Ziggy AKA Beans


Michele Kraft

Is it possible for us to understand the divine, to be completely in tune to the mind of God? Does God favor one religion over another, and if so, why? Aren’t all religions trying, giving it their best shot? I’ve been wrestling with that question and other assorted blasphemies since I was a Catholic school kid. Desperate to get off the express train to Hell I was creating with my questions, I could not stop myself. They came anyway, constant proof that there was something very wrong with me. I caused that something by being alive, and was going to pay for it, forever.

As an adult, it’s clear that any belief system that inspires insomnia in a six-year-old is not about salvation. It is about control.

It took a long time to scrape the toxic beliefs off my back. Even after I tried to quit believing in God, I defaulted to those fear-based beliefs anyway. The anxiety and dread then goaded me into non-stop judgment of everyone else, justifying my intolerance, telling me my anger was my one saving strength.

But the wheel turns, thank all the gods. In 1996, Uranus teamed up with my third house Mars, and then Pluto arrived on my ascendant. Neptune and Jupiter tag teamed my 2nd house. My way of seeing the world and myself would never be the same. The old questions about God returned, forcing me to see that my alleged atheism was just a tarp I threw over my controlling moral beliefs. I had not changed at all. I just stopped looking. Why? Because it would be impossible to change without giving in to the scariest thing of all: LOVE.

Ask and you will be given. And sometimes you’re given without even asking. Teachers came pouring out of the woodwork. There were actual teachers in art classes, and a diverse array of hidden teachers- new art friends, art itself- the act of making it; my beloved dog, Crunchy, and even the critters we encountered in the woods. Lessons were everywhere. I lived in Synchronicity City.

Mind blown.

Having a Capricorn sun, I was certain there was a container out there for this new Obvious God to live in, a One True Religion that I would surely now find. Tire kicking various mainstream faiths left me where I started emotionally- sure that there is a divine force, seeing portions of it represented in various religions, but always finding some dogma or dominant personality I could not get with. After a decade of drifting, learning Tarot and Astrology, reading psychology and making art, no decision was necesary. My ecclectic Pagan practice grew up organically around me. It's the all-you-can-eat spirituality for for insatiabley curious cultural omnivores.

I’ll never stop learning about the divine; it is subject and teacher all in one. Every time I experience its direct presence, be it in born-again Christian prayer meetings, chanting with Buddhists, dancing with Reclaiming Witches, reading Tarot at my kitchen table, or getting a sign from a squirrel, it is always the same: a visceral experience of love, acceptance, and joy.

The Divine don’t need no stinking badges. Artists, psychologists, writers, astrologers, philosophers, pagans, people on the street, and other wild animals, all influence my ideology. I’m interested in the emotional growth that is the Hero’s Journey, and with it, the cultivation of love, which brings the peace and joy we seek.

Life is not always fun. It’s not always what we wanted or hoped for. It can be a struggle that brings us to our knees- especially when we resist the growth we planned for ourselves. Can we learn to sit easy in the saddle, work with the cosmic flow, to let go and love our experiences and ourselves? Can we embrace the challenges that come from following our desires and create a happy, fulfilling life? That’s the challenge. I believe we can. And that approach is so much more fun than the alternative.

As Keenen Ivory Wayans demonstrated in his 1988 comedy masterpiece, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, there are two ways to live this life. You can take the stairs, or wait for life to throw you out the window. Then the only place to go is down.

If you need some help locating the staircase, let me know. I can help you help yourself. Let’s ask the divine together. There may be an elevator, just waiting for you!

With love and gratitude,

Michele Kraft

Studied with
Jeffery Wolf Green School of Astrology
Ari Moshe Wolf
Nadiya Shaw
Eliza Graney
Acyuta-bhava Dasa

BFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Post Baccalaureate Certificate, Maryland Institute College of Art
BS Towson State University

Licensed to tend bar and run a fork lift in the state of Wisconsin