Do you yearn to discover your own power? Trust your intuition? Find compassion and inspiration in your days and nights? Be in the fullness of who you are meant to be? You may be surprised to learn that Tarot can assist in all these ways, and more.
For the Tarot-curious, we asked Linzi Silverman, a Brooklyn-based intuitive healer, artist, and creator, how working with Tarot can support our higher callings, and where a beginner might start.
Wander: Why are we so often blocked to what we truly want and need, those things we seek “behind the veil”?
Linzi: CAPITALISM! Haha just kidding, but not really. We live in systems that want us to follow certain roles and guidelines. There are so many expectations in modern society, that we aren’t often allowed the space to be with ourselves. You are your greatest power, and there are a lot of places that don’t want you to know that truth.
We are sold ideas for how we should be, or the best way to be, and that doesn’t work for everyone. We have been told that magic isn’t real because it’s intangible, therefore hard to prove, and therefore hard to trust. Connecting to the hidden world, the one behind the veil, to the magic that is all around, is a gift we all have access to.
It will often feel more like a remembering than a learning, but we all create a relationship with it in a unique way. So it’s hard when you are trying to figure out your authentic path, and you put yourself in comparison with others and wonder why it’s not working. Or you aren’t ready to do ego work, which is often just shadow work, being in the wholeness of ourselves, the darkness and light.
Some people are afraid of what is behind the veil, what is in that shadow, and are worried that what they experience won’t be what they actually want or it will be too much for them to handle, but I assure you, spirit only offers you what you are ready for.
If you are feeling blocked, try to get down to the root of the block, what can you change in your life to move through it? The only thing you can control is yourself, and that power is scary, but when you are ready to be guided down that quantum rabbit hole where all possibilities await, don’t judge the things that come up as you do.
You are a human with a spectrum of emotions. Don’t let fear or shame stop you from connecting to the support and power of the universe. Behind the curtain, answers and inspiration await. Welcome the Unknown!
How does working with Tarot support our inner wisdom, or connecting with our highest selves?
Tarot offers us a space for introspection, awareness, healing, action, and direction. Tarot is a guiding post that offers us understanding, both an understanding of yourself, as well as the world we are living in, both seen and hidden. The cards are a moment of reflection, meditation, without judgement, but rather exploration.
Each card is an opportunity for a new perspective, to think of something both bigger outside of ourselves, as well as that internal voice. Tarot is a point of focus for our intuition. It is not that the cards inherently hold answers, but when we feel confused with the ways we are receiving information, the four corners of that paper can be the place where you suddenly connect to clarity.
The world moves quickly sometimes, the cards act as that static island where we can rest and be with ourselves and our intuition.
Where would you recommend a beginner to Tarot start?
Get yourself a deck that comes with a guidebook. The most traditional, well-known deck is the Rider-Waite-Smith, so a lot of people like to start there, but you don’t need to. Find a deck that resonates with you.
If you are new to Tarot, I’d recommend sitting with each of the cards in order, and going through their story and referencing the guidebook to give yourself a general sense of meanings. From there, pull cards, allowing intuition to inform, and you can check it against the guidebook.
I am big into NOT memorizing card meanings because they can offer different things every time you pull, so don’t get bogged down if you are struggling with that. This practice is more about cultivating trust in yourself and the energy of the cards. I love to think of the system of Tarot as a story, the meaning of each card as a layer upon the previous one, all experiences accumulated. Take time to look at imagery, symbols, colours and directions to see what the card is telling you.
How should one go about choosing a deck?
Listen to your intuition, that inner voice, your gut. Every deck offers a unique perspective and story and you may not connect with all of them, and that’s OK. Look for art that intrigues you, maybe it’s a certain theme that seems to speak to you on a deeper level. If you aren’t sure how your intuition works just yet, allow yourself to freely, in person, hover your hand over a deck and notice how your body feels.
You can do the same thing online, with a mouse or your gaze. Take a moment to see if you feel excited, does your heart flutter? Are your hands warm? Is there a surge down your legs towards the earth or does your head feel kind of light and tingly? Listen to those sensations. Take a deep breath and trust.
Once you work with a deck, you may realize it isn’t for you, but that doesn’t make it a bad choice. It’s helpful to bring you closer to one that is meant for you. I don’t believe Tarot should make you feel bad or scared. If a deck keeps giving you “bad” readings, it might not be your energy, it might be the cards. Try another deck and see what happens.
As a creator of Tarot decks, do you consciously focus on or invite in the creation process or does inspiration channel suddenly to you?
There is an affirmation I have taped to my computer “Intuition over Intention.” Whenever I create and try to say something very specific, it feels clunky and is less like the “butterflies/new crush” feeling I can get when working on a new piece. Especially with collage, it’s like a backwards puzzle, I’m looking for pieces that are all speaking to each other, but I don’t always know what they should be until they suddenly shout out “Here I am!”
I began working on The Intuitive Night Goddess Tarot as a way to actually discipline my practice. I felt I was always working on random things, and even though there is a thread through them, I never showed up trying to say something specific until after the piece was over and told me “This is what you were trying to say.” So working on the Tarot was a fun challenge, including a lot of the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith symbolism and translating them to this universe I was creating.
The deck came to me after meditating in a desert actually. I had been trying to make a deck for a few years and it never felt right. When I got back from that trip, the visions I saw of the art began to flow out of me and the cards were showing up in such beautiful and strong ways. It felt very much like psychic channelling.
There would be times I would sit down and say “Make art, Linzi” and nothing would come and I would have to walk away until it felt like a stream from above was flowing, and then the art would be created so easily. It’s why the deck took me so long to make. It was only worked on when it told me it was ready to be made, otherwise, I couldn’t force it.
How do your decks differ?
