How the heck does Tarot work?
A Tarot deck is made of card, ink and plastic. That’s it. There’s nothing magical about those 78 cards, that is, until a Tarot reader takes ownership. Then the magic happens.
Tarot readers take their time choosing a deck. It has to sing to them; make their heart pound and fingers twitch with want. Once we do get our hot mitts on the deck, we then cleanse and charge it. From there, we connect with the cards. There are many ways in which we can do this, but the end result is those 78 cards are soon imbued with the energy of their owner. Don’t laugh, but a very real relationship forms. I have eight decks at present, (I’m far too restrained) and each has its own distinct character. One is a sassy motherforker, another is blunt as a shovel, I have a deck that would make me a cuppa and give me hugs throughout the entire reading if it could, and another that makes me work damn hard to find its message. The more we work with a deck, the more intimate we become with each other, and the more intimate we become, the more our intuition flows.
Some Tarot readers have an extra boost in the form of psychic gifts. They might clearly see the message (clairvoyance), hear it (clairaudience), get a gut feeling about it (clairsentience), or simply know without being able to explain why (claircognizance). In these cases, the cards might act as prop for the reader, as they rely more on the Clairs for the reading. In my case, I’m in intuitive reader, which means I work with clairsentience and claircognizance, but without the cards in front of me, none of that would flow. On a rare occasion, I do sometimes see an image, but for the majority of a reading, I’m working with my intuition. So during a reading, these abilities (which we all have, by the way) blend with the traditional meanings of the cards and our connection with the deck. The energy shared between a reader and their deck is a precious, revered and very real bond. This is where the mystical stuff lies, and that’s how Tarot works. (In my humble opinion)
What if you see something bad in my reading?
Picture the scene:
Madame Wartonnose sits in her cluttered, gilded caravan. You enter, fumbling your way to her little round table draped in tasselled scarves. In the flickering candle light, yawning shadows loom across the low, curved ceiling. A bunch of dried herbs tangles in your hair as you sit—or is it something else itching your scalp? And what’s that blinking at you from the corner behind her? Do cats have slitted orange eyes?
The Madame peers at you with wise knowing as she shuffles the cards, the eighty-four bangles on her wrists, jangling inharmoniously. Incense chokes your hesitant breaths as she lays down the cards one by one.
Madame Wartonnose gasps. She grips the edge of the table. The dreaded Death card lies before you, and one gnarled finger lifts to aim a warning.
“Death,” she whispers.
You scream. You flee.
Yeah, that’s not how it works. I promise. Any serious, honest Tarot reader will abide by their code of ethics (my COE is here if you’re interested) which insists on no predictions relating to loss of life or limb. (And for the majority of us, we don’t see that stuff anyhow.)
There certainly are prickly cards in Tarot, but Hollywood has morphed them into portents of utter doom. Take the Death card. It represents transformation; the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. I’ve lost count of the movie scenes where Death appears and mayhem ensues, but believe it or not, Death regularly appears in readings for expectant mothers. Because they’re moving from one stage of their life to the next, a transformation approaches, and with their world changing, Death represents this journey perfectly.
Another dreaded card is The Tower. It’s the card that tells you the Universe is about to deliver a swift kick up your hole. ‘Hey, you,’ it says. ‘You’ve gotten far too comfy with your lot. Hang on to your britches, bitch, it’s all about to change!’ (Cue evil laugh.) And yes, that is what happens; your world gets turned on its head. But guess what? You emerge the far side in a way better place. In all my years reading Tarot, I have yet to hear someone say The Tower didn’t do them a world of good. (Once the bruised ass has healed.)
So shake off those images of Madame Wartonnose screaming that you’re about to die. That ain’t gonna happen. Not from me anyhow. And if someone does predict something awful? Or says you’re possessed by a demon from the forty-third dimension of hell and only they can send it packing once you hand over a large wad of cash? Take your money and leave, my friend, because you’re being scammed.
How can you read my cards when I’m not physically present?
