What I’m Manifesting in 2019

Sit Al-Meizan by @kandaka.khronicles

*tips for reading* Writing this post took several weeks (ahem, months). It was not written linearly therefore I do not expect you to read it as such. Take breaks, it’s a lot of information to digest. Laugh,cry, walk away, reflect. I did my best to make it entertaining, but if something is boring, skip it. If you have questions,I’m happy to answer them. I encourage you to channel the slug: slow, steady, and strong; allowing what’s necessary to stick and letting go of the rest. Also, feel free not to read it at all, maybe that means I won’t have to finish writing it, LOL. 

Before I get into all the juicy details of what I’m calling forth this year, I would be remiss if I did not look back at December 2018 when I attended a transformative Winter Fire Ceremony at Earthlodge Center. I had been longing for a place in LA where I could connect with the land and like minded folks in a sacred and more meaningful way. Earthlodge did not disappoint. The experience was so magical, I rode a wave of love and enlightenment into 2019. The ceremony also a reminder that I have a lot of work to do if I am to accomplish everything I hope to in this life. And I know I can’t do it alone, so with inspiration from famed astrologer Chani Nicholas, I decided to create a newsletter and this accompanying blog post to keep my friends and family informed. It’s a rather daunting task, a true labor of love, with the hopes of building stronger community in LA and beyond.

In January, I started updating my contact list. I spent the month gathering data from various e-mail addresses, instagram and facebook, sending over 1800 messages. That process in and of itself was rewarding, as I was able to reconnect with people I hadn’t talked to in many years, and came to realize we were in the same location, or would be soon. Although I’ve done the bulk of the work, it’s like laundry and dirty dishes, there’s always more to be done!

And then came February. Dear sweet, short February, also Black History Month. Whew chile, looking back at my calendar, I was busy from start to finish: I volunteered with my friend Yolo’s organization BEAM for their Black Healing Remixed event, featuring the Mother of Black Hollywood Jenifer Lewis and at the Pan African Film Festival.

I also attended the BRIC Talent and Innovation Summit, TU Alumni Mixer, and more. However, the most remarkable event of February (of 2019, and possibly my entire life) was attending the Robyn concert on How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World release day. So many stars and planets aligned that day, and at her after party, I gave Robyn the flower crown I made.

In March, in the wake of mercury retrograde and various high profile scandals, for Lent, I gave up cursing, Facebook, celebrities, and more. I was grateful for the time to slow down a bit and reflect, but life just keeps coming. I started out attending Outfest Fusion, where I saw a really great non-traditional coming of age tale out of Sweden (coincidence, I think not), Amateurs. I also joined a writing group, and had the chance to fulfill one of my longest held dreams, seeing Serena Williams play (and win) live at Indian Wells on International Women’s Day. I mean, after my interaction with Robyn, I knew I had transcended, but I truly was not expecting this! It feels like things have come full circle since I intercepted her 3 years ago, right before starting at Dreamworks. Although I intended for March to be quiet, I found myself at a number of events, including the James Blake Concert, JTC List Gala, and reading tarot at my yoga studio, The Tree’s Fundraising Gala. I rounded out the month with my first two beach days of the year. Even though there was a lot going on, I was able to strike a balance.

April was a very busy and challenging month.I blocked out a lot of time to work on my newsletter and made great progress, but the ended with a huge shock with the passing of my friend’s father and legendary director John Singleton. I’m glad the month is over as I’ve needed time to recover emotionally. 

Things sort of stabilized in May, but there was still a lot going on. Two of my close friends came to visit, I started DJ class, and went to tons of events, highlights include: a dope event at Sony Pictures Animation put on by my friend and co-worker’s organization Latinx in Animation, my other awesome friends’ launch of the super rad This is Femme House, RuPaul’s DragCon and the heart warming and ultra inspiring celebration of life for John Singleton. 

In June, I had so many special moments, from the Kindness concert, to my coffee with Dreamworks CEO Margie Cohn, my first music production workshop with Femme House and LA Pride. Philadelphia’s flyest, Nile Livingston came to visit. To be honest, life is showing no signs of slowing down, in fact it’s speeding up, and I am just riding the wave.

