Tarot was my own personal yellow brick road. Let me explain!
I started using tarot back in the late 1980’s not long after my first child was born. I was living in a basement suite, and my upstairs neighbor, a wonderful woman who was just old enough to be my mom, took me under her wing a little bit (much needed). She was very kind to me, offering cups of tea and sympathy whenever i seemed frazzled (often – I was a very young new mom of 19), and generally keeping an eye on me.
One afternoon I was there for a cup of something deliciously herbal, and her cards were on the table.
“What are those?” I asked.
“My tarot cards. Here, let me show you.”
By the time I left that afternoon, I was *hooked*. Absolutely hooked. Tarot was my portal into a whole world of self-inquiry and goddess spirituality. I bought my first deck (The Aquarian Tarot), and my first guide (Tarot For Yourself by Mary K. Greer), and I worked with them religiously (please pardon the pun!). I also followed all the delicious bread crumbs throughout the book that led to other books like The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, books about goddess spirituality, books about Jungian archetypes. My true education had begun.
If not for Tarot, I would not teach what I teach today. I would not know what I know today. I would not be who I am today.
There was a time, after working with the cards as a tool for personal development for about a decade, that I wanted very badly to be a professional reader. I knew I could be good at it, knew I had developed the kind of insight that would make me a good reader, and in 1997, I saw an ad in the paper for readers to work from home. It was a great set up – they installed a dedicated phone line, and you worked your assigned shifts. I did my interview, and got the job.
At the time I got this job, I was financially dependent on my husband, who was not a great provider. He lost more jobs in the time we knew one another than I’d held in my *whole life up till now*. There were months when if I hadn’t won the local karaoke contest (yup, I was a karaoke queen), we would not have made rent. This job took care of me, & my kids, but more than that, it created a sense of possibility in me that I *could* take care of me & my kids, and helped enormously to remove any sense that I *needed* anyone else. It was a portal into self-reliance.
It took awhile for my newfound sense of independence to really take hold, but one of the fundamental steps in that direction was the purchase (on a payment plan) of a computer with internet capability (dial-up, of course. Remember, this was 1997!) so I could start investigating other avenues of giving readings, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I gave up reading professionally in 2001. The company I was working for at the time was falling apart, and I just didn’t have the heart to go into looking for something else. I worked as a telemarketing agent for a charity for a while, and then a marketing assistant for a sports equipment company, and then a customer service agent for a major telecom, and then, in 2009, I quit working for a while to deal with my kids who were completely out of control. And in 2010, I began doing what I do now.
Tarot is a vein of gold through it all, though. Despite not working with it professionally, it is still my constant companion. I turn to it for clarity, for inspiration, for a nudge in the right direction. It’s my touchstone, my little bit of the mystery in cardstock form, forever in my purse, on my coffee table, in my studio.
I miss giving readings, but not enough to go seeking it out as a profession. I’m content with doing the little bits and bobs of it that I do in the context of my classes. Maybe someday I’ll offer tarot readings as spiritual counseling (because, really, that’s what its for), but for now, I’ll just do my daily draws, gaze into the images as though they are mirrors, and continue discovering what there is to know about the universe known in these parts as “Effy”.
Today’s Nudge: Share something that isn’t widely known about you.
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