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?
. . . but the curmudgeon is always in! I'm inclined to approach a tarot session as I would a surgical emergency room rather than as an updated 19th Century parlor pastime: "We're going to perform a little triage here, not just exchange polite pleasantries. It could get bloody!" But I'm suspicious that many newcomers … Continue reading The Doctor Is Out
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
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
The term gambit typically means an opening move in chess by which the player sacrifices something of minor importance in order to gain a positional advantage later in the game. But its more general usage describes a remark that is intended to start a conversation. Professional tarot readers (at least those who meet face-to-face with … Continue reading Opening Moves