Tarot of the QTPOC: Searching Within The Slow Holler Tarot, a deck review and reflection

Earlier this year, I broke down after circling the project for a while and finally took a deep look at the Slow Holler Tarot project. Looking back at my first Tarot of the QTPOC post for the Slow Holler Tarot, I can still feel how tense I was about it- a trepidation borne of past disappointments with projects that claimed to live in the stars but hardly made it off the ground. To me, that post reads like someone reluctantly dipping their big toe into ice cold water in the middle of winter. The promise of a queer southern tarot deck felt too big of a promise to fulfill.

I’m excited to hold the Slow Holler Tarot in my hands. I’ll admit, I am tense about it as well. Mostly because it holds or hopes to hold so many of my identities, there’s a catch of breath in my throat that won’t be released till I hold the beautiful black-gold-red cards in my hand and hopefully see myself. Perhaps unfairly, I’m looking for southern Black complicated gris gris realities that we live right along with those magical escapist imagined futures we seek out in our magic and in each other. Yes, I know, it’s a lot to ask for from one deck, to ask from a community of artists, people, who may be looking for all of these things for themselves and the ones they love in the art that they create.

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signal boost: Reflections on a Week of Grief

From Chani Nicholas, a reflection on grief, our imperfect queer family, and the limits of love:

We are family…

Not gay as in happy, but queer as in fuck you…

We are a deeply imperfect family.

One that needs to do better. One that needs to hold each other closer. One that needs to fight harder for one another. One that needs to remember that none of us are free until all of us are. And you can’t get married if you are getting deported, incarcerated or murdered for being transgender, for being anything but white or for being born outside of these false borders. We are a family that needs to fight like hell to make sure that our differences are held with equal rights, equal respect and equal humanity…

We are a family that has survived. And we will keep surviving.

Please read the entire piece at their website here!

finding pockets of air, spaces to breathe

Heart is still weighed down but here is some of what has been helping. I share it with you and hope you find some heart ease. Take care. Self-care is resistance.

– Alexis Pauline Gumbs, poethealer and spinner of love webs, offers up a poem for the family we never got to meet: ‘pulse’

but now i am pulse

and now you
are flame.

a love spell for our grieving queer hearts. A ritual whose energy I returned to by brewing the herbs I cast into a heart heal tea this morning.

I cast Lemon Balm for broken hearts,
I cast Motherwort to hold us,
I cast Sage for those risen to ancestor,
I cast Rosemary as we remember,
I cast Rose for love, always.

In praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club, and the ways we made it sacred ground (or an ode to that one time you and that hard femme shared lipstick and then shared lipstick and broke apart as Selena came on and you rushed the dancefloor)

Outside, tomorrow, hangovers, regrets, the grind. Outside, tomorrow, the struggle to effect change. But inside, tonight, none of that matters. Inside, tonight, the only imperative is to love.

– Alexis J. Cunningfolk has a few suggestions for more herbs that heal in times of tragedy

While the following is only a short list of suggestions, I am working on a much larger resource on herbs and trauma that I’ll be sharing freely with folks in the coming weeks. I’ll post about it on my blog and the various social media outlets where I can be found. 

– Chani offers her starlit insight to guide us through this week

Saturn square Neptune (especially in this highly mutable astrological moment) can lend to feelings of confusion, disassociation and disenfranchisement. This is the point in the cycle at which we can no longer deny what is falling down, what is failing completely and what needs to be dealt with and dissolved…When we honestly look at how the structures that we are up against (Saturn) clash with the dreams we have for our lives (Neptune), we stand at the cross section of what needs to be done and what could be created.

6 O’clock Blues, a song by Solange Knowles eased my heart and reminded me of the shelter we have been and will continue to be for each other. I dedicate this to my queer and trans family.

They can sell me a story
And tell me we’re in danger
But our love will never die..
Cause people don’t make the world go round like they used to
But I know if I got one thing
Baby I know got you
You keep me sheltered from the six o’clock blues
Yeah, you keep me sheltered
From the six o’clock blues
And if I know one thing is gonna be alright
Then I know that’s it’s me and you

love is shadowmagic and it reaches out to those we lost and loved so deeply even without knowing

No, it won’t fix everything, but love has often been the chosen tool/weapon/magic chosen by those of us who find ourselves at the bottom of the food chain because of its potential, for power, for release, for a freedom of our own making, for a possibility of loving ourselves so deeply that anything less is unacceptable.

Love is shadowmagic.

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love survives; Three of Swords from The Morgan-Greer Tarot

 


Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!

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love spell for our grieving queer hearts

To be black and queer is to know violence everyday but it never gets old. The devastation feels new every time. Rest in power to all slain.

