Left-Handed Journeys

Artist Janet Chui on spiritual awakenings, tarot, and kink

August 19, 2021 Jera Brown Season 1 Episode 4
Left-Handed Journeys
Artist Janet Chui on spiritual awakenings, tarot, and kink
Chapters
Left-Handed Journeys
Artist Janet Chui on spiritual awakenings, tarot, and kink
Aug 19, 2021 Season 1 Episode 4
Jera Brown

Janet Chui is the artist based in Singapore and creator of the Self-Love Oracle. Drawing fantastical subjects since childhood and holding a B.A. in Journalism, she's worked in tourism and publishing, and is currently studying Counseling Psychology. After her experiences with motherhood, divorce, Tibetan Buddhism, healing, and the supernatural, she pushes others to heal through self-exploration and self-expression.

We talked about Janet's spiritual awakening while giving birth, her journey through Tibetan Buddhism and discovering the Singapore new age community, shadow work within Tarot, astrology, kink, and more.

Show Notes Transcript

Janet Chui is the artist based in Singapore and creator of the Self-Love Oracle. Drawing fantastical subjects since childhood and holding a B.A. in Journalism, she's worked in tourism and publishing, and is currently studying Counseling Psychology. After her experiences with motherhood, divorce, Tibetan Buddhism, healing, and the supernatural, she pushes others to heal through self-exploration and self-expression.

We talked about Janet's spiritual awakening while giving birth, her journey through Tibetan Buddhism and discovering the Singapore new age community, shadow work within Tarot, astrology, kink, and more.

Janet Chui:

For me Tarot and even astrology that is just a language and we can talk about how, maybe again with the devil card or with Capricorns, that they have a real sense of, you know, having obligations and responsibilities. And sometimes if you want to play with it on a very physical level, it could be being bound, you know, by when you have obligations or being bound because you've made a promise, being bound because you're into it. It's just kind of the same idea, but on different levels.

Jera Brown:

You're listening to Left-handed Journeys. My guest for today's episode is Janet Chui. I'm joined by Janet Chui, who is an artist and creative behind the Self-Love Oracle, drawing fantastical subjects since childhood and holding a BA in journalism. She's worked in tourism and publishing, and she is currently studying Counseling Psychology. After her experiences with motherhood, divorce, Tibetan Buddhism, healing and the supernatural, she pushes others to heal through self-exploration and self-expression. She's based in Singapore and writes on self love, astrology and culture agenda chewy calm, and your Self-Love Oracle has just launched right? Or is it?

Janet Chui:

Yeah, it came out on the 13th. So that was just about two weeks ago. So I'm really excited about it. And I think it's like, it was quite a long journey, because it was a an independent project that I put out in 2016. And now that it's been picked up by a publisher, and it's I don't have to worry about the distribution anymore. Someone else is doing it but excited. But that that just came out in Amazon about ...yeah, two weeks ago,

Jera Brown:

You know, can we just start there? I'm really curious, like about the journey? Like, what gave you the inspiration? And what really motivated you to to create this and put it out there?

Janet Chui:

It's a good question. I mean, you know, for the longest time, I think ever since my teens, visuals and painting and drawing were just kind of like my way of working through whatever I was going through just putting my emotions on the paper. To be honest, when I look back, it was probably like the safest way to express myself. And you know, it's like, I keep those drawings and paintings in my closet. And that was while the thing is, it's like, I didn't really have a plan of what else to do with my art. In fact, it was a lot of mixed messages in terms of, could I make money from it? Was I getting encouragement? I was getting both sides of that reception with my art. So around 2016, this was a few years after I kind of started connecting with people in the local New Age community. And because I find my artwork is a lot of about people who areI think they're more archetypal than real they're in the throes of, you know, either experiencing kind of loneliness or having some sort of spiritual breakthrough. There's a lot of people that they look like they're sleeping, but for them, it's like they're meditating, or they're deep within themselves, and whatever you see around them is actually what's going on inside them. I've done all these types of artwork without really finding by market and all of a sudden, when I clicked with, like, the local spiritual community, that was it, they were just grateful for the images, like they got it. And they didn't have to ask me about, like, what it meant, like, they immediately got it. That was like really validating for me. And that when people started suggesting that, you know, you could do an Oracle deck with this, you really pair very well. So that was one of these kind of early collaborations that after that the other person left, I kind of took that Oracle deck project to completion. And yeah, so 2016 was when I kind of launched it within Singapore, I can make my own community. And that's how it got started. Like, that's how I feel like I found a type of spirituality that clicked, I found a place that my art kind of slid into and had a purpose and found its audience as well.

