a review of my first live reading

This afternoon on my lunch break, I did a Skype reading.  It was my first live reading for a stranger.


I used to lead worship in Sunday morning church services, so actually, I’ve been “over” stage fright for a very long time.  But it all came back to me!

First, here’s what went perfectly: the technical stuff!

My newish Windows tablet worked!  I mean of course it worked, but I was a bit apprehensive about using a new device rather than something I was familiar with.  But there aren’t a lot of options when I’m giving tarot readings on my lunch break at work.  (Wow, I’m nuts haha)

Also my Bluetooth speaker/mic worked!  I had my gaming headset for backup, but didn’t need it.  That would have felt silly.  I mean, when I put those headphones on I am ready to blow shit up, not have a woo session.

Oh and, I had to share data from my phone to make the call because the building wifi didn’t reach into the abandoned office I’d locked myself into.  Good thing I have an unlimited data plan.

I was going to record the call so I could look back over it, but forgot.  Oh well.

Ok, the cards.  I did a basic spread since she didn’t have any particular questions:



1. You, now: Queen of Swords
2. Past: Eight of Pentacles
3. Future: Nine of Wands
4. Above: Ace of Swords
5. Below: Five of Pentacles

Then a bonus parting shot: Five of Cups (oops! haha)

All in all, nice and simple, no “scary” cards or anything I struggled to make sense of.

I stumbled a bit on the 9wands; I still tend to mix up Wands/Fire and Swords/Air, and being nervous made me completely forget for a moment, then catch myself, which was awkward.  (Awkward for me; this was the client’s first reading so I doubt she noticed anything.)

Also, it was important to me that I not use any notes or cram right before the reading!  I did go over the major arcana last night; since I don’t do a proper spread very often, I wanted to make sure I had those big ideas well fixed in my mind.  (I’m getting close to having them memorized in order.  Goin’ pro here folks.)  If I do this again (who am I kidding, that was rad, I’m totally doing it again) I’d want one note next to me:


Also– and I didn’t expect this– I had a tough time knowing what to say out loud versus what to simply think to myself.  I didn’t just want to blather on about “ohh look, you’ve got an eight in your past and a nine in your future” when she doesn’t know the significance.  Or, if I do (I did) make sure to interpret it out loud (don’t think I did that so well).

Now I’m thinking my mistake was that I didn’t just sit and look quietly after I laid it all out, and/or I didn’t pause to take notes.  I guess I didn’t want to just sit there not saying anything, especially since she couldn’t look at the cards, she was just stuck looking at my face.

Oh right, one technical difficulty.  I had planned to switch to the rear camera so she could take a screenshot of the cards and then we could both look at them at the same time.  I checked my settings and thought I’d be able to do it– but it didn’t work.  Plan B worked fine (hold up the card when I’m talking about it) but I want the client to look at the cards too, so I’ll get that dealt with before the next time.  I think I know how I’ll handle it.

Also, and this was something I did expect: I was wiped.out.  I knew that four or five cards was absolutely my limit, and then on a whim, I pulled the sixth card as a “last word” when I was wrapping up the reading.  I had already explained the significance of the lack of cups in her reading, so when I pulled the Five of Cups, I said, “Oh no!  There’s your cups!  That isn’t very nice, I’m sorry!”  At least it wasn’t Death; I would have burst out laughing if that happened…  I expect those kinds of shenanigans from Mystic Meg, not from RWS!

Finally, the time.  I had planned for 20-30 minutes, which was basically my lunch break with wiggle room for video/audio quirks.  It was 30 minutes exactly, which was a surprise to me.  I have no idea what took 30 minutes, it was over in a blink.

Yeah, I’m still wiped.

