Back in August, Shaheen Miro interviewed me about Tarot. Here is that interview:
Shaheen: Hello, Janet. To begin,
you’re a bit of a Tarot know-it-all, so what got you hooked on Tarot?
Janet: No mysterious,
elaborate stories I’m afraid: quit simply, I felt to learn the Tarot about 12
years ago. Most of it has been trial-and-error self-taught
experience…especially figuring out how to mesh my natural psychic ability with
Shaheen: Have you explored any other
divination art forms with the same tenacity as Tarot? Or are you a one-system
type of lady?
Janet: I've explored
several divinatory practices, but none is as versatile as Tarot. In fact, my
use of the cards is mostly NON-divinatory. I’m naturally psychic, so I have the
whole claircognizant and clairvoyance thing going on. I don’t need Tarot for
divination, but, apparently, I need it as the medium for most of my current
Shaheen: You’ve contributed so much
to the Tarot community, and I am always interested to know, how has Tarot
enriched your life (personally and professionally)?
Janet: It’s provided an
interesting playground for trying new things with the cards. I love how the
cards allow for “mashups” with other disciplines. Of course, without the Tarot
framework, my husband and I wouldn’t have our Snowland Deck…and this has been a
very rewarding creative opportunity for us both.
Shaheen: At one point you declared to
never write about Tarot again and you’ve mentioned many times that you have
been black-balled from different Tarot related forums and outlets. So what made
you give Tarot a second (or third or fourth or fifth :-P) chance?
Janet: There’s so much
NOT being done with Tarot. The field begs for innovation and, sadly, hardly any
are willing (or able) to answer the call. I can’t leave it alone because
there’s more work for me to do within the field. It’s like an unfinished
sentence: how can you walk away from something so incomplete, especially when
you’re holding the words that will cause it to make sense or change the meaning
Shaheen: So tell us why you felt
there was a need to write about reversed meanings in the Tarot in your book Tarot in Reverse?
Janet: Actually, it was
my editor’s idea. I was on the phone with Dinah from Schiffer Books and she had
just performed a Tarot reading…and asked how I’d interpret the cards that came
up reversed. So I interpreted her reading for her. She exclaimed “Someone
should write a down-and-dirty guide to Tarot—Tarot in Reverse!” I told
her that I had just finished teaching an audio course on the topic and my notes
were right next to me…and that I could easily write such a book. She told me to
hurry up and write a proposal. So I got off the phone and did. It was accepted
by the publisher and within a few weeks, I had a book contract.
Shaheen: What will we find in Tarot
In Reverse that we can’t find anywhere else?
Janet: Most books on Tarot contain the same irrelevant, ho-hum, dry esotericism. That’s not
how I “do” Tarot, so my book provides modern anecdotes showing how each reversed card plays out in real life (especially via pop culture), as well as
dozens of unusual, accurate meanings for reversals. Oh, and 1,560 affirmations
(20 for each card).
Shaheen: Do you think that reversed
Tarot reading is for beginners? Or is it an added, but not necessary, layer to
reading the cards?
Janet: If someone is completely
new to Tarot and hasn’t been tainted by the good cards/bad cards BS—or the
belief that a reversed card indicates the opposite of the upright meaning—they
could absolutely learn about the Light/Shadow Continuum (that I talk about in
Tarot in Reverse)…which makes understanding and interpreting reversals pretty
easy. However, if they’re new but indoctrinated—it may be best to ease into
reversals only after truly absorbing the energy and import of each card.
Shaheen: What did you struggle with
while writing this book?
Janet: Time! My editor
loved what I had written so much, she asked the publisher if Tarot in
Reverse could be made into a full-color, glossy book. This gave me almost
double the word count that was originally allotted to me. Thrilled to go beyond
just a comprehensive listing of reversed meanings, I then decided to add modern
anecdotes for each card to further illuminate and cement how reversed cards
“look” and manifest in the real world, as well as 20 affirmations for each
card, a quote that encapsulated its energy and advice. So what was intended to
be a 20,000 word book was expanded to around 43,000 words…but with the same
I was also dealing with personal attacks, stalking and harassment from several
online Tarot talking heads at the time. It was utterly insane. After I wrote Tarot
in Reverse, I was so fed up at what they were doing behind the
scenes—defamation, insinuation, baiting, stalking—that I wrote a short story to
vent my feelings.
Shaheen: With a creative mind like
yours you have to surprise yourself sometimes! What were some of your “ah-ha”
moments while writing Tarot In Reverse?
Janet: Thank you, you
are too kind. :o) Gosh, it was almost a year ago since I finished the
manuscript…so I don’t remember! More than anything, I think I was surprised
that no one had written a book like this before. But, then again, not much new
is being doing with the Tarot in a fresh, innovative, contemporary, bold way,
Shaheen: I really loved the long list
of affirmations you included in this book. What inspired that? Are affirmations
something that you use frequently?
Janet: I feel that if
any endeavor or tool doesn’t expand perspectives, foster growth, encourage
self-examination or promote personal responsibility—then it’s not worth much at
all. It’s just a form of mental masturbation or a way to avoid taking charge of
your life. Affirmations were my way of helping the reader integrate the energy
of each card or serve as a form of closure for dealing with it.
Shaheen: I’m interested to know, when
you personally conduct a reading, how do you piece together information from
the cards? I know you do “intuitive” readings, but explain a little bit about
how the Tarot factor into the process.
Janet: I feel that if
you want a specific answer from the cards, then you need to ask specific
questions. I encourage my clients to tell me what is bothering them and ask me
direct questions. When they are unable, I create the questions FOR them. I
create custom spreads for every client; I don’t rely on any pre-made formats.
Why would I ask of a card the silly, vague question “What crowns this client?”
when I could ask “What is going on with his mental attitude?” or “How can she
attain mental clarity?”.
Shaheen: I know you’re a total
badass, but do you ever get stumped? I know there has to be more than a few
readers who have had a “WWJBD” moment lol! How do you pull it together in those
Janet: I’m more stumped
by the stupidity and groupthink I see among online Tarot groups, to be honest!
Seriously, though, sometimes the cards refuse to be specific—and that’s because
the situation is in the hands of another, it’s being worked out or the energy
hasn’t yet solidified in order to “read” the likely trajectory. You can’t get a
fix on something that has yet to be set in motion by actions and decisions, for
Shaheen: Janet, Tarot In Reverse is
an amazing book and you can see all your hard work shining through. I’m happy
to see that you haven’t give up Tarot yet and I hope that people see the
treasure that you have created! It is sure to be a classic. Do you have any
last words of sage advice?
Janet: Why thank you,
Shaheen! I’m thrilled that you appreciate my Tarot work. My advice on the Tarot
is that here is no wrong way to read, create, understand or use the cards. For
life in general, the most brilliant person I had the pleasure of knowing once
told me “Trust Self first, last and only”. Works for me.
Shaheen: Thanks again, Janet. It’s
so great to speak with you. I’m anticipating what you’ll do next... Tarot and
Janet: My pleasure, Dear One.
Shaheen Miro is an intuitive reader, Reiki practitioner, fashion design student, artist and writer. Contact: 937.213.3426 / firstname.lastname@example.org / shaheenmiroinsgihts.com