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Queering the Tarot
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Queering the Tarot

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Tarot is best used as a tool for self-discovery, healing, growth, empowerment, and liberation. Tarot archetypes provide the reader with a window into present circumstances and future potential. But what if that window only opened up on a world that was white, European, and heterosexual? The interpretations of the tarot that have been passed down through tradition presuppos ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Weiser Books
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Eli
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OK. If you are a person who is cisgender and heterosexual, and you read tarot, especially if you read for other people sometimes, here's what I need you to do:

* Buy this book.
* Read it.
* Apply it to every person you read for, regardless of what you believe their sexuality or gender identity to be.

This goes double if you're cis, het, and white.

Let's get this out of the way now: unless this is the first tarot book you've ever read, you may have differing interpretations of certain cards than Sno
...more
Althea
3.5/5 Stars

I love tarot and I've had this book on my radar for some time now, so when I needed to make up shipping from a queer indie bookshop I finally decided to give this one a go. Overall, I really enjoyed it - it gave me a lot of new insight that I'm excited to go back over and annotate during a second reading. But it also does have some setbacks for me.

I will say that this is not the first book you should go to if you're new to tarot, this is more an add-on to your basic knowledge, so bea
...more
Katey Bellew
May 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
I am sorry to have to leave this review on the first day of Pride month. I was so excited about this book but I have to be honest and say that I was hugely disappointed. There were some wonderful things about this book, but ultimately some really problematic things throughout resulted in me struggling to finish. This is a hugely American-centric book that generalises a lot about ‘the queer experience’. For me, the deal breaker was the way mental illness and in particular bipolar disorder was spo ...more
Laura
I read this book quite some time ago, but never got around to putting my thoughts into words – I will say that while I was very much looking forward to this book, I ultimately felt let down. I will say before I mention my critiques that there were absolutely things I did like about this book and that I don't intend to wreck the book for people who cherish it. There were experiences I related to that I'd never expected to read in a tarot book, and it affirming to have them mentioned. I also appre ...more
lazulisong
yikes

this book: all queer identities are valid!!!
also this book: talks exclusively in allosexual terms, ignores the idea that you might be sex repulsed or sex neutral

can’t tell if i’m mad or disappointed anyway i’m going to wake up mad at three am about aces and aros being associated with the ding dang HERMIT card. bullshirt.
Luke
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is well-written and comprehensive. The advice it gives is potentially useful; I probably won’t follow all or even most of it, but it’s also a good introduction to viewing the Tarot differently in general. It’s not overly prescriptive.

The big problem with it, however, is that it assumes a pretty specific queer experience - a lot of it reads like some mixed assumption that we’re wonderful activists or some sort of artistic bohemians, when a lot of us work normal, boring industry jobs an
...more
Veronica
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well-intended, but basically a shallow collection of blog posts. I picked up this book hoping to find some ways to read tarot that are less gender essentialist, but this book doesn't really engage with ways to read with/against the male/female dichotomy that shows up in some cards. It seems a little unfair to judge a book based on what it isn't trying to do, so the two-stars aren't based on that. The star rating is based on:
-some shallow interpretations
-disorganisation (court cards shuffled off
...more
Damaris Huerta
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was kinda a let down cuz it speeds through the minor arcana not really giving in depth description and just seems like it was running through the cards.
Leila
Oct 03, 2021 rated it liked it
An interesting little book of tarot interpretations! I actually enjoyed the minor arcana interpretations more than the major arcana, even when I don’t interpret the cards in the same way. (Except the 6 of cups interpretation, which felt baffling to me, but that might be because it’s my favorite card!) I was rolling my eyes a little about how many of the cards were interpreted as being about coming out, because it felt a little cliche. Still a very fun book for queer folks looking to deepen their ...more
Noah Moore
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I read this with low expectations, but I really loved it and I will certainly keep it as a textbook and come back to it many times. Having tarot interpretations that are not based on the gender binary was SO needed. The explanations were clear and thorough, and I appreciated that it included the traditional interpretations of cards. I also appreciated the grouping of some cards that make sense as a continuous story. The author is very likeable, something that I sometimes struggle with in spiritu ...more
Katie
May 28, 2022 rated it really liked it
this book is so great! so much good information for tarot readers of all levels, with really deep and thoughtful alternate/expanded readings for queer querents. highly recommend regardless of how a reader identifies, as it's just good to have multiple perspectives on the cards.

I'm in a pentacles era, personally.
...more
Nimue
Sep 30, 2022 rated it it was ok
Weighing in as a queer, nonbinary professional tarot reader with over 20 years of experience, some parts of this book really rubbed me the wrong way.

Firstly, tarot cards without context are rarely positive or negative. We apply and project those meanings on to them during the course of a reading. This author loves to label cards as inherently positive or negative which truly limits the multi-dimensionality of all these rich cards.

I also really don't love how often the author fixated on queer tr
...more
Chalice Mathioudakis
I wanted to enjoy this book so bad. I give it 3 stars because it’s the first tarot book I’m aware of to be written with a queer lens, and that is so valuable in and of itself. I’ll start with the criticisms first then end on a high note.

