must the available during the first week of August when we go away to work harm reduction at Shambhala.

The spaces we have available are a trailer and a school bus. Both have been renovated into super quaint living spaces. Both spaces have power, cook stoves, storage, beds and wood stoves. There is running water, a phone with unlimited long distance, a guest room, laundry, 2 deep freezes, an art room and internet in the main house. Arrangements to access the main house will be made on an individual basis with renters/WOOFers.

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What we are looking for:

We want to live with people who have a clear understanding of consent and boundaries. It is a requirement that people we share space with be queer and/or trans identified, or at least allies who are committing to ongoing work unpacking these issues. We would be most excited about folks who have some understanding of anti-oppression politics – especially with regards to anti-racism and settler colonization, but really this matters less to us than folks who we vibe well with. We would like to live with people who come with some skills, but we feel an attitude of being open to learning is more important than anything else. Also we are expecting a baby in November and we do hang out with littles sometimes, so being ok with kids is pretty important to us.  We are planning on raising a barn this summer, so we’d love folks who are into helping out with that project. The barn raising will be a huge part of the work the WOOFer contributes to.

For renters we are looking for someone who has financially stability and an ability to mindfully maintain their living space. For WOOFers we are looking for people who are hard working, excited about learning rural skills and who work well in teams and independently.

The two people currently living here are andi and Kori. You can click on our names to be directed to our websites and get a sense of who we are.

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If you are interested in coming to live at the Homostead for the summer..

send us at email at andi[@]andigracewrites.com with the following info:

– are you interested in WOOFing or renting?
– how long would you like to stay?
– why are you interested in coming to stay at the homostead?
– what do you offer as a renter/WOOFer?
– what do you need as a renter/WOOFer to feel good in a living/working arrangement?

This is one of our goats. Her name is bell hooks. Photo from http://www.queerdos.tumblr.com/

Images for this post come from Rebecca www.imagingwitch.com

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artist call out

are you a visual artist? do you want to share your work with a new online audience?

i’m thinking of how i want to source images for my website. especially for my blogs and social media presence. it would be rad to be able to source and share images from my community.

do you have images you want to share? work you want me to help uplift?

here’s the details: if you share some images with me (through a google drive folder), then i will link the images to your website, or wherever you want it linked to. i will also include a credit/gratitude note at the end of the piece about your work. and if i use your images frequently i will gift you an herbal medicine package. if i was in a position to pay you for your images i would. i’m working to be in a position to do that, in future.

lemme know if you’re interested and lets talk about how to make image sharing work for both of us.

totally open to feedback about how this process would feel most awesome for folks.

here is what i’m looking for/working on:
anything magical or plant based. animals are also good. and super queer images also. i write a lot about abortion, ancestry work, boundaries, magic, self care, anti-racism, herbal medicine. and in summer i’ll be focusing more on barn building and harm reduction. i’m also into wisom giving images. things that are femmey and ethereal and gorgeous. also love vintage plants.

feel free to send me an email if you’re interested to andi[@]andigracewrites.com

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witchy holiday gifts with a whole Lotta <3

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Are you looking for holiday gifts (for yourself or your loved ones) that are sweet, healing, practical, affordable and non-toxic? Would it be extra-special if these gifts supported the livelihood of a community-supported-witch? Then perhaps I have what you are looking for!

With a few exceptions, all of my medicine is wild crafted from the land I live on: a queer and trans land project called the homostead, located in the Kootenays on unceded sinixt territory.

All my prices are sliding scale, but I can give you a sweet and simple total if you send me an email to andi[@]andigracewrites.com with what you are looking to order. I accept payment through a wide range of means including paypal, interac etransfer, cheque, money order and some trades. Soon I will make the medicines available in my shop, but for now just send me an email and we can work out the price and availability and price of your order together. Ingredients lists for all of these gifts are available upon request.


 

Here’s some things I have on offer right now:

12333157_798457686950224_857473339_oGood morning sunshine glycerite: this tincture is sweet and nutritious and will help brighten your mood and calm upset digestive systems. 10 to 50 ml bottles available. $10 to $25 sliding scale depending on size.

