Interviews

Reader Interview: Ashley of Hello Tarot

Let’s get to know Ashley of Hello Tarot today on the blog! She shares great daily insight on Instagram and shares astro readings on her YouTube channel, I’m thrilled to point the spotlight on this card reader today! Let’s get to know Ashley a little better!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

Hi! I am a mid-30s finance professional living in Philadelphia and I read tarot cards on the side for fun. I've always been fascinated with tarot, astrology and basically anything esoteric all my life. I plunged into learning about the cards about 2 years ago after having my heart broken. I was desperately looking for answers but soon learned that tarot is a tool that provides guidance and insight, not answers. I studied on my own for about a year, carrying around a binder of my tarot notes with me everywhere I went, including my office job. I tapped every resource I could get my hands on, mostly Benebell Wen's Holistic Tarot, Mary Greer's books, TeachMeTarot.com, TarotHeaven.com, some Thoth books for the astrological components, just to name a few. 

After learning and reading only for myself during that time, I joined some groups on Facebook and started swapping reads for fun. I would provide an audio recording of my readings with a photo of the spread. The more I read for others the more I fell in love with tarot. I received consistent, positive feedback so I started selling 5-card readings on Etsy for $0.99. I just wanted to read, and read and read. 

At the advice of some of my friends I started charging a little more for my services and bought a URL where I can centralize my "tarot presence" online. I started small, thought of a name and went from there. I began posting twice a day on Instagram, utilizing cards from all the different decks I collected and eventually started a YouTube channel where I do readings based on zodiac sign - not an original idea, I know, but like I said, I just wanted to read! The positive feedback just kept coming in addition to more and more bookings. At this point, tarot is what I live and breathe. When I'm at work I can't wait to get home and start reading. I started getting up earlier and earlier each morning so I could have time to read before work. Each reading is a learning experience for me. Tarot really is a gift that keeps on giving. 

At this point, I live a double-life. My 9-5 life and a life where I can explore tarot within the privacy of my own home. It's exhausting and thrilling at the same time. I hope to join both my finance skills and that of tarot and start reading full-time. My practical mind is very, very hesitant but my heart definitely wants it. One day it'll make sense to take that plunge but I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet.

What is your least favorite card and why?

I go through phases with my favorite and least favorite cards. For a while it was The Hierophant and it was because I simply didn't fully understand it, nor did I want to at the time. 

I've grown from that phase and currently my least favorite is the 5 of Swords for reasons quite the opposite. I understand that card too well because I associate it with the cruel, cold-hearted energy that I've fallen prey to in the recent past. Basically, it reminds me of my ex boyfriend and how much he hurt me. I'll move on from this, I'm sure of it.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

I'm a minimalist despite owning many decks. I insist on lighting at least one candle and having a few crystals within reach. Otherwise my reading area is quite neat.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

"Come over here big boy and give me a kiss."

What or who inspires you the most?

Benebell Wen. I really appreciate how thorough she is about details. Her approach to Tarot really rings my bells.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

Queen of Pentacles - because she can nurture and take care of business at the same time.

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

The Aquarian Tarot deck. I love the muted colors. It's the most interesting yet straightforward deck I own.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would start reading on how to better myself instead of trying to find answers on why everything was falling apart.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

After a reading, I turn the cards over and randomly pick them up with the remaining deck. I can't bear the idea of simply placing them at the bottom or the top of the deck once I'm done. I'm a stickler for adequate shuffling. I think it's very important.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Damn it!

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Regular

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I think I shared quite a bit in my bio already :) Perhaps too much?

Where can we find you?

Website
YouTube
Instagram

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Please drop me a message and I’ll reach out to you soon!

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Reader Interview: Kristen of Over the Moon Academy

I’m so excited to have Kristen of Over the Moon Academy on the blog today! I adore everything she does and her courses are fantastic! One course I always recommend to everyone is her cartomancy course, it’s one of my favorites that I return to time and time again. She is not only a teacher but a divination master in my book who creates unique decks and shares her passion with everyone on social media. Let’s see what she had to say!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I’m a divination junkie so I love all forms of divination but cards are my favorite. My best friend in high school gave me a tarot deck when I was going off to college. She handed it to me and said, “This seems like something you’d be into.” I had no idea what tarot was at that time. But she was right -- once I opened the box of those mysterious cards, I was hooked. There were quite a few starts and stops with tarot as I learned to navigate the system with little guidance. This was in the late 1980s and there were fewer resources available. Thankfully, I have some fantastic spirit guides who would help me find the right tarot books just when I needed them. I’d go to a bookstore and a tarot book would literally fall off the shelf into my hands.

What is your least favorite card and why?

My least favorite card is on a deck-by-deck basis but it's not the ones you might think. I usually love the "troublesome" cards like The Tower and Death.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

Oracle decks for a final word or reading summary. Playing cards for timing and detailed physical descriptions. I guess I’d have to add my Magical Playbook too since I use it frequently for my reading layouts.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

Not much. They’re usually enjoying their roles in different environments and settings in most decks so I don’t think they see each other too often.

What or who inspires you the most?

I’m inspired by creative folks who look at tarot in new ways, whether it’s creating a new deck concept or course or online challenge.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I’ve always resonated with the Queen of Wands. She’s very confident and doesn’t seem to care what others think while at the same time she’s very aware of and responsive to her environment. I think of her as the hostest with the mostest!

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

Gosh, that seems to change week to week. I ALWAYS have playing cards and the tarot deck I’ve had the longest is the Tarot of the Ages deck I got about 20 years ago. Right now, I’m really enjoying the Toni LeBusque tarot by Toni LeBusque and I love the straightforward responses from the Power of Surrender Cards (oracle deck) by Judith Orloff.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would have started learning to read tarot intuitively much earlier instead of force feeding myself all of the book learning first. Don’t get me wrong. The book learning is an absolutely necessary download but I didn’t think about reading tarot intuitively until I got Alexandra Genetti’s Wheel of Change tarot deck in 1997. At that time, I don’t remember anyone using the term “reading tarot intuitively” but that’s what I was doing: looking at the pictures and saying what I saw. Now, I realize it’s beneficial to learn to read tarot in three ways: (1) analytically through book learning (2) symbolically through key symbols and (3) intuitively by saying what you see.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I don’t keep my decks in the flimsy boxes. I always find a nice pouch for them.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

I think he regularly mutters something blasphemous like Goddammit!

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

No coffee. Sleepytime tea. He’s probably sleeping most of the time and working in the dream state.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I just released my latest oracle deck, Desert Dreamwalk Oracle, and I have new payment plans available for my most popular courses: Make This Magical Playbook and How To Read Oracle Cards.

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram
Facebook Group
Shop
Academy

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Please drop me a message and I’ll reach out to you soon!

