Interview with Tatianna Tarot
As the Many Moons Workbook Vol 1 is just about to make its way into the world, I want to take the time to highlight the inspiring contributors to this project. It is a major honor to ask people you admire and respect to create something and have them accept and so generously share their knowledge and gifts. Tatianna Tarot is a Sacred Artist & Ritual Practitioner, Spiritual Consultant, Teacher & Energetic Healer through Heart Space Meditation, Crystal Healing & Tarot Reading. She has over 21 years of experience as an intuitive Tarot Reader and continues to provide this services as a means of alternative therapy to aid others in gaining higher awareness of their personal power, intuitive/psychic abilities and to facilitate healing through a deeper connection with Spirit. She believes in the power of traditional sacred arts used in a modern approach, as a catalyst to transform others into a better state of living and to raise consciousness to guide & provide empowerment in our personal journeys.
I came across Tatianna via the only social media I use, Instagram, where a friend saw her wearing a shirt I had designed (Up With Witches, natch), and tagged me. I was so happy to have that connection. Tatianna's messages are always focused on empowerment, on the usefulness of the mystic teachings, as divine guidance. It was beyond thrilling when she agreed to write a January New Moon ritual and custom Tarot spread for the workbook. Tatiana was gracious enough to take the time to answer some questions I sent her, all while preparing a move down to New Orleans and running her own business.
You are the process of moving to NOLA, one of the most magical cities in the US. How did come to make this big move and what are you looking forward to about your new life there?
Nola came as an unexpected surprise. A massive catalyst for change was presented in my life right on New Year's Eve and I was in the process of moving out of my apt in Bedstuy to god knows where ultimately. My intention at the time was to spend more time with my family & nature upstate and then move to the mountains of Puerto Rico since I have the luxury of taking my business virtually anywhere. I had been thrown into situations where quick decisions needed to be made but I knew I no longer wanted to stay in New York any longer.
I took a quick trip to Nola in the middle of the year and that's when I felt the strong pull from spirit to move there. There was an instant resonance and a knowing that I would have to do great things there, so moving there felt more like I absolutely had to, rather than me deliberately seeking out a space to settle into. I've experienced a welcoming and serenity there within my work, connection to self and the environment, where I could see myself establishing my roots there in the long term.
I'm looking forward to expand my business into a store-front & web store, immerse myself in deep research of ritual practice & tradition and truly focus on developing my gifts & servitude to a higher level. I'm also anticipating dabbling in different art forms and mediums and getting back to my dance career — basically a lot of selfish 'me' time in solitude, immersed in the art of creation, in the city of spirits & magic. In many ways, I want to prove to myself & exceed my own expectations of what I'm capable of creating and transforming into, in a space that is utterly unfamiliar to me with no personal connections there.
How did you come to practice Tarot? Was there a moment, a story with that? What lens do you view your practice through?
Tarot serendipitously came into my life at the age of 6 and it's interesting that I remember the exact details of this, but it's similar to running into an old friend you haven't seen in years. My father & I would have Bookstore dates at Barnes & Nobles where i was allowed to take home a book every time we would go out. I spotted a particular book with a Tarot deck, not truly knowing what it was but being intrigued by the imagery and textile feel. I immediately wanted to have it and the cards but was denied because my father saw no practicality in a 6 year old owning Tarot cards. I remember feeling very inspired to own my own, so I found my grandma's playing cards in the kitchen and would carry them with me everywhere, giving people readings in the lunchroom in exchange for chocolate pudding or apples.
For years I practiced very intuitively, stories would flow from me and I was able to just tap into a deeper aspect of myself that I saw as a normal process at that time. I remember reading as if it was extremely effortless and never picking up a book on it. It's very much as if I have already had this coding inside of me that would come out whenever I read the cards. My practice is the art of storytelling inspired by decoding the symbology that surrounds you, and the act of surrendering to your wisdom in the moment to provide you with what you most need at the time. The way I see it, there is an energy field that is in constant communication with us, answering our personal questions and desires. Most are oblivious to its presence and their personal connection to it. Tarot is just one of many tools that allows me to facilitate this conversation between these intangible forces and the human psyche, while providing practical advice and hopefully inspiring you to pay attention to the law of causality in your life.
Your website is "My Urban Illumination". Can you talk about that? Magic and the urban dweller? What unique outlook do you have within the spiritual scene?
