It’s February! And I’m reading with the Playful Heart Tarot deck…
A little backstory on my foster cat Diesella: she is a year old and she was living with a small colony of feral cats in an empty lot next to a small business. Now she’s in my foster room getting lots of love and attention ♥
She’s come a very long way since I got her three weeks ago. She now purrs and loves being pet and having her chin scratched. But she still attempts to bite me every time I first go in for a pet, and she still spits in my face when I first enter the room. Once I begin petting her she calms down, but she’s got a way to go yet before she’s adoptable.
Everyone’s a little nosy every now and then and I’m no exception. So I thought I would indulge your snoopy side and give you a sneaky peek into how I do my Tarot readings – my whole process from start to finish!
If you’re a professional reader yourself, maybe this will give you some ideas and if you’re thinking about ordering a reading from me, this will give you some behind the scenes info about my reading process.
My Special Tarot Reading Method
I’ve been reading for over ten years now and I’ve read in a variety of ways – in person readings, tarot parties, over the phone or skype, written, video and audio recorded readings.
A few years ago, I finally found a method of giving a Tarot reading that just totally works for me – it allows me to really relax, tap into my intuitive flow and connect to the person I’m reading for in a deep way.
Most of the readings I do are distance readings, meaning that the person I’m reading for is usually in a far off location and not sitting right across from me. I do my readings as audio recordings – my client sends me their questions and I record myself doing their reading, after which I send them a link to download the mp3 file and a photo of their cards.
I only offer private Tarot readings once or twice a year (always in January and sometimes in July or August. Why is this? Well, back when I used to offer private Tarot readings year round, I found it hard to switch into “reading mode” at the drop of a hat.
My work requires me to be a teacher, writer, entertainer, organizer, book keeper, marketer, etc. Being an intuitive reader requires a different skill set and a different way of being and I’ve always found it tricky to flip flop back and forth between doing readings and doing other stuff. But when I’m doing a month of readings, I can get in my “reading zone” and really get in the groove.
Keeping it Simple
When I offer readings, I only offer one type of reading and I use ONE Tarot spread for everybody. Now this may sound kind of crappy, like I’m the McDonald’s of Tarot readers, but let me explain…
1. It makes things simple and straightforward for me and my clients
2. It’s good marketing
3. It attracts the right clients
It’s good marketing because when you offer a variety of options, people either get confused or they take a while to think about what to choose. Having only one option takes the guess work out of it.
Back when I offered readings year round, you could get a written reading, a live reading or a recorded reading. You could choose between three to nine cards and you could choose from a variety of themed readings. I didn’t sell many readings. True story!
I also noticed that when I only offer one type of reading, it attracts the exact kind of people I want to read for.
Before, when the readings I offered were more open ended and didn’t follow any particular theme, I would get all kinds of people asking me to read about all kinds of weird stuff…
I got clingy clients who’d order multiple readings on the same topic and clients who only wanted to know the secret inner workings of their ex’s mind. I would find myself cringing at some of the questions and began feeling this sense of dread about doing readings, like I was back in grade five, being forced to do math homework. I even stopped doing readings completely for a while.
But when I got clear on the kind of readings I wanted to give, I attracted the kind of clients I wanted to read for.
So you might be wondering: if you use the same spread for everyone, how is that personalized?
Let me tell you…
When someone orders a reading from me, I contact them and ask if they have any questions or topics they want me to touch on during their reading. I limit it to no more than three questions. Not everyone has questions but many people do.
Usually, I can answer all their questions using my Tarot spread as is, but sometimes for really specific questions, I’ll alter the spread slightly or draw a couple extra cards towards the end of the reading.
Once I hear back from my client and have a sense of what they’re wanting from the reading, I’m ready to get down to business. If I have a lot of readings in the queue, I may not be able to do their reading for a few days or even a week and I make sure to let them know the day they can expect to receive their reading.
Peace & Quiet
When it’s time to do a reading, I need peace, quiet and an hour where I won’t be interrupted. I unplug the phone and make sure the cats are sleeping – if they’re active, I put them down in the rec room with some toys and treats.
I prefer to do my readings in the day when my husband is at work or at night after he’s gone to bed. The mic I use is really sensitive and it picks up everything – if my cats are dicking around or my husband is tinkering in the kitchen, it will show up in the recording. So obviously farting is completely out of the question.
I start by clearing my aura and reading space with sage. I crack a window, light my sage bundle and use a feather to waft the sage smoke up over the front of my body and all around me. While I do this, I imagine the smoke transforming me into a less dysfunctional version of myself.
I visualize the smoke clearing my energy and dissolving any stuck emotions and thoughts so that I can show up for this reading unencumbered by my own “issues” (we all have them!).
Then I waft the smoke around my reading space – I sage the Tarot deck I’ll be using, my chair, all my crystals that are nearby, my plethora of Buddha statues, my laptop and mic, you name it! Nothing escapes the wrathful purge of my sage smoke!
