To say that Tarot is life changing, may seem wildly dramatic to some, and yet it has the potential to be undeniably true. For many (no judgments), Tarot has been seen as a party trick. It has conjured the image of a fortune teller sitting in a darkened room prepared to tell you what wild or weary future awaits you.
I'm going to burst this image and tell you straight up, Tarot doesn't predict the future. The future is never set in stone, free will is much too powerful a force to say with any guarantee what the future holds. What Tarot does show us is the TRUTH of the present. The truth you cannot always see because your brain takes the present moment and attaches all your past traumas, feelings, beliefs, memories, and associations to it and makes something different. And if this somehow feels less valuable I will remind you how often we are unable to see our own truth. We can't see when it's time to leave a relationship or job because we are attached to the familiarity of those things. We push love away because we are afraid of being hurt again. We turn to substances or avoidance to block painful memories. And far too often we think there is something wrong with us because we can't find the happiness we so crave. The future is created through our actions, thoughts, and beliefs, all of which are accessible through the Tarot. So while the Tarot does not predict the future, it does have the power to influence it.
Who should learn Tarot?
Anyone and everyone who longs to know and understand themselves, as well as the world around them, more deeply. Tarot can teach you to be present and to pay attention to the outdated patterns and triggers, as well as the invitations for change. The cards provide a mirror into the soul, all our thoughts, behaviors, patterns, fears, and perceptions are in those 78 cards. Though a reading you will be able to look yourselves straight in the face without the filter of the boisterous ego and fearful brain. The truth stares back at you, an invitation to be better. Not better through competition with anyone else, but the best version of yourself.
For me personally, this self-awareness has allowed me to see my faults with utmost clarity and through those realizations, step into more happiness than I thought possible. When my husband and I first started dating, I almost broke up with him because I was so triggered by his love. The Tarot reminded me of my inner strength, reassured me of my own capacity for love, and presented me with the invitation to take a fools leap, one that has proved to be full of blessings.
The examples of clarity, guidance, reassurance, and honesty found in the Tarot is endless. In my own practice, I have seen old patterns broken, new hope emerges, and giant leaps taken. The Tarot is so much more than a fun party trick, it holds the capacity for a type of personal discovery and self-love that can change lives. I want to share with you some examples of how Tarot can provide clarity in concrete and relatable situations. Although the specifics are fabricated, these are examples I have drawn from my own practice and experiences.
Different Date, Same Story
Kate find herself in relationships with the same type of man over an over again. He starts out kind and attentive, only to pull away as soon as the relationship reaches a certain levels of intimacy. She starts to feel discouraged and frustrated, are there no good men out there? She turns to her Tarot deck to find solace and guidance. Rather than see “what’s wrong with them”, she receives back an invitation to look deeper at herself. She pulls the 6 of Swords, The Fool reversed, and The World reversed. She sees her struggle to let go of control in relationships. She feels more comfortable when she is “driving the ship”. This pattern has encouraged her to find partners that don’t challenge or threaten her control. The Fool reversed most definitely suggests a pattern of the fear of leaping. Always worried about being played as the fool she keeps her guard up and keeps these men at a comfortable distance. The World reversed lets her know that some cycle she thought she had completed is still in motion. This leads her to ask herself why does she require so much control in relationships? Past traumas have taught her to stay guarded in relationships. Operating at this vibration attracts others at the same vibration. Even though she was longing for intimacy, she was attracting men who matched her subconscious fear of intimacy. This insight gives her a place to start to break this pattern.
Is it Time to Make a Change?
Gary has been going back and forth for weeks, months even on whether of not to leave his current job. He makes good money and knows he is good at what he does. It’s not a bad job and yet he finds himself irritable and discontent. He feels like he is dragging himself to work every day. Finally fed up with his own melancholy he pulls three cards for himself. The Eight of Cups, The Emperor, and the Three of Pentacles. Like a lightening bolt he feels a moment of total clarity. He knows the Eight of Cups appears when it is time to walk away from something that has served you well, but no longer supports your soul’s purpose. The Emperor highlights his desire to step into his power and shine in a capacity he has been unable to do in his current job. The Three of Pentacles paints a picture of what is calling him, a true collaboration with like-minded individuals. One in which everyone’s skills are being showcased. He feels renewed and inspired to start working towards a major career change.
How do I Listen to My Soul?
