I've been reading Tarot cards for 8 years now and obviously our love affair continues. But in the last 2 years, I became incredibly interested in Lenormand. One thing I heard from tarot readers over and over again is, "I can't understand it! It's way too hard!" and yes, it is hard. I'm going to tell you a secret about why you might have a problem learning Lenormand.
You've got tarot brain.
Yes, tarot brain! As tarot readers we are so interested in the astrological, psychological, symbolic, Kabbalahic, numerological and anything else we can see in the cards. We are DEEP people! We think deeply and we read deeply. We look at each picture and card combination and see a world of possibles for the sitter (or ourselves).
Lenormand is not asking you to do all that.
Tarot says, "Let me consul you. Talk to me, tell me your hopes and dreams, let me help you."
Lenormand says, "I'm giving you the truth bitch. Straight, no chaser."
Lenormand isn't too considerate when it comes to your feelings, because it's like your best friend who will let you know that yes, you look fat in that dress and no, they really aren't into you.. It is straight forward and takes no prisoners. So I want to give you a few tips when learning to read Lenormand to help you on your way.
Ok guys, any questions? I want to see a bunch of new Lenormand readers STAT!!! Let's go.
So you just got your a new deck and your ready to start using it! But you want to clear it first because you bought it used or just because that is something you feel is important to do when you first get a deck. But how should you do it? There are tons of ways to clear your decks and get them ready for use! Everyone has different ways but here are some of the most popular ways of clearing your deck:
Smudging is a great practice to clear basically anything. If you want to clear your house, you can open your windows and doors, and carry a sage bundle and go along the edge of every window and door in your home or office. Using sage or palo santo (I like palo santo because I think it smells better) is awesome to clear your deck also. Wave your deck through the smoke and imagine any negative energies being lifted out of your deck. And that's it!
Leaving your decks in full view of sunlight and let the natural sunlight clear your deck. Natural sunlight is extremely rejuvenating for everything especially yourself! Spending time in the sun gives you a feeling of renewal.
Having your deck in full view of moonlight during the full moon can clear and charge your deck. The full moon is a great time for recharging anything and putting really wonderful positive energy into it.
4. Selenite or Clear Quartz
Having a piece of selenite around to lay on top of your deck or to put your deck on selenite to clear them. Clear quartz does the double job of clearing and charging your deck.
5. Put them in order
Take your deck and put in all the cards in order. The major arcana, the cups, wands, swords and pentacles.
6. Bury them
This is a bit extreme to me and I've never done it, but you can bury your cards (in plastic obviously) and let them stay under there for 2 weeks.
One thing that plagues most of my tarot reader friends is the endless requests for free readings. A lot of people think because you are a tarot card reader you should be giving out your craft for free. What people don't realize is that we put as much time and money into our businesses as any other business person! Here are some of the things you pay for when you get a tarot card reading other than the reader's time:
Website and Domain Fees- Fees for domain names, to keep the site up, stock photos for blog posts and many other things. Many readers have scheduling programs, phone lines, web forums and other things on their websites to help their businesses run smoothly. Some readers even have webmasters and/or people who do the upkeep for their websites and they need to get paid too!
Liability Insurance- Many readers have it. Even though we have a code of ethics, disclaimers, and everything else, there may be someone who still wants to blame us for their misfortune.
Reading space- If you don't just do online readings and do not want to so readings out of your house, you may have find your own reading space. Many readers rent out office space (like me!) to do in-person readings in offices, spas, health centers and various other places.
Vendor Fees- Readers who you meet at fairs or festivals have to paid a fee to be there. Depending on the fair, prices can vary greatly. Depending on the fair and where you live, you could be looking at vendor fees that may start at $50 to upwards of $750, sometimes for only one day.
Business cards, postcards, brochures, pamphlets, other promotional materials- Want to take home some info on the services of your reader? We have got to pay to print business cards, post cards, pamphlets and any other Information for you to take home and keep with you.