Now it’s the end of July, I’m still high off my trip to the desert for the 4th, a magical tarot guided conversation, curated by my friends Bett and Beth and Outfest closing weekend. What a time to be alive! I realize there will be no perfect astrology, day, etc, to send this update, and things will keep piling on. After all, it’s just a sign that my (wo)manifestations and conjurings are working! Clearing this hurdle will allow even more blessings to show up and take shape in my life and I’m excited to share them with you all. I hope you’ll join me, and please let me know where I might join and assist you! Summer is here!

1st – House of Self

Many of you have already inquired about my name change on Facebook. No I didn’t get married! And no it’s not a “Hollywood move,” although maybe a tad bit dramatic. If you’ve ever legally changed your name in the state of California, I’d love to hear any advice, tips or tricks.

It started in May 2018 when my family celebrated my maternal grandmother’s 80th birthday. To celebrate, she wanted to visit her mother’s grave site. My great grandmother Flossie Mae, passed at the young age of 31. I’ve already outlived her. She had my grandmother at 14. Nana, could not recall what name her mother was buried under, and we called several county clerks trying to locate the grave, to no avail. It felt like an energetic block. Something tells me that Nana did not want to revisit the trauma and pain of that loss. My grandmother had a tough upbringing in rural Georgia. Her father was very abusive, the generational effects of that abuse is something I’ve only begun to realize. I listened as my grandmother retold stories of the trauma she experienced at the hands of her father. But we had heard it all before, and I had come to hear about the woman who brought her into this world. I wasn’t left with much, but began to piece together some semblance of a family tree and history. Nana is named after her great grandmother who was a midwife. Her grandparents met at a traveling minstrel show, similar to Silas Green from New Orleans. My great great grandmother, Luella aka Digg, was born a Collier, and married to become a Collins. I think this is the name that my great grandmother was born with. Flossie Mae Collins, I’m not sure if it’s the name she was buried under or not. Records back in those days in rural Georgia and Alabama, especially for poor black folks, weren’t the best. For the longest time my grandmother had a hand written birth certificate. But I began to question why I even had the name Hutcherson. According to our oral history, my great grand father’s great grandfather, washed up on the shore of North or South Carolina naked, and didn’t speak any English. Possibly escaped from a slave ship? Or who knows. We’ve affectionately named him Butt Naked Hutcherson. Either way, it was my great grandfather’s name. But when I think about strength, power, and perseverance, I think about the women in my family. Plus, if we want to get technical about it. My mother should have a different last name, as should I. Only a few of my aunts and uncles went on to inherit the name Hutcherson, and unfortunately all of the trauma that goes along with it. No more I decided. So in an effort to transmute generational trauma and curses, and reconnect with my maternal lineage, I am changing my name to Kandis Eulissa Collins. I already feel lighter. Since making that decision, so much magic has already transpired.

As I explained to my mother, my last name has always felt like a barrier. People always stumble over it, mispronounce and misspell it. Over the summer, a very intuitive person said, upon introducing myself to her, that my last name didn’t feel right. And I’ll never forget, hearing my uncles and nana talk about him. Zack was his name. My uncle explicitly said he was a demon. Ironically, or not, earlier this year I got a horoscope that referenced Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. Apparently he got his stage name from a Wu-tang clan name generator. I typed in Kandis Collins, the name generated was Lucky Observer. I typed in Kandis Hutcherson just to see what would come up. Lucky Demon. And we all know Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck with.


2nd – House of Material Resources

This one is tricky for me since I believe the earth, people and nature are our greatest resource. However, I do recognize that work, money, and resources are about an energetic exchange of time and talent. This year I vowed to become more financially literate and stable, and despite my enormous student loan bill, start investing and acquire wealth. If any of you are financial advisors, I’d love to hear from you.

At the end of last year, I reviewed my finances, and created a budget for myself. Not that I wasn’t already budgeting, but since I’m not yet at the point of limitless resources, I want to be hyper aware of where my money is going, how far it goes and into whom’s pocket. As much as I can, I spend within my community and support local individuals and businesses.

Self care is another big step for me. Yes I’ve always taken care of myself, but learning what that means in every sense, mind, body and spirit. I think most people would say I’m good at this, because they see me taking baths on IG, but that’s only a small part of creating space, and taking time for myself. And I often think about how my ancestors didn’t have the luxury, which encourages me to practice even more. Happy to report that I’m getting better at checking in with my feelings and needs and honoring myself each day. 

