Updated: Feb 15
An introduction to the deck:
Rachel True, an actress most frequently recognized for her role as Rochelle in the ‘90s cult classic The Craft, has been interested in intuition, psychology, and the occult since she was an impressionable five years old. Her True Heart Intuitive Tarot boxed set, originally published in October 2020 by Houghten Mifflin Harcourt (more recently acquired by Harper Collins and made an imprint known as Harvest), includes a 78-card tarot deck and robust guidebook.
The guidebook is so richly delicious—full of story, Jungian theory, and practical instruction—in fact, that I keep it on my bookshelf and refer to it as a standalone read. In the book, Rachel includes her own personal stories and experiences as an actress and a creative. To quote her...
Developing and trusting your intuition is the most important skill the tarot teaches, and it’s the key to reading the cards accurately. —Rachel True, from the True Heart Intuitive Tarot guidebook
The True Heart Intuitive Tarot cards are illustrated by Stephanie Singleton, a Toronto-based artist whose niche is decorative and surreal illustration. According to her website, Singleton has designed works for renowned media outlets such as Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Disney-Hyperion, and Little Brown.
This Valentine’s Day, in observance of Black History Month and in celebration of Black creatives, Rachel True—a compassionate, talented woman of color—deserves to be celebrated. I am a fan of hers because of her thoughts on the intersection of psychology and the tarot, two subjects that are near and dear to my own intuitive heart. I was also a teenager of the ‘90s: rebellious, nonconforming, and often misunderstood. As such, The Craft resonated with me as a liminal weirdo who had to maintain balance both in the “real world” and on the artsy, multicultural fringes. The True Heart Intuitive Tarot is one of my favorite decks both as an artist and an intuitive writer.
True Heart Intuitive Tarot
Tarot or Oracle?
My thoughts on this deck:
The True Heart Intuitive Tarot cards are culturally diverse and gender expansive. They are infused with magical colors like lavender, vermillion, chartreuse, and my favorite, haint blue. Singleton’s illustrations remind me of a surreal collage, fantastic images with esoteric and psychological symbolism that make me feel like I’m interpreting a dream in every card.
My favorite cards of this deck and why they resonate as a writer:
Major Arcana: These three cards each share a story of a person in action. She’s a leading lady, she’s going places, and she’s confident. These cards remind me of my favorite fictional characters.
Minor arcana: Court Cards: These three courts resonate with me as a writer because they each stand confidently in their purpose. I also like that the Princess of Cups seems gender non-binary, as many of these cards do.
Queen of Cups
Queen of Discs (pentacles)
Princess of Cups (Page)
Minor arcana: Pips: These three pips are my favorites because they are symmetrical, which is pleasing to the eye, but also because they represent constructs that are often difficult for writers to articulate. In the order they appear below and in the accompanying image, those constructs are misery, confidence (without being smug), and heartbreak.
Nine of Discs
Three of Swords
Ten of Swords
Who should use this deck?
According to the True Heart Intuitive Tarot listing on Amazon, this deck is perfect “...for longtime tarot readers and newbies alike. The guidebook includes information on different tarot spread formations and how to read them, how to center yourself before a tarot reading, and how to use your intuition to assign meaning to each card.”
As for writers, I recommend this deck for writers of fantasy, supernatural, magical realism, paranormal romance, poetry, and children’s literature.
Advice for writers from this deck:
Success and celebration! In terms of advice for writers, the Six of Wands seems like a pretty positive card to pull. Perhaps you should order your own copy of Rachel True’s True Heart Intuitive Tarot and use it to inspire your own intuitive storytelling.
Tarot Spread Activity: Valentine’s Day Spread
No matter your relationship status, I have developed this spread to help you gain insight around how to recognize the ways in which you can best love yourself in order to show up for and give your love to others.
Here's how this 3-card spread works:
Shuffle your deck.
While shuffling, think about the card that best represents who you are right now.
Stop shuffling and then search for this card.
Pull out the card in front of it, the actual card, and the card behind it.
Left card (card in front of your card): What you need to know in order to nurture your self-love
Middle card (your card): The card in the tarot that best represents who you are right now
Right card (card behind your card): What you need to know in order to sustain your self-love
In the example above, you can see that I chose the Queen of Wands as my personal card. I chose her because she is my Moon card, my inner teacher.
The card on the left represents what I need to know in order to nurture my self-love this Valentine's Day. In this case, I pulled the Prince of Swords (Knight of Swords), which I interpret as meaning taking action around my thoughts, keeping them in check and recognizing when I am being too hard on myself.
The card on the right represents what I need to know in order to sustain my self-love. In this case, I pulled The World, which means completion, celebration, and the conclusion of a long journey or process. I interpret this card as meaning that in order to sustain my self-love, I need to love myself as I am right at this moment, for I have endured a long road that has brought me where I am and influenced who I am. That is cause for celebration.
I hope you have enjoyed this tarot deck review and activity!
Where you can find this deck:
On Writer Wednesday, I’m sharing the third post of my Celebrating Black Creatives series and the first of my Writer Interviews series as I showcase indie author Maria Anderson.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Publishing Company, LLC, an editing and design service that helps indie writers grow in their craft and achieve their self-publishing goals. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.