Art, music, food, fitness, literature, mediation: there are plenty of ways to self-soothe. For many, however, asking for direction and reassurance from the divine offers the greatest source of comfort.
In recent years, there’s been a surge of interest in witchcraft, spiritualism and gemstones as humans search for answers outside themselves. As a result, the popularity of Tarot decks has exploded; decks are being sold everywhere from neighbourhood gift shops to major retailers like Urban Outfitters. Why are we so desperate to find answers? What are we looking for?
Over the next few weeks, while Canadians continue to practice social distancing, Tarot Reader Danielle Final is offering virtual card readings at a reduced rate. Have you ever tried? May we suggest you take a break from your nightly Netflix binge and try?
Danielle believes that our desire for answers, or to heal, comes from a collective anxiousness that we are feeling; a natural response to a fast-paced lifestyle. Her theory (and she’s not alone) is that the current global pandemic is nature’s response to an unsustainable pace and pattern. “Perhaps this epidemic of anxiety the population has dealt with over the past few years has been warranted. That it has been calling on us to change our ways, and that we haven’t been listening to it. If this endless hamster wheel of production and consumption causes anxiety, what can we do, or not do, to create an environment that is less stressful?”
We connected with Danielle to find out how she uses Tarot in her own life and why she believes it can be a helpful resource during times of uncertainty.
When and how did you discover Tarot?
When I was a teenager, I had a boyfriend who had a deck. I was quite enchanted with the imagery and the mythology, but since I was raised as an atheist I didn’t really believe in them. I bought my deck when I was about 17 with money from my job at McDonald’s and I carried them around for years. I treated them like a beloved work of fiction, like, “I love the Lord of the Rings, but it’s not real.” I didn’t use them for divination, or if I did, I didn’t take it seriously.
What did it bring to your life? How did it make you feel?
It wasn’t until I had a revelatory experience at the age of 34 that the world of divination opened up for me. I had burnt myself out of the fashion industry and was feeling quite pathetic. With my ego in a fragile state, I visited the Louvre, and the Mona Lisa spoke to me and gave me the secret to great art if I promised to make some. I felt like I was going insane but since I didn’t have a better plan for my life, I decided to give the talking painting the benefit of the doubt… you know, as a scientific experiment. That night when I opened the deck, the mystery of divination had somehow become clear to me. I decided to follow the cards very literally, to see what happened. They led me through a series of adventures and experiences – the dark night of the soul, a heart healing, and a rebirth. My purpose is to help others realize their beauty and dignity through the revelation of truth. And the Tarot is one way of doing that.
In uncertain times, like now, what do you think Tarot readings give people?
What I’ve observed as I do more and more readings is that many problems we perceive as being personal are in fact collective problems. Readings often occur in waves; I’ll talk to several people with similar issues in the same week. It’s been interesting to consider how emotions pass over the population like weather. In this way, every reading gives us an opportunity to realize that we are not as alone in our troubles as we think we are, which is very reassuring. Perhaps, as we allow our intuition to become more sensitive to the patterns around us, there is a sense that even though the universe is so complex and surprising, there’s a system to it. In that way, the uncertainty is only a function of our limited perception. Every realization we have is a connection made, and every connection, whether abstract or personal, gives us a sense of order, which is a relief.
What can people expect from an online reading?
I live alone so practicing social distancing means I’m extra happy to chat these days. I love to meet people and have all different kinds of conversations. I’ll lay out the cards and start telling you a story. I like to do a collaborative reading. We’re really trying to access your intuition, not just mine, so I enjoy when querents ask questions or bring in their own interpretations. I use my experience and ‘esoteric knowledge’ to help the process. Every reading is different, depending on what you need. It could be encouragement, validation, a better story to tell yourself about yourself, a clarifying insight on a confusing situation, or even a wake-up call! I’m truth-centred, a “head” person, so I’m not necessarily as empathic or gentle or fuzzy as a “heart-centred” energy worker. There’s a clarity and sharpness to my edges which some querents respond to – especially first timers and skeptics.
What is your usual practice? Do you pull one card a day? How does Tarot fit into your routine?
I celebrate the moon, hosting small gatherings in my irreligious temple, and have taken up the practice of pulling one card twice a month as part of those rituals. One card to help me choose my intention for the new moon, and one card to guide my release on the full moon. I find this is a good rhythm for me because integrating a reading usually takes me about a month; doing it more frequently just makes things confusing. This way I really have to take the time to fully consider each card and how it relates to my life, the ebb and flow of progress, and my own wavy path.
How are you personally feeling about everything right now? Social Distancing, the Unknown, and a society that is anxious and scared?
I’ve definitely had some anxiety over the past month. I had a trip planned the first week of March that I had a doom-y feeling about, and I backed out of it. And I was so edgy about the virus story that I convinced my lover to cut his Europe trip short. It didn’t occur to me at the time that these were accurate premonitions, however, I definitely felt conviction in my inner compass. Personally, I’ve committed myself to act with as much integrity as I can and see what happens. With that in mind (except when I forget because I’m only human) I’m able to let go of the outcome and focus on what I can do. Intuition really is a powerful guide, and we all have it. I really believe we all have the capacity to access it. We just need reminding. Evolution is always the name of the game. When we act with that purpose, we feel peace even in chaos.
If you’re searching for answers and meaning, you can contact Danielle through her website, or email her directly by clicking here. She offers readings via Skype or FaceTime, and her online offer is currently $50 for a 5-card reading, or $20 for a 2-card reading.