It is with great excitement and pleasure that I introduce Pearl Whitecrow to Weaver Tarot. Pearl is an artist, Tarot Reader, Animal Totem Medicine, Rune Caster, Dream Interpreter, Witch, and Hoodoo Worker/RootWorker. You can read more about her and her services here.
Below is a short interview between Pearl and myself detailing how we met and a little about Pearl herself.
Catherine: How did we meet?
Pearl: Heh, I believe our first meeting was about five years ago on a mutual friends post on Facebook. The topic was something totally innocuous but soon we were throwing repartee about BDSM and kink back and forth. We had to take it private out of respect for the original topic. It was very much love at first public indecency.
Catherine: When did you start tarot and runes?
Pearl: Well, my first introduction to Tarot was by way of a deck of playing cards. My grandmother taught my brother and he and my grandmother both took turns teaching me. I grew up in an area where anything that wasn’t ‘White Christian’ was automatically viewed with suspicion, so while my family did practice many things, we were always taught to make our tools every day, inconspicuous things. So my first introductions to divination were playing cards, scrying with hot coals, bibliomancy and reading candle wax.
I started reading with a deck of regular playing cards about 25 years ago and I started reading Tarot cards around the same time about 15 years ago and as it goes with these things, study is ongoing. I learn something new about Tarot and Runes all the time and when appropriate I still use other forms of divination as well. For a time, my brother and I had a small shop in North Philadelphia called The Knight of Swords. That was such a wonderful time in my life to be able to connect in a real way with so many different people.
I enjoy doing readings with people because, yes, you and I are both self admitted hermits and tend to be introverted, but I think when we DO connect with people, we can only do it in an honest, real way, we can’t help but be fully present. We do real human connection well, but speaking for myself, it is the fake socially required connections that drain me. Get me in a place where the connection is free from those expectations and I’m really *with* someone and we’re both being honest and open and unfettered and suddenly the interaction is mutually enriching, not draining.
Catherine: What is your animal totem and how does that work?
Pearl: My first animal totem was the Owl and it’s still with me today. I believe that some totems come to us and stay for the duration of our lives, they’re like guides that embody something of our Soul purpose and see us through our lives. Others come for a season to teach us something and then their influence wanes but we are left with a deeper lesson and understanding. I also believe that we do not have to wait for these guides to show up, we can call on them if we need their example, their energy, their medicine.
So these relationships work different ways. For instance, as I said, Owl was my first animal totem and seems to be ever present in my life, sometimes stronger than others. I call these the primary totem animal because they speak very strongly about who you are and the energy you soul brings to this life. Owl is not an easy totem to have, in fact in the culture I grew up in (Sac n Fox and Cherokee) it is considered taboo for anyone to have this totem because it is so strongly related to death, darkness and deep hard won wisdoms. When it showed itself my mother and grandmother didn’t know what to make of it and took me to visit a wise medicine man in the community who in turn took me in as an adopted daughter and student in his household. Which was where I began to know Wolf, who I chose for myself. Families can also have totems or guardian spirits and the guardian spirit and totem of my teachers family was wolf. Through wolf I came to know what it is to be first a lone wolf, strong, fierce, individualistic and free to be myself, later I learned what it meant to be a part of a family and a group. Wolf teaches about when to run alone, trusting your own instincts, connecting to instincts but also how to live in a family in a good way. When to lead, when to follow and so forth.
I have had several other animal totems come and go in my life. Shark, water turtle, raven and bear have taught me many wonderful things and hard but necessary lessons.
If an animal shows up or if you want to work with a particular type of medicine, it is also important to look to either side of that animal on the food chain. This is the traditional way it is done and is what I suggest. For instance with owl (and it depends on what type of owl, mine is the Barred Owl), it is also important to look to the lessons of the animal that owl most often preys on, the mouse. Or what animal it is eaten by. Nothing in nature exists independently, it’s all connected, so I feel it is important to pay heed to those connections.
Catherine: How do you mix art and magick?
Pearl: My art and my magick are inextricably linked. I feel like anything can be done artfully and that the processes of art and magick are basically the same. They both rely on a vision or a desire to bring something new into being. So we start with a general inspiration and an idea of what we want to do and from there one focuses ones will and develops an intention. We know what we want to do and we’ve decided we’re going to do it, next comes the often messy process of creation itself in which can either include preparations and planning ranging from simple to complex or we wing it. We go with the flow and with what is, we work with serendipity, we turn ‘mistakes’ into another brilliant nuance in the working and at the end of it all, we’ve either brought something entirely new into being by power of our vision and will or we’ve not quite hit the mark and we’ve learned something along the way.
All of the above applies to my jewelry work as well but with the added component of working directly with the elements in their pure forms. Silver and gemstones are earth, the flame from my oxyacetylene torch is both fire and air, the hot metal is quenched in water. I greatly enjoy the potential to employ raw elemental energy in producing jewelry. It just…does it for me.
Catherine: What’s something you find brings you joy?
Pearl: That process of creation brings me great joy, as does being able to connect with people in a real way. Curling up in bed with my darling cat Nyp with a hot drink and good book is relaxing joy. Traipsing through the wild woods nude with nothing on but my boots, buck knife and canteen is also a great joy of mine.