00:00 Alexandra introduces who Rachel Rabbit White is and briefly explains her work, her goals, and Alexandra’s first impressions of her.
03:56 Interview with Rachel Rabbit White begins. Alexandra shares how she and Rachel met and why she wanted to have Rachel on the podcast for this episode.
05:38 Rachel and Alexandra briefly reminisce on how they met and the spiritual forces that have brought them together throughout the last 8 years.
06:42 Rachel introduces herself and where she is in life right now. She talks about what she is working on right now and what she and her husband are currently up to in their life in New York.
09:15 Rachel begins telling the love story of herself and her now-husband, when they first met. When Rachel and Nico met, Nico was transitioning back into society after having been in prison. It is interesting to note that Rachel first met Nico when he reached out to her after reading her book, Porn Carnival. Coincidentally, Rachel had already read Nico’s book and therefore knew of him as an author as well.
12:55 Alexandra has asked Rachel to share a story about a transformational, spiritual, or otherwise life-changing experience she has had. Rachel tells a story about an experience with psychedelics that had an impact on her life. She talks about going to upstate New York for a relaxing getaway with friends. The story of a specific acid trip Rachel did while on this getaway is detailed in Rachel’s book of poem, called Roses of Helio Gabblas
16:37 Rachel tells the story of Helio Gabblas, who inspired her poem, Roses of Helio Gabblas, and how it relates to her own experience with a particular acid trip.
17:25 Rachel explains the sexual relationship she has with the friends who came with her on the trip to New York. She talks about the importance of different types of relationships, and how she has recognized that some of her friendships had the basis for a romantic relationships, but never got to be elevated in that same way, due to societal constructs or other barriers that stopped her from living freely. Alexandra and Rachel explore this topic for a few minutes.
25:26 Rachel and Alexandra talk about the idea of wastefulness, and what defines a wasted life.
27:30 Rachel tells Alexandra about the Pamajeera, a feared deity who is known as the protector of sex workers, trans people, and gay people. Rachel tells a story about a meditation ritual she did with a friend to meet Pamajeera, and what this did for her spiritually.
28:46 Alexandra steers back towards Rachel’s story about the acid trip, to ask about her perception of that night and how she handles boundaries in these relationships.
30:11 Rachel talks about how she handles having different types of relationships and her feelings about “owing” one partner something while also trying to engage with another.
31:25 Alexandra shares her thoughts on the conditions of love, and the unconscious behaviours we have within different relationships. She talks about how psychedelics help us free ourselves from our unconscious limitations, which can be unnerving.
32:54 Rachel speaks about her personal transformation and the way she allowed herself, as a result of a psychedelic trip, to wear the clothes and the makeup that she wanted despite them not being typical for her type of work.
35:03 Rachel talks about the freedom and unconditional love that comes with her lifestyle, as she would explain it to someone who has never experienced it themselves. She talks about her upbringing, being shy as a kid, and slowly coming out of her shell.
36:48 Alexandra shares a story about a spiritual and mindful connection she recently shared with her partner
38:35 Alexandra and Rachel talk about the fear that comes with being more romantically and sexually open in relationships, the fear of losing love, and how we deal with it.
42:43 Alexandra talks about the sense of entitlement that can come with being in love, and how she tries to squash this feeling to avoid becoming sloppy and forgetting the work required to keep a relationship healthy.
44:05 Alexandra and Rachel start talking about astrology and how they feel their signs affect their romantic relationships.
45:56 Alexandra begins closing out the conversation, giving a recap of what they’ve spoken about.
47:11 Rachel talks about the new edition of her poetry book, Porn Carnival: Paradise Edition.
49:20 Reading of Roses of Helio Gabblas by Rachel
52:15 Alexandra debriefs about the reading and her experience while listening to Rachel read.
54:15 Closing thoughts about the internet, social media, big corporations, and the future of artistic expression.
Alexandra: Hello everybody, I am really excited about today’s episode. I loved connecting with Rachel Rabbit White, because she is a ritualist, she is a goddess worshipper, she’s a poet, she has been a sex worker and is out about that, and has advocated for sex worker’s rights in many different ways. She’s been a writer and has had columns in multiple magazines. Her work and her being in her body and her beauty have been featured in Vogue and Vanity Fair and many other places… because she’s radically herself and it seems like she just doesn’t give a f*ck. And it seems that she isn’t playing a game of being a certain way to get a certain thing, it seems to get a certain amount of fame or fortune or a following, she just seems to be very radically herself. And you know when you find people like that in today’s age who don’t seem to be copying other people or going with what is the trend online or on Instagram or social media in any way, and who seem to be expressed, and you can feel at the core of their being their excitement about life… that to me, is just so inspirational. So, stay tuned to the end, she reads a poem from her incredible book, Porn Carnival, and I think this is one that maybe touches, triggers, activates a few people depending on how conservative you are… though, you probably aren’t too conservative if you’re listening to this podcast. Stay with it and I am excited to introduce you to Rachel Rabbit White.
