Saturday, November 24, 2012

Solid Tarot Readers Give Bad Advice

I tossed the cards for someone that couldn't ask the question on her mind. She was one of those people that didn't expect anything from a tarot reader. So, there is really no point in spilling one's guts to some guy that shuffles little pieces of paper. She had been slightly pressured into the reading by another.

Relationship issues became apparent as soon as the cards dropped. Her mouth fell open. I then shared with her that the man of her dreams was gone. Most of her already knew that. She nodded with a frown. 

Then the reading became unbelievably erotic. I could literally see her* masturbating while thinking of this man, an activity she engaged in many times a day. This she freely admitted. I advised her to stop. Orgasms are powerful things. She wasn't relieving memories but, in the moment, believed them on going. I am not saying this in a psychological break sort of way but in an emotional pattern sort of way. This was not healthy. 

As we delved into the reading, part of her sexual/emotional obsession with this man was the way he entered her. This too I could see. Her sexual persona was getting attached to that sensation. Again, this is not healthy. Our discussion showed this woman was not afraid or ashamed of her sexuality. Thank the gods for small favors!

My diagnosis, for lack of a better word, was that her sexual obsession with him caused her a great deal of emotional pain. For she continued to relive the relationship, her love and her loss whenever she was "in the mood," which, from what I could tell, was constantly. 

At first, I told her to spend her alone time thinking of some other past lover or some fantasy. She said she just couldn't do it.

It was then I felt the prompt to give her really bad advice. Given the puritanical bent of this country, its obsession on sex and its coupling of that with harsh judgement, it is generally a bad idea to say things like this. Primarily because, due to the above, so many people feel guilty about sex in the first place and one cannot heal oneself while feeling guilty about the process. Yet, in this case, I knew my words needed to be said. So, I gave the worst advice I ever uttered during a reading.

"Go out, find a random men and fuck them. Do anyone you are attracted to but do it safely. Do a lot of men."

She took that advice quite well as she realized I was not making a move on her. She said that people were judgmental of such things. I told her the obvious solution to that was not to tell them! When we parted ways, I was pretty sure there were going to be a lot of young men out there would owe me a thank you. This woman was quite attractive.

I found her on Facebook later and asked how she was doing. She said that she was healing up quite nicely in large part due to the tarot reading. She didn't quite follow the advice but she did follow the intent. She went back to an old 'fuck buddy'. This helped her recalibrate her sexuality away from her departed love. So now, urges do not come with pain, loss and torment. 

As a reader, you have to be confident in what you see, here and otherwise 'get' is what the querent needs to hear. The words you share cannot be filtered through your sense of right and wrong. It is important to trust that the querent is a fully functional adult capable of making her own decisions and interpreting your words as best for her. 

You only get to this point by doing a lot of work. By that, I do not mean a lot of tarot readings. I mean you have to uncover yourself. You have to know  your thought process well enough to know the advice is not coming from you but from the Highest Part of You. This is accomplished through meditation, examining your life through a ruthless microscope and cutting away as much of your own bullshit as possible. 

In short, a good tarot reader knows the cards and has some solid intuition. An accomplished reader has made real those old powerful words upon the Oracle at Delphi, "Know Thyself"

* I have come to learn that what I see like that isn't literal. I am sure she doesn't look exactly like what I saw but the message was clear. Further, seeing that and being able to share it with her did two things. First, it was a confirmation for her that I knew what I was doing. Secondly, it charged the reading what can only be described as platonic eroticism. That energy built trust and intimacy that was so necessary for her to hear what was being said.

Note: I don't post here nearly as often as I originally planned but I have a few more coming. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Job Is Not Being Psychic

I found myself in some demand as a tarot reader at this year’s Pantheacon.

During one reading, I saw a contradiction between what the cards were telling me and what the querent was saying. Looking up from a positive spread of cards from which I saw one negative sign deep within the Magician card, I found a client who was somewhat tearful upon entering my room now with tears streaming down her face.

As an aside, I will often not look at a client during a difficult read. I find it distracting and I don’t want to do unconscious cold reads. Such things may impress a client but that isn’t the goal. The goal can be nothing less than service.

As I read the cards, no sooner would I find a thread then she’d disabuse me of my notions of accuracy. I could tell she wasn’t being contrary. There was a real issue and a real solution that was simply not very apparent. Eventually, I confessed to her that the cards and her story simply did not match and that I was confused. I simply pulled three cards to clarify a specific point and rather than sharing what I saw, I asked her about the card, “Do you have xxx in your past or present?”

