Before we jump in, this fall we have openings for private coaching! One of the options is for you to work privately with me where I guide you through The Daring Way, the methodology based on the research of Brené Brown. This curriculum teaches shame resilience, courage building, and vulnerability. If you’ve been to therapy, read *all* the books, and want a HOW TO for your life, read more and fill out the application HERE.
So far this year we’ve explored podcast themes on mental health, spirituality and creativity, and recently self-care. This week’s guest, Carmen Spagnola can speak on all three topics. She joins me for an enlightenring conversation about spiritually, witchcraft, and developing intuition as forms of self-care.
Carmen Spagnola is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef turned trauma recovery practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist, and kitchen witch. She is author of The Spirited Kitchen: Recipes & Rituals for the Wheel of the Year, host of The Numinous Podcast, and founder of The Numinous Network.
- The collective consciousness of witchcraft, being an animist, and what it means to be a feminist witch (7:55)
- Folk magic: how it is incorporated and ‘woven into everyday life’ (13:28)
- Nature-based spirituality, wilderness quests, and rites of passage (25:50)
- How to develop intuition from a trauma-informed attachment perspective (36:36)
You know how I love a good personal development book, right? I’ve compiled a list of book recommendations, as mentioned in past episodes. Check out these amazing book recommendations here. Happy reading!
Carmen Spagnola is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef turned trauma recovery practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist, and kitchen witch. She is author of The Spirited Kitchen: Recipes & Rituals for the Wheel of the Year, host of The Numinous Podcast, and founder of The Numinous Network, an online learning and support portal for people healing from trauma through a cross-pollination of somatics, Attachment Theory, and nature-based spirituality.
Hey there, Make Some Noise listeners. This fall, we have openings for private coaching. And one of the options is for you to work with me privately where I guide you through the Daring Way, which is the methodology based on the research of Brené Brown. That curriculum teaches shame, resilience, courage, building and vulnerability. So for instance, if you've been to therapy and you want a how-to, or maybe you listen to the podcast, you listen to other people's podcasts, or read all the personal development books, and you want to learn how to apply all of the things that you love hearing about and learning about into your life. Head on over to AndreaOwen.com/coaching where you can read more about that particular offer and fill out an application.
Witches have a responsibility within their communities for collective care, but they also have a political role. In that role they are resisting tyranny in all forms using means both tangible and magical. So they are organizing, they are healers, they are midwives and doulas and death midwives and medicine people herbalists, etc. But they also are advocates, they’re healer advocates, they are protectors of the commons, and they take that role very seriously.
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 475 with guest Carmen Spangola.
Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast, your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. Are you ready? Let's go.
Hey everybody! What…that was, that was excited and high pitch, wasn't it? Hey, everybody. That was my radio voice. Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of the podcast. That is a little bit more professional. I am so glad that you're here per usual, I'm super glad that you're here. I have been head down in search of a tattoo artist. Has anyone ever been through that journey? I have two tattoos. They're both words. And ones on my foot. Hurt like a bitch. Hurt so bad. And one on my arm and the one on my arm I got in 2016 and just never finished it. It was supposed to be bigger than it was and I ended up chickening out with the design. And that tattoo artists was fantastic. She's all the way in Charlotte, which is like a two-hour drive for me. So I've been looking for one that's within a, you know, 30-45 minute vicinity of me? Oh my gosh, it is. It is like, you know, I feel like it's like finding a life partner. Looking at their art and do I like their style. Anyway, I didn't realize it was gonna be such a chore to find this person. If you're thinking about messaging me with your person, thank you, as long as they're within, you know, Greensboro triad area, or I'll go to Charlotte or Raleigh, Durham. Maybe I'd rather not go that far. But anyway, that's what's been preoccupy my time for the last couple of weeks. And then to find out like the good ones, they're booked for months in advance, which is understandable. It's very understandable. I guess people are catching up on their tattoos. Since we were all shut down for the pandemic. I don't know. Maybe this is a regular thing that happens. But I get all excited and I'm like, narrowing it down. I have three people. And I go to look at their, you know, their little link and they're like, we're booking for January. And I'm looking at this in the beginning of September. So anyway, that's what I've been doing lately. How have you been?
Again, I'm really excited to introduce you to today's guest. I have been following her work for what feels like an eternity. I'm just so drawn to it. And we're talking about self-care. But really her episode could go in so many of the themes. And let me tell you a little bit about her. Carmen Spagnola is elite Cordon Bleu trained chef turned trauma recovery practitioner, clinical hypnotherapist and Kitchen Witch. She is the author of The Spirited Kitchen: Recipes and Rituals for the Wheel of the Year. She's the host of the Numinous Podcast and founder of the Numinous Network, an online learning and support portal for people healing from trauma through a cross pollination of somatics, attachment theory, and nature-based spirituality. So without further ado, everyone, here is Carmen.
