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.
If you’re a witchy sort of person, no doubt you’ve seen the cult classic, The Craft. It’s a tale of four teenage girls who play around with witchcraft, casting spells on boys and rivals. It was fun, cool flick – and it has a timeless feel even though it’s over twenty years old.
I’m a total fan. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a blog post and discovered that one of the actresses, Rachel True, was a fellow tarot card reader! I headed over to Instagram (damn, does this woman ever age???) and her site to learn more. Turns out this actress has been reading tarot since she was a teen. When she wasn’t working on films, she delved deeper into the cards, learning the meanings, exploring the symbols and reading for family and friends. She says this about tarot on her site: “With its ability to spotlight the shifts needed and highlight what’s on track, I consider tarot my favorite on call therapist/life coach.” I think a lot of us tarot pros will agree with that statement.
These days, Rachel splits her time between tarot, acting, and writing about health related topics on her blog, Some True Things. Her latest television role was on Being Mary Jane with the lovely Gabrielle Union. Up next: she’s portraying Marie Laveau in a bio about the life of the free woman of color who brought voodoo to New Orleans in 1810. Laveau fans take note. No doubt this is gonna be cool!
Rachel is also working on a tarot booked called True Heart Intuitive. Her goal: to encourage others to pick up a deck and tap in. (I’ll be first in line to nab that book and tell ya about it!)
Rachel said “I’ve been approached recently about doing a tarot reality to show, but prefer to work on a comedic scripted version I’m writing about life as a tarot reading actress. Readings are so personal I don’t think they lend themselves to being filmed.A scripted version allows more freedom to have fun but still go deep with the concept.” Let’s hope that this hits the screens soon. It might be exactly what tarot needs or what the public needs to see about tarot. I’m stoked!
My next goal is to get a reading with Rachel when I head to LA in March. She currently offers sessions via the phone or in-person (sometimes at the House of Intuition once in a blue moon ). If you’re in that area, you might wanna get yourself over there and get your own reading from her.
For in-person or phone readings readings people can send an email to Truehearttarot@gmail.com. Rachel says: “Quicker to get a phone reading per my schedule, there’s waitlist for in-person.”
Check out Rachel’s answers to my questions below:
Q: What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
Rachel: Gosh, I don’t think I have a hard and fast one. My relationship with the cards is ever-evolving, so my philosophy on them is hopefully always expanding. Whether reading for myself or others, I personally utilize cards for clarifying the now rather than hard core ‘fortune telling’ the future, although I love that the cards often give clear insight to what might be coming. As Jung said, “the best way to predict the future is to see how the present evolved from the past.”
When I was a kid, I’d pull Man and His Symbols by Jung form my parent’s library. The images in the book seemed to be speaking to me in a language I could parse. Eventually when I saw my first tarot deck and it contained some of the same images, I was hooked. For me, tarot’s true magic is its ability to help you tap into the collective unconscious and open up your own intuition.
Q: How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Rachel: Having a clear question in mind is helpful but not necessary. In a lot of my readings with new clients, maybe because I still work in film and TV as an actor, people want to see what I can figure out with no clues from them. Between the cards and reading their energy I find it’s not hard to see what’s on someones mind and heart, so it’s not a problem for me, and I get their concern. Maybe they think I got into tarot because I was in The Craft, a 90’s witch movie, but it’s the other way around. I feel The Craft was attracted to me because of my background with tarot, but either way, I don’t mind having to ‘prove’ myself to skeptics, but it’s helpful if they’re open to the experience and not shut down. I also deal with people who can get a bit ’star struck’, I let them talk for a few minutes about their connection to roles I’ve played before the clock starts, but once the reading begins it’s all about them, and what’s going on their life, not my acting career, ; )
I prefer not to read couples together, because inevitably, like every time, something comes up that one or the other in the party is uncomfortable discussing in front of their lover, no matter how much they try to convince you “they share everything.” I’ve gotten pushback on this, and people are welcome to find a reader better suited for them.
The most important thing I do when I begin a reading, is have people ground themselves by taking a few long, like 7 seconds long if you can swing it, inhales through the nose and long exhales through the mouth. This really helps calm the central nervous system down, it’s an effective way to quell anxiety for some, like if you’re ramping up into a panic attack, try it, it works!
Q: What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Rachel: I don’t have just one… I’d say know the cards well enough to understand the story they’re telling, how meanings are sculpted by the surrounding cards in a spread.
Don’t keep throwing more cards or spreads when you don’t ‘get’ the message of your reading. If I don’t understand a reading, it’s probably a sign I’m avoiding or not ready to deal with the info, or for new readers, that you don’t know the cards as well as you thought you did.
Tarot’s pretty trendy these days, and a lot of newbies a pick up decks thinking they’re good to go, that the cards do all the work, that’s just not true. Picking out or being gifted a first deck is the first step, not the last to becoming a reader competent enough to charge money.
Personally, I don’t think one should charge money if you’re still looking up card definitions. So practice on yourself, friends or friends of friends for free, a lot. Develop your own rituals around tarot. It’s OK to go beyond what someone else has written in the book on the internet.
Don’t pay to be an accredited or certified reader. That’s someone trying to take your money. Instead, find a mentor to work and talk tarot with.
My intuition is heightened when my body and mind are being nourished, so for me eating well is key. I say food is a spell for your body. If I’m sluggish from binging on junk food etc, my intuition is dimmed. I eat no meat or dairy and this seems to help me connect to spirit easier. Mostly though, I’d encourage new readers to not abuse their talents. People are trusting you with very personal information, inviting you into their mind space, this is not to be taken lightly. Once you start reading professionally, it’s important to learn to release the energies of others you’ve taken in or you can get burnt out fast. Create your own way to release at the end of a session.
Oh, one last thing, I don’t use my deck to spy on others. I use it to see where I can adjust myself if I have conflict with another person. Remember: use your powers for good!
So honored that Rachel took the time to chat with me. Learn more about all things Rachel and book a reading over at her site.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2017
picture from Rachels’s personal collection