Thursday, November 1, 2012

11/2/12—Demystifying Tarot Readings

Today's Draw: The Ten of Air from the Book of Shadows Tarot. Have you ever been to a tarot reader? Have you ever wondered what to expect? Want to know how much it's going to cost you?

The Book of Shadows Tarot is relatively new and, based on some of the images I saw online, I thought it might be too Wiccan themed for me in the artwork. And while it IS Wiccan themed, I found myself liking the images they don't show in the promotional stuff you see online. So if you were feeling the same way I was, you might want to give it a second consideration. I'm glad I got it.

That said, the Air suit in the Book of Shadows tarot is different than most Air suits in that it focuses on different forms of divination—runes, dream interpretation, meditation, etc.. And the Ten of Air is Tarot.

Last weekend I gave readings at a Halloween party and pretty much everyone who came in to get a reading had never had one before, nor did they know what to expect, so they didn't know what to ask. Of course there's always that fear of the Death card (which doesn't mean physical death, but the death of some idea or pattern or whatever in your life that has outlived its usefulness.) But beyond that, people were more expecting to have fun than to hear something that could change their lives.

Back in my early 20s I had a friend who was Wiccan and I remember her pulling out her cards, not knowing what they were. I asked her for a reading and, even though she was reading straight from the book, I was surprised at the insights that came. See, I've always been someone who was fascinated with what the future held. And that's what tarot seemed to offer me at that time...a peek into the future.

But it turns out I had it all wrong. Tarot can the probable future that will come if nothing changes between now and then in regard to the course your life is on. But you always have free will. Don't like your outcome in a tarot reading? Change something about what you're doing.

For me, more than predicting a probable future, however, tarot is about exploring the countless facets of issues you're going through right now, giving you insight as to how to solve your problems or make changes that can make a difference. What's going on behind your back? Tarot will tell you. What are you in denial about? Tarot knows. How can you improve your love life? Tarot has the answers. A lot of divination tools, like pendulums or muscle testing, can tell you the "yes" and "no" answers. Tarot is a tool that, in my opinion, serves "what", "why" and "how" questions best. It's even good at telling you "who".

And, sure, it can answer "yes" and "no" questions, too. In my practice, though, I don't encourage those types of questions. And the reason why is that is that "yes" or "no" questions put you at the mercy of outside forces. For example, "does he like me?" is either a yes or a no and is all contingent on "him". But "what aspects of my personality are most attractive to him?" puts the ball in your court, empowering you put your best foot forward and create your own outcome.

A lot of people feel uncomfortable around the tarot, some of whom even read this blog. The reasons may range from them not thinking it's on the up-and-up or doubting its ability to do what it does, to the concern that there are somehow dark energies involved with tarot decks. To address the first two concerns, I'd say I'm more skeptical than you would think, even though its proven itself to me thousands of times over the past 25 years. It still amazes me at how accurate it can be. If you're curious, give it a try, because it could really blow your mind. 

As to the latter point, the energy isn't in the cards, it's in the reader. I call upon my higher self/soul and spirit guides to help me out. How do I know they're not the devil in disguise, just trolling for a gullible fool like me to spread his darkness throughout mankind? The same way others know they're praying to God at night and not to a devil who will take their very soul in answer to their prayers. In 25 years, I've never delivered anything but a healing reading to another person. If their future shows difficulty, which some futures do, I provide them with a way to change that or lessen its impact. All you need to do is look over the more 500 posts I've created on this blog to determine what energy is behind it. 

I work in the light and the vast number of readers I know work in the light as well. But yes, there are readers out there that will take advantage of you, just as there are members of every profession looking for a quick buck. A good way to spot them is if they have neon signs placed in their storefront offering $10 "special readings". And if they tell you you have a curse, walk away as fast as you can. I don't know any legitimate tarot readers that advertise in neon or have storefronts on busy highways. Most operate out of their homes or metaphysical stores or understated office spaces. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I'm a fan of neon and have often considered getting a sign like that just for the kitsch of it.

So, if any of you were wondering any of this stuff, here you go. Are tarot readers always right? No. But just as often as we're wrong, we'll come across a client who's in denial and insists we're wrong when we're right. For most of us, there is a deep reverence for the art/skill. We feel called to it as a means of helping/serving others. The vast majority of us are people who consider themselves quite spiritual, if not religious, and on a path of self improvement. We have devoted significant amounts of our lives to the study of it. We take it very seriously and do not take our responsibility lightly.

Finally, I live in a big city and here we customarily charge $2 per minute or more. You can find competent tarot readers that charge less online (if you know someone who has gotten readings before, ask for a recommendation). In fact, the cost of a reader is not a reflection of the quality of the reading you'll get, as much as it's a reflection on the market they work in. Yes, phone readings work, as do email readings, so I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try. I bring up cost because people will sometimes balk at $120/hour in the same city they gladly get $100 monthly massages in and $150 coloring jobs and $80 mani/pedis, all while paying their psychotherapist $180/hour.

When you consider that you may only go to a tarot reader once or twice a year and that a good reading can change your life at least as much as a good coloring job, I say "stop your whining". The way I see it, if you're going to a tarot reader for fun or to be a skeptic, then it doesn't matter who you go to. But if you really want to dig into some aspect of your life and gain insight on how to change, a good tarot reader, while not a psychiatrist or life coach, can often have the same effect on your life for a heck of lot less of an investment in time and money.

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