About

A photo of Claire. They have shoulder-length curly hair with a reddish tinge, grey eyes behind black-rimmed glasses, and are smiling slightly. They're wearing a khaki-colored, collared shirt.

The Word Witch is Claire Burgess (they/them), a queer and nonbinary tarot reader, educator, illustrator, writer, podcaster, and witch. Claire is the creator of Fifth Spirit Tarot, a trauma-informed tarot deck for queers, outsiders, survivors, and anyone striving to not just survive, but also thrive. They’re also the host of The Word Witch, a podcast about tarot, astrology, magic, and belief made especially for queer folx and others making magick from the margins.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Claire now lives in Portland, Oregon, where they read by appointment and teach tarot classes at Portland Community College. They’ve written two mini-guides to tarot: a 36-page workbook on the Major Arcana and a 12-page zine on the Minor Arcana, both of which are available as free downloads to their Patreon community. Claire’s in the process of expanding these guides and hopes to offer them in both print and ePub soon.

In addition to their tarot work, Claire’s also a fiction writer. Their short stories have appeared in publications such as JoylandThird 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 their author website here.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without the help of Claire’s loving partner and business management wizard, Aaron Caffee (he/him), who keeps the business running, feeds Claire snacks, and is an indispensable part of creating the magick at The Word Witch Tarot.