I’ve been a long-time fan of The Esotoracle magazine.
Published in the United Kingdom, it is a wealth of information on Tarot, different decks, ways to read oracle cards and anything under the sun having to do with spirituality and divination. I’ve loved diving into each issue and learning something more about myself and my journey with spirituality.
I’m honoured to have an article that I wrote about my novel Queen of Swords included in the newest issue! When I was asked to submit something, I was overjoyed. I’ve loved The Esotoracle since it’s inception and I’m so excited to have my article in the newest issue.
When you read my article, you learn a little bit more about how I went about writing a book that was based on the Major Arcana and how I chose the direction of the story in Queen of Swords, much like I would draw a card from a Tarot deck.
I was a teenager and I had gone to visit my brother. I don’t remember where he was staying at the time, but I remember the gift he gave me. My brother gave me a copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett. He knew that I loved everything having to do with Egypt and the mysteries that it held. “This looks like something you’d enjoy,” he said.
Never having looked at a tarot deck before, I was unsure of what to do. I followed the direction in the book, shuffled the cards, pull a card for myself and read the meaning in the card. That’s it. Though I loved the artwork of the deck, I didn’t connect with the deck, and I had no idea what to with it. Eventually, I gave the deck away to a friend.
Flash forwards a few years. The Ancient Egyptian Tarot had sparked something in me. I wanted to know more about myself and the world around me. I was drawn to the occult and the tarot once more and began to learn with the Thoth Tarot. Every time that I flicked through the cards, I couldn’t help but remember The Ancient Egyptian Tarot.
I began collecting decks and with each deck, I was able to find a piece of myself that I hadn’t known that I had lost along the way. As humans, we’re all made up of facets, different pieces that make up a whole. I began to find myself in the cards and the strength to delve into the facets that I was made of.
There came a time when my brother was no longer in my life. I began to think of the deck that he had gifted me with. I thought that if I was able to hold on to that deck again, I would at least have a piece of my brother in my life, even if it was only in spirit. When I contacted the friend that I had given the deck to, it was to find that they too had parted ways with it.
I began to look for a copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot. I was disheartened to find that it had gone out of print. I thought that shouldn’t be a problem. I looked everywhere online, and I found copies of the paperback book that had come with the cards, but no deck. I did find a copy on eBay, but I wasn’t sure it was a legitimate post and I didn’t want to shell out $300 for something that may be a scam.
I kept up my search throughout the years. It was always the same, I found copies of the book, but there were no cards in sight. I don’t know why I never considered Etsy. I figured that if the original deck was published in 1995 and the cards were long gone, chances were that the original creator was no longer making cards.
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Clive Barrett’s Etsy page, and my further astonishment that he had made a new edition of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot. The only thing that it wasn’t available. When I messaged him, he told me that there were issues with the Royal Mail from England and to check back. He would list the deck when it was available to be mailed out internationally.
I checked this afternoon, and the deck was there. Only one copy was listed. Of course, I ordered it. I’m thrilled that after all these years, I’m this much closer to having a copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot. It actually seems unreal at this point.
It won’t be the same as having the copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot that my brother had given me, I know that. However, with it being a new edition of the deck, it’s my hope that I can form a new relationship with the cards, a relationship that I didn’t have and wasn’t capable of all those years ago.
I know that when I get my copy of the deck, I will take a moment to say thank you to my brother for that gift all those years go.
When I herd that Theresa Reed was doing a new Tarot deck for kids, I was intrigued. I love her work and her contributions to Tarot but I was insanely curious about how she would do a deck of Tarot cards for kids. I pre-ordered it mostly sight unseen and I have to say that I am enchanted and so so happy!
I’m often asked what Tarot deck would be good for kids and while there are a few of them, there has never been a deck designed primarily for kids. With art by Kailey Whitman and the book by Theresa Reed, this is a deck that anyone, even grown-up kids such as myself, will love. I love everything about this deck.
The guidebook by Theresa Reed is so well done. Each card is given a brief description using language that kids can understand and, even better, it doesn’t talk down to them. There are also journal prompts for each card that are designed to get kids thinking intuitively and creatively about the cards that they are drawing for themselves. There is even a brief introduction about what Tarot is and where it came from. There are three different spreads included and also a short section on how to ask good questions of the cards. Theresa Reed gives new Tarot readers just enough so that they are confidant in beginning their journey and encourages them to use their intuition. It’s a beautifully written little guidebook.
