44: Making Your Mark as a Tarot Reader with Bianca Craig; A Live Q & A at Calypso Isles

44: Making Your Mark as a Tarot Reader with Bianca Craig; A Live Q & A at Calypso Isles

Posted by Nicholas Ribera on

In this conversation, Nick Ribera and Bianca Craig discuss their collaboration on a tarot deck called Tarocchi Gialli. They talk about the process of interpreting the Rider Waite illustrations and creating a tarot manual. They also discuss the different decks they use for readings and the importance of spreads in tarot readings. They touch on the differences between reading for someone familiar versus someone new, and the power of tarot in providing insight and guidance. In this conversation, Nick Ribera discusses his journey as a tarot creator and the process of developing tarot and oracle decks. He shares insights on the importance of aligning the artwork and theme of a deck with its intended purpose, as well as the challenges and lessons learned from creating decks. Nick also talks about his plans to teach tarot and develop courses in the future. He emphasizes the importance of encouraging people to actively participate in their lives and develop their own belief systems. Lastly, he discusses his strategies for standing out at metaphysical events and shares his upcoming project of creating a Christmas-themed tarot deck.

You can listen to the episode here (or wherever you listen to podcasts) or read the transcript below:

A Conversation with Bianca Craig:


Hi, I am Nick Rivera of Chain Assembly and if you're listening to this on the podcast then you probably already know that. But I am here at the amazing Calypso Isles, which is a fantastic shop here in Lakeland, Florida. I'm very excited to see this new space. It's got an amazing presence with some incredible art. Beautiful metaphysical tarot crystal shop. I don't know, how would you guys describe yourselves?

I would definitely want us in a classic space.


an eclectic space for all your metaphysical and spiritual needs. That from Jonathan and the wonderful Shanice, who are both the proprietors of this space. And they were lucky enough to have me and, I mean, they were, sorry, I was lucky enough to have them. I was lucky enough to have them invite me and Bianca Craig, the beautiful obsidian corona who is helping me work on my latest tarot deck.

Tadoki Jiali. So Bianca, thank you so much for joining me. Yo, I've been saying it wrong the entire time. I've been saying Tarochi. It took me a while to get used to not doing two R's and doing two C's because it's not how it would be. It's hilarious because my first name is Italian too on top of that. There you go. I inherently should know better. But yes, it's wonderful to be here. I've been to this place before and they've gotten like so many cool goodies since I've been back.

It's so wonderful to be here in the shop with Nick. Well, I thought it would be great of us to just have a chat because I wouldn't call myself a tarot expert at all, but I have definitely learned means and outs of publishing tarot decks. I always approach them as like an art project, a publishing project, and I always try to defer to the experts to help me with the things that I don't feel more the most confident about, such as writing the manual. So.

Do you want to tell me a bit about what it's been like interpreting my interpretations of the Rider Waite illustrations? Okay, so... So, a lot of people who are into the philosophy of tarot refer to particularly the Major Akana as the Fool's Journey, and this has been the Fool's Journey for me for real, because this... I have never written a tarot manual.

like explain people like the meanings in real time, but not just interpreting the cards, but specifically interpreting an interpretation of the cards with a specific aesthetic has been a very, very, very interesting journey. Feedback was greatly appreciated because I have a lot of over thinking on my part personally.


a lot of pressure because I never again I haven't collaborated with someone in this play before so I like when Nick DM'd me and was like hey would you be interested in writing the guy because I was like yes I think specifically in all caps so I was like oh my god yay well like I truth be told I had never seen any of your writing but I know you as a person totally fit with the aesthetic I was going forward the project

And so for anyone listening, the theme of this tarot deck, Tarotchi Gialli, is inspired by Giallo Films, which is the subset of Italian horror B -movie, gothic romance films from Italy from the 60s and 70s. And they always have very overly dramatic movie posters. So I just wanted to make a tarot deck where each card looked like a movie poster from a forgotten Italian film. And I really thought, I mean, not saying that's your aesthetic, but you're goth, I'm goth.

I'm not as much anymore since my wife put color in my wardrobe. Boo! There you go. So, I really liked the idea of working with someone who regularly does readings to kind of, I don't want to say make it more practical, but what you came up with and what you've been writing is so much better than I expected.

Because I always start every project with a mood. Like, what is the mood I'm trying to advance with this project? And I really appreciate that you're focusing more on mood than focusing on, like, this is what the card means. Because anyone who's getting this deck probably already has five or six other decks. Yeah, this is not a deck for newbies. No, and they might already know what a card means. So I really appreciate you putting the emotion and drive.

setting a scene for each card. Yeah, especially since, like you said, they are inspired by


what would be happening in a film that, in this particular film, this particular period of time, if there are characters on the cards, how they'd be engaging, how you engage with them and things like that. Particularly because the cards themselves, what was difficult for me in particular was that this deck is very,

far removed from a lot of the decks that I've worked with personally in that they are not, they're not what a lot of like, weird recall of Rider -Waite -Smith or Rider -Waite -Clones. So the aesthetics, like the suits are not as clearly translated. So like, for example, like knives and swords, like the names, sure.

but the imagery, the translation isn't as direct. So that was a little bit tricky for me, particularly with the minor arcana. But again, the feedback really helped me to just push through and just focus on what you're capturing and just going with, okay, develop a story here. And I think that kind of comes back to what I was saying about how, I guess...

With Rider Waite Terror, you've got two types of deaths. There's the one that you go to because you wanted to tell you something. And then there's the one you go to because you want to feel something. Period. Yeah. And this is definitely the latter type, while the other ones I've done have been more of the former. But I do want to compare it to the Terror by the Neon Light, I think. Yes. Which was, it was tough for me because like,

looking at, say, for example, the moon. You read, my number one source of research for all of these is always the Bitty Terra website. That's how I started back in the day. And like, the descriptions where it's like, well, the mountain over her left shoulder means this, and notice the sun is at two o 'clock, it means that. So with Terra by the Neon Light, I needed to distill every single card to just one single image. And I'm like, okay, what are the things I can get rid of, and what can I focus on for this card? And a lot of times, I end up coming up with something that...


