Tarot as poetry, anatomy, anxiety. Rachel True and I talk about the cards on AEWCH 142!

23 Feb

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.Want to buy the books mentioned on this ep? To buy Rachel’s book and deck, or other books mentioned on & related to this episode, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 142 at bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
The state of anxiety is always running, isn’t it? Here in Ireland, just as this is going up, there’s another Covid regulations briefing, and for a week now – as with every week before a briefing – the entire country has been filled with anxious speculation. And beyond the announcement itself, what about AFTER this set of regulations? What about this summer? Holidays? Haircuts? When will I be able to go to a concert? Will this ever end? Are we going to be trapped in neoliberal locked-in hell forever?Anxiety is a relationship to the future. And it’s one that’s felt in our bodies.In other words, anxiety is a form of fortune telling.
That means in a time of high anxiety, most people are ALREADY trying to tell the future. Why not use a system to help?I asked my friend, author, tarot reader, and actress Rachel True onto the show to talk about all this and more.
Many people of course know Rachel from her appearance in the 1996 cult film The Craft, about a coven of teen witches. But now that her book and tarot deck are out — True Heart Intuitive Tarot and Guidebook — she’s become increasingly know for her intense tarot readings and her potent intuition.This episode really goes through tarot on multiple levels – so it’s a great for whatever your level of interest and knowledge is.
We start by talking about tarot in culture. Tarot in politics. Tarot in black communities.Then we discuss what tarot is – so there’s a philosophical level there. How does it work? Rachel has an idea of tarot as a story, and I talk about the deck as a being and the cards as aspects of its anatomy.
Then we move deeper into the specific about her deck and her book. The deck is colorful, beautiful, and filled with people who aren’t just white alabaster figures. I’ve included some pictures of the cards we talk about down below here. She also reads a story from the book that comes with the deck – a book which has a personal story from Rachel’s life relating to each of the major arcana in the deck. And finally, we give some thoughts and tips on reading

ON THIS EPISODE

  • Why is tarot so visible now, again?
  • Tarot readers, psychics, astrologers as a class of workers
  • Anxiety as soothsaying
  • Rachel’s heritage and how that affected her spirituality
  • The folk and magic traditions in my house when I was a kid
  • Nietzsche’s role in Rachel’s tarot deck
  • Why neither Rachel not I use reversals when we read tarot
  • The story that unfolds in each tarot spread
  • Tarot as anatomy, tarot as poetry
  • That time Rachel became the Strength tarot card, complete with lion
  • What times to use which decks and other tips on reading
  • How does one choose images for their own decks at all? And how many symbols are too many?
  • The importance of (non-simplistic!) representation in tarot

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Rachel, support her patreon and get her live streamed readings! Here’s a short video of Rachel doing readings for Jezebel. And here’s a long interview with Rachel (in two parts!) with author Mat Auryn.

• Rachel fully designed her deck, and the illustrator she worked with was the incredible Stephanie Singleton.

• There’s a lot of overlap with the previous episode, AEWCH 141 with religion scholar Jason Josephson Storm on how we don’t need to “re-enchant” the world.

I remember Miss Cleo. Do you?

• Here’s more on Byron Katie and her life changing path, The Work.

• Do you know our friend Alec Mapa (maybe best known from his role on Ugly Betty)? Here’s his one-man show, Baby Daddy, about adopting a son with his partner. It’s very sweet and funny.

• Apparently the phrase, “I hate to write, but I love having written” is not a Dorothy Parker quote, but probably (so far as this author can find) a Frank Norris quote.

• Also, if your curiosity is piqued about the Juvenalia podcast featuring AEWCH 93 guest (and tarot reader!) Sarah Maria Griffin, please do listen and subscribe and also support their patreon!

Until next time, pals,
CH

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