My deck differs from other decks in a few ways. If you are familiar with Tarot, I have changed several of the Major Arcana titles to new names. They still correlate and reference that original energy but I often felt like the Rider-Waite-Smith read darkly.
It would be like “Damn, you are just in this mess/hard time right now, that sucks,” and I found it unhelpful and didn’t like working with that deck. When I work with Tarot, I’m like “OK, yes, this thing is bad, but what kind of understanding or perspective can I offer myself to move through this or just be with it?”
So The Fool becomes Potential, because no one wants to feel like The Fool, but that isn’t what that card is about, it’s about possibility, the start of an adventure. The Tower became Revolution, because sometimes things need to burn to be rebuilt. I also changed the titles for the court cards in the Minor Arcana, from the traditional Page, Knight, Queen, King to Nymph, Warrior, Queen, Spirit.
This deck is not about gender, as much as the Divine Feminine within us all, and I didn’t like the hierarchy or patriarchy of the RWS. To me, the Tarot is about life cycles, birth, to death, to rebirth. Endings are beginnings.
I liked to think about the court cards as a smaller version, from the Nymph we are fresh and seeking to understand the world, the Warrior has lived experience and knows how to protect themselves and go after what they want. The Queen has maturity and confidence in her power, and the Spirit transcends the ego and brings us to a higher place of understanding.
Tell us about your story…how did you come to be an intuitive healer of body and energy?
As a little kid, I was always interested in witchcraft and occult modalities. I dressed up as the Wicked Witch for seven Halloweens and had a psychic medium for my 12th birthday party. After seeing Now & Then in my youth, I became enamoured with Tarot cards and began to study them as well as astrology.
In high school and college, I would do readings for friends in a casual way, but it was when I was working for People magazine of all places, that a coworker was like “Hey, come to this spirit circle my friend is hosting.” Upon meeting that woman, she told me I was a healer and to get to learning (she told me to figure it out over the next six months).
I had been going to this yoga studio that had a Reiki training and I was like, “I don’t know, maybe this is the thing?” I had gotten Reiki once when I was 13 and thought it was weird and didn’t understand it, but was open nonetheless. During the training, I had journaled on a lunch break “am I supposed to be doing this?” and when I came back, the teacher’s assistant flagged me down and said “I’ve been trying to talk to you. Spirit told me you are supposed to be doing this.”
That’s magic, makes believing so easy. Question asked, questioned answered. From there, I started taking more trainings. I did Shamanic Healing and more Reiki training. I became a Shamanic Reiki master. I mentored under the spirit circle woman for many months studying to be a psychic medium.
As I began understanding energy work and my practice, I felt called to understand the physical body as well. I had been getting bodywork done by the amazing Sarah Seely, and suddenly realized that Intuitive Thai bodywork was calling to me, so I did a level I & II training with her with a Yoga Teacher Training sandwiched in between.
For me, magic is about the ability to have a relationship with yourself, about starting with that most external self and working through to that internal self. I can be super woo-woo, but I know that’s not for everyone. I think magic and healing should be accessible, and language can be a big barrier around that. I wanted to be able to support the people coming to me in ways that were most comfortable for them.
Someone might not believe in magic, but when I’m giving them a super loving, deep, stretchy, bodywork session and I suddenly get information from the calf, or feel a relative when I massage their hand and convey that message, they believe it more readily and it may be an opening to the hidden and unknown down the road.
I currently am not holding sessions as I focus on deck making, but the intention with the cards is that it holds the same space I would if we were seeing each 1:1. I always told my clients, as a healer, I can’t heal them, I simply hold space for healing to happen. We are all our own healers, so what can you offer yourself? The deck holds the cross-section of so many of my passions and allows people that container for introspection.
Where did the name Eye of Astro come from?
The name Eye of Astro came after many months of trying to figure out what both encapsulates the energy and inspiration of my practice and products, but also what would make a good acronym because I love those.
My cat, Astro Baby, my familiar, came into my life the same weekend I did my first Reiki training (she was born in my backyard back in the fall of 2015) and it felt that she and healing magic were intertwined.
The idea of the eye, like a third eye, our intuition, is what helps connect us to the cosmos, to the universe, to that something greater than we are. And once that name came into my head, I couldn’t get it out, and it became the alias for the work I want to share with the world and something that felt good to say.
What does the term magic mean for you?
To me magic is everything. It is the air I breathe, the way the world moves around me and with me. It is my ability to have a connection with my senses and build trust with the messages and visuals I receive. For me, magic is meditation, like a conversation in my mind/heart/soul or an open vessel waiting to channel and filter meaning and understanding as I move through life.
Magic appears in synchronicity, in affirmation. I believe magic is a personal practice and there is no one way to engage with it. We are born into magic, and it is simply waiting to be discovered, remembered. There are no gatekeepers or wrong ways to have a relationship with magic, it’s about listening to what resonates most with you, where your heart leads, and knowing the world isn’t black or white, that there isn’t so much good or bad, but rather a spectrum we grow from.
Magic is always supporting me, even during my darkest times. It is a reminder that this is part of the human experience. Magic is what holds me and lets me know how I can apply action to allow myself both rest and manifestation. Magic always surprises me. I used to say to my clients after a session, “I don’t know how the magic works, but I like that it does.”
Linzi Silverman is an intuitive healer, artist, and creator based in the Catskills of New York. Through her business, Eye of Astro, she shares her gifts of deck making, energy work, and magic.
She believes that we all possess a power—and it is her aim to support us as we explore these parts of ourselves. She can be found connecting to her intuition, spending time in nature, cuddling with her cat, Astro, as well as cultivating art, movement, and mindfulness.
She has published one tarot deck, The Intuitive Night Goddess Tarot, with new decks like The Portent Tarot, The Intuitive Night Goddess Oracle, and many others on the way.
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