Learning Tarot can amplify your relationship with your Truth. Our soul is always trying to communicate with us, just usually in a whisper. The twinge of a gut feeling, the wariness we may feel meeting someone new, the dreams we allow to permeate our thoughts are all ways the soul is trying to communicate with you. In a society that operates on fear, tuning into this quiet whisper can be a challenge. This is one of the superpowers of the Tarot, to take that whisper and show you with your own eyes the truth we long to uncover.
Tarot for Today
I am honored to be bringing the wisdom of the Tarot to Shilo Farm in the upcoming course Tarot for Today on October 13th 2:00pm-6:00pm. During this one-day, four-hour course we will look at how the Tarot can be used to deepen your intuition and connection to self. Through lessons, discussion and an accompanying workbook, you will learn the meaning of the 78 cards in upright and reversals. You will also learn a variety of spreads to use for yourself or with others and then have the opportunity to practice with classmates. Learning Tarot in this environment gives you the opportunity to ask questions and deepen your understanding of the material. This course is perfect for those completely new to Tarot, as well and individuals looking to deepen and expand their practice. Our modern look at the Tarot dismisses the idea of “good card” and “bad cards” but rather sees the medicine of each card. We also transcend the idea of the cards being gendered and embrace their availability to each of us. Through humor, curiosity, and compassion, we will each find our unique path with Tarot.
For more details on this course and to register, visit the LEARN TAROT page of my website
In late March my husband and I spent our first anniversary in Punta Cana with a group of friends. We swam, ate, drank, laughed and basked in the sun. It was a total escape from responsibilities and felt deeply restorative. This kind of luxury is still new to me, I grew up poor, we got by, but we certainly didn't go on vacations. The first time I left the country was last March when my husband and I eloped in Mexico. So being in paradise feels like such a gift, one that I don't take for granted.
One of our mornings, James and I were sitting in a cabana at the beach, enjoying the moment. The white sand, crystal blue ocean, and warm breeze teasing our slightly sun burned skin kept me so present to the moment. Then I saw something that has stuck with me, even after these weeks. There were beach beds for rent close by and a group of girls had started setting up. There were four of them and each one was more perfect than the last. Long, flowy, meticulously styled hair, toned and tanned tall bodies with impossibly perky breasts. Immaculately dressed and styled. They caught my eye, as they would anyone that passed. I am not threatened by beautiful women. I have spent so many years coming to a place of deep love and acceptance for my body, which allows me to celebrate feminine beauty in all in forms. But there was just something about this group that felt off.
They started unpacking their bags, which contained multiple accessories, outfits, and props. Soon they began snapping picture of each other, but not in a 'let's take pics of our friends' kind of way, it was a photo shoot without a photographer or a real camera. They started changing bathing suits, adding accessories. It clicked, they were "Instagramers" self-made models, with potentially huge following, selling this "idea" of perfection with the illusion of ease. (I later confirmed this thought when I saw their tags to the resort we were at) According to them, they were just hanging at the beach with girlfriends enjoying the sun and the sea. But the real problem is, that wasn't true. The thing about an advertisement is that we know we are being sold to. As a young girl I would pick up a magazine and gaze at the beautiful pictures of beautiful women and wish I could look like they did. But on some level, we all knew that it was a photoshoot, it wasn't real. But this, this was being sold as reality, which makes it even more dangerous for all of us comparing our lives to these images.
I was surprised at the surge of emotions I felt laying on the beach that day. The torrent of conflicting thoughts spun around in my head. I knew some small part of me envied her, because society has taught me that well. Her perfect body, flawless skin, silky hair in casual waves were the ideals of beauty. I knew I hated her a little, for selling lies, for passing something deeply planned and calculated as a casual day at the beach. And I knew I pitied her because she's missing all of this trying to get the perfect shot. The phone clicks again and again, "no not that one, try again, more like this, I want to LOOK like I'm having the best time". I wanted to shake her and say look around, at this beautiful beach, this beautiful day, this beautiful life. YOUR ONE LIFE. She is just as much a pawn in this game, whether she knows it or not. And I wonder if her 400,000 followers are not enough to make her feel whole.
How is it possible that we got here? That our worth is so wrapped up in other people's perceptions of us that we sell lies as reality. I want to be perfectly transparent here. I do not have a problem with makeup, fashion, perfect hair, Instagram filters, and manicuring yourself to look a certain way. I absolutely love getting dressed up, wearing makeup, and flattering clothes. Many of you know I love to rock a red lip for absolutely no reason at all. It is fun and can be such a wonderful expression of your spirit. The ONLY thing I have a problem with, is selling that as effortless reality, when it is not.
