Nobody triggers our existentialist issues better than close family members. They know exactly which button to push to get you to squirm under the weight of any doubts you have about your own right to exist.
Second best for this is our peers, our support system and our own community. Communities of women (which most Tarot readers are) are rarely as supportive as a sisterhood of people with shared interest should be. The reason is that instead of supporting each other, we have fallen prey to the divide and conquer tactics of patriarchy and instead set ourselves up in competition with our sisters.
In the Tarot community, judgement, envy and comparison is rife. There are those who watch the Queen Bee carefully be so that they can kiss up to her or start rumours behind her back to take her down a peg or two. Some Tarot readers like to (be seen to) help the underdog… for a while at least… but if they get too successful and the spotlight is taken off how magnanimous they are being, they withdraw their support. As a result, many of us spend time in isolation, extracting knives from our backs… and then the vicious circle begins again while the patriarchal money machine keeps churning because it profits from the insecurities of both readers and clients.
In the past week I have been utterly crushed by both my family and my community… but ultimately so that I could remake myself in Her image – the image of my Higher Self.
It started in a way that wasn’t too personal… a comment from an ex male member of our Tarot Group quoted:
“…the Alphabet of Thoth can be dimly traced in the modern Tarot which can be had at almost every bookseller in Paris. As for it being understood or utilized, the many fortune-tellers in Paris, who make a professional living by it, are sad specimens of failures of attempts at reading, let alone correctly interpreting the symbolism of the Tarot without a preliminary philosophical study of the Science.” – Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
I obviously couldn’t let that shit fly in a group where many of our members read intuitively so I replied:
Me: Blavatsky may have delighted in putting people who read intuitively down but we don’t do that in our group. We recognise that the Tarot is a language that some have natural knack for understanding and interpreting. Plus… where do you think the original interpretations and ‘traditional’ meanings came from? They are someone’s opinion. I’m not saying there is no value in studying but yeah… Blavatsky needs an ego check.
Him: I think the key issue is to understand the ‘why’ and not only memorizing mechanically the ‘what’ (each Tarot card mean, each astrological aspect and so on). I think most people don’t really think of it, don’t understand the basics of these sciences. For instance, do you can explain me why the Moon govern the Cancer and not the Virgo? Or why The Emperor represents Aries and not Aquarius? Because I think if somebody don’t know and don’t understand these basic questions, only fumbles in the dark. Intuition may be useful if it’s build upon knowledge and understanding. You are saying there is no use to learn the alphabet, no use to understand its semantics, you can simply read a book… eventually written in Chinese or Russian. I would love to see that!
Me: You are talking about Astrology here. Astrology was my first love and I could talk for days about the governing planets in both classical and modern Astrology, as well as the Golden Dawn correspondences I myself use. Astrology, however, was not part of the Tarot originally. Astrology was superimposed on the Tarot by French occultists in the 1700’s – a system that was later altered by English occultists in the late 1800’s and which also changed with the discovery of the outer planets. One does not need these ‘extras’ in order to read the language of symbols and make sense of the images. In fact, I would argue that learning about the history of the late middle ages and early renaissance would be far more helpful in terms of understanding the true meanings of the archetypes present in the card images. I didn’t say that study is of no use but I’m not buying into the occultist hype about how their particular pet system is the only right way of understanding the cards. Incidentally, I have had a Tarot reading by one of the most famous modern occultists out there. It was by far the worst Tarot Reading I have ever had. None of it applied to me or my life. (…) That quote is quite offensive (referring to intuitive readers as ‘specimens of failure’) and that’s not how we play here. I’m not sure what you hoped to gain by posting it but I’m pretty sure it’s having the opposite effect.
Him: I think we don’t now for sure what was and what wasn’t originally part o the Tarot. We don’t know who, when and why created the Tarot deck and what she/he/they knew. The first deck surfaced mysteriously in the 15th century in Northern Italy. Anything else is speculation. I am not claiming that I discovered the wheel and my understanding is the only right way. Not at all. But I ask some simple questions and generally I don’t get answers, but spit in the face. Very spiritual in deed. (<—— I let him have the last word and blocked him from the group after this)
Men in the Tarot community have their own set of insecurities about fitting in and playing up the importance of academia is one of the most common ways they try to puff themselves up… but as we have seen in Madame Blavatsky’s quote above, women sometimes do the same. If we want to succeed in man’s world, we have to do it on their terms. Or so we have been brainwashed to believe.
I think the white male occultists of the 17-1800’s usurped the Tarot and tried to turn something into a science that is more of an art form. Patriarchy demanded sound reasoning… ‘Oh, I know, let’s superimpose Astrology onto the Tarot and make it difficult for people who are simply intuitive. Let’s take the Tarot away from the women who are already using it and ridicule the way they do it.’ It’s a tale as old as patriarchy…
Not long after dealing with this particular brand of misogyny, it got personal. One of my closest family members suggested I get a diploma in Astrology so I could start charging properly. She meant oh so well but this caused me to have a mini existentialist crisis last week. It was the words ‘I would totally pay if you start offering combined Tarot and Astrology year ahead readings.’
Wait, what?! I have never asked for payment from family for doing readings and it would never enter my mind to do so… But the point that was being made here (at least in my mind) was that Tarot alone is not worth paying for but something involving the more academic side of the occult arts would be worth paying for, provided I have a piece of paper to prove it (because life long studies isn’t enough).
