Today, as part of a group of pagans of color, I did some divination on how I can uphold justice in an injust world. I decided to use Lenormand, seeking mundane answers to my question. As I shuffled, I called upon my patronesses: Bast and Sekhmet, Eyes of Ra and Protectors of Ma’at.
I used the “Under the Roses” Lenormand Deck (images copyrighted by the publisher, US Games Systems, Inc) and pulled the following cards:
I use the title card in this deck to mean the querent: in this reading, me. The rest of the cards (left to right, in descending rows) are: The Bouquet, The Clouds, The Gentleman (the darker skinned of two possible options in this deck), The Letter, The Lady (again, the darker skinned option), The Child (the lighter-skinned option, this time), The Tree, and The Grave (traditionally The Coffin). I’ll go through the meanings of the cards in order, and then comment on the overall themes.
1: The Querent. Well, this is me, located in the “Past” column and the “In My Control” row. I am interpreting this to be validation that injustice has already been on my radar for some time, and also a reminder that (white-passing as I am) racially motivated injustices are not about me – I am a supporter and an ally, not a victim (potential or by proxy). Also, the fact that my significator is in the “In My Control” row means that I can control my own actions and reactions moving forward, which is important to remember.
[[This perhaps reflects my own ambiguity about my racial identity… I feel that – for at least me, personally – while I am native, that is more of an ethnicity or a culture than a race, similar to how “hispanic” is often divorced from race on surveys, and is a separate category. I feel like it is probably easier to be “hispanic AND white” or “native AND white” or possibly even “native AND black” than it is to be “black AND white”, when it comes to being racially “read” by others. That is to say, I think more strangers would acknowledge the first three identities as valid and/or notice that the person was mixed, but dismiss “black AND white” as just black. I personally identify as both native and white, and I acknowledge the privilege that passing as only white affords me. I feel like the term “multiethnic” describes me better than “multiracial”. But I know that others have different opinions, and I am not trying to say that mine are better – I’m just explaining where I’m coming from, in order to better contextualize this reading.]]
2: The Bouquet. This card is located in the “Present” column and the “In My Control” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Good Fortune, Generosity, Gifts. I am called to share what I can with those in need, and to use my comparative privilege to help others. Based on the location: this I already know, and am beginning to do.
3: The Clouds. This card is located in the “Future” column and the “In My Control” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Setbacks, Delays, Uncertainty. It seems I will need to face my own doubts and fears, moving forward, and this is also a warning that there is no clear path, but I will have to continually find my way forward.
4: The Gentleman. This card is located in the “Past” column and the “Progression” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Male Significator, and Outward Focus. I believe this stands in for the black men who have died at the hands of police, whose deaths gave rise to #BlackLivesMatter, and as “outward focus” it perhaps refers to the BLM movement at large.
5: The Letter. This card is located in the “Present” column, and in the “Progression” row. It is also located in the absolute center, and is the heart of the message. The meanings that jump out at me are: Correspondence, Communication, Information. This means talking about what is happening, shedding light on it, sharing information. Listening and reading as well as speaking and writing.
6: The Lady. This card is located in the “Future” column and in the “Progression” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Empathy, Inward Focus, Subconscious, Friendship. I do not think this car signifies an actual person. I think it is a call to become more aware of my own biases and internalized biogtry, and to move forward in empathy, holding space for my fellow travelers.
7: The Child. This card is located in the “Past” column and in the “Out of My Control” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Childhood, Innocence, Learning. I believe this card is meant to indicate my own childhood, and the messages I unconsciously picked up from society as a child – many of which I now know to be wrong and hurtful. Most of us have internalized racism, misogyny, and other kinds of bigotry simply because we were steeped in it, and it takes a lot of effort to change those nasty little voices in our heads telling us that we’re “too X” or “not Y enough”.
8: The Tree. This card is located in the “Present” column and in the “Out of My Control” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Spiritual Beliefs, Groundedness, Growth, Legacy. I believe the Spiritual Beliefs meaning is a reference to my work with Bast and Sekhmet as Eyes of Ra, guardians of Ma’at – I began the work in a different lifetime, and continue it in this one, though I did not seek it out, did not “choose” it, though I have fully embraced it. The Groundedness is a reminder that things may be triggering – I may become ungrounded at times, and I will need to seek my stillness again. The Growth is both my own personal growth, and that of society at large, I think, which I must contribute to: because I am intending on having children, I must learn how to pass on the respect I feel for all peoples – so that it will become my legacy.
9: The Grave. This card is located in the “Future” column and in the “Out of My Control” row. The meanings that jump out at me are: Transformation, Death. I believe this means that while we will see some positive transformations in our society, all the changes I wish to see will not occur within my lifetime. That is why leaving a legacy of people who will push for change is so important.
The Past Column: I’m reading these cards from out of my control, rising into my control. My childhood innocence and lack of discernment has been shaped by my awareness of injustice, making me into the person I am today, and shaping who I become as I move forward.
The Present Column: I’m reading these cards from out of my control, rising into my control. I must build my legacy by contributing to the spread of information, and supporting others as best I can.
The Future Column: I’m reading these cards from out of my control, rising into my control. Transformation of society will come through empathy and friendship, but the path forward will not be linear. There will be pushbacks, setbacks, and delays.
Overall: It seems that my role is primarily one of support, but that fits well with my life-path generally. I need to improve myself, and hold space for fellow travelers. The change we seek will come if we keep striving, keep helping each other and communicating and spreading information – but it may not be achievable in our lifetimes. We need to focus on our legacy, on building a good foundation for the generations to come.