Meet the Oprah of tarot

 

Imagery: Chase Voorhees // @chasev

Ashley Glynn // @glynne.ashley.photography

Words: Emma Vidgen // @emma_vee

 
Image: Chase Voorhees

Image: Chase Voorhees

 

Lindsay Mack is one of the most important new voices in the world of modern spirituality and wellness right now. Her podcast Tarot For The Wild Soul has had over two million downloads, she’s taught thousands to read tarot for themselves through her online school, and her wisdom, intelligence and activism has gained her a cult following.

But despite her intuitive gifts, she never predicted or sought her incredible success. When we asked her how she feels about being dubbed the “Oprah of the tarot world,” she is at a loss for words. “I don’t know if there’s a better person to be in, very small, tarot-related shoes around. It’s really beautiful,” she says after after a long pause. Here she shares how she found her way home using her deck of cards as a map.


When Lindsay Mack was a little girl, tarot cards were a magical tool for escape. “I was going through pretty serious abuse and PTSD as a kid and tarot helped me,” she says. “I saw a deck in a bookstore and felt a knowing so I got them and was very, very committed to using them and learning them even then.”

Lindsay devoured every book she could find, teaching herself the cards and giving readings to friends through school and during college where she was studying acting. “For some reason when I graduated college in my 20s, I abandoned all of that,” she said. Then during her Saturn return at 27, she was called to return to the very deck she’d first bought as a 12-year-old girl. “My life really runs in a spiral way. I'd prefer that it didn't sometimes, like it'd be easier to be straight line with it, but it really is,” she laughs. “I came back to tarot about the same time that I came to learning about what it was to identify as a witch.”

 
Image Ashley Glynn

Image Ashley Glynn

Lindsay gave up acting and retrained as a holistic coach before launching her business Wild Soul Healing. Her unique interpretation of the 78 cards is based on her own incredibly visceral experience. “Accidentally, tarot started to become my anchor during my deepest processing of my PTSD. I found that it was very effective for me to go to my deck during the darkest of moments to say, "How can I be with this? Just this. Just this. What does my body really need from me? What am I being invited to pay attention to?"

Here we share some of our all-time favourite Lindsay lessons.

1. Tarot is not a crystal ball

“Everyone's waking up to this idea that tarot is really transitioning into this tool that cannot tell you the future, but help you be present. That is ultimately if you really look around at life right now, the most important thing for us to be really present with what we're saying, what we're thinking and how we're treating the planet. So it's really stepped in as this helping tool, but I just think later generations are starting to look at it differently too.”

2. There are no “bad” cards

“There's really no card that depicts or does exactly what it shows. It's just all parable. It's all symbolism, all teaching, you know? I just have to say this: that the death card doesn’t means that someone's going to die because that is not true!

The death card is connected to Pluto. It really doesn't have anything to do with anyone dying, it has to do with the cycles of death and rebirth that we go through within our lifetime.”

3. Tarot is a great tool if you find meditation difficult

“Tarot can be such a beautiful tool if someone wants to connect with something greater. Some people, it's hard for them to meditate. Tarot can be a really great gateway in, you know?

Just like there's Vipassana in mindfulness, tarot offers a really great chance to get clear on where we are, what we're being invited to pay attention to, what we can turn our attention toward. So it's this really beautiful opportunity to get deeply clear in a way that I think just helps us again have an anchor.”

4. Tarot happens for you, not to you

“Nothing really happens to you in the deck. So even the scariest-looking cards are really happening for us and for our evolution… Tarot is helping us to evolve through whatever life is handing to us.”

5. Tarot offers medicine (although it isn’t always sweet)

“This is just my personality, but I'll do anything if I know that it's bringing me some kind of medicine. I'll move through anything in this life, but it's really hard for me to connect with something when I feel like it's senseless. So the cards helped me to contextualise a larger container for the trauma, and I didn't realise it at the time, but as soon as I was able to receive this external, visual, tangible invitation, it would flip me into a different mindset, and I would then be able to process.”


Feeling tarot curious? Check out Lindsay’s advice on how to choose a deck and teach yourself tarot

For more information on Lindsay’s online courses, podcast and other offerings check out her site.

 
Emma Vidgen