Bumi dan bintang 🏳️🌈💁🏻♂️🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I mean, is it even a queer newsletter if it doesn’t begin with tarot? 🌈
This newsletter started with the two tarot cards above. I asked my tarot for their opinion of my first attempt at a newsletter. A card jumped out mid-shuffle. The Star is really quite a beautiful start; it speaks of inspiration, freedom, and greater insight.
Specific to the star maiden in my deck (The Fairy Tale Tarot by Lisa Hunt), it says:
“We have the ability to access ancient knowledge while we dream. By doing so, we become more proactive in our waking lives — actualising these hopes and dreams that reflect our deepest desires”
The other card I drew was the Queen of Pentacles. The Pentacles suit in tarot are seen to reflect the earthly nature of my sun sign, Taurus. Practical, stable, material, and earthy. I am in many noticeable ways an extremely Taurus person. The queen holds an orb of energy — a pentacle in most tarot decks — to her chest. A pentacle is a five-point star.
Together, the cards suggest seeking wisdom and stability in what I do here, but they remind me to not focus too much on the content, and too little on the spirit of things. To hold the star in my cupped hands, in the center of this newsletter.
I want an organised space to share with you the many interesting things I find, reads I enjoyed, and stuff that fill me with happiness. More specifically, I intend to start with three things:
- Events of note: online, and in Klang Valley
- Recommended reads & media
- Things that fill me with happiness or glee*
*I must warn you, sometimes the things that fill me with glee are just things that bring out the pesky side in me. Your mileage may vary, but hopefully not by much.
Some of you may know me from my early blogging days as a very out and proud lesbian in Malaysia. Was it a gay blog? Yes and no. It reflected my life, and I am gay all the time, even if I am not explicitly writing about being gay or doing gay things. This will be a queer newsletter in much the same ways.
There’s a Hannah Gadsby quote that perfectly captures how I feel when people sometimes said my content wasn’t gay enough. In her now seminal Netflix comedy special Nanette, Gadsby talks about a time she was given feedback that there “wasn’t enough lesbian material” in her comedy — to which she responds “But I was on stage the entire time?”
Is this a newsletter that will always remain in this format? I can’t tell. I am on the cusp of new things in my life. I am seeking full time employment, and in the midst of a career programme that’s changing how I think of my future. To top it off, I was recently diagnosed as ADHD, which illuminates some of what I thought were personality quirks and how I was attracted to many art, ideas and thinkers I found interesting.
I am at the start of all these paths, and I hope they lead me to good places. Tarot cannot predict the future (they’re great in other ways), and life tends to throw up surprises. I can carry a spirit for how things should go, much like this newsletter. Somewhere between the earth and the stars.
And now, a name, for this newsletter. I think I will spare us the cliche of an urban Chinese Malaysian giving a project a Malay name but primarily doing everything in English. That said, using names like “Bumi dan Bintang” have their appeal to my lower middle class urban Chinese Malaysian heart).
Welcome to my new newsletter! Welcome to the first edition! Welcome to the launch of Lainie’s Five Stars.
Cover Image: The beautiful lapik under my tarot cards is a memento from Sharon Chin’s 2019 participatory art work The Skin Of A Tiger: Monument To What We Want (Tugu Kita), in Balai Seni.
Image description: Two tarot cards side-by-side: The Star, and Queen of Pentacles. The cards are placed on a very shiny and glittery surface. Both cards feature mystical looking women, with their upper torsos growing out of trees. The star has a glow in her chest. The queen cups a glow to her chest.