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Reader Interview: Amanda from Salt and Shadow Tarot

It's been awhile since I've featured another card reader on the blog and I'm excited to have Amanda from Salt and Shadow Tarot featured this week! She's not only a fantastic card reader but someone I consider a friend who just happens to have amazing taste in tarot decks! She recently launched the Indie Deck Review and I'm proud to be on her team. I'll be sharing much more about the Indie Deck Review soon, until then, let's get to know Amanda a bit more below!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

When I was fourteen (in 1990), my mom was dying. I used to hide in the bookstore, in the occult section. No one was there and it was quiet. I saved up all the change I could to buy the Classic Tarot by Stuart Kaplan. The first person I read for was my mother. It was terrifying, and mine. I just knew it was mine. I carried that same deck from home to home until 2010 when I found the Shadowscapes deck. I had already been teaching others how to read, and how to find their own path. I have a few more decks now. I didn't discover that there were whole books dedicated to the craft until long after I got that Shadowscapes deck. 

I still teach, I still learn, and I am always looking at my cards to inform me. I have a very specific style of reading that I enjoy very much that involves layering decks and energy reading.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

Oh! None. Every deck has a card that hits me the wrong way and every deck has a unique voice, but I thrive on it. I've often bought decks because they'll have a single card that makes me super uncomfortable. The Hierophant from the Mary-El, the Strength card from the Clover Tarot. Those are the two that hit me hardest. They are lessons for me. That's what I find most often. The hard cards are lessons I don't particularly want to deal with.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

I carry soap shaped stones with me to 'wash' my hands between readings, and a mug rug thing to put my decks on. Other that my decks, that's all I need. But, I never say no to some nag champa.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

Depends on the deck. The Empress in the Prismatic Tarot would ask the Emperor what was on his mind. The Empress in the Sasuraibito deck would ask him why he hasn't joined her. I think the RWS Empress would just say, "Well?"

What or who inspires you the most?

Passionate, kind, human people inspire me the most. People who lift each other up, people who make room at the table for everyone, people who include others, people who fail. Those are the people I look to for inspiration.

I think that people who make the correlation between gentleness and strength are inspirational. And I think mothers that don't eat their young are inspirational. I find my daughters to be inspirational. And dogs. They are the sweetest creatures.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I would be the Page of Swords from the Sasuraibito deck. That Page has looked at everything from every possible angle, and I want to look too. But, sometimes, I want to be the Queen of wands from the Prismatic Tarot because that looks like a good time.

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

Um...what? I don't understand the question....
If I had to choose one, I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'd take the one (three) in my purse.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would look at the other decks on the shelf instead of the one I could afford first. I really wasn't fond of my first deck.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I don't read the books. Even when my friend writes one. 
I sometimes whisper on my decks, and I tell them to breathe.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Fuck.
For Fucks Sake, is the phrase I think of with him.

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Depends on what he's doing. Decaf before bed is yummy.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I am building a very neat thing with some of my favorite Tarot Enthusiasts. It's called the Indie Deck Review, and I've found a brilliant team to work with. We'll be talking about all things indie decks. From the decks themselves, to discussions with creators, publishing company reviews, tips and tricks, and a book club. We are all a bit excited, I think.

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram
Facebook

Indie Deck Review - Instagram
Indie Deck Review - Facebook

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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Reader Interview: Marianne of Two Sides Tarot

Today we have Marianne of Two Sides Tarot on the blog!! I've been such a fan of her tarot work that I nearly screamed when she accepted my invitation to be featured on the blog! She is not only a radical card slinger, but she runs a fantastic blog and deck shop!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I'm a tarot reader and bookseller from Sydney, Australia. I'm also a Capricorn, which I suppose explains why I introduce myself with my jobs, with an Aquarius moon and a Pisces ascendant. I own and run Two Sides Tarot, where I offer a rich and well-stocked selection of independently published tarot and oracle decks, and other divinatory supplies, as well as tarot readings.

It's funny to think about my life before tarot - once it arrived, it felt like it had always been there! In fact, it showed up in my mid-20s, and then both collapsed and saved my life during my Saturn return. Being an English lit nerd, analyzing stories and symbols for fun, I found myself right in my element with the cards, and I knew from the first shuffle that this was my jam! During that period of my life, tarot gave me a priceless vocabulary for the spiritual awakening I was having that I would've been otherwise unable to understand or describe. It gave me a way to map a very profound and tumultuous experience, a true Hermit’s lamp in the dark, and I knew that was an invaluable tool that I could share with others who had also found themselves a little lost on the path.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I’m such a completist that even considering this question makes my eye twitch! I’m definitely a believer that all cards have their place, and that one of the most useful things about working with tarot is developing a relationship with the cards we find unwelcome, as a means to develop a relationship with the experiences that they represent. Which is not to say I’m always thrilled when I draw The Tower, but I do think that by turning towards challenging or bittersweet or boring cards instead of away, we can come to understand the medicine they have to offer – bitter or blah though it may sometimes be!

What's in your tarot toolbox?

Although I am a bit of a packrat, my tarot toolkit is surprisingly light and fuss-free. I do sometimes light some incense to get myself into the ritual frame of mind, and it’s nice to be able to refer to a book or two for ideas and fresh perspectives, but really, the only essential is a deck of cards.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

“Lighten up, man!”

What or who inspires you the most?

There’s so much to be inspired by these days! Our community is so packed with readers who bring so many different perspectives and so much daring to their work. It’s a privilege to be part of a community that is challenging the norms of their art form, and producing and distributing and using tools that are radical and inclusive and restorative. The tarot community, particularly on Instagram and in places like Little Red Tarot and Siobhan’s Radical Tarot Scopes, is so multifaceted and filled with people who have such expansive visions for what tarot and tarot reading can be, and all of that collective work is proof that there’s no limit to the stories we can tell. It’s really exciting!

I’ve also been taking a lot of inspiration from a few different interview podcasts lately, in particular Public Intellectual, Ideal Futures, the Serpent Cast and The Witchwave. Some of these podcasts have episodes about tarot, but in general, they’re just really interesting conversations with really interesting people. I love – and often need – to be reminded that there are so many different ways to live a life!

  Deck:  Circo Tarot

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I used to joke that most tarot readers wish we were cool enough to be the Queen of Wands when we grew up, so that card’s vibrant charisma is definitely something to aspire to! If I really think about it though, the answer to this question changes from week to week. Right now, I’m working on being like the King of Cups, gentle and steady and full of feelings. Next week, I might need a little more Knight of Swords in my life in order to get the job done. Perhaps my ideal self is a fully integrated version of all of the court cards, perfectly balanced. A gal can dream!

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

I’m definitely non-monogamous when it comes to tarot decks – I think I have close to a hundred, if not more, in my collection! I do have very intense love affairs, though, and at the moment, my OTP is the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot. I was late to the party with this deck, and only got a copy for myself when a whole lot of people requested that I start stocking it in my shop. I was surprised to find that we immediately just “got” each other. It reads so clearly, and has been firm but gentle with me and my bullshit, which is just what I need right now!

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

You know, I’ve chewed on this question for a while now, and I don’t think I’d change a thing. There’s no such thing as a perfect path, and mine has unfolded the way it has, for better or worse, and that’s a-ok. Hashtag no regrets, am I right?!

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

My most sticky tarot habit has been doing the daily tarot Weather Report on Instagram. I’ve taken days off here and there, but my daily draw has been posted there nine days out of ten since December 2013. I’d say that’s a habit now!

