We asked V, “The Tarot BFF,” to do a reading on the present and future of the African-American community. After consulting Courtney Alexander’s deck Dust II Onyx: A Melanated Tarot (dust2onyx.com), which explores the intersections of Black identity through paintings and mixed media collage featuring historical facts, cultural myths, icons and symbolism of the Black Diaspora, these were her answers.


IMAGE: 2 of Gourds by V

What is the reason for racism in the United States and globally?

With the 2 of Gourds, American racism boils down to resisting that two halves make a whole. Partnership needs a solid foundation of emotional reciprocity and acceptance of difference. Like Yin and Yang, you cannot have one without the other. When mankind was created, there was a hopeful promise of balance for future partnerships, but due to one ethnicity refusing to accept the look, culture, spirituality, gifts, etc. of the other, being “different” was viewed as a threat and that fear watered the seeds of racism.

Partnering with “contrast” is very much like accepting the “shadow” of one’s own personality, and we all know how much we LOVE that (said sarcastically). We may find our shadow self quite dope, but hide our love for it and punish ourselves because it doesn’t look like what is considered “socially acceptable.” Little do we know that our greatest sources of power reside in that space. Racism, and all the hurt and hate geared toward a specific population of people, is the fear of collaboration on something greater than ourselves.


IMAGE: Ace Of Blades by V

The Ace of Blades tells us that globally, a mindset of superiority and the protection of ideas and innovations sit at the crux of racism. “Whoever has the best idea wins,” is the sword being wielded and its blade is sharp – the goal is for the accomplishment to speak for an entire race. With the world’s available resources varying greatly from place to place, the haves versus the have-nots has become a real-life game of Survivor. Those living in poverty, without the means to “play the game,” are overlooked and therefore discounted as people. Cutting the playing field in half ensures a victorious outcome.


IMAGE: Lil Blade (reversed) by V

What is the plight of black people in America?

With Lil’ Blade reversed, the plight seems to be the lack of compassion across races as well as within the race itself. Many focus on keeping emotions at bay to make logical decisions, as there is a fear of vulnerability. To be vulnerable translates to being weak, which allows others to take advantage.

Putting up blinders to emotional energy does not halt its onset, but actually impacts the way people communicate. Trying to hide vulnerability, one often becomes guarded, suspicious, and manipulative due to lack of trust. Communicating from that place has a completely different effect than if someone recognizes, validates, and shares their emotions and works through them, either independently or collectively. A long-standing mistrust of others has been passed down through generational bloodlines. Until those curses are broken and trust on both sides stems from working together instead of against each other, the current state of affairs will continue for many more generations.

Why do black people suffer so much?

The ability to withstand punishment at the hands of others, and survive, feels ingrained in the DNA of African-Americans. In this lifetime, we not only possess the ability to survive, but also thrive. In order to reverse the effects of our mental conditioning and grow, there is a need to look at our situation as a collective, find the lesson that we keep testing on, erect boundaries to that which does not support elevation, and change the patterns we have been repeating.

Victim mentality and the generational predisposition to withstand punishment and pain at the hands of others comes through strongly with the 10 of Blades. At the heart of our suffering is the belief that negative instances are happening to us rather than happening for us on a much grander level. Some choose to be victims instead of trying to see what is being taught. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to get down when you are kicked, but it’s also your responsibility to assess the situation, change course, and rise.


IMAGE: 10 of Blades by V

What is the African American community’s destiny?

As time progresses, African Americans will continue to fight for their civil liberties, to be seen as equals, and for justice. With Young Blade reversed, it may be said that Malcolm X’s motto “By any means necessary” could very well resurface and be used as the means to an end. This lack of compassion and impulsiveness, when it comes to thought processing, planning and execution, could have some serious repercussions. However, given that we have been fighting all our lives for one thing or another, it will not stop the drive to the finish line.


IMAGE: Six of Staffs by V

The Six of Staffs ensures a well-earned victory in our future. There will be battle scars and casualties to account for, but the energy driving us forward will be that of equality and harmony infused in race relations; a final acceptance of our respective shadow sides.