About Illumination Tarot
was born from a simple appreciation for tarot and the sincere wish to help others
explore tarot themselves. It is an offering of personal insights and experience,
as well as original reviews and writing.
I love the tarot ... its history, development, and survival; its variety of artistic expression;
its effective use in self-development and transformation. My first deck
was given to me when I was a teenager. Since then I have been continually involved with tarot work, both privately and professionally. It was natural for me to create a website
that explored this art, through which I could share my own findings and experiences. The site has
grown and changed much, but its focus remains the same ~ to encourage people to embrace and trust their intuition,
and to further their own personal development.
The tarot can be an effective tool in the quest for wholeness. It can open the window into ourselves wider, offer us messages of faith and hope,
bring us meditative stillness, help us make more enlightened decisions about our lives, and ultimately become
an element in determining our own happiness. In this way, the tarot deserves our respect, as a creation of humankind that fulfills
a deeper purpose.
More personal info...
I am someone who has a strong need to share and a sincere faith to do so. I have published essays, poetry, short fiction, and reviews, in
a number of alternative women's zines, spiritual journals, anthologies, and literary magazines; in publications as diverse as Parabola
, and Chicken Soup for the Soul
. I was the Divining Arts columnist for the women's journal The Beltane Papers
as well as a staff writer, reviewer, and proofreader for more than ten years (it has since ceased publication). My professional non-tarot site where I share a small selection of writing and photography is here
More personally, I spend my free time hiking, playing D&D, listening mostly to prog, metal, and opera, running an indie jewelry business, working on photography, doing genealogy, and (as much as I have time for) studying languages. I was fortunate to have a rich and interesting spiritual life growing up, and was given quite a bit of freedom in my exploration. I'm half Slavic (Polish, Ukrainian, Russian) on my mom's side, but also grew up in a very large Italian American family on my dad's maternal side (the rest is a mix of German, Scottish, English, French...), and with both of these families experienced a very outward expression of Catholicism, and thus, will likely always have a strong affection for and deep connection to the faith. Two women in my life who were of great importance to me had a unique influence on my spiritual growth, very much outside their Catholic religion. My mother instilled in me a deep appreciation and respect for other religions and introduced me to a practice of earth-based - or Pagan - spirituality at a very young age. She died when I was five, but what she left with me was hugely foundational, and has stayed with me ever since. My Italian grandmother shared with me kitchen witchery, Italian folk magic, and divination as I was growing up. Significantly, my dad - never much of a church-goer himself - encouraged discussion and discovery. Before I was given my first tarot deck I had begun practicing Witchcraft and magick. Between my local library and my favorite bookstore in New Haven, CT, I had found a good selection of books by Aleister Crowley, Paul Huson, and Gareth Knight, as well as books like Drawing Down the Moon
by Margot Adler, and The Secret of the Golden Flower
. I felt very much like I had come home in these early practices. Summing it up this way makes it seem my path was rather set out for me - ! Anyway, I know that doesn't exactly define it (I do avoid labels), but for those who have asked what my personal religion or spiritual path is, that should give something of a clue.
More generally, I would also add that I strongly believe we are each responsible for our brothers and sisters
of this planet, we should live our truth in our daily choices, and that we are all one.
Photo: Vermont, 2019
Illumination Tarot has been publishing articles, reviews, tarot spreads, and personal reflections for tarot enthusiasts and followers of alternative spirituality online since 1999.
All writing, reviews, and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2021