I‘ve been reading tarot for over twenty years, ever since I was gifted my first deck from a tiny shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma when I was only twelve years old. Tarot has been a wonderful resource for me over the years. It’s my main tool for tapping into my intuition and accessing the inner knowledge that is sometimes hidden behind the fog.
It wasn’t until my early twenties that I began reading tarot for other people. I refuse to call myself a psychic (though I‘ve been called one by others time and time again). The truth is, even after all this time I do not KNOW how tarot actually works. The mystery is partly why I love it and am drawn to continue working with it.
I do know that the archetypes and symbols of tarot are ones that I connect with. During grad school, I was deeply immersed in the works of Carl Jung and reclaiming the divine feminine archetypes. I delved into dreamwork and ritual, hosted women’s spirituality circles, and helped people discover their personal mythology and connect (reconnect) with childhood stories as a tool for unearthing their Story Threads to be woven into a metaphorical tapestry.
As a storyteller, tarot is another one of my tools for telling stories. As an INFJ personality type, I am gifted at gathering lots of details (on a subconscious level) and piecing them together to form a picture.
This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m psychic. I am intuitive and perceptive. I can’t tell you EXACTLY what will happen, but I can help you to decide how to respond to a certain issue. I can predict what is likely to happen based on your path so far.
Tarot is a tool to help you make decisions. It is a way of finding your path and orienting yourself within this complicated labyrinth of life. The cards can offer you advice, but it’s up to you whether you choose to listen. A reading can warn you of obstacles ahead or call your attention to a beautiful new venture.
I fully believe reading tarot is a skill that can be learned by anyone. The gift to delve into the mysteries of the world and see what is likely to happen, or more clearly the path ahead, is available for anyone. Like anything else, it just takes dedication and practice.
My process for reading the cards works for me, but may not work for another tarot reader. Here’s how I work.
After connecting with a client for a distance reading I typically tell them I will email the PDF file of their reading to them within two days.
I ponder their question as I go about my day. When I feel the most intuitive and the most peaceful, when I get the little nudge from the universe that says ”the time is now” I create ritual space, taking my time to light candles, choose a crystal, lay out a special cloth. I cleanse my deck (often with mugwort smoke from mugwort that grows in the wild around my home) and get into a meditative state.
I shuffle the deck as many times as feels right. Usually I cut the cards three times, focusing on my client’s question or concern. I arrange the cards depending on the option my client chose. Once the cards are laid out, I take my time seeing the pattern, allowing the story to unfold. I jot down my thoughts and impressions.
Once I have a full picture of what’s going on, I photograph the reading. It’s not until later in the day that I put together the PDF file of the reading. The reason for this is I often have more thoughts that come to me throughout the day.
As you can see, I take my time. It’s like putting together a puzzle. I have all of the pieces I need (the cards, the conversation with my client) but I can’t see the picture until all of the pieces have been put together. For me, this takes time. It is a slow process. For this reason, I give the most accurate readings via a distance. When I give face to face readings, the picture can not fully form until after the client has walked away and we are going about our separate days. It’s only then that I have my big “ahas” and then I feel disappointed that I didn’t share everything with the client when we were face to face.
I do face to face readings occasionally still, especially for friends and family, but I know from years of experience that my most accurate readings are done via a distance, in the way I described.
And that is a bit of background about my experience with tarot and my process for conducting a reading.