A common question I hear from tarot students is, “Should I be using clarification cards?”
And if so, how?
Clarification cards – or clarifiers as I like to call them – are additional cards that are pulled when the initial reading doesn’t feel like it’s giving a reader enough information.
Just describing this technique sounds benign and helpful. Why wouldn’t you want to get a little more information about a reading, right?
But talking about clarifiers is like opening a can of worms: This technique draws strong opinions on both sides of the fence about whether it’s necessary or useful.
My tarot practice has evolved over time, and I’m sure yours has too. (Or if you’re still new to tarot, trust me when I say it will – we all grow and adapt to our own ways of reading cards.)
Just as I used to use reversals, there was also a time I experimented with clarifiers.
But in the end, I found that clarifiers didn’t add much...
Tarot is an interesting tool because whatever we take into ourselves – our influences, beliefs, experiences, and knowledge – can become a new lens through which to filter the cards.
No matter how many outside ideas you learn about tarot…
No matter how many different tarot meanings you try to take in…
No matter how many different approaches you take here…
Every reading you do will go through you own point of view.
And that is something that is built through all kinds of experiences and perspectives.
Our experiences give each of us a unique vantage point from which we stand. If you read tarot, or you’re learning how, it helps to reflect on your personal advantages and how they might influence your readings, or allow you to connect with querents.
It can be influenced by different jobs you’ve had:
Work gives us all kinds of skills. Many jobs help with people skills, and if you want to read for others, then it helps to be open and...
A few weeks ago I had a copycat on Instagram.
Someone had started an account under my name, stole my profile picture, and lifted several of my photographs and posts, copying my content word for word.
Then they started following people who already followed me, ensuring they were targeting individuals who were already familiar with me and who might be used to seeing me on Instagram.
I had no idea this was going on until someone tipped me off that they had been followed by an account that looked just like mine. When I went to search for it, I found out this imposter had prematurely blocked me – a further sign that they knew full well what they were doing was wrong.
As much as copying and copyright theft can be an issue, what really bothered me about this was that this person was contacting people online – people who, once again, already follow me and might be familiar with my work – trying to sell them readings.
I’m not the only one this has happened to:...
How much tarot is too much tarot?
There’s shared advice among tarot readers that readings need room to breathe:
Messages need time to unfold. Life has to happen. And there can be many factors and influences involved in a situation.
Is it always easy to wait? No. But like anything else, tarot requires balance.
But what happens when tarot becomes a crutch – something you’re relying on so much that you’re afraid to make a move without consulting the cards first?
Or maybe it’s not just tarot. Astrology and other types of divination or rituals can have the same effect.
At what point does a tool or spiritual practice become superstition, or even dependency?
Finding a balance here isn’t always easy. If tarot is so accurate and useful, why not use it all the time?
I wouldn’t say it’s common that someone develops a dependency on tarot, but it does happen.
This is one reason why many tarot readers have guidelines and policies for their clients...
A few people have asked me my thoughts about tarot certification programs in recent months.
This conversation can get quite heated in the tarot community.
I have shared thoughts before about certification here, and still feel the same way by and large. To sum up some of my earlier thoughts, my main reason for being wary of “certification” is that there are so many ways to read tarot, and different systems and correspondences.
While I have come to sense that tarot card meanings tend to be shared knowledge among readers, tarot techniques stand apart from that – and are not universal.
Some readers will swear by the esoteric correspondences of the Golden Dawn and teach that you must use astrology, Kabbalah and more to truly read tarot.
Others, like myself, will tell you to leave all that stuff to the side and just focus on the cards.
Some tarot readers focus on intuitive and psychic development, others don’t.
And then there’s the question of what happens...
Realistically, going from beginner to pro in tarot typically takes longer than that. Though classes can show you what to do and how to perform professional-quality readings, it can take time to practice and make those skills your own.
And that’s actually okay, because there’s a lot of responsibility involved in reading professionally.
So I think it’s always important to set those expectations from the start: Tarot takes time to learn, and reading for paying clients is quite different from reading casually for friends or family.
There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind before deciding to go pro as a tarot reader, because you’re not just going to be reading tarot all day. When you have a business to run – even if it’s a part-time side hustle – there are lot of other skills involved than just tarot.
And obviously, knowing how to execute a reading is still a top priority. If you don’t know how to do that yet, keep practicing and...
When you look out in the divination community, it’s common to see a lot of multi-disciplinary practitioners.
Even some books (particularly books on witchcraft, it seems) will encourage you to develop your skills by learning a bunch of different divinatory systems, including tarot.
I grew up on books like that and used to think I would have to learn everything under the sun just to be read cards: Tarot, astrology, tea leaves, palmistry, herbalism…
You know what? You don’t have to learn a bunch of different things to read tarot.
Just because some readers have varied skills and practices doesn’t make it a rule that you should, too.
If a path calls to you, cool. But don’t force yourself to take on way more occult studies than are necessary, and don’t dilute yourself by learning a little of this and a little of that without getting deep into any one practice.
Everything takes time to learn and skills need time to develop.
Focus is cool. And while we...
I have been reflecting a lot on my own actions lately.
I have been having really amazing conversations with a very-wise high school friend I reconnected with this year.
He said something that stuck with me:
“No one should assume that their advice is SO AWESOME that everyone needs to hear it.”
I know this is true because I have been on the receiving end of unhelpful, unsolicited advice a lot in my life. Especially throughout challenging times, like the illnesses and deaths of my parents.
But when I think back about my side of certain interactions, I realize I am just as guilty of offering unwelcome or uninvited advice.
Instead of just listening to my friends, I used to find ways to make myself useful. I couldn’t just let them talk about their day jobs or creative ambitions, or whatever they were sharing with me.
I always had to assume the role of a coach, consultant or therapist, whether they were asking me to be that for them or not.
Ironically, learning to...
There are a lot of narratives in the spiritual, self-help, and motivational spaces that can lead you to believe that if something is meant for you, it will come easily.
It doesn’t help that it seems like everyone online these days is flouting six-figure businesses overnight successes: With the promise that if you buy into their secret formula or take their action steps, you can have that, too.
And we tell ourselves that if we start living our purpose, or find more fulfillment through our work, business or relationships, then everything will just fall into place.
No more struggle. No more pain. Just all easy, all the time.
And if we’re not experiencing ease, success, or alignment? Then something must be wrong.
The universe is conspiring against you NOT ‼
Life is not without effort. The universe is not bound by binary thinking that there is only one way, or one path, and if something isn’t coming easily then it’s not meant for you.
Most things are rarely easy...
I received a great question on Instagram a little while back: “What’s your feeling on clients recording their tarot readings?”
The first tarot reading I had was in the late `90s at a psychic fair. The reader recorded it on cassette tape (hellooooo nostalgia) and I went back and listened to it several times in later years.
Because that was my first experience with a professional reader, I always just assumed everyone recorded their readings, too.
But I soon learned recordings are not universal among readers.
In fact, a tarot reader who I have had numerous readings from never recordings their readings – and they’ve been in the business for decades.
I’ve also learned there are pros and cons to recording your readings. And logistically, it’s not always a feasible offering.
So here are some thoughts and learnings on the subject:
“Do readers have to offer recordings?”
NOPE! It’s always up to the reader to make this...