By Anne Sophie Parsons
Tarot cards have been used in the art of divination for thousands of years now – the Major Arcana combines recognisable imagery and seers have used the pictured persons and elements to foresee life-changing acts and situations to come. But how might a specifically rainbow-flavoured version of the card deck look like…
Having your future predicted through tarot cards relies on the problems, emotions and self-perception, which you bring into the mix; Each telling is unique as a result. Taking direct inspiration from this fact, we’ve created a unique interpretation of the well-known deck – now a bit more LGBTI+ oriented.
- The Drag Queen [The Magician]
You brim with creativity and the desire to share a fabulous inner world with others – just remind yourself not to get discouraged down the line by people who don’t understand what you’re all about!
The Drag Queen Card symbolises will-power, creativity and achieving your big colourful dreams; in reverse, it symbolises the extent you are willing to go and what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve your goal.
- The Closet [The High Priestess]
A closet can both be opened and closed – and all depending on where you are in life, it can be perceived differently as both a source of strength or weakness. Coming out and finding acceptance are the key elements; balancing your sexuality and gender identity against staying safe and protected is a continuous balancing act.
The Closet Card symbolises trusting your gut feelings, embracing yourself and finding peace in your identity; in reverse, the card symbolises not taking action and repressing your feelings.
- The Botanist [The Empress]
Nurturing your own mental health and the positive relations in your life is of the utmost importance – The Botanist reminds you that taking the time to take care of yourself, but also investing energy in loved ones is an interconnected natural cycle, which makes you stronger in the end. You reap what you sow.
The Botanist Card symbolises fertility and nurturing – be this in a personal context or with the opportunities you create for yourself with relationships and in your work life. In reverse, it symbolises not daring to take risks and being restrictively co-dependent on the bonds established.
- The Rebel [The Emperor]
Embrace being a rebel! Being true to yourself, standing up for your own beliefs and persevering in the face of fear is the Rebel’s admirable qualities. You command respect by expressing who you are and how you want to present yourself – but just also remember to stay in contact with your own emotions as a lone wolf.
The Rebel Card symbolises taking control of your own life, authority and respect; in reverse, it symbolises aloofness and being single-minded.
- The Town [The Hierophant]
Towns both include and expel – all depending on the idea of normativity. Institutions, traditions, society and its stifling rules are represented in this card. It all depends on the eyes that see, though: Turned upside-down, it’s like looking up at the sky and all its endless freedom instead.
The Town Card symbolises society and the institutions we grow up with; confining heteronormative structures, but also fixed notions and understandings of human life and expressions. In reverse, it represents being ambitious, breaking taboos and thinking outside the box.
- Sexuality [The Lovers]
Being drawn to someone or something, intimacy, sexual union and celebrating a connection or interest – the Sexuality card centres pleasures of life’s gifts at the forefront – with all of the joy that brings.
The Sexuality Card symbolises love, pleasure and support; in reverse it symbolises disharmony, indecision and lack of lust for life.
- The Parade [The Chariot]
With a movement having your back, there’s no end to where we can go together. The Parade card is about overcoming obstacles and forward movement, achieving goals and not being alone in the fight for justice and equality. When you exude confidence, nothing can beat you down.
The Parade Card symbolises dealing with challenges, being in control and having pride; in reverse, it symbolises opposition and lack of control.
- Equality [Justice]
Equality for all – no matter sex, race, identity or way of expressing yourself. Ethics and legal systems are tied to this card – it also encourages us to think carefully about what we project into our world and what injustice is at its core.
The Equality Card symbolises accountability, consequence and interconnectedness; in reverse, it symbolises unfairness and corruption.
- The Lonely Heart [The Hermit]
Searching your soul when you are alone is no easy feat; the Lonely Heart card shows both the pretty and ugly sides of being on your own. Finding inner strength on your own can be hard: Dating-life is an obstacle in itself and can feel excruciating when you’re all on your lonesome. But at its core, the card also beats out an incessant message: It gets better.
The Lonely Heart Card symbolises cultivating your own sense of being in your own company. In reverse, it symbolises loneliness, isolation and being overcome by fear as someone as a person with a minority identity.
- The Hour Glass [Wheel of Fortune]
The ebb and flow of time is out of your hands – all you can do is leave your mark the best way you know how. Juridical restrictions and confining laws in the context of the LGBTI+ community have been witnessed over the passage of time – but nothing is to say that it won’t shift towards a more positive context with continuous activism and community-building. As a grain of sand, you are exposed to surprising offers and new opportunities.
The Hour Glass Card symbolises change and decisive moments; in reverse, it symbolises unwelcome changes and delays.
- The Bull [Strength]
Dismantle toxic masculinity! Rigid gender roles are overturned and challenged with this card – the Bull Card reminds us of that.
