I gave a good friend, a free bonus short reading. To thank her for her support and valuable feedback. She wanted to know about her love life. Here are the cards I drew:
Md left: The Lovers – past/leaving influences.
Md: Strength – The Querent herself.
Md Right: 7 of Wands – Near future actions & energies already in development.
Bottom card: 5 of Cups, reversed – her foundation, deeper values, where she comes from mentally.
Top card: The Star – the Outcome, overall direction, long term future.
I see a very confident woman who is very sexual and not afraid of going for what she wants and what works for her sexually/romantically (Strength). You are currently on an exploration, and adventure and expansion (The Lovers), and the only small shadow I see, is that Seven of Wands suggesting that sometimes, you find yourself wasting energy proving to others that you are strong and confident. It’s as if there people you meet, who want to undermine your sexual confidence. But this isn’t a tragedy. Some people challenge you, trying to find your weaker points. Men may find it hard to believe that you are truly independent, assertive and secure in your own sexuality. You come across as masculine and active in your approach and are not afraid to initiate things, but the kind of men you meet often feel threatened by this (Strength, represented by a fearless woman). These are people whose lives and expectations are very different from yours, probably more conventional and judgemental of your freedom and courage . They aren’t the type of men that would suit you for a long term relationship. They offer a world that you have already left. You will let them behind, because you are already leaving that world (5 of Cups reversed, representing energies at the bottom, ditching a lifestyle and values that no longer work for you).
You have arrived to your current state of confidence and awareness, through trial and error. A long path of abandoning past patterns and people, and working out what does not work for you. These days, you act fast: if somebody doesn’t feel right, you leave immediately without attachment (5 of Cups).
Your confidence in yourself as a sexual being is part of your sense of self-awareness, part of a continuum: your ideals, your outlook in life, your principles. For this reason, as you progress towards a more self-aware and authentic you , your relationships will be more satisfying and rewarding, more in tune with who you really are. You will stop feeling that you have to conceal the real you from the men you meet. Even in casual relationships, there will be a clarity about what they offer, and you are confident enough to enjoy what they bring, and discard what doesn’t work, without drama (The Star). I see you wasting very little time in explanations, recrimination, bitterness or embroils. You are a free spirit, but many men that you meet now, often don’t appreciate this and challenge your confidence (7 of Wands).
Beware of people around you, maybe other female so-called friends, but they could be male too, who want to compete with you or who will try to put potential lovers off you. They might try to persuade others that your independence and confidence are a bad thing. Obviously, it will only put off the wrong people! (7 of Wands)
The overall impression I get, is that you are sailing smoothly without drama, and will continue to do so for a while. No deep emotions, no wild expectations, but many rewards (The Star). When you finally build a well established identity that represents you and brings the kind of life and environment that you want, it will bring like minded, suitable people to you, including lovers. It looks like you are putting a lot of passion an energy in defining yourself and your world in your own terms (The Star).
This is why I love technology! I find email readings Incredibly intuitive, because you are there all by yourself, just your mind, your intuition, and your cards. Then I send my reading and cross my fingers that it will make sense. As well as the reading, I have included my Querent’s feedback at the bottom of the post.
Querent’s question: “So, what will bring me closer to letting go of what no longer works?”
Dear C, I did your reading in three stages, because I found it complex and intriguing. I got a distinctive impression of an individual with two very distinctive sides to herself: one, the professional, family, real life commitments person, who is experienced, practical and dependable; the other, an inner, soft, creative C that you left behind in your late teens or early twenties, in order to be operate successfully in the real world. I think that, for a time now, this younger self has been stirring again and wanting to come out, because it’s a fundamental source of strength and inspiration for your more public self. But you fear the disruptive effect that this could have in the life that you have built. You acknowledge privately, but keep it away from others. Fear not, listen to this younger, playful voice.
Overview impression: hard work is not longer enough, it may have lost direction somewhat. An inner stirring, a need for something softer, more creative and less practical, a more artistic voice? You may be feeling constrained by your professional commitments, where you must be very focused, rational, methodical, bureaucratic… This is exhausting you and you have been feeling overwhelmed for a while.
