Do you ever feel like you look down at certain tarot cards and feel stuck for new things to say about them?
It used to happen me to all the time. I’d spent so much time carefully memorizing card meanings and keywords that it started to get in the way of my growth as a tarot reader.
When it came time to sit down and do a reading, I realized I was blocked from coming up with my own interpretations because my head was so full of other people’s tarot meanings.
On one hand, I had to give myself credit: I’d set out to learn the card meanings, and I’d succeeded. But I didn’t realize that it would end up getting in the way of putting tarot into my own words.
I also didn’t realize that card meanings are just jumping off points with the cards. There are so many layers and aspects to tarot that meanings alone can’t fully capture.
Yet there’s so much emphasis on learning those meanings, as though they are a means to an end.
In reality, they...
Have you ever pulled out a few tarot cards, looked down and them, and felt that they just didn’t want to be read?
Maybe the cards that showed up weren’t the ones you were expecting to see.
Or the cards didn’t seem to fit the question you asked, so you took it as a non-answer.
Or you just felt totally disconnected as soon as the reading started.
These things can and do happen when we’re reading tarot. And it’s easy to assume there’s something wrong with the reading. Or that the timing is off. Or there’s no connection between you, the cards, or the sitter.
But I actually think that tarot always provides an answer. No matter what cards are pulled, and no matter how you might feel during the reading, there is information right there on the table.
I know my perspective on this isn’t one that everyone holds. But I’ve yet to meet someone I couldn’t read tarot for.
Have I pulled sets of cards that were challenging to interpret,...
“How do I know if I’m using my intuition?”
This is a question many of us ask at some point in our lives. In the tarot world, the spiritual community at large, there is a lot of emphasis on intuition as a means to tune into, and tune up, your perception.
But learning to trust yourself is a life-long process, and one that can be in flux for many reasons.
I’ve met so many people over the years who felt down on themselves because they weren’t sure if they were connected to their intuition. They questioned whether they were aligned enough, or spiritual enough.
And sometimes, they questioned whether they were worthy of pursuing practices like reading tarot.
Many of us have moments when we question whether we’re seeing a situation clearly.
Sometimes you might be mulling over a tough decision and you can’t hone in on a clear answer. Other times you might miss a red flag in a situation, which causes you to doubt your perception overall.
A few years ago, I was hired to teach a few private classes to someone who had just started reading tarot. She had bought her first deck a few months before she booked on for some lessons.
After our fourth lesson together, I got an email from her: “I forgot to ask you something in our class today,” she wrote. “How much do you think I should charge for my readings?”
I was surprised.
Our lessons at that point only totaled up to about four hours of study. This student had also only ever read tarot for herself.
Given what we’d covered in our classes so far, I knew she still had a lot to learn.
I wrote back an honest response, telling her it was way too soon to worry about charging for readings. “Focus on learning how to read tarot first,” I said.
Practice, practice, practice is always my mantra with new students.
This wasn’t the first instance I’ve had this question, and it wasn’t the last.
There are a lot of reasons why I...
When I decided to commit to becoming a tarot reader, there was one thing I really wasn’t expecting:
How much suspicion people have towards practitioners in this industry.
When I was growing up, my mom loved getting readings. She liked to host parties where she would hire a psychic to come over and do group readings.
My mom bought me my first reading – a palm reading – when I was around 10 years old. As I got into my teens, we would go to psychic fairs together.
It was fun! Those experiences also normalized the psychic industry for me.
But when I got into this business myself, I started to see another side to it that I hadn’t been exposed to growing up.
And one thing I’ve had to come to terms with is that there are a lot of people who are highly suspicious of this kind of work.
Even the most open-minded believers can be skeptical for a variety of reasons.
Which is why I feel it’s so important to take yourself seriously as a tarot reader by being...
“I love reading tarot, but I don’t always know how to connect to my querent’s energy. Sometimes I feel like all of the messages in the cards are actually for me. How do I move past this?”
This is a problem I hear quite often.
Sometimes readers deliver a reading that doesn’t land with the querent at all, but instead sounds like it might apply to one of their friends instead.
Or the cards seem to be directing their messages to the reader themself, rather than offer any personal insights for the querent.
So what’s going on when this happens?
There’s a popular narrative out there suggests the cards are in charge of the reading. That somehow, a tarot deck has such a powerful consciousness that it knows what everyone’s friends and neighbours are up to, without being prompted. Or that cards act as though they have a mind of their own, deciding to derail a reading and ignore the querent entirely.
Let me challenge this for a moment:
The spiritual community at large (including the tarot community) often has a poor relationship with money.
This isn’t a blanket statement, of course: There are always different ends of the spectrum in any situation.
But having been working in this industry for years now, I’ve heard and seen enough critiques of money to know that this problem is pervasive and ongoing.
I’ve even seen some practitioners who are running businesses of their own complain about having to pay for someone else’s course, training, or book.
You’d think business people would want to support each other, right? Apparently, that’s not always the case.
But why does this matter, and why am I bringing it up in my tarot newsletter?
Because tarot readers’ attitudes towards money can influence those they seek to support.
Whether you read professionally or just for fun and practice, the reality is that the people you read cards for have financial concerns.
Your querents might...
When you’re scheduled to do a tarot reading for someone, what should you do in advance to get ready for it?
Do you have to spend hours in deep meditation?
Should you be clearing your workspace, or clearing your deck?
Setting out crystals or other tools?
You can do all of the above, if you feel it’s necessary.
You can also do none of the above – especially if you don’t feel it adds anything to your process. (That’s right: You can read tarot without any big, fancy rituals involved.)
So what do I do to prepare for a tarot reading?
I like to take advice I received from one of my teachers, Rebecca Gordon: Go out and live your life.
What does that mean?
Go outside. Go about your day.
Watch for any signs, patterns, or themes that might speak to the flavour of the moment.
Tune into the energy of the day: What kind of mood are people in? What’s the pace of the world around you?
This may or may not have anything to do with your reading, or with your...
Reading tarot, whether for yourself or others, can stir up a lot of insecurities.
It’s normal to feel nervous when you’re reading for someone, especially if you’re still learning. But even experienced readers aren’t immune to a case of the nerves every now and then.
We’re all human, after all. And while reading tarot does get easier with time and experience, it’s still a skill that requires a lot of effort, concentration, and focus.
It also requires readers go out on a limb to offer messages, insights, and interpretations that might feel disparate, unexpected, or unclear at times. Even when a reader feels in flow with their cards, you don’t necessarily know why certain messages are important, or how they connect to a querent’s life.
But your job is to deliver what you’re seeing in the cards, no matter how little you know about the context of someone else’s situation.
That alone can be uncomfortable at times, especially when...
Occultist Éliphas Lévi (1810 – 1875) wrote that tarot is “the most perfect tool” to understand life.
He believed that "an imprisoned person with no other book than the Tarot, if he knew how to use it, could in a few years acquire universal knowledge."
But whose knowledge would we be acquiring?
Human history is ever-changing, and tarot changes with it.
Tarot dates back to the 1400s, when it humbly began as a card game. It wasn’t until 1909 that the Rider-Waite-Smith deck made its debut.
This was the deck that popularized tarot into what we know it as today. Many of the decks that have been published since, along with the meanings that we associate with each card, have been inspired by the RWS.
But 1909 wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things.
And yet despite its youth in comparison to other systems like astrology, tarot’s potential never ceases to amaze me. The cards work. I still have moments where I find the...