Like, it's true to the meaning of the card, but looks nothing like the original illustration. I have worked with the deck, so I can attest to that for sure. Out of all the decks that I own, I have some decks that are, you know, that would be considered clones, I guess, in terms of the meaning and iconography, but this is the one that has the most elements that are specifically from the Rider Waite Smith deck, but there are...

especially with the minors, there is a lot more freedom, a lot more of his personality and interpretation. And I really enjoy it and have used it for, like, kind of a ritual sense, in some cases. I use it for myself. Okay. Well, tell me a bit about what it's like being a reader.

Oh gosh, it's such an open -ended question, but I guess it's the point for interviews. I'll get more specific as you start talking.

Is it like, it's...

It's been very impactful for me as well as my clients. It's encouraged me to...


seek more knowledge to just continue to always keep asking questions because tarot is a tool, it is a language, a medium, a language that helps to add context to things that you are experiencing or want to experience things that you are looking for. So it just...

Working with Taro has encouraged me to continue to seek answers and for myself, answers and responses for myself as well as other clients so that I can better be of service to them. So how do you go about deciding which deck to use for a given call? Well, it really depends on the tone of the deck as well as the event. Like for example,

Because of a certain card, we were discussing this earlier, because of a certain card in the Terra by the Neon Light, I cannot use that as family -friendly. It's the most abstract illustration of a vagina. It's just a handful of strokes. Mm -hmm. A handful of... That sounded dirtier than that. God, I miss my boyfriend. Anyway, yeah, I can't use that deck.

in certain child -friendly spaces, given a certain, just one specific card on there. But I really, really enjoy it. What was the question again? I got distracted. Well, actually when I was creating that one, I did have a topless woman on the mood card, I think it was. And then people on the Kickstarter forums thought that it was too distracting, and they're like, you shouldn't have a nude woman here.

But she's got a jug of water, so it was supposed to be like a double entendre. She had two jugs. And then they had me get rid of that. But I mean like the star though, she's like, the star is literally a naked woman, like in traditional right of way. The world is traditionally a nude person. There have been like talks about whether or not they're like an intersex person because if you look at the illustration, there's like...


you know, like a bit of cloth that like covers the lower bits. So I've seen, I've read like bits and pieces of like tarot literature, like there's like talks about the person being intersex or probably like because the books are old, like, I've read them from after night, but that is something we're going to be using now. But yeah, his version of the world is very, there's no covering.

Just get the deck. You'll love it. You'll love it. You'll love all of the cards, I promise. So I was asking you about picking a deck for a given card. Oh yes, yes. Okay, okay. So...

For me, it's... I usually have one or two tarot decks that I work with at a time. I recently retired and gifted one of my tarot decks that I've been reading with since I started reading tarot professionally. I gifted it to another reader. But it's really about the conversation.

that is hat. So back when I was reading, when I was learning to read on Tumblr, Witch Player, Spaces, or Witch Talk, I mean, a lot of, I could go on so many variants about Witch Talk, that this is not the space for that. Everyone I know has ended up on Witch Talk in their algorithm at some point. Whether or not they practice, whether or not they practice, but the thing with Witch Talk is a lot of the beginnings of Witch Talk.

just like stuff that was like regurgitated from which were without the primary sources. The thing that I loved and missed about Tumblr back in the day was because like there were like hyperlinks, there were two other pages, it was like so much easier to cite sources when researching about your craft, whether it is witchcraft or divination, because many people do practice divination, like tarot reading and stuff like that.


So then they do practice magic, which have a very spiritual practice, some of them they don't, they just enjoy reading. But it really just depends on how the deck speaks to me, whether or not the illustrations are...

easy to like relatively easy to parse and follow for a beginner because there may be a lot of like really really esoteric stuff featured on deck like say the gosh i'm trying to remember the name of it i think it's like the hermetic tarot or something like that it's like black and white and it has like a lot of like covalent symbolism all over it so while it is good for

Introspection, if you tend to practice with it, deepen your spiritual practice, there are some decks that people are not going to really appreciate. I do a lot of events at markets where I don't have a physical store space. So that's where I wind up having most of my clients. So a lot of people, they are just taking a literal passing fancy in tarot and indivination. So.

Here's a UFT or Spectrum, whatever, a band. I don't know if they'll pick up, but hopefully not. But yeah, part of it is just like how, if people who don't give a shit about magic are going, can I class? Yeah. Shit! People are going to...

about magic, about spirituality, if they're going to really make use of the messages that are being displayed.


Because sometimes I just want to give them all the facts. This is really helpful, but then I know they're not going to do anything with it. So a large part of it then is you, I guess, you kind of have to judge your client's involvement in the process. Yeah, because it is about involvement. It is a mutual exchange with a lot of people. I've worked with the hotlines, call now, get your rights free. I've been this video for real.

Minus the scamming, I don't scam people. It's the hotlines that do that. Support your local independent readers, okay? Like they underpay you, they underpay them. Per. Thank you. But yeah, I've been on hotlines, there's just a couple of them I've stolen. If you find me in the wild, it's not wrong. But a lot of people, they just wanna pay, you know, like, a sense of minute and just.

Tell me if he likes me yes or no. They don't really care. They just want you know their gumbo machine or So how much of the process of reading for a client and would you call them clients or I could open clients Okay, how much of the process of reading for the client is? Well, I guess you mentioned that you do it at events How much? I guess think about a question. What do you do to set the scene before?

