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The Literary Witches Have Spoken: What’s the Vibe for April?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

Over spring break, I had the privilege of visiting New York City for the first time, and one of the tourist spots I had to hit was the iconic Strand Bookstore. A landmark bookstore in a prime location, the New York Strand location is known for its robust rare and used book collection, knick-knacks and specialized gifts. Among these treasures, I found The Literary Witches Oracle, a 70-card deck featuring history’s most iconic female authors and “mystical spell ingredients” as a form of symbolism to guide you on your path.

Famous names include Virginia Woolf, Audre Lorde and Sylvia Plath, with whimsical ingredients like mushrooms, skulls and white dresses. With a quick shuffle, you can reveal and interpret anything according to your heart’s desire. I’ve drawn two authors to see what energy April has in store for us. Whether you believe in tarot or not, you may find this intriguing!

Beginning with our heroic woman authors, the cards drawn were Gertrude Stein and Audre Lorde. Starting with her background, Stein was born in 1874 in Pennsylvania before she moved to Paris in 1903, where she lived the rest of her life. She is most notable for incorporating cubism into her poetry and avant-garde style, where she aimed to break the classic writing rules, strip them of logic and promote ambiguity and nuance. In Stein’s personal life, she had world-renowned salons that famous figures like Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Picasso frequented. Stein shared her life in Paris with her long-time partner and lover writer, Alice B. Toklas.

Stein’s card is the perspective card. The physical description of the card is Stein holding a rose at a table that features a piece of her work and a feather in a cage. A portrait of Toklas reaches out to her in the background on her left, and a spider hangs on a thread on the right. Based on this, we can interpret a few things. April’s general energy is creative, inspired and strengthening. We should pursue our passions through personal projects to make strides career-wise and in personal growth. We must be fulfilled by what we do.

There is a restrictive element at play here, however, with the feather in the cage. This could represent an imitation of freedom or our ability to do what we want. However, spiders can represent resilience, and despite that, there is the possibility to overcome any barriers. We also have a developing or solidified support system in our corner this month, as seen with Toklas’s portrait. A tiny cause for concern, but a generally positive start!

Shifting gears to Audre Lorde, Lorde was born in 1934 in New York, where she spent most of her life. Lorde is known for proudly proclaiming herself as a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” as she celebrates intersectionality and cultural diversity.

Many of her works centered around her personal life and identity, which is especially notable in a time when the world was a much less accepting place, and she was ostracized for identifying as a black, queer woman, even in spaces with those specific marginalized groups.

Lorde has the clear, strong voice of someone self-assured and passionate about inclusivity and love on paper and in real life. This is why she is the justice card. On the card, Lorde is pictured waist-deep in water with hidden eyes, hands and even a singular small figure floating above the water. She is surrounded by winding trees in a dark background with a sword in one hand and a small creature in another. The only color on the card is her blue shirt and red head covering.

There is a lot of strength in this card despite the murky circumstances. Her expression is stern and hardened, as she is ready to fight but also to protect. It is difficult to view this as an overwhelmingly positive card, so we may see that April will come with its trials as the semester becomes a long, trudging race to the finish line. But it is essential to keep your head above water and keep fighting, just as Lorde does. Through that fight, you will find justice in your efforts. 

April looks to be a tumultuous month filled with its fair share of challenges. But keep your head up, there is still a lot to look forward to. Remember to hone your strength, cry on a friend’s shoulder if need be and, ultimately, persist. If Stein and Lorde are teaching us anything, it is that we are capable of overcoming anything and producing real, tangible, abundant results despite what trials we may face.

Alex Booker

Northeastern '27

A first year student at Northeastern University with an English and Political Science major and minors in Ethics and Africana Studies.