Delighted to share my interview with MJ. Her phenomenally successful Crow Tarot was offered on Indiegogo and will be available on U.S. Games, too. You can currently see her new project here. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wise-dog-tarot/x/17661790#/
First of all, if you don’t know about MJ, She is talented, creative and resourceful. Here is her bio.
Margaux Jones is a Seattle based artist/writer, mother, and lover of all things magical – especially crows. Although she attended Parson’s School of Design her unique technique of telling stories through digital collage is self-taught and has been her passion for over 10 years. Nature and its creatures are a familiar theme in MJ’s work, however, growing up south of Boston the composition of her collages are heavily influenced by the energy of the city and often in her work the two worlds collide. Her path into the world of Tarot was a beautiful accident that came out of a terrible time in her life, one that brought her close to rock-bottom. It was the process of creating the deck that helped her rediscover her wings. At the time, while designing the Crow Tarot she didn’t realize that what she was working on would prove to be life-changing – she simply fell in love with the process, the messages and the feeling each card evoked. The Crow Tarot is MJ’s first deck created and published – in a short period of time it has achieved a significant following and recognition with crow lovers and the tarot community. MJ is grateful to have found her calling and her purpose even if it took almost a half a century to arrive. When MJ is not making art or writing for her Crow Tarot blog she is spending time with her daughter River, playing in nature, practicing magic, and finding new sources of inspiration.
1. I read your “about“ on www.crowtarot.com
In it you explained that you see clearly defined births and deaths as segments in your life. When was the birth of the “Crow Tarot” segment? Do you see something in particular that was a catalyst? Was there a certain something that clicked and prompted you to create?
MJ: Oh YES! There was a definite death and rebirth. My current life is very different than the one I had only a year ago. Last July I nearly lost everything – my art career took a nose dive, I was in a very deep depression – and sending out some pretty low vibrations to the Universe. I was attracting everything I didn’t want – I lost my car, our dog died – my ex-husband had to move in with us to help me with my bills because we were facing eviction and he needed a place to live (plus he had a steady job) – it wasn’t until a friend gave me the Wild Unknown deck that the idea popped into my head that creating a Tarot Card deck would be what would save us and usher in a new way of living. I have had decks for years but I guess I never thought I could do it – until that moment! I want to also point out at this time I was pretty angry with the powers that be and asking for help – I really needed to know what the hell was going on since during that time of struggle – my life was very different than it had been for so long. I talk to my spirit guides regularly and really believe that it was their guidance that got me to where I am today. I also believe that when we get off course – or have learned what we needed during a particular time in our lives – that is when things tend to shake us up.
2. What attracted you to divination to begin with?
I have always been fascinated with connecting to a higher consciousness – even as a kid. I remember being in grade school and feeling very connected to the weather and to the planet. For as long as I can remember I always had an “imaginary” friend I would talk out my problems with – and always felt as though even as difficult a situation would be – everything would be okay in the end. One of the very first books I remember reading was one on ESP – I couldn’t have been any older than eight when I first got into the idea of there being something more to life than what is on the surface. I loved all things other-worldly. When I was a kid we had a ouija board that although was sold as a game – we played with regularly – although I am not sure how well it worked.
3. I understand you worked in fashion. How (does?) fashion inform your designs for your work?
Yes in one of my many past lives I lived in NYC and went to Parson’s School of Design – I had been accepted into their fashion program. Design itself plays a big part in how I create my art – I try to create each card with balance and with a color palette that conveys the message of the card.
4. Do you have a favorite card in the Crow Tarot? If so, what draws you do it?
It’s hard to pick a favorite because each card has something unique or reminds me of a moment – but The Three of Swords despite the meaning – visually is probably my favorite. The one I have with me all the time is on my phone case and serves as a reminder is Strength.
5. As an early backer of the Crow Tarot, I really felt your connection and passion for the Crow. Has it been a lifelong thing for you? How do you connect with the crow?
