Having a spiritual business is different from having any other business. It's a business where everything isn't concrete, and where you will encounter skeptics everyday. The public is constantly looking at us with side-eyes and turned up noses. Hollywood shows spiritual people as spacey, delusional, scam artists, and/or druggies. So making your money from being an astrologer, a tarot card reader, medium, or a yogi does not make sense to most people. And it ain't easy. When you go to banks for loans, open up accounts, look for offices and encounter other professionals, you will get many people who discriminate against you. Don't let this deter you! I can say, if that is where your heart lies, it will make you happier than anything else. I am currently in the process of making my tarot business my full-time business and I've learned so much. Here is my story and hopefully you will see some of yourself in it.
"You want to be a nurse?"
I remember my mom saying this when I told her in high school I wanted to be a nurse. My whole life I had been heavily interested in crafting, reading, activism, story-telling, history, spirituality, philosophy, geography... but I chose to go to school and study nursing.
I wasn't one of those people who knew from the moment they came out of the womb what they wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in a cubicle all day. So at some point in high school, I decided nursing was a great route for me to go. My mom was a nurse so I was familiar with the profession and wanted to help people and make some type of difference in world, and this was the best thing I could think of.
So for the past 7 years I have worked in healthcare, and I assumed that this is what I would do for the rest of my life. Never asked any questions about it. Also being a child of immigrants, I also always had the the mindset that it is very important to "work hard and have security", which is something that nursing always gave me. The only thing that always made me a little sad was I never got to be creative at all.
That brings me to Tarot.
After a break-up with my first love, I started reading tarot. I had a few "spiritual breakdowns", but through it all Tarot and I have always come back to each other. After a push from a fellow reader to start reading publicly and then joining a mentoring program, I started my own tarot business. In the beginning I thought I would just do it to make some money on the side and pay off some loans. But once I started really getting into it, I found that this business started to change me and I started to realize this joy I felt from tarot could actually be my life. So here are some of the things that this business has done to me and that will probably change you:
You get to be yourself- I have had jobs where I get asked to take out my nose ring, cover my tattoos and "do something with that hair". I always despised doing it, not because I can't listen to others or follow rules, but because these things were just part of who I was and I wanted to express that. Owning your own business means you get to be yourself through and through and there is nothing better than that.
You get to do all kinds of stuff- I get to go to places I've never been before and meet so many awesome new people. I get to network and talk to people who have the same interests as me. I get to go to conventions and learn more about things I love and have fun doing it. Having your own business means you get to educate yourself when you want and are interested and not have to take boring classes where you feel like your falling asleep.
You become super organized- I have become obsessed with spreadsheets. OBSESSED. I have records and receipts and starting your own business means you must keep meticulous records. Because of this you will realize you start organizing everything in your life a bit better, which is never a bad thing.
You get so much better at managing your money- Remember with any business, you may not make a profit the first year. So you will get very good at managing a budget. You hate paying taxes, but you understand that the IRS are the original gangsters and ain't no one trying to mess with them. That's spills into the rest of your life: I started a retirement fund, started saving more and started cutting out unnecessary expenses.
I make my own rules- With my nursing job, I have to wake up at 6am. Don't get to work on time, you may get written up. You may not get a lunch break. You can't pee when you need to pee. It's up to my boss what days I get off. Having your own business means you get to wake up when you want, structure your own day and make your own schedule.
I'm not only motivated by a paycheck- At my nursing job, I'm just a body. If I'm not there, they can find any other nurse to do my job. The job can be very robotic at times and I like my patients, but I feel I'm there because I need to just make a paycheck. With my Tarot business, I am passionate about my readings and know that everyday will be a bit different. When I mess up, I get upset. Not because of a lack of confidence, but because running my own business makes me want to be the best that I can be. It makes me want to be a better person and a responsible business owner.
I no longer feel stuck- My only option in my career to advance is to go back to school and get a masters degree. I thought about doing that for a long time. But the longer I was in school, the more getting a masters degree just meant being in more debt and wasting my time studying things I wasn't particularly interested in. With the exception of becoming a manager (something I never wanted either) I had come to the conclusion that unless I took a pay cut, being a floor nurse was all I would ever do and the thought of that was a bit to much for me. Having my own business gives me options. Now I have a plan and hopefully within the 2 years I will be able to be a full-time Tarot Reader and a per-diem (as needed) nurse. Don't listen to the people who tell you "you can never earn a living that way" and do what you have to do to make your dreams come true. Now I know there is more than one way to make a living.
I've realized I'm much more capable than I once believed I was- If you had told me 6 years ago I would be starting my own business, let alone my own TAROT business, I would have looked at you crazy. I just always assumed I wasn't smart enough, organized enough, or responsible enough to handle that. One thing my mentor has said many a time is "Self-employment is a giant headgame". That it really is. Your are only going to be as successful as you allow yourself to be. This new found revelation has lead me to realize I can change a lot of things in my personal life as well as my professional. As a corny as it sounds, once you really start believing in yourself, you can accomplish so many amazing things that you never thought you could.
I stopped blaming my circumstances- I still work full-time as a nurse. I didn't quit my job yet but that's because I know the bills have to get paid. But the step I took was to stop complaining about how "it's not the right time" or "I don't think I can because of blah blah blah" and just jumped in. Let me let you in on a little secret... It's never going to be the right time. Ever. There is always going to be bills to pay and work to be done outside your business. Sometimes you've got to just work extra hard when you want something and you will figure it out along the way. Things will fall into place after that.
I'm truly proud of myself- I have never been more confident in my life. Starting my own business has been one of the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and it's happening and it's working. It's definitely no walk in the park and I am sometimes working 60+ hours a week! But I'm doing it, and that's the important part. You will be so proud to see what you have created once you venture out on your own.
Not everyone was born to be an entreprenuer, but if you find yourself working 40 hours a week at a job that doesn't feed your soul, it's time for a change. And while it definitely isn't easy, self-employment is never something I've heard anyone regret. If you have the idea and you know that this is something you want to do, go for it.
I have become a student practitioner of SRT! YAY! What is SRT you ask? Well the simplest way I can explain it is this:
Your soul lives hundreds upon thousands of lives, some here in this world and some in other dimensions and spiritual planes. You could even be living another life somewhere else right now, because in the Spirit world, there is not such thing as time and space. Through those lifetime and phases you pick up, well for lack of a better word, baggage. You may hurt people, have been hurt, been emotionally scarred in some way, made promises and those things will manifest themselves in this life and mess with you These issues you go through in other lives come to be recorded in your Akashic Records (your soul records, a record of all the things that have ever happened to you and things yet to come) and that is why they can still affect you now. SRT is here to help! Using a pendulum and a series of charts, SRT practitioners are able to locate those blocks and help to eliminate them from your Akashic Record. Now SRT is not a replacement for medical therapy or psychotherapy, rather it is a wonderful complimentary therapy which helps many people, and I know it has helped me. Want to book a session? Click here!
To learn more about SRT, click here.
To learn more about the Akashic Records, click here.
As a tarot reader, we come to view tarot as a faithful friend we can always go to for advice. And that you definitely should. But but sometimes things are going on in our lives and getting advice from that friend might not be helpful. Here are some of those times you might want to re-consider doing a reading...
So skimming my Facebook newsfeed a few weeks ago, I saw someone talking about the "Triumph of Life Tarot Project". Because I am a naturally curious person, I started to look into it. What I found was a thriving group of tarot artists and creators on Facebook.
This Triumph of Life Project is the brainchild of Andrew McGregor, owner and tarot card reader at The Hermit's Lamp in Toronto, Canada. The goal of this project is for 78 different artists to come together to make a tarot deck, and then donate to proceeds to charity. I got to interview Andrew and learn a little bit more about him and the project.
Me: How did you get the idea to come up with this project?
Andrew: About 2 1/2 years ago my Godmother passed away from cancer, and the next week there was a big shooting in the States at one of the schools and I was trying to deal with all that emotion and that grief, and thinking about how messed up the world is. Then I thought, You know what? Life needs us to help it. That's what life needs. The god things, the positive things, the blessings, whatever you want to call it, life needs our support. And I thought, you know what? Let's raise money to fight cancer and lets send a message that is hopefully inspirational to people in the world.
Me: Ok that's great! So how long have you been reading tarot?
Andrew: About 28 years.
Me: How did you think to link tarot with helping the world? How did you think of making a deck to be the thing to "help life out" as you said?
