So I’ve been out of the blogging loop for a while, but am raring to go again after extended down time. I have gone through cycles of really doubting the worth of what I have to say, but after a magical summer of camping, nature, and lots of inner work and journalling with the tarot I am happy to say that I am on the path to reclaiming my voice.
I just read Ethony‘s recent blog post this morning over tea, itself based on an April blog post from James over at Left Hand Tarot, which is a list of questions every client should be asking their tarot reader, and that every tarot reader should be able to answer. Not every reader is going to be a perfect fit for every client, and these questions are a great way to get to know the style, philosophy, and attitude of a reader before you shell out your hard-earned money. (James’s post really gets into how to separate the superficial ego-driven tarot reader from the confidant Conscious reader — I really recommend giving it a read if you’re shopping around for a reader).
So here goes: *subject to change at any time, as my view of tarot is constantly evolving with experience and knowledge.
- Were you mentored, or were you self-taught?
Both… kind of. When I got my first deck at 14, I was living in a very remote area in the time before internet. My only way of learning about tarot was through the dense “Pictorial Key to the Tarot” that I bought with my deck, and through library books I had to order by mail. (More on my tarot journey here). Since getting back into serious tarot study about 4 years ago, the internet has made it so easy to connect and learn. My e-reader means I can buy and download books instantly, even though I still live in a geographically remote area. My current tarot book collection is somewhere over 50 books, and I am almost always reading about the craft. While I do not have a one-on-one mentor, I am a paying member of the Tarosophy Tarot Association, through which I can bounce ideas off of and learn from other professional tarot readers. I have taken classes through the Association, as well as an excellent course on the Thoth tarot from Andrew McGregor at The Hermit’s Lamp. And I am so excited to be starting a course with the amazing Camelia Elias within the next few weeks on Cards and Magic. My philosophy on tarot (and life) is to never stop learning, from whatever sources I can.
- Are you a psychic or tarot reader?
Ick. I may piss some people off with this answer, but I find the word “psychic” uncomfortable. It even has the word “ick” in it. Lol. To me, it has the connotations of hucksterism and late-night infomercials. People who label themselves as psychic, who talk about their “Gifts” come across to me as being pretentious and arrogant.
I believe every single person has intuitive abilities — I believe our intuition is a sense just as valid as our senses of sight or hearing. Think about it — cave people millenia ago must have relied heavily on an intuitive sense of danger, like say a sabre tooth tiger waiting to pounce on them. Those who relied on intuition to save themselves from danger lived to pass their strengthened intuition on to their offspring. So we all have intuition, but I think it is like a muscle — the more you use it, the stronger you can train it to be. While I do use intuition to read cards, I would say I am a card reader first and foremost. I use the skills and knowledge I have acquired, the traditional meanings of the cards, numerology, symbology, and story telling skills to read what the cards say. I do not speak with spirit guides or angels or connect with the dead. I just read the cards.
- Are your predictions accurate, and is accuracy important to you?
Sometimes they are accurate, sometimes they are not. I look at tarot like meteorology — no weather forecaster is ever 100% accurate with their weather predictions. I believe that the future is malleable — that we have the power to change and shape our future with our current actions. Like a meteorologist, I can use tarot to tell you what at this moment looks like may happen, based on what you have done in the past and what you are doing now.
In my approach to the tarot, I prefer to focus on the present moment and what can be done in the here and now to bring about the future you wish to happen. So, in that sense accuracy is not that important. What is important is what the client can take away from the reading to improve a situation. Empowerment is more important than accuracy.
- Is there anything you can’t predict in a reading?
Well, as I have said I prefer to read about the present moment rather than predict the future, so I would say that there are quite a few things I can’t predict in a reading. Questions concerning timing of events (When will ___ happen?) are difficult. I do not presume to predict medical outcomes, death, or the personal lives of other people not present in the reading (except as in how another person may impact the client). Lottery numbers, sports games and elections are also out.
- Do you use only tarot, or are you multi-disciplinary?
Besides tarot, I also love using Lenormand cards (another divinitory card system). They are very straight-forward and literal, and I actually prefer them to tarot for some questions. I dabble in runes, but use them only for myself right now, as I don’t feel my proficiency in runes is high enough to offer to other people at this time. In other words I still need practice. I also have been known to whip out a pendulum during a reading.
- Is the message in the cards or in your head?
A hard one to answer. For me, the message is in the cards, but then it is filtered through my head. All my knowledge of symbols, correspondences, elements, numbers, colours, and the traditional structure of the tarot informs the reading, tinged by my own intuition. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, or playing a game of chess — the message is in the cards, but they must be put together, links drawn, patterns figured out before the cards can tell their story.
- Are you a priest or a fortune teller?
I am really uncomfortable with the term “Priestess”, in the same way that I don’t like to call myself a psychic. It is just not me. However, as much as I am a practical, pragmatic, knowledge-based reader, the “Oracular Moment” is also a big part of my practice. Sometimes messages come through which have little to do with the traditional learning I have acquired through the years, and that’s cool. I guess that would be a considered a Priestess moment by some, but I just hate pretentious labels. I also don’t really care for the term “fortune teller” — again it is just not a good fit for me, as I prefer to focus on the present moment.
- Are you a fixer or a looker?
I tend to be a fixer, although I can be quite happy being a looker. If a client just wants to look into a situation, I will lay out the cards, tell them what I see, and enter a dialogue about the cards and how they apply. I like to follow a client’s lead, and if they seem up to taking a proactive approach to their future, I will gladly lay cards to help them choose what actions to take to lead them to the future they desire. Sometimes there is nothing to fix — sometimes a client just needs to hear “I see you. I see what you’re going through.”
- Do you read for free or for fee?
I read for a fee. I put my time in doing free readings to “build my chops”. I still offer free readings once in a while. But for me at this time, I prefer to be paid for not just the time I put into doing a reading, but also for the years of study and practice it took to make me the reader I am today.
- Is there anything you won’t predict in a reading?
I think I covered this with question #4. Medical and legal questions are best taken to a doctor or a lawyer. Invasive third-party readings (such as: What is my ex-boyfriend’s new relationship like? Will so-and-so leave their husband for me?) are out. I prefer to take a client-based approach, so I try to always tune my questions towards the client’s perspective. Timing questions are out, such as “When will I finally meet Mr. Right?”.There — 10 questions to get to know me better as a reader. If you have any other questions you would like to ask me, please do! 🙂