Learning Tarot

  • When The Hierophant Speaks – Using Intuition In Tarot Readings

    When reading tarot cards, it’s not only important to know the classic meanings of the cards, but also to be able to use your intuition to allow the cards to “speak” to you.

    The other day, I was doing a reading using my general go-to spread in which the Hierophant was the central card. There were other people present for the reading, which isn’t optimal if I say so myself because privacy and confidentiality can help both the reader and client focus on the reading without feeling put on the spot or hesitant because of those other people. Anyway…

    The meaning of the Hierophant, when looking at the cards from an archetypal viewpoint, would point to doing things conservatively, within the church or societal rules, etc. It is the level after the Father level. But he can also signify marriage.

    And this time, he kept telling me, “I mean marriage; there’s going to be a wedding.”

    UGH! Hierophant! REALLY?

    Most of the time on the hotlines, I am dealing with clients who are like: “I just met him and this is crazy. Gonna call my psychic – see if we’ll get married and have babies!” (You know the tune and you’re welcome for the earworm.)

    The gal I was reading for had been in a long-term relationship for years, though — something I didn’t know when I was doing her reading. Another thing I didn’t know was that her boyfriend was going to propose to her that night. A representative king was also in the bottom row or Foundations of the reading, right under the Hierophant.

    But, because of past experience and not wanting to instill false hope, I tend to tiptoe around marriage and pregnancy. These are super-charged, highly anticipated events and they are important to get right. Even when the Hierophant is whispering his message of upcoming nuptials to me, I am like… Um. OK. But I want to deliver this with sensitivity and tact – not create anticipation when and where I shouldn’t.

    Hindsight being 20/20, I should have put more emphasis on what the Hierophant was whispering (or yelling) to me. But I mentioned it in a very non-committal way: “Oh. The Hierophant can actually point to a marriage as well or sticking to traditions.”

    I do have to say, though, that the reading I gave her, despite the fact that it didn’t center on an upcoming marriage, hit a mark with her. It reminded me that we will give the clients the proper messages.

    When intuition speaks, it is really important that we take a moment to listen to it. This is also a time for a good reader to take a deep breath and a step backward and sort out how to most tactfully deliver the message. There will always be the possibility of the message being overemphasized by the reader or by the client —and there is always information (backstories, upcoming plans, other people) that feed into what happens in the lives of clients.

    As I said before, I skirted around what my intuition was telling me in this reading and I really feel like I learned a few lessons:

    1) Trust what you hear from your intuition – especially when it seems that the cards are speaking to you.
    2) Know that the client will be served by your alternate reading as well. You can even give two possible scenarios stemming from the cards. It is possible that both will have an impact on your client, as with my reading.
    3) Still, deliver messages about things like proposals, marriages, breakups, pregnancies, and even death with the utmost amount of tact and sensitivity toward your client.

    What do you think? Would you, as a reader, point out the potential wedding/proposal coming up or would you interpret things differently?

    I’d love to hear what you have to say about it!

    Blessings to you!

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  • 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Fears – A Guest Post by James Bulls

    What questions do some Tarot Readers fear when looking into themselves and their tarot practice?

    JamesJames Bulls, from Left Hand Tarot, shared a pretty amazing post with us the other day on the Tarotholics Group on Facebook. I asked if I could share his fabulous wisdom, as it totally encouraged me to take a look at who I am as a reader. Others might not want to be so honest with themselves… 😉

    So, without further adieu… some questions for all the Tarot Readers out there to ponder… if they dare! In the words of James…

    I’m not an ancient Greek, but I happen to think that there’s a lot of value in the Delphic maxim, “Know thyself.” The ways and reasons you can approach this maxim are countless, but since I’m a Tarot reader talking about Tarot, I’m going to talk about how important it is for you as a Tarot reader to know and understand your reading style, and how important it is for you as a client to know and understand your Tarot reader. Knowing yourself as a Tarot reader is important because it will show you what you really want to be doing and where you strengths lay, but being a client who knows your Tarot reader is also important because it’s going to save you a lot of frustration and even more money spent on readings you didn’t really enjoy.

