When I was a kid, I thought I hated antiques and old things because they made me feel sick. Sharing this insight with my family members invited a fair amount of grief and speculation. I never actually got sick, I just felt dizzy and queasy like it was imminent, so I was never able to prove my feelings.
This wasn’t the first, and certainly not the last, time in my life that family and friends would challenge the things I claimed to be true, but it is definitely one that I couldn’t explain with any rational facts - even to myself - for a very long time. It would be close to 30 years later before I would finally recognize those feelings as energetic vibrations emanating from a place of understanding that I was barely able to perceive - almost like trying to recall a dream as it slips from your consciousness.
All Saints Episcopal Church, circa 1979, was the first place I ever encountered a community of people who felt like an extended part of myself and it was wonderful to feel so heart-connected to so many other people. I believe the unconditional love I experienced at the many youth events I attended taught me a lot about cooperation, friendship, leadership and quite frankly, did a lot to keep me actively engaged in something soulful, as it steered me away from real trouble.
When I was around 20, I came to the stark realization that I didn’t take the stories in the bible as literally as the rest of the church. In truth, my interpretations went beyond even the loosest fundamentals of Christianity. When it came down to it, I just never felt like I needed to go through Jesus for a direct line to ‘God’. That may seem presumptuous to say, but that feeling comes from a voice deep within and it has never wavered on the matter. I could always make a plausible case for evolution and creation being the same thing ( and still can today), so once I understood my beliefs to be discordant with those ‘limitations’, my thoughts and ideas grew quickly away from the teachings of my beloved church.
My desire to belong to those types of communities has only grown stronger, however, as my roots have found purchase in the myriad cool people and places that I have encountered on my own unique, personal journey. I have always been interested in people, both their similarities and their differences.
In the 6th grade, I received a diary with astrological descriptions in the first few pages. I began to ask people “when’s your birthday?”, and to this day, some of my elementary classmates show up as symbols in my current readings and energy sessions. My mom had Linda Goodman’s book ‘Sun Signs’ and for some reason that is still a mystery to all of us, I was forbidden to read it (Seriously, why mom and dad?). I used to sneak it out of her room when she was at work and put it back before she got home. I have studied more astrology charts over the last 25 years than I could even begin to estimate, ramping up my interest in my late 20’s with a nudge from my ORM Partner and Astrologer, Quan Tracy Cherry. I’ve read the charts of most of the people close to me, and the people close to them, my clients, interesting celebrities, serial killers (I mean, don’t you have to?) and countless historical events.
I remain fascinated by the way people think and act, especially when they are slightly out of their comfort zone and pushed beyond their ego comforts. Vulnerability opens the space where you can glimpse the true essence of another person and begin to know and accept them from a place of wholeness--where the ego and soul energies begin to offer their distinct differences, recognize each other, presenting the opportunity to begin a practice of intentional soul/ego balance.
I come from a very long lineage of strong personalities and opinionated thinkers, many of them ‘progressive’ and ‘metaphysical’ in the generation directly above mine. My mother is certified in Breathwork, and introduced me to concepts like EFT (Tapping), Holographic Repatterning, DNA Recoding, Alien Walk-ins, Sweat Lodges and several other ‘metaphysical’ modalities, way before I was ready to appreciate them. A few of my aunts also had similar interests and one of my grandfathers spent his last years in the deep energetic work of trying to heal a spine injury with his mind and intention. His work is abidingly inspirational to me now, but at the time I didn’t understand the intention or purpose with any real meaning or attachment to how awesome it was when he was able to take a few small supported steps that science didn’t support him being able to take.
While I listened and learned as a child, I wanted nothing personally to do with any of it. More than anything in the world, I wanted my family to present as ‘normal’. The more I wanted that, the more they played up the ‘anything but normal’, often leaving my embarrassed ego lying in a puddle on the floor without apology, and sometimes with full enjoyment. I can’t say the lessons weren't important and valuable, even though I would have given anything to change them.
Looking back, I can see my self-centered ego at the helm, and I can appreciate the lengths the universe went to in order to transform my perspective into one that was capable of serving the world, not just myself. From an early age, I have recognized that how we appear and how we truly are can be many different things, and that the way we show up brings a lot of insight into the intricate lessons of our ego energies.
Astrology has grown into both a passion and a natural language for me. It’s rooted in science, so it’s slightly different from what my family does, (okay?) but I’ve still never fully called it my ‘job’, even though I might do several readings and healings each week. My belief in my skill set has traveled its own storied path as I gained confidence in my abilities with each acknowledgment from my clients. At some point, I began taking payment by donation so that others could participate in the exchange, but not insist on an amount. It took a very long time for me to feel comfortable accepting money for my work, but I now understand that clarifying my values and intentions made it a lot easier to claim this ability for myself. To this day, I don’t have a business card, even though several clients have offered to make one as a gift. (Two have even sent me logos for consideration!). Once, I read for an event where I needed cards, so my artist daughter banged out a drawing of a fainting couch and I called my business Parlour Tricks for the event. It seemed fun and breezy to me at the time, but I can see where I was trying to remove professional responsibility from my effort.
