Tarot plays a prominent role in my latest novel, To Growl or to Groan. The deck in the book is modeled on the Mary-El Tarot, which is one of the most fascinating, beautiful and haunting tarot decks I have come across. It brings in not only traditional tarot interpretations, but also draws from a rich comparative mythology background.
I used an integrative tarot method for the readings in my book. Much thanks goes to a friend, who introduced me to this method and the Mary-El Tarot.
I believe that serendipity is at work in the world. Shortly after I was introduced to the deck, I found it for sale at my local Half Price Books on a 40% off day. It was meant to be mine. It became integral to the path of my novel. I did not deliberately pick particular cards for the two readings that appear in the book. I actually did two separate three card readings for Chloe for two different points in her journey.
Have you used tarot or oracle cards for self development? If so, what has your experience been? One commenter on this post will be chosen at random to win an ebook of To Growl or to Groan.
Her gift could save a missing girl…or destroy her relationship forever.
After receiving a troubling Tarot reading, Chloe just knows something big and bad is about to happen. Her ability to communicate with animals and shape-shifters is going awry, and her growing psychic abilities are beginning to scare her. Despite her unease, she won’t let anything interrupt her trip to Scotland to spend the holidays with her shape-shifter boyfriend’s family. Jorge is everything she’s always wanted, and the fire between Chloe and the passionate panther-shifter burns hot. But meeting his family has her nerves in knots.
When Jorge’s sister goes missing, Chloe’s psychic abilities might be the only thing that can help them find her. But things don’t go as planned, and with confusing psychic visions clouding her judgment, Chloe makes a mistake and an animal is injured. And Chloe fears she might hurt Jorge as well…
“Which deck are you drawn to, Chloe?” The tarot reader lays out three decks before me and waves her hands over the decks. “Feel free to pick them up, look at the artwork.”
Her booth is toward the back of a new-age shop called The Abacus, not far from where I used to work. She wears jeans and a T-shirt that reads, “Tarot isn’t a matter of life or death. It’s more important than that.” I’d place her at about forty, wisps of gray intermingling in her near-black hair.
I look over the decks of cards. The first has Renaissance-type drawings. Boring. The second is purple and features whimsical faery creatures. It’s pretty and ethereal. The third is dark. On the back of each card, two serpents eating their own tails are entwined on a black background. I flip the deck, thumb through the cards. The pictures are raw and vivid; they suck me in.
“This one.” I hand the third deck back to her.
She nods. “Very good. What is your question? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want.”
There is no reason for me not to tell her; she of all people should understand. “I want to know about my gift.”
There’s not an ounce of judgment or question in her eyes before she holds the cards to her chest for a moment and closes her eyes for a few deep breaths. I watch the rise and fall of her chest, trying to claim her calmness, but I remain fidgety and anxious.
She opens her eyes, looks at my hands tapping on the table. “It’s OK to be nervous, but there is nothing to fear. All is as it will be.”
Oh, platitudes. If I ever become a Zen master, hallelujah. In the meantime, I try to quell my inner cynic and smile at the card reader.
She laughs, as if she can read my mind. Perhaps she can. “I’m going to do a three-card reading for you. The first represents the past, the second the present, and the third the future.” She shuffles the deck, then lays it neatly on the table between us. “Cut the deck with your left hand.”
I do, and she lays out the first card. It’s The Devil, which can’t possibly be good. At least it’s my past card.
Her face is unhelpfully blank. “Tell me your impressions of this card. It can be the name, the artwork, whatever.”
I pick it up for a closer look. The drawing is in shades of purple. At the top, a face, featuring lazy yellow eyes and downturned lips, sprouts four horns. A web of string seems to be wound among the horns and crisscrosses to form a pentagram on the devil’s forehead. From the neck down, he appears to be submerged in water and wearing some sort of vest with intricately interlocking clasps. “It is a dark picture, but it almost appears as if the figure has an angelic halo. As though all is not lost.”
I like books that are funny and fun to read (and hot!) but also make me think or look at the world in a new way.
These days you’ll find me writing, pet sitting, juggling a number of freelance gigs, and reigning as my home’s domestic goddess. I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. Alas, I have, as of yet, been unable to teach my husband how to purr.