It's World Tarot Day! An Interview with Den Elder


Den Elder is the founder of I.S.H.T.A.R., International Society Helping Tarot, and she has been a prolific writer since the 1970’s. Currently in the works are Dragon Butterfly Tarot Meditations, The Real Underground Stream, and Blue Bird's Poetry

Find out more about Den Elder, World Tarot Day, and a plethora of other cool stuff at , , and      

By Melanie Harris

World Tarot Day is an annual holiday, celebrated May 25th each year. The iconic Den Elder, prolific writer, Tarot Grandmaster, and founder of The Church of Tarot, got the idea for World Tarot Day back in 2003, and from there, the rest is history in the making. Celebrations are growing more prevalent and elaborate as the day gains increased recognition in the tarot community, and we at Tarot Reflections wanted to do our part to help spread the word. We caught up with Den to find out more about this holiday’s origins, and to discover what World Tarot Day is truly about. and we’re offering you some ideas for celebrating this holiday on your own or with friends. 

TR: What inspired you to start World Tarot Day?

DE: My inspiration began with two "problems" in the tarot community. First was the scandal over a 1-800 phone business where the television ad featured a woman with a Jamaican accent. Well, she was just an actress doing a job but the news must have been slow just then because it was blown all out of proportion and tarot came out looking like everybody involved must be a scam artist.

Second, was the "Open Letter" conflict at the same time... of which I don't think anymore need be explained? A lot of good people were hurt and again there were some people who came away with a tainted opinion of tarot, and others left the tarot community, burned out by what went down.

There were so many mean things being said, even tarot people taking sides against each other... I wanted a day of "celebration" instead. A day to share our love for this tool and get over our differences. A day everybody could just come together and have some nice fun and make an effort to help those unfamiliar with tarot to realize it has a lot of positive attributes.

TR: What do you see as the future for this holiday?

DE: My vision for the future is simple. I want this to grow bigger than myself and be placed on the calendars so that everybody will, at least once a year, stop and consider tarot as a valuable insight for personal and spiritual growth. The greater majority of people I know using this tool, use it for such purpose. I want more people to come to realize this value.

TR: For what purposes do you use the tarot, personally? 

DE: Spiritual guidance, meditation, intuitive clarification when I need a little helper. I am a strong psychic so I almost never use tarot for divination purposes for myself.


TR: What’s your favorite tarot deck?

DE: My use-decks are Tarot of the Old Path and Universal Waite, although my Tarot deck collection has well over 500 decks. None of my own deck designs have ever reached completion because I never get satisfied enough to stop working on them.  Picky! Picky! Picky!

TR: What would you say are some of the top benefits of using the tarot?

DE: It helps each person tap into their own Self and intuition. All answers lay within us but we just have a hard time listening, so tarot helps us listen to that still small voice within each and every one of us. After all, nobody knows us like Self does.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. All images used with permission.

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009

Questions? Comments? Contact us.