Even though I know (deeply) that I have a solid, unique skill set, it has been a personal challenge to take myself seriously as an astrologer/healer type. In hindsight, I can see how that would have meant claiming something I wasn’t emotionally or mentally prepared to align myself with just yet.
I got divorced the year I turned 40, and my world turned upside down. I had spent the previous (nearly) 10 years raising kids, playing disc golf, doing astrology readings and generally enjoying my life. I never went to college, so I felt I needed more education in order to find a job that would support me, and I began looking for a nutrition curriculum. What I found on my first search was a school, Core Star, that taught healing and energy work and I was instantly intrigued… At various times in my life, I would get a palm or tarot reading at an event because I liked the experience. More often than not, the reader would tell me (among other things) that I was a Healer. I didn’t know what that meant, and honestly didn’t spend time thinking about it beyond the fact that it was superficially satisfying to my ego.
I went to tour the school, found that they began one class per year, and I had just missed the first weekend. They were willing to let me catch up with one other student who was also joining late. As soon as I walked into the office of Jim Crabtree, I felt a magnetic pull from within myself to sign up for this class. My divorce was contentious from the jump, and I didn’t have money or a job. The school was more than I could have afforded pre-separation, so by all rights, it should have seemed completely out of the question. Something pushed me hard to believe I could make it happen and two weeks after my separation, I found myself in a weekend ‘intensive’ with one other woman, trying out energy work for the first time, and hoping I possessed the aptitude that I had been hearing readers mention over the years. It’s worth noting that I was 2 weeks into the separation of a 13 year marriage and I had 3 daughters, the oldest of whom wasn’t speaking to me. The ego space that I had occupied in my community was crumbling and there were a number of wild rumors circulating about the prompting of the separation, sending my ego energies into abandonment overdrive.
The woman who took that first class with me? She was a work friend of my mother-in-law, and recognized me by my name. The universe had, in its incredible wisdom, put the one thing in front of me that would make me be as honestly accountable to the breakup of my relationship as I could possibly be - a person who could recount my words and sentiments back to his family. It was a personal ego check and I live in gratitude for that weekend that forced me, 2 weeks in, to dig deep into who I really was and not what other people had to say about me. To this day, I’m in awe of how the money for each weekend intensive magically showed up, but three years later, I was a Core Star Graduate and I had a certificate verifying that I could call myself a Healer.
It would still be a few more years before I felt comfortable stating that, but the life-changing experiences of those three years (and every subsequent year) are nothing short of magical. The shift in my perspective from ego defensiveness to soulful acceptance has opened the door to a place inside me that is connected to the memories of our collective consciousness, and I make it my intention to spend dedicated time in that space, breathing for all of us.
The universe gave me no real choice on this path. It put conditions in front of me where I had no control over anything except the boundaries I could set for myself. I could try to assuage my bruised ego by attempting to affect the narratives of the people around me, or I could show up as my genuine self every single day and see what that perspective had to offer. To my surprise, the more time I spent in allowance of my own ignorance, the more space I had to accept the ignorance of others.
For the first time in my life, it became joyful to be my authentic self and I began the work of clearing the stores of energetic debris I hadn’t even noticed I’d been carrying for so long.
At that time, the opiate crisis was reaching a pinnacle and I felt very strongly that the best path out of addiction was found within our being, starting by accepting all of our experience, good or bad, into wholeness and alleviating the effects of shame on our psyches. I would spend the next several years helping out at Results Chiropractic and watching instant healing happen with regularity. I began to see the energetic difference between physical and emotional pain, even though they can both present as physical pain.
My interest in ‘the laws of man’ and ‘the laws of the universe’ grew with exponential speed and I felt like an energetic archaeologist, mining self-help books and programs for their ‘bones’. I had ancient writers showing up in my dreams - Thomas Payne and Cicero headlining the list - and I began to pull the most basic natural structure from our ‘laws’ as a basis for practiced thought, as well as the ‘tools’ that are available to each of us-- Water, Breath and Alignment (what we now call H2Om).
Several people close to me have helped me flesh out the ideas that have sparked from this perspective, as the pillars of the Our Raw Material thought practice gathered practical shape and form. They have done so much to support this practice: helped me plan and host a meditation retreat, created and recorded meditations with me, shared their insight and opinions (doubts too!) while listening to me expound about these same concepts over and over as I endeavored to breathe life into this ancient agenda for soul/ego balanced modern living.
I live in gratitude for my experiences, positive and negative, and I enjoy helping others find the same joy in their own Wholeness. I have several antiques in my home and am finally able to appreciate their energies without the fear that used to accompany their appearance. At nearly 53 years of life, I’m present for the journey, wherever it takes me.
Thanks for the interest,
Tavish is available for energy healings, soul/ego guidance, and soul-based astrology readings. Tavish and Quan also do a combined session for channeled healing. Group and individual settings are available.