The fabulous Left Hand Tarot blog had this tantalising ‘10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Must Answer‘ questionnaire and being that I sometimes like to do them, I had to put my hand up and give it a go.
1. Were you mentored, or were you self-taught? I was a bit of both. I went to an online school that was Pagan in nature and one of the classes offered was tarot. I’d always been fascinated by tarot so I decided to take the class and that began my foundation knowledge in tarot. I’d say for the most part, I am self taught – while the course gave me a beginning, my continued education came from my love of learning (book nerd over here). I wouldn’t knock back mentoring but I appreciate having to learn mostly by myself because it gave me the opportunity to understand the cards in my own way and develop my own style of reading that works for me. I think it is important to do a lot of the legwork on your own, it makes you discover your voice, your interpretations and your understanding of the cards as opposed to maybe just echoing someone else’s.
2. Are you a psychic or a Tarot reader? I’m not a psychic, I am a tarot reader, I read the cards by looking at the story laid out in front of me and form a narrative based on the information the cards provide me. ‘But Ms Three Cats, you said you were claircognizant in your About page’ I hear you say and yes, I am somewhat claircognizant but I don’t really ascribe that to being “psychic”, it’s just another facet of who I am, like my red hair or go-in-the-sun-and-fry pale skin. I don’t think you have to be psychic to be a tarot reader. There are those who think you do but I have discovered that you mostly need an analytical yet creative mind that can see signs, symbols or messages within the cards and be able to relay that into something that makes sense – no psychic ability needed.
3. Are your predictions accurate, and is accuracy important to you? Accuracy is very much important to me and it should be important to any reader who wants to be successful. However, at the same time, no one person can guarantee you 100% accuracy and if they do, they’re funning you. There are so many messages within the cards that it can be very easy to miss things, to misinterpret things (Death card anyone?) or simply just not see what is right in front of you. But I would hesitate to trust someone running about claiming 100% accuracy. That being said, there should always be a good level of accuracy within a reading, throwing out vague assumptions or pale interpretations doesn’t serve anyone so if you can’t at least make sense or see things most of the time in a reading, tarot might not be for you.
4. Is there anything you can’t predict in a reading? Being that I am not psychic, I wouldn’t claim that I could or could not predict things. I offer a window into situations, possible outcomes; I could share with you the consequences or rewards of taking particular actions in situations. If you’re looking for the name, age and occupation of Mr/Ms Right, I can’t tell you that but I could help with strategies in getting yourself out there and being available for your next lover/partner. Every action we take changes the future at any given time which makes the future fluid and malleable, so it is almost impossible to predict the future with any amount of certainty.
5. Do you use only Tarot, or are you multi-disciplinary? Tarot is my main tool; I do also read oracle cards and once upon a time dabbled in the art of tea leaf reading (side benefit of drinking lots of tea). My main preference is tarot and oracle cards, I use them relatively interchangeably depending on what kind of information or reading I’m after, but otherwise, no, not really multi-disciplinary.
6. Is the message in the cards, or in your head? That’s an interesting question, a bit of both I think. The message is in the cards but it almost goes through the mind in order to come out as something understandable. I think your mind has to be able to put together the message in the cards so to a degree, the message is in your mind; on the flipside of that, the cards are the tool that creates the message so the message is in the cards. I’m not sure if that answer is particularly clear, but ultimately I think the cards and the mind work together in a symbiotic relationship to bring out the message in a cohesive and relatable way.
7. Are you a priest or a fortune-teller? I’m not really one or the other to be honest; but in the spirit of the questions, if I had to choose then I would say Priest (of a kind I guess). Oftentimes you can become someone’s confidant, advice-giver, secret-sharer and guide so in that respect it could fit the “Priest” role. I’m certainly not a fortune teller since I don’t tell fortunes, and although I am a spiritual practitioner, I am not religious so it’s kind of hard to give this question a well rounded answer.
8. Are you a fixer or a looker? A little of both (I seem to be giving that answer a bit), I look to see the issues or problems or situations in a reading, an overview of sorts but I also offer practical solutions or options if such presents itself in the reading. But I would never take it upon myself to fix someone’s life. It’s not my place to, any growth a person experiences comes from making their own life choices and decisions and dealing with whatever comes from making those choices. I can’t do that for someone and I wouldn’t attempt to. Tarot can offer a road map, a way of navigating or showing the different roads that can lead you to where you want to go, but ultimately you’re the one who is going to be taking those steps.
9. Do you read for free, or for fee? I read for a fee most of the time. I will occasionally read for free (most often for family and friends), but it is not something I offer often simply because I have found that people will get to a point where they don’t value your time or efforts because you don’t have a price on it. People will also have a tendency to then always expect free readings. It sounds rather mercenary I am aware, but tarot is a skill, and like any skill, time and money goes into learning it, practicing it and honing it – there are hours of learning, the purchasing of books and decks, the blood, sweat, tears and frustration that goes into becoming a skilled reader. That effort, that time, that energy is worth something, I didn’t put all of that effort in to give it away. I’m sorry if that appears harsh, but ask any craftsperson (and yes, Tarot is as much as craft or trade as any other) and they will tell you the same thing. There are those who read for free and more power to them, good for them – I just don’t happen to be one of them.
10. Is there anything you won’t predict in a reading? That word – predict (see #4). It still implies psychic ability of which I have minimal to none. So no there is nothing I won’t “predict” because I don’t claim to be able to and never will claim to be able to. However there are things I won’t read for – death, divorce, pregnancy and health. These are topics that are very touchy and very sensitive and I won’t cover those topics in any reading no matter how much you ask. The above mentioned topics are best left to your health practitioner or whoever else looks after your emotional/mental/physical wellbeing.