Ray’s Rays, Number 18: Everyday Anarchy, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays

Number 18

Everyday Anarchy


Radiance Angelina Petro






There are many forms of anarchy, and many ways

to be an anarchist. While the origins of the word

date back to around 400 BC, and mean, “Without

leader, or ruler-less,” it can be difficult in today’s

capitalist-terror regime to be “without a ruler.”

Most have to work, and many under oppressive conditions

where the amount of money made is barely enough

to live on, and very often it isn’t enough for that.

Many are forced to work abusive hours with hardly

a moment to breathe. Many people are “ruled,”

by asinine government policies, lack of medical insurance,

the barbaric costs of health care, the hassles to get on

food stamps, social security, and housing programs.

How can one rebel against such terrible, oppressive, racist,

classist, and cruel systems? How can one be an anarchist

in today’s world? It’s difficult and risky for most of us

to live outside the system–to fight against it. So what can we do?

Sometimes we need to turn to small, but mighty ways

to be an anarchist. Subversive ways. Sometimes

not even noticeable ways. But there are ways—everyday ways

to be an anarchist. For example, you can be an anarchist in your relationships–

and practice non-hierarchical ways to partner. You can

embrace sexual pleasure as a form of anarchy. You can

practice mutual aid and find ways to thwart capitalist-terror

and trade or exchange services and things with others in the community.

You can challenge gender roles, gender expressions,

and the cis-hetero normative trappings in society.

You can utilize local libraries as another way to bypass capitalism.

Perhaps you have the means to financially support mutual aid organizations

and other such community causes. You can volunteer to work

in community gardens, harm-reduction efforts, queer

community centers, and homeless shelters.

Some of these may not seem like anarchist activities,

but they are—they all challenge oppressive systems of government.

And there are many other ways to do so–inventive, unique, subversive ways.

So, go ahead, break some rules, get people upset,

and help change the world.





Ray’s Rays Number 17: Fuck the Upgrade, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 17

Fuck the Upgrade


Radiance Angelina Petro





Q-Anon, whacked UFO cults, and many fringe “New-Agers,”

often talk about waiting for the cosmic DNA upload,

the divine upgrade that will give them superpowers.

They speak of having a new, alien-given matrix

downloaded into our consciousness.

One of the thing that troubles me about con-spiritualists

is their comparing the human brain to a computer.

Of course, this is by far not the worst thing they do.

Along with their strange bedfellows—the extreme right

terrorists of the evangelical variety—they’re causing

more death, violence, hatred, transphobia, racism, Islamophobia,

an antisemitism at one time than this country has ever seen.

Addressing their language though is important—the terms they use.

By comparing people to machines, especially computers,

they further dehumanize others and put themselves above others.

Their believe their upgrades and downloads and uploads make them better

than the sheeples. They make them more cosmically aware

and give them advanced states of consciousness

that fuels their white supremacy. These terms are now

a part of our everyday vocabulary, and it is degrading.

Resist this type of computerization of the human being.

Change the analogies, comparisons, and metaphors

to ones of nature. We must get ourselves out of the machine-

consciousness and back to earth. It’s about descending

not ascending. Instead of getting alien downloads,

let’s cultivate the gardens of our hearts, let’s weed out

self-hate, and plant self-love. Let’s plant seeds of compassion

and community. Let’s water the gardens of our communities

with love and the sweat of our activism. We are not machines.

We are not spirits in the machine. We are people.

The more we resist the computerization of our language

the more empowered we’ll be. Using computer comparisons

disregards the horrors of colonization—it forgets the US is occupied

territory. It is designed to divert our attention from the earth,

the marginalized, and the real issues at hand. Resist it.

Stay human and humane.





Ray’s Rays Number 16: The Glory of Descending, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 16:

The Glory of Descending


Radiance Angelina Petro





In plenty of new age cults and con-spiritual groups,

such as Q-Anon, there are references to Ascension.