Alexandra: Hi everybody, I’m here today with Rachel Rabbit White and I don’t know if that’s her real name, we will ask her very soon, because it is a really special, magical name. I have ARR as my initials, so I have two R’s, but 2 with a W is nice initials so… I’m really excited to have Rachel here today as I’ve known Rachel for a long time and we were just trying to figure out how and when we made our first connection, and it was back when I was doing a piece for Vice called ‘Life As A Truck Stop Stripper’ and we’ll have to go back and find in the archive. But I was really taken by Rache’s magnetism and being someone I could tell who was smart, maybe a bit academic and intellectual, but was also sexy… and so over these last, maybe eight years, I’ve sort of followed her career from afar and we’ve had sort of a crossover of friends and peers that I’ll hear her name from time to time, “Oh, Rachel’s book launch” or “her poetry book” and so, when I was considering the line-up of people that I wanted to ask to share a story on this podcast, she magically popped up as I was reading an article in Interview Magazine, so I took it as fate that Interview Magazine recommended you and I had even read a few poems from your poetry book through a friend, but I would love to…
Rachel: Isn’t it crazy how many lifetimes we’ve known each other through? Like, it’s just spinning my mind, all the people and the different things.
Alexandra: I know, I know, I know. And I feel like there’s something about that that activates something in me.
Rachel: It feels magical, right, when people just keep transforming and popping up in new ways in your sphere?!
Alexandra: Yeah, and I feel seen in a certain way, because I know that we’ve seen each other in different phases.
Rachel: Totally! Eight years is a long time.
Alexandra: It’s kind of exposing, like I’m so different than I was when I was 26 or 27 when I met you. Here we are today, and we’re different people and we’re probably the same in many ways as well.
Alexandra: So, I’d love to just start by hearing you introduce yourself to our audience here, what you do now, what you’re most excited about, the kind of work you’re doing, because I know you do many different things.
Rachel: Yeah, Rachel Rabbit White is my real name, legally, and I love the double R thing, it lends itself to great nicknames, like everyone calls me Rah Rah, or Rabbs… but yeah, so I’m a poet and a writer. My new collection, this is an extended version of my collection of poems, Porn Carnival, so we have a section of new poems in here. This book is about sex work, class warfare, queerness, orgies, decadence, about all kinds of things, and there’s this new section where it’s all this burst of love poems.
Alexandra: Oh my gosh!
Rachel: So, yeah! I write poems, I also write essays, am working on a pilot for a TV show and a book, I’m an all-around writer. And I guess ‘gal about town’ usually in New York City, though I’m currently in Mississippi with my fiance who’s also a writer.
Alexandra: That’s so cool, what are you guys doing in Mississippi?
Rachel: Nico’s here because he’s on federal probation, his book Cherry, if you want to know more about him, he spent the last ten years in prison for robbing banks… it’s about to come out as a movie, the movie version of Cherry starring Tom Holland is about to hit theaters like February 26th, but the book is amazing. Cherry by Nico Walker. So, we’re here for the time being until we can get things moved to New York, but for now, we’re in the slow pace of Mississippi.
Alexandra: Oh my goodness, that feels right along with decadence and decay and the South, I think of that in the South, just these kind of old haunts where you can buy martinis for a dollar, and where the walls are kind of falling apart, but there’s such beauty… I miss the South.
Rachel: Oh, I’ve found amazing abandoned houses and the thrifting is amazing… yeah, there’s some pluses of being out of New York.
Alexandra: Wow, wow, wow. So, currently then, you’re just writing… you’re writing your book, you’re writing your poetry…
Rachel: Yeah, I’m writing my book…
Alexandra: Amazing. Well, did the love chapter, or section, get added when you guys fell in love?
Alexandra: That’s so beautiful, and so inspiring, how that happens, and funny how that happens and it changes our lives as artists and writers…
Rachel: It’s… I know, it’s so wild! Yeah, just this burst of love poems… he was still in a halfway house when we met, and he was here in Mississippi, I was still in New York and sort of going back and forth and we got quarantined together, it was a wild ride. Being with someone while they’re in transition of getting out of prison is obviously crazy, but then to have this thing where I’d read his book already, he’d read mine, it was just this feeling of fate, the romance was just so high…
Alexandra: Wow, how did you guys meet?
Rachel: Well, I had already read his book while he was still in prison, but he was supposed to be in prison much longer, I don’t think he was supposed to get out until 2022 or something like that, and I had already read his book when it came out in like, 2017, and I was like, oh, he’s really cool, I really like this writer, but yeah, not going to meet him. And then, when my book came out, he wrote to me, and we started corresponding.
Alexandra: Ooohhh, I love that! He just found it randomly?
Rachel: Um yeah, I mean, he was staying on top of literature, so…
Alexandra: Wow… that’s so beautiful, wow, that’s lovely. And so, for those of you all who didn’t hear, Rachel’s book is called Porn Carnival. And we’ll put links to that in the show notes as well. I need to buy it and put it next to my bed, I haven’t done that yet for some reason.
Rachel: I’ll send you a copy.
Alexandra: Oh, thank you. Probably because I’m a bit of a book junkie, so I have so many, and I kind of feel myself like, ok, finish these ten before you buy more. My parents are both book junkies, too. I think it’s not a terrible thing to want to have…
Rachel: Well, poetry’s great because you can just dip into it. You know, you just flip through, see what catches your eye, read a few poems, like if you’re someone who had problems starting and finishing books, buying poetry books is what I do, just read poetry all the time.
