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’ll admit, I can be a wee bit too serious when it comes to my tarot. In fact, sometimes I feel like I’m what Mary Greer calls a “tarot fundamentalist”. So it’s good for me to discover people that have a unique spin on the cards and no one has a more off the beaten path approach to tarot than the irreverent Janden Hale (aka Dan Donche). I first learned of him from his Inappropriate Tarot Readings on Facebook and initially I was a bit taken aback. This guy can’t be serious I thought. And uh….yeah…he’s not. He is fricking hilarious, cheeky, naughty and downright rebellious! And dare I say: refreshing.
Janden is not only a tarot reader but also a deck creator. He recently launched the Darkana Tarot, a modern and hip deck that is not your average tarot. He describes it as: “modern grunge art with non-traditional tarot symbolism to form a tarot deck that’s truly unique.” The art is moody, stark and has a graffiti feel to it. If you are sick of the same old king and queens, you’ll love this deck (he even has a character called “The Badass”!).
Janden is a man of many interests and skills – in addition to tarot, he also is the author of Everwind, described as “a dark, post-apocalyptic sci-fi series of stories that take place on a dying world wrought with plague, war, famine, and widespread infertility”. He also has a weekly show on Ustream called Total DANarchy. And there’s more: Janden is also a co-creator of a web tv series called Proxy Influence, co-creator of ManArchy Magazine. Whew! This guy may be a joker but he’s got a serious body of work behind him.
Check out his answers to my questions below:
1. What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Janden: I have a weird relationship with tarot. I learned it on a whim and spent about a month getting into it, then I realized I’d never be able to apply enough effort in order to truly get good at it, so I created Inappropriate Tarot as a way to not waste everything. My personal philosophy is one of general advice. I spent some time prior to tarot doing self-help stuff, so I just basically apply knowledge that can be used by anyone to what cards come up, so they always apply. In any situation. That’s my philosophy. I don’t take many risks, so I admire those who are willing to go out on a limb, but I think it’s a double-edged sword. I know there are a lot of people who are full of shit and they give bad advice, so then it becomes more about the reader than the client. It should always be about the client.
2. How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Janden: The best thing someone can do is ask questions afterwards. I do all my readings over email, and most times I’m doing them blind. So I have no idea what their situations are or anything. If they have questions are info, then I can come back and help them apply the lesson to that particular scenario. Oh, and don’t ask me whether someone still loves you after they haven’t talked to you for years. That.
3. What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Janden: Keep it simple. Everyone tries to load up on all the thousands of techniques that are out there when they don’t even have a basic grasp of the simple stuff. When I do readings I rely on the meaning of the card as I come to understand it, some keywords, and the suit. Sometimes the number of the card. That’s it. I suggest spending a whole year just working with those elements and then branching off to learn other stuff if you feel you need it. And don’t try to learn a hundred spreads. Just draw a couple cards and get good at that and you’ll be way better off in the long run.
Mad props to Janden for taking time to chat with me! Learn more about Janden at http://dandonche.co and be sure to check out his Inappropriate Tarot Readings. Also, don’t forget his show, Proxy Influence in case you need a bigger fix. You can follow him on Twitter at @tarotjunkie
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013