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Celebrate the Magic of Pride with Ash + Chess + Exclusive Giveaway

RP Mystic is celebrating Pride Month with a magical Q&A with Ash + Chess, creators of Queer Tarot: An Inclusive Deck and Guidebook and the forthcoming My Queer Year: A Guided Journal. Read on to learn more about what Pride means to Ash + Chess, how they manifest that Pride in their new tarot deck, and how Pride influenced the creation of their new guided journal.

Plus: Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Queer Tarot + My Queer Year! Enter for your chance to win below.

The Lovers card, from the Queer Tarot deck
The Lovers card, from the Queer Tarot deck

Ash + Chess, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us during Pride Month! This is such a magical event for the LGBTQIA+ community, and everyone experiences and shares that Pride in so many different ways. What does Pride mean to you?

Pride to us is celebrating the community around you and the part you play in it. It’s about taking care of each other and fighting for equity and equality for all LGBTQIA+ people. We are starting to see so much visibility and acceptance, but with both of those comes backlash from the people who don’t want to see us thrive, and that has taken the form of policing trans bodies and bodies with uteruses, rolling back protections and rights for LGBTQIA+ people, and outward hate and bullying towards the community. While Pride has always been about celebrating how far we’ve come, the most important thing to remember is that we are STILL on that journey and we are still under attack.

How can modern mystics use Queer Tarot to manifest the values you most love about Pride?

When we were making this deck, the two biggest things we had in mind for what this deck could help cultivate in readers is a deeper understanding of your queer sense of self as well as the importance and the connection you have to your community. While solitude is good for some things, the community will always have your back.

The Six of Wands card, from the Queer Tarot deck
The Six of Wands card, from the Queer Tarot deck

Queer Tarot is certainly bursting with Pride – from the art to the models to the guidebook. What kinds of discoveries did you make about yourselves and the community while creating the deck?

While casting for the Queer Tarot, we saw so many submissions come in. We had to narrow down from over 500 applicants to about 100 and it was so hard. While doing this though, we discovered how cute and special and connected queer people are. People shared their stories, backgrounds, and favorite tarot cards with us. Being able to hear everyone’s bits and pieces of their lives made us realize that it really is true – community is the most important thing! We realized that by creating this deck, we were creating a way for queers to become even more connected to each other and to recognize that and cherish it.

We are so excited for the upcoming release of My Queer Year! How has your Pride influenced the creation of this unique journal?

Like all of the projects we do, everything we make is inspired by what we would’ve liked to see on shop shelves growing up. I (Ash) was a big fan of guided journals growing up, so getting to a point in our creative careers where we could create our own version that is more focused around your queer identity is so exciting! We hope that this little journal will shine some light and help in guiding people to experiment with their identity and discover their true selves.

Meet The Author: Ashley Molesso

Ash + Chess is a cute stationery company run by queer and trans power couple Ashley Molesso (she/her) and Chess Needham (he/him), based out of Richmond, VA. They create greeting cards and art prints that utilize bold, retro color palettes and they often use their artwork to make a political statement.

Their company made its debut at the National Stationery Show in May 2017, and since then over 150 retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia sell their art and stationery.

Ash + Chess have worked on many collaborations, including artwork for Belletrist, a book club run by actress Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss; book illustrations for HarperCollins and Workman Publishing; t-shirt designs for The Style Club x Forever 21; and exclusive designs and patterns for Plaza Style, a Japanese retail brand. They are the authors of their own illustrated book about LGBTQ+ history, The Gay Agenda: A Modern Queer History & Handbook.

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