Tarot Readings: How To Ask Your Question

One of the things I’ve learned since I’ve been offering tarot card readings is that people often have difficulty wording the questions they want answered. They frequently have a very general idea, but sometimes they need a little help in putting their thoughts into words. I find that tarot can be very useful when you need to make an important decision, but need some help finding the best direction to take. However, some people just want some general guidance about a certain area of their life, such as their career, love-life, etc.

SignpostBecause I’ve been asked so many times for help putting together a question, I realized that I hadn’t provided enough guidance on my website about how to do it. I’ve now hopefully fixed that by providing a How to Ask Your Question page.

On that page, I’ve also added that instead of asking a specific question, I’ll also do readings “on a theme,” for those who want more general guidance on one area of their life. Tarot is an effective tool for me to use for certain types of questions, and not so effective in other cases, and I’ve outlined that too.

Of course, as always, if you ever have difficulty with this process, I’ll be happy to help you. Just drop me an e-mail at tarotbygraham@gmail.com.

 

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Book Review – Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People by Jessica Leigh Levin

You might be surprised to see a review of a “business book” on a tarot site, but there are specific reasons why I’m doing that here. Firstly, this book firmly straddles the line between business and self help/self improvement and that makes it relevant to many people I do readings for. Secondly, as you’ll read below, Perfect Pairings has changed the way I think and will certainly influence the advice I give to some of my clients.

perf5.000x8.000.inddI was originally going to preface my review of Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People by Jessica Leigh Levin with a disclaimer, saying that the author is a personal friend of mine (in fact, she gives me a shout-out on page 80!); however, I realised that being a friend of the author put me in somewhat of a unique position to add something to my review that I think is particularly important. You see, this isn’t a book containing armchair theories and “pipe-dreams.” I know from personal experience that Jessica practices what she preaches – she lives her life as a “connector.”

You’re probably familiar with “networking,” the technique of meeting people at events, etc., and finding out how those people can help us and vice versa. Connecting, as Ms. Levin describes it, is an alternative that can yield extraordinary and far-reaching results. Here’s an example of how the connector mindset works: I may be talking with someone, either in-person or online. I will be thinking of someone in my network who might be able to help this person meet their challenges, or I may be thinking of someone in my network who might benefit from the experience or expertise of the person I’m talking with. On the surface, it’s a very selfless act, but there are hidden benefits to the connector, as the author describes.

I always think that one of the signs of a great business or self-help book is that it gets you thinking about things you can do yourself, and Perfect Pairings is a perfect example of this. On almost every page I found myself thinking of parallels in my own life and how I could put the techniques and suggestions in the book to immediate use (and the book has inspired me to actually follow through with that); in addition, Jessica helpfully ends most chapters with an action item that pretty much anyone can do. The book also reassured me that, while networking is often an extrovert’s game, connecting works well for introverts too.

While Jessica started writing her book with the intention of it being a “business book,” she soon realized that the connector mindset could be a benefit to many aspects of one’s life, and so the book is full of great advice for not just making business connections, but personal ones too.

In conclusion, this is an easy-to-understand, practical, life-changing book that can benefit almost anyone.

Purchase the book from Amazon using the links below:

Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People (Paperback)

Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People (Kindle)

The Dangers of Deck Collecting

I recently bought a deck of tarot cards. What’s so unusual about that? Well, the deck I bought, The Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille is the same as two other decks I have. It’s my “working deck,” the deck I use for all my readings. I bought my third copy so I would have a second backup should anything happen to the first then the second copies. It’s like being a craftsman and having a favorite tool. My cards are my tools, and I want to make sure I always have them available when I read for someone. A number of years ago, I discovered that this particular deck resonated with me, and I’ve used it exclusively ever since.

Tarot Decks

There are many decks of tarot cards available, and more are created all the time. There’s always a market for them because there is always someone who has to purchase the latest creation. Some people have many decks in their collection. Some of the images in these decks are wonderful, so I can understand loving the art on the cards and so wanting to collect them as beautiful objects. However, I believe that some people use the purchase of new decks almost as a substitute for learning to read the cards properly. I can certainly relate to wanting to find tarot cards that “speak to you,” but I fear that some people will never settle on one deck, but will constantly flit from one to another, looking for that mythical “perfect deck.” It’s a bit like someone who keeps buying new guitars, but who will never get beyond noodling a bit on them and learning to play properly.

If you want to collect decks of tarot cards because of the beautiful art, that’s great! But if you want to read the cards, my best advice is to pick a deck and stick with it until you get proficient with it. The “magic” is in you, not the cards.

You Are “The One”

As I write this, it’s about a week before Valentine’s Day, and many people are thinking about love right now. Those with partners may be planning something they could do for their special someone to celebrate – maybe take them out for a meal, buy a gift, etc. But those without a partner may be, quite frankly, sick of the whole thing, as Valentine’s Day seems to just be there to rub their noses in the fact that they are single and would rather not be.

L'Amoureux

Detail from L’Amoureux from the Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille

It will probably be no surprise to you that quite a large number of people who come to me for tarot card readings want to know about matters of the heart. They may want to know whether they will find love soon, or if the person they are currently with is “The One.” When I do a reading for someone, I’m reading them – I can’t really predict random things from some random place in the universe, or tell you about someone you nor I have ever met. Unless there’s something you can do to influence the situation, I probably can’t help you. What I can do, however, is help put you in a better position to find that person, or help you see whether you’ve found “The One.”

