Meet Devany Wolfe, The Creatrix, healer, and mastermind behind The Serpent Fire tarot deck. Serpentfire is truly one of the most unique tarots on the market today. Devany’s visual works display kaleidoscopic dream-scapes of ancient symbolism, vibrant color, and psychedelic imagery. All of which helps us to journey through the mysterious and hidden inner realms of the subconscious mind. I was beyond thrilled to finally catch up with this dynamic visionary to discuss The tarot, Kundalini energy, and of course, crystals!
The HoodWitch: Hi Devany, how did you get started on your tarot journey, and how long have you been reading?
Devany: My journey started when I was a child and I fantasized about being a gypsy witch and I performed oracle readings with my crystal ball to friends and stuffed animals. It was my secret world that I would return to night after night when I was finished at school. I felt most at home there than anywhere else. As I grew up I became a bit disconnected from that part of myself, trying different identities on for size, until my late twenties when I returned to a sense of comfort with my magical roots. I began delving into tarot studies simultaneously alongside the development of my tarot deck. I would learn about a card and then create it. It was a long process, and a very rewarding one. I have been reading professionally for a year and a half.
HW: What was the initial inspiration behind creating the Serpent Fire tarot decks?
DW: My biggest inspirations, aesthetically speaking, are surrealism, fantasy and sci-fi. Most notably, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dune, Lord of the Rings, any artwork depicting ancient culture like Egypt, Jodorowsky, and album artwork from the 70s and 80s. When I began my digital collage work in 2011, it was a very short journey to delving deeply into that realm. My life revolves around the divine feminine in many ways, and the Goddess archetype. I wanted to merge these two themes, which lead to the Serpentfire deck being essentially 'the Goddess on her mystical vision quest through the desert of the psyche.'
HW: The Serpent Fire references Kundalini energy rising, correct? I read that your own kundalini awakening happened back in 2006, and you now offer spiritual services to those in need? What exactly are some of the services you offer and what are the methods that you have chosen to be incorporated in your sessions besides tarot that you have found to be useful for your clients? Are these services available via Serpentfire.ca?
DW: Yes, serpentfire references and represents Kundalini energy + awakening. One of the many terms for Kundalini is 'the serpent fire', and it is commonly known as 'the serpent power' as well. I do indeed offer correspondence services via www.serpentfire.ca/kundalini. When I was going through the initial stages of my own Kundalini awakening, I was very lost and afraid. I had a few resources but no one who was really down to earth - there are so many figures in the Kundalini community who are themselves very lost and ego-inflated in ways which are detrimental to others who are in need of help. I wanted to create a safe space for people to reach out and talk about their experiences.
It is a very sensitive subject - not only is it not widely known, but it is not widely accepted even by those who know it exists. People experiencing Kundalini often feel that they are crazy, or dying, or a terrifying combination of both. Friends, family members and coworkers often have no idea how to handle it. In many cases, it completely changes lives in drastic ways. Since it is not generally accepted in the medical community, western culture and even in many spiritual and yoga communities, there need to be outlets. I essentially leave my 'door' open, in this case my email, for anyone who needs to talk and vent. I answer questions to the best of my ability. I am not an expert, but I have done a great deal of research on the subject, so I can offer guidance and insight in to the various phenomena and processes. It is beneficial for me as well, as it is a great way to connect with people who are also on the Kundalini path.
HW: I’m going to be completely honest, your deck is one of the most visually stunning + stimulating tarot decks I’ve seen in a really, really long time and I collect a lot of decks. Each image is so powerful. I want to live inside each and every one of the cards. The choice of images, the symbols, the colors..superb! What inspires you during your process while creating each card?
DW: Thank you so much! It is funny to hear you say 'stimulating', as that is certainly one of the words I associate with my work, and my general way of being. I am deeply inspired by the richness of history, culture and symbols as they have endured and evolved over time. Tarot is a very old practice, and it has evolved in such an interesting way - there are thousands upon thousands of decks using all kinds of imagery to represent the very still and unmoving symbols of the archetypal experiences which are associated with each tarot card. They all hearken back to the same thing, the same idea. It is fascinating! So I certainly find this inspiring - being part of an ancient lineage of creators and creatresses making tarot. I am also greatly inspired by the mystery of landscape, mindscape, heartscape - how to fold them all together. It is an endless process and an ongoing puzzle. Visual art is very sensual. Its mystery drives me on and on. I don't think I could ever grow weary of it.
