• Erin Clark

Unfaithful To Our Origins: A Divination


A tribute to my disabled community on the UN International Day of Disabled Persons.


Photo by Eli Mora



Unfaithful To Our Origins


A divination using the Modern Witch tarot deck, excerpts from Judith Heumann’s memoir Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, The Cyborg Manifesto by Donna J. Haraway, the interpretation of Camelia Elias and the author’s dead spine.



The technique is to intentionally engage apophenia. Don’t memorize traditional correlations. What you see, you read.


The context for interpretation is the question. The question is a kind of personality test. The reading is turned into a spell.


1. Something everyone knows about me.


Empress: I get what I want, it comes to me pretty easily, I sit all day and enjoy it. I am typing this while reclining on soft pillows and velvet blankets sniffing my fluffy peonies. We all know I’m lush.


They are wary of holism, but needy for connection


2. Something no one, including myself, knows about me.


The Tower: The jagged rocks the woman in the red skirt is impaled on, are the same rocks that are jutting out of the ground all around the Empress. But the Empress is relaxed, oblivious to the mayhem despite the fact that she’s directly facing it.


When someone ignores you, it’s an intentional display of power.


3. What I know that others do not.


.



4. My blind spot.


Death: “I’d rather be dead.” A sentiment people express about disability very openly, very often. Something they think they see and know about me. That my life must be miserable and I am just miraculously blind to it. “How inspiring!” Though, that’s everyone else’s blind spot. Not mine.


They’re essentially acting like you don’t exist, and they do it because they can. They believe that nothing will happen to them. Ignoring silences people.


Disability is atavistic, as is the image of the reaper. There’s no human quality to it, when it comes to take you, it shows no mercy.


Cyborgs are not reverent; they do not re-member the cosmos.


I am quite good at cheating death. It’s easy to do when death is being so vain for the camera. But you know when it’s even easier to cheat death?


When you are him.


If you stand up to the ignorer and get in their face, you break the norms of polite behavior


“The Tower is your broken spine. It rules you ‘from the inside’ whether you like it or not. Your work and your being stem from this source. Death is a sign of the non-negotiable. What others see is this uncompromising stance”


and end up feeling worse, diminished, demeaned


My spine isn’t broken. Crooked, deformed, yes. But it never broke. It had no ‘tower moment.’ What it is, at least at the bottom, is a bit dead.


The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is


The non-negotiable right at my root. Instead of a sacrum, I have the immutable. In the form of a nothing. The name of the condition caused by my genetic material is the literal translation for ‘sacral didn’t form.’


“If sacral did not form, then sacral also cannot bind.”


sa·cral

/ˈsakrəl,ˈsākrəl/

adjective

  1. of, for, or relating to sacred rites or symbols. "sacral horns of a Minoan type"


At the base of my spine, over the hollow, I have a tattoo of a ram with twisted horns. The hair on his forehead curls into flame. His eyes, piercing


“You are the Empress, but what makes you govern like the Empress is exactly the other things— ”


illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins


Agenesis. Wasn’t created.


“all the way to the point of finality.”


Their fathers, after all, are inessential




Sources


"Cyborgs are not reverent; they do not re-member the cosmos. They are wary of holism, but needy for connection - they seem to have a natural feel for united-front politics, but without the vanguard party. The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.” Cyborg Manifesto, Donna J. Haraway


"When someone ignores you, it’s an intentional display of power. They’re essentially acting like you don’t exist, and they do it because they can. They believe that nothing will happen to them. Ignoring silences people. It intentionally avoids resolution or compromise. It ignites your worst fears of unworthiness because it makes you feel that you deserve to be ignored. Inevitably, being ignored puts you in the position of having to choose between making a fuss or accepting the silent treatment. If you stand up to the ignorer and get in their face, you break the norms of polite behavior and end up feeling worse, diminished, demeaned.” Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, Judith Heumann.


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