The art by Kailey Whitman is so beautiful and whimsical. I know that the deck is directed towards children, but the art just pulls you in regardless of your age. It’s diverse in terms of race and gender and what I love most about that is that any child can look at this deck and find themselves within the cards. Representation matters and it’s just done so effortlessly in Tarot for Kids. The art is beautiful and fresh and full of life and just makes me so happy, even the more negative cards. I love that not everything is given a positive spin, that the deck doesn’t turn away from the negative.
Some of the cards have been renamed. The Devil becomes The Bully, the Lovers become Best Friend, Temperance becomes Balance, Death becomes Change, The Heirophant becomes the Rules, the High Priestess becomes The Moon Queen and the Hanged Man becomes Patience. I love that they did this. It matches the feel of the deck and makes the meaning of the cards easier to understand. I also appreciate that Theresa notes what the cards are normally called in the guidebook. I love how it doesn’t gloss over any of the meaning and gives another angle to the cards for more experienced readers.
The box and cardstock are top notch. It’s a tuck box, but it’s really thick and well put together, perfect for those little hands I always struggle with tuck boxes, but this one was so well designed. The cards are a dream! They are overly large, much easier for those young eyes (or older ones!) to see the pictures. The cardstock is nice and thick and will be able to take a lot of wear. They are big cards and while I can shuffle them with little difficulty, it would be a lot easier for kids to lay the cards out on the floor or table and pick a card that calls to them. Theresa Reed even gives tips for shuffling in the guidebook. It’s a beautifully designed deck that is a pleasure to hold and look through.
The little kid in me is so happy with Tarot for Kids. It’s such a lovely surprise and I found myself enchanted by this lovely deck. I can’t wait to use it and to get to know the cards some more and see what stories I can tell. A superb deck for kids of every age!
I’ve had the honour of appearing in two Tarot decks and will be appearing in another one. In the Harley Spencer Tarot, I’m on the 5 of Cups extra card and in the Tower Takeover Tarot by Kaylani Perisho, I’m the Page of Wands. In an upcoming Tarot deck by Lucy Moringstar and Theresa Reed, I’ve been made the King of Wands. It’s interesting when I look at all three cards together. They form a journey of sorts and they are three different parts of me and my journey.
The 5 of Cups shows me trying to get the old feelings out of a bottle of ketchup that’s ladled old feelings. I love what Harley Spencer has done with his card as it gives it more substance. It gives this card hope in that I can actually get rid of the feelings that I’ve been holding on to and that have been holding me back. At the time when she put me on this card, I was actually wrestling with letting go of old feelings left by an abusive relationship.
The Page of Wands shows me falling from the Tower, my Wand adrift with the fire, as I fall to the ground. What will await me when I reach the ground? Will I be able to get up and start again? I love the fact that this card reads so differently with the Tower as the backdrop. Typically, the Page of Wands is just beginning a journey of creativity and discovery. In this card, I’ve let go of my Wand and my creative spirit and have to work at getting it back. This actually happens more often than I would want, especially when it comes to self confidence.
Finally, the King of Wands shows me smiling proud with my familiars: a lion, a wolf and a salamander. The King of Wands is full of light and the wisdom with which to use that light for a greater purpose. He’s wise and knows himself and trusts in his creative spirit. He’s kind and a fair ruler, able to inspire others simply by giving into his craft and creating. He is a man who knows his own spirit and is comfortable in his own skin.
All three cards are pieces of who I am and the steps that I’ve taken to get here. I’m so very proud to be on these three cards. I love how all three cards show the path that I’ve taken to becoming myself and the person I am today.
I had the pleasure of reading Fortunate by Kim Rashidi. It’s a lovely book of seventy-eight poems. Each poem is about one card in a deck of Tarot cards. I loved her interpretation of the cards and their meanings. The poems were short, but they were thought provoking and actually helped me see some of the cards in a different way.
The poems are not laid out in the order. They are all randomly ordered, much like a Tarot deck would be. I love how I could open to a page randomly and find sage advice within the poems. A couple of times, I asked a question as I would have when using a Tarot deck. The answers from the poems were on point and very sound.
Now, there are a couple of things that bothered me. I didn’t like the fact that the table of contents is at the back of the book. I really disliked all the blank pages. I know that Rashidi says that the blank pages are for my own notes and doodles, but I really would have preferred a picture of the card the poem is about or just do away with the blank pages entirely. It also bothered me that not all the pages were numbered.
However, once I delved into the poems, it was to find myself enchanted. The poems are brief but no less powerful. The poems take you through an introspective journey and it’s one I plan to take again.