I met with a woman last week here in Victoria who is just about to launch a Tarot reading practice in northern Ontario. It was such a pleasure to meet with someone who is just at the starting gate of her journey into this work. Her questions and insights reminded me of my teaching days and how much fun it was to share my passion with others of like mind.
There are a myriad of components to reading for another. So many that when someone calls me off my web site and asks, “So what is it that you do exactly?”, I stumble and mumble around a bit until I find my stride.
We’re storytellers, advisors, and probably most importantly what I would describe as a re-framer. I’ve always been told I’m particularly gifted at that. Long before I was a professional reader, I was a re-framer.
I listen to people’s narratives about their lives and help them to re-frame the ways to think and describe their stories. Too often when we’re telling our story, it can be contaminated with insecurities, self-deprecation, and self-flagellation. What it is about guilt and apology that’s so alluring anyway!?
I help people tell and consider their story objectively and hopefully help them to take a larger and more long term perspective. Most would agree that everything happens for a reason. When a relationship collapses or we lose a job or a friend, it usually turns out to be a good thing. It probably means you’ve dodged a bullet, you just can’t see that yet.
I also give people a sense of where they are heading in their story-path. Good to know!
Dodging a Bullet
I spoke with a client last night who was typical in many respects to what many women go through at some point in their lives. They find themselves in a relationship with someone they’ve known for years as a friend. They can’t believe how fortunate they are to be falling in love with someone who is already familiar and trusted. Then BOOM! Inexplicably, alarmingly that person steps away. The relationship is over and that so and so has moved onto another. She asked me tearfully-wistfully if he would be crawling back soon; regretful, apologetic, and devastated. She asked me if he would soon see clearly that this new “s—“ isn’t right for him, that obviously he belongs with her.
Nope. That is definitely not going to happen.
Hearing that of course didn’t make her happy. Maybe that’s a bit of an understatement. She cursed, cried, yelled and fell into a puddle of despair.
I worked to help her to see that this relationship was just not to be. The seeds of its disintegration were evident right at the start, she had just turned a blind eye to them. I’m sure she wasn’t fine when our time together came to a close. I wasn’t able to heal her wound in such a limited time frame but I was able to help her see that once she has suffered enough, is honestly sick of moping about him, she’ll be out there meeting people and dating someone new. He’ll be a lesson, a memory, a step along the way in her journey to fulfillment.
Drawing a Tarot Card as One of My Play Tools
I do use my Tarot deck but not especially in a traditional manner. I don’t always do full spread readings for everyone. I don’t do readings exactly the same for everyone or even the same every time. It’s a dance between my intuition and my tools which include the Tarot but not the Tarot exclusively either. I pick up my pendulum to answer yes/no questions or sometimes a crystal. I might “accidently” drop something on the floor which spurs me to examine it more closely. Spirit speaks through all kinds of symbols. One time I asked a question and the lights flickered. That doesn’t happen often so it made me pause and ponder what I’d just asked. That train of thought led to an interesting exploration that the client found immeasurably helpful.
Sometimes I just pull cards as the client asks questions or several if the question is complex. For example, with the woman above she asked, “How does he feel about me?” Because it was obvious his feelings had transited from his original feeling for her (not unusual) to how he was feeling about her today, I pulled several cards and pondered what that meant. Interestingly his feelings were warm and he expected to feel even better towards her in the future.
Since she wasn’t feeling the love nor did she ever expect to in the future, this came as quite a revelation. The dynamic between these people in the past, today and looking forward gave me a stronger sense of where he was at about his feelings towards her.
One woman came for a reading with questions about her marriage. I turned up the Prince of Swords for him and right beside him I turned over the Princess of Swords. What immediately stood out was the fact that he was looking off in the distance away from her and she was looking towards him. That’s exactly how I read it.
I said, “He is looking off somewhere and you are looking at him but you aren’t getting eye contact”.
I listen for the unspoken question – the underlying concern. Some clients will come with a bazillion questions and I can’t answer all of them in the time arranged – so my primary goal is to help clients to identify their BIG question or at least central theme. Then if we have time remaining we can jog through as many of their smaller, more specific questions as possible.
At times, I simply need to know what is predominantly on my client’s mind today. I start by asking them if there is anything keeping them awake at night or waking them up in the middle of night, unable to return to slumber. Once the main area of concern has been identified, getting to the central question is not so difficult. Freud once declared that once our love and work life is sorted we’re adjusted and happy. That’s really all it takes.
I would add a few others to mix as well such as health, money and our children’s (if we have children) happiness. They are as important. I would say almost 99% of what people ask me fall somewhere in those five categories.
Divination is a Reverse Perception
A client is not required to ask a question and certainly I read for many clients who shy away from the invite to do so. I explain to clients that if they don’t ask a question they are left with the complex task of translating the messages I convey into something that makes sense. If they ask a question, I do that translation work for them. In a reading I’m reaching to catch the whole situation, evaluating the issues that arise from the dynamic interplay of cards within the formal structure which takes a lot of experience.
Divination is a kind of reverse perception where one has to see the whole picture and work from the whole to the particular. At the same time, however you need to be aware that the whole is composed of particulars. This is the challenge of reading and what we as readers must develop advanced skill in. You will observe the whole pattern – break it down into its particulars – at the same time see how the particulars make up the whole.
People often mistakenly believe that doing readings is easy. Like anything the more you do it, the better you get. It’s challenging, exciting, rewarding and a privilege. To new readers however, it’s terrifying, frustrating, depressing and they wonder for at least the first couple of years whether they can continue. Many don’t. Most don’t to be honest. But like anything, the longer you persevere, the more confident you become that you are exactly where you should be.