Tarot is for everyone. There are no demographics that cannot access the divination system thatis represented by tarot cards. One benefit of Tarot is its ability to provide a client with insight into who they are, what makes them tick, and how they influence the world around them. This knowledge is something that everyone needs to access at some point or another. LGBTQ+ people often undergo a process of coming out that involves emotional vulnerability and honesty with friends, family, and even total strangers, that can be hard to approach even at the best of times.
In contemporary circles we are seeing a freedom of exploration, in identity, self acknowledgment, and personal presentation. The following cards take this into consideration and present ten updated Tarot cards for those in the LGBTQ+ community that can be used in either personal medication, spell-casting, journal prompts, or simply something to note in a reading.
Seven of Swords, this card depicts a person stealthily escaping a village or encampment scenario and many attribute this card to outsider status. The LGBTQ+ person has a long history on the fringes of society so this card can hold special significance for a person struggling to find their way in the world. Often, when I talk about this card I also talk about the fact that the figure depicted in it may be voluntarily walking away from a society/group of people that do not meet this person's best needs. One train of thought that I have is that this card can be a very empowering card, often indicating that the person getting the reading does not need an outside permission to walk away. The realization of an LGBTQ+ person that they do not need outside validation to live their life can be nerve wracking yet freeing all at once.
Judgment, following the trend of individuation, the Judgment card is one that all but demands a person pay attention to their inner self. The card is often seen as a call to act or complete something while for some of my clients, it has been a card that reminds them that they, as LGBTQ+ people, have their own beat to dance to and must honor that in their lives. How they honor their identity is private and unique to the person but when the Judgment card appears it is often a sign that their identity plays a larger part in the reading than they thought previously.
Six of Wands, as a symbol of LGBTQ+ identity is one that centers around pride. People often ask us why do we have pride if our sexual orientations are something that are innate? In the Six of Wands we find the answer. Pride is about facing the world with a strong sense of self and holding that standard above all else, about honoring the sacrifices that have come before us to build our communities. This card is important when it comes up in readings because it can convey messages of empowerment or provide solutions that the client can take away from the reading into their daily lives.
Temperance, in all things there must be a balance. Temperance endeavors to teach us about our identities and how they influence us on a personal and public level. Often, we have a public self that we put out in the world and one that we hold to ourselves. LGBTQ+ person often have to reconcile their identity and go through a coming out process in order to truly be who they are. As a card this will encourage honesty with themselves and those around them, even if it proves difficult. What matters here is finding a balance. Living for others or living for ourselves? It cannot be one or the other. It can, however, be both.
Two of Cups, one of the most important things that LGBTQ+ people have is community. It can be easy to fall in love with people easily, and when we first find ourselves and our community, this is no exception. Falling in love with a community is an odd thing. It's like finding friends, family, and lovers all at once. Many people will explore their community and find both friends and romance. The Two of Cups is a good card to represent this as it encompasses both the community on an amicable level and romantic one. In readings this could indicate that the person is just now getting to explore their community, make those emotional connections, and reach out to others.
Page of Cups, I think that as LGBTQ+ individuals, we know how hard things can be for us, whether it is in love, life, or internal struggles. We have unique problems that we can sometimes wish to escape. In the Page of Cups, I see a need for love and acceptance, yes; but also a dose of reality. Until the Page of Cups has come to terms with who they themselves are, it will be that much harder for them to accept that same love and support from others. The Page of Cups becomes less about people as an external force and more about the individual need to their awesome sauce self and do what they need to do in this life.
Ace of Cups, as a gift or a moment of emotional clarity, identity need not be defined to be understood. Knowing that you are LGBTQ+ (I use Queer but not everyone does) is an accomplishment in and of itself. Make no mistake, there is no ticking time clock that says you must be able to identify to the nth degree what you are, inside and out. The Ace of Cups is an invitation to explore the depth of oneself and know that within them they are valid. Often, in working with our identity there is a sense of "Is this okay? Can I be this?" and more often than not, it is. But affirmation is everything. Identity, as most LGBTQ+ people know, is incredibly fluid and will often change. When this card appears it is both a sign that you're doing what you need to do right now but also that you needn't stress over the changes you're noticing right now. It's gonna be alright.
The Tower, one of the cards with the worst reputation, I borrow the meaning from the Gay Tarot, where they equate the Tower with the coming out process. An apt description. Coming out as an LGBTQ+ person is an ongoing and never ending process. There is not just one instance where a person comes out, there are hundreds, thousands that happen over their lifetimes. From discussing holiday plans at work or school, to celebrating birthdays out in public, or even going out on small dates. Everyone will be a witness to that coming out. From these moments, these declarations of self on the world, we build our kingdom; one building block at a time.
The Fool, because there is always a moment that inspires us forward. For me, it was my parents finding out that I was gay purely on accident. I had no intention of telling them but like all stories, it had to start somewhere. I would have been content to sit in the closet but then some dwarves showed up with a wizard and well...wait,wrong story. Same concept though. I was stubborn and didn't want to venture out of what I had come to now. Boy, am I glad that I got over that. While some people may not be ready to come out, and that's okay, when you are ready it can both terrifying and liberating to see this card come up in a reading. This card asks for an honest assessment of self. Why have you remained closeted? Do you want to come out? What is standing on the other side could be something that you want more.
Ten of Cups, finally the last card is one that speaks of emotional contentment. This is not achieved overnight. In my personal case, I am still finding that my identity, and therefore my perceptions continue to evolve and grow as I walk through life. Not to say that they change drastically from one moment to the next but every moment I live fully and honestly influences and adds to my sense of self and how I process in the world. The Ten of Cups in a reading is not so much an outcome card as a goal card. One that we all strive toward. LGBTQ+ persons have a unique relationship with emotional awareness and cognitive dissonance. We can use this as a continuous tool to further our understanding of each other, ourselves, and the way in which our LGBTQ+ identities influence the world around us. Because, I think most importantly, this card lets us really know that we have an effect and genuine impact on the circles in which we operate when we come from a place of vulnerability, radical softness, strong independence, and the commitment to progress on all fronts.
In looking at these cards, I hope that these interpretations add some fun to your readings. These interpretations are my own and ones that I have come to associate with LGBTQ+ personhood only after some deep thought and consideration on what it is that we go through. You are free to create your own connections as there are many roads in Tarot as there are people who come for a reading.