It is believed and preached that only a select few–

the “woke,” ones, the ones “in the know,” the ones

who have been enlightened and have special DNA downloads

from aliens and beings from other dimensions.

In capitalist, and hyper competitive societies–

like the US, the goal is to climb higher and higher

in terms of social status, the amount of money you “make,”

and how above you are over the poor, unfortunate souls

who don’t want to rise above their lowly circumstances

or else their manifesting of prosperity would have worked.

Indeed, there must be something wrong with them or

maybe they’re not believing hard enough. This, of course,

is classist and racist bullshit. It’s thought-terminating.

Those who seek to ascend to higher and higher levels

of status, consciousness, or cosmic awareness,

too often are afraid to get their hands dirty. “Leave that

to the ones who can’t make it because they have faulty will-power,”

they say. But the key, if there is one, isn’t in the ascension. Sure,

the world can be, and often is, a shitty place to live and thus

the impulse to ascend to higher planes of consciousness

so that you can conquer the ravages of modern living–

which is, of course, not the worst idea. But back to the key.

To me, the key is in descension. A wondrous

diving down to earth, the “incarnation,” of ourselves

as earth-dwellers. Hopefully this descension leads to

a deeper care of the earth and of each other. The ground of being

is where it’s at. It all happens on the ground, on the earth–

on the farms, the wildernesses, the parks, the bodies

of water, our bodies. Try descending from your striving for ascension.

Turn your face towards the earth, and make a gesture of respect,

love, and gratitude to this endangered planet. Dig a little.

Search the gardens of your heart. Explore the roots of your ancestors.

Dive deep into the dark shadows of the soil of your life.

Ascend if you want, or need, but perhaps try descending as well.

There are many gifts among the earthy ones—the horizontal communities

and not the hierarchical ones. Try not to be afraid to have your feet on the ground–

on the earth—right here, and right now.





Ray’s Rays Number 15: Judging and Condemning, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 15

Judging and Condemning


Radiance Angelina Petro





Go ahead and judge.

Watching others and learning from what they do

and/or don’t do is good information. It’s also

a judgment. Judging for yourself whether or not

to do, or not do, something based on an observation

of someone else is a healthy thing.

The trick is not to condemn–

unless they’re nazis, fascists, racist police, or TERFS.

Those we can safely judge as total and complete shitheads

and it’s more than OK to condemn the fuckers.

But in general, we have no right to condemn others.

That’s not healthy socially, mentally, spiritually, or, at times, physically.

People conflate judging and condemning, but they’re not

the same thing. One is helpful and we can learn from it,

the other isn’t (unless it’s the afore mentioned shitheads).

Judging someone you admire and respect–that you want

to emulate, and learn from in positive ways—that’s completely valid.

Judging someone from a place of toxic superiority doesn’t

go well. Is the way someone is acting, or what they’re saying,

positive and healthy, or hurtful and destructive? If you think about it

those are judgments. And they’re completely valid.

Conversation stoppers like the phrase: “Don’t judge,”

aren’t helpful when having an important discussion. They demonstrate

an unwillingness to engage, for whatever reason. They’re not

fair (which is a judgment), and neither are they helpful

(another judgment). They can also be used to defend toxic,

racist, shitty behaviors (that too is a judgment).

So, judge others, judge yourself, and do both with compassion,

empathy, and a humble desire to learn. Try not to

condemn. That goes nowhere and also stops

important dialogues that sometimes need to happen.

Keep your judgments to yourself, unless

you’re calling out transphobia, Islamophobia, and all

other forms of hate. Then shout, or perhaps whisper

like an angry, menacing vampire.




Ray’s Rays Number 14: Get Dirty as Fuck, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 14

Get Dirty as Fuck


Radiance Angelina Petro





I live in a state where Springtime is pretty damn amazing.

