This post is the transcript to our podcast episode zero: “YELLOW: I Have Wounds But I’m Not Wounded.” You can listen to the episode HERE.
[gentle sounds of ocean waves behind the storytelling for a few minutes before it fades into the background.]
Greetings Good Listeners.
I’m your host, Storyteller and Spell Weaver, Shaunga Tagore. You are tuning in to my Divination Channel. This is episode zero: a Prizmatifesto for the new world paradigm. Take note, this transmission holds a story about teenage sexual assault, although no explicit details on the assault are shared.
Last night I dreamt of my future partner. I couldn’t see what they look like, but I know who they are. I heard a voice in the world, some kind of narrator – maybe it was an ancestor, maybe it was myself. The voice said:
“Your partner is not wounded by violence.”
Hold up. Let’s rewind.
Before I tell you about my future partner, I have to tell you about a break-up.
It was the wrong relationship, at the right time.
You know the kind, at the beginning you feel like – oh my god, this is it! This is my person. This is who I prayed for. This is life long love.
And then six months later it’s like, oohh honey. This is so, so, so not right for you.
The wrong person, but at the right time.
Because something about that wrong relationship, woke me up. Like, some kind of ghostly activity shaking your bed back and forth at 5am – yeah, that kind of waking up.
Like a Great Ancestor Ass Kicking Waking up.
Like, at the end of 2014, I’m walking down Bloor street past Ossington and for some reason I turn my head to the right, and pivot into the doors of a walk-in $10 Psychic. Maybe because the sky is regurgitating that slushy snowy kind of rain and I’m having a bad day. I don’t know. Maybe because I have anxiety balls in my chest and egg shells underneath my feet, the kind you get when your partner says that everything in the relationship is fine, and you believe them, so why do you feel like they’re going to break up with you at any moment?
So I saw this psychic, and it was completely traumatizing. She basically told me that I was cursed, and that my only hope for a good life was to pay her a large amount of money so that she could break my curse. I said, No Thank You, and I saw – hatred in her eyes at my lack of consent.
I went home and I made a post on social media about my shitty experience, and a dear soul on my friends list who I wasn’t close with, I just kind of new from queer community, she gave me a beautiful gift, she said: Hey Shaunga, I have an amazing psychic tarot reader that I see and I paid her for a session on your behalf. It’s yours whenever you want it.
I was overcome, and honoured, that someone who I didn’t even know that well could be that generous toward me. No part of me was suspicious of this reader, even after the experience I had. I was just grateful.
This psychic tarot reader came to my house and gave me a reading – it was incredible. It was insightful and it was empowering. One thing I remember about the session, is that while she was sitting on my couch, with the cards laid on the coffee table – I kept turning my head to the right, looking out the window, distracted. Though the thing distracting me was not actually a distraction.
See it was January, in Tkaronto, Dish With One Spoon territory – in other words, it’s cold. The sky was packed with clouds like a bloated suitcase and it was snowing, blizzard style. But in my peripheral vision, I kept seeing the sky clear, with parted clouds, and a sun shining. It was tripping me up because every time I turned my head to the right and looked directly out the window, it was the blizzard. Then I’d look away and still in the corner of my eye see blue, spacious and relaxed, alongside parted clouds…only to look out the window again and see nothing but white held breath.
The other thing I remember about this reading, is what she said to me: You are a person of Spirit. If you follow your spiritual calling, you will see that your life will be completely different, in the best way possible. In just five years you could see your life drastically change.
That was 2014. For those of you who have known me or followed my work for the last five years, who know me as a mega powerful witch. You know my psychic communication skills are off the chart, you know me as someone who leads with Spirit, and whose spiritual practise is that the center of everything I do – so much that it really feels like I’ve just been this way way for my whole life – because in many ways I have – but you have to understand that before 2014, I was not at all awakened to any of this. I had no spiritual practise. I had no idea that I had a spiritual calling, let alone what it was.
But that one thing this psychic tarot reader said to me – a tarot reader who I never had a session with again by the way – this one thing she said, planted a seed that I just could not get out of my head, and it changed my life. “Follow your spiritual calling, and see how your life changes for good.”
