Becca Tarot Night Owl, Simon at The Hermit’s Cave, and KelllyBear got together during the UK meet-up and did a Q&A. With permission from Simon, I’ve snagged the questions to use as a quiz I can answer here on my blog.
1. Have you ever considered doing deck mods for hire?
I have, actually. But I feel like there would be a lot of liability involved, and I’m not sure that even with disclaimers there would be a way around that. There’s just to many chances you could ruin something that someone considers precious (or, if an out of print deck, something irreplaceable).
2. What is the moment you remember as “This Tarot thing is for me”?
Tarot specifically, as in the RWS system? That would be once I’d gotten my hands on an actual RWS deck (the 1971 Rider Tarot). I’d flirted with the cards a bit with the Sacred Circle Tarot and hadn’t connected. It was after I got my hands on “the real deal” that things suddenly clicked into place.
3. What got you into tarot?
I was raised around Lenormand, so that part was just a natural progression. For the RWS, though, it was 100% curiosity induced. I’d seen an image of the Hanged Man and it struck my curiosity to find out more.
4. Are you an intuitive reader, or a logical reader?
Both. It depends on the system in some cases. For example, playing cards and Marseilles decks, I read primarily by numerology which is logic, with just a little intuition in the mix. For tarot, oracle, and Lenormand, it’s a balance of both with a heavy leaning toward intuition 98% of the time.
5. What is your spiritual path, if any?
I’ve answered this before, but it’s Buddhist Pagan. Buddhist as an adjective, Pagan as the noun. I don’t worship or work with deity, for me it’s all about the natural world and energy.
6. What does your tarot practice look like?
To be honest, it’s all over the place. I use tarot (and other card divination) in so many different ways from self care check-ins to divination, conversations with the subconscious, and everything else in between. At the heart of it all, I’m essentially “speaking to myself”, though, in one way or another. The cards are simply a way to pull out what I need. I also do daily draws for mental health.
7. What things do you incorporate into your tarot practice?
Like my practice itself, this is varied. There are times I grab a deck of cards, take a couple of centering breaths, and just throw cards. There are times when things are very involved which includes ritual bathing, incense, candles, crystals, oracles and other cards, drawing, writing poetry, pendulums, journaling, ritual and spellcraft, herbs and plants…. the list is pretty endless. It depends on what I need, what my intentions are, and what feels right in the moment.
8. Before doing a reading for someone, do you prepare? or just give it a go?
I think I covered that in my previous answer. It depends on the situation, the reading’s intentions, how connected I feel to the person’s energy, and whatever feels right at the moment. The only thing I do dependably every time I do a reading, whether that reading is for myself or someone else, is take a moment to ground myself with a couple of deep breaths and an internal check of where I’m at with my energy and emotions.
9. Are your readings just online? Or do you do it in person?
I used to give in person readings, both for free and for hire. That changed after the circumstances that cut off my ability to communicate verbally.
10. Is tarot or oracle an everyday thing? Or just on occasion?
11. How do you work with a deck? Do you have a process or rituals beyond just pulling a spread?
When I first receive a new deck, I cleanse it with sage, and then do an interview spread. I do this for every deck when it first enters my home, as it wipes out the energies of whatever travels the cards have gone through prior to getting into my hands. Sometimes, if I’m really enamored with a deck, I may also do a depth study on it, which involves journaling on each card in the deck to go in-depth into my perceptions on the artwork and what my intuition is picking up concerning each card. (I’m about to start a brand new one of these with the Everyday Enchantment Tarot by Poppy Palin.) At the end of this study, I will then often do a variety of different tarot spreads with the deck as a comparison to how the study has assisted me in my understanding of how the deck communicates with my psyche now vs before I did the study.
12. In an average week, how often do you read for yourself?
Well, I do a daily draw, but I don’t consider those really to be readings usually, as that’s not their purpose. Excluding the daily draws…. At least once on Saturday, but usually 2-3 times a week depending on where holidays and the moon cycles line up, or if I need assistance in working through something.
13. How does what you get in a reading influence your behavior?
I often use tarot as a psychological tool, and so it assists me in understanding myself and the world around me in ways I wouldn’t normally reach without their assistance. This creates a deeper understanding of myself, and can help me in staying balanced and receptive to others. That aside? Sometimes predictive shit pops up in a reading, and I always take heed. I may or may not change my plans, but I will definitely be paying attention.
14. What’s the most profound reading, for yourself or another, that’s played out as the cards indicated it?
I go into detail about this topic here in this post. Most recent predictive reading, though, was last Tuesday and the warning about the cops and getting pulled over. That was one of those daily pulls for positivity that ran away into something predictive.
15. What really interests you when you’re not reading cards and other metaphysical stuff, excluding your day job is there anything else that equally grabs your attention?
Oh geez… excluding my day job(s)?? Ok so… reading, hiking, rainy days (love the rain), human anatomy and physiology, creative writing, alternative medicine, trying out new crafting methods, sooooo many things.
16. What do you do for your day job?
I am a nail tech in a Vietnamese salon, a farm worker, a landscaping laborer, a botany and horticulture advisor for a local nursery, an occasional gas station attendant, nature photographer, and a jewelry designer and entrepreneur.
17. How important are your spiritual practices to your tarot devotion? or do you keep them separate?
They are completely integrated with each other to the point that I can’t even imagine what it would be like to keep them separate (or how that would possibly work).
18. What is your best tips for new readers?
When learning RWS, start with a basic RWS deck or clone thereof. DO NOT start with a pip deck or a deck that has imagery that doesn’t follow the RWS system. Aside from that? No matter what divinatory system you’re learning, don’t overthink it. That is to say, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the system (such as card meanings, etc), you’re studying too hard and need to do more listening to your intuition instead.
19. Do you treat reading oracle cards the same way? or are they each their own beast?
I treat them the same only in that when I get a strong intuitive hit, no matter what system I’m using, the “logical” definition of the card is tossed out the window in place of whatever my intuition is saying. Otherwise, they are each their own beast.
20. What beliefs do you hold when asked what is it that makes the tarot work? Psychology, magic, luck, doesn’t work…?
My belief is that the cards are a way to speak with yourself. What you get from them is a reflection of inner knowledge and the subconscious, instinct, intuition, and information provided by latent abilities you possess that are both acknowledged and not acknowledged (ie: psychic abilities, etc). The cards are simply drawing these things out into the open so that they can be seen and/or felt, and thus expressed.
21. How do your reading styles differ from other people you know?
Most of the people I have known who read tarot use a very “book definition” approach to their reading. Although I often will “quote” the definition of a card as a kind of “review” of what it’s supposed to mean, I find that my interpretations come not from “the book” at all usually, but from somewhere in my gut. Some purist believe this is the “wrong” way to read, as sometimes this means my interpretation of the cards has absolutely nothing to do with their “intended meaning” in whatever system I’m using.
22. What purpose does the tarot hold in your life?
Guidance, and assistance with mental health.
23. What would be a reason for refusing to read cards for others or yourself?
If I am not in the right headspace, or my energy or emotions feel disrupted in some way. If the person is under 18 years old. If I feel that the person is in a state where they will not practice good common sense after a reading (ie: don’t ask me to tell you what to do). If it doesn’t feel right (no reason needed beyond that, really).