Back in January, I decided 2018 would be an input year.
Meaning: no wild creations, no big outward movements, no launches of public projects. Instead: receptivity, deep listening, reading, feeling, asking questions, being open to answers.
A slow, deep inhale.
A time to draw energy to me, to focus inwards, to take stock, to recalibrate.
What has emerged, painstakingly slowly, is that I am ready for a big shift. Ready for change. To embody change.
To surrender to the natural process of skin-shedding, and become something new.
This year – or rather, since last October – I have been feeling what I have read as an intense call to ‘step up’. I did not know exactly what ‘stepping up’ meant – only that I had a lot to learn, a lot to experiment with, and a lot to reimagine about the way I was living my life and specifically, the way I was working. I knew that 2018 was to mark a big shift for in the ways that I choose to show up in this world, the places I choose to spend my energy, the people I work alongside, the outward expressions of my self through art and work.
For the past six months, I’ve been grappling, sometimes publicly, mostly privately, with the entity that is Little Red Tarot. By this I mean specifically this blog – and by that I mean all that is written here, the writers whose voices give it shape and texture, the community that surrounds it, those folks who come here regularly for connection and community and to feel that they – that you – are among friends, among folks who ‘get it’. This body of work has been a labour of love for seven and a half tumultuous, beautiful years of my life. During this time I have processed lost love, moved house countless times through four totally different regions. I have been deeply nourished by the community surrounding this site, by the many writers who have bared their souls here, or shared wisdom. The sense of connectedness LRT has given me – and many of you, I know – has been profound and formative for me. My gratitude is truly boundless.
And, because LRT is the place where I show up, the space in which I express myself and share my journey the most consistently and openly, I have been working on the assumption that LRT is a core part of this evolution. That if I was to grow and change, so too would LRT, with me. Anyone who has been hanging out with me this year, or who has been following my My Business is a Garden posts here on LRT, will know that I’ve been struggling with disentangling my own identity from that of my work.
Starting a blog/online platform and then years later realising it’s become completely wound up in one’s own identity (and proceeding to have a crisis about it) is a modern day cliche, I know. And there are, I know, healthy ways to both maintain the platform as a site of self-expression and disentangle ones own identity from it. I’ve thought and felt a heck of a lot about this!
Honestly, I’m not sure right now who I might be without this site as my compass.
And I’m ready to find out.
For me, that’s going to involve removing myself from this platform, so I can start over, anew.
In a sense, I’ve made LRT the leader of my own change.
Rather than beginning with my own self, each time I’ve made a life decision in recent years, I began with LRT. This year I have been asking: What does this site need, this community? And how can I change or step up in order to provide that? I have had an overwhelming sense of LRT needing me to be and do certain things, and my work this year has been focused on figuring that out, with the goal of helping LRT to become what it needs to become. I’ve started to recognise this as a form of abdication – abdication of my accountability to my self and my desire.
In 2018 I have worked with two coaches, a therapist, and through several online and IRL programmes. I have filled my notebooks many times over with angst-ridden journalling, mind-maps and plans, interrogations of my skills and the limits of my knowledge and experience, tough talk on allyship and so much writing on interpretations of ‘leadership’. I have been interpreting my call to step up as part of LRT’s potential as a community hub, as a directive to grow LRT, to expand, restructure, develop. The number of restructures I have dreamed up is…many. (And my friends are probably sick of hearing about it.) This work has been fascinating, exciting, scary and fun.
What I didn’t manage to do, throughout all of this time, was connect to my own desire.
In the past weeks, though, I’ve started to learn how to do that.
I recognise parts of myself that are going unexplored. Creative parts of me that are calling out for attention, ideas and urges that I currently don’t have time for, or don’t make time for. My lifetime love of art, poetry, music, crafting, zine-making and more have all gone neglected, newer loves like spellcraft, folklore and plant magic remain un-delved, surface interests, whilst I poured heart and soul into this huge other entity. And after years spent largely online, I’m longing to work with my hands again, and open up spacious time in my days and weeks for the next things to move in. Aside from the hobbies, there are projects rising on my mind’s horizon, ideas glimmering in the cave of my gut. I don’t know what they will become yet, but I need to give them space to come forward.