Carmen, thank you so much for being here.
Oh, it's an honor.
I am so excited to talk to you. Before we started recording, I was telling you how long I've been following your work and then I saw that you had written a book and I was like, I'm gonna send her an invitation and here we go. So exciting.
I have told my audience that I mean, this was years ago that I was interested in witchcraft, and was really kind of trying to find my way. And luckily, this was before it got really popular and kind of, you know, took over social media. But I will admit that I do think that I was in a better place mentally and this was long before COVID. When I was doing these rituals and things like that, and I'm ready to get back in it and I'm excited because now I have your book and I love how simple a lot of these rituals are like, you don't need to have like 17 different ingredients and like, you know, get a crow's feather from a specific age of a craft.
You don't have to memorize lines and lines, right, of another other language. Yeah, yeah.
But I want to…I have a lot of questions I want to jump in right away. And, actually, I'm going to start with reading an excerpt from your book. It's the title of it is a word on witchcraft. And it's so good. I wish I could read the whole thing but you know, time and probably copyright, so I'm gonna keep it short. And it's towards the end. And you say, “if resisting oppression, reclaiming my body as my own, praying to my ancestor tree, fighting for collective liberation, and organizing around a culture of care and dignity for all makes me a witch, my friend, I am that.” And then the very last sentence, you say, “…and let's not allow anyone to shame us or identities, our bodies or our cultures ever again”. And that comes after kind of a short history of not just witchcraft, but kind of the damnification, if you will, of witchcraft. So can you expand on that a little bit in your own words?
For sure, yeah, actually, even hearing you read that back to me, I kind of welled up with a bit of emotion. I feel that sort of fighting spirit rise up in me. That's right. And I sort of hear what you're saying, or behind what you're saying about how popular it is on Instagram. I actually think that what we currently are calling witchcraft is going to deepen over the next decade to what it is underneath, which I believe we would just call animism. So all witches are animus even though not all animus would call themselves witches.
That was one of my questions is can you explain what that is?
Sure. Yeah, well, so animism has two parts. For me, putting it really simply, the first part is that we will call it the insoulment of the world is a core part of our spirituality. So insoulment, meaning that everything has its own soul, humans, animals, rocks, plants, etc. The second part of it is that we live in a participatory universe. So as much as I'm aware of my dog, she's aware of me. As much as I'm aware of the carrot that I've just pulled from the garden, it is aware. And it may not be consciousness, quote, unquote, but it's an awareness, you know, we science tells us that plants are reacting to the humans that they live with in homes and things like that. And so an animus proceeds as though this is a participatory universe with everything as aware of us as we are of it and seeking us in the same way we are seeking the greater than human.
So that I think is where the current kind of adolescence of this phase of collective consciousness around the witchcraft is going. I think it's going to mature into that. When I think about what a witch really is, if I were to encapsulate that essay or word on witchcraft, I would say, you know, witches of course, have a responsibility within their communities for collective care, but they also have a political role. And in that role, they are resisting tyranny in all forms using means both tangible and magical. So they are organizing, they are healers, they are midwives and doulas and death midwives and, you know, medicine people, herbalist, etc. But they also are advocates. They're healer advocates, they are protectors of the commons, and they take that role very seriously. So they're not just getting together to do magic for personal gain or edification. They're doing it for collective well-being.
So I take that particular piece as my awakening into my own identity as a witch. I read Sylvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch and was like, oh, I can really embrace not just feminism but feminist witch and take that on as an identity and proudly.
So when was that book published? Don't you talk about that in there? Talk about reading her book.
Oh, published was it like 2009 or something like that.
It wasn’t that long ago?
Like 25 years or anything? No. Okay, classic though, right? I think it seems like even more of a classic because, I will say it's the book that probably took me the longest to ever get through. You know, it's not a very thick book. But if you're familiar with Richard Tarnas’s work if your listeners know, Cosmos and Psyche, which is like a really big, thick book on psychological astrology, it's like one of those classics of a book where you're like, whoa, yeah, that was like a big book and took a long time to get through. Whereas Caliban and the Witch is like, a fraction of the size, but it took me way longer because it's so dense, and every page, you're just like, ah, fuck, that's what the witch were. That's how it's showing up in me. Oh, that's patriarchy again. Oh, that's white supremacy culture. Oh, I see what a witch really is now and who has been persecuted because they are liberatory figures of their time.