As for quirks, I’m quite light on. I’m very unsuperstitious when it comes to my cards and my set up. The only little tic I have is that after I complete a reading for someone else, I’ll reshuffle the deck and knock it with my knuckles twice on each side to shake out any residual vibes.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

I have to thank you for this question because it gave me the glorious pleasure of googling old-fashioned curse words. The Hierophant’s an old fuddy duddy (it’s my birth card, so I say that with love), so I think their choice would be decidedly vintage. The best one I came up with was “Sard,” a close substitute for “fuck” allegedly originating in a 10th Century bible, as in, “don’t sard another man’s wife.” I suppose you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but I do hope that’s true!

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

I feel like The Hermit is definitely one of those annoying people who drinks mushroom coffee and tries to convince everyone that it tastes just as good as espresso.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

No news, just ongoing juicy tarot goodness! Come follow me on instagram, peruse my blog, and while you’re at it hop on my email list, and check out all the tarot supplies and goodies in my shop. I ship worldwide!

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram

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Reader Interview: Marisa de la Pena of Circo Tarot

I'm super excited to have one of my favorite illustrators on the blog today! Marisa de la Peña is the artist and creator behind one of my favorite decks, the Circo Tarot, as well as several others and also the illustrator of a new book! A little bird told me she has some new decks in the works, too!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I am a Los Angeles based illustrator and reader. I am the creator of Circo Tarot, Strange Lands Oracle, Persephone Tarot and the illustrator of "How to Deal:Tarot for Everyday Life". Tarot found me in a library when I was 13 and after that it followed me into my practice as an adult.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I guess the 4 or 5 of Pentacles. I think being a Taurus makes me sensitive towards anything financial/grounding related. I don't like my habits being called out by pentacles, haha!

What's in your tarot toolbox?

I always have one go to Rider-Waite deck, Strange Lands oracle, a clearing spray, palo santo, fresh flowers and I always like to have a clean table top to work on. I did recently get Many Moons Vol. 2, which I am super stoked to use this summer.

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What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

I don't know if words are needed but I almost feel like it would be that silent hand that goes up and implies, "I got this"

What or who inspires you the most?

My grandfather Leo. He worked everyday he could, started his own business and was the best listener in the world. He was a barber for 60 years. I have never had a connection to anyone as I did with him, like we have and had always been friends. I think him being Scorpio and myself a Taurus we had just enough polarity and balance to where it worked so well.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I would probably be the Queen of Pentacles. Its a reassuring feeling that I am doing the right things in order to get where I want to be. I like being a renaissance woman and knowing that my feet are securely on the ground.

  Deck:  Circo Tarot

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

Iris Oracle by Spirit Speak, seriously my go to in any personal reading. And also Angel Answers, Doreen Virtue because I am really getting into Angel work and it just feels like it connects well with my current practice.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would say when I painted my first card in 2014. I didn't have the confidence to invest in my work then and it was also a really strange period in my life where I didn't see my career going anywhere. I would have shaken my self then and said "You're baller, your work is baller, this is right, quit making excuses, paint.".

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I like to just let my mind ramble as I shuffle, almost like an inner white noise. But as for quirks, not so sure.

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If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Hell. Like "to hell with it".

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

I imagine like one of those super intense cold brews in a can for a quick perk on the go.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

"How to Deal: Tarot for Everyday Life" is now available on Amazon and the deck on my website! Strange Lands Oracle is also returning in June and Persephone to follow. I am also hard at work on 2 new decks that have a different vibe than my previous decks. Very exciting!!!

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram

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Reader Interview: James Bridge of Left Hand Tarot

I've been a fan of James' writing for a while now and thought it would be great to have him on the blog to answer my interview questions! He is the writer over at Left Hand Tarot and the creator of The Satanic Tarot deck and book. Check out what he had to say!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I'm a Tarot reader and a stay-at-home dad, but depending on the day it might be more of one and less of the other. I got started in Tarot in the 5th grade when a friend gave me the Egyptian Tarot by the Comte de St. Germain as a birthday present. I had no idea what Tarot was, and I don't think he did, either, which is why I suspect he intended it as a gag gift. That deck is long gone, but I guess the joke was on me because probably if not for him I'd have never got started in Tarot at all.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I'd remove trump 11. Most folks call it Justice, but I call it Inequality because justice has always been, is now, and will probably forever be marked by varying degrees of inequality. For many readers, trump 21 is the end of the sequence, but for me Inequality is the fundamental point around which everything else revolves. This means that the struggle against inequality and the challenge of living within an inequal system are what encourage change and movement in the world. It's only when inequality is tolerated and accepted that things really start to break down. Trump 11 is a daunting card for me to read, and it creates challenges wherever it turns up.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

The only thing in my toolbox is my Tarot cards. I like to use a red tablecloth where I work, but that's really only because it spares my wrists and elbows from banging against hard wood. Once upon a time I had some black and white candles, a little collection of foreign coins, some handsome crystals, and an incense burner, but because my Tarot parlor is also my downstairs living room where both of my cats as well as my 5-y/o daughter love to play with anything that gets left out, I've become habituated to working with just the bare essentials.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

"Oh, hunny-bunny -- don't listen to those idiot doctors who try to tell you what you can't do. I know your health's not real good in your old age, but if you want to climb Mt. Everest, then I believe in you! You deserve this, sugar-lips, and I want you get everything that's coming to you. Say... It just occurred to me that it's gonna be a long journey, so why don't you go ahead and sign this power of attorney and I'll keep the bills paid while you're gone? Oh, and the insurance adjuster sent this boring, old paperwork yesterday. Something about increasing your coverage in case of accidental death? Oh, I'm sure I don't know what it is, but the point is that I know you can do absolutely anything if you put your mind to it!"

What or who inspires you the most?

Frank Herbert's Dune Saga, and specifically the Mentats who are human super-computers capable of making "prime computations" and using their human awareness to factor in nuance and tie together an infinite number of separate threads in order to see what nobody else could figure out. They're kinda like Sherlock Holmes on brain-steroids, and this idea of being able to reveal the unknown through intellectual analysis is a big part of my personal mythology.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I'd be the Queen of Clubs. In my eyes, she's discerning and intelligent, but also patient and able to sustain long-term plans for the future. Yet even so, she's vital, passionate, and really knows both who and what she loves in life. These are qualities which I often feel I lack.

  Deck:  The Satanic Tarot (image provided by James Bridge of Left Hand Tarot)

Deck: The Satanic Tarot (image provided by James Bridge of Left Hand Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

A deck of playing cards. I could be persuaded to give up the additional four faces and the 22 trumps of a Tarot deck, but for the love of fantasy just leave me my playing cards! The pips and faces are everything to me and I regard them as much more important than the trumps because it's them that provide the fine details and nuance in a performance.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

If Sherman and Peabody loaned me the WABAC machine and I could tell my younger Tarot-self one thing, it would be to not revere the Tarot. There's this old Zen expression that, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." In that sense, I'd tell my younger self that the Tarot isn't holy, sacred, or divine, and that he should kill it. I mean, just brain it with a rock until it's dead, because it's only after murdering the Tarot-God that I ever made any progress. If I had learned that lesson at the very beginning, it would have saved me a lot of time.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I like to be the first one to laugh at myself. It happens once in a while that the message coming out of the cards for my sitters is to not take advice from strangers, and seeing as I'm a stranger giving them advice, that's pretty funny to me. So many Tarot readers take themselves way too seriously, and I know from personal experience that if they'd just get over themselves they'd be better performers and their sitters would have more fun, too.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

"Herpe-gono-syphil-itis!" I mean, that's as bad as it gets. It's just the worst.

