Doggone it

Sigh. I hadn't heard from one of my "frequent callers" in a few months. She had been calling during the runup to establishing a relationship with a person she really, really liked. Then the two of them connected a few months ago, and apart from doing one reading shortly after that happened, I didn't hear back from her so I figured that all was well.

Well, I just got a call from her. They haven't communicated in a few weeks, and she wanted to get some clarity on the situation.

Shoot. I was hoping that the start of that relationship would lead directly to a happy ending. Looks like we have a few more chapters to go in that situation before we get to the "happily ever after" part.

Nobody warned me, when I took this job, about how much the callers and their situations really grow to matter to the reader. Given my prior job experiences that involved direct customer contact, where the individuals I was dealing with really did matter to me, I should have figured that working as a reader would be a similar experience. As a result, I feel genuinely disappointed to hear that this caller has run into a rough spot.


Mind you, I saw enough optimistic things in the cards that I'm not willing to throw in the towel. I think the issues are fixable. But I do wish there weren't issues to fix in the first place.


Proactivity: It's What's in the Cards

I'm sure most of us have seen sample images from a Rorschach test, either from having taken the test or from viewing the images online or in books. It's a psychological test in which the subject is shown various inkblots and describes what the shapes of said patterns resemble to them; the results are then analyzed.

As it's a subjective test, different people will see different things when they look at the same inkblot shapes. One person might view the shape to the left and say, " It's a Jack O'Lantern"; another might say, "That's a wolf's head". And the answers are neither wrong nor right, because they're subjective.

That's what reading Tarot cards is like. One reader will look at the cards and offer a particular interpretation of the spread, relative to the question that was asked. Another reader, given the same question and the same cards, might perceive different salient points in the reading than the first. While it's unlikely that two readers would draw opposite conclusions (such as "success" vs. "failure") from the same set of cards, it's not impossible for them to differ on what the most important points in the spread are. One reader might say "You'll sit down and talk to your partner and you'll reach an agreement on what to do from here on out", with the most important point being reaching the agreement. Another reader might see the same cards and respond, "You will have to open the lines of communication between yourself and your partner, if you ever hope to reach an agreement", with the emphasis on communication is necessary.

That's why I liken Tarot reading to a Rorschach test. What the reader sees in the cards is going to be predicated at least in part on their own personality, world view, and intuition at the moment the reading is being done. The combination of those factors is as unique as a fingerprint for every reader in existence.

In my case, when I do a reading for you, what I see in the cards involves proactive steps to take to reach one's goal. I don't believe that the future is something that's sealed or set in stone, and all we have to do is sit around and wait for it to happen. I believe that the cards are a tool to help us navigate, like a compass that tells us what direction we're facing, but then WE have to do the actual traveling. Life is not a spectator sport; it's a game in which we must participate, and this worldview has a concrete impact on what I see when I look at the cards. So when you receive a reading from me, I won't be dictating your fate to you. I'm going to help map out a path for you to get where you want to be. And don't be surprised if you get homework to do. :-)


Gee, I'm glad I do PHONE readings

There's definitely something to be said in favor of doing readings via phone, IM, and email! ;-)


Keep One Eye On The Big Picture

Tonight, I was walking my dog along a pathway that a lot of people in my neighborhood use. She happened on the scent of another dog that had recently passed. She loves other dogs, so she stopped to sniff along the path and the grass, as if she wanted to track down the other dog and meet it.

She sniffed avidly for several seconds, making her way slowly along the path as she tried to get every last detail of that scent trail. Meanwhile, I turned my gaze farther along the path and saw... the actual DOG that had left the scent trail, walking along with two ladies and a small child.

"Mini! Let's go! I see the other doggie!" I tried to get her attention and urge her to start walking again. But she was reluctant to leave that fresh scent trail. She just KNEW that dog had to be close by. She did, unwillingly, come along with me, though we stopped several times along the way so she could sniff more of the other dog's scent.

Finally, we did actually meet up with the other doggie, and they got to greet each other. But we'd have caught up with him sooner if we hadn't stopped repeatedly to examine the scent he left on the ground.

The lesson here is, sometimes when we focus ONLY on the details, we miss something *really* important, something that's visible when we pay attention to the Big Picture. So while paying attention to individual details, don't forget to step back now and then to examine the whole situation. Sometimes the whole really is more than the sum of its parts.


75% of Americans Believe in the Paranormal

Here's an interesting article which states that 3 out of 4 Americans hold at least one paranormal belief.

You know what this means, don't you? It's time to start working on convincing that last 25%. :-)


Different people need different things from a reader.

Over the past few days, I've had some reminders that people seek out a reading for different reasons.

Some people just want to know what's going to happen In The Future. Others want insight into what's going on. Some want a shoulder to cry on, and some want a messenger to kill.

When someone needs a shoulder, I hear them out and pull cards as they talk. Hopefully, the cards that come up will help the person handle the situation that they need to vent about.

As for the people who seem to be bent on killing the messenger, I don't take it personally. I realize that whatever's got their fuse so short is making them so worked up that they are taking it out on the nearest possible person. I know I didn't make their fuse short or light the fuse. All I can do is stay civil and let them blow off their steam.

I can't blame the people who just want to Know The Future. That's how a lot of people who are interested in Tarot and other readings start out.

