Queers Throwing the Patriarchy out of Tarot Cards

Queers Throwing the Patriarchy out of Tarot Cards

Queering the Emperor Tarot Card:

The Emperor card can be super challenging as a queer person as it traditional represents masculinity, power, the law, and basically an unemotional version of the patriarchy. Here I have tried to unpack the Emperor with the help of my beautiful witchy friend Myra, to give you a relevant and applicable interpretation in life as a queer, LGBTQIA or trans person. I wish to encourage and support this magick in my queer community, and my love of Tarot will not let heteronormativity, or patriarchal overtones ruin my love for Tarot.
Honourable mention:
– The Slow Holler Tarot – The Navigator http://slowholler.bigcartel.com/
– Osho Zen Tarot – The Rebel
– Doreen Virtue – The Organiser
– The Wild Unknown, the cards have less gender influences.
I’m currently working on a Queer Tarot Project: Telling Queer Stories through the Archetypes of Tarot. Each of the Beautiful Major Arcana cards I’ve created tell the story of the queer person photographed for it. You can check out more of it here: www.queertarot.cards
Or follow my Queer Magickal Instagram www.instagram.com/create_magick
Queering the Hermit: Being present

Queering the Hermit: Being present

Interestingly in most Tarot depictions of the Hermit tarot card, they are never hiding away in a cave. Rather, they are out wandering, seeking their own truth and magick.

I’ve big plans; travel, exhibitions, work, creative projects, so to cope I have been introverting like a mo-fo.  Working really hard is easy for me, managing myself so I don’t burn out is not.  I wish it was, but unless I eat well, get at least 8 hours of sleep every night I turn into an emotional wreck, and a bundle of germs. This moment, feels like I am the artist who hides away for days then emerges to paint a masterpiece.  My favourite Instagram brand is “Stay at Home Club” and the way their humour makes it okay to choose to not go to the party. Giving myself this quiet time allows my body to re-charge, and all the confused pieces of my mind to fall into place. My mind is alive, overactive, and calming it down allows me to see things I wasn’t able to see before.

Removing ourselves from the barrage of external chatter – we are able to finally hear the small voice from within that leads us to higher ground.

Recently a friend asked me, “Florence how long did it take you to ‘know / find yourself?”  The first thing that popped into my head was my inner critic saying “What – no, you don’t, you’re still learning!” but what came out of my mouth surprised me.  I was home schooled, for the most part of my childhood and teenage years I was surrounded only by my parents and my two younger siblings. I had no school bullies, no keeping up with the cool kids, and no TV in my life.

Basically it was a very sheltered life where I only knew me as I was, and what I thought I should be, leaving aside parental expectations from a strong religious perspective of course.  I loved my own company. My imagination was my best friend, I lived in a fairy world in my head, made love to ghosts and could speak to animals. I miss being able to escape into another world, away from the noise in my brain.  Spending time alone, clearing and settling, taking back control of my the junky thoughts in my brain feels like I’m getting closer to that young imaginative child again.

The Hermit- Slow Holler Queer Tarot Deck

Remember, the person in the Hermit Tarot Card is holding their own lantern: they are lighting their own path.

I have been reconnecting with my free-spiritedness, my independence, as a single person finding my feet and confidence again.  Rediscovering my natural self-reliance and pulling away the layers of fear from my ability to access the deepest magick and my highest spiritual self within me.  Relying on myself, and not being willing to rely on others is something that comes very naturally to me, from a fear of being let down or abandoned, so rewriting this pattern in my head as a more relaxed attitude has been wonderfully challenging.  Accepting that I can’t go through this world not trusting in anyone, and letting go of disappointment if something doesn’t happen the way I planned.  Releasing the rigidity and fear in me, stopping grasping onto my expectations and letting myself be carried along with whatever happens.  Planning ahead and being proactive when it matters but allowing space for changes in plans and outcomes without having an adverse emotional reaction.

While I don’t have any signs in virgo in my astrology chart, I feel the virgo energy as we move through the earth and planetary cycles.  Much like my feelings about my strong Capricorn energy, the Virgo is grounded and stable. My growth through change is taking its sweet time, much like my Hermit tarot card friend.   The Hermit isn’t about fast, practical, or quick small changes; it has all been big shifts, lots of learning and challenging emotional growth. I am making solid change in my energy; it feels completely earthy. The Hermit tarot card relates to Virgo, one of the four mutable zodiac signs (Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces), and embracing my Hermit journey has thrown lots of change, need for flexibility, and lessons about adaptability at me.

https://stayhomeclub.com/

My head has been battling through what a relationship means to me, what I want out of one, what my expectations are if I were to be in one. How I change or my demeanour changes when partnered.  It’s been really challenging to spend time alone with my brain and unpack where my desires for a certain type of relationship have come from.  What fear drives those desires, and work through how I want to rewire my brain, and rewrite those patterns.  Essentially I have not changed, I still represent the sustained personal identity I have kept throughout my entire life, I have just unpacked, and removed a layer of fear and bullshit.