Immediately the rest of the tale fell from her lips. That information confirmed everything I’d been telling her. She had taken my words to mean something general rather than something very specific. A fictional example would be telling a store manager they are losing too much inventory only to have the claim denied with a statement that they haven’t had a problem like that in years and then learning that three stereos and a couple of televisions had gone missing last week.

From there, I revealed several things she could do to create positive change in her circumstances. She embraced them entirely.

She entered the reading tearful and left laughing with hope in her eyes.

This occurred because I was not all wrapped up in being psychic and proving my abilities to the querent or even myself. I confessed my confusion and simply had a discussion. Armed with more accurate information the solutions being offered up through the cards were immediately forthcoming.

As a reader, my job is not to be a psychic but a communicator and healer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How to Prepare for a Reading

The most important part of a reading occurs before the card drop.

Were you to receive a reading from me, I'd help you define the question. That is a topic for a future post. Then, you would see me close my eyes and become quiet. I never explain to the querent what that is about and I have never been asked. I am doing the following.

First, I'm calling the creative forces of the qabala to purify the cards. This is in the form of the tetragrammaton, the unpronounceable name of God, YHVH. I send this word through the deck. You do not have to use the names of the qabala. Some people start out by visualizing a white light passing through the deck that either takes impurities with it or burns them off. This can become as simple or complex as you like. Professional readers have to do this quickly. You can take your time until it becomes second nature.

Secondly, I am praying to various entities. For me, those entities are:

Heru -- in the Golden Dawn tradition, this is the angel of the tarot. I ask him to make the images true to the powers they are intended to represent. You can substitute any deity, spirit or part of yourself that you feel can help form a link between the images on the card and their corresponding astral energies.

Hermes -- I ask him to help foster communication between hidden forces and myself, as well as, between myself and the querent. You can substitute any deity, spirit, or part of yourself that you feel can accomplish the same task.

My Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) - I ask him to open a link between myself and the querent. This allows my heart to understand and speak to my client's heart. When you are good at this part, you can really get a glimpse of your client's inner beauty. Such things are a privilege and a sacred trust. Your querent may not know they are trusting you in this process but you should know they are. See that you betray it not. Again, substitute whatever you like as obviously you cannot contact my HGA.

Lastly, I am quieting my mind. I am making sure I am totally focused on the reading. Someone has honored me by asking for help. I can only return that honor by giving them my full and undivided attention.

Those three tasks can take as long as five minutes or as quickly as a few seconds. The more you perform these procedures the faster you can accomplish them. Deities are capable of very prompt action. That said, take as long a as necessary to form a link between yourself and the querent. Your spheres must be one.

Do you feel you cannot do those things? Just ask the deities you think can best help and trust them. Deities respond to prayer pure and simple, even if you are unable to clearly to perceive their actions.

Lastly, it is important to break the link when the reading is done. I consider it very rude to follow someone home that has not invited me. In essence, that is what you're doing if you do not ground the link. You do that by asking the same spirit to ground it out that helped you create the link.

TIP: You never break a link. You ground it. Breaking a link is the psychic equivalent to stretching a rubber band until it breaks. The backlash is just as likely to hit you as your client.

In closing, I need to point out that I mention magickal techniques here including linking and grounding. I don't expect that all my readers will know how to do those things. If you don't, feel free to comment and ask for clarification. You can also do research on your own. I find it very healthy to obtain a variety of opinions on most topics.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to Perform a Three Card Tarot Spread

This is the fourth or fifth time I've tried to make this post. Blogger has eaten several. I am now writing with Wordpad. So that I can save them independently before posting. Hopefully this will solve the problem.

Learning the tarot can be overwhelming for beginners. There are many meanings or supposed meanings to the cards and worse many complicated spreads which seem to be required. This can be a stopping point for beginners as some people feel overwhelmed. That is completely understandable.

There is a methodology that can help in such situations. Furthermore, it is of great use to the anyone serious about reading the tarot from a beginner to the expert. The three card spread is by far the most common practice spread than I have encountered. Over time, practicing the spread can lead to great insight into one's personal life and patterns. After all, reading the cards for yourself is very often an exercise in revealing your own patterns and in that one can find great personal power.

As is my personal pattern, I tend to teach by sharing my own experience. In that process I hold very little back. This attitude arose from a creative writing class I once took in which it was said that the more personal a thing is the more universal. So in keeping with that pattern, I will share a spread that I did Friday.


