Every Picture Tells A Story: An Interview with Aliza Einhorn

Aliza Einhorn is a recent find. I was over at Patheos a few weeks ago when I saw an ad for one of her astrology posts there. At the end of the post, Aliza had a short text plugging her latest on-line tarot workshop on how to create your own tarot deck, which is being developed in collaboration with the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW). For those of you who don't know what SAW is, SAW is a school for cartooning, comic art and graphic novels that started its activity in 2012. But more that just a school devoted to teaching the art of making comics, they're invested in bringing more people to comics and guiding people on how to communicate through images. Which is, basically, what we all do with tarot cards. Watching comic book people discovering the tarot is always a joy. Tom Hart, both a comic book professional and the director of SAW and has just posted his reaction over at the SAW's newsletter and it's great.

This is why, when I learned of Aliza's course, I was all over the place and immediately contacted her for a short interview. After all, comics and tarot are two of my major passions. Capital M, capital A, capital J, capital O, capital R. And I will take every chance I have to bring them on. This time, I have invited a tarot reader / astrologer / poet. Which, as you probably know, is a great combination to have together. She will talk through images and words and will spin those into a charm just for you. With her new course, she proposes to bring some of that magic forth and show you how magic is just another word for art.

So, without any further delay, here's Aliza Einhorn, about tarot and comics.

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1) How did your collaboration with Tom Hart and SAW, the Sequential Artists Workshop, come about?

Synchronicity! I was messaging with my friend, illustrator and cartoonist Leela Corman (who is married to Hart) and was saying how I'd like to do another local Tarot workshop for SAW students. I had already done one, a few months before. Literally a second later, Tom asked her if she thought I might be interested in teaching in the on-line SAW school. It felt like it was meant to be.

I've been teaching Tarot and Astrology classes on line for years, on my own. This was the first time I’d ever done anything local and also my first collaboration. Astrology lovers reading this know that Jupiter is in Libra and I have had all kinds of new partnerships spring up during this transit.

2) What is the class about? Who is it for?

I like to say that the class is for everyone! Artists, writers, those who want to create their own decks, Tarot lovers, Tarot curious.
It’s also for folks who simply want to get more in touch with their creativity, or feel blocked, using the Tarot as our template. It’s different than anything I’ve done before, more structured with weekly videos and writing and drawing assignments, and a private forum to talk about it all.

3) How can comics benefit Tarot readers?

Exposure to any art form will benefit Tarot readers because art, good art, moves us on a deep level, just as the Tarot does. This makes us more sensitive humans and thus better able to read the cards with compassion and truth and help people.
For me, comics are like holding a movie in my hands. It’s an immediate, raw experience. Happens so fast and so deeply. The best comics, for me, are like arrows to the heart and I can’t put the book or the comic down. It’s the feeling of not wanting to take the arrows out.

4) You said that reading comics is a raw immediate experience. How would you define a tarot reading?

I really love this question! Although Tarot reading, for me, is art and magic, ultimately I want clear answers, whether I'm drawing for clients or for myself. I want clarity. I want the road ahead. And I want to know what is most likely to happen. I'm in pursuit of truth, more than mystery. And if mystery comes, then I wait, and seek the truth again. So to answer the question of "how would I define a Tarot reading?" a Tarot reading is daily life. Just like I brush my teeth, drink coffee, eat food, work, etc., I draw the cards. For me, the spiritual is practical. And yet I often say to people: I don't know why it works, just that it does. I know a lot of Tarot readers who shy away from prediction. I run towards it!

5) What do you think is the most important aspect when creating a deck?

