BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Tabitha Dial is a poet after my own heart. She reads Tarot, and uses her experiences as a reader to shape and mold her writing. Recently, her Tarot poems were published in "Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology." Below I asked Dial some questions about what the Tarot means to her, and how it influences her work:
JV: How did you become interested in the Tarot? When did you start learning?
TD: I saw my first tarot deck in a catalog mailed to my house. The art was very interesting, as was the concept of predicting the future. I bought my first deck at the local metaphysical store when I was 17. It was a trial learning to read them with the "Little White Book" that came with it.
What does Tarot actually mean to you?
Tarot is evolution. Entertainment. Enlightenment. Connective tissue. It helps navigate the soul. It offers creative solutions.
It means a community of people who share my passions. It means thought-provoking discussions and exercises using tarot that can startle one back into their own reality. It can help us through our fears.
If you have to explain Tarot to someone who never heard of it, what would you say? How would you describe what it does?
Tarot has a knack for illustrating patterns in our lives. It features a series of archetypal imagery that can put the puzzle pieces in place.
Typically, the messages that someone needs to hear are those that the cards bring up.
Another way of looking at it is by considering synchronicity, where signs and symbols recur, or may be noticed by an individual or a group. What do these little omens mean? A deck can help show this and help decipher the clues.
How is your poetry related to the Tarot?
Almost 9 years ago, I entered the masters degree program for poetry at Colorado State University. When I'd been an undergrad, I felt a fire in my heart during a poetry class with my favorite professor. I wanted to do her type of work.
I later followed that impulse by going for a terminal degree in poetry. I needed to create a book-length collection of poems for my thesis and I wanted a theme. I first thought of birds and of fairy tales, but those early efforts were very lack luster.
I remembered my tarot deck and its rich images. It still remains sometimes a challenge, but always rewarding, to look at the deck as a poet. In doing so as a student, I found a lot of material.
As a small business owner offering tarot, tea leaf reading, and creative mentorship at www.NorthStarMuse.com, I find tarot as a creative writing prompt an abundant resource for people at any stage of life.
Which deck do you prefer?
Tarot Mucha is my go-to deck, really. I wrote a review of it at Spiral Nature. I'm also working more with a non-tarot deck, Rae Hepburn's "Tea Leaf Fortune Cards."
If someone is learning the history and practice of Tarot, what materials would you recommend?
Three essential books:
"Tarot for Your Self" by Mary K Greer, "Holistic Tarot" by Benebell Wen, and "78 Degrees of Wisdom" by Rachel Pollack.
Tabitha Dial is a tarot, tea leaf reader, and creative mentor in Lexington, Kentucky. She facilitates the Create your Fate (Tarot and more) Meetup and teaches seminars at the Mystical Paranormal Fair once a month. Her poetry has appeared in articles on SpiralNature.com, in "Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology," and in "Tarot in Culture" Volume Two.