Alison Spokes

Faerie Tales from an Artist & Tarot Reader

August 24, 2017
by Ali

My Thoughts on the Doreen Virtue Controversy

Why is it more difficult to come out as a Christian than it is to come out as a Tarot reader?

I have been asking myself this question since Vix from New Age Hipster published her recent blog on burning times and persecution in the spiritual community. Coincidentally, Doreen Virtue also found herself under spiritual persecution this month after announcing on a YouTube talk show interview she has embraced Jesus Christ and renounced her Tarot cards. It came as quite a shock to the Tarot reading community and left many of her students and followers with questions, while others took it a leap further and reacted with anger, quick to defend themselves as if they were being personally attacked!

I’ve always said that the Pagan and New Age community have taught me a lot about tolerance. I remember once attending a public Wiccan Sabbat and observing the extreme diversity in the room: gay, straight, transgender, cis gender, black, white, old, young, people dressed in black with gothic make-up, others with mohawk hairstyles with safety pins in their nose, a man with a briefcase and business suit, and an elderly grandmother who looked like she was dressed for Sunday mass. It was a bizarre and eclectic bunch if I’d ever seen one, and yet they were all there to celebrate and congregate together without judgement of one another.  Despite examples like this, I occasionally find myself eating my words of praise when Pagans and New-Agers sometimes allow their struggle with insecurity override their value of tolerance when it comes to interacting with Christians.

Why is it such a threat when one of your own decides they feel more in alignment with Jesus and the Holy Trinity? What difference does it make to you and your own happiness or sense of self-worth?

As someone who was recently certified by Doreen Virtue as a Fairyologist, I admit I had some concerns over what she might say about fairy readings after renouncing pagan idols and mediumship, and if my investment and the value of my certification would diminish, but my concerns ended there. Others in the Fairyologist Community Facebook Group started raising similar concerns, and when those questions were ignored and the conversation threads deleted, assumptions and rumors escalated. Deleting threads rather than addressing concerns is unprofessional in my opinion, but thankfully Doreen stepped up and left this official and reassuring statement for her students:

I remember a similar backlash from fans of Jessica Galbraith who felt betrayed and even offended when she renounced her own artwork declaring she had accepted Jesus in her life and would no longer be painting fairies or dark images. I remember feelings of disappointment and sadness for myself that, as a fan, I would no longer get to see her create anything new in the genre and style I had come to love, yet those feelings were overridden by the happiness I felt for her for finding peace with herself. Anything else felt selfish, in my opinion. Many people took offense when she said she felt a darkness or demon in her that caused her to paint dark and malevolent fairies or goddesses. So what, if that’s how she felt? Maybe she did! It doesn’t mean everyone who ever paints or enjoys that kind of subject matter has to have the same experience. Do not twist her words. That’s your ego talking.

Let’s be clear… there is a difference between renounce and denounce, and many people are misusing these words and fanning flames. To renounce something means to make a personal choice to cease participation in the use of certain tools and practices. Denouncing is to declare something evil or bad for everyone. To the best of my knowledge, none of these “persecuted” people mentioned above have denounced anything (although I have heard some people mention a video where Doreen Virtue asked people to throw away their copies of Archangels and Ascended Masters, a video I have not watched because it has since been removed, so that argument could be debated).

Truthfully, I actually admire Doreen for her courage and her ability to risk what others might call career suicide not once, but twice in her life! She talks great lengths about her past when she changed her career as a respected psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders to become a new age author, medium and spiritual teacher. To come out a second time and publicly renounce Tarot, mediumship and pagan idols to her New Age followers, is a incredibly brave and bold thing to do! To clarify any confusion and put rumours to rest, Doreen released a second video, in which she describes her discomfort with having to censor her beliefs for fear of her audience’s reaction, and I can relate to that! I’ve talked about my own experiences of hiding my spiritual side from my academic friends, and hiding my pragmatism from my spiritual community. The experience of doing that on an ongoing basis leaves one feeling consistently fragmented. Although I don’t share Doreen’s spiritual beliefs, I certainly empathize with her discomfort.

I am very proud and glad to see that most Tarot professionals (at least the ones I follow) who have taken the time to speak about Virtue’s recent announcement are speaking with an open mind, offering both praise and criticism that is fair and critically thought out, rather than from a place of ego or emotional reaction. Most of the backlash, judgement and anger is seen in comment sections. As professional readers, is it not our job to guide others to overcome their fears, have confidence in the face of adversity, encourage them to seek out happiness and become their true authentic self? Then why would we criticize Virtue, and others like her for doing just that?

I choose to look a Doreen Virtue, not as an example of what path to follow, but how to follow a path.  Follow your bliss and do not let your fears dictate your fate. If you can do that, true happiness, wholeness and a profound sense of purpose and self-worth are yours to embrace.

August 18, 2017
by Ali

Faerieworlds Photo History – My Trips to the Realm

Next weekend I return to the Faerie Realm for a mini vacation. A caravan of friends and I are traveling to Portland for the annual Faerieworlds festival. I thought I’d share a few pictures from my photo album to give you a sense of how magical this place is. This is my happy place, my sacred space, my tribe.

Faerieworlds 2008

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Faerieworlds 2009

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Faerieworlds 2012

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Faerieworlds 2014

Faerieworlds 2015

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Faerieworlds 2017….

…coming soon!

August 12, 2017
by Ali

Hero’s Journey Tarot Challenge

Next weekend, I am hosting a webinar on The Sacred Wisdom of Geek Culture & Tarot. One of the functions of mythology and storytelling is to explain the human experience. We use stories to define our culture and our identities. They teach us about what is admirable and what is detestable, about fear and courage, about love and right and wrong. We consciously or unconsciously compare our lives to that of the characters in books, movies, video games, etc. Tarot has a similar function: to guide us through the human experience. This exercise I’ve created uses Joseph Campbell’s theory of the Hero’s Journey and Tarot cards to help us become the hero of our own story. I’ve suggested this exercise as a supplement to my upcoming webinar, as well as designed it for an Instagram Tarot Challenge to be completed in September. The video above includes further instructions and elaborates on the questions and prompts listed below.

Hero's Journey Tarot Challenge - Part 1 - Call to AdventureHero's Journey Tarot Challenge - Part 2 - Initiation

Need a little guidance on your current journey? I can help you be the hero you want to be through one of my many Tarot Geek packages. Click the image below for more information. Tarot Geeks - Roll for Initiative