Tarot Decks- Maybe your reader is doing a children's party? Reading at a hospital? Reading at a themed event? Or maybe they just need a new deck? There is nothing wrong with using the same deck for every event, but the reader may need different decks for different events. What would a carpenter be without his tools?
Gas/Public Transportation- Readers need to get to you the people we want to help right? How are we gonna get there if we have no dough?!
Tables, Chairs, other equipment- If you do fairs or have office space, you need various equipment so when you are reading for clients, they can be comfortable.
Professional Organizations, Conferences and Classes- So, as tarot card readers, we love to get educated on the different ways to read, different trends and talk to our tarot reading peers so we can all learn from each other! Many of us attend conferences where we get to mingle with our peers and learn more about how to be better at our jobs. And in the end who does that benefit other than ourselves! You, the people we serve!
So now you can see what goes on behind the scenes for tarot card readers! Is there anything else you can think of as a reader? Are there any questions you as the client have? Let me know!
Even with the emergence and popularity of yoga, mediation and other holistic modalities, divination in general still has a lot of negative stigmas attached to it. When people come to see me at a fair or festival, they come up to me and say things like "Hey tell me my future!" or "Read my mind!", when that is not what we do. Now every tarot reader is different, but here are some myths people have about us:
-All Tarot Readers are psychic.
One thing people don't seem to understand is that being a tarot reader and a psychic are not interchangeable. You can be one or both, but they are not the same. I asked Google what the definition of "psychic" and she said (for some reason I imagine Google is a woman) and what I got was "relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, especially involving telepathy or clairvoyance." Not all tarot readers "hear" or "see" anything at all. Some of them use the cards from a very textbook standpoint and just tell you wants happening based on meanings and combinations. Also, because of the stigma that comes with it, many readers don't like to call themselves "psychic" anyway.
-All Tarot Readers are Witches or Pagans.
Tarot being a form of divination is usually associated with the occult. Because of that, many other people involved different occult practices such as people in nature-based religions and different forms of magic and shamanism study tarot. But tarot is similar to mediation in the fact that it is a practice that doesn't subscribe to any one religion or faith. It can be practiced by anyone and is practiced by people from all different backgrounds.
-Tarot Readers are all about the money.
HAHAHAHAHA. Why am I laughing? Because this is non-sense. Now, you have some tarot readers who definitely are scam artist (refer to my article about "How to Spot a Con Artist") but that happens in just about any profession. Real ethical tarot card readers don't do it just to get paid. They actually do it because they want to help people. But then (for some reason, I don't know why) people ask, why do we charge? Because just like everyone else, we need to make a living. And why should we not get paid for our talents? And actually, I know more tarot readers and other spiritual practitioners who donate their time and/or money to charitable organizations than any other profession.
-Tarot Readers are uneducated/can't do anything else in their lives.
HAHAHAHAHA. Oh look at me, I'm laughing again! Why do you have the giggles this time, Ashley? I'll tell you why! When I started meeting more and more tarot people, I started realizing how freakin' smart they are. The amount of tarot readers I know who have Master's degrees is ridiculous. I know a few who have Doctorates and most have some type of college degree. And beyond traditional education, I know some tarot readers who are just brilliant people. Business people, authors, podcast hosts, teachers... the list goes on. These are tarot readers. Also, if your a tarot reader, you know that tarot is a never-ending learning process. Tarot involves studies of religion, spirituality, psychology, art and literature.There is always something new to find out or learn, so having a love of learning is kind of a must.
-The less you tell us, the better.
So imagine you are feeling really sick. Like your feeling horrible. So you decide to go see a doctor. The doctor asks, "So what are your symptoms?" And you say, "Well your a doctor, figure it out!!!". Does that make sense? Not really. That is how your tarot reader feels when you sit in silence and then expect them to just come and tell you every detail of everything you have ever wanted to know. I always tell my clients, if you have a specific situation you need to ask about, let me know. The more I know about the problem, the better I can help you answer it. Of course you don't have to tell us everything, but don't sit there tight lipped thinking your so clever getting one over on us. Darling, it's your money, so being honest and opened will normally get you more help and a more enjoyable experience.
