Sister Rosetta Tharpe
This is an interview we did back in late March 2016, with special guest Kaz Windness from Denver, Colorado. Kaz is also an awesome illustrator and writer. Check out her website: https://kazwindness.wordpress.com
This also happened to be just a few weeks after Mimi’s friend Mawt Trood (the amazing illustrator behind our lightning bolt logo) took his own life, so emotions were running a bit higher than usual. Mawt was a lover and fine connoisseur of all things rock and roll, and was definitely hanging around for this one!
As is now always custom with our interviews, Kaz had no prior knowledge of who Mimi wanted her to channel. She tuned right into the energy of an African-American woman from 1960, immediately feeling her bravery and self-confidence.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a music pioneer, often called the Godmother of rock and roll, even though her voice and legacy in rock and roll history is still too rarely acknowledged. She talked to us about equality, race, sex (of course!), how to be authentic, and throughout the interview seemed to always know what to say to us personally to encourage us or soothe our hearts. She also gave Kaz a “taste of heaven” and related it to hearing beautiful music (or as Kaz put it, music that’s “not annoying”).
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Kaz: For some reason I feel like my hair should be up in a scarf.
Mimi: That would more than likely be linked to the woman I want you to connect with.
Kaz: Ok. So…I’m separating out your energy and tapping into this person’s…because usually with mediumship I’m tapping in through the person’s line at the love connection, so this is a little different. [Pause] Well I’m definitely getting a….there’s a bravery thing with this woman. And I have my hand on my hips …its like a quiet confidence thing. It’s bravery. I’m getting pulled in to the heart a lot on this, too.
Mimi: That would make sense.
Kaz: Yeah, feels like this is someone who experienced a lot of difficult things, but came out the other side.
Mimi: Yeah! Let me know at any time if you want me to tell you who she is!
Kaz: Yeah, can you just pop in a name?
Mimi: Her name is Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Kaz: Oh ok, I don’t know this person. Um…[Pause] Hold on…I’m asking her for a time frame…I thought it would go further back than this, but for some reason I’m being pulled into 1960.
Mimi: Yes! Yes.
Kaz: There’s something significant with…I’m just pulled into that time period with race stuff too. Racial relations, and something significant around people who are oppressed.
Mimi: Yes. She’s African-American.
Kaz: Yeah, I was starting to get that. Hmmm…what else does she want to say about that…I feel this ties back to the history of slavery and um…yeah that whole theme of coming up out of the darkness. I’m seeing images of Underground Railroad stuff, I mean she was after that, but I’m pulled right into the history of it.
Mimi: Wow. Well…She was…I wouldn’t say that she was a forgotten…well, perhaps at times yes, but she’s a very important figure in rock and roll history.
Kaz: Oh, really?
Mimi: She was a guitarist and singer. And she influenced a lot of…
Mimi: Blues yes, and just…rock and roll today as we know it. People like Chuck Berry, Little Richard…she came before them all.
Kaz: There’s film of her, right?
Mimi: Yes! Oh you’ve seen her, I’m sure. There’s footage of her, of this fantastic, beautiful, African-American woman with her electric guitar, just being amazing.
Kaz: Yeah…like right down to the core of her soul, like from the bottom of her feet, and she played from the heart.
Mimi: So she is here! She’s been in my face for a while now. I’ve been seeing her everywhere, feeling her also…she’s been appearing in my Facebook feed a lot too. I’m so happy she’s here!
Kaz: I’m close in vibration, so she’s definitely in the field. Ok, so what do you do now? [Laughs]
Mimi: I ask the questions! How is she feeling?
Sister Rosetta Tharpe [Singing]: I feel good!
Kaz: [Laughs] Man! I just feel like I’m in the upper part of my body with her, just [bopping up and down] … I’ve got this kind of thing going with the beat in me, but I’m just…confident.
Kaz: I feel good in my skin. Yeah.
Mimi: Ok! Welcome to Psychic Punx, Sister! She embraces the Psychic Punx vibe so well, because of her bravery and just…everything that she is.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Thank you! And thank you for remembering me.
Mimi: Holy shit. I might cry during this interview, I’m just warning you! [Laughs] Can she describe her personality to us in one word?
Kaz: I’m getting the word “warm,” I’m also getting “wise.” The “W’s.”
Mimi: I keep hearing her say “child.” What was your greatest challenge?
