Episode Summary

Gender in the New Age community. A cross-over episode with The Big Seance Podcast featuring Patrick Keller, Ash Riley, and Slade Roberson

Episode Notes

This show originally aired on the Big Seance Podcast - Ep 132 "Straight Dudes! Get Thyself to a Spirit Triangle!" and was produced by Patrick Keller.

Where are all the straight men in the metaphysical and spiritual communities? Patrick Keller of the Big Seance podcast hosted a "triangle table" chat with Ash Riley of In My Sacred Space and Slade Roberson of Shift Your Spirits.

We talk about ... the divine feminine, LGBTQ spirituality, coming out of the (spiritual) closet, and how to make spirituality more accessible to the elusive straight male.

A fun, lively, original discussion of some rarely approached topics!

GUEST LINKS - ASH RILEY

InMySacredSpace.com

In My Sacred Space Discussion Group on Facebook

In My Sacred Space on Instagram

GUEST LINKS - PATRICK KELLER

BigSeance.com

Big Seance Podcast

HOST LINKS - SLADE ROBERSON

Slade's Books & Courses

Get an intuitive reading with Slade

Automatic Intuition

FACEBOOK GROUP

Shift Your Spirits Community

BECOME A PATRON

https://www.patreon.com/shiftyourspirits

Edit your pledge on Patreon

TRANSCRIPT

Ash:

I've decided that I am a connector.

Slade:

Yes.

Patrick:

Yes.

Ash: That's what I do. I reach out to people, and I meet people and I connect them with other people, because, I don't know. I just feel like, oh! You guys should know each other because I like you and I like you.

You should like each other.

Slade:

I feel very much the same way. I consider myself a matchmaker, and I used to do it even when I was in corporate. I would hire people and put them in certain places to work with other people.

I have six marriages that resulted from that and...

Ash:

Holy -----!

Slade:

And there are at least three children that I can claim.

Ash:

You can start a business on that!

Patrick:

I remember you saying that, yeah.

Slade:

I don't know that I could do it if I did it intentionally with a romantic intention involved. But if I do it in the context of maybe work or, yeah, like you said, just recognizing, you guys should know each other.

Like, my Automatic Intuition program has become this party that I host. And whenever I add someone to it, it becomes increasingly more difficult to screen people to become a part of that. You know what I'm saying? It gets to be more and more kind of delicate and intricate.

And that's what I think about when somebody's like, I want to take your program!

I'm thinking, okay, what's the seating chart here, at the dinner table? You know what I mean?

Ash:

I feel like when I meet people that I want to introduce to other people, it's because I feel like they're gonna vibe and it's like a certain energy that I get from them. I feel they're similar.

Slade:

Yeah, I mean I would love it if people would do that to me. I mean, it does happen. People do introduce me to people, but I have become, especially with all this podcasting stuff, really kind of aware of the fact that, it's interesting that you say that, because I feel like my power is in introducing people to other people, also on a scale of like, discovering someone, or finding this person and being like, why aren't thousands of people listening to this woman?

Ash:

Yeah, yeah!

Slade:

You know? And interviewing them and I'm not interested in interviewing people who are already famous, or have more followers than I do, or whatever. Even though Patrick does.

Patrick:

Do you know how many people I've had the opportunity to, and I just go, and I either drop the ball and don't do it, or it just doesn't feel right. And the ones that I have interviewed that have been, you know, bigger names, just like landed in my lap.

Ash:

I've always wanted to... I mean, I have a decent following for what I do and the amount of effort that I put into it. It's not spectacular, but I recognize that I have a much bigger platform than a lot of other people.

When I do meet those people who I think, Gawd, people should know who this person is! That's why I always want to give them an opportunity to be exposed to my audience at least, because I'm like, if I meet somebody and I believe in them and what they're talking about, I think that that's really valuable for other people.

Slade:

Well you're also displaying your talent for recognizing that in other people. And people come to associate you with someone who has cool people on their platform. You know what I mean? I don't want people to feel like I have a bunch of canned interviews, or..

Ash:

Right!

Slade:

I want them to think, Wow! He always finds these people that I would've never known about otherwise but I'm so glad that I do. That's the feeling that I want them to have.

And I also want the people who are on the show to feel like it's a big deal for them. To feel like, either they love the show already so it's really cool for them to get to be on it, or they feel like, Wow, I went on the show and now I have so many more people listening to me. Or I've got so many new clients from that or whatever, and to be really excited about it.

Because we do this stuff so much more frequently now than the average person that we might put on.

There's just an energy about having someone be excited about being a part of what you're doing. And being excited about being a collaborator and it comes through. You can feel it. You know what I mean? When you listen to a show with somebody who's really excited and happy to be there, even if they're kind of nervous or something.

Ash:

Absolutely.

Patrick:

So, I'm just considering this thing started.

Slade:

Well why don't you tell everybody how we met, because I'd love to know what your perspective is on how we all three know each other.

Patrick:

I think I talked a little about it when I had each of you on the show, but I think I talked about it the most when Ash was on the show, and in my... it's not really a previous blogging life, because a podcast is just kind of an extension of what I started doing with the blog.

I met Ash through her blog, and I think when I realized she was from my area, that's when we started talking. I think I had, you might remember this, Ash, I don't know exactly how... If like, I messaged you or you messaged me. Or maybe you commented on my blog or something, but we started communicating pretty regularly.