After the tarot reader left my house. I sat in my Quiet for a while. Then I turned my head to the right, and looked directly out the window. The sky was blue, the clouds had parted, and the sun was shining.
On that rainy slushy snow day in 2014 I walked into a $10 psychic booth on Bloor and Ossington and it was the WRONG place, at the Right time.
Because I chose to speak publicly about a traumatizing experience, I received a beautiful, generous, unexpected gift. Because I trusted that gift, without suspicion, that gift planted a seed in my mind that would eventually grow into a luscious abundant garden, a seed that prompted me to finally reach out to someone who was sitting in my DMs, waiting patiently for me to consent to the call.
In January 2015, I was a wild, hot fucking mess trying to make sense of the broken glass in my hands, the remnants of a wrong relationship I so desparately wanted to be right. (Yes, they did end up breaking up with me…on Christmas…ahem!!!)
No therapist could help me with my mess, but I found a spiritual teacher, who is my Mama Otter to this day – Dr. G. Love. One of the baddest Black witches on the planet. She taught me how to make sense of and manage the enormity of my Ancestral grief and rage that awakened in my consciousness through this break-up. She taught me how to place an Ancestor altar in my home, strictly for the Dead. She saw me, and she reminded me of who I am. She said: Who I have sitting in front of me is one of the most powerful channels I have come across.
Choosing the Wrong relationship at the Right time, launched me into a wild healing journey that brought me exactly the Love of my Life that I had prayed for – it brought me home to my Ancestors.
A break-up that at first seemed like a very offensive Ass Kicking, was actually my Dad in the spirit realm sneaking up behind me and kicking me in the butt like a football, sending me in the right direction, while the rest of my Ancestors had a giggle fit because it was…kinda funny.
What at first seemed like heartbreak was actually just me stepping up to the plate for the greatest game of our lives, encircled by a sold-out crowd in a giant ampitheatre, as Big as Broadway. Imagine a whole damn sports stadium of Ancestors and Descendants cheering for you, chanting your name, because they know you’re gonna win.
And if I turn my head just a little bit to the right, I can see clearly the most special someone in the crowd. She’s wearing blue baseball cap and one of those Giant #1 Thumbs, entirely sandwiched by adoration, reunion, so many of her loved ones, and she’s screaming: “HEAVY HITTER! HEAVY HITTER!” as I tap my baseball bat twice on the plate and get in position.
See I thought it was my Dad who kicked my butt, but really he was one in front of me, who stood on the mound and threw me my pitch. I was both the batter and the ball. I was ready to hit it out of the park, out of the norms, expectations and confines of what a good little brown girl artivist is supposed to contribute or create. I was going to fly way out in space, traveling through many secret corridors in the galaxies. And when I came back home, in September 2015, I had a story. I wrote a script. A Letter to the Universe.
My Dad kicked my butt and pitched me the ball that was the world that would eventually become a sacred story, THE exact right story to hold him, carry him and raise him through his sudden illness and transition, exactly 9 months later in 2016. This was the story that had the medicine to help him become an Ancestor. Out of all the stories in the universe, he chose this one. And so did I.
The wrong relationship, at the right time, is why I decided to stop just falling in love, and start actively choosing it. It’s why I decided to stop acting like I have no control with love, constantly waiting, with anxiety balls in my chest and egg shells under my feet, waiting for love to either choose me or to leave me. Instead I started remembering that I can have a love that I co-create with. I can have a love where I am both choosing and chosen. I can have love that is a powerful catalyst for growth, but instead of growing out of each other, quick and fast, we can grow with each other, through life’s changes and evolutions.
The wrong relationship at the right time is why I finally got really clear about exactly what I wanted, and I cast a spell to call in the life partner that I know I am meant to reunite with in my time on earth.
That was in April 2015. What happened with the spell? That’s a different story.
Coming back to the present. In April 2022, I had a dream of, well I’m still calling them my future partner because no, we haven’t met yet. But it’s okay, because as Michael Scott says about his Soup Snake: I think we have a long story. And I’m in no rush.