I questioned this too when I first began to read. All my initial practice was face-to-face, with family, friends, or whatever sucker said yes to a reading. When that pool ran dry, I set my sights on strangers. I joined Biddy Tarot and began giving readings by email. Honestly, I didn’t think it would work. I was used to having the client sitting opposite me, where I could get a sense of who they were, how they reacted to the cards, and if I was headed in the right direction. But it does work. I can’t explain the science behind it, all I know is that once I’ve grounded and am focused, the messages still come. Sometimes I get a flash of an image, but most of the time it’s a strong sense of knowing. A symbol, colour or figure on a card jumps out at me, and I know in my gut that this is where the client’s answer lies. The spread as a whole tells me a story, and as I combine this and what my intuition tells me, it all comes together. It does help if I have a photo of you, but it’s not necessary. All I know for sure, is that reading without you being physically present does work.
I got my reading and parts of it don’t resonate.
This can happen. There are instances when time needs to pass for a theme in the reading to click with you. Let me give you an example. I once had a very vivid image of a church interior. The client wasn’t religious, so couldn’t make head nor tail of why she’d be sitting in a church, or how it could possibly connect with her question of how she could find love. All I could tell her, was that the setting held importance and the theme of ‘church’ carried throughout the reading. Months later she contacted me to say she had very unexpectedly found herself in a church on a field-trip, where a man had sat beside her. They had hit it off and were now dating.
Tarot reading isn’t predictive, it works in the now and how your current behaviours effect the potential outcome of a current situation. So a message that may seem bonkers today, often makes complete sense once time passes.
Sometimes, however, we do get it wrong. We’re not above misreading cards, or a situation. We have off days, and can make a balls of a reading. I’ve cut readings short because I know I’m off my game. It might be that I’m feeling unwell, or tired, or that I just can’t connect. On those occasions, the honest thing to do is hold up my hand and say this isn’t going to happen today. If I find myself in that place while reading for you, I’ll let you know and reschedule.
I have my reading. Now what?
Read it. Read it again. Read it once more. And yes, read it yet again! Readings come packed with all sorts of information. Some makes immediate sense while other needs time to percolate through your busy brain. Once it has wormed its way in, consider your actions going forward. If the reading suggests you take a specific action, do so. Don’t assume that because the potential outcome of your situation was represented by the best damn card you could ever pull from a deck, it’ll all just fall into place.
Say for example you’re looking for your dream job and your reading says you’re heading in the right direction. The stars are aligned and all looks wonderful I tell you, provided you take the action suggested by the reading.
But all you can see is that shiny card of promise I turned over. The job is yours, you think, all I need do is sit back and wait. But then someone else gets that coveted role and you’re left gutted.
Tarot is not fortune-telling, it’s guidance and advice. If the cards nudge you in a certain direction, don’t ignore that prompt. Give it the consideration it deserves. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to listen to your own gut. Ultimately, whatever your reading says, the only force in control of your life is you. If you have a feeling about something, never, ever ignore it—positive or negative.
A few weeks/months have passed and I have a question about my reading.
While I do keep notes on all my readings, I can look back at my records if you have a burning question, but I don’t keep names, emails or any personal info on file. All I have are the reading notes saved under your initials and the date of the reading, so please be specific with any queries. For recent readings, it will be easier, but for anything older than 6 weeks, my aged brain won’t recall the details or nuances of what I read, so I may not be able to help.
How long do I have to wait for my next reading?
I won’t read for a client within three months of their last reading. Reliance on Tarot is not a healthy habit to form. Only under very exceptional circumstances would I consider consulting the cards for a client following a recent reading as Old Man Time has his part to play in our lives.
(If you’re a client who avails of the Month Ahead reading, the above doesn’t apply.)
Why are you all MC Hammer about your deck?
Sorry but no, U Can’t Touch This. (For face-to-face readings)
Some readers will allow you cut their deck. Others will let you shuffle. As an empath, I’m very sensitive to energy, so I don’t allow clients to handle my decks as it muddies my water. Only those very close to me are allowed handle my deck, but even then I get the heebie-geebies. Don’t take offence, it’s just my quirk.
What’s the Month Ahead reading?
This is a spread that looks at how you can get the best out of the upcoming month. I’ll work with you to focus on the themes needing attention in your life and present guidance of how you can focus on those issues one month at a time. The number of months is up to you; 1 month or 12, I’ll work with your preference.
How do I pay?
I accept the souls of firstborns and/or unicorn tears collected under a full moon. Joking. PayPal is my pal, so that’s where the financial business takes place.
I still have questions!
That’s okay. I have questions too. Hop over to the contact tab and send me your query.