Since I’m not a very materialistic person, it can sometimes lead to me being a bit aloof regarding my material possessions. I am realizing that what I often consider as NBD can be a huge deal for others. For example, I’ve had 5 cars in my lifetime so far, and was fortunate enough to have my parents help for the first two. Many others are not as fortunate to have this kind of help from their families, or resources in general to purchase a car. I’ve only recently begun to look at my car as an investment, understanding the importance of routine maintenance and investing in myself and my belongings. 

I work two jobs, read tarot, cat sit, and do any other side gigs my schedule allows. I am just breaking even, but this year I have already paid off the IRS and my credit cards. I’m translating this into more prosperity and abundance. Ase! 

3rd – House of Communication and Learning

I am going through a bit of a communication overhaul. For the first few months of the year, I didn’t even have internet at home, not only to save money, but because social media, targeted ads, algorithms and surveillance can be overwhelming. Especially since being social is a large part of my many jobs. I also deactivated Facebook for lent and tried to limit my Instagram use by giving up “celebrities” i.e. anyone I hadn’t had a personal interaction with or been in the same room with, save a couple of filmmakers I admire, who I consider more artist than celebrities, I feel like my attempts at limiting certain interactions was successful. In an effort to combat the machine, I decided to start a newsletter.

I set up a new e-mail address through my website: Kandis@Kandiswithak.com so be sure to update your records!

I also want to take time this year to learn really practical stuff like driving a stick shift and a motorcycle. I love acquiring new skills, and you never know when those things could come in handy. I suppose that means I need to enroll in some sort of driving school, but if you have a stick shift or a motorcycle and would like to teach me, I’m more than game, and happy to pay or barter for your services! If you’re interested in learning these things too and want to join me for a class just let me know.

4th– House of Home and Family

I’ve lived in LA and in the same apartment for almost 5 years now. That’s longer than I’ve lived in any place consecutively in my adult life, and the longest I’ve ever lived alone. I really love my place despite what feels like constant frustration with my apartment management company. I recently received a cease and desist letter over a yelp review I posted about them. I’ve witnessed a new low, truly. Even still, it’s rent controlled, with two exits (some of you may know how important it is for me to be able to escape). There’s a courtyard where I walk my cats, with a lemon tree, bougainvilleas, and an herb garden. I’m centrally located in Koreatown, walking distance from several shops, restaurants, and nightlife. My neighbors have been living there for 20+ years and it’s like a little family.
Sort of related to the 2nd house, is that I am trying to be at home more and enjoy my place. That means starting to cook/eat at home more as well. I started off the year strong, and even hosted a couple of dinner parties/movie nights. But I want to do more. I got a new TV, and I have internet again, so I’m ready. If you’re in LA, come cook with me, let’s watch a movie, or just chill and do some reading/writing together, because i’m back on my proverbial bullshit.

5th– House of Creative Expression and Joy

Did I mention I am trying to write more? I joined the Justify Writer’s group, helmed by my friend Justice Singleton. But writing is just one way I express myself. 

My big objective this year, is to honor the legacy of one of my favorite DJs who passed away in December. I was such a huge fan of DJ Speakerfoxxx, fka DJ Double Dutch, aka Christen Nilan, and had been following her for over 10 years. She DJ’ed my house party right before I left Atlanta in 2010, and this loss was particularly hard for me. 

I soon realized that in order to transform my grief I had to learn how to DJ. It was a dream I had put off for far too long. I’ve had a couple of private lessons with my homie Seth aka DJ SNDSMTH and I just completed the Intro to DJing class at the Beat Junkies Institute of Sound. I’m open to suggestions for my DJ name. What do you think it should be? Right now I’m thinking of going by “The Kandy Girl” it’s sweet, but also a little scary a la “Candy Man”

DJ Name

Some friends also launchd an initiative called Femme House offering music production workshops so you know I’m there. The first one was all the way live as we learned the basics of Ableton Live and Push.

FEMMEHOUSE is an educational platform created to address the lack of representation and equity in electronic music by empowering womxn to learn the language of the studio.

