Asali! I’m so excited to finally feature you! I’ve been a fan of your work for a good minute now. I find you work, your writing and your approach to tarot especially, so original and…rich. I don’t know if that’s the best word, but your writing resonates with and uplifts my spirit. So thank you. What brought you to this work as a tarot reader and oracle?
Utter despair. I was at a point in my life where I seemed to be doing okay on paper but inside was a complete mess. I had a lot of things going on for various reasons, but it could all be distilled down to a lack of trust for myself. A complete lack of alignment with self and destiny. Tarot helped me tap into that, figure out what that was- there was something incredible about pulling cards everyday and requiring myself to trust that whatever my intuition told me was true. Reading for others comes from the same place- wanting to empower folks in my community to trust themselves and get in alignment with their purpose.
You identify as an earthworker. Can you explain to us what that means? What is an earthworker?
I am! I'm an earthworker! Honestly the definition is hard to pin down beyond the knowing that it fits who I am and who I strive to be in my healing practice. In the middle of all the despair and figuring myself out and learning what trusting myself felt like, the earth saved me. I couldn't afford therapy and after figuring out that not everyone around me loved me enough not to suffocate my light, I went looking for something to help ease the weight. I found the lessons of the earth- who I could always trust to be true. It was deeper messages of ritual, grounding, nourishment, shift, and transformation and it was also tangible medicine like honey, herbs, crystals, and divine waters of river, rain, and ocean. It's these lessons and medicine that I strive to share with others in my work.
Your work is centered around self care and healing. How can we use tarot to heal ourselves?
For marginalized people, especially Black femme-identified folks, trusting ourselves is about the last thing the world outside wants us to do. Yet time and time again, we have proven that when we disregard everybody else's notions of what and who we should be, we create magic and transform everything around us. Tarot can be a gateway to that life-saving message of self-trust, and guidance from the energies that keep and protect us. And for self-care as well, to claim the right to not only care for ourselves but also be cared for in easily accessible ways. Bottom line, tarot and other forms of divination, witchcraft, and woo is for us- fuck what you heard.
Do you have any advice for people who are interested in becoming tarot readers?
Go for it! No, really. Just get into it. Tarot is for you, ignore anyone who tells you otherwise. Seek out a deck that speaks to you, get the cards out of the box or cloth they came in, and start reading. Read the traditional meanings and trust your intuition when it agrees or disagrees. Getting into reading for others is a different ball game, and for that I say take your time getting as comfortable as you can with your cards, read for yourself and your friends often, then start with small spreads and work your way up. Constant practice is the best advice anyone could give you.
You have a bajillion decks, but do you remember your first ever deck?!
Oh absolutely! It's my most loved tarot deck and I always return to it when my heart is feeling particularly tender. I am lucky that the first tarot readings I received from others were from decks like the Motherpeace Tarot and the Collective Tarot. It never even occurred to me that I would have to settle for the traditional RWS deck so I set my sights high and looked for a deck that... well, looked like me! I fell in love with the Mythical Goddess Tarot on sight. It's diverse, feminine, honest, and its heart is a rose quartz. My time with this deck saved me. Even when all I drew was the Ten of Air (Swords) and Ten of Fire (Wands).
I know this will be a hard question for you, but, if you were stranded on a desert and could only have one tarot or oracle deck to use for the rest of your life, what deck would it be?
It's not actually! I thought it would be too but the answer always came back the same. My much loved Mythical Goddess Tarot. Some decks like the Daughters of the Moon, Slow Holler, and Wooden Tarot (or soon-come decks like the Dust II Onyx and Numinous Tarot) come very close but seeing as how I would feel particularly vulnerable stranded somewhere, I'll go with the deck that's seen me out of my metaphorical deserts.
Do you have a favorite Tarot card or archetype?
I can never answer this question- it changes so much! So how about I stick with the card I'm sure has come up the most for as long as I've been working with the Tarot, the Ten of Swords. If you've ever come up for air from trauma, painstakingly figured out how to drop some till-then lifelong baggage, or held on to hope against every indication to the contrary, then you know this card well. I've grown fond of the way it haunts me, especially when I need reminding of a lesson already learned.
I love your unique approach to tarot, especially how you combine your work as a earthworker and tarot reader. What is the connection between herbs/plants and tarot? How do they intersect?
It's all about the lessons taught by both herbs and tarot. It happened quite naturally for me. I'd been working on a deeper relationship with plant allies and all the while getting deeper into my tarot practice. In conversations with myself and others I began associating particular combinations of plant energies with an equivalent tarot card. I started writing them down and that was the slow but steady birth of my Meditative Tarot Teas. Ritual has also become a primary avenue of practice, and within that vortex plants and tarot are often conjured together. It might be the use of a tarot card as a focal point with herbs cast in the circle for a particular purpose or the flipside like using herbs as a spell to guide a tarot reading's energy. They both saved my life, I couldn't separate them even if I wanted to.
Who are some Black Femme Witches that inspire you?
Anyone who knows me will answer this for me first, Beyonce. And Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Josephine Baker, Octavia St. Laurent, Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Janet Mock, Janelle Monae, Courtney Alexander, and dear friends who keep breathing with me, all with the blessing of Yeye Oshun. Though to be fair, they might have different definitions of themselves or even the word femme but they do fit mine (which is all about power, magic, and delighting in femininity).
Whats next for you?! What are you dreaming about and conjuring?
The continuing practice of intimacy and vulnerability in my healing work. I've been writing more and more about how my practice has been moving me towards growth- sometimes painfully but always towards deeper love. Breaking myself open as a way of freeing all the smothered parts of me and also a way to move others to do the same for themselves. So more writing, card slinging, and- grace and spirit allowing- facilitating courses on everyday accessible healing ritual practice.
Her healing work is rooted in using self-care as a means to disrupt systems of oppression and care for her community. With tarot, ritual, and earthwork she manifests magic for the everyday and the unusual, seeking healing for herself and her clients in order to clarify practical paths to what is sought.