Hopefully, though, if they become a regular patron of card readers, they'll grow into the people who are in search of insight. That's what the cards are best used for: getting some insight into what's going on, and deciding on what the best actions might be to get them where they want to go.


One o' Those Days, I guess

Tonight's readings didn't particularly get off to an auspicious start. I've had two calls so far and had trouble connecting with both callers. Both of them were pretty worked up before the call even started. So I'm not taking it personally.

Here's to having the rest of my callers not only be willing to call, but in a frame of mind where they'll take what the reading says to heart. I think I got two callers in a row where the person needed to vent at least as much as they wanted a reading. It happens, though this is the first time I've had it happen on consecutive calls.

I hope it doesn't KEEP happening, because calls like that are draining.


I had to laugh

This is a little bit off the topic, but not much. I've decided to hone the clairvoyant aspect of my readings. When we were kids, any experiments we did with remote viewing or clairvoyant preception was done in such a way that we were lying down or sitting quietly, and reported on or wrote down our impressions afterward.

Obviously, that won't work for phone readings, where I have to receive and report impressions "on the fly". Hence, here I sit with a music channel on the TV and I decided to get some impressions about the song what was coming up next.

The only detail that I picked up was that the song after the one currently playing would have a female lead singer.

Was I right? No and yes. The artists were JAN and Dean. I got a female-like name, even if the singers themselves are guys. Clearly, I need to keep practicing, but it's nice to know my arrow at least hit SOMEwhere on the bulls-eye target. That certainly beats missing the target entirely.


When is a "general" reading NOT a general reading?

When is a "general" reading NOT a general reading? When a person actually has a question, but they want to see if the answer shows up in the cards on its own, without prompting.

I have had more versions of the following conversation than I can count. If you are new to reading for other people, give this exchange a good look and expect to see versions of it come up if you read for strangers on a regular basis.

Caller: I'd like a reading about relationships. I want to know what's in store for me.
Me: Do you want a general reading, or do you have a specific question in mind?
Caller: A general reading.

Note: I've learned to ask that question, because when people are paying by the minute, I don't want to waste time reading generally if they have a specific answer they are looking for. But, as I have learned, some people who want something specific still don't volunteer that fact when I offer them the opportunity.

Me: [pulls cards and starts interpreting]

Conspicuous by its absence, normally, is any hint of the person the caller actually wants to hear about. And when it's a "general relationship reading" for a person who actually wants something specific, you can bet that they have a person on their mind. Why is the secretly-targeted person not showing up? Unfortunately, the person they want to hear about frequently does NOT have my caller in mind. In such cases, he or she does not make an appearance in this "general" reading.

Also in such cases, cards indicating that my caller will be meeting someone new and beginning a new relationship, or news that they will be standing on their own or independent for a while (my positive spin on the concept of being not-in-a-relationship) will go unheard. Sadly, in this kind of call, no matter how good the news is, it often goes unheard. I could see cards telling me the caller is going to hit the Powerball jackpot and retire a zillionaire, and odds are they'll gloss right over it because it wasn't what they were hoping to hear.

Anyway, I give my interpretation of the general cards sitting in front of me. If it's a caller who's secretly harboring a specific question, 99.999% of the time, they're not getting their answer. 99.999% of the time, in my experience, that's because they have a person in their heart who has Moved On.

If this is the case, the caller usually provides followup questions that divulge what they REALLY wanted from the reading. "What do you see about a man named Wilbur? We broke up [timespan in weeks or months] ago. Does he still think of me? Does he love me? Will he come back to me?"

And NOW you can actually get down to business. But be prepared to find diplomatic ways to express yourself if the cards indicate that the answer to any or all of those questions is "No". Frequently, Wilbur's mind is on himself or someone else, rather than on my caller. Often, Wilbur's version of "love" involves a vastly different definition of the word than my caller has [which was probably a contributing factor in WHY he and my caller broke up X weeks or months ago]. And in those cases, the odds that Wilbur is coming back at all, or for any reason than his own gratification, are slim to none.

And this is one of the harder parts of doing readings for people. I so want to have good news for everybody. But sometimes I see cards that I know full well are saying the exact opposite of what my caller wants to hear, on a topic that's very near and dear to the caller's heart.

So I channel my inner Queen of Swords at that point, by offering an honest take on what's in front of me, with a reminder of some of the positives that most likely came up when we were still in the "this is a general reading" phase of the call. For example, "When you meet the new person that the first group of cards spoke of, you will find it easier to put Wilbur in the past and focus on the person who's in your present."

One of these weeks, I am going to COUNT the number of "general" readings I do that get converted into a specific question. Because I can guarantee that there will be multiple such calls in any given week. Sometimes there are multiple calls like this in a given DAY. Be prepared for this to crop up, if you are embarking on the path of reading for total strangers, because it WILL happen.


I finally figured out how to verbalize it!

Hooray! I finally found the words to express the nameless feeling I get when I talk to a caller who sounds like they intend to use a card reading as the basis for a relationship decision.

There were some cards that outlined some problems that existed in said relationship. What I told the caller before I reviewed them was, "I don't want you to make final decisions based on cards. I want you to use the cards to open a dialogue with [your significant other], and based on THAT, make your decision."

I wish I'd had time to say the same thing to another caller with whom I just spoke. This person had less than 3 pre-purchased minutes remaining when the call came through. The question was an odd one: "Which of three men is most likely to marry me?" I pulled cards for each man, and barely got into discussing the first card when time ran out.

