Last year I spent two glorious weeks in Britain and Scotland. I spent my days wending my way through castles both restored and crumbling, traipsing through field, hedge and moor; I expected to see some ghosties on my way through. I mean, aren't the British isles known for their ghostly activity?
As an intuitive, I can usually feel if there is some spiritual activity happening in the area around me. I think most of us can. From the inexplicable feeling of unease, to the sense of being watched in an empty room, most of us have had an odd feeling we couldn't put our finger on from time to time. But what takes a casual observer to a full on believer of spiritual activity is when those poltergeists are about, the noisy spirit that is able to make changes in our physical world that we cannot explain. You never quite believe it, until it happens to you.
I have had several of these poltergeist experiences in my past so when they happen now, my kneejerk reaction isn't to run, but to investigate. I stay in the room, I ask questions, I talk to the spirit and see if there is anything I can do or help with.
While I do that, the sweat down your sides feeling of terror can sometimes be hard to fight off and it was that feeling I was left with as I hung out in the Doll Room at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, right on the Royal Mile. It was not a place I expected to have an encounter and honestly I was just curious about the toys and excited that the entrance was free!
The Museum of Childhood is 5 stories of games, hobbies, dolls, books and various toys throughout the centuries. It is a wonderful little museum and when I arrived it was fairly quiet being about an hour before closing. I started on the 5th floor and worked my way down before finding myself on the 3rd floor, the floor of Dolls. Imagine that, a whole floor of them, case after case of dolls.
The room of dolls has an instant creep vibe. It has cases upon cases of dolls from the renaissance to modern times and from every region of the globe. At first glance, you might think these are just dolls that little girls play with. But the selection also includes collectibles, fascinating mechanicals from the early 1800's, on up to modern Bernstein Bears and the like.
I decided to stay in the room despite feeling creepy and noticed that the few people who did cycle through did not stay long. They breezed in and out, probably picking up on the same creepy vibe I did. But when I encounter that feeling, I investigate.
I lingered in a certain corner because I noticed that some of the dolls were the exact same ones my Mother had. My Mother lived in Scotland in the 60's, so I do not know if it was just what was popular locally at the time, or coincidence. But I was feeling nostalgic and touched.
In that corner there was also this Shirley Temple doll. I was also reminiscing about how my Mother liked Shirley Temple and when she was a little girl, people often remarked about how she looked like her with her curly hair. I was standing in this corner for about 10 minutes reading all the info and reminiscing about my Mom when all the sudden, right before my very open, alert, sober eyes... Shirley Temple's eyes opened... okay, will you. just. look. at. that. doll?!?! Naw, girl... nope to the nope degree.
Shirley Temple had one of those eyes that, when you lay her down, her eyes close and when she sits up, her eyes open. However, her eyes were closed the entire 10 minutes or so while I was standing there. And then, all of the sudden, they popped open! I didn't move, we are not talking about some latent vibration from the floor, no one else (of course, right?) was in the room but myself. My eyes could not unsee what they saw, and I knew deep within my soul that this was no coincidence.
Now, my first instinct was to hightail it out of there. I got clammy from fright and my inner deer was like, "GTFO of there, girl!" But, I am no noob when it comes to spiritual investigations so I stayed.
I called out, "Hello. I saw you, will you come out to play?" Making a guess as to who, or what, might be there. Has to be a child, right?
I lingered a long time but I did not see anything more except feel a presence. I took my time, I pulled up a chair and more closely examined the cases in the room. One case was called, 'Dolls Around the World' and it was here that I found very interesting things...
No children's dolls were these, but powerful dolls, dark dolls, dolls that should not be kept here...
The label calls this a voodoo doll from the West Indies, and that may be true, but the paper attached to it, is in Nordic runic script, and points to a more local use. My eye was drawn to this doll first out of familiarity, but it was not, I suspect, the cause of trouble.
Now this one was interesting. A Peruvian 'painted figure' found in a child's grave. Was it a doll? Did it have some other purpose? It was not until writing this post that I googled this museum. I found several articles that claim that people have heard the sound of children crying from this very room! Alright, so I have established a history of poltergeist activity.
The stories attribute the crying to children who died but left their dolls behind, but perhaps there is more to that story than originally revealed.
A second google search reveals that these are, more correctly, Chancay (named for the people who lived on the Peruvian coast before the Incas) people and these Burial dolls have an unknown function. Child's toy, companion to the after world; we do not know, and neither does this museum. What we do know is that it was grave robbed.
But we are not hardly done, and I had not yet found the 'culprit' of the activity. This doll, a Sudanese maternity doll 'bought from witches, magicked with fertility spells is no plain effigy.
There is power in these dolls, no children's playthings are these... and while these are all certifiably alarming as to the possible origin of my disturbance... They all pale in comparison this last doll.
This doll below, I believe and felt, was the source of suffering...
Just look at the doll first and tell me you don't feel...something very dark. I know I did.
My eye went to this guy in the case and i felt electricity shoot through me
. This dark and very mysterious thing.
According to the plaque above, this is a "spirit doll' whose skirt hides the box which contains the spirit of a dead chief of the "Achewa' tribe. I say again, a trapped soul.
The moment I placed my eyes on this Chief. I understood that this was the home of disturbance. I do not know the story, the cause, the why or how it got into this museum but I know he or she doesn't belong there.
It feels so incredibly sad.
He or she belongs back with the Chewa where they may put his or her soul to rest--There is no 'achewa tribe' but there is a Chewa tribe--Even in this, the cultural ignorance is hard to miss.
It has to be one of the creepiest things (and I have had many) I have experienced. But mostly, it made me depressed.
As colonizers, many developed nations own and imprison artifacts that are not their right to have. This guy needs to go home, and there will be ongoing problems with that room and that museum until they do. Perhaps this is what I have been asked to do.
This little lady has teeth! Isn't she special? Apparently back in the 1800s they went for realism, but why are her teeth pointed?
I know you want to leave, Pumpkin, and I wish I could take you.
Usually there is a reason for poltergeist activity. Often, that reason is suffering. Find the source of suffering, and you free a soul. Next time something spooky happens to you, don't run, face it and ask, "How can I help"
The vast majority of my clients prefer to come in whenever possible. Most people seem to believe that a phone reading is not as accurate. This however, is completely untrue. In fact, I have found not only do my phone readings match my in person readings, they can often be more accurate!
