A Tarot Experiment: Blind Reading

As I have said over and over about tarot reading…the power, the knowledge, the wisdom, the insight, is not in the tarot cards– it’s in the Reader.  The cards are just a tool, a beautiful tool, that gives the reader’s sub-conscious a little jump start.  I believe that most tarot readers can actually learn to do readings without the cards.  I believe that we can teach ourselves to open up to our clients and connect in our own magickal way without any divinatory tool.  It’s just a matter of practice, of honing your skills, of learning to recognize and process psychic information, of learning to control any fear of being “wrong”.  It’s a matter of  trusting  yourself and listening to that little voice in your head. Below is my first tarot experiment, a blind reading.  Blind in that I have laid the cards, but I’m going to “read” them  before  I turn them, and then again afterwards. SL381683 The Blind Reading: A female, and the feeling of distress, but not just physical distress, it’s deeper than that.  There is a family member from the past connected to a traumatic experience or memory.  a Baker– pans and pans (baking pans) of large loaves of homemade bread.  Coins (pentacles) slipping through your fingers, and the cheerful “ka-ching” metallic noise as they do so.

Other impressions:  peasant dresses, or a peasant skirt; those little Russian doll figurines, the kind that is one inside another, inside another, etc.; the song “I’m a little teapot…”; white lilies and calendula. SL381685 After Turning the Cards: There she stands, the figure on the nine of pentacles; complete within herself, in a good place at the present time.  The energy feels like that of a “survivor”. On one side– a relationship, possibly long and enduring, but not without it’s ups and downs (the reversal).  It could also represent “something you’ve left behind”, and this makes me feel almost wistful. On the other side– the King of pentacles, a male family figure who has passed, or a man who’s influence still figures strongly in your life today. (And this influence feels all encompassing, whether this man is alive or not, you are– and have been– forever affected by his energy.)

Other impressions:  the idea of successfully “weathering the storm”; angel wings; sharing; standing at a threshold; “The Grapes of Wrath”; the ram– Aries.

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Note: The individual that I’ve chosen as the recipient (or guinea pig!) for this “Blind Reading” may, or may not, choose to leave his/her impressions publicly about this reading and its accuracy.  This reading is done in complete anonymity, and the only thing that’s really important to me is protecting the querent’s privacy and working on my own skills as a reader at the same time. I might also suggest other tarot readers try this and give us your impressions! What do you think of a Blind Reading?  Did a blind reading work for you?  Do you actually pick up information more clearly before you turn the cards, or after?  (Leave a comment, let us know.)

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Tarot Lessons @ Magickal Connections!

 Tarot Lessons now available at Magickal Connections!

New!…online tarot lessons are now available right at my blog, Magickal Connections, on password protected pages.  After purchasing these lessons through the following Paypal widgets at this link, I will email you the password for the pages you’ve purchased.

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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.

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Tarot Readings with Amythyst
click  here

 

Interview with a Tarot Reader

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The following questions were put to me by an aspiring journalist with an interest in divination, the occult, and the paranormal. They’re good questions, all, and I tried to answer them as clearly as I could:

1. Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies and interests, hidden talents?

I was born in California, raised in South Dakota, and live in Nebraska.  I’ve always been drawn to writing and started journaling when I was 12; I’ve always been drawn to the occult and paranormal, experiencing spirit contact for many years at various levels of intensity in my grandmother’s old house.  At one point, as an adult, I began writing books, books on the topic of divination (the tarot) and books about witchcraft and gray magick.  To my surprise, these books have been quite successful.  I earn a living, so far, through writing and tarot reading.

My hobbies and interests?  I’m an avid reader (most writers are).  I love gardening, collecting (swords & daggers, tea pots, rocks and crystals, old books, feathers, sterling silver jewelry, and cats); I’m a chocoholic, a master procrastinator, a lover of old movies, antique shops, forests, old market areas, and high heels (some of which I buy but never wear).  I love creating magickal oils and potions, eating ice cream cones, and designing websites.  I’m a dreamer and visionary caught in the harsh reality of the modern world and modern life.

