Wild Hearts ♥ Vol 2 ♥ Malachi Lily

Wild Hearts ♥ Vol 2 ♥ Malachi Lily
Published on the new moon, Wild Hearts is a series spotlighting queer freaks deeply loving our earth.
On this Aquarius new moon we’re delving into the fluid worlds of Malachi Lily. We first connected on instagram over our shared kinship with the Sirius star system that grows alongside a collaborative art experience we hope to make a reality one day... Til then, I leave you with this interview. 
Malachi Lily is a shapeshifting, black, genderfluid poet, artist, curator, and moth. They connect to the Collective Unconscious via energy work, Active Imagination, mysticism, myth, magick, folklore, and fairy tales. This channelling often takes the form of poetry and illustration, as well as the curation of gallery and performance events, exhibitions, and experiences of queer, black joy. Their art forms a tangible permeation into the concept of Oneness - living in the reality that we all are manifestations of the same source energy and we are connected through infinite possibilities of forms. They offer methods to break these individual barriers and reveal the symbols, archetypes, emotions, and lessons that exist in everyone to support the transformation of our collective consciousness. Specifically within human experience, their work aims to reclaim the spiritual body of black and brown people. Born and based in Philadelphia, they’re living as a freelance artist balancing all of their passions.
Explore more of Malachi’s work on their website and on instagram @theholyhawkmoth


✦ Botánica Cimarrón ✦ 

Hi Malachi! As you know, I'm a big fan of your work. Your visual art works feel like visions vibrant with earthly mysticism, symbols, and hybrid creatures. Where do you find inspiration to create these new worlds?

✧ Malachi Lily ✧

I was born tethered to these worlds. I don’t know if I create them as an artist, it’s more like I connect to them. To maybe be more accurate (and perhaps more confusing HA!) the worlds and I were co-created with each other and by each other. We are the same Source energy creating ourselves and out of infinite possibilities we chose to be connected, a miracle; throughout realms and dimensions we’re connected and I remember them and they remember me. I don’t think this is a unique phenomenon to me, in fact I love that it is not. Many anthropologists, sociologists, professors, etc. have documented the collective symbols of the human species, and those patterns in and of themselves are my obsession and delight, but something I ask that many of these academics don’t is why? For example why is the concept of blood sacrifice and rebirth so abundant in ritual, religion, and mysticism around the world? Why have queer artists of the 21st century become obsessed with drawing/painting/creating/etc. chimeras? Me included. I can only truly speak to my experience as the entity known as Malachi Lily, and all I can say is I have no memory of a point in my life where I was not deeply soaked in an infinite love for all that is fae, magick, and nature spirit (both our terrestrial nature and worlds beyond.) It’s that simple and that broad. We choose each other. 

✦ Botánica Cimarrón ✦ 

Occasionally on your instagram page you'll channel readings from your Realm of Beings through Enochian Cards. The voice feels powerfully illuminating and mycelial, like a communal flashlight of sorts. Do you see a connection between your divination practice and your practice as a curator?

✧ Malachi Lily ✧

Thank you for recognizing the mycelial nature of our work. My Realm of Beings supports me to tap into the root network of us all and bring information to the surface that is actually already in all of us. My recent curatorial work reflects a similar channeling practice as I connect artists who are unconsciously vibrating together and use my organizational skills to give them all a space to sing. It is my purpose to create space to uplift black artists as gods, to bring balance and reveal the truth of their/our experiences, especially black artists who feel further marginalized by mainstream blackness, such as those that are queer/trans, disabled and nonnuerotypical, and non-Christian. While I’ve always centered black artists in my work I didn’t always have these understandings of Collective Consciousness nor our collective challenge of imbalance.

I see these things more clearly (still so much that I’m learning/remembering) and I don’t wish to have exhibitions that “uplift” in the context of some kind of capitalist upward mobility, instead I want to create sacred spaces and shout loudly the inherent divinity of blackness in all of its fullness and shifting forms. Make white people feel unwelcome, even in the spaces they think they own. Sacred in and of itself is a shape-shifting state of being, and it’s not to say that the exhibitions I organize now are more sacred than the more party-esque big bashes I used to throw because straight up throwing ass in mass with black creations and creatives will always be sacred, period. Instead I have been called, like the world right now, into a state of contemplation and deep restoration through rest and quiet, and an intimate connection to who we are as god, and frankly I only have the energy to curate in these more intimate ways when I’m fully supported (such as white people giving reparations to these public spaces or a private exhibition just for my housemates). The way I used to burn myself out for those party-esque curations just isn’t sustainable for me anymore, and if I create large scale artistic events again I know my Realm will have a new way for me to manifest them. For artistic curation right now I have been called to make myself more quiet to turn blank rooms into temples, and temples into people and people into spirits and spirit into rooms and rooms into temples and...

Black and white penned illustration by Malachi Lily

✦ Botánica Cimarrón ✦ 

We both share an admiration for Idyll Dandy Acres, the queer commune in rural Tennessee. Can you share about your relationship to that community and it's evolution?

