5 Signs You Should Get a Tarot Reading

Modern tarot is a far cry from the parlor trick antics it was once associated with.

Gone are the turbans, the crystal balls, the sleight of hand. In their place are sage bundles, aura crystals, and the careful consideration of psychology, self-care, and social justice. It’s safe to say that today’s tarot is less about telling the future and more about unpacking the here and now, and for many, it’s a source of insight and guidance through life’s transitions, obstacles, and challenges.

Perhaps you’ve wondered if you should get a tarot reading–after all, Vogue, Bustle, and Marie Claire have all wondered the same.  As a full-blown believer in the power of tarot to guide, inspire, and transform, I’m generally quick to recommend a reading (especially to those who’ve never had one before). However, there are some definitive signs and indications that getting a reading would be especially beneficial for you at the moment, and I wanted to share those in case you too were wondering if getting a tarot reading would be helpful!

1. Your Life is Kind of a Hot Mess

We’ve all been there–break-ups coincide with family issues coincide with work issues coincide with health issues. If you’re having a “when it rains, it pours” moment, tarot can be especially helpful when it comes to sorting things out and working things through. Depending on the degree of general chaos and disorder you’re experiencing, a few specialized readings may be more helpful than one generalized one. You could go about this in one of two ways–you can choose a few different readers to work with (readers often have specialities and strengths, and a bit of internet research can point you in the direction of a reader who’s uniquely qualified to address your concerns), or you can choose a single reader to tackle your question from multiple angles for continuity’s sake. Either way, the readings should help you to take stock of where you are and shed light on a way forward.

2. Your Self-Love Practice Needs a Re-haul

A conscious, continuous self-love and self-care practice promotes confidence, compassion, and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it’s often the first thing to go when our lives become hectic and demanding. If you’ve been ignoring your own needs in the service of others or if a recent event has taken a toll on your self-esteem, a reading designed to tune you in to your own magnificence and re-ignite your self-care practice may be the way to go. Depending on your reader, your session may include tips, journal prompts, and actionable advice to help you develop a self-care strategy that works for you. Book a Self-Love Reading.

3. Your Past is Coming Back to Haunt You

One of the most common requests I get from my clients is advice on how to move forward in light of the troubled events of a difficult past. Moving on is difficult for the best of us, and having someone in your corner to provide guidance and advice through that process can help you make some serious headway. If you’ve been tackling these issues alone and still feel like you’re treading water, a reading that addresses shadow work, generational healing, or emotional healing can be particularly useful. Tarot’s incredibly adept at bringing forth that which we’ve repressed or refused to acknowledge, and confronting these difficult truths can be instrumental to our ability to heal, forgive, and move forward. Book a Shadow Work Reading.

4. You’ve Exhausted Your Resources

When we’re facing especially difficult or challenging times, many of us turn to friends and family for guidance and support. Although calling on your support system is one of the best decisions you can make in times of crisis, it may not be able to help you in the way you need. Maybe you’re dealing with something that’s incredibly personal, and you’re not quite ready to let your people in on it yet. Maybe you’ve spoken with them about the issue, but you’ve left the conversation feeling even more confused and unsure. Maybe they are the problem. Regardless, an objective opinion could help you view your situation in a different light so you can consider and explore options you didn’t even know were available. Likewise, it could help you clarify what the best decision is for you without having to consider what your loved ones think is best.

5. Life is Awesome, and You Want it To Stay That Way

Although tarot is incredibly useful in times of crisis, it’s equally useful in times of success. Some of the most rewarding readings I’ve given were for clients who wanted to capitalize on a lucky streak or to ride their current momentum into the land of manifestation and dreams realized. It takes a lot of thought, effort, bravery, and perseverance to overcome the obstacles that stand between us and our goals, and some added clarity and insight (as well as some guidance and support) can help you maintain your strength and confidence as you go after what you want.

The decision of whether or not you should get a tarot reading is ultimately yours, as is the choice to act on the advice and insight it provides.  If you’ve never had a reading and you’re curious, however, I’d say go for it–you may be surprised by how helpful and useful it can truly be.

Much Love,

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Feel like the tarot might help? Book a reading with me.

