tarot decks are almost completely white-washed (and what you can do about it)

to quote a tweet i saw today, “racism isn’t a touchy topic if you’re not a fucking racist.” – @bneura_

so, to be perfectly clear, i don’t think that tarot deck creators are inherently racist, they are simply unaware of how uninclusive they are, and the impact that their uninclusiveness has on the magickal and divinatory community.

how many tarot decks can you name off the top of your head that you for sure know are inclusive of multiple ethnicities?

here are mine (in no specific order):

but then, i was thinking, wow, every time i see someone post a spread or reading, or some new deck comes out and i’m gushing over how beautiful or unique the illustrations are….where are the people of color in those decks?

for the last 6 months or so, i’ve made a concerted effort to only purchase decks that are ethnically inclusive, with two exceptions (one was a deck i pre-ordered before i made that conscious choice, and which i just received today; the other was one i impulse-purchased on a payday a couple months ago and i have no excuse, i just did it. there it is).

but, in case you’re like me and really really want to make all the small changes and actions you can in order to affect larger changes now, but that are also long-lasting, and create massive social changes for us all, consider any of the previously named decks, but also any of these, which i found after doing some extensive digging:

and i am sure there are more i have missed. if you have suggestions, this list is sure to be ever-growing.

there were others i did not include on this list because i find they were definitely out of print, and, therefore didn’t want to send you down a rabbithole that you may never find an opening. i’m happy to start a list that is inclusive of those decks that are out of print, in case anyone wants to find them elsewhere, such as ebay.

anyway, if you are considering purchasing a new or used tarot deck, please consider supporting creators that are people of color and decks that are inclusive of people of color.

you could also consider getting in touch with the illustrators, creators, and publishers of some of the decks you love and encourage them to release updated and more inclusive versions upon subsequent editions and publishing.

3 ways to unblock your intuitive abilities

many of us are drawn to witchy shit and the occult because it is a heavily intuitive practice. its built around that innate sense of ‘i just know’ that some people have.

i drive my husband crazy when we watch shows or movies and within 10 minutes of something starting i’ll say ‘he’s the bad guy’ even though there’s no way anyone knows that yet. i just know. (or its a poorly written plot with formulaic acting lol)

but others come into it not really knowing how to use intuition, how to even access it, or make it stronger, to enhance their magick or psychic abilities.

its my belief that all humans have a strong intuitive core within them. i don’t care how unmagickal you think you are, or how unintuitive you think you are, its there. the electricity is running to the house, but maybe you just turned the switch off and disconnected the power while you were out of town.

unblocking your intuition can take some time, and let me tell you, it can be hard. it can frustrate you. you can feel defeated when it doesn’t automatically work.

but never, ever, ever try to force it. it will come when it comes and when you are ready and open. it is in fact when you stop trying and just surrender that it tends to come on the strongest.

but, if you doubt yourself, then it will never come. self-doubt is a killer. so start believing that you’re super magickal and beautiful and wonderful and intuitive, ’cause you are!

all of the suggested techniques i’ll mention here are just suggestions, and you may find other ways that work better for you. run with those. we’re all different and we all require varying types and amounts of stimulation to our intuitive core.

meditation

i would be remiss if i wrote a post about unblocking intuition and didn’t start with meditation. in a way, all of these tips or tricks i’ll suggest involve varying degrees of meditative practice. but actual focused and concentrated meditation is really a prerequisite to being able to access your intuition whenever you want (or whenever it strikes you).

when i first started meditating as a young witch, i really struggled. i’ll be real – it was hard to focus, and that was before social media existed or cell phones with screens, even. i mean, there’s nothing distracting about a 90s verizon flip phone that only has ‘Snake’ on it, you know?

yet i still struggled to consciously control my thoughts because i was stuck in a cycle of feeling like a victim, holding grudges, insecurity, and other negative and self-limiting beliefs. these ruled my conscious and unconscious thoughts.

it wasn’t until i was much older (like maybe even last tuesday, jk) that i reached a point in life that i no longer held myself back that way.

and that is a super critical point i want to make about meditation. you will be largely unsuccessful at meditating if you are constantly thinking about everyone else and their opinions.

until you can separate yourself and take responsibility for 100% of your situation, thoughts, actions, behaviors, and path, you will struggle to reach a state of mental calm. once you are in control, however, it will be significantly easier for you.

the best tip i can give you for reaching a state of mental calm during meditation is to put on a background noise (i like forest sounds, or a bubbling brook, birds chirping, etc) to drown out life around you. then close your eyes, sit or lie down, and open your palms upward.

i like to hold a crystal – clear quartz, green calcite, or fluorite all work very well for me, but experiment to find what is particularly successful for you – in my dominant hand. i picture the energy of the crystal as a glowing orb. the orb grows larger and larger, and i picture its energy flowing up my arm.

at that point, i picture it shooting an arc of its energy into my other empty palm. i will focus on this visualization until i actually feel the energy hitting that palm (it will tingle and start to feel very warm).