Alexandra: Yeah, my partner and I read poetry to each other a lot, it’s like part of our morning routine, so I’ll keep this one for our evening routine, though. I have like Anne Rice and The Story of O, and certain erotica by the bed. Well, I’d love to get into our story for today. And so, I asked Rachel, like I ask all of this season’s guests, to think about, dream up, conjure out of her soul and her own memory box, what experience of many, I am sure, what experience she wanted to share with us that was transformational, numinous, mysterious, spiritual, life-changing, all of those words for everyone who shares with us it might be a little bit different what kind of texture they bring, and so I’m going to turn the mic over to her as she brings us into her world, which I’m imagining just by her introduction and what she already shared with us here, you can already feel that her world is quite colorful, maybe a little bit wild, and sounds quite mythic, right? There is already myth and poetry and like, a legendary kind of a sense to even a small bit of information you’ve shared with us. I’m imagining David Lynch’s Wild At Heart and Natural Born Killers and for those of you all who like cinema, there already feels like there’s something cinematic coming, so I’m excited to hear what moment you feel called to share with us, and you can just dive in.
Rachel: It’s so funny because you’re like top spiritual, transformational moment, and I’ve definitely had like a lot of more straightforward spiritual moments. I have a spiritual practice, I’ve long done witchcraft, goddess worship, and have been into all kinds of different things. You know, playing on the astral plane, I’ve experienced wild things, like getting into other people’s minds and dreams and I’ve had like deeply mystical things, but I keep going back to this one experience and I want to say, it was spiritual and life-changing, but when I think about it, it was just whimsical. It was this acid trip that I took upstate – New Yorkers love going upstate – it’s our thing in the summer where we’re like, “nature, it exists!” and we imagine our cottage-core life that we could possibly have. So it was a late August trip to Windham, New York, and I was with a bunch of friends and we had rented this huge, beautiful house that had a jacuzzi on a back deck that overlooked this spilling meadow and the meadow had fog coming off of it in the morning when we were still awake. So I’ve done countless acid trips, and sometimes they do change you. Sometimes afterward, you are just lit up and excited for days with ideas and new aesthetics and new ways of being and new ways of seeing the world. And other times, it’s sort of like, yeah, I felt the acid, or it made me sluggish… and I don’t know if that’s like the stuff you get, or where your mind and your energy is. And where I was at that point was, I was a sex worker, so I was working as an escort in New York, and I was hustling all the time. Like I was really trying to take care of myself and the people around me, and make enough money, and just like, do all this stuff that was really a grind. And so, I hadn’t taken any psychedelics for a couple years because I was afraid that maybe I would freak out, but I just wasn’t in that place of playing with my mind, you know, my mind was always like, what’s my next photoshoot, where is my brand going, how much money do I need to make, how can I support myself, how can I support my partner and my other partner? So, to have that moment where you haven’t done psychedelics in a long time, and to have that moment where you sort of burst open with them again, and almost like, the first time you did them, you know?
Rachel: It’s so hard to describe an acid trip. I actually wrote about this acid trip in my book, there’s a poem called Roses of Helio Gabblas that’s also about this acid trip and it’s also about this teenage, trans Emperess of Rome who was blamed for the fall of Rome…
Alexandra: Is that a real thing, or that came from your acid trip?
Rachel: Yeah, she truly existed! She was a 14 year old, well, people usually call her Emperor, but when you read about her, she said she preferred the pronoun ‘she’, so you know, she was an Emperess. She came to power at 14 and was known for her decadent parties. The first thing she did was like, fire all the staff and hire only men who had beautiful cocks, she was like, that’s what this was about. The stories about her, the lore about her, is really wild. There’s this beautiful, I think, Victorian-era painting that’s called The Roses of Helio Gabblas, you can look it up, and it’s the depiction of the stories about her, where people would say things about her like, she would throw these wild parties where crazy things would happen, she had an orgy where rose petals fell from the ceiling, so many of them fell that the orgy-ists, the people were crushed alive by roses, which is like, what a way to die, you know?!
So during this acid trip, I’m with my live-in partner, and two other partners, and it’s sort of like those relationships got really solidified and it was this moment you know, like Helio Gabblas, she was hated for her decadence, but also her queerness.
Alexandra: Ok, so I want to stop you there just for the people that are listening and like what, what do you mean by all these partners. So, will you tell us, were these partners romantic partners that you were in a poly romantic relationship with, or what kind of partners?
