Not Yo Mama’s Tarot
Kristi Prokopiak of Ritual Tarot Gives the Traditional Oracle Deck Some Spirit
itual and ceremony are something that our modern lives don’t see nearly enough of. Honoring the sacred and connecting with spirit are often viewed as only available to the “enlightened.” But the truth is that spirituality is for everyone, and ritual is not only an effective tool, but also a magical way to initiate the conversation with the universe.
The other cool thing about spirituality is that there really aren’t any rules—besides peace and love, man. But in all seriousness, you can do whatever the hell you want to get into contact with your higher self and all that resides beyond the physical.
One woke woman who is making her own rules in the occult game is Kristi Prokopiak of Ritual Tarot. Creating an oracle deck from her own Instagram photos, Prokopiak designed an intuitive, hip, and super unique way to channel her intuition and tune-in to the messages of her surroundings.
A true project of passion, Ritual Tarot embodies all things mystic. And after chatting with Prokopiak, we knew that this badass witch was the real deal.
What fueled your creative flame to start Ritual Tarot and your first deck?
First of all, thank you so much for this opportunity to share about my process and my work! To answer your question, I’m an artist so there wasn’t any one particular goal or objective with Ritual Tarot. I’m constantly in a state of creation and exploration!
I’m very fortunate to have the space to allow my work to unfold organically. There’s a side hustle that pays the bills so my work doesn’t exist in a state of pressure or forced productivity. I started the Ritual Tarot Instagram because I was nerding out on tarot, taking photos of my cards and crystals, and I didn’t want to bore my non-witchy followers so I made a separate account to go buck wild with!
I would post my morning rituals and talk about what was going on in my life in a pretty raw and personal way. The Starchild Tarot was hugely influential for me and I was constantly taking photos of spreads with it. When I wanted to test the waters in terms of doing readings for others, that was where I found my first clients, and it just continued to grow from there! It’s been so fascinating to watch it evolve over the last year and a half.
As far as the Ritual Oracle deck, originally I made the deck to use for myself. Sharing it on my feed generated some interest and I decided I needed to investigate what it took to produce my own deck. For me, healing comes through creation and sharing, so making it tangible for others was a real gift!
You use photos that you’ve personally taken as the images for oracle cards. What was the inspiration behind that decision and how have you represented the oracle?
The Ritual Oracle is made up of photos from my Instagram accounts. So the content already existed, and one day I realized there were clues there – in the intriguing things that caught my eye. Channeling the messages was the fun part.
It’s definitely not a deck that everyone knows how to read, but I think the messages and prompts can be applicable to anyone’s lives and situations. It’s a deck for creatives, witches, and weirdos who want to tap into their inner guidance system and get more connected to their intuition. I made a hashtag for it, and watching what people do with the cards is truly beautiful. The messages they receive blow me away! Check out #RitualOracle on Instagram to see what I mean.
How do you commune with your spirit guides and who are they?
I don’t have many specific spirit guides. I can’t really explain it, but it’s just the feeling of “other” that supports me, guides me and has my back 100 percent.
This “other” shape shifts depending upon where I’m at in my life. Sometimes it’s my Higher Self. God. The Universe. The Ocean. Spirit. Physical things I find or see in the world. Once a leopard showed up, her name is Sheeba.
Honestly the images used in the Ritual Oracle are kind of my spirit guides. Hints, clues, ideas, concepts. I think I’m more interested in taking note of patterns. If I see a lot of butterflies during a short time period. Specific sequences of numbers (twos have become a bit of a thing lately). A hummingbird in an odd place. Ladybugs that keep landing on me. So I guess for me it’s less about having specific guides and more about knowing they exist in many forms.
I can’t deny there is something bigger than us and it’s always giving us information if we are open to whatever form it takes.
How does travel influence you and where was the most moving place you’ve traveled to?
I move around a lot, and recently I relocated from Brooklyn to Long Beach. The Pacific was calling me! Being by the ocean is something that is deeply healing to me, and I am so lucky to live somewhere that allows me to ride my bike down to the beach whenever I want.
I’ve driven cross country a few times and I’ve visited some crazy beautiful natural wonders here in the states. I dream of camping in Joshua Tree, watching the sunsets in Big Sur, asking the Redwoods if I can touch them (this one I actually accomplished at Muir Woods, it’s fucking magical there!), screaming into the depths of the Grand Canyon, feeling the vortex life in Sedona, speeding across the Bonneville Salt Flats, and taking pictures inside all those crazy rock formations in Utah. Someday I’ll mark all these off my list.
Exploring new places is one of the greatest ways to connect with spirit. I am grateful to be mobile enough to move around and discover new homes when I am called.
When did you come out of the spiritual closet and fully embrace a woo-woo lifestyle?
When did I finally admit it, you mean? Cause everyone knew before me, haha! I’ve always just had that weird artsy thing happening, and it wasn’t until a friend asked me something and said, “Yep, you’re a witch!” that I realized I didn’t need to be embarrassed of my lifestyle—that I could find power in it. That there are others like me, and I could learn more about what I was into.
I always viewed my art as a spiritual practice and healing modality, but it wasn’t until I started Ritual Tarot that I began to meld the two in a more tangible way. It’s all still a path that I am writing as I go. So happy to have you all along for the ride!