CHOSEN: the wounded binary and the birth of belonging

Our wounded binaries show up when we are in process of building something that matters to us a great deal, and very dearly.

What are you invested in building right now?

A relationship(s)? A sacred business? A creative project? A family? A creative or healing practise? A whole ass life? A new paradigm? Abolition in our lifetime? A world without war?

Our wounded binaries show up to tell us that this thing we are building, that we have already committed to, that we have already chosen, is impossible.

An impossible binary is a world that has been wounded and severed by colonization, supremacy, war, and witch hunting. An impossible binary is a vow of poverty designed to trap us in disempowerment. Here are some examples of common impossible/wounded binaries in the collective consciousness.

“I have to choose between my Self and my relationships – I cannot have both.”

“I can either do what I love or I can make a living and make money, but I can’t do both.”

“I can either prioritize my health or I can prioritize my kid’s health, but I have to choose between the two.”

“I can either be safe and protected, or I can participate in activism and collective liberation, but I have to choose.”

“I can claim my power and my magic, or I can have community and friendship. If I am powerful, I have to be isolated. If I’m connected, I have to diminish my shine.”

These impossible binaries are painful, frustrating and deflating. However, the presence of a wounded binary is not, in fact, an indication of impossibility. On the contrary, its presence may actually be something to welcome and embrace.

What if our wounded binaries were not dead ends, but actually birthing pains. Perhaps they are signals of a whole new level, experience, and world of BELONGING that is emerging in our lives.

In this talk, I get into a deeper conversation about the many different kinds of binaries that can be an energetic presence in our lives: not just the wounded and impossible binary, but also the sacred binary that we find everywhere in nature.

Throughout the talk I touch upon the binary as it relates to gender identity and expression. I also consider the presence of MARS (the planet of sovereignty, boundaries and the SELF) as an essential aspect of relationship building. PLUS, I spill the tea on what happened when I sat at my altar and had a conversation with the spirit of my future creative/life partner!!

Finally, I discuss the ways in which binaries are an essential part of storytelling craft, narrative theory and the creative process. I examine the overarching thesis and character/story arc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to illustrate this idea. (Buffy nerds will of course recognize the title of the video is also the title of the last episode of the series! Consider this your SPOILER WARNING because I’ll be discussing the series as whole, although I don’t get into too many specific details.)

I end the talk with a heart work practise and a few journal prompts that you can use to explore your specific relationship to wounded binaries, as a way to break through blocks you may be facing in whatever you are trying to build!

Video captions are available.


In the video I speak about the “rules” of storytelling craft. Take any discussion about the “rules” with a grain of salt because rules are always meant to be broken, and they do not apply across the board to every story. Even though I mentioned you “need” a strong Central Narrative Conflict (aka binary) in the center of your story, this mostly applies to narrative driven storytelling like television, film, novels, comics, playwriting. It’s not as important for more abstract and experimental forms of storytelling, or various hybrid forms of performance art. Other genres like poetry and songwriting are their own ball game, you get the idea. For example, I have written and presented theatre works that did not necessarily function with a Central Narrative Conflict, and those works were still incredibly impactful and valuable for my audience and for myself as creator. This is a much bigger conversation that I’ll be addressing in the near future!


*Check out “How Story Works” book by Lani Diane Riche and podcast she shares with Dr. Kelly Jones, HERE.

*Listen to “MARS, Bringer of War” by Composer Gustav Holst, HERE.

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