Sometimes I wish I had been born into a different age, a time when tarot readings took place in velvet-lined caravans, when mystics held salons and seances, Madame Blavatsky held court with her black cigarettes and Madame Lenormand read cards for Napoleon's Josephine. In my imagination, that time looks a little like this -
When I'm feeling a little down on my modern aesthetic, I remind myself that though we might be a little light on turbans and brocade-lined parlours (although some of us manage with great panache to bring the ambience of a bygone era into the present), there are some incredible things about being a tarot reader in the twenty-first century. The availability of countless decks and educational resources, and the lack of witch burnings, to name but two. My favourite thing, though, has to be that when you want to connect with clients and other readers from afar, you don't need to up sticks and hit the road with your caravan. The internet is filled with curious and knowledgeable souls, and it's such a blessing to be able to reach out to them from the comfort of your own little cave.
If you're looking for some interesting further reading and don't want to leave the living room, here are some wonderful thinkers, writers, and card throwers who I regularly consult.
Kelsey's blog is filled with thought-provoking gems. I love her approach to tarot, one that melds mysticism, astrology, theology, philosophy, psychology, and politics. Her weekly tarot-based horoscopes are my go-to for guidance, and her writings on whether tarot works and the parallel disciplines of tarot and astrology blew the top of my head off, in the best kind of way. The Anti-Film Tarot Art Project is also essential watching for the modern tarot curious.
Beth of Little Red Tarot offers so much wisdom in her writing, not only about the finer workings of the tarot deck, but about how those finer workings might be applied to real, personal experience. One of my favourite applications of tarot is stimulating creative work, and Beth writes extensively about how tarot contributes to our creative lives. I also love the way she seeks to challenge binary gender constructs in the tarot, and looks for new ways of exploring identity through our favourite cards. And, she lives on a boat. Come on!
How can I begin to describe the wonderful Paige Zefariou? I discovered her initially through her daily draws on Instagram, and have since become a big fan. Were there to be a tea drinking Olympics I think I could take home a medal, so of course I love that she marries the mysteries of tarot with the meditative qualities of the noble tea leaf. She brings a wild and joyful abandon to everything she touches, and reading her blog is kind of like being put under a weird and witchy spell and being enthusiastically hugged by a Sesame Street muppet at the same time.
James Wells' wonderful blog is jammed with interesting and original tarot-related writing. His archive spans years, and there's just so much there for the tarot apprentice dive into (and we're all apprentices, make no mistake)! For me, the big appeal of his tarot approach is that it is workshop-able - many of his posts detail tarot related exercises that can be done privately or collaboratively, all intended to help us unravel ourselves and our worlds a little more each time. What I love the most about his work, though, is the way it positively shines with compassion for our humanness, regardless of whether the topic is building a business, learning the Major Arcana, or praying with the seasons. I don't have the pleasure of personally knowing James, but Circle Ways allows all of us to be briefly in the presence of a true healer.
First Earth Tarot is a recent discovery for me, but I immediately loved the way Olivia writes about the cards and uses them to explore and enrich her own experiences. There are a zillion great blogs out there that will help you learn how to read tarot, but First Earth Tarot is so much more than that. The way she ties together divination, family and tradition (also, here) is unique and personal. Olivia is so generous with her knowledge and experiences, and reading her posts feels like sitting down with an wise friend over coffee.
Which tarot experts do you like to visit with? Who are your favourite bloggers?