One very nice thing was the Queen of Swords as the client just popping up as her signifier even though I didn’t intend it to work out that way.  I started the reading saying something like, “What a nice card to start out with” and explained how the card signified a person who had achieved mastery over her topic, and not just mastery, but being in a position where she’s sharing her knowledge.  Then I explained how the Eight of Pentacles showed a lot of hard work and dedication, and finally reaping rewards from all that investment.  Also, “Are you a teacher?” I asked.  She said she’s finishing up a doctoral program and yes, she teaches.  Also she just received her first award for her research.


I’ll end on that!  Very, very happy about how it went.

Well, one question: how do you not act surprised and impressed when the cards are just so spot on?  I mean, that’s the point!  But it still amazes me.

a review of my first live reading

Queen of Pentacles

The weather has been completely unforgiving this week.  It’s the low desert so I’m used to blazing heat, but this summer has been all about being humid and swampy as fuck.  Needless to say it’s Iced Everything weather.  However, my pantry, fridge and freezer are all basically empty, so I splurged on a smoothie this morning on the way to work.  While I was waiting for the raw vegan hippie to make my breakfast, I drew the Queen of Wands.  I also drew a blank.

Honestly, it’s not like I don’t get the court cards; I’m pretty sure I do.  It’s just that when I pull one of them on their own, I have trouble placing it in my life.  And it was the same today.

So later I’m expecting a research faculty to come visit (I’m a librarian) so I can help her work with print indexes.  And as I was clearing off a desk and pulling the relevant years for her, I realized that working with print indexes and abstracts is totally pentacles work in that it’s about the physical realm.  The young folks (we call them “digital natives” when we’re trying not to sound like grumpy old folks) have no idea what research used to involve because they’ve always been able to look things up.  But when you’re doing research into government hearings in the 70’s, there’s very little online and plenty in library basements.

And if you want to find anything in that realm of dust, poor lighting, and cracking book spines… you better know a Queen of Pentacles.

Queen of Pentacles

five of swords

I was feeling extra down at work today.  I’ve macguivered my desk into a standing workstation, but that, plus bad weather, plus a rough workout was making me really really achy; so I finally scooted a few things over and was able to sit and work without too much trouble. But then I was feeling down and achy and lazy, so I decided to take a few minutes to visit some tarot and see what there was to see.  No deck on hand so I used the Llewellyn site. five of swords Here was my train of thought.

Four of wands… huh.  True.  Good point.

Ten of Cups!  How nice!  Thanks for that, Llewellyn.

Five of Swords?  How…. how dare you?! I’VE GOT FIVE SWORDS RIGHT HERE

And yeah Lady Deathstrike has more like ten swords?

But that perked me up for the day.

five of swords


I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned– over the last few years I’ve lost my voice, lost access to my voice. I used to journal and write stories, but ever since the end of my marriage I’ve been unable to write. There were a few years where I didn’t even write down a list of things I needed to do, or a shopping list!– I made a list one day and realized I hadn’t done it for years.

Also, I find it difficult to sing, but that’s another issue. Maybe?  My voice… huh…

What I’m getting at is, last night I finally spent some time with my new Shadowscapes Tarot. I bought it maybe a month ago, but the art is so fine and small on the cards that I had trouble concentrating on it. I had never even shuffled the cards. But last night I just went for it.  I curled up with a notepad and pencil and I ended up spending a lot of time writing and going through spreads.

Oh and, I have had trouble with spreads in the past because a) I don’t have space for it, b) it’s just too much; I’m overwhelmed. But I decided to just go one card at a time, and it worked great.

A funny thing happened, too, where I finished the deck interview and then turned to the next page, and there was a question I don’t remember writing:

What is the conception of myself that I find publicly necessary to live up to?

What an interesting question! There was no answer on the page, and I don’t remember where I got the question from.

So I drew the next three cards and wrote about it.

(I had decided to just shuffle the fuck outta the deck and then go one by one without fussing with them more; that way I’ll be going through the deck instead of constantly shuffling and getting cards more than once.)

Anyways, I discovered I like writing writing my journaling. I will probably put together blog posts in the future, but I like journaling quietly, private, just for me.

