This is a series of blog posts about my life in tarot and my experiences as a tarot reader. The characters in the series are based on people I actually read for — sometimes I’ve combined traits and readings from more than one client into one character for the purpose of storytelling (just in case you’re a regular of mine and see a bit of yourself in here). I love all my clients and respect their privacy, so key names and details have been changed. I’d love to hear your feedback about this series and whether you’d like to hear more! Previous installments of the series can be found here.
I do have standards. Who I will read for, who I won’t. What I will read about, what I won’t. I’ve never read for men who were romantically interested in me. I don’t read for children or teenagers – only adults who are capable of taking personal responsibility for their choices and actions. I don’t read about medical conditions. I don’t like to read about legal matters, and to cover my bases now, I have to explain in plain English, that my readings are for entertainment only (imagine me spitting those words out). In the state of Ohio, I became an ordained minister of the Church of Universal Life (online) in order to provide “spiritual counseling”. I still have my certificate, that I printed out from the webpage (it even has the URL at the top), in a binder – just in case I’m ever hassled. In some states and counties, fortune telling, as they put it in the books, is completely illegal.
I read for myself all the time. This is probably the greatest benefit of reading cards – how you can use them for yourself. I don’t read compulsively on every decision I’m faced with. Instead I typically draw one to three cards a day, make some notes in my journal, and let myself be surprised by how Universe finds a way to place those cards in my path. Certain cards resonate with me so deeply. The Empress is the third card in the Major Arcana. She represents a feminine receptive energy, sensuality, sexuality, motherhood. She’s typically depicted as voluptuous or pregnant or surrounded by animals. Over the years I’ve connected with her raw sexual energy, her fertility and now, her store of womanly wisdom. I’m constantly amazed by the new lessons that the Empress teaches me. She’s a good friend of mine. I’ve even made photo-copies of that card from my favorite decks to tape to my bathroom mirror. She reminds me of the things I want to be and I’m grateful for her influence in my life.
I even read for other tarot readers. Thanks to the internet I’ve gotten to know many tarot readers all over the world and even form close friendships with a few. I read cards for them – partially out of professional courtesy, but also because I have a lot of guts. It can be intimidating to read for someone who is reading the cards in a completely different fashion as you’re throwing them on the table. And that’s part of the charm of tarot. Everyone has their own reading voice and style. Some readers claim to channel spirits. Some say they are psychic – in the very day-time television sense of the word. Others, like me, say that we’re just readers. That we’re energy consultants – and we open dialogues with the self that you might have otherwise shied away from.
Jan is another tarot reader. She works full-time in a dreadful retail position and does tarot consulting in her precious free time. She is one of my regular querents – often asking me for spiritual advice. She senses this great void in her life and longs for something to fill it up. Over the years I’ve been reading for her, we’ve worked on big questions she’s had – meaning of life kind of stuff. Her readings are typically intense, but incredibly satisfying for me – only because her attitude toward the cards is so open and she just loves to talk her way through one of my readings. It’s more fun when the sitter is engaged in the reading, asking questions and pointing out things in the cards I might have missed on my own. There’s no happier feeling for me than sitting over a spread of cards with a cup of coffee and a good friend with a soft, open heart.
Remember the girl from the beginning? The grad school question? There were five cards on the table, and I was pointing to each, in-between each and trying my best to figure out the cardinal directions from where I was sitting, as I explained to her what she might encounter if she chose one certain grad program over another. After I would finish up each one, she would smile and nod, her eyes bright and focused on the table. She didn’t say much while I was reading, just asking a few questions about the particulars of the cards. When I finished the reading, I let it sink in a few minutes while she continued her careful examination of the spread.
“Well, was it good?”
“Yes!” she smiled widely, “It was so good. It was so fun. It was… different than what I was expecting.”
Yes. The Universe usually is.