With May Day coming up on May 1, it’s a great time for us all to be re-inspired byLucy Parsons, a #BlackIndian Latina resistance leader. She taught us how to resist, as she helped organize the first May Day march of 1886, setting up modern protest as we know it today. If it weren’t for Lucy, we might all be working 16 hours a day in factories from childhood on. She was an intersectional feminist and mother of the sit-down strike (sit-ins in the 1960s and Occupy most recently).
This week, we bring you Roya Fahradi Koczak: Iranian Hungarian Witch, Healer + Diviner
Tell us about your background and how you got started with your calling in life.
I grew up biracial in a multiracial, multicultural family. I grew up with my Hungarian relatives from my mother’s side, and with my Sudanese stepfather. I was raised being told by my white family that I was white, and was simultaneously disconnected from my father’s Persian family.
My identity and sense of self was so confused, and it took me years to sort myself through. I’ve struggled with mental health issues throughout my life, and I looked for holistic and integrative ways to heal or to find peace. I found that my connection to the spirit world and the ancestors, and to nature and Earth herself were my remedy. I hadn’t realized how important the forest behind my grandparent’s house had been in forming who I am. I didn’t fully know myself until I knew that my communication, this ability to connect with trees and the moon, with water, that this was real.
What do you identify with about Lucy Parsons?
I identify the most with her focus on liberating the working class as the necessary catalyst for social justice. And I feel most inspired by how she gave enough of a fuck to not give a fuck and to do it in the midst of threat of death and of criticism of her commitment to the working class at the “expense” of her putting gender issues first.
She saw what was up underneath it all, and she pushed to keep making people have to look at it, whether they liked it or not. She lost a lot in her commitment, but she stuck with it and was willing to be in for the fight. I love that.
What are your proudest moments?
I am super proud that I have been able to forgive some of the people who have hurt me deeply. I am also proud that I finished graduate school because that shit was HARD.
What have your biggest challenges been and what do you anticipate in the future?
Feeling powerless and not knowing how to channel the frustration that comes from feeling powerless have been my biggest challenges. The current state of the country is deeply highlighting this feeling for me, and I’m seeing how I act out, and what I need to clean up in myself to avoid mistreating people when I’m overwhelmed.
I anticipate that this level of discontent will be channeled into nurturing and growing activism that is already taking place, and growing it on a deeper level. Grounding it deeply in earth. I see us rising into our power, and finding ways to protect the sacred that we are part of.
I speak up when I see injustice and bullshit playing out. I am about to become initiated into the Moon medicine lineage of my Hungarian ancestress’, and as a stick diviner in the tradition of the Dagara of Burkina Faso. I offer divination, coaching, and ritual for humans, animals, and the earth.
My job as a diviner is to hold the space and connection for others to heal their relationship with their own ancestral lineages and medicine, as well as with the elemental beings of the Earth and all of nature. I am particularly focused on healing women, in helping women to find their voices, their truths, and to live them. I want to help women connect more deeply with the stars.
And how are you helping others do the same?
In committing to initiating as a diviner, I am committing to helping others know themselves in relationship to the many dimensions of being. I think that shit will get really wonderful and magical on this planet when many more people start seeking and deepening their connections to the larger world.
Diviners are being asked by the elemental beings to help folks remember that we are alive, and to remember what that means. It’s easy for us to get caught up in modern life and technology, and diviners offer a space for us to be slow and to spend time in the magic of our vast experience of miraculously existing. It’s wild that we are in these bodies, like the simple reality of being alive on this earth is stunning. I want to help people to reconnect with their ancestors in order to heal intergenerational trauma and to get support from a healthy lineage.
What do you want to change about the world?
I would love to see us come to a just system where people have their hierarchy of basic needs met in a nourishing way. I hope to contribute to changing people’s feeling of connection to life and land and spirit for the better so that we can restore to a relationship of love and care to each other and to all of life on our planet. The scale of the love that we need to have now is huge. I would love to contribute to a shift towards compassion and empathy, with space for righteous anger to be expressed and heard.
I want us to change the world by showing up for each other, by being willing to have difficult conversations, and by making sure that everyone is taken care of. This hoarding capitalist shit has to stop, and I want to be a part of the movement that changes it.
And how will you do it?
I’m trying to focus on the small steps: one person, one ritual at a time. I hope that large, lovely things evolve out of the tiniest ones, and I am also so happy to have even tiny steps to celebrate.
What’s next for you?
I want to use comedy to get my voice and this medicine out into the world. I’m just finishing my website, StarWomanHealingArts.com, and I just started a YouTube channel where I’ll be posting videos.
I’m also feeling the shifting of life phases, and I want to be a momma and have chickens and grow lettuce next. But I mainly want to be inspired by Lucy to keep speaking up to make shit different. I am not the same since this election; it was mad fucked up before this, and it is so completely, terrifyingly fucked up now. And I am down to fight to keep the sacred safe. Much love to all women, we’re going to make some amazing things happen.
If you feel Lucy Parsons’ spirit of resistance lives in you, get in touch! We’d love to hear about you and your activism.