This post is part of a series of interviews of ‘Scopes contributors.
Back in 2013, I was a part of various online tarot communities that provided free tarot readings in exchange for feedback. Two years later, one of these groups transitioned from free to paid space, and I decided to leave. But just before I did, I screwed up my courage and asked the other members if some of them might want to contribute to the first ever collaborative tarotscope.
I was pretty excited about the idea, but I didn’t expect much of a response in the group. My idea was strange enough that I didn’t know if other people would want to participate. A few seemed interested but in the end, in a group of hundreds of tarot readers, only two of them followed through.
Miriam of Tantramar Tarotscopes was one of the two.
Online communities each have their own feel. The one where I met Miriam didn’t necessarily strike me as the kindest place. I never knew if I quite belonged. In this climate, Miriam’s genuine warmth stood out. Her enthusiasm and curiosity reminded me of my own. Her tenacity awed me. She posted with a regularity that suggested a generous heart and serious dedication to her practice. As she contributed to the Scopes time and time again, it was even more interesting to watch her style evolve.
Miriam has a way that makes you feel you are two friends at a kitchen table and like she already knows exactly what’s up with you. As a reader, she’s very encouraging, and I’d hazard the guess that she’s also the most dependable face to face, because that’s how she is in the online spaces she inhabits.
I wasn’t surprised to see Miriam step up for this interview. That’s what she does.
What is your relationship with time and tarot? In your readings do you prioritize past? Present? Future? A blend?
My readings focus on understanding the present, often through acknowledging the past in order to reconcile it in the present — I use future/outcome cards but more as a potential (i.e. if it’s something less favourable, free will can steer the person in a better/different direction)
What’s something we might never guess about you that’s integral to your tarot practice? A story? A belief? A Superpower?
WELL. I believe it to work through our “Higher Selves” but also spirit guides, and I once did a spirit guide meditation where I ended up with Persephone (o.O) — that really helped me understand why tarot/intuitive stuff has always felt really second-nature, and now whenever The High Priestess shows up in a reading I feel like she’s looking over my shoulder <3<3
What do you think tarotscopes are best used for?
Tarotscopes are best used for personal empowerment, through gaining a reflective understanding of the energy surrounding you at present — whether it’s affirming in its positivity or its gravity, it always helps to hear what we’re going through, what we already know to be true, presented in a universally understandable/relatable way.
What’s the most exciting project that you’ve recently worked on?
I’d have to say firstly, opening a used bookstore with my husband — last August the owner of the used bookstore in my town posted that she was looking to sell, right around the time Steve and I had finished university and were figuring out what to “do next.” It felt so perfect synchronicity-wise, so we jumped at the opportunity and ran with it! More recently, the most exciting part has been seeing two dreams come true as a result of having the bookstore: I ran my first tarot course, a 6-week class called “Tarot 1-10” which is a basic crash-course learning a system to memorize the whole deck based on its numbers, and even more recently, makig the store more “new age” with tarot and oracle decks and crystal intention kits! I’m having the best time putting those together 😀
What’s something you’ve learned since hanging your tarot reading shingle?
I feel like I’ve heard other readers say this too, but above all it’s “trusting the messages that ‘come through.’” So often I’ll be doing a reading and something really random will pop into my head related to what I’m seeing in the card images — I learned through my typed-out, email readings to just say it! The most out-there phrases that come out of me often tend to be the part that clients tell me they resonated the most deeply with.
I remember when I first started reading seeing people advertise themselves as “intuitive readers,” and I’ve come to understand that that’s exactly what I am — I’m so far “off-book” that readings really are just this very cool intuitive process/experience. I’ve come to learn that I know I’m connecting with my intuition when first my left cheek, then my left thigh, then the whole left side of my body start buzzing/humming with this warm, tickly energy! Deep into the reading it starts to feel like a sort of rainbow light is coming off me from everywhere and it feels amazing 😛 This happens both in live readings and during distance readings when I’m typing/filming.
I remember I used to see your super cute hand drawn birth charts on your IG feed whenever you were tabling at events. Are you still doing these? What started those?
Yes! I do still make illuminated natal charts! These are a very special visual representation of a person’s astrological power points (usually Sun/Moon/Ascendant, but also stelliums [3 or more planets]) , which I was inspired to start creating when I connected with the various power animals, flowers, trees, and gemstones associated with each sign. The larger the chart, the more details I include; more often than not, people request to have their own pets or personal favourite plants/flowers drawn on! Each custom order is such a unique and rewarding experience.
I create them on professional watercolour paper in a sort of neo-Art Nouveau (New Art New? lol) style, and after I sketch out the images and ink them, I bring it to life first with watercolour pencil, followed by a water-wash and touch-ups with gouache. As I’m painting I intend that the chart be infused with really positive and empowering energy, and without fail, a few months after clients receive their paintings they get back to me to let me know how good it makes them feel to look at their painting, and how very much it feels like a reflection of them as people.
