This post is part of a series of interviews of ‘Scopes contributors that first appeared at siobhansmirror.com.
Back in 2011, after coming out of the end of a decade of crippling depression and anxiety, I was flirting with the idea of consistently leaving the house again to seek understanding friends, powerful examples of how to be in the world, places where I could show up, even if just a little. I was seeking joy. I found all that and more in a few key groups in my community.
One of them was the local Tarot MeetUp, at the time led by Arwen of tarotbyarwen.com
I knew there must be other tarot readers in the world. But I had no idea how many. And never before had I seen such a large of group of advanced readers. They came from all walks, various backgrounds, orientations, and able-ness.
I loved being a part of a community that I felt I could belong. It was there I found the nerve to take a stab at teaching my first tarot workshop. Over the years I got to know Arwen and through her formidable Pinterest boards and other social network posts, I was reminded about the power of creativity, and I was invited to #seekjoy as Arwen did.
Eventually, I’d screw up the courage to ask her to contribute to my ‘Scopes.
It took a while since she had inspired them.
This week, I asked if she’d be up for some questions and an interview. She said, in that infectious way of hers:
Ask away, darling. 😀
What is your relationship with time and tarot? In your readings do you prioritize past? Present? Future? A blend?
I tell my clients that I SUCK at timing. They tell me I’m right on the money most of the time. I’m not much interested in the past other than to find out what propelled us to this moment in time. Similarly, the only reason I look at the future is to see what I need to tweak in the now.
The present is what captures my attention. It is choices we make now. Thoughts we think now. Actions we take now. This is what is creating our world. Like the Buddhist thought, I want to live this moment fully. By worrying about tomorrow or next week or the next ten years, I am wasting the amazing gift of now.
I do readings that are future-based but the goal of those consultations is to see what I want to move towards. If I know a really rocking job opportunity is going to happen in April, then I can use the time leading up as polishing time. That’s me doing my T- planning list.
Think of preparing for a big dinner party. You don’t polish the silver the day of, right? That’s something you do in the time leading up to the meal. You also do any other preparation that you can so that you don’t have a shit ton of work that day.
So I prioritize the present with an eye to the future.
What’s something we might never guess about you that’s integral to your tarot practice? A story? A belief? A Superpower?
Tarot is not set in stone for me. It’s a roadmap…a guide. I don’t consult my cards to get a monochrome answer. I use Tarot to highlight things—good or bad. It’s an intuitive practice that forces me to do deep soul-diving. Sometimes without an oxygen tank! When I read for others, my superpower seems to be making people cry. I say I’m the Truvy (Steel Magnolias reference) of Tarot—nobody cries alone!
I think folks might be really surprised to know that when I read for others, I will say things to them but in my head, I’m thinking, “ARWEN! What the hell? That doesn’t make a bit of sense!”
Typically, my clients will tell me it makes complete sense to them. I have learned to trust what comes out of my mouth even if I don’t have a concrete reason for it.
Oh and dead people show up when I’m working with others. Not always, but often enough that I am no longer surprised by their appearance.
What do you think tarotscopes are best used for?
That depends on the person reading, listening or watching the Tarotscopes. I recommend folks watch/listen/read their sun, moon and rising signs. Then blend that information. Too often we read only our sun (birth) sign forgetting that we are not just one sign. We are the sum total of twelve houses, twelve signs, planets and even asteroids. Not to mention the squares, etc that comprise our charts.
I think the very best use for Tarotscopes is to point out things that may be trending in our lives. If we all had the “what’s trending” feature found on so many social media platforms, wouldn’t that be helpful? We might wake up to find that “cranky ass moodiness” was trending or maybe “generosity overload” was number one on the charts. We could then adjust our sails as necessary.
[Tweet “I think the very best use for Tarotscopes is to point out things that may be trending @tarotbyarwen”]
When did you start doing your tarotscopes? What inspired them?
Oh my…I don’t honestly remember what inspired them. I know that I loved reading my birth sign in the paper. At some point I saw a horoscope spread that used your known birth chart to do a Tarot reading. From there, I just dove in. I think I first started writing them out then moved to podcasting them.