Okay, that reminds me of women who run with the wolves. I felt like every paragraph could have been a thesis.
And when that you should go back and read again, because you'll understand it better. 5, 10 years later, it's actually been at least five or six years since I've read Women Who Run With the Wolves and I remember getting it like, maybe in the early 2000s or something like that. When looking back I think I was probably a little young for it like that. The themes really appealed to me, but like did I take it in?
Yeah, maybe subconscious surface level?
Yeah, we're like it's in there. And I was I was drawn but you know, the it didn't click for me. By the time I read Caliban and the Witch, and I was around 40 or so. It really clicked.
Yeah. Okay, well, now I'm gonna have to put that one on my list too.
And find a book club or a support group. Because honestly, every other page you're like, god dammit, like so mad. Patriarchy. Fuck. Yeah. Yeah, I actually have a couples therapist, if you're in partnership, because okay, like no notice how patriarchy shows up and like, parenting, partnering institutions education, like you're just like, god dammit. And so I…
It's like the air we breathe.
We just have been noticing water in which we swim. Totally. And so yeah, it's like, maybe you need therapy. And also like the people around you need to like connect and support each other while you like go through rage. But it's very validating to connect the dots, right? It's like looking up at the night sky and you see all these stars. And then that feeling when you see the Big Dipper, and you're like, ah, connection. Like I can locate myself. It's familiar. I understand. I see a pattern in all this vastness. That's what it's like when you read a book like Caliban and the Witch. It's like a big dipper.
We'll put that one in the in the show notes, too. It's on that same topic, can you talk a little more about folk magic and how it is incorporated and kind of quote unquote, woven into everyday life?
Yeah, well, folk magic, you can almost when you think of folk magic, in contrast to that, you can think of high magic. So when we think of high magic, we're talking about ceremonial magic, we're talking about, you know, rites. R-I-T-E-S, where it's like, this is you know, here's how we cast a circle. This is we're gonna do you know, whatever, there's, you know, it's, it's the Golden Dawn. It's these secret societies, it's mystery schools, that kind of stuff, where you get initiated into a hierarchy really have, you know, initiate to adapt. Go through different practices, and you demonstrate that you have knowledge and skill.
High magic is great. It has its own place, but folk magic is what we regular folks do. Like don't have a formal coven. And you know, we're just kind of muddling through. Hey, maybe you're lucky and you had it, you know, an auntie or grandma or an uncle who was like, into this kind of stuff. That's great if you have somebody who's passed it down through families. But most of us are kind of looking around maybe you've come into the world like myself, I've always had a highly developed spiritual yearning, but nobody else around me really. Yeah, man. And…
Yeah now we have the internet.
Yeah, no internet when I was you know, growing up in the 70s 80s 90s it was like we had books on lucid dreaming and crystal shops and things like that. Tarot cards exactly. You take some courses you get some books. So folk magic is the magic of your tools, you know? Like a cauldron. What is the cauldron but a pot on a stove. You know, what is a chalice but a very special vessel for liquids that are important to you, you know. What is an athame but just a knife, you know. So all of these tools that we associate with high magic as these like talismanic properties, we look around most people in like every culture of the world. They related to the more than human forces through their everyday tools, baskets, ovens, those kinds of things.
So folk magic is about what the spiritual significance of your sacred grains of your ancestors were, you know, What were the foods that sustained them through good times and bad? You know, what were what were the foods of their celebratory times? Why did they have the crafts that they had,. You know, when I one of my favorite things is wheat weaving and when you dig into the history of like, why did they have corn mothers? And you know, why did they make all these beautiful things out of wheat? Well, it's because they believe the spirit of the grain, as they were harvesting would move through the field jumping from stock to stock until finally the very last stalks of wheat would be harvested and they were thought to contain the essence, the spiritual sustenance, and all the good fortune for the future harvest in those last stalks. So of course, if they're going to save the best seed, or they're going to save seed that's going to be with a plant next year, they would weave it into these beautiful ornaments and they would turn them into sort of grain mothers that they would hang almost like an angel on top of the tree. You would have like this grandmother of the kayak, the old woman of winter holding the hopes and the most treasured items of your community, which is seed. Yeah, of course, they're making these ornamentations and beautiful rituals to it.
So folk magic, is born of need. It comes from a time and a place and a people. And it's usually something that is an embellishment or an honoring or an offering to the greater than human forces that are saying like, thank you for blessing us with good health and good fortune, or if there's been misfortune, it's an offering to say, oh, we’re tracking that you are unhappy, greater forces, can we, you know, petition to you by making this special bread or this cake or, you know, making an offering on this particular lunation or this month?
