Tarot Reading

Welcome to my tarot info. I’ve read tarot, and written about tarot too, for a long time.
If you’re interested in a reading, contact me at merrytricks@gmail.com and let me know a couple of times and dates that might work for you. I read via email or instant message, phone or skype,  and in Second Life virtual world, as well as in person in the north San Francisco Bay area.

Some folks want to know about my approach before they get a reading, so here you go.

NAS Queen of Hearts on hands

As a reader I don’t go by some complex dogmatic system, but neither am I a simply intuitive reader. There’s some method, some madness, but the proof’s in the pudding.
So we’ll start with the words of some people I’ve read for.

~  Testimonials ~

T.: This reading gave me shivers. This was amazing. I never met you and you glanced in my head just like that.

L.D.: You are really good at what you do.

C.C : You should charge more.

E.B.: Thought provoking. She has quite a grasp of this.

A.M.: Thank you so much. This was wonderful.

O.C.: This seems rather dreary in comparison to how things are. Sorry to be so negative.

O.C., one month later: This makes way more sense to me now. I think I just didn’t know what it was about last time. Thankyou!

A.S.: That sound is the hammer striking the nail. This has been enlightening. Remarkable how much of it exactly describes the situation. Wise words. [Next day reiterating:] I have to tell you I was really astonished by what came out in the reading you did for me.

J.C.: Well… that makes some sense to me.

M.T.: You have relieved me of some stress and fear. Indeed, the reading hit home.

D.R.: I don’t know if you know how important all this feels….this reading…in making me know which path to take…thank you…more than you know.

D.G.: [My partner] said well done… agreed with most of it. I think the whole thing was right on. (Gave a reading as a gift.)

J.M.:  I heard you are good….you really are. Thank you.

S.M.: That reading was amazing.

L.L.: You know I came here neutral. I am impressed.

G.G.: I was talking to someone last night who got a reading from you a couple years back. She said it was uncanny, how accurate you were.

~ Theory ~ 

And now, on to my theory, presented in the form of Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: Can you tell the future?

A: TLDR: No, I can’t.

Full answer: The cards are universal archetypes, which means they depict things that arise in all peoples’ lives. So really, while the cards are random tools for meditation, every single card in the deck of 78 is a prediction. Because they are all things that happen to us all at some point.

Q: What kind of people get tarot readings? Is it a religious thing?

A: TLDR: I read for traditional alternative religious skeptical spiritual atheists.

Full Answer: All kinds of people can get something out of tarot. Among my following of repeat clients are people of all ages, from varied backgrounds, and with different spiritual perspectives.  I respect diversity.

Q: How seriously do you take the tarot?

A: TLDR: I try not to let it get to me.

Full answer: Tarot is not life, but a means to observe life, through lenses selected entirely at random, providing varied views of the current situation. It’s really just a tool for meditation, right? Yeah,  but, that said, it often surprises me what insight results, and I can’t explain why so often the cards are so apt.

Q: How did you know all that about me?

A: TLDR: I didn’t!

Full answer: The cards write a story. I just read it; well, and interpret it for you. Because you know your situation in full, and I don’t, you will understand what I say better than I do myself. I tell you the story in the cards, and you make the connections to your personal story. It really works best if I don’t know much, or anything, about you.

Q: Then isn’t it all just made up, a parlor trick?

A: TLDR: Mmmmaybe?

Full answer: Not really, no, because out of 78 cards, those 10 cards (or 5 or whatever, depending which layout you chose) are the ones that turned up, in those exact positions, so, at random, a particular story came up for you. Not some other story. And I told it in the way I saw it. And you heard it. And all of that comes together as The Meditation of Tarot, to show you things that I won’t see. If that’s a trick, it’s a trick we’re playing on each other, together.

Q: But it’s all just random?

A: TLDR: I dunno, is it?

Full answer: That’s where your own belief system has to kick in. Me, I believe in science, but science is full of chaos and quarks, and many unexplained phenomena await our further understanding. Maybe when we tap into an oracle, we tap into some areas of Mind and Time that science has yet to explain.

For further study: If you want to go deeper into this question, a good place to begin is this blog post on Stephen Hawking on Prediction and Astrology by Mary K. Greer, a far more serious tarot theorist and writer than am I.

Q: Should I do this, that or the other thing?

A: TLDR: Don’t ask me!

Full answer: Seriously, the cards don’t tell you what to do. And I won’t tell you what to do. Tarot helps you meditate on, and understand, where you are, and what possibilities are near. Free choice, fate, destiny, changed outcomes – these have been pondered by better philosophers and science fiction writers than me.  Your own destiny is for you to wrestle and I’m not going to get in the middle of that fight! What I can do is help you scout out the terrain, size up your opponent, and choose your weapon.

Q: But you told me exactly what I need to hear!

A: TLDR: Well, I am rather good, if I do say so myself.

Full answer: That seems to happen a lot. I’m not sure why. I’m a fairly deep person, though I play silly. I’ve suffered and triumphed, and I’ve read the cards and been friends with these archetypes for oh, goodness me, three decades! I have experience in seeing patterns in readings, and in life. I don’t believe I’m clairvoyant; maybe I have insight, intuition. And look at my testimonials. Some readings do fall flat. No guarantee. Of 16 readings in a row, however, only one querent was dissatisfied (and she tried again and was pleased), and one was sorta ho-hum. 14 in 16 recent readings were impressive. Nobody has ever been downright disappointed.  A fair success rate! Also remember that these are the cards that came to YOU, so in a way what happened is that your subconscious, tapping into the vast collective unconscious, told you exactly what you need to hear. You wrote the letter. I just provided the paper and the postal system.

