August 2017

Nervous? Drawing a Blank? Here’s My Fave Technique for Getting Unstuck During a Tarot Reading

I always tell people that the key to being a good intuitive tarot reader is relaxation, because insights and ideas can’t enter your head when it’s a solid block of anxiety.

But what if you just can’t relax when you’re giving someone a Tarot reading?

Being all chill and laid back doesn’t come easy to everyone, myself included, and sometimes giving a reading can feel as awkward as dancing in public when you were thirteen.

Here’s a sad confession: despite all my years reading Tarot cards, I still occasionally struggle with this and relaxation exercises only take me so far.

But then I discovered a totally new way to kick back and put my critical “but you’ll screw this up!” part of my mind on pause. No, it’s not weed, it’s even better….I created my very own alter ego.

Now when I’m caught in the throes of self-consciousness, I ask myself what would Veronica do?

So before we go any further, let me introduce you to my alter ego Veronica Noir…

Veronica is everything I’m not but wish I could be – fearless, slutty and independently wealthy with a hankering for day drinking, younger men and eating chocolate for breakfast.

At first I used to hide behind my alter ego whenever I wanted to write bitchy tarot readings or blog posts about dicks, but pretty soon Veronica went from part-time nom de plume to full fledged alter ego status.

An alter ego is basically a fearless, naughtier version of yourself! Tapping into your alter ego gives you permission to kick back, explore, play and make mistakes – which is exactly the kind of attitude that helps unlock your intuition and heighten your Tarot reading abilities.

In order to be a great Tarot reader you need to know how to let go, relax, shift gears. Stepping into your alter ego self helps you do this. Think of it as a relaxation tool, but way cooler.

Your Turn!

The good news is you don’t need to create an alter ego because your alter ego already exists inside of you. You just need to uncover it.

So pour yourself a drinky poo and ask yourself this:

1. Who would you be and what would you do if there were no rules or consequences?

For example, if sleeping around and copious day drinking didn’t result in chaos and problems (for me), I’d probably do it! Therefore, Veronica does it… All. Day. Long.

2. What are your guilty pleasures and true desires?

And don’t feel you have to get all weird and kinky here – just be honest with yourself. What do you really want?

The answers to these two questions make up the backbone of your alter ego. From there you can exaggerate and embellish to create a character, adding in little details like clothing style, hobbies, career, etc.


Once you’ve got your alter ego all fleshed out, try drawing a couple Tarot cards for yourself. How would your alter ego read these cards? What would they say? Have fun with this. Use a notebook and pen if it helps you.

Test it out

During your next reading, if you find yourself stuck or nervous, try asking “how would my alter ego see these cards?”

I want to be clear: I’m not suggesting you go all drama student and start channeling your alter ego in a really over the top way. I’m just suggesting you allow your mind to become playful and elastic, letting go and seeing where it takes you!

So tell me…

Who is your alter ego and did this exercise help you limber up your Tarot reading muscles? Tell me all about it in the comments below 🙂


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Tarot Exercise: Sister Cards

A Tarot deck has 78 cards and each card depicts something different and has a different meaning.


Some cards are very, very similar and I think of these cards as “sister cards”. Let me give you a few examples.

The Sun is a very happy card that’s just oozing positivity. Also oozing happy, good vibes? The Ten of Cups

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

Of course, these cards mean slightly different things, but they both have a similar message.

The Hermit is all about alone time and going within, similar to the Four of Swords.

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

These two don’t have the exact same meaning, but there are some striking similarities.

Now let’s take a look at an unlikely pair of sisters: The Fool and Death

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

While these two may seem to be totally different, their core message is one of renewal, fresh beginnings and starting over.

When sister cards appear in a reading

When two similar cards with a similar message appear in your reading, it’s like your cards have gone from murmuring calmly to shouting maniacally at you!

It’s like your cards are underscoring their message to you and saying “hey, pay attention! I want you to really get this!”

Can you spot the sister cards in the reading below?

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

The Six of Swords, The Chariot and the Eight of Cups are all sister cards in that they all bear the message of “moving on”. The Tower and the Eight of Cups are also sister cards – they are both about losing or walking away from what you’ve worked hard to build up. In fact all four of these cards have the theme of “out with the old, in with the new”.

In other words, the appearance of a sister card strengthens the message and shows you what you need to focus on.

Studying the sister cards gives you a better understanding of Tarot

When you compare and contrast sister cards, you get a new perspective and deeper understanding of the Tarot card meanings.

