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Should I become a professional tarot reader?

 

So, recent events have caused me to take a second look at my motivations for doing this project, and what I hope to gain out of it. I had always intended to use this project as an exercise in training my intuition, but my secondary goal was to become good enough at reading the cards by the end of the project to do it professionally, whether or not I actually decided to do so or not.

However, the environment of the professional tarot scene (this includes psychics, mediums, or therapists who use tarot card readings as a means to make income) isn’t one I really want to be a part of. Granted, this is true for most systems, including religion, education, and counseling. There’s just too much room for corruption and dissension when you make a system out of a community. I’d rather be part of a small collective of colleagues than be on my own, but I’d rather be on my own than try to set up shop alongside manipulators and masqueraders.

That said, I still see a lot of potential for myself if I choose this path, as long as I can fly clear of the established “system” and the “community” that goes along with it. So I have come to an impasse. I enjoy reading tarot cards, and it would be great if I could use them to help people and perhaps be compensated monetarily for my efforts, but I’d rather not get tangled up in the drama that I know will come from trying to “fit in.” Thus, I turn to the cards for guidance and wisdom.

My question today is simply this: “Should I pursue a career as a professional tarot reader?” I couldn’t find a clever spread for this so I just went with the five-card setup from last time, with the addition of the shadow card drawn from the bottom of the deck.

I’ll be honest, when I first laid down the cards for this reading, my first gut reaction was “This is all wrong.” However, I had gotten this same feeling when doing the last few readings, although not as strongly, so I decided to ignore it. Instead of jumping on my laptop to type up this post, though, I decided to look up the meanings of the cards and meditate on them a bit. After I did, I discovered the source of my initial feeling: the reading I got wasn’t the one I expected, nor the one I wanted. This is a dangerous place to be when doing tarot, so I’ll need to remember to suspend my expectations when I look over the cards, like I did in the beginning.

The bottom card represents my current situation, and it is the Four of Pentacles. This is not a very happy card, usually symbolizing things such as greed or stagnation. In this case, I take it to mean that I am clinging too tightly to something, but also that I’m coming up against opposition from those who would preserve the status quo. If these ideas are joined, perhaps what I need to do is forgive and forget.

The next row holds the cards that represent the forces drawing me to either path, with the left path being “Yes, become a professional tarot reader,” and the right path being “No, do something else instead.”

The Three of Wands on the left is the wiser, more worldly and experienced counterpart to the Fool. While both stand for exploring the unknown and forsaking security, the Three of Wands also symbolizes having foresight and setting an example. Here’s this idea of leadership again. Whereas the Fool stands at the edge of a cliff preparing to step off, heedless of his fate, the Three of Wands also depicts a figure standing at the edge of the cliff, but knowing full well what lies ahead and ready to take the risk anyway. It is a card of willfulness and following your passion.

The Empress on the right is the very picture of motherly affection and nurturing, but she also represents reveling in abundance. This could speak to my desire for financial freedom and independence. There are also connotations of working with children or being in nature, both of which I have been drawn to before as a camp counselor. The Empress, though, also speaks toward being grounded and a focus on the material. This path may be more fulfilling financially, but it will be a less spiritual path.

The outcome of the left path is represented by the Hierophant, This card speaks of established social structures, and the need for order and conformity within them. My initial negative reaction against this card was most likely due to the fact that it could symbolize being forced to submit to the system I so want to avoid – but it could also symbolize a system that I help to create myself. This is something that had been on my mind, even moments before I sat down to begin shuffling the cards. I can’t help but feel like some of those intentions came out in this reading. In a more general sense, the Hierophant represents discipline and having a structured belief system. This could be a message that in the future it will be ever more important that I adhere to my own principles and not compromise what I believe to be true for the sake of trying to make my life easier or relieve some pressure being put on me by outside forces.

The outcome of the right path is represented by the King of Pentacles. This is the logical outcome of the Empress’ nurturing attention. He is the most generous of the Kings, always willing to lend a helping hand and ever reliable. He is also the most enterprising of the Kings, as all his endeavors seem to succeed. He has a firm resolve with which he pursues his goals relentlessly. This path would suggest that this is the type of person I would become, should I turn my back on making a career out of reading tarot.

Taking a moment to see the overall pattern of the reading, it becomes apparent that the two Major Arcana represent major shifts in my life, but at different times. The right-hand path depicts an earlier shift, with the outcome flowing naturally out of that shift. The left-hand path, in contrast, depicts working toward bringing about a shift that happens much later.

In all of this we cannot forget the influence of the shadow card, the Four of Wands. Although I placed it between the two outcomes, it’s important to note that the shadow card represents the forces underlying the entire reading. In this case, the Four of Wands represents seeking freedom, as well as experiences that generate excitement and delighted surprise. In context of the Four of Pentacles, it suggests that my desire to cling tightly is simply a response to my search for a path that will bring me freedom, in terms of both agency and freedom of expression. Lying between the outcomes as it does, it also suggests that either path will be interesting and exciting, because I will only seek out and follow those paths which are. Therefore, the question is not which path will bring me more fulfillment, but what type of fulfillment I will receive.

So there we have it. I daresay this was a much more insightful reading than last week’s decisionn spread, although I can’t say if that is due to the cards themselves or my growing ability to tease meaning out of them. Tomorrow I might do a more complete reading on tarot reading as a career, just so I have a better idea of what I’m getting into, and the struggles I’m likely to face.

[This reading was done on 10/11/13 at 11:42]

 

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