Hi, I’m Claire (she/they). I’m not a psychic. Tarot does not predict the future. Instead, Tarot is a doorway into self-discovery, into uncovering the deep knowledge each of us already holds within us about our dreams and fears, our blocks and passions, our desires and our potential. I read Tarot as a narrative that tells us the story of our selves, that uncovers how our pasts have shaped us and illuminates the path we are currently walking. If the destination is an undesirable one, the cards can provide us with powerful insights into how we can take control of the present to redirect that path. Tarot is entirely about autonomy, the incredible power each of us has to direct our destinies through healing, introspection, growth, and change. All it asks is that we approach it with an open mind and a willingness to be active participants in forming our futures.
I’m a queer, non-binary femme who has been called to Tarot, mysticism, and the occult ever since I acquired my first Rider-Waite deck as a teenager in the Deep South. From some, I was told that Tarot was the Devil’s work and practicing it was a sin; from others, I learned it was unscientific, illogical, a sign of a weak mind. I quickly figured out how difficult being a gay, queer pagan was going to be in Alabama. I took what I thought would be the easy road: I suppressed this magical side of myself, along with my queerness, for most of a decade. I graduated college. I dated men. I got my master’s. I got a job. I bought a house, with a man. I did the right things. I believed in nothing. I was miserable.
I found my way back to my spirituality and the Tarot in my late 20s, slowly. I was at the same time relearning myself, rethinking what I thought I wanted, reevaluating the path I’d forced myself down and the social structures in which I had placed my trust. The formula that worked for my parents, for my peers, did not work for me, and I was trying to figure out what did. It took years. I quit my job. I moved cross-country. I came out. I rediscovered my creativity, learned to respect myself, found my magic. I fell in love.
As I became reacquainted with myself, Tarot was instrumental. I read for myself nearly every day, and when I did I made sure to never ask about the future. I only asked about the now. What can I do today, this week, this month, to become more of my best self? Where am I blocked? What do I need to pay attention to? What do I need to set free?
When things are messy, Tarot is an excellent tool to help bring clarity. Sometimes, it acts as a prism, refracting a situation into its component parts as the crystal splits white light into color. Other times, Tarot is a Rorschach test, allowing the subconscious to come forth by providing it an external inkblot to make sense of, to find pattern in, to throw its shadow on so as to recognize its own shape. Sometimes, Tarot brings comfort; other times, challenge. Tarot will push you to acknowledge your flaws and face your demons. It’ll tell you to believe you’re beautiful, you’re capable, you’re worthy. It’ll call you out on your bullshit. It will introduce you to your insides. Whatever the case, it will always provide what’s needed to guide you to your best path and your fullest self. My mission as a Tarot reader is to help you interpret that message, find what it means for you, and build toward it in tangible ways right now, in the present.
In addition to reading Tarot, I’m an educator, artist, and writer. My short stories have appeared in Joyland, Third Coast, and Hunger Mountain, been anthologized in New Stories from the Midwest 2016, earned notable mentions from the Best American anthologies, and received a 2014 Pushcart Prize Special Mention. You can find my author website here.
I’ve experienced personally the power of Tarot to aid self-discovery and healing and to motivate progress. (That being said, a good therapist cannot be replaced.) In readings, my aim is always to help the querent toward the same ends through conversation, awakening, questioning, and empowerment. Every reading is performed in confidence and without judgement, with every effort given to providing a space of safety and expansion. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes there are snacks, and almost always there are jokes. (The snacks were not a joke.)
In addition to client readings, I’m passionate about sharing the nurturing practice and informative tool of Tarot with others through education, so that anyone who’s interested can read for themselves. Most recently, I taught a beginner’s Tarot workshop with local Tarot reader, poet, and artist The Dark Exact, all of the proceeds of which benefitted radical youth organization Marrow PDX. I’m also passionate about addressing the cis-heteropatriarchal structure and whiteness of traditional Tarot symbolism, and I hope to offer a workshop on creating a more inclusive and intersectional Tarot soon.