I also started playing the ukulele with a group of modelers at work. So far we’ve learned three songs: 3 Little Birds, Happy Birthday and Kiss the Girl, yes the song from the little mermaid,lol. Up next I’m learning one of my favorites Bella by Wolfine

I was also a guest star on the Trolls 2 Crew’s Game of Thrones Podcast, Game of Trolls. I hope to also start a podcast one day. I’m thinking of calling it the Free Advice Podcast, which might incorporate some astro/tarot themes. It might also be fun to do a film review podcast. We’ll see. It’s not like I need more items to add to my to-do list. I often joke that I have pick up an important skill in each of the cities I live in. New York gave me the fundamentals, Atlanta was creative writing; Philly was film; LA is music. More to come!

6th – House of Health and Service

Overall I’m pretty healthy, possibly the healthiest I’ve been in my entire life but there are two issues that have plagued me for a while that I want to address for once and for all this year. 

After several (painful) ultrasounds and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia and fibroid tumors that are also causing iron deficiency and anemia. Apparently this is hereditary. I chalk it up to the women in my family always having to make something from nothing. I’ve started taking iron pills regularly to raise my levels but it feels like a band-aid rather than an actual solution. Most doctors recommend a hormone supplement or some kind of birth control, and honestly I’ve done that before and it was horrible. I gained a bunch of weight and felt out of sorts in my body. I’ve been looking into acupuncture as a possible solution, but I’’m starting to feel like having a procedure is the only way to completely solve my problem. Some sites also recommend shifting your diet to include less estrogen and more cruciferous vegetables, along with certain vitamins and essential oils. Things are marginally better, but since I’ve been dealing with this for most of my life, i’m not sure what it feels like to have a “normal” cycle. My doctor has ordered two additional ultrasounds that I’ve yet to schedule but I remain hopeful. Rest assured once I get these hormones balanced, it’s over for the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. At very least for the inherited generational trauma. 

I also just want to become more active in general. I want to start lifting weights, although I hate the sterile environment of the gym. I prefer playing sports, riding bikes or otherwise exercising in nature. If you’re down to get out in the world, ride bikes, go on hikes, play tennis, volleyball, or even basketball, etc, just let me know!

My second major health issue is my teeth! I know you’re shocked. I have such a pretty smile, lol. I hear that all the time. Unfortunately, a pretty smile does not always indicate healthy teeth. I had a dental procedure at the end of May that will hopefully get to the root of my periodontal problems. I’ll know more in a few months. Praying for no new cavities. I also need to figure out what to do about my teeth moving since I lost my retainer all those years ago. Hopefully I don’t have to start wearing braces again, that would be a shame. 

In terms of service, I’ve already volunteered a couple of times this year. And if my schedule allows I’ll definitely do more. My schedule is usually packed but I’m super passionate about contributing to my community, in various ways. If you know of any opportunities, and the stars align, I’m game. One way I realized I can be of service is by using tarot to raise funds. I read tarot at my yoga studio’s fundraiser and was able to donate 4x as much as I would have on my own. Let me know if you would be interested in something similar for your organization. 

7th– House of Marriage and Partnerships

As mentioned I am not getting married, and to be honest I don’t see that in the cards any time soon. In fact, in addition to having lived alone for the longest period of my adult life, this is also the longest time I’ve ever been single. To be honest, I love it. Dating in LA is a disaster and I’ve given up on that aspect of life. Let it be known that there is no shortage of love in my life, in fact the opposite. I am happy to focus on my work the various relationships in my life. That being said, I am always looking for collaborators and overall partners in crime. This year I’m manifesting a producer for my next film. Ideally this person would be experienced with the festival circuit, and have won some awards. If this is you, or you can recommend someone, please reach out! The Sun just entered Leo (my 7th house), a long with a glorious new moon, mercury stationing direct AND the “live action” remake of the Lion King just came out, it’s lit!