Unfortunately, people around you demand this side of you and you feel trapped in an identity that feels limiting. You are very good at it and many depend on you, but it’s at the expense of another, more free flowing, creative side that has always existed, but that you have put on the back burner for years. Oddly, this “other” you is very strong and gives you enormous drive from behind the stage of life. It nurtures and reaffirms you by giving you a less conventional, more creative way of doing things in your everyday life. It has helped you solve problems like a semi secret source of strength and inspiration. If only you could bring it more to the fore! It has a lot to do with other aspirations that you have, maybe fiction writing or some other form of creative practice. Actually, I think that this artistic side of you is well established and known, but you need to give it more time and space. It’s as if you nurture it secretly, but it would be better, and would bring you much confidence, joy and a more rounded sense of a fulfilled life, if you brought it more to the fore. There’s even a hint that it might be beneficial for your more “serious” side. You think that they both don’t blend together, but they do, more than you give it credit for. Bringing out this other interests is not a short term project, or something I’d advise you to jump to immediately. It needs time, to find its place in the complexity of your life and the people around you.
Like so many of us, you are longing to let go of many of your real life commitments, work, family, mostly work and professional connections, to do something more personal. To explore a side of you that you relate to very strongly and gives you great strength and confidence, but that for some reason, maybe purely practical, you have chosen to keep on a second plane. The word here is CHOSEN. You can also choose to give it more relevance, but you are unsure about the effect this could have in your life, if it could be too disruptive or upsetting. And o wonder. I see opposition or blocks from people around you, that don’t want you to make risks. People who are equals to you, but that you are in some sort of competition or battle of wills with. This is because they need you to be responsible and organised, for their own good and benefit. You can’t take a break without being made to feel guilty or irresponsible. I think that you may have issues with delegating and may have created a certain environment of people who are codependent. this has been going on for a very long time, and how do you change that now? You need to address this issue of codependency or of old habits that don’t work anymore. It may be family related or, work related, or maybe both, if you have a tendency to codependency. You can’t help being the indispensable one, but it may have become a prison. You want to evolve and be free from these commitments.
So in order to let go of what no longer works, I think that you need to identify the people and circumstances that have become codependent. Acknowledge that they can survive without you and that you can delegate on others. Also, to give up on what it’s taking too much mental energy and give yourself space. You may also been fearing a fall from grace from your status. Compromising what you ave worked long and hard for is no joke and you may have fears of “coming out” as an individual very different to the one people around you, colleagues and dependants, know. It’s hard to come out of the chrysalis, when you know there may be danger and threat awaiting. You would probably benefit from a period of time alone to reassess all this. Perhaps not being physically away, but away from your everyday commitments, some kind of sabbatical from work and family or both. You may have been considering this already. Allowing yourself for some time to indulge in more creative, less deadline-focused personal activities that you always put aside, could help you bring a sense of what and how to prioritise. Be more selfish and don’t fear the consequences. I think that you need more art and creativity in your life and pursuits. Practising something creative. You have wanted to do this, or maybe you already do it, but you need to give it more importance in your life. This tender, a bit dreamy other you (and I’m aware that I may be polarising is a bit too much), is an interesting mix of fresh amateurish and great potential to become a very rewarding force in you. It could, potentially, steer your pursuits into unchartered territories. This is both very appealing, but also daunting. You must let it out progressively, integrating into your more established life and interests.
You can’t, and shouldn’t change overnight. One of the problems of starting to express what may seem to others as anew side of you, is that you think that, you are going to antagonise others, who might feel abandoned or let down, and lose allies. The danger is in your own head: there may be a truth in there, but it’s not something that you can’t navigate successfully. You know when we fear doing something, but then we we finally do it, it’s not as bad as we feared. You may be over thinking things, even catastrophising. In a few words: the challenge I see at the moment, is of giving yourself a chance to explore your other needs and interests, without fear of letting others down or compromising your credibility. This need to actualise yourself won’t ease, in any case, it’s been there for a while, like a dull pain that we get used to. The only way to resolve it, is by gradually, slowly, giving yourself more time and space for less conventional or explored pursuits, on your own, away from other people’s approval. To integrate it into your life and current persona. You need only your own approval now, nobody else’s, because this is a major part of you that you have already defended or fought for. There will be more fighting for it, but it will make you feel more authentic and content, once you accept yourself.