I hate when that happens, especially when I can see some difficulties exist. When cards like that come up, I use it as an opportunity to tell the caller to talk to the person they're in the relationship with about the situation. I didn't even come close to having the opportunity to do that this time around.

Oh, well. Maybe the Universe wanted her not to make her decision based solely on a card reading, so she made the call when she was about to run out of prepaid minutes. I hope she'll make her decision based on the relative merits of her three suitors. Cards provide insight, but that doesn't mean that we should use them in place of common sense and conventional wisdom. They're supposed to augment those assets, not supplant them.


My gosh, it's been a slow night!

Wow, it's been a slow night. I think I'll log on for some extra time at the end of tonight's session. The later it gets, the fewer other readers are online and the greater the odds are that I'll get a call.

In the meantime, I have a few observations. Tonight was the first time that I had a request for a general reading for this year. It took me until halfway into my fourth week as a reader before I got a call from someone who didn't have a more specific question on their mind.

I also have had ONE call that went against the pattern I've seen, of people asking only about troubled relationships. The people whose relationships are in difficulty are still the majority, by far. But it was nice to get a question about a healthy, thriving relationship. I hope I get a bunch more of those. :-)


The Universe Straightened It Out

Every time I get a call from the reading service I work for, there's an automated voice that tells me how long the call lasted. I wish I'd jotted down the times during the first three weeks I worked, but I'm making up for it now. Starting this past Monday, I have begun recording call lengths.

Thanks to this, I have noticed a definite difference in how long my calls are compared to how long I wait for the next incoming call. Short calls translate into a longer wait until the next call comes in. Longer calls mean I'll get my next call sooner. I'm not sure what the algorithm is, but evidently it skews calls in favor of the people who generate more income for the service. That's understandable to me, as the service is in the business of earning money.

Fortunately, I seem to have gotten myself into enough of a rhythm that I'm giving longer and more in-depth readings to callers, *without* feeling like I'm gabbing just to use up time, and my calls seem to last long enough that it's earning me more calls. My callers get a solid reading and I get more callers = win/win.

HOWEVER, last night I had a bit of a monkey wrench thrown into my flow of calls. Someone called with a wonky cell phone connection.

"I'd like to [garbled] a reading on [garbled] with my boyfriend."

"I beg your pardon?"

[static] :click:

The call lasted only 27 seconds. And I waited an eon between that and my next call.

Fortunately, the Universe apparently agreed with me that my stats shouldn't get trounced by the Technology Gremlins. I got a call right before my login time was over, and it was someone who had multiple questions she wanted readings for. So if the glitched call skewed my stats downward, this last, long call probably brought them back up to where they belong. Thanks, Universe! :-)


Today's Daily Draw

Ace of Swords, Four of Cups, Wheel of Fortune

Today's question was, "What do I need to know most, right now?" Swords correspond to thought, a topic also reflected by the contemplation in the 4 of Cups.

In this case, the combined pictures are telling me that if I think things out carefully before taking action, it will point me toward the top of the Wheel in the Wheel of Fortune, and to all the benefits that come with the upright Wheel of Fortune card.

It's also my reminder to use ALL of my mental abilities in conjunction with my analysis of the cards, both for myself and for the callers I speak to. If I use only some of my skill, I do a disservice to the callers and to myself. I need to think and analyze the cards in front of me before speaking, even though the temptation is to start speaking as soon as possible, because I know that time is money and I want the callers to get their money's worth.

I'm still acclimating to this new reading job, as it's only my fourth week. But even so, I can feel more aspects of "how to do the job well" falling into place as I gain more experience. Honing my analytical skills is something I've made a conscious effort to do, and according to this reading, it's something I need to continue doing.

Note to Self: Remind Sitters to be PROACTIVE

One of my callers tonight was hoping to hear back from a person whom she'd had a pleasant, though somewhat long-distance, relationship with in the last several months. Offline concerns, justifiable ones, had diverted his attention and she hadn't heard from him in a while. On reviewing the cards, one of my bits of feedback to her was that she might consider sending a light-hearted "Hi, how are you?" note to test the waters and re-initiate contact.

That was when she mentioned that she'd spoken to some other readers, all of whom told her that she would hear from him by Valentine's Day. Tonight's reading was the first one that offered a suggestion that would help MAKE that happen. I explained that I approach Tarot not as a predictor of things that we have no control over, the way the weather report tells us about things that will happen which we have no way of influencing. (Though even then, we do have control over how we respond to those things, such as carrying an umbrella when the forecast calls for rain.) Rather, Tarot tells us what direction we're facing, like a compass. Then, it's up to us to decide whether we want to move in that direction or go a different way.

But there are moments in calls that help ME learn just as much as anything that helps the callers. In this case, I had a "Note to Self" moment: instead of just saying that something looks likely to happen, always provide steps the person can take to help bring their goal about.

The way things stand now, if she re-initiates contact, she immediately skews the odds heavily in favor of hearing back from him, and at that point, ALL the readers' predictions become true. :-)

This lesson served me well in the very next call, where I got a question from someone who wanted to know where her beau stood on commitment. Cards that came up indicated some hesitation on his part, but I didn't want to just let the cards speak for him and have the caller leave it at that. I also reminded the caller that it would be beneficial to open a dialogue with him on the matter, and let him speak for himself. That is the best way for her to be fair both to him and to herself.