Andrew: Well, I mean for me, I've been through a bunch of heavy stuff, in my life, people dying, friends dying, siblings dying, you know, all sorts of heaviness. And I spent a lot of time thinking about how to we change peoples consciousness, how do we help people through grief and loss, how do we move things forward? And when I see conversations around reading the cards sometimes I see some really great ideas around that, and sometimes less so. and I wanted to create a deck that also helped people understand how to work with tarot to choose the consciousness of the person that they're with to help them move through whatever they are dealing with.
Me: Awesome! Also, how did you get the idea to... instead of having a deck where you have one artist, to have a deck where you took artists from everywhere because it seems like, looking at the group, there are people from everywhere contributing to this deck which is so cool. How did you get the idea to have one person do each card instead of creating one inspirational deck?
Andrew: It's hard for me to remember the timeline exactly, but I think at that point, I had already been involved in the Allura tarot project, which is a deck that came out of Allura, Ontario [Canada], a town not to far from where I live. I had sort of jumped in and created a card for that. So I think at that point I had already been part of a collaborative effort. Ultimately for me, all my creations work towards that idea some way or another probably. But I wanted to have different peoples voices, different peoples experiences, I wanted to create a deck that could more than likely could speak to everybody in the world to some extent, I mean, obviously that's super ambitious and not entirely possible right?
Me: Hey, why not try right?
Andrew: Yeah exactly right?
Me: Exactly! So I know you asked everybody [in the group] to have an image that "get us from a place of loss and suffering to a place of joy and remembrance". It seems like for this deck, each card is going to be someone's person journey through something.
Andrew: Well yeah, peoples journeys or something to inspire people. I can talk about my card...
Me: Yeah! Please do!
Andrew: I'm making the 5 wands [which represents] struggle, strife, difficultly, conflict, you know, take your pick. So for me, in Canada, there was this guy, Terry Fox, some people know him, some people don't inside of Canada, but Terry Fox had cancer, he lost his leg to it, and he set out to run across Canada to raise awareness for cancer. This was back when I was a child, back in the 70's. So he ran, and he didn't make it because he died from cancer, his cancer came back. And out of his story and out of his legacy, people and children around Canada do this Terry Fox Run. When I was in school, we would do these Terry Fox runs, and you know, you got to think about this guy: he had cancer, he lost his leg, and he ran a marathon everyday until he was not well enough to continue. So my Five of Wands... and the other part of his legacy is that now I have kids and they do the Terry Fox run, and when you go to an event, you will see these people around wearing red shirts. These people are people who have fought cancer and continue to be here. There is a sort of struggle with him, you know, in his life, he did not win. Not his personal fight. But there is this legacy that has come from his effort, you know, his fight. So my card is going to show Terry Fox running, along the streets, and the wands will be the lamp posts shining the light towards the future. And on the sidelines, cheering him on will be all these people in red shirts representing all the things that have come from his legacy.
Me: That's neat! Do you know what charity the proceeds are going to?
Andrew: They are going to the Terry Fox fund.
Me: Oh ok, that's great! This is just something I noticed, and I know we just touched on this but in the [Facebook] group, it seems like everyone who creating a card is literally like... it's like therapy in that group. It's so neat. It's like, everyone is creating their cards and putting up their artwork and showing everybody, but they are also telling their stories. So by creating this deck, you not only doing something great for a cause, but your doing something great for everyone who is creating this deck and everyone in the group. It has become such a supportive little community on Facebook now.
Andrew: Yeah I think their is a lot of magic going on in that group. I've seen people post comments on threads saying, "this conversations is changing lives". Which is like... how wonderful is that? And that's also why I would encourage anyone who is interested in deck and interested in the process to come join the Facebook group. Hang out with the artists, share the stories, be part of the creation, because there is a lot of magic going on. Obviously, some of it will end up in the cards but the actual dialogue is somewhat transitory.
Me: Is there anything else about the project you want people to know?
Andrew: I would just say, like I just said come join the group, come cheer us on, and help spread the word.
Having a tarot deck that is giving something back to the community is wonderful and I'm so excited to see this deck when it is produced! I want to thank Andrew McGregor for talking with me and I want to thank all the artists and other people working to make this deck happen!
Come join the conversation at Triumph of Life Facebook group.
Visit The Hermit's Lamp website to learn more about the project, Andrew and The Hermit's Lamp.
To learn more about the Terry Fox Foundation visit the website.
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