I also know that I am growing as an activist, as a holder of radical space. I’ve made commitment to myself this year about becoming a better ally and diving deeper into systemic oppression and the alternative worlds we have the power to create. I know that this next phase will involve community in some way. I know that it will centre on spirituality. I’m leaning into questions and ideas about intimacy, emergent strategy, trying out different ways of being in conversation and collaboration. There is a small and exciting project happening with a few of my witchy/queer peers. There are seeds of simple, early-stage collaborations being sown. I talked earlier this year about community projects – but I think should not have been so hasty to share then. Since then, my ideas have morphed and shifted, evolved into different shapes. I’m still giving them space and don’t yet know what they are going to become.
“That’s nice Beth, but what’s actually happening?”
Ah right. Yes.
Little Red Tarot – as in, the blog and community space – will wind down on 31st October.
The entire contents of this blog will move to its own dedicated space, to be available for all to read, stored and archived accessibly, for as long as each writer is happy for their work to remain there. No new articles will be published. The archive will have full author pages with links and info to follow and support each writer elsewhere on the web, and the wonderful columns they have shared will be properly honoured with well-organised pages. I intend for the archive site to feel like a big, beautiful coffee-table book, free for anyone to dip into and find insight and inspiration at any time, as well as helping folks discover the rad spiritual writers who have shared here over the years.
The shop will remain. The Little Red Tarot Shop is my livelihood, my bread and butter. The shop is another endeavour I wish to tend – its potential social mission has been languishing in journals and there are many systems that are clunky and need sorting out. The shop has always felt like a side-project, that day-job that supports me to do the ‘bigger’ thing. In letting LRT go, I’m excited to find the space and time to dive into my shop, my material support system, and give it the kind of attention it needs.
I’m not sure what will happen to the courses just yet. Currently, they provide the income for the blog, paying the writers, our editor Tango, and various tech and admin costs – and for tax reasons to boring to explain, they are an immense headache. I’m looking forward to revisiting these works and seeing how they will fit into the future of my work. If you’re a student on either of these courses, don’t worry – you will not lose access to the material you have purchased.
As for the newsletter: there will no longer be a LRT newsletter, but if you’re on the Bits & Bobs List, you’ll be invited to join a new mailing list soon. Writing the LRT newsletter has been a source of joy in my life, the conversations and shared moments that have arisen from those weekly-ish missives for at least four year have reminded me over and over why I show up to my computer each day, and what brilliant, gorgeous people are out there, doing their own magical things and going on their own journeys. So whilst I am winding down work that does not feel part of my next iteration, currently I do intend to continue writing a newsletter of some sort. These email conversations are too precious to me.
There are other conversations to be had. Over the course of this year I’ve made a series of promises, gotten lots of you excited about potential projects I’ve hinted at. I intend to be accountable to all of this – and to you – and to share plenty of information here over the coming months. Stated intentions to create new community spaces and also to be holding and taking part in difficult conversations about oppression and privilege are still really present in my mind. Again, it’s because I want to honour and do the slow and difficult work this entails that I feel such a need to really make space, first.
Never in my life have I come to appreciate the meaning of slowness and space, as much as I have done this year.
Never before have I allowed myself to sit with ideas, questions, feelings, for longer than a few days, before leaping to fiery, air-led action.
Three years, four months ago, I performed a ritual in upstate New York, under the new moon in Aries, to honour a change in myself. I wanted to consciously move from that fiery go-go-go energy, that joyful yet totally unsustainable “has-idea-does-thing-has-next-idea-does-next-thing” cycle in which I had spent my whole adult life, towards something more grounded, slower, more conscious, more connected, and more solid. That ritual took me north to the Isle of Skye for a breakdown of sorts, landing me here in Mid-Wales last August. Since then, I’ve been on a year-long exploration of what word like roots, and nourishment, and connection, and even living, can actually mean. I’m so, so ready to start living into these lessons – to do this, I need to create a big space.
So that’s what I’m doing.
There are more thoughts I wish to share. I want to celebrate and honour each of the writers who has shared their soul here. I want to write more about anticapitalist and anti-oppressive business practice. I want to write more about desire, integrity, and truth. I also want to name and own the social capital that LRT has given me. This is something I am thinking a lot about. Owning this space has benefitted me in so many ways and my intention is to be accountable to this, and act responsibly as I wind things down. These pieces will be shared on the blog as they emerge.
Before Little Red Tarot ends on 31st October, we will continue to publish the wonderful mix of columns, guest posts and my own personal ramblings that we always have. I will work hard to honour this ending and express my deep gratitude to you all, for being part of this. Further updates will come via this blog and the Bits & Bobs newsletter.
For now, thank you for reading. It feels good to be getting this message out of my head and into the world.
Massive huge love,
Update: LRT ending: Some questions & answers.