I had lots of questions for her about my website. She had already been in the blogging world and I was still learning about it. I think we were talking about how I was experiencing the intense early part of my spiritual shift.

We've all talked about this, where I couldn't get enough books about it. And I couldn't stop reading about it and...

Ash:

The information-gathering phase.

Patrick:

Yes! Yes. And I was overwhelmed and I think Ash was like, You know, there's this dude that I need to connect you with because he's real.

That's how I got connected with your blog. I don't think I actually communicated with you until quite a bit later, Slade, but I was following you and learning from you at that time.

Slade:

Cool.

Patrick:

Then I think you reached out to me, Slade, before you started your fabulous podcast and Ash always pops up in topics, like, Ash said this, or Ash is so...

Ash:

SURPRISE! Here I am!

Slade:

From the closet.

Ash:

Like a jack-in-the-box.

Patrick:

By the way everybody, I made Ash sit in her closet because that's the greatest place for someone with a mobile laptop to record for acoustics, and it turns out her closet is basically a spiritual oasis and is beautiful.

Slade:

There's fashion in there too.

Patrick:

Yes!

Ash:

When I come out of the broom closet, it's like literally the spiritual broom closet here.

Slade:

It really is what I would expect your closet to be in the best kind of way. My closets are very suburban and not exciting at all. They are arranged by ROYGBIV and they all have the same exact hanger on every item of clothing, I will say that. Those are my two.

Ash:

You're not OCD either.

Slade:

No, not at all.

I have a south node in Virgo, I've discovered, which is where I get all my perfectionism in this lifetime from.

Ash:

I have a south node in Sagittarius, which is where I get all of my bluntness.

Slade:

Oh good! I like Sagittarius energy. We can trust it. That we're getting the exact, undistilled, unvarnished...

Ash:

The unvarnished truth.

Slade:

Yes. I like that. I like that quality.

Patrick:

I just wanted to tell people that we were, when we decided to do this, I don't know whose idea it was first, but it just...

Ash:

It was me! I said we should do this. It would be like the Avengers except with a better ending than Age of Ultron.

Patrick:

It just makes sense that it happened, because...

Slade:

We end up talking about each other anyway. If any two of us are together, the other person's name gets invoked, so...

Patrick:

Yes.

Ash:

We're like the Holy Trinity.

Patrick:

Yes!

And by way of joking, it's funny. We discussed what we were going to talk about and I don't know if you guys ended up being serious, but I was just joking and coming up with all these funny, ha ha things just to entertain people.

And it ended up that we came up with the curious thing that there are more women and gay men in our spiritual, psychic, metaphysical world, and not a lot of straight men. Like, what's up with straight men? Where are the straight men?

And I think Ash said something like, I think I copied and pasted it here, she said something like... Hang on...

Slade:

He's got receipts, Ash.

Patrick:

I apparently didn't copy. But you said something funny about, "Where are the straight men at, yo?" Or...Oh! I know! "When are straight men gonna get their sh*t together??" is what you said. Something like that.

Ash:

Yeah!

Slade:

Mmm... I have some theories about why it is a women-gay-men alliance predominantly. That's pretty easy to speak to. And it's so weird because when we were joking about this topic, we're kind of joking about it but then I was like, That's actually kind of a real thing that I observe all the time.

It came up in conversation with so many people over the next few days.

Ash:

Oh, really?

Slade:

There were other people who commented on it as well. It came up in a really super woo-woo way when someone told me, at the teahouse I go to, the next day, she brought up the fact that a lot of women were murdered for witchcraft during the Inquisition are reincarnating at this time. And that there were a lot of gay men that were crucified along with them. That is a very common lore, or whatever.

It's where the term 'faggot' literally comes from.

Patrick:

Ooo explain that more. How does that...?

Slade:

Well, they burned them along with the witches but in the context of like, Okay, we're going to have this big grand inquisition inquiry public burning to kill 1 or 2 or 3 women at a time, but then they just take a handful of queers and throw them in just as kindling, just to dispose of them. It wasn't even like, they didn't even waste a lot of energy on having a specific murder event for us, you know?

So the term 'faggot' refers to kindling, sticks that you throw in the fire to help it start burning. And that's kind of one of the origins of that disparaging term, or whatever.

So I was talking to this woman the day after you and I, the three of us, were kind of tossing that concept around. Where are all the straight dudes?? She just came out of nowhere with this idea that those souls are reincarnating right now.

And I'm not a huge past-life, reincarnation, that's not a rabbit hole that I go down really often. But I will always engage anyone in a conversation about it that wants to talk about it.

Yeah, she was like, "There's all these witches, the souls of all these women, who have chosen to reincarnate at this time."

It's, you know, I'm just passing it on.

Ash:

You just recently did an interview with Susan Grace, which is a long-time friend of mine as well. One of the things that she talks about pretty regularly is how... I would need to go back and... I think she's mentioned it in every single reading she's done for me in the last year.

Astrologically, we're coming back around through a cycle, and I can't remember which planet it is, but...

Patrick:

I can read your comment. Or actually it's Slade's comment. Slade said that she said something about the planetoid Regulus causing a 2,000 reign of men. That is over in 2020.

