Introduction: Crystal Lynn's Journey with Tarot

My First Experience with Tarot

Back in 1992, I was living in Hollywood, California and I wanted to be an actress. I was attending classes at Santa Monica College and one of my instructors, Royston, was the director of a small theater troupe called The Open Fist. Royston invited all of his students from the college to join his troupe to gain experience. The members of the troupe worked as stage hands and maintenance when they weren’t actually acting in a production. Auditions were held for each production and we students could participate fully as bona fide troupe members. When it came time to audition for the various roles, we could, and if we earned a part then we would get that experience of performing. And in the meantime, while we were growing our acting chops we could be learning how to do sound, lighting, make-up, costuming, producing, writing, marketing, and of course, practicing with true professionals. It was an awesome opportunity and I jumped at the chance to do all that Royston had projected.

When I went to the first general meeting at the theater, most of the troupe was present and I noticed something very interesting: there were no black women present in this company of 35 performers. I was struck with a lightning bolt of knowing. There was going to be a play that required a black actress and I was going to nab that role simply by virtue of being in the right place at the right time and of the right skin color. Period. It was that simple. And sure enough within a month of joining the troupe, a new woman came, Julia Radar, not as an actress, but as a director. She had a script that required a woman of an ebony complexion.

Boom. A door was opened.

I’m beginning this chapter by telling you this story because it is laying the backdrop for a very powerful time of life. I won’t bore you with all the details of that magnificent year, but I must let you know that I was 22 years old. ’22’ is a Master Number. Master numbers are repetitive numbers that amplify the power and meaning of the base. 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, etc are all numbers that represent portals of awakening, initiation and accountability. What we experience in these years is of particular importance in our energetic evolution. For me at 22 years of age, an acting door opened, but most importantly, my Third Eye opened.

The play that Julia wanted produced was called, Ghost Diaries, and it was about a young Southern woman whose lover had died. Marie, unable to recover from her loss, returned at every Full Moon to be with her lover in the cemetery. Marie was a powerful witch and when she went to the meetings, she brought along with her a deck of Tarot cards. She would take out the cards and read the future of her partner as if he was alive and entitled to a fate beyond that of even Marie’s rich imagination.

As I sit and think back to that story, I am fascinated by its depth. It was really my first acting performance EVER and I managed to use my charm to pull a glowing review from the L.A. Weekly. But I wasn’t an actress and I couldn’t remember my lines!

Neither could I read the Tarot.

When Julia took me on as the lead in this play, she knew full well my limitations as an actress and Taroist. She knew she could work with me as an actress, but the Tarot had to be more than just a prop in the background. It would be up to me to form a relationship with the cards that could help me bring wealth to the role of Marie.

Julia invited me to her house in Venice where she had some friends hanging out with wine and music. If you know anything about Venice, California, you can imagine the lifestyle in the 90’s. Slightly hippy, slightly chic. It was the early 90’s, so it was pre-Abbot Kinney and post Muscle Beach. You could still rent a place there for a reasonable price. Julia lived in a lovely flat— eclectic, light, airy, and feminine. She was an artist led by her heart and her passion and she expressed it through the art on her walls, the clothing she wore, the books she read, and the philosophies she pursued. I was enthralled with Julia and very eager to explore Tarot under her tutelage… except she didn’t know anything about Tarot.

She had purchased a deck of cards and when I got to her house, she was using a handbook to lay out 11 cards in a Celtic Cross (a complex tarot spread that can give you a LOT of information about a situation. It’s beautiful and helpful, but complicated.) Julia was using a handbook and what little experience she had with Tarot to teach me how to read the cards according to the path of the Celtic Cross. In the Celtic Cross version we used, the cards were laid like this:

  • The Significator
  • The Querent
  • Blockages
  • The Crown
  • The Broad Past
  • The Recent Past
  • The Future
  • Querent’s Perspective
  • How She is Viewed
  • Hopes & Fears
  • The Outcome

Can you imagine never having experienced Tarot and sitting down with cards, images, and the ENERGIES that opened up in that moment??

My mind was spinning. There was no ceremony, no centering, just 11 cards and a bunch of information. I muddled my way through that reading but left feeling overwhelmed and insecure.

I immediately went to purchase my own deck of Tarot cards, hoping to gain clarity and a deeper connection with cards that I loved, but it would a long time coming before I could really get my head around this 11 card spread, the Celtic Cross. Long after The Ghose Diaries had ended, I was still struggling with reading. I think it might have been about three years before I had actually felt thoroughly comfortable with a Celtic Cross. Actually, even a three card reading had me muddled and confused very often.

In hindsight, I realize that what I really needed was only one card at a time. A simple question and one card would have been the best way to learn and even master Tarot. But hey, I have a history of doing things the hard way so that I can better teach the easy way to my beloved friends. In this program, I am teaching you Tarot the easy way.