From a youth spent obsessing about Buffy, and subsequently Wicca, to a chance purchase of a Tarot deck along the banks of the Seine to a relatively recent obsession with Astrology, various forms of divination and the occult have always fascinated me. Perpetually oscillating between skepticism and mystification, I’ve always found it hard to remedy my spiritual explorations and ideas with my more cynical, analytical, and practical side.
It was with this mix of trepidation, skepticism, curiosity, and even a little bit of hope that I went to my first tarot card reading a few weeks ago. I found myself riding the bus to Kitchener, trying to prep my face into poker-like blankness and thinking of what I really expected to get out of the experience. I had found my tarotist online. Her name is Kathleen Meadows, and it was her academic, and not her psychic credentials, that pulled me in. According to her website, Meadows “holds an M.A. Degree in Religion and Culture with special emphasis on the Sacred Feminine and the writings of Carl Jung from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.” I thought this academic background would give her a very interesting perspective on the insights and effectiveness of tarot and was proven more than right when I finally met her.
I went to Meadows’ apartment for the reading, although she also does house calls. I found her instantly likeable, not something that I commonly admit, and the incense-scented room was far from the kitschy psychic dens in pop culture. One side of the well-lit room was covered in pencil-case like purses that I later learned were filled with dozens of different tarot decks, a computer buzzed away in one corner where Meadows must manage all her online bookings, and the lace-covered table complete with crystal ball seemed mildly out-of-place in the other-wise unassuming home office.
Kathleen with Susan Shearer at Rogers Cable Channel doing a sample reading
From "It's all in the cards" by Johanna Weidner
in The Record
Kathleen Meadows believes the tarot goes way
beyond simple fortune-telling to opening a window to the unconscious.
"The tarot is an amazing source of wisdom about human
development and about ourselves and people in our lives,"
..."I think everyone will find themselves in the tarot,"
said Meadows, who is a researcher for Kitchener's Community
Justice Initiatives as well as a teacher of local tarot classes.
She also offers private readings. "I think it's a great
Reading the tarot does not necessarily require psychic ability,
Meadows said, but it does nurture a person's natural intuition."
...There are hundreds of tarot decks available, and each person
must find the ones that resonates with him or her, Meadows explained.
For instance, Meadow's interest in tarot was sparked by a feminist
deck which focused on images of women.
Excerpts from "Seeing a purpose in the patterns" by Mirko Petricevic in The Record
Daily newspaper in Kitchener (Faith Section):
Meadows spoke at the Kitchener Public Library
last month on the topic of tarot and feminist spirituality.
The stereotypical image of a tarot reading consists of an old
crone huddled over a deck of cards and telling a young maiden's
fortune. "It's very much a woman's domain," Meadows
..."Women aren't used to hearing themselves referred to
as high priestesses, empresses and queens," Meadows says.
Women respond to tarot more than men because women tend to be
more receptive to hearing messages from the intuitive,"
They also seem to be more interested in relationships, she adds.
So when clients ask her for a tarot reading, they typically
want to know what's in store for their relationships with family
When Meadows performs a reading, she asks clients to pose a
question. Then she shuffles the 78-card deck and usually lays
down 10 cards in a pre-ordained pattern.
Each position is designated for a particular purpose, so a card
can have different meanings depending on where it falls.
Excerpts from "Some Tarot with your Earl Grey?" by Anthony Reinhart in The Globe and Mail
In the warm glow of a dozen tealight candles,
Kathleen Meadows turns a card, lays it on the table and leans
in to deliver her assessment.
Ms. Meadows, a tarot card reader, is talking to Margaret Swaine,
a Toronto-based food-and-wine writer...
...Makes you wonder what the Queen might think the next time
she beds down at the historic hotel.
Ms. Meadows thinks the Queen would be unfazed.
"Royalty has always traditionally had readers and psychics,"
she says. "So Queen Elizabeth might like to come for
a reading, who know? That would be really exciting."
...Margaret Swaine seems impressed.
"Tea and contemplation and relaxation, and just thinking,
all go together."
Excerpts interview on "Daytime" with Susan Cook-Scheerer on Rogers Cable TV: See this Interview on Kathleen's Youtube
Susan: Maybe you can
explain a little bit about the Tarot Cards and how they are
used. Kathleen: The Tarot cards
are actually a story about the Fool (that's YOU in the sense
of the main character, the experiencer). The Fool goes through
these various stages of development that can apply to everybody.
Susan: Can we do a reading today?