    So with that in mind, I propose a list of 10 questions which I believe every Tarot reader should answer for him or herself, or which every client is welcome to ask their Tarot readers. These questions are designed to threaten shallow egos and to reveal things about either yourself or your reader that are poorly understood. If, in the process of asking these questions to yourself, you find yourself feeling anxious and uncertain, then congratulations! You just found a blind spot you didn’t know existed. Or, if you’re asking your reader these questions and he or she either refuses to answer, or the answers offered don’t inspire confidence, then you should carefully reconsider your reasons for working with this reader. All of which is to say, the length of the answer isn’t what’s important here, only that the person answering the questions can do so clearly and confidently. Are you ready to begin? Let’s get started.

    #1) How did you become a Tarot reader? Did you have a teacher, or did you teach yourself?
    This is a harmless enough question to get us started. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a teacher who initiated you into Tarot, and, of course, there’s nothing wrong with being your own teacher. I mean, ultimately, all learning is self-guided so I think it’s fair to say that all Tarot readers are self-taught, but that’s sort of an argument for another day. The point is, some people care deeply about their Tarot lineage, and others don’t. For the people who do, their egos are often wrapped tightly into the identity and prestige of their teacher, and while there’s nothing wrong with being proud of one’s accomplishments, the way a reader talks about his or her initiation into Tarot can reveal a lot about his or her personality, but more importantly will reveal the reader’s level of confidence in his or her overall abilities and whether he or she is comfortable owning his or her Tarot lineage – no matter where it came from.

    #2) Do you really have psychic abilities?
    This question is something of an ego trap! Does your Tarot reader claim to have inborn or developed paranormal abilities? And if so, how big a deal does your reader make out of those abilities? If your Tarot reader doesn’t have psychic abilities, does he or she feel the need to apologize? This question isn’t intended to be a criticism of people who claim these abilities, nor is it intended to be a criticism of those who don’t. The point is, can your Tarot reader express confidence in him or herself as a reader without feeling the need to exaggerate or apologize? The answer itself isn’t strictly important – instead, look to see if the reader can answer the question confidently and securely.


    Are you psychic-


    #3) Do you get the answer from your cards or from your head?
    As an extension of the previous question, Where does the message come from? Is your Tarot reader getting the message entirely from the cards with a non-intuitive reading style which uses complex occult interpretations of the symbols on the cards? Or is the reader an intuitive who uses the cards as inspiration or a tool to direct their third eye? As with all these questions, the answer itself isn’t really important and this because there are lots of readers who fall everywhere on the spectrum of this answer and still do a great job. The answer itself is less important than whether the respondent can provide an answer confidently and without feeling the need to apologize or brag. If your reader feels the need to diminish others in order to promote him or herself, or can’t answer without feeling the need to apologize, then you should reconsider hiring this reader. If you’re the reader answering this question and you’re stumbling, then this is an area for self-improvement.

    #4) Are your predictions 100% accurate?
    Here’s a dirty question: does the Tarot reader say that his or her readings are 100% accurate? Ask this question and watch the respondent squirm! This is a great question for revealing the quality of the respondent’s character, but is also a great question for eliciting answers to the implied bigger question: “How does it all work?” Believe it or not, but some Tarot readers haven’t really thought about this. The point of this question isn’t really to measure the reader’s claimed accuracy, but to see how he or she responds. Is the reader defensive? Angry? Apologetic? Bashful? Anxious? Uncertain? If your reader’s response makes you feel uncomfortable, chances are good that he or she is either hiding something or has honestly never considered the question.