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Well, hermits are often health fanatics, and given the benefits of caffeine, plus coffee's ability to, uh -- "cleanse the body," shall we say? -- 20 to 30 minutes after consumption, I'm pretty sure he's a "regular" Joe, if you know what I mean.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I just launched The Satanic Tarot and I've chosen to make it publicly available through a Creative Commons attribution/share-alike 4.0 license so that people can read, share, discuss, and even build upon the principles and practices I discuss in the book. The companion Tarot deck I created for the book is also available under the same license, and is available alongside the book at SatanicTarot.cards. I had a hell of a time writing the book and creating the deck, and I hope that people have a hell of a time reading the book and using the deck.

Where can we find you?

Website
The Satanic Tarot

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Reader Interview: Krystal of Power Femme Tarot

I'm so excited to have Krystal of Power Femme Tarot on the blog today! I've been a big fan of her work for a few years now, she is such a great voice in the tarot community. Krystal also creates beautiful pagan prayer beads for her shop and I adore her goddess themed ones!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I'm the queer femme witch of Power Femme Tarot, the banner under which I offer tarot readings as well as handcrafted Pagan prayer beads and devotional jewelry. In my muggle job, I am a professor of gender and sexuality studies. Tarot is the perfect tool to bridge these seemingly disparate halves of my life because it can connect intuition to intellect, the magickal to the mundane, and—in my practice—the spiritual to the political. Tarot found me as a 15 year old baby witchling when I purchase my first deck, the classic Rider-Waite Smith. Over the past 15 years I’ve wander on and off my spiritual path and, in the process, purged many of my first magickal tools. However, I could never let go of that deck and still use it to this day!

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

Like many of your interviewees, I don’t really want to remove any card from the deck. They all have their place. However, I love that this question reminds us that tarot’s structure is arbitrary and, in turn, invites us to see the deck as malleable. Far from universal, tarot tradition and theory reflect the culture of a particular time and place. I’m only one voice in a swelling sea of tarot lovers that’s pointing out the troubling ways tarot decks and communities have internalized oppressive and exclusionary values. So instead of removing cards, I am more invested in revising and expanding their interpretations and radically exploring what we can do personally and politically through our tarot practices.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

Because I intuit what each reading needs in terms of decks, stones, and tools, my tarot toolkit is always changing. My staples include rose quartz, amethyst, and selenite; a tea light candle that rests in a shell I found at one of my favorite places on earth; and my High Priestess anointing oil from Zu Foos. Because I do a lot of readings on Sacred Sexuality, rhodonite—which is like rose quartz’s protective, trauma-healing big sister—also often tags along.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

“Without my creative chaos, you’d have nothing to do!”

In the Slow Holler Tarot, the Emperor is reimagined as the Navigator. Stepping into the world of this card, we find that we are on a ship navigating vast waters and the random beauty of the night’s sky has been organized into a map of constellations. I love how the patriarch of the deck is here reimagined in a kinder, gender-neutral way that centers the identification of patterns. The Emperor implements structure that ideally works with rather than against the wildness of nature and the cosmos. To me, the Empress is the generative impulse of the Universe and, to this creative chaos, the Emperor applies necessary structure. Without the Empress, the Emperor would have nothing to systematize—and the Empress isn’t about to let them forget it!

What or who inspires you the most?

My friendship with Nick, the queer astrologer of Queer of Cups, is a bottomless well of inspiration. We volley ideas around and push each other toward tarot epiphanies all of the time. I’m not sure where I would be without his constant support and willingness to talk tarot, astrology, and the moon with me literally nonstop. I’m also really energized by the growing community of queer, feminist, social justice-oriented tarot readers on Instagram. Being in community with them, even casually, reminds me that tarot can be life-affirming and world-building. My other inspirations include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the High Priestess card, and ravens.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

The Queen of Wands, without hesitation. I’ve a Leo sun/Cancer moon, so the Queen of Wands naturally makes a lot of elemental sense to me. They are the archetypal witch who stokes the flames of sacred sexuality, the femme who rocks a red lip and possesses a strong sense of self. I aspire to the Queen of Wands’ level of radiant badassery!

  Deck:  Slow Holler Tarot (image provided by Krystal of Power Femme Tarot)

Deck: Slow Holler Tarot (image provided by Krystal of Power Femme Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

I am unabashedly a bit of a deck slut! It is important to me to have a robust collection of decks to ensure that I have tools that reflect my clients’ diverse lived, embodied experiences. It’s therefore difficult to pick just one! My very first deck, the Rider-Waite Smith I mentioned above, is truly irreplaceable; like a cherished old cast iron skillet, it is so energetically well-seasoned. Recently I am obsessed all over again with the (sadly out of print) Slow Holler Tarot.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I’d reign in my impulse to draw up enormous spreads. In the beginning, I often overwhelmed myself with huge 12+ card spreads but have come to appreciate the value of a punchy short reading. If I could go back in time, I’d also encourage myself to start learning the basics of astrology much sooner. Again, my friend Nick of Queer of Cups is responsible for finally kick starting my familiarity with astrology and I am quickly finding it beautifully enriches my relationship to the moon and tarot.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

My life as an academic infuses my tarot practice with a scholarly spirit. One of my tarot nerd quirks is that I maintain a personal “little white book” in which I obsessively record my own tarot gnosis, the poignant teachings of other readers, and possible radical/queer/politicized interpretations of the cards

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

“Goddamn it” seems a likely contender. But I bet the Hierophant’s greatest offense is their overdue library books and fees! They are not only a teacher but also a life-long learner, but they might blow off another institution's rules!

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Neither. The Hermit is stripping back to bare necessities, living resourcefully, and probably melting snow for drinking water with their lantern’s heat.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

On the recent Scorpio full moon, I launched my website! I am not terribly tech savvy so trust that this was no small feat! Also, I am in the process of developing a tarot for social justice online course called “Tarot in the Tower”; I post snippets of its progress and my tarot teachings on my Instagram. This summer I am hoping to expand my in-person reading and teaching presence in New Orleans. Lastly, remember that I am open to custom Pagan prayer beads orders! Feel free to message me through Etsy or email (powerfemmetarot@gmail.com) to discuss your custom sacred tool.

