We know excellence when we see it. We feel it. It vibrates. It has its own force field. There is something extra (“she is getting all extra on us”), something that we recognize in the intuitive, instinctive parts of our spirits when we engage with something extraordinary. Courtney Alexander’s Dust II Onyx: A Melanated Tarot is excellent. She is two days away from reaching her $50,000 goal to publish her second edition of these glorious new divination cards. We NEED to put our money where our mouths and hearts are and support diverse visions. In the US it is $75 to make a tangible step in directly redistributing resources to shift the dominant paradigm. Click the link above on the name of the deck and get your copy now, bringing the $12,000 she needs to reach her goal IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS to beam her luminescent blackness further into the collective consciousness.
The deck was created in only 16 month and the first edition was released December 2017. It is a visionary work of art as well as a powerful magical tool. This is #BlackGirlMagic shining its undeniable essence into a world crippled with injustices. The artwork, text, and overall intention of the project is an Ancient Now, Afrofuturist tour de force that was inspired by dreams and the ancestors, and the uplifting of previously marginalized communities into positions of power and self-authority. Although made for her tribe, this deck will bring richness and depth to diviners and magic makers of any race. One of Courtney’s goals is to run a publishing house that works with marginalized groups, and she also has a $5 donation button on her website to fund decks for healers who might not be able to afford them, but the cards would profoundly support their work.
This weekend at Camp Souldust in the Pacific Northwest I was blessed to work with Dylan Wilder Quinn, a love warrior working with white folks to dismantle our internalized entitlement, colonialism, and white fragility. They do good work, and this is what they said about supporting the deck on Facebook:
“Y’all. I really want Courtney Alexander to have all the support in the world, as one of the most incredible tarot deck creators of all time. There is so much I can say about the energy and healing of this deck. It is a Black, queer created deck, so there is so much in it that is subversive and resistant to U.S. white supremacy culture, digging into ancestral African stories for strength. It is beautiful, combining collage and painting in a way that I’ve never seen before. It is incredibly high quality – the cards are thicker, softer, and edged with gold. It is an invitation for me to draw deeply into my own European ancestral knowledge and gather stories from long ago. It is a reminder of the stolen ancestry of my friends with African heritage. It is healing of all the anti-Black (“black heart,” “my darkest wound,” “I’m in a dark place…” to name how it shows up in language alone) sentiment intentionally created in our culture, drawing on the beauty of Blackness in every card and taking my breath away with its beauty. It centers queer, trans, and femme identities in a way I’ve never seen before in a tarot deck. It is tricky for me to sit with it as a white person in this culture, and I am digging into it verrrry slowly – at its simplest, it is a way to witness Black resistance while paying a Black artist and supporting them. It is also an excellllllent gift. She still needs many decks sold by the end of this month to create the second edition. Support queer artists! Support POC artists! Let’s make this happen for her!”
My beloved friend Jabulile Dayton and I were in New Mexico just after I received my copy of the first edition of the deck in January, and these two videos by Jabu, who is of Zulu and Northern European ancestry, are an eloquent and spirited reflection of the richness and revolutionary power this deck carries. She is speaking of the Great American Eclipse that occurred in August of 2017 in the first video that crossed the Mason-Dixon line, and there is some passionate swearing in video two. Sometimes we just have to verbally punctuate our love of #BlackGirlMagic excellence.
As discussed in the second video with Jabu, this deck also taps into Afrofuturist themes, and this quote from the Huffington Post article above about the cosmic Black Magic: AfroPasts/AfroFutures show articulates some of the energy of this deck.
This moment is your time to pay it forward and bring more diverse and inclusive voices to the table. As urban poet Talib Kweli offers in his modern parable, Beautiful Struggle, an essential part of rebalancing our divisive systems is the question of how money is going to be made. This is it, here, today, now, whatever cultural you are from. This is what you do. Support indie, homegrown products and processes from a rainbow tribe of makers. Show what you value through where you use your precious resources. The buck stops here, with you, with me, today. (I ordered a second copy of the deck because I want to see how she changes it and walk my talk). Make this happen for all of us. We all need to decolonize our souls through beauty and inspiration and connection and deep reverence for the gifts within each of us. If you missed the link, order your deck here, NOW, there is only a two-day window to reach her goal.
And here is an interview with Courtney on Andrew Kyle McGregor’s Hermit’s Lamp podcast.