Talkin’ Tarot With is a monthly feature designed to introduce my readers to different tarot readers from our wonderfully diverse community! Each month, I’ll be asking various tarot readers 3 questions about their tarot philosophy and style, plus pointing you to their websites and blogs so that you can learn more about them! I like to hand pick tarot readers that I feel are talented and interesting.
I am very pleased to introduce Bonnie Fernandez of Tarot Salve to my readers because I believe she is very special. I met Bonnie a few years ago when she started taking yoga lessons with me and I was instantly struck by her quiet, gentle nature. (Quiet people always get my attention more than loud ones – I want to know what is going on behind the silence.) As I got to know her better, I was delighted to learn that she was a fellow tarot fan – and I was even more pleased when she began blogging and tweeting about tarot!
Her perspective on the cards is deep and wise – and her tarot voice is very unique. At times is seems as if she is a Buddha, other times a therapist, many times a humorist, and some times a “tarot lawyer”, arguing a case for a card! No matter what vibe she is channeling, her innate intelligence and depth of understanding the cards always shines through (I’ve learned a few new ways of looking at tarot through her work).
In addition to tarot, Bonnie is a writer (you can find some of her books on Amazon under her maiden name, Bonnie Juettner) and is currently working on some tarot related projects. She is also deeply interested in human and animal rights – she’s been active in political protests and is a long time vegetarian. That compassion for the world is what I love most about Bonnie. The one thing I learned about her over the years is that she really cares about making the world a better place and is willing to speak up when others won’t. We need more people like her – not just in tarot but in the world.
Be sure to check out her brilliant blog, Tarot Salve. You’ll be glad you did.
Here is how to contact Bonnie:
And here are her answers to my questions:
Q: What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Bonnie: I view tarot reading as a chance to open up and have a dialogue with the universe. That dialogue doesn’t have to be super-serious or spooky! But think about having a dialogue with something that is ageless, that has no beginning and no end. What if you sat down and had a cup of tea with such a being? You would probably find that someone who is listening to you compassionately but who has a perspective that includes eons, and kalpas, of endless time, would view your situation quite differently than you do yourself. And that’s what I see us all getting out of the cards – a different view of our situation, one that can open our eyes to possibilities that we didn’t see before. Imagine the woman on the Eight of Swords card having a cup of tea with the universe. She may think that she’s trapped, she may think that she’s stuck, but the universe might say, “Look, this will sound crazy, but did you ever think about slipping a hand out and pulling your blindfold off?” Or maybe the universe would say, “have you ever thought about walking away from the swords? Because it looks like you have two good legs, did you ever notice them?” On the other hand, the universe might not judge her situation at all (because telling her to get out of it is a form of judgment). Instead, the universe might say, “hmm, interesting place you’ve chosen to hang out. Just wondering, where did you get all the swords?”
The other thing I’d like to say about my philosophy is that I don’t think of myself as reading the future, at least not a definite, single future. If you do something different, your future will change. I think what I’m reading has to do with the energy of the situation in the present moment. It’s kind of a fine distinction because the present moment will create the moments still to come…but I don’t see those moments as set in stone. The one thing that we know for certain about our world and universe, scientifically speaking, it seems to me, is that it’s diverse. So of course, our futures are diverse too: there are many options.
Q: How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Bonnie: I feel that what I most excel at is providing a sense of perspective during a time of emotional stress, anxiety, or depression, or at times when a client is trying to make a difficult choice. Although eerily true things will sometimes pop out of the cards, in my experience the eerie stuff that comes out is usually stuff that the client already knows. One time I did a relationship reading for a client who seemed to have a lot of air around her cards (it wasn’t just the cards, it was that I could hear the air whooshing around and roaring in my ears), and I told her that I had the strong impression that someone who had been away was going to be returning to her by plane, and that this person was very eager to see her, but she was going to need to make some kind of choice. She got very excited about that because, she told me, both the men in her life (who she needed to choose between) had been away and both were returning by plane. Well, it’s nice that the cards picked that up, but how was that helpful? She already knew they were coming! So, even though many people think of tarot as being a way to get concrete details and information, and even though it’s validating (at least for me) when something very specific comes out that turns out to be accurate, if it’s not new information, then it seems to me that it’s just a cool parlor trick. I’d rather have clients focus less on that kind of thing and more on the aspects of the situation that they didn’t already know about, the perspective on that situation that the cards are trying to bring into view. For example, if the cards bring up something concrete that you already knew, it’s worth asking, why? Is there something there that has been missed up to that point – something that needs to have attention focused in its direction? In the case of my client whose two lovers were returning by plane, I think the cards were saying, “um, so there are two men in the picture – is that going to work for you? Do you need to do something about this situation?” I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not the concrete details that are important, it’s the nudge.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Bonnie: Find the way of interacting with the cards that most appeals to you, and include it in your life daily. The thing that helped me the most was blogging about the cards and keeping a tarot journal. I find that as I write about each card, I’ll start to write things that surprise even me. Somehow writing helps me to open up my intuition. But, you might not be into writing, so find your own way to connect with the cards. For example, if you’re an artist, try sketching a card every day.
Major love to one of my favorite peeps – and a big thank you for taking the time to chat with me, Bonnie! Check out Bonnie’s work and get a reading at Tarot Salve.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013