The reason why I think this is, is because I need to spend much of my processing speed on vision, which is huge and greedy demand on our brains. You can see this in action when you notice a singer close her eyes, or when we are trying to remember something; we shut our eyes in order to re-purpose our processing speed on something else. In fact, it is very natural to do so!
I believe that there is a biological center for clairvoyance, or perhaps that there is a place where soul and biology meet, and this place needs a lot of my neural synapses to do well. Even if we are not talking about clairvoyance, but rather, intuitive insight, it draws on the brain from a myriad of places into one big thrust. Only recently, have neuroscience began to attempt to understand that mysterious factor, intuition.
If you have been a client of mine (or any other intuitive) you perhaps have noticed the phenomenon where I don’t look at you to give insight. In fact, I often look away from you (and, sometimes, clients will turn around to look where I am 'not looking!) Eye contact with you (lovely as you are!) distracts me. Your reactions, your facial expressions, your body language (that con artists might use as ‘tells’) just gets in my way. If I am concerned about your reaction, then I am not paying attention to the thing I really need to listen for, the information. Looking at you means I have to divide my processing into visual and clairvoyance, and you are not paying me to look at you, you are paying me for the latter.
You see the same kind of thing with traditional Shamanic clothing and rituals. They almost uniformly seek to shut down visual input. If I could, I would read for you from behind a screen! But, since most people want to see me, to visit me, to see the cards, then I make that accommodation; but from the perspective of strength of clairvoyance, in person readings can often hinder, rather than help, a session.
I can feel when I have made a connection, proximity has nothing to do with this connection. When it comes to clairvoyance, it does not really matter. There have been successful experiments where connected individuals had remarkable results across continents replicated experiments that, of course, have been largely ignored because the scientific community has its own bias to work through. Whether we are talking about connecting to some kind of super string consciousness, or another dimension; I just do not know. All I know is that you being with me, sipping tea, while I love having you, does not help what I do from an insight perspective.
Alcohol, Illness, and Fatigue
As a full time intuitive, I have found other strange things to oddly helpful, too. Against what many ‘New Age How to Be Psychic’ articles on the internet might say; being buzzed, ill, or extremely tired makes me a better clairvoyant. On the surface, I feel like crap. I don't feel like playing nice, or being a good host or pretending I'm pleasant when I feel gross. However, these times can often be the most powerful readings I ever conduct.
In my full time practice, I noticed that, strangely, when I feel like crap, I am often the strongest intuitive. My best guess is that these three things exhaust the conscious, judicial mind. My rational, linear, judgmental, logical mind, the ego, is laid low by any one of these things and when that happens, the clairvoyant aspect of my mind can rise more clearly. In fact, I have joked to friends that to have the best possibly reading with me is when I feel absolutely crummy. Or, if I have had 2-3 glasses of wine. Now, drinking and reading in most circles is actively frowned upon big time, but for me it totally allows me to relax inhibitions, not worry about the message, don't focus overly on social approval, and I just allow that nonlinear space to come in and reveal great things.
You also see traditional Shamans using these techniques to increase clairvoyance; from taking substances that alter consciousness: not eating, not sleeping, doing rigorous performances that subdue the ego and allow the vision–all of these actions were hacked by Shamans millennia ago. They also noticed that when we find ways to lay the conscious mind down, amazing things can be seen. So when I am ill, under the influence, tired, I give great readings.
To have an intuitive session is to be slightly out of mind. For some reason, the shift has to be outside of the general work a day. Have you ever, when in deeply in love, felt that other person’s energy so strongly you knew if they were having a bad day? The extreme chemicals of falling in love create a small ‘madness’ thereby allowing that clairvoyant mind to rise up more keenly.
What Doesn’t Work:
Anger and Anxiety– If I am angry, or anxious, these are both emotions firmly rooted in the ego. “How dare you treat ME this way” or “What if they don’t like ME?” These emotions come from that busy monkey mind and that mind is not where clairvoyance lives. I try very hard to eliminate these emotions from my practice. For me, this is why I rarely do last minute readings and need things scheduled well in advance. I find that last minute changes, demands, or abrupt shifts in my schedule to be anxiety-producing and I know that anxiety shuts me down. Every intuitive is different in terms of what causes anxiety, for me, last minute changes produces it!
This is also why, when a skeptic comes in with the, “No, YOU tell Me! YOU’RE the psychic!” kind of energy, I don’t do well, either. Clairvoyance does not respond to challenges, anxiety, or testing; these are all places of the ego and if I am worried about pleasing you, or meeting your challenge, or proving myself right then that actually makes the work I need to do (quiet my ego to hear the message) much, much harder to do. Then when of course the skeptic, after filling their reader with anxiety, doesn’t get a good reading it only reinforces their belief. It is like standing over an artist, pointing a finger at the canvas and yelling at them, “You better paint perfectly or you are no artist!” Who can work under those kinds of conditions?
Prior to my reading day, I have to keep things calm, I have to be in a very receptive place. When booking tarot parties I am now very careful in what I accept. I know that I will not be a strong intuitive if I just battled heavy traffic to get to you. I also try to keep my personal life as calm as possible. Being angry at someone will effectively kill my ability to read for you.
If I tell you I am sick, overworked and tired. Book a reading with me. I won't promise to be pleasant, but you will get something more often than not, extraordinary. And, if I tell you a phone reading will be just as good, please believe me. And, if you are the type to demand last minute things, to want to test me, know that that works against you, too.
It is obvious, from the card pulls, that everyone is reorienting after Mercury stationed direct on September 22nd. So many of the messages for everyone appear to revolve around balance and authenticity.
I have decided to make some small changes to my Tarot Scope format, I hope you like them! As always, may October bring you astounding gifts of truth and grace.
Libra—6 of Cups
Scorpio—Knight of Wands
Sagittarius—4 of Cups
Capricorn—6 of Swords
Pisces—Knight of Pentacles
Taurus—King of Pentacles
Gemini—7 of Cups
Know Thyself-- Time for a reading! To book a session with me both in person and online...
Happy birthday, Virgo! I
I love Virgos, so thoughtful, so careful, so capable of loving and being loved, as a chaotic Gemini I find time spent with Virgos to be calming and centering. Don't ever change, you!
So we are in a Mercury Retrograde until September 22nd. You know the score, back up your tech, make sure you are being extra careful with travel, and try not to be overly sensitive with miscommunication and misunderstandings, as you know communication is going to be off.
There is a lot of good in this tarot scope however, may it resonate with you!
Virgo—The Hermit Reversed
Happy birthday, Virgo! The hermit reversed indicates that you will have to fight against the natural tendency to pull on your pajamas and put on Netflix at 6pm every night after work. Make a concerted effort to go out and meet people, take a new class, learn a new hobby, hit the gym. This card’s reversal indicates that the time in quiet contemplation is over, get out and make a splash somewhere.
Libra—3 of Wands
September will be a very productive month. You are going to be in full on planning mode for the rest of fall with a sudden sharpness and ability to focus that you have been fighting for all summer long. Rest easy, Libra, the clouds will lift and it will seem as if you are running on a full tank of the premium stuff. Don’t let this amazing focus and drive go to waste.
Scorpio—8 of Pentacles
This month you will certainly be ‘taking care of business’ tackling the many small errands as well as the large picture, you will get done in this month what previously would have taken you 3. Go ahead and start mapping out what you wish to take care of because you are like a locomotive baby, barreling down the track.
Make a wish, say your prayers, when the Star appears in a reading I often take it mean that the Universe is listening. You are not alone. You are not insignificant. Your trials, your pain, your effort is noticed. This month do not be afraid to ask for what you need, the universe will collude to help you.
Capricorn—9 of Wands
You might find work to be difficult; every idea, way forward of problem solving situation you try to implement will be blocked; in fact the energy for everything around you will be argumentative, difficult, will make you question your judgement. But, 9 of Wands is a profound card insomuch as it also tells you to keep going while telling you it will be difficult. A difficult progression can trick us into thinking that our judgement or choices were wrong, not so here. You are on the right path but you will be tested this month in how you handle it.
You may find yourself sleeping less deeply, awakening in the middle of the night full of dreams, fears, and hopes for the Moon rules you this month. It could be a time where your anxiety will feel greater than normal and you will question your way forward. When the Moon rules, we need to listen to our gut, for our intuition, as illogical as it can be sometimes is the way forward. If you feel confused about things this means you need silence, you need moon time, you need the night to show you the way. If there are things you are seeking an answer to, you will not get the clarity you need this month, there is a delay on making things final.
Pisces—10 of Wands
September sees you hitting the ground running, you will be working incredibly hard to make things come together and at times you will wonder if it was worth it, if you are making the right choice, if suffering has to be part of this process. The answer is yes to all of these. You can rest later but right now you are being called to push and extend yourself to maximum effort.
Aries—3 of Cups
All work and no play makes Aries a dull boy and the call here for you is to try to focus on your social life and seeking joy in your world. No one inviting you out? Send out the invitations, host a party, and bring people into your world. You are not alone, you don’t live to work, Aries, you know how to do this; go out and have some fun!
Taurus—10 of Pentacles
No rest for the weary, or the wicked, my dear. September is chock full of work, schedules, to do lists, planning and you may feel like you are burning the candle at both ends. I feel the emphasis here is that you need to focus, you need to plan, you need to embrace the high octane energy that is September. Take your vitamins and try to get good sleep, you are going to need it!
Gemini—King of Wands
During this mercury retrograde and as one so effected by it, the King of Wands gives us some insight into the areas that need renewal, review, and recovery; and that is the area of your creative life. Do you have some projects that have been hanging in a dusty online file somewhere, but you cannot stop thinking about? Now is the time to clean it up and breathe potential possibilities in its direction.
Cancer—Wheel of Fortune
Have you been dealing with an off again, on again relationship? This can be lovers, friends or family members–someone where the energy between the two of you is not stable its always up and down. Well, this month is emphasizing the chaotic energy of this relationship, how are you going to take yourself off of this Merry Go Round, Cancer?
Leo—The High Priestess
The H.P. here does not show up often in my Tarotscopes. She keeps herself hidden from view and only appears when some important information is being relayed. Listen to your intuition this month, keep an eye out for karmic messages and inklings that will favor you. You will find yourself with dreams and sudden insights regarding relationships, decisions, and self-understanding. This is potentially a game changer of a month, Leo.
Feeling the might of the Mercury Retrograde bearing down upon you? Time for a reading! To book a session with me both in person and online...
Welcome to part III, if you missed the others, here is part I and part II...
As you might've guessed, running a long term practice is less about the nuts and bolts of running a business and really more about the kind of attitude you need, the attitude you need for you as well as towards others. Here, I outline the rest of what I consider to be huge factors in having a successful business as a tarot practitioner. Thank you so much for reading!
Create Strong, Loving Boundaries
You do not want people who expect you to drop everything and read for them right now. You do not want people who blow up your phone at 3am. You do not want people who are unable or unwilling to go through your business procedures. You do not want people, "who will gladly pay you Tuesday for a reading today." Those people will be convincing, as to why they needed to ignore your boundaries. They will trigger the healer within you, they will appeal to the part of you who wants to help.
People who are unable to respect your boundaries are often takers. You cannot build or have a business that will sustain you unless it is a relationship, and taking is not a relationship. Psychic vampires exist; there are people who will suck and slurp and take and grab and want and need and want and need until YOU have nothing left to give. Often, it is not conscious but rather a way someone learned to live in the world. A low-vibrational, dysfunctional way of living in the world.
Now, every bad review I have is from someone who took exception to my boundaries. Every review I have that is negative is because I told someone, "no, I cannot do it. No, this is not a good fit. No, I cannot read for you in this way." People really dislike being told, “no” and you can see their inner saboteur being triggered and having a good old fashioned temper tantrum after hitting your boundaries. This is good practice and an important lesson for them. Even if we do not read for someone, they are getting karmic lessons about why.
You are not here to please everyone. You are not here to make everyone like you. You are not here to enable. Please do not let people run roughshod over you. This can be hard when we learned messages as children about our worth. How you hold your boundaries is a direct relationship to your true beliefs about what you really think you deserve.
Professionals have rules for engagement. You need them and you need to enforce them. As a reader, this may be some of the hardest moments you have to undertake, but trust me, your long term viability depends on you being able to guard your health, your sanity, your energy and your gift. Trust me, more boundaries doesn't mean all your clients will go away, just the takers.
Trust your Own Guardianship.
There is No One Right Way
Sometimes tarot practitioners ask me, “How did YOU do it?” Well… the thing is, each tarot practitioner can give only examples, guidelines, and best practices. Your journey is your own, this building of a tarot business is a deeply spiritual practice. What I have learned is, that whatever personality strengths I have, whatever psychological hang-ups I have will all show up, loud and bright in my business style, approach, vision, and operations. I truly believe that drilling down to our core person hood and amplifying it, is what having a practice does. You will be in a house of mirrors, all reflecting back upon you, the truth of you. To own a business is to learn how to manage this Selfhood of yours.
Because your business identity is unique, there is no one right way to build it. Do not confuse best practices (which you can learn) with business identity. Do not a lemming be; otherwise you will find yourself gasping as you swing from one thing to another. There are so many bright and shiny things that come to the market for business owners, but the first question you must ask is, "Is this...me?" Watch the people you admire, take up pieces and see if they fit, it they feel right, if they are you. But what you offer is limitless and priceless, do not get too hung up on how other people do things, fads come and go. Be you. Just start already.
Have a High Risk Tolerance
Piggybacking on the last point, you are going to have to figure things out for yourself. You are going to try things and they won’t work. You are going to abandon things. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to hold on too long to things that don't work. You are going to appear foolish and naive, You are going to burn bridges that you will regret. You are going to question yourself, and this, and are you crazy? Good news!This means you are an entrepreneur! Welcome to the tea party, you mad hatter!
The point is, is that you need to take risks, be okay with risks, you will have to tweak and discover, strive, and fail before your handmade business is humming along. If you are afraid of failure or even taking a risk, then you will limit your practice and yourself. If you wait until it's perfect to launch, you will never launch. Remember, growth is outside the comfort zone and you will learn as much from your failures as you will from your success (actually, more.)
The great thing about owning your own business is that , guess what? no one can fire you! Encouraging mistakes runs anathema to how we are trained as employees, working in organizations we are taught to hide mistakes, we get punished for mistakes, but as an entrepreneur you need mistakes, they will make you grow. Watch for the Saboteur, he is usually very loud and insistent when we are about to risk. Perfectionism and shame are particularly good weapons that the saboteur uses to control you, watch for them.
Trust the Leap
You Only Need to Know the First Two Steps
One of the nastiest tricks of our inner Saboteur is to convince us that we need to know all 50 steps, all parts of the how-to, to begin. But that is not true. All you need to know are the first two steps, the rest will be revealed in turn. In fact, its better if you don’t know all 50 steps because that knowing will actually limit your decision tree; you will cling to the plan, so busy looking at your map that you are not seeing what is actually surrounding you. You need to learn to feel your way, this is imperative. Get used to not having a map but making it as you go along, if this makes you anxious, that is your saboteur. Learning to feel your way makes you flexible, lets you learn how to trust your intuition, allows you to cultivate the present focus you need to make each step well thought out.
It’s kind of like that friend who just broke up with her boyfriend and now wants you to read tarot on her future husband. You can tell from the cards (who are not answering her question anyway) that the NOW moment, so ambiguously precious is what she needs right now. That the liminal point of not knowing means our unconscious selves are doing the number crunching right now. If you told your friend about her future husband, that only serves to feed the ego and she will be looking for him instead of doing the heavy spiritual work of the now. Same for you and your business; you really do know, you know. Just not the awake part of you.
Again, trust your selves
Comparison is a Thief, but Collaboration is a Joy
Finally, as you begin to become successful, you will start to compare yourself to other practitioners. Oh wow, look how many followers she has. Look at how nice his website is, (jeez I suck). KNOCK IT OFF. Again, you will do this your way, not their way. Do not peek onto any other reader’s stuff if you know your saboteur will use it as ammo. Rather, engage in your guide, reach out to other readers who make you feel something good, and work with them, partner with them. Create and be part of tarot communities that support you.
Though, be diligent, too. As you become successful you will begin attracting bottom feeders. People who want what you have, who will copy what you make, who want you to teach them, mentor them, and they will use you up and spit you out. Be very discerning about who gets your light and your attention. Again, refer to loving boundaries. Say no to the sudden friends who want to pick your brains over lunch or lurking at your edges, you know sneaky when you feel it.
Trust your Gut.
Thank you again for reading my little listicle here and thanks for stopping by!
If you liked what you read, you can always subscribe to my blog, and email me with any questions and yes, I do mentor tarot practitioners. Here's to the rising tide, and the wonderful Spirit of Tarot that makes it so...
Part II to my three part series (find part one here) I continue to dish on what I think are some of the greatest factors of success as an independent tarot practitioner.
As you might have guessed, success is mostly an inside game. I found self employment to be one of the biggest head games I have ever encountered. We truly are only in competition with ourselves, and the better able we are able to manage our mind, the more successful we can be. Below, are the next five points for your consideration, also stay tuned for the third in this series coming later!
Lack of consistency is an inner saboteur tactic. Keep the same reading hours, commit to x number a week. Commit to office hours for your business. Be available in the same ways and with the same platforms. Make your communication consistent, your style consistent. I know, yawn, everyone wants ‘the new thing’ right? Well, people also yearn for islands–places where they know what to expect, and that you will be there for them when they need you. This is an unconditional element to a successful tarot practice. If you find yourself slipping, there is a reason; be a professional and don’t avoid it, look at what’s going on and get a grip on your process. Since you no longer have a boss, or coworkers, or annual reviews to externally motivate you, you will have to figure out ways to motivate yourself. Since our motivation is not held in another person's authority, it needs to be held within a plan or process. Watching for backslide is critical. Kind of like starting a new diet program or work out regime, it is easy to fall back into old behaviors one small thing at a time. Guard against that by being consistent.
Trust Your Process.
Your Real World Support Determines Much
Your tribe is a big deal. The Mom who can watch the kids twice a week so you can do readings, the partner who can carry your health insurance while you shift your career, the boyfriend who believes in you so much that looking at him makes you believe that you can do it, too. You need these people, you need support from the people who love you. But also, some people who love you very much will also not want you to succeed, and they will sabotage your efforts. This is an important distinction to make, someone's level of love for you does not equate to how much they will be able to support you. Make no mistake, as you begin to chase your calling the people in your life will organize themselves into two camps: the supporters, and the deniers.
See, the thing is, when we start to chase our calling we may unconsciously trigger the inner saboteur within the people in our lives. Their inner Saboteur does not want you to succeed because your success will remind them that they had a calling they gave up on. They believed walking away was right, good, and necessary. They have talked themselves into accepting the fact that they didn’t need to follow their dream (and they don’t have to.) But when you begin pulling away; they get scared. What if you change, what if you challenge them, what if they have to look in the mirror and question what they see? That is terrifying. These deniers can love you so much, but what you are attempting is so fearful they will withdraw their support.
Conversely, people in your circle with whom you have had limited contact, or do not know very well at all will all of the sudden rally to lift you up. Find these people. Bring them close to you, take their help. The funny thing is, is that relationship does not always determine support. Move quickly to understand who is in this camp and bring them closer to you.
I have seen more than one very promising reader never make it because someone in her circle made her life a living hell. Figure out who will help, who cannot, and make plans accordingly, do not ignore this. Ignoring this means a lot of heartache later on.
Trust the Tribe that Cheers you On.
As you begin your tarot practice, be realistic about what you can achieve. Expect for a turnaround of 2-5 years to build a client base–provided you are very good, provided that you work very hard, provided you treat your clients well. Expecting to go full time and replacing a salary within 6 months to a year is not realistic in most cases. Just because you want and hope for that to happen does not mean that that is the industry standard. Ask tarot practitioners what and how and for how long it took them. Again remember, you are in it for the long haul. Run the numbers, create financial goals and milestones to celebrate. Again, if you are having dreams of being the tarot reader of the rich and famous and you live in Anchorage Alaska with no plans to move– that’s your Saboteur talking, he likes to make grandiose dreams that are impossible for you to fulfill. What you can create by dint of effort and time, will be so beautiful on its own. Give yourself time, and give yourself goals that are attainable so that you keep winning.
Trust in Building Realistically
Be Prepared to Work Extremely Hard
If you want a tarot gig where you work 20 hours a week then owning a small business is not for you. Launching and building a small business is extremely hard work. I laugh at the times where I complained about overwork when I was in a traditional 40 hour work week. There is so much to do when building your business and client base, I don’t think I saw my husband much my first two years of launching, and I lost friends because I shut down my social life to make it happen. Was it worth it? Yes. Oh Gods, yes. I cannot believe that I get to read tarot, be my own boss, call my own shots for a living–sometimes I have to pinch myself! I could never go back to being an employee. No more meetings, no more bosses, no more office politics, no more pantyhose! But, most importantly, reading tarot is endemic to who I am, it is me at my best. It is my calling, and in order to give birth to my calling, the labor was worth it. It has to be worth it to you. It will be hard, and also amazing, I promise.
Your saboteur doesn’t want to work hard. If you ever get that weird, 'but I am afraid of being overwhelmed feeling' that is your saboteur. Your saboteur creates imaginary futures to freak out about. It wants to keep you small, but launching a business is like launching a rocket ship, you need massive push to escape the velocity of the life laid out for you. You need heat and light. You need to push because when you do, you get the stars, the stars that were lined up for you the moment you were born. See, your inner guide knows this, which is why you are reading my blog post, your guide brought you here to remind you.
Trust Your Strength.
But, Everyone Has Their Limits
This was a hard lesson for me. I ignored my limits until I became very sick. I pushed and pushed until my body began to break down. I got tennis elbow from shuffling the cards so much. I got sciatica hunched over my laptop for hours and hours at 3 am. I got a 4 month migraine because I refused to give myself time off. The last one was the hardest thing I have ever lived through. I was scared of stopping because I feared becoming irrelevant, forgotten, unimportant–what fears of the ego. What a tough but necessary lesson. Real relationships will wait, but an audience of followers will move into the next bright thing. Which do you want, relationships or 'followers'?
Because I am a stubborn woman, it took a near physical breakdown for me to totally realign my business in a way that was healthier for me. I realized I could not be all things to all people, I cannot do it all. I learned to say no more. I learned to reorganize my business to support me better. I was so fearful of losing the momentum I built, but, even with the new supports in place, my business continues to climb.
The things that were ego driven, fell away. Less splashing near the surface of the water, but lots of movement underneath. This particular lesson goes out to my A Personality people, you know who you are! Please, respect your limits. Rest, take a day off. Take a vacation, don’t answer your email after 9pm. Teach people in how to best reach you, take good care of yourself, we need you around. The ones who are worth it, will respect you. Otherwise, you just have an audience, and gawkers don’t pay the bills.
Trust What You Build.
Did that resonate, sugar plum? If so, there is more where that came from! Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I drop part III. You can always subscribe to my blog, and email me with any questions and yes, I do mentor tarot practitioners. Here's to the rising tide, and the wonderful Spirit of Tarot that makes it so...
Its highfalutin time for me to write ye olde "professional tarot reader' rite of passage called the "Blog about How to Become a Professional Reader'. Google that term and I am sure you will find pages of worthy information for your eager eyes and searching heart.
Here, in this 3 part series, I offer my own sagely advice based on my own business and also in helping others achieve their own. May it contain something to sustain you on your journey, colleague!
Tarot is a Passionate Calling
To be a full time tarot practitioner is to undertake some of the hardest, most exhausting, most rewarding work you have ever attempted. The burn out rate for readers is extraordinarily high, and even the best of us need regular breaks from reading.
It is not uncommon for readers to even take a break for a few years if they over extended themselves reading tarot.
The people who don't make it are people who just thought it would be an easy source of side income, or just something to do in retirement; these folks do not last long because the act of reading tarot and running a business needs everything you got. People come to tarot because they feel lost, or scared, or anxious, or empty and from an emotional standpoint it can take a toll on a reader; just like any social service. The people who stick around for longer than a hot minute are passionate about the tool of tarot, are in love with the process of reading, cannot see themselves doing anything as exhilarating and amazing as bringing the art of tarot to everyone.
Tarot cannot be about making money (though I did enjoy making my tongue in cheek pic above). You MUST love tarot enough to allow the work of tarot to transform and support your life. People who come into it to make money end up leaving, or outsourcing their readings to other people. Tarot is about finding your calling, and if you are brave and a very good reader, you will be able to make a living. Tarot comes first, however. There are so many people who need and want a tarot reading, the demand is there, and they deserve a reader who loves helping them, and loves the magic that is tarot.
Be that person, and you will not thirst.
Trust your Calling.
You Do Not Have to be Perfect
In fact, your broken places make you a better reader. Being a professional tarot reader means to be supremely compassionate and understanding of the person’s journey for whom you are reading. You are not a guru, you do not need to have a perfect life in order to give advice. This is because a tarot reading is not about you, and you should not be projecting your life, agenda, needs, or hungers onto your client. You need to read the cards, hold space for your client, and be a bridge rather than a guide; be the book binding rather than its letters. The information is what you share, not who you are. Reading for others though, will have the effect of granting profound wisdom onto you own life and about the spirit of humanity as a whole. Being witness to suffering, helps you understand your own. Truly the gift you get from tarot and from clients is far, far greater than the one you bestow.
Trust your Gift.
Always Run the Numbers
If you are running a business, run it as a business. The container of your business is what allows you to read professionally. It protects you and allows you to do more than you could ever do without it. Before you say yes to that house party, reading out of that New Age Store, or starting an Etsy shop, my friend, RUN THE NUMBERS. Look at other readers doing similar, how much are they making? Is this really worth your time? It can be so exciting to make something look like a business on the outside but if you are not bringing home the bacon, it’s not really a business; it is your hobby.
Do your research before you say yes. YES, your time is worth this, YES, your business deserves this. Running the numbers does not mean you are some evil capitalist bourgeoisie pig. Running the numbers has nothing to do with your spiritual feelings or your tarot practice. Running the numbers ensures that you are taking care of yourself, and a well-taken cared of you means a reader who can serve more people, better serve people. If you find yourself having a hard time with this, look deeply, it might mean that part of you is attempting to sabotage your dream. The biggest saboteur is you. Your ability to show your inner saboteur that YOU are the boss of you is the GREATEST factor in your success.
Trust the Numbers.
Mind Your Mind
This is by far the biggest determiner of your success as a tarot practitioner. Inside each of us is an inner guide and inner saboteur. The saboteur runs on fear, he resists change, he wants to keep your vibration low and he is tricky, no one knows you as well as he does and he will create all kinds of ‘problems’ to derail your success. Expect to feel fear, anxiety, sudden physical problems, relationship problems, every 1,001 reason why you cannot, should not, please don’t, do not– it is ridiculous anyway.
Listen, you are the boss of you. You are the grown up in this equation and the better you can learn to first, identify when the saboteur is talking (he amazingly will sound just like you but when he says things it’s to make you small, rather than big.) Once you can identify him that is half the battle, the next step is to move forward despite him. Cause, you also have an inner Guide, and he wants you to live your calling.
This topic alone requires so much more than I can give in this blog post; to start read
The War of Art. When you are finished, start in the beginning and read it again. Highlight it, dog– ear its pages, rail and scream and pump your fist to the heavens. Fight, baby, fight! You are so worth it. You know it’s true, feel that part of you that says yes? That’s your Guide.
Trust Your Guide.
Be a Professional
Don’t feel like giving a reading? Too bad. Scared of reading at that party you booked? Get over it. Have a client who isn’t ‘playing along’? Sorry, Charley, but you are a professional and as a professional you need to suck it up, show up, and hang it up. This is kind of part two of the saboteur above, that Saboteur will give you every single reason under the sun as to why you can’t. Don’t give him any power. You do that by being a professional. Treat yourself as the professional you are by taking good care of yourself (boundaries) and also by how you treat your clients. This also extends to your social media, how you email people, how well you respect them and yourself. Be kind. Be generous. Take an extra minute to say thank you, even if you aren’t getting what you want. Build relationships, not transactions. Stay for the long haul, the world needs your professionalism, it is in critically short supply. Even if they are mean, suck it up, you know it’s not about you anyway.
Trust your Ability to Show Up.
Did that resonate, sugar plum? If so, there is more where that came from! Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I drop part II and part III. You can always subscribe to my blog, and email me with any questions and yes, I do mentor tarot practitioners. Here's to the rising tide, and the wonderful Spirit of Tarot that makes it so...
I can always tell when a Mercury retrograde is coming. The tarotscopes change timbre, tone, and message during this time. This retrograde feels most like an inner life kind of hang up more than outward based, very cerebral. Below is what I plotted for you for August. Thank you for reading!
Happy Birthday, Lion! Now, don’t panic, I pulled Death for you for this month. I am a firm believer that there are no ‘bad or good’ cards and Death is no exception. The message of Death for you this month is that something, or perhaps a couple of somethings, are coming to an end. I see Death as a big stop sign, ‘stop, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.’ Your job is to accept an ending, to allow and ending gracefully, and to take a big sigh of relief because whatever it is that you have been struggling with, is done. This could be the ending of a relationship or friendship that was not serving you. Your favorite shoes or dress breaking beyond repair, and counterintuitively, losing weight! An interesting card for you in your birth month, for sure!
Virgo—King of Wands
Wands energy continues for this month, Virgo, and King of Wands is the outward expression of his suit. What does that mean? It means that the qualities of action, creativity, outward and outgoing activities of all types are being put into service in the world. What do you need to create, make, or do that will serve the world? What, by your actions, will be made better by not being afraid of sharing your gifts? There is no room for anxiety in this King’s world. Bring your creation to the table.
Libra—7 of Pentacles
This month may be a bit frustrating for you, Libra. 7 of Pentacles usually denotes a sluggish, slow moving energy on something you would rather happen quickly and decisively. Do not confuse it with no movement, however, but rather slow and meandering. Check your frustration this month. Check a tendency towards judging yourself if things aren’t moving forward like you want, also be kind to others if it feels like they are being sluggish with decisions or actions. The energy is like moving through ‘molasses in January’ as my 3rd grade teacher used to say. Give you and others a lot of patience and plenty of room.
Scorpio—2 of Pentacles
For me, this card often denote a move, so if you are moving house or would like to, or are considering it, August augers energy that will support that action. 2 of Pentacles can also denote a sense of restlessness, of having everything handled but feeling that at any moment it could slip out of your control. The challenge for you this month is to hold space for this ‘slightly out of control’ feeling. Try not to hammer everything down in an effort to control the anxiety that this emotion can often trigger. This energy can also mean that within this small chaos, new things are being combined in new ways, let them!
Sagittarius—8 of Wands
I love 8 of Wands. This card denotes swiftness, messages, spiritual awakenings, and a-ha moments of all kinds. This card talks about a pivotal moment in your life where, after being struck by some kind of existential lightning, your life changes forever-without struggle, without effort, it just is. This month, Sag, something will come to you from out of the blue and by God it will be so good.
Capricorn—10 of Swords
10 of swords is heavy energy. Like Death, this card denotes an ending but it also highlights caution against personal damage. Be very careful about what you reveal to others, be mindful and discerning of who you can trust and if your intuition even so much as whispers caution, please listen. You are in a vulnerable time and need to guard yourself. If you have back problems, this month may indicate the time when you finally get it taken care of, seeking out treatments that you were loathe to undergo before. This card has also meant acupuncture to me, so if you have been feeling off, get some treatment with that modality, you might be surprised by how great you feel!
Aquarius—5 of Wands
July is a bit chaotic. The energy supports moving, for travel, house moving, or work which usually suits an Aquarian just nicely! Do you have travel plans? Perhaps you get invited last minute to a fun getaway. Say yes, Aquarian, always say yes.
Pisces—5 of Swords
If you are looking for a job, it may be this month you get it. If you are not looking for a job this card calls you to ‘go for it’ whatever it is. Do not be afraid to be aggressive when the situations calls for it. Do not deprive yourself to help others, this is not the time to be a martyr. Take care of yourself first, which is hard for Pisces, and this is why this message in particular, so important for you.
Aries—10 of Pentacles
This month, the energy is surrounding your home and resources. This card also speaks about protection which is the advice for you this month. Check and change your passwords, go through your home, are you as secure as you could be? Have you been lazy about protecting you and yours? This month, make it a point to lock down your world. Mercury retrogrades at the end of this month so this makes this message particularly important.
Taurus—6 of Pentacles
Money flows to those in need this month, bull. It could mean that you give money and/or resources to those in need, or it could mean that that money flows to you if you are in need. 6 of Pentacles speaks of a generosity of spirit, so beyond resources this can also mean being more giving of you time, your attention, your focus-perhaps gift giving and showing appreciation of those you love in your life. This is a lovely, sweet energy, people get what they really need, including you.
Gemini—8 of Swords
There is something that you are having a hard time moving past, a narrative that you keep telling yourself and it is keeping you stuck. It could be that you are refusing to see that your lover or partner is no good for you. It could be that your job is not what you need it to be. It could be that you refuse to give up drinking… Whatever it is, there is something shifting and coming to light, you can feel it on the deepest level but you are not quite ready to accept it yet. This lack of acceptance causes as much if not more, suffering. The worst delusions we have are the ones we tell ourselves. Ask yourself, “what am I avoiding feeling or thinking about right now?” that is the clue.
Cancer—8 of Cups
You are being asked to walk away from something, even though you have no idea what the next steps will be. You are being asked to walk away from something that ‘kinda’ work but you know in your heart is not what you need, does not speak to your truth, cannot ever really feed you what you need. What’s on the next horizon? That is not to be revealed yet, what is important is that you finally have the courage to walk away, to know that somewhere out there has something more for you, that following the truth of your spirit is worth the risk. It always is worth the risk. Start walking.
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Throughout the US exists ordinances and laws making fortunetelling illegal. While there is no federal prohibition against reading cards professionally, there are laws by state as well as by city that do in fact make reading tarot as a profession illegal.
Most of these laws were passed a long time ago, during a different time in our nation's history and often sound like laws such as, "Don't leave your donkey tethered after 6pm". And, while these laws are old, state officials and city officials like to invoke them to "keep the riffraff out." These out-moded and dangerously misinformed laws not only impinge on our American right to freedom of expression and religion, but they unfairly discriminate against good, law abiding, honest readers whole sale.
I have spoken at length about the unfair stigma a professional reader has to contend with, but as society begins to take a more tolerant view of our work, readers are beginning to fight back. Below, In this two-part series, I interviewed a would-be professional reader who is working to repeal ordnance in her town. The second part of this series interviews someone who was successful doing it.
Heather Cooper came to my attention as news media outlets were covering her fight in West Virginia to repeal a local ordnance so that she may rightfully work within her own community. I was intrigued by Heather's indomitable spirit and courageousness. Heather was gracious enough to spend some time with me discussing what she was up to.
Tell me a little about yourself, how long have you been reading tarot and when and how did you decide to go into business as a reader?
I have been reading since I was a teenager. I knew no one who read at the time so I had to teach myself. It wasn't until around 10 years ago that I meet other readers. I was surprised there were others, more, group of them that met regularly. Before them I only know what I learned from books. When I turned 18 I went to Memphis TN. There was a palm reader there. She had a small table and a line around the corner. I took one look at her and thought... I want to do that. It wasn't until the last 3 years that I believed. I could.
Where are you located and when did you learn about the city ordinance that bans 'fortune telling' can you also include a copy of the actual code? What do you know about it's creation and what it was created to serve?
I live in Parkersburg wv. I had always heard rumors about it being illegal but never thought anything of it. What I do was everywhere. There was psychic fairs a few blocks from the city building, sometimes right beside it. If it was true some one some where would have enforced it. We met weekly. It wasn't until a year after I received my state license and I had a store that I was told about it. I was told that the code was tracked back to 1906 by a city council member but he couldn't find any thing before that.
"529.05 FORTUNETELLING, PALMISTRY, ASTROLOGY, ETC. PROHIBITED. No person shall engage in or practice in any manner, within the corporate limits of the City, the trade or profession of palmistry, fortunetelling, astrology, phrenology or any kindred trade or profession having as its object the foretelling of happenings of future events. (1947 Code §20.13)"
(Isn't it interesting that the authorities only stepped in when a reader attempts to become a legally licensed and registered business owner? The ordinance then only punishes the honest, enforcing the very environment they wish to keep out!!)
Why do you think the ordinance (besides your livelihood) should be overturned? What do you envision will happen if it does?
I hope to be able to open peoples minds about divination. There is such a bad stereotype. I would like to see that changed.
Why don't you read tarot outside of the city limit, or go somewhere else?
I have ties here. My family founded this town. My ancestors and relatives
Helped to make it what it is today. I volunteer here I am on committees here. My passions are here. Also my kids, now teenagers go to high-school here. Their hopes, dreams, friends and girlfriends live here. This town and our location means everything to us.
Why is it important for you to overturn this ordinance?
Why else it's wrong and out of date. It's not in forced and it's not right to restrict us in such a way. I am not hurting any one. I just want to do what I'm good at and give back to the community.
What do you think it will take/require to overturn this ordinance?
I'm hoping that I have done everything possible. It is on the docket for this Tuesday the 12th. The only thing left is to ask people to call their council members and let them know we are here and part of this community.
Have you done a reading on this situation? If so, would you care to share with us?
The bad thing about doing what I do is that I can't read myself. It drives me crazy.
(I hear you there, Heather!)
Heather has a gofundme account to help her raise the legal support to make the repeal a success. If you can spare just a dollar, please do what you can to help. While it might seem that it has no direct impact, it does. For every reader who successfully fights back against injustice, it helps the rest of us. This generation of readers are bushwacking the acceptance that later generations will get to enjoy.
Please be apart of this journey!
Happy July and Happy Birthday to my Cancers (and July Leos!). This month we see more than our fair share of court cards, in fact this may be more than I have seen in a long while for tarot scopes. When we see a large amount of court cards, it is a global call to being responsible, for showing up, for taking on uncomfortable or newly emerging aspects of ourselves to heal the world.
What is emerging from within you?
Cancer—King of Swords
Happy birthday, cancer! Okay, so July is going to throw a lot of things at you that will be emotional in nature. It will seem that as soon as you are done dealing with one bit of drama, another one comes around the corner! King of Swords is a message from the Universe telling you to take things calmly, logically, deal with things fairly and with absolute transparency. You need to be the person everyone can count on for a fair shake, deal?
Leo—Page of Wands
The closer we get to August, the louder the lion roars. You know your birthday is coming soon. You can feel it like you feel the power of the sun infusing you with raw leo power. Page of Wands is an indication that you will be prolific with your creative ideas this month. Perhaps you will have trouble sleeping,waking up at 4am with ‘the next big thing’ on your mind. People may approach you with creative project ideas, as well. This is a vibrant, open, amazingly creative time for you, don’t squander it!
Virgo—Ace of Wands
Now is the time to try something new. If you are looking for a new job, you will most likely get one this month. Want to learn how to cycle, waltz, learn Korean? Go for it! Ace of Wands means ‘initiation’; you have the power, the energy and the courage to try something that you never have before. Take a new route to work, or reach out to acquaintances to make them better friends.July supports any endeavour where you are getting out of your rut.
Libra—4 of Swords
Have you been burning the candle at both ends? Feeling tired, sluggish, unmotivated? As crazy as this may sound, you need to rest. Do you have any days you could take off? And by taking a day off I do not mean also then catching up on other stuff. I mean taking a day off. Have a day in bed. Serve yourself champagne and fancy snacks, grab some magazines (get off social media) and just relax for a change, you need it. This card can also mean that this month will not support an aggressive approach to anything going on your life. It will feel like trying to swim in molasses, everything that you do. So don’t fight it. Embrace the nap.
Scorpio—5 of Wands
There is a lot of demands for your time and attention. You are feeling like you are being pulled in 5 directions and there just doesn't seem to be enough of you to go around. Listen, you can’t please everyone all the time, only some people some of the time, wasn’t it Mark Twain who said that? He was a pretty smart guy, listen to him. Try to release the assumption that you will finish any project definitively this month. It will be more like making some progress on some projects but no one thing being done.
The Tower is what I call the ‘last straw’ card. Anything in your life that is hanging on by a thread may likely and finally fall now. Usually, these are the things that we know we need to leave, let go of, or destroy within ourselves but ego, fear, and resistance keep us from seeing the truth for what it is. The more you resist, the harder this will be. Your car, a relationship, your microwave oven, a job--anything that has been limping along for some time now will finally go kaput. Please see this as the universe helping, since you cannot end or fix it, you are being helped out.
Capricorn—Queen of Wands
The appearance of this Queen in your life is often an indication about how you need to be of service to others. Queen of Wands helps to infuse others with enthusiasm and a zest for their own lives. This Queen helps others see the great possibility of their lives and helps others find the internal strength and tools for making their dreams come true. This month, you have a great opportunity to support others in changing their lives, how amazing.
Aquarius—2 of Pentacles
July is a bit chaotic. The energy supports moving, for travel, house moving, or work which usually suits an Aquarian just nicely! Do you have travel plans? Perhaps you get invited last minute to a fun getaway. Say yes, Aquarian, always say yes.
Pisces—Page of Pentacles
This Page appears when we need to keep our ‘mind on our money and our money on our mind’. There may appear a way to make some side income this month (some may call it the hustle) so please keep your ears pricked for any news on increasing disposable income. A side gig, overtime, perhaps you sell those things in your basement. All are ideas to bring the shiny coin of good fortune your way.
Aries—King of Wands
King of Wands’ appearance this month is a call for you to finally get serious and make some work or creative project happen. A king in tarot means outward expansion, being in the world, assertive, outgoing energy and this King in particular is a full force sun being. What do you have to share with the world? What does the world need from you? Move forward with great confidence on your idea, it is ready to be born.
Are you having any fun? How often do you laugh every day, every week? Do you enjoy things simply because they bring you pleasure? This month, try something new and that thing, specifically, should have no other purpose except for making you happy. Do you even know what that could be? If not, that’s the work for you now.
Gemini—King of Pentacles
This King asks that you make certain you are taking steps to solidify any unstable situation. Whether it is work, home, finances, housing, health--make sure you are owning the leadership to stabilize any situation that is beginning to feel outside of your control. Take ownership. Man (and Woman) up. Anything you are sweeping under the rug? That’s it.
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