Cristy C. Roads, a Cuban-American artist, says “Merging my ancestral magic and my deep elevation of the universe over capitalism and materialism has been a long journey.” This spirituality is evident in the seventy-eight beautifully illustrated cards of her Next World Tarot, which centers women, trans and non-binary people of color in the midst of a dystopian landscape advocating for justice, opposing oppression, holding their power, or celebrating their differences. We see a wide range of bodies, colors, genders, sexualities, and causes; together the deck weaves this diversity into a clarion call for justice. Some cards feature well-known figures, such as transgender advocate Jennicet Gutiérrez and those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, while others are portraits of the artist’s friends.
Tarot cards are a tool of divination and spiritual insight and its traditional decks are replete heteropatriarchal images of white people. C.Roads transforms these to highlight queer sexuality, gender fluidity, and revolutionary power, particularly by and among people of color. This talk will explore the spiritual significance of the cards and their relationship to utopianism and visioning. These cards are themselves a prediction of survival and flourishing, offering a vision of collective strength.