LOL! OK, here's something that never happened to old-time readers!

LOL! Here's a reading situation that I left me feeling highly amused. I did a phone reading tonight for someone who was asking about her relationship. There's nothing unusual about that. But I happened to get a few auspicious cards for the caller, including The Lovers. Just after I finished explaining what The Lovers means, the caller burst out laughing. Seems that her beau chose that very moment to send her a very suggestive text message. Um, yeah, I'm thinking that The Lovers card was right on target in this case. :-)

The Tarot readers from generations ago never had their sitters get text messages from their Significant Others in the middle of a relationship reading. Today's readers have to handle situations that were undreamed of by our forbears. ;-)


Patterns Shared By Different Cards

I mentioned several posts ago that there are some design elements in the Gilded Tarot that are shared between different cards. Last night, as I waited between readings, I examined the cards for one particular pattern. It's found in these places:

The gown of the Queen of Cups
The pillar behind the Queen of Cups
The screen behind the Page of Swords
The screen behind the man in the Seven of Wands
The screen behind the man in the Seven of Swords

There is one other pattern, one which is found in the gilded flowers on the back of the card deck. That pattern is repeated on the arch behind the Page of Cups, and on the screen behind the man in the Four of Pentacles.

There is a sunburst pattern that occurs on the back of the deck. It also appears on all the Pentacles, except the shield of the Knight of Pentacles, and it is in these cards as well:

The Chariot
The Hanging Man
The Sun
Three of Swords
The Knight of Swords's shield
The sides and lid of the box in the Ten of Pentacles

I have a couple other design elements that I've only just started looking at, so I won't post on those yet.

Didn't I Just Get This Card?

I had an amusing experience last night, during the wait between readings.

It was the start of my third week as a phone reader, and I did one reading where I felt like I'd JUST gotten all three of the preliminary cards that I drew. The followup cards I pulled also seemed like they were cards I'd seen recently.

So I thought, "I pull cards, via intuition, out of the deck. How is it that I get the same cards repeatedly?"

So I did an experiment. I looked at each card in turn, to see which ones felt like recent draws and which ones I don't feel like I've recently seen.

It turns out that there were a grand total of TWO cards that didn't give me a "Gee, I pulled this recently" sensation. That's the result of doing readings four days per week: You actually DO see all the cards "recently" if you do enough readings in a brief time span.

Oh, and my deck has a sense of humor. One of those two "haven't seen them recently" cards, Death, came up as the first card in my very next reading. :-) I presume Judgement, the other one, won't take long before IT shows up in a reading, as well.


Insight On Reading Requests

I've discovered something interesting during the past two weeks. The only people who have asked for readings regarding existing relationships are having difficulties of some kind with said relationship. Every. Single. Time.

Now, some of those people are well aware that trouble is brewing, and they are lookng for insight on how to handle the situation. But I've also discovered, the hard way, that if the person is in denial about the relationship's problems, the cards that reflect the issues they are facing will be about as welcome as having a bucket of cold water poured over their head. That's when the reader will need to have their flameproof suit on, because even a diplomatic mention of the problems could result in a flare of temper on the part of the caller.

But I have yet to see anyone who is happy and confident about any situation, not only a relationship, who asks for a reading about that situation. So I actually believe that the people who are in denial DO realize that things are amiss, even if they understand it subconsciously rather than consciously.

It's a help to ME to comprehend this pattern in my callers' questions, as it will help me manage the situations with clearer insight. I always use as much tact and consideration as I can, when I'm talking to people, because I know that the topics they ask for readings about are things that are close to their heart. But my recognizing this facet of human nature will help me do an even better job of handling my part of these conversations. And anything that enables me to leave a caller feeling more empowered at the end of the call than they felt while they were dialing is a boon.

Note to self...

Note to self...

Some people who call these phone-in services are placing the call because they're unhappy. And apparently, some of THOSE people will take it out on the reader when the reader's not forthcoming with the answers they've pre-determined that they want to hear.

So yeah, I'm a bit miffed at the moment for having been rudely treated. But I'm not going to hold onto it. And compared to what's weighing on Caller X's shoulders, one rude caller is minor. My annoyance will fade and go away. X's issues don't appear to be things that will be fading any time soon. Maybe if I was in X's shoes, my fuse would be short, too.

Breaking confidentiality is unthinkable, not to mention against my code of ethics, so I'll just say this: I wish I could send Caller X the previous post on this blog, the one that hammers home the YOU DESERVE HONESTY, SO ACCEPT NOTHING LESS proclamation. Because unfortunately, that's the crux of the matter, and it's a situation that only Caller X can resolve.


A Common Theme in Relationship Readings

I've noticed a common theme, when people call me with questions regarding a relationship that already exists. Almost universally, they are concerned that their significant other is not being honest with them. They are questioning whether the other person's feelings are genuine, whether the other person is cheating on them, and so on.

Without fail, I find a card in the reading that will lead me to tell the caller, "You deserve honesty."

So, anyone here who's interested in receiving a Tarot reading about a relationship, please do this for me. Go and look in a mirror. See that person in the reflection? That person deserves honesty from anyone they're in a relationship with.

YOU. DESERVE. HONESTY. Period. End of sentence.

