#113 Marv Machura: The Ancient Wisdom of The Tarot
Johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer to Venus. I’m Johnny Burke, and today’s guest is Marv Machura. He is a musician, a practicing psychic, and author of The Five Card Pentagram Tarot. In this episode, we will be talking about how he views the Tarot as the book of ancient wisdom of our humanity, and as a guide to our future. Marv, welcome to the program.
Marv Machura: Thank you Johnny.
Johnny Burke: guitar player, songwriter, psychic, and author of a book about the Tarot. So what actually came first?
Marv Machura: a musician before anything. Although I’ve had psychic tendencies my whole life, it was mainly for friends and family. I just became a psychic, or a practicing psychic, and wrote the book during the Covid crisis. There were no places to play as a musician except at the farmer’s markets where you busk, open up your case and play. And so I was doing that because as a musician you got to play. When I was there, I thought, maybe I could read a few cards and make a little extra money on the side. And from that little gem idea, I approached the people, they said it was a good idea to do, but I’d need a whole booth and a tent and all that kind of regalia, wouldn’t be so simple as being just there as a musician.
As time went by, I decided I would try it. And then when I tried it, I started reading more about the Tarot and learning more about it and started writing the book. Eight months later was written and published and I was a full-fledged practicing psychic.
Johnny Burke: That question about what came first is interesting because, with psychic tendencies, they do tend to manifest very early on, six, or seven years old. So in this case, you actually start playing guitar after that? It sounds like you start playing afterwards.
Marv Machura: I would’ve started playing guitar when I was about seven or eight years old. I’ve been doing it ever since. Yeah. Pretty close. Yeah.
Johnny Burke: What drew you to the Tarot as opposed to, shamanism or any number of things that are in that mystical realm?
Marv Machura: The cards themselves, I find very intriguing and they’re a very universal way to tell fortunes, and telling fortunes is one aspect of being a psychic that can provide you a little bit of monetary help, I guess in your life, which is not the main reason for doing it for certain, but that utility of the cards, was the first force to push me in that direction. I can read palms. I can do other things to the cards, Just the practicality of them was what, made me want to write this book, research them more deeply and involve myself in the Tarot.
Johnny Burke: What were some of your early psychic experiences?
Marv Machura: Willow stick. So that’s where it all began. And then I started reading some material about card reading and palm reading and was interested in that in my early twenties. And I discovered that I could do it with a regular card deck. So I wasn’t originally doing it with Tarot cards. I was reading fortunes for people at parties with a regular card deck using the layouts that I had learned, and the information about the tarot that is transferrable to a regular card deck because they are similar the regular card deck is a child of the full-blown Tarot deck.
Johnny Burke: So you had some experiences when you were young. So it came naturally to you, your grandfather taught you how to find water underground or underground wells?
Marv Machura: He was what was called in the language that he was from Ukrainian, a water witch. That’s the kind of translation that it comes to. So he was able to find water for all the people around the settlement area where he settled in Western Canada. He was also a healer, and he could dispatch evil spirits and spells like that too. He was into a little bit of that stuff.
Johnny Burke: It sounds like that’s in your bloodline then, right? your grandfather? Did your parents display any type of psychic ability?
Marv Machura: My mom is quite psychic.
Johnny Burke: Okay. Your parents and your grandfather and possibly other people as well?
Marv Machura: Long line through the family, yeah.
Johnny Burke: Right. So did that help your abilities or do you think they would’ve just developed anyway?
Marv Machura: They helped the abilities blossom. They’re innate and it’s like any other talent. You have it, but you need to work it too to maximize it. Certainly, I’d be the first one to say I’m blessed musically. A lot of musicians also have psychic abilities. Especially songwriters, because you’re tuning into the same kind of vibration that’s in underground water and the vibration of the entire universe. And then the vibration of our own bodies. Our minds.
Johnny Burke: I’m a musician and I’m definitely not psychic. Not as far as I know anyway.
Marv Machura Everybody has psychic abilities. It depends on how much you have.
