There is a proverb:
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Let’s get personal for a minute.
I am very familiar with feeling disconnected. Many parts of my chart make me an honorary Aquarian; always eccentric or somehow on the fringe. I have never been part of the “normal crowd.” As a kid, I wore my uncles oversized leather motorcycle jacket, shaved half my eyebrows, pranced around in cargo boots and unbrushed hair. Growing up in school, popular kids used to throw food at me during lunch. One cheerleader called me a fruitcake. I was the girl during recess wandering alone, singing epic self-created songs to the world beyond chain link fence of the playground.
Today, my hair still goes unbrushed. I still sing epic songs as I wander alone on a regular basis. When I tell people what I do for a living (professional astrologer and sacred movement artist), I get a variety of reactions. Some laugh for many minutes on end. Some ask questions, test me, or try to get a free reading. Some tense up and turn away. Others get a glimmer in their eye, their bodies relax and they say, “I’ve been waiting to meet you.”
It’s a mixed bag. As you may be able to see, I need to be discerning about the company I keep.
Even living in alternative communities with other weirdos and misfits, I’ve still experienced the pain of separation and aloneness. Sometimes the community contains fear or judgments that limit my experience of connection, or the community feels “sexually free” in a way that isn’t safe for me.
This past year is the first time I felt totally held by community, and it’s because I discovered the secret:
I finally created my own community, and it is an extension of something greater.
How did I create community? I continued to do the things that I love as much as possible. I nurtured a joyful life. I showed up to teach my classes and offer my readings with dedication and consistency. I made spaces and events for people to come together on a regular basis. I invited people in. I shared myself. I made sure all of the wonderful people I knew met each other.
If you have strong Aquarius in your chart (we all have Aquarius, but for some it’s more emphasized than others), I hate to break it to you, but you weren’t born to “fit in.” Why even try? Let your freak flag fly. Be unapologetically you. The things that make you unique are the greatest gift to society. You’re ahead of the times. You’re a trendsetter. You are here to carry forth a revolution. You’ve got to make the world catch up to you.
In order to feel connected with others, you must remain true to yourself. Be who you came here to be. Do what you came here to do. Embrace yourself exactly as you are and show up fully. When you show up fully, you naturally begin to influence those around you. In my experience, standing in my truth and radiating it generates a sense of belonging. I naturally attract the exact crowd I love to be a part of; the people who feel like home to me. My tribe. My soul family.
The reality is, we cannot do it alone, and we don’t have to.
We are not alone.
We do not need to do work or force anything in order to create connection. We are already connected. We are here. We are human. Our connection to ourselves, each other, this world, and something greater is ever-present. is simply a matter of opening ourselves to what is. We must embrace connectedness. We must honor and acknowledge the existing connection. I invite you to practice and nurture connection.
Attune to an awareness of all things as interconnected. See that you are not separate and alone, but that rather, you are an intrinsic part of a greater whole. This whole needs you to fulfill your potential in order to function in its highest operational state.
As a unique person, it is crucial to surround yourself with allies: other people who believe in you, provide you with inspiration, and cheer you onward when the going gets rough. Surround yourself with people and places that support your vision of progress and your feeling of connectedness. Choose to be with people who see you, whole hold you, and who encourage you.
If the mind is a mirror, imagine many minds linking together to refract an infinitude of light. A vibrant, multidimensional kaleidoscopic crystalline web.
Groupthink is a real phenomenon, and it can manifest for better or for worse. When human minds come together, they influence each other. Just as each individual’s body houses a nervous system, there is a grander network, a universal nervous system, influencing our thought patterns. And our thought patterns determine our behavior. Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and instantly felt stimulated, without yet having a sip of caffeine? Have you stepped into a temple or a church and found a sense of inner calm? I have, and I credit this to an invisible human sensitivity: we react and respond to the state of others in our local vicinity. We even respond to leftover imprints of a collective mindsphere, long after the event of joining engaged minds has taken place.
No need to point out the negative effects of groupthink. Examples are easy to find, and have resulted in some of the most monstrous atrocities this world has seen.
Positive effects of groupthink are the fabric of human progress.
What creates a positive or negative effect? The source intention. Intention precedes action. Identify: is collective behavior stemming from Love or Fear? My dear friend and writer Maggie Marie points out: Violence is convenient. In many ways, it is ingrained. The modern world is built off violence and separation. In order to change this, we need more than ever to join together and hold the vision of what we seek. Keep holding it together. Keep returning to Love.
