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Monday, October 5th, 2009 04:09 pm
I don't often get to read for people who aren't close friends or housemates. So, when I was asked to bring my tarot cards to a housewarming party that was being hosted by some people my partner knows from school, I jumped at the chance.  My partner, I'll call her R., suggested that I bring three or four decks and let people choose which one they wanted me to read with, so I pulled my Universal Waite, Fantastical Creatures, Gilded, and Arthruian decks off the shelf and put them in a non-descript bag. 

I ended up reading for between seven and ten people (I lost count) before the night was through.  It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least.  I read for some people who had never had a tarot reading before, but I also read for a girl who pulls a card for herself every day (that last one made me nervous, but it ended up going very well).  I read for very rational people and very emotional people, and I think that I was able to do a good job for every single one of them.  I even had someone tell me something along the lines of, "It's easy to be skeptical, but I see how that could be really useful," and another person told me, "That was more helpful than the psychic I went to once, and I paid her..."  I read about pets and boyfriends and romance and family problems... and even when I wasn't sure I was being terribly helpful or specific, people were telling me that what I was saying was pretty accurate. I just... said what I saw in the cards as it related to what they'd already told me, and went with the flow.  I even ended up "making up" a short three-card spread at the end of one of the readings to get at a specific issue that the person I was reading for wanted to know about... and it seemed to really help her see some possibilities that were already available to her in the situation. (For the record, it was one card for what she needed in a conflict, one card for what the person she had a conflict with needed, and one card for something she could do to difuse the conflict so that both of them could get along. The results of that little spread were... extremely on-point.)

So... some things I'm going to do the next time I find myself in a situation with a bunch of new people that I'm reading for:

1. EAT. MORE. Reading on a half-full stomach for a good several hours is extremely draining.  When I combined that with the tiny bit of alcohol I'd had, I was so spacy my feet were barely touching the ground after I was done reading.

2. Bringing several decks was a great idea.  I got to show them to people, let them flip through each deck and see that the cards aren't weird or scary and that I'm not superstitious about them.  It let me break the ice a bit as I gave them a brief idea of the character of each deck, and also, it allowed people to pick a deck whose art style works with them. For the record, I belive that the most people picked my Gilded, and the others picked my Fantastical Creatures and my Arthurian. No one picked my Universal Waite.  I was actually surprised that so many people picked my Arthurian... I love it, but it's not exactly the brightest and boldest deck out there.  But then again... it probably does have a ton of my own personal energy radiating off of it.  It's the deck I use most often for myself.

3. I need to memorize a general "romance" spread.  I have a great book with a ton of good spreads that deal with romance, but that does me no good if it's sitting at home and two or three people are asking me about their love lives.  I did the Celtic cross for them and simply focused my interpretation on romance, but it would have been nice to have been able to do something more specific for them.  In fact, I need to memorize a few more general spreads.  Perhaps one for career concerns, one for family concerns, one for "I'm not in a relationship but I want to be" issues, and one for people who are actually already in a relationship but want to know where they are and where they're going.  I also really liked being able to pull the "fork in the path" spread I got from C's book out of mental storage... it was just right for one of the situations I read for.

4. Some people are very willing to talk about their questions and situations beforehand, and others just want a general reading to see what comes up.  And I can work with both types of people.  I'm a very interactive reader... and when I told people that I would be asking questions and trying to get feedback in order to read for them better, I got it.  Even from the people who really didn't know what to ask and didn't tell me much of anything beforehand.  The cards themselves get people talking once I lay them out and start interpreting them. 

5. I could get paid to do this.  I've been thinking about signing up to be a paid reader at some faires or holistic/pagan events locally, and Saturday night convinced me that I need to take that leap. I worry that I'm not ready, that I don't have the skill level or the presentation ability that professional readers have... but if what people were telling me is true and not just them being nice, I'm underestimating myself.  Besides, I'm never going to get over that fear if I don't step up and try it. 

Actually... I went to Pagan Pride LA yesterday, and because I'd never done it before, I paid for a reading.  I told the reader I was thinking about getting into tarot professionally msyelf, and that I had just had a very attitude-altering experience reading for strangers.  She laid out my cards, and when she pulled the 8 of Swords, she told me that one of the reasons I haven't done it yet is that I'm confining myself with worry about what other people will think.  That was right on... I worry about my family finding out I'm a tarot reader, and there are students I work with I'd rather not have knowing.  I also worry that I'm going to look arrogant to my friends.  I haven't been doing this for a very long time, but I've put in a lot of hours and a lot of study, and I don't think that anyone is going to wag her finger at me and tell me I'm getting above myself.  That's my own fear talking.  The reader I went to also pulled the Hierophant and the Star... two cards that turn up for me all the time.  It was... eerie. She also pulled the 8 of Pentacles, which she said was about having the skill that I needed to be successful.  There was more of it, too, and I wish I had written it down.  She was very nice, and we talked for a while afterwards about how she got into reading, and she even gave me the web address of an event in Long Beach that's coming up that she said I should try and read at. It was very empowering, and I'm glad I did it.  Now I need to get in gear and start thinking about places where I can ease into reading for paying clients.



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