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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.

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Cheers to the journey,

My Joy Guidelines

August 30th, 2016

What causes my feelings? How can I best navigate these feelings? These are things I consider aaaaallllll the time. One thing I’ve realized is that the word happiness doesn’t quite jive with me. When I think about what happiness means, I associate it with positivity, with feeling good and upbeat. And frankly, I don’t even WANT to feel positive all the time. I strongly believe that the whole emotional spectrum is important and necessary.

I think what I’m seeking is joy. To me, joy is different than happiness. Joy is broader. When I think about what joy means, I associate it with being wholly engaged with life, with awareness and being courageously immersed with what is (even if the present moment is painful). That’s what I want.

But how do I experience joy? What theories and reminders help align me?

Gretchen Rubin presents the idea of developing your own list of personal “happiness commandments.” This becomes a guideline you can reference to live life in the way that is best for YOU. Mine are still a work in progress, but what I’ve come up with so far has been very useful to me! I’m calling them my JOY GUIDELINES rather than happiness commandments, just because that wording resonates more with me.

If this idea piques your curiosity, I’d definitely recommend writing your own! I’ll share what mine look like at this point. I could write an entire post on each of my guidelines, and I probably will, eventually. But for now, a brief explanation will do!


Carrie’s Joy Guidelines


Laugh all of your laughter, weep all of your tears.

This line from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran evokes a theme I found emerging in many of joy guidelines: joy and sorrow are inextricable. If I want to be fully expansive and radiating happiness, I need to be just as willing to be bowled over by sadness. I can’t protect myself from experiencing the darker, more difficult aspects of the human experience. When I try to reign in my laughter or stifle my tears, I rob myself of the true depths of life.

Be the King of Cups.

The King of Cups has become my tarot BFF lately. I used to relate most to the Queen or sometimes the Page of Cups, but recently I’m realizing that the King has many lessons to offer about how I might best show up in the world. He is emotionally intelligent, but he is also logical. He understands how to feel his feelings and use them constructively (instead of living in a dreamworld or falling to pieces). He values dreams and intuition, but also values tangible experience and scientific reasoning. He has a collected presence; he brings a stabilizing, healing energy to others. He does not judge. He does not cling to expectations. To me, he is a sage, a zen master; yet still humble and humorous. I want to be the Kind of Cups when I grow up!

Stand knee deep in the flow of life.

This quote from the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron speaks to me of mindful intention. I do not want to stand on the sidelines of life, I want to stand knee deep in the flow. I want to be fully immersed, aware of each decision and action that I make.

No lies, just love.

I have only one tattoo and it is these words, quoted from a Conor Oberst song. There are many levels of meaning here for me: the obvious being the importance of telling the truth. Lies drain energy, telling the truth is love. This line also reminds me to gently remove my masks, to shed anything within me that is a lie. Vulnerability is beautiful, living with an open-heart is painful as fuck sometimes…but it’s also love.

We’re all in this together.

I place a lot of importance on ME. My soul, my journey, my life, my emotions…I’m the center of the universe, right?! Sure, it’s important to honor myself; but it’s also important for me to remember that we are all one. We are all connected. We all have our struggles, our stories, our experiences. We’re all trying to navigate life. It’s important to be empathetic, it’s important to take care of each other, I am not alone.

These are beautiful times.

I struggle processing a lot of terrible things happening in the world today. Sometimes I get so swept up in all the horrific things going on that I forget to acknowledge that these times may be hard, but they are also beautiful. I took the line “these are beautiful times” from an Owl City song, the entirety of which speaks to me about struggling with darkness and finding the strength to live in the light.

There are ebbs, there are flows.

There are times I feel like I’ve lost the thread. Times when I feel uninspired, disconnected, apathetic. Gradually, I have learned that as unpleasant as these ebbs may be, they are a natural part of my life. Ebbs happen and that is okay. Just like the tides going in and out, the flow always comes back.

It’s meaningless, it’s meaningful.

I think paradoxes are an interesting approach to complicated topics. I used to gravitate back and forth between assigning tremendous meaning to EVERYTHING and then thinking everything was random and pointless. I’ve now found that taking more of a middle ground approach is better for me. When I accept that maybe something can be both meaningless AND meaningful, I feel closer to the truth.

Take the next right step.

This is a nugget of wisdom you’ve probably heard from me before if you’ve worked with me one on one. As many of us do, I can get caught up in telling myself I have to have a huge master plan before I take action. But this is rarely the case! Usually, it is better for me to focus on taking the next right step, even if it is a small step. Looking at the big picture is valuable from time to time, but I don’t get anywhere without breaking it down and taking the next step.

Give fucks wisely.

This is one of the most fucking powerful things on my whole fucking list. I got this idea from this article (hands down one of the best fucking things I’ve read on the internet). Not only do I enjoy liberal use of the word fuck, but I am a HUGE believer in giving fucks wisely. The fucks that I have to give are a limited resource. I want to give fucks about things that actually matter and not give fucks about meaningless bullshit. When I give my fucks wisely, I find a more powerful and potent way of living.

Go for a walk.

For me, walking is a spiritual practice. When I am sad, it is good to go for a walk. When I am happy, it is good to go for a walk. When I’m stuck, it is good to go for a walk. When I am a human living life on this planet, it is good to go for a walk.

Create for the sake of creating.