Kaz: Well, definitely overcoming societal expectations…societal limitations…um…she’s talking about being a force for good, and how [how] she was perceived limited some of what she was able to do. Cause it wasn’t just “this is a man’s world,” it was also “this is a white man’s world,” and a lot of black musicians…male musicians were starting, and had been…more accepted, and it was more challenging for her.
Mimi: As a woman, or a black woman, or both?
Kaz: Both, yeah.
Mimi: Yeah, ok. How did she cope with that?
Kaz: I’m getting a lot on God, and having a faith on that. Yeah, and just…being one with the music, as well. I feel a lot of Gospel in her.
Mimi: Yes, she started out as a Gospel singer, like even early on as a child, and she went…what we call “electric” – she turned to rock and roll, started singing about sex, and that’s also…she didn’t just offend because she was a black woman singing about sex, she also offended people in the Gospel, spiritual communities for doing that.
Kaz: Oh wow, right.
Mimi: Can we ask her…I was watching a documentary on her and realized that that part of her history was vague, because we don’t know for sure if she chose to sing those songs that offended with the strong sexual content, or if she was contractually obligated to do so. What can she tell us about that?
Kaz: Hmmm…[Listens]…that feels authentic to me.
Mimi: Yeah, me too.
Kaz: It doesn’t feel like that big of a jump. What she’s conveying to me is that she was someone who transcended her religion, and could see herself safe in the arms of God, even [when] singing stuff that the Church would’ve told her was wrong. That doesn’t feel like it was an argument to her. But I don’t feel like she did a whole lot of that.
Mimi: No, she didn’t.
Kaz: Yeah. She feels very connected to her body, too. She didn’t feel shame about her body. I’m feeling really comfortable in my skin sitting with her. Embracing sexuality, and sexuality also connecting to creativity…like…sex and music, sex and creativity, all intertwined…there’s really no separation there.
Mimi: I love her! What was your greatest quality, Sister?
Kaz: Did she sing as well?
Kaz: Yeah, cause…I don’t have a voice, but I just feel like I wanna sing right now! Yeah…and an ability to express that thing that’s in your soul. Not a lot of us can speak it loud, and she could speak it loud. She had that ability.
Mimi: Yes. Yeah, like I said, there are videos of her – unfortunately there aren’t a lot – but there are videos on YouTube, and [when you watch] you’re just in awe of this…amazing being.
Mimi: I love people like that, who are able to be their authentic self, and who don’t care who they offend along the way.
Kaz: I’m getting a lot of soul energy for her, and she’s brought in more of her spirit energy too, however that works. There are some of those people who have that “it” quality, and they have a lot of that “it” quality because they’re bringing in so much of their soul energy, more of the authentic self, and she’s talking about her authentic self too, like….there was something about her that you could really perceive, her authentic self…I’m feeling a lot of pride in that. And she’s actually giving us a lot of advice too…
Mimi: I asked her to do that before the session began!
Kaz: She’s getting my shoulders up and pushed back, and she’s like “show your heart, have that vulnerability, you’ve got nothing to lose. That’s what you’re here for.” Damn…she’s gonna make me cry. “Let your heart shine.”
Mimi: Thank you, Sister. What were you here to learn?
Kaz: Hold on, let me figure out what this means, cause I’m getting the word “waiting.” And I’m getting frustration around that, too. I think this goes back to her wanting to express herself more than she was able to, and that forced her in a position of a lot of patience. I feel like there was poverty around it too, or…some sort of lack or poverty. It feels very frustrating because obviously, she came through with all this talent, but it just feels agitating…just the waiting. The waiting.
Mimi: Yeah, and the feeling I’m getting from that…I keep seeing a tour bus that’s stopped, and…it’s basically segregation.
Kaz: Yes, absolutely. And it’s touching forward…I mean…we are so far from arriving on equality, so, so far….and that’s what it feels like now too, it’s just like, “How long do we have to wait?” Amen, Sister.
Mimi: I keep thinking of Donald Trump now…I don’t know if she’s putting that in my head, but he just popped up.
Kaz: [Laughs] Sorry about that! That’s a lot of steps backwards. My take on that is that he’s doing such a good job of showing the ugly side of things that those of us who are usually on the quiet side of things will stand up and say “no!”
Mimi: Oh, that’s a great way of seeing that!
Kaz: Yeah…well it’s sumthin’. He’s serving some sort of purpose! [Laughs]
Mimi: I’m feeling she likes that angle, too. I just heard her say “you’re speaking the words of God.” Wow, ok. What was your life purpose, Sister Rosetta?
