Tuesday, March 14, 2017

21 Questions for a 21st Century Tarot Reader

Deb and her best pal, Apple, see what the tarot has to say

Since she's a fan of Lifetime movies (sometimes heavy on the sap), I'm going to say here that Deb Steinberg, AKA TarotGoodness, is not only my go-to tarot reader but she's also someone I consider a solid friend and an overall wonderful human being, despite never having met her in person. (Hopefully, one day that will change!

Deb's tarot interpretations are clarifying, helpful, intuitive (even full-on psychic), supportive, uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging all at the same time. She has a down-to-earth, no b.s. style that I really appreciate (being of a similar nature myself). 

Oh, yeah - and she's hilarious.

Her tarot updates and reading information can be found at her site, Tarot Goodness, and she also has a simply fantastic Twitter feed, updated almost daily with her card-of-the-day interpretations and much more. (She is epic at Twitter's word play games, and her gifs are pretty fabulous, too...)

I have a little "getting to know you" project here called 21 Questions for a 21st Century Tarot Reader, and Deb has been kind enough to participate. I'm happy to introduce her to those of you who have not come across her tarot goodness in the past.

1. How and when did tarot first come into your life? 

I learned about tarot when I was maybe seven or eight-years-old, from visits to a little bookstore in the Bronx (where I grew up).  My mom and I would go there on Saturdays mostly.  She would easily get lost in the occult section, flipping through astrology and tarot books for hours.

One day I decided to explore her interests and, before I knew it, I became a fan of them! 

2. How did you start doing readings for people? 

I was about nineteen when I started reading for others, for fun really!  I started by drawing a card or two for close friends.  This quickly turned into readings at coffee shops throughout New York City and even over the phone for colleagues.  (Levi’s crew, I miss you!)

3. How would you describe your particular style of tarot?

Right now, I’d say it’s flowy… and funny (sometimes)… and comforting and empowering and compassionate… with sprinkles of possibilities.  I like to look deep into a card, really explore it, really focus on details as well as the feelings it stirs within me, and write down everything it could possibly mean to me or someone else.

This planet is full of possibilities.  No one should instantly freak out at the sight of, say, Death or the Tower.  Tarot isn’t black-and-white!

4. How do you think your upbringing or background colours the tarot you practice or your outlook as a tarot reader?

I grew up in an infested, eroding one-bedroom apartment in the ‘hood with my parents and two siblings.  I slept in a corner of our living room, privacy found only in our bathroom.  Our home was hostile and violent, with a few happy moments and fond memories mixed in.  I also helped take care of my mother and younger brother.

Encouragement and a social life were pretty much non-existent.  Friends never came over.  Relatives wouldn’t stay long.

School (and work) became my outlets.  I still remember writing reports for school at 3:00 AM because my dad was asleep, my brother was… somewhere, and it was finally just calm and quiet enough in the apartment to focus on my assignments.

I’m not sure how I managed to envision possibilities in life at that time, but I did.  Maybe because I needed to, had to… in order to keep going.  I also learned to appreciate my own company, to make the most of skills/resources-- and I guess all of this has influenced my outlook as a tarot reader.   It’s an honor to be able to remind people that they’re worthy of being appreciated by themselves, that possibilities can flood these cards (and their lives), and that their skills are fabulous.

5. Were family members of yours into tarot or similar practises?

My mom was into astrology and tarot.  She would watch Walter Mercado on TV every night; occasionally order tarot readings from a neighbor; and purchase washes, oils, saint statues, amulets, and more from a spiritual store (or bot├ínica) down the block.  Her grandmother was an herbalist.

My dad, older brother, and some of my religious relatives referred to these practices as acts of the devil, though.

6. Are there any other tarot readers out there whose style you particularly appreciate or who you enjoy as people?

I haven't explored others' material for a while now, probably a few years. I've wanted to continue to stay focused on how I feel and what I think about the cards.

Still, I've befriended several tarot readers on Twitter since 2012, and, although we aren't close (and my opinion of them shouldn't matter), I find them interesting. Goddess Dix, for example, is a tarot reader with a great sense of humor. She has also shared her interests with us - from colorful yarns and bacon to her adorable cat. How cool is that?

7. Which deck (or decks) do you use?

I have used a Romany deck in the past but have remained with the Rider-Waite.

8. What is it about this deck (or decks) that you like?

As a “basic bitch”, I guess I like that the Rider-Waite is a no-frills deck.  A lot of people are familiarized with it, too.

9. If you had to choose one card that best represents your life, what would it be and why?

I wanted to pick a certain card, but the Magician kept popping into my head like a pushy asshole.  And all I could think was, “gee, how original”-- who wouldn’t pick the Magician?