Rachel: Yeah, so I was with my ex, who I lived with. We lived together like four years, a very established partner, a guy. And two of my friends, girls, who I had been sort of like, well I mean, I had been so focused on work and stuff, but that was because I wanted to create a community space with other sex workers and other people and throw parties that turn into orgies when you throw sex workers together and they’re used to living this lifestyle and everyone is sort of bi and it becomes part of the job and you sort of realize, yes that’s what it is. So, I had these friends and we had been hanging out a lot and had been sleeping together and I had realized that these were real relationships, there was this moment on the acid where I was like, whoah this acid is making me even gayer, and it was like, I can’t become less gay now, like everything I do will only make me more gay, and so like, yeah it was just this beautiful moment of realizing… also like, at that moment, realizing how much those relationships were romantic relationships, not just friendships, not just sexual, but real partners, looking into each others eyes and laughing and realizing how much I loved all of them, you know! But also, like a pain there, too realizing how much in my life I’d lived erasing female friendships, you know, people that were partners, or weren’t because people were oppressed, or needed to rely on men for money, or whatever reason, all those other relationships that didn’t get elevated to that romantic level, even if that was there. You know, so it was this feeling of like, this is so special and this is something that gets erased so often. And I don’t want to erase it anymore.
Alexandra: Wow, I loved how you just said the relationships that didn’t get elevated into romance, and that in itself is so poetic, it’s like the exaltation of two people’s connection and which relationships in our lives become the exalted ones, that then become the ones where we do worship and we open our body and our heart and our soul, and the society we live in puts in a certain amount of reverence or sanctity only around a certain type of relationships that gets elevated into the space of romance, where also can be mystical or mythical or whatever it is, and I like that you just said that about those friendships. That the friendships were elevated into romance, which also brings me to this notion in the Victorian-era that existed, and I don’t know if you’ve studied much around that, but I love that terminology and just imagining you with those friends going, “wow, maybe there isn’t a separation between the way that I elevate this one partner and the way that I want to elevate these, like why can’t I elevate all of them?!”
Rachel: Yeah, that’s truly what it was! We got to have this beautiful moment where we had gone grocery shopping before the acid trip, not realizing we would be way too f*cked up to know what to do with these vegetables, so the one thing is that it was a very sexual trip for me, obviously, which isn’t always the case. That doesn’t always happen, you don’t always have a lot of energy, but I had a lot of energy. And I was probably the one who had done it the most, a lot of people were first-timers, to have had so many trips under my belt, I think I was like, ok, I know how to move this drug around, I know how to play with it, you know? At some point, we had this zucchini that we bought for food, and we were like, what are we going to do with all this food, and I was like, “oh, I know what we’re going to do with this zucchini”… it was like, we didn’t even have to use it sexually, it was like, all we have to do is take the zucchini and rub your friend’s thigh with it and like, “I know you want this zucchini…” so we started this zucchini society with the three of us, the two girls and I, and it was so fun and we were laughing and hooking up and it was really adorable. And you know when you’re on acid and you create a joke and it just builds and builds and builds…
Alexandra: So yeah, you guys were able to access, it sounds like, a certain element of complete abandon and play…
Rachel: Completely! Which we often did, and it was so sweet, because I often felt like you had to choose between partners sometimes at parties – are you going to go with the one you live with and make them happy or are you going to go off and ignore them, like “don’t bother me now, babe” – but I was having this great moment with my girlfriends and later, I was like, “oh, I want to connect with my partner” that I live with, and we went upstairs and we had sex and it was great, and when we were done, my friends were waiting and came in with a basket – somehow they had realized how to cook the corn we had bought – like a basket of corn and like, all these things, and they were like “for you, lovers!” and it was very sweet and loving and everyone loving each other’s love. I mean, it sounds so hippy dippy when I say it, but we were laughing so hard because it was a basket of corn, it was so ridiculous.
Alexandra: Yeah, but I mean I get that there’s something that can happen – and for anyone listening, it does not always happen when you go on a psychedelic trip that it’s a moment of expansion and love and joy – but with the right alchemy there is a moment of a twist of fate where all of the bullsh*t gets left outside, and you can have these moments where the joy of bringing a basket of corn to your friends is really f*cking epic, and beautiful, and the joy of kissing or holding someone that you maybe wouldn’t normally because of your inhibitions or conditions around “oh, I shouldn’t kiss my friends”… I wrote a poem and it was like, remember when we used to just slide our tongues into each other’s mouths like we were just loving each other and just being friends, and it wasn’t a big deal… I can’t remember the line of it. But there was something, as we grow older, these ways that we may or may not connect that we’re only allowed to do if we’re inebriated, or at Burning Man, or whatever… and to be able to bring into your life is beautiful, that sounds like a celebration!
Rachel: And that’s why I think I kept thinking about Helio Gabblas, too because I had recently written about the painting that I was talking about, for my then column for Garage Magazine, and thinking about how she was blamed for the fall of Rome and all these stories about her… the stories are so wild, like no one would ever get crushed to death by rose petals… the petals would just be ground up in your sweat and your sex, you know? So it’s like, clearly these are rumors about her decadence, and the sort of, fear about her, the sort of conservative fear of not upholding economic power, but instead having decadence and having what’s considered a waste… not going back into the family, but maybe falling in love with someone you shouldn’t fall in love with, or falling in love with someone of the same sex. These were the fears she represented, as well as just the decadence and the orgy and what if your life is just a fabulous and beautiful waste and what if that’s ok? And it just felt so clear to me that it could be so easy to get caught up in – even if it sounds positive – like productivity, or self-work, but there’s still these things that are very insular, that are so focused on the self. You know, even if it’s not like, trying to make money, but simple productivity, it’s still so easy to get caught up in these things and you have the moments like, but the point is just… this, you know? The connection and the party and the love and the giving and the community you build through taking drugs together and having sex, like that’s a way to care… that’s the human experience, to me.