8th– House of Joint Resources

This calls back to the 2nd house and is connected to the 10th as well (they’re all connected!) I recently decided, I want to raise $33K for my birthday in order to make my next film and take myself to the next level of my career. At first thought it might feel arbitrary or unrealistic and even unattainable. For what Kandis? I can imagine my mother asking me.Not in a disapproving way, but in a way that lets me know she wishes she could give it to me. But she’s already given me so much. Then I would run down my short film budget, explain that I need some hardware upgrades (my laptop is 10 years old and literally falling a part. It was a gift, thank you Emily! <3 and once we added it all up, she’d agree. Not to mention that I’m trying to make a real difference in my life and in the world, and raising the money could potentially be the start of real change, even though as Octavia Butler said, “the only constant is change.” What’s to lose? I do believe anything is possible. Anything with cause is obtainable. There was a time when would I be too embarrassed or prideful to ask for help. I’m pushing out of my comfort zone, and remembering none of us is in this alone. Ideally i’d be rolling out this campaign with the help of a producer, but I won’t let not having one stop me from attempting to achieve my goals. I hope you’ll join me.

9th – House of Travel,Philosophy and Higher Learning

Ideally I would have renewed my passport with my new name, but since I was worried about complications with our government. I went ahead and renewed it with my old surname. The first question I got asked was “where are you going?” I updated my passport as a precaution, but I’ actually don’t want to “go” anywhere. I want to strive beyond the rising trend of going places for the sake of saying I’ve been there. I am much more interested in doing work in various locations. For me, it’s about honoring, the earth, plants, animals, the people, and my purpose. 

For example, a couple of years ago I was raising funds to visit Brazil. It didn’t pan out, but I realized, I was selling myself short. Why visit Brazil for two weeks, when I could work on a project there for 2-6 months? This way I can actually immerse myself in the culture, and begin to consider it a home. I have the perfect project in mind too, so stay tuned for that. I also want to do a Fulbright or get a PHD in Education/Indigenous Studies in New Zealand at the University of Waikato. They offer courses like celestial navigation, and focus on Maori culture. The goal being to make connections between African American global indigenous cultures, as we continue the fight for liberation for the earth and ourselves. 

In the meantime I’ve been exploring the U.S. and finally made it back to New Mexico after 5 years. There are still many places I’ve yet to visit stateside, the Pacific North West and far North east. I don’t have any plans to visit either just yet, but I’ll go when and where I’m called. I have also been attempting to read the Bible, Quran and Torah. Thanks to the generosity of some dear friends and loved ones, I now own 2/3. This is a rather lofty goal, but still worthwhile in my opinion. I specifically want to read these texts through a psychic, or dare I say psychedelic lens, focusing on dreams, and visions, etc. As excited as I am about reading them, given the fact that it’s almost August, I doubt I’ll get through them all. 

I have several philosophies, and my Aquarius rising can sometimes make me an outright conspiracy theorist, but at the end of the day I have a passion for knowledge and learning. I’m an aspiring know it all if you will. One day I’ll write a book or something (it’s on my list) but for now, enjoy this pic of me living my best life in Santa Fe. 

10th– House of Career and Public Image

As you may have gathered by now. I’m working on a new short film, Edible. I’m super excited/scared/nervous about making another film. This will be my first one since film school, and I have done and learned so much since then. This film is deeply personal, so there’s an added layer of vulnerability that I didn’t have with Nebula. I’ve received great feedback and encouragement so I’m going to keep pressing until I reach my goals.

This year marks 3 years since working at Dreamworks Animation and honestly, I think I’ve found the sphere for me. Reflecting back on my introduction to Temple, I’ve always had a real passion for animation even if I never even considered it to be a career path, it most certainly is now. And what’s really cool is all the animation and reboots happening now. The Boondocks is making a new season and I’m just waiting on them to announce a new King of the Hill. What a dream it would be to work on those shows, or even a new Avatar *squee*! It’s also really important to me to increase representation in the field. The statistics are grim when it comes to women of color in animation. I dream of putting together an event geared toward underrepresented girls, and collaborating with Robyn and Serena Williams. That will be one hell of a proposal, stay tuned for that, and let me know if you wanna help write it 🙂

11th– House of Friendships and Social Networks

Big shout out to all of you, who are doing incredible work, organizing and creating. I continue to be amazed and profoundly inspired by my network. After all of this I am STILL updating my contact list. I eventually want to get it to a place where I can group everyone by city/region/tarot, etc. I thought I was going to do that before sending out this newsletter but realized I’d never send it out because I’d just keep noodling the data. Oh well. Most importantly, I want to take an opportunity to shout out each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, however big or small. LA can sometimes feel like a lonely place and there have been several times over the last 5 years that I felt it, but this process has really opened my eyes to the multitude of individuals who support me and I am so grateful. I am fortunate to have built communities through work, yoga, nightlife and more. I especially love when those communities converge. It’s really special, and so much bigger than social media. As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to align more closely with the sentiment, I don’t have “friends” I have family. It’s increasingly important to me that my loved ones feel my love and support no matter the distance. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