Jera Brown:

What is the new age community like in Singapore?

Janet Chui:

Um, I feel like a lot of it are the people who have been searching for answers outside of organized religion. And the thing is like Singapore is quite a diverse little island. We are made up of mostly immigrants from around Asia, but because we were a British colony, that's why a lot of us can speak English. We're kind of cosmopolitan, and that we've been importing media from all over the world. So it's actually true for the modes of spirituality that are practiced here as well. So we do have kind of like a major organized religious groups like Christianity is here define Buddhism here, Hinduism Islam like, you name it, we probably have, like a place of worship. And then I don't know, I feel like if you were to go out of these groups of organized religion, you do have people who who may be like jumping from one organized religion to the other. But then if you go into a bookstore, or if you go into and there are some new h shops here, not many, but they are. And I think if you have either the luck to kind of wander into them, it just seemed a bit more open, like the rules were a bit more, it allows you a bit more autonomy allows you kind of like the use of accessing your own intuition. I kind of, for me, it's a bit of mixing and matching as you go along that I kind of find very well. It's like, if it has meaning for you, that's okay. If it helps you feel better if you think it puts you on a path of healing. You know, there's no one kind of telling you what to believe. And it's just that, do you vibe with this? And that it's like, oh, cool. That's it. That's really all of it. So, yeah, in terms of how widespread it is, I couldn't say but I'd say that at some point. All of us have probably wandered into like a new age bookstore, or just maybe, you know, found something that looked interesting and kind of jumped more into the genre. I think a lot of it is online, or books from like the mind body spirit section of the bookstore, right. Yeah. That sounds very similar to the US. I think so. Maybe it's the same everywhere.

Jera Brown:

Maybe! So jumping backwards, where did you start? Tell us about your religious or spiritual roots.

Janet Chui:

I was born to parents who were kind of, they weren't drawn to any religion in particular. So I was kind of going up, and we didn't go to church. But sometimes we went to the temples, sometimes we were given rather interesting objects from relatives that kind of went, Oh, if you want better luck, you know, do this. There's a lot of, in some ways, Chinese culture, or even just the Chinese diaspora culture has a lot of like spirituality that kind of got watered down. And so there's some rituals that might have had spiritual roots. And then some people just kind of do it mindlessly without thinking about what it means anymore. So I kind of grew up around that, that wasn't a formal religion that we subscribe to. But I was surrounded by people, you know, they would call themselves Christian, or they might really call themselves Buddhist, or Taoist, or what have you, that was really quite a lot of stuff to choose from. So within my family, by my parents actually were pretty open minded in that they didn't steer us any one way or the other. But because, again, culture and spirituality sometimes being intertwined without people really explaining it, they just kind of take it for granted. You do have some of these statues in your house, where after I kind of looked it up was like, Oh, this is this is one year, you know, this is the goddess and this is a story, and all that kind of stuff. So people might not question it anymore. But for me, I was kind of like looking at the stories with these Chinese gods and goddesses. They have a portfolio each of them though they. So I would look at this stuff, no more than the people who were just taking the stuff for granted. So the more that I learned, it was rather amusing to me how people even chose their loyalties. So I would say for the longest time, in my own life, I didn't really want to like subscribe to any one club, and stuff like that. It was only as I think as I started looking at meditation, and I want to learn meditation. And it seemed like that meant going into some sort of Buddhist temple that had Dharma classes. So this was around I think, my late, late 20s, early 30s that I, I read, that I really questioned what the meaning of life was, I was just kind of like that. I want to learn that. And that was before things got a bit strange around the time I gave birth to my daughter. Like if people want to talk about like the awakening experience that didn't happen to my daughter arrived. I don't know if I'm sounding too much like I'm giving a movie trailer. But yeah. I went into meditation classes and I went to, to the temples that were offering these classes before I had the experience of we're not in Kansas anymore. That's how it happened. Yeah.

Jera Brown:

When you started going in to meditation or when your daughter was born the you're not in Kansas moment.

