edited to add: I am closing down my practice as of June 15, 2017! For more information, please go here: https://brownstargirltarot.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/closing-my-practice-after-5-years/
I’m an intuitive tarot reader and divinator who has been reading for myself and other people for over 20 years. I read from a liberatory tradition of tarot and numerology, which believes that intuition and divination are tools oppressed and resisting people have always used to survive and make our best choices, that they are a power nobody can take away from us. I don’t believe that the future is already written; I believe that we write it with our actions every day.
My readings are grounded in healing and disability justice movements, in queer femme of color world-making, and in the tradition I grew out of, of working class femmes who healed and read for each other at kitchen tables. I am a working-class, disabled 41 year old North American-raised Burgher/Tamil Sri Lankan, Irish/ Roma nonbinary femme. My readings are Black and Brown, femme, queer and trans, sex working, working class and poor, disabled, crazy and chronically ill, positive and centering.
I’ve read for myself and other for 22 years, in the park when I needed phone bill money, in queer clubs, at conferences and healing justice spaces, and in my own private practice, which I made official in 2012. I think of my readings as a healing collaboration and conversation between me, the person I am reading for and the cards, not as me as the expert telling you what to do.
If your life is at a crossroads; if you have questions about relationships, love, family, healing, money, moving, destiny, work, school, depression, oppression, big or little life decisions- or if all hell is breaking loose in all of these areas of your life – tarot can help you figure out what is going on. I look at how the realities and legacies of trauma, abuse and oppression can affect your options , as well as how our ancestors, communities and genius individual and collective survival strategies can be resources.
I use the Collective Tarot and Wild Unknown tarot decks, both of which are decks rooted in transformation and social justice.
You can schedule a reading at https://brownstargirltarot.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php ; email me at email@example.com with questions.
Lineage (aka the longer version):
I’ve been reading tarot for myself and other people for 22 years. I began reading cards and practicing numerology in 1994, when I was a 19 year old queer mixed brown survivor femme struggling with the crazy and the trauma (mine and others’) in a fifth floor walk-up in the pre-gentrified Lower East Side of New York. Reading cards and studying numerology gave me tools that helped me get clear on the struggles I was facing and tap into my own power and choices. Maybe all the very stressful things happening to me wasn’t just a bunch of chaotic hell (ok, maybe that too) but were things I could make sense of, see the story in, get clarity about.
Tarot also gave me a container to connect to the intuitiveness that I had always had, that I inherited from my mom’s bloodline. I was a weird, traumatized kid who felt most comfortable with books and trees, who spent a lot of time reading library books, writing, dreaming and talking to spirits in the woods. I didn’t have an easy time understanding humans or getting along with other kids my age, but I could talk to the moon like nobody’s business. (All of which was often medicalized as ‘crazy’ and none of which gave me much social capital.)
My mom, a brilliant, complicated, working class and disabled Irish/ Roma survivor and perpetrator of multiple traumas, always knew who was calling before the phone rang (this was before caller ID) and often had precognitive insight into what was about to happen. She had dreams, knew things and could look at someone and tell what was happening, even if they weren’t talking about it. One of the biggest gifts my mother gave me was teaching me that witchiness and intuition were just another thing that people, especially femme, cash-poor, crazybrilliant oppressed and surviving people, could do – that they were normal, ordinary magic we used to keep ourselves alive.
Over the ensuring two decades, I read people’s cards in the park when I needed phone bill money. I read cards in the corner of 90s queer women of color dance parties and yard sales. I had a brief, weird stint working at a psychic hotline when my contract job at the rape crisis line ran out (true story.) I kept reading for my friends and reading for myself. I studied tarot, learned to use different decks, maintained a very active working relationship with my altar, and still spent a lot of time in the woods and my garden talking to the plants and the sky. I had other queer people of color friends who had spiritual practices and were interested in healing, but we barely talked about it. It was the 90s- what did being a witch have to do with ending the prison industrial complex?
Well, as it turned out, plenty. When I moved to the Bay Area in 2007 to attend graduate school and return to the U.S. after a decade in Toronto, I was fortunate to land at a time where conversations about disability and healing justice and what some friends call the “QTPOC witch revolution” were busting out. The healing justice movement– created by Black, Indigenous and People of Color politicized healers, especially femme ones- gave me space to claim divination as a form of healing that was important to many communities. I kept showing up to healing spaces, to the collective meetings of the Badass Visionary Healers, a collective I would be part of from 2011-2014, even when part of me was like, “but I’m not really a healer, right?” The healing justice folks I met and befriended believed that there are many ways to be a healer, that healing is not just the province of the wealthy and the officially certified, that many of our most valuable forms of healing have been criminalized and pushed underground- but have survived anyway. All of this thinking and organizing changed the world, and all of this is what allowed me to launch a tarot practice in 2012.
Since then, I have been honored to offer divination at many healing justices practice spaces at the Allied Media Conference, CUAV’s Safetyfest in 2010-2011, the 2015 INCITE! Color of Violence conference, the People’s Movement Center and the Healing Clinic Collective. I’ve been equally honored to heal with folks in my home offices in Oakland, Toronto/ T’koronto (Three Fires Confederacy, Missisuaga of New Credit and Huron-Wiyot territories), Bed Stuy, Brooklyn and Rainier Valley, South Seattle, and in coffeeshops, on the phone and Skype with folks from all over the world. I have participated in movement building work by helping organize the 2013 Healing Justice Network Gathering at the Allied Media Conference, with Cyree Jarelle Johnson co-teaching a workshop called Divination for Liberation at the 2015 AMC, and, with Adaku Utah and Susan Raffo, helping to create the 2014 Healing Justice for Black Lives Matter fundraiser, where healing justice practitioners from across North America and beyond donated money from their clients on December 17,2014 to the Ferguson Black Lives Matter protestors’ bail fund.
Identities: My mom is Irish and Roma and my father is Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan. I identify as all of it, and as a mixed, light skinned femme of color. Learning that my mother is Roma is newer information for me. For a long time, what I was told was that she was Irish and Ukrainian. Two years ago, I received information from a family member that that side of the family was actually Roma, but had passed as Ukrainan to escape anti Roma violence. I had always honored that tarot emerges from a Roma spiritual tradition; I am especially honored that this form of divination is one emerging from of my cultures.
I am a non-binary queer femme, 41 years old, disabled and chronically ill, working class with educational privilege, neurodivergent, and a survivor of abuse. I am a writer and educator: you can find out more about my books, my writing workshops and performances here.