June: Justice



I witness

eye witness


A balance of scales:

mind and body,

mind the body,

mind every body.



Justice is fairness-- logical and concerned only with what is needed right now for your life in reality, not in your mind. 

Initially, I was not sure why this card kept appearing in my readings at the beginning of the month. I saw it right way up, inverted, sideways, and in just about every possible position in the very basic readings I performed between going back to North Carolina, coming back to Brooklyn and the time since. Though summer brought on the need to figure out what I would do with myself outside the bounds of classes, most of that planning had happened in April and May. I did not need to question whether I needed those things in my reality because I had already decided they would be there. Those occupations, instead, had already moved into a place where I could wonder about their impact and influence. 

One of my dearest friends had also been telling me the card was in her life a lot the last little while, so I moved to wondering if the repetition was a reminder of our connection and its place not only as a constant, reassuring force, but also a representation of relationships that allow me to grow and change in a time where I am questioning others. Was it some cosmic force saying “hey, you know what healthy looks like, trust your gut”? I knew at the very least that it could never mean that we are not meant to be in each other’s lives, though she is 342 miles away. 

Gaze directly into your heart, past the confusion. 

While both of those readings resonated with me, I saw immediately that they were both individualised and introspective (which can be a good foundation but is nowhere to stop reading).

Let justice balance in her scales the material and spiritual choices you have made, the naked consequences of your actions. 

So, I looked outwards. 

I feel like I can safely assume that everyone who reads this column knows that it is Pride month. When I think about that and the persistance of the Justice card in my readings, I obviously think of the necessary justice the queer community fights for. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which was not only a response to a police raid but was lead by trans women of color and sex workers. Next weekend the Queer Liberation March, along with so many other events pushing against rainbow capitalism and the corperate co-opting of Pride for the sake of proffiting off queer culture without any intention of meaningful and sustained support throughout the remainder of the year, will protest instead of participating in what has become an anual parade. In an interview posted on Reclaim Pride Coalition’s website, Masha Gessen, Russian-American writer, journalist and community activist stated, “On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, I would like to take part in a protest, not a corporate celebration.”

No more rainbow capitalism, no more white-washing, no more denial of the true roots of the movement. 

Examine the motives of your life, identify the raw truths, find clarity, and take responsibility for your choices to create and restore balance.

I think, too, of taking this time (and every other possible moment) to more closely examine one's own privilege and to use it to pass the mic and support oppressed individuals and communities. That could mean using access to education to learn more about different systems of oppression and to read and engage with archival material that others may not have access to. It could also mean finding opportunities to educate younger people in the community and potential allies about different communities. That may mean donating money and/or time to organizations that support immigrants, sex workers, queers, reproductive health, etc. That may mean following accounts and reposting information on instagram and other social media platforms to spread awareness within your own circles (though this cannot, I believe, be the solo contribution of any individual who seeks social change). 

And, most importantly, it means allying yourself with communities that you are not a part of in a way that puts you in the service of their goals and not a celebration of your own ally-status. As allies, we are there to help make sure the mic is passed, protect members of the communities to which we are allied at all times, especially when we are more immune to social and legal violence (for example, refusing to show your ID to an ICE officer so that your undocumented friend does not have to be the first or only person resisting), and making space for them whenever and wherever we can. 

Some organizations* that I love to support (this is by no means exhaustive and most of these are ones that I also follow on Instagram):


GLITS (Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society)

Planned Parenthood

Lambda Literary

SONG (Southerners On New Ground)


Queer Liberation March

Lesbian Sex Mafia

Dyke March


RISE Indigenous

SWOP Behind Bars (Sex Workers Outreach Project) 

*supporting individual makers, artists, performers, musicians, etc. is also really important and made quick and easy with platforms such as Patreon and Venmo

written by
Katie Vogel
June 25, 2019