-Tarot Readers can read minds.
No, we can not do that. Telepathy is very different than being a reader. When we lay down the cards, they tell us what is going on in relation to your issue. Also, being honest is the best way to go about your reading. Coming into your reading and lying to try to "prove" something is only hurting yourself.
-All Tarot Readers tell fortunes.
Not all readers are predictive. Many readers use the cards to clarify a situation, not to tell the future. If you want a predictive reader, make sure to ask before you purchase a reading.
-Tarot Readers lean on tarot as a crutch and are therefore not as good as psychics, mediums, etc,.
This is a statement I can't stand. I find it is just a way of practitioners to put other practitioners down. There is no "better" way to do readings. There is nothing wrong with using tarot cards, clouds, shells, a pendulum, runes, animal innards (even though that's kind of gross) or nothing at all to do readings. This is what we use and this is our craft. No one says a sculptor is better than a painter because it is harder to carve marble than to use paint do they? Of course not. Because they are both trying to create something, and regardless of how they do it, it will be interesting. Same thing with us spiritual folk. No matter what tools you use, we are all working towards the same goal, to try to make things better and easier for our clients.
Any myths I missed?! Let me know!
Once you start becoming more advanced with your tarot practice, you may start thinking about your options. Maybe your getting to a place with your readings and now you want to expand? Or maybe your wondering what else you could do? You love tarot, and you kow that, but what now?! What were you meant to do with this passion you have for tarot? Let me count the way (and give you some great examples):
Tarot historian- Do you love history? I definitely do. Learning the origins and roots of a tool you probably use everyday can help you better understand the symbolism and importance of the Tarot. Having people who do research of anything is what helps keep that practice and/or culture alive. Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin of the Tarot Association have done an amazing job of researching tarot!
Tarot artist or deck creator- Ever had an idea for your own deck? Maybe you have looked through many different decks but never seen anything that related to you and how you view the world? Then take the leap and create a deck! I'm not saying it's easy, but it is definitely something to look in to if that is what you are an artist or if you have some great ideas. The artist at Baba Studios, Ciro Marchetti, and Robert Place are just some of the examples of the many awesome deck creators.
Tarot Author- Do you have a different perspective on Tarot? Do you relate tarot to an area of your life that is uncommon? Would you like to share that with the public?! You could be an author! One thing that is wonderful about this age of technology is that many things are much more accessible then they used to be like self-publishing your own book! Benebell Wen, Kim Huggens, and Barbara Moore are excellent examples of tarot authors.
Tarot Blogger, Vlogger or Podcast- As I just said, technology has greatly improved our way of communicating our ideas. Having a blog online where you write about things that matter to you or making Tarot videos or having a podcast where you talk about different subjects in Tarot can be a great and unique way to share your point of view with the world. Donnaleigh De La Rose has a fabulous podcast and Angelo Nasios has a great YouTube channel where you can learn a lot about tarot!
Tarot Teacher- Would you like to teach others about reading Tarot? Do you have a knack for getting people to understand things in an easy way? Why not teach classes? Help others and spread the message of Tarot by educating! Rachel Pollack and Mary K. Greer are probably two of the best tarot writers and educators you will get to take a class with!
Is there anything I forgot? What do you do that's different? Let me know!
Recently, I have had a lot of conversations with many clients about psychic scams artists. These are sometimes people who pick up a deck and just figure they can cheat people out of their money by pretending to be readers or they are real readers who have found that scamming people brings in more money than just doing regular readings (and have a broken moral compass). Unfortunately, these readers make the wonderful, helpful, caring readers look bad and perpetuate the public/Hollywood-driven negative view of them. Here are some ways you can tell that a reader might be a scam artist:
1. Asking for extra money to clear curses, perform prayers, special candles or crystals: This is one of the most popular/oldest ways of scamming someone is for a con to tell the client that they have a curse, need a special crystal or candle to clear a curse or hex that has been put on them. Now depending on your beliefs and personal practices, this could be true, but 9/10 it is not. I had a client tell me the last reader she went to was great but at the end the reader told her she had some "very negative energy" around her and for an extra $200 dollars she would perform a special ceremony for her and give her a special crystal. This is pure crap. Those people probably bought the first candle they saw at Wal-Mart and now are trying to sell it to you. When you see an ethical reader, they will never have any surprise charges or expenses at the end. The price for the reading will be it.