Kaz: Self-expression. She was someone that had…I’m just getting all this strength around the throat.
Mimi: What are you most proud of?
Kaz: She had…she did something no one else did before, or….I’m just feeling she brought in something completely new. She’s giving me chills on that!
Mimi: Oh, she did.
Kaz: Yeah, something completely new, and she’s really proud of that! My fingers wanna go, like…I wanna be playing [guitar]. And, I don’t know what my fingers are doing…it feels like…like a channeled kind of thing, like…whatever it is my fingers are doing, nobody did that before. It hadn’t been done before, she’s telling me.
Mimi: It hadn’t been done before for a woman, and obviously, for a black woman. When you say “channeling” I’m just feeling she’s in the moment.
Kaz: Yeah…I’m gonna have to look her up after this!
Mimi: What are you least proud of?
Kaz: I feel a man around this, he looks like a thin man, I’m not sure who this person is…
Mimi: Could it be her husband?
Kaz [to Sister] Was it your husband? [Pause] I’m getting more of a pull into a manager. I’m seeing contracts around that, so I’m gonna go with manager. Like, getting signed into something that wasn’t as beneficial for her as it could’ve been. I’m feeling like she needed somebody to represent her but it ended up being something that oppressed her. She’s…at least, how she’s pushing in right now, she’s still a little ticked off about that. Feels like a money thing, too. I feel like she kind of gotten taken advantage of, or there’s something about that…
Mimi: Yes! That would be correct.
Kaz: Yeah…she’s not happy about that.
Mimi: Aww! Well, she did the best that she could do at that time, it’s ok. So…we know that she was a Gospel singer, I would still like her to tell us what her opinion of God was before she passed.
Kaz: Ok…[Laughs] So you know how some people have that image of the white guy with the white beard on the throne? She’s showing me a black God.
Mimi [Laughs] Good! Yes!
Kaz: And he feels very father-like, to me, like an all-powerful father, but very gentle. Not afraid to issue punishment, either. Like, bad people got what bad people deserved. And this is before passing.
Kaz: So…she says she has a much bigger perspective on that now.
Mimi: Yes, so what is that now?
Kaz: [to Sister] Well, you tell me. Um, I’m hearing music, and it’s just…beautiful, deep, heartfelt music, it…it feels like I’m…hearing God! [Gasp] And I’m just…completely filled with love and I’m…[emotional] not gonna lose it. I’m so completely filled with love and I’m feeling absolutely no feeling of lack. It’s like everything is not only going to be ok but always has been ok. Just…that feeling of belonging, with no separation.
Kaz: And I feel like I’m surrounded with everyone I’ve ever loved. It’s just like this…family reunion, it’s like this perpetual thing. Just feeling…part of…love. So that’s what she’s expressing through me, how she’s experiencing God now. Music…it sounds like…everything sounds perfect, but it’s not annoying, it’s not like repetitive or anything, it’s just…
Mimi: “It’s not annoying?” [Laughs]
Kaz: But it’s just…it’s not like that, it’s beautiful.
Mimi: I was just amused by that image of being a spirit in “Heaven” or whatever you want to call that, hearing music and going “shut the fuck up!”
Kaz: [Laughs] “Put the goddamn harp down!” [Laughs] “All you people on the harps!
Mimi: “Triangle guy in the back! Shut up!”
Mimi: That was amazing. She’s intense! Feels like she wanted you to feel it. You did!
Kaz: Take me back! [Laughs]
Mimi: I’m kind of jealous!
Kaz: I think somebody’s playing the kazoo. Somebody’s playing the kazoo! [Laughs] Go away! [Laughs] It’s not her!
Mimi: I love it! So was there an experience that shaped her spirit that she’d like to tell us about?
Kaz: Ok…that’s interesting. So I’m seeing her, through her eyes, and I’m a young black boy….I’m asking her…ok I’m in Africa, and I’m quite thin. I’m hunting. [To Sister] What do you want to tell me about this life that was significant? Um…it is relating back to slave trade, so she’s talking about how different tribes actually captured each other and sold each other into slavery.
Mimi: Wow, ok.
Kaz: …and how that…she’s talking about trust right now. So like a break in trust, because people you felt were on your side weren’t. There were some tricky dealings stuff going on. So I do feel like I’m in the early to mid 1800’s. She says this was going on before the big European slave trade, too.
