Tarot Reader Career Information
What a Tarot Reader does
If you have a keen interest in occult and the unknown excites you, Tarot card reading is just for you.
Tarot is a simple process, but rarely presented in a simple way. In films, we always see the tarot being used in a seedy parlour or back room. An old woman, seated in shadows, reads the cards for a nervous, young girl. The crone lifts her wrinkled finger and drops it ominously on the death card. The girl draws back, frightened by this sign of her impending doom.
This aura of darkness clings to the tarot cards, even today. Let us set aside these shadowy images for now and consider the tarot simply for what it is - a deck of picture cards. The question becomes - what can we do with them?
The origin of tarot cards is buried in speculation. Some believe them to have been introduced to the Western world by the gypsies. But if you fall back to the theory that all good things (right from zero to IT) are India’s contribution to the world, then, there you have the answer. Tarot reading originated in India!
But what is tarot? It is a psychological and philosophical system of prediction through intuition and interpretation. A typical pack consists of 78 cards divided into the Major Arcana (22 cards), and the Minor Arcana.
A tarot reading is like a snapshot of what your life looks like at the time of the reading. The cards tune into your energy - the person asking the question - to give you a picture of unseen influences, patterns of behaviour, obstacles and strengths. A reading can give you an idea of where you are now, where you've come from, where you want to be, and how to get there.
A typical tarot reading works like this. All you have to do is focus on a question and shuffle the card, simultaneously. Then lay the card on the table and cut the cards. The tarot reader will then lay out a particular spread. Each card has a different meaning. The cards will then be interpretated to you one by one, thus answering all your questions.
It’s not as simple as that. The same tarot cards, when placed upside down have a different meaning (not necessarily the ulta meaning). A lot depends on how you interpret the cards in front of you. It is advisable to first practise on your family member and then gradually introduce your art to outsiders.
Earlier on in this profession tarot readers choose the relatively simple spread like the Celtic Cross where your immediate past to your immediate future in reference to your question is answered. Since there are hundreds of spreads to choose from, it's necessary to master the art of interpretation, which is only possible with a lot of practice and usage of your physco-spiritual abilities as a Tarot reader.
There are various types of tarot cards. The Rider-Waite Tarot is the most preferred one. Even the Zen cards have their followings. The Palladini Tarot, The Tarot of the Cat People, The Haindl Tarot, The Renaissance Tarot, Russian Tarot, The Sola Busca Tarot are some other varieties.
Tarot readers use a cloth to spread the cards on. It could be a deep purple or royal blue. A wooden box or a cloth draw string bag is used to store the cards when not in use. “It is important to store the cards in a natural element like wood or cloth. These elements don’t take in negativity,” says Manju Mohinani a tarot reader.
The beauty of tarot lies in the fact that you can practice it even while you are occupied in a full-fledged job. Take Manju for instance. She manages the family export business and does her reading on holidays.
You can begin with buying a pack of cards and practising at home. These are available at any bookstall. If you want you can join tarot reading classes. It will take a while before you learn to interpretate all the 72 cards.
Choose a deck that is fairly traditional in the symbols or pictures appearing on the cards. There are many new decks that have greatly altered the original symbols. Avoid using one of these decks because it can confuse a beginner.
Be sure to select a deck in which the minor arcana cards show pictures of people or scenes instead of just showing the number of cups, swords, rods or pentacles. Pictures help the tarot reader to remember and associate meanings with the cards.
Other decks used to begin learning tarot are:
• The Aquarian deck
• The Rider Waite deck
• The Hanson Roberts deck
• The Morgan Greer deck
Tarot reading off late has caught the fancy of many. If you have an intuitive ability this field can be a gold mine for you.
Abilities & Traits Required
Pick up a tarot deck and it will speak to you. Symbols of tarot speak through images that have been planted in your conscious or subconscious mind. Some images trigger remembrances of situations you have been in before. You've been that fool taking a leap of faith, reached a higher spirituality through a relationship like the lovers and forgotten about your blessings when disappointed with aspects of your life like the man in the five of cups.
The Moon has always indicated sub-conscious and hidden thoughts, and you automatically recognize the chains of obsession and unhealthy desires of the devil.
Learning to interpret the meanings, relationships, interactions and subtleties of the cards is a life time study. As you practise, grow, change and experience life, your understanding of tarot deepens and more meanings become clear, as with any subject.
The only real mystery of tarot is how a perfect stranger can tell you your life's trials, accomplishments, fears and loves - past, present and future, by laying out tarot cards.
Tarot is all about tapping one's intuitive powers. The more intuitive you are, the better your interpretations will be. It is extremely important for a tarot reader to be absolutely non-judgemental. You have to say only what the cards tell you and not your own feelings.
A good tarot reader tells it as it is. However you should try to buffer your sentences with a little kindness. Think about how you would feel if someone said, "You'd better get your act together right now!" versus "It's time you gave serious thought to making some tough decisions." Be compassionate and understanding.
