Recently learning about the Queer Astrology conference (it’s something I’m really into), and listening to a podcast about centering the queer story. So instead of a queer astrologer or witch doing a talk at a traditional astrology event and being the fringe, if we’re centering the queer story, it’s no longer “the other”. It’s not “here’s the queer interpretation which is also possible”. That’s my take on queer tarot – “Here’s the standard interpretations with gender, patriarchal, anglo ideas on what the mythology means, and here’s the other option”. If heteronormativity is the norm, what if you flip it, that Queer relational dynamics are the norm, and it might be a disorder to be attracted or relate to someone in a hetro normative way. I like that idea with the Queer tarot, that this is the centre story, this is the main interpretation, and other things are possible too.

I chose to shoot the 10 of Pentacles. Pentacles are something I’m drawn to, I’ve a lot of earth in my chart – I’m a very earth bound creature, very aware of physical environments, and I’m attracted to systems of spirituality that are earth based. Not just worshiping the earth as a concept but attending to the environment that we are immediately in. I’ve had a few instances when I’ve tried to apply animism to things like rubbish, recycling and waste – things that are physically here that people often don’t think about sacred or spiritual.
I’m working a lot with the idea of the 10 of pentacles in terms of literal financial success, completion and things coming together – but deconstructing that from self worth and capitalism. Looking at what people have that is meaningful, becoming aware of things around you that are valuable, that other may not have seen as valuable. In this house in particular, it’s also something I’ve been working on, thinking about how I can bring more wealth of every kind, into my life, into this house, and into communities that I am part of… Seeing share housing as family, and how that ripples out, very traditional sense of “how do you bring home the stuff for your family?” We talk about relational roles in a queer way a lot in this house, and how we work together so we can all transition through those roles and think of this place as a family instead of something that is so transitional. A lot of queer people are very aware of gentrification. All of us in the house do a bit of working from home, we all have clients around at different times, so I’m quite conscious of the work/ home, family / business dynamic.
When I thought about this card, I thought about earth, and being earthy and the image of success – what it might mean to me, and what it might mean to other people. I feel like earth can be physical dirt and leaves, grounded things in almost a traditional witchy way. I really like playing with performance art and irony, so it’s been a big thing for me this year, to say “In a capitalist society what does it mean to be an astrologer?” and being able to go “Oh cool this is the ‘new age’ business stuff”. I value that this is there in the world, but for the sake of very deeply embodied performance art, I want to take on that character – if I dress myself in a really cliché power suit and heels, with the look I’m doing in the photograph, with that business charm – people’s reaction is “Oh yea, you’ve really go it!” But really it’s just a farce, glamouring.
Success to me has a lot to do with how society and people at large view you, so if I have to “don the robes of success” how can I really play with that, and make a complete mockery of it, then not ironically, people perceive and relate to that. I’m wearing white, so I’m not getting my hands dirty, not realising that just before we set up the shoot I was wearing dirty clothes, sweeping, doing dishes where I had to be physically dirty, but now I am performing. This idea that other people will take care of the dirty stuff, “I can outsource”. I wore this on the weekend, and was told that I looked like a new age cult leader, playing with the idea of whiteness, obviously I’m a coloured skinned person, so there’s a very complex history of wearing white, or that essence of whiteness is holy, whiteness is dominating or purity. I like to play with that, and be a bit tongue in cheek.

My fathers’ side of my family is Indian, my mothers side a couple of generations back tracing back is german/english. There’s a lot of expectation that you must reach X potential, and do your best. I think people are familiar with Indian families in particular putting a lot of pressure on the children, even though I’ve grown up in Australia, I very much have that Indian disposition. I know the pressure a lot of Indian, especially mixed race people feel of you have to be financially successfully, you have to be spiritually successfully, and, and and.
The definition of spiritual success is crazy.
To choose to say what do I think the world around me needs. Looking at the needs of the people around me, especially the queer people need. Maybe it’s not another whitewashed, goddess circle astrologer person. – not that I was ever going to be come that. Given what I’ve learned from traditions of psychology, from traditions of spirituality – how do I actually apply that to this situation right now, in this house.
I would tell my younger self to look out for queerness as a turning point, queer theory, queer people. After moving to Melbourne 6 years ago, I did not expect that queerness and intersectional feminism has been the missing link in my studies and training in mental health specifically. I would tell my younger self to just hang in there. You’re not going to find the missing piece from academic elders, you’re going to find it in the queer community for your own personal healing. To be able to work in a more rounded way, to be able to solve problems or help relationships – it’s gender roles that are hurting people. That was huge. That idea was absent from the first 10 years of trying to work on my trauma.*

*Transcription from audio interview

10 of Pentacles – Mira – She/They – gender-fluid

Thank you for the wonderful, deep conversations we had making this card and more since. Please dont ever stop being your wonderful Queer Self.

xxx

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