Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: The Devil.

The Devil is about your vices, and any decent fortuneteller will present that information without being all judgy. She’ll just be like, well, it appears your _____ (fill in the habit) is providing escape or comfort or a shield right now. You definitely want The Devil upright, not reversed, because reversed is bad news but when it’s upright, she’ll say ok, well, in the long run this is gonna cost you but right now let’s just acknowledge that some needs are being met. So WHEW because fortunately today THE DEVIL IS UPRIGHT.

This is due to the mystical force that is Patrick’s on Third, and the compassionate altruism with which Proprietor John Mayer and his team are meeting the community’s present needs.

Thanks to the awesome craft kit Patrick’s recently delivered to my door, John shall now be crowned.

The Devil says, 507-931-9051, tip your delivery person.

Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: Temperance.

The Temperance card is about moderation which you might think isn’t happening right now BUT IT IS. You can see it if you zoom out far enough. Think this is too much time in too-close quarters? Your personal claustrophobia is an equal-and-opposite reaction to the frenetic global zig-zagging of germs. Think fresh bangs cut with shitty kitchen shears is tooooo dramatic? It’s probably not dramatic enough. DIY haircuts will definitely destroy your pride, but in these times we need to think beyond ourselves, and if you want to take some action to really help level things out you will charge up the trimmer and mow down your whole head with the guard off. For my own part, quitting eye makeup was an appropriate baby step but probably the way to make a dent of a difference is to fully erase my face.

Clearly this was going great as a spiritual exercise and an art project which consumed most of the afternoon, and the bathroom, until a reporter called to ask what the Arts Center was doing during the shutdown.

I’m like, well, what we’re NOT doing is trying to become a virtual gallery or anything else we’re not already good at, because there’s enough noise online at the moment and now is not the time to bust out anything half-assed. We’re doing what we do well, reaching out to the artists who rely on us to help them stay grounded and connected and inspired. Which obviously looks different on different people.

Temperance says trust the pull.

Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: Death.

Welcome to the happiest card in this whole reading right now, because in tarot, when Death shows up it means you’re fiiiinally able to let go of a thing you know damn well you should have quit/lost/forgotten some time ago. For me, that’s six (6) layers of eye makeup before I can walk out the door. I’ve tried this breakup before but always drifted back and then felt trapped and lately also betrayed by the trend of cat-eye wingedness, which I cannot master. I’m so seriously done this time. My Tarte Double Liquid/Pencil in Dark Brown just now texted “u up” and I did not reply.

This is how you know the Death card does not foretell your actual human death. If you’ve ever had the privilege of being up-close to that, you know that an actively dying person’s thoughts aren’t about letting go. They’re about travel. When I learned this in my training to be a hospice volunteer, I thought it was a sweet metaphor made up to make onlookers feel better. But actually no. On one of my first assignments, the woman asked me to clean her tub. She was bedridden and unable to sit up, let alone walk to her bathroom and bathe. But a clean tub made perfect sense, because she had a wicked-good shoe collection spilling out of her closet and a dresser-top full of fragrances, and obviously a clean tub is a thing you need if your brain believes it’s time to fancy-up and head out for the trip of trips. I cleaned the tub and also the rest of the bathroom, thinking the more Comet the better so the smell would reach her down the hall and she’d know her prep space was fresh and ready.

Another woman asked me to go get her wallet. She’d ceased eating or drinking, had been unable to sit up for days, her extremities had begun to swell. But I will be damned if she didn’t strain to whisper “wallet, wallet, wallet” until I went and got it from her purse and tucked it under her hand, at which point she relaxed and I realized everything in that training that had seemed mystical or exaggerated or flaky was, in fact, basic factual fact.

What the hospice trainers didn’t cover was what causes this, like, what exactly makes a clean tub or a wallet feel imperative when a body is shutting down for good. My husband is the most expert traveler I know so I asked him what that feeling is, when he’s in the throes of packing for a long time far away. I’m like, what IS that, what’s the feeling at midnight before a 6:00 a.m. flight and you’re triple-checking to be sure you have your wallet. He said it’s the feeling of gathering yourself together. Your essentials. It’s a restlessness that feels so good you almost can’t stand it. It’s like, no offense, everyone, but I have somewhere to be.

Death says, time to let go of the thing you know is done. Essentials are easier to find, after that.

Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: The Hanging Man.

This is definitely a time for soul-searching and I am definitely devoting the rest of my isolation to finding my most authentic place on the recently developed Ann’s Fashion Tarot Gross Aesthetic Product Index.