Interesting. Okay, so would it also be considered, I'm trying to think of like people's everyday lives and thinking about my life. So I have a rosary that was my great grandmother's on my father's side and it's hanging in my office. And I also have a plate that was glued back together, it must have been dropped and was broken, that was my mother's mother, and she died 12 years before I was even born. I never got to meet her. And my mom was like, why do you want this want this plate it's broken and glued back together. I'm like, I don't have anything of hers. Like I want…there's one photograph of her. So I like to have it. The way I look at it is it's not just like an item. Like, I look at it as happiness in my home where I'm raising my own children, or I'm taking care of my family, as my grandmother's did before me, it's a way to honor them, even though I never met these women. So is that kind of what you're talking about?
Absolutely. Okay. Absolutely. When we're talking about folk magic, we are you know, humans of all cultures assign significance and meaning we're meaning making love. Right? We love it. Exactly. And so the layer that we're adding with magic is perhaps we can influence this meaning that we're making. Perhaps we can use it to benefit us or protect our family or keep us healthy, or stay in good contact with our angelic ancestors who might be helping us. So the magic is that you believe that you are still in relationship somehow with this ancestor through this artifact. And of course you are. Of course you are and of course, that carries a certain kind of charge and a certain kind of meaning, which is slightly different from pictures of them, or stories about them. You know, magical objects are one of the ways that I think the most easy and accessible way to bring alive the magic of every day and food and then of course, you know, times of year and celebrations and things like that. But yeah, it's the spiritual significance. We assign where the magic comes from.
Okay, okay. Trying to make sure I was doing it right.
That's what's so great about folk magic, there is no wrong way to do it. And as Sophie Macklin, who's a colleague and teacher of mine, she was the first reader of my book. She says, like, there is no pristine prior tradition. So if you're thinking, oh, you know, what, what was the magic of my lineage and you don't know maybe because you're you, no one ever told you and your family or you were immigrants, or you were adopted or something like that, it really doesn't matter. The thing that makes it folk is that it's like, of the people and of the land and it emerges from that time and place. So there isn't some pristine prior tradition, where it's like, oh, yes, I had a witch in my lineage. It's like, well, everybody's like a little bit, you know, some people grow massive vegetables, other people can sing really beautifully. Some people can, you know, are great at bird calling, and bird language. Like, these are all different forms. That folk magic, if you were to add the layer of recognizing the participatory nature of the universe. Now, it's just gone from like a tradition to magic.
Maybe that's why I'm so good at growing plants. For sure. It's so funny, because I used to not be good and I used to say I had a black thumb. And then I realized the trick. And people laugh so hard when they come to my house, and they asked me, I've actually cut down and given a lot away, because it's just so much work. They've asked me like, how do you do it? And I said, you just have to give a shit. Like you have to… And luckily, we have the internet and you can find out like what the best soil is for this kind of plant and what kind of light and how much water. And I have plants… I have a fiddle big that is so big and people are like, oh my God, there's so there's such divas are so hard to grow. And I'm like, I cannot get it to stop growing it's gigantic thing with a plant. It's I had to split it into and it's just, maybe there's something to this. Like I don’t know.
Attunement. That's so much of what magic is about. Right. It's attunement and having a relationship with the greater than human is like a courtship riight? So you are courting the divine through your plants, just a tuning paying attention, sort of like how would I woo them? How would I give them what they need? And like, how good does it feel to see them thriving. So you're in this reciprocal relationship with the other than human, it's not just extractive it isn't just cast this spell or grow this thing for prosperity and abundance that can be part of it for sure. But that only flows from your reciprocal relationship with the other than human and that you have courted them. And you are, you're like, how can I charm them? How can I show them that? I love them? How can I delight them?
I use my intuition to water them as well.
Perfect. Yeah, I know that sounds totally… I use my pendulum to decide where I'm going to put plants in my garden. Oh, wow. Oh, yeah, 100%.
I see that is very woowoo. But like using my intuition to know when to water a plant and sending it sometimes it's obvious like you can tell by the way the leaves look, but sometimes I'll walk by and I'll just be like, this one needs to be watered and I'm running or anything. Yeah, just no relationship. Never looked at it that way. But thank you.
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What is a wilderness quest guide?
