Ever since the start of the year, I’ve been hearing more and more tarot readers talk about their struggles with imposter complex.
Imposter complex is something that gets all of us at one time or another. No matter how much work you put into your craft, and no matter how much positive feedback you receive on your readings, there will be days when you question whether you’re cut out for this.
One of the things I think is important to do when doubt creeps in is to sit within the awareness of it. Ask yourself: “Why is this feeling coming up? Where might it be coming from?”
Sometimes imposter complex rises up when readers are trying too hard to do something spectacular. That might look like an attempt to make a wild leap of a prediction, or it might come from pressure to impress a querent by knowing something they haven’t revealed.
When we try to force the uncanny, or when we assume we have to perform omniscient feats, doubt is often in the corners, waiting...
Whew! Is it just me, or is time flying by?
Sometimes I can’t believe how fast time is going. I’ve been noticing that lot of people are going through some major periods of re-evaluation in their lives.
There’s a lot of change in the air as many of us are rethinking what’s most important and looking at what to de-prioritize in order to have more time for our families, friends, and ourselves.
Are you going through a big change right now?
When things are busy and hectic, and you’re feeling a bit (or a lot) unclear about what it’s all leading to, it can help to pull out your tarot cards and give yourself some space to reflect.
Instead of asking a predictive question, which can muddy the waters of the present even more, ask something like, “What can I do to stay true to myself right now?”
When you’re feeling pulled in a lot of different directions, it can help to come back to the here and now rather than getting lost in thoughts...
“What does this card mean?”
If you read tarot, chances are you’ve asked this question more than once along your path.
But one thing I’ve started to discourage tarot students from asking is that very question:
“What does this card mean?”
Because if figuring out a card meaning was the only thing standing between you and your tarot reading, you wouldn’t even have to ask that question.
Card meanings are everywhere. You can Google any tarot card and come up with all kinds of answers.
Or you can get a guidebook and look it up.
Or you can watch any number of videos on social media where people talk about their understandings of various tarot cards.
When someone asks what a card means, the problem isn’t that they can’t find that out on their own. Quite often, students who ask this question have already done their own studying. They already know something about the card they’re wondering about.
The problem is that the card...
One of the most common questions I get asked in my tarot classes is, “Should I be pulling a card a day for practice?”
I don’t assign daily draws and sometimes that makes people nervous. The practice has become so common that a lot of newer readers are under the impression that it’s a universal habit.
This isn’t to say I’m against daily draws entirely. I, too, was given the advice to pull one card a day, and did for a good long time when I was first learning tarot. I still have journals that I kept from that period, where I would record my daily card and the thoughts and ideas it inspired within me.
But I also came to see tarot differently as time went on. Which is what happens when you do tarot over a long stretch of time. Your relationship to it changes. You start to see new angles to it. And sometimes your old ways of doing things no longer fit the way they used to.
One of the biggest shifts for me came when I stopped looking at my tarot deck as...
How do you know you’re ready to read tarot for others?
How do you know you’re ready to start charging for your readings?
How do you know you’re ready to accept that invitation to read at your friend’s party, or to give a talk about tarot at your local bookstore?
These are all questions that you will likely have about tarot at some point in your journey. When I started learning tarot, I knew I wanted to be able to read for other people. I didn’t know right away that this was something I wanted to do professionally (that came later), but I did want to be able to give readings that were intuitive, insightful, and accurate.
Knowing where you want to go with tarot, even in the short-term, is important, because it gives you a goal to work towards. When you know what you’re aiming for, you can focus your studies and practices in a way that will build towards that result.
But what often happens along the way is that it can be hard to know when...
When you start reading tarot for other people, you quickly realize that a lot of questions people have revolve around the same few categories:
Money and security.
Focus and contentment.
And just as often, we can find ourselves asking variations of these same questions when we’re reading on our own.
It’s something that I’ve been asked about a lot over the last few years:
“How can I take my readings deeper? What else should I be asking about?”
And, “What can I do to get my querents thinking differently, too?”
I used to feel the same way.
But I’ve come to appreciate these “mundane” questions, and I encourage you to try to, too.
Because one thing I have come to realize is that these questions are what life is about: No matter what it is we are trying to achieve in our personal lives, many of us share common fears and desires at the end of the day.
Everyone wants to feel love, and be loved.
Everyone needs a...
I don’t know about you, but I have been caught up in a flurry of activity these last few months. When life feels like it’s just go, go, go, it’s easy to forget to check in with yourself. When there is a lot to do, we can end up in reactive mode sometimes, just going through the motions in order to check off our to-do lists.
But I get out of sorts in all kinds of ways if I don’t take – or make – a little bit of time to get back to my inner compass and see how I’m feeling about my present moment.
Taking that time allows me to reflect on whether I’m spending time on what I intended to. Outside of my tarot business, I’m a writer, and if you do anything creative you’ll know what I mean when I say that writing is (unfortunately) often one of the first things that falls off the radar when life gets hectic.
We owe it to ourselves to pause and ask: Am I forgetting something as I rush throughout the day?
I don’t mean forgetting...
I’ve recently been inspired by a tarot reader friend who has been doing big, deep-dive readings for himself each week to get a sense of what to prioritize in the days ahead.
I know it’s popular to pull a card a day, but sometimes that can feel like information overload with a lot to take in and not enough time to carry through on all of tarot’s messages.
I like the idea of a weekly tarot pull to set the tone for the week ahead. I find in general that I’m most effective and focused when I start off my week with a clear sense of my top priorities. A lot can happen in the span of a few days, but I can also waste a lot of time if I haven’t clearly identified what I need to be moving forward.
And these days, it feels like there is so much to do: I have new writing projects I want to make space for. I have my new Tarot Study Hall community to build upon. And I have been busy with the little vintage resale business my husband and I started last year.
One of my most unpopular tarot opinions is that intuition is not enough to be a tarot reader.
I know that goes against so much of the common advice out there when it comes to tarot reading:
“Just trust in the messages that come to you.”
“Go with your first impression.”
“Listen to your instincts.”
And yes, self-trust is an important component of being a tarot reader: You need to be able to get to a point where you feel confident enough to rely on your abilities as a card reader.
But intuition alone isn’t the only thing tarot readers need to develop if they want to read for others. Whether you are working with paid querents or working up to that by doing practice readings on friends and acquaintances, there are a lot of other soft skills that can make or break the experience for you and your querents.
Here are three essential soft skills to develop as a tarot reader (alongside your intuition, of course):
Listening: Listening seems...
When people talk about learning tarot, the word “overwhelming” commonly comes up.
Maybe you have sat with one or more of these questions over time:
One of the things I’ve realized is that there is a difference between what we think we need to be...