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Tarot Beginners

Why I *really* started reading tarot (AKA never tell a twelve year old they’ll die young)

Why did I start reading tarot? I wish I could say that it was because of my willingness to serve or my attraction to the cards. It was neither of this things that first started me on my path (at least, not entirely). The seed of wanting to learn a divination system started 4 years before I received my first deck of cards (the Tarot Nova, see the story of how I received them here). But really, it was a doom-and-gloom reading given to me when I was a tween that truly started me on this path.

I was around twelve years old enjoying a street fair. The psychic told me (I think she was a palmist, if I’m remembering correctly) I was going to jump from relationship to relationship without ever getting married and that I was going to die young (before 27 years old).

I can vouch for Maya Angelou’s words when she says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Because I don’t remember who that woman was: don’t remember what she looked like, what her name was, the color of her tent, and I don’t even remember the exact words she used to convey her predictions… but I will NEVER forget how I felt in that moment when she basically said I was doomed to frivolous relationships and an early grave.

I’m happy to report that I got married in 2015 and that I just turned 36 on Saturday. So, you know… she was pretty off-base in her reading. And by reading, I mean “abject guessing”, because from being a professional psychic for over ten years now, I can tell you that tarot-wise, anything past a year’s time in the future is smoke and ephemera. From what I know now, predicting so far in the future for a 12 year old is 1) nutty, and 2) wildly inappropriate (I don’t read for anyone under 18 without parental permission). Looking back, I’m also wondering how the hell I got read in the first place, or what kind of ethical guidelines she had in place. Possibly none, if she was so willing to forecast so much doom and gloom for a tween!

No, I didn’t really become a reader for the sole reason of proving someone wrong nor entirely to save people from a similarly fatalistic reading that could have stagnated their choices and strangled the joy out of their lives, waiting for the other shoe to drop or the sham psychic’s predictions to inevitably come true.

Like I said, not entirely.

Maybe a better question is why do I continue to read tarot? I read tarot because I want you to know that you’re not as lost as you think you are. I read the cards because they are laid out in front of the both of us for you (and all that came with you) to see. THAT’S your pattern; that’s your PATH. It may be a windy path or a path you don’t want to continue on, but it’s YOURS. And it’s also yours to choose (or change).

In my workout class there was once an argument amongst a coworker (let’s call her Billie) and our personal trainer in which she said that her passion was to do nothing. She then described all of her doing nothing: sitting on a couch and watching TV. Our PT countered with: “well, that’s not doing nothing, is it?” to which Billie continued to argue. The reason I bring this up is that perspective figures prominently into both gauging right/wrong path, especially in tarot reading. From my perspective, you’re not as lost as you think you are. From your perspective, I can’t convince you otherwise unless you are willing to concede to another’s perspective, or meet me in the middle.

Accuracy of a tarot reading is also a matter of perspective. It’s also a matter of feeling your way as well. I have often experienced someone describe their session with a medium as a feeling of connection with the person on the other side. A skeptic may reason away every little bit of “evidence”, but no skeptic can ever take away the FEELING the sitter had of being reunited with someone on the other side. Nope, that has to be felt, and it’s not so easily explained away.

Going back to the doom-and-gloom reading that started me on my professional psychic path: I am grateful for that reading, not because of all of the things she forecast (that turned out to be super-super-wrong), but because of that opportunity to prove just how wrong she was… and not to her (like I said, I don’t even remember her name), but TO MYSELF.


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© Hilary Parry Haggerty | Tarot by Hilary

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