Tarot-view with Metaphysical Practitioner Marissa Moondaughter

Tarot-views is my series of interviews with fellow Tarot readers, artists, authors, and enthusiasts. These people share my love of Tarot, and here I get to pick their brains and find out what makes their Tarot minds tick!

I love to learn. Anything I can get my hands on that will help deepen my knowledge on the subjects and passions I love to pursue I will glom onto and then soak up whatever knowledge I can. So imagine my delight when I came across Marissa Moondaughter and her brilliant  course in becoming an accredited Certified Metaphysical Practitioner! A 29-week course covering Lunar Flow, Tarot, Stone Medicine and Healing, and Chakra Balancing, it's a one-stop-certifciation in all things metaphysical.

Despite being a busy mystical mogul with her website, CMP and other e-courses, and Etsy shop, Marissa graciously sat down and answered my questions for this week's Tarot-view. Keep on reading for her takes on Tarot, Moondaughter, and how you yourself can start your journey to becoming a Certified Metaphysical Practitioner!

First off, tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from, where are you know, and how did you get there?

FullSizeRender-2 copyThank you so much for this opportunity Matt! My name is Marissa, or Marissa Moondaughter, and I live in Southern California. I originally was born and raised in the Napa Valley, but moved down south for college. I needed some space to grow and explore my own way of being. I studied Theater and Anthropology for 5 years and it was a very intense, fun, and exhausting time in my life. But it is where I really set the foundation for where I am today, so it's been a very rewarding journey. I still live down here after I graduated, but I am still unsure of where I want to settle my roots. I feel like there is still so much to do and see. Life is an adventure, isn't it?
Moondaughter is such a beautiful concept. Where did the inspiration for it come from? Was it a melding of different ideas or did it all come to you at once?
Aw thank you. Obviously the moon is my inspiration, but she came to me at a time when I was working through some deep traumatic wounds ( I am still always working on them actually), and I was feeling so lost and out of control in all aspects. When I began working with her energies she transformed my whole life. New doors opened, healing took place, I felt empowered and stronger than I ever had before. The energy she gave me, I wanted to embody everyday, or try to. So Moondaughter became my spiritual name. Moondaughter is a reminder of my commitment to myself and how I wish to help others find their unique relationship with the Moon. I wrote a post about it when I first began blogging here (link:http://www.moondaughter.com/blog/2012/08/moon-days-my-name.html). I feel like my concept, or definition, of Moondaughter will evolve as I grow and change. Moondaughter is what I strive to be everyday: A Daughter of the Moon; Daughter of compassion; Daughter of healing; Daughter of intuition; Daughter of unconditional love; A Daughter of the Divine Feminine.
How did you come to see the Moon as a divine aspect? Was it something you were brought up with or did it happen naturally?
The Moon in a lot of traditions, represents the Divine Feminine energy, the Yin, or Goddess. And that deeply resonates with me in a way I can't describe. When I was 19 or 20, I was dating a guy who had a strong Christian faith. Religion and spirituality was such a new concept to me back then because it was something my family did not practice or talk about while I grew up. So I had a pretty open heart and mind to going to church and walking down a path of faith. But I quickly realized something was still missing, and my spirit was still yearning for something more that I could not explain to anyone. I began to explore and research different faiths, and I learned about Earth-based religions and the Goddess path. Honoring the seasons, celebrating Mother Earth, and honoring the Divine Mother as well as the Divine Father. My spirit felt finally alive. The Goddess felt like home to me and when I looked up and saw the moon everyday I didn't feel so alone, as if she is always watching over me. I felt like I finally found my mother, because my mother left me and brother when we were very little. So that's how the moon became my guide and constant companion. I didn't always follow her or any path for that matter, but I learned life is cyclical, we all ebb and flow at different times, and my souls always comes back to the Moon.FullSizeRender-2 copy 4
Explain CMP and how it came to fruition. How did it go from its initial idea to officially certificated program?
So basically since I was 20 until now, I have researched and researched, and explored so much of my spiritual path, and my passion has grown and grown over the years. I really needed to write it all out and get it out of my head! 
When I began blogging, my intention really was to share all about the moon and connect people to her once again. And I must say there is a big moon craze, or anything mystical craze right now I think. Some of it is trendy, but I also think people are just really craving this wisdom from the Universe again. We are all really trying to reach a higher consciousness, maybe not all, but the collective human consciousness is. 
I first wrote about connecting women with their moon-time, and then with my Lunar Flow e-course specifically about connecting with the moon in general. People came to me telling me I have changed their life! Crazy to think that I could do that, but I was and am merely the messenger reminding them of the wisdom within them. Then people were coming to me asking about Tarot and crystals, and I realized I had a lot more to share with everyone. So I wrote three more ecourses about Tarot, Crystal healing, and Chakra Balancing. Those subjects have been very potent to me on my path, so that's why I chose to write about them.
Maybe it came from my time in school as a student, but I wrote it in a format that breaks each subject down in a relatively simple way that everyone can understand. I realized I created something really unique that no one else was really offering at the time, so it was really special to me. I finally knew teaching and sharing magic guided by the moon is my purpose.  I made it an accredited program because I wanted everyone to realize how valuable I think these courses are. They take commitment, self reflection, and the magical path is not always easy, but so rewarding. And fun of course!