    won'tpredict#5) Is there anything you won’t predict?
    For professional readers who maintain clear business policies, this question may already be answered, but this is a very serious question that readers should ask themselves and clients should ask their readers if only because it’s going to save a lot of headache and frustration later. Is there anything your reader won’t predict? If you want to know about your physical or mental health, an investment, a legal decision, or some dark venture better left unspoken, then you’d better be sure your reader is game before your put your money on the table because in most jurisdictions around the world it’s absolutely illegal for a Tarot reader to give advice best handled by physicians, bankers, and attorneys. And of course, it’s always illegal for a Tarot reader to advise you how to commit a crime or to harm yourself or somebody else. This is an example of the most overt reasons why a reader wouldn’t answer some questions, but there are other kinds of questions such as past or future lives, karmic debt, psychic surveillance of another person, how to break up a relationship, etc. that some readers won’t answer. Get the answer to this question before you ask for answers to other questions. And if you’re a reader, this is a really important question to answer because it will help you define who you are as a professional and what kind of clients you’re willing to accept.

    #6) Is there anything you can’t predict?
    Following on the previous question: is there anything your reader is unable to predict? I don’t mean is there anything your reader won’t predict because he or she has specified that the subject is off-limits, I mean is there anything that your reader is unable to predict because the desired answers aren’t possible with his or her method of divination? This question is intended to elicit “deep thinks” that he or she honestly may never have thought to ask before. As with the previous question on this list, the answer itself is less important than how the reader offers the answer. Watch or listen closely and other telling answers will reveal themselves.

    #7) Are you a Tarot specialist, or do you use other tools?
    This isn’t a trick question or even a dirty question, it’s just a good general-purpose question to ask anybody whom you’re going to trust to divine your future if only because it’s going to help you understand how the reader arrived at the answer you requested. It doesn’t matter if your reader uses only Tarot, or if your reader also uses bones, mediumship, tea leaves, oracle cards, angel communication, astrology, or numerology. None of that is important. What is important is that your reader can say how he or she is providing the message you paid to hear and can do so without apologizing for the way that he or she gets it. In this answer, an excess of confidence isn’t as concerning as a lack of confidence; after all, bad artists blame their tools – good artists blame themselves. Is this true for your Tarot reader?

    #8) Are you a priest or a fortune-teller?
    For some readers, a Tarot deck is just colored paper. And for some readers, their Tarot deck is akin to a Holy Bible. I don’t mean that they’re picky about who touches their deck – and that’s an entirely different discussion! – I mean the degree of religious fervor invested in their Tarot practice. For some people, Tarot is tightly wrapped up in their spiritual or religious beliefs, and they might even call themselves priests or priestesses or play the role of sacred confessor. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but if your religious or spiritual beliefs (or lack of the same) conflict with a reader’s tightly held religious or spiritual beliefs, then you’re going to have a clash of personalities and chances are excellent that the reader isn’t going to be able to find what you’re looking for. For example, a highly religious Tarot reader would probably offended by an uninspired question, just as a irreligious reader would be confused why you asked for a past-life reading to investigate karmic debt and how this impacts your cycle of reincarnation. So, save yourself and the reader a lot of trouble and find out if you’re talking to a priest or a fortune-teller.

    #9) Am I on my own, or do you give advice?
    This question is largely a matter of personal preference and how much you want your reader to be involved in the reason you requested his or her services. Some readers are lookers – they’ll lay down cards and show you what they say, and then leave it entirely in your hands what to do about it. And then, some readers like to give advice and explain how they believe you can change your fate. There’s nothing wrong with either position, but if you’ve got a complex question and are expecting some help with your problem-solving, then it’s helpful to know in advance if your reader is willing to do that for you.

    charge?#10) Do you read for free, or for a fee?
    There’s nothing wrong with charging a fee for your services, and there’s nothing wrong with working for free. Each reader decides for him or herself what his or her time is worth and how much work (if any) he or she will do pro bono; however, the reasons that people do or don’t charge for their services can be very revealing. A pretentious, overly confident reader is something to take note of, but a reader who feels guilty about asking to be paid for the work he or she does is even more concerning because this means they lack confidence in their trade, and a lack of confidence is often synonymous with a lack of skill.
    If you’ve reached the end of this list, maybe I’ve offended you? And then, maybe I’ve taught you something, too. Whether this is a matter of “know thyself” or “known thy Tarot reader,” follow the answers wherever they may take you because this knowledge about yourself or your reader will open doors you didn’t even know existed.

