You walk through a curtain of beads and charms into a dimly lit backroom. A lady in over large hoop earrings sits at a velvet covered table waving at a crystal ball and cards ...''You will meet a tall dark stranger'' she says...
If you have not had a Tarot reading before, this may not be too far from what you imagine it to be like! Perhaps, once upon a time it was, but today, Tarot reading an art practised by many in all walks of life. Some of us don't even have our ears pierced ;)
So what is it really like to have a Tarot reading ? Let's have a look at some common myths, misconceptions and what you can really expect when you make that booking.
What 'is' Tarot?
A Tarot deck contains 78 cards split into 2 groups known as major cards and minor cards. The minors, short for minor arcana represent day to day events and energies. The major arcana often show larger forces at play and underlying spiritual lessons. These are the 'named' cards like The Lovers, The Fool and The Hermit that you likely have seen in movies or on TV, (probably being grossly misrepresented in a horror movie or ghost story but that is a post for another day!)
Together the cards make up a language of symbols and archetypal energies that the skilled reader can translate into messages of advice and guidance. They tap into the unconscious and allow us to open open up to our intuition and higher selves.The Tarot is a wonderful tool for empowerment and emotional healing.
An important point I want to make here is that not all Tarot readers consider themselves to be psychics. Most people have some psychic abilities but they tend to come in flashes or psychic 'hits'. Even those readers who are psychic cannot turn it on like a tap on demand so do not advertise themselves as such. Many modern readers are more akin to holistic life coaches who use the cards to guide clients in making their own informed choices and exploring what they can do to take control in their life, rather than what you may think of as 'fortune telling'.
What It's not
Tarot is not 'spooky' or 'evil'. There is actually a lot of Christian symbolism in the Tarot especially some of the older decks and the well known Rider-Waite deck in particular. Having a reading will not bring you bad luck nor will the cards create the future just by coming up in your spread. There are a lot of superstitions like this around the cards and none of them are true.
Sadly there are those who will exploit these fears and call themselves readers some even claiming to go as far as lifting or placing curses! It's no wonder someone unfamiliar with Tarot may be a little uneasy about it with bullshit merchants like that around waiting to tell them that they are cursed and it can be lifted for the low price of their life savings!
There are no 'bad' cards. Some do show more challenge or larger obstacles to overcome than others yes, but they all have their positive points including giving advice on how to deal with such challenges. A good reader will not frighten you but instead leave you feeling ready for anything that may be coming your way.
Before you book.
There are lots of ways to have a reading these days. You can go to see a reader face to face in their home or at a fayre, or choose to not even leave your house and have your session via email, the phone or video chat. How things work will vary of course depending on the format you choose and the style of reader, but there are some standards that I feel should be met in a paid professional reading.
Before booking a reading you should make sur