What kind of intentionality do you bring into it? How do you try and prep them if they are new to the whole process? Well, usually I have a couple different decks available. So I have tarot and oracle decks. I ask them if they're familiar with them. If not, I give them a brief description about the difference between them. Tarot, I'll talk about the major and minor arcana.


how the minor arcana is similar to playing cards in terms of the breakdown of the basic ten and stuff. I usually describe oracles as being different to tarot, as tarot is a good cover -all for any sort of question, whereas oracle is more specified in its artwork, its subject matter, or both. So...

Because a lot of times, again, people find me out in the wild at these events. So I'll be like their first tarot reading ever. And they'll say, yay. And sometimes having those options will help them develop a question because they want to have the experience, but they don't have a question in mind. They're like, anybody want to know? So I was like, hey, we can just do a general reading and then just build off the spread from there. Or we can pull from a specific tag and do it.

is like see what comes up and then dive a little bit deeper if there's like, there may be reoccurring themes in the cards that I initially pulled from. Do you have a spread that you always start off with? Well, when I first started reading cards in general, I started reading Spanish playing cards and would do past, present, future spreads, like a nine card spread. So, and even my first tarot deck that, again, I recently passed on to Amu.

a new brand, a new reader, was the Angel Tarot, the infamous Angel Tarot. Oh, Dory virtual. With that deck, it's kind of like Oracle style because it's very square. So I would like to, I generally would kind of like do a nine -card spread and just build off it from there because it's kind of an easy to follow grid. So you can more...

clearly track the relationship between the figures and the cards. It's just a nice square, which is easier to parse out than say, to count across. I'm terribly out of practice with the count across myself. I know when it comes to putting together the spreads that I put in the manuals, I always reprint the ones that I created up.


the previous times and then I come up with one or two new ones. Or like with this current thing, we'll ask you if you wanted to, you know, kind of publish one of your spreads in there. And I think it's been a fun process of just trying to like come up with a two -dimensional visualization of what type of storyline you want the cards to tell. So do you create any of your own spreads or have you just been like finding the ones that work best for you and try to stick with those? I've been finding the ones that work best for me.

because that's how I learned to care. Again, going back to Tumblr, which were, um, because a lot of people ask, like, oh my gosh, how do you learn? Like, we've been doing this for so ever -

So how I started, what helped me contextualize the cards is using the spreads. Because I was able to develop associations based on the questions that are associated with like square one, square two, square three, like, you know, both of three cards. And you know, like square one represented whatever question or subject matter. And then, you know, whatever card is placed there and if it's like upright or reversed or upside down.

for those of you who work, you would say, Taro, join the fun, please. But that would kind of inform what the message, what the response to the question in the spread is. So then I would do a journal and write down the spreads. I would record my sources. I'd like date, Tumblr, the username and everything. Even when I was just can't write anything. So I had a notebook full.

of spreads that I used and the decks that I'd use when I used them, what the context of the situation was. So...


Yeah, like, what was the question? Jesus Christ. Do you ever create any of your own spreads? No, I haven't yet. I haven't yet because there's just like so many great ones out there. Like, again, going back to the neontera, the desire spread, that was the one that I interviewed the neontera with. And they called me out. Called me out.

The cards knew what was up. I'm just gonna leave it at that.

But yeah, I haven't yet. I've thought about it, but usually I just do a basic three card and then go from there. Sometimes the placements have a specific meaning, but I try not to overcomplicate too much because I feel like when I overcomplicate readings for myself, then I wind up having to pull more cards if it just wants to be a mess. So I usually just go with basic three card, see how they...

together if they don't and see like why it does not make sense and maybe just like three formulas.

So I know when it comes to spreads, the first tarot deck I did, which was my first ranking of Eros Tarot, the manual was just a flyer with adjectives for each card. And so there was no spreads in that. The second project I did was the Gorycle, my Gory Oracle deck. Gory indeed. Warning. Yeah. And so with that one, that was the first time I did spreads, because I wanted the manual to be very big. Like I had a game I put in there, I had an upright and inverted...


definitions for each card. And then I wanted to have a robust section on spreads because as part of that project I also had... I was just talking about them... Ultra cloths. But I did them as like a thick, almost like mouse pad. And I had grids drawn on the graphic of that printed material. So I wanted to make sure I had spreads that neutralized that same grid. Oh, I love the self -portrait that you did in the back.

Of the blinding? Yeah. My wife did not like that. I saw it right into the screen. I was like, Jesus. Oh, God. So, like, the way I was coming up with those spreads was I just got, um, I looked up photos of people doing yoga poses that I liked, and then I drew that as a silhouette, and then I drew cards over the different regions of where the, um, like, Akashic areas are, and then just kind of translated that into a spread, like...

left hand, right hand would represent dual choices. The mental decision would be over the head, the emotional decision would be over the heart. So I did things like that and it was fun using that as like a guide on like how to, and like I didn't know what typical spreads were out there so I was just gonna make them up.


But I definitely think that spreads are incredibly, incredibly useful and beneficial. A lot of readers will say to throw away the guidebook, to throw away the little white book, please don't throw away mine, please. Please. So much anxiety, please don't. But also...

But also, yeah, like with, thankfully Nick has helped with some really good, really simple, useful spreads in different books. And for anyone who is wanting to learn tarot, spreads are a great way to start. I've been saying this from the jump whenever anyone wants to know, like how did you learn practicing with spreads? Because that helps me remember what those cards meant, how they played out. Even if I didn't remember the meanings at the time.

like how people will develop signifiers or significators. And like people use variations, signifiers, significator, sometimes of a specific person. So there may be a traditional meaning for a card in a tarot deck, but sometimes the more that you work with a deck or with a version of a tarot deck, it will be an indicator of

of an issue or potentially a good thing. Like for example, in one of my tarot decks that I have, whenever I read love readings, whenever the magician would come up, it would be an indicator of someone who was potentially manipulative. But not in a conscious way, not like they're like plotting on you, but that's just how they navigate the world and they...

they may be open to change if they are called out on it, that they're like a manipulative person. Because if you think about the magician, they manipulate all the elements, they take, they take, master control of all the elements, you know, they are overseeing a situation, but they're also a more mature version of the hermit. Like the hermit is more so about like they're older, they're like, you know, Gandalf, Dumbledore kind of wizard.