Kathleen: Sure. Just think of
a question. Something that might be waking you up at 3 AM -
something you're wondering about, or thinking about. Susan:
Something I wonder about is how my career goes. Does it need
to be a specific question? Maybe something about a change coming
up in my future as far as my career goes. Kathleen:
I'm not going to do a "full reading" (which) usually
takes 10 cards. A reader has a number of layouts to choose from
- you can lay out 6 cards, or 3 cards or one card. So for today
and since we're kind of time limited, I'll draw one card. Susan: Okay. One card! No pressure
- one card draw! (tongue in cheek). Kathleen:
"Will there be a change in my life in the next few months"
is then your question? Susan:
Yes. Kathleen: The Card I've
drawn is White Buffalo Woman, the Daughter of Stones in the
West. Susan: Now what does that
mean? Kathleen: It means in
answer to your question ..it's not indicating dramatic change.
This is not a change card. It's pointing to an interest you
have in the land whether that is your own property that you
live on - perhpas a cottage - a land that you feel especially
"connected" to. That process of being connected to
this land is something that will deepen for you here. Susan:
Now you know that's interesting! because I'm thinking of all
sorts of things that I've been thinking and feeling. I can understand
that - it makes some sense to me. Do people say that all the
time? That right away you can see the wheels turning and all
of sudden RIGHT RIGHT I know what she means?! Kathleen:
It happens all the time. It's a curious experience. Really you
need to have a Tarot reading done to understand what Tarot is
all about. It's asking the Cards for a piece of information
- drawing upon a source of information that you wouldn't have
under other circumstances. Susan:
The thing I get is that you have to have a certain sense and
feeling to read Tarot well. You teach it. Can anyone learn to
read Tarot? Isn't it something that you'd almost need an innate
sense about or some sort of ... Kathleen:
Psychic ability? Susan: Exactly!
Kathleen: Everyone is psychic
and has psychic ability. Certainly anyone attracted to learning
the Tarot already knows they have psychic ability and they recognize
this divinatory tool as one that works for them.
Excerpts from "It's High Time" by Bill Taylor in the Toronto Star
Thursdays, off in a corner sits Kathleen Meadows,
a "certified tarot grand master". You might think a tea-leaf
interpreter would be more appropriate but Meadows offers cards
readings at $25 for 20 minutes.
...The tarot reading is fascinating (and quite insightful in
places) though it does interrupt the flow of the meal - one
person, then another, getting up and going over to be "read".
TEA, TAROT AND TARTS By Grace Cameron, Lifestyle Editor
High tea at Toronto' swanky Fairmont Royal York
Hotel isn't what it used to be. These days you can have a cuppa
as a Tarot card reader reveals your destiny
THERE WAS nary a pinkie sticking out and not a white glove in
sight. Instead, on a frisky April afternoon, about 50 casually
dressed people, including a baby and a table full of men, went
to tea at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
At first, the thought of afternoon tea at this 75-year-old landmark
that exudes British civility and all things refined weighed
heavily on my mind. I'm more a coffee-drinking (brewed coffee,
mind you), on-the-move, contemporary kind of gal. Tiny finger
sandwiches, crumpets, Devonshire cream and delicate tea cups
hardly figure on my gastronomic landscape. And this place even
has a Tea Sommelier (a highfalutin word for tea expert) for
It was the Thursday afternoon twist - a Tarot card reader -
that finally swayed me. I reckoned that if the Royal York was
hip enough to have a Tarot card reader in its tea-room it couldn't
be so staid after all. So on this afternoon I drifted in from
the cold to the EPIC, the restaurant located on the first floor
of the hotel. I was escorted into a carpeted room, peaceful
with just a bit of a buzz. Nothing imposing or ornate here,
I thought. The first order of business was to see Kathleen Meadows,
the Tarot card reader who was waiting for me. Bespectacled,
with an inviting smile, Meadows seemed more like a nice school
marm than a woman who held the answers to my life's questions
in her deck of cards.
A religion psychologist, certified Tarot Grand Master, Tarot
teacher and reader for 20 years, Meadows has been at the EPIC
since last October. She also does Tarot tea parties, Sunday
afternoon high tea in Kitchener, the small town where she lives,
and admits to reading her own cards two to three times a week.
"Sometimes I know things I don't want to know," she said.
For my reading, which took about 20 minutes, Meadows was full
of positive news. My son, she said, would be a chef, while I
can look forward to adventures and exciting times ahead. Hmmm.