Alexandra: Yeah, that’s beautiful, and who defines waste… what is a waste? That definition comes from likely a system and people that many of us don’t really resonate with. What is wasteful and what isn’t, in terms of our time, resources, the earth’s resources, as simple as food, packaging and all of that. I definitely don’t resonate at all with that definition of what is wasteful in life.
Rachel: Right? I have a line in my book that says something like, “Who’s to say by what a life is wasted?”
Alexandra: Exactly, there you go. That’s exactly it. And this is kind of one of the pitfalls I think of modern personal growth, introspection, spirituality, depending on whatever frame is, if you’re not kind of working towards this betterment than you’re not doing enough, and it’s wasteful and it’s not kind and you’re not contributing to the world in a certain way. Which to me, sometimes, it’s more of the same story, but it’s like in a different outfit.
Rachel: No, totally. I once had – and I don’t want to get into too many experiences – but it was with one of my partners that I was with during the acid trip… later we were in LA and we were doing a lot of channeling and stuff and I don’t know if you know about the Po Majera, she’s sort of known as the most feared and revered deity from the Quimbanda religion. My friend and I had been really studying her, and she’s known as the protector of all sex workers, also trans people, also gay people, and so she was like, we have to do the ritual, we have to, she’s asking me to – the thing is she’s supposed to come to you, you don’t call upon her – or if you call upon her and you’re not one of her children, she might smite you. So, we did this whole thing… I set up a meditation where we could meet her, and we did and she was just laughing and she comes in many forms… she can come in the form of her sort of street version, or like her very elegant version and I definitely saw her in her very street version and she was just laughing like, “what are you working towards? What do you need? What do you need so much of? What are you worrying about working towards, saving towards? This is it! We dance and laugh and f*ck, we dance in the street, like that is life!”
Alexandra: And then we die, very quickly.
Rachel: You know and like, I feel like at that moment, like the decadence and the care and the party, it’s just when you have those moments, it really like brings it all together.
Alexandra: Yeah, well, so I want to go back into that story of that night a little bit and just, kind of imagining you in the midst of love. Love from your friends and love from your partner and that love also happened to have a sexual component – it doesn’t always – you know you’re someone who is really comfortable in that realm, but what would you say about just like, the experience, how that psychedelic, which was LSD in that case, how it freed you to just, love? And again, not to sound hippy dippy on my side, with like, free love… but when I’m getting to the essence of the experience, it sounds like, the inhibitions and the sort of qualifiers, and all of the things that get in the way of just loving – like who’s my partner, I don’t like them, what kind of commitment are we in – all these kind of terms, conditions, agreements, were kind of cleared, like a path was cleared, and we can, oh great, we can just f*cking love and we don’t have to figure it out… like, what would you say that felt like and is that accurate in a way, the way I just described it?
Rachel: You totally nailed it. It’s that feeling of you know, these were people that I had maybe already sort of considered partners or partner friend, I don’t know, I’m a Sagittarius, I can be hard to pin down, you know, in terms of commitment. But it was like, well I have this partner, and I have these boundaries, so, if I let someone else in, then what’s that going to mean? You know, what will I owe them? What will they owe me? Is there a system of debt here? Which is a problem I think in the way we think about relationships so often is like, if I let this person in more, if I let them call me their girlfriend, or if I call them my girlfriend or whatever, then what do I owe them? And what does as it mean as it it’s always built on a system of debt. And I think, like, in that moment, everything was just full of giving, like there was enough. You know, there was enough love, and we were just in the moment, there was no debt. And so, like, we could have that moment and we could need everything in the moment, and we can continue to need things, but I didn’t need to look at it so much like if I open myself up this way, then what do I owe you?
Alexandra: Exactly. Yeah I mean a super basic word to describe that would be unconditional. Like unconditional love, what happens when we put the conditions aside, that feeling of being indebted, or like what do I need to do to deserve this, or what am I going to get from this person if I give this, or whatever? And so much of that is unconscious behavior, from a psychological perspective, these things that we don’t even have any consciousness around. So the beauty of psychedelics or any altered state of consciousness – could happen in another way as well – is that we can free ourselves of those unconscious limitations. And that’s what can often make psychedelic experiences very confronting, because sometimes unconscious material comes up and like, slaps you in the face… so I love that you chose this as like, uh this was an exalted, beautiful, opening because I’m sure you’ve had many psychedelic experiences that have been scary and shadowy and that actually take you in a different direction. And I know from my experiences that when they do take you in that direction of unconditional love in whatever way it is, it’s like something you always remember, because we don’t touch that frequency often here on middle earth.