2. You are a professional tarot card reader. What sort of services do you provide to clients?

Yes, I am.  I provide readings to my clients through a variety of mediums, including web cam readings though Skype, video readings, telephone readings, and emailed readings that are written out and sent to my clients.  I provide face to face personal readings within my own community, as well as in-house readings done at book stores and shops and readings done for parties and corporate events.  I also provide spell consultations to those individuals who want to cast a spell and do some magick but aren’t exactly sure how you put a spell together.

3. What was your career before you became a tarot reader? What made you decide to become a professional tarot reader?

Before I became a tarot reader I spent the greater share of my life raising a large family, being a stay-at-home mom and a home schooling mother.  My decision to become a professional tarot reader was a very gradual and totally unexpected choice.  It was probably the last thing I ever thought I would be, or the last thing that I ever thought I would do.  For one thing, I always swore that I would never be able to charge anyone anything for a reading.  Once I actually began reading for people outside my circle of family and friends, I realized that this was a job, just as any other occupation is a job, and that I would not be able to spend hours and hours working for free.  I also realized that what I did made a difference in people’s lives; what I did was something very special and unique, and I also realized that what I did– not everyone was capable of doing.

4. How did you learn to read tarot cards? How and when did you discover you had this particular ability?

I bought my first deck of tarot cards (The Goddess Tarot) between fifteen and twenty years ago.  It was the box that caught my eye when I was walking through a local book store.  For weeks and months, this deck called to me every time I visited the store.  At first, I tried to ignore it.  I’d give the pretty box a perfunctory glance as we walked past the shelf.  Eventually, I stopped.  I would pick the box up and look at it.  This went on for weeks.  Eventually, I stopped.  I finally asked for permission to open the box to see the cards.  I gave in to whatever it was that was drawing me to this foreign deck of cards, to this strange thing called ‘tarot’, and I bought the deck.

The first few weeks, I was simply enamored with the artwork.  The deck was totally unfamiliar to me, the meanings a mystery, how to put everything together to actually make sense of it never even entered my mind at this point. Although the ‘little white booklet’ that came with the deck was helpful in helping me learn the meanings of the individual cards, it did not help at all in learning how to look at the cards intuitively; it did not help at all in learning how to put all of this together on different levels to read the story the cards were trying to tell me.  This came later, with a dawning moment, one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments you never forget.

It was only after the key turned and the door opened, that I realized the depth of knowledge, the true mystery, the exciting potential that lay in a deck of tarot cards.  And the stunning revelation was that I actually understood the language.

5. How do tarot cards work exactly? How do they give a person guidance and advice?

The cards work, for me, simply as a trigger to unlock a series of associations– through the image, through my own intuition, through some connection that I really can’t describe and probably don’t completely understand.  I just know that when this connection works, it is truly amazing, as amazing for me as it is for my client.  I know there are people who follow all kinds of rules and ritualistic behaviors with their cards, but in general, I don’t.  I view the cards simply as a tool.  Two things that I do follow through with: 1)  cleansing the cards of residual energy through the use of a incense and 2) placing clear quartz crystal points on top of the deck when they’re not in use.

How do the  cards give personal guidance and advice?…they reveal possibilities for future events; they give warnings about situations, choices, or individuals in your life; they offer answers and alternative endings to the story; they connect with spirit guides; they connect with the divine; they link the human part of us with the universe in a way that imparts to us universal knowledge; and once in a rare while, they connect with the spirit of someone who has passed.

6. You have many clients all over the world, and they consult you via Skype, or over the phone. How are you able to read their energies, even when you’re thousands of miles apart?

