Buy Nothing Day

Detail of Barbara Kruger’s I shop therefore I am (1990)

The Little Red Tarot Shop is closed today in protest of Black Friday – one of capitalism’s most important festivals.

Why? 

Capitalism teaches us to ignore what our hearts and souls and bodies know – how to truly nourish ourselves and meet our own and each others’ needs.

Capitalism teaches us that we are broken, or lacking – and that buying things will fix us.

Capitalism relies on ever-increasing growth, which means convincing us of an ever-increasing need, so we buy ever-increasing amounts of stuff, which end up in ever-increasing landfills.

Yet the more we believe we need “stuff”, the further out of touch with ourselves we become. The more we buy, the more we suffer. The more we shop, the less we feel.

The mindless consumerism that Black Friday has come to represent is having a devastating effect on our individual and collective mental health, our communities, and our planet.

Even my tiny tarot shop is a part of this machine.

In closing my shop today, I will take a financial hit. This shop is my livelihood, and it also supports a number of artists and writers – many of them marginalised. I’m proud of this independent store, which helps to bring incredible and political artwork to folks who use the items sold here for personal and spiritual development. I love my job, and I truly love my shop.

But as a tarot reader and a person who believes deeply in personal and collective liberation, it is more important to make a statement against capitalism and consumerism. Until we destroy capitalism – the patriarchal system responsible for every oppression I can name – none of us will be free. Not spiritually, not physically, not politically. Not collectively, and not individually.

This Black Friday Buy Nothing Day, ask yourself if you really need to buy anything at all. 

(Including that new must-have tarot deck.)

I understand that many of you are here to buy Christmas presents for loved ones and that you may find this frustrating. Please be patient! I will be open again tomorrow morning and shipping as normal.

Thanks for thinking twice about what you consume – today and every day.

Love,

Beth x

Also:

This post is written without a shred of judgement of my dear dear friends running shops and making their living on line. Some are using Black Friday to make much-needed sales or gain new customers, and I support them. The decision to close today is right for me, but it’s not the only way for small businesses to answer to the capitalist machine, and it’s not possible for everyone. I am in a financial position with my shop that means I can make this decision today. Last year and the year before I wanted very much to make the same decision, but couldn’t afford to. It is because of customers who choose to shop small and buy independently published tarot decks, and because of the wonderful folks out there who make them, that I have been able to make a living connecting the two. I’m grateful. Very grateful.

So, if and when you shop, shop small. Support independent shops, who in turn support independent artists and makers. Support your local shops. If you believe as many do that money is an exchange of energy, share it wisely, in places where that energy makes a difference.  Your hard-earned cash can make a difference to real people, it can help us to keep on writing, making, visioning, healing, growing, creating, being. Know that. Know that as a consumer, you have that power, you have that choice.

And if you take nothing else from this post, just – fuck Amazon. Seriously. Fuck them.

9 comments

  1. Claire says:

    Amen, Beth, amen! This summer I withdrew from Amazon (which I’ve frequented since they first opened!) – and truly, I haven’t missed it :D
    Wishing you a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend xx

  2. Lydia says:

    I really respect you for taking this stance, Beth! Thank you for the valuable reminder that we already possess the tools to nourish ourselves – and that we can all play a part in dismantling capitalism.

  3. Pam says:

    I completely agree and avoid any and all “Black Friday deals” like the plague (capitalist greed being a huge reason but my agenda also includes a small protest against places that force people to work during holidays that are meant to be spent with family and friends as well). Besides grabbing lunch with friends at a local joint, there will be no buying for me today either!

  4. julie phillips says:

    We have been having regular conversations in our house with our high school boys about the inherent evils in capitalism. And it’s my 18 year old who’s doing the teaching! I love to see people in the world working towards a reframing of the way we consume in our society. You are such a light in this world!

  5. Dee says:

    Beth,
    I couldn’t find where to post this….
    I see you are in lower west coast B.C…..welcome to my part of the world ;)
    I am just up the coast a bit from where you are…

  6. SJ Witchling says:

    I felt bad because I picked up my prescriptions on Buy Nothing Day. (but I didn’t have to pay for them, so maybe it was fine? my friend says it was fine because if you need everyday things like your monthly prescriptions you need them and you’re still participating, but I still feel the guilt.) I’m grateful to you for taking this stance.

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