Tarot of the QTPOC: Trung Nguyen

I promise I don’t just focus on forthcoming decks but just one more Tarot of the QTPOC forthcoming deck and I promise the next one will be a current deck you can get immediately.

But first…

(F0r) many people of color – we internalize the idea that we are not considered people worthy of space in our own minds. The people in my life deserve to find themselves considered in the fanciful parts of my imagination – in a perfect world, my loved ones are there, and that means there should be gender variance, there should be a lot of people of color, and depictions of love and attraction should, by its nature, encompass queer affection. (xxx)

Artist Trung Nguyen gets it! I mean gets it! There’s this misconception that QTPOCs don’t belong or aren’t found in the word of tarot, paganism, earth-based faiths, new age practices, old age practices, all of that.

The reality is that we just aren’t VISIBLE.

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all art credit to Trung Nguyen

It is not a little thing to find a deck that has people in it that look like me. We deserve to have as much representation as everyone else gets- decks that give us the option of dark, artsy, historical, deep, fun, light, pretty, magical, modern, exciting, and all the other adjectives everyone else gets to choose from!

One way to ensure that, support the decks that do this work when they do get published, and the artists! Follow Trung Nguyen’s work on Patreon and Tumblr.

On a less social justice note, SAILOR MOON REFERENCE, I’m sold!

Tarot of the QTPOC & Deck Interview: Afro-Brazillian Tarot

New deck excitement!

The Afro-Brazillian Tarot touts itself as “a channel for the beneficial forces of an ancient magic…the divinities of Afro-Brazilian Santeria, tied with the immortal archetypes of the Tarot”.

Now, that’s not quite so accurate, but going into the details of Ifa, Santeria, Candomble, and Lucumi (and other indigenous and/or afro-diasporic traditions) is not what I’m writing this post about and ranting at Lo Scarabeo (and other major tarot publishers) use of cultural and spiritual practices is its own series of posts.

I’m just happy to have a deck featuring POC faces and deities from a tradition I’m familiar with and recognize. In fact, when merging practices like these with Tarot and other tools, it’s never going to be perfect. Though there are artists from these communities doing that work.

On to the deck interview!

Deck Interview of Afro-Brazilian Tarot
Deck Interview of Afro-Brazilian Tarot

First impressions of this spread result match my first impressions of this deck. I figured it would be an energy filled deck that would often leave me breathless, as indicated by the Wands dominating the spread. In fact, its limit lies in the Cups suit! Figures.

1.Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
KNIGHT OF WANDS – A dark knight on a white horse tramples over an angry looking red dragon. Okay then! This is a deck of high energy and headrushes. It’s not particularly controlled and is likely to leave me lying flat and feeling ran over. I bet I get the message though, loud and clear!

2. What are your strengths as a deck?
SEVEN OF SWORDS – The imagery here is interesting. While this card often involves a person stealing away with seven swords, here we’ve got seven swords melted together and rather gnarled and curled. There’s some hope though, butterflies around it, and some flowers on the ground. Will this deck bring guide me when my sword edge is not only dull, but gnarled and twisted?

3. What are your limits as a deck?
NINE OF SOPERAS (Cups) [REVERSED] – It is not a deck of wish fulfillment, and it certainly isn’t going to give me all the answers I’m looking for- it’ll instead give me the information I need to go looking for them. With my familiarity with the traditions inspiring this deck’s art, it also feels like a reminder that this deck is not an alternative to those traditions and I should practice as I always have. Cool.

4. What are you here to teach me?
KING OF SWORDS – Messages that come as quick and fierce and surgical as the machete in the figure’s (I think that’s supposed to be Ogun though the colors are off) hand. How to move on circumstances with attention, analysis, and intention.

5. How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
FIVE OF WANDS [REVERSED] – Not by picking at the pieces of the message received that I want!

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
THREE OF WANDS – Well mastery of what the King of Sword’s energy is will result in intuition, foresight, the ability to see the whole picture. It also shows the lesson of patience, sitting still, consulting, and waiting to hear where I’m guided so that I make my next move with full vision. This way even if a message comes to me with the furor of the Knight of Wands above, I can still move forward without panic.

Tarot of the QTPOC: The Vudu Tarot & The EspiritismoDeck

Another POC-centric forthcoming deck from the indie tarot world, The Vudu Tarot depicts imagery from the Vudu Afro-Carribbean spiritual and cultural tradition. It is a 79 card deck reflecting the spread of Vodou across the diaspora and its syncretic associations with Catholicism.

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The artist, Monroe Rodriguez Singh, is raising funds for publication, along with The Espiritismo Tarot deck, this one incorporating Santeria and Palo imagery from the African diasporic traditions. A member of the community, I appreciate his passion to give us not one but two decks that center these practices and people of color’s culture and practice in an authentic way.

“I have worked a very long time on the creation of these tarot decks, and it’s a project that is very close to my heart. As a member of this community, I am saddened but emboldened by the lack of African inspired tarot card decks and representation of our traditions in new age society. When I have, rarely, come across a proposed “African” tarot deck, it includes images and cultural references determined by overseas tarot card companies that know very little about our traditions, and many turn up inaccurate or completely false. This gives our traditions a difficult public face to maintain, and is harmful to our traditions.”

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Follow his progress on Kickstarter and Tumblr!

 

 

Tentative Squee: The Stretch Tarot

Oh I’m sure you’ve seen this deck making the indie tarot rounds. It’s a pretty cool concept. Victorian age inspired mixed media tarot deck. Who wouldn’t be intrigued?

My first look-see around google didn’t do much for me except deplete me of intrigue. Frankly, the deck was very white and very cis and very heteronormative- aka 90% of what’s out there right now, even in the indie domain. However, it showed up again and after some nudging I took a look back and went to the deck’s Kickstarter page (it’s doing pretty well).

The artist made a point of noting that they were made aware of the lack of diversity, which I appreciated.

 In response to feedback, ‘The Stretch Tarot’ evolved into a diverse deck, working to including people of colour and remove the traditional boundaries of gender, specifically in the court cards. Despite their ‘vintage’ appearance, the cards are designed to combine the old and new in a way that reflects the modern reader and our current world. The tarot has endured for centuries due to its ability to adapt to circumstance and context; ‘The Stretch Tarot’ is no exception to this.

The good thing about it is, they listened! Now just how much they listened, I’m not sure. The video for the Kickstarter is not encouraging, but it may be from the older version. Here are some of the new cards that were added, depicting queer and poc folx. I sincerely hope these aren’t the only ones, because these are lovely.

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