12th– House of Unconscious and Self-Undoing

Over the year I’ve worked really hard to curb negative self talk and self doubt. I’ve always been a worst case scenario type of person because I like to be prepared. Most of the time I find that I build so many scenarios up in my head and my thoughts tend to lean toward the morbid, or uncomfortable things people don’t like thinking about yet alone speaking about. It’s been interesting watching the shift in my thoughts to best case scenario. My goal is to bring the unconscious to light and even acknowledging all of this is helpful.

I spent a lot of time dreading writing this section, after all, it pertains to all the things we don’t want to think about, and push down deep inside of ourselves. I knew that in this section I wanted to hold space for those we’ve lost, and I thought it might be hard or too overwhelming for me. Our society doesn’t deal well with aging, illness, addiction, death etc, but we have to create space in order for healing to begin. Imagine if we were given the proper tools from a young age. I do think that is part of the reason I have been called here at this time. This year has been a rough one so far as loss is concerned. We are collectively grieving and sometimes we don’t even realize the ways we are being called to aid in the transforming of that grief. I will use this opportunity to shed some of the grief I’ve been holding on to this year, fully aware that the end stage of grief is gratitude. (Or does it ever end, do we just end up simultaneously holding both, always.)

A moment of silence for the following friends that are no longer with us in this realm, but always with us in spirit. 

Palmer Enfield – I didn’t know you in real life and we were only FB friends a short time before you passed, but based on the community response, safe to say I missed out here. Thank you for you!

Shannon Leavell – This loss is hard to fathom for me. I met you a handful of times and I recall your mom telling me we should be friends, and that somehow I could be a good influence on you. I’m sorry that never happened. My heart goes out to your mother and sister who I know miss you every single day. Sometimes the weight of this world is just to much. Thank you for doing your part to lift us. 

Jaci Adams – Thank you for being part of Growing Old Gracefully. I am so sorry that these systems are designed to keep black trans women oppressed. I know that now you are free, and those of us who knew you will continue to honor your legacy. 

Baba-Kundi Ma’at Shambhala – We never met and I’m really not sure how we came to follow each other, probably our interest in holistic healing. Your body is done working now, rest well. 

Orange Juice Livingston – My feline friend I am happy to say there is a cat who reminds me of you that comes around to hang with Diddy sometimes. You were a sweet old man cat and we love and miss you so much. 

Vinson Houston – I am sorry that I didn’t keep in touch, I actually didn’t know you had passed until I started this process and I was shocked to learn that you passed so closely (if not the same day) as Keith. It confirms for me that something larger is at work and I pray that you are free from the suffering that tends to plague sensitive souls in this realm. You made such an impact through your art, and you will live on in the hearts of your friends and loved ones. Thank you for your light. 

Keith Allen – Whoooooo this was rough. Keith your passing shook me to my core. The premonition of it, the visitations soon after. It really changed me and helped me to understand my role as an intuitive and messenger. Thank you for that. It’s still something I don’t think anyone fully understands, so many questions remain about that fateful night, but the answers aren’t important. What is clear to me is that you had a knowing in your soul, and I now know that you are ok. Thank you for communicating with me and entrusting me to translate for you. It really means a lot. Thank you. 

Delbert Blair – Your life was marked by such conspiracy, part of me wonders if you’re not actually still alive. I used to love listening to your radio show and exploring metaphysical concepts. It was only the beginning, but so important for me to have that space to learn and share. Thank you for being a light. 

Ellie Rezabek-Turner – I was late hearing that you were gone, and I was immediately so sad, but now I feel relieved that you are no longer in pain. You meant so much to so many people. You were such a good person and your spirit lives on through your children and grand children. I know they miss you a lot, but I also know you are always with them. Thank you for being so kind although I hardly knew you.

