Errors can lead to frustration, wasted resources, and lost time—particularly critical in settings with limited resources. If you are seeing this card, perhaps you are in a state of seeing errors everywhere and feeling that they are constantly happening to you. Repeated errors drain energy and grow in importance when given too much attention without having the patience to work on and with them.

While they are often perceived as negative, errors can be eye opening, holding the potential to serve as a powerful catalyst for growth. They force a pause, a reassessment, often leading to innovation as individuals and communities seek solutions. Glitches, technical and mechanical errors reveal the underside of protocols we are habituated to. Behind them lie deeply rooted societal aspects of everyday tools, from cultural norms and values to issues of design, accessibility, and structurally encoded bias.

The Error card may be showing up for you through breaking the seamlessness of technical functionality. You could be in the space of harnessing a sensibility for what lies beneath an error. This attunement can open our perspectives to new unexpected outcomes, workflows and approaches, sometimes shifting the materials and techniques we work with.

If you act, you make mistakes. Errors have a humbling effect, reminding us of the imperfection inherent in human endeavors. Accepting that errors are fundamental in refining ideas and works is a part of a debugging mindset, which develops patience in the process uncovering, testing, and coming to solutions. An added value of this type of humility is that it fosters a more welcoming environment for feedback.

Errors are often conflated with flaws. Certain forms of privilege afford resources to quickly correct errors, minimizing their impact and accountability of those involved. In contrast, in under-resourced communities, the consequences of errors can be magnified, exacerbating existing inequalities. Those with fewer resources are less able to absorb the setbacks caused by mistakes, while they are often the ones blamed when things go wrong. All of these factors can lead to a widening gap between the perception of different groups.