Distance is irrelevant when doing a reading.  Everything in the universe is connected by a thin strand of energy, everything, and the slightest touch anywhere sends vibrations everywhere– this is the basis for practicing magick, and this is also true when it comes to connecting intuitively with another individual.  Just as a mother might instinctively know when a child is in danger from across many miles, through the tarot it’s also possible to connect on a very personal, emotional, and spiritual level with another human being no matter what the physical distance might be between you.

From here in the American mid-west, I’ve connected with and done readings for people in Canada, Great Britain, Greece, New Zealand, and Australia.  It’s been an amazing experience, enriching my life as much as it has touched their lives.  It truly is a miracle, there’s really no other word for it.  It also confirms to me the incredible capacity that human beings have to open themselves up to each other.

7. What has been your biggest challenge with regards to your abilities? How have you overcome this challenge?

One of my biggest challenges is reading for men.  It’s much more difficult for me to reach and maintain an open and fluid connection with male clients.  How have I overcome this challenge?  I’m working on it.  I would imagine, being a woman myself, the connection that I have with female clients is much more empathic.  It’s easier for me to understand a woman, her life, her dilemmas, her choices, and her fears.  Reading for men is a totally different experience, and I can say this almost without exception, there seems to be a wall that I have to get past in order to pick up the energy of the cards.

8. Do you consider your ability a gift? How do you help people with this gift?

Of course, it’s a gift.  Reading tarot cards is something that, for whatever reason, I have the ability to do.  How and why I’m able to look at a deck of cards and pick information out of them are questions that I can’t answer.  I think that everyone is born with a natural intuitive ability, a sixth sense, but not all people are able to put this gift to use.  I think there are some people who are unaware of their psychic abilities, deny them, or are even frightened by them, so they squelch them.  It’s like a muscle– if you don’t use it, you lose it.  By using this gift, you strengthen it, grow with it, and develop an understanding of it.

I help people with this gift by giving them insights into their lives they otherwise would not have.  Being aware of the choices available to them, the possible consequences that will ensue, alternate paths they can take, all broadens their perspective.  It helps people to make better decisions in their lives, to come to terms with their past; it comforts them, and it lights the way for a brighter future.

9. Could you share some memorable experiences you had because of this talent?

Oh, my, there’s so much that comes to mind.  The little girl at the Harry Potter bookstore party (Ace of Cups, reversed), someone she loved has left I told her.  They most certainly had.  A favorite cousin had moved away.  Bless her little heart, it was like a dam burst, and I let her chatter uninterrupted while she told me all about it.  There was the older woman, a doctor’s ex-wife, so marred by control and emotional abuse, it was painful to watch, painful to see all of her raw spots exposed.  There was the man who denied the affair, until he finally admitted that he was living with his mistress, but he didn’t consider this an affair at all.  There was the grandmother who had lost her five-year-old grandson due to a medical condition and problems with the ER equipment.  There was the young Hispanic couple with the sick child.  Highlights have included reading for a world famous architect and a grammy nominated musician.  The world is full of fascinating people.

Humanity opens up before me like some supernatural ethereal akashic record, but it’s all flesh and blood, tears, worries, loves lost, loves found, personal issues to work through; it’s hopelessness, it’s hopefulness, it’s finding clarity, it’s relief, it’s all bigger than life, and it’s all painfully personal…this is what it’s like to read the cards for people.

1o. How do your clients find you? Where is your office  located? Where can they reach you online?

My clients generally find me through my websites: The Witch’s Corner & Tarot: Books, Classes, Readings.  I’ve had clients find me by word-of-mouth in the internet world and email me ( witch_of_endore@yahoo.com ); and I’ve had people find me at social sites, like Facebook and Pagan related sites.

I don’t have an office; but I do personal face-to-face readings in my own community (Fremont, NE), usually at one of our local coffee shops.  These readings are scheduled privately and are by appointment only.  Payment has to be made at the time the reading is scheduled– this might sound nit-picky, but after having a couple clients miss their appointments and spending an afternoon sitting there waiting for them, I realized just how valuable my time is– and now, they realize this too.