Ash:

So I think that might be what she's talking about, is the last time this happened was, it put us into the Dark Ages, which was the time when women were being burned at the stake for being witches. It was a suppression of the feminine.

That cycle is ending in the next five years. And it's kind of coming on right now. So you're seeing a lot of that collective pain and energy from that time coming up from beneath the surface for healing.

Patrick:

Mmm...

Slade:

I like the thought of it being kind of a cultural zeitgeist, or like an ancestral DNA kind of thing where it's just in our collective psyche to deal with that again. So I don't even think it has to be as literal a story as 'those souls are reincarnating', like they're all hanging out, going, "Okay, now's the time. Let's go y'all!"

Like it's a suffragette march.

I like to back out of those things, you know what I mean? I like to zoom out a couple of notches when talking about those things and imagine it in more of a, I don't know, mystical, collective consciousness kind of archetypal thing.

Ash:

Mmhmm.

Slade:

Like for some reason, I'm more happy and more comfortable getting onboard with that. In the way that you described it, as being like, that, whatever it was that's been repressed, we're not standing on its throat anymore. Of course it's gonna get up and wake back up again. Or, if nothing else, it's gonna have to be processed and dealt with differently than it has been.

Another way that this has come up, which isn't as specific as, 'Where are straight men?' and 'Why are women and gay men the allies in new age spiritual movements?' But in my Shift Your Spirits community, someone was posting about how Wicca and pagan-identified religion was really on the rise in the United States. And I told her in a comment, I said, I've actually been hearing that since the 1980s.

It started in the 1970s actually, that identification as a witch is one of the fastest growing religious identities in the United States and has been our entire lifetimes. Like it's not just happening. It's something that's BEEN happening for awhile, so I'm down with that.

Patrick:

Well if I may come down to Earth for a second and let's just talk about, like Ash said, I can't even think of more than a handful of straight psychics, for example.

Ash:

Straight, male psychics.

Patrick:

Straight male psychics, thank you.

What is it about... Is there something about the feminine, or, you know, there probably are a lot of gay men who want to smack me when I refer to them as feminine, but is there something about the brain of the feminine side or what makes... Is it more capable of getting into the spiritual and all of that...?

Ash is raising her hand.

Ash:

So, just to back up, everybody has masculine and feminine energy in them. I think that we have genderized that concept and that's not necessarily the case. It's just a way to refer to an archetype.

Think of it more in terms of yin and yang, where yin is the feminine aspect. It's the receptive. It's what's connected to the "Divine". So I think that the reason why we see more gay male psychics than we do straight male psychics is because they are more in tune with that energy. And that is the gateway through which we pull in psychic information, archetypally speaking.

I'm a tarot nerd and I love going through tarot archetypes but the archetype of the card, of the Lovers in the Major Arcana, it shows that. The traditional depiction of it is a man looking at a woman and the woman is looking up at a god-like angelic figure. The message within that card is that it's through the feminine that we reach that sort of enlightenment. Divine energy.

Slade:

I also want to throw in the fact that I think that whenever you exclude people from a social order where they're not in power, by virtue of survival or being able to make things happen for themselves, they have to become more resourceful and they have to learn how to do things in ways that people who, let's say you're heteronormative, white male in this culture.

Sometimes there's a lot of things that happen for you that you don't have to think about, in the same way that someone who is excluded from that, whether they're a woman, or they're a minority, ethnically, or they're a gay man, we have to go around and find windows, unlock doors and sometimes tunnel our way in if we can't go through the front door.

So I have a theory that that's also one of the reasons why gay people are considered more creative.

Patrick:

That's interesting.

Slade:

Or that women have an eye for the way that energies are interacting in a space in a different kind of way.

I don't think it's about the fact that we are... I do agree with everything you said about being more in touch with receptive energy. And also being released socially to experience that, you know? Women actually have it shoved down their throat. Gay men come to it by exclusion, well I might as well!

But I think that there's something that happened with the programming of straight men that is a little bit more on autopilot sometimes. And one thing that I will say for the straight dudes, because we've got a couple out there, and I can name them, but I won't embarrass them, but something that I've noticed about the straight men who ARE our allies, who we do find at our party, is that they're the real deal. They're the coolest of the guys. They're the ones that we all want to marry and they're the ones that probably need to be procreating more than the rest.

Ash:

And unfortunately, there's like two of them and all the rest of us are flinging ourselves at them.

Slade:

Oh, they're already married.

And we meet their wives and of course she's adorable too and we hate her.

Ash:

That bitch.

Slade:

Yeah, exactly.

You know, I do know these men in my life. And I think, gosh, what special kind of guys they are that they're able to shake out of that matrix, right? They are able to see through the matrix a little bit and see past that. So they are more awake.

So when you do find them, they are truly empowered and powerful guys. And they do exist.

But we can't ignore the fact that there's not a lot of them. And they don't tend to be working in this field the same way that we do, right?

Ash:

Yeah. One guy comes to mind that I discovered very recently and I completely, totally, just bought into everything. His name is John Wineland, and he's technically a relationship coach but he basically teaches yogic sexuality, and he just radiates this sacred masculine energy and it's so palpable. And you don't, I don't come across a lot of people that have that kind of presence, and who are able to talk about spirituality in a way that comes from that very masculine perspective.