I believe everybody does have it
Johnny Burke: I hear that more and more, but I’ve also been told that we have them. Some people will go as far as to say, as a civilization, we had them thousands and thousands of years ago when things like telepathy were normal and everybody had them. But nowadays, it’s as if they’ve been pretty much switched off or they do switch off at about seven or eight years old and we have them, they’re just latent. And some people have them closer to the surface, than others. Would you agree with that?
Marv Machura: I agree with that. Yeah. my grandfather, for example, showed my brother and sister certain techniques that he knew especially with finding water, and they couldn’t do it. Whereas I found it just so easy and he taught me how to do it and what to listen for. He was pretty amazing. He could tell you how deep it was and what kind of water it was.
Johnny Burke: Really? and they called him a water witch. How do you conduct a reading on your own from the cards? Can you give us an example?
Marv Machura: It’s very straightforward. You engage with the person that you’re engaging with get them to relax, get into the flow, and, shuffle the cards.
It’s usually good to have a sort of ritual that you do this at, say if you’re drawing five cards, shuffle the card deck five times. But there’s no hard and fast rule about that. You draw a card and the vibrations between the person who asked the question, and myself and the deck, bring up a card that that person needs to hear at that particular time. And then as a reader, I read the card according to what I see psychically and what the card represents metaphysically through the ages because the beauty of the Tarot deck, cause there’s 78 cards it covers the human condition so well in so many ways. So one of those cards is definitely going to be what that person needs to hear about their life at that particular time or into the future. It’s going to show something about the human condition. That will either be in the past or in the present, depending on what the question is and where you’re pulling it out into the shape or the layout that you have. I find it’s almost inexplicable, but the right card gets pulled at the right time and it’s exactly what they need to hear at that time.
Johnny Burke: Now the vibrations that you get from the sitter, right? That informs which card is drawn or which card they pick. How does that work?
Marv Machura: Yeah, I would say it’s very similar to what, what’s happening with water when the willows are pulling it down, where there’s water underneath, there’s electricity. Tesla said, the universe is energy, frequency, vibration and there’s something there that is a vortex of energy, if you will, that, takes the magic of the moment and puts it into that kind of focus that needs to be there. And I guess as a reader, the psychic, you have the ability to pull that down and enter into that unseen world.
Johnny Burke: Unseen world. Okay. So you are a practicing psychic. Do you also consider yourself a medium or not necessarily?
Marv Machura: Oh, I’m definitely a medium. Yeah, a psychic is a medium. Yeah. You are a medium for the energy. You are in tune with a greater reality of the universe than say your average person.
Johnny Burke: Is it fair to assume that all mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums?
Marv Machura: Great question. Yes.
Johnny Burke: Right. Okay. With every rule, I know there’s exceptions, but that does tend to come up, quite a bit. That’s what I’ve been told anyway- all mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums. Psychics can read energy, but not all of them can communicate with the dead.
Marv Machura: Correct.
Johnny Burke: In your work with the Tarot, do you communicate with spirit guides, either your own or those of the sitter? Sometimes it’s that of the sitter and sometimes it’s their own spirit guides.
Marv Machura: Yeah. That’s a very fair assessment of that. Yes.
Johnny Burke: Right. Have you had any experience with them outside of your work?
Marv Machura: Yes, I have.
Johnny Burke: Is it kind of like choosing a radio station or frequency?
Marv Machura: You have to be very, very careful when you enter into those zones, where the spirits are because not all of them are beneficial. The astral plane, it’s filled with energy and vibrations. And again, not all good. There’s polarization everywhere in the universe. Fact of life. Those in the craft called the left-hand path are very dangerous. and I wouldn’t recommend anybody to go there
Johnny Burke: Okay, I know there’s a left-hand path, which you just alluded to, and then there’s the right?
Marv Machura: That’s just a saying. It’s the left path. If you think of it like this, like when you say to somebody, have a nice day, you are in fact putting a vibration out there, a positive vibration, and it’s like ripples in a creek, it keeps going, but if you curse somebody, it’s the same thing. it just is the opposite of Hey, have a great day. But if you look at somebody and curse them literally you are in a small level engaging in very powerful energy, negative energy that can rebound on you. It always does. Curses have always come back twice, three times as what you have. especially people who get into that kind of thing.