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram
Etsy

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Reader Interview: Asali from Asali Earthwork

This week we're getting to know Asali from Asali Earthwork! I have been a huge fan of Asali for a few years now and I adore everything she does for the community. I had the pleasure of getting a reading and custom talisman from her a while back, I still treasure that talisman and those words to the date. If you have a moment, you must check out her Tarot fo the QTPOC post, so many fantastic decks! I'm excited to have her on my blog this morning!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

Hey! Well my name is Asali; pronouns she/her/they. I come to practice as an earthworker- which for me feels like the right word for my work as a healer. As much as I believe in the divine, the beyond, and the transcendent- I am tied to the work of now, in these bodies and this dimension, within this realm. Because that’s where we have to live and live with each other in all its messiness and beauty! I also work with herbal medicine, both physically and spiritually, and of course I’m a card slinger. 

Tarot found me at one of the worst spaces in my life emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I was hemorrhaging my own sense of self and looking to everyone and everything to fix me or ‘make me better’. Of course, that allowed folks with their own unfinished (or not even started) shadow work to take advantage of me and harm me in specific ways. We were all writhing in the pit, to be honest. Tarot was one of the lights in that time. It taught me to believe myself, what I saw, felt, and heard, and also served as the channel through which my guides, ancestors, and higher/future ancestral self spoke through.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

The World? Haha. That card can be downright inscrutable to me sometimes. It's too much and not enough at the same time.

Honestly, probably none. They each have a story to tell. In fact one of my greatest fears when it comes to tarot is that I’ve unknowingly lost a card from my decks and I’m just out here working with an incomplete deck and not receiving an important message. If I ever discover a missing card, I feel like immediately that deck becomes a strictly non-reading use deck. Probably ending up as interesting greeting cards to send to friends or perhaps altar focus pieces.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

It’s certainly grown over time but the mainstays are my decks of course, some favorite crystals, focus and protection anointing oils, tea light candles, and thrifted scarves and fabrics that serve as my tarot cloths as I like!

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

“Chill out. It’s not that deep”

I say this particularly as someone who has The Emperor as the birth card so this is really a self-drag.

What or who inspires you the most?

The folks who got me into tarot were fab femmes of color who were either discovering their sense of power and had me really wanting to feel what that felt like or had fully come into themselves and loved me deep enough to help me get there. So I’m constantly in awe and gratitude of their magic in the world and in tarot spaces.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

The Queen of Pentacles is #lifegoals for me. They have ascended beyond the Nine of Pentacles sense of contentment that I’m just now striving for. You can just imagine their sense of fulfillment and deep knowing of their purpose in the world. They give freely because they are fully assured that the universe will support and return it back to them. They are connected to the earth, their community, and their loved ones without losing themselves (or rather their sense of self) in those connections. And frankly, they seem pretty materially comfortable too! It’s not the main focus but it’s just another part of their general sense of abundance and balance. They also probably have the best nourishing recipes and a command of seasoning and flavor that is just unfuckwittable. That’s important to me, okay?!

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

All of them. 

If you're really forcing me to pick… with life on a lonely island to escape the apocalypse looming before me... I would default to my first deck, the Mythical Goddess Tarot. She’s not a perfect deck, but she was my first deck. I know her best, and she knows me best.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would drag myself back to my reading table every time I tried to walk away from those first difficult readings with the Ten of Swords. I love that card now, even though I don’t enjoy receiving it. It taught me so much.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I do so much more when I read for others than when I read for myself. If I’m reading for myself I could literally just grab a deck out of my tarot box, quickly shuffle and draw. When I’m reading for others there’s a whole ritual to set the space involving incense, candles, anointing oils, and either clapping, breathing, or knocking on the cards to wake the channel up for someone else. The constant for both scenarios is a mug of herbal tea.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Would “Goddammit!” be too ironic? Because I feel like that’s their go-to.

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Neither. You know The Hermit is in the woods somewhere boiling down some leaves and roots they found for some earthy bitter tea that’s going to flush out the nonsense and get them grounded (and maybe a little high). They are up to their third cup of nettle and dandelion root tea today, as we speak.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I am always down to make a batch of my Meditative Tarot Teas or sling some cards for folks at my shop. Additionally, if you are a Queer, Trans, or Person of Color (capitalized for emphasis) creating tarot decks or other tarot tools, I would love to hear from you and signal boost your work through my Tarot of the QTPOC listing and interview series. Drop me a line!

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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Reader Interview: Alyce from Fringe Tarot

This week we're getting to know Alyce from Fringe Tarot! I love, love, love her energy and what she brings to the tarot community! This badass babe offers " in-depth, informative readings to ensure you keep kicking butt in life" and I love reading her tarot posts on IG, they are down to earth and to the point. Let's check out what Alyce has to say!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I bought my first deck at 15. Or maybe it was gifted to me? That was a looooong time ago, but somehow I ended up with a deck in my hands. Surprisingly, I initially hated the imagery, and mainly used it to practice psychic abilities and for spellwork. But eventually I started to study it, and fell in love with the whole damn thing. It became my gateway Divination drug--I'm now studying every form of divination I can get my hands on.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I wouldn't. They ALL matter. Even if some of them don't make sense to you now, they eventually will. They always do. I used to feel like certain cards weren't necessary, but realized that it was because I was blocking the message of those cards. My problem cards became my biggest lessons (I think I wrote a blog post on this, actually).

What's in your tarot toolbox?

Crystals, aura sprays, sage, incense, candles, oils, wine, more wine... and a sense of humor.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

"Here. Eat these grapes. You look hungry."

What or who inspires you the most?

Healers and Artists. You can't deny that most of these people are answering a bigger call; something beyond the limitations of society. Of all the things they could have done with their lives, they decided to take the roads less traveled. And anytime we step outside of our illusion of "safe" or "acceptable", we become inspiration for others. Well...that and crazy.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

Queen of Swords. She's got a mouth on her, and she knows how (and when) to use it. She cuts away anyone who's toxic to her; by just being silent. 
But also Queen of Wands. Because she is so dynamic; so driven by her passions, and would never allow herself to become complacent.

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

At this point, it's between my very first tarot RWS deck, and the Gilded Tarot. My RWS has some pretty potent energy when I read for myself; and the Gilded Tarot has just been the most accurate and natural when I read for others.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

Hm... I probably would have worked a little more on developing my psychic side. I feel so behind when it comes to that!

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

  • I throw a deck in my purse even if I'm just going to the bank. You never know when you'll wanna whip out the cards! 
  • I have a very casual tone when I talk to Spirit/The Universe...I also sometimes ask deceased loved ones for help with readings. 
  • I pass time by shuffling my decks when watching shows or tarot/witchy videos
  • I sometimes pull tarot cards for song lyrics when writing with my band.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Well, of course I'd choose "Goddamn", when considering the history of the Hierophant card, but I just like to press buttons. ;)

This is great, actually, because it's my card for 2018. To be honest, I see The Hierophant as a mix between The Oracle from The Matrix, a Mississippi rootworker and Charles Bukowski. They're prolific, operate on another dimensional plane, and have limited need for this world's bullshit. The lesson I've been learning this year--in the Hierophant's words: "Stop caring so goddamn much about how others view you, and lift up your own goddamn self so that others might pull their heads out of their own goddamn asses. That's it." (Stubs cigarette out onto couch arm chair. Because it doesn't matter.)

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

I think he'd just chew on a coca leaf.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I'd just like to remind folks that I now offer Skype and Phone readings!