I’m getting ready to do an Etsy update with different offerings for these — I was recently commissioned to do a nursery-themed one and am very excited for the possibilities of branching into child-oriented astrological art. I also had someone order one for the date of their wedding as an anniversary present, and it was so incredible to hear how the “astrological profile” for their marriage relationship was 100% reflective of their actual relationship’s dynamics!! Illuminated charts are one of my absolute favourite ways of connecting with astrology — how Pisces of me!
We met in an online tarot community. What was it like volunteering your time in a tarot community? Do you still do it?
When I started the “professional” leg of my tarot journey, Biddy Tarot was such an important part of building my confidence as a reader! Her website was so helpful to me when it came to solidifying my understanding of the cards, and after finding myself referring to her blog posts time and again (her Release and Let Go tarot spread is one of my all-time favourite go-to spreads), I decided to sign up for her free reading programme, offering free readings in exchange for feedback. This experience was invaluable, and I excitedly filled my time doing these readings, amazed time and again when each read-ee got back to me with abundantly positive feedback, telling me they felt like I knew their entire life story, like I was their best friend, and how my reading made them feel worlds better.
Reading online really helped me understand how tarot “works:” whereas many may think of it as “fortune telling,” I have come to understand it as being wholly a snapshot of current circumstances, presenting a client with what they already know in a different way, helping them bend their own mind around their situation as it compares to what is said during the reading and ultimately helping them form their own fresh understandings and draw their own conclusions. It helped me understand that what drives a tarot reading is actually the “Higher Self,” a fancy description for the intuition — when I read for someone via email/distance, I intend that my Higher Self reaches out to theirs, bringing forth the most appropriate message for them at that time.
As for whether I still read online, I do, but through my own Etsy shop/website! I stopped doing free online readings and launched my own tarot business when I started to notice that a) my time was being consumed by those free readings as I felt a deep need/calling to help people; and b) when former Biddy free-reading clients started emailing me asking to pay me for readings. That’s when my gears started turning and I realized that tarot reading is my calling (confirmed by several past life readings!), and that’s when I started my table at the local Farmer’s Market, and the rest is history! That being said, every now and then I’ll go on Facebook Live and do free one-card pulls, and in my bookstore and at my Farmer’s Market table I always make one-card reading either free or pay-what-you-can so that anyone who really feels like they need a reading can have one.
Ok, this last question is more for me since I’m learning about astrology and I know you study it. And maybe there are other folks out there wondering the same thing. More and more folks lately talk about general astrological transits. I notice sometimes the general transits suggest different things than my personal ones. I know you do “week ahead” posts and talk about upcoming transits.
When you look at what’s happening in the stars would you say you consider general transits on equal footing with personal ones, the ones relating to the natal chart? Does it depend? What is your opinion as a student of astrology?
Ooh, good question — astrology is so nuanced!! For my blog post astrological breakdowns I definitely focus on general transits, as they are what influenced society “as a whole” at a given time. These transits are what can be felt more broadly on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, as they apply to a person’s natal chart, transits can be interpreted far more “specifically” — they form aspects that are completely unique to you, which explains each person’s unique experience at any given time.
Even more so, current transits can be compared against a person’s progressed natal chart, an “updated version” of your chart that accounts for personal growth as you learn and grow as a person — this is calculated using the natal chart for the number of days after your birthday that corresponds to your current age on your most recent birthday. I was fascinated to learn that my progressed chart makes me an Aries Sun — the past few years I’ve been wondering where all this anger has been coming from, and as usual, astrology has an explanation!
Transits are so endlessly fascinating — my “Year Ahead” astrology offering involves a combination of your natal chart, your progressed and solar arc charts for the current year, and a list of transits for the year ahead and how they will apply to you personally. The natal chart and its aspects are like your personal blueprint, laying out what you’re born with, providing the information you need to identify your personal strengths and weaknesses and in turn develop the self-understanding needed to make the best of them. The progressed chart is more what you’re working with during a given year, through interaction between current transits and the natal chart. It’s like a midpiont for current events.
So I suppose, yes, it depends — astrology has an answer for everything, from the broadest of broad to minute-yet-impossibly accurate personal details! I hope this makes sense — there’s so, so much to it and I’m learning new things myself all the time. I’d love to try to answer any other questions you may have about astrology kdjvbjksbvkjsb lol
Thank you for your time, Miriam!
Check out Miriam’s bio below to learn more or read the ‘Scopes to see Miriam’s style for yourself.
Check out the rest of the ‘Scopes Interview Series to get to know more of the contributors!