My Inner Fool



So here we are six months into Crow Tarot’s Indiegogo project - it’s hard to believe it has been so long! I want to share with you the story behind the deck and - why and how the Crow Tarot came to be. 

Maybe you first discovered the Crow Tarot thanks to one of the million or so Facebook ads I bombarded your feed with (side note: you shouldn’t be seeing them anymore - unless of course you haven’t backed or followed my project - in that case - I am very sorry. I wouldn’t blame you for hitting ignore.) Maybe you discovered the Crow Tarot thanks to that person who loves to share all things crows...to which I say - that person must be pretty damn awesome because crows are amazing! Or perhaps it was your inner connection with crows that serves as some strange and magical internet magnet - drawing you to all things crow-related - what?? A crow claw back scratcher - Score!

Whatever the case I am sure while you were sitting there scrolling through Facebook killing time at home avoiding doing the dishes, laundry, maybe family...or just trying to survive the last hour of work - while you looked at your screen wondering why on earth you keep seeing a nonstop parade of ads for the Crow Tarot - I am sure you had no idea that you held the power to make a massive difference in a life, actually two lives - making it even better. Maybe you did know - are you psychic? Can we talk?

The path that led to this incredible journey started with a birthday gift and a single card - The Fool.

Lord knows anyone who has experienced a setback or a failure will tell you it can leave you feeling crushed and unworthy - your face hits the matt, and you are down for the count. Getting back up isn’t the hard part - there is no effort in getting up and getting out of the ring. No, it doesn’t get hard again until you are feeling good enough to put yourself out there and take on another challenge. It is at this moment fear and self-doubt enter as if they own the place - patting you on the head as if to say “don’t worry we got this - you will never fall down again - not on our watch.” Thanks to these two - any risk that requires vulnerability will be avoided at all costs. It can be paralyzing, to say the least.

The Crow Tarot came into my life because it had to - I reached a critical point and needed to learn how to ignore that barking dog, lean into life, and let my faith lead the way - that falling down wasn’t a sign of defeat and getting out of the ring wasn't the best solution.

The impact that 78 cards would prove to have on my life is nothing short of transformational.

The backstory: The year before creating the Crow Tarot - my jewelry business, the one I quit my well-paying job to go after, went from bustling to stagnant. In what seemed to be a matter of months - and with no backup plan, the thing I created as a means to make a living while “living my dream” was dying a painful death. The worst part was I couldn't admit defeat - and was trapped by the shame that comes from feeling like a failure and to those who questioned my decision to quit my job - looking like a fool.

Apparently, in regards to my jewelry business - failure was actually an option.

My face hitting the matt moment came during the summer of 2017 - I was down for the count. My daughter and I faced the genuine possibility of being evicted from our home of five years. (I would like to point out here that my amazing and supportive friends remind me whenever I mention that horrible time - that River and I would “never really be homeless - we have a couch you guys can always sleep on.” and as grateful as I am to have good friends and a safety net - being a single mother in my 40’s with a young daughter - couch surfing was not something I wanted to experience.) Besides I have been down this rabbit hole before, and it sucks climbing back out! I was exhausted and wanted my time to feel secure - to feel safely rooted.

During this time my days were filled with disappointment, fear, grief, self-loathing - and (at the risk of being judged for being a bad mom) too much time crying while contemplating the impact my suicide would have on my then seven-year-old daughter. Would she be okay? Would it be a moment in her life that would prove pivotal to her greatness - would she find her strength and purpose as a result of it - or would it leave her messed up and unable to function as an adult. Would she go off to college a fighter, determined to make a better life for herself or would it set her up for years of suffering and substance abuse? Or worse working as a hooker on Aurora Avenue. Oh my god...What would happen to her? Would she forgive me - how could she - she’s fucking druggie working as a hooker on Aurora - I fucked up her life! The force and momentum that was sucking me into a black hole felt too hard to fight some days - and like a dust bunny battling a Dyson I was hanging on for dear life by a thread.

As terrible and mentally exhausting this time was- I still had what I think many who commit suicide lose and that’s faith. Faith in the unknown - that it will turn around, Faith that there will be something better tomorrow. It was curiosity that served as the reason to keep going even when the pain of living seemed unbearable. As a result of this time in the dark - I appreciate spending time with my daughter a little more these days. (Except for when she is acting like some pre-teen snit - when did they become so mean so young? I thought I had at least a few more years of idol worship.)

Over the course of a few months - I lost my income, my car, at times my dignity, and worst of all our dog who passed away that summer.

While going through the summer of hell - I received my first tarot card deck for my birthday - I also received the worst hangover of my life thanks to a very delicious sangria (I’ll find the recipe and post it) - thanks to my friend Hilary who kept the pitchers coming! (let’s skip the sangria this year though - okay?)