My Urban Illumination was birthed after working for years at a metaphysical store that lacked any resources for people of color to further connect spiritually or find magical/mystical practices that stem from the African diaspora. Many stores in NYC are spiritually inclined but there is always a factor missing. Whether they're lacking in ritual resources and mystical/occult information or vice-versa, or whether it's that they had ritual/mystical/occult resources but no space to teach the application of philosophical spiritual techniques for personal development and mental wellness. Some mystical spaces predominantly cater to a sector and not a melting pot of diverse information, such as Pagan stores where you can't find books on Vodou, Candomble, Ifa, etc. or stores based on Santeria practices but are so underfunded that you really can't find any means of practicing the religion independently or learning further on your own.
I got the inspiration to fill that void through my personal experience as a Tarot reader & Ritual practitioner in a variety of mystical shops and botanicas and from my journey of educating myself of these practices. I wanted to create a space where people of all denominations & walks of life could congregate to get spiritual nourishment and information that will enhance their personal connection to self, source and their spirits, in a modern way. I wanted to establish an online presence that could support the urban dweller in their explorations of consciousness, their personal connection to such and various spiritual routes they can venture into to establish further intimacy with self without judgement or too many implications of tradition. It was important for me to drive the message of autonomy, accountability and the reality that we create and will through our beliefs, emotions & choices and this changes if we change internally.
I envision My Urban Illumination to be an online hub and physical center where one can gain practical tools and resources in order to change their reality and establish harmony, peace & a deep resonance with their own spirits. Growing up in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, I was unable to find a place such as this. Knowing the profound & effective impact that my spiritual practice and service has to myself and others, I was inspired to call the site My Urban Illumination to appeal people from the hood & inspire urbanites to venture into the realm of spirituality, hopefully finding their answers along the way and illuminating the power of their consciousness. If I were going to create a business, it was going to be one that gave back to my community, to uplift & develop a more mindful environment holistically. I have a large vision of My Urban Illumination and am pacing myself so that it manifests within its divine time while gathering the proper resources to see that it blossoms to fruition. It's important that people of color have a safe outlet to return to the traditions of their ancestors and to continue the spiritual legacies that were deemed too taboo or evil to practice. I aim to illustrate that these traditions are a lifestyle, not a trend, that with daily application & an open-mind, can aid in facilitating strong mental balance and tangible results that provide emotional/spiritual wellness, empowerment, clarity and therapy for the soul.
Not everyone who practices magick always has access to nature. You've lived in NYC for a minute. What are some ways you integrate your magical practice living in a huge city? Some tips for those of us living in apartments, surrounded by people, yet want to connect to spirit, to source?
This is actually more simple than not, if you really want to integrate yourself with the power of nature and are motivated enough to do so. I was fortunate enough to have been raised hanging out in various parks and the mountains of Upstate NY, so it was organic for me to find solace in these locations. Us urbanites don't have many options but we do have local parks, some are better than others—it's all about visiting them and taking yourself on adventures to find your special "spot."
For me, Central Park is massive, yet if you truly know the ins and outs of it, it contains many little hidden treasures and areas for you to sit and meditate over baby ponds or mini cabins & beautiful trees. For instant relief, i travel to Washington Square Park and visit the giant center fountain to be cleansed by its mists, before sitting down under a shaded tree to do grounding meditation or read a book. Never underestimate the impact that such a small visit or break can do to you - even if you just choose to walk barefoot on the grass on a beautiful sunny day - it's an instant mood shifter!
Taking a quick getaway trip to the mountains or somewhere locally that can provide hiking, like Bear Mountain, the Adirondacks or Pennsylvania, can be something that you plan during the weekend for a couple of hours - especially if you're looking for more solitude and a outdoorsy experience.
Beaches are a phenomenal way to connect to Water and the Ocean Spirits & Goddesses. I'm not much of a swimmer, especially because some of a water quality in certain beaches are questionable— but I do enjoy dunking myself in and praying to the Ocean for healing and relief. It's immediately effective and this practice soothes your soul like no other. While i was developing original content to birth My Urban Illumination, i would go out to a beach in Brooklyn either early day or early evening, to get all my creative juices there and finish the site. My stream of consciousness flowed so effortlessly that I was finished with the majority of my work in under 2 hrs, every time. Take advantage of the opportunity to just be lazy on the beach and chill with your crystals - it's a phenomenal place to recharge and reconnect, in addition to receiving insight from the Great Mother.
