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.
The Numinous Tarot being lovingly brought to the life by the talented Noel Arthur Heimpel is a forthcoming deck that does just this important work. Ask anyone who has ever talked tarot with me, and they’ll tell you that I’ve managed to sneak or outright shoehorn this luminous deck into conversation, someway somehow. Noel’s Numinous Tarot brilliantly tells our stories, including our identities without distilling us to just cleverly put together letters of the alphabet. I was honored to interview them and learn more about how they came to bless us with their work.
We’ve always been there.
If there’s anything else I’d like to add to the conversation- that I haven’t mentioned or worked through in my Tarot of the QTPOC series– it is that we have always been there.
As card readers, wise ones, root workers, brujxs, medicine folk, keepers of the gris gris…
We have always been there.
Even as the tarot world starts to have more conversations on diversity- one that hopefully goes beyond tokenization and starts with all of us- there is this idea that keeps popping up: that it is just modern decks that we should hold to the diversity standards. That traditional decks, historically inspired decks, etc cannot possibly be expected to be diverse.
Apparently people of color weren’t invented before 1910!
I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit. Especially in a world where some ‘Egyptian’ inspired decks are whiter than bleached flour.
We have always been there. Colonialism and imperialism made sure of that.
Oh, and we made sure of that too- because, yes there were people of color all throughout Europe who weren’t slaves or indentured and I never want to forget those stories either.
As a black queer femme tarot reader, I’m asking that we all stop blaming time for what humanity has wrought.
The original RWS deck didn’t feature people of color because its creator chose it that way and a good chunk of its users preferred it that way- not because there weren’t any people of color around with aspects of their lives mirroring any one of the 78 paths of the tarot.
That choice continues to be made, perhaps with less intention (or just as much intention), today in countless decks.
So make a different one when you pick out or publish your next deck.
Some tarot decks you can look away from.
Your eye glazes over the art and you look for what you want to find; you seek out what you’re used to finding in a particular card, careless of what’s there that doesn’t fit.
Enter The Mary-El Tarot: Landscapes of the Abyss, and I dare you to look away. In fact, I bet you try.