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    Happy 2nd Anniversary, TT&M Family!


    In celebration of our 2 Year Anniversary, we set out to interview some of our very favorite Queens of Tarot: Mary K Greer, Benebell Wen, Rachel Pollack, Liz Dean and Beth Maiden.

     

    This is something we have been planning behind the scenes for quite some time and we are so excited to finally be able to share it with you all! Consider it a sign of our deep appreciation as well as a promise of many more exciting things to come here at Tarot, Tea & Me!

     

    Every Queen was asked the same 4 questions and after reading their replies you too will be given the chance to participate and provide us with your own answers. So please join us in the discussions and let the celebration commence!!!

     

    It's time to party!

  • marygreer.png.f48dee7fdcdd25e9de2c0ee3ed20923a.png1. If you could pick a person, anyone you like (dead or alive), to do a reading for: who would it be, and what deck would you use?
    MARY: I would love to do a reading with Kim Namjoon (RM) of the K-pop group BTS! I say ‘with’ rather than ‘for’ because I favor a Jungian approach to reading Tarot, which is interactive, transformational and empowering. These happen to be qualities that I believe also describe the very conscious and deliberate song-writing of BTS. The latest album from BTS is called “Map of the Soul: Persona.” It is based on the concepts of Carl Jung especially concerning one’s projections of self out to the world, which, ironically, brings up the deeper issue of who am I really. To read for people who have embraced speaking truthfully about the emotional struggles of youth in the modern world where social media and life pressures are overwhelming and too often destructive, would be a real honor and privilege. I would use the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck because, in my experience, it lends itself most reliably to archetypal projection and works extremely across cultures. 

     

    2. If you were able to travel in time, on a tarot related quest, what era would you visit and what would be the nature of your quest?
    MARY:  I hesitated between Milan circa 1440 and looking in on conversations among Moina and MacGregor Mathers and William Wynn Westcott as they solidified their ideas and images for the Golden Dawn Tarot. I chose the latter. Did the process involve skrying-in-the-spirit-vision? Did MacGregor Mathers really go into a room by himself with blank cards and appear an hour or so later with completed drawings of the cards as recounted by Celtic folklorist and later UCBerkeley professor, Ella Young? Or did Moina, the most accomplished artist of the lot, draw them and could I watch her do so? And, if I could be permitted a little more latitude, I'd like to be present when the Cipher Manuscript containing the bare bones of Golden Dawn tarot correspondence system was first conceptualized, probably by Kenneth Mackenzie.

     

    3. If you were able to dream big, on a personal or global level, what would you really like to see happen in relation to tarot?
    MARY: First and foremost, I would love to see this silly nonsense about tarot being evil and the work of the devil be wiped from everyone's mind! At the same time I don't want to see tarot taken over by warring religions, but rather have it viewed as a respected secular/spiritual tool used by individuals in myriad and unique ways, including being accepted in psychological therapies. I'd love to see it explored more in schools and colleges, while remaining part of esotericism and even of pop culture. In essence, much more of the same, while maintaining a healthy dose of respect for its actual history and traditions. Also, I would love to see traditional tarot, such as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (as well as others), animated to portray stories in films. I'd also like these animations to perform readings for individuals on the computer, such that the cards would actually speak directly to, and interact with, the querent (Siri or Alexa on steroids!).

     

    4. What would you consider to be a really good and meaningful question to ask the tarot?
    MARY; My all-time favorite tarot question is "What do I most need to look at in my life right now. . . . ? The dots are there because this question can end here or easily be modified to include a particular life area, situation or issue. For instance, "... regarding a problem I'm having with a co-worker?" or "... around making more more money?" or "... regarding discovering my life purpose?"

     

    Visit Mary Greer's Website

  • benebellwen.png.c9ab4ac91aa44993d5ea93fd02ce76b4.png1. If you could pick a person, anyone you like (dead or alive), to do a reading for: who would it be, and what deck would you use?

    BENEBELL: Aleister Crowley, with his deck, the Thoth.

     

    2. If you were able to travel in time, on a tarot related quest, what era would you visit and what would be the nature of your quest?

    BENEBELL: Wow, if I could travel back in time on tarot related quests and visit different eras, I would totally exploit that ability! Immediately a couple different time periods that are tarot-related comes to mind, like do I want to go to the 18th century and be a fly on the wall at one of those Parisian salons that Antoine Court de Gebelin was talking tarot in, check out the era of magical orders in the late 1800s early 1900s Britain, or go way back and see if I can track the history of tarot? I can’t decide definitively on just one quest.

     

    As for what the nature of my quest would be, it’d be the same for any scenario where I’m traveling back in time: just to know. I just want to know what actually happened. I wouldn’t want to try to change anything.

     

    3. If you were able to dream big, on a personal or global level, what would you really like to see happen in relation to tarot?

