So one of the things that I really do love about the web is how it has allowed me to connect to people that I would not have encountered otherwise and Beth Owl’s Daughter falls into that category. I LOVE her! We have been in some of the same social circles because we are both tarot readers but we really hit it off when I wrote an article about the Sylvia Brown episode and Beth graciously posted it at her very popular blog. From then on I knew I had found a kindred spirit in Beth Owl’s Daughter-even though we live far apart, and even though our busy schedules do not allow us to connect that often, we wave to each other through social media and I know that she stands with several other gifted intuitive as an example of what our field can be if we are willing to work with honesty and integrity!
In her own words:
For over four decades, Beth Owl’s Daughter has been a mystic, seer, and spiritual guide in the non-ordinary realms. A trained Priestess and intuitive, she devotes her life to sharing her gifts with thousands of clients worldwide. Her lifelong passion has been working with the Tarot, an art she has been practicing since 1972.
* a master level Tarotist. She is a member of several organizations that promote and set guidelines for ethical Tarot practice.
* an internationally respected reader, teacher, writer, and leader in the professional Tarot community. She has published hundreds of articles, reviews, and columns about the Tarot both in print and online. She has been featured in many radio interviews and podcasts and her blog and newsletter have received numerous awards.
* a former officer on the Board of Directors for Cherry Hill Seminary, the world’s first and only graduate-level educational institution for Pagan clergy.
* the founder and organizer of one of the world’s largest, oldest, and most successful Tarot social groups (the Triangle Tarot and Friends Meetup).
Beth Owl’s Daughter is also an ordained interdenominational minister, an Usui Reiki healer, and she practices the Craft with deep roots in the Reclaiming and Faery traditions. She lives in a little cottage in the woods of northern Durham County, NC with her husband John, their cat, and countless spirit allies.
These days, having completed her second Saturn return, she is deepening her magical practice, and doing more teaching and writing.
So, everyone probably asks you about your name, and I was reading about your name on your site. One of the features pointed out about owls is that they form a “Link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light” and I LOVE this idea. How does this resonate with your own work–do you form a link yourself, do you illuminate links that are already there?
Oh, what a fun, insightful question! Thank you!
What this means to me is also expressed beautifully by the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, when he said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Mainly, I think I am a seer of patterns, which is why I love the Tarot since it is a symbolic pattern language. With Tarot, and my other ways of knowing, I can see how patterns of behavior, thought, and habits act like engines in the subterranean realms in our consciousness. They can drive unhappy choices, self-sabotage, and other distortions that bring suffering. Until they are recognized, they can seem like forces beyond our control or even understanding.
I do feel that at times, I am just helping show what is already there. Other times, I experience that healing and transformation move through me coming straight from Mystery. So I guess the answer to your question is I am honored to do both.
Your tagline is: practical wisdom for an extraordinary living–can you talk a little bit about how arts like tarot reading and magic can lead to practical wisdom?
I don’t know if I can talk a little about this. I can, however, talk on, and on, and on about it!
But attempting to be brief, I think that Tarot has gotten a bad rap as being only for gullible cloud cuckoo-land woo-woos. While I do use the cards in mystical and esoteric ways, I also see Tarot as an instant, intimate kind of personal Google.
The Tarot can be an instant, truth-telling tool any time you need help on your creative projects, understanding relationships, working through life passages when you need support for healing – just about anything. It can especially help us get clarity and perspective when making choices, even in the most everyday situations.
For instance, I love to consult the cards when I am writing and get stuck.
The first time I tried this was about thirty years ago. I was writing a short story and couldn’t decide which way the plot ought to go. I got the bright idea of doing a reading to ask.
Surprise! I got everything I needed and more! The court cards told me about the dynamics of the characters in ways I had not considered; a couple of Major Arcana cards revealed huge insights about their motivations, and the pips offered a much better story arc than the one I’d planned.
Looking back, it seems so obvious, but at the time, it was jaw-dropping to me. Since then, of course, my fabulous Tarot colleague, Corrine Kenner, has written the ultimate book about using the Tarot as a writer’s tool, Tarot for Writers.
After that epiphany, I began exploring the most mundane questions about my work projects, vacation plans, and so on. I don’t recommend becoming dependent on the Tarot for every single decision in your life, but I also think that we have only just begun to discover the many pragmatic ways it can help us live on a bigger, more empowered and joyful level.
You are a tarot reader like myself — what is one thing about the work of tarot reading you wish more people understood or were exposed to?
Please don’t ask me to tell you what will happen. “Will he ask me to marry him?” “Will I get the job?” “Will, my house sell? And when?” “How soon before my daughter moves out?”
These are typical questions and I absolutely do understand our very human desire to wish we knew all the answers in advance. But that is not how the Tarot works because that is not how life works.
Tarot tells the truth. And the truth is, there is not some immutable destination called “the future,” that we are all just passively riding towards. This is not a movie and we are not following a preordained script.
Yes, there are some readers who offer predictive readings, but even they will remind you (if they are ethical readers, that is), nothing is carved in stone – your free will to choose is always an option.
Other than our mortality, we can change just about anything. I just can’t buy that we are stuck on some conveyor belt of time heading into one fated event after another.
So my approach is to encourage questions that bring us clarity and understanding about the underlying relationships, perspectives, assumptions, and choices that are currently at work in our lives. The better we can see those, the better we can anticipate and shape the experiences that we actually want.
The closest thing to any correct answer about what will happen is another question: “What do you want to have happened?”
Knowing and naming your heart’s desire is true north and the Tarot is a compass.
Tell me about the Tarot Boutiques–they sound amazing!
Oh, Bri – they really are! We are having so much fun with these!
As you may know, I have been teaching introductory Tarot classes for many years and also leading our Raleigh-Durham Meetup, where we’ve had lots of study programs taught by myself and our other members.
But I have wanted to offer something more advanced, intimate, and even experimental. My home is the ideal place because it has a very peaceful, magical vibe that I love to share.
Since January, once a month, I have been facilitating tiny “boutique” workshops that appeal to the “discerning Tarot connoisseur.” Each workshop is designed to focus on one specialty topic that can add sparkle to your personal or professional practice.
We have played dress-up, embodying the Tarot Soul Cards; we have gone on guided meditations; we have investigated how to create spreads and how to ask questions, and much more. And all with tasty snacks, lol!
Upcoming classes include working with Valerie Sim’s “Comp Tarot” method of comparing answers from different decks; creating and using a Tarot journal to boost your knowledge; Tarot as Muse (for writers, yes, but all kinds of creative pursuits); the use of herbal magic in association with the Tarot; and a mini-series about going pro.
Really, the possibilities are infinite, especially with my participants also adding their suggestions. One afternoon a month, geeking out on Tarot in a kaleidoscope of ways – what could be better?
If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?
I believe we are living in a time when it is crucial for every one of us to find our gifts and get involved. We no longer have the luxury of playing small or hiding out behind our petty dramas. Find your vast underground pool of courage and step up!
Each person reading this has powerful intuitive wisdom and has the ability to make vastly important changes in a world that is in desperate need. Those changes may look small, but we never know which small action will be the tipping point that makes all the difference in the end.
Whether it is the Tarot, or runes, or healing, or simply cultivating more enlightenment and love – now is the time we were born for. Keep asking questions, dare to peek behind the curtain of consensual reality. You are so much more powerful than you might have thought, and our world is far more mysterious, aware, and divine than we’ve been led to believe.