I send love to my queer and trans family today.
I send love to all the queer and trans latinx folx who held community last night.
I send love to all the victims of the Orlando shooting and their families.
I send love to all the queer and trans Muslims experiencing violence and erasure as this tragedy continues to unfold.
I send love.

May you take care of yourself however you need to.

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I cast Lemon Balm for broken hearts,
I cast Motherwort to hold us,
I cast Sage for those risen to ancestor,
I cast Rosemary as we remember,
I cast Rose for love, always.

Ashe.

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Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!

Tarot of the QTPOC: Slow Holler Tarot

It has taken me far too long to get to this deck. Some of it is that I felt that everyone was aware of it, some of it is that horrible procrastination bug, and a good chunk of it was being sick and not having the energy to assemble the post like I usually do.

All that and a paralyzing hope (which I say more about below).

So without further ado, The Slow Holler Tarot.

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Tarot of the QTPOC & Deck Review: Daughters of the Moon Tarot

The Daughters of the Moon Tarot is self-proclaimed as “the definitive feminist tarot deck” (though I think the Motherpeace Tarot gives it a run for its money, as well as borrows from its tradition).

How queer or even feminist is it though?

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Yes there is racial diversity, romantic and sexual diversity, perhaps even hints at gender diversity. However, one of the things I have an issue with in feminist decks, is the over-emphasis of the vulva as the essence of womanhood, which is frankly untrue and transphobic.

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As for the womb, I envision the womb as a the spirit space in all of us that births our art, imagination, and visions- not necessarily the physical. One could argue the same for the vulva, but when the visual representations remain fundamentally physical it remains problematic. I will say that this isn’t a motif found in every single card, and this grievance comes from exposure to multiple decks that do this- perhaps most flagrantly guilty The Mythical Goddess Tarot, a deck I love and use often.

I also say all this as a cis woman, and I acknowledge that for that reason alone my words may hold absolutely no water.

What the deck does it’s best to do is project women’s power, and that it tries to project it in the bodies of racially variant women- images of tending hearth and home, goddesshood, mother nature-love, women’s community, and warrior spirit.

Daughters of The Moon tarot deck also varies the ages of the people it portrays. Bodies are varied and beautifully rendered, conceptions of love and lovers are queer- it even has multiple options for the major arcana Lovers card.

Fair warning, though you might not mind, they’ve changed the names of some of the major arcana and the suit names for the minors: ex: The Magician – The Witch; Wands – Flames. They’ve also pulled some cards: you are asked to find The Emperor and The Hierophant in the The Empress and High Priestess cards, respectively. Little if anything about this deck tries to be traditional.

If you don’t mind the challenge of shuffling a round deck and the complete pretzel that is trying to work reversals with a round card, then this is certainly a deck to consider if you are on the lookout for decks that tend towards feminism.

The Motherpeace Tarot & Gorgon’s Tarot, other favorites, followed off of this tradition, which gives you more selection if you choose to a different path. Otherwise, I say this deck deserves due consideration for being as old as it is and having done quite a bit of work to heal and inspire.

Tarot of the QTPOC: The Next World Tarot

As much as I love doing this series, looking for tarot and oracle decks that feature Queer and/or People of Color, it can be somewhat depressing to realize that as much as there is improvement in who is featured in tarot decks, it’s usually “or” more than “and”- that is the deck is either queer or it features people of color, rarely both. As such, I get overexcited and my budget overextended when I find one that does both: enter The Next World Tarot.

The Next World Tarot  features a truly diverse range of bodies- young, old, queer, trans, poc, disabled, gender non-conforming- in a ” visual spectacle of both the battle cry and the reconnection, between outcasts and their criminalized identities.” The artist, Cristy C. Road, calls her forthcoming deck, a “post-apocalyptic reclamation of magic” and tarot. It is not a pretty deck- or rather, it is not just a pretty deck. It’s full of gnarled figures and distorted images of dystopia- which for me feels not just like a world that is coming, but one that is already here and being lived in- at least for queer people of color.

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What I do love about it, is that it’s not just images of despair, our lives though often difficult are full of love, joy, sweetness, and desire. It’s also about finding all of that within our daily-lived dystopic realities… which yes, sometimes means reaching for fantasy and imagination, and really it’s all about the ways we reach for hope, persevering through all the world throws in our faces and on our backs, carving space out for our bodies and spirits.

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Unfortunately, this deck is not here yet. Though you can help with that by donating to the Kickstarter over here (pre-orders are available too!) and perhaps snagging a deck before they sell out- which they will. You can also support the artist here, and snag a print of Cristy Road’s art (some of the prints from the deck are available, I saw The Sun and immediately got her for myself).