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.
There are a few tarot readers who will admit to having some psychic ability and I am one of them. So it’s no surprise that I was pretty excited to get my hands on a recent book, Psychic Tarot by Nancy Antennucci and Melanie Howard. This book is important for those of us who are “intuitive readers”, meaning our tarot readings go deeper than just looking at pictures and the structures of a layout – when we read, we tend to go beyond the traditional meanings as our inner guidance kicks in and seems to take over the reading.
Nancy and Melanie weave together their own stories as well as practical advice for those of us who read in this manner. Being as most tarot books focus on individual card meanings and spreads, this is an important and unique book and one I feel that every reader (especially those of us who are using psychic abilities in our readings) should have on their shelves.
Since these two wrote the book together, a blog interview with this dynamic duo seemed to be a good idea.
Nancy Antenucci (Between The Worlds LLC) is a seasoned tarot reader as well as a teacher of intuitive and creative strategies. She brings 25 years of hard-earned wisdom, practical know-how and unending passion of the creative unknown to her clients, students and colleagues. She has been presenting at the annual Women’s Spirituality Conference in Mankato, Minnesota for the last 10 years. The Twin Cities Metro Magazine named her one of the Twin Cities’ best psychics.
She has recently created a Tarot Meetup in St Paul “Tarot For Us” which explores the combination of tarot and natural psychic abilities. She founded the Pagan Babies Productions, which brings mythological and archetypal stories to life theatrically. She is proud to be a D.O.D. – part of the Daughters of Divination as well as serving as a co-director of Theater and Ritual for the annual international Reader’s Studio Conference held in Manhattan. She also leads M.I.B. – the Midway Independent Business alliance for the entrepreneurs in her neighborhood.
She lives with her husband, son, and small chug (with a huge attitude) Pippi in St. Paul.
Nancy’s website is http://betweenworlds.us.
Melanie A. Howard (Hastings, MN) is a psychic, a tarot reader, and co-founder of the Hastings Blessings and Breathing Center, a teaching center for women that focuses on spiritual topics. You can learn more about Melanie at her blog: http://way-ward-tarot.blogspot.com/
Together these two women are bringing years of wisdom and a fresh new light on tarot. I think what they are doing is necessary as in my opinion, psychic ability is something we all possess and there is no reason in the world to shy away from admitting that you are working with this energy. I think that Nancy and Melanie are creating a trend that will lead to a more well rounded tarot community as those of us who admit to being intuitive will be less likely to hide out in the psychic closet.
Check out their answers to my questions below:
1. What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Nancy: We are spirits having a human adventure. I believe that the Tarot is a visible journey of images and stories designed to teach us how to be a fully human in love with this current life. Staying engaged and aware as human and spirit is an art form. As with any art, muses are needed. I feel that the muses speak to us through the stories and images of these 78 cards. The reading itself is a time to step back and look at the canvas!
On some fundamental level, the seeker hopes to change something. If it isn’t clear what that might be, it always helps to look at their current quality of love for their own life. Does it feel like a loveless marriage? Does it feel like a strong current? Is it barely manageable? Is it chore after chore? We are here for such a short time that adventure, hope and growth are essential ingredients.
As a reader, the power I have using the visibility of the cards’ imagery and the invisibility of the Creative Unknown is the ability to Name. Once something is named…it can be claimed. My responsibility is to name all the relevant energies, patterns, issues and ideas to support true growth and awareness. I won’t let you run away from yourself.
Melanie: I believe Tarot, when used properly, gives the necessary perspective to make effective changes for the better. I call it the 3 C’s: Choice, Chance, and Change. This is from an old Center newsletter, I think it best illustrates my Tarot philosophy (which still may differ from Nance’s only in wording):
You just got a reading. You’re ecstatic. You learned that “the one” is coming. The job change is happening. The travel is imminent. Finally, things are looking up. And what do you do? You go home. You quit eHarmony. You stop putting your resume out there. You blow your France money. After all, it’s all coming. The psychic said so.
Life does not happen in a vacuum. Neither does a reading. A reading tells you the probable outcome of patterns you have already set out for yourself through hard work and “tending your garden.” It shows you choices. It shows you chances. It suggests changes you can make to get what you want. But you also make choices, take or ignore chances, and make changes in your life. Your fate is in your hands – not in the cards.”
2. How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Nancy: (to my client)
My intent as a reader is the stir the unconscious pot carefully to trigger new insights and helpful new perspectives for wise choices. Please agree to disagree with the information you received for the following 48 hours but use the reading as a catalyst for your own wisdoms to submerge.
I will provide an intimate and confidential setting to the best of my ability. I will be respectful of your beliefs as I weave reflections, truths and questions from a mythic viewpoint. I consider a Tarot reading a success if it has awakened your own truths and creative authority. I will speak to what I see and sense so know that this might not always feel comfortable but I will make sure you always feel safe.
Before the reading, find some time to not think at all. Sit quietly and let your eyes become soft. After some quality time of just being has passed, jot down anything that comes to your heart or mind about what you hope to change. Let the questions come uncensored. The reading is an avenue to give you insights and awareness about your life so yes/no, legal issues or questions about other’s point of view are not covered.
During the reading, do not be concerned about your current state of mind or heart since it does not affect the reading. I will gently steer the boat while you hopefully enjoy the ride. I do trust you to tell me whenever you feel uncomfortable.
I will direct us first in a simple grounding exercise for us both. I will then have you choose which deck you would like to me to use from a wide menu of decks. Often I do an initial spread that gives us information of current patterns, rhythms and even stresses in your life. It is an interactive dialogue to find helpful insights and clarifications. Let me know when you don’t understand something or flat out disagree!
After the reading, don’t think about the specifics of the reading for 48 hours afterwards but rather let the different perspectives, emotions and ideas swirl around a bit. Pay attention to your dreams and synchronicities. Write down one or two ideas that appealed to you. Commit some step of action from what you’ve learned. If you would like another reading, I would suggest to let at least one season pass first.
Melanie: The richest Tarot readings I’ve done always began with a client who was open-minded, but who also had a clear idea of what she wanted to know. Coming into a reading with a topic, or at least a direction, you want to look into makes for a much more focused reading. I’m not saying the Universe won’t go somewhere else if there is an area of the client’s life that requires more focus than the topic the client picked. But having a clear place to begin is helpful.
Ultimately, a reading is meant to spark the client’s own intuition. I recommend keeping a dream/synchronicity journal about the topic(s) discussed for at least 3 days afterward. I also recommend the same grace period before making any big decisions.
3. What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Nancy: Stay true to what you see AND what you sense.
Tarot is a beautiful language of human nature, trust that each card has something very unique to say to you alone….like a new foreign friend that you can understand by opening up your heart, eyes and ears rather than whipping out the translation book any time they speak.
Take the work seriously but not yourself.
Never assume that any reading is casual. You are opening mighty big doors here so do that grounded, sober and engaged.
Melanie: Find a great teacher, but also at the same time, get comfortable trusting your own authority. A great teacher, like Nance, will help you do that.
A big thank you to both Nancy and Melanie for taking the time to chat with me. I’ll be bringing you more with these fine ladies tomorrow in another post about what it’s like to be psychic. They graciously agreed to share their experiences with my readers and I am grateful for all their time and input.
If you’d like to learn more about their book, be sure to read my review of Psychic Tarot.