Reviews & Interviews

Interview with Natalie Meraki of Laughing Cat Publishing

Natalie Meraki

Natalie Meraki is an artist, mother, deck creator, author, business owner, and all-around wonderful weirdo! Natalie is also the brains behind the infectiously funny Tarot Mood group on Facebook, a place which accepts all manner of occult delinquents, and where I first met her. I got to interview her this month for our cover feature, and I decided to find out what makes this weirdo tick…


You’re so prolific, it’s hard to know where to start. As a deck creator, you’ve made The Mood Tarot, The Love Light & Go F*%k Yourself deck, the Mood Oracle, and you collaborated with Bob Smithies to create the CARTA Award-winning Young Witch Tarot. You’ve also published my deck, The Entanglement Tarot, and more recently, your son Maxwell’s beautiful Rainbow Tarot under the Laughing Cat Publishing name. And on top of that, you have a brick and mortar store in Casper, Wyoming called Meraki Metaphysical, you sell your wares online, and now you’re writing for us here at PaganPages.org… did I miss anything?

Yes, Sarah, thank you so much! You listed all the decks correctly! Besides deck creating, publishing, running a metaphysical shop and writing for PaganPages.org (my favorite!) I have written and illustrated two children’s books that I still sell: The Shiny Bee, which is auto-written, a message from the universe and my best seller! And Chehalem Valley Children’s Play, a book about kindness.

I also offer psychic tarot readings. I’ve been reading tarot for 10 years and am very excited to have recently upped my game by offering messages from beyond! I am a level two reiki practitioner and believe that everything in the universe is energy, and we have full power to control that energy. I also love karaoke. Teehee.

 

One of my favorite things about your work is your sense of humor. What do you think is the role of humor in spiritual practice? 

The healing power of laughter is scientifically proven! I see humor in all aspects of life, even tragedy. Though that is controversial, humor is most important to have around in tough times. Laughter improves depression (obviously,) physical ailments, stress issues, even sleep! It just feels good! It feels right. It’s the highest vibration. 

Yes, I upset some folks with my irreverent nature towards serious topics, but really I’m on their side. They are serious topics, I agree. It’s just that I’m out here manifesting happiness with humor and laughter. If someone is determined to be negative and controlled by ideology, well, that’s no fun for anyone, so I leave them with loving energy and hope I’ve made more people’s days then I have upset people. That’s not what you asked me, but I felt compelled to write it!

 

Let’s talk about Max’s deck, The Rainbow Tarot. It’s such a bright, joyful deck! How did it come about? 

Maxwell started drawing tarot cards on his own! He’s seen me do it and wanted to be like mommy. Awwww! He draws at least 20 works of art every day after school, so I figured he could definitely draw 3-5 tarot cards a day. I offered the idea to him to draw his own deck and he was so excited! He immediately knew he wanted it to be Maxwell’s Rainbow Tarot. This kid loves rainbows. All his stuff is rainbow themed and he had a rainbow birthday last year! So kewt. 

I sat with him for about an hour a day and pointed out the important symbolism he needed to include, but he definitely took some adorable creative freedoms. Everyone’s favorite thing is that all the characters are smiling, even in The Tower. 

He had a successful Kickstarter at something like 250% funded! We ordered 2,000 decks and all of the pre-orders and Kickstarter orders went out on June 26, right on time. People have received them and absolutely love them! Max is so excited every time he makes a sale and always asks me how much money he made that day! Haha! He is ready to make his next deck! I love that he is enjoying creating, Magick and entrepreneurship! Very proud of my boy and his Maxwell’s Rainbow Tarot. 

He is inspiration for anyone to create a deck. He is 6 years old and he just put out his best work and people love it! So if you’ve ever wanted to create a deck, just go for it! Have one printed at makeplayingcards.com and just use it for yourself, or if people show interest, sell it! I have a class all about it that comes with mentorship, if you like! 

 

What’s your artistic background? What did you do before you started making decks?

My artistic background is long and self-led. My mom framed my artwork starting at three years old because she was so proud of it. It looks ok to me, haha, but she instilled a notion in me that I am an artist! 

My Great Grandma, Esther Lee, was a fantastic artist and they say I got it from her. My grandpa, Esther’s son, used to spend hours with me drawing princesses and trees. 