Yeah, you know, literally like a hooded bearded guy with a lantern going off into a cave to learn about himself and figure himself out. So he's doing the work compared to the magician where he's just like, you know, playing around and seeing what's up with you and playing around with you. I'm sorry, I do too many love readings. He's already made love readings with the magician too many times and he's very upset. I like that he brought up the magician because with this, the new...

the Tarot Key Gialli, I have a very old, she would know it, she would be fine with me calling her that, she just turned 80, Italian neighbor who helped me with some of the translations. And I was first coming up with the titles based on a website I found that has an antique Italian tarot deck. So I was getting the names of the majors from there. And when I presented them to her, she's like, why is the magician Il Bagato? And she said it should be Il Margo. Yeah.

But Bagato, she was explaining, is someone who is like a barter. They trade things with people. They don't buy stuff or sell stuff. They just do trades. And I'm like, oh, that makes so much more sense thematically. So it seems weak, like, with the card means a trader makes more sense than a magician. I just thought that was interesting. So I was like, well, I guess, I mean, the writer way was based on Italian playing cards, right? So.

It just seems like a weird translation, I don't think. Yeah, and you have to keep in mind that there's a lot of association with the Golden Dawn, which appropriated so many different spiritualities to make its own thing, which also, you know, I don't want to send you reports. I don't want to... Because just, if you all want any more information on that...

of Angela's symposium, Dr. Angela Kuka and Dr. Justin Sledich of Essence Herica, and they can provide you with resources on that. I don't want any trouble. I don't want any problems. So how do you compare the differences in what you see when you're reading for somebody you're familiar with versus somebody you just met?




I don't, here's the thing, I don't often see differences. Now I don't see differences before I used to, but now not so much because I kind of approach reading people with the same way. When I first started, I would read out, I would read for friends and I would be like more afraid of like things coming off poorly or things coming off badly, but like.

At this point, I read professionally, this is my profession. So my friends come to me now looking for that professional spiritual driven story insight. So I read the same way, the messages come through the same way. Sometimes they're real direct, like if I have one that jumps out or falls out, like someone's...

I'm again if there's a market that I was reading at and speaking of trading, you know, trading goods and I pulled some parts of her about this guy that she met on Tumblr. Jesus Christ. I miss Tumblr. Darn you, Foster Sesta, ruining Tumblr. But Tinder, Tinder, yeah.

She was like, me and this guy, and then a card popped out and I was like, well, he's a fuckboy. Sorry, and she's like, no. And she wound up finding out that he wasn't able to get his child babysat. There was all sorts of drama. So it was not worth it. Shout out to Tinder, that's how I met my wife.

Say it! Well, I mean, like, not the spouse part yet. Yet. Minor tie in, I am an ordained minister, so those of you who are in Florida, I can marry you.


So, like, the reason I was asking about reading for someone you know versus someone you don't know, do you ever find the urge to, or fight the urge to be like, oh, this card's talking about Juan, your boyfriend or whatever? Or like, do you try not to lead them? Try not to put more into it than like... What's really funny is that I would just describe the cards, like, and how they're interacting with each other, and then they'll be like, that is so and so.

Like, so I don't even get to do that. There's like, oh my God, I know it. Like, this is confirming it. And then I might pull some more cards and just laying out the situation. And then like, I know exactly what this is talking about. Like, I don't really have to, there's not really a moment of me like, oh, this is about this person. They'll be like, oh shit, this is exactly what's going on.

or like, oh, I know that I need to let this go. I know I need to, like, it'll be like, yeah, I need to, you saw.

So I could say for me with the readings I've received I never felt that they were like predicting anything mystical But they did always get me thinking about things that I wouldn't be thinking about otherwise Yeah, and so like just the fact that it calls out super specific stuff Just felt like that was the power in the cards to me. Yes the heart of the cards. Yes Yeah, I mean well you do reference that I love this video. I still have my gold disc. I still have the gold disc.

But, yeah, that's kind of like how I explain the difference between the major and minor arcana. The major arcana is more so about the broad swaths of energy, just general archetypes of the kinds of people, whereas the minor arcana is more so the nitty -gritty details. So that's more like the climb to little like, okay, this usually is an indicator of a certain thing here. I'm more to like...


and spiritual traditions, right? And a lot of people, they associate a lot of African -based traditions throughout the diaspora with like, yeah, I can imagine, and human stuff, because sacrifices happen, blah, blah, blah. And like, you know, curses because of Hollywood propaganda, right? But the thing with a lot of those different traditions is that,

you would divine or get divination done from an elder before you do work, especially if you're doing work on someone, on behalf of someone, you'd divine or get that divination done beforehand. So...


I just lost my train of thought. Again, I'm sorry. I tried skateboarding and then I had like a bump in the back of my head. So like ever since then.

Oh yeah, we were talking about the predicting and like just giving fine details. There we go. There it is. Just got a snatch out of the air. So yeah, just like with the divining, it can like give you those like fine details.


insert thing is meant to be done by you.


that will give that flying to clarification on whether or not a thing should be done, or if a thing is being done to you. Because a lot of people sometimes will ask, oh, am I, is there a person I'm just like, what are you doing? What are you doing that makes you think that someone would want to curse you? What are you doing out, what are you running around here doing in the streets?

That would make someone want to curse you. I like that you brought up the fine details, because again, I'm not a reader, but as someone who's creating them, I always felt like there's a lot of redundancy in the minor arcana of Rider Waite, particularly with the Pentacles. Oh, yeah. Because right in the middle, it's like this represents success after hard work. This represents success after hard work with your colleagues. Yeah. This represents success after hard work with your family.

