We are at Evans Lake in Squamish territory, in British Columbia, Canada. We’re here at BC Witch Camp 2018, and this particular space is the femme altar. So, that’s where we are. I feel really loved right now, and I feel really empowered, and pretty clear.
This land is significant to me. It feels like a spiritual home to me in this community of Reclaiming, of witches. And this altar celebrates a part of me that I hadn’t been nourishing for a long time, and that I had a lot of judgments about myself around. And so expressing femme for me in this space feels really powerful and really empowering.
I chose the Queen of Swords. I think of her as the femme of Swords as well. For me, she is the first card that I ever pulled out of the first deck that I ever owned, 10 years ago – almost 10 years ago last week. At that time I was deep into my addiction, and I was feeding my body all of the things that kept it sick and that made it sick. I was in a very unhappy place. I was being kicked out of my home, I had lost my job. I was using crystal meth and cocaine almost every day.
This was right around my birthday (which was last week). I was homeless for a while – living in my car for about six months. I was at a flea market with a friend, and I didn’t even have any money to buy this tarot deck, but they bought it for me. They were like, “This is gonna change things for you.” So I was like, “OK – I’m not really sure, but OK.”
It was the Toth tarot deck, so I brought it home, and I wasn’t even sure if even all the cards were going to be in there. Because you know when you get something at a flea market, sometimes there’s missing pieces. Every single card was there, including the alternate cards that are in that deck as well – with the booklet. That was 10 years ago, yeah. I did a spread for myself – the Celtic cross.
The first card that I pulled for the centre of the cross was the Queen of Swords.
In that particular deck, the image of her is kind of holding a sword in one hand, and holding a lion’s mask – but it also looks like the head of a man – in the other hand. She looks tired, and just tired of bullshit – is kind of what it looks like to me. That started my journey to coming out of that addiction and coming out of that space. And in three months I’ll have 10 years of sobriety. I’ve come a long way.
I’ve completely changed everything about my life, including where I find my spirituality – and that is here. The Queen of Swords is very near and dear to my heart.
I would tell my younger self that there are unseen allies. There are unseen allies that follow you in the spirit world. And they are there for you, and you can call upon them when you need them.
Just that she’s a good energy to bring in when you need to cut away the bullshit, or hack it away – just chop it off: to find clarity, and to find truth, and to honour your emotions in that as well.
I think a queer tarot deck is important because the more that we see ourselves in the tools that we use to create magic the more powerful it becomes, in my mind. I hope to see fat femme beings in the work that I do, and to honour those bodies in that work that I do and in that magic.
Femme for me means embracing the feminine aspects of my personhood. It doesn’t relate to my genitals or my body. It embodies a softness, a fierceness, a caring and loving and powerful feminine energy.