So Who Am I Really?
As a client, I would expect that you would want to know your tarot reader. After all, this is someone you are trusting to give you the guidance you seek - and a connection is really important for that to be successful.
So I have snagged an idea from a fellow reader and am presenting you with "30 Days of Me" - we had spread this out over several blog posts originally. (**Questions were asked in 2015 - I may be updating some of these answers soon!**)
Are you ready? Let's get going then....
1. What introduced you/got you interested in Tarot?
When I was a teenager I had some pretty rough experiences - the kind that make you question God and your very existence. You haven't hit rock bottom until you have had a gun in your hand, ready to just call it quits. But then something happened. I met some local people who clued me in to Wicca, and offered to help me on the healing path. One of the girls in the group carried around a deck of cards, and after school she would read for me. The idea of getting guidance from cards, and my own intuition seemed a million times more appealing then some mythical man in the sky.
2. What was your first deck and how did you get it?
My first deck was a hand me down Rider Waite deck. You know the kind, the one that has seen many readings and is a little dog-earred around the edges. It was the deck I carried around and puttered with when I had some free time. But I never really connected with it and so I was very casual with my reading for many years.
3. Do you have more then one deck? If so do you have a favorite?
I've had quite a few decks now. I have had the Dragon Tarot (which even though I love dragons I hated the deck), Rider Waite (cause I feel like I should have a "classic" deck), Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot (which I was lukewarm about), The Gilded Tarot, The Legacy of the Divine Tarot and a Thoth deck. Of all of them I am probably most fond of the Gilded Tarot and Legacy of the Divine. Both are by Ciro Marchetti. The Gilded Tarot has been my most popular with clients, as it tends to be a bit brighter, but I think I really enjoy the imagery of the Legacy Deck more.
4. How long have you been reading tarot?
I started dabbling in tarot in 1997, but didn't get really down and dirty with it until probably 10 years ago when I went through a divorce and again found myself having a crisis of faith.
5. When and where did you give your first reading?
My first reading for fun was in the late 90s, sitting at a cafeteria table with friends. My first professional (for pay) reading was done for an online client around 2010.
6. What is the first spread that you learned?
I think every reader starts out thinking that the Celtic Cross is the be all, end all of spreads. It was the first that I learned, but to tell you the truth I hate it. I never was able to really connect with it, and now I only do it if a client insists.
7. What is your favorite card, both in terms of artwork and divinatory meaning?
Wow, that really should be two separate questions! My favorite card in terms of artwork is the Devil from the Legacy of the Divine deck. Something about him just makes me say "The Devil made me do it - and I let him!" For a card about lust and addiction it is great imagery!
8. What card do you dread pulling the most?
Oh that's easy - the Death card. Not because I am afraid of it, or that it is a bad card - but because it is the one card that freaks clients way out. Too many believe the urban legend that the death card means that you or someone close to you is gonna kick the bucket! Sigh, if I had a dollar for every time I had to talk a client off the freakout ledge about this card, I'd be rich. This card simply indicates transformation and change. This is definitely a time of deep transformation, likely to be both inner and outwardly in your life. Situations, things, and people that you have counted on or gotten used to may no longer be available to you in quite the same way as they once were, and this transition can be difficult for some people.
9. What card do you pull the most often? Why do you think that is the case?
Hmm, it really varies. Like right now, it seems like every other reading I do either pulls the 9 of Swords or the 10 of Wands. The 9 of Swords is a card of fear and anxiety, and the 10 of Wands is about taking on too much. These seem to be really common themes lately, both with all of the things going on in the world around us right now as well as the fact that people just don't seem to have enough hours in their day...
10. What card best represents your personality?
For me, probably that would be the Queen of Swords. Like me she is an independent woman who sometimes struggles not to let her heart over-rule her head. The trait most like me though is her no BS attitude. She will tell it like it is, and won't sugar coat a thing! She has a lot of life experiences to draw upon and puts them together for a unique world view... Yep, sounds like me!
11. What spread do you use most often/prefer and why?
Each reader has a spread they love and use all the time. Most of the readers I know swear by the Celtic Cross - I hate it! Its overly complicated and sometimes it is just too much for a client to digest. I prefer to use one of two spreads, depending on the complexity of the question. A three card spread is the one I use most, because it gives a great snapshot of the situation.
12. Have you ever created your own spread? If so, how effective is it?
I had a lot of clients that were asking for help rebuilding their lives after bad breakups, personal tragedy, etc... I developed the Rebuilding the Temple spread - which was very effective in helping them get their lives back on track.
13. Is there a card that stumps you when it is drawn? Why do you think that is?
If a tarot reader ever tells you that there isn't a card that stumps them, or evokes panic momentarily then they are lying to you! For me, every time the Hierophant appears I am like "oh, crap - not you again!" It makes me freeze and my mind goes blank for a few seconds. So deep breath, and then relax. I think it my strong dislike of organized religion that makes me panic. I was one of those people who lived in a strict religious household that was very oppressive, so reminders of that tend to freeze me up.
14. For what purposes do you usually use tarot?
I use the tarot to read for others - very rarely will I read for myself. I tend to find that I when I read for myself I tend to try and make the cards fit the answer that I want, rather then the message I need to hear.
15. How much emphasis do you put on the textbook meanings of the cards? Do you tend to go more with the "feeling" you get from the card - or both?
Trust me, the keywords and textbook meanings are important. But no good reading just spits those words at you. It is every bit as important, if not more so in my opinion to go with how the card makes you feel - and how it relates to the cards around it.
16. Do you ever use the Major Arcana without the minor or vise versa?
If I am doing a Yes/No spread then I will use the major arcana only. I have never used only the minor arcana - not sure I see the point of that one...
17. Do you read using reversals? Why or why not?
I'm not against reading reversals - it's not like I am one of those people who refuses. I just tend to read upright 99% of the time. It just seems to work better with the clients that I have.
18. Do you feel a connection to your cards?
Absolutely! In fact I have gotten rid of decks because I didn't feel a connection to them. I find that when you don't have that connection that your readings with that deck will tend to fall a little flat. When you really have that spark with your deck it adds great dimension!
19. Do you feel like the cards "think" - what makes them tick?
I don't know about thinking, but I do feel like the cards have a spirit to them. I purchased a deck of New Orleans Voodoo Tarot cards and immediately upon touching them got an almost electric shock up my arm... def signs of life there! I feel like sometimes if I am not focusing that then deck reveals cards that practically scream for attention, or if I am deep in the reading then the cards pull out even deeper meanings - so I think they "know" when you are open and when you aren't.
20. Do you ever read for yourself/others?
This is sort of a silly question for them to have included. If I didn't read for others I wouldn't be here would I? LOL I do read for myself on very rare occasions, and I do read for others, but almost never for my family. I know too much about them I think to stay objective.
21. How do you feel when you do readings?
That depends a lot on the reading that I am doing. Most of the time I feel a pleasant humming vibration when I connect with the cards. Some cards, like the New Orleans Voodoo deck caused more of an electric shock when I used them (maybe related to our voodoo roots). Some decks feel flat and lifeless, and those are next to impossible to read with, and go into a dreaded box of shame - where they sit until someone buys them or I give them away. There are also times that depending on the situation we are reading about I may end up wiped out and need a nap - reading can be draining!
22. Do you charge money for your readings and services?
Of course I do. Much like you choose a lawyer who has training, experience and specialties so should you choose your reader that way. So I invest considerable time and money into classes, decks, professional association fees, webhosting, design services, local event booth fees, etc... in order to provide the best possible service to my clients. I find that when i give readings away for free that it devalues the experience that I bring to the table. That being said I DO donate a couple hours a week to read on the Free Tarot Network in order to stay busy and earn experience.
23. What question do you most often ask the deck (or ask on behalf of others)?
90-95% of the questions that I get involve relationships and when will so and so come back. Uggh, I love you guys, I really do - but I HATE these questions. It isn't that I don't like to help people with their relationship issues, it usually has more to do with trying to get them to understand that they need to focus on learning from the relationship issues what THEY can change or do different as opposed to asking about the other person and their motivations.
24. How accurate do you believe that your readings are?
I'd like to believe that I am always accurate, but the truth is that I am a human being. I may interpret something slightly different from the next reader. Sometimes the client leaves out an important aspect that could totally change the direction of a reading. And then every once in a while I run into an issue (usually when breaking in a new deck) where the connection isn't as strong yet. So in reality I would say that probably my accuracy rate is around 95%
25. What is the most dramatic or memorable reading that you ever did?
If you read the blog post about Lenormand and the loa, you got a peek at the reading that is the most memorable to me. It was one of those slap you in the face, do I have your attention now kind of reading that still makes the hair on my arm stand up to this day. There are often dramatic readings, especially when talking about relationships.
26. Have you ever regretted a particular reading?
I am not sure that regret is the right word. Sad might be the better phrase. I once did a reading for a client who was having issues with an ex. Her reading offered guidance into how to protect herself and move forward to find happiness. Sadly, when she followed the cards and found a man she was happy with her ex snapped and beat her almost to death. It wasn't the fault of myself or the cards - or even the client - but was still very unsettling for me.
27. Do you have a special time or place that you use your tarot?
No - I carry tarot cards with me all the time and fiddle with them throughout the day. And with 6 kids, three dogs and two cats the reality is that I do tarot whenever and wherever I have a few spare QUIET moments.
28. Does anyone that you know not agree with your tarot practices?
Heavens yes! Not only do I have some DEEPLY religious family members but we also moved from Vermont to an area that has more churches per square mile then any other place I know! There are those I know who tell me I am doing the devil's work, that I am going to hell, that I am corrupting people, etc... For me it was a good year before I "came out" in this town due to worries about reactions.
29. Do you have a tarot mentor?
Sort of. I have several AMAZING people that I can turn to for advice or to learn from. These include Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin, Donnaleigh de la Rose, etc. Facebook is actually a really amazing tool for making communication so much easier! Years ago when I started it was more snail mail for communication - these days I can shoot a quick FB message off to ask a question! It's awesome :-)
30. Do you practice any other forms of divination?
I utilize pendulums and runes on a regular basis with pretty good results. I have tried to do the whole crystal ball/scrying mirror thing - but frankly all I did was give myself a headache!