“Out of the Tarot Closet” by Ménage A Tarot

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The amazing folks at Ménage A Tarot, David Dear, Kate of Daily Tarot Girl, and Ronda Snow, put out an amazing podcast, “Out of the Tarot Closet” that I’d like to talk about. Click here to hear the podcast.

The group has put out several podcasts already and let me tell you– these people are going to rise very quickly in popularity among tarot folk. My only complaint is that they don’t put out enough podcasts! I love them so much, I get very impatient in between each podcast waiting for the next!

Their most recent one is about coming out of the tarot closet. It’s a topic close to my heart since in significant ways, I’m still in it.

David and Ronda talked about how they don’t mention tarot at the office or in their work environment. David felt that being “out” about tarot in the corporate world could in fact have a detrimental impact on your career because that kind of work environment tends to be heavily homogenized. I agree. If you stand out, you’ll get pushed out.

Kate, on the other hand, said she never felt the need to be “in” the closet about tarot, though she’s kept relatively quiet about some of her other metaphysical interests, such as psychic development or mediumship.

Although she isn’t “in” a tarot closet, Kate also doesn’t bring up tarot in conversation without cause. She has no desire to proselytize about tarot to others, she says. She recounts a family dinner when a religious relative talked about prophecy and how into the practice he was, which Kate says sounded a lot like fortune-telling to her. Yet when she mentioned tarot cards, he condemned them, saying “the devil hides in tarot cards.”

I wasn’t entirely clear what this prophecy talk was all about so I looked it up. The “gift of prophecy.” It is the ability to foretell the future, though practitioners of the gift make clear it’s “much more than that.” It’s speaking the truth as revealed by God. Fascinating. What’s fascinating is how much common ground we all have, and yet how we don’t always seem to realize our common grounds.

In terms of their advice to those who want out of the tarot closet, Ronda says you should first know your audience so you can gauge how “out” you want to be. She’s okay with staying “in” the closet and not talking about tarot to certain religious relatives, for example. However, she talked about the rewarding experience of first coming “out” and sharing her tarot practice online, with an online community.

The podcast ends with a casual conversation about tarot and oracle decks and what’s funny is before I started the podcast and before I shared it with all my tarot friends (I was only halfway through it when I got excited and went around sharing the link), I didn’t know they were going to bring up my blog! Woohoo! David gives a shout-out to my deck reviews.

Ultimately, the practice of tarot has been a great vehicle for Ronda, Kate, and David’s other passions– for Ronda, it’s writing; for Kate, it’s teaching; and for David, they all say laughing, it’s talking. So much of what was discussed in the podcast struck a chord with me.

To this day I am still careful with who knows about my tarot work. There is still a substantial segment of my arm’s length social circle who not only have no idea I wrote a book about tarot (Holistic Tarot), but have no idea I even know anything about tarot. And yet those who know me seem to immediately understand why I’d be “in” the closet– yeah, for sure, the specific corporate environment I work in would judge harshly.

Funny enough, my parents and siblings didn’t really know about my tarot work until I published an 800 page book on it. I came “out” to them about tarot after I landed a publishing deal for Holistic Tarot and then boy was there a lot of explaining to do.

Guess what, Mom, I just signed a book contract! I’m publishing my first book!

Wow, that’s so great! What’s it about?

Tarot.

Tarot?

Yes, it’s a book about tarot, like a reference book…

What’s tarot?

It’s… (I realize I don’t even know where to begin) a deck of cards you use for divination.

Cards? What kind of cards? Picture cards? Playing cards?

Um…playing cards with pictures?

Divination? You do divination? Since when?

Mom, since… I was like 9?

Really? I didn’t know that. …. And you wrote a book?

Yep.

[About one and a half years later, she sees the final book in published printed form.]

bigbook

OHMYGOD YOU WROTE A VERY, VERY BIG BOOK ABOUT PLAYING CARDS.

It’s not playing cards, it’s… it’s tarot.

What’s tarot again?

17 thoughts on ““Out of the Tarot Closet” by Ménage A Tarot

    1. Haha, she is. And to be fair, she’s been super supportive and proud. She’s just still like, “I don’t know what this tarot playing card thing is and how you can write so many pages about it.”

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  1. Hi Benebell
    But sooner or later someone on your legal environment may see your book and your picture on an interview somewhere and they will catch you. And then?? What will you do? I think I will be on the closet for ever and that not worry me at all. I have a nickname and some friends on FB to share my experiences and it’s ok. And I suppouse I will never write a book with my picture so I will not take the risk to be discovered. Ahahahaj

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    1. Haha I think I’m counting on the “all-Asians-look-alike” situation. “Hmm.. she LOOKS *her* but then, you know, all Asians look alike, so maybe not…”

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  2. When the quality of your work shines in both careers, eventually, it will cease to matter, because in the tarot world, you are who you are and you are good at it, in the business world, you are who you are and your work speaks for it.
    There need not be a cross over, I am a devoted yoga teacher and dedicated business tax accountant, I do my very best in both jobs and after a while, no one cares as there is no crossover and I give 110% in both. And no one identifies me with the other, even though if they know.
    At the end of the day, we need to sleep with both persona and love both sides of ourselves without fear of retribution.

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  3. Your mom’s reaction sounds like it could come from my mom lol! 😉

    I also wrote a post on the same subject today, I’m really finding it hard to come out of the tarot closet in this close minded/atheist country I live in. I understand that you don’t want it all out there seeing what you work with when not doing tarot. Unfortunately tarot can be very intimidating to people not so familiar with the cards.

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    1. Haha! Ooh, I’m going to go check out your post right after I post this comment. I’m trying really, really hard to do my little part in demystifying tarot, but you’re totally right– it’s still intimidating to most folk and that’s a tough hurdle for us tarot practitioners to get over.

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  4. Hi Benebell- enjoying your blog and have to say your mother story cracked me up though I can relate to it! Think I’m going to try y hand at a “Jane Arcana” promotional flyer and see if I can make any inroads to corporate events…thanks for that suggestion. Funny also about the “Asian tarot reader pride” as I am starting to date a young lady from mainland China and trying to explain to her what my Tarot work is about…little do they know post Cultural Revolution that China has a 5000 year history with divination! Take care, and hope the book is selling well. Art Rosengarten

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    1. You know the interesting difference between East and West, at least as far as the I Ching is concerned is that in the East, divination with the I Ching was considered such a virtuous book that it was revered by those who knew it. Tarot on the other hand always had that “occult” stigma to many people. It never had that status that the I Ching had. No emperor in the West ever consulted tarot publicly, whereas in the East, the I Ching was one of the Confucian classics and highly regarded.

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