2. They leave you feeling bad and/or make you feel like you may be in eminent danger: Ethical readers live to make people feel better. That is our job. Even if your reading is less than favorable, we try to find solutions with you or help you to view your situation in a different light. When the client I mentioned above refused the con's special candle, the con artist said, "Well it's your life...". While this might sound harmless, it left the client feeling insecure and scared. No ethical reader would say something like that.
3. The only way you can pay is through Western Union, Money Order or some other un-trackable way of payment (for distance readings): Readers who do distance readings online normally take online payments. Paying through Paypal, Stripe or some other kind of legitimate online payment system. If you are doing a reading over the internet and your told to mail a money order or Western Union, remember they are very hard to track and get back. Con artists will give all types of excuses for why they can't accept online payment, and I'm sure there are some exceptions to this rule, but I would think twice before giving my money to someone who only accepts these methods of payment, espeically if I have never met them.
4. They try to make you dependent on them: They will insist you need to come back or get something cleared up that they definitely cannot do now. They might also do this with a sense of urgency in their tone. An ethical reader will not do this. We don't strive to make you feel like you can't live without us or that something bad will happen if you don't come back to us.
5. They say they have 100% accuracy- Nope. Nope. Nope. No one has 100% accuracy. The best readers will tell you that they are not always right.
In every profession their are people who absue their position, and the spiritual space is no different. A few ways you can combat this problem is by:
-Go to a reader you know
-Go to a reader that has been reccommeded by someone you know who had a good experience
-Check their website and see what kind of sense you get from them
-Call the reader before hand and ask questions. The reader will probably be very happy to oblige.
If you get a bad feeling from a reader, leave. It's ok. This is an experience you are paying for and you should feel comfortable. These people make life hard for the rest of the wonderful, ethical readers and should be stopped. If you encounter on of these psychic scam artists be sure to report them to your local police departement and the Better Business Bureau.
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...
Festival season is upon us! While it's not for everyone, festival reading is a great way to get yourself comfortable with reading for all types of people, reading in large volumes, and teaches you to give quick, efficient and effective readings. Now I'm from New Jersey and from St. Patrick's Day till Thanksgiving there is pretty much a fair or festival every weekend, so I grew up on street fairs and I personally love them. Now if reading at festivals is something you are interested in, here are some quick things you may want to keep in mind:
Drunk People: If you are planning to read at a fair where alcohol is served, get ready to have drunk people who really want a reading. Remember, it is ok to refuse a client. You don't have to read for people who are making you uncomfortable. Also, let people know that it is very difficult to read for them while they are intoxicated.
Nasty Neighbors: (This goes for metaphysical and psychic fairs, I get to the other rude neighbors in a second) When you read at fairs where there are a lot of readers, sometimes you will encounter some really horrible ones. People who are their to talk nasty about your booth to customers and try to make it so customers don't come to your table. Don't stoop to their level! Keep your head up and be positive and customers will feel the wonderful energy and want to come by!
Fanatics: Being a tarot card reader, I'm sure you are already used to ruffling a few feathers. Well going to a public fair, especially one that isn't strictly new age/metaphysical/psychic or something of that nature, some people might make you feel unwanted. Best thing to do is ignore them and if it gets really out of hand, go get the organizer and discuss the issue with them.
The weather: Most festivals will go on rain or shine. And guess who's problem that is? Yours. Your better be prepared to read in the rain and extreme heat. Yes, heat. People usually only think about the rain, and forget sitting with the sun beating down on you can also be a bit of a problem.