I’ve written about creating for the sake of creating before, and I probably will again. This is a vital concept for me. I need the space and permission to create just because. Not because I’m expecting money or praise or fame…but because I feel called to create. To have a truly joyful life, I have to let my creativity fill in all the corners of my experience simply because it feels good to do so.


If you come up with some Joy Guidelines of your own, I’d be curious to hear them. Do leave a comment and share.

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The healing process: pain is required

August 23rd, 2016

There’s a particular blip of the tarot’s major arcana that’s always fascinated me, the sequence of cards 15 through 17: The Devil, The Tower and The Star (shown here from the CBD Tarot De Marseille).

To me, these three cards illustrate the healing process. When I talk about healing here, I’m talking about spiritual and emotional healing. I’m talking about healing the traumas of our personal pasts, healing our addictions, healing the enslaving tendencies of our egos, healing the gap between our subconsciousness and our consciousness.

What associations do you have with the notion of healing? Maybe you associate healing with the concept of wholeness. Acceptance. Serenity. Peace. Recovery. Rejuvenation. I think these are the associations many of us jump to. And these things are part of the healing process…but the catch is, these things come in the final stage of the healing process, represented above by the Star.

We don’t talk as much about the things that happen earlier in the process, because they aren’t as desirable. But if you’re really devoted to healing, you’ll eventually have to accept that you can’t jump straight to the Star. First, you have to go through the pain represented by the Devil and the Tower.

Keep in mind that the healing process looks wildly different in each of its manifestations, but here are a few broad strokes outlines of the phases you might encounter.

The Healing Process Phase 1: The Devil

The onset of the healing process comes when you acknowledge that you are being weighed down by pain. You finally see that you are being imprisoned, and even if part of you wants to cling to that thing, part of you knows that you need to release.

The key point of this phase is learning to look directly at the problem. Instead of letting things remain vaguely unsettling notions, during the Devil phase of healing you begin to name your captor. You learn to look directly at what it is that is unwell within you.

This acknowledgement alone is a huge step. Before this point, you were a blind prisoner. Now, you have the conscious knowledge that healing is required. This doesn’t mean you’ll willing jump into healing work right away, but it does mean you’ve reclaimed the power to do so.

During this phase of the healing process, you usually feel a LOT of resistance. You’ll backslide on promises you make to yourself, you’ll relapse into your old patterns, you’ll rage with anger, you’ll blame others (and yourself), you might feel cynical or depressed. You might wonder what the POINT is of even attempting to heal. Sometimes we remain stuck in this phase for a long, long time.

But inevitably during this stage, you’ve gained a huge advantage: the willingness to look at your wounds, and the knowledge that simply acknowledging the pain makes you stronger. For the first time, you begin to realize that facing your pain will not kill you.

Phase 2: The Tower

During the Tower phase of healing, you are swept directly into the chaos of letting go. Sometimes this happens because you consciously chose to step into the storm, other times the Universe thrusts you in whether you’re ready or not.

This is an unsettling experience – you know you’ll no longer be the person you were before, but you can’t quite envision where you’ll end up. You may actually feel the physical sensations of being ungrounded, as though you were being flung about like the figures on the card.

Purging is one of the hallmarks of this phase in the healing process. You’ll spend time sorting through heaps of memories, old energy, blocks, and other painful stuff. At times, it will feel like too much to handle. You may do a lot of what Oprah calls “ugly crying.” You may also do a lot of laughing, too – because even though this phase is terrifying, it’s also exhilarating.

Perhaps most notably, this phase puts you in a direct experience of chaos. You will have to call back to the knowledge you first gleaned from the Devil, but may forget as healing continues: this pain will not kill you. Quite the opposite, going through this pain is the ONLY sustainable route to healing.

You’ll gradually gain a new understanding of who you are. Instead of defining yourself as a victim, you’ll find a new identity as a survivor. Instead of identifying yourself as flawed, you find that you are free.

Phase 3: The Star

The Star is the calm after the storm. This is the kind of inner peace that you can only fully appreciate when you’ve earned it. And earned it you have! You’ve learned to look at your demons. You’ve done the messy, treacherous, soul-jarring work of release. Now, you feel composed. You are at home within yourself.

Here, you step into a new way of being: you are healed. You gently learn how to sustain this state, because healing always requires checking in and maintenance, even once the intense inner work is done.

And then, of course, you may eventually be called once again to repeat the healing process. There will be deeper levels to excavate, there will be more corners to explore, there will be new vistas of chaos to embrace.

Yes, healing requires pain. And so you’ve got to ask yourself to choose:

Do you keep bearing the unconscious, soul-numbing pain that comes from refusing inner work? That’s no way to live.

Instead, let’s embrace the conscious, spiritually potent pain that is essential to the healing process.

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Kill your darlings, crush your castles (video)

August 16th, 2016

Hello friends,

Kill your darlings, crush your castles…it may sound like I’m asking you to burst into violent upheaval, but I’m not (at least not literally!).

What we’re talking about here is finding the gumption to kill your darlings when they are no longer in synch with the greater spectrum of your life. Because sometimes life asks you to make this difficult choice:

Should I stick with something I worked so hard towards creating, even if it now feels like a prison? Or should I find the courage to “kill my darlings,” should I destroy what I lovingly built in order to make space for something even better?

Let’s talk about that!



What do you think? Have you ever made the choice to kill your own darlings? What darlings do you need to kill now – and how can you find the courage to throw that first stone?

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