Mimi: So how did that shape her spirit, or experience, as Sister Rosetta?
Kaz: I’m feeling a big connection to that and how earth just is. It feels like a more recent life…if I’m taken a bit further into her life history, I feel like there was more of a connection or camaraderie to earth. “Earth” being a protective, safe place to be, and that feels like a significant lesson she had in earth not always being safe. It instilled in her…she’s talking about “justice.” Getting things right, and doing the right thing. Wanting justice. Wow, my ear’s starting to ring!
Mimi: Well…she was certainly a warrior for justice in her own way, not necessarily fighting, but representing change. She was something you’d never seen before.
Kaz: Right. Ok!
Mimi: If we were to call on her for anything, what could she help us with?
Kaz: She says she’s helping us now!
Mimi: Yeah, she is.
Kaz: I do feel like her legacy lives on, like she has this energetic ripple. So it feels more like an energy thing, where her and a lot of people are pushing through for equality.
Mimi: Yes, well, when someone’s mere existence offends people – that’s a difficult life, but it’s the life of a teacher or someone who is here to help society more forward. Why did she step up for that life?
Kaz: Man, she’s showing me crosses right now.
Mimi: The martyr?
Kaz: I feel that part of what she did was bearing a cross. But she also has a strong soul too, so being put up against harder things was…it pushed her to be a stronger person too. And it pushed her voice further too, it made her voice stronger. Cause when you’re drowned out, you have to express yourself louder to be heard. And that’s one thing she learned in this life, was to make her voice heard. I do feel there are limitations there, but it had an impact, and that was the important thing, was that it had this impact. And I’m just feeling that impact on the ground…when you’ve got something this powerful coming on to the planet, it leaves an energetic imprint. She’s proud of that imprint.
Mimi: So does she…every time I say “she”, I hear her tell me to not talk to her as though she wasn’t there! What can YOU tell us about authenticity and expression of self?
Kaz: Right, well I don’t know that this is something she would’ve said but I’m getting “be your fucking self!” [Laughs]
Mimi: Well, this is Psychic Punx, so she can say whatever she wants!
Kaz: That is the advice, though. There’s only one you, and your voice matters. Be heard. Do not be afraid: what do you have to lose? Not everybody’s gonna get you, but the people who do get you need to hear what you have to say! But if you don’t say it, no one hears it. It just dies in your heart. You have to be brave. [Emotional] I’m listening! [Laughs]
Mimi: Is she making you emotional again? Man, I’m surprised I haven’t cried yet! [Laughs]
Kaz: We’re still working on you! [Laughs]
Mimi: Well I was talking to her earlier, saying “It’s tonight, Sister” and chatting with her, and her mere presence got me a little emotional. So now I’m just in the moment, listening to you and enjoying that.
Kaz: I was emotional too before I got on the call.
Mimi: Ah…that was her. So does she have any other messages for us?
Kaz: So what’s happening now is really touching back to the 60s, and I feel like we’re headed for some big breakthroughs. So…don’t be quiet! If you see injustices, you need to say something! And she says not just complaining on the Internet: if you see someone being rude, it’s our job to say “no, that’s not right.”
Mimi: And we’re at a point in time where we’re more aware of it because of the Internet, mostly. I completely agree. This is a great time, isn’t it?
Kaz: She says it’s exciting, but scary.
Mimi: And we cannot repeat the same mistakes we did in the past, I mean…surely!
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: You have a lot of help right now, moreso than you’ve ever had before, so take advantage of it! We cannot fail.
Mimi: She’s amazing. Is there anything else she wants to add? [Pause] She just said “Sing!” [Laughs]
Kaz: I’m just seeing bats!
Mimi: [Gasp] Bats? I love bats!
Kaz: It’s ok to be counter, it’s ok to be weird, to come out at night…and…
Mimi: Holy shit, she’s talking to us! About THIS!
Kaz: Yes! Yeah, I’m just seeing bats, and even though it’s completely dark and you’re just using your senses, you know your stuff and you know exactly where you’re going…but there’s something about the night, something safe about the night. Warm and quiet too, so you can actually hear yourself think.
Mimi: I love the night.
Kaz: Yeah. So I can hear the music of the nightclub at a distance, but it’s being up in the darkness and looking up at the stars…do more of that!
Mimi: Yes, we will! I love you Sister, thank you! Thank you Kaz, that was amazing!
Kaz: Thank you!
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?
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