goodbye 2019 part 1 / what grief taught me about love (cosmic folktale #5)

Welcome back to my new series, COSMIC FOLKTALES. This series is a blend of memoir, fantasy, and astrological/ancestral channeling for the sake of individual and collective transformation. This particular tale is for those of us living with grief, whether visible or invisible. I also speak about intergenerational trauma and mention suicide. Please take care while reading.


Are you feeling it?

As we near the end of 2019, we are not only closing out a year, we are closing out a decade.

A decade in which you have truly lived 9 lives.

In the last decade, I have been:

1* a poet
2* an anti-racist feminist academic
3* a social justice non profit worker & youth arts educator
4* a burlesque dancer
5* a QTBIPOC multidisciplinary theatre performer, creator & producer
6* an astrologer & intuitive counsellor
7* a clairvoyant, clairaudient & multidimensional channeler
8* a memoir & fantasy writer
9* an ancestral/planetary communicator & self-healer

Now listen, you don’t have to be a Big Honkin’ Gemini like me, with 9 different careers, to also acknowledge all the places you’ve been, and versions of yourself you’ve lived, in the last decade.

In the last decade, I have learned and claimed life as a:

1* Peace Bearer (beauty walker)
2* Game Changer (path blazer)
3* Spiritual Warrior (superqueero)
4* Poet-Prophet (philosopher queen)
5* Remover of Obstacles (of the crossroads people, as big as broadway)
6* Creative Manifestor / Agent of Transformation (death doula / life preacher)
7* Enthusiasm Generator (self-expression)
8* Receiver of Love (gratitude)

and,
always & forever,
in my heart, a

9* Prairie Girl (unconditional trust)

In the last decade I have:

1* left home
2* dug my cat claws into homes I willingly, intentionally chose to leave
3* been kicked out of homes
4* rebuilt homes out of survival mode, childhood dreams, chosen family, and pure adrenaline
5* refused to leave a home that was in up in flames
6* stayed home all weekend
7* said “no” – with kindness and without desperation – to the only home I’ve ever known
8* deconstructed my spiritual DNA and rebuilt my internal home with purpose

and finally,
always & once again, I

9* return home

Nine.
The number of closure, inner peace, inner wisdom, and completion.

Dear beloveds,

No matter where you are, how you are, or who you are
in this moment,
I can tell you that 2019 has brought you

the total accumulation and,
the rock bottom and,
the last
test of faith

of everything you have
earned
of yourself
in the last decade.

Personally, for me, 2019 has been:

OFFENSIVELY challenging…and,
heartbreakingly rewarding…and,

wholeheartedly

fulfilling

fulfilling like,

not full of the fantasy
but full of the reality
like, more and more often
I find myself wanting
to stay
with whatever is
here and now
and not with
whatever could be
not because I willed myself to
but, because

I just

wanted to

9 of bottles: love & water & flowers showered on you, poured upon you
9 of keys: absolute leap of faith
9 of feathers: absolute despair
9 of bones: embodied stability, inner leadership, the harvest of 9 years worth of work

9, The Hermit: closure, inner peace, inner wisdom and,
completion.

(these cards are inspired by the collective tarot deck, which is the main deck I work with!)

In the words of Rent, how do you measure a year? How do you measure a year that was a combination of embodied stability, an absolute leap of faith…absolute despair…AND…love & water & flowers showered upon you?? What the hell do you make of that??

Let’s talk.
Let’s have a real candid convo about the
“OFFENSIVELY challenging” aspects of 2019,
shall we?


Summer 2019. Eclipse Season.

What happened?

I was overwhelmed with this image, this feeling.

I’m drowning.

I keep seeing this giant faucet. Water screaming out of it, like a multidimensional dam that broke. Loud like Niagara Falls. It’s both a massive floating faucet in the sky gushing on all of us, and it’s also lodged into my chest and shooting out of my heart. I’m tiny Alice in Wonderland caught in the down pour. I’m helpless.