I think he's fantastic. If you've never read any of his work or anything, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Slade:

Patrick, do you have any theories?

Patrick:

Like in college I can think of... and I'm not a psychic or a medium, or anything like that, so I'm not going to comment on it from that angle, but for example, after coming out, or being completely honest with some of the male friends that were straight that I had in college, I think were all these people that we're talking about. Because those are the ones I connected with.

They were very accepting and cool. They're not, I'm sure, psychics or mystics or anything like that. But I guess that's what I was thinking of.

I also think of the future of our world, my students, when I made the decision last year to officially kind of come out to my school community, meaning parents and students and no longer worried about that. Previously, I had only been out to my staff.

When I came out to my school community, I had some of the, and I'll use boys as examples, high school boys who I'd had as students in middle school, either came up and gave me a hug or told me how proud of me they were. One of them came up to me crying. And I thought, those are the cool peeps.

Slade:

Mmhmm.

Patrick:

Those are the cool kids.

And, you know, I have some students now, currently, they'll say, "Hey, Mr. Keller, how's your husband?"

And I'm like, that's cool. They're not afraid to be seen as 'I'm accepting this' or whatever.

So I think in that way, the future is very promising.

Slade:

I think that that's an amazing form of activism that gets overlooked, and it a cumulative thing and it's one of the reasons why being out is important.

Because it's so hard to de-humanize people when you know an actual face and name of an individual person. It makes it a little harder for people to put messages out there that are bigoted in some way because if you're someone who says, "Wait a minute, you know, they're talking about my teacher and that's not true." Therefore their whole theory is bunk.

I do believe that being the person who maybe you're the first out gay person that this straight guy has been friends with before, has an impact on how he raises his son down the road. That guy that you knew in college who's like, I never knew a gay dude before, but you're cool.

You just inoculated an entire potential family from future homophobia and probably misogyny as well. Because the issue with all those things are about people who are fearful and abusing people that they believe are beneath them.

And one of my friends who I work out with a lot that's a straight guy who's an ally said to me, he was like, "I'm not insecure about my masculinity."

The only way that you could be a misogynist or a homophobe is if you are.

Ash:

You know, I think that's an interesting conversation too.

I always share this article in my Facebook group. It's called 'Healing the Mother Wound', and the name of the woman who's worked this is... I'm trying to find it... Bethany Webster. She also has a really great article on how that sort of mother wound plays into toxic masculinity. I think I shared a link to it in one of my more recent blog posts.

Women talk a lot about men needing to take responsibility for how women have been treated for centuries and centuries and centuries. But also, there's a very important aspect here of, women also have to take responsibility for how we've raised our boys to be a part of that culture as well, and how toxic femininity has fed into toxic masculinity.

So I think, you know, in the midst of the #MeToo movement and how feminism is kind of gaining this momentum right now. We also have to, at some point, stop and also accept our role as women in what we've also helped to perpetuate in some ways by being unconscious. Just as unconscious as the unconscious masculine.

Slade:

You're right.

This polarity that's introduced by genderifying it, genderizing it, I can't remember what term you use, but by making it about masculine and feminine instead of making it about receptive versus projective energy, or dominant versus receiving, or all those different kind of terms, there's a lot of ways to talk about that stuff where it's not gender.

And this gender thing is kind of like the first basic form of social division, you know? We keep talking about how our culture's still so divided. That's like a basic division that has been going on for who knows how long, right?

The idea there, for a little while, that, before the #MeToo movement, there was kind of a meme within feminism about how feminism was humanism. Like, to be a feminist was essentially to be a humanist. And I know Justin Trudeau even brought that up recently when asked in an interview if he considered himself a feminist. And he said yes and that's why.

So I think that there are a lot of reasons why women would perpetuate a system that is misogynistic, because there are some women who would perceive themselves to be still elevated enough within that system that they wouldn't rock the boat. They'd rather indoctrinate their daughters in order to inhabit those positions of influence, however small they may be, as opposed to the real work of what Susan talked about.

Susan Grace said everything is going to be re-built. And part of what's happening is, everything's gonna fall apart first, you know?

In order to renovate stuff, you have to blow it up. And I think that, you know, my feeling politically, culturally and humanistically is that we are watching a lot of stuff unravel. And one of the things about her message that was so meaningful to me is: You want it to break apart.

Because we can't put it back together in a different way until it comes apart. So... that may have been a tangent...

Patrick:

I would love to bring something up, and that is, I mean, it goes along with everything we've talked about. But I've had a few guests on my show discuss how this women's suffrage movement happened... I mean, it's hand-in-hand with the spiritualist movement. And that was maybe kind of the first #MeToo era.

And so I would just be curious to know what we think, now that we are having this #MeToo movement and many people have referred to it as Another Year of the Woman, or The Year of the Woman.

What's that mean for spiritual peeps? Like us? What's it going to do to, if it was connected with the spiritual movement before, what's that do now?

Ash:

I think you see them kind of rising in parallel. And I think that's because, again, it goes back to that connection with the Divine Feminine and spirituality and that's how we're rising right now.

Slade:

I think women also are more receptive and use the principles that we teach and speak and talk about. Women have already mainstreamed a lot of new age culture to be tools in their tool box. The average woman is much more likely, in the United States, and I don't know, I can't speak to other cultures but here it feels like even people that, 10 or 20 years ago, we would feel like would never be seen chanting or burning incense or in a yoga class or something like that.