Q: Isn’t it mercenary to charge set rates? Why don’t you just read for tips?

A: TLDR: It’s fun don’t make it free.

Full answer: I will spend a full hour or more and a great deal of thought and energy on a typical reading. Further, my experience and study go into that reading. You’re paying for wisdom. Feel free to tip on top of the fee, but do respect my professionalism with your fair payment. You don’t ask a plumber or dentist to work for tips, so don’t ask that of me.

Q: Can you read for my fictional entity?

A: TLDR: I can try but the cards always make it about you.

Full answer: People ask me to read for their fictional characters, their roleplay persona, their avatar or whatever. I have tried to oblige. But the cards seem to focus in on the person behind the persona: the writer, not the character. At best, we’ve been able to come up with a sort of mixed reading, where the outcome could be interpreted for the fictional being but was equally relevant to the real person behind that construct. So yeah, we can read for your Warcraft guy or your SCA duchess, but it’s really about you.

Q: Can you read me the cards about another real person?

A: TLDR: No.

Full answer: Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I had this one client who kept wanting me to read the cards of her crush, because she wanted to know what he was thinking about some other woman. I compromised by reading all I could for her about her relationship with him but the deal is, I can read for him about him. I can read for her about her. I can read for her about him-in-her-life. Had they come in as a couple I could totally read about her-and-him. But I can’t read for her about him-in-his-own-life, using tarot as some kind of psychic spy cam. I do not know what he’s doing with the other woman and the cards aren’t going to tell me. (By the way they had already told me clearly that he wasn’t into my client, and I told her that, but hey, hope springs eternal and hell hath no fury. And reading the cards some other way ain’t going to change the truth.)

Q: Can you do a couples reading?

A: TLDR: Yes.

Full answer: I have to admit, this one always scares me. The answer is yes, I sure can, but I’m always nervous as I lay out the cards. I just know it’s only a matter of time before the cards scream, “DOOMED RELATIONSHIP.” Oh well, that’s a risk you take, right? And so far, every couple I’ve read for has had a really strong, positive, and sweet reading and it has been a pure joy to read for them.

Q: So do you candy-coat your readings?

A: TLDR: Absolutely not. You know you want to hear the scary stories!

Full answer: There’s a Death card. It’s difficult but good. Better than the Happy Squirrel, right? And there’s a Tower card. And a Devil card. Those can turn up in your reading and they and others represent some really tough things to deal with. But I read them as they fall and you know, nobody has ever regretted that. Quite the contrary. We who have suffered know it’s sweet when the cards acknowledge the fact. The cards say, “Times are hard.” “All you created is destroyed.” “People are cruel.” “You carry a heavy load.” “It hurts.” “It’s scary.” And when the cards say these things, we weep with relief, because our truth is acknowledged and we are buoyed up by the feeling of being understood.

Q: If you can’t see the future or make it better what am I getting?

A: TLDR: You’re getting a sort of unlicensed spiritual therapy session.

Full answer: What you take away varies with you and your situation, but may include a deeper understanding of the dynamics you’re caught up in, some helpful meditations, a touchstone, new things to look for, new perspectives. Most readings offer me either some suggestions I can give you of ways to bring more balance between elements of the situation, or a symbol to help you focus on your goal, or both. Some readings even result in an idea for a personal ritual. Some clients use my readings to design their next steps in a job search, a business plan or whatever venture. Some take away comfort, and that’s what they needed. Some take away disappointment, but then they’re able to move on. Or maybe you’ll just take away a confused shrug. But that’s pretty rare.

Q: This is all confidential, correct?

A: TLDR. Absolutely.

Full answer: I keep your reading in strictest confidence. Even if you don’t tell me what your question was and I have no idea what it was really about, I won’t tell anyone else what the cards said. I speak of it only to you. The only exception is if you yourself wish someone else to sit in on your reading.

Q: Where do you read?

A: TLDR: In person or in the ether — wherever you are.

Full answer: I read in person at a cafe near highways 12,  101 and 116 in west Sonoma County, California, or online via Skype or IM or emails. I also read in Second Life, a virtual world. Readings in virtual worlds are surprisingly strong — I suspect that’s due to cutting out the “meat world” and all of its superficiality. In a virtual world we cut to the chase or more accurately, we have a meeting of minds. Something happens. It’s kinda cool. For more on that see Webspelunker Ghostraven’s blog post, A Tarot Reading in Second Life.

Q: What’s the bottom line?

A: TLDR: A buck a minute.

Full answer: I read for a suggested donation of $60/hour and $20 for each additional fifteen minutes. Most readings are concluded in an hour. If we go over that, I get very drained. That’s why I charge a little extra for overtime. Thanks for understanding!

Q: When you say “donation,” is this a charity?

A: TLDR: Yeah no — I’m not a charity but I do read tarot for charity.

Full answer: Feel good about buying yourself a reading, not only because of the personal insight it provides, but because it helps support a good cause. Right now, all proceeds are going to Hazel’s Helpful Hound, an effort to get a service dog for a severely disabled young woman. If you don’t want a reading, please donate what you can at that link.