My name is Jack Chanek. In another life, I’m many things: a philosophy graduate student, a Gardnerian Wiccan, a queer man, and a massive James Bond nerd. I’m also the author of Qabalah for Wiccans: Ceremonial Magic on the Pagan Path and Tarot for Real Life, both published by Llewellyn Books, and I am ridiculously proud of my little books.
But here, on this site, I am a Tarot reader first and foremost. I’ve been reading Tarot since I was eleven years old. I used to be a member of the American Tarot Association, and I may rejoin that fine institution at some point in the future, but grad school doesn’t pay well and I can’t currently justify to myself the $25 membership fee. Truly, I live a glamorous life.
If you ask ten different Tarot readers what they think Tarot is and how it works, you’re liable to get twelve different answers, but here’s the Reader’s Digest version of my history with Tarot. I used to be of the opinion that Tarot doesn’t have any kind of supernatural power. I didn’t use it to predict the future, to gain knowledge of other people’s actions or motivations, or (in more general terms) to provide me with any knowledge that I didn’t already have.
I used to use Tarot as an introspective tool, a way for me to reflect on, poke at, and reassess my personal choices and beliefs. There are seventy-eight cards, and to each is ascribed a particular thematic meaning. When I read Tarot, I asked questions like “Why did I do this?” or “How can I avoid making this mistake again?” And then I looked at the themes represented by the cards that come up, and I considered how those themes fit into my life. Tarot for me was food for thought, and the value of it was not objectively in the cards themselves but in the process of interpreting them and applying them to my life. If you comb back through the older posts on here, you’ll find a great deal that was influenced by this perspective.
Then I got into Witchcraft, and, well, my relationship to Tarot changed.
Nowadays, I use Tarot as real, proper, telling-the-future divination. Frankly, it’s nowhere near the weirdest thing I believe or do these days. I’ve changed a great deal in the years since I started this blog (as, I think, is healthy), and I’ve slid much farther towards the hoobedy-hoobedy mystical end of the Tarot spectrum. When I started the blog, I was a staunch atheist; now, I’m a Wiccan with a secondary practice of Slavic polytheism. When I started the blog, I didn’t believe in magic, divination, or the supernatural; now, all three are part of the quotidian furnishings of my life.
I’ve changed a great deal since this blog began, and the blog itself has changed with me. I only hope that it will continue to do so in the years to come. Hopefully, there’ll be something of value here for you, whether you’re a seasoned Tarotist, a bright-eyed neophyte, or a hardened skeptic.
If you want to book a reading with me, you can reach me through the Contact page on this blog. My rate is $100 for a 30-minute session, and I pro-rate for any session longer than half an hour.
There you have it, dear reader. A short introduction to who I am and how I relate to the Tarot. Welcome to my bloggy little corner of the internet. Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring.