Noel Heimpel, Creator of the Numinous Tarot | Interview

I wrote about the Numinous Tarot in my last newsletter and have been using it this month for some of my daily posts. It’s a beautiful deck. It’s beautiful in a few ways.
1. The artwork itself is lovely.

2. The edges are all shiny and sparkly. (Hi, I’m a magpie)

3. The diversity in race is glorious.
4. The representation of ways to love people is beautiful.
5. The different sizes and shapes and abilities of the folks in the beautiful cards is amazing.
6. The interpretation of the swords as bells brings clarity. Pentacles as Tomes brings groundedness. Cups as vessels brings satisfaction. Wands as Candles are enlightened.
This deck is representative of the world around us. It’s joyful and hopeful, dark and serious. It’s all parts of each of us. I couldn’t love it more if I tried, and I know for a fact that it changes lives.
The creator is Noel Heimpel, and they were sweet enough to fill out our questionnaire. Scroll to learn more about Noel and their fantastic work.


Tell us about yourself!
My name is Noel, I’m 27 years old, and I currently live in Seattle, WA making art and reading Tarot! I’m originally from Maryland, where I was blessedly brought up to embrace creativity and uniqueness. I’ve been drawing since I can remember and reading Tarot since I was 13. I’m a polytheistic animist and a witch—these days I call myself an art witch because my art and magic really couldn’t exist separately from one another. I love bright colors and fashion and being outdoors in nature as much as possible. I’m white, nonbinary, and queer (pan & gray-asexual/gray-romantic). My pronouns are they/them.
What’s your idea of happiness?
A mug of tea, a book, and some snacks while sitting outside under the sun is very much a picture of what happiness is for the introverted side of me. But these days more and more happiness to me is most often found within the connections I have to other people, whether in the flesh or online, whether directly or through a book or a deck or a comic they made, whether we’re very similar or very different. I felt very alone for much of my life, for various reasons, so the feeling of connecting and loving and understanding other people is so very fulfilling and brings me a lot of joy.
What’s your idea of misery?
In the past when I felt that deep aloneness and disconnect, when I was afraid to connect with others or wasn’t able to because abuse had warped my view of what connection meant, or what it would bring for me, that was really miserable and would be again. Also, one time I saw a bunch of JROTC teens jogging and chanting military songs in unison and felt deep in my core that doing that sort of thing would be absolutely antithetical to my very being, so there’s that! I love connection but I also can’t stand the thought of being molded into a single uniform unit, personally. I gotta let my individual weirdness shine.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
The thing I appreciate most about my friends is their deep compassion. Everyone in my life right now is full of compassion and love for others, including people they don’t know. Many of them are activists and organizers who work hard & fight to better the lives of oppressed people, and to create better communities for us all. It’s really difficult and draining work but they do it out of love. The same can be said for my friends who are creatives & makers, putting work out for those of us who normally don’t see ourselves in media. And that love and compassion is present in our personal interactions as well; I never have to worry these days about being judged or turned away if I go to one of my friends with a problem.
Where would you like to live?
I’m actually extremely happy right where I am! I live in a cooperatively run—as much as we can without owning the place anyway—house in Seattle, right near to a big park and almost all the amenities I need, with roommates who are my chosen family, and little could be better than that. Maybe one day I’d like to live more out in the country, closer to the ocean, but I definitely love being in the Pacific Northwest (I’m originally from Maryland) and feel like I’m here to stay for a long time.
Your favorite colors and flowers?
Right now I’m very partial to light pink (“Millennial pink” as they say), bright yellow, gold, and turquoise! I have a bajillion favorite flowers as well but bluebells and sunflowers are at the top of the list for the moment.
Your favorite poets or authors?
I have so many favorite authors, but the top of my list right now are: Virginia Woolf, Alice Hoffman, Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Pratchett, RoAnna Sylver, and Claudie Arseneault. The first big four have been inspiring my expression of magic & emotion since I was a teen, and the last two are friends of mine in indie/self-publishing whose works are really wonderful and queer stories that I see myself in very deeply, in ways I normally don’t. People should definitely check them out & give them the attention they deserve!
Your heroes/heroines in fiction?
