This week I submitted a story for the Lovers at Beth Maiden’s Queer Tarot Project. The Lovers are one of those cards that needed a complete reinterpretation a few years ago as a result of major shifts in my life. My lifestyle, spiritual practice, relationships, my beliefs, none of them matched up with my old visioning of the Lovers.
Rather than throw out the traditional images altogether, I found myself focusing on entirely different symbols. Instead of honing in on the obvious duality of normative gender expression in traditional representations of the card, I found my attention drawn to the third figure hovering above the twins. This figure seemed to be the harbinger of higher consciousness, the messenger of the divine. A detail I’d gone years without noticing, suddenly became a big deal. I won’t go on about it here since I’ve already ranted about it in my tarotscope for Taurus last April. Suffice to say, the choice in the Lovers became bigger than the love in the Lovers.
When I see the Lovers now, I think of three things: mirroring, manifestation, and choice. Mirroring in the sense of communication, connection, or the harmony of the Gemini twins. Manifestation in the sense that all of reality is the mirror image of the divine and also of ourselves. We create our lovers by creating mental constructs of them, just as all that exists is a construction of highest consciousness or reality. Choice is more straightforward but will vary depending on how it is expressed: consciously or unconsciously. Choice is the vehicle for the other two. We choose and we create our reality. We choose and we connect with others.
I first heard of Beth Maiden’s Queer Tarot Project several years ago during a conversation with Lee Harrington. I had confessed that I write and he encouraged me to submit my work as often as possible and let it be seen. I was at a point where I was unable to face even the the most moderate challenges; only just beginning to unclench the vise grip of anxiety on my life. I believed all the worst things: that my work would never be published because it wasn’t good enough, because it is too scary to be seen, because I am an odd black female. The list went on.
Queer Tarot Project:
A compilation of Queer Tarot Stories
By the time I stumbled on the Queer Tarot Project for myself, I had already disproven many of the beliefs that paralyzed me years ago. As I wrote the piece it struck me that it was a bit unusual when compared with the other submissions. I wondered if I belonged. Even at my most extroverted, I have a habit of drifting in and out of communities, no matter how dear they become to me and no matter how much they feel like home. This means that I’m reluctant to claim the identities associated with those communities. There’s a rulebook somewhere I’m sure of it, that says you need to show up consistently to belong anywhere. Right?
I wrote the piece anyway. Hit submit. Looked at the list of things I swore I would never do, back when I didn’t understand the transformative nature of risk, and noticed the list is getting shorter every year. So what if I confess more than I’m used to in public and it still creeps me out? Lee was onto something big, being seen is worth it. I’ll show up my way, the universe mirrors my showing up, and who knows what I’ll manifest. The energy of the Lovers is reflected into infinity in spite of me. I’ll rewrite the rule book on belonging later.