What Is Tarot Reading? (The Hocus Pocus Version)

I came across a Howcast production on “What Is Tarot Reading?”–

The host of the Howcast, Paula Roberts declares with dogmatic conviction that “No real psychic reads for themselves.” The rationale, claims Roberts, has to do with the issue of objectivity. One cannot objectively read for oneself.

There is nothing objective about tarot readings, however. In fact, she starts off by saying there are different ways to read tarot, one being the mechanical approach where you assign a set meaning to each card and then apply those meanings objectively. What an interesting thing for her to say, considering that would be the only time tarot readings are objective, which she agrees with and yet contradicts when she says a psychic cannot read for herself due to the lack of objectivity. Um… what?

A good tarot reading isn’t a trial where a verdict has to be rendered. Of course if a tarot reading was like a trial, then I’d agree with Roberts and say you cannot render your own verdict. But tarot isn’t about objectivity at all. It is the unabashed embrace of the subjective. When you read for yourself, it is about what the signs and symbols of tarot mean to you and the significance of those meanings to you. Whether you are reading for others or for yourself, the interpretive process is wholly subjective, completely within the confines of the mind, though therein lies its power.

A tarot reading, at least a good one, has a way of triggering the mind into action and that action then becomes externalized, objective. The whole objective part happens much later in time, however, after the tarot practitioner and Seeker have parted ways.

If we want to take this one step further into the beyond, let’s say there is a universal life force that connects us all, that unifies the space-time continuum into one unit. I’ve heard it referred to as the Akashic records by some, especially psychics. Psychics contend that they have a stronger connection to the Akashic records than others and that is how they retrieve psychic knowledge that seem to defy the space-time continuum, i.e., they can see the future, the far past, talk to dead people, know what’s going on someplace far away, blah blah.

Let’s diagram this. We’ll illustrate the Akashic records or universal qi/life force as a unit circle.


In theory, a psychic can connect to any point on the unit circle (aka the Akashic records aka the universal life force that connects us all and defies the space-time continuum) and see into certain information for a particular person, place, or event. If so, then why can’t a psychic read for him or herself? Is it because the psychic’s own consciousness is so opaque when it comes to the self that the psychic can’t reach past it to access the Akashic records?

I’m not claiming I have any idea. I’m just saying that you can read tarot for yourself and to say that no real psychic, whatever the hell that means, does it is just Roberts’ way of imposing her position onto others. There is no concrete limitation like that applied uniformly across the board. Maybe she cannot use the tarot for divination purposes for herself, but that for sure doesn’t mean others cannot do so effectively.

True, there are many ways to read tarot, as Roberts mentioned, and I refer to this so-called “psychic” approach to tarot reading as the hocus pocus version because that’s what it reminds me of: birthday party magicians who are able to wow the naïve but there is nothing special, gifted, or magical about what they do; it’s a mechanical application that anyone can learn. Likewise, tarot requires your intuition, but it’s something we all have and like our muscles, it’s something that can be developed and enhanced with training.

No “psychic” will read tarot for him or herself. Pah, I say. Psychics can. Most simply choose not to for philosophical reasons.

Like my application of tarot, predictive readings and fortunetelling do more harm than good. It takes wisdom to distinguish between what you should know and what level of your brain you should know it at (conscious, subconscious, unconscious…). Those with wisdom and strong intuitive abilities will opt not to bring to their conscious certain information from their unconscious because through their wisdom, they understand that knowing such information about themselves won’t be beneficial.

However, for some of these psychics, this is only a self-imposed philosophy. They understand that everyone is different and if someone feels he or she could be helped by knowing and the psychic can help tap into that knowledge, then the psychic will. In that case, the psychic has opted– out of voluntary will– not to read for herself, but to remain open to reading for others. It has nothing to do with whether she can or cannot read for herself. It’s about imposing one personal moral philosophy on the self but not imposing the same on others.

Amethyst Crystal: The Healer’s Stone


In ancient times, the amethyst was believed to ward off drunkenness and to help its wearer maintain a calm, sober mind. Soldiers often incorporated the amethyst into their armor, or at least that’s what I read. The amethyst was also a stone of the high priests and is referenced in several verses in the Bible, namely Exodus and Revelations. What I find most interesting of all is across many cultures and civilizations, the amethyst has consistently been considered a healer’s stone, one with potent healing properties, for both physical and mental ailments.

