I have a confession to make. I used to think that every last soul involved in any sort of divinatory art must be a charlatan, because [this space was usually left blank.] I never really finished the sentence, you see? And without trying to sound trite, isn’t that sort of at the heart of most of our ignorant (ignore-ant) prejudices (pre-judging)?
I am very happy to say that, now having been officially “out” of the tarot closet for about six months now, my mind is opening and expanding pretty exponentially.
I always considered myself quite open-minded. After all, don’t social workers see the sides of society that no one else wants to touch? Don’t we hear stories and voluntarily involve ourselves in situations that would provoke a whole host of unspeakable thoughts and judgements from the “average” Joe?
That’s the thing though, folks. If you’re a fish, you really don’t know that you’re swimming in water, now do you?
As I’ve become more involved in the vibrant and diverse community of tarot readers, cartomancers, tarotists, and the like, I’ve come to realize that having a truly open mind in this work means leaving space not only for the unexpected but also for what might seem at first glance even sort of anathema. When I first decided to announce to the world that, “Yes, I read tarot, and I happen to LIKE it!” I almost felt like it was something I was “confessing.” My first blog posts spent a lot of time almost rather defensively debating the finer points of how my tarot practice would strive to bring empowerment, challenge clients to take responsibility for co-creation with the Universe of their life’s path, and how I most certainly WOULD NOT be providing predictions. (In fact, if you click through to that former post, you’ll find a video that tackles this rather nicely. In that video, psychologist Prof. Chris French says that often times readers, among other things, “Make use of language in a very clever way.”)
As far as my own stated credos: lofty goals, no? And while I still do believe in these precepts, I have to say that I am now making a conscious effort to no longer stereotype those who don’t. In retrospect I see now that because of my own fears and hesitancies surrounding how I might be viewed by those who knew me as the professional corporate manager type, I felt like I had to disdain and distance myself from anything that could be even remotely seen as “shady,” as nebulous a label as that is.
Did you take the time out to watch my recent interview with the inspiring James Wells? In it, James also touches on this point, allowing space for each reader to perform a reading the way he or she best sees fit, and not automatically judging one style over another as valid or not, especially not without knowing anything about it.
That being said: when you read the title of this post, what was your first thought? Initial reactions can tell us a lot about our underlying beliefs regarding a certain topic.
Lately I’ve been blessed to be engulfed in a sort of magical cloud of mind-blowing revelations about this work, many of which are stemming from a delightfully unexpected twist that has me now studying with one of my professional idols in this field, Enrique Enriquez. (More on that in future posts!) Little could I have imagined back in February as a doe-eyed onlooker that I would have the opportunity to experience for myself the totally astonishing impact that his approach to tarot is having not only on the way I look at the cards, but beyond that, how I look at myself, the living of life, and the world around me.
Through this connection I’ve also discovered Camelia Elias, who opened up my mind by telling me about a technique I knew nothing about called cold reading in response to my post about Italian Cartomancy. That fortuitous exchange led me to Todd Landman, Lynne Kelly, and a whole host of other professionals whom I am looking forward to learning more about and from. Research in my various other surfing around the Internet has led me to The Magic Cafe Forum, Chris Deleo, Dave Moses. I want to learn about all of these people and hope to compile a nice list to post in the future, as I cultivate more of these online and hopefully some in person, relationships.
As an aside: if you’re wondering why there are so few women in this field, so am I! There’s even a call to midlife career changing women to go into the field! Whaaa? I plan to investigate this further, stay tuned.
I found a fun video of an America’s Got Talent audition called “Quick Change Artists” while I was doing some surfing for this post. The looks of astonishment and joy on the audience members and judge’s faces as the performers “do their thing” are priceless. Do you think that perhaps illusionists perform their magic to get those looks? I think it would be pretty gratifying and even joyful to be able to produce those expressions on fellow human beings’ faces. What a gift to give to people in a world that is simply not an easy place to be a lot of the time. And then, a twist: is it ironic that the video I’m speaking about is on the Archdiosese of Washington’s website? Faith comes in many forms.
Depending on your involvement with or interest in the tarot, occult, metaphysical practices, magic, etc., what has been your most eye-opening, “aha” moment so far? What kinds of paradigms have you had shattered through your experiences, and what prejudices did you realize that you initially brought to the table?