    What do you think? Did this list force you to explore your views about how your read, or to think about a reading you’ve had before? Feel free to discuss your position in the comments below.

    Blessings to you,

    If you’d like, you can read my responses here: 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Except Me Fears



  • It’s Never Just Yes or No in Tarot…

    It isn't as simple as
     Going Beyond Yes Or No To Get To The REAL Answers You Want In A Reading

    As a professional reader, I get a lot of callers who are curious to find out if their exes will be calling or coming back. Most of the time, these people are calling on my instant reading line, where time is of the essence.

    Even though many just want a simple “YES” or “NO” from me, I always, always, always advise that a person digs a bit deeper into the question, because sometimes a simple YES or NO isn’t as simple as that.

    Consider this scenario: You’ve just broken up with your boyfriend because you caught him hiding provocative text exchanges with a co-worker. You want to know if he’s going to call you.

    I get a positive card – The Magician – and you are happy that he’s going to call you. “When?” you ask. I get the Eight of Wands, implying very soon (or in 8 weeks, depending on how you read timing in your cards). You are all kinds of happy because he’s going to call… but, when he calls, it’s just to arrange the details of getting his name off of your lease.

    If that’s the case, you’d likely be thrown WAY off. That’s why I advise people to take a more in-depth look at the question.

    If, for example, I’d gotten the positive response about him contacting you, coupled with the Eight of Wands – then we see what you need to know about him contacting you, and I get the Ace of Pentacles, reversed, we know it isn’t to profess his undying love for you but to move on. The Two of Cups, when reversed, just emphasizes the fact that this isn’t going to lead to a rekindling of your romance.


    Cards from the Tarot Illuminati deck


    Even though it might take a minute or two longer for me to get to the bottom of the question, you will be given information that will allow you to properly prepare for the call…

    And really, if you explained to me that he was hiding provocative texts (leading me to the impression that he isn’t the most honest character), the Life Coach in me would wonder if you truly want this guy back in your life – and I’d ask you about that, too.


    The same with the question: Will I see my ex soon?

    I could tell you yes, you will see him soon. The cards might even show an encounter in the near future. But, will you be rekindling your romance or meeting his new girlfriend?

    A few more cards and a little more time might make the difference between you getting your hopes up because you’ll see him – as in him inviting you out for a date or trying to rekindle the spark, or the encounter causing you some heartache.

    In order to best answer your questions, I’ll try to direct you to the right questions to ask. I’ll want you to look inside yourself and try to connect with what is best for you. Do you need to work on letting him go so that you can move on to a new, better relationship?

    Simple YES or NO questions aren’t the best for tarot, anyway. Here’s a way to expand on a simple YES or NO reading, to get more information about what is going on.

    1) Will he call-

    As your advisor, I’ll try to get more answers from you a lot of times, as some cards require a bit of information to properly interpret.

    I’ll ask questions related to the cards that come up, like: Is the Queen of Wands (a self-confident, self-assured, fire starter kind of person) you or is it the ex? Do you need to embody more of that energy to move your relationship to the next level? Is HE the Prince of Cups (all looking, but not much action – puppy romance or a crush from afar, reversed is a porn addiction), or is that someone who is coming into your life or the mood of the relationship?

    You see, as a reader, I look to you for clues and cues about what the cards mean for your specific case in the reading. Of course, I can straight up read a spread, but your input will make it much more personalized and fitting for your situation.

    I see using the cards as a way of exploring what is and the possibilities of what might be coming, not like a crystal ball to foretell a future that’s carved in stone.

    I’ll ask questions. I’ll direct you to more questions. I’ll try to prepare you for what’s coming up – and that isn’t usually as simple as a yes or no.

