queen of plumes

sharp perceptions //

lately i’ve been listening to a lot of early ani difranco, the soundtrack to my first year in college. that was the same year that bush got re-elected, and the next day i wore all black, with a sign taped to me that said “fuck the government ‘04”. (this was before i regularly wore all black.) it was the same year i went to my first protest and fell into college activism. it was the same year that i told a boy no and he didn’t listen, at first.

perhaps you can see why that year has been on my mind.

ani meant a lot to me, not only because she put words to feelings i had but also because she was the first artist i was aware of being bisexual. i loved her because she showed me that there was a way to be in the world without giving any of my self up.

i listened to her this morning, looking for a way into this newsletter. it’s not that i have nothing to say about the queen of plumes, but rather too much. it’s a card that means a lot to me, for reasons that are perhaps too personal for a newsletter.

and then ani sang, “in this city, self-preservation is a full time occupation,” and i thought, oh. i had just read what the mesquite tarot has to say about its equivalent card, the knower of arrows: “the knower wears a defensive layer, the kind you get from living in a city. it’s valuable protection, but sometimes there’s no need.”

i felt seen; i felt known. this is what the queen does: she cuts to the core of you. the wild unknown calls her all-seeing and depicts her as an owl staring straight at the reader. she’s someone who will call you on your bullshit.

the queen of plumes is not a gentle creature; she is too prickly for that. her criticism can be, at times, too cutting. it can be hard for her to remember that her hard-won defenses are not always needed.

if you, like me, relate to the queen, let her serve as a reminder that there are many methods of calling out bullshit. let’s be wise about which one we use, darlings.


this week’s deck: the wooden tarot
this week’s rocks (clockwise from top): obsidian, epidote, black tourmaline