This week’s topic is: What is Alchemy and How to Become A Powerful Alchemist in Your Life with Kim Krans
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Kim Krans, who is a visionary artist, author, and the creator of the New York Times bestseller The Wild Unknown Tarot. Listen in as Kim shares what Alchemy is, how to approach it, ways in which it can help guide you through dark moments and trauma, and so much more!
- Alchemy and this idea of interconnectedness…
- Tips on how to approach alchemy…
- How to expand your understanding around alchemy…
- Gifts of sensitivity and what this looks like…
- Kim shares details about her Alchemy Deck and Guidebook and how to use it…
- How working with the Alchemy Deck can help you through dark moments or trauma…
About Kim Krans
Kim received her BFA in drawing at Cooper Union in NYC, MFA in mixed media at Hunter College, and an MA in depth psychology and creativity at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. Her seeker’s heart has brought her to study in-depth practices of Classical Hatha, Kundalini yoga, and shamanism in India, Africa, Europe, and the UK. Kim teaches events and workshops that activate the forces of creativity and radical transformation through art, meditation, mysticism, and movement. Though revered for her drawings and publications, Krans is also a multi-media artist, filmmaker, and musician.
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Kim Krans Interview
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Kimberly 00:01 Namaste loves and welcome back to our Monday interview show. I’m very excited for our incredibly inspiring and fascinating guest today. Her name is Kim Kranz and she is a visionary artist, an author, and she’s the creator of the New York Times bestseller, the Wild Unknown Tarot. She is also, I would say, an alchemist, someone that is working intentionally to create awareness of the mixing of different energies and materials through our life, which we talk about in the show today. The Laboratory for The Alchemist is any space in your life, and it’s just a really fascinating way of looking at how our lives continue to evolve with the influence of different materials and colors and seasons and planets and just absolutely fascinating. So, we will get into this interview today where you will learn some interesting things about alchemy and how you can work with this perspective in your own life.
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Kimberly 01:11 But before we get into it, wanna give a shout out to our fan of the week? Her name, his or her name is Grovergoelz44. He or she writes, Kimberly is so soothing to listen to every time I listen to this podcast. I feel so relaxed and hopeful. Kimberly is that North Star reminder to nurture positivity in all aspects of your mind, body, and soul. Thank you for your light. Oh, well thank you so much Grovergoelz44 for being part of our community and your lovely review. If you could see me now, I have my hands on my heart and I really just took that in and I just wanna let you know how much I appreciate it. And just being here together feels truly like such an honor and it is my my honored privilege to be here on the journey with you together.
Please leave a review on iTunes and Subscribe
Kimberly 02:08 So thank you my love, and thank you all you beauties out there. If you haven’t yet left us a review, if you wanna take a moment or two out of your day, it could be one sentence and take that time out. It really means a lot energetically to support our show so we can continue to keep putting out great free content. So thank you so much in advance. Please also be sure to subscribe that way you stay in the flow of our weekly shows. Please also share the show with anyone that you think would benefit. It could be a loved one colleague. It’s just amazing to expand the love and resources.
Get Your Copy Of YOU ARE MORE
Kimberly 03:03 And a important part of abundance is that connectivity, our newest, latest book, baby You Are More More Than You Think You Are – Practical Enlightenment For Everyday Life, is newly published paperback. So please pick up a copy wherever books are sold. This is your practical guide for reshaping your entire life from the inside out. So not just in your physicality, although that is a huge part as well. And our vitality in our body’s efficiency, in our body’s of ability to repair and rejuvenate, but also in our ability to manifest our dreams, to tap into our deepest gifts and to bring it forward into the world as well as more peace, deeper understanding. Everything is energy. So when we go inside and we start to learn how to work with that energy, that’s when magic starts to really happen in your life. So again, it is my deep honor to share these ancient teachings and practices with you that have come from particularly the great Yoga Master Paramahansa Yoga Nanda, and brought these incredible teachings to the West. All right, all of that being said, now let’s get into our interview with the exquisite Kim Kranz.
Interview with Kim Krans
Kimberly: 00:00:01 Well, thanks for making it to the mountains. I’m really excited to be here together in person.
Kim: 00:00:06 I’m glad to be here. <laugh>, Topanga is an old haunt of mine, so it’s good to, um, come back and work with the ghosts, so to speak.
Kimberly: 00:00:13 Yeah. And the, the energy here, I feel like is very supportive to creativity. Right. Friendly ghosts. Right. <laugh> friendly
Kim: 00:00:23 Ghost <laugh>.
Kimberly: 00:00:25 So I am so excited. I have to tell you this morning on the way to dropping my six year old off to first grade, I said, honey, do you know who’s coming to our house today? And I said, who, mama? And I said, the lady who, who the artist for the cards for our card game. And he was so excited. He’s like, what? So I’m very excited to talk about, um, your work, Kim and Alchemy, and this incredibly rich field and all the incredible offerings that you’ve put forth. But first I have to tell you about this game that my son and I play all the time. So your deck came, the wild unknown alchemy guidebook. And I get like a big pickup every week from our PO box with mostly books. But your deck came in this beautiful blue. And so my son Emerson was drawn to it, and he’s like, let’s open this up, <laugh>.
00:01:16 And so he went through every card, and then he created this game, which we’ve been playing for months, which is that we each get three cards. And if there’s a snake on one of the cards and there’s a lot of snakes, you get three more <laugh>. So you keep going. And if you have a rose on one of your cards, and there’s a lot of roses in the artwork, you get to trade one of your cards, what you deem to be a, a powerful card from the other person. And if there’s a bird on the card, you can just take a card. You don’t have to trade it. So it goes on and on. And then at the end, this is the beautiful part about it. At the end, it doesn’t matter how many cards you have, there’s not a winner or loser. You just go through the deck and then you present to the other person your three most powerful cards. Wow. <laugh>. And my powerful cards, the ones I’m drawn to are the ones that have a lot of colors, I think like the, the peacock one and the shards of light. Whereas my son is really drawn to the, the, the green lion and the, the animal ones really speak to him. So I love this game because it’s not this sort of competitive, like I have more cards I won, but more this exchange and then what we interpret as our most powerful are very different.
Kim: 00:02:36 It’s so cool to hear that you’re using the deck that way. <laugh>, I love the, like kid inventions.
Kimberly: 00:02:42 Yeah. And also just what they’re, what they’re drawn to. He, he sees the, um, like some of the br like not the one I like, the ones with lots of colors. He likes the ones that are more like, he also likes the hands. Oh, yeah. Which have the planets on them. Yeah. The hands feel powerful to him.
Kim: 00:03:00 Oh, that’s really cool to hear. Yeah. All of the planet cards have the hand in it because, you know, in the esoteric teachings, there’s a finger of the hand or a place in the hand that is associated with the planets, which is something I didn’t discover or hear about until much later in my life. But it’s so cool that your kid ha has even this idea sort of as a possibility that like there’s a relationship between mercury and the pinky finger.
Kimberly: 00:03:29 Yes.
Kim: 00:03:29 And if I’m in a conversation and I wanna have, uh, strength in my communication, if I’m in an argument or something’s discordant, I can take my thumb and touch it to my pinky while I’m talking. No one even has to notice. And even that mudra, that subtle mudra can shift, if not the conversation, at least my perception of what’s possible and what’s happening. So I kind of take the reins back in the conversation and just touch the pinky to my thumbs, and I’m sinking into a, to a deeper level of communication. Not that the, your son won’t necessarily feel that from this deck, but these subtle more kind of subconscious possibilities start to light up in the brain, um, at a young age, which is really beautiful. And even these images, you’re talking about this snake and the rose, you know, one doesn’t need to know the esoteric teachings around it, but it opens a little crack in the imagination and in the heart or the spirit that eventually you can walk through and then start exploring what is the serpent? What is this symbol of transformation? What is the aab Boris that eats its tail? But having that familiarity from such a young age is so cool. So I get very excited. <laugh>, great job.
Kimberly: 00:04:53 Well, yeah, <laugh>, thank you. Love. We do so natural, right? It wasn’t like I planted it. He was drawn to it. And so there’s this, um, it’s very interesting. And so, so then I took your, your beautiful book that goes with the deck, and I read the whole thing. And, um, it really spoke to me. It really did. And so it’s interesting, we’re having this conversation now because alchemy and this idea of the interconnectedness, there’s a lot of, um, parallels and there’s a lot of connection with va DIC philosophy, yogic philosophy, which is where I put a lot of my focus and attention. And now my writing, this idea of oneness and interconnectivity, um, is really fascinating. And actually a few days ago, Kim, I’d never done it before. I did my v dic medical astrology chart. And I don’t know, I was never really, I never knew that much about astrology, and I wasn’t, you know, I know I have friends that are like really into it and reading the daily horoscopes and things, and I, I don’t know, I just never felt that connection. But he went through it and it was so astonishingly accurate and that he was talking about the planets and the influence. So then I was, you know, it was, it’s, it’s it’s irrefutable, right? These, these larger bodies having an impact on us and that we really aren’t isolated, and everything is co-creating all the time and nothing is fixed.
