July 05, 2017

The Tarot I do for myself


Tarot readers are like musicians: they learn to read Tarot because it brings them pleasure, and because it's something to which they've given a lot of their time and energy, they find ways to monetize that investment in the form of paid readings and private services. However, just like musicians, the kind of things they get to do in a paid, private setting are a lot different than the things they do for themselves. 

The kind of readings that I enjoy and which pulled me into Tarot are open-ended, speculative, and present-only readings. This means that although I come to my readings with specific concerns, I don't usually frame the readings that I do for myself with a single question. Instead, I'll just lay down cards free-form to match the key elements of my driving concern and see what emerges from the play between them. I also typically don't investigate the past or the future in my own readings because I don't think there's anything worthwhile to investigate in the past, and I do think that the future pivots on a razor's edge depending on whatever decisions I make (and whichever ones I don't.)

I also don't typically require more than a minute or two with the cards to get answers to my questions. I shuffle, lay down cards in an aesthetically pleasing configuration, and look for the answers that emerge from the tableau I've created. I have no need to mentally masturbate over the nuances - it is what it is and that's all that it is. Once I've seen the answer, I can contemplate it more later, but it only takes a minute or two to see what I need.

And as for the kind of questions I ask, those are typically for the purpose of gaining perspective or at the very least shifting my own perspective. When I read for myself, I don't care much for predictions. I accept that prediction can be done, but for reasons I've discussed elsewhere it's just not important to me if I get accurate predictions in my own readings. In fact, when I read for myself - or get a reading for myself - I don't care if any of it is accurate. The only thing I care about in a Tarot reading is if it's mentally stimulating and relieves frustration, anxiety, fear, or uncertainty long enough for me to take meaningful action.

That's what I do when I read for myself.

It's not what I do when I read for my clients.

Now, if you who read this are one of my clients for whom I've read in the past, please know that I love you. I love bunches and bunches. I'm not complaining about you, and I want you to keep doing business with me. This is just shop talk, alright?

So just like there are musicians who have to play songs they don't enjoy because it pays the bills, there are kinds of questions and types of readings that I offer not because they bring me great pleasure, but because they pay the bills.

I don't personally enjoy doing readings for past events that are long finished. There's almost always zero actionable information to be gained from such a reading, and I don't honestly think it's a productive use of time. Every time a client asks me to investigate the past, it just feels like I'm figuratively whipping the dead horse. No matter how many times or how hard I flog the corpse, that horse is never going to get up again. So why bother with it?

I don't personally enjoy doing readings for future events whose outcome frequently depends on choices within the client's power to make. If everything is fated, then there's no point in asking the questions. If you like the fate I reveal, you'll be happy for many years. If you don't like the fate I reveal, then you'll be angry at me for having done so and will be unhappy for many years. And there's no reason for it! The future is dynamic and changes constantly. I accept that the future can be predicted, but revealing the future to you will change your choices which in turn will change the future. Do you see what I mean? I don't think that there's realistically any way to maintain a clear path forward.

I don't personally enjoy dealing with clients who ask me to read literally the exact same question every week for months on end. The answer is the same this week as it was last week and the week before that one. If you ask me to do a reading in which I make a six-month forecast, then you ought not to ask me the same question again for another six months.

And this sounds rather spoiled of me, but I do occasionally get tired of reading for the same question. You who read this might not know it, but the majority of all questions that I receive - in fact, the majority of all questions answered by all Tarot readers - are about love and relationships. Which is fine - love and relationships are important things - but it can feel repetitive when I have back to back readings which excepting the superficial differences are fundamentally the exact same question: Does he love me? How does he feel about me? When will we be together?

I have my days when I do not enjoy doing Tarot at all, but I guess that's the surest indicator that I've arrived as a professional. I accept that my clients don't use the Tarot the same way that I use it, and I don't require them to use it the same way that I do. I may not enjoy the Tarot work I do that feels dull and repetitive, but my personal passions are what pulled me to the Tarot and it's my personal passions that sustain me. If you could know the Tarot I do for myself in private, you'd understand why the Tarot I do for others in public is pale by comparison.

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