Time For a Tarot Reading?

watch imageSometimes when I’m looking for ideas or inspiration for a new blog post or business direction, I’ll turn to social media to see what’s being said about tarot. It can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but occasionally a gem will appear. Doing such a search on Twitter a little while back, I found a post from someone who said she thought she was going to go get a tarot reading the following week because “it felt like it was about time.” I’ve been on Twitter a long time and I’m guessing she was probably bombarded very soon after with messages from tarot readers offering to do her reading. I was not one of them. I just felt like reaching out to her and saying that I would hope any decent reader would likely tell her that she’s wasting her time and energy getting readings under those circumstances and to go out and make her own destiny!

In my experience, treating tarot like a game to play when you’re bored, rather than using it as a tool when you have important decisions to make, usually results in frivolous answers… which will probably bore you even more. Don’t get me wrong – you’re not going to somehow wear out the tarot deck by getting readings like this, but you could become disillusioned with tarot, which would be a great shame. That’s one reason I’m not keen on reading tarot at parties or similar events. At a lot of parties, the presence of a tarot reader is quite exciting, and many people will want a reading. The trouble is that a lot of those people won’t really know what questions to ask because they’re not at a stage in their lives where they need to make a big decision (which is, in my opinion, the best time to get a reading).

When someone is first learning tarot, it’s common to want to do many readings. The temptation to read for oneself, for all one’s friends, for celebrities or even for fictional characters (it happens!) is huge. And in itself, it’s not a terrible thing. But some people take it to extremes, especially when reading for themselves, and a dependency on tarot can be the result; a situation where someone can’t make their own decisions without asking tarot, almost like asking permission to do the smallest things. And that’s not a good thing.

Thankfully, and largely because of the way I present my reading style, most of the people who come to me for readings do so when they have big life-decisions to make. It probably costs me clients, but I don’t regret taking my approach at all. Come to me for a reading when you’re ready, not when I’m ready.

 

(Image courtesy of Aleksa D at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The Death Card – Will I Die?

One night, I stayed up all night playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. – Steven Wright

I love Steven Wright, but I always cringe just a little when someone repeats his joke on Twitter – and it happens a lot! It plays into the hands (excuse the pun) of those who are a little afraid of tarot cards. As I have been known to say: There’s nothing magic about tarot cards; they are simply paper, paste, and some pretty pictures in ink. The magic is in our heads.

La Mort - DeathA little while back, a potential client was enquiring about a reading, and made a bit of a joke about avoiding the “Death” card, because (and I’m paraphrasing here) while he knew that having the “Death” card come up in a reading didn’t always actually mean death, presumably it could mean death, right?

The way that my readings work is to give you information to empower you. My aim is always to enable you to write your own story. This means that really the only way that the card we call “Death” would represent physical death is if you were engaged in risky behavior that might lead to your demise if you didn’t do something about it. I would assume you’d want to know about that! The truth is that this card, depending on the context, can have many meanings. Sometimes it means making a “clean sweep” and discarding something from the past and moving on into the future. Sometimes it can mean divesting yourself of toxic “friends.” Just the other day, I had “Death” come up at the conclusion of a reading about a relationship; knowing that it would worry the client, I pointed out that in this context, my interpretation was that if something did not change, the likely result would be that the relationship would end. I was delighted when my client got back to me and said they had already done something about it, and the situation was much better.

So, my recommendation would be to stop seeing the “Death” card as a “bad card” and maybe start seeing it as a wake-up call or a card of opportunity.

How Can a Tarot Reading Be “Empowering?”

Directly underneath my website’s title “Tarot Readings by Graham,” I make the following bold statement:

“No-Nonsense, EMPOWERING Tarot Card Readings”

Empowering

I have discussed the “No-Nonsense” part of this statement elsewhere within my “Musings” section. But how about the “EMPOWERING” part? Can a tarot reading be empowering? If you are a believer in fate, then a tarot reading will surely just predict what’s going to happen, right?

Well I for one do not believe in a fate that’s set in stone. I do believe that some things are meant to be, for sure; but I think that for the most part we can shape our own fate. Which is a very good thing – life would be very boring if everything was completely mapped out for us.

One way that tarot can help with the future is by showing you what is likely to be the result if you continue to take the path you are currently on. That way, if you don’t like where you’re headed, you can do something about it.

When you come to me with a question, no matter how “fuzzy” the concept is, I will always try to phrase it in the form “What’s the best way for (your name goes here!) to achieve (insert goal here)?” or similar. No beating around the bush with vagueries. By asking questions in this direct way, what I will come up with during our reading is something that you can actually do.

And that is empowering!

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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?