I have a lot of respect for the clinical, scientific fields of psychology and psychiatry. In fact, when I first left school, I went to Uni thinking I’d become a clinical counsellor. . What I found instead was a system (and many practitioners, not all) that was deeply unequipped to heal or empower marginalised people, especially BIPOC. . And so instead I made the decision to publicly practice the intuitive, healing, ‘spiritual’ work I’d been doing privately since childhood. . It wasn’t easy, and like most ‘model minorities’, my parents would be much happier if I were a financial planner or a lawyer. . It’s challenging in the wellness industry itself too, because I treat my work like it has a clinical framework - I’m forever studying, poring through medical journals and history texts and completing Professional Further Education on trauma, child protection, human rights. I regularly get told that this is 'boring', 'unnecessary' and 'low vibrational' by other spiritual and wellness practitioners. . In the beginning, my white, middle-class clients tended to have trouble with my business model too, forever asking ‘why don’t you do tarot readings at my hens party?’ or ‘hey, predict my future!’ because to them, spiritual work is a kind of fun, sparkly escape from reality. Whereas in my culture spirituality, storytelling and healing mahi (work) is part of ‘real’ life as much as eating food or taking a bath. .

I realised: When an auntie needed strength to get out of a violent relationship, she didn’t go to the police that would likely brutalise her and her partner, she’d speak to another wise woman. When a BIPOC girl was struggling with breakouts, she didn’t go to an expensive dermatologist who would tell her that her natural skin was ‘bad’, she’d go to a sis who made her own herbal remedies. When I was processing deep trauma, I found no help in the Western medical model, only harm. However I DID work through and transform into a strong powerful wahine with astrology, tarot, korero (storytelling), romiromi (bodywork) and plant medicine.


When my autistic friend needed to understand his diagnosis in a way that didn’t make him feel like a broken monster, he found solace in the stories of our ancestors who had a respect for every type of brain and person. When I was recovering from disordered eating, I did it through being immersed in artworks by women, of women, of all sizes and shapes and skintones. . This shows you why art, spiritual practice, and storytelling are so powerful and essential in healing injustice especially among marginalised people. When the coloniser-based clinical systems and institutions have historically been unsafe, unwelcoming, unprepared and even dangerous, we have created our own doorways into healing, empowerment, accountability and wisdom. . I totally understand why things like tarot reading or astrology are dismissed; because there are absolutely practitioners out there who make things up on the fly, know nothing of their history or whakapapa, and see these arts as simply another party trick to assert their own specialness. (There are just as many delusional and dangerous 'spiritual' practitioners as there are absolutely bonkers clinical therapists). Which is fine, it can be done very well on that level for fun and special attention if that’s your thing! . But also, for many of us who work through these mediums as a tool of decolonisation, therapy, trauma-healing, this work is deeply sacred and done properly, with ethics, study, education, accountability and cultural respect. . When you engage with a marginalised person’s mahi, whether it’s a tarot reading or a massage or a piece of artwork, you’re doing so much more than buying a nice treat for yourself - you’re becoming part of a revolution.


Every spiritual post you’re going to see this time of year gushes about the ‘Lions Gate Portal’. But what is it really (New Age social media bullshit aside) and what can you take from it?

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In ‘alternative’ New Age Egyptology, there’s a belief that the pyramids of Giza were built to align with the star system Sirius. This isn’t true. They kiiiind of align with Orion, but only if you turn one upside down. I know there’s huge support for the belief that the Pyramids were built by ‘star-people’, and sure! There may well be magic at work.

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But let’s remember that this thesis stemmed from the Western archaeologists who couldn’t believe that brown and black people people (Egyptians, Nubians and other Africans) could possibly have the skill, the refinement, the devotion, to build such advanced monuments when 4000 years later Colonial folk were still pooping in the street and using lead makeup.

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It’s more accurate to say that ancient Egyptians, like other ancient cultures, were deeply inspired and directed by the movements of celestial bodies like stars. Isn’t that the more important thing? That humans NEED to believe, to create something beautiful, to strive for something more? That we are at our best when in reverence to the universe? Hell, the power of people working together for a long-term goal instead of individual competition for instant gratification? Can that not be enough of a lesson?

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Going back to the New Age, the Lions Gate concept also pinches from Chinese numerology (of which 8 is significant), Gnostic concepts of‘ourobouros’ (the snake that eats his own tail, symbolising the endless cycle of death + rebirth) or the infinity symbol, which, when tipped, resembles an 8, as well as the Lions Gate itself from Judaism.

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The Lions Gate, in Jerusalem, marks the entry point to‘Via Dolorosa’, the Way of Sorrrows, a pilgrimage path marking Jesus’ journey to crucifixion.

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Put all these together, add some New Age spirituality that never minded borrowing the good bits from other cultures + whitewashing them to be more sparkly, and you got yourself the Lions Gate 8/8 Portal of the 8th of August.

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Look. I’m not saying that the Lions Gate isn’t or can’t be a significant moment, especially with so many people focusing their energy on it. Anything where humans join in communion opens doorways to really magical experiences.

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But I’m saying that the point isn’t a window through which someone’s gonna hand you a million dollars. Those core beliefs hold real TRUTH, especially about inspiration, death/rebirth, the need for regeneration of outdated systems, about humanity + what an outlandish, WONDERFUL gift we have, calling Earth our temporary home as we spin through the cosmos, other souls alongside us.



I'm seeing this a lot, so just quickly:


The term ‘political correctness’, for what it’s worth, is never used with accuracy or as some kind of neutral observation that a person is, say, very adept to the political machinations of their country. Instead it’s employed as a tool of dismissal, to suggest that a person is rigid, boring or cowardly. And this is bizarre! Because when we break this term down into its literal state, what is ‘correct’, aka what is ‘normal’, politically, are the political systems that have been in place and supported by a majority for hundreds of years.


In Australia, for example, when for a century and a half or longer, our political system was proudly built on hegemony (that is, dominance over BIPOC), Imperialism and the resultant policies of White Australia et al; and from this, the public dog-whistling of our powerful leaders against all sorts of vulnerable populations from refugees to Aboriginal people - to be ‘politically correct’ here means to agree with and uphold those harmful, outdated, racist values. If you are a racist comedian, or a sexist media executive, or a HR manager who discriminates, or a politician who makes provably incorrect public statements about groups of people (or if you defend them because they allow you to feel secure and safe in your own actions) - you ARE legally, financially, politically, supported by the structures that are already in place. You aren’t an outlier or someone breaching some brave new level of honesty. You are, in effect, being the stereotypical ‘undergrown bully supported by his bigger mates’ or perhaps even the simpering bystander.


To challenge the hegemonic powers and structures in place, that is, to demand inclusivity and social justice, to call out ingrained toxic ideologies whether in our language, our hiring policies or our laws - that challenges the very definition of what most of us understand ‘political correctness’ to be. It can be dangerous to employment and thus socioeconomic stability, it can threaten physical and emotional safety, it requires concerted effort, planning, re-learning and hard graft.


There is nothing more inaccurate and embarrassing than someone attempting to dismiss an activist, hard worker and empowering ally as ‘politically correct’ or ‘PC’. To be ‘correct’, is to do what is already expected or acceptable. And if the powers that be, create expectations and accept cruelty, discrimination and racism - then to go along with that simply because you’re afraid of a little work, education and effort, is cowardly and infantile.


© 2019 by Kelsey Avalon. All Rights Reserved. All medical, financial and legal enquiries must be directed to your prescribing medical health professional or legal representative.