HW: What are some of your personal favorite decks to work with?
DW:One of the very first decks I worked with was "Tarot of a Thousand and One Nights" - I couldn't believe the artwork. All of those intricate, amazing paintings! I also worked with the Haindl deck in my early stages. Thoth is a staple, and a constant inspiration. I do occasionally work with Rider-Waite as well, but not as intensely. I am head-over-heels for a Qabalistic deck called "Tarot of the Sephiroth" and another painted occult deck called "Via Tarot" - that one is very rare and I do not own it yet. I have begun working with an oracle called "The Book of Doors" and hope to obtain the "Egipcios Kier" soon - two ancient Egyptian themed decks.
HW: Do you stick with the same symbolism of the more traditional decks such as Rider-Waite or have you created your own system/meanings for each of your cards?
DW: The meanings actually more closely follow Thoth than Rider-Waite. I am a traditionalist when it comes to hearkening back to old systems of the tarot, so despite the fact that my artwork is interpretive, the heart of serpentfire is very much in Thoth. My upcoming deck, Eternal Horizon Tarot, will have its heart in Sephiroth + Via - very Ancient Egyptian-themed. And my other upcoming deck, She Wolfe Tarot, will have its heart in the Motherpeace tarot - another Goddess-themed deck. Perhaps someday I will develop my own system, but only when I feel I have completely mastered the practice and the art of tarot inside and out! For now I am content to explore many of the pathways which were paved by brilliant journeyers into the esoteric, and pay homage to their amazing visions.
HW: What are some of your daily tarot rituals?
DW: I don't actually use tarot on a daily basis, unless I am conducting a reading for a client. I try to limit my own readings to when I feel I greatly need one, which only tends to be once a month or even less. It is such powerful medicine to receive and I find the themes I incur are enough insight and fuel to last quite a while. My personal deck resides in a beautiful leather-engraved box created by my friend and collaborator Obsidian Monarch (http://www.obsidianmonarch.com/) and this deck gets cleansed every so often by the light of the full moon in a nice bath of sea salt snuggled up to some of my favorite crystals.
HW: Do you utilize crystals in your readings? What are some of your favorite crystals/minerals to work with during your readings?
DW: Sometimes I do, yes! A few favorites are my septarian sphere which was given to me by a beloved, a smoky quartz pillar, a selenite wand, and a fluorite pillar.
HW: So this question is something I'm just very curious to know, but If you could read for one person from ANY time period in the world, who would it be and why?
DW: That is an intense question. I think I would want to read for Anne Boleyn, before she became ensconced in her love affair with Henry VIII. I would hope that the message of the cards would dissuade her from going through with such an ill-fated destiny. But as history seems to suggest, she was at least somewhat obsessed with being a person of power herself, so perhaps it wouldn't have made a difference in the end!
HW: Do you have any future projects that are coming up that we should all know about?
DW: Yes! As mentioned, I am working on two more tarot decks - Eternal Horizon and She Wolfe Tarot. I am also currently developing a colouring book based upon my own designs and visions. My fashion collaboration with the lovely Tysa Designs (http://tysadesigns.com/) is also coming out in January of 2016. Many more things are on the horizon as well, but are so nascent at the moment.
HW: That's so amazing! but before we finish up do you have any tips/suggestions for our readers out there who might just be getting started on their tarot journey?
DW: I believe it is as simple as finding a deck you resonate with, and a companion book that speaks to you. The language of the book needs to really get inside of you, and the artwork needs to send you to another place. In order to actually learn the tarot, you will probably want a deck whose visual symbols are easily understood and can translate into the meanings. Start out by reading for yourself on a regular basis, then offer to read for friends. There are even a few courses out there that can help you learn the cards and provide you various systems for engaging easily. As you learn one deck try moving onto another, as the visuals will be so different, and will probably shake up your 'triggers' which you have used to learn the cards. Once you have a grasp of 3 decks you've set a great foundation and can probably easily read any deck!