A lot of that stuff has just become a regular part of women's toolbox of self-care, right? Women don't hesitate to seek things like readings, as one of their sources of information. And they're much more likely to pass along a lot of their information to their spouses.

Like, I know a lot of guys whose partners and wives are getting readings from me. But I've even had situations where the husband is on the phone, or the information is clearly intended to be for the couple, but it's kind of like, it seems to be women who are just really comfortable with dialing that in.

So I feel like if women are in a position of power and are in a position to make more decisions, they're going to include those kind of tools and making it more available. And it will just be like, not as big of a deal to say, have something like that taught in a classroom, right?

Do you understand what I'm trying to get at?

Ash:

I have a question for you guys, and this is something that I've kind of pondered from time to time. And this could go off on a tangent as well.

I talk about coming out of the spiritual closet, and I think that there's a lot of similarities in being a spiritual person and sort of being discriminated against in certain ways for your personal beliefs. In that regard, I think a lot of that parallels being gay and having to hide who you are from the world too.

So I'm curious, especially with you guys, you're real spiritual and homosexual, so how does that... I don't know, let's talk about that.

Slade:

Hmm... Well, I will say this. It's easier to be out of your closet as part of your sexual identity than it was for me as a spiritual identity. I withheld THAT for much, much longer. Even though they both were happening in parallel in my awareness, I was actually more sensitive to the idea that I could be victimized for talking about hearing voices, being intuitive, being sensitive to spirits, knowing things about people. I was MUCH more afraid somebody was going to throw my ass in a sanitarium over that stuff than I was that I might be victimized for my sexual orientation.

That has been my experience is that, it actually might be harder to come out of the spiritual closet.

Ash:

I mean, I know for a fact, over the last 5, 6, 7 years that I've been doing this and have been administrating Facebook groups that many, many, many people are still afraid to be out about their spirituality. Because they are terrified of what friends and family are going to think, about how people are going to react, they're afraid of losing their jobs, their credibility, and I kind of agree with what you're saying.

I've never experienced having to come out about my sexuality, but I know that in terms of spirituality, that's been a really... It wasn't something that I just, you know, threw the door open and said, "Here I am!", dressed like Miss Cleo. It was sort of slow bits and pieces. I kind of just pushed it out there and I think maybe people just kind of saw it as an evolution.

Slade:

Like first you're bisexual for men, women...

Ash:

Right.

Slade:

You're really gay and everybody knows you're on your way to gay, but maybe you test the waters with the bi.

Ash:

Psy-curious.

Slade:

Psy-curious.

There's your title for this show, Patrick.

Patrick:

Well I joked around about how it's a triangle-table discussion instead of a round-table discussion and that works too. Triangle, gay, bi-curious.

Slade:

Gosh, right?? So many layers...

Patrick:

Well I can tell you that I don't know that I relate it to coming out or being gay as much because I have considered myself very lucky. I had a very smooth coming out process and I haven't really had a lot of, at least that my eyes are open to, a lot of discrimination thrown against me since coming out in my senior year of high school.

But I can tell you that I think part of my fear, like Slade is saying, of coming out of the spiritual closet, which I do, like Slade, that's more of a fear for me. It's harder when you have a podcast about it because everybody's like, "Yeah, he's a weirdo."

Ash:

What about blog?? I didn't even want to put my face on my own blog for three years.

Patrick:

Yeah?

Ash:

You know?

Slade:

Okay, you're a weirdo.

Patrick:

But what I was going to say is that I really have been also running away from organized religion my whole life and growing up Southern Baptist. And so, also, part of even though I'm so done with that and have left it behind, and I'm still running far away from it, worried about what people think, I guess, if you start talking about certain subjects. And I do have people give me weird looks because I don't have a lot of people in my community that are just kind of open to, "Hey, so let's talk SPIRITUALISM!"

That type of thing.

I do remember being more concerned about it when I was early on in the spiritual shift, that time period we were talking about earlier, when I was obsessed with EVP for example, and talking about spirit voices and people are like, "Uh........... I'm gonna go now........."

Ash:

I remember having a conversation with... I had several of these conversations actually, in a short period of time. I talked to my mom about it. I talked to some friends about it. And I had people, my best friend, ask me if she needed to call me an ambulance. I had people basically tell me I was delusional. My mom just kind of laughed it off and was like, "Oh, that's great. That's funny." And changed the subject. Really quickly.

I had a lot of people change the subject very quickly.

Slade:

What was the ambulance gonna be for?

Ash:

Because I'm crazy, apparently.

Slade:

To bring the straitjacket. They need an ambulance to deliver the straitjacket.

Ash:

Do you have a head injury?

But what IS funny is that since those conversations, a lot of those people have actually shifted on over with me.

Slade:

Oh, cool!

Can I say something about my observations with this? Because this is something that I get asked a lot, and I work with a lot of people who are smackdab right there on the cliff. A lot of people are emerging and putting themselves out, not only as a spiritual person, but identifying themselves as a psychic, right? Or an intuitive, or whatever the case may be.

And so, I hear these questions a lot. And I will say this, who you're imagining.... First of all, if you're in that space where you're like thinking, Ohmygosh, all these people are gonna think I'm nuts.

