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Hey! I'm Carrie: tarot reader, mentor & ponderer of life lessons.

I am here to encourage you to live deeply, ask the right questions, navigate inner turmoil, and align with your creative bad-assery. This happens through private tarot readings, one-on-one mentoring and my weekly blog posts.

I write about tarot, creativity and self-discovery every Tuesday on the blog. There's exclusive content in my free newsletter as well, so sign up via the form to the right.

If you wanna get in touch, reach out to You can also hang out with me on Instagram for tarot wisdom and the occasional cat picture!

Cheers to the journey,

Bluntly demanding Emperors

September 27th, 2016


Every tarot card taps into a potent aspect of the human psyche, but trump four the Emperor is one of the cards that evokes the most polarizing reactions. People have strong opinions on this card, and the impressions of each deck’s creator is imprinted upon the deck. The “true” meaning of the Emperor is, as all cards are, vast. The Emperor is an archetype, personal but also mythical, transcending the individual consciousness and inhabiting the realm of the collective.

I’ve been thinking about the Emperor in particular because of the stark difference in two decks I work with: the Japaridze Tarot, in which trump four is titled War; and the Gaian Tarot, which renames trump four the Builder. Wow, right? That’s about as much contrast as possible for viewing this card.

Which of these paints a more useful picture, do you think? Which of these is more aligned with the “true” meaning of the card? Which of these is closer to your interpretation of the card? Answering these questions for yourself is a really useful way to develop your own relationship with trump four.

As I’ve been thinking about this for myself, I’ve been revisiting the concept that each card has what Arthur Rosengarten calls a “spectrum of meaning.” I see each card as inhabiting a living, dynamic energetic space. This space contains the shadowy aspects of the card, and it also contains the lighter aspects. These aspects all bleed together and they come to the surface of our awareness in different ways depending on the circumstances at work in the exact moment we plug into the card. Intuition is a huge part of this process, and this is why I don’t think any card can have a “definitive” meaning. There are shared understandings of the card that inhabit this energetic space, but they are always processed through our personal understandings.

Let’s look at each of the aforementioned decks more closely. The Japaridze Tarot calls the card War, a title that takes a clear dive into the shadowy aspects of the card. Remember that when we talk about shadowy aspects this doesn’t strictly mean negative aspects. Shadow is a term to refer to things that are hidden, more difficult to access, unconscious or repressed. These are elements that do dwell in the previously described spectrum of meaning: destruction, brute force, imposing of order, staking ones own claim as ruler regardless of how this impacts others.

It’s understandable to be taken aback when you see this card titled War and depicting a scene of destruction. This card does not leave much room to explore a vast spectrum of meanings. Instead, it guides us directly into the more difficult energies of the Emperor. But I have to give the Japaridze tarot credit for not shying away from the shadow sides of Emperor energy. Tarot is a tool that challenges us to consider things from new perspectives, to wade straight into our own fears. When you look at the War card, you have nowhere to hide, no rose colored glasses to don: you are face to face with the shadow of the Emperor, and you can learn a lot here.

The Gaian Tarot takes another non-traditional approach, titling trump four the Builder. The title alone is enough to convey the lighter sides of the Emperor. As another reminder, light does not mean positive. Light aspects are those that are more readily apparent, consciously assimilated and optimistically focused. The Builder shows trump four’s potential for creating stability, ideal fathering, working towards a clearly defined outcome and stewardship of one’s territory.

I’d guess most of us will be more comfortable with the Builder than War. It is empowering to identify the highest and best channeling of a card’s energy. This is how we find inspiration and motivation through our readings. The Gaian Tarot’s depiction hints that although the Emperor does have the capability of destruction (the hammer he holds), he chooses to use this tool carefully and productively. The Builder leaves some room for exploration of the shadowy sides of the card, but not much. This deck decidedly leads us towards the light, but the light may not always be the full story.

What are your reactions to these two cards? My key takeaway is that it’s important for a tarot reader to give some consideration to the personal biases at work in each deck. Of course, every deck was created by a human, and every deck will have sort of slant – that’s okay. Cards that tap into the spectrum of meaning in a more neutral way are generally preferable for me – I like to have the space to consider for myself if a more shadowy or light interpretation is required.

