In Queering the Tarot, Cassandra Snow takes the most common interpretations and manifestations of the cards and discusses ways you might read them for a LGBTQQIA2SP+ client – or for yourself. Read the whole series here!
Tens are cards of transformation – and wow, do we earn it with Pentacles.
Recently in the Seven of Pentacles, we built something solid and strong and beautiful for ourselves and our loved ones. Now we reach the Ten, traditionally a card of family legacies and inheritances. It has an energy I’ve often struggled with. In a standard deck or reading, we’re looking at a patriarch facing his end of days and deciding who to leave all of his money or land too. Obviously this doesn’t resonate with me, though it is a beautiful message for the many businesspeople who see me about changes to their career or additions to their family. We see grandchildren in this card, and an extremely comfortable amount of material success. It’s a good card, but it’s one who’s values I don’t necessarily share.
When queering this card though, we go back through everything we’ve talked about: community, chosen family, and a life we built out of weeds and rubble. THAT is a beautiful story. That is transformation in its truest sense, and when this card is up for queer movers and shakers, it promises that everything they’re trying to build – whatever it is – will thrive long after they’re gone.
One thing the weirdo teen goth wannabe in me has always loved about this card is it’s comfortable and easy relationship with death.
We may be nearing the end of a cycle here, and that may even be a physical life cycle. Yet we are promised joy, love, and that those who carry our name will carry out our legacy when we’re gone. In the queer community that may not be kids or grandkids (It may be! Lots of queer people have otherwise traditional families and that’s beautiful and wonderful too!) but it may be people who we are in community with, who we create art projects and build shelters with, who we claim as family because of how we feel in our hearts and let that love thrive there.
An example of the Ten of Pentacales in queer action is the U.S.’ current nationwide policy allowing for marriage equality. In the ‘80s, the AIDS epidemic wiped out entire generations due to homophobia and transphobia, miseducation, and the way that manifested in inadequate medical care. To add insult to very deep injury, many gay men or trans women were told their partners could not see them in the hospital as they lay dying because they weren’t married. They weren’t allowed to be married, but that didn’t matter to those barring them from entry. Decades later, after the fight the surviving spouses and victims of AIDS started in earnest in the ‘80s, marriage equality was finally passed in the U.S.
These losses to our community and the lack of elders in major cities was and is a devastating blow to who we are as queer people.
Yet their legacy lives on every time an LGBTQ+ couple says “I do.” Furthermore, this is legislation that has paved the way for the fights we’re seeing now. Because most of the U.S. sees these relationships legally equitable, they are starting to see queer people as equitable. People are fighting en masse against transphobic bathroom bills and starting to realize the depth of the hurt that laws that allow LGBTQ+ to be fired or evicted simply for being themselves. This is the legacy those who fought in Stonewall left us with, and it’s the legacy those who died of AIDS during that epidemic left us with. It was absolutely despicable the way we were treated – but those affected used their voice to ensure we wouldn’t have to keep going through the same fights and indignities.
They used this Ten of Pentacles energy to ensure their fight left a legacy we could all be grateful for, even if they couldn’t live long enough to see it through.
Existing as a queer person is an act of resistance in and of itself.
Yet the Pentacles (unfortunately) tell us that that still isn’t enough sometimes. We still have to survive as queer people beyond existing, and we still have to survive capitalism. Those of us who are POC or disabled still have to pick up our gardening shears and get to work in the Seven of this suit and work ten times as hard as anyone else to survive. The Ten of Pentacles switches gears from the rest of this suit’s emphasis on hard, exhausting work though. This card promises us that just living in our lives is enough. It’s enough resistance to inspire someone else to do the same. It’s enough perseverance to thrive. It’s more than enough of a gift to leave your community when you inevitably go. Your legacy can just be your life, well-lived, and these last couple of Pentacles urge us to enjoy what we’ve built…and just BE for awhile.
I love this card, and I love that I’m ending this series promising you that you are enough, and that the life you’ve built in spite of a society that didn’t want you to is wonderful. Thank you all so much for helping me take this journey from TheColu.mn to Little Red Tarot to Weiser Publishing. I adore you all so much, and am so grateful for your readership, your comments, and your support.
Now go: go be queer, and go be as happy as you can be. You deserve that, at the very least.
Cassandra Snow (they/them/she/her) is a professional tarot card reader & teacher, writer, and theatre maker in Minneapolis, MN. Their tarot practice centers around empowerment of LGBTQ+ seekers, overcoming personal trauma, practical step by step business or creative plans and spiritual guidance. As a writer, tarot is also one of their focuses, and they pens the long running queer journey through the tarot, Queering the Tarot at Thecolu.mn and here at Little Red Tarot. This series is getting a shiny refinish and being turned into a book through Red Wheel/Weiser Publishing and will be released on May 1st, 2019!