Published October 27, 2020

Rachel True, author of True Heart Intuitive Tarot, is an actress who has appeared in many hit and cult films including The Craft, Half Baked, and Nowhere. She was nominated for an NAACP award for her work on the TV show Half & Half. A native New Yorker and an avid bibliophile, True is a lifelong tarot practitioner. She lives in Los Angeles. Learn more about her work at

Get to know Rachel in this Q&A and then join us on Thursday, October 29 at 12 PM ET to hear her discuss her work in SHELF LIFE: True Heart Intuitive Tarot with Rachel True.

Festival: What first drew you to tarot reading? 

True: I go through this in more detail in the book but essentially shared rituals and symbols embedded in our collective consciousness, the kind that transcend cultural and geographical differences have always fascinated me. Tarot cards usually encompass these concepts.

Who or what are some of your creative influences?

Jungian tarot practitioner Mary K. Greer, Rachel Pollack’s many books and Pamela Coleman Smith as far as tarot. Pamela, a.k.a. Pixie, was the illustrator of the original Rider Waite Smith deck.

As far as acting and writing, there are far too many to note, but Alfre Woodard, Tilda Swinton, and Whoopi Goldberg are favorite actors. 

I want to direct as well as continue to write, and greatly admire Julie Dash’s Daughters of The Dust. [It] is such a lyrical film, it’s like seeing poetry unfold in image. Sally Potter’s film adaptation of Orlando is another cinematic inspiration in thought and execution. The Love Witch really proved director Anna Biller to be an auteur whose craft I greatly admire.

What was your favorite part about writing your book?

I suppose my favorite part of writing the book was the satisfaction I felt when a particular sentence or paragraph, whether belabored or not, would finally land on the page rather than running off the runway. I know my stuff when it comes to tarot, but satisfying many schools of thought within a finite amount of words regarding the interpretations required dexterity.

The personal essays were probably the most fun but terrifying all at the same time and, in figuring out how to get my personal tone on the page, I learned I’m verbose and books are a bit about economy.

What impact or takeaway do you hope your work will have for readers? 

Hoping to help demystify and destigmatize tarot cards, they’re a super useful tool for self reflection and personal growth.

Describe how a book changed your life or perspective.

I lived in the NYC public library as a kid… books have always expanded my world view!

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