This week we're getting to know Asali from Asali Earthwork! I have been a huge fan of Asali for a few years now and I adore everything she does for the community. I had the pleasure of getting a reading and custom talisman from her a while back, I still treasure that talisman and those words to the date. If you have a moment, you must check out her Tarot fo the QTPOC post, so many fantastic decks! I'm excited to have her on my blog this morning!
Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?
Hey! Well my name is Asali; pronouns she/her/they. I come to practice as an earthworker- which for me feels like the right word for my work as a healer. As much as I believe in the divine, the beyond, and the transcendent- I am tied to the work of now, in these bodies and this dimension, within this realm. Because that’s where we have to live and live with each other in all its messiness and beauty! I also work with herbal medicine, both physically and spiritually, and of course I’m a card slinger.
Tarot found me at one of the worst spaces in my life emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I was hemorrhaging my own sense of self and looking to everyone and everything to fix me or ‘make me better’. Of course, that allowed folks with their own unfinished (or not even started) shadow work to take advantage of me and harm me in specific ways. We were all writhing in the pit, to be honest. Tarot was one of the lights in that time. It taught me to believe myself, what I saw, felt, and heard, and also served as the channel through which my guides, ancestors, and higher/future ancestral self spoke through.
If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?
The World? Haha. That card can be downright inscrutable to me sometimes. It's too much and not enough at the same time.
Honestly, probably none. They each have a story to tell. In fact one of my greatest fears when it comes to tarot is that I’ve unknowingly lost a card from my decks and I’m just out here working with an incomplete deck and not receiving an important message. If I ever discover a missing card, I feel like immediately that deck becomes a strictly non-reading use deck. Probably ending up as interesting greeting cards to send to friends or perhaps altar focus pieces.
What's in your tarot toolbox?
It’s certainly grown over time but the mainstays are my decks of course, some favorite crystals, focus and protection anointing oils, tea light candles, and thrifted scarves and fabrics that serve as my tarot cloths as I like!
What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?
“Chill out. It’s not that deep”
I say this particularly as someone who has The Emperor as the birth card so this is really a self-drag.
What or who inspires you the most?
The folks who got me into tarot were fab femmes of color who were either discovering their sense of power and had me really wanting to feel what that felt like or had fully come into themselves and loved me deep enough to help me get there. So I’m constantly in awe and gratitude of their magic in the world and in tarot spaces.
If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?
The Queen of Pentacles is #lifegoals for me. They have ascended beyond the Nine of Pentacles sense of contentment that I’m just now striving for. You can just imagine their sense of fulfillment and deep knowing of their purpose in the world. They give freely because they are fully assured that the universe will support and return it back to them. They are connected to the earth, their community, and their loved ones without losing themselves (or rather their sense of self) in those connections. And frankly, they seem pretty materially comfortable too! It’s not the main focus but it’s just another part of their general sense of abundance and balance. They also probably have the best nourishing recipes and a command of seasoning and flavor that is just unfuckwittable. That’s important to me, okay?!
Which deck could you absolutely not live without?
All of them.
If you're really forcing me to pick… with life on a lonely island to escape the apocalypse looming before me... I would default to my first deck, the Mythical Goddess Tarot. She’s not a perfect deck, but she was my first deck. I know her best, and she knows me best.
If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?
I would drag myself back to my reading table every time I tried to walk away from those first difficult readings with the Ten of Swords. I love that card now, even though I don’t enjoy receiving it. It taught me so much.
What tarot habits or quirks do you have?
I do so much more when I read for others than when I read for myself. If I’m reading for myself I could literally just grab a deck out of my tarot box, quickly shuffle and draw. When I’m reading for others there’s a whole ritual to set the space involving incense, candles, anointing oils, and either clapping, breathing, or knocking on the cards to wake the channel up for someone else. The constant for both scenarios is a mug of herbal tea.
If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?
Would “Goddammit!” be too ironic? Because I feel like that’s their go-to.
Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?
Neither. You know The Hermit is in the woods somewhere boiling down some leaves and roots they found for some earthy bitter tea that’s going to flush out the nonsense and get them grounded (and maybe a little high). They are up to their third cup of nettle and dandelion root tea today, as we speak.
Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?
I am always down to make a batch of my Meditative Tarot Teas or sling some cards for folks at my shop. Additionally, if you are a Queer, Trans, or Person of Color (capitalized for emphasis) creating tarot decks or other tarot tools, I would love to hear from you and signal boost your work through my Tarot of the QTPOC listing and interview series. Drop me a line!
Where can we find you?
Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?
I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!
Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!