For those of you who follow my blog, get ready for a little uptick in activity. I found these questions at a Tumblr account that no longer exists. A lovely person named Rhee started the thing. These are great prompts for telling stories about one’s journey through the world of Tarot, so I will start the series again on a weekly basis so you all can get to know me better, and also share your own answers to the questions in comments or links to your own posts.
Question 1: What introduced you to/got you involved in Tarot?
Now, that’s a real good question for me. Unlike some, I didn’t grow up around fortune-telling or any other “occult” arts. My Catholic mother would definitely have disapproved! I still remember reading in the commentary at the beginning of my grandmother’s family Bible that all occult activities were to be avoided as coming from an evil place.
Leave it to adolescence to break through those religious barriers, thank goodness. As a teen in the early 1970s, I got caught up in the hippie-generated revival of all things anti-establishment, including explorations into New Age spirituality, astrology, and numerology. I remember enjoying the “systems” of these esoteric studies, although I found astrology (serious calculations) a bit daunting (one had to do them by hand in those days). So, I dabbled in both, right up through college, then went out into the world to work, marry, raise children, etc. I think I’d heard of the Tarot when I was younger, but I never pursued it.
I was re-introduced to the occult arts during a renewal of my New Age spirituality in my early forties, in 1999. As I began to make some connections with my own inner voice, I also reconnected with my love for graphic novels, mythology, and archetypal imagery, and in the New Age portion of the bookstore, I discovered these beautiful cards. I began with Robin Wood’s Tarot, which “lightened” up some of the old-world Christian imagery of the original Tarot and appealed to my sensibilities at the time. But after spending some time with that deck and Anthony Louis’s book, Tarot Plain and Simple, I got distracted by my own spiritual journeys hills and valleys, and remained content with absorbing information from favorite authors, and not thinking about actually doing anything myself.
Back to mundane life for another twelve years, and then social media intervened, quite literally. I’d gotten on Twitter in 2010, I think, and in the process I found Sara Donaldson (@psychodwarf), fellow editor and book indexer living in the northernmost reaches of mainland Scotland. Being an Anglophile, I was further intrigued, particularly by her regular and very witty posts on Twitter. As a result of some 140-character interactions, it came up that she was also a Tarot card reader. Hmmm. Where did those cards get to? So, it’s all Sara’s fault, actually. She introduced me to the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), sucking me in with her wit, primarily. 😉
I found myself in a community of Tarot-holics, amateur and professional readers, teachers, learners, and a very active forum filled with all sorts of information for the student. I decided that this “stuff” was really where I wanted to express myself and be of service to others, so I joined up and have since taken their Tarot course as well as becoming a co-chair of the organization for two years, working up the monthly newsletter, and acting as webmaster.
I have since become so involved in very satisfying volunteer work that I haven’t promoted myself very visibly as a professional reader and deck creator, but that is now changing. I do have a prototype of my first deck, The Divine Physics Tarot, and am tweaking it while I work on the companion book. Please do let me know what you think of the images I’ve chosen; all feedback welcomed.