I hate to tease you with a header like that but I'm going to cover the preliminaries in another post. I bring them up here to let you know that I will be sharing on that topic soon.

Positions of the Cards

Knowing the import and meanings of the various card positions in the spread the you are using is critical. The positions are vital to understanding the entire spread and even any particular card. Again, the rational behind that will be covered in future posts.

The three card spread is very versatile and therefore many meanings can be attributed to the three cards. For instance, they can be read as past, present and future. They can be the thesis, antithesis and synthesis. They can be many other things. However, those are little bit more difficult to use on a consistent basis. So for the spread, we will use morning, afternoon and evening.

It is important that you clearly define what those terms mean for you. In my case, morning means from rising until noon. Afternoon is from noon until 5:00 PM the usual time I cease my workday. I will even use that definition on weekends or days off because that definition fits within the way I normally think of my day. Evening is from 5:00 PM until I fall asleep. That does not mean to imply when I go to bed. It means when I fall asleep. The reason for that is that periods of insomnia or late night phone calls causing stress would not be included in the reading should I use the definition of going to bed.

Your definitions may vary as they should. You should not hesitate to change them to meet your needs. Though in the beginning I would advise that you stick with consistent meanings over time. Until you become so familiar with the cards and the spread that variations in meaning do not take you out of the proper headspace.


Many beginners get all wrapped up in interpreting their spreads. They read definition after definition on various discussion lists, web sites and books. After dropping the cards, they then try to fit these definitions into what they think the day will be like. This is usually not helpful. It can even be discouraging because the interpretations turn out to be wrong. The art of tarot reading does not use such analytical processes in the beginning.

My suggestions begin with the idea of a writing down your question. The cards will always respond to your direct question. There is a great difference between the following queries. What will today be like? What will my day be like today? The former may result in a tarot version of CNN. The latter will be more pertinent to yourself.

Once that is done, shuffle and drop your cards. How you shuffle and how you select your three cards is completely up to you. I shuffle the deck and bridge them as if I were about to deal a hand of poker. Some tarot enthusiasts would be upset by this method, viewing it as disrespectful to the cards. I do not. However, if you do, you should use a different method. It is important to stay within what you feel is the right and proper way to do things. Otherwise one has the tendency to take oneself out of the proper mindset.

After you've dropped your three cards simply write down how you feel about them. Use words like happy, sad, enthused, fearful, strange, angry, and any other one or two word phrase this seems to capture the feeling you see within the card. Simply write down the card position, that card and those simple phrases. It is also important that you date this record so you know which reading applies to which day. Trust me on this, you will save yourself a great deal of frustration if you get into the habit of dating your readings.

At the end of the day, without looking at your paper, write down your emotional states at various times in the day. They should be things that created the most intense emotions, even if those emotions, only lasted for a moment. Alternatively, they should include emotions that lasted for a considerable period time. For instance you might have had a brief feeling of panic when a car made a left hand turn in front of you on the way to work and have felt a bit lazy for most of your morning. Both of these should be written down. Most of the time, people remember to write down the latter but forget the former, which is why I include first in these notes.

It is very important that you do your best not to find the emotions that match your interpretation of the cards. It is very easy to convince yourself through preconceived notions and subtle forms of personal delusion. It is almost impossible not to but we should all strive to prevent this as much as possible. The more tarot readings you do and thus the more mistakes you make will over time lessen the danger but it never goes away completely. The good tarot reader is an attentive tarot reader, attentitive to the cards and herself.

Using this method on a consistent and long-term basis you'll begin to find your emotional links to the cards.

To Those Who Have Taken My Classes

The above may seem a contradiction as I teach what appears to be a very rigid system of interpretation based upon the Holy Qabala. However these two methods interplay. For instance, if a particular reader has noted that the seven of cups makes them frightful or depressed or lustful and then learned that the Seven of Cups can be interpreted as unifying with one's vices they might gain some insights as to why that particular card elicits those feelings.

Furthermore, many readers do not use a system such as I teach. These readers are purely intuitive in nature or they have been taught without using a system or they have another system. Most methods are perfectly valid approach. They are simply not what I teach in my paid classes. . It is my goal is a teacher to present points of view that are not readily available elsewhere within your sphere.

My Three Card Spread for Friday

Position One, the morning, Two of Wands - the title of the Two of Wands is the Lord of Dominion. It is also a card of Aries. These facts are important for two reasons. First, I expected a friend to come by that morning. This friend and I have a lot of personal history. We are both fire signs and very dominant in our own ways. As dominant as we both are, our conversations have always been respectful but there is always an undercurrent of energies present. He is an Aries. That card may even be his birth card, I do not know. Therefore, it was very easy to interpret that my morning would be dominated by my friend. Indeed, even though he did not arrive until 11:00 AM, I picked up the house a little bit and took care of other tasks so I could spend time with him.