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram
Shop
Facebook

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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Reader Interview: Nick from Queer of Cups

This week we're getting to know Nick from Queer of Cups! I'm so excited to have Nick on the blog, I discovered him through Krystal of Power Femme Tarot and have been a fan ever since. He works closely with astrology and tarot, and offers mini-astro consultants. Check out his interview below!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I’m a queer, trans bear, and in my day job, I’m a professor of gender and sexuality studies. I recently stated a project/little astrology business called Queer of Cups, which offers short 400-600 word personalized write-ups about astrological transits. Astrology is my first mystical love, but I’ve got a deep love of tarot as well. I’ve been doing daily draws for myself for about 3 years now, and this fall, I started doing tarot readings for students at the LGBT Center on the campus where I teach. I was inspired to pick up tarot by my best witchy bestie Krystal (of Power Femme Tarot), and it’s been an invaluable tool for developing my intuitive capacities. What I like best about tarot, though, is that when cards are on the table between two people, my experience is that people will say things and get deeper into conversations than they would otherwise. Meaningful connection is what I’m always longing for most, and I really love the way tarot facilitates that.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I can’t think of a card I’d want to remove permanently. I’ve got an okay relationship with the wisdom of the “really bad” cards like death and the tower, and even the 10 of swords really only seems to have come up for me so far in moments when I already know something is ending and I’ve appreciated its validation. But I do wish the lovers wasn’t so regularly so heterosexual across so many decks, and I would like a break from the knight of pentacles. He stalks me pretty regularly, and I feel quite a bit of resistance to him. I had an interesting meditation exercise experience to ask him what he had to tell me where I ended up making out with him instead, but I haven’t made sense of what that means for my relationship to the card.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

I’ve loved Kim Huggens’ Tarot 101, and more specifically, her 5 senses exercise. I’ve gotten some surprising intuitive insights about card meanings from that exercise. I’ve learned a lot from the Biddy Tarot podcast and more recently, Lindsay Mack’s Tarot for the Wild Soul podcast. Before I draw a card each day, I smudge with a palo santo stick. I have a wide selection of crystals on my coffee-table altar where I read for myself, but selenite and labradorite are my central tarot crystal tools. I rotate my selenite palm stone through the three decks I use, setting it on top of each deck in succession for a day to cleanse it, and I hold a big chunk of labradorite during my brief pre-pull meditation. I’d say the final crucial component of my altar/tarot tool box is the “chalice” I have on the corner of it. I have a very watery, sensitive Pisces moon; it’s been a struggle to get comfortable with my own feelings and to not absorb others’ emotional energies. A chalice full of water on the altar holds some of that extra feeling energy for me and cools all the fire I carry in my chart.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

"Hold your structure with a little more softness.” Though the empress most often comes up for me when I’m giving away too much of my healing energy to others who won’t or can’t reciprocate, I nevertheless see her as an aspirational archetype of the best kind of “holding space:” creating a safe and flexible container in which someone else can incubate and heal themselves while being watched over with compassion. (However, this message only comes through for me in the Thoth tarot. The empress in so many other decks seems so anemic and reduced to a really simplified and boring representation of “fertility” without all the complex fierceness that could be imagined for her even if the artist was only working with a pretty heteronormative understanding of “mother.”) We do need access to the kind of firm boundaries and solid structure the emperor represents, but with masculine vibes running way too high in the collective at this moment in history, we could use a little more softness from the emperor.

What or who inspires you the most?

I’ve gotta give a shout out here to Krystal of Power Femme Tarot, my witchy bestie. We became friends in grad school before either of us got serious about our mystical online businesses. She’s been an amazing thought-partner, emotional support, and witchy biz guide/marketing consultant. She’s introduced me to most of the resources that jump-started my tarot practice, and my relationship with the cards is so much deeper because of our ongoing conversations. We’ve also been having this really inspiring and generative exchange recently, dreaming up possibilities for various ways of witching in the academy or integrating these two areas of each of our lives more fully. I’m so grateful for her friendship and for the technology that facilitates our communication across time zones, and I’m really looking forward to being a crabby, old, professorial witch in friendship with her.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

Queen of Cups. I love this card so much, and it’s central to the inspiration of my astro-biz name, Queer of Cups. She rarely comes up for me in my regular draws, but I really regularly pull her out of my deck and put her on the nightstand next to my bed to watch over me while I sleep. She signals the best qualities of my Pisces moon, deeply intuitive and compassionate, healing and holding space. I’ve found a lot of healing through this archetype, turning this energy inward to mother myself with compassion. It’s that energy that I’ve used to heal myself that I bring to my astrology write-ups.

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

The Starchild Tarot is my go-to deck for reading recently, but this question actually makes me think most of the way I pull cards out to put on my nightstand when I got to bed. For that purpose, I’m most attached to my Wild Unknown Animal Spirit oracle deck. I love most of the water creature cards—but especially the oyster and the whale—and I also love the horse, deer, lion, and elephant. All those cards feel deeply protective and companionate to me, exactly the kind of energy I want to call into my bedroom as I’m turning inward for sleep.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would read book definitions less and make more space for intuitive explorations of card meanings. A tarot journal would be a necessary component of that as well. I’ve started one at this point, but I’m still quite bad at remembering to write things down in it.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I think this habit of consciously selecting a card from a deck to put on my nightstand each night is my main tarot quirk. Sometimes I’ll put my daily draw card on the nightstand if I want to open up to the possibility of letting a deeper lesson from that card come through my dreams. More regularly, though, I look for the archetype I want to snuggle with that evening. Usually the queen of cups for its tenderness and intuitive vibes, sometimes one of the other tarot archetypes that are generally seen as clear blessings, but sometimes I want something more regal and protective like the lion from the Wild Unknown Animal Oracle. The “Big Bold Vision” card from the Sacred Rebels oracle is also usually on my nightstand. That card alone makes purchasing that deck worth it, but there are a lot of other really beautiful cards and messages in that deck as well.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

“Fuck”—as an adjective, not as a verb. I identify with the hierophant some in my role as a professor, though I think of that archetypal role as channeling the wisdom of the universe more than handing down some kind of rigid, hierarchical, or authoritative “knowledge.” I use “fuck” as an adjective in the classroom—very selectively—to put a bit of distance between the authority granted to me in my role as “college professor” and allow myself to be more human with my students. So I’ll say someone is “fucking brilliant” or that sexism and racism are “fucked up” or something like that occasionally during class discussions. This aligns a lot with the ways I’ve imagined the hierophant as someone who’s available, humbly, as a channel for wisdom rather than a someone positioned as an intellectual or religious authority.