I have just turned 50, a momentous age, apparently, and realised that I have been using tarot cards for 30 years. I bought my first deck, the Thoth Tarot, when I moved to London at the tender age of 20 and started buying books and learning the cards’ meanings straight away. I did temptative card spreads for skeptical, curious friends in squats; at druggie parties; in the restaurant where I was working as waitress and for my first live-in boyfriend, who was more scared of them, or maybe, of having a witchy girlfriend, than he let out. The cards’s imagery and metaphors, became closely woven into my journey into and then through, adulthood. They illustrated my life events.
That original Thoth Tarot deck that I bought at Mysteries in Covent Garden with my weekly waitress’ wages, is still with me, and it’s been with me, wherever I’ve lived. However, there have been periods when my involvement with the cards has ceased completely, only to bounce back reenergised and with new insights. It always happens. There were years when i’d forget about the cards, but their powerful images stayed with me, perhaps because I was young and my life was tough, but taking form, and they embedded themselves, with their meanings, into my own personal life narratives.
I have never deliberately put my cards aside, but there have been periods when I didn’t feel a need to use them, so they fell by the wayside because they didn’t fit with my mindset at the time. Normally for months, but I took them with me, wherever I moved to, from house to hose, from country to country. Even if I didn’t unwrapped the silk scarves, they were somewhere near me, in a drawer, in my student digs, in my first flat, even in my suitcase, on my first intercontinental trip.
I have never been a compulsive tarot user, I don’t use them daily, but there are times when they are more present in my life, and times when they aren’t. However, I think of them when events happen, of the three of cards and utter heartbreak and despair, of the Lovers and the need to go forth and multiply (in a symbolic sense)…
Only on one occasion, about 9 years ago, and due to a tragic life event, I felt that I had lost all connection with the cards and wanted nothing to do with them. I couldn’t even look at them and they were forgotten for a very long time.
My belief in the cards is perhaps not very standard. I am an atheist and I have no spiritual beliefs, no interest in the esoteric nor in any New Age stuff. I am not knocking other people’s interests, I respect them all, but I’m not into the esoteric and spiritual stuff that comes often attached to the Tarot. So when my life was turned upside down due to bereavement, I felt that the cards had no place in my life anymore. I felt that they clashed with my rational thinking and with my university education. I wanted nothing with that need to explore my intuition, although I do believe that we are intuitive beings, and that the cards are a vehicle to channel this intuition in our minds. However, i felt very conflicted, specially around issues concerning future predictions, and I never spoke about my studies of the Tarot with anyone.
It was only after years of mourning and healing, that I began to think of the cards again. When my life pulled itself together once again, the cards waved to me from their dusty corner. Very powerfully too.
It felt as if during this time in the dark, my understanding of the Tarot had grown richer and more complex, along with my own life experience. I had gained a new understanding of them, deeper, more mature, for sure, but also, aligned with my own values and beliefs. They didn’t clash with them anymore. I had been studying the cards from a young age, and their imagery has become part of my own symbolic understanding of the world. Its images and symbols are very old, that’s why we humans relate to them: they speak in a universal language. I understood that this language was part of me, and that it fitted in my life better than I suspected. How the tarot works, what you get out of it, is entirely subjective and adapted to your philosophy and your needs. The tarot is malleable, it doesn’t impose itself, you mould it into your own instrument. I have found how the cards work for me: for example, I don’t do future predictions, and I refer to my consultations as guidance or coaching. I also incorporate elements of feminist and queer theory thinking, which are part of my “other” work. I question it’s gendering and binary tendencies, it’s sense of class and hierarchy; but I think that these are ideologies imposed by those who write books. You start reading books about the tarot, to learn the basic, traditional meanings of each card. Slowly, you depart from them the more you use them, and off you go, into your own journey. New interpretations and meanings reveal themselves to you, customised for you, that often, only make sense to you and are in position with traditional interpretations. You do with the tarot whatever you like, and if you want to associate it with chakras or with angels, that’s your choice; but if you prefer to think that it’s a form of counselling, that’s perfectly fine too. The cards must speak our language, not the other way round.
