Rachel True, the unforgettable star of teen witch cult classic The Craft and weed cult classic Half Baked, has released a tarot-reading guidebook accompanied with personal essays and tarot cards she helped design.
Appearing with another well-known hippie “mixed chick” actress Cree Summer, Rachel discussed her new book set True Heart Intuitive Tarot, Guidebook and Deck on Crowdcast with Los Angeles indie bookstore Book Soup. Approximately 450 attendees remained online throughout the hour-and-a-half webinar.
On her website, she describes the book and card set as “22 memoir essays from my Mixed Black Jewish chick’s mystic minded Hollywood life” that includes 22 major arcana cards. She said the set gives lessons to readers just learning about tarot or wanting to expand their knowledge of tarot.
A set of 78 cards, tarot involves the practice of reading tarot cards to gain insight into the past, present or future by asking questions then interpreting cards. Arcana is defined as “mysterious or specialized knowledge, language, or information accessible or possessed only by the initiate,” according to Merriam Webster. The major arcana cards in a tarot deck represents big themes and changes at play in your current, past and future life. The minor arcana cards represent the current day-to-day aspects that affect making decisions.
Wearing her signature turquoise butterfly necklace, Rachel described in the webinar how she became an occultist, in this case a tarot reader, as a child. She said between the ages of four and five, she would access her parents’ bookcase and pull out Beyond Good and Evil by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung.
“When a few years later, when one of my parents’ friends gave me a deck, I was like, ‘Oh, I know these. Wait, er,'” she said. “It kind of connected with me and related back to those two books because some of them, especially Man and His Symbols, had some images in black and white and some images that are on the tarot cards. And that’s how I really began getting into tarot.”
Rachel and Cree, who admitted she really got into tarot practice only in the past two years, said that tarot doesn’t align with any religion, so it shouldn’t be seen as devilish. Even if you get The Devil card, which could mean sins such as greed may be overtaking one’s attention.
“Black people and ethnic people quite often went to the soothsayer or the card reader in the neighborhood because they didn’t go to doctors and we didn’t have shrinks, so this is a long tradition here,” Rachel said, calling the practice a “shrink in a box and spiritual Xanax.”
Released Tuesday, the book is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt with illustrations by Stephanie Singleton. Rachel dedicated the book to Pamela Colman Smith, a key person in the early tarot movement when she illustrated the Rider-Waite tarot deck in 1909 for fellow British mystic and writer Arthur Edward Waite which became known as a standard. Rachel and Cree, who both identify as biracial calling their mothers dark-skinned Black women and their fathers White men, said Pamela’s story got buried in history as a biracial woman.
From 2002 to 2006, Rachel starred in the UPN sitcom Half & Half, which started streaming on Netflix on Thursday.