So I have a dream about my partner in April 2022. I can’t see their face, but I know who they are. A voice in the world, a narrator, says:
“Your Partner is Not Wounded By Violence.”
Okay – the narrator didn’t actually say violence. They used a different word, and named a specific and very horrible pervasive, systemic, ancestral violence. I’m choosing not to say that word in this transmission because it’s their story and not mine.
The narrator continued: “Your partner is not wounded by violence. You can’t connect with your partner, if your method of connecting in relationships, revolves around being wounded.”
This narrator was speaking to some of my conditioned and knee-jerk habits when forging relationships. When I want to build community, friendships, partnerships, I say – okay, let me put myself out there. Let me feel people out.
On a very deep level, I feel where I’m wounded, and I feel where others are wounded. Instinctively, I make connections with people like this. And then, the relationship revolves around being wounded.
But in this dream, I was told that my partner who I’m praying for, isn’t wounded by violence. It was clear that they are someone with the experience of violence named in my dream…but they’re not wounded by it.
So, if I want to meet this person, if I want to make that connection – they can’t connect back with me if I am forging my connections primarily through woundedness.
I woke up and I sat with the full, abundant, medicinal quality of this dream. It led me to be really honest with myself about my personal experience with one of the nastiest woundings I carry – childhood sexual violence.
This experience has impacted and shaped absolutely everything in my adult life, in all the ways sexual assault functions – rage, confusion, disassociation, insecurity, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, over-compensating, over-apologizing, perfectionism, depression, cynicism, defensiveness, resentment, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, attraction other relationships that mirror the dynamic – all of it, you name it.
And yet…there is a part of me that genuinely does not feel wounded by my experience of childhood sexual assault.
A part of me that feels like…
A part of me that has always felt this way – even minutes after it happened.
And Let Me Be Clear: This is a feeling full of presence – not disassociation.
It’s not even that, “FUCK YOU, YOU CAN’T KILL ME” vibe, which I am well acquainted with as well.
This is different. It’s not fighting against anything.
The part of me that feels this way is terrified to say it out loud.
I’m afraid that if I say it in public, that I am good, I am happy, I am free – I’m afraid I’ll be shamed. Attacked. By my community. Eventually, they’ll resent me so hard that I’ll have to leave, and then I’ll be alone.
Because how dare I be good, happy and free in the face of the nastiest kind of abuse? How dare I radiate that possibility model?
When you put it that way – it is very clear that an energy that will only support you if you are suffering in your survival, that will SHAME and ATTACK you for not being ruined by sexual violence, is the same energy that violated you in the first place.
When you put it that way, it is absolutely ridiculous that any of us might be shamed or judged or attacked for being “good, happy and free” by a justice-oriented community. I mean, isn’t that what we’re fucking fighting for?
And still, I understand the knee-jerk reaction of anger and defensiveness to a statement such as, “I am not wounded by violence.”
Because we have all been so bombarded by gas lighting.
Gas lighting that says tells us oppression doesn’t exist. That we are “making it up” or “causing drama” or “breaking the peace” when we speak up about abuse. Gas lighting that says the violence we’ve experienced isn’t that bad and we’re blowing things out of proportion.
A huge part of the world still thinks like this, and many of us prioritize investing our energy into dismantling the gas lighting.
We are vigilant to destroy gas lighting any place we see it. So a random passing statement like, “I am not wounded by violence,” on the surface, sounds like someone’s participation in the gas lighting.
In this context, we most certainly DO want to “break the peace.” We have a rage and resist response if anyone even mentions the word, “peace.”
But the truth is, the desire to “not break the peace” in a context of abuse was never about maintaining peace, it was always about maintaining the status quo of violence. “Breaking” the peace is ACTUALLY about OPENING a Gate for real, genuine PEACE to exist and flow.
So Call Me a Mother Fuckin’ Peace Bearer.
I’ve gotten to the point in my journey as a Peace Bearer where I no longer ONLY want to fight for peace, I want to EXPERIENCE it. Holistically, Entirely. I want to Share It and BUILD IT.
And I do not want to do it alone.