during this entire process, i am constantly checking my wayward brain. as soon as my thoughts begin to drift to something else, i bring them right back to the glowing orb in my hand. this may happen every other second for you initially. its okay if that’s the case, you have to train your brain to do this and it could take many days, weeks, or months before you can consistently accomplish this visualization.

there is a delicate balance between being in control of your mind, but also relinquishing control to intuitive abilities that want to come through.

from there, usually by that point, i am relaxed, my mind is prepped and ready, and i can fall deeper, opening what we refer to as my third eye chakra, and let images, colors, shapes, and scenes flow in as they will.

sometimes i see only colors, but other times, i see full pictures of a location or object, an outline of a person, or a symbol.

here’s where intuition comes in: when you begin to see these things in your mind without provoking them, what is the first impression or thought that comes to mind? what just ‘pops into your mind’, even if it seems completely unrelated or irrelevant?

i’ll give you an example: last week during meditation, an image of a wall with pictures and knick nacks hung on it poppped up and, even though it wasn’t my parents exact wall in their house, or even anything that looked like their wall, my immediate thought was ‘mom and dad.’ i called them immediately to check on them after meditating, just to make sure everything was okay (i had been a negligent daughter and hadn’t spoken to them in weeks and i think this was nagging at my unconscious mind!).

the take away here is pick a visualization exercise and practice it frequently until you can regularly perform it with your mind in full control. this will help you unlock intuitive abilities easier than anything else i have found. the more you just let intuition happen, the more it will happen.

tarot or oracle card stories

this is actually a fun and interactive way to develop your intuition, particularly if you have a goal of getting better at tarot or oracle card readings.

so, if you’ve got a tarot deck or two, you’ve probably got a book or 7 about reading tarot cards. some of them are probably even very good. but the good ones will be up front about the fact that tarot needs to be interpreted in the context of the querant.

so no one interpretation will suffice for everyone using a particular deck, let alone a particular card.

grab your deck and randomly select 5-10 cards. you can do this by just pulling them out randomly, or by shuffling through and picking some that call to you for whatever reason. maybe its the image, the color, the feel, anything.

lay them out face up in front of you.

grab a notebook and something to write with and start writing the story told by the cards.

card one is the main character and where he/she begins their journey. describe where they are, who they are, how they feel, what is their challenge, etc all from looking at the card. you’ll do this by picking out details but also by what strikes you first.

when you look at that card, what is the first thing you think of? is there a dominant color that resonates with an emotion to you? what is in the background that you notice? is the character’s face expressing something? which way are they facing? are they in motion or still? write down every single thing you can about the scene – but do not look up the meaning in whatever book you have. this is irrelevant to this exercise.

once you have finished your character description and written down where the story begins, move on to the next card and continue the plot. you can choose if each new card represents a new character, or simply a new experience that the same main character goes through.

once you get through all the cards, you will find that you intuitively began to tap into another sense, rather than looking up definitions and meanings, you began to just interpret the images and symbols you saw based on how you felt and your own perspective. feels good, right?

you can also do a similar exercise with a daily card. draw a card and before you look up the meaning, write down what you think or feel it means. follow the same steps as above for identifying your initial reaction and thoughts, then picking apart symbols, background elements you hadn’t noticed, colors, and so forth.

compare your interpretation to the book interp. chances are, you’ll have some things in common, which is a sign that you’re tapping into intuition, but even the things you don’t have in common aren’t necessarily wrong. remember that tarot is interpreted in context, which is your context. not the context of whoever wrote the book.

ask yourself what you need

great, something vague. but wait, hear me out.

i recently had a convo about how i used to just grind and push, in life, in the gym, at work, etc. i was a machine. it was partly my job because i owned a gym at the time, so i kinda needed to walk the walk. but it was also the perfect way to burn out – both physically and mentally.

and then i got really sick for about a year because i got exposed to toxic mold. i knew how to heal myself because i’ve dealt with this as a clinician with patients who have gone through it, but made it no less hard.

during this time was when i began to find my intuition grow stronger. i started asking myself what i needed. so here are some questions to ask yourself daily or weekly and listen to the first answer that pops into your mind:

  • how do i need to move today?
  • what foods does my body want today?
  • what task can i clear off my list right now that would make me feel less stressed?
  • is there someone that is poking at the edges of my conscious? why? what is unresolved here?
  • what questions are constantly on my mind? (hint: write these down)
  • is my body or mind asking for something (an urge to spend time outdoors, get sunshine, go to the gym, play with your kids, clean out your overstuffed closet, etc)?
  • when i wake up, what is the first thing my mind goes to? (hint: write this down)
  • why am i drawn to a certain color in my wardrobe today?
  • what is my favorite song right now?
  • why do i like certain images on social media? (inspiration, desire, envy, etc)

and any other questions you can think of. start asking. write down or take note of immediate answers your mind provides. these are usually heavily intuitive, and, even if they’re painful to admit, they’re usually correct. there are no wrong answers, there are just intuitive answers.

have you found a particularly effective way of training and building intuition? share it!

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