Each month I share a reflection on a tarot card in the service of self- and community-care, healing, and social and political transformation. I am still relatively new to tarot and nothing I post is meant to serve as an expert guide to the deck. Rather, I hope to illuminate, as I learn in public, the ways in which the tarot can act as a tool for healing, activism, movement building, and worldmaking. I am thankful for the teachers who have guided me in this embracing this modality and humbly recommend visiting more seasoned readers and intuitives to learn more (on tarot and/or related practices), including: Sara Gottesdiener, adrienne maree brown, The Firebrand Witch, Lindsay Mack, Dori Midnight, The Hoodwitch, Little Red Tarot, among many others!
The Page of Pentacles is the card that I pulled for our collective July reading, but it’s also been showing up for me a lot in my personal readings. Given that it’s a card about new paths, and that I am embarking on one (more than one, really), it’s made sense that I’ve seen it a lot in my own practice. And it does, I think, make sense for us, all of us connected, too. Pentacles is related to material resources, careers, and the ideas and actions that surround them. Pentacles get sort of an unfortunate rap for being the “money suit,” but they are much bigger than that. The Pentacles, to me, are about a wealth that goes beyond a capitalist definition, and speaks more to what socialists and anarchists have been dreaming, doing, and articulating in its place.
The Page of Pentacles, in particular, is about determining a dream of abundance and (here it comes...) working to (ready for it?...) manifest it. I know I know, but stay with me! Manifesting is one of the most problematic ideas in the new age/witch/”spiritual” sphere, but it doesn’t have to be. And the Page of Pentacles is an invitation for us to figure out how to be in relationship to, and yes, manifest, material resources without being exploitative. Under capitalism this may be down right impossible, but the energy of the Page says, “So figure out how to undo capitalism!”
And so this is our task: how can we create new forms of abundance? An abundance that exists for the masses, not the few; an abundance that is the fruit of both our labor and our passions? How might we re-imagine how we produce and how we consume, how might we re-imagine “work”? Marx had some ideas. Bakunin did too. So did Comandanta Ramona and the Zapatistas. And union organizers, and squatters, and Dorothy Day. And so do you, so do we, every time we make a trade with a friend, every time we teach a skill to break the cycle of withholding knowledge to maintain power, every time we grow our own food or slowly stitch patches on the joints of our worn denim.
These alternative ways of being in the world, these alternative means of survival, they force us to ask questions about what is important to us. Do you choose a job with a higher salary that robs you time with your family (broadly defined)? What is a higher currency to you, security or freedom? Do you like to save, or does budgeting trigger you into memories of growing up in poverty? Do you hate to save, but spending gives you too much anxiety to make it worth it? What is your positionality under capitalism and how does it influence what you consider success, a well-lived life, your concept of scarcity?
We are given hegemonic scripts with a formula of how we respond: saving is important, working hard is good, college is necessary, and so on. But for those of us who don’t fit into those scripts (by choice or because we are forced out of them), we have to get more creative.
The Page is asking us, I think, to consider our relationship to these structures and ask how we want to move through the world in spite of them (or because of them, or against them, or with all of our might to destroy them). And it’s asking us to consider what will put us best in service to our communities and our planet.
It is compelling us to remember that the resources exist. Abundance is available to each and every one of us. The problem is, of course, colonization of resources and the unequal distribution that follows. How can our ideas be in service of undoing these cultural logics and material conditions? And how might we live a life that causes as little harm as possible in the midst of it? How might we find pleasure that isn’t on the backs of others, how might we insist on pleasure in the face that all that is working against us?
It is a daunting request, but the Page is reminding us that the power of our ideas (born from our material conditions) is the beginning of our large and small revolutions. We can keep imagining the potentiality of these alternative ways of being, because we are, in so many ways, already doing them. We must continue to imagine and also live what feels impossible. And we must resist the urge to silo ourselves away from our communities in this process. Manifesting is bullshit when you buy into the illusion that your success (financial or otherwise) is somehow not contingent on the success of others. But when our goals are in the service of the collective and with the understanding that we cannot tap into any abundance/success/or even pleasure if others are denied it--we become a powerful threat to the current system.
And when we remember this and act accordingly, we are unstoppable. When we manifest a new kind of abundance, we are doing a truly radical kind of magic. And, rebel dreamers, our liberation needs your magic. <3