I don’t know if or when my exploration of the Tarot might become dormant again, but I know that, as a tarot reader told me many years ago, when i was starting, that they will always call me back when I need them, and each time, I will come back to find richer, deeper meanings in them. We don’t stop processing the symbolism of the tarot when we stop looking at it, even if we put our cards in a box for years. Those dormant periods when the cards stop calling us, are an essential part of the path.
Been feeling very generous and inspired – my £10 email readings have consisted of at least two different card spreads and 1,400 words interpretation My Querent asked three distinct, important questions, so I gave her 3 card spreads to answer each one of them.
Buy a reading for yourself or a voucher for a loved one, before the end of december!
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Always remember that you, not the cards create your own future. The Tarot is merely a vehicle to show you a picture of your life at a given moment. You decide what to do with the information. Nothing is written in stone and there isn’t such a thing as “fate”. These are all thoughts that absolve us of responsibility and in my opinion, the Tarot is there to take responsibility for your actions, and to improve yourself and your life. If you choose to.
The cards have a habit of showing possible future outcomes, they show us how things may pan out, based on your past and present situation and life choices. After all, we can’t change our past, but we have a lot to say about our future. The Tarot represents life like a path, it comes from the past and develops into the future – but it does not predict it. You are in the path, knowing what you left behind, but incapable of knowing what lies ahead, until you arrive in it.
By showing you your past and present circumstances, the people around you and how you deal with them, a Tarot reading gives you choices to make better, informed decisions; to reflect on past actions and to reassess your habits, the many unconscious decisions that we make without even thinking; to understand why you do what you do and how to shape your own life, your own limitations permitting. I am aware that our lives are limited by family commitments; by our finances; by mental issues, by all the things that make us human.
I don’t believe in those who claim that we can achieve anything in life, if we put our mind to it: the real world affect all of us and it’s naive to think otherwise. We live within our circumstances, capabilities and limitations at any given moment. and this realisation can be overwhelming, but what I do believe, is that we can still do much more than we think and there are often people and untapped opportunities around us. A good Tarot reading might show you where help, support and choice is. It’s then up to you, to tap into it or not.
So a question along the lines of: “What’s going to happen to me in the future?” is not a great way to ask for advice. Such questions assume that the solution to your problems will come from the outside, without any input or effort on your part. They also assume, often, that you are solely responsible for your outcomes, and this may bring a sense of guilt, of not being good enough, deserving, etc. We all do all we can, within our limited circumstances.
A Tarot reading may help you choose better options and improve your own relationship with yourself and others.It’s so much more rewarding when you ask: “How can I make my future better? “ “What changes can I introduce?” What/who can help me? “Is there anything/anyone I can’t see, but who represent help or support?”
Another problematic question that I don’t deal with, is when a querent asks on behalf of other people (consensually or not). The Tarot tells you about you and of course, the people in your life that have an influence in it: they always crop up in a reading if you should know about. But you can’t ask for a reading to find out about others. Like: “Does Xyz love me?” – The answer will always be about your relationship with this person, not theirs with you. In this sense, seeing your own hopes and fears, your dynamic with other people may prove very useful when deciding how to engage with them in the future.
I hope this note doesn’t sound prescriptive, specially since I claim that the Tarot is not. So I hope that this guide to how to think of your questions and how to formulate them, is just a guideline to also, see your life as something evolving now, where your own agency and decisions are the thing that will really change or determine your future – not spooky oracles that claim to dictate your future – because the future isn’t written in stone, you are moulding it with the soft clay of your current and past actions!
Braved the icy London cold and went to Clapton, to read for a friend at the cosy Princess of Wales pub. This being London, nobody batted an eyelid at two women stooping over a table, doing a tarot reading. As it should be. meanwhile, in the next room, a large group were holding a wake in very happy terms. I thought it a very good omen: people celebrating death with a cheerful vibe. Nice.
HOW DO WE READ FOR THE UNCONVENTIONAL, THE ONES WHO RAN AWAY WITH THE CIRCUS?
