Occult Tarot Cards

Exploring Realms of Light with Laura Zuspan, Creator of The Luminous Void Tarot [Interview]

Channeling divine wisdom from the heart to mind to brush-stroke, Laura Zuspan is able to open portals of light (and spirit) with her uniquely brilliant artwork.

An artist, mother, seer, and sage – the magic Zuspan imbues into her creations is a palpable force of source energy expressed and embodied.

We recently connected with Zuspan to discuss her powerful new tarot deck, The Luminous Void, to learn more about her process and inspiration.

Exploring Realms of Light with Laura Zuspan, Creator of The Luminous Void Tarot [Interview]

Photo by Mantis Tarot

When did the tarot, and mystical arts first come into your reality?

Many women in my family have claimed an ancestral line of second sight. I was seven when my maternal aunt first read the Tarot for me, and, with my grandmother, introduced me to the psychic realms… years later, as a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, I began weaving spiritual and artistic concepts together, and playing with fellow creators, intellectuals, and clowns, to create a practice informed by historical divination practices, Buddhism, yoga, humor, herbalism, and theories of contemporary art.

What do these practices mean to you, and how have they offered guidance on your path into “becoming”?

My current practice revolves around painting with watercolors. This is a profound meditation as the water and the color have minds of their own, as well as the subjects, who constantly communicate with me as their forms emerge. This interplay between intention, channeling, and lack of control teaches humility as well as a faith in my connection to these spirits who dance upon my blotter paper. Having a spiritual and creative path feels ordinary and practical to me at this point it’s a way to navigate the world. When I was creating The Luminous Void Tarot it was a ceremonial practice like having a meditation practice. Some days you don’t think you have it in you to continue to practice and that’s where consistency, faith and perseverance come into play.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception when it comes to spirituality, and using tarot (or oracle cards/divination) as a medium of inquiry and insight?

There is tremendous power in the cards, but it is often misunderstood by practitioners, and just as often, misused. Using this power to make predictions can be quite damaging to the person you are reading for, unless it is within an ethical, empowering context. Even then, it is actually one of the least important aspects of reading, despite the focus this aspect tends to receive. Predictions can rob your subject of power — the power to re-tell the stories of their life in a form that activates their best selves. The Tarot is a toolbox of archetypes and mythology for re-contextualizing your life. When this space of creation is actualized, many unexplainable, powerful insights — even regarding the future — will emerge: whatever is needed/possible in that moment. The desire for predictions, though, is egotistical and distracts from this crucial transformation process. 

The Luminous Void

How has working with these realms changed your life?

The more I truly live within my art and spiritual practice the more freedom I have. For example, I now am able to completely support myself though this work financially something I couldn’t imagine until a couple of years ago. I’m living a more peaceful life.- Do you feel art, and creativity, is also part of a deep spiritual practice?Every painting is a ritual, a ceremony a healing for me. That’s why some of the art in Luminous Void has an emotional intensity. The Tarot maps all our experiences, I was never interested in glossing over that with this deck, I wanted it to encapsulate and channel these experiences. Life isn’t always pretty and neither is this deck.

What inspired the concept for The Luminous Void tarot?

At first it just seemed a lovely way for my artistic and spiritual sides to play, but soon it became much more radical. My watercolors reflect a feminine experience of the cosmos, and humor — something not often present in other decks, and, frankly, sorely lacking in spiritualism in general.- I really appreciate how you’ve chosen to work with the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy of Crazy Wisdom, as well as Trickster Medicine (and more!). How would you describe your particular synthesis of philosophies?Crazy Wisdom and trickster medicine break through our preconceptions, assumptions, and judgements with unexpected comedy and paradox. I take this to heart!

The Luminous Void

I love the unique shape and feel of the cards! Can you please elaborate on the significance of choosing rounded edges, and why you opted to do so?

I found this shape in a set of Flemish medieval playing cards, at the Cloisters in NYC. In addition to just being beautiful, the roundedness reflects the feminine spirit of my deck.It was later I found that the oldest known decks of cards, from China and Korea, also had rounded shapes.- Which tarot spread to you work with most often, and why does this particular layout speak to you?I work primarily with the Golden Dawn Tarot Spread. I love that it doesn’t have an out- come card, as clients will often focus too much on that, as if it were a prediction. I will
 also continually pull from the deck while I’m using the spread, to get more insights throughout the session.

What particular card do you relate to the most?

The High Priestess and The Sun card. Sorry, I like them both equally. The High Priestess allows us to be independent, insightful, empathic and connected to the other realms while the Sun card encourages joy, teamwork and connecting with life-affirming practices and collaborations. They encapsulate everything I want to offer in my healing practice right now and what I need to stay grounded when channeling with clients and within my art practice.

The Luminous Void

What piece of advice would you offer to someone who is just starting out with the practice of tarot?

Don’t worry about memorization. Let the art and symbols speak to you directly, intuitively. Don’t rely too heavily on books. Develop other aspects of your spirituality along with your Tarot practice, they will inform each other. Always be kind to yourself when reading the Tarot, and don’t forget to close the reading properly once it is done.-

What are some of your favorite esoteric books, or books relating to the tarot?

I love almost everything written by Angeles Arrien her Tarot Handbook is fantastic along with, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic.

The Luminous Void

How has your life changed since launching The Luminous Void?

I became a mother to the deck and to a baby all in the same week. They both arrived within three days of each other. My life is focused entirely on these two babies. I’ve learned that The Luminous Void has a life of its own and my job is to help it find the right homes for it.

Do you have plans for more decks in the coming years?

I’m currently in the planning stages of creating another deck, plus a book, in collaboration with one of my dearest colleagues and friends, also working at the intersection between fine art and sacred art. Her healing wisdom and writing abilities are taking this new deck in wild, new directions.

The Luminous Void

Will you offer workshops or events?

I offer in-person workshops primarily on the Tarot at this time. I’m getting more and more requests for virtual classes so am listening and imagining in how I am do this authentically for our community.

What is your biggest dream for The Luminous Void, and the future?

To have it continue to thrive and reach a larger audience. I want the first edition to become a collectors item as future printings will have slight variations.

Learn more:

To learn more, visit The Luminous Void’s official website, and be sure to give them a follow on Instagram!

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