I’ve been involved in many groups in my life. Theater groups. Anarchist groups. Volunteer initiatives. Movie-lovers. Travelers. Linguists. Yogis. Dancers. Astrologers. Taoist Martial Artists. They have all educated me and impacted me deeply. But none have influenced me as much as Qoya.
For the past several years, I’ve been working on a dream. Following my love for astrology and movement, I aspired to create a synthesis of healing arts. When I ‘accidentally’ found Qoya, I was instantly struck that the woman who created it, Rochelle Schieck, was on kindred path. She, too, had explored many systems of healing and they had converged into a simple, accessible method for people to access their inner knowing.
The women I met at my first Qoya retreat felt like sisters. We instantly connected. When they found out I was an astrologer, they asked me for readings. They became dear friends and longterm repeat clients. They referred their beloveds to me. These are women from all over the world, ready to embrace me and host me in their homes if I ever come to teach or visit. These are women who have directly helped me make my visions a reality. I couldn’t have done it without them. I couldn’t have done any of it alone.
What is different about Qoya? Other groups I belonged to held a common interest, but somehow lacked a commitment to interdependence. Many times there was one teacher or leader whose final word held rule. In the case of the anarchists, too much time was wasted in arguments, the result of ideology filtered through mindsets of stubborn independence and a lack of leadership. For a community to be healthy, members must have a steadfast commitment to participate, and operate from a place of harmony.
In Qoya, each person is encouraged to bring forth their natural radiance and share their special gifts. Each person is considered an essential part of the operable whole. Each person in circle holds the face of an archetype we can all somehow relate to. When we gather in a circle of love, acceptance, and progress, accountability also emerges. The environment brings out the best in us. We want to be good to each other. We want to see each other’s dreams come true. We naturally offer behaviors to facilitate this.
Every time I leave a Qoya class, workshop, or retreat, whether I lead it or not, I feel acknowledged and seen for who I am. I feel energized and encouraged to continue on my unique path. And I feel supported. Part of it is the embodied practice of Qoya itself. In Qoya, we return to self not through an external technique, but through consciously connecting with our inner essence as found through the feelings and guidance of the body. In Qoya, I am encouraged to show up exactly as I am without censorship, and communicate with others from that space.
What a relief. To be true. To be me. To be honored. To be free.
How Magic Happens
Qoya means Queen. Virgin means “She who is whole unto herself.” Rastafari faith and Raja (royal) Yoga are based on this concept that, when we embody ourselves as sovereign, with our hearts as the central guiding force, we reach higher (or fuller) states of consciousness.
All of us are leaders. All of us are teachers. All of us here living human lives have learned a lot, and we have valuable gifts to contribute. Accept your leadership. Even if you lead by remaining silent in the background, you are offering something. You play an essential role. We need you.
When we step into groups from a place of personal sovereignty, everyone becomes empowered. Lay down jealousy. Lay down competition. Lay down outworn concepts of independent ownership. Utilize and encourage each other’s gifts, and be receptive to the magic that awaits to be born. Together, we rise. Lift each other up.
We are creators in our lives. Each and every day, we make a brave new world. We cannot afford to stagnate, to lose ourselves to anger or despondency, or to continue to play in the wounds of our ancestors. Acknowledge the wounds, honor them, give them a voice, and continue to innovate. Let us stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.
We hold within us the powers of the sky: infinity. Even though we live in a land of material, Aquarius teaches us that we have access to nonlinear reality. There is an invisible network, a crystalline grid that connects us all, and it’s in direct hookup to Divine consciousness. In this realm, time and space do not exist as separate entities. Anything is possible.
Come together with your allies. Drink from the well of inspiration and future visions. Practice harmony within and without. We can build this world anew, through aligning with a collective mindsphere and taking creative action. Both components are necessary to make change: perceive and act.
How amazing that Rochelle and I had never met one another, yet independently we held such similar dreams. When I found her, I was relieved I wasn’t crazy. The fact that someone else was doing something similar inspired me and spurred me onward. It is our responsibility to one another to make our dreams real.
Could it be? Are our dreams really ours? I have a theory that our individual dreams are actually a part of a much bigger dream. Perhaps the biggest dream of all is dreaming itself through us, beckoning us to bring these dreams onto Earth. Let us have the courage, the faith, and a childlike sense of play as we bring our dreams to fruition and take our true place in this glorious drama of life. Maybe it’s all an experiment. Together we can try. Perhaps we’ll fail. And then I hope we try again, falling deeper in love with life and one another through every attempt.
How does magic happen? Magic is. Everything is magic, always.
I just believe that magic amplifies when we join forces and try to do something cool.