 

An Interview With Nikki of State of Wild Grace

Every time my daughter tries to hack my computer, Nikki’s reading pops up in iTunes and echoes through my house.

The first few times this happened, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck in response to the beautiful synchronicity that her words confirmed. Even though my visceral response has calmed, I still stop and listen whenever I hear the familiar “Hi, Jessi!” project from my laptop microphones. It’s metaphorical music to my ears.

Perhaps it’s because she incorporates astrology into her readings. Perhaps it’s the tone of her voice and how on point she is. Regardless, I love the way she reads, and I wanted to find out more about the woman behind the magickal audio reading. So grab a cup of tea with me and see what makes Nikki so special.

What came first—tarot or astrology?

Tarot decks have been trying to get into my hands since I was about 13 but I shunned them until my early 20s. Reading a whole lot of fantasy (and watching a lot of Charmed) I was definitely interested in witchy aesthetics growing up. But I wasn’t very serious about it.

When I did finally let cards into my life it was around the same time as I was beginning to explore astrology and the I Ching.

My personal life was in full meltdown mode. My psychic life was wild. Intellectually, I couldn’t handle and I was desperately grasping for some kind of wisdom that would confirm to me that I wasn’t going completely off the deep-end!

I have to say that astrology is what truly captured my imagination first. I was lucky enough to find a fabulous teacher who I really resonated with in my city (Wellington, NZ). So I was fortunate to have proper mentorship as well as a small community that I could connect with regularly.

With tarot… I just kind of dabbled for a long time while I wrestled with my own dilemmas as to what I was even doing with them. It took me some time to intellectually reconcile my use of tarot (and astrology for that matter) for myself.

Discovering the online tarot community in the last 3 or 4 years has been a massive blessing for me and really galvanized my tarot practice.

The opportunity for networking and learning is so great for those of us who otherwise are slinging cards alone in our bedrooms!

It’s really since then that I’ve begun to bring these two topics together – for myself, and now for others.

What would you say is the most important astrological aspect that most laymen or dabblers don’t pay enough attention to?

It’s more of a pet peeve than anything else but I get really frustrated by people who seem to blame planets for their troubles. I don’t find it to be a very sophisticated way of working with astrology at all.

Astrology can provide you with a lot of vocabulary to help you understand yourself in a very nuanced and dynamic manner. It’s an awesome model of reality and can be super useful in a myriad of ways.

The danger is that people take that map and confuse it for the territory. They might start saying that the map, or a certain cosmic object, is the reason why they’re having a crap time or are particularly blessed.

Or they say that their life is going to shit because some planet’s retrograde.

The temptation for me is to say: No. Your life is going to shit, because you haven’t got your shit together at the moment. Yes, you can see the patterns using astrology, but that’s not to say that’s why it’s happening. Stop projecting; stop finding something new to be afraid of; and take responsibility.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel that people who explore any system – be it astrology, tarot, or anything – should allow themselves good time to consider exactly what it is they are working with and how they are working with it.

What are some of the guiding influences to your approach to tarot?

For me it’s all about empowerment. If someone walked away from a reading from me feeling really disheartened or afraid I would consider that a massive failure on my part.

Essentially I believe that if you get a reading from someone, or you’re giving yourself one, and you’re freaking the fuck out then you’re doing it wrong and you should seriously rethink your approach.

Tarot and other tools can help us develop narratives that help us process and see our situations clearly and compassionately and can even lead us towards healing.

I don’t intend to sugar-coat or bypass any of the darkest stuff at all. I just feel like if you use these tools to their fullest extent then you can shadow work your way through that tricky territory.

And that there’s awesome power to be unleashed in the re-frame.

I also believe that tarot (and astrology) is a significant cultural inheritance that we were way too close to being entirely disenfranchised from. This is why, as well as offering readings, I think it’s really important to share knowledge and teach others how to explore these tools for themselves.

Your website mentions that you’re currently studying for a diploma in spiritual counseling. What does spirituality look like to you?

For me being a spiritual person, or having a strong sense of spirituality, is analogous to living with a sense of meaning and purposefulness that includes but goes beyond materialism.