To be a Tarot Reader, you don’t need to be academically inclined to learn tarot. What you have to have in ample measures is genuine interest. Unless you have the inclination for this kind of art, you cannot and should not try entering the spiritual world of tarot cards.
It would help if you practiced a bit of meditation, to get your concentration right. As a Tarot reader, you have got to have patience in abundance and listen to your instincts as it all boils down to vibes and energies.
Every tarot card reader has a personal code of ethic. And it is important to stick to them. “I refuse to answer questions about the stock market fluctuations and the sex of unborn babies, as it is against by personal ethics,” says Manju.
There is loads of moolah to be earned if you turn your hobby of reading into a profession. Experienced tarot readers charge Rs 500 for three questions. There are even tarot readers who charge as much as Rs 1500 for a single seating. Apart from conducting individual readings there is scope for teaching as well.
Interview with a Tarot Reader
Manju Mohinani, Tarot Reader
Manju Mohinani got drawn to tarot cards just by accident. This early 30 -year old owner of an export house describes herself as intuitive and people-friendly. She has been reading the cards for almost 10 years now.
What is tarot card reading? Tarot is most commonly viewed as a tool for divination. A traditional tarot reading involves a seeker - someone who is looking for answers to personal questions - and a reader - someone who knows how to interpret the cards. After the seeker has shuffled and cut the deck, the reader lays out the chosen cards in a pattern called a spread. Each position in the spread has a meaning, and each card has a meaning as well. The reader combines these two meanings to shed light on the seeker's question.
What made you interested in tarot cards? I was always drawn towards meditation, Reiki and energy candles which are used for specific purposes like concentration, peace, love, joy, hope, etc. In the way I got interested in tarot cards. I picked up a deck and started learning it.
Then I did a three-month course with Rohini Gupta who teaches tarot reading. I found the course extremely beneficial.
Is professional training important for a tarot reader? I don't quite think so. There are quite a few examples of tarot readers who haven't done a professional course in tarot reading. All you need is an intuitive ability and the patience to hear people out.
Then how does one begin? Well, you can start with buying a deck from any bookstall. It will cost anywhere between Rs 800-1500. You can then read up on tarot and start interpreting the cards. Begin with your friends and relatives. Gradually you can begin reading for outsiders. In this field you have to practice a lot.
Tell us something about how a typical reading goes? The standard tarot deck consists of 78 cards divided into two sections, the major and minor arcana's. The word arcana comes from the word Arcanum which means 'profound secret.' The tarot cards are therefore a collection of the 'secrets' that underlie and explain our universe.
The 22 cards of the major arcana are the heart of the deck. Each of these cards symbolises some universal aspect of human experience. Every card in the major arcana has a name and number. Some names convey a card's meaning directly, such as Strength, Justice and Temperance.
Other cards are individuals who personify a particular approach to life, such as the Magician or the Hermit. There are also cards with astronomical names, such as the Star, Sun and Moon. They represent the elusive forces associated with these heavenly bodies.
The major arcana cards draw out deep and complex reactions. It is always given extra weight in a reading. When one of these cards appear, you know the issues at stake are not mundane or temporary. They represent your most basic concerns - your major feelings and motivations.
What does it take to be a good tarot reader? First and foremost you got to be intuitive. You have to be able to hear the unspoken. A lot of patience is called for when you are dealing with clients. You can't rush them into things.
Another important thing is to say it as it is. You have to be one hundred per cent truthful. As for me I am very blunt. If you come to me you will get nothing but the truth. How you take it is up to you. All I can do is break the news gently. Cards tell me the story. I am only the narrator. Also, people who mediate can interpret the cards better.
What kind of clients do you deal with? I have more men than women visiting me. Surprising isn't it? That's not all. All men what to know about is their career, problems with their bosses, etc. Generally they want to know how the year will treat them and what lies ahead for them.
On the other hand, women most often ask questions about their husbands, parents, and children. It is only when all their anxieties about these people are answered that they ask about themselves.
Do you any time refuse to answer questions? Definitely. I don't answer questions about gambling and the stock market. I find it too banal to answer these questions. Also, I refuse to entertain question about the sex of unborn babies. I feel these things are best left to nature. I also don't like talking about death and past lives.
And there are times when the cards just refuse to say anything. Even if the client picked the cards twice or thrice it wouldn't show him an answer. I just tell them, "It's not your time to know."
How accurate are the predictions? And what happens when the same client comes after say a week? Will the predictions be any different? Not at all. If the person comes within a week to six months of the last reading, the cards he will pick will be exactly the same. You can try it. That's the magic of tarots cards.
Do you have to maintain detailed records of all your clients? Personally I don't do that. I am a very absent minded person by nature. So as soon as the client walks out of the door I shut myself off. I don't remember anything. That way it saves me a lot of trouble. But when the person comes to me within six months to one year of the last reading I get all the details of the person as soon as he starts to shuffle the cards. Just like a flashback. I can even pin point what the cards told her the last time.
- Nivedita Jayaram Pawar