Being raised Catholic myself, I was very interested when I started reading the blog of Lauren Fein, the Catholic Cartomancer. She has found a unique way to incorporate her faith into her Tarot practice, something which I found very interesting. So I caught up with her and ask her about how she combines Tarot and her faith.
Me: So How did you start with Tarot?
Lauren: I started the systematic study of Tarot in 2010- so only about five years ago, in my mid-forties. Before that time, I had a few decks that I played around with- but without really knowing anything about "Tarot"-it's history, the cards meanings, etc. I became curious and decided to begin a more formal study of the subject.
Me: So did you do reading before that or you just started doing readings once you started really studying the background of tarot?
Lauren: I did readings for myself intuitively but not for anybody else. I only started reading for others after I began studying, and at first, only in a classroom "practice" setting.
Me: Ok interesting! So you when did you start feeling like you had a strong intuition?
Lauren: I have no idea! I think it just grew on me gradually. In high school, my friends would always call me "the great philosopher"! But I think that was because I was always questioning everything, always searching for the deeper meaning of things.
Me: Ahhh that's wonderful. So you call yourself the Catholic Cartomancer. How do you incorporate your faith into your spiritual practice?
A: That also just happened for me over time and with contemplation of myself, my background, and my love of the cards. I had been away from the Catholic Church for a long time, for all the obvious reasons, but over time, returned again on my own terms. By the time I returned to Catholic forms of prayer, I had been practicing Tarot for a few years, so the two just naturally combined for me. I should also add that when I walk into a Church, it often feels like I'm stepping into a living Tarot card- and when I use the cards, it often feels like a "moving Church." I decided over time that my tradition-of-origin was a gift, and just because I disagreed with official Church policy didn't mean I couldn't use the forms of prayer I had grown up with and which had become a part of me.
Me: So do you read for a lot of Catholic or Christian clients? And how are you received in your community?
Lauren: I read for people who often come from the same kind of background- brought up Catholic or Christian but not necessarily practicing or orthodox anymore. I go to a very liberal-minded Catholic Church in manhattan, which is very close to the town where I live. I don't really discuss Tarot in Church- as I am there really for the group prayer called Mass. But if it came up, I certainly wouldn't shy away from a respectful discussion.
Me: Do you ever get any push back from the pagan/occult/esoteric community because you are a Catholic Cartomancer?
Lauren: I know how to avoid that- I just steer clear if the conversation gets too anti- Catholic, anti-Christian, etc. People have a perfect right to their opinions- and many people have been deeply hurt by their experiences with organized religion. They have a right to their feelings and conclusions. I just don't want to get "drawn in" necessarily. My decision was to incorporate my Catholic prayers and beliefs into my own unique practice, while others may decide differently.
Me: So what deck do you like to use?
Lauren: Oh, I'm a Waite-Smith girl all the way. That's the deck I first learned with and I still love it so much! I have a whole collection of decks though-like many Tarot enthusiasts! I wanted to add- if you grew up Catholic, you might recall having and collecting "Holy Cards"- not such a far cry from tarot cards when you think about it.
It is very different style and the different people that we have in the Tarot community is what helps the world go 'round. I want to thank Lauren Fein for letting me interview her and I hope you all enjoyed reading the interview!
If you want to read more about Lauren, check out her blog at the Catholic Cartomancer.
A place of fun, learning and exploring the awesome world of Tarot.