I would like to welcome you to the deeply profound and transformative work of Angela Kaufman. She is the author of the upcoming book, Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down.
I had the honor of creating the artwork of the four queens in Angela’s book and through that experience I’ve learned so much about the healing and empowerment that comes through honoring the elemental energies of the queens that live inside all of us (you too mister!).
Below is my conversation with Angela where she tells us all about her inspiring journey of healing from psychical trauma, personal barriers and how she learned to own her intuitive gifts to help other people find their path to personal power.
Shaheen: When did you discover you were an intuitive? How did that lead to your coaching practice?
Angela: It was a gradual unfolding process. As a kid I sometimes had pre-cognitive dreams and experiences, as I suspect many of us do and don’t talk about or realize the significance of. When I was a teenager I became interested in Wicca and began to learn Tarot. As a young adult I was challenged by friends and mentors to open up to working with guides in Spirit. I hadn’t known before how to intentionally access intuition and guidance from Spirit. Through a combination of formal and informal training I began to use the Tarot in conjunction with connection with Spirit, rather than relying on the cards alone.
My coaching practice evolved out of changing life situation. I had been working as a Social Worker and had to reduce my schedule to heal from an injury. To supplement my income, I decided to further grow what had been a small just-for-fun Tarot reading business. A business coach suggested that I combine the two interests and provide coaching based on work with the Tarot.
Shaheen: How would you explain Queen Up!? Is it a play on “Man up”?
Angela: The phrase was coined by a friend, Theresa Smolen, who was brainstorming with me to come up with some catchy descriptions for the system. I was first drawn to it as a play on “clean up” because I saw it as a system to help get a handle on life when things get messy. Originally, I tried self publishing an earlier version of the book under a different title, Discover Your Inner Queen, and Queen Up was the name of one of the sections of the book. The new title came as a result of brainstorming with the wonderful folks at Conari Press.
Shaheen: What specific experiences lead you to create Queen Up!?
Angela: In 2009 I was hit by a car as a pedestrian and my motivation to recover was to get back to life as I was used to it. That was impossible though, because while I was extremely fortunate in many ways, one of the residual changes I had to adapt to was having a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. This challenged my self esteem and identity that I derived previously from being able to work a certain job and accomplish certain things.
In the course of my recovery, I drew a lot of strength from spiritual teachings including a world view in which we all are comprised of elemental energies and can draw on these energies as needed. My intuition was developing more at this time as well. I couldn’t retain as much information from books as I used to, but came to understand that there were other channels of information that were still accessible to me, even more so than before because I had to slow down and spend more time doing things like meditating just for recovery in general. As things improved, I realized that other women who came for readings and coaching sessions were going through similar before-and-after experiences which challenged how they saw themselves and what path they were on. I realized that they too could benefit from these tools.
Shaheen: How has the Queen Up! system changed your personal life?
Angela: It has made the difference between giving up and feeling like a victim vs. taking a situation that challenged everything I thought I could count on and turning it into a life that I love. There was a time after the accident when I felt depressed because I couldn’t function the way I used to. I didn’t know what the next part of the journey was going to look like and couldn’t imagine anything other than the career I had spent 6 years in school preparing for, or the lifestyle and self image that had been twenty something years in the making.
At one point I thought to myself ‘I can’t stand this, I don’t want this to be how the story goes’ and the guidance came in to change the story. I didn’t know what was supposed to happen next but over time and using the tools I share in Queen Up! the next steps emerged because I was clearing a path and co-creating the next part of the journey.
Shaheen: Can you give us an example of something you transformed?
Angela: Sure. Aligning with the Queen of Pentacles has been the most transformative because her energy is so opposite of my dominant energy. Through working with the Queen of Pentacles, I have become a more patient person and have been able to cultivate the skills needed to grow a business. People sometimes comment that they could never do the kind of work I do, or run a business, write books, etc. I try to explain that I never thought of myself as someone who would have this type of life either. I don’t have any training in business for example. By aligning with the energies of the various Queens however, I was able to open up to possibilities outside of what I grew up expecting life to be.