This female family member of mine is a successful business woman who owns property. She knows how to play patriarchy on patriarchy’s terms. She was being kind. She was teaching me what might be a clever strategic move to help me be a better fit for patriarchy’s money-making machine. And yet it felt like I had been bulldozed over in some kind of demonstration of how what I have been doing up until this point in my life isn’t actually worth paying for… *shuffles off to put on beggar’s cloak*
It is not a coincidence that this all happened on the week of the most recent Full Moon when I had set the intent to finally open the floodgates to abundance in a BIG way… When you set the intent properly for shit like that you tend to get tested in an equally BIG way to see if you are being serious…
So it wasn’t long before the next test (because what good is the beggar’s cloak without the bowl?). Another female Tarotist commented in a group that I don’t admin about how Tarot readers have no right to charge for their services. ‘I’m not judging anyone but…’ and then she went on to point out how it was immoral and unethical to charge for readings and that people who do were simply not trustworthy individuals.
I was desperately waiting for group admin to step in, delete and block this individual because what she said was extremely hurtful and disrespectful toward those members of the community who, like myself, do pay our bills and taxes by using this gift of ours. The original response was not forceful enough in my opinion. The person in question was asked to rephrase her statement as being ‘her opinion.’ It’s a bit like asking a racist to simply preface ‘people with a different skin colour or cultural background are scum’ with ‘In my opinion…’ and that it would somehow be OK to do so…
I had to come back the next day with my own public statement…
“So about yesterday’s comments about Tarot readers not having a right to earn a living doing Tarot… I have been thinking why so many of us got so incredibly triggered by what was one person’s opinion. Apart from the fact that it ceases to be ONLY an opinion when someone tries to impose their will on the free will of others based on religion, I feel many of us have suffered persecution for our practices in past lives. I honestly can’t think of other reasons why this would trigger me so strongly.
I believe that we have lived through many life-times of having our gifts manipulated and controlled by people in power. We have been persecuted and told we have no rights… Worse, we have been told that what we do is evil. We no longer live in a society where we have to fear for our lives… but someone openly voicing sentiments like those that lead to persecution and even execution for some of us is a strong trigger. Apart from basic decency, I suggest that thinly veiled ‘opinions’ that are actually bigotry and attempt to control the choices and even human rights of others NOT be entertained in the group.
If this were an LGBTQ community, would it entertain the opinions of people who rush in to say that we are not allowed to use our own gender labels or engage in intimate relations with whichever gender we choose? Probably not. Those kinds of comments are triggering and disrespectful. I want to be part of a Tarot community that is NOT OK with members disrespecting the human rights of other members. Thank you.”
And what do you think happened next? I was attacked for making a comparison with the LGBTQ community which I have supported my whole life, accused of ‘piggy-backing’ my issue on something that was nothing like earning a living as a Tarot reader. I was told I was being disrespectful.
I closed the comments thread after that. I thought, ‘What is the point?’ These people are all hellbent on destroying each other instead of creating a safe and supportive environment… Maybe I’ll just leave them to it.
I didn’t though. I did two other things which helped preserve my sanity: a) I created a poll in our own group and it turns out I’m far from the only person who feels she was ‘born this way’ and truly doesn’t have a choice in the matter… and b) asked my husband who is an open-minded, nature-loving muggle if he, who knows me better than most, could verify that what I do for a living is existential or if I somehow have a choice. He verified that it was existential. I didn’t need for him to tell me that, I just needed to know that someone who isn’t from the same background would be able to verify it.
So yeah, last week was tough. I told a friend it was like being thrown into the pressure cooker. But inside that pressure cooker things started to clarify… My own mission became clearer to me and I lost any feelings of resentment for those the Goddess had sent to test me. I realised that I do have rights and also that I have a right to stand up for those rights, both for self and others. And if that isn’t the first step to opening the floodgates to abundance, I don’t know what is 🙂
I also had more profound realisations, such as the fact that on the level of the soul, we can come into the world with a sexual orientation or a religious vow made in past lifetimes that span this one. On the level of the spirit, none of it matters. Not one bit… and like steam rises from a pressure cooker, my spirit rose from being accused, belittled and disrespected by those my ego thought I should be able to rely one for support, to realising that when you have signed up for (another) lifetime of divine service, you have already agreed to forfeit that support, as to not be beholden to anybody but HER. When we surrender to this inner knowing, SHE awakens the Dark Goddess within us so that we can tear down any obstructions or blockages.
Like the High Priestess, we become completely self-reliant, completely unassailable… and, quite miraculously, we then become beacons for our true allies, kindred spirits and psychic misfits.
And because you DO have a right to support yourself, following your soul’s calling to do spiritual work, I have created this Tarot spread… just for you, my lovely.
THE PSYCHIC MISFIT ABUNDANCE TAROT SPREAD
- Current state of finances/Issue blocking abundance
- Something I am aware of that is blocking abundance
- Something I am not aware of that is blocking abundance (can relate to past life vows of poverty – see the Karmic Cards)
- Past influence in this lifetime
- Past life influence coming to bear on abundance in this incarnation (read together with position three if past life issue is indicated there)
- Near future influence
- Strength to harness
- Action advice
So much love!