Mary Elizabeth Evans, Creator and Publisher, Spirit Speak Tarot
Mary Elizabeth Evans is an artist and tarot reader based out of Joshua Tree California. She is the creator and publisher of the Spirit Speak Tarot Deck, the Vessel Oracle Deck, Iris Oracle Deck, and Divina Tarot Deck. Mary’s approach to teaching and reading tarot focuses on creativity and empowerment within your own intuition. Her belief is that everyone has the ability to use tarot as a tool for helping themselves and others.
"Each deck that I create acts as a spiritual portrait of myself at the time in my life when it was made. Before I started working on Iris, I left my home, my partnership, and ended a few friendships that were not serving me. So, I obviously had some material to work through. It was one of the most difficult times emotionally that I have experienced. I was feeling a lot of loss, not only that, but a loss of direction. Iris was my true and faithful friend. No matter what crisis has happened in my life, my art has always been there to catch me and hold me. Putting my trust in my work to help me, be my friend, home, lover, has ultimately aided me in become the independent woman I have been striving to see in myself. The Iris Oracle Deck is very deeply part of me and my reflections on my experiences.
Iris is by far the deck that I gave the most room for intuitive freedom. With all my other decks I had more structure, a system to work from. When creating Iris, I gave space for the images and meanings to come to me in their own way. I took time to meditate on what symbols wanted to come forth and didn’t worry if they made sense or not. When writing the guidebook to the cards I was able to reflect on what I had done and see how relevant it was to what I had been processing in my personal life.
The Secret Dakini by Penny Slinger is my favorite oracle deck. It is a 64 card oracle deck rooted in her knowledge of tarot but presents her own unique take on the themes of the tarot. I wanted to create a deck like this, one that gave a nod to my love of tarot and all that I have gained from it but had archetypes that were original to me.
As a visual artist I have found oracle cards to be a helpful way to gain insight to my current emotional and physical state. I don’t necessarily think oracle cards are important to everyone’s self care, but they have helped me a lot. I am the type of person to get wrapped up in my thoughts for better or for worse. When I use the cards, it’s a way for me to ground back down to the physical. If I can see what’s going on organized in these small physical objects, it makes it easier to digest.
I go in and out of phases where I use oracle cards a lot. Sometimes I will use them everyday, drawing a few or just one card for insight. Other times I will go months without pulling any cards for myself at all. I think it’s healthy to take breaks like that. You don’t want to over-use your cards. Sometimes we can become dependent on the cards to help us through every little thing. I think it’s good to remember that the magic in the cards comes from within. You have every power to guide yourself. I try to develop a relationship with the cards where they are my little helpers but not my crutch.
Working full time for myself I do a lot of rituals to keep my flow going. I try to invite loving goddess energy into my home and life. I buy myself roses a lot and sleep in rose petals. I soak in baths and lounge around my house in lace and silk lingerie and robes. I have candles going a lot of the time, even during the day. Most of them are spell candles. Cleaning my house, dancing in the mirror, talking to my mom on the phone, these are all things I do when I’m feeling clogged up.
I’m not afraid to confront difficult feelings or difficult things that have happened. My art is a way for me to work through my experiences. I have also started writing more. Working hard is what makes me feel the best, the healthiest. I was talking to a friend the other day about how sometimes we get caught up in thinking about other people. Like 'Hmmm why haven’t they texted me back what are they doing?' and I encouraged her to redirect that energy to 'Hey, what am I doing right now?' Because the answer is probably not reaching for your own success or building something you are proud of. When I am feeling low, I look to my work to lift me up. That is why I believe that I am here and it reconnects me to my true purpose."
– as told to Gooey Girl