A very good friend of mine recently shared an article about relationships on Facebook, and it prompted a very interesting discussion. Like many people – indeed many people who were involved in that discussion – my friend has become disillusioned with dating, especially online dating, following a disappointing run of bad dates, no-shows, etc. She has decided that she’s “retiring” from that scene. I don’t blame her – in fact, I think that’s the best thing she can do right now. She’s an amazing woman and one day, the right person will realize that.

A couple of comments in the discussion really resonated with me. One woman talked about how she had heard many stories of women who had stopped looking for “The One” and decided to focus on themselves and their own happiness and suddenly found themselves in love. What she said next was really profound, and I use her exact words here (with permission) since I couldn’t put it better myself:

Sometimes, I just think we try too hard to find The One, forgetting that really, WE ourselves are The One.

The reason these words resonated with me was that they completely echoed my own experience. I wasted way too many years “looking for love in all the wrong places.” I spent time in bars, clubs, trying to date women at work, etc., and while I had some dates and even some short relationships, they were not satisfying. When I say “wasted” perhaps that’s a poor choice of word, because I always try to stress that there’s no such thing as a bad experience, it’s just experience and it goes to shape the person you are today.

It was only when I decided to stop the nonsense and concentrate on me that things happened. Almost magically. Once you start working on you, on your personal growth, you pretty much are guaranteed to become a more interesting person. And interesting people are very attractive!

In my case, I was fortunate to stumble upon someone who was in almost exactly the same phase at the same point in life as I was. And this March, we’ll be celebrating 16 years of marriage.

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.

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)

Some Changes For the New Year

ID-100178821Here we are at the beginning of a new year, a time when people often make changes in their lives. Sometimes though, we start out with good intentions but we don’t follow through. Often that’s because we haven’t chosen the best ways to achieve our goals. A tarot reading is a great way to help choose the best things we can do to reach our goals more effectively. If you want help coming up with a game-plan, just ask.

I’ve made some changes to the ways you can order a reading on my website. Starting immediately, rather than being redirected to the Fiverr.com website to place your orders, you can order directly from my Order a Reading page, and pay via PayPal. While I’ve appreciated the business I’ve received via the Fiverr platform, they also take a large cut of every order. By handling the orders myself, I get a little more in my pocket, at no extra cost to you.

I’m still offering my readings through Fiverr.com, so it will continue to supply me with new clients, and if you prefer to order via that platform, you may do so.

 

(Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/)

More Music For Tarot Readings

You may remember my post to this blog, Music To Read Tarot By, recommending some sources of ambient/new age music for use when reading tarot, meditating, etc. This is an update of that post, since I’ve discovered a couple more excellent sources.

As I mentioned on the earlier post, I like to have background music playing when I read tarot. It helps me focus and keep odd external noises from distracting me. I prefer to have fairly neutral music playing, since I worry that anything too emotional might “color” the reading too much. I also prefer music without a beat for this purpose. Recently, I’ve also been playing these stations when napping and sleeping.

Ambient Sleeping PillAmbient Sleeping Pill Logo bills itself as “Internet Radio pouring out uninterrupted music for sleeping, taking Naps and other more wakeful tranquil moments” and that’s a very fair description. It streams 24/7 with “No ads, no beats, no new-age-cheese.” Most of the music it plays is free for downloading also, although one of the ways the station has been funding itself is by selling CD and downloadable compilations of some of the best music it plays. I applaud this station for keeping the ads out of the stream; there’s nothing more jarring than an upbeat advertisement when you’re in the moment!

Drone Zone LogoDrone Zone is a streaming station from the SomaFM family of Internet radio stations; in fact, it was the first SomaFM station. It bills itself as, “Served best chilled, safe with most medications. Atmospheric textures with minimal beats.” It goes on to say, “Droning atmospheric space music and ambient textures with minimal beats. Music on Drone Zone is all about sonic textures and environments.” You’re likely to hear music by such artists as Steve Roach, Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Robert Davies, etc. The music is scheduled and programmed by Rusty Hodge, the founder of SomaFM and the General Manager and Music Director. SomaFM is listener-supported, mostly by donations. There are occasional channel IDs, but they’re in keeping with the sound of the station, and not intrusive.

tunein logoBoth of these stations can be listened to directly by going to the websites linked to above, or by using an application like TuneIn. TuneIn’s mobile apps have a sleep timer, which turns a channel off after a given time period, which is handy! SomaFM also has its own app. available.

I’ll make the same request that I did at the end of my previous post about music; do you know of any other sources of this kind of music? If so, please do share in a comment below.

UPDATE: Somebody on Facebook saw this post and commented, including a link to another resource that’s too good not to share here: Ambient Chillout Music Mixes by JaBig. It’s a collection of music by Brian Eno.

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.

Gift Certificates For Tarot Card Readings Now Available

Sample Gift Card ImageI’m very excited to announce that, just in time for the holiday season, I am now offering gift certificates for readings. If you have friends, colleagues or family members who you think might benefit from my readings, these would make a great gift. While you can purchase a certificate for a single reading for $5, you can save money by purchasing more readings. So a certificate for a three-question reading is $12 and a five-question reading is $20. Recipients don’t have to ask all their questions at the same time, either, so a five-question certificate could provide some great guidance for an entire year (the gift certificates never expire, by the way)! Payment processing is by PayPal (although you don’t have to have a PayPal account to purchase via credit or debit card), so these can be purchased internationally.

The certificates can be ordered directly from this site and the printable certificate can be emailed to you to include with a physical gift or card, or can be emailed directly to the recipient.

For more details and to purchase gift certificates, see my Gift Certificates page.