This interview is a part of the “7 Questions” series. I will be posing 7 questions to people within the tarot community; whether they are bloggers, authors, deck creators, or fellow readers (or sometimes, all of the above!).
Adoration and fawnage abound when I talk about the magnificent Sasha Graham. I first met Sasha at Readers Studio 2011, and while most attendees of RS have that whole “otherworldly” vibe about them (hey, we’re all tarot readers, after all!), I felt something different off of Sasha: a true sense of groundedness amidst all the psychic wavelengths. Each passing year when I attend RS, I am greeted by Sasha’s “MY WITCHES ARE HERE!” (I look forward to that more than you know, Sasha!)
In 2013, when I presented Using Tarot for Spell-Work at the evening classes at RS, Sasha was my TA which I took as a high honor. From her book, Tarot Diva, I knew that Sasha knew what she was talking about when it came to both tarot and magic, as well as integrating the two. In 365 Tarot Spreads, she only further solidified my understanding that she was authentically true as both a tarot reader and a magical person, and deeply respectful of both worlds (while still remaining bubbly and fun).
Today’s interview is the clincher: this lady knows her shit. I cannot WAIT for 365 Tarot Spells to be published, nor for Sasha to hit the stage as a Master Class presenter at Readers Studio 2016.
Sasha Graham and her tarot books, Tarot Diva, 365 Tarot Spreads and Tarot Fundamentals, have been featured in documentaries and media outlets such as Sirius XM Radio, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News and featured in the cover of Crain’s New York Business. Sasha appeared regularly as a guest on the WPIX Channel 11 Morning News, reading tarot on pop culture topics and celebrities.
Sasha can be found at www.sashagraham.com.
1) You are the editor of Tarot Fundamentals, and the author of Tarot Diva and 365 Tarot Spreads. What inspired you to write those books? What inspired you to write your newest book, 365 Tarot Spells?
The inspiration for all the books has to do with showing you how to literally get inside of tarot cards. How you can become active, play with the archetypes, explore, and invoke them. Allowing the cards to provoke you, push you to grow and lead you on the path of becoming yourself.
Tarot is very experiential. It is easy to get stuck in a rut. I love showing people all the ways they can work with Tarot. And I’ve had such lovely feedback from people who appreciated the new and fresh spin I’ve placed on something like tarot spreads. Makes me so happy!
My tarot practice had such an incredibly profound impact on my life, I wanted to share, show others, how to do the same thing.
And, to be frank, every spell, spread or question that I write or put forward, I am doing for myself as well as for the readers. There is a gorgeous circularity of creating magic for others and for my family.
The inspiration of 365 Spells became clear when I was at the end of editing 365 Spreads. I knew I had to write this book next. And I am so happy I did. Engaging with magic and archetype that hard (as I wrote the book) has a insanely profound impact on my life.
2) How do you incorporate magic into your everyday life? What advice would you give someone who is new to magic and tarot?
The first thing I do every morning is engage in an email gratitude practice with my sister. Living in a state or space of gratitude or just starting your day feeling grateful changes the tone, experience, and ultimately, the result of your entire day.
The second thing ~ I pull a daily tarot card.
I practice what I call “magical metaphors” all the time. For instance, this morning when I put on my mascara, I literally said to myself, “I am opening my eyes to new and wonderful possibilities.”
I do a whole lot of magical cleaning (I don’t like to clean so placing magical intention makes it fun). For example, when I do the dishes, I meditate on the fact that I am also washing my aura. If I am doing laundry in the basement, I focus on subconscious issues. What needs to arise? When I take a bath, I’ll stay in the tub while the water runs down the drain and allow any personal negativity to run down the pipes with the water.
I do a ton of magical cooking where I set intentions and connect the food I am preparing.
Believe it or not, I put a whole lot of magic into my exercise classes. If I am in an afro-fusion dance class and I’m sweeping my arms to the side, I imagine that I am clearing that space for new opportunity. If I am in a hip hop class and hitting it hard, I visualize something I want and dance toward it. If I am in a yoga class, I bring my guides in to help me maintain a pose.