I’m in the middle of a vast body of water, an ocean. We somehow survived the great storm, the riptide, the hundred years of constant shipwreck. Our small wooden boat, our home, is now exploded into pieces in the water, none of the pieces sturdy enough to hang onto. There will be no land in sight for another decade.

The water is freezing. My lips are turning blue.

I
AM
EXHAUSTED.

My feet are kicking, arms treading. I’m stuck in this cycle: My limbs get so numb I sink underneath the surface, swallowing salt water, and then I burst back into the air, gasping for breath, like how it feels when you’re about to fall asleep but your body jolts you awake because it thinks it is falling.

I don’t know what to do. My resilient survivor brain, my creative genius, The Magician In My Core – who can make magic out of garbage – who can make SOMEthing out of nothing, out of ANYTHING…

does not know what to do.

With all my clairvoyant vision, I cannot see any land. I have no idea if the nearest piece of land would take years to swim to, and I don’t even know which direction to gamble on. I’m so tired. I can’t do this anymore. I want to rest. There is no piece of broken wood strong enough to support me, even for a minute. Please, Universe, just send me a sturdy piece of wood.

Please, someone help me. Something help me. Please, Universe, give me something to lean on. Something strong enough to hold me. PLEASE. PLEASE.

“HEEEEEELLLllllllgurgurlggllue”

I scream for help for as long and loud as I can before water fills my mouth and drowns my voice

My resilient survivor brain, my creative genius, The Magician in My Core is frantically combing through every strategy and option in the multiverse, knowing that in every other moment they were able to find a solution. My mind is racing with the same energy of a mad scientist cramming for his final exam in advanced witchcraft and metaphysics, flying through his centuries old thick textbooks digesting 10,000 words per minute.

Ok. I make the decision. I can’t do it anymore. I am too tired. And there is no end in sight. I have to stop. I have to surrender. I have to let myself die.

I start letting go, but my body jolts me back to the surface just like it does when it’s trying to fall asleep but then realizes it is falling. My body won’t let me drown.

I have to die, but my body won’t let me drown.
I have to die, but my body won’t let me drown.

This is absolute terror.

It dawns onto me. I can float on my back. With my last muster of strength I kick up my legs, and buoy myself horizontal.

I breathe.

I cross my arms over my chest. My teeth chatter, my extremities turn blue, my body freezes into ice. I close my eyes. I slip in and out of consciousness.

And then it happens. The Faucet. The Big Wave.

HEEELLLPPP YOU’RE KILLING ME AAAHHHHHHHHHH

the scream turns into the sound of Niagara Falls engulfing the entire multidimensional universe

the wave bulldozes me from behind and i’m alice in wonderland flying out of the world turned giant faucet and

just like that,

a scorpio rising
is born.


My Mom made a last-minute impromptu decision to visit me at the end of Summer 2019. Now, we don’t have a perfect relationship, but we hadn’t seen each other in 2 years, and I was so grateful for the time we got to spend together. We were eating lunch one day and she randomly told me a story about my Grandmother – her Mother – that I had never heard before.

Here’s the thing about being a clairvoyant, and an ancestral communicator. I keep an altar for my core ancestor team: my Dad, my four grandparents, my great-grandmother, my dog, and my bird companion I had for a short while when I was 14. I communicate with them regularly. They speak to me in words (clairaudience) and in energetic images (clairvoyance). But they don’t ever give me a direct play-by-play of the exact details, context, or scenarios they’ve lived – I kinda think they’re not supposed to do that; that’s what human, embodied relationships are for.

It’s similar to how I work as an astrologer and planetary communicator. I look at someone’s birth chart and I see their energetic make-up. I see visions and stories. Patterns, psychologies, familial and intergenerational patterns. I hear words and phrases and messages. I see a complex mosaic of someone’s life with great intricacy, but I don’t ever know their full 3D context or mundane everyday details until/unless they share it with me.

At times I have communicated with my Grandma, my Dimma (Mom’s Mom), and she has shown me moments that she was stuck in a solitary concrete room with boarded up windows. Pacing back and forth, slowly going crazy. She’s shown me this image as one of her greatest struggles that has been passed down through our line, 12 generations back, and to me.

I piece together what this means from what my family has told me about her history. My grandma has lost more than one child to suicide. She’s showing me, this is what her depression feels like. She cannot stop blaming herself.

From where she is now, she is okay. She is not trapped in this room anymore. She doesn’t want me to stay in it, just because I feel it. She wants me to go outside.


My Mom has always told me a story about when she was pregnant with me – she was sure she was going to die during the labour.

She didn’t just think it, she knew it.

My Mom has never given me a straightforward answer as to why she thought she was going to die. I don’t know, I just knew. By now, it’s a funny story in our family:

My Mom’s labour starts and she’s basically like – hold up, I gotta bunch of work left to do, and I gotta finish this shit before I go off and die okay!? So she doesn’t go to the hospital even though it’s time. Until Bif Naked’s Mom (who was my Mom’s nurse/neighbour – I kid you not!), has to drag my mom out of her home and get her to the hospital.

While she was pushing me out, she kept screaming:
I’M DYING!

This, of course, upset my Dad and he started screaming at everyone around him: YOU’RE KILLING HER!

And this my friends,
is how a Scorpio Rising is born.
😎


The story my Mom told me about my Grandma this summer, that I had never heard before is this: my Grandma had 6 children. When she was pregnant and went into labour with her youngest child (who is still alive and well today!) — the doctors told her the birth was so complicated that,

your child in all likelihood will not survive
and you, for sure, will die

Apparently, my Grandma’s older brother would have none of this. He took her to his home and they had the birth there. Everyone survived, but…my Mom went on to tell me that my Grandma couldn’t get out of bed for weeks after that. She kept clinging and wailing to her own Mother who for the life of her could not console my Grandma.

In absolute despair,
my Grandmother kept asking her Mom and asking the Universe:
“What did I do wrong?”

My grandma surrendered to her birth experience having been told – she for sure was going to die. She did survive, but…
I do believe it took my Grandma a long time to realize she was still alive.


When my mom told me this story, suddenly I had an entirely new context to my own birth story. A revelation to this mystery. My mom knew she was going to die when she gave birth to her youngest child, the same way her mom knew she was going to die, when she gave birth to her youngest child.

And I’ll tell you – you know what was the most devastating part of being trapped in the ocean of summer 2019? With no land in sight. No support, no help. The reality of drowning, both imminent and impossible. The choice to continue surviving, both intolerable and my only option.

The point of absolute despair in this situation has nothing to do with any of the above.

Absolute Despair
is the fact that
I wasn’t alone on that wooden boat.

Before it exploded into shipwreck,
I wasn’t alone.

I was a mother, with my child.
Or maybe,
I was a child, with my mother.

How do you tell a child who loses her mother, it’s not your fault?

How do you tell a mother who loses her child, it’s not your fault?

You don’t.

You just don’t.


I will hardly remember 2019 as anything other than the year my beloved animal companion, my cat Rahel, got really sick.

The year my entire life, schedule, routine,
kind of got hijacked
by a sudden explosion of both my two twin cats’ health issues
that I needed to prioritize above all else
Estha and Rahel
(now in their elderly years)

Now, before I go on, let me just say a few things about how
UN-CHILL I AM
about how much I love my cats.

In the last decade, my two cats have been my constant companions through:

1* seven romantic break-ups
2* ten+ friendship break-ups
3* three community break-ups
4* six apartments & two evictions
5* fifty+ performances & two full-length plays
6* three major overhauls to my business, attachment patterns & identity
7* one Grandparent death (my Dad’s Mom)
8* one Parent death (my Dad)
9* one fundamental family break-up

My cats, Estha and Rahel, have been my Beloved Two Twin Taurus Constant Companions, through all that change and all that loss. They are my children, they are my family, they are two of the greatest loves of my life.

