Delving into Tarot: An Interview

What is the role of a Tarot Reader?

I’m going to start by telling you what a tarot reader is not…A tarot reader is not a mystical mysterious person who’s going to tell you precisely what your future will hold, set in stone, on a particular day or date.  A tarot reader is not someone who will give you instant solutions to your problems.  A tarot reader is not someone who can instantly cure your financial ills or physical disease.

What a tarot reader is…A Tarot Reader is someone with the gift of intuition (clairaudience, clairsentience, clairvoyance– sometimes one or the other, sometimes all three), who will use the esoteric connections and images on a set of cards to look into your life.  It’s a window of your past, your present, with a hint at future possibilities.

Now…What is the role of a Tarot Reader?  Her role is one of spiritual advisor, impromptu counselor, a medium, someone who instigates and controls spirit contact.  A Tarot Reader is also a friend, a shoulder to lean on, a confidant, someone you can spill everything to– knowing that what you say will be kept confidential.  A Tarot Reader is a Life Coach, someone who can view your situation from a distance in order to give you a new perspective.  A Tarot Reader is someone who uses a unique gift to help people live better lives, find reasonable solutions to problems, reconnect with family and friends– or loved ones who have passed.  A Tarot Reader is a conduit between you and The Universe, imparting information that would otherwise never reach you.

I notice you don’t use the term “Fortune Teller”, why not?

I feel the term is archaic, profiling, and inaccurate.  It brings to mind the proverbial turbaned woman in a horse drawn wagon hunched over a crystal ball.

First, as a Tarot Reader, I don’t even begin to promise a clear look at the future.  I have no control over what information will be revealed to me in a tarot reading, or what information I’ll be able to connect with.  When I start a reading, I have no idea what’s coming; I’m often as surprised as my client at the information that is exposed.  The modern Tarot Reader is in tune with the times, in tune with her own spirituality, her own spirit guides, and she’s especially in-tune with her cards.

As a Tarot Reader, do we need to look at ways of empowering the client, of exploring all possibilities?

Absolutely!  And this is so relevant and important where women are concerned.  So many women who come to me for readings have serious relationship issues and are often immersed in abusive relationships.  Not only do they need spiritual esoteric advice for comfort and moral support, they need solid mundane advice for immediate action.  They need to be encouraged to seek protection orders, to seek professional counseling, to seek the assistance of law enforcement to document the problem, sometimes to seek immediately sanctuary in Women’s Shelters.  They need real-world options that will be beneficial to them in the here and now.

Do you think its part of a Tarot Reader’s responsibility to attempt to discuss some alternatives with the client?

Yes.  This falls into line with the previous question.  Often the Tarot Reader is not only inundated with psychic insight, but also gleans a good deal of information and perspective on someone’s issue simply from the vantage point of an outsider.  There have been many times I’ve counseled a client who was attacking a problem and was completely confused by their own inability to find a solution, and this was most often because they were attacking the problem from the wrong direction.  When you’re engrossed and overwhelmed with your own life issues, you often don’t see a solution that is before your very eyes.  This is because your judgment is clouded.  You may have been so overwhelmed by this issue for so long that you can no longer see The Big Picture. You can’t see The Forest Through the Trees…That’s where a Tarot Reader comes into play with a gentle tap on the shoulder, a soft “Wait a minute– let’s look at it this way”.

In terms of people who want to learn the Tarot, how much importance would you place on learning the traditional divinatory meanings of the cards?

I believe it’s very important to learn traditional meanings, to connect with each card through all of its various channels– numerology, astrology, the kabbalah, etc.  There is a worthy tradition, a rich history with the Tarot.  You’ll find that learning the traditional divinatory meanings are going to be invaluable to you, especially if you start out completely unfamiliar with the cards.  It gives you a base, a starting point, a grounding connection.  Once you have this down-pat in your own mind, then be still…shhhh…listen…listen from that quiet place inside your mind.  The cards will begin talking to you.  It’s true.  They do.

What would your advice be for somebody who’s just starting out in their study of the Tarot?

Take your time, don’t rush. Drink in the ambiance, the associations, the energy of each individual card.  Pick one card a day– sleep with it, eat with it, review it, appraise it for yourself to find out what it means To You.  Start with a traditional deck, traditional suits and major arcana. Just like a new friendship, don’t force yourself on the cards, allow the cards to unfold and come to you.