I want you to sit down and see if you can make an actual list of who those people are. Are there actual people who think that? And is there more than three?

Because sometimes you feel like, Oh there's all these people, and it's like, Okay, who are they?

Well, my mom and this person over there, I don't really know, but I bet they would.

It kind of falls apart a little bit and you start to realize how much you're pumping a lot of that up to be maybe more than it really is. And I'm not discounting the people who do say beep to you like you're delusional. But they are a minority.

So what happens when you do just say, "You know what? I'm not going to convince anyone of anything. But I'm going to put what I think out there."

It's like you're running a flag up a flag pole and all the people who agree with you, there's actually more of them in the closet than you ever realize, and they start approaching you and whispering, "Hey, by the way, I love your podcast."

Ash:

Exactly!

Slade:

That happens to me at the gym! Like it's a secret. Like I'm a drug dealer or something. You know what I mean?

Ash:

I had the same experience though. Like I would also meet people who, you know, I would tell them about some kind of weird paranormal experience that I've had and they'd be like, "You know what? This also happened to me one time."

And it seems like everybody HAS had at least one of those stories that they've always been reticent to share with someone because they don't know how that person's gonna react, and they don't know if that's a safe space.

Slade:

Right.

Ash:

Just by you being yourself and being open, you give them permission to also do that.

Patrick:

It's like a very therapeutic moment for them too. In those situations. I've had a few of those. They've been like, at the xerox machine. Those have been a lot of where these conversations have happened for me. Where they're like, "Oh, you know, I know you're into this stuff so I have this, the other night I had this blahblahblah..."

Just them getting it out of their system is, you know, I feel like I was their therapist or something.

Slade:

Feeling somebody that could witness them.

And just to tie up what I was trying to get at with, can you list the people who are supposedly going to think you're nuts?

You might. You might get a handful. But now when you start to list all the people who've emailed you and said, "Ohmygod, I love your podcast", or who have emailed you with their stories, and I know both of you get emails from people who tell you their life story and it's so vulnerable and so personal, and they've chosen YOU to be the person to tell, right?

And if we start to make a list of those people, the point that I'm trying to make for everyone out there who's feeling fearful of what the people who are gonna judge you negatively are going to think, when you start to really pool and list and add up all the people who are going to be connected to you because of it, or are gonna identify you as a safe person to talk to, or gonna agree with you or be interested in what you have to say, that population is so overwhelmingly larger, don't you think?

Patrick:

Yeah. It's just fear that keeps us assuming that we wouldn't be accepted.

Slade:

Yeah. We're afraid of what those 10 people are gonna think, that we don't even really like anyway. Meanwhile, there's a football stadium full of people who are like, "Bring it on!"

And what you realize when you walk through that portal, that vortex, and go through to the other side, you go, "Ohmygod, there's tons of people here." That's the first thing that really happens, is people flock to you because you have run a flag up and said, "I'm someone you can talk to about this."

That is a courageous act. Those of you who do put yourselves out there and do that are creating an opening for all those other people who can't. And creating a moment for them at this xerox machine, that they wouldn't have had otherwise.

So I think that that's the way it happens. And I understand why it's scary, and also understand that once you're on the other side of it, you'll think, What the hell was I waiting on??

Ash:

Yeah.

Patrick:

Kinda like when I came out this last year. I was like, why couldn't this have happened years ago? Because honestly when I started teaching 17 years ago, I always assumed that there would never be that moment. That I would be, I would have to wait until I was retired, to live that 100% out of the closet experience again.

Why couldn't it have happened at least five years ago? I don't know about 17 years ago, but...

Slade:

Well, I mean, the reason why it doesn't happen is because there is a very real danger that something really bad could happen to you. You could be targetted in some way. I mean, I don't want to say that, just by being brave and doing it, that that will make all of that stuff go away.

Ash:

Your dad could try to give you an exorcism in a public parking lot.

Patrick:

Or your parents could throw you out of the house as a teenager.

Slade:

Yeah.

Patrick:

And those things happen. There are very real dangers of, well, I'm sure coming out of the spiritualist closet for some, there might be a very real danger of someone, depending on where you live, or what your family situation is...

Slade:

I live in the Bible belt. I know what it's like to be surrounded by fundamentalists all the time. To the point where sometimes I feel like, maybe I actually have some kind of programming that I'm numb to it now. Because when I travel to other parts of the country that are different in some way, I think, Wow! Even the average redneck on the street is liberal!

It feels like I'm in Oz or something and it makes me aware of the fact that I do live in a place that is so conservative.

But I will say this. The bigotry is on both sides a little bit because I have such an expectation of these people around me, who maybe identifies as Christian or whatever, being unable to process what I do or connect with it in some way.

I'm often finding that I'm the one who's being narrow-minded.

They do come up to me and approach me and sometimes people who are mystical people in a religious way are actually much more able to talk about mysticism period. I've found that little old ladies who identify really strongly with Jesus are MUCH more open to the idea that your grandfather visits you at night.

They don't bat an eye about spirit visitation at all. Or the existence of angels, some of these things that are part of the new age...

Ash:

In some cases, I feel like they've just lived long enough to have those experiences.

Slade:

Right. And it's a matter of vocabulary. At some point you have to ask yourself, she's using the term she's using because of the time period that she grew up in, and the education and spiritual system she was indoctrinated into. That's her vocabulary and that's her words for it.