Let’s take a peek at The Hermit and Four of Swords and I’ll show you what I mean…

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot

The Hermit is about sequestering yourself to avoid distractions so that greater self knowledge and peace can be attained – like going to a silent meditation retreat, taking a long walk by yourself or becoming a nun.

The Four of Swords is kind of similar, but less intense. It’s more like calling in sick to work so you can spend the day reading, watching movies and taking naps because you just need a break from the everyday shitshow of life.

Both are peaceful cards, but the Four of Swords is more about rest and recharging your batteries, while The Hermit is more about going deeper into the self.

How many “sisters” can you spot?

There are countless sister card pairings throughout the Tarot. One card can have many sisters. I think Death is a sister to The Fool, The Tower, Ten of Swords and more.

Take a quick gander through your Tarot deck: how many sister cards can you spot? Which pairings really jump out at you?

Share your findings in the comments below 🙂

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My 5 Favorite Tarot Decks (that I actually USE!)

As someone who has a Tarot deck collecting problem, I have tons and tons of decks. And because I have so many, I can’t possibly use them all equally.

So I have my go-to, trusted decks that I work with on a regular basis, then I have the ones that I bust out every now and then, while all the rest basically sit on my bookshelf collecting dust.

I revealed my top 10 Tarot decks two years ago and as I read back over it I see that nothings changed – those are still my top 10 decks. Although I did acquire two more (the Heart and Hands Tarot by Liz Blackbird and the Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake) that I would like to add to that list.

So this got me thinking….what makes a Tarot deck a go-to deck?  What makes me want to use a deck repeatedly, over a long period of time, as opposed to a deck that gets used only occasionally or not at all?

The decks that are just collecting dust on my bookshelf are all wonderful decks with fantastic art and in some ways are much nicer looking than my go-to decks. So it’s not a simple matter of aesthetics.

I’ve rounded up the 5 Tarot decks that I use most often and tried to find some common threads. First I’ll share my top 5 most used decks and then I’ll explore what they all have in common…

Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot

dame darcy mermaid tarot

This deck has been a solid favorite of mine since I got it three or four years ago.

I like how it follows the Rider Waite imagery enough to make it familiar, but is still quirky enough to be interesting. And of course I LOVE the mermaid theme!

There was some controversy over this deck using “recycled” art from the Tarot of the Mermaids, a deck I also own.

While it cannot be denied that there are quite a few extremely similar cards in this deck, I just can’t muster the energy to get my knickers in a twist over it. This is probably because I love the Dame Darcy deck so much that I’m like a mother of a serial killer – I’m blind to any possible flaws.

Hezicos Tarot (by Mary Griffin)

hezicos tarot

I didn’t expect to love this deck as much as I have. I was initially drawn to it’s cheery color scheme and the weird little creatures that populate the deck, but I figured this would end up being just another cool deck in my collection.

However, the interesting details in the art drew me in and helped me get a new understanding of each card.

This deck’s characters are easy to converse with (if talking to figures in Tarot cards is your thing) and each card seems to pull you in and force you to contemplate things in a new way. In fact, every time I read with this deck I feel like I’m being taken on a journey of sorts. Thus, it’s one I come back to again and again.

Apart from the court cards, which can be tricky as f*ck to read, this is a reliably easy deck to use.

Crystal Visions Tarot

crystal visions tarot

I was first drawn to the Crystal Visions Tarot by Jennifer Galasso because I loved the pretty and colorful artwork, which is no different than asking someone out simply because they’re hot.

But despite this decks pretty, ethereal vibe, it has a surprising amount of depth. Kind of like finding out that hot surfer guy with the ripped abs and delicious tan is also good at conversation! Yum!

This deck follows the Rider Waite format, which gives it a classic feel and makes it easy to read with, but unlike the Rider Waite deck, it makes me feel insanely happy and optimistic whenever I work with it!

I ended up trimming off the annoying white borders because they totally pissed me off. This deck is 100% improved without the borders in my opinion.

Heart & Hands Tarot

heart and hands tarot

This is a black and white Tarot deck created by Liz Blackbird, featuring totally rockin’ pen and ink drawings.

Again, this was one of those decks that surprised me in just how much I liked it – kind of like going out with an artsy hipster guy only because you’re bored and have nothing better to do on a Friday night, but then discovering that not only is he fascinating and unexpectedly sensual, but he just might be The One.

I wondered at first if I was going to love or hate the absence of color. Well, I ended up loving it. Sometimes a plethora of hues can clutter the mind as if to say “hey look at me!” while these black and white cards leave me space to explore while avoiding distraction.

