Until I started researching for my debut romantic novel, Mystic Ridge, I knew nothing at all about the tarot. Mystic Ridge’s heroine, Claire, is a skilled and intuitive tarot reader, but the cards fail her when it comes to finding her own path, especially when she needs them most. She inherited her skill from her mother, who used the cards to predict the future. Claire does no such thing, instead helping people to move on from the past so that they can see what could be possible in the future.
I read a few tarot books to begin with, and then in the early days of the 2020 lockdown, I enrolled in a Zoom course with Sydney-based tarot reader Alexis Murphy.
Not long ago I caught up with Alexis again to ask her more about her work.
‘The future is not set in stone,’ says Alexis. ‘Choosing cards is a bit like tossing a coin, where the reader is a guide, a helper—or even a trickster.’
She says the cards can warn people and help them to make good decisions. The tarot room can serve as a kind of confessional for those who would never take their problems to a priest or a psychologist. She can’t see the tarot ever going out of fashion.
‘My job is to help people find their way through life’s drama, to see their lives differently, and always to find hope.’
Here are the top five reasons Alexis says people come to see her:
You guessed it! Reason number one is to seek guidance about matters of the heart, especially for those looking for love on dating apps. Alexis says people still yearn for an enduring relationship, but sometimes they don’t know when to stop dating, as the apps themselves encourage it. Or they’re heartbroken when they’re ghosted, or they discover their lover has other lovers. Or devastated after a break-up.
Where do we spend most of our time? At work, of course. Some of us, like Alexis herself, are doing what we love, but many of us are overworked, unfulfilled, underpaid, and unappreciated. Alexis says people are often trying to find their way to their dream job, or even to work out what their dream job is. Or there’s a longed-for promotion that’s just out of reach…
Who am I?
Sometimes, people seek answers to the BIG questions. Who am I? What should I be doing with my life? What am I called to do?
Coping with loss and grief or trauma is a tough call. Some seek support when life brings them to their knees. Alexis doesn’t hesitate to refer her clients to professional counselling services.
Last, but not least, people seek out a tarot reading for FUN! Maybe they’ve never had one and they’re sceptical, or they’re up for a laugh. She hopes the scepticism falls away during the reading. These people don’t come with a particular question; they’re just curious about what the cards will say.
As for Mystic Ridge’s Claire, whether her focus in consulting the tarot for herself is finding love, protecting her rainforest home, or working out what to do when her car breaks down, perhaps the cards are far more reliable than she realises.
You can find Alexis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexistarot
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lucy Lever
Lucy Lever is a former social worker who lives in the bush on Sydney’s coastal fringe with her husband. Always an avid reader who would never think of going anywhere without a book, she decided to give creative writing a go late in life. Luckily it wasn’t too late. Lucy makes frequent visits to family on the NSW north coast, where she found the inspiration for her debut novel, Mystic Ridge. She’s a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia.
Don’t miss Mystic Ridge
Sparkling rural romance meets quirky rom-com in this delightful debut story of love, magic and fighting for home. Perfect for readers who love Rachael Johns and Alissa Callen.
Is love on the cards?
Reading the tarot is in Claire’s blood. It’s a gift she inherited from her late mother. But her genius in helping others discover their path fails her when it comes to finding her own, especially once she learns of plans to bulldoze her carefully regenerated rainforest home and build a high-end wellness centre. She vows to rally her small community and save Mystic Ridge, although she has no idea where to start…
Perhaps her first port of call should be the local newspaper, but after a fake-dating misadventure with the new editor, Leo, rising tensions – and chemistry – get in the way. Meanwhile, her old love, soapie actor Jake, promises to help protect her home. Yet Claire suspects his loyalties lie elsewhere, and she doesn’t know who to trust anymore.
Will Claire find the courage to fight for the rainforest, her family and her chance at love?
With a colourful ensemble of small-town characters, and a dash of ghostly intervention, Mystic Ridge offers surprises at every turn.