Queer Tarot for When “Everything is Awful” (Thanks Eponis!)

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Happy Tuesday Tarot-ists!

How are all you magickal queer creatures of dissent and power? Have the struggle of being unicorns in a pony world been particularly challenging as of late (Click here if “Everything is Awful”)?

I hope not and, if it has, I hope that you’re turning to all of the healing resources you have in your fabulous glittered fanny pack survival kits! Including, but not limited to, your tarot decks! Here are are some thoughts on the power and disclaimers of using tarot as queer folks especially when we’re in particularly fragile states.

  • PROS:
    • Tarot is cheap! If you can scrounge up the funds for the perfect queer tarot deck keep it nearby for quick guidance. If you can’t, for the time being, there are lots of free generators to pull with online!
    • We have direct access to the wisdom of tarot! While you can pay for a reading from a fabulous fishnet fucking tarot reading femme, you can also do some reading online from your queer tarot community so you can read the cards for yourself. Still want a reading? Make sure to pick someone who is a good sparkly unicorn reflection of yourself (as well as a bit more experienced in tarot). Maybe it’s a friend or an internet friend waiting to happen! No cash? Maybe they want to resource swap/trade with one of your amazing talents?
    • Tarot draws our attention to the subconscious. Sometimes when we’re stuck in a rut or feel like we’re hitting a wall tarot can draw our attention to something outside of our conscious frame of reference. It literally “queers” our process.
  • CONS
    • A tarot deck’s images are of the collective and (classically) informed by the collective culture of the time and space they were created in. That may or may not include us as we manifest right in this rainbow reflected moment. This doesn’t mean these images aren’t helpful, but we may have to be open to a little bit more interpretation than someone who has more majority affirmed identities.
    • Tarot isn’t validated by our Western medical culture of pathology and recovery. When you go into see your psychiatrist they probably aren’t going to suggest that you take a moment to take three deep breaths (same count on inhalation/exhalation) into your belly, clear some space on your bed, and pull a tarot card before popping a Xanax or offer you a discount on your next session so you can pre-order the much anticipated Slow Holler deck. Probably… if your psychiatrist offers these services please let us know so that we turn our full devotion to becoming their voluntary public relations team.
    • Tarot is fueled by our energy and open to our interpretation. This means that when we’re in a darker space our reads might also reflect this. There are times when all the tarot has to offer is tough love, but generally there is a super cheery pep talk in there somewhere if you look for it. However, this might pose a problem if we have challenges in finding these pieces when we’re in places of depression and anxiety. While I’ve had readings that are pretty straight forward and heavy handed (“you don’t know me, Wild Unknown Tarot and Collective Tarot!”), more often than not there are several ways I could read a spread. I try to always hold that tarot is about opening up my frame of reference not showing me walls. Furthermore, that my pulls will never show me anything that isn’t already (energetically) sitting inside of me which means that I have agency over the process. So, my unicorn friends, if you’re having a particularly rough day, or have just pulled a (seemingly) rough spread, or un-coincidentally, both. Take a moment to re-assess.

Overall, we think that our tarot decks are a pretty great place to turn to when everything feels awful (btw have we mentioned that we LOVE this guide?). They’re also not particularly bad places to turn to when everything is going our way and we need guidance on which way to gently steer the soft pillows from heaven we seem to be floating on. It’s no surprise that tarot seems to resonate with our communities because it’s a queer, un-validated by the institutionalized culture, accessible, artistic, intuitive, and perfect practice… just like all of you!

In Queer Tarot Process,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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Tarot Tuesday: Do you believe?

PlayshopBannerMorning COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES and Tarot-ists!

Read: “Tarot-ists” out loud. I kind of love it. It came up serendipitously awhile back referring to the ever lovely, Kaeti Gugiu. I was referring to her wisdom or singing her praises (as often happens) and laughed to myself at the sound of what I had written.

I erased it.

Then I re-wrote it.

This process of experiencing whatever has presented itself to us, feeling shame/doubt/insecurity about it, and then re-learning to trust ( and see) it’s purpose can be a challenge. It can be especially challenging for those of us that are often told our internal experiences are wrong– those of us that hold queerness in our ascribed identities, are attributed queerness by normative privileging, and feel the power and draw towards radical alternative healing.

Tarot and other intuitive forms of wisdom and healing are often distrusted in our worlds and, subsequently, distrusted in ourselves. We’re seen as healthy functional adults if we’re compliant with our prescription for blood pressure medication (even with it’s list of negative side effects) as we rush off to work. On the other hand an eye brow is raised skeptically at us if we pause in times of stress to pull some tarot, check in with the cycle of the moon, or read our astrological report (which might tell us to take a breath, slow down, or focus on some self-care). The clear and simple act of checking in (and listening) to our minds, bodies, and spirits can be interpreted as (and in some ways are) radical and political- direct action efforts to deconstruct the power structures of institutional violence and oppression as they stand.