Alchemy and this idea of interconnectedness
Kim: 00:06:18 Yeah. It’s, that’s a real teaching of alchemy. Um, and as you said before about your son playing with the deck, like, oh, it’s just natural. And alchemy is natural too. And we’ve kind of taken ourselves out of the equation. Like we think that the medieval men are the alchemists, and now we’re just people on earth. And we don’t know what they knew about alchemy. Right. But however, they were studying and doing experiments in the same way that we’re studying, doing experiments, alchemy always existed. And we are inherently alchemists as people. Mm-hmm. An example of alchemy, Ayurveda would be like drinking water when you wake up mm-hmm. <affirmative> say it’s ice water versus room temperature water. How does that change the digestion
Kimberly: 00:07:10 And or the hot water? Yeah. <laugh> versus a little
Kim: 00:07:13 Bit warmer water. Yes. And then what if you add a little bit of salt and then a little bit of lemon, and that, that subtlety, it’s actually a really big deal to the bo to the inside of the body, but it’s just salt and lemon and a couple degrees of the water. Right. It doesn’t really mean anything, but it means everything. Yeah. And that’s what Alchemy teaches us, is like, everything matters. Everything shifts, um, everything, you know, has an effect in our, in our system and also in the greater cosmos. So that idea you were alluding to that everything is inside of us, is really true in the deck. There’s the planets and then there’s also the cards that are related to the planets. And a, a really big mind bender for me was working with the planets. Say for example, Mars is associated with iron, and then researching about iron and realizing like, oh yeah, iron is in iron ore and they mine it and they use it to build structures. And iron is also in our blood
Kimberly: 00:08:23 Strength. Mm. Right.
Kim: 00:08:25 Which is, it was a mind blowing to me. It’s like, iron is in me.
Kimberly: 00:08:31 This is the micro as is the macro.
Kim: 00:08:33 Yeah. And that’s the same, you know, essential form that is then that structure, that strength, that integrity of iron is the same thing. That is the helpful component that they build whatever structures and architecture with, as opposed to aluminum, which is aluminum foil associated with Jupiter. And, and that aluminum foil is like so cool and sparkly and like, you know, kind of a hilarious material and scrunchy and reflective, but you don’t want to build a bridge out of it. Mm. You can like tear it,
00:09:11 Right. You can literally tear the metal. So the difference between that and Jupiter’s, you know, ex kind of expression or expanding out, and then the stability and strength of iron and Mars, just holding those in one’s mind kind of as concepts can be really powerful for all kinds of things in life. It might seem random, but then you’re like, what do I need if I wanna build my business? What, what do I need in this relationship? What do I, what quality is called for right now? And then you can conjure up, you know, a different material, a different planet, and uh, kind of hit the road running or hit the ground running.
Kimberly: 00:09:56 So how do we work with Alchemy, Kim? Because if we, we wanna, you know, work with our Veda for instance. We incorporate some dinacharya practices, some daily practices or yoga. We have set times, we meditate. So this work is really fascinating. And I know you say in the, in the book here in the preface that it’s really hard to define alchemy in the first place, but it’s just this physical and mystical that everything is interconnected. How do we approach it if we’re interested in it in the first place?
How to approach Alchemy if we’re interested
Kim: 00:10:27 It’s a great question. I think the first step is noticing that it’s happening all the time. Mm. So if you have a preference around ice, coffee or hot coffee, you have a preference with your alchemy. There’s something in you that’s an alchemist that knows, like, I really like it when there’s a little more milk or less milk or no milk, or I don’t, I’m not into coffee. I’m into this like, other herbal thing or <laugh>. I like smoothie. You know, just noticing, oh, this has an effect. That’s the alchemist, like first step. Oh, I noticed
Kimberly: 00:11:03 Just awareness.
Kim: 00:11:04 Yeah.
Kimberly: 00:11:04 Of all things.
Kim: 00:11:05 And it’s like, um, you know, my mom’s staying at my house this weekend. She came to visit and she woke up this morning and we were in the living room. She said, oh, I noticed the wind has a chill to it this morning. So just that is noticing, she’s noticing the air’s moving through the house and it’s a little colder. It might sound so like mundane, but that’s her relating to the greater, the greater entity.
Kimberly: 00:11:37 So she’s aware, but she’s not really, she’s not doing anything. She’s not pushing anything. Right. It’s just this sitting back of greater awareness.
Kim: 00:11:45 Right. And so if she then were to do something, it’s like, well, how does she, you know, dress for the day she’s gonna go out. Mm. And then if you were say you’re like a mountain climber, you have to really know about alchemy in that sense because you’re like, I’m gonna be dealing with wind for many days at a time. Wind is a very, um, expansive, but disturbing force. How’s that gonna affect my mind, my thinking, my stability? So you’d bring certain kinds of food with you. You would do certain things to stay grounded amidst your, you know, project of hiking.
Kimberly: 00:12:24 So it’s sort of, um, like this integration that’s always happening.
Kim: 00:12:29 It’s integration. It’s also, um, oh, I wanna give an example of the, the operations. Um, yes. Because this is really what made me want to create the deck. Yeah. Is, um, there’s the eight operations within the, within the deck that, that are, um, they’re kind of like the Trump cards in another deck, or the major arcana in the tarot. It’s like the big, um, phases of life or big phases of any process. So, um, and they’re all related to the elements too, but I just wanna go into a couple of them. Yes. Basically, cuz they’re, they’re really, um, helpful to think about. For example, one of them is rotation. It means when something is happening again and again and again and again. The pattern. Yeah. And this could be all of these have a kind of shadowy and light component because they’re archetypal. So a really good routine rotation would be doing a daily practice every day.
00:13:38 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> super helpful. Great. Nobody’s gonna question that. Another, uh, the more shadowy expression of it would be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Like you’re in a, uh, dead end relationship or trauma loop. Exactly. You’re in a loop. So rotation, just knowing there is a process called Roo and being able to identify, again, it’s stepping back and being like, I notice that I’m in roo right now. Mm. And there’s um, there’s, there’s several other of those, um, uh, operations. One of them that is what really got me to create the deck is, um, sapio separation. Hmm. So the other ones, there’s like coagulation, there’s, um, the dissolution. Yeah, exactly. So they involve water and earth. Um, coag lotio is when there’s heavy earth, the thing is grounded, but, and, and together, but it’s kind of murky and stuck. It’s like codependent relationship is what I always think of. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like, yeah, you’re together, but you can’t like identify what’s what. Um, at the same time, coagulation is sometimes needed cuz you gotta bring the people together to do the project. Right. Whatever you want. So it’s knowing like, oh, I’m working with coagulation right now, or our family needs coagulation. We’ll come together for dinner tonight, or we’re gonna do something together. Other times you’re like, coagulation is driving us cray cray in covid times and we need to, you know
Kimberly: 00:15:17 Yeah.
Kim: 00:15:18 Get outside or to the ocean to utilize another element. Okay. Let me get back to Sabra though. So I first learned about these, um, operations when I was stung studying Yi psychology. Um, and he was really into alchemy and these operations and reading about them, I actually was assigned Sep to present on Sep Raio. Um, the weekend that I knew that I was gonna get a divorce, it coincided with that. The teacher like picked Wow. Picked them out of a hat or something, and they’re like, Kim, you present on Sep. And what happened as a result of that was that I could see what I was going through from a non personalized space.
Kimberly: 00:16:14 Detached,
Kim: 00:16:15 Detached and benevolent. Mm. That’s what’s so cool about alchemy. It has the benevolent force of nature is behind all the things. No matter how difficult, challenging, confusing that if you’re going through tio, it is so that the consciousness of the self can become known. So the the lightning strikes or the sword delineates so that the things that were coagulated can become separate and become known to themselves. Hmm.
Kimberly: 00:16:52 Clarity.
Kim: 00:16:53 It’s so cool. Instead of the story around like, why the divorce or why’d we break up? And then he said, I just can’t and da, da da. That all that noise just gets shut out by this big, um, generous worldview that is alchemy.
Kimberly: 00:17:13 Right. So, so first we can read the book and we, we understand something about the planets, the, the mysteries in here, the colors, the seasons. And so as it, we work with the, with the cards, there’s a different, um, spreads we can do. Yeah. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve read the book and then I’ve been working with the cards. And then as just by going through the exercises, you start to sort of understand, I didn’t have an understanding of the al you know, the all the chemical processes. Yeah. But then just working with them, you can start to see, like you said in my life, oh, this is happening. And it’s just more, um, it’s like a wider, more expansive understanding, I think is how I’m interpreting it.