Crows have always held a special place in my heart but more so now that I live in the Pacific Northwest. They are everywhere out here and are eager to connect with those who are willing to reach out (by that I mean feed them regularly.) Like a neighbor – they remember you, and greet you as you come and go – its all very charming for those of us who enjoy their social behavior) About 10 years ago I got a large crow tattoo on my arm (I think the crows see it and know I am “okay” – 🙂
6. Can intuition be honed? How has accessing your own intuition helped you personally? How did it help you create such a successful Indiegogo campaign?
I definitely believe intuition can be honed – we all have access to our higher-selves, however, some are less inclined to listen and because of this, they don’t trust their gut. Much like a muscle the more you practice the stronger your intuition will become. I joke about this sometime when doing my daily readings – but I swear by it – when I need an answer or guidance I hit the shower. For me the shower is like a phone booth – I go in and ask my question and then without forcing anything – an idea will pop in my head. I actually got the idea to do the Indiegogo campaign in the shower! Although the deck was already accepted by US Games – I wanted to create a journal and I also wanted to get the word out about the Crow Tarot. I also needed to come up with a way to earn some money. The day my campaign launched on Indiegogo – January 2nd I had less than $20 in my bank account and an eight-year-old daughter who depended on her mom. It was a frightening time to say the least. Had I not followed or trusted my intuition – I probably would not be sitting here writing these answers to you…
7. Your new deck, the Wise Dog Tarot looks awesome. How did you decide that dogs would be the subject of this deck?
The idea first came about over the summer when my friend’s Scottish Deerhound puppy was let’s just say not the most graceful of creatures – it just sort of trusted that whatever it did – it would be okay. My friend said he would make the perfect Fool card! That got my wheel spinning and although Egon is not the Fool – I find that the energy that dogs give off is very strong and compassionate. Dogs are very intuitive – they pick up on things/vibrations that are subtle. They can sniff out cancer and other illnesses even when the person is feeling completely fine. They know when danger is approaching or their person will be home long before anyone else. There is something kind of magical about that! Plus they love us – ever when we aren’t the greatest – they still want to be by our side. That is the energy I am infusing in the Wise Dog Tarot – I want it to feel like an old friend, a loyal one who will guide you without being harsh or demanding. The deck will be there to be of service when it is needed.
8. Is there a particular divination spread that you most like to use? How do you see that spread connecting with the Crow Tarot and/or the Wise Dog Tarot? (Aside from the Crow Spread and the Celtic Cross Spread.)
I generally prefer to do a simple three card spread for quick guidance if I am feeling stuck on something. I created the Crow Tarot spread for the deck as a way to examine the energies surrounding a querent. This spread comes in handy when feeling conflicted as it can point to areas where there are opposing energies causing friction. I will also create a spread for the Wise Dog once the deck is complete and I get a feel for what the spread should offer in the way of guidance.
9. Do you use other forms of divination? Is the creation of an oracle deck in your future?
Yes and YES! Every once in a while I will use a pendulum – also I use oracle cards. In my head there are several decks forming. I have had several requests for a cat deck – but in regards to an oracle deck I am going to create a Crow oracle deck.
10. Who, if anyone taught you to read Tarot? Which books or authors would you suggest for beginner readers? Which books or authors do you feel influenced you?
I have been getting tarot readings since my twenties, however I only started to really learn the meanings Tarot.com is a great source. I watched a lot of youtube videos while creating the deck and researched each card prior to creating it so that I was able to make sure that important symbolism was included.
11. What would you like people to know about the Crow and Wise Dog Tarot?
That I am incredibly grateful for everyone who has backed these projects – not only did it help us out financially but it gave me the confidence to keep going and to keep creating – it is like I found my home and that is a great feeling. The Crow Tarot and the Wise Dog Tarot have very different energy – I can feel the difference in the creation process. This may be because I am in a different place emotionally than where I was when I started designing the Crow Tarot – the dog energy is no less honest in its message but it also offers a healing touch.