WEEKLY TAROT: 20/01/20

Lizzo Is The Queen Of Pentacles

In 2019, Lizzo broke the Billboard Hot 100 record for the longest running No. 1 by a solo female rap artist for her single, ‘Truth Hurts’, surpassing Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’ and Lauryn Hill’s ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ from 1998. She held the spot for four consecutive weeks. And then, she blew up. She was nominated for more Grammys than any other artist this year for her third studio album, Cuz I Love You, and TIME named her 2019’s Entertainer of the Year. 


She took over our speakers and our screens in a manner that the masses swiftly latched on to by starting an infectious movement for fat women to love themselves loudly and unconditionally. Everything about Lizzo was outrageously contagious — perhaps because during a year of exponentially worsening climate emergencies, an ever-widening wealth gap, and a growing threat of far-right nazi extremists all over the world, who wouldn’t jump on her bandwagon of relentless positivity? 


But all that recognition to some seemed to have manifested from nowhere. One minute we were all two-stepping to Old Town Road, the next we were captioning every selfie ever with “100% THAT BITCH”. People started calling her an overnight success.


Except Truth Hurts only reached No. 1 on the charts as a sleeper hit two years after it was released in 2017. The success of its re-release in 2019 prompted the artist’s record label to re-release another one of her singles from even further back in 2016, ‘Good As Hell’. Good As Hell also gained recognition as a sleeper hit after peaking at No. 3 on the charts, earning Lizzo her second top 10 hit — from a track released 3 years before it even charted. 


Pre-Truth Hurts and pre-Good As Hell, however, Lizzo was still grinding away at the music industry. She had been touring for eight years. She spent nights sleeping in her car and often gave out free tickets to her shows just to fill up venues. And just over a decade ago, she had almost entirely given up on music after losing her dad. “This is what ‘overnight success’ looks like,” she writes in an Instagram caption, “Don’t give up. Your moment is waiting for you.”


With that caption and with her life story, she assiduously embodies the archetype of the Queen of Pentacles. The Queen of Pentacles is absolutely 100% That Bitch. She is all about luxuriating in the fruits of her labour. The hard work is done, and the harvest from the seeds she painstakingly tended to for years on end is plentiful enough to share with an entire community of like-minded sisters. This last bit is important to note because there is no joy or purpose to our success if it does not serve or provide for a family of some kind. We can tie this to the depth and purpose that underlines the gusto behind Lizzo’s success — her message to worship yourself radically in a world that seeks to deny us of our most basic desire to simply love and approve of ourselves.


I have a tendency to look at my past through this binary lens of things I did right versus things I did wrong; my successes versus my failures. And of course my failures would always imply more about my character than any of my successes (especially if I was going through a slower, more introspective chapter). But before Lizzo reached the heights she did in 2019, many would have deemed her career, or at the very least some of her career choices, a failure. Some may have regarded Truth Hurts’s and Good As Hell’s inability to chart when they were first released, a failure. Still, they both were undeniably monumental in leading her to where she is today. 


Whether it takes two years, three years, ten years or a lifetime before things finally take off, we have to trust that every tree we plant and lovingly tend to will eventually bless us with a dense, flourishing forest. The Queen of Pentacles teaches us to look beyond the narrative of our past experiences as a binary of success against failure and to reframe them as nothing less than a necessary culmination of the labour it takes to live out our truth. Every effort guides us closer to fulfillment. Our moment is waiting for us.

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