Give your complete honesty to other people, because they also deserve honesty, and require -- yes, REQUIRE -- honesty from other people in return. Anything less is unacceptable. Anyone who can't or won't be honest with you doesn't deserve to be in your life.


Mini-Reading for Me

I just logged in to the service for which I do Tarot readings by phone. I asked, "What do I need to know about the next reading I'll do?", cut the deck, and looked at the card in the front.

Nine of Swords. "Don't worry endlessly about what's coming up."

Short, sweet, and to the point. :-) Mini-readings rule.

Today's Daily Reading

Today's daily reading is a three-card draw, done with the Transparent Tarot. My theme was "What do I, as a Reader, need to know today?", because tonight, I will be working as a telephone reader.

The first thing that made me sit up and take notice was that all three of the cards are Major Arcana. I got The Chariot (the two horses' heads), Strength (the lion with a woman's hand under its chin), and The Hermit (the mountain range with a bright light at the highest peak).

At first, I saw the Hermit and wondered about who I'd be turning to for advice on reading. Then it dawned on me... when I'm a Reader, *I* am The Hermit, the mentor or advice-giver, that the callers are turning to. THAT reminded me that it's a big responsibility to take on, and to take the responsibility seriously. Which I do anyway, but this card still brings that responsibility right to the front and center of my focus.

So, how can I be a better Hermit, mentor, guide, and Reader? By keeping a firm hand on the reins of the Chariot, and using the inner *spiritual* Strength that these cards are reminding me that I have. While for the callers, The Hermit might be me, for ME as a Reader, The Hermit is the goal to be reached. I'll have to drive my Chariot up to that highest peak shown in the card. Today, what I'll need to get me there is control over the opposing forces the Chariot represents, and the inner, spiritual Strength that closes the mouth of the lion (which is the symbol for physical desires, carnal impulses, etc.)

Heck. I hope I don't end up having to take that "spiritual vs. physical" literally. I'm feeling a little sick at the moment, and I hope that tonight's session doesn't turn into a battle of me trying to Read despite the distractions of physical discomfort. I'll have to take care of myself today, and we'll see how things pan out for tonight's reading session.


Mental Exercises Between Readings

While I wait for calls to come in, I try to keep my mind from wandering too far off track. One of the things I've been doing is studying the artwork on the Gilded Tarot, looking for patterns. And it doesn't take long to find them. I like the way Ciro Marchetti, the artist, utilizes elements of design that are consistent between different cards, which helps to illustrate the connection between all the cards in the deck.

For example:

- The top of pedestal depicted in The World is just like the design of the sword hilts in all the Swords cards.
- The ornate design on the bowl of the Cups chalices is repeated in the gazebo above the head of the woman in the 9 of Pentacles.
- The leafy-vine design that adorns all the Wands also can be found on the stems of all the Cups, around the edges of the Pentacles, and on the scabbard in the Ace of Swords.
- The jeweled sunburst on the back of the deck can be found in the center of the Pentacles. Except, that is, for the one borne by the Knight of Pentacles, which has a plain center. But by contrast, the Pentacle borne by the Queen of Pentacles is ONLY comprised of an enlarged version of the bejeweled center of the other cards' Pentacles.
- There are design elements in common between the jeweled sunburst on the Pentacles/back of the deck and the pendant that The Empress is wearing.

I've found some other items, too, but there's plenty of time to list them in a later post. :-)

Other things I do, between readings, is take some advice from the cards in the form of one-card answers. I ask the deck, "What do I need to know for my next reading?", then pick up part of the deck and read whatever card is in the front. Answers have included "Queen of Pentacles", which was my first significator, so I took that to mean "Be yourself! Let your personality shine through!" Or I've had "The Magician", my reminder that I have everything I need inside to read for an answer the caller's question. Gee, now I wish I'd jotted a few more of these mini-readings down. Note to self: post some of these one-card answers as they come up. :-) It's a nice little mental exercise, and I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't sure what to ask when they do a reading for themselves. "What do I need to know most, right now?" is never a bad thing to ask.


Day Off: working with the Transparent Tarot

I have decided that I will use non-phone days to work with the Transparent Tarot. I started that process this afternoon by doing a reading for myself.

I chose three cards randomly from the deck and overlaid them on one another. The combined picture included Judgement, Queen of Swords, and Ace of Pentacles. The topic is "What do I, as a reader, need to know?" I'm looking to make my learning curve as easy as possible, so what better way to gain insight about reading than to ask the cards themselves?

Judgement overlaid on the Queen of Swords, for this longtime fan of the X-Men comics, reminded me of the images of Jean Grey as Phoenix, where the Phoenix-shaped energy aura surrounded her body. Judgement, which has the image of a phoenix, surrounds the Queen in a similar way. Instinctively, I read this as advice to let ALL my abilities shine through and use them all in readings -- this includes not only reading knowledge, but psychic ability and the Queen of Swords's wisdom and discernment. God didn't give us our abilities to let them lie fallow; they're meant to be USED, and used in combination, not just one at a time.

Over both of those images, reminding me of a big stamp on a document, is a large Ace of Pentacles image. The first meanings that sprang to mind for me are to bear in mind that I'm just beginning at this. I shouldn't beat myself up over newbie mistakes, but learn from them.