How to expand your understanding around alchemy
Kim: 00:17:55 Yeah. It’s more imaginative. Yes. It’s full of symbols, images. Yes. The imagination lights up. It’s like the land of metaphors,
Kimberly: 00:18:03 The mythical Carl Young Exactly. Archetypes.
Kim: 00:18:06 Yeah, exactly. That. And that just comes to life. And, you know, you talk a lot about vitality on your podcast, that being like a really important thing in general in one’s life and in from the foods that we eat Yes. Or practices and just the life force. And I think that alchemy is a way to, um, kind of regroup or reawaken the vitality of the imagination. Mm. So when the symbols, when the dreams, when the visions kind of get shut down and life gets very, very bland, alchemy says like, oh my God, wake up. I’m everywhere. You are an alchemist. And every day you wake up and the laboratory of your life and you, you can experiment and learn and grow and all of the elements are available to you. All these symbols, you know, the peacocks tale is the card that you brought up
Kimberly: 00:18:59 Yeah.
Kim: 00:19:00 At the beginning. And that’s just like a total celebratory card. It’s like the actual opening of the peacocks tales, like a thousand eyes, a thousand perspectives. So you move from like dualistic thinking black and white to like a whole rainbow over the
Kimberly: 00:19:16 Top the spectrum. Wow. And also understanding that these are universal forces Yeah. So that it’s moving through everyone’s lives. But can I ask you a question, Kim? I used to, I used to think, oh, everybody has big feelings and everybody goes through this. Right. And there’s some of the stuff I write about and be like, yeah. You know, it was really hard when I split up with my partner and my mom passed away on the same period of time. But then I started to, and then a lot of dark nights of the soul have come up that I’ve, you know, been writing and speaking about just out of nowhere since publishing this last book, actually that I wasn’t really expecting. But then I started to question myself like, maybe not everybody feels this deeply. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> not everybody feels the depth. And, and maybe some of what I’m going through people, maybe they don’t really go through that too. Do you find that, or do you think, or I’ll stop there, <laugh>. It’s,
Gifts of sensitivity and tips to help strengthen and support
Kim: 00:20:15 It’s such an interesting question. I do think that the artist, um, and I use that term kind of openly, the artist to me is, and the alchemists are one and one and the same is has particular gifts of sensitivity. And if we’re gonna have particular gifts of sensitivity, we’ve gotta have, uh, strength and support and protection in order to keep feeling
Kimberly: 00:20:45 The feelings.
Kim: 00:20:46 Yeah. And I think if there’s not that then, uh, there’s not the capacity to feel the feelings. So I’m mostly interested in what are the practices that I do can do that allow me to continue to be the sensitive creator that I am while being strong, clear and protected.
Kimberly: 00:21:08 What are some of your practices?
Kim: 00:21:11 Um, I’m a longtime mantra practitioner, um, breath work. And I do a kind of combination of, uh, yoga from Kundalini lineage and then, uh, more of a like classical hak mm-hmm. <affirmative> lineage. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, um, those are, you know, speaking of alchemy, anytime you’re working with like mantra mudra, uh, the body, the idea that there’s a flame at the naval, that there’s a light in the mid brain, um, that’s alchemy. It’s, it’s like, you know, the magical within us mm-hmm. <affirmative> the idea that the glands, you know, the, there’s these cards in the deck. This is very esoteric, but in one lineage, Shani lineage that I study, the roses are associated with, uh, glands in the body. Oh. So they don’t use the chakra system. They use the, um, glandular system. And so each of the roses that you find in the deck, this isn’t something that’s written about, but they’re linked to the different glands in the pine, whether it’s the pineal or the, um,
Kimberly: 00:22:28 Peary Yeah. Or
Kim: 00:22:30 Any, um, the pancreas. So these are systems in our body that we can also build relationship with. That’s, that’s kind of the, uh, subtext of the deck. It, you can go as light with it or as deep with it as you want. You can be just like, I love the snake card, or I love the, the green lion eating the sun. Or you can really,
Kimberly: 00:22:51 Yeah, that’s the one my son loves <laugh>.
Kim: 00:22:54 Or you can go super deep into it and, um, you know, in a more esoteric angle and get all into the roses and their relationship with the cosmos and the glands. But that’s not at all needed. Or I didn’t even make it available really in the, in the book. But that’s, that’s the practice of mine that’s underneath all of it. It’s kept sort of invisible force us.
Kimberly: 00:23:17 Wow. Well, and you mentioned too a lot of your teachers and inspiration. We talked about Carl Young a little bit. So when you were compiling this deck, I know you mentioned somewhere that there’s a, there’s a section with a different mysteries and some of the more esoteric symbols that you had to really whittle down. But were you, um, is it your interpretation for the colors you chose, for instance, or?
Kim shares details about her Alchemy deck and guidebook
Kim: 00:23:40 Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, in some of them, like with the planets, there’s a nod to the colors that are supposed to be associated with that planet. But, you know, I’m always like going rogue with stuff and I’m like, why? Okay, mercury and green? Like, who, who, when did that become the cannon? You know? Yeah. So I always think, um, things are true and they’re, you know, it’s also not true. So, um, I, I was beholden to some of traditional color usage and symbols with the planets and, um, on some of the cards. But at the same time it’s like, you know, that’s also a medieval European perspective. So what about people who were studying? You know, they’re at the North Pole and they’re studying the planets.
Kimberly: 00:24:35 Yeah. You know,
Kim: 00:24:37 Centuries ago they had their own system and mine cosmology, everything has its own system. So it’s like I could beat beholden to one in order to create the deck knowing that it’s just one of many. So, um, that’s kind of a long answer to your question, but I also am just trying to sort of capture an essence in the card that would give a person a feeling so that when they see it, they can activate their own imagination and associations rather than the guidebook is there. Hopefully it has a lot for them to delve into, but like, they don’t need it. That’s my goal.
Kimberly: 00:25:16 Yeah, yeah. Cuz it’s evoking Yeah. On this deep, super subconscious level Yoganando would say underneath their subconscious.
Kim: 00:25:24 Yeah. That’s, that’s the goal. That’s the dream for me as an artist to be working in that realm.
Kimberly: 00:25:30 Well then you can see the purity of the six year old <laugh> who’s drawn to the cards and finds a whole way of working with them. It’s kind of amazing. Well,
Kim: 00:25:39 It’s interesting cuz a lot of the, um, kids around that age love the animal spirit deck that I drew, but alchemy’s a very deep dive. So it’s fascinating that he’s just ready for it. So cute. <laugh>.
Kimberly: 00:25:50 Well, the hand, like I said, the, the, the hands and the, the richness within each one. So each one was a, is a painting
Kim: 00:25:58 That you No, they’re all, well, yeah, they’re paintings, but they’re that exact size.
Kimberly: 00:26:02 Oh,
Kim: 00:26:03 Really? So all the decks I make to scale and then, um, oh,
Kimberly: 00:26:08 I thought I saw you draw or paint a big one. I
Kim: 00:26:11 Have done bigger work, but for the decks, I just do them to scale so I can know what ah, what exactly they’ll look like. Otherwise, who knows what happens
Kimberly: 00:26:22 <laugh>. So let’s, let’s say someone’s working through some challenges in their life, right? Like you said, Rio, we know we’re in a, in a pattern of attracting the wrong person. Or we just, we know we’re not, you know, eating really unhealthy foods or whatever a pattern is. How can, or you know, whatever someone’s going through maybe just a dark moment or trauma works coming up. How can, um, this understanding of alchemy or working with the deck help support?
How working with the Alchemy Deck helps when going through a dark moment or trauma
Kim: 00:26:49 Well, I would just suggest, and I always advise to people, my favorite way to read the cards is to work with one for an extended period of time. Um,
Kimberly: 00:26:59 Shuffle them and draw one. Yeah. It calls you and
Kim: 00:27:02 You’re always asking for B you know, benevolence. Like, uh, can the intelligence come through my hands, the deck? Mm. Give me something that, that, um, I need to see right now that’s, that’s a, a benevolent image. And, and even if it’s, um, say something that feels like shadowy or you don’t want to see that card, for example, um, you can know like, oh, it’s kind of a relief sometimes to just see the thing for what it is and know like, oh yeah, the deck knows I’m going through a hard time. It’s okay. Um, and you know, maybe you want to draw a second card as like a remedy or a second card as a support or something like that. There’s a couple, like, uh, there’s a two card reading in the guidebook that’s like, um, more of this, less of this. So you just pick two and you’re just reading these two simple concepts and thinking about, okay, how could I do, you know, if the rotation card comes up as, uh, problematic, like less of less rotation, it’s like simplest things like text the person less, you know, just do the thing less often.