At some point I decided to do them on YouTube so folks could see the cards. I got a lot of pushback then from those that prefer to read theirs. I also moved from doing all twelve signs in one video to doing them in smaller ones. I prefer short videos to long ones myself.
2008 seems to be when I started doing these (that’s using Google.)
How in the world do you create so many tarotscopes?!?
I just sit down and do it. When I did the podcast, it was easier because all I had to do was plug in headphones and boot up Audacity (the audio program I used.) Moving to YouTube was more labor-intensive because of the software involved. I’ve just recently ditched YouTube Capture and moved to Uploader for YouTube (these are iOS apps.)
Doing the videos can take me up to three hours including writing the newsletter and doing the social media portion. There are times I think about ditching them but typically that is after a session where the software acted like a beast. When it takes me five hours to get Tarotscopes done, I can be a little cranky about it.
But in the long run, I love doing them. I feel like it is a way for me to give back to a world that has been incredibly kind to me.
When you’ve read for me your predictions have been uncanny! Is it like a muscle that you grow? How do you make your intuitive magick?
I’ve always been intuitive. Even as a little girl, I had so-called déjà vu experiences. I firmly believe that we are an intuitive people. And it is a muscle that we need to use. We also have to learn what is truly intuitive and what is merely wishful thinking.
For me, the key to making it magical was learning how to trust myself. I also read a lot. 😀 And I used to read on a 1-900 line back in the day. That was a hard and fast way of learning to dive into my intuition. I do style myself a psychic reader but do not think being psychic is the only way to read Tarot.
Lately, paganism is taking the spotlight in mainstream media. As a practicing pagan from back before it was quite so famous, what do you think of this trend?
Frankly I am appalled by a lot of what I see.
I am a Wiccan so my approach has a lot of oathbound material in it. One of the things that I love about the internet (and loathe, lol) is the ability to find so much information. Sadly, anyone can point a camera at their face and call themselves witch, pagan, priestess, etc. We have very little vetting practices where you might be able to find out about their learning path.
I can remember meeting someone on a local email loop (before Facebook etc). That person claimed to be in a certain lineage. I happened to know someone from that lineage so I asked. Of course it was brought to light that the person had been lying.
I don’t think one must have “puppy papers” (a term used to describe Wiccan lineage), but I do think we need to be truthful about our learning. When I was dedicated, the idea of a family witch was very hard to prove. Now, because of my own age, I could have grandkids (I don’t) who could say their grandmother was a witch.
[Tweet “You don’t need “puppy papers” but we need to be truthful about our learning @tarotbyarwen”]
I’m far more concerned with what someone is doing in the here and now. If they are teaching crap on YouTube (or in a blog), that can be dangerous in the worst case scenario. What if a brand-new witch/pagan watched a video on how to make a flying potion that said “drink a potion of aconite, wormwood and mistletoe.” Who would be responsible for the death that caused?
And here’s where I hop up on my soapbox.
My students in the Craft have heard this over and over. NEVER BELIEVE SOMETHING WITHOUT RESEARCHING! I played a mean trick on my students where I told them we would be sacrificing an animal for our next full moon. They learned that they should always question what doesn’t feel right. Even if it comes from their teacher. For the record, animal sacrifice is not something that I do. Oh, ahem…I seem to have gone off on a tangent.
I’d prefer if the spotlight on pagans were focused on the less “look at me! Look at me!” types. There, that’s succinct.
Thank you for your time, Arwen!
Check out Arwen’s bio below to learn more or read the ‘Scopes to see her style for yourself.
Check out the rest of the ‘Scopes Interview Series to get to know more of the contributors!
Arwen Lynch-Poe has been playing with the Tarot for over 30 years. Her approach is whimsical and fierce. She believes that Tarot is best used as an introspective tool. Clients say she is spooky-accurate. Using an equal dose of compassion and boot-to-the-rump, she shows you how to “seek joy, Y’all” while helping you decide the best path for yourself. Find her on YouTube. As the new editor/publisher of The Cartomancer, Arwen is looking for writers, reviewers, and artists. Please contact her at email@example.com