But, the Magician is a realistic card to me (not about abracadabra-ing sh*t out of thin air), and a reflection of my life.  It can be about the face one puts forward and one’s attitude.  I serve as the face of a certain company, and I wind up convincing people that we’re the best.  Luckily, I believe in the company I work for!

I’m in the middle of collecting “tools”/data now for moves I’d like to make in the next year or so, too.  I need to work on a strategy and become better at planning, time-management, and the execution of ideas as well (which involves cojones-- I could go on and on about the Magician but will stop here!)

10. What is one thing you would like more people to understand about tarot or tarot readers (or one misconception you’d like to clear up)?

There isn’t a single set-in-stone interpretation or analysis for any card.  Images can come with numerous stories/interpretations—so can tarot images!

11. What advice would you give students of tarot who are just starting out?

I won’t say “journal” because it sounds like a daily obligation (ugh) but… write!  Write down (or type) thoughts that come to you as you look at cards from a deck you love.  Consider shuffling your deck and pulling a card every so often as well.  Stare at the card.  Study it.  Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings about it (especially the first thoughts and feelings that come up).

This will not only be entertaining/fun/interesting for you—it could serve as your practice for reading for others.

12. What is your favourite food?

Hmm, I don’t eat it often enough but I love a good plate of comfort food—fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, collard greens, and corn bread!

13. What are three of your favourite books?

I need to read more books!  I don’t have three favorites but am currently enjoying A Man Called Ove.

14.  What are three of your favourite films?

Coming to America, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day.

15. What are three of your favourite TV shows?

Superstore, The Mindy Project, and Family Guy.

16.  Who are three of your favourite musical artists?

This is a tough question because I listen to music all the time but…  Missy Elliot, Rick Astley, and Carlos Vives.  Kind of a weird trio here, huh?

17. What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Veg out!  I work/tend to responsibilities a lot, so I appreciate spending spare time watching TV with our dog for a bit while sipping coffee or eating a snack. 

18. What is one thing you find intolerable about life on Planet Earth? 

Loud chewing and slurping, close talkers, the fact that Cheetos Hitler is our president… (Definitely that last part.)

I don’t care for *elitist* types/groups.  I understand that some people are green, vegan, vegetarian, yogis, fit, intellectual, religious, spiritual, super moms, awesome dads, and even activists in certain realms.  And it’s nice to encourage more socially (or otherwise) responsible behavior.  But, guilting and attacking people into behaving a certain way is just… bizarre.   It’s not informative.  I also think a lot of details and circumstances tend to be overlooked or ignored, and a sense of superiority winds up being the goal of these folks.  Ew.

19. Where is your favourite place on Earth that you’ve been to so far?

I really enjoyed Venice a few years ago, but I’m gonna stay committed to New York City.  I grew up in the Bronx, and have spent a lot of time in NYC.  Still, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.  It is a melting pot.  Yes, the train tunnels smell like pee in the summer.  But, I can eat almost anything I want in NYC, and so many neighborhoods are always ready to be explored.  I love wandering aimlessly in the city in any weather.

20.  Where is one place you hope to travel to in the future?

If overseas, Iceland.  If domestic, New Orleans, baby!

21. What is something that people may be surprised to learn about you?

I like my left eyebrow more than my right eyebrow.

Hmm, I don’t think anything I’ve done or been is surprising—I’m not even interesting now, to be honest!  But, I guess my relatives would be surprised to hear that I’m an atheist.  Can’t wait to mention that over a big family dinner someday.

Generally, I try to make the best of circumstances—not because I’m an optimist or happy person, but because I appreciate the challenge of it.  I actually need the challenge!  It fuels me, not to mention I suffer from certain things and don’t like to drown in the suffering all the time (shocking, I know).

Alas, sometimes I get pissy.  Yeah yeah, I’m human, and I get pissy just like everyone else.  And while this shouldn’t be a shocking development, some folks (colleagues) are surprised by this!  It’s as if they expect me to smile all day.  Isn’t that… creepy?

I’m never surprised by another person’s changing moods.  Humans are complex, not statues.  Bring it.  Bring it all!

Thank-you very much for your time!

Thank YOU for putting up with me! :)


Anonymous said...

Best astrologer i know interviewing the best Tarot reader ever!
I too, have a secret fascination with Iceland.
I wanna go there, too.
Nawlins' is everything you think it could be, and nothing you could ever believe, at the same time. That is an old, old city. Not just physically. Fair warning- go with a guide. Just sayin'. Don't lose yourself ever. Nawlins' is Different.

You both Rock.


Willow said...

High praise! Thank-you, d.

TG is great.

Weird fact: my sister has been to Iceland and brought me back a gorgeous post card that I stuck on the front cover of my ephemeris. So I'm reminded of Iceland every day!