The Column

Queering the Tarot: Two of Pentacles

This card of balance and fluctuation is a necessary evil in our Earthly journey. If the Ace promises news and growth, the Two reminds us that life is still life. That brilliant business adventure will hit some snags and potentially even lose money to start. Our dream home will see a pipe burst. Our family, chosen or otherwise, will still fight because it is comprised of other human beings who each have their own trauma and emotional needs. We will start that valuable resource for our community, and then we will see it run dry at times. That’s okay; yes, that’s fluctuation and it’s hard. It’s also absolutely critical for us as we learn to grow and thrive. We do not know who we are based solely on the best of times; we know who we are when we have suffered and handled it. That is balance, taking the bad with the good and learning to find the funny story or the warm hug in the middle of it all.

A card of balance in a suit about career, money, home, and family also reminds us that there are other things in life. There’s our spiritual journey, our friendships, the fact that we like sitting on our couch and binge-watching The Gilmore Girls. There’s a million aspects of life and this card reminds us that they all need our attention right now. I get this card a lot as a multipassionate (that is, someone with careers and goals in multiple fields), telling me that now is not the time to slow down anywhere and I just have to handle it and keep going. Yet it also shows up to remind me that I have a sick body and a traumatized heart, and sometimes I just really need that Netflix binge. It’s not contradictory at all, rather every message of this card reminds us to nurture all parts of ourselves.

As a bonafide queer person who is disabled and has struggled forever with poverty, I sometimes feel like my whole life has been about learning to navigate the Two of Pentacles. That’s not at all unusual for ANY LGBTQ+ person, but especially those who are wading through multiple intersections of marginalization. In our activist lives we see it daily. As soon as we gain a cool piece of legislation, we lose another one we were counting on. In the personal, it so very often seems like one step forward and two steps back to create a safer art space, food shelf, or youth program for our community. I have a day where I feel out and proud and great, and then a day when I feel scared and small. Some of this imbalance is important for learning. Do I still create space when a physical space is lost, and how? Do I still behave bravely on days I feel scared and small? Sometimes though, I have learned all of these lessons, and what I needed was another good day for queer people, and receiving something different is jarring. Unfortunately the Universe (or any divine you believe in) and the world around us don’t always behave specifically according to what I as one person needs. Sometimes someone else needed that win more, and sometimes someone else fought harder to get their idea through. That’s life, and that’s balance.

So where does the Two of Pentacles take us queer kids in those darker times then? The more important keyword in this card is balance. Our whole lives we have striven to find ourselves and live our lives as those selves no matter what was going on in the world around us. That is unequivocally a lesson in balance. When you can find yourself, your voice and your heart at the center of the whirlwind, you have found true balance. That’s what the Two of Pentacles urges the marginalized to do when it shows up. This card wants you to think through what makes you feel calm, centered, and focused no matter what is falling down around you. You need that center in the worst of times, sure. You also need it in the best of times when everything is happening quickly and unapologetically. You want to retain your place in your community, your home, your body, and so you must quickly learn to find that inner peace. That is the biggest and most important lesson in the Two of Pentacles, and something every queer person needs to have tucked away in their self-care toolkit. The world will continue to be cruel and kind to us in turn, and as survivors of this floating ball in the sky, we’ve got to find a way to make it work.

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