Disorganized Organizers: Ugh. The worst. After paying your fee, getting all your equipment, arriving on time, you get there and the organizer seems to have no idea what is going on. This is something you might not always find out until you get to the event. Make sure you have a idea about where you are going and when you email or call organizers, make sure you have all the details you need before arriving.
Thirst: Remember, your going to be talking all day. ALL DAY. Make sure you have a bottle of water on hand because your mouth is gonna be super dry (a lot of festivals you will see the organizers handing out water).
Short Readings: As readers, most of us hate to rush a client and we want them to feel good about the reading and leave with their questions answered. But in a festival atmosphere, you must do all of that and still have time constraints. You have to know how to make sure you stay on time with your readings. Don't let the client keep asking questions when they only bought a 10 minute reading. Especially if you are the only reader, you may have a line forming behind that client and you want to make sure you get to everyone (and still get a bite to eat and a few bathroom breaks). Bring a timer with you and remember to be firm (but kind) with clients. Politely let them know that their time is almost up and try to answer any final questions they might have.
Breaks: In the last point I alluded to bathroom breaks. Take one. Take a few! Don't let a long line pressure you. When you need to eat or just go to the bathroom, let customers know you will be taking a break and when you will be back.
Where you will be placed: Another issue. Sometimes you are able to choose where you will be placed at a fair, sometimes not. If you can't choose, make sure you request from the organizer that you are somewhere away from loud noises (and somewhere where the foot traffic is high).
Now the good stuff...
The Good (Or should I say...AWESOME):
Networking: You will meet other professionals in your field who are in your area. There will be people there who offer services you have never even heard of or things you might want to take advantage of. While you browse their products, you can give them your card and make a new acquaintance. Take advantage! Talk to them, ask questions, and make connections!
Cool Stuff: Festivals and fairs have awesome homemade crafts and are the original Etsy. I've gotten so many cool thing for my office from fairs and also for my vendor space!
You will make money!: Festivals are a great way to make some money as a professional reader, especially if you don't have a ton of private clients. And obviously if you are the only tarot card reader there, you are going to probably make bank. Also, use this experience to give out your card and advertise yourself!
Street Fair Food: All I can say is... yum. Street fair food is some of the best food ever in my opinion.
Introducing people to Tarot: A lot of times when you are doing a non-metaphysical, people will come for readings just to try it. This is your chance to introduce them to tarot and dispel some of their misguided beliefs.
FUN!: Have a good time! Enjoy the atmosphere and get people buzzing about you and your awesome reading skills!
If you want to know more about festival readings, someone wrote a whole book about it! Her name is Jenna Matlin and the book is called Have Tarot Will Travel: A Comprehensive Guide to Reading at Festivals as a Tarot Professional. Pick it up!
Let me know your opinion of reading at festivals? Any horror stories? Any awesome stories? Comment below!
So you scheduled your reading and you are ready! Or... maybe not. You might be wondering how you should prepare for your reading? Well there are a couple key things for you to remember when getting your reading (and this goes for any type of reading, medium, tarot, astrology, whatever the case may be)...
1. Get some sleep.
You might be wondering why I say you should get some shut eye. Well, when you've had a good night's sleep, you are more alert and it is easier for you to pay attention. When you are getting a reading you will want to really be listening to what your reader is saying and be ready to ask more questions and get more detail.
2. Try to relax.
So most people come to readers when they have a problem, and that means they will be emotional, which is fine. We as professional are prepared for that (most readers are ready and armed with tissues in their reading spaces). But don't come to your reading looking to pick a fight because all that negative energy won't help you or I. Plus, why would you pay money to argue? No point in that.
3. Be on time.
Oh please be on time. Please. This is the beginning of respect. Respect your reader by being on time and they should respect you by being their for you. It sets the mood for your whole reading. Also, it leads to a feeling of being rushed and no one wants that.