    And that’s why I recommend scheduling a longer reading. Honestly, I can do the “quicky one, two here’s your answer” kind of reading – BUT it might not cover the entirety of your situation or give you the kind of details you need.

    A longer reading – at least 20 minutes – allows you to have the time to explain your situation to me. It allows me to explore your feelings and your own intuition about the situation (something the life coach in me loves to do).

    Ready to schedule your 20 minute Skype or telephone reading now? I’m running a special! You can get it for $40 now! Click here.


  • The Hermetic Tarot Deck Review

    The first time I listened to the Beastie Boys, I wasn’t impressed. As a matter of fact, I took the tape out of the player in my car and put it aside for a very. long. time.

    Later – I am not sure if a whim struck me or if someone else reintroduced me – I fell in LOVE with the Beasties. When I took the time to really listen to them – when I was ready to hear them – I actually adored their musical talent and wise words (FYI – they are about WAY more than fighting for your right to party).


    Video: I Don’t Know… from the Beastie Boys

    That’s kind of what happened with me and the Hermetic Tarot deck.

    The deck came to me as a gift for briefly moderating a tarot study group on Facebook. Payment for the time I spent welcoming new members and helping to field tarot related questions was paid in decks. As I am a collector who didn’t have much money to purchase new decks at the time, I was happy to be paid in cards instead of dollars.

    The cost of my choice was limited by the owners of the group, and the Hermetic tarot looked interesting – so I chose it.

    I’d read that the deck was based on the Thoth tarot deck (a fave of mine, and the first deck that I purchased for myself way back when), and I was intrigued by the black and white format of the Hermetic Tarot. When I got it and started sifting through the cards to connect with the deck… well, let’s just say I wasn’t very impressed. Had I written a Hermetic Tarot deck review at that time, it would have read much differently.

    My feelings about the cards might have been the way I parted ways with the giver – I got fired after only like a day of duty – or it could have been the artwork on the cards, which borders on ugly in some of the images (like Death’s scraggly beard), and that was a turn off to me. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I didn’t like them.

    Interestingly enough, the other day I was looking at my decks for another tarot group, and I came across the Hermetic Tarot deck again. I decided to take it out, shuffle it up, and let the cards fly. This time, my impression of the deck was much different – and that is what drove this review of the deck.

    For some reason, this time I found the cards striking. Much of the artwork is this really interesting, hyper-detailed mix of sacred geometry and psychedelic daydream vision that is packed full of symbolism. The messages contained in these cards vary from the simple and obvious picture based symbolism to the classic tarot meaning to the advanced Kabbalah and astrology meanings. There are also word clues in the cards because the card titles give more insight into possible meanings for the cards.

    Pack all that detail, insight, and information together in a tarot deck, and this girl is hooked!

    While the Hermetic Tarot deck might not be as visually appealing as the Tarot Illuminati or Shadowscapes, it has a charm of its own. If you step back from wanting a “pretty” deck and allow yourself to work with a deck that speaks plainly and at all levels at the same time, then the Hermetic Tarot is a deck for you.


  • Free Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck Readings


    I recently purchased the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck, by Tori Hartman and I ADORE the images, the messages, and the basics of the cards. The colors are beautiful, and the images are simply drawn and very easy to connect with.

    One of my first readings for myself, Removing Wealth Blocks, was pretty much dead on accurate.

    As I’ve never worked with this deck before and I would love to familiarize myself with the cards, spreads, and interpretations, I am offering free readings with this deck.

    Many of the themes of the Chakra Wisdom Oracle Deck are related to intentions, so you’ll need to let me know what your intentions are so that I can do a reading for you! Also, let me know if you would like to find out how to remove blocks or what the purpose of your intention is – or if you would like to find out about your intention toward wealth, love, or some other goal in life.

    Please be ready to give feedback, as it is extremely important when I am learning to work with new cards. I will work through the names in the order they are put on the page!

    Thanks for your help!