Today we’re talking about all things tarot with Liz Dean, author of over 20 books focusing on tarot and spirituality and the new book “Tarot By Numbers: Learn the Codes that Unlock the Meaning of the Cards.”
1. What first drew you to tarot?
As a child, I was fascinated by portrayals of tarot and tarot readings on television – UK shows such as Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected, with its opening credits showing a carousel of tarot cards, and of course Solitaire in the Bond film Live and Let Die. I loved the cards’ imagery without understanding them – so it was very much an intuitive pull for me.
2. Your latest book, “Tarot by Numbers” discusses using the number of the card as a jumping off point to doing a reading. When did you realize this was a viable way to use the tarot?
I began to experience number as symbol around ten years or so ago (I’ve been reading cards for almost 35 years); and more intensely, over the past three years. It then struck me that, in tarot teaching, this is a way for students to access the whole deck, rather than only relate the cards’ numbers to, say, timescales for future events. Numbers have particular energies, and like images, act as portals to other ways of seeing. Numbers make understanding tarot so accessible, because we all have an innate relationship with certain numbers (unlucky 13, lucky 7); that’s the starting point.
3. It seems like readers are continually finding new ways to use and/or interpret tarot cards. Do you think we’ll ever run out of tarot discoveries?
Tarot is always relevant to the times in which we live because the cards show archetypes that are a part of our human experience. We interpret these archetypes – the Fool, Empress (mother), Hermit (seeker, monk), for example, in the language of our times. So the potential is endless.
4. How do you feel about oracle decks and other non-tarot style decks?
I welcome all means of self-discovery. Often, I find that tarot students begin with oracle decks and progress to tarot. At times I work with both – pulling an oracle card at the end of a tarot reading can bring through a closing nugget of wisdom.
5. You’re British and reside in the U.K. Do you find there is a difference in the way Americans approach tarot compared to the British?
I don’t feel that there is a difference – only in pronunciation! (West coast, ‘ta-row’, East Coast, ‘tarot’). I do love the US tarot community – I’ve met so many passionate and erudite readers at Reader’s Studio in New York, the world’s largest tarot gathering.
6. What are a few of your favorite tarot decks, and why?
Of course, I love my Game of Thrones Tarot, which I co-created with artist Craig Coss. Then there’s Janine Worthington’s In Between Tarot; Modern Witch Tarot from Lisa Sterle, and the Rider Waite Smith.
7. What is your best advice to someone who wants to start learning how to read tarot?
Find a deck you love. You need to adore the colour, the imagery, and even the box artwork. Buy a deck you naturally want to touch. When you have the right deck, invest in a tarot journal. Begin reading for yourself and record your readings. You’ll get to see which cards recur for you and investigate them more deeply. Do a daily three-card reading; this builds a relationship between you and your cards. Take your time and try not to get overwhelmed with YouTube tutorials or too many tarot books.
And – when you read cards, resist the temptation to check the card’s meaning in the book. Instead, go with how the card makes you feel – look at the colour, the number, the symbols and landscapes: images stimulate imagination, intuition and creativity. Speak your impressions aloud when you’re on your own, as this energizes your reading. Tarot is a live practice, so read in the moment and don’t worry that you should know a card’s meaning. Take the Fool’s leap of faith!
8. Are there any misconceptions about tarot that you’d like to take a moment here to address?
First, Tarot has nothing to do with evil or negative ideas of the occult – the earliest cards date to the Renaissance and have Christian imagery (and these are the archetypes used in many decks today). Second, your future is not set. You have free will; tarot helps you see the influences around you, and how those influences might unfold given present circumstances. With this awareness, you become better placed to make decisions, understand relationships, communicate effectively and follow your passion.
9. What’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects that my readers should be aware of?
Tarot by Numbers is my twenty-second book, so I’ll be having a lie down with a gin and tonic. But watch this space…
10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
About Liz Dean:
Liz Dean (London, England) is a professional tarot reader and Angelic Reiki™ Healer at Psychic Sisters in Selfridges, London. A best-selling tarot author, Liz had studied divination for over 20 years. Liz is the author of “The Golden Tarot” (over 300,000 sold worldwide), “The Ultimate Guide to Tarot”, “The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads”, “The Victorian Steampunk Tarot”, “Fairy Tale Fortune Cards”, “44 Ways to Talk to Your Angels”, “The Tarot Companion”, “The Divination Handbook”, and “Tarot Made Simple”. Liz is also one of the “Tarot Masters” included in Kim Arnold’s eponymous collection of 38 essays. In addition, she is a former co-editor of the UK’s leading spiritual magazine, “Kindred Spirit” (2011–2013), and an award-winning poet. Find Liz online at https://lizdean.info/.
You can learn more here.
Get your own copy here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
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