Yes. And maybe it's again, cause I'm not reading it. So I'm not focusing on like where the differences are. The speak of pentacles, I'm so sad that like I don't see pentacles happening as much in my readings for people. I always get so excited for others. It's like we're in a recession. That'd be funny. I mean, yeah. But I mean, I always get so excited and like relieved, but I just feel the sigh of relief whenever I see pentacles for people and say, oh, you deserve this. But I feel like the swords are so dramatic.

Oh my god. Every one is like, this is this one specific thing. But pentacles always just feel so nebulous to me. For the most part. I feel like pentacles are good whenever people are looking for reassurance about...

whether or not they're on the right path. Because if I see a bunch of...


because like that's you know further clarification especially if say it's like a bunch of clinical cards and like some cut cards like project cut cards and it's just like okay like their their heart and their actions are aligned or like controls and wants they're like they're they're they're making those moves because a lot of times people like they're putting in a lot of work that they're not they're not seeing progress.

So like if there is like, kind of a nuance, it's like, okay, like the work and then it's showing that they are actively making progress or that the action that they're taking or that like people, depending on the context, like people's supportive actions are like helping to amplify their success. Again, context. If you want context on spreads for you, book a reading with me.

I would say too, in the process of developing the first Oracle deck I made, the Gorgle, I started off by initially transcribing the majors, because I'm like, the majors are dramatic, they're easy to understand, and then as I was going through it, I'm like, even these can be a little too similar in instances. So I started, I mean, I did maybe two or three interpretations of the majors, like the Hung is someone being hung, inspired by that.

The Hanged Man. Yeah, sorry, The Hanged Man is inspired by The Hanged Man. And then, because the theme of it was gore, I was like, okay, maybe I should have cards that represent different methods of death and then convert that into a meaning. Like, being burned on fire means that whatever card this is adjacent to has an increased effect. And we're really trying to lay it down when this comes up. This is really what this means. Basically, anyone who's a fan of the jigsaw and saw -

you would love this deck, you could probably stomach it. I barely can, but I appreciated it because I love the Saw Franchise. But I will say that when I started it, I thought it would be easier to make an Oracle deck than a Tarot deck because there's less work, less illustrations. I was way wrong. I was way wrong. But I did appreciate the challenge of making it more modern, and through that process I learned that the more specific a card is...


You don't necessarily risk it not applying to the person who drew it. You give them something to think about. And that's kind of how I felt is a drawback when you read some of the like, bitty tarot descriptions of some of the Rider Waite cards. It's like, it's listing 48 things on this one card, hoping one of them is right. I think it's better to just list one thing, and if it's right, fine. If it's wrong, you're still gonna be thinking about why that's wrong. But you also have to understand...

I'm saying like with the video tear up.


There it is.


So that's why all of those things potentially mean inserting here. Because they are very intentional about the energies that are in that card. So, and again, that's where the intuitive aspects of divination comes into play. Because there are some decks that I like the artwork of, but they are too objectively simple for me to pull anything.

Like, I don't understand how anyone could learn to read from these decks because they are so simple. Like, for example, there are so many hip decks with the miners. So hip decks, if any of you are familiar with playing cards, like the suits, they're generally, they would be considered a type card basically.

And like for example, I was kind of so disappointed when I saw the Penny Dreadful Tarot, I love the series, I've watched it at least like six times now. But when I actually saw they published a deck, I was very, very disappointed with the miners because they basically just added one of the other, like just added one of the suits, it just builds off that. Like they didn't really do an individual nuance.

artwork that was themed to the show that they do with the major.

So I am probably gonna make my Turoki Jolly deck also into just a regular playing card deck. I really like the little illustrations I did for the suits and I thought they'd be cute. Well, do Shanice and Jonathan, do you have any questions?


I like the music for how different kinds.


But you have very specific guests for people like that. I think as we listen to sounds, there's certainly like, you're at an end cost of this one that's right. So I think that's a good thing that we can listen to is to explain our situation. That's true. So I lately have been reading with the Illumina Taro Ola by Caitlin Pegan. And I specify that because there's like a corner to other doctor that are called Illumina Taro. So specifically by Caitlin Pegan and that one is...

playing card style deck. That one's very interesting in that it combines and condenses the major and minor arcana cards into the 52 -part playing card deck. So like the Sun is like also combined with the Nine of Wands, which would be clubs. So like it has a traditional playing card pips, it has traditional playing card suits, but it still has the iconography of the tarot suits that they're associated with.

And the illustrations are like very, very like children books, so cute. And they're fairly logical, especially like, again, I do a lot of marketing. So like having some that like really like intricate texts and line work, just like not so much. And I initially was just reading with the majors for that deck, because that's what was recommended to me by some really pointy, toity.

I was originally reading with the majors for that one before I just wrote an entire deck. The Angel Tarot that was at my working deck for the past year, like about a decade, it was literally two months ago. And...

This Oracle deck, the Working Girls Oracle, that was like co -created by Rory Garinfo, who runs the Whimsical Moon, a magical shop over in Palmyris, Yekola. And that one is a work of this Oracle deck, and it's definitely called me out. There's like, there's, I also call it the practical magic deck because it gives you practical advice, you know, like work any resume, networking.


It talks about passive and active income, but also there's literally get your shit together card. It says get your shit together, and I pulled it for myself and I'm like, I know. Or go smudge yourself. Talking about smilt punsing and stuff like that. Grounding. It'll talk about the spiritual as well as the practical and how those come out.

If you're overworking yourself, clearly you're not maintaining balance for your spiritual life. If you're just too focused on the ether, then clearly you're not getting that back. And you would probably benefit from reading Financial Sorcery by Jason Miller. I really enjoyed that book. Just as an aside. I want to add to that. There was a wonderful creator who had on my podcast a few weeks ago, Mariel Smith.