All my trips around the sun thus far haven’t diminished

the wonder I feel/sense/know whenever I witness

Spring’s magic. All that tiresome stuff written

about how Springtime is a time of new beginnings,

awakenings, rebirths, and all manner of blossoming–

is true. Sure, the seasons change. It doesn’t stay

Springtime all year (at least not in Pennsylvania),

yet that doesn’t mean one can’t revel in the beauty

of seeds muscling their way through dark soil and bones

and rocks, to open their palms to the everywhere sky,

of the sound of Spring Peepers, of bees shaking off their sleep

and lifting into the breeze, of trees budding leaves

and birds suddenly appearing—seemingly out of nowhere,

and the frozen creeks coming alive again, and the flowers–

the wondrous, magical flowers. And the mud! The glorious,

mud—the delightful mud! If, in this moment—the one

in which you’re reading this right now—you’re having a spell

of not liking yourself in anyway—perhaps try and imagine

you are a breath of the cosmos, and that you are a becoming

that is the very heart of Spring. Imagine you can start again

and again, and that the open, everywhere sky is there for/with you.

Perhaps go outside and play in the mud—get dirty as fuck.

Perhaps breathe in the beauty of a flower with your whole body.

Perhaps, even for a moment, remember you are sacred–

sacred as the night, as the moon, as the spirits in the dark,

as the sun, and the ground, and the stars. Feel ugly if you do,

but you and I both know, the truth beneath that feeling

is that it’s a lie. The real truth is that you are a divine breath of the universe.

You are the ever-Spring of hope and beauty. You are worthy, enough,

and beautiful as fuck. That’s the eternal truth.

Ask the flower, it will whisper back the truth.

Splash in the mud, and it will cheer it back to you.






Ray’s Rays Number 13: To Thine Own Self Be True, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 13

To Thine Own Self Be True


Radiance Angelina Petro





Begin where you are. Or stay where you are.

Both are valid. Each has their own wisdom.

Sometimes it’s healthy to push past our comfort zones.

Other times it’s completely fine to stay comfortable.

The only people who say otherwise are those so steeped

in old capitalist ideas that they know nothing except

working themselves to the bone. Being comfortable

isn’t a sign of weakness. Neither is staying in bed all day

if that’s what you need. Is it valid to “force” yourself

to get up and going and doing? Of course it is.

Learning when to rest and when to rise can be, as they are for me,

lifelong lessons. And there’s no right or wrong.

It’s helpful to remember though that we can’t start

at the finish line, and also, that there isn’t a finish line,

and most important of all—life isn’t a race. Fuck anyone

who says you need to be pushing and achieving

and achieving and producing to be of value in this world.

Live your dreams on your terms in your time.

Be gentle with yourself. Be fierce with yourself. Main thing:

BE yourself. You are worthy and powerful as you are.

You’ve made it through so much already, and there still is often so much

going against you. Yet you’re strong. You’re alive. There’s blood

on the brain—your mind thinks with passion, your mind thinks

with the heart. You are learning. You are evolving, blossoming,

growing. Have as much fun as you possibly can.

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly,” so says

GK. Chesterton. Laugh at the absurdity of it all if you can,

and stand proud (or lie on the couch proudly). You are a becoming,

and ever-changing, unfurling universe.

Go ahead, to thine own self be true.





Ray’s Rays Number 12: On Coming Out, By Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 12

On Coming Out


Radiance Angelina Petro





The thing about caterpillars is

they make their own shrouds.

They form into a chrysalis and then

dissolve. Slowly, they reconstitute themselves,

until they are ready to reemerge a winged-being.

Making the analogy between butterflies blooming

from cocoons and queer people coming out,

can be instructive. Remember though, the caterpillar state

is perfectly legit, as is the chrysalis phase.

Unlike the caterpillar though, that has a predestined time

when it must open to the sky, people coming out do not.

