It was only a matter of time, of course, before someone at The Company Googled me and discovered MadeByMark.com.
As word spread about the site, I’ve seen a huge spike in traffic from The Company’s servers (yes, my dear co-workers, I can see when you visit me!) and a big increase in Google keyword searches on my name.
And that’s just fine. I’ve been writing about my life, right out here in the open, for eight years now. I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of what I believe. And I’m proud of this web site, where I’ve been posting on a regular basis since the year 2000.
Especially if you’re a casual reader, you might expect that my fifteen-year marriage to another man is responsible for all the water-cooler talk about MadeByMark these days. Well, you’d be wrong. The Company, you see, values diversity, and my marriage has never, not even for a day, been a secret. Without wearing anything on my sleeve, I am who I am … and so I’ve never made any effort to cover up the relationship that means more to me than anything else on Earth.
What has ’em whispering, then?
Well … it’s that Tarot thing.
I should note, right up front, that several people at The Company have been very cool about my work with Tarot. Some have approached me with compliments and questions, both of which I appreciate. It’s no surprise, though, that a very small group of co-workers are all aflutter over the fact that I “read cards.”
First things first: I do a lot more than read cards. I’ve been studying Tarot — its history, its evolution, its application, its structure, its origins, its future — for a dozen years or so. I’ve read dozens of books and manuscripts on the subject. I’ve written a half-dozen books on Tarot (the best one is The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Tarot , if you’re interested!), and I’ve designed and scripted several Tarot decks. I travel the world teaching classes and speaking about Tarot. I’ve appeared on talk shows and news segments. When the folks writing questions for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” want to be sure their Tarot-related questions are accurate, they call me.
In mentioning these things, I don’t mean to brag … but I do hope to communicate one simple idea: if you want to know something about Tarot — and, especially, my work with and my approach to Tarot —talk to me.
Please don’t rely on your crazy cousin Lucinda, who, at the ripe old age of thirteen, freaked out after handling the cards at a slumber party. Don’t rely on what you’ve seen in movies, on television, or on ads for Sister Doololly’s $5.95-per-minute Double-Wide Tarot Reading Emporium. Don’t rely on your preacher or pastor, who, despite never having studied the cards or their history, will undoubtedly seize upon your question as an opportunity to spout a bunch of second-hand nonsense in order to maintain the illusion that he or she is all-knowing and wise.
If you want to know something about Tarot, just ask me. I won’t be offended. I won’t be put off. I won’t be defensive. I’m a nice guy, and I’m a specialist in making Tarot more approachable and easier to understand. In fact, I’m eager to talk with you about the cards … because, in addition to knowing a great deal about them, I know a great deal about their potential to help everyday people think more clearly, make better choices, and plan for the future.
So: talk to me.
Or … don’t. But if you don’t, you have some questions to consider. How do you like it when people pre-judge you because of your skin color … or your religion … or your ethic background? How does it feel when, instead of getting to know you, people make assumptions about you based on their experience with other people people of your race, sexual orientation, or faith?
Well, that’s exactly how I feel when folks pre-judge me. If you’re drawing conclusions about me based on nothing more than misconceptions and water-cooler gossip … how are you any better than the people who have done the same to you with regard to your race, your faith, your sexual orientation, or your beliefs?