Connect with us

I'm Awake! Now What?

Traversing the history of LGBTQ+ Spirituality and Multicultural Traditions on Death with Tomás Prower

Tomás Prower discusses his books on LGBTQ+ Spirituality and Multicultural Traditions about Death.

Published

on

Tomás Prower is a best selling author, speaker, historian, and world-traveler who found literary success with his first book La Santa Muerte: Unearthing the Magic and Mysticism of Death, to which the book has found a loyal following of millions online and across the globe.  Gliding off the literary success of his first book, Tomás was given “carte blanche” to write about any subject he wanted and in our interview he discusses how he felt compelled to create an anthropological and historically factual account of spirituality and queerness. What is great about his book is he takes the reader on a global guided tour through all the continents, exploring lore, facts, and accounts of how the queer communities of the past–overlapped with their societies.

His book Queer Magic: LGBT+ Spirituality and Culture from Around the World is a one of kind and a must read. This book allows us, the reading audience to uncover what modern history has tried to hide and what has been completely overlooked in the world of queerness and spirituality. In our interview, Tomás talks about how in older societies, queer members were revered as mystics and shape shifters who had a direct line to The Divine. We address the post-colonialism and Christian influences that shoved this beautiful part of our culture to the sidelines and how his book is providing nourishment and validation for the LGBTQ+ community.

As a practicing Buddhist, lover of Hinduism and Taoism. I was particularly struck by the chapters relating to these religions. One of my favorite deities, Quan Yin (GuanYin, Kwan Yin) who was in her own right a bit of a spiritual rebel and feminist. Tomás writes in his book, “For many centuries Guanyin was an adopted subtle symbol of Chinese lesbians, not only because she was a protectress of women but also because she allegedly advocated against heterosexual marriage in order to pursue a more spiritual life. To the larger queer and feminist movements in China, Guanyin is a symbol of the kind of peace, bliss, and harmony that can be attained if society de-emphasizes its cult worship of masculinity and embraces its self-suppressed femininity as well as love and compassion for all people, regardless of who they are.”

We also covered his third book Morbid Magic: Death Spirituality and Culture from Around the World, that focuses on giving the reader a multi-cultural guide to death spirituality and traditions from all over the world and from different historical eras. Tomás does all the heavy lifting when it comes to the exploration and excavation of these stories, lore, and facts about how our different cultures, modern and historical societies dealt with death. This book is steeped in a global understanding of reverence to see our loved ones through the last phase of their life, into an afterlife, a reincarnation, or maybe even a void. In our podcast interview, Tomás encourages the listener to “get comfortable, with the uncomfortable” and he talks about in our current modern society and how we have outsourced everything–including this rite of passage. Partly because of logistics, but he reminds the audience the primary reason is so that we don’t have to come too close to death or confront our own fears related to death. Having worked in the funeral industry himself, Tomás’ book has an added element of validity and insight.

I asked Tomás, of the cultures he wrote about in his book, which one did he find the most interesting and he responded “The biggest one that resonated with me, was The Māori people of New Zealand. In western society, when you die you are beatified in a sense. The Māori  do not do that. When they have funeral ceremonies, you can go up and air your grievances about the person.” Tomás goes on to say, that being remembered and honored in death is a privilege and should not always be guaranteed, especially if a person has spent their life harming those around them and leaving a wake of unreconciled trauma or unkindness in their path. And that part of grieving someone’s death is also being able to process your own authentic experience with that person; good, bad, or indifferent. Allow you to heal, let go, and be at peace with their passing.

Listen to our full interview and join us in The Garden to discuss more about LGBTQ+ Spirituality and multicultural traditions on death.

Krista Xiomara is a writer, podcast host, healer, religious wounding and trauma expert, and co-founder of House of Enlightenedhood. She is a practicing Buddhist and incorporates wisdom from both Eastern and Western religions, philosophies, and spirituality.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Expansion

The Four Elements: Core Curriculum for Understanding the Self with Debra Silverman

You can build a harmonious relationship with yourself by understanding your elemental composition.

