Everybody needs role-models, someone to look up to in your industry, or perhaps someone whose work you really admire. I personally love combing through the Internet to discover tarot blogs and online journals. It is very inspiring for me to see what other readers are up to, and how they present their personal worlds of tarot reading.
I can't remember how long ago I stumbled upon Whimsically-Intuitive, but it was love from the moment I saw the delicate and elegant photos evoking a fairy forest tale. Her evocative photos are to die for! I love it when bloggers create a fantasy world for you to retreat to through their photographs. It's almost as if stepping through a portal into a world of magic.
Chan from Whimsically-Intuitive is a tarot reader from the Netherlands who offers very reasonably priced readings with a theme, and with strong intent. Her tarot shop is called Whimsical Woods. She also collects tarot and oracle decks, which gives her blog variety and allows for many people to resonate with. She is very knowledgeable about tarot titles and oracles to pair them with. Her wishlist is amazing!
INTERVIEW WITH CHAN FROM WHIMSICALLY-INTUITIVE:
01. What got you started with tarot?
Honestly? This story goes way back. I grew up in a very open environment. My mother was very much into spirituality and studied Wicca when I was around ten to eleven years old. Naturally a Rider-Waite Smith deck showed up at the house and as the curious little kid I was, I played around with that deck a lot. Honestly, at that time I didn't learn much from it and didn't really bother to do so either. It was just this magical little thing that me and my friends loved to play around with. It gave us a sense of wonder.. and let's not lie about it: A few good scares too! We took everything way too literal. Death card, anyone?
With age, I kind of lost touch with the deck and didn't touch the cards anymore but it somehow did always stay with me. It's like the draw towards Tarot never really left. It only took a really long break. Then a few years ago, one of my friends had taken up Tarot. She did readings for me a lot. That's when I got that feeling back and slowly but surely, I went hunting the internet for my own deck.
02. What would you advise to someone just starting out reading cards?
Just keep going and keep practicing. Tarot knows many ups and downs but don't let it hold you back. There will be days where you don't feel like reaching for your deck. There will be burn-outs and breaks. You can get drained and you will get it wrong sometime. It's all part of the journey, so don't let it discourage you. Don't expect to be a pro right away. These things take time and it's important to not forget that Tarot is something you never stop studying on and learning from. Just keep on going. The rest will come in time.
Another thing that I, personally, find important is to really go with a deck that you feel connected to. Don't just get the Rider-Waite Smith because it's traditional. If you can't connect with it or don't feel a bond at all, it can discourage you so much. Go hunt that perfect deck down! Get drawn to the images. There's so many out there. Live it up!
03. Which decks do you find yourself reaching out for the most?
I have quite a lot of decks right now. It's impossible to stick with just one but I will always have a soft spot for my Joie de Vivre deck and Paulina Tarot by Paulina Cassidy. I started my journey with these two and I feel like these decks and I have this mutual understanding. I still find myself reaching for them the most because I know I can rely on them to do a great job and give me an accurate result. Plus, the artwork is something I can really enjoy.
04. In a reading, how do you approach the cards? How do you translate what they are saying?
That truly depends on what kind of reading I am doing. When I use a spread, I usually connect and tie the dots to the corresponding question for that position. At the end, you can really view the bigger picture that way and create a story. However, sometimes you just don't feel like using a spread at all and just pull the cards. When I go about that, I look at what suit comes up most, what kind of cards, what was the initial question and how do these cards combine together.
It's truly a matter of sensing the vibes they give off and recognizing them. I also find it very important to have information about the issue or question at hand. When you read for yourself you already have that but when you're reading for someone else, the quality of a reading can change so much depending on the querents will to share with you and trust you. Like I said, it really depends on all kinds of factors when approaching the cards.
05. How do you get around particularly difficult cards?
I don't think there really are difficult cards. I feel like it mostly depends on the time you perceive one to be difficult. Sometimes a card will pop up and you'll have no clue how it even applies to what you asked or it'll completely leave you blank. That's what makes a card difficult to me and that changes constantly. Usually when this happens, I leave it alone for awhile. Note them down or keep them on stand to refer to later. You never know when you get that aha-moment. It's also good to spend time with that particular card and try to keep your eye out to what kind of significance it has in your life that moment. Though, that is something I mostly do for daily draws should a blank happen. When it's a full-blown reading, I check the surrounding cards and take note of where the connection to the difficult one lies. Usually that does the trick and gives me clarity on how to continue.
