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  • Writer's pictureMaegan Clearwood

12 - hanged one

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

12 – hanged one

perspective shift, reimagination, subversion, release

adrienne maree brown art ancestor ritual

tools: something from the earth (a crystal or rock, a handful of dirt, etc); a piece of text written by an author with whom you want to deeply converse (it should be brief enough to read aloud and write down many times over; a sentence is probably plenty); paper and something with which to write.

part 1: invocation of the element of earth

incantation: "Matter doesn't disappear, it transforms. Energy is the same way. The Earth is layer upon layer of all that has existed, remembered by the dirt." (brown pg x)

take a few deep breaths and root yourself to the earth -- literally, imagine tendrils that connect you deep deep down to the very core of everything.

reflect on what earth represents to you. what does it offer that you feel grateful for? express your gratitude to the literal piece of earth that you collected for this ritual. speak your gratitudes aloud. call forth the energy of earth to hold you in this ritual.

part 2: ritual for slow-going adaptive conversation

1. review these two definitions, offered by adrienne maree brown in Emergent Strategy

iterative: involving repetition, as

a: expressing repetition of a verbal action

b: relating to or being iteration of an operation or procedure

adaptation: a change in a plant or animal that makes it better able to live in a particular place or situation; the process of changing to fit some purpose or situation: the process of adapting

2. turn to the text that you have chosen to converse with. read it aloud three times, going slower and slower each time. ponder the intentionality as you go: why this word and not another? why in this configuration? what is the sonic experience of each word? by the third read, you should have imbued each word and punctuation mark with meaning.

3. copy the text onto your sheet of paper. again, go slowly. what does each word feel like in your hand? how do the letters flow from one to the next? what is the rhythm of this text?

4. change something in the text. it may be a punctuation mark, a letter, a word; it may be a replacement, deletion, or insertion. you shouldn't have a goal in mind when it comes to why you are amending the text. just follow your intuition. what do you feel like transforming? start with something small. re-read the text, noticing how the change impacts the text as a whole.

5. repeat step 5 again. and again. and again. edit the text directly, crossing out and adding words as you go. this should be a very slow process: with each change, pause and reflect on how meaning has shifted. every three changes, rewrite and read aloud the sentence with your changes incorporated. as you grow comfortable with this process, the changes may grow in scope; you may rearrange words and replace multiple words at once. bigger transformations should only come when you have hit a rhythmic stride.

6. stop when you know it is time to stop.

7. read your text aloud in the same deliberate manner as the first three steps.

8. read the original text alongside yours. let it be a conversation between two meaning-makers.

9. gently unroot yourself from sacred space before returning to the world of the mundane. notice how you have transformed.

example: a conversation between Donna J. Haraway and myself

(my words in italics)

donna: perhaps our hopes for accountability, for politics, for ecofeminism, turn on revisioning the world as coding trickster with whom we must learn to converse.

me: i rotate with the world on a shapeshifting axis.

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