This came about after I went the whole first week without eye makeup, and then slabbed on my usual amount expecting to be happy about looking and feeling like my regular self, but instead I looked and felt like a circus harlot. I don’t know if this means I’ve been walking around like a clownwhore all this time and none of you said anything, or, it might mean none of us are coming out of this with the same sensibilities we had before.

The Hanging Man says sure, an uninvited change of perspective is uncomfortable. But don’t get so whiny that you miss the chance to see things anew.

Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: Strength.

Isolation really magnifies any ideological conflicts you’ve got going on, because you can’t put them on the back burner any more, just there you are with your conflicts. Because you can step back from the mirror and quit looking at your pores but you cannot step back from your brain right now and I can’t go one more day without speaking up about my recent embracing of shimmer powder. Here is an infographic to school you the same way Ejay at Nova Academy of Beauty schooled me.

I’d booked an hour with Ejay because I wanted to support my young friend’s pursuit of a profession I consider absofuckinglutely essential. I was ready for a dramatic update, like maybe a matte lip or a metallic eye. However. Nothing in my extensive makeup-wearing curriculum vitae prepared me for the application of shimmer to places not considered, by women of my generation, to be places you make up.

Inner conflict arose immediately, because I knew it looked great but didn’t know why. It was equal parts “mermaid” and “power.” It made me feel like a boss but also like a suggestively frosted cupcake.

I’m like, this is so bizarre and specific, it has to be one of those things like how white people in the 16th Century made their faces even whiter to signal that they were upper-class I-do-not-labor-in-the-sun people. Or how the blushy lips and cheeks of the 1950s suggested the physiology of arousal. A quick search yielded zero dissertations on the topic, presumably because this is all too new and analyses are still underway. To fill that void, I suggest that whereas the red-lippy pink-cheeky faces of the 1950s essentially signaled readiness for penetration, the shimmer-powder-wearing ladyfaces of today signal afterglow. Allll done. Good to go so you might as well get up and make me a sandwich.

My conflict at this point isn’t about whether or not we should be conveying that, because for sure, it’s progress. My conflict is that since eye corners/nose bridge/top-of-lip don’t feel like normal places for makeup, I’m afraid I’ll forget the rules and put it somewhere arbitrary, signaling something weird. Like my earlobes which under no healthy circumstances are supposed to glow. Chaotic situations are best navigated by noting and following the rules, at first, until the proper steps are committed to muscle memory. So I guess that’s my plan in these times when we need illumination wherever we can get it.

The Strength card says, if it feels right, wear it.

Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: The Wheel of Fortune.

There’s a lot of talk right now about gratitude for what we have, and staying grounded amidst uncertainty, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for my small but solid collection of meaningful t-shirts which are presently serving as my downward-facing-dog of style.

I organized them like this the first day we realized we’d be staying put a while. At the time, when I fished them out of whatever closet-floor wads they were in and put them on hangers, I thought I was doing it the same way I go to thrift shops when I need some soothing. That quick-fix orderly experience of shopping according to color. But no, nope, turns out it was some serious fashion prescience. Turns out I was setting myself up for a per diem dose of sureness that this IS a new day and I WILL be wearing one of these, along with the same jeans since last Monday and also boots for when I take my now-daily constitutional in the woods. Been walking at sunset but the boots go on first thing in the morning because why not wear them all damn day, eliminating one more variable in these uniquely chaotic times.

The Wheel of Fortune says chaos will never have your back, or back down because you’re freaking out, or check in with you like “hey are you OK do you need a minute.” Best to know that sooner rather than later, and dress accordingly.

Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: The Hermit.

Well this is just redundant. It’s not even funny. If you see a tarot reader with any regularity, you know that the same card tends to show up over and over until you GET IT, until you wake up to a particular lesson. In Ann’s Fashion Tarot: Isolation Edition, the lesson apparently getting banged over our heads right now is that the obstacle preventing us from completing every single item on our tactical/educational/spiritual to-do list has not been “time.” The obstacle has been “giving a shit.” In the interest of public health, I say that the sooner we all box up/trash/subcontract/flat-out forget about projects we’re never actually going to take pleasure in completing, the swifter and more safely The Hermit will pass.

The Hermit says, you are soooo welcome for this stark new clarity about what actually adds to the quality of your life and what drains it. Clarity about the difference between feeling inspired by an idea of a thing, vs. actually wanting to do the thing. You can still love the thought of hand-made clothes, without buying the sewing machine and the fabric and the shears and the how-to book. You can savor the dreamy feeling of envisioning a different kitchen, without busting up the tile. You can be un-crazy-busy and just be.