00:28:21 Yeah. It doesn’t mean you have to quit. It doesn’t mean anything. Just like, notice the habit reel back on the habit. And the more that you do that and feel, um, better, the less inclined you are to do the thing over and over and over. But just seeing the pattern is like so massive
Kimberly: 00:28:38 Seeing the pattern. And also for me, um, there’s a sense of, um, peacefulness, you know, there’s a part where you talk about polarity and duality and how that comes together in union and love. So for me, as a tool and as a yogi, I sort of, you know, I really work, we work on things like non-attachment, going past likes and dislikes and getting to this place of neutrality. So what I like about working with Alchemy, it’s sa it’s like nothing’s bad or good. It’s all just part of it. And we’re moving through it. And if we can sit back and see that there’s a universality to all of this, to me there’s a sense of peace.
Within the work of Alchemy why there is nothing bad in this system
Kim: 00:29:17 Oh, it’s so, um, there’s so much acceptance and grace in it. Yeah. It’s not like nothing can be bad in this system. That was such a relief around like, Sapio, I’m like, I thought I was, had failed going through this whole like, breakup all this stuff. Yeah. But it’s like, no, there’s consciousness in, in the separation.
Kimberly: 00:29:37 How long ago was your separation?
Kim: 00:29:40 F Almost five years ago. Okay.
Kimberly: 00:29:42 Yeah.
Kim: 00:29:43 Oh,
Kimberly: 00:29:43 Wow. That’s the wrong one. Not mine was Wow.
Kim: 00:29:46 <laugh>. I was in Topanga at that time. Oh, come on. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s always a trip to drive up here. I’m like, wow.
Kimberly: 00:29:53 Well, so it was like this moment, like from an alchemy perspective, it was like boom, I was a new mom and then my mom passed away suddenly. And then I moved out a time a bit, a little bit after that. So I was like, new mom, um, single mom lost my mom. It was like this. Yeah. You know, I don’t even know how you would describe it from an, from an alchemy perspective, but it was just, it was, it rocked me and then I had to rebirth like the phoenix.
Kim: 00:30:18 Yeah. I mean, I’m so glad you just mentioned that because it is really helpful to think about what is, when you said, um, I don’t even know how to describe it in terms of alchemy, that’s like a first great step is be like, okay, what’s in my laboratory as they call it? What’s in my container right now? Hmm. And talk, talking or thinking or describing the situations in one’s life as material. Mm. Super, super helpful. You can be like, well I feel swampy right now. I’m confused. If it was stew, it would be thick, it would be, um, luke
Kimberly: 00:31:00 Warm. So naming it.
Kim: 00:31:01 Yeah. Yeah. So in, in, and oh God, I could go on and on about this, but, um, during the time of my separation, there were just certain components. Let’s say I have the pot of my life, the laboratory, the container of my life, the cauldron, certain things were dropped in to that cauldron that simply made me have to leave. All the things were dropped in at the same time. It sounds like you had a similar experience. So in depth psychology, there’s a teaching around this too, that the psyche will send you exactly the amount of content that’s needed to make the change. Not a drop less and a drop more.
Kimberly: 00:31:48 Wow.
Kim: 00:31:49 So then your alchemical container is so, um, full of this content that it makes the change occur.
Kimberly: 00:32:01 Transformation,
Kim: 00:32:02 The, the, yeah. The, the exact droplets, whether it’s in the case of death, there’s the, there’s the ash, there’s the grief, there’s the sort of, uh, yeah. Ending of the embers. And, and that has a certain quality to it. You know, if someone’s in a relationship where there’s a lot of arguments and heat, the pot is hot and the part, the pot is active. So alchemy helps us realize, like the last thing the pot needs more of is heat.
Kimberly: 00:32:32 Yes. It
Kim: 00:32:34 Needs less stimulating ingredients. So what it actually would benefit from is space, a bigger cooling container, cooling, patience time. So then you can start thinking of your relationships or your life alchemically and make the changes that it, that it might need so that you can move forward.
Kimberly: 00:32:59 Know what I love about this? It’s so intuitive. Yes. When we, when we tune in, we’re like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. But in the world today, there’s so much disconnection even from what we put in our bodies, what we eat, our relationships, where it’s very numeric. It’s very reductionistic. Right. Versus, oh, you know, the Ayurvedic perspective is with the doche. I, I, I am feeling a lot of inflammation. I’m feeling really agitated and you know, onions and garlic are adding to that mix versus, oh, well these have no calories. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. It’s, it’s wider.
Kim: 00:33:30 And even with, um, if feeling a lot of inflammation, like noticing that and being like, oh, what about breathing more? What about slowing my breath? So again, it goes more into like, um, the expansion, the expand the container. So the inflammation has more space to be inflamed, but it’s not compressed and tight. That that compression contraction is like, uh, noticing the vessel of our life is contracted is really great. Cause he’d be like, Ooh, I gotta open this up. Wow. No plans tonight.
Kimberly: 00:34:08 Well, I love this because it’s everything. And as I mentioned, maybe one of the reasons I was not drawn to <laugh>, you know, astr, is because I have all these friends that are like living and dying by their, as, you know, their horoscope every day. But here it’s like, okay, there’s cosmic forces and there’s planets, but there’s materials and there’s seasons and there’s mysteries and there’s all this other stuff. Yeah. So can you share with us a little bit about your relationship then with astrology and the planets? Because, you know, that’s one force, but then it’s, you know, it’s changing every day in every moment, but then there’s all this other stuff. Do you just see it as sort of one part of the puzzle?
Kim shares her relationship with astrology and the planets
Kim: 00:34:47 It’s definitely one part of the puzzle with alchemy, because like you’re saying, alchemy is very hands-on. So it’s like the materials of the world. Like we’re in a room right now that we could describe, we could describe the qualities of it from an alchemical point of view, no matter what. Well,
Kimberly: 00:35:03 How would you describe my podcast? <laugh>? Um, I always say it’s like the womb of the house. It feels, cuz it’s underneath the house. So to me it feels like protected.
Kim: 00:35:17 Yeah. I would say, um, it has a lot of air element because we’re at the top of a mountain. Mm. So no matter if we’re in the lower part of the house,
Kimberly: 00:35:31 It’s still Yes.
Kim: 00:35:32 We, we still have a lot of air and a lot of ether. Mm. So the gardening that’s done around the house is really important cuz it’s super grounding. Yes. It’s like it has to happen. Oh yeah. Otherwise we’d be floating off <laugh>. Like, just so the viewers know. I can like see this beautiful mountains across, you know, it’s so beautiful. However, that has its own, um, you know, too much ether. You can’t get anything done. So, um, the groundedness of this house, your kids in it, the kids’ toys, you know, all this stuff helps us be more here. Um,
Kimberly: 00:36:14 And also for me, crystals are beautiful and they feel grounding.
Kim: 00:36:19 Yeah. Because they’re coming from dark. Yes. Deep earth. So they have that quality of, they occur over long, long period of time in the darkness under great pressure. Yeah. So they’re like cave, you know, they’re coming from it’s really strong earth element.
Kimberly: 00:36:40 Yes.
Kim: 00:36:42 Even though they have these esoteric associations, it’s like,
Kimberly: 00:36:45 Well, is that malachite you’re wearing? Look, I’ve got, or is that emerald green?
Kim: 00:36:49 It’s not malachite. Actually,
Kimberly: 00:36:52 I don’t. Beautiful. I noticed I’m drawn to green as well.
Kim: 00:36:55 I know green is, it’s so that’s really beautiful. Nice, dark, like kind of Kelly Green mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But just this conversation we’re having where we’re noticing things mm-hmm. <affirmative> in the room. It, it’s sensual. It gets us back into our senses and feeling like, what does it feel like to be in this room? And that’s really helpful. I mean, they use it in trauma work too, to help a person get back in their body. Yes. Be like, oh, I noticed presence, noticing things in the room. What is the temperature of the air? Am I thirsty right now? These types of things.
Kimberly: 00:37:28 We go back. I might have interrupted you about your perspective of astro astrology in your personal
Kim: 00:37:34 Oh, I
Kimberly: 00:37:35 Perspective, I,
Kim: 00:37:38 I have to be honest, I, um, I’ve been, I’m such a light bloomer to astrology. I’ve, I’ve always just pushed it.
Kimberly: 00:37:47 No, you’re like me,
Kim: 00:37:49 <laugh> because I don’t, I’m, I’m into so many esoteric teachings and lineages and I study them as like hard as I can. However, I’m a farm girl from Michigan, you know, my father’s a truck driver. My mom was an elementary school secretary. I’m very, very practical and very, uh, pragmatic in are these things useful or not? Yes. Am I gonna get more lost because I feel a little bit lost, so I don’t need anything that’s gonna get me more lost. Yeah. So I’ve been really hesitant and just taking little bits at a time with astrology in order to learn about alchemy, I had to delve in. And so I did. And then I really thought about them as archetypes, as characters. And I started to get to know them and experiment and say prayers or have a moment in my morning practice with them. And that was when things started to change for me. I would do the [inaudible] associated with the planet and then I would just repeat the planet’s name, you know, 20 seconds, 30 seconds to move on to the next one. Wow. And just ask like through that, like with a kind of benevolence to it. Like, be with me, I’m with you. Teach me, I’ll
Kimberly: 00:39:11 Just openness. Yeah.
