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Interview with Ruune

Interview with Ruune

Today on the blog I’m having a chat with Ruune! I’m a huge fan of supporting other artists, especially when it ties in with tarot! Ruune is a brilliant musician and witch, I discovered that they use a vintage Gameboy as an instrument as well… can we say, awesome! I hope you guys find great inspiration in this interview, I know it for sure lit up my creativity!


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Artwork credited to Lucian Stephenson – check out their amazing art (http://www.mrlucian.com)

Can you tell us about yourself?

Sure! I am currently working as a receptionist and part time manager at a hair salon in a cluster of college towns where the forest meets the countryside of Western Massachusetts. Over the past year I turned thirty, got married, settled down, and discovered a deeper love of different kinds of intentional witchcraft after a decade living a somewhat chaotic life as a touring musician and nomadic poet. The home aspect of spirituality helps fill the void that traveling mysticism leaves behind, so it is very nice to be stable!

You mentioned your music is inspired by tarot, how do you merge the two?

For years while I was touring I was so down the rabbit-hole of being a suffering artist that most of my songs and poems were about being a suffering artist, or songs about bands I loved or bands I hated. When I “retired from the life” I got really heavily into my spirituality and divination systems like runes and tarot, and started using them as a focus for writing songs about things that I actually needed to get out of my system, or trauma I needed to investigate and process, or just subject matters that are actually more important to me now. Every song I write is either the end result of a reading, a ritual, or a prayer.

What is your creative process like?

The order that I do things in is pretty random, but there are usually a few different “phases” I go through before ending up at a song. Usually the initial idea from a song comes from a witchy experience (or general ritual) that I set up for someone else or myself. This can be a tarot or rune reading, a ritual, a curse, a blessing, a banishing, scrying, pretty much anything that creates a feeling of “epiphany”. Epiphany is a really interesting notion, because I think a lot of people want it to mean something they didn’t know before that suddenly becomes clear to them: for me it means something that I actually already knew and had a good understanding of, but the “Epiphany” feeling is from your body shifting to actually put that idea into practice. Like finally hitting the nail on the head after a lot of swings and misses. Once I get that epiphany feeling I will take the words (usually exact words I wrote in a tarot journal or the like) and start to sing little melodies to myself until something sounds catchy or awesome.

Once I have a hook (which is usually the repeatable “chorus” of the song, or even a memorable intro or part of the verse), I put some notes or chords to it using a guitar or a piano, and use those arrangements to twist around words until I can get the right vocal melodies to make something that sticks pretty well, or till I get something that is just plain fun to sing. Sometimes the chords themselves will be decided by which tarot cards got drawn during a session: I have a personal system that decides which frequencies the different major and minor arcana vibrate to, that is an amalgamation of a few different things I have read.

Once I have “the song” written, the next step always feels kind of silly to talk about in public: my main instrument right now is an old fashion gameboy, like the big bulky grey one. I have a hacked game cartridge that I got (look up something called LSDJ, or Little Sound DJ) that allows me to use code to access what I assume is the midi music player inside the hand held gaming console, and write music with it. When I do this, it is for sure a ritual for me, even if I don’t always do some kind of high magick ceremony for it. I was pretty young at the time, but I grew up on the chaos magick forums of the late 90’s with a lot of people talking about technology and spirituality together, sigils and computers, it was really fascinating for a pre-teen with access to the internet who watched too much anime! But when I write a song on the gameboy as an instrument, I am taking the intent of the song and using the interface of the small, handheld computer like a way to program reality, or hack into the 1s and 0s of the world. When I do it I visualize a few things in the air, they interact with the trees, its a super hodgepodge mess, but its all part of the process. At the end, I have a glitched out pop song! Usually to top things off I will use the intent and a debriefing card pull to create a sigil and use it as album art or something. The project is very multi-media oriented.

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Are there any bands or artists that inspire your music?