How important is astrology to the Tarot?

Very.  It’s all important.  It’s all connected– everything in the marvelous miraculous esoteric world is connected– tarot, astrology, numerology, metaphysics– it’s all connected.  It’s like a beautiful song, where one measure leads into another; or a beautiful poem, where one stanza rolls into the next.  Put everything together and it will give you The Big Picture of the Universe and Life.

The planets, the zodiac signs, the Houses…everything is significant, everything contains very particular energies and subtle nuances.  Everything speaks to you.

From what I understand, your work with the Tarot also centers on its magickal or mystical applications. Would you mind discussing this aspect of your work?

This question also ties in with the previous one.  For anyone who might not know, the tarot and its energies can be used in the practice of magick and sorcery.  A deck of tarot cards is a living thing– full of specific energies and elements and power.  It’s magick waiting to be unleashed.  It’s like Dorothy coming to the end of the Yellow Brick Road and finding herself at Oz.  It’s every “Aha!” moment you’ve ever had in life.  The immensity of just what the images on a deck of tarot cards encompasses is surreal.  This energy can be used, directed, incorporated in several kinds of magick– from candle spells, to mojo bags, to Magickal-Altars-For-A-Purpose.  Seize the magick, but don’t ever expect to tame it– grab it by the tail and hang on for the ride of your life.

When you are doing a Tarot reading, where do you feel your information is coming from?

From somewhere else outside of me.

Sometimes it is an actual voice inside my head (usually very subtle and super soft, so soft it would be easy not to hear it if you didn’t know what to listen for); sometimes it is an image that pops into my mind, and sometimes it’s just a feeling.  There have been so many times when I’ve almost not said something, and from somewhere I feel a little ‘push’– like something whispering in my ear, “Say it!”

Are there people that you have come across that are impossible to read for, or nearly so? If so, why do you think this happens and how do you handle a situation like this?

Absolutely!  What do I do when this happens?…Tell them.

I’ve tried reading for people who have felt like a Brick Wall, impenetrable, with no feelings emanating from them what-so-ever.  I’ve often wondered if this is just a wall they’ve put up for me, or is this a wall they live with all the time, or is this a wall that something else has put up around them?

I have a more difficult time reading for men than for women.  I’m assuming it’s because I can relate on a familiar emotional level with women; or is it because of negative experiences I’ve had with men in my life in the past; or is it just a ‘disconnect’ from male energy; or is it because the man I’m trying to read for in this moment is being a jerk…I don’t know.  I only know that– for me– it’s easier to read for women.

What do you feel has been your biggest challenge in working with your abilities over the years and how have you managed this challenge?

There are several challenges that I’ve encountered, each one touching something different…

1) Lack of self-confidence in your abilities– this is so easy to do, to second guess yourself, to lay heavily on the conscious down-to-earth practical side of your mind (“This doesn’t make sense.”, you find yourself thinking.)  But you just have to go with the flow.  You have to learn to trust your instincts and to know that just because you don’t understand the full implications of what’s been revealed, it will (almost 100% of the time) make perfect sense to your client.  You have to learn not to be afraid of sounding silly– or crazy.  I have never regretted anything that I’ve said in a tarot reading, but I cannot count the number of times I regret *Not* saying something.

2) Dealing with disturbing revelations– this has most often come about through criminal case readings, once so strongly and vividly with a missing-child case that I almost gave this practice up completely.

3) Releasing all predetermined judgments– you have to be completely…*Completely*!…nonjudgmental.  If you are not able to do this, you will not be able to give the individual an accurate reading.  It will be tainted by your own mind and its preconceived notions.  This is a biggy, but it can be done.  You get use to it.  One way to get past it (for me) is to allow myself to dive into the cards, almost like someone diving from a tall cliff into the water.  Let the cards swallow you up and talk to you and show you things and open doors to all sorts of worlds.

