It’s a good day in the office when a big, beautiful new card deck arrives on our desk. A New Age twist on a classic idea, Neo Tarot, the first release from Jerico Mandybur, is sure to make anyone who is intrigued by the Tarot release ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ in wonder. We met with Jerico to discuss growing up spiritual, sending her first deck to press and how she sees the world through her psychic eyes.
Did you grow up interested in mysticism?
Very much so! I was the kid that was making ‘witches brew’ out of random backyard objects and believing I could commune with birds. I was very into the library and my favourite subjects were mythology and unexplained mysteries like the Bermuda Triangle, stigmata, and Loch Ness, to name a few. Suffice to say I didn’t have friends! But as I got older, I repressed much of this interest because it wasn’t ‘cool’. It took a long time to reclaim my passions and beliefs as an adult.
When did you get into tarot and how did you learn it? What about it intrigued you?
My dad’s girlfriend had a set I remember playing with when I was young. But growing up, I was scared that reading tarot would unleash darkness into my bedroom/life, as this is what my mum had told me, so all through my late teens and twenties I kept a deck under my bed and would only take it out occasionally during the day. I came back to it in my last twenties/early thirties when I had a lightbulb moment that the way to fulfilment (I was very unfulfilled) was going back to what inspired me as a child, which was magic. So I very intentionally started learning to read the cards and then got a teacher and started reading for my friends and family. Then another teacher and so on.
I had a lightbulb moment that the way to fulfilment was going back to what inspired me as a child, which was magic
Did something from the Universe happen out of nowhere and compel you to pitch Neo Tarot to publishers?
I was approached by my publishers to write a book on self-care after they noticed my writing and podcasting about the subject on Girlboss, where I was working at the time. But for me, self-care and spirituality are so closely linked, particularly tarot as it’s a big tool for self-care in my life. So I asked them if it could be about tarot and self-care instead and they said yes!
How do I use the deck? What will it do for me?
I would start using it by going through each card and developing a relationship with its energy, noticing how it feels for you and what it reminds you of. Use the book meanings as a guide but more importantly, extend them with your own understanding. Journal on each card, pulling one every day. When you’re comfortable, start making basic spreads. Even just this process alone will open up a whole space for self-reflection and introspection. It also offers a point of view on what’s going on for you, in a way that we can’t always do for ourselves because we’re no objective observers of out own lives.
Are you psychic yourself? Do you do readings for people from Neo Tarot?
I identify as claircognizant and empathic, and I open myself to receiving messages from my guides and higher self during readings (and in life), so yes. I’m a perpetual student when it comes to furthering my psychic abilities and I strongly believe that this is something everyone can do. I do readings for clients using Neo Tarot, yes! It’s been wild to go from collaborating with artist Daiana Ruiz on creating the deck, to actually reading with it. I’m a die hard RWS fan girl, so I still read with my old favourite as well.
Why did you choose to angle it towards self-love? What does your self-love practice look like?
Self-love is an ongoing challenge for so many of us and I’m no exception! Without a basis of self-love it’s difficult to be fully engaged change agents in our own lives, so this is a crucial starting point. For me, developing more self-love love looks like journaling, reading, having baths constantly, reiki self-healing, meditating, podcasts, yoga at home (although I have really been slipping here lately!) and trying to stay hydrated and healthy.
Without a basis of self-love it’s difficult to be fully engaged change agents in our own lives, so this is a crucial starting point
What do you see when you look at the current world through your lens?
I see a lot of disenfranchised people who’ve been let down by dominant paradigms that have told them they’re not enough—that they’re not powerful and they don’t make a difference. But I also see instances of people waking up to their own power and acting out of love instead of fear, all the time. So I see potential. I don’t believe it’s too late to fix the world, but it’s not going to be pretty! It takes guts.
Neo Tarot by Jerico Mandybur (Hardie Grant, £20) is available now. Get it here!