Understanding gender in its entirety is a huge necessity in our society. Whether it is to simply accept that there is more outside the dualistic masculine/feminine binary we’ve created, or to fully understand each point on the spectrum, as people feel more comfortable fully expressing themselves, we are understanding that gender is a complex topic. However, Tarot can help, especially when we break open how we understand gender in Tarot.
I recently stumbled across another Tarot podcast – love podcasts so much! The Root Lock Tarot podcast is a product of Weston from New York, and the very first episode of his that I stumbled across was:
Busting the Binary: Reframing Gender in Tarot
I put that in MASIVE text because You really need to click that link to get to the episode, since his website doesn’t include it.
However, he has a beautiful theory that he posits regarding the idea of a dualistic gender within the tarot.
This is a topic I’ve discussed before when considering the idea of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ in tarot, and talking about how it doesn’t necessarily correspond to biological genders but rather the energy related to the genders. I talked about how each of us is a combination of some form of both masculine and feminine.
What Westin has done is explained how there are actually 16 different expressed genders in Tarot. And it kind of blew my mind when he said it. It’s so simple, so obvious, and yet such a different way of looking not at the Tarot, but how we view binaries in general.
I won’t give away the whole plot of the episode, but the idea is that for each element you have either a masculine or feminine energy that corresponds to it: Fire and Air are masculine (active energy) while Water and Earth are feminine (passive energy). So when you begin looking at the Court Cards, you have each suit which is giving you an active or a passive energy, and then each member of the court which corresponds to an element, and thus to a masculine or feminine quality.
The Queens are Water elements. Thus, the Queen of Cups is a Water meets Water type of energy. If water is passive, and thus feminine, then you have feminine/feminine. However, the Queen of Wands is Fire meets Water. Fire is an active element, and thus masculine. And so, you have a masculine/feminine. It goes even further when you consider that one is a fire-masculine while one is a water-feminine, vs say the King of Swords, which would be an Earth-feminine/Air-masculine: Kings are ruled by Earth, which is passive, thus feminine; Swords are represented by Air, which is active energy, thus masculine.
I found this absolutely fascinating, and a brilliant exploration of how we view gender as a spectrum rather than a binary set definition. Furthermore, it expands our understanding of energetic gender in Tarot, thus provides a new layer that we can draw from as readers.
Give the episode a listen. I promise it is worth your time, and will help you to be a better Tarot reader.