Tarot Readings for Animals

It all started a few weeks ago when I posted on a local Facebook group to see if there were any local venue owners who might be interested in booking me for a tarot reading session. The owner of a local pet supplies store asked me if I did tarot readings for pets. Despite being a pet lover myself (I have pretty much always had a dog, and we also have had several birds), I’ve never even thought of attempting to read for animals. That’s what I told her, but I did say I would do a little research on the subject.

Apart from doing a few searches on the web and Facebook, I didn’t give it that much more thought, until someone attending one of my local sessions recently asked me if I could do a reading about her horse. I mentioned to her that somebody else had recently asked me about reading for animals and told her the story above. I told her that because her horse wasn’t with us, I couldn’t exactly read for the horse, but I could probably give her some information about her relationship with the animal; so I would actually be reading for her. I warned her that this was a first for me, so it was really an experiment. She agreed, and it really went rather well, giving her some important insight.

Our Love Affair With Animals

Dog NoseMore people have pets than ever before, according to the ASPCA, quoting a 2015-2016 survey by The American Pet Products Association. At that time, approximately 44% of American households had a dog and 35% had a cat. Thankfully, an increasing number of these pets come from shelters and pet adoption programs. That doesn’t take into account the number of birds, reptiles and other animals (including horses) that are under our care.

Pets become an integral part of our families. They give us comfort when we are feeling bad or stressed. Studies have concluded that pets make us happier and healthier. They also have an uncanny knack of reading their owners. Some people may believe their pets may be psychic; others put it down to them being very astute observers. I know that in our house when there is stress or conflict, our family dog Mary will sometimes relieve herself indoors or chew up something belonging to one of us humans.

Pet Health and Behavior

According to the ASPCA article mentioned above, “pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats.  Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldn’t handle.”

When it comes to pets’ health problems, the first thing to do is to contact your vet. Just as many of us don’t particularly relish going to see a Doctor, dogs, cats, and other pets mostly have a strong dislike of that person in a white coat who prods and pokes them. Having said that, I was at the vet just yesterday with my dog, who didn’t want to go in and when she was in, wanted to be out as soon as possible, and yet another huge dog arrived as we were leaving, and rushed behind the counter in reception to be petted by the staff.

I tell people who come to me for tarot readings that I can only read through the lens of my own experiences. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give them reliable advice about their health; it would be irresponsible of me to attempt to do so. Likewise, I’m not a vet, so while I might detect certain things in a reading, my lack of medical experience would not allow me to make any kind of medical diagnosis. If you have concerns about your animals’ health, please go to see a vet. I know from personal experience that vet visits can be expensive; however, there are cheap or even free options for those who feel they cannot afford medical care for their beloved companion. It’s worth searching on the Web – here’s a CBS article on the subject, for example.

In addition to health issues, our pets can display behavioral problems. Many of us have seen shows on television, such as The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan, or My Cat From Hell with Jackson Galaxy. They often deal with extreme behavioral issues, but many of us have pets who do something that we think is a little odd. Again, there are options, from training classes to books and websites with advice.

Animals and Tarot

As I started to research, both for this article and to find out whether I could read tarot for animals, I found a few people who offer such services. I found a few articles on the web about the subject, but not many with what I felt was reliable information. I found a fun tarot card spread for pets (incidentally, the person who wrote that article does offer various holistic pet healing services, etc., as well as reading tarot).

There are also quite a few beautiful tarot decks with an animal theme, such as The Animal Tarot and the Tarot of Pagan Cats (both of these links earn me a small amount of money if you purchase through them, via an associates link).

So How Does Reading Tarot for Pets Work?

Just as you might get a wide range of answers for any “How does tarot work?” type of question, depending on who you asked, I have my theories. Personally, I don’t like to analyze it too much, because I have a logical side that can interfere with my intuitive side if I let it. When I did the reading for the person with the horse, the horse was not there and I felt (and explained) that I would be reading based on that person’s relationship with the horse. It would be based on her perceptions. I suspect that with the animal present, I’d probably get a better reading of the human-animal dynamics.

I’m definitely going to explore this avenue further. I love learning new things and developing new skills and I find the prospect of this type of reading to be very exciting. I plan to seek out some opportunities to read for some people with their animals present – or is that read for some animals with their people present?

Give your furry, feathery or scaly companion a little extra love and attention for me.

Cat Paw

Reboot – And a Special Offer!

system-reboot-mdI want to skip the explanation and go right to the offer!

