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How Tarot & Astrology Became Black & Brown Women’s North Star

Amber Finney, known as Amber The Alchemist, is steeping a cup of tea when we connect over Google Hangouts. The soft smoke of what is likely sage, incense or palo santo languidly billows from the bottom of her screen. Behind her hangs a tapestry of planets and constellations, as well as a poster illustrating various crystals. Below that sits a table of bottles and oils. Even through a screen, it’s exactly the backdrop you’d expect from someone whose life’s work includes ancestral healing through rituals and magic. “I am from Hackensack, New Jersey,” Finney, a tarot reader and spiritual practitioner, says. “My grandparents are from Georgia and South Carolina, so I’m a product of the Great Migration.” Her great-great-grandfather was likely born into slavery, she shares, and was a root worker and healer in the 1800s;

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