Kim: 00:39:13 Wow. Just like, hi, hi Saturn. Everybody talks shit on you. But like, hi Sam, give me the structure I need. Give me the strength and stability I need.
Kimberly: 00:39:24 Yeah.
Kim: 00:39:25 Because like, there is no book that’s gonna get written without Saturn. It’s Erian energy.
Kimberly: 00:39:31 I must have a lot of, I do have Saturn MyChart writing now my seventh and eighth books.
Kim: 00:39:36 It’s a really big deal. I feel so bad for Saturn. I’m like, guys stop with let it like,
Kimberly: 00:39:42 You wait. It’s felt funny because in, um, in Western astrology, I’m Aquarius and so my whole life I’m like, yeah, I’m very airy and I’m very va, you know. But then when I did my um, Vedic chart a few days ago, he’s like, no, no, you’re Pisces. I know.
Kim: 00:39:56 Same.
Kimberly: 00:39:57 And your water. The
Kim: 00:39:59 Astrologers come up. They’re like, you’re a Pisces. They all same. It said
Kimberly: 00:40:03 The same. You’re Pisces?
Kim: 00:40:04 Yeah. In Veic. According to Ticus.
Kimberly: 00:40:06 So you were Aquarius in Western?
Kim: 00:40:08 No, Taurus. Oh yeah.
Kimberly: 00:40:11 Interesting. Yeah.
Kim: 00:40:12 <laugh>. So he’s like, <laugh>. You thought you knew and you don’t you.
Kimberly: 00:40:17 So it’s so funny. There’s, there’s Taurus in MyChart too, and we have the same name. We also have FIEs. Yes. Is that hilarious? It’s funny. But the Vick system, I mean, I think there’s so many different systems. It really clicked for me. Oh great. And the way he explained it and you know, he prescribed things like weightlifting for me. Oh wow. Because of that e airiness in my head just to feel more stability and strength in my body. Yeah. Which would help the anxiety in my mind. It’s great.
Kim: 00:40:43 Yeah. It’s also fascinating. I, um, I just take a little doses when I can. And I have so many astrologer friends that I’m like, I don’t even have to learn about doses. They just
Kimberly: 00:40:53 Tell you everything. Like,
Kim: 00:40:54 Yeah. Which one do I ask about this thing? So, um, it’s like when you live in LA you throw, as they say, throw a rock and hit an astrologer.
Kimberly: 00:41:03 <laugh>. Oh yeah. We will love, let’s, let’s talk about the colors for a second. I’m just like, oh my gosh. It’s so interesting the way you, you chose four colors for this deck. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it’s very different than how I think of the colors. Yeah. You know, so there’s different forces. Again, back to interpretation. And then I think, oh, what would Kim say about, um, you know, purple Some of the colors you didn’t talk about. Yeah.
Interpretation of the colors used in her deck
Kim: 00:41:26 I kept it just to the four colors that are written about in Alchemy a lot because just, I had to sort of structure the deck and make all of these decisions and, but, but the really fascinating thing about color, and I remember hearing
Kimberly: 00:41:42 About this and here you are wearing black. I
Kim: 00:41:44 Know. Always
Kimberly: 00:41:45 <laugh> always black it. Yeah.
Kim: 00:41:46 Um, I remember hearing about this, James Homan talks about this in this, um, audio book that’s incredible called The Alchemy of Psychology or The Psychology of Alchemy. Um, it’s, it’s on audible and it was one of the, um, it informed the structure of the deck a lot and what he talks about. And I was thinking about it when I was listening to your podcast actually at some point around food and color. Mm. And the nuance in the eyes and in the brain that are calculating really subtly we don’t even realize when we pick out, for example, an apple in the grocery store, that that is the alchemist’s eyes gauging how ripe is this? Which one looks the freshest? What am I in the mood for? The green, the green apple conjures that taste in the, in the mouth. Like the whole system comes online, you know, versus the red apple that’s kind of squishy.
00:42:51 Mm. And you’re like, oh, that would be sweet in a different way. Mm. So <laugh> anyways, honing the, the vision, the eyesight in relationship to color is one of the ways that the Alchemist knows because they’re in their laboratory, the medieval alchemist so to speak. And they’re like, Ooh, the green goo is almost ready, but not quite. So they have to Interesting. They have to know when is the sulfur, you know, ready to change from the, from the heat. So that subtlety of observation is also in all of us all the time. Cuz we’re deciding that broccoli, not that broccoli.
Kimberly: 00:43:30 Yes.
Kim: 00:43:31 That’s done. That’s too done.
Kimberly: 00:43:34 Interesting. The, the yellow one was interesting for me cuz I think of the sun. Yeah. And there’s a lot, you know, my brand Solona, there is a lot of yellow, but then there’s this, you know, when you write in the, in the, in your book here about the yellowing Yeah. There’s that aspect too in the same color spectrum. Yeah. Which is can you explain what, how you, there’s like the reding, the yellowing.
Kim: 00:43:56 Yeah. The, the yellowing is, um, at least in this system is like a, a good example is like when a page turns yellow over time, a photograph turns yellow
Kimberly: 00:44:09 Over time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> fades.
Kim: 00:44:10 That there’s something that a change is occurring from one stage to the next. So it indicates the transitional and it’s also, I kind of used it in, um, I’m a cuz I’m a visual artist and a painter. So like yellow is the color that helps get from like the reds and oranges over to the cool spectrum of the rainbow to the green and blue. You have to have the connection color. Without that yellow, the lightness and the transition between the hot and the cold colors can’t occur. Mm. So it’s kind of the change maker in, um, you could think of it that way. And then the reding is this, uh, you know, it’s the vital force. It’s when the, the blood, the body, the physical comes online and it says like it wakes up and life is brought into the project. You could think of that as a kind of reddening. Mm. The life force sh just shows up and it’s, it’s glory.
Kimberly: 00:45:13 What keeps you continuously inspired? Are you, do you like to read? Are you like the, the written word? Or do you just look at the world around when you’re interpreting and bringing us these teachings around alchemy? How do you stay? Um, excited. You know,
We discuss how we stay continuously inspired in our creative work
Kim: 00:45:29 I’ve always been obsessed with systems, discovering systems and learning about them and kind of repackaging or reinterpreting them. And then finding also like the limitation of that system. And then that leads me to seek a new system. So that’s originally why I drew the tarot deck was like, oh, I wanna know the system and I want to draw it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I want to get super intimate with it and then learn all I can see where I think its limitations are e astrology’s another interesting example. And then something in me just moves on to the next thing. Like, take me deeper. Take me deeper. Wow. I know more. So
Kimberly: 00:46:13 Are there times where you feel, um, like, you know, of course there are cycles to the natural creative process. Are there days where, um, well I say I could say for me as a writer, I just feel like, okay, I dunno how the planets are right now, but it’s coming through and then there’s those contracted more inward times where I just need to sit and be still pause with the material. Not push.
Kim: 00:46:40 Yeah. I mean, anytime there’s content that’s mega it needs assimilation time, it needs to be integrated or it won’t be meaningful to me or to others. You know, if I just quickly read some books about alchemy and quickly make a deck and just make, make, make
Kimberly: 00:47:04 Wait doo doo doo
Kim: 00:47:07 It’s not the resonance that I’m looking for. Um, so I have gotten to the point now where I can trust that the arc of the project is slow and all I can do is like one foot in front of the other.
Kimberly: 00:47:24 That’s what I was gonna say. There’s this part where you write about unfolding, which I love this word, the perfection at any moment, right? It’s just unfolding. So what, what is your approach as an artist, as an alchemist to goals, right? Some people say, okay, I’m gonna have this book and I really wanna do this or this. Are you more just seeing how things are coming cyclically?
Kim: 00:47:48 Oh, it’s such a good question. I’ll try to answer it as honestly as possible because it means a lot to me. Um, the things that I have tried to make like more goal oriented for success have not worked for me.
Kimberly: 00:48:09 I know I have had the same experience. What is too heady, right? Yeah. It comes from the
Kim: 00:48:13 Mind. It’s just am miss the things that I’ve made because I was interested in the thing and kind of couldn’t get enough of it. Couldn’t quite resolve it. You know, in alchemy they say
Kimberly: 00:48:25 Wrestling with it,
Kim: 00:48:26 It’s the, the sand that agitates the pearl, the agitation of the sand becomes the pearl. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s like something’s agitating to me that I can’t quite, like, I couldn’t quite find a tero deck that I loved the images of. So I made one, I couldn’t find the right book on alchemy. That was helpful for me to learn about it easily. And that irritated me that more people didn’t have access to this information that I think would help them. Right. I’m like, I have to just make a thing then. Cuz that’s agitating there’s a gap.
Kimberly: 00:48:58 Yes.