Prioritising space for my mind to turn inward and allowing myself the time and space to think, feel, to hurt, and meditate on what it is that I truly want in and from my life isn’t easy.  Feeling lost is crappy, but the more I unpack that lost feeling I can see what drives it.  Fear of abandonment, feelings of insecurity and imposter syndrome.  All feelings I am familiar with but didn’t realise drifted over into my desire to love and be loved.  Checking in on these feels validates them, but slowly takes the power out of them for me.  When I feel abandoned, I put into perspective how much love and support I have around me. Am I really abandoned or have I pushed people around me away because I feel scared??  Am I really insecure or have I listened to my inner critic for too long and am self doubting things I know I can do, and the confidence I know I have?  When I feel like I don’t belong or an imposter in my own life, where is that negative chatter coming from, why am I comparing myself to an imaginary reality?!

Sometimes this ripples over into my relationship with my family. My Queerness makes me feel like I don’t belong. My inability to ever meet or live up to their religious and social expectations of me as a daughter creates a feeling of “Other-ness” in me.  This feeling is both terrifying and powerful.  And while it is not something that is exclusive to queer experience, it is all too common in our community who don’t have close or accepting families in their lives.  It is terrifying to come face to face with a solo journey, but it is also powerful as it it forces me to throw off anything that is holding me back, seek out my own truth and my inner magick.

If you feel drawn to The Hermit, or if it comes up in your reading, ask yourself:

  • What negative self talk am I holding onto?
  • How is that is affecting my current state of mental health?
  • Do I have fears about my present and future?
  • What is holding me back from fully in and enjoying the present moment?
  • How do I let it go?
  • What positive change can I make to create a shift?
  • Is that fear irrational?
  • What can I do today to stop, enjoy and be present in my own Power?
Telling Queer Stories: The Lovers – 6

Telling Queer Stories: The Lovers – 6

In the major arcana the 6th card in the deck is the lovers card. It’s traditional representation (painted in 1910 by Pamela Coleman-Smith), shows two figures; Adam and Eve before the fall, enjoying the innocence of the garden and their own nudity while an angel looks on above. In the tree behind Eve, lies the snake hinting at the choice to come to gain knowledge and wisdom and behind Adam is a tree with 12 flowers symbolising the astrological houses. The card is represented by Gemini, choices in romantic relationships and duality. It can also be said the card represent the two halves of the brain and the point in human evolution where childbirth became difficult for women due to the increase of brain mass in the species. Generally speaking however this card represents romantic relationships.

I’ve been receiving this card repeatedly since the last frost nub of winter which has been a surprise to say the least because breakups are something I’ve had a lot of this year and I’m not know for successful relationships or positive choices in partners. This continual drawing of the lovers card began following a breakup of a relationship which was short in length and depth.  However the pain took me by surprise, and I was already grieving the end of the possible partnership before the conversation even came. In the lead-up to the conservation I attributed my grief to cosmologically consequences. I’m a cancer sun and experiencing emotions on a large scale is a common experience for me. Since 2011, I’ve been able to access, receive and feel emotions from large groups like those of the “Occupy” protests in NY during the final eviction or the tsunami in Japan. It’s not easy being an empath and sometimes it can be difficult to know where the emotions are coming from. Often I find my body anticipates emotions up to 2-3 days before an event occurs; both for a world event or an extremely personal one. Jungian analyst and writer; Marion Woodman’s recently wrote an article that describes the way I have moved through the world even down to my entry to this life via c-section which i believe is the cause of this tendency to anticipate emotions and try to move through life lessons a little too quickly. LINK

The heart pain and heaviness was daily and all day- sometimes the pain was in the front of my body, sometimes in the back. I had only known this person for a few months and had specifically avoided conversations about partnership, nevertheless when the break came, the pain seemed overwhelming and somewhat extreme for the length and depth of what was between us. During this time, I had started to look at tarot again after a long break; another break up (this time walking away from https://www.facebook.com/sistersoftheequinox/). Surprisingly, daily readings would always come back with a result of the lovers card or the two of cups, and never reversed. Astrological forecasts suggested that love was the main preoccupation for the ex lover. Much of what was around me, suggested that the break up was a mistake but as a cancerian I am always wary of seeing things I want to see and manipulating others to see them too.

Queer Tarot The-Lovers-Tarot-Cards

Queer Tarot: The Lovers Tarot Cards by Trung Nguyen

The lovers card is still following me. In those first early weeks of romantic pain, it was infuriating, upsetting and defying my previous experience of the tarot whose guidance has always offered a different perspective and helped me to make decisions to the pathway of my highest good. Even yesterday (6 weeks later), after coming home to spend some time with my mother and hoping to inspire her to return to her art practice and share my love of the Motherpeace tarot deck (designed by Karen Vogel and Vicki Nobel in the late 1970’a), the card she left facing upwards was the lovers; with the 9 of cups beside it. The Motherpeace tarot card represents a different aspect of the lovers card. Whereas other decks imply love and romantic partners as a sort of destiny, the Motherpeace card removes the personality and gender aspect and reflects more upon the difficulties of choosing a partner. The choices are represented by different cups, each reflecting qualities of masculinity or femininity in a greco roman style. The energies reach out over their physical boundaries and mingle in the middle representing the bliss that can be made from union. In Vicki Noble’s book she writes about 6, the number of the card representing a peak experience; and the lovers representing a peak experience of union.