Janet Chui:

Even during meditation, it was just ... I got a whole feeling of calm there and there was nothing noteworthy but when I start when when I was pregnant, and I After my daughter arrived, I think some things became more strange as in, you know, it wasn't just sitting and being calm. In fact, it was sitting and being sometimes like, either disturbed by something that was really strange like you, you know, you're alone in the room, but you're getting sensations of, or colors or even sounds of someone else being there. So it was, it was that kind of thing. It was literally, I had extra senses I didn't have to deal with before. And they were almost like, they pee, almost like the day after giving birth to my daughter, it was actually quite. That's fascinating. But yeah, very, very other whoo side, very unexpected. But that was part of I think, why became receptive to New Age. After that, it seems like there were more people within the New Age community, who were accepting of those kinds of experiences. versus when I did try to go back to kind of like, the Buddhist teachers, they were going like, you shouldn't be having those experiences. You know, that's more. That's where people who have been maybe spiritual in successive lifetimes, and this might be like, you know, the eight of those light times, and it's like, why are you telling me this, if I've just told you, I'm already experiencing it, and you don't know what my past lives might have been? So I did have that moment of, let's see what the Buddhists say versus let's see what the new agers say. And yeah, that that that was a transition also that I wasn't expecting. But it did happen like how I just described.

Jera Brown:

I've never heard of that. So it's, it's fascinating. I mean, it makes sense of giving birth is such a full of mind, body, and spirit activity.

Janet Chui:

To be honest, I think it was quite traumatic. When I was reading about pregnancy and giving birth, it's like the body really goes through so much. So actually met other people who are like, he's like they had that same experience of NATO extra sensitive, have suddenly had to deal with things that would be classified on the supernatural side. And it takes people who are receptive to metaphysics, that that's outside their religious dogma, to listen to you and go, 'Well, here's a possibility,' instead of just kind of going like 'No, what you're saying is probably like, maybe you need a minister, or some medication.' Yeah, it's a very select group that I feel that can can listen to these stories and be a bit more receptive to them. For sure.

Jera Brown:

And I hope that the types of people that would be listening to this podcast are the types of people that would be searching for these things, too.

Janet Chui:

I find that you know, one of the things about in this world, it's like, we have so many diverse experiences. So what if mine's a bit? Whoo, I'm sure like everyone has cool stories. I think everyone will know how strange and wonderful this world, right?

Jera Brown:

Yeah. So I know, potentially different note, how do you define the erotic or what is the erotic to you?

Janet Chui:

Ah, I think of it as a sensory experience, where it's pleasure that's visual, it's tactile. In fact, it's all the five senses, and it's very, very intimate and very, very personal. So like in that whole definition, I didn't even say sex or sexuality it's just something that your your senses are so delighted that you're completely aroused. So that for me that's it. Like, there are some pictures I look at that don't even have to have a nude body, for example, to be erotic to me. It just... as long as it arouses something, I feel it. I get it like to the whole body and it's a very visceral, physical is pleasurable. That for me is erotic

Jera Brown:

Is some of your art or erotic is all of it erotic or?

Janet Chui:

Hmm, I'll say some of it has been, I don't know if I'd classify it as erotic. I feel as if I I had a period in my teens and my 20s that I definitely was exploring if you want to explore yourself as a sexual or sensual being is definitely in my work. There are certain pieces that I had to hide even more seriously for that reason, in the culture that I was in. And then I don't know whether it's because I aged or I experienced it in such a way that after a while, it didn't seem like I had to capture that in my work anymore. So if it comes now, I'll be glad for it. Maybe it was unconscious, but I feel that, again, if I was aiming for full experience of life, my work that's probably that's probably in there in some of my paintings, but maybe older ones more than the, the newer ones. Viewers might see something else.

Jera Brown:

You've talked a little bit about it on your site. I mean, you have some pieces that I think are more sexual or sensual than others that you've you've pointed to. But I guess I was curious to if you if you define there, Radek is something that appeals to all the senses. And it doesn't even have to arouse a sense of sensuality or sexuality for you. Like, I wonder if that did connect in some way that, but it doesn't have to, I feel like when we define terms like that, that they they take on different meanings in different contexts too.

Janet Chui:

That's a good point as well. Yeah, maybe maybe we can be defined also by what you're gonna do. You feel inspired to do. That's another way of looking at it.

