In a local "commerce-and-culture" magazine, I came across an interview with a professional "Certified Life Coach" and began pondering how I would respond to such questions if they are ever presented to me as a tarot reader. Here is my version of a hypothetical interview that aligns more closely with the practice of divination. What is … Continue reading So You’re a Professional Tarot Reader?
In his abbreviated commentary on the Major Arcana at the end of The Book of Thoth, Aleister Crowley observed that the Wheel of Fortune describes "Change of fortune. (This generally means good fortune because the fact of consultation implies anxiety or discontent.)" His point is that people who seek the advice of a diviner usually … Continue reading The Sitter’s Intent
Every once in a while (and without a doubt more often than we would like), a reading begs the question "I know what was asked, but what does the seeker really want?" And the cards proceed to impose their own agenda on the story to the bemusement and bafflement of both reader and querent. Grappling with this situation can test the … Continue reading The “No BS” Deck’s Agenda Spread
Those of us who post regularly (critics might say interminably) in online blogs run the risk of self-parody, becoming mere "cardboard cut-outs" of our formerly ferocious literary personae. Conventional wisdom asserts that a blogger must publish frequently to maintain an interested and engaged following, but this can sometimes mean unintentionally plowing (or, if you're British, … Continue reading Paper Tiger
I sometimes wonder how many people actually make a living wage in the field of divination, much less a handsome income. There are notable exceptions, of course, mostly respected authors, teachers, lecturers, artists, publishers and the occasional shop owner (although those are rapidly disappearing or diversifying in the face of crushing online sales). But I would venture to … Continue reading Craft, Career or Calling?
A comment I encountered on Facebook recently caused me to revisit and reaffirm my reasons for working with the tarot. The woman was arguing against its use for divination, and said "We all know that the original purpose of the tarot was self-improvement." Well, no, actually we don't. Clearly this person doesn't have a clue … Continue reading Love at First Insight
I often wonder what people expect when they sit for a tarot reading. Is it encouragement (aka "empowerment") regarding their chosen course of action? Is it affirmation of their assumptions or suspicions? Is it entertainment? Is it a glimpse of future events or circumstances? Is it a psychological snapshot of themselves or another person? Is … Continue reading Happy Hour
When I returned to professional tarot reading in 2014, my second client was a young man who clearly had some preconceptions about how his session should proceed. His wife had bought the reading for his birthday from the proprietor of the shop where I operated, but the owner is an oracle-card reader who is less … Continue reading A Matter of Trust
Some diviners present themselves as counselors, therapists or "life coaches" offering advice via the tarot for dealing with life's problems. Some are very good at it. But the fact remains that by doing so without the requisite technical training, they often risk straying into the territory of the licensed mental health professional. I have talked … Continue reading Tarot Therapy
Another day, another new topic. I haven't quite reached the point of the weary "time to make the donuts" drudge from the old Dunkin Donuts commercials yet, but sometimes I wonder. Professional wisdom for blog management is that those who post something 11 times a month receive more viewer traffic (and potentially more advertisers). I'm not in … Continue reading “You Want Fries With That?”