Tarot Readings with Amythyst
click  here



18 thoughts on “Delving into Tarot: An Interview

  1. Reblogged this on Tania Marie's Blog and commented:
    This is a wonderful and insightful post for anyone interested in learning to work with the Tarot, already an avid Tarot reader and lover, or simply wants to understand more about this insightful tool and what a reading involves. Thanks to Laura Bruno for reposting and for the mystical Amythst Raine-Hatayama for her insights. From someone who loves the Tarot herself and has a personal connection that goes way back, I really appreciate Amythyst’s share.

    • That’s an interesting question, Lorraine. Actually, I’ve never seen this deck. I do have a few oracle decks of various kinds, only 2 or 3 decks– one of them is a fun fairy deck one of my daughters gave me and I leave it out for anyone who wants to pull a card-a-day; and the other one is a deck devoted to trees from an American Native Shaman point of view. I don’t use oracle cards for readings, though. Do you do readings with oracle cards?

  2. Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    This is a great discussion about the Tarot — what a reading involves (and does not involve), responsibilities of a Tarot Reader, and how to delve more deeply into the mystery and revelations of the cards themselves. I came to the Tarot “backwards” in that I had already offered professional intuitive readings for many years before using cards. Far from being a crutch or silly “fortune telling device” Tarot offers incredible accuracy and ease of reading. Sometimes having a visual and telling a story create space for so much more information to reveal itself than a more “direct” conversation might share. People are always stunned at the how the cards describe and validate their experiences in such potent, spot-on ways. Excellent post!

    • Thank you, Laura!…I’m going to pop on over to your blog to have a peek around. I’m also fascinated by the idea of “intuitive readings” that just come off a readers head with no help from any divinatory tools– I probably find this intriguing because I can’t do it! One lady asked me once, at a reading, just as I was getting ready to lay out some cards– “Can you do it without the cards?” I say, “Ummmmmm– no.” 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Ayslyn's Corner and commented:
    An awesome overall explanation of tarot cards, readings and readers for both those who are new to the cards and who have been practicing a while. I’ve been reading tarot cards for almost three years now and I found this to be clarifying.

  4. Reblogged this on Stirring Up Magic and commented:
    This is a wonderful post on Tarot. Every thing she talks about are things I’ve learned or experienced myself–especially about feeling like some one is saying “tell them this”. Happens to me every time I wonder if I should say something to the person that sounds crazy or weird. And when I do, the client is always surprised and how accurate the meaning was.

    • Thank you, maralight! …yep, that’s how it works for me too; when I just give in to it and Say It, the client is (almost 100% of the time) astounded. If they only knew that sometimes I feel just as astounded as they do!

      • Right!? I once read for a man in the Navy, scared him silly because one of the things I was urged to say was something that a Sargent he looked up to used to say to him when was scared to do something. He had passed away. So it left both of us equally astounded!

        • I think the fact that deceased people often come through the cards is a fact that’s overlooked. Actually, I can’t recall where I’ve ever seen this aspect of tarot discussed. But from my experience (and obviously yours as well), spirits who have passed over use the tarot as a bridge. I find it fascinating.

  5. Wonderful! You just read my thoughts as though you are with me in my room while I am learning the Thoth Tarot. I have a question:

    All books are different and give a somewhat different explanation of the cards. Should I try to make a summary of all explanations? Or is a particular deck only to be used with a particular book?

    • Hi, Madam B!

      The books are all different because each of the authors connects with the tarot in a unique and personal way– and this is cool, and it’s cool that you’ve noticed this. Should you make a summary of these explanations?– probably. Another way to look at it is to simply acknowledge how they interpret the tarot, gleaning from each one something that might resonate with you and how *You* connect with the tarot. I’m betting, if you don’t already, you will have your own explanation & interpretation for each of the cards in the deck. It sounds like your personal relationship is already blossoming.

      Particular decks/books– there most definitely are books written specifically for certain decks. I’ve seen these sold together. This is cool too, but you also have to remember that the book represents One Person’s interpretation. The author was hired to look at, examine, and explain (in his/her own words) what each card in this particular deck means (to them). A reader will have to take this info and digest it, and then go on to look at and ascertain just how they connect with each card, what it means to them, and how it fits into the Big Tarot Scheme of Things.

      You’re studying the Thoth deck? Do you have this book? It’s a pretty in-depth analysis of this deck:

      “The Crowley Tarot: The Handbook of the Cards”

      Here’s a link to it:

      Thank you for stopping by MB!! 🙂

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