OK Tarot Interviews

OK Tarot Interviews

The OK Tarot Deck project started with one little idea that I couldn't get out of my head. So I tweeted "what if I made like a super shitty tarot deck???" in 2016 and then did nothing for two years. 

In summer of 2018 I decided to come back to the idea, and take it seriously. It was important to research, learn, and honor tradition, while bringing my outsider's perspective. Why is the Rider-Waite deck so full of spooky dead white guys? I was surprised that these cards, so locked in on a particular gender, race, and religion, were meant to be representative for everyone. I wanted to make a deck that could be open, inviting, and really f***ing cute. Part of the process was this series of interviews, originally shared on Kickstarter.

Jump to interview:

 

Brigit Esselmont aka BiddyTarot

The OK Tarot deck interviews

When did your own relationship with tarot begin?

I was 17 and about to head off on a 6 month exchange to Germany. One afternoon, I was out with a friend and we decided to kill some time and get a Tarot reading. After shuffling the cards and waving around incense, my reader told me in no uncertain terms that I'd meet the boy of my dreams and fall in love. Yeah right - I bet she says that to everyone. But, six months later I was madly in love with a local German boy, and in tears because I had to leave and head home.

After this experience, I knew I needed to find out more about Tarot, so I bought all the books, got a Tarot deck, and studied like crazy. I wouldn't say the journey was easy - I made lots of mistakes along the way - but once I learned to trust my inner guidance and not some book, then I finally found my flow with the cards and now reading Tarot is pure joy.

How has reading tarot cards for yourself or others changed the way you view the world?

When I first started learning Tarot, I thought I was just learning how to interpret 78 cards. But what has emerged over the last 20+ years of reading the cards is so much more than that. The way I live my life and view the world has changed dramatically.

You see, on a simple level, reading Tarot cards helps make sense of your inner and outer worlds, giving deep insight and clarity to what are often confusing or challenging times in our lives.

On a deeper level, Tarot is one of many gateways to this beautiful Universal energy that is the essence of life itself. When you learn to read Tarot intuitively, you are learning how to access your inner guidance and the highest version of yourself. You take back your power and know that YOU are the creator of your life - not someone or something else - and that you can make conscious choices about your path. It's powerful stuff.

Which deck was your first? Do you have multiple decks?

Like many beginners, I started with the Rider Waite deck. I like to be a 'master' of something so I worked only with this deck for a good 10-15 years before branching out to other decks. Now, I love dipping in and out of a few of my favorites - the Lumina Tarot, Fountain Tarot, and the Gaian Tarot, to name a few - depending on the question and the 'feel' for the day.

What would you say to those who feel like "this stuff" is out of their reach or "not relevant" to their life? 

No sweat. If the Tarot cards don't 'speak' to you, that's OK. There are many pathways to finding your bliss and I'm sure you'll find what's right for you.

But, if you want a way to put your intuition on speed dial and gain instant access to your innermost wisdom, then Tarot is an excellent tool to help you. And don't stress out about whether you're psychic enough or if you're going to summon the devil by accident. Tarot cards are NOT evil (some head honchos just felt threatened because instead of relying on religious doctrines for guidance, card readers and the like came to the realization that the answers they seek are within). And you do not have to be psychic to read cards - you simply need to be ready to say 'yes' to your intuition and know that we are all intuitive, including YOU.

Brigit Esselmont is the author of the #1 Amazon best-selling books the Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings and the Biddy Tarot Planner, and the brand new book and Tarot deck, Everyday Tarot. A professional Tarot reader for more than 20 years, Brigit founded Biddy Tarot in 1999, where each year more than 4.5 million people are inspired to live more mindful and enlightened lives, using the Tarot as a guide. More from Brigit:

 

Chris Castillo

The OK Tarot deck interviews

When did your own relationship with tarot begin?

I was eleven years old in 1996 and after watching The Craft I think I asked my grandparents for a tarot deck and received The Starter Tarot. I've read many books on the subject and found confidence from both my knowledge and intuition. As a kid, I went to these psychic fairs held in hotel ballrooms and have tarot and past life readings on cassette tapes laying around here somewhere. Isn't the purpose of all of this just to lead to an amazing estate sale?

How has reading tarot cards for yourself or others changed the way you view the world?

Tarot facilitates communication. Tarot is a part of lifelong learning skills. Indulge in the depths of your feelings and find meanings everywhere. Tarot helped me be a more ethical, respectful, intuitive, and open human and to encourage those traits in everyone around.

Which deck was your first? Do you have multiple decks?

The Starter Tarot was my first deck. My favorite decks are Brittany Tingey/ Joe Rosales' Hello Kitty tarot and the Miniature Rider-Waite Tarot Deck illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. A dear friend gifted me The Tarot by Oliver Hibert, and I gifted him with monthly readings! You can even do readings with playing cards for ultimate stealth. I've been known to throw in vintage Sesame Street number flashcards into readings. I received Our Tarot by Sarah Shipman in the mail a few weeks ago which underscores her hope for tarot to both guide and teach.

What would you say to those who feel like "this stuff" is out of their reach or "not relevant" to their life?

Your belief system is your belief system and it's okay. Adam created OK Tarot and for me, it checks many boxes. It's beautiful, clever, shrouded in alluring simplicity, and it's pink. Tarot is full of lessons. Start somewhere and build on the confidence you already have.

Chris Castillo is a photographer, librarian, and archivist in San Antonio, TX, y'all. More from Chris:

  • http://www.instagram.com/chrisclean
  • http://www.thatchriscastillo.com

 

Chani Nicholas

The OK Tarot deck interviews 

When did your own relationship with tarot begin?

