Matthew Philip Harris is a Tarot reader based in Chicago. He is also a practitioner of Reiki and is a keen Astrology enthusiast. We talked to Matthew about his interest in Divination and his Tarot and Reiki business at MatthewPhilipHarris.com.
When did you become interested in Tarot?
My interest in “magic” and the occult stems from my childhood. I grew up obsessed with witches and wizards, and wanted nothing more than to find out I was a witch on my 16th birthday (it can still happen on your 30th birthday, right??).
When I was in my early twenties, my love for the mystical resurfaced a bit and I started getting my cards read seasonally with a friend of mine at a little New Age shop in my hometown. Once that experience waned, I pushed all of my “magic” aside and forgot about it. It wasn’t until a few years ago that it all started to resurface for me again, and as a way to help hone what I felt was a pretty strong intuition, I went out and bought for my first pack of Tarot cards and haven’t looked back since!
What does Tarot mean to you?
It’s such an amazing tool to help unearth all the feelings, emotions, and possibilities that lie within us. I approach Tarot in a way that helps empower whoever I read for in ways that they may not see or understand.
Fortune-telling is not my thing; instead, I like to use the cards to see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you may be headed according to current patterns and then help you continue on a path toward success or help you navigate through something difficult to become a happier, more fulfilled version of yourself. The future is in no way set in stone, and if the trajectory the cards point out is not one you’re comfortable on, we’ll take a look at what can be done to set it right!
Recently you’ve changed your business name from Ashes and Wine to your personal name, Matthew Philip Harris. Can you tell me a little about your desicion to do this?
When I started Ashes and Wine, I had an idea of where that brand would take me and what that business would look like. As it began to grow and evolve, I did as well, and eventually decided that if I was going to brand myself, I needed to do it in the most authentic way possible. I didn’t want to limit what I was able to do because I was known more for a brand name than my actual name. Changing things over not only lets people get to know me more, it also helps me find solace in offering as much as can to people to help them really get what they need out of my services.
What are some of your favourite decks?
The Fountain Tarot has become my true, go-to, favorite deck. It’s a beautiful, modern, subtle update to the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith and it speaks to me in ways no other deck has.
Aside from the original RWS, which is a close second, I’m a huge fan of independently produced and published decks. Serpentfire Tarot, Spiritspeak Tarot, and The Starchild Tarot are all favorites of mine because not only are they unique and beautiful, but their creators are amazingly kind and talented artists who pour their love of Tarot into their work; what more could you want from a deck?
When did you first become interested in the practice of Reiki?
I first became aware of the practice of Reiki through other Tarot readers I encountered online. I didn’t know too much about it when I decided to start studying it, but I found it fascinating, and I’m the kind of person who likes to learn as much as he can about something if I find it interesting (Saturn in Sagittarius in my Ninth House; if I’m going to learn to do something, I want to learn to do it right!). I found an amazing teacher here in Chicago and have since had my Level I and II attunements and am currently walking the Master path.
How is the Tarot scene in Chicago?
The Tarot scene here, from what I understand, is small but so amazing and supportive. I’ve had the change to meet or work with some awesome people, and there’s aways a sense of support and camaraderie. I have ideas of ways to help get us all together to help teach, support, and geek out on Tarot, so I’m hoping to get some of them off the ground and running soon!
Learn more about Matthew at MatthewPhilipHarris.com