It has been a long time since I posted here or made any changes to this site. The reason for this was largely because my business changed dramatically. Previously, almost all my business was conducted online, and was really a part-time venture.

In early 2017 I started to explore ways to contribute more financially towards my family. I asked on my personal Facebook page if any of my friends had any ideas. Among many suggestions was one from a friend who had recently opened a venue that was a cross between a coffee shop, co-working space and a place for events. She asked if I was interested in coming there to give readings some time. I had never given readings in public at an event like this, and I wasn’t sure if I felt comfortable doing so. After giving it some thought, I decided to give it a try, especially as the venue was being run by a friend. The event went well, and what’s more, I really enjoyed doing it.

After a series of similar events, at this venue and at others, I started looking for a venue where I could give readings on a regular basis. Due to a couple of fortunate connections, I found three. At the time of writing this, I give readings at Cai’s Café in Metuchen, NJ every first Friday of the month, The Coffee House in Edison, NJ the second Thursday of each month and at Holiday Inn, Clark, NJ the last Wednesday of each month.

So my business changed very quickly from an almost all online-based business to an almost all local, in-person one. Most of the work I have done promoting my events has been on Facebook, and this site fell by the wayside.

Now, as I seek to grow my business, albeit in a fairly organic way, I realize I need to devote more time to my website. After all, not everyone uses Facebook. That’s the purpose of this post. You’re likely to see some changes on the site too, although that’s likely to be bit by bit, as I fit it in between other activities.

One of the changes has to be revising the prices of my online services, to bring them more in line with what I charge for my in-person readings.

And that leads me on nicely to this special offer! I will be unavailable for online readings during the period Thursday April 18th, 2019 through Sunday April 28th, 2019, due to prior commitments. After Wednesday, April 17th, my “Order” page will be temporarily suspended. On Monday, April 29th, it will be reinstated with the new higher prices. That means that if you order a reading between now and Wednesday, April 17th at Midnight (EDT), you’ll get it at the old price. Remember, once the page is suspended, you will no longer have access to the lower prices.

Yes, it’s before Thursday, April 18th, 2019 and I want to order a reading at the old price!

Testimonials Page Added

Testimonials   Tarot Readings by Graham

I’m feeling particularly blessed right now. It was pointed out to me that I might have been hiding my light under a bushel somewhat by not including a “Testimonials” page on my website, highlighting some of the lovely things that my clients have said about my readings. When I’m shopping for services myself, I know I like to see things that real people have said about them. So, I started going through some of my reviews for my readings on Fiverr.com. In addition, when I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was working on a Testimonials page, some of my clients came forward and volunteered to write something about my services. To be honest, it was difficult to pick out which ones to include and which to omit. Which is why I’m feeling blessed. I’ve added the page, so please see for yourself.

Contact Page Added

Contact

Since I want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to my website to get in touch, especially if they have questions, I’ve just added a Contact page. You can find the link in the menu at the top of the page. On the page, you’ll find my e-mail address, links to my Facebook page and other social media accounts, and a form where you can directly send a message to me.

Questions, Questions… and the BIG Question!

Having returned from a vacation at the beginning of last month feeling refreshed and enthusiastic to get back into the swing of doing more readings, I decided a challenge was in order. On both my Facebook tarot page and on my personal Facebook timeline, I asked friends, clients and potential clients the following:

Is there anything you’d like to know about tarot, about the way I read tarot, or anything like that? Do you have any reservations or even fears about tarot? Don’t be afraid of asking “stupid” questions. I don’t want you to be embarrassed about asking me anything, but if you don’t feel comfortable about sharing it here, please feel free to send me a private message instead.

Question Mark ImageI didn’t know what to expect, really. My main goal was to find out whether there was anyone out there who was wondering whether they should ask me for a reading, but was hesitating for some reason.

Little did I know that an old school friend was going to try to turn the challenge around, by asking the following question:

Go on then: “how does it work?”

To be quite honest, I don’t think he expected me to give a serious answer. But I think he (and anyone else reading the post) deserved one. This is how I responded:

My “flip” answer: Very well! 😉

I think that if you ask 20 different tarot card readers this question, you’ll get at least 10 different answers. I can only tell you how I *believe* it works. At least this is how I reason to myself it works, because it fits into my belief system:

I believe that when you communicate with someone, your subconscious automatically collects a whole bunch of information from that person’s subconscious. But that information is often very difficult for most of us to access in any meaningful way.