 

{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}
{Image Credit: http://andigracewrites.com/about/}

Andi Grace takes this challenge of remaining in trust on in her piece “Coming out of the ‘Woo Closet’: facing shame, stigma, and historical trauma.”  Connecting it at the point of multiple intersections:

I see the woo closet as being composed of several parts: historical trauma that has roots in the witch burnings, the stigmatization of neuro-atypical mental states, and also the legacy and present day impacts of colonization – specifically as it relates to spirituality and conceptions of knowledge and knowing.

She spins a vision of a future where we return to this trust:

And then of course I wonder, what if we didn’t wait? What if we unabashedly came out as the magical, powerful creatures we know ourselves to be in our dreams and our hearts? What if we said to ourselves today and every day, “I am a powerful witch” and actually took responsibility for what that knowledge means?

That would be the beginning of some powerful unspelling.

So consider it with me, what can you do to unspell capitalism, racism, patriarchy, cis-sexism, homophobia, ableism and colonization?

Cause I see you. And I believe you are powerful beyond measure..

And I believe that are you more than capable of making beautiful magic.

So amateur tarot-ists, lurking about the playshop! Speak up! Speak out! Organize protests against narratives that don’t honor your heart and spirit. Engage in solitary sit ins when self care calls for hibernation. Trust your cards and your wisdom and your magick! Come out of the “woo closet” with us!

In love + light + “woo woo” sound bites,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

Tarot Tuesdays: Queer Healing Playshop

PlayshopBannerMorning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Welcome to the second installation of Tarot Tuesdays new PLAYSHOP Series! As soon as the idea of a “playshop” came into my awareness the philosophy of it has been treating me well. I’m a big believer that learning, healing, transfer of wisdom, etc isn’t a top down (or for that matter, somber) flow. However, this all feels different when I’m the one offering some insight/information. Subsequently submitting whatever little nugget of information that pops up to this passion project and community starts to feel daunting and insecurity inducing. The questions start. What am I trying to say? Does it stand up to investigation? Why does it matter? How is this all relevant?

In the very first conversation I had with my partner, casually in a bar, amongst safe folks and drinks, they commented on why I started and ended comments with, “I don’t know.” They queried, “Do you say that a lot about things you actually DO know a lot about?”

It stopped me dead in my tracks.

I pride myself on being a relatively confident human- someone who is conscious not to take up an inappropriate amount of space but someone who can also speak up for myself. Why then in this safe and casual setting, discussing a topic that I did indeed spend a lot of personal, professional, and academic energy exploring, did I feel the need to preface every statement with a disclaimer that my thoughts were irrelevant?

After that pleasantly fateful night, I’ve been lucky enough to have my partner’s loving and compassionate reflection call me on this pattern in my speech a number of times. As a talk therapist (and general INFJ listening ear), I’m also lucky to be entrusted with the stories of others often. I was struck with how common it was to hear this disclaimer in the narratives of other queer individuals around me as well. Once I tuned into it, I heard it everywhere, it might as well have been a community motto.

“{Insert an individual’s experience here}, but I don’t know.” 

“I don’t know, but {Insert an individuals opinion here}”

“I don’t know, but {Insert an actual reference to an article/event/etc}.” 

I have all sorts of explanations for why this is the case, but it doesn’t change the current pattern or lessen the toll this passing negative affirmation may be playing on our spirits. It’s also a desirably conscious and mindful quality to tread lightly with self-centric viewpoints. It’s a courtesy we’re not afforded nearly enough by the majority, but what place does this disclaimer have in a conversation about mindful self healing exploration and practice? If healing is personal and individual doesn’t it have to be as queer as we are? For it to work don’t we have to believe in the accuracy of our individual queer lens as we utilize it?

This is why I like the idea of a personal tarot playshop practice so much! First off, it’s a practice, an action, something that can be done and redone, a little knowledge and skill gained every time. It doesn’t have the pressure of a performance or require the dedication of a study– unless we want it to. We can come back to it when we need it. We can’t fail at it. We can’t be wrong. Secondly, if we enter into it with the spirit of play we can enjoy it with youthful wonder. It can develop with us and validate us- unlike some of our childhoods.

10462676_10102446908352874_6831252115277572020_nWhether you’re new to tarot or a studied practitioner I encourage you to try a playshop practice! Trust what you’re pulling, how you’re pulling, and what associations are coming up for you! Is there a way that helps you get into a moment of childlike curiosity? When my partner and I pull together we often plop our butts down on the cement, take some time to play music or talk about our intention for a pull first, and then take turns reading and discussing cards. We leave sidewalk chalk out, let our selves absentmindedly surround our cards with swirling doodles, and literally imbue our pull into our physical space. If we’re curious about a card we pull another. If a card gets stuck together, falls out of a shuffle, or if we have to chase one down that starts to blow away in the wind, we put it aside and ask why it’s trying to get our attention.

Tarot can be serious and insight inducing but it can also be comically humbling. Nearly every time we pull someone gets a card that instigates a sheepish grin and a loving protest of, “Shut up, Tarot, you don’t know me!” Having a spirit of playfulness allows us to not feel so defensive and take in the sometimes somber wisdom that stares back at us. We trust the conscious play time we put aside for our tarot pulls.

So with that, happy Tuesday everyone! We hope you put aside some play time this week with your tarot decks!

Playfully yours,

Traci

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Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”