    BENEBELL: I’m quite content with the role that the tarot has played in my personal life and also the role it’s playing on a global scale at the moment. I guess I wish there could be more funding for or financial incentive to translate more tarot books into more languages, like some of Etteilla’s books and other older cartomancy texts from French to English, or more tarot books from English to Spanish, Chinese, Russian, etc.

     

    4. What would you consider to be a really good and meaningful question to ask the tarot?

    BENEBELL: “Show me what it is I most need to see right now.”

     

    Visit Benebell Wen's Website

  • Rachel Pollack - Photo by Rubi Rose1. If you could pick a person, anyone you like (dead or alive), to do a reading for: who would it be, and what deck would you use?

    RACHEL: Does the Greek trickster god Hermes count?  That would be fun, except Hermes would probably rig the deck (note--I'm not talking about Hermes Trismegistus here, the founder of Hermetic occult doctrines, but the Hermes who when he was one day old stole his big brother Apollo's cattle, and then swore an oath  that he was completely innocent).  But if reading for a god is stretching it, then Israel ben Eliezer, the 18th century founder of the ecstatic Jewish sect, Hasidism.  Known as the Ba'al Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name), he was said to have passed himself off as a simpleton when young but meanwhile every night journeyed to the heavenly throne.  I would want to focus the reading on those journeys, what he experienced, and what he brought back.  The deck would be my own Shining Tribe Tarot.  Another possibility would be Niki de St. Phalle, the great artist who created a monumental sculpture garden of Tarot in Italy.  I read for her twice when she was working on the statues, the second time when she was working on the Death "card," and frightened of its power.  It would be amazing to read for her again now that the statues are done but she herself has died
     

    2. If you were able to travel in time, on a tarot related quest, what era would you visit and what would be the nature of your quest?

    RACHEL:  You did not specify backwards in time, so I think I would go, say, fifty years into the future and see what has become of tarot.  And if it's been forgotten maybe do a reading on how to revive it.


    3. If you were able to dream big, on a personal or global level, what would you really like to see happen in relation to tarot?

    RACHEL:  I'd like to see it become part of the greater culture, but taken seriously, without dumbing it down or trying to rationalize away its power.  And that people would glimpse its true self without the veneer of "Mme. Clara sees all, tells all."  I would like it to be recognized/understood as a doorway.

     

    4. What would you consider to be a really good and meaningful question to ask the tarot?

    RACHEL:  "What is the question I am not allowed to ask?"  (Of course, this would lead to me asking that forbidden question, so I guess it's a two-parter)

     

    Visit Rachel Pollack's Website

  • lizdean.png.fea1ab04dc870911c3b3c60bd20599a5.png1. If you could pick a person, anyone you like (dead or alive), to do a reading for: who would it be, and what deck would you use?
    LIZ: I’d want to read for W B Yeats; to see what the cards might tell us about his visions, his writing, and his relationships with members of the Golden Dawn (a pretty long reading…!). One of my favourite Yeats poems is ‘All Soul’s Night’, in which he summons lost friend MacGregor Mathers, who died a few years before the poem’s publication in 1920 (‘I thought him half a lunatic, half knave/And told him so, but friendship never ends’.) 
     
    I’d read for Yeats with the RWS, of course. 

    2. If you were able to travel in time, on a tarot related quest, what era would you visit and what would be the nature of your quest?
    LIZ: I’d want to travel 25 years or so into the future to discover if we’re still using cards, or if nanotechnology has taken over – you’d maybe see a card on the screen, intuit a symbol that’s meaningful, tap on it – and hey presto, an interpretation that’s unique to you. Or I might discover that we’re reading only with vintage cards; that much physical printing has been curtailed for environmental reasons. If that were the case, I’d now have an excuse to buy and hoard even more decks, ready to pass on to the readers of the future. Pride of place in my current collection is a rare Marseilles, a blushing Fool RWS, the Santa Muerte Tarot and Game of Thrones Tarot. The GoT deck is a reminder of the journey that artist Craig Coss and I took to create it; a tarot quest extraordinaire.
     
    3. If you were able to dream big, on a personal or global level, what would you really like to see happen in relation to tarot?
    LIZ: I’d like to see tarot out in the open, literally: Reading on beaches, in parks, at the centre table of a restaurant rather than darker corners. Embracing tarot as part of life would bring an acceptance, an understanding that intuition is to be valued. Over the centuries, we have lost faith in our intuitive ability, partly due to cultural suppression; but it’s innate in each one of us. When we read, we honour our intuition and creativity, and give this precious part of the self a voice. And  the more we read our cards, openly, the more we create a change in attitudes. 
     
    Secondly, I’d love to see more people reading for themselves, and learning to read for others ( why is why I love teaching tarot, and writing about it; I’ve been told that The Ultimate Guide to Tarot is helping new readers, which makes my day). 
     
