If you're new here:
This is a blog series giving LGBTQIA+ people's perspectives on the Tarot cards. Tarot is a set of symbols added on to a deck of playing cards, depicting a spiritual journey, to be used for meditation or fortune telling. Catch up with the characters we've met on the journey so far by clicking on these links for the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, the Empress, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers, the Chariot, Strength, the Hermit, the Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, the Devil, the Tower, the Star, the Moon, the Sun, and Judgement. The particular version that's thought of today as the basic traditional Tarot, from which the myriad of decks are influenced and inspired, was drawn by mixed race bisexual lady Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith, whose insights I'm sure made it into this art commission given her by straight white men, whatever their expectations of her might have been. So I've asked LGBTQIA+ Tarot users in online groups to give me their viewpoints on the cards, and the result is this series of blogs.
We've come around to The World!
The cards can be life changing - it's a theme that runs all through the deck, that the "end" of any sequence of numbers or pictures is, actually, a sign of coming full circle. You're back in the same place, but you are not the same. Your outer world may not have changed but your inner world is pure change. Even a complete newcomer to the Tarot, even a completely cisgender heterosexual newcomer to the Tarot, I'm sure, doesn't need telling what richness of meaning that can hold for a queer person. People's first question on their first sight of cards that hold as much symbolism as this one does, is, "What does it mean?" And to put it simply, The World can, literally, mean the world!
One of the first and biggest expressions of my passion for the Tarot was a play (for those who are only familiar with my writing through Vocal, I'm a playwright by profession) called The Fool's Journey: A Trip Through The Tarot. It was a two-hander - which for people who don't speak thespian, means there are only two performers on the stage playing everyone that needs playing - so we expressed the transformative quality of the Tarot by changing from one character to another as each scene flowed into the next.
So, for this final card of the set called the Major Arcana (though there are still a few entries left in this series, for the 4 suits that follow), I'm going to present you (fully permitted to do so!) with the monologue for The World Dancer, written by my wife and co-star - an openly bisexual writer, actress, model, and esoteric practitioner, including reading Tarot - which closed the main action section of the play, leading into the epilogue, in which the Fool, who started the journey, ran back onto the stage to bring the story played out on the stage full circle. (Link to her own profile here on Vocal will be down at the bottom, go show her writing some love!)
She loves introducing her speaking on stage by setting the scene, and then flowing into the action with the words "Without further ado..."; so, first to set the scene: The World Card has symbols in each corner of an Ox, an Eagle, a Lion and a Man: these are the Four Elements Earth, Air, Fire & Water; which in turn can symbolise the four seasons, the four directions, the four stations of the clock Sunrise, Midday, Sunset, Midnight; the four phases of the Moon, dark, waxing, full, waning; and the four facets of the self - Mind, Heart, Soul & Strength; with the Dancer in the centre with it all at their fingertips, in a circle to show their full circle journey. And now, without further ado:
In the East, as the Sun rises, and the Moon waxes, I'm reborn into the Air! Soaring like an Eagle, soaring high and fast. A dancer in the Spring, with flowers in her hair.
A World Dancer, who watches the seasons pass as the Sun and Moon dance around with her! I dance surrounded by my Elements!
In the South, at the Noon of the Solstice, same as in the Full Moon! As a Lioness! I feel my power inside... I embrace it to be myself, my Fiery self, and dance all Summer long!
Do I tire myself out, you ask? Well yes, I take some rest now and then... As the Sun sets in the West, or the Moon wanes out, I remain true to myself... I accept my man inside - the two halves needed for Creation.
I let the Water cleanse me, and I go off to bed... Yet even during Autumn I still dance, along with the leaves as they fall!
Don't I dance during the Night, I hear you ask... I dance and dance and dance, however I please, whenever I please. As strong and gentle as the Ox, I take my rests if I need them - but at Midnight I too sway, or at the darkest hour here in the North, when the Moon is not with us, I still sway to the soft rhythms of the Earth... which are the times we can hear them better, by the way, when all is quiet and sublime...
And even in the Winter I keep myself warm by dancing as my Elements make my World complete, East to South to West to North..."
(From "The Fool's Journey: A Trip Through The Tarot" by Sandra Cole for His & Hers Theatre Company; see Sandra's other writing talents by clicking Here)
If you'd like a personal Tarot reading from me online, looking at things from these kinds of perspectives, you can reach me by clicking Here - and if you'd like to join my LGBTQIA+ Tarot group on bookface, you can do that by clicking Here. To support His & Hers Theatre Company find us by clicking Here.