The Magic of Tarot by Sasha Graham

In her forthcoming book, The Magic of Tarot, Sasha gifts us with her unique and magical way of approaching tarot and life. She has done some beautiful work mining the wisdom of fairy tales and showing us how to adapt it to our tarot practice. Enjoy this teaser which gives you the first bit of fairy tale wisdom. You’ll have to read the book to get the whole story.

Fairy Tale and Tarot Equation

Darkness/Anxiety + Enchantment = Transformation

Fairy Tales and Tarot have an extraordinary common elements between them. You probably grew up with a slew of favorite fairy tales capturing and fascinated your imagination. Understanding the commonality between the fairy tale and tarot will help you understand how both forms of storytelling play an important role in understanding the world and ourselves.

The formula of each device is the same. A fairy tale always begins with extreme darkness and anxiety. Cinderella is abused by her wicked stepmother. Hansel and Gretel are starving in the forest. These poor, wretched creatures encounter a form of enchantment. Cinderella meets her fairy godmother. Hansel and Gretel encounter a wicked witch. This enchantment and magic leads to a transformation for the characters. Cinderella meets her Prince. Hansel and Gretel outwit the witch and become rich beyond their wildest dreams.

People often come to tarot out of a sense of dread or confusion. “Will my lover return?” “Will the judge rule in my favor?” “If I quit my job will I find a better one?” Tarot card readers are seldom visited by clients whose lives are moving along beautifully. There is usually a source of pain, confusion, or oppression bringing them to a reader just like characters at the onset of a fairy tale.

Tarot and/or the tarot reader is the source of magic and/or enchantment. Tarot is a magical device and symbol in its own right. The energy and magic stems from the reader, but the cards themselves are intensely magical symbols. You have the reading and discover the key to transformation.

Fairy Tales and Tarot Contain Unique Beginnings and Endings. Upon hearing “Once Upon a Time …” every cell in your body knows you have entered a specific type of story. You unfold, relax and fall into the lull that only fairy tales will offer you. You can always count on a familiar ending in a fairy tale as the characters are said to “Live Happily Every After,” or with some variant of this theme.

Tarot readings come with their own unique beginnings and endings. They often commence with the lighting of candles and an intimate setting of atmosphere. Prayers and mantras are whispered, questions are asked, the deck is shuffled. The reading becomes a sacred space. Readings end with the final question, one last card, and one never leaves a reading until clarity has been attained. You leave the cards with a specific directive and sense of hope.

I like to begin a tarot reading by …


Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...