Published

on

Debra Silverman

As a spiritual aspirant part way through my own journey I realized there was an overlap of healing and self-understanding that was happening in parallel to my unlearning and unbecoming. Its a curious thing how every spiritual seeker finds the same set of books, retreats, teachers, and guides along our journey to help with our rebirth. Enter Debra Silverman, psychologist and astrologer who has spent her life (as she describes in the interview) helping people fall in love with themselves, their life, and each other.

Debra wrote The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition. This book opens up with a warning alarm, reverberating through the dense fog of humanity asking us to “Wake Up!” The earth is in crisis, humanity is in crisis and Debra reminds the reader that we are both the problem and the solution. For anyone invested in self development, part of our work here is to understand our elemental composition, cultivate each one, and find solutions to bring the ourselves and the world back into alignment and harmony–as best we can, all things considered.

What are the Four Elements?

Water, Air, Earth, and Fire.

In our interview Debra breaks down the different characteristics of each element, their positive and negative manifestations and how most of us have one element that is not as dominant as the other three.

Apparently I have almost no fire, which was really surprising to me as a Latina. This is partly because I’ve been conditioned to believe all Latina’s are born super spicy and culture lore tells us we salsa straight out of our mother’s womb with a bad attitude and confidence for days. I do love to salsa, but if I’m being honest with myself I do have a strong inclination for the softness of peaceful environments (earth), the silence of my own company–writing and creating (air), and the warmth of the Earth beneath my feet at the ocean (water) healing and feeling, instead of at some night club, dancing (fire) the night away.

It is clear that my missing element is fire and armed with this knowledge I can find ways cultivate the element of fire that feels authentic to my core personality traits (without making unnecessary drama as Debra says fire can sometimes do) and bring myself into a balance.

Her book is also a means for moving ourselves from a victimized state of being into an empowered position, where we accept that we decided to incarnate here, in this world, as this person, with this family, this personality, and these life experiences.

Debra says “it’s a volunteer position.” Once we accept that, it opens us up to the possibility that maybe everything that has occurred to us is useful, inspiring, and exactly what we needed in order to evolve and awaken.

As an astrologist, Debra talks about how reading and digesting our natal charts gives us tools and information to understand ourselves better, so that we can interact kindly with ourselves and not try to squelch our shadow sides or the things that make us quirky and unique. Gaining this level of self-understanding is paramount to living harmoniously with ourselves, from a place of deep acceptance so that you can fall in love with yourself.

But more importantly; Debra says, when you gain understanding of your chart, you can look around your ecosystem and create compassionate understanding for the people in your life, by seeing them with a fresh set of eyes and an open heart to love and accept them as they are.

 

Continue Reading

Expansion

Exploring the Akashic Records with Josephine Hardman, PhD

Published

on

Learn the origins of the Akashic Records with Josephine Hardman, PhD

Josephine Hardman is an intuitive healer, Akashic records teacher, and podcaster. She’s dedicated her life’s work to helping spiritual aspirants find their way, heal their past, and tune into their innate wisdom. She has an interesting life path story, I’m so excited to unpack the origins of her personal story, that I can hardly get out my prefixed question about her early childhood experience with religion and spirituality.

Josephine grew up in a deeply open and spiritual home, with parents who both nurtured and invited exploration into spirituality. She recounts hearing the shuffling of tarot cards from her fathers desk. He was a trained transcendental and mindfulness meditation practitioner. Her mother was a psychotherapist who expanded her practice to include spirituality, folding in energy work and yoga and the use of the Akashic records. In this progressive environment Josephine had free reign to explore and be curious, she was also a highly sensitive child.

These beginning steps are fascinating, as many of us who come to merge on the path of spirituality find ourselves undoing and unlearning strict Abrahamic roots or nothing at all. Our spiritual education starts later in life, and I can’t help but wonder as I’m listening to Josephine speak how this “head start” in spirituality helped her in own life. She first affirms, that being in this environment helped her as a highly sensitive and intuitive child, who both had the language and experience to understand the non-physical reality around us.

Josephine is erudite and spent many years in academia dedicating her life to education of others. She notes how she has carefully created courses for her students who want to learn the Akashic Records leaning on both the academic and spiritual learnings modalities of education to help each student fully integrate and retain what they learn. Her love of literature and language makes her an ideal teacher, finding all the right words and high notes to help the any seeker on their path of expansion and exploration.

