My first tarot deck was the Alice in Wonderland deck.

Created by Morgana Abbey

For the last three Halloweens I have dressed up as the Red Queen. I didn’t really realize that when I looked into that mirror, I was my mother. I have also thought of Maleficent as my mother – refusing to bless the newborn girl. But the Red Queen does speak to me. I get so tired of thinking about other peoples’ feelings that I want to scream. When do I get to be the selfish one? I have also wanted to be the Joker and watch the world burn. But that’s not me. Maybe someday.

The first deck I bought for myself was the Hanson-Roberts deck.

Created by Mary Hanson-Roberts

The 17th major arcana card in this deck, The Star, reminded me of Princess Tuvstarr from the Swedish fairy tale. But instead of wasting away looking for her lost heart, The Star represents intuition, generosity, and freedom. Just like the interpretation of Vasalisa in Women Who Run With Wolves. I always identified with blond heroines, like Alice, Tuvstarr, and Vasalisa. Girls who were fair in all senses of the world and who wander the dark forest, with the help of animals or dolls and childish logic. The Star reframes this isolation as freedom. Alone, as my mother lay in bed, I suppose I was free.


Every time the school bus drove past the stump she pictured him.

Her mother told her there were witches. They lived in Santa Cruz, just a few towns over. They wanted her mother to join their coven. Her mother whispered this information, as though the witches could hear them in their own house, with the doors locked and the curtains drawn.

When her mother said “No” to the witches, they got angry. Her mother felt invisible hands push her down the stairs in front of their house, and she fell into the carport. The girl pictured the witches driving past their house in the night, slowing down and staring. She listened to each car that passed in the night, wondering which one held the witches.

She was frightened for her mother. She wasn’t frightened for herself until her mother told her that the witches practiced human sacrifice. They would take children right from their beds.

So every time the bus drove past that stump she pictured a boy there. A boy her age: nine years old. He was naked and sprawled on his back. His ribs stuck up, visible through his skin. His arms and legs were spread out, hanging limply. His head was thrown back, exposing his throat. An invisible hand thrust a knife down, through the boy’s breastbone. The bus drove on. No one else looked.