Is Tarot Reading Bullshit?

I came across this video clip on the interwebs. It seems to be from one of those rational skeptic shows, one called “The Bulls**t Detective” (Series 1, Episode 4), meant to debunk “pseudoscience and . . . new age nonsense.” By the accent of the show’s host, Alasdair Jeffery, I’m assuming it hails from the UK. Not so sure of the language of the subtitles. If you’re a tarot reader, I strongly recommend that you watch this and, I hope, read my assessment of it below.

Three tarot readers are showcased: Paul Hughes-Barlow, professional tarot reader for over 20 years; Laura Boyle, professional psychic and tarot reader; and Andy Cook, a professional tarot reader with 7 years of tarot reading experience. The three practitioners (per my view) are named in the order of tarot mastery. That assumption of mine comes mainly from my high respect for Hughes-Barlow and his work and, at the end of the video, how Cook kind of loses his cool as the TV show host Jeffery quite deliberately goads him on.

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Holistic Horoscopes: Your January 2015 Sun Sign and Tarot Forecast


Every few months I get the itch to dabble in sun sign horoscopes. To do so, we focus on what’s up with the Sun, Mars, Mercury, and Venus, with an eye on the Moon. I use the day-night rulership approach, running transits animations for January, 2015 and analyze those transits. There’s really no science to sun sign horoscopes and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is just pulling your leg. Still, they’re fun and every once in a while, by some synchronous fluke, can even be useful. So here we go. January, 2015, and even some additional insights into the rest of the year for each sign.

I’m also going to throw in a tarot card draw for good measure, coming to you from the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless. (Click on any of  the card images for a larger view.)

I like to open with the sun sign of the month, and that’s you, Capricorn.

Capricorn | December 22 – January 19

It could be a hectic start to the New Year and you’ll feel like you are at the center of everyone else’s personal predicaments. That’s only because people see you as always reliable and need you to be their rock. Be alert to curve balls that could get thrown your way. You’re going to feel a child-like fragility and vulnerability this month. Drama may ensue this month and it won’t be your fault. You just have to breathe, hold back, do not overreact, and try not to let the uncertainties of the future unnerve you. You’re contemplating a new course of action as part of your resolutions, but fear of the unknown holds you back. You need to regain confidence in yourself, and then blockages to your creativity can be eliminated.


Card Drawn. Nine of Crystals: Narrowness

Your hard, impenetrable character grounds you, gives you a sense of stability, but it is also isolating and lonely. There seem to be bars over your view, restricting your perceptions. And yet such narrowness is also what keeps you focused.


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Review of the Wild Unknown Tarot


If you’re plugged in to the online tarot community in any way, even minimally, then you’ve been hearing buzz about this deck. It’s self-published and I’ve got to say, recently the self-published decks have been beating the traditional publishers. Hey traditional publishers: what are you people doing? Get with the program.

Even non-tarot people (many from the fashion world) have been getting into the Wild Unknown tarot deck. Imagery from the cards are just freakin’ everywhere. I remember first seeing an Instagram photo of someone’s tattoo and thinking, “That kind of looks like a tarot card” only to realize it was. What is going on?!

But the few glimpses of cards I saw here and there made me think that this deck would be one of those “its own unique system” decks where I’d have to do a lot of learning before I did any reading. And I’m getting to that age (sadly) where I don’t know if I want to learn any more “new tarot traditions.” So at first I thought I was going to pass.


And then the imagery. The card’s artwork kept drawing me in, beckoning. “You want me.” No I don’t! Go away. “You want me.”

Then a few weeks ago I set a goal for myself (unrelated to this deck, and totally unrelated to tarot) and said if I met that goal, I’d reward myself with the Wild Unknown tarot deck. I met the goal and the first chance I could, bolted for the computer and placed my order.

And wow. WOW. Best decision ever. The Wild Unknown is easily one of my favorite tarot decks now.


This is one of the highest quality decks I have come across in a long time in terms of the cardstock, the matte finish, and the box packaging. Kim Krans renders the images in hand-drawn black ink illustrations, with just a touch of color here and there so beautifully and intuitively done that they are sure to activate chakras while you read with this deck.

