DEATH | CULT Tarot

At the moment, this post serves as a work in progress on this card so there is no print available just yet. As I finesse the drawing I will make some changes to this post. —Genevieve

I use my tarot decks and illustrations to process the world around me. My first deck, Bridge Witches is about the “New Pittsburgh,” or the changes this city has gone through since I moved here for school in 2003. It also asks who those changes are really for—exploring the impact of gentrification and referencing many diverse groups of people that are a part of Pittsburgh and its history. I consciously chose to exclude pierogis, sports, and Mr. Rogers in my Pittsburgh deck and pushed back on what we actually mean when we say  “yinzer” and who that term calls to mind (and who it excludes).

CULT is no different but its scope is broader than that of Pittsburgh. 

This brings us to the DEATH card. In a traditional Rider-Waite deck, death symbolizes endings and beginnings. It is a cycle instead of a full stop. For CULT, I chose to explore this meaning as it relates to the path of anti-racism. A path that (hopefully) many of us are on to rid ourselves of our conscious and unconscious biases.

This illustration, for all its fire and regurgitated bile, is about ridding ourselves of the poison that is racism and choosing to become actively anti-racist. My subject is a white woman—because I am a white woman. In the past, people would assume that if you were involved with a more liberal-leaning scene (in music, art, books, and beyond) that you were inclusive and "definitely not racist.” Now we are starting to catch on to the fact that silent good intentions aren't enough and feelings of guilt get us nowhere. The path forward is an awkward and uncomfortable one but it seems pretty necessary to make sure we are building a future of which we can be proud.

Normally I don't allow comments on the card description posts but I'm hoping that by doing so here you can share what you are doing to join in on the conversation.

 

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