I do not want to live in an environment where fighting and dismantling gas lighting is my ONLY priority.
I want to give time, space, attention and PRIORITY – to this magical, beautiful part of my Self that genuinely does not feel wounded by violence.
The part of me that’s like, “Yeah, I have wounds. But I’m not wounded.”
Who are you? What are your layers? What more do you have to say? What do you understand about yourself?
What can I learn from you? How do I honour you?
Because I’ve been ignoring you for too long. Putting you aside for too long. Allowing you into spaces where others will make you feel judged, criticized and ashamed for who you are, for too long.
Now, I want you to take up space. I want you to be safe. I want you to take the mic.
How will my life change, in 5 years, if I let you step up to the plate, front and center in my life?
What kind of Great Long Lasting Empowering Heartfelt Giant Reciprocated relationships might I find as a result?
This part of me might think differently about a wound. What if it’s not something that has victimized me? What if a wound is simply an opening for healing and learning?
I find great joy in both healing and learning.
And I’m not afraid of the pain.
This part of me might bring a great amount of depth and nuance to this statement: “I have wounds, but I am not wounded…”
…and suggest this statement as a CLAIMING of healing and learning through all of our experiences…thus recognize this statement as an ANTIDOTE to the gas lighting!
Because CLAIMING our healing and learning with full force is the energy that doesn’t just dismantle a gas lighting that tells us healing is unnecessary because violence doesn’t exist…it DECIMATES the gas lighting.
When I was 15, I was sexually assaulted the night before I was to participate in a major piano competition.
Growing up, piano was one of the greatest loves of my life. My piano was my altar.
It was May in the year 2000. The competition was like the “state finals” and my Dad was going to drive me a couple hours to a nearby city to compete.
The morning after the assault, it did not compute in my brain that I had been assaulted. It did not compute that anything “bad” happened to me. I was not able to make any connections between how I was feeling that morning, and what had happened to me the night before.
My Dad waited for me as I got ready. We were both about to leave the house. He walked outside, but I stood at the doorway. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get my body to leave. I broke down and had a mini panic attack.
I kept telling him: “I can’t go. I can’t do it. I just can’t. I can’t remember how to play the piano.”
I remember that feeling clearly. I didn’t know how I was going to get on stage. I couldn’t remember how to play my song that I had been working on for months. I couldn’t remember how it started. Couldn’t remember the first note to play or how to get my hands to play it. I kept imagining myself sitting at the piano bench and for the life of me COULD NOT REMEMBER what I was supposed to do when I got there.
At the time, I did not know what I know now. That sexual violence is first and foremost DESIGNED to attack our relationship with Spirit. With our Ancestors. With our Dearest Altars, whatever they may be. With our Earth, our Home, our Unique Sacred Place in Nature.
I was ready to throw in the towel.
At the time, the piano was my biggest dedication. I was planning on seriously pursuing a career path as a concert pianist. I worked SO hard every day, preparing for this competition. I worked my ass off to bring my unique interpretation of this piece of music to a state of Excellence.
I was ready to say Fuck It. Flush it all down the toilet. Give up. Don’t leave the house. Just Go Back to Bed.
I stood at the Gate and I told my Dad: “I can’t do it. I have to stay home.”
My Dad listened. He was quiet. And then he said:
“It’s okay. Just come. It’s okay.”
We were mostly silent for the entire 2 hour drive. But something happened in our Quiet.
It was Yellow.
I don’t know how to explain it, other than to say that while my Dad and I traveled from one Gate to another, he gave me Yellow.
It was the same Yellow that filled the room and my entire essence, 16 years later, in May 2016, at his funeral.
We got to the competition. When they called my name, I walked to the stage and sat at the feet of a gorgeous grand piano.
As I sat in my Seat of Power, I felt roots from both me and the piano reach down, down, down into the earth’s core. I felt us integrating with the trees and the mycelium.
I played my song, flawlessly.
It’s not just that I didn’t make any mistakes. Not just that I knew exactly what to do and how to do it.
I played flawlessly because I was completely full of the Earth.
I played flawlessly, not because I somehow managed to pull it off.
