Wow, I can’t quite believe that I’m coming up to my 7-year anniversary as a self-employed Tarot reader on Saturday, 1 September 2018! Time sure flies when you’re having fun! The picture above marks the halfway point between when I started doing readings in professionally in 2011 and today – I believe it’s from 2014.
I’m not going to go on and on about how much I love my job here. The truth is that there aspects of it that I absolutely hate (marketing and bookkeeping spring to mind), just as there are aspects that I love and enjoy on a daily basis (reading the Tarot and helping clients). I will say this though: There is nothing else I could do – I’m utterly unemployable after seven years in this trade haha!
Are you insane?
I guess some of you are wondering why any remotely sane and intelligent person would risk self-employment as a Tarot reader. Trust me, I ask myself that question more or less regularly and I’ve had members of my family questioning my sanity because I gave up a lucrative job as a medical translator when I realised it was killing my soul. (Astrology note: Virgo SN/Pisces NN)
I’ve come to the conclusion that a) I’m not remotely sane, b) life without risks is boring and c) thank fudge I’m not motivated by money because if that were the case this past seven years would have plunged me into an abyss of depression.
Becoming a Tarot reader has transformed me. Working with clients from all works of life has changed me for the better. Taking on the responsibility of being my own boss polished some of my rough edges too but to be fair, I don’t think I was ever employment material. When I did work for big organisations, I always stepped up and tried to change things that seemed inefficient, making both fierce allies and powerful enemies in the process.
This could have a little something to do with my Capricorn Sun, Venus and Mercury in the 8th House trine Virgo Pluto in the 5th and sextile Pisces Mars, Moon and North Node in the 10th for those of you who are up on your Astrology. My 6th House is inhabited by Neptune.
I make no claims of being more sane today than I was seven years ago or as a child who played with invisible friends and had OBE’s… but I do believe I’m a bit wiser – the Tarot does that to a person even when they remain The Fool at heart.
The Tarot prophecy
Somebody actually predicted that I would become a Tarot reader when I was only 15. At the time, I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do, except I knew I wanted to write and that touch-typing was the only useful skill I had learned at school. I laughed it off at the time, even though I felt chills up and down my spine when the man behind the till in the occult shop said those fateful words. My visceral reaction was probably more due to the theatrics of his statement: as soon as I walked in the door, he seemed to almost fall into a trance before he addressed me. Mind you, it could have been a trick to get me to buy Tarot decks (which I didn’t) but either way, it turned out he was right. Everything else I have done, though useful in some ways, just wasn’t a good fit until I realised what it was I had to do.
Before I decided to go self-employed as a Tarot reader I had studied Theatre Arts, Psychology, Physiotherapy and Dance Teaching at uni. I completed a college level 1 course in Counselling (Person-centred) and trained as a healer with the NFSH (now the Healing Trust) and went through the TABI training program where I had to complete 25 mentored readings via email. I worked as a shop assistant, carer, medical secretary and translator. I had married and divorced twice. I had been homeless. I suffered with depression and anxiety (most likely undiagnosed PTSD from childhood trauma). I had fallen down and gotten back up again more times than I care to count.
Never did I fall harder than that time just before I decided to become a professional Tarot reader – More about that in a bit…
My first ever Tarot reading
My interest in the Tarot did actually begin that summer when I was 15 – not long before the fateful visit to the occult shop, if I recall correctly. I had stumbled across a cardboard cutout set of the 22 Tarot Majors in a holistic magazine. I was mesmerised by the images and when a friend came over, I asked if we could play with them. It was the first ever cartomancy reading I did for another person and it changed both of our lives.
My friend hadn’t told anyone about her ‘stepdad’ – Her mum’s new boyfriend, a priest in the Swedish church. I didn’t even know about her mum’s new boyfriend when I lay the cards out, nor was I remotely aware of the influence of any male figure in her life… until the Emperor showed up next to the Devil and I knew she was being abused by an older man.
I don’t know how I knew because I had no theoretical studies of the Tarot under my belt at that point. It just seem to me the cards were shouting it to me, so I passed it on without much thought. My friend started crying and for the first time she found the courage to talk about ongoing sexual abuse. This opened the door to healing and positive change for my friend but I put the cards away for a very long time after that – so badly had the reading spooked me.
Losing everything was the push I needed
Fast forward to 2011 and with all that work-life experience and studies mentioned above under my belt, as well as having received the education that comes with being a mother of three. In January that year, I lost a baby girl at 15 weeks in utero, due to a genetic disorder known as Edward’s syndrome, aka Trisomy 18 (T18). Within two weeks after the forced evacuation and nearly haemorrhaging to death, my partner left and my whole world fell apart.
In the process of putting myself back together, I worked with the Tarot and wrote about what I learned as I went. My Tarot blog (tarotize.com) kept growing and I realised that I could use the blog as a platform for offering Tarot readings. I attended a one-day seminar on going self-employed since it had been a few years since the last round when I did medical translations from home, working via multiple translation agencies. I never needed to market my services then since I had a skill that was in constant demand, with very little competition.
The one-day seminar was in July 2011 and I decided to aim for 1 September, 2011 as my business launch date. September is always a good time for me for new ventures, I feel, and I was really excited to get going by then. The first few months were slow but in 2012 I started a second blog, Love Dove Tarot and it boomed into existence, regularly getting around 6,000 hits a day after only a few months. With the exposure, new clients found me and soon I had to put my prices up.
Much of the material published on both of those first blogs is still available here on Angelorum and to date, my most popular posts are about love and relationship Tarot. My change of direction happened in response to a natural process of evolution where I felt I needed to focus my work away from the constant obsession of ‘Is he the One?’ to holistic Tarot readings that help people develop their innate talents in alignment with their soul’s calling. This in turn lead to me re-labelling myself as a ‘Tarot Soul Coach’ although a famous former spiritual teacher recently gave me the moniker ‘the UK Tarot reader‘ which a friend thought was worthy of its own T-shirt (thanks Mira Jonkhoff):
Highlights of my career so far
Other than receiving regular feedback about life-changing Tarot Soul Coaching readings , the highlights of my career so far have been…
- Creating my own Tarot deck, the Frideborg Tarot, and having it featured in one of Britain’s most widely circulated magazines:
- Being a speaker at the 2016 UK Tarot Conference
My vision of the next seven years
Loss has done a number on me this year and is making it difficult for me to feel all fired up about my career. My estranged mother passed away after a long period of severe dementia in January and I am still processing losing parent number two (dad passed in 2014). The emotional impact of my mother’s death has been much delayed by other dramatic (and draining) events, such as being threatened with a lawsuit by the former spiritual teacher mentioned above.
What I do know is that I want to spend less time on social media. While I realise it is important for my prospective clients to have a sense of who I am, I have no wish for fame and I want my work rather than my person to be in focus. I wish to quietly continue helping one client at the time. I’ve done the big spotlight stuff now and it’s not for me – at least not for this phase of my life. While I am happy to teach, I am happier doing so in small groups than in a conference setting.
I’m deffo not in this for the fame, just send me your money. Kidding. But seriously, support a small business owner and order a reading if you want me to keep doing this for the next seven years – Who knows, it might even change your life for the better!