We had the good fortune of connecting with Sasha Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sasha, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Trusting in my voice as a writer. Believing that if I showed up and did the work that everything else would fall into place. It is easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning. Especially when promotion and social media presence is vital. It feels like you have to do everything yourself which, you do. But I have always trusted if the main focus was my written work, if I was challenging myself and asking the important questions, if my work was true that people would resonate with it. Thankfully, they have.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love writing. Love being a student and a teacher. What sets me apart is probably my enthusiasm for the subject. I apply tarot to every aspect of a person’s life, use it in a myriad of ways and encourage others to do the same. For me, the metaphysical world isn’t scary or for “experts.” It is for everyone! We are each wildly different and our experience of life is as unique as our kiss.
I’m very proud of my “Dark Wood Tarot” which has been a big hit and resonated with many. I get private messages from people who say it is the first time they really understood how tarot works. Or messages about what my companion book means to them and it makes my heart soar. I am proud my work has brought me around the world, from Europe to the Middle East and to Asia. I love teaching and learning about new cultures and how beneath it all, we are all the same vulnerable human souls. We all want the same things: contentment, security and love.
I got to where I am today by writing about what I am intensely curious about. Each book is an attempt to figure out the answer to a question(s) I have. For instance, 365 Tarot Spreads is a book I wrote because I wanted to see if I could really create a unique and valuable tarot spread for every day of the year. It turns out I could and I did! “Llewellyn’s Complete Book of the RWS Tarot” was an attempt to understand what occultist Arthur Waite and artist Pamela Colman Smith intended when they created the best selling tarot deck of all time. They died without ever seeing the deck’s wild success. I wanted to know what they were thinking. Why it was important to them because now it is important to millions of people!
A publicist gave me a great piece of advice when my first book, “Tarot Diva” was published. I asked what was the single, best thing I could do to promote it. “Start working on the next book,” he said. Needless to say, I followed his advice. My 8th title, “The Magic of Tarot” will have a mass market release this October. “Tarot of the Witch’s Garden, ” my 3rd tarot deck will be released in 2022.
The biggest challenge is sitting down to work. Finishing manuscripts are tough. I get distracted by shiny ideas and meandering possibilities. Editing is rough work. Structure is essential but sometimes viscerally painful for me. Thank goodness at the end of the tunnel, my longtime editor Becky Zins is there to help me bring it all home.
I overcome challenges by pushing though discomfort. The nature of my work (and life) has taught me you have to find comfort in your discomfort or you will never evolve. So those days when it hurts or I feel like I can’t or I am scared, I will pretend I am someone else until I make it through. When it’s all done, I laugh and say what was the big deal? But in the thick of it, I squirm like a worm in the sun.
Biggest lessons? I have learned to trust. As long as you follow what is sparkly and interesting to you and show up to do the work, the rest will fall into place. I have learned the value of long-term work relationships and to creatively collaborate with teams of publishers and artists. You have to be flexible. You can’t cry or pout when you don’t get everything you want. Tarot decks and books have a life of their own and just like children. They don’t belong to you once they are out in the world. Maybe they never belonged to you, but you will always belong to them.
Anyone reading this should remember when you know yourself, you will know more than the best psychic in the world could ever tell you. Remember the world is a big, beautiful place. Magic is real. Discomfort means you are evolving and none of us are happy all the time. I want people to understand that love and light is great but the universe is made of more darkness than light. Potential exists inside shadows and silence. I hope people are curious about the invisible world and look beneath the surface to discover the interconnectivity of all things. Don’t be tricked by the material world that makes us look different on the surface. Underneath we are all the same! And whether or not you own a tarot deck remember the most important thing you can do is to ask inspired questions about the world so you can grow and evolve each and every day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Haven’t been to Miami – but I can tell you all about NYC and the Catskills!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Shoutout goes to the Tarot School, NYC. Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone who are my teachers, my mentors. They introduced me to the tarot community. They invited me to give my first big lecture at the Readers Studio. I watched them write books and hoped it would one day be me. I can’t imagine where I would be now without their guidance, love and support.
Bill Brady Photography (for all except the speaking photos and book cover) Magic of Tarot cover art by Abigail Larson