I came up playing out within three sub cultures for the most part: there is the emo boyband kind of pop punk thing that is popular among lots of middle class suburban kids, and then there is folk-punk, which is kind of the traveling social justice oriented version of that. I grew up in and around Worcester, which is a somewhat depressed broken down (but wonderful) mill city in the center of the state, and usually ended up on bills with a lot of my rap and hip hop friends. During a lot of that time, and the ten years of touring, I did not listen to very much music because I did not have a computer, and was a broke performer so I had the choice between buying food or buying a CD player, so I always went with survival.

But recently, especially since I have started to question gender stuff (and figured out that I am a non-binary genderqueer person who uses they pronouns instead of he pronouns for anyone wondering!) I have started to actually listen to music and take a lot of inspiration from the artists who’s work I have come into contact with being a “dude” in the “rock scene” you can sometimes be bred into this condescending attitude towards pop music as a shallow, meaningless thing, but now I can see that a lot of it is women singing about being super powerful and I think that is amazing. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Robyn are three of the more mainstream oriented songwriters I am really inspired by right now, but also stuff like Bjork and Amanda Palmer have had a huge effect on me even before I was super paying attention to what they were doing. All of these artists influence more than just my sound (maybe they do not even influence my sound, since I don’t really sound like them) but more the way their vision affects everything around their music, from the way they sing, to the way they present themselves to the singing, to the art that surrounds them. I love exploring new music and genres to get involved in, but a big part of both my music life AND my witchy life is paying attention to cultural appropriation, and to the space I take up as a white person in any activity I take part in. Some things I am not entitled to, and that is okay!

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If you could choose any tarot card to represent your music, what card would you pick?

I think it would actually be a two card spread between The Tower and Temperance. Most of my songs are very much about being angry, about having no compassion, and about destroying and disconnecting from parts of my old life. Taking that kind of energy and putting it aside into a small device that I can send off into the aether allows me to in my actual life attain feelings of calm and peace, having lots and lots of compassion for others (even folks I hate or fear!) and build parts of my life that make me feel safe.

Do you ever want to put out your own deck?

I actually have already made my own deck! When I was getting into tarot, I was super confused by it all, and also wanted something a bit less gendered to learn on. The Elder Futhark has always sat real well with me, so I took some poker cards and painted the runes on as the major arcana, and kept the suits as the minor. This helped me to get a grip on doing readings and becoming more “connected” with myself and the divine. I picked up a more traditional tarot deck so that I could have a tool people were more familiar with (and since discovering that the Rider Waite was actually not designed by the Golden Dawn, but a super rad 1800’s/probably queer/stage hand/feminist-punk/actress!) but am in the process of illustrating my own version of a tarot/elder futhark deck which will probably take me years to finish but the journey is totally worth it! You can track its progress on my website as “The Deck of Narrative Architecture“!

Where can others find you and your work?

Everything I do, including links to my tarot deck in progress, music, all social media outlets that I can emotionally handle, and divination services (if you are into that sort of thing, which if someone is reading this blog, I assume they are!) can be found at www.ruune.net!

I have a newsletter you can sign up for, and I send out monthly free audio pieces that involve a tarot reading over soundscapes I designed. Hope to hear from folks and thanks for featuring me on your site!

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Interview with Jes Gore – Shades of Magick Tarot

Interview with Jes Gore – Shades of Magick Tarot

I’m so glad to have Jes Gore on the blog today! I pre-ordered her deck, the Shades of Magick Tarot, last month and when it arrived I was blown away by it’s beauty. It shuffles like a dream and looks gorgeous in a spread, we all like a good looking spread, right?! Enjoy this short interview with the artist and creator of this awesome deck!

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Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Jess and I am a full-time self-employed artist from Pennsylvania. I love to do all types of art whether it’s photography, drawing, painting, sculpting, and beyond. I am also studying aromatherapy!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get a lot of my inspiration from things in nature. I love bones and crystals and just random things you can find in the woods. I also tend to get inspired by anything space related and I am a big fan of all things fantasy so sometimes that will play a part in whatever it is I’m creating. Movies like Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Neverending Story are usually always on in the background while I work. I also like to keep a lot of reference books in my craft room full of photos of animals and I also have quite a lot of books on Egyptology which inspire me a lot. The Sun card was a result of a book I have on ancient Egypt. When I thought of the sun I immediately thought of Ra, the Egyptian sun god, and from there I ended up doing a beetle on the sun because when I think of Egypt I think of beetles so it was fun to find ways to connect certain things to figure out what I would draw for a specific card. Like with The World card I thought of the word atlas which resulted in drawing an Atlas Moth.

