What does the word queer mean to you, and why did you choose the card?

I’m just really excited I was able to be part of this project. I’ve done art clubs with some of my friends before, and it’s always been really fun. I live in a youth housing organization, so it’s subsidized kind of. So we get a lot of different opportunities from the community including {the Art Gallery Tarot Card Art piece, which is how we met}, where some art students were doing this project about selfhood and identity and all that. And they recruited a bunch of youth to do a six-week program, which I found out was more like a post-secondary art class, which I really liked. And at the end your art goes in a gallery, which is like *mind blown gesture*. I just went for it.”

So, why do you think a queer tarot deck is important?

Well, I think representation for queer people of any kind is super important. But I find regarding especially the spiritual part of ourselves (or religion or whatever you want to call it), queer people often get left out or thought to be such a small portion of the community when it’s really not – we’re everywhere. And it’s so awesome to be able to see something that is actually really important to you, and be able to see yourself in it and know that you have value; that you’re worth showing the world. Tarot’s always been a really important part of my spirituality. I grew up in a super religious home, so I didn’t really get a lot of it. And when I got into high school, my friends were super into it and they started to introduce it to me. It’s this beautiful, peaceful spiritual thing where you just – I don’t really know how to explain it. But it’s sort of like Paganism I suppose, where everything has a life force, but humans aren’t necessarily the most important, and just take care of our planet and all that – which I was like: I hella agree with this.

What does the word queer mean to you?

Queer – I guess it depends on the context. But I often use it as a term for someone who isn’t straight and/or cis, sort of instead of having to name all the different letters, because it always changes, there’s always more. It’s just easier for me to include everyone. It’s like a blanket term I suppose, or it can be. Yeah. Sexuality – nothing in the word is black and white, which has definitely been a journey from being taught just good & bad. And experiencing the world for myself – everything is grey, and so are so many people. I find it incredibly beautiful. Queer is a grey term. It’s a label where you don’t necessarily have to make yourself into something you don’t know yet. It’s like a no-pressure zone for me I guess.

What card did you choose to shoot?

The King of Cups. It’s one of my favourite cards. I’m going to get a tattoo on the back of my right arm eventually, for heart on my sleeve type of thing. The card has definitely been a role model for me. I also want to get a tapestry for it so I can look at it while I’m meditating and just keep that in mind. It’s all about balance in every sense of the word. It’s something that I want to strive towards, but also something I’ve always felt. I was in the middle – I didn’t quite fit into one or the other box. Being from Victoria, we don’t just have the ocean or the trees – you gotta have both.

It’s everything I value, and saw myself in – I was like, this is perfect. Well, I’m a pretty emotional person, and Cups is definitely the emotional suit. The King of Cups – he’s the most masculine level of a card you can get, but Cups is the most feminine suit. And he’s completely comfortable in his masculinity. He’s what I think a man really should be, instead of all this aggression – you can be peaceful and masculine at the same time.
There’s different types of balances obviously. I saw myself in balance because I’m an artist, but I’m also a true scientist. I want truth, and I find the world around me so fascinating.

If you were talking to yourself as the King of Cups, what advice would you give your younger self?

It is possible to get out of your situation and really do what you want to do. It is possible for you to be the King of Cups. I know that’s what I’ve always wanted, and I kind of just keep pushing for it. I find it’s definitely more of a mindset: just letting things go, letting things be, finding peace in myself; trying to connect myself more to the Earth, and all that stuff, and animals and such.
I don’t mean it in a literal sense, but what he represents, and his characteristics and all that – that’s sort of what I want to be as an adult. ‘Cause the picture of him is he’s sitting on his throne on a slab rock in the middle of the ocean – and I’ve had kind of a crazy chaotic life, and he finds stability in himself no matter what’s going on around him. It gives me hope really. It’s a great visual of what I can do for myself. If I can be stable and at peace, then I can have a great life, no matter what my past, or what the future throws at me. And being queer, there’s definitely more obstacles.

I’ve had a complicated family. Being religious, they weren’t really accepting of me. It took a lot longer for me to discover who I was. With Christianity they just tell you how it is, and you’re not allowed to think for yourself – which I really had a problem with. I wanted to get out for the longest time, but Victoria rent is so expensive. I came across – it’s actually called Threshold Housing Society – and they have subsidized rent and all that, and a big support group. I have a youth worker and everything. And that really enabled me to have a lot more independence, and find myself and what I value. It’s actually really cool that the place that I’m living in now, it’s very similar setup to my hometown: by the ocean, small, a main street with a lot of local shops in it, everything fairly close together. It made me feel more at home for sure. And I made a lot of new friends through the program.

If you were talking to somebody who pulled your card in a reading, what would you want to tell them? What would you want them to know?

I don’t think it’s necessarily written in the traditional interpretations, but I find I got the most out of the King of Cups when I took it as a – what’s the word – the cue for a lot of self-reflection. Just bringing yourself back to the basics of being human, being part of the Earth, and stabilizing – there’s lots of interpretation, but I find just bringing it back down to the roots. Because the Earth is stable itself right? The ground is stable that we walk on. It’s a card that can bring a lot of peace. No matter your gender or whatever, because it’s that balance – of anything.

I know tarot seems like cards, but they really do connect to the universe and its energy. Listening to the cards – it really does help. Repeat cards – they are special. The universe is trying to tell you something! That’s how I found the cards that were the most important to me. They’re definitely part of my thought process every day.*

*Transcription of Audio Interview


King of Cups – He / Him, Trans, Anon

Queering The King of Cups Queer Tarot Cards The King of Cups Minor Arcana

Queering The King of Cups Queer Tarot Cards The King of Cups Minor Arcana

Queer Tarot Queer The Navigator Emperor Tarot Cards

NewTarot Card inside Scoop

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