Three months ago, I went on IG Live to respond to the question: “Who is qualified to be a professional tarot reader?” The short version of my conclusion is “everyone.” The way I answered was by demonstrating my self-awareness skills and allowing others the opportunity to practice theirs. That’s the only thing necessary to hold a healing space for someone.
This is not a unique skill set for tarot readers, though. Becoming emotionally mature is something every human can pursue for themselves and nurture in others. It is also required for anti-racism work, on which I am particularly focused.
[Note: Some trauma support calls for specific additional training. I am not suggesting it does not. Knowing one's own limits is part of being mature. Everyone specifically focused on helping others to heal would be wise to learn about trauma-informed practices.]
If you go through my IG posts since then, and even before, you will see some of my reasoning. Here's a summary:
- Measuring worthiness is a white supremacist habit.
- No one can prove their self-awareness capabilities or gather complete evidence of someone else's.
- Claiming authority over tarot when you do not belong to the GRT community is cultural appropriation.
I offered it the way I did as an attempt to circumvent the behavior that is white fragility. As it so happens, those behaviors were triggered just the same. So my next talk may be about how it presents itself.
- Violence: We attempt to destroy anyone who dares to challenge the supreme authority of whiteness.
- Burial: Rather than acknowledge its existence, we hide it below the surface. We try to provide proof of our “goodness” while still perpetuating racist constructs.
- Avoidance: We want to stand our ground when confronted with racist (or other unhealthy) behavior, but we are still building the stamina for being uncomfortable. So we withdraw into our extreme independence, relying on only ourselves. We let fear and self-doubt keep us from practicing healthy conflict to maintain connection.
The last bit is the part that I’ve been wrestling with since then. I’ve been the focus for a lot of projection from others, and it’s taken me a minute to get clear on what’s mine to hold. It brought up some unresolved childhood trauma around being on the receiving end of undeserved rage. Those injuries needed tending before I could consider returning.
What changed? I got a huge dose of laughter at the absurdity of how I’m being portrayed. It arrived in the form of an over-the-top missive about me (and at least two other folks) that is blatantly untrue. It was a caricature of my inner critic, and it helped me see how ludicrous it actually is. That story was all about the storyteller, which has absolutely nothing to do with me.
Does the unfair perception make me angry? Yes. Does being willfully misunderstood suck? Also, yes. The levity is in acknowledging and accepting that what’s been said, written, and shared about that version of "me" is wildly inaccurate. No one has even bothered to check with the source (me) to make sure that what I said matches what they've heard from or about me. And no one who knows me recognizes who I truly am in any of it.
For now, I’m going to continue identifying behaviors rather than naming individuals. That’s what this work is about: identifying habits without making them the sole identity of the individual. Having an unhealthy habit doesn’t make you a bad person. If you recognize yourself or someone else as participating in a habit, that only means you’re human. We all have unexamined stories that inform how we live our life. Acknowledging and accepting that everyone has blindspots is part of gaining maturity.
Fair warning: Eventually, I will start addressing how grace, forgiveness, accountability, intervention, and consequences are also important aspects of building an anti-racist community.
If you're interested in joining a group of non-melanated humans focused on creating a culture that de-centers whiteness, see my website for more information. Right now, I am specifically gathering a cohort of divination practitioners, but I am collecting interest from others as well.