Oh, great question. So I trained two different kinds of training. So one was I went out on a quest, which is where you go out into nature as minimally as possible. So I went out with a tarp, sleeping bag and some water and just fasted for four days. And that was with a guide. Yeah, I did that in Death Valley. I've done that a couple of times. And then like here in BC, where I'm from and from I've gone several times. And so then eventually I was like, I got the message of like you should be taking people out to do their fast. And so I apprenticed with my quest guide who had taken us out. And he was, you know, teaching us to a certain degree like how to keep people safe, fasting in the solo in the wilderness for four days. That was certainly part of it. But mostly it was about the spiritual initiation of leaving your known reality and going out fairly naked, and embedding yourself in nature. And I think that's a really important developmental task for those of us who like growing up in the western world in the modern day. I think any kind of healing really requires this developmental piece. Like if you can't go out into nature and embed yourself and learn how to feel safe. And, and part of the ecosystem, the family of things, as Mary Oliver put it, I think any other kind of healing is, is happening on a bit of a shaky foundation.
The second kind of training, I then did those I wanted to be able to lead quests in my home bio region, British Columbia, which has actually many different bio regions, but I grew up as like a sea and mountain kind of person. And so then I went out to the mountains to a guide outfitter who leads, hunting trips, and nature photography trips, and all those kinds of things. And one of the things they offered was training to become an Outback guide on pack horses. And so that was interesting, because it was not spiritual at all and I was trying to explain to them what I was doing. And the guy was like, well, what do you mean spiritual laws, law of nature is life or death?
Do you know how to live like a horse like?
Well, that was exactly that was day one. Actually, within half an hour we were we weren't even shoeing a horse. Shoeing a horse and learning how to, you know, pack them, ride them for eight hours, nine hours, and then cook meals for the guests and that kind of stuff. So I had these like two kind of very different trainings, and I integrated them into one.
But of course, the piece that was missing for me, because a lot of the way that quests have been relayed in Western culture is through the idea of the monomyth. And like, hey, I love Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey, very, you know, transformative and influential for me as an adolescent. But as you mature, you're like, hey, what about the non, you know, sis, white, heroic male kind of evil? Like, I don't, that's not. So the piece that was really missing for me was community and witnessing. And kind of recognizing, like, nobody can go out on your quest without somebody holding it down at home without resources or support. And so yeah, that's the word. So the way that I do it is like people have quite a we spend a year together. And so yes, people go out for like 12 days, and it's four days of teaching four days of solo on the mountain, four days of incorporation when you get back, but then we continue for a year. And the question every season is so how is your quest unfolding now? And help people go back because it's, you know, the biggest challenge when you have a spiritually transformative experience and numinous experience in your life is going back to the world changed, when nothing and no one else has changed. And the feeling of alienation that can come up. Like how do you hold the vision that you receive? How do you hold the spiritual maturation that you did when other people are not enjoying that you
We call it reentry.
Yeah, that's exactly what…as we just call it the return. And it's like, that's really challenging. And so you do need to have a community that can remember your story, holds your hold your vision for you, when you forget, because you, you know, you come off those experiences having this very profound sense of remembering the radiance of who you really are and what you're meant to contribute. And it sounds like a spiritual experience. It's 100% of spiritual experience, even the folks who have come who would they have been a little more like, I'm going to go out and conquer nature, I'm going to prove that I can survive.
That sounds very American.
You know, that that's, that's kind of like an archetype that shows up. And we dispel that pretty quickly that this is very much about becoming your ecosystemic self. The ecological self, the self that's woven into all things and is in relationship with all things. And so we, you don't just go and then like, leave and take off. It's like, nope. Now we're gonna keep co regulating, we're gonna keep, you know, witnessing each other and stay in relationships so that we can support change at a communal level. The quest isn't for you, the quest is for your people. And so if you go back home, and you're changed, and they're not acknowledging it, you need support to help bring your quest to your people, if they're not receiving it. Do you?
Do you read these anymore?
Yeah, actually,I didn't for COVID, I had to cancel one. But the next one is going to be spring 2023 and very soon, I'll be putting up an application process. But ideally, people would have gotten some of the teachings already I have them like we've been doing them during COVID online in my numinous network. So there's like a whole course that you could take to learn all about, we work through introductory, yeah, we work through human development through the four seasons model. So if you would learn about what's the spiritual developmental task for summer, fall, winter, spring, and then it'll be more like a refresher when you can go out so yeah, hopefully, there'll be 68 people who will come and go on quest with me on the horses and take us up to a beautiful spot in the caribou Colton.
And I've been I haven't been to BC since I was nine. But I do remember being just stunned at how beautiful it was even at such a young age.
Oh, yeah, out there. And the way the kind of route that you have to take because there's like quite a lot of driving. Like we I have to, we really help you, you know, we connect you with your cohort, so you can get up there because it's your driving out to the middle… You know, it's 45 minutes, the last little bit of it is like 45 minutes down a dirt road. So it takes a while to get there and you go through like five different… You go from like maritime, like the sea, to the desert grasslands, to the alpine glaciers, you know, all in like, one to 10 hour trip. That's exactly what it's like, in one day, it's very cool.