When National Coming Out Day rolls around, please

do not pressure anyone to come out. Please don’t

pressure yourself to come out. Some queers choose,

and, indeed, need to stay in the closet chrysalis,

and they are no less valid or queer. If someone

is too afraid to come out for whatever the reason

support them. There is no finish line, and no right

or wrong way to come out. You do you. Seek support

if you need/want it. Stay in the closet as long as you want

and/or need. No one can tell you you’re not doing it right,

no one can tell you you’re not being a good activist.

You—and only you—know best, and a good, gender-affirming therapist

can be a huge help in sorting it all out. There needn’t be any

shame in seeking and/or needing/wanting support.

Before leaving this entry, there are couple things to know:

Chrysalis,” comes from the Greek, and means, “golden.”

The word, “Psyche,” also comes from the Greek, and means,

among other things—the soul, breath, spirit. The Greeks

personified Psyche as the Goddess, Eros, who was represented

sometimes as a butterfly. The word, “analysis,” likewise

comes from the Greek, and means, to set free. If you need a therapist

to help you analyze your unique set of circumstances

with regard to coming out, please know, getting help is holy.

Sorting things out with a gender-affirming therapist may help

free the butterfly, the soul, from the golden protective sphere in a safe way. And that

is called, wisdom. Once the butterfly hatches, it is vulnerable

as its wings form and the colors swirl and settle into place.

This is all holy and sacred. Please be gentle and patient with yourself

during this process, and, just as importantly, be gentle and patient

with each other. Learning to fly into an infinite sky

can be terrifying. It’s also full of magick and wonder—and dangers.

So, please come out only at your own time

you dear, wonderful, perfect butterfly.





Ray’s Rays Number 11: You’re Fucking Perfect, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 11

You’re Fucking Perfect


Radiance Angelina Petro





You are complete as you are.

There is no “other half,” that you need

to make you whole. You ARE whole.

You might long for a romantic relationship–

a “soul mate,” or you may be seeking

a deep platonic relationship. You might be aching

for more than one partner. You might be looking

for a sexual relationship and nothing more.

All of these are totally valid, of course.

I encourage you to remember-whether you feel it

or not—that you are whole and complete as you are

right here and right now. Of course,

having an experience of feeling like your partner(s)

complete you in some way, shape, or form,

is also valid. My main idea here is to, in case you’ve forgotten,

remind you that you are wonderful as you are.

Being alone may suck for you, and that too, is valid.

It sucks for a lot of people. Seek for the relationship(s)

you want/need, and, at the same time, be in relationship

with yourself. Cultivate love for yourself. Make time

for yourself. Pleasure yourself. Talk with yourself.

Please note: I am in no way suggesting you have to

love yourself first,” before you can love someone else.

That is one of the biggest and most cruel crocks of shit I’ve ever heard.

We learn to love in community—with each other—with another.

We also learn about love as we practice loving ourselves—that’s true,

but remember—some of the pithy, conversation-ending phrases

like the “love yourself first,” are hazardous and meant to shame.

Cultivate your heart. Practice what it feels like to feel complete.

What does that mean to you? What is that experience like?

Whatever your answers, please know you are, in the words of Pink:

Fucking perfect,” even if that means there are things you want

to change about yourself, or “work,” on. Just as clay is always perfect

as it is even before it’s sculpted into something, and even as it is

being sculpted, so to are you as you continue to unfold

as the child of light, or the child of darkness that you are.

And by “darkness,” I don’t mean evil or bad. Some people

prefer darkness over light, and that is completely valid. Ask the bats

or owls, or the moon, or stars, or a fetus in a womb, the candle–

to them darkness is where it’s at. But I digress.





Ray’s Rays Number 10: Honoring the Emptiness, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Ray Number 10

Honoring the Emptiness


Radiance Angelina Petro





There is an old saying that it is the emptiness

in a bowl that makes it useful. Of course, the form

creating the emptiness also makes it useful.

Without the form—no emptiness. Without the emptiness–

no form. I tried for years and years to fill the emptiness

that seemed to always exist in my heart, in my soul.

I tried all manner of addictions, all manner of spiritual traditions.

They seemed to work for awhile, but not really.

