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6 comments

  1. I’m in the middle of working on getting my tarot blog and newsletter going. I popped over here to learn more about Kelly-Ann Maddox (long story;-)) When I searched for her name, this post came up. Wow.

    One of the reasons I decided to dip my toe in the online tarot pool was because – as a woman of color – I felt the same way as one of the folks who tweeted: Why the hell is it that every time I see someone black on a tarot card, they’re wearing a dashiki and an ankh. There’s nothing wrong with that, but not every black woman looks or dresses like Erykah (actually no one can, she’s a Goddess.)

  2. Thanks so much Beth for this roundup. I missed a few of these articles so it was helpful to see them here including my own! I also appreciate the support links you listed too so we can support each other in this!!

  3. this conversation is oh so important. tarot is what is it is out of an eclectic, multi-cultural history. white-washing that history is more than appropriative, it’s imperialist. i agree that we need more diversity in our cards and our discussions.

    let’s honor this history and reflect the kind of future we want to see.

  4. AnLin says:

    While I agree with some of this, other ideas don’t sit well with me. Refusing to promote a deck or shunning it (and calling for your friends/followers to do the same) because it doesn’t suit your personal wants is bullying. An artist should never be bullied or harassed or made to feel bad just because their art reflects their personal aesthetic or life. It’s one thing for a publisher to commission a deck with specifically unsettling characteristics (“We don’t want any people of color!”), and a completely different thing for a publisher to use artwork an artist has already created (which is a very common thing to do). It’s a crappy thing to do to hobble one deck just because you want something else published.

    More and more publishers are picking up decks that were originally independently published. With Kickstarter it’s very easy to see what the actual demand for something is and to see if people will put their money where their uproar is. If there is a large demand for this then why aren’t people Kickstarting it?

    Something that really gets under my skin is the flippant and incorrect use of the term “whitewashing”. Whitewashing is a real and nefarious thing that erases the history and struggle of one or more cultures. An artist creating art that features people that look like him/her and then a publisher using that for a tarot deck is not whitewashing.

    Lastly, while many people of color are involved in the world of tarot, it still remains a very white crowd. Decks will naturally reflect that.

    As an aside, if I’m not mistaken, some of the most popular decks out there are quite diverse where both color and gender are concerned (such as the Tarot Illuminati and Mary-El).

  5. Are111 says:

    Yes! I just got an oracle deck (not Tarot) and noticed every single character was white. I was so appalled that I had to google around to see if others noticed and/or felt this way. Got to this article, but funny thing is I read your blog on occasion anyway. 🙂

    Thank you for posting this. It’s so important. I know this is about Tarot, but want to also point out this is problem for other types of decks too, as many Tarot readers also own one or more of those decks. I’d also like to see romance cards (found often in oracle decks) depict something OTHER than a het couple. And what about an aromantic card? Would love to see a goddess/faerie/angel/avatar/enlightened being character in a wheel chair. Maybe we stop orientalizing characters when they’re representing people/practices/beliefs from around the world? How about adding some non-binary gender representation in a card when you’ve got one dedicated to female energy and one for male energy (or maybe just stop using gender as a descriptor of giving/receiving energies–but that’s my personal bone to pick). As you can see, this struck a cord. 🙂

    I’m going to be much more diligent when selecting a deck again. I’m giving this particular deck to a friend.

  6. Dark Juju says:

    I am a woman of color who reads cards. My first deck was the cat people because they looked similar to black people. The idea that tarot is a white community is silly. This is a very mixed and magical world. Magic is in every community you enter.

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