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

I would say decaf. The hermit strikes me as such a sober energy of turning within. Though I don’t think “grounded” is the word that most comes to mind for the hermit, it seems like caffeine is a jolt or buzz that doesn’t quite vibe with that introspective turn. But I’m also not a coffee drinker, so my perspective on this is influenced by imagining the unpleasant, distracted jolt I’d get if I drank coffee at this point.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I would love to do a personalized mini astrology reading for you! You can find more details about what these entail and how to order them at my website. Follow me on instagram @queer_of_cups for astrological thoughts, updates, and occasional astrologically-themed tarot spreads. Finally, starting on April 14, I’m going to launch a moon tracking “challenge” through my instagram. I’ll provide some guidance there about several options for how you could engage with this process, but the basic idea is that I’ll post about where the moon is in the zodiac each day with keywords for that sign, and you can either paper-journal, comment on my post, or repost my image or your own to track your observations about how you’re experiencing the energy of that moon. It’s a great way to connect intuitively with the energy of the zodiac signs, and I’m so excited to see what people come up with! We’ll do at least one lunar cycle and see how it goes. We might do another round in the future to follow the moon around through different layers of astrological information/our charts if there’s enough interest. Join us!

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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Reader Interview: Kristina from Red Thread Tarot

This week we're getting to know Kristina from Red Thread Tarot! I'm stoked to have this radical femme on the blog! I've been a follower of Kristina on Instagram for a long time and always love her posts - they are raw and down to earth. Reading through her interview was inspiring and really gave me a better sense as to who Kristina is as a tarot reader and radical babe... also, I think she may push me into buying the Slutist Tarot!

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

I'm a radical English teacher by day & a high femme witch queen by night (in the afternoon, I'm usually just sleepy). I was given my first tarot deck for my nineteenth birthday, by a pal who said: "I thought you would like this because you like women and magic and stuff." He was right-- I DO like women and magic and stuff! I've been reading for over ten years now-- for myself, for friends, at parties, at markets, at Good Vibrations in Harvard Square, and at the Satanic Temple in Salem as part of the Sex Witch Tour.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I probably should say something like, "Every card is sacred, we must experience pain to grow, the human condition is suffering," etc., etc., but honestly I would get the nine of swords out of there! I practice tarot as a path to radically vulnerable self-reflection, and I would love it if my querent's (or my self!) never saw themselves as trapped in a nightmarish cycle of anxiety, hopelessness, and despair.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

A little salt, sage, or palo santo, hand-sanitizer & tissues for my querent's, & an intersectional lens paired with an open femme heart. I think the space we create together as reader & querent is magical, & sacred practice in being wholly-holy present. Sometimes I appreciate the ritual of the candle, of the crystal, of the incense-- but all I need to practice tarot is my cards.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

I told you, I'm with the High Priestess now! #boybye

What or who inspires you the most?

I am inspired every day by the women (trans & cis), femmes, witches & queers who came before me, & made me possible. I recognize that the space for my existence was carved out by their resiliency. A few months ago, I was reading cards for my mentor (who has broken about a hundred glass ceilings during her career as an academic), & she pulled THE TOWER, & just about every queen in the deck. She asked me to try reading for myself, keeping the cards she pulled out & to the side, as an exercise in imagining legacy. I think every generation before me (& folks I am in solidarity with, right now, in my much-maligned millennial generation!) has moved towers for me. It's my task to use my power & strength & magic to bring more towers down-- to make more space & more possibilities for the next generation of radical punk babes, artists, witches, & scientists.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I imagine the queen of coins to be a "Strega Nona" type-- always making more delicious food, always pulling up another chair, always producing, as if by magic, just the thing you were looking for. She is absolutely generous and takes care of everyone, but never forgets to take care of herself, too. I'm all fire & water-- Leo Sun, Cancer rising, Scorpio Moon-- so I crave the stable abundance of the queen of coins!

  Deck:  Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Deck: Slutist Tarot (photo by Kristina of Red Thread Tarot)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

The Slutist Tarot-- created by femmes, for femmes. It was the first deck I ever bought myself (I followed the tradition of not buying your own decks for nine years!). When the deck arrived in the mail, I held it in my hands & cried. I slept with it next to my pillow. I fell absolutely totally in love. The Slutist Tarot is a celebration of queers, sluts, & femmes. I felt completely "seen," as a femme witch who is partnered with a queer trans man. I don't often see myself or my relationships reflected in the world around me, & that invisibility can be quite isolating-- to find myself in a tarot deck, nine years into my practice, was unbelievably energizing. Praise to Morgan Sirene!

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I wouldn't spend so much time worrying if my interpretation was the "right" one. Tarot is more like cooking than baking-- it doesn't have to be exact to be delicious! I would spend more time developing my own practice earlier, instead of worrying about a "true" or "real" tradition. I would start looking for other queer readers & intersectional witches-- those who view their practice as a way to resist oppression & embrace connection, reflection, healing, & justice. That's powerful magic!

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

For habits: like many readers, I pull a card every day-- if I can avoid the snooze button, I like to pull my card with my morning coffee. It's a grounding ritual that helps me enter the world of the waking (...I love sleeping in, and my middle-school teacher schedule is totally unforgiving about the morning!)

For quirks: the first thing I tell querent's is "Tarot can't tell you anything you don't already know." Some seem surprised when I say this, but I like to make it absolutely clear that the magic is between the two of us, with these cards as guides-- we are exploring what is the querent's heart & head.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Father fucker!!

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Regular, black-- sometimes with a little whiskey.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I will be back at Good Vibrations in Harvard Square April 13th, from 6:30-8:30. I would love for you to come through!

Where can we find you?

Blog
Instagram
Facebook

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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Reader Interview: Liliana from Luna x Flor

This week we're getting to know Liliana from Luna x Flor Tarot! Liliana loves tarot, tea, and magic, what's not to love about that?! She is a practical, down to earth tarot reader who shares her tarot practice on Instagram and her blog, which is fantastic and a must read.

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

Hello! I'm Liliana. My internet home is over at Luna x Flor Tarot where I ramble about all things tarot and magic. My tarot journey started about 10 years ago, the cards made their way over to me through my witchy journey. Actually, my cartomancy journey began with a pack of playing cards! I was still a witch in hiding at the time so playing cards were the easiest thing to get without it being suspicious. I picked up my first real tarot deck in 2010, the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, and I jumped right into learning everything I could about tarot. Fast forward to today, tarot is my main magical and practical tool for self development and spiritual wellness. The readings I offer are based on clarity, heart centered wisdom, and practical action. Because I love homework with readings.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

I feel like all cards have their purpose in the deck but the five and seven of swords, I could do without one of them. The messages that come through from them are way too similar to me, and it's especially dramatic when they show up together. So, one or the other will do just fine!

What's in your tarot toolbox?

My main tarot tools are crystals, oracle cards, and my journals. My favorite crystals for tarot are my very chunky septerian, selenite for cleansing, and my rose quartz is never far away! I also love adding oracle messages to tarot readings, they tend to illuminate the most important bits and give the reading an extra dimension.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

The Emperor always feels like a little bit of a control freak to me while the Empress just kind of knows when to go with it. So I imagine she'd tell him to chill out! Just because we don't have control over everything doesn't mean we can't enjoy the ride.

What or who inspires you the most?

There are so many! Definitely all the folks over on the instagram tarot community. I'm quite new but I still haven't met an unfriendly face. Everyone is so wonderfully insightful and creative, and honestly sharing publicly in something like tarot is not something my teenage self even imagined could happen. So this is all some kind of dream come true. 