And so the emptiness remained.

It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized

the emptiness is important, even though it often

felt painful and endless and vast. Still, I learned,

(and am learning still) it is essential to my inner life.

There was no longer the urgent need to fill it.

There was no longer the idea that if the emptiness was there

then it was something I wasn’t doing, or not doing right, or enough—it was perhaps

something I was doing that was sinful and wrong—something I shouldn’t be doing.

I wasn’t saying the right prayers, I wasn’t eating the right foods,

I was masturbating and looking at porn (of course, there’s nothing

wrong with masturbating or looking at consensual porn.

It’s just growing up they were considered “sins.”), I was watching TV

for hours on end. I was being an asshole boy(girl)friend.

And then, this idea that emptiness is needed began

to inform my life. I could fill it if I chose, and sometimes

I did so with full consciousness and even with a desire

to share what overflowed. And sometimes I filled it without thinking,

and still do today. Social media is a powerful addiction for me.

If you’re living with an inner emptiness, perhaps try

to settle into it, or next to it, or around it—be the sacred form

that holds the sacred void. Perhaps fill it with dark water

and do a little scrying and see what arises. Perhaps

just leave it be—a living silence—a space that holds all things,

a space that holds no things. Perhaps try to love it, or, at very least,

acknowledge it. Perhaps change the form that holds the emptiness.

Perhaps do nothing, or dance, embrace, or create in the silence,

in the void within, and know it isn’t a weakness, or something wrong.

It is part of the totality of things, and is there

to give you the space to breathe.





Ray’s Rays Number 9: Unpack for the Journey, by Radiance Angelina Petro

Ray’s Rays Number 9:

Unpack for the Journey


Radiance Angelina Petro




Sometimes, when we’re going through

a tough, confusing experience

we say, “we have a lot to unpack,” about that experience.

What we usually mean is that there’s a lot of work to do

around sorting our emotions, thoughts, and questions–

we want to make sense of something.

Throughout our lives, when do we literally unpack?

Sometimes it’s when we arrive at a vacation

or when we move into a new place.

Either of those is a beginning, another stop on the journey.

Perhaps it means a new adventure is about to begin.

Perhaps it means a difficult chapter of our lives has ended

and another, hopefully, brighter one is opening.

But perhaps we need to unpack in order to start,

and sometimes unpacking can be tedious. It might also be fun.

On a vacation we unpack our clothes, toothbrush, a book (or books) we brought,

we unpack our meds, our reading light.

When move, it means unpacking spoons and forks,

plates and cups, books, clothes, the blender, the coffee maker,

bedding, and perhaps, even, our sex toys.

Point is—when we’re unpacking from a move or arriving

on vacation—something new is happening. And it might be

scary. It might be thrumming with delightful expectations.

Whatever it is—we’ve arrived someplace new.

Perhaps try unpacking your emotions and thoughts

about the difficult, painful things in your life

as if it’s a new beginning, a new adventure. Love

what you find in the process. Toss out what you don’t need or want.

Cherish things you discover. Make use of what you lift

from the boxes and suitcases. And yeah, it may totally fucking suck.

It might be exhausting. And also, it is in your control how and when

and why you unpack. Remember you can always pack things away again,

and that is totally legit. Perhaps you’re going to save

the unpacking until another day, or after a nice, long nap.

You do you, there is no right or wrong.

Your life is wherever you’ve arrived either by conscious steps

or by being forced into a situation because you came out as trans

and your family is being assholes, or the economics

and ravages of late-stage capitalism have dictated the move.

Whatever the reason, perhaps try and be where you are–

in charge of the unpacking process. And also, please remember

you can ask for help and support. Who knows what curiosities

you might have forget about but find at the bottom of the box?

Who knows what memories may show themselves. Lift them

as if they are holy, and arrange them as best you can in your new space.

Make it all your holy place, and you, the lighter of candles,

and officiant of the new rituals that unfold into your life.