I am incredibly lucky to have had Vanessa Sage as my mentor for the past year – her wisdom is an everyday blessing in my life. So its a real honour to share some of her insight in this interview with you!
- Please tell us a little bit about yourself and the things you care most about in life!
In lots of ways, I’m still the little girl with long blond pigtails who sang herself to sleep each night with the “Rainbow Connection.” I’m still the girl who believes in fairies and who splashes and twirls in the rivers and green hills of her childhood.
I’ve always been deeply connected to the landscapes of my life and actively seek beauty amidst chaos. As a trauma and sexual abuse survivor, I’ve been working with the energies of depression and anxiety my entire life. I think, because of these experiences, I seek to find a way to be in this world with a deep compassion for the shadow side of our lives while choosing every day to live in the light. As Mary Oliver says, “my work is loving the world.”
I have a PhD in cultural Anthropology. I’m a queer femme, a priestess of flowers, and a sea witch!
- How did you come to do what you are doing today?
I started my business four and a half years ago, while completing my dissertation, out of a need to have more freedom of expression in my life and work than I felt the academy could afford me at the time. I’m an artist at heart and all that I do is spirit led.
When my papers started to resemble prose poems, I knew I had to leave.
When my priorities shifted from conference presentations and publishing articles to how can I love better, I knew I had to leave.
I had this seed of a dream and followed it. I grew up with academics so I knew that road very well. Stepping into entrepreneurship was very unknown territory to me, and it’s asked deep healing and reflection from me every step of the way. For a while I got lost in what I thought I should do, wondered if what I was doing was valuable or too weird, and if I was even worthy enough to do it.
I’ve learned to be gentle with myself and to have the courage to be myself no matter what. Now, I have a life where reading tarot, ceremony, Priestessing and writing are part of my everyday!
As a life-long apprentice, I love learning and going that little bit out of my comfort zone. I want to live a life with as few regrets as I can. Right now I’m dreaming up a pilgrimage to Crete and online courses on Goddesses, tarot cards, and what it means to walk the beauty way!
- What would you advice someone who wants to try tarot for the first time?
Of all the questions, I’ve started and stopped this one the most. What I want to say is that I believe the tarot is a vehicle for personal understanding, growth and empowerment. You drive the car not the cards or any reader or book or expert.
I love the cards! I love learning about them, about their history and how different deck creators have re-interpreted the cards. I’m a tarot geek and proud of it! But here’s the thing, choose a deck you love, one that you’re inspired by, and don’t worry about what the cards mean. Pull a card every day, put it up where you can see it, write about it, meditate on it. Get to know it. Then open the book and see if the book is speaking to you!
- Do you have a favorite card at the moment?
Now, this is a hard question! I’ve got four right now:
- My all-time favourite card in any deck is the Fool. The Fool trusts. Leaps and trusts. May I never forget that it’s the journey not the goal that’s important.
- For several years now the Seer (the High Priestess) from The Wildwood Tarot has been my favourite card. She’s who I try to embody in my life. She carries magic in her very self. She’s freaking awesome!
- This year the Justice card (especially from The Fountain Tarot) let me know that it was time to do some serious truth telling in my life. It’s been an especially important card for me as I’ve come to understand that I must use my voice as an activist. I cannot divorce my life, my work or my spirit from actively speaking out against injustice and working for peace.
- Today, I’m in love with the 8 of Cups. This card teaches that it’s necessary to leave behind what you thought was right for a life that can be a catalyst for change and transformation in the world. What we do and how we do it matters!
- What is the most important thing you learned from tarot?
I haven’t met a card that hasn’t had something to teach me. It helps me grow and gives me a symbolic language to understand my life. It’s a passion that keeps growing. And that can only be a good thing!
- What do you want to be like when you grow up?
I have a pretty active relationship with my inner wise crone. May I be fortunate enough to meet her one day. She reminds me to relax, to not let my life pass me by without tasting the salt magic in the air. She always has a pot of tea and a plate of cookies on the counter ready for any weary guest who comes by. She grows Echinacea on her doorstep and bathes in the sea. Poems spill from her lips and then she simply laughs at the impermanence and absurdity of it all! She loves her whole self, has come to terms with her life, and knows that who we are inside is so much more than what meets the eye. She loves wildly and well. She’s who I want to be!
Hi! I’m Vanessa Sage, PhD, and I’m a Priestess, Everyday Pilgrim & Poet. I’ve spent many years studying Buddhism, pilgrimage, and alternative spirituality as an Anthropologist of Religion.
My healing and spiritual journey work focuses on self-compassion, inner-bravery, and discovering
the mystery in our everyday lives. A soft place to land in a world that tries to tell us we aren’t lovable or worthy.
I offer mentorships, training programs, sacred circles, tarot and ceremony to help you enchant your everyday, bring your imagination to life, and listen to your wild soul’s calling!
Connect with me at: www.vanessasage.com