We Are All Fledglings Now
Some of this you've already seen if you follow me on Instagram, but as I continue on my path learning the Slow Holler tarot, and as things around us seemingly dissolve into Chaos, I am pulling the Fledgling much more than I ever pull the Fool, and much more than I did when I first got the deck.
First though, about the Slow Holler: this is a deeply spiritual tarot deck, rooted in Southern and queer identity, and I've truly relished my time getting to know it. It was collaboratively drawn and written by several different artists, and it takes me right back to my early days of tarot and witchery when there was this constant sense of spiritual power right underneath my feet. It's also deeply concerned and enlightening regarding two other things that have shaped the very core of who I am: trauma, and the fight for the collective. Grab your copy here. It's so, so worth it.
As this card starting coming up with unusual frequency for me, my initial thoughts were as such: the Fledgling is the Slow Holler's take on the classic Fool card, but a fledgling is not the same as a fool. They are both starting journeys, but whereas the Fool's optimism comes from a sense of naivety or a childlike fearlessness, the Fledgling's cautious optimism comes because they know that while now is a time for bravery, it doesn't mean you won't fail. It simply means you will find your feet again if you do and grow from there. The Fledgling does a lot more feeling for firm ground and a lot less running towards cliffs, but they still charge ahead into the unknown. The Fool is starting a journey and the Fledgling is starting something more. We don't know what yet. The Fledgling doesn't know what yet. But as the events of this week plunge us equally into determination and uncertainty, there is no clearer metaphor for the role of an activist right now. You will flounder, and you will not be sure, and you may lose. But you will regroup, and you will get your land legs back, and you will do great things again.
It feels like the lessons of the Fledgling were clear to me. Take chances. I am learning the lay of a new land, so be careful, but be brave. The card keeps coming up and keeps coming back to me though, and today as I pulled it even for my daily draw on my Instagram it finally hit me. The world at large is the priority right now, but it's not the only thing that exists. Our microcosms are still here, supporting us, loving us, empowering us. Yet in our daily lives, we still hold back. If there was ever a time to not though--this is it. What if instead of keeping your creative power tightly wrapped around your intellect you completely unfurled it and let it take over your current project? What if instead of finishing your routine to-do list you took two days a week to scrap it to work the big, scary projects instead? What if instead of keeping our heart so tightly in your chest you said "screw what everyone else thinks," ripped it out and let it bleed your power and love all over everyone you care about? We don't know what tomorrow's going to look like anymore--and maybe there's a lesson here in how we never really did. So why wait? Why hold back? Why sit and wonder and wish instead of doing? We are coming back from marches and meetings so on fire--use that. Use it. Use it. Use it.
The Fledgling wants us to be an activist, an advocate, an ally, to be as queer and brazen as we have it in us to be right now, but everyone I know is doing that. I have seen an outpour of collective action that I never anticipated, people who argued with me about marches inviting me to them now, and that's amazing. That's wonderful. The Fledgling has more to say though, because this is a new world, and everything we know is upside down. Yet, for now, at least, life still goes on. What does it mean to work and create in this new world? And my god, can you imagine what love could be in this new world? The Fledgling is screaming at us to let go, let loose, right now, and find out. Because if we let go and spread these wings we think are so small, we just might find out how close we are to flying.