I remember how disappointed I was when I got my first tarot deck.
I went in with big expectations. I’d always thought of myself an intuitive, perceptive person. I felt spiritual.
And I wanted that connection to something greater – be it the universe, deity, or my higher self.
I was so excited, and a little bit nervous, when I shuffled my cards and started turning them over. I wondered: What would I learn? What would I see in my reading?
I went from excited to crushed pretty quickly. As soon as my cards were laid out, I felt…nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true: I didn’t get any visions or insights because I had no idea what to make of the cards in front of me.
But I did feel a mix of disappointment, confusion, and insecurity. That insecurity was directed towards myself: What if I’m not the spiritually connected, intuitive person I thought I was?
What if I’m just not cut out for tarot?
I know that sounds dramatic, and it is. I had gone...
Can you learn how to read tarot by watching other readers on YouTube?
Or by picking up tips through Instagram posts?
Or by watching 30-second TikTok tutorials?
I pose the question because it’s something I’ve been sitting with a lot this year.
I’m part of the last generation that grew up without the internet. We had landlines, answering machines, cassette tapes, CD players. Barely anyone I knew had a home computer when I was in high school.
But it was becoming cool to get one, along with a Hotmail account. But people still mailed letters, applied for jobs in-person or over the phone, and – thank the gods – none of us had our adolescence documented from start to finish on social media.
When the internet was catching on, it was exciting. I loved the idea of being to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Growing up as a teen in the suburbs made it harder for me to find information about tarot. I had to make-do with the limited resources I could get at the...
To read reversals, or not read reversals: That is the question.
At least for a lot of tarot readers out there.
It’s come up in every tarot class I’ve taught, and I often see minor dust-ups online between tarot readers about whether reading reversals matters or not.
Some might find it hard to believe that tarot has controversies, but it does.
However, I’m not of the opinion that there is a right or wrong answer here.
First, for those who aren’t familiar with reading reversals, it’s a technique that allows for reading a tarot card upside down.
This technique is deck-dependent to some extent. It can depend on the artwork of your deck.
Or on the type of deck altogether. If you’re using Tarot de Marseille, playing cards, or even oracle cards, reversals may not factor in at all.
I used to read reversals. But then I stopped.
Why? Because my tarot reading style had changed, and I got to a point where I no longer needed them. As I got more influenced by...
Predictive questions are some of the most common and popular types of tarot readings.
Especially if you read tarot for friends, family or clients. Mainstream perceptions of tarot are strong when it comes to connecting tarot to fortune-telling, or future-telling.
While some tarot readers prefer to avoid predictive readings altogether, there can be a time and place for them. And personally, I’ve done a ton of predictive readings for myself and others over the years.
Even though I do believe we can shape our futures and change our directions, there is still something helpful about getting a sense of where things are headed.
But it’s not always easy to get a clear prediction, or to make sense of what we’re seeing in our cards if we’re doing a future-oriented reading.
Here are some of the guidelines I follow when I’m doing predictive readings:
1. First, whenever I talk about predictions in tarot, I’m clear that I’m not looking for things names,...
For simplicity’s sake, I am using “spirituality” throughout this post as an umbrella term to encompass a range of practices, tarot to astrology to religion and everything in between.
Someone asked me recently, “How do you deal with skeptics?”
I shrugged. “I don’t, really.”
I don’t, as in: I don’t argue with them, or try to change their minds.
But I also don’t let it get to me. I don’t own tarot, or other spiritual pursuits. I can defend my beliefs, but there is no threat to them just because someone doesn’t participate in the same things I do.
I also remind myself that skepticism is a belief system itself, too. So no matter where we are coming from, we must be mindful to cultivate acceptance of other viewpoints.
Meaning that I don’t expect everyone to think the way I do. Each of us has the right to choose the path and perspective that feels best.
Skepticism has a spectrum and comes in...
There are tons of tarot myths out there.
But don’t believe everything you hear.
Because it’s not all true. And not everything you hear about tarot is helpful, either.
You want to know which myth I wish would disappear?
The belief that tarot readings have to complicated in order to be accurate.
There is something within our human nature that likes it when things feel hard.
So we go for the really complex, multi-layered tarot spreads.
Or we search for overly complicated tarot techniques, believing that that is where the answer to life’s mysteries exists.
Life is complicated enough.
Tarot doesn’t have to be.
I truly believe – no, I know – that the most powerful tarot readings don’t come from complicated techniques or approaches.
In fact, I think that the more convoluted tarot gets, the harder it can be to get to the heart of the answer you’re seeking.
I always come back to three main principles in my card readings:
Please allow me to go on a little rant for a minute.
The spiritual industry has a problem with instant gratification.
I see it all the time in courses and workshops that lure you in with quick certifications, or that promise you spiritual attainment or mastery over a specific skill set in just a matter of days.
What am I talking about?
Beginner tarot programs that promise to give you the basics of tarot and teach you how to start charging for your readings…
Reiki classes that fast-track students through levels 1 and 2 within the span of a single weekend…
Priestess trainings in a matter of hours…
The list goes on.
Before I start to sound like a gatekeeper, I’ll say this: Taking a quick class or weekend workshop to get a taste of something is fine.
If you don’t have the time to commit to a longer training, or you’re not sure you’re ready to make a long-term commitment to a divination practice or spiritual path, there is nothing wrong...
What is intuition? What does it feel like? What function does it have?
When we are asked to define intuition, to articulate where it comes from, or how it manifests, responses vary:
Some say that intuition is instinct. That it is physical, visceral. That it sometimes comes in the form of a mistake. That it can remain an undefined, unformed relationship, perhaps being a function that is always slightly out of reach.
When I’m connecting with others through a tarot reading, particularly when I’m teaching others how to use these tools, the word intuition often gets connected to the act of divining, of picking up on underlying messages or energies based on a blend of symbols, images, patterns, and archetypes.
Intuiting messages through a divinatory practice – whether you are doing predictive readings or self-reflective ones – is often a creative, interpretive process. It causes your mind to work in a different way, as you are actually reading things that...
If you know my backstory with tarot, you’ll have heard me tell this one before:
When I got my first deck of tarot cards in the mid `90s, I pulled them out, gave them a shuffle, turned a few over and…nothing happened.
And boy, did I have high expectations that something would happen.
As a kid, I’d grown up with a ton of imaginary friends. Some of them were black cats that I imagined to be my familiars. I’d sit on the ground at recess pretending to host séances while the other kids ran around and played games.
My mom had a ton of wild ghost stories – real ghost stories – that I’d grown up on and I knew there was more to life than what we could see in front of us.
So when I was finally old enough to go out and buy my own deck of tarot cards I thought that it would finally be my turn to see something others couldn’t.
I wasn’t sure exactly how it would happen, or what kind of vision I would get.
But what I hadn’t...
There’s a pervasive belief in the tarot community that you attract the friends, lovers, opportunities and clients you deserve.
The idea behind this is that there is a lesson for you: That everyone sent your way is a teacher. Which is fine if things are going great.
On the surface, it’s a way to make sense of your experiences and use them as learning opportunities for your own spiritual growth.
Beneath the surface, however, is an idea that can easily turn into martyrdom, people-pleasing, leaky boundaries, and toxic relationships.
It can feel like it’s your fault that you’re a magnet for problems. The Law of Attraction is working against you and you’d better start thinking more positive thoughts.
I first started noticing this belief when fellow tarot readers would share struggles they were having with clients. There is a massive issue with entitlement in this industry – people shamelessly shop around for free readings, demand discounts, and...