Maria Minnis’s Tarot for the Hard Work should be a staple on every witch’s bookshelf for anyone interested in tarot and in confronting both external and internal racism, learning how to show up in the world in support of community, and working against the structures of white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism.

Minnis says it best in her introduction: “Tarot for the Hard Work is a tool for passionately demolishing structural oppression. It is a tool for white people who want to use their privilege for mass liberation. It is a tool for Black and Brown people living in a structurally racist society intent on selling self-hatred and shame to marginalized people and capitalizing on their pain.”

Tarot for the Hard Work takes the reader through the entire Major Arcana, beginning with The Fool and ending with the World. The reader is offered insight into the meaning of each card—and Minnis is careful to mention that the reader’s definitions are more relevant to a reading than anything in the book that frequently accompanies most tarot decks.

Correspondences associated with each card are given to the reader to contemplate, along with exercises to look deeper within and notice the points where discomfort and resistance to ideas and privilege creep in, and to confront those things directly. There are also very approachable magical practices that can be worked into the day-to-day by simply asking yourself questions, examining the answers, and approaching life with an openness of thought and a willingness to learn and let go of old patterns.

Through the Major Arcana, and the exercises suggested by Minnis, the reader is given much to contemplate: climate defense, expanding health care access, decriminalizing sex work and the folks doing that work, advocacy for mental health… in short, Minnis looks at all the things that, if we were to embrace change and true freedom for all, would benefit everyone.

I’ll be recommending this one for my book club, and to everyone else as another tool in their kit for change that matters.

~review by Mara McTavish

Author: Maria Minnis
Weiser Books, 2024
Pp.: 259, $18.95 (USD)