Position two, the afternoon, Five of Disks - The Lord of Worry. This card did not make much sense to me when it came up. I'm not much of a worrier at least at a conscious level. So when nothing came up for me, I didn't worry about it. After all, this is just a daily spread exercise. It turned out that during our conversation my friend and I approached topics that were once of great concern to us and those conversations took place after lunch during the afternoon.

Position three, the evening, the High Priestess - to me this card is the ultimate life mystery or at least I often see it this way. I see it this way because of its placement on the Qabalistic Tree of Life which I am sure I will discuss more in future posts. For now, let it be said that it joins the perfected personality with the highest aspect of the soul. The emotion I associate with this card is that of spiritual longing and often worship. Friday night, I spent time working on healing of another even though I was in a great deal of pain myself. This in turn fits very well into my concept of serving the divine in removing the pain of others. For within divine unity is always healing.

Final Tips

It is a bad idea to strive to be the next Edgar Cayce. Stay within yourself and be willing to learn.

This all sounds very time consuming but it can really take place within five minutes to pull the cards and five minutes in the evening to keep up with your notes. If that doesn't work for you, sit down on a Sunday, pull five spreads for the work week, one after the other. Then each night, fill in your impressions of the day. Don't even look at them. Before drawing your cards on the next Sunday, review the last week.

This should be much more fun than work. Though, some work-like tasks are involved.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Time Spread

The other day I was doing a professional spread. By that I mean one for which I was being paid, and quite well thank you. This person asked me the most unusual questions. Some were just out of left field. Others made me feel like I should have pushed Jason Miller to share his practical tarot exercises. He claims to do very practical readings. Mine, often tend to range from the spiritual to one's own ability to create one's own life. In this case, I simply made up a couple of spreads on the fly. The results were spot on.

I've been wrestling with a question. The answer sought is a common one among magicians. What would be the result of this act of magick? I decided to do a spread I've never done before, probably the result the reading just mentioned. I've come across it in some books but glazed over it. The spread involves laying the cards out in the pattern of the The Tree of Life. If you're not familiar with that, simply refer to the picture.

I changed the question to, "How will this magic unfold?" Then, I dropped the cards.

Kether (1) - Prince of Disks - This position represents the primal energy. In this case, this is myself, taking a huge step by, in a practical matter, diving in with magick and justified confidence.

Chokmah/Wisdom (2) - Queen of Wands - (please see end note) Chockmah is "God's" reflection of Itself. What It uses to understand Itself. In this spread it reflects the Prince of Disks in a different form but serves to clarify the Prince of Disks. I've withheld power. I haven't acted, not yet and this is very positive and powerful position to be in. Some magick is about timing.

Binah/Understanding (3) - Knight of Disks - This position indicates the highest form of the magick. Manifested Creativity.

Given the cards of the three supernal sephiroth so far, this act of magick will have a huge impact.

Chesed/Mercy (4) - Six of Wands, the Lord of Victory. The mercy I am extending involves a great many other people. None of which would even know I did any magick. In this case, at least for the majority. It is a very good thing indeed.

Gebuarh/Severity (5) - five of wands Defeat. A five in the fifth sephira denotes extra emphasis should be put in this card. In fact, that makes this card so strong that I'm going to pull more cards to understand the full nature of the meaning. There is a person I will be servere with if I do this magick. That person will suffer the intended impact.

This is the sort of thing that always gives me pause. Power means making hard choices sometimes. If you impact a life the way I am contemplating, you damn well better know it is the right thing for you to be doing. You damn well better accept full responsibility for your actions. Anything else is disrespectful to the person your acting upon, the magick itself and the operator. Never should one do magick that cheapens oneself.

Tipereth/Beauty (6) - This is a place of the balance. This is living in accordance with your Holy Guardian Angel's guidance. This position is one of personal unfolding. If I was cheapening myself, it would be revealed here. Knight of Wands, this is the Universe providing an opportunity for me to create. This is important. The check here is one of arrogance. It still may blow up in my face. Just because I have the opportinity to create, just because the universe is providing me a perfect venue for magick, doesn't mean I should take advantage. See preceeding paragraph.