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Why did you decide to create this deck?

I am a very ambitious person and I have a never ending list of things that I want to do and one of those things was to create a tarot deck because I just thought it would be a fun thing to do and a great way to connect with people through my artwork. I guess I just felt like this was the right time to make it happen so I just started doodling one day and came up with the design for The Moon card and then it went from there.

Out of the whole deck, what was your favorite card to create and why?

It’s really difficult for me to pick but I would have to say The Magician card. I had a lot of fun figuring out what I wanted to do for it and I started thinking of what the most magical animal to me is and for me it is the owl so I enjoyed drawing the owl skeleton and putting all of the extra things into that card and figuring out how it would all lay out. It also resulted in watching a lot of cute owl videos which was fun. I did also enjoy doing all of the wand cards though because for those I dumped out hundreds of quartz points onto the table and got to look at them all and figure out which ones I wanted to draw!

What’s next? Any new projects brewing?

Quite a few. Lately I’ve been working on getting my YouTube channel started so I plan to do a lot with that but I am also working on an oracle deck so hopefully that can be done next year! Would really like to do a coloring book as well but we shall see about that!

Where can we find you?

Instagram (my Elenari shop) ~ elenarimagic
Instagram (Myself) ~ mothmagick
Chatting with Gretchen from Willows East

Chatting with Gretchen from Willows East

When I discovered Gretchen and her amazing journal, I had to invite her on the blog to chat more about it! She is the brilliant mind behind the Willows East Intuitive Journal. You can use this journal for tarot, lenormand, oracle, you name it! She accepted my invitation to join me on the blog, I hope you all enjoy this little interview and pick up your own copy of the journal!

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Can you tell us about yourself?

I’m a 33-year-old Tarot and Lenormand reader from Vermont, offering intuitive coaching and journaling sessions. I’m also a wife, mom, and Senior Editor by day. I have my Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design, have previously worked as a Senior Designer, and continue to do freelance web design as I can! I love creative and intuitive anything, and I really enjoy bringing the Vermont countryside and atmosphere into my work.

Where did you get your inspiration from to create a journal?

I was inspired by both the vintage style of Victorian journals and the modern-day planner and happiness journals. I wanted to create a Tarot Journal for the reader on the go!

Why did you decide to create a journal?

I am a longtime fan of art journaling, old-school diary keeping, and documenting. When I started my Tarot journey, I knew I wanted a quick, easy way to document daily draws, daily inspiration, and to record any validations or observations – to challenge my intuition. I couldn’t find anything like that on the market, so I created my own!

Out of the whole journal, what is your favorite section or pages?

Since the journal doesn’t have dates, you can start at any time and use it however you like. So the Weekly/Daily Draw page quickly became my favorite, but more so after I saw how other readers used it. Though the circles for each day were originally intended for a Tarot symbol or Lenormand/Oracle card number, I saw other journalers using them to note the weather, a moon phase, an emotion, or a color. It made me see the journal in an entirely new light and inspired future projects!

What’s next, any new projects brewing?

I’m working on a Willows East Self-Discovery journal. I’m still in the early planning stages, but think: Wreck This Journal meets Meditation Journal meets Tarot/Lenormand Journal. Once I finish the self-discovery journal, I want to focus my energy on creating more downloadable and printable journal pages that can be added to any notebook or journal.

Where can we find you?

Website: www.willowseast.com
Study Group/Blog: www.willowseast.com/studygroup
Etsy: http://gretchintuitive.etsy.com
Instagram: @willowseast
Facebook: /willowseast

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Interview with Cait Zellers

Interview with Cait Zellers

There have been so many amazing decks coming out and The Mayhem Tarot popped up on my radar while searching on Etsy. I didn’t even give it a second thought and ordered it right away. The artsist and creator of this deck is the amazingly talented, Cait Zellers! Most have seen her witches print around social media, along with her zines, stickers, and Tumblr. I can’t wait to see what else she does, her artwork is definitely awesome!

