I have had the pleasure to make internet friends with a lovely woman named Tara. We shared some mutual loves: tarot and Bob Marley!She is a tarot reader living in Kingston, Jamaica and I got to thinking of what her experience is living in the Caribbean reading tarot. It definitely would be an interesting perspective to explore! So lets dig in:
Resident in Jamaica, Tara Nikita is an intuitive consultant and Tarot reader. She helps people to access the wisdom of their own higher minds in daily living and decision-making. Her work ranges from teachings on planetary consciousness evolution, energetics and spiritual awakening, to one-on-
one Tarot consultations.
How did you get into tarot?
I’m still wondering about this myself! I literally got up one day and said, “I’m going to do Tarot now”, and that was it. Within two months I was giving readings. I did, however, have some signposts along the way, and I think my Higher Mind was giving me clues which I was yet to really understand until
much later. When I moved to London to do my Masters (in postcolonial studies and global public policy), the first thing I did was buy a Tarot deck from the Waterstones in Piccadilly (as well as book on state politics in Africa!). I had absolutely NO time to work with the cards or study because a full-time masters is SO demanding. I COMPLETELY forgot about Tarot and went on to do other things. Then, when my masters finished, and after the dissolution of a particularly important relationship, as well as a very significant psychic-intuitive-soul reading from my counsellor and mentor, things kind of came full circle for me. The tarot came back into my life to give me a platform and a vehicle to express my talents, and to be my authentic self. It became part of my awakening to who I really was.
How did you start your spiritual practice?
I don’t know. I think I was always “spiritual” in the sense of being attuned with and aware of intangibles, and being deeply drawn to spiritual-esoteric literature. But I did go through a very intense period of awakening where I realized that I had been living a life which muted my authenticity. I did have friends and a decent social life, but I always had this sense of not really being
totally comfortable. Something didn’t feel quite right. In more than one sense I was covering who I was – and my friendships and relationships reflected that. So my spiritual practice is very much connected to coming out of the closet with who I am, and having the courage to do that. And my work with the Tarot is very much a part of that.
Did you have any spiritual teachers that helped you along the way?
Certainly. Physical and non-physical! There are so many bodies of knowledge from “spiritual teachers” that have helped me. For example, connecting with the energy and teachings of a collective of beings from the Pleiades has helped me tremendously to be “spiritually intrepid”. To dare to determine what I am available for in my own reality and experience of life. This is what I try to bring across to my Tarot clients – that they are the master weavers of their realities. There’s also so much channeled material available that has enriched my journey – Bashar’s material through Darryl Anka, the Hathor material through Tom Kenyon, the collectives who come through in
Micheila Sheldan’s work. Regressionist Mira Kelly’s work is another example of material that has really helped me. So I’d call these people and entities “spiritual teachers.” My own guides have also been present ushering me through my unfolding. There’s also my own psychic-intuitive mentor and
counsellor, Jody Staley, who has been instrumental in giving me the clues to awaken to my soul, and has passed on her knowledge of the Tarot to me. There are also the people in my life who brought me to my knees, and brought out the strength in the core of me that perhaps I never knew I had. I’d consider these people spiritual teachers who have helped me awaken to my purpose, and who (perhaps indirectly) brought me to my current work with the Tarot.
Living in a country that boosts as having one of the biggest Christian populations, how are you being received locally and do you get any push back with your spiritual practices?
Great question, and such a loaded one! Well, the first thing is that I don’t go waving a flag with my “spiritual practices.” These are personal, and I’m not here to proselytize or convert. So in my day to day life, I’m not experiencing a lot of push back. I’m aware that a lot of people around me (including
family and friends) have different belief systems, and that’s okay – people choose the beliefs they want, and I choose mine. My day to day interactions with people in Jamaica are just about us being Jamaicans, and doing the things that Jamaicans do (such as using delightfully colourful language).
With the Tarot, a lot of what happens is that a lot of people don’t know what it is. (Someone asked me recently, if it was “palm reading”). And yes, because of the architecture of Christian-based values that underpins life in Jamaica, some people are reticent about Tarot. Much of this has to do with not knowing what it is, and not understanding that is a metaphysical tool for healing and connecting with one’s own inner wisdom. So it’s a constant process of educating people about the applications of the Tarot. Having said that however, there are a lot of people here who “get it” and who want to
connect with spiritual guidance, and these people find me. Thankfully!
Do you feel like your formal education adds to you practice?
Definitely. I think academic training helps me to dissect the information that a client gives me. It also gives me the tools to get the heart of what they are asking. The Page of Swords always comes to mind for me here – the ability to use the intellect and analytical mind to cut through the brush and get to the kernel of truth that a client needs. Sorting through the load of information that a client sometimes gives, and understanding what is relevant to their questions is assisted by my academic training. A client comes in, all ‘5 of Wands’, with a lot of different things going on at once. Part of the
practice of tarot is to get to a more ‘Ace of Swords’ kind of place, so that we can start the reading with a semblance of a clear question or inquiry.
What is your philosophy on Tarot?
Essentially – that the Tarot is a tool to communicate with one’s own inner wisdom, to communicate with one’s own Inner Being and Higher Mind – that part of ourselves that can give us guidelines for right action because it knows why we are here, and what we are here to do; it has the mountain top view. It knows the blueprint of our soul. The Tarot provides portal access to that part of ourselves. So even though a client comes to me, my philosophy is that I am not the one giving advice. Essentially I am helping to facilitate a dialogue between their conscious minds and their Inner Being.
