The Tarot Tea, with Sanyu Estelle

We are in episode 13 of 20 in our first full season, Spirituality 101. And this conversation with Sanyu Estelle is lit. She showers us with gem upon gem – get ready for an amazing, wild ride. This is so much more than a podcast on tarot. We talk about multi-dimensionality of tarot, life, and spirituality – all sparked by the movies Arrival, Interstellar, and Gladiator. Trust me, we go there. And your mind will be blown with all these tarot facts.


Understand that the cards can help you. If it’s not cards for you, maybe it’s something else. If it’s not every deck for you, maybe it’s a specific kind of deck. And be good with that, right? Not everybody needs 30 decks. Not everybody has to have a deck in every color, or a deck of every kind, or a deck of every creed. You have to choose what works for you, and understand that by choosing what you actually feel drawn to, you’ll be brought to everything you need to know.

Pigmented (78%), womoonist (as constant and faithful as the tides), cissy (femme but hetero-ish), multisexual (it’s a spectrum, seems unwise to call it), travel-apt (Earth is a country) and fashion forward (Funk Flag Flyage) SSJW (Sarcastic Social Justice Warrior).

Sanyu (@sanyuestelle) is a Claircognizant (“Clear knowing”), Soothsaying (“Truth telling”) Witch (“To be strong” or “To be lively”). She is also known as The Word Witch for the aforementioned reasons and uses Tarot, Taoism, Oracle Cards, Playing Cards, Channeling, Ifa, Speaking, Singing and Writing to tell you exactly what you need to hear when you need to hear it in the way that is going to be most beneficial to you while keeping it real—always—with a sense of humor.

Copied from her website. Isn’t that bio everything and more?!


Did you know that tarot cards have been traced back to be the origin of playing cards? There’s some debate on this, because there’s not enough clear information. But in many ways, if you’ve played Old Maid or Go Fish when you were a child, you were playing with a simpler tarot deck.

Time and time again, tarot is described as playing cards. And I would agree with that, but simply add on that they are a type of playing cards used to channel divine communication. In its true essence, tarot is simply a communication tool. To get more specific, tarot is the tool and the decks are the communication channels. Meaning that the cards are a representation of a possible interpreted meaning. What makes the difference is what the reader – possibly you – brings to it. Again, to keep it simple, a tarot card is a form of communication.

Tarot now is so much more accessible. Hello, ???? the internet! Before you had to have reverence and study at the library, or simply lean on what was immediately around you. You had to work on increasing your outreach and resource pull. And for a lot of us – me, ???? – learning how to dive into that accessibility means uncovering shadows to reconnect the inner light that was buried deep inside. So, no matter who you are or your background, finding that accessibility is going to be different for everyone. Point being, even if it’s easier for us to learn about tarot – or any spiritual practice – that doesn’t mean that we feel more comfortable with using the tool.

I know for me, one of the things that made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of, or overwhelmed by, opening my tarot deck was the belief that you had to memorize and understand all of the cards without a reader. As I became braver and braver in drawing the cards, I slowly started to doubt that belief and no longer put any weight on it. And Sanyu confirmed that for us. So here’s the thing: you don’t need to know all of the cards, it’s not at all necessary. And here’s why.

To practice tarot is to know that we are both in the spiritual and the scientific world. And it’s the scientific part of us that believes that the knowledge of the cards comes from our collective understanding of each card’s meaning. But the way the information comes through, down to us, is altered by our perspectives, our beliefs, and the way that we are able to process what is being communicated to and through us – which is our spiritual side. So again, we come back to that word information. Tarot is a practice of tapping into intuitive information. That’s our guide – the readers are simply our starting points.



Again, you don’t need to know all the cards. Having an understanding of what the pictures show is an advantage, not a necessity. So when you read the cards. let go of any impressions you may have developed in the past. For instance, having a fear of the Death card. The cards are just cards. Remember, we love talking about this at Blithe Mitrals, there is no light without the dark. If you see darkness in your reading, it is probably light being showered on something that is in your way of which you weren’t able to see before. And the message could be a challenge to align and work through it. Not that you are doomed. Doesn’t that already feel better?

If you go into tarot thinking the major arcana or the minor arcana are something specific in absolute forms, you’re going to limit the ability you have to connect to the cards. But if you think of tarot as a logoraphic language, you’re really going to open your horizons and create an easier flow for Source to channel through you. And for anyone who may not know – I didn’t until Sanyu explained it me – a logographic language is not based on phenotic spelling. It is an assortment and combination of places, words, phrases, things, etc. It is not what we, in Western culture, think of as linear. So using a non-linear approach would get you much farther than forcing a strict perspective on what the cards can represent.

Essentially, choice and consent is a major component of reading tarot. And so is leaning on your innate knowing – your intuitive pull. By choosing what you are drawn to, the information that you need to know will come to you. So here’s the next important bit – don’t look for meanings when you are reading tarot. Allow the draw of the cards to be the work and let the meaning to come to you. The cards will give you what you need to know when it’s time to know.

Taking that a step further, tune into what comes up clearly for you. Not just what kind of questions or inquires are easiest for you to connect with, but for who that information is meant for. Meaning, if the meanings only come clearly for you, then draw only for you. If it only comes clearly for others, then just draw for others. If you are able to receive information for whoever then draw for whoever. But do not force it. Applying pressure will only lead to confusion. Accept what messages come through, and have reverence for that connection and ability to receive.

Sanyu’s 1st beginner’s tip: Create yourself a tutor deck by cutting out each card’s meaning – perhaps the reader – and tape them to the cards. Get a copy of the same deck, and use them both to practice your retention.

Sanyu’s 2nd beginner tip: Draw once or twice a day – or simply whenever you get the urge – and take note of what pops up for you. Remember, don’t read for an answer. Let the message come to you. See if any of the cards follow you. Read the deck as a logographic language, and let the meanings shift to your personal understanding and alignment – because Source caters to that more than a universal representation.


  • Tarot is far more accessible than it used to be, so when diving in for the first time, use your intuitive pull to bring forward what you’re drawn to.
  • Read the cards through a non-linear lens, and let go of any implications you have for any of the cards.
  • Don’t search for meanings, let them come to you.


  • The movies we explore are Interstellar, Arrival, and Gladiator.
  • Christopher Nolan is an American director known for creating epically explorative films. He often partners with his brother Johnathon.
  • The Wachowski sisters, Lana and Lilly, have created epic films such as The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending. Sanyu mentions their Netflix series, Sense8.