August 02, 2017

After-Action Report: Tarot Blog Hop 7/2017

After-Action Report

The Tarot Blog Hop is an international group of Tarot readers who get together eight times a year to blog about a common theme relating to Tarot and fortune-telling. If you read Tarot, you're welcome to join us - the more the merrier! - the but if not, you're welcome to digest the highlights I've pruned from my favorite entries from this round. 

As it happens, the theme for this round is to do with respecting the Tarot. The primary emphasis was on the Tarot itself, but hoppers were welcome to expand on this theme as they saw fit. I participated in the hop and you can read my entry here, but this after-action report is all about the other blogs I enjoyed reading. Let's get hopping!

When the Tarot starts reading you?

I was relieved to learn after reading Morgan Drake-Eckstein's contribution that I'm not the only person who finds himself reading cards when I'm supposed to be playing poker, cribbage, or canasta. Seriously, folks: when you spend your days reading the cards to divine the future, and then one night you're shuffling cards and playing a card game, it's hard to turn off the divinatory part of your brain that wants to keep looking for messages even though there aren't any to be had... or at least, there shouldn't be any to be had. Read more here.

Huzzah for meta-analysis!

Meanwhile, Joy Vernon discussed her opinion that an important part of respecting the Tarot is to accept the first message given to you instead of shuffling over and over until you get the message you want. I get that there are a lot of good reasons to go with the first message that’s given to you, but one of my favorite Tarot strategies is to ask the same question anywhere from two to four times and then track the similarities among all the readings. In this way, I can use multiple readings to perform a meta-analysis and create a mental scatter plot which shows the firmest direction among all the readings that one reading on its own might not have latched onto. Read more here.

Don't forget to respect the Tarot (Reader.)

I also appreciated the view offered by Karen Sealey who discussed (among other things) ways to keep your voice going long into the night. Apparently, I should be doing vocal warm-ups and using  throat lozenges. I hadn't considered either of those things, and had merely resigned myself to not taking any gigs longer than two hours. I must investigate vocal warmups. Read more here.

Well-worn Tarot decks are so charming!

I’ve got a Tarot of the Loka deck that I purchased not even two years ago but the edges have gone all foxy and the front and back faces are starting to thin. I put it through a lot of work since I got it, and I really like the weathering its acquired. Worn decks have such character. They're like old friends, you know? Read more here.

Angel Trumpets vs. Devil Trombones?

Tarot decks are tools created for a specific purpose, and imbued by their creators with a particular emphasis. This is the primary reason that I prefer to read with playing cards and Tarot decks with non-illustrated pips and minimalist trumps: I'm free to use the tool as I see fit. Or, why waste my time with an angel trumpet when what I really want is a devil trombone? No matter how I blow into it, an angel trumpet will always produce the same range and quality of notes. Read more here

No touchy touchy!

When I'm reading for others in-person, I don’t need them to touch the cards, but I find that my clients do enjoy touching the cards and the physical act of shuffling works wonders in getting them to focus on the question of the reading. But even though there are benefits to letting them handle my deck, I stopped letting people touch my cards because they insist on shuffling by just pushing the bottom of one stack into the top of another stack (which is like nails on a black-board for me), or if they attempt a poker shuffle they occasionally bend cards at what looks like 90 degree angles. Gahh… I couldn’t stand it anymore so I just stopped letting people touch my cards. Read more here.

You won't like me when I'm angry.

There are two ways that a client can instantly infuriate me in a reading, and I think they must be pretty touchy issues for the blogger Jack of Wands, too, because he listed both of them in the same order of severity:
  1. Clients who come to my Tarot table with a flippant attitude, and
  2. Clients who like to play “test the psychic.”
Inwardly, these things burn me up because I put a lot of effort into the work I do and it makes me angry to feel like I’ve wasted my time. I'm not a psychic, people, I'm a Tarot card reader which means exactly that: you ask a question, and based on the context you provide that's how I know to properly interpret the cards.

Outwardly, I do a lot of smiling and nodding, but I always stress to my clients the same thing over and over: better questions produce better answers. If they choose to withhold information or play silly games, that’s their business, but in the end I will be paid for my time and will not issue a refund when they’re unhappy with the quality of their reading. Read more here.

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