It sounds a little bit but this is on a much smaller scale and different my friend Nicole, she was on my podcast and she talked about it. She does those ultra-marathons or like the 100 mile races like out in the wilderness. But when she talks about them, she can like almost talk anyone into like doing one with her. Like she talks about it like it's a spiritual experience and like the things that you go through to get through it and she never looks at it like as she wants to win. For her it's the experience of doing it and and being with nature and really being with your body and, it just is incredible and she loses a toenail like every time she does one.
Yeah, I mean, nations are like that, right? And every rite of passage is a sacred and spiritual experience, even if that's not someone's language, even you know, but they all are about sort of the miracle and wonder of humans going through like playing out our human drama. Yeah, really. It's so poignant. And I love poignance myself. So like, I can see where she's coming from that it's like absolutely exhilarating, even though it's also the most challenging thing you've ever done and that kind of pain beauty, it's just like, oh my god. I'm going through the artist thing. Why did I do this to myself and like, you can feel sorry for yourself and then all of a sudden you have this like, absolutely sacred encounter with like a fly or something that like comes to you at the right moment.
You're on the trail like that talks about is like these people who just like she talks about them, like they saved her life, you know, just the strangers that volunteer you know, 48 hours of their time.
For sure. I'm sure it restores your faith, you know, in humanity, and that's what we're all trying to do. Like having encounters with the numinous, if we can let go to the autonomic nervous system for a second when we think about like the vagus nerve and our social engagement, nervous system, experiences of awe have this very interesting effect on our nervous system that's different from love, that's different from friendship. When we experience awe, it triggers our social engagement nervous system, and the sense of being infolded into something greater than ourselves, and that stimulates pro social behavior. In other words, it's like, ohmy gosh, you know, the universe is so big and miraculous, and I'm so small, and I want to collaborate with it. And I don't expect anything in return. Which is different than say, you know, love or friendship. You know, most relationships have a reciprocity challenge, where it's like, oh, I'm willing to give and give and give to a certain point, and then I want to receive back. But when we experience or when we experience encounters with the sacred, we feel enveloped and infolded, and we want to collaborate, and we don't expect to get what we want. You know, that's, that's not what it's about. It's like we feel belonging in that participatory universe. So that is exactly what quest brings out. It's like, it's just, it's a feeling like man letter. It's so much more than personal accomplishment. It's the experience over and over again of transcendence when you're like, oh my God the sun, oh my God this tree, oh my God those birds.
Dew on the ground in the morning. Yeah. Oh, god, that's so fascinating. I could listen to you talk about that all day. Okay, I want to slightly shift gears. And let's talk about intuition for a moment. And how can the people listening, develop their intuition from what you call a trauma informed attachment perspective? You know, I'm assuming you didn't come up with that term but just I know that that's very important in the in the work that you do.
Absolutely. Well, one of the things I say when we talk about trauma informed what is really important there's we recognize we have choice, we have agency, we have voice. So we're never pushing through signs of distress. So if there was ever a situation, let's say this is actually this just came up in the network. Somebody was asking a question at one of my AMA's may ask me anything things, numinous tutorial, she was like, you know, I had a really scary experience with Tarot. what would be your suggestion for like, should I get back into it since it seems like such a foundational skill? Or, you know, how can I get over this bad experience I had. And I was like, you know, thinking, you know, the thing is, from a trauma informed perspective, why do you need to? You don't have to get over it. There is like nothing so fundamental in your spiritual or intuitive development that you should be pushing through that signal within you. That's like, I'm actually not tracking safeness right now I'm feeling a lot of stress. That's like absolutely unnecessary.
So any kind of modality where you feel like you have to know it, or you are, you know, not up to snuff is that's bunk. So from a trauma informed perspective, we are learning how to land a sense of safeness in our bodies. And the thing about the attachment orientation in the somatic orientation with intuition is that whatever your attachment style is, in your human relationships, it's going to show up in your relationship with spirit. Maybe not necessarily the same. What we know about attachment styles is they're not fixed, right? They can change over time and it really depends on the relationship and the power and rank and privilege and all of that. But generally, we'll all have a bit of a set point maybe a bit more anxious or a bit more avoidant.
I'm going to stop you for a second because I I'm pretty sure my audience knows that. And I did have some… I've had a couple of therapists on who've talked about attachment styles, but just like quick rundown, the attachment styles are anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, isn't there secure, and then combination?