I'm always inspired by my close friend, Reiki Master, sister in spirituality. The journeys we have gone through and the path we continue to walk has shaped the way I read tarot and I am eternally grateful to have someone so wise in my life.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

I'm between the Queen of Wands and the Queen of Pentacles. The Queen of Wands just feels like me a creative, witchy, fire lady. But there's something alluring about how grounded and kind the Queen of Pentacles can be that makes me want to be her.

  Deck:  Dreaming Way Tarot (photo by Liliana of Luna x Flor)

Deck: Dreaming Way Tarot (photo by Liliana of Luna x Flor)

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

This is a tough one! I have a few amazingly wonderful decks in my collection and my first deck will always be dear to my heart but if I really had to pick just one I'd go with my Smith-Waite Centennial. Boring? Maybe, but I've grown so attached to it over the years. It's a classic!

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

I would tell myself to start with a RWS deck or at least one with a good guide book. My first deck was not traditional and it didn't have a nice chunky guide book to tell me everything I wanted to know about why each card was drawn the way it was. It was great for exercising my intuition, but it wasn't a good study deck as far as traditional learning went.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

There are a couple of things that I do that could be a bit weird. I have tiny hands so I shuffle my cards in a kind of strange horizontal riffle shuffle. I also tend to hold the deck to my heart when I finish shuffling, because that's where I'm coming from!

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

Fuck. As in OMFG is this really what you want me to do? I imagine that's how the Hierophant feels when he's channeling Spirit sometimes. It's quite the responsibility.

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Decaf, so nothing can distract from the inner light.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

I just want to say thank you to Jess for letting me take a up little space in her internet home, this series is amazing and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's faces!

If you want to talk tarot with me or would like one of those heart centered readings with homework don't hesitate to reach out! You can find me over on instagram, my blog, or my shop.

In news, I just launched my newsletter Moonflower Mail. It'll be going out every month and include a monthly reading, tarot tips, magical bits and discounts on readings in my etsy shop! Hope to see you there~
Much Love,
Liliana x

Where can we find you?

Blog
Instagram
Shop

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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Reader Interview: Rose from The Cackling Moon

This week I'm getting to know Rose from The Cackling Moon! I've been following Rose online for a while now and love what she shares on her social media streams! She also runs a new group on Facebook called Talk Tarot with Me and it's a safe place where we can all chat not just about tarot, but life matters as well.

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Hello, can you tell us about yourself? How did tarot find you?

Hello! My name is Rose, and I am an Intuitive Tarot Reader and Spiritual Advisor. The Cackling Moon is my online Tarot Biz! Tarot literally found me many years ago when I was going through a "quarter-life crisis". I was seeing a therapist and in the process of purging years of bottled up emotions. I stumbled upon one of Kelly-Ann Maddox's Tarot videos on YouTube and the rest is history. I bought my first tarot deck (The Original Rider Waite) used off Amazon for $10 and I began my journey. I am self taught and have been evolving ever since! The Cackling Moon came to be in the fall of 2014.

If you could remove any card in the deck, which card would it be and why?

This is so difficult to decide on because I feel like every card plays an important role in our lives! If you asked me this back in 2012 when I was first starting my journey, I would say The Hierophant because he reminded me of my father and my life growing up in a conservative household. Hmm... I think I would have to go with either the 2 of Wands or 3 of Wands. I always felt like both cards mean the same thing? Basically, if we did away either one I wouldn't be bothered by it. Haha.

What's in your tarot toolbox?

I love using multiple decks in readings. I will often have a Tarot and an Oracle deck on hand. Crystals are a major essential for me. I always have a Clear Quartz with me in readings, but I like to bring forward crystals that have to do with the nature of the reading. If it is a love reading I will bring out the heart shaped rose quartz, for example. I also love to have some sort of cleansing mist to clear the space and a candle to symbolize "Spirit is in!" I am also a sucker for beautiful spread cloths (great for pictures) and a salt lamp because the glow relaxes me.

What do you think the Empress would say to the Emperor?

She's be a sassy little thing. I see the Empress as such an independent power figure. She knows herself inside and out and she won't let anyone tell her what to do. She's got everything under control. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if she puts The Emperor in his place. She may just be the only person able to do that!

 The Moon from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot (photo by Rose)

The Moon from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot (photo by Rose)

What or who inspires you the most?

Tarot Readers in the Tarot Community play a significant role in inspiring me and pushing me to do what I do. I feel like we feed off of each other and I love seeing what new and unique ideas each person brings to the table. My clients also inspire on a much deeper level. I have clients who have stood by me from the very beginning and I've built tight bonds with them. Some of my services have been inspired by the needs of some of my clients as well! The old me would be the final person who inspires me most. Before I started this Tarot Journey, I was a very broken girl. I suffered from past events as a child and a teenager that took me years to sort through and forgive. I was often in a downward emotional spiral and constantly questioned my life's purpose. Waking up was hard to do because I lacked motivation and my depression would feel almost impossible to battle at times. After I found Tarot, I had a surge of newness run through me. I felt inspired and awakened. For once in my life I felt like I had found what I was meant to do. Everything came full circle.

If you could be any court card, which would you choose and why?

The Queen of Wands. I feel like we go through phases as each character of the Court Cards. I was and always will be the Queen of Cups, but I feel like the Queen of Wands embraces all of the motivation and zest for being a dare devil that I sometimes lack. I love her fire energy and she just seems like she'd be a really cool person to be around. I also feel like she would have an amazing wardrobe to go with her radiant personality. Hehe.

Which deck could you absolutely not live without?

Oh wow... Do I have to pick just one??? Well, obviously my first deck which is the Original Rider Waite. BUT, I am also extremely connected to the Oracle of Oddities. I would be very upset if I lost that one.

If you could go back to day one of your tarot journey, what would you do differently?

What a fantastic question! I think I would have created my YouTube Channel right away instead of waiting 2 years going back and forth on the idea. Filming videos not only helped me feel more confident with my reading style, but it really helped me grow more into who I am now. Don't ever let your fears keep you from doing something you want.

What tarot habits or quirks do you have?

I have this thing where when I purchase a new deck I won't read for anyone until AFTER I read for myself with it. I think of it as my way of setting the tone and getting the deck familiar with my energy. I am also a huge fan of worn in decks. I love a deck that looks and feels worn in. I love the way it shuffles easily and the way it just looks like a lot of time and love has been invested into it.

If the Hierophant had a favorite curse word, what would it be?

"Motherfuckers" I laugh even imagining him say it.

Do you think the Hermit prefers decaf or regular coffee?

Regular. Black. As black as the night in deep contemplation.

Lastly, do you have anything you would like to share? News? Event?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share who I am and what I do! If you're looking to connect, come and find me! Let's set up a session! I also offer a monthly Moon Letters newsletter sent to Email prior to the New/Full Moons of the month! It is free to join - visit my website to subscribe! <3

Where can we find you?

Website
Instagram
Youtube
Shop
Twitter
Facebook

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Are you a tarot reader? Want to be featured on my blog?

I'm currently accepting new reader interviews to share on the blog every Wednesday! This is a great way for you to share a little bit about yourself, promote your tarot services, and share events or news coming up!

Fill out this form here and I'll be in touch with you soon!

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