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 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.

Ann's Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: Justice.

NO YOU DO NOT need dreadlocks to join today’s Pandemic Palmrolling Party, which I’m co-hosting with the wonderful Mnikelo Majestic Nojoko who gave me what turns out to the the best possible look for right-now.

Join the virtual party! Here.

Fidget spinner? Check. Source of comfort when you roll them with smellgood oils, turning your head into a giant diffuser? Check. Extra warmth for walks outside, which have become the peak adventure of the day every day? CHECK. You can still join the party if you have nothing to roll, you just have to 1) believe stamina might be a good to muscle to work right now, and 2) feel grateful for the stylists you’re missing, who are also missing you, as well as income, and stability, and the chance to practice their craft.

Justice says, sink into the long game. Operate as if you can envision some wrongs righted, some fuzz smoothed, some beautiful eventualities.

Ann's Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: The Chariot.

If you’re literally in the driver’s seat of all the driving, my question is, what are you doing right now when the roads are mostly empty and it would SEEM like now’s a good time for otherwise-disruptive construction projects, but that’s probably a stupid idea if you know anything about public health which I don’t. So the question is, how is Minnesota Commissioner of Transportation Margaret Anderson Kelliher spending her time?

The Commissioner is sewing, specifically masks, specifically during her break if she gets it from a workday devoted to keeping roads and bridges and public transit drivers and pedestrians safe during unprecedented public works weirdness. She’s got mad sewing skills which is a beautiful counterpart to her dayjob, which, as noted, is intense right now.

The Chariot is about owning the fact that you’ve got a lot going on right now, A LOT, none of it harmonious or synergy-ish unless you take serious charge and take serious time to balance the weighty with the frivolous, the daunting with the darning of a sock. It’d be awesome, today, if you’d stay off the roads. Because then maybe Margaret could get a hot minute to sew and get some peace and then return to work keeping Minnesota safe and uncongested and lovely.

The Chariot says, yeah you ARE the boss of whatever you’re the boss of right now, no passing of the buck cuz literally nobody’s open, but you DO get to call for breaks and you’ll be a better leader/driver/human if you can seek and strike that balance.

Ann's Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: The High Priest.

Honestly I don’t know which he wore better, the daffodil/robin’s egg contrast of the tie with the shirt, or the thoughtful ownership of having said one thing one day and then announcing its opposite the next. The bookish-but-not-boring glasses, or the clear and graspable explanation of how historical data about pandemics is what’s behind decisions that might otherwise come across as irrational or excessive.

Actually I think Governor Walz wore a brick-red tie/white shirt at Friday’s briefing with the Minnesota Department of Health, but it doesn’t matter, because the guy’s style is consistent. Fresh yet classic. Seasonal, yet enduring. Compassionate, strategic, transparent, superfun pops of color.

In tarot, the High Priest is about doctrine, and a lot of what gets called doctrine is crap. Exploitive, negligent, not-helpful. But there’s a way to do it right, and you know it when you hear it, like when he says empathy is central to decision-making. And, “If I fall down, I expect to be called on it.” And, “Let’s do this in a way that others can look at and say, that’s the way out of this.”


ARTIST’S NOTE: Forgot to draw a High Priest when I made the original deck, and I can’t draw one now because I burned the remaining scraps of the 7Up carton and I cannot have nonmatching cards. But making do is all the rage right now so we are going with this.

The High Priest says, integrity becomes you.

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

Magic is a basic human right and if you have to conjure it from a Diet 7-Up carton rescued from the recycling bin because the world needs Isolation Edition tarot RIGHT NOW, then that is what you do. That’s how I made this deck, never mind that I probably had regular paper, this was a random act of resourcefulness and I’ve been ready for a long time to start whipping those out.

You can’t tell me you haven’t been waiting your whole life to do the same, like, that thing your grandma talked about with the waxed paper from butter sticks, freezing it for future pan-greasing. Or for moisturizer. Maybe moisturizer right now due to all the hand-washing. I don’t know what your cuticles look like but mine are freaking out. I don’t care if you have actual hand cream, now is the time for butter residue, or the grease from an empty bag of chips, or WD-40 which you should find anyway to fix all the things you’re thinking you should fix right now. Try it all. How else are we going to prevent a future lotion ration. How else are we going to learn every lesson history ever taught us, about necessity and invention and moisturizing and the value of a decent manicure in discouraging times.

The Magician says, get friendly with the idea that you have what you need.