Tarot is More than Predictions
Trust me, I love a good prediction as much as the next guy. It is thrilling to peer ahead into the misty future to wonder how something will turn out and if I will be okay.
Often it feels to me that tarot is used as a hammer, that it has only one real use which is fortune telling.
But actually, it is an extraordinary type of Swiss Army knife. One deck is packed with different tools, each extraordinarily specific to whatever challenges one is currently facing.
In my practice, here are just a few of the ways that I have seen tarot help my clients beyond predictions.
Strengthens Relationships-Maybe the question is not “Should I stay or go?” but rather, “How can we make this better than it is?”
Gives permission to leave what’s broken-Sometimes we ask tarot, “Can we fix him?”, and tarot answers, “It’s okay, you tried, but you need to go now.” Understanding when it is time to let go with love is one of the hardest things to learn.
Gain hope and inspiration-When we think things can’t get better and we have to cut our losses tarot will show us a way we never thought of before, and it changes everything.
Destroys inner critics and saboteurs-Tarot is excellent bar none for directly pointing out the inner machinations that try to make us small by courting failure. I love tarot for its ability to shine a light right into our darkest corners.
Heals hearts-One session with a good tarot practitioner can do so much to heal someone with a broken heart. We ask, “Will I ever be better?”, and tarot responds by saying, “Oh yes, and this is how.”
Engages spiritual truths-Tarot has a way of reminding us of the larger picture. You know, the one beyond the parking tickets and the jeans that no longer fit. Tarot reminds us of why we are here, but most importantly, what we are here to learn.
Reveals agreements you make with the Universe-When we are reminded of what we are here to learn, we also learn about some of the agreements we made with the Universe. We aren’t downloaded into this plane with a task list. They have to be revealed by the act of living.
Scales intuitive fluency-If you are looking to become a more intuitive (or psychic) person, I cannot think of a better way than to learn tarot.
Rewrites painful narratives-We walk around with so much pain. All of us. This pain is often old narratives from the past impacting the present. Tarot has a way of dismantling those old stories we tell about ourselves (and our worth) and helps us rewrite new ones.
Alleviates anxiety-It is true that anxiety is the emotion people most often feel that convinces them that it is time to get a reading and they hope that knowing the future will alleviate anxiety. However, tarot alleviates anxiety through a different action which is revealing truth so you can face it and move on.
Offers relief-Tarot can be a great nurturer to the heart-sick, the lonely, the lost, and the hurting. I find that the tone that tarot uses in session speaks directly to the emotional needs of the querent in a way that is driven for their greater good.
Finds new approaches-When you are stuck, tarot has 78 new ways of looking at a problem in a different light.
Helps you find your path-Once you understand some of what you need to learn, and have uncovered your agreements with the Universe, you can then use tarot to help you find the action part, your path. What are you here to do? How are you here to serve? This is typically not the “Am I meant to be a nurse?”, as much as, “In what ways am I being called to heal the planet?”
Removes limits- And once you know your path, tarot helps remove roadblocks that get in the way of fulfilling that purposeful walk through this mortal coil. Tarot shows us exactly what we need to dismantle so we can move forward.
Often in session some clients of mine are surprised, they say to me, “I didn’t know that this was going to be like therapy.” But, it isn’t actually. For one, I do a helluva lot of talking in session whereas in therapy the client is doing the talking.
Like a therapy session, tarot does go deep and asks important questions that do require reflection, self-awareness, and trust with the practitioner.
But, a tarot reading is more directive, spiritual, and results-oriented than what I know of a typical therapy session. Also, it is fast. One session and I don’t want to see you again for awhile. We want to use tarot as tool to move forward, not as a tool to grab whenever you are feeling anxious.
For me, most of the work is actually getting to the right questions. When we find the right question, we strike at any of the ways tarot can help. Sometimes those questions will be predictive, but usually the most important questions are galactic. Who am I becoming? What am I leaving behind? In what shape is this unfolding taking place?
That’s the good stuff right there.
This is an excerpt from my recently published book, Have Tarot Will Party. E Book and paperback are both available at Amazon
Someone wants to hire you to read tarot for their upcoming party! You know how to read tarot, but how the heck does one book parties?
How much should you charge? What kind of paperwork do you need? How do you handle guests who want to test your skills? How do you read tarot under ten minutes when the guest won’t stop talking?!
Don’t panic! You have everything you need to navigate party readings right here.
Have Tarot Will Party is a fully comprehensive business resource for professional tarot practitioners.
Have Tarot Will Party includes real stories to highlight aspects of the party experience, and includes topics such as: how to find parties that will book you, how to negotiate a price that respects your worth, how to work with the host to ensure you are busy and safe, as well as template samples of paperwork like contracts and disclaimers.
House parties are where most public readers get started. There are two types of house party: hosted and non-hosted. In a hosted party, the host is paying you directly at a per-hour rate, and the guests are not paying anything. A non-hosted party is one where the host is supplying the place for the party, but each guest is paying you individually for their reading.
Even though a house party is fairly casual, you still need to give it professional treatment. You need a contract and should consider including disclosures for everyone to sign before you begin reading. It’s a crazy litigious world out there, so I want to cover my risks as much as I possibly can. In my day practice, all guests must read and agree to my disclaimer as part of the on-boarding process. I also have business liability insurance. I will talk more about this later, and I have a sample document that you are free to use for your own events.
Once you have agreed with your host, and the negotiations are over, I recommend a deposit to hold the time slot. Every time I’ve not requested a deposit, I have come to regret it. It’s no fun to have a huge Halloween party cancel on you one week before Halloween and you are left scrambling to find a replacement after turning down ten other invitations. As much as you may feel a spiritual purpose in doing this work, always remember that money talks! What if that cancellation means you couldn’t take another job? There goes the rent! It’s no biggie to them, but it could potentially be a huge deal for you.
Make sure to tell your host that the time and date is not reserved until you have a deposit in your hot, little hands. The deposit can vary. I usually only require a fifty-dollar deposit which is refundable up to two weeks prior to the event. But for fall events the deposit is a nonrefundable fifty percent of the ticket. I only accept cash, debit or credit, or payment through the app of my choice. I don’t accept private checks. Some readers I know also accept Money Orders or Certified Checks for private events. This is a smart move because like cash, once it is in your hand, it is yours. For non-hosted events, the host can either put that money towards her reading, or she will have it reimbursed to her on the day of the party, provided that the number of guests and everything you agreed upon is still in place.
A non-hosted party is a gig situation where the host is not paying you for readings but rather acts as coordinator. She is lining up her guests and providing the space, but each individual you read for will be paying for their own time with you. A non-hosted party is often the choice for readers who are within their first year and are trying to build their client base. A non-hosted party is tricky because no one is paying you for in-between time, and you can easily find yourself with a loss of thirty minutes or more because no one is in a rush to see you!
Another challenge is that the host does not feel pressure to make sure that the number of guests you both agreed on will be there when you show up. Let’s say you agreed to read for fifteen people over three hours, but once you arrive it’s a different story. Perhaps the host says that she couldn’t get fifteen, and that she only has six people, but she still expects you to stay and read for them. Tell the hostess to agree on a minimum guarantee to book. If she is unable to hit that minimum on the day of the party, then she is still responsible for covering the amount you both agreed upon. With her money on the table, believe me, this is the motivation she needs to ensure that the number of guests you agreed on will be there!
Some hosts are solicitous. They will stop by a number of times to ensure your drink is filled or offer you something to eat. Others will invite you to stay and enjoy the party. Good hosts will be mindful of the guests coming to your table and will pay you promptly when your time is up. I love these wonderful, thoughtful hosts: may they live a long and happy life!
As friendly and welcoming as a good host might be, never lose sight that you are under their employ and are working (not attending) their party. While a host might offer you cocktails, a plate of food, or an offer to stay and enjoy, it’s usually a bad idea to accept. For one, I never have time to eat while I’m reading at a party, and if I did, it looks devastatingly unprofessional to eat a platter at your reading table. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to enjoy those cocktails.
Finally, if you hang around at the house after you’re done, it can be awkward. Perhaps you talked about a guest’s divorce or a recent job change, and now you are clinking glasses with them? Trust me, it never goes well. The intimacy of the tarot table does not easily translate to any other intimacy. People will feel uncomfortable about the new role you are now playing, especially if they divulged something intimate with you before! Work to maintain that sense of safety with them. Stay in your lane.
This has become an often-enough phenomena that I’ve come to expect it. Usually, a host is so busy that they won’t have time, to get a reading from you. As the host stops by to pay you at the end of your time, they will mention how they never had a chance to get a reading. This is the only occasion that I will go over my allotted time without compensation. If the host who hired me didn’t get a reading, I want to make sure that she gets one. Hosts are going to be your biggest supporters and believers, and they will often hire you for other parties. So, you want to keep them happy. Remember, this is the exception to the rule — so only one freebie allowed. After that, make a quick exit if you can or negotiate a rate to stay.
Have Tarot Will Party is 180 pages full of my own best practices (including some stories of my own epic mistakes). Immediately downloadable on Amazon but the paperback is great, too, for quick reference. If you have ever thought to read tarot at parties as a side-hustle, to supplement your retirement income, or as a home-based business. This guide is for you!
Creating an Altar is building an invitation…
I like spaces that have no other function except to create a sacred conversation. A sacred space is an invitation. Creating an altar in this space is like scooting over on a park bench and patting the seat next to us. It is the open arms. It is receiving.
It is saying, “Sit with me. I want your presence. Join me. I honor you.” It is an acknowledgement that there is something greater in our lives, and we dance with it, that great ‘whatever it is’. It is a reminder that life is more than the grocery list and the clothes that need to be folded and the annual review. With an altar, we invite the mystery.
But first, we need the why.
Once you have decided what you want your altar to be about, you can then decide how constructing your altar makes a symbolic statement that attracts the energy you intend. If you want Aphrodite to come and bless you with love, you know you better make a space honoring her beautifully!
The cool thing is that you can have as many altars as you want! As long as you have the space, you can create one. And you don’t need much, I’ve even heard of matchbox altars!
Location is the second aspect to creating intentional sacred space. It does not have to be big, but it has to be special and used just for that purpose. Perhaps a small table (or upturned cardboard box, even) in an unused corner of your room. Make sure that the place you choose honors the intention you are setting for the altar. By that I mean you probably don’t want your altar in a busy hallway. Make it special. Make it sacred.
Cleaning and Clearing
Once you have chosen your location, give it a good cleaning. Then, clear it using sage, ringing a bell, sprinkling some Florida water or even just saying a prayer. Healthy energy loves a clean and cleared space.
After you have your spot picked, cleaned and cleared it is time to decorate.
Since an altar is a sacred invitation, think about what items you wish to place in order to invite the Gods, Energy, Intention, or Ancestors in.
What I love about altar creation is that the magic is in the placement of items rather than the items themselves.
You can rummage through your shelves, go to the thrift store, or find things on your walk that, when placed carefully and thoughtfully, take on a special meaning all on their own.
You can decide whether to leave food or not, it’s totally up to you.
Now that you have your beautiful altar, what are you going to do with it? Sacred space must match sacred intention, so this is a relationship of sorts; don’t just set it and forget it.
Many people use altar space to meditate, to pray, to create intentions, to write, or just to spend a quick minute thinking about whatever it is that the altar’s reason is for being. Interact with your altar.
Allow your space to shift the spaces within you.
One thing that is important to remember is that an altar needs to be serviced. Keep your altar clean, update the items as needed or replace any perishable items regularly.
An altar helps with the flow of qi, that universal energy in everything but if an altar becomes neglected, the qi stagnates which is the exact opposite of what you want.
Energy goes where your focus goes. An altar can be a physical reminder to focus or invite, energy into your life in some way. “If you build it, they will come.” Creating altars builds your spiritual life, makes you aware of Presence, and helps you navigate the mystery in your life.
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