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Can you tell us about yourself?

My name’s Cait, and i’m an illustrator and comic artist. I live in Austin, Texas with my three terrible cats that I love more than any sane person should love an animal. I have a degree in Studio Art from the University of Texas, and now I’m self publishing comics, as well as making other fun things like prints, pins, and tarot decks! My current projects include my webcomic Hey Chikita Hey! and a sci-fi comic called The Elizabeth Pill.

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

Oh man, all over the place. I love Austin for a lot of reasons, but the people watching and the art scene are definitely in the top five; there’s always a show that I can pop into and get inspired by. I’m also an avid reader of books and comics, especially sci-fi and fantasy, so a lot of inspiration comes from there as well. Music is always a huge inspiration source too- Spotify is always my buddy when I’m working on a project. Lately I’ve been digging on Strange Trails by Lord Huron and Evelyn Evelyn.

Why did you decide to create this deck?

This deck actually started out as a project in college- someone had gifted me the Edward Gorey Fantod Pack and I had kind of become obsessed with Oracle decks. I wanted to take some of my favorite symbols and myths and turn them into an original oracle deck. The first seven decks I made were actually composed of cards that were individual hand-pulled lithographs. But, that is time consuming and expensive, so when I came back to the project last year, I decided to re-create the deck digitally.

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Out of the whole deck, which was your favorite card to create and why?

Oh man, that’s a tough question! It’s probably a tie between the Krolik and the Witch cards- the Krolik card actually came directly out of my nightmares, and I was pretty happy that I was able to translate it so well. The Witch card is the card that I want to embody the most, so it was a lot of fun to create.

What’s next, any new projects brewing?

I would love to do a full tarot deck soon! It’s a big project, but I’m hoping to have it done in 2017. I’m also working on a new original comic called Mayhem! which I’ll be debuting in September.

Where can others find you?

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @CaityMayhem
I also have my decks listed on my Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MissMayhemStudios

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Interview with Allison Garcia

Interview with Allison Garcia

When I saw Allison Garcia’s Kickstarter, I just had to back this deck! I’m a sucker for hand drawn decks… especially black and white decks. Allison’s deck, the Blindperson Illustrated Custom Tarot, is on Kickstarter and you can help her reach her goal and back this deck, it’s amazing!!

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

As far as imagery goes, I find my inspiration in specific types of animals. Certain animals hold such symbolism and metaphor in storytelling and I’ve always been amazed at how the image of a certain animal can change the mood of a work of art entirely. I am specifically drawn to Wolves/Coyotes, Tigers, Rabbits and Rats for this particular deck I am creating. I feel like each beast represents something important for each respective suit that its been assigned. In terms of symbolism and design of my cards, I look directly to the Rider Waite Tarot deck for inspiration and meaning.

Why did you decide to create this deck?

At the beginning of this year I sort of made a promise to myself that I would draw every day. I wanted to use Instagram as a platform to share this journey, and as the months went by, I eventually felt like I needed prompts some days when I didn’t know what to draw. I started illustrating astrology sign symbols featuring mermaids and when that project was done, a friend on Instagram suggested that I try my hand at a tarot deck. I started without knowing how far I would get or whether I would complete both major and minor arcana, and now I’m at the point where I wish I had more to draw because the project was so enjoyable.

Out of the whole deck, what was or is your favorite card to create and why?

I would have to say the Sun card is my favorite. I like the symbolism of the canine and feline intertwined and surrounded by sunflowers and a sun. Its bright, cheery and feels like summer and childhood all at once.

What’s next, any new projects brewing?

For my next project, I’m thinking about doing a series of Mexican Loteria (or bingo) cards. I know I will have to transition into color for those! Im excited for something new.


You can my art daily at instagram.com/blindperson 
My kickstarter link:
If I manage to surpass my goal of $1000, I plan on creating custom tuck boxes for each deck of cards.