The hubby visited Peru recently and brought me back the above amethyst crystal. There were hundreds upon hundreds of crystals at the little shop in Cusco but that one resonated with him as the one I’d like most.

Amethyst is a crystalline quartz that can range from a light pastel purple like the one pictured to a deep, rich purple with blue undertones. Generally I see the light amethysts as conducive of channeling intuition and energies helpful to attaining secret knowledge or wisdom. Dark amethysts are perhaps more practical for the everyday objectives: channeling energies that will help attract power and affluence. The light amethyst crystal is perfect for me, as I’ve been seeking a more spiritual path these days.

When reading tarot for issues that involve healing of some kind, I’ll be keeping this amethyst crystal nearby.

The Rider Tarot Deck Miniature Edition


My 20-year-old Rider Tarot is my go-to reading deck. Since I’m often mobile and now doing tarot readings online, which I can do from my portable tablet from, well, anywhere, I found that I needed to get a tarot deck that was equally portable. I found it. The Rider Tarot Deck Miniature Edition. I love it!


Cute, though it does bother me to have The Magician on the big version and The High Priestess on the mini. Not very feminist. But moving on. The above photo offers a size comparison.

The original box is 2.9″ x 4.75″ x 1.2″. The mini box is 1.9″ x 3.0″ x 1.2″. Heck, I can toss the mini into my clutch!

Continue reading “The Rider Tarot Deck Miniature Edition”

Conviction in the Crazy: Past Lives or a Hyperactive Imagination

I have a hyperactive imagination. So it makes sense that I would think I’ve dreamt of my past life before. Because I’m crazy. That is the only logical explanation. I’m crazy.

When I was a kid, third grade ish, I dreamt of my death, but it wasn’t me. Here’s what I could recall:

Cream-colored ankle-length nightgown, really conservative and dowdy looking but made of fine, elegant material; long, thick hair, kind of like the long, thick hair I have now; being surrounded by my loved ones during my final moments, being the calm one assuring them that everything would be okay, being loved deeply by them, feeling that love, and…

…holding out and fighting off death waiting for my husband to return.

He was away and I wanted to see him one last time. He was an absentee kind of man. Never home, not because it was a loveless marriage–in fact, far from that. But rather, he was a merchant of some sort, had something to do with ships. I recall incessantly asking this fellow whether the message (?) was sent to my husband, the fellow repeatedly assuring me it was, and me being impatient about it all. There was some sort of note or message I was determined to get to him. That’s what I recall.

I died not having seen the so-called hubby one last time, as was my wish. However, everything else could not have been more perfect. I clearly lived privileged and I must have been a decent human being because the people around me all seemed to be genuine and sincere with their affections.

It was a recurring dream, or maybe daydream, or just some flash of memory-that’s-not-really-memory in my mind that I’m not articulating very well here. I had it again in seventh grade. I could even draw this:


So okay, that isn’t exactly drawn to scale, but you get the idea. For instance, there’s more space than that between the bed and the dresser, but my sketching ability is shoddy.

Give or take, I believe that to be what I saw a lot, from “my” perspective in this surreal-life-that’s-purportedly-mine. It was a beautiful, large, comfy bed with these long, high wooden bedposts. I cannot recall whether there was a canopy, but the bedposts were detailed and ornate. There was a rug. There was that dresser as I’ve (horribly) sketched out. Illumination of the room came from candles or lamps — actual flames, that is — sitting on the dresser. There was the entrance way, just off to one corner beyond the foot of the bed. I recall moments alone in that room, standing in front of that dresser in that ankle-length shapeless cream nightgown, looking at my reflection, missing my husband, holding the lamp/flame things.

That is where I passed.

On my deathbed, in this hyperactive imagination of mine, that corner as illustrated was crowded…except the husband wasn’t there, the one person I wanted to see. I passed very peacefully, very content, surrounded by sobbing people. I wasn’t elderly either. I recall that my hair still had color to it; it wasn’t graying or silver like my grandmother’s. But there was just that one minor matter of disappointment left unfinished…

Continue reading “Conviction in the Crazy: Past Lives or a Hyperactive Imagination”