It’s maybe the most cowardly kind of curse you can do once you get into this psychic realm and the psychic mediums and things like that that are out there. You have to be very, very strong. I wouldn’t recommend it as something that people should do recreationally. I did for many, many years but then now that I’m into it full-time, it’s different. because you do get much closer to the contact.
Johnny Burke: From what I’m told, it’s not for the neophyte. Every type of intuitive I’ve interviewed has stressed the need for protection.
Marv Machura: Absolutely, yeah. You have to be very careful traveling forward. You need to be well informed. First of all, it’s not for somebody who thinks you can buy a tarot deck and play around with it. it’s not recommended.
Johnny Burke: Of course. what are the parallels between Tarot readings and mediumship readings? I know mediumship readings mostly are for those that are grieving, they’re trying to contact their deceased relative or friend. But other than that, are they similar or where does the similarity actually end?
Marv Machura: The Tarot deck does frame things in a way that can be more easily handled. I would say I’m not that experienced with doing past lives and going into other realms in the Astral plane. that’s not where I want to be, the basic difference is the safety of the cards because you’re dealing just with the medium of the card reader and your questions. It’s much less dangerous to tie into the universal vibrations of that realm. when you go beyond that you get into dangerous realms.
Johnny Burke: You mentioned the astral plane earlier, and you are a musician. How is that related to the astral plane and to your work with the Tarot ? How is it related, if at all?
Marv Machura: That’s a really great question. everything is related when you live your life like that, you are very in tune with the vibrations of the universe. You know it when you’re playing your music and you just be carried away. Like, are you a lead guitar player by chance?
Johnny Burke: I don’t really play anymore, but yeah, I was.
Marv Machura: You know when there are times when you are selfless. You’ve changed your internal vibration. It seems like the most horribly selfish thing to do, to play guitar and be showing off and all that. But the truth is when you get into that zone, there is no ego, there is no anything. The best kind of playing is when the astral planes are playing through you if I can use that expression.
I feel that too as a card reader; the best readings are the ones when I just become nothing. I’m part of that. I practice that. I learn it. It’s all those things that become you because you’re not fully formed here on this planet. You have to learn stuff, you have to practice, and you have to get better and better at it. And you never stop learning. Those moments of flow, those moments of heightened awareness, those moments of Zen, when everything makes sense are very similar to what the painter feels, the fighter feels, on the field when he refuses to surrender and when you’re working and you’re going to work that extra bit, you’ve had enough, but you keep going and you find that in you to do it. It’s a similar kind of feeling when you get to that point of egoless, similar to the eastern religions thinking to the point of not thinking if there’s a way to make that clear. It’s kind of hard.
But there is a point of the transcendence of this particular plane that you’re on. As a teacher, as a musician or as a psychic, even like what we’re doing right now, I’m somewhat engaging you to transcend who you are right now- if you leave this conversation, and you feel the same as you were when you started it. I haven’t done my job. I haven’t pushed you into some new way of thinking, some new realm. Everything is verbal. It’s a word, there’s a reason why the Bible starts with that. The word is very much the vibration, the original vibration. Think about when you learn a new word, and what that does to your mind. It’s a similar kind of thing when you learn some new concept, and a concept is always framed by a word.
Johnny Burke: You brought up a really good point about trying to raise the vibe- you mentioned if I hit the stop button and I close down my computer and I don’t feel any different, you didn’t do your job. I tend to feel the same way when I’m really pushing for something to really uncover some kind of truth. The questions people have, they’re all the same. It’s not like there’s 897 questions. There’s a handful of existential questions and sometimes I feel like I have to push that person to go a little bit deeper, to really find those answers, or even for myself learning what questions to bring up next time, because I learn a little bit from everybody that comes on to Closer to Venus, hopefully, other people get the same thing. Does that make sense?
Marv Machura: Yeah, it does. And then transmit that to the querent or the person who’s listening to you as a musician or as a psychic. Music is the fundamental vibration of the universe, the music of the spheres. It’s not an accident at all that musicians tend to be more psychic than your average population. And there have been studies that have shown that too.
Johnny Burke: Let’s talk about the book. The Five-Card Pentagram Tarot. When did you know it was time to write it? What were the main inspirations?
