Returning to Creativity: my first tarot deck

I’m often reluctant to tell people that I write fantasy. They tend to assume I’m some kind of pot-smoking, easy-go-lucky, anything goes kind of person. The reality of who I am couldn’t be further from that. 

Growing up, I had a rich, active, fertile imagination. But like many Asians – I grew up in a structured, traditional and practical environment that didn’t give me much of an outlet for my intuitive side.

To be honest, I’m still struggling to find a proper outlet. Thankfully, I’ve found people more appreciative of my hyperactive imagination since I’ve gotten older. 

Ever since I was a kid, I would look up at the stars and wonder where my place is in our big shimmering universe. Being out in the desert at midnight, going to an observatory, searching for planets in the night sky – these are things that make me feel that childlike wonder of experiencing something so grand, so powerful and so HUGE. 

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For years and years, I studied astronomy and astrology. I’ve even done a gazillion birth chart readings. I enjoy it. Each natal (or birth) chart is unique. Each time I take the time to look at one, I know I’m staring at a map of how the stars were aligned when you were born.

How wonderful. How beautiful. How special. How SPECTACULAR. 

Since coming to Japan 2 years and six months ago, I abandoned my creative life in pursuit of more practical matters. I held down a very structured job, found it somewhere in me to be a role model for young people as well as found some semblance of success. But somewhere inside me – something has been screaming and yelling at me. 

I thought age had slowly wiped out my imagination. But no – I had just buried it to deal with practical day-to-day matters. And now, after such a long hiatus, I return to the creative life. I’ve started writing the sequel to a fantasy book that I finished some three years ago. It’s based around Asian and indigenous folklore, myths and legends – which is why a predominantly white and male publishing industry wasn’t quite interested in reading it. 

Haven’t you heard – brown chicks don’t write fantasy? You should stick to writing about post-colonial crap, women’s issues and domestic violence.

Yeah. Whatever. 

In addition to my weekly solo date, I’ve also decided to buy myself a present a week. Last week, I finally received the Rider Waite Tarot Deck in the mail. I ordered it off Book Depository and boy am I glad I did it. 


The moment I opened the deck and shuffled it, I felt an incredible intuitive connection that I just can’t describe with words. All those years of studying astrology, astronomy and world religions all just neatly came together to help me understand the cards. 

I’ve done a few readings for myself and my friends and just wow. Wow. The vibe, the energy, the flow, the messages. I didn’t expect it to feel so natural, so instinctive, so accurate. 

Now let’s get this straight – I’m not some kind of physic, fortune teller or oracle. Perhaps some others have it in them, but I’m not one of them. I’m not interested in doing future predictions – never have been and never will. I don’t have some crystal ball and I can’t help you with the lottery numbers for next week. If I could – I’d help myself first. DUH!

But I am naturally empathetic. From a young age, I’ve been able to pick up on people’s vibes and energy easily. Astrology and tarot give me the tools with which to narrate all my (and other people’s!) crazy feelings. 


I know it’s a little unexpected and a different direction to the stuff I’ve been writing till now. So I’d like your support as you join me on my tarot journey. I’d also like to thank my good old friend Charmaine Yam for encouraging me to write this blogpost despite my own reservations.

It is my hope that tarot and astrology will be able to offer you as much wisdom as it has offered me and my friends. 

Till next time – trust your gut, listen to your head and follow your heart. 

Author: Dipa

Tarot Tales from Japan

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