When Danielle Noel of The Starchild tarot asked if I would be interested in becoming a major arcana tarot archetype (The High Priestess) for the second installment of her tarot deck full of dreamy cosmic pastel landscapes, I was beyond excited. Danielle Noel is a visual artist from Vancouver, B.C. Her work has become wildly popular among modern mystics, and her beautiful cards can be seen displayed along side some of the most gorgeous crystal grids, flowers, and altars curated by well known artist, bloggers, fashion brands, and of course Pintrest boards. I was able to catch up with the intergalactic moon-Goddess to ask her some questions about her journey with the tarot, ritual, and what her biggest inspirations were behind creating the second Starchild tarot deck.
The Hoodwitch: Hi Danielle! tell us all about how you got started on your tarot journey?
Danielle Noel: I have been interested in the Tarot since I was fairly young - having purchased my first deck, The Aquarian Tarot, at a local flea market. The Tarot sort of struck a chord with me after that. I found the imagery fascinating, and knew there was some kind of hidden magic contained within the visuals and meanings. After that, I noticed how certain decks would trigger different emotions or feelings within me when I would look over their imagery - some were fascinating, others frightening, while the ones that stood out for me the most were both mysterious and beautiful. Over the years I found myself on a quest for that “perfect” deck - one that would wake me up and transport me to other worlds!. Certain decks have most definitely played an important part in my own search for knowledge and sacred wisdom, but I always had this underlying feeling that I would end up having to make my own in the end.
HW: What inspires you during the process in creating the imagery for your decks?
DN: A lot of the time I will start with a location to set the background. These are usually otherworldly in nature and try to evoke a sense of magic and imagination. I often visualize the card beforehand - seeing the character placed within it with an entire scene played out - like a vignette or a glimpse into the story of the card. I then try to make the space come to life, layering symbols, colours, and vintage filters to give it that ethereal feeling of being from some other time or place. I’m very much inspired by the cosmos, Nature, vintage film, psychedelic colour palettes, and portrait photography. I also add hand illustrations and watercolour effects overtop of the images to soften their look. The inherent meanings of the cards are also very important - what elements are they each associated with, what colours and symbols need to be incorporated etc... I also add a lot of sacred geometry and sacred mandala shapes throughout the cards, and although these are sometimes almost invisible to the eye, they are integrated for a number of intuitive reasons. There are also various light sources that have been caught on camera that have added to many of the cards.
HW: Do you stick with the same symbolism of the more traditional/popular decks such as Rider-Waite or have you created your own system/meanings for your cards?
DN: I actually have stuck to the more traditional systems, however, I have added certain key definitions and interpretations throughout the guidebook for additional support, and to provide more sacred knowledge. As this is more of a Light Workers tool, and has some more New-Agey concepts, such as Starseeds, energy healing, and ancient mystery school definitions, there are added “spiritual keys” and positive steps for visualization throughout the interpretations. For the visuals, I changed pentacles to crystals, although the other suits remain the same. I have also been more so influenced by the Thoth Tarot and kabbalistic correspondences with the symbology and meanings. I am also a huge fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky and his work on the Tarot of Merseilles (and all of his work for that matter).
HW: What are some of your daily tarot rituals? and do you have any fun spreads that you'd like to share?
DN: I very often create my own spreads and record these down in my Tarot journal. When I am simply flipping through the cards, however, I find that I will instinctively put down three or four, while asking what it is I need to address or look into. Another method I use for drawing a card is to shuffle while focusing on my question before opening the deck up in my hands, like flipping a book to a random page. The card facing upward in my right hand always has a relevant message to share. I also do this each time I put down a card during my readings (which can be time consuming, but is very powerful and effective). Don’t be surprised if you find the same card coming up again and again when drawing for a single response this way.
It is also helpful to smudge your decks regularly when you feel they need a cleanse or recharge. I also place Moldavite crystals on top of the main deck that I use for readings (when it is hanging out in my studio) – it's a great idea to imbue your decks with any crystal of your choice.
HW: Speaking of decks, how many decks do you own? and what are some of your personal favorites to work with?
DN: I own quite a few… I am always on the lookout for editions of the Aquarian Tarot (and collect these), but other than this deck, I love Bea Nettle’s Mountain dream tarot, Tarot of a Moongarden, The Goddess Tarot, Thoth Tarot, Spirit Speak Tarot, Tarot of the Spirit, The Motherpeace Tarot, The Egyptian Tarot, The Halloween Tarot, Gustav Klimt Tarot, Voyager Tarot, The Sacred Feminine Tarot, The Wild Unknown Tarot. For Oracle decks, I love the Anubis Oracle, The Sacred Geometry Oracle, Egyptian Pyramid Oracle, and the Halloween oracle (it’s so good for the spooky season).
HW: I'm sure our readers would like to know, but do you offer tarot readings online?
DN: I do, you can book email readings through my website: http://www.starchildtarot.com/
HW: Before we finish up do you have any tips/suggestions for a reader who's just getting started?
DN: When I first started to learn the tarot, I found books incredibly helpful. Also, keeping your own Tarot journal is a wonderful way of recording your learning and to define your own interpretations. Having a good deck to start with is key, and I know many people will suggest getting something like the Rider-Waite, but I think if you find a deck that you resonate with, you will inevitably become very comfortable and familiar with its meanings. Each deck is unique, as will be each individual experience. I know readers that don’t even follow the traditional interpretations, or read guidebooks. They simply go by their own instinctual feelings and read intuitively. Amazing! Once you are able to grasp the inherent meanings, the key symbology, and your own internal insights, reading will become much more fluid and easy to do. I have also noticed that there are thousands of amazing videos posted on youtube from readers from all over the world. This can be an excellent way of learning the cards (or anything for that matter lol) how crazy is youtube?!
HW: Those are truly some really wonderful tips/suggestions! Where can our readers find the Starchild Tarot?
I am currently in the process of finalizing the new edition of this deck, and it will be available for pre-order this month. This new deck will also have two different box covers to choose from, and additional information in the booklet.
I will also be re-releasing the first edition of the deck sometime in the future, so eventually all three will be for sale, along with my future deck, The Moonchild Tarot, which is more of a shadow companion to The Starchild Tarot.
HW: Thank you Danielle so much for sharing your beautiful vision, and your gifts with the world!
DN: Thank you so much, Bri! You are a sparkling goddess.
Check out Starchild Tarot for updates and information on the release of the new deck soon!