4. Bring a pen and paper or a recorder.
You will probably want to bring a notepad and pen or pencil so you can write down what the reader say. That way you can reference it later. Most readers I know and well as I have something I have coined as "spiritual amnesia". If you call us or email us and ask us what we said about your reading we won't remember at all. Also, we see many clients and can't be expected to remember everyone's issues. If you have a recording device, such as your phone, most readers will let you record the session so you can listen to it later.
5. Be Opened. Like... literally.
Ok, I learned a long time ago from one of mentors that having an opened posture is important when having a reading. Crossing your arms and legs can stagnate the energy and give you a less detailed reading. Also, be opened- minded. Listen to your reader and be ready to receive what Spirit has to tell you.
Ok so you now have to tools to be ready for your reading! Enjoy it and receive what Spirit has to tell you! Do you have anymore tips! Let me know!
One thing that is great about the world is diversity. There have been many a time when clients tell me, "That's not how the other reader did it!". Well, that is what makes the world go 'round! Many clients who have seen a tarot reader before may be used to the imagery, but what do you think when a reader takes out a smaller deck, or even a standard deck of playing cards? You may think, "Is this reader for real? Do they know what they are doing?". Yes they do!!!! This is just one of the examples of using cards! There are so many different ways to use cards for divination. I have here the 5 most popular. But what is the difference between the different kinds of decks? Lets talk about it:
First up- Tarot!
My favorite! Ok so the basic structure of Tarot is 22 Major Arcana cards (which usually represents big central themes in one's life), then the 56 Minor Arcana cards. Now the Minor Arcana cards have 4 suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Each suite has an Ace-10 card, then a page, a knight, a queen and a king. Each suit has a general theme (like Cups is usually love and relationships, Wands, work and life passion, etc) and each number represents different things too. Tarot can be read right side up or some readers read reversed, which means that they read cards that come up in the reading that are upside down. Not every tarot reader will do this, and that is ok. It doesn't mean you are getting any less of a reading or that that reader is not skilled. The most common deck is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, which is what all other decks are modeled after. You may also run into the Thoth deck, basically Aleister Crowley's take on the RWS deck (if you don't who he is, look him up, he's a very interesting read). One great thing about Tarot decks is there is a deck for everyone! You will find all types of different themed decks, mermaids, baseball, homosexual, alien, steampunk, Celtic, Brazilian, and pretty much any other thing you can think of. If you want to see some examples head on over to aeclectic.net and you will see thousand of different decks.
Lemormand is a system of 36 cards that are wonderful for fortunetelling. Clover, sun, stars, etc. The cards are usually a simple one word noun. These cards are named after a famous 18th century French card reader, Marie Anne Lenormand, who is said to have read for Napoleon and Josephine. The spreads that are used with the Lenormand are very different than tarot. You would usually read them in a line, relating each card to the next. Also, you usually read them in pairs, not singularly. For example, in tarot you can read one card, but in Lenormand, it all about combinations. Lenormand is quickly becoming more and more popular! Don't be surprised if you start seeing more and more readers using them!
So oracle cards are cool because they are kind of whatever you want them to be. I have three oracle decks, two has 52 cards, and one has 44. Oracle cards mean whatever the author wants it to mean. Many people use them to read, but I like to pair them with my tarot cards because these cards usually have very general themes and it can be hard to get super in depth with them. None the less, you can still have a reading with it. There are many different oracle decks are the first person who comes to mind who makes a lot is Doreen Virtue. She has several oracle decks and they are all very beautiful. But there are tons of different oracle decks to choose from. All different types of themes can be found in oracle cards and they can be a great companion to Tarot or other cards
Last but not least...playing cards!
The playing cards I'm talking about is the deck commonly used to play games like poker, go fish and such. Now I have to say I know the least about these but everyone has probably used or seen a deck of playing cards in there lifetime so I don't think I have to explain this too much. Many people use playing cards to read. I have see this a lot in the Afro-Caribbean and Roma (more commonly known as Gypsy) community. The first people to use playing cards were the Roma people in Europe about 600 years ago and since then the system has gone all over the globe.
So have I missed anything? And other card systems you guys read with? Let me know!
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