Multi-talented artist is learning from and giving back to the Hamilton community
Clairandean Humphrey is a jack of all trades, but far from a master of none. The oracle card reader, artist and movement instructor reads tarot cards, draws, paints, makes video art, sings, writes songs, teaches yoga, Pilates and much more.
Throughout their life, Humphrey picked up and refined these different practices. In all their work, Humphrey is guided by the principle of affirming that they’re here.
“[T]here’s so many stereotypes and tropes that see past a person’s existence. We don’t really get to know people because of prejudices and our biases. And so a lot of my work now is exploring and investigating anti-oppression and gender-inclusive language and understanding that it’s always changing,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey added that it is important for them to stay in conversation with others, adjust to the various nuances and be aware of the ways they are impacting others.
Awareness of this impact is especially important because of the multiple avenues through which Humphrey has interacted with the Hamilton community since moving to the city in 2019.
One of these avenues is through singing and songwriting. They grew up in a musical household and began writing songs in their early 20s. During the summer of 2019, they put together an extended play record, recording in it in a kitchen and an attic. In April 2020, they released the finished project called Moving in the Dark.
“[The process of making the EP was] very scary and I didn’t want to do it. But for some reason, I need to record this EP. It’s sitting inside and it wants to get out, so it feels like a restlessness . . . [I recorded it] and then I sat on it. And then 2020 happened . . . I did a mini-concert online when it was big and hot on the internet. And it was just fun, even though I was nervous and felt terrified. It was just fun to express that and to put that in the world. And I feel like that was a part of my healing from going from Toronto to Hamilton and allowing myself to learn here,” said Humphrey.
However, music wasn’t the only practice that Humphrey grew in Hamilton. Much of their time has been devoted to their involvement with Pilates, yoga, and mindfulness studio, Goodbodyfeel.
While Humphrey has always been an active person, it was in their 20s that they began practising yoga. After getting out of a toxic relationship, they re-entered a movement practice more seriously. They joined Goodbodyfeel in 2018 and completed training with the studio in late 2019.
Through Goodbodyfeel, Humphrey was introduced to trauma-informed movement and anti-oppressive wellness spaces. As an instructor with the studio, they teach a class exclusively for queer, trans and nonbinary folks and a Saturday morning class called Mantra + Movement + Mindfulness.
In this class, Humphrey pulls an oracle or tarot card at the beginning and then creates a mantra throughout this class. This class incorporates their role as a tarot card reader.
Humphrey was introduced to tarot through a partner who was also interested in the occult world. While living in Quebec for four years and learning French, they had the time to study the mythology and meanings of the cards. During this time, they also discovered they were a witch through understanding the uses of medicinal plants.
Now, through Clarity Tarot, Humphrey reads tarot for others. As with their movement practice, their tarot readings are trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and gender-inclusive. They are currently offering readings online through Zoom. In the past, they have also done readings at Hamilton store The Witch’s Fix.
“[T]arot has done a lot for me, but it’s kind of hard to put it in all in words in one shot. When you’re talking about the intuitive arts, it can sound really like up there. I think what I do is try to make it more practical. It’s in your mundane world. It’s how you make your tea. It’s having a conversation with a friend. There’s spiritual moments in that, even just connecting with someone else. I think people think the spiritual is very far away [but] it’s right where you’re at. You don’t have to look far and it’s a lot simpler than you think,” explained Humphrey.
Currently, Humphrey is working on a number of projects. They are doing a number of trainings to deepen their understanding of trauma-informed movement, teaching movement to youth, anatomy, physiology and merging justice work with yoga.
They are also working on a number of art projects. They are organizing their works so they can begin sharing them with the public. They are also part of an art collective that is trying to get grants to create movement pieces.
As they have in their own life, Humphrey encourages students to go after the things that they want.
“If you are truly passionate about something or you’re feeling intrigued by something, don’t let anyone stop you. And don’t let your doubts stop you. And it’s not to say you’re not going to have fears or doubts, but don’t let it stop you from expressing what you need to express,” Humphrey said.