What do you want people to most get out of your readings?
The single thing I want people to get is a sense of feeling empowered to influence their experience of their lives with the quality of their thoughts. I want people to understand and feel that they are not powerless, and at the mercy of external conditions, but they can be bold enough to choose what
they are available for.
I want to thank Tara Nikita for sharing some insight into her world.
Here is where you can find her on the web!
A lot of people have been talking about pip decks lately. They have been wondering if they should use them, trying to figure out id the CAN use them, and a whole bunch of other things. So lets talk about them and figure this out together.
What is a "Pip Deck"?
A pip deck is a tarot deck where only the Major Arcana cards and Court Cards are illustrated. The rest of the cards might look something like this:
Since when were Pip Decks "a thing"?
Well darling, Pip Decks were the original thing. The first versions of a tarot deck was created in Italy by the Visconti family in the 1440's. These decks were pip decks and weren't even being used for divination. They were actually being used for a card game (don't ask me how to play it) and were not used for divination until the French occultist Etteilla got his hands on them in the 1750's. A.E Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith were the ones who got those cards are began drawing all sorts of fun pictures on them, hence the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.
How am I supposed to read with these?
Because of the lack of scenery and people in each picture, it's important that you are pretty solid on the basics. By the time you start using a pip deck, someone should be able to say to you "What does the Six of Swords symbolize?" and should should be able to give an answer without having to look at the Rider-Waite-Smith version of the card. Using these cards can help you use your intuitive side even more if that is what you are looking to work on.
I'm still not convinced. What are some advantages of using a pip deck?
If you are looking to work on your intuition, using a pip deck can definitely help you out. Not having those pictures on the minor arcana guides your mind to say what you are really getting without bias. Also, if you simply don't like the pictures on most decks because you feel they are not representative of you and your life, using a pip deck may be great for you. Lastly, if you use the tarot for mediation and don't want all that background noise of the picture cards, this might be a viable option.
My recommendation? Once you have gotten your tarot meanings down pat, try out a pip deck! Even if you don't love it, I think it's good and important as a tarot reader to try different things to advance our practice. Have fun!
So last year at TarotCon while being overwhelmed by amazing tarot decks, I came across this deck called the The Tarot of Physics by Dan Horn and Corrine Kenner. Now, I myself, even though I'm a nurse, I hate science and math. So as you can imagine, I don't like physics. I find it difficult, uninteresting and just not my cup of tea. But for some reason, I was intrigued by it. So I went to Dan Horn's presentation later that day about the deck and the connection between physics and the spiritual world... and things started coming together. I thought it was so interesting how he was merging these two very different world and actually having it make sense. Later that night, I watched my friend Jenna Matlin using the deck and I saw how powerful and interesting her readings were. That is when I decided I definitely needed this deck.
Deck Summary: This deck brings together two world that seldom agree on anything: science and spirituality. The Tarot of Physics takes the physics and Quantum Theory and translates them into a divination tool. As stated on their website as Corrine Kenner says, "We live in a world of Newtonian physics, where time is linear, and every occurrence — even those we can’t explain — somehow conforms to the laws of nature. Give us an effect, and we’ll find the cause. A newer branch of physics, however — quantum physics— suggests that time doesn’t unfold just as we perceive it. In quantum physics, time seems to flow in every direction, and events in the future seem to travel back to influence the present. As those events bounce back and forth through the time stream, they even seem to communicate with each other — which could explain how tarot cards are able to depict events that haven’t yet occurred."
The Packaging and Card Stock: The Tarot of Physics comes in a simple beige tarot bag. The packaging is perfect for deck in its plainness because the deck is very straight forward. The card stock is great, with laminate in the back so the cards won't rip. The cards are printed on a paper tat is actually very pretty.
The Cards: Each card has symbols and diagrams of different aspects in physics, energy, electricity, astronomy, and chemistry. Under the symbol or diagram, there is a caption describing what the picture is of, which is helpful for those of us who are not well versed in scientific jargon. This makes this deck is a must have for scientists, engineers of all sorts, chemists and anyone who enjoys science. The Major Arcana has the traditional names from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The Minor Arcana is split into four suits: Energy is Wands, Space is Cups, Time is Swords and Matter is Pentacles. All the scientific symbols on the cards relate to the traditional meanings, sometimes very obviously and sometimes very interestingly. For example, the Fool is represented by the Big Bang and the caption on the card say, the beginning of everything. Makes sense right? Some other cards like this are The Hanged Man which is represented by suspension, Death is represented by the Black Hole, and one of my favorites, the Five of Swords that is a Vacuum (a lack of anything). Then we have some other cool cards like the Three of Matter which is represented by the Gear where the caption says, "Moving gears force other gears to move" and the Two of Space represented by a Plane with the caption "Two-dimensional space is measured in coordinate pairs". I'm obviously not going to go through every card but the cards are all very cool and unique.
Divination Potential: This deck is unique but the reading I have given with it are phenomenal. They have depth and are very straightforward. I especially enjoy using it with people who are into science or engineering, because they get an absolute kick out of it.
Final Note: This deck is a must-have if you are interest in seeing how physics and metaphysics can become one.
A place of fun, learning and exploring the awesome world of Tarot.