Blog, Readings

Tips on Picking the Right Tarot Reader

Impromptu reading for a friend.

Getting a tarot reading is a lot of fun. There are a lot of readers out there (including me) and we’re all ready to help you. Before you go in for your first reading, look over these tips to find the right reader for you.

Knowledge. First and foremost, you may want to do some homework and research some of the other readers in your area. Online search engines and social media are a great start to finding readers around the world. Your local New age, or pagan, bookstores may host in-store readers for you to choose from and display many brochures and business cards from other readers. Collect all the information you can find. Do they seem to share your beliefs of what the cards can do for you? How long have they been working with the cards? Are they new to reading or have they read the cards for quite a while? Many Tarotists post a page of testimonials from past clients. This is useful to gleam information about a reader’s style of reading and what help they’ve provided to people in the past. There are many types of readers with many types of styles. You may want to understand a reader’s background and techniques to make sure you’re finding a person who’s compatible with your style of learning.

Cost. The next thing you’ll want to find out is the range the reader offers for their readers. In Portland, Oregon these rates can be as low as $20 for a half hour, or $40 for an hour. Some readers also offer sliding scales or discounts.

Expectations. Tarot Readers help people just like your health care professionals. As such, there will always be certain expectations from both you and your reader. The best way to get the most out of your reading session is to tell your reader what you expect to know or learn. Be upfront and forthright in this. If they cannot meet your expectations, they may offer to refer you to someone else who is better suited to address your concerns. Likewise, your reader may expect certain information or behavior out of you during your session. For example, before I meet with my clients, I always try and get their birthdate information so that I can understand what energies are going on around them and can try and tailor responses to their goals better. I also expect my clients to be truthful, open, and willing to try new things and ideas. Setting expectations and knowing what you are getting into can relieve fear and can pave the way for a wonderful relationship with a Tarot reader and the cards from the very start.

Psychic ability. Not all Tarot readers are mind readers. While we can read the cards for you and for ourselves, we may not understand how the information will relate to your life unless you help provide the context. A Tarot reading is a two way street, which involves a dialog between you and your reader who are discussing the symbolism and meanings of the cards. When I read for others, I allow you to speak and we interpret the cards with your language. After all, this is your reading. It’s important to me as your guide to use your own symbols, language, and patterns with the cards. Be ready to help your reader by giving them as much information they need to help you out. I do not consider myself a psychic. The information I give from the cards are given from the years that I have studied with them, worked with them, and the input I received from my clients. Sometimes, I get statements or thoughts in my head that seem like they come from somewhere else, but I do not get them all the time, and it doesn’t mean that I am a true psychic.

Finally, there is one more question that you need to prepare yourself for. Are you really ready to hear what is said? From my experience, not all Tarot readings go “as planned.” Something as a simple “who is my love?” can turn into a deep dark discussion about an event that happened in your family while you were a child. When these sorts of things come up, you need to mentally prepare yourself for it. Sometimes the Tarot doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, it tells you what you need to know.

When all is said and done, you should leave a good reading experience feeling like you have the answers, hope and some control over the issue or concern that bought you to seeking advice from a Tarot reader in the first place. You might not always leave with the answers you were hoping for but you should be able to use the information from the reading to lay out a road map for you to reach you goals.

Blog, Outings, Readings, World Tarot Day

2011 World Tarot & Towel Day Tea Party Recap

I just got home from the 2nd Annual World Tarot & Towel Tea Party at my friend Ember’s. We had a lovely 4 hour party sipping tea, drooling over our new tarot decks and books, and co-reading spreads for one another. Read more to find out what we did and what I learned this afternoon!

I arrived just after 2:30 and before the pacNW storms could get any wetter. Ember had lovingly set up a spot in her living room for our activities, complete with a red parlor theme. The tea was already stepping and cups of honey and lemon sat ready to sweeten the deal. After greeting the kitties, I set about to ploofing out my gear and setup a small nook for me to call my own. I brought The Herbal Tarot, the Shadowscapes Tarot, and the Tarot of the Divine Legacy to play and share. We love to have a “show and tell” with our new decks and I got to experience the pretties that is the Wizards Tarot and the Mona Lisa Tarot while she looked over my offerings.

Once we stopped oohing and aaahing over the decks, we set down to “serious” play. We decided to use the handbook that comes with the Wizards tarot to base our day around. We spent time looking through the book until we settled on three spreads. Our first spread was the Strength’s Familiars Spread, which was a fun and unique look at “selecting” a familiar to use. Ember drew The Lovers Card, while later on, I drew the Chariot. Surprising (or not) our readings were rather spot on and we both agreed that we’d do further investigations with our familiars.

We scanned the book again, this time selecting two more spreads. Ember decided that Transfiguration’s (aka Death) Past Life Spread looked interesting; while I wanted to play with Alchemy’s (aka Temperance) Spread. I won’t write about the Past Life experience but it was rather insightful and I can’t wait to see what insights Ember receives when she meditates on the lessons and “anvils” the cards gave her.

I chose the Alchemy Spread because this year I plan on working with the “element” of Alchemy to focus my energies and transform and manifest myself and my magical practice into the image I have inside my head. I’ll be writing more about this process and the elemental working later. I used my Shadowscapes deck with the Alchemist’s Spread and was NOT disappointed. This three card spread helped me to understand what energies I have in carrying out “creative” projects from idea to draft to completion (or publication).

The first card I drew was the Two of Wands. I see this card as the brainstorm generator card. In the Sulphur spot, this card defines and shows exactly how I work to start new projects. I don’t think I could’ve picked a better card. The figure in the card is myself, sitting with my cat (one of my kitties loves to snuggle as I write) looking off into the swirling yellow and orange “creation mists” waiting for inspiration.

