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Saturday, 3 September 2016

10 questions every tarot reader should answer

I found this topic on youtube here and thought I'd have a go answering the questions.


1. Were you mentored, or were you self-taught?
I discovered tarot on my own and have never had a teacher in real life. No one introduced me to tarot and taught me to read. However, I can't say I am 'self-taught' because everything I know about tarot I learned from reading the work of others. So in effect, I am mentored by the authors of certain books and creators of certain decks. My mentors are, in random order:

Rachel Pollack
Robert Place
Arthur Edward Waite
Aleister Crowley
Dawn R Jackson
John and Caitlin Matthews
Paul Huson
Camelia Elias
Enrique Enriquez

Without their work, I have no way of knowing what my understanding of tarot would be.

2. Are you a psychic or a Tarot reader?
This question has become a bit of a bugbear in the tarot community. I do not identify as psychic. Some clients do consider me psychic. When I think of the word 'psychic', I identify it with people who look you up and down and say, 'You are the third of three children and your father was an alcoholic. By the way, you should know your daughter is still seeing that boy you don't like.' That is certainly not my modus operandi.

I read tarot cards by taking a question and laying out a series of cards from which I tell the stories the images inspire in me, in response to the question. The same 78 cards yield an infinite variety of stories, so something is going on there. If I were just reading the cards, the stories would always be the same. I don't know how or why it works. It is largely up to the querent to apply the story to their question and see how (or if) the story fits their lives or answers what they want to know. Somehow it almost always does.

So your guess is as good as mine.  Am I psychic? I don't know. If I am, I make no claims to be. Am I a tarot reader? Definitely.

3. Are your predictions accurate, and is accuracy important to you?
If the cards present an outcome, I say it. I don't hold back. If they don't, I say so. Again, whether this is accurate or not is down to the perception of the person receiving the reading.

When you use the word 'accuracy', I wonder if we're getting back into that 'psychic' territory, where it is important to some people that a reader should be able to say without being told what your history is and how many kids you have and what you want to do for a living and all that sort of thing. My readings may pick up on patterns in your life, but I don't make a game of trying to get the details of your life right. I also don't make a game of trying to tell you what is going to happen to you. That is not my aim as a tarot reader. So if it's that kind of accuracy, no, it isn't important to me.

If we're talking about a client being able to make connections between my reading and his or her life, and feel that the information shared in the reading has been of personal benefit, then yes, that is important to me.

4. Is there anything you can't predict in a reading?
That word predict is troublesome. I will say there are few things I can't 'depict'.

There are very few questions I won't do a reading for. However, sometimes you have to draw the line. I once had someone tell me her daughter was being abused by her husband and asked me would he eventually kill her? I did not do a tarot card reading for that question, but instead offered information on how to report domestic abuse and urged her to get help at once. It turned out this person was testing me to see if I was a 'fake'. She didn't even have a daughter. She said she thought I was arrogant for being a tarot card reader and wanted to test me, and said at least I did the right thing by offering help and advice.

I'm in the business of offering help and advice. Not predicting stuff.

5. Do you use only Tarot, or are you multi-disciplinary?
I use tarot, playing cards, Lenormand, and occasionally other oracles. I am a cartomant -- cards are my line!

6. Is the message in the cards, or in your head?
The message is the alchemy of the cards and my head. And maybe something else.

7. Are you a priest or a fortune-teller?
I am a fortune-teller. The cards are not my religion and I am not the priestess of them. I don't combine my spiritual practice with the cards when I am doing a reading for a client.

8. Are you a fixer or a looker?
I am a looker who can't help offering options for fixing.

9. Do you read for free, or for fee?

10. Is there anything you won't predict in a reading?
I am willing to do a tarot card reading about just about anything, as long as the querent understands that I am reading the cards and making no claims that the story I see in them has an actual basis in the real world. (Whether I believe they do is neither here nor there. I make no claims that they do.) If they want to apply it to the real world and it helps them to do so, they are welcome to do that. What I say might help, it might hurt, it might anger, it might confuse. It's just a story. Take it or ignore it; you have ultimate agency over your life and as your reader, I am not responsible for your reaction to the reading.

Having said that, I find specific timings virtually impossible using tarot cards. So if someone were to ask me for that, I usually decline, or warn them in no uncertain terms that my reading is as good as a wild ass guess. For example, someone may ask 'When will I get a job?' I can say what I see in the cards if they want to pay me to, but I make no promises about timings. That may sound mercenary, but it's actually just being honest.

However, if someone asked me something hideous, like when someone would die (see number 4), I would refuse to read and signpost to resources instead.

I have strong feelings about the limitations of confidentiality. I have a duty of care and will break confidentiality for the following: to assist the prevention or detection of a crime, to prevent serious harm to the client or others, or to disclose any information which may help prevent an act of terrorism or help in bringing a terrorist to justice. These points come from the National Counselling Safeguarding Policy. However, because the nature of my tarot business means that I virtually never know the true identity of a client, in practice this would mean refusing the reading and signposting to outside agencies for help and advice.

Of course, my answers to all these questions might be different in a week. This isn't a personal manifesto, it's a response to a youtube video. :D


  1. "The message is the alchemy of the cards and my head. And maybe something else." I love that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts - very interesting indeed :)

  2. Thanks for taking up the questions I posed on my blog! I enjoyed reading your responses - see you around!

  3. A witty and honest set of answers - I enjoyed reading them. Loved what you said in number 4, and how great that you not only did the right thing, but in doing so confounded someone "testing" you. The "fixer or looker" answer made me lol!