I knew – full well what I was signing up for – when I decided to adopt them. I was signing up to experience a kind of love that would make my life fuller and brighter than I could imagine.

I was signing up for this very peculiar thing that comes along with being a pet-parent: you watch your babies turn into seniors, while you’re more or less the same age.

I signed up knowing I would have to watch them go before I was ready. (Because I will never be ready.) I chose to dive into love with them, knowing we would only have so much time together.

I signed up for this, knowing full well, when that time comes, I will be so shattered, and

I will not survive

Now, as 2019 closes – I’m relieved to tell you, the three of us are okay.

But in the middle of the summer, Rahel got so sick that she had to be hospitalized for a few days. After this, she was able to get the right diagnosis, the right medication, and like the resilient happy-go-lucky spirit she is, she made a strong recovery. We’re not out of the woods yet completely, but we’re okay.

Still, for those few nights when it was really bad, before she went to the hospital, I honestly didn’t know if she was going to survive. I was in a constant state of spiralling into that faucet, that ocean. I couldn’t tell the difference – was I the mother who lost her child, or the child who lost her mother?

I had to make peace with the possibility that this could be our last night together.

I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew…if this was it…

I had to sing her a song made of absolute love
I had to make love the most powerful thing any of us could feel
louder than pain

softer and stronger than absolute terror
more still and more alive
than absolute despair
I had to keep singing

I am over the moon filled with gratitude, that this night was not the end, and I still have time left with this sweet, beautiful soul.

But the thing is – in order to survive that night,
I had to land into a version of me
who already knows
what it’s like to spend a last night with someone,
and actually see them go.

Chatty, my Bird Companion.
Rumpelstiltskin, my Dog Companion.
Thakuma, my Grandma, my original SuperQueero.

Prasun, my Dad.

I had to fully become that part of myself,
because that was the only way
I could land into the kind of love I needed in that moment
the only way that kind of love could catch me,
and be the sturdy wood that holds me
in an ocean.

Just like my Grandma, my Dimma, who had to make peace with dying in order to birth her child – a part of me still doesn’t know we survived.

Just like my Grandma, there is a part of me lying in bed, wailing to my maternal lineage, to the Universe, in absolute despair: “What did we do wrong?”


When Rahel came back from the hospital, Estha, her twin flame and life partner, did not recognize her.

There’s an unfortunately common and biological-behavioural thing that can happen between bonded animal companions called “non-recognition aggression.” Because cats are so scent-oriented, if one cat comes home smelling different than they usually do (say from a vet visit), two cats can go from being best friends to sworn enemies overnight.

They need to be kept separated, and slowly introduced to one another as if they are strangers. You can’t rush the process, otherwise it can get dangerous and cause permanent damage in the relationship.

Estha was basically like: WHO IS THIS STRANGER IN MY HOUSE!? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY BEST FRIEND????

And Rahel, not only recovering from a traumatic health crisis, also had to deal with the confusion as to why her companion was suddenly acting so mean and aggressive.

In the last decade, what grief taught me about love…

Grief tears apart friendships, and companionships.

What happens to you when you suffer a big loss? When you have to become someone else in order to just get through that night?

Your scent changes.

So many of the people close to you don’t recognize you.
They find you making completely different decisions.
Moving, being, acting,
SMELLING
like
you’re not you.

You can’t tell that you smell different!
And you’re so confused
why are your friends
and your companions
suddenly acting so mean and aggressive?

The more you try and make things go back to normal
process with each other when you should be taking time apart
the more you try and rush each other
the more defensive you all get.
The more hissing, swatting, growling, hair pulling, and biting there is!

Now, I’m happy to say that after a month, Estha and Rahel eventually re-bonded. (It was a long month! *laughcry*) But I didn’t push them. As hard as it was for me, I didn’t rush them. I didn’t try and make them get along just to make myself feel better. I had to give Estha as much time and space away from Rahel as he needed.