Kim: 00:48:58 That’s when I love,
Kimberly: 00:49:00 That’s when I des description. Yeah.
Kim: 00:49:02 Um, otherwise I can get just as confused as we all can around like, you know, this goal has to occur, has to look like this, I need a deadline, I need to manifest it. That’s not how my system has ever really worked that well or wants to work.
Kimberly: 00:49:24 What’s your relationship with time?
Relationship with time
Kim: 00:49:26 Oh, great question. I’m friends with time. I’m massively friends with time and I’ve done that. Tell us I’ve done that through. Um, it’s, so it’s, it’s just great to get a question like that because, um, I think it’s like the secret weapon. And I do, um, I’ve become friends with time through my practice.
Kimberly: 00:49:49 Mm.
Kim: 00:49:50 Doing also, I do a lot of three minute practices. Um, in Kundalini they do, you know, three minute, 11 minute, 31 minute, two and a half hours. So I, they use the timers like they’re Yes. They’re just like hilarious with it. And I’m like that. Um, but I do a lot of things for like very short period of time. So it’ll
Kimberly: 00:50:10 Be like, so you go right in.
Kim: 00:50:11 Yeah. Three. Uh, okay. I’m convinced I don’t have time to write three minutes of writing. I’m convinced I don’t have time for my practice. Three minutes of breath of fire and, and seeing what three minutes actually is
00:50:27 That, that length of time then helps, you know, I know what a minute is. Mm. And to know what a minute is, is to start to crack the code around time. I know it sounds so, that sounds so basic, but like, or that’s silly. But then if you do a practice that’s two and a half hours long, say you’re chanting something, you time starts to open and open in this other way. And in those fields you realize like, I don’t need the years and years and years to write the book. I need to keep collecting research, observing, doing my work. And then the book comes like, like a lightning bolt and I make myself available to it. I, uh, trust it, but I don’t need to belabor the way that I’ve been told I need to belabor.
Kimberly: 00:51:22 I 100% agree. I’ve had that experience over time. Things feel more useful. Yeah. Right. It doesn’t mean that challenges don’t come, but it’s a different, for me it’s, it’s this way of flowing. Yeah. With things. And I’ve, I’ve, I’ve talked to my sons about this. Well, you know, Moses is too young, but my older son that time expands and it’s different. Right? So when we go to Hawaii, we have a farm in Hawaii. So we go back and forth and he says to me, mama, time always expands when we’re in Hawaii. Right. We’ll be there for two weeks, but it really feels like we’ve been there for six months. We’re like in the earth and Yeah. In the water. And somehow it, it feels like that spiral of time. I don’t know. It’s just, it’s something that you can’t, I can’t really explain.
Kim: 00:52:09 It’s so amazing that he has that sense.
Kimberly: 00:52:12 He does. He tells me about it all the time.
Kim: 00:52:15 And when I’m drawing, I feel like I, I can draw so fast when I’m finally ready to make the thing like my, the pen is in my hand on the page. It happens really fast. Wow. In a way that other people might be like, that’s not fair <laugh>. But I think it’s because, um, I don’t know. I just, you know, my first drawing teacher who I write about in this book.
Kimberly: 00:52:46 Oh yeah. Mrs. Parsons.
Kim: 00:52:48 Yeah. She, thanks for remembering her name.
Kimberly: 00:52:50 I read the whole thing. Yeah. I
Kim: 00:52:51 Love it. She, um, she told me that if you draw, if you draw every day, ev at some point the line will wake up. It will have its own vitality and its own life for us.
Kimberly: 00:53:03 Wow.
Kim: 00:53:04 That was one of my first teachings from her and I was 15.
Kimberly: 00:53:08 Wow.
Kim: 00:53:09 And, and it happened. It didn’t, wasn’t like an aha moment, but the line is a wake for me now when I draw. So it can go very quickly. It can do its thing kind of faster than I could if I was trying really hard. So I think also there’s a part about becoming friends with time that just takes dedication of a certain, some practice that you’re doing every day. Also, I’m a fan of the 11 minute nap
Kimberly: 00:53:37 <laugh>. You can go in there and nap. That is in incredible.
Kim: 00:53:42 I have a teacher who just said, you can either lay down or you can also just sit against a wall and you just say to yourself out loud, just quietly self wake me up in 11 minutes, I’m gonna rest till then. And this the self, you know, after a few tries, it will wake itself up and then you start to know what 11 minutes is. And then when there’s that voice, like, I don’t have time to make art. I don’t have time to bloody blah. You’re like, I, I can find 11 minutes. I’m actually creating time because I get better at noticing it. 11 minutes just went by and I’m on Instagram. I don’t notice unless you send a ti set a timer.
Kimberly: 00:54:29 Right.
Kim: 00:54:30 Which is a, a way to you, you could also learn a lot about time through that
Kimberly: 00:54:34 <laugh>. Oh
Kim: 00:54:34 God. But once you start the 11 minute nap, the three minute breath thing. Mm. You’re like, oh shit. I, I can do a
Kimberly: 00:54:42 Lot. There’s a lot of time. Yeah. There’s an abundance and
Kim: 00:54:45 It’s not rushing stuff.
Kimberly: 00:54:47 Like I know I
Kim: 00:54:48 Can get this done while that it’s like, no, if I breathe for three minutes,
Kimberly: 00:54:52 Yes.
Kim: 00:54:53 That’s it. Just three intentional breath work. Whatever works for you. My day is different.
Kimberly: 00:55:03 We weigh so much energy in just the like, just the distractions. <laugh> Yeah. And the disorganization that I have found a, such a strong correlation. And when I look at the, the, the books that I’ve written, the first book and the folders, I, I go into the beauty detox solution. I’m like, wow. Where my mind was in the disorganization. Now through continuing to meditate and sit and practice, it’s like, yeah, I got this time for this and this. And you go in like an eagle.
Kim: 00:55:30 Yeah. It’s true. It’s crazy that having the meditation in the morning creates time as opposed to like, oh, I don’t have 30 minutes to do this thing. But the 30 minutes makes the day go, whew, open.
Kimberly: 00:55:43 Totally.
Kim: 00:55:43 So you can make decisions and see more clearly.
Kimberly: 00:55:47 Well, you have such a calm disposition. How do you deal with, I’m going to make an assumption here that you too have big feelings, whether it’s sadness or, you know, resentfulness or anger or jealousy or all the human emotions. Do you like, what are some of your practices? And then do you ever create art when you are in those states? Or you, do you wait until you’re calm?
Practices to move through the sadness, anger or jealousy
Kim: 00:56:11 Oh God, there’s no waiting. First <laugh> anything over here.
Kimberly: 00:56:15 Cause I, I’m like, just can’t feel
Kim: 00:56:18 Inker. No. Oh my God. Are you kidding me? <laugh> I mean, I do have a book just for listeners if they’re really wondering. Um, it’s called Blossoms and Bones. It was a drawing book, a graphic memoir written, um, years ago when I was experiencing an kind of adult onset eating disorder. Mm. After I went through divorce and, and several miscarriages. Mm,
Kimberly: 00:56:41 We’ll we’ll put it in the show notes. What’s it called again?
Kim: 00:56:43 Blossoms and Bones. And that I drew because this massive feeling of discordances, uh, in me and I couldn’t understand it. And the doctor’s therapist, all the, I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. And I knew that creativity and drawing had always been there for me. So I went to an ashram and I drew from the feeling the practice is kind of based on depth psychology, but I called it draw the feeling. I just drew from that feeling. I let that lead the pen across the page for 40 days. Wow. And it became this whole book, um, that was, that came out in 2020. Um, and that was an example of like how to utilize those more like incongruent, but really en you know, strong feelings and energies. It wanted to become like a book. Wow. So I think those energies want to become something. Typically when I am dealing with like a lot of anger or whatever, it’s usually like I’m not doing something, uh, that my soul wants to be doing. Whether it’s travel or making out or making, playing piano or something that I’m holding myself back from. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s a pent up energy that actually is, um, it wants the best for me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it’s trying to
Kimberly: 00:58:14 Communicate somehow. Yeah.
Kim: 00:58:16 Wow. But I also am a huge fan of, uh, the fists of anger kundolini practice. Anyone can Google it. You do this breath work, the fists above the head, like a backstroke motion and you’re breathing, um, through an o mouth breath from the naval. It’s like three minutes. And you actually bring up the anger in your mind. I’ll just like you go through the Rolodex, so to speak, of all the shit. Oh,
Kimberly: 00:58:45 Well this anger and you
Kim: 00:58:46 Move the fist through it over the head. Wow. You know, you can look it up. People should just not, don’t take my word for it. They can watch someone on YouTube doing it correctly. But, um, that, those types of things just working with the inner aggression or the, the unresolved shit. Yeah. Um, I have to have a physical way to do that.
Kimberly: 00:59:08 Yes.
