Providing a safe and supportive space, tarot asks only that you show up — honestly.
Growing up, my friends thought my mother was a hippie. I guess she was, and is. She’s never been one to use labels, and I love that about her. She’s just…herself.
My mother refused to mold herself or shape-shift for our incredibly stuffy Connecticut town. She didn’t hide her tarot deck or singing bowls from anyone. In fact, she let her Tibetan prayer flags fly (literally, in our backyard), close-minded housewives be damned.
When I was about 8, she took me to a little healing shop, and I thought to myself, “Yes, this is where I belong.” I really felt it in my gut. I can still visualize the little girl standing there, eyes wide with wonder. I remember the energy buzzing – the connection I felt from the crown of my head down to my feet.
As a teenager, I often rolled my eyes when my mother tried to pull a card from her animal deck, or practice reiki on a friend. Only to come full circle in my 20s and now, well, here we are. Most mornings I watched her sit quietly after meditation, and wondered what it was all about — the cards, the yoga, meditation. Never considering that such simple moments would make such a profound impression on my heart and mind.
She often says she should have checked my homework more. I can’t help but laugh at the thought. A traditional education, while important, was never front and center in my house. I received a different kind of education, one that many of my peers did not. I can’t say I’ve always understood or appreciated my upbringing, but I know it was meant for me. Instead of focusing on homework, my mother taught me about energy, inner exploration, raw emotion, and the importance of living beyond our comfort zone. She showed me that this life is an emotional journey.
“Tarot is just that – a journey.”
It’s a journey that some may reject or deny . I am not here to convince anyone of anything. I am here to guide those of you who are feeling called to learn more. Historically, Tarot can be traced back to the late fourteenth century, created by artists in Europe. The first cards were actually used for games. Like games, they can be light and joyous, though shadows are revealed here as well. After all, we are made up of more than just our bright spots.
I view Tarot as a spiritual tool, a way to dig a little deeper, a bridge between us and the divine – however you define that. I believe the Tarot is meant to shed light on what we already “know” to be true, and that everyone is a healer in their own right. I respectfully use Tarot to explore all and reject none. This practice can be such a supportive and safe space. All you have to do is show up — honestly — and with an open heart.
A few common questions before we start…
Q: What is the difference between Major and Minor Arcana?
A: There are 78 cards in total — 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. The Minor Arcana cards speak more to situations in our lives, small changes or shifts. They are broken up by suit, each one corresponding with an element: Wands (fire), Pentacles (Earth), Cups (Water), and Swords (Air). Major Arcana cards are more about themes, patterns, cycles and archetypes that make up our existence. They tend to hold a deeper meaning.
Q: What if I don’t have/don’t want to rely on my guidebook?
A: The guidebook is incredibly helpful and I find it serves as an egoless voice. I use it all the time. That being said, we are all capable of reading and interpreting the cards ourselves. Say you choose a minor card. You can let the element lead. Start there and try to get quiet enough to listen to what you feel it means. There is no wrong answer… What does that element mean to you? Now what is the image saying? How do you view the situation on the card? What is happening and how might you apply that to your life at this moment? Trust yourself and your intuition.
Q: What types of questions should I ask?
A: Try and steer clear of Y/N questions. Keep it more open-ended, something like: What do I need to know about me and this new relationship? How can I better communicate to my friend right now? What do I need to know at this time in my life? Keeping your question in a spacious realm allows more divine guidance to come through. We often try to gather data and attempt to control answers or outcomes. Tarot is about fluidity and surrender — it’s OK to roll with it and let it all unfold. Allow yourself to connect with something bigger than you. You will know the way.
I pulled three cards for everyone reading this, as seen below. They will all hold different meanings for each of us. My question was: What does the person reading this need to know?
I recommend reading them after setting your unique intention/asking a question. Choose a situation that is sitting on the surface of who you are: a job, relationship, pattern, limiting belief, etc. Then visit the cards, take a few moments to study the imagery and draw your own conclusions before reading The Wild Unknown interpretations.
Card 1 (Your past – what you need to know about where you have been.)
Card 2 (Your present – what you need to know about where you are.)
Card 3 (Your future – what you need to know as you move forward.)
Take what you need and leave the rest.
Card 1 – The Empress
The Empress is the mother, or goddess of the tarot. Her energy encompasses all that is warm, fertile, creative and sensual in the world. Her strength comes from being gentle and compassionate, and loving without binding. When this card appears, it’s either pointing to a maternal relationship in your life, or the side of yourself that wants to love more. The empress also suggests it’s time for you to reconnect with nature. Go outside tonight and find the moon.
Card 2 – The Magician
The magician is a card of boundless expansive energy. Whereas many of the major arcana deal with stillness or aspects of the mind, this card is all about action, action, action. It’s time to see yourself as the wildcat – embrace his speed, grace and abilities. Do not be afraid to begin. You have the power of all four elements within your reach, so now is the time to use them.
Card 3 – 6 of Wands (Fire)
From the dark and entangled branches emerges a butterfly. New life is taking flight. If you’re not reveling in the joy of success already, you will be soon. The six of wands is a card of victory, of rising up against the odds. The obstacles have been relentless but now is not the time to look back upon them. The more pressing question is – where will you go with your new set of wings?
+ This deck is available here.
Photos by Bex Griffin.