Jera Brown:

So I stumbled across you and your work looking for definitions of shadow play, and shadow work. And one of your blog posts came up. And yeah, you've talked about that. And then what I loved about when I say like, what you put out into the world, I mean, like, you're a prolific on Facebook of putting out videos related to astrology, and you blog. And now I think things are more tied to your studies into psychology and therapy as well. But it just, it feels like you combined a lot of elements, and then you have your works of art that seemed to support it, or back it up or make it more personal. And I really appreciated that. So I don't know exactly where I'm going with that. Like, what what appeals to you about Shadow Work or shadow play? And what do you feel like you do things with it? Or is it just an interest?

Janet Chui:

So I have my definition of Shadow Work. But shadow play is not something I've heard by often. And I'm wondering whether you maybe say a little bit about what you mean by shadow play? Yeah, I'm not sure why I use that term. But I'm, I'm intrigued by it. So I want to know what your concept of that

Jera Brown:

It very well could be because I've been editing a piece about kink negotiation, and the word play just comes to mind a lot. Also, I should say that I think of the shadow work that I've done for myself, often involves kink and BDSM as a way of exploring these. So Alright, I'm getting off. Yeah, I just had this interview with Fio Ged Parma who is a Balinese-Australian witch, and he wanted to make the distinction between like, that the shadows are not the dark. That you actually need light in order to cast shadowsyou don't need dark. I want to be cognizant of that when I'm talking about Shadow Work. I'm not talking about just exploring the dark sides of me. But the things that I think are dark, that might not actually be dark. So okay, I was reading through that in my head. So for me the whole when I think about shadow play, I think about exploring shame, exploring sadism, exploring things that might seem dark, but that actually lead to kindness and compassion and self discovery and pride.

Janet Chui:

I feel like if you've brought up a way for me to look at it that I hadn't been thinking of before, because for me, and I've just, I've defined it in some of my pieces about Shadow Work, which is that the shadow and I'm taking call Jung's definition is just something about yourself that you don't want to own for any reason, be it shame, or that you don't want to look a certain way to other people. But another way of approaching it, which is something I've kind of noticed in myself as well is that sometimes for me, the topics that I really love looking at to other people look really strange, or they are like more bit or it's like, oh, that's taboo stuff. Like why do you want to look at it? And that perhaps another definition of shadow? And the thing is, it's like they've attached or they've projected stuff on to I feel some of these topics that might be a weird and different way of understanding shadow. But for me, it's like, why don't you want to look at it this stuff is fascinating, you know, keep us fascinated. Why do people do what they want to do, which is like the whole study of psychology. So when I think about Shadow Work, it is with that psychology basis of people are the light side and dark side or people are what they want to show to other people but they also the parts that they don't want to show to other people or they don't want to admit they have and that to me is a large part of Shadow Work. When you said shadow class suddenly started thinking of was there a way to to play with the parts that we don't want to show And I find that one of the things I really like to do, and this is completely, completely related to where you want to take this today was how, like villains in, you know, popular churches have this very magnetic pool. And I feel that when we start confessing or being really open with how we admire these villains like which parts of them are we admiring? Is it that, you know, they, they are badass, they have a lot of power. They're kind of unabashedly with what they want and want to go after they've embraced these parts of themselves. And they completely like act them out. I feel that it shows a lot of self honesty and self awareness if you can say, I like this villain, because that is almost like you're admitting to, to having like the same desires. But the difference might be that we don't act on them the same way that the villain does. We still own it, but we're making that part of ourselves. Even in kink, we're kind of doing these things which other people might regard as really strange, like, why do you want to experience pain? Why do you want to experience this, but it's play for people it can be play, it can be a way of exploring, you know, how do I feel about this? How far can I take it? And if I do get pleasure from it, and no one's being hurt, then why not? It's really kind of venturing into your own, the parts of yourself, and a lot of this play does require, you know, seems that you're enacting of other people. And it's really, for me, at least, it's always been very, I've been very interested in exploring that. And I know that people do it, because there is something to gain from it,

Jera Brown:

To tie a bunch of things together. So as someone that's interested in astrology and Tarot, like, I feel like, I couldn't have been open to any of that until I was open to the shadow side, you know, because the idea of the death card and the devil card, or not being these evil things, right. Or I like to say that the devil cards the kinkiest card. Yeah, bring out the weapon shaves, right? Yeah, it's a it's always a fascinating one, when it comes up. It's like, Am I not balancing enough? Am I not pursuing pleasure enough? Like, it's so fascinating to me to figure out like what the universe is trying to say when it comes up. I feel like folks that are open to embracing the full spectrum of the human experience, are the ones that are receptive to like, what the universe is trying to tell them in terms of like in a tarot reading that might also be interested in the kinds of playful activities of like, how, how you can play with it in BDSM, or in these other realms, right, it feels like there's synchronicity there, at least for me.