Rachel: And like, that’s the thing to, it’s so crazy with having a rich experience and drugs and stuff, it’s hard to talk about this stuff, because you’ve heard it over and over again, you know, people take molly and talk about they love everyone, and of course I’ve felt like I’ve loved everyone on molly before, but it’s different. You know what I mean, the sort of deeply psychedelic thing, where you’re opened up in many different facets all at once, because you know it wasn’t just, it was like the friendship opened up, I opened up sexually and I opened up even deeper to my own queerness than I thought, and I opened up to myself and my own love, and I opened up to realize that my priorities had been wrong, and I had been working too hard, and this is what I was working towards and I could have more of the thing that I wanted. And you know, I really, in have been working so hard and been so focused on that, I had really came back to myself, I came back to also loving myself, I came back to myself deeper, to the point that afterwards, I felt completely this transformation, this shift and that’s when I started writing all these poems. That’s really when the poems started flowing. And at the time, you know, I had to have a certain look for the sex work and had to look a certain way and I could only spend money on work clothes, and I was like “wait, why can’t I wear pink eyeshadow and pig tails and vampire fangs and angel wings, and look how I want and dress how I want?” And it was just this huge blossoming and opening after that trip in so many ways, you know, creatively…
Alexandra: That is so delicious…
Rachel: It was so good.
Alexandra: I mean, for people who aren’t psychedelic explorers, or sexual explorers, how could you translate that to them? Like, “ok guys, even if you aren’t Rachel and you haven’t been in an orgy or done LSD or you don’t wear vampire fangs…” but that sense of unconditional love, how would you translate that or even explain it to someone who maybe has never experienced it?
Rachel: Mmmhmmm…. it sort of goes back to the points about Helio Gabblas where it’s like, it comes from your values, right, where I was saying like, if your values aren’t towards just this conservative things of like, if you do this, what’s going to happen? What is going to happen? You’re going to lose money? If you’re not putting your energy towards this machine, or the machine of the family? Then where are your values? And what do you really believe in, and where can you live with them? Can you live outside of things more? And then I think, like, you know, I was a shy kid growing up, even though I was very creative and probably wanted to wear angel wings to school, if I would’ve been able to get them. But you know, I was shy and I feel sometimes can feel shy, and I don’t know how you can have those moments of flow, where it feels like you’re on stage, like you’re acting you know, and you’re just in the character and like everything you do feels fun like a role play, and so I feel like, yeah, this sort of like way of like, acting… things can just be silly, or things can just be fun, you know?
Alexandra: Yeah, so for people who are like, “ok I’m not going to do acid, or my edges are a little bit clear around sex” there’s an element of creativity and play, and it sounds like and it feels like in my experience as well, just freeing yourself. If you don’t want to free yourself by taking acid, then fine. Go to a dance class where you free yourself, and also like, freeing your body and your mind are two different things. It was so funny this morning – this is a random side note – but my partner was in his room meditating because we have different rooms where we’re staying here, for our own creativity and sanity… and I was out here reading about this Hindu Goddess that no one really talks about as much, and is just like, her statue is her open genitals and her breasts and she has this lotus head, and I was in a deep study listening to these beautiful, mystical, chanting vibes, it was like 6am, and through my speaker, all of a sudden, this song started blasting and it was like, “free your body, free your mind!” through my speaker and I hadn’t touched my phone and I was like, “omg is this coming from my partners phone, connecting to my speaker, and why would he be blasting this song at 6am?” So I ran to the other room because I was like, “omg, we’re going to wake up the whole house!” And he was like, “why is your music on so loud? Why are you listening to that?” And I was like, “I didn’t touch it!” And he picked up his phone which is on airplane mode on his bed and the song was playing and he had been sitting in meditation… and I just thought that was, on different levels, such a beautiful moment where he was in his practice and I was in my practice stirring something up and that particular song came on, and I thought, “yeah, this song is such an appropriate song for all of us, all the time, just free your body, free your mind, what else are we doing here?”
Alexandra: You know, if you’re so afraid to move your body in a certain way, or express it in a certain way, or be touched in a certain way, or to think in a certain way, or to like, feel in a certain way and you spend your whole life avoiding certain things, and your whole life becomes an avoidance of like, “oh I don’t want to feel that, I don’t want to feel scared, I don’t want to feel sad, I don’t like being touched that way, I don’t want to move that way…” there’s so many constraints, and if people don’t want to take psychedelics or explore, it’s like, find a way to free yourself so you can feel the beauty of unconditional love.
Rachel: I think we’re scared of losing things, too, you know, I feel like that’s also the thing about creating boundaries in relationships, this is a relationship, but this can’t be, or I might lose this person, well what if they make me lose this other person, or what if I let this person go too far, what if I lose them? And I feel like in those moments of unconditional love, or like the Po Majera, you realize like, this is it. I have this moment with them. I can’t be constantly projecting into the future and wondering what’s going to happen with them. You have their love now, and that’s forever.
Alexandra: Yeah, and I guess that that’s the sweet spot in relationship, right, like when we take risks in relationship, something is at stake, which is – am I still going to be loved? If I move in a certain way, or if I dress in a certain way, or if I kiss this other person – even if my partner said it was ok – like, will I lose love? And I just feel like humans are so basic, like, we just want to be loved, we want to be liked, it’s like underneath all of our desires, for clothes, money, sex, relationship, work, career, it’s like, we want to share our love, be seen in it, and receive it back. It’s really so simple. And so, it makes sense that if it’s at stake, and we feel like we’re going to lose it, that we will contort ourselves into like, the weirdest positions that are so not who we are, because we think we’re going to lose love.
