How did you get into tarot?
Tarot has been on my radar since I was a child. I have always been interested in witchy, occult, magic things, (as problematic as it can be, Charmed was and still is one of my favorite witchy shows) but growing up in a strict Christian household I was never able to do anything more than look at cards or books if they happened to be in a store.
Fast forward to January 2015, I was at EarthBound Trading Co. (I know, I know....don't judge me too harshly please) and there was a Rider Waite Colman Smith deck next to the register. I picked it up and bought it right then and there. No second guessing. I posted a picture on Instagram and asked for advice to get started, the rest just fell together wonderfully.
How and when did you start with your spiritual practices?
This is a tricky one! I am actually still trying to sort out and develop my practice. I believe that I am constantly evolving so my practices have to reflect that as well. Right now it's a lot of daily tarot, taking my favorite crystals out (clear Quartz and obsidian), and journaling.
How and when did you start using the tarot as a writing prompt?
After taking Beth's Alternative Tarot Course, I almost immediately began using tarot as a writing prompt. In her course there is an exercise that asks you to lay out all the majors in order and write a story based on The Fool as she journeys through each card. It was so fun! I just kept doing it to help me learn the cards.
Eventually, I started developing my own spreads to help me with my current novel that I'm working on.
Do you have any specific methods for coming up with stories?
Most of the time I have a character in mind, maybe even already a particular scene. But to help me flesh it out more, I developed a couple of spreads to help me get to know the characters. Carrie Mallon has a wonderful three part series that I used around NaNoWriMo!
Also, I find that each deck I have inspires a different kind of story. My RWCS has a very contemporary feel to it, which is weird given how old the deck is. My Hidden Realm is very magical and has lots of layers to it.
You call yourself a moon witch. For the rest of us who don't know what that means, could you explain?
Oh, yes! Thank you for asking! Basically it's just my fancy way of saying, I follow the Moon Cycles for my practices and rituals.
For the New Moon, I do a lot of journaling, tarot, and bubble baths. New Moons are super heavy for me, much like the Full Moon is for others, so it's very mellow and full of self care.
Full Moons I usually sit by the window and just stare at the Moon. Sometimes I do like to leave out water under the Full Moon and use it to make my coffee or tea in the morning.
I'm going to start bringing in some candle magic too to help me home that moon magic.
You are very opened about mental illness and being a queer person. Does this play a big part in your tarot practice?
Thank you! I do try to be very open about those things. They play a huge part in my every day and they definitely play a huge role in my tarot practice.
I have a couple of go to spreads that I use when my anxiety and depression gets real bad. Most times though, the best practice is setting the cards aside. If my emotions are too over the place, I can't get a good enough read. But going to my cards every day, just to pull one, helps keep my emotions in check before they get too overwhelming.
As far as being queer, I am becoming more aware of queer representation in tarot decks and oracle decks, in how I interpret cards for myself and others, particularly the court cards, and the wording I use when reading.
The LGBTQIA community has a special place in my heart, as I personally know how difficult it can be to navigate the waters of sexuality and gender. It is a goal of mine to make sure that I am incorporating my queer values in my practices and readings.
Want to know more about Ashley? I thought so. Check out her links below: