This is so cool. I stumbled across some fascinating home footage of a professional tarot reading done in Taipei, Taiwan. There are no subtitles, so for those who don’t understand Mandarin, I’m going to provide a recap. I found the reading session quite fascinating, mostly because it’s cool to see how other practitioners approach readings, especially from other cultures. (Well, for me, it’s the same culture in a way, since I’m Taiwanese, but you know what I mean.) The practitioner did this reading for 250 NT, which is about $8.00 USD. That is cheap! Holy cow!
He started by telling the seeker, who blogs as The Chindian Chronicles that she could ask four questions. Each tarot deck can answer four questions at a time, he tells her. (Interesting!) She chooses her Studies, her Family, her Health, and Love. He’s also using the RWS system, though not any reproduction of the RWS that I’m familiar with. Actually, from some of the screen shots, it looks like a version of the Universal Tarot (which closely follows RWS and is considered an RWS clone) by Roberto De Angelis. I love that there’s the dharma wheel on the backs.
I also think it’s cute how the girls are nervous about the reading, though I love that he reassures them and is really overall doing a great job at this. I’m going to do my best to translate the reading session, since I’m sure my practitioner friends are very interested. My Mandarin isn’t great, however, so my translations aren’t going to be perfect.
To open, he simply has the seeker put her hand over the deck and think quietly to herself about her inquiries. She cuts the deck for him only once, and then he fans it out across his table in an arc. Then he has her draw from the fan one by one. (I am so going to try out his approach one of these days. Aren’t you?)
For Studies, he draws the Knight of Pentacles, the Hermit in reverse, and the Magician in reverse. For the Knight, he tells her she’s good in finance and business fields. For the Hermit reversed, he tells her she doesn’t study very hard and isn’t really the type to focus too much on academics. For The Magician reversed, he says after she graduates, she’s going to achieve great heights and become a very successful career woman.
For Family, he draws the Two of Cups reversed, Three of Pentacles reversed, and Three of Wands. For the Two of Cups, he says there’s dissonance in her family, tensions. For the Three of Pentacles reversed, elders in her family may experience money or health issues. For the Three of Wands, no matter what, this is a family that always sticks together and will be there for each other, in spite of any tensions. No breakages in this family.
Before he begins the reading on love, one of the seeker’s friends asks him, “Can you tell her with specificity who she will marry?” I love his reply: “If she has a boyfriend right now, then yes, I can tell you a lot about him. But if she doesn’t have a boyfriend, then no, because she has free will and I cannot interfere with her free will. I can only tell her about her emotional plane and what is best for her relationship wise.”
The seeker seems to like that answer and so do I! He proceeds. This time he draws four cards: Eight of Pentacles reversed, Eight of Wands, Four of Pentacles, and Six of Pentacles reversed.
He starts with the Four of Pentacles and tells her she’s very practical, and not the romantic or idealistic type. She’s not that into romanticism or courtship and has a very practical, rational approach to love. To the Six of Pentacles in reverse, he says the best guy for her will be someone who is introduced to her, not someone she meets herself. The guys she meets herself might not pan out well, so definitely be more alert to the guys who are introduced to her by others. (Interesting take on the Six of Pentacles in reverse as applied to love!)
For the Eight of Wands, he says don’t rush into relationships. He tells her that she has a tendency to rush into them, and to take her time, and be patient. For the Eight of Pentacles reversed, he tells her to find someone in her own social circle, someone from a similar social class. If she meets a guy who is too different from her in class, status, and especially lifestyle, it may not work out. She should find someone who is very similar to her in lifestyle. So, bottom line, she should find a husband who is very similar to her in lifestyle and social background, not too different, and it should be a guy that is introduced to her by someone else, not a guy she meets on her own.
He then raises the repetition of the number eight here and says that it means she can have up to eight boyfriends before she finds the right one, so don’t feel like she has to marry the next guy she meets. He tells her to take her time dating and meeting different boys.
Her final inquiry is in health. He draws three cards. Ten of Pentacles, Eight of Swords reversed, and Seven of Pentacles reversed. For the Ten of Pentacles, he says she doesn’t have any serious health concerns. For the Eight of Swords reversed, he worries that she has trouble sleeping at night, perhaps insomnia, and that generally the swords symbolize “jing su” (my Mandarin isn’t good enough to understand what that means, sorry… maybe someone can fill in here for me in the comments section below?) and that she should watch what she eats.
For Seven of Pentacles reversed, he asks her if she’s been dieting. She says yes, she does diet, but nothing too crazy. He tells her the Seven of Pentacles reversed symbolizes dieting. Interesting! Then, this part diverges a bit from typical Western tarot ethics. He asks her, “What part of your body or health are you most concerned about? I’ll help you check it and see if it’s okay or not.” Wow! She says, “I tend to blame myself for everything. Whenever anything goes wrong in my life, I immediately blame myself.” He replies, “That’s the Eight of Swords reversed here. You have an abnormal issue with worrying and anxiety. You’re overly sensitive, and this isn’t so much a physical issue as it is an emotional, internal one. That’s this Eight of Swords right here.”
He gives her some sage advice at the end of that video. He tells her when she tries too hard to hold onto something, she’ll find that it disappears. Only when she lets go, and truly lets go in her mind and heart, will what she most wants reappear in her life again. He says all this while pointing at the Eight of Swords in reverse.
The practitioner then recommends that she does meditation, and tells her meditation is going to help greatly with this issue of hers. Love it! The practitioner goes on to tell her that this matter is very serious for her life path, however, and not just arbitrary advice, because she tends to hold on too much to her worries, and that’s why she has anxiety. This could adversely affect her life path because it causes her to be doubtful and withdrawn. When she gets hurt just a little, she immediately withdraws, and this isn’t good for her. This could have bigger ramifications on her, so especially as applied to love and relationships, could cause troubles for her. Thus, going forward, she’s going to want to expend greater effort and thought in changing that aspect of her mentality.
For about $8 USD, she got a 20 minute tarot reading (and he drew 13 cards in total). Wow. That’s insanity. Overall, this was fascinating and illuminating to me. It heartens me to see tarot practitioners like him in Taiwan. He’s really good at what he does and frankly, I think he should be charging more for his readings. =) Also, many thanks to the seeker who shared this video on YouTube for the rest of us to learn from.
This reading is an incredible case study for tarot professionals to watch, observe, and learn from. I hope you took notes!