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 three 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 learned about Jessica Dore on Twitter. (Frankly, it’s how I often find tarot talent.) Her thoughtful card of the day posts got my attention. Instead of the usual tarot interpretations, her words leaned firmly towards a therapeutic and self-empowerment direction. So it wasn’t a surprise when I did a little research and learned that Jessica is a mental health professional.
Jessica beautifully represents a sector of tarot that has been growing – folks who are no longer using tarot for divination. Instead, they are utilizing it as a tool for emotional healing. Tarot can be an effective catalyst for breaking through old stuck patterns, which makes it a perfect ally for therapy. Jessica’s work represents some of the best from that genre.
She’s also a writer and editor in the field of behavioral and psychological science as well as a practitioner of Ashtanga yoga. As she says on her website: “Though it is not something I speak about often, my yoga practice is a part of a greater spiritual path that informs everything I do.” Yoga practitioners like myself can see how she weaves that philosophy into her work. This is part of what makes her approach to tarot so unique – that combination of compassion, philosophy, and knowledge of mental health is a potent formula for deep inner work.
If you’re in the Philly area you might want to join her weekly Tarot Circle. It’s a great way to learn tarot in a group setting. Can’t make it in person? Her Tarot Fundamentals is an in-depth online self-paced course that will help you learn how to work with tarot as a tool for self-care and strengthening your intuition.
If you want to get a bit more insight into her work, I highly recommend checking out this piece in New York Magazine’s The Cut. Better yet – you can experience her brilliance directly by booking a session right here.
Jessica Dore is a mental health professional and tarot reader whose work combines the sciences of behavior and psychology with the art of tarot to promote emotional processing, psychological flexibility and behavior change. She lives and works in Philadelphia.
You can find her all over the web:
Check out Jessica’s answers to my questions below:
Q: What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Jessica: I approach tarot from the perspective that card work is inherently therapeutic. A tarot reading helps us see things from a range of perspectives, defuse from unhelpful narratives, and clarify our values. It can also inspire a deeper sense of commitment to choices that promise to bring us closer into alignment with what’s most precious to us.
Because of my background in mental health, I typically go into sessions with two questions: What does the client need, and what can I do to help them get that need met? Sometimes people just need validation and affirmation that they’re on the right path, and tarot cards are powerful tools for offering that. Other times, though, people are stuck in behaviors that aren’t serving them, and that’s where things can get tricky. In these cases, I incorporate what I know from the science of behavior and psychology to help people recognize what’s keeping them stuck in old patterns and what they might need to do in order to shake themselves loose.
I try to leave clients with new insights, tools, and even practices they can do in service of living a life that is more in alignment with what matters most to them. It’s been a lot of fun combining the worlds of mysticism, mythic symbol and archetypes with contemporary behavioral therapies—and I think it’s been quite useful for people as well.
Q: How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Jessica: When I first started my clinical training in graduate school, a supervisor told me that a therapist should never work harder than their client, and I’ve applied this same logic to my work with tarot. Clients who get the most out of sessions with me come ready to reflect on tough questions, to practice acceptance in situations that they may have been previously avoiding or rejecting, and to be open to considering things from different perspectives.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring Tarot reader?
Jessica: In tarot, just like in life, flexibility is crucial. Don’t stick too rigidly with rules about tarot or fixed card meanings. Do create your own interpretations and rituals that feel personally and culturally resonant for you. I developed my particular style of practice by bridging two fields that I loved–psychology and mysticism. Aspiring readers should give themselves the freedom to draw from the subjects they know and love to inform the way they interpret and work with the cards. The longer you spend studying the traditional card meanings, the better you’ll be at this and the easier it’ll be to recognize the symbols and archetypes and make those connections when they show up in other contexts.
Big thanks to Jessica for making time to chat with me. I HIGHLY recommend you follow her work. Get to know her and book your session here.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2018