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Tarot & Me


What does it feel like to read cards for someone?

It feels strange, humbling, amazing, compassionate and joyful.

It is a test of faith.

I need to allow the cards to speak to me, tell me their story as I look at the interactions they have with the other cards. I read them as I lay them out and I explain what I see, checking in with the querent.

Such a strange word – “querent.” It means the questioner or seeker, the person I’m giving the reading to. The people who sit at my table frequently have no idea what to expect and may not have a specific question. It doesn’t matter; the cards have an agenda of their own.

Every time before I read the cards, I pray that the querent’s higher self would speak with my higher self and allow me to communicate what they are there to hear.

What is the “Higher Self?”

The concept is based on Carl Jung’s theories of Self and Ego.

Jung described the Ego as the center of consciousness, whereas the Self is defined as the center of the total personality, which includes consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego; the Self is both the whole and the center and also connected to the Collective Unconscious of all humanity and Earth as a whole.

The Collective Unconscious has transformed over the last century to a concept of Collective Consciousness, but for most of us it still remains Unconscious. In that space our beings function with a wider perspective. It may be what the other 90% of our brains are doing while we are busy living the dream. From that perspective, each of us has a deeper control and responsibility in our own lives. We can choose our path.

I believe that is where my information comes from.

My joke is “My people will get in touch with your people, they’ll do lunch and figure it out.”

I have no other way to explain how the cards actually work. How could I really know what is up with the person sitting across from me?

How do the cards “talk” to me?

This is a big question. Am I hearing voices in my head? Am I schizophrenic? Am I just making it up? I have asked myself those questions a million times, but then the person I’m reading for says, “My God, you were so right on!” and I know it’s not me.

I have been studying tarot since I was 12 years old. Each card has an associated numerological significance. The suits are elemental: fire = spirit, water = emotion, air = mind, and earth = material. The Major Arcana is a visual depiction of the archetypal path of humanity.

I translate these images according to their placement in the reading and their interactions, but that doesn’t explain why, when shuffled with the intention of the querent, they lay out the way they do. That is the part that’s not me. That is the part that takes faith.

I do believe the cards (or our higher selves or our angels) are providing specific information for that reading. Although there are only 78 cards, each reading is a different layout. I read what I know of the cards, but it is mixed with an intuitive connection. I need to believe that the patterns I am seeing are what I need to see. I offer advice from my own life and stories I have heard over the years to clarify.

So are the cards actually “talking” to me? Not in words. People ask me if I am psychic. My standard answer is “We are all psychic, I just read cards.”

Does the querent need to have faith?

Many times, the people who come for a reading have never done one before, or they will preface with saying they don’t really believe in it.

I know that if they are sitting there, something in them led them to seek their answers with me. That is what I refer to as their “higher self.”

Jung believed the Collective Unconscious was most easily accessed through dreams and symbols. It is the basis of his work on Archetypes.

I translate the symbols, and together with the querent, we find the framework within their patterns where the symbols have meaning. This process usually unlocks a door of understanding and a response of “This all makes sense.”

They are hearing what they came to hear. My work is done.

The querent may profess disbelief, but then why are they sitting at my table?

How do I lay out the cards?

The first card I draw from the deck represents the person who is having the reading, and the second card, which is laid across the first, represents the focus of this reading. The card that represents the person does not show the full scope of that person, but just the aspect of that person in relation to the focus of the reading. That is true of every card I pull after, they show me the various influences attributed to the positions in which appear.

I lay out an initial spread of ten cards:

1 – the querant

2 – the focus of the reading

3 – bottom – the past

4 – to the left of the first – the recent past

5 – above – what is on their mind

6 – to the right of the first – what they are leading with moving forwards

7 – begins a column to the right of the cross, working from the bottom up. This position represents the obstacles for this situation

8 – represents their fear

9 – the way others view them

10 – the outcome

I then ask for clarification of specific cards, by pulling other cards on them.

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