Tarot & Cultural Appropriation

I have loved tarot for many years. From my first deck, which was the Haindl tarot, to my latest deck, This Might Hurt, I have been reading cards (for myself and the rare friend) for over 20 years.

But I’ve recently I’ve learned that despite potentially being invented as an Italian card game, the Arcana system and formula for reading a traditional deck is considered to be a closed Romani practice developed by them and one in which the Romani people have faced a lot of prejudice around. Google searches and books may tend to tell us otherwise if we only scratch the surface, but that doesn’t make that information accurate. Romani culture has long been diasporic because of persecution, thus their history tends to be oral. And while the western European narrative prioritizes the written word as fact; we must remember that the written narrative is always written by those in power. There is a need to go beyond the first few hits or the white centric books published on the issue to get to the heart of the discussion.

Continue reading →

2nd Decan of Virgo: 9 of Pentacles

Before I start thinking about what this phase looks like… some general context:

Astrological houses are divided into 3 decans per sign:

1st decan = 0-10° and is ruled by the sign the decan finds itself in. So for example, since I’m a Capricorn, I’ll use Capricorn. The first decan of Capricorn is Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.

2nd decan = 11-20° The 2nd decan of a sign is ruled by the next elemental sign. So the 2nd decan of Capricorn is ruled by Taurus and Venus.

3rd decan = 21-30° The 3rd decan is ruled by the remaining elemental sign. The 3rd decan of Capricorn is ruled by Virgo and Mercury.

Continue reading →

8 of Swords: Comparing Thoth & Rider Waite Tarot Systems

For most of the years I’ve read tarot, I’ve read from decks based on the Thoth tarot deck. My first deck was the Haindl tarot (shown in the image below: bottom left), which was a gift from a dear friend on my 22nd birthday. I’d been mulling over decks for ages, trying to find a deck that spoke to me and initially the Rider Waite deck just didn’t do it for me. It felt too cartoonish and monocultural. I didn’t enjoy the Christian undertones in the imagery and just generally didn’t dig it. So when I found the Haindl deck, I was excited because it picked up on themes from around the world. It wasn’t just a bunch of white folks and Christian iconography. Even back then these things were really important to me and honestly, not something that you found in a lot of decks in the 90s. At least not the ones I had access to.

Continue reading →


Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hands be for happiness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.
~Khalil Gibran

Once upon a time, a few years back, I participated in a classroom conversation about Wicca. Or rather, I should say, I watched others present and was there to help answer questions. When it came out that I was a mother, this immediately turned the student gaze towards me as they asked about how I was raising my child and what I would teach him to believe.

Continue reading →