Our ‘box full of darkness’ reminds us that after destruction comes rebirth

In the summer of 2018, I trained as a death midwife/doula and home funeral guide. In July 2019, a few months after my cat Henry died and I accompanied him through the process, I began working at a crematory for pets. I never would have thought of this profession for myself. But it has become clear, this is the career I am perhaps most suited for. Death can be sad and devastating, but it has taught me many things. Death can involve pain, suffering, violence and sorrow so profound it…

Read More

Thrift Bandit is eastern Iowa’s socially responsible outlaw of recycled fashion

thrift bandit cover

When they realized they were both wearing “polyester grandpa pants” and cardigan sweaters, Michael and Stef Duncan knew they were destined for each other.  They didn’t realize those grandpa pants would also inspire a business they would co-run. Thrift Bandit is the online vintage venture of Michael (from Burlington in southeast Iowa) and Stef (from Jerico in northeast Iowa), who describe themselves as “nerds running this out of our basement.” Launched in the summer of 2019, Thrift Bandit seeks to provide an alternative to first-hand, mass-produced disposable clothing — and…

Read More

August Tarotscope: Take a cue from MTV and the cards, and “get real,” for real

get real scaled

“It’s time to stop being polite and start getting real…. WITH OURSELVES.” You may recognize this as one of the many key slogans of MTV’s “The Real World”. It’s a phrase that resonates for a reason: because it’s time. Time to hear your own thoughts and connect with your whole, authentic self. Time to cut out external influences. Time to realize that we are all part of something larger than ourselves — and what is happening around each of us right now is bigger than any of us could have…

Read More

From WTF to illumination: July Tarotscope for the Collective

reality check 2 scaled

WTF?? That’s the impetus for this month’s tarotscope. It conveys frustration, exhaustion, and exasperation. It’s a universal and collective WTF to this year, this country, this society. And it’s more of a statement than a question. The first six months of 2020 were a wake up call for many people. A lot of others chose to remain asleep, but that is a story for another day. Those of us who began to awake saw, for the first time, the mirage-like quality of our lives — something symbolized in the Castles…

Read More

Tarotscope: A Time of Unlearning (June 6-17)

tarot unlearn scaled

As a heteronormative, cisgender, white woman of European and English descent, who has lived a life of privilege, I feel inappropriate when I say, “I am tired.” But I am. Many of us are. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Being tired is good. It means we are doing the Work. It means we are pulling our heads out of the sand. If you’re white, it hopefully means you are swallowing the pride that comes with the color of your skin. You’re starting the long and arduous process of dismantling, brick…

Read More

Tarotscope: Total Eclipse of the Heart (June 2-15)

tarotscope 6 1

The Cards: Queen of Cups, Five of Swords, Four of Coins The Deck: Spolia Tarot Just when we thought maybe things were chilling out. This tarotscope falls in alignment with the full moon in Sagittarius , AND lunar eclipse, this Friday, June 5. We have the potent vibes of the full moon, along with the special energy of eclipses. Eclipses upset the natural order of things. During a lunar eclipse, the shadow of the Earth falls across the face of the moon, bringing the unconscious to the surface. This can…

Read More

Tarotscope: Open Your Mind (Introduction, May 4-17)

TRM tarotscope intro scaled

Welcome, everyone, to my new bi-weekly feature for The Real MainStream: Tarotscope for the Collective! Every two weeks, I’ll be coming to you with a new tarot reading intended for the good of us all. A tarotscope? You mean like a horoscope? Yes and no. A horoscope offers insight and advice for the upcoming month according to astrological signs. A tarotscope is a tarot reading for the community as a whole. It’s a way to speak to folks on both a small and large scale. While everyone gets something different…

Read More