Arthritis salve: this salve is a soothing and anti-inflammatory mix of catnip and calendula, with an optional mama mary jane addition. 1 oz and 2 oz availble. $15 to $35 sliding scale depending on size and ingredients.

Witches Flying Ointment: made with henbane, rose and cottonwood this salve is great for anyone seeking to learn more about western european magical plant traditions. Great for prayer, magic making, ritual and muscle pain. 1 oz available. $20.

Herbal deodorant: this deodorant is the best! It’s the best deodorant I’ve ever used. Plus it is also gentle and healing to damaged and sensitive skin. I can add many different medicinal and essential oils depending on your needs. 1 or 2 oz available. $10 to $30 sliding scale depending on size.tumblr_nnpfg9JmKk1rlozhio6_1280

Toothpaste: simple, non-toxic, vegan and nourishing this toothpaste can include mint stevia or not, and it’s is easy to use. 1 or 2 oz available. $7 to $27 sliding scale depending on size.

Incense: this loose blend is packed with beautiful wildcrafted plants. It’s great for clearing spaces and calling in ancestors. 1 oz and 2 oz available. $10 to $20 depending on size.

Sweet Rose Kiss Balm: made with rose, plantain, calendula, beeswax and sweet almond oil. These salves also include fat from our sweet and very happy pigs. This balm works amazingly to heal chronically dry or damaged skin. 0.25, 1 and 2 oz available. $5 to $35 depending on size.

Photo on 2015-09-15 at 4.59 PM #6Single glycerites and salves: I have loads of medicines that are gentle and effective including usnea, fir, calendula and catnip salves and rosehip, ginger, burdock and oregon grape glycerites. Glycerites are sweet tinctures that are safe for folks who would rather not use alcohol and often gentle enough for kids to use as well. All of these medicines taste and smell amazing and I can offer advice on what you can use them for. If you think you could use a sweet and gentle herbal medicine, let me know and I’ll help you make a match. <3

Herbal consultations: are you curious about working with herbs but literally have no idea where to start? Or maybe you have been working with herbs but you need a bit more guidance or just a second opinion? You can book a consultation with me where I will walk you through a needs assessment and whip up a special blend of medicine, made just for you. You can also offer this gift to a loved one through a gift certificate.

DSCF4224Tarot card readings: Beyond herbalism I’m also a tarot card reader with very affordable rates. Plus I have a money back guarantee: if you don’t get something out of your 1 hour reading I will give you a refund no questions asked. You can purchase a reading for yourself or a loved one here.

And finally.. maybe poetry is more your thing? Great! I just released a poetry chapbook that is all about healing, magic and sweet queer love. You can purchase it here.


If you are interested in ordering any of the plant medicine listed above, send me an email at andi@andigracewrites.com with your order. Payments can be made through pay-pal, e-transfer, money order or cheque – or direct through the website for tarot readings and chapbooks. I will often offer discounts for larger orders so buying more will usually save you money.

All of this medicine is made lovingly in small batches so these offerings only stand as supplies last. That being said I am always making medicine and you can keep abreast of my offerings by joining my mailing list or following me on facebook. All salves are made with beeswax but many can be made with vegan wax, upon request.

I and very much looking forward to hearing from you. <3

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On Taking Up Space and Being “Too Much”: reflections on misogyny, shame, call-out culture and unconditional love.

Trigger warning: This piece talks about sexualized violence and rape culture and it also deals with a white person’s process regarding feelings of guilt and shame in response to being called out. It’s possible folks of colour may not want to read this, especially if they are disinterested in engaging with the emotional labour of white folks with regards to racism. Which is, I feel, a totally reasonable boundary to hold.

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“unapologetic. no small in her silence. no quiet in her thunder. she swallows oceans when she speaks, and hugs you like it ain’t nothing. like she didn’t just turn your body into molten liquid.

like fruit flies aren’t flying around where your head used to be.”

– Shirin Cameron

Read more