Get to know… Siobhan Rene (plus a beautiful closing poem)

I wanna say that I’m grateful.

I was never as diligent
as raw
as open
as everything
as I thought I could be in this space.
But y’all listened anyway,
often repeating over and over,

“but you were.”

As the Little Red Tarot blog winds down, I invited our fabulous writers to re-introduce themselves and their columns and let you know where you can continue to find and support their work after LRT ends.

This time, we’re getting to know Siobhan Rene!

Author of the Face Up and Light & Shadow series on LRT, Siobhan’s in-depth writing is thought-provoking, highly personal, and often challenging – highly recommended for anyone wanting to enter a deeper consicous relationship with their cards.

Siobhan is the creator of the super-popular tarotscopes, a monthly collaboration in which cartomancers from across our community provide readings for each zodiac sign. She is also the host of her own private community – the Introvert Bubble. Read on to find out more about Siobhan’s offerings and learn how you can keep up to date with her work in the future. Oh – and do enjoy her beautiful closing poem.

Hey Siobhan! What’s the one thing you want the Little Red Tarot community to know about you?

If you’ve read my columns, you know that I’ll often pull tarot cards consciously to explore, exercise, or release a feeling. If I were to pull a card for the end of my time writing for this community, it’d be a card to convey a feeling of abundance and sense of gratitude for having been a part of this community. It would be The nine of pentacles.

Dust II Onyx Tarot by Courtney Alexander, The Voyager Tarot, Wanless, Fair Winds Press 2017

A closing poem

I didn’t have time to tell you
about the need, I have to show up
exceptional or not at all
that I was taught this is the way to be in the world
if you are a black woman
we never talked about how calling myself a woman
feels like a lie
that femininity is something I learned to put on
like an uncomfortable bathing suit
because you work at the beach
but the beach is a club
and every day there brings you closer to the truth
that your lovers won’t look anything like your clients.
While dancing, I learned that gender can be a tool you use
can be a performed
(and for me it really needs to be)
(because I never fit anywhere)
(just like you).
We never talked about pretty people privilege
and class privilege
and other kinds of privilege
that I wield
(with or without knowing).
We never talked about what it means to me to be a spiritual ally
and how it felt for me to find such allyship in some of you,
we never talked in depth about my kinks, or your kinks, or consent
or sex
we only brushed the belly of things
this is what I do
brush the surface and make accidental chasms
and meet Y’all there.

I wanna say that I’m grateful.

I was never as diligent
as raw
as open
as everything
as I thought I could be in this space.
But y’all listened anyway,
often repeating over and over,

“but you were.”

Tell us about your columns – what were your aims when you started them, what have you learned through writing them?

With a few notable exceptions, most of my writing in this space fell under two categories, the Face Up Tarot series, and the Light and Shadow series. For the Face Up Tarot series, I consciously pulled tarot cards after they had surfaced repeatedly in my awareness, professional readings, or when they seemed appropriate to describe a feeling or experience.

I’d pick the card then write about what it meant in a particular context. Allowing for highly nuanced interpretations of the cards as I did pulls about chronic illness, sexuality and other topics that are often harder to relate to tarot imagery. I could tell from the feedback that this series was the closest you could get to my reading style outside of a reading with me.

I could also tell that face up tarot card pulls were helping marginalized people get in touch with their agency. Together, we saw tarot as a tool to be employed to process feelings. With every conscious card pull, we reminded ourselves of our power to choose, despite the oppressive systems and realities that we all live in.

The Light and Shadow series should have been called “Difficult Cards,” because that’s what it was about. It covered a lot of the cards that people are afraid of and some cards that most aren’t afraid of but for whatever reason can be difficult to work with in a reading. This series was heavier on the geekery and explored more traditional esoteric symbolism.

Both of these series handled difficult feelings. The face up card pulls seemed most relevant when processing difficult emotions or circumstance and the difficult cards inspired their own challenging responses. The columns betrayed a desire of mine to support the reader in times of adversity, to affirm them at the moments, or concerning the topics, that would be most challenging. Even the pieces I wrote outside of these two series served this them.

I learned while writing for Little Red Tarot how powerful it can be for people to know that they aren’t the only one to have an experience and to receive empathy. I don’t feel complete in either of these series, so I’ll be continuing both of these series at my site as well as updating the most popular pieces from LRT.

What’s the best way for our community show you love and support right now?

The best way to show love and support right now is to meet me in the member’s area of my site. A lot of creatives have moved their communities into Patreon so you may already be familiar with that platform as a way to stay in touch. Rather than hopping on Patreon (and splitting a fee with them), I built my own membership area. Unlike Patreon, there is only one price and limited spaces. I do this so that I can engage pretty intimately with the members. They ask about stuff, and I create it.

Another great way to support is to check out my monthly collaborative tarotscopes. If you read tarot for the public, consider submitting a tarotscope to this project. It’s fun. It showcases deck creators, your deck collections, your writing, and tarot reading skills. It’s a fantastic way to give to the tarot-loving community while sharing your style with folks that might need a reading from you.

If you love tarotscopes, you should definitely subscribe to my newsletter and opt-in to the tarotscope list. You’ll get an email each time they post and each time a contributor is interviewed. Note that you don’t need to receive other kinds of emails from me to get this notice. You choose what you hear from me.

Can you name three values that guide your work?

I mean, yes, but really it’s more like (at least) four…

Empowerment. Acceptance. Awareness. Connection.

These are my top values. The things I look for in a tarot practice when I read for myself or others. The things I’m looking for when I pen a piece. The things I find that many of us are seeking as we interact with one another. I aim to provide what I think the world needs more of and what has served me.

Empowerment. As a black cis woman, I have seen both the lack and abundance of power and agency. I value the conscious trade of agency everywhere words are traded. This shows up in my work as reminders of how I see myself and others, as agents of change, able to manifest, facilitate, guide, tend boundary, and engage in expert self-care. And for those who might not see themselves this way, I remember to respect both their present worldview and their potentiality.

Acceptance. I value acceptance because of my experience as a queer sensitive non-normative polyamorous and kinky person, among other labels. I’ve seen the lack and abundance of acceptance moving in the world with my identities. I’m drawn to facilitative experiences that expose me to a broad spectrum of human experience. I believe that the broader the spectrum, the greater the potential for transformation. We cannot hold safer spaces while judging ourselves and others.

Awareness. Poverty, depression, anxiety, and PTSD have taught me the importance of awareness. Without it we play on the surface of things, letting our dysfunction enable and enforce the dysfunction of others or failing to notice the context that surrounds what happens in our lives. Awareness affords the space for healing, for perspective, and for empathy.

Connection. Hierarchical structures would have us abandon our need for one another, for the earth and for empathy but we cannot survive without these things. Connection heals, uplifts, satisfies and empowers, us. It’s the point of interacting even as it falls further and further from the norm…

These values aren’t intended to be radical, but because of society, with its hierarchies and norms, they are. It’s radical to be empowered as a black American woman and to empower others; to accept nonnormative identities, expression, and lifestyles, to cultivate awareness in a society that would rather we distractedly consume, to foster connection in a world that teaches us that separate is safest. In practice, these things happen to seem pretty radical, and this is how I’ve come to call my tarot practice “radical tarot.”

So, where else can we find you online Siobhan?

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