My love affair with the tarot + deck interviews

I’ve been posting some readings for fun on Instagram. I don’t consider myself a tarot expert, by any means, but ever since I started teaching myself how to read cards during my two-week silent retreat in the winter of 2015, I’ve regarded it as a complement to my Akashic Record work because it helps train my intuition. When I first started learning, my mind really wanted to memorize all the definitions of the tarot cards right off, but I know from my Akashic Record work that my inner vision is razor sharp. Still, it takes constant discipline for me not to reach immediately for a reference or pull from the encyclopedia in my brain before really giving the card images time to sink in. The readings that are most fun for me are when the meanings hit me even before the wheels in my head start turning. But sometimes I just have to breathe through the discomfort and let the meanings open up on their own.

I go in and out of phases where I spend lots of time with different kinds of decks (I also like oracle decks, and I am a HUGE fan of tarot/oracle apps), but I like to pull daily cards pretty regularly, and I also do modest three- or four-card readings quite often.

One of my other favorites is the “interview” spread to get to know new decks. You can pretty much ask the deck any question you want, but I recommend some variation of the following:

  1. What is your main purpose?
  2. What is your strength?
  3. What are your limitations?
  4. What are you here to teach me?
  5. How can we best work together?
  6. What is the outcome of our work together?

To the intellectual mind, questions 1, 2, and 4 might seem redundant, but once you lay your spread out you will see how everything works together really nicely. Below are two interviews that I recently posted on IG, so you can get an idea of how the questions work together.

One is with the most beautiful deck I own, the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot by Uusi.

Breaking in a new (to me) #tarot deck today! After charging overnight and smudging after opening, I did a first reading “interview” to see how these cards best work with me. This deck specializes in bringing down the spiritual into the physical, making the Word apparent and tangible to me. It’s here to connect me to my intuition, piercing through fog to give me clarity on my inner truth–the source of my steadiness and power. It’s decidedly NOT interested in chasing after the mundane! It also encourages me to be open to whichever way the wheel of life spins, and promises me our work together will be rewarding and promote my growth.
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As a side note, this is the fanciest deck I own. It came meticulously packaged, feels like heaven in my hands, and is such a beauty. None of the deck’s unique cards (the infinity card/Seeker and the moon phases) came up for me yet, but I look forward to seeing how those work in future readings. .
#paganotherworldstarot #uusi #healingcrystals #crystals #quartz #satyalokaquartz #herkimerdiamond #blacktourmaline #pinkopal

And another is by a novelty deck published as a self care tool by the Asian American Literary Review.

Just for kicks I decided to interview a novelty deck put out by the #AsianAmericanLiteraryReview that I got at a party. It’s touted as a #tarot deck but only has 23 cards–an unorthodox major arcana (where some usual suspects show up out of order), plus an unnumbered bonus card (“The Ghost”).
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The deck was created with an eye toward #selfcare and #mentalhealth, so each card represents an archetype drawn from the #AsianAmerican experience, with advice on how to move gracefully as any given figure.
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Because the back of each card contains its description (each penned by an Asian American writer), I had to decide which way to shuffle and lay the cards out. I opted to do it face up so my mind wouldn’t automatically grab onto the text before letting each image sink in. I was pleasantly surprised to get a reading that had a distinct shape and actually made sense.
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The deck’s main purpose (“The Migrant”) is to help me find forward motion even during difficult times, to opt for adventure ahead even when it seems scary.
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Its strength (“The Farmer”) is that it is surprisingly practical. It can show me how to develop my skills, expand my tool kit, and put in the hard work for future growth.
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Its limitation (“The Shopkeeper”) is that it can’t really give me advice about running a business and making money. (Why does no deck ever want to teach me how to make money??)
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Its lesson for me (“The Deportee,” aka, the Exile) is to find the courage to speak my truth even if it comes at a very high price. It can help me take the road less traveled in search of a new home.
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The best way to work with it (“Desecrated Temple”) is to enter the shadows fearlessly because darkness, too, is sacred space.
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The outcome of our work together (“The Adoptee”) is the attainment of a new home and community. (I personally loved this bc I got my US citizenship through #adoption.)
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I thought it was really cool how the reading progressed from the migrant/exile to the adoptee. Dunno if I’ll ever use it for a reading again, but the deck is compelling to flip through for the art and writing.
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#immigrantlife

Do you interview your decks before you start working with them? Have you ever felt the energy of a deck shift and conducted a new interview?

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