    Being a reader is life-changing. We learn to work with subtle energies, to interpret our world and communicate what we find. There’s a beautiful sense of oneness that comes when reading cards – being in the creative flow, and feeling part of everything. The more tarot readers there are, the more connected we are to each other and the environment, and the more we live with an awareness of our positive potential. Tarot brings out togetherness, compassion, creativity, empathy and truth: what better gift to give and receive?
     
    4. What would you consider to be a really good and meaningful question to ask the tarot?

    LIZ: I’d ask the deck this question: Where did you come from? How did you begin? Although tarot’s unclear origins nicely align with the experience of and thoughts about tarot – the unknown, the mysteries – I couldn’t not ask that question. 

    In terms of a reading, a great starting question is, ‘What do I need to see now, in this moment?’ And, ‘How do I position myself to make the best of opportunities coming my way?’

     

    Visit Liz Dean's Website
     

  • bethmaiden.png.86f233546dcde3d52349e7595299e148.png1. If you could pick a person, anyone you like (dead or alive), to do a reading for: who would it be, and what deck would you use?

    BETH: Gosh, so many people - though it's an intimidating thought! I'd love to read for Carson McCullers, my favourite author. She was a complex, difficult character with a big ego and plenty of hangups (well, that's my interpretation!) and she faced a lot of challenges including chronic illness, heartbreak and rejection. And she had a profound understanding of the sensitivities of the human heart, especially loneliness, longing, the need to belong - huge themes in her own life and in her work. She wrote a lot about about marginalisation - through race, disability, gender expression, or just from knowing you are 'different' and 'don't belong.' It feels like she is working out her own outsider-ness through these characters and there is so much tenderness there. As my readings are usually co-created (I work together with the seeker to explore the cards, rather than just handing over information), I relish the idea of getting into a raw, honest conversation with her about what her heart truly longed for. 

    As for the deck - I think she was something of a cultural snob, so I'd probably go for the classic Rider Waite Smith... though I'd be tempted to reach for a queer-centred deck like Thea's Tarot or the Many Queens Tarot. I've never seen it documented that McCullers was queer, but I believe she was. I'd love to explore sexuality, gender expression and identity with her through these cards.

     

    2. If you were able to travel in time, on a tarot related quest, what era would you visit and what would be the nature of your quest?

    BETH: Honestly, I'd stay right where we are now (I've never been tempted to time travel!) It's such an exciting moment in tarot, so many beautiful reinterpretations of the classic images and interpretations are being created and shared - I love the diversification, decolonisation and rocking of the status quo that's happening. I'm really enjoying witnessing it all and being part of it, playing my part in highlighting special, indie decks and getting them out there, demonstrating that tarot is for everybody.

     

    3. If you were able to dream big, on a personal or global level, what would you really like to see happen in relation to tarot?

    BETH: My dream is that tarot is a self-care tool that everyone can access, that tarot - and thus the raw, authentic conversations that arise from tarot - become a normal part of personal and community life. So if you can't afford therapy or whatever, you can pull out your tarot cards and read for yourself, and we can read for each other, and there's a tarot reader in every community (who his gainfully and sustainably employed!) It's part of a bigger dream that we reclaim our own healing from institutions and corporations who only seek to disempower us, and bring it back to the community where we can all learn and be part of each others' healing, understanding that mind, body and soul are connected and healing and growth take place across all of these. I want to see more folk healing, more herbalism, more tarot and spiritual healing work done at community level.

    On a personal level, I'd love to work with an artist and write a guidebook to accompany a new deck, as Rachel has done (her guidebook to the Brady Tarot is such an inspiration!) That's definitely a dream for me. I'd love to co-create a tarot that's rooted in earthy, nature-based spirituality, Celtic symbolism, the seasons and the wheel of the year...but modern, queered, using that ancient wisdom to navigate our paths through the structures and situations that are familiar to us (in western society) in this moment in time. If that makes any sense!!

     

    4. What would you consider to be a really good and meaningful question to ask the tarot?

    BETH: So often, simple, open questions are the best ones. I tend to receive really bloody good answers when I go to the tarot with a 'WTF??' kind of attitude - adopting beginner's mind, happy to say 'okay, I know nothing', willing to let go of all my perceptions about my situation, and open to whatever the tarot may offer up to me. That's when I find there is most space for intuition to be heard and for those amazing surprise ideas/answers to come through. It's helpful to stay humble when the cards come out! My favourite client readings are the ones with no questions at all - this helps the reader to escape the compulsion to 'tie' the cards to the specifics of a question, and remain truly open to what comes up.

    I'm not opposed to specific questions, though! If a seeker is wanting to delve into a particular problem or situation, I favour questions that centre on the approach, as in: 'with what energy should I be approaching this?' or 'what's a helpful attitude to take towards this situation?'. These kinds of questions keep the focus on the seeker and their own responsibilities/powers, rather than on external factors over which they may have no control.

     

    Visit Beth Maiden's Website

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