Here’s where tarot cards come in. To me, the images on the cards act as a focusing tool. They prompt me to access certain elements from all the information my subconscious has collected, that are relevant to the question a client has asked me.

It’s a little more complex than that, because I not only look at an image on an individual card, but also what I see as interactions between images on different cards, but I’m sure you get the idea.

I personally do not claim to be psychic and I don’t believe there to be anything “magical” about the cards, although the results often make it seem that way. Beyond that, these days I try not to think too much about how it all works, because that distracts from the readings themselves. Which work “Very well!” 🙂

What matters the most to me is getting meaningful advice for the people who come to me for readings. It really doesn’t matter whether or not they agree with me about how tarot works, as long as they find what I reveal to them to be helpful. Having said that, and as I brought the subject up here, I would love to hear back from you on this subject. How do you believe tarot works?

What’s This “No-Nonsense” Stuff All About?

No NonsenseI was recently approached by someone inquiring about a tarot card reading who said “I saw your tarot link on [Facebook] and I became curious about your nonsense answer”.

At first I felt a bit insulted, because I thought they were implying that I didn’t take tarot reading seriously; it took me a while to realize that English was not this person’s first language, and that they were referring to the “No-Nonsense” byline I use when describing my readings. Fortunately, I was able to explain what I meant.

I thought, however, that it was worth explaining a little about why I use that term, and what it means in terms of my readings. To me, especially when considered together with the concept of empowering the person being read for, it really sums up my entire approach.

Firstly, I always endeavor to demystify tarot. I don’t believe it’s anything magical, although the results often make it seem like it is. I don’t couch my readings in any pseudo-mystical, airy-fairy terms. I don’t wear special robes, burn incense or do anything remotely new-agey…although I do like to read with new-agey ambient music playing, as it seems to enhance my concentration (but more about that in future post).

My tarot cards of choice are the Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille, which was originally created in 1650, and recently restored. Without the layers of occultist symbolism that have been added to tarot decks over the years, I consider it especially “no-nonsense.” The deck is not magical. I consider it to be the equivalent of a tool-belt, purely functional. I have no need for many different decks, unlike some tarot readers. This one does the job, and it does it well.

Like many European tarot readers, but unlike many American readers, I read using only the major arcana, the tarot “trump” cards. This is because I believe that the major arcana is like a scalpel that gets to the heart of any matter very efficiently, and that’s what my approach is all about. Similarly, I basically use one type of spread or layout of cards, because the way I lay out the cards also helps me get to the essence of the question.

In conclusion, you know what you’re getting when you ask me for a reading: No BS. No smoke and mirrors. Just some advice on the best path to take for you to achieve your goals. No-nonsense!

I would like to think that people would find that approach to be refreshing. What do you think? Please let me know in the comments below.

(Photo Credit: J Mark Dodds)

Why I Am Blogging

Because I want to be completely transparent to you, my audience, I’m going to share a few of my goals and motives for writing this blog part of my website.

Of course, I want to raise awareness of my new venture, Tarot Readings by Graham and attract people who might want to use my services. I am doing this as a business, not a hobby, even though I love helping people with tarot. I’m hoping to build this business so I can contribute financially towards my family. But there are other things I want to do here.

ManifestoI want to demystify tarot. I think I can best do that by describing a little bit about how I work. I believe tarot to be something that is completely natural, not supernatural. You don’t have to be psychic to read tarot. I certainly make no claims about any psychic abilities. I’m hoping that by revealing some of my process, my audience will see that it makes sense, logically.

Tarot readers are not all weirdos, witches or new-agey. I’m just a regular guy, who happens to have learned a way to help people choose the right paths in their lives. I’m hoping that I demonstrate that in my posts here.

As someone who believes that tarot can help anyone, I want to talk about the things that tarot readings are good for, what they’re not good for, and how to ask the right questions. I believe that knowing the best path to take can be enormously empowering.

If you have a desire to learn how to read tarot, I hope I can share some hints and tips about doing so. I am planning to write a slim volume about learning my approach, and to offer mentoring while you’re learning.

Along the way, I will share posts about books, websites and other resources and stories about tarot. I may write about some other related topics, such as readings using other methods.

I will write about the business of tarot reading and I welcome other tarot readers, whether professional or amateur, to follow the blog too.

And that really is what I have in mind right now. If there’s something you’d like to see in this blog, or a question you’d like to ask me, please post a comment.