Rick Spivey – Another baffling occurrence,I remember sending you a message, but you didn’t respond. A few weeks later I saw the post that you passed away. My first memories with you were in Ms. Faucette’s Spanish class, and of you all winning the state football championship. I had no idea what you were facing and I am so very sorry. I am glad you are not suffering any more. My heart goes out to your small daughter and wife, but they should know that you will always be watching over them. It’s hard for me not to make a connection between football and your illness, even still let it be a light. Thank you for your life.

Christen Nilan – Where do I even begin? When I first saw you spinning at, I wanna say it was the Highland Inn Ballroom, with Rachael. Your set was so lit, I danced the whole night and immediately became a huge fan. Thank you so much for DJing my house party before I left Atlanta, and thank you even more for telling me not to beat myself up about leaving my wallet in Roswell. I always remember that when I get down on myself about anything. I had no idea the struggles you were facing, all I knew is I loved the music you played and you knew how to move a room. Thanks for always putting me on the list at el bar. I’ll never forget dancing with your brother and you shouting me out the last time I was there for one of your sets. Now where am I going to go when I’m back in Atlanta? I haven’t been back since you passed and I just know that things won’t be the same. I remember when I moved to Philly, I would sometimes dream about you, and how successful you would come to be. I wasn’t wrong. You crushed it, changed the whole game and left such an important legacy for Atlanta. You’ve inspired me in ways some can’t even imagine. To be honest, I’m still grieving, and it’s heavy, but every time I approach a turntable, I feel a little lighter. One day, friend. I’m sorry we lost touch, and I wasn’t there to remind you of your greatness and light. Thank you for everything.

Cameron Swiger – Once again I’m just not sure. I’m not sure how you came into my life, but I recall bonding over Ani DiFranco, when I was fresh out of high school. I’m not sure what happened or why you’re no longer here. I think about your daughter and husband and how much they love you. I hope Siloh (check spelling) grows up to know just how awesome her mom was. I am just glad you are no longer suffering. Thank you for being a friend. 

Griff Parrish – Oh man Griff, you’ve been gone a long time and truthfully it hasn’t gotten any easier to comprehend. All we can do is accept and be thankful. I still have your cd, but I admit I’m kind of afraid to listen to it, afraid it would make me too sad. So I just keep it for the day that I can. You, your sister, and your mom are some of my favorite people that I’ve ever met. I think about how you would always sing out, I don’t know what song it was but you were always so passionate, “We lost Kandis in the struggle.” but it was you we were losing in the struggle Griff, and I’m so sorry. Thanks for always coming to visit me at “Le Jesus Coffee” your show that night packed the house. I’m really honored that I got to call you my friend. I’m sad we don’t get to crack jokes anymore. You were always so charming and sweet, never without a smile, which is why it’s so hard for me. Struggle no more friend. Your light shines on. 

Shannon Joiner – I don’t remember if I heard about this soon after it happened or if when going through my facebook list, I learned about it for the first time. Part of me feels like I heard about the accident but blocked it out. I’m really good at that. You were so funny and sweet. I so looked forward to seeing you in Spanish class. You deserved more. I try to look for the beauty in every tragedy, here, it’s that your light lives on in your friends, family and people you met. You are loved. Thank you.

And to the ones that came before, and the ones that are not on social media, to the ones that we may have forgotten. To all the martyrs in this fight for liberation and justice. I see you, and honor you. 

Sending this newsletter is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and subsequently probably one of the most important. Transmuting generational curses and self undoing is WORK. It requires us to sit with ourselves and accept what we see without judgement, and even more make the changes to become the person we want to be. It’s an intermatic* process (*I discovered this word after my phone autocorrected me. I define it literally as a willingness to put into the earth/bury, think interment. More figuratively it means, something that is deep and transformative, or a willingness to do our shadow work. I equate it with the 4 of swords in tarot. It is rest and regeneration, almost like dying and being reborn.) But trust me, it’s so rewarding, and holds the key to our individual and collective healing. Life is too short and so so precious, we can’t afford not to do this work. 

In conclusion, all of these parts merge to make a whole, and I’ve never seen myself so clearly. Plus guess what; I discovered the fountain of youth, it’s loving yourself. Thank you for being with me on this journey. I am beyond grateful. Stay Golden!