06. What is your idea of THE ONE deck?
I am tempted to say that such a thing doesn't exist! But if I had to pick something, I guess it would be more based on the looks of the deck and not so much symbolism, though it would still follow the RWS system. But nothing gets my intuition working like whimsical imagery. I guess it would be a mix of Tim Burton meets Alice meets Whimsical in an adult-twisted way. I wouldn't just want sweetness in those cards. I would want it to seem sweet but with a dark undertone where they are supposed to be or required to be. I know there are a few decks that come close to this but not quite hit the mark on what my "one" deck would be. Maybe someday I'll have the riches to get one designed! A girl can dream, right?
07. Do you practice any other forms of divination?
Not yet! I do have a few Lenormand decks and I am planning on learning that system sometime in the future. Not right now though, I am still very much hung up on Tarot. I used to work a bit with the pendulum but that never really stayed with me. I think it was too much of the same to really keep grasping my attention. There are some other forms of divination that do really interest me (scrying, bibliomancy etc). Those are something I'll save for when I feel a draw to it. For now, those are just interests.
08. Do you have any advice for readers who plan to or are just now opening reading stores?
One of that hardest things for me was actually opening up the store. I kept waiting for the right time and constantly told myself that that moment would come but it didn't. Truth is that when you're nervous or feel a little scared, a great timing won't be there and won't show up. Sometimes you just got to take that leap of faith, push all your insecurities aside and do the best you can do. Especially if you know, deep in your heart, that you can do it and that you are ready. To be fair though, I had great friends that really did give me that nudge forward. I feel that when you are in the business of Tarot and doing readings, this issue gets a little tougher too. It's not an everyday service and essentially, no one ever stops learning what's in those cards. This can make the process of taking that next big step so much harder than it has to be. So my advice would be to anyone that has been thinking about opening a store or just started out is to not doubt yourself. Do your thing and place trust upon your skills.
09. Out of the services you offer, which one do you feel most speaks about you and shows your creative voice?
I don't think I offer more than most readers honestly! I offer my own spreads and also some of the more known ones. I feel I don't differ much in that from others. However, when it comes to what my readings include, I always do my best to make it a great quality with high quality photographs in a setting that fit the reading that was purchased. A sort of scenery. I take high value in not only giving the clients/querents a great reading but also one that is easy on the eyes. To me, presentation is just as important as the reading itself.
10. Shout out to your friends or sources you admire.
I really want to mention Queen of Chalices and Arcane Mysteries. These two lovely people have really been a source of inspiration, aspiration and goals for me. I've never shared much of my journey in Tarot outside of Tumblr and these two have always encouraged me and supported me in everything I do from the very beginning. Not to mention that they are both amazing readers as well.
Queen of Chalices is very involved in the community and making sure everyone feels welcome and gets noticed. Arcane Mysteries is really a wonderful source for beginner readers and advanced readers alike. From spreads, to tips and tricks, cleansings, superstitions and whatnots. It's all there. If you are planning on joining Tumblr, are on Tumblr or just want a great new place to hop onto every once in a while — Definitely check them out.
There's another person that I do also feel deserves to get known more and that is a another good friend of mine: Nightkunoichi on Tumblr. I really do admire her determination on her journey in the tarot and how much she experiments on that road. It's fun to see and it is definitely inspiring on my own path. Sometimes it's easy to forget that you may mix and match things up and try out new things. I do believe she brings this special urge up in me! So please, definitely do visit her blog.
But honestly, I've build so many friendships along the way. I've found so many great blogs and people I admire that this list could go on forever. I appreciate everyone actually!
Thank you Chan for taking the time to grace us with your thoughts!
If you would like to book a reading with Chan, go to her shop Whimsical Woods.
Please respect Chan's work. Don't use or reproduce any of these images without crediting her for it. While these images are already watermarked, it is important to respect the creative visions of artists you admire.
— Mónica Laura on Monday, August 31, 2015