If you are serious about living an enriched life and being a better person, then stepping outside of your comfort zone – even for a moment – is inevitable. That happens a lot in Tarot. The cards will nudge you toward a better path even if that means kicking you entirely out of your comfort zone in the process. This post might be one of those moments. It is for me. Today’s card uncomfortably pokes at some old issues, but imma just say what intuition gives anyway. This post is a little sweary and political. If you are not up for that, no worries, just skip it and come back for the next post. I’ll be back to my usual religion and politics avoidance policy by then.
Evangelical dogma and connotations around the word pride is reason nine thousand ninety-nine hundred and eleventy-one why I ran screaming from my family’s religion.
I was raised in the American evangelical subculture by the church deacon and Sunday school teacher who helped found the town’s first Southern Baptist affiliated church. (Yeah, THOSE Southern Baptists in the WaPo article) That kind of thinking turns the innocent word “pride” into something wrong and guilt-riddled. They turn pride into a sin (as do Catholics, so I’m told.)
If being happy with who I really am while proudly celebrating the authentic selves of the people I love is a sin, then hail Satan and pass the asbestos underwear! See you in hell, frens!
It’s a stretch, but I’m guessing the “pride” they are talking about is maybe a language artifact. Language shifts and evolves over time, even when fundamentalists don’t. Bronze age manuscripts filtered through medieval translations and bent to contemporary evangelical ends frames their version of “pride” as being unbridled ego. It makes sense that, in a world before psychology, a mental state like that would be attributed to a more common word like pride. If you define it in those terms “pride goes before a fall” isn’t wrong. Out of control narcissism leads to poor choices and risky behavior (like, for example, the former president who was supported by 80% of white evangelicals according to NPR)
Whatever the reason, it is still a shame that the newer, healthier connotations of the word pride is often haunted by these older, negative, derogatory undertones.
It’s June, so it’s not psychic or paranormal for my thoughts turn to Pride Month.
With the Four of Wands today, the words “quirk” and “celebrate” step forward. “Quirk” is the name for superpowers in the anime My Hero Academia that we’ve been watching lately. Superpower or not, socially acceptable or not, “quirk” here means anything that makes you unique and is a key part of your individual, authentic self. “Celebrate with pride” comes strongly to mind.
This is where it gets uncomfortable. I am reminded of reason number 1 why I ran screaming from the evangelicals: bigotry. Rampant, pervasive, intractable bigotry including overt homophobia. Not every single individual certainly, but the words that pour from those they collectively elevate to their pulpits speaks for everyone in a congregation. Loudly.
The ministers are literally in front of and above everyone else when they speak. Imagine the heartbreak as a teenager when they would nearly yell bigoted bullshit about “the homosexuals” when I had friends in the community who where some of the kindest most compassionate, open, inclusive loving people I’ve met to this day.
The Four of Wands is about community celebration. It is about lifting others up.
And it can be about embracing those who were rejected by their birth families because of who they authentically are. I love those “I’m your mom / dad now” memes supporting lgbtqia kids who are rejected by their own families. Anybody the evangelicals reject is prolly my kind kind of people.
The Four of Wands is about celebration. Authenticity is something to celebrate. People living their truest life is a profoundly happy thing. A lack of self esteem can make us more prone to bias or worse (a 2011 article on psychologialscience.org is one quick example) Confidence is fuel for compassion. Pride in ourselves breeds compassion for others which leads to pride in those around us which creates acceptance which seeds even more self esteem and so it goes. Pride not only isn’t a sin, it arguably makes the world a better place.
Pride month is a lesson for all of us. It is hard to hate others when you are comfortable with yourself. Those of us with privilege are exponentially more responsible to protect and celebrate and uplift Pride Month.
I used to think that my experience of leaving evangelical religion and coming out as a tarot reading, science loving, Taoist, atheist and witch gave me a teeny tiny partial keyhole glimpse into what it is like for the lgbtqia+ community on both sides of the closet door.
If there is anything at all I’ve learned from Pride month about being a good ally, it’s that being an ally doesn’t have any fucking thing to do with me. Pride month for an ally is about being proud of other people – proud of the people we care about.
If you are living an authentic and kind life – I am proud of you.
Celebrate who you authentically are. Celebrate everyone else’s authentic self too. But don’t let the celebratory pride slip into the self-centered pride. Pride and a safe and welcoming place is something for every month, not just big business June advertising. Although I kinda like all the rainbow tshirts. And the one big burger place donating a portion of their chicken sandwich profits (including Sunday sales) to a lgbtqia+ organization to troll the anti-equality uber christians that run that other chicken place. I’m all the way down with that particular cororporate move.
I celebrate with you because I’m proud of you and who you really are.
All are welcome here.
Related: The Niggles: What’s In A Name
gif images via giphy.com, nope via bitmoji free app, Tarot card image from the public domain. Rainbow photo by the author.
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2 thoughts on “Today’s Tarot: I’m Proud of You”
Say it loud and clear
For open minds to feel
Thank you! How are doing? I hope the summer is going well. Thanks again gor your support. It means a lot! Have a good one and all good vibes to you 🌼
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