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Open Your Heart

By Brandon Alter:

A few years ago, my husband and I were on our honeymoon in the Atacama desert of Chile. We found ourselves, through a series of blessed synchronicities, on the outskirts of town at the unmarked property of a renowned healer. She lived among horses and dogs in an unfinished house at the edge of the vast desert plains. Her name was Karen, and she greeted us warmly as we approached. "The Brujos are here," she perceptively exclaimed—which means male witches in Spanish.

One at a time, we lay on her outdoor massage table for treatment. I went first. She called in her helping spirits and began to extract spiritual poison from my body. At some point during the session, as she worked to rehabilitate my severely rounded shoulders, Karen told me I was way too young to have such an ailment. She told me it was because I was hiding my heart.

“The strongest position for the heart,” Karen continued, "is when it is out, exposed. When you hide your heart, you compromise its integrity."

This is the message I wish to convey to you during this time. Yes, our hearts can get battered and bruised, torn—even broken. But do not mistake their tenderness for weakness. Our hearts are stronger than we can imagine. And when we try to protect them, we diminish their power.

Now, more than ever, each and every one of us must speak our hearts, every day.

Not just in safe spaces but everywhere.

We must speak up and speak out about the injustices and imbalances we see in our society.

As the MTA promotes: If you see something, say something! We must be bold and proud and maybe even a little dramatic.


BRANDON ALTER is a queer healer, Tarot reader, teacher, mystic and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that have helped him reconnect to the wisdom of his heart. He is the Tarot reader in residence for The Numinous and he co-hosts The Spiritual Gayz with his husband, a twice-monthly podcast dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending that it all makes sense. Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven and gave him his first Tarot deck when he was eleven. Since then he has devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and Shamanic Skills.

Visit to learn more. And to sign up for his twice-monthly newsletter, click here.

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