Another simple method of connecting with Nature that I implement in my life is to go out and buy/collect it. In reverence to the divine, make an exchange with Nature to collect wood panels, sticks, stones, leaves, flowers, sand, seashells and Feng Shui your home. I have this obsession with finding wooden boards that I store for altar work, or art. Stones and pebbles that I find along the way, I also keep in my bathroom sink for grounding purposes and meditation uses while I brush my teeth. I incorporate sticks into art work for my home, so I enjoy making Dream Catchers with funky geometric shapes to them and spray painting it for various effects. Get some plants that are easy to keep alive, if you're challenged in that department, and talk to them. Engage in their beauty; I like to surround myself with excessive plant life because as a Virgo, it brings out the "earthy" side of me and keeps me grounded as necessary. One can also get a mini fountain of water, or play nature tunes in their home to stay connected to Spirit.
The possibilities are endless.
What are your other interests? How do you connect the dots between your other interests?
So many - where to begin? One of my biggest loves is choreographing and dancing. I worked as a professional dancer and choreographic performer for the majority of my life before transitioning into Tarot reading full-time and I'm in the process of building up material to get back into my passion. Like Tarot, choreography is finding odd shapes and dance styles to weave a cohesive story that creates a unique vibration to the energy presented —that being the music that I choose, or the story that I choose to illustrate through my dancing. I have done pieces where I've selected some of Hamza El Din's work, the Nubian artist, to create a tale of a Tarot Reader who explores the myriad of their layers and questions what is reality and what is not, as they dive into the dimensions of the Tarot and thus their identity. Most of my work is mainly improvisational, with many of my inspirations being from Middle-Eastern dance, Afro-Carribean/Brazilian dance, Samba, Salsa & other eclectic world forms. Much like my Tarot, through the choreographic process I take some space to connect to spirit and have that source show me what to do next with my body. I like to map out the sequences in my note book or sometimes I just travel around with one during my commute should I get inspiration along the day.
I enjoy performing ritual work, meditating to gain insight on my life, creating spreads, writing, collaging, painting, cooking intuitively, photography, designing jewelry & clothes, playing around with beautification & wellness ideas, traveling, anthropology/archaeology, gardening, reading up on the occult or metaphysical themes, art, personal education, etc. I'm such a curious person with a drive to create and learn, that I truly can't be bored. If I'm not conjuring up my own sacred oils for ritual work, candles or tapping into unknown in some way, I'm looking to create with what I've got, in others . There are no limits and I believe that this is what the Tarot has taught me and why I'm so fascinated with it.
What is your current favorite time of the month What do you do around that that makes it so?
Waning moon is my favorite because I'm all about Death and Rebirth. Before you get to claim new life in any form, you must purge from what once was or what you do not need. The Waning moon is an excellent period to diminish the toxic energies from your life and become more minimalistic and in many ways, more simplistic in your thinking and in energy. For me this gives me so much more room to invest in other energies that contribute to self, that I was unable to before. During this time, I also get my moon cycle, so the whole cleansing theme is a prevalent one to me; I'm all about clarity and precision in my work so this time allows me to get focused on what's important and how to conjure more of what I desire into my life by making space for it.
What was your experience writing for the book? What do you hope that readers take away from this project?
To be honest, I've always been a late-doer. I wouldn't necessarily call it procrastinating, since my brain immediately gets to storing ideas and making connections for me to write about and create on. The actual physical manifestation process in all my work occurs last and this was no different, but it's a timing that always works for me. Everything was effortless and smooth - it was one of the most exciting times to write because I'm generally thinking of creating my own content and this allowed me to get out of that mental frame to conceptualize what I'd like to contribute that has differed from that. Readers should expect to gain some good substance for their soul and to interact with the Tarot that will expand their understanding of self and of their current state of consciousness. I always love exercises that force you to look realistically at yourself and progress in some way; it all has to be functional to me and not just "woo-woo." I anticipate readers getting some hearty material from what I've contributed.
Name one thing: writer/poet/singer/park/theory/hair product etc. that you are super jazzed on at the moment.
Somehow his music sparks me to reinvent myself in ways I can't imagine. What he creates induces a spirit of creativity, imagination and playful fun. Much gets done when he's on in the house and there's a magic to him that soothes my temperament like no other - which is funny because he's known for having an awful one, lol.
Contact her directly to book a reading: UrbanIllumination@Gmail.com
To purchase the pre-order for the Many Moons Workbook, shipping out starting December 1st, click here.