The following questions were put to me by an aspiring journalist with an interest in divination, the occult, and the paranormal. They’re good questions, all, and I tried to answer them as clearly as I could:
1. Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies and interests, hidden talents?
I was born in California, raised in South Dakota, and live in Nebraska. I’ve always been drawn to writing and started journaling when I was 12; I’ve always been drawn to the occult and paranormal, experiencing spirit contact for many years at various levels of intensity in my grandmother’s old house. At one point, as an adult, I began writing books, books on the topic of divination (the tarot) and books about witchcraft and gray magick. To my surprise, these books have been quite successful. I earn a living, so far, through writing and tarot reading.
My hobbies and interests? I’m an avid reader (most writers are). I love gardening, collecting (swords & daggers, tea pots, rocks and crystals, old books, feathers, sterling silver jewelry, and cats); I’m a chocoholic, a master procrastinator, a lover of old movies, antique shops, forests, old market areas, and high heels (some of which I buy but never wear). I love creating magickal oils and potions, eating ice cream cones, and designing websites. I’m a dreamer and visionary caught in the harsh reality of the modern world and modern life.
2. You are a professional tarot card reader. What sort of services do you provide to clients?
Yes, I am. I provide readings to my clients through a variety of mediums, including web cam readings though Skype, video readings, telephone readings, and emailed readings that are written out and sent to my clients. I provide face to face personal readings within my own community, as well as in-house readings done at book stores and shops and readings done for parties and corporate events. I also provide spell consultations to those individuals who want to cast a spell and do some magick but aren’t exactly sure how you put a spell together.
3. What was your career before you became a tarot reader? What made you decide to become a professional tarot reader?
Before I became a tarot reader I spent the greater share of my life raising a large family, being a stay-at-home mom and a home schooling mother. My decision to become a professional tarot reader was a very gradual and totally unexpected choice. It was probably the last thing I ever thought I would be, or the last thing that I ever thought I would do. For one thing, I always swore that I would never be able to charge anyone anything for a reading. Once I actually began reading for people outside my circle of family and friends, I realized that this was a job, just as any other occupation is a job, and that I would not be able to spend hours and hours working for free. I also realized that what I did made a difference in people’s lives; what I did was something very special and unique, and I also realized that what I did– not everyone was capable of doing.
4. How did you learn to read tarot cards? How and when did you discover you had this particular ability?
I bought my first deck of tarot cards (The Goddess Tarot) between fifteen and twenty years ago. It was the box that caught my eye when I was walking through a local book store. For weeks and months, this deck called to me every time I visited the store. At first, I tried to ignore it. I’d give the pretty box a perfunctory glance as we walked past the shelf. Eventually, I stopped. I would pick the box up and look at it. This went on for weeks. Eventually, I stopped. I finally asked for permission to open the box to see the cards. I gave in to whatever it was that was drawing me to this foreign deck of cards, to this strange thing called ‘tarot’, and I bought the deck.
The first few weeks, I was simply enamored with the artwork. The deck was totally unfamiliar to me, the meanings a mystery, how to put everything together to actually make sense of it never even entered my mind at this point. Although the ‘little white booklet’ that came with the deck was helpful in helping me learn the meanings of the individual cards, it did not help at all in learning how to look at the cards intuitively; it did not help at all in learning how to put all of this together on different levels to read the story the cards were trying to tell me. This came later, with a dawning moment, one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments you never forget.
It was only after the key turned and the door opened, that I realized the depth of knowledge, the true mystery, the exciting potential that lay in a deck of tarot cards. And the stunning revelation was that I actually understood the language.
5. How do tarot cards work exactly? How do they give a person guidance and advice?
The cards work, for me, simply as a trigger to unlock a series of associations– through the image, through my own intuition, through some connection that I really can’t describe and probably don’t completely understand. I just know that when this connection works, it is truly amazing, as amazing for me as it is for my client. I know there are people who follow all kinds of rules and ritualistic behaviors with their cards. But in general, I don’t. I view the cards simply as a tool. Two things that I do follow through with: 1) cleansing the cards of residual energy through the use of a incense and
2) placing clear quartz crystal points on top of the deck when they’re not in use.
How do the cards give personal guidance and advice?…they reveal possibilities for future events; they give warnings about situations, choices, or individuals in your life; they offer answers and alternative endings to the story; they connect with spirit guides; they connect with the divine; they link the human part of us with the universe in a way that imparts to us universal knowledge; and once in a rare while, they connect with the spirit of someone who has passed.
6. You have many clients all over the world, and they consult you via Skype, or over the phone. How are you able to read their energies, even when you’re thousands of miles apart?
Distance is irrelevant when doing a reading. Everything in the universe is connected by a thin strand of energy, everything, and the slightest touch anywhere sends vibrations everywhere– this is the basis for practicing magick, and this is also true when it comes to connecting intuitively with another individual. Just as a mother might instinctively know when a child is in danger from across many miles, through the tarot it’s also possible to connect on a very personal, emotional, and spiritual level with another human being no matter what the physical distance might be between you.
From here in the American mid-west, I’ve connected with and done readings for people in Canada, Great Britain, Greece, New Zealand, and Australia. It’s been an amazing experience, enriching my life as much as it has touched their lives. It truly is a miracle, there’s really no other word for it. It also confirms to me the incredible capacity that human beings have to open themselves up to each other.