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Interview with Holly Simple Tarot

Interview with Holly Simple Tarot

If you haven’t seen this deck coming out, you must! Holly Simple has created a truly gnarly deck and it’s available for pre-order right now. The deck is named the Holly Simple Tarot and there is a companion book that goes along with the deck as well!

Holly has been super generous and is offering a 15% discount on your deck preorder with a coupon code below with details at the end of this post!

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

I have always sketched my emotions from a young age. That form of escape grew into illustrating the stories inside my head into comics, zines and animations. My illustrations are dark and full of raw realness but I like to add a glimmer of hope and playfulness by using color to balance the visual. Living in Brooklyn, NY I am inspired daily by my surroundings; be it from the weird outfits on park slope parents who have no idea how their colors perfectly clash, the ever-changing walls of street graffiti, or by the simple candy and toy machines that I see on every corner.

Why did you decide to create this gnarly tarot deck?

The idea to create my own deck came to me after having my first reading about a year ago. I work in Soho, NY for an amazing textile and lighting designer. In her showroom she hosts weekly tarot readings, thats where it happened! I immediately connected with the deck and the energy surrounding us. This reading also happened at a time where my spirituality was becoming more fine tuned. So, the magic happened naturally. I was like “I HAVE TO DO THIS!” The extensive research and sketching was so much fun and an integral part of why this deck is so special and unique to my style. So much so, that I created my own guidebook using all of my gathered info and drawings :)

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Out of the whole deck, what was your favorite card to create and why?

My absolute most most most favorite card is my WHEEL OF FORTUNE.

The design of this card came from the symbol of change (a triangle in mathematics) and the symbol of eternity, wholeness and all cyclical movement (circle) hence visually depicting that change is the only constant. These symbols are the simplest and a visual reminder to keep things simple and trust in the the universe.

(Trigger Alert!) This is such a special card to me! While home for Thanksgiving this past winter I did impromptu mini readings for my family members. the last to go was my father because he feared the cards were fortune tellers. After convincing him that the tarot is a tool that brings awareness and awakening we began our mini reading. I drew the wheel of fortune card for his future card. I was in the midst of finalizing artwork for the deck so I had all of my research sketchbooks with me. I have such a beautiful, vivid memory of him curiously asking to see my personal notes and drawings on this card’s design. My father passed away super suddenly and tragically 4 days later.

In a way the meaning of this card has helped me find acceptance in his passing as I truly trust in the universe’s plan. I also believe that no matter what I am taken care of. This trust in destiny has allowed me to grieve in a less painful way. It is why I chose this image to represent my deck during my Kickstarter campaign, and why it is my favorite card <3 my father’s energy has been with me this entire journey and continues to carry me :)unnamed2
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What’s next, any new projects brewing? What about an oracle deck?

Thank you for asking! I am ALWAYS up to something… I find it a fun challenge to balance my comics, fine jewelry, and tarot projects but it is so important to me to keep these 3 balls in the air at all times as they are all SO special and sacred to me.

I have a many ideas brewing around an oracle deck and other exclusive variations of the Holly Simple Deck. I am also in the midst of using my tarot illustrations to create textiles, fabrics, and wall hangings. So stay tuned! Currently, I am creating some really special pieces to work in tandem with my deck. I have designed a few adorable brass incense burners and tiny dishes. COMING SOON!

Another very special ongoing project I am working on is a “penpal collaboration” between me and my best friend (Meghan Turbitt) who now lives in Philly. We have been mailing sketchbooks back and forth in which we are collaging, sketching, and coloring until we deem fit (you can find some behind-the-scenes pics under the hashtag #mailroommoms!) New comics are always popping up too – they can be found on my site which is full of all of my hilarious highbrow, lowbrow designs :)

Find Holly on INSTAGRAM:
follow my creative journey -> @holly_simple
follow my tarot and spiritual story -> @hollysimpletarot

 

Use code: TAROTSEEDBAES in the shop for 15% (expires Sunday, August 7th at midnight!)

PREORDER THE DECK -> www.hollysimplestudio.com

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