She has a book, it is a daily spread, can't remember the exact titles, but it's 30 days of spreads for entrepreneurs. And so each day it's a challenge of a different spread that helps you think about your business and where your business is going. I thought it was a really beautiful product. Ooh, I'd love me some of that.

Because I do a lot of networking events, not working them, but not yet. I actually recently did one with Creative Loafing. I've just been going to more and more entrepreneurial, small business, person to person events. I do enjoy incorporating the business into spiritual.

like helping people find that balance and integrate. I always say when I'm not reading people, I'm reading books. So I usually have a notepad at my table and give them a laundry list of books and YouTube videos to reference like, here, this sounds like what's going on in the situation that we saw in the cards. You would totally benefit from a Zafral and Dr. Romany. Here you go.


I'm not a licensed therapist, but here are some resources from some cool licensed therapists that I really dig that you might too. I like that you give them homework after the reading. Oh, please, yes. Yes. It really shows that you're interested in their development and their progress. I just want to read them and be great. Hopefully they come back and tell you about it and pay for another reading. Yeah, I'm very thankful that one of my... I met this woman through this event, Black Girls in the Woods.

and it's exactly what it sounds like, there's a bunch of black girls in the group and they're doing yoga and stuff. And yeah, like she's had me on her podcast, she's ready to refer me to her sister, I'm her esoteric advisor, she comes and reads with me every quarter. So yes, I love it. So I'm hoping for more of that because I just want to provide meaningful.

insights and resources. That's all I want to do.

Other questions? I played a lot of board games and had a friend named Summer who I would play board games with her like twice a week and one day she showed me her tarot collection and I was like, oh there's more than just one?

And I was like making a lot of art locally and stuff. And then this was like right when the pandemic hit. And I was like, I know there's gonna be people who squander this time. I wanna make sure I don't do that. So I said 78 original illustrations would be a great challenge. And I ended up finishing that probably in maybe three months. And I was like, that was so much fun. I worked so much faster than I thought I would. And so like I put it up on Kickstarter.


and it did really well. I think it was probably made like $7 ,000 with that first one. And before that, I had done a few other Kickstarters for like enamel pins, coloring books, nothing big, just small things. I knew eventually I wanted to do like big board games on Kickstarter. And I figured a tarot deck would be a great practice of like finding a Chinese manufacturer, trying the different papers, seeing what all this shit thing and stuff is going to be about.

And so that first one was like a learning process for me, but I enjoyed it so much. I'm like, that's it. I'm a tarot creator now who does board games on the side. And so that was the first one. And I learned so much from that. Like first off, the nudity is illegal in China. So you are going to have struggle getting like shipping companies to ship it back to you. And I learned about like all the terminology, like everything's in millimeters there as far as cards and stuff. So.

You don't, you can't use inches. I learned that even though I'm gonna put text over the card, I still need to have the illustration behind the card, because when I go to do prints and stuff without that or resize things, I'm like, well shit, now I gotta draw in all those parts I didn't draw when I did the reprint. I learned about the more things you offer on the Kickstarter, it's great that people wanna buy prints and stuff, but then you have to deal with all these different SKUs and different sized boxes for the different sized prints.

And then like a print in a box with a tarot deck is gonna be swinging around a lot. So anyways, that one project taught me so much about fulfillment and keeping things simple and like just because you can sell something doesn't mean it's gonna be beneficial to the overall project. And then I did the Gori Oracle deck as like a complete opposite project from the Erotic Tarot deck I did.

And then I just keep making decks since then because I just enjoy it so much. I guess that's quickly my journey with that. Any specific questions about any of it?


It's a bit traditional by the way, but it's like, you guys are having fun.


As far as sticking with tradition goes, I think it really depends on, and this is something we kind of touched on earlier, it really depends on the intent of the deck. Like, if it is a deck that's like an art piece, a collector's item, might or might not be actually used for readings, like Taro -Ki -Jali, I don't think it has to be that skewed that closely to the original. But if it is a deck that you want to be used a lot, like with my Rod of Terror deck, or the Terror by the Neon Light,

It helps to keep it simple, easy to understand, and clearly defined. And...

I appreciate that with the one we're doing now together, Bianca and I, the whole thing feels like a thematic art piece from start to finish. And if someone uses it, great. If they do, they're probably not going to use the manual as written. They probably already have their own understanding of what the cards mean. And they're probably just curious to see how we're reinterpreting those meanings. I don't know if that answered the question.


About 13 years. Yeah.


looking forward to tonight.


what you wanna do.


It seems like everyone's launching a course nowadays, but I do finally want to teach. A lot of people have been asking me if I do or whenever I do explain Tara to them, just take the time to explain my Tara or even other practice, just things that I'm knowledgeable about. Because I just, again, when I'm not reading people, I'm reading books. I've found a very specific...

Relatively useless knowledge. People feel like they've come away with something, generally. And I do find a way to comfortable with the idea of teaching, so I would like to develop a course, a series of courses, like going into the tarot and how to read them and just things like that, one or two, one or four, all that.


And I just want to see the people that believe in me believe in themselves and thrive. I want to be able to say, hey, I have made a difference in the people that I've read for lives. It doesn't really matter. I'm not going to jinx myself because it's going to be like...

broadcast out there not going to say, oh I don't care about the money, I love money. I am manifesting money. I have a sigil chilling in my necklace right now about manifesting more money. So I would love to receive more clientele. Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you, Karen. Dragon Ball Super Reference.

But I really, really just want to know that the people that have come to me, that continue to come to me, that they are making moves to better themselves as well as their community. Because even outside of this, I always encourage people to get involved in their communities with their nonprofits and things like that. I feel like with...


groups are trying to afford people to practice specific religions here in the United States. But as a result, there have been so many people who have become disillusioned with faith as a whole. And I hope that...

able to guide people to find something that they believe in, to develop their own belief systems and to actually just like dive into that again. I think that's why some like a lot of times I'll like readers will encounter people who take their mail on the hotlines. You know they're trying to get that like cheap like you know 30 cents a minute fix.

of like feeling like they've done something or like just wanting that reassurance, like that yes or no reassurance, or wanting to know like when they should do a thing, you know, they want to feel like they're, like they're, like they know everything about a situation before they do anything. I want to encourage people to be active participants in their lives. Like on my website I say, like my timeline is create your faith because I want to encourage people to do it.

actively participate in the future that they want to see.

rather than just being like, oh what are the cards safe for me, magic lady?