Rachel: Right, it’s like, you have it. Actually, you have it.
Alexandra: Yeah, it’s like, you are it, and it’s not going anywhere.
Rachel: You have it.
Alexandra: That’s such a hard one, though.
Rachel: It is. I mean, it’s one you have to re-learn all the time. You know, learning it and really having it, doesn’t mean it’s going to be there forever, you’re going to have to remind yourself and try to get back there all the time. Romantic love is so tricky.
Alexandra: It’s cool because I appreciate a little bit of a thrill ride. And so, I’m like, wow relationship is like, you’re always walking on razor’s edge, like it could go at any moment. And the people who tell themselves like, “oh no, it’s for certain, it’s forever…” I’m like, you don’t know how many people I’ve seen take vows and then change and change their mind. So, for those of us who like a little bit of a thrill, it’s kind of amazing to go “yeah, I’m in love with this person right now, but at any moment, he could go…”
Rachel: Right, and it also makes you better in your relationships because if you look at it in the way of, “I’m in love with this person right now, where is it going to go?” you don’t get easy sort of in the relationship. If you think you have the person forever, then you’re more likely to start resenting each other, or when you fight, maybe say meaner things, or like, not putting the energy in to keeping it fun and sexy and light and all those things that you want it to be when you’re falling in love, and I feel like, if you don’t take it for granted and you don’t just say, “well it’s there forever” then you do continue to put in the energy in like in early dating.
Alexandra: I love that, honestly. And I feel like maybe some people inherently, or the way they were brought up like maybe etc. etc, feel a sense of entitlement around relationship or love or whatever, but I think many of us don’t, and I actually appreciate that knowing that I need to continue to do my work on myself and my practice and continue to be myself, be creative, be expressed, be beautiful however that works for me, and show up in a way that doesn’t just get sloppy. And it’s easy to get sloppy!
Rachel: It’s so easy!
Alexandra: I mean, I’m like, “we can’t brush our teeth around each other anymore! We’re going to ruin our sex life!” I’m like very militant around it sometimes and then I forget and then I’m like, “oh we’re becoming so yummy and mushy and gushy” and then I’m like, “too comfortable!”
Rachel: I mean, I like it both ways! Whenever we’re getting like really close and super intimate days on end and then like, “no, I’m losing the mystique, like I’m losing it” and then like you’re back into your structured things and you’re both on your projects and you’re like, “where is that intimacy? I miss that intimacy!”
Alexandra: I know! Exactly, I cried the other night, I was like, “we’re spending a night apart…” and I was like, am I fake crying? No, I’m really crying! But it’s so good…
Rachel: It’s crazy how much human beings need love! It’s wild!
Alexandra: I mean, I have a Venus in Aquarius and an Aquarius moon…
Rachel: Me too!
Alexandra: You do? Oh my god, we have to talk about that at some point because I definitely feel sorry for most people who love me, because I’m such a freak, I’m so independent and I don’t want you, but I do…
Rachel: My Mars and my Venus are both in Aquarius.
Alexandra: Oh, really? How does it show up for you?
Rachel: I mean, obviously, people say it’s like kinky, more in your brain, innovative, more out there, but like, I don’t know. I was reading some really interesting things I’ll have to send you about just other things it means too. There’s a lot about Aquarius that is more traditional, as well. And likes a sort of structure, it’s just a different structure. It’s like Aquarius is the boss, you know?
Alexandra: I want to read more about it too and I just want to better be able to describe myself to the person I love, I just want an out for my freakishness, and being particular. I feel like part of my Venus in Aquarius is a bit like, finicky, or particular in a sense of needing like psychological space in a way, or like independence. I’m also a Manifestor in Human Design, I don’t know if you’ve done Human Design, have you ever heard of it?
Rachel: Yeah, I have.
Alexandra: It’s all a kind of, independent vibe… yeah. I mean, the cool thing about Venus in Aquarius, is I think the part about being experimental, and open to try things, and play and think outside the box.
Rachel: Yeah, no totally!
Alexandra: It’s been so great talking to you and hearing your perspective and the rich languaging that you use around life and around your experience and just imagining this beautiful channeling with your friends, channeling this Goddess, this Deity, and imagining you on the astral planes and going into dreams…
Rachel: Venus was really there. I feel like that whole trip was really saturated with the Venusian energy, you know?
Alexandra: Yeah, and I know you have a lot of deep practice with ritual and the Goddess, which again, is a whole other conversation, and I hope that people feel inspired by just your being-ness and your embodiment of you, and the way you move through the world, because without each other, then we don’t get that hit of inspiration. I mean, women, artists, musicians… I’ve been so impacted in my being and my self-expression by all of them, so I have a feeling you might inspire just a few people listening. Well, I’d love to hear in these last few minutes, like anything you’re working on or you’re excited about or are wanting to share before we close.