Speaking of which, one of my learning moments came last night, when a person asked a relationship question and wasn't satisfied with the results I gave. Odds favored her getting together with the individual in question. Heck she got THE LOVERS and THE WORLD as two of the cards. If there are more auspicious cards for a person to get, I don't know what they are. But because I don't phrase myself in concrete, absolute statements, like "Yes you should" or "No you won't", she kept asking the same thing repeatedly and just was not satisfied with my answers.

So the question for ME to answer, for my future readings, is this: "How can I give MY answers, which never have and never will treat the future as though it's carved in stone, to a person who wants a concrete answer?"

I think I'll put that question to the Aeclectic Tarot forums. Surely there are readers there who have had similar experiences.

Night Three is the quietest one so far

I'm on duty until 1 AM, but boy has it been quiet. The first hour of my online session had several calls, and then everything quieted down. I even went to the website and clicked to have an online chat with a support person, to make sure that there wasn't an outage. (I didn't want to call tech support by phone, lest a call come in while I was on the other line.)

I'm still keeping to my "drink water after calls" rule.
---- (pause writing as I take a call) ----
Ha, no sooner do I write about not getting calls, then the phone rings. I should have written about wanting calls sooner. :-)

Unlike all the other calls tonight, and ALL the calls from last night, this call wasn't about relationships. It was about career. And wouldn't you know it? This person has a very similar history and work experience to what I had, prior to being downsized in '01. So I got to talk Tarot *and* Geek Dialect to the caller. I hope he enjoyed the call as much as I did. :-) And the cards that came up all pointed to the fact that the caller is doing exactly the right things, career-wise, and those efforts are going to pay off. Gee, I like when I have good news from the cards to report.

Time for me to go drink some post-phone-call water now.


Day 2 as a Phone Reader

Wow. I think I must have set some sort of record. EVERY call I got tonight had to do with relationships. I shouldn't be too surprised, as love and finances are the Top Two Topics that people ask about. I saw that statement in the first book I ever read on Tarot reading, and in over 30 years, I haven't seen it disproved yet. Heck, even back when I was a beginner and reading for high school classmates, for a fundraiser our school was having, the questions generally centered around, "Does the boy I like, like me back?"

I've taken to pulling three cards at the start of a reading, and interpreting those in relation to the question, rather than using a set spread of any sort. Then as the caller asks additional questions, I pull more cards from the deck to read those. That's far easier, in the setting of phone readings, to make sure that the caller actually is interested in hearing what the cards have to say. And unlike face-to-face readings, where I've NEVER run into this attitude, I've done a couple of readings via online where I told the person I'd pulled cards for the past, present, and future, only to be told by the caller that they ONLY were interested in the future card(s). That was, shall we say, a stance that I didn't expect to encounter.

It was after the second time a caller told me that they weren't interested in cards related to the past or present that I adopted the non-spread, three-card draw that I now use to open all my calls. I figure that The Universe is sending these people the cards that get drawn for a reason, and if ditching the use of spreads is what I need to do to ensure that they pay attention to the message, then so be it. :-) It also saves me from wasting time making decisions on the fly, such as "Which spread should I use? Past-Present-Future? Challenge-Energy-Outcome? Mind-Body-Spirit?" Time is money, and these people are paying by the minute for these phone calls, so I'm not about to waste their time going "um, er... ah wait I need to cut the deck X number of times and lay out the cards..."

Pulling cards randomly out of the deck is a time-saver in one other way: I can do my shuffling and deck-cutting BETWEEN calls. Then I know the deck is suitably randomized for the next call that comes in, and I can confidently use intuition to pull my three cards (and any cards that I pull thereafter).

Oh, and I've adapted my reading style in one other way that I never expected to: I am omitting reversals and reading the cards upright. I never even knew, for the first 25 years that I read cards, that it was possible to "not do reversals", much less that I'd ever take that position myself. But then I discovered the Aeclectic Tarot online forums, and read about other people's reading preferences there. I never thought that going reversal-free would "work" for me, but that was before I embarked on phone readings. For those, I'm all about anything that will help me proceed directly to presenting the message itself, with as much clarity as I can provide, to the caller. Phone readings are a unique venue and they present a unique set of challenges, not all of which can be met by the same methods that would work in a face-fo-face context.

So as you can see, I'm still learning and adapting as I go along. Time will reveal what other things I learn and adapt so I can give the callers the best readings I can.

Oh, and P.S: WATER. I regretted not having any handy last night, to sip between readings. So I had a new exercise water-bottle to drink from tonight. Good thing that I kept it away from the cards, as it seems that the seam leaks. (Mumble grumble, time to hit a sporting-goods store and get a really good bottle.) However, regardless of this issue, I made absolutely certain to take at least a few sips of water after every call. That made a big difference in how well I felt at the end of my two-hour login session. Anyone who's planning to do multiple readings in a row, be it face-to-face or via the phone, DRINK WATER. Make a point of staying hydrated. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.


What did I learn from my first session as a phone reader?

Last night, I had my first session as a phone reader. I learned a few things that I expect will stand me in good stead.

1. My sessions are all slated to last two hours. That's PLENTY of time. I don't think I'll plan to schedule any sessions that last longer than that any time soon.

2. I was pleasantly surprised at how busy the phone was. I would venture to say that I was on the phone more than I was off it for those two hours. The workload was rather like that of doing a party face-to-face. Which brings me to the very important Point Number Three...

