May 23, 2017

Tarot Talk 5/24/2017

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

The shadow knows. And if you've been around the Tarot block long enough, you've met some Tarot readers who think they're the homoerotic love-child of Freud and Jung. And, if you've been around the Tarot block a few times, you'll find people who think it's oh so fashionable and genuine to talk all about their shadow selves, all the shadow work they're doing, and did I mention The Shadow? Here's some helpful advice: nobody wants to listen to you talk about your sads. Keep them to yourself. Seriously: the next time you think you're being edgy and authentic by showing off your figurative naughty bits, stop. The only thing showing off your dark and tainted shadow does is make you look like either a whiny victim or a self-righteous Fisher King. It's tacky. Don't do it.

In totally unrelated news...

There's a Tarot Blog Hop coming up on the 20th of June, and the host of the hop asked everybody to do private shadow work and publish it on their public blogs. Mmm-no, I don't think so. I talk a lot about myself on this blog and on my YouTube channel, but I get to choose what I talk about and the degree to which I share my problems with others - if at all. The choice to either do the assignment as given or simply not participate at all is rather irritating to me - I mean, that's kind of like somebody saying, "Hey, the challenge this week is to set yourself on fire. If you don't want to set yourself completely on fire, you can just burn your little finger with a match, but either way, you're gonna burn." See what I mean? I don't want to burn myself at all! But me being who I am, I'm still participating in the hop. I won't be participating as the host of the hop intended, and yeah - that's a little assholish of me - but I'm curably hopeful that my contribution to the hop will still be appreciated. We'll see what happens.

Regarding Tricksters and Magicians

Remember the Magician of the Tarot? Its earliest origins show him not as a Magician, but a Juggler: a street performer who at best is an entertainer but more frequently a trickster, confidence artist, or even a thief. How many people would acknowledge the reality of a juggler and street performer? It wasn't for nothing that the Juggler was put at the start of the 22 trumps, and the sense of him being a trickster and potentially untrustworthy person casts a new light on the sainted Magician which so many Tarot readers equate merely with initiative, power, personal mastery, and awareness.

Tricksters are frustrating: they're not what they appear to be and you can't ever really trust them, but the gift of the trickster is that it demands you pay attention and look closely at the world around you. Nothing like having an egg fall on your head to make you look closely at doors before you open them, or an illusion that makes you question whether your eyes are telling you the truth. Tricksters may be not be deeply loved and appreciated, but they perform a necessary service by reminding us of the importance of critically evaluating the world in which we live and the people that we meet. 

Didn't See That One Coming

Isn't it a funny joke? The psychic who couldn't predict that a client was nothing but trouble. I picked up this essay by Lisa Boswell from in which she talks about all the times readers get scammed by clients who find ways to get free work or steal their money back through payment disputes. Speaking as somebody who reads professionally, I agree with a lot of what the author says here, although unlike her assertion that readers just aren't listening to their psychic intuition about a client, I think it's Lesser Magic 101: problem clients almost always foreshadow the problems they'll cause by the way they treat the reader. Clients who are pushy, ask for discounts, demand special treatment, expect fast delivery or same-day service when it's not available, and just plain talk down to you are all waving red flags that consistently indicate a client you'll regret.

I've gotten pretty good at identifying problem clients, but for reasons the author discusses - I just want to get paid, you know? - I've been willing to ignore warning signs and do the reading anyway. As it happens, I recently reached my limit for tolerating red-flag clients when one of them asked my Satanic opinion on abortion (I think it's the woman's right to choose, on demand, no apologies). I didn't like the way he was treating me, but it seemed harmless enough so I indulged him. Turns out, no good deed goes unpunished: he didn't like the answer, haranged me via email, and then initiated a charge-back to recover the measley $15 I charged for the reading.

Scammers don't like to climb walls

This is one of the reasons that I've raised my hourly rate, increased my minimum purchase, and now work by telephone only: problem clients are nearly always also impatient clients who aren't willing to front-end the money, wait for an appointment, and speak with me in person. Problem clients prefer to wield their lesser magic against on-demand Tarot readers who work by email or text-chat, so the best and nearly 100% successful way to kill problem clients totally dead is to make them climb walls built from high minimum buy-in, appointments only, and live readings where they can't hide on the other end of an email address. There's nothing they hate more than having to actually deal with the person they intend to cheat.