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 swear that in my next lifetime, I will be a talent scout. I have a nose for it.
Bethany Abrahamson is one of those rare people that I knew had the goods to be an excellent tarot reader. Which is why I bugged her for years to go pro. She finally took the leap and has been successfully reading cards and numerology charts for folks from all corners of the globe. A sensitive intuitive, Bethany is able to tune in to what’s happening in her client’s lives and help them to navigate even the trickiest situation. She does this with tremendous compassion (she’s a Cancer so it’s no surprise!), which has earned her a reputation as a reader who really cares about her cleints.
I’ve known Bethany for many years and one thing I will tell you is this: she’s one of the kindest, most trustworthy people I know. When you combine those personal qualities with her years of experience, you know that you’re getting the very best tarot service you could ask for.
I highly recommend you check her out. She’s a hidden gem industry but won’t be for long.
Raised by an intuitively gifted mother and a father who studied the history of world religions and quantum physics, Bethany’s journey into the spiritual and intuitive arts began at a very early age. Bethany first began performing readings for people by building numerology charts in 1992. She then began studying tarot in 1996. In 2000 she made her professional tarot and numerology debut in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After moving to Appleton Wisconsin, she performed readings at a local new age shop from 2013-2017. She recently launched her own independent tarot and numerology business, accruing both a nationwide and European clientele. She is best known for her accurate and practical interpretations, delivered with warmth, humor, kindness, compassion, and a side dose of sass. Bethany is also a classically trained soprano, and a graduate of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. She has a second career as a singer, musician, composer, and a music arranger. She teaches voice lessons at the Lawrence University Academy of Music, and she also currently serves as the choral conductor and music director for two yearly theatrical productions in her area. Bethany continues to reside in Appleton with her husband, four adorable cats, and two very silly dogs.
You can find her at all these mighty fine social media hubs:
Tarot Reader, Numerologist, Intuitive
Phone: 920-903-9730 (landline, not cell)
Facebook: In the Know Tarot
Check out Bethany’s answers to my questions below:
Q: What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Regarding tarot readings:
Tarot lifts us out of our hyper-focused viewpoint, and shifts us into a different state of mind. The object of our focus may remain the same, but the angle from which we view it (and it’s width) can change dramatically with just the flip of a card. Even one small step to either side of our consciousness brings a whole new spectrum of color and dimension to our outlook. Tarot does this beautifully.
To better describe this process, I like to use an analogy about watching television. So often, people find themselves viewing their own lives like a person trying to watch TV with their face smashed directly up against the screen. They worry and wonder why they can’t get a comprehensible picture. They struggle, they strain, they analyze and over-analyze what they are viewing, yet all they can see is static. The reason is because they’ve gotten too close to see accurately. Tarot pulls them back from this metaphorical TV screen and shows them what it looks like from ten feet away: clarity, higher definition, proper perspective, and objectivity. The cards tell them exactly what the picture looks like. The information may be close to what the client was already sensing, but hearing it disseminated via an inanimate deck of cards through an impartial third party usually provides some much-needed relief and understanding.
Regarding my role in a tarot reading:
It is in these moments of overthinking and confusion that people usually come to me for readings. My personal philosophy as a tarot reader is to use the cards to sort through that chaos, help restore orderliness, and get my client back to that state of clear perspective. I work as a sort of “spiritual organizer,” if you will. Avoiding directive language, I strive to intuit and provide people with the information and data they need to create a tangible plan of action, and regain the feeling of having some control of their lives. We all get stuck in a rut sometimes. In those times, tarot can provide the paradigm shifts and pathways forward that we sorely need. A good tarot reading is like a tune-up for the mind, heart, and soul, and that’s what I aim to provide in every session.
Regarding my interpretation in a tarot reading:
Tarot speaks to its readers in many different ways. While I do know the traditional and more scholarly interpretations of the cards, their meanings, and their archetypes, I tend to blend this information with a more intuitive approach. My numerology mentor, Ken Nelson, used to say “You’ve got to let the numbers talk to you”, and that has become a key component in my own personal tarot reading philosophy. I have spent many years learning to apply his advice, learning to let the cards inform me what they are saying beyond my own rational mind. Sometimes, in my mind’s eye I will see a figure on the card come to life and enact some physical movement that is pertinent to the client. At other times, the cards will trigger for me an audible and applicable catchphrase (which is usually something the client had just said or heard within the past 48 hours). I may even see a reference to a movie scene that conveys the proper meaning for the interpretation. Sometimes the images on the card itself are quite literal for the client, which can make for a highly interesting reading. I truly believe that when you let the cards talk to you, magical things can happen.
