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.
My featured guest this month is co-author of “Beyond The Celtic Cross”, Catherine Chapman of Tarot Elements. This book, as well as her website, opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at tarot cards. Catherine works with Elemental Dignities and Card Counting – two systems that add layers and depth to a tarot reading. I was not familiar with either method but was pleasantly surprised to see that they were easy to implement. I found these systems work especially well when you get “stuck” during a reading, which can happen to all readers at one time or another.
Catherine is a warm and gracious tarot reader, encouraging her clients with common sense and compassion. You get the sense from her that she’s “been there too” and really does understand your dilemmas. Readers like this are rare. She is never about showing off her tarot ego – Catherine is simply there to help you get back on track. I feel that this quality is what makes her special. I’m very honored to know her.
Catherine’s blog, Tarot Elements, is chock full of tarot goodness. Along with teammates Bonnie Cehovet and Valerie Sylvester, she covers a wide range of subjects such as Elemental Dignities, tarot card meanings, astrology, numerology and more. Currently, she’s in the process of revamping Tarot Elements and will be adding a live weekly radio show, private mentoring, tarot study courses, ebooks and more. And on top of that, she’s working on a second book: The Tarot And Your Future. (I predict it will be a success!) If you are looking for deep readings that will inspire you to transform, you must check out Catherine. You’ll be glad you did!
Learn more about Catherine:
Check out her answers to my questions below:
1. What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” William James
Knowledge is power. By consulting with a divine tool like the tarot, you are looking at your options, karma, fate and things currently unknown to you. By shining a light on them you are gaining knowledge about your situation and life, and have empowered yourself through your consultation. You now have the power to make a fully informed decision about which direction you should take. Even when life is coming hard and there seems no place to hide, you can still shine a light in dark corners and find that one piece of information, that one ray of hope, the missing piece of the jigsaw that can help you turn the corner to liberation.
Life is about choices, cause and effect, and whether or not you are living the effect of your own doing or someone elses, consulting the tarot gives you the power to make a difference. It may only be a small one, but it may be enough. You can’t always change direction, you can’t always stop something coming to you, but you can shine the light and see it coming – you can arm yourself with enough knowledge to minimize the effect – that is true empowerment.
Tarot gives you knowledge, of yourself, of your situation. It’s not always pleasant reading but it always has the power to be life-changing. My philosophy of tarot is simple: it’s your life – empower it. Empower it through knowledge and right choices. Empower it through consulting the tarot.
2. How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
In any kind of exploratory work, you will always get the best out of it if you’re open and receptive to the process. I’m first and foremost, a predictive tarot reader. I’ll tell you what’s coming, what you may avoid, what you need to prepare for. I will also help you see into yourself, if that is the overwhelming message from the tarot, or the type of reading you are seeking. It’s not always a case of knowing what you want from a reading, but mainly, in my experience, those that are really listening, openly, who get the best from their readings. As a reader, you may not always see the penny drop with a client, you might nor be there for their epiphany, but if they were receptive to their reading, you can be sure they will experience it.
There’s a lot of negative things said about predictive reading, that it dis-empowers the client – what utter nonsense! I believe this comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of predictive tarot readings. If the Gypsy Rosalie looks into her crystal ball and tells you of a tall handsome stranger, then I would take that with a pinch of salt, however nice it may sound… chances are I will at some point encounter a handsome stranger, and being only 5’2″, it’s likely he’ll be taller than me…I believe most predictive tarot readers will agree that this type of reading is alien to them, that the type of predictive reading they do isn’t so different from those who state they don’t do predictive readings at all.
To shine that light on your client’s life, at their asking, is to enlighten them. To help them find the best solution, is to empower them, through their own seeking and the tarot. That is the kind of tarot reading that I aspire to give and its one that my client’s can expect from me. I’m there to serve them in the best way I can, for their best interests, to help them solve their problems, to give them advice and yes, to also give them a glimpse into their future, because in my experience – that’s what they really want.
3. What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Don’t think you have to know everything all at once. There’s a lot to learn and it will take time. Take one step at a time and don’t rush or push yourself – this should be an enjoyable experience, not a pressure to get it right or get it all straight away. Tarot is a life long journey and you will never stop learning, there will always be something to discover about a card, or a new spread will come along, or a reading technique. That’s the beauty of tarot, it’s so rich and diverse with many systems that are overlaid to enrich it further that you could spend your life time learning it. How exciting! So throw away your need to have to get this right, ignore that little imp on your shoulder that says you’ll never get this down – take your time and have fun!
Making friends in tarot is also a great way to help you develop your skills and confidence. There are very active and friendly tarot lovers on Twitter and Facebook, find them and interact with them – us! Find a local group if you can for support, fun and friendship. If not, find an online group or the Pages of Tarot Authors and readers on Facebook, there’s a great community spirit on all of them. Tarot is a journey, but you don’t have to travel it alone, and neither should you 🙂
Hugs and fist bumps to Catherine for taking the time out of her uber-busy life to chat with me. Be sure to visit Tarot Elements to purchase a reading with Catherine and then give your tarot brain a work out by purchasing her book, Beyond The Celtic Cross. And Catherine will be my first guest of the season in January for my Tarot Lady Blog Talk Radio Show. Watch for the dates soon!