Me In a Nutshell
My name is Evvie Maeve Marin, and I’m an interdisciplinary artist and writer in my late twenties. I’ve been reading cards for fifteen years, and I still think of myself as a tarot student. Life learning is for winners. I launched this blog seven months ago, and I’ve had an indie deck in the works since July. (Hell yeah Spirit Vertigo Tarot!)
I read tarot for myself, friends, family, and acquaintances. I’m not offering professional readings at this time, though I may in the future. While intuitive, I don’t identify as a psychic. I approach tarot as an artist, and I view it as a tool for creative and spiritual processes: introspection, inspiration, meditation, transformation, brainstorming, and constructing narrative. My goal is to illustrate and publish my own tarot decks and writings.
What else do you need to know about me? I live in Massachusetts, and I like to frolic in apple orchards. Autumn is my favorite thing in the universe, followed by Halloween, followed by cats. If I could go back in time, copy April Ludgate, and major in Halloween Studies, I would. Cancer Sun and Moon, Leo rising. INFP. Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff tendencies.
My Tarot Story
My pet fascinations as far back as I can remember have been mysticism and art. I’ve always loved mystery and searched for spirit. I’ve always loved to make things, and observe and appreciate beauty. Melding arts and crafts with spirit, mystery, absurdity, and just a touch of camp, the woo arts drew me in from a tender age.
I remember ogling the tarot display at Borders Books as a small child. Back then, Borders was still a thing, and chain bookstores still stocked an enticing array of decks, locked in glass cases. The locks were to deter theft, but to my kiddo self, they made the cards seem curious and special. I’d seen fancy jewelry in locked cases, but never playing cards, and I’d certainly never seen playing cards with pictures like that. “What are those?” I wondered. “Why can’t we see them closer? What are they for?” I didn’t know, but I wanted in.
Fast-forward to eighth grade and I’d heard plenty of conflicting views on what tarot cards were for, which only added to their intrigue. Once at a slumber party, a friend showed off a pocket sized Rider-Waite-Smith deck she had hidden from her parents. We were all too spooked to open them up and try them out. I still wanted in.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to hide my interest at home. I received my first tarot deck for Christmas at age thirteen, along with some sage advice from Mum to approach the cards with a practical mindset, and use them to gauge my own feelings and reactions. I set aside all the spooky allure and began viewing the tarot as a visual way to have a conversation with yourself and get to know your own thoughts better. I began to see the cards and the mythologies in their guidebooks as stories with stock characters and mix-and-match, choose-your-own-adventure plots.
In the fifteen years since, I’ve slowly grown with the cards through self-study, regular use, and plenty of trial and error. I’ve been through a lot of decks and a handful of guidebooks. I’ve never used the Rider-Waite-Smith deck for readings, but I do read predominantly in the RWS style. Rachel Pollack and Sophie Nusslé are my biggest tarot influences to date, though lately I’m loving Benebell Wen’s Hollistic Tarot, Christine Payne-Towler’s Tarot of the Holy Light, and everything on Beth Maiden’s blog, Little Red Tarot.
These past fifteen years, I’ve also been studying fine art and honing my illustration skills. My adventures in the fine arts and the woo arts are fundamentally intertwined. I initially clicked with tarot through my love of illustration, mythology, symbolism, and story. Tarot, in turn, inspires my artwork. In college, I studied theatre and studio art, with concentrations in set design and painting. I began to appreciate tarot’s theatricality in my theatre history classes. Meanwhile back at the studio, I learned how to observe, dissect, and analyze an image - a skill I bring into all of my tarot readings today.
How Do I Believe Tarot Works?
I think tarot works in different ways for different people, and it depends on what your approach is. The cards themselves are just paper and ink. Any power they have at the end of the day comes from the card reader’s perceptions and the author’s and illustrator’s visions.
Let’s begin with the deck creators. Tarot is a type of art, and I believe that art holds power. Big Power. Art is a vessel for emotion, thoughts, ideas, and encoded symbolic meanings, transmitted over profound distances of time and space. Authors and artists, through passion and concentration, pour little pieces of their souls into their work, and those soul bits are perceptible--they make you feel feelings and think thoughts—courtesy of folks you don’t know from Adam. Even more remarkable that that capacity withstands the telephone game of replication and mass production! That is magic. The fact that it’s a pervasive, every-day kind of magic, found in every book, article, and art print world over, in no way detracts from its fundamental marvelousness. Tarot = art = communication and expression. Communication and expression are sacred. Let’s not take that for granted! And let’s not forget that art is carefully designed, engineered even, to be evocative, sometimes in craftily chosen and sneaky ways. The magic of picking up a single tarot card and feeling something deep and resonant is art, art, and more art.
The magic of laying out a tarot reading and seeing your life patterns spread before you in all their eerily specific, gory details is another story, which brings us back to the readers. There are many theories out there on how tarot works, and again, I think the truth varies from person to person.
I do also believe in spirit and some psychic phenomena, and I believe that some readers use the cards as a jumping-off point to access spirit, intuition, and psychic gifts (all of which are connected but distinct, btw.). How that all works, I have no idea, and frankly, I don’t give a hoot. I’d rather sit with mystery here than venture into baseless speculation.
My own approach to spirituality is open-minded and exploratory. All my spirituality, however, revolves around a radiant ball of molten agnosticism. I strongly believe in cultivating and using both reason and intuition. I always question my own beliefs, discarding those that ring false or fail to serve my better self, and I always hold the awareness that I may be mistaken. That is my rock.
In my own tarot practice, I draw on a blend of traditional, memorized card meanings, intuitive departures, and creative meanderings. To be totally honest, I don’t have enough practice reading for other people to accurately describe my reading style (eclectic enough to begin with), and that’s one of the reasons why I don’t read professionally yet. At the end of the day, though, tarot works for me. It’s been a steady source of guidance, inspiration, and enrichment, and I don’t need to know why or how to accept that as so. For now, tarot rings far more true than false, and as long as that’s the case, I’ll keep working with it, and loving it.
The Goods: Favorite Questions, Go-To Spreads.
I am a huge fan of the single-card draw. K.I.S.S. whenever you can. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) It’s amazing how much material a single card can bring to a given question, and so often, that’s all we need.
My favorite question to ask before a single card draw is this: What qualities can I channel now to best help me with situation x? It’s open, it’s active, and it keeps the onus on me.
Because so many of my Card of The Day posts more or less tackle this question, I’ll throw you one more. I love to draw a trio of cards to represent three elements that need to come together in order to make a desired situation manifest or a given project sizzle.
The first time I tested this mini-spread, I asked the question, “what elements need to come together to make my artistic work happen?” I drew the Three of Pentacles, the Fool, and the Tower. The Three of Pentacles stands for mastery of craft, hard work, study, and dedication. The Fool stands for openness, risk-taking, humor, adventurousness, and just a little recklessness. The Tower stands for upheaval, destruction, the inspiration you get in times of trouble, the catalysts that shake things up, and the ongoing process of un-learning. Could that be any more perfect? I think not.