✧ Malachi Lily ✧

Honestly I’m still new to IDA, with my first introduction to the land was IDApolooza in 2019. It was truly a tumultuous and viscerally rerouting experience for me in such important ways. I connected to new worlds and to new versions of myself in that space. The land itself has a heavy and profound energy, she (for that’s how I feel her) and I have a lot to discuss. Whenever I fall in love I dive completely in, and I fell in love with IDApolooza as a hub of life and love and pleasure and pain and wanted to give my gifts to her service. I’m not a farmer or a builder (in fact I’m profoundly inept), but I am an organizer and I became a part of the booking team for 2020, which as we know could not happen. Because of my newness with the space I have kept mostly quiet during the large IDA discussions in 2020. I know my place as I’m a guest on the land and in the community. I wanted to prove myself to her this past year but couldn’t, but I’m patient and that day will come where I can support the ritual of queer gathering in that sopping and teeming land. 

✦ Botánica Cimarrón ✦  

In 2020 we saw an emergence of new land projects being crowd funded through reparations. What do you feel are the revolutionary healing possibilities of QTBIPOC land projects?

✧ Malachi Lily ✧

I’m intimately connected to one of these land projects, La Semilla De Sol Santuario (@lasemilladelsol on IG) which was founded by one of my best friends, Sabrina Pantal (@soundsfromsabrina on IG). I’m just starting to figure out how I can use my skills to support this project the most both with the abilities I have and from another country in a pandemic, but let’s just say I’m about to take some action, stay tuned! To speak more broadly about QTBIPOC land projects overall I see them as an integral part of the vaster vision of the revolution alongside giving indegenous lands back to their original stewards. Creating spaces where we can practice ways of life that rely more and more on each other and less and less on institutions directly opposes government structures. Land projects cannot be the only plan but they represent a sustainable and abundant future that works intimately with the earth and not against it.

These projects are the seeds that will sprout our new ways of life as other aspects of the revolution uproots and transforms. They’re an investment in our peace. Much like our tactics need to be diverse so to do our land projects have to be, because all of our land projects cannot just be idyllic sanctuaries isolated from society (though many should be), we must also invest in land projects in the urban areas where many of the black and brown people currently are. If we abandon the cities we leave them to continue to be tools of the oppressor. We must reclaim all land and transform it, even urban land. The sprouts through the sidewalk teach us that the earth has not given up on reclaiming this land and neither should we.

 ✦ Botánica Cimarrón ✦  

What are you listening to, reading, ingesting, or watching that's currently helping you stay grounded?

✧ Malachi Lily ✧

The close people in my life, both romantic and platonic, keep me grounded and support me in some choppy emotional waters I’ve been experiencing and through their love I feel much more centered these days. Of course my connection to my Realm of Beings always gives me direct insight into my unconscious world and the navigation of my path. I wish I could say some profound poetry or scholarly text is enlightening me right now, but honestly it’s cartoons. Animation is one of my closest and purest passions.

My inner child (and me now) is deeply soothed by a lot of new children’s shows that have been coming out that center on teaching children emotional navigation and perhaps even more important (to me) depict children in magical worlds that are not a danger to them and they don’t have to escape from such as Summer Camp Island and Craig of the Creek. So much of the magical media we grew up with is about entering a world of magick, using its resources, and then leaving it for the “real world” to “grow up” in, such examples are Peter Pan (I will rant for years about Wendy the colonizer), or Narnia, or Alice in Wonderland, and this pattern deeply distrubed me as a child who wanted to live in a magical world and STAY THERE. More shows are depicting imagination and magick not as “childish” or evil, but as integral to life and self, and that is deeply grounding. 

✦ Botánica Cimarrón ✦ 

I know you're answering the call of the land because you feel it in your heart. If you could mail a love letter to the heart of the earth, what would it say?

✧ Malachi Lily ✧

I once asked them, the ones that know when I don’t remember, why am I here? Not, what is my purpose or what should I do, but why did I choose earth out of infinite existences? Why am I literally here and not the Pleiades or Sirius, or any realm unnamed by us? 

I didn’t receive an answer. I received visions. Of gulls over a green sea and a blue ring octopus enveloping a clam. Of howler monkeys singing and sparrows carrying crusts to chicks in sloping rafters. Of yellow-faced long nosed bats shaking the excess pollen from a cactus bloom and a pitcher plant sipping a dissolved worker ant. Of leopard slugs sucking and puckering as they slurp to surround each other while bearded vultures drop antelope femurs from vast heights to smash bones open to reveal marrow’s succulent meat. Of mycelial messages from a mother tree to jewelweeds popping seeds across a creek. Of monarchs migrating and ayes ayes tapping their spindled fingers as grub echolocation. Of cowbirds kicking cardinal eggs out of nests and a giraffe calf standing dripping in placenta. Of hercules beetles and mango trees. Of cattails and wolf whiskers. Of mountains. Of mustard seeds. Of streams. Of deserts. Of salmon. Of quaking fissures. Of tardigrades. Of morning glories. Of. Of. Of. 

I laughed and I cried and hiccuped and covered my face because of course how silly of me. I’m here because I love this. I love us. Of infinite options I’m still obsessed with earth and her third dimension. I choose her as she chooses me.

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