Today I’m chatting with Sophie Macklin, a queer anti-capitalist witch from England, currently living in the Bay Area of California.

Sophie and I really connected when she offered 100 free 30 minute calls with women interested in talking about money and feminism. All you had to do was book yourself in, so I took her up on her offer – why not! I was curious about what would come up for me, and what her perspectives were. Well, it was such a good conversation I wanted more so I invited her on the podcast.

And we really talked! About chronic pain, hitchhiking, channeling, gut feelings and more.

She’s passionate about women and queers getting paid for their work, mutual aid, and all of us getting imaginative about new economies and new ways of being.

She’s coming from the premise that capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, homophobia etc are interconnected and terrible. She wants something different.  She wants a massive redistribution of wealth. She wants us to undo conditioning that keeps us trapped. She wants activists and people who are fighting for a different world to have what they need. She wants reparations made to black and indigenous americans. She wants a world where emotional labor is valued. Where power is held collectively and we live beyond the profit motive. She cares a lot about bravery, compassion, dignity and solidarity.

Enjoy our ramble through the fairytale of The Red Shoes as well as Sophie’s relationship with her body and creativity.

Resources from this episode:

Connecting with Sophie:


Connecting with Janelle:

Things we chatted about in this episode:

  • the fairytale The Red Shoes
  • from the Women Who Run With The Wolves book
  • how the story addresses the idea of the gilded carriage
  • of looking at what we want, and how good things look like from the outside
  • how people are really hungry for something radically different than things are now
  • a hunger for their own soul, their own wildness, their own selves
  • sees this version of reclamation being marketed as ‘sign up and pay me money and I’ll answer that hunger’ but they’re not the real thing people are searching for
  • there’s an awakening happening, and The Red Shoes reminds her of how easy it is to get distracted by the ‘gilded carriage’
  • on feeling a hunger in people for connection, aliveness, the darkness
  • a hunger to be with our grief and pain and traumas in ourselves and in the world
  • on seeking out ‘true love’ moments in romantic relationships as an intoxication instead of living in a state of communion with all things
  • seeking that communion in individuals and romance instead of with the world
  • on having her metaphorical feel chopped off via being in abusive relationships, in love with people who caused her harm
  • relationship with creativity
  • on having gone through a healing process that was significant enough that she feels able to really get creative again, instead of hiding in trauma
  • how her creativity was expressed through performing when younger
  • on having a real artist as a dad, a brother that was good at drawing, so she identified with her performer/activist self
  • at 20 discovered performance art and felt enthralled by that world but had a hard time justifying it in terms of the social change work she wanted to do
  • at 27 started acting and performing again
  • discovering social change and performance can co-exist – part of a healing process
  • recently, writing is her main creative and spiritual practice
  • how we grow up not having language and not treating those experiences as real because we don’t have vocabulary for the experiences and sensations
  • on channeling – how artists talk about ‘something coming over them’
  • how something else can work through us – deities, spirits, energies – and it’s not always a consensual experience where it feels slightly out of control, having something move through
  • how being in her body and in the world and connected to nature and plants and animals makes her feel safer, strengthening the container of the body and spirit, so the ‘something else’ can move through safely
  • relationship with body
  • how we live in a culture that constantly denies the physical
  • on remembering language that doesn’t exist in our culture – language for body and spirit
  • on being put into the mind of the otherwoldly ‘something’ and how spending time in nature helps to learn that language and tap into those experiences
  • how asking about relationship with body feels like asking about the meaning of life
  • how understanding life happens through her body
  • has always been very expressive physically in her body
  • how various traumas led to a feeling of not being safe in her body
  • how being deliberate and consciously trying to relax in her body really helped shift that
  • how things are storied in our culture, how we’re not feeling good in our culture, gets pathologized in our culture, rather than believing our bodies and systems’ shutdowns actually make sense
  • learning to trust and let go of social narratives around body and mental health
  • on how the body is the meaning of life, and the body also saves our lives
  • on gut feelings and hitchhiking over 2,000 times, over half by herself – and always being safe (also, recognizing that as a white woman standing by herself, gets picked up often (danger/privilege))
  • ALWAYS listens to her body when hitchhiking – body has said no to more car rides offered than taken – has always completely trusted herself in that way
  • the relief of having escaped ‘good girl’ conditioning – being a ‘naughty’ child
  • in her life she’s experienced far more benefit from trusting people, than not
  • on having a chronic pain condition, and how she’s often felt betrayed by her body because of that
  • on feeling grief because of limitations of physical experience