Fat Tarot | The witchy fat body: Releasing the Magician and the Moon


Tarot is an embodied experience.

It occupies a space that ignores the split between body and mind. It doesn’t stop at the contour; it doesn’t linger on the surface of the skin. It is the skin. It is the depth. It is the lightness. It’s the heaviness that ground us. It’s the feather that dances in our legs. I like to bring tarot to the water. I often have a bath with a card in mind. Or cards appear to me during bath time meditation. Tarot is in the caress of the water. It’s the passion I can feel in my lower belly and sometimes in my shivering clitoris when I touch a card that I need to draw. Tarot is made of parts of us. It’s been integrated into my body since I held my first deck. It keeps drawing new paths in my nerves, between my neurons, and between my body and my environment.

Tarot is no mere mirror of the soul, it is a total experience. In my fat body, it is not possible to dissociate fat from the rest. It’s always there, although it doesn’t make the whole story. My body is fat. Yet, it’s so much more. It is more than what social norms attempt to reduce a fat body to. Sometimes there’s a bit of ‘cliché’ in a personal experience. As much as I try to dismiss clichés working as regulatory norms on fat bodies in general, I sometimes embrace the cliché on a personal level.


Throughout this month, I will be sharing with you the special bonds I have with some cards.

This is part of a poetic photo series I made with my friend Alice Impellizzeri, a photographer and director. In May, the Fat Tarot series will be a weekly column: short texts, inspired by tarot cards or readings, along with the photographs. What a perfect month, it’s starting will Beltane and it will close with my birthday!

It is hard to breathe
Coughing
Spitting
It’s hard to decipher
What’s going on
Hard to see
What’s trying to break free

Asthma started with dissatisfaction
It started with people who act like shit
And get rewards for their contributions
To Goddess knows what
A profound sense of injustice
Frustration
But I witnessed it
I took it in
And I had to remain silent
Out of loyalty
Because there’s so many fights to be led
One mustn’t waste time criticizing
Right…
Bitterness developed
It tasted like blood
The blood I spit

Bitterness
The Magician knows too much
She makes plans
She owns the nightmares
Everything seems possible
Yet, she doesn’t know a viable way out
She knows options
Every single one of them
Not how to make them come true

She knows money ties one down to a situation
She knows honesty must be handled with care
And care is mostly a feminist buzzword

The moonlight exposes all the ugly truths
It reveals everything people try to hide
The Moon
The conjunction of her harsh reality
And The Magician’s potential
Doesn’t turn into a call for action
It turns into a greenish secretion
Out of breath
Out of options
Everything is still
Bitterness
Stillness
Allergies

I’m allergic to the world
I’m still
Full of potential
Too gutted to act
Disillusioned
Because illusions gets shattered
On my high standards
I cough them out
Everything is still
And vibrant with potential

Images via: Alice Impellizzeri
Decks featured: Le tarot de Gulliver, Niki de Saint Phalle Tarot deck

Cathou is a queer and feminist activist and artivist who lives in Brussels, Belgium. She develops a queer tarot perspective in French on cathoutarot.blog and holds a blog on fat liberation and fighting fatphobia at grossefem.tumblr.com. Her Fat Tarot series combines those two topics, as an invitation to understand and resist bodily norms in tarot. You can also find Cathou on Instagram @cathoutarot.

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