Janet Chui:

I don't find them incompatible. Either it's us exploring all these different dimensions of life there are sure explore, but in the end maybe because all of it is psychological for me Tarot and even astrology, this is just a language. And we can talk about how maybe again, with the devil card or with Capricorns, that they have a real sense of, you know, having obligations and responsibilities. And sometimes if you want to play with it on a very physical level, it could be being bound, you know, by when you have obligations or being bound because you've made a promise, being bound because you're into it. It's just kind of the same idea, but on different levels. So in a strange way, what started as a joke, I would just say it was the kinkiest card in the Tarot, but it really you know, whether someone wants to explore it with kink and chains or you want to explore how well do I really put a lot of obligation on myself or other people? Do I seek out codependent relationships? Do I want to control people? These are questions that I feel like the tools of astrology, Tarot, kink ... like it actually gives you language to explore these things. Where if it's like, 'what are the dynamics you're seeking,' you know, 'what are the dynamics and patterns that you've been playing out in your life?' And sometimes people when they're not conscious of it. These tools can for me, again, as a as an artist, and having that visual language, like, why do you like to be tied up? Is it that someone else takes the power over from you? You get to kind of like just submit to someone else? You know, these are questions that again, they go back down into your psyche, but it's just do you want to look at it or the tarot card Do you want to look at it? You know, Lady in leather. Yeah, I think it's, it's kind of cool this this little chattel with gone down, but for me, it's like they're not incompatible.

Jera Brown:

I feel like there's a whole niche for you because you give tarot readings. Correct? Like that's one of your services? So specific, like kink tarot readings.

Janet Chui:

Oh, I've got to update my look. I do that. But that's that's an idea.

Jera Brown:

Wait, you said I think your look, is that what you said? Yeah. Oh, funny. I feel like one of the things I vappreciate about going to the dungeon, like whenever I bring guests or something, they'll be like, what do I wear? It's like, you will see everything. You should be comfortable. You know, how do you want to show up? You will find somebody else showing up that way.

Janet Chui:

Yeah, but I think people don't know how much in a strange way, like even Tarot readers, even astrologers. I think people in the community, we want people to feel comfortable. And let's say it doesn't look that way to some people, or it might look scary. But the whole thing is there are we know that the best thing that you can get out of it is just you're in a safe, comfortable space, and you're actually exploring things about yourself that you might not get to do. In ... I don't know what you want to call it, like more mundane, muggle situation.

Jera Brown:

Yeah. Right. So when I started thinking about this podcast, for me, so much of my own personal journey has been learning how to embrace a sexual journey as part of my spiritual path, you know. And wondering just how other people do it, or what those journeys look like for for others, like, the way I've been describing is an erotic spiritual identity or or Radek spiritual practices. And so I guess I'm just curious to you like what that calls to mind like, is there a way that it sounds like it but that your your sexual path has started to merge with your spiritual path? Or what what are those intersections for you?

Janet Chui:

Strangely, I think they were intersecting in ways even before I went to New Age that I was struggling to kind of like integrate it all at the same time, like, how do you see yourself as a spiritual being but as a sexual person at the same time, and there was actually a point in time where this job that I had, when I was in the US was that I was working with people in the sex trade, or, you know, adult entertainment, but I also considered fully myself a full Buddhist, and I kept having questions like, Am I doing the right thing as a Buddhist? Like, these people are working in an industry that some might consider a vice, that some might consider somehow, you know, like, detrimental to their soul. They're selling their body. And like, all the ways you want to use those euphemisms. And after a while, after I started talking with them, and kind of realizing, everyone kind of goes into this with, I think, awareness and having kind of like ... they've chosen a certain way. And if they do it in a way that suits them, and they're not hurting anyone ... I kept having all these questions about karma. But I did find it hard to reconcile. And then I left that job behind. I came back to Singapore, I had my motherhood experience; I had my strange supernatural experience. And then I had the whole, Okay, let's let's set Buddhism down for a short while and go to New Age, and it was more open there as well to sexuality, like you. All of a sudden, you could ask Tantra questions, which, for a stranger, I couldn't find myself asking in the Buddhist temple, even though you could say it was part or maybe just a branch of off that tree. Sure. But in I think, a new age, spirituality or more kind of like open spiritual communities. You don't have to deny your sexual self. Like if I went to a Buddhist temple here, for example, and I would find people who are a lot more older than myself and a lot more conservative. I couldn't, I wouldn't find that answer of how to reconcile these two things from them. But within the New Age community, it was a little bit, it was a lot easier, let's just say. People in sharing circles, and you know, just having meditation circles where people are kind of like, putting their stories out there. It just seemed like there was a lot less judgement, there was less baggage that we're dealing wit, there wasn't as much dogma in New Age against sexuality. In fact they want you to explore that part of yourself. So I guess for me it was it was good in a way and yet I was ... just a little tangent was that I still find myself kind of thinking ,,, it's like, yeah, I want to be more sexual. I want to be more vulnerable. I want to find a partner who's interested as well. But part of where I got a bit like waylaid was the fact that I told myself, so I have to get myself like another New Age guy, which, not to get too far into it, but sometimes I feel that within that community, I think we might have these ideas of if we are this enlightened, or if we are New Agers, we have to get partners of the same stripe, which kind of goes back to organized religion, sometimes having that that kind of thought pattern coming up as well. So I definitely fell into that trap for a while where I thought I could only have my full-bodied or full-fledged spiritual-plus-sexual experience if I found someone exactly like myself. And that was a bit disastrous for a few years. Let's just say that I kind of, I did actually start exploring things with the kink community instead. And to my own surprise, I found more spiritual people in the kink community than what I would call maybe like, so the hippie or the New Age community, like there was spirituality in the kink community. And that was a good revelation for me. Yeah.

Jera Brown:

I feel that. I mean, I guess what comes to mind for me is I want folks that feel like they're on a similar spiritual journey, but then they might not also be on the same sexual journey. But you find folks on the same sexual journey, and they might not understand where you're going with spiritually, and it's hard to fit it all together. But what experiences are you missing out on by just seeing who you connect with to?

Janet Chui:

Yeah, part of the the pitfalls that we can fall into on any spiritual path whether you're following an organized religion, or you're kind of following your own path is that you feel like you're only ever going to find yourself understood by someone exactly like you. And it was an experience for me to learn that I could find different people from myself, and yet we would ave things in common. I realiz d, Oh, maybe the New Age beli fs, were just dressing. This is actually like the real stuff. hether it was like life-experi nce, or that maybe you're int something that kind of like put you it gets the whole world ike, some of these things win up somehow drawing you clos r and connecting you o a more profound level, hen whether someone else rea s tarot cards or likes crystal , that there could be more de per connections and there could e deeper connections than than that. And in a strange way I think the reason why I've tuck with astrology, from he beginning of, of me discov ring it, and through this who e journey, like I feel like some imes I've left New Age a little bit behind, but I've taken astro ogy with me. And part of that reason is because astrolog has taught me to look at how p ople vibe together, or how their journeys might look. And y appreciation for astrology is basically like how, how it mold someone it has potential more s meone's psychology, like it's surprising how m ch of that can show up on a cha t, and your sexuality as wel .

Jera Brown:

So you're studying counseling right now. Like, do you feel like you're going to bring astrology into a practice, or ...