The second card I drew was The Chariot. Which was funny and fitting since I received it in Strength’s Familiar Spread. This “Mercury” position shows my ability to nurture and develop new projects as they bloom in the early stages. There’s no doubt about it, when my ideas fully form, I go go go with them until they’re done. I set my mind to it and do whatever it takes to finalize it.

The third, and final, card I drew was the 3 of Cups in the “Salt” position. This card displays the ways in which I take ideas and move it from start to finish, transforming the vision into a manifested product. The 3 of cups, at first glance, seems a bit odd here but for me it makes perfect sense. I rely a lot on my editors, friends and colleagues to help me solidify my ideas, generate missing bits, and hone my writing via editing to present it to the world. The power of community helps me publish my book and as I have an extensive network of professionals, I’m at no loss for publishing my work into the world.

All in all, I was impressed by this little reading and can’t wait to find a copy of the Wizards Tarot for my own study. We finished our spreads and then headed to dinner where we had a lovely steak dinner. As Ember works really early in the morning, I collected my gear, towel, and decks; scritched the kitties; and headed home.

World Tarot Day was a success this year. I had such a great (and long) day of participating: chatting with my mentor Wald, networking with my community on Twitter, winning a copy of Tarot for Manifestation by James Wells, and sharing tarot love with one of my closest friends. As we draw World Tarot Day 2011 to a close, I want to thank everyone who’s had a reading from me, or attended my class, or spoke with me about tarot. You all inspire me and help keep the fuel for my tarot obsession burning.

Blog, Readings, World Tarot Day

WTD Card of 2011: King of Cups

Me and the King of Cups from The Universal Waite deck and The Shadowscapes Tarot
Me and the King of Cups from The Universal Waite deck and The Shadowscapes Tarot

A few moments ago I pulled out my trusty Shadowscapes tarot and asked the cards: What is the spirit of Tarot for the next year? In return, I received the King of Cups.

King of Cups from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
King of Cups from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

As a Court Card, the King of Cups represents a very passionate thinker. He is old and wise and contains much knowledge. A slow thinker, he likes to choose his words carefully. He takes time to make sure things are phrased exactly as he wants it to be said.

As an answer to the question for this year, the King of Cups suggests that we combine both knowledge and heart (passion) together to form a solid and long lasting formation with Tarot. This year will be the year that, if you study hard, and really take the time to integrate the cards’ wisdom, that you go deep and learn to become the mirror that Tarot is.

And on a personal note, the King of Cups is one of the cards that is focused on in the current Lesson (number 6—almost halfway there!) that I’m working on for my Tarot School Correspondence Degree study.

What card did you draw today? How does that perspective reflect the upcoming year’s worth of Tarot spirit for you and the rest of the world? Have more insight into the King of Cups? Please post a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Blog, Readings

Earth Day, Tarot Style

Happy Earth Day everyone. In honor of Mama Gaia, I pulled my deck out and did a reading on how we could best honor our planet and heal her. I’m using my trusty Shadowscapes Deck, which blends nature and myth in dazzling play of symbolism and artistic beauty.

1. If you could tell us how you feel, what would you say?
The Hierophant— I am the teacher, rooted in the soil, the air, and the water. I tell stories to those who listen and provide a perch to the weary. Come to me and I will teach you about the world. I am older than anything and am feeling it in my bones.

2. What can we do to honor you?
The Sun— Enjoy my gifts and bounty. Revel in the warmth of the sun, the force that sustains us and brings us life. Dance on the soil that grounds you and keeps you connected to me. Celebrate me by treating me how you would want others to treat your self.

3. Which ways can we best help to heal the damage we’ve done?
Six of Pentacles— Bring back the balance. Use the talents of creativity and intellect to promote new growth to the parts that are dying. Take civilization to the next level by promoting a sense of interdependence and sharing of the wealth, rather than keeping it to yourself.

4. If we follow your advice, what is the likely outcome?
Queen of Pentacles— Ah, the Earth Mother card itself. The Queen of Pentacles is the living spirit of Earth. She gives voice to the things that have no voice. She is nurturing, loving and generous with her gifts. If we can bring balance back to the Earth, then we, too, can bind ourselves back down to the ground. Our eyes will awaken and we’ll really see the world we live in and the gifts of plants, trees, animals and live that we have been given. The Earth is home; and as such, we are bound by duty to care for it as we would treat the dwellings we make on her surface.

I find it both comforting and odd, that the only suits represented in this spread were the Major Arcana and the Pentacles, which connects to the element of Earth/ground and deals with “earthly matters”.

In addition to this spread, readers of my Tarot Tidbits eNewsletter received some crafty advice on how to repurpose damaged tarot decks. If you’re not on the list yet, read the issue in the archives. If you enjoyed what I said, please feel free to subscribe to it. Until next time, may the tarot provide you inspiration.

Blog, Partner Offers, Readings

Events Wanted

What can tarot do for you today?
What can tarot do for you today?

Yesterday I found out that Mantra, a place where I’ve been doing wine tasting readings for over a year now, closed. This saddens me because Mantra was such a great place to learn about wine; sit and sip local varieties; and meet new people.

They gave me a great opportunity to read for others at a great location. I enjoyed being able to give something back to the area that I called home.

With Mantra closed, I am now seeking new venues and opportunities to do tarot readings at places in Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon. If you have a bar, club, or gallery and would love to try something new… please give me a buzz. I’d love to show you what tarot and I can do for you.