I played flawlessly because it was inevitable.
Because I had never been so grounded. So connected. So held. So lifted.
I played flawlessly because I knew exactly who I am and who I’ve always been. A Sacred, Integral Part of Nature.
I played flawlessly Because I Remembered.
I Remembered that when I’m reunited with the Great Loves of My Lifetime(s) – my piano, and whoever, whatever else they may be…
I am a Wild Force of Life. Full of everything. Free of everything.
On the drive home, my Dad and I were quiet again, but in a different way.
Somewhere sandwiched in between a radiant, abundant amount of spaciousness and silence, he said to me:
“The way you played today…you made my day.”
That was his way of telling me that I had given him Yellow.
That he was good.
After a long period of winter, I am ready to open my heart to community again. I want to connect to living, breathing, HUMANS again.
I want to connect through so much more than just woundedness.
I want to connect to people’s joy.
I want to connect to people’s hope.
I want to connect to your healing and learning.
I want to connect to your inspiration.
I want to connect to your unabashed enthusiasm.
I want to connect to your generosity.
I want to connect with your happiness.
I want to connect with your freedom.
I want to connect with the Aliveness in everything.
I want to give space, attention, and priority to these qualities within myself – because I’ve pushed them aside and shrank them down for too long out of fear of being attacked.
I want to know more about the part of me who played the piano flawlessly the morning after a sexual assault. I want to learn about what happens when she takes the mic.
Because she’s always been at home center stage.
Because I’m good.
Because I’m Yellow.
[sounds of water]
My deepest gratitude to you, dear friend, for listening. If you love and appreciate this work please subscribe to the podcast and give us a glowing 5 star review. To reciprocate this medicine I invite you to pay it forward and/or pay it back: to pay it forward, share this brand new podcast with 1, 2, 5 or hell a whole stadium worth of folks and help us find and build our audience. To pay it back you can support us on patreon or learn more about how to become an otherworldly giants investor on our website, and you can of course find all these links in the show notes. You can also find us on instagram and facebook.
There are 3 components of Otherworldly Giants – the Divination Channel, aka this podcast. We are also a Creation Company where we create and produce original, ancestrally guided theatre work and audio drama, and a Storytelling School, where we alchemize energetic medicine, magic, ritual and spell work with the creative process, and study storytelling craft as an expression of altar building, decolonization, self-knowledge and the artistry through which we move through life.
In the spirit of our Storytelling School, at the end of each podcast episode, I am going to share some journal prompts inspired by the journey we just went through. This is for those of you who want to dive deeper into your own self-recovery, remembering and creativity.
I’ll also be sharing these journal prompts on our patreon page, where you can comment and share your reflections on the journal prompts if you like, because I know how important it is to be witnessed when you’re doing this kind of work.
So, here is today’s journal prompt: Think of a part of yourself that is really special and important, but may be under-recognized, or under-supported. A part of you that you want to prioritize more and give more attention to. This could be the needs of your physical body, it could be your creativity, your spirit of invention. You can even take something that you feel challenged with right now – maybe you’re having a hard time adjusting to change, or communicating in your relationships. Call upon the part of you that trusts change and your ability to move with it, call upon the part of yourself that is an honest, brave communicator. Choose the part of yourself that want to take the mic. And ask them these questions:
Who are you? What are your layers? What more do you have to say? What do you understand about yourself? What I can I learn from you? How do I honour you?
As we wrap up this transmission, I want to acknowledge that, I titled the last episode we shared, the prologue for season one. But I’m calling this episode, ZERO, and not episode one. That’s because in my practise with numerology, zero is the most important number. Why do we skip over it? The medicine of zero is everything and nothing. Zero is complete silence. And in that silence contains all possibilities, and multitudes of worlds.
I also called this episode a Prizmatifesto – what is that you ask, well, it’s like a manifesto, or a femmi-festo, but Prizmatic in nature and gender. You get it.
So, the place in our storytelling altar reserved for ZERO, is the perfect place to state our prizmatifesto for the entire journey we are embarking on, when so much of it is still a mystery and exists in the unknown. This is where we name our dedications. This is where we honour who we are, and who this heart work, spell work and love work, is for.