Kim: 00:59:08 Um, so
Kimberly: 00:59:10 I do with like the lion’s breath sometimes too. Yeah,
Kim: 00:59:12 Exactly.
Kimberly: 00:59:14 And you know, for me it’s interesting because, um, you know, we look at our, you know, childhood wounds and communication, all the things that happened to us. And I didn’t have a lot of instruction about how to deal with feelings. I realize. Yeah. And I, I work with my son a lot about him. Just for me being a mother has healed a lot of childhood stuff. Um, but with, with what I’ve noticed is it’s just, I’m not it Yeah. It’s the, it’s there. Like the Alchemist was like, oh, look at this material, but it’s actually not me. Like underneath there’s the true self, there’s the soul that’s witnessing everything. So now I just see it as like, oh, and underneath the anger I could often see there was an expectation that came from the ego. I wanted this person to do this or I wanted them to say this to me, not this or whatever. So then I kind of turn it back on me and say, oh, you know, I had expectations again versus into this, you know, like the doubt. Just the wide open Yeah. Clear myself of ideas, which is humans. It’s hard. We have to just keep going back in again and again. I’m looking Yeah,
Kim: 01:00:17 Exactly. The, I think especially, um, just for my fellow creatives and artists out there, there it’s like we have to be doing something for our unmet expectations and our resentments around, around creativity or, or fulfillment of that. And uh, uh, to get back to your point, I think it, earlier on we talked about this, if you’re gonna be sensitive and feeling a lot of these things that maybe a lot of others don’t feel. Yes. Um, that we just simply have to have the strength, stability, protective forces around us in order to keep navigating the, the deep waters, which I wanna keep navigating. And by deep I mean like just the most meaningful to me. So I want to delve into, um, things that might activate a lot of feelings in me, cuz I feel like that’s my job, navigate and then come back up with, with my findings, whether it’s in the form of a book or artwork or, um, card decks or what have you. But I’m not willing to, to not dive into the water, um, to self-protect. I wanna just do the practices that I know will protect me while I’m in that water.
Kimberly: 01:01:41 You said your job, do you see, like, when you see one of your paintings or one of your creations, do you see it as something moved through me and I offered it? The element of your soul is another material alchemy that’s working with it and bring it, bringing it forward too? I,
Kim: 01:02:00 Yeah, it’s a good question. I, um, you know, I really hesitate with the word channel when people say like, you’re just channeling work. And I’m like, I don’t really, I can’t jive with the word for some reason. Yeah. But I do know that, um, I am more a fan of the shamonic term, like the hollow bone. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that you just become hollow. You’re taking, I’m taking all of my training with me, my years of drawing, my studying of the symbols and different esoteric traditions. But I’m trying to almost be transparent
Kimberly: 01:02:42 Yeah.
Kim: 01:02:43 At the moment of making it, um, so that I’m as surprised by the card image or the symbol as anyone else’s. Like, it’s that idea that the teacher is the most important student in the room.
Kimberly: 01:03:02 I love
Kim: 01:03:03 That. And I feel that way. Like the artist is the most important, I guess, student still that I wanna be learning when I’m making the alchemy deck or, or any of the other things, because that’s the energy that is I want to pass on or have part of the, the work that I make, the energy of learning and growing. And that is my true nature <laugh>. And that’s what, uh, that’s what my true nature wants to be doing constantly. And, um, that’s what I hope people feel is more of like a discovery feeling. Then, um, they’re being taught something that’s heavy or confusing, just that there, something’s waking up. I wanna be waking up when I’m making things.
Kimberly: 01:03:54 Well, so I, I asked you that question partly because in reading your material, I lo there was this a feeling and energy, very powerful, um, humility underneath that I resonate with very much of, you know, the, you’ll get quality of, Hey, here’s things. Yeah. Here’s how I’ve worked with them, here’s how you can work with them. But also not like, you know, this is the way, or I made all this stuff, but more of this when I find enticing and mysterious. It’s like, Hey, we’re all in this pot. Yeah. And we’re sharing with each other how to make sense of the pot and how to work with a pot, but we’re all equal. Yeah. We’re just different.
Kim: 01:04:33 Yeah. And I think that keeps the alchemist really, uh, really humble and true. And also, um, really curious. Like, one of my favorite sort of alchemical uh, ways to open a sentence is like, I wonder if Mm.
Kimberly: 01:04:49 Like
Kim: 01:04:49 I wonder if we, um, lit a candle in here, if that might be nice. I wonder if we open a window, what would happen? Mm. I wonder if we closed our eyes. Like you’re kind of in this space of like, curiosity. And even in suggesting those things, like things shift a little bit. But the Alchemist is such an experimenter and that’s really, um, they never get to know. Like, we never know what, who, you know, who we really are, what we’re really doing here. We <laugh>, we can pretend as much as we would like, but it’s such a curious experience of being alive. And that’s what the Alchemist has to teach us for sure.
Kimberly: 01:05:37 It’s, it’s a, it’s a great journey, you know, and I think what I love about your, your work and your deck as well is it drops us out of that heady place. You know, we started what we were talking about, the intuition and the feelings, and even if you didn’t read the book, but how the art evokes something inside of us. And it is, I, you know, I I had never really delved into alchemy at all. And then when I started reading it, I just thought, oh, it’s really interesting. And again, from my orientation, I see the through lines with va dic philosophy and the oneness and everything. Not better, worse, everything from God, everything from source, universe, whatever word we wanna use. But everything’s here for our growth.
Kim: 01:06:19 Yeah.
Kimberly: 01:06:20 In different ways.
Kim: 01:06:21 Definitely.
Kimberly: 01:06:23 So is there any, um, thank you so much for being here with us today, Kim. I find this absolutely fascinating and I love this deck, the Wild Unknown Alchemy guidebook, and it comes with a deck. It’s absolutely beautiful and fascinating as I hope you could get from our conversation. And you have other decks you mentioned, Kim. I
Kim: 01:06:44 Do. Um, the Wild Unknown Tarot deck came out, it was originally a self-published in 2012 Suspend 10 years. And then it came out with Harper Collins in 2016. Animal Spirit deck followed. And then the Archetype Deck came out before, um, the Alchemy Deck, and it was kind of the lead up or the sister deck to this one. So it’s been a real journey.
Kimberly: 01:07:09 Well, congratulations on getting it from self-published and then a publisher came forward. So you were just doing your thing. How did you grow in?
Kim: 01:07:18 Um, I was just doing my thing, making drawings, making artwork, living in New York City. I made the Wild Unknown Terra Deck and we printed a thousand copies and they were, they were gone. And then we printed more. The, that deck was kind of the first of its kind. It was a, a bit of a, like forerunner of all the decks that are out now. Oh. It just like, um, in a lot of ways it kind of pi it pioneered the, the deck movement that is Wow. Existing, so it just hit at the right moment. And, um, people hadn’t really seen a new iteration of the tarot, uh, symbology at that time. Now there’s so many diverse decks, it’s so beautiful to see. Um, it was the first sort of animal led deck, rather than seeing people depicted in a certain age or, um, race or, um, you kings and queens and England. It just, it kind of undid a lot of the stereotypes that the tarot had, um, unconsciously created in an image wise. And so it just, it just struck a chord and, um, we couldn’t keep it in stock as a self-published. And then I was very, very blessed and overwhelmed by that success because we were shipping all over the world and my apartment turned into a warehouse basically.
Kimberly: 01:08:44 <laugh>. Well, how were people finding it through social media?
Kim: 01:08:47 Through it coincided with Insta taking off. Like back, back when Insta was, you’d post a photo and like it would stay in the same order,
Kimberly: 01:08:54 Right?
Kim: 01:08:55 Like chronology wise.
Kimberly: 01:08:57 Yeah. Like a long,
Kim: 01:08:59 This was 2012. Yeah. So it hit and I had already had my stuff in a lot of like boutiques and, um, just cool sort of trend setting stores. And they took the deck and some designers and, you know, Pamela Love and Mah Hoffman and, um, bona Drag the shop, they just, um, promoted it on their social amazing feeds. Amazing. And it just, it just took off. So
Kimberly: 01:09:22 Yeah. Yeah. The, the expansion, the Jupiter
Kim: 01:09:25 Yeah. Super Jupiter <laugh> and, um, it, it had a life of its own from the very beginning.
Kimberly: 01:09:31 So how do you, um, if this ever comes up or maybe it doesn’t come up for you feelings of pressure or competition or jealousy with other artists or, you know, it came so naturally you’re like, I, I created this whole, this deck world and now there’s all these other beautiful ones. There isn’t even a tinge of that for you. Um, I ask because we get a lot of questions around not feeling good enough or competitive or that we have to, you know.
Thoughts on when the pressure of competition comes up
Kim: 01:09:59 Yeah. Um, it’s such a great question because the competition just, it just is such a plague, um, in our culture now. Yes. And it’s, it’s hard to fight it cuz we’re kind of being fed it. Um, the spirit of it, um, when other decks came out, I was like, wow, this is interesting. The only time I really mind it is if someone’s, you know, there’s people that try to make decks that would look like mine or they would tag it on social media. Oh. Trying to like that it, I turn into a fierce, I get
Kimberly: 01:10:31 Fierce. The colleague comes out.