Rachel: Yeah, I mean I guess I mentioned the new edition of the book, it’s called Porn Carnival: the Paradise Edition. The new love poems, they bring such a different texture to the book, where I said before I was writing about that experience with my friends and orgies and all this crazy stuff where it’s like you know, pissing on the deck, watching each other laughing in the house on acid, just having fun, and then to have this series of poems where it’s like, you’re just put into this intense love relationship in the middle of all this stuff going on, it brings a different texture. I feel like people, like love is the number one human experience, like we were talking about, I feel like we all crave you know, to see it reflected back. We all crave art about love, we all want to hear good love song that makes them feel something. I feel like people, because of marketing, consumers are savvy now, you don’t want to be pandered to, you don’t want anything saccharine, so I feel like we should all still try to make art about love, and so I feel like you just got to risk it as an artist, you have to risk writing about love. And, for anyone who craves that or wants to see their own experience reflected back, I’m happy to share my poetry and I’m so excited when people write poetry and tag me so…
Alexandra: Would you be down to read a poem to close us out?
Rachel: Yeah! You know, I could read the one about the acid trip! And maybe since I discussed the acid trip, maybe it will make a little bit of sense and not be so weird, since it’s a weird poem.
*** Rachel reads Roses of Helio Gabblas ***
Alexandra: Ah, that felt so good, that felt so good.
Rachel: I wonder if the poem makes more sense, knowing it’s background, though?
Alexandra: Well, it works because I felt like, oh, we’re going back and forth between these scenes in ancient Rome and upstate New York and so I felt like, yeah I had that context, but I mean, it would have conjured and activated other aspects of the psyche, regardless. Yeah, so beautiful, I feel art and writing is so deeply magical, shamanic, transformational whatever kind of languaging you want to use, but, it can change you. And, we’ve become so literal, and I’m a part of it, I’ve had to sort of literalize different aspects of myself for commerce – well, chosen, not had to – but when I hear something like that, my whole every cell is like, “yeahhh” because there’s something so mysterious and feminine about not really saying the full thing, but just gently inviting it. I explored with fairy tales last year and I was kind of doing this work around fairy tale…
Rachel: I love fairy tales, by the way.
Alexandra: Yeah, they were so potent, it was like reading the fairy tale Bluebeard for like two weeks, I was in this deep process of…
Rachel: I mean, Bluebeard’s crazy!
Alexandra: Yeah, I feel like all of the bodies in the basement and the men that had been my Bluebeard and the times I had been Bluebeard and anyways, it was such a non-literal way of understanding self and psyche and sex and soul and death and I hope that people don’t give up on the more nuanced form of expression – I don’t think they will – but I think a lot of things become flattened out…
Rachel: They do.
Alexandra: It’s like, the age of social media and things needing to be compacted into bite size.
Rachel: Yeah, I mean with corporations on the internet, the internet isn’t free anymore and you have less art on the internet.
Alexandra: Exactly. So where are you going to put your art? In a book? Where do we create?
Rachel: Yeah, and I feel like everything’s so dialed in by what Instagram wants, they really control it without having to tell you.
Alexandra: It’s really vicious. I’m off of it right now taking a break because I’m really wanting to reset that because the behavioral programming, I, by engaging in there, create what they want me to create, and most people don’t take responsibility for that. But I’m very clear, like I’m creating what they want me to create in order to continue to exist in this sphere, but who am I really, and what do I really want to create you know?
Rachel: Right, absolutely.
Alexandra: And we’ll see what kind of resurgences of artistry occur if the internet becomes more un-free.
Rachel: And that’s the thing, like art does die out. People don’t go to the opera anymore. Like, periods of decadence are real, periods where things get completely wiped out and forgotten are real, and I’m worried with the way that a few corporations basically own the way we interact now, that we’re losing art, like I truly am. It’s really scary.
Alexandra: It is really scary. And that’s why reading poems with your lover, taking LSD with your friends becomes actually, a political act. Which is a strange thing to say and feel the truth of, that when a bunch of people’s imaginations and creativity and sexuality and self-expression gets hijacked by those corporations that actually putting the phones aside and saying, “no, we’re about to get free and open and go wild and no one’s watching”… it’s a deeper conversation, but it’s our consciousness being our own and actually exorcising the corporate entities from it, which would be a great performance art piece from 1985 or something in New York City, just exorcising Instagram as it’s like coming out…
Rachel: I love it!
Alexandra: I feel like I could talk to you forever… so for people listening, get Rachel’s book Porn Carnival: the Paradise Edition, which I imagine has just so many goodies in it and anywhere else where people can find you?
Rachel: I’m on Instagram @RachelRabbitWhite and I’m on Twitter @RabbitWhite.
Alexandra: Ok, cool, awesome. And just follow her career from afar, just keep checking in on her, because she’s going to do cool sh*t that’s going to inspire you that’s not basic, that’s not coming from the minds of corporate entities, that’s her own, and these are the type of people that, even if someone’s not world famous or has millions of followers, but these are the types of people that change culture and keep culture moving forward, even in quiet ways, that make waves and we need you to keep doing that.
Rachel: Thank you so much for doing this, thank you so much for having me. You’re so lovely, it’s been a pleasure.
Alexandra: Thank you so much for listening and thank you so much for being here, Rachel.