Sam Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels is definitely one of my favorite heroes. He just has a core-deep understanding of justice and the will to enact it—without looking for personal glory—that I find admirable and inspiring. And child-me looked up to Daine from Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals series a lot. I mean, she could talk to animals! And use that magic to make a difference in her world! That will never not be cool.
Your heroes/heroines in real life?
Right now I am in total admiration of all of my peers in both the queer Tarot world and in comics, for doing the work they do and creating all this beautiful community space for us to thrive in. Especially in a society that devalues creative work, especially when made by marginalized people. The fact that they are still out there creating and thriving and supporting one another inspires me and keeps me going every day!
What is your present state of mind?
I feel very grateful and blessed right now. For the past week I’ve been receiving a lot of heartfelt messages and reviews concerning the Numinous Tarot, as well as way more new orders than I expected to get during the first few weeks of sales, and I barely know what to do with all the feelings that inspires! It is so fulfilling to know that this thing I made is being received exactly the way I intended it to, and that it’s having a positive effect on people’s lives. Plus the financial support continually brings me closer to possibly quitting my part-time day job to work full time on Tarot and art, which is my dream. But even without that, just hearing that you’ve touched someone with your work is the best feeling in the world.
What role does divination play in your life?
Divination has always been a tool for self-exploration and healing for me. It helps me put my life, my thoughts, and my feelings into a framework from which I can study and understand them better. Then I can make better, more heartfelt choices of where to go or what to do next, I can find closure, I can find acceptance, all sorts of things are possible. Especially as a trauma & child abuse survivor who has been trained to dismiss their own needs & emotions, being able to check in with myself via Tarot is very affirming and has helped me rebuild a lot of self-confidence.
Divination is also part of my career now, thanks to the Numinous Tarot! So there is now a business aspect to that relationship, where I have to work to market and sell and all of those things. It also puts me into contact with other people, whether they’re getting readings from me or buying my deck, and seeing how those things affect them. Between those interactions and the larger divination community I’m a part of online, it means Tarot is something that builds a lot of connection for me as well as being a personal tool.
What is your favorite deck or divination tool?
Honestly, my deck is currently my favorite tool, haha. Reading with it is kind of like having a conversation with my ideal self. Since the cards are all literal representations of my personal experience with Tarot, and my personal interpretations of the cards, it makes them extremely easy to read with and it’s rare I don’t immediately understand what they’re trying to tell me. Or perhaps what I’m trying to tell me! I am also really partial to the Circo Tarot by Marisa de la Peña—the colors are just gorgeous and it has a really interesting personality.
Your favorite songs?
Right now I’m really into “The Heart’s Swift Foot” by Red Tail Ring, although “Civilian” by Wye Oak will always be a top fave!
Your favorite word?
Umbel! Which is a type of flower structure—think carrot flowers or Queen Anne’s lace.
Your least favorite word?
I really hate the word “yummy,” especially when applied to non-food things. It just makes me shudder for some reason.
What about your favorite curse word?
“Fuck” is definitely my favorite curse word, it just has such a great force to it AND can be inserted into the middle of other words for amazing emphasis.
What sound or noise do you love?
I adore the sound of a babbling stream, wind rushing through leaves, birds singing…the sound of nature in general, especially forest noises! I also really like “sparkly” and jangly sounding noises in music, they’re so pleasant and uplifting.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Any sort of overlapping talking or competing noises, or loud noise in general. I have an auditory processing disorder so if there is too much background noise, or more than one person is speaking, etc., everything just turns to gibberish and I can’t understand a thing! My brain can’t prioritize competing noises so that and loud noises just get me really frazzled. Leaf blowers especially ought to be outlawed.
What turns you on?
Creativity, thoughtfulness, and joy are definitely at the top of that list.
What turns you off?
Cynicism, dismissiveness, and unwarranted meanness, for sure.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive?
“Welcome! Please have a rest before you move on to your next life. You did a good job.”

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