Universal Waite Tarot

universal waite tarot

This deck is a winner! It’s a re-colored version of the classic Rider Waite deck and it’s a deck I come back to again and again.

Like a well worn pair of underwear, what it lacks in excitement and sexiness, it makes up for in comfort.

This isn’t my favorite deck by any means, but it’s one I use time and again. I like using it for readings because:

  1. People are familiar with it
  2. It’s just a very easy, simple deck to read with and…
  3. It has a timeless appeal – I never really get bored of this deck


What all these decks have in common:

Okay, so I tried to find some common threads, but I was pitifully unsuccessful.

I was going to say that none of these decks are themed decks, but the Dame Darcy deck is a mermaid deck and the Heart & Hands has a black and white theme, so there goes that theory.

I was also going to say that none of these decks are busy, but the Heart & Hands Tarot is kind of reminiscent of Zentangles, so there goes that theory!

The only real common thread I could find was that these decks all stick to the Rider Waite theme. But big deal. That says nothing.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that it’s not the decks….. it’s me.

My 5 fave decks appeal to me for different reasons and the fact that I use them more than some of my other, equally wonderful decks, probably just comes down to my personality. Which is why you’re go-to decks are probably different from mine.

And in that sense, I think the decks you use the most probably say something about you – your personality, your likes, dislikes, subconscious desires, etc…

So now I’m dying to know: what are your most-used, go-to Tarot decks? Tell me in the comments below 🙂

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The Most Important Step in Learning Tarot

What do you think is the most important step in learning how to read Tarot cards? Do you think it’s…

a) Learning the Tarot card meanings?

b) Getting the right deck and book?

c) Opening to your intuition?

In my own humble opinion, it’s NONE of these things. I strongly feel that the most important step in learning how to read Tarot cards is this…

Spending time just looking at your deck and familiarizing yourself with your cards.

The funny thing is, this important step often gets overlooked because Tarot newbies are in such a rush to start learning the meanings and doing readings.

But I’ll say it again – the most important thing you can do when you first get your Tarot deck is to just sit there and go through the deck, taking your time to observe each card.

Why is this so important?

Spending time getting to know your cards lets you get a big picture view of your Tarot deck. It also helps you connect with your deck and feel like your Tarot cards are a familiar thing.

Getting your first Tarot deck can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, but spending time just observing the cards helps you get more comfortable with them.

Most people want to dive into learning the Tarot meanings first. I get it. I was like this too. But that’s like going on a first date with someone you’ve just met and expecting them to spill all their secrets right off the bat.

Trust needs to be built before secrets can be revealed, whether it’s a relationship with a person or a Tarot deck.

Try this!

Choose your most and least favorite Tarot cards:

The Housewives Tarot

1. As you go through your Tarot deck, notice what cards strongly appeal to you and set those aside. You’ll also want to set aside the cards you really dislike.

2. Go through your “Likes” pile and choose the card you like the most and do the same thing with your “Dislikes” pile, picking the one you dislike the most.

3. Compare and contrast your favorite Tarot card to your least favorite. How are they different? How are they similar?

4. Find out what your favorite Tarot card says about you and what your least favorite Tarot card says about you!


Group your Tarot cards into 5 suits:

1. Separate your Tarot cards into 5 groups – Majors, Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.

2. Spend time looking at each group and comparing and contrasting each group. You will notice that each group has a particular feel and perhaps even it’s own color scheme. What symbols re-appear in the Suit of Wands? What symbols re-appear in the Swords, etc?

3. What suit do you relate most strongly to? Here’s a fun quiz to get you started!


Group your Tarot cards by number:

Leave the Major Arcana out for this one and group the Minors according to their number. Look at each grouping and notice the similarities and differences in the imagery. Do particular numbers seem kind of crappy? Do some seem really happy?

All the 2’s from the Everyday Witch Tarot


Look at all the Court Cards:

Crystal Visions Tarot

1. Group all the Kings together, all the Queens, etc, until you have four groups of four.

2. What kind of a vibe do you get when you look at the Kings? How about when you gaze on the Queens? Knights? Pages?

3. Do any particular Court Cards stand out to you? Which ones and why?

Court cards can be tricky! When you’re ready to go deeper, here’s some helpful exercises:

Why the Court cards are so hard to read (and what you can do about it)

Court Cards: Learn the Once and for ALL!

Well, that should give you enough to work with for the next year 😉 so I’ll leave you to it!

But first, I want to know…

What has been the most important step in learning Tarot for YOU? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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