YES! The minute I unwrapped my present and saw the deck I knew that this was going to be the answer. What I held in my hands was a way for me find some answers as to why everything was going so wrong.

The Crow Tarot exists today because It was the best way for me to learn tarot - I am not only a visual learner - I also need to either hand write, physically create or draw what it is that I am trying to learn - otherwise, my brain merely rejects it. My mind can’t figure out simple written instructions to a kid’s game -yet I can easily decipher IKEA instructions - 150 loose screws, an allen wrench, and pictures with strange blob-like humans? I got this!

Determination creates a powerful energy, and I was determined to understand the meaning behind each card - it was the force that kept me tethered to my computer until the wee hours of the morning for months as I researched and created each card holding the meaning in my mind as if I had sculpted it out of clay. The whole process felt very intimate, and each card holds a special place in my heart.

It wasn’t because I wanted to entertain my friends or take my “witchiness” to a whole new level (that just turned out to be a nice little bonus) - oh no - no sirree I had questions and a lot of them. I needed help. I needed to reconnect with my spirit guide which at the time I was certain went AWOL. For those who stumbled across this post and are not on the new age bandwagon - your spirit guide is a celestial being who volunteered to help you find your path to enlightenment during this lifetime. Sometimes they are the ones that intervene when a stupid or clumsy accident risks ending your life ahead of “schedule.” They are the one who orchestrates the random chance meeting between you and your soulmate. This otherworldly cross between a superhero and matchmaker is supposed to be with you the whole time “guiding” you - it's in their job title - and they are certainly at least to my understanding - not supposed to leave their post.

I was feeling “alone” and disconnected and got that weird sensation that comes when a friend stops calling or texting you - they just one day seem to disappear -but you know they are okay because of mutual friends.

My guide was freaking “ghosting” me!

It was avoiding me at all costs - not returning my calls, pretending it didn’t know me when I was waving frantically at it like a crazy person. - Was I too needy? I mean can you be a weirdo stalker to your spirit guide? I don’t think so.

I did have a few people question why on earth I was taking on this project during this time (as I was burning through resources and my ex-husband had to help us out) instead of spending countless hours making cards I should be looking for a job they would say with their eyes and sometimes their mouths. I couldn't explain it - I felt compelled. Partially, I was pissed off and wanted to have a little conversation with my higher-self - I was angry and bitter and much like taking a complaint to the highest manager at the store - I needed to know that this situation would be resolved. My faith had been pushed to what I thought was its limit.

While researching and creating the artwork for the deck I unsurfaced my many inner gremlins and with each card, discovered the tools to confront them head-on. More importantly - fear and self-doubt slowly lost their control as new occupants arrived - optimism and strength. One important lesson I learned through this process is that your brain is valuable real estate - make sure that the occupants aren't going to trash the place.

I love crows - I find them to be profoundly magical and mysterious creatures and when they give me that side eye as we cross paths on the sidewalk - the one that comes when they tilt their beak a little upward - I imagine them cockily saying “I know about the skeletons in your closet.” They are after all one of the smartest creatures on the planet.

I took my longtime love of crows and my desire to learn, and the end result was a deck that I not only understand but also confident enough to share.

The Fool isn't about haplessly going through life; it's about allowing life to unfold without judgment. It's about letting go of expectations so that we can be enchanted by what happens next. Looking back now - the Crow Tarot came to life because of a series of events that unfolded with perfect timing. I held no expectations, other than wanting to learn, and as a result, I let the creation of the deck guide me - and incredibly enough - it led me to you.

Peace, MJ


4 comments


  • Susan

    Beautiful writing, and though hard, the most perfect story for the creation of tarot, especially one that is crow focused. I am so glad I found your deck, and so glad I could be a tiny part of your journey with this marvelous project. <3 I wave to you with thanks through all of our sister crows who populate our trees and skies here in Seattle.


  • Monica
    Thanks for sharing your story about your journey to create a stereo deck. I find your daily tarotreadings really resonate with me personally. The images on the cards are beautiful works of art. I go to your posts every day as part of my morning ritual. Thanks for sharing your gifts to the world. I’m glad I found “through the veil” and can’t wait to get my deck. I love the iPhone case and yoga mat with strength as the image. What a wonderful idea to take the images from the deck and expand their use.

  • Darq Rose

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am going through a very similar “Tower” experience right now. I’m struggling to publish my first novel and I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to do it. Outside looking in, it doesn’t make sense to others, but this is something I had to do in order to be the highest version of myself. I couldn’t say no, or not now to it anymore without denying who I’m supposed to be.
    So this blog finds me in my final hours of creating a new reality and is the mile marker to the finish line. Thank you.


  • Amy Wood

    Inspiring!


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