This is for survivors who are no longer chained to their suffering.
[beautiful piano music plays in the background]
For the wild ones whose magic is awakening into reality.
For the ancestors who invested in my writing while I learned how to remember my own worth and reciprocity.
For the ancestors that chose me and assured me that they would hold my belief for me, as long as I struggled to believe in myself.
For the ancestors currently having a laugh attack on my altar at some weird ass inside joke that I really can’t explain to you.
For the planets and constellations that spoke to me before I remembered that I was listening.
For my star lineage, my epic galactic history.
For my favourite people, my favourite animals, and my favourite timelines.
For all my altars. For my piano.
For the Greatest Loves of my Lifetimes.
For the Blue Jay and the Cardinal.
For Water my Beloved, Fire, my Universe, Earth, my home, and Air, myself.
For Death, my friend. Life, my choice. And Love – my birth right.
For the Gaggle of boisterous animals that encircle me, and offer me the Best company, and the best jokes, especially when I’m lonely.
For the Falcon – my identity. The Night Horse and the Brown Bear – my power. For the Frog – my Heart. And for the Porcupine – My Yellow.
For the dogs and birds of my teenage heart.
For sacred tears and forgiveness
For my 52 Doppelgangers
For the cobra, the barn owl, the phoenix, the mother wolf and the Big Damn Giant Cat.
For the strawberries, the tulips, the aurora borealis, and the trees that stand still in the water.
For my birthday twin, shadow twin, spiritual clone and soup snake
For the Gemini Twins no longer burdened by the tragedy of separation
For Premonition, The Conjurer, The Warrior, The Healer, The Siren and the Intergalactic Super Star
For my Unapologetic Silence
For my Voice that has the Power to find anyone who is lost, no matter where they are in the Universe
For my Song that shatters
My glass ceiling
For the Happiest of Times during the Saddest Goodbye
For the grief workers, death doulas, psychic channellers, song weavers, time keepers, community mothers and storytellers.
For the Builders and Creators, the Harmonizers, the Funky Tribe
For the Soulshifters, and that’s Gayte-keeper, with a Y, motherfucker
For Us, the Chosen Many
For Just Us – Estha and Rahel.
[piano music ends, quiet instrumental music begins]
For the Slayers who did not have a voice in an all-white writers room.
For all Potentials, everywhere.
For my Watchers, and my Father.
For every mother heartbroken while making impossible choices, know that here and now – you are no longer chained to your suffering – and so it is, from now on.
For every teenager that grew up too fast and was initiated into their calling without their consent, here and now – you get to be young, silly, safe and free – and so it is, from now on
For every elder who put their faith in a mission knowing full well there’d be no guarantee of your safety, and no gaurantee of winning – here and now – you get to receive the gifts of your own medicine. You get to benefit from your own legacy, you get to receive the bounty of your own making – and so it is, from now on.
From now on
This is my time with the mic
my time to rise and shine
this glorious and heartbreaking stretch of history and galactic memory
the era of the great awakening
the era of the great unravelling
the era of amnesia and remembering
of inventing and reuniting
this is my time
to grieve, with a healed heart
my time, not just to love, but to let go, and let myself be loved
[music stops and sounds of water increase]
my time to look at the broken glass in my palms and adore my beautiful for everything they’ve ever held – passion and despair – everything they’ve created and have yet to create, and all the music they’ve remembered and played.
my hands who know what it means to hold on to dear life, to hold the most dear life, as they let go of their body cross the veil, my hands who know how to hold this beloved planet in my palms, because she is not just my mother, she’s my grand-daughter too
For every part of me that has been lost, ready to throw in the towel, not knowing, not remembering why am I here, and what is the point
This is My Time
For the badass witches on the planet
The ones who have the power to destroy
but instead, they choose to live
For every extraordinary ordinary otherworldly human
For the Giant moves and for the small things
For the return of the Goddess
For the God in Everything
[music and water stops]
[…and the Otherworldly Giants THEME SONG DROPS! Fun, electro-pop instrumental]