It’s about finding and developing perspectives that have ethical, intellectual and poetic integrity for you. Perspectives that allow you to develop the courage to lean into life and to fully engage with all of it.

Sometimes it looks like cards and crystals and incense.Sometimes it looks like actively trying to be a better friend or lover.

What would you say has been your greatest challenge in terms of your psycho-spiritual journey, and how did tarot and astrology help you work through it?

I mentioned my initial meltdown that let me to tarot and astrology… Well, they really helped me to sort myself out. I was able to connect with grander, deeper narratives that helped me deal with reality and all the traumatic weirdness that I was going through.

Prior to finding divination I had no adequate frameworks that could help me to negotiate my experience.

I’m far from being fully enlightened or highly evolved. But I truly believe that I wouldn’t be as emotionally fulfilled; as intellectually stimulated; or as intimately connected with my own psyche had I never started working with these powerful systems.

If you’d like to learn more about Nikki and her services, visit her newly revamped website.

Much Love, Beauties,

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An Interview with Marianne of Two Sides Tarot

When I wandered into the wild world of internet tarot two years ago, Marianne of Two Sides Tarot was one of the first cardslingers I discovered.

I was scrolling through Siobhan’s tarotscopes when I came upon her contribution, and it was immediately apparent that she was talented. I’m always delighted to discover a taroist who’s equal parts wordsmith–so much of what we do relies upon the nuanced and thoughtful use of language, so a reader with a strong writing background is quite the force. As I got to know the woman behind the words, I realized that the powerful kindness, insight, and honesty so prevalent in her writing finds its source in her. I just knew I had to interview her for this series, and to my absolute and utter delight, she accepted.

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetWhen and why did the idea to stock tarot decks in the shop come to you, and what did manifesting that goal require?

It was really inspired by my own desire for all the gorgeous indie, artist-published decks that we’re so blessed to have at this time in tarot history. Most creators are based in North America and Europe, and being in Australia, I was dropping US$20-$40 in shipping fees every time I backed something on Kickstarter or bought a deck from Etsy. I knew this was an expense other Australian collectors struggled with, too, so I thought, since I had the platform and the community already, why not build a bridge between all of these amazing artists and the diviners who want to put their art to work?

From idea to execution it probably took me about a year, but to be honest, much of that time was spent grappling with the fears I had about expanding my business. Logistically, it’s not too hard to contact creators and arrange wholesale, and throw everything up in an online store. The tricky part – at least, I found – was being brave enough to step up and make my business (and myself) more visible. I was pretty abashed at first, reaching out to tarot legends like Kim Krans and Mary Elizabeth Evans, but once I gave myself the psychological permission I needed to own the direction Two Sides Tarot was taking, all of that fell into place.

The tricky part – at least, I found – was being brave enough to step up and make my business (and myself) more visible.

It helps that pretty much everyone in the tarot space is a delight to work with, and I’ve received so much support and encouragement from my customers, suppliers, and peers. Beth over at Little Red Tarot in particular has been such a champion of mine, and offered me so much support, advice, and inspiration. I even have international customers now who say they’d rather have decks shipped all the way from Australia in order to shop with me, which is a total thrill!

I say that I wanted to help Aussies save on shipping fees, but at heart, all the joy of this work comes from community. It’s really an honour to be able to support deck creators, and I love getting to kiss my parcels goodbye when they go in the post, knowing that the recipient is definitely going to have at least one life-changing card reading in their future, thanks to my efforts! Tarot people are a special bunch, and it’s a pleasure to serve them in this way.

As someone who pours over fabric samples before deciding which to purchase for my tarot bags, I have to ask–what criteria do you use to choose the decks?

I imagine at least one of our methods are similar – sometimes when you see a deck, you just know you’ve got to have it! My own taste is, of course, a big part of it, but I have other considerations, too. I’m always on the lookout for decks that are interesting and unique in some way, whether in their artwork or their philosophy. Decks that are LGBTQ+ inclusive, and decks that aren’t solely populated by skinny white people are also always on my shop wish list. Variety is important, too. If I’ve only got about 20 decks in my shop, I want to make sure they represent a broad range of aesthetics and ideas.