Courage. To be yourself and to tell your story. Your own imagination is key. This is a theme that runs through the class, but also it’s important to have some knowledge of Tarot history and tradition. You don’t need to be a Tarot scholar, but I think one should know some of the history they’re stepping into.
Still, the most important aspect is YOU and to discover your personal vision, what you want to say, show, within the Tarot context. Every new deck is a conversation with the decks that came before.
There may be folks in the class who decide to NOT make a Tarot deck at all and instead create some other Oracle or head off in a different direction. Folks who do want to create their Tarot deck though will have ample opportunity to explore and experiment and sketch out their ideas with plenty of support. I’ve just started creating mine and class hasn’t even started yet! I got inspired just from the process of putting together the class.
But in order to be yourself and to tell your story and to go deep in that, it helps to be fearless, vulnerable, and allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to draw (or write) how you feel. That’s the hard part, that letting go, but that’s what will cause you to create something unique and authentic and beautiful.

 

Every Picture Tells a Story, Aliza Einhorn's Tarot Deck Creation Class starts September the 5th. For more information on how to sign on and a freebie, do please go the SAW website, here. For more Aliza goodness, you can check her personal website MoonPlutoAstrology and her Patheos column.

 

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Tarot for Troubled Times: An Online Workshop With Theresa Reed and Shaheen Miro

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Today I’m featuring two tarot professionals I’ve been following for years and have learned a lot from. Theresa Reed (The Tarot Lady) and Shaheen Miro (Insights) are smart, empathetic, ethical, intuitive, committed professionals, and they are teaming up for a two-part online workshop in August.

In honor of the very last day of their early bird sign-up special (It’s June 30! Hurry!), here is an interview with both of them. They have much to teach and share with our community. Enjoy!

Theresa and Shaheen, tell us how you first “met” (in quotes because I figure it was probably online?) and what drew you to each other as professionals?

Theresa: I met Shaheen online and liked him immediately. I’m very conscious of energy, both online and off. Shaheen had an aura of kindness and compassion that I was instantly drawn to. I was lucky enough to meet him in person last year when I was on the book tour for The Tarot Coloring Book. He’s the same in person as he is online: genuine and oozing with kindness. My kinda people!

Shaheen: Theresa and I met online a few years back. And then we met in-person during her book tour last year. I instantly felt a soul connection with her and knew we were meant to work together. I really admire Theresa’s candid approach and her immense integrity with what she does. She is an inspiring teacher, mentor and friend. There is no one else like her!

In your workshop, you each bring different experiences and skills to the table. How do your different styles and talents complement each other?

Theresa: My style is practical, straightforward. I’m also hyper-organized, which helps for running a classroom! I’ve also been doing my work for over 25 years so I bring a lot of life and professional experience forward. I’ve worked with clients from every walk of life and that’s my strength. This has made me versatile as a reader but compassionate. When you’ve been around as long as I have, you develop a better understanding of how humans tick – and what they might need from tarot. As a woman, I’ve also experienced plenty of oppression in my life, which is why I’m a feminist. I know what it’s like to be held back, to be marginalized. But I am also aware of my privilege as a white cis-gendered female and have been looking for ways to be a better ally. I feel that I learn so much from Shaheen in that regard. In our time of working together, I feel like he has taught me how to show up better.

Shaheen: I grew up in a very open and diverse environment. My mother began teaching me Tarot as a child, and it has become a second language. This has allowed me to stay connected to my intuition and creative imagination. And, to cultivate my strength and move through the world more fluidly. As a gay man with a father from the Middle East I see how harsh the world can be, and yet, I have learned that our perspective and our willingness to go out into the world authentically is key to making lasting change. I wholeheartedly believe we are powerful beings meant to express ourselves and thrive. This takes extreme courage, commitment and self-compassion to express ourselves and trust our inner power.  When I work with people it is always from that awareness. Theresa has such a powerful way of holding space for people and really grasping what is happening in the world. Collaborating together on Tarot for Troubled Times felt right and necessary. Our approaches blend beautifully!

All different eras in time have their challenges and leave people feeling fearful. So what inspired you both to offer “Tarot for Troubled Times” in this particular moment?

