Fueling Social Justice Work with Tarot

Tarot will only ever be a side-project for me. I may have mentioned that here before, but now I feel ready to talk about why.

I feel called to protect the environment. This is a deep calling, and one that I can remember feeling even as a child. And it’s more needed now than ever before – climate change is an imminent threat, and we need people who understand the science of the environment and who also understand the way policy is made to work for solutions. This is challenging work, and work I am extremely dedicated to.

Environmental activism is at an intriguing intersection. We all need clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and a climate that supports our food system and our lives. Too often, communities of color and other marginalized people have to disproportionately bear the burden of pollution. To fight for the environment is to fight for a livable future. In my activism, I know it’s essential to dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism and poison our land and water.

And just like any justice work, it demands a lot of perseverance and strategy.

But why, if I have such an intense calling elsewhere, am I moving forward with this project?

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Image: The sun peeks through clouds over a beaver pond and the northwoods forest.

Tarot and my spiritual practice are essential tools for me to tap in to my spirit and keep fighting. Tarot has become an essential part of my self care, and I’m at a point in my practice where I want to share my knowledge with others.

When I am doing daily draws, I typically do two-card draws. Energy and Action. Energy helps me understand where I’m at, what lies within me that I need to understand to move through my day. Action tells me what actions I can take to tap into that inner energy if it’s positive, or how to turn it around if it’s negative.

How does this relate to my work for justice?

It helps me understand when my justice needs to be external and when it needs to be internal. What that means is that sometimes I feel like a star, shining bright and able to give energy to the fight. And sometimes the cards tell me to slow down, to replenish my internal energy so that I can continue to work.

Self-care is important for everyone, but I believe it’s especially important for people whose calling is to fight for a better world. When you’re putting your energy into fighting the inertia of injustice, you’re using a lot of yourself. And this is not an easy fight – especially if you’re in it for the long haul. And so it’s important to check in on yourself daily. It’s important to monitor that energy.

It’s important not to lose yourself in the fight.

Let your witchy rituals bring you back to yourself. Let your intuition guide you.

Sometimes, it’s not always clear what’s next on your path to justice. Sometimes, you need a little extra guidance – a message from your intuition. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants, or a sharp refocusing of your energy. I know my cards have given that to me many times over the years.

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Image: Taken at the 2013 Forward on Climate Rally, protesters congregate on the lawn of the Washington Monument in DC. Two hold up a banner that reads “Minnesotans for Climate Justice”

Sometimes when you’re in the movement, and you’re feeling stuck or uninspired or burned out, you need to look inward to find direction. Direction for your work. Direction for your campaign. Even just a sense of whether or not you’re on the right path, or need to change your strategy.

Tarot is here for that too.

Any time you have a question about your career, or about where you’re headed, tarot is here. You get out of it what you put in to it. Symbols matter, and our interpretation of these symbols is critical. It can reveal so much about us, where we are and where we want to go. And when you’re fighting against the system of oppression? When you’re not sure what a future looks like, only that you want it to be better? You need to harness all of the tools at your disposal.

This isn’t purely rational. This is a deep, gut feeling. And the tarot is here to help you figure out what your gut is telling you.

We need all the resources we’ve got to sustain this fight and win a better future. Why not tap into our intuition?


3 comments

  1. March 28, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Two thoughts:

    1) Did you read Andi Grace’s post on Little Red Tarot, “Eight magical skills for letting go of dying relationships”? http://littleredtarot.com/174405408-2/ A lot of those skills are good self-care skills in general.

    2) The last panel in Paganicon last weekend was on magic, justice, and life: perspectives on how we use our magic and power to fuel our social justice work. It was along the same lines as this post (maybe a few more altars, which I want ;)). We have to have good ways to take care of ourselves when we do this work. And Tarot is absolutely one of them.

    Reply
    1. March 29, 2016 at 7:50 am

      I loved that post by Andi Grace! It was so beautifully written. I wish I could have sat in on that panel! It sounds fantastic.

      I’m definitely going to be exploring these themes a lot more here on the blog – a lot of the people I know who are potential clients would be really interested in incorporating intuition into their activism. But I still need to explore that for myself too!

      More and more, tarot and other witchy practices feel like a more integrated part of my life.

      Reply

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