The Bull Card symbolises embracing all sides of yourself, compassion and bravery; in reverse, it symbolises self-doubt, weakness and low confidence.
- The Kinkster [The Hanged Man]
The Kinkster inspires you to explore your own boundaries – firmly with your own comfort as first priority. Creative ways of expressing and enjoying yourself might surface if you take a gamble now and then when it comes to investigating self-expression.
The Kinkster Card symbolises curiosity, open-mindedness and taking chances; in reverse, it symbolises feeling emotionally constrained and procrastination.
- The House [Death]
One major phase in your life is ending, and a new one is going to start. You just need to close one door, so a new one will open. Surround yourself with a support group – be they chosen family or not – and you will find the strength to persevere and overcome obstacles in your path.
The House symbolises the sense of belonging in a close-knit community and the power of transformation; in reverse, it symbolises repeating negative patterns and fear of change.
- Intersectionality [Temperance]
Cooperation and finding solutions to conflicts and problems within the LGBTI+ community ain’t no walk in the park – but the Intersectionality card emphasises the importance of working together and seeing a number of perspectives represented – be it in the community, in your family, in the workplace, or with friends and lovers.
The Intersectionality Card symbolises balance, moderation and problem solving; in reverse, it emphasises discord and abruptness in life situations.
- The Missing Mirror Reflection [The Devil]
Representation matters – not seeing your identity or life experiences reflected in the media or in your daily interactions can have devastating effects on your own self-perception. Depression and stress as results shapes a negative circle, feeding into a notion of feeling out of control.
The Missing Mirror Reflection Card symbolises a sense of loss and negative thinking; in reverse, it symbolises independence and reclaiming power, pushing away a negative self-image.
- The Tumbling House of Cards [The Tower]
Painful processes, uprooting everything and personal loss also signifies the possibility of a fresh start. The Tumbling House of Cards is all about devastation – but by letting go and surviving difficult times, the cards show that parting with potential toxic relationships and self-esteem issues, you can pave the way to build yourself up again from scratch – just like a house of cards.
The card symbolises strife and a negative unexpected turn of events; in reverse, it symbolises a narrow escape and facing the music in your life.
- The Triangles [The Star]
The Triangles signify dark chapters in the past and the damage we carry with us from them – but their pointed tips can point towards better times, never accepting the hardships as the final answers. From painful events, you can build up a stronger version of your sense of self and your community – but never forgetting the lessons from times before.
The Triangles Card symbolises hope and healing; in reverse, it symbolises despair and lack of hope.
- Shame [The Moon]
Fear and anxiety can cloud your mind when you feel ashamed of your identity – they strain your mental capacities; reactions to unpleasant situations must be tackled in a constructive manner to gain a more stabilised frame of mind.
The Shame Card symbolises uncertainty, confusion and complexity; in reverse, it symbolises overcoming fear, conquering anxiety and reaching a better mental space.
- Power [The Sun]
I’ve got the power! A sense of inner peace and positive energy create the fundament for you to achieve your very best version – putting yourself out there can be strenuous, though, so be mindful of hateful remarks and negative vibes, which may follow in its wake.
The Power Card symbolises happiness, success and optimism; in reverse, it symbolises conceitedness and unrealistic expectations.
- The Voice Within [Judgement]
Self-reflection is connected with a period of awakening; if this is in your understanding of your own gender identity or in terms of your sexuality, the Voice Within card focuses on your inner emotional landscape: coming to terms and finding inner peace in your own truths can be a bumpy road – remember to be gentle with yourself on your journey.
The Voice Within Card symbolises awakening and reflection about yourself; in reverse, it symbolises self-doubt and failure to learn lessons.
- Emancipation [The World]
The inner and the outer worlds – self and other – meet and combine through the Emancipation card. It’s about recognising that you might have been defined by a normative society or perceptions – but through the idea of emancipation, you can reach the mental place that is yours alone and which feels just right. One way of achieving a balanced sense of self is through giving back to the world, in the degree which suits and reflects you – you can share what you have learned from going through both bad and good times and how it has shaped the person you are today.
The Emancipation Card symbolises unity and completion; in reverse, it symbolises incompletion and emptiness.
The artwork in this article is created by Queer Tarot Cards. Telling the stories of Queer people through tarot cards, the project aims to bring tarot and it’s stories to life for the LGBTI+ community by using the base interpretations of traditional tarot, but removing the filter of specific gender, or cis white representation to make the tarot stories inclusive and diverse. Flossy, the photographer behind the vision of the Queer Tarot Cards, is a geeky queer witch hailing from New Zealand. Tarot started as a storytelling medium, so following their ancestral heritage of the Seanchaí, the Irish storyteller, they started capturing stories of queers, LGBTI+ minorities, and their spirituality in April 2017.
To see the full set and read more about the project, visit them on www.queertarot.cards.com or Instagram @queer_tarot_cards