Janet Chui:

I actually don't know yet, though, what I'm fascinated by, and I do want to be able to counsel people and speak to people, whether I, I pool astrology into that as well. And I feel that if I, if I just operate as an astrologer anyway, but I go in with counseling qualifications, that becomes a bonus to those people whose charts I'm reading. So yeah, I have no idea what shaped my work will take like once I can say call myself a therapist or a counselor, I feel that my experience so far with people has been rather interesting. Those people who are very open to astrology, they can be a bit surprised by what their chart reveals about themselves, or even who or what kinds of relationships they're attracted to. And so the astrology becomes a way to shortcut some of these conversations, like usually people don't want to talk about things that are very personal to themselves, but they come in for a reading, and these pieces of information are coming up anyway, because I can see a way to get right to it, that it just starts that conversation for them a lot quicker, they might open up sooner, they're quite surprised. They'll ask questions. For me, these are all again, like I said before, it is a language it gives them a language it gives them a way of going like what you can see that and then there's no shame anymore. There's I think a lot of skepticism or fear around therapy is that people who are in the chair they might not want to read feel things about themselves. But if you go to an astrologer, astrologer say it's like, I think I can see this deck, can you tell me if I'm on the right track? Yeah, there's no shame about it. It's kind of like we're, we're doing some, you know, fact checking here we're doing. We're doing some checking here, if this reflects your experience so far, and because it's already on the table, that person's looking at you like it's not taboo. I think it puts people in a space where it's like, Oh, I didn't have to worry about talking about this. It's already there. And you can correct me or add on as they please. It's almost like a new fusion of talk therapy. It's like, Yeah, get your chart, read it. And then let's also talk about all the things that you you were afraid to talk about.

Jera Brown:

I love it. I was talking to a friend Bianca all the skin, another podcast episode who got me into phone sex work. And so she does a lot with hypnotism. But it's really a way of for her of helping her clients explore a spiritual connection. And I found with my own work that, you know, a lot of times it is like, it's a place where folks feel comfortable talking about different kinks or fetishes, that where they don't feel comfortable talking to a therapist about it, and I had to come to some sort of peace around that it's okay to offer some guidance or therapy in all these different ways, whether it's through astrology readings, or tarot readings, or phone sex hotline, when it's where folks can meet you, you know,

Janet Chui:

You're meeting them where they are. I feel that's what's happening. I like that you've brought up that Yeah, I find that when I was working in the US with the sex workers, you know, they were doing work that was that had a purpose of making the person they were with feel safe, feel wanted feel better, you know, we all are just trying to heal ourselves in all these different paths and all these different ways. Again, even astrology, even Tarot is just a different language. It's just a different level. You know, some things are more visual, some things are more tactile, even healing can happen sexually into touch or true voice, sound healing of all these things exists. So yeah, I feel that in a way, what you've just mentioned, helps me that thing I was struggling with reconciling my spirituality or, or even Buddhism with this kind of work with sex workers, or even, you know, these metaphysical tools, if it's meant for helping someone else where they are, that's pretty normal. I think that's, that's, that's, you know, legitimate, that's valid. And yeah, it's just, we are hoping that we ourselves and our clients, like get something that helps them something that that elevates them to where they want to be.

Jera Brown:

If you're interested, you can head to janetchui.com to find out more information about astrology readings, tarot readings, as well as the Self-Love Oracle deck. And I wanted to because this is now globally available, it's so new, can you just end by talking a little bit about who it's for or what you hope people get out of it?

Janet Chui:

Okay, so the Self-Love Oracle is a box, it's a deck of cards, 44 cards, it's got a little guidebook on how to use the cards as well. And each of these cards have different message have a different piece of artwork. This is artwork that I've done over decades now. And all the messages are really loving messages. So you don't have to have any kind of like Tarot or psychic training to use these cards. If you can shuffle a deck or you can just, you know, cut the cards and pick a random one, then each message is supposed to, you know, kind of get you thinking about how to take care of yourself better. So it's called a self love Oracle because for me when the messages when I was writing down the messages, I was at a place that I didn't even fully understand the self love concepts. I was a person who, you know, I would look for validation outside of myself, or you know, I would feel unhappy or unfulfilled. I didn't know what my next step was. And so, I'm not saying it's gonna provide all the answers, but I hope that when you get some of the messages, they give you a bit of insight of how to get past a block, or give you insight on how to look at a situation differently. I've had people how, whether they're a psychic or whether the cards have some magic, I'm not gonna say any of those things. But they'll they'll say that the card that they pick usually will be relevant. And usually we'll give them a way forward or they'll have to think about it. And it's something happens later on in the day that it makes sense. So it's just fun. You don't have to think of it as a psychic tool. But the fourth is that these messages are supportive. They are loving they want the best for whoever is using them. Yeah, so anyone, anyone can get them plus plus they're pretty. They are Yeah. And they're just really gentle. You don't really have to have any special skills or tools to use them.