April 17th 1981, 9:08am: I was born at home in the Sutro Heights/Vista Del Mar neighborhood of San Francisco California. When Chiron crossed my ascendant in 1988, my family relocated to the Chinook homeland known as Larch Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge, one of the most beautiful and magical places in the world, but permeated with strong and clear memories of woundedness, violation and loss. It was my natural orientation to existence to have a relationship with ancient voices, animal nations, elementals, and the sky. My first friends were the deer, the rabbit, the coyote, the frog, the raccoon, the owl, the moss, the fern, the trillium, the cricket symphony, wind, rain, snow, the osprey and the hawk, the holly and the hemlock, Sun, Moon, and stars.
My early environment was conservative christian, but in my family there was more emphasis placed on education than religion. My father was a low-key theology scholar and presented mysticism to me as one of many philosophies worthy of consideration and debate. When I was a teenager he traveled throughout Asia for his job, bringing back photos, books, and souvenirs that gave me an early interest in the concepts of Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, and Shinto.
After highschool I spent three and a half years as a full time student at Mt. Hood Community College studying astronomy and cosmology in the planetarium; pursuing my interests in journalism, creative writing, linguistics, math, chemistry, biology, and women’s studies; eventually earning my associate’s degree in anthropology; and finding my tribe. I followed my authentic path as a student of embodiment: at age 25 I earned a bachelor’s degree from Pacific University in exercise science, with a focus on the nervous system, kinesiology, lifespan development, and health sociology. I also took upper division courses in cultural studies and advanced mathematics.
During college I worked in crowd control services, providing a secure backstage area for famous musicians at concerts and for professional cowboys at big rodeos. I also worked at the liquor store across the street from my apartment for two years. After college I took classes to become an EMT, trained with AMR and the Portland Fire Department, and then became certified as a paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department in Inglewood, California. All of my work experience gave me an amazing education on how to be in service and in charge at the same time, reading energy and using intuition and skills to mitigate conflict and provide guidance in emergencies- my school of hard knocks masters degree in psychology.
My career as a paramedic ended before it began when my daughter was born in 2010. I met her father when Pluto crossed my descendant in 2007, and he was beyond abusive- I was the target of a sadistic pathological psychopath. The gaslighting, grooming, and manipulation was so extreme that between 2010 and 2012 I experienced intermittent dissociative fugues. It was around that time I started to take my lifelong interest in occult topics seriously. We moved to Cardiff-by-the-Sea in north San Diego county, I worked as a home health aide for bedridden seniors and paralyzed individuals, and reached out into the vibrant local spiritual community. I learned Science of Mind affirmations at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carlsbad, attended classes at Soul of Yoga in Encinitas, studied Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings at the Self-Realization Fellowship temple, and spent countless hours meditating on Pacific Ocean beaches.
In 2012 I got 100% custody of my daughter, broke completely free from the abusive relationship, and dedicated myself to a lifestyle of healing, reading everything I could find about the shamanic view of complex trauma, and throwing myself fully into studying heliophysics, space weather, tarot, and astrology. I went on several solo adventures in nature and had intense spiritual experiences in Giant Sequoia National Park and in Death Valley. You can see my photojournal from that time period here.
In 2014 I went back to school and got certified to work as a phlebotomy technician, but with Neptune crossing my midheaven I gave up my career goals once again to give birth to my son. I was truly in love and and made major healing breakthroughs with my partner, but it ended in a downward spiral repeating patterns of the abuser-victim-savior drama triangle. When my son was two and a half years old, my physical and mental health had been dragged to rock bottom by chronic pain, anorexia, and complex post-traumatic stress. I checked myself into an eating disorder program for seven months of full time depth psychotherapy and DBT, which further increased my understanding of applied psychology and behavior patterns. I have had 100% custody of my son since 2018.
Planetary Clarity and Tarot Clarity are the starships that have carried me on my journey to explore outer space as a fractal reflection of inner space since December 21st, 2012. They are my channels to navigate trauma, survival, and healing beyond the limits of western psychology and mainstream new age spirituality; to formalize my self-taught education; to have a creative outlet as a writer; and to craft my gifts into a ritual discipline that sustains me.
I don’t see myself as a healer or a teacher. But to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, I am a mystic because I swim with delight in the same water where others drown. I am an explorer, an observer, a sacred witness, a storyteller, a survivor, a first responder, and a heartspace warrior.
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Dia Holly Hemlock @ Iron Creek, Summer Solstice 2014