I often find myself putting it on myself to do the translating. The angry, younger version of myself was like, "Nah! This is BULLsh*t!" Like, in your face about it. Now I'm much more compassionate and empathetic to the fact that, you know what, I'll do the translating. I'm not gonna force them to accept my goddess vocabulary because sometimes that shuts people down just because they can't process what it is that...

You're using a word that they've never heard before and their mind shuts off at, "What? Did he just refer to God as a woman..?" or whatever. And then they don't hear everything you say afterwards.

And so I have learned to do the translating myself. And even though it wears me out sometimes, and I wish everybody was a little bit more fluid with their vocabulary, sometimes I have to look through the words that they're using and look at the energy of what they're trying to communicate. And say, "Okay, I get what she's saying. She's talking about empathy. She's talking about psychic receptivity. And she's just couching it in, a more conservative way of talking about it."

So it does go both ways a little bit. I'm just owning that for myself.

Patrick:

Word.

If I try to bring us back to the initial question, keeping in mind that we know that there are straight men, for example, who are our buds and who are completely down with all of this. And they're probably the ones throwing their phone across the room right now as they're listening. Because they're like, "Why can't you see me and hear me?" And just as there might be women who are completely lost on what we're talking about, and aren't down with it.

Keeping that in mind, how do we bring straight men in, or is it possible to bring straight men in? Do they have to do it themselves?

Ash:

Ooo good question.

Patrick:

Well I am a genius!

Ash:

There is no off position on the genius switch.

Slade:

For myself, I will say this. The same thing I was kind of talking about stepping out there and running a flag up the flag pole and letting people identify with you. So I think you live your example and you gather the other people along with you and you create those spaces. And you make sure that guys feel welcome when they do show up.

As far as recruiting them, that seems like a different kind of situation. I don't know that we can do that. I think that we need to make sure that we're not excluding the men that want to participate. The straight guys that wander into our meditation circle or whatever it might be.

And I do think that one of the things that could be different for Ash, for example, with the community she runs from mine, I do get a lot of male clients. And I get a lot of younger guys that come to me for readings, and I think that they do feel more comfortable just because there is a man present in the room, gives them a kind of permission to participate.

Even though I'm very out about my sexual identity, I do feel like sometimes the guys who show up to participate with us, it helps to see a couple of dudes in the room.

Ash:

I totally concur with that.

I was having a conversation with a friend just a couple of weeks ago about how there's not a lot of masculine voices when it comes to spirituality, particularly not straight male masculine voices. And I feel like there's a really big... Everybody wants to be able to see someone in a space that looks like them. And we always talk about how it's always a white male everywhere you go, EXCEPT where we are, you know?

Straight, white male.

So I think that's also a big barrier for those guys, is that they don't see a lot of people like themselves in our communities. So I think it's hard for them to be able to identify in some ways.

Slade:

I send a lot of men who are looking for relationships into those environments, particularly when straight guys who are in their late 20s and they come and have readings about their love life and where they can go to meet people. I do send them into those environments because I know...

Patrick:

You have match-making services also?

Slade:

Right! Just to bring that back in.

The fact of the matter is, if you are one of those men and you're really a special, unique, you know, maybe minority. But listen, if you want to be like the coolest person that ever walked through the room at yoga class, go to a yoga class as a straight man, as a place of putting yourself out there and saying, I'm a different kind of man. I can't imagine that you wouldn't have lots more opportunities to meet the kind of women that you want to meet.

Ash:

Exactly.

Slade:

You know, like those environments for the right kind of mindset, like if you're the kind of guy that thinks, You know what, I'm comfortable enough with myself. I don't mind being the only guy in the room.

You get a kind of attention for being the only man in the room with a bunch of women. Even when I was in college, I would take these women's studies classes (I have a Women's Studies certificate), and back then, they would give you a certificate if you took certain classes that were within other disciplines and fields and but they didn't have a major for it yet.

So if you took history classes that were designated as a women's studies history class, eventually if you had enough of those credits, they would give you a certificate.

So I would often take, say, for instance, a literature class or history class or politics class that was a women's studies class, because it was more interesting. The topic was more specific and granular and meaty in some way.

And I would find myself in these classrooms where I was the only man. And even though I was a gay man, I still was the only MAN. And there is an attention that you get from women when you're the only dude in the room.

And so I would think, that for a straight dude, that sounds like a great spot to be in.

Ash:

Just walk into the room, turn to the women and go, "Oh heeeeey!"

Slade:

So we are recommending that for your spiritual growth and edification, as well as your dating life, straight dudes, get thyself to a...

Ash:

Spiritual circle!

Slade:

Spiritual circle.

Patrick:

Right away.

So Ashley, what do I call this episode?

Ash:

Mmm... I don't know... Good Times in the Spiritual Closet?

Patrick:

Actually, I kind of like, Get Thee to a Spiritual Circle.

Ash:

Or triangle?

Patrick:

Or triangle!

Slade:

Ohmygosh.

Patrick:

Ash. Tell us what's going on in your sacred space, besides the closet that you're sitting in now? That could look like anyone's living room or bedroom, and it's your closet.

So tell us what's going on in your world.

