Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Book Review: Tarot for the Hard Work by Maria Minnis

tarot, decolonization, collective liberation, desettling, anti-racism, book review, witch, witchcraft, occult, spiritual, wicca, wiccan, pagan

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I received a free copy of this book via Weiser in exchange for an honest review.

I am going to preface this review with full honesty. I have not finished Tarot for the Hard Work: an Archetypal Journey to Confront Racism and Inspire Collective Healing by Maria Minnis at the time of writing this review. However, don't let that deter you from reading what I have to say. I decided to write my review before finishing the book for a couple of reasons. First, you all need to pick up the book as quickly as you can, and waiting for me to completely finish it is only going to delay the inevitable. Second, it's going to take me much longer to finish this book than I originally thought because I desire to do the anti-racism work described with fidelity. I have no desire to quickly read and skim the exercises just to get a review out faster. This book and the work therein deserve my time, effort, and action, no matter how long it takes. At the time of this writing, I have officially completed four chapters. I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but I promise it was more than enough to know this is a book everyone needs to get their hands on, whether you practice witchcraft or not. While Tarot for the Hard Work is centered around tarot, the cards are there to support the archetypal journey we must all travel during our anti-racism work; it's not a requirement for the work itself.

Each chapter centers on a tarot card, starting with The Fool (0) and ending with The World (21), and its relation to your anti-racism journey. Each chapter is structured the same way: introduction to the card, its "embodied keywords", how it appears in liberation work, "correspondences for inspiration", how it can show up as both balanced and imbalanced in our lives, self-identifiers, affirmations, magical practices to conjure the card, exercises, goal setting, reflection, and building a toolkit. Each chapter requires the reader to deep dive into their life and practice as it relates to anti-racism and collective liberation. Minnis encourages her readers to have a journal on hand to document their journey, and that is exactly what I have done. Because of the amount of work and reflection, chapters can take days, if not weeks, to fully and faithfully work through. It's not because they are long, but because the work requires your attention and time. The reflection alone often takes me a day or two to fully mull over, not to mention the time spent on the tasks and exercises suggested in each chapter. This is true shadow work being done that doesn't just benefit yourself, but the whole community.

Exercises and magical tasks range from evaluating your racial biases to starting community refrigerators. Other tasks involved watching videos, reading articles and books, or even mustering up the courage to leave a partner who refuses to engage in this work with you. The first four chapters alone have inspired me to take some pretty monumental steps forward on my journey. Minnis definitely called me out in chapter 3, The High Priestess. The High Priestess is my soul card, aka my soul's purpose. According to Minnis, those who embody the High Priestess "disseminate knowledge through language, action, and energy, all in the name of collective healing." I mean...what else am I doing with this blog if not trying to heal the witch wound while helping others decolonize their practice? In liberation work "their power may be quiet, some may say passive. But make no mistake, the High Priestess is undoubtedly an active participant in their world." Sometimes I don't always post about world events or actions everyone can take but trust that I am always working behind the scenes for collective liberation, an end to systemic racism and oppression, and the end of genocide. "The High Priestess is the witness, not the hero. They're the oracle, not the prophecy." But where do I feel called out? The High Priestess is imbalanced when they need grounding, underutilizes key talents, and ignores intuition. My anxiety, especially my desire to avoid confrontation, often stops me from doing what I know I should be doing, and that isn't okay. It's a privilege to be able to walk away, scroll to the next video, or delete a comment and move on with my life. I am not burdened by the color of my skin, but for the majority of the world, that isn't the case. I must leverage my privilege for collective liberation, and that starts with speaking up and out, lifting marginalized voices, and listening instead of leading.

If you have continued to follow me through the years, you know decolonization/desettling, dismantling oppression, and collective liberation are extremely important aspects of my magical practice. I do not take this work lightly and hope that those of you who have stuck around for the last 10 years feel the same way. If you do, Tarot for the Hard Work: an Archetypal Journey to Confront Racism and Inspire Collective Healing by Maria Minnis is a book you need to order right now. I promise it's a thousand percent worth the price tag. I hope that more books like this one will continue to be published. We are not free until we are all free.

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