I also connect to nature energy like crazy when I am up in the mountains. I actively engage with what’s around me. I’ll ask a willow tree what lesson it might share with me. I will allow my consciousness to merge with the carpenter bees who live on the front porch. I look for the repetitiveness of the universe in my backyard. I allow everything to become a teacher or my “Yoda.” We used to get a lot of bats stuck in the house. I knew it meant I had to focus on my fears and embrace my darkness. I did just that.
My advice to a person who is new to tarot and/or magic is to acknowledge how MAGICAL they already are!! People are so afraid of getting tarot and/or magic wrong. Everything a person will learn about spells/tarot reading/magical is already inside them. The joy of tarot and magic is figuring it out. Allowing yourself the space to discover it. Letting it rise to the surface.
- Let experience be your teacher and become your own guru. Magic and tarot belongs to no “expert.”
- Read far and wide. Communicate, talk and meditate with your magical ingredients. Don’t just take someone’s word that Lavender invokes peace. Find out for yourself!
- Practice, practice, practice and play with all of it as much as you can.
- Magic and/or tarot is every individual’s birthright.
3) Agree or disagree, and why?: Magic has an experiential component that cannot be taught in books.
Magic must be experienced. There is no other way. You can’t understand how you operate as a magical creature if you do not embrace magical acts and discover how you are fine tuned. Cause what works for me, might not work for you. And you won’t know until you try.
4) How do you receive psychic information?
My psychic information (defined as information coming into my head I could not have known otherwise and not to be confused with intuition) comes in the form of a little bubble pop in my head. I am especially sensitive to knowing a person is about to reach out via text or phone.
5) What spell have you cast that has taught you the most, and why?
Years ago, the very first tarot spell I cast from Janina Renee’s Tarot Spells. I sat down with some result in mind (money probably). Once I had the spell going and I sat inside the magical space, the end result became completely unimportant. What amazed me was the sacred space I had created.
I realized in that moment that:
1. I had the power to manipulate and alter the energy around myself.
2. That working inside of sacred space is a sublime experience.
3. That all we really have is the present moment. Just like the World card.
6) What is your favorite tarot deck?
The tarot deck living inside my head.
7) What is your favorite spell or most utilized exercise in your book?
Above and beyond, it is the December 27th Destroy Your Fear Spell. You literally walk inside of your fear/stress/trouble and turn it inside out to discover what is on the other side.
This experience (and I’ll do a mini meditation version of this if I find myself getting stressed out about something) has literally transformed my life.
Here it is:
Destroy Fear Spell
Use this time to your best advantage. The week between Christmas and New Years Eve holds a succinct and particular magical quality. The year is winding down, we rest from holiday madness and plot and plan for what’s to come in the year ahead.
- Card representing your fear
- Tower Card
Method, Visualization and Meditation
The implicit destruction observed within the Tower card can be used to your advantage. Use the power of the Tower card to transform a tightly grasped fear into a positive association. Your fear may also be something causing you extreme stress.
Choose a card representing your fear. We often fear the very thing we desire. Consider the Celtic Cross Spread’s position 9. Hopes/fears are represented by the same card. Fear what we desire, this is often why we don’t have it yet. Discover and visualize the underlying emotional reaction which blooms when you are close to getting what you want. Choose an appropriate tarot card to represent your fear or stress.
Place your chosen card in front of you. Enter the card. Face your fear. What does it look like? Select a piece, an aspect, a visual from the card to embody your fear. Allow your fear to become the tangible form inside the card. Discover a zipper running vertically up and down this embodiment.
Walk closer to you fear and and unzip it.
Place the Tower card above your chosen card. Hear the crack of thunder, feel the heat of the lightening and smell the smoke of the explosion.
Your fear is turned inside out. Gaze at what lies on the opposite side of your fear. What is there? What does it look like?
Your fear is now the opposite state. Walk into that state. Dwell inside it.
You are now free.
Fear and joy,
a coin of two sides
Remove the stress,
from my insides
Cleanse me, clear me,
Pure potential now runs through.
Many thanks to Sasha for answering my questions! If you want another (delicious) recipe/spell, check out Sasha’s Mexican Chocolate Love Truffles! For more amazing spells from Sasha, make sure to preorder her book 365 Tarot Spells here.
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