How does a reader’s own preconceptions, often based on society’s expectations of family, marriage and home ownership, impact on a Tarot reading’s accuracy?
When I was in my early twenties, my older sister and I went to a Tarot reader who was famous for her uncanny future predictions. To this day, my sister still talks in wonder about that reading. I always shrug my shoulders and reply: “she got it completely wrong about me”. And this is something that’s happened to me several times.
Twenty odd years on, and a whole lifetime lived, I think I can see the issue: I think that some tarot readers have a mental blueprint of what people want to hear and of what most people’s lives are like. Chances are that you will end up in a relationship, move in together and having children. I’m not saying these tarot readers are lying, specially when I’ve seen their predictions becoming reality for others, but my theory is: that oftentimes, our own perception of what life is about, what querents want to hear about, or how the world works, is clouded by a propensity to choose the relationship escalator type of template, and describe other people’s lives along these lines.
My Tarot readers of readings past, were very accurate when dealing with people who follow the relationship/mortgage/family path. They described relationships, your future home, how many children you were likely to have: what most people do. But what about people who do not conform to this template? I’ve always wondered, because, well, I didn’t follow it. My life has followed a very different path, and no tarot reader in my past saw it. They did, however, describe the husband and children I’ve never wanted to have. Back then, I was aware that I was young, and that even if it didn’t really sound like me, I conceded that I could change my mind in a few years time. After all, more people get married and have a family than not.
These cartomancers of my youth, were following an age old, revered template that most people follow, often blindly and unquestioningly. Chances are that you won’t misfire if you stick to it. But what about the queer, the non-conformists, the disenfranchised, the rebellious and the misfits of this world? When I do a taro reading for a total stranger, now that I’m older and I don’t know if wiser, but certainly more pissed off, I’m daunted and excited at the prospect of jumping into the deep end, head first, into a stranger’s unsuspected life and dreams.
I feel, however, that some readers, specially those who do a lot of professional readings for a lot of different people, use stabilisers or inflatable armbands, to save themselves the embarrassment of misfiring. After all, you can always say to an unconvinced querent, no matter how old or how young: “you will change your mind when you meet the right person”. Being a cartomancer gives you, after all, a certain authority of infallibility. I know that from the way my own querents look at me: they want to believe.
I’m not calling these card readers charlatans so please, don’t rush to assume that they were that, or just crap tarot readers: as I mentioned earlier, they gave other people accurate visions of their future, often uncannily so. I was a witness of their talent – but only as long as their querents were fairly conventional in their life choices. Any straying from the norm went over their heads. What I think I’m trying to say, is that we are human. We have our own preconceived ideas and mental templates. Our prejudices. A tarot reading works when all this mind noise is put aside and we are channeling the message without any “filters” modifying the message we give our querents. Ultimately, it’s a life long learning thing, to conduct the unbiased information, intuitively, without leaving our human, rational mind get in the way. May we all master it one day.
I have been told on a handful of occasions, that my reading did not resonate with my querent. Some people are definitely hard to read, while others are like open books. But my musings are about something else: it’s about how conventions, assumptions, prejudices, get in the way of seeing and understanding a client’s individuality. If I go a bit further, it also makes me wonder, how do we condition others to follow the path of least resistance? We live in a society where people are expected to get in a relationship, move in together, have children. Even LGBTQ people do it, getting a huge sense of validation from following the norm.
How can we be useful to the ones who ran away with the circus? Because I did run away with the circus, in a big, big way. I was already pointing in that direction, even then. Yet no Tarot reader saw this coming. All they described, was the woman they thought I’d become: with the same goals and dreams as most women around me, in that time and place.
Actually, it was when I heard the very wonderful Becky Walsh, Intuitive Coach, telling me during a consultation: “you aren’t a relationship type of person”, that I thought I’d found somebody who could understand people like me. But maybe it’s because we are Londoners and we are so used to the weird and wonderful in every day life…
Another lovely testimonial from a happy Querent. Being useful and offering some guidance, or if nothing else, the tarot’s uncanny talent for pointing at our life’s blind spots, is what I aspire to when doing a reading.
Witch hunts exist is every era, every culture, wherever oppression and fear reign.