As our conversation continues to unfold, Josephine discusses how growing up on the spiritual path at an early age, she too experienced how disorienting and unsettling the spiritual awakening process can be. She mentions how interacting with people and having them say one thing and their body language and internal energy contradict what she was sensing and feeling. As a child and one with sensitive and intuitive skills she wanted at times to escape this reality of feeling so intensely. From my perspective, of not having a head start and coming into contact with my intuition and innate wisdom later in life I understand this disorientation she speaks of and I can’t imagine how a child would navigate it. But she did and I instantly admire her life story more deeply in this moment when she honestly articulates the ebb and flow of her childhood.

As we fast forward into the interview, we arrive at Josephine giving the audience an overview of the inception of the Akashic Records, how they are access, utilized, and what they can teach us. She breaks down the benefits of accessing the records and gaining information about ourselves looking back in time and peering into our past life decisions and current ones can aide in breaking old patterns, internal blocks, and limiting beliefs. She uses an example from a recent session where a woman had inherited through her lineage (like many of us do) a conditioned response to “staying small” or “playing small.”  A common theme we see in our current society that asks women to be small, demure, and to not make too many waves or conflict. Using the records Josephine assessed that this trait was passed down to help keep ancestral and descendant women in her lineage safe and was a coping mechanism. Working with her client, together they honored her ancestors for instilling this as a means of protection and breaking the cycle through this client, thus liberating her lineage backward in time and forward. .

 

Continue Reading

Expansion

Embracing the Positive Side with Jeremy Todd

Jeremy Todd on choosing the positive of side of perspective in all things.

Published

on

Jeremy Todd is an author and podcaster, who has turned his life experiences into something useful for the collective. He’s moved from victim to victor in a few short years after realizing that he didn’t want to continue to make excuses or blame external variables for the obstacles he had come up against in his life. He wanted to live empowered and in a frame of mind that was positive, without bypassing. Upbeat without ignoring the reality of what has happened or what could happened.

He began rewiring his mind to become more resilient, more solutions based then problem heavy. He realized that he had something to say and even though he faced real hardship from his past and current situation. He was determined to find a way to grow while dealing with his past and current situations that were less than ideal.

He wrote The Positive Side: How I Overcame Bullying, Bankruptcy, and a Bad Attitude and Found My True Identity and in our interview he talks about being bullied in his youth because of his height and boisterous personality. He shares how underneath his big bright personality he was hurting, and he couldn’t tell anyone about sexual abuse he had incurred as well. He found the courage to write about all of it in his book and let his past see the light of day and show people how he emerged from this adversity to become more aligned, honest, and authentic. To show people there’s another way out of the darkness when bad things happen to us.

He’s spent the last five years of his life, hosting his podcast of the same name and in our interview he talks about embracing a positive perspective in life and how his growth and evolution didn’t always sync up with the people in his ecosystem. Many of us on the path of spiritual awakening and personal development experience this, the growth pains of shedding our old identities, mastering the ego, seeing the world for what is, and general waking up to a new reality that is divorced from societal, religious, and familial conditioning and traditions. Jeremy says that when he started changing, people began to push back on his evolution and eventually some people in his inner circle had to be exited.

This is a tough thing to do, to compassionately choose our change over the discomfort of others. To move away from the safety of old friends, co-workers, family members, and acquaintances that once “knew” us and say “I’m not that person anymore…” and in order to continue the deep work of growth and becoming leave some people behind. But Jeremy did exactly that. He’s found peace and a new found perspective.

We also talked about spiritual bypassing, which is a real epidemic in the spiritual industry. Often times positivity can be replaced with bypass and it is important to be able to face the displeasure of the moment, crisis, or pain without turning away or offering in exchange a fluffy quip like “everything happens for a reason” then quickly moving past the real struggle that is occurring for a person in that moment. Jeremy gives a beautiful and vulnerable example of how he is doing this in his life, having been separated from his wife for three years they are turning the page and beginning again to reboot their relationships on new terms. Jeremy says he’s going into this new life change with his eyes and heart open but mindful that there is work to be done. That the relationship still requires repair, recalibration, and tenderness to become what they both collective wish it to be.  He is going into this new chapter of his life, with a positive attitude and envisioning the best outcome for all involved and he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work, to do the work.

Continue Reading

Most Popular