It’s Tarot Blog Hop time again! Our wrangler is Ania. She’s dared us to throw caution to the winds and get creative. She asked us what cards we thought might need to be updated, removed or even added to reflect our modern society.
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My first thought was “Nah, I’m good.” I’m not a huge fan of change (shocker!). I like things to just keep going as they go. But as I considered the topic, I realized that one of the reasons I love the Gaian Tarot is that the creator, Joanna P. Colbert, didn’t just rename the Court cards. She also assigned two male and two female characters to each.
Rather than all male knights (or even all female knights), we have the Explorers with Earth and Fire being women while Water and Air are men. The page category has two little girls for Water and Air while Earth and Fire are represented by boys. She didn’t even stick to the genders of the suits. And it works very well for me particularly since I have a large LGBTQI client base.
She also changed the names of the courts to Child, Explorer, Guardian and Elder. None of those are gender-biased. So my thing that I would update/change in Tarot is the propensity towards gender-bias in the Tarot. There is at least one card in the Gaian that is fairly gender-neutral for me. That’s the Teacher. Sometimes I see an old man. Other times it’s an old woman who stares out at me challenging me to learn the lesson of this card.
I think it might be fun to name the Court cards Seed, Root, Sapling, Tree. Then you could have the growth of the page, the seeking of the knight, the nurturing of the queen and the completion of the king. For me, I tend to translate the court cards in my head back to the attributes of page, knight, queen and king. No matter what they are named. So with decks like the Chrysalis, no matter the best intentions of the creators to move away from the traditional names, I still revert to them. Mentor, Muse, Mystic and Messenger are the courts in that deck. And it holds to the gender-bias. Even in the Fifth Tarot (which has a fifth suit) there is a tendency to have all males or all females.
So, the thing I would change about Tarot would be the need to lock ideas into gender-biased cages. Haven’t we proven that men make great nurturers and women are superb engineers? Do we really need to keep having this conversation?
Back to Tarot! Court cards should, for me, represent human types (maybe even stereotypes to some degree) but I think it’s important to remember that gender doesn’t own something. That’s why we can have female prime ministers, male nurses, etc. Here’s to living life as you are called to live it rather than as some societally-mandated role. And here’s to decks like the Gaian that don’t assign one gender to each court. Let’s have more!
And if you are looking for a way back to joy, I can help. Let’s do a Joy Recalibration together!
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