Michelle Tea‘s Modern Tarot is the first of her many books that I’ve read, but definitely won’t be the last. Tea’s take on tarot (I fucking love being alliterative) is just what it says it is – a modern take on the tarot. She and I had similar introductions to the cards – at age 14, one of our guy friends gave us a deck – and off we went. Each card description ends with a spell to help you touch the card. Be the Emperor. Be the Queen of Cups. James Wanless uses a similar technique to learn the cards, but Tea’s twist on the exercise gives specific, magical little spells that help you own the card.
The deck used in this book – by artist Amanda Verwey, has gorgeous queer folks owning the cards with their own personalities. Is this a real deck? I can’t find it, but I also don’t want to cut up my book to make it so. It’s just amazing.
If you’re learning tarot or are a card slinging pro, you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did. It’s not only about the cards, but how to use them to figure out who you are. Using the tarot as a self-discovery tool brings a whole new dimension to this stack of 78 pieces of art.
1. What you appreciate the most in your friends.
A shared perspective on life. A shared reality.
2. Your idea of happiness.
Sitting on a canal in Venice eating a gelato in the sun.
3. Your idea of misery.
4. Your favorite colors and flowers.
Color: Grey. Flower: Lilacs
5. Your favorite poets.
Eileen Myles, Ali Liebegott, Morgan Parker, CA Conrad, Sylvia Plath, Matthew Zapruder, Christopher Soto, Lenelle Moise
6. Your heroes/heroines in fiction.
Roberta Robertson of Cruddy by Lynda Barry.
7. What role does divination play in your life?
I use it constantly as a way of grounding myself and gaining clarity on my daily life, as well as helping out in decision making.
8. Your heroes/heroines in real life.
My sister, Kathleen, the most capable person I know. Yoko Ono, for her spiritual guidance and inspiration.
9. What is your present state of mind?
10. What is your favorite tarot deck or divination tool?
Thoth deck, The Secret Dakini Oracle, Daughters of the Moon, Spirit Speak, Tarot of the Cat People, Mythic Tarot
11. Your favorite songs?
Revelations/Yoko Ono + Cat Power; Horses + Gloria/Patti Smith, Like Cockatoos/The Cure, Life on Mars?/David Bowie
12. What is your favorite word?
13. What is your least favorite word?
14. What sound or noise do you love?
My three year old son pretending to eat something inedible
15. What sound or noise do you hate?
16. What turns you on?
17. What turns you off?
18. What is your favorite curse word?
19. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Well done, sister.