Explain what Get Read Wednesday is?
Get Read Wednesday Tarot is an online tarot reading that happens on Wednesday of each week. Get Read Wednesday was initially a way to evolve my understanding of tarot, and to receive feedback on my interpretations. But Get Read Wednesday has a life of its own now and has chosen to evolve. Not every idea evolves like this, so I’m allowing it space to breathe and it’s showing me that it wants to expand toward community outreach, building an intimate and secure clientele, and becoming a multimedia entity. I’m am simply meeting the demands of this idea. I have no idea where it will take me, but so far it’s taken me to new heights and depths so I have reason to trust it.
As a new follower, here’s what to expect:
Wednesdays at 8pm (EST), a photograph of three different tarot cards are posted on Get Read Wednesday Tarot’s Facebook and Instagram.
Followers are encouraged to comment which card they are drawn to for the week and to engage with myself and others in the thread. There’s usually a discussion topic that goes with each post, I try to challenge people who wouldn’t normally talk about their feelings to do so in the context of our tarot reading thread, and I do so by finding new ways to be vulnerable out loud.
At 10 p.m. (EST), I post each card and my interpretation of them. Depending on the energy, it may not be the traditional meaning of the card. I default to intuition, and then use traditional meanings.
When and why did you start it?
I started reading tarot almost 3 years ago. I am a natural skeptic, so I’m pretty intentional about learning everything there is to know before I decide something is for me. I started reading because I wanted to find my truth. I was living a life that wasn’t mine. I was suppressed by my own efforts to meet societal expectations. I was in deep denial about my own internalized transphobia that kept me in denial about who I was. I was imprisoned by my own shame. It started off as processing trauma.
How did you get into tarot cards?
I’ve always been skeptical and curious. I remedied that at a young age by reading everything there was to read about occultism, Buddhism, and herbalism. I am the oldest of two to a single-mother who worked a lot. So I had time to discipline myself and master my hobbies. By the time I was 13, I meditated regularly, replaced soft drinks with tea, and was making face masks out of avocado and bananas. I chose to spend my free time in libraries, so I also mastered the art of stillness. This laid the groundwork for everything else that followed.
A few years ago, I started attending AlAnon meetings to support a loved one. I ended up getting so much out of it. AlAnon ended up helping me realize there was a lot of unprocessed trauma regarding how alcoholism influenced my childhood. Upon realizing that, of course I did everything to avoid seeing a therapist. Crystals, meditation, tarot, herbalism, rootwork, and chakra-based dieting were all attempts to avoid seeking professional help. Much later I realized that those grounding practices are supplements but they don’t replace therapy. You shouldn’t be the only influence in your healing, or you’ll just end up repeating cycles. But during my avoidance phase, I did pick up some invaluable coping skills along the way. I fell in love with tarot because I am a writer and I feel so deeply. But also I’m very analytical person, my mind processes through a story lens. Tarot was my own personal storyboard that allowed me to make full sense of what I was experiencing, how to work through it, and where to go next. Tarot helped me come out as trans. Tarot helped me pick my chosen name. Tarot helped me process coming out, every time I did it, until I got use to it. Tarot helped me rejection from my family. Tarot helped me forgive them when they started to put in effort. It helped me heal myself through someone else’s pictures and my own words.
How does it help other people and how does it help you?
Tarot supports emotional intelligence. It can help you build a stronger bridge between your intuition and your logic. But tarot is not magic. It is true that spiritual people use tarot as a divinatory practice, but it is not magic. It is a system based on numerology, astrology, psychology of color, the elements, and mythology. So it’s magic by association, but it’s ultimately practical.
Because it’s practical, it can help you process your emotions and understand yourself and the world from different angles. For others, it mostly introduces the idea that there’s more to the story. It introduces perspectives that we cannot comprehend as we sit behind the walls of our own trauma. It creates distance between us and what’s happening, so that we may fully understand the scope of our situations and how it applies to the big picture. That perspective is necessary because we tend to get lost in the sauce. Tarot pulls you out of that, places you somewhere safe, and gently encourages you to appreciate this new angle of understanding.
WHO are you? What are you up to in the world? What are you about?
My name is Austen. I am a black and non-binary multidisciplinary and healing apprentice. I am a student of life. I am queer and southern. I am gentle, accountable. I am a writer. For pay, I am a professional tarot reader and I work in research studying compassion in the public school system. I about healing. I am about life after healing. I am about life after the systems crumble. I am about tangible liberation – from systems, from student loans, from healthcare that no one can afford. I am about deep, throaty laughs and hearty meals shared with the ones who hold space for me, not just as a healer, but as a fundamentally flawed human with weaknesses and urges and blemishes and contradictions. I’m about the fabric of community woven by mutual trust, vulnerability, and self-awareness.
Are many of your clients queer and if so, how does it make you feel to help out other queer people?
Most of my my clients are queer. I actually don’t think about this because most of everyone in my life is queer. Aside from coworkers, I don’t deal with many heteronormative people on an interpersonal level. It is us queers who are daring to explore spiritual growth outside of tradition. Not because we don’t yearn for fellowship, but because we have been forced out of our church communities for daring answer the call of Self. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that it confirms just how not alone we all are in the experiences we share and the feelings we feel. We are pioneering this spiritual audacity, and many of us are simply reclaiming roots that we can only metaphorically connect to because they were ripped from us.
What are your thoughts on being Queer in the state of Kentucky?
I hope to leave Kentucky, and the South in general. I don’t believe in staying where I am not welcomed. I know there is much work to do in the south, but all my ancestors did was work. Sometimes I think I inherited the exhaustion they weren’t allowed to act on. I don’t know where my physical home is yet, but I’m open to exploring where my creative work takes me.
It’s incredibly hard to be black, queer, transgender, non-binary, and polyamorous in the south. Not just politically, but queerness looks really binary in the south. Queer culture in the south seems to be a microcosm of cishet culture. Maybe that’s the case everywhere, but that’s something I will find out for myself.
If there were one or two things you could educate people on concerning queerness, what would it be?
If your queerness isn’t intersectional, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness doesn’t respect pronouns, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness doesn’t believe black lives matter, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness believes that your biological sex at birth determines any part of your identity by default, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness can ignore the alarming rate at which black trans women are being murdered, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness is fatphobic, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness isn’t wheelchair accessible, you’re doing it wrong. If your queerness doesn’t not have the capacity to appreciate narratives that do not belong to you, you are doing it wrong.
Learn yourself so that you may know others. We can make the world a beautiful place at the expense of the privileged. So paint the world your favorite color!