Yeah, exactly. The combination would be called disorganized, where you're running disorganized bit, a bit anxious and a bit. Avoidant kind of at the same time, that's exactly right. And so each of those have a particular somatic or like body-based experience, you know. To be more avoidant, your nervous system is shaped in a certain kind of way and if you're anxious, it's shaped a bit differently. And that shows up in your relationship with spirit. So when I'm working with intuition, I'm asking people to first start close in where it's very easy. So we start with allies in the unseen that we would call competent protectors. And so those can be ancestors but if you're like, yeah, no, I come from a long line of abusers like great. We don't work with that. Then we look for who can you work with in the spirit realm who would be both very strong and competent, but also very nurturing and protective. And so a lot of people if they're like, I never had that experience my life. I don't know what it feels like to be able to rest in safeness and well-being. Then I'm like, great. Let's work with these rocks. Let's work with this plant medicine. Let's work with these animals. We just keep going until we can find like, what is the safe sphere? And then we start from there. There's no dogma here. So that's what I bring in to how I help people develop their intuition is first we go, where's your safest realm and what things naturally are you drawn to? And we work with that.
And everybody has a different type. You know, some people are more clairaudient like myself, intuition comes to me through like words and hearing and music and literature and books and things like that. Some people are more clarcognizant, they just kind of know. So maybe they work with oracle cards, and they only look at them for half a second and then they don't have to look at the book. They know exactly what it's coming through. Maybe some people are more clairvoyant, and they love working with oracle decks, and they love huge spreads and that kind of stuff. So we're working with like, what is within the zone of comfort and competence and self-efficacy for your nervous system, and what are the tools and the pathways that would make you feel more confident to explore?
I love that so much Carmen. Like I think that's one of the favorite things I have heard in a long time. My Favorite things I've learned a long time because, and I wrote about…I write about intuition, I think I've written at least touched on it in all three of my books. But in my last book, I talked about how it's, it can be challenging for many women, especially because it gets conditioned out of us, you know, and, especially people who come from challenging childhoods where maybe nobody talks about anything. And I mean, that was the case for me, I can speak from my own personal experience. And it wasn't. abusive when I was a child, but nobody talks about anything difficult. So like when a very close family friend took her own life, and I saw my parents crying about it, but it was like tight-lipped. Nobody talks about it. So I was walking around like, Okay, I know, something happened, it was pretty obvious, but like, no one's going to talk about it. So it's like, those small things that can happen to us over time we sort of, the way I describe it is like we kind of from a cerebral level, think we're just constantly questioning ourselves and our own our own gut feelings and instincts. And so I love that you start from such a, like a primitive level. It sounds necessary.
Well, and of course capitalist imperialist white supremacist patriarchy is constantly conditioning us to push through our own signs of distress, and trying to obscure our preferences. Trying to make us think that our preferences are actually what they want us to do, right. That's what advertising like, sounds like, you know, it's like high pressure tactics everywhere you look, conform. You know, stay in this box, be this role, this identity. And so any inner voice you might have, that's like, I don't know if that's for me, you know, we get conditioned to push through that in order to either succeed or to at least to survive. Capitalism is doing it to us constantly. So when I'm teaching folks, whether we're actually looking at intuition, or whether we're looking at working with the autonomic nervous system, if you have an immune disorder, or long COVID, or if you have developmental stuff from childhood, we're constantly helping people attune to their own preferences. That's one of the ways we unhook from that conditioning is to be like, what do I actually want here. And actually, that can take a long time to remember, you know, it really can. It takes some practice.
I'm sure it's not just, you know, like, I can answer that right away.
Yeah, totally. Even an exercise like we do this simple exercise of like pushing away, just your arms in the air. And just like repeating, I can say no to what I want to say no to. Sometimes that brings up a ton of emotion for people. Sometimes it's the opposite, when like, I can feel chills a little bit thinking of people who are like, whoa, slowing it down and pushing away and just saying that to myself is it's such an empowering moment. For others. It's the swooping in and embracing gesture and saying I can say yes to what I want to say yes to and having their hands land on their heart. What if it's, I want to say yes, to me. Those things create a somatic chain of events in which you start to see greater possibility and when you can see that greater possibility for yourself spirit will come through and give you little nudges and be like yes, yes, yes, you're doing it. Oh my gosh. Your ancestors are like, oh my gosh, I'm so happy for you I've had so proud of you for right? And then if you can still tolerate be receiving that kind of love and just stay with it, you know, even if it's just for a minute or two, you can have a neuroplastic event around that and recruit that feeling as a resource later. And like, that's one of the definitions of magic, right? Being able to change consciousness at will. So if you can be in a different consciousness for a couple of minutes and have your brain actually shift and shape onto that, that's pretty magical.