Decks that are LGBTQ+ inclusive, and decks that aren’t solely populated by skinny white people are also always on my shop wish list.

I also make choices based on my knowledge and appreciation of a deck’s creator – for example, I’ll take practically anything Mary Evans or Marcella Kroll do, sight unseen, because I trust their work will be resonant. Popular demand is also a factor. I try to keep on top of which decks are coming out and getting a lot of buzz, and my customers will often contact me with requests for forthcoming titles, which I do my best to accommodate. Getting to pick and choose is definitely a fun part of the job!

What first drew you to tarot?

It’s funny you should ask, because I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my tarot origin story. It’s going to be a letdown, because honestly, I can’t exactly remember! It certainly wasn’t a cataclysmic moment, more like a slow dawning. I came to tarot in my mid-20s, so I wasn’t one of those witchy teenage goths who’s been reading since high school slumber parties (although I was definitely a witchy teenage goth!). It was around the time that I finished my master’s degree, I was a bit at a loose end, and I’d read a bunch of fantasy novels that used tarot as a plot device. At that stage, I was still dedicatedly “un-woo” so when I picked up Robert Place’s Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, I maintained it was purely for academic purposes. Naturally, about two pages in, I was hooked.

The funny thing is, though, once tarot arrived, it thoroughly took over my life and it was like it had always been there. I’d always been bookish (and in fact, I’ve worked in the book industry for nearly 15 years), and my academic background is in literature, so reading texts of all kinds is my jam. Interpreting tarot cards is not dissimilar from interpreting a novel or a poem, so reading tarot is a natural extension of the interpretive skills I’ve cultivated my entire life. It feels like the perfect confluence of so many things I’m passionate about!

Your writing is gentle yet raw, honest, yet stylized—in other words, you’re an awesome writer. How does this interest/ability relate to your study and practice of tarot?

That is very kind of you to say, thank you! I might have jumped the gun and partially answered this above, but my tarot practice is very much informed by my studies in English lit. Obviously, my tarot readings are not academic in style, but I think many years of essay and thesis writing have given me a few transferrable skills. Also, they say that one of the best ways to make yourself a good writer is to be a good reader, and that’s something I’ve diligently practiced since the Babysitters Club days of yore!

What I didn’t expect was that writing would become so much a part of the intuitive process for me. It’s rare for me to read cards in person; most of my readings are done in writing via email, and it’s through the act of writing about the cards that I’m able to best access my intuition. Often, when I sit down to do a tarot reading, I don’t immediately know what the cards are about, but once I start making notes the messages become clear.

What I didn’t expect was that writing would become so much a part of the intuitive process for me.

I don’t think this is an act of channeling so much as it is just the best method for me to organize my thoughts and listen to my intuition. I can uncover connections and draw out stories by putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) that my mind couldn’t otherwise retrieve. I’ve been an avid journaler since I was about 12, too, so I think writing has always been how I’ve figured things out. I’m glad I now get to use that skill to help others figure things out, too!

I’m basing this question off of a series of hashtags on one of your Instagram posts—is Sydney really a feminist utopia?

Haha! Sydney is by no means a feminist utopia, but we’re very lucky to have Australia’s only women-only ocean pool, McIver’s Baths, where I swim a couple of times a week. It’s so beautiful, I can rarely resist taking a picture for instagram, hence the #feministutopia hashtag! A friend introduced me to it over last summer, and I can’t believe that all this time, the thing ruining the beach for me was men! Obviously, I’m kidding, but it has shown me how precious and magical women-only spaces can be. We’ve referred to it as our feminist utopia ever since.

The baths have been women-only since they were developed in 1886, but many sources – including local women – suggest that the rock pool was used prior to European invasion by Aboriginal women. I’m acutely aware that it’s because of my unearned privilege as a colonizer that I get to experience this beautiful place, and I always try to do so respectfully (which isn’t hard when it’s evidently such a special and sacred space). If any of your female-identified readers find themselves in Sydney, I definitely recommend a visit – you might even catch me in my smalls on the rocks, doing my morning tarot Weather Report!

Be sure to visit Two Sides Tarot to learn more about Marianne and her offerings!

Much Love Beauties,

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