A few weeks back I participated in a ritual to welcome the coming of spring. After the ceremony, we each chose a few cards from numerous decks, with only one tarot deck in circulation. I of course, received my card of the promise of love.  At that point, I felt like breaking. Romantic love felt very far away, yet I was continuing to receive this message as if it was already here embracing me. I returned home with message feeling confused as to why it has been constantly been with me. When I returned home I opened up the latest email from a tarot project I have been backing since 2015, and the card of course greeting me was the lovers. However unlike other projections of this card, the image drawn by Christy C. Road is of a naked feminine person holding a handful of spoons reaching forward to embrace another feminine person through a mirror who is walking with a cane. (Click image for link)

The Lovers Queer Tarot

THE LOVERS 💜As the universe offers pipe dreams, delusions, and wayward paths; embrace an indestructible bond that honours you for you

This card had symbolism for those that have difficulty experiencing love for themselves, let alone love for another being and finally gave me some hope of understanding why the goddess was choosing to repeat this message to me over and over again. Since then, I have been applying myself to loving those small parts of myself that feel unloved, working through my childhood experiences of feeling less than loved sometimes and thinking more and more of my community and how we struggle to be accepted in our choices of love. I am reminded again of what a radical act it is to love yourself, to be kind to yourself, to offer yourself the solace and companionship you need. Also I think of  how some people in our community have difficulty finding love, feeling love and feeling included and each time I receive this card now or see it within a reading I am reminded of the embrace of self which is always reaching out to us through the mirror.

How do you feel about the Lovers card? Do you have an interesting story about your relationship or journey with the Lovers Tarot Card? I’d love to hear about it.

What being a Queer Witch means to me:

What being a Queer Witch means to me:

Being a witch means reclaiming my spiritual path as my own and letting expectations. Being a witch means celebrating my boundaries as respecting and valuing my own self worth.

Being a witch means respecting the cyclical nature of life. Not glamorising “happiness” or “success”, but making space for the shadow side of life and the shadow side of self. Celebrating the ebb as well as the flow.

“People fear what they can’t control. It reminds me of that quote about equality feeling like oppression to those who have always had the upper hand. ” Sollee says. “But we can use it to our advantage by embracing our deviancy in ways that confound those who seek to silence us. Their fear can become our power.”
Kristin J Sollee from, Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive

Being a witch means being kind to all things, and all beings, respectful of nature, sentient beings and this world of humans. Most of all it means respecting and being kind to myself. Observing emotions without judgement.

Being a witch means not being afraid of death or change. Seeing the impermanence, death and rebirth in everything that happens all the time and being grateful for it.

Being a witch means being present. Aware of the present moment the present experiences. Not getting hung up on hope for the future or fear that something may not happen or that something may disappear. Being grateful for the joy, being grateful for the blessings of the moment I’m in right now. Learning and growing as each moment passes.

Being a witch means truly manifesting, setting intentions for good, setting the subconscious mind on a path then letting go all expectations. Making peace with an unknown future. Getting really clear on weather my desires are are an external “want” or a subconscious desire. Finding the root of my desires, and not covering my true self with all of that of the material world. Uncovering the truth of ME and releasing myself from the hangups of the world.

Being a witch is loving others, standing up for peace and kindness to all equally. Not afraid of standing out or breaking down the social and patriarchal norms or expectations of society.

Being a witch means feeling empathy, and acknowledging the pain around me, empathically sharing the emotions and pain of those under going hardship or suffering. It means breathing in and sitting with the pain I feel in these situations then breathing out relieve, amazing healing positive energy, both to myself and to those feeling pain.

Not judging myself for my empathic nature and connecting and sitting in the pain I feel. Not judging myself for feeling, caring and hurting when I experience pain myself or see it around me. Feeling grateful and blessed for the range and vastness of the emotional capacity I possess. Allowing space to celebrate this empathy and the way it shapes my mind set actions and striving to be more accepting and gentle with those around me.

Being a witch means breathing in a feeling of hot, dark and heavy – a sense of claustrophobia – and then breathing out a feeling of cool, bright and light – a sense of freshness. Breathing in completely, through all the pores of my body, and breathing out, radiating out, completely, through all the pores of my body. If I am feeling inadequate, down, or judgemental towards myself – breathing that in for me and all others in the same boat. Breathing out and sending out confidence, adequacy and love or relief of any form that comes to me in the moment.

 

What does it mean to you?? Please share xxx