A Tarot Reading for the Collective for my Queer Community, post Orlando

Today I got an email from a member of my community, asking if I might do a special Tarot Reading for the Collective in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. I know a lot of us are in pain right now, and I am so up for doing this, and so here it is.

This is a Tarot Reading for the Collective for the queer community. For my queer community in the Inner West of Sydney, and the queer community of the world. I welcome anyone to read this, no matter your identity. But right now, I focus my gaze on the queer community, with all the love. This love is for you.

The Orlando massacre was a hate crime towards queers. It was a crime that took place in a gay club. This was a place where people who frequently suffer discrimination in overt and covert ways, gather together to dance and socialise without fear of being ‘othered’ or bashed or stared at in an aggressive or inappropriate way. The perpetrator, as it is now being revealed, was a regular at the club. It’s tragic that someone can suffer so much self-hatred due to their unresolved issues caused by internalised homophobia.

On Sunday night I was at a gay club. Pink Bubble at the Red Rattler in Marrickville, Sydney. I danced with my amazing wife, and embraced friends who we hadn’t seen since we eloped in California. Celebrating love is something my community loves to do. I was wearing a dress with oversized multi-coloured sequins attached, and crazy makeup (green lipstick with ‘joker’ edges, green glitter under my eyes and a big green heart painted over my third eye with pink rays coming off it). This getup was not seen as weird or wrong by my fellow party goers, it was appreciated and enjoyed.

In this Queer community space, people can dance however they like, with whomever they fancy, wear what they feel overwhelmingly drawn to wear, and be celebrated rather than ridiculed. If we want to go over-the-top, there won’t be people griping at us to ‘tone down’. Self-expression is safe here, as long as your expression doesn’t harm yourself or other people. Love and acceptance is the key.

At Pink Bubble there were all manner of fabulous people in all manner of fabulous outfits. There was an extraordinarily powerful show about climate change by the ever-talented Justin Shoulder, and we danced, and there was love. I had a really good dance and reveled in the strength and joy present in my community.

As I danced in my pink bubble on a dance floor in Marrickville Sydney, the lives of my queer sisters and brothers on another dance floor, were being extinguished. Our dance floor was covered in spilled beer, theirs was covered in blood. When I went home in the early hours, I discovered that 49 queer sisters and brothers had been killed while they danced in what was SUPPOSED to be their safe space. The place they can go to to let their guard down and not having to have the thought in their head as they lean towards their lover, “is it safe, to hold you here?”

I can’t imagine the horror of someone coming into my local gay bar and slaughtering us all as we dance. But now this possibility haunts me. This was a LGBTIQ hate crime and to suggest otherwise is to perpetuate the same bullshit that my community has been battling for far too many years.

So for this reading I am using The Collective Tarot by the Tarot Collective. The Tarot Collective are a community of queer artists in Portland Oregon, who created a deck that moved beyond the usual caucasian/cisgendered/heternormative narrative and gave us a deck where the queer community could see their own faces, without having to gloss over the details of the imagery.

The questions I am asking for this reading are:

  1. What the f*ck just happened?
  2. How can we possibly begin to heal from this, and dance together without the fear that it could happen to us, at any time?
  3. What message do we need to get out to the wider world, to help them wake up and stop throwing their hatred at us?
  4. What does a queer revolution look like?
  5. What can the Queer Community of Sydney do?

As is the case for my Tarot Readings for the Collective, I will let the cards speak to you directly.

  1. What the f*ck just happened?

Mentor of Feathers (King of Swords).

Mentor of Feathers - The Collective Tarot by the Tarot Collective.jpg

Shit just got real, and I can no longer be ignored. I have been crying for some time, telling the world what I see, but they were too busy listening to themselves go blah blah blah. I am here to shake things up. I will do everything I can do to protect you from more hate. But my goodness there are so many walking the planet with glue in their ears. Don’t hold back from talking about what must be spoken of. I will help you wear down those afraid to hear your beautiful hearts. What happened was not meant to happen, but now that it has, there will be actions that can lead to peace. I immensely dislike that it will left to you to climb that mountain and maintain the focus. But you will get clearer in your mind and heart with every step.

  1. How can we possibly begin to heal from this, and dance together without the fear that it could happen to us, at any time?

Oppression (The Devil).