What are you hoping to accomplish with the CMP and what do you hope its students will walk away with?
I truly want to help people realize how magical they are. Life is magic. Energy is always moving and changing and when we become connected to that flow we feel it. I hope my students can take away something from each of my courses to add to their spiritual toolkit. And when I say toolkit, I mean the tools they use to nourish their souls. And of course, the moon was the foundation for me, so I begin with her guidance. 
I strive to create sacred container for my students to feel comfortable to grow and explore in. My courses are very go-with-your-flow, because I want my students to first and foremost follow their intuition. I have a lot of my students come to me asking if they are doing this or that "wrong." And I always say, "what does your intuition say?" There really is no right or wrong way on your own path. YOU KNOW when something feels wrong or off. And you have to trust that. I am merely showing ONE WAY down the magical path, so I hope my students filter out what doesn't serve them for now and, and create their own nourishing toolkit.
There is a quote that says, "When one person teaches, two learn." I have learned so much from teaching, and my students are such inspirations to me! Their passion and wisdom is so magnetic and magical to me. I learn something new every time I teach one of my courses! I always say I am soul student, and I think we all are. Our souls  want to constantly learn and grow. When we move to the next level, there is always something new to learn! So I hope my courses bring that energy to my students.
Do you have a favorite part of the CMP? Do your students seem to have a favorite part?
I sincerely love all parts of my CMP courses, and I feel like I will never stop updating them and editing them to meet the needs of my students, but I do get the most feedback on Lunar Flow and Stone Medicine. Lunar Flow really attunes one to their energy patterns, so I see people making huge shifts and discoveries while taking that course. It is so exciting to witness. And everyone is so drawn to crystals and how to work with them. In that course we explore different ways for love, health, stress, spirituality - it's a lot of fun!
Let's talk Tarot! How long have you been reading? What drew you to Tarot?
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I have been reading for 10 years now! I was drawn to Tarot to help me dive into my spirituality deeper. I was taking a lot of cultural anthropology classes at the time and symbols and myths have always been fascinating to me. I love learning the symbolism of the cards each time I do a reading. I never stop learning from my cards and decks, there is always something new I notice or see. 
What do you look for in a deck? Do you prefer the standard RWS interpretations or do you like ones that think a bit outside the box?
Honestly, I had never been drawn to the RWS until this year! My very first tarot deck was the Motherpeace tarot, they are round cards, but I never felt connected to them - I did not like the images. And I felt overwhelmed by the circular interpretations. The very first deck I felt completely connected to was the Medicine Woman deck by Carol Bridges... The images are positive, feminine, and earthy. I could automatically see the images unfold into a story in my readings. Now they feel like old friends to me. So I guess you could call me very visual because the colors and images call to me first. But now I feel drawn to more decks the more I opened myself to the tarot. When I feel more dark or mysterious I call upon the Wild Unknown deck, and I now have a new appreciation for the traditional images of the RWS, so I have been using them more. My dear friend Rachael is creating her own Tarot deck (link:http://talk2thetrees.blogspot.com/p/readings-with-rachael.html) and I love her style and imagery! I am excited for her deck to be released. We are also collaborating together on a Moon oracle deck, Spirit de La Lune (link:http://www.moondaughter.com/blog/?tag=moon+oracle+deck) not Tarot, but along the same mystical, divination lines :)
What are one or two aspects, if any, does a deck needs in order for you to consider using it?
Like I said before - thFullSizeRender-2ey need to call to me visually. I love color and distinct images. But I also pay attention to the artist's themes and visions for the deck. I love the way Carol Bridges introduces the Medicine Woman deck in her amazing companion book - she also includes rituals, and so many other cool ways to connect  to each card. I feel like I have a personal connection with her, though I never met her. And I love seeing my friend Rachael's deck unfold. Knowing their stories, I know how much love and energy was put into the creation of the decks. I guess I never felt that kind of connection with the RWS deck so that's why I was never drawn to it until recently.
What are your favorite kind of readings to give? Do you go for the big, complicated Tree of Life and Circle of the Year spreads or do you prefer to keep them smaller and more detail oriented?
My readings have evolved into more simple ones lately. I used to give a moon cycle reading (I hope to offer more readings to others as time frees up for me) One card representing each moon phase usually drawn on the New Moon. I love to incorporate the energy of Luna into most everything I do :) Or I used to give seasonal readings. But I notice now, I usually can't think of a pressing question for the tarot, so I will usually just pull a card and see what unfolds. I may pull 1, 3, or 5, whatever my intuition feels called too. I just try to remain open to whatever I am guided to do emotionally or spiritually. If I ever feel I need to reconnect with my guides, or my intuition, I will pull a card a day to open up the channels again.
How can anyone interested in CMP sign up?
Or my Etsy shop (this shop also includes crystals and other altar items!): http://moondaughter.etsy.com