If you are moving through a death, or a loss yourself, and struggling to navigate the changing dynamics in your friendships and companionships…or if you are the loved one who doesn’t know how to handle wtf is going on with your beloved in grief…
if anything, just take this medicine.
Don’t rush your grief.
Don’t rush theirs either.
Give it time and space.

My beloved friend Ravyn always says: “People think that grief is like catching a cold. It sucks for a while. Your friends bring you soup. But then you get over it and things go back to normal. It’s not true. The reality of grief is that it changes everything.

Truly, Grief is not like catching a cold.
Grief is like giving birth.

You thought it would kill you, and it did.
But you are still here.
Left to tend with this otherworldly force
A screaming baby with a life all its own
Always throwing tantrums
Moody AF
Always wants to be fed
Always has something to say
Never will speak when you ask it a question
Never answering in a language you understand

You have no idea how to be this thing’s parent but
it doesn’t want anybody’s love but yours

It doesn’t think you have to
do more, be more, say more, figure out your shit more
the way you think you do

It doesn’t care that you think you’re
failing and ruining things and making constant irredeemable mistakes

As you scramble
trying to find the answers
focusing on all your flaws and shortcomings
painfully aware of just how much you have
not measured up
to being the parent they need you to be

they don’t care about any of that.
They just want your love,
exactly as you are.

Grief is a child that teaches you.
Yes, as it grows, it gets more mature, and so do you.
You both learn to chill out a bit.
You find this child keeps bringing you new worlds and possibilities.
A child that is just as joyful, scrappy, adventurous and hilarious
as it is an irritating hot mess.

I had a moment in August, when Estha and Rahel were still at odds with each other. I caught Estha coming close to attacking Rahel, and I separated them quickly. I spent some time soothing Rahel and heard myself say to her:

“Don’t worry baby, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault.”

I heard her reply to me, with her usual nonchalant, sweet, carefree shrug:
“I didn’t think it was.”

2019.

The year I felt the pain in my maternal lineage so intensely.
“It’s my fault that you died.”
The year I have never been more aware of my own flaws and shortcomings as a mother, a pet-parent and a human.

In a moment, I was given permission to rest, from all of that.

Asked to sit with the gift, and the truth, that Rahel, my animal beloved, just gave to me.

2019. The cycle stopped with me.

This cycle of blaming ourselves for things way beyond our control, felt by all mothers in my lineage, 12 generations back.

This year. I have not passed this cycle on to my child.


SHOUT OUT SECTION!

Today I have a very special announcement about my latest offering:

Goodbye 2019 Group Astro-Tarot Energy Reading and Q&A (Free!)

Sunday November 24th, 5pm – 6:30pm EST

How It Works:

  • I channel a reading for the specific group who has signed up for the call, on the theme of bringing closure to 2019 and preparing for 2020
  • I’ll begin the session with a collective energy reading on how to best support ourselves during this powerful transitional time
  • Followed by pulling some tarot cards to clarify the message
  • And a check-in with each zodiac sign for their “theme” for 2020
  • We’ll end with a Q&A where those on the call can ask me specific questions about the reading and how it applies to your situation

A group energy reading is similar to what I did in 2018 with my horoscope videos – but here, instead of doing a reading for all Aries everywhere (for example), I’m doing the reading specifically for the people who are called to join the session. The idea is, that people who are resonating with my work are called together for a reason. We are travelling through similar healing vibrations and will benefit from hearing each other’s messages.

This is a new membership model I’m testing where people will be able to subscribe to receive monthly channeled group readings from me, at a much cheaper rate than my 1:1 birth chart sessions.

The first session is FREE and invite-only! It will be held on the Zoom platform. You can feel free to asks questions during the Q&A, or just listen. You can be visible or invisible on camera. Folks who sign up will receive a recording of the live call. If you can’t be present for the call, I will still be able to tap into your energy when I channel the reading.

INTO IT!?

SIGN ME UP

Hit me up with any questions at shaunga.tagore@gmail.com ❤ Until next Sunday.


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