Kim: 01:10:33 Yeah. Yeah. But up until that point, um, I feel more like, wow, we’re recreating. Like this is a movement now that we’re recreating the tarot, we’re making all these different kinds of decks. And in a sense it’s like a, a I think of it as like a blessing that I could have contributed to other people’s confidence or vision around making a deck of their own. It feels prosperous to me to be in that loop with people. Yes. It’s a prosperous loop. So, um,
Kimberly: 01:11:13 That’s beautiful.
Kim: 01:11:14 Yeah. I like that field.
Kimberly: 01:11:16 Yeah. I love it. And I love, I mean, I thank you for gifting me the, um, the animal one, which I will delve into because now I think it’s, it’s better for me to have one at a time. Yeah. Because I’ve sat with this one for many months and it’s been here in my office and it’s always in our room. Um, as you know, playing the game with my, with my
Kim: 01:11:36 Son, it’s so funny.
Kimberly: 01:11:37 So I feel like it’s part of my life. But thank you so much. Is there any, any last, um, anything you wanna leave with us, Kim, that we didn’t cover? Anything you wanna share about Alchemy or your work?
Kim: 01:11:50 I just feel like I didn’t quite answer that question around competition. Um, for people who are feeling, um, like, you know, it’s not working out for me’s. Not everybody’s
Kimberly: 01:12:01 Else does. That’s not Yeah. Not look at everybody else on TikTok.
Kim: 01:12:04 Look at everybody else. Um, I would just say, um, I experience this in my own way a a lot. Look what everyone else is doing. They’re leading a retreat in Costa Rica. Look what they’re doing. And now they have this publicity and they, um, I have one thing that’s helped me is I’ve tried to hone down to what is it that I can do that, that others might be doing A lot of the Costa Rica retreats or whatever. Yeah. The comparison is, but like, what is it that I do especially that is different from that and unique to that. And even if you don’t, don’t know what that is, trusting that there is something that’s churning alchemy says, um, more will be revealed. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> one door opens next, that there is some intelligence that’s keeping the thing, you know, just beyond our reach so that we can really find the thing that’s our note to play our thing to do. And so amidst the discomfort, there is some thing at work that’s trying to point us ever more to what’s ours. The personal example I use is, um, I thought and still think I should have the family that I envision now. And I compare myself all the time in that field. It’s available at any moment, and yet I know that there is something more intelligent than my brain around these things that’s been pretty programmed. That is just shaping, churning, turning, steering constantly towards what is mine to do while I’m alive.
Kimberly: 01:14:00 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Kim: 01:14:01 And I can’t know exactly what that is. I can’t put another person’s pattern and overlay it on mine and say that’s it.
Kimberly: 01:14:11 Yeah.
Kim: 01:14:13 And that allows me to be at your place now with your family here and be in the exquisiteness of the energy and be like, oh my God, how does it feel to go use the kid’s bathroom and there’s toys and it’s so sweet. I’m gonna be in this energy because I don’t get to be, and I can, like an alchemist would be, how does this feel? Feels very specific, very dear.
Kimberly: 01:14:39 Hmm.
Kim: 01:14:39 And it becomes, um, it just becomes a unique experience of, of life that I can hold rather than judging myself around what you have and what I don’t have and what I
Kimberly: 01:14:57 Have legal, a lack perspective. Right.
Kim: 01:14:59 And that way I can also be clear with you when I’m here because I can hold, Ooh, there’s, ooh, there’s sad, there’s a feeling of sadness in the container and there’s also curiosity. It’s also wonder, I’m amazed. I’m like, oh, this is such a cool example of the, of a family, creative family, and I get to be in the field.
Kimberly: 01:15:21 Mm-hmm. That’s amazing. I
Kim: 01:15:25 Don’t know if this is
Kimberly: 01:15:26 Helpful. No, that is so incr. And just thank you for being vulnerable and also just, just embodying that it’s a rising all the time. All the time because you literally have been here in my house for, you know, an hour or so and all of this, you’ve, you’ve already created an awareness with. Yeah,
Kim: 01:15:44 I, I created the awareness as soon as I saw the kids’ toys, I was like, oh, I see that’s a specific feeling. Mm. And what do I do with this feeling while I’m here? And I’m like, oh, I can actually absorb it, absorb it, and see how, how good it feels. And like, this is a vision of what I would like. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> doesn’t mean it’s gonna look like this, but I’m, I’m close to it. I’m with it. You know,
Kimberly: 01:16:08 I love it. Yes. So, so it’s, it’s, it’s that openness, like you said again, the integration, the expansion versus the headiness is like this or that. Yeah. Rigidity. Oh, it didn’t happen in this timeline, so No, it means something. Yeah. When it doesn’t mean all that the ego puts on it to mean. Yeah.
Kim: 01:16:28 And also knowing just, um, there is something just unique for me, no matter if it looks anything like this vision that, that living in. Um, and also I’m not gonna project on your vision and like, as make a bunch of assumptions about what it’s like day to day to you. It’s like we have to be spacious with these things and um, and know that there is something that’s guiding me.
Kimberly: 01:16:57 Wow. That faith and that trust, the trusting hard, what a gift
Kim: 01:17:02 It has. It has to, it has to be the way otherwise the other, the other options are just more confusion.
Kimberly: 01:17:10 So
Kim: 01:17:10 Yes, I’m not going to, I just can’t do that.
Kimberly: 01:17:13 Well, and wonderful. And thank you for sharing that. You have your consistent practices to keep you on here because anyone listening saying, oh, well I wish I had that trust and that faith, I could say for myself, and probably you too, Kim. It builds and, you know, stuff happens in life and then we feel confused, but the practices are stabilizing. Yeah.
Kim: 01:17:31 The practices are the, are the key for me. Yeah,
Kimberly: 01:17:34 For sure. Yeah.
Kim: 01:17:36 They’re the through line.
Kimberly: 01:17:38 Yeah. Every day
Kim: 01:17:39 <laugh>, like, I’m like, there’s no other way. I don’t know how anyone’s getting through anything without some kind of little practice every day. It’s too hard out
Kimberly: 01:17:47 There. The, the, the, the practices. But is there sort of a, as an artist, a reg, like a, I wanna say a free flow for me. There’s like, oh, here’s my list and I’m really feeling more like this today, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like, I kind of asked this earlier, but I’m just really interested in, interested in your creative process where maybe suddenly it’s like eight o’clock at night, you just have this idea. Or do you try to keep it more even on a schedule as an artist? Like you’re working from this hour to this hour? <laugh>,
Kim: 01:18:16 Oh God. Um,
Kimberly: 01:18:19 <laugh>, like Dina, you know, cause the Veic system, system, Dina Charia, like the circadian rhythms, here’s where we work and here’s where we go to sleep.
Kim: 01:18:25 When I have a big project like the Alchemy Deck, I’m on a schedule. Yeah. I’m on like a six hour drawing schedule, two hour writing schedule. You know, it’s, it’s a system. It’s, that’s laid out. It’s an 18 month thing. So I have these big publishing projects that I have to stay on, like a long term thing. Yeah. However, right now I’m in between projects, so I’m working in my drawing journals and it’s, it is a looser framework. Um, which I wouldn’t even recommend if I hadn’t been at it for the years that I have been. Where now I can just trust, like this thing will become a project soon. I can’t pressure it now, but it will be. And I need to be just sort of loose, loose with it. Yeah. As long as I’m drawing a little bit every day working at the piano a little bit every day. That’s funny.
Kimberly: 01:19:13 Oh, I love it. Yeah. That those are the materials, <laugh>. Yeah, they are the materials, the, the laboratory.
Kim: 01:19:20 Exactly.
Kimberly: 01:19:21 Well thank you again so much Kim. Let us know where else we can find out more about you and your work as well.
Kim: 01:19:28 You can find me online, kimcrans.com and Insta. My personal handle is KimKrans and then the Wild Unknown has its own handle and website.
Kimberly: 01:19:38 Wonderful. Well, again, thank you so much. It’s been a real blessing and a pleasure to be with you today.
Kim: 01:19:43 Thanks so much, Kimberly.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Kim Kranz. As much as I enjoyed our conversation, it just was a a bit of a long one because there was just so much I felt to talk about and we could just keep going and going. But please be sure to check out the show notes over at mysolluna.com where you can get more information about Kim’s wonderful books, her, her cards, and her just incredible work in general. You will also find over the show notes, some links to other podcasts. I think you would enjoy food recipes that are deeply nourishing, meditations and articles, and many, many other offerings. I will be back here Thursday for our next q and a podcast. Till then, take great care and sending you so much love and gratitude, Namaste.