Then I sit down and shuffle the shit out of my Tarot deck. I typically use The Everyday Witch Tarot for my readings because it’s the easiest deck to read with and I like things that are easy 🙂
Once I feel my deck is sufficiently shuffled, I hold it in my hands, close my eyes and think of the person I’m reading for. I typically have their first and last name written down on a piece of paper in front of me, along with their questions. I say their name three times in my head.
Then I say a little prayer (in my head, not out loud):
I now connect to my heart, soul and higher self.
I pause to feel the connection. I now connect to the heart, soul and higher self of (name of client), so that together we can deliver a reading that is accurate, helpful and exactly what (client) needs to hear at this time.
Here I wait a moment until I feel a connection (like a deep sense of calm and/or tingling in my palms) and then I proceed to choose the cards. I choose the cards by looking at the spread I’ll be using. For example, the first position in my New Years Spread is opening message from spirit so I’ll ask “what message does spirit have for ______?” and then I’ll draw a card. I do this for each card position.
When choosing a card, I alternate between cutting the deck with my left hand and then picking the top card, tilting my hand to the side and letting the deck fall slightly until it parts and this other technique where I kind of throw my hand up slightly while holding onto the deck until one card pops up from the deck. See the above video for a demonstration of this.
Once I have all the cardslaid out, face down (this is important – I like to turn the cards over one at a time as I do the reading and not all at once as that can be too overwhelming), I’m ready to begin my recording.
Here’s some boring technical info for you. I use Audacity to record my readings – it’s a free audio recording and editing program that I’ve been using for years and it works great! I use a Blue Snowball mic, which just plugs into my laptop.
What I love about using Audacity to record my readings is that it lets you pause the recording, so if I need to catch my breath or if I need a minute to really sit with a card, I can just pause it and then resume when I’m ready. This is a luxury that I don’t get when I’m doing live readings!
Also, if something interrupts the reading, like my cat vomiting or the pizza boy knocking at the door, I can just press pause and it doesn’t ruin the whole reading.
My recorded readings last between 30 – 45 min. Some readings are easy and straightforward, others are more convoluted and tricky. And sometimes I just can’t stop talking! I’ve never been great at sticking to a strict time frame with my readings so I aim for 30 min but I give myself permission to go over a bit if I need to. No one ever complains if their reading goes a bit long.
I read one card at a time but as I progress through the reading, I will see connections so I often go back and forth between cards, pointing out the similarities, etc.
When I read this way, I can truly relax and connect with the person I’m reading for. This may seem odd since my client isn’t even in the room with me, but I actually find that I have zero distractions, zero pressure and I tend to be less biased.
There are a few things that can be frustrating about reading Tarot in this way. First of all, since my client isn’t sitting in front of me (or on the phone) I can’t ask them any questions mid-reading. I can’t say “is this resonating?” or “do you enjoy your job?” or “are you single or in a relationship?” and in this way I’m forced to read blindly, trusting my other senses. Sometimes I feel like I’m groping around in the dark but this also really forces me to trust my intuition.
One thing I love about doing in person readings is involving my client in the reading process so that the reading feels like a conversation as opposed to just me talking incessantly. I counteract this in my recorded readings by sometimes asking my client questions – not ones they need to give me an answer for but questions for them to ponder on their own.
For example, I might say “The Knight of Wands is asking you what it is you’re wanting to take action on? What creative pursuit have you been wanting to explore lately?” This allows my client to do more with their reading than just listen to it – it gives them things to consider and think about beyond the reading.
Usually I’m able to answer their specific questions during the reading but other times I will wait until I’ve read all the cards and then address their questions. At the end of the reading I let my client know that if they have any questions about the reading, they can contact me.
When I first started offering these readings, my biggest fear was that people would ask me a million questions after they got their reading and that it would turn into a never ending email exchange of questions begetting more questions. So far, that’s never happened. I really have the BEST clients and that’s something I really appreciate. My clients rarely ask me follow up questions and when they do they are usually easy to answer and I’m happy to do it!
Post Reading Tech Stuff
Once I’m finished the reading, I stop the recording. Then I do some minor editing so that it sounds clear. My mic pics up a lot of background white noise and so I edit that out so the recording sounds crisp and clear. This only takes about 30 sec. Then I export the audio file as an mp3 and upload it to Google Drive. I take a photo of all the cards laid out and I email my client a link to their reading where they can download and listen.
Energetically Releasing the Reading
Since reading Tarot for someone involves tuning into their energy, it’s important to tune out of their energy once I’m done.
I don’t do anything dramatic or fancy here. I just put a check mark beside that person’s name on my reading list to signify that their reading has been done and delivered and as I do this, I imagine releasing the reading and that person’s energy. I used to sage after a reading, but I found that to be overkill. Simply intending to release the reading and let it go is enough for me.
What’s Your Reading Ritual?
Whether your a professional reader or just do readings for yourself, what is your special reading ritual? I want to hear all about it!