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.
When I first started flirting with social media, I noticed Melissa Tarot’s cute little logo. As whimsical as that logo was, I discovered that Melissa is no tarot lightweight. She has one of the deepest, most thoughtful blogs – and better yet – she does killer readings!
Recently I was a “tarot lab rat” for a series she did on her blog. Melissa picked a few of us (including my homegirl Starcana) for tarot readings on her site and the results blew me away! I found her reading to be down to earth, accurate and helpful. And that’s the best kind of reading in my opinion.
Melissa has been doing tarot readings since she was 14. Twenty two years later, she’s still learning every day. She’s currently madly in love with the Shadowscapes tarot and the Tarot of Trees deck. She lives in the St. Louis area with her kiddos and assorted animals.
Check out her answers to my questions below:
1. What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Melissa: My philosophy about tarot reading is that tarot is like a flashlight. We can see down our path a bit, but tarot shows us just a bit further down the road. I’m a big fan of allowing free will into readings. If I give you a reading, that’s basically saying that right now – if you continue this way with these intents – this is the most likely outcome. I love giving readings and having the obstinance of the client change the outcome. I like reaffirming decisions and validating choices. I love that these cards can give solace or confidence, and I love that they’re challenging. As a reader, I think that the best realization I’ve ever come to is that I have to be a scholar. I can’t just learn the meanings of the cards by memory and churn out readings. There is so much to each picture, each element and each position. I don’t think I’ll ever learn all of it, but I’m having a great time trying.
2. How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Melissa: I think that my clients can get a lot from a reading with me by breathing and relaxing. That sounds silly, but I have a pretty laid back style and I’ve found myself starting readings by saying, “Let’s see what we can see.”. Oftentimes, one of my readings will go for 20 minutes or so – interpreting the cards, and then we’ll talk for an hour. I don’t time my readings, because sometimes they’re 10 minutes and sometimes they’re hours long. I think that a client can get the most out of a reading with me by being open about what they hear. It’s hard to hear that something isn’t going to work out, but I always try to look far enough ahead to find balance. One of my favorite readings to date (in 22 years!) was with Starcana. Three cards, basically a Universal high five – and then we giggled and talked shop for an hour. I’m very straight-forward, and probably swear too much. I’m honest, and I’m invested in each reading that I do. This is a walk that the client and I are taking together, and they’re trusting me to help them through whatever they’re questioning. I take my job very seriously, but I’m just delighted by it. What a wonderful, strange gift we have.
3. What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Melissa: For a new reader I’d suggest to study! I used the book with my original Rider Waite deck for ten years – I needed it. I didn’t want to half-ass the readings, and I didn’t want to be stuck without a resource and be uninformed. Each card is so layered and has so much inside of it. Each can be interpreted so many ways – as I said before, I feel very strongly that if you’re going to be a reader, you’re going to be a scholar. Also, I’d advise keeping your nose clean. There are a lot of unscrupulous readers out there who make the rest of us look bad. Just remember that the Universe is watching you. Always. I had a friend ask if I could make more money, have more clients, etc., if I were a little more theatrical. If I played up the “I am a spiritual advisor, hire me and I will set you free.” angle. Yeah, probably. I think I’d also get my ass handed to me by karma VERY quickly. Also, the internet is a wonderful resource. Not just for the cards, but for people like Theresa, Starcana, Catherine Chapman at Tarot Elements, etc. I never would have found these wonderful colleagues without Twitter, of all things, and they teach me more than I could imagine.
Many thanks to Melissa for taking the time out of her crazy busy day to chat with me. Learn more about Melissa and great a kick ass reading from her at her website.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2011