In the weeks that have followed, I have felt even more empowered and committed to my message of authenticity. I'm raising a daughter and a son in this sometimes fucked up world, with these absolutely impossible standards of life. So I have to be strong, not just for me, but for them. I want things to be different. I want more of us to feel whole all on our own. I talk about authenticity so much because it is the antidote for these illusions. Be you. Unapologetically. Be brave enough to love yourself exactly as you are. And please, LIVE YOUR LIFE. This is it. The collection of small moments and big moments. The way we choose to speak to one another, the way we speak to ourselves, how we choose to fill our time, this is it. I urge you not to miss it.
I lived most of my life on the edge of happy. I was so close I often convinced myself I really was happy. The real problem with "almost happy" though is the fall to unhappy is really just a tiny jump. So little things, like not being able to find my keys, spilling coffee on myself on the way out the door, my kid throwing an epic tantrum in the grocery story, or my husband leaving dirty dishes in the living room would bring on my rage monster. I never knew exactly when the rage monster would appear, but inevitably she would come storming down the door ready to kick ass and take names at the drop of a hat. It took me a lot of therapy, meditation, journaling and self-awareness to realize that this rage monster was not a defeat of character, she was trying to help wake me up.
It was during the Great Shakedown of 2015, as everything about my almost happy life crumbled around me, that I finally said hello to my rage monster. For those that don’t know, this is how I refer to the 9 months of my life when my husband came out as transgender, we filed for divorce, and I moved back to New England from Florida and became a single mom). So with nothing more to lose, I asked her, rage monster, what she wanted, expecting the worst, and she quietly said I want you to be happy. What a shock. This part of myself that I absolutely hated just wanted me to be happy.
In the months that followed, I really dissected my life and my choices, I realized that all that had happened did not happen to me but because of me. I am not saying I took full responsibility in a self-deprecating way, what I am saying is I had the realization that the way I had been living my life as “almost happy” had allowed me to wander so far from my truth. I had not been living my authentic life. I was allowing myself to be swayed and pulled by what I thought I should want, what others wanted for me, and what made the people around me happiest. I was a catalyst for everyone’s happiness but my own.
So I rebooted my life, I got an apartment for myself and my children. I decorated it EXACTLY the way I wanted. I cooked the foods I wanted to eat while dancing in my kitchen to the music I loved. I started reading Tarot Cards again, moving them from their storage box to be proudly displayed for anyone to see. I connected with other women I admired; I shared my pain with them and celebrated the joy of reconnecting with myself. I remember one of my best friends, who was also single at the time, sharing that she loved to eat rotisserie chicken and drink champagne in her undies. I fucking love that. I made a promise to myself that when I did start dating again, I would never hide my true inner weirdo.
I started living my authentic life and found what I had been missing. Happiness, real, true, honest happiness. Things were not perfect, they were far from it, I was learning how to stand on my own two feet, I was financial overwhelmed, exhausted from raising a 3 and 5 year old alone, and still nursing a broken heart. But I knew that what I was creating was real and no one would be able to take that away again.
Then the most amazing thing happened, by being my true, weird, unique, awesome self, I attracted a unique, weird, awesome human into my life that not only accepted those parts of me, but absolutely loved them. We don’t share all the same passions, he jumps out of planes, I follow the cycles of the moon and do Tarot Readings, but we honor and love those parts of each other. When I told him I was going to put an alter honoring the Goddess in the corner of our bedroom he simply smiled and said jokingly, just don’t put a hex on me if I forget to wash the dishes ok? Ok, no hexes I promised.
This is what happens when we truly honor who we are, we attract the people into our lives that completely resonate and love us. Not a quieter us, or a neater us, not thinner, or more normal, but just as we are. I am free to be me because I did the work to really fall in love with myself. I stopped caring so much what other people thought about my path. When shit goes down in my life, and it still does, I no longer worry that the rage monster is going to bust out of me. I am whole and really fucking happy.
Read. Relate. Repeat.
My hope is through my words, through my own experiences, you will relate to some piece of my story. Some desire that I've shared or insecurity I've admitted to will also belong to you. My words are my truth, but they may also be yours.