It was brought to my attention that my last Little Fox Flashcard seemed exclusive or even transphobic. As with all of these, my quotes are supposed to be humorous, memorable and sometimes crass. I’m doing these social media meme things as a way to help people better understand tarot cards. Most of them are snarky or funny one-liners that summarize the meaning of each card. Some are song lyrics, some are bits of poetry. Whatever it is, it’s what I’ve learned the card to be for me when I read for my clients.
For the three of Cups, I chose “Ovaries before Brovaries”, because I like alliteration, I think that it’s funny, and I see it as a way to summarize my broader definition: “The Three of Cups encourages us to embrace the Divine Feminine by recognizing it in each other and embracing those souls around us in communion to bring us closer to the Universe”. That sentence won’t fit on the bottom of the meme, so I used what I think is a funny phrase that’s easy to remember.
This upset a person on Tumblr. I asked if they could talk a little more about it for me, but I haven’t heard back from them, so I thought I would write about it. Essentially, they saw my ovaries before brovaries statement as pushing forth gender binaries in tarot and ignoring or outright being disrespectful to the transgender community – especially those that may both have ovaries and be brovaries. I invited conversation, and I wanted to talk more in order to connect, to share our experiences and our thoughts, and maybe even learn something along the way.
I’ll be honest: when I first saw the comment, my initial response was to say “Nuh Uh” to my computer and then become really upset and have three really long conversations with friends who are tarot people, trans, or tarot people who are also trans. The consensus was that I should state who I am and what I believe while acknowledging this person too. I think that we’re both right, from our own perspectives. That’s a thing that’s really great about tarot – the cards are there for interpretation.
So, here’s what I believe. The parts don’t make the person. I do not equate having ovaries with being a woman or feminine. What’s on the graphic is not a literal statement to me, but rather a metaphor about embracing the Divine Feminine, and I thought it was a pretty silly saying about feminine empowerment. In fact, I have non-functioning ovaries, which would, I suppose, put me in the brovaries category if I were to take this literally.
I think that Rachel Pollack has addressed the subject of duality in the tarot far better than I could, but as a reader, I do not take the genders of characters on a hundreds of years old deck to represent myself or my clients. I feel that we can see that the Star is a feminine figure and apply that to our own lives, regardless of where we fall on the gender spectrum. We get to do our jobs – which is to interpret the cards. These memes are my interpretation of the cards. You don’t have to agree with me, because your interpretation is just as valid.
So, you can think that I’m not funny – because I’m often not. Or you can think that I’m tacky, because guilty on occasion. This post, however, was not meant to be transphobic, and my intent was nowhere near the implications of this gentleman. That said, I am sorry that this meme was not seen as inclusive, and offer up a sincere apology for any feelings I have hurt. It never occurred to me that this would be seen as anything other than a silly metaphor for friendship, and I will try to be more thoughtful in the future. I also offer up this alternate meme for those of you who think that I am not, in fact, funny.
And, as always, I am always here to listen, and to learn.