By working with the Queen of Cups I have brought a lot of healing into my life, learning how to navigate loss and grief in a more conscious way than before.
Shaheen: Why do you think empowerment for women is important right now?
Angela: I feel empowerment for all people is critical right now especially in the age of instant information which often has an agenda attached to it. If we are able to use our intuition to discern and trust ourselves, we will be less susceptible to these agendas.
For women in particular, I felt this was important because we are at a crossroads in society. More of us are claiming or reclaiming our voices and value, yet we also can’t help that we have been immersed in cultural messages to the contrary. We are taught that others’ needs are paramount to our own and as a result we disregard not only our intuition but our feelings and perceptions as well.
This is a critical moment where we stand at the crossroads as a society. Women are becoming more vocal, more empowered and are accessing opportunities we didn’t have before. At this crucial moment we are co-creating a foundation for our future. If we are not grounded, intuitive, compassionate, bold and acting from integrity, we run the risk of perpetuating the same dysfunctional cycles of the previous institutions to which we have been subjected in the past.
Shaheen: Do you think that this work can be relevant to men?
Angela: I think the core concept is relevant to men. Since so much of Queen Up came from my own experiences and grew out of experience working with clients who were primarily women, it is tailored to women. However, the four archetypes apply to men as well and the message in the book as well as the tools shared can be used by men.
I am learning more every day from listening to men that as much as society has done a number on women’s self esteem and self worth, men have not gotten out of the conditioning unscathed and there are wounds men need to heal in order to reach their own empowerment as well. I invite men to read Queen Up! If they feel drawn to it, and welcome feedback from their experience with it. I would also recommend a book called King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Doug Gillette and Robert Moore, which explores four archetypal energies speaking more directly to healing the Divine Masculine.
Shaheen: How has your experience with people (clients, friends, romantic partners) changed since you began doing this work?
Angela: Doing this work has made it easier to understand people. For instance, in the past it would have been easy for me to personalize someone’s behavior as detached, aggressive, mean, etc. and now I understand that others are motivated by different energy they are aligned with. It has nothing to do with me. This work also brings to the surface just how much we operate subconsciously from our own wounds, projecting them on to others etc. When we are aware of this, our relationships, and how we show up in relationship to others, changes.
I went through a breakup of a long term relationship over the past summer and although still painful and still challenging, there was no drama. No need to see the other person as a bad guy etc. It was easier to understand the shifts in energy that bring people together and sometimes bring us apart as well. It is also easier to see that we operate from different archetypal motivations and these energies can be harmonized. If I expect someone to operate from an archetype other than that which they are currently aligned with, I will be disappointed, but if I can appreciate the strengths of who they are and what they bring to the table, the relationship is more positive and productive.
Shaheen: Who are some of your influences as a coach and intuitive?
Angela: A lot of people, in some ways everyone who has come into my life has been a teacher and mentor in different ways. Some specific influences in my personal life have been women who have mentored me along the way, Patricia Gardner and Dayna Winters, Julie MacDonald and Linda Lowen to name a few. In terms of general influences, the writing of Viktor Frankl, Robert Moss, James Redfield, Dan Millman, Sonia Choquette, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and strangely enough, Stephen King.
Shaheen: What does your spiritual practice consist of?
Angela: The specific steps evolve and vary, but some of the consistent aspects include meditation, dialog with Spirit, ritual, and connecting with elemental and ancestral energies on a regular basis. I work with the archetypal energy of the Queens on a regular basis to harmonize and align with energy needed to accomplish various goals.
Shaheen: Can you tell us what to expect from a private coaching session with you?
Angela: The experience can vary depending on the needs of the individual, and can be conducted via phone, Skype or on some occasions, in person. I work with clients initially with the Queen cards to assess what energies are prominent/latent/out of balance. By getting a sense of the client’s goals, I then work with the cards and Spirit guides to explore what beliefs, patterns, or habits stand in the way of the client’s progress. In addition to work in sessions, clients also have homework which consists of meditations, journal exercises, and tasks to help shift their energy and overcome obstacles.
Thank you, Angela for sharing this profound information! I encourage you to visit Angela Kaufman at her website: IntuitiveAngela.com
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