Ash:

Oh... my world is quickly shifting and changing and I'm honestly not 100% certain where it's going right now. I just kind of started a re-brand over the summer, and I'm actually getting away from doing readings and being so focused on metaphysics and I'm kind of branching more into personal development and I'm on this big authenticity kick right now.

A lot of my writing has shifted quite a bit over the last year. It's kind of taken more of a creative, emotional direction.

I'm not selling anything, I'm not pedaling any wares, I have nothing to tell you other than if you just like to read my daily thoughts, you can follow me on Instagram and also subscribe to my blog.

Patrick:

I don't think there's anything wrong with that. That's awesome. Just BE.

Ash:

Yeah. I kind of decided that I'm doing this for pure enjoyment at this point, and I think that that's the best way to approach it. Especially if you want to grow something, do it because you're passionate about it, not because you need to make it happen.

It's my passion project.

Patrick:

So you've made this cool move that a lot of people would be very jealous of. This chance to just kind of jump out there and be brave and start something and move somewhere. How many years now have you, you're in Brooklyn, right?

Ash:

I'm actually Jersey City.

Patrick:

Oh, okay. So how long have you now been an East coast nerd?

Ash:

It was a year in July, so almost a year and a half December.

Patrick:

Wow. I had thought that it'd have been longer by now.

Ash:

Still pretty fresh over here!

Patrick:

Tell everyone... It's InMySacredSpace.com, right?

Ash:

Yes.

Patrick:

And you said your Instagram is where it's at?

Ash:

Yup. And InMySacredSpace.com. I'm also on Facebook too, but I seem to be gravitating more towards Instagram these days.

Patrick:

Slade! Just recently, I see that you kind of revisited some stranger angel stuff going on at sladeroberson.com.

Slade:

I did! It was my most recent episode. Just talking about the phenomenon of stranger angels, which is something that I read about and podcasted about in the past, but I had a whole different take on it while travelling, really around the concept of how you can be one of these people.

Like my past experiences have been all about receiving those experiences as opposed to, this time I was travelling with someone who is very actively likes to be a stranger angel. So it activated a different awareness about what it means to move through the world and interact with people that way.

Patrick:

What else is going on?

Slade:

You know, like Ash said, it's really not, for me, about pedaling anything in particular. I also believe in authenticity and I believe that putting yourself out there and talking about things that you're interested in and hosting a space where other people can do the same is a really powerful form of marketing, and you don't have to jump up and down and sell things in order to connect with people.

I really do believe in the concept of marketing yourself as being... Find a group of people that you share something in common with and go be relentlessly helpful to them.

Ash:

I love that. I love that! Be relentlessly helpful.

Slade:

I have to give credit to Tim Grahl. He's something of a business mentor to me and he comes from the independent publishing community. That's his definition and it's one I've taken and borrowed. My interpretation of that has been to create space with my platform for other people to come and...

It's not only about me making this content and putting it out there. That's one part of it. The authenticity. But also using my social media platform as a big keg party basically. I don't have control over it. It's not a... The Shift Your Spirits community on Facebook has been a surprising revelation in how... you know when you are in these groups where there are tens and thousands of people and no one is talking or commenting on anything, and the moderators and admin people are trying to get a discussion going and it's just fallen flat...

Ash:

I feel like that's how my group has become, but only because I've neglected it.

Slade:

Well, you know, it was one of my biggest fears, honestly, and starting a community like that was like, Ohmygod, how do I pump these people up? I thought I needed to be some kind of cheerleader or something and that's not my personality.

And what I have found...

Ash:

No!

Slade:

What I've found is that by inviting all these people and just creating a space for them to talk about all the things that they want to talk about, they all have their own paranormal experiences. They all have their own spiritual modalities that they study and so I have been very hands off with the community.

I'm hosting this community and that's my role. The people who participate, the members are the ones generating the discussion. I often don't even comment on the discussions because there are so many of them, and I love just kind of drifting through, quasi-invisibly, and seeing all the things that are going on.

And I have to tell you, I'm really proud to have my name on something that I didn't make but that nevertheless I feel like I invited to happen. And it's really about other people. It's not about me.

And when you're an author, you're an online personality or podcast host like we are, it's very easy to come from this ego space of being a performer and being like, the one who's the centre of attention. I have found that I'm moving into that. Weirdly I've become more collaborative, less about it being about me, and more about it being about everyone else.

So for me right now, the growth in Shift Your Spirits is all about the people who listen to the show and interact on Facebook and create this cool space where they talk about cooler stuff than I might even think to bring up.

If you'd like to check that out, by all means, we'd love to have you.

Patrick:

And I'll put all of the links that we mentioned two groups and Instagram and websites. And we'll put all of those in the show notes.

Great idea, Ash!

Ash:

Thank you!

Slade:

That was fun!

Patrick:

You are a genius.

Ash:

I know. I'm also humble.

Patrick:

And I'm, right now, just so you know, I'm gonna take a screenshot selfie of all three of us on the screen.

Are you ready for the countdown?

Here's my classic smile. You ready?

One..

Two..

Three..... Wait, did I do it right?

OH NO I didn't do it right! I did it wrong! It's Command-Shift-3.

One.

Two.

Three.

YAAAAAAAY! Thank you.

Slade:

Fun.

About the Show

Fewer hearts and flowers than most New Age blather.