I really loved Isis' spirit and approach to our Tarot session, so I couldn't resist asking her a few questions. If you've ever done Tarot or are interested in it, here's a few takeaway's from the lady herself!
How did you discover the Tarot?
I have a feeling that I was interested in the Tarot long before I ever bought a deck! My first was a Universal Mini tarot and I found it in a tiny, witchy faerie shop in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Pretty fitting that I chose to pick up this deck when I was getting ready to start at a new school after being homeschooled my whole life! Even though I was fascinated by the cards & got a book to help me decipher the images when I read, I was also pretty freaked out by the "Death" and "Devil" cards. Growing up with a conservative dad in a Russian Orthodox household is not exactly conducive to a tarot-positive environment!
You mentioned to me that Tarot was a "guiding light" when you were getting divorced. How so?
Fast forward about 6 years. I had eloped with a guy I met halfway through college and after we graduated, he convinced me to apply to graduate school in his hometown so that we could live with his parents to save money. Things got really, really shitty in a hurry: I had fallen away from Orthodoxy partly because of my marriage to him, so I had no priest for spiritual guidance; I was hundreds of miles from my family, my own hometown of Boston, and all of my friends, so I got no hugs; worst of all, we had gotten a puppy who had become the light of my life and I was having vicious daily fights with my in-laws about her, while X refused to get involved, let alone take my side, so the one person I was supposed to be able to count on was turning on me.
I was completely, utterly, desolately alone and miserable.
Then! Sarah Von of Yes & Yes fame posted her monthly Network of Nice hookup offers, and this one young lady was offering tarot readings. Though her reading was helpful, I honestly cannot remember a single thing she told me - except that it made me remember my little pack of tarot cards, lost & packed away somewhere in that godforsaken house. The next day I got my ass over to Barnes & Noble, picked myself out a pretty new deck, and came home to read about my relationship.
Honestly, what the Tarot made me do was examine my marriage very very closely. One of the things I learned this second time around with the Tarot was that it is extremely individual; what works for one person may not work for another.
The Tarot served as a cross between a therapist, a spiritual counselor, and a truly close friend who had the balls to tell me the truth in answer to every question that I asked her. No friend wants to be remembered as the one who said, "You need this guy out of your life yesterday" when you've gotten back together with the guy and think you're happy, you know?
Why/when did you decide to start a business doing Tarot?
Two weeks ago, because I was sick of bartending! :) I have my Master's in Education, but the experience of student teaching really thoroughly burned me out and I couldn't see myself spending another six years in school and accumulating a hundred thousand dollars in overall student debt.
I still wanted to teach, though, and felt that the time I spent in front of the classroom was extremely rewarding - even if nothing else about it was. Ultimately, I wanted a career that would be both rewarding and ridiculously fun, that would combine something I was good at with something I loved doing - and then I kind of went, uhhh, why am I not teaching people how to read the tarot?
I freely admit that I don't have the thirty years' experience that Mary K. Greer, or Bonnie Cehovet, or Monte Farber, or any number of tarot bigwigs you want to name have got. I don't even have thirty years' experience of life! But I know that I am a stellar teacher, and a not-un-talented tarot reader, and I know that among the 7 billion people on this planet, there's gotta be some people who wished like I did that there was someone who would teach them to read the tarot. And for them, I'm a hell of a lot more accessible than the bigwigs (and possibly more fun!).
What sort of advice would you recommend for people getting divorced or going through a break-up?
Find someone whom you can confide in consistently. I know it sucks and you feel bad about treating a friend like a therapist, but if you have one friend (or therapist!) who knows the deep, dark details & dirt, it’s a lot easier to cope.
Take a break from the breakup. Find something new to do that is totally unrelated to your ex or anything reminding you of them. I started driving home to Boston to visit my family every other weekend after X and I split up, and it was such a freeing experience - not to mention, I felt like I was living my own life as I wanted to live it because X had actively discouraged me from driving by myself, let alone going to visit my family.
Take dating at your own pace – or rather, Do exactly what is right for you, and do not give a rat’s ass about what other people think.
How do you think Tarot can help people in relationships? People who are single?
First of all, I implore you - DO NOT ask the Tarot whether the person you're with is right for you. Or at least, don't ask for shits and giggles. Don't do it unless you're in a place where you really want to know the answer to that question. Think about it - what happens if the cards say no, s/he is not "the one"? Do you disregard the answer because you don't want to hear it? Do you take it seriously and dump your lover immediately? On the other hand, what happens if the cards say yes? You wouldn't be asking unless you had an instinct that something wasn't quite right - so do you stick with them even though you feel like you could be happier? Or do you ignore the cards' advice and leave?
This is not in the least to say that the Tarot isn't useful for people in relationships. It's just a bit of a disclaimer - not to mention, yes/no questions are notoriously tricky to answer with the cards.
Any last words of wisdom?
Don’t be scared of the Tarot. So often when I finish a reading for someone, they say, “Honestly, I kinda knew this already – but I wasn’t ready to admit it to myself.” That’s the key to the Tarot – it tells you the brutal, honest truth. And how better to become the best version of you than to refuse to shrink from the truth – about yourself, your relationships, and the world around you?
Thank you, Isis! You all should check 'er out online and sign up for a reading. She rocks!