3. I need to treat this EXACTLY like an in-person Tarot Reading Party and have water on hand at all times. Boy, did I ever get dehydrated by the 90-minute mark of the two-hour session! That's one mistake I most assuredly won't be repeating. Tonight, I'm getting a water bottle set up that I can drink from between readings.

4. Not everyone needs the same thing from readings. I encountered at least two who seemed to need to vent more than they needed the actual reading. I managed to get a few words in edgewise and tell them about some cards I'd drawn for them, but it was a new experience for me to be talked over WHILE I was giving the reading.

5. Some people are easy to connect to. Some aren't. Period. I had one individual whose entire demeanor was closed-off from the word go, who ended the call before I had finished discussing the three cards I'd drawn. Well, that's up to them. I can't take it personally because I genuinely think the thing that was troubling this individual had zero to do with me and everything to do with the topic they wanted read. Too bad they missed out on that last card, though, as maybe it would have helped shed some additional light on the topic. On the other hand, they seemed so closed-off, I felt like I was talking to a tortoise that had pulled into its shell and shut all the openings... like I KNOW there was someone in there, but it was like talking to someone that you know is on the other side of a closed door. If someone's in that frame of mind, it's anyone's guess how receptive they would have been to what ANY of the cards had to say.

I think I will add to the pre-session prayer a request that the people whose calls I receive will be open to what the readings have to offer. I feel sad for anyone who's become so adept at keeping the world at bay that they might stave off positive things that could help them feel better about their situation or themselves.

And, of course, what does it say about ME that the person who I wrote (vented) most about here was the only one that I felt I couldn't reach? I'm not alone in this tendency to pull a 5 of Cups, and focus on the spilled ups in front of me, forgetting the perfectly upright, full cups standing behind me. That's a trait that I share with a lot of people. But it's important for me not to beat myself up over calls like that. They're bound to happen occasionally. But far more of the calls came from people who were interested in taking something good from the reading. THAT'S what I need to remember, far more than the fact that not everyone's easy to connect with.

On to Round Two tonight! Wish me well. :)


The Process Continues

I have read, filled out, and mailed back the contract to the company that would like me to be a reader for them.

I can't mention them on my blog, as I solicit customers on this site. I am not permitted to directly solicit customers for myself on the same website where I declare my affiliation with their site. They're within their rights to expect their readers not to siphon off potential customers to their service by advertising ourselves to said potential customers directly. So I will abide by their wishes and not post about them by name on this blog. But suffice it to say that I find them to be very discerning indeed in their evaluation of readers. :-)

It goes without saying that the contents of the readings I do for them are to be kept confidential.

However, I have no doubt that there will be times when, thanks to work I've done for them, that I learn a lesson that helps me grow as a reader and as a person. THOSE experiences, the "Aha!" moments, are part of the reason that this blog exists. I realize that one person's "Aha!" moment can be another person's, "Well of course! Everyone knows THAT, don't they?" But by sharing the learning experience, I'll be reinforcing the lesson for myself, and possibly helping someone else who needs to see that bit of information into the bargain. Win/win.

I'm extremely enthused at the thought of taking a job doing something I thoroughly enjoy, on my own schedule, from my own home. I look forward to receiving my login information and starting work in earnest.


Good news!

I have some good Tarot news to share. I am pleased to announce that I have interviewed with, and have been offered a contract by, a national psychic and tarot reading service. I'm looking forward to working as a reader for this service. I enjoy doing readings, and even more, I enjoy helping people use the information in the readings to shape their lives the way they want. So the opportunity to do so on a very regular basis, instead of primarily for friends and family, is something that's too good to pass up. I'm very enthused about taking one of my favorite avocations and pursuing it full-time. :-)


Here's a reading I did for myself :-)

I figured that it would make perfect sense to do a card reading about my own potential future with the online card-reading service that I would like to work for.

I asked what it would take to be successful as a reader for that service, and I drew three cards from the Transparent Tarot deck and overlaid them on one another.

I got the Magician, Justice, and the King of Wands.

I frequently get the Magician when asking questions of this nature, and it doesn't seem to matter which deck I use. Heck, it doesn't matter WHOSE deck it is, as my friend and fellow-reader drew the Magician from HIS deck when I asked something related to applying to work for this online service. The Magician is a Huge Reminder that I have all the resources I need to embark on this project. The King of Wands, meanwhile, tells me that it's time to manifest what's inside me and in my thoughts, and turn it into concrete action. (When the cards are overlaid, he and his Wand, sighifying action, are superimposed on the white Dragon that signifies subconscious, non-physical, thought, etc that is on the Magician card. Meanwhile, the Justice card, laid atop both of these, tells me that it'll be a balancing act to manage working as a card-reader. I knew that already. But I did tell my spouse, who's not over-fond of the idea of Tarot, that I've interviewed to read cards by phone, and he took it well. So as long as I don't give him a tin ear talking about the subject, I think all can work out well on that score.