I have one last question for you. When you go to metaphysical themed events, or if you go to metaphysical themed events, do you have a, I guess what do you do to try and stand out from other leaders that are around you? Bitch, I'm black. There you go. I guess that was a dumb question. But no, like, I mean, really, I just, you know, stand up. I sometimes wear my hair out.

Because I'm already tall, relatively straight -sized, and have big round hair. That's part of what inspired my business name, the Obsidian Corona. So let me just segue into that a little bit. So, Obsidian, right? Really calming, grounding stone, generally black. Oh my god, I just made that reference. Aww. Right? So people would often say, when I first started reading for them, that I have a grounding...

So then I'm just like, okay, obsidian, boom. And then what's really wild is that the word corona came to me like September 2019. But I only had positive associations with the word because I did art classes. And if you look at religious art, how like, you know, it kind of looks like sunbeams coming out. Like that's not a halo, that's a corona. A lot of people don't realize that. I mean, like, it's like echoing the rings around the sun, which is also called a corona.

Like if you look at the Corona beer, like, and you notice they like hold the bottle up to the sky and like you'll just see the Corona of light like around the piece of wine. Like that's, you know, so obsidian Corona. Corona, crown, crown chakra, and then of course like literally my round ass afro. So there's layers to the name. But yeah, I just like, I just show up.

I'm very into fashion. I also did retail merchandising. That's what I went to school for. So color theory is, a lot of people talk to each other about that, talking about it in relation to makeup and mixing pigments, but I also, I often think about, okay, so a daytime or nighttime event, and I'll try to wear solid colors or blocks of colors.


I like to wear dresses and skirts, so it's like, okay, if I'm away from my table for a second, oh yeah, it's like that tall black lady who, when she's wearing a green dress, I see a pillar of green, like, oh yeah, there she is. That's just visually that holds me stand out. My market setup is so divorced from my website because it's black and gold and stuff like that, black, black and white and gold.

But, you know, going retail brain, I have, like, you know, generally a very colorful, like, tapestry, like, stoner shop tapestry tablecloth. It's like, you know, it has a glow and dark paint on it. It's like, if I were to, like, put a black light, it would also, like, glow. I have crystal balls and then a crystal skull, so that being in Florida, whenever the Florida sun decides to attack, it'll draw the light.

But we need to draw more children, which also helps because, you know, candy houses, they don't really do that well here in Florida. But they're like, oh, shiny, what's this? What are you doing? Oh, I'm doing tarot. What's that? Do you know what psychics? No. And usually that's when I know that their parents are like really Christian and they probably would teach them to hate me. Yeah, small town of being.

But, you know, like, colors, having things at different levels. I have this huge woodcut sign that my boyfriend gives to me that says, the witch is in! But it's like neon and legible from far away. So then they're like, witch? Sometimes I have my witch's broom that has neon green tassels. I love neon green. It's just like, hey, look at my broom. You know, just have things that draw people from far away and encourage them to...

inspectments, explorants, like, how is this? Who is that? And then, you know, like once I'm there, you know, I like to do dramatic eyeliner if it's not like too hot and Florida outside. And I'll like do like, you know, interesting eyeliner and stuff like that because I'm like making eye contact with people. You know, all of that.


I've done one metaphysical event, it was Spirit Fest in St. Petersburg, which I know they - I've been wanting to do that one. They tour all over the place. I didn't know what to expect. It was way less witchy, way more metaphysical than I expected. Oh yeah, for sure. It was a lot of old white people in sandals. Why am I saying girlie? Why am I girlie? I'm sorry. But like, I was surprised that I was the only tarot creator there. I'm not. Which, I'm not complaining, because I made a lot of money at it. Yeah. Because like, people wanted to -

meet someone who makes tarot. There was like one place that had other tarot decks and it was like we're a storefront and like here's all the Llewellyn stuff we brought. And so it made it very easy to stand out in that regard. So I need to do more metaphysical events because I realize how it's... Because I feel like so many metaphysical events, specifically like those kinds of echoes and stuff like that, it's mostly like people who are like into like Starseed, Pleiadian...

I think people were like one step away from swinging. Wait, wait, swinging? Yeah. Oh, you mean like fist, like fistacuff swinging? No, no, no, no, no. I feel like... Or like sex. Like I feel like a bus came down from, from, um... That town in Florida where all the old people have sex with each other. Oh, the villages! The villages. Bus came down from the villages. Oh. And they're like, let's get some crystals to put under our mattress tonight. I don't know. It was a weird vibe in there. Yeah.

Although a crystal pineapple would sell well. Oh my god. Yes. Someone needs to do that, you guys. Crystal pineapple. Crystal pineapple. That's a great name for a bar, actually. Yeah, yours sounds good. Yes, and like have an ice pineapple, like you know how they have the ice slide shot thingies? Just like have it with a pineapple juice cocktail. Put some rose petals in it.

Are there any other questions?


I'm leaving first, because you haven't made any. Gosh.


That is a very difficult question because I love art, period. Which is why I was so excited when I first met him at the St. Pete Punk Rock Fleet. I was like, ooh, art and tarot? Yes. So, oh gosh, it's, that is such a hard.

I can go if you want some second thoughts on it. Please, please, please go. I don't have an answer. I really don't have an answer. So, um... So I've already kind of made the one that I really wanted, which was the erotic tarot deck. But there's one that I'm really excited about that my wife and I are going to start working on soon. We're planning on having it on Kickstarter during the month of November. She and I both are obsessed with all the new Hallmark Christmas movies that come out every year. Oh no!