But in working with these two decks, I’ve also been considering how much we can learn about ourselves when we’re confronted with cards that take a firm stance. It’s more comfortable for us to stay somewhere in the safe middle ground, but there is value in a card that bluntly demands us to face a definitive end of the spectrum.

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Dynamic life energy, the lessons don’t stop

September 20th, 2016

I used to think I’d eventually finish all my life lessons. Then I’d be a kind of enlightened being just cruising through life! But now, I’ve realized that day probably won’t come – and that’s totally okay. More thoughts in this video:



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Beams of light: a few reader recommendations

September 13th, 2016

I read my own cards all the time. Pretty much every day, as a matter of fact! But sometimes I’m way too emotionally entrenched in a situation to read for myself. In those times, I turn to the talented population of our tarot community. There are SO MANY amazing tarot readers out there and it makes my heart happy. I’ve worked with a few amazing readers lately, and I want to tell you a little about them today.

Vickie Wilson

A few months ago, I found myself constantly dreaming about an old friend. It felt cosmically significant, but I couldn’t see for myself why that was. And so I turned to Vickie, and received an in-depth, articulate, and to the point reading.

Vickie incorporated astrology and tarot, with astonishing results. My mouth was literally hanging open as I read certain parts – she described my friendship with this person SO accurately, it was like she knew us!

It was also really useful for me to get a reading from Vickie because her style was direct – no fluff, no fancy frills – just straight up wisdom. She’s wonderful at giving tough love! There were a few things in the reading that I know I NEEDED to hear, but I didn’t necessarily WANT to hear them at the time, haha! Vickie was always kind and empathetic, but still told it like it was. I really admire that approach.

You can book a reading with Vickie here.

Kelly-Ann Maddox

If you follow my blog or Instagram regularly, you might remember that I went through some pretty intense inner turmoil last month. I could sense I needed guidance, and so I turned to Kelly-Ann for a reading to help me work with that Tower energy.

I received a video reading, and it was truly a treat. If you’ve seen her YouTube videos, you know the magic Kelly-Ann weaves with cards and words. I was enchanted throughout the entire video, and you bet your bum I took a lot of notes!

The most poignant thing about the reading was the way Kelly-Ann tapped into so many nuances of my situation. She helped turn my attention to aspects of my life that I wasn’t consciously aware I needed to look at. The reading helped me flip some mental switches and gave me lots of tangible advice to work with.

You can book a reading with Kelly-Ann here.

Dana Machacek

This reading came along due completely to the powers of synchronicity and the delightful workings of the universe – and I’m sure glad it did. I’ve been following Dana for a while on Instagram, and she sure is a beam of light. She’s very positive (high vibe as the cool kids say) but still thoughtful and real.

This was a unique reading in that Dana did not use cards. Instead, she intuitively tuned into my energy. It was a new experience for me – I’d never had a reading that was so utterly intuitive. I went into it with an open mind, and I was quite pleased with what I received.

The most powerful thing about my reading with Dana is that she tapped in to many issues that had been lingering in my unconscious mind for some time, but I hadn’t been ready to address them. Dana firmly but gently brought those energies to the surface, putting words to what had been stewing within me. It felt like a sigh of relief hearing someone else describe my thoughts and feelings – it gave my experiences validation, and I didn’t know how much I needed that until I had it.

You can book a reading with Dana here.

Honorable mention: Jessi Huntenburg

If you aren’t familiar with Siobhan’s monthly tarotscopes, you should absolutely check them out. Each month on her site, Siobhan brings together twelve tarot readers to contribute a tarotscope for each of the zodiac signs. I always enjoy reading them – Siobhan certainly has a knack for bringing talented people together.

I’m a Cancer, and when I clicked over to read my ‘scope for Leo season I had to do a double take. The reading, contributed by Jessi Huntenburg, was soooo applicable to me that I think my exact words were “holy fucking shit.” Seriously, I can’t even describe the levels of meaning I derived from this short but potent AF message Jessi delivered. That’s why I’ve listed her as an honorable mention – technically I didn’t get a “personal” reading from her, but I sure as hell feel like I did!

You can book a reading with Jessi here.

Have you had a reading from anyone particularly incredible lately? If so, leave me a comment and tell me about it. I’m always happy to find amazing tarot people.

Book a private reading with me here.

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