Oh, my gosh, it's so interesting. I thought of something when you said that because in my experience, when I was practicing, and intentionally making space and time for, you know, folk magic or whatever you want to call it, I got afraid of how fast it was happening. And I had a mentor tell me, and she was very gentle about it, and she said, my hunch is that you are afraid of your own power. And I said, and I think you are right. Because it was happening so fast. And it was so big, and it was obviously bigger than me and being someone who struggles with control. I can't control this and it scares me.
Also numinous is right? The numinous, tremendum, at fascinante, right? Things that are like awe inspiring and sacred, also of the very similar somatic imprint is things that are terrifying. So, in somatics, we'd say like rapid embodiment is actually not helpful. It's to be the trauma informed pieces like yeah, don't try to take Swallow the Sun, right? It's like you go, okay, well, thanks. That's actually a little bit more than my physical body can handle right now. And so then we have that agency to be like, hey, thanks, spirit or thanks, guides? Can we just slow it down? Like you've got it at 11, an you turn it down to a four, and see if I can just get used to it?. And so that's the agency that we bring in so that we're in that reciprocal relationship. And yeah, you don't get afraid that you're going to be swallowed up or like something too big is going to happen. We want it to happen at the pace that your human body can integrate.
Okay, okay. Yeah, it felt like a tsunami a bit. Well, I have so many, not so many like a handful more that I want to ask you but I want to be respectful of everyone's time. And the book is called The Spirited Kitchen: Recipes and Rituals for the Wheel of the Year. And I just have one more question that hopefully isn't like a big whopper. What was your favorite part about writing the book?
To be honest, I think my favorite part about writing this book was the collaboration I had with my photographer, my dear friend, Stephanie Ray Hull, I never worked that creatively with another person before, where we did like 30 photo shoots in 12 months. And we were both learning how to do this. Like, we were like, ah, how do you know likefoods.
And it was the recipes, right? All those things. And it seems easy but I've heard it's really not.
No. Oh my gosh, it's so much planning and coordination. It just like took over my life for a long time. The thing is, I had the book in my head, like and I've been doing Wheel of the Year workshops for a couple years. So I had the recipes, I knew exactly how this was going to come together. I'm a huge fan of Martha Stewart since like way back in the 90s. So I was like Martha Stewart entertaining from like, 1987. That book, like I knew exactly how I wanted my book to be. But the execution of it was super challenging. Fortunately, I had this collaborator whose style and taste and eye and attention to detail and faith in me was just unwavering and so steady. And there's this, like, really great quote from Ira Glass, where he talks about as a creator, there's this period where your skill is not as awesome as your taste. So it's like, this is my first time making a cookbook and so I needed to just kind of recognize, like, I just gotta make work. I got to do the first one and it's not going to be as good as I would want it to be. It's not going to meet my vision, but I gotta get the workout. And Ira Glass was like, you know, you just got to keep producing more work and get enough practice until one day, your skill matches your ambition. And that killer taste finally matches yours. You have to just keep creating crap. Just gotta keep vreating. Yeah, just like, I don't know if he says crap, but he's like, your back killer taste. And so you got to keep creating and so that I think, you know, from a personal perspective, the best part of it was from like, this character-building perspective is like letting go of perfectionism, not letting you know, great be the enemy of good or whatever it is and just comparing yourself to Martha Stewart. Exactly. I just got to get the first one out there and hopefully, like the third one is going to be as good as I want it to be. So like character building that was probably the best part from me in the long run, but in the short term, it is definitely collaborating with a kindred spirit.
I love Well, it's beautiful like it truly is. And the link is in the show notes. Again, it's The Spirited Kitchen: Recipes and Rituals for the Wheel of the Year. Yes I said it right. But is there anything else that you wanted to say that we missed that you wanted to circle back to before we complete
The book is available on October 31. And of course…
Was that on purpose?
That was the original…the original date was a couple of weeks prior and it was like actually a better date astrologically for me, so of course, I plan all this stuff out, instead of the just supply chain issues and all of that it got pushed back and I think October 31 is like the second best perfect day for it to come out. But really, I just want to see what people make and do. I am such a looky loo when it comes to other people's altars and other people's kitchens and things like that. So I hope if people get the book and they try anything, or they just really like it. They'll tag me on Instagram because really is like the it's the thrill of my lifetime to have this.
That's amazing. Thank you so much for being here. And all those links will be in the show notes, everyone. I have followed Carmen on Instagram for probably seven years now. And I think you all absolutely should thank you for your time, Carmen and everyone listening. You know how grateful I am for your time that you choose to spend it with my guests and myself. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place. Bye for now.