Hey friends, happy February!
Don’t worry, we don’t have to re-evaluate our relationship status. I know I usually start with “Darlings”, but it’s not a demotion. I want to talk about how we honor our friendships and all of our non-romantic/sexual relationships. I don’t think we honor or uplift these relationships nearly enough! My apologies, to the asexuals and aromantics among the fold; I know you get it and hope that you’ll chime in if it resonates for you to do so.
It’s just that it’s FEBRUARY, and in the social media onslaught of chocolates, flowers, dates and status updates, this time of year that’s suppose to highlight the love in our lives can instead leave folks feeling like they don’t have enough of the right kind of ‘hallmark love’. It can be really easy to get caught up in the frantic cycle of trying to find and bring love into our lives versus checking in with all the places we have it and give it.
These days, there is a lot of great reading to be done about the diversity of ways we have the capacity to love, but one my favorites will always be Redefining Our Relationships by Wendy O’Matik. This tiny book packs so much more punch than its diminutive size would have you believe at first glance. O’Matik describes herself as a polyamory advocate and radical love warrior, and she certainly is both!
For me, the most influential words happen in the first few pages where O’Matik does what she promises in the moniker and offers new definitions for some of the relationship ideas we take most for granted. She literally urges us to redefine what love is, how we make it, and who we share it with. She asks us to imagine how different our lives and the world would be if we took the wild, passionate abandon that we focus on our romantic entanglements and spread that energy out across our communities.
In the relationship work I do, I often invite folks to contemplate the abundance of love in their life as they search for new partners and/or heal with current partners. We will all tend to interpret actions and make different choices about how we want to interact when we are coming from places of abundance. When we’re feeling scarce in any resource, our survival instincts are triggered – which are not always our clearest places.
The expansiveness with which O’Matik invites us to understand ‘love’ has always been comforting to me. It means that even in times when we’re feeling low in some ‘love’ resources, we can take a more full and accurate assessment of all of the love that truly graces our lives. And even when, in reality or perception, we can’t seem to find places of abundance, we can meditate on how to pour love out in an energetic offering and as a pathway to connection.
Thus, this February Sunday Spread, I thought I’d try for a tarot spread version of this offering. It is an invitation to explore who we are in love, what we believe about it, and how to make it!
Tarot spread for expansive love
Pull the Three of Cups from your deck and sit with it for a bit.
The Three of Cups is all about celebrating connection, friendship, and community. I used my Slow Holler deck to create this pull, because they also add an encouragement to “think outside of binaries,…to acknowledge that multiple factors or possibilities can co-exist without hierarchy,” and to “[c]hallenge both individualistic and pair or couple-oriented approaches.”
I sat with the importance of connection and thought about ways to combat the isolation that challenges so many of us in this life. I then set my Three of Cups card in the middle of where I would pull my spread, took a deep breath, and with eyes on the triad toasting to the power of interconnection, I started to shuffle.
As always, listen to yourself as to when your shuffling period is finished. Cut your deck and pull three cards from the top.
Card 1: Who you are in love
This card references how we experience love in our lives, and it gives us insight into what our roles may be in our relationships. Think about how whatever card you pulled resonates with what you already know/believe about yourself. Does the message seem to affirm what you already know or is it inviting you to a new understanding?
Card 2: What you believe about love
This card fleshes out what some of our beliefs are about love that we’ve accumulated over the years through input and experience. Again, think about whether the messages from this card resonate with how you ‘think’ you understand love and process if it’s an affirmation or invitation.
Card 3: How to make love to your community
This is our action card. It offers us some insight on how to make love to our communities. Like the Slow Holler’s Three of Vessels, it reminds you to “Reach out to your wider network. Embrace your interdependence and draw on collective wisdom and strength. Whenever we can come together in this scattered world, it’s a cause for celebration. Our histories tie us to one another, but so much of our lives are spent isolated or feeling left out. Come back into the circle and remember who’s holding you.”
Wishing you a February of EXPANSIVE LOVE!
Featured deck: Slow Holler
Traci (She/They) is a therapist, yoga teacher, life coach, and human in progress. They offer in-person/online therapy and life coaching services from their private practice in Fullerton, CA, USA, run the educational resource hub Queer University, and write love letters by request at Shame Kills Love.
Sunday Spread: Simple Tips for Not So Simple Lives is their offering to this wonderful alternative playground of tarot. It will be filled with a monthly collection of simple self-care ideas, intentions, and rituals for the beautiful chaos that we call life.