Wild Unknown, Suit of Wands, Ace to Ten

I’d categorize the Wild Unknown as a Marseille-based tarot deck. After all, Key 8 in the Wild Unknown is Justice and Key 11 is Strength (as opposed to the standard RWS, which is 8/Strength, 11/Justice). However, going through The Wild Unknown Tarot Guidebook that Krans graciously included when I purchased this deck, I see a lot of card interpretation crossover from both the Rider-Waite-Smith and Thoth. In that sense, the Wild Unknown would work very well as a beginner’s deck, though such a beginner would have some work to do if she were to later try to learn the traditional Tarot de Marseille, Rider-Waite-Smith, or Thoth. So in that sense, the tarot practitioners who are calling this deck its own interpretive system have a point.

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Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot Deck Review

Dame Darcy - Mermaid Tarot Deck 2

I should tell you something. I’m not that into mermaids, or sailors, or ships, nautical imagery, or 18th century colonial dress (you’ll see– like in the Two of Wands, Nine of Cups, Page of Cups, Page of Swords, Ten of Cups, etc., pictured below).

And yet I’m VERY INTO Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot deck. My fingers and my head are bursting with excitement as I type this. I don’t know how she did this, how she can get someone like me to be so enamored with this tarot deck.

I first saw the deck’s vibrant images in a vlog deck review by The Four Queens, and while watching, didn’t realize it was called the Mermaid Tarot. I just saw the images and said with quite a bit of conviction and brattiness, “I want that. Now.”

Then I watched Elora Tarot’s vlog on it and, learning more about the deck, realized it’s all about mermaids and sailors and stuff. I kind of thought to myself, “but I’m not that into mermaids and sailors and stuff.”

Whatever, it didn’t matter. There was something drawing me to this deck. I don’t know what kind of spell Dame Darcy put on this deck but hey, it worked on me. It was a bit pricier than most commercial decks out there and with self-published tarot decks you don’t always know what you’re getting into, but you don’t understand– I needed to get this deck.

Dame Darcy - Mermaid Tarot Deck 1

So I got it, and now I don’t know whether to be a good Samaritan and use it as a professional reading deck to share the beauty of Dame Darcy’s artwork with everyone who gets readings from me or be selfish and horde this deck all to myself and not let anyone else touch it, ever.

Usually with tarot decks I hear word of it buzzing about for months and then at some point, I buy. With Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot, it went from “I’ve never heard of it” to clicking “Add to Cart” in, like, I think less than an hour.

The above photo shows what I got with my purchase order. Two extra cards came–an extra Ace of Cups and an extra Wheel of Fortune, which is why they’re set off to the side like that. More on that later. No box, but that’s totally okay with me. I love the black velveteen drawstring bag. It’s even got a sailor’s anchor on it, going with the theme. *Love*

As she noted in her review of the deck, Kelly-Ann of The Four Queens got a stunning handwritten, hand-drawn page with a vegetarian recipe while Elora Tarot got one on seed sprouting, so that kind of got me excited about the prospect of a freebie, but alas, I guess the freebies only go to the VIP. I, however, non-VIP that I am, got no handwritten, hand-drawn page. Aww. Shucks.

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Visiting North Atlantic Books

2014.12.03 At NAB - All Pics

I had a ton of fun yesterday meeting with all the editors and staff at North Atlantic Books. Love reading (tarot reading) for creative folks. As a tarot practitioner, you really can feel the difference. The air and general vibes have this pulse of energy you just don’t get in any other reading venue. There’s me with the lead editor behind Holistic Tarot, Leslie.

Everyone at NAB needs to be thanked, however. Authors always get all the credit for a book, but based on what I’ve witnessed over the last year, me writing the book was the easiest part of it all! What these people do to take my submitted manuscript and transform it into what you see above–and what you’ll be buying, I hope–is truly a miracle of birth. Except, really, it’s no “miracle,” like some sort of divine intervention. (Sorry, Divine!) It was a ton of brute hard work, human effort, picking away at details, editing and editing again… and editing again… and layer after layer of very personalized attention from each and every single person who laid hands on this manuscript. The one Divine part was connecting my book to North Atlantic Books. Everything else was a lot, a lot of love and labor.

Okay. That’s enough sap for one day.

I Ching Divinations in the Month of December for a Twitter Follow


For the month of December, 2014, ending right before New Year’s Eve, I am offering I Ching divinations in exchange for following me on Twitter.

Okay come on. That’s like basically free, people. And if you’re already following me on Twitter, then it is free. Just let me know!

These are not full readings, by the way, and you will be meeting me half-way in terms of work. Let me explain.

I’ve been tackling my own translation and annotations of the I Ching so that I no longer need to work off any of the current English translations. So that’s what I’ll be using for these divinations–my own work product.

To get your I Ching divination from me, here’s what you have to do:

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