I wish the card interpretations felt more three-dimensional. Rather than discussing how archetypal symbols can relate to common queer experiences, it felt more like defining the cards as a sign of a particular common queer experience. To me, there’s a major diffe
...more
Sophia
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm relatively new to tarot and am trying to learn how to intuitively read them. While I don't have the experience of reading tarot books to tell you if this is THE book to read, I found that it generally provides prompting ideas and interpretations of the cards for you to reflect on the next time you pick up your deck. I have seen from other reviews that it is generalizes queer experiences and I agree with this. However I think to write about something as broad as "a queer experience" some gene ...more
Mitch Rogers
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
My first tarot book. I really liked how Snow really does try to communicate a larger philosophy of tarot instead of just going through the cards one by one, even though they do go through the cards one by one. I think queerness and folk spirituality/occult are a match made in the Everlasting Realms, and studying one helps you understand living outside of institutions of all kinds.
Emma
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the book I've been looking for but my main beef with it is that the fonts are hard/distracting to read and some of the meanings of the minor arcana cards are grouped together, which is good for overall tarot understanding but tricky for individual readings. ...more
Jessica
I’ve been using this book for reference since I started reading it and it’s helped me learn the cards better. The author’s explanations are nuanced. I like that because it expands my thinking regarding the meanings. And of course she gives excellent explanations of the cards in a queer context.
Felyn
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has given me so, so much more to consider in terms of interpreting the cards, especially in regards to giving readings to folks in the queer community. It's definitely not a book for beginners, and novices may still find it a bit overwhelming. I consider myself an advanced novice, and there is a lot to take in.

It specifically looks at the cards from through a queer lens, as well as a sex-positive, polyam- and kink-friendly one. It doesn't shy away from discussing sexual or polyam theme
...more
Alyssa
May 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2020
I respect the hell out of Cassandra Snow as a tarot reader/advisor, and deeply enjoy following them on social media. And I respect what they were going for here. Maybe as a series of blog or instagram posts it would've been a little more digestible/interesting to read. But as a book it was just too repetitive. The Major Arcana were very interesting to read about but I think the book lost steam as soon as it hit the minors and skidded to an absolute halt by the time I reached the Court Cards (con ...more
Paul Nemeth
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so helpful in my development of learning tarot! So many of the traditional descriptions of tarot rely on traditional heteronormative gender roles. Yuck! This book really breaks down each card in a way that is easy to understand and explained things in ways that didn't uphold the patriarchy. I feel like this book makes tarot more accessible to everyone. All people who want to read tarot should read this book regardless of your sexuality or gender identity. This book explains how each ...more
Rachel
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a very interesting, absolutely necessary re-evaluation of traditional approaches to the Tarot. The traditional meanings and images of the cards are centered around cisgendered figures, heterosexuality, the gender binary, and white-skinned people. Cassandra Snow has done revolutionary work in adapting Tarot meanings for a great many marginalized people. The book presents alternative meanings for each card, analyzing how they could reinterpreted to help and guide folx who may be trans, non ...more
Anna
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tarot, adult
I don't remember when I finished this.

I think this is a really important kind of perspective to have. It is not perfect at all but there is a lot of good in it and I liked it more than I was expecting to in some respects, given that there were some bits of it described super unfavorably by people I know. I didn't really read those bits as badly though (with the 2/3/4 of swords, I think?)

Can get why people might dislike it though. I really wish a more universal deck had been used even if the Urba
...more
Sam (Hissing Potatoes)
I love the non-heteronormative, non-gender-binary interpretations Snow offers in this book. While many interpretations obviously stem from the author's personal experiences, I think that level of personalization is a strength. They also do an admirable job of providing potential interpretations from identities/experiences they don't share without claiming to speak for those voices. The book has great, often critical advice for both personal readings and doing readings for others.

I think the book
...more
Kelsey
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a necessary addition to any serious tarot reader's library. Cassandra takes us beyond the stale and rigid traditional interpretations and invites us to use our own stories, identities, and intuition to develop relationships with the cards. If you read cards for other people, this book is for you. If you read for yourself, this book is for you. Queering the Tarot reminds us that divination is for everyone, and if our interpretations of a card aren't inclusive, we're missing something. ...more
Maggie Rose
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Did not finish.

I love the idea behind this book. And the discussion of the Major Arcana was great. But once we get to the Minors, the book is a mess. The author decides, for some unknowable reason, to discuss the cards in groups out of order. Such as a section on the 5 and 7 of wands. Then the next section about the 6 and the 9. I couldn’t follow this, despite trying. Ended up putting it down.
Julie McCord
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent guidance, particularly for those of us with "alternative" sexuality, gender, or practices (poly and kink are also included here), but a lot of what she says applies well to reading for other marginalized people, either directly or as an example of how to think about the card through other lenses. Definitely a keeper. ...more
M.A. Stern
Jun 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a good reference book that encourages deconstructing and reconstructing the tarot to take into account aspects of identity old-school practitioners often neglected.
Max
Nov 23, 2022 rated it it was ok
While I'm really happy this book exists, I can't really recommend it.

I'm a queer and trans tarot reader who has been doing this a long time, and I really wanted to like this book more. Unfortunately there were simply too many interpretations of the cards that were offered as absolutes. "This is a bad card" or "This is a great card" are statements that simply can't apply to the practice when we look at tarot beyond a surface level.

Also, for a book about rejecting gender norms, there is a lot of
...more
Naava Kaiho
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
An excellent read, sure to offer new insights for anyone who reads the Tarot, whether a seasoned professional or just getting their feet wet. The queerness is lacking in the traditional RWS Tarot, it's heteronormative and cisnormative and so forth - or the traditional ways of reading the cards are. But if we start to view the cards as energies and not set-in-stone "King = man" way, we're opening the door to a plethora of new interpretations, and we're not being so binary that it hurts my demiman ...more
Megan
Oct 24, 2022 rated it it was ok
I am struggling with this review. I think the subject matter is extremely important. I applaud the author for so much love, devotion and research.

However, I found this book to be hard to read. In fact I didn’t even finish before I had to take it back to the library. The information was buried in convoluted writing. The groupings of cards didn’t always make sense. There was no way for me to use this book as a reference guide because the actual meaning of the cards wasn’t easy to pick out at quick
...more
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