Netzach/Victory (7)  - This is a position that reveals my human desire. A seven here would indicate I am way off base. Eight of Pentacles. Sometimes, I can throw out all my personal meanings and just look at the card itself. The card's name is the Lord of Prudence. My desire is to protect myself and others.

Hod/Splendor (8) - This position relates to magick, thought and emotion. Knight of Swords. I want to create by separating something out. Thus, I make a new whole.  On a football team, one player change can change the entire dynamic of the offense. No news for me there but it bugs me, I will pull more cards for this.

Yesod/foundation (9)  - Yesod is the place of our fight/flight instincts. Seven of Wands, Lord of Valour. I'm trying to protect myself. There likely is no need for that. This need for my own protection is an illusion. False. However, the six of wands in the Mercy slot says my other aim is right on target.

Malkuth/Kingdom (10) - This is the final manifestation. Nine of Disks, Lord of Gain. Overall, this will be a success.

Does this answer my question? Will I make a decision based on this? No, this is one data set. I will do magick to let the universe answer the same question in other ways. Readers of DoingMagick will likely see that work posted in the future.

The point of posts like this isn't to take you through every card. It is my hope that folks will begin to see the underlying technique and attitude being employed. I don't know if a card by card post will be common on here or not. I'm still fleshing out the form this blog will take. Feel free to leave constructive feedback in the comments section. 

End Note: I have very open and generic meanings for the cards in my system. The apply to myself and those I read for. I also have some very personal meanings for the cards. When they jump out, I use them. In the case of the Queen of Wands, my meaning is this: Fire made patient. Not smoldering but power contained. When fire is not fire, power is not power, but the full potential for both making it more power/fire than even the ace. It is pre-ace but manifested.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So, Let's Talk about the Devil

The Devil what is not to love about this horny bastard?

This post, like many I anticipate in the future, stems from work done using the tarot to walk a path on the qabalistic Tree of Life. That work can be found by following the link, Walking The Path of the Devil. The first half is filled with ceremonial magick procedure and revelations that may or may not hold interest for someone primarily focused on the tarot. The second half of that post speaks directly to the card.

One of the things that struck me as a magician and a tarot reader was the perception of multiple levels of this trump. The bottom most level was fear and muck. Unfortunately, most people people live here in one form or another. This is having a one night boink to feel better about being lonely only to feel worse when you have to admit who you slept with. Worse, you do it over and over. This is walking down your own emotional dark alleys thinking it is the only way home for no other reason than this is the route you've always taken.

I used the sexual analogy because in the Thoth deck this is really the card of Pan. We tend to think of Pan as nothing but a horny guy, trying to get laid and masturbating when he can't. He is that but a larger aspect of exists as well. Pan helps to create all life. Let me move back to the Rider-Waite card before I complete the circle on Pan.

The Rider-Waite card shows a man and woman naked (GO PAN!) chained to the Devil (KINKY) but, as unimaginative authors keep pointing out, they are only loosely chained. They could step out of those chains as easily as you could take an alternate route to the nearest movie theater. These same authors will then wax poetic about how easy it is to step out of your own muck. My response to this sort of thinking is uncivilized.

Changing your path, your emotional self, your mental self and/or engrained habits of mind, heart and soul is tough. Yes, the final release is easy but that is like saying an Olympic sprinter had an easy time against a field of competitors. That fellow worked his ass to get there! In the case of this card, the querent may need, therapy, spiritual guidance, your tarot skills, maturity or some other form of personal alchemy. Walking away from those chains easy but you have to have burned away some pretty bad habits in order to do so and that is hard!

So how does our rascally Pan work into this? As I discovered in that pathworking, there is a place represented by this card that is above the muck. Getting there means releasing all that garbage that accumulates in our psyche over the course of life. This is a place where you can create your own life because you see it as it is, not as your muck deludes you into thinking it is. This is very cool indeed.

In a reading, this card may show up in a position that represents the future. This may be a warning not to sink into the muck. It may also be map pointing the way to rising above the existing garbage s/he is holding on to.

As I write about the tarot, it is unlikely I will ever delve into huge lists of meanings about the cards. Instead, I will aim to focus on some meanings in a manner that I hope makes the card more robust for you, the reader, and myself.

Monday, January 24, 2011

First Post


I am a working ceremonial magician and heavy blogger. My main blog is DoingMagick. That space really isn't conducive to discussions on the tarot because it focuses on magickal ritual and like discoveries. This space will stay focused on techniques and discoveries of the tarot and perhaps other forms of divination. That said, I will post links here that connect to doingmagick when anything tarot related is discussed.