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. :-)