Welcome to my series if it's your first time, welcome back to my series if it's not your first time! The story so far...
This series gives LGBTQIA+ people's perspectives on Tarot cards. Tarot is a set of symbols added on to playing cards, depicting a spiritual journey, used for meditation or fortune telling. Catch up with the characters we've met 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, and the Star. The version that's thought of 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. So I asked LGBTQIA+ Tarot users online to give me their viewpoints on the cards, and the result is this series!
This one's going to be a little different, as a couple of other recent ones have. Poet and Priestess Doreen Valiente, influenced by Wicca founder Gerald Gardner, himself influenced by Aleister Crowley, he in turn influenced by the book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by C.G. Leland, wrote two versions of a magical declaration - one poetry, one prose - called:
The Charge Of The Goddess
Meaning, the Goddess of the Moon. Let me repeat it for you, and if you don't see for yourself the key phrases for queer readers that I did, as you go along, I'll point them out at the end, and see if you think the same way:
Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who was of old also called Artemis; Astarte; Diana; Melusine; Aphrodite; Cerridwen; Dana; Arianrhod; Isis; Bride; and by many other names.
Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.
There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not yet won its deepest secrets: to these will I teach things that are yet unknown.
And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.
For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and mine also is joy on earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings.
Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever toward it; let naught stop you or turn you aside.
For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth; and mine is the Cup of the Wine of Life, and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.
I am the Gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice, for behold I am the Mother of All Living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.
Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven; whose body encircleth the Universe; I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the heart’s desire, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me.
For I am the Soul of Nature, who giveth life to the universe; from me all things proceed, and unto me must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and mortals, thine inmost divine self shall be unfolded in the rapture of infinite joy.
Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.
"For my Law is Love unto ALL Beings". "For behold: ALL acts of love and pleasure are my rituals". This is designed to be used by all genders for calling up their own inner magic or, if they believe in them, outer magical forces. In fact, the key book written around it - Gerald Gardner's Witchcraft Today - says that although any gender can be a witch, witches will be referred to by the author still as "She", since being a witch is a feminine thing to do, regardless of who's doing it; the raising up of one's own "feminine intelligence". As the other side of that coin, the rules for the rituals built around it allow anyone of any gender to bring in the symbols that represent the presence of the male/masculine god/spirit.
The Moon appears to shine, when in fact it doesn't. The Moon appears to change, when in fact it doesn't. The Moon appears only on one side, but it has an unknown side. The Moon appears to be the same size and shape as the Sun in our sky, when in fact it isn't.
Your apparent outer persona does NOT necessarily have to match your inner presence.
Whatever outer persona your inner presence falls in love with, whatever inner presence your outer persona finds pleasure in, that is magic.
This card is so often said to be about the the unknown, the unseen, the unknowable, the unseeable - but that doesn't have to be a bad thing, in the sense of the primal fear of the unknown - it can be about having love for, and taking joy in, someone else's unseen nature. Perfect love and perfect trust is a phrase spoken when joining circle with someone. The outer You might be in love with the outer Them, but have you ever felt what it's like for the inner Them to be in love with the inner You?