I’m not used to having things just for me.


two questions, four cards

I’m finding I like two-card draws, and I have a question, so here we go.

Why does marriage keep coming up today?  (Once at work, “Emily, you’ll want to get married one day…” and two old friends recently getting married.)

The Tower, Page of Cups

I’ve been thinking about how the Tower reminds me of my experience being married (spoiler: not a good experience), and lately I’ve been able to detach from the subject, which is new.  I used to have a big mess of feelings about marriage and could barely stand to even see photos of a wedding, even a stranger’s.  The Page of Cups is me, starting over, learning to be myself while getting back in touch with the “me” I remember myself as.

What can I learn from this?

Seven of Cups, Queen of Pentacles

Seven of Cups is indecision and hesitating, afraid to make the wrong choice.  The Queen of Pentacles is a supremely content woman, secure and contemplative.  It’s being stuck on the journey, and also completing the journey.  The pair together tells me that no matter my fears and no matter my past, I can have faith in myself; I’m a new person already and I’m not only defined by who I used to be.  Don’t ignore my present self for my future goals.

It reminds me of something Pema Chödrön said in “The wisdom of no escape” ; something like, “self-improvement is a sort of violence against yourself.”  Maybe just stop freaking out about the best way to go forward, and just sit and be still.  You already exist.

two questions, four cards

majors and my story

I’m slowing down in the Alternative Tarot Course; the exercises for the Majors are taking awhile. So I’ll just go bit by bit.

The point here is to think about how each of the trumps corresponds with my personal history.  And obviously that’s not always a great thing to think about.  Plus, there’s a lot of damn cards.

I see my childhood defined by the Wheel of Fortune and the Hierophant: the jumble of luck and circumstances that made me who I am, and the religion of my parents.

I also see a lot of the Hermit. I loved to read or just be out roller skating by myself. I was either uncomfortable around others or overcompensating by trying to do the things I thought other people did. I may have had a touch of something that impaired social interaction; I really didn’t understand what people were doing, and so I didn’t know how to make friends. I could fake it, but eventually kids figured out I wasn’t really there there. If that makes sense.

But that disconnection helped me, in a way. I was able to be calm because I didn’t care (I didn’t know what I was supposed to care about), and I still identify with Temperance today. A lot of times I still feel like I’m faking it; I never quite learned how to be intimate with others, in the sense of being myself. Alternatively, I feel comfortable around someone and just talk about whatever pops into my head.

I got married at 18: the Fool.

Also the Chariot, rushing out thinking I know my strength.

My wedding night: the Tower. (Yep, that bad.)

After that, it’s a jumble: the Moon, for being the crawfish always trying to crawl out of the water and the wolves howling a warning while the moon looks disturbed about something. This is definitely a good card for my marriage. But, bad as my marriage was, I don’t see the Moon as a bad card. It was a difficult time, but that’s just how long it took for me to pull my determination together and get out.

Losing my faith in the Christian God: Death.

My ex-husband not able to deal with that: the Emperor

Me, not giving a fuck: the High Priestess.

The Star, pouring myself out, trying to give the whole thing one last chance.

And Strength, of course, for finally leaving.  And now that I think about it, the Tower belongs here, too.

All that is the easy part, stuff I’ve already processed.  I’ll try working on the more recent stuff another day.

majors and my story

How I’m feeling and what comes next

I offered a few readings with my new deck, and so I was starting to do them, but felt a little strange about it.  I didn’t like the feeling of doing a reading for someone else.  Then I decided that was silly and I talked myself out of it. Then I couldn’t quite whether I should go by my first reaction, or the second.

Here’s a bright idea, I’ll read myself some cards.  But you can sit your ass down, Mystic Meg.

How am I feeling?

What to do next?

Check this shit out.

what next


I feel powerful but DUDE DON’T DO IT.

Also known as “Hey guys! Watch this!”

Oh my lordypants.  Tarot is pretty fun.

How I’m feeling and what comes next