Theresa: I’ve always had clients coming to me during election years with various fears or worries. This year, that has been elevated. Many people are fearing for big, real reasons such as health care or deportation of loved ones. I’ve been doing a lot of work helping to reassure people or to help them find solace or direction. After talking with Shaheen, I thought perhaps a class might be a way to give people tools to work with – tools that might be able to help them feel empowered. It’s a time of great uncertainty but also great promise. I hope that through this work, we can help show people the way to access the positive part and become agents of change.

Shaheen: We are in a time of great shadow work. The collective consciousness is coming unraveled and revealing all the unloved, unacknowledged parts that have pulsed under the surface for years. Troubled Times are not new, but our awareness is! People are stepping into their power more and more, and asking how they can be more authentic and on-purpose. The change and uncertainty we feel is so much bigger than just the day-to-day mundane things in our lives. The tone of my one-on-one work is less about the future, and more about the right now, and how that creates the future. Which is always how I’ve approached my work. Now people on the other side of the table are getting it too! More and more I feel people need to know how to show up for themselves, and for the world. This feels the right time to share this information. People are asking the questions… so why not have the conversation!

Would either or both of you like to tell us a little bit about your own work with the “shadow side” of yourselves, or in general, and how the process of diving into your own fears and deep “stuff” has brought about positive changes in your lives?

Theresa: My biggest fear is being trapped. It’s the Devil card! I always need to feel that I have a way out or I tend to get claustrophobic. When I was younger, this led to me being a bit of a commitment phobe. Which means I wasn’t always a reliable partner. That need to be free often came at a price tag for relationships. Learning how to stay put, choose healthy relationships, and set boundaries so that I feel safe has been a major shadow lesson and one that I’m still working on.

Shaheen: I am a very curious person. I always want to know more and discover ways to honor and express myself more fully. So shadow work has been a big part of my life. Checking in with myself to see where I’m flowing and where I’m resisting is something I do often. Showing up in the world as brave and authentic as possible is number one for me. Delving into the shadow shows me how I am holding back and giving away my power. Standing in the dark has given me the courage to shine my light… even when I feel weak, uncertain or battling the dreaded “imposter syndrome.”

How is tarot particularly well-suited to this type of work?

Theresa: Tarot is ideal for reflection. By looking at the images, we can ask ourselves questions about how we feel, what’s coming up, and what courses of action might be the best for us. Tarot helps with awareness. It’s a tool for conscious living. And during scary times, that’s powerful stuff. Because every decision you make can influence your destiny. Taking time with a tool like tarot helps you to bring awareness to how you’re operating in the world and hopefully, it can encourage you to find a path that is compassionate, non-violent, and positive.

Shaheen: Tarot is about storytelling. When you hold space with the cards you begin opening doors to your inner world, and what lies beyond the threshold is so powerful and important. I always remind people that we are all telling an energetic story. This energetic story is the accumulation of your thoughts, ideas, beliefs and feelings about the world, and how it responds to you. By accessing the wisdom of the cards you begin seeing the narrative of your energetic story to shine awareness into the shadows. You will never show up in the world in all your power and grace without showing up for yourself first. Many people want to thrive in their lives, and add something to the world. By showing them what power lies within, they begin taking it into the world and doing the work that they are meant to do! Which is the whole premise of Tarot for Troubled Times.

About Shaheen Miro

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Shaheen is an Intuitive Consultant helping people to reclaim their lives through intuition, energy work, and intention. He is a writer, teacher and creator. To learn more or book your session visit: ShaheenMiroInsights.com
Website: www.ShaheenMiroInsights.com
Twitter:twitter.com/ShaheenMiro
Phone: 937.213.3426

About Theresa Reed

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Theresa Reed (aka “The Tarot Lady”) has been a full-time Tarot card reader for close to 30 years. She is the author of The Tarot Coloring Book, an illustrated tour through the world of Tarot with coloring sheets for every card in the deck. You can connect with her or book a reading at: www.thetarotlady.com
Website: http://www.thetarotlady.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/thetarotlady
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thetarotlady
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/thetarotlady