You should absolutely support the Asian American Tarot. I believe my first words when I saw the Kickstarter for this deck was “Oh wow.” breathed with awe as I rushed to add it to my Tarot of the QTPOC list. I don’t know that I have seen a tarot project like this before, and I have to say it is a stunning idea for such an important vision.

from the Asian American Tarot: Art by Simi Kang, Monica Ramos, and Camille Chew

Mental health for people of color has always been an incredibly fraught conversation. Unresolved inter-generational trauma often becomes something many just have to figure out how to live with (and we often don’t, live that is). Too often the conversations on mental health are pushed under the rug for the sake of attention to the very many other issues were are going through- which just intensifies the need for adequate mental health and self-care resources.

Which is why this deck, and the larger vision it is a part of is something to celebrate.

Created by the Asian American Literary Review, the Asian American Tarot is being created to support their project, Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health, which addresses Asian American mental health and provides an arts centered self-care package. The AALR’s goal to get this important project into the hands of those who need it most. The tarot deck will be a part of that project, amongst other offerings like a queer mixed race WOC self-care package by artist/scholar Genevieve Erin O’Brien'(swoon).

The deck itself is a Major Arcana tarot deck, containing 22 cards that revision the traditional keys with an aim of “revealing the hidden contours” of Asian American life and the many factors that affect the landscape of Asian American mental health. I couldn’t put it better than the AALR did at their Kickstarter:

Because Asian American wellness fundamentally depends upon anti-racism, our deck is an anti-racist hack for the traditional deck: take out the existing major arcana, insert ours, and voila! An Asian American mental health tarot, a little self-care magic.

Death • the Scholar • the Migrant • the Lovers • the Mother • the Patient • the Foreigner • the Fool • the Ancestor • the Farmer • the Shopkeeper • the Adoptee • the Lecher • the Survivor • the Daughter • the Model Minority • the Refugee • the Prisoner • the Desecrated Temple • the Deportee • the Hangman • the Devil
– Major Arcana titles from the Asian American Tarot –

from the Asian American Tarot: Art by Camille Chew, Monica Ong, and Simi Kang

I am breathless writing this post, I’m so excited for this deck and this project to come out. Please consider supporting it however you can. I hope that with overwhelming support they might consider a second edition with a full 78 cards, wouldn’t that be something?!

We’ve heard a lot of word about solidarity and what that can look like in the last few weeks. Here’s one way to support POC within the spiritual community. If you cannot donate, please share widely the kickstarter and amplify the signal for this incredible project.


from the Asian American Tarot: Art by Monica Ong, text by Gerald Maa


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!