Updated: Oct 18
By Brandon Alter:
We buried my cousin yesterday. He was 37 years old and a fighter and still the cancer won. Life doesn’t make sense, but maybe it’s not supposed to? Life isn’t a problem to be solved or a mystery to unravel. Life is an experience. And for however many days of it we get, we should embrace it—in all its sacred strangeness.
The second-to-last time I saw him, I told him he was a star. I didn’t do this randomly. I asked the spirits for help. He was so sick, and seeing him in that same hospital where my mom died was such a challenge for me. So I did what I always do when I feel overwhelmed and uncertain—I took it straight to the spirits.
How can I help Cameron when I see him? I took a spirit trip on that question, and one of my most trusted spirts showed me a vast night sky, stars twinkling, shooting across the galaxy, glimmering, fading. He told me to tell Cameron about the stars. And so, in that third-floor ICU hospital room, I reminded him of the stars we see in the night sky, how most of them don’t even exist anymore. We are literally looking into the past. But still their light lives on. I told him, "Cameron, you are a star, and your light will continue to shine on and illuminate all of us."
Imagine my surprise when yesterday, at the short Shiva Minyan service (a smaller, private service that usually happens at home among family and close friends) we were instructed to read this section from the prayer book:
There are stars up above,
so far away we only see their light
long, long after the star itself is gone.
And so it is with people that we loved—
their memories keep shining ever brightly
though their time with us is done.
But the stars light up the darkest night,
These are the lights that guide us.
As we live our days, these are the ways we remember.
As I got into the elevator to leave the hospital that night, in a state of shock and overwhelm, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Standing behind me, was my mom's favorite nurse. A sweet, stylish gay man named Hector. I told him what I was doing there, we hugged. "Too much death," he said. I agreed. Of all the people to share an elevator with me in that moment, at that time—it felt orchestrated.
These things aren't coincidences, they are carefully woven threads in the great tapestry of life. Amidst the seeming senselessness of my cousin’s passing, of all life's tragedies, there is this greater alignment that hums underneath it all.
In the last days of my mom’s life, I remember how everything seemed to be organized by an invisible hand. I told this to my younger cousin, Daniel, as he struggled to make the correct end-of-life decisions for his brother. I tell this to you all now:
There is an unseen force that arranges our entrances and exits and everything surrounding them. It doesn’t always bring us understanding, but it does bring us comfort, if we let it. It reminds us that we are not in control. We are only on the ride, not the ride-makers.
Mercury stations direct today, in their favorite sign of Virgo, a transit that should herald some much-needed clarity. After yesterday's New Moon, more than ever Mercury loves to tell tales, disclose secrets, and above all help us organize our life experiences into meaning. Now, finally moving ahead, we might begin to understand things in a new way. We might begin to see what we missed the first time through. For me, knowing now how limited my time with Cameron was, all our experiences take on new significance. You may find similar revelations about your own life quite available.
The truth is that life only moves in one direction, forward. Even when planets are retrograde, they aren’t actually backsliding—they just appear that way from our vantage on Earth. Life is a wheel, and it only spins in one direction, full-steam ahead.
That’s why we titled our newest and most heartfelt offering The Wheel of the Year.
Having a group, a class, a gorgeous community to plug into regularly can give birth to tremendous magic in our lives. And so that’s what we wanted to provide with this new monthly gathering. We’ll be using all the tools in our spell kits to harness the invitations of each Full Moon. For one whole year, we’ll build on experiences together. Think of it as a spiritual river that you can continue to return to, no matter what challenges and celebrations your life delivers to you.
We aren’t supposed to move through life alone. We aren’t supposed to grieve alone or struggle alone or even party alone. Certainly ritual work or ceremony are rarely meant to be done solo. There is more power in numbers, and there is great comfort in community.
And let’s be real, it’s a lot of pressure to organize yourself for magic. So all you have to do is sign up and show up— leave the rest to us! Registration is open now, we hope you’ll join us for this maiden voyage of the Wheel of the Year!
We are so grateful you're here. To be able to share our lives with you, in all its radiant vulnerability, is a true honor.
Be gentle, be kind, be beautiful.
We love you,
B + A (+ Noche)
THE SPIRITUAL GAYZ are Brandon Alter and Angel Lopez, healers, husbands, teachers, and mystics for a modern age. With their combined experience of over forty years of Tarot and Astrology expertise, they aim to demystify the mystical and make spiritual practice accessible and effective. Through their podcast and their Spirit School, their goal is to create safe spaces for queer people of all kinds to gather together in spirit.
BRANDON ALTER is a spiritual healer, Tarot reader, Astrologer, 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. Brandon is a thoroughly trained healer and teacher who 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 the myriad ways one can work, heal and grow with the help of the spirits. Visit www.thespiritualgayz.com to learn more. To sign up for The Spiritual Gayz newsletter and get these Tarotscopes delivered to your inbox, click here.