7. What has been your biggest challenge with regards to your abilities? How have you overcome this challenge?
One of my biggest challenges is reading for men. It’s much more difficult for me to reach and maintain an open and fluid connection with male clients. How have I overcome this challenge? I’m working on it. I would imagine, being a woman myself, the connection that I have with female clients is much more empathic. It’s easier for me to understand a woman, her life, her dilemmas, her choices, and her fears. Reading for men is a totally different experience, and I can say this almost without exception, there seems to be a wall that I have to get past in order to pick up the energy of the cards.
8. Do you consider your ability a gift? How do you help people with this gift?
Of course, it’s a gift. Reading tarot cards is something that, for whatever reason, I have the ability to do. How and why I’m able to look at a deck of cards and pick information out of them are questions that I can’t answer. I think that everyone is born with a natural intuitive ability, a sixth sense, but not all people are able to put this gift to use. I think there are some people who are unaware of their psychic abilities, deny them, or are even frightened by them, so they squelch them. It’s like a muscle– if you don’t use it, you lose it. By using this gift, you strengthen it, grow with it, and develop an understanding of it.
I help people with this gift by giving them insights into their lives they otherwise would not have. Being aware of the choices available to them, the possible consequences that will ensue, alternate paths they can take, all broadens their perspective. It helps people to make better decisions in their lives, to come to terms with their past; it comforts them, and it lights the way for a brighter future.
9. Could you share some memorable experiences you had because of this talent?
Oh, my, there’s so much that comes to mind. The little girl at the Harry Potter bookstore party (Ace of Cups, reversed), someone she loved has left I told her. They most certainly had. A favorite cousin had moved away. Bless her little heart, it was like a dam burst, and I let her chatter uninterrupted while she told me all about it. There was the older woman, a doctor’s ex-wife, so marred by control and emotional abuse, it was painful to watch, painful to see all of her raw spots exposed. There was the man who denied the affair, until he finally admitted that he was living with his mistress, but he didn’t consider this an affair at all. There was the grandmother who had lost her five-year-old grandson due to a medical condition and problems with the ER equipment. There was the young Hispanic couple with the sick child. Highlights have included reading for a world famous architect and a grammy nominated musician. The world is full of fascinating people.
Humanity opens up before me like some supernatural ethereal akashic record, but it’s all flesh and blood, tears, worries, loves lost, loves found, personal issues to work through; it’s hopelessness, it’s hopefulness, it’s finding clarity, it’s relief, it’s all bigger than life, and it’s all painfully personal…this is what it’s like to read the cards for people.
10. How do your clients find you? Where is your office located? Where can they reach you online?
My clients generally find me through my websites: The Witch’s Corner & Tarot: Books, Classes, Readings. I’ve had clients find me by word-of-mouth in the internet world and email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ); and I’ve had people find me at social sites, like Facebook and Pagan related sites.
I don’t have an office; but I do personal face-to-face readings in my own community (Fremont, NE), usually at one of our local coffee shops. These readings are scheduled privately and are by appointment only. Payment has to be made at the time the reading is scheduled– this might sound nit-picky, but after having a couple clients miss their appointments and spending an afternoon sitting there waiting for them, I realized just how valuable my time is– and now, they realize this too.
11. What’s a typical day like for a tarot card reader? What’s your usual schedule?
On days I’m doing in-house readings, I try to keep my schedule and the atmosphere light and stress free. Other than that, it’s just a matter of getting dressed and trying to estimate what traffic will be like in the cities so I get where I need to be on time. (I’m extremely punctual, so I’m usually early.) It’s very different reading at a shop where the clients have to pay for their individual readings themselves, as opposed to a shop that pays me a set fee so the readings for their patrons are free. When people get ‘free’ readings, it’s like a stampede– long lines and continuous readings that go on anywhere from two, four, or six hours. I quickly learned that I have to pace myself and that it’s okay to take regular breaks– no matter how long the line is. People generally tend to be realistic, well-mannered, and polite.
The Skype, video, and emailed readings are another story, especially the written readings…that usually means you’ll find me at the kitchen table in the wee hours of the morning with candles lit, a pot of coffee on, and me in my bathrobe, all comfy and busy. Video & Skype readings are fun, and the Skype readings are really as personal as face-to-face readings. I’ve had quite a time with international clients when we try to figure out time differences; it can be a juggling act and often results in some rather odd hours for either me or the client.
12. You have a natural talent for tarot reading, but is it possible to learn how to read tarot cards? How would one go about learning this skill?
Yes, it is possible for anyone to learn to read tarot cards. However, just as with any other endeavor, everyone’s skill level will be different, some people more attuned to it than others; but still, anyone can learn to do this. It’s fun, intriguing, and it is an excellent way to strengthen your intuition, your natural psychic abilities. Tarot cards can also be used for personal meditation and exploration, a very private thing, a special relationship shared between you and your tarot deck.
You’ll learn to read the tarot by 1) choosing and purchasing a deck…I always recommend for beginners that they choose a very basic standard deck to start with, and I usually suggest the Rider/Waite deck. 2) learning the basic standard meanings for each of the cards in the deck. 3) starting a tarot journal. 4) investing in a tarot course, or purchasing books on the subject, so that they can go beyond the standard definitions for the cards and learn to read intuitively, learn to interpret a spread, learn to apply numerology and a bit of astrology into the picture…there’s so much to the tarot, so many ways of looking at it, so many other esoteric connections to explore. Studying the tarot can become a life-long passion.