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.
I first became aware of Raven Mardirosian through her former podcast, Tarot Talk. That groundbreaking show widened my own tarot world in a major way and inspired me to host my own podcast. Since then, I’ve followed Raven’s work through the years and have always been amazed at her ability to stand out in a field of tarot readers.
Raven is not only a talented tarotist but she is also a healer and a truly gifted writer. I recently read her book “The Reluctant Tarot Reader” and was blown away. This book is deep and intense – and as a fellow reader, I could totally relate to her story. Whether you read the cards or not, you will WANT to get a copy of this book. What amazed me the most about Raven’s book is that she didn’t censor herself to come off like some fluffy new age person – instead, she laid herself bare and wasn’t afraid to show her raw edges.
I was left coming away with this conclusion: Raven is REAL. Authentic. Truly one of a kind. This is a reader who is not afraid to be purely herself. As I said in my review of her book, she’s a rebel with a true cause.
Raven’s passion is empowering women and her specialty is healing the healer. She has read Tarot for thousands of clients worldwide for nearly a decade.
She is the author of The Reluctant Tarot Reader: Adventures in the Gypsy Trade. Her essay, “Christian LGBT Kids: You’re Part of the Plan” is included in the New York Times best-selling anthology It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living. She is also the author of Chrysalis: Poems of Release, Spirit, Flow: A Photographic Prayer, and Esprit, Vole: Prière photographique.
You can find Raven all over the place:
Check out her answers to my questions below:
1. What is your philosophy about tarot reading?
I see Tarot as a great friend to anyone who is open and respectful towards the cards. This means that we need to have an open and respectful relationship with ourselves, as the messages actually come from our own intuitive knowledge. Tarot cards assist in helping us connect to what we already know. Like anything magical, Tarot has been discounted or maligned but that comes from a fear of connection and the chance to become kinder and wiser than we are now. Tarot cards are a mirror and a light. It’s always our choice whether to use them or not.
2. How do you feel a client might get the most out of a reading with you?
Well, 3 things. I’m a funny, honest and experienced Tarot reader. I’m direct but have learned to temper my words based on the client I’m serving. My past career in teaching high school English has helped so much in this regard. As a reader, it’s all in how you say it, rather than dazzling a client with parlor tricks.
Most of all, my greatest strength is giving a client hope. No matter what the situation or question, nothing is so dire that Tarot can’t help. Some readers confuse “hope” with attempting to give a client a “purpose” through the cards. As much as we want to offer balm, it’s a spiritual disservice to them. It’s the client’s responsibility to find why they are here and to utilize their gifts to the fullest capacity that they are able. A Tarot session with me is friendly guidance. I don’t take it personally if someone decides to move in a different direction. I celebrate free will and courage. Being a healer is all about respecting the freedom of another. It’s powerful medicine.
3. What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring tarot reader?
Find a teacher — and not just someone who looks good on paper. There will be many teachers as you continue to learn about the cards. However, it’s important to be mentored one-on-one with an experienced Tarot reader as you start out. Don’t just read a couple of books and take their interpretations for granted. You need to find your own understanding of the cards, how they link together and the particular way that they interact with each client. Tarot is a flexible tool that is filled with mystery. You will never completely know each card, so don’t get down on yourself if you can’t remember one in a reading.
Also, don’t believe the naysayers who say that you can’t be a full-time Tarot reader/healer. I am, and also know others who are. It takes tremendous faith and devotion to have your own business — but if this is your gift to the world, use it. Your needs will always be met and your intuitive abilities will deepen. Be sure to take care of yourself — play, create and have a life outside of your work. I’m also a writer, photographer and painter. I try to book regular massages and take time daily to renew and recharge. Self-care is essential to being a healthy, happy Tarot reader.
A big thank you to Raven for taking time out of her busy life to chat with me.
If you want to learn more about Raven or get a reading, be sure to visit her website: http://shivayawellness.com/
And be sure to get a copy of her book, The Reluctant Tarot Reader – it’s a must read for all tarot peeps!