Abusua Pa – Publisher of Tazama African Tarot and Love Oracle of Eden

interviewing our tarot community

Tarot journeys

tarot spiritual awakening with Papa Boko

Episode 2: Papa Boko

Elías Gonzalez, also known as Papa Boko - @papa_boko on Instagram - Caribeño historian and also a historian tells his story with tarot, spiritual awakening and his Dominican 21 divisions background. Watch the full video below!


Hi there! I’m Eliías Gonzalez, also known as Papa Boko, and I am a Dominican tarot reader, spiritualist medium and sidereal astrologer.

I came to the practice of Tarot, which opened me up to my mediumship back in 2014. It was the year that my grandma had passed away earlier in January, and by October, I had done my very own tarot reading for myself. I had had some experience with someone who was able to pick up and read an energy of me and give me advice that felt very accurate. And so I felt I wanted to do it myself and not rely on other people to be my means of tapping into myself as my life experience had actually taught me was my issue was I could not rely on other people to tell me about myself and what I needed for me because they themselves were unaware of their own situation. So I really took to the Tarot because it helped not only me, but I was also able to fulfill something that was deep inside me for a long time, which was the need to help other people.

And I helped other people gain clarity through this tool of tarot. And it also connected me to this way of entering all my other spaces with curiosity, with discernment, and utilizing my body as the tool to really pick up the energy as I would with the cards. 

And so, the same way I wanted to give people clarity as I was gaining political awareness when I was starting my tarot journey, I infused those elements into my work, because as a Tarot reader, I really learned that you yourself are the conduit, are the magic that happens. 

The way that you read cards on your own and interpret them through your life experience, through your lens, is what makes you a powerful Tarot reader. And sometimes the deck does actually connect with you deeper than others might. And so this journey through Tarot helped me discover my mediumship, discover some history of my family of mediumship, because the natural ability that I felt I had with it.

But also what I really love about the Tarot is it’s system that’s so thorough, so unique, but also very thought out, very consistent, and it comes up in times of need for me. When I’m unable to read for myself because of an emotional cloud, I can always go back to the elements of Tarot, the basics, the building blocks that make each card unique and figure out where the lesson and where the energy and the medicine I’m looking for is. And so Tarot has been a revolutionary tool for me. And beyond my initial discovery with it becoming a professional Tarot reader and someone who does this for people as a service, I really took off and developed myself by learning how these cards work with other people. I’ve had the privilege to read for almost every single person in my life and give them some type of advice. And each combination is unique to the context. Each combination is beautiful in what it tries to explain to you about where you are and what’s going on.

And so along with that, my Dominican background, learning about the natural magic that happens that is historically erased, but also that has been historically concealed as a way to preserve it. The 21 divisions is a Dominican religion. Haitian Vodhu is a spiritual religion of Haiti. And as we know, the Orishas, the regla de la Orishas is a Cuban spiritual practice that is interconnected with the history of the islands, the history of the people who embody the spirits that come down, the people who are possessed, but also the people who serve the deities, who serve the ancestors that guide us consistently. And so my background also brings me into tarot in a unique way. I’m able to see how religion and spirituality and magic and the rituals of the ancients and of our people in the more recent years has fused, has been manifested, and how all of those elements are worth investigating.

And your heritage is your most important focal point, your most important foundation. And so it’s really important for you to be sure of where you are, where you come from. And even if it’s not blood, it’s where does the spirit that you are embodying, the body that you’re embodying? What’s the history? Where does it come from? And how can you use that to determine what magic works for you? And Tarot is something that is universal and that anybody can pick up in whatever tradition that you come from, whether it’s whatever tradition you are able to glean insight, you are able to bring forth clarity by simply tapping into your intuition and allowing the cards to guide you through that.

So that’s really my experience with Tarot. It’s something I love to do. It’s something that has proven time and time and again that it is accurate, concise, and the clear that you are as a person, the clear the cards can deliver messages to you. So that’s what I love about it. The more you work on yourself, the better reader you are. And so I hope that this is a tool that can be given to the people. Because I do come from a divination for liberation background, which comes a tradition which means that we use these tools, these tools of divination, which is cartomancy for tarot, as a way to find our liberation from these oppressive systems of white supremacy, of patriarchy, of misogyny that’s in capitalism and all of these ways that we are seeking outside answers to internal questions. And how do we really come to how do we come to knowing via our own senses and not by relying on other people? And so that’s really, again, my tradition, and I hope that someone can find empowerment in that as well. To pick up a Tarot deck and take into their own hands and their spiritual development. With that. I’m once again Papa Boko. Papa underscore Boko. If you want to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And I love Tarot.