Q: How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Bethany: I feel a reading works best when the client is clear about why they are booking a reading. To anyone that might seek a reading with me, I recommend you ask yourself what your goals and intentions may be. Of course, it’s okay if you are struggling to pinpoint exactly what you need, but I find sessions to be far more efficient and powerful when the client knows what they wish to address and explore. This is especially important because in every foreseeable way, I strive to make my readings client-driven. The flow of the session rests in both our hands, and I see my client as my co-pilot during our time together. My reading style is organic, collaborative, and relational. That’s why readings work so well when the client comes in with purpose and intention.
Try to quiet your mind before we begin. Ground yourself. The most basic of breathing exercises can do the job. Also, try to set aside your fear. Trust that whatever comes up is truly meant for your highest good, and know that I will treat you with great care, dignity, and respect.
My readings tend to be more therapeutic in nature (although I do love executing those “just the facts” kinds of readings too!). Proof of this was evidenced in 2017, as my largest growing client demographic that year was professional counselors and clinical therapists. Not only do I look at potential outcomes and weigh pros and cons, but I also look to the cards to tell me whether or not a client’s situation is temporary and isolated, or symptomatic of a larger issue. This can be invaluable information, and can lead a client to a better and more comprehensive path to healing.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring Tarot reader?
Bethany: Oh boy. It’s so hard to pick just one, so I’ll offer up a few.
Being a tarot reader and spiritual advisor comes with great responsibility. It is highly advisable that we strive to fully comprehend the responsibility we hold in this role. Some clients come to us in their darkest hour of need. I recommend reading blogs from other tarot readers about the vulnerable situations they’ve found themselves in with their clients, and how they handled them. We can’t possibly account for every situation, but we can still do our research and try to be prepared. For example, ask yourself questions such as “How will I respond when someone asks me about when a loved one, or even themselves, might die?” Personally I do not read about such things, and not just because I believe death is a sacred contract between one’s self and their maker. I don’t go there because these inquiries can negatively affect the client, causing so much anxiety that they forget to live in the present moment. How will you respond when a client asks you the same thing, and do you feel adequately prepared for the potential consequences if you do or do not honor such a request?
Another piece of advice that I personally feel very strongly about is this: Know and define your professional ethics. For a time I pursued a career in professional counseling, so I have applied my grad school ethics training directly into my tarot business. So many basic tenets of the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics can easily apply to our career field as well. Even though we are not beholden to abide by the ethics of any widely-accredited national or international tarot organization, it can give an extra level of credibility and professionalism to our work. Such tenets include:
– Doing no harm to the client
– Safeguarding the professional integrity of the tarot reader-client relationship
– Honoring diversity and cultivating cultural sensitivity/awareness in our interpretations
– Referring to other readers when you are unable to remain objective with a client
– Respecting and protecting client confidentiality
I would like to add a few extra ethical tenets of my own to this list:
– Knowing when a client needs a counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist, not a psychic reading
– Being self-aware and owning your “stuff,” so you do not unknowingly project your own personal belief structure onto the client’s life script. Respect your client and the uniqueness of their life’s journey. We are all different people with different life experiences, different circumstances, and different feelings. You may not personally like the advice you have to give your clients, however we must remain objective at all times. Get yourself out of the equation and deliver whatever truth the cards dictate your client needs to hear. Period.
– Excessive empathizing with a client can lead to co-opting their spotlight. After all, is the reading about the client, or you? Make sure you don’t turn your client into a captive audience (or I should say, an audience held in captivity). Don’t make it about you. Ever. At some point, you WILL encounter a client whose issues will touch upon your own and leave you feeling stirred up. Be prepared for that, and have a plan for how to deal with your own issues outside of the client’s session (again- Know your “stuff”).
– For those who perform in-person readings, I’d like to stress the importance of having a deck at your disposal that uses inclusive imagery for people of color, the LGBTQIA community, and other marginalized groups in our society. My primary deck is the Motherpeace tarot for that very reason. There are many other good ones, too. Consider how the images within your deck may make your client feel at ease, welcomed, and included (or conversely, excluded).
Lastly, practice practice practice! Get to know your own intuitive language, signals, cues, and how your intuition/subconscious mind uses your tarot deck to communicate with you.
Big hugs to Bethany for making time for our chat. You can learn more about her and book a readiing over at In The Know Tarot.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2018