Interestingly, the gold and silver scales are overlaid on what I would call their opposite counterparts on the Magician card. The Magician card in this deck shows a red and a white dragon intertwined: shades of the vision that proved Merlin to be a powerful Mage. Red can be interpreted as representing the physical, male, active, conscious, external aspects of a situation, while white can be interpreted as the spiritual, female, thought, subconscious, internal. aspects of the question. The scales of the Justice card are silver (female, subconscious, etc) and gold (male, conscious, etc). The way the card is drawn, the silver scale is superimposed on the red dragon, and the gold one is superimposed on the white dragon. It's a reminder to me that, like the yin/yang, everything contains aspects of both male and female, conscious and subconscious, physical and spiritual, action and thought, and so on. Like I said, this job will be a balancing act, and not just in the "work life vs. home life" aspect. The work itself will be a balancing act as I try to perceive accurate interpretations for each person related to the questions they ask. If I help THEM find the right balance between the the above counterparts, then I'll be doing the job correctly.


Score one for listening to the "Little Voice"! :-)

I was waiting for a phone interviewer to call me this afternoon. What I *thought* was the appointed time came and went, with over two hours to spare. Finally, something told me to email the individual who I was expecting to call me.

Turns out that she never received my original confirmation email with the date and time of the appointment. I chalk it up to an overzealous spam filter or just flat-out missing the note amongst heavy traffic in her inbox, as I know I sent the confirmation. Darn Computer Gremlins; they always show up at the most inopportune times.

But had I not listened to my instincts and emailed her again today, she would have thought I blew off the interview request, and I would have been left wondering why no one got back to me.

So I say, again, trust your "little voice". God gave us our gut instincts for a reason.

That interview is actually for a possible job reading Tarot by phone. I've now got a brand new shiny appointment time for tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck. :-)


Today's Featured Reading

Q. I love this man very much, but I feel as if he might be dishonest about wanting to be with me. Am I right to trust my gut feeling?

A. My ultra-short response is, "ALWAYS listen to your gut feeling." God gave us our instincts for a reason. I have lived to regret every time that I've blown off that little warning voice because it was telling me something I didn't want to hear.

I also drew a card. The 10 of Cups indicates fulfillment at home, with family, and in particular in the emotions. It's one of the cards in the deck I've nicknamed a "Happily Ever After card". So that's the good news.

However, that can never come to pass with someone who is dishonest with you. It can happen with someone who is as sincerely committed to making a relationship work as you are. So do listen closely to your gut instincts, and talk to some people whose input you value and respect, and who you can expect to be honest with you even if it's something you'd prefer not to hear. Then take whatever action you need, up to and including starting fresh with a different person in a relationship, to ensure that you are paving the way for the fulfillment and joy the Ten of Cups has to offer.

The lesson here? Listen, listen, listen to your instincts! Especially when it regards to people's honesty and trustworthiness.

Good luck and God Bless!


Today's Featured Reading

Q. What is coming up for me regarding relationships?

A. The card I drew is the Emperor. This card can represent the ultimate Patriarch (Father Figure), someone who is well-established in the world and is looked up to by all. He is represented, in the deck I am using, by the proverbial City on a Hill, that cannot be hidden and is very clearly Right There for the world to see in all its glory.

Be like the City on a Hill, and put your best foot forward at all times. Never be afraid to project your true nature to the world. THAT is how you will make yourself easier to find, for a person who is a good match for you.

If you take on the aspects of the Emperor, and allow Who You Truly Are to shine through, you will reap the benefits of the Emperor's success, reliability, and share in the respect he receives from all others.

Good luck and God bless!


Today's Featured Reading

Q. Will I ever find a job that is rewarding?

A. The Tarot card I drew is the Five of Swords. Swords correspond to the suit of Spades in modern card decks.

The 5 of Swords depicts a man standing on a battlefield; he's the only one left standing tall and he has collected all the swords that belonged to his enemies. He is holding his own sword up in victory.

You are far from alone in job frustration. Many people are going through job turmoil at the moment. In your case, I am seeing that if you persist, you will be standing tall on the battlefield in victory, too, when all is said and done.

However, standing in victory does require some preparation. The victor in the 5 of Swords image didn't just have his win handed to him. He TRAINED for it and EARNED it. That's something you might want to look into, as well, if you haven't done so already: training to work in a field that you will enjoy. If you already completed the training, or are going through the training now, then this card is acknowledging that you're on the right path. If not, then look into what it'll take to get the training that you need for the fulfilling career you want.

But the victor didn't merely get training in how to swordfight, in order to win. He actually had to fight the battle in order to win it. "Fighting the battle", in this case, is the legwork needed to land the job you're looking for: sending the resumes, seeking out people in the field you want to work in and getting to know them, looking into some kind of internship or apprenticeship if necessary to get your foot in the door. That's the how to navigate the "battlefield" that is today's job market.

So there you have it -- prepare yourself with education and with doing the legwork for the kind of job you REALLY want, and you will also be preparing for the day when you, too, stand victorious on the battlefield.

Here's an example of a reading that illustrates how the future is not engraved in stone. The person asking the question has the possibility of success, yes, but it won't just fall into their lap. First they have to do their part, and *then* they will realize their potential with success.

So even if your reading points to achieving your goals, it's not time to sit on your hands. It's time to do whatever it takes to reach those goals. THEN, and only then, will you see that part of your reading come to pass. So get to it. Get that reading and then go after whatever you want to accomplish most! :-)

Good luck and God bless!


Tarot Readings via Google Wave are now available!

I have just set up a Google Wave account. If you would like a reading via Google Wave, let me know. Click my email link in the sidebar on the right, change the "[at]" to "@", and contact me via email for details.

Fees are the same as the ones posted in the sidebar. We simply have a new way to deliver the reading to you.

Technology rules. :-)