So we're gonna be making... No, no, no! That's diabolical! So we're gonna be making a very cheesy Christmas themed... With the scarves and the red dress... Yeah, Christmas themed Rider Waite paradigm. No! She's gonna write little poems for each card for the manual. Like very cheesy rhyming poems. Like limericks? Like the greeting card stuff? Yeah, like limericks probably kind of advance. Oh my god, I love limericks! And...

So we're starting that soon because we want to have, we always want to have at least 80 % of anything done before it goes up on Kickstarter. Ooh, that might need to be a Christmas present to myself. And I think like that November time of year people can be excited to back stuff that's Christmassy. And then like, I'll say probably delivery for next year's Christmas, but we'll probably have it to them within four months. But like the art style, I'm going to try and do it, kind of make it look like it's a woodcut, like an old woodcut style.

But like, because I don't want it to be too modern and hallmarky, but at least it still kind of, it represents our communal love for garbage hallmark movies. Yes. It's so beautiful, a heteronormative, yes. Small town living. Like, I know, like, I know I should put like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and stuff in there, but I'm like, this isn't about Christianity, it's about the Americana of Christmas, I don't know. Yeah. And like, I want to do like, instead of wands, it'll be candy canes.


Wands will be candles, sorry. Candy, candy, big clubs. Ornaments for Scott. And then, no, no, no, pentacles and jingle bells. That's good. I like that. I don't have to get really deep and hurt my brain working on these things, but it's just going to be fun. It'll be a fun...


Yeah, I don't know because like with me, I'm just so, I'm so interested in learning about like this.

Salterism and the occult in general. I mean like maybe something because again, I went to school for like retail merchandise and I'm a fashion geek. Like I would grow up watching fashion shows. I missed on that work so much. I think about it and I get sad. My heart aches. I love fashion. So maybe something that has to do with like fashion. I don't know like one of the...

Like instead of the hangman how it would be like a dress form or something. Oh, okay. I don't know, like something like tied to like fashion, fashion industry fashion. Can I suggest a theme for you that kind of relates to some of the things you were saying earlier? Oh, please. What about an oracle deck where each card is an herb? So it could... It exists though. Does it? Yeah, there's a lot.

Take it back. Because we were talking about herbalism earlier and I'm into like magical or gold or the small oracles. Oh, okay. Yeah, there's like, what's it, like the herb crafters, this herb crafters tarot. Yeah, so there's like a couple of like tarot decks, there's a couple of oracle decks. I actually have one that's like a botanical oracle or something like that.

So can you do readings with this one or is it just kind of like flashcards and information? I mean, yes. I love flashcards. Yes and no. I mean, they're more so for like reference books. But I mean, I think that plants like those would be good for like, okay, seeing what you may need to pay attention to for your body or like divination, like, okay, what could...


you might need to make in the near future because like, oh you need to like start prepping tincture with like this herb now because there's going to be like an influx of like in certain kind of sickness here or you may be like traveling to a certain region where there's like not a lot of sunlight so then like there's something that's like vitamin C rich. Well I like the idea too that if you did a spread and like three herbs came out, those could then equal some other card that you have to pull out of the deck because it like has the three effects that are represented by this one.

There's some type of almost game mechanic for it. There actually is. There actually is a board game that I just saw an ad for. It's inspired by the Regency area because of Richard Finn. But it has to do with plants. It has to do with flowers. Developing a good garden or something. I've been getting ads for it. I know there's a board game where you're like a Victorian plant collectors. They need to travel the world looking for the different plants. Maybe that's it.

I don't know. I would blame you. I mean Victorian plant dramas. Well, my wife and I have been playtesting a game that we made together about propagating houseplants. Yes, and I saw it and I was like, oh my god, my mom loves this. She's a total plant lady. She has like just fine, like just lots of like leaves because like she loves plants that have like the big leaves like the monstera and stuff like that because you don't have to wait for them to like...

I appreciate them, they're pretty all year round. So, when I saw you posting those, I was like, my mom needs this! Well, because the marketer in me, I'm wondering how I can reuse those illustrations I've done of all the plants. I'm like, well, can I turn this into a deck, maybe? Just like a houseplant deck? Maybe not. I got the art. You'll figure it out and people will buy it. There's this throw blanket that I saw of a giant monster leaf.

And then I saw this other blanket recently. It was like a knitted blanket and it's green and then the edges, they're like flowers and you roll it up and it looks like a bouquet. And I'm just like, hey Nina! Yes, it's so gorgeous. So gorgeous. Well, I think we've kind of fallen off the topic of this. Well, if people want to follow you, what's the best way that they can find yourself? If you want to follow...


you can reach me at the obsidiancorona.com. I do have a live chat feature on the website, it goes straight to my phone so you can like text it, give me your info, and then I'll respond back in real time, I think I can. I'm also on Instagram at The Obsidian Corona, Facebook at The Obsidian Corona 13, TikTok, barely, but I'm there. It's at The Obsidian Corona 13 as well. I'm available for...

I could do like literally half hour and hour sessions. I'm available for private parties. And again, I worked earlier in the Board of Ministers. I also offer custom valve services. So, I don't know if I can name those spell -craftings. If not, the best would be a word. I can do a little word -writin for you. And that's what I do. Awesome. And if anyone wants to, if anyone finds themselves on Lakeland, wants to come to Lakeland, they should visit Calypso Isles on Massachusetts Avenue. And what's the website?


Shop Calypso Isles on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, yeah.


Thank you all so much.


Chain Assembly: Art for profit sake is recorded through Riverside FM, distributed through Spotify for podcasters, and edited on Adobe Audition. The music is provided by Old Romans. If you learned anything useful or found this podcast helpful, please rate and review us five stars. If you want to learn more about me or my art, head over to ChainAssembly.com.

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