Marv Machura: During that time when I was transitioning to become a practicing psychic, I was reading lots of books about the Tarot honing my practice up and I realized that there are two types of books about the Tarot. There’s the ones that are really simple and they don’t give a lot of information to the querant. And then there’s the ones that are really difficult and they probably give too much. So I saw a need as practical as the scenes. I saw a need for a book that was in the middle that would give really great information to somebody who is seeking it, but not overwhelm them. With too much detail about every card in the deck and its history.
So I stuck to a single layout to keep things simple so it’s the five-card pentagram layout, so everything in the book is just about that particular layout. You can use the tarot deck in my book as a self-help guide for looking into your life, that’s where I see that the book has value. It’s a book very much a part of me and all my learning and what I know about life. When you read,each essay is the same for each card, about three paragraphs long, when you read that, I hope you get transformed and you read what you need to hear at that particular moment about what your life is about to become. The five-card layout is not about your past life. It’s not about 10 years down the road, there’s other layouts for those kinds of questions. The five-card layout picks one card from each part of the deck and you lay it out in the classic pentagram style, and it gives you a card for your spirit, a card for your health, a card for your money, a card for your love, and card for your mind. So it’s a very comprehensive reading that you can do for yourself and look at your whole self at this particular time, where are you spiritually? Where are you health-wise? Where are you physically needing some advice?
Each card has lore about those parts of the human condition. So there’s 14 cards about your health, and those 14 cards cover a wide span of what the human health can be. You can be giving up, you’re feeling no energy at all because you’re so depressed and lonely. You could be feeling an exuberance of energy because you’re just starting something brand new, and you just feel like leaping off the page. There’s a card for that. There’s 22 cards. The most important card is the Spirit card or the Trump card. There’s 22 cards in the Trumps. The only one that’s left in a regular deck is the joker.
Johnny Burke :Did you say trump card?
Marv Machura Yeah, that’s what they’re called. No offense
Johnny Burke: know. I know. Maybe we could switch out the trump card for the Joker ? and
Marv Machura: Okay. we could call them the Arcanas. Arcana means mystery and there’s the major mysteries and the minor mysteries. There’s 22 cards in the spiritual journey that start with the joker and they go all the way up to the universe, the highest awareness. In different parts of your life, your spiritual journey will be at different parts of these 22 steps. I’ve been just reading more about the kabbalists lately and the Jewish alphabet of 22 cards and how the Tarot was really just a reflection of many parts of the kabbalist literature.
Johnny Burke: Now that’s interesting. You’re saying there’s a parallel between the Tarot and the kabbalah?
Marv Machura: Oh yeah. the Tarot is very much influenced by the kabbalists, the philosophy of the Tree of Life. All the Sefaria, the stones of knowledge and stuff like that, that are part of that Jewish tradition, the mystical part of the Jewish faith.
Johnny Burke: I believe it was the kabbalists, in their work, they did at one point actually believe in reincarnation, and then that movement just kind of faded into history,
Marv Machura There’s also the trinity and the Tree of life. The Trinity, instead of the tri-headed god – Father Son, the Holy Spirit goes back prior to the Christian age. I know a lot of people can disagree with me vehemently on that, but it’s been around since Hermes, it’s been around since the Egyptians transferred all these times. There’s a reason for it. Even though it still sort of evades most people’s knowledge or ability to comprehend that
Johnny Burke: I’m definitely not a theologian, but I know several people that would really just tear into that.
Marv Machura: Oh , it’s fascinating.
Johnny Burke: I like to see how many of these things are connected. I didn’t know anything about the Kabbalah and having some kind of connection or influence on the Tarot. I always thought it was more than a parlor game. But like the Ouija board, it’s not a toy. It’s not anything that you should really play with.
Speaking of the Tarot, there are different layouts for different questions. So do people come to you, and they ask questions about past lives or future lives or anything like that? how many different layouts are there?
Marv Machura: There’s no end to the number of layouts that are possible. Yeah.
Johnny Burke: Okay.
Marv Machura: There are the basic ones that get used. There’s a layout for the past lives. There’s layouts for the present life. There’s layouts for the present life, there’s layout for the far future, the current problems. That’s the beauty of the Tarot.
