Danielle Meder of Drawing Tarot at the Darling Mansion

I met fashion artist and writer Danielle Meder of Drawing Tarot years ago when at a fashion photoshoot for Final Fashion, her fashion illustration website. Her ability to capture the beauty of a person so quickly is a serious skill! She recently started Drawing Tarot, a live watercolour session she conducts in conjunction with a tarot reading!

Danielle invited me to the Darling Mansion on Hallow’s Eve to read some cards and take her photo. If you haven’t heard of the Darling Mansion, consider booking it on Air BNB. They host the coolest parties, events and, photoshoots in the city. Back to Meder! Her interpretation of my cards was VERY accurate and, her advice on how to handle the upcoming events was helpful. Her collected and artistic sensibility must come from her Libra Sun, Libra Rising and Pisces Moon signs! Self-describing her style as “Techno Holly Golightly,” Meder dressed appropriately for the occasion in a luxurious black and white feather jacket, femme felt hat and pearls.

What influenced your decision to start Drawing Tarot?
I finally felt ready. This has been a very interesting year for me. For the past ten years I had been working as a commercial fashion illustrator, and part of that job was going to fashion weeks to sketch the fashions. Then in March at Paris Fashion Week, I realized that I was done with the whole process of ingratiating myself to the fashion industry, and I decided that I needed a new path. After a longs sleep, I thought I would go to the Louvre and have a trip about art. There, the Mona Lisa saw me! And I experienced a profound interaction with the divine, where I was forgiven for my failures and given the secret to great art. And I was given the mission to create a work of great art… I had always wanted to be a writer, and in front of La Joconde, I realized that I must be a writer. This moment of self-connection led to a wonderful series of synchronous events and adventures, during which the Tarot became activated for me in a much more intimate way. I began to see the images of the Tarot all around me, in real life. Connecting the cards to the real world led to meeting many fascinating people, neuroscientists and mathematicians and philosophers, who gave me key information to help me express the cards in a way I felt was authentic. I had previously only done readings for myself, but I started to do readings for friends.
After a series of very interesting travels, I returned to Toronto, however I was struggling with my divine assignment. Writing a large project is very intimidating, and it seemed like it would be easier to distract myself with more immediate gratifications, however this engagement with the Devil did not make anything easier. I was falling into the valley and becoming a far lesser version of myself, and that wonderful feeling of synchronicity stopped, everything began to feel frustrating. It was straining my relationships with my friends and some of those relationships were breaking. One friend called me out on it and I realized that by avoiding my divine calling, I was ruining my own life and bothering everyone around me. So I had to return to writing, but this time I also decided to return with an intense focus on self-care as well. So, daily meditation, exercise, better diet… flossing my teeth! After two months of this practice, I felt that opening feeling again, like my intuition was reactivated, but even stronger before.
At that point, with my better disposition recovered, I woke up one day with the inspiration for Drawing Tarot. I thought, this is something I am ready to share now. I set the website up in one weekend, and now it’s a thing.
What drew you to Tarot?
The beautiful images and stories, and the format. As a fashion illustrator I was fascinated with the fashion plate format, and Tarot is very similar. I’m also a writer, so all the allegories, archetypes and symbolism light up my imagination.
What was your first Tarot deck?
As a teenager I had a boyfriend who was into the Tarot cards. It wasn’t really the best time in my life, but I had my first job at McDonalds and with that money I was able to buy my first deck, The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerner. I grew up in a very secular household. My Dad is a Dawkins-reading atheist and is very skeptical of mysticism, so I would say that because of that influence I didn’t really take the Tarot seriously for a long time… I think I treated it more like a beloved work of fiction until relatively recently.
What is your favourite Tarot deck?
Still the Enchanted Tarot! Zerner’s tapestries are so feminine and lovely… it’s a real fashion girl deck. Now that I’m diligently studying the Tarot I’m acquiring some of the root decks, Rider-Waite-Smith and The Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot. It’s fascinating to see how different decks have different conversations. My greatest intimacy is with the Zerner deck though, because it’s been in my life for so long.
How do you feel Tarot helps people in their daily lives?
What I’ve noticed is that the Tarot always wants everyone to be themselves, to become more like themselves. So it’s often reassuring, as it gives querents dignity for both their positive and negative characteristics, so it helps people reconcile and accept their own personality. In the small readings I do, I’ve noticed that it often offers short, constructive narratives that people can take with them. Having a better story about yourself helps people to make beneficial changes. It also seems like an encounter with the Tarot, especially when approached with curiosity, can have an opening effect, where making these neural connections between different ideas encourages the intuition. Many querents tell me that they even feel a physical effect of some kind at the reading, which I think is very interesting because I often feel it too. A sort of sparkly, quickening feeling, that leaves an afterglow.
Do you ever connect Astrology to Tarot?
My knowledge of Astrology is fairly superficial, so I will make connections based on the elemental associations of the signs and suits, but that’s as far as I feel authorized to take it. Now that I’m studying The Brotherhood of Light there’s a lot more astrological information that is filtering through my mind, and it’s very interesting to see how it’s connected to the Tarot, but I really haven’t studied it deeply enough to be able to deliver that knowledge with confidence.
Could you describe your personal style?
As a fashion illustrator, I developed an entire character that I built my style around – I called it Techno Holly Golightly. So I’m wearing a lot of the clothes I acquired in that period – lots of black! I’m obsessed with textiles so it’s all silk, wool, lace, fur, feathers, leather, pearls. Since I’ve been going through all of these changes in my life this year I’m noticing it’s affecting me aesthetically too, most obviously in my beauty regimin. I find myself going natural with my hair and wearing less makeup… I’m becoming more interested in looking more like myself. People tell me that it makes me look younger. I love living aesthetically – I dress up every day whether I’m giving readings or not. Living in The Darling Mansion has definitely encouraged this aspect of me – I simply can’t have anything around that isn’t aesthetically harmonious in this house.
What are your favourite aspects of your sun sign?
A love of beauty, for sure… always looking for beauty, big eyes for beauty. Having fun flirting, I love romance, praise Venus! Especially enjoy connections with people who like being looked at, obviously… love a Leo. A deep need to balance opposites, a fascination with Earth signs that can never be really resolved. Quick decisions, slow opinions. A proclivity for thinking, and thinking, and thinking, but not in an anxious way, just in a way that indulges the workings of the mind. Making a neural connection… finding information… so satisfying to me. I know I have a deep capacity for partnership too, which hasn’t been active in quite a while, but I know it’s there.