Reading the Tarot

First of all, let me say that I see the Tarot primarily as a device for the pursuit of enlightenment. Meditation on the cards and symbols unlocks aspects of the psyche, and allows us to free ourselves from limiting, erroneous beliefs. Using the cards for divination is appropriate only under certain circumstances, and I don’t read them for mundane matters. More on that below.

The system I use to read the Tarot has been taught to me by B.O.T.A., a Western mystery school that I have belonged to for 14 years. Their lessons in the study of tarot, astrology, and Qabalah are unequalled, in my opinion. The Tarot reading system is not even introduced until you have studied with them for almost 10 years. Suffice it to say, they don’t hurry things – very wise.

I’ve been reading cards since I was in my 20’s, and I used to use common spreads like the Celtic Cross. Now it is very rare for me to use any spreads other than those taught by B.O.T.A. The reason? Depth. The system is so rich that it is worth the effort.

A full B.O.T.A. reading consists of five stages. However, for most questions, I have found that two or three stages are enough to get the guidance sought. I will give an overview of the stages in subsequent posts.

The reading can last as long as two hours, though about 60 – 90 minutes is the norm. Length of time depends, of course, on how many stages are used.

By the way, I read only when the question shows the respect due the process. On my page that talks about my readings, I give some examples of good and poor questions.

To clarify, let me tell you a true story. I worked for a psychic hotline (which will remain nameless) several years ago. It was done mostly out of curiosity, and to get my “divination chops” honed. I lasted 10 days.

Why did I quit so soon? Several reasons. Sitting around waiting for the phone to ring is irritating to me. I felt constrained and captured by the phone – and I don’t like talking on the phone all that much, anyway. I was getting paid about $14 per hour (only time actually on the phone counted), while the callers were paying the hotline $3 per minute. Do the math and let me know who was making out like a bandit in this scenario. There was pressure (subtle, but there) to be sure to keep the person talking for a bit, eating up their moolah. Finally, it seemed like a lot of what the callers were asking for fell either into the realm of psychotherapy (something your ordinary telephone psychic is ill-equipped to provide) or into the realm of Jerry Springer fare. The first category was no real problem. I’ve been doing psychotherapy for close to 35 years – but I didn’t want to do it as a side-gig for $14 per hour. The second category was something I definitely didn’t want to get involved in. Ultimately, it simply didn’t seem right for people to be paying the hotline $180 per hour for either of those categories and, more to the point, for me to be a party to that.

At any rate, what I’ve been trying to say here is that I don’t do the “Is my boyfriend cheating on me?” kinds of Tarot readings. My readings are for personal and spiritual growth only. Anything else, and you’re not respecting the process – and I won’t read for you.

Stay tuned, and I’ll give you a peek inside the stages of a reading.

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