I never had any formal schooling, but I have won several awards from the fair and such, and was once featured on a public access television program about my talents. 

That’s really as far as my history with art goes. I’ve never been a professional artist or had any exciting training. Just created for myself and friends. I do not consider myself to be an amazing artist, but my creations make me happy and please my eyes. 

My favorite artist is Polish creator Jaycek Yerka, and I am also quite inspired by Hayao Miyazaki. I love bright colors and fantasy. Oh, who am I kidding? Lisa Frank is my inspiration! 

 

So what’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects or big goals you’re planning right now?

Always! #AriesLyfe!! I am working with a very talented artist on a new deck to come out next year, Tsukiko! Maxwell has expressed interest in creating another deck and I would love to do a Mood 2.0 that’s more artistic and even funnier! 

Also, just working on getting the decks I do represent seen by more peepers. It is tempting to always be moving on to something new, especially when a Kickstarter is so rewarding, but there is definitely room for me to do better with what I have. 

 

If I asked you to define your magical identity, would you say you’re a Pagan, a Wiccan, a witch, or something else?

Well, I have shied away from the label of witch, because I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to call myself a practicing witch, I don’t even know the definitions of Wiccan and Pagan. I don’t know the Sabbat dates. I never do magick on a full moon. I am not a fan of religion in any form, I will say that. I now think that we’re all witches. We all do witchy shit every day like rituals or prayers. Sometimes some of the stuff my Evangelical mother says to me sounds a lot like witchcraft. 

I believe everything is energy and information and that I am in control of it. We all are. I also love simulated reality theories! It is a truly magical belief as magic is considered by some to be science we do not yet understand. 

So I call myself an energy witch! Yai! 

 

Besides cartomancy, are there other magical practices that interest you, or that you work with?

I am Udemy certified in psychic mediumship, seance holding and remote viewing! Those are my current metaphysical treats I’m diving into. 

I use a pendulum that is great and always accurate, I’m reiki level two certified, and I do a lot of research on the nature of our reality. My next interest is probably runes. 

Right now I’m focusing on being the go-to seance person in town! We don’t have one. 

Sun sign, moon sign, rising sign: what are your big three? 

Aries/Gemini/Sagittarius! FIRE!!

You work really hard. What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

I don’t work as hard as people think I do. I get a lot done in short spurts. I’m just productive. 

Right now I’m on a Udemy learning kick, so that takes up a lot of my time. I’ve done a little traveling this summer! Taking my six year old son to Vegas for a little mommy/son vacation next week! 

I don’t do ANY outdoorsy stuff! I used to love it, but now I’m old and enjoy comfort. 

Where can our readers find you and your magical arts and wares online?

Website: Nataliemeraki.com
Etsy: MerakiMetaphysicalGS

Please follow me on

IG: @tarotmood @youngwitchdeck
FB: @tarotmooddeck @merakimetaphysical
TikTok: @nataliemeraki @merakimetaphysical

My email is [email protected] for inquiries on readings and wholesale orders. You can always friend request and message me on my socials!


 

About the author:

Sarah McMenomy is a visionary artist, author, and witch. Pulling inspiration from trance states, dreams, auras, psychedelia, and the natural world, she weaves together themes of nature and the occult in her artwork and writing. She has created art and written for books, magazines, games, and more, as well as producing digital fine art prints and acrylic paintings. 
She is the creator of The Entanglement Tarot, a hex-shaped occult Tarot deck designed for spell-craft. 
She is co-runner of Pagan Pages, for which she also writes articles and book reviews, and she also publishes art on her Portfolio site and other work on her Tumblr.

Sarah McMenomy is a visionary artist, author, and witch. Pulling inspiration from trance states, dreams, auras, psychedelia, and the natural world, she weaves together themes of nature and the occult in her artwork and writing. She has created art and written for books, magazines, games, and more, as well as producing digital fine art prints and acrylic paintings. She is the creator of The Entanglement Tarot, a hex-shaped occult Tarot deck designed for spell-craft. She is co-runner of Pagan Pages, for which she also writes articles and book reviews, and she also publishes art on her Portfolio site and other work on her Tumblr.