Oppression - The Collective Tarot by the Tarot Collective.jpg

Oh, my darlings, I’m not sure if I can remove that fear from you. Your fear is real, and now you know this. You may feel like you are rolling a rock uphill, but I will show you how to move beyond oppression. Your resilience has always astounded those who have tried (and continue to try) to silence you. So how will I help you heal? I will help you get up every day. I will guide you through the moments of doubt and despair by helping you trust in your ability to inspire others through your creative actions. I will work with you for a change, not against you, and will give you the nudge you need to keep going when the fear strikes again, in an unsuspecting moment.

What you face is huge, but your love has always impressed me so much. Sometimes my role is to try and keep you in the rut, so that you stop being so goddamn beautiful and shining your enlightening perspectives on the world. But your love, it grows so hugely every day, and I am weary of tearing you down. You may find me in brief moments trying to cut you down, but for the most part I will support you in your efforts to exist as openly as you can. It is you that is teaching the world how to love.

  1. What message do we need to get out to the wider world, to help them wake up and stop throwing their hatred at us?

Two of Bones (Two of Pentacles).

Two of Bones - The Collective Tarot by the Tarot Collective.jpg

Throw them a bone! Throw them a clue! Wind yourselves together and face the storm! Draw on the strength of your queer ancestors, the ones that have been lost to the burning times, to colonisation, to AIDS, to violence, ignorance, and invisibility. Those that died in the streets through neglect, wind yourself around their short lives and their memories. Envision your glorious future as a queer person in this crazy world and speak it to the night and to the day. Speak it to each other and speak it to your hearts.

You talk about things that people prefer to ignore. With the power of me – two snakes and a wishbone with wings – there is no limit to your presence and to your totally fierce and kickass nature. Share your complexities, make sure no one voice dominates the rest. There is no one leader, you are all leaders. All your fights are worth fighting for, and all of them are worthy of attention. Rise above the fake show of politicians and drive your clear message directly into the hearts of the masses. What is this message? It will be different for you all, but one thing all your messages have in common is unreserved clarity. You are guiding people out of their apathy. Be unrelenting in this. Your community will hold you when you need them for more strength. Ask for this if you need to.

  1. What does a queer revolution look like?

Intermission (The Hanged Man).

Intermission - The Collective Tarot by the Tarot Collective.jpg

It looks like the most amazing magic show this world has ever seen. It takes place centre stage but more so on the edges and in between things. It takes place in your homes and on the streets, on the trains, buses and bicycles. It takes place when you stand defiantly in your fabulousness and force people to get a grip. It looks like what you already do every day, times a thousand. It looks like shooting stars rippling across the skies, pulling the moon down to earth so we can kiss its face before turning the world upside down.

It looks like the inspiration the young queers need to keep living, and what the old queers need to reverse the jaded states that come with years of battle. It looks like the most beautiful, sparkly, eccentric, joyous thing I have ever seen. There is no blood shed here, only tears of joy as you find each other and pump even more love into the spaces where people forgot what it was to be human. You may appear to be in bondage, but you are poised to break the chains in a most spectacular fashion!

  1. What can the Queer Community of Sydney do?

Seven of Feathers (Seven of Swords) & The Magician [one card didn’t feel like enough!]

Seven of Feathers and The Magician - The Collective Tarot by the Tarot Collective.jpg

The Seven of Feathers says,

Ignore those that try and tear us apart, they are in pain and know not how to make peace with their confusion. Give no space to those that try and infect your consciousness with lies.

The Magician says,

Wake up to your guiding power. The Sydney queer community is rare jewel in a bizarre world. Don’t let your differences get in the way of your need to shower the world with powerful, raw, sublime honesty. Use your unique skills to empower those around you.

Know that your marvelously eccentric and outlandish ways of existing in this world are your superpowers. You aren’t here to make everyone like you, rather you can help everyone be their true selves. Your colourful and creative lives can blow people’s minds and push them out of their comfort zones. You can live your art. You are artists, no matter how you express this. Art will save you as it can speak to what must be addressed if we are to truly live. Be unrelenting with this. I want to watch you be the superheroes this world is waiting for.

© Sarah Barry ~ Tarot Readings with Psychic Sarah 2016

This Tarot Reading for the Collective was done with The Collective Tarot, by the Tarot Collective © 2012, Printed at Brown Printing, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A) Click here for more information about this wonderful, inclusive tarot deck.

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