I was 12 when both astrology, reiki, and tarot came into my life in a consistent way. Our family would have Friday night dinners and we would read each others tarot cards. My step-mother’s parents were very skilled readers. Those dinners really shaped my understanding of how to work with the cards, how to read, and how to use symbolic languages to gain insight and understanding into my own life.

How has reading tarot cards for yourself or others changed the way you view the world?

It’s been such an intrinsic part of my life, decision making process, and way of working for so long that I don’t know myself or the world without it.

Which deck was your first? Do you have multiple decks?

We always had the Rider-Waite, Thoth, Mother Peace, and The Shinning Tribe decks around, and still do. We use Marcella Kroll's Sacred Symbols Oracle deck religiously. There are so many decks to choose from now, so many creative and diverse reflections of ourselves to work with. Decks like The Collective Tarot, and the Black Power Tarot are so essential to the medium itself.

What would you say to those who feel like "this stuff" is out of their reach or "not relevant" to their life?

I want folks to find and put to use the healing tools that work for them, whether or not that is tarot isn’t the point for me. However I will say that tarot cards are CARDS, they should be used with a sense of play and ease. They are to be respected for their power, but also used with some lightheartedness. They are something to be in communication with. They aren’t dictating your life to you, but much like other systems of divination, the cards are points of entry, reflections, invitations, options for us to meditate on.

Chani Nicholas is an astrologer, the NYT bestselling author of You Were Born for This, and many other thingsMore from Chani:

 

Sami Main

The OK Tarot deck interviews

How has reading tarot cards for yourself or others changed the way you view the world?

Tarot has helped me trust my own instincts so much more than I used to. There's a magic to tapping into your gut, or intuition, that tarot really allows you to more fully access. It helps me accept the world as just a bunch of humans trying their best; folks asking for guidance from the tarot just need to be pointed in a direction, or listened to, and that's so precious/relatable.

When did your own relationship with tarot begin?

My relationship with tarot started about five years ago. I was new to New York City, and I found a tarot reader on Yelp and set up an appointment ASAP. I went with my best friend, Brittany, who had also been super interested in astrology and tarot, and our minds were blown. There are some clunky/untrustworthy readers out there, but it just takes one to change your life. After a year or two, I realized that basically anyone could become a tarot reader - as long as they can practice and keep an open mind. How has reading tarot cards for yourself or others changed the way you view the world? Tarot has helped me trust my own instincts so much more than I used to. There's a magic to tapping into your gut, or intuition, that tarot really allows you to more fully access. It helps me accept the world as just a bunch of humans trying their best; folks asking for guidance from the tarot just need to be pointed in a direction, or listened to, and that's so precious/relatable.

Which deck was your first? Do you have multiple decks?

My first deck was the classic Rider-Waite deck; while it was a good deck to get me used to how tarot works, the art felt a little too out-dated for me to connect with. That's when I found the Wild Unknown deck. The designs of the cards gripped me pretty instantly, and it vibed with me as soon as I started to use it. Currently, I use either the Wild Unknown or the Circo Tarot decks -- Circo Tarot was recently re-launched as the How to Deal deck, because the artist behind it also illustrated my book of the same name (How to Deal: Tarot for Everyday Life). It's gorgeous and bright and definitely fits with today's ~aesthetic~.

What would you say to those who feel like "this stuff" is out of their reach or "not relevant" to their life?

Tarot, astrology, crystals -- they all ask people for a bit of a leap of faith. None of it SHOULD make sense to anyone. But for people who prefer to ask multiple friends for advice, or who do a lot of research before make a decision etc, working with a tarot reader could easily be another step in that process. Tarot can be therapeutic, but it takes a little bit of an open mind to see how it can help you. Give it a try! Nothing bad will happen, I promise.

Sami Main is a writer, editor, tarot reader, and cat mom. More from Sami Main:

 

Kelsey Anderson of AmuNar Palmistry & Counseling

The OK Tarot deck interviews

When did your own relationship with tarot begin? 

I began my relationship with tarot right around the time I started to read palms. I find divination to be fascinating. I began reading palms first, and then in the same year, I started reading multiple divination systems: tarot, oracle cards, runes and I-Ching. It’s been a 9 year journey. 

How has reading tarot cards for yourself or others changed the way you view the world? 

Reading tarot for myself gives me deeper insight into tough situations. I use it to make hard decisions, determine if I’m aligning with my life purpose, or if I’m unsure about my relationship with someone. Sometimes it’s the only thing that calms my mind when I’m overthinking things. I went to school for counseling and decided I wanted to provide the same comfort for other people by incorporating counseling and divination. If it works for me, why not help others who are going through similar life challenges? 

Which deck was your first? Do you have multiple decks? 

My first tarot deck was the 18th century Lenormand Tarot. In the past 2 years, I’ve purchased an Angel Tarot deck and another tarot deck called Mystical Lenormand. I have a Rider Waite deck which was given to me. I also have about 5 oracle card decks which I use on a regular basis. 

What would you say to those who feel like "this stuff" is out of their reach or "not relevant" to their life?

If you feel like “this stuff” is out of reach, you would need to build up a relationship with a deck. Your deck picks up your energy and really gets to know you. The more you practice, which could be a simple meditation with one card, the more comfortable you’ll feel. If you feel like tarot is not relevant to you, get a reading from your local tarot reader just to see what they have to say. Have no specific questions. If you have responses such as “spot on” or “omg”, well it may be time to purchase your own and get comfortable. *inserts laughing emoji* 

Kelsey is a Spiritual Counselor, Lenormand Tarot and Palm Reader, and advocate of spiritual tools as self care. She is the creative director behind AmunarHealing’s cosmic events and products. More from Kelsey Anderson: 

 

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