Johnny Burke: When you do those readings when people have questions about past lives, are you reading their energy or are you just connecting to something in the unseen world? How does that work?
Marv Machura: The cards provide the guideposts for seeing the energies that are needed to be told at that time. The more I do this, the less I need the cards. It seems that the card that gets pulled, I know what it’s going to be before it gets pulled almost nine times out of 10. Again, being very, very familiar with the cards and what they all mean and what the journey of life is about, and how they represent such an amazing, robust picture of the human condition.
Johnny Burke: At the outset of this episode, I did mention that you described the Tarot as a book of ancient wisdom of our humanity. It’s part of the universe and it’s also a guide to our future.
Marv Machura: In symbolic form.
Johnny Burke: What else do our listeners need to know about the Tarot?
Marv Machura: I believe it goes way back- perhaps even the Atlantians or even beyond that, you’ve heard of the thing: hidden in plain sight, and because they didn’t want this knowledge that goes back probably right to the green tables of Hermes,now that I understand that a little better. Different political viewpoints and stuff would like to squash different ideas and stuff like that of the freedom of what the universe is because they have their own version and they don’t want that full-blown version, let’s say.
So to hide the book, the book of knowledge of the nature of humanity and the nature of the universe, from those who would destroy it becomes symbolic. The 78 pages were written down at some point in our history by these ancient societies that Plato was a part of too. The Pythagorean societies all the way back to the Egyptians, to the Hermes and Toth, the book becomes understandable to a select group of people who have it. It’s very utilized again for fortune telling, but that’s not the main thing that it was meant for; the book was to teach us history by these ancient societies to teach us about ourselves the nature of our spirit, the nature of our health, and how everything’s tied together in the vibration of the universe and the truth about humanity, the truth about God, the truth about our purpose here.
The more I deal with the Tarot cards and I see the layers of complexity in those pages, kind of a bible for lack of a better word, but a beautiful book of what it means to be human, and answer those questions that bug us as humans. Why are we here? Why am I sick? Why am I suffering? Why am I happy? What’s the purpose of life?
And these secret societies have kept the secrets. I don’t know if you know the Masons or not, but as it goes up in the higher levels of Masonry, you’re back into the Tarot, you’re back into the secrets. And not everybody can handle the secrets, that’s the thing. Right? So secret societies are there to withhold information from people who would use it in a bad way.
My book has about 800-word essay on each card. My new book, they’re more like, 3,500 words per card. I’m going deeper into the symbolic meaning and so the 78 compendium of symbols and magic, and it’s still magic for me to take that deck and pull a card and that’s exactly what that person needs to hear at that particular time. It provides that guidepost. As a practicing psychic, you know about that, and you engage in this secret mystery of our existence. I think my book itself is a very cursory kind of thing that can help people because I, really think Tarot should be there to help people. There’s nothing bad about the Tarot cards. I always start my readings by saying that there is no bad card. You just get the card you need at that time in your life to carry through and learn and move on.
Johnny Burke: If I understood you, some of the secret societies held back knowledge like this because they didn’t want people to use it for the wrong purpose. I’ve never heard that before, but
Marv Machura: And for people to destroy it. Say somebody who’s a leader and with destructive tendencies, that book would be cards. So it’s not going to be burned by the Nazis. if you want to destroy, a culture, you don’t, it’s not bombs that does it, its books are still that way. The word carries on and it can be used very negatively, very positively too, and in certain prophecies, mankind’s not humankind. Humankind’s not ready for that yet.
At such time as when we’re ready, ancient knowledge will be revealed. And I think on an individual level that happens to people like myself when they indulge in what I’ve done over the last couple of years. I’m very grateful that I’ve done it because it certainly has expanded my view of everything from the sun, the moon to the stars and the vibration to a drop of water on a leaf.
Johnny Burke: There is a real complexity about the Tarot with its history and its uses. And as you say, you’re actually writing a second book, the Five Card Pentagram Tarot, is that available through your website?
Marv Machura: It’s on my website and amazon and every bookseller out there.
Johnny Burke: Okay. Excellent. Marv, thanks for, coming onto the show. Very, very interesting stuff on the Tarot. Maybe there is a part two in the future- how can our listeners find you online?
Marv Machura: Universe -psychic.com.