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Leona Nichole

Tarot For The Mother Tongue I’ll Never Know

I felt the call to practice tarot about two years ago. It wasn’t a dramatic spiritual experience with uncanny signs and confirmation from mystics. It was as mundane as love. I simply found, watching others, that I loved it. That love grew and took up so much room in my heart that I gifted myself my first set of cards for my 29th birthday. I’ll impose some magic on the story now by saying in the esoteric study of numbers 29 reduces to 11 – a master number. Eleven for me depicts the two pillars of a doorway; and that year was my spiritual initiation. My first deck, which I loved, was the very white Witches Tarot. Having spent years studying Black Diasporas and Black Atlantic Culture, I was predictably vocal in saying for images meant to represent the broad archetypes of the human experience, tarot decks were in the majority, ubiquitously white. This did not matter just because I wanted to see characters that looked like me, (which is an independently valid reason), but because the absence feeds the hierarchies of power: race-gender-class-sexuality etc. Caste systems do not belong in our private otherworldly spaces. Not in the deep sensitivity

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