11. What’s a typical day like for a tarot card reader? What’s your usual schedule?

On days I’m doing in-house readings, I try to keep my schedule and the atmosphere light and stress free.  Other than that, it’s just a matter of getting dressed and trying to estimate what traffic will be like in the cities so I get where I need to be on time. (I’m extremely punctual, so I’m usually early.)  It’s very different reading at a shop where the clients have to pay for their individual readings themselves, as opposed to a shop that pays me a set fee so the readings for their patrons are free.  When people get ‘free’ readings, it’s like a stampede– long lines and continuous readings that go on anywhere from two, four, or six hours.  I quickly learned that I have to pace myself and that it’s okay to take regular breaks– no matter how long the line is.  People generally tend to be realistic, well-mannered, and polite.

The Skype, video, and emailed readings are another story, especially the written readings…that usually means you’ll find me at the kitchen table in the wee hours of the morning with candles lit, a pot of coffee on, and me in my bathrobe, all comfy and busy.  Video & Skype readings are fun, and the Skype readings are really as personal as face-to-face readings.  I’ve had quite a time with international clients when we try to figure out time differences; it can be a juggling act and often results in some rather odd hours for either me or the client.

12. You have a natural talent for tarot reading, but is it possible to learn how to read tarot cards? How would one go about learning this skill?

Yes, it is possible for anyone to learn to read tarot cards. However, just as with any other endeavor, everyone’s skill level will be different, some people more attuned to it than others; but still, anyone can learn to do this.  It’s fun, intriguing, and it is an excellent way to strengthen your intuition, your natural psychic abilities.  Tarot cards can also be used for personal meditation and exploration, a very private thing, a special relationship shared between you and your tarot deck.

You’ll learn to read the tarot by 1) choosing and purchasing a deck…I always recommend for beginners that they choose a very basic standard deck to start with, and I usually suggest the Rider/Waite deck. 2) learning the basic standard meanings for each of the cards in the deck. 3) starting a tarot journal. 4) investing in a tarot course, or purchasing books on the subject, so that they can go beyond the standard definitions for the cards and learn to read intuitively, learn to interpret a spread, learn to apply numerology and a bit of astrology into the picture…there’s so much to the tarot, so many ways of looking at it, so many other esoteric connections to explore.  Studying the tarot can become a life-long passion.

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Update: Tarot Lessons– Text, Audio, Video

Tarot Lessons 1-6 are now available in text form (emailed to you in rtf); audio form; and in video.

Although I charge for the text and audio lessons, these videos are free for anyone to watch.  They’re based on the lessons, but as you’ll see, I tend to improvise from time to time.  And actually, I’m considering a “part 2” for the third video (Numerological Connections) because I have so much more to add to this topic… follow the link:

http://tarotreadingswithamythystraine.blogspot.com/p/tarot-classes-video.html

Tarot read

Tarot for Grownups: Book Release Date

“Tarot for Grownups”
will be released
March 29, 2013

“Tarot for Grownups” addresses issues and life from an adult perspective with unabashed candor and a healthy dose of sarcasm.  

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“Tarot for Grownups” is a no-nonsense book written to tell it like it is in a black and white, cut and dried way. This book is written for grown-ups, and it looks at their world through the magick and mystery of the tarot, addressing adult issues.

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Review by Dana Wright

“Tarot for Grownups is an often bawdy and brutally honest tour through the intricate landscape of tarot card reading. Filled with witty thoughts and blunt appraisals, author Amythyst Raine shares her very personal relationship with the cards. Not one to stay on any traditional path, Raine is in the trenches, teaching you to really see the cards as an experience on the whole, not as a grueling memorization project you will get frustrated with and drop at the next opportunity. No, instead, Raine explains how she learned to view the cards and wastes no time doing it. Her descriptions of the cards and their relationships to one another and the querent are spicy and full of intelligence. This is definitely a book for adults; make no mistake, but an excellent way to gain a different perspective on tarot and the puzzle pieces that make up this art…”